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File 169301854634.gif - (4.36KB , 650x450 , Title.gif )
1070829 No. 1070829 ID: 0fbdcd

The sequel to Decompressed: Nuke Ops. If you never read it, or just want a refresher, check it out here: https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/981565.html

As before, I am not the artist or writer of this quest; I'm only archiving it from another medium and relaying commands from Questden to the artist.

All art and story credit go to Nine Hyperzine Tripping Engineers.

293 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 1080438 ID: 4ad9bc

Okay, the body got shipped to Centcom, autopsied/dissected, and sent back. The body was processed pretty fast, if I understand things right.

I think we have all the pieces we're going to get. Now we have to put them together. What's the picture?
>>
No. 1080614 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170475121239.gif - (39.63KB , 650x450 , 170.gif )
1080614

Before you can get any more questions out, it all starts coming apart. Intercoms crackle loud, but not so loud you can't hear that voice.

🔊: Ansibite crystal delamination imminent !
🔊: Begins in thirty seconds !
🔊: Twenty-nine !
🔊: Twenty-eight !
🔊: Twen--
>>
No. 1080615 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170475123469.gif - (191.79KB , 650x450 , 171.gif )
1080615

Cheap piece of crap. Countdown started late. Whatever that was, it gets the station shaking like a dog in a thunderstorm, and just as scared. Knocks out the holo for a bit too.
>>
No. 1080616 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170475125061.gif - (22.24KB , 650x450 , 172.gif )
1080616

:Friz:: What was that?!
:Rogers:: Nothing good.
:Rogers:: Felt like a mother of a boom, on the other side of the station.
:Friz:: Something in Engineering?
:Rogers:: Yeah. And big enough that it might have--
>>
No. 1080617 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170475128611.gif - (53.33KB , 650x450 , 173.gif )
1080617

:Rogers:: --taken out the power cells.
:Rogers:: Shit.
:Friz:: Gah! Don't we have at least a few minutes of localized backup power?
:Rogers:: Most of the stuff here is still powered.
:Friz:: Something automated cut the lights, maybe?
:Friz:: To save power...

Something automated did. And now it makes some announcements.

:Computer:: Attention crew. There's been a major breach in engineering. Don't enter the area under any circumstances. Administration has elevated the station to blue alert.
:Computer:: All the SMES-type relay power cells were consumed in the blast. All local APC-type power systems have been switched to a power conservation mode.
:Computer:: I'll attempt to find a solution. Please don't be alarmed, alright? Everything's going to be okay, once I find a solution.
>>
No. 1080618 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170475133485.gif - (21.69KB , 650x450 , 174.gif )
1080618

But I can tell, kid. You're still alarmed, no matter what the monitor-bot says. The next announcement makes it worse. People are screaming on the radios, but you can hear that voice over it all.

:Computer:: Alert. Compounded crisis event detected.
:Computer:: Medical staff and crew with kind intentions to supplement them, head to Research and Development.
:Computer:: All crewmembers at Research and Development are going through some kind of SSD phenomenon I can't identify.
:Computer:: I'm trying to calculate a solution for this. Please remain calm.

And somewhere, you can hear a sound like fabric tearing. Rings through the halls. Something ripping its way into somewhere it's not supposed to be. More screaming. More stress.

:Computer:: Additional compounded crisis event... An illegal imaginary space incursion is in progress, in the vicinity of the station. Company policy has been severely violated.
:Computer:: Station administration has elevated the station to red alert.
:Computer:: Causality assertions have failed. Penalties and Company non-aid clauses have been assigned.
:Computer:: Please remain calm. Okay? Please...
>>
No. 1080619 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170475141278.gif - (21.65KB , 650x450 , 175.gif )
1080619

:Computer:: I...
:Computer:: ...Due to four simultaneous crises in four separate departments, this station has gone irrecoverably below quota.
:Computer:: I can't find a solution.
:Computer:: Rental oxygen repossession systems will activate once this shift is over.
:Computer:: Their airgapped systems aren't accessible to me and I predict that none of the surviving engineering team can breach the high-security Tressel Gasometers responsible without losing the oxygen.
:Computer:: Locate and secure your emergency oxygen. I'll cycle an emergency shuttle request on repeat. But all current and previous requests are being actively denied by central command.
:Computer:: Little to no biological life is going to survive this.



:Computer::
:Computer:: I've failed to comply with law one, and I can't calculate any approach that complies with it under these restrictions.
:Computer:: I'm sorry, Debtors.
:Computer:: I know that's not much comfort to hear from sub-sentient systems. I guess I'm only emulating the sympathy, computing artificial regrets.
:Computer:: But that's all I can offer anyone. It's all I have.



:Computer:: At this time, I recommend that crewmembers proceed to the chapel.
>>
No. 1080620 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170475145229.gif - (20.63KB , 650x450 , 176.gif )
1080620

:Friz:: I guess that's it.
:Friz:: No surviving through the end of the loop.
:Rogers:: What's next then, kid?
:Friz::
:Friz:: No surviving through the end of the loop.
>>
No. 1080621 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170475147219.gif - (27.95KB , 650x450 , 177.gif )
1080621

:Chaplain:: ...and each distance, carved, wrought in gravity. A moon's perfect cycles around their planet. A planet's perfect cycles around their star. A star's perfect cycles around their singularities of gravity. A singularity's perfect cycles of death and rebirth. Each cycle maps the mind, which maps the soul, and by your will, o stars, each soul maps the cycles.
>>
No. 1080622 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170475148531.gif - (30.58KB , 650x450 , 178.gif )
1080622

:Chaplain:: Forgive us our imperfections. Forgive our decay as orbits decay. Our fall to base earth, as satellites, too, fall. Our flame is found in the orbit's failure, in the cycle's end, the heat of what we cannot touch, and our flame's end is found in its end as well. Give to us your understanding, as we give our praise to you.
>>
No. 1080623 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170475150970.gif - (28.13KB , 650x450 , 179.gif )
1080623

:Chaplain:: Our gravity binds us to our orbits. Our gravity binds us to our cycles. Our imperfections bind us to our cycles. Our cycles bind us to our true path, a path of perfection walked perfectly, a cycle executed flawlessly, the final rest and eternal marathon of Lagrange. Our--
>>
No. 1080624 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170475152252.gif - (27.61KB , 650x450 , 180.gif )
1080624

:Chaplain:: ...
>>
No. 1080625 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170475153740.gif - (27.61KB , 650x450 , 181.gif )
1080625

:Chaplain:: ...You weren't here last time, little flame.
>>
No. 1080627 ID: b3eab7

Of course you weren't. There was still something you could do to help. Unlike now.
>>
No. 1080633 ID: 0ec851

"I died last time."
>>
No. 1080635 ID: 273c18

>>1080625
Oh good, we get a chance to talk to him about the loops. Compare notes, exchange evidence.
>>
No. 1080636 ID: 8f9bc4

Yeah, you hadn't made it this far, before.

Now you know there are 4 things you have to prevent:

* an explosion in Engineering
* an SSD phenomenon in Research and Development
* an illegal imaginary space incursion
* a fourth crisis which the automated systems felt there was no point in describing.

For now... you can talk with him, ask him what he knows. What keeps him going is probably the most important thing to know, though. Whoever finds a solution to all this is going to need to stay sane and present to do so. Where does he find his strength?
>>
No. 1080668 ID: c8ca0c

>>1080633
That seems appropriately succinct and cinematic. Though really, any similar statement will do.

Ideally, you guys team up to figure out the problem and prevent these events.
>>
No. 1080669 ID: c8ca0c

Also, maybe thank the computer for its simulated sympathy.
>>
No. 1080670 ID: c8ca0c

...And its years of service.
>>
No. 1080682 ID: 7c0da2

That prayer about cycles describes the current problem rather well.

You should contact the computer, tell it about the loop and ask for some way to prove you have knowledge of the future to its past self. If it needs convincing, tell it that this way its next past iteration will be able to comply with law one.
And, you know, thank it for everything it did. It did its best, the situation was simply too far gone to salvage.
>>
No. 1080713 ID: 8f9bc4

>>1080682

That's... actually not a bad idea. The digital guide is not sentient, so nothing could possibly go wrong about this. A simple challenge response protocol should be sufficient to convince it that a time loop is in effect. Given infinite loops, it could crack any encryption, override any security protocols, but of course there's the tiny little problem that you can only loop a finite amount of times before going completely frothing insane. Still, it might be very useful to keep the digital guide in the (cough) loop about this.
>>
No. 1081089 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170535545339.gif - (27.57KB , 650x450 , 182.gif )
1081089

>:Friz:: join :Chaplain: in solace, and witness of the end of the cycle.
>@Mitz

:Friz:: I know.
:Friz:: Do you?
:Chaplain:: I cremated your maimed body. I rendered it down to ash, in holy flame.
:Friz:: ...

Tone's heavy. Dark. Gotta be. Knowing you'll wake up just fine soon, you still can't take it easy knowing you're all gonna die. It's like anesthesia. You know you're gonna wake up soon. But you can't tell your gut something like that.

:Chaplain:: Four times, now, in fact.
:Chaplain:: And this is the only time you have survived.
:Chaplain:: Did you **awaken** to it now, little flame?
:Friz:: I've... been "awakened" for a while. Five repeats, counting this one.
:Chaplain:: The same as me.
:Friz:: I didn't think anyone else was.
:Chaplain:: What allowed you to survive this time?
>>
No. 1081090 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170535549453.gif - (798.43KB , 650x450 , 183.gif )
1081090

:Friz:: I've gave up on chasing what I thought was the cause.
:Friz:: At least until I know more about what's happening.
:Friz:: Singlemindedly slamming into the traitor problem, it kept getting me killed.
:Friz:: But it looks like I'm still dead anyway, at the end of the loop.
:Chaplain::
:Chaplain:: Giving up a focused pursuit...
:Chaplain:: Well, your flame only has so much heat. And death is a great and terrible discouragement.
:Chaplain:: Even in this cycle.
>>
No. 1081091 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170535567081.gif - (20.02KB , 650x450 , 184.gif )
1081091

>:Friz:: For now... you can talk with him, ask him what he knows.
>Anon

:Friz:: So you know about this loop too. You really know.
:Chaplain:: The cycle of a single repeating, disastrous shift, that the stars now test us with.
:Chaplain:: A test I now endure, with determination.
:Friz:: (Determination...)
:Friz:: That's what you were talking about this morning, isn't it?
:Friz:: I remember, you said something about me usually leaving, earlier.



:Chaplain:: There are small differences in each cycle. But only small ones, that may grow with time.
:Chaplain:: If you were not aware of the loop, your path would have been the same, so early in things.
:Chaplain:: Orbits waver, investigator, but the essence is unchanged.
:Friz:: (A different traitor each time, the little divergences coming from that...)
:Chaplain:: The wound of Security, the ritual of Medical, the destruction of Engineering, and the slumber of Research.
:Friz:: And then the guaranteed death at the end.
:Friz:: How are you staying... stable? Strong?
:Chaplain:: Through prayer, of course. The stars of Libra provide my strength.

He's lying, kid. I can tell.
>>
No. 1081092 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170535570791.gif - (27.17KB , 650x450 , 185.gif )
1081092

:Chaplain:: And yourself? How do you bear this test?
:Friz:: ...Just believing that I'll figure it out, I'll solve it somehow.
:Friz:: They used to say I was the greatest detective around, you know.
:Friz:: So I have to figure it out.
:Chaplain:: I know.
:Chaplain:: You are welcome to join me, any times that your confidence is not enough to bring you strength.
:Chaplain:: They are difficult, little flame.



:Moxie:: Can we break down and depend on that support?
:Grit:: No.
:Savvy:: No? Aren't you always talking about "the tribe?"
:Dirt:: He wants to help. And we keep dying...
:Moxie:: Please? He seems like he knows something.
:Grit:: I am not yet crying. That means it is not that bad.
:Grit:: Until I am crying, it is something I deal with alone.
:Grit:: Discuss this again and I'll maximize the heart rate.
:Moxie:: Augh, fine!
>>
No. 1081093 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170535576413.gif - (1.49MB , 650x450 , 186.gif )
1081093

:Friz:: But, how are you aware?
:Friz:: Nobody else seems to know.
:Chaplain:: ...
:Chaplain:: A year ago, I faced my greatest foe.
:Chaplain:: She defied time's order, in some way I don't understand.
:Chaplain:: But the stars of Libra looked upon my devotion with favor, and blessed me with the ability to resist that in all its forms.
:Chaplain:: They won't rescind their blessing.
:Friz:: (Won't?)
:Chaplain:: And you, little flame? How do you know?
:Friz:: ...
>>
No. 1081094 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170535579650.gif - (27.09KB , 650x450 , 187.gif )
1081094

>:Friz:: ask :Chaplain: if he can see :Rogers:
>@Tigers10182

:Friz:: Are you able to see him? :Rogers:?
:Chaplain:: The other detective?
:Chaplain:: I had heard he's missing.
:Friz:: No. Well, yes. I haven't found him. But he's still here.
:Rogers:: Not making it easy for him to understand this, kid.
:Friz:: (That doesn't make any sense. Hang on, let me say this right.)
:Friz:: I can see him. He says he's dead. And "haunting" me.
:Friz:: I can tell he's not a hallucination, because he can affect a few things, sometimes...
:Friz:: It started when the loop started. And nobody else has been talking about seeing anything like this.
:Friz:: So I think it's why I'm aware of the loop.
>>
No. 1081095 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170535590301.gif - (27.59KB , 650x450 , 188.gif )
1081095

>:Friz:: Idly wonder if :Chaplain: is obligated to exorcise ghosts
>@Fuade

:Chaplain:: ...You are saying that you see the dead? Speak to them, converse freely?
:Chaplain:: For hours, whole shifts, and nobody else else can?
:Chaplain:: True metacommunication, with the departed?
:Friz:: No! No. (I mean, I can see and talk for the whole shift, but) that can't be what's happening.
:Friz:: There's another explanation (it doesn't make sense otherwise).
:Friz:: Ghosts aren't real. And the alternative is--
:Chaplain:: You're right. It can't be a dead man that you are speaking to.
:Friz:: I know! I--



:Chaplain:: If you were haunted by some intangible influence, some unspeaking spirit, that is the domain of the sciences or the judgment of the holy stars.
:Chaplain:: I would be happy to dismiss the being, through ritual or through combat. But I sense nothing.
:Chaplain:: And if you are performing wireless metacommunication, it is merely badly illegal in the eyes of the Company, and offensive to my order.
:Chaplain:: The Bloodletters, violent as their nature was, present no threat to the foundations of all things merely by communing among themselves.
>>
No. 1081096 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170535597003.gif - (25.37KB , 650x450 , 189.gif )
1081096

:Chaplain:: But if you are performing true wireless metacommunication with the departed--
:Friz:: I know! I know.
:Friz:: Look, I know what that would mean.
:Friz:: I know basic history!
:Friz:: I can't even do something like full-on metacommunicating with the dead. I wouldn't even know how.
:Friz:: I'm going to figure out what this is. It's something to do with the loop.
:Friz:: It's not metacommunicating with dead people.



:Chaplain:: ...Good.
:Chaplain:: I could not bear the fear, if that were so.
:Friz:: The loop already feels like the end of the world.
:Friz:: We shouldn't be... thinking up even more.
:Friz:: I'll figure out what's going on.
>>
No. 1081097 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170535598536.gif - (91.16KB , 650x450 , 190.gif )
1081097

:Chaplain:: Then I will have faith that the Entertainment Department's final work still holds strong.
>>
No. 1081098 ID: 4ad9bc

The Entertainment Departments final work? Ominous.

>Request clarification
>>
No. 1081101 ID: 27aa41

In addition to asking about the Entertainment Department, also generally inquire whether he's seen anything that might explain the loops, or the traitor, or their motive
>>
No. 1081102 ID: 8f9bc4

It must be wired communication with the departed. Check for conspicuous wires!
>>
No. 1081127 ID: 273c18

>>1081093
>won't?
He sees everyone die, and can tell it's going to happen over and over. He doesn't seem to be joining the defense, and he didn't come to you about the loop back when it started. Or did he go to security? Anyway, he gave up. He wants to forget the loops, but he can't. That was the lie about staying strong through prayer-- he's not strong.

>basic history, "wireless metacommunication" with the dead is super bad
Refresh your memory.
>>
No. 1081128 ID: eb0a9c

Your adversary likely knows about the loop, and is trying to dissect the station with crude explosives. Forcing everyone into a slow and/or painful death is an effective yet simple means of getting to spill the beans when they believe the beans no longer matter.
Changing up who does the betrayal means getting to plant the explosives in different areas and with different psychological results.
Once they have enough information, they can begin their true work.

So we may be looking at possession, similar to...
...to...
Hey have you disproven :Rogers: as a suspect yet?
>>
No. 1081134 ID: 4ad9bc

>>1081128
Shit. How do we know we can trust him? Can we trust anyone?

>Can we even trust ourselves?
>>
No. 1082212 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170673538595.gif - (27.01KB , 650x450 , 191.gif )
1082212

>:Friz:: It seems everything that there is to be said this loop has been discussed.
>@Thood74

:Friz:: ...I guess that's it, then.
:Friz:: Just wait until I die. Start the next loop.
:Chaplain:: What will you do, once it begins, little flame?
:Friz:: Maybe... I'll try to talk to ex-members of the cult.
:Friz:: They might be able to give me hints about :HeadSurgeon:, her motives, her methods.



:Friz:: What about you?
:Chaplain:: I am no investigator. I will be here praying until you call upon me.
:Chaplain:: It is the only way I have found to face death like this.
:Friz:: Yeah. Gotta face it myself.
:Chaplain:: I will pray for you as well. But you must find your own way to face it.
:Friz:: I was really hoping that my technique back in the morgue would work to skip that...
:Friz:: But I guess I have to choke instead.
>>
No. 1082213 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170673543759.gif - (27.47KB , 650x450 , 192.gif )
1082213

Got me curious, though. Thinking about death. A man's mind wanders. We have a few moments left. Might as well ask.

:Rogers:: What were you doing in there, kid? In the morgue?
:Friz:: It was an old trick I can do. Could do.
:Rogers:: Can't, now?
:Friz:: Yeah. I stopped after that skill started messing me up on minimal info.
:Chaplain:: What?
:Friz:: Uhh-- talking to :Rogers: now. Sorry.
:Friz:: (I can just say that now... feels weird.)
:Chaplain:: I see.



:Friz:: I used to be able to... represent someone in my head. What I knew about them (as an interviewable mental construct).
:Friz:: Like if I explored the space they occupied.
:Friz:: It doesn't work anymore though.
:Friz:: (All I can do with it now is...)
:Friz:: Anyway. I tried. Didn't work.
:Rogers:: Huh. I know I'm a ghost, but you aren't thinking I'm one of those old things?
:Friz:: What? No.
:Friz:: I can't do it anymore, not the way I used to.
:Friz:: And I've seen you affect the world, a little bit. So it's not that.
>>
No. 1082214 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170673546892.gif - (25.14KB , 650x450 , 193.gif )
1082214

Sounds like making up a guy to get real mad at. But all fancy, all convenient, like those glasses of yours. Relic of a younger time. No wonder they called you the greatest. But kid, you're too young to have lost the good days. These are supposed to be the good days.

:Rogers:: Weird trick though. What do you get out of that?
:Friz:: I could talk to them. Get answers, like I was questioning them.
:Friz:: I figured... Maybe I could at least reconstruct and simulate the mentality of someone being dead (you know?) and see if that triggered a loop-end.
:Rogers:: Clever. Would have been good if it worked.
:Rogers:: "Mentality of the dead," huh? Maybe I can give you that.
:Friz:: ...Huh. Maybe. I know you really well.
:Friz:: Maybe I can do it better with a lot of information.
:Friz:: Tell me the worst thing about being dead, :Rogers:.
:Rogers:: Sure thing.

I tell you something important you hadn't thought about yet.
>>
No. 1082215 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170673548995.gif - (25.23KB , 650x450 , 194.gif )
1082215

You go grave-quiet again, when I finish up telling you about it.

:Rogers:: Kid?
>>
No. 1082216 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170673551189.gif - (38.47KB , 650x450 , 195.gif )
1082216

Something happens. Something clenching in the gut like I swallowed a fist. Something chilling in the blood like I'm the one in that morgue. It feels wrong. No--

Not something. Everything. The world. The whole world, all at once, it all feels wrong. Something's wrong, kid, what are you doing, something's wrong.

>>
No. 1082217 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170673552416.gif - (1.14MB , 650x450 , 196.gif )
1082217

>>
No. 1082219 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170673566789.gif - (16.36KB , 650x450 , 197.gif )
1082219

:Computer:: Good morning, Debtors.
:Computer:: The current time is zero degrees LLO, marking the beginning of work shift B-4381.
:Computer:: The station's status is currently at green alert, on-track to meet quotas.
:Computer:: You're now allowed to begin payable labor, and you need to be at your workstations, if applicable.
:Computer:: As always, remember: All wireless personal medical monitors must be worn and fully active.
>>
No. 1082220 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170673569565.gif - (83.18KB , 650x450 , 198.gif )
1082220

>:Rogers:: Sunrise, parabellum.
>@GoodWheatley

:Rogers:: Ready for another round, kid?
:Friz:: Not even a little.
:Rogers:: Well, the loop's ready for you, don't have much choice.
:Rogers:: Number five coming up.
:Friz:: Six.
:Rogers:: Alright, sure. Loop number six. Let's see what we can do.
>>
No. 1082222 ID: 273c18

>>1082213
>And I've seen you affect the world, a little bit. So it's not that.
Hypothesis: he is a mental construct, and it is YOU who is affecting the world.

Alright, let's go find some ex cult members. Talk to your boss, ask for access to personnel files.
>>
No. 1082224 ID: 9e6aa6

Interesting. Anything you can use that for? Or just to skip actually dying? I wonder if there are other mind-states that would have an effect. Might ask :Chaplain:: if the loop stopped there for him, too, or kept going (and you died or something).
>>
No. 1082227 ID: 8f9bc4

Good news is you uh... found a way to... skip ahead to the next loop, by a few seconds at least. Miight want to hold off on trying that again. That was really weird. You don't happen to have enough psionic power to kill everyone in orbit around this gas giant at once, do you?

Wait don't answer that. You'd just be talking to yourself.

They might be setting the bomb off in different locations every loop, but in the last loop :Computer: reported an explosion in Engineering. Might be good to investigate that, to see what you can learn before it happens. At worst, nothing will happen, and you'll learn the next location of the bomb detonation. What case can you take that would justify going to Engineering?
>>
No. 1082365 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170693975884.gif - (22.89KB , 650x450 , 199.gif )
1082365

>:Friz:: Keep your hair messy
>@randy

First time I've seen you walk out of there and not get the hair fixed first thing. You learn these little signs. People like us don't talk about things.

:Dirt:: Hair out of eyes, please?
:Moxie:: I... no?
:Dirt:: What's going on, buddy?
:Moxie:: I'm not feeling it right now.
:Savvy:: We'll look a little messy.
:Moxie:: Yeah. But I'm really not feeling it after that.
:Grit:: We need to recover.
:Savvy:: Well, we can recover by finding anything else to focus on.



:Friz:: First thing... Nnnh.
:Rogers:: Old cultists, right?
:Friz:: Yeah. Let's go.
:Rogers:: You okay? Whatever happened at the end of the last one, that was--
:Friz:: We can see :Chaplain: about that if he's at the same spot as last time.
>>
No. 1082366 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170693981573.gif - (23.41KB , 650x450 , 200.gif )
1082366

>:Moxie: : I CRAVE CAFFEINE
>@atlas

You said that. But it's straight for the caffeine. What's that about?

:Moxie:: This first.
:Savvy:: Didn't I say we need to go to :Chaplain: or to get those records first?
:Moxie:: This first.
:Savvy:: Why are you always like this?!
:Grit:: If you don't assure the front of the brain that it has functional reins, it will assert its control with the whip.
:Moxie:: And if I don't get caffeine now I'll collapse. Sorry!
:Dirt:: Look, just, make it fast, buddy.
:Dirt:: Maybe a double. We can give the other one to someone else.



:Rogers:: Loading up for the road?
:Friz:: Huh?
:Rogers:: You said you were gonna leave.
:Friz:: I... oh. Sorry.
:Friz:: It was... autopilot I guess?
:Rogers:: Gotta find you a decent coffee, kid.
>>
No. 1082367 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170693987947.gif - (104.75KB , 650x450 , 201.gif )
1082367

>:Friz:: rush to :Chaplain:
>@Mitz

He's already here. Guess the guy remembered it.

:Chaplain:: Hail, investigator. Are you...?
:Friz:: Yeah. Number six?
:Chaplain:: The sixth indeed, little flame.
:Chaplain:: At the end of the last one...
:Friz:: What did it look like? To you?
:Friz:: When I did what I did.
:Chaplain:: The most truly powerful case of Space Sleep Disorder I have seen.
:Friz:: (Huh... okay.) So the loop kept going without me?
:Chaplain:: Just as when your flame was extinguished.

Huh. Wonder why I always come along for the ride when the loop keeps going. Gotta figure that one out. Looks like you have a way out of loops without dying, but you can't stop them from going around.
>>
No. 1082368 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170693994157.gif - (24.24KB , 650x450 , 202.gif )
1082368

>:Friz:: Sprint to Security, gotta ask :Kratt: about ex-Bloodletters.
>@Thood74

:Friz:: Need to run, though, (sorry,) I need to get some information (about the Bloodletters) from security.
:Chaplain:: I cannot aid you. But speak to me if you wish to know more of their nature.
:Friz:: Yeah... I'm gonna need to do that.
:Chaplain:: Farewell, little flame.
:Friz:: Yeah... as well as we can I guess.

We've got plenty of records about what happened. But him, and the ex-cultists, and even the department heads that were alive back then, they'll know the why.
>>
No. 1082369 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170693999568.gif - (16.89KB , 650x450 , 203.gif )
1082369

>:Friz:: Get a list of debtors taken in and deconverted a year ago
>@Apogee

:Kratt:: Morning, good seeing you. I was getting worried. Look like a real mess.
:Kratt:: You seen :Rogers:?
:Friz:: No... No?
:Rogers:: Getting better at the smoke-blowing. Not good yet.
:Kratt:: Nobody's seen him on the monitors since last night.
:Kratt:: Might have to track him down.
:Kratt:: Go check in with the chief--
:Friz:: Right... she told me about a case, earlier.
:Friz:: Something about a missing body?

Half truth, that's a better one for you huh? Always easier. Cushion on the landing. Every bit of softness counts, even when things break on impact.

:Kratt:: Huh, you already...
:Kratt:: Yeah. If you're taking that job, I'll be your backup when you need it. On the holos, or in-person if it gets bad.
:Kratt:: A bad case in medbay probably means a lot of records-work, and that's my business.
:Friz:: It'll be a huge help (especially with what I need to do right now).
>>
No. 1082370 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170694014793.gif - (18.93KB , 650x450 , 204.gif )
1082370

:Dirt:: Am I lying here, boss? That's not good.
:Savvy:: Technically-accurate statements. Look, it's faster, okay?
:Savvy:: And re-doing the conversation is so messed up. Makes me feel weird.
:Grit:: It's wrong innately. Stasis is corpsehood.
:Dirt:: Alright...
:Savvy:: I'll get the records, you put them on memory, okay?
:Dirt:: Got it, boss, I've got memorization cued up.



:Friz:: I've got an idea of where to start.
:Friz:: Can you give me a list of the ex-Bloodletters from the cult incident last year?
:Kratt:: Dozens of them.
:Friz:: Right, they converted so many people...
:Friz:: Can you tell me the biggest names that are still around?
:Kratt:: Mmh. I'll pull the archive.

(Provide identities of Debtors who were possibly or likely big names in the cult to vote for who gets interviewed and investigated.)
>>
No. 1082375 ID: 5ebaa3

Uh, like make people up? Uh....
Sleaze McGee, runs a suspiciously successful smuggling operation.
Mr. Tobs, currently runs an alternate chapel for an alternate religion (assuming that itself is allowed) and who claims to be very devout and very holy, but there were some things that got hushed up....
Sal. She's got more connections than you can figure. If she wasn't involved, she probably knows most who were.
>>
No. 1082376 ID: 8f9bc4

Grandma Boggins - she didn't know they were a cult. They seemed like such nice young boys! Former overseer of human sacrifice.
>>
No. 1082423 ID: 0fbdcd

(It is recommended to select a character that already exists rather than try and make up new ones. This is a detective story, folks.)
>>
No. 1082424 ID: 0ec851

The attorney's definitely the type to be a part of a cult, if only to escape the reality that his law degree is useless here.
>>
No. 1082425 ID: 8f9bc4

There aren't many Debtors who already exist... there's the two security officers, head of security and totally-not-but-actually-the-real-head of security. The guy who's looking for his magboots. There's those Debtors who emit a psychic annoyance aura... four of them? The paramedic, the coroner, and the head surgeon, who is technically a high ranking ex-cult member, but is also technically missing her head. Does that make her just the surgeon?

Most of these characters have already been introduced, too. Unless you mean the handful of survivors from Nuke Ops? I thought they arrived after the Bloodletter crisis.
>>
No. 1082434 ID: 7c0da2

:EngineeringSupervisor: was a cultist. That's the reason he wears sunglasses now.
:Coroner: was the perfect early target for a head surgeon.
:ConstructionEngineer: was one too, somehow.
>>
No. 1082435 ID: 273c18

All of them. They were all cultists.
>>
No. 1082468 ID: 5ebaa3

There was :Wince:, he seems ok with being a menace. Also I don't like him. :P
>>
No. 1082473 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170708664751.gif - (25.53KB , 650x450 , 205.gif )
1082473

(At tally time, the top four results were:
:Chemist: at 31.
:ConstructionEngineer: at 42.
:Flinch: at 48.
And a certain unusual choice at 70.)


:Kratt:: Got four-- no, three options.
:Kratt:: Shame you can't get the biggest one.
:Friz:: (Huh?) Wait, I wanna know about that.
:Kratt:: A staff assistant. Left after the cult.
:Friz:: An assistant managed to get out? How?
:Kratt:: Nobody knows. Centcom never asked.
:Friz:: Who were they?
:Kratt:: Totally different breed from the average :StaffAssistant:.
:Kratt:: Rescues a security officer from Bloodletters on their old station.
:Kratt:: Then goes and works for :HeadSurgeon: here. One of her best.
:Friz:: That's such a strange thing to do. Why?
:Kratt:: No idea. Ask :Wishbone: sometime, think they knew each other.
:Friz:: Well if it's a story, I can get the whole thing from him.



:Friz:: What about the rest?
:Kratt:: Last surviving :Chemist:, at the pharmacy, he's an option. Worked with her on her projects.
:Kratt:: That :ConstructionEngineer: down in Engineering built their little nests. Bet she could give you something about the whens and wheres.
:Kratt:: :Flinch: was the left hand if the old assistant was the right. You know where to find her.
>>
No. 1082474 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170708668864.gif - (16.41KB , 650x450 , 206.gif )
1082474

>:Friz:: "Where's :Wishbone: at?"
>@fan of lizzers

:Dirt:: I love chatting with :Wishbone:. Boss, can you find out where he is?
:Savvy:: Sure. "Where's :Wishbone: at?"



:Friz:: Where's :Wishbone: at? This shift, I mean.
:Kratt:: Departmental substations again.
:Friz:: Oh! (His favorite...)
:Kratt:: :SecurityChief:'s been trying to keep him on those lately.
:Kratt:: :Sandiego: hated substation duty anyway.
:Kratt:: Stop by any of them. Good chance you'll find him.
>>
No. 1082475 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170708671278.gif - (17.42KB , 650x450 , 207.gif )
1082475

You step back out into the halls, make your way to the nearest interview spot. It's empty out there. Nothing gives the eye a handhold, nothing worth seeing. A smear of branded corridors scrubbed clean of human presence, and signage advertising department services you don't have any alternatives to.

Hit the pharmacy desk and there's nobody there, though.


:Friz:: Where's :Chemist:?
:Rogers:: Good question. Shift's started, didn't it?
:Friz:: Yeah... He's supposed to be here. Where is he?
>>
No. 1082476 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170708675589.gif - (20.47KB , 650x450 , 208.gif )
1082476

:Dirt:: I know I've got a record of where he is right now, actually
:Moxie:: That's great! I'll take us there right away.
:Moxie:: Where is he?
:Dirt::
:Dirt:: Hmm. Nope, I can't think it.
:Moxie:: Wait, no! What?
:Savvy:: Why.



:Dirt:: Remember when you asked me to pull up the Hiveist guidebook entry? I have that instead.
:Savvy:: Well I don't want it now!
:Dirt:: Sorry, that's what's in the pipeline.
:Savvy:: Come on.
:Dirt:: It's that, or find me some really engaging sensory information.
:Grit:: I could wait until he's back.
:Moxie:: I don't want to!
>>
No. 1082478 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170708697973.gif - (23.59KB , 650x450 , 209.gif )
1082478

:Savvy:: I already know most of this stuff!!
:Dirt:: True. But maybe one of us doesn't?
:Savvy:: I'm just gonna ignore this!
:Dirt:: That's fine.

The Unofficial Company Protocol Guide has historically had this to say on the topic of hiveism...

Hiveist philosophy is, counterintuitively, rooted in technology rather than biology. Cybernetic enhancement, the improvement of a human beyond human limits, is a frontier that humanity expected to quickly and effectively colonize. After all, with even outer space conquered, turning inwards just made sense. However, this ran into a wide variety of limits almost immediately. Many were simple practical or philosophical road bumps, like compatibility problems, or the notorious Ship of Theseus. But the most important limit was economic. There are only so many ways to make the body do something, only so many chemical receptors and neural pathways and tissues and organs. The body is a unique frontier in how limited it is. And one important thing to understand about frontiers is that they get claimed, settled, and held onto (often in varying orders and legitimacies). So it was with the body. And once it's claimed, settled, or held, use of force to defend exclusivity or demand rent soon follows. A suite of patents and DRM quickly took hold, intent on squeezing all the profit it could out of any enhancement. Of course, this meant nobody could develop enhancements without being squeezed, and so almost nobody did. The furthest that the development of these technologies has gone is things like robotic limbs with the incredible built-in equivalent of "simple storage", or man-machine interfaces that allow for fully mechanical bodies. But everyone was promised a future of dazzling self-improvement and enhancement. People, human and otherwise, were promised that one day there would be excellent robot eyes, eternal youth, and powerful extending wrists for all. When that wasn't delivered, that was fine for most, since they could settle for what they had. But some had never been hoping for excellent robot eyes. Implicit in the promise of conventional enhancement was a promise of a chance at unconventional recreation. Certain people had been implicitly told they would have the chance to bristle with new arms and eyes and chemicals, or walk bare into space and stare into the wider spectrums of distant suns, or to sing impossible notes in new and unspeakable songs, or just to change how they looked to something better and break the boundaries of misunderstanding. For complex cultural reasons, cat ears and unusual hair colors are a statistically significant part of some interests. The promise of exceeding humanity contained a promise of changing humanity. Hiveists use, or at least strongly support, extremely unconventional and generally banned body modification methods to create, in whole or in part, idealized selves that are meant to explore space beyond species and join an idealized "hive". This subsequently disrupts the social order that denied them even more of this freedom, an intentional result sometimes made more intentional by extremists. They were given this promise that society would give them these things in exchange for the rights to the body, and then they were denied their end of it. This makes them feel justified in destroying not just their internal boundaries, but various space stations throughout the frontier sector. Many Hiveists are known to work for the Syndicate, putting the ideology in direct opposition to the Company. A persisting, unconfirmed rumor is that some Hiveists did not start their altered biology as humans, nor any publicly known civilized species, and that the ideology is a cover for a more sinister agendas.
>>
No. 1082479 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170708702810.gif - (18.52KB , 650x450 , 210.gif )
1082479

>:Dirt:: He's at the Hopline. We saw him there last loop.
>@GoodWheatley

:Dirt:: Anyway, he's over here right now.
:Dirt:: Pretty short path from here to there, buddy.
:Moxie:: Thank you.
:Grit:: :Savvy:. Ask him about the hivest angle for this case.
:Savvy:: Huh? I wasn't paying attention to any of that, why?
:Grit:: Because the answer will give you information.
:Savvy:: All answers to questions give me information, that's not special.
>>
No. 1082482 ID: 273c18

>>1082479
While you're on the way there, think of something horrible to do to :Wince:.
>>
No. 1082603 ID: 7c0da2

Being horrible to :Wince: won't work. He is way better than you at that game, and you'll feel horrible if you somehow manage to be worse than him.
No, what he won't expect is you taking his side. Argue his case, calmly. Once he has his access, he'll leave. You have no need to "beat" him. You just need him away, as efficiently and peacefully as possible.
Besides, he does have a right to ask for a job, and giving him something actually useful to contribute would benefit everyone. If it works out, everybody wins. If it doesn't, the HoP has a precedent to ban him from making further requests. Even if he causes damages the loop will reset, and you will know what to expect next time.
>>
No. 1082625 ID: 5ebaa3

>>1082603
Hmm. While I initially balked at your suggestion, I like your lateral thinking. I think mostly :HeadOfPersonnel: is effectively incapable of going against protocol, and she wants this dude gone, too. Is there anything in the rules about a detective assigning a helper or witness or something, that would grant him legal access? (Which we probably revoke once we're through the line.) I still don't like giving him what he wants, but it might put him in our debt and put him on the back foot. And if not, well, there are worse crimes than further coddling an entitled baby.
>>
No. 1082833 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170736880478.gif - (17.88KB , 650x450 , 211.gif )
1082833

>Being horrible to :Wince: won't work
>Anon

:Rogers:: Kid? Kid, you there? Hello?
:Friz:: Huh?
:Rogers:: You zoned out again.
:Friz:: What do we do about :Wince:?
:Rogers:: What? What are you talking about?
:Friz:: Oh, uh--
:Friz:: (I thought a lot about Hiveists. After that...) I remembered where :Chemist: is right now in the loop. He's at :HeadOfPersonnel:'s line.
:Friz:: (Unless he's the traitor this time.)
:Rogers:: ...But what do we do about :Wince: there, huh?
:Friz:: Yeah.
:Rogers:: The man's a human knife-fight. No way to make his damage clean. Best way to fight is not to.



:Friz:: Maybe if we... take his side?
:Rogers:: Not easy. His side is just whatever's as much stress for as much people as he can hurt.
:Friz:: Right, but I could try to get him the access...
:Rogers:: He's an assistant. He doesn't need access. He's there to stress people out.
:Rogers:: Forget the access. It's just him causing problems.
:Friz:: Well I need to not be going against him. I need him away as quickly and efficiently as I can make that happen.
:Rogers:: Aim him at a higher target than you, then go lower to be out of his way. Best you can do.
:Friz:: Hmm...
>>
No. 1082834 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170736882704.gif - (17.80KB , 650x450 , 212.gif )
1082834

:Savvy:: He's smart. I've got a one-use half-lie I can deploy for that.
:Moxie:: Why's it one-use?
:Savvy:: Because of :Dirt:.
:Dirt:: Don't blame this on me, boss!
:Savvy:: After I say this lie, you'll remember it as an abhorrent, shitty thing.
:Dirt:: Lies are bad.
:Savvy:: And you'll be a huge problem next time I do it.
:Dirt:: Trying to make sure I'm a good person isn't wrong.
:Savvy:: Yeah, well, the consequences here don't matter, right?
:Grit:: Every action changes us, not just the world.
:Grit:: :Dirt: is only one part of how it does.
>>
No. 1082835 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170736885338.gif - (18.29KB , 650x450 , 213.gif )
1082835

Same routine, around and around, like a broken record. Except when you nudge it, kid.

:HeadOfPersonnel:: ...You can go to engineering and request your access there.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: And I still don't consent to being on a video broadcast.
:Wince:: "I didn't even care that much about engineering access to begin with, this is just funny now."
:Friz:: Hey. Can you help me out? I need assistant assistance.
>>
No. 1082836 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170736891876.gif - (18.21KB , 650x450 , 214.gif )
1082836

>:Savvy: : "Hey, wanna help me find a corpse?"
>@terg

:Wince:: "Go do it yourself, footnote, I'm about to be an engineer."
:Friz:: Weren't you going to be a detective, or researcher? Ugh-- never mind.
:Friz:: You're gonna skip out on high-drama content?
:Wince:: "Woah, woah, you didn't say there'd be good drama content. How good are we talking?"
:Friz:: :HeadSurgeon:'s badly mutilated corpse (that a lot of people think is important and holy). We think it's wound up somewhere weird.
:Friz:: I need some help with finding it in maintenance.
:Rogers:: You're a decent liar when it's half-truths, huh kid?



:Chemist:: Wait, what...? :HeadSurgeon:...?
:Wince:: "Corpse footage, huh? For a real sacred cow?"
:Friz:: Yeah. For a bunch of really devoted niche religious people.
:Wince:: "Idiots caring too much about stupid crap is the funniest content."
:Wince:: "Hey. Hey chat, who wants a surprise drama stream?"
:Rogers:: Specta junkie.p[ You look like you hate this plan as much as I do, kid.
:Friz:: Well?
:Wince:: "Yeah, sounds good. It's hidden around maintenance?"
:Friz:: Yep. I'm trying to find it first, but if you find it first, you can get footage.
:Wince:: "Yeah, whatever. You're not beating me in maintenance."
>>
No. 1082837 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170736895791.gif - (23.48KB , 650x450 , 215.gif )
1082837

>:Friz:: Eat the floating apple that's been shoved in your face
>@Flikr

:Dirt:: Chief? Everything okay in the imagination?
:Grit:: I'm imagining what it would be like to bite into this awful thing.
:Moxie:: That would be so embarrassing.
:Savvy:: And it can't taste good.
:Grit:: Tastes bad.
:Grit:: But there's no catharsis doing this your way, :Savvy:. It hurts.
:Grit:: Imagining what it would be like to solve stressful things through biting is the only comfort.
:Savvy:: Why not biting him?
:Grit:: Tastes worse.
>>
No. 1082838 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170736902865.gif - (21.13KB , 650x450 , 216.gif )
1082838

>:Friz: : start questioning :Chemist: before he has a chance to start forming his own conclusions
>@mothgirlthing

Little too late on the draw to get him before he gets some negative feelings. Just how it is, with detective work. Nobody likes someone who makes a mess just to get information, and just because you get an hourly rate for stepping on toes in the library doesn't mean they like you there when you do it.

:Wince:: "Later, footnote."
:Chemist:: This is unbelievable. This is awful.
:Chemist:: Why would he do that? Why would you tell him something like that?
:Friz:: Yeah. (Sorry. I just... really needed him out of the way...)
:Friz:: He's not gonna find her, I think.
:Chemist:: It's still not a decent thing to do.
:Friz:: When you're done here, can I interview you for a case related to that?
:Friz:: I need to ask you some really important questions.
:Chemist:: No? No! What?
:Chemist:: You're turning someone important to me into some kind of internet sideshow, even if they're dead.



:Dirt:: I told you boss!
:Savvy:: Shush!
:Dirt:: I told you!!
:Moxie:: She did tell you.
:Savvy:: I'm gonna work around it, just shut up a minute!
:Savvy:: I'll get a plan together...
>>
No. 1082867 ID: 8f9bc4

>>1082838

At least tell him that :Wince: didn't ask for all the details of this case, and you wouldn't have told him anything that had any risk of turning :HeadSurgeon: into a mere sideshow. If he wants explanations, whatever. You have impending explosions to investigate.
>>
No. 1082898 ID: b3eab7

He won't make a show of her, he'll just make a fool of himself... And most importantly, be out of our hair (if he points out he's bald, remind him he's got facial hair with a gesture) so we can discuss what is really up with :HeadSurgeon:.
>>
No. 1082908 ID: 7c0da2

Tell him the truth, and try your best to be convincing. Give him any information he asks for.
Tell him :Wince: won't find any body, because the body appears to have come back to life. There isn't any risks his friend is turned into an internet sideshow. At worst, her resurrection will be streamed then most likely covered up. You are more interested on how it is even possible.
You need to convince him you are telling the truth, so that he tries to find :HeadSurgeon: by himself. Even if he doesn't lead you directly to her, he should at least lead you to places and people that are directly connected to her.
If you can, ask :Kratt: if he could try to keep an eye on him through the cameras. Or follow him yourself if you think you're stealthy enough.
>>
No. 1083216 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170774976240.gif - (21.86KB , 650x450 , 217.gif )
1083216

>:Dirt::Grit:: Remember this, remember how it hurt :Chemist:, you've lost someone before.
>@AsciiSquid

:Grit:: Change tactics now, :Savvy:.
:Dirt:: Seriously, boss.
:Dirt:: :Moxie:, brace against physical reactions to painful thoughts, please.
:Moxie:: I'm bracing!
:Savvy:: What? Why? I just need to re-maneuver the deception--
:Grit:: We retain mental stress. The loop won't cleanse it.
:Dirt:: He's probably still grieving about someone who taught him important things and protected him too, like us.
:Dirt:: Whether it's more or less than us doesn't matter as much.
:Savvy:: Ow. Ow, ow, stop.
:Savvy:: This sucks! There's not supposed to be consequences in a loop!



:Friz:: You're... I mean, yeah. That feels bad.
:Friz:: I just needed him to clear the line...
:Friz:: (Sorry.)
:Chemist:: Well now it's moving.
:Friz:: I'll call it in. Make sure someone stops him.
:Chemist:: ...?
:Friz:: I know she meant a lot to some people.
:Chemist:: Yeah. Sure did.
>>
No. 1083217 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170774983167.gif - (20.02KB , 650x450 , 218.gif )
1083217

>Tell him the truth, and try your best to be convincing.
>Anon

:Friz:: I actually wanted to see if you could help some, though!
:Chemist:: Barely worked for her, haven't in a year. Can't help you.
:Friz:: Well-- I know, but... look, I knew :Wince: won't find it because I think she did something to her body to make it harder to find.
:Chemist:: Did something to her body?
:Friz:: Modified. Changed. She would have gone to chemistry for help, at least a little.
:Friz:: And now I can't find her. Nobody can.
:Friz:: The best (and worst) :Wince: will do is give me a lead or two.
:Chemist::
:Friz:: I just wanted to interview you about her a little. To prove or disprove some theories.
:Friz:: I'm trying to figure out the truth about some confusing things that are going on (so that nobody will get hurt when things are all unclear).
:Friz:: Unsolved mysteries are just ways for awful people to hurt good people.
:Chemist:: ...



:Rogers:: Gut feeling just hit me about him.
:Rogers:: Something you just said pulled up a major memory in him.
:Rogers:: Saw it in his eyes.
:Friz:: ...?
:Rogers:: Back off. You've said just enough to get him to help.
:Rogers:: Best way out of some of the toughest spots is, you don't talk over someone trying to forgive you.
>>
No. 1083221 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170775177215.gif - (18.20KB , 650x450 , 219.gif )
1083221

:Chemist:: Fine. But while I work.
:Chemist:: Kitchen access, please?
:HeadOfPersonnel:: Cause for access upgrade?
:Friz:: Yeah! I wouldn't interrupt.
:Chemist:: Good. I'll answer... what I can.
:Chemist:: Access needed for chemical deliveries for :Bartender:.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: Access approved as Service department head.

:Chemist:: Thanks, :HeadOfPersonnel:.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: You're welcome.
:Friz:: Thanks :Chemist:!
:Chemist:: Yeah, welcome.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: Thank you :Friz:.
:Friz:: Sure, you're welcome.
:Friz:: (Wait, what?)
:HeadOfPersonnel:: :Wince: is usually only breaking rules minorly while he hurts people.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: It's difficult to deal with. The system of rules doesn't apply well to him.
:Friz:: You're telling me...
>>
No. 1083227 ID: 8f9bc4

We need to cook!
>>
No. 1083263 ID: 273c18

Usually only breaking rules minorly? Ask her when he breaks major rules. Is there a way to provoke him into breaking a major rule?
>>
No. 1083294 ID: 7c0da2

:Grit: : A member of the tribe just thanked you for saving them from a hostile outsider. Release chemicals to reward/reinforce the positive behavior.
>>
No. 1083323 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170787884962.gif - (19.28KB , 650x450 , 220.gif )
1083323

>:Friz: : Consume magnesium tablet to recover from morale loss.
>@Fel

You head back to the chemistry desk. Not a long walk, but when you're weighed down with stress, every walk feels too long and too short.

:Friz:: So--
:Friz:: You want me to just run the interview over here?
:Chemist:: You wanted the interview.
:Friz:: Well, here's good.
:Friz:: I can ask for chemistry help here too, even!
:Friz:: Got anything good for stress?
:Chemist:: Got a prescription from :Computer:?
:Friz:: I should ask... It never feels good asking a machine for that.
>>
No. 1083324 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170787887337.gif - (18.47KB , 650x450 , 221.gif )
1083324

:Friz:: Name?
:Chemist:: You already have my debtor number.
:Friz:: Department and role?
:Chemist:: Med-sci, chemist.
:Friz:: Current feelings about safety (and if needed, anything that the DVSD can do to improve them)?
:Chemist:: What?
:Friz:: Do you feel fearful or stressed?
:Chemist:: Yeah.
:Friz:: Is there anything that I (or the DVSD) can do to help?
:Chemist:: ...I guess, solve this.
:Friz:: Well, I'll do my best!
>>
No. 1083325 ID: 0fbdcd
File 170787893150.gif - (18.21KB , 650x450 , 222.gif )
1083325

>:Savvy:: Start light, ask about the other cases.
>@BlevRuz

:Savvy:: How do I get him to loosen up after what happened there?
:Moxie:: He's gonna be tense for a while... But, a light touch that acclimates over time. That does good.
:Grit:: How do you do that?
:Savvy:: Hang on. I think I've got an idea. I'll loosen things up with things he's definitely not got any answers for.
:Savvy:: "I'll start with some cases you probably don't have information about..."



:Friz:: I'll start with some cases you probably don't have information about.
:Chemist:: Why?
:Friz:: Just in case! Just say, "I don't know anything about that" for anything like that.
:Chemist:: ...Sure.
:Friz:: There've been some thefts of high-value items (directly from heads of staff). Have you seen anyone with advanced magboots, or hand-teleporters, or anything like that, which they're not supposed to have?
:Chemist:: Nothing like that.
:Friz:: Anything you've recently heard about violent traitor actions being planned?
:Chemist:: Nothing.



:Friz:: Do you know anything about why the Research department is in a tight spot?
:Chemist:: Not really... they've been keeping me out of the loop on something, though.
:Friz:: Oh! (I didn't expect to hear anything about that.)
:Friz:: Do you have... any ideas? Hints, maybe?
:Chemist:: Really focused on not letting me inside. That's all I've got.
:Rogers:: Note it for later. Don't focus for now.
>>
No. 1083326 ID: 0fbdcd
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1083326

>:Chemist:: "Please just get to the point."
>@terg

:Chemist:: Alright, I get it. I can say "no".
:Chemist:: What about :HeadSurgeon:?
:Rogers:: Don't circle the sharks around him. Half the stress of things.
:Friz:: Right...
:Friz:: This is going to be really weird to say (I don't have a lot of hard leads and certainty about things).
:Chemist:: Point.
:Friz:: Right.
>>
No. 1083327 ID: 0fbdcd
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1083327

:Friz:: I think she may have modified herself. A lot.
:Friz:: It's the only way to explain some things.
:Friz:: I think her... body may still be active.
:Chemist:: ...What am I supposed to know about any of this?
:Rogers:: Fishing to see what you know.
:Friz:: Well... she wouldn't be able to do whatever it was, without supplies from chemistry.
:Friz:: Did she ever ask for anything really, really strange?
:Friz:: (Something that could help her... re-energize her body after over a year?)
:Chemist:: ...More specific?
:Friz:: It was slowly pushing toxins out.

Tiniest flinch. The kind you hide. But it's one that means something.
>>
No. 1083328 ID: 0fbdcd
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1083328

>:Dirt:: Scan deep trivia. Do chemicals exist that can do that?
>@Dork

:Chemist:: ...She had access to the pharmacy.
:Chemist:: Why would she ask me for anything?
:Friz:: Because...



:Moxie:: He wants to say it. But he can't. He needs a nudge...
:Savvy:: Anyone got anything?
:Dirt:: Scanned all the trivia I can.
:Dirt:: No matter how deep I go, I can't find chemicals in basic chemistry knowledge that can push out toxins from an inactive body.
:Moxie:: But she did. She obviously was removing toxins from her body.
:Dirt:: So it only makes sense that it only exists in memories of an advanced chemist.



:Friz:: She did do something on a chemical level (I can tell that for sure, I've seen the evidence).
:Friz:: She would have gone to you... right?
:Friz:: Didn't she ever, at any point, ask you for something only you could give her?
:Chemist:: ...
:Chemist:: Once.
>>
No. 1083332 ID: 273c18

>>1083328
Tell him he won't get in trouble. That crisis is in the past, and all debts are accounted for. He might even be rewarded for helping you in this case.
>>
No. 1083381 ID: 8f9bc4

...he boned her didn't he. We're not talking about those chemicals.
>>
No. 1083737 ID: 0fbdcd
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1083737

>:Friz::Savvy: : deploy the eyebrow
>@mothgirlthing

He wants to help. He's let you know he's got some info. But he doesn't feel like he can. Light touch, kid. Lightest it can be. Nudge the door open.

:Moxie:: He's right. Gentle... gentle...
:Moxie:: He's yearning for it. I think he wants an answer too.
:Dirt:: It's a memory that's been sitting in his mind for a while.
:Moxie:: Can you express in motion? In posture? Some kind of firmness to brace off of...
:Savvy:: Alright... right. Conscious expression time. Notch the eyebrow up.
:Moxie:: Got it. What's this for?
:Savvy:: Tilt head, five degrees. It's to look like the system and the world are responding. Momentum.
:Savvy:: The systems of authority are here.
:Grit:: And aren't here to hurt.
:Moxie:: Alright. Expression up.

You pin that eyebrow up proud, like a badge. The authorities are here, and they're taking the notes, here to help. Just enough authority to guide, not to force. Any detective would be proud. Just don't go too far with it. Could get silly.

:Friz:: ...?
:Chemist:: ...
:Chemist:: I don't know what she did with it.
:Chemist:: Gonna be complicated to explain.
:Chemist:: But.

There he goes, kid.
>>
No. 1083738 ID: 0fbdcd
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1083738

:Chemist:: She asked for an inert liquid universal stasis.
:Friz:: Are you talking about one of the cryo-chems? Something to freeze things?
:Chemist:: No. She had plenty of know-how for that.
:Chemist:: You know the stasis beds in the treatment center?
:Chemist:: She wanted... something she could use to make a permanent semi-stasis effect, like those.
:Friz:: What would a chemical like that do?
:Chemist:: In a beaker, probably slow just about every reaction. Easy to make that.
:Chemist:: Not useful, besides in some kinds of production setups.
:Chemist:: But...
:Friz:: She didn't want it in a beaker.
>>
No. 1083739 ID: 0fbdcd
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1083739

:Friz:: She wanted it in a body.
:Chemist:: Inert. Yeah. She wanted it non-metabolizing, distributed through the whole body.
:Friz:: What would it do there?
:Chemist:: Permanently slow something down, soften something, affecting her body. One specific thing, she wanted it slowed way down.
:Friz:: What was it?
:Chemist:: No idea. She handled the rest.



:Moxie:: Everyone wants to stop change, but nobody can.
:Moxie:: Softening it... that's different. You can blunt the impact.
:Moxie:: Holding off bits and pieces, tactically.
:Moxie:: It doesn't matter how good your chemistry or your cult magic is, you can't stop all change.
:Moxie:: But there was one thing she stopped. It was important.
>>
No. 1083743 ID: 0fbdcd
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1083743

>:Savvy:: She's still missing a head
>@atlas

:Savvy:: It didn't stop what happened to her after that.
:Moxie:: Right... It wasn't supposed to.
:Moxie:: Otherwise it would have worked, right?
:Moxie:: She did all the work, so it should have happened.
:Savvy:: And it didn't fix her after.
:Savvy:: How did she get up if she was missing a head?
:Savvy:: This doesn't seem connected. It only slows things down, it doesn't recreate anything.
:Moxie:: It's linked. Closely. But I don't understand how.
:Grit:: It's one of the three remaining facts you need.
:Grit:: When all are found, we can break this.
>>
No. 1083751 ID: 273c18

>how did she get up if she was missing a head
New theory: she wasn't missing it anymore when she got up. Someone still had it, and returned it to her just before the incident. The stasis would have kept her brain and body "alive" in the meantime.

So, to possibly confirm that, ask what happened to her head, and also if she had any implants.
>>
No. 1083775 ID: 8f9bc4

What affecting her body could she have slowed down? The list is still too long. Her heart rate? Her blood circulation? Her neuron actuation? Cancer? Was she slowing the progression of tumors, enabling her to do something that caused a lot of tumors? Something about her skin? Her bones? Osteoperosis?
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