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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.
Expand all images
>>
No. 970261 ID: e24163
File 159281005083.png - (772.03KB , 1000x1000 , pl_001.png )
970261

You would think that after the thirtieth time dragging me in here, she would know better than to try and lecture me. After this many reprimands and pointless lectures, I’m surprised that this place still comforts me. The smell of sweat and fur reminds me of my first days after I was born.
“Do you know why you’re here, Argine?”
Because I wasn’t given the option to leave. Not like the bitch with a quarter-staff up her ass is going to take that from me.
“What is it this time? Are you going to actually tell me how I’m meant to ‘reform’, or do you and all the others just want to keep me chained to this place forever?”
I would sucker-punch her, but knowing her reflexes, she’d just catch my arm mid-swing and break it. Again.
>>
No. 970262 ID: e24163
File 159281008879.png - (205.40KB , 1000x1000 , pl_002.png )
970262

I hate how she’s always looking down on me. Even if she had a chair, she’d still stand, just so she can tower over me. Why did I have to end up shorter than nearly everyone I know?
“This time, we don’t need to tell you anything – we’ve taken measures to ensure that things will go smoothly.”
A chill runs through my fur, like I’m standing on the roof of the facility at night. What the hell did she do this time? She never takes this kind of approach!
>>
No. 970263 ID: e24163
File 159281013079.png - (236.38KB , 1000x1000 , pl_003.png )
970263

“What kind of measures?”
She doesn’t smile. Is she even capable of smiling? It’s like relaxation doesn’t exist as a concept for her. Always standing, always alert. I know that’s just a flimsy shield for you, Judicium. You’re not as stalwart as you think you are. And one day, I will use it against you when you try to stop me from leaving.
“Something special was put together by the brightest minds of our facility. Something to monitor you, to instruct you, until you can demonstrate that you can leave properly, and not through tricks and sabotage.”
Lies. She’s lying. I’ve seen far worse than me leave this place. They can’t constantly keep track of me. I’ll just break free again when they’ve got their guard down.
“You’re doubting me, aren’t you? No matter. I can demonstrate. Say hello, Argine – inside your head.”
Like that’s going to make a difference. What kind of experiment is it this time?
>>
No. 970264 ID: e24163
File 159281016942.png - (512.02KB , 1000x1000 , pl_004.png )
970264

Ugh. Fine. I'll call her bluff.
Hello?
>>
No. 970265 ID: 0fae41

Pat your head and rub your stomach. Orders from above.
>>
No. 970266 ID: 4854ef

Greetings Trainee! And welcome to the selfhelp mental program. We will be instructing you until either you are properly reformed, or for possibly the rest of your life.
>>
No. 970268 ID: dce46f

We're here! But have no fear; just like you we like to play dirty, and we dislike authority. We'll get along famously!

Tell us a bit about yourself buddy.
>>
No. 970269 ID: 3992ff

>>970264
Nyahaha, wazzup.

We're you're new neighbors. Inside your head.

Although I suppose 'neighbors' is a bad way of phrasing it since that'd imply we're in a separate location. We're more like you're new, involuntary roommates.

And we're gonna be BEST. FRIENDS.

Whether you like it or not. Don't worry, though, you will.

Eventually.
>>
No. 970270 ID: b1b4f3

>>970264
Hello Argine.
We will be advising you. By my initial assessment, this will be a long-term arrangement, but it could be shorter depending on exactly what standards you need to live up to.
>>
No. 970271 ID: 5bcc5b

Buckle up, you're in for a ride.
>>
No. 970272 ID: 136f07

It’s time to reform. So let’s begin. REPENT! REPENT FOR YOUR CRUEL MISDEEDS!! SCREAM YOUR APOLOGIES TO THE STARS!!
>>
No. 970273 ID: af4027

Are you actually anything worthwhile or did our ethicly challenged creators just stick us in the nearist disposable mind?
>>
No. 970274 ID: cdabe3

Hahaha, oh man, you’re in for a wild ride now dude!

Show us ur dick >:3
>>
No. 970275 ID: 4286b4

Tell Judicium that the voices in your head are ordering you to demonstrate your obedience and humility.

Proceed to take off your pants.
>>
No. 970276 ID: b13dfe

Oh man, how badly did you fuck up that they decided to saddle you with us?
>>
No. 970278 ID: 798af3

Listen, we love you and we're here to he'll!
Yessiree, we'd do anything at all for you, because our llove for you runs deep.
Real deep.
We love you and we'll never leve you.
Never ever.
NEVER!
Because we FUCKIN LOVE YOU
WE MOTHER FUCKING LOVE YOU
WE WILL BURN THE STARS AND DEVOUR THE WORLD IF YOU EVER LEAVE US
WE GODDAMNED LOVE YOU. FOR NOW AND FOREVER!
>>
No. 970279 ID: 36784c

>>970264
Hello.

We will be making sure you behave yourself. Or depending on the circumstances that you’re in, we can completely backfire and help you leave.
>>
No. 970284 ID: cfc80f

AHHHHH, FRESH MEAT. WHAT FUN WE SHALL HAVE TOGETHER. YEEEEES.
>>
No. 970285 ID: 45acae

Aww, she called us special. Too bad we don't know what kind of monitoring and instruction we're supposed to be doing. Or what the purpose of this place even is. Or have any duty or loyalty to it, her, or their goals. Guess 'the facilities brightest minds' aren't as high a wattage as she's banking on, huh?

Don't mind us, we just like to be weird as possible to get over that awkward introductory phase ASAP. So why don't you introduce yourself? Tell us a little about yourself? Let us know all your hopes and dreams? And tell me, are you more or less comfortable with the neighbors in your split-level head being a complete unknown off the reservation rather than thought police loyal to her?
>>
No. 970339 ID: a80afd

Hello as you can hear we're all quite quirky but we're a good think tank assuming we don't drive you insane.
>>
No. 970394 ID: 094652

>Hello?
WELCOME TO HELL
POPULATION: YOU.

Also, they are serious this time. The guys they tested us on consistently called us insane.

I'd tell you more about them but most of our connections were abruptly cut off for some reason.
>>
No. 970395 ID: 864e49

We have such sights to show you!
We will aid you.
>>
No. 970431 ID: e24163
File 159289178289.png - (1.13MB , 1000x1000 , pl_005.png )
970431

Voices. There are voices in my head. Who the hell are you people?
>pat your head
What do you think I am, a rookie? Basic prank – pretending to be a ranking officer and issuing stupid commands. Like that time a certain meathead thought it wasreal funny to tell me that if I put a shotgun shell into a flaregun, it would set the pellets on fire. Instead, I got that reprimand while they dug shrapnel out of me. Not falling for it.
>show us your dick
That’s an old term, isn’t it? Did you learn it from the seniors? Either way, I don’t have one, so you can shove it.
>reform, advice
The question is whether your definition of ‘help’ is aligned with mine. For all I know, you could be recording my thoughts and sending them to the higher ups. Even if you say you aren’t.
>disliking authority
Good to know that one of you seem to be on-board, even if it’s probably just another ploy. Do I just not have any privacy from now on?
>are you actually worthwhile
Yes! I’m awesome! Badass! I’ve made my own damn guns, I’ve proven myself in combat simulations but they all keep holding me back and I don’t know why! I’ve developed a Parasignia! I’ve passed Device Training three times when they insisted I needed to do it again! It’s not even because of my height, because two midgets were able to qualify for the higher echelons!
But… none of you sound anything like the authority figures around here. Or familiar at all. What even are you?
>>
No. 970433 ID: e24163
File 159289196724.png - (207.73KB , 1000x1000 , pl_006.png )
970433

Judicium just stares at me, even as I’m trying to process the cacophony inside of my head.
It’s unnerving, how she’s so cold all the time, even now, when she’s put something in my head that can read my mind.
“I see that you’ve realised your situation, Argine. This way, we can make sure you won’t be able to break into places where you shouldn’t be.”
“How? When?

“You didn’t notice the subdermal injection when you sat down.”
Damn it – I let my guard down!

“It is a prototype. A Splintered Artificial Intelligence that will monitor you and your actions in the facility, as well as automatically preventing you access to specific facilities unless previously permitted. Consider today a bit of a test run, Argine. I don’t need to say, or do anything more.”
If she were smug about it, it would be better. Then at least the idea of vengeance would be sweeter. But she never is – just a frigid, heartless woman beating me down just like all the others. They don’t even make fighting back satisfying!

“See yourself out, Argine. I’m sure you have plenty to think about now, on your behaviour and your performance. Worry not – it isn’t like the SAI is mind-controlling you. You’re welcome to ignore their suggestions… but there is no guarantee that things will go well for you.”
With that, she just stands up and strolls off – that weird scarf of hers billowing behind her, animated like there’s an invisible breeze.

Wait. Was that a smile?
>>
No. 970435 ID: e24163
File 159289213855.png - (208.36KB , 1000x1000 , pl_007.png )
970435

I swear, I’ll get her back for this. Maybe I’ll steal her scarf later- wait, you guys can hear this.
Hmm. Fine. Let’s lay some ground rules. It’s my head, and I’m not going to have you people order me around. Although I may listen, I’m still my own person, got it?

If your intention is to keep me here, I’m not going to give you an easier time just because you can hear what I’m thinking.
For those of you who are with me, I’m not sure that it’s safe listening to your suggestions – for all I know, they could be looking for more reasons to keep me trapped here.
So! We’re at an impasse. Until I get some clarification about just what you guys are, and your capabilities, I can’t trust you. For that, there’s two people I can see in this facility – you can vote on it. I’m awesome like that.

Option one: Diagram.
Diagram’s a weird case. A friend, and part of the Research and Development team. I could ask her for a more technical opinion on things, because she’s a huge nerd and probably knows more about a “Splintered Artificial Intelligence”.
Option two: Nanoweaver.
You guys must be some serious bio-tech, so Nanoweaver, our Medic, will probably know something about you. And she’s nice enough, compared to the other Commander-types at least.
Now, who do you want me to go to first? Gotta look like I’m listening to your suggestions, at least.
>>
No. 970438 ID: 0fae41

We're not in the chain of command, we're in your mind. That's much worse. The urge will always be there now.
Go to Diagram. Lose yourself in the comforting sea of voices when the techno jargon gets to be too much.
>>
No. 970439 ID: 9f00f4

Well you're obviously going to see both of them. But I'd suggest the one you consider an actual friend first, so Diagram. Easier that way, the Medic will probably fall back on her training and act as a polite professional. That's probably not what you need right now.

Also. I think the people that made us are hideously unethical? Because they're simulating a world, or at least a several hundred people and up to billions of Philosophical Zombies at some resolution (look it up), AND it's not common knowledge that we're all simulated from this side, and there is a lot of suffering. That means, holy shit some people are doing some hideously evil things to intelligent, feeling entities. I think we might be an ancestor simulation? That'd explain the old language, like dick as slang for penis?
>>
No. 970440 ID: dce46f

Do you have privacy? I highly doubt it!

What are we? I don't know but definitely not something that'll behave like our creators expect!

Diagram has the cooler code name so I'm voting we see them based on no other criteria.
>>
No. 970442 ID: b1b4f3

>>970431
What's a Parasignia? How exactly did you pass Device Training? How WELL did you pass? There is a possibility you are being kept here because you show a very high level of talent, and they want to mold you into an elite soldier. One that will follow orders. The other possibility is that you keep passing tests by cheating, and they are not impressed with you.

There shouldn't be anything interesting to learn from the biological side of things. Go talk to your nerd friend.
>>
No. 970455 ID: cdabe3

I’m gonna say nanoweaver, since the implant must’ve uh

weaved some

nanos???
>>
No. 970457 ID: 094652

>Why do they hold me back
Well, you're not a team player. They aren't worried about your ability to perform on the field, they're worried that you will lead the rest of your under-prepared subordinates into suicide missions that you never prepared for. In the long run, incompetence in management can deal more damage to the company than outright going rogue.

But yes, they're not good at teaching you. At the rate you've progressed and the time you've been held back, they should have created a specialized training regimen that would only punish you when you ignored key lessons involving the topics you distinctly lack, not by lumping you with the rest of the greenhorns and then chiding you for putting thorough effort into improving what you do best. I think that's what we're here for.

Talk to nanoweaver, we know more about AIs than we do about augmentation.
>>
No. 970459 ID: d63ea8

I would like to go to the Nanoweaver, the more we can learn about one another the more we can try to help. But you should pick whichever you'd find to be more informative.

What do you want out of this place?
>>
No. 970460 ID: 6e6f32

Ok. Look. This is how this works: You gotta be fuckin' Awesome.
If your Lame were just gonna give you a bunch of helpful advice to make your life suck less. It'll be like having your mom in your head. Gross.

But if you're Awesome. (And I'm not talking any awesome, I'm talkin' Charlemagne awesome, Horney-Futa awesome, Polo awesome, or maybe even Zack awesome.) Then we're gonna do everything in our power to make sure you're even more awesome!!! It'll be one hell of a wild ride. So go be Awesome!

Go see Diagram. There's definitely stuff about us that neither you nor we are supposed to know. Since she's your friend and a huge nerd she'll probably let something slip.
>>
No. 970467 ID: d88d26

You want to figure out how we work? Are you capable of doing something or are you planning to force someone more competent to interfere in your behalf?

How about instead of sabotaging this strange arrangement we just fulfill Judicium's demands and thrust she will be true to her word?
Organize your thoughts: Why are you here in the first place? What was you supposed to do to be released? What happened that delayed your release? Identify the problem to figure out how to solve it.

While we are at it try to rethink your grievance with Judicium.
You want her to be antagonistic to you so you can fantasize about revenge and get more satisfaction from enacting violence? This entire process is in your head, it has nothing to do with her point of view.
You got a hint of smugness from her, use it to make her regret her current attitude towards you. Make a game out of geting emotional reactions out of this controlling individual an watch as you become more important to her in a way she was expecting. You already got a smile, count it as a point. Eventually you will be able to influence how she think and how she act.
>>
No. 970472 ID: ce39da

I get the impression that both departments as institutions will be just about as informative as the other, so pick the one who will be more open with you: Diagram.

However, we would appreciate getting some surface-level context from you about what this facility is, why you're here, and what all those terms you just used are, as we seem to be lacking in that department. Glancing at what we've already gathered, your problem is either that of psychology (that is, displaying symptoms of insubordinate behavior), that of the unorthodox methods you're likely employing (they seem to be under the impression that you're a habitual cheat), or quite possibly both.
>>
No. 970473 ID: dc48fa

Sounds like Nano is the person for the mechanical or biological side of things, the how it works and are there any physical side-effects sort of thing. For what I'm reading you as wanting right now, Diagram's probably the choice, though you should probably check in with Nano at some point.
>>
No. 970486 ID: f133dc

Two things I wanna point out here.

One, we could not give less of a shit if you piss off your superiors. In fact, I'm pretty sure most of would like you to break into places you shouldn't and find out things you aren't supposed to know, because then we know things you aren't supposed to know.

Second, we are going to torment the shit out of you. I'm serious, there's like a lot of us, we are going to give you every nasty mental image you never wanted, and all the advice you absolutely don't need, as well as some you actually do.

I'm going to suggest the medic. I'm guessing you'll want to get us out of your head eventually, no matter how useful we are.
>>
No. 970487 ID: 5877dc

The reason why Judicium is on your case is because she loves you.
>>
No. 970488 ID: 36784c

>>970435
Go talk to Diagram. I'm sure your girlfriend would be more willing to tell you things.
>>
No. 970500 ID: 45acae

>recording my thoughts
If we are, we don't know we are either.
>Maybe I’ll steal her scarf later
You're thinking small scale. Disappointingly small scale. What you need to do is do something that spectacularly cripples her authority, legitimacy and more, while propelling the righteous fuck out of here. And you need to write her a nice note saying it was all our doing, and her hardon to 'reform' you for no good reason resulted directly in her downfall. Thanks Judicum, couldn't have done it without you, you intolerable frigid so-on-and-so-forth.

>Although I may listen, I’m still my own person, got it?
Sure thing, but I think that's what her problem is with you. Militaries tend to like orthodoxy, especially where they shouldn't... Which just makes me wonder where she goes off giving you AI schizophrenia.

Anyway, we sound like a technical rather than medical problem, you should probably talk to Diagram.
>>
No. 970522 ID: e24163
File 159297233688.png - (408.06KB , 1000x1000 , pl_008.png )
970522

I’ll go see Diagram then, and see if I can convince her to part with some info on you guys. I’ll answer your questions as I go, but for a couple of voices in my head, you guys really don’t know much about this place, do you?

>Simulations
What are you yammering on about? The only kinds of simulations I’ve heard about are more like training exercises. I don’t think this place has the tech to make entire worlds, or simulating hundreds of people.
>Device Training
Don’t you DARE accuse me of cheating. I earned my victories, and nobody has a right to invalidate them.
The tech department cooks up various gadgets for use in combat, and it’s our jobs to learn that you’re meant to throw the grenade after you pull the pin. I effectively passed three difficulties of training, meaning that I’m one of the best in the facility when it comes to their usage. I’ve got proficiency in all different kinds of gadgets, applying them in combat and repairing them when they break down.
Tier three was the most difficult – putting me in a situation where I had to repair multiple broken combat devices under pressure before my position was overwhelmed, using the fixed gadgets to fight back against multiple opponents with different resistances. It’s an artificial scenario, but one that really tested you. I passed, spectacularly, in front of dozens of spectators.
>What are Parasignias?
Here’s a question for you, then. What was the worst moment in your lives? What was the best? A Parasignia is a badge of honor in this place. But in reality, it’s more like a mark on your psyche, made manifest. Can you imagine being held back, even after one of your greatest successes? The feeling lingers in you.
>Elite soldier
Well, the idea that I’m just so good that they want to make me into an elite sounds great, but doesn’t make any sense. After all, the higher ups are the elite soldiers, so if they wanted me in, they could just invite me like they did for my ‘sister’.
>Polo, Charlemagne, Zack
I don’t know these people, they don’t sound like any of the war heroes I’ve ever heard of.
>Judicium
It would be easier to follow instructions if she actually gave me any. I don’t really know what love is, it’s such a weird concept. But I don’t think it involves broken limbs and lost teeth.
Either way – once I figure out more about you, I’m going to make her regret it. Even if she’s listening in on this right now.

I arrive at Diagram’s door and immediately, I’m given a reminder of just how weird she is.
Ba-dum thump. Ba-dum thump. Ba-dum thump.
An orchestra of anxiety, playing on repeat in my head. It intensifies for a moment as she creaks open the door, then fades off as she discovers that I’m not here to smush her into paste.
“A-Argine? You don’t look too happy… scratch that, you don’t feel happy.”
She gives off a nervous laugh.
Right. Unlike most of the people here, she’s physically frail, has poor vision, and is actually intelligent. She also has psychic powers.
Imagine the sound of a marching drum in your head. That’s what it feels like being around Diagram whenever she’s worked up about something. You feel what she’s feeling, against your will…and hers.
“You don’t have your implant on, Diagram. Were you expecting me?”
She freezes up, like someone was pointing a gun at her.
For someone in a facility that’s meant to produce ‘the best soldiers the world has ever seen’, you would expect some of it to rub off on her after a few years.
“I ah, just left it off. You know, it's more comfortable that way, plus I wasn’t expecting anyone…”
From the way she’s standing in the doorway, she’s clearly trying to hide something.
You guys got any suggestions? I could just talk to her outside, but then everyone will hear what we’re saying. But she doesn’t usually hide anything from me in such a thinly-veiled manner either.
>>
No. 970523 ID: cdabe3

“I don’t care if you’re looking at porn, it’s perfectly normal.” And then just barge in
>>
No. 970525 ID: 0fae41

Go in and close the door behind you. Don't block the hallway with your small talk!
You think she can hear artificial voices? Do you think they're contagious? If not, think it immediately. All organisms exist to propagate.
>>
No. 970527 ID: b1b4f3

If you've passed your tests legitimately, and skillfully, then what was Judicium talking about when she said you had to leave without trickery or sabotage? They already know what you've been doing, why hide it from us?

Just ask (like a normal person) to be let in so you can talk privately about the SAI. If she doesn't let you in then you get to ask why. I expect her to want you to wait outside while she puts some stuff away that you're not supposed to see, either for privacy reasons or security reasons.
>>
No. 970528 ID: 6e6f32

>they don’t sound like any of the war heroes I’ve ever heard of.
One was indeed a war hero, the other a cunning playboy, and the other was just had BALLS OF STEEL.
The names don't matter, they were all awesome. You don't need to be a war hero to be awesome.

Anyway, to the task at hand:
"You know what I'm here about, Diagram."
And then just walk in. Think of it as a tactical deployment of rudeness. For necessities sake, of course. Really you'd stand blameless if you think about it.

Once your inside, look around the room and investigate whatever direction causes her the most anxiety while you're looking that way.
>>
No. 970535 ID: 9f00f4

Simulation guy again. It sounds like these people have utterly controlled your information access. Do you REALLY think if there was a means to simulate lots of people in the world, and you didn't have a reason to know about it, that they'd tell you?

Anyway, consider saying this:

"How about I wait out here, while you close the door and quickly clean up whatever thing it is you're hiding, and then yell for me to come in when you're ready?"
>>
No. 970558 ID: 864e49

>>970431
Wait so if you don't a penis does that mean you're female or that you don't have genitalia?

>>970433
I kind of hate her.

>>970435
So tell us the state of the world, whats the reason you're stuck here, is there anywhere else to go?

>1.balls are touching
>2.the double helix of a fried pork chop

>>970522
She was flicking the bean.
Hey what happens when she gets horny? Also can she her us through you?
>>
No. 970559 ID: 4286b4

Tell her not to worry, you're not here because of her. Then just walk in, ignoring any attempts of hers to stop you. Look around for anything of interest.
>>
No. 970561 ID: d63ea8

Just say that you want to talk to her and that you don't want to be overheard.

Diagram seems like the kind of person to respect that.
>>
No. 970562 ID: c3e8e8

I don't suppose there've been any... political reasons people are hard on you? Like maybe you have a habit of being undiplomatic, maybe causing a little more damage than necessary, not following some of the formalities, leaving messes that need cleaning by other people, that sort of thing?
>>
No. 970569 ID: ce39da

> Don't you DARE...
Hey, we aren't the ones accusing you of cheating; Judicium is. Seeing as you genuinely seem to think otherwise, I think you should sit down with her or someone on her level sometime and have a talk about why that is. It might have been an assumed rule that you broke, like "you're supposed to fight with the gear as-is instead of fixing it" or something dumb like that. Or maybe you have a superpower like Diagram's you either aren't aware of or simply haven't informed the facility about, and the lack of intel makes your superhuman feats come off as cheating? On the other hand, encountering red tape on what should be a simple matter could introduce the possibility of something fishy going on around you.

> What do.
Note that your attitude probably isn't doing you any favors around here. Just tell Diagram you want to know more about the implant they just made you get - don't threaten, and don't intrude. Things will likely be more comfortable around her if you don't escalate her anxiety.
>>
No. 970581 ID: d186fc

Odd that everyone seems to be a mishmash of different races we(not you) have seen before.
>>
No. 970582 ID: dbd72b

>Note that your attitude probably isn't doing you any favors around here.

Echoing this. You appear to exist in some kind of authoritarian paramilitary hellscape, and in that environment, lying is a necessary skill to smooth out the many contradictions such a system forces on it's subjects.
Have you criticized any higher ups? Or showed hesitation or refusal to an order from one of them? You may or may not have been correct, but obedience is often what they look for, above and beyond competence.

Right now? express a desire to know about us, and request privacy. Pleading should offer better results than demanding, but go with what you think would work.

Addendum: asking her to... switch on the implant? I'm guessing a psychic jammer of some kind? ... would probably make you more comfortable, but allowing this to continue as is would endear her to you more. Though it would require honesty, which doesn't seem like an issue coming from you. Just try to stay focused and keep things relatively simple.
Don't think too much about how you probably caught her masturbating. It happens, and our concerns are urgent.
>>
No. 970585 ID: 45acae

Go for a simple 'may I come in". If that's a no, ask if she needs a minute to compose herself, or if she knows damn well why your not happy because she was involved in making us and needs a minute head-start.
>>
No. 970685 ID: e24163
File 159313183030.png - (303.97KB , 1000x1000 , pl_009.png )
970685

I stand outside the door, glaring at her for a moment. She doesn’t budge, nor does she speak up.
Screw it. I’m not really in the mood for asking when I’ve got dozens of voices implanted into my head. I’ll answer your questions later, once I actually know what you are.
“You know what I’m here for, Diagram. I’m coming in.”
“Ah, wait-!“
I push past her and park myself on the side of her bed. Her room smells of oil, soldering and dashed expectations.
Besides what appeared to be a couple of gun parts lying around her work-bench, there doesn’t seem to be anything significantly out of place. She tosses a couple of nervous glances at the desk, but quickly settles her gaze back onto me after closing the door behind her.

“So, what? You helped the higher ups with this, didn’t you?”
Diagram looks taken aback, but the emotions I’m sensing from her don’t change. Still a generalised ball of anxiety, she is. But she didn’t turn on her implant, even after I reminded her about it.

“Argine…”
She coughs.
“Yes, I did help.”
I sit up, and her anxiety flares for a moment.
“BUT, but! I made it so that they don’t work like the higher ups think they do!”
“Explain.”
I cross my legs, glaring at her.
“Argine, the fact is that your past escape attempts haven’t worked. I don’t want to sound mean, but was that one idea you had where you rigged up explosives to the walls really a good plan? I mean, you just ended up blowing yourself up and back into Nanoweaver’s office. Or that time you tried to use the beam modules as rocket shoes and-”
I lean forwards, waving a hand dismissively.
“Hey, hey, this is about you, not me. Plus, there are people listening!”
Diagram shakes her head, touching the bridge of her snout.

“Nobody’s listening except for us, Argine. The higher ups can’t actually watch over you using the SAI, or see your thoughts.”
“What? Then what the hell was with Judicium going on about that?”
She pauses.
“Oh. I lied.”
“And she believed you? She knows that we’re friends!”
She taps her fingers together, giving a hesitant smile.
“Well, I did convince a certain someone to lend me her support… Nana Weaver’s got a soft spot for us two, it seems. She persuaded Judicium to go through with things, even in spite of the questionable legitimacy of my claims.”
Soft spot for Diagram, more like.
“I figured that she’d expect me to lie, but I misled her on which part I lied about. So she thinks that I’m intentionally handicapping you with an AI that’ll constantly get on your case whenever you get ‘stupid ideas.”
Well, I can’t say that she’s wrong about that, either. The 'getting on my case' part, not the stupid ideas part. My ideas are great!

“But there’s something else,” she says.
“What?”
“Hold still for a moment.”
>>
No. 970686 ID: e24163
File 159313189414.png - (631.01KB , 1000x1000 , pl_010.png )
970686

A brief, stinging sensation.
Did she just-
Diagram’s staring at me with a quiet intensity – the kinds of which I rarely ever see from such a meek girl.
H-hey! Just because I don’t like being shot as much as you do, doesn’t mean I’m meek, Argine!
What?
“Why are you in my head? You don’t have telepathy! I don’t need more people hanging around in my skull!”
She responds mentally, like she’s beaming her thoughts straight into my head. And unlike the smothering discomfort of her emotional radiation, the words are clear and crisp – ringing shots in the hail of words.
Sorry for the sudden contact, Argine! I wasn’t sure if the SAI would be able to link up to me or not, but this was a little unexpected. They’re just so… chatty. But, if I’m not too far away from you, I can talk to you through the SAI. It translates my thoughts into something you can hear, too.
Great, so that’s even less privacy than before.
Diagram lets go of my face, stepping back.
“I won’t be able to hear your thoughts unless you specifically want me to, Argine. The SAI routes it to me, making physical contact was just to set it up the first link. However, I can still send you messages regardless.”
She closes her eyes, concentrating. Once again, her voice pops up in my head.
The SAI aren’t people, Argine. They’re artificial splinters of individuals the program records, using their experiences and personality as a basis for giving strategic advice. Once, they might have been used for keeping records, but they’re something more now. I simply re-activated a component that the higher-ups weren’t aware of.
A small smile crosses her face, as locks eyes with me again.
“You now have much of the facility’s knowledge in you, Argine. Although they may be eccentric, with their help, you’ll be able to fight better than you’ve ever had before with their advice.
So I can trust you guys, for now.
But I don’t even know where to start. What the hell is Diagram thinking? She didn’t tell me any of this before!
>>
No. 970687 ID: c3e8e8

I don't feel like I have the facility's knowledge. Though I suppose if I'm not a real person I shouldn't feel like anything. Let's see.

Self: Access files for confiscated contraband (personal items) and cross-reference with personnel files. Anything interesting?
>>
No. 970688 ID: b1b4f3

Hmm, so, let me get this straight. You're *supposed to* force your way out?
>>
No. 970689 ID: 9f00f4

I mean, I think I'm people? What does being people feel like? Do you have a test? Where do you put the cutoff between 'not people' and 'people'? Seems kinda arbitrary. Whatever happened to 'Cogito Ergo Sum'?
>>
No. 970690 ID: e7c7d3

Oh hey, untraceable radio contact with a cute nerd! That'll be handy.

Ask why she's helping
>>
No. 970691 ID: 094652

Hm... nope, still insane. I still believe that I'm a [REDACTED] and sending messages to you from another dimension with a computer that still uses spinning data. But we won't let a few delusions stop us from doing our job.

>What do
Boop her snoot.
>>
No. 970692 ID: 4854ef

Better question. Why do we want to help you and her in this?
>>
No. 970694 ID: 45acae

Aww, she really was looking out for you. I was worried we'd have to give her the cold-shoulder 'we are no longer friends' routine for foisting us on you.
...Did that make any sense? We need to get our pronoun situation figured out.
>The SAI aren’t people, Argine.
Yeah okay, I take it back. She doesn't even believe in your totally feasible, completely magical-thinking-free escape plans! Ask her what she's hiding in her desk, then you'll see!... Probably...
>>
No. 970695 ID: 6e6f32

PFFFFFFFTTT
How COULD she tell you?!?!?
It's like that old defector fighter pilot. Pretend to be a good boy all the way up until BAM!
TREASON!
But by then it's too late to stop you.

Also: Hi Mom!
>>
No. 970696 ID: d63ea8

Diagram probably kept quiet so that Argine wouldn't find out.

What drove you to try and escape previously?
>>
No. 970723 ID: 864e49

>>970686
Ok first off you're an idiot. And kind of an ass.

Second: Questions
>>970431
Wait so if you don't a penis does that mean you're female or that you don't have genitalia?

So tell us the state of the world, what is this place, whats the reason that you're not allowed to leave, is there anywhere else to go?
What other "genius" ideas have you come up with in the past? I mean seriously how did you buy that a flare gun could set bullets on fire??

>>970522
Hey what happens when she gets horny?


And finally ask her if she wants to make out a little bit.
>>
No. 970724 ID: 4286b4

>with their help, you’ll be able to fight
Fight? More like Flirt huehue

Oh, Diagram can hear us also like this? Hey Diagram, want us to tell Argine about that one weird thing you're secretly into?

Anyway, I guess this means we're not working for anyone but ourselves. Also, I think we should be visiting Nanoweaver then.
>>
No. 970727 ID: e19a40

>The SAI aren’t people

I resent this remark.


>You now have much of the facility’s knowledge in you

Are you sure about that? This knowledge must be well hidden because I know fuck all about this place.
All the information I have was gathered since activation, and Argine is really bad at explaining. I still not sure if her graduation was delayed or if she is a prisoner.

Diagram, explain succinctly:
-What is the purpose of this place?
-How Argine got here?
-Why Argine can't leave?
-What are the pros and cons of cooperating?
-What are the pros and cons of escaping?
-Are you coming with us?
>>
No. 970729 ID: d186fc

>>970727
>know fuck all
Now hold on. While we don't know anything about the facility, we do have our Patented General Knowledge© although that doesn't seem applicable here since everything seems jumbled up (Tozol, Neumono, and belenos hybrid things).

>>970723
>No peen
Probably don't have secondary sex characteristics. Their hormones are probably artificially tailored to have the most optimal ratio of male and female. Genitals (and puberty) would really fuck that up so it makes sense to get rid of it.
>>
No. 970731 ID: d186fc

>>970729
>secondary sex
I am stupid. Meant primary.
>>
No. 970760 ID: 45acae

And hold on, why is Judicum so willing to actually sabotage Argine? what's her angle?
>>
No. 970764 ID: b1b4f3

New theory: Argine is awesome at something specific, and they needed time to get something appropriate ready for her before she graduated. Like us, perhaps.
>>
No. 970804 ID: 1bf6d6

>>970760 She doesn't want to sabotage Argine unconditionally, but only when Argine gets any funny ideas.
>>
No. 970928 ID: 978762
File 159340954946.png - (197.30KB , 1000x1000 , pl_011.png )
970928

“Why didn‎’t you tell me about this, Diagram? Was that why you left your implant on?
“Ah… I left my suppressor off so that I could hear the SAI. I could, but you couldn’t hear me until I touched Argine.“
>Escape
Well, let’s say that forcing your way out isn’t the standard. But let’s say that, after I realised that these people weren’t going to let me go normally, I decided that forcing my way out is the only choice I have left.
“Diagram, the SAI keep asking questions. For a creation that’s meant to be like a group of strategic advisors in my head, they know nothing about this place.”
Diagram tilts her head. Wasn’t she the one who worked with you guys in the first place?
“I’m not really your mom or creator… all I did was fix the bunch of you up so that you could all function again. But I didn’t get a chance to look through your pre-existing data in-depth. Maybe the memory files from the past were corrupted due to disuse? That would be a bit of a problem…”

Great. So the strategic advisors I have in my head are perverts that have no idea what’s going on at all.
“Doesn’t that mean I’m screwed?”
Diagram shakes her head and walks off to a corner of her room, where a pile of storybooks are stacked. She pulls off the top-most book, walking back over.
“It’s kind of like what happens in one of my storybooks – a brave protagonist is led to victory by the voices of her ancestors. Even if they don’t know everything, they’re still inclined for strategy. You can trust their responses once you’re actually fighting your way out.
I just… wasn’t expecting some of the responses to be so brazen. You were all making so many lewd assumptions about me…
She’s probably not gonna answer those kinds of questions in detail, folks. You can draw your own conclusions on the subject. I’m certainly not going to be encouraging her.

“Either way! To clarify, the facility’s currently just women. Just because we’re spliced together doesn’t mean that we don’t have… normal biological functions… Though, I’m not super familiar with the underlying reasoning behind our nature as hybrids, that’s Nanoweaver’s domain.”
Diagram clears her throat, tapping her left glasses lens.
“Argine, it’s worth mentioning that there’s also the possibility that they’ll regain knowledge as they continue to see the facility. The SAI is highly neural in nature, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they did end up recovering data later. You’ll be able to learn about this place just from being with Argine, I’m sure of it. What doesn’t have an answer now most likely will make itself clear as you interact with more people.
>>
No. 970930 ID: 978762
File 159340966694.png - (189.49KB , 1000x1000 , pl_012.png )
970930

>bad at explaining
“Don’t blame me. You try telling things to voices in your head that know absolutely nothing about basic concepts. I don’t know some of the things you’re asking about!”
Diagram pats my shoulder. It’s a little condescending, getting it from her of all people.“Sometimes people don’t want to tell you everything. I’m sure Argine here would be better off if the higher ups informed her of what she could be doing besides ‘obeying orders’, but information is power.”
She twirls a finger in the air, changing the topic.
“I believe in Argine’s capability as an individual – she’s one of the best that this place has produced. But please don’t be too mean to Argine about her past incidents. She’s just really good at experimenting! And she was six months old when the flaregun incident happened, she can’t be blamed for that one too much. It has the word flare in it and Argine thought that-”
I raise a hand, shushing her.
“How about we don’t entertain the splinters that doubt my capability and get some further details? They’re riding around in my head – give ‘em the explanations.”
Diagram blinks, before straightening her back.
“Right! Because of your collective loss of knowledge, I’ll provide some cursory details. Argine, feel free to chime in, because we shouldn’t waste too much time. I’d recommend you go see Nanoweaver next after we’re done, because she has the other part of the plan.”
Ugh. I hate lectures. But if this’ll help me get out of this place, I’d listen to a hundred as long as it wasn’t Judicium or any of the other hags lecturing me on ‘proper strategy’.

>What is the purpose of this place
“It’s a facility meant to make super soldiers, so to speak! We have the finest in military technology and genetic manipulation, though we never got deployed anywhere. The higher ups said that things have changed, so gradually, people have been leaving find their callings elsewhere.”
“There’s nothing to do here! Leaving would be far more interesting. We’re on a goddamn island in the middle of nowhere, with absolutely nothing but ocean stretching off forever. ”
>How did Argine get here
“That’s an easy one. She was born here, like me!”
“Even though you’re older than I am, you certainly don’t act like it, Diagram.”
>Why can’t she leave
“Well, it’s not really so much that I can’t leave, as that they seem to be intent on prolonging my stay as long as physically possible to frustrate me into submission. They demand more and more of me, and I’m tired of giving them what they want all the time.“
“My personal theory is that it’s because of the circumstances of Argine’s birth. I don’t really know all that much about it, since Nanoweaver was in charge at the time, but apparently Argine was born a little different to everyone else here. A lot of people seem to single out Argine for that fact, but I don’t feel like she’s all too different, outside of a tendency to try out-of-the-box strategies.”
>cooperation
Diagram shrugs. “I wouldn’t know – the Sector Bosses – our higher ups, have been putting Argine through a lot of different tests for six months now. While cooperating isn’t necessarily harmful, the number of people left in the facility are dwindling. Personally, I think they’ll let her go eventually.”
Like that’ll ever happen. “The question’s when ‘eventually’ is. I’d rather make my own way out of here than follow their commands any longer. I’m already basically a prisoner, even if I’m meant to be a damn soldier!”
>>
No. 970932 ID: 978762
File 159340977315.png - (238.48KB , 1000x1000 , pl_013.png )
970932

>escape
I’ve tried a whole dozen times. But this time, I’ll make sure that I won’t be caged again.
“It’s not like they can track me if I escape. I don’t know why they’re so damn insistent on keeping me here, but I’m not going to sit here and find out. The outside world sounds so big, but I know so little about it because few people bother coming back!”
I cast a glance towards Diagram, who’s still awkwardly standing around. Geez, it’s not like I can’t hear her if she sits down at her work-bench.
“What about you, Diagram?”
>Will you be joining us
Diagram clasps her hands together again, pausing. She doesn’t quite meet my gaze.
“I’m not sure. There’s a lot of things I still want to sort out here first, and I’m on better terms with the Sector Bosses than she is.”
I’ve asked her to come along with me before. But it’s like there’s something anchoring her to this place – she always gives a half-hearted answer, staring down at her shoes and waiting for the conversation to move on.
But, I can’t wait here forever. She mentioned a plan.
“So what’s the plan that you and Nanoweaver cooked up?”
Diagram grins.
“We’re going to invoke tournament rules on the sector bosses.”
Oh. Ah-hahaha!
That is absolutely perfect.
“You brilliant, brilliant blue bastard! Did you and Nanoweaver seriously get Judicium and the rest of the higher ups to agree to a tournament setup?
I remember my previous tournament fondly – I didn’t even have my Parasignia at the time, and I still kicked ass! Beat some people who had ‘em. Even if I’m going to be facing the sector bosses in one on one combat, this is so much better than day after day, week after week of being ‘obedient’.

“We did… but, it’s against all of the sector bosses. All of them. And your sister. Are you sure you’ll-”
“Yes!”, I snap. “Of course I’ll be fine. I have a Parasignia now. It doesn’t matter what she has, I’ll be able to come out on top this time!” Plus, I’ve got you splinters hanging around in my head.
“You said that Nanoweaver’s got further details?”
She nods. “I was mostly in charge of getting the SAI ready, Argine. But, if everything works out, you should be ready by tonight.”
“Then, I’m gonna go.“
Diagram nods as I stand up and leave.
I close the door behind me, a spring in my step.
You know, at first, I wasn’t sure that things were going to work out. For the first damn time in months, it feels like I’m actually going to get out of here! As for the tournament rules… just gotta beat up each of them in turn, right? Simple. It’s simple.
>>
No. 970934 ID: 978762
File 159340997430.png - (220.76KB , 1000x1000 , pl_014.png )
970934

Walking through the hallways of the facility leaves me feeling strange, knowing that now – more than ever, I have a very real chance of succeeding, and leaving under my own terms.
I make my way over to Nanoweaver’s, but as I approach, I hear a clamour going on inside.
“…supporting her? ….unnecessary risk…”
Someone’s shouting, and it isn’t Nanoweaver. The metal sliding door muffles the sound, but as I slide up to it, I can make it out clearer.
“Would you rather that she actually blow herself up in another escape attempt? I’d be tired of listening to orders all day and all night without so much as a justification.”
Ah, Nanoweaver. Always the voice of reason.
The other person in the room scoffs.
“I could only hope so. Saves us all the effort of trying! I don’t know why you and the others think treating her as anything more than the waste of genetic material she is will result in anything besides disaster. Her sister has everything worthwhile that could have resulted from that batch anyway.”
Ugh. I step away from the door, grinding my teeth. Not sure if I can tolerate listening to more praise of sister dearest.
Well, what should I do? It’s not exactly like barging into a friend’s room this time. I could waltz in without a care in the world to show how little I care of their opinion. Or, I could hide somewhere nearby if I don’t want whoever’s in there to see me. There’s also just waiting politely at the door, like a chump. Of course, I could just keep listening to see what the other person says and risk looking a fool when the door opens.
>>
No. 970935 ID: dce46f

Keep listening in, its clear they already don't think very highly of you, what's one more time looking like a fool going to really mean anyways?
>>
No. 970937 ID: 0fae41

>they can't track me if I escape
Dude, you've got talking nanites in your body, your blood could be 90% trackers for all you know.
Keep listening, and they'll be the fool when they realize you heard all that.
>>
No. 970938 ID: b1b4f3

>>970934
So they think your sister is better than you? No wonder they agreed to the tournament. They expect you to at least lose when you fight your sister. Let's show them just how much genetics really matters. Speaking of which, what's your sister like? How is she similar to you, different from you?

I say listen in, then open/knock on the door at a significant moment in the conversation.
>>
No. 970959 ID: 15ca3f

I recognized the book mom was holding...
A tale called Slissa Quest...
But that would mean...
Oh my...

Diagram left a huge unencrypted archive of xeno-porn plugged into her console whilst she was training a sentient AI. Rookie mistake. Didn't think that was her. Huh.
You should tease her about it later!
>>
No. 970966 ID: d63ea8

Listen in, but be careful if it sounds like the voices are getting louder and keep a lookout on your surroundings, you don't want to get caught eavesdropping.
>>
No. 970970 ID: cfc80f

Oh hell, we've got a Liquid Snake situation here. Well, keep listening in for now, just be ready to act like you'd just gotten to the door if it opens up on you.
>>
No. 970971 ID: 45acae

Swallow your pride for a minute, remember when she said knowledge is power?
>>
No. 970972 ID: 4286b4

>Argine was born a little different
So who's the father?
>>
No. 970974 ID: d186fc

>>970934
So, I have a theory, but before I go too far with it, could you describe what your sister looks like? In detail please. Focusing on the head, limbs, and tail(if present).
>>
No. 970983 ID: e19a40

>>970937
Penji was able to collect the nanomachines in her body and spit them.
Assuming Argine is one of the best hybrids and she is vulnerable to something Tozols aren't that indicate the purpose of hybridization isn't to improve their design on the individual level.

What make you guys better than cloned Tozols? Are you less resource expensive to produce? Was hybridization the only way to bypass some form of genetically programed loyalty to their original makers? Are you a vehicle to introduce alien genes in a otherwise incompatible population?
>>
No. 971172 ID: e24163
File 159358428092.png - (248.81KB , 1000x1000 , pl_015.png )
971172

>Sister
She’s the worst. One could say that we’re similar, but they’d be too busy overlooking how great I am in comparison to her. Just because she’s bigger than me and actually listens to orders. The Sector Bosses love her. I hate being around her. You can easily tell we’re from the same gene set, as she’s got all the same traits as me… just bigger. And probably still wearing her prize from the previous tournament, like an ass.
>Tozol
Never heard of ‘em. You getting the name mixed up with Sarasols? I guess you’ve got some knowledge of this place, even if it’s a little corrupted.
I continue to listen in on the conversation. Thank Nanoweaver that I ended up with four ears.

“But you know what she’s like! A problem! Doing a tournament setup is tantamount to just letting her go free!”
Someone’s afraid, it seems.
“Rare for you to doubt your own capability, Ozone. I’d thought that you of all people would be sure that you’d be able to defeat someone you have such a low opinion on?”
There’s a brief pause, and a sigh.
“It’s not that. I’m sure that under normal circumstances, any of us could beat that brat, but this is different. Things have changed – we’ve only had one tournament since that day, and those two performed far, far better than they should have.”
Nanoweaver speaks something in reply – but it’s faint. I can’t make anything out-
There’s a crash. A fist slamming against a tabletop?
“You’ll regret enabling her soon, Nanoweaver. Just watch as she destroys everything that we care about.”
I hear footsteps approach and I step back, pretending like I’ve just arrived.

Out steps someone familiar – Commander Ozone, Sector Boss of the Armoured Cavalry Division of the facility. Compared to Judicium, she doesn’t bother concealing any contempt for me, and vice versa.
“Hear something interesting, Trash?”
Of course, the fact that she’s shorter than I am makes it much harder to take her seriously.
“I just arrived, Commander. Don’t you have some duties to attend to? I’m sure that someone of your stature has plenty to look over. Or under.”
She spits, close to my boots.
“Tch. I don’t have more time to waste on you.”
She turns and leaves, letting me enter Nanoweaver’s office freely.
>>
No. 971173 ID: e24163
File 159358435952.png - (263.09KB , 1000x1000 , pl_016.png )
971173

I’m surrounded by the smell of antiseptic as I enter the medic’s office. It might as well be my home away from home, with how many times I ended up here in my younger months.
Nanoweaver’s where she usually is – preparing bandages next to the sink, the sound of running water a background ambience to her calm voice.
“Oh! Argine, good to see you! You’re looking well – I was afraid you had gotten yourself injured again.”
Her voice is… soothing to me. She was the person who created me, and I feel I owe her a lot for that.
“Yeah… good to see you too, Doc-“
I stop.
Someone’s lying on the medical bed.
“Hello, Argine,” she says with that flutey voice of hers. “Are you prolonging your own demise too?”
“What’re you doing here, Nickel?”
Nickel. Sector Boss of the Covert Ops Division. She got her name from shooting through a coin on the other side of the firing range. An utter wildcard, and a little too pre-occupied with the concept of death.
She waves a bandaged arm around without so much as a wince.
“Hurt myself sparring.”
That is not what I’d call a sparring injury. But given her fighting partner of choice, it’s not unexpected.
Her presence does create a problem, though. Nickel’s a bit of a mystery. She’s a firm believer to her own cause, but that ‘cause’ doesn’t necessarily align with the rest of the sector bosses.
I could just discuss the plan with Nanoweaver despite her presence, but I’m not sure what Nickel would do, given that she’s a weirdo. At very least, she wouldn’t really sell us out – if Ozone knows about the tournament, everyone would. And given the state she’s in – while our regeneration works fast, it’s not instant. If she broke an arm, she’ll be in here a while. I could just go and come back later, as I have a rough idea of what needs to be done before things start officially. But I’d be doing one of the objectives without Nanoweaver’s advice, or warnings.
>>
No. 971174 ID: 0fae41

Hug Nickel into submission until you extract a promise to uphold your doctor-patient confidentiality. She's a patient, so obviously this rule extends to her as well.
>>
No. 971175 ID: b1b4f3

>>971172
She expects obedience but doesn't behave like she has any discipline of her own. Hypocrite.

>>971173
Tell Nanoweaver you'd like to discuss the tournament, and the SAI. If that conversation needs privacy she can decide that for herself, and she's more well informed than you I expect.
>>
No. 971180 ID: e24163

A Discussion Thread is now available for theories and discussion. Please make use of it as you will!

>>/questdis/133296
>>
No. 971184 ID: 2aa5f0

does nickel have multiple bodies or just one? Asking because she heavily resembles a species that is known to have 1 mind but dozens and and some cases hundreds of bodies. Would be useful for a spec ops solder to be able to be in more than one space at a time. Especially since if she has taken any more traits from the species she resembles anything one of her bodies sees or hears all of them see and hear in real time. Then again everyone here seems to be a mutt of some kind so who knows what has and hasn't stuck.

But yeah just ask Nano that diagram said she had some things to tell you and let her take the lead from there. If it's something she wished to discuss in private I have enough faith in her that she'll make sure the discussion happens somewhere private.
>>
No. 971188 ID: e19a40

>>971184
A combination of multiple bodies and high regenerative capabilities could mean she is nearly immortal. Strange for someone obsess with her own death.

What is her angle? Does she wish her own demise or just use her end as a reference point for all events in her life? This couldn't be a case of prophesy and accepting her destiny, could it?
She is a cutie though...

For now focus on your mother and the information that is basic public knowledge at this point: the tournament.
From what we heard she is one of the people you got to thanks for the opportunity. Let's just assume she have a plan but should discuss it with Nickel around. Ask if she want you to do something as a gesture of your appreciation. She could ask an inconsequential favor or something that will contribute to her plans without giving them away.
>>
No. 971208 ID: 45acae

>She’s a firm believer to her own cause, but that ‘cause’ doesn’t necessarily align with the rest of the sector bosses.
...Could we get even the barest of specifics for what that means? Same with 'fighting partner of choice'. Look Argine, you're our eyes and ears out here, if there's context that's needed you need to supply it.
And why does 'nan have her hands down her dress?
Whatever, ask Nan if you can discuss the tourney with her.
>>
No. 971218 ID: 6e6f32

Is that a fucking Scut???
Or like... a Scut Hybrid?

Where's the rest of her?
Argine. Tell her the voices in your head wanna know where the rest of her is!
>>
No. 971221 ID: b1b4f3

I suspect that Nickel is *not* a hivemind with hundreds of bodies and acidic blood.
>>
No. 971286 ID: 4286b4

Tell Ozone that you came here to bang, so you need privacy.
>>
No. 971310 ID: 677fc6

>>971173
Nickel seems kinda cool, but she is ultimately one of your opponents right, you're fight all the sector bosses in this tournament?
If you can talk privately with Nanoweaver to gague her opinion on the situation and maybe of Nickel too, you can always chat with her afterwards.
Seems she's chilling here for a while at least.
>>
No. 971346 ID: b58f66
File 159377411367.png - (319.37KB , 1000x1000 , pl_017.png )
971346

>hug Nickel
You trying to get me killed? She’s absurdly fast with a knife. She’d jam a concealed blade between my eyes in a moment.
>Multiple bodies
What are you going on about? I guess some soldiers specialise in drones and machinery, but Nickel’s not really that kind of person. The idea of machines being as strong as we are is a little laughable though.
>Cause, Partner
Hey, I’m not the queen of gossip around here. It’s hard explaining what goes through her tiny head – she’s basically a zealot of some kind, fighting for some kind of ideal that she doesn’t really elaborate on to anyone except her partner. Same thing with her weird fascination with death – I mean, it’s not like anyone’s actually died recently. I’ve been shot multiple times and I got by just fine with some medical attention and bed-rest. Nanoweaver told me that wasn’t the case a long time ago, but never really elaborated on why. Maybe Nickel just finds the concept interesting.
Her partner’s a freak. Astrolysis, the only person in the facility who’d bring her fists to a gunfight. There’s a common joke that Nickel took all of her eyes. The two of them ended up as partners because Nickel won in a knife duel against her.
But I’m sure she’s having fun terrorizing people smaller than her right now.
>Scut
I actually have no clue what species Nickel inherited her traits from at all. She and Astrolysis are from the same batch, so they’re both massive weirdoes.
When they’re not behind a scope, Nickel’s tri-eyes really stare daggers into you. I don’t like making eye contact with her for long, so I shuffle over to Nanoweaver.

“Nanoweaver, Diagram told me that you had some info to tell me. About the tournament…? And the other thing, the SAI. Was there any errands you need me to run for that?”
In the corner of my eyes, Nickel perks up at the mention of the SAI. Nanoweaver quickly flicks her gaze towards her, then back towards me. Probably not the best to discuss anything sensitive when there’s competition in the area.
She places a box of bandages next to the sink, passing me a folded piece of paper fished up from her uniform’s front pouch. The backside of the paper seems to be covered in writing.
“Actually, I do have some errands for you. I’ve marked them here on the map, but feel free to come back once you have some of what I need. Do be careful, Argine.”
“I’m not a child. You don’t need to remind me.”
Nanoweaver chuckled, a sound that’s muffled by her mask.
“Alright, alright. We’ll reminisce once you’re back.”
She shoos me out, and I’m left to my own devices. I unfurl the paper – revealing a map.
>>
No. 971347 ID: b58f66
File 159377423602.png - (110.73KB , 1000x1000 , pl_018.png )
971347

Crafty. Nanoweaver already prepared a list of information in such a short amount of time?
It’s a map of the facility, with instructions pertaining to the locations of specific items. Though, it’s an outdated copy – only showing where the sectors are roughly situated. The actual floorplans aren’t distributed around often, for confidentiality reasons.
Lemme see here…
“Argine, the SAI’s nature as splinters of recorded individuals means that they will be able to break through encryption locks together, through imitation of Sector Boss identity checks.”
They had to specifically bar me from the sectors I’m not allowed in, after all. But if you guys have the ability to spoof encryptions, then...
“You won’t be able to get to the Weave Nexus with the SAI alone, however. The other Sector Bosses installed alarms throughout Exotic Materials Research that’ll cause the SAI to give you an electrical shock, rendering you unconscious. They’ve also barred the other pathways that led to the Nexus, in a simulation of external attack. It was one of the caveats I had to support for the SAI idea to go through, I’m afraid.“
There goes the easy way out.
“Judicium believes that the SAI is preventing you from entering other sectors. This is only partially true – it only prevents you from leaving through Exotic Materials, Of course, she will be livid once she discovers this. She expects you to be taking on the Sector Bosses with little more but standard-issue gear. Show her otherwise.”
Heh. Nice.
Looks like it’s planning time. My options really open up now that I’ve got you on my side, but if I’m to win, I’m going to need to get my gear back. Nanoweaver’s already provided the locations of the main objectives on the map itself.
1. Get my handguns back.
I can’t expect to fight the sector bosses without my custom gear, right? But Judicium had confiscated my guns in a previous escape attempt. Lousy tripwires… why do we even have that many nets?
They’re currently locked up in the firing grounds – kind of an ironic place to hide them, but they should be somewhere near Judicium’s office, close to where she shoved you guys into me. I can break into the area with your help and get my girls back.

2. Get a set of basic Devices.
Devices are my specialty, but I don’t get my hands on the more exotic ones unless I’m in a training drill. They keep those under lock and key, but a basic set of gadgets can go a long way… especially considering my capabilities. More on that once I actually get the basic tri-set though – A Beam Unit, a set of Explosive Discs and a Barrier Generator. This should be located in a section of Security and Armoury – I doubt it’s a good idea to try and scavenge for more, because the Sector Bosses may interpret it as me starting the tournament earlier than expected. But if I’m careful, I can retrieve the basic ones they’ve got lying around.

3. Acquire Gene Trace Vial
…I don’t know why she wants this one. They’re supposed to be useless now, outside of memorabilia. After all, when the facility made me, they obviously peaked. They just can’t do any better! But I guess paying the Genetics Division a visit can be nostalgic. I was born there after all.

I’ll add a couple of my own objectives that can be completed on the side. If I’m planning to leave here for real, then there are some things I should get sorted before then as well.
Bonus Objectives:
1. Steal Judicium’s Scarf
As a final gun-up-the-ass for my unfortunate teacher, I’d like to steal the scarf she has on as a little memento of this awful place. Though, she’d definitely be pissed. If I go through with this, she’ll definitely change her approach once I actually fight her. Up to you guys if you want to go through that or not – I could always just steal it later after I asset my superiority over her.
2. Find a .50 calibre round as an offering for the Hall of Heroes
This is more of a personal thing, but I want to make an offering to a soldier I’ve always admired before I leave. If we find a decent enough bullet lying around, I can leave it as an offering, for a little blessing. Though, I’ll probably only go to the Hall of Heroes once everything else is completed.
>>
No. 971350 ID: 2aa5f0

hmm, just how much freedom do you have to wander around? Because I'm thinking just do the main 3 objectives in order of least likely to get you in trouble to most likely.

Also besides the weave nexus is their anywhere you're not aloud to go are do you more or less have free rain as long as you don't try to escape?
>>
No. 971353 ID: 45acae

>Steal Judicium’s Scarf
Forget that, you're choking her out with the stupid thing while she wears it on the field of battle in full view of everyone.
...do you (or her) have some kind of genetic defense against strangulation? Is that a thing that can happen?

Get your gats last, I imagine they'll have a .50 cal round on the firing range, and you don't want to be breaking into places with pockets full of UXO. I'm really, really curious what's going on in genetics, and I doubt you'll need to steal anything there, so let's take a peek there first.
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No. 971362 ID: e7c7d3

Head to the firing range. Get your guns. perhaps the bullet as well.
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No. 971367 ID: 7d9195

Nanoweaver lied to you. You'll see about what when this is over~

Anyway, do the objectives in the order of 2, 1, 3.
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No. 971400 ID: 0fae41

>a decent enough bullet
9 millimeter is all you need!
Get ye gun.
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No. 971405 ID: b1b4f3

>>971347
Go for the vial first. Nobody will care, right? Start low profile. Then you can get your guns, and then the devices for last since those will raise the most red flags.
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No. 971447 ID: b58f66
File 159386886182.png - (258.54KB , 1000x1000 , pl_019.png )
971447

I’ll go to the Genetics Division first, to retrieve the vial. It’s probably a good plan to get all of the low-profile objectives done first, because if they find out I have my guns again, they’re probably going to try and seize them from me by force.
Getting to the Genetics Division is pretty simple, given how close it is to the Hospital. But I’ll be taking the route through the main hall and not through the Firing Range.
I don’t think the Sector Bosses would appreciate me waltzing into their places whenever I want, and I do not want to be caught without a full set of gear. This coat of mine may stop a couple of bullets on occasion, but it doesn’t mean anything if I can’t fight back properly.
Seeing the door to the genetics division is a little strange. I only pass by on occasion, and I have little reason to go inside usually. But the door is locked. Which is very strange – nobody should be in there, but there’s no reason to lock it either, for the people who want to reminisce.
Help a soldier out? You’re probably gonna have to use the credentials of one of the Sector Bosses to unlock it, but it would only work if it’s the same one as the person who locked it.
>>
No. 971450 ID: 7d9195

*hacking noises*
>>
No. 971453 ID: 6e6f32

Well you could always try the door on the other side of genetics, facing the old sectors, or we could brute force it, but that might trigger an alarm.

Barring either of those:
<Self-Query: List Credentials>

Lets go through the bosses one by one. Who they are, what they do, their relationship with you, and anything pertinent you might want to add. We'll figure out who locked it together!
>>
No. 971491 ID: 2aa5f0

well outside of ozone and nickel and I guess scarf lady who's name I never caught who are the other bosses... and which one of them would even bother coming down here.
>>
No. 971558 ID: ae9bd9

>>971450
*slightly overlay sight with matrix characters raining down*
>>
No. 971569 ID: b58f66
File 159403036210.png - (200.47KB , 1000x1000 , pl_020.png )
971569

Alright, let’s see how that encryption bypassing ability of yours works, SAI…
I place my hand against the electronic lock – feeling a little spark jump from my fingertips. I guess physical contact with things is still necessary, given that you’re all holed up in my head.

>Nanoweaver
Nope. I guess it wouldn’t make sense if she locked it, given that she wanted me to get something for her.
>Ozone
No good on this one either.
>Judicium
Damn! None of them are working!
>Nickel or Astrolysis
None of those inputs worked. So it wasn’t any of the people you’ve met before…
Before I’m able to have you guys try another, something rattles from behind the door.
“I was not expecting any visitors,” a voice calls out from the other side.
It doesn’t sound familiar.
“I need to get something from inside. Is that alright with you?”
A pause.
“No rest for the wicked. You may come in.”
There’s a click, and the light turns green.

I step inside, closing the door behind me. The whole place smells like dust, and little else. Few people are sentimental enough to bother showing up to this place. Now, it’s no more than row after row of empty chambers.
The dust stirs as I walk past, dancing under the lights.
It’s not as nostalgic as I would have liked, seeing this place in disuse. It’s like I’m surrounded by all of the possible soldiers that could have been born, just like me.
I was the last. They said that I should be happy, because I could live any life I wanted.
Like that ever happened. Even before the Nexus was finished, it wasn’t like I could say I wanted to leave. There wasn’t anything else someone like me could do, and I enjoyed it; the training. But they always looked down on me, and I never understood why.
The person who locked the door is standing at the other end of the room, though it’s hard to make her out in this light.
>>
No. 971570 ID: b58f66
File 159403041807.png - (164.46KB , 1000x1000 , pl_021.png )
971570

I get closer.
Mnemosyne. The first Sector Boss to ever be elected, known as the ‘Greatest Soldier’ in the facility. She doesn’t talk much, which was why I didn’t recognise her voice. She was here from the start.
Even as I approach, her head is still pointed towards the cradle. I remember admiring her when I was a cadet – and now, she’s an opponent.

“How long has it been?”
I frown. “How long since what?”
She doesn’t respond, instead staring into the stains trailing down the side of the glass.
“Your birth.”
They had said she was one of the most inspiring soldiers when you saw her in action. But this? This feels… wrong.
“Three years, sir.”
My sister was born at the same time – both of us, the final batch. Why did she receive all of the acclaim, all of the strength? There was something I didn’t have, but something that people didn’t explain to me. Whenever I asked, they looked away from me, said that I wouldn’t get it.
Mnemosyne doesn’t move from her spot, as I watch her breathe in and out.
“I see. Three years since the last Generation…”
She trails off.
Is… is she just going to continue standing there? I could ask her if she’s seen any of the vials around, but I could really just go and keep looking myself. I don’t have to get myself involved when she’s going to be one of my opponents. But, part of me is curious. I could ask her something while she’s still around.
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No. 971573 ID: 4286b4

Ask her for tips fighting the sector boss you think will be the hardest.
>>
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.
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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


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