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File 159280999777.png - (420.86KB , 1000x1000 , pl_000.png )
970260 No. 970260 ID: e24163

Their chains won’t hold me forever.
115 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 971574 ID: 2aa5f0

oh, she's got proper tozol tails. Assuming they work like they do on a tozol purebred they would allow her to sense everything around like a kind of sonar... making sneaking around her a real bitch and a half. Not really relevant to the here and know but if you're going to have to face her later it might be useful to know. Not sure on the exact range but I think they should be enough to cover any room smaller then a hanger bay though I have no idea how her hybrid status would effect it at all. I mean for all I know her tails are completely useless and purely cosmetic or do to some weird DNA strains mixing together it could be even more powerful.

But yeah... I guess ask if she wouldn't mind tell use why she here... or at least locked the doors. I mean to my knowledge this place isn't really off limits. Though if she doesn't want to answer shrug and grab your stuff. No need to put mission "get your shit back" in danger just because you upset a sector boss and have them do something to make things tougher then they need to be.
>>
No. 971581 ID: 6e6f32

Soldiers are made to fight, Argine. Not here. Not in some arena.
On the outside. In the real world. Against real people. Most of whom probably aren't born and bred to fight and to kill like you all are. And it's not all just fighting either. You meet people. You do things. You go places. You have experiences. You share experiences. Some good. Some very, very bad.

But you have to have been there. You have to have been part of it.
Nothing anyone can say to you can replace the experience. Even if people told you their stories they'd be incredibly difficult for you to understand, and utterly impossible to truly appreciate. So they don't bother.

If you aren't destined to be a soldier in this place, than surely everyone around you sees you as no more than an errant child.
It is easy to see the source of your frustration. Just please understand that you're actions, while justified, have probably been hurting those around you in subtle ways.

This old dog here seems contemplative. If you linger, don't talk much. Keep the questions simple. They might have a lot to say, if you give them the chance.

A simple "Why are you here?" seems appropriate.
>>
No. 971586 ID: b1b4f3

>>971570
Ask her why people treat you like a failure. She might finally give a straight answer, in the contemplative mood she's in right now.
>>
No. 971590 ID: 44b1b5

Ask why they've been failing you over and over again. Is it just a refusal to follow a standard procedure that's holding you back?

Ask why the others look down on you, even though you kick plenty of ass despite not being the "Better" sister.

But most importantly: Ask why it has to be this way; why you cannot merely leave, even though that war never came.
>>
No. 971667 ID: 677406

>>971570
Odd question, Is 3 years an unusual gap in generations? Short? long?

Either way, might be an idea to keep questions to a minimum, 1 or 2, mnemosyne seems to be having a moment and ruining it can only be counterproductive.
>>
No. 971677 ID: 45acae

Ask if she's filled with nostalgia or regret.
>>
No. 971735 ID: b58f66
File 159420918339.png - (223.73KB , 1000x1000 , pl_022.png )
971735

>Tail sonar
Somehow, I don’t feel like Sarasols have that kind of ability. I thought their tails were more like whiskers – it lets them sense things, sure. But sonar? That’s the kind of thing I wish I had.
>You have to have been part of it
Well, that’s the thing. None of the people in this facility have ever fought in a war. Not even Mnemosyne. It wouldn’t explain why my sister gets all of the preferential treatment, either. Why put me through the training at all if I wasn’t meant to be a soldier, a fighter?
I look around the Cradles, to try and find where the vials are stored. This place makes my skin crawl. Before, it was a place of warmth, birth. I can still remember floating around in my own Cradle, until I was thrust out into the cold air. Now that all of the fluid’s been drained, all that’s left are cold, hollow machines.
“Why are you here… sir? This area usually isn’t off-limits.”
She turns to face me. I stop, feeling her eyes drill into me.
“I was reminiscing, privately. I had not expected someone else would need to come in.
I’ll take my leave – there are preparations to make.”
“Was that your Cradle?”
She palms the glass.
“Yes. Which was yours?”
I pause.
“The one you’re in front of.”
It isn’t uncommon for people to be born from the same Cradle as a predecessor. I wonder if Nanoweaver picked Mnemosyne’s on a whim? The irony of it makes my lips curl.
My sister came from the one next to mine – the last two Trace Clones that will ever be made.
I maintain my distance – it wouldn’t be right, getting close to her like this.
“Can I ask you something? Why have I been held back, over and over? I’m just as capable as many other people in this place. ”
Mnemosyne tenses up – her fist clenching, and unclenching. She exhales, speaking in her usual deadened tone.
“Confirmation. This will be the final test. You have a lot of potential, Argine. Make sure that you turn it towards the right places.”
Finally, she departs, leaving me in this lonesome place. There’s a faint mark on the glass, where she had placed her hand.
I’m not quite sure what to make of that, but I turn my attention to the Cradle in front of me.
>>
No. 971737 ID: b58f66
File 159420929555.png - (68.07KB , 1000x1000 , pl_023.png )
971737

>Generation gap
It’s a bit on the long side – I haven’t heard too much on the topic, but Nanoweaver says that me and my sister were the only soldiers made in the last three years. In the past, they would make soldiers constantly, but as supplies dwindled… well, they simply stopped.
I was born because of Nanoweaver. She had the idea of using the remainder of the Gene traces they had to make me and my sister, as a send-off to the whole cloning program that this facility started. There was a lot of pushback from the other Sector Bosses for some reason – after all, there was no war to fight. Everyone of importance had left when the Nexus first started operations.
I squat down, next to the Cradle.
Alright… here we go. I pry loose one of the panels at the base, revealing the inner workings of the machine. There are two vials this time – for both of the trace types. The Gene Trace and the ‘Skill Trace’, the one that grants us clones with knowledge of things like strategy and weapons handling.
I’ll pop the Gene Trace vial out easily, but that leaves the question of what needs to be done next.
I don’t think going back to Nanoweaver’s this early is going to yield much, so I should probably accomplish the other two objectives first. Which one next – my guns, or the gadgets?
>>
No. 971740 ID: 4286b4

Your devices. Make it seem like you're gonna do some training or something equally plausible.
>>
No. 971741 ID: 44b1b5

You still have a standard pistol, right? An upgrade would be an excellent addition, but the sheer number of options added by the gadgets would be a force-multiplier. Prioritize those before going for the added fire-power.
>>
No. 971759 ID: e51896

The gadgets
>>
No. 971762 ID: 36784c

>>971735
>There’s a faint mark on the glass, where she had placed her hand.
That’s odd. You should take a look at that, it could be important.

>>971737
>2 vials
>took Gene Trace vial
I know you only needed that one, but could you also bring the Skill Trace vial with you? Is there a possibility that having it with you might help later? If not, then we can leave it behind.

>Now what?
Let’s go for the gadgets.
>>
No. 971780 ID: b1b4f3

>>971735
>she tenses up
Hmm, still something they're not telling you. She seemed to have no hostility towards you until you mentioned being held back... which makes me think that there's something about your birth that people are angry at you about. Misplaced anger. Not something you did, but something they were hoping you would be but you weren't. Maybe they were trying to resurrect someone? Using a Skill Trace to copy more than just rote knowledge?
Wait, were they angry at you from the very beginning, or did that form gradually as you grew older and underwent training?

Go for guns next.
>>
No. 971803 ID: 2aa5f0

>Somehow, I don’t feel like Sarasols have that kind of ability. I thought their tails were more like whiskers – it lets them sense things, sure. But sonar? That’s the kind of thing I wish I had.
Yeah, tozols are kinda broken. can see in multiple light spectrums, can process things near instant, can run over 200mph and keep it up for hours, have enough strength to flip a tank, tail sonar, being almost completely undetectable by all forms of mechanic sensors and even most psychic ones as well. yeah...

>Which one next – my guns, or the gadgets?
gadgets
>>
No. 971857 ID: ae9bd9

>>971762
Seconding all of this. Also, try placing your hand how they had theirs over the mark.
>>
No. 971899 ID: b58f66
File 159443482460.png - (264.74KB , 1000x1000 , pl_024.png )
971899

Alright, gadgets next then. While I don’t actually have any weapons on my person besides my cunning intellect, if I can get my hands on gadgets… well, I’ll elaborate once I get my hands on them.
I glance at the remaining Skill Trace vial in the machine, but I leave it there. I mean, if I really needed one of those, I could come back – this facility isn’t too hard to traverse, especially if you’re running around. Mnemosyne’s handprint remains – though, it isn’t like anyone’s going to be wiping the Cradles any more.
With the vial stashed in my coat, I head off to the Armoury. The Armoury is split into four distinct sections – I’ll be heading to the fourth section, as the other three are inter-connected – and under Mnemosyne’s dominion. The fourth section is more of a lost-and-found for any schmuck who was stupid enough to leave her gear lying around after training – after which, she would get a severe reprimand from whoever was in charge at the time. I can say that I’m smart enough to never forget.

It’s dark. Real dark. When a facility isn’t in use, typically the lights go out in order to conserve energy, but usually, they don’t stay out when a person arrives.
An unnerving silence hangs over the area, with only my muffled footsteps accompanying me.
In theory, I could just wait until the tournament rules are in full play by tomorrow, but odds are, this isn’t a traditional format tournament, after all. For all I know, they could be planning on not even letting me get to the armoury once it gets under way tomorrow. So I have to do this.
I peer through the polarised glass of the armoury – what was the saying that some of the veterans used to say? “Like a kid looking through a candy-shop window”? There’s no kids around here, and I don’t know what a shop is, unless they mean workshop. Not sure what you would engineer out of chocolate, though – it’s really unpleasant after it melts and sticks into your fur.
>>
No. 971900 ID: b58f66
File 159443488249.png - (55.88KB , 1000x1000 , pl_025.png )
971900

There it is! All three of the basic gadgets – and the only ones that were left behind in this armoury section. The door’s open too – that just reeks of a trap… but when has that ever scared me away?
>You shouldn’t go through with this
Pssh. And leave when they’re right in front of me?
>Find alternate routes
Hah, what? Did you think that we’d install vents in the walls or something so someone can climb in here? The doors are only accessible to people with sufficient clearance anyway.
I’m going in there, this opportunity won’t last forever.
I cross over the threshold, stepping carefully over the line. So far, so good.
The bench of gadgets are just lying there, ripe for the taking.
Taking hold of the devices, I focus. It comes naturally – like I’ve been using it for my whole life. A faint glow surrounds the complex machinery, as I break them down into components – a mental blueprint being assembled in my mind’s eye.
A three-set of Explosive Discs, a Barrier Generator and A Beam Unit. Back where they belong – in my personal armoury.
Once I get these fully absorbed into my Parasignia, I’ll be-
>>
No. 971901 ID: b58f66
File 159443493537.png - (132.70KB , 1000x1000 , pl_026.png )
971901

There’s jolting crash behind me as the door slams shut, a thick slab of reinforced metal falling into place and secured behind it.
The speaker crackles to life.
“Looks like I’ve found a verminous little cheater trying to get her toys while she can.”
Ozone.
“Stay right where you are. I’ve got some poison to administer.”
That small, tiny, miniscule bitch!
Did she just camp out here, knowing I’d come get my gadgets? I expected a trap, but more like something along the lines of ‘being sleep-gassed and tied up’, which I could just blast through! If she’s here… I don’t have the time to deploy the gadgets, not when I’ve just put them into my Parasignia!
Across the room, there’s the sound of a door sliding open, a faint light leaking into the armoury. A short silhouette blocks it out, but Ozone is here – with her ‘poison’.
I’m not going to find out what that is.
I can hear her boots stomping across, as she loads something into a gun.
Damn it, I’m not a stealth operative! Don’t you guys have some kind of functionality for this!
Help me! Now!
[USER REQUEST DETECTED.]
Eh?
[CRISIS MANAGEMENT PROTOCOL (CMP) INITIATED. SCANNING ENVIRONMENT FOR HOSTILES AND HAZARDS.]
>>
No. 971902 ID: b58f66
File 159443497890.png - (63.12KB , 1000x1000 , pl_027.png )
971902

[SCAN COMPLETE.]
[GENERATING VISUALISATION OF DETECTED HAZARDS.]
Are… are you guys seeing this? I thought you were just strategic advisors – Diagram didn’t say anything about this!
We’re not out of the fire yet – I can see the display too if I focus – probably because you’re all connected to my head, as freaky as that is.
Although Ozone’s physical strength is only average, her reflexes are good. If one of the sensor-cameras detect me, she can shoot me in moments. So I need to avoid being detected at all costs – If I’m caught, I’ll definitely suffer the consequences!
Of course, there’s various things like spare magazines around that I could throw to break the sensors, they’re not exactly the most sturdy things given that the armoury isn’t meant to be one of the main fortified positions in the facility. Ozone would likely hear it if one of the sensors break and would come to investigate – which I could use to my advantage. But she’ll be moving around the place searching for me, even if I don’t break any.
So what’s the plan? Which exit should I go for, and how should I approach it?
>>
No. 971907 ID: b1b4f3

>>971902
Flexible plan: break both sensors pointing at the open exits first so she doesn't know which one you're gunning for. Then depending on Ozone's movements, sneak around her and get out through exit 2, since there's more cover near there. If she does something like camp the central area you can break the sensor pointing at the entrance to draw her away.
>>
No. 971908 ID: 2aa5f0

head east and move down to the two walls (black bars) just above the sensor looking at exit one. you should have a enough of a gap to toss something at the sensor without being seen and once you brake it through something else below exit one to make it seem like you're dashing towards exit two. then head west staying between the 2 Northern walls. Once Ozone is (hopefully) in the south east part of the room head down to the west most side of the southern most horizontal wall and brake the sensor looking at exit two. then If Ozone moves to investigate and run towards exit 2 to stop up stay to the opposite side of the southern horizontal wall and book it out exit 1.

So in short, brake sensor towards exit one, feint towards exit 2 to trick Ozone, then book it out of exit 1 while she's distracted.
>>
No. 971909 ID: ae9bd9

>>971902
>just advisors
We are. This is something else. Either we are not the only thing in here, or more likely, we were added to something bigger.

--

How do the sensors detect you? Can we (you) trigger a false positive somehow?

Out of all the mag-fed firearms she could be using right now, what is the maximum number of bullets she could fire before reloading (assume one is in the chamber on top of a full mag)? Could you dodge a bullet? Is there anything here that could stop a bullet well enough to be used as makeshift armor?
>>
No. 971912 ID: e51896

Hmmmmm... so where does each exit leads exactly? We might need to know so that we can figure out whether we would want to consider taking one exit over the other.

...

>>971901
Oh, and stop looking so nervous and sweaty. Didnt you say you were one of the best? Prove it to me then by keeping your cool during these kinds of situations.
>>
No. 971916 ID: f133dc

Hmm, she doesn't seem to be able to see very well. It looks like she can only see right in front of her and if so, you should be able to handle this without too much difficulty, thanks to knowing where the sensors are.

Only the exits are covered, so you need to trash an exit camera, then reposition without getting caught, and trash another exit camera. Then you need to make a dash for the first entrance you cleared.

Wish we could do that thing where we unlock doors because she probably wouldn't consider you were about to smash your way out the sealed door, but in this case you should figure out where she is before you make that last leg dash out the door, because if she's smart she's going to realize this ploy. She probably won't be able to tell we have some kind of radar view of the situation, which is a big advantage.
>>
No. 971946 ID: e78a3b

>That small, tiny, miniscule bitch
I thought Ozone was the same height as you, unlike Nickel.

>trying to get her toys while she can
I'm confused. If she already knows it's you, then what's the point of "avoid being detected at all costs"?

>throw to break the sensors
Why not just walk next to it and disable it quietly? Also, can't we hack the sensors the same was as we could hack the doors?

Anyway, stay where you are until Ozone moves to your location. Use the top two horizontal walls to bypass her when she does so. Then take the Exit 2 (disable the sensor there first).
>>
No. 972018 ID: 45acae

Alright, her detection radius is circular, so it doesn't look like sneaking up on her is an option. This does not satisfy my bloodlust, but fine. We will squish the bug later.

Alright, try to smash the detector covering Exit 1, then traverse the blind spot of the one covering the entrance and into the blindspot of exit 2. I want to see if we can get up to more hacky-cracky goodness. If not, smash it and go the opposite direction ozone does when she comes to investigate to leave for exit 1. Does she have a penchant for booby traps?
>>
No. 972033 ID: b58f66
File 159454482507.png - (114.23KB , 1000x1000 , pl_028.png )
972033

>Keep your cool
Alright... yeah, I'm better than this... She won't upstage me. Just a little caught off-guard.

>Firearms
I don't think Ozone's going to shoot me with live ammunition, but I don't plan on finding out what she has in store for me.

I head to the right, sneaking towards the sensor facing Exit 1. There's a small gap there, so I should be able to dodge through and break it, when it swivels away. They're basically cameras on a stand.
Ozone continues to taunt me as I do this.
"Come on out, soldier... let's not make things too hard on both of us, alright? You're the one who's taking something that isn't yours."
Like that's true at all. She was the one who confiscated my equipment in the first place! If I don't get caught, then it's as good as mine. The rules have gotten a little... free-form, as the facility's population count emigrated.

I breathe in, picking up a discarded magazine from the floor - and fling it towards the sensor.

There's a distinct crack as the magazine collides with the sensor - then the sound of it tumbling to the ground.

I hide back behind the locker, as I hear Ozone running over. She might know it's me, but if she never catches me, then I can't be held accountable!
>>
No. 972034 ID: b58f66
File 159454487492.png - (40.30KB , 1000x1000 , pl_029.png )
972034

So far, so good.

Both of the exits would lead to me escaping the Armoury, so I only need to get to one successfully without Ozone noticing. The Exit 1 camera is out of commission now, but Ozone's moved closer, and she'd most likely see and shoot me if I go for it now.

Hacking the sensors would be nice if I was in arms reach of them, but I'd have to run at them, which would most likely lead to me being detected.

I can't break the Sensor at Exit 2 yet because it's on the other side of the gear locker - I may have a good throwing arm, but I can't hit something through a wall like that!

Where to next?
>>
No. 972037 ID: 2aa5f0

throw something south to make it look like you're making a run for exit two and hide north behind the wall you're at now so she won't see you as she runs past.
>>
No. 972039 ID: 62e4df

Try to knock out the sensor guarding the sealed exit. She probably won't fall for it, but it's worth a shot.
>>
No. 972047 ID: b1b4f3

>>972034
Just wait. She'll probably head towards exit 1 to cover it more effectively, at which point you can circle around behind her to get to exit 2. Break the sensor there then dash out before she can get a bead on you.
>>
No. 972053 ID: ae9bd9

>>972034
Hold on here. Since she has a ranged weapon, couldn't she just camp out where she is to effectively cover both of our exit paths? I mean, she (probably) isn't stupid. She won't throw out a good vantage point just because a sensor was smashed. Especially when said vantage point covers the broken sensor's view.
>>
No. 972130 ID: f133dc

So little bit risky, but with her positioning definitely a good idea. Quietly get closed to the sealed exit camera. See if we can hack it, then get close to the sealed exit and we'll try to hack that using her credentials.

She's most likely expecting what was suggested with busting the other camera, this should be a completely silent method of getting out in an unexpected manner, since you have capabilities she shouldn't know about.

But I stress, make sure to keep an eye on the radar situation because this will bring you a few small steps from her. A few little walls between you two.
>>
No. 972149 ID: 094652

Try throwing your voice through the narrow passage between server farms.
>>
No. 972201 ID: b58f66
File 159471293596.png - (216.81KB , 1000x1000 , pl_030.png )
972201

I'll say that I'm not a fan of waiting, but I don't have any other choice.

I hold my breath, hiding in between the two weapon lockers above the first exit, hearing Ozone pacing back and forth.
Even though I know she wouldn't go so far as kill me, Ozone has always been known as one of the harshest disciplinarians in this damn place. She wouldn't be happy with just breaking my bones - she'd do something to cripple me for the fights ahead. I don't know why she hates me this much - as far as I know, she's hated me since I first met her in Basic Tactics class.

"You can't keep hiding forever, missy. Come on out..."

I shuffle along the edges of the lockers, treading lightly. If Ozone gets tired of waiting and looks down the space between the two lockers, I wouldn't even have a chance to dodge.
>>
No. 972202 ID: b58f66
File 159471296994.png - (39.35KB , 1000x1000 , pl_031.png )
972202

I wait, hoping she'd move closer - to no avail. She's standing there, gun in hand - covering both the first exit, while remaining close enough to sense me if I try to run past.

Rrgh! This is why I hate covert ops! It's even worse because I don't have any weapons on hand - not that shooting her is an option.
I can't fight back, I'm out of range for a grapple, and I don't have the element of surprise. And she has the reflexes to shoot me if I try to jump her.


Hacking the camera pointed towards the entrance is a good idea - it didn't even come to mind at first. But the door slammed down when Ozone sprung the trap on me. If we were to hack the door open again, it would give me an advantage, but the sound of the locks would most likely alert her to my position as well.

We could try hacking the entrance door open, or a different idea. What's your suggestion?
>>
No. 972203 ID: b1b4f3

Are you sure she'd see you if you went along the wall at exit 1? Our HUD shows there's space there for you to sneak past. If you can do that, we can just hack the sensor at door 2 and leave completely unnoticed.

Alternatively, can we hack at a distance? Could get the entrance unlocked to distract her so you can head to either exit.
>>
No. 972204 ID: e78a3b

Heh, I like this test that Ozone prepared for you.

Anyway, all we need to do is make her move north or south of where she currently is for us to be able to safely use Exit 1. I suppose we should move east and a bit north, throw something else to disable the north sensor, and take the Exit 1 when she goes to check out the north sensor.
>>
No. 972205 ID: 864e49

>>972202
What if we jack the camera on a stick, oh sorry, "sensor" at the entrance and then hack the entrance door to open after some amount of time?
Maybe we can use it or the sensor as a distraction while we slip out exit 1.
>>
No. 972214 ID: 2aa5f0

your gear, what's it do and how does it work?

Because if those explosive disk can be triggered remotely and have a large enough explosive radius you could set one down where you're at now, hack the sensor looking at the locked door to make it go off after you move away from the bomb you planted and when ozone comes to investigate set off the IED mine to stun her and escape. Make it that she's the one that gets messed up before the tournament instead of you.
>>
No. 972220 ID: a9af05

>>972202
Go back to the right, go up and throw something at the sensor watching the sealed door you came through.

You'll have plenty of time to react to her either going to the sensor or moving to block exit 1.
>>
No. 972301 ID: ae9bd9

Be patient. Don't make the first move.
>>
No. 972334 ID: b58f66
File 159481621094.png - (154.40KB , 1000x1000 , pl_032.png )
972334

>Camera on a stick
Oh believe me, that's what I thought too when I first saw those things used in Covert Ops practice. But they can sense heat, which is why they're still used even when all the lights are out. Knowing Ozone though, she probably rigged them up with a tranquilizer dart-gun to really draw things out.

Definitely don't think hacking at range is an option though, because last time I had to make physical contact with the door panel to get you guys to even attempt to hack it. If I were to hack the front door open, I'd have to be in physical contact so you guys can do the job.

>Equipment
Believe me, if I could use Explosive Discs right now, I would. But there's no way I'll be able to focus enough to manifest the blueprint when I've assimilated them so recently! I'll give you the rundown eventually, but that's after the risk of getting shot has passed.

I reposition myself to the north-east, aiming for the camera facing the sealed exit. If this goes through, Ozone may end up going towards it, leaving me free to go through exit 1.
The magazine sails through the air... and bounces off of the weapon locker, clattering to the ground below.
Damn! The sensor's still intact.

Memories of failed discus throws come back to mind. The spare magazines aren't weighted the same as the training discs! Don't blame me! I'm far better when i'm throwing actual damn weapons and not these piece of-

Okay, okay. Deep breaths - no time for worrying about the past, I can't stay in this spot.
>>
No. 972335 ID: b58f66
File 159481623331.png - (40.51KB , 1000x1000 , pl_033.png )
972335

I dodge upwards, going back to the bench where I picked up the spare gadgets from.
Ozone walks closer in the meantime, blocking off the first exit. She's probably patrolling the middle corridor, knowing that I have to go through it eventually.

I could try making a mad dash for the second exit, but that's still watched by the second camera, and even if I ran past the camera, there's a good chance that she'll hear me sprinting towards it and close the gap easily. She's a good shot - even in the dark, so I can't count on her just missing.

At very least, the sensor is within hand's reach. I could hack it, but what's the point? Hacking would likely force me to stay still while you guys take it over, which would be pretty bad if Ozone decides to round the corner. The odds are, even if I kept going round and round in circles, eventually Ozone's going to change directions and catch us off-guard.

Still... a route to the second exit is available. I'm almost out of here... I just gotta play it right and there won't be a scratch on me!
>>
No. 972359 ID: 2aa5f0

can we hack a sensor and have it on a delay to have it go off after a set amount of time? If so you could reposition yourself to either be in a good spot to run towards either of the other to exits so when Ozone goes to check out the sensor you'd be clear to escape. I mean you can still walk past the sensor here since it looks like they can't see you if you right in front of them and they can only pick you up if you're further away.
>>
No. 972363 ID: e78a3b

Ozone sure is going easy on you. I wonder what her agenda is.

Move towards Exit 2 and break the south sensor. Of course, this will draw Ozone there. The question is, which path she takes.
If she takes the north path, simply use Exit 2 since it's close enough.
If she takes the south path, then go back north and use Exit 1.
>>
No. 972369 ID: 6e6f32

>>972335
Fuck Hacking it. Break it, take it. If they are indeed trapped with tranq darts, than perhaps you can extract that bitch and have a weapon.
>>
No. 972402 ID: b1b4f3

>>972335
You can see her as she patrols. Just sneak past as she's going right, get us inside the sensor at door 2 so we can silently disable it, and walk out.

Nothing complicated, only thing that could go wrong is she just randomly decides to go check door 2 while we're there.
>>
No. 972639 ID: dea6dc
File 159507878515.png - (42.10KB , 1000x1000 , pl_034point5.png )
972639

Something definitely feels off about her approach. Normally she'd be right in my face, especially when she has a tactical advantage. But it isn't my job to question it - it's a bloody game to her.

I sneak past the camera, heading south.
Waiting for Ozone to move, I time it so that I can cross the middle hallway, reaching the bottom camera. She goes upwards instead - perfect.

Moving past the open hallway, I find...
Exit 2's wide open. Ozone didn't lock it behind her when she entered?

The sensor's still there, but the door's wide open. An opportunity. It won't be long until Ozone realizes that I'm nearly out.
>>
No. 972640 ID: dea6dc
File 159507881591.png - (213.77KB , 1000x1000 , pl_034.png )
972640

I reach for the sensor, feeling the lightning at my fingertips again.
Last time, we didn't get to successfully hack the door, since Mnemosyne had unlocked it of her own accord. But this time...

[AUTHENTICATION: OZONE]
The sensor clicks, shutting down. Sweet.
I pop open the lid of the sensor, finding a pair of tranquilizer darts. Good thinking - I don't usually have a reason to loot these, but I'll take any weapons I can get my hands on, even if they're as basic as these.
And not a sound to be made.
The camera is disabled, and I'm free of this trap.
>>
No. 972641 ID: dea6dc
File 159507884877.png - (348.59KB , 1000x1000 , pl_035.png )
972641

Moving out into the sector proper, I take the opportunity to run away as fast as possible.

I can still feel my heart pounding - the act of being hunted, even if you know you won't die, is a terrifying one. When we were doing covert ops in training, they used rubber rounds. I could only imagine how much worse it is for the supposed 'normal people' who aren't as strong as us.
The colour of the walls change as I escape the armoury, towards neutral ground, towards a place where I can rest. I hate, hate HATE covert ops! Even though I didn't get shot, leave it to Ozone to put me through my least favourite activity! Was she just screwing with me because she found it amusing? Ugh. I've got better things to think about now.
>>
No. 972642 ID: dea6dc
File 159507888728.png - (803.40KB , 1000x1000 , pl_036.png )
972642

Finally, I stop in a quiet corner of the facility, collecting my thoughts.
The realization hadn't sunk in before - but I had beaten Ozone at her own stupid little game!

I steady my breathing, bringing myself to that oh-so-familiar sensation of focus.

Before me, the newly-absorbed gadgets are laid out before me - disassembled into a mental blueprint.

Alright, so this has been a long time coming - if you're going to be advising me, you're going to know my capabilities. I have the feeling that if Ozone set up this little 'test' for me, there's going to be someone waiting for me at the Training Grounds too.
While I'll go over all of my equipment after I get my guns, the way I use my gadgets (or devices) are different to the other soldiers in this place, thanks to my Parasignia!

It's called Ignition Complex, effectively a portable armoury in a space only I can access. By acquiring and deconstructing gadgets and weapons, I'm able to form a mental blueprint of how it works, and reconstruct it at will. It's real convenient, because I can effectively carry far more weaponry on me than anyone else, without feeling any of the bulk.

But, that's not all! I can 'displace' the properties of one gadget onto another, thus transferring its properties. So if I displaced the Explosive Disc's inherent property of 'detonation', I am able to give the Beam Unit lasers that explode on contact with surfaces! I can give one gadget up to two separate effects!
Though, I can't really control what properties I get out of specific gadgets, this has it's own advantages. For one, the 'host' gadget I displace effects into will retain its firing mechanism. So you can usually assume grenades will explode, or for the barrier generator to project a protective barrier.

Don't ask me for the science behind it - none of us really understand how Parasignias work outside of the mechanics behind 'em, which they figured out through a lot of rigorous testing. But they were one of the facility's more recent research projects - they pretty much set all the egg-heads to work on it, apparently.
Nanoweaver's one of them - and the whole Exotic Materials Sector was created out of the old lobby in order to sustain it.
>>
No. 972644 ID: dea6dc
File 159507894525.png - (700.40KB , 1000x1000 , pl_037.png )
972644

The downside to my awesome powers though, is that I have to specifically decide which of my gadgets and weapons are at the 'forefront' of my mind in order to retrieve them easily. If I'm able to enter a meditative state such as this, I'm able to change my loadout, but in the heat of combat it won't be possible. So I have to prepare my combinations beforehand. Think of it like putting the blueprints I want into a trolley that I can reach in and out of easily, with the rest stuck in filing cabinets.

Before I head into the Training Grounds to get my guns back, we have to decide on a module set for me to use!
Being able to focus enough to swap these out in combat ain't easy. I'd only be able to do so if there was enough breathing room without someone shooting at me directly, but I'll let you know when such an opportunity arises.

Here's the breakdown of the current gadgets I have:

-Beam Unit-
Standard issue Beam Unit, shoulder-mounted. True to it's name, fires a high-energy laser upon activation, leading to significant damage. It's a cool-down based gadget, so after usage, I have to wait a bit for it to recharge. Otherwise, a simple reliable weapon that almost everyone has experience with.

-Explosive Disc-
Explosive discs - they're actually similar to shaped plastic explosives with properties that make them easier to throw. I can apply these to thin surfaces like breaching charges, but the caveat is that even if I throw them like grenades, I have to manually detonate them with a remote. They're actually an annoying demonstration of one of my Parasignia's limits - for certain, 'disposable' tools like grenades, I only have a limited quantity of them to use until I have to rest. With my other weapons, they're simply pulled out of the Complex whenever I need to use them, being reassembled within moments. With disposable gadgets and ammunition, I have to wait for them to rejuvenate during downtime. Something about getting sufficient rest? Either way, despite them being quite useful, I only have three on me, so use them carefully. Or just displace their explosive properties onto another gadget to have an infinite supply, through a different delivery.

-Barrier Generator-
It blocks bullets - what more could you want? It's sort of like a staff that you can toss onto the ground to create a protective dome around yourself - with the downside that bullets aren't going to go out either. But you can also deploy it diagonally as portable cover, or even hold onto it to use as a riot shield! It lasts for a short while before recharging, if you're sustaining it at full power.

We've got a few options, and if there's any effects that you would like clarified, I could probably tell you what the results of a specific combo would be. What approach do you suggest?
>>
No. 972645 ID: 2aa5f0

So are their any dud combos we need to watch out for? Because mixing explosive disk and barrier generator sounds like it could be a bad idea if all it would do is cause the area around you to explode with you along with it or would it just make it so you'd have quick shield grenades that would let you throw up a quick shield to protect yourself, give you some instant cover, or possibly even trap you opponents... wait does it just stop ONLY bullets or everything and everything from passing through it?
>>
No. 972651 ID: 278f7f

>>972644
Oh, interesting!
So it's not a simple combining of two items to make a third item, the Displaced > Host interaction means there's more possible combos...

If ammo counts, would it be worth absorbing one of the tranq darts to have that in the pool of delivery methods as Host (probably 'Injection' if I were to guess) or just the tranquilizer effect.

What does Beam Displaced onto Barrier result in? (If it's something like a damaging force field that might be worth having slotted in, in case you need to completely wall off a doorway or something)
>>
No. 972661 ID: 44b1b5

Yeah, I wonder if tranq darts are sufficiently complex enough to be absorbed. I think applying the beam effect to the charges makes them directional, like a claymore mine? Also, can we only apply each device to one primary or secondary slot?
>>
No. 972662 ID: 9f00f4

Can your beam unit be set to non-lethal, low-power 'dazzle' mode, to cause temporary blindness and disorientation, thereby enabling more continuous use and otherwise reducing the recharge/cooling off time?
>>
No. 972663 ID: 6e6f32

Barrier*(Lasers + Explosion)

POWER BLAST!
>>
No. 972676 ID: b1b4f3

>>972644
When displacing, will the source gadget lose its property? Like, if you displace the explosive aspect from the discs, will they not explode anymore?
I'm thinking you could displace explosion from disc into the laser, then displace barrier into the disc, to produce discs that create a barrier when you trigger them.

I'm also interested in what happens if you don't displace explosion away from disc(if that matters), but put barrier into them. Does that result in a barrier and an explosion *inside the barrier*, or will the explosion happen outside the barrier? If the barrier is small enough, could this produce a shaped charge effect?

What on earth would happen if you put barrier into the laser?
In general I'm wondering what laser+barrier would do on any object. Feels like the structures are incompatible.
>>
No. 972683 ID: 45acae

Hmmm... How does this power interact with the gene trace vial?
>>
No. 972686 ID: e78a3b

Beam + Beam + Beam
Barrier + Barrier + Barrier
Explosive + Barrier + Explosive

Are we gonna play Magicka?
>>
No. 972721 ID: dea6dc
File 159514736706.png - (134.36KB , 1000x1000 , pl_038.png )
972721

Since this is the first time I've really had to explain my abilities to someone else, I guess there's bound to be a couple of things to keep in mind.

An effect can only be applied to one place.
Since I'm displacing the effect of a gadget onto another, I'm effectively slotting that gadget into another gadget. I can't double up on things, as much as I want to. So if you want to use the Beam Unit's firing method, you won't be able to displace it onto anywhere else. Not to worry though, as displacing gadget properties won't permanently break the associated gadget - if I want to revert it, it'll simply return to its default state, pre-modification.

I can only hold one copy of a non-consumable gadget.
Think of it like weapon redundancy. It gets harder to keep track of things if I say, crammed three Beam Units into the Complex. If the items are in a set, like the Explosive Discs, then I'm able to keep them in one box, but if I try to use gadgets that are more or less functionally the same - it's like I end up trying to retrieve all three copies at the same time which gets pretty inconvenient.

Some combos are unusable.
Naturally, due to the highly modular nature of my Parasignia, there are bound to be some combinations that don't work out. If I can't visualise something happening feasibly, the displaced gadget is rejected by the host gadget.
None of the combinations you've come up with so far are invalid though, actually. Part of why I wanted to specifically get my hands on the basic gear is because of their versatility in that regard.

There are special combinations that exist with different functionality.
I can't say how many of them are out there, but I've found that some combos of gadgets are strong enough that their properties mix differently to my usual displacements. If you do find a special combo, I'll let you know - but keep in mind that they may in fact, not be better than a more standard combination.

I can only deconstruct certain items for combat.
When I absorb an item for my Parasignia, it's not actually destroyed in the process. (Which is how people can force me remove them.) Similarly, for consumable gadgets such as the Explosive Discs or ammunition, I'm really just reconstructing the same gadgets over and over. That's why they rejuvenate.

The Gene Trace Vial isn't really a weapon of any kind, so I'd have difficulty breaking it down for storage. Similarly, while the Tranquilizer darts are a weapon of sorts, I don't have a corresponding gun to actually pair them with. But I'll keep them on hand.

For the sake of clarity, I'll probably be assuming that the first gadget you people suggest is the Host gadget in which the other gadgets are being displaced into.

Generally, the properties of gadgets make themselves clear after a couple of tests, but as I acquire new ones, I can intuit the effects of specific combos after I deconstruct them.

Barrier is 'Reflective', it dampens the impact of incoming projectiles or reflects them.
Explosive Discs are as described - Explosive. It makes things volatile.
Beam Unit is 'Focusing', when applied to other gadgets it tends to 'focus' the effects towards a specific designated direction, such as turning shrapnel into a tight cone of destruction.

Barrier Generator (Primary) + Explosive Disc creates a 'reactive shield' that explodes when it. It's strong against close-ranged opponents, and destroys projectiles, but I've found that Explosive Discs are good regardless of where you put 'em. Generally, using the Barrier Generator as a recipient Gadget would end up giving it 'reactive' properties that activate when things hit the barrier. I think having Beam as a secondary in Barrier Generator makes it wider and long-lasting, since they're made from similar tech though.

Beam Unit (Primary) + Barrier would actually cause the laser to bounce off of certain smooth surfaces, potentially leading to me delivering a flanking shot.

Discs + Beam would make the blast highly directional, yeah. Quite useful for breaching tough armour, but it reduces it's effectiveness as a grenade.
Discs + Barrier would make them into weaker, multiple shields that I can deploy by throwing.

All in all, I don't think there are any combinations that are actively useless, and some of the weirder combinations may actually be special combos. A big part of why I need to go through each of the sectors in the Tournament is because even if they're not providing me with equipment, I'll be able to pick up gadgets outside the default set. More options means more potential combinations, meaning it's harder to stop me.

So, what'll it be? I could run all of my gadgets raw, do a bit of tinkering around... it only goes up from here!
>>
No. 972722 ID: b1b4f3

>>972721
Time to tinker!
Why do you have four slots listed for combinations, but only three devices? I'm guessing that means you can hold four configurations, and "displacing" a device's attribute doesn't hamper that device's functionality.

Okay, we have three devices which can hold up to two attributes. That's nine combinations, not too many to just test all of them right now. You've described all of the simple combinations so far, so what are the last three, that use all the attributes?
Beam+explosive = exploding lasers
Beam+barrier = bouncing lasers
Explosive+beam = focused explosive
Explosive+barrier = multi-barrier
Barrier+explosive = reactive shield
Barrier+beam = wide shield
Beam+explosive+barrier = ?
Explosive+beam+barrier = ?
Barrier+beam+explosive = ?

I like the bouncing laser. You should test out the barrier to see if a wider shield is actually better, since you can't shoot through it. Bouncing laser could let us shoot around it though!
Focused explosive makes a lot of sense imo, but leaving them unmodified is decent too.
Can you hold two configurations for the explosives, so that you have six of them to use before needing to recharge?
>>
No. 972723 ID: 094652

I think I remember this power. The older version involved a lot of semiconductors, and creative mishandling of a greatsword. Higher-levels allowed you to apply weapon effects as passive abilities for your defense systems, and you could block a lethal blow with a weapon but it would break.

From what I recall during loadout optimization, you need to keep a basic yet diverse array of weapons so you can juggle your tactics between cooldowns, and become your own cavalry with prepared traps and turrets.

Equip the beam unit and barrier generator as your main equipment, add the explosive disc as a barrier generator subroutine - erm, effect.
>>
No. 972728 ID: 2aa5f0

hmm, I'm thinking bouncing laser, focused explosion, wide shield, and standard grenades.

Bouncing laser because it sounds like the normal laser but you can pull trick shoots off with it making it more versatile while being just as strong, wouldn't see why you wouldn't take it.

Focused explosion because I'm sure you're going to be coming across some opponents that will either have armor or just be naturally tough so something that can just blow past that sounds like it could be a god send. As well as being able to just use it to discourage anyone from coming to close to you.

Wide shield because for the same reason as the bouncing laser. Just sounds like a straight upgrade being both wider to offer more protection as well as being stronger so it wouldn't fail as quickly

And Standard grenades just because nothing is more painful then needing to flush out an enemy and not having a good grenade by your side. Plus besides the bouncing laser it sounds like your only real option to nail opponents around corners and unlike the bouncing laser it isn't limited by surfaces.

That's my 2 cents on what you should take anyways but you're the solder with actually experience, these sound... well sound to you or would you suggest changing some things up?
>>
No. 972729 ID: dea6dc

In total, I can only hold up to four primary gadgets at a time, because past there, it becomes much more cumbersome for me to retrieve a specific gadget.

Remember that I don't have any duplicates of my gadgets, so if I use one as a passive, it won't be usable as a primary. It's a bit limiting, I know, but that's why I need to get my hands on more gadgets in future.

Using both of the other gadgets to supplement a primary would normally be a good idea, if it wasn't stripping me of all of my options.

The triple combinations don't really get much more exotic than doing the individual combinations, unless there's a particular synergy or mechanical set-up I can perceive. So Beam with both of the other gadgets results in a bouncing laser that explodes off of each surface, Discs with both gadgets results in temporary 'target dummies' that explode in the direction where they take shots from, and Barrier with both gadgets is effectively a shield that fires a concentrated blast back at opponents when struck.
Triple-input gadgets tend to be good if I already have a full four, but as it stands, I don't.

I'll give it some more thought, before I head off to the Training Grounds.


This will be the last clarification before the next proper update
>>
No. 972767 ID: b1b4f3

Hmm, alright...
Let's go with regular Beam and Barrier+explosive. Use the reactive barrier to discourage an offensive/close opponent, then take pot shots with the beam when they're being defensive/long range.
>>
No. 972771 ID: 2aa5f0

hmm

well wide shield and normal grenades then. give you some protection and something to hit your enemies with as well.
>>
No. 972927 ID: 4286b4

If you don't have any duplicates, then it's better to go without any combos for now.
>>
No. 972972 ID: ce39da

I say go with the -Reflecting Beam Unit- (Beam Unit < Barrier Generator) and -Explosive Disks-. We tend to prefer to shoot them before they can shoot us. As long as we aren't against the sniper first, the corner-turning laser should make for a nasty surprise and help us do just that.
>>
No. 972998 ID: dea6dc
File 159548762139.png - (157.16KB , 1000x1000 , pl_039.png )
972998

Alright - the loadout I've selected is the Beam Unit (No displacements) and Barrier Generator (Explosive Displacement).
If Judicium decides to fight me there, then I'd be prepared. She normally brings a quarter-staff with her, after all.

The doors of the Training Grounds loom in front of me. I can practically hear the sound of marching footsteps from whenever I had class, everyone filing through those doors and into the facility proper. This may be one of the last times I ever see this place, since I don't intend on coming back. They used to pack dozens of us together, line us up one after another in the firing range. Even when you were standing outside, the doors would shake under the combined gunfire. Sometimes they intentionally didn't provide us with sound dampeners - to train us to be effective, even when deafened. Our ear-drums get better pretty quickly.
>>
No. 972999 ID: dea6dc
File 159548764819.png - (359.36KB , 1000x1000 , pl_040.png )
972999

The doors aren't locked. It hasn't been too long since Judicium dragged me into a classroom to chew me out, but I guess she didn't bother to lock up if she left. There should be a bullet lying around with the proper caliber near the firing range as well, which I'll need later. The map wasn't particularly clear about where my guns were stashed, but I seriously doubt that Judicium would leave them lying around.
All I need to do is break into Judicium's office, find my guns and pocket them, then I'll be ready. All I have to do after that is deliver the vial to Nanoweaver, ask her if there's anything else I need to do, and then I can make preparations for the fights ahead tonight.
This'll be-
>>
No. 973000 ID: dea6dc
File 159548772274.png - (401.59KB , 1000x1000 , pl_041.png )
973000

A meaty hand clamps onto my shoulder from behind.
'Sup, wirehead," says a rough voice.
Ugh. Her.
She was bound to show up eventually, but how did she know I was here?
>>
No. 973001 ID: dea6dc
File 159548780747.png - (549.69KB , 1000x1000 , pl_042.png )
973001

I turn around to look her in the... face. Instead, I end up staring towards her stomach. She's twice as tall as I am, but like hell am I going to be intimidated by someone who can't aim a gun properly.
"What do you want, Astrolysis?"

Astrolysis. Sector 'Boss' of the Foundry. She literally overthrew the previous soldier in her position. Off of a raised balcony. Took that one weeks to recover. The closest connection she has to the sector is coercing someone into forging a custom weapon for her - outside of that, I think she only pursued the role because she thinks it makes her sound cooler.

"What do I normally want? I want a fight."
I sigh. My record against Astrolysis in hand-to-hand isn't amazing, three to fourteen. She has a positive match-up against nearly everyone else in the facility in close quarters combat - part of why she's so fond of Nickel. One of the few people to have an even match-up, though armed with a knife.

"Here's an idea, meatshield. Why don't you go knife-fight Nickel again and stop bothering me? I've got better things to do, like preparing for the damn tournament."

She chuckles, a low, growling sound in the back of her throat. I can't even tell if she's looking at me or not.
"Already did so, this morning. You saw my work."

Guess that explains Nickel's broken arm.
"But I don't want a knife-fight, wirehead. I want you to fight me with those fancy toys of yours while I try to rip your head off with my bare hands."

Talking to her is like talking to an animal who doesn't know anything besides fighting and eating. Technically, I could turn her down. Duels aren't obligatory, and Astrolysis picks fights all the time, to the point where the other Sector Bosses had to specifically bar her from forcing a fight onto others.

"We'll fight when it's your turn in the Tournament setup. Me against all of the Sector Bosses."
She crosses her arms, snorting.
"Oh? I thought you wanted to get your little peashooters back, didn't you?"
How did she know about-
Nickel!!!!!!

"So... what're you going to do, little girl?" She leers, her rows of blade-like teeth on full display.
>>
No. 973004 ID: b1b4f3

>>973001
Guess we better decide on a place and a time.
Good thing your current loadout is good versus a close range opponent huh?
>>
No. 973007 ID: d817ce

When I kick your ass, I'm gonna want alot more than those "peashooters", foundry head.
You're gonna get me the good shit!
>>
No. 973011 ID: 2aa5f0

well I have to say that it doesn't seem to fair at all. I mean even if I beat you if I take to much damage I'm at a disadvantage for the tournament and to be fair I'm sure I could find some other guns around if I looked hard enough so I'm not seeing to much incentive to actually fight you.

So why not up the anti a bit. You want to fight me early, fine. But should I when you give me access to the foundry as well as giving me my gear back. I mean if you're so sure of your victory then it should matter what I ask for should I win, it's not like it's going to happen ~right~?
>>
No. 973074 ID: 6931f1

>while I try to rip your head off with my bare hands.
Tell her that you prefer doing other things during foreplay.
>>
No. 973104 ID: 45acae

Never fear, you've got us. You're getting those guns.
>>
No. 973125 ID: ecd116

is it ok to ask her why she have no eyes ? at least that what it look like to us. or does the holes on her face somehow let her see the world differently, also what the name of her species/race?
>>
No. 973183 ID: 15a025

Those the terms then? We gotta beat you down to get our stuff back? Alright let's get this over with.
>>
No. 973215 ID: ce39da

"One minute to prepare?" We don't want to have anything valuable and breakable on our person for this. Stash the vial in a class desk or something.
>>
No. 973270 ID: 894f15
File 159581539746.png - (625.11KB , 1000x1000 , pl_043.png )
973270

>damage
She's a tough one. Even if I hand her a beating with my gadgets, I wouldn't be surprised if she got back up after a couple of hours. We're all strong like that.


"Seems a little unfair, you with nothing, not even your armour - and me, with the tools I'm most proficient in. Besides, what's in it for me? I don't have to fight you - this isn't under tourney rules, now is it?"

Astrolysis laughs.

"Asking for a little something-something? That's rich, coming from someone I could pound into paste. But no, this isn't official. Let's make this an... appetizer for the actual fight."

There's a jangle as she yanks something out of her pocket. A keycard catches the light, the plastic glittering under the lights. There's a small key hanging behind it.

"The keycard to her office, and the master key for any cabinets she has. Don't go acting like that isn't what you're after."
She doesn't know that I can just hack the door open, but having the master key would mean I can search through her things without obviously breaking into it.

"How did you even get those?"

"A little six-eyed girl heard some interesting news and came up with a nice idea for a..."
She leans in.
"Greeting present."
Astrolysis must really be craving a fight - She could have called Judicium back to her office to prevent me from getting my guns.
"You won't be getting your guns. Not unless you have these. The nag isn't around, prime opportunity to break into her office... find something that'll give you the upper hand? We both know you need all the help you can get. How nice of your mommy to give you a couple of imaginary friends to help you out! I'm a good sport, I'll give them to you even if you get smashed into the ground!"

I cross my arms.

"Let's take it to the Firing Range. Wouldn't want Judicium finding out that we broke something while we're seeing who's the superior fighter."
She nods, making her way over to the nearby door.

>stash the vial
Good idea. I place the vial on top of a crate nearby, where it won't get smashed during the fight.
>>
No. 973271 ID: 894f15
File 159581551444.png - (1.15MB , 1500x1000 , pl_044.png )
973271

The firing range was a fun way to show off at the end of training - a reward, for the good girls who got their training done properly, it seems. It was one of the things I looked forward to the most, though I often came by to hone my skills, as did many others. The larger-built soldiers preferred wrestling and grappling instead.
I watch as Astrolysis squeezes through the stalls, strutting into the firing range like she owned the place.
Pssh. She's the only person who'd feel out of place here, being unable to wield a gun.

>Why doesn't she have eyes?
The little holes on her snout allow her to sense heat, which combined with her innate sense of echolocation, generally allows her to 'see' things close by. It makes her terrible at any of the usual combat situations we were trained for, so she was a bit of a special case. I have no clue what species she is - she and Nickel's generation were the weirdest, they were spliced with animals instead of just the four main species that we're made of. I do see a bit of Sarasol and Linharjan in her, what with the head shape and the stinger tail.

I flex my fingers, taking a deep breath in. The scent of spent bullets and gunpowder lingers in the air.
This place isn't an arena, but we're not fighting, not 'officially'. The walls are resistant enough to the exotic firearms and gadgets on my person, so it's unlikely we'll damage anything significant.
The subtext is there, though - "Let's not break each other before the actual fight."
It'll be quick, dirty. Victor is the one who lands three clean hits, but some dirty tactics are allowed, since we won't be doing enough damage to cripple each other in future.
Neither of us are going to use our Parasignias offensively, but mine is utility-based, so it's a grey-area I exploit.

As we take our positions, I call out to her.
"Oi, Foundry boss. If I win this, you owe me a favour."
She cocks her head, that stupid perpetual grin of hers on full display.

"You're a lotta talk, making demands of me. Go on, wirehead. What would you ask of me, someone far stronger than you are?"

"If I win, you give me the keys as you promised - AND, you forge something for me. I want a weapon out of this, understand? And not something half-assed, either."
With you guys along, I don't need to ask for permission to get into her sector. But presumably, I'd be fighting all of the Sector Bosses on their home turf anyway. I'm the challenger, versus all of them.
Astrolysis flexes her fingers, settling into a solid stance.
"Sure. But what could you possibly give me besides this fight, wirehead? You're going to lose."
She taps the side of her skull.
"Ahaha! I know! If you lose, you'll have to play entirely by my rules when we fight properly in the tournament. If you decline, I'll have absolutely no sympathy for you. Don't worry your little head about it - I'll be fair, as much as I can be, anyway."
Knowing her, she wouldn't want to screw herself out of a good fight - so her rules would push me into giving her a fight that she'd enjoy to the fullest.

"Alright, let's do this."
I raise my fists...
>>
No. 973273 ID: 894f15
File 159581575437.png - (795.76KB , 1500x1000 , pl_045.png )
973273


[HOST ENGAGED IN ACTIVE COMBAT. BOOTING SPECIAL FUNCTIONALITY]
[SAI PROTOTYPE COMBAT PROTOCOLS INITIATED – ENGAGING TRI-A TACTICAL PROFILE]
[DISPLAYING STATISTICAL INTERFACE - INCREASING PROCESSOR SPEED]
[RELATIVE TIME DILATION: 100:1]
[RENDERING SAI-ASSISTANCE DIALOG – DISPLAYING]

Overview
The Tri-A Tactical profile is a SAI module designed by [REDACTED] for the intent of supplementing SAI tactical performance in combat situations.

The current host's total health value is represented as pips - totaling six. A pip will be subtracted when the host takes damage from external forces and typically can only be recovered once combat is over.
According to combat parameters - the current fight will conclude after three pips are lost, in accordance with standard duel procedure.
It is your duty to provide the host with sufficient instruction and advice during combat to supplement decisions. In doing so, you will be able to guide the host to victory.
There are three main steps that a standard combat encounter will cycle through.

Assess
Upon initiating combat, the Host will most likely seek safe shelter, where they will be able to make a quick plan for the encounter. This is known as the Assessment Mode.
Typically, this phase detects and emphasises the environment, with the Host also reminding the SAI of information that could be used to their advantage, such as the knowledge of weak-points discovered before the battle and environmental factors that may be out of the SAI’s vision.
This stage can happen multiple times over the course of an extended combat encounter, if the Host needs to alter their combat approach multiple times, typically occurring after an opponent alters the environment or their equipment. Depending on the conditions, the host may be able to change equipment as well. [FEATURE STILL IN DEVELOPMENT]


Assault
Assault Mode happens in the moment to moment after Assessment is completed – taking the form of both offensive and defensive actions. The Host will provide default options that players can either use without alteration, or build upon to provide additional strategies.
The Host is able to make use of Gadgets during this phase, in the form of Gambits – a non-standard action that may or may not succeed. Projected success rates of gambits are displayed in increments of 10% and are provided by the Host. However, as SAI Splinters, you are capable of adjusting and suggesting alterations to the Host’s plan, which will lead to an improvement in success rates. Failing a Gambit is not necessarily harmful unless the gadget utilized is highly unwieldy. Gambits can also be made through the exploitation of the host’s environment – such as using nearby objects as bludgeoning weapons. The unusual nature of such a manoeuvre would most likely catch opponents off-guard and improve odds of success, though it may not necessarily be a damaging action. Other landscape Gambits can be like throwing sand or dirt into the eyes of the opponent, blinding them temporarily.
The Host will typically be capable of dodging attacks without SAI input, but when they are caught off-guard or have to make a defence against a significantly powerful attack, a Defensive Gambit will have to be made in the process. Defensive Gambits are calculated similarly, and gadgets or landscape props may be used to the Host’s advantage in a similar fashion, improving odds of success.


Articulate
In one on one combat situations, a new mode is available - Articulation Mode.
Some opponents may attempt to throw the Host off-guard using their wit, or alternatively the Host can intentionally target psychological weak-points in order to secure an advantage on Gambit usage. Depending on the response, the opponent’s tactics may change, their approach may weaken, or the Host may receive a boost due to their perspective being justified.
Not all opponents are receptive to Articulation attacks, but unlike Gambits, they may be suggested to the Host regardless of the current mode, and may be implemented in strategies to improve odds of success.
However, it is recommended that SAI Articulation suggestions be parceled with other strategies, and to refrain from petty insults, as such suggestions may hamper the host's ability to focus and will not yield much results when delivered to the opponent.

Further clarifications on rules may be asked as needed, and rules may change.

[CONCLUSION OF SAI-ASSISTANCE DIALOG. BEGINNING ENCOUNTER - TIME DILATION: 1:1]


Alright, what's the strategy? I'll need a plan to deal with this brute, and determining how I should approach her will affect how I make use of my gadgets against her.
Astrolysis is a melee fighter, without any gadgets on her. She's someone who fights purely with her body - but that includes her stinger. I get hit by that thing, the paralytic inside would make it much harder for me to dodge.
While the Explosive Barrier is a perfect counter to one of her stronger attacks, it won't last long if I'm constantly hiding behind it. She won't fall for it more than once, not in a low-stakes situation like this. I need to land three good hits on her for her to call it a victory. I'll ask you for the timings, but gimme ideas here, folks.
>>
No. 973278 ID: 62e4df

Dodge a few attacks, put her in an offensive mindset, try to get some distance, and use the beam unit to get a cheap strike while she's busy closing the distance. It's cooldown-based, so using it early may allow you to use it a second time later.

Obviously save the shield trick for when you see a big attack coming. One hit with that and two with the beam unit (I'm being optimistic here, we can reassess if these gambits fail) should be enough to end the fight.
>>
No. 973286 ID: 45acae

You've got a stinger of your own- those darts that you stole. She only uses her body? Prick whatever she reaches out to you with and put her to sleep. She's absolutely got a strategy in mind for your laser, if it's the most common weapon you've got. My guess is she can sense the heat buildup before it fires and plans to make an attack during the lock time, or plans to dodge the laser and put serious pressure on you afterward while she thinks you're defenseless. You've got to think steps ahead of that.
>>
No. 973324 ID: d186fc

Hang on. She has no optical vision. Only Infrared and hearing. If we are loud enough, we can totally jam her ability to accurately use her echolocation to see. Since she would then only see thermal signatures, we could potentially lay some sort of trap that would be completely invisible to her as long as it is cold. Idk what sort of trap that would be though.

Also, assuming we are warm blooded, we could take off our jacket or shirt and use it as a one-off decoy since it will retain our body heat for a few moments.
>>
No. 973416 ID: 677406

>>973273
Hmm, she's a melee powerhouse but has no ranged capability.
She's probably used to opponents trying to capitalise on that by dodging and trying to find distance between her and them.

I'd say open with the beam immediately since it's based on cooldown and having it up again as soon as possible is ideal, even if it doesn't hit she'll likely try and capitalise on the opening it's cooldown provides her, maybe that can be used to bait her into going for a big attack we can deploy the explosive shield against. Maybe in riot shield form for more control?
>>
No. 973423 ID: 9f00f4

Can you tweak your beams to INCREASE the ambient thermal bloom and heat-blind her thermal receptors, even with a miss?
>>
No. 973522 ID: 894f15
File 159611160289.png - (604.93KB , 1000x1000 , pl_046.png )
973522

Immediately, I open up with the Beam Unit.
Within a moment, the device manifests on my shoulder, built from nothing.
I pull the trigger mentally, and a jet of high-intensity energy streams through the air, striking Astrolysis in the chest. She staggers backwards, more because of the shock from being shot than the actual force behind it.

Hit 1 for me. The Beam Unit goes on cooldown, dissipating in a cloud of glowing particles.
She breathes heavily, raising her fists again. Smoke curls from the surface of her uniform, the point of impact singed black.
"Cheap shot, wirehead. But I'll give you it."
I grin, spitting back a retort.
"Cheap? I'm sure someone with as terrible taste as you can't tell the difference between vodka and watered-down beer, let alone a shot!"

She brushes herself off, before charging towards me. The options flow through my mind - fighting with you guys is pretty different to when I have to think on the fly. It's like you're injecting the ideas right into my brain!

>Disrupting Echolocation
A good enough idea, but none of my current gadgets are suited for that purpose. Maybe when we fight her again...

>Beam Diffusion
Why the hell would I want to make my weapons weaker? Sure, it may distract the meathead for a couple of moments but she can still find out where I am by detecting where the heat lamp on my shoulder is.
>Jacket distraction
I'm not going to throw my jacket, dumbass. If I take it off, I'll be vulnerable to grabs - it was designed to have very low friction to prevent grapplers from easily snagging me. As a bonus, it lets me slide for a bit if I take a dive, like a goddamn action-hero. For now though...
>>
No. 973524 ID: 894f15
File 159611188058.png - (513.93KB , 1000x1000 , pl_047.png )
973524

Astrolysis lunges forward. The ground shakes with each step she takes.
She's slow, in both senses of the word. I don't know if the laser winded her in particular or not, but the wind-up for her attacks make her utterly predictable as I sidestep and dodge her blows.
Still, I maintain my distance from her as she swings at me, darting back and forth as she encroaches on my side of the battlefield.
Finally, she pauses, her form looming over me. A faint scent of dried blood lingers in the air around her.

"What's the matter, big shot? Feeling under the weather?"

"Just toying with my prey, runt."
She cracks that stupid grin of hers again.

Ugh.
I can't play defense forever - that's not my style. Cmon, we've already got one hit in - just need two more and I can move on with what I need to do.


[OPTIONS RENDERING]
[DISPLAYING PRELIMINARY OPTIONS]
1. Counterattack opponent's assault [40% - Guaranteed Damage]
2. Push forwards with activated Shield Generator [80% - Consumes Shield Generator Charge]
3. Fire Beam Unit towards opponent [70% - UNAVAILABLE - COOLDOWN: 3 ACTIONS]

[SAI-SUGGESTION OPTIONS]
EX1. Use Tranquilizer Needles on Opponent on counter-attack [60% - Consumes Tranquilizer dart. No Damage. Additional Effects.]

Directive Reminder: Displayed odds are estimated. For best results, combine existing suggestions.
Success rates are not determined by dice-roll and will be affected by circumstances surrounding combatant and suggested course of action.

>>
No. 973530 ID: e7c7d3

Counter-attack. In general, Try to go for her ankles. Makes her less stable and helps keep you out of arms reach
>>
No. 973537 ID: b1b4f3

Don't worry, you've got this. The shield guarantees another hit, so all you have to do is hit her once with a punch or kick.
I'd recommend attempting to get both the shield hit and the melee hit at the same time. Begin straightforward melee combat to make her think you don't have any offensive Device options left; hopefully at some point she'll throw out an attack that has an opening for you to hit her at the same time she hits you. Then you just finish the fight by letting her smack against the shield.
>>
No. 973540 ID: 62e4df

Yeah, if your jacket protects you from grapples, counter attack. She can strike, but not grapple you. Once you've got your first hit off you can use the barrier.
>>
No. 973551 ID: 36784c

>>973537
This
>>
No. 973644 ID: 6e6f32

The reactive shield should be used for the last hit.
If used now she'll realize she's up against the wall and get serious.
Counter attack. Slip in and get that second fucking hit. Even if it means she's gonna get two on you, You've a secret weapon so it should be fine.
>>
No. 973646 ID: 5faadf

>>973524
She doesn't seem to have gone for a tail strike yet, I'm willing to bet that the second you try to counter one of her more predictable attacks, it'll be followed with a sting attempt.
If that seems to be the case I think her tail is what you should target. I dunno how strong it is but if you can stab her with her own stinger she'll probably get pissed and be more susceptible to explosive shield finisher.
>>
No. 973667 ID: 45acae

She's waiting for you to use up all your options before ramping up the attack, you KNOW she's toying with you, and she's counting on you being impatient. Don't use up your shield generator. Taunt her to make her come at you stupid, then use the darts.

Say if she's going to mail it in this early, just save her breath for the tournament and give you the keycard now. You know she's a better fighter than she is boss of this place, if only by default.
>>
No. 973672 ID: 15a025

Counter attack. If her attacks are slow and predictable side step around her, hopefully in the direction her stinger isn't pointing towards. That way if she reacts to sting you, you've got an extra moment to react to that.
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