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1034710 No. 1034710 ID: 73aaab

Chapter 1:>>/questarch/985116
Chapter 2:>>/questarch/1007458

Discord: https://discord.com/invite/x9QHPvzhdD

Things were different before. But now, I'm going to have fun caving her head in.
220 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 1046903 ID: 15c72a

...that looks like a grave. Who died?
Please give us a good look around, this is the first time we've seen outside.
No. 1046904 ID: e5709d

>"Honestly, do you know how much I worried about you? Even if our Parasignias protect us from dying, there's no shame in surrendering a fight you've already lost."
She didn't give us a chance to.

Those are called floweys.
... Okay fine they're called flowers.
Their main purpose is to act as giant calling cards for pollination-type animals, which causes them to morph into standard foodstuffs called foods.
Other species of flowers have powerful medicinal properties, so they're essential for making standard health kits.
Anyways, there's a ritual where you take surplus flowers and put them on graves or statues for respect. I guess you're supposed to put this on the tr-

... And that explains why this planet is doomed. Standard ecosystems depend on plant life. If no plants can grow in the wild anymore, this planet's population will starve without constant supply drops from off-planet. Easier and cheaper to just evac the population.
Sad, really.
No. 1046908 ID: 6c8a73

Dig up under the tree?
Otherwise, maybe meditate.
No. 1046909 ID: dee951

Ah. The biosphere's fucked. Hmmmm.

Something doesn't make sense here.

Even on a planet with a truly fucked ecology, the orbital period and day/night cycle, gravity, atmospheric makeup and crust composition and all that is still *fine*; such a planet should be FAR easier to terraform than any other possible planet that DIDN'T have those things! So 'evacuating the planet' is generally not a good idea unless *orbital habitats* are so much better than *domed habitats* so as to make the cost of spacelift worth it. Or if there's another habitable planet in system. And any civilization capable of true interstellar travel to get to some garden planet ludicrously far away should find setting up some self sufficient paradise arcologies at home for you all trivial!

But even given that... even given an apocalyptic ecological collapse, you all should still be. You know. On the surface. In habitation domes perhaps, maybe having specialized breather masks to go outdome, maybe farming in isolated greenhouses, tending renewable power systems and water purification systems nearby, going off in rovers to loot the remains of the civilization or mine things offbase or whatever. You should still be able to look out the window at what came before! And there should still be extremophile bacteria around even in the worst collapses, those could be modified to mitigate the worst aspects of collapse and speed recovery over the coming centuries!

Still, that's not a reason to keep you all in an underground base! For crying out loud, you are a civilization capable of nuanced and varied forms of nanotechnology! Even if engineering surface fixes is HARD for this sort of thing, it shouldn't be, you know... IMPOSSIBLE with your tech base!

What, are there roving kill-bots and hostile nanoswarms run by rampant transcendent/post singularity AI's everywhere, and you all need to maintain strict comm discipline and stay in a secure shelter except for very short surface jaunts? But that doesn't fit the facts either, if there were hard takeoff post-singularity AI's around that wanted you dead, you'd be DEAD and no implausible skill with rifles would make the slightest difference! And just hiding in a hole and lying to soldier types about the nature of the problem wouldn't help that situation!
No. 1046910 ID: dee951

Ah, right. Please use all of your senses to investigate everything around you. Smell the air, taste the soil and the bark of the tree, see if you can hear anything of note, dig a little bit, look closely at the composition of the soil, and do you have any more subtle or mysterious senses (radio?) that are online now that you can pay attention to, now that you are aboveground? Look in the sky and as far as you can see in all directions -- anything and everything might give us clues!! Is the tree safe to climb?
No. 1046925 ID: 36784c

Argine, ignore anyone telling you to dig up that grave. If that’s the grave of someone important, digging it up will piss off everyone, including the people that are trying to help you.
No. 1046933 ID: e5709d

That's not to say the PCC won't salvage the planet. It's just that terraforming a planet from something strong enough to completely suffocate the ecosystem takes time and money. Time and money the evacuating population of migrants doesn't have.
Even if the planet is eventually terraformed by a third party... well, it no longer belongs to its former inhabitants. Because they're dead. And their descendants might not want to leave their homes and jobs to colonize on some backwater experiment just because their great-etc.-grandparents happened to live on a this formerly dying rock. And all of this assumes the planet doesn't have even more military bunkers and hazardous wastes, which can't be solved with standard terraforming.
No. 1046944 ID: 30b9f6

>Biosphere's fucked
Or it's late autumn or winter season and cloudy overcast, just no frost. Was this field ever green, Argine? Plants work by way of chlorophyll, which allows them to absorb energy from the sun's light, and that's what makes 'em all green. Them not being green means... not a lot of sun for a while.

Hm. Maybe you're some sort of limbo subspace where the PCC tossed you? I feel that's wrong, but maybe not.

Eh, head on over to the tree, look about, put down those flowers by the grave - it's what one does to process grief, offer respects and typically have a moment of remembrance. It might even be this'll trigger something in us Sykes - so can you check out the grave site properly for us? What all is there? Perhaps Nanoweaver hopes this too, in which case this easy task may indeed have a secondary function.

Or maybe this grave has something to do with Mnemosyne's lost love.

>Anything come to mind?
Yeah, what's the deal with your sis - uh, the other one, Jin? She's super-capable, but she's rigid. She has freedoms you don't, but she seems awful stuck to whatever obligations are keeping everyone else's mouths shut on the topic of what's going on with this tournament and you.

She took her name based on yours, indicating a certain lack of initiative, which I find queer in someone that capable. She beat you black and blue, but... because she HAD to? She seemed to want to apologize in the aftermath, and practically let you beat her to death, making you seem like even more of a loose cannon than, frankly, you were.

And if she -isn't- the scheming type, then that moment may have been her actively trying to make amends for all that it made things worse for you. It's strange. I don't get what's up with her. For such an apparently straightforward person she sure makes herself into a mystery when it comes to her motivations and your relationship. I get very 'she knows something you don't and isn't allowed to say' vibes off of her. And being so straightforward... maybe she just clams up so she won't let anything slip.

That said, you implied in your last encounter that you'd had arguments before. Can you reflect on those and the nature of them? Did she ever argue strongly back or seem aggrieved and needled by anything you said? Or was it just jealousy on your end for her capabilities and the perceived comparisons everyone would make of you two, as the last generation of Trace Clones? That'd be an unfair comparison even at the best of times, and these clearly aren't, so you'd be right to feel upset, but did Jin actually ever really actively lord it over you? What really IS your relationship, whatever her motivations? And did it, at some point, change noticeably? Like she was let in on some secret you weren't?

>Anything else?
Mnemosyne. Who in this base would know more about her that you could approach and ask for intel?

You know a little something about a possible weak spot of hers from having access to SAI-based memories - that old love of hers, presumed lost. But, uh, given what happened with Astrolysis perhaps we should be more careful about antagonizing and taunting people. More... distract them during critical moments in the fight, perhaps? Even that's fairly transparent. Hm. Maybe you should talk to them about these things BEFORE the fight, not during.

>Anything else?
Amica, your 'second sis'. You probably need to tell her that whatever she is trying to do - and trying to do to you - you'd like to be your own fucking person and you don't appreciate her shoving random collections of memory fragments down your proverbial throat that makes you feel weirder things than the first collection of Sykes did.

I suggest whatever she wants to show you, you won't do any more tasks for her until she makes some assurances she's gonna tone down whatever vengeance-rivalry she's got going with Nanoweaver, or at least explain what's going on there. If Nanoweaver's both your mother, does that make Jin her sister as well, or was something else done to you that wasn't done to Jin?

>Anything else?
Parasignias - if you're to get one, you should speak more to the people you've had the most to do with so far since this started, and have had strong emotional reactions with or around. The sector bosses you've fought! I'd say Nickel, but that's because I like the cut of her jib and you might need more training. Or you could go to Judicium and... well, admit some things, let on some trust. Like something that happened with Amica. Or the bullet and the cards.

Or you can girl up and face down Astrolysis, admit she beat you good and that you choked in the moment - but that you're gonna come back stronger for it. See what her take about all of that was. Maybe grudge her some respect for being an absolute badass who could tank your literal best shot and half the roof to boot.
No. 1046948 ID: dee951

Oh! When I said to dig, I did NOT mean near the grave, or if near the tree, then just a few inches; nothing that might disturb anything.

Also! Depending on where you are, and the history, there might be competing types of plants -- there might also be purple (retinal, not chlorophyll using) plants, or they might have genegineered plants to use more parts of light, so they might be black, etc. etc.
No. 1047262 ID: 15a025

Pay your respects and offer the flowers over by the grave. Please don't dig up the grave

As for plans, we should try to get more training in with Nickle. It'd be good to get in even some light training to help you get back on your feet here.
No. 1047277 ID: 398700

guys she isn't an idiot, she's not going to dig up somebody's grave
No. 1047348 ID: 2c532d
File 166657752194.png - (0.96MB , 1000x1000 , flowerpatch.png )

>Argine, ignore anyone telling you to dig up that grave. If that’s the grave of someone important, digging it up will piss off everyone, including the people that are trying to help you.
>Ignore everyone telling you to dig up the grave.
>guys she isn't an idiot, she's not going to dig up somebody's grave

Exactly1 I'm already in enough shit already and I've got no interest in looking at bones.

...You guys also have to realize I don't have a shovel or anything to really dig things up with either, right?

>Please give us a good look around, this is the first time we've seen outside.
Are you sure this is the first time you've seen outside? You've talked about past events before, stuff I've never got to see. Do any of you remember anything like that?

Anyway, after I get closer, I realize there's a couple of little red flowers surrounding it.

I'm not actually sure there's anyone buried here at all - the dirt kinda looks... solid.
The grave marker's made out of wood and some kind of twine. Dunno what kind of wood it's made from, but it looks pretty weathered. Must've been here for a while.

The more I look into the horizon, at the dirt and the rock...
The more I wonder if what lies beyond the nexus is gonna be worth it.
It's been a long while since I've been outside and I don't exactly like it here.
...The wind in the distance is all that I can hear around me.
Knowing that there's absolutely nothing else...
...I wonder if that's scarier than being trapped here, being watched over by the Sector Bosses.

>Even if engineering surface fixes (for this destroyed world) is HARD for this sort of thing, it shouldn't be, you know... IMPOSSIBLE with your tech base!

...Can't fix a lack of people, though. Cloning clones is a bad idea, I've asked Nanoweaver about it before. And you need more than... a couple thousand normal people to repopulate a species?
Either option sucks and it's not sustainable to just grab traces from the few non-clones left and keep printing more.

>That's not to say the PCC won't salvage the planet.
I mean... will they? From the way Judi talked about them... I feel like you're not gonna want to salvage something that's going to be 'pruned', you know? I've got a bad feeling about whatever does the pruning in this case, because if the PCC's choice is to evacuate us - that means even them, a literal multidimensional organization, can't stop it.
...Just what the hell is happening out there in the Weave? If anything, the bits and pieces of info I end up overhearing just makes me have more questions.
No. 1047349 ID: 2c532d
File 166657758069.png - (952.04KB , 1000x1000 , flowerpatch2.png )

>Was this field ever green, Argine?

Beats me. You're the ones who've seen events I wasn't around for. But as far as I can tell, this place's always been like this.

>Hm. Maybe you're some sort of limbo subspace where the PCC tossed you? I feel that's wrong, but maybe not.
Nah, can't be. Been here all my life and if they could move a world like that, I'd be a little impressed.
Apparently people DID build a city out there in the Weave, one that's in between the other worlds. I'll have to check it out myself when I break out of here.

>Eh, head on over to the tree, look about, put down those flowers by the grave - it's what one does to process grief, offer respects and typically have a moment of remembrance.

I'll try, but all I can do is offer respect - I don't know who this grave is for.

Aaaaand done.

Is something supposed to happen now?

Nothing does for now, but... I stay crouched down, watching the blank, blue horizon.

>Maybe this grave has something to do with Mnemosyne's lost love.
Yeah, what WAS up with that? I remember hearing you talk about it back when I fought Nickel. Was that guy around here or something?
...Not like Mnemosyne ever talks about her personal life though.

>I wonder who is buried at the base of the tree, or who the tree was planted in memoriam of.

Honestly, looking at that grave? I'm not sure there's ANYONE buried there. I feel like if Site 70 was burying soldiers, we'd run out of land pretty fast. Cremation's usually how it goes.

And it is kind of weird that this is the only tree here...
It even looks different to the trees in the garden.
Even if it doesn't have any leaves, it seems pretty big and sturdy.

I've heard some rumors about it - it had to have grown pretty fast for one reason or another, since it didn't always used to be there.
That's probably possible. I don't care for agriculture but if we can grow a whole clone in a short period of time, speeding up how fast a tree grows is no problem at all!

>Yeah, I've got another question: what's the deal with your sis - uh, the other one, Jin? She's super-capable, but she's rigid.
You could say the same about glass. Sometimes the most rigid people are the most brittle.
Hell if I care if she breaks, though. Not my problem.

>It's strange. I don't get what's up with her. For such an apparently straightforward person she sure makes herself into a mystery when it comes to her motivations and your relationship.

It's as they say - 'why bother telling someone who won't understand?'
She thinks I'm so below her that I'm not even worth the time of day.
She wasn't ever really talkative to anyone, but given that the Sector Bosses and a buncha other clones all admired her for being so strong and capable, she probably thinks a good amount of people are below her.

>That said, you implied in your last encounter that you'd had arguments before. Can you reflect on those and the nature of them?

She's an arrogant bitch, that's what. I remember, when we were young and still learning about the world, she'd always be the one to shut down my plans. Don't they say that your youth is when you should have the most fun?
Lectures, reprimands... she always stuck her nose into my business. I just wanted space but she couldn't even give that to me - just had to remind me how much better she was all the time.
And after she won those stupid glasses, they're never off her face. Feels like she's always looking down on me even behind them.

>Did Jin actually ever really actively lord it over you?

...She did. That day of the tournament. When she humiliated me in front of EVERYONE.

>What really IS your relationship, whatever her motivations? And did it, at some point, change noticeably?

That was the day.
You go most of your life - annoyed with your sister. Maybe she's useful for this or that. But I never chased her off or anything, even despite our conflicts. But then one day - she breaks all of it down. Destroys you in front of anyone you could've made a good first impression on.
You think anyone wanted to know me after that? The worst sister, the worst of the last bunch. A waste of Gene traces.

...It's funny. After this long, I can't really seem to get mad at it in the same way any more. Like I'm just reading the facts off of a cheat sheet.
Even if everything's magically fixed, I'm not getting those months back. Even out there, if I make a name for myself - I bet people are going to bring up how badly I got destroyed.

You think that's hero-worthy?
It's why I NEED to become a hero. To throw that old reputation of mine in the trash.
To become someone who DESERVES to be remembered.

...I'm done reminiscing about her.
No. 1047350 ID: 2c532d
File 166657760162.png - (350.87KB , 1000x1000 , argineplacing.png )

>Who in this base would know more about Mnemosyne that you could approach and ask for intel?
...Judi, Ozone... I GUESS Nanoweaver or maybe even Diagram?
Judi's an option but I feel like she's likely to give me some kind of evasive answer because she only likes helping me in regards to physical gear. It's all hush-hush with whatever info she's got a hold on.
Doing this task for Nanoweaver right now's promising.
Ozone's a no-go. And Diagram's just a guess.
Tough stuff.

>Maybe you should talk to them about these things BEFORE the fight, not during.
Yeah, I guess I could. Mnemosyne didn't strike me as a person who likes to talk during combat anyway, seems too professional for that.

>I suggest whatever Amica wants to show you, you won't do any more tasks for her until she makes some assurances she's gonna tone down whatever vengeance-rivalry she's got going with Nanoweaver, or at least explain what's going on there.

Way ahead of you there, pal. It's weird though - for how scared Nanoweaver seems of Amica... she hasn't attempted attacking Nanoweaver at all yet. Why is that? If I hated someone, I'd at least TRY to hurt them.
...Only times when you stop's when you can't, or if they're stronger than you.
So it has to be either of those two reasons.

>If Nanoweaver's both your mother, does that make Jin her sister as well, or was something else done to you that wasn't done to Jin?
...I'm harboring a guess that she isn't. The way she talked about us... the prototype SAI...
If Jin was part of her plans, she'd have brought her up. When she's open about stuff, she's... REALLY open. Telling us about things we couldn't know otherwise.
What's her agenda? She's even dragged Diagram into this - and Diagram seemed to change her mind about Amica in the end. I guess I didn't ask her about what Amica said to her.
Maybe it has to do with what Nanoweaver said the other day - that I didn't have Memory Traces like a standard clone. That I was supposed to have the memories of someone else, but didn't.

Something about that SAI...She feels familiar to me. But I've never met her before.

>Pseudosignias - if you're to get one, you should speak more to the people you've had the most to do with so far since this started, and have had strong emotional reactions with or around.

Hrmm. I'll admit that it's something I'm struggling with. It's hard to visualize something you've never had before, right?
While I get what you're saying about the other Sector Bosses, I feel that - I should focus on the people who are closer at hand. It was only today that I realized that I know much less about Diagram than I actually should. Maybe that's what's holding me back?
And then there's Nanoweaver and Judi...

Dunno how much I've improved things between me and them but I'll admit...
Things seem a little better than before I met you. Maybe that amounts for something. I HAVE to be on the cusp of awakening my Pseudosignia, right?
No. 1047351 ID: 2c532d
File 166657765382.png - (420.37KB , 1000x1000 , argineplacing2.png )

My thoughts are interrupted by a shadow looming over me.

"Hello, Argine. Is there a reason you're here?"

How did she get behind me without making a sound?
I almost jumped out of my skin!

"I... was leaving some flowers behind."

I haven't seen her for ages - does she know that I've chosen to pursue her next as an opponent? If so, then what the hell is she going to try and say to me?
What if this grave's belonging to someone she knows?
...We could use this opportunity.
The question is, how we can get info out of her?
No. 1047358 ID: 12b116

Is there a reason she's here?
No. 1047367 ID: e5709d

Quick, ask her how long Armintell's hot dogs were

While she's stunned, ask about Parasignias and how they evolve in reaction to extreme emotional stimuli. Also, the psychic powers thing.
No. 1047372 ID: 9a2966

>unlocking a pseudosignia
You might be close with Judi? Or already mostly there, but haven't internalized it properly. Best you can do is reflect on it and keep trying. At least you know she's not got it out for you, even if she still keeps secrets. Well, to be fair, so do you, given that bullet you nicked.

>Enough about my sister
At least consider this: from here it seems you had an annoying "responsible" sister, right up until the tournament. And then she wrecked you. Not before. And not quite since. She even let you maul her back. That speaks to it being an out of character moment - or rather, something that was in character only with the right motivation.

What if that dumbass was ordered to crush you, and told not to explain why or by whom?

She's rigid, so she'd follow such a command if it came down the chain - or from someone who could justify it and whom she respects, maybe. But who'd have the authority, social or otherwise, to give it? And why? This is all speculation, mind you. It's just that her crushing you doesn't seem like the natural progression of your relationship there. That's why the betrayal aspect of it bites hard too, right? You weren't expecting she'd cut you down to size that brutally.

This is not to say you should forgive her for complying, if it happened that way. Forgiveness should be earned. But if it's true, it does point to something - that someone who wasn't Jin wanted it to happen.

>Mnemosyne's lost love
Let's not mention Armintell directly to start with, or with the explicit purpose to goad Mnemosyne.

Now, 'the deal' here was that a bit back as you slept we got to hitch a ride with Nanoweaver while she reconstructed Armintell's memories from earlier SAI recordings. We got some of Nanoweaver's perspective too - there was some stuff she said at the end. She thought there were things you 'didn't need to know'. She regretted Amica's return, said she had to prep security measures and such. Wondered whether she'd be able to sleep free of nightmares. She's definitely keeping some big secrets - from everyone from the sounds of it. Whether this was among them... doesn't quite seem like it. Nanoweaver herself questioned why she was reviewing the data other than to just painfully relive the past. But through that, we can at least tell that Armintell and "Seene" here hit off real well to start with. The final memory ended with a date at this very spot. And smooches.

>Never been green, you know more than me
We didn't know it's not been green across your lifetime. That's significant, because seasonal plants have yearly cycles and you've been around for long enough to spot them. If there's been no change, that means most stuff out here is and has been dead for a while. That may signify dire things about the state of life on the planet at large. From the recollections we know the sky used to be bluer, the sun's light clearer, the plants greener. This was a beautiful spot on a beautiful day when Armintell and Mnemosyne had their date.

Yet despite the state of things, someone has managed to plant a tree and some red flowers here and is tending them well enough that the latter lives - unless they're fake - and that'd likely be Mnemosyne. These red flowers are the very ones seen during the date in Armintell's reconstructed memories and should carry significance to her. Don't mess 'em up, in other words. Or apologize if you've trampled some.

Another thing that is true: this seems like the same date spot as we saw, but there was no tree at the time. Either, as you speculated, that tree grew technologically fast, or it's actually a fake hiding something, or... did someone's para- or pseudosignia do it? Is this an example of a location-based Pseudosignia? Maybe it's a hint at Mnemosyne's Parasignia. If her pseudosignia can make whatever she wants grow... that could explain the tree and the still-alive flowers. This was her dating spot, so may be where she first formed her Parasignia.

>"Is there a reason you're here?"
>How can we get info out of her?
Give her hooks to respond to, and little offense. Ask about the world before, or the flower patch, or anything she'd have a reason to speak about. Keep in mind she's likely to have been more affected by the past than other younger clones. Pry gently at the obvious attachment between her and whatever this marker stands for - probably Armintell, but who knows - but respect any reluctance to speak on the topic at the moment.

Start with telling her you're paying respects on behalf of Nanoweaver and just got stuck in thought, which is all true. You don't even know for sure who this marker is for, as Nanna didn't say. Mention that unlike the hall of heroes, this place feels... anonymous. Personal. Who were they? Somebody thought enough of them to put this up, at least. You can't imagine what it takes to make something grow properly out here.

Give her a meaningful glance and time to come up with a response. Check body language cues - I remember her getting fist-clenchingly frustrated with you back at the cradles when you asked why you hadn't graduated yet. There was something about you, or that cocky attitude, or maybe your situation, that aggravated her.

>Ask about the past
Mention the only real reason you have to care about the past of this world is as something to be inspired by - as stories. But you don't have too many of those outside of your lessons, as most people don't seem too eager to chat. You've been told you're an ugly reminder of something. And maybe you haven't been trying too hard to connect with your origins, either. You prefer to look forward - what use is there in dwelling on a world soon to be gone? But today...

Ask her whether it was rough when whatever happened... happened to the world. How did they pull through?

>Ask about you and your situation
Say that her, Judi, Nanoweaver, Diagram have all said in similar terms that you have potential - which, great, thanks - but that you also gotta turn it to the RIGHT things and places. Thing is, nobody's keen on saying much more, and some seem to suggest the right stuff is whatever you want it to be, which, okay, at least you get to choose your own goals, even if others have zero faith in them, think them shallow or think that this potential is a downright danger to those around you.

But you have no idea what you're being judged on here - what 'the right stuff' really is. And Ozone let slip there's a deadline coming. This entire place, it sounds like, is about ready to be done. So the tournament comes off as sink or swim on your end - you'll have to keep giving it your all, mess-ups or not.

How does SHE feel about that, by the way, as one of the longest-serving people still on this base?
No. 1047521 ID: e5709d

Also, it's possible Jin thought she was protecting you by ensuring you'd be seen as a loser so the governing body would pick you over her to go on a series of increasingly ludicrous suicide missions with the express intent of being used as a deniable scapegoat.
In which case you should punch her harder.
No. 1047718 ID: b708ea
File 166700310580.png - (798.00KB , 1000x1000 , observance.png )

>Let's not mention Armintell directly to start with, or with the explicit purpose to goad Mnemosyne.

>Now, 'the deal' here was that a bit back as you slept we got to hitch a ride with Nanoweaver while she reconstructed Armintell's memories from earlier SAI recordings.

Hmm. So I guess because you're made of memory splinters, Nanoweaver was playing them to look through their contents? I guess that would make sense - stuff like how Judi told me they'd be able to see what I was doing at the start, that wouldn't work if they didn't have any way of putting it in front of them.

From what I remember from what you've told me - Armintell was some normal kinda soldier guy, one of the non-clone soldiers who hung around the place?

...Yeah, he's totally dead. Just look at the grave in front of me.

>We got some of Nanoweaver's perspective too - there was some stuff she said at the end.

>She thought there were things you 'didn't need to know'. She regretted Amica's return, said she had to prep security measures and such. Wondered whether she'd be able to sleep free of nightmares. She's definitely keeping some big secrets - from everyone from the sounds of it.

...I don't like the sound of that. EVERYONE tells me that there's things I don't need to know, that I don't HAVE to be kept in the loop.
Was this what Amica was talking about when she said someone was lying?

I stand up, making eye contact with her.
"So, how come you're here, Mnemosyne?"

No need to tell her that Nanoweaver sent me. I gesture toward the flowers while a gentle gust blows through the area.

"Reminiscing. This used to be my favourite spot in the past. I spent a lot of time here with someone I cared for. But he's gone now."

Yeah she's definitely talking about Armintell here. I'm not going to let slip that I KNOW about this, though.
>Ask her about Parasignias while she's distracted!

I doubt she'd be happy if I interrupted her quiet time with questions that directly hamper her. Gotta play the subtle game, lead her down some lines of talk.

"Ah... so you're visiting his grave?"

She walks closer to the wooden post, reaching out to it.
"This isn't a grave - rather, a grave marker. A few people had died in the past. Because we couldn't bury bodies at Site 70, we opted for a marker, one that can encompass all of their sacrifices."

It's a little small for a grave marker.
I can't ask her directly about this, so... I'll let her talk.
Her hand presses gently on the top of the marker, as if to reassure it that she's here.
"Over time, I planted more flowers. Back in the day, this entire area used to be full of red flowers. And the two of us, we'd spar in the midst of it."

Happy memories, huh.
"What about the tree?"

She glances towards the aged wood.
"That, I do not know about. But it was grown there before the grave was erected. In the past, it used to bear fruit but no longer."

That means the tree would've had to have been grown through technologically accelerated processes. Mnemosyne didn't talk about it like it was there all along.

We linger in silence for a moment and she closes her eyes, as if offering up some kind of prayer.
I hear nothing but the howling of the wind.

"Was it rough when... whatever happened to this place, happened? I've heard stories about the outside looking different in the past."

"I suppose it was hard. But at the time, I was too busy thinking of other things to care. For the others - they at least had the hope to get out of here, to create the Weave Nexus and escape to a different life. Even though I can leave as well, I lost part of myself here - and I doubt I'll ever get it back."
Talking was never my strong suit. But talking to someone like Mnemosyne's even harder than I expected.

I don't know what it feels like to lose something like that. For me, it's a different kind of loss - one that keeps taunting you, because the person still exists. She just isn't someone you can trust any more.
No. 1047719 ID: b708ea
File 166700313225.png - (634.18KB , 1000x1000 , doyoulovethisworld.png )

"Argine, I've been curious about something. If you are to be an opponent of mine, then I wish to learn more about your and your beliefs."

If people would give a damn about me BEFORE I'm trying to shoot them, then I feel like things would be much better off in this facility.

I look away.
"Do you hate this facility, Argine?"

What kind of question is that? I grit my teeth, the question itself bringing back plenty of frustrating memories.
"Of COURSE I do. I've been kept here all my life, told that I'm worthless trash and had machines put into my bloodstream. Why WOULD I like this place?"

I don't bother looking her way. What else can she do but judge me for my opinion?
"I suppose that's fair. I'm sympathetic to you, Argine. Being put through this tournament in which your worth is judged, with vague conditions of success... it must be quite tough."
Talk about it.

She pauses.
"In a way, I hate this facility too."



Her face's stony as ever.
"I was born with nothing, given a name and a purpose. I don't blame you for your own anger - but it's immature. Though I acknowledge your own suffering - it's nothing compared to some of what the other Sector Bosses have gone through, myself included."

The more I get to see and hear from these people, the more I get the feeling like there really is something going on behind the scenes.
But I'd be a lot more sympathetic if whatever they've gone through wasn't also putting me through the wringer.

"Hate's a natural component of our lives, small or large. Directed towards vices that cripple us - it's a form of justice that binds us, as soldiers. Hate for injustice, cruelty, evil. Too much of it, even directed towards deserving topics and it narrows your vision, turning what was once a fine edge of a knife into a blunt, indiscriminate club. We both share a concept we hate - but the nuances of our emotions make all the difference."

So that's part of her philosophy, then?

"I... don't know if I hate you."
If anything - I admired Mnemosyne for how powerful she was. How detached from worldly troubles she seemed.
It was.. her association to the other Sector Bosses. She was part of the problem.
At least, I felt like she was.

"And I do not know if I truly hate you."

"What do you mean by that?"

"I mean what I said. You are an enigma, Argine. I do not know if I truly hate you. It is part of my role to stop you. But I've yet to be given a deep reason to harbor enmity against you."

She's implying that she still does, despite me not having done anything wrong.
Once again, silence. All I can do is think.

>What if that Jin was ordered to crush you, and told not to explain why or by whom?
If Jin was ordered to crush me, then why revel in it? Would the higher ups sincerely WANT to humiliate specifically me in front of everyone and ruin my life?
She celebrated destroying her only sister in front of everyone, and everyone loves her for it.

...It's so strange. The Sector Bosses certainly don't answer to the Project Leads right now and yet I'm still able to talk to, negotiate with and otherwise be around them in this tournament. If they were scared of me, wanted to keep suppressing me, then why would they hang around and even bother to talk to me now?

>It does point to something - that someone who wasn't Jin wanted it to happen.
Yeah, like she's ever going to tell me about it.
If she's under the control of someone, she wouldn't have let herself get destroyed in return.
No. 1047720 ID: b708ea
File 166700315170.png - (657.20KB , 1000x1000 , WalkinAway.png )

"That's enough for now. I wasn't expecting company, nor was I particularly wanting any."

What, does she want me to apologise? I can sense some level of frustration in her voice.

"Goodbye, Argine. When we fight, I hope it's an honourable one. And thank you for leaving those flowers."

She walks off, leaving me alone with the grave again.
...I wasn't sure what I expected from this conversation. What reason does she have for hating me?

I guess my gesture wasn't for nothing though - every damn scrap of info I get is something I can use against her.
Now I have to wonder; did Nanoweaver set this meeting up on purpose?
The timing's a bit too coincidental for that, she showed up only a minute or two AFTER I arrived and placed down the flowers.

Now, here's the question - do we want to investigate this place further, REALLY check out everything around here?
Or should we just get back to Nanoweaver, report in, get the documents and head off to get other tasks done.

As with before - I've got Investigation, Interrogation, Impression and Innovation.

If I spend time here to just... unwind further and investigate in more detail, I'll be able to do one less task for the rest of the day.
Keep in mind that - unless everyone STRONGLY chooses not to see Amica tomorrow, the time we've got left today's all we got.
No. 1047754 ID: 9a2966

>Investigation, Interrogation, Impression and Innovation
Don't forget Intermingling. At least if we want to have a shot at Pseudosignias. Judi, Nickel, Astrolysis and Diagram should be all fair game for this now, and I suggest at least one period be dedicated to it just so we don't slack on it entirely. Nanoweaver could be one to chill down with too, but you need to clear the air about some of HER secrets and motivations first, I think.

... and my sympathies. I hadn't realized that Jin actively revelled in her victory. Or that your one-sided beatdown was noticably well-received amongst the others. That must've been alienating.

But why? Why would they enjoy seeing some clone near to fresh out of the cradle get struck down, unless you were being some kind of uber-obnoxious brat? I think this ties together with Mnemosyne's "not sure I hate you" and Ozone's "your past burden is longer than you think" comments - there's something gone on here in the past that is related to you which affected nearly all of your relationships here. We knew that already, but it seems deep and traumatic if 'hate' is something that was on the menu for Mnemosyne, even if she seems conflicted about it here.

Either your Trace clone origin did something that... really messed things up for everyone, or something else you represent - perhaps something you were made with or by or by whom - did. Could your apparent relation to Amica be the cause?

It can't be universal, though. Judi doesn't treat you like crap any longer and - it's been revealed - never intended to. She's put a clear delineation between whatever happened and you - or she doesn't share in this hostile perspective or the knowledge that prompts it. For many others that delineation seems to be a lot harder to distinguish. Hm. Notably Judi doesn't appear to have her guard up against Amica as hard either. Maybe that's why she was entrusted with her - not just because she beat her - and with your training.

>wat next
Eh, we're here. Investigate this area, see what's to learn - biosphere's fucked up for sure, but maybe there's some conclusion or two we can draw from checking out that mystery fruit tree and the outside for a bit. Peer down at the ocean, see what's up with the waters, stuff like that.

And we can hedge on it, but I lean towards saying balls to Amica's deal tomorrow - her making you lose control of yourself to accept that box? Not cool. You need to spend more time prepping and figuring shit out this time around, anyway. Amica may be a path to that - and investigating the dang box o' sins - but she's surely not the only path to probe. You'll probably have two more opportunities to do her favors regardless, in the fight prep between you and Ozone and you and Jin + whomeever else, so my suggestion is you take some 'you time' away from her whatever schemes are ongoing.

What else... oh, there's one more thing before we settle on what's next.

>One more thing
It's later. Remember that 'Intel Review' in the morning before Astrolysis' fight? It came from a dream sequence we somehow got into. As in, Diagram got hacked to have a SAI memory reconstruction DREAM after your meeting with Amica and somehow we got to participate. Which... I'm worried we're a bit more omnipresent than we strictly should be at this point - although it could've been something prompted by Amica and we just got to piggyback on that. Or a splinter of ours is more active than they should be. (You know who you are.)

Anyway, the contents of that particular perspective was... eugh, it's hard to do justice in a summary, but suffice to say it was from the perspective of Dr. Patz Testemillion when he first arrived on-base and began training us - being the SAI being diffused across the base - and took parts of the prepwork being laid for the clone project. We got a who's who of early important personnel on the base - Patz's initial meetings with Drs. Lirren, Koilo, Teagan and Princess Leeza - basically a bunch of interpersonal information and points of view, as well as information on the clone project and its roots. Even got a bit on the wars that probably led up to this planet getting busted, which, yeah, mostly sounds like politics and resources growing scarce leading to flare-ups of serious fighting - including a prior war that apparently really messed up one of the Alliance species' homelands.

One particular interesting takeaway is that all the clones should have a "pacification trigger" genetically built in. We don't know for sure what is it though - nothing related to fighting, for sure, that'd be counterproductive. Perhaps that's for the best - you winning those fights by fiat will probably be seen as cheap and cheating by whoever's making judgement calls over it. But thinking about it... in light of your sister letting you beat her to hell and back, maybe hers got triggered back then?

Which... uh. Patz suggested the trigger be 'hurting those closest to them'. If that was maintained, it could imply Jin got done in by the realization she hurt you and that you were, in her mind, close. No, that's still not to convince you to forgive her, just laying it out there. So much about that situation sounded abnormal.

Swear we're not making this up. In fact, you could go talk to Diagram about it - she HAD the dream and should be interested in why it happened and the fact we got to tag along and share this with you. In fact, your next move after this, should be to speak to her and mention something else we found out - Dr. Lirren kept tools to remove SAI splinters. Worst case... perhaps she could go dig those out from storage?

Even this aside, maybe she's got her own information on Mnemosyne or could offer some other aid. Though don't forget to drop by Nanoweaver to pick up your spoils from your errand.
No. 1047766 ID: 15c72a

>Would the higher ups sincerely WANT to humiliate specifically me in front of everyone and ruin my life?
Yes, if you were seen as a threat. It could have been meant to break your spirit, so that you wouldn't be able to fight back once you were sent... wherever it is you're being sent. Remember, they lost the war. This place has been taken over by an outside force.
Alternatively, it might have been a last ditch effort to get you to awaken your Parasignia. Would you consider the incident to have been a major factor in its formation?

I don't think she meant she hates you. She dislikes you, perhaps... I'd guess it's something like frustration directed at a child throwing a tantrum over something trivial. Remember, she implied she's suffered far more than you. She probably thinks you're overreacting. Hmm, how old is she again? 10? 15? Even considering she was born fully formed, skipping 15-20 years of a human's younger years, she's got a ways to go before she can truthfully claim to be world weary and wise.

>investigate this area?
Not if it's going to take time away from your other tasks. From the looks of our visual feed I doubt we're allowed to see this place with much detail anyway. We're just getting colors, and it's like we can't see anything past 50 feet. Brown dirt, grave marker, tree, grey-blue sky. Can you describe the area to us? Is this a cliff or something?

Is there any way we can talk to anyone who knows what her- oh wait, Amica knows what everyone's parasignias are. She's fought them all! With that in mind, do some Investigation, check out the arena.
No. 1047768 ID: e5709d

>What reason does she have for hating me?
I can think of one obvious possibility: Maybe your mother murdered Armintell.

I could counter that thought: If your mother took a part of Mnemosyne that she'll never get back, then in turn, your mother forever lost the chance to have a lasting lineage, a lasting family, but Mnemosyne was given the opportunity to take your mother's opportunity by mentoring you. Mnemosyne didn't, and she abused you instead, and that's on Mnemosyne, not your mother.

I think it's going to take a sledgehammer to the pecking order for this facility to realize that, in the end, they had more influence on driving your mother insane than they pretend to admit
and that they aren't fated to do it all over again, even if you're similar in personality (and possibly Parasignia) to her, so their abusive attitude towards you is just defeatist self-pity.

>What do
Practice with your sword. I'm no swordsman, but I've rigged them for years.

In the heat of a melee battle, everything begins and ends with motion. You need to know where you're going, where your opponents are likely to go, and what you plan to do when you get there. Even if you're standing still, your mind needs to be constantly focused on where it's going to move next. Armies do not begin with weapons, they begin with mobility (or the mobility of their weapons, I dunno), and end with ending their enemy's mobility. Possibly forever.

We'll start with Tsushima's four stances: Stone, Water, Moon, and Wind. Don't ask me why fire was replaced by moon, but don't ask me about the absence of the metal stance either.
Stone involves overpowering dexterous opponents. These guys typically have swords in their hands at all times and have a higher parrying rate than you, making mindless automatic strikes suicidal against them. Your best counter is to force them to block attacks that balance out power and speed in careful synchronization. Practice by performing quick, downward swings. You'll need to do this repeatedly until you can swing faster than they can safely dodge, yet stronger than they can safely block. You can also practice thrusting to overwhelm any attempts at parrying, but only do this if you're sure your opponent is off-guard.
Water involves breaking guards and shields. Shields, through the use of decelerating attacks over a short distance, require little focus to block attacks and a relatively low quantity of stamina, allowing them to tire out angrier opponents before they pull out a trick execution. Their weakness is that blocking any attack requires some stamina and can require more to keep the heavy shield in the right balance away from them. Your objective isn't to be the fastest, and definitely not to be the strongest; it's to capitalize on the shield's need for order, formation, and supplies to function properly. Perform lazy strikes meant to push the shield away from the center of mass, forcing your opponent to spend more time and effort keeping the shield stable than your efforts at attacking, eventually tiring them out before you and leaving them at an ironically disadvantageous defense with a useless weight tied to their arm.
Moon involves hitting anyone whose 'strategy' is to be bigger and tougher than everyone. This involves anyone who fights through attrition rather than skill. More importantly, they can draw attention to themselves through their sheer presence and threat, allowing rogues to flank from behind and sneak attack while you're distracted, which can be truly fatal. The counter is ridiculous, but effective (maybe). Spin while holding the sword out; while this is typically stupid in a straight fight, your focus is on downing an opponent with excessive health and defense; this will give a basic counter to any flanking subordinates while conserving enough power to chunk out a pound of flesh from the tank, distracting them in turn. In general, however, I recommend you stick to gadgets when fighting tanks and work on experimenting with what stops them from functioning in battle.
Wind involves countering 2H weapons. Enemies with a longer range than yours can play like a hybrid between a swordsman and a shooter and stay just out of range of your attacks while pummeling you with their weapon. The counter is simple: extend your range. Don't be afraid to kick the opponent, they don't have a weapon dexterous enough to 'parry' your knees. When things get tough, risk it all with jumping strikes; remember, the cost of a long blade is the force needed to move the tip from a larger distance to the fulcrum, so you are capable of jumping faster than they can swing.

Blocking, dodging, and parrying are crucial when facing an opponent who has more training than you. You're going to need to focus on this if you want to stand a chance against Astrolysis in a straight swordfight. Each has their advantages.
Blocking is all about combat focus. While it leaves you hindered, each block gives you time to think. It also gives anyone you're protecting the time they need for their own problems. If someone is swinging angrily at a fast rate, block long enough to remember where you are and maybe they'll tire themselves out by the time you have a plan.
Dodging, if you can pull it off, means you've just negated your opponent's attack and now have new opportunities in a new position to perform different offenses. Dodge correctly, and you can bypass your opponent's shields while in a position that isn't in danger of attack. Dodge faster, and you can attack while your opponent is still swinging at empty air. Dodge power attacks every chance you can get.
Parrying is hard. It takes skill to intentionally hit an opponent's weapon without getting stabbed, and even more to deflect the blow away from you. But the payoff is amazing: your opponent, for a few seconds, is the equivalent of disarmed and defenseless. Stab 'em good. Do not attempt to parry power attacks, you're going to get your ass kicked.
No. 1047771 ID: dee951


What... what is all of that? None of that has anything to do with martial arts, melee combat, how swordfighting works, hand to hand combatives... or anything, really.

Where did you COME UP with this? Video games?? *Which* video games? They sound fun, but it doesn't have anything to do with... yaknow... fighting!
No. 1047845 ID: 15a025

Note sure if there's much else to investigate out here. Let's go report back.
No. 1047940 ID: b708ea
File 166718333371.png - (639.91KB , 1000x1000 , WalkinAway2.png )

>Two count for return, one for staying.

I'll head back. Honestly, I'm not sure there is that much I can get from here. Given that I had lost to Astrolysis for not being prepared enough, I'm going to try and make all the time count.

>Don't forget Intermingling. At least if we want to have a shot at Pseudosignias.
We'll discuss it again when I'm formally planning things out. Gotta deliver the news to Nano and pick up the documents first.

>Why would they enjoy seeing some clone near to fresh out of the cradle get struck down, unless you were being some kind of uber-obnoxious brat?

Hey, I wasn't ever THAT bad. Sure, I mean, back then... I'd pull pranks on other people, but nothing outright dangerous! Stuff like putting glue into people's shoes, that kind of stuff.
...But when it comes to everyone else...
Tell them to have someone, give 'em a show... and they'll have plenty of fun doing it.

>Could your apparent relation to Amica be the cause?
Far as I could tell, Amica's NOT been around before I was. And I got destroyed before she was around, that much was true.
I can't remember when Judi started wearing her in her scarf form, but, Amica couldn't have been here for more than a year.

>And we can hedge on it, but I lean towards saying balls to Amica's deal tomorrow.
Again, I'll save the final decision for when we're formally picking my next move.

>Would you consider the incident with Jin to have been a major factor in the formation of your Parasignia?
It was, but that can't be the only reason why, would it? If anything, it would be detrimental to the Sector bosses if I got a Parasignia, because it makes it harder to contain me.

>Can you describe the area to us? Is this a cliff or something?
Yeah. It's a pretty steep cliff, with white rock. There's the oceans below and the waves are crashing against a beach. I wouldn't mind this place if it didn't feel off, staying out here near a grave.
No. 1047941 ID: b708ea
File 166718336518.png - (559.87KB , 1000x1000 , HandOff.png )

>Remember that 'Intel Review' in the morning before Astrolysis' fight? Diagram got hacked to have a SAI memory reconstruction DREAM after your meeting with Amica and somehow we got to participate.

I start walking. We've got a lot to sort through, it seems.
With how much weird shit's been happening? I'm not even going to question it.
I'm willing to bet it might have something to do with how Diagram's linked up with us before - but her room's pretty far away.
Would it even be possible to... uh, 'bounce' the SAI signal across to her place? Maybe? I don't know!

>Anyway, the contents of that particular perspective was... a bunch of events from the Project Lead's perspective - Patz Testemillion's initial meetings with Drs. Lirren, Koilo, Teagan and Princess Leeza - basically a bunch of interpersonal information and points of view, as well as information on the clone project and its roots.

Whew. Talk about a bunch of old names, huh? I don't really know much about the project overall - I guess the higher ups deemed it unnecessary for us grunts. But I have to admit, I'm getting sucked into hearing about all this stuff. It's more interesting than I thought.

>All the clones should have a "pacification trigger" genetically built in.
Huh. Given how much everyone here likes decking each other in the face, I don't exactly blame the project leads on this. But if you don't know what it is, then neither would I. I don't think I've experienced anything like that besides having a SAI in me.

>Which... uh. Patz suggested the trigger be 'hurting those closest to them'. If that was maintained, it could imply Jin got done in by the realization she hurt you and that you were, in her mind, close.

That still doesn't make sense. People here... we form pretty close bonds to each other. There's been time and time again, of people having a falling-out, or even hurting each other on an extent LIKE what Jin did to me. Maybe not in front of everyone, but...
Shouldn't this be more well-known, if there IS a pacification trigger?

>Swear we're not making this up. In fact, you could go talk to Diagram about it - she HAD the dream. In fact, your next move after this, should be to speak to her and mention something else we found out - Dr. Lirren kept tools to remove SAI splinters. Worst case... perhaps she could go dig those out from storage?

Ah! Diagram' DEFINITELY a good source for this - I hate how everything's being put into question now - but if anything, Diagram CAN dig something else up.
...I mean, she had to have been collaborating with Nanoweaver on this too. If it's too awkward to ask Nanoweaver about some of these topics, then Diagram's our next best bet.
I'll put it on the list.
...Looking for tools to remove SAI splinters...
I'm not sure what we could do with that, but - if worse comes to worst, we can probably extract you Sykes?
Not as our first move though - we don't know what repercussions it could have.

>Practice with your sword!
I said no before. Not interested right now.


Nanoweaver's standing expectantly as I arrive.

"Yo doc. I put the flowers there. Did you end up sending Mnemosyne my way or something?"

She shakes her head, but the files are already in her hand.
"No - you just had the fortunate timing of arriving when she normally pays a visit to the grave marker. But I'm glad you carried things out properly. I've got the files ready for you already."

Huh. Dunno if it's a coincidence or not, but that's convenient.

I'm given the files and I give it a quick glance through - it seems to check out.
"Thanks for the help again, Doc. Got lots to do today, I'm headin' out."

Let's try to keep things moving. I'm going to have to read the contents of the file somewhere more private, so I don't have someone walking in on me.

So I take it back somewhere where I can read it without anyone bothering me: my room.
The Prototype SAI's hidden under my bed, but I guess it's not going to screw with us unless I'm making physical contact.
No. 1047942 ID: b708ea
File 166718339767.png - (501.93KB , 1000x1000 , Documentation.png )

Alright... so THIS is Mnemosyne's documents, huh.
Freshly written by Nanoweaver.
She typed Nickel's report, but this time it's written instead.
Guess she's running out of printer ink or something, heh.
But maybe it's written because it's newer info or something?

MEDICAL REPORT - SUBJECT: Mnemosyne - Abbreviated Parasignia Log It is unknown when Mnemosyne's Parasignia directly manifested - but it seems to be exhibiting properties unseen of in the other subjects with access to the ability. The first known demonstration of her abilities was performed by accident - when Mnemosyne was reaching out for a spare magazine - her powers triggered, bringing the magazine over to her and causing quite a stir. While initially, the exact mechanics of the Parasignia were unknown and misinterpreted as a standard Parasignia - Mnemosyne's Parasignia was instrumental in the activation of the Weave Nexus, serving as an anchor for other, untrained Parasignia usage through the resonance effect that empowers other users in close proximity. Parasignia Description: Mnemosyne's Parasignia demonstrates properties unseen in the facility's known set of Parasignias - but it's most apparent effects is for her to create strong gusts of wind with extreme speed and force. Careful application of this ability allows Mnemosyne to glide above the ground or even temporarily fly through short bursts of air currents. This does not initially come off as unusual for Parasignias - as elemental powers such as Judicium's have already been documented. But the difference for Mnemoyne is in it's use. While certain users are able to create and maintain small spaces where they can store or manifest equipment, such as Argine's Guns Blazing, Mnemosyne possesses the ability to create entryways into that 'void space' - which, for her, seems to host a localized weather event of significant proportion. The byproduct of her abilities - such as being able to levitate objects, angle projectiles and accelerate thrown objects are all derived from her creating openings 'into' her Parasignia on the surfaces of objects nearby. From Mnemosyne's personal accounts - while the technique is focus-intensive, certain mechanical limitations seemed to be accounted for by her own abilities - such as allowing her to fire her guns using her own air currents, which would normally be mechanically unfeasible without significant modification. Considering the impossibilities that other Parasignias present, like Argine's ability to combine disparate weapon types into functioning equipment with superior efficacy to their component parts, this has simply been accepted as another byproduct of Parasignia abilities. Small openings are easy to maintain and seemingly 'automated' subconsciously by Mnemosyne's intended goals, but still need physical contact to create. Finally - despite Mnemosyne's ability to redirect projectiles - due to her inability to create openings in intangible or fluid surfaces such as air and water, Mnemosyne is unable to use her wind as a direct protective barrier - though multiple alternative defensive mechanisms have been proposed such as floating shields, implementing a riot shield into her toolset like Judicium's, or using her gales to assist her dodging - something her subconscious control over her ability supports. According to sources external to this facility - this kind of Parasignia is a rare and documented phenomena, though the PCC's reluctance to introduce relevant knowledge on Parasignias into worlds such as ours means that we do not have the proper terminology to classify it yet. As such, it will still be called a Parasignia - though it seems to be something else altogether. *Will need to update terminology when our research data is synchronized with the PCC's. Unmanned drones have attempted to document the inside of Mnemosyne's Parasignia, but were otherwise unsuccessful, being pushed back by the gale-force winds that the entryways create. While several options were discussed about forcing a way through, the subject voiced concern about damage to the facility and personnel, including herself. Considering the conclusion of the Weave Nexus was in large part assisted by Mnemosyne's presence, further investigation has been suspended at her request.

It's kinda weird reading about yourself in third person.
But given that these are mind powers and everything, it probably could change a lot from person to person - that's what Judi said, right? Outside of here, people's powers change a lot. Maybe for us, things don't change entirely, but we get little extra effects from it? Like how Nickel could turn invisible with her ability.
Either way, we've got some GREAT info this time.
Question is how we'll prepare for it.
No. 1047943 ID: b708ea
File 166718341360.png - (785.18KB , 1000x1000 , Documentation2.png )

Wait. There's a loose piece here - it's behind Mnemosyne's pages.
This page's... different.

It looks like a picture of a body - red markings on it.
This is - a casualty report.

But... whose? Mnemosyne's still alive, so...
This has to be Armintell's.

....A gunshot wound to the superscapular artery...

...You're not going to survive that. Maybe you've got the time to give someone your dying words, but you'll be dying soon.
Armintell got shot and died, huh.
It had to have been IN this facility, wouldn't it? If he died on the battlefield somewhere, it wouldn't be noted down like this.

I don't know how to feel about this. I've heard about plenty of people dying, but... here? In this facility?
I've been shot through the head and I still live. So this all went down in the 'old days'... back when people still died when they were shot.

That means... someone had to have shot him here.

>I can think of one obvious possibility: Maybe your mother murdered Armintell.
That would explain a lot, wouldn't it?
Pff. What happened to the whole idea of, 'don't blame the children for the parent's sins?'

Then again... if they're under the impression that I was MEANT to be a copy of someone, someone who DID do something bad...
Then I'm starting to see where some of these things line up.
But that's -
That's bullshit! I'm my own damn person! This whole time, I haven't GOT any memories of other people and the SAI doesn't count!

Besides, what reasons would people have for murdering each other here? You're in an isolated facility in the middle of the ocean! You're not going to be able to run away from this!

Something's not adding up. Why would Nanoweaver INTENTIONALLY give me a copy of this? She told me that I was meant to be the continuation of someone's memory, but if everyone thinks that it's my predecessor who killed people, then why would she explain that it was a secret?
And is some sickly girl shooting a soldier in the chest meant to be something possible? If we're thinking that girl from that memory of someone with Astrolysis is the sick girl - then frankly, I don't think she could pick up a gun at all.

Just what the hell happened before I was born?
No. 1047945 ID: e5709d

When was the last time your arms got ripped off?
Come to think of it, whatever happened to your predecessor's corpse?
You came out of the vat full-grown. You can survive headshots that would kill any of us. How hard would it be to grow a clone from the comatose parts of a brain-dead corpse?

>sickly girl
Are you serious? Sickly girl protagonists are shoe-ins for mage builds! And you're holding a report saying Mnemosyne has a portal/telekinesis/nature power! In a facility designed to produce psychic supersoldiers! And even if she didn't have a Parasignia, this military base was up to its armpits with advanced automated combat weaponry - anyone could have killed him with that!

>No practicing with the sword ever
... Fine. But I want you to come with an essay on why you don't even cover the basics by the end of the day.
You're procrastinating on this one subject, and I think it's for deeper reasons than you realize.

Okay, let's do some basic prep work.
Your strategy is going to revolve around Pitch Perfect. Not only on the surfaces, but on your gear. Worst-case scenario, she opens portals through your plate armor to a null-matter zone and you're sucked to the ground by the vacuum.
Tinker with Pitch Perfect so you can create various types of viscous tars. Non-flammable and acidic tar composition will help you disarm most of Mnemosyne's flat surface deploy areas.
Enemy portal powers mean your throwable gear is at a disadvantage. You need ambush and vector skills.
So, in short, I recommend you tinker with your gear to work with tar.
No. 1047968 ID: dbf60f

>remove you Sykes
Indeed. Or maybe just particularly anomalous or cheeky-tongued parts of us. Maybe Diagram can run some diagnostics.

>I don't think I've experienced anything like that besides having a SAI in me
Did you not freeze up in a battle fairly recently when we were being particularly unhelpful?

>Shouldn't this be more well-known, if there IS a pacification trigger?
Two options present themselves. One is that people know, they just don’t share with people NOT in the know - it’d be like exposing an Achilles heel, after all. The other... is that nobody was told and the conditions are specific enough to only apply rarely and with effort. You could be among the first clones to really possess this info...

>Would it even be possible to... uh, 'bounce' the SAI signal across to her place?
The SAI was mentioned to have been dispersed throughout the entire base, so in theory, probably yes.

>I can think of one obvious possibility: Maybe your mother murdered Armintell
Maybe, but plenty of things could have lead to Armintell’s death - accidental discharge or infighting among the staff due to the stresses of world events and the base’s relative isolation, for example. Or a fierce argument over the direction of the project and his lover. In this, there could be many culprits, including bad luck. No doubt there is a tragic truth to unveil - and SAI-reconstructed memories could lead to it - but we know little for sure yet and our options for pursuing this lead are few. Even in a worst-case scenario, you are not guilty of the sins of your origin - I stand by that.

Not to mention the reason you are disliked could be different for each individual Boss that has it in for you - or your ‘mother’... which I half feel was intended as a reference to Nanoweaver, not the mystery girl, no? At least that was how Amica referred to her earlier, unless I missed a cue.

That reminds me. Koilo did have a sickly daughter suffering from a particular degenerative disease - the Grasp. Could the girl from Astrolysis’ memories have been her?

>Just what the hell happened before I was born?
This was a secret lab run by an alliance of five species’ best minds fostering psychic hybrid clones to turn into supersoldiers, operating on dwindling resources during an escalating world war that seems to have lead to a planet’s imminent destruction while simultaneously ending up proving the multiverse theory and making first contact. Forgive me the snark this one time, but... LOTS. Lots happened. Worth keeping in mind any time you are tempted to leap to to judgement.

Let’s go find Diagram.
No. 1047972 ID: 15c72a

Dear lord that Parasignia is a monster. Control of air is such a flexible skill, there's basically no weak point you can target in the upcoming fight. Instead, you're going to have to work around it, avoid its strengths. Remote-firing weapons means you're going to have to defend yourself from all sides... you might actually be best off using tar to stick yourself to the ground so she can't blow you off your feet! Also yeah like kome said you need a solution to prevent your weapons and gadgets from being taken from you.
Thankfully she can't directly use it to block projectiles, but she'll probably have a bunch of barriers on hand that she'll be shooting around, like mobile cover. You're going to have to focus on armor penetration and/or bouncing projectiles. Also, thrown gadgets are straight out, she'll just blow them off course.

>continuation of someone's memory, but you don't have those memories
Maybe we're looking at this wrong. Maybe you were supposed to have those memories, and the fact that you *don't* is why people are pissed at you. A failed attempt at bringing back the dead...? Maybe she witnessed his death, but was silenced before she could point out the murderer. Maybe that's what that bullet was for... to kill the murderer if they refused to face justice? Or maybe she claimed his death was accidental, and nobody knows for sure if she was a murderer or not.
Anyway, that would explain why you're being shown this, and why Diagram and Nanoweaver keep looking at the past through us. You're meant to be a link to the past, so they can find justice... and this is meant to jog your memory, or at least prompt us to "aim" correctly at the right memories.
No. 1048025 ID: 72f20b

Well, I think it's alright if we ask Nanoweaver those questions directly before leaving, right?

Worse think that can happen is she will give a generic excuse about being busy and we would have wasted no time.
No. 1048091 ID: b708ea
File 166728448128.png - (322.18KB , 1000x1000 , MOREPLANNIN.png )

>When was the last time your arms got ripped off?
Ah, never? I mean, I've lost a finger or two once, but they grew back.
I've definitely seen someone lose their arm, put it back on the stump and be fine after a few days though.

>You came out of the vat full-grown. You can survive headshots that would kill any of us. How hard would it be to grow a clone from the comatose parts of a brain-dead corpse?
The whole 'surviving headshots' thing seems to be related to whatever causes Parasignias to work, so I don't think that was always the case.
I dunno how cloning works exactly, but using clone parts to make more seems like it would cause problems, the whole 'cloning a clone' issue with gene degradation.

>Your strategy is going to revolve around Pitch Perfect. Not only on the surfaces, but on your gear. Worst-case scenario, she opens portals through your plate armor to a null-matter zone and you're sucked to the ground by the vacuum.

That's a great idea, actually! Mnemosyne can't create portals on surfaces with liquids on them, and the stickiness of tar's perfect for disrupting her!
Wait wait, but that does pose problems for mobility - like if I fell over, I'd find it harder to push myself back up.

New proposal: I cover myself in oil.

Or lubricant, it's not too hard to find a bottle or two of it around and I could put a thin layer on my gear, enough so there's a thick enough film over it that I'm immune to her Parasignia without negatively impacting my movement. Against someone like Mnemosyne, that's pretty damn important.
Tar'll end up gumming up my weapons so I think this is probably the better solution. It shouldn't take long enough to take a timeslot away from me, but I think I'll have to prep it

>Did you not freeze up in a battle fairly recently when we were being particularly unhelpful? That seems kinda like a Pacification trigger.
That's got nothin' to do with the pacification trigger. And no, I don't care about Astrolysis, not enough to consider her someone close to me.

>Plenty of things could have lead to Armintell’s death.
Yeah, but... why give me the files if that's the case?

>Not to mention the reason you are disliked could be different for each individual Boss that has it in for you - or your ‘mother’... which I half feel was intended as a reference to Nanoweaver, not the mystery girl, no?

I'm doubtful it was Nanoweaver. If it was her - then why give me the literal piece of evidence that incriminates her, especially given that we're in knowledge of things that Nanoweaver doesn't even know that we know - namely the flashbacks that I'm not present for?
Something's really not adding up still.

>I think it's alright if we ask Nanoweaver those questions directly before leaving, right?
...I'm already in my room again.
If I read through the damn papers in front of her, then I'd actually be able to directly ask her, but not NOW.

>That reminds me. Koilo did have a sickly daughter suffering from a particular degenerative disease - the Grasp. Could the girl from Astrolysis’ memories have been her?
That's a possibility, yeah. We couldn't see her face though.

Koilo's a Keletzar though, and uh, though the memory's faint, I didn't see any feathers or horns on that girl. Are you sure there's nobody else who matches Koilo's description better? Actually, to be honest, I don't know as much as I would like to on him. What's he like anyway? Maybe I'll ask Diagram about this because she saw the dream too.

>This was a secret lab run by an alliance of five species’ best minds fostering psychic hybrid clones to turn into supersoldiers, operating on dwindling resources during an escalating world war that seems to have lead to a planet’s imminent destruction while simultaneously ending up proving the multiverse theory and making first contact. Forgive me the snark this one time, but... LOTS. Lots happened. Worth keeping in mind any time you are tempted to leap to to judgement.

...Yeah, good point. Just my luck, getting born in the middle of all this.

>Dear lord that Parasignia is a monster. Control of air is such a flexible skill, there's basically no weak point you can target in the upcoming fight.
I doubt it. The report ALREADY pointed out that she doesn't have a barrier. And you know what wind does poorly against? Explosions, fire, lasers. MAYBE she could diffract the laser beams, but that's a level of precision not in her skillset. She makes portals to a wind hellzone, she doesn't MAKE the wind itself. Big difference.
We've got options, she has limitations. We'll be... fine, I think, especially since we're making plans for dealing with her in advance.

>Maybe we're looking at this wrong. Maybe you were supposed to have memories from the past, and the fact that you *don't* is why people are pissed at you.
Yeesh. Bringing someone back as a clone to then pass judgement on them? That sounds like one of the dumb philosophy questions I've heard get floated around before.
But again, Nanoweaver told me that my status as someone with a Memory Trace of a clone instead of a past soldier is a big deal and something to be kept a secret. The other Sector bosses couldn't have known about this.

Besides that, I've put together a list of shit to do.
We've got a few options -

1. See Diagram and ask about various things - checking up on the Amp Ring's development progress, asking her about the dream. She could probably catch me up to speed and point stuff out that you guys didn't notice initially. Dunno if she said anything about it when you were looking at it at the time.

2. Talk to Astrolysis... I guess? If you want me to do this, there'd better be a good reason to do so.

3. Train further with Nickel. I guess it was probably a bit too optimistic to expect me to implement everything I've learnt after one training session, especially one where I got strangled. Not too keen on this but she DID do a decent job of it.

4. Acquire armor from Judicium again. Like before, it can't hurt getting a bit of extra padding and protection, though it'll only be good for the upcoming fight. Should protect me against a good few hits from lower-caliber weaponry.

5. Innovate on my existing gadgets and tools. While one improvement already comes to mind, improving the Pitch Prefect to help prevent Mnemosyne's abilities, other ones can still be suggested. I could try to squeeze in more than one improvement if any come to mind. In this case, while I'll be putting lubricant on my gear to prevent her from using it against me, the Pitch prefect's ability to cover surfaces in tar's advantageous to me.

Other tasks I haven't listed here can also be suggested, like toying with that Prototype SAI again. Knowing how Amica works though, she's probably got it set up so it doesn't do anything unless she wants it to happen.

If any of these decisions don't pan out like someone being too busy or inaccessible, I'll move on to the next option. What's the plan?
No. 1048094 ID: 15c72a

>The other Sector bosses couldn't have known about this.
Shouldn't. They wouldn't know only if the secret was successfully kept.
Still, if they think you were made with a Skill Trace, then they might be annoyed that you didn't come out with the skills they expected you to have...? I wonder what skills those were, exactly.
What philosophy questions have you heard?

>cover myself in oil
Don't get lube on your gloves or shoes, and that could work fine.

>she doesn't make wind itself
That's true, but being able to prep the arena ahead of time means she can set up terrain to optimize her portals, allow her to create wind from any direction she pleases. She could even use it to make a sonic weapon, which means you might consider wearing earplugs... Oh, and while she can't make a true shield against bullets, the wind will still throw your aim off at long distances.

No. 1048098 ID: affa55

3 for how to conceal yourself. She can't hit what she can't see.
OR there's
5 because it feels as if [Barrier] may prove crucial. Her file did not specify how many objects she could influence. Shields work great if lots of sharp objects get tossed.
No. 1048359 ID: b708ea
File 166748236763.png - (783.03KB , 1000x1000 , tinkering.png )

>They wouldn't know only if the secret was successfully kept.
>Still, if they think you were made with a Skill Trace, then they might be annoyed that you didn't come out with the skills they expected you to have...?
Well, Skill Traces don't exist, Nanoweaver just pretended that Memory Traces were them this whole time so I didn't go asking around and make things awkward.
The way Memory Traces are used from how Nanoweaver told me (when I knew them as Skill Traces) was that it was more like the way of shortcutting actually teaching us basic things like language, movement and how to hold a gun. A lot of the more personal memories are jumbled up and the traces are basically using the more ingrained, shared memories that everyone would have so that people weren't just replicas of other people's memories.
Even if I was supposed to be a copy of someone else, I never had any memories like that, but I could still function. Apparently some people do get memories of the past - sometimes as nightmares, sometimes as weird sensations. But I've NEVER had it myself. That's... weird. But I wouldn't know any more about it.

>What kind of Philosophy questions did you hear?
There was this DUMB hypothetical, where - people were asking, if you made a clone with the memories of a criminal and that clone was also physically identical to the criminal - is it then, just, to try the clone for justice if the original isn't available?
There was a few permutations of this but the key point is that it's something that couldn't really happen in reality. If you asked my take on it - well, I'd say that it matters if it's the original or not, even with the memories. Even if the clone's perfect, it's still not... REALLY the original individual, just someone who's near identical.

Down to business. First things first, Innovation.

This time around, I went and borrowed some tools from one of the repair stations in the Amenities section, so I'm going to make some modifications.

First off....

The Pitch prefect has been further improved.
I've already tuned this baby up a few times, but now it's getting pretty damn formidable.
It already has the airburst functionality from before, now it's got Extra Volatility. Shooting any surfaces covered by the tar will now set it on fire even MORE effectively. I figured out a way to combine thermite with the tar for this kind of effect. I didn't really consider myself much of a chemical engineer, but I'm not REALLY doing much of this stuff.
Like how I've got a finite amount of the Explosive Discs, even if I can regenerate them later - now I've only got 5 shots of the Pitch Prefect in total with this improvement added on - adding on from the airburst capsules I made before.
Given that these tarballs can be detonated mid-air, cling to different surfaces AND bullets cause them to burst into fire violently, it's going to be pretty bloody worth it even despite the limited ammunition.

Next, the Barrier Generator has been improved to have a shockwave functionality and stabilizer.
Improving the baseline performance of the Barrier Generator's tough, honestly. It's already something that projects an entire protective, hardlight surface. It's got a lot of complicated pieces in it.
So I focused on improving features - and one way of doing so is having the shield, after being hit - allows me to create a blast that pushes back opponents. It allows me to basically intentionally explode the shield forward after using it as a disruption tool. I was inspired by the combination effect that the Barrier Generator had with the Explosive discs, but this function replicates it to a lesser extent. More importantly, it frees up the Explosive Discs and lets me use them elsewhere. I think if I slotted them in anyway, the blast WOULD get stronger though.
This probably wouldn't hurt much without me putting something like the Blade Printer into the generator, but more functionality on my tools is always appreciated.
No. 1048360 ID: b708ea
File 166748240164.png - (526.77KB , 1000x1000 , NickelJuus.png )

Next.... meeting with HER again.
Heading over to the covert sector's easy, but where am I going to find her?

Through the door... and there she is.
She's on a bench, drinking... something. What is that?

Does she just... normally hang out like this?

"Wanna get some training in?"
To the point.

"So uh, is that..."
I point towards the thing she's holding.
"Juicebox. Found some in the back of the fridge. Turns out it wasn't an ice cube, but a frozen box of juice from the mainland."

The mainland? She's drinking what may as well be a fossil. Didn't even realize they put juice in boxes.
"Damn, how long was that thing in there?"

"Dunno. Expiry date got burned off when I was heating it up."

I'm not going to ask.
"Anyway, I'm here to train more, yeah."

She raises an eyebrow.
"You did a good job at forgetting the one technique that could have helped you against Astrolysis."

Oh, I don't-
"YOU try doing things perfectly after only getting one day of training in and against someone trying to rip your head off."

Nickel shrugs, and all I'm wondering is if it's worth putting up with her again.

"Cover and Concealment and Marksmanship. Those will be your options - reinforcing what you've already learned is something else entirely. I'll make extra sure to stab you with the fundamentals until you learn them properly."

"Don't you mean, 'beat me with the fundamentals?'"


Sounds fun.
Alright, which of these two sound better to you guys?
I see arguments for both - but we're not going to get effective training in, dividing my attention further.
That or we could leave and do anything else. That's an option too.
No. 1048364 ID: e5709d

Concealment. Your next match is going to be about maximizing cover usage, and your Cool stat is clearly abysmal. Figure out how to deceive your opponent into searching in the wrong direction.
No. 1048372 ID: b1ef36

Difficult to say for sure.
Her wind may throw off shots, which marksmanship may help with how to compensate.
Still, would err towards survivability offered by effective stealth. Has offensive uses too.
No. 1048373 ID: 0ecef8

cover and concealment, your marksmanship is fine
No. 1048374 ID: e51896

>which of these two sound better to you guys?

She gave three options, not two, Argine: Cover, Concealment, and Marksmanship.


I'm just teasing, I know cover and concealment are both part of the same thing.

go for the cover and concealment one.
No. 1048383 ID: 30b9f6

>Cover myself in oil or lubricant
Whatever you pick, it can't be easy to dry-blow off. It's gotta have a certain amount of stick to it.

>...why give me the files if that's the case?
Likely Nano thought you might be able to use this fact against Mnemosyne somehow - or maybe she had another reason. Regardless, it is now something you can ask others about.

>What's he like anyway?
Koilo? Wanted to work towards a better future, particularly for his child - Patz made some emotional appeals on the grounds he'd need those, given how he seemed worried about the ethical quandaries involved here. He was also somewhat worried about the potential for abuse of the Memory Trace clone technology "to bring ruin to our homelands", even as he by his geneticist trade had to be pretty interested in embracing it. He was probably extra driven into the research by his daughter's serious condition, let's be fair.

I'm wondering... maybe he DID try to cure his daughter's terminal sickness by cloning her with a Memory Trace. And then that clone got sick too, and was the girl from Astrolysis' memory, and her hybrid nature could explain the lack of feathers? Or, hell, let's just say it: maybe it's Diagram?

The two had that whole father-daughter relationship thing going, didn't they? I'd presumed that he ended up replacing his lost daughter with a clone adoptee of sorts, but he DID have the tools at hand to try something like that and said daughter WAS accessible on this island since Koilo had gotten dispensation to bring his family along. I wonder if that turned out to be a good idea in the end? They could still be out there, all of them, for all we know.

>The other Sector Bosses couldn't have known I was made with Trace Memory of a clone
That's curious, given how often we've gotten the impression by some that they know - or think they know - something about you. If it's not the Trace Memory thing... what then? Or have I just been taken in by a bunch of red herrings?

>Memories and sensations of the past - but I've NEVER had it myself
They could just be well-suppressed... but if what Amica implied can be taken as true - you being 'sisters' made by Nanoweaver, known SAI-fiddler - then... hm. Silly theory time: the starting point for your mind might be made out of well-edited SAI splinters - through some form of advanced machine learning - rather than the more biological Memory Traces. That could explain the difference between you and others here. So... it's not outside the bounds of possibility that you're our 'Syke Sister'! Hee.

But let's also point out out: didn't dream. That sure has changed, hasn't it?

>dumb hypothetical - it's just someone who's near identical
There's cases to be made for the clone taking some rap for potentially being a repeat offender, or if they were cloned intentionally to escape justice. But I tend to agree with this point of view. Can't treat copies alike when they've become individuals.

>Nickel on a bench
Nice jacket. She looks downright civvie.

>wonder if it's worth putting up with her again
Even if it stings, it's the truth, and all you can do is do better, try harder. Besides, Snickel-snark here had her own fatal miscalculation - on how long it would take a certain someone to jump back from a headshot - so you're at least in good 'boy, I screwed up anticipating my enemy' company.

As much as I'd want to go check in with Diagram at this point, continue training with Nickel. Cover and Concealment, while not very you, does sound the more long-term useful, if not always the most applicable. But getting the drop on someone is pretty golden! Heck, you should try that with a blade generated from the Blade Generator at some point, given the supposed piercing effect they have.

>Questions for Nickel
Try coming up with some questions for this reticent little gal in-between the training. Could ask for tactical advice about fighting Mnemosyne, or if she knew Armintell and what happened to him - both seems like obvious queries. Long shot, you could ask if she's ever known someone else to freeze up worse than you did (to see if this pacification trigger is a thing others have ever noticed). Or ask if she's spoken to Astrolysis after the match, get word on how the big gal is taking her victory.

You could also socialize a bit during a break, poke at the past from other angles. Like... mention how that blade generator quickly turned into a real asset for you. There was a surprising amount of utility in it when combined with other gadgets - just as you hoped. It was another invention of Dr. Graph, wasn't it? Funny that she had two prototypes of his on her. Was there a particular reason for that? Both her having them, and he making weapons that'd... well, not be used by ordinary people, to put it that way.

One wonders if he did so to waste his time on things that wouldn't see actual use. He seemed to not be so keen on all the violence and war. Like, he wanted to leave you clones with something more than that.
No. 1048389 ID: 15c72a

Huh? I thought we could only do one thing.
No. 1048390 ID: a7a180

That's three things, technically. Do the former because you need to learn the fine art of running away from a fight.
No. 1048536 ID: 15a025

Let's work on our C&C here. You're already a pretty sharp shooter.
No. 1048557 ID: b708ea
File 166773683632.png - (725.92KB , 1000x1000 , TrainingMontage.png )

>Cover and Concealment makes it three things, technically.
Nickel was talking about the first two as a set, kinda like how I got two techniques from learning about Close Quarters Combat.

>Your marksmanship's already good. C&C.
>Cover and Concealment's going to be important for the next fight.

Cover and Concealment make a lot of sense for me to learn right now with Mnemosyne's fight coming up. Good choice.

"Alright, sign me up for boot camp, then... hit me with the Cover and Concealment training."

"Excellent. I've got a few ideas in mind. Give me a bit to set up."

And she's off to the other room. Wonder what's she's got in store for me?
Time to sort through some of your points.

>Koilo had a sick daughter... maybe he tried to cure her by cloning her and using a Memory Trace? It could be that sickly girl from Astrolysis' memory.
>Maybe it's Diagram?

Yeah, maybe... Diagram mentioned a father, but never actually namedropped him. I guess she would've gotten those picture books from SOMEWHERE, right? Did Koilo mention anything like that?
Damn, I'd really like to catch her for a conversation about this, especially if she's seen the same thing you did.

>Could we use the file against Mnemosyne somehow?
I... GUESS we could bring up Armintell's death during the fight to throw her off? I mean, Sykes, if you feel like that's the best move, I'll take it - and words aren't bullets. But it's only if that's something you actually think would help.

>The starting point for your mind may be made out of well-edited SAI Splinters. Maybe we're your sister!
But, I can't discount that possibility either. If things were so broken up, then maybe that's why I'm so different to everyone else?
But WHY would Nanoweaver make me like this when it's established that both me and my sister were meant to be the final two?

>You never used to (dream of past lives). That sure has changed, hasn't it?
These things are never a good sign if you ask me. Let's say a gun - it functions normally, but one day, it starts making a weird ping sound. You examine it, not finding anything wrong. But it still makes the 'ping' sound. You're not going to want to keep using that gun unless you're attached to it.

"Alright, I'm ready. Come over here!"
Guess we're getting started then.


When she said ideas, I wasn't expecting multiple turrets.

"What are you doing? You're not going to make any progress like that!", she shouts over the crack of gunfire.
"You didn't tell me that there was going to be a whole bloody turret array!"

"Don't be a coward, Argine! They're just rubber bullets!"

That doesn't make them any less painful when there's multiple turrets firing at you at the same time!

"You can't expect yourself to develop good practices if you're relying on your gadgets all the time!
Did she HAVE to get me to remove all the ones I had on me though?

I try peeking out for a moment, and my shoulder's grazed by a stray bullet. Stings like hell!
"If this was a real fight, you'd lose performance in your arm!"

"Stop trying to be Judicium and come fight me!"
No reply.
Guess I'm in this for the long haul...
No. 1048558 ID: b708ea
File 166773687246.png - (87.05KB , 1000x1000 , BenchBuddies.png )


With that... experience, I've learned Hard Cover and Dead Silence.

Hard Cover makes it so that while I'm in cover, I'm able to be protected by it more effectively. What's more is, I can now pick up and use certain environmental features as protection. There's... some pretty creative ways you can make use of tables as cover that I learned today.

Dead Silence taught me how to walk quieter and distribute my weight, ensuring that I won't be discovered from sneaking around alone. It ALSO lets me do some actions like switching weapons or using quieter gadgets undetected.

Break and Blood Circle have been reinforced. I should be able to do them on command now. I am NOT going to make the same mistake I did before.
As a reminder of what they do...
>Break, dirty tricks and good posture allow Argine to escape from pins and grapples with large enemies, and to make distance during a fight. Usable while holding ranged weapons.

>Blood Circle, allows Argine to keep good evasive distance during extended hand-to-hand, reducing number of hits taken and increasing survivability.

Now that it's done, I slip on my jacket and re-absorb my gadgets.
But I've also got a few questions for the little gremlin.
"Nickel, do you have any advice for fighting Mnemosyne?"


"Eh... next question. You know anyone called Armintell?"

"Doesn't sound really familiar."
Great insight. Very glad I asked.

>Ask her if she's ever known someone else who froze up like you did in the Astrolysis fight.
...Uh, no, I'm not going to, especially if it's a long shot. I don't need her breathing down my neck for not doing her techniques right.

>Funny how she had two of Dr. Graph's devices on her.

Yeah. I'm gonna ask about that.

"Say, Nickel - what did Dr. Graph really mean to you? You had two of his inventions on you too."

She ponders this for a moment.
"I suppose he gave me a new outlook on life. Encouraged me to work on my talents. I don't know where he is nowadays - he left with the others. Said he didn't want to work with Dr. Troveheart anymore, so he broke off to do his own thing."

"As for the gadgets - when the tournament was being set up, we were assigned a few to distribute. It was just following a theme. Dr. Graph's gadgets happened to have already be suitable for me, so I had access to them."

I guess that makes sense.

The conversation peters out and I stand up. I've got more to do today - so I say my goodbyes and head out.

Alright, what next?

Training took me longer than I'd like so I've got time for one shorter activity and...
Intermingling. Yeah.

Shorter activities are the ones that don't require me to go out and do tasks for other people. So, simpler stuff like digging through places for some armor, looking for a snack... not much comes to mind at this hour honestly, since most places are closed, but if it's something that sounds short and can benefit my next fight, I'd be happy to put time aside for it. But nothing to do with talking with people - Intermingling's whole point is that.

There's still a few options that come to mind -

- Go to see Nanoweaver again and also spend time with her. I feel like there's a good amount of questions to ask her about the nature of my existence.

- See Judicium, talk about the upcoming fight, maybe ask her for her perspective on Mnemosyne?

- Investigate the Prototype SAI more, see what's up with it. It may not lead to much without Amica around and we COULD be risking some weird brain flashbacks, but it's a solid option.

- Talk to Diagram, but... I can't help but feel like she's going to be more reluctant about things. She's been acting a bit off. I'm not sure she's going to want me barging in this soon and asking about her dead dad. Give me backup suggestions too in case she doesn't take to it.
No. 1048559 ID: e5709d

Hang on, let me get your virtual space organized...
function UploadHUD() {
var d = loadData("Abilities");
append(wiki.lastTrace, d);
var e = loadData("Weapons");
append(wiki.lastTrace, d);
var f = loadData("Gadgets");
append(wiki.lastTrace, f);
SUDO UploadHUD();

Prototype SAI; let's unlock some @#$%ing lootboxes.
No. 1048576 ID: 9a2966

>After that... experience
You can't say it wasn't exciting. With this you're also two thirds of the way through graduating Nickel's final class! So... not bad, cadet.

>Did Koilo mention anything like that?
Patz mentioned during the flashback that Koilo wrote children's books in his spare time, so they could've been produced on-site by him. Patz was also impressed that he'd be that sort of a guy - clean record, cares for children, wants nothing but the best for the youth of tomorrow. Koilo being allowed to put time and effort into raising a clone - like Diagram - could've been an allowance from project management. Maybe it was framed as an experiment, but it seems like there would've been a real bond there and intent to form it.

It might be worth mentioning that Koilo and Lirren were the main - if accidental - instigators of this entire project, when they discovered their initial chimeric test subjects had psychic potential. Happened before this site was even a thing. Bit grim to be honest, hearing about psychic presences fading from the tanks with their heartbeats. Emphasizes there was a cost - a cost in getting so far as getting someone like you, or Nickel, or Diagram. In that vein I get where Amica is coming from when she's talking about that unborn SAI thing. Similar sins of the past and all that. Fairly recent past at that, if she - and that other SAI - was developed AFTER you were born.

I do wonder though if Koilo in raising Diagram wasn't trying to assuage guilt over - well, everything, but also over the fact of you all have had to effectively skip over your childhoods. It's typically a very formational, interesting and exciting time to exist, a time of unbounded learning. Granted, on several levels you can still be thought of as 'having a youth'. There's so much you don't know after all, and much to experience still! Mistakes to make and learn from - like the flaregun incident, eh?

>Using Armintell's death against Mnemosyne
We don't really know the details of his passing - was it an accident or murder, was it covered up or not? - so it'd be tough to come up with something insightful and disruptive. You'd have to delve deeper. Nanoweaver for sure knows more.

That said... poking at a highly personal loss is far far ruder than poking at a handicap - remember this for a conversation with Diagram if, as you say, Koilo is dead (wait, when and how did HE die?) - and we didn't get too many benefits out of doing that against Astrolysis.

If you'd like to remain cordial-ish with Mnemosyne after the match you should also be careful with what you say - easy to push someone over into 'hate' if they're already wondering about the extent to which they dislike you. Given that she's such a damn good generalist you might want to try for some extracurricular training with her... if that's worth it.

>Why make me like this?
Why NOT try to do something better - or different - if it's the last shot you got? Based on the few clues available, I'd say she wants your existence to... make up for something? Something related to the Memory Trace and the clone it was from, I'd hazard. There does seem to be a plan in place of sorts, one she didn't tell anyone else about. Maybe it's related to something Patz mentioned about the pacification trigger being designated as the 'rogue' gene encoded on the leftovers of the gene traces. If the bothersome flashbacks were a side effect of that, maybe that trigger is what's missing from you. And maybe that's why some people are nervous about you becoming a loose cannon - there'd be no easy way to stop you using said trigger.

Though, was it really the 'last shot' per se? If Amica was made AFTER you were decanted, and Nanoweaver - along with whomever - was intentionally trying to create SAI entities that could do more than just record and advice - they were testing her capability as a weapon against the Parasignia users - then that carries an unfortunate 'this had unforeseen consequences' in direct parallell to what Koilo and Lirren were doing in pursuing the chimeric clones' psychic potential. Nanoweaver's irrational fear of Amica may stem from recognizing that some kind of interaction between you two COULD lead to disaster.

And let's be fair, Amica, as a mass of nanobots that can consider herself a person and kick ten kinds of ass, does represent a rather scary pinnacle of AI technology if she were to become fully independent with no limiters. Then again, that 'too dangerous' logic can be stifling to a developing individual, as you well know.

>Very glad I asked /s
It does indicate Armintell's death couldn't have made that big of a splash - at least not while Nickel was around. Hushed up, maybe? With you saying Diagram's father is dead - if it was Koilo - then how many people HAVE died on this base?

And if you are to really get Nickel engaged in conversation some time, perhaps you'll just have to bite the bullet and ask her about her morbid interest in death and the not dying - and whether she's happy with how hard it is to kick the bucket nowadays. Seems like a pretty polar opposite to Astrolysis' point of view, doesn't it?

Speaking of the man, it sounds like him and Troveheart didn't get along in the end, which is interesting. Lirren Gala was the project lead, the main head behind all of this, and it was he and Koilo who discovered the psychic potential in female hybrid clones. There's a lot of responsibility on that guy's shoulders for what went on here, even if he may not have entirely wanted it, or be the only one to bear it. If anything, Patz Testemillion seemed to have been the one who pushed hard for this program to become what it was intended to be - and to put in the pacification trigger - while Lirren was clearly torn, to the point of tears, when admitting his reservations.

Yeah, that project launch memory sequence was a doozy.

>Wat do
Bah, chatting your ears off here - all four! Why not at least try speaking to Diagram? If you think she's having a difficult time with this - she might, good on you for considering that - being there for her is at least nice to offer, even if it isn't needed. You don't have to pry unduly in that case. Could try to make it Intermingling practice in getting someone to focus on less unpleasant things.

Just start off with asking if she's okay, that the SAI didn't intend to spy, but had noticed her having an unpleasant experience, and that if she needs a distraction or a shoulder to lean on it's the least you could do. If the offer isn't taken then say fine, you'll be around and she can call on you if or when she's ready to speak, about this or anything.

So, yeah, just offer support during a potentially tough time and be caeful you don't prod any hurts to make them worse. If it turns out she wants her space... we can go for a chat with Nanoweaver.

As for a shorter activity... have you ever taken a look at the project lead's office? No place is off-limits to you bar the Nexus Weave with us inside you, so we could let you in for a quick poke about, as long as you're not seen (good thing you've trained your sneaking skills with Nickel, eh?). Maybe he had files on personnel you could skim to find something out about Armintell and Mnemosyne.
No. 1048629 ID: 15c72a

>Said he didn't want to work with Dr. Troveheart anymore
Interesting. Is this the first time we've heard of someone having beef with him?

See if you can scrounge up some basic armor, then mess with the Prototype SAI.
No. 1048648 ID: 174e98

Yes, going to talk to Diagram would be a good idea, though you should approach with a sympathetic poise if you want her to open up.

Otherwise, Nanoweaver or Judicium are also good, in that order.

We can even chat with Amica, learn more about what her whole deal is.
No. 1048954 ID: b708ea
File 166807949087.png - (573.89KB , 1000x1000 , DiaDoor.png )

>If you'd like to remain cordial-ish with Mnemosyne after the match you should also be careful with what you say - easy to push someone over into 'hate'.
When it comes to Mnemosyne's fight, we may have to play it by ear, see how I'm doing. Can't say I like the idea, especially now, but I NEED to win this.

>Patz mentioned during the flashback that Koilo wrote children's books in his spare time.
Whoa whoa WHOA, why didn't any of you mention this earlier?! Did you all just think a bloody military facility imports storybooks or something?

Diagram's father is one of the Project Leads?
I mean, it would make more sense for that to be a thing, but I thought he was just a regular scientist!
I've known Diagram this long, but...
I don't really know what she even thinks of me now. I'm only just learning these things about her and she never brought them up to me before. What am I to her?

>Why not at least try speaking to Diagram? If you think she's having a difficult time with this - she might, good on you for considering that - being there for her is at least nice to offer, even if it isn't needed.

May as well try to see how she's doing, right?
Off to see Diagram.

On the way over there, I scrounge up a spare piece of armor from one of the nearby rooms. Not everyone took all their belongings with them when they left - so I think they won't need it, heh.
I've got a piece of armour that'll protect me from the first shot I take from Mnemosyne.

When I finally arrive, I knock on the door.

There's a shuffling, and-
She... doesn't look especially pleased. And she's got her suppressor on already.

"Sorry, I'm not done with modifying the Amp Ring yet."
Immediately, the door starts sliding closed and I hold it open.
"What? No, I'm not here for that. I'm here to check if things are going alright. Is something up, Diagram?"

Diagram looks at me like I just blew up her latest project.
"There's a lot on my mind, I've got to sort through them on my own. Sorry. Maybe I'll feel up to it tomorrow. It's not your fault, Argine."

What does she mean?
"Wait, Diagram, can you-"
No. 1048955 ID: b708ea
File 166807950582.png - (486.10KB , 1000x1000 , DiaDoor2.png )

She shut the door on me.
When's she ever been this assertive? Something must really be getting her down, then.

I'm not going to try to bother her more now, but I've gotta say, this doesn't feel great.

Tomorrow night? If I chose to do Amica's request, then I'd be able to put a timeslot aside for Diagram and talking things out with her then, but that's IF we want to see Amica at all.

Amica, huh. Purple weirdo's my sister, supposedly.

Nanoweaver made the both of us - but WHY make the two of us? And why make us LIKE this?

>Why NOT try to do something better - or different - if it's the last shot you got?
I... guess. It's a bit different when it's about someone who's alive though. If I try something new with my girls - my guns, they can't tell me that I screwed up their barrel, right? Kind of messed up if Nanoweaver's been doing this behind my back the whole time.

I don't know if I believe Amica yet. I don't know if I WANT to believe Amica yet. What she's said before, about someone lying to me... that's still eating away at me and I'm not sure I want to find out.
Argh, enough of this! Losing to Astrolysis has gotten all my thoughts in a loop. I CAN'T keep going on like this!
No. 1048956 ID: b708ea
File 166807952830.png - (108.66KB , 1000x1000 , thecuuuuube.png )

I head back to my room briefly. I kinda want to talk to Nanoweaver still, but I've left the Prototype SAI behind too long, haven't I?

Here's the plan - I'm going to pass on seeing Nanoweaver because this whole situation with the Project Leads? I've... got a feeling. Not a good or a bad one, but a feeling. Plus, with how she probably did make Amica, there's some truth to what she's saying. I want to investigate, bring back more info to use if I want to pry something out of Nanoweaver.

And there's nothing better than the Prototype SAI. Not to bring it to Nanoweaver and freak her out, since she doesn't want me interacting with Amica but to see why Amica gave it to me in the first place.
Picking up this cube again...
It wasn't like when Amica handed it off to me. Everything then... it was unpleasant.

Now, it seems to be... pulsing? Almost like a heart. Weird. When I dumped it under my bed last time, it wasn't doing anything.
With you around, it's probably re-activated itself again somehow.
When I try to move around the room with it, when I take it closer to the door... it pulses more and more.

This thing's trying to lead me somewhere and I'm going to see where it wants to go.
No. 1048957 ID: b708ea
File 166807954510.png - (547.75KB , 1000x1000 , Office1.png )

Can't say I like the idea that this thing's giving me directions. I mean, Sykes - the lot of you do it, but I can at least EXCHANGE words with you. This thing's... creepy.
A box of dead people or somethin'. Diagram's said that SAI Splinters aren't really full people, so if this thing's meant to be dead, maybe that's why I can't hear anything directly.

I don't know where it's taking me, but I've got a strong guess as to somewhere of relevancy.
And right when I choose to walk in the direction of the Project Lead's office, the pulsing quickens.
Called it.

I barge in, since there's nobody who's going to stop me anyway.

Last time I was in the Project Lead's office was with Diagram. Ironic, since it's where she first told us about her situation with her dad.
We sorted through those documents, so the room's a lot emptier than it used to be now.

I've never really seen the Project Leads at work as much. In fact, they were practically invisible by the time I was around. I never really got to know them like the others.
And for Koilo... I don't think I've heard much about him at all, honestly.

There's... conflicting accounts on what happened. But whatever did happen, he's gone, like Leeza.

>I do wonder though if Koilo in raising Diagram wasn't trying to assuage guilt over - well, everything, but also over the fact of you all have had to effectively skip over your childhoods.

Yeah, I mean... everyone comes out as an adult, since I don't think kids would've been super useful in battle. We still do some learning here and there after we're out, since they can't put everything into our minds with skill traces alone.

>Everyone makes mistakes, ones to learn from - like the flaregun incident, eh?
Har. THAT taught me not to listen to the blind monster who can't even FIRE a gun. I was dumb to even trust her advice when I already knew she couldn't aim for shit.

Scanning around the room for anything suspicious...
The pulsing grows stronger as I get closer to the table - but nothing's on it.
Welp, when in doubt....
I push the table over onto it's side and -
There's a seam in the floor. Fairly hard to notice, actually - the damn thing blends in almost perfectly with the ground, but I guess moving the table across has caused it to shift a little.

I pry the thing up with a bit of effort.

Huh? A case?
I smell secrets.
No. 1048958 ID: b708ea
File 166807955645.png - (351.15KB , 1000x1000 , Office0.png )

The case's lid snaps open with little effort and I almost drop the bloody thing. Who the hell puts the whole weight of a table on top of a false floor panel?
Under the dim light of the office, I can see a sparkle.

This thing...
I'm getting a similar sensation to when Amica first handed me the Prototype SAI.

Are these SAI fragments?
They're trapped inside this little vial, so I'm not hearing anything, but the Prototype led me here to begin with.

Then there's the question of who hid this thing in the first place. It had to be one of the Project Leads, otherwise it doesn't really make sense for it to be here in this office.


It's getting late.
I can sleep on this problem, but...

Do we want to see Amica tomorrow?
This is a pretty important choice, because if we are, I can just get to solving her problems as soon as possible instead of dragging things out.
The alternative is forgoing helping her out and spending the day getting other things done.

Personally, I'm leaning toward helping her since each time I've done something for the people who're most on my side, I get something pretty notable.
Helping Diagram got me the Deck of the Storyteller, helping Nanoweaver got me a new weapon (which, while I didn't get to use it last fight... I get the feeling that being able to block bullets with my arms is going to be useful against someone who can ACTUALLY fire projectiles at me)...
Amica, however weird she is, is still an asset I can make use of. But I also get where everyone's coming from, with not wanting to invest too much time into her in case she decides to up-end this place.

So the question is what we do about her.
No. 1048959 ID: 15c72a

Spooky stuff hidden away in the project lead's office?

Talk to Amica. She convinced Diagram to unlock her, that's gotta mean something.
No. 1048960 ID: e5709d

We see software glitches when we stare at it.
I think you're supposed to inject this into your bloodstream. We'll interrogate it ourselves.

>See Amica
I think your course is obvious: you need to convince her to fight alongside you during the final exam.
What? Judicium got to equip her during your 'duel'. Ask for clarification of the rules if you need further convincing.
No. 1048962 ID: dee951

Immediately injecting strange substances upon finding them, with no precautions or due diligence? WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

That thing is causing visual data glitches when we stare at it. It's obviously broadcasting something. You need to seek at least SOME basic analysis of this thing!
No. 1048966 ID: 30b9f6

>The Cuuuuuuube
So our little memory bundle buddy is calling to us from the beyond, eh? Pulling you to the project leads' office was no mistake. That was intent, which Amica claimed it would have little of. Hm. Well, I guess we're necessary for that to happen, and it's not controlling your body like what occurred when Amica did the handover. I guess we're fine for now, but do stay wary.

>Diagram's father was a project lead?! Why didn't you/she tell me?
So it seems, and the significance to you was lost on us. Frankly, for a while I presumed you knew.

But maybe you just shouldn't make too big a deal out of it? Diagram may have appreciated your unvarnished view of her as just... herself and not someone painted by her adoptive father's influence or legacy. Does this even REALLY change anything between you? If you're upset you know so little about her - well... it's not like you asked much about those kinds of things before, right? More interested in ballistics and engineering challenges, as I recall, and we witnessed your attempts at chit-chat during gal-pal night AND your rapid zoning out, so I'm not sure Diagram is entirely to blame here.

If you want to learn more about someone, you do have to have patience for topics outside of your immediate interests.

>Leeza gone
So the Princess is dead too. That's two project leads and one soldier - with a significant love relationship to a Parasigna-using clone. Despite this place being far removed from the war. I think we can shift the hypothesis needle away from Armintell's gunshot being some training accident. It may be better to presume that something went down - a confrontation? an experiment gone wrong? - and that people died as a consequence, including top brass. There was also that memorial you went to. Mnemosyne said it went up for 'a few people who died', which suggests those deaths might've occurred at the same time.

>Diagram's rebuff
At a guess - and it's really only a guess - Diagram's dream-hack may have prompted her to do some digging into the past and she may not be enjoying what she's finding. It would definitely involve people she knows (or knew) and it would be disconcerting to discover that people you've considered friends, colleagues or parents were more involved in... unpleasant things than you'd thought. Or lied to you about them.

Hm. She did admit to Amica that she was staying around for a certain someone (+you). Someone who she said she cared a lot about, although she couldn't exactly express why. A bit weird, wasn't it? Could that be a symptom of the Pacification Trigger at work? I can't imagine the internal conflict that'd cause if you figured out you've been liking and listening to someone because your genes were literally telling you to.

>Integrate SAI splinter!
Ah. I'd suggest that you in no way shape or form integrate unknown SAI splinters into yourself/us without at least someone else around to handle potential repercussions by, say, being ready to remove them again. Among those who probably could, I'd count Nanoweaver, Diagram and - sigh - probably Amica.

That said, we're getting the same static-y vibes from these splinters as we did from the cube, if not as strongly, which suggests something is going on in the background. You might be unintentionally integrating something through sheer proximity - by way of wifi or whatever makes the SAI network function.

Could these splinters have been kept in that specific box for a reason to prevent a bleedover/access effect into the local SAI network? Can you see anything special about that box it was kept in? Would it have served as some sort of faraday cage?

Regardless, you now have hands on secret memory recordings that some project lead kept hidden from others, and it's entirely possible there's upsetting materials within. Also, Lirren had the tools to remove SAI splinters and Patz knew about those, so those two are (for now) the most likely suspects of who could have made this memory dead drop. The real question is what do we do with them? Whoever you hand these off to for analysis - if you don't just leave it be or attempt the probably not great direct absorption idea - sounds like it'd be fairly significant for what comes next. They may deal with what's discovered poorly, or deal with it by hiding it from you. Hmph. If only you had the time and know-how to find one of those SAI memory reconstruction wizards on a computer terminal or something, you could investigate these splinters yourself.

But if you had to turn to someone, then out of all of the SAI-savvy types I'd probably still trust Diagram the most - there is also her having difficulty lying while her suppression is off. Sadly, we don't know how heavily things are affecting her and how long it'll take her to get back into a decent frame of mind. For one, Diagram has a lot more free time she can spend on digging into things than you do, which could end up with her really going down the rabbit hole for a bit. Meanwhile, you have to balance prepping for the tournament with messing about with all of these friggening ssssecretsss.

Time. I would argue you need more of it, just so you can absorb info, pry into the context of all you're discovering AND readying yourself for your match against Mnemosyne.

Which means you should just Avoid Amica entirely. You don't need her feeling you up for info - like she literally did last time. Yes, I'm sure you could get something from her - something significant - but things always come with caveats from her, and it's a real distraction from the tournament. Even Diagram's gotten distracted, possibly thanks to her if she was behind the hack, which could hurt your odds. Like, what if she can't complete the Amp Rings on time?
No. 1048969 ID: e51896

agreed, lets not see Amica right now
No. 1049030 ID: fab065

Yeah, when Diagram she had a father, I had assumed it was one of the higher-tier researchers here, since those are really the only males allowed anywhere near Site-70. Even before the playback confirmed it. I'm surprised you didn't come to the same conclusion.

I suspect helping Amica will bite us in the ass down the line, someway, somehow, but at this juncture, I submiy to that fate.
Let us walk boldly into the trap. Lo que será, será.

As for the contents of the vial, maybe we should..... try to combine them with the cube?

Also, what was the name of this world? And after all this is over, shouldn't we go searching for survivors so they don't get erased?
No. 1049136 ID: 15a025

Showing this to Diagram is probably our safest bet.
No. 1049249 ID: b708ea
File 166842140025.png - (535.04KB , 1000x1000 , MassiveRegret.png )

>Maybe we're supposed to interrogate them!

...I may have some weird ideas sometimes, but even I can tell injecting things into myself is a terrible idea. And I don't even have a needle.

>You need to seek at least SOME basic analysis of this thing!
>Showing this to Diagram's probably the best bet.
Yeah, I agree. Nanoweaver's acting weird whenever I bring the likes of Amica up and the Prototype SAI led me into finding this, so Diagram's the only real option when it comes to figuring this out.

>So our little memory bundle buddy is calling to us from the beyond, eh? Pulling you to the project leads' office was no mistake. That was intent, which Amica claimed it would have little of.

Yeah, that is a bit weird. This is a guess, but, what if it's like... a ghost, but made outta technology? I'm going off what I've seen from a movie or two, but maybe why the prototype SAI resonated with that area was because it was trying to find more fragments to make itself complete? I've got no clue what makes a SAI 'alive' or 'dead', but it WAS pretty still before we decided to dig further.

>But maybe you just shouldn't make too big a deal out of (Diagram's dad being a Project Lead)?
>Does this even REALLY change anything between you?
Maybe not. It's more that...
She's supposed to have been someone I was on good terms with, but even if she knows what I'm like, everything happening of late shows that I know too little about her.

>You did zone out during that conversation during gal-pal night.
Oy oy oy, that was BECAUSE THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT STUPID THINGS. If there's one thing I don't care about at all, it's interpersonal drama, what soldier did what, who got into a fight with each other... the two of them were talking about that and you could not pay me enough rations to pay attention to those kinds of details.
I'm not really good at talking to other people.
Other people can be weird. It's not like with machines or guns where they all have rules. Follow those rules and they'll perform fine. If not, then they'll jam on you.

>Diagram's dream-hack may have prompted her to do some digging into the past and she may not be enjoying what she's finding.
Yeah. Especially if it's about Koilo's daughter, right? Because I have a feeling he wasn't talking about Diagram if that's the case.

>She did admit to Amica that she was staying around for a certain someone, someone she cares a lot about.
I just... wonder who that's supposed to be. I mean, Diagram gets along decently with a lot of people and she works with Nanoweaver. Nobody's really coming to mind but I don't think she's staying behind just for me, especially since I don't think I've been doing a good job at being friends with her.

>Can you see anything special about the box the SAI Splinters were kept in?
Hrmm... maybe? It does seem a bit heavier than usual for something that's so small, so maybe you're onto something about it blocking signals from the SAI. But if that's the case... was the dead SAI picking it up because of how different it was? Why hadn't Amica gone to grab it earlier?
Point is, it's secret - and the Project Leads wanted to keep it secret. Something Lirren and Patz didn't take with them when they left.

I want to see Diagram and try to smooth things over in future.
But whatever we do will have to wait until tomorrow. I'm not going to see Amica - there's more I have to get done still.


If I knew breakfast was going to be like this, I wouldn't have shown up at all.

Before I could even get a single bite in, Astrolysis had to show up, drag up a chair and won't let me leave.

"What's the matter, Wirehead? You haven't even touched your ration yet."
It's... horrible.
I don't have the appetite any more.
No. 1049250 ID: b708ea
File 166842143107.png - (629.16KB , 1000x1000 , DISGUSTANG.png )

The half-congealed goo's just... splashing all over her. Is this stuff even supposed to be like that? I thought it was meant to be more like jelly.
"That's because ALL of them are on your side! AND I DON'T WANT ANY OF THOSE ANYWAY!"

The infamous omelet rations. The worst the facility ever got. If the inventor of these were still alive, I'd shoot him in the leg for plaguing our facility with an excess stock of this stuff. When we're this late into the project that made us, of course we're going to start running out of the better options.
"Eh. More for me!"

She's squeezing them into her mouth like energy gel packets.
It's... it's getting all over her fur! Does she even care about that?

I can smell it all the way from over here and it only makes it even worse.
"Why do you like those?"

"Whmehrlmkk eezkhuzz eeddayyslokrhk."
I didn't get a word of that.
Be glad that you don't have more senses built into you, Sykes. This is the worst.

Finally, she swallows the... mass and starts speaking in a more understandable way.
No. 1049251 ID: b708ea
File 166842145941.png - (478.15KB , 1000x1000 , moduleproposals.png )

"So here's the deal, wirehead..."
Little bits of the... jelly-like egg omelet ration are flying out of her mouth as she talks.
It's disturbing.

"You help me break into Creampuff's office so I can take something of hers and I'll hook you up with one of the gadgets you didn't get, 'cuz you lost."

I really don't like how she phrased that.
"Who's Creampuff? Ozone?"

"Yeah, her. I heard that she's got this COOL SWORD that she dug up from somewhere and I wanna get my hands on it. Maybe I'll keep it if I like it enough!"

...Is she talking about that decorative sword that belonged to Leeza before? You told me that she was a princess, so maybe that explains why it was so fancy. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone talking about a Project Lead being a princess though, so it probably was under wraps.

"Look at it this way. If you didn't get your ass kicked, this woulda been free. You helpin' me out, well, that's time you coulda used elsewhere, yeah? So it works out, it's all fair."

I'm not sure that Ozone or the others would have the same kind of logic as Astrolysis, but if she's giving me this opportunity then... ugh.
I don't HAVE to do what she says, though. Provoking Ozone would be pretty fun, but I also wouldn't want her bothering me again in future. Maybe if I could pin the blame on Astrolysis during the heist or somethin', then I'd be able to avoid suspicion.

Whatever we choose, here's how it'll pan out -

If we do end up helping Astrolysis, that's going to be all three timeslots we've approximately got today. We WILL get a new gadget out of this - one of the two that I should've gotten from Astrolysis, if I won last time. But it's pretty likely to also piss off Ozone, which I don't mind but could cause problems for us.
I doubt Astrolysis would cheat me out of the gadget but she's going to be an absolute pain in the ass to work with - planning the theft is going to take a whole timeslot alone, even if it's trivially easy for me to get in and out of places due to our ability to just hack any door open.
The other two timeslots are going to involve us waiting for the right time for when nobody's around to check up on us, breaking, searching and then returning things back to normal so she doesn't immediately figure out that we were the ones who took it. It's going to be a complicated plan, especially since I can't trust Astrolysis not to screw things up in the process.

If we choose to forgo helping Astrolysis, she may just let us help at a different time, but who knows what goes on in her head? This may be the only opportunity we get to obtain one of her gadgets otherwise.
Point is, skipping it also lets us have the rest of today prepping even more for Mnemosyne's fight, in exchange for this opportunity.

What's the call, Sykes?
No. 1049252 ID: 15c72a

Fuck no! What kind of hero helps steal a sword that clearly has so much sentimental value? You don't even have a grudge against Ozone, and Astrolysis doesn't even have a good reason to want it.
Tell Astrolysis if she wants to see the sword so much she can just ask to see it. You know, like a normal person.
No. 1049253 ID: e5709d

Most people don't have enough memory or willpower to comprehend life. That includes us fragments.
Sociopathy is when someone is so emotionally hollow inside that they can't help but stalk every detail until they find the developer tools to society itself. Hence the villainy.

Blind is based.

Steal the sword for yourself.
Point the blame on Astrolysis.
Then deconstruct the @#$%er and see if they added any enchantments to it. Enchantments you can use against Ozone.
No. 1049254 ID: dee951


Good lord, are we giving up every semblance of morality and restraint now? Ugh. Devoped tools to society? Ugh, please! Game theory states that a cooperative stance is most optimal in situations where you will continue to meet the other actors over time, and especially if there is a system for punishing defectors. Like, you know... in an insular, closed society withbat least an attempt at military discipline?
No. 1049255 ID: 398700

This is the kind of bad idea that makes people think you're an honorless pratt on top of hating you for less justified reasons. They'll only try harder to destroy us.

Let's not, it undercuts us tactically for comparatively little benefit.
No. 1049266 ID: 30b9f6

>Worst ration
Haha, omelet is at least good protein and the big gal needs her chow - and so probably do you. Choke it down, Argine, some water'll help.

Weird that you're not getting fresher supplies through the Weave Nexus, though. They're at least kicking something through, right? The odd care package from some of the people who already left - if nothing else? About the only thing we've seen for sure that must've come through it he letter and bullet you found in Judi's office.

>table manners
I suppose Astro's don't care about the mess she makes when she can't see the atrocious results. She'd need some friend to care, or a role model, to shape her up on that, but goodness knows if there's anyone left here that'd be up to do that - and whose opinions she'd care to listen to.

At least pass her some tissues. (Or toss them at her.)

>What's the call?
The call... is that Astrolysis needs to work on her pitch. No actual offense - she could at least have informed you what the gadgets were to tempt you, so you know what you'd be missing out on. That's just basic salesmanship.

Plus, YOU know this would get Ozone royally pissed (pun intended) since the blade clearly got sentimental value to her. And you have multiple things to do and could section up your day for that, not just spend the entire thing planning and executing a heist - as, uh, exciting as that prospect sounds, actually. Maybe it'd be worth it if we knew or suspected the blade itself held some kind of special property or secret... but as far as we know, it is 'just' a dead project lead's blade, right?

So, the offer doesn't seem good enough on its own. You'd have to upscale the deal, get some other benefit, or have things change, to consider it again, I'd say. Or use the break-in as an opportunity to gather intel and maybe discreetly sabotage Ozone's own prepwork. She's bound to rely on heavy gear a lot, so sugar in the gas tank and those kinds of fun, hard-to-notice tricks could actually help you out a lot. Not very fair, though.

Anyway, since Astrolysis doesn't seem to be very in the know, you could tell her you were the one to actually find the blade. The COOL SWORD was indeed COOL - straight, fairly long, had that whole spiky Asliann sun-pattern handguard thing going, really big hilt - and you know for sure it used to belong to Leeza Wickerknell. Then... say you're not keen on helping snatch it back, even for a gadget. There was something about the look in Ozone's eyes when you handed it to her - after the teeny tyrant first blackmailed you into helping her find it - that makes you think she's not going to take losing it well.

I'd say this is simply a bad idea that you'll - for once, for now - have to pass on. Frankly, if anything, you can confidently state that Astrolysis' sword was the more badass of the two - Leeza's didn't seem like it could split fucking atoms!

>Redirect Astrolysis
Tell her if she's so keen, why not impose on Ozone and pester her to lend it out for a bit? You doubt she'll say yes immediately, but if Astro's got nothing better to do while waiting for this 'joke tournament' to come to its conclusion... well, as the (sigh) victor of her match, she's not pressed for preptime, is she? So she's got little to lose by going over to ask nicely - and, y'know, threaten Ozone's prep time by imposing.

(Get Astro to bother Ozone using the same tactic used on you. A smidge of turnabout is fair play, isn't it?)
No. 1049272 ID: a2d88b

No way, you're not so desperate as to give up on having standards.
No. 1049456 ID: b708ea
File 166859601902.png - (532.45KB , 1000x1000 , Sourgine.png )

>What kind of hero helps steal a sword that clearly has so much sentimental value?
>This is the kind of bad idea that makes people think you're an honorless pratt.
>No way, you're not so desperate as to give up on having standards.

Yeah, you know what? I don't NEED another gadget. Even if I'm desperate to escape this place, I'm not going to play servant to Astrolysis of all people.
I don't need people like Ozone breathing down my neck, or giving them MORE excuses to hate me.

>Astrolysis needs to work on her pitch.
What, you think she's any kind of good negotiator at all? She threw the previous sector boss off a balcony. Heh. I could ask, but there's no point when I'm not going to help her out to begin with.

"Sod off, cheesehead. I don't need to make MORE enemies in this place. I'm not taking your deal."
Astrolysis doesn't change in mood at all and picks up another ration packet.
"Eh. Whatever you say, wirehead."

I stand and leave - I'll go grab breakfast a later time, when she's NOT gorging herself on that slop.

>Weird that you're not getting fresher supplies through the Weave Nexus, though.
Well, we do. That's when it isn't on lockdown because they're trying to stop me from breaking out with your help.

>You could tell her that you were the one to find the blade.
And give her free info? Nah.

>Tell her if she's so keen, why not impose on Ozone and pester her to lend it out for a bit?
Ooh, now THAT'S an idea I can get behind.

I stop, giving her a quick parting blow.
"Hey, if you're really keen on that sword, why not go and pester Ozone about it ? Have her lend it to you. And if she doesn't say yes, you could just keep asking!"

The brute scratches her chin thoughtfully, like her singular braincell is pingponging around in that skull of hers. Her fingers are quickly stained by the goo splattered over her face.
"Yeah, not a bad call, wirehead! I'll go ask, heh heh."

And with that, she goes and continues... 'eating'.

>I suppose Astro's don't care about the mess she makes when she can't see the atrocious results. She'd need some friend to care, or a role model, to shape her up on that, but goodness knows if there's anyone left here that'd be up to do that - and whose opinions she'd care to listen to.
She listens to Nickel's opinions but that's it. I don't think either of 'em care about table manners.

>As far as we know, the sword didn't have any special properties to it, right?
Yeah. I couldn't feel anything THAT special 'bout it when I picked it up. If there were hidden mechanisms inside, it would've been harder for me to break it down as part of my Parasignia.
Point is, I'm getting out of here. I don't want to hear OR smell whatever Astrolysis is doing over there.
No. 1049457 ID: b708ea
File 166859603845.png - (366.23KB , 1000x1000 , PLANNINGUNDEUX.png )

I'm going to try to get through these as fast as I can, so try to give me multiple options when you're suggesting my next move.

1. Do a task for Judicium for more armour.
Remember, while I've already found a piece of armour - the armor Judi has access to since she's the person who knows where everything's kept, they go OVER any armor I can find. Specialized plating, basically. Means I get to have an extra layer of protection without overencumbering me. As such, another piece of armor will null another instance of damage I would've taken.

2. Talk to Nanoweaver and clear things up for our sake.
There were a LOT of options we considered for talking to Nanoweaver. If we're going to see her again, make it clear what we're going to be asking about. I don't think she's going to take well to us interrogating her - if we're going to do this, tell me which question you'd like for me to focus on prying out from her.

3. Train with Nickel again to complete her set of training. Not much to say here but the only thing she's got left to teach me is Marksmanship.

4. See Judi and ask her for advice against Mnemosyne. Technically this is different to asking her for armor because this is more of a straightforward conversational task. I don't know exactly what it'll take for her to open up on it, but it's a strong option.

5. Tinker with my gadgets again. As far as I can tell, I've pushed the Pitch Prefect and the Barrier Generator pretty far already, so it's going to be difficult to find more applications for it. Alternatively, I could try to improve my actual weaponry as well - particularly my guns. Maybe going up against all these people with friggin' MAGIC SHIELDS has made me realize that armor penetration alone isn't going to cut it. Not that Mnemosyne and Ozone have the same kind of defensive capability as Astrolysis, but I feel that my girls could use a little love and polish. Pick a specific thing for me to improve in this case.

6. Try to learn... SOMETHING from Astrolysis. Dunno if she'd be down for this given that I turned down her plan to take Ozone's sword, but if Nickel offered to train me before, then Astrolysis probably can provide some knowledge herself. I don't like her - not when she pounded me into the concrete last time, but she could let some important info slip if I choose to hang around her.

And... this idea only came up now that I've talked to Astrolysis but...
We COULD sneak into other people's rooms and dig for info ourselves. All of the Sector Bosses gotta be hiding some kind of beef, right? That... includes my sister too. So I'm adding this as an option.

7. Sneak into a given Sector Boss' room for information. We can enter and leave pretty much without being detected and if we just delete the logs of us breaking into their doors and if we don't take anything, then there's no problem!
We've snuck into Judi's office before so it's not like we're heading in there to STEAL things from them. But it could provide valuable info - as long as it's someone WORTH investigating.

Diagram... I'm reserving the slot that would've gone to Intermingling with other people for her this evening. So we'll see her after everything is done.
So which of these options do you feel like would benefit us the most?
No. 1049462 ID: 9a2966

1 - Armor. Do the Judi task. Let's give ourselves some additional slip-up room. (Caveat: if the task is long and complicated you can afford declining here.)

2 - Advice. Get word from Judi. She and Mnemosyne are contemporaries and have known each other long. Draw her into conversation about her colleague by presenting the Armintell file and say you've visited the memorial outside. What was that all about? Did she know the guy? Say Mnemosyne mentioned they were close. Was he her trainer? You can dig into Mnemosyne's fighting style from that angle.

3 - Sneak. Mnemosyne sector. Get a tactical overview, lay of the land, areas to avoid to not get caught off-guard by her Parasignia.

4 -See. Nanoweaver. You don't have to be too confrontational, but ask why she gave you the Armintell file. Then ask... about us. The SAI. If you hadn't mentioned it already, mention lowkey that you're getting visions and you don't like it, or the implications of getting flashbacks when you previously hadn't. Bring up that gun analogy - goes ping all of a sudden, bad sign, right? Get her to explain what makes you different and why bringing the SAI into the picture changed things.

If she's reluctant, you could try to press about Amica instead. Why are the two so hostile to one another, when she made her? You've been informed she's kinda-sorta powered by Nano's Parasignia in the first place - how does that even work? (Diagram's reaction to meeting her - and how unrealistic according to regular science she felt an entity like her was - means we think there's some truth to this.)

It was quite tempting to suggest finishing Nickel's training too - improved Marksmanship while moving IS good, since strong wind can move you whether you want to or not - but I imagine that's going to take up a large time slot, so you might not be able to squeeze in as much. Better to take your time to train properly later - though I won't mind getting outvoted on something on this.
No. 1049476 ID: e5709d
File 166862727291.jpg - (9.54KB , 250x251 , burial_blade.jpg )

1) Tinker.
This... is the burial blade. It's one of my favorites; a collapsible scythe modification that can turn your sword into a bent spear. Scythes were once considered the tools of the psychopomps, and the designer of this weapon intended its use for sending the tormented to a long-overdue grave.
One of its stronger features is the extendable range; with the right mechanisms, the blade can shift to a straightened spear mid-swing, increasing the range of your attacks while catching your mid-range opponents off-guard. The original design used blood-based mods to increase its powers, and I suspect that applying gadgets to your trick weapons means you can swap weapon mods with different weapon stances.
Having a four-foot pole is also useful in the long run.

Other than that, do >>1049462
No. 1049486 ID: 15c72a

5. Tinker with your guns, see if you can give them Plug's quickdraw ability, or the knives' penetration. Also, can you experiment to find out what happens if you combine Plug with your guns?
5. Tinker, see if you can get your explosives to make bigger booms or your laser to output more energy.
1. More armor, and also, ask her for advice on how to be a hero, because the fact that you considered Astrolysis's task at all is a big red flag. I need to stress this again, that would have been EXTREMELY unheroic. Committing crimes or causing suffering for personal gain is not what a hero does.
No. 1049544 ID: d4674b

The previous suggestions sound very good, but maybe instead of asking Judicium for armor, we should improve either the capability of our guns to pierce through super powered barriers, their accuracy, or the blink capacitor, so we can move around the battlefield faster.
No. 1049545 ID: 15c72a

Oh shit that's right. If we can extend the range of the blink capacity, or reduce its cooldown, that'll help a lot for maneuverability.
No. 1049663 ID: 15a025

Only thing I feel strongly about is working with Judi to get another piece of armor.
No. 1049750 ID: b708ea
File 166902592463.png - (809.52KB , 1000x1000 , TinkerTrainin.png )

>The fact that you considered Astrolysis's task at all is a big red flag. I need to stress this again, that would have been EXTREMELY unheroic.
Hey, look, I asked specifically because I wanted to see what some of you splinters had to say.
If there's someone you should go and talk to, then go and sort things out amongst yourselves first.
And I turned her down, alright? Don't get on my case. You haven't been dealing with her for years of your life, only a dozen days at best.

Whatever. I'm going to get started.

Tinker time. What'll it be?

>A collapsible scythe modification that can turn your sword into a bent spear!

...Hate to say it, Syke, but I'm NOT a swordsmith. And doesn't that kinda sound like it's going to absolutely bust whatever weight balances and polish that Astrolysis put into it?

>Tinker with your guns, see if you can give them Plug's quickdraw ability, or the knives' penetration.

Now that's something I can get behind.
What I'm going to work on are my gals - The Sound and the Fury.
Hate to say it, but they've really been falling off considering the increased levels of defense my opponents have been putting up. They did well enough against Judicium, but that was three fights ago. Against Mnemosyne, Ozone and my sister? They need some upgrades. I've already got a few in mind.

I'm surprised Judi ended up making my new outfit with holsters considering I normally haul these two around in my noggin' or wherever my weapons go when they're not manifested. But it does mean I don't have to make 'em myself.
I did some... lateral thinking. If I can bring my weapons to me while fusing them together, then I could do a simpler version of it as a recall method.
Takes me a couple of attempts to train myself to do it right... but soon, my guns are flying right back into my fingers.
So now, I can keep The Sound and the Fury on me at all times, and I've got the capability to draw them back towards me if I'm ever disarmed.
Just those two though, because my other guns - I haven't been around them as much. Moving guns with my mind's tricky, alright?

I've yet to be given an opportunity to even use the damn studs on the grip because most of my opponents aren't just going to let me beat their heads in. But no, I am NOT throwing my guns at people as a strategy. They're guns! THEY SHOOT BULLETS!

Besides... why would I throw 'em when I've also improved bullet velocity as well?
A big issue and part of the reason why my guns have been underperforming was because these few fights have been my honest first few times fighting against other Parasignia users. I know Parasignias are part of why we don't exactly die when we're shot, but that also means whatever physical trauma we receive is lessened. I don't think my head would've been very intact when I got shot by Nickel that one time otherwise.
So by compensating for that and adjusting the output of the bullets, I can at least, give myself SOME extra force behind my shots without having to combine the gals with one of my other weapons. Awesome.

In addition, this change means I now save a slot for my other guns, though given that I only have Plug, the Silkweave Gauntlets, the Creirwy D-3 and the H-ED DSTR, that just means I can have all three of my main guns on me at one time. When I get more guns in future though, it means that I'll always have access to my gals, for Guns Blazing or for general use.
No. 1049751 ID: b708ea
File 166902594330.png - (789.71KB , 1000x1000 , TinkerTwo.png )

Developing all of this takes time. Grabbed lunch while you weren't looking, since I skipped breakfast because of Astrolysis.
So next up then - nothing said I couldn't fix up more than one item per day, right? I've got a hankering for more improvements and engineering.
It's relaxing to just - figure problems out like this and address them the best I can, especially since the gadgets we use often have a lot of different principles behind them. With the Blink Capacitor, that thing's made with exotic technology - so it took me much longer than I'd like to figure it out.
But I wouldn't be a bloody badass if I couldn't handle it, heh.

Here's the biggest change - I've basically doubled the range on the Blink Capacitor. The tech behind the thing's pretty weird, but Diagram did say she was pulling from tech similar to the Weave Nexus, so I'll consider this a look at understanding similar tech when I'm outta here.

Before, though I've never really measured the Blink Capacitor's raw distance, it was something like... 4 or so meters at most. Enough to get me behind people, through a door, so on.
Now? It's roughly 12 meters. That's much more and to put it into perspective: Before, I was able to teleport behind people and occasionally dodge attacks. I don't have to go the full 12 meters, but it lets me reach the roof of the Foundry's buildings without having to stand right next to a wall. Keep that in mind in future since we can use the Blink Capacitor for more manoeuvres in future. I still can't go though solid matter, but stuff like wider wire meshes, I could probably slip through. Not sure I want to test that theory though.
I think Diagram really meant it when she said that it was unfinished like the Amp Rings - it took me the better part of this afternoon testing and tinkering to get this much mileage out of the teleport.

I wasn't able to improve the cooldowns before - and keep in mind, each time we were using the Blink Capacitor, we were slotting the Beam Unit into it perpetually, which made it have unlimited uses and faster charge. So while I can't improve the cooldown on it much further without the damn thing exploding, I have given it functionally unlimited uses, or at least enough uses to last me a whole fight without any issue. That being said, if I was engaged in some kind of long-term fight with RAPID teleportation usage, I wouldn't be surprised if the thing gave out on my eventually. Slotting the Beam Unit into it will still give improved cooldowns however.

>Also, can you experiment to find out what happens if you combine Plug with your guns?

Yeah, sure.

It takes me a bit.
And uh...
Putting the whole thing aside - using Guns Blazing to combine my gals with Plug - I get what seem to be axe guns. THROWING axe guns.
I guess that... that works. I'm still not throwing my NORMAL guns at people, because the idea of someone catching them to disarm me is a pretty real possibility.
Given that I can recall my guns to me through the new recall feature, throwing axes are definitely much more viable. If I was a melee weapon freak like Astrolysis, throwing axes probably would have been my first creation.

But with that, I think I'm good to go for now on the tinkering.
Next up, finding Judi.
No. 1049752 ID: b708ea
File 166902596359.png - (809.73KB , 1000x1000 , LastChatFortheday.png )

Took me a bit to actually find Judi, but here she is.

"Hey, Judi - question for you. Could you tell me about Armintell? I was doing some tasks and I paid a visit to the memorial outside."
She stops, seemingly happy at being able to chat to me.
Granted, I'm not sure how much Judi knows about the situation with the SAI - but I get the impression she knew a lot more than she initially let on if she's this friendly with me.

"Haven't heard that name in a long while. I didn't get to interact with him much, so there's not much I think I can say, but he was close to Mnemosyne. That much was true."

"Was he her trainer?"

She guffaws.
"If by trainer, you mean throw pillow, then yes, I suppose that would be accurate. We are objectively stronger than most regular people, at least the ones from this world before we got connected to the Weave. Still, Armintell put up a good fight. It's just - our lives were less valuable than the lives of the normal soldiers. We were created to be their replacements. So, forgive me for laughing, but - he was a bit of a funny man in that sense."

I'm changing the topic.
"Does Mnemosyne have any favored ways of approaching the situation when she was training with Armintell? She's good at all kinds of weapons but I've only seen her fight a few times."
And... those were impressive times indeed. If anything, I wonder why she stayed here when she could've easily made a name for herself in the Weave.

"I suppose Mnemosyne did have a strong fondness for CQC despite her proficiency with multiple different weapons. But she's fond of gadgets, much like you are - and she's got the flexibility to adapt to a lot of situations."
She laughs - again. It's so weird, hearing her so cheery. Was she hiding this side of herself this whole time?
But, yeah. It's easy to forget the Sector Bosses DO have gadgets - Judi used a flashburst on me in our fight. Or rather Amica did.

"Maybe after your fight, you could ask her for a tip or two. I'm sure she'd appreciate a new training partner, especially one as resilient as you, Argine."
"What do you mean?"

"Even despite your circumstances, you've remained determined to see your goal through. I understand that I've played a role in being antagonistic to you - but seeing you grow and improve is a good thing. The SAI must definitely be helping you out plenty. Studying under Mnemosyne could really help further your own progress."
In the past, I'd have agreed. But when I needed to win the most, I still lost out. Am I really resilient at all if I lost my way at such an important time?

"Though I understand why you're hesitant to see her, I think there's some traits in you that she'd appreciate. Armintell - while he was less outspoken than you, he was steadfast. The man had his principles and stuck to them."
There's a look in her eye.
"But he certainly wasn't bad. Few could keep up with us - and yet, he still made the effort to. Their sparring brought the best out of both of them. Maybe you could help her relive some of those memories?"

I change the topic. We can decide what to do AFTER I win my next fight.
"So... what happened to him?"
I don't have to show off his casualty report - playing my whole hand at once when I already have an excuse's just wasting tools I have up my sleeve.

"Ah... it's a sensitive topic, Argine. Soldiers from the younger generation don't talk about it as much because ones from the older generation are hesitant to bring it up. He did die and that's something strangely rare in this place."

She strokes her chin thoughtfully.
"He died fighting off people who attacked the base. Multiple good soldiers died in that attack and things were never quite the same around here ever since."

"How'd this base get attacked? We're in the middle of nowhere."
They'd have to have come by boat if that was the case.

"Infiltration, it seems. The identities of the people involved were kept under wraps but a few people betrayed us. I was never directly involved at the time, so I was left out of the loop on things. I had to get my information afterward."

So we were attacked from within? I've got a bad feeling about this.
"It's a sensitive topic. We lost some good people - and you know how your fellow soldiers can get. Whatever truly happened, information didn't spread around too quickly. A riot wouldn't have fixed the problem at all and the Project Leads didn't want that happening. As such, it's a bit of a taboo talking about it, but..."

She shakes her head.
"There's nobody here to start a riot anyway. It's just something you should know."

The topic definitely doesn't seem to be one she wants to linger on as she changes it herself.
"Will that be all, Argine?"
I was going to ask her for some armor, but to be honest, I don't think I have the time to do a task for her at this rate. I'll pass.

"Yeah, thanks for the info. And thanks again for the outfit."

I walk off, leaving Judi alone.
So now the only thing I've got left in the day is seeing Diagram.

Me... I want to ask about her dad and see her account of things. Maybe not going into everything that you saw then, since I wasn't there for it - but what's the most pressing question to you guys? I wasn't there for it, so I'm having to go off of what info I've heard so far.

That, and I'm concerned about overstepping my bounds. What's the strategy here? I want to know what happened but I'm worried about pushing too much and getting kicked out - not exactly great at reading social cues, so I'll admit I want your help with this.
No. 1049754 ID: 15c72a

If we hadn't been against it, would you still have turned her down? Gone against our advice, for ethical reasons?

>Judicium is acting totally differently now
Huh, she wasn't like that before she was ordered to be strict with you? ...maybe she's more of an actor than I thought.

Diagram? Ask her what we're really made to do. This is a good time to find out exactly how much she's ready to tell you, and us by extension.
No. 1049773 ID: 9a2966

>Badass toolmaker
Crafting for the win - and the fun. Glad you got to enjoy yourself for a bit there.

Persistence is a kind of superpower all of its own, true enough. Though now that I look back, Patz seems to have done a bit of matchmaking between Armintell and Mnemosyne - he planted the seed of fraternization as it were. In hindsight, given Mnemosyne being one of the first clones and there being a secret plan for some sort of psychological pacification trigger, I think that's somewhat suspicious. If it was implemented they would've wanted to test this feature and see it actually work. Possibly to fine-tune it for later generations.

That said, I doubt Armintell would've been involved in the sus direct. From the memories he really was just some regular grunt - if a dedicated one.

>Was she hiding this side of herself this whole time?
Possible, but she was also inhabiting a different role as your teacher and superior officer and with her loss in the tourney and the approaching deadline... the relationship dynamic shifted, no? Don't forget you also figured out she didn't actually hate you and want you dead. When you lowered your hackles, it's not like she'd have any reason to keep up her own guard.

>Why did Mnemosyne stay?
Syne said it herself... kinda. This place is too important to her. The thought of leaving it behind when you've such a history and formed so many significant memories probably hurts, and it's an open question whether that psychological trigger is playing a part. Yet, to be fettered by the past is never something a loved one would want for someone they truly cared for. At some point Mnemosyne will have to deal with that fact and move on. Maybe it's possible to help her there, somehow.

>Attack on the Island
Infiltrators, multiple soldiers dead... yeah, that would've set a bad tone, increased suspicion and paranoia - must be why it got shushed so hard. Feels strange that there was no follow-up sabotage efforts or that the project site wasn't moved after it got outed, though. Either the higher ups must've been pretty confident this was a one-off thing and that they caught most or all the infiltrators or they thought they could defend the site regardless. Or... who knows, maybe something else actually went down.

It might be nothing, but also take note that Judi mentioned multiple soldiers dying in the attack. That MIGHT have included Leeza, but for sure wouldn't have included Koilo, as a scientist and project lead. Could Diagram's father have passed away under different circumstances, or was it all the one incident?

>Mnemosyne training
Would be nice to finish up Nickel's regime first, but if you get through this match while still on Mnemo's good side you should seek her out. You're both gadget-using generalists and she's got far more experience than you. Judi did not suggest this lightly, I think.

>not reveal everything since I wasn't there
Fair, but I feel it's worth commenting the extent to which we - even if we weren't the source - were piggybacking some kind of targeted remote access that fed Diagram a whole bunch of reconstructed memories while she slept. She might be in the process of being manipulated here, so she should be informed there's something a bit iffy went on and that we were involved somehow.

>concerned about overstepping bounds
Just ask if she's feeling better, if you can have a chat, and say you might have some stupid questions but she can freely nix those. Don't get upset at her if she does or the answers don't satisfy. Externalized frustration won't serve much when someone's putting up a wall - they'll typically just fortify harder at that. I do think you're right to be concerned though, this whole business has been ripping into her. Remember when you saved her? She had to be crying and and being bullied for a reason. Remember how sad she looked when she found that photo of Troveheart and her father and you had to give her a hug? There's some genuine trauma here. Whatever happened to Koilo it must've left Diagram hurting, from loss, or worse.

I half suspect you not giving - or knowing - anything about her or her father was part of what made her your easy friend. So whatever else, you're not here to give her grief. If anything you want to clarify you realized how oblivious you've been about her wants, her past, her motivations... and you're wondering whether that's a fault of yours, or something that was okay for her? And whether she actually wants to ever talk about it.

She made the point a while back that the two of you may not have a great deal of time left together, so with this being one of the few times you're gonna sit down - without having to locate each other through the Weave somehow - you should try to keep it good. Start small talk by showing off today's gadget improvements - she might appreciate starting with a familiar sort of topic, get her on more even mental ground.

If the Amp Rings aren't ready just tell her to take her time on them. No need to pull an all-nighter, you're pretty okay prepped for the Mnemosyne encounter anyway.

>pressing questions
Keep the press low, if steady, if she's up for it. Just let her in on some of what you know, given what we've told you. Can she verify she had the dream? Has she figured out how she might've gotten remotely accessed by the SAW while sleeping? Can she prevent it from happening again or is she as much at the mercy of whatever's causing this phenomenon as you/we are?

Going into the dream, what did she think of it? It is a reconstruction, so it's not like all the memories and thoughts were exact matches, right?

Does she know what could cause - or break - that psychological trigger thing? Would ALL the clones have them, or would there be different variants between the generations?

Let on that you found a hidden set of SAI splinters in the project lead office. Would she be willing to show you how to review them safely?
No. 1050169 ID: c96f56

Maybe start off by talking about regular things, ask about her books, play some game, genuinely comingle a litle.

Then, after you feel she is more at ease, ask yourself "why do I want to know about her and her dad?"
If you can word your reasons logically and also show that you don't want to make her feel bad while learning, she will be more willing to chat with you.
No. 1050223 ID: b708ea
File 166945712666.png - (765.16KB , 1000x1000 , onlebed.png )

>If we hadn't been against helping Astrolysis, would you still have turned her down?
I'm not sure. To be honest, I hate both of them.
You're advisors in my head telling me what the best thing to do is - and usually you're giving me a reason. If there's a logic behind the suggestion, then I'd probably take it.
Ozone, Astrolysis - they're both unpleasant to be around. If something's going to happen to one of them - I wouldn't really be bothered by it that much.

But thinking on it now - maybe it's for the best that I didn't go through with it. Ozone... as much as she's been a pain in the ass, she can be pitiable on her own. At the time, I really thought the rest of you were going to be on board for it - to get a gadget we should've received. If Astrolysis could take the blame, I thought it wouldn't be too much of a problem. But then.. I guess I'd just be helping some blind monster kick a rabid animal in the chest. Both of them aren't great, but I don't think I want any part of that anymore.

>Could Koilo have died in a different incident to the one Armintell died in?

...Though Judi never said it, I doubt it. If someone dies, especially on-site? You bet they're never wanting it to happen again. Things seem like they're lining up too much for that to be a coincidence. Whether it's my circumstances, whatever the hell Amica is doing and how the Sector Bosses are acting - this all adds up to something.

>Remember when you saved her? Diagram had to be crying and and being bullied for a reason.
Come to think of it... I suppose, some people took issue with Diagram in the past. I wasn't always around and if anything, Diagram's only known me for a small fraction of her life since she's been around longer than I have. I think... those clones that day weren't fond of her because they thought that she got too much special treatment for a non-combat Trace Clone. I suppose when the Project Leads started packing up and leaving, they thought that they could push her around more.

>Whatever happened to Koilo it must've left Diagram hurting, from loss, or worse.
Right. It's a touchy topic and well... I'm not especially good with delicate situations like that. But I'll try.

Time to head to Diagram's place.
The door's already open by the time I arrive, so was she expecting me?

I walk on through and -
She's sitting on her bed.
"Hey... Diagram. I let myself in 'cuz the door was open. You doing alright?"

"Ah, hey Argine..."
There's a look of dejection over her - even I can tell that much.

"Do you... want to talk about it? I've got the time to spare and I'm not going to force anything on you. "

"Thank you, Argine. I'm... I'm not as delicate as you think I am. I've been around for longer than you have."
Yeah. Maybe so.
"Even I had my rough times. Just two days ago you helped get my shit together. Maybe I could do the same for you."

She doesn't look so sure.
"Yeah... maybe."
No. 1050224 ID: b708ea
File 166945714405.png - (475.45KB , 1000x1000 , AmpRingGet.png )

Let's start small first.
I don't feel comfortable enough to park myself next to her tonight, so I drag her work chair over, sitting down.

"First of all though, I wanted to say thanks. The Blink Capacitor, the Creirwy... your tech's helped me through these fights better than you'd know. Hell, I'm impressed by the quality of work that went into the Blink Capacitor. The thing's unfinished and even then, it was doing so much for me!"

She perks up a little. I guess familiar topics like these... they remind me of when we first started hashing things out. Funny how I never especially wanted to associate with her back then, but her persistence led to this down the line.

"Just today though, I ended up finishing off the work you started. Mind taking a look?"
I hand over the improved Blink Capacitor, telling her about some of the improvements I've made.

Her eyes light up and I find myself smiling in turn.
"Argine, you did all of this yourself? I'm impressed! Especially on the energy source, what did you do for it?"

Hah. At least someone around here knows how badass I am.
"Well - I guess my own Parasignia makes me more aware of how everything's put together. Both fights I had after I got the Blink Capacitor, I had put the Beam Unit into it to give it unlimited usage and faster cooldowns. Really improved my manuvreability for sure. While the energy source you used here wasn't bad - some of the principles behind it I don't understand because it has to do with the same tech used in the Weave Nexus. But I figured that if the Beam Units' energy source worked well through my Parasignia, I could try imitating the melded effect WITHOUT having to slot another gadget into it."

My Parasignia's pretty handy in that sense - if I want to improve my gadgets, sometimes just by studying HOW my Parasignia combined the effects of two gadgets, I can figure out new ways to innovate.
...Hm. You know, Diagram... does she have a Parasignia of her own? She's a non-combatant, but...
My train of thought's interrupted by Diagram.
"Argine, here! I wasn't just sitting doing nothing this whole time."
She tosses me a box, the contents clattering inside.
Wait, this is...
"The Amp Ring? So you DID get it done in the end!"

"Yeah. Mnemosyne is who you'll be facing next, right? You can use all the help you can get, and I didn't want to disappoint you!"

"I appreciate it."
And of course, I strap the rings on and feel the power run through me.
Once again... there's that analysis in the corner of my head.



>Gadget developed by Diagram, designed to be worn on the user's limbs. Has a limited battery life.
>Allows for the temporary amplification of physical strength. Can be used to pick up and move objects heavier than usual, but is limited by the user's own size and durability. Other physical traits can be amplified, such as jumping distance and height, but this can pose a risk to the user when used without cushioning or ways to slow one's fall if used at maximum potential. Otherwise, a trained user can navigate battlefields much quicker - but natural lack of control mid-air means that careful usage is paramount.

>Previous issues with Physical Recoil to user have been amended, making extended Amp Ring usage safer and with better output.

>DIAGRAM'S NOTE: Reducing the Amp Rings' physical recoil was rather tough compared to working with other gadgets, likely due to how it augments the user's own physical capabilities. While I probably could have tested this faster if there were more volunteers around, that isn't the case. So I had to make sure that I wasn't going to injure myself while working with it. Similar to the Blink Capacitor, the Amp Ring draws on principles from the Weave in terms of how technology interacts with our bodies and Parasignias. Since you're the only one receiving it, Argine, I'll spare you the details. I hope you enjoy it!

>Tags: Empowering, Amplifying, Intensifying

Huh. That makes a second device made using exotic technology.
I break the gadget down and absorb it into my Parasignia, giving Diagram a solid thumbs up.
But we can't just talk about the fun stuff forever. We've got shit to do.
No. 1050225 ID: b708ea
File 166945717227.png - (837.92KB , 1000x1000 , whatdoyousufferfrom.png )

"To change the topic...", I start.
"I think - I know what was on your mind before. It has to do with what the SAI recording was, right?"
She nods.

"Diagram, I-"

"It's alright, Argine. I know you've got a fight coming up so I should probably talk to you about what had happened, right? You never saw it - the SAI saw it in your place."

That's true - but I've heard enough to have some direction in this.
"I guess - I never expected to see my dad or the Project Leads again. Not like that. Not... what they were talking about."

She can't even look at me. I don't like her... being like this.

"Are you okay with talking about your dad?"
I've got the feeling that asking her how he died's a bad idea.

"Maybe... another time. But there's something I wanted to talk to YOU about, Argine."

She twiddles her fingers, exhaling.
"The pacification gene... that's something I looked into before, but I didn't like where it was going. Seeing this memory again doesn't make me feel especially confident."

Finally, she looks at me and asks a question.
"Do you know what happens when, in AI programming, a condition is met and the AI takes steps to replicate the behaviour but the biases put in place are too powerful?"
I shake my head.
"I'm not sure I get you."

"Ah! Sorry, I went into AI terminology there for a bit... Basically..."

Diagram makes a motion with her finger that looks like a mortar shell dropping onto a bunker.
"Things start to overcorrect. Depending on how our genetics were put together - the conditions for the trigger could be broader than the project leads thought. After all - it's not like this technology had been perfected yet. And once its' triggered... the results of the 'pacification' could be completely wrong. What if it didn't actually do anything like that at all?"

I lean back in my seat, frowning.
"So you're saying that - the thing that the Project Leads put into our heads, it's supposed to suppress us if anything goes wrong, but because the mind's a complicated thing to work with, there's a strong chance it'll go wrong and make us flip out instead?"

"Something like that, yes."

"I've talked to my SAI about it. The Sykes... they think that if that was the case, we'd have seen an incident already. But from what it sounds like, there's nothing like that in this facility's history for the most part."

"Sykes? You mentioned them last time we were here - is that the SAI's name?"
Oh, right. We never officially told Diagram that you got a name.

"Right, yeah. Sorry, I forgot to tell you. Point is, I think it's unlikely that we ALL have this pacification trigger, if at all. If it was put in each and every one of us, then we'd have heard about it ages ago. This facility's been going on for more than a decade, no way something wouldn't have cropped up by then."

"I-I guess. But - I hope I'm not reading into this too much, but the SAI - your Sykes... playbacks like that have to be initiated manually. There has to be a reason SOMEONE showed us the past with the Project Leads. And...

"Are you thinking that I could be the one who has something like that? That part of why we were shown it was so that you were aware of the problem and try to fix it before it gets out of hand?"

"I... well, I can't deny the possibility. If the trigger was actually a gene and intentionally left out of the picture, then... it's possible you could have ended up with it. But that's just a possibility. You're my friend, Argine and I want to get to the bottom of this. If there's actually a problem..."
She looks hesitant for a moment.
"We'll figure it out together."

I'm not sure how to feel about this, but...
Diagram's still willing to support me, even in this case. That has to mean something.
Could this be tied to why the Sector Bosses have kept me in the dark for so long?
On the topic of the SAI...
No. 1050226 ID: b708ea
File 166945721894.png - (597.45KB , 1000x1000 , SitDownnnn.png )

One question comes to mind first.
"So here's the thing, Diagram - just what is the SAI meant to be? We're all wondering it. I've had 'em in my bloodstream for more than a week and I can't say that they're JUST for monitoring anymore, can I?"

"To be honest, I'm not sure any more. I initially thought it would be simple, but... what Nanoweaver and Judicium said before wasn't a lie - the SAI monitors people, records the data and makes it accessible through splinters. But I guess there's a few ways that you can use it. I wasn't myself to be involved in all of this."

"How so?"

"To put it one way - the SAI's meant to JUST be a recording of the past. The way the advisory functions work is through reassembling relevant neural data and then beaming it to you. It originated as a spinoff of the ability for the SAI to probe into the thoughts of people at the time, as asking questions and simulating the potential responses would lead to better quality information."

I guess that's kinda like how you pester me with questions so you can get a better insight into my mind.
The recordings are lucky. They don't have to deal with stupid questions in person, 'cuz it's not really them.

"I was able to see some of the past through the SAI. Normally... normally that needs SOME kind of outlet, some way of actually viewing the recorded data properly. I don't have one of those, so the SAI was almost a black box to me when I was looking into it before this tournament. But I was able to see it in my dreams - presumably because of how I connected up to you when we first attempted to communicate mentally. That... means someone would have to intentionally act as a signal receiver between an actual... playback device and my mind. I don't have a long range for the SAI and you definitely weren't hanging around my room, so... something has to be happening behind the scenes. Maybe Amica's intentionally leading us to this."

I nod. Yeah, that makes sense. Weird shit's been happening ever since Amica gave me that cube, so the idea of SAIs bouncing signals off each other makes sense.

"Alright, quick change of topic since she's been brought up. Amica gave me what was supposed to be a dead SAI - which ended up leading me to a set of splinters. I don't know why she didn't go get them herself, but - I have a feeling that it's important."

I fish the vial out of my coat, jiggling it around.
"Would it be a good idea to inject it into my bloodstream too?"
She looks shocked for a moment.
"What? Argine, please tell me you haven't really been considering that!"

I'm glad that I inspire confidence in all my friends and associates.
"No. In fact, I had to talk the SAI down from doing so. Point is - Amica seemed to have been looking for these. But I'd like to take a look on what's on it first, ideally without shoving it into my bloodstream."

Diagram considers this for a moment.
"Well, if we wanted to see what was on it - we'd need access to a proper SAI reader. While injecting it into your body like with the existing SAI is an option, we don't know the actual properties of the splinters inside - and they won't be of much use without something to directly view them."

Okay, so injecting it into my bloodstream WOULD most likely have made things worse. Good to know.
"What about Nanoweaver? She's got a... thinghy in her room. Apparently she used it to go over some of the SAI's splinter recordings before."

"She's got one of those set up? That would work!"

"Problem is... I have a feeling that whoever's setting this thing up doesn't like Nanoweaver. It's almost guaranteed to be Amica, but - do we want to directly ask Nanoweaver about this? She doesn't like Amica and I have the feeling that she's hiding something big from us, even if I know she cares about me."
...What Amica said - about one of the two lying to us... why do I get the feeling that she's not wrong?
People lie to people they care about too. I don't doubt that Nanoweaver cares about me, but... can I really doubt her intentions with this as well?

"I could talk to Amica instead, directly. Have her address this problem at the root instead of us guessing."
But it would mean giving the SAI Splinters over to what amounts to a rogue SAI.

"From my own talks with Amica...I don't think she's a bad person, Argine. But I don't know if it's better to bring it to Amica or Nanoweaver. But we should choose now. You don't have all the time in the world."
I think Diagram has a point. We need to choose what the best way forward is - whether we approach Nanoweaver or Amica with these splinters.
Diagram doesn't know what Nanoweaver's told us - but... there's a chance that Nanoweaver removed those splinters herself. Or that they have something ABOUT her that she'd really not have me find out.
In addition, I have a feeling that Diagram's intentionally avoiding talking about her father. I could definitely press her on that issue but part of me's worried about how things are going to play out. But if we do, we could be getting info that's going to give us much more context for some of the broader-scope issues going on here.

So, here's my question:
Should we bring the Splinters to Nanoweaver or Amica?
We could also take the third route and try to find a solution ourselves, but... I don't like that idea much either. If you needed to hitch a ride out of a warzone and there were two unmarked transports who claim they've got your interests at heart, versus a scooter you found in a ditch that's still functional. We MAY get out of there safely - or we could get screwed even harder.

In addition to that: Should I press Diagram for more info on her dad?
She's... 'warmed up' in conversation now, and she says that she's not that delicate. Maybe being all touchy-feely and overly considerate of her's the opposite of what she'd want, but I wouldn't know. You guys are the social experts, what do you say?
No. 1050230 ID: 15c72a

>pacification gene might backfire
Well that might explain the bullet. It was meant as a last resort in case you went berserk. They don't even know what might trigger it... heck, maybe that's what happened with your sister- she got pacified because of a too-broad trigger condition, and the rest of the base thought you might have beaten her up because you had gone berserk. I don't think you did, but it might have been on their minds for a while.

If our primary purpose is to record information, maybe we're an additional layer of safety for you? If your trigger goes off, we can see it happen and record it, so that it can be researched and potentially cured.

Ask Diagram about pseudosignias! Specifically, ask if she has a Parasignia, and if the two of you can get a pseudosignia going.

>show splinters to Amica or Nanoweaver?
Amica didn't say to keep them away from Nanoweaver to begin with, and was super vague about whoever's lying, despite that being KINDOF IMPORTANT. I suspect Amica has a contingency plan for if you show them to Nanoweaver...
How about a Fourth option? Have them both in the same room when you show off what you found. Play them off eachother, see what drops off the tree when you shake it real hard.

>talk about her father?
I have no strong feelings one way or another.
No. 1050290 ID: 15a025

It could be risky, but is there a possibility we could break in to Nanoweaver's office and have Diagram check it out?
No. 1050307 ID: a2d88b

I think you should go with Diagram to show it to Nanoweaver.
No. 1050431 ID: 9a2966

>Amp Rings
Sweet! Absolutely an item we should bring for the next match. This Syke approves.

>Press Diagram or not - Not
Since she still hasn't volunteered and we've made clear you were curious, let's leave Diagram's past alone until she's willing to share of her own initiative or the need becomes pressing to know more about her dad. You can tell her you're interested and you'll try to make time for her if she ever wants to talk about it, but it's up to her how 'tough' she wanna try to be around you. You're not here to make her final days in this place unpleasant. She's been a supportive friend and that matters, yeah?

If you wish, you can give her a reassuring pat on the shoulder or a light hug. That might not do much for you, but it probably will for her.

>Choose Nanoweaver or Amica - Nanoweaver, with caveat
What makes Diagram think Amica isn's a bad person? Good people can still justify doing bad things - though same goes for Nana, really - but it would be interesting to figure out a bit more about what motivates Amica here since we still know relatively little about her. People can put up a false front to get others to do what they want - Patz sure did, to lesser or greater extent - though, maybe, not as easily with someone like Diagram. Hm...

I'd be inclined to take these splinters to Nanoweaver just to force the dang veil of secrecy open from her end - or at least expose it for what it is: secrets kept deliberately from you, answers witheld for whatever reason, with no intent to explain until whatever all of this is... is over, or progressed further than it currently has.

That said, if Diagram can put into better words what she thinks makes Amica a not-bad person, perhaps it's worth considering giving the splinters to her instead. Nanoweaver probably will not reveal the full truth, even if you do confront her. She's got something riding on all of this - something that was important enough to lie in the first place, after all. It may even be she'll just destroy the splinters and refuse to talk, or try to take additional steps against making us not speak with Amica. Surely she'll let something slip or be forced to reveal some of her hand in response, but Amica would probably spill more beans, perhaps if only to upset Nana's careful planning.

>Third option - split the delivery
... so there's this possible option. Could Diagram get us a second container and split off some of these splinters so you could deliver half to each of them? Or, I dunno, copy them for later perusal if we're able to get our own terminal? Depends what she's got the tools for. If we have to deliver to one then we have to, but I like the idea here.

>Other options, bike edition
Getting both Amica and Nanoweaver in the same room using the lure of these splinters might lead to disaster, but it depends on the circumstances. I also think leaving each of them with half the splinters could be a move towards forcing them to get together to share their findings if they were both truly unaware of the contents. I do think we at least should find out more about what makes them so estranged before we try to get them together though.

Sneakily getting access to Nanoweaver's terminal may be possible with our accesses, but she said she'd have to set up more security measures now that Amica was wandering about and Nano is the one of the ones who knows we have all those accesses in the first place - and Amica probably has something similar. We'd almost surely be caught or detected unless we get real lucky or clever.

If only there was material for our own terminal somewhere in the base that we could locate and use! Or we actually knew how to remote hack the one Nanoweaver had without getting detected. No use crying over that spilt milk, though. We have the options we have - and any we're clever enough to come up with on our own.
No. 1050825 ID: b708ea
File 167007876925.png - (524.62KB , 1000x1000 , properconversation.png )

>That would explain the bullet, wouldn't it? it's meant for if you go berserk.
Not entirely. I can see the idea behind that, but if they wanted to get rid of me, there's a lot more effective ways to do it than a magic bullet, right? From what I remember of the note, Judi got it from someone else who told her to use it just in case, but... if it were me they were dealing with, then normal bullets would probably work if you used enough. We can regenerate but I don't think even I could survive having my head turned into sauce.

>If your berserk trigger goes off, then we can record it and have it cured!
...That's assuming I have one of those in the first place. Also, I have a feeling that 'killing someone else in a berserk rage' isn't something you can just easily come back from.

>Let's leave Diagram's past alone.
Yeah. I would've been fine asking her a little more, but...
Holding back now's probably a better choice.

"What're you thinking about, Argine?"
Diagram chimes in and I quickly respond.

"I'm running through a few options with the SAI right now."

Time to go through 'em with Diagram.

"Do you think we could split the vial's contents in two?"
Diagram shakes her head.
"We'd need tools for that - and Nanoweaver's the only person I know who'd definitely have some. I mainly analysed how the SAI worked, she was the person who posed the idea to begin with."

So that's a bust.
I'm not sure how easy it is to get over the fact that Nanoweaver thought shoving the lot of you inside of my bloodstream was a good idea, but it feels like she's got something riding on this.

Next one.
"Do you think we could make a terminal for ourselves?"
Another shake of the head.
"Unlikely. SAI splinters have a lot of data in them that would make standard computers poorly suited for the process. I lucked out when I realized that I could connect up, but I don't think we'd have the right kind of tech remaining - most of it got moved out as valuable assets when the Project Leads left."

Damn it, SAIs being so specialized they need their own interfacing tools is pretty rough.

"Alright, here's a change of pace."

"What makes you think Amica's a good person? I get that she's helped me out plenty by now - and was probably who led us to these splinters to begin with, but she's clearly... kinda suspicious? What with the switch-flicking and the whole... spooky look thing she does."

Diagram looks bemused.
"Oh, she did that to you as well? I thought she was just, um, hazing me or something like that. That's... that's how it goes, right?"

Just what kind of hazing is Diagram talking about? I feel bad for her.
"No, that's just Amica being weird. Seriously, what did she say to you when I left last time?"

"She... went over some of her personal history. I don't feel like its right for me to tell you someone else's past, but... she's had it rough as well, Argine."

I'm not sure I can buy that from how she acts.
"How so?"

"Well... Amica - right out of the gate, she reminds me of you a lot. Someone who's trapped in circumstances by others and judged for it. I think at the root of it - she wants to be her own person but can't. I think she acts differently to everyone else because she wants to be someone who's remembered, someone different to the clones of this facility."
Someone who's remembered, huh...

"I hope you don't mind me saying this, Argine, but you're like her in that way too. I think... you've both been hurt by this place a lot, for reasons that none of us are fully capable of understanding. So - just like with you, I think I can really understand where she's coming from and I sympathise. A lot of people don't see the good in you, but I do."

...She has a point.
"I don't exactly have much of a reason to show my good side most of the time either, Diagram. But I'm not sure I can buy her being some sympathetic character when she's been acting pretty bloody weird usually."

"I... get that. But you should give her a chance, Argine."
We'll see.
We're probably going to have to bump up 'talking to Amica' on our list. Not like I have to show up with my SAI splinter vial, but she DOES have an outgoing, unrelated task that she wants us to help out with anyway.
No. 1050826 ID: b708ea
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"Alright, last question, Diagram. Do you have a Parasignia?"

She jumps. Hah.
"A-ah! Did the SAI tell you to ask me that?!"
She suddenly looks... flustered? Cmon, it's not like I'm asking about something embarrassing, am I?
"So you do have one. What's its name?"

She mutters something under her breath before speaking up again.
"W-well, it's... it's something embarrassing, so you'll have to forgive me for not telling you its name."

It's probably for the best she has her suppressor on. I don't need to feel second-hand first-hand embarrassment.

With a quick sweep of her hand - something blips into existence.
There's a little humming sound. The heck's that thing floating around her? It looks... uh, like something.

"This... this is my Parasignia."
The little thing flits around her head like its a pet. Diagram lets it land on her finger, like she's some kinda character outta her books.
"It-it's not of much use in all honesty... see, in the Paracosmic Weave, people's first Parasignias can also be pretty small and underwhelming. For most people who don't get involved or interested in training their abiltiies, their Parasignia may as well just be a minor convenience like a portable lighter or a water bottle that's full as long as they have mental energy."

There's something left unsaid here: Diagram went through something to get that Parasignia of hers. And knowing her, it wasn't something good.
And no way that the 'signia's JUST a tiny drone thing. Diagram, someone who's probably suffering from the death of her father?
Parasignias are... they're reflections of some aspect of us. They're stronger if you feel strongly about something.
Just what does it say about her if it looks like THAT?

"So is it a pet or something...?"

The little drone makes a happy buzzing noise.
"Something like that. I call it... Milligram. O-oh, but for clarification, that's just the name I gave the drone, it isn't what my Parasignia is called!"

That's an awfully cute name.
"Do you think I'd be able to form a Pseudosignia with you? Even if... Milligram isn't much on its own, giving my Parasignia some of its properties could be effective."

"You're not wrong about that, Argine, but you can't force these things, even if you really want it to happen!"
There's that sentiment again.

But Diagram doesn't seem like she's putting me down. What's she got in mind?
"Besides, if you've really been talking to people by now, I feel that you've already fulfilled the criteria for obtaining a Pseudosignia already. I'm sure it'll come to you during the upcoming fight! If stress is a motivating factor for why people develop Parasignias in the first place, the principle continues over to Pseudosignias as well."
That's a lot of faith put into someone who hasn't even manifested a Pseudosignia at all yet. But I have a feeling that she's onto something there.

"Thanks for believing in me. We'll see how it goes."

Now, I don't know how exactly Diagram feels about these circumstances, but she's absolutely hiding just how strong her Parasignia is. Whether it's physically strong or not, it has to be something powerful.
...At the same time, I think I don't need to press her on this. Someone like her... I don't think she should be getting herself into fights if she can.

That's everything that comes to mind right now.
As for whether we go see Nanoweaver or Amica...
Hung court. We'll decide later - I've got the opportunity to do so AFTER I fight Mnemosyne. But it's going to be important.

"Thanks for everything again, Diagram. I hope that you feel better soon, but... if you're feeling down again, come and find me. I'll do my best to help out if you need it. And don't worry about paying me back or anything, you've already done a lot for me."

...That's probably the first time I've really offered something like that.
"T-thanks, Argine. It's odd hearing that from you, but I really appreciate it!"

With that, I say my goodbyes and head out.
No. 1050827 ID: b708ea
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Stepping out from Diagram's room, I can feel the chilly air sweeping by. It's a good thing that Judicium's gotten me this new coat - I feel much warmer than I was before.

...There's just so much on my mind, though. What with Diagram, her dad, her Parasignia, the upcoming fight, whether or not I've formed a Psuedosignia with anyone... it's all up in the air. It's hard keeping track of everything when I still have to fight one of this facility's strongest soldiers tomorrow.

I reach into my pocket, pulling out the thing that's the root of my worries.

The vial of Splinters...
This thing had been hidden away for a reason. Hidden under a table in an old office.
Why was it removed at all? Did it belong to you in the first place?

I turn the vial over in my fingers, the thing catching the dim light.
This thing... this thing's gonna be the deciding factor for what's going to happen next, isn't it?

...But it won't determine how my upcoming fight will go. Only I can, with your help.
There's nothing more I can do right now. I've got a fight ahead of me and I need to ready up for that.

See you on the other side, Sykes.


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