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463565 No. 463565 ID: f09b71

"So what happened then?"
>"What?"
"How did Polo do after that?"
>"You moron, I don't know, we were pushed off the home planet too quick and our engines got shitty repairs! Pretty much a fucking one way trip from there to here, and the queen got her wish post mortem from then on. We hardly fight for the sake of fighting, it's always 'rogues this threat that'. Now that we're on lawless land, now we have to have pretenses! It's backwards. That's enough of that story, I only heard a little bit about Polo after we left, but they didn't find any Salikai before we crash landed here and lost communication with the outside galaxy."
Expand all images
>>
No. 463567 ID: f09b71
File 135041562319.png - (11.70KB , 700x700 , 240.png )
463567

"Did you get all of that, CAI?"

>"Immortalized on our hard drive! one replies.
>"We should get Polo over here for a rematch of love.."
>"Where's Pilon?"

>"Pilon? That guy went rogue 30 years ago." Rokoa says. "He's still a surface level scavenger of all things."

>"Rokoa! I heard they were making a Polo cartoon?" one of the CAI asks.
>"Yeah I never saw it. Must be old as hell by now. Kappi, I've been talking to these digital vagrants for what feels like days. Tell me there's someplace private around here to watch a stupid movie or something." says Rokoa.
>"TILDE"
>"We're not really vagrants!"
>MESSAGE OVERRIDDEN

"Qu-quiet! Well, there is, yes, at least while this place is, uh, under construction."
>"Good, start walking. Pick up a good show, movie or something on our way."

>"Seriously, go easy on him!"

I have no idea what sorts of shows or movies Rokoa would like. Actually, she never struck me as the sort that would have liked them at all!
>>
No. 463568 ID: 41b837

Obviously you should go for something that is a complete mismatch for her personality.
>>
No. 463574 ID: 98378e

I have no idea what's going on! Whee!
>>
No. 463575 ID: b3dd38

A chick flick!
>>
No. 463576 ID: 44f93b

You know, after your run in the with the Salikai-CAI, Rokoa, I'm kind of surprised you got on so well with us!

We'll let you know if we ever science up a way to get off this rock. You've had that rematch on hold for years now.

>shows or movies
We're going to search our entertainment databases for that Polo cartoon. If there's something Rokoa will enjoy, it's a ridiculous caricature mockery of Polo. (And even if she doesn't, I still want to see it).

>Pilon
He went Rogue? Hmmmmm. We need to offer him employment. Let's search the base's information nets, see if we can find out where surface scavengers hang out, or if he's been sighted anywhere.
>>
No. 463577 ID: e3f578

Stupid movie translates for cheesy movie.
Find the cheesiest movie.
>>
No. 463579 ID: dcd676

Neumono porn. Get her in the mood~.
>>
No. 463582 ID: 37aa84

Lets check out that Polo cartoon. I want to see how badly they butchered Rokoa's character. She's probably the offensively typical damsel in distress.
>>
No. 463585 ID: 886a4d

Guys we're no longer the CAI! The entire point of those intermissions was to change over from the CAI to character controls.

Right now we're Kappi.

As for a movie, ask her you dolt. Offer a selection of what you have from various genres. I'd say avoid the obvious of a chick flick or pure action hero type at first unless she indicates she wants either while making suggestions.
>>
No. 463603 ID: 44f93b

>We're Kappi.
Oh, doh. I can read. Readjusting.

Still think the Polo cartoon is the way to go (assuming we have it). Certainly fits the 'stupid' criteria, and I think it should amuse Rokoa.

How you feeling, Kappi? How long do you have left on your Rokoa-meter?

File away the info on Pilon for later. He seems a capable intelligent guy- the kind this place could use. You can ask the CAI if we have any info on him later, if they don't go looking on their own initiative.
>>
No. 463622 ID: dff55b

>>463579 Seconding this!

or.....

try for some type of movie that may both appeal to her and yourself, like with violence in it, but also have gratuitous neumono nudity to help relax yourself & possibly her.
>>
No. 463628 ID: f09b71
File 135042232419.png - (18.88KB , 700x700 , 241.png )
463628

>How much time in the Rokoa-timer remains, and how are you feeling?
This is the first night, and she says she's leaving tomorrow morning. And feeling? I'm nervous. I'm very nervous, but I'm liking it.

Yes, I've heard of Pilon, even before Rokoa's story. From what it sounds, Pilon is probably the only single unit that would have half a chance against Rokoa in combat, but I can't think of any compelling reasons why he would want to come throw in his lot with us. From what I know, he's doing pretty well up there.

"Rokoa, what sort of mo..."

She doesn't want me asking, she wants me to surprise her. There are two that stick out. There isn't a whole lot to go through, since we have a sparse collection at the moment. We should work on that soon as well. Not to mention there is no neumono porn here, so I'm relieved I can take that out of my decision making. There isn't much demand for neumono porn around here, really. There might be some raunchy moments though in just about any general neumono media, so maybe.

Anyways, there is one old movie made by one of the few technologically inclined neumono before the first alien contact. It's a movie about what would happen if aliens contacted the neumono race, actually. It's... well, it's considered an ancient relic and a classic of history, but it's probably all kinds of cheesy.

Then there's the Polo cartoon. I've never even heard of it, but then again, I was born here, where there are lots of media that I haven't heard about.

I guess I could choose both, but there's only so much time in the night, and I don't know if Rokoa is willing to stay up with me for all of it.
>>
No. 463634 ID: dff55b

considering her strength & fortitude she might, if only you can stay awake the entire night, other then that even if she didn't want to watch movies all night & grab sleep I'm sure she'd let you know, threateningly.
>>
No. 463636 ID: dcd676

Just the Polo cartoon. Let's see how badly they butchered events. Plus, I gotta see what they make Rokoa look like.
>>
No. 463637 ID: 44f93b

Polo cartoon! So long as you only watch the earlier episodes, Rokoa gets to have the fun of watching a ridiculous caricature of Polo (if you go too far into it, and she shows up, she's probably not going to be amused by her own portrayal).
>>
No. 463638 ID: 26a7c1

>>463628
Watch the Polo cartoon.
>>
No. 463668 ID: f2c20c

>>463628
Pick whatever has more action in it. Rokoa likes explosions.
>>
No. 463683 ID: bbee3d

You could always rent both, just in case the first one you try doesn't turn out to be to Rokoa's tastes.
>>
No. 463700 ID: 37aa84

Get the cartoon. It will be interesting seeing how it differs from the actual events.
>>
No. 463741 ID: b33427

Honestly, there's going to be all kinds of cheese whichever one you choose, so grab both.

Put the Polo cartoon on first, just keep your finger over the eject button in case Rokoa looks like she's about to break something.

Yanno, looking at the date on that old movie, and thinking about Rokoa, you gotta wonder if she's nearly as old as it; Older, maybe. She was born before first contact, wasn't she? ...Dang, she's ancient...
>>
No. 463746 ID: e3f578

If we put in the Polo cartoon, we may encourage the CAI to bug us some more about it.
Best we let the CAI watch that while giving you and Rokoa some privacy while watching a legit stupid movie like she asked.
The CAI's practically like a child, it'll eat that cartoon up.
If she personally wants to see the Polo cartoon later, you can give her a nice bootleg to take on the road. But for right now, it's best served distracting the CAI.

Hows the animation look on the back of the DVD? Is it like one of your japanese animes, Kappi?
>>
No. 463750 ID: c4e5c2
File 135043682758.png - (11.13KB , 700x700 , 242.png )
463750

>Rent both just in case
... er, yes. That is a thing that.. I can do.

>"'Adventures of Polo: Spy Extraordinaire.' This sounds terrible. Let's watch- wait, this isn't a cartoon! Live action?!" Rokoa is bemused by that, and yet somehow more interested. "There is no way they got Polo to play herself."

>Rokoa is old
Er, yes, if she was around before contact, then she must be at least... at least 140 years old if she was young during Polo's time.

>"Something wrong?"
"Oh, no, I just had to wrap my head around something!"

>Distract the CAI
The CAI doesn't have input, yet, for everywhere, so Rokoa and I will be able to watch without them. They should have more important things to be doing right now anyway.
>>
No. 463751 ID: c4e5c2
File 135043684650.png - (114.02KB , 700x700 , 243.png )
463751

Shortly after the intro...

"Wait! What's your name?!"
>"They call me.... Polo.

"Is th-"
>"Not even close. Except that that guy. Kinda looks like you." says Rokoa.
"Oh, wait, I know this actor! She plays a lot of action types. Uh... usually they're a bit over the top, but she's popular, so I guess she was casted for that. She must have tried a little, she cut off a third of her ears and dyed her fur for this part. She grew up in a jammer city, so I... I'll stop talking now."
>"Least you can form a damn sentence now."
>>
No. 463753 ID: c4e5c2
File 135043689340.png - (11.17KB , 700x700 , 244.png )
463753

Some time later...

>"This enemy of mine is smart. I'm going to need help to breach her fortress." says the Polo actor.
>"You're not thinking of getting her, are you?!"
>"I'm afraid I've got no choice. But I beat her once, I can beat her again, if need be. Yes, release her for me. Lessen her charges if need be, but I don't know anyone else who's stupid enough to distract their main forces alone."

>"Quit being a bitch and take your hand off the eject button. If they're talking about me, I don't give a shit how they represented me."
>>
No. 463754 ID: c4e5c2
File 135043693415.png - (14.85KB , 700x700 , 245.png )
463754

>"Glad you could make it... Rokoa."
>"Polo. You better have a good reason for leavin' me in there to rot."
>"You're a monster. A brute and a monster, and I want you behind bars more than y--"

>"Either they thought I was tiny, or they thought Polo was huge. She barely came up to my hip!"
"No, no, Polo's actor is pretty big, so that's a pretty massive person representing you. It actually says that Polo - the real one - gave a lot of consultation on what you looked like and how you should act on screen to reflect reality. I mean, liberties were taken with the story line, obviously, but this episode guide says that Polo herself wrote a lot of what should be said in the script."
>>
No. 463757 ID: c4e5c2
File 135043702260.png - (13.52KB , 700x700 , 246.png )
463757

>Rokoa looks at me for a second, as bemused as ever. "Polo came up with this stuff, huh? Made me look ridiculous, that bi-"

>"Gah?! Knock that off, or you've got another 10 years, Rokoa!"
>"Make me. Back when you beat me, Polo, I promised to make your life hell whether or not I was around, and I'm not one to break promises, heh! Even if I was trapped on an island, I'd come back and hunt you!"
>"You'd probably get scared and just pick on and beat up whoever was on the island for the rest of your life!"
>>
No. 463758 ID: c4e5c2
File 135043706218.png - (35.92KB , 700x700 , 247.png )
463758

>>
No. 463760 ID: 26a7c1

>>463758
Don't panic. She's thinking about throttling Polo, not you.
>>
No. 463761 ID: dff55b

if thoughts could cause physical pain, Polo will be unable to sleep for half a year...
>>
No. 463763 ID: 04b86a

I think Polo misses Rokoa, and is hoping that she will eventually see this and make an effort to come back sooner. We should bring the CAI with us when we go, they'll never forgive you if you don't let them see their reunion.
>>
No. 463764 ID: 44f93b

...that wasn't a cartoon! That wasn't a cartoon at all!

Okay... empathy check Kappi! Does she feel as angry as she looks there? Because it looks like barely contained insane fury there.
>>
No. 463766 ID: dcd676

Keep. Your mouth. Shut.

You draw her attention, all that rage is gonna be pointed towards you.
>>
No. 463767 ID: e3f578

Wow, if you know she was around the help with the movie, her being alive must be public knowledge by now. Either they gave up on hiding her death or have already taken on the Salikai.

I don't know how to make of her reaction, buddy. You're on your own here. Just watch the movie and watch her snicker at the movies terribleness.
>>
No. 463768 ID: 4a328b

>>463766
Agreed.

Don't. Move.
>>
No. 463769 ID: f2c20c

>It actually says that Polo - the real one - gave a lot of consultation on what you looked like and how you should act on screen to reflect reality.

Except she's supposed to be dead? Did they blow her cover in the booklet? Or was this movie made after you guys got stuck here, and some other ship that arrived later happened to have a copy?

Anyway, it sounds like Polo didn't like Rokoa at all, and decided to taunt her indirectly via the movie's script. She wants that rematch. Saying out loud "She must really want that rematch" seems like a decent idea.
>>
No. 463773 ID: 997ce7

Suggestions in order of support:
1. Keep quiet.

2. Mention disparity, remark that they probably pulled it out their ass and lied about it.

3. "She must really want a rematch."
>>
No. 463775 ID: 44f93b

>Keep. Your mouth. Shut.
Doesn't help much, with empathy on.

>Polo not dead?
Presumably, her cover only lasted months, not decades. It could have taken the war hive months to years to reach the asteroid, and other craft have been falling and bringing in additional castaways, media and technology in the ensuing years.
>>
No. 463777 ID: 997ce7

>>463775
I think that they're not familiar enough for phrases to get through. I'm jumping to a conclusion here, of course, but I'd say that right now empathy is about as effective as reading body language, so she'd probably pick up on his not wanting to set her off and nothing more specific. And I don't think she'd maul him too badly for that.

Still, if my conjecture is totally wrong, then let's go with pointing out that they probably lied about Polo's involvement.
>>
No. 463780 ID: 44f93b

>She must really miss you
I know I haven't know you that long, but I certainly can't think of a better way to get you to come running.

It's either that, or them lying, really. Polo doesn't seem like she'd care enough to take the trouble of writing up a bunch of slander.
>>
No. 463791 ID: c4e5c2
File 135044056580.png - (8.47KB , 700x700 , 248.png )
463791

>Is she angry?
I wondered if it would be nice to be Polo, to come anywhere close to Rokoa's admiration. But right now... I would rather be anyone who isn't Polo.

>"....She wanted it! She wanted a duel after all."
"E-e-errr, r-right, that, o-or she just... misses you?"
>"Haha, that would be something! Decades ago! This episode was made decades ago!"
"Uh... er, yeah, this episode was made a year or two after our... your hive crash landed. Who knows when the show itself arrived here, it could've been from the database of any of the wreckages up on the surface."

She is mad, and I can't tell at who or what, but thankfully I don't think it's at me.
"I can't really think of any better way to get you to come running, to be honest."
>"Neither can I. I'm thinking I'll tell my queen about this little tidbit."
"Uh.. what for?"
>"Because we owe her. And if she shared that kind of message in the off chance I'd go and see it, then I'm going to get off this rock. You're lucky, it also means I may get my queen to not attack you guys considering how many rogues come and go here. I won't attack while in debt for the armor, but I can't speak for the rest of my hive if my queen doesn't listen to me. And my queen not listening is a long standing tradition!"
"Wait, hold on, is there a chance they were lying about this? I mean, is Polo the type to go write up a bunch of slander?"
>"No, but she's the type to put in a message to me like that since she wouldn't come herself. And while she was at it, she wouldn't resist throwing in something to piss me off! I've been talking about her for a long time now, and it's enough. You've got about 10 seconds to decide what to do next, before I decide for you."

She already has something in mind and I'm not sure what it is and if I like it.
>>
No. 463796 ID: e3f578

>>463791
Well you surprised her
now it's time for her to surprise you.
Fuck it if you'll like it or not.
>>
No. 463802 ID: 04b86a

Rokoa's giving you a chance to see her again after today's over without her killing you, maybe even on a regular basis. Are you really going to pass this up?
>>
No. 463803 ID: dcd676

Hold still and let those ten seconds pass. I doubt she's gonna let you do anything but what she wants right now, anyway.
>>
No. 463805 ID: 997ce7

"I'm going to go commit regicide."
>>
No. 463806 ID: 44f93b

Blow her leg off, shoot her in the head, twice. It's the proven method to get her to fall for someone. (The tricky bit will be lobbing the explosives and getting off two headshots that quick).

Coffee Cake?

Alternatively, give her a saucy smile.
>>
No. 463807 ID: f2c20c

Watch the rest of this dumb movie?
>>
No. 463813 ID: 58396a

>>463791

Let's be trusting. It's a healthy relationship to be comfortable letting your partner take the metaphorical wheel.

... Even if doing so makes you worry for your everything.
>>
No. 463814 ID: dff55b

ask her if this has skewered the night somewhat, if she'll let you have another attempt tommorow night too
>>
No. 463830 ID: 049858

She's got that crazy grin, again. Still, the feelings aren't directed at you, so you're likely safe if you don't do something stupid. Gather your courage, give your best smile, and put your hand on hers. Then, if you're still able to speak, tell her something along the lines of, "Why don't you go ahead and pick? I trust you."
>>
No. 463838 ID: c4e5c2
File 135044499463.png - (11.54KB , 700x700 , 249.png )
463838

"I, uh, hope this didn't mess up the night."
>"No."
".... unless you want to watch the rest of this?"
>"No."
"I don't suppose regicide would-"
>"No. Times up."
"You pick, anyway! I trust you. Also, what are you doing? Where is your -"
>"Making the night worth it. 'You trust me?' I hope that's your unbelievable lack of nerves saying silly things."
"L... like I would forget you! And no, it's not!"
>"Charming. It's always been you tiny people. Who's your diplomat? May as well tell ours who to talk to."

She's in a good mood all of a sudden. It doesn't make me any less nervous, though!
>>
No. 463841 ID: 4a328b

Who /is/ your diplomat?

Just tell her.
>>
No. 463844 ID: e3f578

>>463838
Honestly, our diplomat is probably the CAI now. If not that, it's Tin. If still not that, it's probably whatever mercs or whatever professional the CAI's have already hired or tried to. But since it's so early in the rebuilding of this place, it's pretty much the CAI and Tin right now. Who knows who really runs this place when we have those two on the job and Tin just handed over pretty much all management to the thing.
>>
No. 463845 ID: 22a087

Time for terrifying sex?
>>
No. 463846 ID: 44f93b

Hey. Top's off. Have fun, Kappi (and good luck, you'll probably need it).

>Diplomat
...do you even have a designated diplomat? Tin's in charge so that might be her thing, although the CAI handled the last hive diplomat if I remember right.
>>
No. 463847 ID: f2c20c

I don't think there IS a dedicated diplomat, but Tin is the closest thing there is around here.
>>
No. 463848 ID: dcd676

The CAI is pretty much the decision maker, but diplomat? I don't know if we have anyone specifically cut out for that role.

I don't recommend volunteering yourself, though. I doubt they'd like to talk to a rogue.
>>
No. 463851 ID: c4e5c2
File 135044580682.png - (10.57KB , 700x700 , 250.png )
463851

"....uh...."
>".... you don't even have one?"
"Well, Tin is our closest!"
>"You mean that charming miklik bundle of love?"
"... yes. Maybe our CAI?"
>"Get a better one. Ours are shitty and will probably give the worst assessment if Tin so much as looks at them funny or your CAI gives a funny statement. Which will be the first thing to happen from what I see. Aren't you in charge of stuff like recruitment and managing people resources? What do you do all day?!"
"... can't really breathe..."
>>
No. 463855 ID: 44f93b

Sounds like we found a reason to try and recruit Pilon! There's a man who would make a good diplomat. He might even be interested to try and broker peace between a group of rogues and his old hive.
>>
No. 463856 ID: b3dd38

It should obviously be Hok!

Actually how would Agnes be?
>>
No. 463857 ID: dcd676

Yeah, see if Agnes'll do it.

...as scary as she is...
>>
No. 463858 ID: f2c20c

>>463851
We should review personnel. If we can't find anyone appropriate, then get someone from outside. We should find someone already here though, because they're more likely to hold our best interests in mind.

Pilon would be great for talking to ANYONE but the Hive. He's a rogue from their hive, and that separation is a personal thing. They would basically hate him.
>>
No. 463862 ID: dff55b

well at any rate one beliefs you should try to relax a little, tensing up with a grip around your neck that size isn't going to do anything anyway, or tell her you're your own diplomat.
>>
No. 463865 ID: 44f93b

>Pilon would be great for talking to ANYONE but the Hive. He's a rogue from their hive, and that separation is a personal thing. They would basically hate him.
That's already the hive's response to us. They want to kill the rogues at this base. If we're going to be dealing with that disadvantage, we might as well tap the most capable son of a bitch we can for the job.
>>
No. 463868 ID: 4a328b

HOK!
>>
No. 463869 ID: 44f93b

>>463867
Hey, Kappi's heard of him before. And Rokoa just told him Polo's story. So he knows just about as much as we do now. No meta-knowledge involved. He's the base's recruiter, right? He should be thinking about these kinds of things.
>>
No. 463871 ID: e3f578

Wonder if there are technical rogues here that have had literally no relations to the current hive here. Just crash land here, it's like, oh there's a big hive here? We're not joining them though, no real melding, and we just bailed from our old hive somewhere else. Guess we'll just do our own thing around this asteroid.

Listen, there's probably a consumer or merchant here in this trade depot that would be perfect for the job. We should maybe go shopping for them. But that's for later, unless Rokoa says otherwise? Why is she giving advice and talking business on a recreational evening?
>>
No. 463873 ID: 6a1ec2

>>463869

Oh, whoops. Cancelling that. Sorry.
>>
No. 463878 ID: c4e5c2
File 135044710929.png - (13.16KB , 700x700 , 251.png )
463878

>Relax a little
Easier said than done!

>"Then hold your breathe!"
"...Hok?....... Agnes?"
>"... Who? Oh, yes. Our negotiator might be so dumbfounded that you send a yich eater, who knows what would happen."
"What about Pilon? You made him out to be unusually nice!"
>"Normally we don't give rogues anything but a row of bullets to replace their bloodstream with, but Pilon's still got some begrudging respect despite his defection. He's iffy, which is a sight better than the rest. I do wonder how you'd peel him away from his glorious life as a scavenger of people's trash to come with you down here. Or who you would order to go get their ass kicked up there to meet him."

>Why is she giving advice and talking business on a recreational evening?
I don't know, this line of questioning is not very conductive to what she's about to do, but neither is having her hand around my throat!
>>
No. 463885 ID: 006627

Don't be a little bitch, rape her back!
>>
No. 463887 ID: 22a087

Are you being raped or murdered?
>>
No. 463889 ID: f2c20c

We'd pay him, of course. And as for who to send up, how about Hok?

Alternatively, perhaps you could be the diplomat? Then you'd have an excuse to meet Rokoa sometimes. On the other hand you would then be compromised by that relationship, wouldn't you. Also, you'd have two jobs then.
>>
No. 463891 ID: 44f93b

>Or who you would order to go get their ass kicked up there to meet Pilon
You'd send yourself of course. You're the recruiter, it's your job. And if it's the best way to ensure your survival, and that of those you're responsible for here, it's not like you have much choice.

>>463885
Yeah, if you want to survive the violent sexings, you're going to have to get a little violent yourself. Bite that hand.
>>
No. 463895 ID: e3f578

>>463878
Lay back and accept what's coming.
Just be glad she doesn't have a strap-on or whip. Your pelvis is going to be very sore in the morning if not shattered.
>>
No. 463904 ID: 41b837

>>463889
Kappi wouldn't work out well, since the hive hates rogues.
>>
No. 463905 ID: e3f578

Hmm
As for the problem itself, we could send Kappi to convince Pilon to help us and all rogues out. If there's anyone that can try and convince the neumono that rogues don't deserve death, it's him. He'd be a big hero and proponent of peace of this magnetic hell. Plus, giving Pilon a home away from home has it's pluses, especially this one since he can sell his junk here and/or buy shit, so he may be intrigued.
I bet the only reason he hasn't settled down is because he's never thought about it. He might want a break from scavenging for a few years.

You've befriended Rokoa, sorta, and know what exactly went down thanks to her tale, so if anyone's equipped to convince Pilon, it's Kappi baby!
>>
No. 463907 ID: c4e5c2
File 135045029801.png - (12.06KB , 700x700 , 252.png )
463907

"Well, we'd pay him! If he's a scavenger, that's probably what he's interested in, and if he's interested in fighting, we'd have plenty of that as well!"
>"Good point."
"I might send Hok or... myself?"
>"If you want an early demise. Hok, at least, has a knack for the whole surviving deal. But hey, you could use some toughening up, don't let me stop you."

>Bite her hand
I think she thinks of me as a little higher for what I would think is a terrible idea, but I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I twist my mouth and bite about as hard as I can for some ironically terrible reason, perhaps because she'd do the same, but she's expectedly unphased.
>>
No. 463908 ID: c4e5c2
File 135045032089.png - (14.74KB , 700x700 , 253.png )
463908

I fight back a bit more for the sake of it, the same reason, but that just makes her happy about it. I may not have had a choice in what follows, but I know, and Rokoa knows, that I would have been terribly disappointed if she took that and suddenly left me. It's kind of fucked up, but I don't want to think about it like that, because I'm left in a pretty good mood!

Well, I would be, except that I did fall asleep at some point. I don't know when, but when I finally come to, Rokoa already left without a word.

.... my paycheck is probably going to take a hit for this, too.
>>
No. 463912 ID: 58396a

>>463908

Only one question remains, Loverboy:

The details. ALL of them.

(What, you thought I was gonna ask if it was worth it?)
>>
No. 463913 ID: dff55b

first things first, check your not missing any part of your body or anything's broken!
>>
No. 463914 ID: 44f93b

Hell man, you've got bigger things to worry about than a paycheck. You've got find a way to secure peace with the hive, or they're going to kill this place. Or at the very least, you and the other rogues.

For now though, time to shower and clean yourself up. And to get teased / praised by your CAI buddies when they see the shape you're in.
>>
No. 463915 ID: b6edd6

>>463913
Eh, he'll be fine. Regeneration is handy like that.
>>
No. 463918 ID: dff55b

>>463915
true but regeneration isn't instantainious, can take like a day or two for things like fingers & toes missing etc
>>
No. 463920 ID: 44f93b

>>463913
...she didn't, she didn't take an ear as a souvenir, did she? Because I can only see the one, and unless the other is hidden perfectly under your head...
>>
No. 463922 ID: 04b86a

So it turns out that threats of bodily harm are Rokoa's way of flirting, and violence is like foreplay to her. It makes you wonder why Polo decided to piss her off when she slipped that message into the show, doesn't it?
>>
No. 463923 ID: dcd676

>>463920
On that note, check all of your extremities. Did she remove a leg? Either way, take stock. How much time has passed, see what's happened while you were out.

But don't chase her down. Remember what she said before.
>>
No. 463925 ID: 1e7d43

>>463923
Did she remove...no, I can't bear to ask.
>>
No. 463927 ID: e3f578

>>463908
I don't know about the paycheck
The CAI encouraged this behavior, and probably will keep it hush hush from Tin, or convince her one way or the other to give you your full paycheck and just pay for the damages itself. God knows it may have tried watching though, and got payment enough for that.

And if it recorded it somehow, well, hey you probably just made the CAI and Tin some money. So it all balances out. Say what you will about demand for neumono porn, but that night probably qualified for several different markets alone.

Let's get up and have a cup of joe.
>>
No. 463928 ID: f2c20c

>>463908
Check yourself for broken ribs and such.

Then fix the bed and get up and ready for work.
>>
No. 463931 ID: 41b837

>>463908
Hey, you're not dead. Congratulations!
>>
No. 463943 ID: c4e5c2
File 135045864807.png - (54.03KB , 700x700 , 254.png )
463943

It's hard to move and I'm sore all over, but I'm in one piece, and nothing is broken or torn off. My ear was just flat under my head, thankfully, but in only slightly better condition than my other.

I still have to work, though, yeah, just like every day, so I head in after a bath and all that. There is praise and teasing and asking of details from the CAI, but I don't share the details. I don't even share them with myself. Eventually they get to business though.

"How are the finances?"
>"In the green! But barely. We need more, it'll take forever to make turrets, we have too many entrances."
Tin shows up on the comm.
>"Well, look who showed up to work today after all. I've seen people get ran over by trains who came out on the other end looking better." she says. "What amorous ghost possessed you to go after her anyway?"
I'm out of sharp witted replies, so I proceed to get Tin up to speed on everything regarding a diplomat.
>"I'll leave you to it. I'll handle our returning Green Force, which should be arriving today to report their findings, if any, about who sent those subterranean missiles at us. Tomorrow, our personnel will return, hopefully with some good improvements for our entertainment supplies. You just try to get us some personnel."
"Rokoa is gone, I take it?"
>"Yeah, she left a communicator with me, along with a fucked up looking neumono. That's you, in case you're that out of it. Rokoa said to message her with this communicator when we have a job for her, but otherwise not to use it for anything else. Better only use it when we have no one else that can do what she can. I'd rather we keep some debt on her, to be frank. If she's trustworthy, then so long as she's in our pocket, she won't attack us. The moment we let her pay it off she'll join in on an attack if it comes to that. With that said, if we wait too long before giving her a job, she'll probably tell us that she's going to start charging us money for each day she doesn't attack or some bullcrap. She does, after all, have the bio armor, and there's nothing effectively stopping her from just running off with it. Or denying certain jobs, as much as I'd like to pay her a few hundred zeny to carry out the job of killing herself."
"I don't suppose Agnes has a secret talent for negotiation?"
>"I'll ask her while going ahead and just telling you 'no'. Eesh. You need to take a day off?"
>>
No. 463944 ID: dcd676

Take some time off, Kappi. If not a whole day, then at least a couple hours to rest and think about what's just happened and what you really want.

Then go ahead and meet up with the diplomat(s) when they arrive.
>>
No. 463945 ID: f2c20c

No, no taking time off. Gotta toughen up. Maybe if you get tough enough, you'll impress Rokoa enough for her to spend more time with you.

Do some more research on Pilon. Specifically, his location and general situation. Maybe some more about his history, personal preferences, etc. Get to know the guy a bit better. Assemble a file on him. Then contact Hok and hand him the file, telling him that he's going on a recruitment mission.
>>
No. 463957 ID: 6a1ec2

Tell him "You just don't understand our love." After he's done laughing, tell him yeah you probably should take a day off.
>>
No. 463966 ID: dff55b

make it a possible full-day, but request at least half to recover fully & get any remaining thoughts & doubts dealt with, at least that way you can fully focus on the tasks on hand
>>
No. 463980 ID: 2be549

Yeah, take some time to think about whether or not you still want to pursue her. (Of course you do.)
>>
No. 463990 ID: 44f93b

>praise and teasing
Hmm. How do you see the CAI, anyways, Kappi? Annoyances, amusing, friends, a tool...?

>Day off
No, thank you, but I don't think we can really afford that. (Besides, better you bury yourself in your work, and figuring out this problem of survival rather than mope about Rokoa).
>>
No. 464021 ID: c4e5c2
File 135048746245.png - (64.74KB , 700x700 , 255.png )
464021

>How do you see the CAI, anyways, Kappi? Annoyances, amusing, friends, a tool...?
Well the CAI does involve a lot of individuals whos input varies wildly, so it would be presumptuous of me to try and give a single judgement.

"Yeah, Tin, I'll take... well, half a day off. I'll show up later."
>"You rest, then. Don't do anything stupid."
"CAI, please show me all the data we have on Pilon."
>"Our databanks were hit, man. We've got nothing."
>"This isn't how you rest, Kappi!"
"Just this, then I'll get some more sleep."
>"I have some hard copies, and can do some investigation besides." Tin says. "But I expect there's nothing game changing I'll learn, in which case, do you want me to go ahead and send Hok up there? If I can find where Pilon operates out of, Hok can probably make it back by the end of today depending on how far it is. He's itching to go out on a mission again already."
>>
No. 464023 ID: 44f93b

Hmm. Hok's got the stay alive factor going for him, for sure. I kind of wanted to send them both, but just Hok could work- at least if we change perspective (really not sure how well he would do if left to his own devices). I do think the odds are better if Hok escorts Kappi, though.
>>
No. 464034 ID: dff55b

it's often best to err on the side of caution, plus Tin said Hok's supposidly itching to get back out.

maybe you can set up a "comm relay" like the other day to possibly keep in easy contact with Hok if you feel unsure
>>
No. 464039 ID: c4e5c2
File 135049409843.png - (20.08KB , 700x700 , 256.png )
464039

>"Hok! This is Tin. Respond."
"Wha- oh. Is Rokoa gone?"
>"Yes, you can unassume the fetal position. Also, we have another mission for you."
"Whaaa? I just got back from the last one! I nearly died! A lot!"
>"And it's about high time you take another. Know anything about Pilon?"
"..... yesssss?"
>"You're going to recruit him."
"He's one of the most dangerous personalities on the surface!"
>"Good. We're not bending over backwards to recruit weaklings. Also, see what else you can scrounge up while you're up there. Kappi will stay in touch via communicators, he might even come with you. That'll be up to you. He's being indecisive again."
>>
No. 464042 ID: 44f93b

>He's itching to go out on a mission again already.
Hmm. Tin has an interesting way of seeing things.

Hiya Hok! How you doing? Looks like you were hiding out in a damaged part of the base somewhere, unless your room is normally in that shape.

>"He's one of the most dangerous personalities on the surface!"
What makes him so dangerous? He's one of the few neumono we know who's willing to try and talk to people before trying to kill them.

...you've already had a run in with him, haven't you. You already burned up you "talking to" time and he's moved on to trying to kill you.

>Kappi
Aw, bring him! It'll be fun. He could use the excitement. And you could use an accomplice (and someone to blame things on).
>>
No. 464044 ID: 05be86

Hmm having Kappi with you could be useful from a diplomatic point of view, but he could be a liability if we try to stay undetected.

But still i think it would be best to bring him along.
>>
No. 464045 ID: dff55b

could be good exercise for him and a breath of "fresh" air, tho it could be best if he hangs back first before making contact with Pilon
>>
No. 464047 ID: 04b86a

Bring Kappi with you. He's interested in Rokoa, so anything that has the possibility of instilling a bit of badassery into him is good for him.
>>
No. 464054 ID: 44f93b

>>464047
Yeah, you know, after bring the bio-armor here, it's sort of your fault they ended up together anyways. You might as well do what you can to give him a chance of surviving. He's your bud, right?
>>
No. 464055 ID: 4594e2

Hok, this is an important mission. Take some time to prepare properly on gear and information. Let me introduce you to the six P's: Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.
Kappi, talking to you, now. It seems like you missed the point of last night.
It wasn't just Rokoa having fun with a boy-toy. Stop and consider *why* she told you the story of Polo. Someone already fairly badass, goes through harrowing experiences and comes out stronger. Specific to this situation, Polo came out of it as someone that Rokoa could *respect*.
Rokoa laid out an example for you, Kappi. An example of what kind of person holds her interest. Then she effectively left your life, as she said. She probably expects you to be a disappointment. If you truly wish for your love of her to be fulfilled, you really should get started on self-improvement.
I suspect you've already had some basic training before you left the hive. The journey from there to here couldn't have been easy, either. Build on these things. Hit the gym, get some training in hand-to-hand combat and the weapons you're likely to have access to.
Meanwhile, spend today finding out all you can about Pilon, Rokoa, and the snow tribe they were part of. Then watch the rest of that movie. Any little fact about them could come in very handy when you go out to recruit Pilon.
Yes, I said you. The journey ahead of you is laid out in the story of Polo. Every step will be difficult, dangerous, or at least unpleasant. At the end of that journey, Kappi, is the respect of Rokoa, fulfillment of your love, and someone making a movie like that about *you*.
>>
No. 464056 ID: 44a717

If Hok nearly died a lot from the last mission, he might as well bring Kappi along for some safety
>>
No. 464108 ID: bbee3d

>>464056

Hok has a long history of nearly dying while the people around him actually die, often in strange and unlikely ways. Kappi will probably be safer if Hok goes alone.
>>
No. 464120 ID: e3f578

Maybe if we do a good enough job, we can bone Tin, or Tin can bone you and join in on this smörgåsbord of love.
Do you have a preference?
>>
No. 464163 ID: c4e5c2
File 135052701409.png - (14.47KB , 700x700 , 257.png )
464163

>Kappi a buddy?
Yeah he treats me like something above dirt level so that's pretty good.

>>464120
I think I could find a way off this asteroid and become a billionaire in half the effort it would take to woo Tin! I'm pretty sure that she actually doesn't have any you knows, and she could be called a he really. Or an it, but I certainly wouldn't call her that.

"Heyyyyy Kappi I heard you might be coming, why's that?"
>"I just, you know, wanna... you know..."
"Yeah hey that's a pretty good reason but if things get tough, I don't know if Tin'll let me back inside if you get killed out there!"
>"No no, I'm sure! I'll be careful. I want to get tougher."
"Yeah you just try and hang back I guess. Unless we're getting chased by bandits. Then don't do that. Just, try to keep out of danger while you come soul searching yourself by the sounds of it."
>"What should we bring?"
"Let's see... communicators, some food and water, try to keep it light since we should move quick, uh... rope, a few tools like knives, medical kit, couple lights, a bedroll, a tent if you wanna bring the high life with us. As many guns and weapons as you can carry without really slowing yourself down. You've been to the surface, right?"
>"Er, I've seen it, but only from view ports."
"Oh."

Guess I should think of what else to bring besides what I thought of! Nothing like finding a loose locker and putting your hands in your pockets just to find out you're missing your... lockpicks! This is what I'm talking about.
>>
No. 464177 ID: 44f93b

>Tin: he, she, is
Since you guys only adopt gender/organs by choice, isn't the whole matter of gender identity a matter of personal choice, or preference? She presents herself as a she because that's how she prefers to be perceived- bits aside.

>What bring?
Emergency options. A grenade, flashbang, and/or smoke grenade might be good things to have. Definitely want some explosives in case we need to blow a hole in something- grab a few sticks of C4 (C4 fixes everything). Grab a remote CAI node (that you can mute or turn off), in case you need something hacked.

Have Kappi figure out in advance what we have to offer. It can be a bad idea to show up at the bartering table and not have anything to offer! (Or know how much we can afford to spend).
>>
No. 464182 ID: 4a328b

How about a jammer?
>>
No. 464191 ID: dff55b

>>464182
nifty idea but in this case I don't think jammers are in plentiful supply.

a sidearm at minimum would be advisable, some form of first aid kit, rations & water are obviously a must, might not need a tent but some form of bedroll & heat-blanket would be advisable, if possible some mode of transport? cover more ground rapidly & also make a quick escape if things turn sour?
>>
No. 464198 ID: 44f93b

>How about a jammer?

>nifty idea but in this case I don't think jammers are in plentiful supply.

They're also rather large, and bulky. Pilon's was basically a big metal backpack, remember? Kappi can't afford to lug that weight around, especially considering what it would cost in speed, energy, and capacity to carry other more fundamental supplies.
>>
No. 464199 ID: dff55b

>>464198
true very true, momentarily forgot about that, thank you
>>
No. 464202 ID: 049858

If Kappi is new to these kind of things, he should keep his load light. Otherwise he'll have too much to learn, and have to try to do so too quickly. One weapon, and a backup of the same kind. Extra magazines. The same rope, tools, medical kit, knives, and lights you've already mentioned. Also, find out what skills Kappi has. This will give you some idea of what he'll be doing on this mission, other than finding his inner badass. He might need a specialized toolkit for whatever he does. Sit down and write out a list, the two of you, together.
>>
No. 464209 ID: f2c20c

>>464163
Binoculars. Body armor for Kappi. Some kinda map.
>>
No. 464222 ID: eb682d

>>464198
That particular model would also be at least thirty years old by now, the technology may have advanced quite a bit since that one was made.
It's worth asking about at least.
>>
No. 464228 ID: 44f93b

>>464222
I suppose. Although I doubt the latest and greatest technology is available here on the asteroid. And if there were improved jammers around, you'd think Rokoa would have one. Would make being a lone assault unit attacking places a lot easier.

But yeah, we can always check if there's an new lightweight and durable model available. Can't hurt.
>>
No. 464274 ID: 37aa84

Since we're going on a diplomatic mission it may be a bad idea to take a jammer. If we get close and he somehow realizes he's being jammed, there could be other neumono around he could notice losing track of, he could conclude that he's under attack, assuming his hive is finally coming for him. He wouldn't have become so successful without some tricks up his sleeve so it would probably be better for him to know we're coming and that we aren't hostile rather than trying to mask our presence.
>>
No. 464285 ID: 049858

>>464274
I agree with him. This is a diplomatic mission, not a combat one. We're choosing equipment to protect ourselves, not for a commando mission.
>>
No. 464317 ID: b33427

Since Kappi doesn't have much firearm experience, coupled with his slow reaction time due to being neumono, he should get weapons that work alright without being aimed well. Take an auto-shotgun with a drum magazine, along with a larger caliber pistol, both with neumono sized grips. For yourself, take a rifle with a scope, and the kind of pistol you usually use when you have to use one.

Now, what kind of gift are you going to bring to the negotiating table for Pilon? What's available down here that a scavenger, even a good one, can't easily get? Preferably something you could share, such as a food, or some kind of booze.
>>
No. 464342 ID: c4e5c2
File 135059346380.png - (12.20KB , 800x588 , 258.png )
464342

>Since you guys only adopt gender/organs by choice, isn't the whole matter of gender identity a matter of personal choice, or preference? She presents herself as a she because that's how she prefers to be perceived- bits aside.
This is an absolutely correct thing, but I do give leeway because for all I know she's going to whip out a gnarly dick on me or something just to see my face.

>Jammers
I don't know how they were decades ago, but they're pretty light now! Still bulky and fragile though. It is a diplomatic mission, plus I don't even think we even have any, so that's out.

"How much money or things do we have to offer Pilon?"
>"I think we have... around 18,000 remaining Zeny, but we're probably going to want to make another turret once the current one finishes. So maybe arond 8000."
"..... per day?"
>"No, total."
"Oh my god, you guys are dry. That bio suit was something like five hundred thousand!"
>"Yes, and Rokoa... she took it. She paid off a huge chunk of it in the first day."
"Man, we should get her to just get us straight up cash for it or something. Anyways, I think I'll grab some explosives and things too. You bring what you can fire, a shotgun or something. I'll deal with the long range. As for gifts... well, he's a big neumono. Probably eats a whole lot of food. I'll get some food that's grown down underground, plus some nice booze or something."

>"Hok, this is Tin! Get up here and bring Kappi if he's coming."
>>
No. 464343 ID: c4e5c2
File 135059352869.png - (38.56KB , 700x900 , 259.png )
464343

I barely get into her office before she shoves a map right to me.

>"Here's the map. Sector 4, only a several hour motorcycle drive. Not too bad till you get there. Unless you circle around the whole asteroid, you'll be coming in from the southwest end, from sector 7. 4 is the hottest sector, and I don't mean temperature wise. It's where most ships crashland. Also, Pilon seems to move around a bunch, but there are three major outposts that he frequents."
>"How many sectors are there?" Kappi asks.
>"12. Some bigger than others, mostly following the topography of the asteroid, which is hardly a perfect sphere." says Tin.
"I'd like a CAI node!"
>"No. It's fine if a couple secluded places like Rokoa's hive or the Iron Cove know we have one. But the CAI is by far the most valuable thing we have, and I don't want the waves of marauders, mobsters, mafia, pirates and plunderers finding out we've got something like that. It's probably out of range anyway, and we're not setting up a relay up there." Tin pauses. "Anyways, we got the Zozu Family in the southeast outpost, but that's the biggest one. If anyone knows where Pilon is, they'd be in there."
"I think they want to kill me."
>"The other two outposts are smaller, and might not have had the chance to want to kill you yet. Your choice on the route. We'll lend you a couple of motorcycles, but you're paying for them if you lose them. And knowing you, you will, so you better bring something back of equal or better value other than Pilon."
>>
No. 464345 ID: fa9f7e

What kind of booze and food do you have anyway? And is anything toxic to neumono that you should know about?
>>
No. 464347 ID: 4a328b

Go to the outpost near sector 5
>>
No. 464348 ID: 44f93b

>4 days worth of food each
I'll assume the portions are scaled correctly. Neumono need to eat a lot more than you skinny mikliks.

>"I think they want to kill me."
Pfff. Like that's a problem. Everybody wants to kill you.

>Small players, iron cove
Huh. And here I was under the impression they were one of the bigger players. Oh well, good to know someone we pissed off isn't so tough.
>>
No. 464349 ID: 37aa84

Try to stay clear of any Wreckage/Crash Site locations. We wouldn't want any scavengers mistaking us for competitors nor would we want to be caught by any marauders or bandits looking to ambush scavengers either.
>>
No. 464355 ID: f2c20c

>>464348
It's not that they're small players, they're just secluded and have limited manpower. If the entire surface catches wind of the CAI we'll have to deal with a wall of flesh descending upon us. Not fun.

I agree we should pick the leftmost outpost first. Maybe investigate that crashed ship along the way to salvage something of value. Are those 'covered paths' the only routes? Can't we cut across at some point?
>>
No. 464369 ID: 049858

Hmm...a gift to bring to the table? I find myself wondering if he's seen the movie. How'd that end up anyway? Were Polo and Rokoa competing over him? Was there a threeway? Was...I'll shut up about that, now.
But something with personal value like that is likely to interest him. At least give us a chance to present our case.
...oh and another turret doesn't mean jack if the hive decides to crush us. Bring the 18K.
>>
No. 464375 ID: b33427

Head to the big outpost. Kappi can do the talking while you stay out of sight.

Steer clear of any fresh crash sites; Those'll be crawling with scavengers, and the bandits that prey on them. Check with Tin if the marked wrecks are old ones that have been picked clean of all but the worst stuff. Those might be able to be passed closer by, but marauders might have set up base in them.

Oh, and point out that if Tin wants the CAI to be kept under wraps, you hope she's already told it to keep its big mouth shut around anyone who's not a member of the base; You know how much it likes to talk.
>>
No. 464520 ID: c4e5c2
File 135068738935.png - (16.67KB , 700x700 , 260.png )
464520

>Is the food scaled correctly?
Yep, Kappi's got way more food if we were to count flat amounts.

>And here I was under the impression the iron cove was one of the bigger players
They're medium ground, but, we were already enemies, and I don't think us having the CAI is going to make them more aggressive. Tin I suppose just wants to not give us more by sharing that fact with people who are neutral with us!

>Can't we cut across at some point?
Yes, the hatched areas were difficult and would involve careful manuevering of our bikes, but there is trouble with just going out in the open! See, this whole asteroid field is home to many fights, and many stray missiles knock debris, be it shrapnel or rocks and things, into our atmosphere. As a result, tons of things end up hitting the surface.Sometimes some pretty big rocks fall down on us! The labeled roads are more like tunnels, or well covered and reinforced areas, that protect against at least modest debris falls. That said, as a result, people funnel through there to move around, and so bandits may ask for tolls! Speaking of that, I will be bringing 1000z as a toll fund.

With that said, I don't want to have to actually follow the path when it makes a huge U turn like that to the left outpost, so I'll take a risk and make a short cut through as labeled by the red section. It's not like it's a hail of rocks out there, but it's not nice knowing that one the size of your head could come down on you at any second. Kappi would be cool with that, but I won't!
>>
No. 464522 ID: c4e5c2
File 135068785823.png - (48.99KB , 700x700 , 261.png )
464522

We head out, and a few hours pass by before we stop for lunch.

>"We're about a third of the way there. So why aren't the roads paved at all? It's hard to get up to any speed at all." Kappi asks.
"Bombs and stuff. Sometimes pirates and guys just go 'oh hey all these weapons but there's only so much of a market what are we going to do with all these missiles and explosives and turrets to shoot them out of.' Oh and so I hope the map is up to date because between the bombing and the digging for especially old, buried ships for scrap metal, the landscape changes constantly. Heard you rented a movie last night based on a true story. How was that?"
>"A show, actually. It was actually better than I thought it would be. It was... uh... not actually very closely tied into the true story, but it looked like they had fun shooting it, so it was a fun kind of campy show that didn't take itself seriously. Are those... engines?"
"Yeah we got company! Sounds like... 5 guys, coming from where we're trying to head."
>"Are they dangerous?"
"Dunno! Bandits around here play a funny little game of thievery and all that, but not taking all the valuables of someone, because then they might really piss off the wrong people. So it's a delicate balance for them to not overshoot their power! I think. Point is, they probably aren't after much more than a hefty toll. We could always just roll out into the open there if you're feeling daring."

Although the perspective will still be centered on Hok, Kappi may still receive direct suggestions as an indirect player character.
>>
No. 464527 ID: 6a1ec2

Kappi kiss Hok.
>>
No. 464530 ID: 44f93b

Heh. Kappi, you look a little silly in your armor. Hmm. If this is your first trip to the surface, that means this is your first time seeing the stars for real, right? Not feeling agoraphobic at all, I hope?

Oh wait, yeah. The tactical situation.

You're outnumbered, and neither of you is a primary fighter. 2 to 5 isn't good odds, especially if these guys happen to be experienced. Best option is probably to hide and hope you aren't noticed (assuming they haven't seen you already, and Kappi doesn't sense a neumono among them). If that's not viable, I'd say go daring and just pay them off. Hell, maybe ask them if they've heard anything about Pilon around here while you're at it.
>>
No. 464550 ID: dff55b

>>464530
for now I would say this is probably the best course if viable, discretion(?) is the best path of survival, or at least not having too much taken from you (they might not be interested in the money but end up eying the bikes or weapons & demand those instead)
>>
No. 464559 ID: d4ad1a

Get off the road.
>>
No. 464570 ID: f2c20c

Don't provoke the bandits.
>>
No. 464607 ID: 049858

Conceal yourselves as best you can. Do not provoke or attempt to ambush the riders. Assuming they're bandits could lead you into trouble if they aren't. Observe from concealment if you can. Be aware that if any are neumonos, they will sense Kappi as soon as he can sense them. Running for it should be an option at any time.
>>
No. 464705 ID: b33427

Try to hide as best you can without starting your motorcycles, unless they're silent running ones that use fuel cells, batteries, or are hybrid models that can run a short distance on battery power. If they're not, then that'd be a good idea to mention to Tin the next time the base is buying vehicles.

Hok, you're on so many people's hit list that it's in your best interest to find as good a hiding spot as you can right now, since there may be at least one person in that group that wants to kill you, or knows someone who has a bounty on your head. Also, pull that aviator's helmet off; It's a major part of your description, so taking it off may keep them from identifying you.
>>
No. 464754 ID: c4e5c2
File 135076786252.png - (21.58KB , 700x700 , 262.png )
464754

>Kappi: Not feeling agoraphobic at all, I hope?
>No, no, I've seen pictures of it, they aren't new to me entirely. I mean, it's different seeing them in the flesh and all that, but it isn't overwhelming. I'm more concerned about the people on the surface than the inanimate objects out there.

"We're gonna hide, bring out the tent and let's move out in the open, use the tent as a tarp! Oh, any neumono?"
>"If there are, they're under jammers!"

>Motorcycle noise
They run at a low hum, quiet enough to get drowned out by whoever's coming.
>>
No. 464755 ID: c4e5c2
File 135076791261.png - (37.94KB , 700x700 , 263.png )
464755

>Take off the goggles
Will do!

>"We're out in the open! What if a rock hits us?"
"It'll suck. Pretty unlikely though! Heck, some bandits around here have hazing initiations where they make recruits spend an entire day out here to make sure they don't panic over little things like this. Let me take a look though."
>>
No. 464756 ID: c4e5c2
File 135076795904.png - (17.81KB , 700x700 , 264.png )
464756

"Let's see... oh, what do you know, there are neumono with jammers. Cool."
>"What if they see us?"
"Probably nothing, they have to be a delivery truck or something. Having jammers means they're trying to hide, which is probably pretty pointless considering that engine. Those neumono are probably just being used as pointmen."
>"Wouldn't that still be a valid tactic for ambushing people?"
"While moving around with those loud motors? They'd be bad at it! Already bad enough with that truck though. But really, those guys probably aren't out for blood. Friendly even, I'd bet! Us going out in the open was probably unnecessary, cautionary actions aside."
>>
No. 464757 ID: 44f93b

Ooh! Kappi-channel is violet.

Well... none of the visible neumono look like Pilon (ears too small). And if they aren't bandits, oh well, no harm in being overly cautious. Probably best not to jump out and approach them anyways- people with guards trying to hide probably won't appreciate people popping out from under cover.

Let's let 'em go by, and then continue on our way.
>>
No. 464758 ID: dff55b

wait for them to pass, even if they seem friendly theres no point taking risks since we've only recently gotten to the surface, still, once they're gone get moving ASAP
>>
No. 464759 ID: 997ce7

>>464757
Yeah, pretty much this. They can't detect Kappi either, though, right?
>>
No. 464760 ID: dff55b

>>464759
no, jammers affect all neumono in a certain radius, and even if they could they seem to be passing by
>>
No. 464762 ID: 44f93b

>They can't detect Kappi either, though, right?
Yeah. Jammers are two way. Neumono inside a jamming field can't broadcast or receive empathy.

...except for that weird one the war hive had around the armory. It acted more like a wall- signals couldn't get in or out of the armory, but the neumono inside could still sense one another.

Polo's the other exception- she can stop broadcasting but still receive.

We now the needle trick can stop broadcasting too- not sure if it messes with receiving.
>>
No. 464763 ID: fe753f

>>464761

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the Armory jammer was built into the walls of the section but didn't extend past them, so it basically formed a box that separated "internal" empathy from the external.

That's how I rationalized it anyway.
>>
No. 464764 ID: f2c20c

>>464756
If we get some information about where Pilon is, it could save us a lot of time. I say we try to contact them. Worst thing that can happen is we have to pay a toll.
>>
No. 464767 ID: b33427

Oh, so it's a bunch of vehicles with missing mufflers. Half expected a tank or something, from how loud they are.

Actually, why would they be rolling around up here making such a racket? That makes no sense to announce yourself when you aren't as heavily armed and armored as a tank, especially if you look like a delivery vehicle. There's something fishy going on here.

They could be bait for bandits, by either bandits robbing other bandits, some law force action, or something else. The bandits stop them, and then a following force swings around and flanks the bandits. That might explain the jammed neumono; They don't want them to tip that something is up when they're jumped.

Anyway, wait about ten minutes after these guys pass to see if anyone is tailing them, then pack up and continue on.
>>
No. 464831 ID: 049858

They still outnumber you five to two, and you have no evidence that they're friendly. Let them continue on by, and call this a good experience in problem-avoidance. If you have some idea where they're headed or where they came from, that could be a stop along the way to gather information. Not just information on Pilon, but on conditions in this area. "Finding" a jammer for Kappi would be nice, too, in the future.
>>
No. 464838 ID: c4e5c2
File 135078053192.png - (19.00KB , 700x700 , 265.png )
464838

>Can they detect Kappi
So long as they don't turn that jammer off, then they won't be able to detect him!

"Let's hang here till they leave. Friendly out here is relative, after all!"
>"Y-yeah."
"Also, just in case they're getting tailed, we'll wait a few minutes. It's a trip of many hours, won't hurt to make it many hours and 10 minutes."
>"You're the experienced one, so okay!"

.... and oh hey thinking of tanks, got a light hover tank.

"Kappi, neumono report!"
>"Same thing, but I can sense them! They're definitely following the delivery one we just saw. None inside the tank, just the few on the outside protecting it."
"Oh, well. None of our business! Tempting to see if they know anything about Pilon, but the outpost should do."
>"Why's it always neumono on the front and outside?"
"Uh, cause you guys can survive when there's a gun ambush or some surprise bombs, of course. You're all the ideal frontlinemen, cause you might actually live when you get blown up, unlike the rest of us. Sides, what are you going to do with tiny buttons in those tanks, with those oven mitts for hands?"
>"I get it, I get it."
>>
No. 464839 ID: c4e5c2
File 135078054081.png - (57.29KB , 700x700 , 266.png )
464839

We pack up our things and head off for about another 30 minutes or so without interruption.

BAM
>"Ahh!"

Well that was kind of a big rock that fell, but it must've been a mile away. Kappi sure is easily startled.
>>
No. 464841 ID: 44f93b

>"Same thing, but I can sense them! They're definitely following the delivery one we just saw."
Kappi, what kind of following? Backup or hunting? Kind of makes a difference.

>Kappi sure is easily startled.
Well, he's used to living in an environment where things don't fall from the sky and kill you. Takes a little getting used to, I expect.
>>
No. 464842 ID: f2c20c

Ask him if he's ever been in a combat situation at all before.
>>
No. 464843 ID: 44f93b

Wait, wait, I got a good way to reassure him.

C'mon Kappi, you voluntarily hang out with Rokoa. No way falling space rocks are more scary than her!
>>
No. 464845 ID: dff55b

now now kappi, you've faced much worse things like >>464843 mentioned, surely this must be a cake-walk for you now!

also HoK, can your wider-field of vision help any for spotting potential ambushes or people in the distance?
>>
No. 464962 ID: 049858

>>464839
A big rock? Stop and take a look with your binoculars. Was it a rock, or a ship? Perhaps a satellite or something. If it was a ship full of neumonos, Kappi might be reacting to them dying.
>>
No. 464964 ID: 4a328b

Kappi stop freaking out~ It's WAY far away, dude!
>>
No. 464983 ID: c4e5c2
File 135084693849.png - (14.65KB , 700x700 , 267.png )
464983

>No way falling space rocks are more scary than Rokoa!
Well, yes, but I can't tell a rock's intentions! And if she did, I'd be able to tell.

>It's far away!
Yes, but it was so loud, it sounded like it hit right by us!

"You ever even been in a combat situation before?"
>"Well, yes, a couple attacks on the trade hub I helped with, but I usually wasn't on the front line."
"Kappi I would like to know how you would chase Rokoa sooner than go out to harmless rocks. At least rocks don't throw explosives at you!"
>"Welll... fine, fine, I'm okay! Let's go."

>Can your wider-field of vision help any for spotting potential ambushes or people in the distance?
Why yes it does! I have excellent vision. Plus infrared! Not like that's a big deal around here right now.

It fell safely, for us, behind some mountains, so I can't confirm if it was a rock! If it was a ship, then it sure fell like a rock. Still outta neumono range, so even if it was full of the fuzzballs, Kappi wouldn't be able to tell.

Soon after that little Kappi scare, one of the rocks of the cliff face opens.

>"Hey! Hey, you two. You're about to enter Zircon territory! State your name, affiliation and purpose."
>>
No. 464984 ID: f2c20c

>>464981
Lessee... Hok, go with a fake name. Kappi can just use his real one. Affiliation and purpose I don't see a reason to lie about.
>>
No. 464987 ID: 26a7c1

>>464981
>name
Dude, son of Bob.
>affiliation
(Do you have any idea whether these guys are friendly with the Fort or not? If they aren't, lie your ass off and say you're unaffilitated.)
>business
Trying to get in contact with a certain salvager. (Try not to outright identify him as Pilon, in case these guys are enemies of his.)
>>
No. 465000 ID: dff55b

hmmm, use a mix of lie & truth, state everything your doing but add in non-truths, basically everything to show you asre peobably passing through & might trade if you see something beneficial to your search
>>
No. 465001 ID: 44f93b

>Zircon
...are these the people who own the outpost we're heading for, or is this intermediary territory? In either case, are these Zirkons know hostiles of either our base, or Hok in particular?

>if these people control our destination
Be honest. You're Hok, from <whatever our base is called>, and your intent is peaceful, you're just looking for a friend who sometimes comes around this area.

>if these people control an intermediary
Be more evasive. You're from <whatever our base is called>, and you're just passing through.

>If they're known hostiles
Lie about everything, gtfo asap.
>>
No. 465009 ID: e3f578

>>464983
I found Kappi's logic of being afraid of rocks instead of Rokoa, despite the risks involved.
Reward for risking chasing Rokoa is hot, kinky pleasure with a little bit of pain. Reward for merely avoiding rocks is just survival. Less worth it, so less courage.

Tell 'em we're just a buncha recruiters for a trade depot looking for Pilon to hire.
>>
No. 465018 ID: 8b9215

>>465001
this sums it up pretty well.
>>
No. 465022 ID: 049858

>>465001
That's it in a nutshell.
>>
No. 465137 ID: b33427

Hok should pull up to the intercom plate, unless it has a camera in it, in which case he should stay out of its line of sight.

Hok should use a fake name, such as "Gus" or "Pon" or something else suitably miklik. No telling who out here wants to kill him, either for personal reasons for a bounty. Kappi can use his own name.

As for affiliation... uh... the trade hub doesn't officially have a name yet, does it? Call it "that trade hub Tin owns that doesn't have a name" or whatever the traders call it.

Then say your purpose here is to head to that scavenger outpost in the north-west of the sector. (Use the proper name if Hok knows it.) Don't say you're here to track down Pilon to hire him, or even that you're here to look for anyone. Only make up more to say if they press you.
>>
No. 465166 ID: c4e5c2
File 135089625823.png - (63.49KB , 700x700 , 268.png )
465166

>About the Zircon
Don't know much about them! They're led by an allegedly notorious space pirate. Well, ex space pirate, now more of a land pirate. They just control the middle of nowhere, though. Not the outpost itself!"

They do have a camera, but I look over innocently at Kappi to hide my eyes, as between my missing goggles and those, it's a bit hard to tell each other apart by looks alone!

"Hey! My name is Piko, and this here is Kappi. We're just passing through, from the trade hub tower."
>"Led by Tin?"
"That's the one."
>"Passing through why?"
"To get to the other si... to get to the sector 5 border outpost."
>"What for?"

Hoo boy, this one is sure inquisitive.
>>
No. 465167 ID: 886a4d

>>465166
Recruitment, we were under attack recently so we need more hands.
>>
No. 465172 ID: f2c20c

>>465166
Tell them you were looking for Pilon. We could use info on his whereabouts anyway, you know, so withholding his name is counterproductive.
>>
No. 465176 ID: 1bdb8a

>>465166
Tell them you're going there on your honeymoon because you had your first date there.
>>
No. 465177 ID: b33427

Say you're going there to start looking for Pilon. If they press for more, say Tin's looking to hire him for something; What, you don't know. You're just supposed to get the encrypted communicator into his hands so Tin can talk to him.
>>
No. 465184 ID: 44f93b

Yeah, might as well say we've been sent out to try and find Pilon and he's been known to frequent the area. Don't talk about why, though.
>>
No. 465187 ID: dff55b

admittidly, from creator...... I give this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq8GBzuI23I&list=FLPfhzY8wCGKjxmEBH3XUUow&index=44&feature=plpp_video from ace:combat

my apologies, but for newer where I came in I feel now, securem comfort, stealth, I'm new... but... neumono are.... O want a wife as neumono....... want kappi to keep safe.....
>>
No. 465188 ID: fa9f7e

>>465187
Wat?

>>465166
Yeah, just say you're looking for Pilon unless they have some kind of grudge against him, then just go with recruitment.
>>
No. 465190 ID: e3f578

>>465166
"Do you honestly even care? It has nothing to do with you. We're seriously just passing through, we have business yes, obviously. But that doesn't mean you should care so much. Do you ask everyone that passes? Don't you get tired of hearing 'blah blah we're hunting blah blah doing a diplomatic mission blah blah sight seeing.'?"
And if they're insistent, then might as well, you're looking to recruit Pilon as a diplomat to deal with a squabble you have with the Hive here.
>>
No. 465221 ID: 049858

>>465190
I have to agree with Dirtbag. This guy is too paranoid for his own good, which is probably why they stuck him with the job. Answer his questions, but act like he's wasting your time...which shouldn't be hard, because he is.
>>
No. 465223 ID: 44f93b

If we tell them the truth "We're looking for a scavenger by the name of Pilon" seems sufficient. No need to tell them what for. (And if they press us, "our boss has business with him" is enough of a reason). When a guard asks "what are you doing here" it's not necessary to explain your faction's entire strategic situation!
>>
No. 465229 ID: 26a7c1

We're looking to hire a certain experienced scavenger. Again, do NOT identify him.

>>465187
wat
>>
No. 465230 ID: dff55b

why didn't you spot that? elctronis create heat ibto infrared fied!!!
>>
No. 465275 ID: c4e5c2
File 135093867885.png - (14.27KB , 510x362 , 269.png )
465275

"Pilon. Since you'll probably ask 'what for?' next, recruitment."
>"You're catching on. Pretty funny, you fancying yourself as having the keys to that walking steamroller. What for? Why recruit him?"
"We're short on hands, same as everyone!"
>"... well, you're either in luck or out of it, depending how you look at it. We know where he is. You just put in 100 zeny in our receiver, and you'll know too."
>"Can we trust them?" Kappi whispers.
"Only 100z to find out!" I tell him back, putting 100z in.
>"Good choice, miklik. Pilon's somewhere around 63, 67. He's holding out, after stealing a nice little chunk of something from a group. Been there for a few days now, but none of our business. You just head on through, stick to the roads. We'll be keeping an eye on you."
>>
No. 465276 ID: 886a4d

Could be a trap, but a lead is a lead. Might as well follow it.
>>
No. 465277 ID: 4a328b

Woo-hoo! Hang a left at the next intersection and head to PILON
>>
No. 465278 ID: 9d7671

Ask him if he knows which group they stole something from.
So if we run into them we wont blurt out that we are looking for Pilon and possibly lead them to him.
>>
No. 465282 ID: 44f93b

Oh my d'aww, he's even adorable in tiny avatar form. 0u0 (Dem eyes! Dem ears!).

Looks like we'll have to hang a right, follow the road past two wrecked ships, and then cut across the waste.

Is our food / fuel adequate for that trip?

>He's holding out, after stealing a nice little chunk of something from a group
Sounds like good news for us, actually! He might be in need of help with that- help getting the goods out, a place to dump the goods, a trader to pawn it through, or maybe science types to get what he needs from the haul. We potentially have a bargaining position here.

>Information
Might as well thank them and be off. Worst case, we've just been sent on a coffee cake run, but oh well.
>>
No. 465305 ID: f2c20c

>>465275
>stick to the roads
But there isn't a road there! How are we supposed to follow their directions?
>>
No. 465310 ID: b33427

Make a starting offer of 20 zeny for the name of the group Pilon stole from, and an estimate of how big and well equipped their group is. Negotiate up if the guy holds out.

Any chance of radioing Tin to give her an update on the mission? 'Cause if this turns out to be a trap, she might want to know that Zircon did it. Plus she might know more about the group after Pilon, if the guy says who they are.

Head up into the difficult terrain to the west of Pilon's possible position, then east into that little bit of covered road to head to it; That'll partially cover your approach. If there's a rise where you can get a good look at the destination, stop and have a look through your binoculars.
>>
No. 465311 ID: 44f93b

>>465305
They just mean while we're in their territory.
>>
No. 465320 ID: fa9f7e

>>465311
Pretty sure this is it.

And 20 zeny for a name sounds acceptable.
>>
No. 465525 ID: c4e5c2
File 135099674720.png - (8.36KB , 375x247 , 270.png )
465525

>Radio to Tin
Unfortunately, radio sucks to unreasonable levels here, so that will be impossible!

>Are the food/fuel supplies adequate?
Absolutely, we likely brought more than enough, and only brought extra in case this mission became extentded.

"I offer 20 zeny to learn the name of the group that was stolen from."
>"50."
"30!"
>"50."
"Deal!"
>"The Shredded Flag."

Oh boy more space pirates. Thankfully, I do not have any direct affiliations with them, and so they would only kill me for my bounty. Which is all I can ask for! And having a bounty just isn't that special.

"Alright thanks, I'll be on my way!"

And with that, we slice off another chunk of the day to get to the Shredded Flag territory, the map updated to be highlighted in red.
>>
No. 465527 ID: c4e5c2
File 135099683982.png - (55.45KB , 700x700 , 271.png )
465527

To which it turns out that they barricaded their whole border.

>"I can't sense any neumono hiding." Kappi assures me.
>>
No. 465528 ID: 44f93b

Pilon's camped out in the middle of the territory of the people he stole from?

Well, that means there's more likely to be shooting, but he may be in more need of outside help. Although, we aren't in much position to offer military support (although I suppose Hok could do something sneaky...), and people holed up from attackers might be less than happy receiving guests.

>Border guards
We need an unguarded bit of border to sneak in- shooting our way past the guards is just stupid. Maybe we could cut through that crashed ship right on the edge of their border? (Or is that considered valuable, and more heavily guarded?).
>>
No. 465531 ID: 9d7671

We need information! Either we scout from afar and try to stay hidden. Or we send Kappi to talk with the guards and cover him with our sniper.

Either Kappi manages to get the information out of the guards by bribing, or we could simply just shoot all but one of them and interrogate him.
But they might have other people stationed nearby.
>>
No. 465539 ID: fa9f7e

>>465531
This sounds good if we can't find any unguarded border.
>>
No. 465554 ID: 049858

>>465528
I'm going to go ahead and support this. Odds are good that the crashed ship has been so thoroughly looted that they're not bothering to guard it.
Well, this is turning from a recruitment mission into a commando extraction mission. Hopefully we won't have to do much fighting, and can stealth it most of the way. Make sure Kappi understands this, Hok, and while you're at it, ask him what he thinks of his first mission so far.
>>
No. 465565 ID: 26a7c1

>>465527
Turn around 360 degrees and moonwalk back to the bike. Then circle around and locate a gap in the defenses.
>>
No. 465577 ID: dff55b

why not use this to our advantage? see if you can get them to pay you for... *ahem* "removing" Pilon?
>>
No. 465624 ID: 44f93b

>>465577
That would be a masterstroke. Get the victims to pay us to deal with the thief, and instead save the thief, recruit him, and make off with the goods and our pay.

I don't think we have the resources to pull it off, though. Our biggest asset is surprise, and sneakiness, which we kind of forgo if we g in the front door.
>>
No. 465648 ID: 049858

>>465577
Keep this as a back-up plan, in case we can't locate a hole in their defenses.
>>
No. 465782 ID: b33427

Alright, you're going to have to get away from this lot without being suspicious. Head up to them and straight up ask how much the toll is. If they quote a number, say that's more than you'll pay, and you're just going to head back and take the other route to the outpost. If they say they've closed their borders, idly ask why, but don't press them if they aren't forthcoming, then leave.

Once you're out of their sight, take off northwards, towards that squiggly roadway. Don't go south and around to the wreck on the roadway; Even if it has been stripped, it's very likely at least a base of operations, since it's protection from falling objects, and straddles the roadway.

You're also going to have to consider bringing Kappi anywhere near where Pilon is supposedly located. There's going to be Shredded Flag neumono there, either tracking Pilon, or, more likely, waiting until Pilon's jammer dies so they can track him. They'll sense Kappi the moment he gets near.
>>
No. 465844 ID: 049858

Bear in mind, any neumono who do sense Kappi can tell immediately that he isn't Pilon. But his presesnce will seem awfully suspicious without a good explanation.
>>
No. 465854 ID: c4e5c2
File 135111021674.png - (77.54KB , 700x700 , 272.png )
465854

>Pilon being camped in the middle of the territory of those he stole from
I cannot imagine that is done on purpose, so that is likely why he has been pinned down for days.

>Crashed ships
The ones on the map are not even close to the only crashed ships, but they are the more active ones that are in the middle of being scavenged. Although all the loose valuables are taken within hours, the dismantling of large weapons and hull scrap metal takes far longer. In short, that would be heavily guarded, and between having 2 active shipwrecks and Pilon right in the middle of them, is probably why their border patrol is a mere 3 count.

In the interest of not appearing suspicious, I ask about their borders and toll, and they say they are current closed! With that, I had back, and try to find a gap in their borders. They have various checkpoints, and sneaking by will appear tough!

I do find some high ground outside of their territory, out in the open to which I use to spy where Pilon is. Looks like he took the high ground as well, in some old, broken down fortification.
>>
No. 465855 ID: c4e5c2
File 135111026807.png - (25.38KB , 700x700 , 273.png )
465855

Problem for him, and problem for us, is that they do have him under siege! I may need to offer my services to root him out after all. Of course, them trusting me to not backstab them would take some hefty convincing! And rightly so, given that's exactly what I'd do.
>>
No. 465858 ID: fac85e

If we make it sound like we have a bone to pick with him they may be willing to let us take him as long as we get him ourselves and give them back whatever he stole, and considering the situation giving up what he stole and being escorted out like a prisoner by representatives of his new employer may make a tempting offer to Pilon. They'd get there stuff back without expending too much more of there resources and they would think Pilon would still get whats coming to him just not from them.
>>
No. 465859 ID: 44f93b

...at least coming to his aid is a proven meathod of befriending Pilon. Now, the question is how the hell we pull it off!

We're really not equipped to break a siege. Working for the shredded flag and backstabbing them would get us in but I'm not sure how that gets us and Pilon (along with any companions or loot he has) back out again.

Really regretting we don't have the CAI with us. That would certainly cause the chaos needed to run through a mechanized siege.

If we're going to fake working for them, we need a way to keep Kappi from giving up the game to other neumono (can he sense if they have any at this range?) and you're going to need a good excuse for wanting to get involved, besides money. Hunting Pilon is a plausible excuse, and close to what we're actually doing, but it's close enough to at odds to what they're doing they'll be expecting a backstab.
>>
No. 465860 ID: 44f93b

>>465858
Only problem is ideally we want to bust Pilon out with his stuff (good way to make friends!) and if we make it clear we're trying to take him alive, while they'd be happier with him dead, they're going to expect the backstab, or possibly lead with one of their own.
>>
No. 465862 ID: e3f578

>>465855
You could try and flirt your way through all the way to center with your womanly charms, if you have developed any, Hok.
But for serious, I suggest digging our way through the bottom, or looking for a cavern that gets really close to the bottom of the fort and blowing our way in. There's always a second way in, a flank. Which Pilon is probably covering the most actually. Think that's possible?
>>
No. 465866 ID: 9d7671

We could just leave and try to find some group who hates the shredded flags and try to get them to attack, either by lying that the flags are weak or just telling the truth that they are preoccupied by the situation at hand.

Or possibly contact rest of Pilons posse, unless they are all trapped inside that fort.

Too bad we don't have an AI node with use. We could use it to fake some transmissions to make the shredded flags believe that there is a massive attacking or a falling ship threatening them
>>
No. 465868 ID: dff55b

if possible wait for one of the units to faulter & either break formation or be sufficiently weakened to get by them under cover of dark? pritty sure somebody like pilon is giving them all 9 layers of hell at the moment so something has got to break
>>
No. 465869 ID: 008d86

Well here's an idea. We could volunteer to sneak into his hold-out, on behalf of a fictional employer who wants some information tortured out of him. We get there and we "find" that infact Pilon is not there, he's fooled them with a decoy or a secret escape tunnel and is likely miles from their territory by now. Hopefully they'll be so angry and frustrated that they'll be hasty to chase after him and give only a poor survey of the place.
>>
No. 465871 ID: c4e5c2
File 135111529699.png - (27.40KB , 900x700 , 274.png )
465871

>Dig your way in
I don't know the layout of this area enough to know how the cavern layout is below us, plus, it would be more than a few feet down! I suppose I could get back to the trade hub and try to find some maps, but.. that's a longshot and would probably just waste a whole day that we may not have.

>Find someone to take advantage of the Shredded Flag's preoccupied state
While plausible, I would have to spend an awful lot of time trying to find an enemy of the shredded flag that was not also an enemy of mine, in any position to attack, and actually would attack! I will keep these plans in mind just in case.

>Pilon giving them 9 layers of hell
I don't hear any fighting at all in the time I've spent moving around. Looks more like he Shredded Flag is trying to starve them out, but neither are willing to attack the other.

I motion Kappi to come with me. The less he knows, the better, as far as his inconvenient empathy goes. He'll give me a hand signal or tell me if he senses any neumono around.

>"You're back, but we're still closed, Miklik. Turn around."
"Hold that thought! I know why you're closed, you're trying to keep a tight seal against anyone helping Pilon out, yes? Well as it happens, we're the sort of people that are willing to gohunting Pilon for the right price. Now, you can tell just by looking at us, that we don't exactly scream Shredded Flag members, yes? Neither will Pilon. We'll be able to get in and root him out for you guys."
>"Jells, thoughts."
>"I don't know about that, but if we do just send 2 people up the hill, they may be willing to talk. Might be better than the mercenaries we bought just to sit around with us in the siege. No skin off our back if they kill a small party that isn't ours anyway. Also, that's Hok. Bounty of 100,000 zeny. More than we make in a year. Combined." the Belenosian says. Looks like I may as well put on my goggles.
"Not a bad sum, I'm aware, Iron Cove must have racked another 50 grand on after all, but Pilon is a bigger fish that has a bigger pan of yours! I'm sure you're aware that letting me slip on by is worth it if I break that siege, something I know is expensive to maintain."
>"Jells, more thoughts." The human repeats.
>"He has a point, except there's no way we can trust him. He could be with Pilon for all we know."
"A point I was certain would be made, and just as well, but if you know that much about me, you know that I'm with Tin's trade hub, right? It just so happens that we're trying to get some odd jobs for stuff like this, and I assure you that if Pilon was on our side and we were trying to mount a rescue, we'd send more than a single miklik and a jittery little friend."

Jells uses a radio. I suppose in a permanent residence, a radio relay is a good thing to have! Eventually, he and the human whisper to each other.

"We'll pay you 10,000 after you succeed. And you have to either come out with our belongings, or with Pilon's head. If you step back out of the fortification without either, we're shooting you. If you have any chance in hell, you'll be able to figure out what belongings we're trying to get back on your own. No haggling, take it or turn around."
>>
No. 465875 ID: e3f578

>>465871
Cool, so we actually can get Pilon out of their nonlethally then.
Or not. Man, that stuff must be hella expensive that he's stole. I wonder if Pilon regrets getting it and just doesn't want to take the chance that surrendering will get him out alive.
Wait, ask if they'd made any contact with Pilon since the siege started. I figured they tried if they just want the stuff back. But that's weird, wouldn't they be insulted enough to want him dead anyway? We can kill Pilon and probably keep the stuff if that's a real option, though that kills most chances at diplomacy with the hive in exchange for a chance of scrap worth greater than Hok's bounty. Aaaaand they said head, when head removal doesn't necessarily mean death. Maybe clarify if they mean they just want his head, not him dead. Because this whole thing just took a few levels in weirdness for some really valuable scrap.

This is money we're talking about here, when somebody cheats you out of substantial money, you generally kill them to send a message if they're not connected to anyone important, the the siege has to be worth the effort for the dough. If it's not substantial, then you just hurt them and you most certainly don't partake in an expensive siege. The money shouldn't have anything to do with it now, really. Unless it's something else entirely... maybe it's another unlimited CAI or something just as good?
>>
No. 465876 ID: 9d7671

Well if you are feeling dangerous and want to take down these fools just so show their boss that we are not to be fucked with, then do exactly that.

If not lets agree to their terms.
>>
No. 465877 ID: dff55b

>>465875
I doubt pilon would be cool with us lopping off his head for "evidence" even tho he can survive it, for now best bet is get in there, make contact & see what all 3 together can cook up, also take a mental note of the flags current setup & pass that intel onto pilon
>>
No. 465883 ID: 44f93b

Well... we have a way in now. Not sure how this helps us though. How does one lone miklik and neumono help Pilon break a siege? I mean, we could honor the deal and get them their stuff, but if Pilon was willing to give that up to escape, you'd think he'd have done so already.
>>
No. 465884 ID: e3f578

>>465877
Well, he's not going to like it but it'll definitely get him out of this siege and lets us hide/keep the valuable thing he stole.
>>
No. 465885 ID: 44f93b

>>465884
Well... if he's as tough or tougher than the dragoon pilot (which I'm pretty sure he is) he would probably be able to survive a decapitation.

Not sure how useful he'll be to us afterwards though. Kappi, how long would it take to regrow a head? As I recall, it took Rokoa 2-3 weeks for the leg, and we need a negotiator who can, well, negotiate.

Also- this plan requires Pilon to trust us. A lot. And he doesn't really have reason for that, yet.
>>
No. 465900 ID: fa9f7e

So, we offer him probable death and possible rescue versus certain death via starvation.
>>
No. 465924 ID: c4e5c2
File 135112447944.png - (51.07KB , 700x700 , 275.png )
465924

>How long does it take to regrow a head
Weeks, if not months, and that's assuming they live! They can't breathe or eat normally, so they need a lot of medical attention to cover those issues to, well, open the air passages so the lungs can work, and a way to put food in the stomach or IV or something.

They get someone to drive a car over and pick us up. Jells comes with us, since apparently we're his responsibility now.

"You've got a lot of siege stuff set up, huh. Rock shielding tents and everything. So I'm wondering, you just want his head OR your valuables? If I didn't know any better, I'd say you might actually be thinking about taking him alive!"
>"No." Jells says. "We're going to kill him and everyone under him, don't misunderstand. If you come out bringing our valuables, it just means you aren't backstabbing us after all, and it means we can bomb the shit out of Pilon without risking our valuables. If we happen to get him alive by some chance, then we find out what info we can from him, then kill him."
>"There are neumono." Kappi says.
>"That a problem?" asks Jells.
>"N-no! Just an observation."
>"You want a jammer? We'll loan you an old one for 1000."
"I only have 850!"
>"That much, then. Otherwise they're gonna know you're out to screw them as soon as your newbie looking buddy is in range."
>>
No. 465926 ID: 44f93b

...assuming we make it out of this alive, a jammer might be useful to have around in the future. And if we get killed here, we lose the money anyways. (Although, if 'old one' means the old super heavy models, it's probably not worth lugging around).

>months
>Kill em all
So... cutting off his head isn't going to work as an escape plan for Pilon. I didn't think so.

So... we've got a way in now. We've got no way out yet though. At least, not a way out that gets us what we want! How the hell is one barracks manager and one thief supposed to tip the balance and break a siege?

>"There are neumono."
Clarify, Kappi. In Pilon's group, the blockade, or both?
>>
No. 465927 ID: e3f578

>>465924
Fine, a jammer is valuable for the trade depot anyway. we're not giving it back, obviously, so fuck yeah that's a deal. I suggest taking it. We'd need it regardless of the backstab or not, Pilon would fuck us harder with bullets than Rokoa did Kappi with her hands if Kappi gave our location up to Pilon just like that in the fort, he wouldn't take any risks, even to a friendly broadcasting neumono I take it, especially if Kappi broadcasts a lot of the nervousness he's feeling, it'd probably overpower the friendliness anyway.

Remember to clarify this to the guard, the part where we'd need it anyway for dealing with Pilon, not the regardless of the backstabbing part. Because I think this deal would make them extra suspicious of us if we didn't
>>
No. 465928 ID: f2c20c

>>465924
Oh dear. If we come out with the stolen goods, they bomb the place and everyone in it dies, including Pilon.

If we take Pilon's head out, they give us some cash but they'll probably move in to kill his friends, plus even if there's some way to sneak Pilon out like that, he'll be useless.

I really do not see a way of dealing with this aside from breaking the siege or sneaking him out somehow. He probably won't want to sneak out by himself, though. He'll want to bring out his troops. So that leaves making an escape tunnel underground or breaking the siege.

The jammer would help for the escape tunnel... buy it. We can always offer it up as a replacement for cash if we run into bandits later. Plus if you don't take it, they'll think something is up.
>>
No. 465930 ID: b6edd6

>>465926
He means in the blockade. We already know Pilon's group contains neumono because it contains Pilon.
>>
No. 465932 ID: bf54a8

we told you tunnels would be a good idea man, or a drill tank.
>>
No. 465934 ID: fa9f7e

Do you have teleporters? I think I remember a vague reference to Rokoa's hive having those in the intermission.
>>
No. 465936 ID: 44f93b

>>465930
Pilon could conceivably be leading a group of mixed races, or even one without other neumono. Although, really, I expect it to be a group of fellow rogues. I wonder if we'll be seeing any other familiar faces from the warhive? We don't know who he was close to and might have deserted with.

Knowing whether there are neumono in the blockade is the more important question.

>>465934
Yes, but I think they're big things. I got the impression the ones the war hive brought in were vehicle-bound teleport pads that connected to the ship.
>>
No. 465939 ID: fa9f7e

>>465936
Well, jammers used to be bigger, too. Let's hope teleporters have gotten smaller as well.
>>
No. 465945 ID: c4e5c2
File 135112783878.png - (15.84KB , 700x700 , 276.png )
465945

>Teleporters
Such things exist, but they come with limitations! Generally, they require both teleporters to have clear space between them. Anything with more matter than air will mess it up! It's mostly used for space fights involving boarding. They're smaller than they used to be, but still require a pretty big truck to haul.

And I do assume Kappi means there are neumono in the siege, as we are outside of their linkup's range to sense inside where Pilon is.

Even I admit that it may not look good for escaping! Yes, digging a tunnel would be good if we had who knows how much time, but I'm afraid I don't have a drilltank shoved in my backpack! However, we're already neck deep in the business, and I do not know how forgiving they would be to letting us back out. Especially with that whole 100k zeny on my head.

"It's a deal! I doubt Pilon will respond well to a neumono scampering up that hill."
He gets us... yeah it's an old model alright.
>"I'll be able to hold it, I guess." Kappi says.

"Anything else you need?" Jells asks. Unusually nice for a mean looking space pirate!
>>
No. 465946 ID: dff55b

>>465939
I'd still expect them to be big, but even if small enough to easily be carried, we have no current way of triangulating data so we don't end up teleporting into solid rock, seems we are at an impasse, but for all we know Pilon may have a plan, he dosn't seem like the person to let himself be trapped for long with no plans being set into motion
>>
No. 465947 ID: f2c20c

Maybe some explosives in case he's behind a locked door.
>>
No. 465949 ID: dff55b

hmm seems almost too nice, it could be a doublecross, wait for us to distract Pilon & his troops then the flag's could come crashing down, who's to say they wouldn't mind grabbing their stuff back & Hok at the same time?
>>
No. 465951 ID: fa9f7e

>>465945
Okay, just how large are they, how big is the space Pilon is cooped up in, and how much do they cost?

I have the beginnings of a plan. If getting 2 teleporters and creating a secret tunnel between the two through Pilon's hidey hole is at all feasible:

1. Tell Pilon about the situation and our plan. Ask his advice if you don't know where to find teleporters or how to dig a hidden hole.

2. Leave, claim he's willing to give up the goods in exchange for something you've got (a few truckloads of precious minerals?), and since he's a long way from starving, it'll be easier than waiting him out.

3. In the meantime, have Pilon dig a tunnel towards a rendezvous location big enough for a teleporter, preferably with a thin shell of debris to hide until you actually use the teleporters.

4. Get teleporters, and carry one in under the guise of said precious minerals. Put the other at a rendezvous location in line of sight. Try and make the tunnel exit above the siege.

5. Finish the tunnel and teleport out, then run like fuck. Disadvantage: that'd mean losing 1 teleporter and a truck, and I'm not even sure if it's all feasible.
>>
No. 465953 ID: e3f578

Pilon might have explosives he isn't willing to use for whatever reason, I think that maybe we shouldn't make any more plans until we're inside and can make inventory of all of our combined equipment.
This Jammer could possibly be the one factor that Pilon needed in a plan of his own. I'm sure that he's made and tried plenty of plans all ready, it's just a matter of equipment needed or people. He's probably even tried digging or blowing through the bottom, or is still exploring the old fort for hidden pathways into the caverns below.

We need to combine our genius minds.
>>
No. 465956 ID: e3f578

Oh yeah Hok give the jammer a once-over for traps, bombs, trackers, or bugs. I figure you have enough experience in checking for those and how to disable them. We can disable them inside but we should still check now before we go into the epicenter of shitcity with a bomb on our back.
>>
No. 465966 ID: 44f93b

Well... if nothing else, getting our people in nets the besieged a little more food (we were carrying a good hunk as a gift for Pilon).

>"Anything else you need?"
>unusually nice!
Well, if you're helping them, he wants you to succeed. And if you double cross him, he expects you to end up dead, at which point he gets his stuff back anyways!
>>
No. 466060 ID: c4e5c2
File 135115401308.png - (22.40KB , 700x700 , 277.png )
466060

"How about some explosives in case he's behind a locked door?"
>"2 sticks, that's all. Give yourself good clearance."
"Then that'll be all!"
>"Then get on your way."

>Give it a once over for any bombs
Well I'll open it up once I'm outta sight but I don't think they'll appreciate me looking at its insides. I will take a look at its outside and hey look at that a tracker. I'll just deal with that as I go, can't do much of it now without tipping them off!

>Details on neumono jammers
The better ones I've seen are only a single foot across in the longest wire length, and only about 5 pounds.

I can't possibly imagine how we'd make acquire teleporters, so that plan will also likely not come to fruition! I am sort of relying on this Pilon person to have a good way out. We get up almost the whole way, when Kappi's jammer gets shot. That didn't last long at all. The sniper ducks back in and judging by Kappi's face, the jammer is out.

>"I... I recognize two of them. Oh, geez, there must be at least 20 neumono in there, but two them I knew back when I was with the hive! I'm sure of it. I think... I think, based on them, we can go inside, because they recognize me too. But there's more. It's more like a solid hive in there! Even the ones I recognize seem to have found some kind of peace.
>>
No. 466062 ID: f2c20c

>>466060
Well, it's just dead weight now, isn't it. Or... maybe not. If it's got a tracker maybe we can fool them by using it in a clever way.

Anyway, Kappi: call out to them to not shoot, you come in peace. Hok, you may as well do so too. There could be a listening device in the jammer, come to think of it, so don't speak out loud of your plans until it's been checked. Or dumped at the entrance while you go in.
>>
No. 466063 ID: dcd676

Can Kappi still sense the neumono within the siege group? If so, they probably know the tracker is dead and might suspect something if we try to use its tracker to throw them off.
>>
No. 466065 ID: 9d7671

Well get inside before the shredded flags get impatient.
Just be sure to enter with great flare and confidently exclaiming that help has arrived, to boost the morale of the defenders.

Or just enter with your hands in the air so they don't shoot you.
>>
No. 466070 ID: 04b86a

Pilon found a hive? Or... maybe even formed a hive? This is going to be either very good or very bad.

Well, they can all sense Kappi so they should know you aren't hostile. Get to the top and have Kappi drop the dead weight strapped to his back before going inside.
>>
No. 466071 ID: c4e5c2
File 135115820121.png - (15.66KB , 700x700 , 278.png )
466071

We call out to not shoot. I did note the type of tracker used, and it was no communication device.

>"Also, we're out of range of the siege, so they can't read me. The ones in the fortification, though, are willing to at least hear me out."
"Your voice is a little shaky, bud. You okay?"
>"Er, yes, they're kind of intimidating, but after last night, this isn't so bad."

Kid's a masochist, I swear.

>Enter with great flare and confidence, or slowly with hands in the air
Quite a conundrum! I'm hovering just under an edge before it dips down slightly to the entrance of the fortification entrance.

>Miklik, stay put or we shoot! You, blue guy, come forward, slowly.

Well that's a decision that's made for me! Looks like Kappi is on his own for words.

He tosses the jammer off before going forward.
>>
No. 466072 ID: c4e5c2
File 135115825168.png - (30.98KB , 700x700 , 279.png )
466072

....

Good god they all have bio armor.

>"You have 10 words or less." the one on the far right says.
>>
No. 466073 ID: f2c20c

>>466072
"We want to hire Pilon as a diplomat."

That's 8.
>>
No. 466074 ID: bf54a8

"i fucked rokoa"
>>
No. 466075 ID: dcd676

We want Pilon's help. Rokoa sends her regards.
>>
No. 466076 ID: f2c20c

>>466072
Oh! Something I'll point out here- they are wearing bio armor, but on their hands it's all worn out. They're digging a tunnel, alright, and they're putting all they have into it.
>>
No. 466077 ID: 9d7671

"I brought lots of food and want to help you"
>>
No. 466086 ID: 2f4b71

IIRC, didn't the CAI download at least part of the Iron Cove's sub-missile blueprints? If we could get a message back, they may be able to fire one off (without a warhead) towards the current workface of Pilon's tunnel to make a shaft right back to base.
>>
No. 466089 ID: f2c20c

>>466072
Wait a tic, is that a snow hive Neumono? I wonder if she's related to Pilon.
>>
No. 466093 ID: 9718f3

"Hiring Pilon as a diplomat. Oh, and I fucked Rokoa."

Haha, but no seriously we should just say we're here for mutual benefit. It's kind of funny how they think they're scary though. Compared to Rokoa they're almost cute.
>>
No. 466095 ID: ad13ca

"Sent to find Pilon. Need diplomat. Offering help and zeny."

If they give you more time, explain in more detail!

Do NOT try to lie, because they'll sniff that out soooo fast.
>>
No. 466098 ID: 44f93b

"I brought food and want to help?"
Sounds like the best opener. If you're allowed more words after that something along the lines of getting Hok inside might be good, and explaining you were looking for them/Pilon for a job in the first place, this situation just presented a convenient, gun filled way to make friends.

Don't recognition any of them from Polo's days. Any of these three the people you sensed you knew, Kappi?

>Wait a tic, is that a snow hive Neumono? I wonder if she's related to Pilon.
I'm reasonably certain nearly every neumono on the asteroid originated from the same crashed war hive (if there was a second hive crash, we'd know about- although it's possible smaller groups of neumono have come in in drips and drabs along other crashes). And any snow hivers in the hive would be related to the snow hive the war hive assimilated / conquered.

So yes, it's a pretty safe bet she's related to Pilon in some way.
>>
No. 466112 ID: 4e27d3

"We have extra explosives and food, want to help out"
>>
No. 466125 ID: dff55b

old standerd.... if we do right they'll live, as neumono with tube said they'll like, but as I said he won't like that, as for useless, no come back dispite damage, plus this is pilon, only other more insane is rokoa
>>
No. 466133 ID: b33427

"We're here to help Pilon any way we can." 'Cause, to be honest, there's pretty much no other way out of this one.

If they don't shoot, hand over your supplies and let them search you both. While doing that, explain that you two were searching out Pilon to hire him for Tin to be a diplomat to the crashed hive; That maybe he could convince them to not send Rokoa to kill the rogues in the trade hub.

>>466089
Heck, she could be Pilon's daughter for all we know. It has been thirty years since he went rogue, after all. Pilon's group might even feel "more like a solid hive" 'cause they're all closely related neumono born outside the crashed hive. No way to tell until Kappi's inside, though.
>>
No. 466148 ID: b6edd6

>>466062
We have a tracker in a jammer that is still working as far as the pirates know. That has quite a lot of potential. For example, if we have any vehicles and a way to conceal who is on which vehicle (like smoke bombs), we can send out one as 'decoy' (containing our actual group) followed shortly by a less obvious 'real' group in the other direction with the tracker and jammer.
>>
No. 466160 ID: c4e5c2
File 135119875404.png - (16.44KB , 700x700 , 280.png )
466160

>Neumono population on the Asteroid
The war hive is the biggest single population, but there are lots that have dropped down here, almost all rogues, enough to outnumber the war hive. There might be another hive around, but if so they keep to themselves. Nonetheless, there probably are descendants of war hivers here.

> didn't the CAI download at least part of the Iron Cove's sub-missile blueprints?
Yes, but that was yesterday. We haven't been able to build any as of yet.

>Any of these three the people you sensed you knew, Kappi?
No, the ones I recognized are still inside.

"Came to help Pilon, and hire him as a diplomat."

That's good enough, they know I'm not lying. They're incredulous, but they don't shoot and after searching Hok and I down, bring us inside.

"Uh, hey... you wouldn't happen to be related to Pilon, would you? You look similar."
>"All but four of us have Pilon as a parent."
"There's at least 20 in here!"
>"Yeah?"
"A...ah, that's fine of course."

>"Hey, uh.." Hok says. "I'm gonna go fire a gun in the air and make some noise so the Shredded Flag thinks we're actually fighting a little or something."
>>
No. 466161 ID: c4e5c2
File 135119878330.png - (11.04KB , 700x700 , 281.png )
466161

"Dad! Those guys want to hire you as a diplomat, apparently."
>"Is that so. I think you are of the war hive, gone rogue, if I'm not mistaken, while you might be mistaking me for someone else. I haven't picked sides in ages, and have never been a diplomat."
>>
No. 466165 ID: c31f72

His ears, they are huge. Look at the hugeness that is his ears!
>>
No. 466166 ID: 44f93b

>Pilon, band of children
You stud, you. Actually, you know, this disproves a lot of the neumono fathers not having a big impact on their children theory, assuming the mothers and/or the hive put in most of the effort in raising them. We got at least 16 people here who broke with the hive to stay with dad.

>not a diplomat
Well, from what I've heard, you're one of the few people for our old hive actually willing to resort to negotiating before shooting. And who was halfway good at it. You're also one of the few rogues the hive might actually respect enough to listen to. So from our perspective, you're not a bad choice.

We're willing to pay you, and help you get out of this mess (the guys outside think we're working for them). Plus we bought food (besiged people might appreciate that!). Plus, it kind of works in your interest as well to convince the hive not to go out and begin hunting down rogues in earnest, doesn't it?
>>
No. 466168 ID: 35037c

Okay uuuu Exactly how old are pilon rokoa and polo, they must be reeeeally freaking old. What is the average lifespan of a neumono?
>>
No. 466170 ID: fd1b58

>>466168

Couple hundred years barring sickness or death.
>>
No. 466179 ID: c4e5c2
File 135120383861.png - (11.53KB , 700x700 , 282.png )
466179

>Fathers not having a big impact on their children
Yeah, that is usually true for hives, since fathers may or may not be around much.

>How old is Pilon/Rokoa/Polo?
I don't know about Pilon or Polo, but Rokoa must be at least 120.

"Uh, I was wondering though, you have a lot of kids... did they break off with you when you left the hive?"
>"Not at all, all of the ones here were born after I left decades ago. They're all young."
"Oh! Well, anyways, I brought some food and booze for you either way."
>"That's very kind."
"I also came to you for diplomacy because I've heard that in the past, you were one of the few in the warhive, well, back when the red queen was still around, that was willing to talk first rather than shoot."
>"They share history, now? I thought that they shuffled that under the rug."
"Oh, they did, as a whole, but Rokoa, last night, told me about Polo."
>"Rokoa? Did she finally go rogue herself?"
"No, no, I'm just... lucky, I guess. You say that like you think she will?"
>"If she doesn't overstep her abilities, which she always just manages to do so by one, then I think it's inevitable. But I don't believe any single person can make her, it's just something she'll do on her own, like always. Karri, please step out."
>>
No. 466182 ID: c4e5c2
File 135120387221.png - (12.13KB , 700x700 , 283.png )
466182

That one, Karri must be her name, got a spike in interest when I mentioned Rokoa.

"May I ask...?"
>"She wants to be the toughest around, and Rokoa is reputed to be the toughest. So she wants to fight Rokoa. Thankfully, I've gotten her to promise me that she won't fight her until I've given her permission to do so. She is a long ways away from that. I can take some comfort knowing that Rokoa is still into theatrics, so if she finds someone like Karri that wants to fight her on even ground, Rokoa may not kill her if Karri loses. That isn't to say that I would enjoy seeing Karri get beaten to a pulp, of course, but I would rather see that happen a dozen times than to see her die once. Tell me, how did you get Rokoa to tell a rogue about Polo? Your thoughts on her are that of fear, which is normal, but also adoration, which is not. If I did not know better, I would say that you had fallen in love with Rokoa. Yes, yes you have. I would recommend you forget about her, but I can't even convince my own daughter to do the same."
He's extremely good at reading unfamiliar neumono.
"Well, yes, but right now we should probably help you get out."
>"We're finished digging a tunnel. It took a few days of people constantly on shift and bloody hands, but we have it. We're waiting for our tech guys to build a replica of their data storage unit and leave it behind, saying it's not worth the trouble. I imagine that they would catch on that we got their data, but that isn't the point."
>>
No. 466185 ID: 6a1ec2

Smart, Hok. Real smart. That might give us enough time to holy crap look at those ears.
>>
No. 466189 ID: 44f93b

Well, possibly we could fake them out better now. We're supposed to take back whatever you stole so they can shell you into oblivion. If we took out your replica once the tunnel is down... that would be a good way to cover your tracks.

(We'd have to fix the jammer or something first, or they'll pick up on kappi lying).
>>
No. 466190 ID: f2c20c

Man, he really would make a fantastic diplomat. Ask him if there's anything we can do to convince him to work for us. Maybe there's some way he can stay independent while still representing us when we deal with the war hive?

You should at least warn him that the war hive's queen wants to start hunting down all rogues. Rokoa decided to argue against that, after we helped her find out that Polo still wants a duel, but... she might not be enough. If he helped, we might be able to avoid a rogue war.
>>
No. 466191 ID: 6a1ec2

It's not love so much as it's okay maybe it's love. As for why Rokoa told you Kappi, it's because her frustrated mothering complex from the death of her children really turns her on to smaller neumono who are not afraid of her. Her experience with Polo pretty much cemented this. Considering larger neumono are usually afraid of her (for good reason) this doesn't happen very often. So now you've got Rokoa's full attention. Which is about as close to love as she comes.

If you have to tell someone else just skip all the embarassing parts and just say that Rokoa respects you because you're not afraid to face her.
>>
No. 466192 ID: f2c20c

>>466189
Well, Kappi could stay behind to evac with the rest of these guys, and Hok could claim he died. That'd be believable considering they thought Kappi was rather green. Hok would get that 10k zeny while Kappi gets away through the tunnel and meets up with us later.
>>
No. 466202 ID: 44f93b

>kids all post Rogue
Brings him up to at least 44 now! And all 16 of the ones here must have been fathered earlier on in the 30 year stretch for them to be all growed up and running ops. Who knows how many more he has back home.

>good at reading strange neumono
Dude is like the zen master of neumono friendship. Totally a natural diplomat, even if he doesn't see it.

>I would recommend you forget about her
Sorry, Pilon. Love is even stupider than pride. Kappi's in worse trouble than your daughter.

>>466192
Oh, I kind of like faking Kappi's death that way. Lets us keep the jammer instead of handing it over, too.
>>
No. 466203 ID: b33427

Well, if they're making a replica data storage unit that contains exactly the same thing as the original one, then Hok could take the original back down the hill to hand over while Pilon keeps the copy. Unless it's important that he keeps the original in some way.

>>466192
Alright, and Hok can say that Kappi was the one who made a distraction that caused all that shooting, while Hok sneaked in and stole the data unit.

>>466182
Uh, better let Pilon know that Rokoa is rollin' around in 90-something percent bio-armor now, just so he can extra reinforce keeping Karri away from Rokoa.
>>
No. 466217 ID: e3f578

>>466182
ugh, i wish we did have the cai node. might speed up the copying of that data. might want to tell him that tin's depot is coming on up with an unlimited CAI leading the whole shebang, trying to make a giant Asteroid mall and become a better economic center and neutral ground. and to do that we need to make the hive and the rogues to commence to a form of peace or at least agree that tin and the cai's compound will be strict neutral ground and have legal asylum.

We're tired of being a bitch and this entire Asteroid being a giant bore-gore fest and trying to add some color to this grey and blood red wasteland. Ask him if there's anything we can do? Can they use the jammer for anything useful or the explosives?
>>
No. 466223 ID: b33427

>>466217
Eh, if you do bring that up, leave out the CAI; It is Tin and the trade hub's greatest secret at the moment. Best to keep it under wraps, for the time being.
>>
No. 466226 ID: 44f93b

>>466223
Yeah. It's one thing if we help them, and then we separate peaceably. They don't find out about the CAI unless they actually come to work for us.
>>
No. 466227 ID: c4e5c2
File 135121152559.png - (12.90KB , 700x700 , 284.png )
466227

"With any luck, the Shredded Flag thinks we're working for you guys. Hok could carry it back, and they said if that's the case, they would just blow this place up with you guys presumably inside."
>"He would be willing to do such a thing? I've heard of Hok. Not a small bounty on him, and there isn't any guarantee that they won't just take the replica, then kill Hok. Furthermore, the replica is about 300 pounds. It was a rather crude layer of security, to make it difficult to steal. But if Hok is willing to do such a thing, I'm sure we could put it on wheels and give him a way to at least get it down the hill. Having them blow this place up while we're deep underground would make our escape exceedingly simple, as otherwise we weren't sure how long it would be before they realize we weren't firing back on any of their approaches."
"Yeah, Hok is probably willing to try something like that, but he'd know more than me. By the way, uh, Rokoa has 96% Bio armor."
>"Ninety... six. Here I thought my 93 was the prize possession. What power gave her such a thing?"
"Er, we did, in return for a hefty price tag. She's going to pay it off over time by doing things for us, then... hopefully not attack us. The whole point of getting you as a diplomat was to prevent the current queen from hunting our rogues, and also, Rokoa herself is iffy on hunting us and was going to try to get the queen to call that hunt off. We were hoping to get you, as Rokoa herself said you were still respected in the hive, despite everything."
>>
No. 466228 ID: c4e5c2
File 135121165237.png - (10.70KB , 700x700 , 285.png )
466228

>"What is your stance on escaping on a whole? Escaping the asteroid on the whole, that is."
"That's actually one of the things we're trying to do, find a way to construct a ship that can get out of this atmosphere."
>"Then I'm highly interested now, because there are not many factions like that. What is on that data is a chunk of knowledge the Shredded Flag has been keeping to themselves, I presume that they were researching a way off of the asteroid, and would charge people no doubt every penny they could get to givepassage. That is the only reason I can think of that they didn't outright destroy what I stole, because many factions here do not want to leave. They prefer the lawless nature of this asteroid than most of the rest of the galaxy. Many hazing ceremonies involve making sure that would be recruits have forgotten about the existence of anything else. But I would like to die on my home planet, not this forgotten rock, populated by pirates and vagabonds."
"Er... that's a little depressing when you think about it like that."
>"A little? Well, we haven't been properly introduced. My name is Pilon, as you know."
"I'm Kappi."
>"Kappi. I'm 219 years old. While I could live for far longer for all I know, when we start showing signs of our age, we start falling fast. I don't want to wait for that moment, so I do need to get a move on and retire. I don't know why, but I don't think that our planet would hold a grudge for so long. If Polo is still alive, then I'm sure she would give a good word for me, and I very much want to see her once again. I would also not like my family to have to live here, but it's all they know, so they couldn't understand why I want to leave as much as I do. You are also included in this, I imagine. That's why I scavenge. Gaining money and monetary objects is partially a way to fund a way off, and to dissuade factions from thinking that I am doing what I am doing. I do trust you with this, as although Rokoa and I don't see eye to eye, if she shared that story with you and let you live, then that is something that I have to recognize. In any case, with this development, we should be able to leave soon. At the same time, there is no hurry so long as we make it clear we haven't made an escape. Make yourself at home."
"We do have some explosives, oh, and there's a tracker on our jammer that was destroyed, I think Hok has it now."
>"We may be able to make use of those things, but for now, it's manageable. Thank you for the food and other presents, by the way."
>>
No. 466230 ID: 44f93b

>Pilon
>I must save my family from this living hell, die on the world I was born, and see Polo again before it's all over.
This guy. He is the greatest son of a bitch. Everything he does makes me love him more. Not only is he freaking beautiful, he's now the big goddamn hero too. We love you man.

(Also- he walked off with the warhive's best bioarmor. That takes some brass).

If that's his goal though, we can seal this deal. We've got a CAI, which is probably anyone's best hope for figuring a way off this rock. Him siding with us is really in his best interest.

>Can we risk Hok like that?
Pfff. Sure. Why not? He's Hok. Taking stupid risks and coming out alive is what he's for.
>>
No. 466237 ID: f2c20c

Hang on. If Pilon wants to get off the asteroid, and we want to get off the asteroid, doesn't that mean we're working towards the same goals? I don't see why he can't be our diplomat.
>>
No. 466238 ID: dff55b

..... hrrrngh those eyes.....
>>
No. 466239 ID: 04b86a

>I want to get off this rock, give my family a better place to live, and see an old friend one last time before dying on the world of my birth
The CAI's going to love this guy. His goal's made even better by the fact that Polo wants to see him and Rokoa again, too.

>96%
Apparently Rokoa is so badass, just putting on the armor made it 2% better. I'm okay with this.
>>
No. 466240 ID: dff55b

>>466239
currently theres no way off this rock, didn't the hive start developing tho? but thats dangerous, more dangereous then what we're in,can Pilon hear us?
>>
No. 466241 ID: ad13ca

Point out that Rokoa also wants off the asteroid... a little movie about Polo you found convinced her that a rematch is necessary.

Also, explain that we're probably not authorized to negotiate any large deals with him right now, but if he would like to visit our base just to check it out and talk to the higher ups, we can arrange that. Having them as allies - they would remain their own faction of course - would help further both our goals.

Also, ask him what he plans to do with the information. If any of it actually pertains to getting off the asteroid, will he offer it for free to everyone? Will he keep it secret for himself? What?
>>
No. 466242 ID: 44f93b

>we're probably not authorized to negotiate any large deals with him right now
Kappi's the goddamn quartermaster. If signing people on is anyone's buisness, it's his. Tin sent us out to recruit him- if we're in the position to do so, we do so. Exact details of the arrangement can be tweaked as we go.

>can Pilon hear us?
...no? We're in Kappi's head, not Pilon's. Neumono empathy isn't good enough to pick out what the headvoices whispering to you are saying.
>>
No. 466243 ID: dff55b

>>466241
we want him as friend, negotiation for even possibly large is beneficial, if we're still carryin the jammer thats a start, he can carry that & let him move freely, thats a huge barganing chip, other wise we can (& it should be delicate) go at it with a hammer,we're in & with them, now is not negotiate but get everybody out
>>
No. 466244 ID: dff55b

also Pilon.... if you can hear us........ do puppy-eyes again..... your eyes are beutiful.....
>>
No. 466245 ID: b33427

...Wow. That has to kick your respect for Pilon up a few notches, at least. No wonder he's more thoughtful; He's got 219 years of personal experience under his belt. He might even be the oldest neumono on the asteroid. He's certainly the oldest one you have ever met.

Ask if there's a vehicle in this base that can carry that overweight data storage unit. Even one that doesn't have a working engine, but does have working steering, would be enough; After all, it's all downhill from up here. You're sure Hok can handle driving what amounts to a runaway wagon with no power steering and a giant concrete block in the back.
>>
No. 466246 ID: c4e5c2
File 135121592992.png - (21.80KB , 700x700 , 286.png )
466246

"We do have an unlimited CAI by the way, but are trying to keep that hidden for as long as possible."
>"Good choice. Nonetheless, if you would have me, then so long as researching a way off is the priority, then I don't mind sharing some of my loot so that you can afford defenses, something that I hear the trade hub lacks should it earn enemies, which appears to have happened. And I'll be a diplomat for what it's worth."
"Good! Also, Rokoa seems to want off this place too, now. We watched the old Polo show, and it looked like Polo put in a message saying she wanted a duel."
>"Really? I wouldn't have thought that of her. That sort of motivation for Rokoa makes me think that she would actually train for a rematch."
"By the way, what are you planning on doing with the information?"
>"I was planning on keeping it on the down low, and seeing how the Shredded Flag would react. They may be fooled by the replica, but if they think I ran off with it and would sell it, then they may just offer it to everyone for free themselves to undermine me. And given that some factions are actively hunting and destroying data like this, that is the best case scenario. It is also the longshot, and more likely, I would end up giving the information for free and earning myself more enemies."

We talk as we meet Hok again.

"What are you doing on the wall?"
>"Making the tracker report that I'm moving around all sneaky like."
I get him up to speed on the possible plan.
"Would you be willing to take the replica, given a bit of help, and bring it down the hill?"
>"Oh absolutely. My bounty isn't an issue for that, I just have to show them I'm more valuable to them alive than dead. I'll just go 'yeah that was a cakewalk, show me something else that is worth more than 100k since I would like to not be backstabbed' and then make my escape. Meet you back at the trade hub, then?"
>>
No. 466247 ID: 35037c

Excuse me for saying this but... holy fucking shit 219... DAMN
>>
No. 466248 ID: dff55b

as "human" programme, I actually have dark eyes too..... so I consider others beutiful, unless grey then max, do neumono have grey eye colours? I see a lot of red & green
>>
No. 466250 ID: f2c20c

>>466246
Sounds like a plan.

Oh. Kappi, while you're being all buddy-buddy with Pilon, you coooould bring up how you're trying to get tougher so Rokoa will like you more. Maybe he could give you advice on that.
>>
No. 466251 ID: dff55b

use a sub-routine, an underhand, to spam the flag with spam? vy the time they get something thery either deleate or pass over it
>>
No. 466252 ID: 44f93b

Right. Leave Hok to pretend to being sneaky, and as soon as the replica is ready, we send him out with it while Kappi leaves with Pilon and his tribe (really, sort of a proto-hive, innit? From the feelings Kappi described, I'm guessing this is what you get before a hive- a close knit family or group of individuals united around a single strong idea or one person's force of personality. Pilon's gonna end up as a king after all).

We did pretty well. We got more than a hired hand, we got a full fledged ally to the cause, and a full unit of trained neumono to go with it!

Hey Hok, go for total refuge in audacity. When you're getting paid for returning their stuff, see if you can squeeze anything extra out of them in compensation for getting Kappi killed.
>>
No. 466253 ID: 04b86a

I have an issue with this plan. If we're capable of making a replica of the storage unit and copying the data from the original onto it, wouldn't it be easier to just make a lighter, smaller unit unit to copy the data onto and leave them the original?
>>
No. 466254 ID: e3f578

Well, the thing is that if they capture Hok they would have to split it with their entire faction. And 100k ain't that much if it's more than two workers combined. They've got about an army out there. 100k given to all of them is fucking basic chump change unless they decide to use it fitting their base. It's the individuals he should worry about.

It also requires them to deal with Iron Cove, who are all jerks. I mean, yeah that 100k is really attractive but I wouldn't think it's worth it dealing with those assholes. They might sooner end up arrested themselves because they all are probably wanted by Iron Cove in one form, or they'd make an excuse not to pay.

Fuck yeah, let's do this. The jammer will thankfully completely cover the hive's exit, that's awesome too.
>>
No. 466255 ID: dff55b

>>46625
we gotta get out............. alive, kappi & Hok
>>
No. 466258 ID: ad13ca

Might as well ask him some geneic questions while you're around:

What else can you do to help out with the escape? Kappi can't go back out, so he has to go with.

Why did Pilon leave the war hive? If it's not too personal, of course. He seemed like a kind of natural moral compass that could have kept the hive mentally stable given everything they've been through.

Also, Kappi, try to fall in love with one of the chicks in Pilon's hive. It'll save you from an Early death or Insanity due to Rokoa, plus you get to have Pilon as your step-dad. How cool is that?
>>
No. 466259 ID: 35037c

>>466230
here here!
>>
No. 466260 ID: f2c20c

>>466248
We aren't the CAI, dude. We are controlling Kappi directly.
>>
No. 466265 ID: 44f93b

>Also, Kappi, try to fall in love with one of the chicks in Pilon's hive. It'll save you from an Early death or Insanity due to Rokoa
...doesn't that put him on route to be killed by Rokoa either for jealousy, or out of a petty rage for getting over her so quickly?

Kappi, you should probably avoid Pilon's one daughter who wants to fight Rokoa. She'll probably try to pump you for information or something at some point. You probably want to stick with Pilon where she won't get the chance, or reconnect with the people you know who are here. (Since you're going to be hanging with this group for a while).
>>
No. 466271 ID: e3f578

>>466265
fuck no, don't settle for someone in Pilon's hive, go for broke, fuck Pilon!
Maybe later you can have a threesome with Rokoa, sorta, somehow! Make a decent porno anyway.
>>
No. 466272 ID: 6dc5a6

Ask Pilon what the odds are of his former hive sharing the same goal as him? Or is the hive the type to want a monopoly on the information like all the other groups on the asteroid?
>>
No. 466275 ID: b33427

Remind Hok that the tracker was on the jammer, which they expect to be on your back, and that he should move like a neumono, not a miklik.

>>466253
Yeah, this is a valid point to bring up. If the data was only on, say, one pound of data storage (with a long cable,) buried in 299 pounds of concrete, then Pilon's clan can stop making the replica now, and just take the data. However, if it's three hundred pounds of data storage, then you guess they need the replica. And also: What the fuck would need three hundred pounds of data storage?

>>466258
Pilon probably left 'cause those with the mindset of the late Red Queen won out after the hive-ship crashed here. How long after the crash before he couldn't stand it anymore is unknown. Kappi could probably figure it out by knowing Pilon went rogue thirty years ago, and the date the hive-ship crashed.

>>466272
This would also be a good thing to know when dealing with Rokoa. If the crashed hive is in the "we're staying here, and kill everyone who tries to leave" camp, then that'd be a point tipping her towards going rogue, or at least doing her best to help the trade hub.
>>
No. 466292 ID: b6edd6

> And also: What the fuck would need three hundred pounds of data storage?
They said that it was intentionally made very heavy so it would be difficult to steal.
>>
No. 466296 ID: 44f93b

>>466271
I'm not advising him to settle (he shouldn't! Who are we to tell him who to love. His crazy self-destructive feelings are his own). I'm just telling him which people might be smart to hang around with while he's here. I mean, it's going to be a day or few until the group makes it back to Tin's trade hub.
>>
No. 466300 ID: b33427

>>466292
Yes, but does the actual stored data require 300 pounds of data storage worth of space? Did they intentionally use an archaic form of data storage so it weighed that much, when a modern form could hold it in a much lighter form? Is it the equivalent of a USB memory stick on the end of a long cable, buried in the middle of a block of steel? We just don't know, and what it is could mean the difference between having to wait for the replica to be finished, or being able to send Hok down almost right away with the original.
>>
No. 466302 ID: e3f578

>>466296
I meant to respond to pervdragons suggestion about being with one of the daughters. I just got confused by which post had it since you had the green on it.
>>
No. 466306 ID: 44f93b

>>466300
I would assume if they could just rip the data and leave behind the original heavy storage device, they would have. These guys aren't incompetent. They're making a decoy because for whatever reason, they can't get the data off the original!

It's probably something the CAI can bypass with ease, though.

>>466302
Oh, s'cool.
>>
No. 466315 ID: b33427

>>466306
Actually, as Pilon says here >>466182, the replica was part of a plan to try and fool The Shredded Flag goons into thinking Pilon's group left it behind when they made their escape down the tunnel. With the change of plans a replica isn't needed any more, unless the data actually needs about three hundred pounds of storage to hold it.
>>
No. 466333 ID: c4e5c2
File 135123203051.png - (10.06KB , 700x700 , 287.png )
466333

>Not authorized to get him on board
While Tin does have the final say on it, I just can't imagine her saying no, and she trusts my judgement enough that I usually don't need permission to bring people along. So as far as anyone's concerned, I do have authority everywhere but on paper.

>On Hok's bounty: It also requires them to deal with Iron Cove, who are all jerks
Not necessarily, as there is a centralized bounty board that most people respect the autonomy of, sort of like our trade center, although to a much more stable extent. The Iron Cove likely already paid them the 50k zeny additionally.

"Hok, it's supposed to be on my back, not yours. Move like one of us, not scampering up walls."
>"Er... right."
>>
No. 466334 ID: c4e5c2
File 135123204925.png - (15.41KB , 700x582 , 288.png )
466334

"Why did you leave the hive, anyway, Pilon, if it's not too personal?"
>"There wasn't much to it. I think you're aware that it has changed significantly over time, and although it's more peaceable now, all things considered, it's even more hypocritical about it. What's worse is that its core changed so much without the original queen that eventually it was a hive that I didn't recognize anymore when I woke up. I left later that day."
"Is there anyone in the hive you think would have the same goal?"
>"You would know more about that, Kappi, you grew up in the hive after I had left, right?"
"Oh, right. They seemed content to live here, but I don't think they would prevent us."
>"If I'm to negotiate with them, then I think I'll be able to ask them about it directly."
"By the way, you must have had a lot of kids right afterwards, to have so many who can run missions with you."
>"Yes, but there are more. Some are just too young to run missions and at least have a as best a childhood as possible before they run the risk of getting killed. They're at daycares and orphanages anonymously, since otherwise, the ransom notes would be endless."
"Wait, Pilon, if we're capable of copying the data from the original onto the replica, why don't we just make a small replica and then leave them the original?"
>"That's a good question, but I trust the belenosians with their judgement. They say they can't get all of the data that fast, but they can remake a shell of it, sort of like shadowed imprints that are left behind even on a formatted drive. That's part of why it's such a longshot for the Flag to be fooled for long, should they investigate any farther than just checking if the files exist. To be frank, I wouldn't have bothered with the replica at all, except I didn't think we would've hit a tunnel so soon. And since we're nearly done with the replica, we may as well finish it at this point."
"And... really, 300 pounds? Is it just a pound of electronics and 299 of concrete?"
>"Close, except instead of 299 pounds of concrete, it's 299 of various substances that make it difficult to tamper with on the fly. And though we're in a safe area, we still have to work with limited supplies."
"I guess that's it from me. Unless there is anything else I can help with?"
>"Not that I can think of, but thank you. Since I may be relocating to your base, I will introduce you to everyone."

And so he does. He must have a few wives around, but even though he hasn't felt like it at all himself, I feel like I'm overstepping some personal bounds. The only one I know at all was Karri, who wanted to fight Rokoa. He explains the new possible plans to everyone as we make our rounds.

There were also a few belenosians, mikliks, humans and the few neumono not in Pilon's family tree. I'll have to properly record them all once we get back to base.
>>
No. 466336 ID: c4e5c2
File 135123206720.png - (72.01KB , 700x700 , 289.png )
466336

Pilon does seem to have things running smoothly. He passes off some mini radio relays, and getting about 10 forward scouts to map out the caverns downward as best they can to see where the shortest escape path is, and only to hit the emergency button if something has gone wrong and everyone needs to get out as soon as possible. He says he knows the tunnels well enough that getting a decent floorplan will be enough to tell Pilon where things are.

Meanwhile, a few belenosians and humans report that they were able to get some of the inner defense turrets pointed outwards,

Before long, the replica is finished and the tunnels are scouted like clockwork.

>"Well then, buddy Kappi! Any parting words before I proceed to ride this perilously juryrigged cart down a steep slope? Really, I do question how much faith those space pirates had for us, considering they said, what was it, 'just hold the loot over your head.' It's more than our weight combined twice or so maybe!"
>>
No. 466338 ID: f2c20c

>>466336
"Make it back alive."
>>
No. 466344 ID: f2c20c

>>466336
Hang on, he did leave the tracker back in the base, right?
>>
No. 466358 ID: c4e5c2
File 135123674911.png - (13.06KB , 700x700 , 290.png )
466358

>He left the tracker in the base, right?
That he did. If we're going to do anything with it, even just bring it with me, this would be the time since Hok is rolling down the hill right now.
>>
No. 466359 ID: f2c20c

Take the tracker off and leave that in the base while you bring the jammer with you. It can be repaired, and even though it's low-tech it's still worth something.
>>
No. 466360 ID: bf54a8

bring the jammer back home and we will eat it and set up a jamming system for the whole place that can be toggled.
>>
No. 466361 ID: b33427

Is it too late to hold the tracker and run around the place like you're getting shot at, then collapse like you died, in a manner that someone watching the tracker scanner would possibly believe? If not, just ditch the tracker in a corner somewhere, and hope the atmospheric interference makes the tracking resolution from the bottom of the hill so low they could only tell it was in the building.

Take the broken jammer with you. It might be fixable once you get back to the trade hub, and can be broken down and analyzed to get an idea of how to make new ones. And even if it's irreparable, it can be scrapped for rare and unusual parts and materials. Oh, and as long as it's busted, take the power pack out; That might be useful to recharge stuff on the trip back.

How much were you and Hok out in the open with Pilon's crew in places where The Shredded Flag's men could spot you? 'Cause if either of you two were spotted cooperating with them, it's going to be real hard for Hok to convince the goons down there that the data storage unit is legit.

>>466360
We're not the CAI any more; It's direct character suggestions now.
>>
No. 466368 ID: c4e5c2
File 135124106313.png - (21.41KB , 700x700 , 291.png )
466368

I leave the tracker where it is, and we start hurrying out of there with the jammer and original data piece. Hok did basically tape the tracker back on after removing it, so it was easy to find and remove.

>Were you and Hok out in the open?
No, we weren't, we were making sure to stay low when we set up the replica for Hok.

"So, uh... I was wondering.. I'm trying to get tougher to, er, impress Rokoa, I guess. Or at least not have her look down on me. Do you have any advice?"
>"Besides giving up?"
"Yes."
>"Just make sure you can act tough when it's tough to act tough. That's when it counts, and the moment you falter when you're most apt to falter is when Rokoa will give up on you. Everyone, pick up the pace, it's likely they'll find out there are no bodies in the fort anymore, and they'll come chasing us down here, and won't be on their feet!"
>>
No. 466369 ID: c4e5c2
File 135124107144.png - (32.08KB , 700x700 , 292.png )
466369

Well I sure wish things always went that smoothly! Not like I'm out of the woods yet. They are buying the replica, at least at first glance, and they didn't put a bullet in my head the moment they saw me, so that's a good start! They gave me a lift back to the siege line, and Jells is there waiting.

>"I'm surprised. I didn't think you could pull it off, even if the blue guy got killed. So. You're worth 100k."
"And ready to make it worth your while to not shoot me where I stand!"
>"Don't be paranoid, we're space pirates, we've got people with way more bounties than you. It's kind of a point of pride and something to brag about to each other. How about you join us? We like wildcards. Hell, we may attack them instead of bomb them, and you may be able to earn yourself more than just that 10k."
>>
No. 466370 ID: f2c20c

>>466369
Say that you've had enough fighting for today, and besides you're working for someone already.

Also holy crap get out of there Hok your cover's gonna be blown if they attack instead of bombing!
>>
No. 466371 ID: 6cc859

>>466369
Remind him you're already affiliated with the trade hub, and are not looking to move, but thank him for the consideration.
>>
No. 466374 ID: c4e5c2
File 135124216914.png - (43.60KB , 700x700 , 293.png )
466374

"I think I've had enough fighting for today! I'm also working for someone already."
>"Yeah, they say you're part of the trade hub. That's cool. Alright, hop in, I'll give you and your bike a ride back to the checkpoint."
"You know, I have a good amount of fuel, I think I could ride back just from here."
>"I insist."
>>
No. 466375 ID: f2c20c

Say something like "Jeez, okay tough guy."

You've got a weapon on quickdraw, right?
>>
No. 466376 ID: 6cc859

>>466374
Don't necessarily assume he's suspicious--it may just be that you'd have a hard time getting back out past the checkpoint unescorted.

Don't assume it's safe, either.
>>
No. 466377 ID: dcd676

Inform them that you discovered they got the turrets working, and bombing first would be safer.
>>
No. 466378 ID: c4e5c2
File 135124409521.png - (35.63KB , 700x700 , 294.png )
466378

"Okay there tough guy, if you insist. You know though, they did get those turrets working, and it'll be safer to just bomb them."
>"We'll consider it. Hop in, already put your bike in the truck."

We ride for about a minute before he breaks the silence again.

>"Couldn't help but notice a sniper of theirs missed. Hit the jammer, then just left you guys alone. Pretty lucky."
>>
No. 466379 ID: 6cc859

>>466378
"I guess he didn't want to risk return fire? We were pretty close by then. Not that it did Kappi much good in the end. Without the jammer..."
>>
No. 466380 ID: f2c20c

>>466378
Um. Tell him your buddy had old friends on the inside, so they thought you might've been friendly and let you get closer before the fighting started.
>>
No. 466382 ID: 1e7d43

He didn't miss, he wanted to be able to read Kappi empathically. Lucky for us, Kappi'd been specifically trained to manipulate his own empathic sense. That's why I brought him. No quicker way to fool a bunch of neumono.
>>
No. 466388 ID: 2f4b71

"He tried to do the false emotions thing, and it worked for a while!"
>>
No. 466395 ID: b33427

Alright, you got nowhere to go in this conversation that isn't going to sound like bullshit. Just keep your lips flapping while glancing over to check if the door is unlocked, and that your seatbelt is undone; You may have to make an emergency exit to the truck bed. Also look at the truck controls to see if you could throw it into neutral and pull the key out before this meat-wall can react.

"Yeah, crazy luck is kinda my thing. Too bad it doesn't turn out so well for my partners."
>>
No. 466397 ID: c4e5c2
File 135124760338.png - (39.96KB , 700x700 , 295.png )
466397

>Take a look around
Well, my seatbelt looks old fashioned enough that it shouldn't have any secret agent bullshit locks, and the door is unlocked.

"Thought he popped back down real quick, since if he had a line of sight, so did we. Plus, turned out that Kappi recognized some of 'em in there. He was a rogue off the old war hive, like Pilon, so it wasn't surprising. Anyway, he thought they may have let them in, which was kinda dumb, but like you said, newbie."
>"Yeah, figured as much. S'why I didn't bother telling anyone. I knew Pilon. Not like an old buddy, but enough to know he woulda tried breaking the siege line if he spent more than a day in there without finding another way out. Kind of surprising to me that he just let himself sit and hope we'd pack up and leave. Told the commander about that one, but he just said that he'd love it if Pilon tried to break through the siege. Kind-"
>>
No. 466398 ID: c4e5c2
File 135124762756.png - (11.48KB , 700x700 , 296.png )
466398

click
>"-of makes me wonder, when we had such trouble, then a single miklik and neumono roll in and roll out with a 300 pound object with the neumono missing and not a nick on the miklik. I'd be a bit more at ease if you put your hands up where I can see them. After all, you do have a reputation of screwing over about twice as many people as you legitimately help out."
>>
No. 466399 ID: c4e5c2
File 135124764320.png - (15.58KB , 700x700 , 297.png )
466399

click
"This is pretty high, tall guy. And yeah, crazy luck tends to turn out my way, not so much for my buddy."

Well, he's slowing down, but not quite stopping.
>>
No. 466401 ID: f2c20c

Ask him how he thinks you screwed him over. You got him his stolen 300-pound hunk of information, didn't you? If he doesn't want to pay the 10k for it, fine. But he got what he wanted. We didn't do anything to make their situation worse.
>>
No. 466405 ID: 9d7671

We gotta keep him talking! Tell him to mind the road, ask him what his bounty is and will taking us out increase it, um tell him to keep an eye out for falling asteroids?

Also can you slip your tail behind his pistol trigger so he can't pull it back to shoot?
>>
No. 466406 ID: c4e5c2
File 135125197492.png - (38.99KB , 700x700 , 298.png )
466406

"I got you your stolen 300 pound hunk of info, so how'd I screw you over? I won't even complain if you don't want to pay the 10k, but I sure didn't make your situation any worse!"
>"Don't play me. Something doesn't add up. I'm stopping the car so I can use the radio. Only got so many hands.

...

>"This is Jells. Just curious, you guys get the info fine? Check it?... s'all good, you say. Just sending it back to the lab to make sure it wasn't tampered too much, huh. Alright, Jells out. Alright, Hok, you're rubbing me the wrong way. You've been in a hurry to get on and get out of here, and that's what bugs me the most. Didn't even want a lift with a roof over your head. So fine, we can relax with guns pointed at each other, but do me a favor. If you didn't mess us up, you won't mind waiting for 'em to clear the infobanks as good, right? Pilon had 3 days in there, and that was a warehouse with all sorts of things allowing for pranks. Pilon's done something similar before, you see. Stole that 93% bio of his by putting in a 30% that was made to look like a perfect copy. So. Let's wait. If they say the banks are good and solid, then I'll even put my gun down first."

>Also can you slip your tail behind his pistol trigger so he can't pull it back to shoot?
Oh man this would've been awesome but the clever guy shifted his rear view mirror to face right to me. My tail is flexible enough that if I went slow I could do it, but if I just try to shove it in the trigger guard I'd probably pull the trigger on myself or something.

"You know, you're pretty paranoid."
>"That's what they pay me for."
"Try to keep an eye on the road."
>"I'm following the speed limit and everything."
>>
No. 466407 ID: dcd676

What's the speed limit?
>>
No. 466411 ID: f2c20c

>>466406
Tell him that even if Pilon did screw with the thing, you sure didn't help him do it. Why's he getting all upset about shit that wasn't your doing?

He wants to wait, so wait. The replica doesn't have their info in it though, so... Ask if you can roll down the window. Regardless of whether or not you do, slowly shove your tail in that gap. Once you've got it secure, blast him and jet. Make sure he either drops that gun or is otherwise disabled. Going out the window is more reliable than trying to open the door, but in either case you should try to get to your motorbike in the back.
>>
No. 466417 ID: 44f93b

>not a nick on the miklik
Godsdamn middle of the night updates. None of you remembered to have someone rough Hok up a little before sending him back out!

>you won't mind waiting for 'em to clear the infobanks as good, right?
What the hell do I care if he played pranks with your precious data? You payed me to grab your shit, not care about whether he replaced your desktop background with humiliating cartoons. I'm a thief, not a techie.

There's no upside for my staying. Either you delay me for nothing, or I get blamed for something I didn't do and had no control over.
>>
No. 466429 ID: c4e5c2
File 135125539746.png - (12.33KB , 700x700 , 299.png )
466429

"What if there was a prank? I don't mind waiting if you're going to make me, but how would I have known they did something to it? The deal was just to get the thing."
>".... yeah. Yeah..."

He starts driving faster again, but seems to be more relaxed.

"So what is the speed limit?"
>"However fast your truck can move."
"Mind if I roll the window down?"
>"I do mind."

Nonetheless, he's still got me in close sights. I won't be able to get my tail in his triggerguard without him seeing, rear view window where it is, as he still keeps an eye on me. All in all, it's not a comfortable drive!

>"My gut still says something's up. That may just be my nerves. But you're right. Even if you were on Pilon's side, you were in there for less than an hour, and would have some nerve coming back out again all alone. That doesn't mean there's no problem. It's an age old dilemma. Yhe accountant getts blamed when the coffers come up short, even if he was just doing his job. And who're they gonna look at when Hok's gone? Someone's gonna have to bleed, and I'm next in line. Tell you what. I still got my radio, and I'm not leaving our network coverage, so they'll be reporting in and I'll know what's up. You can wait too and find out, I'm sure you're curious, and you certainly won't be in a worst off position. But if you want to go, then I'll let you go. Not really sure what I'm expecting out of this anymore. If you're full of shit, that shit smells of roses. And no, I'm not lowering the gun no matter what you choose."
>>
No. 466430 ID: f2c20c

Counter offer. He seems like a smart guy. Why not work for us instead if sticking around is probably gonna get him in trouble?
>>
No. 466432 ID: 9d7671

We might as well put away our gun since i doubt we could take him out fast enough to not get a new hole in the face and it might get this guy to relax more.
>>
No. 466433 ID: dcd676

Put the gun away, offer him employment. If he refuses, take him up on leaving and get your ass back to base.

I do hope Kappi has some knowledge of how to get back. I'm just going to assume Hok can figure it out.
>>
No. 466434 ID: 44f93b

Hey, if you're so worried about getting in
trouble, go ahead and bail.

>>466432
This is a seriously bad idea.
>>
No. 466435 ID: e3f578

>>466406
Well if he really wants an explanation of why you're acting so paranoid, is that well you do have a reputation of screwing people more than twice, and people sometimes shoot first and ask questions later just because they're so goddamn sure of a double cross. You have a 100k bounty on your head, it's pretty natural to try and avoid people, and pretty smart.
You've really only been comfortable around Tin enough to not expect that behavior, so can only relax around her, and even then tensions are fierce enough you can't completely relax.

I mean, jesus, what the fuck are you supposed to do? It's a hard life here, you can't ever take a load off. Look at this situation right here for example, this is why it's smart avoiding people. He'd try to do the exact goddamn thing in your place, he's a smart fella.
>>
No. 466455 ID: 44f93b

You know, we really haven't given Hok a lot to work with. Let's try and drum up some better dialog...

*Sigh* I hate those kind of loyalty, performance, or death deals. In my experience, when you have to worry too much about whehter your bosses are going to make you bleed, that's when it's time to get out. There are better places for a man with a sensitive gut than caught between angry pirates and hypothetically tricksy contractors.

...if he doesn't bite at the offer to bail, you should probably take the opportunity to leave before their scientists discover that the data is a fake. Pity they didn't take the bait and start shelling- now Pilon and Kappi's retreat won't be covered as well.
>>
No. 466472 ID: 6cc859

>>466430
Definitely a good idea. Almost poetic, given how he made the same offer to you, but it's clear he's not secure or even respected here if he's held responsible for the actions of third parties.
>>
No. 466476 ID: c4e5c2
File 135128124741.png - (14.46KB , 700x700 , 300.png )
466476

"You know, there's a certain time to get out, right about the time when you think you're about to get hamstringed by your own bosses! Besides, you think I'm paranoid? I bet you'd do the same under the same circumstances, you're a smart guy."
>"I wouldn't be in the same circumstance in the first place, because I would never do something crazy like try and get a job from a bunch of stranger space pirates on what sounds like a suicide mission, unless I owed Pilon a hell of a lot. Chalk up another point. Did you just recommend I turn coat?"
"WJust saying, you've worked this long, you sound pretty loyal, but I've heard of some pretty long standing members get used as an example! Pretty messed up."
>"I haven't heard of that. I've seen tha-"

>"Jells, come in."
He didn't even blink at the radio. Then again, I don't think he's got murder on his mind now, so I wouldn't try anything funny anyway! He gets the radio with his free hand.
>"Jells here."
>"Hok still with you?"
>".... no, he just left."
>"....too bad. Well, in that case, get back here, boss wants to speak with you."
>"How's the data? Check the files and everything?"
>"Perfect. It's all cleared."
>"I haven't heard any bombs. You gu-"
>"Just come back."
>"Fine."
>>
No. 466477 ID: c4e5c2
File 135128125921.png - (17.44KB , 700x700 , 301.png )
466477

After a long pause, Jells puts his gun on the dashboard.
>"My gut was right after all, wasn't it?"
>>
No. 466480 ID: 886a4d

Always trust your gut.

Lets get out of here before he changes his mind.
>>
No. 466483 ID: 44f93b

>"My gut was right after all, wasn't it?"
Yup. Your buddies just called you in for a lynching. I think it's time we vamoose.

(You're probably faster than him. Be ready if he tries to kill you).

You looking for a job? We don't tend to shoot people just because they're right and no one listened when their was a chance. A good gut is worth almost as much as luck!

>unless I owed Pilon a hell of a lot
Actually, for the record, I did it beacuse we wanted Pilon to owe us a lot.
>>
No. 466487 ID: 6cc859

>>466477
"There's a place for you at the trade hub if you want it. We can always use a smart guy like you."
>>
No. 466489 ID: c4e5c2
File 135128452756.png - (8.88KB , 700x700 , 302.png )
466489

"Always trust your gut, I guess. You looking for a job? We don't tend to shoot the first person around when there's a problem, so there's a place for a smart guy."
>"I can tell, because they let you live there. I see your reputation, now. You didn't screw me how I'd expect or even on purpose, you just sucked me into a bad spot. If I were smart like you said, I'd have shot you the moment I recognized you. Too late for that, now. Just tell me where to drive."

I move his gun away from the just in case, but I'm preeetty sure he's being honest here. I'm likely quicker than him if he tries something, though.

"And for the record, I did that being I, and the hub, wanted Pilon to owe us."
>"A lot of people you could've got instead, that didn't involve vengeful pirates."
"Had to be Pilon?"
>"Why him?"
"I honestly don't even understand, but whatever."
>"Right. Anyway. If we're gonna be teammates, I'll have to ask you to stop jabbing my ribs with a loaded gun."
>>
No. 466491 ID: 44f93b

>If I were smart like you said, I'd have shot you the moment I recognized you.
Given Hok's lucky plot armor, even that probably would have gone badly. Safest place to be is on his side.

>I'll have to ask you to stop jabbing my ribs with a loaded gun.
Oh, sorry, force of habit! *obnoxious grin, removes the gun from his side*

Best case, we've made another recruit and everything is fine, worst case, he's still gonna try to kill you, in which case we're relying on miklik quick draw.
>>
No. 466493 ID: 6a1ec2

OK so Pilon made a replica of the data, but it couldn't contain the actual data because he hadn't picked through the 300 pounds of highly explosive security to figure out what was in it yet. He sent you on a suicide mission to deliver the replica, giving them time to escape with the actual payload, to hopefully take apart without destroying it. When the pirates found out about the replica, they would kill you (Hok) and bomb the hell out of the compound. A necessary sacrifice to get Pilon a sliver of a chance to access data he merely guesses has something to do with leaving the asteroid.

If you survive this Hok, Pilon had better be kissing your feet.
>>
No. 466495 ID: 44f93b

>>466493
Actually, it wasn't intended to be a suicide mission- ideally, the pirates would have accepted the bad data, paid Hok and let him leave, and bombed the empty building to rubble, covering Pilon and co's escape, thinking they were killing them.

Although I think Hok meant he didn't understand the neumono political situation and why the hub needed Pilon, not what just happened.
>>
No. 466501 ID: c4e5c2
File 135128681895.png - (42.53KB , 700x900 , 303.png )
466501

>"Force of habit."

We start moving back. Kappi and I must have gotten lucky! On our way back, we had no less than 3 paytolls, 150z each.

"Thanks for covering the bills, Jells."
>"I was using your reward money. It's all I have.
"... can't be helped, I suppose."

>>466493
Well, by the sounds of it, Pilon already had an escape plan on his own going, me doing this was just an added little sprinkle!
>>
No. 466502 ID: c4e5c2
File 135128692511.png - (49.83KB , 700x700 , 304.png )
466502

And back to the trade hub at last!

>"Oh. You made it back after all. Unfortunate." That voice, in my goggles. I suppose Agnes is trying to talk to me.
"Greetings, Agnes! I don't suppose you would open the door for me?"
>"Who is your friend?"
"A big ol space pirate I picked up. He's a turn coat!"
>"A disloyal criminal. I like him better than you. He gets in free."
"And... I have to pay?"
>"8,000 zeny."
"Wha... that's a lot! What makes you think I even have that much?!"
>"Kappi debriefed us. Said the deal you took could have earned 10k. He didn't say you successfully got it, but if you want in, then you should have gotten it."
>>
No. 466503 ID: fd1b58

Fuck that noise.

Either find someway in through hacking, liberal use of explosives, or just go dick about in the caves for a day or two.
>>
No. 466506 ID: 44f93b

Oh come on, I come back mission accomplished, and this is the thanks I get! I even managed to make it back bike intact!

Grumble, squirm, see how far you can barter down the price, and then pay to enter. No big loss- it'll end up going towards base defense, and you're better off if this place is better defended.

What's Agnes' beef with you anyways, Hok?
>>
No. 466507 ID: e3f578

"Let me get this straight, I work for you, risk my life for this hub, and I have to pay for the right to work here? You don't pay to work, you get paid for work. What message are you even sending to the other mercenaries here? 'Risk your life and limb for the opportunity to waste your damn mission bonus on an entrance fee', what's the CAI got to say about this? I'm not paying shit until I here the CAI itself approve this entire transaction."
>>
No. 466509 ID: d12cf1

"S'funny joke. Now either let me in, or explain to your new diplomat why you shot his rescuer."
>>
No. 466510 ID: 4a328b

Just pay up before she makes you give her ALL the money
>>
No. 466512 ID: 8b9215

"I swear to god I will blow a hole in this place large enough for a truck to drive through if you don't let me in."
>>
No. 466513 ID: beeca1

>>466509
This, and if she still refuses, go dick around in the caves and bring Pilon with you. They can make do without.

Why does Agnes hate you, anyway?
>>
No. 466515 ID: 44f93b

>go dick around in the caves and bring Pilon with you
Kappi, Pilon and co. beat Hok back. All he's got barter with is himself, his gear, and possibly his recruit.

>I have to pay for the right to work here?
It's more that the 2k they're leaving Hok is his paycheck, and the 8k is part of mission spoils to be used towards bade survival.

Seriously, just roll with it, Hok. You're being extorted, but what's a little money between friends? You know who they'll come crawling back to when they need something stupid done again.
>>
No. 466516 ID: fd1b58

>>466510

Hok would have probably donated it all to Tin or the hub anyway, kept a grand probably to maybe make due with some comforts.
>>
No. 466517 ID: beeca1

The money's not the problem, it's Agnes being a bitch that's the problem.
>>
No. 466523 ID: f2c20c

>>466502
Say that it was impossible to get. You brought someone who is in theory worth more than 10k, anyway. Oh, and a truck!
>>
No. 466580 ID: ad13ca

How about this. If you're going to try to split up the loot, be fair about it. 2.5k each to the belonosian, Hok and Kappi. The rest to the hub, minus expenses.

The truck, and anything else that goes with it, can also be split if sold, or a finder's fed paid if kept by the hub. The split should heavily favor Hok and the Belonosian.

This compensates everyone who risked their neck, plus pays a fee to the hub for getting you the job in the first place.

Oh, and next time? Let's be clear about any deals before we leave.
>>
No. 466588 ID: 44f93b

>Let's be clear about any deals before we leave.
Well, Tin did say:

>you better bring something back of equal or better value other than Pilon

But that was to pay for the motorcycles she assumed we'd lose. Although, to be fair, we only lost Kappi's, I think, and we did come back with a trunk, a cache of get-off-the-asteroid data for the CAI to dig through, A sheep ex-pirate, and a whole tribe of Pilon followers in addition to keeping Kappi alive, and getting the mission objective. And the money.

>outrange and anger
Just pointing out to the suggesters leaning this way that it seems kind of out of character for Hok. I can see him taking exaggerated offense, indignant, mock hurt, etc. But getting actually angry over a little extortion seems to cut against his established grain.
>>
No. 466623 ID: d79664

Gog damnit Agnes why...
>>
No. 466631 ID: b33427

Dang it. That minus the tolls up on the surface leaves only 1550 zeny for Hok. Ah, well. The hub's going to need that zeny to defend itself, and having it as a safe haven is worth the price. Still, grumble a little over it.

However, still see if you can get some payment for bringing back a truck instead of a motorcycle, which is presumably better. Also ask if you could get something for not only persuading Jell to join up with the trade hub, but for getting someone who knows current knowledge about what's going on in The Shredded Flag. That might be useful to the hub, or to be sold to others.
>>
No. 466703 ID: 6dc5a6

That does it. You will acquire a slice of coffee cake, break into Agnes' bedroom, and leave said slice on her pillow. A nice classy threat that shows what you are capable of. You do know the defenses of this place like the back of your hand right?
>>
No. 466711 ID: 6cc859

>>466580
Looks good. Definitely get this sort of thing cleared up beforehand before you go out again. They need to pay you properly for risking your neck like that, this is just insulting.
>>
No. 466735 ID: 42c1c6

This is a joke, right?

Do they normally send you on highly dangerous missions and then charge for the pleasure?

Seriously though, tell her to fuck off cause the mission was a success.
>>
No. 466749 ID: fd1b58

How much zeny would it cost to fix a smoking hole in the door eh Hok?

If it's considerably less then the bullshit pricetag is, consider blasting your way in as a serious option.

Of course, you'll GLADLY pay Tin for the repairs and then donate most of the remainder to the Hub, in addition to the new truck and a new, useful face.
>>
No. 466760 ID: dff55b

if possible contact Tin, notify her of the situation & the asshattery your facing at the door, surely she's willing to listen if you've got Pilon on his way plus extra
>>
No. 466792 ID: c4e5c2
File 135140046799.png - (8.96KB , 700x700 , 305.png )
466792

"Agnes, I may have rubbed some people the wrong way, but what is your beef with me? Obviously you're not like this to everyone!"
>"You are scum."
"That doesn't answer me! I completed the mission and then some, and this is the thanks I get?"
>"We are too good to you. But I am joking. The cut would be 2,000 for allowing you to stay. Tin's orders."
"... that... is not a good joke, Agnes!"
>"The important thing is the money. We have made enemies, and we only have proper defenses in a single entrance. All things considered, two thousands is.... paltry."

Well, good enough.
>>
No. 466793 ID: c4e5c2
File 135140047803.png - (11.33KB , 700x700 , 306.png )
466793

18:30, Tin's Office

"Hok, get up here, bring your pal. Agnes, stop fucking around with Hok that much. He's been doing well lately. Remember that you didn't exactly come invited either."
>"Tin, I was about ready to blow a hole in the wall, then pay for the repairs!" says Hok.
>"You cut his earnings by 20%? Isn't that harsh?" the CAI asks of me.
"And somehow, I'm the only one willing to house Hok. His mission was under our name, regardless, and we supply him with what he needs. Worse deals are made. Power outputs... you guys are only able to construct 3 things at once with any efficiency while clearing out the second floor for usability. The turret will be completed at the end of tomorrow, or sometime during the night. The residential area over two days from now, and the entertainment perhaps early tomorrow."
>"What's next?"
>"Ben should get a better science lab, both for Pilon and to try to research weaponry or... something."
>"How're you doing anyway, Tin?"
>"We can focus on clearing out the second area faster. With Pilon, we're only able to house so many people, and if we want more, we're going to need to build more."
>"We also need turrets. That giga plasma cannon!"
"The giga costs hundreds of thousands of zeny for the cheapest design. Forget it. Basic stuff. We need zeny anyway, no matter what we do. Pilon's willing to sell some stuff, but hot stuff doesn't sell easily and instantly while keeping a low profile."
>>
No. 466795 ID: 4a328b

Pilon's joining on the condition that researching how to get off the asteroid is made a priority. Better science lab once the turrets are done, then more housing.
>>
No. 466799 ID: 44f93b

CAI building priorities:

-enough living space to hold everybody, now that we just dumped another 20-30 people in. (Corollary: enough food production to feed everybody. Neumono eat a lot, and we just brought in a whole tribe of big ones).
-defense
-research lab

Things to research / throw science at:

-military stuff / defenses
-processing the heavy data Pilon brought in
-long term: start figuring a way off this rock!

Also, when do we get to see the CAI meeting Pilon? I expect the full gambit of gushing here!
>>
No. 466801 ID: f2c20c

>>466793
In other words, we need to get some money quick. What opportunities for cash are there? Scavenging from the surface, robbery... anything else?

Oh, and since we're deciding what to make tomorrow... another turret. We don't have enough defenses, and I expect those space pirates to be very pissed off at us now. We should always have the CAI working on one turret.
>>
No. 466806 ID: dff55b

if possible, maybe for now something light on the outside defence wise, but focus on internal automated defences to create bottlenecks, basically lure intruding enemies into "kill-zones"
a dangerous gambit I know, just an idea for future note after we get such things as housing more suited for the people we have now
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No. 466815 ID: c4e5c2
File 135140505164.png - (14.29KB , 850x750 , 307.png )
466815

"CAI, add a turret in the queue and set the funds. We'll decide where to place it later."

Pilon has assured me that he will be able to feed himself, he is hopeful that having a base proper will work out. Normally he works out of lairs in the ground. That is good, we are still scraping just above the red line of finances, and that's even considering that most of our staff works for practically free, except when we send them out to do things.

The CAI is making solid, easy progress with Pilon's data. It's mostly experimental data, nothing even conclusive, but Ben, or better yet, a team of scientists will be able to use it, or at least figure out what doesn't work.

"Oh. Hi. You are?"
>"My name is Jells. Space pirate, preceded by an Ex as of earlier today."
"Right. What can you do?"
>"I have good contacts and keep up to date. Aside from knowing how to fight, I can supply you with up to date job listings. They're not all gold, but I can get you solid ones that pay decent for what they are, from as trustworthy contractors as you can get. Used to do it for the shredded flag, but obviously that's changed. It wasn't cheap, people with good info charge good zeny. On average, 400 zeny a day is a ballpark measure. I can keep doing that, or just help around here with manual labor that the CAI can't cover yet."

Right. I have to get the CAI those fine motor bits for them sometime.
>>
No. 466816 ID: 886a4d

Having anohter source of information is a good thing. I believe we can afford 400 zeny a day. But I have no idea if its wise.
>>
No. 466818 ID: 8b9215

If we are going to be a neutral faction we need to start making amends to the folks we've pissed off. Call up anyone who has a grudge against us or people who know we screwed em over. Ask them what it will take to get back on neutral grounds with them.
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No. 466820 ID: f2c20c

If you do that, you'd better hope you have some plans to keep them from spending all their time hugging people. Speaking of the CAI, do we have anyone capable of performing maintenance on it? That might be a good idea at some point, just in case.
>>
No. 466848 ID: 9d7671

We could earn an easy 100,000 zeny by turning in Hok for his bounty.
And then possibly busting him out of wherever they would be keeping him.
>>
No. 466849 ID: beeca1

>>466848
I'll bet you anything you like it costs 200k to break him out. Or 99k or another amount so high as to make it not worth it.
>>
No. 466850 ID: dff55b

>>466848
>>466849
plus at this current stage seems overly risky, maybe when we have more stable options which if we can get him to sneak in some kind of recording equipment, he could possibly take images of enemy designs & equipment, for now I say lay low for maybe a day or two, see if we can pull people from the greenforce to assist in living area cleanup giving the CAI more resources to dedicate to the turret
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No. 466852 ID: 44f93b

>>466848
...I kind of thought the bounty wasn't for bringing him in alive, though.
>>
No. 466854 ID: 0b7fa2

I think it is in our best interest to get the CAI fine motor parts asap.
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No. 466857 ID: e3f578

Tin, why are you Hok? Have you guys switched Hats?

We need jobs and to spend money to make money. The entertainment district should give us a decent extra bit of cash when it opens up tomorrow. We'll need to make a production studio soon as well. I'd like to get a list of potential money making upgrades. Better shops, better shop placement to attract more impulse purchases, new types of shops, that production studio, factories, etc. Or at least you should just get these upgrades automatically when you feel it's best, Tin. You're not investing at all into your current trading ability and that's a shame because you got a good setup here with a decent neutral reputation. No wonder you're always close to being in the red. I bet you don't even have a real tax system in place asides from income tax that you seem to only give Hok.
>>
No. 466859 ID: beeca1

>>466857
For example, an actual name would help. Right now you're just some anonymous trade hub that seems to be looked down upon, based on how Rokoa reacted.

A name would hopefully make you more of an actual establishment and less like that one in Hunger Games.
>>
No. 466862 ID: 733ae0

>>466859
Please lets not turn into Blackwater/Xe/Academi/whatevertheyllnamethemselvesnext.
>>
No. 466865 ID: 886a4d

Something simple, like Tintown.
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No. 466866 ID: 0b7fa2

Ooo ooo ooo what about Valhalla?
>>
No. 466868 ID: e3f578

Tin City/Cove/whatever
Tin is an element, like Iron. But maybe that's too similar and will create tension between Iron Cove, their allies, and their enemies.
If the naming convention on this asteroid is based on the minerals that surrounds the city the most and not what the leader is called, then Iron Cove makes sense but not Tin. Unless the hub I surrounded by Tin.
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No. 466891 ID: c4e5c2
File 135145427401.png - (19.95KB , 700x700 , 308.png )
466891

>Get on neutral ground with other factions
The Iron Cove is a lost cause, and I have little motivation to attempt to change that. The Shredded Flag... it's possible. But surface factions tend to hold grudges. Amends may be more costly than it is worth, as much as I dislike having yet another enemy. As a surface dweller surrounded by competition, however, they have more than little old us to worry about.

>Getting fine motor control will lead to all hugs. Also, about CAI maintenance
By the looks of it, they're doing that already. They can operate fine on that level, just things like holding screwdrivers to take panels off is something difficult. Most personnel we have are capable of simple stuff. Ben should be able to manage more complex matters.

>A name and tax system
A name is good, yes. I am more the leader out of odd circumstance, it would be presumptuous of me to name it after myself. That said, I don't know what to name it. I'll be thinking of one. We do tax traders, that's how we make trade income. We're just not high and mighty and mostly deal in lesser scrap.

>Turn in Hok, bust him out
The bounty office in question is probably officiated in Lander's Port, just about the single largest entity around. Whether they turn him over to someone else or execute Hok right there, I don't know the details of, but it's risky, and I would definitely not bust him out of Lander's Port if he is held there.

"Yeah. You're hired, 400z a day, beginning tomorrow, as long as you put a shirt on. I don't run a farm."
>"Sure. What kinda jobs do you want to focus on? There's a good supply of jobs ranging from 5k to 100k, various caravan escorts and bounties and that like, but I should get a range. The upper scale jobs tend to be highly dangerous, while the 5k milk runs may not be worth your while. Or maybe they will be, from what little I've heard so far. I can also focus on getting more jobs of a certain type. Private bounties, the ever popular caravan escorts, mercenary work, all that sort of stuff."
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No. 466892 ID: 886a4d

Pilon's group sounds perfect for caravan escorts and merc work. They're tough, and well trained. Get Pilon's opinion first though.
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No. 466895 ID: 44f93b

Put checking in with Kappi on the to do list. He's the quartermaster, and the one who brought in a whole tribe of new recruits, he should have to straiten out the logistics of settling them all in.

>jobs
We're sort of trying to play nice, right? We shouldn't take jobs raiding anyone who isn't already pissed off at us, unless they have something we really need.

How long do we have before the warhive comes knocking at our gate? Did we have any kind of timeframe or expectation there?
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No. 466896 ID: 4a328b

Caravan escorts sound perfect, and promoting more trade can only be good for us
>>
No. 466898 ID: f2c20c

>>466891
Something in the 15-20k range should be good.

Though shouldn't we use Green Force instead of tapping Pilon's group just as they arrive? Let them get settled down a bit first, jeez.
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No. 466899 ID: 748ae2

Caravan escorts sounds like a good steady cow to milk, but keep an eye out for irregular high-end jobs guys like Hok can handle.
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No. 466901 ID: b33427

Caravan escorts sounds right up your alley, what with this being a trade hub. Go for the low pay, but regular, jobs.

Ask him to watch for 10k to 20k bounties that you could send Hok, or possibly even Pilon, out on. Also get the mug-shots of some low-rent bounties and have the CAI look out for them moving through the trade hub crowds.

Merc work is going to be tricky, if you want to keep this place neutral. Even merc jobs against Iron Cove might goad them into attacking sooner rather than later. So put those on the back burner until his place can hold its own.

Have you gotten the numbers on what it'll cost to build and equip a basic lab for Ben yet? When you do, also check on how much it'll cost to kit it out with a laboratory grade manipulator system. That way the CAI, or a dedicated lab AI, can operate as lab assistant until you get more scientists.

Check how much it'll cost to build and staff a proper medical facility for the trade hub. It's going to be needed if there's a battle here. Plus, it can bring in income by offering its services to the public. Good medical care is not easy to come by around here, is it?

Oh, and ask Pilon if his group could help clean up the second level. They're going to need space to spread their bedrolls anyway, so it might as well be in that unfinished area.
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No. 466903 ID: 44f93b

>send Hok, or possibly even Pilon, out on
Until the hive negotiator pops up, I'd rather not send Pilon out on missions at all. It would suck if when we actually need him to do the diplomat thing, he isn't around to do it!

Actually, if Tin and Pilon haven't had a face to face, they should, at some point. If you're authorizing this guy to negotiate or your behalf, you should probably work out how that's going to work first. Leaders generally need to discuss priorities and stuff with diplomats before putting them to work!
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No. 466906 ID: c4e5c2
File 135145990608.png - (8.94KB , 700x700 , 309.png )
466906

"Aim for 10 to 20k, Jells. Keep an eye out for a few higher up missions though, Hok may take well to bounty hunting."

I get Pilon up here. I should have a direct chat with him about being a diplomat.

"Hello and welcome." It feels like I shrunk, today.
>"Thank you."
"Our base isn't much, but I'm hoping it's better than your lairs. The CAI hasn't bugged you too much, I hope."
>"Not at all, and this is much better than the lairs. It'll be nice sleeping in a proper bed, and I can't say I've been hugged by many robotics before."
"Right. About that neumono diplomat. We honestly have no idea when to expect one, so we may want you around a lot of the time. Can your unit operate without you?"
>"Absolutely."
"And tell me honestly. Would you actually be able to talk that hive into both letting outside neumono come and go, and not attack us over it?"
>"Honestly? I have no idea. Our hive has had priority issues for ages, and I haven't kept a close eye on their inner workings for ages. Only their outward actions. All I can think of now is that they like peace, but will defend themselves, and for some reason consider rogues to be an immense threat. And perhaps they are thinking a best defense is a good offense. With that said, however, it's my belief that they've only gotten less warlike over time internally, and aren't what they used to be as far as fighting goes. Rokoa is somewhat of a relic in that manner to them, a reason why I believe she isn't well liked."`
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No. 466912 ID: 1b03fd

So they are pretty pathetic in combat compared to what they used to be?

That's really good news, but still somewhat worrying as they were REALLY GOOD at combat before.
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No. 466913 ID: 44f93b

>I can't say I've been hugged by many robotics before.
We can't help it! You're just so big and cuddly! And adorable. Dem eyes! Dem ears!

>negotiation
One card we might have to play is working on a way off this rock, if the hive takes the supposed hidden message from Polo seriously, and makes finding an exit a priority. (Pilon's certainly free to watch the film and see what he thinks).

Hey Tin, what's your reason for wanting off this rock? You must have one, if you're leading (odd circumstances aside) a faction trying to do so.
>>
No. 466914 ID: 0b7fa2

Hm. Well his unit could also work for us... And I guess we could pay. Neumono Would be really good for our lines of work.
>>
No. 466915 ID: b33427

It might help negotiations if you find out why the hive is so hostile towards rogues. Are they trying to prevent them from forming a cohesive group? Reducing the chances of another hive forming? Find out if they're after only rogues that have broken from their hive, or any rogue, regardless of origin.

Run the idea past Pilon that the hive is intentionally sending Rokoa and the other "old guard" like her on rogue hunts in order to keep them in the field, and not in the hive generating "bad vibes."
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No. 466921 ID: 1e7d43

CAI, hug him immediately!

For a name, consider "Sanctuary", if it's not taken. Trade zones are traditionally politically-neutral safe zones, after all. Knowing that they're safe from raiding or thieves when they trade here will encourage merchants to use our facilities.

Alternatively, try "The Catacombs" after the vast underground tunnels (sometimes with whole cities inside them!) used by everyone from Roman Christians to the French Resistance during times of oppression.

Other possibilities: Subopolis or Unterstadt, both referring to the trade hub's status as an underground city.

Or you could just go with "The Hub". Beware low-flying ponies, though. :/
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No. 466926 ID: c4e5c2
File 135146680250.png - (11.39KB , 700x700 , 310.png )
466926

"Do you think it's possible that the hive is constantly sending Rokoa and other old soldiers like her on rogue hunts is just to keep them away from the hive to quit generating bad vibes?"
>"It's possible, but would only happen to Rokoa. The losses we took leading up to hitting the asteroid were so monumental, that we slowly did look at fighting as an evil thing, yet sometimes necessary. So those of us that couldn't live peaceably went rogue, Rokoa aside, or settled down and let their guns rust a bit. In any case, the more I think about it, the more I would like to see Rokoa."
"I am still uneasy about her. Even if she has some demented honor code, she could just walk off with that bio armor at a fraction of its cost."
>"It has been awhile since I've seen her, but while she has picked up some kind of an honor code, it's not a very good one. She follows it, but she also is the only one that understands it. And there isn't much to say about an honor code that no one else can understand. I'm not even sure that she does, half the time."
"You don't like her?"
>"There are many things about her that rub me wrong, but I've never seen such loyalty stand well under such testing circumstances, either."
"... can you fight her?"
>"Last I checked, we were about on even ground in hand to hand. I don't know how we compare with weapons. That's if I end up fighting her one on one, anyway, which I don't know why I would."
"Just making sure you're willing to kill her if it comes to it. We may want to find out what makes them tick, why they think outside rogues are such a threat, before a diplomat comes."
>"I'm not sure how to go about that, without walking into their hive lair."

>Why do you want off this rock?
It's not that big of a deal to me. My leader status is circumstantial, and the faction I lead searching for a way off just happens to be circumstantial as well. I'll still take a ticket off of here if the circumstances lead to the possibility of that, as well.

>Catacombs or the Sanctuary
Sanctuary is taken. I'm leaning to Catacombs.
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No. 466927 ID: 0b7fa2

Catacombs it is then!
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No. 466928 ID: 44f93b

>I would like to see Rokoa.
You're more than likely going to get that chance. With the bio armor debt and whatever the hell she and Kappi have going on, she'll probably show up around here again, at some point.

>circumstantial, circumstantial, circumstances
Tin, master of the non-committal answer.
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No. 466929 ID: 049858

I have to vote against "The Catacombs". Catacombs are tunnels where the dead are buried. This place almost became that, all right!
I'm thinking names more suggestive of a center of business would be more appropriate, in the hopes of attracting said business. It's the reputation you have right now, as "the trade hub" and a good one. Commercial names don't say "I'm a threat!" The name should also reflect that we're moving up in the world, since giving the place a name will, anyway. Another thing to consider is whether or not the knowledge that we're trying to escape the asteroid should be public, and reflect that in the name.
That said, I admit I don't have any suggestions beyond anemic ones such as "Undermarket", "The Launchpad" and so forth. Instead I suggest talking this out with Agnes, Kappi, Pilon, and the others who are about to become community leaders. Maybe one of them has a good idea.
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No. 466930 ID: b33427

Maybe a recent rogue from the hive would know more about the mindset in there. Call up Kappi and tell him to dig up the most recent one he can find that's willing to talk. Rokoa would also know, but she's going to be hard to approach about hive matters. How long has the hive been actively hostile towards rogues, anyway?

>Catacombs
Don't really like that name. It's a bit too associated with tombs and death and such. How about something with "union" in it? "Union Crossroads," maybe?
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No. 466931 ID: 0b7fa2

I really like catacombs I don't see what the beef is. It is very suiting for our positioning, and the name itself is awesome.
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No. 466932 ID: 1e7d43

Just spitballin' some other names here to make sure you have plenty of choices before you commit.

"The Agora" after the name used for the marketplace in Ancient Greek cities.

"Iram" after the legendary "Atlantis of the Sands"--a city that allegedly sunk into the desert, never to be seen again.

"Mena" or "Mennas" after Saint Menas Kallikelados, patron saint of peddlers and traveling merchants.
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No. 466933 ID: 0b7fa2

Wait... We have an unlimited CAI.... So what about we call ourselves the datacombs?
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No. 466937 ID: 1e7d43

Or just "The Bazaar", if you're looking for something more direct.

Ooh, maybe "Refuge" or "Haven" instead of "Sanctuary". Same meaning, less copyright infringement! :D
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No. 466941 ID: 8b9215

Asteroid Haven
The Trade Hub
>>
No. 466943 ID: 733ae0

The Emporium.
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No. 466945 ID: e3f578

>>466926
Septarian Node
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No. 466949 ID: 0c8a2b

>>466937

I vote for: This Land.
>>
No. 466955 ID: dff55b

The P(ilon).A(agnes).C(AI).T(in). Hub
okay I dunno... just thought something like that could work
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No. 467001 ID: 748ae2

Well if we're gonna play the roll of a space-pirate free port, let's call her "La Tortue," after a peculiar free port from a long forgotten age.
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No. 467011 ID: c4e5c2
File 135150743427.png - (37.98KB , 700x700 , 311.png )
467011

Emporium. Sounds classy, and still direct. I'm leaning to that, though will wait on officiating anything.

"Kappi, come in."
>"I'm here, what do you need?"
"Try to locate a neumono around that's been around the hive within a year or whatever you can manage. I want to know what they know."
>"Will do."
"Alright, Pilon, I think that is all I need for now, thank you. We'll let you get settled in before we consider you for missions."
>"Thank you, Tin."

>Incoming call from Agnes...
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No. 467012 ID: c4e5c2
File 135150747305.png - (41.24KB , 600x600 , 312.png )
467012

"What's up?"
>"We have a visitor. He is from a side entrance leading to no factions of interest. He claims that he has heard we have a few enemies, and is willing to act as a spy for hire. I don't like him." Agnes says.
>>
No. 467013 ID: 9d7671

Oh no Agnes doesn't like somebody we better not let that guy in.

But seriously lets hear him out, although we already have Hok for sneaky missions and he might be working for some other faction to spy on us.

On an unrelated note are there any radio stations on the asteroid? Like channels that play music and host talk shows n shit? Could we start a Radio station?
>>
No. 467014 ID: f2c20c

Does Agnes like anyone? What is a Yich Eater anyway and why is Agnes always in the dark?

If we're going to hire a spy, we want to minimize the risk that they might go double-agent on us, or that they already are a double-agent. He's already got my distrust for coming to us instead of us going to him. Ask Agnes what she thinks of him, in specifics. Then we can talk to him. Personally I'm not sure why we'd even want a spy. Or if we can afford one.
>>
No. 467019 ID: dff55b

caution is always best, ALWAYS.
if we let them in, until we can be sure of their intentions or work something out (like say they are a double agent, use that to our advantage, see if we can get them to give other people falsified reports whilst letting him keep their payment for himself should help)keep them under CONSTANT watch, possibly assign 2 people to keep them under constant guard/scrutiny
>>
No. 467020 ID: dff55b

caution is always best, ALWAYS.
if we let them in, until we can be sure of their intentions or work something out (like say they are a double agent, use that to our advantage, see if we can get them to give other people falsified reports whilst letting him keep their payment for himself should help)keep them under CONSTANT watch, possibly assign 2 people to keep them under constant guard/scrutiny
>>
No. 467021 ID: 44f93b

Nice visor, Kappi. Where's the rest of your suit of medieval armor? :V

>Agnes
I take it all back. We never should have bothered with Pilon- she would have made a fantastic diplomat.

Seriously, feel out this new guy, remain cautious. "I'm a spy, come to work for you" is halfway to confessing "I'm a spy, come to work you."

Maybe we should ask why she doesn't like him? Or what about him she doesn't like? Just because she's touchy doesn't mean her instincts are totally wrong.
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No. 467023 ID: c4e5c2
File 135151885175.png - (10.81KB , 600x600 , 313.png )
467023

>Are there any radio stations on the asteroid?
Not on the whole asteroid, because of interference. Also, radio towers are difficult to make. Falling rocks and all.

"Kappi, what's with your knight helm? Missing the rest of your medieval set?"
>"I'm missing my other goggles!"
"Right. Pilon, please stay here for a bit. I don't invite just any outsider up here alone with me. I'll probably get a couple Green Force guys to keep an eye on him while he's around anyways. Agnes, send him up. What don't you like about him?"
>"He is untrustworthy." she says.
"Thank you for your insightful input, as usual, Agnes."
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No. 467024 ID: c4e5c2
File 135151890595.png - (14.82KB , 600x600 , 314.png )
467024

>What's a Yich Eater?
Whatever that thing is that just entered my office. Agnes simply likes the dark, or the glows of monitor's in the dark. Most do prefer caves, but she is an extreme. I do not know where she came from, in fact.

>"Hello." the spy says.
"Hi. Please stay within arm's reach of Pilon."
>"Sure."
>>
No. 467026 ID: 44f93b

So... Agnes doesn't trust him because he isn't naked?

Alright, let's hear this guy's pitch. What's he got to offer, and why should we be interested?
>>
No. 467028 ID: 9d7671

>interference, radio towers hard to make.
>So much for Radio X-EMPORIUM hosted by DJ Kappi ;_;

Ok lets try to be professional about this the man came in for a job interview.

What skills does he have to offer?
Why would he work for us and not one of our enemies?
What are his salary requirements?
Where does he see himself in five years?

Or something along those lines
>>
No. 467029 ID: e3f578

Okay, so a Yich Eater wants to be a spy. Yeah, okay, I'm sure they do that well, I mean, it's not like anyone's displayed any sarcasm on a Yich Eater being our diplomat and being a spy has absolutely no skill overlap like social skills, no seriee.

If he's not a double spy of his own, this guy is a naive spy wannabe that's a self-hating Yich Eater, probably. He's wearing long underwear in public for god's sake.
>>
No. 467034 ID: 440525

Huh, Yich Eaters are pretty cool. Anyways what is a Yich? Also, what sort of espionage is this person capable of doing?
>>
No. 467040 ID: c4e5c2
File 135152497543.png - (11.92KB , 700x700 , 315.png )
467040

>Yich Eater
>Spy
It would have been scoffable, except I am not the only one with that attitude. Ironically, this could give him a leg up.

>What is a Yich
Fuck if I know. Probably some ungodly prey insect on their home planet.

>Long underwear
I appreciate that unlike most of its kind, it is wearing clothes at all.

"What skills do you have to offer?"
>"As I mentioned to your post lady, I am a spy, and appreciate that you would see me."
"Why come to us, then? Why not our enemies?"
>"There is not much business out there for one such as me."
"What are your salary requirements?"
>"I don't require much, but it depends on where you would send me. It can range between 25z and 500z a day depending on distance and the faction of which I would investigate."
"Where do you see yourself in five years?"
>"Not in a coffin."
"What sort of espionage are we talking, anyway?"
>"I am not suited to combat, I am sorry to say, but I have a knack for knowing more than people think I know. I will be able to alert you to any oncoming attacks or other interesting actions they may take, as much as I can."
>>
No. 467041 ID: 14bafe

Seems perfect for Iron City, I think.
>>
No. 467042 ID: c6ec33

>>467040
Ask him for proof of his abilities. Perhaps some information about either the Trade Hub or the Shredded Flag or Pilon's group that only an insider/spy would know.

Can't exactly hire someone without a resume!
>>
No. 467043 ID: 440525

Hm. So just a standard spy. Well I guess we can let him in? Do we even have any other spies working for us? If we don't then we could use him. Everyone needs a spy.
>>
No. 467044 ID: 44f93b

Seems useful, and relatively affordable.

Where should we deploy him though? The warhive probably isn't easily infiltrateable (they'll only trust their own, and what aliens they need they'll already have). Iron Cove and the Shredded Flag would be easier to get into, although potentially not as big a score. (Potentially a way to get some more of that juicy Iron Cover research we didn't have time for during Rokoa's smash and grab?).

Although we're starting to accumulate expenses now. We need to get some revenue generation going, can't just sit on what we already had and taxed out of Hok.
>>
No. 467046 ID: 9d7671

We could hire him as a counter intelligence agent! He could help us strengthen weak spots in our intelligence network, find other spies and such, tough this would require a lot of trust since he would have to have access to our most sensible data.

Tough i don't see any point for some other faction to send us a spy who informs us he is a spy.
But it would probably be best to have Kappi run a background check on this guy, see if he has any bounties or such.

Oh we haven't even asked him his name. How rude of us.
>>
No. 467047 ID: c4e5c2
File 135152741541.png - (11.34KB , 700x700 , 316.png )
467047

>Get a background check
I type a message out to Kappi to do this after his current tasks.

"What is your name?"
>"Yani."
"I don't suppose you could conveniently infiltrate the neumono Hive?"
>"I could attempt so, yes. They are not particularly distrusting of non-neumono outsiders."
>"But," Pilon intervenes, "there are unspoken nuances within a hive's thoughts. A spy could be used for seeing concrete actions, but if it's to see how they tick, then there won't be enough information. Even the best spies would have to make loose conjecture and educated guesses at best."
>"This is true." Yani says. "And although they may allow me in without issue, as a quasi psychic bunch, loose tongues will be a difficult acquirement."
"Let's hear some info for a resume. What do you already know about, say, the Shredded Flag?"
>"They arrived around... 15 years ago. They have had a few ups and downs, but never were more than a minor to medium faction. They have a relatively high rollover rate, with veterans leaving, recruits joining and becoming veterans, and invariably continuing the cycle. The original leaders of the crashland site, when they first arrived, can be counted with 2 pairs of hands."
"And can you infiltrate Iron Cove?"
>".... yes. With their recent hit, they are likely looking for plenty of staff for regaining their footing before someone takes advantage of their prone position. I believe I will have little trouble. I estimate 75 zeny a day, as I do not believe that this will be a terribly difficult job, though not terribly easy either. I should warn that the price may increase to 100z, should dropzones and other manners of relaying information to you be particularly dangerous."
>>
No. 467048 ID: 886a4d

Ask him why he decided to offer his services to us. Lots of bigger fish could use an infiltrator.
>>
No. 467049 ID: 44f93b

Hmm. I don't think the hive is worth it. He'd miss too much, and if they were about to attack us, I doubt they'd be subtle. (Also- the warhive is a lot bigger than us. Even with all the losses of the last war, and potentially rampant desertion, they must still number in the hundreds. If they decide they want to wipe us out we're kind of fucked).

Shredded fang probably isn't a big threat right now, although they might decide to fuck with us after what we pulled.

Iron cove seems the best target to me.
>>
No. 467054 ID: b33427

Ask Yani how long he's been in his business, and if he's worked with all, most, or some of the major players on the asteroid; Especially Iron Cove. You want an idea of how well he's known to be a spy-for-hire, since a spy that's known to be a spy is not going to be worth much.

His price is right, and barring Kappi turning up something glaringly bad, he's as good as hired. Tell him that, and also that he won't be deployed until your guy finishes checking up on him. If he doesn't have accommodations elsewhere, there may be some space in the staff quarters he could stay.
>>
No. 467071 ID: c4e5c2
File 135153557963.png - (7.64KB , 700x700 , 317.png )
467071

The CAI can't find anything immediate about Yani, but that is not saying much with our damaged database.

>Ask why the trade hub
This was answered, supposedly business is bad elsewhere.

"How long have you worked as a spy?"
>"Perhaps around 10 years, though there have been long stretches of working the same tasks. And do not worry, I am not well known. Us Yich Eaters even have trouble telling each other apart, and adding a couple of fake horns to my head, and a subtle modification to my voice box, will throw off distinguishing features."
"Alright. We'll consider it. Stay around here for a day and I'll get back to you."
>"Thank you."

"You may go as well, Pilon."
>"I will, then. Thank you as well.

..... that's how my day's been, but I think that's it for visitors.

"...... Kappi!"
>"Y-yeah?"
"Show me our employees. May as well stay in the office while you look up recent hive deserters."
>>
No. 467076 ID: c4e5c2
File unitSplice.swf - (27.08KB , 900x550 )
467076

....yep. There's that.

This menu will be updated over time to include base upgrades and layouts. For now, it's more or less barebones, but let me know about any bugs/inconsistent info.
>>
No. 467082 ID: 9d7671

Tin do you ever drop your frown? Things are going relatively good so you might want to relax and do something you enjoy.
>>
No. 467083 ID: 1b03fd

>>467082

...like making Hok uncomfortable!

Who DOESN'T enjoy that anyway?
>>
No. 467086 ID: 440525

Got any computer games? You have two monitors, slam those puppies together and get immersed.
>>
No. 467092 ID: 3338b5

>>467076
Should we be able to scroll up and down in that? I can probably only see half of the base and Pilon personal before they get cut off.
>>
No. 467096 ID: c4e5c2

>>467092
Yes, sorry, I had forgotten to mention that using the mouse wheel will scroll up/down. I'll still probably add in an alternative once the UI settles in.
>>
No. 467102 ID: 3338b5

>>467096
Oh, thank you, that works, although it's a little jumpy.

...I notice Kappi didn't include Tin or himself on that list. (Because, naturally, the first thing I tried to do was to check his age).
>>
No. 467103 ID: 1b03fd

>>467102

That's just Lago being a fucking tease.
>>
No. 467113 ID: c4e5c2

>>467103
Actually it's Lago being fucking forgetful. Tin/Kappi will be added.
>>
No. 467114 ID: c4e5c2
File 135154499705.png - (17.70KB , 700x700 , 318.png )
467114

>Games
Better turn the CAI back on.

"Have any games on hand?"
>"Uh.... no."
>"Why'd you put us on silent?"
>"Can we make any?"
>"We can!"
"Good. Make minesweeper or something, I don't care. It should take a negligible amount of resources to make some games. May as well make some arcade machines with them and throw them in the entertainment area as an arcade. So make sure to make them stupidly hard."
>>
No. 467118 ID: c4e5c2
File 135154552020.png - (14.26KB , 700x700 , 319.png )
467118

>"Hello. I've been told to come up here to discuss the hive."
"Yes. And you are?"
>"Karawni. Just passing through, and I had come to pick up some food when your quartermaster said you could use some input."

Thanks for the heads up, Kappi.

"I'd like to know about the hive. You may have gone rogue, but that was recent?"
>"A year or two ago."
"Then you know the most."
>"What do you want to know?"
"Anything about the hive. Their motivation."
>"They fancy themselves as crusaders or something, and want to see all the neumono getting along together, even if it means killing everyone who doesn't see eye to eye. Which is a goddamn lot. To top it all off, when I left, they were self flagellating about the whole ordeal like it was their fault or something. I never got it. I'm rogue for a reason."
>>
No. 467120 ID: 3338b5

That's... great. The war hive has gone from "no one besides hivemates is capable of kindness" to "united neumono". Problem is they still see it through a lens of violence, and guilt to boot! That's gonna be tricky to negotiate past.
>>
No. 467121 ID: 886a4d

So they want to form an ultrahive. But they are going about it the completely wrong way.
>>
No. 467129 ID: b6edd6

So they want to kill most other neumono to stop them from killing each other :/
A bit crazy on their part, but fairly workable if we spin things right when talking to them. Thank her, because knowing this will help quite a lot.
>>
No. 467133 ID: 3338b5

>they want to kill most other neumono to stop them from killing each other :/
So... the war hive has become the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah? Only limited to neumono, and not all sentience.

Possible lines of negotiation:
-It doesn't matter if we don't agree with them, as we're planning on leaving. Our eventual retreat from the asteroid serves their purpose the same as their killing us would.
-If they want to honor their debt to Polo and get Rokoa off this rock, they'd be better off using us rather than killing us.
-We don't disagree with them! We'd love to see all the neumono get along, but your wanting to kill them is kind of impeding that.
>>
No. 467150 ID: 35037c

Well I can surly understand why you left, that sounds lick a clusterf*ck. Well thank you, whats with the thing on the ear?
>>
No. 467156 ID: 6dc5a6

Hmmm don't some of the ultrahives back on the homeworld use jammers? I don't suppose we could find a way to convince the warhive to use jammers to prevent rogues from rubbing the hive the wrong way? However it is unlikely that the hive will simply be willing to allow privacy for a handful of neumono but come on Pilon's got his own minihive.
>>
No. 467157 ID: c4e5c2
File 135155269917.png - (8.18KB , 700x700 , 320.png )
467157

"I'm curious, what is that earring?"
>"It's the symbol of said hive, except upside down."
"Thank you, that's what I need to know."
>"'welcome."

>"Hey, Tin!" the CAI says. "Can't we just send a non-neumono to the hive and try asking them when they'll send a negotiator, or try and set up a date?"
>>
No. 467158 ID: f2c20c

>>467157
We should give Pilon the information we just secured from Karawni. Also, tell him that if he wants to speak further with Karawni we can arrange a meeting.
>>
No. 467160 ID: 3338b5

>symbol of said hive
Interesting. I'm fairly sure we never saw any symbology in the warship, on their gear, or on their uniforms in Polo's time. Meaning the symbol is either new, or it's just risen to prominence (being more concerned with identity kind of makes sense, given what we know of their current worldview).

>Send a messenger to the hive?
Well, on the one hand, why push our luck? The longer we have to wait for their diplomat, the more time we have to shore up our defenses if they don't deal. On the other hand... if we wait till the send a negotiator, we've waited until they've decided to kill our rogues and are sending out "surrender them, or die with them" demands. Might be nice to settle things before their mind is set.
>>
No. 467167 ID: e3f578

If we have to want any scope of change, the diplomatic meeting is going to have to take place in the hive's auditorium so the thought will pinball everywhere.
We essentially have to logic bomb an organic network if we have any chance of success in changing their minds. Or kill a few borrowing their philosophy, kill the ones feeling that emotion the strongest. We'd need a professional neumono assassin for that and we don't have one of those on hand, and Rokoa would never stand for it.
>>
No. 467202 ID: d79664

Hmmm. The CAI is on to something here. I am leaning on this plan. Uuuuuh when will we get control of the CAI again?
>>
No. 467204 ID: beeca1

>>467202
I think the point is we don't. Part of the reason we had the intermission was to get us used to being one guy at a time.
>>
No. 467217 ID: c4e5c2
File 135156204094.png - (10.96KB , 700x700 , 321.png )
467217

It would also be nice to free up Pilon by knowing or arranging a date rather than having him locked down here because of the possibility a negotiator would show up. But I'll think on it later.

"Pilon, we did meet one known as Karawni. She was recently in the hive. Ask her questions if you like, tip her a bit of zeny and we'll pay you for it if she needs reimbursement for time or something."
>"Certainly."
"Oh, one more thing! The CAI is trying to clear the rubble from level 2, but most of their mechanics up there are broken. If for whatever reason you feel a need to lug around some heavy items, we'd be grateful if you could help clear the rubble."
>"I will, yes, we shouldn't laze about. The exercise will be good."

30 some bio armor using kids of a huge guy. That should help it along well.

Well that's all I can think of to do tonight.

"I'm going to bed. Night, 'CAI. Don't bug pilon too much."
>"Goodnight!"
>"No promises!"
>"Good evening, Tin."
>>
No. 467219 ID: c4e5c2
File 135156207959.png - (35.47KB , 700x700 , 322.png )
467219

While 467204 was right, it is actually most likely more convenient to have a wider range during base management, and so CAI control will be had during these segments, at least for now.

The next morning...

"Erg... the coffee takes too long to make. Good morning." says Kappi.
>>
No. 467220 ID: c4e5c2
File 135156214096.png - (5.70KB , 850x500 , 323.png )
467220

"Finances are still good." Kappi continues. "Where do you want the second turret? We have 2 on Iron Cove now, the other suggested entrances are either to the neumono hive, or one protecting the surface entrance.

Message from Agnes:"Our personnel on the prior mission has returned. They have brought possible employees, should we give them funds. It is a shame that they will not work for free. A cook and bartender who work for 50z a day each, and up to 8 showgirls or entertainers or whatever they're called, who have experience in such things, for 30z a day each. 340 zeny a day for the whole package. It may pay for itself. It may also take awhile for people to realize there's even an entertainment place down here. It is hard to say. In any case, they have also brought additional entertainment stock using the allocated money."
>>
No. 467229 ID: 3338b5

>Erg... the coffee takes too long to make. Good morning.
We could monitor your sleep patterns, determine when you're one brew-interval away from waking, and start the coffee for you, if you want!

>8 showgirls or entertainers
...of what species? We kind of need a mix, don't we?

The entertainment package might pay off (especially since we've had people without any kind of entertainment for gods knows how long) but it makes me a little leery. If the don't make anything it pushes our earnings into the red.

>turret
I'm leaning surface? Hopefully we won't have to fight the hive, and it's not like we could hope to hold them off if they went all out.

>Time for the CAI to be a CAI
Hey Agnes! We can't help but notice you don't like a lot of people! Do you need cheering up? You like us, don't you? @o@
>>
No. 467232 ID: d79664

Hey I got an idea. How about we advertise. What forms of advertising does this planet... Asteroid have?
>>
No. 467236 ID: 4a328b

Surface for the turret

For the first few days we should have some personnel get to work advertising that there is an entertainment area, and where it is.
>>
No. 467237 ID: 6a1ec2

OuO to Agnes, hopefully disturbing the screen of whatever she's working on with the OuO face.
>>
No. 467238 ID: f2c20c

>>467220
We got 'em, let's start putting them to work. Oh, and put up ads to let people know about it! Like they say, you can't afford NOT to advertise!

We've got 2 turrets facing Ocean Nexus already and we THINK we can keep them nonhostile. Let's build a turret aimed towards the surface in anticipation of space pirate attack.
>>
No. 467241 ID: e3f578

That would put us into the red, unfortunately. The payout would be incredibly nice if it works out for the future. But we can't properly predict things without the correct financial programs and knowledge base. I'm going to try compiling such programs now and see if any of these even work, hopefully we can run this along with our game production.

[Create and compile long-term prediction algorithm for future finance decisions similar to this one, using any logic from interacting with previous relevant programs, all ready owned programs, living beings with substantial financial experience or professionalism we've interacted with, and CAI common sense. This program will simulate financial gain or loss and put out a prediction of estimated time to get to this simulated gain or loss]
[Create and compile program that can predict accuracy of above program]
[Message Tin for suggested financial tutors for the CAI]
[Estimate completion time and unavailable necessary programming techniques of Minesweeper]
[Estimate completion time and unavailable necessary programming tech. of DOOM]
[Estimate completion time and unavailable necessary programming tech. of DOOM health interface mod with Rokoa's face instead of DOOM guy]
[Estimate completion time and unavailable necessary programming tech. of Brutal DOOM mod]
[Estimate completion time and unavailable necessary programming tech. of Duke Nukem 3D]
[Estimate completion time and unavailable necessary programming tech. of Duke Nukem 3D mod with neumono, belosian, etc. sprites]

For now, take the deal, we'll be in the red for a little bit, but it should pan out. Do we have any marketing scheme going for the new entertainment district Kappi?
>>
No. 467244 ID: f2c20c

>>467220
Also I'd like to point out that we have 3 turrets facing Iron Cove now. We had 2 each facing Iron Cove and Ocean Nexus before we started building that new turret, and we were building it facing Iron Cove.

I don't know what our defenses are like on the second and third floors, or how the surface entrance is protected. Could we get a layout of security?
>>
No. 467246 ID: 6dc5a6

Lets hold back on advertising ourselves for the moment. Save up for a full on marketing blitz after we find out if diplomacy will work with the warhive.
[Place a mission on the board to find a photograph of the illusive Ryan Reynolds.]
>>
No. 467247 ID: c4e5c2
File 135156536075.png - (41.13KB , 700x700 , 324.png )
467247

We can advertise our entertainment in the base, and make a snazzy entrance right at a good traffic point, but it's difficult to advertise elsewhere." Kappi explains. "We would need to send personnel out again, not like we couldn't. We do need to reserve some personnel for staffing the hub though."

>Number of turrets
"Oh, mistake, the completion of the last one made 3 at iron cove."

Turret Construction beginning at Surface level.

>Showgirl species
"They are a mix." says Agnes. "Mostly human. One neumono, one pomi. I could not say whether or not they are attractive."

>[Message Tin for suggested financial tutors for the CAI]
>"Yeah. We'll keep it in mind. I think I'll put on a hiring sign for the trade hub, at least we'll get people to come to us that way."

>Making various game projects
One medium scale game may be made once per week for negligible resource cost.

>Create algorithm for predicting financial gain
Insufficient data.
>"We'll have to keep an eye out for economists or such data." Tin says.

>Get a layout of security
"Yeah, let me work on that. We don't even have that much, but there's not much to say. Pretty straightforward tunnels, although we should still keep an eye on them."
>>
No. 467248 ID: c4e5c2
File 135156539183.png - (14.04KB , 700x700 , 325.png )
467248

Jells has returned, and has supplied jobs he feels may be of possible interest.

Bounty: Reward, 3k, dead or alive. A belenosion hacker is hiding out with a data card. A 5k bonus is rewarded if the info is safely retrieved. Not a physical threat.
Bounty: Reward, 10k. A human scavenger is on the run in sector 3, and moves from outpost to outpost hiding out. Allegedly not a physical threat.
Bounty: Reward, 19k. A miklik assassin that is known to hide in a single outpost. Considerably dangerous.
Bounty: Reward, 1k per confirmed kill of Shredded Flag members.

Escort: 3k, at least 4 units required. Short, easy material run.
Escort: 10k, at least 15 units required. Cargo details withheld.
Escort: 30k, at least 25 units required. Precious stone material transfer.

Garrison: 50z per day until further notice for each unit, up to 10 units. Either party may terminate job at any time.

>>
No. 467249 ID: d79664

Well I think we should start him off by sending him after the hacker.
>>
No. 467252 ID: e3f578

We should definitely take the 30k Escort
The 19k assassin one interests me, but I don't know who fits the job best.
I don't have a particular desire to attack the hacker or scavenger just yet, may be a valuable to team.
>>
No. 467253 ID: beeca1

>>467249
Also, how likely is that human scavenger to try and seek refuge here? Do we have a decent reputation as a neutral zone?


...Although if we do, such a reputation would be worth more than 10k. Damn.
>>
No. 467254 ID: 4a328b

Don't take the 10k escort, it seems like it might be something sketchy.

Send five or six from Pilon's group on the 3k materials run

Send 30 on the 30k escort; 20 from the Green force and 10 from Pilon's group

Hok probably can't take on an assassin, so let's send him after the Belenosian instead
>>
No. 467255 ID: 3338b5

>I could not say whether or not they are attractive.
Ooh! Sounds like a job for the CAI! Let's get dem entertainers on camera.

>one pomi.
Ooh, OOH! We haven't even heard of one of those before! New species! Get her on camera, pronto!

>>467254
>troop distributions
Pilon's unit knows themselves better than us. We should take their experience into account- presumably they've been living by doing these kinds of jobs.
>>
No. 467256 ID: f2c20c

>>467248
>1k per confirmed kill of Shredded Flag members.
What a coincidence! We happen to be in a position where we might be killing Shredded Flag members soon! In fact, any job which sends troops to the surface that SF would recognize will get us at least a few Shredded Flag kills, I suspect. We'd get paid twice for it! We just have to make sure that the people we send don't get killed.

Do the easy 3k, send 4 of Pilon's group specifically for the escort (with their bioarmor that's overkill), and an additional group to ambush any SF that attempt to take on the escort group. However many he thinks is a good idea. Kindof like those two groups of Neumono Hok ran into on the road. Has Hok reported that to anyone who might know what that was about? I assume we have access to his mission report, so we can ask someone. We should bug Pilon about it, if he isn't already informed.

>>467254
I agree mostly with this stuff. We might be better off sending more than that 10 of Pilon's group though, considering how high profile the job is they'll attract a lot of SF attention.
>>
No. 467317 ID: c4e5c2
File 135157613988.png - (22.10KB , 700x700 , 326.png )
467317

>Those two groups of Neumono Hok ran into on the road.
>"They could have been anyone, it most likely doesn't have anything to do with us. It's hard to say, unless there's reason to suspect that there was something of interest about them." Pilon says.

>Also, how likely is that human scavenger to try and seek refuge here? Do we have a decent reputation as a neutral zone?
>"We have a decent reputation as that." Tin says. "But we don't have a reputation for harboring bounties. Hok managed to etch himself in as the exception. Pilon now, as well. But we still have standards."

>Show girls on cam

Mission: 30k. Sending 10 from Pilon's group, 20 from green force. ETA is 3 days.
Mission: 3k. Sending 6 from Pilon's group ETA is 2 days.

Green Force will have 10/30 remaining, while Pilon's group will have 17/42 remaining at base.
Is this okay y/n?

>>
No. 467329 ID: 3338b5

>But we still have standards.
Yeah. Even if someone with a bounty walks in through the front door, we can't take them! That's bad for business. If you come on to our turf to trade, then you're cool.

>girls on cam
Ooh! Snake-y. Interesting. What do our databases have on Pomi? Or Yich Eaters, for that matter.

More neumono piercings. I'll bet regeneration makes those kind of problematic (you ever take them out and you're stuck punching new holes).

>Is this okay y/n?
So long as the military types don't have any serious reservations, I approve. (I expect our officers or whatever to speak up if they think we're sending people into unreasonably bad situations! They've got experience, the CAI don't).
>>
No. 467331 ID: c6ec33

TAKE THE FRILLS

I mean. The girls. They should stay. And do their... things.

... with their frills.

...

That amount of force deployment is a little scary, but if other people agree, I think it's OK. But don't lose any more dudes. We don't have anywhere near enough turrets yet to make soldiers redundant.
>>
No. 467333 ID: e3f578

>>467317
y
That neumono... should she really be a showgirl? She looks more like a bartender to be honest. Even with the loopies, actually they detract from her attractiveness as well. Not to mention she looks like she's lived a hard life, though it may be the strong eyeliner. If she's gonna work at her best at her intended job, we're definitely going to need professional make-up artists working for the showgirl business. The rest of the girls seem fantastic but I don't have a basis to work with for the pomi, seems fine enough. That tail is enticing.

Ugh, I don't think we're going to get the amount of smart professionals we need. Too many pirates in this sector of space, lord knows how these regular seeming civilians got here, either an off-course crashed passenger bus or they came with the pirates. I'm wary.
>>
No. 467335 ID: 3338b5

>>467333
>hoops criticism.
That's... pretty harsh, man. She seems fine to me.

>I'm wary.
Remember that there's no way off this asteroid, and it's been here for a while. People who don't make much sense as showing up in a crash could be second or third generation survivors.

>smart professionals we need
Hmm. Yeah. As things go on, and we start to have more funds, we should see about acquiring more of those.
>>
No. 467336 ID: f2c20c

>>467317
Pomi is best race.

This seems like a good amount of forces sent out. Even with sending out like half of our combat troops we're still better defended than we were two days ago. Pilon's group is all wearing Bio Armor, after all.

I'm tempted to send out Rokoa on that Miklik Assassin mission. And also to kill any SF pirates she can find. Hey, uh, ask Jells if there's anyone in his group that he'd like spared if possible. Any friends? Or can we just kill 'em all?
>>
No. 467339 ID: c4e5c2
File 135157887151.png - (13.47KB , 700x700 , 327.png )
467339

Correction: Pilon's remaining group will be 17 out of 33.

>That neumono
"She looks fine by me, but it is true that don't have much to work with in general. Trying to get real professionals is hard, at least professionals that aren't soldiers, thieves, assassins... you get it. Aaaand she just enteres range, so even if she looks a little weathered, I think I could look past that, because she is very sweet feeling for a rogue. No hive connection, that's for sure, but oddly therapeutic. Anyways, like I said, things like professional fashion designers aren't a dime a dozen, but we'll keep an eye out." Kappi says.

>Ask Jells if there's anyone in his group that he'd like spared if possible
"That's nice, but any of my friends would start defending themselves if you guys attacked. I can't just say 'don't kill them, we once shared the same beer'."

>Immense force deployment
>"It is a lot, but we have 10 green force and 17 bio wearing neumono. No offense to the green force, but chances are, 17 of pilon's is better than 20 of our little mercenary force. Oh, one thing, remember that the Green Force does charge for going on missions, but since this is a paid mission already, they'll just take it out of the reward. Now, as far as hiring these girls go, along with the bartender and cook, we may as well. I trust that at least one of these missions will go well, and it won't be a big deal if we lose normal income for a bit. Any complaints before I take them on?"
>>
No. 467342 ID: c6ec33

Work with the girls to figure out what kind of support they need from us in order to ply their trade AND feel safe and not exploited while doing so. Despite the fact that the CAI has eyes almost everywhere, would they feel better with bodyguards close at hand?

We have to maintain a certain level of CLASS here, after all.
>>
No. 467343 ID: f2c20c

>>467339
No complaints.
>>
No. 467346 ID: 3338b5

>Any complaints before I take them on?
No, the entertainers seem like a good deal overall. And if the neumono girl is chipper enough that she passively improves the mood among our rogues, she's certainly worth having around!

>but chances are, 17 of pilon's is better than 20 of our little mercenary force
Bio armored, natural regeneration, genes from one of the toughest SoBs arounds, and personal training by the same. Yeah, no offense to our regular personal, but Pilon tribe have the edge.

>feel safe
Obviously we offer hugs as soon as they're in range of our arms.
>>
No. 467351 ID: 6cc859

Sounds good. No reason not to send Hok after the hacker as well; it's not a huge profit, but he's hardly going to make us more money by sitting around.

We shouldn't waste Rokoa's debt on mere mercenary work, though. She's probably the greatest single force here; let's save her for when shit really needs to go down, like the Iron Cove affair.
>>
No. 467354 ID: 3338b5

>>467351
I agree, although maybe we should give Hok a day off to recoup, maybe blow some of the money we let him keep.
>>
No. 467370 ID: dff55b

when Pilon & his group get back it'll probably be best to let them have some free time, we pritty much put them to work as soon as they got here, but yeah, possible bodyguards for the entertainment girls, would they be happy working alongside the bartender? could make a form of easy cash with both collecting more cash from both alcahol & attractive women being mixed together.
also let Hok relax for the morning before seeing if he can think of/choose anything he'll be able to do
>>
No. 467407 ID: 9d7671

How is stuff like food and water handled in the base? Are we self sufficient or do we buy most of our food? And where does our water source lead, can we be infiltrated in the same way that Rokoa infiltrated the Iron Cove base?
>>
No. 467429 ID: e3f578

>>467335
>>467339
Just trying to be a business man and practical here. Forgot about the possibility of an attractive mind with the neumono. I'm not asking for her to get plastic surgery, just better eyeliner. It's stressful applying it as it is, no one should ever go heavy duty on it. Just saying, for when she applies it again for the future use it a bit less from now on. She should also experiment with other colors if she has to self apply. Make-up's supposed to blend in, not stand out. Strong black doesn't fit a neumono of her coloring. You need to be pale to work the heavy eyeliner look.
But don't tell her this to her face, we need someone who's better at giving criticism without hurting anyone's feelings. Any takers for that?
>>
No. 467431 ID: beeca1

>>467429
She's pretty pale, though. Fairly desaturated, at least.

And let's see her routine (if she has one?) before we judge too much. Those hoops may serve an actual purpose.
>>
No. 467444 ID: 8fca75

They look sexy so that's good. Lets do this. We need to got the CAI motors fixed. You did say their mechanics were damaged, so we need to get on that since we are sending the other neumonos out.
>>
No. 467497 ID: 6a1ec2

> Bounty: Reward, 19k. A miklik assassin that is known to hide in a single outpost. Considerably dangerous.

Hey Hok your bounty just went up!
>>
No. 467499 ID: 886a4d

>>467497
I thought Hok's bounty was 100k.
>>
No. 467507 ID: a9298b

>>467499
It is. He's also far more troublesome than an assassin.
>>
No. 467516 ID: 37aa84

>>467351
You want to send out a man with a 100K bounty out to capture a man with a 3K bounty? I hope your not planning to have him turn in the hacker himself the guys at the bounty office would have a field day after grabbing Hok and keeping the bounty for themselves.
>>
No. 467527 ID: 8b9215

Jita. You have to name this place Jita. It's a space trade hub and a place you get stuck in and can't leave. It's perfect.
>>
No. 467536 ID: 997ce7

>>467516
That depends on how valuable their reputation as a neutral zone is. It's why we don't just turn in bounties who come here, after all.
>>
No. 467538 ID: 049858

To Agnes: Hi, ignore that faces-on-your-screen thing, that wasn't me. You asserted that our new spy wasn't trustworthy, but you didn't give any information to back that up. Care to tell me about it? How do you make that judgement? Is there something specific you were looking for, or is he someone you know? Since I don't seem to have access to a database on your race, I'm having to work in the dark. Heck, I don't even know what a yich is. Help a more-or-less sensible AI out, would you?
If you suspect he's setting himself up as a double agent, tell me what I can do to help.
To Kappi: Just finished processing your after-mission report. First of all, congratulations on surviving your first field mission! For your own good, I'd suggest not mentioning your night with Rokoa where Karri can hear you. This sets her up to hear about it herself, so she can decide what--if anything--she wants to do about it. If she suddenly starts flirting with you, that will probably be the reason!
Meanwhile, download what you can about Rokoa's little mission for the hive, and offer it to her. In person! If this makes her suspicious as to what you want in return, remind her that you're the quartermaster. You're planning a training center for her and the rest of The Pilon Family, so you could use a little information on what kind of training they do. If you're careful, you can join them for their training, which will help you to become tougher like you mentioned.
>>
No. 467552 ID: c4e5c2
File 135164157313.png - (14.75KB , 700x700 , 328.png )
467552

>Find what the girls need to feel safe, there should be some level of CLASS
>"Damn. I didn't even think about that." Tin messages. "We're going to need some kind of bouncers and policing. We don't draw the nastiest scum on the asteroid by a longshot, but when we're hiring showgirls and putting in gambling, that's going to change before too long. I don't know how much class the girls have anyway, for all I know they're pole dancing strippers. Doesn't matter at all, but expecting them to get on stage with god knows who in the audience with no bouncer in sight would not end very well. For now, I'll have Jells, one oddly huge miklik of the greenforce, and some of the larger of Pilon's bunch act as bouncers. Pilon too. Is reputation should outweigh his adorable level. Nonetheless, hiring tough looking guys to act as policemen across the whole hub would be good when we can afford it."

>How does the hub get food and water?
>"We actually have a deal with a neighboring faction. It's long standing, and the pipes and all that were made a long time ago. Food and water is very cheap, the only issue that could arise is if we were besieged, in which we do have enough to last about a month."

>To Agnes: What is a yich?
"I do not know. I did not name my species. Nor did my species."
>To Agnes: What makes you distrust that spy?
"I simply do not like him. That is all. There is no science to it.

>Send Hok on a bounty mission/bounty turn in problems with Hok's bounty
>"Yeahhh me going to a bounty office would be a bad thing with my own bounty, but, it is certainly within my capacity to capture or kill a bounty, bring it back here, and have a clean whistle guy go to Lander's Port to collect it. It actually happens pretty frequently, so when some no name schmuck goes in and turns in a huge reward guy, you know that it's pretty likely that they're just playing delivery guy. Anyways I think I have a good feeling about that 10k hacker. Harder to find, but they don't put up much of a fight! I just need to clean out my guns, then I'll be good to go." says Hok.
>>
No. 467553 ID: 886a4d

Sounds good to me. How is the bounty usually split?
>>
No. 467554 ID: 3338b5

>just need to clean out my guns, then I'll be good to go.
Well, all right, if you're up for it. You're certainly free to crash here for a day before setting off on another mission immediately, if you want.

Hmm. While we're still the CAI, let's check in with the science department. See how Ben's doing, and what we've dug out of the pirate data Pilon pirated.
>>
No. 467555 ID: e3f578

>>467552
Is Pilon and Jells willing to show off on Ladies Night? Just every now and then until we get real showdudes, usually when we feel a Ladies Night is necessary which should actually be rare. It's dignified. It the showgirls are also part of the audience, it might get them to work together better as well as bouncer and showgirl.

I don't know what to do now beyond making a DOOM clone right now. If anyone objects to using those negligible resources right now, simply object.
[Begin process of creating DOOM, program it user friendly level editor and sprite editor, including options for the health face sprite]
>>
No. 467567 ID: 997ce7

>>467555
Why DOOM specifically? I admit I didn't pay close attention to this, but the purpose of the games is to make a bit more money and draw customers, no?

Slots or video poker sound good for that, although the house's take for video poker is very low. Theoretically negative, with a perfect strategy on every hand.


If this is just for our own personal amusement, then disregard that, I vote for Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords.
>>
No. 467569 ID: b33427

Would there be any benefit to capturing the hacker and bringing him in to work for us? I know we're unstoppable hackers and all that, but we're rather valuable to be sending out on all but the most serious missions. This guy could provide hacking support in the field for the less serious stuff. Donno how to clear the bounty, though. Maybe turn in the data card and pay off his bounty out of the 5k bonus? Really depends on if who's after him is totally out for blood or not.

>Club staff
Not only are bouncers needed, but we're going to need wait-staff as well. For now, check with the showgirls to see how many have waitressing experience. Put those that have it out two at a time, and rotate between them.

>>467554
Yeah, check in on Ben. Haven't heard from him for awhile. Has he compiled a list of what he needs for a basic lab yet? Gonna need that to price it out.
>>
No. 467573 ID: a9298b

>>467552
>10k hacker
Wait, when did that happen? I see a 3k hacker and a 10k scavenger, but not a 10k hacker.
>>
No. 467575 ID: d10f72

OOO OOO let's make a Night club, with strobe lights, and techno music! People will love that!
>>
No. 467578 ID: f2c20c

>>467573
Oh right.

Well if it's the 3k hacker, Hok should bring along a data storage device so we can both turn in the card for the reward and also snoop at the data on it. Could be useful.
>>
No. 467579 ID: f2c20c

>>467567
If we're going for a money-making thing, how about a zombie shooter where it's you vs a swarm of weak enemies, and unbeknownst to the player, we secretly control the enemies?
>>
No. 467580 ID: 997ce7

>>467579
We do have a reputation, you know. If you're suggesting we do so to make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for players to win or get a reasonable payoff, we'd be caught almost immediately. Even one-armed bandits have an average payoff of 98%- certain high-stakes slots at maximum allowed bets, iirc.

If you're suggesting we give roughly the same odds as a conventional slot machine, I assume the assumption is that zombies are more enjoyable than slots, no? While I suppose they would be more enjoyable, slots are highly addictive by nature.

If we're willing to devote enough time to this, I suggest doing a survey. Oh, we'll have to have one eventually in any case, but if we want to be really sure before we build our first machine, we could try and do one now.
>>
No. 467584 ID: f2c20c

>>467580
A survey is a very, very good idea. We want to find out what sort of games people around here like to play repeatedly, and wouldn't mind losing money on!
>>
No. 467586 ID: c4e5c2
File 329.swf - (27.89KB , 900x550 )
467586

>Is Jells/Pilon willing to join in on Ladies' night?
".... not a question I thought I'd be answering. Not like I mind, but I'm no graceful ballerina." says Jells.
"It is no shameful job, but at the same time, I'm not sure how comfortable I would feel with such a thing." Pilon thinks.

>10k scavenger, not hacker
>"Whoops, that's right, but a scavenger's even better maybe." Hok says. "I'll get on that tomorrow."

>How is the bounty split?
>"Well I'll give the usual hefty cut to the trade hub and then keep the rest to myself. Between the job supplier and the whole housing me stuff goes, that cut is most of the earnings." Hok explains.


"I've updated our staff list, guys." says Kappi.
>>
No. 467587 ID: c4e5c2
File 135165501403.png - (20.68KB , 700x700 , 330.png )
467587

The data has been successfully extracted from Pilon's data banks, and has been transferred to Ben.

>Check in on Ben
>"Wha? I'm busy. Taking a look at all this flight data for whatever ancient thing Pilon got. Thing was made before this asteroid was even terraformed! And it shows, darn tests and everything are made with a dinosaur's technology. Still damn helpful, some things never change. Gonna be looking it over for a couple days here so I can understand it!"
>>
No. 467588 ID: f2c20c

>>467587
Good luck!

Hey, Pilon was saying something about releasing this data to the public. What's everyone think about that idea? Alternatively, we could use it as a bargaining chip with the war hive to secure a treaty.
>>
No. 467589 ID: 3338b5

>Kappi
>Race: Yichneumonoeater
*snerk* Kappi... you either made a typo, or a rather unusual confession.
>>
No. 467590 ID: 3338b5

Oh, yeah, Ben, we wanted to ask you if you had an assessment ready on what kind of lab or research upgrades or expansions you might need or want? Give us the list, and we'll work them in to the construction list when we can.
>>
No. 467591 ID: 5d98c3

>>467589
Oh lordy. Just what they needed. More inspiration for fanart.
>>
No. 467592 ID: d10f72

>>467589
I also noticed that. Hey Hok, make sure the data disk from the hacker is safe. Make a copy of it before giving it back, and send it to Ben. f a hacker saw it worth stealing, it's good enough for us to loo at.
>>
No. 467593 ID: d10f72

Come to think of it. We could have Ben start setting financial parameters for the CAI for us to make better base management schedules and decisions.
>>
No. 467594 ID: f2c20c

>>467592
He's not going after the hacker, he's going after the 10k scavenger.
>>
No. 467603 ID: b33427

Oh, sorry to bother you then. We just popped in to get a quick status update, which you just gave us, and to ask for a list of equipment, materials, facilities, and personnel that would aid you in your work. We can see you're busy, so just list what you need right now, or will need very soon; You can make the full list after you're done plowing through that data. We'll get to procuring it as soon as you send it to Tin.

And out of curiosity, just how old is that data? Can you tell who made it? Even a general civilization or species?

>>467588
I don't see how it'd be a bargaining chip with the war hive. As for releasing the data, I think we should do it. If enough groups have the data, then The Shredded Flag will be less likely to attack us, since a big reason to do so is to recapture the data.

>>467593
That would make sense if Ben was an economist, which he's not. We'll just have to look elsewhere, I'm afraid.
>>
No. 467640 ID: e17663

>>467586
>>467589
Also, Rokoa is a baby apparently.
>>
No. 467646 ID: f2c20c

>>467640
It's set at age 0 because we don't know her age.
>>
No. 467683 ID: c4e5c2
File 135170080279.png - (26.30KB , 850x400 , 331.png )
467683

>Take a survey for what sort of games are preferred in an arcade
>"I'll get our personnel on that one." Tin says.

>To Ben: How long ago was the data made, who/what species made it?
"Couple centuries or somethin', din't pay it much mind. Lot of it was touched by a lotta people over a long period of time."

>What things are required for a better lab
"Everything!" Ben says. "Assistants, physical tools! I have enough to keep myself all too busy as it is, but to provide the most accurate simulations on engineering weapons and vehicles and all that, I'll need better computers. More room, for building prototypes! It all depends what I'm focusin' on researching. Kappi! Where is that layout! This is barely a cubicle!

Passing message to Kappi . . .

"Tell him there's barely any room right now, we need the second floor before we even start considering what to start building. Still, here's a rough layout for building zones."

>Giving the data away for free
"The Shredded Flag wouldn't have a reason to attack us to recapture the data, but they sure would be pissed at us."
>>
No. 467684 ID: 440525

So uh, what distance is one square? I need a general jist of how much crap I need to be shitting myself on for the amount of space we have/ lack thereof.
>>
No. 467685 ID: 3338b5

>Assistants
What about the sheep with Pilon's group? We don't have then assigned to anything else right now, and that gives you a physicist/engineer, computer guy, and mechanic to work with (although, until you're working on machine prototypes, the mechanic might be better off employed in the hanger rather than the lab).

>Space
We'll put you down for a proper lab on the second floor as soon as we can get it built. We've got our bots and the neumono working on clearing out the rubble as best we can. We'll see what we can do about 'better' computers too. (Says the petulant half insulted CAI).

>It all depends what I'm focusin' on researching.
Long term, the goal is to science up a viable means to escape this rock. Either one time, or a stable means that can be used to take off and return without crashing.

Short term goals, anything that helps keep us alive and functioning. Weapons, defenses, tools, upgrades to equipment and facility, ect. We'll keep you informed as priorities shift around.
>>
No. 467712 ID: e3f578

>>467683
They're all ready pissed at us for stealing it in the first place, now do you mean even more pissed at us? IS that really a concern? Are we walking 100 times more pissed? 300? Or just 5? because we can deal with five.

I'd rather not deal with an attack on our infrastructure where we (the CAI) can eventually be found out and captured, who I expect to be even more valuable then the completed data. We minimize risks by giving out the data and there's nothing that any 3rd party can do abut it then, it'll never be lost forever, there'll be too many copies that those opposed to leaving the Asteroid won't be able to do a single fucking thing if they also hear they have it.

And all further research must be given out the same way, so we never lose our progress if our entire research progess is destroyed in an attack.
>>
No. 467717 ID: 3338b5

>>467712
Well, we're weighing the risks of them attacking us to retrieve the data versus the risks of them attacking us in retaliation for releasing the data.

Really, which is riskier depends on what the data is. It might be good to ask Jells for his opinion once we've finished analysis- he knows these people better than us.

>release all research this way
...that depends. Weapons and defenses don't do as much good if we hand out the plans! Even our "get off this rock" tech might be bad to share- makes it easier to sabotage and makes us a target for groups that have a vested interest in the asteroid staying an island.
>>
No. 467751 ID: c4e5c2
File 135172581035.png - (24.68KB , 700x700 , 332.png )
467751

>Have the non-soldier types of Pilon's group assist with Ben
"Just as long as they can keep up, any help's good! Till then, I'll just be in my cubicle, researching away."Ben says.

>Distance of one square
10 square meters.

"Alright. We'll share what we find as far as getting off this rock goes. Nothing to do left in the day but keep on working away." says Kappi.

>The Flag is already pissed
"Well... yes, point taken. Us releasing the info... we may just piss them off more."

Please choose a mission to follow:
10k scavenger bounty (Hok)
30k escort (20 GreenForce, 10 Pilon)
3k escort (6 from Pilon)
Continue base management (move to next day)

>>
No. 467756 ID: 3338b5

>10 square meters
so each side is √10? Odd unit of measure.

>mission to follow
Let's go with the 30k escort. The most expensive mission is likely to be the most troublesome and in need of players helping the characters.
>>
No. 467759 ID: c4e5c2

>10 square meters
Correction, I wasn't thinking. 100* square meters, each side is 10 meters
>>
No. 467760 ID: 7d4835

>>467756
I agree with the 30k Escort. More money = more fun.
>>
No. 467771 ID: d4ad1a

10 by 10? Why's Ben complaining? That's a lot of space.
>>
No. 467792 ID: 3338b5

>>467771
Depends on how much space his stuff takes up. Need room for all those computers and equipment. And if he plans on building prototypes for this like vehicles, base scale armaments, or the spaceship we're working towards... 10x10 is insufficient.

So we we controlling on the escort. Karri I assume?
>>
No. 467814 ID: b33427

Switch focus to the 30k escort mission, since it's more likely to be attacked.

>>467792
For now the science lab, such as it is, could be moved next to the hangar. That way if Ben needs some workshop space, he can temporarily carve it out of there.

>>467751
Could the CAI rig up a way to distribute the data discreetly? Like a sneaky replicating virus with the encrypted data as a payload, timed to decrypt and present itself weeks later? Slip that on to the computers of some of those passing through to the major settlements, and it'll be all over the place by the time it makes itself known. No way to track down where it came from by then.
>>
No. 467841 ID: 8fca75

Let's do 30k
>>
No. 467846 ID: c4e5c2
File 135178593507.png - (16.15KB , 700x700 , 333.png )
467846

>30k mission

>"Do you have everything you need, Karri?" Pilon asks.
"Yes, dad."
>"Make sure."
"Stop worrying. 30 thousand is tiny."
>"Not for an escort. They do need to turn a profit, after all, and wouldn't pay that much unless the valuables were worth considerably more. And you know how sour a mission can go when expecting an ambush. Still, it's not just you ten, 20 of the resident mercenaries here will be joining you."
"Can they be trusted?"
>"I expect they're trusted at least as much as we are, around here. We were sought after just because of a story told by Rokoa to Kappi."
"... we're here because of that bitch?"
>"She's just one, small element in it. Anyways, you have at least half a day trip to where this mission is being accepted, and it's most likely on a first come first serve basis to the first acceptable job taker. Any questions?"
>>
No. 467848 ID: 886a4d

She has her father's eyes and ears. Its adorable.

>Questions
Nope.
>>
No. 467850 ID: c6ec33

>>467846
Any last-minutes suggestions on weapons/tactics?

What do we know about where the mission acceptance point is, and what factions are around?

Are hugs/pats on the back a thing? Because Pilon always needs hugs.
>>
No. 467851 ID: 3338b5

>She's just one, small element in it.
The bigger element is that the insubstantial voices who control your lives have an enormous crush on your Dad and would have gone out of our way to find a way to get him on our side, Rokoa or no. :V

>that bitch
Ok, so what's your beef with her? I can understand wanting to beat someone up to prove you're the best. I don't understand where the hate and rage is coming from. It's not like you ever met her, and hell, she was something of a friend to your pop in the old days.
>>
No. 467852 ID: b33427

"Will they let us use that tank I saw in the hangar?" May as well ask for it, since this mission has a high chance of going sideways. Worst they could do is say "no."

When you come back, make a mental note to ask your dad for the story he mentioned. It must have been impressive to spur this lot to seek him out.
>>
No. 467862 ID: 1e7d43

>>467846
Ask what he thinks the most likely threats will be.

>>467848
His eyes, yeah, but that fur color and body...Pilon you rascal!

>>467850
CAI: Hug Pilon. Again. He'll get used to it.
>>
No. 467868 ID: c4e5c2
File 135179169870.png - (10.95KB , 700x700 , 334.png )
467868

>Are hugs/pats on the back a thing?
They are. Karri hugs Pilon before he enters CAI range again.

"I saw a tank in their hangar. That would be nice."
>"Go ahead and ask tin. It's hardly subtle, these escorts are often an unhappy medium between trying to look tough enough to not be worth touching, but not so tough to look like you're moving a planet's economy."
"I'd still like it. Where is the mission acceptance point, and what factions are around?"
>"Sector 5, in a large kind of outpost. I don't know what the route is, so you'll have to ask the employer about the route and possible threats."

>What is Karri's beef with Rokoa?
Karri does not enjoy elaborating on the why of her hate for Rokoa. Pilon doesn't bring it up, and the notion has become more or less taboo for the quasi hive.
>>
No. 467869 ID: c4e5c2
File 135179180589.png - (18.70KB , 700x700 , 335.png )
467869

Karri asks Tin to lend her a tank. The request is granted, although much of the occupancy will be given to the Green Force, of whom is formally introduced to Karri.

"Hey. I'm Wendel. I'm not the leader of the whole Green Force, but I will be the commander for this mission. Don't get me wrong, I'll value your input, as having 10 of you guys, fully bio armoed and experienced, is invaluable. But it's a trade hub mission, and so I'm going to be the one making a final say in case of conflicting motives. It probably won't come to that, it's a straightforward mission, but I want to make sure that you're not going to have a problem if it comes to that."
>>
No. 467875 ID: 3338b5

...wait, are we controlling Karri here? The lack of a name field and the odd third person description have thrown me off.

>Wendel in charge
Yeah, I know how to take orders.
>>
No. 467885 ID: 2f4b71

Better get a rough chain of command worked out. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and all that.
>>
No. 467895 ID: b33427

Curtly say that you expected as much, and if it does come to that, you, and your unit, will follow his orders. However, do hammer out all the chains of command in between you, Wendel, the rest of the Green Force, and the rest of your unit before heading out. Best to sort it now than have it somehow become a problem in the field.

Tell your unit to check their gear over once more while you see what vehicles are going to be brought. You're going up on the surface, so most of it better be rated to take small meteorite hits so if they're taken off-road, it won't be as big a risk.

You got any jammers? If so, one would be good to bring along in order to hide a small tailing force of two or three. Then if the main group is ambushed, they could flank the enemy, or get behind them.

How often have you led a group in the field, away from your father, before? Ever been under the command of a non-neumono?
>>
No. 467896 ID: e3f578

>>467869
"I sure won't have a problem if you don't, big boy."
>>
No. 467900 ID: 440525

Well, we are ready when you are, we won't be an issue, lets roll out.
>>
No. 468486 ID: c4e5c2
File 135202964202.png - (15.60KB , 591x703 , 336.png )
468486

Control is to the group as a whole, at least for a limited time. Suggestions can be directed to specific characters, anyone, or everyone.

"No. I expected as much. Just as long as you have a chain of command, but me and my siblings don't need that kind of a thing. Do we have a jammer we could bring?"
>"Sorry, no." Wendel says. "The one kappi brought back is still broken. Oh, and just to let you know, we're going to inject the knowledge we got from Pilon's dataset with a time release bug the CAI made to make that information public."

>Has Karri ever led the group while Pilon isn't around?
There have been plenty of missions where Pilon isn't around, but Karri isn't particularly the leader. She is just about the most experienced of everyone, however, and if it had to come to it, she would be.

The final vehicle count is 4 trucks, 5 motorcycles and one tank. The route to the job outpost is on the surface, but is a backwater area. The only people seen are traders heading to the trade outpost itself, without valuable enough scrap to attract any bandits strong enough to make effective toll setups.
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No. 468487 ID: c4e5c2
File 135202977214.png - (25.33KB , 700x700 , 337.png )
468487

Wendel moves out to greet a miklik doorman to the outpost, whos entrance has been made out of a large, crashlanded ship.

>"Welcome to our outpost. All weapons are to be checked and surrendered, along with any and all vehicles. The belongings will be protected during the stay, and returned when they leave." he drones out, clearly having recited this speech.
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No. 468491 ID: f2c20c

>>468487
Yeah, alright. Just make sure that if we're carrying anything particularly valuable that we make him sign a list of our stuff, so we know we got it all back when we leave. Could be thieves about.
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No. 468492 ID: 9d7671

We should leave some of our Neumono with the vehicles in case something happens. Also what is the general feel of the other neumono inside the outpost?
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No. 468493 ID: 9718f3

Wendel and a handful of others should go in and see about the job, no need for everyone to. Unless the doorman doesn't like people sitting around in their tanks right outside the door.
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No. 468494 ID: f2c20c

>>468493
Oh right yeah, that's a sensible idea.
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No. 468495 ID: 8b9215

Send in a member of Green Team and a member of Pilon's crew to do the talking. Leave as many people as you can outside with the equipment. We want as little delays as possible.
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No. 468496 ID: 3338b5

>>468492
>>468495
Yup. We send in the man in charge to talk, along with one neumono. Those guys are tough even unarmed, and it gives us the opportunity to read any others that may be inside.
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No. 468498 ID: b33427

Wendel and Karri can head in to meet whoever it is about this job. Leave their weapons in the tank, just to be paranoid about them being messed with. Lock their comm set microphones to "on," so the rest of the unit can hear in the very remote chance something goes bad too fast to radio back.
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No. 468500 ID: 8b9215

>>468495
Don't even check any weapons, leave them with the rest of the crew.

I'd strongly advise against sending the most important people on the away team. That is for sci fi shows. Wendel and Karri stay with the team and the weapons.
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No. 468503 ID: 3338b5

>I'd strongly advise against sending the most important people on the away team.
Regrettably, this is a situation where you need officers involved. We need people qualified to evaluate the client, and make the decision to take the job or walk away based on what they see. You can't just send in a member of the rank and file to blindly take the job.
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No. 468549 ID: c4e5c2
File 135207719709.png - (28.53KB , 700x700 , 338.png )
468549

Wendel, Karri, and a couple others head in to see the job, the others stick with the tank. The miklik says that is fine, as long as they park the tank in the garage and hang out there. The weapons are left unchecked as well, so long as the ones going inside the outpost don't carry any.

>"What's the mood here?" Wendel asks, as they enter.
"Ambitionless no lives." Karri says. "The residents here sit and gamble, drink and brag, only lifting their finger high enough to do it all over again. The mercenaries are just mercenaries passing through like us. Rogues that, at best, have other neumono they get along with and nothing more. This outpost is as shitty as it looks."
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No. 468550 ID: c4e5c2
File 135207737423.png - (17.79KB , 700x700 , 339.png )
468550

The job office is close and easily labeled.

>"Hi." the belenos says.
>"We're here for the 30k escort mission."
"That's me! Are you guys ready to go? We have to get moving." the one beside the clerk says in a rush.
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No. 468551 ID: e3f578

Well, shit let's get going
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No. 468553 ID: 70c0f2

>>468549
Woah! What's that green guy? A miklik on steroids?

>>468550
The escort is a single person? That doesn't bode well. Protecting cargo is straightforward, and largely a preventative measure- it kind of has to be done, or you're asking for someone to steal your stuff. People only need this kind of protection if someone's actively after them.

>rogues
Oh yeah, that reminds me, how do Karri and the others see themselves? They're second generation rogues, in a sort of proto-hive. Do neumono make the distinction for unaffiliated people? It's never come up before- everyone else we've ever met has either been of a hive or rogue. We've never really dealt with anyone born outside a hive before.
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No. 468554 ID: f2c20c

What's that 25k thing on the ticker?
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No. 468555 ID: 886a4d

Agree, ask for the details along the way to the exit. We don't really want to stay in this shithole for long.
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No. 468568 ID: 049858

Hmmm...he's desperate, in an unhealthy hurry, or both. Tell him what kind of force you've brought, and get the details right here and now. If he seems overly happy about the size of the force, know that this is not going to be an easy mission. Might want to start thinking of charging him for ammunition used and so forth. Hammer out the final deal, *then* move out.
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No. 468575 ID: b14baf

Ask him if for a description of his cargo, as in size, weight, fragility and so on. Or if it's just him we're bodyguarding.
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No. 468582 ID: c4e5c2
File 135208187605.png - (13.74KB , 700x700 , 340.png )
468582

>What's that 25k on the ticker?
Hok's and Pilon's bounty each increased by 25k.

>What was that large green guy?
A miklik with a mutation. It isn't a particularly rare one, but Karri shares that they aren't as strong as they look. Stronger than a regular miklik, but the muscles are all kinds of inefficient.

>How are neumono born outside a hive seen?
They are still often referred to as rogues, but being born outside still has some differences. Pilon has told Karri that she will always have something missing without being part of a real hive, but it isn't so bad. She doesn't have many of the issues an authentic rogue has of not being able to connect with anyone, and for that, Pilon is thankful that he's had such a good family. Otherwise he would have likely been exceedingly lonely the past few decades.

>"We have a force of 30, like requested." Wendel says.
"Good! Good guns, I hope. Wait, you... aren't you one of Pilon's bunch?"
"Yeah. That a problem?" asks Karri.
"No! I mean, no, that's excellent! Just keep your faces covered or something, we don't need extra attention having celebrities."
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No. 468584 ID: c4e5c2
File 135208189379.png - (20.91KB , 959x992 , 341.png )
468584

"We'll be moving over the surface, I'll pay the tolls. We'll end up in sector 11."
>"What about ammo and other extra supplies? And is it just you?"
"Yeah, yeah, I'll cover your basic necessities I hope we don't need, and the 30k if the package gets to our destination. And there are 4 others with me.
>"Please describe the cargo we're carrying."
"Is it.. that important? Me and the others have a van we'll be driving, we'll worry about that, you just make sure we're not stolen. It's just rarer materials for construction, gold, platinum, that sort of stuff. A lot of that stuff."
"Why are we going over the surface?" Karri asks.
"It's.. safer, actually, there's less chance of a hijack on the surface, a lot of bandits actually hang out underground between here and there, and there's even more chokepoints."
"That is bullshit." Karri continues. "Sector 12 has been about as hot as sector 4 lately."
"Okay, okay, I have some reason to believe that there might be an enemy of mine that's going to steal my stuff underground, so I want to bypass him."
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No. 468586 ID: 70c0f2

Okay, we can swing that. Let's gather up our clients and their truck and be off.
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No. 468587 ID: b14baf

Well saddle up. Have the tank behind the cargo van, one truck infront and one behind, the other two out on the flanks. Have the motorcycles spread out ahead and scout, coming back and forth to clear a safe pass.
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No. 468624 ID: b59bfb

Alright let's get this honker rolling. Ask this guy what's up with his fangs.
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No. 468661 ID: 425b9d

do the neumono with us have anything like helmets? that could help in keeping a lew profile, well, lower then "HEY PILON'S GROUP! MONEY!"

also >>468587 has a solid plan for formation there, tho maybe have a bike lag behind incase anybody tries to get the jump on us from the rear so they can effectivly run interference whilst we plan either outrunning them or set up for a confrontation, just make sure they know this isn't a suicide run, if things get too hot they are to retreat to the tank for cover
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No. 468667 ID: c4e5c2
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468667

"What's with your fangs?" Karri asks.
"What? Nothing, nothing wrong with them!"

The party leaves, and the Pomi introduces himself as Yesessen. He leads the party to the other employers who need protection.

"Alright, right to left, Koli, Glazgo, Minil... wait, where is Platuno?
"Bailed. He's cowering at the hotel, doors locked, probably in the fetal position." Minil says.
"Fuckafuck. Whatever, we don't have time to be his counselor, we're going without him. More pay for us."

They all agree that between the Green Force and the Pilon family, it'll be as good as they could hope for.

"This isn't a suicide mission, by the way. We'll get your stuff to the outpost as best we can, but we aren't going to charge into armies to do it." says Karri.
"Just remember you won't get payment if you turn tail and run!"
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No. 468668 ID: c4e5c2
File 135209713953.png - (34.42KB , 959x992 , 343.png )
468668

There will always be forward scouts, with one hanging between the scouts and the envoy to act as a relay to increase the limited radio range. Radios will be kept on at all times for all of the scouts, who are primarily of the Green Force.

A truck is behind and in front of Yesessen's truck, with the tank alongside the back truck.

>Do they neumono have helmets?
Yes, they make sure to put them on to not make their identity so apparent.

The first couple of hours go by without issue, and Yesessen pays the tolls as promised, often redirected directly to him by the forward scouts getting hailed down.
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No. 468669 ID: c4e5c2
File 135209716526.png - (43.66KB , 700x700 , 344.png )
468669

One of the green force mikliks reports in.

>"Ramo here. There's a couple of people sitting behind a hill, here, and will probably be just out of sight from you guys. I don't see anyone else, around, but it's 9 shades of suspicious. They already saw me, couldn't help it."
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No. 468672 ID: f2c20c

>>468669
Look around nearby to see if there are any other hidden forces and then ask them what they're doing up there. They just look like travelers camping off the side of the road, but it can't hurt to spend a couple minutes checking.
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No. 468678 ID: 735f4f

Wait that hill is obviously a tank with a tarp over it painted brown. Be very careful and do not let on you noticed yet.
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No. 468681 ID: 886a4d

>>468678
Yup, I bet theres a few more too. We need anti-armor to start prepping their weapons. Have the scout radio in the exact coordinates. Maybe we can do a pre-emptive strike.
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No. 468696 ID: c4e5c2
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468696

>"It kind of looks like it could be a tank under a tarp." Ramo says.
"Circle around it, don't let them see that you've noticed. They won't open fire on a complete stranger like this and reveal themselves." replies Karri.

Ramo does so at a steady pace, trying to make it look like he has a destination other than there, until he gets to the other side of the rock. He radios and pings his exact location.

>"I'm not sure anymore. Looking at it on different angles, if it's a tank under a tarp, they've done an amazing job at making it look solid. Are all your weapons armed?"
"..... our tank is armed and ready to fire if need be."

"Hey! Hey, could you help us out here?" the belenosian by the hill says, poking his head out to Ramo.
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No. 468698 ID: f2c20c

>>468696
Yeah, go talk to 'em.
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No. 468734 ID: c4e5c2
File 135210656454.png - (20.33KB , 700x700 , 346.png )
468734

Ramo cycles out into the cover those two were using.

"What's up?"
>"We're sort of stranded. Our bike stopped working, and we're not mechanics. What are you doing out here?"
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No. 468739 ID: f2c20c

>>468734
Say you're mercs on an escort mission. Don't give any details. If they want a ride they'll have to submit to a strip search and let us check their bags. Also, they'll have to pay us. They would wind up riding in the tank.
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No. 468766 ID: b14baf

No don't say you're a merc on an escort mission. You're a merc on patrol for a small group of bandits that's been harassing travellers. Tell 'em you'll go get them some proper help.
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No. 468772 ID: c4e5c2
File 135211203647.png - (32.66KB , 700x700 , 347.png )
468772

>"How can I help you?" Ramo asks.
">"I don't suppose you can fix our bike?"" replies the belenosian.
>"No, I'm not a mechanic either, sorry. I can offer a lift back to the main road, but you'll have to submit to a search on your bodies and bags."
"Well, that's..." the neumono starts thinking. "We don't know if you're going to rob us blind or something if you get back with your party, so we're not going to go with you unless we know who you're with and all that. We haven't seen your face around here."
"Wait, Mishi, we might not be able to trust anyone we know out here, but we can't just turn everyone away! I mean, he might not have to be a mechanic, but we crashlanded here not long ago, and we barely know how to ride a bike! It could be something really simple. Could you at least take a look at it, sir?" the belenosian says.

>"We're getting close to that location, Ramo. Give us a word if they're clear or not soon in the next 2 minutes." Karri announces over the intercom.
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No. 468774 ID: f2c20c

>>468772
Can't we just have a Neumono drive up here real quick to get a sense of how honest she's being?

Regardless, don't like, go over and open the tent while they're behind you or something dumb like that. If they want to show you the bike they're gonna have to bring it out where you can see it and them at the same time.
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No. 468780 ID: 6cc859

>>468774
Good ideas. Do them both.
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No. 468782 ID: 9d7671

You know what, fuck them and the bike they rode on. We are not being paid to fix strangers bikes. But if we come back the same route then we might give them a lift to the trade hub.
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No. 468787 ID: c4e5c2
File 135211761018.png - (24.61KB , 700x700 , 348.png )
468787

>"Just a second. I have to be cautious, you know. Bring the bike out, stay in my sight. Give me a neumono to sense her honesty or something.
>"Karri, can you spare one? Everyone else, keep the pace steady." asks Wendel.
"I'm sending Boe, he's close by. Boe, make yourself known, but be prepared to get out fast." Karri reports.

Ramo takes a quick look at their bike, and the problem is apparent. "You're out of gas." It's a gasoline type, and Ramo's bike would also have the same necessary gas.

>Boe reaches empathic range within 20 seconds. "... they're in a jammer, sis."

"I hear another bike. Is that someone you know?" Mishi asks.
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No. 468792 ID: 9d7671

Ok lets just be blunt and ask why they have a jammer. Just be ready to pull out your gun or drive over them with your bike if they freak out when you ask.
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No. 468793 ID: 8b9215

"Turn the jammer off. Convoy coming through. Don't like surprises."

Radio convoy if they've got a small can of gas they can drop off (just leave it at the road, don't divert course or anything.). Suggest they head back to that outpost you came from and visit you guys at the trade hub sometime. If everything goes ok, tell them the gas is by the road and you've got to get moving.
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No. 468794 ID: 8b9215

I'm floating the idea of getting them in the clear and putting a tank round into the rock to check. Seems drastic but for this place, may be a common thing.
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No. 468797 ID: f2c20c

>>468787
Okay this is six kinds of suspicious.

Get your gun on them and your back to a wall, and tell them to turn off the jammer. If they deny having one, hold them at gunpoint until you get a real squad come up to manhandle them and search the site to find the jammer, while keeping an eye out for others attempting an ambush. Also have them show you their ears to see if they have earbuds. The convoy should assume this is an ambush at this point, but let's try not to shoot potential civvies.
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No. 468798 ID: 70c0f2

>bike is out of gas
Um... these things tend to have something like a fuel gauge on them. Even if you're mechanically incompetent, it doesn't take much to figure out the needle is pointing at E. That's suspicious.

>jammer
Okay, that's really suspicious. Ramo, back up. There's the chance these are honest travelers trying to hide, who somehow don't even understand a fuel gauge, but it's looking less likely.
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No. 468802 ID: beeca1

Okay, two possibilities. Either this is some kind of trap, in which case, Boe and you should draw your guns and prepare, or they're too damn stupid to live, in which case they're dooming us to an absurdly unlikely but hugely painful fate just by being near, so either way, don't trust these assholes.
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No. 468803 ID: 563493

Search their stuff, they may hold more things than just a jammer
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No. 468815 ID: c6ec33

"Yeah.

No offence, but this seems pretty suspicious. If you're bandits, we might as well cut the crap and negotiate passage through here. I don't think anyone wants to get shot over a little scrap metal. And we have a lot of people who are very good at shooting things.

If you're not bandits, you won't mind turning off the neumono jammer you've got there. If you do that, and your story actually checks out, we'll give you some gas and you can be on your way."
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No. 468817 ID: 735f4f

This is most definitely a trap. Only a tiny chance this is just some clueless newbies that happen to have a jammer active. If they are not face down on the ground within the next 10 seconds let them know you will be opening fire.
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No. 468827 ID: d4ad1a

Pull out now. Don't say anything, just hop on your bike, pull out.
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No. 468828 ID: c4e5c2
File 135214185305.png - (29.73KB , 700x700 , 349.png )
468828

>"Alright, that's too suspicious. Both of you, against the wall, hands where I can see them."
"What?! But we're jus-" Mishi starts.
>"Shut up and get on the wall--"
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No. 468829 ID: c4e5c2
File 135214186494.png - (28.90KB , 700x700 , 350.png )
468829

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No. 468830 ID: 886a4d

Shoot her. Now.
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No. 468831 ID: f2c20c

>>468829
Yeah, I figured there would be something up with that cloth. It being a goddamn tunnel was NOT what I expected!

At any rate, shoot him, drive off, and report.
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No. 468832 ID: 9d7671

Ok yell on the radio that its a trap and put your pedal to the metal! Drive over that guy, turn around at the back of the cave and speed out. If you have a grenade you should throw it behind you as you ramp out of the cave screaming "sick nasty!" As it explodes behind you.
>>