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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.

351 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
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 )

(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 )

>: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 )

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 )

: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:: 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 )

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

: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

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

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 )

>Being horrible to :Wince: won't work

: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 )

: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 )

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 )

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

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

: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 )

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

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


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 )

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

: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 )

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

: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.
: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 )

: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 )

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

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 )

: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 )

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

: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
File 170787896912.gif - (18.25KB , 650x450 , 224.gif )

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

: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
File 170787901273.gif - (16.92KB , 650x450 , 225.gif )

: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
File 170787909482.gif - (16.58KB , 650x450 , 226.gif )

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

: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

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
File 170840153663.gif - (18.72KB , 650x450 , 227.gif )

>:Friz::Savvy: : deploy the eyebrow

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

: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?
No. 1084903 ID: 0fbdcd
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>:Savvy:: Wait, how did she lose her head?

:Savvy:: Hold on a second.
:Savvy:: What about the decapitation? Is that gonna be another important clue?
:Grit:: Everything could be another important clue.
:Savvy:: Thanks, you're always so helpful.
:Savvy:: "Hold on a second..."

:Friz:: Hold on a second, do you mind one more question?
:Friz:: Did you see her, when she died? Were you there?
:Chemist:: What? No.
:Friz:: So you don't know how she got... like that (decapitated, I mean)?
:Chemist:: Decapitated? God.
:Chemist:: Why did :SecurityChief: blow her head off?
:Friz:: Yeah. That doesn't... seem like her.
No. 1084904 ID: 0fbdcd
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:Friz:: So you weren't there.
:Chemist:: If I was I'd have--
:Chemist:: ...
:Grit:: "--died before letting anyone kill her. She was so important. She was a kinder future."
:Grit:: "Only by evading my view, did death's grasp ever touch the heart of my tribe."
:Friz:: Huh?
:Chemist:: ...
:Chemist:: Well, I didn't see it, that's all.
:Friz:: Alright.

:Friz:: Was anyone else there?
:Chemist:: Only one guy who I heard saw it, besides her.
:Chemist:: Her right hand.
:Friz:: The one who disappeared...
:Chemist:: Yep.
No. 1084906 ID: 0fbdcd
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>:Grit:: Focus on the case.
>@Angry Duck

You pull back. No good splitting their tribe. Not much left to gather there in the pharmacy. Not much time either. All the time in the world, kid, over and over, and somehow you got none to spare. I'd tell you to just sleep in, one of these cycles, if I wasn't betting it'd be the last time you leave that dorm room.

Isn't long before you get to engineering. Gotta say hi to person-of-interest number two.

:AtmosTech:: ...and when the fusion containment breached, it heated the entire icemoon past boiling.
:ConstructionEngineer:: Code - Panopticon, Phantom, Midnight. Engine Three, confirm readings, tell me that's a fakeout.
:Mechanic:: You're kidding.
:AtmosTech:: No, no, no joke, it's true.
:ConstructionEngineer:: Confirmed! Engine Three, what's your escape vector on that hairball?
:Mechanic:: Shuttle called, guaranteed.
:Mechanic:: How'd you survive until then?
:AtmosTech:: Well, turns out the space heaters have a--
:Friz:: Hey, can I speak to :ConstructionEngineer:?
No. 1084908 ID: 0fbdcd
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:ConstructionEngineer:: Potential bandit harmony on panopticon twelve, priority one exclusion. Code - Artery, Phantom, Caltrops.
:Mechanic:: She's not in.
:AtmosTech:: She's sick.
:Mechanic:: Died last week actually.
:AtmosTech:: Died badly. Tragic. She exploded.
:Friz:: What? I can see her right over there.
:Mechanic:: See who?
:Friz:: The-- I can see the :ConstructionEngineer:.
:Mechanic:: You see ghosts now?
:Friz:: (!!)
:Friz:: No, I meant-- they're right over there!
:ConstructionEngineer:: Code - Key, Harmony, Dawn.
:AtmosTech:: She's out. Come back next week.
:Friz:: Please. (I just need to do an interview...)

Not as bad as :Wince:. But Engineering's a club, not just a department, and this one's still living. What's a good way through those walls? And how do you stay friendly while you do it?
No. 1084910 ID: 8f9bc4

He was so moved and his eyes were so kind thinking of her, was the head of the medical wing really the leader of a Bloodletter cult? He knows that, and he doesn't feel cheated or betrayed? Something doesn't add up about the whole Bloodletter thing. What was really going on there?

Uh, anyway, tell them you once died in the explosive decompression of space when a debtor station in the orbit of a gas giant got destroyed. So exploding to death shouldn't stop them from giving you a simple interview. That might make :ConstructionEngineer: curious enough to want to interview you and you could turn that around.
No. 1084931 ID: 273c18

Hmm, the only witness to her death was her right hand, who went missing. So there's no confirmation that her head was destroyed! I don't think it was, and the terrorists got the head from the right hand. Or one of the terrorists is the right hand.

Tell them about any cool Engineering-related mysteries you've solved before.
No. 1084935 ID: 64faaa

I don't have any suggestions, but the quest is cool. Keep it up!
No. 1084949 ID: 8f9bc4


Oh no, her right hand went missing too? I thought she only lost her head!
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