[Burichan] [Futaba] [Nice] [Pony]  -  [WT]  [Home] [Manage]

Report completed threads!

[Catalog View] :: [Archive] :: [Graveyard] :: [Rules] :: [Discussions] :: [Wiki] :: [Discord]

[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [Last 100 posts]
Posting mode: Reply
Name (optional)
Email (optional, will be displayed)
Subject    (optional, usually best left blank)
File []
Embed (advanced)   Help
Password  (for deleting posts, automatically generated)
  • How to format text
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, MP3, MP4, PNG, SWF, WEBM
  • Maximum file size allowed is 25600 KB.
  • Images greater than 250x250 pixels will be thumbnailed.

File 168877558255.png - (140.53KB , 500x500 , l-look_at_you_samson.png )
1067338 No. 1067338 ID: a7a180


Into the heart of the Great Temple.
63 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 1070310 ID: 3a16f1

Do we even have anything worth trading to them?
No. 1070311 ID: a7a180

Depends on what we’re willing to offer!
No. 1070319 ID: 3a16f1

Maybe we could offer them our Insulation Shards or our Scrap of Armor?
No. 1070332 ID: aaed18

Grab the insulation from the seats and don’t approach at all.
No. 1070410 ID: a7a180
File 169245866172.png - (128.20KB , 500x500 , queen_kong.png )

>Make a trade, take the chair
Directly approaching them favors taking the direct approach. What could they want? The shards? They’re very sharp, but these could be so much more than a pointed stick to the right people, that is to say scientists. This stuff’s supposed to be unbreakable. And the armor could be useful to someone about to get in a fight, such as us. But that just confirms it has value, right?
We start climbing the stool, which leads to them throwing a few more goo-bombs our way. Fortunately, their aim is poor. Bright Eyes carries me so we can climb faster. Somewhat concerning to me is that she only needs one hand to do it. I sure am glad she’s on our side...
When we reach the top of the stool, she jumps up the rest of the way up to cuss out the guard more, causing my stomach to lurch.
Startled by her jumping up and immediately getting in his face, he clutches his weapon.
<You! Zztop throwing ztuff at uz!> She shouts.
<No! Go away!>
<Not til you tell us what ztuff made from!>
<What? It’s trash! We throw trash at you til you go away!>
<Not talking about trazh, what you put trazh in!> She gesticulates at the guard’s stockpile of bombs by waving me at it, so I try to clarify further by pointing at it.
<What? …You mean the green stuff?> The question catches him by surprise. While the guard’s distracted by Bright Eyes, Jaina tosses her grapple up to the table and the rest of them start climbing up.
<Yezz! What is it?>
<…I dunno.>
<Well find zzomeone who doezz!>
<…Okay?> He seems confused that she hasn’t attacked him yet. The guard wanders off into the tabletop settlement to find somebody else to dump this problem on.
No. 1070411 ID: a7a180
File 169245866627.png - (157.10KB , 500x500 , big_boss.png )

The guard brings back another xanthi that doesn’t look too happy at the interruption. Her smock is covered in the green stuff, though, which makes this the right lady to talk to.
<This had better be good… Who the hemp are you, and what you want?>

Knowing how xenophobic and aggressive xanthi are, how should I open negotiations?
>We want that goop!
>We want to chase off those robot squatters.
>We want your stuff, you want our stuff.
>How do you make that green stuff?
No. 1070412 ID: f8083d

Start with flattery: "Your green goop works great! How do you make it?"
No. 1070415 ID: b7e3c4

>Somewhat concerning to me is that she only needs one hand to do it.
Because you're still getting smaller. And Jnet wasn't even sure it would wear off, so get comfortable since this could be your new permanent size!

Also, if you get any smaller, you'll become a liability and one of your teammates will have to always carry you to make sure you don’t get stepped on. Then again, with how everyone else thinks it's funny that you're getting smaller, it's possible that they don't care about your safety. They might even step on you themselves so they can be done with this adventure and they can go back to their homes, without having to waste their time protecting you anymore.
No. 1070416 ID: a9af05

Do you think these guys would be interested in the stuff that's making Sam smaller? I'm sure they would love to use it against their enemies to make them smaller!

Then again, that information might not be good enough to trade for the information on how to make that green stuff.
No. 1070570 ID: a7a180
File 169275413225.png - (129.16KB , 500x500 , sneak_snake.png )

>If you get any smaller, you'll become a liability
I'm starting to worry about these intrusive thoughts. They only made light of my plight after JNET told us it was temporary. I shouldn't accuse them of being cold and callous because of a joke.
>Maybe they’d be interested in smolfate?
JNET just said that stuff's not practical for gaining an edge in warfare! It is, however, practical for making me very nervous around these Beformicans who were twice my size before its effects.

We decide to let Anet put a friendly foot forward.
“Hi! That goo stuff you use to hold trash works great. How do you make it?”
The xanthi only scowls deeper. <We not tell you. Is ours.>
“Please? We just want to know how to make our own.”
<Get out, we not sharing.>
“We- we’ll trade for it!”
<This is not negotiation. You want drugs, go huff markers, like those roaches inside bigger roach.>
“Seriously, what did I ever do to you? You literally throw this stuff away, it can’t be that valuable.”
<Not talking to you! You want green stuff, you get it straight to face!> She angrily waves a rake in JNET’s direction.
“We’re not - wait, is that goo some kind of drug?”
<Not telling you! Shoo!>
The argument becomes a three way bickering contest. From the back of the group, Pent beckons towards me. I ask Bright Eyes to put me down, and she does so gently. I slowly scoot backwards, with nobody seeming to notice or care. Pent kneels next to me and whispers.
<I don’t think this is gonna go anywhere. If you really want this goop, now’s the best time to go find some. Use that size to your advantage.>
I might… be able to do that, actually. These houses are built to Beformican scale, I could use lots of unexpected angles for cover. There can’t be that many places to check up here.
>Go looking for the goop? (25% chance of immediate success)
No. 1070572 ID: 8f9bc4

You don't need to find the goop itself. They'll literally throw it at you. What you were looking for is the formula! And an alliance. They're not interested of course.

It says only a 25% chance of immediate success, so maybe if you sneak away you'll find some way to improve your odds exploring around this place.

I mean, if you really want to find this goop at all. How was it going to help clean out bigger roach, again? I mean JNET?
No. 1070579 ID: 139b7e

>JNET told us it was temporary.
That's only based on when she observed it being used on the Formicans. There's a possibility that it could affect you differently, which could result in it being permanent, lasting longer, etc. Speaking of getting smaller…

>Pent kneels next to me
If the smallest person in your group has to kneel down to talk to you, wouldn't that mean that you've shrunk more than the 25% Jnet said you'd shrink? If you've only lost 25% of your height, you wouldn't be that small! This is more like a 75% size reduction!

>Go looking for the goop?
Yeah, you might as well use your new tiny size to your advantage and go look for that goop.

Just try not to get stepped on or eaten while you're in your extra shrunken size!
No. 1070606 ID: 8f9bc4


"Oh did I say 25% size reduction? I meant 25% size retention!"
No. 1070608 ID: a9af05

Might as well go looking for the stuff. Just be careful in areas where there's lots of people walking around!
No. 1070651 ID: 3a16f1

Yes, go look. Try climbing on top of something to get a better look around.

>Have you shrunk more than 25%?
Maybe because he was shrunk by a Reducer, the Sodium Smolfate might be reacting differently and shrinking him more than expected.

It truly sucks that Sam has to suffer such a smol fate. *ba dum tss*
No. 1070658 ID: 00444f

Better get searching before you become ant sized from the ants perspective.
No. 1070817 ID: a7a180
File 169301274175.png - (115.17KB , 500x500 , the_perfect_disguise.png )

>Sam’s current size: ½ in.

>Just use the goo they shoot at you
That stuff’s no good, it’s contaminated by, ech… whatever’s inside it. Goo bombs are strictly single-use.

>Search result: Miss
Sneaking goes well - guess they’re not used to looking down, just like I’m not used to looking up so much! I can smell a very strong odor coming from the closest papier-mache hut. Peeking inside, I can see some mats on the floor and chunks of insulation scattered about. Someone’s sitting inside facing away from the door, the floor around him dotted with flecks of green. As I tiptoe inside to investigate, I hear someone approaching the hut and quickly duck behind a piece of insulation. A pair of xanthi come in and greet the tent's resident. Good thing I practiced my Formican, because I don’t have anybody to translate for me right now.
<Hey Roach. We back now.>
<How’z this batch?>
They take something from a bowl next to him, and eat it. It’s… green. That’s probably what I smelled. Could the goo be made from pulping that stuff into a paste?
<You see those strangers that climb up? I never seen anyone so short, man.>
<They just jumped up and start yelling at Chuck, then Weaver went out to yell at them. Even bot joined in.>
<What everybody so mad about, man? You think someone who spend all day growing our weed be more chill.>
<I dunno Smoke, Weaver look like she just woke up.>
<Or maybe skimming all the slime out the tube cancels it out, hahaha!>
Now they’re just chatting and laughing together. Darn, looks like this isn’t the right place. I start to plan my exit... Wait, one’s coming this way. She sits on the pillow I’m hiding under, smushing me against the wall.
<Hahah. Man, your pillows are always so lumpy.>
Welp. This may take longer than I thought.

>Keep searching? (50-50 odds of finding it/being caught)
No. 1070827 ID: 4d7c58

Keep searching. Even if you cant find it and get caught, they're not going to see you for much longer in like, 2 or 4 updates
No. 1070923 ID: 7bcc14

Now that I think about it, these guys seem pretty friendly and chill. What if we ask them for help?
No. 1070994 ID: 3a16f1

Better keep looking. Let's hope you continue to not be seen!
No. 1071117 ID: a7a180
File 169326809092.png - (107.51KB , 500x500 , snake_snaaaaaake.png )

>Continued search result: Caught
My unknowing jailer eventually gets tired of adjusting her seat and finds a less lumpy spot to lay down. I’m feeling a little sore all over, but at least from their conversation I have a better idea of where to look. So, they grow their food and the goo in the same place. I just need to find their farm, and… a-ha! The tube they mentioned. It’s the tallest thing on the table. It’s a graduated cylinder with large clumps of moss growing on the inside, above a greenish reservoir of water. There’s a layer of scum floating on top of the water that looks just like the stuff we need! This farming method is ingenious, you have to give them credit. Looks like the coast is clear around the tent, time to-

oh no.

No. 1071118 ID: a7a180
File 169326810697.png - (85.38KB , 500x500 , groove_ruined.png )


I land face first with a thump into the stool. At least she didn’t aim for the floor…

The girls had already left the village. Bright Eyes hops back up to retrieve me and we return to the teacher’s desk.

Okay, that’s enough preparation for today. We are definitely calling it a night after that. The only question is what we’re going to do after we wake up.

>Attack immediately!
>Craft new armor (insulating, but bulky)
>Go back and ask the village for backup (Their leader is very annoyed with you)
>Other: >_
No. 1071121 ID: 14a3b8

Craft new armor. Especially if you continue to shrink while you sleep.
No. 1071196 ID: 885c82

You'd better hope that stuff has wore off and you're not still smaller than the others. Because if you're still tiny, then you're a liability and won't be able to help much. Someone will be forced to carry you with them to make sure you don’t get hurt and you'll be getting in the way because they can't fight effectively while having to babysit you.

>what do?
As the most fragile member of the group, you'll need some armor to protect yourself.
No. 1071210 ID: a9af05

Just be glad that a fall from that height didn't break your neck and kill you!

>what do we do in the morning?
Make sure you have everything prepared. Get your stink bombs ready, some rags soaked in scent neutralizer wrapped around your face and the antennae of the women in your harem.

……have you thought about milking the venom from your fangs to use as a weapon? Or would that not work?
No. 1071217 ID: 3a16f1

>use Sam's venom?
Unless it can be combined with the Fog chemical to make it breathable, I don't believe his venom would work. I'm not even sure he can produce enough of it to even use it like a weapon.
No. 1071237 ID: 8a6a52

Only one way to find out! Find a container and start milking those fangs!
No. 1071761 ID: a7a180
File 169396661452.png - (128.49KB , 500x500 , fun_size_sam.png )

We’ll lose some of our maneuverability advantage, but I’ll bet it’s more pleasant than receiving a high voltage shock. I’ll go scavenging with Pent tomorrow while the others retrieve our chemical stash.

>Can you milk your venom?
…Not in large enough quantities to help? I’m, um, not practiced at milking my venom myself, and it can be a hazardous process for the inexperienced. Not that I’d know anything about that… In a pinch, I’ll still have it in my bite for self-defense.

>about that 25%...
“Um, JNET?”
“Yes, Sam?”
“So, when you said a 25% reduction in height, what does that mean exactly? Because I am looking at Jaina’s knees right now.”
"Estimated size at peak of reaction is 25% of original size."
“So, not 25% size reduction, but 25% size retention.”
“Yes. Apologies if some nuance was lost in translation. You’ll be at your smallest soon, but when you finish your rest cycle, your height should be right as rain, and hopefully you’ll be all ready to drive the squatters out of my circuits!”
“Yep, looking forward to it…”
I know I promised to help her, but the enormity of the task is really settling in as we get closer to following through. I’m not the best at fighting even at ‘normal’ height. If they don’t react to the big stink, will we be able to handle the blowback?
That’s when I catch Jaina staring at me with a curious look. I stare back awkwardly, wondering if she picked up on my cold feet. Her gaze makes me feel like I’ve started shrinking faster.
“Hmm. You know, at this size, it’s dangerous to sleep alone.”
“...It is?”
“Oh, yeah. Someone could pick you up and carry you off before we’d even have a chance to wake. Don’t worry, I have a plan.”
“Will it keep me safe from getting snatched?”
“Oh, definitely.”
No. 1071762 ID: a7a180
File 169396662738.png - (102.47KB , 500x500 , snug_as_a_bug.png )

Hm. This isn’t so bad, really.

>Sam's height: 1/4 in.

Some small part of me - well, even smaller now - is worried about being a liability. Jaina, Anet, even Bright Eyes have been at risk or even gotten hurt in order to keep me safe at some point or another. Am I just dragging the others down?
Well, that’s not quite right. First off, the main point of this journey is an escort mission, and I’m the one being escorted. And I haven’t been totally useless, either. I’ve come up with a few ideas to help out. Most of them were even successful… The Formicans have lost a lot of their own culture, and I’ve picked up just enough of the pieces to be able to see the whole picture. I’m an archaeologist, that’s what I do. It’s how I can help. These ants have been living in a giant’s world their entire lives, so they know from experience: size isn’t everything.
But, being held by Jaina like this... Call me weak, but having someone so much bigger and stronger watching over me makes me feel safe.
No. 1071763 ID: a7a180
File 169396663266.png - (153.70KB , 500x500 , a_little_teasing.png )

At some point, I drift off to the sound of Jaina’s heartbeat and the still slightly feverish warmth of her chest. But, it doesn’t last forever, and after closing my eyes for what feels like only a brief moment I’m up again and fully conscious. I’m not sure whether it’s the constant bright light outside our shelter, Jaina being a little too warm for comfort, or just my mounting anxiety, but I can’t sleep anymore. I carefully crawl out of bed, leaving Jaina behind to sleep off her sickness.
I tiptoe outside of our shelter and peek outside. We set up our camp on top of the desk like JNET suggested so she could keep an eye out for us, but we still elected to sleep in shifts. Using paper from the notepad from the top drawer we folded a tent to keep out the light, and Bright Eyes took the first watch. Anet and Pent are on watch now, so I walk over to hang out with them. I find myself hesitating as I get close - even their abdomens hang overhead, their smallish statures now as intimidating as the Beformicans to me.
Anet casually looks over her shoulder and waves me over. “Oh hey Sam, we didn’t see you down there. Come sit with us.”
“Yeah yeah, enjoy being tall - while it lasts.”
“Thank you, I will.”
<We were gonna set up a fire to keep us warm on our watch, but JNET reminded us about the sprinklers so I guess we’re just sitting around an unlit campfire now.>
I hop up on the pen between the two gi-ants, and they immediately slide closer together, surrounding me.
“Are you two trying to squish me?”
“Just making sure you’re safe,” Anet teases.
“I think I’m safe enough as is. Anything happen while you were on watch?”
“Nope, nothing to worry about. We were just chatting about future plans.”
<How about you, Sam? What kinda stuff will you do when you’re big again?>
“Well, like I told Anet earlier, try to excuse my absence…”
<Yeah, yeah, and besides that?>

>Choose 2 topics:
>Sam’s career
>Pent’s family
>Anet’s village
>Browse the holo-lens
>...Has anyone seen my hat?
>JNET’s story

>Choose who to go back to sleep with:
>Bright Eyes
No. 1071764 ID: 1effd3

No. 1071797 ID: 8a6a52

Holy fuck, this.
No. 1071812 ID: 234d89

Hat JNET Jaina (she's been nice, oh be sure she is less infected)
No. 1071818 ID: f9ee19

Anet's village, hat for the first one. Jaina for the second (its very cute image, her holding him like a teddy bear).
No. 1071833 ID: f14228

Sam's career will probably go into freefall after going missing without much in the way of an explanation other than 'I got lost in the desert' for so long - so the question is what he might do instead of xenoarchaeology.

He still likes the concept of it, and is fascinated with formican history, but... maybe he'd better quit while he's ahead. There's plenty of other jobs he could skill up in, out there, ranging from the academic to the practical; physicist, spacetaxi driver, asteroid miner, accountant, electrical engineer, fantasy/sci-fi book author, etc.

Or maybe he can convince his prof and keep at it... there are other lost civilizations out there, and he does feel a little encouraged in his line of work, having found one. So if at first you don't succeed (or can't report on it), try try again, right? He'd have to branch out from studying just Formicans though.

Then browse the Hololens. With JNET here, you might even learn more about the goings-on in it than you otherwise would!

As for who to join after, Sam intends to go back to Jaina - but a drowsy Bright Eyes secures him as a teeny hugtoy! And to ask a few questions about the world of the biggies. Having seen him shrink - and the size of JNET - her mind's been opened to the idea he used to be even larger than her.
No. 1071834 ID: 7c0da2

Talk about your career, it would be rude not to answer. Ask about your hat next.
Then back to Jaina.
No. 1071853 ID: a9af05

Try not to think about how you're now small enough that you could fit between one of your companion's boobs now.

Do this.
No. 1071896 ID: f8083d

Sam's career and Anet's village.
No. 1071935 ID: 0bf5d8

>And I haven’t been totally useless, either. I’ve come up with a few ideas to help out. Most of them were even successful…
Your ideas won't be very useful if you're too small for anyone to hear you.

And do you really trust that this is temporary? Jnet made a mistake that was "lost in translation", so what if she made a mistake when she said that it was temporary? What if you get stuck at an even smaller size? If that happens, you won't be very useful for anything!

>2 topics
Pent’s family and Anet’s village

>who to sleep with?
No. 1071957 ID: 3a16f1

Yeah, any of the women in Sam's harem could easily pick him up and put him between their boobs just to tease him.

Do this one. We don't want Jania to have a panic attack if she wakes up and sees Sam isn't with her anymore!
No. 1072179 ID: a7a180
File 169446849407.png - (127.13KB , 500x500 , a_little_rambling.png )

I pause to consider Pent’s question. I guess I should be thinking longer term than that.
“When this fieldwork is over, I’m going to keep studying hard. Then I should go back to my family’s bookstore on break, and do some hiking again. It’ll be hard being an archaeologist knowing so much insider info I can’t share, but the field’s looking more exciting than ever. The moon’s still uncharted territory, maybe I’ll go there next.”
“What’s being an archaeologist like, anyway?” Anet asks.
“Well according to my professor, it’s usually a lot more paperwork and cross-referencing, but the fun part is combing through dusty old buildings poking stuff, but not too hard for fear it’ll collapse. Usually getting answers isn’t so straightforward with dead civilizations.”
Pent lifts my bag off my shoulders and takes a look inside. <Is that what all this stuff’s for?>
“Hey, be careful with that! Yes, it’s usually a little bigger but it’s all very important tools for handling artifacts delicately!” I’ve barely used any of these on this trip, but I’d rather have them and not need them, partially because the school expects them back.
<So, did the ‘answers’ you were getting line up with what you’ve seen so far?>
“Our best guesses were kind of close. They accomplished a lot and were highly advanced to have all this tech in their daily lives, but their reputation for single-minded hard work was overblown. They could still become complacent, and they knew how to have fun.”

“But enough about my career. So Anet, how’s that scouting for the village going?”
“Terrible! Nowhere we’ve visited is a better place to live than a nice little storage closet with lots of food and no giant cannibal Formicans hunting us.”
“Oh. Um, is that a problem?”
“Not yet! It just makes me appreciate how good we have it. There’s plenty more rooms to explore. Even if there’s no place else to move, the elders will think of something. Maybe they’ll agree that recovering technology and bringing it back to the village is the way to go. They’ll be blown away when we bring JNET back.” She turns to JNET and gives two thumbs up. “They’re going to love you!”
”I will be of service in any way I can to properly civilized Formicans, aside perhaps from real estate.” JNET whispers so as to not wake Jaina.

Pent seems lost in thought. <Lots of food, and none of Them. Your village sounds like paradise.>
“Well, it’s no city of the future, but it’s peaceful and prosperous. You’ll love it! There’s so many people there, hundreds even!”
<That’s- I’m definitely not used to that many people.>
“You’ll get to know them all with time! Starting with my family, because we are going to be neighbors. Tell me about your family, future neighbor!”
<You’ve met them all briefly. Grandma Beddy, that’s short for Bedrock, she’s a good storyteller. My mom’s Patty, er, Patio. She keeps track of what we’re low on and tells us what to look for. Her sister, Aunty Antoinette, she has a fondness for old stuff too. She goes scavenging with us hatchlings and does the trading at markets. My siblings Bann and Sandy are older, but I can beat them both in a fight. My dad says I’ve got a natural talent for it. Gravel’s a good hunter but the ceiling lights give him a headache, so he stays at home and watches our stash now.>
“Oh, is that why he wears that mask?”
<Nah, that’s just a trophy. Says it used to be the skull of the biggest, meanest guy he ever fought.>

Something about Gravel reminds me… “Wait a second. Has anyone seen my hat?”
The two of them twist and turn to check around the pen. “Um… am I sitting on it?” asks Anet.
<The last time I saw you with it was…>
Oh no, I left it with Pent’s family when I was trying on the hoodie.
“Darn it, I’ll never see that hat again!” I hiss, defeated. Anet picks me up and moves me to her lap to console me.
“I’m sorry. Did it mean a lot to you? We could grab it for you when we swing by them again.”
“No, it’s just a hat…” It's too silly to bring up, but I bought it to look like Sir Lyle. I can just buy another one somewhere.
<Speaking of things left behind, are you going to keep anything you found here?>
“...I don't know. I’d love to, but I’d have to lie about where I got them. Maybe if I keep them tiny, I can hide them… hmm.”
Suddenly, Anet leans into me, her grip becoming noticeably firmer as she brings her head closer to mine. “Um, speaking of that, Sam. I was thinking… You were worried about what you’ll say to people when you return, right? You could get in big trouble for disappearing without a good excuse. What if… I came back with you to back up your story?”
I don’t know how to respond at first. “…But Anet, that’d reveal Formicans are still alive to everybody. The secret would be out.”
Her antennae droop so low that they start tapping against me. “Well, I’d feel bad if you couldn’t keep researching Formicans because you learned too much. And I’m curious about the outside world, too! I want to meet more aliens, see how tallmen live, maybe even get to be a tallman! There's so much more out there to explore than this dusty old building.”
I try and think of how to talk her down from this, but the way she’s squeezing is making it difficult. “But… your village would miss you.”
She shakes her head. “I just wander around outside anyway, they wouldn’t notice the difference.”
“Your sister would…”

She doesn’t have a response for that.
No. 1072180 ID: a7a180
File 169446849972.png - (90.15KB , 500x500 , let_sleeping_giants_lie.png )

We go back to making small talk for a while. I start to feel tired again, so I head back inside the tent. Jaina’s still sleeping there peacefully, all symptoms of illness having passed. I smile and pat her on the head, happy that the power of modern medicine kept her infection from becoming something serious. She smiles back at me in her sleep. I crawl back into her arms and close my eyes to her heartbeat once more.

>You’re small enough to fit between one of your companion’s boobs now
I noticed, yes. It’s nice.
No. 1072181 ID: a7a180
File 169446850981.png - (119.74KB , 500x500 , how_did_it_end_up_like_this.png )

“Hey, you, yes I see you! Intruder alert!”

We wake up in the morning to the sounds of JNET raising the alarm.
Before I can do anything about that though, I realize I’m back to my previous size! And entangled in Jaina’s arms.

”What are you doing down there? Stay away from that tent! You better not try anything!”
No. 1072182 ID: 273c18

oh no how could this happen

be like "Uh we should probably get up and see who that is"
No. 1072238 ID: 3a16f1

>intruder alert!
I wonder why Jnet is announcing it? Weren't the other 3 girls taking turns on watch duty? Hopefully they only fell asleep and Jnet's announcement is waking them up!

>I realize I’m back to my previous size!
That's good!

>And entangled in Jaina’s arms.
Try to not think about how both of you are close enough to kiss!

……anyways, both of you should get up and grab your weapons in case whoever is out there ends up being hostile!
No. 1072342 ID: a9af05

You could probably make a joke about kissing each other, but now isn't really a good time for that.

Both of you should get up and see what's going on outside!
No. 1072807 ID: a7a180
File 169526209869.png - (98.11KB , 500x500 , demotivational_sticker.png )

What do I say after last night? I could lie here and try and come up with the words for hours, but JNET’s warning serves as a much simpler, more immediate response.
“W-we’d better get out there!”
“Uh, right!” Jaina is similarly eager to leave how we ended up like this unspoken.
We roll off the sleeping mat in opposite directions, grab whatever’s to hand, and poke our heads outside. The others are already up and taking up positions around our camp.
“JNET, what’s happening?”
“That’s right, run! Oh, Sam, Jaina, you just missed them. One of the xanthi crawled up while Anet and Pent were starting to nod off. My alert scared them off, but they managed to make it to the tent before retreating.”
BE looks around the back of the shelter and hisses. <Waz warning uzz.>
We follow her around to the side of the tent and notice a sticker hastily slapped there. The writing says ‘Nice job!’, but it seems to have been repurposed for a less encouraging message. Xs are drawn over the eyes, and green squiggles cover the cheeks and bottom of the head. That’s supposed to be blood, I think.
“Their intention is clear - don’t mess with them, or else. They must have figured out we’re planning something.“
“We’d better do it fast before they do something worse than leave a message.”
“This is a good sign, really. It tells us they are scared we will succeed.”
No. 1072808 ID: a7a180
File 169526210246.png - (85.92KB , 500x500 , computer_debugging.png )

We split up to accomplish our final tasks before the invasion. Bright Eyes and the sisters retrieve our chemical weapons from the cupboard while Pent and I try to avoid any unwelcome goo balls as we collect foam for our insulated armor. We tear up a couple chunks for each of us and toss them to the ground to collect. Under the shelter of the table, we hollow out some pieces to fit limbs, and cut the rest into sheets for the chest and helmets. Pent takes out some thread to sew the foam together into loose suits of armor.
We meet up with the others with our collected chemicals back under the teacher’s desk. As a last step, we use the collected capfuls of water to mold paper into masks and fit them to our faces. Once they’ve dried a little, we pour in the perfume. It’s overwhelmingly sweet, like… pure, concentrated flower garden smell. I certainly hope this is distracting enough from the gas.
<Not wearing thiz,> Bright Eyes complains. <Iz itchy.>
<Well it’s just too bad you don’t have something to wear under it, but you’re going to hate getting zapped a lot more than a little itch. You know what that’s like, right?> Pent gestures to her wired up weapon.
<Hmph. Fine…>
Finally, we’re armored up and ready to go. Our weapons are traded out for long padded swabs, aside from Pent’s insulated zap spear. The swabs aren’t as effective, but they’re at least safe to swing around. Beyond the padded stick I have my ancient pistol and a capful of lubricant. It’ll take longer to use than if we had managed to score any goo bombs, but it gets the job done.
Carefully, we combine the ingredients needed for the final stage of the stink bomb. The fuel already smells from fermenting all night, and the catalyst will surely accelerate that. The rubber glove finger is quickly secured over the cap, and it begins to inflate with a thick, rancid gas. Jaina tosses the grapple up to JNET’s hip and we begin the climb up her leg. Going up the front this way is supposed to avoid any sentries watching from the back, but… man, it feels weird climbing up her leg like this!
We slowly make our way around JNET’s waist and re-secure our rope in the small of her back. The rest of us hide up top as Jaina rappels down the side with a special delivery for the xanthi. In one swift motion, she cuts a hole in the tube, stuffs one end into a vent, and climbs back up before she’s noticed. At first, we don’t hear anything. The seconds pass uncomfortably slowly. But then, through the plastic shell we hear the sound of muffled complaining, followed by shouting. Coughing xanthi come streaming out of the vents, gagging for air as they stumble towards the desk. I didn’t get an exact count, but it seems like most of them were driven out. We hide on top of the abdomen until the sounds of retreating xanthi fade.
Now, we’re ready to enter through the opposite side. Hopefully that cloud lingers long enough to complete our task.

>Who should go in first?
No. 1072828 ID: 1effd3

I say Pent with zappy spear goes first
No. 1072843 ID: f8083d

Pent with zap goes in second.
Need someone sneakier and/or with a good eye for traps on point.
No. 1072867 ID: 9e0893

Well, normally I'd say Janet but given her current condition best have Bright Eyes take front with Pent right behind with the zappy stick.

Bright Eyes must have been pretty nomadic so probably knows how to deal with traps.
No. 1073467 ID: a7a180
File 169593839878.png - (154.32KB , 500x500 , be_aggressive.png )

>Need someone sneakier and/or with a good eye for traps on point.
No one’s better than Pent at traps!
>Pent second, Bright Eyes first
I nod at Bright Eyes and signal her to go down first. “<Good luck.>” She climbs down the side and disappears. We can hear sounds of combat as Pent leads the rest of us in.
The interior is quite unlike anything I’ve seen at this scale. The outer shell creates a dome high above our heads, sheltering a cross between a circuit board and a graffiti-strewn slum. The ground is bright blue interlaid with geometric patterns in gleaming silver. Scattered across it are big blocky chips with silicon prongs, barrel-like transistors, and improvised shelters. Some building-like chunks rise above the rest that must be subprocessors and heatsinks.
Through the gas, we spot our vanguard engaged in a slugfest with a Marked One. Bright Eyes throws punches, bites, and kicks at her opponent while she wrestles for control of his cotton-tipped spear. Every part of her body is a weapon. Her furious onslaught drives him back covered with cuts and bruises. Finally, she lands a punch that staggers him, and he stumbles over a raised circuit. It makes a barely perceptible noise and he twitches, falling over and hitting his head. He doesn’t get back up. Our first victory!
“What do we do with him now?” I wonder.
<Just roll him out,> Pent suggests.
“Woah, wait a moment. That is a not-insignificant fall to the ground. He might get hurt!”
“Maybe we… tie him to a rope first?” Says Anet.
“No, that would clue them in that something’s up,” Jaina points out.
“I would like to remind you all time is of the essence,” interrupts JNET. Her voice reverberates through her whole body. “Just tie his hands behind his back and move on, the stink won’t kill him. Don’t forget to clear the external vent blockages and pile them up away from the airflow. You can dispose of them fully later.”
“She’s right, let’s keep moving.” I run back to the entrance and start pulling chunks of foam inside the dome. I hope Jaina’s got enough rope for everybody.
No. 1073468 ID: a7a180
File 169593840316.png - (129.83KB , 500x500 , caught_down_in_the_pants.png )

The computer environment gains a mechanical element as we move toward the hips and musculoskeletal systems become involved in the infrastructure. The circuit board narrows, linking to articulated segments via a cable network that leads into a narrow tunnel under the base of JNET’s spine. We climb through the junction into another slightly more open space, JNET’s, ahem, pelvic region, or thorax I suppose. This area is warmer than the last, thanks to all the stuffing wedged into the joints. The trunks of her legs are like two pits, with a series of disc-like struts dividing them into segmented compartments. You could take a nasty fall down into one if you’re not careful. Beyond the initial drop it becomes a narrow set of vertically separated landings.
Two more Marked Ones just climbed up from the legs and are surprised to see us. They draw together for defense, but we have them outnumbered.

>Choose a strategy:
>Drive them down into one of the legs
>Flank them to cut off their escape
>Split them up to deal with separately (who do you team with?)
>Pin one down to prevent them running and fight in the open
>Use an item: slippery lube/sticky slime/other (see inventory)
No. 1073560 ID: 9e0893

Rush in with the lube Q-Tips, aim for the legs and try to get them to trip and slip and fall off the ledge they're standing by.
No. 1073564 ID: a9af05

Do this!
No. 1073966 ID: f8273a

Rush them down and take them out!
No. 1076434 ID: a7a180
File 169913084710.png - (119.19KB , 500x500 , the_bigger_they_are.png )

>Used item: Lube
We use the agreed upon tactic of tripping up the Marked Ones with our lubed up swabs. This catches them off balance and knocks them flat on their backs into the leg pit. We swiftly hop down and press the advantage, giving them no chance to strike back. They try to crawl away and drop down further into the leg for some cover, but Bright Eyes simply drags them back to be walloped repeatedly with cotton-balled sticks. My swings with this weapon don’t feel particularly effective, but it’s what we have to work with.
Eventually the noises of protest stop and they curl up into a ball, presumably beaten senseless, or at least catching the hint to stop putting up a fight. Unfortunately, our swabs have dried up, the quantity of lube we were able to carry expended. At least it was put to good use.
No. 1076435 ID: a7a180
File 169913084926.png - (95.11KB , 500x500 , something_up_her_sleeve.png )

We begin the climb upward after confirming no more malingerers in the legs and tugging the insulation chunks out of position. The temperature rises as we climb, and we’ve caught up with the stink cloud again, obscuring vision slightly. Fortunately, our gear does its job and I can’t smell a thing besides roses.
JNET’s voice reverberates throughout her body as she cautions us, “Watch your footing carefully. The spine is a conduit for many delicate systems, much like the real thing but at higher voltage.”
I call back, “Hey, can you still hear us?”
”Yes. More clearly than before, in fact.”
“It’s very warm in here. Can you try acting scared, to send some chills down your spine?”
"Hm? …Ah, I see. I will be able to adjust the climate more to your liking once you have scared off these malingering xanthi."
Oh, well. I ought to try a joke from Anet’s book and see if that gets more of a response.

We halt when we hear an angry hiss from above, followed by some loose screws being thrown down at us. I barely catch sight of another Marked One before she skitters back inside down the lower arm joint. There’s a narrow tube leading into the limb, even narrower than the abdomen as there’s no room to stand. The cramped quarters forces them and us to crawl inside and would limit mobility severely. There would be nowhere for them to run, but a cornered ant can be an unpredictable foe. To even reach the arms, though, we’ll be passing through a chokepoint while avoiding exposed circuitry, leaving us vulnerable to either getting attacked if we’re cautious or shocked if we’re reckless.

>How do we handle this fight?
>Try to lure them out first (with what?)
>Try to lasso the bugger
>Chase them into the arms
>Rush the climb to grab them while they’re exposed!
>Use another item: https://tgchan.org/wiki/A_Small_Quest
No. 1076438 ID: 1effd3

is JNET able to move her arms yet? if so, have her raise her arms to "persuade" the friends in them to come out
No. 1076451 ID: e5ace5

Go lasso. Should that fail... "Four against one. What's of greater value, heat or your life?"
No. 1077220 ID: a7a180
File 169992975817.png - (163.49KB , 500x500 , got _u_now.png )

>Go go lasso
“Use the rope. I’ll distract her,” I whisper to Jaina. We’ll draw the xanthi back out and fight her on our terms.
Now, what’s a good insult in Formican? “<You missed us, you… egg-dropping, three-legged slacker!>” No response, I’m probably trying too hard. Bugger.
JNET gleefully joins in the taunting. “<You have been a thorn in my side long enough. Your eviction is nigh, you armpit-dwelling vagabond.>”
<Graah!> That provokes her to come back out and toss more stuff down. Bright Eyes gets hit on the head with a microchip, which only serves to anger her. Something catches my mask too and knocks it loose. Eugh, I can really smell it now! At least I’m less sensitive to it than the Formicans, I don’t know how any xanthi can stand this. We reach the arm joint and position ourselves to the bottom and sides of the passage. Despite the smell, I hold my nose long enough to yell, “<You throw like a grub! Try something heavier!>”
When she comes out again, Jaina tosses a lasso around her and cinches her arms. One of her hands is still free, and we huddle around her to subdue her. We’ve almost got her-
No. 1077221 ID: a7a180
File 169992976326.png - (111.27KB , 500x500 , uno_reverse.png )

Suddenly, Jaina’s yanked upward by a thin copper wire! She struggles to free herself, kicking the air as she’s banged against the side of JNET’s chassis. The xanthi at the top of the totem pole has gotten the jump on us with his own lasso. The upper arms have a more open space to work in atop the ribcage, and it’s the hottest location so far. The inner surfaces are warm to the touch, and the view from down here is obscured by internal components and accumulated stuffing. Jaina is getting roped towards somewhere out of our sight!

>What do I do?!
>Get the wire out of the boss’s hands.
>Free Jaina from the wire!
>Keep your distance, find a higher perch to act from
>Make sure the other xanthi’s down for the count first
>Use an item: https://tgchan.org/wiki/A_Small_Quest
No. 1077222 ID: 1effd3

Lets see if that ancient pistol does anything, and try to break the copper lasso!
No. 1077229 ID: 273c18

You could use the zap spear to send a current up the wire. So long as Jaina isn't touching anything when you do it, she won't get shocked.
No. 1077256 ID: f14228

Even if she is, getting stunned by a zap may be a small price to pay compared to being torn apart by an angry giant. Or kept hostage, if they're clever enough for that. Just be ready to help untangle her - or yank on the wire, so it slips from the grasp of the stunned beformican.
No. 1077422 ID: f14228

Oh right, you also have the rubber glove right? So you can actually ward yourself from getting zapped while the wire's getting electrified.
No. 1077426 ID: 273c18

Oh maybe you can just give her the spear instead of trying to use it yourself before she gets pulled too far away.
No. 1077788 ID: a7a180
File 170061426197.png - (138.29KB , 500x500 , shake_hands_with_danger.png )

>Shock her out of it
“Pent, zap the wire!” I shout. Pent leaps across the chamber and hooks the wire with her spearhead as she flicks its power on. The cable goes slack as the xanthi above roars in pain, letting the lasso slip through his fingers. Luckily, Jaina’s armor insulates her from the current, and the subsequent drop into JNET’s chest. Pent moves to assist her in escaping the lasso, while I climb up the rib cage for a clear shot at the boss.
Up top is a bed made of stuffing sitting directly atop the main power cell, stockpiles of wadded paper, and various trophies tied to the vertebrae. It's so warm, I feel like I'm already wrapped in a thick blanket. This must be the pinnacle of luxury for living inside a giant robot.
No. 1077789 ID: a7a180
File 170061426645.png - (130.17KB , 500x500 , action_figure_sam.png )

The final xanthi and I stare each other down from across JNET’s bones. I wouldn’t exactly pin this guy as someone who sits around huffing markers all day. He’s definitely fought to keep his place at the top, and the idea of winning a fair fight with him seems ludicrous. Fortunately, we still outnumber him, and Bright Eyes evens the odds quite a bit…

>Xanthi escape check: success
…Ah, the other xanthi got loose and Bright Eyes is currently wrestling her for dominance. The struggle’s keeping my allies occupied, so it’s just me and him now. Welp.
>equip rubber glove
Good idea, I almost forgot about that! At least I’ll have one hand that can touch currents safely. I wear the glove on my left hand and ready the energy pistol in my right. It occurs to me I really should have test fired this thing before trying to use it. I hope it still works… Of course, the big bug doesn’t know that.

>Choose your tactic:
>Stand your ground and aim for the head
>Duck under his swings and snap shots from behind
>Shoot legs to disable him then switch to melee
>Try to trick him into touching a live current
>Nowhere to run now!
No. 1077791 ID: 1effd3

shoot his legs, but try *not* to hit the main battery
No. 1077792 ID: de5cb4

Shoot him from over here. If the gun doesn't work act panicked, bait him into swinging at you and hitting a wire.
No. 1077793 ID: fb9ae2

Make as if you’re trying to duck and weave for a shot at his back, but actually be trying to find a good loose spool of non-critical live wire. Pretend your gun fails, then when he swings at you, use your rubber grove to get him into direct contact with the power he’s been mooching off.

Bugzap-fu his ass!

And if he doesn’t buy it and sees through your intentions and keeps away from the live wire - well, you’ve bought time for your friends to join the fray.
No. 1078086 ID: a7a180
File 170105315780.png - (84.42KB , 500x500 , king_of_the_anthill.png )

>Shoot him
>Shoot his legs!
Here goes nothing! I aim right for his face as his mandibles open wide enough to fit my head. He roars and starts to close the gap with a stride that will have him in my face within a second. My arms are shaking, and his head is moving so much. I drop my aim down to his legs and squeeze the trigger desperately. The gun makes three bright flashes of crackling energy then starts to click in a way I immediately know means it’s empty. The short burst still has a kick to it, as the xanthi stumbles before continuing to lunge. I try to duck out of his way, but I lose my footing. His arms sweep over my head as my butt hits the floor. I quickly flip over with a push from my tail and crawl away from his follow-up strikes. I glance around desperately hoping to find his wire coil, maybe I can touch it to a live wire and zap him. It’s hard to search while I’m trying to avoid the big ant, though!
Amidst all the dodging, I hear a pop, and the whole room suddenly tilts. The xanthi goes sailing downwards in a puff of smoke. It seems that in his frenzied attack, he ended up striking some live current after all, and caused a power surge that made JNET flinch.
I realize that as I was scrabbling backward, I put my gloved hand on the metal, too. I’m lucky I dodged right instead of left.
…Is it over, then? I think that was the last Marked One. He isn’t moving anymore. The girls knocked out the other one, too. We did it!
”Is everyone alive in there? I take it that the reduced activity levels mean the fighting is over.”
“We’re okay in here, JNET!” Anet calls back.
”That’s the best news I have heard in over ten millennia. Thank you, all of you, from every process I have running.”
No. 1078087 ID: a7a180
File 170105316485.png - (108.37KB , 500x500 , not_so_big_now.png )

We dump the last of the Marked Ones out the back of JNET, and get to work dislodging their insulation as quickly as possible. We collect the smaller pieces in the abdomen for quick disposal, while the larger chunks are pulled down to the legs where they’ll interfere with circulation the least. JNET says it makes her legs feel ‘fuzzy’, but it’s not blocking circulation at least.
”Core temperature is falling. Safety overrides are finally lifting. Please find somewhere to hold on.”
We brace ourselves. JNET moves an arm, then with a creak, twists her hips and steps off the charging platform for the first time in millennia.
”Oh, it feels nice to be needed again after all these years!!” We sway back and forth as JNET takes a few experimental steps around the room. ”Now, before we leave, I believe I owe the Weed Eaters a token of my appreciation for all the muck they’ve slung over the years.”
I can’t see what she’s planning from here, but that sounds threatening. “Hold on. You’re not gonna destroy the village, are you?”
”Oh don’t worry, I won’t harm them permanently. It will simply be a mild inconvenience. It is the least I can do to repay them…”

>Let JNET have catharsis
>Convince JNET to not get payback: >_
No. 1078088 ID: 273c18

Yeah alright. They refused to help us, so we have no reason to help them.
No. 1078090 ID: de5cb4

I would trust she knows what she's doing. She doesn't seem the type to be cruel.
No. 1078092 ID: 1effd3

pay back! payback!
No. 1078095 ID: 2a82d3

Keep in mind you and an ancient being might have very different ideas of what counts as "mild", "an inconvenience", and "destroying a village". It's also a little terrifying to see an artificial intelligence exercise their vengeance sub-routines.

She's free now. They don't matter anymore. Maybe you should urge her to move on.
No. 1078102 ID: eb0a9c

Tell JNet to expose her magnificent circuit boards to them one last time, so the tribes will know what they squandered and how they will never rest in her warm hearth ever again.
No. 1078108 ID: 580aa8

No. 1078117 ID: b3eab7

Tell JNET she's pretty much her own boss now.

You'd think less of her for indulging in violent retribution, but wouldn't mind her literally raising a stink over their treatment of her.
No. 1078135 ID: 124485

Let JNET have catharsis!
No. 1078181 ID: a9af05

Let JNET have catharsis! She deserves it after what happened to her!
No. 1078244 ID: a7a180
File 170122795750.png - (176.24KB , 500x500 , ant_misbehavin.png )

>Let her have this
It’s not exactly like I’m a fan of these xanthi myself. JNET’s her own boss now, and I’m not about to tell the giant robot what she can or can’t do.
For now, she isn't doing anything to them. She seems to be basking in their increased agitation caused by her sudden mobility. ”Let’s get you out of there, friends, so you don’t have to breathe that fouled air anymore.”
We climb back out of JNET and take off our stuffy armor. It’s going to take her cooling fans a little longer to clear out the stink clouds. The Marked Ones have all scattered, probably hiding in the desk. JNET holds out her hand to her back for us to climb on. When we’re all ready, she gently lifts us up to shoulder height.
”There. I promise you’ll be safe and sound up here. Now…”
”<You.>” She reaches down and plucks the village’s leader off the table. ”<I tried being a good neighbor at the start, you know. And what did I get for my trouble? Nothing but insults and disrespect.>” She waves her finger in the xanthi’s face like she’s lecturing a child. With her free hand, she picks up a textbook sitting in the center of the village, dumping a ramshackle lean-to built on top of it onto the table in a heap. She sets the book down standing on its cover, shaking the table and knocking everyone over. ”<Do you see this? This, is a chemistry textbook by the esteemed Dr. Nebula Tachyon. You should try reading it sometime, you might even learn something. For instance, if you turn to the chapter on organic compounds, like so, you’ll see how if properly treated, you could be composting your waste to grow more food, instead of throwing it at me! If you’re going to mishandle lab equipment, at least do it well!>”
<You… not going to eat me?> Her captive asks, cautiously.
”<Were it not for the fact I am physically incapable, I’d say don’t go giving me ideas. You hardly have any to spare.>”
Anet eggs her on. “That was a good line. You should dunk her in the smolfate, too!”
“Alas, an excellent suggestion but I cannot bend far enough to reach it.” She sets the xanthi down in front of the book. ”Oh, and one more thing - I hope you don’t mind a little walking.” For good measure, she picks up one of the moss-filled beakers and moves it to the other table.
”I’m done here. Thank you all again for saving me, and now as promised, let’s get you to that lab.”
No. 1078245 ID: a7a180
File 170122796661.png - (197.09KB , 500x500 , area_discovered_the_collapsed_office.png )

This time we leave the classroom carried in JNET’s massive hand. Now this is the way to travel, it’s even stabilized! She’ll get us to that reducer in no time flat. This leg of the journey is just a walk down a hallway to the research wing. The door swings open to a darkened, eerily quiet room. The lights don’t come on, and as my eyes adjust to the darkness I see it’s because the roof has suffered a partial collapse. Girders and debris litter a dark maze of chest high walls just barely higher than JNET. The only light comes from JNET’s eyes and a few flickering screens at the surviving workstations. The lab we need is somewhere on the other side of this room.
“Hey, why are we heading through the middle?” Jaina asks. “Can’t we just walk around the rubble?”
“Unfortunately, the sides of this room are blocked by fallen rubble. I am not built to climb over uneven terrain, nor is it a good idea for me to trip while carrying all of you. We must search the cubicles for an unobstructed route.”
I’d rather stick with JNET than split up. It would take days for us to climb through here, anyway. We’ll just have to pick our way through the cubicles carefully, using JNET’s headlights and her built-in sonar. By following the wall, we’ll find a way through eventually, if there is one.
Where do we start looking?

>Left or right?
No. 1078247 ID: 1effd3

when in doubt, hug the right wall!
...or was it the left?
No. 1078250 ID: 273c18

There's an efficient algorithm for solving a maze, but I don't think that's quite what's going on here. This is an adventure not a distraction.

Go left!
No. 1078254 ID: 58dd24

as they say, left is right and right is wrong
No. 1078266 ID: 124485

Ask Jaina if she's ok? That copper wire slammed her against Jnet's insides pretty hard.
No. 1078267 ID: 86980a

Stop worrying. Worst case scenario is the robot whips up small-scale explosives to clear the rubble. Still, probably best to look for a way through before we go that length. Go with hug the right wall it's a classic way to deal with this. So Bright Eyes can you believe Sam was once JNET's size? Oh JNET likely has a whole database of how to be kind. Let the kindness teaching commence!
No. 1078339 ID: a7a180
File 170139590329.png - (86.28KB , 500x500 , roach_motel.png )

JNET starts trudging through the maze, taking each left turn as it comes. My sense of direction gives up completely after turning so many corners and spinning around in dead ends. Everyone’s keeping silent, watching the darkness.
A little further on, Anet asks, “Why’s everyone so silent? Still worried about xanthi? What are they going to do against a giant robot?”
“...Fair point,” says Jaina. “This place feels dead. More so than the city.”
Pent counters, <The city’s got plenty of life. Most of it hostile.>
“What would there be to eat, even for a Beformican?” I ask. “Looks like they weren’t using paper in here, just tablets.”
Bright Eyes’ antennae twitch, then she shakes her head. <Me not zzmell any.>
<Even the plants are dead here.> Pent points to the singular plant life we have seen: the withered husk of a potted fern, casting a long thin shadow against the walls. In fact, I think this is the same one from a few minutes ago.
“Have we passed that before?”
“We have, yes. We have explored two dead ends since going past it, and now we are heading back to try a third path. I have been keeping track of every step taken,” JNET assures us.
“Oh, um, sorry.”
“No offense is taken. The damage to this room has introduced many pathfinding difficulties.”
<...What thizz plaze?> Bright Eyes asks.
“This is an office of the Advanced Engineering department.”
<What iz ‘offize’?>
“A place where people performed their jobs. Imagine it full of giant ants scurrying back and forth, carrying tablets and answering phones.”
<Lotz of giantz… Muzt know zzo many thingz.>
“Yes, I suppose quite a few of them would have been know-it-alls.”
Bright Eyes looks around at the desks in awe. I briefly picture her as an office worker, trying to squeeze herself behind one of them and tap away at her computer. It’s cute.
<What they do here?>
”Their job was to perform very simple but very numerous tasks, so that the people in the laboratories could do their job.”
<And that job waz..?>
“Making new discoveries.“

“Wait, look there on the ground,” calls Anet. “I think I see something. A house?”
Jnet’s eye beams sweep the floor, coming to rest on an odd looking plastic hut. ”It appears to be a trap for catching common pests.” Someone’s added a few accessories to it. A clothesline is strung up outside, plus there seem to be remnants of a cooking fire nearby and various bits of trash around.
“I think someone used this as a dwelling. Looks abandoned now… I want to check it out. Can you put us down here?”
”...Anet, are you sure that, as a small bug, it is a good idea to enter a structure designed to kill small bugs?”
“First off, I’m smarter than a bug! And second, it’s been converted to a living space, not a killing one. C’mon, it’s just a peek inside. Want to come with me, Sam?” Anet’s eager to do some exploring again. I kind of am too, but this place is giving me the creeps.

>Check out the abandoned hut with Anet?
>Afterward, keep left or right?
No. 1078340 ID: 8f9bc4

Check out the hut. There's something wrong here besides just an abandoned room, and you need to find out whatever you can from people living here.

...beware ambush predators.
No. 1078344 ID: 273c18

Peek in, do not enter unless the inside has been cleared out. Especially do not enter if there is a dead body in there. It could still be dangerous. Also, the hut might not be as abandoned as it looks.
No. 1078346 ID: eb0a9c

JNET, open the trap up. Compensate the owners if they're still alive.
No. 1078392 ID: 1ecc81

Isn’t the floor inside of those things really sticky so that whatever pest goes inside gets stuck and starves to death?

What if whoever used to live here didn't know that when they hung up their laundry? We might find a dead body stuck to the floor if we go in there.
No. 1078405 ID: f14228

Investigate a mystery?

How could you resist!
No. 1078406 ID: c922c3

Peek inside, but don't step in without first checking that the floor isn't sticky.
It's possible the glue dried up or something, but give how long some stuff has lasted in this place, it shouldn't be assumed.
No. 1078438 ID: 8f9bc4

Those kind of traps just hold poisoned bait and are shaped that way to keep big pets from eating the bait. The only glue traps I've seen have just been an open tray of sticky glue.
No. 1078625 ID: 1bb0f1

Yes and left
No. 1078632 ID: 273c18

afterward, left.
63 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. [Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [Last 100 posts]

Delete post []
Report post