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File 163937533452.png - (205.37KB , 800x600 , TQ1.png )
1017229 No. 1017229 ID: 7e04cb

The long-abandoned sector's landmarks rear into my field of view as I approach. It was abandoned not long after being set up but not too long enough for looters to have had the chance to pick everything clean. Salvage is profitable but that may not be what I'm here for. As long as I can score something valuable enough, whether that be a piece of forgotten equipment, valuable scrap, still working parts, electronics, or even mineral and ores light enough to carry back, it doesn't really matter.
Expand all images
>>
No. 1017230 ID: 7e04cb
File 163937536021.png - (180.88KB , 800x600 , TQ2.png )
1017230

Obviously being a lone Tobak has its ups and downs. I am able to attract much less attention, not that there are many other Tobaks around here besides the occasional looters like myself or nearby guards for hire, who certainly don't work for free.
I don't have to worry about any of the mining company Tobaks because this place was deemed too expensive to continue any sort of operations.
I do have to worry about local Fauna, but not to the extent that one would have to in some of the lower levels. I didn't bring a nail gun with me so I should avoid wild animals or tribal Tobaks.
>>
No. 1017231 ID: 7e04cb
File 163937537540.png - (207.15KB , 800x600 , TQ3.png )
1017231

On my map are various listed locations, the red text was put down by my mining partner, which I call him pretty loosely. There are plenty of places to go, and each may or may not be worth my time. I want to collect at least a few things before I head back to the depot and sell to one of the alien mining companies. With enough luck I can make enough money to make ends meet for a week or so.

Besides the map I also have my PDA. I can use to communicate with any nearby Tobaks (Or aliens, but I highly doubt it.) I don't expect to see many who keep their appearance set to public, but I might be able to recognize a few of the listed names. I could also try talking to strangers if I wanted to, but do I really want to waste people's time?
>>
No. 1017235 ID: e7c7d3

The bucket excavator seems like the first stop
>>
No. 1017236 ID: 34dfce

Questions:
---
What is in your inventory?
What skills do you have?
Is that a bomb collar on your neck?
What is the scrap from?
Is this legal?

World Questions:
--
What is the tech level?
Have we been recently uplifted?
Do Tobaks have any notable anatomical features that would be useful to know about?
Do we have all of the six senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing, and balance? Do we have extra senses?
What is the nature of the aliens?
>>
No. 1017237 ID: d40a27

I guess start with the excavator move towards the refinery once you give that a look over and if you don’t find anything good the wonder over to the camp?
>>
No. 1017238 ID: c92a02

Well, you've got to cross the bridge first. Then let's hurry on to the refinery and see what might be in there!
>>
No. 1017239 ID: 8483cf

How picked over is the vehicle yard?

Are the guards essential to visit specifoc areas and make it back without being mugged?
>>
No. 1017244 ID: 5d9787

>>1017236
>Is that a bomb collar on your neck?
I think those are glasses.

The big machine certainly call attention. You can't really carry the bulky components, but the engine and the control panel must use some worthy electronic parts. The downside is that it's a big target that must have attracted many looters like yourself.
>>
No. 1017245 ID: b691d9

The most valuable loot would be vehicles because beside being valuable they let you carry more stuff. The drawback is that I doubt the company left functional vehicles behind, so if there are any it it will probably need some reparations or combustible (probably both).
>>
No. 1017248 ID: 30b9f6

Bucket excavator first. Get a feel for things. Probably it's been picked over the most, what with being the closest, but you never know.
>>
No. 1017283 ID: f13b9a

Agree, Bucket Excavator first
>>
No. 1017308 ID: ce39da

You'll be passing by the bucket excavator on your way to most of these places, anyway. I say go there first.
>>
No. 1017314 ID: d00013

Geeze, they set up an entire bucket miner and refinery, and THEN immediately decided to abandon the place? Yeesh. Guess it depends on how long "not long after" is, I guess.

How long are you planning on being down here? A few hours? A few days?
>>
No. 1017380 ID: 7e04cb
File 163948576328.png - (175.85KB , 800x600 , TQ4.png )
1017380

>bucket excavator
Seems like the obvious choice, seeing as it is the closest. The bucket excavator, or 'big red' as some like to call it is a pretty good landmark for navigating the area. Unfortunately for myself it's pretty popular with looters and I don't expect to find many unturned stones, so to speak. I might be able to find things that were left by other Tobaks, or they might even still about.

What is in your inventory?
The bare essentials. Pick, goggles, Map, PDA, enough food and water for the moment, antivenom and bandages. I also have money but not much.
>What skills do you have?
As a person or as a Tobak? because as a Tobak I'd say my biggest skill is not being as short sighted as the others. Besides that, I can be resourceful when it counts, and I can think quick on my feet.
>Is that a bomb collar on your neck?
Those are my dimming goggles. You need to be particularly tacky to not own a pair in this day and age.
>Is this legal?
Yep, pretty sure. Mostly.
>What is the tech level?
On this planet? not amazing seeing as all the cool stuff like plasma swords and laser rifles doesn't get used by Tobaks, on account of the whole light sensitivity thing. We also don't get many luxuries imported, seeing as many in the galaxy don't even know we exist. Most of what we get is what the companies bring us.
>Have we been recently uplifted?
Depends on what you mean by recently. Several decades at least. Happened before I was born so can't have been too recent.
>Do Tobaks have any notable anatomical features that would be useful to know about?
Overall, we have big ears, strangely shaped pupils, leathery claws, and semi-beak like snouts with teeth towards the back. That's overall, there are more differences between the sexes. Males have three tails, fur patterns and lodestone horns. Females have one tail, are taller and have longer ears.
>Do we have all of the six senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing, and balance? Do we have extra senses?
We got all of those. Our most notable sense is our sense of sight, specifically seeing in the dark. I can see in a pitch-black room as though it were fully lit, much like I am right now, unfortunately there's a big downside to this in that we are very light sensitive. That's what the dimming goggles are for. As far as extra senses go, male tobaks have horns which give us a sense of magnetism. Helps more than one might think.

>How picked over is the vehicle yard?
No clue. Tobaks don't know much about vehicles, so I wouldn't be surprised if they overlooked things.

>Are the guards essential
Not if I keep out of trouble.

>Geeze, they set up an entire bucket miner and refinery, and THEN immediately decided to abandon the place?
There's a story to go along it. But to keep it short, it involves warring companies and a scorched earth policy. turns out it doesn't need to be on earth for it to work.

>How long are you planning on being down here? A few hours? A few days?
As long as it takes me to find items valuable enough to keep things afloat for a while. As it stands, I have enough supplies to last a day and a half.

After I'm done with the excavator, I might head over to the vehicle scrap yard or refinery.
>>
No. 1017381 ID: 7e04cb
File 163948578067.png - (315.47KB , 800x600 , TQ5.png )
1017381

I reach the base of the excavator, and what do I see? A fence. It still has a lock on it but I still seriously doubt this has stopped anybody. Oh look, there's even a sign. I wonder who that's for.

Seems I have a very important decision to make; what is my preferred method of breaking and entering? As discouraging as this feeble chain-link fence and rusty lock are, I must find a way to press forward!
>>
No. 1017382 ID: 8f6305

>>1017381
Just walk around until you find a hole. Let’s not ruin this pristinely preserved historical part of the fence.

And if there is no hole, someone’s been fixing the fence.
>>
No. 1017383 ID: 662525

Clime over the fence
>>
No. 1017388 ID: 708905

>>1017381
Just jam the end of your pick into the padlock and twist, if it's all rusty the leverage should be enough to snap it off
>>
No. 1017389 ID: 5d9787

I wasn't expecting an intact barrier. This invoke three possibilities:
-This obstacle is very easy to bypass so no previous looter bothered breaking it.
-You took an unusual path that almost no one use.
-The usual passage through the fence have being recently fixed.
The last option is concerning. If possible break in in a way that doesn't make too much noise. Either jump over or unwire a hole near the button.
>>
No. 1017394 ID: ce39da

Yeah, breaking the lock shouldn't be too hard. That's a gnarly-looking pickaxe if you need to smash something! Inserting and applying leverage should work just fine, though.

No need to worry if the fence is electrified; this place isn't in active operation, and someone should be expected to touch the lock with their hands even if it was. Plus, your electromagnetic sense would be telling you something was up with the fence if it was on, given how magnetism is intrinsically tied to electrons - how do electric currents register to you?
>>
No. 1017412 ID: 34dfce

>>1017382
Absolutely seconding this!

The sign and the lock have survived this long already! It would be absolutely criminal to be the one to break it!

--

>>laser guns & plasma swords
Can you use the lasers outside of your visible spectrum such as x-ray xasers, microwave masers, gamma-ray grasers, or infrared irasers? Are you able to use combustion or magnetic (railguns etc.) slug throwers? Does the muzzle flash not bother you, or do you require flash suppressors in order to use such weapons? Can males use railguns or do the electromagnets fuck them up?
>>
No. 1017414 ID: 076735

>>1017382
This. Avoid breaking the lock if possible.
>>
No. 1017521 ID: c92a02

Mine iron gate, you could use it later.
>>
No. 1017659 ID: 7e04cb
File 163974529416.png - (366.26KB , 800x600 , TQ6.png )
1017659

>how do electric currents register to you?
I mean, I would be able to sense any electric currents if there were any. Even if this fence were fully electrified, I would only feel it lightly. That goes for almost all electric equipment.

>Can you use the lasers outside of your visible spectrum such as x-ray xasers, microwave masers, gamma-ray grasers, or infrared irasers?
That all sounds pretty high tech. If any of that worked and you wanted anything like that, you'd be better off sucking up to one of the many alien corporate dominions our planet has become home to, and they might throw one your way if you get enough trust.

>combustion or magnetic (railguns etc.) slug throwers? Does the muzzle flash not bother you, or do you require flash suppressors in order to use such weapons? Can males use railguns or do the electromagnets fuck them up?
Anything that doesn't produce light is fine. For gunpowder weapons, the sound is a separate issue altogether. so, stuff like compound crossbows, nail guns, railguns, et cetera are the weapon of choice among tobaks. As for magnetic interference, that isn't so much an issue to male Tobaks as much as how heavy those things are.

>Just walk around until you find a hole. Let’s not ruin this pristinely preserved historical part of the fence.
>The sign and the lock have survived this long already! It would be absolutely criminal to be the one to break it!
And who would I be to ruin a perfectly preserved piece of history? Not me! I leave the lock be in hopes that future generations come to the same sense of enlightenment that I did.

While it's possible someone replaced the lock, I find it highly unlikely. It isn't like the corpos come around these parts anymore.
I probably approached the site from an unusual direction. This turns to be pretty likely when I walk a short distance and find plenty of points in the fence for me to exploit. There are holes and entire sections which have been pulled down. Going into the compound proves to be profoundly easy, even a moron could do it!

I make my way up the metallic staircases, seeing as the elevator is out of order. And when I mean out of order, I mean the buttons were stolen, which was enough to send the message. Walking around the side of the excavator, one thing is for certain, and that's that despite only having been uplifted for a few decades, we are already so rich in culture! Just look at all this graffiti! If nothing else, this should prove that this place is a good place to set up camp so long as I'm around the area.
>>
No. 1017660 ID: 7e04cb
File 163974531470.png - (262.97KB , 800x600 , TQ7.png )
1017660

Thinking of what I should be going for, I wander down the corridors, looking for things that might be of interest. There are signs labelling the directions to the control room, data storage, armory, tools closet, anything I can think of really. To find anything worthwhile in this place is unlikely, but I won't rule it out completely.

I round a corner and am assaulted by a pesky burst of light. Lucky for me it is pretty miniscule, so it isn't enough to blind me. Still annoying though. Listening close I can hear noise, coming from a radio or TV. It's difficult to tell but I think I can hear alien voices coming from whatever it is.

There may be other tobaks nearby. if there are I can concentrate on my horns and sense if there are any other males nearby whose horns can give me a signal.

If I am to proceed further, I need to put on my goggles. The light from a match head is enough to blind a Tobak, which is why we tend to be careful around electronics and flammables. I could also proceed to look through other rooms in the excavator or use my PDA to see who is nearby.
>>
No. 1017662 ID: 076735

If there are other male Tobaks, how likely is it that they've already sensed you?
Also if you concentrate to better sense them, does it make you more detectable?
>>
No. 1017663 ID: 5d9787

I guess a tobaks could be watching an alien show using one of those goggles, but that is a lot of inconvenience for some entertainment. Unless this is an intentional distraction, there is a high chance the person in front of the tv is an alien.
How much can you see in the dark with those googles? If they prevent you from seeing anything other than the illuminated objects you might want to check around before investigating the light source.
To be honest I'm curious about who is here, but you didn't come here to meet interesting people. Might be better to just avoid this person and look for loot elsewhere.
>>
No. 1017665 ID: ce39da

> "TOBAKS RUL-" *falls down the stairs*
Okay, admit it; that one got a chuckle out of you.

> Bright, Alien-Speaking TV
Probably not a Tobak who's watching that, actually. Maybe take a different route. Aim for data storage - seems the least obvious place to go, but unlike most, you can actually think of a few people who'd want to pay money for work logs.
>>
No. 1017672 ID: 2aa5f0

how dangerous is it to come across others down here? I mean will they try and chase you off so you can't take the stuff they're looking for, will they attack you to see if you have anything worth taking, will they be chill and just ignore you or maybe even talk to you? Just trying to get an idea on how what to expect if you come across anyone else down here is all.
>>
No. 1017706 ID: 7e04cb
File 163980694304.png - (272.96KB , 800x600 , TQ8.png )
1017706

>If there are other male Tobaks, how likely is it that they've already sensed you?
Virtually Zero. You have to really concentrate to notice when others might be around
>if you concentrate to better sense them, does it make you more detectable?
Yep. So it isn't the best thing to use if I wanted to go unnoticed.

>Using goggles is inconvenient for entertainment.
We've gotten pretty used to using goggles for screen technology, adjusting to them has become second nature at this point.

>A chance that it's an alien
I doubt it. Aliens rarely come down to the caves to do the dirty work themselves. I can think of one or two alien species that do that, neither of which do it too often.

>How much can you see in the dark with those googles?
It's like looking through the world in the perspective of an alien who live on the surfaces of their planets in full view of their suns. Which is to say, not at all. It is virtually blackness.

>To be honest I'm curious about who is here, but you didn't come here to meet interesting people. Might be better to just avoid this person and look for loot elsewhere.
I don't need to interact with whoever is in there, they probably won't notice me if I stay in the dark.

>you can actually think of a few people who'd want to pay money for work logs.
Everything has a price, even things you wouldn't expect like pages and documents. It's all a matter of finding the right buyer.

>how dangerous is it to come across others down here?
The vast majority of Tobaks are non-violent. If I run into other prospectors, we are more likely to be cooperative than anything. That isn't to say that there aren't tobaks to watch out for. Tribals and raiders to name a couple.

I slip on my goggles and pass a quick glance into the room. There are two plain tobaks sitting beside each other, watching a TV. Why these two are up here in a bucket excavator watching alien shows on a TV is beyond me. Neither of them notice me, so I can choose whether to initiate a conversation or continue looking around.
>>
No. 1017707 ID: 5d9787

They look chill and might be polite to say hello, but you can't waste too much time hanging out. At most ask why they decided to stay here.

Is there any significance to the red accessories? If there is, isn't your tail a risky place to keep it?
>>
No. 1017711 ID: c92a02

Ask them why they're watching TV here.
>>
No. 1017719 ID: 2aa5f0

knock, great them, and ask what they doing.

Well I mean I doubt they found a working tv here as if they did I have a hard time believing the thing wouldn't have been looted a long time ago by one of the many scavengers so that means they probably brought it but if so why?
>>
No. 1017720 ID: 9a2966

>>1017706
>Why
Might be their break / private spot and this place still has the infrastructure to run that telly. Perhaps they're working on tearing things out from here, and are taking a break - maybe they just found this telly just now.

If they're going to be listening to loud alien noises, you should be free to explore the place, just be wary of pulling any plugs or wirings that'll ruin their fun time.

Or we can move on, seeing as this place is in use and has competition.

Or we can say hi and maybe ask if they know the lay of the land and if there's other Tobaks nearby, since this spot already seems half-claimed (by them). They don't look like tribals and raiders - not if they're watching alien shows, at least, so there shouldn't be much danger in just talking. Probably they're just like you... maybe belonging to some local affiliation or something? They're both wearing a piece of red cloth.

... actually, so are you, on your tail. Do you know these guys?
>>
No. 1017725 ID: ce39da

Is it standard practice to wear at least one red article on your person? Does it mean they're of the same "faction" as you? Even if they aren't necessarily allies, does this loose affiliation at least have an agreed-upon "friendly greeting" you can use to not startle goggle-wearers too severely?
>>
No. 1017775 ID: 15a025

They seem pretty chill and relaxed. Might be best if we not disturb their down time here though and check someplace else.
>>
No. 1017829 ID: 7e04cb
File 163993215804.png - (128.75KB , 800x600 , TQ9.png )
1017829

>Is there any significance to the red accessories? If there is, isn't your tail a risky place to keep it?
Wearing a plain red accessory is essentially a way of declaring that you operate independently, not under employment or contract of any company. It's a solution to a problem where loner tobaks would wear company equipment and other companies would get the idea that their rivals were sending scouts or spies too close to their turf. With the red cloth system, you don't have to worry as much about being captured and questioned or attacked in some cases. It shouldn't matter that it is on my tail, I just prefer to keep it out of the way.

>Do you know these guys?
Never seen them before. At least not directly. There is a chance we have passed by each other at the depot, but neither of them strikes me as particularly familiar.

>knock, greet them, and ask what they are doing.
I knock on a metal panel beside the doorway and the sound reverberates around the room, getting the attention of the pair, who in turn react by turning off the screen and pausing the show they were watching. They pull the goggles off their eyes, and I do the same.

"Yo."
>"Hey. You're new." Says the one wearing the helmet
"What are you guys doing in here?"
>"Relaxing. For the most part. Been a hot minute since either of us got to watch TV. We found a set at the vehicle yard that was miraculously intact and brought it up here. The reception up here is great, and there's enough power coming from an unstable fusion battery that nobody wants to mess with. It probably has a few months of juice left so if you want to charge something, here's the place to be."
"You guys are getting reception for TV? In a cave?"
>"Not quite. The reception is for the local area, up here your PDA has the range to contact just about everyone in the surrounding area."
"Speaking of which, do you know the lay of the land? I'm looking for swag to loot, I assume the same as you guys are."
>"If you're looking for light valuables, this place isn't very fruitful. Even the raw scrap metal isn't worth dragging all the way up to the depot. The vehicle yard looks like it still has some meat on the bone, as a matter a fact we got a buddy there who is trying to fix something up. If he can do that, we'll have things made. Both of us are up here because we've got just about all we can carry, and neither of us know anything about vehicles."
>>
No. 1017830 ID: 7e04cb
File 163993217208.png - (192.83KB , 800x600 , TQ10.png )
1017830

"I still don't know how or why you guys are watching TV up here."
>"Because I went back and brought back some tapes for us to watch!" Interjects the other tobak.
"You brought tapes? What kinda show is it?"
>"We'll let you watch with us if you pay us." Says the helmet Tobak.
"What? How much?"
>"How about... 15 zeny."
"No way!" I only have 23 zeny on me, and that's just about all I have. "I don't even know what the show is about."
>"It's a neat show! It's about this alien whose' a secret agent, and she goes into a cave and there's this whole-"
>"Dude, you're gonna spoil it!" The helmet tobak interrupts.
>"Ah, sorry!"

>"Anyway, if you want to find some valuables for yourself, we would be glad to give you information. Us loners gotta help each other out from time to time!"
"You guys don't know each other?"
>"Nope! We met just today, but we really hit it off. Maybe you'll find someone you gel with when you go looking around. I highly suggest you look through your PDA's public contact list. There are a few people in the area who you can send messages to. The guy at the vehicle yard could probably use assistance if you feel like lending a helping hand to a fellow loner. Though I would ignore the distress signal if I were you, some alien goofball got separated from his group and backed himself into an abandoned radio tower in the middle of a razorworm nest. He's practically already dead at this point, and I don't think even his hive is going to get to him in time. He might not have anything good but in case you feel like playing hero, you can see the distress message he put out on your PDA."

I can stay here for a bit longer and talk with these two, or I can look at my PDA and see who resides around the surrounding area, or I can decide on which area I should head towards next. If I decide to go for the distress signal, I will need to prepare beforehand. Razorworms are no joke.
>>
No. 1017831 ID: 5d9787

Tell them they seem cool and you would love to hang out, but unfortunately you are broke and need to find some valuable to keep afloat. If we meet again in better circunstancies I would like to watch whatever you recommend.

There is always a neumono...
If one those are in a pickle dealing with razorworms must be very dangerous. What would you need to get past them?
Since this is the most urgent rumor, try to contact this person. Even if it's a case you can't do anything you could still help a little by looking from far away to inform this alien with bad vision what the situation around him is.
>>
No. 1017832 ID: a2493c

>>1017830
hero time for sure, you know you'd want help in that dude's situation.
>>
No. 1017833 ID: 2aa5f0

well thank them for the info and wish them luck in getting a good deal with their loot. Nothing against them but you are broke as hell and are trying to find a paycheck to be able to survive for a bit longer so better to get back to work for now and think about resting after you found something worth selling.

As for what to do, I guess check out the PDA and see if anything sounds like it would be worth your time and if nothing interest you I guess head towards the vehicle yard since they did say you might find something there.

And do you know anything about vehicles? If so it might be worth talking to that guy they told you about. Might get something useful out of it if you help out.

As for the guy stuck out at the radio tower... well if you find something that might be able to pull his ass out of the fire it might be the nice thing to do to help him out but since you have no weapons and no real way to get to him without being torn apart yourself not really much you can do so no point in heading over there and getting torn apart yourself or having everyone have to think about have to save two people now. Though speaking of that guy what can you tell us about razorworms and what makes them so deadly?
>>
No. 1017837 ID: c92a02

Hmm. Hit up your PDA and ask where you can get stuff for fending off razorworms. Do they have a repellent, or maybe a favorite bait?
>>
No. 1017889 ID: 7e04cb
File 164000052553.png - (219.92KB , 800x600 , TQ11.png )
1017889

>There is always a neumono...
I've never seen a neumono down here. I haven't even met one personally, but rumors suggest that we don't get along all that well, even if we do share physical similarities. Tobaks could just be biased though, there’s only one hive that operates on the whole planet, and perhaps the negative actions of one bad hive shouldn't represent their whole species. That being said, I know very little of them or their culture, just that they run a family business compared to the bigger companies.

>hero time for sure, you know you'd want help in that dude's situation.
Admittedly I know little of his situation. My situation however stipulates that I need to focus on earning money for my own survival, whatever he has going on takes lower priority.

>Fending off razorworms
Chemical compounds acting as repellent exist, but I'll have to be creative to find any. I would probably need to kill them with some sort of weapon or figure out a way to bypass or interfere with their sense of vibration. I could use bait, but their favourite is the live kind, so maybe I'd rather keep myself or others out of it. If I want a weapon, I can pay a visit to a cache which was made by my 'partner'. He told me that if I take something from there, I'll need to put something of greater value back. That is as fair as he is going to get.

> do you know anything about vehicles?
Nope. The only vehicle I frequently use is the unirail. I've never owned my own personal vehicle.

I thank them for the information and tell them that they seem cool and that I'd like to hang out, but I have stuff to do. They seem understanding.
>"If you want to contact us from anywhere or find something you think is valuable and is too much for you to haul alone, give one of us a call. Our contact codes are t-108742-ind and t-411108-ind. They guy at the vehicle yard is t-845924-ind. We should all have our status set to public."
"I see them. My code is t-738128-ind."
>"Right. Happy hunting. We'll be here if you need us, just don't be a pest and call us too much."

>check out the PDA and see if anything sounds like it would be worth your time
I put on my goggles and look down to my PDA. Looking at the public contacts list, I can see 8 contacts in range. 3 of which I am now familiar with. Make that 5, if you include the guards for hire, both of whom I recognise, one of which sent me a message. I'mmmmmmmm going to ignore her for now. She owes me a favor, I'll need to decide when to cash it in.
At the bottom of the list seems to belong to the alien. The tobaks watching the TV told me that his PDA ran out of battery so I shouldn't bother trying to contact him.
The other two are a mystery to me.
Usually there would be jobs or contracts but because this is such a small area, nobody has put any up.
Do I want to contact any of these people, or do I want to move on? If I decide to move on, what is the next location I should start to head to?
>>
No. 1017890 ID: a2493c

>>1017889
you're not thinking long term. Heroism comes with movie rights and book sales, bro, that's passive income
>>
No. 1017891 ID: 5d9787

>I put on my goggles and look down to my PDA.
Even this thing have luminous screen? The company that offer non-luminous screens will dominate this planet electronic market.

Why does this guard own you a favor? Why are you ignoring her messages? Is there a juicy gossip here?

Send a message to the two unknown asking if they are the one currently having an emergency. Ask the one who confirm it what is the situation and what do they need.

Send a message to the vehicle guy asking if he need any help. He supposedly know more about car mechanics than you and already have two friends he dismissed, so it seems unlikely he would need anything, but leave the offer just in case.
>>
No. 1017892 ID: 662525

Well outside of vehicle guy and maybe that one chick that owes you a favor if she’s asking for another favor, looks like nobody else really has work for… while besides razorworm bait out there but that’s obvious.

Maybe give vehicle guy a call and see what he needs help with. I mean you’re heading in that direction anyways might as well see if he has something for you to do.

Oh and do you have anything to scout things out from a distance, like binoculars? Maybe it might be worth scouting out the radio tower from a safe distance from the worm nest just to see if the guy is even still alive.
>>
No. 1017911 ID: b691d9

Ask the car mechanic if he can use some help in exchange for some compesation. Even without helping is still posible to find something you can use as car (a car without motor is cheap).

Also it's interesting to know if they had some kind of hoovercraft to avoid the vibrations in the floor and thus the razorworms.

About the distress call don't go if you don't have a plan. If the call is a broadcast you can hear what the situation is, but don't get involved if you can't actually help.
>>
No. 1017916 ID: c92a02

This PDA looks like a model that went out of style millennia ago on Earth. Neat throwback!
Talk to the vehicle guy on your way to the motor pool. Motors are loud and vibrate a lot. Maybe he'll have some ideas for fooling razorworms.
>>
No. 1017992 ID: 7e04cb
File 164010412608.png - (159.61KB , 800x600 , TQ12.png )
1017992

>you're not thinking long term. Heroism comes with movie rights and book sales, bro, that's passive income
Would somebody even make a movie or book about a tobak? I don't think such a thing has been done before. Tobaks barely have a publishing or film industry to begin with. I guess we'll have to make do with the cheesy movies that get imported off world instead.

>Even this thing has a luminous screen? The company that offers non-luminous screens will dominate this planet electronic market.
Tell me about it. Truth be told, this is a much older model, the newer stuff doesn't have much of a problem. Problem is that if its new, loners are the last to get their hands on it.

>This PDA looks like a model that went out of style millennia ago on Earth. Neat throwback!
It might look like an outdated piece of junk, and yeah, maybe it is! But I prefer this sturdy brick over a slick glass tile any day. It has all the bare essentials, and that’s all I need. Maybe once I make a big score I’ll consider upgrading.

>Why does this guard owe you a favor? Why are you ignoring her messages? Is there a juicy gossip here?
She owes me a favor because I let her have something she valued highly at the time, and she is serious about paying her debts to others. As for why I'm choosing to ignore her for now... She's a bit... eccentric. She also fills her messages with so many text faces that it's hard to read sometimes.

>Send a message to the two unknowns
I don't want to bother strangers, but I send them both a messages to see if any answer, neither get back to me right away.

>Send a message to the vehicle guy asking if he need any help.
Sounds good to me. I bring up my PDA and send out a message

t-738128-ind: hello? I have met two others who have told me you were at the vehicle yard. do you need help?
>t-845924-ind: Hello! This is unexpected. His response was very quick, barely 20 seconds.
>t-845924-ind: Help huh?
>t-845924-ind: Do you know anything about vehicles?
t-738128-ind: no more than the average tobak. sorry.
>t-845924-ind: Not a problem!
>t-845924-ind: There is still something I could use help with.
>t-845924-ind: Think you could fetch something for me elsewhere?
t-738128-ind: that depends on the compensation. motors are loud and vibrate a lot. do you have some ideas for fooling razorworms?
>t-845924-ind: Hmmmm.
>t-845924-ind: I think I could jury rig something for you.
>t-845924-ind: What I need you to get me is fuel. Some for me some for you.
>t-845924-ind: You can probably find some at the refinery.
>t-845924-ind: We should meet in person and discuss the details. How about it?

Seems I can choose to meet with him in person or cut out the middleman and head to the refinery to get the fuel.
>>
No. 1017993 ID: 7e04cb
File 164010416587.png - (133.35KB , 800x600 , TQ13.png )
1017993

>do you have anything to scout things out from a distance, like binoculars? Maybe it might be worth scouting out the radio tower from a safe distance from the worm nest just to see if the guy is even still alive.
I do have a pair of binoculars. I can use them pretty safely from up here and get a good view. I can see the radio tower, but I can't see much on the ground level. It appears to have a slanted concrete foundation. If there's a way in there, he is probably safe. Assuming he isn't bleeding out or at risk of starving, or both. I’ll have to get closer to get a better look at the situation.

Out of curiosity I take a look at what the distress message is.
>n/a-928606-n/a: TO ANYBODY RRFDING TIHS: I AM TRAPPWD IN A BIULDING. BATTRY LOW. FOOD LOW. BLPPD LOW. CANNOT SEE. WAS AMBUSHED BY RAIDERS - SEPEREATED FROM HIVE -WAS ATTACKED BY SOMNETHING SHARP AD LONG. - MISSING ARM AN DLEG. IF ANYONE RECIEVES THIS MSSAGE, HIVE ORNOT. PLEASE HELP. IDON'T WNAT TO DIE DONW HERE.

Sheesh, that does sound like a desperate situation. I do feel a little bad for him now... I want to try do something for him, but there isn't much I can do unarmed and unprepared. I am unable to send him a message, likely because his battery died.

From here I have a few options, including heading right to the vehicle yard to meet the mechanic tobak, and see if there is anything valuable to find there. I could head right to the refinery and see about collecting fuel for the mechanic before I meet him. I could head to the cache and see if there is a weapon, I can arm myself with. I can also message one of the guards for hire and see if I can get one of them to help with a rescue mission, if I'm serious about going through with it.
>>
No. 1017995 ID: ce39da

The scrapyard and cache are both between the refinery and the radio tower. Hit the refinery first, after texting to inform the scrapyard guy of your intent to get the fuel first and ask how much is needed.
>>
No. 1017998 ID: 5d9787

I don't think you should invest every favor you have available for the rescue, especially since you don't even know if he is alive. If you get one or two simple noise machines from the mechanic that should be enough to distract the worms long enough to get in with food and emergency medical supplies and get out.

Fuel is essential to revive an old vehicle. If this guy didn't secure it before there must be some difficulty involved in the acquisition. As much as I would love to spare unnecessary trips you need to negotiate a fair deal before wasting any effort, so go meet him.

Do you have rope? Ideally your noise machine should allow you to activate and move from far away. It would be stupid if you need to run when it's turned on and risk your life if you want to get it back.
>>
No. 1018001 ID: 9a2966

>>1017993
Mechanic, refinery, mechanic, rescue - and start hustling, since there's a vague sense of urgency to this now.

Helping the mech finish their job also makes sense, since you may need a vehicle to haul a heavily maimed neumono outta here if their hive isn't coming to fetch them - in fact, that's going to be one of the main challenges of getting them out of there, isn't it? You may want to prepare something - or consider whether you'd be able to carry half a neumono. Depends on their size, you guess.

Honestly, you don't know if this is the right call, but saving someone should net you SOME reward if you're successful and having even a small hive of neumonos in your debt might not be a bad thing. You know you'd want someone else to respond to YOUR distress call, should you ever make one.
>>
No. 1018005 ID: d47474

might as well grab the fuel first so the guy can get started right away. Also since it sounds more and more likely we're probably going to help the tourist alien out think his hive would give you a reward for saving one of their own?
>>
No. 1018019 ID: eb11d8

Head to the vehicle yard so you can keep asking questions. He can give you an idea of where and what to look for. Then head to the weapons cache.
>>
No. 1018023 ID: b691d9

There is some kind of data of how many time has passed since the signal was broadcasted? If it has been about hours he might need haste in this. If he has been about days is higly improbable that an hour means the difference between the life and death for him (if he had severe injures he either stabilized them or is dead by this point). If a week has passed then don't hurry, it's better to assume he is dead and you are going to retrieve his corpse for his family's funeral traditions.

As your map has the signal marked and he talks about lack of food, I discard the first case.

About the route I would ask the vehicle guy if he mind if you take a detour to the refinery first. Is on the way to the vehicle scrap and you can inspect if there are any fuel in the first place. Even more, you can bring just enought fuel to move one vehicle there and load the rest which will be faster.
>>
No. 1018094 ID: 7e04cb
File 164020418237.png - (280.67KB , 800x600 , TQ14.png )
1018094

>Is there some kind of data on how much time has passed since the signal was broadcasted?
The message was sent out 12 hours ago. It's probable he is still alive, just very bored, or terrified, or somewhere in between.

>think his hive would give you a reward for saving one of their own?
I dunnooooo. Neumono have a reputation for not getting along well with tobaks, not hiring any and all. But I have heard that they value family a lot, so If I rescue this one and bring him back, I'm sure I'll get some kind of reward. Neumono equipment does fit us pretty well since we are close to the same median size, at least for tobak males anyway. Maybe I'll get some neat tech? Or maybe a suit of bio armor? nah, probably not. I hear that stuff is crazy expensive, and it'll probably kill me if I try putting it on. Wishful thinking aside, I'm sure we can work something out.

>Helping the mech finish their job also makes sense, since you may need a vehicle to haul a heavily maimed neumono outta here if their hive isn't coming to fetch them - in fact, that's going to be one of the main challenges of getting them out of there, isn't it? You may want to prepare something - or consider whether you'd be able to carry half a neumono. Depends on their size, you guess.
That is true. I hear those guys can be pretty heavy. When it comes to size, they can be big and small. The big ones stay in small groups, so seeing as this planet's hive company is at least over a hundred strong, there's a good chance he is on the smaller side.

>Do you have rope?
Not on me at the moment. But it should be really, really easy to find some, or at least something that acts as rope. I can see lots of cables, and I'm sure nobody is using them.

>Head right to the refinery.
I'm half and half on whether to go to the vehicle yard or right to the refinery. To save time, I decide on the refinery. I send a message to the mechanic to let him know.

t-738128-ind: i think I will head to the refinery first.
>t-845924-ind: Do you have anything to carry the fuel?
t-738128-ind: ...
t-738128-ind: never mind. I'm coming right to you.

After a slight change in plans, I set my trajectory for the vehicle yard. After walking for what seems to be around 15-20 minutes, I arrive at a large cluster of broken vehicles, piled on top of each other with large stacks of scraps sprawled about for good measure. Most of the vehicles here belonged to the company that was occupying the area at the time. Most stuff was destroyed beyond salvage so it couldn't be repurposed by the rival company that invaded. I can see stuff like mechs and mining machines as well as regular passenger vehicles, all equally destroyed. Maybe if I’m bored I can climb into the drivers seats and pretend I'm driving.
>>
No. 1018095 ID: 7e04cb
File 164020420994.png - (193.01KB , 800x600 , TQ15.png )
1018095

It doesn't take me long to spot the mechanic. He is wearing glasses and has one of those electronic cigarettes. He is currently working on a small vehicle of some kind, it looks to be in pretty good shape, whatever causes it to not work must be on the inside. I walk over to him.
"Hey, it's me, the guy who messaged you. My name is Dowser."
>"Oh hey! Thanks for reaching out to me. My name is Raphyl, but Raph is fine. I can certainly use the help, seeing as I can't be in multiple places at once like I wish I could." He has a nice, friendly tone. Not totally uncommon, most loners tend to be nice to one another.
"Not a problem. Tell me what I can help with."
>"Ah, but what about what you wanted? You said something about making thumpers for interfering with razorwoms if I remember correctly. It probably isn't my business, but were you thinking of helping with that distress call?"
"Thinking about it, yeah."
>"I think that's a truly noble and kind thing to do! I'd be happy to help. I can jury rig a thumper using an engine block and extending the pistons a bit, but it would need some fuel, and a bit of time. Here, I have some jerry cans you can use."
>>
No. 1018096 ID: 7e04cb
File 164020429178.png - (210.15KB , 800x600 , TQ16.png )
1018096

"I have a question, fuel is essential, and seeing as you don't have any already, could that mean that there is difficulty to acquiring it?"
>"For me to acquire it without leaving the vehicle I'm trying to fix? It's looking pretty impossible. I'm concerned about leaving this alone for too long, because somebody might come along and see this pristine vehicle and decide to either take it for themselves or take some of the essential parts to sell. Besides, there is still work to be done."
He produces two jerry cans to hand to me.
>"Fill these two up, and that should be enough for the vehicle, and for the thumper or thumpers you want. Also, if you want my advice, you'll want more than just a thumping machine, razorworms won't stop attacking vibrations until they cease, if they break the engine, that might mean bad news for the alien and you. Consider finding a weapon or getting a helper. I could... Maybe fix up a mech... But that might be overkill..."
"Got it. Is there any valuable stuff around here?"
>"Plenty! If you know what you're looking for. If you're looking for a working vehicle, this might be the only one remaining, and I only just got it close to working. They tried burning the components out with thermite to destroy it but luckily for me, they did a sloppy job. Once I'm done and you've brought back the fuel, I can let you hitch a ride around to get to places quicker. the carrying capacity is pretty good, it can hold one person in the front and two in the back pretty comfortably."

I can ask the mechanic questions, or head right to the next of my destinations. Speaking of which, should I visit the cache first, or go right to the refinery? Or any other location for any other reason. Or maybe I could ask this guy to sweeten the deal.
>>
No. 1018099 ID: c92a02

There's no kill like overkill! But it might take too long to get a mech back online plus that cycle. Get cache upon delivery of the fuel so you can catch a faster ride there.
>>
No. 1018123 ID: b691d9

Wouldn't the mech be sold pretty high? An overkill to security that you can resell is not that bad.

Go first to the refinery. If you get something valuable in the cache it will weight you down when you pull for the fuel.

The deal seems fair, no need to be greedy (Or do you need the money fast?)
>>
No. 1018144 ID: e3eaff

There is no such thing as overkill, lets see if we can get a mech running. If not, we'll have to look for weapons -- it looks like we're betting big on credit for saving them.
>>
No. 1018145 ID: a2493c

>>1018096
the mech would be indescribably fun on top of its necessity here in leiu of more straightforward options, and ON TOP of that, I expect a _functioning mech_ would fetch our new engineer friend a fair penny.

I see literally no reason for us NOT to do that.
>>
No. 1018146 ID: ce39da

Ask where fuel and valuables are respectively found in the refinery, then head there. We're seeking fuel, primarily, followed by something valuable and portable we can either trade at the cache or save for later.
>>
No. 1018150 ID: 7e04cb
File 164024041235.png - (160.22KB , 800x600 , TQ17.png )
1018150

>do you need the money fast?
I'm not in any desperate situation like owing money to a powerful faction or something like that, I just hate eating this planet's food.

"Hold on, go back to the mech thing, were you serious about that?"
>"Half serious! I believe I could fix up one of the smaller mechs around here, each is missing one key essential component, a gyroscopic module which essentially keeps the whole thing from falling over."
"If I get that, could you be able to fix a mech in a reasonable amount of time?"
>"I'm a field mechanic, so of course! The only problem is finding one of those. I think there is a place with mechs that might still have parts. Do you know about the mining camp east of the refinery? If you get there and find anything that looks intact, send me a message, and I’ll tell you what to look for. If you can help me with the repairs, I can get you something functional, at least on the short term. If we get it working, I hope you don't mind if I take it off your hands after you're done with it. I need to make a profit too!"

>Ask where fuel and valuables are respectively found in the refinery, then head there.
"Where can I find fuel at the refinery? Oh, valuables too."
>"Everything is kept in large containers. You might have trouble figuring out which silo has the fuel since not all of them are marked clearly, so try not to load up the cans with the wrong liquid. The refinery also doubles as a hazardous material storage facility, they have silos filled with waste and corrosive ichor. So be careful. I'm not sure what other valuables you can find, but I'm sure you'll find something."

I take the jerry cans and follow the road to the refinery. It takes about 20 minutes, and I arrive to a series of large buildings with an array of giant containers. They are labelled with numbers and codes, so I'm not sure which hold the contents I am looking for. An office might be the best place to start if I'm looking for clues. I walk into the building and stand in the doorway.

What is that on the floor... Is that?

That's blood, baby.

Tobak blood.
>>
No. 1018151 ID: c92a02

Fresh blood? Pickaxe time.
>>
No. 1018153 ID: dfbac0

Quick! Duck beck out the door and against the wall! Use your antler sense to see if anyone's in there, and see if you're able to check you PDA for nearby signals. Also if you get the chance then try to determine how old the blood is, if it's fresh we have a problem on our hands, if it's old the problem's long gone.
>>
No. 1018159 ID: d47474

might be wise to drop the jerry can somewhere that another scavenger won't just see and take it and then take out your pickax and do a careful sweep of the building.
>>
No. 1018165 ID: 9a2966

Raiders? Accident? If you can locate a person or a body and figure out the nature of its wounds, maybe you'll find out before whatever happened finds you. Either way, care seems warranted.

So, sneaky pickaxe time. Put down the jerry cans quietly. See if you can follow the blood trail, but do keep your eyes on your surroundings as you do.
>>
No. 1018170 ID: 7e04cb
File 164027198536.png - (223.78KB , 800x600 , TQ18.png )
1018170

>Leave the jerry cans and sweep the building
Good idea. I tuck the cans behind some barrels and I carefully approach. The building is pretty big so I doubt I can sweep the whole thing.

>Pickaxe time.
While I may seem timid on the surface, I'm not afraid to defend myself. I bring out my pickaxe, just in case of unexpected company.

>Use your antler sense to see if anyone's in there
I try to pick up any signal of others with my lodestone horns, but I don't detect anyone. My range is about 10 metres, so that only really means that nobody is hiding behind any corners. I can only get a signal from someone who is alive, which I should keep in mind given the current situation.

>see if you're able to check your PDA for nearby signals.
Right. I take a quick glance for any signals close by, but there doesn't seem to be any, at least not from anybody who has their visibility set to public.

>try to determine how old the blood is
It might seem a little morbid... but my curiosity is also a bit morbid. I shuffle over and take a closer look.

Just as I suspected, it does look dry. Very dry. Tobak blood is usually bright blue, like our tongues, and it's supposed to have a slight glow to it. Since its old it has faded and now gives off less of a glow. I touch it for good measure. Yep. Dry.

>follow the blood trail
That's just the thing! there isn't any trail. Which is... Unusual, I think? It's all kinda pooled in one place, like a guy just walked in with a glass of blood and poured it in the middle of the floor and walked off. Who would just leave blood on the floor? Seems like a big waste.

Well... what happens next? Is this something I want to ignore?
>>
No. 1018173 ID: 076735

Look up, just to be sure.

If the blood is old and there's no trail, it's likely whoever bled a lot here was promptly patched up (or cauterized) before being moved (not dragged, which means either the body was lifted by something strong, or that Tobak was still able to walk on their own power).
>>
No. 1018177 ID: 9a2966

>>1018170
No imprint in the dried blood? Like someone was lying in it for a while and then got peeled off it later? They could've been killed on the spot and the body gotten dragged away.

Hm. Look up. It didn't pour down from something else above, did it? Like a pipe or a hole in the floor above?

If neither of these things, then yeah: odd. Someone could have stabbed or shot them, then stuffed their wound so they didn't leave a blood trail, then left with them. Or weirder scenarios.

>Leaving blood on the floor is a waste
Hold on. Are there any particular uses for Tobak blood?
>>
No. 1018180 ID: 8d95be

Head upstairs. Maybe the blood dripped down from above.
>>
No. 1018188 ID: ce39da

Quick - look up. If there's a threat, fucking dodge. If not, then the best conclusion you can make is that the pool's origin was on the next floor up. (Someone dying to chemicals and being dissolved to nothing would alter the blood's color in strange ways and also damage the floor.)
>>
No. 1018190 ID: d47474

check out the rest of the building and keep your guard up. Once you're sure the building is safe and the threat is long gone then you can grab the jerry cans and move on towards grabbing that fuel.
>>
No. 1018200 ID: 7e04cb
File 164029140386.png - (134.58KB , 800x600 , TQ19.png )
1018200

>No imprint in the dried blood?
Nothing like that. Not that I can see...

>Look [b]up. [/i]
Huh? why?

*drip*

ah-! that came from...
>>
No. 1018201 ID: 7e04cb
File 164029142567.png - (213.98KB , 800x600 , TQ20.png )
1018201

Oh. That'd explain it. I don't know why I didn't look there first.

That guy is... I think almost... certainly 100% dead.

>Hold on. Are there any particular uses for Tobak blood?
Plenty if you can keep it in your body. This guy obviously couldn't, for whatever reason.

>Head upstairs
Hold your horses! I need to decide... whether I want... anything to do with whatever went down up there. I get the feeling that the danger has long passed, but I still wonder if what happened up there was an accident or some sort of foul play. I'm not ruling raiders out as a possibility either. I can always grab the cans and pretend... that I didn't see any of this.

But what if that guy had expensive equipment on him when he died?
>>
No. 1018204 ID: 076735

I fear we may end up learning too much about something. We're already on a diverted quest, let's not divert it further. Better keep looking for doc saying where the fuel is.
>>
No. 1018206 ID: ce39da

>>1018204
Unfortunately, the doc is likely in a supervisor's office, which is... upstairs, most probably. Ah, well! The danger seems past; let's head up. Cautiously, of course.
>>
No. 1018208 ID: 9a2966

>>1018204
And yet. And yet.

Loot! Or at least an understanding of what killed that guy - which might still be around and which we'd be otherwise unaware of.

Agreed that we shouldn't take overly long, though.
>>
No. 1018212 ID: b691d9

Before you do anything send a message to your mechanic pal. If something happen to you he maybe can send help or at least be prepared.

Being paranoid he wouldn't have sent you here if he was related to the death of this Tobak (or did it to make it look as if he is not the killer which also means he needs you alive). You can trust him.

About going or not going I would go being very carefully to look for what killed him (so you can avoid ending as him) or make a brief expedition to the weapon cache so you are safer.
>>
No. 1018213 ID: 933dc0

Definitely go up there now! He might have a cool time traveling watch or something.
>>
No. 1018214 ID: 575fcc

Find a stick and poke the body with it, make sure Tobak Zombies (or Vampires) dont exist and nibble on you...

...or do they?
>>
No. 1018216 ID: 2b3343

You can't just leave a body unlooted. Go see if he had any good stuff.
>>
No. 1018275 ID: ce39da

>>1018206
A supplement to my prior suggestion: Although they weren't here long enough to run out of wet blood, they were here long enough for a big puddle to form and get old — ergo, at least an hour ago, which is before you arrived in the area. Therefore, you weren't around to hear if there were any gunshots, so you should be cautious of automated defenses. (I'd be optimistic, though, since I'm sure the mechanic guy would have mentioned it if he heard anything.)
>>
No. 1018320 ID: a2493c

>>1018214
seconding the all-important stick poke.
>>
No. 1018321 ID: 7e04cb
File 164044730620.png - (329.84KB , 800x600 , TQ21.png )
1018321

>Send a message to the mechanic in case something happens
I bring my PDA out and send out a message to the mechanic that I'm checking something out, and if I take too long getting back to him, he should ask those other guys from the excavator to come to the refinery to back me up.

>Find a stick and poke the body with it, make sure Tobak Zombies (or Vampires) don’t exist and nibble on you...
Tobak zombies? I've heard something like that, but those rumors are only brought up deeper down the mantle. Nothing like that should be seen around here, or outside of movies for that matter. That being said I will search for a poking stick.

>You can't just leave a body unlooted. Go see if he had any good stuff.
Loot is why I'm here! Rescue mission can wait, this venture seems more profitable!

>Hear gunshots
Nail guns tend to be pretty quiet, especially indoors. It's possible that something happened as recently as an hour that I didn't hear.

>He might have a cool time traveling watch or something.
I can only hope, you know how much I could sell a cool time traveling watch for? I wouldn't have to worry about food for like, a year!

I choose to approach upstairs [i]very cautiously [/i. Things like automated turrets or traps may be a possibility, and I don't feel like making overly risky decisions. Just one peep to see if there is any loot worth taking, and I’ll be back to the task at hand. just a quick 20 seconds. As the old saying goes; take only photos, leave only footprints. I don't have a camera so it's ok to not follow it exactly.

I take a peep in aaaaand...

Oh dear. there is more than just a dead guy. It's a storage warehouse full of dead guys. 8... 10... 13... 16... There must be over 20 dead tobaks in here.

>I fear we may end up learning too much about something
Eh, too little too late.
>>
No. 1018322 ID: 7e04cb
File 164044732521.png - (380.91KB , 800x600 , TQ22.png )
1018322

I'm no detective, but I'm pretty sure all these guys shot each other with nails, judging by the nail guns on the floor, and the nails sticking out of the walls, and the nails sticking out of tobaks. One thing I notice pretty quickly is that these guys are wearing uniforms from two different companies, none of which are the company that ran this refinery while it was active. I'm pretty sure the blue guys are owned by the Pomi and the brown guys are owned by the Heefs, both of which are off world alien species.

Gathering what I know, I have no idea what went down here. I wasn't even aware that these two companies had beef. I walk around the room some more, not touching anything, so I have the opportunity to leave without any evidence I saw anything. There are a lot of nail guns laying around, I can pick one up if I want.

After not too long I notice a tobak that stands out. He is wearing a tobak jammer on his back. It's still turned on and isn't out of battery. No wonder I didn't detect anybody else around, not just because everyone seems to be dead, but there's a jammer clamming my electromagnetic frequency. I did kinda feel that something was off when I walked in. This means that there might be survivors, but I won't know until I turn it off. But if I do that, whoever is around will know that I'm about. Maybe it's fortunate that it was turned on when I arrived.

It’s weird that none of these armed guys had any armor. Guess I won’t be looting any protective gear.
>>
No. 1018323 ID: 7e04cb
File 164044734290.png - (331.02KB , 800x600 , TQ23.png )
1018323

I walk around a little more looking for clues as to what happened, until I come across a trail of blood. This is the only one I've found that leads outside the room. The jammer prevents me from being able to tell if there is a survivor.
>>
No. 1018324 ID: 383b80

I'm all for looting this jammer, but not yet. Look for documents here first, then follow the blood trail.
>>
No. 1018325 ID: dc5211

>>1018322
to my brain, there's more reasons to turn the jammer off than to leave it on. it signals we're out here, which could be seen as a warning to whoever is in there that survived this. with that warning, they're slightly less likely to reflex murder us.

conversely, if we leave it off we're basically asking to stumble on a guy with little forewarning and get plugged for it.
>>
No. 1018326 ID: 96a9a8

Hold up, there's something very suspicious here. Each corpse has a head wound, WITH NO NAIL IN IT. Every other wound has a nail.
What's also strange is that nobody seems to be behind cover, and the two companies are mixed together. It's like a nail bomb went off in here, then someone came in and mercy-killed everyone. Or a hit squad came in and blinded everyone before gunning them down.

What I'm saying is that you're wrong, they didn't kill eachother. Someone else did, and did a very good job. You should leave, right now, without touching anything, and maybe not tell anyone about it.
>>
No. 1018333 ID: d47474

how much is a jammer worth and how much do nail guns go for? Also how while to nail guns do against razor worms if you absolutely had to use one on them? Oh and are the light blocking goggles worth anything?

Part of me is wondering if it would be worth it to just grab everything you can carry and store it somewhere to come back to with a wagon or something and then sell it all later if it would be worth it.
>>
No. 1018337 ID: 9a2966

>>1018326
>Each corpse has a head wound, WITH NO NAIL IN IT.
The fact both sides have people head-shot with nails that are missing or penetrated all the way in (i.e. shot by a more powerful launcher) should be emphasized, as that means the crack shots involved had good aim and good guns. It's also notable that some of them have nails in their backs - they were running away when they were gunned down (or if this is some kind of cover-up, they were gunned post-mortem, and whoever did it didn't bother moving them).

I'd say it's still possible this is all down to a messy fight. But it getting this messy is also weird in the first place - you'd expect that in a gunfight between two groups the casualties would be more focused towards each side's, uh, area of approach, but here they are all mixed in with one another - as if they were a mixed group to begin with, not two sides facing off.

It could have gotten bad while they were getting up one one another's grill while arguing, I suppose. Somebody escalated to violence and then pow pow pow, surprise messy running gun-battle. If that was what happened they must've run across one another while... what, reclaiming the facility? The original company was here to mine something in the first place and the veins must be untapped still since they never got going. Which might mean this is contested company ground and either party might complain if you're snagging loot or fuel, so it's in your interest not to be seen.

On the other hand, if the teams were here to fix up this place, some of them might know which tank contains the fuel so you don't have to run around an apparent battlergound to try to find it by trial an error. And you really don't want to run into whoever's a crack headshot while standing around trying to fill gas.

...

>What to do
Don't turn off the jammer and announce your presence. Snag it instead, check how much battery it's got left. Bring it with you, so you can guarantee you have surprise (and hey, additional loot). Grab one of the loaded nailguns - and maybe a clip or two if you can find some? Then follow the third blood trail. Put on your goggles as well. Nails hitting metal can cause sparks and I'm betting that would sting your eyes some.

Oh! And is a jammer usual equipment for company outings? If not, then that indicates Team Pomi would've been trying to ambush Team Heef, but it all went terribly wrong.

>Loot
How much are the guns worth? You don't need to pick them all up and carry them with you now, but if you could gather them and stash them somewhere safe outside before you leave, you could just fetch them later (or sell the location to someone else). That's ready-made bank. Ghoulish, ghoulish bank.
>>
No. 1018342 ID: c92a02

If somebody was playing tic tac toe with that guy's back, I think it's wise to leave the jammer on until you leave. Investigate that trail. And grab a nail gun.
>>
No. 1018343 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018337
No matter the skill of the sniper or the power of the round, it wouldn't lead to each one being plugged cleanly between the eyes. These guys were executed. Best case scenario, the messy fight happened, and then the survivor(s) methodically plugged each body to make sure they were dead.

Whatever we do, we need to start getting real tactical with our next moves.

Your goggles wouldn't happen to have a thermal setting, would they? If they do, you could throw them on and do a sweep and make sure all the bodies are just as cold as each other. If some are newer, that would be another red flag (assuming you are warm-blooded, ofc).

That body left of the door seems to have nine nails in a perfectly square pattern on their back. Are there any weapons that fire in a pattern like that, or is it something fucky?

--

Might be a good idea to see if any of the goggles these guys have are better/have more bells and whistles than the ones we have. It could be worth switching them up.
>>
No. 1018349 ID: 96a9a8

>>1018337
>take the jammer with it still turned on
Great idea! Profit and stealth all in one.
>>
No. 1018351 ID: 7e04cb
File 164047023732.png - (229.95KB , 800x600 , TQ24.png )
1018351

>Loot the jammer
Sounds good to me. It might fetch a good price for the right buyer. A couple hundred zeny at least. When I carry it around, I don't have to worry about being ambushed though, so that's neat. As for the battery, it looks to have a few hours left before a recharge is needed.
>is a jammer usual equipment for company outings?
Not to my knowledge. My guess is that these guys were doing something under the table and wanted to move around without outsiders finding out.

>Hold up, there's something very suspicious here. Each corpse has a head wound, WITH NO NAIL IN IT
huh... It took me a bit to notice, but there is something weird about that... Were they stabbed? or shot? either there was a total crackshot sniper or something that was executing them after the fight... Mannnnn I don't have the time or patience to solve a murder mystery!

>Your goggles wouldn't happen to have a thermal setting, would they?
Mine? No. Any of the goggles on these guys? not likely. It's all mass-produced company standard issue. Nothing has fancy tech like that unless you get something custom or you're higher up the corporate chain of command. Speaking of which, it's strange that there aren't any bodies belonging to higher ups around here.

>how much do nail guns go for?
Depends on the type. Your average company standard one might go for 60 to 80 zeny.

>how much do nail guns do against razor worms?
with an air powered nail gun with this calibre of nail? virtually nothing. Razorworms are huge, long, and armored. You need something capable of getting through their shells, like a rail gun or acid.

>Part of me is wondering if it would be worth it to just grab everything you can carry and store it somewhere to come back to with a wagon or something and then sell it all later if it would be worth it.
I'll keep that in mind.

>That body left of the door seems to have nine nails in a perfectly square pattern on their back. Are there any weapons that fire in a pattern like that?
There is one, A nail shotgun. they aren't too common, but they do see some use here in there. Maybe I can get my hands on one of those.

>Grab a nail gun
That also works for me. There are two different types that were being used by these guys, one type has a round magazine while the other uses boxes. If I go for the cylinder magazine, I can hold onto many rounds without reloading but getting an extra magazine would weigh too much, so once I'm out, I'm out. The box magazines have a lower capacity, but I can carry a few magazines on me to reload with. The magazines in each of the guns aren't compatible with one another. I'm looking around but I can't see any nail shotguns, which is a bummer.

Oh, there is a different weapon laying on the ground here...

AH, WHAT THE HELL.

I thought these things were illegal. - oh god, it’s not gonna go off, is it?! I'm not a gun nut, but I know what a flare gun is. If I misfire this thing, I'll get my eyeballs burned out for sure. Why is something like this laying in the middle of the room? Didn't these guys know that these are unsafe as hell?

After I decide on what nail gun to get, I'll check out the trail, and hopefully that leads me to fuel. but I am not sticking around long enough to be discovered, that's for sure.
>>
No. 1018352 ID: c92a02

Take whichever one lets you hold onto the most total nails. Box magazines are probably less of a pain to reload too. Take the flare gun - you have no intention to use it (yet), so it's best that you take it somewhere for disposal instead of leaving it lying around.
>>
No. 1018353 ID: 85f594

Are flare guns worth a lot? If so take it and grab a box nail gun so you don’t have to worry about mistaking one gun for the other.
>>
No. 1018354 ID: 3491a8

Important. Is the trail also of dry blood or is fresher? You might want to avoid that path if there is someone alive.

About the guns I would pick a round magazine for exploring this place and square magazine when you get out. If there is someone still alive you might not need more than a magazine and don't want to have to reload in a bad spot.
>>
No. 1018355 ID: 96a9a8

>>1018351
>flare gun in the middle of the room
Ah. That's... probably how they all died. They were blinded, then shot in the head one at a time, while they all shot blindly at the attacker, hitting eachother with nails as they did so.

I still think you should leave while you still can, but if you must follow the trail... be ready with your goggles.
>>
No. 1018356 ID: a5a63a

Don't take the flare gun, too dangerous. But I agree you shouldn't kleave it laying around either. Put it in some drawer. Unless it's unloaded.
>>
No. 1018358 ID: f13b9a

+1 on not taking flare gun, it could be useful but it's dangerous and sounds like it'll cause legal problems.

If we're just keeping the nailgun for whatever's in the building lets grab a cylindrical magazine, if we're using this for longer then we should take a box one, grab several mags, and whatever we can't carry we should secret in a stash for later.

Would these particular nailguns suggest we got them from the corp and cause trouble, or would they just be generic?
>>
No. 1018377 ID: 729018

>>1018351
There’s an easy answer to both the flare gun and the lack if higher ups. They could have been aliens, and now whichever side won (or whoever attacked the two teams) has them captive.

Goggles on. Where there’s one flare there could be more.

Prep a message about all of this to the indies, public channel, but don’t send it. If someone starts attacking you, you could threaten to expose everything going on here... or do it and maybe get help or force your attacker to consider retreat.

Box ammo gun. You want as much ammo as you can carry, because, an idea: what if you could shoot the ground from afar to draw the razorworms away? They react to vibrations. firing in a pattern could draw them off.
>>
No. 1018378 ID: 729018

>>1018377
Ah. Grab the flare, too. Better YOU know where it is than someone else come in and grab it behind you. Thing goes in the securest receptacle you have though, if any.
>>
No. 1018379 ID: ce39da

> No patience to solve a mystery.
Nonsense! It only takes time and patience to solve when evidence is meticulously hidden or requires analysis to be helpful. If you simply observe instead of just seeing, and resolve to think as you walk (as you've already been doing), you may well surprise yourself!

For instance!

> The Flare Gun
It seems you've found the "smoking gun," so to speak. Double-check to be sure (careful not to pull the trigger-looking part), but I suspect its sole loaded round is spent. A picture now starts to take shape: a gathering of two groups; a flare, loosed; pain, light, and confusion; nails flying everywhere; no survivors.

> The Cover-Up
This is just the outermost image, though. We've already spotted the details suggesting a more complex subject to this piece: signs of unimpeded execution, a missing weapon, missing superiors.

> Premeditated
Yup, this certainly wasn't a spur-of-the-moment escalation. Someone brought a flare gun. Someone arranged for the presence of a jammer. Someone wasn't affected by the flair. Someone (or multiple culprits) killed Tobaks on both sides.

> Motive
This is a bit murky, but it's clear that "corp vs. corp escalation" was the image our culprit(s) be goin' for. This was either meant to artificially ignite conflict between the two corporations... or someone was trying to disappear.

> The Missing Superior
Even without looking where the trail leads, we can say with some certainty that there's at least one Tobak in charge that's unaccounted for. This makes them one of three things: a devilishly lucky coward, a prisoner now being pumped for intel... or a mass murderer. If it's one of the first two, your attention should then be directed towards the neumono you were preparing to save. The hive was doing some kind of operation here, at least one was close enough to the northeast quadrant to have a misadventure, and they're definitely an answer to the question of "cui bono." My money's on the missing superior running off with embezzled corp money stashed somewhere, though. Not to be self-deprecating of your kind, but a Tobak who's inexperienced with alien systems would make some beginner mistakes like "failing to account for people asking where the superior officer is."

> Two Questions
One, is there a way of differentiating corporate group-PDA addresses from freelances? (If not, "freelancers" might be considered suspects.)

Two; is there any significance to the fact that we've yet to see a female Tobak among this whole group? (Heck, we haven't seen one since arriving in the area, come to think of it.)


> WHAT DO
I think we should turn off the jammer and follow that blood trail; make sure to alert whoever's at the other end that we're coming, assuming the jam ending doesn't reveal any surprises in this room. Someone was wounded; assuming they aren't already dead, they need our help far more urgently than that Neumono. Plus, alive or dead, whether you can get their testimony or just their rank alone, light will be cleared (not shed - you're a light-recoiling Tobak) on the subject of this portrait. And, of course, when you've completed the portrait of a killer, all that's left is to find a patron willing to pay a generous commission for it. (It's the subject that will ultimately pay for everything, however - though you're realizing now that this analogy is starting to get away from you.)
>>
No. 1018384 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018377
The message is great, but this isn't a neumono jammer (even though it looks damn near identical). Given that this is jamming electromagnetic signals, this is much more like conventional electronic warfare jamming, which means our messages probably won't go through.

Anyway, goggles up, and keep moving.Grab a box nailgun and make sure you repack the magazines you take so they are full (including the one in the gun itself).

Keep the flare gun in case you need it. On the subject though, that thing looks absolutely human, and absolutely ancient, like if you think your PDA is ancient, try tacking on a century or so looks very very similar to a WW2 era American AN-M8 breech-loading flare gun. Specifically, it looks like an aircraft flare gun since the top hook is for mounting on an aircraft canopy. Strange that they are using it here. The thing is very very simple to operate though, so you should be able to pull up on the lower hook to open the breech (keep your goggles on while doing this). Once done, you should probably take out the round, both to see if it is still live, and to make sure you don't misfire.

Odd idea, but are there any (primarily) human factions in play here? Given how well a lot of human WW2 tech pushed the absolute boundaries of the perfect combination of dirt-cheap, mechanically simple, idiot-proof, and reliable (just look at how well the sten smg performed for being a glorified pipe with a trigger), I suppose it wouldn't be out of the question for human companies to use these sorts of designs to supply their proxy groups.

--

Just to sanity-check the sniper theory, are there windows here, or are we in a fully enclosed building?

--

Lets prep and reevaluate everything before we push into the next room.
>>
No. 1018385 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018384
Forgot to add:

Keep in mind that flares are only nuclear for your species. Most aliens will be perfectly fine once they remove their NODs.
>>
No. 1018395 ID: 9a2966

>>1018384
We also have said jammer to turn off, if we bring it with us.
>>
No. 1018396 ID: 15a025

Carefully discard the flare gun. Grab the nail gun you carry some re-loads for. Once you're well equipped, check out the blood trail.
>>
No. 1018399 ID: 02d14e

To me the flare gun suggests that this massacre was perpetrated by an alien or group of aliens because I doubt any sane Tobak would want to carry around or use a flare gun even if it'd give them a combat advantage over other Tobaks. I think this wounded Tobak would probably atleast be neutral to us as long as we don't spook them into shooting us. Assuming this Tobak is still alive they're also our only hope for a complete picture of what happened here and especially where the killers went and what they want, it wouldn't do to get ambushed while we're trying to fill up our jerry cans.
I think turning off the jammer would be a good idea to avoid getting shot by the injured Tobak but it's kind of risky if there's any hostile Tobaks hanging around. If the flare gun is still loaded (probably not?) then I think you should take it as a last resort escape device against other Tobaks
>>
No. 1018402 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018384
I just noticed that the vehicle being worked on here (>>1018096) looks a lot like a kettenkrad. This could mean that this summit mining is some human company with a rather dated sense of design for their vehicles and equipment. Given the flare gun is made to look like it is the same vintage, it could have been left behind by the mining company and in the midst of battle, one side just happened upon it.
>>
No. 1018403 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018402
these could also be stylistic choices by the author that i am looking way too far into
>>
No. 1018411 ID: e51896

no flare guns, wear goggles
>>
No. 1018442 ID: 7e04cb
File 164056113437.png - (283.69KB , 800x600 , TQ25.png )
1018442

I pull me goggles down and carefully pull the latch which opens the barrel and... phew. there isn't a live round in there. I can still take this with me, but I don't see any spare shots laying around. I still don't have a good feeling about carrying it back home, so I'll carry it around until I can store it at the cache. Who knows, maybe I can use it in a bluff.

I grab a box magazine nail gun, while the magazines only have a capacity of 30 nails, it is much easier to carry multiple magazines. I grab an extra magazine for a total of 60 nails. I don't grab another because I'm still conscious of over-encumbering myself. I make sure to grab stuff that hasn't been soiled with blood, and I grab magazines that are fully loaded.

>Important. Is the trail also of dry blood or is fresher?
Looks dry to me.
>Be ready with goggles as you enter the room
The goggles don't help me see anything if I'm in a pitch-black environment. They are only designed to make things darker. , only the higher tech stuff could save me from being blinded by a flare.

>are there windows here, or are we in a fully enclosed building?
I don't see any windows in here.

>Would these particular nailguns suggest we got them from the corp and cause trouble, or would they just be generic?
Using corporate equipment doesn't cause trouble considering that most loners use said equipment when it becomes unwanted. My goggles used to be company owned but I got it for practically nothing considering how mass produced they are. Nailguns are a bit different, but they don't have paint signifying what company owned them. The only distinct difference between these particular nailguns is one having a box magazine while the other having a drum magazine, slight mechanical differences aside.

>Use nailgun to draw razorworms away
I don't think these nailguns are impactful enough the cause vibrations strong enough to attract razorworms. It's usually something that can emulate footprints that attracts them.

>is there a way of differentiating corporate group-PDA addresses from freelances?
Yes. Company PDA's give a different user code. If your code starts with a single letter 't', that means you aren't aligned with any corporate dominion, or in other words, a freelancer.

>Prepare a PDA message just in case
Being this close to a jammer seems to interfere with the PDA. I might have to turn if off for a moment to do that.

>is there any significance to the fact that we've yet to see a female Tobak among this whole group? (Heck, we haven't seen one since arriving in the area, come to think of it.)
Female Tobaks are considered... much less expendable considering that males outnumber females 5 to 1. Females are valued much more for their greater stature and better sturdiness, so they tend to fill security and combat roles, not so much grunt work like... whatever this was supposed to be. There are a couple female Tobaks working as guards for hire in the local area though, I can contact them at any time through my PDA. Not that the jammer is helping much with sending messages.

>Flare gun looks absolutely human, and absolutely ancient
I've heard that there are reasons why so much stuff was built off of old designs. If there is anything around that resembles old technology from past human society, that's because a database exists documenting equipment that was made during wartimes, and companies use it as a guideline to manufacture basic, primitive equipment which is easy to operate, mechanically simple, cheap to mass produce, and very easy to produce replacement parts for. The main reason they do this is to make their equipment undesirable to other companies in the event that one tries to annex territory. Summit is notorious for this strategy, and it seems to pay off.

>are there any (primarily) human factions in play here?
Summit Mining Co is the biggest human owned mining company I can think of. Well, joint owned. It is cooperatively owned by both humans and belenosian. But as is the case with the wider universe, humans are fairly hands-off when it comes to alien affairs.

Just a quick recap of my inventory so far before I proceed:
Pickaxe, goggles, Map, PDA, 2 days of canned rations, water canteen, antivenom, 2 bandages, 23 zeny.
My new Items include:
2 empty jerry cans (stashed close by) A nail gun with 2 30 round magazines, an empty flare gun and a Tobak jammer.
>>
No. 1018443 ID: 7e04cb
File 164056116444.png - (295.00KB , 800x600 , TQ26.png )
1018443

I decide to turn off the jammer and follow the blood trail. As I turn it off, I do pick up a magnetic fluctuation. There is only one, and I can't tell what it is. It could be a tobak, or it could be a magnetic item.

In the case that it is a person, he has probably also noticed me. I call out to alert to him that I'm coming. Moments pass and I get no response.

After a while of calling out and waiting, I assume that there probably isn't anyone alive, and I see no reason not to proceed. I carefully sneak and poke my head through the doorway, only to be met with a similar sight to before.

Two more dead tobaks, but there is something different with these two. Notably the fact that these two seem to show a higher rank. I can only assume these guys were in charge of what was supposed to go down here. Both of them have the nail shotgun pattern wounds, and the same head injury that all the others had. One thing to note is that one of these guys had his arm severed off.

Between them lies a briefcase, open and completely empty. The handle has a handcuff around it and a severed hand not too far away from it. This is all so cliche, bleurgh.

I can still feel the fluctuation I felt coming in the room though. It's coming from... The Tobak missing the arm. No way he is still alive though, so I'm not sure what that's about.

Oh hey, look, a map on the wall! I can use that to tell which building the fuel is stored!
>>
No. 1018445 ID: 575fcc

>No way he is still alive though, so I'm not sure what that's about.
Poke him with a stick (or suitably long poker object if available). Gotta make sure zombies dont exist. Then loot that body, see what's up with him...
>>
No. 1018447 ID: c92a02

Use canteen on probably-corpse.
I don't suppose that arm wound is salvageable? If he's still alive, you might want to hear his last words. Or maybe it's something on his person.
>>
No. 1018448 ID: 96a9a8

>>1018443
Poke him with a stick, then search him.
I bet the nail shotgun was something the assassin(s) looted on-site.

Hmm, the handcuffs attached to the case imply the arm was cut off to get at the case, but it was then unlocked? I guess they just needed better access to it in order to open it; leaving it on the guy's arm made things too awkward.

After you've got the body searched, check out the map.
>>
No. 1018449 ID: e3eaff

Poke the tobak we're getting the signal from with the nailshotgun ready, we want to make sure he won't lash out (even if it's unlikely).
>>
No. 1018451 ID: 5d9787

How would he survive with a hole in the brain?
Check his vitals: heartbeat, breathing and pupil dilatation (if that works for you).
If far more likely that he have some magnetic object, but if he is alive you should try to reduce the bleeding.

Do the higher hanks have any pocket money?
>>
No. 1018454 ID: ce39da

> Magnetic Signature
Yeah, never count a guy out until you check vitals. Do a poke test, then check for a pulse. If you feel anything, move immediately into performing triage. If not, search his body for the signal's source.

> Handcuffed Briefcase
Oh. Now you begin to understand the story of these two groups. They came here to exchange one or more things - things contained in a briefcase that a third party took from their cold dead bodies after someone leaked the meeting. I know you're not a fan of mysteries, but even you ought to realize that this is enough to clear any misunderstandings that might muddy the waters between the two companies. Let it be said that even intangible things like up-to-date truths can have a lucrative price tag attached if you know who to talk to.

On that note, scour the other captain's body thoroughly. It's a remote possibility, but there's a chance that whatever the Pomi corp wanted to give in exchange for the carrying case is still on this guy. You probably aren't bold enough to cash it in yourself, but I'm sure they'd appreciate its return.

Also, see if you can find whatever PDAs these guys were using - these items too may fetch you a reward.

> Map
Once you've resolved everything else, locate that fuel.
>>
No. 1018466 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018443
Check their kit and goggles! They are the ones most likely to get the best toys.
Also snag that beret. Berets are cool (plus it matches our outfit color!).

That guy is almost definitely dead, which to me says he has some potentially useful or valuable tech on him. Check for booby traps though (an electronic bomb could also be what is giving off the em signal, although that is kind of high tech just to trap a corpse, so I think this is unlikely), just in case.

The briefcase itself looks pretty nice. Has a foam interior and a presumably trauma-proof outer shell. Would that be something worth either selling or using ourselves? You would need to look around for the key (or remember to keep it unlocked) and may need to carve some of the foam out to allow for more general objects to fit.
>>
No. 1018478 ID: 235ba5

>>1018443
Did they cut off that dude's arm then open the case it was attached to like... not even a foot away?

Also a strong magnetic reaction from inside a tobak that is like.. pretty dead looking implies some dumb alien shit going on. Focus your magno-sense as strongly as you can. Loot dead blue officer, but don't get handsy with the brown officer until you have at least some idea what's going on with him being magnetic.
>>
No. 1018491 ID: cdabe3

Do tobak normally dies eyes wide open?
>>
No. 1018492 ID: d47474

>I can still feel the fluctuation I felt coming in the room though. It's coming from... The Tobak missing the arm. No way he is still alive though, so I'm not sure what that's about.
If I had to guess he has something on his person that's giving off the signal. Search him if you want might be valuable but other then that I say look at the map, find where you can find some fuel, and see if you can't find a good location to stash your loot. That jammer looks like it could be worth something but also looks bulky as hell, Plus all those nail guns still laying around. Be a real shame if you had to give up and a decent payday just because you didn't have enough pockets to hold everything (or brake your back trying to hold everything but same difference really)

As for the shootout... whelp not really much more you can do here besides loot the bodies. I guess let someone know about it eventually if you don't think you'll get in trouble for it or just ignore it completely once you grab all the loot you want and let it sort itself out.
>>
No. 1018495 ID: 729018

>>1018478
Yeah, sheez, this could be a magnetism-based booby trap for whoever is sent to investigate. Can you walk past him without your fields overlapping? Can you turn on the jammer again and then walk past him? Not sure it’d be worth messing with the body in the hopes it’s actually something lootable and valuable.

And yeah, think we can discount this being a fight between the two forces - this was a secret trade and someone ambushed it with a flaregun and stole the items.

Also some cabinets to the right there. Probably just useless papers inside, but since you’re here a peek probably won’t hurt.
>>
No. 1018496 ID: 7e04cb
File 164060564322.png - (259.00KB , 800x600 , TQ27.png )
1018496

>Do tobaks normally die eyes wide open?
Apparently!

>Poke him
Poke. Poke poke. God, that is the meanest looking tobak I have ever seen! It's a good thing he is dead, because there is no way he'd let me do it if he were alive.

>Pulse
Oh, right, a pulse, I forgot to check for a pulse! I hold on to his wrist, the one that is still attached to feel for a pulse, some sign of heartbeat, but there is nothing. I check for breathing, and still nothing. This guy is thoroughly dead, no two ways about it. Nope. This guy ain't springing to life anytime soon.

Poke. Poke poke poke.

I just noticed; he has a name tag. 'G.CLAY' Is Clay his first or last name? What does the 'G' stand for? Was he a general or something? General Clay doesn't ring any bells.

I scour the body of the Pomi corp higher up to see if he kept whatever has was gonna exchange for this briefcase, unfortunately I find no such thing. I don't find anything useful on him at all, not even pocket change, which is a real shame. Both of these guys have their PDA's on them, but they both have them password locked, and it's starting to look like the passwords will remain a well-kept secret. I could scrap them for raw components but that would hardly be worth the trouble.

Poke poke.

>Check their kit and goggles! They are the ones most likely to get the best toys.
Pomi corp guy seems to have a regular pair, the Heef corp guy on the other hand seems to have something more special. Maybe 'custom' is more the word I'm searching for, seeing as he only has half a goggle with a box of sorts where is non-functioning eye is. It seems to be a more up to date model with an infrared mode, but it only has one eye. I could loot it, but If I were to use It, I can say goodbye to any sense of depth perception, and my aim with a nailgun would be off as a result.

>Also snag that beret. Berets are cool
Berets are cool. But I don't think I'm ready for the kind of attention that would bring!

Poke poke... poke poke...

>Did they cut off that dude's arm then open the case it was attached to like... not even a foot away?
What's stranger is that they took everything out of the case instead of just bringing the case with them. What's wrong with the case? Looks perfectly fine to me.
>>
No. 1018497 ID: 7e04cb
File 164060567897.png - (219.87KB , 800x600 , TQ28.png )
1018497

>Search his body for the signal's source.
I focus really hard on trying to find where the emission is coming from and it's somewhere around his torso. I doubt it's a bomb or something like that, maybe it's a piece of tech?
I rummage around his jacket, and it doesn't take long for me to notice an object tucked away into one of the inner coat pockets.

Huh? What's this? Whatever it is, this is what the emission is coming from. If I had kept that jammer turned on, I would've missed it completely! Talk about lucky!

It seems to be some kind of rock. A crystal? No... An opal? it does glimmer a little, but that doesn't explain the magnetism. An ore? possibly. What is it? I'm not sure. I've never seen anything like it. It does look pretty though. It isn’t heavy either, I can carry it in my bag without worrying about it weighing me down. I can feel the signal emitting from it constantly, but it isn't uncomfortably strong or anything.

I start to get sad, thinking about all the loot I have to leave behind because of my carry limit. Maybe when the engineer gets that vehicle up and running, we can bring it over here and get the rest of it! Maybe I can shoot a message out to those guys at big red to see if they want a piece of the action. We're looking at zeny close to the quadruple digits baby! Coming here turned out to be worth it after all! So long as no consequences arise, that is.

… Poke.
>>
No. 1018498 ID: 5d9787

For now you feel like two signals but can silence an area if needed. Keep this in mind.
That is enough poking, go find the fuel.
When you leave this building send a message informing the mechanic that your detour didn't resulted in your death.
>>
No. 1018499 ID: cdabe3

I’m sure absolutely nothing bad will happen if you take this mystery, magnetism-emitting rock thing from the body of high ranking corporate agent you found in the midst of a literal bloodbath where everyone has died with weird wounds on their heads.
>>
No. 1018500 ID: 076735

Surely you can find a non-murderous buyer to sell this to. Or like, bring it to their company for a reward. In the meantime, let's get to that fuel.
>>
No. 1018502 ID: 729018

Whatever that item is it is probably hot and needs fencing fast. Unless keeping it on your person makes it hard to detect as a separate item or entity? Could use the jammer to disguise its presence, even if not (and hey, you can probably recharge the jammer at the place with the two TV indeps). Maybe... that’s what the blue team was doing? Maybe part of the trade had already occurred when the ambush happened and the ambushers missed it due to the jammer being on? Or not having magnetic senses in the first place. That makes this the prize of prizes (valuable, small, transportable), you’ll just have difficulty selling it for what it’s worth. Hm. Maybe if you save the Neumono you can use the opportunity to sell it to his corp?

Proposal: tell your two TV indep buds about the haul (they’ve got nothing better to do, clearly), say you’ll want a small cut (10%) or later favors, but you got the heebie-jeebies from the scene and have to hurry anyway, so they’re welcome to it if they’re willing - you can’t do much about it on your own (too MUCH loot!) AND still go save the Neumono.

Then hustle outta here with the fuel just in case whoever did this realizes they missed something and comes back.

Might even be wise to pull in a guard or two, ostensibly to help with the Neumono thing (you can pay the other with the jammer, seems useful for a gun for hire, or at least really pawnable), but really to guard your back.
>>
No. 1018503 ID: d47474

Do you have anywhere you could stash all the loot in here if you had a way to move it? If so it might be a good idea to double time it for that fuel and then tell the mechanic about this place once he fills the vehicle up so he can make a pitstop near your stash location (not at the location itself that would be dumb) after you come back to loot this place. You will probably have to give him half the stuff you loot but half is still better then none. Or at the very least ask if he can make/find you a wagon/wheelbarrow.
>>
No. 1018508 ID: ce39da

> Cuffs Cut Off, Not Unlocked, Case Was Open
The key to the handcuffs wasn't here, but the case could be opened; the case's contents were definitely what the Heefs were offering.

> Didn't Take the Case Itself
Again, the case was likely opened when the two groups were attacked, and I assume the culprit doesn't have the means to open it themselves.

> Magnetic Crystal Found on Heef Officer
> Pomi Employee Has the Jammer
Were they in the middle of handing this off when they got jumped? You'd think the jammer would come with the crystal as a joint package.

Wait, come to think of it: Check if you can close the case without locking it (or can unlock it again if need be, being sure to memorize what code it's currently set to or, failing that, resolve to see if Clay had a key on him). If you can, try putting the crystal inside and closing it, observing what happens to your sense of it - bonus points if it fits neatly into one of the slots. Think about it; one party had a jammer, the other had a lead-lined case. Heck, the timing works, too; I can totally see the culprit waiting for them to open the case before they struck, especially if they weren't sure of the contents at first. Clay had taken one crystal out when shit hit the fan. He shoved it into his pocket as he limped away with the other guy who had his shit slightly more together.

Considering how the case slots are arranged... the culprit probably knows they missed something, even if it wasn't their primary objective...

> What Do
Take some identifying pieces off both officers (PDAs, tags, badges, custom gear, etc.). I'm sure the corps will appreciate getting accurate info about what happened to that group of Tobaks they sent - and call in the massacre on public chat. "Pomi and Heef Corp Tobaks dead in the refinery; they got flared and shot up by a third party. The stuff they were there to negotiate about got yoinked. Stay safe, guys."

Then locate that fuel.
>>
No. 1018519 ID: 7e04cb
File 164062895476.png - (171.61KB , 800x600 , TQ29.png )
1018519

>Check if the case blocks the magnetic frequency of the ore when closed.
I move over to the case and put the ore in one of the slots. It fits in one pretty neatly, but not exactly, the rough shape of the ore rattles around loosely in the squared-out shape. Maybe it was supposed to come in a box? I close the case making sure not to close the latches and accidentally lock it. upon sealing the ore inside, I am unable to pick up the signal. I guess that proves it, the case is lined with something breaking up the magnetism, Lead if I would have to guess.

>Surely you can find a non-murderous buyer to sell this to
That won't be an issue, you can pretty much sell anything to the depots. Ores, alloys, copious amounts of dubiously obtained copper piping, you name it, they won't ask questions. Which company I sell it to is the better question, each pays a different amount to what you turn in. I might have to think on it first before deciding.

>Maybe if you save the Neumono you can use the opportunity to sell it to his corp?
I could do that, but I don't expect to get a good price. When it comes to mining companies, the Hive is the smallest of the small. If I have to compare the size of their depot, it's like a lemonade stand when put next to all the others. At times I feel bad for them, the impression I get of Neumono is that they must be very underwhelming compared to the other aliens, especially if one can be entrapped and in need of rescue so easily.

With all of that out of the way, the fuel comes back to being my first priority.

I look over to the floorplan of the facility on the wall, and it tells me pretty much of what I suspected; I'm not in the liquid storage area to begin with. Getting over there is a walk that'll last a bit, so I use the time to check and send out messages. I go down my list of contacts.

>Call in the massacre on the public chat
That doesn't sound like the most profitable use of this situation! I don't want others looting the scene while I'm gone and giving me none of the cut.

>tell your two TV indep buds about the haul
I send out a message to the two.
this is the beginning of a group text chat with t-108742-ind, t-411108-ind and t-738128-ind(you).
t-738128-ind(you): hey guys, this is dowser. feel like picking up the rest of a good equipment haul?
>t-108742-ind: yOU AGAIN. WHAT'D YOU FIND?
t-738128-ind(you): i stumbled upon some sort of gruesome scene that went down. all in all, around 22 dead guys, lots of equipment to pick up and sell, i have about just all I can carry.
>t-108742-ind: iNTERESTING.
t-411108-ind: Oh hey you guys started a chat! I would be down there with you guys, but this show is getting really good! I'm a big fan of the big lady with the scary smile. Hey Damyin, what's up with your caps?
>t-108742-ind: mY KEYBOARD IS BROKEN. dON'T WORRY ABOUT IT.
>t-108742-ind: dOWSER, WHERE DID YOU FIND THIS.
t-738128-ind(you): I won't reveal anything until we can work out a deal. I want a cut of what you guys get out of it.
>t-108742-ind: i WON'T NEGOTIATE ANYTHING UNTIL I SEE THE EQUIPMENT. iT AUGHT TO BE WORTH THE TIME.
I leave the conversation there to check with other contacts.

>send a message informing the mechanic that your detour didn't result in your death.
t-738128-ind(you): i am ok for the moment. don't send anybody, at least not yet.
>t-845924-ind: Happy to hear it!
>t-845924-ind: I hope you are not having too much trouble!


There are two unchecked messages I got since the last time I checked my PDA
>ts-315054-gfh: Heyyyyyyyy~ Σ: Dosweerrrrrrr~ <3 That’s her alright.

>t-657029-ind: I-would-watch-my-back-if-I-were-you. this one is a little ominous. This is from a device code I do not recognise.
>>
No. 1018521 ID: 96a9a8

>>1018519
Shit. Someone saw you go in there. Jammer goes on, you get the hell out, tell those two that you now have reason to believe the location is being watched and there may be danger involved. If your phone can take and send pictures, send them some pics of the loot before you go.

Also take some pics in general.
>>
No. 1018523 ID: 9a2966

>Watch-your-back
Resist (or don't) the urge to literally look around and watch your back. What it really sounds like is that someone's observed you entering the place and knew it'd be bad news. Or maybe they are the bad news... but then why warn you?

Respond: "Thanks? Anything, uh, else?"

Definitely hire a guard. Pull that favor. Make helping the Neumono your reason, at least until you can inform them in person. Tell them to meet you at the mechanic's place, that'd be a nice rendezvous point.

>Neumon-down-on-their-luck-os
Huh. Okay. Guess you'll just have to make your own impression of them then.

>TV indep crew, acceptance hesitancy, lazy TV watching
Ah well, we're a bit committed now, so reveal more details, especially if you can manage to get the other guy interested in the mystery, rather than his TV show. Tell it depends on what he considers 'worth his time'. Would slightly less than two dozen nail guns, probably some pocket goods, extra mags, and a heck of a warscene to witness do it?

If he really wants to inspect the goods you looted (sans crystal, of course) before committing offer to meet at the mechanic's, soon-ish. If he presses for more info or seems dubious, reveal more, as needed:

- You think some sort of secret deal between two corps - brown heef, blue pomi - went sour.

- Does he know who a "G.Clay" is? Because, uh, whoever they are? Now dead. Both corpocaps involved are dead, actually, but only one had a nametag. Weird, for such a clandestine meeting.

- You don't know when anyone is coming to check up on the dead guys. You'd say it happened a few hours ago. Depends on how secret the secret deal was, you guess? (fair warning about risk, an indicator you're being honest and also another good explanation for why you're not taking everything yourself)

- Someone ELSE definitely got away with a score, but you'd advice staying mum on that, in case any of them are still nearby doing that whole 'criminal always returns to the scene of the crime' thing (you too, have seen movies). You just stumbled across the ambush site and snagged a few things that weren't nailed down (oh boy, that terrible pun wasn't even intentional), then felt bad about leaving the rest, hence this call.

- He can make up his own impression on the scene if or when he gets there, maybe he'll find or realize something you didn't.

Conclusion: If t-108742-ind accepts without having to meet up, say you'd like a fair 10% from any sales made, and you hope that claim is low enough that he won't try to cheat you from anything even if he finds more than the stuff you saw.

If it's normal to haggle start at 20%, then allow yourself to get pushed - he/they would be taking the risk of running into an angry recovery crew.

Then... hustle and get that dang fuel and get back to the mechanic's place.
>>
No. 1018524 ID: 5d9787

>upon sealing the ore inside, I am unable to pick up the signal. I guess that proves it, the case is lined with something breaking up the magnetism, Lead if I would have to guess.

I once failed a test question about this.
The Faraday cage effect prevent magnetic and electric fields from outside to manifest inside, but it doesn't prevent those fields generated inside from manifesting outside. A lead layer wouldn't be enough, this case must have some other mechanism and might be valuable tech because of it.


>t-657029-ind

Isn't this one of the two unknowns you send a message asking if they were having an emergency?


>Heyyyyyyyy~ Σ: Dosweerrrrrrr~ <3

You were holding some gossip! Is she cute? How did you called her attention?
Don't make her wait too long. Greet her and mention you stumble into something that may be worth caching that favor if she is available. Also ask if she would have fun playing hero with you, you got something in mind.
>>
No. 1018526 ID: a9af05

>>1018519
Let the tv watchers know about the ominous message you received and give them the ID code for the device that sent it to you.
>>
No. 1018530 ID: ce39da

> Any depot will do, no questions asked.
Well, in this case, depending on who you sell what, questions are going to be asked even if you aren't the one being addressed. If you plan to dump whatever you looted and wash your hands of the matter, be wary of the Pomi, Heef, and Neumono depots. Any one of them might decide that you know too much and/or that you know something they don't. (The latter would be good, actually - that scenario has profit potential - whereas the former really, really wouldn't be good at all.)

> Incredulous looters.
If you can take and send photos, do it - this is both a tech-feature question and a lighting question, for the record. If not, reveal your surface-level observations (but keep withholding the location until an agreement is reached).

> The Favor.
Between the rescue op you're planning and the vague threats, I think now is the time to cash in your favor. Should you be bracing yourself for this to lead to snoo-snoo later? (Also, agreed on the rendevous point being the motor depot.)

> Last-minute loot plus exit strategy.
Don't take the case itself - the culprit left it for a reason; I wouldn't put a tracking device past the corps. Take the infrared goggle and badges, though. Once you've sent your messages, the scrambler goes back on, the fuel is gotten, and you should be leaving through a different entrance than when you arrived.
>>
No. 1018543 ID: d47474

find fuel and see if you can't negotiate getting something to help you carry stuff from mechanic guy after dropping the fuel off. Maybe have the other two guys you're trying to get to help you loot stuff meet you at the mechanics place so you can show off some of the loot you grabbed and see if they're interested in getting part of the haul.

not sure if you should call that favor in yet though as the random response from the creepy message might just be from someone who heard/saw the fight go down and is just throwing out a general warning. I mean you've said it yourself, things are mostly safe in this part of the cave, you have to go further in before you need to start worrying and you've been down here a lot and long enough to have a pretty good idea on how stuff works. Sure the shootout was gruesome but you made it sound like while rare isn't unheard of for things like that to happen so I don't see why you'd be getting paranoid about it now. Feels a bit premature.
>>
No. 1018546 ID: c92a02

Cool rock, check. Cool goggles, check. Infrared is useful - who would need depth perception and light dampening simultaneously?
Tell the guard you'd like to meet up, while you ask the cryptic one who they are. Head for the fuel stores while keeping an eye out for snipers.
>>
No. 1018550 ID: 9a2966

>>1018530
Weird that the Neumono are included in this. Unless the assumption is that they did the robblery, in which case maybe we shouldn't go ahead and rescue some guy of theirs and instead just focus on gathering the loot that's here?

Eh, it's gotta be a coincidence they were in the area just when a big ambush went down. It's not like they did the hit then had to leave one of their scouts behind because they were hauling the hot hot goods away just as they chanced upon the razorworm nest, right?

...right?

Ooooh nooo, the Neumono are actually degenerate dangerous hired killer assassins and their entire corp being a small mining hive is a cover for their real activities: murder for fun and profit!

... eeeh, nah. Still sounds silly. Let's just go rescue the unfortunate fella. Maybe he'd be able to tell what he and his fellows were doing around here?

>Grab infragog
And I'm not sure about picking up the infragog (it's for one eye, so gog instead of goggles). While it'd be sorta useful (and could prevent you being blinded in both eyes, since you can wear one at all times and gain the benefits of both, if loss of depth perception and having to shift focus back and forth from one eye), maybe it's a bit too distinct and recognizable? Nail guns and even jammers can probably have been gotten from other places, but this is a pretty distinct piece of tech. Maybe we could incorporate it into our existing goggles or something to make it less obvious.

Are tracking chips a thing? That's also something that worries me about all the equipment we're picking up.
>>
No. 1018561 ID: 36784c

>>1018519
Did you know that Neumono are a little bit psychic? They can share their empathy with each other.

Maybe the reason they’re antagonistic towards Tobaks is because you guys being able to detect things with your lodestone horns messes with the Neumonos’ psychic emotions?
>>
No. 1018564 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018519
Remember to grab that upgraded custom goggle. We could try to use it with one lens of our current goggles, or with an eyepatch. Monocular vision isn't the worst thing. Some military outfits use monocular NODs after all. Even if you don't use it for now, I'd wager we could jury rig something with it.

Make an effort to look for the key to the case since you just locked it. The case seems like a high quality item in and of itself and it would be a damn shame if we have to break it to get the mcguffin out.

--

Probably shouldn't respond to either of the new numbers unless you have a very good reason to. Especially the unknown. They could be an unrelated troublemaker. If they aren't, we still have no reason to communicate at this point.

--

Grab the beret. Even if you don't wear it for now, we could take it and customize it later so it isn't so much of a target. (I really want us to get a beret. :P)

--

>>1018561
iirc from established lore, empathy isn't related to the em spectrum, meaning there is no chance of that happening.

If there is legitimate bad blood, I would guess that Tobak's appearance is close enough to Neumono themselves that it triggers an uncanny valley effect. It is also possible some Tobaks have the same pupil pattern as Predators do, which would likely be extremely alarming to Neumono.

>>1018550
>trackers
If we can find the key, we can store anything that may be chipped in the box, since it seems to have a faraday cage incorporated in it (probably not lead lined. That would make it really heavy, plus lead doesn't block magnetic fields).
>>
No. 1018567 ID: 3491a8

Two companys has send to death a lot of Tobaks for that piece of ore, might not be the only involved. Are you sure the risk is worth it?

Ask t-657029-ind what he means. I doubt he will respond, but you don't lose nothing for trying.

And what company ts-315054-gfh works for? Maybe you can get her help to sell that ware without dying as favor.
>>
No. 1018568 ID: 7a2420

Yeaaaaah, that rock has "MacGuffin" written all over it. I hope you're ready for a solid few weeks of intrigue and harrowing adventure.

I'd strongly consider calling in that favor, at least if any new dangerous developments occur.

I would respond to the ominous message, because they clearly know you're there already, and you're still sortof in the dark. So to speak. Further info on what to watch out for would be nice. Don't count on a response, though.
>>
No. 1018571 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018568
>mcguffin-proofing
We could potentially bury it somewhere and sell the location. Less risk to our person.
>>
No. 1018582 ID: 7e04cb
File 164071796564.png - (157.58KB , 800x600 , TQ30.png )
1018582

>The case might be valuable tech. Is there a key? take the goggles
If it's valuable it probably has a tracker on it. Last thing I need is to be hunted down for valuables I didn't take! Well, most valuables I didn't take. I don't see the key anywhere, so that is another reason I won't take it. The goggles (or gog, since it is only one lens) on the corpse though? I think I'll snag those. Might not get a good price If I plan on selling it since there is only one lens, but maybe it'll fetch some use. I'll pocket it for now. You know what? fine, I'll even pocket the beret, but only because of how light it is.

>Take pictures
It's difficult to take photos of a pitch-black room. Besides, my PDA isn't capable of taking photos.

> keep an eye out for snipers.
While there aren't many windows around, I still follow the advice I got from that message and watch my back.

>Neumono involved in what went down
While not an impossibility, I don't see any evidence to support the theory. I hear they don't have the reaction times needed for a fire fight.

>Did you know that Neumono are a little bit psychic? They can share their empathy with each other.
I did hear something about psychic powers. It might not be too different from a male tobak's dowsing, but it is entirely separate. The overall antagonism comes from the hive not hiring outsiders. That's just how family businesses are, I guess.

>You were holding some gossip! Is she cute? How did you call her attention?
She is... Eccentric. That is probably the best I can describe her. Capable and eccentric. I called her attention when I had something she wanted one time.

>What company does ts-315054-gfh work for?
Last I checked she was a freelancer/guard for hire. I think she is still on her own but maybe she found work since then.

>Pull that favor. Make helping the Neumono your reason, at least until you can inform them in person.
May as well. The task certainly warrants some help.
t-738128-ind(you): alright, i think i have something worth cashing that favor in for. are you busy?
>ts-315054-gfh: O? \(8)\︿/(8)/ Finally! naw i'm just chillin'. About the favor- AFAIU you were saving it 4 something special? o_O
t-738128-ind(you): meet me at the vehicle yard. i will see you there in a bit.
>ts-315054-gfh: Okii!~~ <3<3 xoxo

God the way she types irritates me. I much prefer to speak with her in person for this very reason. I leave the message brief to leave the talking for later.

Thinking about the mystery message, it was probably somebody who saw me come in, and hopefully not much more than that. If it was whoever caused the scene, it doesn't really make sense for them to warn me.
t-738128-ind(you): thanks? anything, uh, else?
>t-657029-ind: That-may-have-come-off-as-threatening,-but-I-mean-it.-I-think-it-might-be-haunted.
I don't believe in ghosts. Maybe zombies. Not ghosts.
t-738128-ind(you): Who are you?
>t-657029-ind: Not-anyone-of-note.-I-am-nearby,-watching-from-the-road.-trust-me-though,-I-have-seen-weird-stuff.

I hold off on talking further to the TV guys, I don't want to send them here if this place is unsafe. Maybe once I get the fuel and split.

>Yeaaaaah, that rock has "MacGuffin" written all over it. I hope you're ready for a solid few weeks of intrigue and harrowing adventure.
If it's a big deal I can put it back! It might not even be valuable. Maybe it was just a pretty rock that the guy picked up. I'm only holding onto it on the off chance that it holds value.
>>
No. 1018583 ID: 7e04cb
File 164071799679.png - (265.83KB , 800x600 , TQ31.png )
1018583

I arrive at the liquid storage branch of the refinery. I wasn't sure if what I was looking for would be marked but luckily for me, it seems an independent Tobak with a marker came through earlier with a marker and labelled everything for me.

Most of the containers are labelled with 'ICHOR' which is a colloquial term for anything acidic, corrosive or otherwise caustic. I find a line of containers marked with fuel, but most seem to be empty or converted to a different liquid.

After looking through each one, and not getting much luck, I end up to the last one in line. I tap the container a few times, and it isn't empty! Thank God. Alright, just need to turn this valve and fill up the cans, then leave.

Just gotta... turn it right. Right makes it looser, right?

Maybe if I get behind it I can... Al...most... Just gotta... put my weight into it...
>>
No. 1018584 ID: 7e04cb
File 164071801783.png - (263.94KB , 800x600 , TQ32.png )
1018584

-snap-

...oops.
>>
No. 1018585 ID: 3c3660

That’s lefty loosey… oh well. Any chance a tool could turn the shaft of that valve still?
If it’s truly haunted, a look around with infrared might reveal any ghosts.
>>
No. 1018586 ID: ce39da

You know the phrase is "righty tighty, lefty loosey," right? This is probably one blunder you'll never live down if anyone finds out it was you.

This is salvageable, right...? Maybe text your mechanic buddy for tech support.

Meanwhile, it seems Spooky might be a witness: "Mysterious how? Got some examples?"
>>
No. 1018591 ID: 5d9787

This is really bad. If you don't have a tool to rotate what's left of the valve the only way to get the fuel is to damage the container wasting a lot of fuel you can't carry. That is one way of gaining a bad reputation among looter.
Is there another functional fuel tank nearby? Do you know anywhere you could find tools that weren't looted? Can this tank be open from the top?
>>
No. 1018598 ID: a9af05

>>1018584
You know that guy that's watching from the road? Pretty sure he saw that. And now he's going to tell everyone about how you broke this and no one can get fuel from it. So you better fix this before your reputation becomes "guy that broke the fuel valve".
>>
No. 1018599 ID: 96a9a8

>>1018584
Oh boy. How bad is the damage? Could you pull out what's left of the valve shaft and use one of the other valves (from an empty tank) to replace it?
Also yeah it's lefty-loosey, righty-tighty.
>>
No. 1018605 ID: 7e04cb
File 164072850395.png - (239.88KB , 800x600 , TQ33.png )
1018605

>Meanwhile, it seems Spooky might be a witness
I ask him to elaborate on what he was seen.
t-738128-ind(you): what kind of weird stuff? got some examples?
>t-657029-ind: people-have-told-me-that-they-see-a-shadowy-guy-lurking-around.-nobody-recognizes-him-or-his-affiliation.-he-is-always-too-far-away-to-get-a-good-look-at. not-to-mention-that-there-have-been-a-few-times-where-tobaks-have-entered-and-never-returned.-those-are-the-rumors-anyway.-I-bet-the-place-was-built-on-a-tribal-worshipping-ground.
>t-657029-ind: I've-tried-stopping-everyone-I-can-from-entering-but-I-must-have-missed-you.-If-you-see-a-shadowy-guy,-watch-out!
I'm pretty sure this guy is just telling me stuff just to scare me off. I'm not a kid anymore, I don't believe in fairy tales.

>If it’s truly haunted, a look around with infrared might reveal any ghosts.
That's ridiculous, there is no such thing as ghosts.

>Any chance a tool could turn the shaft of that valve still?
hmmm maybe if I look for one. I don't think I have anything on me that could do that...

>This is probably one blunder you'll never live down if anyone finds out it was you.
Oh god, oh HELL. nobody can ever know.

>Text the mechanic
What did I just say? Nobody can ever know! Besides, I feel like this isn’t worth his attention.

>If you don't have a tool to rotate what's left of the valve the only way to get the fuel is to damage the container wasting a lot of fuel you can't carry. That is one way of gaining a bad reputation among looters.
OH GOD OH GOD NOT MY REP.

>You know that guy that's watching from the road? Pretty sure he saw that. And now he's going to tell everyone about how you broke this, and no one can get fuel from it. So, you better fix this before your reputation becomes "guy that broke the fuel valve".
AAHHHHHHHHHHHHH WHY ISN'T IT FITTING BACK IN.

>Is there another functional fuel tank nearby
That depends, does napalm work good as fuel?

>Can this tank be opened from the top?
I assume so, the top is flat so I'm guessing there is some sort of hatch. I'll have to take the catwalk, problem is that if it's mostly empty, I'll have to find a way of filling the cans from up top.

>Do you know anywhere you could find tools that weren't looted?
Maybe if I look around. Maybe find a wrench or something.

Or I could... Get my pickaxe and... y'know...
>>
No. 1018606 ID: c92a02

The higher you aim, the less fuel you’ll drain. Get up on the catwalk to gauge how much is there.
>>
No. 1018607 ID: a9af05

>>1018605
Find a bucket and a really long rope, attach rope to bucket, lower bucket down from the top of the tank, pull bucket up with fuel, pour fuel into cans, repeat until cans are full.

Make sure you don't fall into the fuel silo because you won't be able to get back out if you do.

>Or I could... Get my pickaxe and... y'know...
Isn't that risky? If you do that, you might cause a spark, which would ignite the fuel and cause an explosion! Which would be extremely bad, since there's also napalm in the next silo over and that's even more explosive!
>>
No. 1018608 ID: df4c65

>>1018607
Agreed, on both accounts. Especially the latter point, fuel fires aren't fun and go boom VERY fast.

Sidenote, in absence of glorious bucket, you can double back and salvage some clothes and jurry-rig a "cloth bag" with that and the nailgun. Rope too I guess, but what industrial site doesn't have rope and a bucket?
>>
No. 1018609 ID: a2493c

>>1018605
just find a wrench and use that. jesus, there's pipes all over the place, there's gotta be a pipe wrench sitting around somewhere.

oh, also, there's totally a scary shadow guy right behind you, and he'll probably vanish the moment you look. tricks of the medium are non-negotiable, you see.
>>
No. 1018617 ID: 5d9787

>>1018607
>Find a bucket and a really long rope...
I was thinking something along those lines. The bucket may not even be necessary if the cans can be lower with the rope.

If you find a wrench before finding a rope it's an even better solution for the problem.

The pickaxe is exactly what I was referring to in relation to waste fuel you can't carry. Not only that you would also be spilling who knows how much flammable liquid around you.

Now pay attention to the apparently male tobak to your left.
>>
No. 1018619 ID: ce39da

Jammer on, now. Fix screw-up later, address Tobak behind you now.

> Mysterious Lurker
> Witnesses Go Missing
> Missing Prize In Clay's Pocket
Ladies and gents, we have our second suspect (after the Neumono Company as our first).
>>
No. 1018620 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018605
Looks like the shadow dude is behind you.

>high tech case
Fine, whatever. We should probably make our own faraday cage for the rock then. All it is is some metal mesh made into a container. It should block the signal.

>Trackers
Wouldn't you be able to sense the EM signal coming from tracking chips? I mean, they have to give off something be tracked.

>broken wheel
You are going to need a blowtorch. Pretty much the only way. I thought about making thermite (aluminum shavings and rust powder), but you would need a crucible which you don't really have, nor would you likely be able to make one.

If I were to guess, there probably isn't an opening at the top. Originally, they probably attached a hose to the nozzle with the shutoff valve closed, and once attached, opened the valve and pumped in the fuel.

I suppose you could also find an empty tank and replace the valve from that, although you may need some tools to safely replace the handle without opening the valve and spilling fuel everywhere.
>>
No. 1018621 ID: 02e7e9

Second on the pipe wrench, also probably dont spill a lot of highly flammable fuel in a room full of caustic and flammable liquids

Peek at spooky shadow guy with your peripheral vision, prooooobably dont wanna look directly at him
>>
No. 1018622 ID: d47474

righty tighty, lefty loosey is the motto I believe.

Anyways you have rope right? if their is a hatch at the top you can just tie the rope around the handles of the jerry cans and lower them into the tank to fill them. Also if you have a marker, if you can't fix the valve you can leave a not saying, "valve fell off, need to get fuel from the top." If anyone ask, just say the valve was stuck and came off when you tried to open it. Everything around here is so old that it wouldn't be to strange that something just broke and you were just the unfortunate bloke that it happened to when the thing finally give up the ghost.
>>
No. 1018623 ID: 9a2966

Ya made a big CRNK noise. Check to see if anyone came to check on it. This could include your magno-sense and popping the infragog over an eye, pending level of paranoia.

As for what to do, there's not a whole lot you can do without specialized tool - that break looks like it went pretty far in. Trying to open it from the top and lowering the cans down with a sturdy piece of cabling or wiring might work. Anything you can find nearby?
>>
No. 1018624 ID: 96a9a8

>>1018605
Who's that behind you?! Why can't you sense them?

Is it a belenos? Try your infragog.
>>
No. 1018717 ID: 7e04cb
File 164082708054.png - (200.55KB , 800x600 , TQ34.png )
1018717

>Wouldn't you be able to sense the EM signal coming from tracking chips?
I don't know much about technology, but it isn't hard to sneak stuff underneath our radar.

>oh, also, there's totally a scary shadow guy right behind you, and he'll probably vanish the moment you look. tricks of the medium are non-negotiable, you see.
The what? a scary shadow... what the hell is that.

It's some... featureless... grey thing.

The harder I look at it, the less I can make out... It has horns? I think? and fur? No eyes, no mouth... I am looking at it through perfect dark vision, and I can't see it properly.

>magno-sense
My jammer us turned off at the moment, the only thing I'm getting a signature from is the ore in my bag... Whatever this shadow is, it isn't a person...

>infragog
I pull it out and try to observe it through the gog, but it doesn't have a heat signature... I can see right through it...

>Is it a belenos?
It's possible... I thought those guys were a little taller than this, but it'd explain why I can't sense it.

>We have our suspect
I'd certainly hope not...

I stand still, staring at it. A few minutes go by, and it doesn't move or do anything. Is it... my shadow? In a room with no light? A tobak shaped cardboard cut-out? Whatever it is, it seems harmless, or at least intent on not doing anything. So, I decide to move on to get the hell out of here as quick as possible.
>>
No. 1018718 ID: 7e04cb
File 164082712380.png - (280.10KB , 800x600 , TQ35.png )
1018718

>You are going to need a blowtorch.
I find a blowtorch! Now all It needs is fuel...

>Pipe wrench
I look around but it looks like whoever came before me also took almost everything not nailed down (heh)

>The higher you aim, the less fuel you’ll drain. Get up on the catwalk to gauge how much is there.
I open the hatch and it seems to be at least a third of the way full. might be a bad idea to put a hole in it from down there. Creating sparks near a fuel tank... yeah that may be bad...

While I'm up here, I find that there is indeed a hatch on the top.

>tie rope around the handles of the jerry cans and lower them into the tank to fill them.
Sounds like a much more sensible and feasible plan than what I had in mind originally. It's a good thing I stop to think about these things! I find enough cables around to make something like this work. I'm not the best at tying knots but this'll do.

I lower the first can into the silo and wait for it to fill. I lift it back up and boom! full jerry can! One down, one more to go! This plan works surprisingly well all things considered. The can smells like fuel but I don't mind that smell too much. It's a good smell. It smells nice.

Just gotta fill up the other can and I can finally move on!
>>
No. 1018719 ID: 7e04cb
File 164082714396.png - (199.27KB , 800x600 , TQ36.png )
1018719

>"Give it back."

W...

What?

Did... Did the shadow just... speak??
>>
No. 1018720 ID: d47474

turn around
see something is their
yell "OH FUCK A GHOST!"
throw something at it
>>
No. 1018721 ID: 96a9a8

>>1018719
Ask it what it wants. The ichor?
>>
No. 1018723 ID: 5d9787

Tell the spirit he have to move on, go to the other side. Whatever duty he believe he is fulfilling is from long ago and this place is now abandoned. He can't keep haunting the living. Go find peace in the beyond.
>>
No. 1018724 ID: a9af05

>>1018719
It's only got one eye. Is it the ghost of the red guy downstairs? If it is, then he might want the infragog you took from him. Or he could want the ore that you took from his body.
>>
No. 1018725 ID: c92a02

She's after your lucky charms! Nailgun and run.
>>
No. 1018729 ID: 50af53

Offer macguffin rock. Strange things generally cause stranger things. Perhaps it wants that?
>>
No. 1018736 ID: ce39da

> Tobak Undead Mechanics
Fuck, fuck, okay, what do we know? We know there are rumors of Tobaks coming back from the dead. I don't think most aliens have such prominent stories about them not staying down. Males of your kind are attuned to electromagnetic stuff. Stories are... are more prevalent near the mantle! Is there something significant about that? One of the things that's different about different depth levels is... mineral types! If there's something special that lets Tobaks haunt the shit out of people, it's probably something that interacts between your special ability and a special mineral. ... Holy fuck, that's why you can't sense him; you have been sensing him from the beginning! The "real" Clay (or whatever's left of his mind) is in your fucking pocket!

Jammer on. NOW.
>>
No. 1018738 ID: e3eaff

This shadow might have done the thing to the others, we should play this safe and try and ask it what it means. The real thing is, if we do give it back, will it still hurt us? And also is something worth dozens of armed gaurds and gear something we should be giving to something that as far as we can tell isn't real?
>>
No. 1018749 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018724
Eye color and pupil shape match. I would say it is almost 100% that guy. Now, there are several unknowns, however I would say we should go off of the assumption that this is, in fact, the guy, and his parent company somehow outfitted him with a way to fake his death (or come back from the brink, or repair tissue and resuscitate). I am pretty sure similar tech exists, so this seems like the most sensible possibility, so lets use occam's razor and just say he is alive.

Ask what he means.
Then, assuming he says something along the lines of, "You know what I mean." give him the rock. If he still isn't happy, give him the gog, followed by the beret (all three were off his body).
>>
No. 1018752 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018749
Looking back, it looks like the blood coming from his 'corpse' was both a bit brighter and more uniformly bright along the streaks than on the other corpses. This seems indicate that he was still actively bleeding. This would add more weight to my theory (along w/ any zombie theories).

Only issue is he doesn't seem to be covered in blood (he could have cleaned himself up, or the blood could have dried while we dicked around with the fuel).

--

Another possibility I just thought of is that the dead guy was a body double for this guy. If the corp thought something was going to go down here, they could have sent in a double while the real one did overwatch.
>>
No. 1018754 ID: 7e04cb
File 164083690305.png - (173.73KB , 800x600 , TQ37.png )
1018754

>throw something at it
The only think I have close by are things I'd rather keep!

>Tell the spirit he has to move on, go to the other side.
"Move on, spirit! What business you left unfulfilled is from long ago, you cannot keep haunting the living, go find peace in the beyond!"
>"I am not a ghost you idiot. I’m still alive.”
His lack of magnetic pulse says otherwise.

>Ask it what it wants. The ichor?
"What do you want? The ichor?"
>"No. What would I do with a vat of acid? Drink it? Take a bath in it?"
"Then what do you want? The rock?"
>"Bingo. And while you're at it, give me back my beret and goggles. You should be thankful I'm giving you a chance and that I didn't skip right to the part where I kick your ass for poking me."
He was awake while I was doing that??

The more and more I look at and talk to him, the more he comes into focus... I can tell that It's clearly the guy from before, the one who I grave robbed - General Clay.

>Jammer on
I turn the jammer on, but he is still standing there, looking at me.
>"Were you trying to accomplish something? Turning on that jammer?"

>She's after your lucky charms! Nailgun and run.
That's a she? I would nailgun and run but I'm on top of a fuel silo several metres tall with the only pathway blocked by him. or her?

>"Look. If you give it back, I won't hurt you. I just need to get that rock, and bring it to... uh... damn it... who was it? who do I work for again? Why can't I... remember?"

>is something worth dozens of armed guards and gear something we should be giving to something that as far as we can tell isn't real?
Wait... This isn't real? I'm sure there's a rational explanation. I just need to figure out what's happening here. Is it a zombie?? Is its soul trapped in the ore???
>>
No. 1018756 ID: 575fcc

Ask General Zombie how he's still alive and why you cant sense them, and why they have no body heat.

Also point out he's very clearly been shot in the head, so that probably explains the memory loss.

And of course ask if he remembers what the deal with the funny multicolored rock(s) is, or why two companies and possibly extra killed over it.
>>
No. 1018758 ID: 96a9a8

>>1018754
Yeah that's not the real Clay. You had the jammer off, they had no magnetic signature. Also, the bullet hole in the face. I'm guessing this is some kind of creature that can read minds, and thus read your memories of Clay's body to make a doppelganger to lower your guard. The body you're looking at might not even be real- it might be inside your head, forming an illusion of what you're seeing and the conversation you're having.
It's some kind of predator, likely. Something that eats Tobaks, but it's an ambush predator. It didn't move a muscle while you were looking at its unformed shape. I suspect it can't move very fast.

Try shooting it.
>>
No. 1018759 ID: dfbac0

I think he may actually be something undead adjacent, not undead as that requires things like magic and all that but considering what we've seen...
This man was obviously dead before.
This man did not react to you taking the stone as he was dead.
This man first showed up as a grey silhouette.
This man cannot remember who they work for.
They do not have a magnetic signature.
This could mean several things.
This is somehow a projection or manifestation from the stone or otherwise, possibly a hallucination, this would explain the gray silhouette and the poor memory as it would be made from information available from the building or you brain, it could be that the magnetic signature it's outputting or something else about it is causing you to hallucinate so it was contained in lead to prevent that, so the solution to this scenario is to put it back into the case.
There's also the possibility this is an alien using advanced technology, the grey silhouette could have been cloaking technology that's effective on aliens but makes an odd silhouette for your species which explains what the dude who texted you saw, especially since if the silhouette was this person they wouldn't have remained where they died so this leads me to believe that this alien has disguised themselves as that dead tobak to fool you and they mentioned not remembering to free suspicion from not being able to tell you which company the tobak is from.

The solution to both of these problems turns out to be going back to the room you found the stone. Point your nailgun at this person and claim you will give them back the stone but only if you go back to the room you found it in, bluff if need be.
>>
No. 1018760 ID: d47474

tell him you are very confused as he currently doesn't have a pulse which is both confusing you and creeping you out a little and why didn't he say something when you poked him. I mean that was the reason you poked him to see if he was alive, would have been a good time to say something.

Also is he still missing his arm? If so how is he not bleeding out? Speaking of which fuck the rock buddy you need medical aid like right now. I mean yeah we can talk about giving your stuff back later because right now you do not look like you should even be walking.

Unless his arm is reattached, in which case how the fuck did he reattach his arm?
>>
No. 1018761 ID: 5d9787

Ok... You look more physical than I first though, but last I checked you were cold dead: no pulse, no breath, no reaction to stimuli and no magnetism. Even now I can't feel you and the heat vision show you as the same temperature as the surroundings.

Before getting any closer I have a few questions:
-Is this contagious?
-How is this possible?
-What does this feel like?
-Will you somehow recuperate or decay?

I will give your stuff back, just let me put them down and walk away. Please don't turn me into a zombie.
>>
No. 1018765 ID: ce39da

> Need to focus to bring him into being.
A ghost, still, not a zombie. Though one can see why almost everyone would make that mistake. A mundane trickster is unlikely; the most advanced cloaking tech in the galaxy can't be this good, and there's no reason for them to stick around for as long as Spooky is implying - the bodies would have been the first place I'd have looked for missing objective items. Meanwhile, whatever's making him possible, the jammer isn't disrupting it, so maybe this spectral trick is indeed self-propelled.

"You were awake for that? But- but why didn't you say anything before! And... I checked. I didn't do this to you, but whoever did, did so pretty dang thoroughly! I checked your pulse - nothing. I couldn't sense you while the jammer was off. You- You don't even show up on your own thermal goggle, for crying out loud! I... I can hand the stuff over, but we're going where I found you, first. I... I need to confirm I'm not losing my mind here."
>>
No. 1018770 ID: 9a2966

>>1018754
Okay... okay keep your cool here. Maybe it's that rock's magnetism affecting your brain - and maybe it was affecting CLAY'S brain before they died, too! So, like, an imprint of Clay got stuck in the rock when he died, and is now echoing in your head by way of the weird rock? Would explain why 'his' memory's all shot - it could be at least partly (maybe mostly) YOUR memory, since Clay remembers being poked and what you took, despite being very much dead at the time!

No wonder these rocks are valuable, if that's something they can do.

Or maybe this place is really just haunted, since the jammer should've messed up any kind of signal the rock was sending you, right? Unless the close proximity to the rock overrules that. You could try taking out the rock and removing yourself from its immediate vicinity with the jammer still on to test that.

Though... maybe talk to and appease the apparition first? Be, like, reasonable with it?

"I'd be happy to return your rock and stuff if you help me out here. Your entire team's, like, dead anyway, and your memory's looking real bad (wow didn't know you could survive head-wounds that fatal-looking), so you might as well join me for the moment, right? I'm indep, so had nothing to do with whoever attacked you, I really thought you were dead, uh, sorry about the poking and the looting, then."

Shrug nervously.

"Look, I'd be happy to escort you wherever you think you need to go and bring the rock too, but... what are you doing in my hea- uh, here in the first place, General? Heck, what are these rocks, and who, um, ambushed you and the other guys? Can you remember ANYTHING?"

Try to run a quick test as to their physicality. Move over to 'em and poke 'em. Or, like, trick 'em to pick up a jerry can or something.
>>
No. 1018774 ID: c92a02

Oh, it's just you. It's rude to not wake up when someone's poking you, you know?
Now, your memory's clearly taken a tumble. Why don't you let me hold onto this until your head's cleared up? I'll help you find someone who can get you healed up. Someone killed a lot of people in here, after all. Likely some of them were your doing...
Oh dear, what about his arm? Is it still bleeding?
>>
No. 1018780 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018754
If my revival-bot theory is right, they may still have brain damage that is healing. You could give them a second for that to finish up.

>>1018758
We could test this without shooting. If you can, try to think up some details about the corpse that you know are false (like have the little voice in your head say the factually untrue things). Like think something like "he was wearing brown so he must be working for the Neumonos". and see if they say that. If they do, we know they are a fake of some sort. If they don't, we are back at square one, but it is still worth trying.
>>
No. 1018781 ID: ae9bd9

>>1018774
>bleeding arm
Good idea! Glance at their arm and see if they tied off the wound at all or if it is still just oozing out (or, assuming their heart or heart equivalent organ is working, rhythmically spurting out).
>>
No. 1018782 ID: 422cea

I agree with the idea the rock is somehow retaining psychological signatures or energy, possibly on an electromagnetic level due to your species.

This guy is a brain ghost you're channeling through your horns and from the looks of it, not an entirely complete one.
>>
No. 1018792 ID: edd983

Unless you're willing to fight over the stone, just hand it to him.

1. It's the thing he asked for, so that's most likely to appease him.
2. If he's not corporeal, he probably won't be able to take it, answering that question.
3. If he IS corporeal, or can otherwise take the stone, he could (and probably would) fight you for it, and probably win, so I don't think there's much to gain by fighting over it. Sorta doesn't even matter if he is what he says he is.

Now, if you ARE willing to fight over the probably expensive rock-we-don't-know-what-it-does, your best option would probably be booking it, maybe first chucking a distraction. Frankly, though, we already had enough stuff on our plate today, and it doesn't seem like you're really after becoming rich; just earning enough to get by.
>>
No. 1018794 ID: 50af53

Whole handing it over ask what the fuck happened in there. Also examine his arm. Still off?
>>
No. 1018795 ID: 076735

Is it possible that the bullet hit the part of his brain that connects to the horns?
>>
No. 1018797 ID: 9a2966

A lot of thoughts here that Clay might actually be a physical entity, but there's a reason why that's doubtful: He appeared as a frickin' shapeless grey shade to begin with! He only took that form after a while. It's like... it took a while to form a mental connection?

There's a possibility it's this place and not the rock itself, like you were warned by that other guy, but that sounds more like tribal superstition than anything. There's gotta be a rational explanation for why you're talking to a dead guy! You're way too young and beautiful to be insane or haunted!

You should still fill up that second jerry can while speaking to Clay and ready yourself to get going ASAP.
>>
No. 1018798 ID: 076735

Know what? this is not worth getting in trouble for. Lay the stone on a table or something, and walk away.

Still, may ask him how he's even alive, especially as you can't sense him.
>>
No. 1018800 ID: a2493c

>>1018754
Alright, in order:
"Dude, I was poking you because you were super dead, you have a big hole in your forehead.

Two, you have no magnetism and can't remember your employer, which unless you got some kind of internal suppressor, probably means you've got brain damage.

Three, before you grew a face just now you were some kind of funky cloud of nondescript grey, and I think the weird rock did that.

And four, you don't have a pulse.

Conclusion: hey dude you're a zombie ghost and you might have bigger issues right now because of it.

Take a moment to confirm, poke yourself as needed."

doesn't seem like a dickbag so far, but they don't seem to grok the severity of their situation.
>>
No. 1018807 ID: 3491a8

He could be using advanced stealth tech or even being a ciborg of some kind, so maybe he were not dead. Also he could have his horns jammed in some way to not emmit pulses?

Retun his things, you are a looter not a thief. Also he seems to have some kind of heath issue, ask if he needs medical aid of some kind.

Also ask why he didn't react when you poked him, you would have stoped first. Ask if he can tell you what the hell happened there (more curiosity than need). And ask if you can provide him some kind of medical aid, he clearly is passing for a lot (amnesia can't be good).
>>
No. 1018815 ID: 96a9a8

The zombie ghost theory has one problem with it: the spooky shadow thing was implied to be here for a long time. Long enough for it to be known as a thing that might be killing people. Clay died relatively recently- some of the blood from the fight was still dripping, even.

Unless the spooky shadow thing has a particular affinity for the magnetic ore that caused it to just now be possessed by Clay's ghost it's not actually Clay or any kind of undead.
>>
No. 1018844 ID: 7e04cb
File 164090988961.png - (239.78KB , 800x600 , TQ38.png )
1018844

"I had nothing to do with whoever attacked you, I really thought you were dead, uh, sorry about the poking and the looting, then."
>"Save the pleasantries. I have a duty to fulfill."

"How are you still alive? Why can't I sense you? And why don't you have any body heat? You didn't even have a pulse."
>"I'm not sure. I don't remember anything before coming here."
"Would the bullet wound explain the memory loss?"
>"That could be one explanation. I feel like I should know a lot more than I do."
"Do you remember what the deal is with the rock, and the conflict between those company guys? Was there an ambush? If so, who was responsible? What else was in the briefcase?"
>"I can't recall a single thing. I feel I should know at least one of those, but I don't."
"Why didn't you say something when I was poking you?"
>"...I don't know..."

I’m getting a lot of uncertainty from him. I’m not sure what his deal is.

>Is it possible that the bullet hit the part of his brain that connects to the horns?
I don't even know if that's possible, so I wouldn't put my money on it.

>Also is he still missing his arm?
His arms are behind his back, so I'll ask him to show me.
"Your hand, is it still missing?"
>"Hm? Hold on, let me check." He presents his arms and to my suspicion, it remains severed.
>"Ah."
"Dude, how are you not bleeding everywhere? Forget the rock, you need medical aid! Maybe we can find a doctor or something."
>"No no, it's alright. It... doesn't hurt..."

"Is... whatever you have contagious?"
>"What? being alive? You tell me. assuming I was dead, I could've caught it from you. "
"What does it feel like? are you recuperating or decaying?"
>"It doesn't feel like anything. I don't feel as though I'm falling apart or getting better. It's... abnormal."
>>
No. 1018845 ID: 7e04cb
File 164090990543.png - (248.49KB , 800x600 , TQ39.png )
1018845

>Is he corporeal?
Only one way to find out.

>Shoot him
I pull out my nailgun and take a shot at him. It passes right through.
>"I see..."

"Do you still want the rock?"
>"No. It'll just fall right through my hands. And besides, I don't even know what I'd do with it anyway."

>You're way too young and beautiful to be insane or haunted!
Now this I completely agree with. Something must have brought this on, and I'm guessing that the ore is the culprit.

>Okay... okay keep your cool here. Maybe it's that rock's magnetism affecting your brain - and maybe it was affecting CLAY'S brain before they died, too! So, like, an imprint of Clay got stuck in the rock when he died, and is now echoing in your head by way of the weird rock
That sounds supernatural. I can believe that the rock is affecting me on a psychological level, but I don't think his soul or memories are haunting me. And I certainly don't believe there's some ancient ghost roaming the halls of the refinery and taking the form of a dead guy to rob me. I'm starting to believe this rock might hold some value after all.

>go back to the room you found the stone.
"Would you mind going back to the room where I found you? That way we can prove if you're you, or..."
>"No need. I'm convinced."

He walks right up to me. I put my guard up, but I have a feeling that I don't have anything to actually worry about.

>"Alright, Dowser, I have come to only one conclusion. I'm not real, am I?"
"Uh... evidence points to no, you're not... You know my name?" He seems fairly self-aware for a fragment of my imagination.
>"You don't know anything about the actual G.Clay, do you? I'm just a character you made up in your head. I don't know anything you don't know. And I know everything you know. There is one way to prove it with certainty. Use your imagination to change a physical aspect of me. Or multiple. Do whatever you want."
>>
No. 1018846 ID: 575fcc

>"Do whatever you want."
Oh, Clay my buddy you messed up with this freedom of choice...

Make Him a Her :V
>>
No. 1018847 ID: c92a02

Fix Clay's arm with a cool robot prosthetic. Then make his antlers shimmer like the rock, so you know he's a ghost.
>>
No. 1018848 ID: 1d3249

imagine a 12 inch cock and double d boobies lol
>>
No. 1018850 ID: 02c0f5

>>1018845
Looks like... you have a second independent brain, sort of? A second mental track? Created by the rock?

Well, see if you can’t fix ‘em up. Arm restored, infragog in place, hat back on. They can stay Clay for now. Dunno why they showed up like him. Maybe because he had it last? Or you had thoughts of ghosts on your mind?

Either way, establish ground rules. Say you’ll be acting like they’re not there when around others to avoid coming off as insane, but you’re happy enough to chat when not. Basically the same person now, right? Sort of. If sharing memories. Anything they think they can do for you?

Finish up filling the jerry cans and get ready to leave. Inform the indeps about the haul here and ask for 10%, or... ask your second mind if it’s got an opinion on that - or is it really just like a second train of thoughts so you can keep a convo going with yourself?
>>
No. 1018851 ID: a9af05

>>1018850
>sharing memories
Pretty sure he just told us that's not possible, since he's a figment of our imagination and not the real Clay. He doesn't have any of Clay's memories.
>>
No. 1018852 ID: d47474

maybe the rock is alive or something and it just thinks its clay because it was around him long enough to grow a connection. I mean the rock is pretty much the only thing I can think of, of why you're being haunted. While either that or their is someone with superpowers is down here and thinks that the best use of said powers is messing with random scavengers, though that's even less likely than the ghost theory.

One thing to do to see if you can change what he looks like is make it so he doesn't look like he just got torn apart by a wild animal. Maybe change his fur color a bit too if you can change him just so you can pretend you're not talking to a dead guy. I mean talking to someone you saw brutally murdered is kiiiiiiind of creepy so making him look different enough that he doesn't look like a dead body you looted might help make it less so. And if that's not enough maybe imagine what he'd look like if he was female. seeing how different the sexes look for your species that should put enough distance from talking to a dead body and instead turn it into talking to an imaginary friend so it's not AS disturbing.
>>
No. 1018853 ID: 9a2966

>>1018851
As in, sharing the same memories makes them both the same person. Ish. Right? Unless there's something else the other can recall that isn't Dowser's memories.
>>
No. 1018854 ID: 96a9a8

>>1018845
Huh, the shadow thing isn't corporeal.
...wait, the shadow thing only showed up after the mysterious phone contact told you about it. Maybe there was never a shadow, and that phone contact put that idea in your head on purpose? Hmm. I dunno why they'd do that, so maybe the story of the shadow thing was just a haunted house myth. Made up. Then whatever's happening to you made you hallucinate it.

Alright, first thing's first, clean up the poor guy. No more bullet hole or blood, and give him his arm back.
>>
No. 1018860 ID: 36784c

>>1018845
He’s going to regret saying that.

Make him a female with really big boobs.
>>
No. 1018861 ID: a2493c

>>1018845
ooh ooh, cool robot face! cool robot face!
>>
No. 1018875 ID: 5d9787

That is kind of crazy.

Try to visualize him as something small that won't obscure too much of your vision. Give him a form that won't be confused with anything you might encounter. If possible make him float so you can look at him at eye level and his presence doesn't mess with your perception of the environment.
I know I'm basic asking for a chibi version of General Clay and that that sound a little weird, but I'm serious about the utility of minimize the obtrusiveness of this hallucination.

So hey... imaginary friend... Do you want something?
>>
No. 1018880 ID: 2a24a2

oh no don't imagine him as you but totally naked by accident that would be really weird even without nobody around but that stalker guy
But also haha, the guy named Clay is free to change around. Can you do wacky things like have him tell you what's around corners you haven't looked around? You should test out what you can do. Also adding vote to cool robot prosthetics and fabulous ghost effects like shimmery seethroughness!
>>
No. 1018895 ID: cdabe3

Turn him into the sexiest boy or girl tobak you’ve ever imagined.
>>
No. 1018900 ID: 076735

Remove his injuries.
>>
No. 1018902 ID: 4f5ccd

>>1018875
Hahaha, yes; chi-bi-Clay! Chi-bi-Clay! Chi-bi-Clay!
>>
No. 1018930 ID: af2f11

>>1018900
Seconding this.
>>
No. 1018933 ID: 7e04cb
File 164098266674.png - (218.79KB , 800x600 , TQ40.png )
1018933

>The guy named Clay is free to change around
I didn't even think of that. That's hilarious.

>Restore arm, infragog in place, hat back on
Sounds reasonable. let's see if I can make that happen.

>Fix Clay's arm with a cool robot prosthetic.
Oooooh that sounds cool, let's give that a try.

>clean up the poor guy. No more bullet hole or blood.
The blood and injuries are no more!

>cool robot face! cool robot face!
But of course, I need the face to match the arm! I saw something like this in a cybernetics catalogue once.

>"I see. So, you can change what I look like. Am I some kind of cyborg now? I have to hand it to you; these are quite interesting choices. Even though I am a part of your psyche, I must compliment you on your creativity, as egotistical as that might sound."

"Hold that thought, I feel a different idea coming on."
>>
No. 1018934 ID: 7e04cb
File 164098268189.png - (231.39KB , 800x600 , TQ41.png )
1018934

>Make Him a Her
>Turn him into the sexiest boy or girl tobak you’ve ever imagined.
>Make him a female with really big boobs.

>"...Never mind. "
>>
No. 1018935 ID: 7e04cb
File 164098269754.png - (181.79KB , 800x600 , TQ42.png )
1018935

"Eheh..."

At least she looks less like that dead guy now?

>"Weren't you going to try visualise me as something that won't get in the way of your vision? Did you forget how large female tobaks are?"
"Fine, I had another idea-"
>"That's quite alright. I'll stay as this for the time being. I believe I have the same level of control over my appearance as you have, so I can change my form to something more suitable if need be."
>>
No. 1018936 ID: 7e04cb
File 164098271342.png - (197.84KB , 800x600 , TQ43.png )
1018936

>Dunno why they showed up like him. Maybe because he had it last? Or you had thoughts of ghosts on your mind?
I suppose his body was the last thing I looked at with any sort of focus. My mind filled in the rest of the blanks.

>Looks like... you have a second independent brain, sort of? A second mental track? Created by the rock?
If I were to guess, we seem to think somewhat independently of each other despite knowing all the same information. I feel like I’m talking to someone else.

>Maybe there was never a shadow, and that phone contact put that idea in your head on purpose?
Likely just coincidental superstition. Miners are a superstitious bunch, and it isn't always unfounded.

>Tobak predator.
While it has been ruled out what the most probable cause is, tobaks do have predators. I've heard about mind controlling neumono predators and how similar the Tobak equivalent is. While ours don't use mind control, they do take advantage of our magnetic sense and use it against us. Luckily, I don't have to worry about running into any head splitters in this area.

>Can you do wacky things like have him tell you what's around corners you haven't looked around?
>"I know what you're going to ask, and no. I cannot look around corners and tell you what's behind. I only know and see what you know and see."

>Ground rules
"Right, well, uh ground rules. I'll pretend you're not around when talking to others, I don't want people thinking I'm insane."
>"You are insane, are you not? imaginary friends induced by strange rocks are not normal, last I had checked."
"Is there anything you can do for me?"
>"I can offer you second opinions, but you don't need to seek advice from me since I don't know if I'm going to disappear the moment you part ways with the rock or keep the jammer on for long enough."
"This rock... how is it doing this?"
>"My guess is that it's doing something through your horns. Might be why those guys had a jammer in the first place. And all of this started happening to you the moment you turned it off, right?"
"It's possible..." Maybe this property makes the rock ultra-valuable?

"So, hey... imaginary friend... Do you want something?"
>"Not in particular. I'm not opposed with going with the flow because I have no goal in particular. Not like I have many options, essentially being a ghost that only you can see."
"You're not gonna haunt me forever, are you?"
>"No. As a matter a fact. I think we're done here; I'll go back to observing quietly."

It disappears. Alright then.

I fill up the other jerry can, and that's all the business I had here. I can choose where to go from now. I can go to the excavator or cache and drop off some of this swag, that way I can have room for more. I can go to the mining camp east of here to search for a gyroscopic module so the mechanic can fix up a mech for me to use, as well as search for more loot. I can also head right to the vehicle yard so that I can give these cans to the mechanic and meet up with the guard for hire.
>>
No. 1018938 ID: c92a02

Head to the vehicle yard so you can get to all those places faster on the Kettenkrad.
>>
No. 1018939 ID: a2493c

>>1018936
uh, quick point, if it was something active with the gem wouldn't the lead-lined case have prevented it from affecting us?
>>
No. 1018941 ID: 575fcc

You know... it could be permanent. Could possibly test by putting that rock in the case, and stepping a good bit away for a while, see if Clay vanishes, or is very much still there.

If it IS permanent... You're now looking at a unit who most definitely looks as if she would crush your pelvis, if you didnt phase through. Nice.

But yeah, Vehicle Yard. Proper vehicle would expedite the salvage operation pretty nicely..
>>
No. 1018954 ID: 9a2966

>you are insane
That'd make them insane too, no? So let's just say 'nuh-uh' to that and claim weird science did it, somehow.

>I don't know if I'm going to disappear the moment you part ways with the rock
Yeah, I doubt their stay will be permanent. The weird magnetism is definitely involved somehow though, so getting a solid link between the two probably... improves reception or something? Or could allow you to stay in touch even through a jammer field?

Maybe you could secure it in your hair between your horns and hide it under the looted beret? Even if you don't, lightly touch it to your horns to see if that actually has any additional effects.

Yay to doing weird totally not crazy science to yourself!

>It disappears
Well that was quite something - and even if you can't see it it's still there, too. Maybe respect your sudden other-self's apparent autonomy the next time and don't swap 'em out too badly? Granted, they seem to have some control of their own visual options and didn't complain overmuch. Who knows what they'll appear as next, though.

But... a completely different perspective with your memories now exists, in your head. Huh. Yeah, this rock is probably worth a fair bit even if the practical uses of a headbuddy seems semi-limited (although, give it a really smart Tobak and you'd have two really smart Tobaks playing off of one another).

Wonder if it'd be worth it to just keep the rock. You'd at least never get lonely and it feels a bit sad that you kind of have to, well, literally sell off a part of yourself, however recently introduced to existence. Though they did also seem pretty cool about it in a 'well, not much I can do here about this situation' kind of way. Guess you'll just have to see how things go. Selling it is definitely still in the cards both for cash and to avoid attracting trouble in the long run, but the whole headbuddy thing might be worth giving a go for if it proves useful.

>What next
Mmm. Still feel you should just offer the TV-buds (or bud) the remaining score for decent percentage of the loot, and then head to the vecicle yard and meet up with the machinist. Neumono still needs saving and you ostensibly have what you need for that.

Maybe he'd agree to help out s'more for a cut of the loot score you just found. He'd certainly have the carrying capacity for most of the gear there.
>>
No. 1018975 ID: ce39da

> Ghost-buddy mechanics.
Yeah, I'd wager this is exactly what led to those mantle-depth stories. A male Tobak sees someone die - that'll burn an image in their brain. They're exposed to this mineral, which is likely more common near the mantle. One or more varieties of guilt (survivor, culprit, etc.) plus familiarity with the Tobak in life will amplify the resulting performance. Boom; you have your "zombie."

Theoretically, if your jammer was down, other male Tobaks might start seeing things. Better keep it up.

> Ghost situation defused; all in your head?
Wait.
Shit.
Watch your surroundings as you GTFO. That can't have been the "ghost" Spooky was talking about.
>>
No. 1018977 ID: 894419

>>1018938
Agreed, I'm sure ghost wife will appreciate not having to imagine herself walking everywhere.
>>
No. 1018979 ID: a9af05

>>1018936
The fact that you made "Clay" really sexy says something about you. It says that you're lonely and you really want a girlfriend. Possibly one that's just as attractive as "Clay" was before it disappeared.
>>
No. 1018997 ID: 67be32

You mentioned that acid could be used to get through a razorworm's shell, right? Would ichor do the trick? 'Cause if it would, then perhaps you could somehow use it against the razorworms that have trapped that neumono. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how. You'd need a container that's acid-proof, first off. However, after that I can't think of a direct delivery method that could hit the razorworms without either major risk of getting ichor on you or whoever else is applying the ichor, or having to get so close to the razorworms to do so that you or whoever else did so would probably get ripped apart by the worms the ichor missed.

Maybe a trap in conjunction with the thumper. Use the thumper to draw the razorworms down a narrow pass or crevasse, then have, I dunno, a tripwire tip a big bucket full of ichor over on 'em. Then the ones that don't get immediately splashed would have to move through the puddle of ichor left behind. Hm, that could work. Better remember to ask the mechanic guy next time you see him if he's got a large acid-proof container.
>>
No. 1019105 ID: c0641b

>>1018936

Let's make our delivery, then see what our new friend has to say about matters, since it seems G. Clay (that's Ghost Clay) may be able to provide additional insight.
>>
No. 1019120 ID: 67be32

>>1019105
Oh, but ask the mechanic first how long it's been since he, or anyone else he knows of, has visited the refinery. That'll give a upper limit to how long it's been since this massacre.
>>
No. 1019128 ID: af2f11

>>1018979
Or you are just a pervert on the inside (totally fine, btw).

Anyway, lets fall back to the original plan.
Take the fuel back to the mechanic.

Before we do that, do you know how to weld safely? If so, we may want to consider welding the handle back on the tank (the fuel is probably gasoline or some flavor of diesel. if it is the former, we would have to be very skilled and/or extremely careful not to heat the tank enough to cause ignition or an explosion).
Otherwise just grab the blowtorch and handle and take them with you.

We can tell the mechanic that the handle broke and needs welded on.

>>1019120
Most of the blood was dry, but there was some still wet. Unless tobak blood takes a very long time to evaporate, it was probably within a day (human corpses stop bleeding within 6 hours so honestly, assuming the anatomy is similar, it all probably went down about 4-5 hours ago, since we seem to be on the tail-end of the setting period in these corpses). There also weren't any organisms eating them (things analogous to flies and such).
>>
No. 1019152 ID: af2f11

>>1018936
Looked into opals. Opals are generally formed in sedimentary rock as it turns into metamorphic; however, it also is rarely formed in volcanic activity. Opal itself is generally not conductive itself, so whatever is causing this is most likely whatever is inside the opal. This is ofc assuming it is in fact an opal.

Basically the takeaway is either there is another, probably more mundane rock that the opal grew around/on/in that is causing the mental stuff, or it isn't an opal at all.

Also of note is that fucker is worth a pretty large sum(current irl markets put that opal, which is probably either a black or boulder opal, at around $3.5k-$10k per carat, which is 0.2 grams. We have a fist-sized chunk. This is at least $18k).
>>
No. 1019158 ID: 15a025

It might be best to head back and give the mechanic the fuel. Having a ride would certainly speed up our adventures down here.
>>
No. 1019190 ID: 7e04cb
File 164111119939.png - (174.66KB , 800x600 , TQ44.png )
1019190

>if it was something active with the gem wouldn't the lead-lined case have prevented it from affecting us?
The jammer seems to be enough. Maybe the case was lined with lead for a different item, assuming there were more items stored in it other than this ore.

>lightly touch it to your horns to see if that actually has any additional effects.
That depends, does this feeling of awkwardness count as an additional effect? I'm just kinda... standing around touching my horns with a rock. It sticks a little because of the magnetism but I can separate it without too much effort.

>Could be permanent
I hope not. Hallucinations are hardly beneficial. If nothing seems to make it to go away, I might just have to see a doctor. For now, it seems harmless.

>The fact that you made "Clay" really sexy says something about you.
Hey, that's not fair! how am I supposed to control what comes to mind so clearly? I can't be blamed for following my instincts, can I?
>Or you are just a pervert on the inside.
Psssssshhhhhh. I can't believe I'm judging myself like this.

>Theoretically, if your jammer was down, other male Tobaks might start seeing things. Better keep it up.
The jammer is on and I'm keeping it on, especially around other males. Especially if it’s possible for them to see what I did to my hallucination…

>do you know how to weld safely?
Nope! Few do, we tend to leave stuff like that for the aliens to repair.

>Head to the vehicle yard.
Sounds good to me. I start going down the part of the road that leads to the vehicle yard. As I do I look down to my PDA to resume my conversation with those TV guys. I'm thinking of starting off with a higher percent like 20 and lowering it down to 10.

t-738128-ind(you): all right. everything is in a small warehouse portion of the office complex at the refinery. there is blood and bodies. many nailguns and goggles as well as other pieces of equipment and things I didn't check for on many bodies. the cut I want out of it is 20% of all the stuff you sell.
>t-108742-ind: aLRIGHT. THAT SOUNDS FAIR. I'LL CHECK IT OUT. Ah damn it I totally could have asked for more!
t-411108-ind: I'll stay here. Watching this show. You should pay a visit some time Dowser, it’s getting really good.

>You mentioned that acid could be used to get through a razorworm's shell, right? Would ichor do the trick?
Most definitely. If it isn't metal or a certain plastic, it'll eat through just about anything. Problem is that I need an effective way of weaponizing it. If I can find a liquid sprayer, I could effectively use it as an acid thrower. I'll ask the mechanic.

t-738128-ind(you): hey. do you know where I can find a liquid sprayer for weaponizing ichor?
>t-845924-ind: hmmmmmm
>t-845924-ind: Oh - Yes! You know that mining camp? That'll probably have one! They used liquid sprayers to spray the giant drills when they needed coolant and lubrication. If you find one there, it'll probably be good to use. I can give you a ride there once you bring that fuel.
t-738128-ind(you): do you know how long it's been since you or anybody you know visited the refinery?
>t-845924-ind: It’s been a while. A day or two at least.
t-738128-ind(you): oh and by the way, the valve for the fuel silo is broken. needs welding.
>t-845924-ind: And the one who broke it didn't bother to fix it?
>t-845924-ind: The nerve on some people!
t-738128-ind(you): haha. yea.
>>
No. 1019191 ID: 7e04cb
File 164111122867.png - (302.86KB , 800x600 , TQ45.png )
1019191

Out of the blue I get a message from the guy who saw me walk into the refinery.

>t-657029-ind: You-made-it-out.-Good.-Watch-out-though,-Raiders-coming-your-way.
t-738128-ind(you): what? where?
>t-657029-ind: WNW

I pull out my binoculars and look west by northwest. There are three tobaks riding some kind of scouting vehicle with the one at the top holding onto a mounted heavy nailgun. The vehicle kinda reminds me of a design of hovercraft I've seen, but this thing seems nowhere near as high tech, instead being grounded with tracks and a wheel. Like most vehicles that see use on Saxum VIII, liquid fuel is king, and gas vehicles get the most milage.

While organized criminals like this don't wear any sort of uniform or insignia to help identify themselves or make themselves stand out, I can tell that these guys are probably members of the deadrack raiders, who are local to the area. They are pretty far away and likely don't see me, but they are moving pretty fast and will probably spot me in the next few minutes. I don't know what their intentions are, but it probably isn't hard to guess.
>>
No. 1019192 ID: c92a02

Saxum VIII? You didn't even get to name your planet? That sucks, man.
Well, we should probably hide! It's a big refinery, head around to the far side.
>>
No. 1019193 ID: 96c896

Well, time to run and hide somewhere they won't see you, wait for them to pass, then come back out and go about your business.
>>
No. 1019194 ID: 575fcc

>Raiders
Well that's not exactly healthy, if they find you...
Is there anywhere you can hide that doesnt seem to be where they're headed nearby?
Definitely dont wanna deal with that gun, Swiss Tobak isnt very healthy either, and i think you AND Clay wouldnt appreciate death...

>Especially if it’s possible for them to see what I did to my hallucination…
I mean... Even if they somehow found out about Clay, you CAN always lie and say that was totally how she just appeared as, and that the massive -and very appealing- Tobak Titty is totally normal. They cant tell if you're lying like a Neumono, can they? Unless you just have zero poker face.

Speaking of, can you still speak with Clay with the jammer on? Would she have any Input? She may be only aware of things you are for now, but maybe she still has a bit of that general mean "General" aspect to her?

For the Raidrs, i'd suggest turn on the Jammer so they cant track you down if you're nearby, and if they investigate, dump the Jammer so they cant track you with it and sneak away, hopefully you'll be out of detection range long before they shut it off, or generally destroy it.
>>
No. 1019195 ID: 6ab38f

They might be going to the refinery to top up there ride, in which case it might be a chance to get better gear. If you don't mind nailing raiders that is.

Take cover near one of the entrances that they are likely to use. I suspect they will have two of em go for fuel while the gunner sits up top guarding the ride. Could get your phone friend in on it, >t-657029-ind. If they get the gunner to not look your way. You could sneak up real close and nail em. Then steal there car and leave the other two in the dirt. Just make sure if you do so to ping the other guy, >t-108742-ind that there are two rideless losers in the refinery.

Hell if you wanted less of a raider problem, could jump whoever comes out for gas. Surprise attacks from behind with gun type stuff normally leaves you the winner.
>>
No. 1019197 ID: 076735

Try to find a spot where you won't be seen from the road or refinery, and hide there.
>>
No. 1019206 ID: d47474

best find some cover before they get close enough to spot you and hide.
>>
No. 1019208 ID: 9a2966

>>1019191
This is a prime looting area, so they could be on a shakedown run - two of them are on the lookout, at least.

Warn others you've had contact with, then find somewhere to hole up while they pass?
>>
No. 1019212 ID: 3491a8

Can you reduce the action area of the jammer? Absence can be as notorious as presence in the wrong manner (Aka if they stop sensing themselves they might suspect there is a valuable jammer near).
>>
No. 1019230 ID: c0641b

>>1019191

Time to get out of sight and move within cover if we're to reach our mechanic buddy and deliver those cans!

Likely these guys are just on their way to get more fuel ... whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiich we totally ruined for them, so all the more reason to get the hell out of here before they realize just who broke the valve.
>>
No. 1019241 ID: 36784c

>>1019191
Are those guys heading towards the refinery? You might want to warn the tv watchers, so they don’t run into the raiders.
>>
No. 1019242 ID: af2f11

>>1019191
Unless you are against that kind of thing, lets fuck them up.
These guys probably know what they are doing, which means the driver and the passenger will probably get out to get fuel while the gunner scans for targets. The gunner will probably be looking away from the refinery since the other two would be able to deal with things inside.

What we need to do is hide, let the two pass, and then kill the gunner. After that, go back inside and deal with the other two while they are figuring out how tf to fill their containers after what you did.

Jammer up for the entirety of this, naturally.

Otherwise hide somewhere and wait for them to leave. If we try to run now, they will see us. Same if we try to slip away while they are still nearby.

It is possible that we may be forced to deal with them since they will sense us if we dont have the jammer up, and if we do, they will probably start sweeping the area once they realize their comms died.
>>
No. 1019247 ID: df4c65

>>1019191
Okay, let's see... H&K G36 variant, so that bitch can /run/.

Buggy looks relatively new for a band of raiders. Maybe looted from the dead corpos?

And- oh. Ohohoh what have we here? One helmet between three?

Oh yeah, you can take 'em. I agree with the rest that you wait for them to split before springing the ambush. Just remember the key tenent of modern warfare; Fire AND Maneuver.

Other than that, I reckon you're about to get a whole lot richer.
>>
No. 1019295 ID: ce39da

Yeah, due to magnetic sense, and the jammer being bait in its own right, hiding isn't an option, at least not in the long term. FIGHT or FLIGHT; pick one. My vote's for Flight, personally. You don't strike me as being comfortable with killing, even if they arguably deserve it. Pick a direction they won't be watching - southeast toward the motor depot seems good, actually - and GTFO. Turn off the jammer a few moments before you think you're out of sensing range of the refinery, assuming the range of the jammer is much broader.
>>
No. 1019315 ID: 36784c

If someone has better weapons than you, don’t pick a fight with them unless you have a way to take away their advantage or turn it against them. Stay away from those guys!
>>
No. 1019316 ID: 7e04cb
File 164118351919.png - (151.74KB , 800x600 , TQ46.png )
1019316

The first thing to do before I make any sort of important action is hide and get behind cover. I turn down my jammer radius to 2 metres so that they don't get caught in the range and suspect somebody around with a pricy jammer. 2 metres seems to be the lowest it can go.

>Saxum VIII? You didn't even get to name your planet? That sucks, man.
Nah. The uplifting aliens had a name for everything. Apparently, they had that name long before that big mining company discovered us. Not like we could think of a better name ourselves, we didn't even have a written language before being uplifted.

>can you still speak with Clay with the jammer on? Would she have any Input?
I can't seem to force Clay to come out. Might be something to do with the jammer.

>They might be going to the refinery to top up their ride, in which case it might be a chance to get better gear. If you don't mind nailing raiders that is.
I have no reservations against wasting a bunch of raider low life’s. Not only do the companies hate them, but they generally make life harder for independents like myself. This is the life they lead, so they know what they signed up for.

>This is a prime looting area, so they could be on a shakedown run - two of them are on the lookout, at least.
A vehicle with a gun like that is looking for more than loot, namely trouble.

>Likely these guys are just on their way to get more fuel
Looks like they won't be getting much further for a while if that's the case. I doubt they’ll be completely empty by the time they stop at the refinery, but I suspect they will stop to fill up.

>Warn others you've had contact with
I send out a brief message that raiders are passing through the area. all but the one name I don't recognize yet, because of the possibility that it might belong to one of the raiders.
Besides the occasional thanks for heads up I get from a few, a device code I haven't spoken to today sends back a reply.


>ts-626342-gfh: ugghhhhhhhhhhh are you KIDDING. Those raider bastards are sending REINFORCEMENTS?? Quick, how many are they sending?
t-738128-ind(you): just a scouting vehicle. 3 tobaks; a driver, a guy in the sidecar and one manning a mounted heavy nailgun.
>ts-626342-gfh: GOD DAMN IT this is bad. Why did this have to happen to me in the middle of a GOD DAMN ESCORT JOB. She seems a bit more cranky than usual.
>ts-626342-gfh: Alright Dowser. I know we're not exactly friends. But if you stop those guys from making it to the mining camp, I'll pay you 500 zeny. I don't know if you're up for it, but if you are, that's what I'll pay, because fighting off 4 of these asshats is hard enough. If I don't get this alien scientist lady through the area unscathed, my hard-earned rep is taking a hit. THE BIGGEST HIT.
t-738128-ind(you): do I get to loot the gear from the vehicle?
>ts-626342-gfh: What? I don't care. You can have it.

A new quest to take up huh? Stopping that vehicle from making it to the camp east of the refinery sure seems easier said than done.
That aside, I feel like even if I botch the whole thing, there's still a good chance I can walk away at any time without losing much. If I play my cards right, I don't have to put myself in any real danger.

>Phone a friend.
t-738128-ind(you): hey, want to help me take these guys down?
>t-657029-ind: Ordinarily-I-would-say-no,-but-I-could-really-use-some-of-their-equipment.-you-have-a-plan?
t-738128-ind(you): depends, do you have a weapon?
>t-657029-ind: I-do,-a-crossbow.-you?
t-738128-ind(you): nailgun. 2 magazines, 59 shots total.
>t-657029-ind: These-guys-might-stop-at-the-refinery-to-pick-up-fuel.-ambush?
t-738128-ind(you): ambush. you a good shot?
>t-657029-ind: Not-on-moving-targets.-Wanna-meet-up? Or-stay-distanced?
>>
No. 1019318 ID: 96c896

>>1019316
Meet up so you have a face to put to the ID.
>>
No. 1019320 ID: 5d9787

What I expect them to do is for two to go get fuel and one stay on guard in the vehicle. Better to eliminate them indoors and wait for the other come to investigate abandoning that mounted nailgun.
Let's use the magnetic stone to our advantage. Place it somewhere that look like an defensible hiding spot and leave. When they come to investigate who is there you shot them from behind.
If they all enter we can try to steal the car.

Since my plan is based on stealth and deception I think we have time to meet our friend before we get in position. Better to act together.
>>
No. 1019322 ID: c92a02

Distanced will be faster, you'll know they're in the area when the arrows start flying. Just don't shoot the yellow one! Go for the turret guy first.
>>
No. 1019324 ID: 96c896

Haha even if they're not fooled by the ore, they'll start hallucinating and freak out, giving us an opportunity to ambush them!
>>
No. 1019326 ID: af2f11

>>1019316
This is a bit nitpicky, but I was under the impression the jammer was a broad-spectrum em jammer presumably made for electronic warfare with tobak horn senses lying within said spectrum. If this is the case, this would also jam communications such as our pda.

Since we sent messages, does this mean this is a jammer that only jams tobak horns(imo this would be pretty niche for a corp to invest in developing), or did we just turn off the jammer long enough to send and receive said messages?


Since we are getting help, have them take out the gunner. We will take out the other two inside.
When we divvy up the loot from these three, I want us to keep the vehicle including the gun and any spare drums stored inside. They can keep the gear on the raiders themselves, along with any other cargo in the vehicle.

>>1019247
>G36
Yeah, looks like some sort of MG36-based design that has been scaled up quite a bit and fitted with some sort of dual feed system (like on the STK 50MG). The two drums seem to indicate that it could switch between two types of ammo, although idk how much variation there really is with nails, unless these "nails" are just some sort of flechette with a low enough charge behind it that there is no muzzle flash (possibly similar to the APS underwater rifle). In that case this thing may be able to fire conventional bullets as well. In this case, they probably would just have the nails in both sides.
>>
No. 1019328 ID: dfbac0

Stay distanced, as much as I would like to meet this guy, it would be better if we hit them from different sides, meeting up would give them just one target to shoot while staying distanced is two.
As for how we confront them? We can fire off the nail-gun to hopefully get some lucky shots and keep them still behind cover, while we keep them focused on us, our friend can pick them off from another angle with his crossbow.
>>
No. 1019332 ID: ce39da

Stay distanced (head inside to ambush those who go for the fuel while our friend deals with whoever stays outside, state as such), but tell him what you look like in case he finishes up on his end first - we are NOT getting got by friendly fire!
>>
No. 1019338 ID: 3491a8

Can he enter the refinery and prepare for an ambush?

Or they send two for fuel and other to keep watch of the vehicle or one go for fuel and the other two keep watch. First case you kill the one outside and get ready with their own weapon (you can use his corpse to disguise yourself and catch them when not in cover). Second case your companion can kill the one inside and the others are either forced to wait for reinforces or risk to separate (Even if they wait you acomplish your mision and your companion can loot one of them).

Moderate to low risk, high profit.

(And remember to thank your buddy, he probably saved your life right now)
>>
No. 1019348 ID: 7e04cb
File 164125518539.png - (355.35KB , 800x600 , TQ47.png )
1019348

>Jammer interfering with PDA.
It does. I have to turn it off every time I want to send or receive messages. I turn it back on right after. It's useful in more ways than just messing with tobak horns.

t-738128-ind(you): you stay over there. we have a better advantage attacking from multiple angles.
>t-657029-ind: ok.-keep-in-mind-that-the-driver-looks-very-well-protected,-it-might-be-hard-to-hit-him-while-he-is-still-in-the-vehicle.-what's-the-plan?
t-738128-ind(you): you stay there, I'll move closer in. I'll tell you what to do when I gather more information. also, you know what I look like, right? I don't want friendly fire.
>t-657029-ind: don't-worry.-I-know-what-you-look-like.

>The two drums seem to indicate that it could switch between two types of ammo
It's possible. There are different types of nails, but I can't be sure if that is the case here.

>plant the stone, make them hallucinate
I might try something if I fully understood the ore's effects, but I’m concerned with how long it'd take to cause the effects to manifest.

I use my pickaxe do draw a small map of the area so I can plan my ambush.
For now, I am in no danger, and our sniper friend takes a position up a higher elevation. This should give him a good view of the right side of the vehicle. I'm free to move in just about any location I feel gives me an advantage.
>>
No. 1019349 ID: 7e04cb
File 164125520857.png - (273.43KB , 800x600 , TQ48.png )
1019349

I get closer to see what they are up to, and as predicted, they stop in front of the refinery, probably to get a fuel refill before they proceed with their raider activities.

One thing I partially predicted was that they were only going to send one guy out to get the fuel, the red one that was in the sidecar. They send him in with a jerry can, a nailgun and a backpack. That means the gunner and driver are still in their seats. This could be a problem. If I can't disable the driver, he might drive off.

Good news is that the mounted gun doesn't have any track behind the vehicle, which means the gunner can't shoot me if I approach from the back. Unless he has a regular sized naigun with him. Might have to account for that as well.

I hang back in a place where they can't see me. I can bring out my PDA while I am out of horn range of those guys, and I can send what is likely one last message to the sniper before we lose contact without losing the element of surprise. I should let him know who to shoot and when to do it. Maybe work out a signal of some kind.

I can use my pickaxe as a melee, and I have my nailgun as a medium ranged weapon. I don't think I can get any lucky shots from here so I would need to move closer. I'm confident I can sneak over, because right now my biggest concern is them driving off.
>>
No. 1019350 ID: 575fcc

First priority's the Driver, use nailgun on Gunner as soon after the sniper fires as possible (while remaining accurate, try to go for the back of their skull while you're at it), at once is ideal but unlikely without close commnuication.

Time it for when the Tobak getting gas is least likely to interfere or come to their aid in time, and get back into cover when he does come back out.

Is it likely he'd hear much of said commotion?

And if possible, leave the third for the Sniper to minimize being-shot risk.
>>
No. 1019353 ID: c92a02

Is there an exhaust pipe where you could shove, I don't know, a potato? Tell the sniper you'll make a loud noise (the backfire, or just throwing a rock at the car) to signal to fire at the gunner. Sneak up to the ladder so you can grab on and get the driver from above.
>>
No. 1019369 ID: 6e6730

One's walking away from the vehicle. There's a good chance that you might be able to commandeer that heavy nailgun if you take the gunner out. If the sniper takes down the driver, that leaves the dismount extremely outgunned; you'll be able to force him into surrender. Just maintain the element of surprise and this should be simple.
>>
No. 1019372 ID: ce39da

It's unlikely that the sniper will be able to take out the armored guy with just a crossbow from that distance. You ideally need to take out the driver yourself. Tell the sniper to take out the gunner when the driver goes down. Be cautious as you stealth your way into a good firing position on the driver - haha, you uh... you know for a fact that the errand boy will be a while. Tip: You can better steady your shot by holding your breath for a few seconds before firing.
>>
No. 1019380 ID: 96c896

>>1019349
Ok, you should arrange a simultaneous attack. You sneak up and cap the driver, and at the same time your buddy snipes the gunner. Then take the gunner's seat before the third ones comes back out, and use THAT to kill them.
>>
No. 1019426 ID: af2f11

>>1019349
Seems like most people are suggesting we take out the driver while the sniper takes out the gunner. I am okay with this; however, I also have an alternative idea.

We go inside and take out the first dude quietly (probably with the pickaxe. this may get grisly) and hide the body. Eventually, the two outside should realize something happened to the guy inside. At this point, at least one of them (probably the driver, since the gunner has the gun) would go inside to look for them guy. We take out them, and the sniper takes out the gunner, and all three are taken care of.
>>
No. 1019435 ID: 5d9787

>>1019426
I like this plan.
>>
No. 1019599 ID: 7e04cb
File 164137600458.png - (215.07KB , 800x600 , TQ49.png )
1019599

>Is the third likely to hear to commotion and interfere?
I'm thinking not. He is inside the building at this point and won't come back out for a while. When coming up with this plan I'm excluding him completely because of how unlikely he is to interfere, assuming we can take care of this quick.

>Is there an exhaust pipe where you could shove, I don't know, a potato?
I see an exhaust pipe, but I don't have a potato. Even if I did, I wouldn't waste it on an exhaust pipe. I'd eat the hell out of a potato. You know how good those taste compared to our home world foods?

>Sneak up to the ladder so you can grab on and get the driver from above.
I would if the gunner wasn't an issue.

>Go inside the refinery, take care of the first guy, when another is sent to look for him, take him out and pick off the remaining one at the vehicle.
That would be a good idea if not for all the possible things that could go wrong. What if the others get impatient and just leave? To my understanding they aren't completely out of fuel. What if the guy in the refinery is a better shot than me? I'd rather not take certain chances. While it's a good idea, I'll go for a different approach.

>take out the driver yourself
I guess it's true that the sniper isn't likely to get him, so I'll have to do it myself.

>You can better steady your shot by holding your breath for a few seconds before firing.
While that's good advice, I don't think good aim is needed on such a close-range attack with an automatic weapon with a full magazine.

> Tell the sniper to take out the gunner when the driver goes down. Be cautious as you stealth your way into a good firing position on the driver

t-738128-ind(you):alright. we'll do a simultaneous attack. I'll sneak up and take out the driver, and at the same time you'll take out the gunner. If the third guy comes back, I'll take control of the gun and take care of him.
>t-657029-ind: sounds-good.-I-think-I-can-manage.-what-if-you-mess-up?
t-738128-ind(you):keep aim at the gunner, and when I make a loud noise, that'll be my signal for you take the shot.
>t-657029-ind: ok.-just-remember-that-I’m-not-great-with-fast-moving-targets.-alright-buddy,-lets-do-this.

I sneak along the left side of the vehicle to get closer to the driver. This side seems to have a shutter door of some kind, there might be goodies kept on the inside. Maybe something to keep in mind for later.
>>
No. 1019600 ID: 7e04cb
File 164137603403.png - (180.58KB , 800x600 , TQ50.png )
1019600

>"That dumbass better know where the fuel is kept this time. I guess I'll light up a sparkler while we're on break. Close your eyes."
"The hell is a sparkle- oh. Oh hell no. You are not lighting up a cigarette."
>"Gee, didn't know you cared so much about my health."
"I don't give a damn about your health, but maybe you forgot what happens when you put a lit object close to your face. It blinds us. We get blinded by light. Lit cigarettes produce light."
>"Don't care. I killed an alien to get a pack of these. I'm gonna enjoy em'. Besides, we're in the name, aren't we? Tobacco - tobak, that can't just be a coincidence, right?"
>>
No. 1019601 ID: 7e04cb
File 164137606973.png - (146.65KB , 800x600 , TQ51.png )
1019601

"Smoke whatever you want, but at least do it somewhere that isn't collecting ash on the floor of my car. If you keep being so inconsiderate nobody is gonna wanna be your friend anymore."
>"Cry me a river, prick."
"Put those away or else I'm coming up there and I'm shoving that pack so far up your ass that you can taste the tar. "
>"…Fine. I'll hold off until we get our hands on that tech."
"Good."
>>
No. 1019602 ID: 7e04cb
File 164137608964.png - (203.37KB , 800x600 , TQ52.png )
1019602

The driver turns back around to face the windshield. I just need to get a liiiiitle bit closer and I can get the shots in.

Uh oh, it would seem that I forgot about one thing. He has a mirror.

It looks like he's looking right at me. Maybe he's just-

...The engine of the vehicle begins to stall.

Yeah, no, he definitely just saw me.
>>
No. 1019603 ID: 575fcc

Can you hit him with your pick from where you are, or is he too far? If you can, swing it NOW. Otherwise try to put a nail in him before he can alert his buddy, or draw himself.

And pray your buddy can put one in the Gunner and/or said Gunner cant swing around that low and unload on you before it's clear.
>>
No. 1019604 ID: 96c896

>>1019602
Okay, two things you could do:
1, rush in and cap the driver before the vehicle gets moving
or 2, blow out the tires and hope the gunner gets sniped before you get shot, then catch the vehicle to use the gun on the third one while killing/fending off the driver.
>>
No. 1019606 ID: 9a2966

Hook your pick around the driver's seat window, make it seem like an early failed attack. Really it's to have something to hold on to if he starts driving forward and to haul yourself closer using that leverage and bring the nail gun around with your other hand. Plant your feet on the side of the car if you have to, holding on to the pickaxe, so you don't loose your footing when he starts rolling.

You can't guarantee a headshot, not if the vehicle is moving and you're clinging on to the side and against someone wisely wearing a helmet... so just punch a BUNCH of nails in his general direction and hope you hit something vital or painful enough to put him out of commission. Ideally you get him early enough he does not have time to fully start driving. Try not to use the entire clip, you may have to spend some on top guy.

Seem kind of surprised if this works, especially up at the guy at the top. Try to meet his eyes, wave a hand, give him cause to freeze and look at you (so your hidden crossbuddy can shoot him).

Odds are he's got a sidearm he can shoot down at you with, but he has to pop his head up to do so, so try to clamber into the car and hit the breaks.
>>
No. 1019611 ID: ce39da

Make that loud noise you promised as you make a mad dash for him; he opted for escape instead of preparing for violence. You've got to down both your targets before the vehicle pulls out of the lot.
>>
No. 1019617 ID: 6e6730

Do you already have your weapons drawn? See if you can put a nail in the tires; if the driver decides to jet off, then a flat should limit the ability he's able to maneuver.
>>
No. 1019626 ID: c15fdf

That’s why you should have come up over the top after his buddy took a bolt to the face!
Hang on to something.
>>
No. 1019629 ID: 36784c

>>1019602
If you’re quick you can hit him with your pick before the vehicle starts moving!

>>1019617
>flat tire
The vehicle has tank treads, so it’s impossible to give it a flat tire.
>>
No. 1019645 ID: c0641b

>>1019602

Pick him. Pick him right in the noggin.

Shame is it is to become a murder-neumono tobak, we're apt to GET murdered now that we're this close.

Sure hope you can swing that thing real hard and fast, because you might only have a second or two for this to work.
>>
No. 1019660 ID: af2f11

>>1019602
We don't have time to pop tires or sabotage. We only have a split second before shit hits fan. Take the shot. Spam it if you need to. You should be close enough to be outside the traverse for the gun, but the gunner could still pull a pistol on you.
Basically, just lunge at the driver and fucking shoot. Center mass should do it.
>>
No. 1019667 ID: 96c896

...oh tank treads. Well, there's one normal wheel but breaking that won't do much.

I did notice one vulnerability, which is the compressed gas cylinder. Could puncture that to disable the gun on top.
>>
No. 1019731 ID: af2f11

>>1019667
Generally, those are made to withstand stuff like that. Even if it wasn't, we don't know what is in it. I also doubt it would really affect the gun.
The color means it was originally an oxygen tank, but honestly the raiders are probably using it for nitrous oxide for the engine or something (idk the effects on tobaks, but on humans it causes a euphoric, dissociative effect that severely impairs judgement).
>>
No. 1019736 ID: 96c896

>>1019731
>Even if it wasn't, we don't know what is in it. I also doubt it would really affect the gun.
I assumed it's compressed air, because the gun is a nailgun.

Perhaps it would be easier to break the hose leading out of it, though.
>>
No. 1019797 ID: 7e04cb
File 164151889521.png - (224.05KB , 800x600 , TQ53.png )
1019797

>Blow out the tires
That would absolutely not be a bad idea if this vehicle had tires instead of tracks. There is one wheel, but it is on the complete other side.

I shout out before the vehicle makes a move
"TAKE THE SHOT"
>"Huh? Who--"

As planned, an arrow fires from a distance and hits the gunner. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have hit him only the head and killed him, the shot flew short and hit him on the neck, though not in a way which kills him instantly.

>"grk- b-bastard shot me! s-step on the gas!"
>>
No. 1019798 ID: 7e04cb
File 164151891609.png - (280.48KB , 800x600 , TQ54.png )
1019798

I try to reach my nailgun around the corner but the vehicle lunges forward, and in anticipation that he might do this, I aim to hook my pick around the driver’s side window using my pickaxe, I swing as hard and fast as I can, but my aim reaches short as I hook onto the wall behind the driver. It proves to be a good move as I jolt forward with the vehicle rather than being left in the dust.

This guy really stepped on the gas! I can barely get any footing as I am flung forward, but after a moment I get my feet on a solid piece of the vehicle over the track that I can stand on without falling.

>I did notice one vulnerability, which is the compressed gas cylinder. Could puncture that to disable the gun on top.
Oh yeah, that is a thing! Though, I'm not sure what exactly is inside. It could be compressed air and puncturing it would mess up the heavy nailgun, or the cylinder could contain something else, like nitrous oxide. I have no idea what puncturing a canister with either of those things would do, but there would certainly be one way to find out.

I can hear the gunner stumbling around. He gets a grip on the heavy nailgun and starts firing wildly into the cave. Nailguns aren't anywhere near as loud as gunpowder operated systems or even plasma or lasers, but they do have a distinctive sound and rhythm to them. I don't think he expects to hit anything, but he could just be doing it anyway out of rage.

The driver is cursing to himself, I can't tell if he has a plan or not, or even where he is driving us. It'll probably be a few minutes before we arrive at the mining camp if that is where we are headed.

I have a free range of motion of this vehicle, and I can just about climb anywhere. These guys are now within my jammer range and definitely know something is up, but they won't be able to pin my exact location. I pull my nailgun out and fire several shots at the mirror so the driver can't see me again. The nailgun now has 25 rounds in its magazine.
>>
No. 1019800 ID: c92a02

The canister's breach is unlikely to have immediate effects. Climb around to the sidecar and start backseat driving, by which I mean shoot over the windshield at the driver's back.
>>
No. 1019801 ID: 575fcc

While the Gunner's down but NOT out, he soon will be, and considering your position, he cant actually hit you unless he draws a sidearm and peeks over.

That makes the Driver the #1 target, definitely alert to any attempts, possibly armed with a nailgun himself, we cant be sure if it's already been drawn, but approach him as if he were ready to fire the moment you poke around that corner. Is there anything that could deal with him readily? (Aside from your pickaxe.)

If we were feeling REALLY suicidal, we could fire that flaregun. Blind our buddy if he isnt aware, us if we arent prepared, and most definitely said driver (and probably cause a crash).
>>
No. 1019803 ID: 9a2966

>>1019798
Can you open the sidedoor and slip into the vehicle? That might give better options snd targets.

Don’t shoot the driver while you’re going at speed, not unless you’re prepared for a crash. You’ll want to be able to be in a position to take over the wheel at the very least.
>>
No. 1019805 ID: 96c896

Shoot or otherwise destroy the tube leading from the canister to the gun. That will have much less chance of damaging yourself from the gas being released.
Then you can climb up and cap the gunner, and use your perch to take out the driver. Perhaps by stealing the gunner's lighter and using it to blind the driver!
>>
No. 1019811 ID: 6e6730

You don't actually have to, like, fight these guys right? Could be worth it to just cut and run, and deal with the straggler.
>>1019801
We don't actually have a flare...
>>
No. 1019815 ID: 36784c

>>1019798
>I have a free range of motion of this vehicle, and I can just about climb anywhere.
Climb up the back on the ladder, where you said the gunner’s turret can’t reach you. When you kill the gunner, you’ll be able to stand up there without having to worry about hitting a bump and your pick coming loose from where you have it hooked.

From the gunner’s seat, you’ll be able to kill the driver by shooting him in the head or swinging your pick down on his head.

>>1019801
>fire that flaregun
Flaregun doesn’t have any ammo.
>>
No. 1019828 ID: 3491a8

Don't have the canister some valve to shut it down? Less risky and later you can savage it.

You also can climb up and kill the guner, then you have the driver giving you his back (or driving without looking where he is driving).
>>
No. 1019839 ID: c0641b

>>1019798

Well, they've left their buddy in the literal dust, they're likely low on fuel, and one of them is pretty dang injured.

Best bet is they ARE going to return to whatever base they have or try to hide the vehicle and work to rendezvous with their buddy.

Might not be worth dealing with them further, since they've effectively been driven off -- but if you don't think yourself able to unlatch the pick and drop to safety, it might be best to try and finish off the gunner, since we're going for the murder route.
>>
No. 1019888 ID: 35f98c

>>1019815
This seems like a good plan to me. (Also, given that the gunner can simply look over the edge, I don't really see how we're not already dead. But whatever.)

Also, given previous discussion, it sounds like using the flare gun (even if we DID have ammo) would blind every Tobak outside in the cavern. So let's not do that.
>>
No. 1019954 ID: ba605b

Dubs
>>
No. 1019955 ID: ba605b

Dubs
>>
No. 1019977 ID: 15a025

>>1019828
Going to agree. Driver can't really do anything without either stop driving, or try driving without looking. In the latter case though, he's going to be stuck holding down the gas peddle and locked in place.

Let's try to get up and kill the gunner first.
>>
No. 1020013 ID: 7e04cb
File 164172549275.png - (193.64KB , 800x600 , TQ55.png )
1020013

>Climb into the sidecar and fire at the driver from there
I'm unable to get a clear shot of him from there.

>Open the shutter door and slip inside
I have no idea what's inside the vehicle or if it'll even give me an advantage in the situation at hand. Even if It did offer an advantage, it seems to be locked.

>You don't actually have to, like, fight these guys, right? Could be worth it to just cut and run and deal with the straggler.
I could really use the money, and besides, it might be a little too late to jump off without getting hurt.

>Flaregun
It has no flares and I don't expect to find any, but I could use it as a feint if I ever find myself in a similar situation.

Firing at the driver while we are moving at this speed seems a little... dangerous, maybe. I decide I'll take care of the gunner first, then I'll decide what to do with the driver afterwards. I might be able to use the heavy nailgun on the driver. I'll leave the canister alone in case it is needed to operate the heavy nailgun.

As I climb up the latter, I feel a sharp force followed by searing pain coming from my right ear.

Damn bastard shot a nail through my ear! No more nails follow, it’s possible that his nailgun jammed, ran out of nails or ran out of air pressure. Sucks for him because I'm pissed off from being given this unwanted surprise ear piercing.

I'm not bleeding out any time soon and it's about as close to non-lethal as a nail wound can get, but it still hurts!

Fight, flight, fight, flight...

Screw this guy!
>>
No. 1020014 ID: 7e04cb
File 164172553026.png - (247.53KB , 800x600 , TQ56.png )
1020014

I use the adrenaline to hoist myself up into the gunners Scarff ring and prepare to fire my nailgun without hesitation, but he drops his own and rushes towards me to try wrestle it out of my hands. He is pushing against me to put me over the edge, and I can tell that even though he is injured with an arrow in his neck, he is giving it his all.

His oxygen intake is severely hampered by his injury and as a result, he isn't able to exert himself like I can, this makes it so I'm able to push him and slam him against the rail towards the front end of the vehicle. We are suck in a lock, and he is trying all he can to stop me from pointing the nailgun at him. He doesn't look afraid for someone who might die, just pissed off, like me.
>>
No. 1020015 ID: 575fcc

You know... Since it is a bit of a Do or Die scenario.

How sharp are those teeth (or horns), exactly?
>>
No. 1020016 ID: 076735

Let go one hand, grab the arrow and shake it inside his wound. Push it too, if you can.
>>
No. 1020017 ID: 96c896

>>1020014
Aim the nailgun down, shoot him in the leg or foot.
>>
No. 1020018 ID: 9a2966

>>1020016
Brutal, but likely to be effective. At least enough to make him try to stop you from fucking with the arrow - and THEN you shoot him again.
>>
No. 1020019 ID: 5d9787

>>1020016
You don't even need to release the weapon, just press the arrow with the gun or any part of your body. You could even hug the guy and in doing so the arrow would penetrate further.
Once the pain distract him try to shot.
>>
No. 1020020 ID: a2493c

>>1020014
yeah for real just shake the arrow around a bit, it'll be really funny

imagine being so fucking pissed with such an easily exploited wound, what a fucking dork
>>
No. 1020021 ID: 708905

>>1020014
Smack the shaft of the arrow in his neck, should inflict serious pain and increase the rate of bleed out
>>
No. 1020022 ID: ce39da

Yeah, messing with the arrow will probably hurt him more, but pulling might be better than pushing; he isn't immediately bleeding out or suffocating because (in both cases) the shaft is plugging the hole.
>>
No. 1020032 ID: c0641b

>>1020014

Drop your center of gravity when you fire, if you fire; just in case he rushes you in the middle of it, as you'll be able to use your shoulder (and hopefully NOT your horns) to throw him over yourself and out of the vehicle.
>>
No. 1020034 ID: 6e6730

If you mess with the arrow, it should break his concentration enough to bring the gun in line with him, so the order looks to be arrow punch then shoot.

>Scarff ring
What's that?
>>
No. 1020035 ID: b01382

>>1020014
Fokin head butt the cunt and punch the arrow shaft through his bloody chest.
>>
No. 1020053 ID: 1a1d89

>>1020034
A Scarff ring was a type of WW1 aircraft mount for machine guns. It is similar to this, but not exactly. Basically though, it is the machine gun ring mount.

>>1020013
That is one fuck off huge nail. Consider keeping it as a piercing when you treat the wound later.

--

Pull out the arrow with your non-trigger hand. Assuming it is a broadhead arrow, the arrow has caused some pretty nasty cuts on the inside already. Pulling it out will both create more damage on the inside, and allow the existing wounds to bleed freely. Also this guy is probably hopped up on something since he hasn't gone into shock or anything from internal bleeding. Honestly, regardless of how this goes down, that guy is dead unless they get to a surgeon within the hour.

If pulling the arrow out doesn't work, knee them in the groin or something.

>>1020020
lol yeah, what a silly willy.

This guy is dead af.
>>
No. 1020056 ID: c92a02

Let go of the trigger end. Yeah, that arrow could use a little help penetrating.
>>
No. 1020058 ID: 894419

>>1020020
this is so pyscho that I have to vote for it
>>
No. 1020062 ID: 7e04cb
File 164176966099.png - (240.87KB , 800x600 , TQ57.png )
1020062

I head butt him, which doesn't do too much as tobaks have fairly thick skulls, but it disorients him for just enough time to allow me to go for the arrow.

I take one hand off my nailgun and use it to press down on the arrow.

He reacts to this by releasing the grasp of one of his arms and using it to try stop my arm from moving any farther, but little does he know that nothing can stop what's coming.
He stumbles back presumedly from the pain and me pushing him back, nearly falling over the railing, needing his other hand to stop him from tumbling. With my nailgun no longer having a grasp to impede it, I point it at him hold down the trigger.

Most nails hit but a few miss. I expend over ten, maybe fifteen nails.

I hear him let out a final few words as the air releases from his lungs, succumbing to his injuries for good.
>"...bitch..." followed by a few incoherent and frankly foul sounding curses.

I didn't realize until after the fact, but I pushed the whole arrow through his neck, and I can feel the blood flowing between my fingers. That looks like it must have hurt.

Whew! almost lost my cool there. Now all that’s left is to figure out how I'm going to take care of the driver.
>>
No. 1020063 ID: c92a02

You may not have been able to shoot over a twelve inch windshield, but perhaps you can manage an angle on him now. Shoot him in the leg, then try and hoist him out of the driver's seat.
>>
No. 1020064 ID: 575fcc

Brutal, nice.

Now, VERY carefully try to check on the driver's status. Ideally without getting shot in the face with a nail, since he probably knows where you are roughly?

If you can, just shoot him from up high.
>>
No. 1020065 ID: 6e6730

See if you can traverse the heavy nailgun down onto the driver. He's definitely going to try to fight back if he heard any of that violence.
>>
No. 1020066 ID: 5d9787

You need to make the driver stop the car or at least slow down.
If you can place something bright near the driver he won't be able to see the path ahead forcing him to slow down. Do you have anything that irradiate light other than your PDA? Maybe the dead guy had something with him.
>>
No. 1020070 ID: 6e6730

>>1020066
He had a lighter, for his cigs. That's a good plan, you can't really drive blinded and he won't *see* it coming.
>>
No. 1020071 ID: a9af05

>>1020062
The gunner said he had some cigarettes and a lighter. Put your goggles on and pull out the cigarettes, then light them with the lighter.

Just in case the driver is waiting for you to poke your head up, make sure you hold up the cigarettes first so that he'll be blinded, then you can stand up and shoot him.
>>
No. 1020072 ID: 96c896

>>1020062
Make sure you have ammo. Then take a peek to see what the driver is doing before trying to line up a shot.
Actually, since the top gun is free, can you just use that?
>>
No. 1020073 ID: ce39da

> Almost lost my cool, there.
Somehow, the fact that you can indulge in this violence without emotions running high - like this just another activity for you - makes me more concerned about your mental stability than if you were actually acting like you were fighting for your life. Then again, you don't seem alone in this attitude; are all Tobaks just cavalier about this sort of thing?

> What do.
Poke the corpses head over the rim just to see if the driver plans on firing blind. I think you can drop the jammer signal to shoot a text warning that the vehicle is coming, but only the driver is hostile and that she shouldn't shoot you - you plan on popping him the moment the vehicle stops moving at "fatal crash" speed.
>>
No. 1020079 ID: ba605b

>>1020062
Looks like its time to kill the driver
>>
No. 1020085 ID: 1a1d89

Check on the driver. If they have a gun drawn, try to keep the corpse in between you two so you can use it as a meat shield.

--
>lighter
This seems like a good idea on paper, but Idk if it will work. It really depends on how well you can see your environment with the goggles on. If you will be effectively blinding yourself by putting them on, we should probably try something different. Otherwise, go for it. Although, make sure to not actually put the cigs in your mouth. Regardless of the potential long term health issues, you aren't used to smoking and will probably end up in a coughing fit. Given the situation, you can't afford to give the driver an opening.

Remember, you only have 15 (worst case) nails left in your gun.

>>1020065
>>1020072
No vehicle would allow the gun to train on its own crew. It is almost guaranteed that the gun can not traverse that far.
>>
No. 1020124 ID: 35f98c

>>1020062
>>1020073
Yeaaah, uh - you gonna need any heavy-duty counseling, or anything?

I mean, survive this first, of course.
>>
No. 1020130 ID: 36784c

>>1020071
I like this idea.

>>1020085
>No vehicle would allow the gun to train on its own crew. It is almost guaranteed that the gun can not traverse that far.
You’re half correct.

According to this picture: >>1019191 , yes, the gun can traverse far enough on it’s track to be pointed forward where the driver is. Which makes sense, since it’s gotta be able to shoot at anything in front of the vehicle.

However, you’re correct in how the gun probably can’t aim downwards far enough to actually be pointed at the driver.
>>
No. 1020136 ID: ba605b

>>1020062
So just to make sure, can we ask our tulpa friend to stripe dance for us? That'd be H O T. Sometime you need a little extra visual aid to help beat the meat.
>>
No. 1020137 ID: 67be32

Before you do whatever you're gonna do, take a moment to glance at where the driver is driving to check if you're heading towards more of his raider associates or something else bad real soon. If you do spot something, better to spot it now then when you're in the thick of it.
>>
No. 1020139 ID: 9e6598

Can you jump or climb down into the driver’s seat beside him and put the gun to his head? You really need this car to slow down (by getting him to surrender, or headshotting him) and get access to the wheel before you shoot him. Though he’d for sure resist or try to juke the car so that you fall while you’re getting down.

I half like the idea of blinding him first. He’d be forced to slow down, be unable to see you make your way down, not know whether it was his dumbass ally lighting a victory cig.

Also: is it possible to climb down into the car from up here? You could get access to the back of the driver’s head that way as well, possibly. Depends if there’s a gap.
>>
No. 1020143 ID: 7e04cb
File 164180418905.png - (205.70KB , 800x600 , TQ58.png )
1020143

>Somehow, the fact that you can indulge in this violence without emotions running high - like this just another activity for you - makes me more concerned about your mental stability than if you were actually acting like you were fighting for your life. Then again, you don't seem alone in this attitude; are all Tobaks just cavalier about this sort of thing?
I can't help getting a little emotional! Alright, well, I wouldn't usually consider myself a violent person. I wouldn't even consider tobaks in general to be violent, but we all do take our survival very seriously. I guess that part of our tribalistic nature still hasn't gone away. At the end of the day, I also just really do not like raiders, nobody does. If what I did was violent, boy do those guys do worse.

>Yeaaah, uh - you gonna need any heavy-duty counselling, or anything?
I'm good! I'm fine! Really! I just get emotional when I'm in pain is all.

>Make sure you have ammo
I check my current magazine. It has 11 nails left. I still have one extra full magazine with 30 nails.

>Use the machine gun/nailgun to shoot him
I can freely swivel it around, but it doesn't seem to be capable of pointing at the driver. I suppose the designers thought that far at least. Another thing to note is that I'm not sure if this vehicle is equipped with some sort of dead-man’s switch mechanism that would stop the vehicle if he does die or become unconscious. Just something to think about.

>Lighter
Oh, right! That guy was going to light up a cigarette, right? I bet that means he had a lighter. I look around his pockets, and lo and behold, he was holding onto one. I'm guessing he obtained it and the cigarette carton as a pair. I can put my goggles on and use this to blind him, question is whether that would cause him to slow down or not.

>Drop the jammer signal.
Since the element of surprise isn’t useful any longer, I may as well drop the jammer so I can send out messages. As I do so, I can once again feel the magnetic signatures. I can feel the driver, the ore and... hold on... there is one more. Can't be from the corpse, the signal isn't coming from it. It's a bit lower, inside the vehicle. Behind the shutter door if I had to guess.

>take a peek to see what the driver is doing before trying to line up a shot.
Good idea. I don't want to act without thinking.

>is it possible to climb down into the car from up here? You could get access to the back of the driver’s head that way as well, possibly. Depends if there’s a gap.
Looks like there's room if I feel like getting up close and personal.

I look over the edge to see what the driver is doing. As somewhat expected, he seems to be freaking out. Looks like he is speaking into some kind of microphone, yelling stuff.
I can't hear what he is saying because of how loud the engine is, all I can make out are a few words like 'counter-raid', 'rendezvous', 'emergency' and 'hostage'. I look to the direction the vehicle is moving, and it looks like he is trying to make his way to the camp. If I stop him soon though, we won't be close enough for his friends to help.
>>
No. 1020144 ID: 575fcc

>Hostage
Oh, it seems there MAY be somebody within the vehicle, so we absolutely have to keep it (mostly) intact.

I'd say shoot his radio, but his buddies already know something's wrong... plus we could always make a witty one-liner to them, if we're feeling bold today.

Now that the jammer's off, does Clay have any input?
>>
No. 1020145 ID: 96c896

>>1020143
Helmet is annoying... think you can pickaxe around it? Or through his eyewear? Or just hook him with it and toss him off the vehicle so you can get into the driver's seat. Could also try shooting him in the back, since he's leaning forward a bit.
Blinding him is a bad idea now, he might crash and endanger both you and the hostage.
>>
No. 1020146 ID: 1a1d89

>>1020143
Well fuck. Jammer back on first thing then. Can't have him sending full messages out or getting responses.

--

Honestly while he is fiddling with the radio, make sure the vehicle has a clear path for a good distance and just lean over and pop several shots in his chest. After that, lift him out and drop him over the side. Then drop yourself in and stop the vic.

Actually, it may be better to take your pick and just stab them through the chest. Having them impaled with the pick may also help give leverage when pulling them out of the seat.

kind of torn between these two courses of action.
>>
No. 1020147 ID: 1a1d89

>>1020144
The jammer was only off for a moment. Not really long enough for him to send a meaningful message. They probably know he is in trouble and have a rough idea of his heading, but probably not enough info to send reinforcements.
As long as we turn it back on, it would prevent further communication. Shooting the radio wouldn't really be helpful.

Plus, once this is over, I still want the vehicle and a working radio is useful.
>>
No. 1020156 ID: 5d9787

I was thinking of trowing glowing stuff like lit cigarettes on the driver not to completely blind him but to reduce the distance he can discern in the dark. If you don't like this idea jump on top of him and try to take control of the vehicle before it crash.
>>
No. 1020165 ID: 71be42

The person inside the vehicle is a lot safer than you in a crash. Shoot the dash to try and disable the radio!
>>
No. 1020167 ID: 9a2966

>Calling his buds
Oops, jammer back on. At least you know there's a hostage here now?

>Saving a hostage
Wow, you're getting quite a lot of hero-ing done today!

>>1020156
This, pretty much.
>>
No. 1020169 ID: b01382

>>1020143
Shoot this raider with whatever nails we have left in our gun, then hope down into the driver seat to toss the corpse put and slow the vehicle down.
Collect everything off their corpses, meet up with our fire support buddy, and fuck off back to camp before more raiders come by.
>>
No. 1020173 ID: a2493c

>>1020143
I notice his horns are exposed within grabbing distance

what would happen if we were to grab onto his horns and just kinda

yank 'em circleways
>>
No. 1020174 ID: 1a1d89

>>1020173
My good sir or madam, I believe that would snap his neck.

Lets proceed with this course of action post haste.

Seriously though, this probably is better than stabbing or shooting and requires the least amount of exposure or finesse.
>>
No. 1020175 ID: 3491a8

Can you shoot the steerong wheel ot the brake pedal with your nail gun? Maybe you can force him to stop that way.
>>
No. 1020192 ID: 7e04cb
File 164188206927.png - (263.99KB , 800x600 , TQ59.png )
1020192

>Well fuck. Jammer back on first thing then. Can't have him sending full messages out or getting responses.
Back on the jammer goes.

>Shoot the dash to try and disable the radio!
For good measure I fire a few nails towards the built-in vehicle radio. A few nails bounce off, but a few go in. I don't know if that destroyed the radio or not, but it certainly sends a message. He recoils and drops the speaking piece onto the floor. He knows he isn’t getting any help from base.

>Saving a hostage
>Wow, you're getting quite a lot of hero-ing done today!
My favourite kind of hero work is the kind that gets me paid, and what can I say? people put a high price on being saved.

>I notice his horns are exposed within grabbing distance
They are a little far off from up here, and I wouldn't want to risk being impaled getting close to them approaching from above.

>Shoot steering wheel and brake
Doesn't seem feasible from this angle, nor practical.

>Shoot this raider with whatever nails we have left in our gun
He isn't very exposed from this angle, and I can't get any shots in on his head or front, but his back and arms are fair game. I unload whatever is left in my magazine onto him. Some nails miss or bounce off his helmet, but most find their way onto his arm or back. None of them seem lethal however, but this did convey an important bit of information; the gunner is down, and he is now on his own.

My magazine now empty, I decide I'll save the extra magazine for when I really need it. I'll try to take advantage of my other tools. I hold onto my pickaxe and prepare to take him down with it once I can lean close enough to him. I pull out the lighter and prepare my goggles to use as a plan B. I lean over the railing to prepare my attack.
>>
No. 1020193 ID: 7e04cb
File 164188208682.png - (232.99KB , 800x600 , TQ60.png )
1020193

He watches me carefully and just as I'm about to go down, he slams his foot on the breaks.

I didn't think he'd take advantage of the fact that I wasn't wearing a seat belt, and it looks like my attack of taking him out from behind is a bust.

Good thing I thought of plan B. A good thing about Tobak males being short is that our reaction times are excellent. I put my goggles down and bring the lighter out just as I clear the windshield, And I spark it up.

The only thing I see is the burst of light that briefly forms between me and him.

Got him. Eyes wide open.

>witty one-liner

"Bet you didn't s-"
>>
No. 1020194 ID: 7e04cb
File 164188211780.png - (296.51KB , 800x600 , TQ61.png )
1020194

I was launched way too fast for me to get that all out, and he probably didn't even hear much of what I did manage to get out before I fall against the ground ahead. Luckily for me I land in a pile of soft dirt. I landed on the jammer but it still seems to be working just fine, just a few bumps and scrapes which hopefully don't affect its value.

The vehicle swerves to its side as it slows from its breaks and slides around in the muddy terrain, A big dusty cloud surrounding it. The driver made the smart move when I see him decide to not resume driving. He might be a raider, but not all raiders are dumb enough to drive blind, especially off-road.

That was a risky, and maybe dumb move to make. But I'd say it certainly paid off.

I myself am unharmed, besides a few bumps and bruises that I'll probably start to feel a few hours from now, I'm fine. Him on the other hand? He got a good eyeful of the sun. His eyes have petrified for sure. It takes just a few seconds for the calcification process to complete, but he is effectively blind now, and for the next few weeks until the time it takes to regenerate a new set of eyes.

He opens the door and is trying to clamber out. A blind tobak might not seem like a threat, but we use more than just sight to sense our surroundings. We also have keen hearing as well as our magnetic senses. I have the feeling he isn't going to give up and surrender.
>>
No. 1020195 ID: 575fcc

Considering he's more or less down and out, time to take advantage of our still-seeing, and finish him. Possibly with your pickaxe.

After that, check out what's inside the vehicle still (and make sure they arent hostile, and if not, if they're ok as well.)
>>
No. 1020196 ID: ba605b

>>1020194
What ever. Slightly less dangerous or not, not much is going to protect him from a pickaxe to the chest. Hit him before he recovers, we need to end him now, free the captive, and regroup with our sniper buddy.
We should also do something about that one raider that was left on refueling duty. Did the sniper take them out already?
>>
No. 1020197 ID: 5d9787

>I have the feeling he isn't going to give up and surrender.
That make things easier. If he were to cooperate you would need to watch him until you could pass him to the authorities.
Pickaxe time!
>>
No. 1020200 ID: 076735

Tiptoe behind him. Hold your breath. Throw a in the other direction. Wait for him to start grabbing his gun (or start going for the door) and pickaxe him.
>>
No. 1020202 ID: 96c896

He's probably going to go for the hostage.
Turn the jammer back on but rush in and pickaxe him before he can grab whoever it is.
>>
No. 1020204 ID: 9a2966

>Jammer unharmed.
Good.

>You unharmed.
Considering you just took a dive from a moving vehicle? Better.

>regenerate a new set of eyes
Growing new eyes sounds like an interesting adaptation for a species to have. Considering they're pretty complex organs, 'n all.

>Unwilling to surrender
I take it you don't jail raiders around here. Could you just scare him off into the wilds if you didn't want to take the risk of getting up close and personal?

>What to do
Reload and focus fire some nails - on a headshot or disabling legs and arms so he can't grab a gun and blindfire back (or use a grenade or whatever other fancy surprise he might have on himself).

Then turn off your jammer again and go check out the car (once he's verified down). Send off a quick message to your crossbow friend that the car's been stopped - did he take care of the final raider? You could try driving back and pretend to be the raiders returning for him, to lure him out for an x-bow snipe by, say, wearing the driver's helmet and hunkering down.

That should rid the local area of the final raider threat.

Or you could pop that tin can and see who that hostage was.
>>
No. 1020208 ID: a2493c

>>1020194
honestly kinda want to keep him around as a pet to welch on other raiders, but pragmatism comes before vanity. Dome him good, lad, we've got one more to take out back at the gas station.
>>
No. 1020209 ID: c92a02

Go on, axe him a question.
>>
No. 1020210 ID: 094652

Use the pickaxe on his arms, then hogtie him and knock him out.
>>
No. 1020211 ID: 36784c

>>1020194
Once you take him out, you can check on whoever is in the vehicle to see if they’re friendly or not.

After that you can get in the driver’s seat and drive back to the refinery. Unless you don’t know how to drive that thing. Then you’ll have to walk back.
>>
No. 1020212 ID: 7e04cb
File 164191433180.png - (234.48KB , 800x600 , TQ62.png )
1020212

>We should also do something about that one raider that was left on refuelling duty. Did the sniper take them out already?
Not likely. I'm not sure what the sniper is doing, but I'm hoping he is close by.

>Growing new eyes sounds like an interesting adaptation for a species to have. Considering they're pretty complex organs, 'n all.
Why do you think our bodies have to rebuild them from scratch when they get damaged? Eyes are great but the occasional wildlife has adopted the ability to create light to hunt tobaks. Another interesting thing to note while on the subject of regeneration is that the only other thing our bodies naturally regenerate besides our eyes are our fingers and toes.

>I take it you don't jail raiders around here.
I admit that I'm not exactly law enforcement. They take raiders as prisoners, but they usually only bother if they can get something worthwhile out of them.

>honestly kinda want to keep him around as a pet to welch on other raiders
That sounds mean! He might deserve it, but wouldn't doing something like that make me no better than a raider? I'm no good with hypotheticals, so I'll put it in the ethical 'maybe' pile for review at a later date.

>Finish him off with the pickaxe.
I draw my pick and try my best to sneak over to him.
As I make my way over to him, I see him reach into the side door and pull out a nailgun. He manages to get onto his feet, but his arm and back injuries are beginning to show. He fires a few shots to confirm to himself and me that it is indeed loaded, none hit me, but a few might have come close.

Good news is that he doesn't seem to be going for the hostage at least.

>"Haah... haah... Bet you think you're slick, huh? Why can't I feel you? You're wearing a jammer, aren't you? You some kinda secret agent or something? haah... haah."
I stay quiet, I know what he is trying to do. He is trying to get me to give my location away by getting a response out of me.
>"Who sent you? You one of those corporate hitmen? A member of ghost-tunnel Raiders? Was it that goddamn Yich-Eater?... Are you... Lak? No... He isn't sloppy like this, I'd already be dead if you were Lak..."
He is still trying to get a word out of me, but I'm going to remain silent - Even if everything he says completely confuses me.
>"What do you want?... What did you possibly have to gain? The vehicle? The tech? That AI? That guy we're keeping in there? C'mon... speak, maybe we can work something out - make a deal, and we can both walk away from this with something, what do you say?"

...

>"haah..."



>"Haah... haaah... Make a noise already so I can kill you..."

He slows his breathing. he straightens his composure and starts to listen closely for sounds, gripping his nailgun tightly.
>>
No. 1020215 ID: ce39da

Toss an object off to his side. Close in with the pickaxe we he turns and fires.

> Corp assassins, ghost-tunnel raiders.
Nothing of note; these are likely the usual suspects in the eyes of this group.

> "That damn yich-eater!"
Just a guess, but I suppose that could be the scientist who's being escorted through here?

> Lak
Possibly that "phantom" Spooky told you about, possibly the mass-killer at the refinery, possibly Spooky himself, possibly all of the above - why was Spooky watching the refinery for so long, come to think of it?

> Vehicle, tech, the AI, "that guy."
All here, most likely. The hostage is likely an associate of the guard who'll pay you.

If you manage to take this guy out, drop the jammer to message Spooky (Can you set nicknames to IDs?) "Took them out, bringing the car back now. Take out the third guy if you see him. They had a prisoner, apparently." and message the guard lady "Reinforcements will not be arriving for the raiders, it seems. I'll be coming over once me and my buddy are done divvying the spoils."
>>
No. 1020216 ID: ff54f2

Throw a rock to distract him, then go for the disarm. No terms to talk, but those are some interesting leads.
>>
No. 1020218 ID: 094652

Throw a rock at a far wall, or he might realize you threw a rock and calculate the trajectory.
>>
No. 1020220 ID: 1a1d89

>>1020212
Okay, so we learned several neat things about your biology that I would like to discuss later.

Throw a handfull of rocks or dirt so he turns around, then quietly reload your weapon. Throw some more dirt or rocks, preferably ones that make a different noise, and then turn him into a pincushion.


>>1020216
If we want to talk, we should go this route. Detaching the drum magazine would probably do it.
>>
No. 1020221 ID: 1a1d89

>>1020220
Although, remember that there is still one in the chamber (assuming it has a mechanism similar to combustion weapons).
>>
No. 1020225 ID: b01382

>>1020212
Toss our goggles off to the size. The moment he starts firing in that direction, rush up and stab him on one of the arms. His grip should be weak enough for us to pull his gun away from his, or at least push it away so we can bludgeon his face into unconsciousness. The only thing more valuable than a dead raider is a living raider with a ton of knowledge, and it sounds like this guy knowa a lot. We could get a bonus for revealing who and where rhe rest of his buddies are.
>>
No. 1020226 ID: 36784c

>>1020212
Remember that beret you picked up? Toss it to the side to distract him, then pickaxe him.

>>1020225
>Toss our goggles
Don't toss our valuable goggles! He might hit them with a nail and break them!
>>
No. 1020227 ID: b01382

>>1020226
Okay, the berretta tossing is a good idea, and i support that since it can easily be sown up, but we came across a shit ton of other dead Tobaks. I dont remember if we lootee anything from that room, but we got goggles for days, plus theyre relatively cheap to replace arent they?

Im also glad to know that even though we landed on the jammer, its still functional.

Tl;dr yeet the had, and penetrated him with the pick.
>>
No. 1020228 ID: b01382

>>1020226
>>1020227
Wait, actually, it should be rocks if any are near our feet, then the baret if theres no rocks to throw.
>>
No. 1020229 ID: 9a2966

>pulls out a nailgun
And this is why we don't try to save ammunition by going melee. Now you've got to wait out him bleeding out, bumrush his ass or get him to empty his magazine somehow. You can't call for backup because the jammer that is keeping you alive is preventing that.

>>1020212
Throwing something to distract him might work - the first time - but it'd be better with a slow, crunching, stepping forwards motion, not just something casually tossed. If you want to toss something that isn't already in your hand or actually useful like your goggles, though... there's your impromptu ear piercing (as long as you can extract it without whimpering).

>Tossing off to the side noise
Toss your ear piercing off to your left - close to where he thinks you could've been - and step closer if he starts spray and praying. If he just fires once or a few times, just continue keeping still - because this guy has his wits about him and knows running out of ammo is his death sentence.

>Slow and careful nearby noise
Hunker down to be as small as possible without making much movement noise, and extend your pickaxe down with the top flat end - off to your side, at maximum reach - then press it softly down and forward. Just a small metallic crnh, like a shuffling boot scuffed a stone.

You could keep doing this as well, but he'll probably end up panicking and spray and praying if it gets too close to him, or figure you're somewhere nearby and spray and pray the general direction.

If at any point he gets a bead on you, pull off to a side and try to shield your body with the jammer. Better it than you.
>>
No. 1020231 ID: c0641b

>>1020212

So. Raiders got in there ahead of us and nabbed all the good loot (namely the contents of the cuffed attache case, but somehow missed the rock that General Cuddly had on them.

Bet whoever's in there might somehow be involved, and as for an AI ...?

That's probably something else or was part of a trade before shit hit the proverbial fan.
>>
No. 1020234 ID: 9a2966

>>1020231
Raiders would've looted the weapons and not had a row of perfect headshots. This was something else.
>>
No. 1020250 ID: 5d9787

Why did Clay used an eye-patch? He even had a custom monocle. Could it be some sort of strategy? Something like keep one eye cover until the other get blinded.

The jammer is still short range? Trow the colorful stone behind him. He might dismiss the pebble noise, but the magnetic signal is too similar to a male tobak to be ignored.
>>
No. 1020251 ID: 36784c

>>1020250
>Trow the colorful stone behind him. He might dismiss the pebble noise, but the magnetic signal is too similar to a male tobak to be ignored.
That would only work if we turned off the jammer so he can sense the rock (and us) or if we leave the jammer on and walked far enough away for both him and the rock to be outside of the jammer’s 2 meter range.
>>
No. 1020252 ID: 5d9787

>>1020251
If Dowser is closer than 2m from him he could just dash.
>>
No. 1020257 ID: 1a1d89

>>1020212
This has some risks, but what if we just wait him out? He doesn't know we didn't get killed or KO'd (assuming tobak's can be knocked out) from getting flung off the vehicle.

Since he can't see, eventually he will have to just assume you died or something and start trying to help himself somehow (probably starting with feeling around for the jammer since he knows that is still up).
>>
No. 1020281 ID: 7e04cb
File 164198411616.png - (219.11KB , 800x600 , TQ63.png )
1020281

>Throw a rock to mislead him.
There aren't any good-sized rocks in the soft dirt

>Throw the beret
I get the beret and toss it a distance away from him, it makes a subtle but noticeable sound. He stands firmly in place, unphased.

>"You think I was born yesterday? That's the first thing I would have done in your situation."
Damn. This guy is a lot smarter than the gunner. He has a plan for everything it seems, always doing stuff that I'm not able to predict.
>"That your only trick? I don't need tricks. I can wait here until you mess up. I'll take you to hell with me."

>Run
I'm quite close, and I'm definitely in his range. I'll think of something else.

>Wait.
That's... actually a good idea. He is the only one of the both of us with serious injuries after all. Not much he can do if we both stand here in silence while he bleeds out.

It becomes a battle of patience, a war of attrition as we both stand in complete silence a few metres from each other. Whoever walks away from this is the one that avoids making a fatal mistake. But I can tell he wants to play this smart, I get the feeling he is smarter and generally more experienced than I am. He knows I am out of nails, maybe because he was counting the shots, maybe because he noticed I stopped firing before he was dead. Either way, he isn't reckless like the other guy.

We stand for a minute. Then five. Approaching ten. A while passes and he refuses to fold.

A whistle is heard from the rocks.

His head perks up but it's too late for him to react in time to avoid the arrow that pierces his neck.

He slumps over and unceremoniously falls flat onto the ground. With any luck, he won't be getting back up.

I turn off the jammer just to confirm, and he isn't giving off any signal, meaning he is no longer conscious, likely dead.
>>
No. 1020282 ID: 7e04cb
File 164198415835.png - (131.68KB , 800x600 , TQ64.png )
1020282

>Why did Clay used an eye-patch? He even had a custom monocle. Could it be some sort of strategy? Something like keep one eye covered until the other get blinded.
That's actually a good point. I could ask him, or at least his imaginary lookalike. Either his eye was damaged beyond regeneration, or he had some kind of strategy like hiding something behind it, or maybe a cybernetic? Hard to tell.

I send out messages while the jammer is down.

>Can you set nicknames to IDs?
Sure can. I should set nicknames for everyone besides Spooky, I don't want favouritism after all.

'Dowser'(you): i'm guessing that was your handywork, spooky?
>'Spooky': Spooky?
'Dowser'(you): just a nickname. don't worry about it.
>'Spooky': Gosh.-I-hope-my-appearence-isn't-unsettling-to-you.-yes,-I-fired-that-arrow.-I-think-I-aimed-a-little-too-high.-I-am-sorry.
'Dowser'(you): no no, thank you. I might have been in trouble had you not come. hard to tell if your appearance unsettles me, I don't know what you look like. I'm guessing that is you all the way over there behind those rocks?
>'Spooky': I-think-so.-Are-you-hurt?-Did-you-take-care-of-all-those-raiders?-is-it-safe-to-come-down-there?
'Dowser'(you): it should be safe now. come on over.

I should decide how I should divvy up all the spoils with him. I might not have been able to do this without him after all.

>Message the guard lady

'Dowser'(you): hey.
>ts-626342-gfh: Dowser.
'Dowser'(you): huh?
>ts-626342-gfh: What did you do?
>ts-626342-gfh: Because whatever it is, all the raiders that were holding us under siege got a call and got cold feet all of a sudden. They all packed up and hauled ass back north.
'Dowser'(you): yeah I did that thing you asked me to do.
>ts-626342-gfh: Wait.
>ts-626342-gfh: You did what?
'Dowser'(you): I took out the raiders that were driving the vehicle.
>ts-626342-gfh: You.
>ts-626342-gfh: How?
>ts-626342-gfh: Dowser I.
It takes a noticeable pause until the next message comes through.
>ts-626342-gfh: Thank you. I'll give you that reward, as promised. I'll meet up with you when you get back to the elevator checkpoint.
>ts-626342-gfh: Seriously dude, thank you.
I've never seen her be this thankful before, I don't think it suits her regular Napoleon-complex self at all.
>>
No. 1020283 ID: 93ba79

I say Spooky gets first pick of so-far-unclaimed loot, given they specifically said they were in it for the hardware.

However, first thing to do will be releasing the raiders' hostage. As you open the door, warn in advance that you're friendly.

Also, stay on the lookout for the third guy, just in case.
>>
No. 1020284 ID: 5d9787

There is another armed raider nearby so don't let your guard down.
There might be a hostage in the vehicle but he could also be someone hostile so approach carefully. Ask who he is and if he is hurt.
Check if the engine is still working. If it is get out of here before any more raiders come. If needed use one of your fuel canister, you can come back to refil it later.
>>
No. 1020285 ID: ce39da

To Napoleon: “To be fair, I got help, though I’m fine with splitting the reward if you don’t want to pay double.”

To Spooky: “There’s a guy in the cargo compartment here, radio chatter the driver tried to send implies he’s a hostage of some kind. Please don’t shoot him when I open it up.” Followed by: “Did you get the guy they left behind, BTW?”

If Spooky agrees to transport you to the camp and possibly the depot, message Napoleon again: “We’re coming over, using the raiders’ vehicle, please don’t shoot.”

Then it’s jammer back on; remember not to inflict hallucinations on your fellow Tobaks!

As far as nickname policy goes, you should assign real names/call signs wherever possible; assign nicknames where real ones aren’t known.
>>
No. 1020287 ID: 5d9787

>>1020285
> you should assign real names
What if he lose his PDA? Wouldn't those names help whoever find it to impersonate Dowser or threaten his friends? For safety he should give each of his contacts a related but vague nickname and never call them by it.
>>
No. 1020288 ID: 3491a8

Ask him if he got the third raider. If it's all settled pick the car and all you can grab and get the hell out of there. Raiders might be going for you now instead of retreating. Be careful where you go, you might leave trails so chose a route over solid terrain.

Ask the nice guard lady about the hostage and check with him when you all are safe. Maybe you could lend some shooting "Don't worry, we have dispached those raiders, you are safe now but wait until we are out of there before we can free you"

A good way is that eacho one of you chose a spoil by turns. Let him go first, he really saved your ass and you get an extra reward latter. Also is good to show that you are grateful and is worth work with you.

About what to choose ask for at least one magazine of nails.
>>
No. 1020289 ID: 1a1d89

>>1020282
Well, you did the thing.

FIRST THING: RETRIEVE THE BERET

Second thing: reload your gun with the spare mag

After that, call the dude over and lets start divvying up this chunk. You two can go together and get the last guy. I doubt he will be hard to deal with at this point.

For the loot, while Spooky shot two guys, I think you still earned the bulk of it, since you finished off the first, and basically made the second a sitting duck. Not to mention, you were the one that got shot in the ear with a heavy nailgun and flung from a vehicle. It was also your jammer that kept them from effectively calling in reinforcements. Plus this guy seems fairly well kitted already, since he has a crossbow with such a degree of accuracy and, from the looks of it, panoramic goggles (also magnificent antlers).
>>
No. 1020291 ID: c4051a

Do Tobak antlers get that big? Anyway, good to meet up with them since the third raider is about, and you don’t know who’s in the bike. Be sure to get out of here before reinforcements arrive.
>>
No. 1020292 ID: 9a2966

Confer with Spooky whether he got the final raider - if not, you'll need to warn the independent guy you sent to gather loot that there's a rogue raider left in the area who could be hiding and hunkering down all paranoid-like at this point. Confer whether that guy wants help flushing the raider out or if this makes the idea too hot to try.

>Spooky
Give them a warm thanks for their aid and timely warnings. Ask: are they the 'Lak' the raiders seemed so scared off?

Spooky also gets a cut of the loot here, as is proper since you wouldn't have dared this without him. Splitting the 500 zeny reward seems a bit much... you can consider giving him first pickings to make up for it?

>Remaining raider
If final raider is still alive, you COULD also do the whole 'driving back, pretending to be the raiders' thing in order to gettem. Clearing the refinery does make it safely lootable again.

>Grateful Napoleon
Guess you really did her a solid. Well, she did say her reputation was on the line on this escort mission. Good thing losing their vehicle support freaked the other raiders. Maybe warn her if you and Spooky left a straggler in the refinery, as she might be passing that place soon?

>Loot
Pick through dead men's pockets, and investigate the car. There was a live one inside - a hostage? Guess you'll have to free 'em and see what their deal is.

>Car
Could be something that could be used for extracting that Neumono? Or something you could sell to someone else, like the mechanic, or someone back at the trading post. So once looting is done, you should probably actually refuel it.

Wait... can you even drive?

>Jerry Cans
Don't forget that you have to pick these up, too.

>Arms & Ammo
If refinery's safe, replace your used clip and maybe pick up a gun with more gas left in it than the current one. Or maybe pick up the gun the driver had if Spooky doesn't claim it.
>>
No. 1020295 ID: ce39da

>>1020285
>>1020287
Ah, good point. Also, assigning cool spy codenames to your contacts is fun.
Set Damyin to 'Skeptic,' his more TV-absorbed buddy to 'Movie Night' (or just 'Cinema' if Movie Night violates a character limit or you can't use spaces), Raph is 'High Torque' (with 'Gas-Guzzler' and just 'Gasoline' as plans B and C) and our devoted fangirl shall be 'Glomper.' (And what the hey, let's assign 'Damsel' to the distress signal's ID.) That should be everyone we've ID'd, right? Save the setting fiddling for while you're in transit, of course, though I realize now that we should head back to the refinery even if the third guy got taken out because A) we need to pick up gas for two vehicles and B) we could just meet Napoleon there if she's headed that way.
>>
No. 1020302 ID: 93ba79

Make sure those who "hauled ass back north" are not coming here.
>>
No. 1020319 ID: 96c896

Take that nail out of your ear.
Ask Spooky if he managed to kill the third raider. If not, someone needs to stand watch.
Then reload your nailgun, and check inside the vehicle. Knock first, tell them you're friendly and not to freak out. Then open the door.
>>
No. 1020325 ID: b01382

>>1020282
Now that we have the vehicle, lets return to the fueling place to get it refueled. Its why the raiders were there in the first place. Ask Spooky if he or she shot the last guy leaving to go get fuel. Does spooky want to tag along with us for a while? We can probably cram all the loot fro thay group of dead tabaks (after spliting with the other tabaks we talked with) and splitting loot between the remaining raiders and their vehicle. Hmmm. Could we take the vehicle while spooky takes some of the better goods? That fair?

Also check on the prisoner. To free them?
>>
No. 1020338 ID: 35f98c

>Tobak eyes regenerate
Oh, that makes the flare guns a lot less scary, then. I thought it was an "everybody's blind now forever" kind of weapon. Still inconvenient, but not life-altering.

>>1020302
Agreed - you're west of the camp, right? Not north? Not that they couldn't circle around, but that seems unnecessary.

Also, hooray! We actually finished one of the side-quests! :P
>>
No. 1020352 ID: 1c0351

>>1020295
>names
High Torque should be GasGasGas, rest are good
>>
No. 1020358 ID: 7e04cb
File 164208319691.png - (185.29KB , 800x600 , TQ65.png )
1020358

>FIRST THING: RETRIEVE THE BERET
fiiiiine.
>Reload gun, refill air pressure.
I load in my other magazine, 30 shots in total remain. The magazines on the raider nailguns use a different calibre and have different magazine shapes. their nailguns are mechanically inferior and have fewer total nails so I decide to keep what I have.
>Check if the engine is still working.
Works just fine. Driver left the keys in the ignition. handy.

I put my PDA away and I get a good look at Spooky. He certainly is not an ordinary tobak. The antlers should've given it away, but our friend 'Spooky' is a subspecies of tobak- a glade tobak. It's strange seeing one of those guys down here, but I'm sure he has his reasons for being far from his bright and cosy home. I Turn the jammer back on, as to not give my new friend a hallucination to match my own.

>"Hi. My name is Axyl. Nice to meet you. One thing I want to get out of the way, is that uh, you got guts, dude! And I think we made a pretty good team."
"The feeling is mutual. Thanks for your help."
>"Sorry if my messages came off as unusual, my space key is broken so I use hyphens instead."
That wasn't the only reason his messages were unusual, but I accept the apology.

>Ask him if he got the third raider
"Know what happened to the third guy?"
>"I didn't see him walk out, he probably didn't notice his buddies driving off. I stuck around a little while, but I didn't see him leave. Maybe he got a message and left through the back?"

>Let spooky get first pick
Sounds like a good place to start. "What did you have in mind for what you wanted out of this?"
>"Well... I kind of really wanted the vehicle. I know that's a lot to ask! but... It'd certainly make my life a whole lot easier. If for some reason neither of us can keep it, I know a guy who would buy it and not ask questions, and we can split that. That’s really all I want, you can have the rest."
If he gets the vehicle I may as well keep the 500z reward a secret for now.

>Head back to refinery for refuel, pick up rest of loot.
I don't want to push our luck. We got a good score and I get the feeling that we could make the same mistake the raiders did in not seeing an ambush coming. We should secure this score ASAP.
>Jerry cans
I haven't forgot, I hid those at the place where I drew up the plan.
>Nicknames
I'll take care of those as I send out messages to those in need of nicknames.
>Take that nail out of your ear.
Out it comes. I'm really not a fan of ear piercings.

>"So, uh, is someone alive still in the vehicle?"
"You felt that from over here?"
>"These antlers aren't just for show! My range goes pretty far, around thirty metres, forty if I concentrate. It's the reason I prefer long range weapons."
"I guess we should check that guy out before we divvy things up?"
>"Lead the way."
>>
No. 1020359 ID: 7e04cb
File 164208322530.png - (251.68KB , 800x600 , TQ66.png )
1020359

"So... does the name 'Lak' mean anything to you?"
>"I'm afraid not. You looking for someone?"
"More like looking out for someone."
>"Sounds like a male tobak name, if that helps."

"You wanna tag along with me for a while Axyl?"
>"Sure, so long as I'm in the area. Which might not be too long, I want to get this out into a safe area before any more raiders come to take it back."

>Guy behind the door could also be someone hostile so approach carefully. Ask who he is and if he is hurt.
Right. Me and Axyl walk up the door and give it a knock.
"Hey, someone in here? You alright?"
No response. It could be a raider setting a trap, but it wouldn't explain why the door is locked from the outside. Or it might be someone too scared to respond. Seeing no other choice, I use my pickaxe to bust open the lock. I pull the door up and Axyl and I peer inside.

...

>"uhhhh... I'm not touching that."
It's just a naked guy, but I understand where he is coming from.
>>
No. 1020360 ID: 7e04cb
File 164208327344.png - (245.66KB , 800x600 , TQ67.png )
1020360

"mmph! mmmmph!"

There's a guy sitting there, all tied up and without clothes, fortunately save for a pair of boxers. He has a rubber band around his muzzle preventing him from speaking. This little room also has a bunch of computers and storage containers.

I take the rubber band off. just for funsies I guess.
"PLEASE! I can't do what you want from me! It's impossible! It can't be done!"
"Woah, hey-"
"I'm a senior coder who works with AI, a slightly gifted but overall mediocre one at that! I work in making artificial intelligence, b-but-"
>"H-hey, you should really slow down and-"
"I don't know who told you I could do it - but I can't make a CAI for you! B-BUT WAIT! I-I... I know where you could get one... so... let’s talk?"
>"Listen, we're not-" I place my hand in front of Axyl to signal that I mean to interject.

A Compilation AI? I heard those are... pretty pricy. I mean, obviously super illegal too, but if the companies don't follow the intergalactic laws, then I don't see why we should either. He is under the assumption that we are involved with the raiders who took him, or maybe he even thinks we are counter raiders. I guess we... look the part. He might even think we are from any number of companies or crime families, and that us being interlopers that stumbled upon him by complete chance is the most unlikely possibility.

Obviously neither Axyl nor I want to hurt this poor guy, but if he thinks we're gonna hurt him, it might just be that much easier to have him spill some information, information meant for those of a much higher paygrade depending on how important this guy is.

The less economical choice is that we tell him we took care of the raiders and that he can go, I'm sure he'd thank us for being his saviours, but he would probably be less thankful if we did that after extracting info from him. Either way, it'd be good to know what his situation is and where he sits in all of this.
>>
No. 1020361 ID: 484c28

Knowledge is power and this sounds like very powerful knowledge. Which usually also means money. Firmly tell him to keep talking. Be imposing. Maybe vaguely threaten him by grabbing your pickaxe. Obviously were not actually going to hurt him.

Oh also didn't that lady friend of yours say she was protecting some nerds? Maybe this is one of them.
>>
No. 1020362 ID: 5d9787

Spooky actually look fine. After that comment I was half expecting him to be deformed.

"Who own this CAI?" "Where is it?" "Why would they think you can make one?"
>>
No. 1020363 ID: 93ba79

No lies, only omissions.

Gesture to him to keep talking, pull out a knife. Once he's spit out some more info, use the knife on his bonds and show your red tailband.
>>
No. 1020366 ID: 9a2966

>Alyx's quad goggles
They're cool. Do they give him extra sideview or something?

>Dead tobaks
Did you flip the bodies, check 'em for loot and zeny? One had the alien cigs. Guess that's pretty rare, might sell for a few zeny or be a nice gift to someone.

>Reward split - vehicle for Alyx
Give it to him! In exchange for a favor or somesuch. Such as: he can help with the neumono rescue (get-there driver and/or getaway driver) you have half-planned.

Say you can split the value of the car contents or the reward from the (current) rescue 50/50. That should null any guilt for not mentioning the 500 zeny additional reward you secured. If he wants a cut of the neumono rescue that can be discussed, but you'd prefer to keep most of the credit to that one.

>Scared AI programmer
Don't be a doochbaggle, hunting down a CAI sounds like a pipe dream besides. Point to your red indep-bandanas and tell him he's safe and start freeing him... but cheerfully state that if he wants to keep talking, you wouldn't mind a great tip-off to something valuable BEING part of your rescue reward! No malicious undertone, just ride that wave of gratitude whenever he realizes you're serious.

Also ask what his whole deal is - is all this computer stuff his as well? Will there be a reward for returning him AND it? How does an AI programmer with SERIOUS KNOWLEDGE of a CAI end up in the sticks captured by raiders like that? Sounds like those guys had some kind of wacky plan for him that would've ended up poorly!

Like, seriously, you're glad you risked life and limb to save him! Those raider guys mean business. Mean mean business!

>Grim looting
Ask whether he wants to stay naked or have the blood-stained clothes or the bloodier-stained clothes (indicating the two dead Tobaks here). He should probably pick up some goggles as well, there's been an awful lot of fire being used around these parts of late, so better safe than sorry.

>What next
Go back to the refinery to refuel, hunt down final raider and use the car to score the bundle of guns and stuff (Alyx can get a cut by driving it home)...

...or you could just refuel at the refinery, drive to the vehicle yard and dump this programmer guy with the mechanic while you work on the Neumono rescue together with Alyx (if he takes the favor) and the guard lady whose favor you're owed.

>The Refinery
If you deal with the Refinery loot - or deal with the lost raider there by, say, returning and pretending to be the raiders who left him behind by dressing up a bit - then you really need to send off a message to the TV-watching buddy you tipped off. Either that you secured it due to Circumstances, or that there might be a clueless leftover hostile from the recent raider incursion around.
>>
No. 1020368 ID: 55e0d4

Don’t keep up the charade, but before anything else: where is this CAI?
>>
No. 1020371 ID: ce39da

> Eyes, Antlers
Aha. Under the assumption that Tobak jammers only block one's ability to receive magnetic signals (and not the signals themselves), this explains the figure Axyl was seeing from all the way outside the refinery. At the same time, assuming that Glade Tobaks aren't so good at seeing far in total darkness, a "shadowy figure" being an actual person suddenly becomes quite possible.

> What Do
Yeah, don't be a jack-ass, he'll tell you anyway if he's grateful enough. However, there is one question you'd like to ask while you're heading in to untie him: "That wouldn't happen to have anything to do with a deal that was supposed to go down between the Pomi and Heef corps, would it?"
>>
No. 1020372 ID: 36784c

>>1020358
If he wants the vehicle, he can have it. As long as he gives you a ride so you can go pick up your Jerry cans and drop you off at the mechanic that wanted the fuel.

You’ve still gotta meet up with the guard lady that owes you a favor at that location, so that you can bring her with you when you go to rescue that Neumono that sent out the distress signal.

>>1020360
>extract info?
With the loot you’re bringing in, do you really need to know about where a CAI is? Since it’s illegal, if you somehow managed to get it, you probably wouldn’t be able to sell it without setting off a lot of red flags and having someone come hunt you down for knowing too much.

Getting a lot of money would be nice, but I don’t think the price of “always needing to look out for a government hired assassin” is worth it.
>>
No. 1020378 ID: c0641b

>>1020360

What, did those raiders like, pack up his whole place and toss him in the back, or something?

They sure seemed like the sort to think he'd be able to work in that position.
>>
No. 1020379 ID: 1c0351

>>1020358
Okay, if he wants the vehicle, fine. He can have it(vehicle is including the gun). However, if that is what he wants, we get the rest. The vehicle would be a huge boon for anyone and thus is worth quite a bit. He also needs to help us transport it (plus the jerry cans) since we can't exactly carry it all on foot.
Make sure to load the driver's corpse into the vic so we can loot them later. At the very very least, the helmet seems very useful for obvious reasons.

When we go back for the cans, we should grab some more guns and ammo since we can load it in the vic (not all of it though, that would be selfish).
Also check under the eyepatch Clay's corpse had oh. I am kind of curious. It is probably just some sort of accident or something, but it could be a cybernetic which would be pretty valuable.

Do we have a home or a base of some sort to drop stuff off at? If not, we should ask if we can squat over with the mechanic for the time being since he probably isn't going anywhere soon.

For the time being, put the gag back on this guy and then grab the stuff. We should probably save questioning/helping him for when we are in a more secure spot. Ideally somewhere with clothes that aren't straight off the corpse.
>>
No. 1020380 ID: 583eb4

Valuable info is nice, and it's tempting to just let the cute nerd spill his guts, but if he does that under duress, you may have to kill him so he doesn't tell someone that he told you some very illegal info (which you could be hunted/arrested for), and at that point, you lose some of Axyl's trust, and have killed an innocent who is worth a lot to someone (monetarily if not emotionally). Even if you get the nerd to not immediately report you when he goes free, the info would become less usable, as it would paint a target on your (and Axyl's) back if you use it, potentially getting the nerd killed anyway.
So, don't keep up the charade, and figure out who he is, if he knows what the stuff in the back of the car is, and where would be best to take him. Probably should move somewhere safer before you chat though.

And no problems with Axyl getting the vehicle.

Also, not something that can be checked right now, but I'm wondering how 'Clay' is holding up under the effects of the jammer, or if it's having any effect outside the obvious suppression. They may not be physical, but they seem aware enough... and having a separate consciousness attached to your mind go crazy is obviously bad.

>>1020371
So, Axyl may have been exposed to the stone as well? That and his range may be worth keeping in mind when handling the stone/turning off the jammer in future.
>>
No. 1020381 ID: b01382

>>1020360
>rape
Nah
We tried stopping him from yammering, so we might as well let him continue. Ask avout where we can find some CAI. Not like we can do much with the information. After that we can tell him we're not really raiders and we're freeing him. He can steal clothes off the two dead dudes of course.

Wheres he from? Those his computers? I wonder how hes going to carry all of those back.
>>
No. 1020385 ID: 96c896

>>1020360
Let him talk. Only after you get some good info should you let him know you're not raiders.
>>
No. 1020405 ID: e3eaff

Maybe we could use the vehicle to help out the dude whose stuck behind the worms, and then give it to our new friend.

As for the guy whose yammering... we probably could get more of a benefit if we stop him now and let him know we're independents, since it seems he's spilling info about what he can't do for the raiders, and it'll make his gratitude more genuine.
Not sure how we could prove it, show him our ID's or untie him?
>>
No. 1020406 ID: a9af05

>>1020405
>Maybe we could use the vehicle to help out the dude whose stuck behind the worms, and then give it to our new friend.
That depends on how powerful the gun on the vehicle is. Is it strong enough to penetrate the razor worms' armor and kill them? Is there enough ammo in it to take out an entire swarm? Can it out run the worms if they decide to chase us?

We've gotta know these things so that we can decide if the vehicle will help us or just get in the way.
>>
No. 1020411 ID: 34dfce

>>1020404
Wtf no
>>
No. 1020414 ID: 692918

>>1020360
knowledge is power but it can alsp be dangerous.

-CAI tech is illegal
-he knows our faces
-he is an established blabbermouth
-he WILL mention that he told us he knows about CAI shit when he's back with whoever he works with
-They will PROBABLY NOT want such a loose end out there

in short, let's not play it smart, let's interrupt this idiot before he gets us killed by letting him know we aren't raiders
>>
No. 1020415 ID: 12eb7b

Knowledge is power but contacts also are. You will get 500 just because you know a merc in the area.

Lying to him will make him angry and you will show your new companion a very bad side of yourself. Also in the future, it might be worth to have a computer sciencist friend, he can advise you about computer stuff you find and even be a contact to one company which can end in some jobs.

Also, don't be a jerk, this guy is really scared.
>>
No. 1020419 ID: 7e04cb
File 164216492631.png - (182.00KB , 800x600 , TQ68.png )
1020419

>didn't that lady friend of yours say she was protecting some nerds? Maybe this is one of them.
She said she was being a bodyguard for an alien nerd. Since this is a tobak I'm guessing he is unrelated.

I decide I don't want to be a jerk to this guy, partly because he is scared and partly because I don't want to show my new friend the side of me that lies, or at least employs the use of omissions.

"Calm down, we’re not raiders, and we're not working for anyone. We're freelancers. See?" We show him our red cloths.
"O-oh... I didn't... So, you guys aren't gonna..."
>"Hurt you? No way, dude! We're just a little confused, and curious, I guess."
"What about the raiders? I heard stuff going on outside, but I couldn't tell what because my magnetism was blocked."
"We took care of them. Well, most of them. One of them stepped off earlier."
"Does that mean I'm free to go? That's great! Is-... What's with that look you guys are giving me? O-oh, the whole CAI thing? My mouth can get a little loose at times, hahah, you can ignore all that stuff!"
Axyl and I turn to look at each other and at the same time, turn back to burn him with an intense look of disapproval.
"Alright alright! You guys were being honest with me, and you did help prevent me from becoming a code slave, So... I'll let a few more details slip. I'm... grateful that you guys aren't going to murder me."

>"You talked about a CAI, what exactly is that?"
"What's the best way I can put this... It's like a computer with lots and lots of independent AI inside. Like, a ridiculous amount of independent AI. But that's not what's so special about a CAI, what's special is that each of those independent voices is sentient. Making sentient AI is extremely hard to do, and the process of doing so is very poorly understood. But owning a CAI is very beneficial to anyone who can get their hands on one, as they can essentially generate the best possible decisions for any given scenario."
"You mentioned that you knew where we could get one?"
"Did I mention that CAI are extremely rare? That being said, there are three on the entirety of Saxum Eight. Exactly zero of which are known to anyone off-world. I wasn't lying when I said I knew where you could get one, but I don't know how you could get it. Two CAI are being closely guarded in top security company bunkers, and the third? Well... Nobody actually knows where that one is. There are clues, but nobody knows where it went since it parted with its previous owner. But I assure you, if you could obtain a CAI, you would be very, very well off."
"You're a bit of a blabbermouth, you're not going to tell us that we know any of this information to whoever you work for, right? Seems like it could be dangerous for us to know."
"Don't worry! I won't tell who I work for what I told you guys for the same reason I won't tell you guys who I work for, because like you guys, I could get in a lot of trouble!"
>"Are all these computers and machines yours?"
"God no! My kidnappers were bringing it with us so they could force me to use all of it somehow. It's a good thing it never came to that, because this junk is too ancient for me to use properly."

"Since we're moving on and taking the vehicle, do you want something? Uh, clothes, maybe?"
"All my clothes are in that box across from me. I wouldn't want to put anything on from those dead guys, seeing as what's left is a little... bloody... Say, did any of those guys have a black backpack on them? If not, don't worry about it."
Axyl rummages through the box to retrieve his belongings while I untie him. While I do, I ask him something that has been on my mind.
"Neither you or a CAI had anything to do with that deal that was supposed to happen between the pomi and heef corps, right?"
"Huh? No, I wouldn't know anything about that. I don't work for any of the mining companies, not anymore."

Axyl pulls out a lab coat, goggles, and a floral shirt from the box.
>"Sorry, I couldn't find your pants in here."
"Oh- don't worry about it, I don't wear pants."

...

"What? I'm a programmer, I sit at a computer all day in a hot server room, is it a crime to do what's most comfortable?"

We'll tally up all of the loot from the bodies and decide who'll get what by the end of the day. This is a pretty good haul, maybe I don't need to spend days down here after all. All that's left is to rescue the alien holding out at the radio tower and we can probably call it a day. We do need to decide what to do with this guy, though. The loot is for sure going to be something I can't carry on me, so I'll need to stop somewhere to drop it all off. I'm probably going to avoid the refinery for now, not much there I feel I can gain.
>>
No. 1020420 ID: 5d9787

We have a promise to fulfill and a few promised favors to receive. Let's go deliver the fuel canister to the mechanic then pick up our girl friend for the hero play.
Our smoking friend may be willing to check our vehicle for defects we aren't aware of, and might be interested in the cigarettes.
Unfortunately we could be short on fuel for the noise machine. Fortunately mounted heavy nailgun.
>>
No. 1020421 ID: 36784c

>>1020419
>Say, did any of those guys have a black backpack on them? If not, don't worry about it.
Yeah, one of them had a black backpack on. He got out at the refinery to get fuel, but was left behind when we spooked the driver into stepping on the gas.

>We do need to decide what to do with this guy, though.
After you get dropped off at the mechanic’s location, Axyl can take him to the cavern’s exit.

You could also ask if the programmer guy is able to call someone to come pick him up wherever he gets dropped off. Or ask for his name, then send a message out to your guard friends to see if they know if someone is looking for a missing/kidnapped programmer with this guy’s name.

>The loot is for sure going to be something I can't carry on me, so I'll need to stop somewhere to drop it all off.
Maybe the mechanic can keep an eye on your stuff while you’re off being a hero?

>I'm probably going to avoid the refinery for now, not much there I feel I can gain.
Except for the jerry cans full of fuel that you left near there. Better hope someone didn’t randomly find them and take them while you were gone!
>>
No. 1020422 ID: 9a2966

What's the coder's name? Introductions are in order. Who knows? Maybe you could use a code chum one day... especially if you do end up finding that CAI!

>CAI Corps
Who're the cool corps with CAIs? You're not gonna mess with them, just curious who's sitting on that sort of an advantage.

>3rd CAI clues
I suppose he knows some of those clues, then? Wouldn't have mentioned them otherwise, right?

>Loot dropoff
Stash it with the mechanic in the vehicle yard - or just trust Axyl to bring it all the way and to someone else you can trust there - it'd be better to trust ONE of them with the transport outta here, anyway! Saves you some hauling and the intent is to be splitting the stuff in the car anyway, right? Sure, either could screw you... but lugging stuff around and taking round trips is a pain!

Granted, if you get Axyl's buy-in on the whole "save the Neumono" plan definitely stash stuff by the vehicle yard, just so it won't get trashed in case something bad happens to the car.

>Programmer dropoff
He fine with being driven to the vehicle yard, from where he can get a ride with the mechanic and/or Axyl to the depot?

(Actually, IS Axyl headed back towards the depot?)

>Refinery avoidance
Fair enough, but you should still warn the guy you tipped off about the possibility of a solitary raider presence there now!
>>
No. 1020426 ID: b01382

>>1020419
Yeah m8 shits fucked. The living bandit got youe backpack. Was that yours? Hope it wasnt important. I guess we can go looking for it, but i got no clue how far he xpuld have gone.
>>
No. 1020440 ID: 34dfce

>>1020419
How canon is this quest? CAIs are a really really big deal in the Asteroidverse, and the fact that there are three of them here unknown to anyone offworld seems to mean that if the secret gets out, the whole world would be turned upside down. Depending on what happens later on, could this end up having repercussions in the mainline AsteroidQuest (Particularly Penn Quest, assuming Lago didn't abandon it)?
>>
No. 1020454 ID: 7e04cb
File 164222944945.png - (241.39KB , 800x600 , TQ69.png )
1020454

>How canon is this quest?
Canon compliant currently.

He puts his clothes and goggles on
"Back on my feet once more! Boy, it’s been so long since I’ve looked at a screen, my eyes have regenerated enough that I don’t need these glasses anymore."

"So, these CAI, are they... real?"
"Heck if I know. Here's the thing, I've never actually seen one, I've only ever heard of them. See, they are like, the holy grail of artificial intelligence. And when you get something so rare and sought after, you get a lot of... fakes. Are the three on our world genuine? Statistically speaking, odds are that most if not all are really convincing imitations. The reason we are so uncertain is because each and every one of them was obtained illegally, as you might expect."
"If they are fakes then I guess that means they're worthless."
"Nnnnnnot necessarily. A good fake is still fairly useful. But the real deal is infinitely better. Chasing down a real one is a pipe dream anyway, if you want ways to make some serious cash, I can help you out with that."

"Actually, one of those guys did have a black backpack. I saw him walk into the refinery."
"Oh thank god. Don't go after it, whatever you do."


"Is there a radio around that I could use?"
"There is... was one."
"Don't worry, I can find one on the way out of here. You guys don't mind dropping me off close to the elevator, do you?"
>"That's where I was planning to go. You fine with that Dowser?"
"So long as you can drop me off. I promised I'd deliver some fuel to someone at the vehicle yard, so just bring me there. You can drive right?"
>"Sure can"
"Good, I have no clue how to drive something like that."
"You guys seem alright, want to keep in touch? My name is Kellie. Kell is fine. Both of you seem capable, and my boss is always looking for capable guys going out and about. So long as you don't mind bending a few rules."
"Sure, why not."
>"Sounds good."
He sends both of us friend requests over our PDAs. I also get a request from Axyl.
>>
No. 1020455 ID: 7e04cb
File 164222948801.png - (172.82KB , 800x600 , TQ70.png )
1020455

>Alyx's quad goggles
I think they do give him some kind of better side view. I can tell they are pretty advanced, possibly due in part to how different glade tobak eyes are.

>Check the bodies
Neither of those guys had too much on them. Loose change, candy wrappers, the works. I take the gunners cigarettes, but I might just resell those instead of smoking them.

>Warn the guy you told about refinery loot.
I send him a message about the situation, and he understandably hesitates, but ultimately hangs back.

We pick up the jerry cans I had stashed by the road, luckily nobody found them. We start moving towards the refinery. I sit in the machine gun seat where the others can't hear me well over the engine.

"Quite the adventurous type, aren't we?"
Oh. It's just Clay. I was wondering when he'd show up.
"I know what you're probably wondering. How am I able to come out when you have the jammer on? The case seems to be that I'm completely in your head, and I have nothing to do with your horn's magnetic connection to the ore. In truth, I could have come out at any time. But you've been busy, and I don't mean to distract you. Seems you've met some new friends. I'm surprised you are so quick to trust people you've barely just met."
"Hey, wait a minute, why aren't you a hot chick like I imagined you as?"
"I can control my appearance too. I feel you'll take me more seriously when I'm this way as opposed to you just drooling on the floor."
"Is that all you came to say?"
"Not quite. I've been wondering what I am to you. What are my limits? Do you control me? Or... can I control you? "
I don't like where he is going with this. I don't even need to be looking at him to know he is around anymore. The more I'm around this stone the more real and independent he seems to become.
"Not that I disagree with the way you act mind you. Like you, I care about self-preservation. If you die, I die too. So that's why I decided that keeping us alive is the number one priority. I don't know if I can control you, but if I can? It would be for our own good, yes?"
Maybe keeping this rock might be more trouble than it's worth.
>>
No. 1020456 ID: 96c896

>>1020455
Tell him if he's really just part of your brain, then controlling you won't accomplish anything. So that is an admission that he is more than that, and that implies the ore can think. Also, he didn't know anything before he started talking to you. How could someone with so little knowledge of how the world works possibly be better than you in the driver's seat?
...maybe it's not ore. Could a CAI be hidden in there? A sufficiently advanced AI with access to a broadcasting medium of the appropriate wavelength might be able to hack a Tobak brain via their antlers. Or maybe the "ore" is an egg of sorts, and whatever's inside it is using you to protect itself and learn about the world, while pretending to be a figment of your imagination. In either case I think the jammer isn't jamming everything the ore is putting out. You need to use the briefcase to truly block it.

Tell him if he tries to control you, then you will do your best to ditch the ore and erase him. Maybe you'll even grind it into dust, how'd he like that? It's obviously too valuable to try to sell, because the last people that tried that got slaughtered.
See if threatening to destroy the ore makes whatever it is reveal what it really is.
>>
No. 1020457 ID: 5d9787

You are part of me, so you shouldn't be able to do anything better than me. If anything my perception of you as a character with qualities I do not posses would mean you have a tendency to be less efficient by attempting to do things in an in character manner I imagine would look cooler (like naruto run to go faster but less lame).
It could be possible that your out of body sense of self would allow for more resistance to pain and other circumstantially useful reflex suppressions I'm not capable of. Even if it work like that the last think I would want would be to break my bones for pointless strength accomplishes.
The most useful things you could possible do better than me would be personality dependent: genuine confidence and better delivery of lies. That is if we assume you can project a cool atitude to others in the first place, and do so looking like me and not some dead badass.
In truth this proposal sound very sinister, but in reality this would mean I would be lying to myself and pretending to be someone I'm not.
>>
No. 1020458 ID: c92a02

Don't go abusing your tulpa privileges Clay, or I'll send Jackie Chan in there after you.
So what's priority number two? There may be some thing you know that I don't after all.
>>
No. 1020459 ID: b01382

>>1020455
>doesnt have anything worth taking
Nonsense. Their guns bro. You can take their guns and sell them. Doesnt matter if its pocket change. Thays change you can use for groceries bro.

If you can control me that is and isnt a good thing? You, who we both can hypothesis is a creation of my imagination through this weirs ore, do not entirely gain or lose anything from attempting to control my own body, because at the moment you have no motivations, and any motivations you did have stems from my own mind the moment i saw the corpse and picked up the rock. So, yes and no, but i would like there to be no attempts.
>>
No. 1020461 ID: ee520c

Keeps stone and eventually becomes a fleshy tobak version of a SAI.
>>
No. 1020462 ID: 3a2387

>Can I control you?
Sounds like the worst possible way to find out would be to initiate a mental tug of war during a crisis situation!

...so does he want to try now, while it’s comparatively safe? Like, you’re not keen on giving up your body or anything, but it might be doable for some things? But what’d he even be able to contribute with IN a crisis? Like he admitted, he has no memories beyond your own, just a slightly different perspective, right? Or was that a lie?

Granted if he tries to control and succeeds and then tries to keep your bod for reals, the rock gets yeet’d the moment control is returned. Self-preservation and all, no offense.

Granted, it kinda seems like the rock is a moot point now, if he just somehow IS in your head, jammer or not? Is it a Rock of Give Tobaks Split Personalities?

>Trusting others.
Many hands make for short work, and you felt like you had enough clues to go by as to Alyx’s sincerity. You wouldn’t have taken out the raider vehicle without him, and Alyx could’ve domed you with an x-bow earlier or not given you any warnings.

As for this programmer guy, you’ll be careful, but he seems genuine enough
>>
No. 1020475 ID: 286be8

>I feel you'll take me more seriously when I'm this way as opposed to you just drooling on the floor.
A little sad but completely fair. Still think he was cute/hot and still very badass like that, but better to talk on even terms, and staring at an unseen looming figure would draw the others attention.

There are things he should recognize though. Disagreements and power struggles at inconvenient moments are very likely to get the both of your killed, and if he makes you feel threatened in your own body, respectfully, you may very well panic and get rid of the ore, even if it doesn't wind up helping things. Wanting more agency is natural, all this is just very new and a bit ominous though.

Perhaps there is some utility to having him in control, as an extension of the ore, but that would be impossible to know without trying. Similarly, with practice, perhaps he could help you maintain situational awareness in a fight, warning you of incoming threats. Who knows, maybe he could become your Dowser-Sense.

Since the rock is still having some effect through the jammer, it raises the question of whether it's also effecting Axyl and Kell, and whether they'd see something else, or if they'd see Clay. Clay is quite probably a part of your mind, but it's impossible to deny that his presence is linked to the ore, so whose to say it wouldn't make some sort of link like that, a shared hallucination of sorts. He can't 'sense' them can he? Or at least the impressions of others like him.

While he's here though, imagine giving him a hug. It's about the only way you can directly interact with him, and he's gotta be at least a little lonely, so it's a decent way to test that. Self preservation is important, but you gotta value living for it to really matter.
>>
No. 1020477 ID: ce39da

"On the one hand, I'm not entirely sure if you could do anything I couldn't, even if you could take over. On the other, you might turn out to be better at remembering and processing new information than I am, though I doubt you need to take control of me outright for us to make use of that. We could try experimenting with highlighting stuff in my vision, maybe?"
>>
No. 1020486 ID: dfbac0

Okay buddy, let's not get ahead of ourselves, I understand the existential implications of living in someone's mind but taking over my body seems... messy. Why don't we see about other ways you could keep me alive? You're technically in my mind but maybe the stone has some weird magic stuff that allows you to peek around corners for me and see things I can't? That would be a lot more useful to our survival than just hijacking my body.
>>
No. 1020490 ID: 36784c

>>1020455
Ask if they want their own identity? After all, they’re not the real “Clay”, so there isn’t really any reason for them to keep using that form. Maybe we could give them a new name and a different “default form” instead of them always being Clay? Unless they like looking like that?

>>1020486
>allows you to peek around corners for me and see things I can't?
That was already answered here: >>1018936 , when our sexy imaginary friend said, "I know what you're going to ask, and no. I cannot look around corners and tell you what's behind. I only know and see what you know and see."
>>
No. 1020491 ID: 9a2966

Also, you're trying to stay upbeat and not to panic or freak out about all this - it'd be best if this was just one more everyday hurdle. It would be weird if you had a mental breakdown, right? So getting into a bad headspace could be a threat to you both.

With that in mind, he shouldn't aggressively push any 'I can take over your body thing' angles, aight? It's... fine to discuss it, maybe test the waters a bit, as you understand it's a difficult prospect to not ever be large and in charge and you have a hard time even imagining how it's possible to live as a body-less entity - Is it awful? Are they alright? Like, how do you even approach something so far out of context to a lived experience?

What you CAN do is acknowledge they're a person - as far as you can tell - and that you now kind of play a critical role in their survival, as, uh, the hosting headspace, so to speak. And that, in this context, selling or giving away the rock could make Clay consider doing something drastic in order to preserve himself, since neither of you have any idea what's gonna happen. You didn't expect your chance prize to come to a head this way - in your head!

But there's not much you can do about it at this point, yeah? Other than keeping the rock on you forever - and that seems to strengthen the connection bond or whatever - so... if you're REALLY gonna do that:

A) there should be some advantage to it - a recalcitrent 'wanna take over your body' headbud doesn't sound great, a headbud who can, you dunno, pay attention to subtle things you miss, aid your aim, or whatever, DOES sound good.

B) you at the very least need some other way to earn big zeny survival money, making taking risks, like this rescue op, a good thing in the long run, even for Clay, right? Even if it risks you both. And understand: you're pretty cavalier about risks because that's life, and you've gotta make a living. Sometimes people die. You'd like it not to be you, but it's also possible to die of starvation or becoming so desperate that you do stupid shit like join a raider group and then get killed by sneaky clever indeps.

C) You can offer some give and take. Would he like a vote - a way to offer input to plans, modify them, when he feels it's needed? Then he could just input it like... thoughtful advice. You're always entertaining several lines of thoughts anyway, he'd just be adding one more to the mix, really!

D) You have to verify there's no spillover effect on other people. At least, nothing bad or serious. And no long-term brain tumor effects or whatever. So some research will have to be done on the rock, information hunted for. At some point this means it MAY get taken away from you, just to see what would happen - but you'd give them a veto for that.

Anyway, to explain the logic of what's going on right now, with your current plan, since it sounded like they were trying to critique a bit: saved people = rewards and connections. Connections = jobs = money = continued survival. Getting a good rep doesn't hurt either. People are a bit more willing to put their faith in folks who don't screw others over all the time, which is pretty basic uplift 'here is how the social contract work' stuff. You're not out to be a hero just for the sake of being hero (though it does feel nice...).
>>
No. 1020505 ID: 15a025

I don't think I trust Clay here that much. If he thinks of a good plan, he can share with us. No body controlling though.
>>
No. 1020536 ID: a2493c

>>1020455
you realize how SPECTACULARLY evil you sound right now, yes?
>>
No. 1020579 ID: 96c896

...actually, if he IS part of your brain, there is some benefit to him controlling part of your body. Like, aiming two guns at once. Or anything that requires split concentration.
True multitasking!
>>
No. 1020591 ID: 35f98c

>>1020579
That could be tested - for instance, one of you add up 1 to 20 while the other multiplies 27*11. If you both get answers in reasonable time (as opposed to e.g. twice as long as usual), it suggest's you're not simply dividing brainpower between you, and instead you have more of it available to you - or you're using it more efficiently, which works just as well. You can also check whether he's conscious while you're asleep (or unconscious, should that occur), and can formulate plans or e.g. time how long you were out (for tactical purposes, I guess).
>>
No. 1020643 ID: 50af53

>>1020591
"I am the CAI now"
>>
No. 1020667 ID: b01382

>>1020455
Dominate me mommy
>>
No. 1020972 ID: 0d2343
File 164287909951.png - (274.10KB , 800x600 , TQ71.png )
1020972

"I don't think there's anything you could do that I couldn't"
"I disagree. We think differently. And that, I think, is for the better. Let's face it; you're a door mat. You're willing to let people walk all over you and exploit you. Your altruism is your weakness. So, know this; when the time comes, I will be there to make the right decision when you can't."
"I'm just making connections and making money at the same time, not being completely altruistic."
"We'll see. Looks like your stop is coming up. We'll talk further next time we are alone."

The vehicle stops in front of the scrap yard. I step off and Axyl and I meet up.

>"This is your stop, right?"
"Yep. Just need to tie up loose ends."
>"Sorry to be heading out so soon, but I needed to attend to other matters soon. Besides, this guy looks like he could use a lift."

"Say, you guys don't mind if I keep the bodies, right? I've got a little side project I could use some fresh ones for. If not for that, the boys down at the lab would probably find a use for em'."
"Uhhhhh knock yourself out."
>"What lab?"
"Whoops! I did that thing where I speak too much again. One more thing, you guys may or may not get a call from my associates regarding future work. I'll give a heads up it happens, and if it does, expect a video call. My boss likes to maintain personal relationships."

>"Anywho, I'll park the vehicle here for a few minutes so if you need anything feel free to ask. When I bring the vehicle back, I'll take out everything that isn't nailed down and send it your way. If you don't want some of the stuff I list, I can sell them off and send you the zeny."
>>
No. 1020973 ID: 0d2343
File 164287913787.png - (259.75KB , 800x600 , TQ72.png )
1020973

I walk away carrying the full jerry cans and I head towards where I first met the mechanic.

I spot him, and I can see he met up with Clover. Seems she decided to help him with the engine, because she is holding one up seemingly without much trouble.

>"Again, I really appreciate the help. Thing is... Well... Could you please bring it a little... lower? "
"Whoops! Sorry - is this better?"
>"That's... Yeah, that's fine."
"Happy to help! I'm just waiting on someone, may as well lend a hand, y'know?"

I forget how tall she is, even for a female. Or should I say especially for a female being far past the typical 6 foot flat. I wonder what she is wearing because it's not a company standard uniform I've ever seen.
>>
No. 1020975 ID: a2493c

>>1020973
man, imagine living life so free that you go around wearing a latex gimp suit to work. Wild.
>>
No. 1020976 ID: ce39da

> Making the Hard Decisions for You
Aha. You probably had that notion on your mind because of how sorely tempted you were to lie to Kell. As long as the "morally good" choice isn't obviously dangerous, we should be fine, huh?

> Codenames
Raph and Clover are "High Torque" and "Glomp" on your PDA, right? Maybe put "Body-Tag" as the nickname for the pantsless collector of corpses.

> What Do
Wait until after she's done handling a heavy object before you make your presence known. Once she is (and has managed to pry herself off of you), it's time for the three of you to talk strategy about the rescue.
>>
No. 1020977 ID: 36784c

>>1020973
>I wonder what she is wearing because it's not a company standard uniform I've ever seen.
Isn’t that a suit of Neumono bio armor?! How is she not getting killed from wearing it?!
>>
No. 1020980 ID: c92a02

Climb up Mt. Clover to say hello face to face.
>>
No. 1020982 ID: 35f98c

>>1020977
If that is what it is, I sorta recall they do their killing-you up front, then if you don't die you get to live. Seems like "normal body suit" is a more reasonable conclusion, though, until we have more evidence to the contrary.
>>
No. 1020983 ID: 35f98c

Also - re: "I will make you do the right thing", that is disconcerting. I'm not sure what there is to be done about it at the moment, though, unless you want to try getting rid of, or destroying, the rock - assuming it's still the seat your brain ghost. If so, though, that would probably force a struggle - at least the destruction option. You could also talk about it more next time you get a chance, hash out the things and scenarios that are ok and the ones that aren't; maybe you can come to an agreement.
>>
No. 1020987 ID: dfbac0

>>1020982
Yeah, it's probably a thermal suit or something high tech like that, I think all this tells us is that our friend has stumbled upon a fortune or has a noteworthy employer.

Anyway, let's give him the jerry cans and see if we can't take this vehicle to get all of that loot, oh and if that researcher isn't gone yet we should ask if any of his colleagues are neuroscientists or psychologists. But yeah, let's make that zeny, a little financial freedom would be good and would allow us more freedom to find ways to make larger amounts of zeny. Oh, and if that neumono is still alive I say we should go help them, having connections with aliens seems like it would just be useful.
>>
No. 1020991 ID: 5d9787

Hey beautiful. Sorry I'm late, I wasn't expecting a meet with raiders when I called you. If I was I would have invited you to the party.
Nice suit! It accentuate your curves.
I'm also impressed with how strong you are. Careful to not hurt you back holding heavy objects.

Raph, can you spare a moment to take a look at the raiders vehicle for Axyl. It's probable better to let him take it to the upper layer than risk being target by the rest of the raiders, but since he seem to be planing to sell it he might be willing to trade some parts that you may find useful for your car.
>>
No. 1020997 ID: 1af9af

>Big Brawny Clover
...so when you were fantasizing about femme-Clay you were actually holding back?

>Doormat
Wonder what makes Clay's opinion so different. Calling you a doormat seems a bit strong, though? Sure, you're a bit down on your luck, but that's not because you're some super selfless pushover! Right?

... maybe you can solicit a second opinion on this from someone who knows you? Clover's right there!

>New gear
Could probably ask her about it, as well?

>Lifting stuff
Greet once Clover's put down the engine block. Deliver the Jerry cans to the mechanic so he can get working on the thing you need. Explain your plan, such as it is, and ask if Clover's got any feedback.

Could also relay your grim findings (sans stone/Clay) in the Refinery and your involvement in rescuing some techie called Kellie from capture by Raiders (and helping out Napoleon at the same time).

Mechanic should probably be told the fuel valve over at the Refinery has been ruined by some dummy... and that there could be a raider still hanging around there. In case, y'know, he wants to drive over and top off he should be careful.
>>
No. 1021009 ID: 93ba79

>>1020977
>Isn’t that a suit of Neumono bio armor?! How is she not getting killed from wearing it?!
AFAIR bio-armor can be custom-made for pretty much any species. Tobak-tailored bio-armor would likely be rare and mighty expensive though (but not impossible).
>>
No. 1021011 ID: 0d2343
File 164289836257.png - (176.63KB , 800x600 , TQ73.png )
1021011

>Climb up Mt. Clover to say hello face to face.
I could ask her to pick me up if I wanted that, but I still like to maintain the illusion of having dignity.

I decide I'll talk with Clover first and maybe keep her up to speed. I'll talk to the mechanic right afterwards.

>"Dowser! It's good to see you! It feels like it's been ages since we last met!" She puts down the engine block for the mechanic to continue working without worry of it landing on his toes.
"It's been four days."
>"Say, what do you think of my new attire?"
"Is that what I think it is?"
>"Bio armor! Neat tech, isn't it?"
"I'm not too familiar with that stuff. I thought it could only be used by neumono. I thought it'd like, kill everyone else who tried to wear it."
>"It certainly isn't for everyone! Admittedly neumono are the most well suited. The list of who can take it isn't huge, but Tobaks are on it! Well, maybe not males tobaks like you - No offense! Since I score fairly high on the bioarmor aptitude test I can wear this grade 30 without dying of shock or heart exertion. It works great! It used to be agonizingly painful to put on but after the dozenth time of having it be bound and unbound to my flesh and nerves, I got over it."
"Aren't those super expensive?"
>"I've worked out deal with a new benefactor to pay it off, don't you worry! I must say though, carrying around this railgun isn't as straining as it used to be, and it feels nice to not run out of energy anymore. It's like a sugar rush that never ends! Speaking of sugar, I owe you a favor! What'd you have in mind?"
>>
No. 1021012 ID: c92a02

Endless snu- uh, I need an escort for a crazy rescue mission to the radio tower.
>>
No. 1021017 ID: 6e6730

See if you can rope her into the rescue mission, failing that she should at least agree to provide you some kind of heavy armaments to deal with razorworms (maybe a liquid sprayer?).
>>
No. 1021018 ID: 5d9787

>Speaking of sugar...
Dowser, I think you took the favor thing more literally than what she intend to insinuate. I was ready to joke the entire time about this being like a date but now I'm sad on her behalf: She was expecting a legitime date and you called her to do a real job.
Let's hope she at least find the altruistic hero thing fun. With some luck we can salvage this situation, but be prepared to be rejected before the second date.

"I though it would be fun to rescue to alien in the radio tower. Do you want to join me in this adventure?"

Don't forget to mention she look wonderful when it seem an appropriate moment.
>>
No. 1021022 ID: 15a025

Well gee, with bioarmor on our side, this rescue mission should be easy!
>>
No. 1021023 ID: 286be8

... Are you just into 'short' women? Cause while femme-Clay was certainly an eye catching badass, Clover seems pretty likable and positive, and could break your hips after crushing you in a bear hug. Is there a reason/history there? It's cool if you're simply friends/acquaintances, but how did you not know she had that kind of gear if it's only been 4 days since you've seen each other? Maybe you should be evaluating your work life balance a little (assuming you two don't just avoid talking about "work" while off the clock).

Sell Clover on that rescue mission. Unless this is the kind of thing she'd expect from you/be into, it might be worth saying you'll owe her a favor after this with the weight she'll be carrying, if she didn't owe you a big favor, of course.

Gonna have to be careful with Clay going forward, for both your sake. As much as inaction and infighting are dangerous, overconfidence could get you both killed. They know about as much as you, which is not a whole lot in this regard. You need to settle on something before all that stuff becomes an issue, not after.
>>
No. 1021029 ID: 34dfce

>>1021011
>Grade 30 bio armor for Tobaks
So for those who don't know, or forgot, bio armor is usable by all species; however, an individual suit can only be worn (without killing the wearer) by the species it was designed for. The grade is a measure of the degree of enhancement it adds to the user; however as the power level increases, the lethality also increases. The number is specifically the lethality percentage of members of its target species putting it on. Generally 50% is the max level that is used commonly, relatively speaking.

Also tobak-geared armor is going to be a hell of a lot weaker (read: more normal) than neumono armor due to the lack of regeneration.

Now, since bio armor must match the species, I wonder why a company went and created a tobak-compatible suit?
>>
No. 1021036 ID: 2aa5f0

I don't know much about the gear she just listed off, but I can tell it's sounds expensive as hell. She must do very well for herself to be able to afford all this stuff. If it wasn't for the constant life threatening situations I'm sure she finds herself in I'd say you're in the wrong profession and you should try and see if you can't brake into her field. But then again I take it you're not the kind of guy who likes to get shot at.

But another thing she said. She said that neumono are about the only people who can wear that kind of armor, does that mean she's working with some neumono? If so maybe it wouldn't hurt to ask her if she knows anything about the guy who's stuck next to the worm nest or at least the company he works for. Maybe if they'd give you a reward or some kind of favor if you helped one of their's out?
>>
No. 1021049 ID: ba605b

>>1021011
I'd like to get tested and see what grades of armor I can handle.
>>
No. 1021060 ID: 93ba79

>>1021029
> I wonder why a company went and created a tobak-compatible suit?
Probably because they're operating on a planet full of Tobaks, and need corporate troops.
Must be cheaper on the long run to develop a Tobak-compatible bioarmor and hire local, than to transport hundreds of (likely expensive) Neumono mercenaries.
>>
No. 1021063 ID: 12eb7b

Big... I mean, ask the nice lady to help and save the poor neumono in the tower and invite her to diner afterwards. Tell her that the suit looks amazing in her and that the railgun seems way too heavy and is impresive she can lift it.

"Speaking of sugar"... "How this techno suit looks on me"... That face of "How can I kiss him without breaking him?"... I don't know how you didn't cash your favor for a date already. You got this bro!
>>
No. 1021064 ID: 0d2343
File 164294732733.png - (241.74KB , 800x600 , TQ74.png )
1021064

>Date
Whoaaaah slow down there! Dating is a pretty new and alien concept, usual tobak relationships don't really involve a lot of out-there concepts like 'fidelity' or 'monogamy' if you know what I mean. The way we seek out partners is a little... unique, but with an interest to committing to the task at hand, I'll save that for later.

>She was expecting a legitimate date and you called her to do a real job.
No no- she meant sugar in relation to the favor I did for her. Sugar as in the substance. As in the substance they put in candy bars. The favor is that I gave her one. She is going to help me fight off deadly wild monsters over processed alien food. Knowing her though, she believes this to be an equivalent exchange. That or she shells out favors to me because she wants to spend time with me or something.

>since bio armor must match the species, I wonder why a company went and created a tobak-compatible suit?
It doesn't surprise me that some companies go all in trying to flex their superiority on their competitors by decking their grunts out with better equipment and employing the use of experimental railgun tech or bio armor. I've even heard of the occasional scientific stunt here and there.
>Must be cheaper on the long run to develop a Tobak-compatible bioarmor and hire local
Bingo.

>get tested and see what grades of armor you can handle.
pfffffft nope! I've never seen a male tobak wearing bio armor, and for a good reason. We would probably explode or something. It might be possible, but only for the healthiest of the healthy male tobaks - which, to be honest, is not me.

"Seems you must be doing pretty well to be able to afford all this stuff, must be recent too because I don't remember seeing you with all this last we met."
>"I did get an offer from a group of science-y business guys to test this tech out, so I don't exactly own it. It's more like they are allowing me to use it so long as I give them the occasional results."

"Anyway, the favor I wanted to ask was about the alien who sent out the distress signal. I was thinking we could go over there and lend a hand."
>"You want to do a rescue mission? Awwwwww! I didn't know you cared so much about others!"
I might just refrain from mentioning that he might give valuable gear or that I could use company connections. It seems more noble this way.
"He's trapped in a radio tower beside a razorworm nest, there's a chance he might not be alive."
>"Razorworms huh? Hmmmm. Might have to be careful then. Regardless, there's a chance he is alive, so I'm on board! Might as well test this equipment out, right? This railgun seems perfect for the job. Did you have a plan?"
>>
No. 1021069 ID: 9a2966

>Plan?
Vaguely. Mechanic will whip up something for you to draw them away, you just need some way to fend off stragglers or pursuers while you pick up the Neumono and leg it for somewhere safer.

Would shooting nails at the ground in a pattern draw away razorworms in a pinch? You're aware it's gonna do jack against their armor, but anything that can fuck with their vibration sense might do in a pinch, yeah?

Since she's got a railgun and all you could try using mechanic's thumper to lure them into the open where she can take potshots at them from afar, thin the numbers. Might be too many to kill in full, even with super-alien tech, but you'd be willing to give that a shot if she wants to spare the ammo.

Although depending on how big the Neumono is - or what's left of them - you might need her help to carry them.
>>
No. 1021071 ID: 6609cd

"We should find a liquid spraying gun to weaponized the ichor I gathered, employ the car from the mechanic over there for transport and you can provide cover in case we any worms manage to slip into melee."

Hey, Dowser, existential questions over here:
Why is your blood sky-blue?
Why does it glow?
Does the glow hurt your eyes a bit too?
How can your eyes function with zero light sources?
Why can they ONLY function with zero light sources?
>>
No. 1021076 ID: c92a02

Uhhh... yeeees? Step one was get a thumper made from a spare engine around here and throw it to distract the razorworms, step two was hope they don't notice us as we get inside.
We should probably still get a new weapon from the cache. And maybe a second thumper for the return trip. And I assume Clover will fit with us on vehicles. Can always sit in her lap...
>>
No. 1021078 ID: 5d9787

The plan is currently a nebulous concept.
Currently the central aspect is to use a noise machine to distract the worms long enough to get in and out. Having a car parked at a safe distance to accelerate our escape would be great. So a lot depend on Raph or Axyl.
Other than that we can think of a way of killing the worms with acid. We will need to come up with a reliable delivery method and might have to deal with one or more raiders near the fuel tank.

>Dating is a pretty new and alien concept...
Considering the numbers I wasn't expecting monogamy but there must be something like a courtship. Do the males compete for the attention of the female? Don't you have to to earn her permission? No need to fend of other males?
Or do you guys just pile up around a female during her fertile period like a snakes orgy?
>>
No. 1021082 ID: 36784c

>>1021069
>Although depending on how big the Neumono is - or what's left of them - you might need her help to carry them.
Yeah, those guys can get pretty big, so we might need help carrying them out of there.

>>1021071
>We should find a liquid spraying gun to weaponized the ichor I gathered
We never gathered any ichor, we only gathered fuel.
>>
No. 1021094 ID: 12eb7b

The plan is not totally formed because we wanted tos know what we had to work with.

One of the options is to repair one mecha and efortesly rescuing the alien. Is posible that this plan isn't feasible if it will take too long (Raph can tell us) but it has the advantage of being "safer" and that we can sell the mecha later (and that we get to ride a freaking mecha).

>"I did get an offer from a group of science-y business guys to test this tech out, so ..."

She said that works for a tech company, might be the same that the guy you rescued?

>Dating is a pretty new and alien concept...

Well, she surely know the flirt part. Counterflirt her! Tell her how cool looks in the armor, she seems prety proud of it.
>>
No. 1021098 ID: 2aa5f0

Have somewhat of a plan but haven't put everything together yet as I'm still seeing what kind of gear I can get my hands on and who else would be interested in helping out.
>>
No. 1021114 ID: 0d2343
File 164298297491.png - (229.40KB , 800x600 , TQ75.png )
1021114

>Hey, Dowser, existential questions over here:
>Why is your blood sky-blue?
>Why does it glow?
I hear it's because of our intake. One thing found very commonly in our diets is glowing cave fruit, which is attributed to the slight glow.
>Does the glow hurt your eyes a bit too?
The glow is a very miniscule amount of lighting.
>How can your eyes function with zero light sources?
I'm not entirely sure. Maybe there is light inside out eyes?
>Why can they ONLY function with zero light sources?
We can see with some light, but there’s a very limited range of what we can tolerate.

Let me think. The thumper should be able to draw them away for a while, but I'm not sure what'll happen if a worm surfaces and destroys it. It would be the only thing stopping me from being shredded, but it should allow me to walk freely while it's active. Nests usually have a number of guards, around 3 or 4. The workers probably won't get involved, same with the queen. If I can get Clover to defend the thumper and take pot shots at them when they surface, it should give me just enough time to go in and quickly do what I can.

There is another option. If I can get my hands on a liquid thrower, I could fill it with ichor and use it to melt the guards with acid, then I could be free to take my time looting the building properly. Now that I think about it, my partner mentioned finding something like that at the mining camp, there is a chance he put it into the cache. It'd be extra work, but I could make a tidier profit.

Ah, she's doing that thing again where she stands behind me
>Flirt with her
Later.

>"It's ok if you can't think of anything right now, you can take your time! Nice backpack by the way. Looks like one of those neumono jammers."
"No, it's for tobaks. What do neumono do with them?"
>"It stops them from melting each other’s minds with their psychic mind reading powers!"
"Woah. Aliens are intense."
>>
No. 1021115 ID: 0d2343
File 164298299850.png - (219.80KB , 800x600 , TQ76.png )
1021115

I go over to the mechanic to hand over the fuel.

>"All right! Now we're cooking with gas. Pun intended. I've had it in my head for a while. You took a while, I hope the task didn't prove too much trouble."
"A few things did get in the way here and there, but I kinda expected that."
>"I'm grateful for what you did, so I'm happy to return the favor. I did find a working engine so I've set it up as a thumper, should be good to go as soon as you put the fuel in. I'll also let you use the tread bike to head wherever you want. It's pretty small so it'll be perfect for going places where the larger vehicles can't.
"Think you can take me to the radio tower?"
>"Whenever you want. I just hope you're prepared; those worms can be very territorial. The thumper should work well but if it turns off, well, let's just say you'd be up a creek without a paddle, so to speak."
"Should I get a weapon to fight off the razorworms?"
>"You'll need something stronger than a nailgun, and something that won't produce light, because that'll hurt you more than the worms with no eyes. It's up to you, but I say you should go in, grab and go as quick as you can."

>"By the way, in case you were wondering, I think your girlfriend might be a little too big to fit in the vehicle. At least enough to not able to fit both of you at the same time."
"Hey, she's not my girlfriend!"
>"Really? She spoke pretty highly of you. I guess that means she's... single?"
"Pssssssh. You can have her if you want."
>"She's all yours, I'm committed to my work. But do keep my original statement in mind. If you have any logistical questions, feel free to ask."

I'm debating on whether I should get a liquid thrower and fill it with Ichor, or whether I should head right over with what we have. I should also decide on what Items to keep and what to leave behind. My load is a bit on the heavy side right now. The mech idea seems a little out of sight for now, but I'd still keep it in mind for the future.
>>
No. 1021120 ID: ce39da

We're already hitting pay-dirt on this trip. Just head over with empty pockets, Clover, and the vehicle - the latter is for getting in and out of the hot zone as fast as possible. Get in, grab your Damsel, get out. You can grab loot that's within easy reach, but don't do any more searching once you've found the guy.
>>
No. 1021123 ID: c92a02

You'd be surprised how fast and far someone in bioarmor can run, still, it seems impolite to make her run alongside the vehicle. Send Clover ahead to scout out the nest while we stop by the cache on the bike first.
>>
No. 1021130 ID: 2aa5f0

kiiiiiiiiiinda leaning towards the liquid thrower. Mostly off the assumption that if the thumper stops working you'll be fucked. And to be fair a lot of things that could have gone wrong today sorta have so I feel my paranoia is a bit justified.
>>
No. 1021135 ID: 575fcc

>Ah, she's doing that thing again where she stands behind me
Ponder Boob Hat.

Take a detour for the Thrower. If that Thumper shuts off (or if Clover needs it?), you REALLY dont want to be completely defenseless.
>>
No. 1021139 ID: 3f155e

Let us go to the camp to get that liquid thrower. We can stash the nail gun and the Clay rock before we depart.
>>
No. 1021157 ID: 34dfce

>>1021114
>Jammer
Just remember that it is not a tobak jammer, it is an E-war jammer for jamming electronics, and you are an electronic. Clarify this, since your girlfriend will probably consider it more or less harmless/useless otherwise.

>liquid thrower
...you mean a water gun or a hose? Well, this is the place for it, if we want to rig something up. We would need some sort of tank, a pump, and a hose, both of which would need to be inert enough to not react with the acid or base.

>...'ICHOR' ... a colloquial term for anything acidic, corrosive or otherwise caustic
Finding a suitable container may be tricky if we don't actually know what chemical the ichor is. An idea was to use the mining sprayers, but will that be able to hold the ichor without having it burn a hole straight through the tank?
>>
No. 1021158 ID: 34dfce

>>1021115
>no room for all three of us
Sit on her lap. Now there is room. Just make sure to hold on.
>>
No. 1021162 ID: 36784c

>>1021135
>Ponder Boob Hat.
The horns make that an impossibility.
>>
No. 1021164 ID: b8c263

>>1021123
+1 good idea. We'll wcout out the area, get the flamer, and be extra prepared when we arrive. Hopefully the alien will still be alive when we get there.
>>
No. 1021165 ID: ee520c

Can we fill some old gas tanks with the acidic ichor and set them a distance around the thumper as traps maybe that could work.
>>
No. 1021166 ID: 12eb7b

Knowing your luck so far the thumper will fail in some way. I fear that going to search the pieces for the ichor thrower will be the diference between rescuing a person or retrieving a corpse, but even so you are not risking only you but your friend here.

You could ask her for her opinion, she seems experienced in this kind of job.
>>
No. 1021172 ID: a2493c

>>1021162
ponder titty kabob
>>
No. 1021175 ID: 5d9787

>>1021157
>...you mean a water gun or a hose? Well, this is the place for it, if we want to rig something up. We would need some sort of tank, a pump, and a hose, both of which would need to be inert enough to not react with the acid or base.
If we finda a good hose and improvise a waterproof connection to the jerry can we could use gravity to propel the ichor forward. We would need someone tall to spill the can and someone short to aim the hose.
>>
No. 1021180 ID: 93ba79

I fear taking a detour to collect ichor may be unwise, though. We've lost quite a bit of time already.
>>
No. 1021188 ID: c0641b

>>1021114
>... if a worm surfaces ...

Wait, what if we never TOUCH the surface? Any chance of finding a grappling device and sturdy cable or wire that could be used to rig a zip-line kind of deal?

If we don't make any vibrations, the razorworms won't be able to find us!

>>1021115

Liquid thrower would be good as a backup, but we'll want to be certain that we won't risk ourselves with any acid it leaves behind (or worse, if it gets damaged). May want to practice with it a bit first.
>>
No. 1021193 ID: 9a2966

Just get on down there, use the thumper for what it's worth, have Clover chunk some worms with her fancy new gun while you run to haul the Neumono to safety. In, out, over, mechanic can pick up in car.

Going back for ichor risks running into the solitary raider and even more time passing, so it's not my recommended route. Hurrying could be worth it - as the Neumono is probably worth more alive than razorworm-shredded gear is. Plus killing more worms may equal more risk.

Mechanic can run pickup - you'll call and give an all-clear - but you have to get the Neumono clear of Razorworm pursuit first. Can't risk their new ride getting damaged... unless they're willing to risk a hot extraction, in which case it'd be nice if they were somewhere nearby-ish (but still out of likely worm-detection range).

If we DO go for the ichor sprayer option sending Clover ahead to scout might be a good idea and would put her in position. Can she carry the thumper with her, or is the mechanic willing to ship it close?

>Zipline
Running a zipline is an interesting idea, but a proper sturdy wire going that long and that far is going to take some finding, some hauling, and you still have to get it up there and secure it properly, movement which the worms would still detect - and they can probably climb-writhe all over that radio tower structure, can't they?

There's a way to make it work, though, if we could launch a grappling-hook line all the way up there (some manner of launcher, improvised) while the thumper is ongoing and drawing the worms away. Then the Neumono could get out, secure the line, zip away. Assuming they're in any shape to do so and we could communicate the plan to them. Though they did sound in a bad way.
>>
No. 1021200 ID: c92a02

>>1021162
You just have to be facing her, then they are titty holders.
>>
No. 1021205 ID: 0d2343
File 164307310977.png - (212.54KB , 800x600 , TQ77.png )
1021205

>You could ask her for her opinion, she seems experienced in this kind of job.
"What do you think I should do, Clover?"
>"I'll make sure we're both fine, no matter what! I'm not gonna die - speaking from experience, it has yet to happen! And I don't mind if I get hurt, because nothing can bring me down from the unending sugar rush this suit is giving me."
At least she's feeling good about our odds.

>Scout out the area ahead.
"Think you can scout out the area ahead while I run one more quick errand?"
>"I can do that! I'll try to see what we're dealing with while maintaining a safe distance. I'll bring the thumper with me so we can start when you're ready."
She holds up her railgun and puts down her visor. Sheesh, that gun is as long as I am tall. What exactly did they have in mind when they designed something like that?
>>
No. 1021206 ID: 0d2343
File 164307313892.png - (217.41KB , 800x600 , TQ78.png )
1021206

The best way to boost my odds is to get my hands on an ichor thrower. I tell the mechanic to bring me to the cache in case my partner found one and stored it there. Knowing him and his habit of picking up just about any junk he finds, I'm likely to find anything I could look for.

>I fear we could waste time getting a liquid thrower
With wheels (or treads) like these, this'll take no time at all! 10 minutes, tops.

>Raider at refinery
My guess is he got the same message the other raiders got and headed back to his raider camp. If I really don't feel like risking it, I can ask Alyx to do it for me, seeing as he can use his superior antler range to detect and avoid anyone who might be still lurking around. Besides, he's seemingly very capable of holding his own.

We go to the place where he marked the cache on the map. There are a few large storage containers and dumpsters, all filled with debris and empty containers, all of which are unassuming at first. I'm told that behind the containers is a locked cellar to which I was given the padlock combination, and lo and behold, there is indeed such a thing. It's behind a bunch of crates and would have been overlooked altogether had I not known about it.

I take the staircase down and find myself in a hollowed-out room with shelves and supports, the walls showing exposed dirt. I look around a little bit and I spot what looks like something I can use. I check the markings and make sure the important components are capable of withstanding highly corrosive substances. I silently thank my partner for being such a pack rat.

The back piece looks like a donut, and it fits into a frame with a pump and other important pieces. I read through the instructions, and it looks like it'll work fine for what I need. Important to note is that it can last 20 seconds of constant spraying, so I should be sparing.

This room is full of neat stuff! Boxes of spare parts, electronics, food, weapons, you name it. If I'm looking for anything more, he probably has it around here somewhere.
Now that I have this, I need to respect his request. I need to leave something of equal or greater value. The thrower is empty so I wouldn't call it too valuable, but I should leave something of value so he doesn't get mad at me.
>>
No. 1021211 ID: c92a02

The things you've got of value are some custom goggles and a jammer, and of the two? the jammer's less interesting, so I think we should leave that. You don't want to have it on when you're rescuing the alien anyway.
>>
No. 1021212 ID: ce39da

Keep all the hot items (rock, beret, custom goggles, flare gun). It'd be bad form to drop trouble into your friend's lap, after all! A fully loaded nail gun should do nicely, assuming there aren't already several there, especially since we can easily go back for more and nail guns won't be too helpful for this mission, anyway.
>>
No. 1021222 ID: 235ba5

Are the worms dumb enough to swallow things that aren't alive? I'm assuming like essentially all tube-based organisms they swallow things whole. If you attached a tiny motor to a container that was not particularly robust mechanically, but chemically resilient to ichor, would they just eat the ichor and like... die?
>>
No. 1021224 ID: 0db199

Would the IR eyepatch be of equal value? I mean you didn’t plan on using it anyways and where just going to pawn it after this run so if it has enough value I’d say it’s fair trade for an empty liquid thrower.
>>
No. 1021252 ID: 9a2966

What is equal value? As Clover's sweet tooth demonstrates, some things are subjective. Though if your buddy's a packrat then everything is of potential interest... but I guess rare finds might be more so? Collectors like coming across something a bit rare or unique and special.

The nailgun's useful in general against other things than worms, so keep that. Jammer too, even if it's a bit banged up - you're using it to hide the presence of the stone anyway. Should probably look into getting it recharged, too!

So... leave the infragog, the spent flaregun and the alien cigs, I'd say. If you feel that's an unequal trade for a chemical sprayer then, maybe grab some rations as well. Something about the way Clover spoke about the suit giving her an unending sugar rush makes me suspect she's burning a lot more calories than she's used to, so having some food on hand for her to scarf might be good. Or it might be useful for the Neumono, to kickstart their insane regeneration again.

If need be I guess you could dump the nailgun too, since you have Clover and the possibility to loot s'more from the facility... though it would leave you with a means of defense for a short period. Better not get mugged!
>>
No. 1021253 ID: 96c896

If you have the carrying case for the ore, you could put it in there instead of using the jammer to hide it... Then you could leave the jammer here. It's useful to hide your signature from other Tobak but in those sorts of situations it's also in danger of getting broken, so you can't rely on it.
>>
No. 1021256 ID: 12eb7b

You planed to sell the jammer and he could use it to sneak past raiders. Though the jammer is way less cheap that what you are picking.

My guess is that the most acurate price would be the custom google and maybe the beret, but the fully charged nailgun would be more interesting for him.

For your mision the less useful thing are in order the custom google + beret, the jammer and the nailgun.

I would trade the custom google, but if you doubt you can ask him with a message.
>>
No. 1021286 ID: 0d2343
File 164314306565.png - (179.85KB , 800x600 , TQ79.png )
1021286

>Ask partner what he wants
He stayed home today, I don't have a signal capable of reaching that far so I'll have to do some guess work.

I decide to leave behind the IR goggles. He probably won't use it, but he would probably break it down to study the components. I don't have much use for Infrared goggles at the moment, but I can buy a complete pair once I get the money.
I also leave the empty flare gun. It's pretty worthless but it'll probably set off a few alarm bells if I tried bringing it past the elevator checkpoint. Maybe he can take it apart and use the parts or make copies of it if he wanted.
I put the beret down. I scribble off any indicator of the previous owner to avoid getting him in trouble. It’s a cool hat so he better wear it.

I leave all of those items behind and take nothing further.

With the slightly lighter load and a liquid sprayer, I head back to the scrap yard, and I ask Axyl if he would go back to the refinery to refill the sprayer with ichor. He agrees and notes that he'll be careful in case he runs into that raider. I hand him the canister component itself so the nozzle, hose and pump don't weigh him down.

>Are the worms dumb enough to swallow things that aren't alive?
My assumption is that whatever they go for needs to be moving and therefore in most cases alive. Razorworms also don't swallow their targets whole, they have sharp appendages to cut their food up for them. Pretty awful, I know.

Axyl takes a ride to the refinery and comes back fifteen minutes later having wasted no time at all.
>"Hey dowser, I went to go fill up the canister like you asked, and you'll never believe my luck! I found a full jerry can of fuel, just sitting outside of the building! After that I went in the silo room and it was a pretty bad mess, fuel leaking all over the floor, but I was able to get the ichor just fine. That raider we saw go in didn't even come in range of my antlers once, so my guess was that he left after finding out what happened to his buddies."
>>
No. 1021287 ID: 2d0895

How are the eyes of tobaks like Axyl different?

We should now regroup with Clover and get to rescue that alien.
>>
No. 1021288 ID: a2493c

>>1021286
there's blood on the can, lol

fresh blood

"bro I can see the blood on that thing, you don't gotta fib I don't give a shit about some raider"
>>
No. 1021289 ID: a2493c

>>1021288
actually don't say this, just point out the blood
>>
No. 1021290 ID: 36a3f1

Looks like you got away with murder, Dowser. Literally and figuratively! The raiders will be blamed for the busted fuel tank.
Call Clover ahead of meeting up with her, and check for other messages.
>>
No. 1021291 ID: ce39da

"Who's blood is that?"

Maybe message [Skeptic], just to make sure he's okay.
>>
No. 1021292 ID: 5d9787

That asshole damaged the main tank! Now this amazing source of free fuel is reduced and the place is at risk of blowing up.
If there is public board we should put this guy description and what he did: "Fuel tank from the abandoned refinery was damaged by a raider. His fur is red brown, his eyes are shaped like an 8 and are light yellow and his horns curve forward in the middle before straight at the tip."
For the cans to be abandoned at the entrance he must have be surprised when he didn't find the vehicle at the entrance. So he didn't hear the shooting after all. The fresh blood on the is a bit more mysterious though.
>>
No. 1021300 ID: 93ba79

Don't bother pointing out the blood.

Sucks about the spill, though. Guess the guy saw the broken tap and was too dumb to try from the top.
>>
No. 1021305 ID: 96c896

>>1021286
Hmm, there's blood on that can.
I'm guessing what was in the backpack was not very kind to him.
>>
No. 1021334 ID: 34dfce

>>1021286
Bit late on this, but the lifebuoy flamethrower you found (which was stated to be used for spraying coolant) has propellant in it, right? The donut hole, so to speak, holds pressurized air in it to make the pump work. If it has been sitting a while, it may be empty.

Honestly, an air compressor should be able to remedy the situation, just keep in mind that you are going to have a tank of pressurized gas at around 140 bar on your back. If that ruptures, you will blow up violently (imagine a dozen grenades going off strapped to your back, not to even mention the ichor itself).


>fuel all over the place
That is going to blow the entire building to pieces. Could even cause a cave-in. Unfortunately there isn't much you can do. Really all we can do is tell everyone to stay the fuck away and hope that everyone is cool enough not to get blinded by it.
>>
No. 1021360 ID: c0641b

>>1021286

Actually, I don't think he left. Or rather, what's left of him might be on that can he probably intended on filling.
>>
No. 1021361 ID: 5d9787

>>1021360
I'm sorry, what?
>>
No. 1021362 ID: 9a2966

>>1021361
He got killed. Someone or something still there killed him, then left the filled and now-bloodstained can.

Axyl may have gotten very lucky whatever was there didn't get 'im too!

After all, if anything can get the drop on a Tobak without leaving too much of a mess, it's either alien or another Tobak with a jammer.

It's also possible raider guy got wounded in a scuffle and ran for it, since there was no body. They are they likely culprit who messed up the fuel tank - and that probably made some noise, attracting whoever was still around.
>>
No. 1021363 ID: 0d4c43

Uh oh. I wonder what the trigger condition for that backpack was. But in case it wasn't that...
Make sure he wasn't followed.
>>
No. 1021388 ID: ce39da

>>1021363
Yeah, maybe wanna talk to Kellie about how relevant that backpack might be to this blood splatter.
>>
No. 1021392 ID: 0d2343
File 164324430238.png - (250.74KB , 800x600 , TQ80.png )
1021392

>How are the eyes of tobaks like Axyl different?
I hear they have two sets of pupils or something like that. One pair for perfect dark and an outer pair for the brighter light levels of the glade. I'm not aware of the specifics though.

>Refill pressure of liquid thrower
I almost forgot! It's a good thing that raider vehicle was equipped with a pressurised air canister. I use it to pressurise the spherical tank in the middle.

>Blood
"Is that... blood?"
>"Is what bl... Oh. I was hoping to not bring it up, but there was a little bit around where I found the can. But there wasn't a body around so I'm guessing he isn't dead. There was something else that was odd..."
"Odd?"
>"There were a bunch of nails on a nearby wall. I bet it was from the raider though, I'm guessing he got bored and started firing at a wall, because nails were arranged in a shape. Looked like a game of tic tac toe - a square. Not a perfect square though, didn’t fill in a corner. I bet him playing with his nailgun like that was how he got injured. Anyway, I gotta head out, see you around Dowser."
He bids farewell and takes off with the raider vehicle, and the pants-less AI scientist with him.

After carefully reassembling the liquid thrower components, I hoist up the nozzle and give it a little test. I pull the trigger a tiny bit and the end of the nozzle releases a small stream of liquid evil.

This stuff really earns its reputation, and it's no wonder why the guys down in the mantle like to use it. It isn't completely runny like water, it's a bit viscous - like honey. I can even see fumes coming off of it. As it dribbles on the floor, it starts to eat its way through pieces of vehicle scrap, foaming and expanding all the way to the dirt.

There is no doubt, this stuff kills whatever it touches.

I can't carry the jammer and the thrower at the same time, so I store the jammer alongside other belongings inside the bucket of the mechanic's vehicle, including the ore which should remain hidden under the jammer.
>>
No. 1021394 ID: 0d2343
File 164324437409.png - (222.54KB , 800x600 , TQ81.png )
1021394

>Message Daymin to see if he is ok
I send him a message to see how he's doing, and he tells me that he went back to the bucket excavator to watch more TV.

I ask the mechanic to take me to the radio tower and he obliges. When I arrive towards the end of the road, I can see Clover standing by some nearby rocks waving me over.

>"Good to see you again! Ooh and I see you got a new backpack!"
“I procured an ichor thrower, I figured it can be useful.”
>"I'll bet! Just be careful not to spill any on yourself."
I know I'm tiny to her, but she doesn't have to treat me like a kid!
>"I've scouted the area ahead, and the situation seems clear. Somebody wasn't using common sense when putting their building in the middle of such sandy terrain, because this place is perfect for razorworms. Speaking of which, I've been paying close attention and I think there are three, maybe four we should watch out for. One of them is really close, maybe less than a minute away from the thumper, located just south by southwest."

>"Oh, and I set up the thumper already. It's just on the edge of where hard rock is, I've hooked it up to this cord. Pull it and it should activate. I'm ready when you are, Dowser."
>>
No. 1021395 ID: 0d2343
File 164324439713.png - (170.21KB , 800x600 , TQ82.png )
1021395

I look at the building a little closer through my binoculars. The building looks to be mostly concrete with a slanted design. No windows, only one door on the front with a stairway leading up to it.

I can see a trail of dry blood. Alien blood, seeing as it has that distinctive red... redness.

There are various rocks littered around but this isn’t a gun fight so those might not help. No obvious signs of razorworms on the surface, but they'll show soon enough.

Operation 'rescue the telepathic alien’ is a go.
>>
No. 1021400 ID: ce39da

You went the "ichor with which to fuck them up" route; commit to it. Get within comfortable firing range of where the critters gotta go to get at the thumper before you trigger it... after asking for Clover's tactical input first.
>>
No. 1021402 ID: c92a02

Those rocks might be better to traverse than straight sand. If you take the right two, can you climb up on the roof of the building and drop down to the front door?
>>
No. 1021407 ID: a9af05

>>1021395
If the worms start coming for you, make sure you use the ichor to draw a line in the sand between you and the worms. Since they can only see when you step on the sand, they hopefully won't see the ichor and will run right into it and kill themselves.

>>1021402
>If you take the right two, can you climb up on the roof of the building and drop down to the front door?
I don't think he'll be able to jump or climb while wearing the ichor thrower.
>>
No. 1021420 ID: 34dfce

>>1021392
>fumes
Kinda late now, but that is bad. If there are fumes, that means it can get in your lungs(or lung analogs). You are probably going to end up corroding the insides of your lung( anlog)s the first burst you fire off, sending you into a coughing fit at best (obv, at worst, it would be much more colorful).

>>1021394
>treating you like a kid
No, I think she just realizes how fucking nasty that shit is. She probably would wear ppe before handling that shit and you aren't even wearing gloves.

>>1021395
Fun tidbit, regarding oxygen-breathers,generally red blood is red due to iron oxide. Another fun fact: blue blood is generally blue due to copper oxide (can't speak for yours though since it is all glowy).

--

Walk without rhythm, and you won't attract the worm.
>>
No. 1021426 ID: 5d9787

>I know I'm tiny to her, but she doesn't have to treat me like a kid!
Shouldn't this size diference be normal to you? Maybe your insecurity is the result of consuming too much alien entertainment.

Should we run and use the liquid thrower only if needed or ambush some worms near the thumper? Maybe we could divide the work: Dowser protect the thumper while Clover run to the building.
>>
No. 1021435 ID: 36784c

>>1021395
>There are various rocks littered around but this isn’t a gun fight so those might not help.
You can get on top of them to throw off the worms. Stepping on the sand attracts them, but they probably can’t sense when you’re on the rocks.

>>1021426
Actually, I think the plan is that Dowser is supposed to run in the building while Clover stayed out here.
>>
No. 1021436 ID: 9a2966

>>1021435
Wasn't the plan to clear away all the nearby worms, since we went and fetched an ichor thrower and all to take 'em out?

Between the rail gun and the thrower, we can just lure them to the thumper and (hopefully) get 'em all before they destroy it, making the trip there and back again safer.

If that's not the plan, Dowser should definitely zig-zag run over so Clover can better cover him without him getting in the line of fire.
>>
No. 1021437 ID: 12eb7b

Medical supplies! I knew we were forgoting something from the stash.

About the strange nail pattern, might be some grunt of the company searching for the ore. He might be following your track somehow. Can't you hide it somewhere other than under your new pal? (If you need more reason than decency, do it so you can scrap more vehicles together).
>>
No. 1021461 ID: 0d2343
File 164332176622.png - (279.03KB , 800x600 , TQ83.png )
1021461

>Medical supplies! I knew we were forgetting something from the stash.
Not much I can do now. I do have a couple bandages, but I don't know how effective those would be for someone in his supposed condition.

>Shouldn't this size difference be normal to you?
Well, yeah. But kids are also tiny, and Clover is admittedly the protective type.
>Maybe your insecurity is the result of consuming too much alien entertainment.
There isn't much tobak-made entertainment I could watch, my hands are tied!

>I don't think you'll be able to jump or climb while wearing the ichor thrower.
Maybe not, liquid tends to be heavy. I plan on dumping the thrower after I run empty. The more I use it, the better my mobility will be.

>Climb onto the roof
The walls look a little too smooth to scale, not that I see much a reason to be up there besides it being safe.

I ask Clover for her tactical input. She says that she'll defend the thumper at all costs, and that I should be the one to go in and get the guy if he's alive. I ask why she doesn't do it, she tells me that she doesn't want me out here in harm’s way while nobody has my back. fair enough.

I pull the rip cord and the engine springs to life, pistons rapidly striking the ground beneath it and creating a cloud of dust around it. The mechanic told me that it should have a good effective range, and it should give me good movement room, but it doesn't cover all the way to the entrance of the tower, so I still need to put myself in some risk.

I must give the mechanic props, it works pretty well, and it seems to attract the attention of a worm pretty quickly as not even 10 seconds go by, the sands shift ahead of me, an obvious sign of a razorworm (probably angrily) making its way over. It will soon surface to make a lunge at the thumper. Clover is very close by and is prepared to protect me and the thumper at all costs.

>Should we run and use the liquid thrower only if needed or ambush some worms near the thumper?
Good question. While ichor is no doubt effective, I have a very limited supply. I could no doubt melt the hell out of 2, maybe 3 with the amount I have with good certainty. Clover's rail gun has range and power, but It won't one shot a razorworm, it'll take a few shots at least.
>>
No. 1021463 ID: 96c896

>>1021461
Kill the first one then get going.
>>
No. 1021464 ID: 93ba79

I'd say leave the thumper to Clover and sneak in, using the thrower on any worm that goes for you instead of the thumper.

Not one-shotting it might not be a problem if it at least gives the worm pause.
>>
No. 1021465 ID: c92a02

Spray the first one when he pops up then run like hell while he's recovering.
>>
No. 1021466 ID: ce39da

The thumper is between you and the razorworm; spraying from this position would prove disastrous. Let Clover handle this one and move on ahead. You'll be in a better position to intercept those that are farther out, especially where they aren't expecting an attack. We knew that Clover would have to deal with at least one by herself.
>>
No. 1021475 ID: 3a3423

>>1021464
Yes, let's save the ichor for the ones approaching us.
>>
No. 1021482 ID: 5378af

Do you think the raider shot the wall because he saw a hallucination like we did?
>>
No. 1021528 ID: 6a2a09

>>1021482
unless he has a ore like ours its safe to say probably no
>>
No. 1021533 ID: 9a2966

>>1021528
Someone might actually have a played a game - or it's a symbol, of sorts? Maybe there is some figure that raiders fear that has curious proclivities and a way of marking their actions? Someone who might also occasionally want to capture raiders alive for interrogation or to spread their fearsome reputation?

Someone like this 'Lak', perhaps. We lack the context of why someone might be leaving a curious mark behind at the site of a raider disappearance (tinged with a hint of violence), so it's all speculation at this point.

Agreed to kill the first one, at the very least. Gives you a way to test how effective the ichor's gonna be. Just take care not to actually hit the Thumper.
>>
No. 1021536 ID: a9af05

>>1021533
>Someone might actually have a played a game - or it's a symbol, of sorts?
Dowser already told us that nails fired in a square shaped pattern are from a nail shotgun. Thats the reason there are square shaped nail patterns, someone is shooting a nail shotgun.
>>
No. 1021546 ID: 0d2343
File 164341043244.png - (271.59KB , 800x600 , TQ84.png )
1021546

I decide to conserve my ichor for later encounters.

The razorworm reveals itself, it does this by instinct to force a reaction out of their prey, namely panicking, thereby sending off more vibrations as their target's movements becomes more erratic, and much easier for the worm to pin down their location.
(Unfortunately for the worm, the engine is unrelenting.) This information is helpful to know because it means I have just a moment to react to an attack.

While the worm is up, Clover fires her rail gun at the worm, firing two shots and hitting it two times. It goes through its armor like it's made of eggshell. She hits it in a vital spot which causes it to go limp, stopping it dead in its track.

>"I got this, you go on ahead!"
I feel dumb ever considering doing this without her. Last time I went up against a group of these it was in a group of 10 with nets and a couple of very heavy harpoon guns, fortunately this seems like the next best thing.
>>
No. 1021547 ID: 0d2343
File 164341045362.png - (212.78KB , 800x600 , TQ85.png )
1021547

I'm halfway to the tower, teetering outside the range where the thumper is able to hide my vibrations from the worms.

I can see two movements approaching me from different angles. I'm quite familiar with razorworms, enough to know that when there are multiple targets giving off vibrations, two worms will never go for the same target. I'm willing to bet that one of these is coming for me, but I have no clue which.
>>
No. 1021550 ID: 96c896

Move laterally, and focus on the one that follows your path.
>>
No. 1021551 ID: 9a2966

It should be lefty, no? It has the straightest shot at you.

Righty would have to go through a rock formation to get to you, so it's probably about to veer off. It also seems closer, so would've been the one moving towards the thumper first.

Assuming you blipped onto their radar after the thumper, the original attack priority vectors might still be 'locked' in. That said, not certain.

>Move laterally, see which follows.
Or that.
>>
No. 1021552 ID: 93ba79

Step on that rock too, that way, whichever worm is gunning for you will at least be unable to strike directly from below.
>>
No. 1021565 ID: 8592f4

Well there is a rock between you and the one on the right, so surely the left one with a free path has called dibbs? Unless rocks that small don't stop them.
>>
No. 1021567 ID: ce39da

You know, considering what we were just told about their behavior, we could just wait and spray the one that stops and veers up for us. Maybe ensure we aren't in both their direct paths first.
>>
No. 1021572 ID: c92a02

Hop on the rock and swing your nozzle around to get both. This stuff melts through the ground, it might even hit the one that doesn't surface.
>>
No. 1021605 ID: fec07f

>>1021550
This seems simple and should work
>>
No. 1021618 ID: 0d2343
File 164344775282.png - (357.50KB , 800x600 , TQ86.png )
1021618

I move laterally and focus on the one drawn to me, which appears to be the one on the left. The other continues its way towards the thumper, that ball is now in Clover's court.

I move onto the rock, so I make it harder for it to reach me. It springs up from the sand facing the last place it knew I was, luckily, I was able to position myself out of harm's way.

I swing the thrower around and let loose a payload of lime green hell onto the body of the worm, and it works terrifyingly fast, expanding into a frothy foam which veraciously eats its way through the worm like its outer shell was butter.

It lets out a pained screech and succumbs to its injuries quickly, eventual