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File 137081947745.png - (57.87KB , 700x700 , 366.png )
515697 No. 515697 ID: d38f67

It's cold. Or it is outside. People who I should not recognize, but do, keep me warm. In fact, while it is cold out, I am almost overheating. I think I am starving too, because I have not eaten in what is nearing a day. There is... something I do not know outside. It is moving, and it is large. Its scent is covered with what smells like fresh gore. Everyone is staying still, holding their breath. A few are dead. Everyone else is terrified. Except for me.

I am lucid enough to know that I am dreaming, so all of this is asinine. My sleep is to troubled and uncomfortable to be anything more than light. I still cannot wake up, despite wishing to do so.

Except, I am remembering this. This is a memory surfacing in my dream. It is some kind of significant day.
Expand all images
>>
No. 515698 ID: d38f67
File 137081954695.png - (16.77KB , 700x700 , 367.png )
515698

The reason why I sm-
>>
No. 515699 ID: d38f67
File 137081956563.png - (38.33KB , 700x700 , 368.png )
515699

Shit!

That does not belong in my head. That is not my memory.
>>
No. 515700 ID: d38f67
File 137081959344.png - (95.89KB , 1333x545 , 369.png )
515700

I am still asleep, but I am somewhere else, for the time being. In an old home. After the aliens came. Of course after the aliens came. I was born after that.

The blinds never did shut all the way.
>>
No. 515703 ID: f2c20c

>>515700
Whose home? Your parents'? Are they home? What jobs did your parents have? Are you in military school yet? How is your training going?

What's it like outside?
>>
No. 515704 ID: 57a559

Hotwheels!
Play with toys because it reaffirms old identity.
>>
No. 515707 ID: 95f4ae

Your situation seems unusual, Polo. I assume neumono normally sleep in groups, but you're alone. Are you more comfortable this way?
>>
No. 515713 ID: bf54a8

get to da surgeon. cut out any brains that have it.
>>
No. 515718 ID: 735f4f

So whats that poster above your bed? Also is that a ski over there? If so did you break it horribly somehow?
>>
No. 515719 ID: 76b151

>>515713
this is obviously a dream battle between us and Rokoa.
>>
No. 515721 ID: 5869f6

Well, things are getting strange already. Fuckit, Let's just try to see if there's anything significant about these memories.
>>
No. 515731 ID: e31ca1

>>515721
Of COURSE there's something significant about these, we just have to find out what it is.

Look outside the window. If there's nothing interesting there, or on the fourth wall, peek into the hallway.
>>
No. 515733 ID: 01531c

>>515700
>The blinds never did shut all the way.

I have that problem too.
The trick is to manually place your hand on the blinds, and forcefully swipe downwards.

Otherwise, just flip the blinds in reverse.
>>
No. 515735 ID: 19b3c3

You're dreamwalking, Polo. Rokoa's in your head, and now you're dealing with it. You're going to have to confront her, or her memories, in this place.

Check the things in this room. Is everything here from your own past? Does anything stand out as part of hers?

Perhaps the symbol on the poster? The content of the book or note on the floor? The toys? Anything hidden in the drawers?
>>
No. 515737 ID: beeca1

>>515707
Actually, Pilon said in questdis that it varies between neumono, and Giant's hive cuddles mainly to conserve warmth and energy.
>>
No. 515739 ID: c23ab0

OK tip to destroy Rokoa's brain: it's a sucker for little kids.
>>
No. 515756 ID: 19b3c3

Remember too that just a few months ago you did a bunch of dream-sharing with Rokoa as you were both laying in that burn unit. You have some experience in walking her mindscape to draw on, and figuring out what comes from you and from her. Granted, it may be harder now that she's in your head instead of just getting in your head...

Idly consider the fact that if you survive this mission alive, and sane, you may have good reason to sign up as one of Three Stripe's patients. Ask him to rip her and her memories right out of you.
>>
No. 515760 ID: d38f67
File 137083321238.png - (23.07KB , 700x700 , 370.png )
515760

Yes, I should reinforce my own thoughts and memories.

>Who's home?
Mine. My parents. My hive's complex.

>Are they home, with what jobs?
They should be. They did manual labor around the complex. They do not move far.

>What's it like outside?
Sunny. It's always sunny here. It never snows, we are in the tropics. Specifically, a small clump of buildings all close together overlooking the sea. Though not part of an ultrahive, we did have dealings with aliens with an occasional invitation to join one.

Everything in my room is my own.
>>
No. 515764 ID: d38f67
File 137083339764.png - (8.19KB , 700x700 , 371.png )
515764

Judging by the toys and quality of my homework on the ground, this is when I was too young for military. Most supplies were given by humans who wished neumono to grow accustomed to aliens before aliens were commonplace. Hence the stuffed animals in the visage of a pomi and a belenosian. And a bear, for some reason. I think I lost my Heef when I threw it off a cliff, thinking it could fly. Not even real heef can fly. Then the toy cars and streets and all that to the side of my bed. The poster above my bed is my Hive's flag and icon.

Many of my hive sleep together. But we are all made accustomed to sleeping alone and made sure that we can without issue. This is so that we do appear 'normal' to aliens in some respect, or at least have the capability to. I was just learning to. I did not like it at all, but I did grow accustomed to not being too close to my hive. I am still in empathic range of several, anyways.

That smell. I remember today. It was the first time I was introduced to something. I remember what my mother said.

>"You're up early. We've got a special breakfast for you."
>>
No. 515765 ID: d38f67
File 137083341429.png - (8.72KB , 1225x691 , 372.png )
515765

>"It's called coffee cake."
>>
No. 515767 ID: 76b151

Rokoa why are you my mother?
>>
No. 515768 ID: 04b86a

>>515765
...Fuck it. Take the cake, and tell her it had better have Moton egg in it like the first one she gave you.
>>
No. 515769 ID: cf49fc

>>515765
I recommend asking her to leave. Possibly with bullets if she tries to get pushy. This is your brain. She can just bud off and get her own damn body.
>>
No. 515770 ID: 57a559

Tell Rokoa to stop merging with you. Or doing this weird mental fight stuff, she knows the rest of her body will one day probably fight again according to her style. This is just a remnant of her DNA, and this battle of the minds thing totally isn't her style. I suppose it's a little existential, arguing with the mind of separate remains, does she think she means something like this as a separate entity? Even just as a tiny amount of blended Rokoa?

God, what if part of your body got detached, made into goo, and formed it's own mindset as distinct as your own (and very similar with small differences)?
>>
No. 515771 ID: f2c20c

>>515765
Rokoa is trying to barge in. Overwrite her with the proper memory of your mother. If it doesn't work, invade HER memory. She's lost children, obviously. Look at her, trying to adapt to the role of mother, and think of how she kept treating you during your time together. You could pose as her kid, most likely.

Alternatively, I wonder if we could switch to the memories surrounding that time, those memories you both share. There would be no conflicting memories, and we could talk to her and see exactly what the Salikai changed in the clone's personality.

Some good examples are any of the times where you "defeated" her.
>>
No. 515772 ID: 19b3c3

(completely deadpan) ...damn it Rokoa, this is a special memory you're intruding on. And it was bad enough when I only worried you might be mothering me.

Size her up. Which Rokoa is this? That shapes how we respond. Is it the one with or without the smile? If she's herself, we can deal with her on those terms. But if she's like the clone we killed...

Also important is how she responds. Is this dream-Rokoa intelligent- does it know this is a dream?
>>
No. 515774 ID: 5869f6

This is getting weirder...

I LIKE IT
>>
No. 515775 ID: 19b3c3

>>515771
>>515770
>>515769
I really think we need to asses first, before we shift into full on fight mode. If there's a conscious Rokoa in this dream, aware of what's happening, that's significant. And she may be trying to talk to us first- whether or not this is going to be a fight. She's been like that before. We should at least try. We may get somewhere.
>>
No. 515776 ID: 5869f6

>>515775
MAY get somewhere?
...
I honestly hope so..
No joke. Really.
>>
No. 515785 ID: eaa372

Ask Rokoa if her kids ever tasted coffee cake.
>>
No. 515797 ID: fd7000

"Where do you think you are right now"

Then explain what is going on to the best of your understanding. Ask if she remembers having her brains stuck in a syringe.
>>
No. 515810 ID: 01531c

Coffee cake is delicious.
>>
No. 515823 ID: 9ddf68

god damn I forgot how tall she was.

Anyways in a calm voice ask why she is here

and what does her empathy feel like, does it feel like her or does it feel like someone else in your hive?
>>
No. 515842 ID: 735f4f

While we will get some scattered memories from Rokoa the bigger threat is the memories that you have of her. Those are the ones that the clone will latch on to in a desperate attempt to live. Talking to her is fine but do not let her overwrite any of your memories she should not be in. If you can force where you are to a memory she should be in it might help.
>>
No. 515843 ID: d38f67
File 137083969743.png - (13.68KB , 700x700 , 373.png )
515843

"You are invading a precious memory. It better have moton egg."
>"Do you remember it having moton egg?"
"No."
>"Is it still good?"
"Yes. Why are you acting as my mother?"
>"Why do you think?"
"I'm not going to let you take over."
>"You're going to have to prove it."
"You're smiling. You remember, I assume through me. You are the Rokoa I know." That is not a lie. She is more Rokoa than the Rokoa clone.
>"Yes, I shaped up into the Rokoa past the duels. Might be almost the same, might be different. Depends how well you knew me. Thank you, for that. The difference between new me and old me is nice."
"Yet you would still assist the salikai by devouring me?"
>"Am I? Do you know what they had Four Stripes do to me? They've worked on both four stripes and me for awhile, now. They are awful at their game of playing commander, but they know how to weaken and torture an individual neumono. You don't know for certain that my allegiance has shifted blindly. Stupidly. Like what they had to do to that hunter hive. Their professionalism did not last through their conversion." From what I gather, she has memories now of the original Rokoa and the Rokoa that the salikai have custody of.
>>
No. 515847 ID: d38f67
File 137083994474.png - (35.40KB , 700x700 , 374.png )
515847

>Invade her memory.
It feels surprisingly easy to do so. Even while silent, which is alarming, as it may imply my silence does not help against Rokoa.

>"You..."
>>
No. 515848 ID: d38f67
File 137083995399.png - (16.99KB , 700x700 , 375.png )
515848

She picks me up.

"It's only fair." I will not ask if her kids have tasted coffee cake. What temptation I would have had is gone when I see her memories of her first child. Asking if this child, who was killed by wildlife because Rokoa overestimated him during a time of starvation and let him hunt at too young of an age, if he has ever had the pleasure of eating anything more refined than plainly cooked meat, would be by far the most fucked up thing I can think of to do. I already am starting to regret going this far, plus, I am supposed to be holding onto my own memories, regardless of her hitting soft spots. She holds her composure. Yet, if I wanted to, I could break it. That is a power I have over her. But she is also in the same position to attack my composure. And my face.
>".... Whether I'm with the Salikai or not doesn't matter. Doing it, either way. If I'm with 'em, then obviously I'd stop you. If I'm against, you should let me. I know you won't, and I hope you won't let me without a good fight, but you should."
"Laughable."
>"You know what I think? I think you need me."
"Vomitable."
>"With a little push from me, you infiltrated a warship of a warhive and killed a queen right in the open. Now, look at you. You are getting your shit kicked by incompetent salikai that have only read theory books on war."
>>
No. 515850 ID: beeca1

>>515848
Awww, she thinks every other circumstance in those two situations were the same. That's so cuuuuuute.

In the first, the salikai had no time to prepare. In the second, they did, and they *are* masters of infiltrating and breaking neumono, individual and hive.
>>
No. 515851 ID: 735f4f

While you might not like her personally you do make a good team. Both soldiers willing to do most anything to protect there hive. If she can coexist in your head at least until the mission is over then it might be worth keeping her around.

Honestly not sure if its even possible. From what we know of neumono your cells cant coexist for long. But maybe she can live on in your memories for awhile.

And if you do get rid of her you will have to make that final step you never could before. Even if its only in your head. You will have to crush her personality completely.

Also have to consider if your silence would be broken if you keep her around. That's a big one.
>>
No. 515852 ID: 57a559

Oh my god that is single-handily the worse thing that can to happen to a mother, when your child dies because of war or disease it's one thing but when it's your legit own miscalculations oh lord.

Is... is this a pep talk? This is a fucking pep talk.
Good job Rokoa. We got enough of you for this entire mission to start doing it well, but this is obviously going to keep going on until you get out of your coma which you've probably been in for days. So, Rokoa, what do you want to do? Fight the Queen again? Do our sniper battle? Square off in a dance competition?
>>
No. 515853 ID: 8b9215

Get her out of your head.
>>
No. 515855 ID: f2c20c

>>515848
Please, Rokoa, don't insult our skill. We didn't have to deal with invisible kamikaze attackers before, had a sensible map, much better terrain, and up until the very last confrontation we never got a single grenade chucked at us AND we could negotiate with the enemy.

The last mission was very light on combat, in fact. Here, it's a battle of attrition in an environment where there could be an ambush around every corner. The fact that we lasted this long is admirable. Plus, it was mostly that unavoidable cavein that did us in.

However, she's right. We do need an edge. Propose a truce. Can't she share this body? She can boost our physical attributes while you give her that silence ability and deadly aim. You'd become the ultimate soldier.
>>
No. 515856 ID: beeca1

>>515852
Have sex? Because what with this being /quest/ and Rokoa already being attracted to Polo, there's no way we aren't going to try and make this happen.

I'm willing to bet that whenever Rokoa felt that strange emotion Polo couldn't quite understand back in the intermission she was getting a ladyboner for Polo.

Let's make this happen.
>>
No. 515863 ID: 9ddf68

the first time around the salikai weren't actively gunning for you and now they are, the first time neither of you two where trying to bring down the salikai it just happened to end that way, and the first time she just wanted to dual you to see who was better now she want's to dual you to take over your body and mind.

there might be some similarities from the first time you fought the salikai and now but over all these two situations are different form each other.

To put it simply, no we are not going to let her take us over.
>>
No. 515864 ID: 57a559

>>515856
We look like her son! No! And we thought of her motherly with the coffee cake. No!
>>
No. 515865 ID: 3d556d

Obviously we need to move things to the previous shared dream Between Polo and Rokoa.
>>
No. 515866 ID: beeca1

>>515864
Not *right now*, genius. Shift to a different memory.
>>
No. 515868 ID: 19b3c3

Drop out of her kid's shape- you made your point. Shift the dream somewhere neutral, if you can.

>it may imply my silence does not help against Rokoa
This is all taking place inside your head, anyways. Your real world silence shuts off your ability to broadcast. If you're silent in here, that's a different skill. You're refusing to share a part of your mind with the foreign Rokoa part of your mind.

>With a little push from me, you infiltrated a warship of a warhive and killed a queen right in the open. Now, look at you. You are getting your shit kicked by incompetent salikai that have only read theory books on war.
All I had to do was waste one QI and your hive opted to let me run free, sending others to face me in single combat, rather than crushing and containing me with superior numbers. And after that, I had the chaos of the salikai caused to hide behind. And then I had real help pulling it off.

Here there have been no opposing forces to play against one another. The salikai may be incompetent, but neither do they send opponents at me one by one. And my allies have had their own problems.

And as you proved yourself several times on the warship, no one can hold up to sustained enemy attack forever. If I needed anything, it was more of me. To have remained undiscovered.

And, as you should recall, I killed the you I encountered with little trouble.

>four stipes work on me, weaker
And I've had three stripes work on me. They may have tried to break your mind, make you weaker. I've trained myself to be stronger.

>also
You do realize you cannot win? Even if you defeat me here, it will not be a victory. There are those among my allies who know you (Korli, Niam). And there are those who would do what is necessary to deny you my body (Rokann will have recovered by now, and she knows just how terrible it is to lose yourself. She'd kill us before letting something permanent do the same to us. And I suspect Viln would rather see you die honestly in body before you could lose your mind).

>question
I know you will not, but out of curiosity, could you stop, if you even wanted to?
>>
No. 515881 ID: 19b3c3

>>515856
No.
>>
No. 515913 ID: cf49fc

>>515848
You are far superior to her in all forms of warfare. But you are also superior to her in that you have a facet of existence that is NOT solely dedicated to warfare. In this manner, you achieve stability and sanity in a nightmarish and rapidly collapsing world.
>>
No. 515927 ID: 996c90

>Heavy shadows

This feels... familiar. Also odd that she would adapt the real Rokoa's personality and memories so quickly. I think some Rokoa cells did get into you, when you ate some of her that one time. You fought it back, then, but maybe you incorporated some, and the new material is attaching to the leftovers. Try thinking back to that time; maybe the little part of her that's already subordinate to you will spread to the rest of her. Or your body will remember how to do what it did before.

While doing that, ask her, then, if she can advantage you so much, what would she have done differently? And remind her of the things you did that she couldn't have, that might be necessary to win. Evading danger instead of running full-face into it. Genuinely befriending people like Viln, Three Stripes, or her herself - I doubt Rokoa would have let Rokoa live if she'd been Polo. The times Rokoa let herself be bashed and shot up until she couldn't do any more, and you had to take the reins.

(By the way, is Rokoa shaking? And her ear looks a little squared off. Letting yourself be seen as her kid is dangerous, but I think part of her wants to see you that way. To do that, though, she needs to open up, to allow part of you into herself. Possibly the tactic we need?)
>>
No. 515977 ID: 5869f6

The Salikai are using completely different tactics here. Preferring overwhelming numbers. As well as the fact that there are multiple species in the mix. All with different mindsets, strategies. Strengths, weaknesses, etc.
>>
No. 516006 ID: 19b3c3

How do we do this, then. Do you have rules for this duel, or do we just run rampant through each other's memories until until one of us fails?

>is Rokoa shaking
...she is. And she's bleeding- I think she's clenching her jaw enough to draw blood. She's barely holding her composure.
>>
No. 516017 ID: e31ca1

She's grasping at straws here. Look how desperate she is to make herself seem necessary!
>>
No. 516044 ID: 996c90

>>516006

The question is, is she shaking from holding her composure against rage, that Polo's daring to look like her kid? Fear, that if Polo wins, what little life she has dies? Horror, remembering what it is that the salikai did to the part of her they have? Or straining to keep herself from letting this memory-image engulf her entirely? Maybe several of these at once.

Let's weigh what we have here. This Rokoa's trying to sell herself. What does she have to sell? Most of her advantages are bound up in her big meat shield body, which isn't on the table. She's fearless, but Polo doesn't have trouble with fear, and Rokoa's brand of reckless courage is a disadvantage for Polo-types. The only (currently applicable) psychological advantages Rokoa has are 1) Probably a bit better skill at managing people and leadership, if she actually makes the effort and 2) that she would have experience of hard-line survival scenarios that Polo doesn't. Strange sense of honor aside, she's probably more ruthless and better able to deal with hard decisions, having lived on the savage subsistence line. But the advantages and disadvantages of that are balanced against those of being raised in a more civilized environment.
>>
No. 516046 ID: 735f4f

That and the slight chance she has any info we could use.

Just thought of something though. The clones they have of her are all murderous brutes because they lack her sense of honor and family. But they seemed to come back the second she had access to Polo's memory of her. If we could somehow infect one of the clones with some of our memories we might have a ally. No idea how to do that though.
>>
No. 516048 ID: 19b3c3

>>516044
Actually, the most useful thing she might be able to offer us is information. There would be an inherent danger in relieving memories of brainwashing, but first hand knowledge of what the salikai are up to might be useful. (Although, for that moment that will have to take backseat to staying in control of our own mind).

If we were able to pick and choose pieces of her biology, the increased bio-armor capacity and regeneration might be useful, but I doubt you can just lift some of her traits without rebuilding the whole body. There's strength too, but again, hard to do without getting bigger, and more muscle would just make us heavier and slower. And Polo doesn't exactly need anything that pushes her towards Rokoa's ravenous metabolism.

I'm also assuming Rokoa's not worried about dying, here. She's got the original mindset back, and she knows there are more of her out there. Also- she's made everything about Polo. She talks in terms of defeating or helping Polo, not in terms of getting a body or a life for herself.
>>
No. 516056 ID: aaf692

She wants to fight? Then fight.
Pop a Rifle in and shoot her with it-no, better idea.
Ever watch any power-ranger like cartoons when you were little?
Use that kind of stuff! Drop an anvil on her! Trick her into charging into a room filled with explosives!
She's brute force, but your domain is the mind and THAT'S THE LANDSCAPE ITSELF!!!
>>
No. 516064 ID: 5869f6

>>516046
Would be nice were it possible.
Would it be?
>>
No. 516084 ID: fd7000

>>516046
Doesn't sound that hard. In theory all we need to do is the brain dart thing in reverse. That's right suck out some of your brain and throw it at a berserk rokoa... There is a reason its called MAD science.

An army of friendly rokoa clones. what have we done?
For a less insane suggestion ask her if she knows anything that will help us save the other rokoa clones.
>>
No. 516140 ID: beeca1

>>516139
Hm. Well, guess we should eat her memories before she can eat ours. We just found something even more fucked up.

Ask her if her son has ever tasted coffee cake. Then shift to another memory of hers and eat it, too.
>>
No. 516141 ID: d38f67
File 137092576239.png - (13.86KB , 700x700 , 376.png )
516141

I drop the facade of her child. She doesn't let me go, but she stops shaking,

"You're grasping at straws. The circumstances are completely different. The salikai are not under attack, unlike how the warhive was. The salikai are not sending one unit at me at a time like some kind of game. And none of those tried to suicide attack me. It is a miracle I have not been killed yet. What would you do different?"
>"Not let a little rock break my foot, for starters."
"I'll tell you what you would do. You would line up all the voklits you could find, and start trading blow for blow with the voklit in front. You'd get your head knocked off before you could see the end of the line, and they'd haul you back off to the salikai for shit I don't want to think about. I know you aren't some invincible meat wall. I had your help at the warhive ship, but you still collapsed on me at the last moment. I do not need you, I do not want you. What do you want? Another sniper battle? A dance off?"
>"Hey, why not. Cept we already know you can beat me at your own game, and neither of us know how to dance! How about this. You kill a healthy clone of me in a fair fight, either bare handed or with a knife, and I'll leave. No more Rokoa in your head."
"No. You don't have a choice. You can't beat me in here."
>"You know, I've heard that three times before. And I'm not talkin' about other clones, I mean me. I conquered three neumono personally like this, before the salikai said I was good enough and started extracting brain samples to condense 'em and stick 'em in a tube. So I remember. Yeah, let's skip fighting on your own terms and fight with our willpower next. It's as fair as it gets."
"That does not worry me. The only reason I would possibly entertain the notion of keeping you around is for information. That is your only bargaining chip. If I knew for a fact you would fight the salikai, and I let you take over... if I was not killed in the process, you would kill us with your idiotic tactics. So, information. Tell me how this works."
>>
No. 516142 ID: d38f67
File 137092576796.png - (87.44KB , 700x700 , 377.png )
516142

Rokoa pauses for a minute. She stares at me with that agitating grin.

>"We eat each other. Let me rephrase. I eat you. It starts with your brain, from the inside out. Doesn't take long. First your memories. They disappear, and are replaced by mine. First memories to last. Then your personality starts going. Reminded the salikai of a predator fucking around and reshaping some neumono for the fun of it. Your personality erodes in the process, and is eventually broken, replaced by me. And that's it. Then I spend the next weeks regrowing into my body. Salikai told me that if I don't completely eradicate the other person, then they might permanently imprint themselves onto me. But the tipping point when I've overtaken my opponent? That doesn't take weeks. The first person took 24 hours. Second person took 18. Third person took 43. After that, it's just busywork regrowing my body. They were a whole lot bigger than you, too. But you're good. I give you 72 hours before you forget your name. And you've been asleep for awhile, but hey, I'm only on the coffee cake episode, so I gotta get to work. This seems like a good place to start."

She dares me to form a gun out of thin air and shoot her. I have been thinking of doing it for awhile, and I am having difficulty coming up with a reason not to.
>>
No. 516143 ID: 57a559

But then the real Rokoa will never get her rematch. Will this Polo body Rokoa clone suffice for her desires? What would the real Rokoa think of the aftermath if she was seeing this right now? Would you love the fight yourself? Would you love to fight a half Polo/half Rokoa? Do you want to deprave her of that? Or does this genetic sample only think about what this small piece of dying DNA wants and cares about?

Because there's multiple Rokoa's, when this whole Salikai thing is over, whichever way it does end, how does it end for the clones and the original if a clone or two lives?

Oh, Rokoa, do you think if you end up taking over the body that you can go silent? Do you want to destroy that part of Polo's brain and body too? Or would you be interested in having it? And I have to ask, if Rokoa wins, what's the first thing she's going to do with this new petite body of hers?
>>
No. 516144 ID: f2c20c

>>516140
Let's not be tasteless. However, a counterattack is probably a good idea.

Why don't we start by eating the memories of her being tortured by this new salikai. She would probably WANT to forget that, so it's an easy target.
>>
No. 516145 ID: beeca1

>>516144
Really? We're fighting to stop our mind being devoured and you're worried about being tasteless?

Do it.
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No. 516146 ID: 735f4f

Yeah fuck being nice. The real Rokoa had more honor and pride and never would have gone along with the Salikai like this. Don't worry about using her precious memories against her because she certainly wont.

Change the surroundings to a area you are comfortable with and every-time she tries to intrude into your memories you hit her back twice as hard. This is not the honorable warrior you knew and she does not deserve your pity.
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No. 516147 ID: 9ddf68

so what, if we do a dream battle it turns into who can replace the other memories first? like instead of her kind dying in a fire we make it so it would be him heading off to school instead of us and then slowly turn it into us or progress through all of her kids (a different one for each situation in your life) and then end at us or would it be more like just grab a gun out of thin air and start shooting?

If it's the latter remember that time you shared a dream with Rokoa and made yourself into a giant, that could be a good opening move to throw her off guard since she would most likely expect you to stay small.
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No. 516148 ID: 19b3c3

...I have no idea why you would want this. It is sickening. It is one thing to hurt. Another to kill. But to rip away memories and self? I saw how you reacted when I dared invade your memories. I cannot comprehend why you would let yourself become this.

You may have the memory of three success. But I know for a fact you have failed. There have been other neumono to survive your darts, to overcome you. And while you may doubt I am better than you, you know I am better than any science hiver or hunter they dragged in for tests.

>This seems like a good place to start.
No.

You will not let her take this memory. Do two things- first apply the techniques you studied with three stripes. Deny her access, the ability to change anything. Before you would not let him make you drop the rock. Here, do not let her make you drop the memory of the cheesecake.

And then, if you can, push your silence out over the whole memory. Cut her off from it. Stop her brain from being able to get access to pieces of your mind. It's not exactly how you normally go silent but... it's similar. It's a kind of mediation. She may have spent months practicing for mental battle, but you spent ten years training to cut a part of yourself off from others. You can do this.

And then go on the offensive. If she's going to eat your memories? You eat hers first.

Don't bother with a gun. It's just a metaphor. She's daring you to do it because she's done this before. She knows dream fighting with actual weapons won't do anything. It's all about forcing things to happen with your mind.
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No. 516149 ID: 76b151

The greatest memories are what define her. Her children dying. The moent hinted at about her smile. Those we target first. I think we should do her smile first. Replace it with our own strength. Perhaps the death of the Queen. Attack a moment when she betrayed her Hive. Something she was still unsure of.
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No. 516150 ID: beeca1

Oh, and when you ask her if he ever tasted coffee cake?

Shift back to his form and try to make her forget his name.
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No. 516151 ID: c23ab0

>>516146

Well, the real Rokoa was a neurotically xenophobic bitch so would never have gone along with the Salikai. But close enough.

The gun would be counterproductive as it's "Rokoa"'s suggestion, and anything you do that she suggests gives her a stronger foothold. Brain..hold. Whatever.

The Salikai broke her once. You can break her again.
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No. 516152 ID: 735f4f

Do not fight against her with her strengths. Shooting her is something she would expect. This is not a physical fight. You beat her several times by thinking smarter and not rising to fighting her on her terms. Use your training and keep all your memories intact while destroying hers.
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No. 516153 ID: 19b3c3

>...I have no idea why you would want this.
Expanding on this, for a sicker, twisted idea: (We're shifting back to her kid? I have a good idea for that).

Where do you think this will lead? Do you ever plan to stop? A whole world of you? Are you even capable of having children anymore, or will you kill the next one in the womb, replacing it with another empty copy of yourself?
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No. 516154 ID: beeca1

>>516153
Yes. Do this and try to eat the memory of her child's name meanwhile.

In fact? Erase all the names you can and replace them with "Rokoa."
>>
No. 516164 ID: 1100c2

>>She holds her composure. Yet, if I wanted to, I could break it. That is a power I have over her.
Time to mind rape back.
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No. 516183 ID: 3d556d

Yeah... I'd say that we need to prove to Rokoa, yet again, that surgical strikes beat brute force anyday. She even gave us a perfect place to start. Remove her memories of overwhelming those three Neumono and/or the Salikai's lessons on how this battle of minds works. Move on from that up to the Salikai's brainwashing. They broke her, yes. But they also supplied the means to unbreak her.

"There's really only one place to start."
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No. 516227 ID: bc8d67

So she wants you to use a gun, eh? Well, you're not going to give her what she wants. Shift your position to the floor, and manifest the memory of the coffee cake and eat it again to reinforce your memories. Actually, if you can, also manifest a piece of coffee cake in Rokoa's mouth as well; Let her experience it too.

Since it is a battle to overwrite memories, then the sensible course of action to take is to overwrite whichever of Rokoa's memories you do with whichever memories she's trying to overwrite, while at the same time slipping fragments of that memory into other memories. That'll leave her stuck trying to stamp out a memory that you keep duplicating faster than she can remove it. Doesn't matter if it's disjointed or makes no sense in the stream of memories, it just has to be there to make sure it isn't destroyed for good.

>>516183
Yes, this would seem to be a good target, and flitting through her memories of how the other three fought and failed may give us insight into what to do and not to do here. Also, the pain of the memories of whatever methods the Salikai used might work to disrupt Rokoa's concentration as well, but it might break our concentration even more. We should be ready to jump out immediately if we can't take the pain, lest we lose ground.
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No. 516238 ID: b14973

go back to the memory you saw in the beginning, the reason she's smiling. devour it.
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No. 516245 ID: a3e14e

Don't eat her personal memories. At least, not those first.

Think tactically about this. Why is she doing this? Where is she getting her strength and motivation from? What memories do you want her to not have, if she wins? And don't try shift into any of your own memories, that gives her access to them. You need to go on the offensive. The first memory of hers to target is whatever the salikai did to her. If you eat the memories of her kids or of why she smiles or things like that, she's only going to get more voracious, because it's that most recent memory that's driving her, not the old ones. Her eating your oldest memories will help her because it will weaken and confuse you, but doing the same to her will only push her more into being a rabid slave to the salikai. Eliminate the parts of her that are most set on hurting you and leave the less harmful stuff for later. If any of her memories make her want to NOT hurt you, like the ones where she associates you with her children, leave them.

Don't pull your gun out. It may give her an opportunity to target your skills and your memories of gaining them. Hop on the opportunity she's giving you and ask her what exactly the salikai did to her, see if you can push into her memory of that. If that doesn't work, try to move back to the first memory, in the tent and smiling. You should be able to get there, having been before.

And don't fight her the way she wants to be fought. That's rule one. You can even tell her that. This is your mind and your body, and she needs to fight your way if she wants to win. Even if she did beat you by force, she would lose when your bioarmour rejected the confusion in your body, or when your allies killed her once your body started to change. If she can be sneaky, somehow take you over while leaving a shell of you to keep pretending your normal, then maybe she could win. But she would still lose, in the long run. The head salikai here is bent on vengeance on your whole species, and that includes her, her original self especially, and hers. Her hive needed to repopulate, so she probably has more children lined up already, out there, somewhere. The Rokoa you knew was a defender, at heart, someone who would take any pain, risk insanity herself, to protect her family. The best way for her to do that is submit to you and let you have whatever she can offer.

Besides, you fought this fight before. Not just beating her clone, or her original in a duel, but this here, in your mind. You struggled once before to stop yourself becoming like her, and you won. You can do it again.
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No. 516248 ID: 19b3c3

>You can even tell her that.
...let's not. She's smart enough to fuck with us if we give her something obvious like "I'm not going to fight like you want or say".
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No. 516254 ID: 5869f6

FUCK NO, SHE AIN'T GETTIN' OUR MEMORIES
IT'S CHAINSAW TIME COMRADES
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No. 516309 ID: b9d767

Rokoa methinks is taking this waaaay to far. Even within our own mind she can continue to exist, but erasing our own mind and memories? That's changing the mental dynamic in a bad, bad way. If she is hell bent on destroying us, then it is only fair she be destroyed in turn. She may be strong, but this is OUR playground. If she can destroy our mind, we can just as easily destroy hers. What's to say we cannot take apart everything she knows and loves? What she secretly cherishes? Because we KNOW her children are a weak point for her.

Cooperation or mutual annihilation. Your choice, Rokoa.
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No. 516311 ID: 735f4f

We cant coexist. Its kill or be killed. If she manages to subvert any of Polo's memories then she will have a foothold into the rest. We have to destroy her and do it fast. We might be able to salvage some info from her memories after the fact but the consciousness driving them has to die.

It not really Rokoa we are fighting. Its a thing our enemies made and it needs to be put out of its misery. The real Rokoa would rather die than let herself be used like this. A weapon that could be used against her own hive some day.

While I have no doubt that Polo can win this it will be a nasty horrible thing. She will have to be vicious, swift and not let up for a second. Lots of hugs will be needed afterwards.
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No. 516315 ID: e31ca1

Hmm, she is trying to make you feel like what it is to be her, thinking about the thing that makes her smile. Maybe think about what it is like to be silent, switched off from the world. Try and force the memories into her. Recall the flavor of coffee cake, and stuff some in her mouth. As for reasons not to shoot her? She wants you to. That's more than enough.
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No. 516379 ID: d38f67
File 137101356240.png - (123.53KB , 700x700 , 378.png )
516379

"I am going to consider you broken by the salikai. Rokoa would not let herself be used like this." I do not shoot her, but I say nothing about it. It is simply pointless and what she wants, although I have a feeling there was a motive, as though shooting her would not have been good for me.

I try to read her more recent memories. They are available, yet feel... distant. More like reading a book, less like reliving moments. But she has recent information I want. Salikai information. She even knows some info of the layout of their backup base. Yet trying to get that information is met with her treatment after growing a body. Finding out how much she can take without dying. And Four Stripes making sure she would not fall unconcious in the process. Even how distant it seems, I nearly vomit. The info I want will not be pleasant to get. I will wait on it when I feel like I am in a better position to try to tackle that fish.

I grasp the bulk of this memory of mine, and focus my silence around it. I do not know if that makes it entirely immune, but it is doing something. Rokoa does not appear to try to stop it, either, and it dissipates.

In its place, I recall the memory of Rokoa's that I first had while sleeping, the one in regards to her smile.
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No. 516381 ID: d38f67
File 137101358516.png - (297.68KB , 700x700 , 379.png )
516381

Factually, it's all there. Her mind is fuzzy around this spot, and so the memory is as well. Whatever happened, happened the day before. This is the morning after. She can't remember what did happen, but it's on the tip of her mind.

Yet Rokoa, the clone herself, feels distant. Like she's back at the back of my head, not around me. No, rather, I'm in the place of Rokoa?. I am not sure what to do or how this works. It feels like if I tried something here, it would just be me imagining ruining the memory, not actually ruining it for her.

But, Rokoa gave me an example. I remember my first coffee cake. It was good. My mother was kind. But she looked scary.

That isn't right. She was supposed to look... well, not grinning like that. Yet, that is what my reconstructed memory tells me.

That's what I have to do. Sway the path of her memories. Make them false, and make her remember falsely. At least that is the only guess I have founded in any sort of evidence. But she isn't around for this memory, like she was in mine. Her conscious is busy elsewhere. I believe there is a reason why she starts at the first memories, and goes on later in life. First memories, perhaps, are more vulnerable to change and deletion. I may not be able to touch this one. Yet.

The memory of her first kid is fresh on my mind. But there is also her own childhood and her first kill. Those three are the memories that stand out as being both vulnerable and significant. That's where I can easily start, but I feel physically uncomfortable, still. I feel less fatigued as well, and like I will wake up soon. I don't know if I want to, but backing away and collecting my thoughts may have merit in of itself.
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No. 516382 ID: f2c20c

>>516381
She implanted herself as your mother, and so you should do the same. I believe that by planting yourself in her memories, it becomes easier to do so in future ones. As in, you put yourself into her mind and then spread. Become everyone she knows.

Become all her children, until she comes to believe that she is trying to eat her own child.
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No. 516383 ID: 450660

>>516142

Here's a question: why.

Insofar, she has nothing to prove. She has nothing to gain from it. The real Rokoa is still lying in a holding cell having brain matter extracted from her and duplicating herself. Killing us won't free her. It'll just mean she's doing exactly what the salikai want from her. Kind of like following a Queen that would rather kill the whole hive than move on.

Is this the rematch she's longed for? I don't think so. We've never fought to the death -- every time Polo won, we never finished her off, even when she demanded it.

Moreover, if Rokoa "fails" to assimilate us and her consciousness dies -- she won't be dead. Just like if she took over, she's still lying trapped somewhere.

All Rokoa gets by destroying us is saying that we are dead, and leaving no evidence behind. Our body will become hers, our memories won't exist, and likely our compatriots will be dead. Nothing left to even claim we existed save Rokoa's memories and the few members of a salikai-controlled hive who might not even be aware of us.
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No. 516384 ID: eaa372

Engage Rokoa's first kill. You can corrupt the emotions Rokoa feels in combat with your calculated approach to combat.
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No. 516385 ID: 19b3c3

>reconstructed memory
Dang. I hope your real memories are still buried under there, somewhere. And that if and when you defeat Rokoa, they'll reemerge, or repair. It would suck to win this battle, but come out of it with all your earliest memories destroyed.

>what do
Let's assess here.

Whoever loses their memories and self first, loses. Rokoa is older than you. She was alive before first contact. So she has more memories you need to destroy to win. Although this is somewhat evened out by decades of major injuries and the process of torture and dart extraction and concentration. There are holes.

Rokoa also has the advantage in having done this before. And having less to lose than you. She can afford to win this even with major holes punched in her past. You can't.

Conclusion: she has the advantage offensively. If you just make it a race to see who can outdamage the other's memories, she will win.

You need to stop, and set aside time to play to your own strengths. You've trained for a decade to learn how to cut yourself off from others. You trained with three stripes to make yourself more resistant to the mental manipulations of others. You need to stop, and take the same time to apply those same techniques. Set up your defenses. Make your memories hard to access, hard to change. Invest the time you need to to buy yourself time. To slow her down. Once you have a good defense? The advantage shifts to you. You'll have the room you need to figure out how to fight offensively in here, and to take the fight to her memories. And to take the lead.
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No. 516389 ID: 735f4f

Why is the simplest reason of all. Self preservation. Even though she knows she has become a monster her cells will still fight. Deep down she probably wants us to finish her off and take all the info she has. But its not in her nature to give it up easily.

I say start at the beginning. Go for her childhood or first kill as those will be the haziest. We have a advantage in the fact she is much older than you. Any early memories will be much more distant than yours.

But make sure that while you do this you keep reinforcing the memories she is trying to change. Use your training to block off the ones she is concentrating on and make it harder for her to do anything.

Its probably not just making her memories false but undermining her entire sense of being. Whoever can change the most important memories of the other fastest will be able to make them there own. She is trying to change you so you cant fight back. You need to find what makes her strong and turn them into a weakness.

Like instead of resolving to be stronger after her first child's death she becomes overcautious and never becomes the warrior she is now.
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No. 516392 ID: 9ddf68

start with the first kill once you start trying to change thing a bit maybe try and change it into that hunting trip that got you into this whole mess or one of your earlier hunting trips. replace her memories with yours so to speak.
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No. 516403 ID: cf49fc

Way to go Rokoa! Poisoning someone in their sleep. The TRUE test of skill! I mean, with guns or rocket launchers, there's actual effort involved, but I mean, why would anyone do that? Let's just MINDDUEL instead, because as everyone knows, nothing beats an imaginary "who-would-win" argument in terms of sheer intensity and awe. In a thousand years, bards shall sing songs of Rokoa, who fought using reminiscences on her childhood, family photo albums, and slideshows about her vacation.

TRULY, THERE WAS NEVER A MORE PEERLESS WARRIOR!
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No. 516452 ID: e31ca1

Make her first kill feel fake. She probably would hate to believe that it was not "honorably won" or some such nonsense. Try and corrupt the memory to make it seem like she won by some underhanded method, and nobody else ever found out.
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No. 516457 ID: b5ca1e

Bad idea! Corrupt it so others help her!
If we make her underhanded she'll start getting cheap with it!
We should try to make her as weak willed as possible! Change her life so she always needs someone to help her out, to save her when she gets into a jam!
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No. 516470 ID: 5869f6

Corrupting her memories seems to be the best decision, Tactical-wise, anyways.
Doing so would cripple her abilities.
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No. 516474 ID: 19b3c3

Assorted thoughts:

If we can get to them (assuming she doesn't block us like when we tried to go after the salikai intel) Rokoa's memories of how this worked memory combat worked with her previous victims might help. We could skip having to trial and error what offensive tactics work, and we could see what defensive tactics don't work.

Would it make a difference if any of our allies were to fall asleep? The Rokoa clone's previous victories would have been in laboratory conditions- just her and her victim / host. Here, you are surrounded by allies. Who will have to sleep eventually. If one of them ends up in your dream, could they aid you at all? Normally, dream sharing wouldn't allow them to change anything, but these are hardly normal circumstances.

We also don't want to wake up, if we can help it. That will split our concentration- forcing us to deal with real world issues, and taking away resources from our inner battle. We're better off trusting our allies to take care of themselves and protect us while we try to fight this battle.

Granted, if and when we do wake up, there are things we need to tell them. We need to brief them on what we learned scouting the exits, tell them about Biles and approximately where he is, and we need to tell them what has happened to you. And to make them promise to kill you should Rokoa win. (Viln and Rokann seem the best targets for that. Viln would see this as a dishonorable death, and duty bound to carry out your last request. Rokann, after recovering from being bugged, will understand what losing yourself is like, and will understand what you're going through).

>Useful things to grab
If possible, if and when we win this, there is going to be information we don't want to annihilate even as we destroy Rokoa's memories and personality (remember- failing to completely destroy the other would leave an imprint. And Polo wants as much as possible to avoid that). Useful information may include:
* Anything related to the current salikai installation or enemy forces.
* Anything we can learn from her previous interactions with the salikai. While we were trapped under the spire, Rokoa worked closer with Rosotski than we did with Ohidi or Sigira (although probably less closely than we did with Kiiu?).
* Language skills, possibly. She would have spoke one of the neumono tribal or aboriginal languages before the arrival of the aliens and the introduction of English. Might be useful some day, to be able to understand a language others think you can't. (Not a high priority, but something to consider).
* Find out, just for your own curiosity, what her password was (before ruining the memory and changing it from something important to her to something demeaning, insulting, or painful, of course).
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No. 516613 ID: e31ca1

Ah! So maybe this is a little late, but I think I figured out why she wanted you to shoot her! What if she wasn't just replaying your memory, but actively rewriting it? The reason she wanted you to shoot her was to put inside your head the false memory of shooting your own mother! This is something I would keep firmly in mind: the best way to combat her might just be to ignore her completely, and replay the memory as accurately as possible, just saying what you said, feeling what you felt, and doing what you did as close to reality as possible.

Conversely, when fucking with Rokoa's memorys, try to provoke her! (although she has undoubtedly been briefed on this, there is always the hope that she is running off intuition, and that intuition is not as powerful as my reasoning.) If this fails, see if you can force her personally into doing something in-congruent, as this may be more powerful than just changing outside factors.
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No. 516636 ID: 735f4f

Good idea with the shooting idea. We need to make sure our tactics stay as true to Polo's way of doing things as possible. Tactics before brute force.
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No. 516672 ID: d38f67
File 137116044509.png - (20.46KB , 700x700 , 380.png )
516672

>Dream sharing with allies
It might help, it might not. But it takes more than just falling asleep together to share a dream. I rarely do it inside of my own hive, let alone people I have known for a few days.

>Learn Rokoa's tribal language
It is almost certainly a dead language. Tribes often made their own language, or made far different dialects at best. There is not just a single 'tribal' language.

I am partially wondering why she is doing this, myself, but I do not care right now what her motives are. She may not care that she is a clone, she may consider herself a full individual and simply want to live.

I recall her first kill. Rokoa had been going on a few solo hunting trips. More dangerous, but not uncommon for sake of covering more ground. She goes to the river. Fish are not coming by in any good quantity. Another neumono comes, one not of her hive. He is... I almost thought differently, but he is also alone, and starving. He is wielding a bone club, while Rokoa wields an axe. Both have hostile intentions.

The original outcome is plain, and only memorable because it was new. They swim out in the shallow waters, and Rokoa kills him with moderate damage. She drags the corpse back to her hive, which earns her a good deal of respect.
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No. 516675 ID: 76b151

replace his face with the face of your first kill obviously.
>>
No. 516676 ID: 01531c

>>516672
Here are some idea for different starts:
>Wave in greeting.
>Charge into water, double back when he jumps in, then engage via thrown rocks at the shoreline.

Here are some idea for different endings:
>Beat down into unconsciousness, eat ears, leave.
>Kill, then bury with respectful ceremony.
>Beat down, demand surrender, continue beating until morale improves, leash him to claim him as a slave.
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No. 516678 ID: 9ddf68

could you make it that instead of killing him she takes a bit of a beating but before anything to serious can happen the other tribal looses his footing and is swept downstream, changing this from her first kill to the day she got her ass kicked and was only saved by luck.
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No. 516679 ID: 735f4f

What do you mean you almost thought differently? Could there be something else to the memory we are missing?

Well we could try to change the memory so he trips and drowns in his starvation induced weakness and Rokoa takes credit for the unearned kill.

Or maybe we could try to replace parts of the memory with your first kill. But you would never had engaged them in the river like that. We would have to set up a trap or something.
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No. 516681 ID: 19b3c3

Still think you need to take a few minutes to try and consciously assemble your defenses. Your advantage her is your decade training for silence, and your time training with three stripes. Learning how to hide your mind from others, and resist outside influence. Her advantage is offensive, and having done this before. Blunting her offense with a good defense to buy time for your own offense is a good move.

>dream sharing unlikely
True, but it's possible, and you've encountered plenty more unlikely things on this mission. For all we know Katzati is a cuddly dream sharing prodigy!

Still, yeah, something that may happen, but not something to count on.

>dead language, not useful
Yeah, low priority anyways. We won't be considering what pieces of her memory we want to save until the battle is as good as won. Which may be hours, or days. Possibly longer, since time in dreams can seem much longer than the real world.

>not of her hive. He is... I almost thought differently
...which hive is Rokoa part of right now? The warhive, or the snow hive? She has a split ancestry, remember. Kidnapped twice- first by the snow hive, and then back by the war hive. Was her first kill a member of her other hive? (Ie, as part of the war hive she killed a snow hiver, or as part of the snow hive she killed a war hiver).

>>516613
>Wanted us to have the memory of attacking our mother
...yeah, that probably would have been more damaging than the scary face she managed to dump in there.

>what do
Change the outcome. Make Rokoa fight badly, take more damage. Force her to flee.

If it turns out he is a a member of her other hive? Associate that with her guilt over being responsible for the death of her children. For attacking one of her own in poor judgement.
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No. 516688 ID: 01531c

>>516672
I'm thinking too small. Form is transmutable here!

Let's transform the first kill and killer into something else!

>Salikai
>Arkot
>Hive Queen
>Yich Eater
>Polo
>Polokoa
>>
No. 516691 ID: beeca1

>>516688
Rokoa stays Rokoa. Other neumono becomes the son who died hunting. Other details, specifically her hive being proud of/respecting her for killing the attacked her son, remain the same.
>>
No. 516692 ID: f2c20c

>>516672
Take the place of the guy, and win.

Wait on the shore, let Rokoa approach from over the river. Attack using the wet rocks to your advantage- she will have poor footing so you can knock her over and beat the crap out of her.
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No. 516702 ID: 19b3c3

>>516692
I'd rather not change perspectives. If Polo takes control of the opponent, that leaves Rokoa free to counter by taking control of herself in this memory.

Whereas, right now, even if she stepped in to control the opponent (so it becomes a battle of two people trying to throw a fight) we could mess up the battle by making memory-Rokoa flee or act shameful in some way. We'd be in a weaker position to make the changes we want if Rokoa steps into her own shoes.
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No. 516707 ID: 735f4f

We want to taint or change these memories so they weaken her personality. So instead of being the strong Rokoa we knew she is a wreck due to a lifetime of bad choices. Our ultimate goal is to destroy her personality so there is no driving force behind her cells and our brain can eat them without problem.

Once we destroy her personality we should be able to go through her memories for important info on the Salikai.

After the mission is over she should be able to eventually remove the ones left behind with help from her hive and Three stripes.
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No. 516714 ID: 35edd4

>>516675
This is the most logical approach. Turn this memory into your memory.
>>
No. 516718 ID: 71b0d0

I say go down brutal on her mentality, everything she kills resembles her offspring, everything she eats tastes of her own kin (if possible) or simply has no taste at all, twist any lover she's had into the face of either yourself or somebody/thing she will hate the most, this isn't a battle of strength, bring ruination to her already damaged psyche
>>
No. 516719 ID: 01531c

>>516718
>twist any lover she's had into the face of either yourself or somebody/thing she will hate the most
A salikai?
>>
No. 516729 ID: 19b3c3

>>516675
Um. Wait. Who was Polo's first kill? She was green before the intermission, remember. Dead Stripes? ...or if we mean first neumono, Dead Stripe's zombies? Or if has to be a sapient neumono, Kara? Although she was kind of indirect collateral. I think the first neumono Polo was directly responsible for killing (and with intent) was the Red Queen, actually.

That doesn't work so well. I don't think Rokoa would feel particularly bad about killing any of them.
>>
No. 516730 ID: beeca1

>>516719
Her dead son? I admit I suggest it for everything, but you have to admit replacing her lovers with the likeness of the son she indirectly killed is a good way to fuck her up.
>>
No. 516731 ID: 1cf1cd

>>516675

Yeah, this. Start altering more of her details to match yours. Subtly, at first. A face, here and there. A specific item. As you noticed replacing herself with your mother is less than effective.
>>
No. 516735 ID: 57a559

I think I reasoned why sometimes clone Rokoa's are different, when the previous neumono consciousness was fighting, whatever that neumono changed in Rokoa's memory reflected in the new Rokoa personality. I also hypothesize that the death of the last clone and turning the corpse into dart goo restarted, restored or reconstructed the old memories. The dart goo may have even been in contact with the original clone brain consciousness to reinforce the Rokoa personality to reduce wear and tear.

Beware, whatever changes that you make here may effect Rokoa's own personality should she take over your body. If you make her own memories more violent or traumatic, you may transform into something WORSE than Rokoa, and memories that are sweeter, kinder, and cool may make a better Rokoa.

Should this be the case, changing memories into yours will minimize permanent changes to whoever ends up dominating. So I also vote for changing it into a kill in similar context but reflects your personality as well. I think this battle of the minds will scar you forever.
>>
No. 516736 ID: 735f4f

Some scaring will be inevitable. But unlike the clones Polo's hive and family are still alive. With them and three stripes help she should be able to fix much of the damage later. But we need to make sure she wins now so she has a later.
>>
No. 516737 ID: 19b3c3

If we permanently scar ourself by doing this, we can always go to cuddle therapy. Or ask Three Stripes to scrape our brain. Or seek forgiveness or absolution or penance for what we've done from the real Rokoa. But those concerns are for later. The concern now is survival. We cannot afford to pull our punches. Rokoa certainly won't.

>worrying about what our changes may result in Rokoa being if she wins
Technically, she has backups. If victorious, she could restore anything we damaged with a fresh dart.

And really, we don't care who or what Rokoa will be if she wins. Because Polo will be dead, and our allies will (hopefully) execute her usurped body.
>>
No. 516738 ID: 5869f6

>>516718
Damn, son.
LET'S DO IT
>>
No. 516742 ID: 57a559

>>516737
I care, because our allies might not be able to.
I never said to pull a punch, Polo. Just saying, make sure your punches have the color of knuckles on them. Don't want spiked if we want bronze, don't want bronze if we want silver, don't want silver if we want gold (for whatever godawful reason we would want impractical knuckles), don't want gold if we can get diamond, lazer, or plasma knuckles.
>>
No. 516743 ID: beeca1

>>516742
...That doesn't even make any sense.

Go home, dirtbag. You are drunk.
>>
No. 516845 ID: 93ed4d

Turn it into an uneventful, somewhat awkward fishing trip. Replace the pride from killing a hive enemy with the pride of providing for the hive.
>>
No. 516846 ID: 735f4f

Wow that's a simple yet awesome idea. Wonder how well it would work.
>>
No. 516869 ID: 5869f6

>>516845
Simple,might possibly work.
...
Let's do it!
>>
No. 516889 ID: bc8d67

>>516845
I like this idea. It'll allow Polo to insert some of her memories of her hive's pre-Contact fishing knowledge as well. But it could also include the hostile neumono, but with a nonviolent outcome.

Change up the memory so instead of it being her first kill, it's her first big haul of fish, using a new technique of netting and baiting instead of pole fishing she came up with. Increase the number of fish in the river slightly, but the number of fish caught greatly; Definitely enough to feed her hive.

Then the hostile starving neumono comes along. Rokoa still has her axe, is still hostile to him, and is pretty sure she could take him, but knows that she has enough to feed the hive right here and couldn't haul the fish and his body back together if she won, and any left behind would be eaten by the scavengers before she returned. So she'll take a fish in her hand, her axe in her other, and make it clear that the other neumono can either take the fish and leave, or fight her and lose. He'll stop in the shallows on his side and grudgingly accept. She'll throw the fish to him, he'll leave back into the forest while devouring it, and she'll haul her catch back to the hive.

So this memory becomes not just about providing for her hive, but also of making a calculated decision to not blindly fight.
>>
No. 516897 ID: d38f67
File 137125707252.png - (21.08KB , 700x700 , 381.png )
516897

> She has a split ancestry, remember.
Yes. This is early in her life, but after that event settled. This opponent is not of the other snow hive she was in.

>What do you mean you almost thought differently?
I thought someone else may have been around. I am uncertain why, but it is something at the back of my mind.

>Replace his face with the face of your first kill
That would change his face into a predator. Too absurd. The first neumono I killed was arguably Kara, or the red queen. Neither will have a good impact. Instead, I will simply turn this tribal's looks into that of her first child.

There are a lot of options. Beating Rokoa up instead, or throwing the fight so that her victory is hollow. I am tempted to beat her up, but then have him collapse from starvation, making it a completely anticlimactic battle for Rokoa's first.

But, while I do not intend on pulling punches against her, and am willing to do awful things to break her further for my own survival, I will try a different approach. Unfortunately, Rokoa's conscious is here, and she is attempting to keep the memory the same. She clings on with great focus to what actually happened, and has absolutely every intention of fighting this person.

I persist. The tribal man takes a change of heart. A fish comes by, so he snatches it out of the water and tosses it to Rokoa while she crosses the water to him. He broadcasts that he intends that fish to be an offering of goodwill. There will be more fish.
>>
No. 516898 ID: d38f67
File 137125708527.png - (19.76KB , 700x700 , 382.png )
516898

She takes it as an insult. The fish is tossed the fish back at the bank, with Rokoa's empathy that whoever kills the other wins both the corpse and the fish. The fact that he looks similar to her first child is something she is able to completely write off.

But, I can tell that what I did was not without an effect. Rokoa would not normally want to fight after that fish toss, but she is doing so to preserve the memory. It causes a conflict that she can't avoid, and has to either let her memory be changed significantly, or fight a man who just selflessly fed her.

The latter option is chosen. She is going to try to force a fight.
>>
No. 516900 ID: f2c20c

>>516898
Hang on. I think... she suppressed something in her memory. She wasn't alone. She fought alongside someone else, and that someone died during the fight, but she didn't let anyone know. Focus on that, bring her secret to light.

Make her remember the truth, so that you don't just change a false memory.
>>
No. 516905 ID: 57a559

Make him bow on the ground profusely. No words, no language. Like the prostration gesture.
>>
No. 516907 ID: 735f4f

Yeah if something is bothering you then it must be important. Could be something she repressed about this memory. Maybe someone from her hive saved her after the fight or something else embarrassing.

While we are looking for that we should avoid letting her have a honorable fight at all costs. Make the other neumono throw more fish at her and look pathetic. Maybe trip her so he can grab some fish and escape. So if she forces a fight the memory will be of her murdering a non hostile who was to weak to fight back.

The fact that we got Rokoa here is good. If she is fighting us here then she cant be messing with our memories elsewhere.
>>
No. 516908 ID: 19b3c3

Huh. Rokoa showed up to defend the memory. That's good, in a way. If she's using her concentration playing defense to resist your changes, she's not making changes to your memory (or at lest has less concentration to devote to it).

>I thought someone else may have been around.
Several possibilities. It could be another dreamer on the edge of joining in (I kind of think your current situation makes it more likely. Rokoa's already opened the door, as it were. That, and a body with two minds running around might be a bigger empathic 'target' to attract others). It might be an echo or remnant of Rokoa's previous three victims (you would think that they'd have made an effort to fight back, and this memory stands out as both vulnerable and significant). Or it might reflect a previous change to this memory (there was someone else here that a previous memory battle erased). Or there might be someone else here in the memory that Rokoa is actively working to conceal from you.

>What do
Let the fight happen. Make the victory hollow for her. Instead of a glorious first kill, make it a source of shame. She murdered a man who did not want to fight her- consumed someone who offered her aid. Let the praise she receives from her hive feel hollow and empty.

This should slightly weaken her resolve, and reflect directly on our current situation (she's choosing to cowardly consume someone who has been her ally in the past, refusing to consider other options).
>>
No. 516920 ID: d38f67
File 137125985197.png - (17.13KB , 700x700 , 383.png )
516920

>There's someone else
It's at the back of my head, and has been for awhile. I try to focus on that.

But I can't imagine how well she falsified this memory to have someone else originally, unless perhaps, in her earlier mind fights, this memory already got messed up.

I have the man grab another fish and throw it at Rokoa, desperately not wanting to fight. That just gets the memory of Rokoa to get angry at how pathetic he is.

Oh. I realize who that other person is. It's Katzati. I can sense Katzati.
>>
No. 516921 ID: d38f67
File 137125985893.png - (15.50KB , 700x700 , 384.png )
516921

In the meantime, the man gets axed. I am sorry to report to myself that it turns out that pain feels convincing. A bit off, and I am sure not quite as bad as the real thing, but not as far away as I would like. I have a feeling that leaving his point of view will return him to his original self, however, so I let Rokoa axe me so that I can keep the pathetic facade up. I do not like it, but if I am willing to do horrid things for survival, I should expect to have to take some horrid things as well.

Katzati's conscience comes into the dream about now, soon after I realized she was around at all. I am not sure why it was so easy for her, but she came in just in time to be horrified.

Rokoa feels a little bad for me, but is not apologetic.
>>
No. 516923 ID: 735f4f

Let her know what is going on while you play this out. Not sure if we can affect much else here but maybe try to have Rokoa trip while she carries the corpse home and it gets washed away downstream. Or see if we can have her hive be disappointed in her when she comes back.

After we have done all we can in this memory might be a good idea to step back and survey the results and talk to Katzati. Maybe work on setting up some defenses before we go on to the next memory.
>>
No. 516924 ID: f2c20c

>>516921
Try to tell her to burst in on the scene as the distraught mother of the guy who just died.
>>
No. 516925 ID: 19b3c3

>dreamer, Katzati
...I'm just going to take a minute to gloat about having guessed who was going to end up in our dream. :V

> I am not sure why it was so easy for her
I'd guess because she's cuddling your beaten and broken body in the real world. No offense, but with your stature and the state you were in, I think it would it would inspire a certain degree of sympathy.

That, and your mind is already pried open, as it were.

>What do.
As soon as you're done getting killed in this memory, shift locations, and try to talk to Katzati.

You need to tell her what is happening as quickly as possible, in case the horror or the realization she's in a lucid dream wakes her. Or in case Rokoa tries to attack and force her out.

Tell her you have been compromised by a dart. That you are fighting for control of her own mind. Tell her that in the event you lose, they will need to kill you. Use memory walking to show her where Biles and Moi are hiding, and what you scouted at the two entrances.
>>
No. 516926 ID: 735f4f

Oh god that mother idea is like icing on a giant cake.
>>
No. 516937 ID: ac82ac

get katz out of here before mind-rokoa turns to go for her, us(polo) dealing with this should be viable but for katz to help we need time to explain whats happening so she can at least get out if things go downhill
>>
No. 516938 ID: 231446

>>516926
A giant coffee cake, wouldn't you agree?
>>
No. 516939 ID: 19b3c3

>>516924
Creative, but I don't think we can do anything like that before pulling her aside and explaining the situation.
>>
No. 516941 ID: f2c20c

>>516939
Why not? Just call out to her as if she were your mother. She'll get the idea.

Like "Mom, help!"
>>
No. 516943 ID: 19b3c3

>>516941
Mostly because she has no idea what is going on, and if it gets / if we make it too fucked up for her before she understands (hey, play along with my murder dream, why don't ya!) she may leave before we get to explain important things.

And I think passing on information to her is slightly more important than messing this memory up slightly more.

...also, I'm not sure if Rokoa knows she's there yet or not (Polo had a hard time recognizing her, and she knows her. Rokoa may not have noticed her yet, or think she's another dream presence we introduced, not a real person). And if possible, I'd like to speak with her before exposing her directly to Rokoa.
>>
No. 516946 ID: d38f67
File 137126670019.png - (30.00KB , 700x700 , 385.png )
516946

I have already alerted my allies to the fact I was compromised, but it is worth reiterating once I get the chance.

>Try to tell Katzati to burst in on the scene as the distraught mother of the guy who just died.
No need, she already does well before I have any chance to ponder how terrible of an idea it is to introduce Katzati to Rokoa. It is less of being the mother of the tribal bursting in to his rescue, but more Katzati herself bursting on the scene to rescue me. The idea still comes off the same.

She is understandably terrified of Rokoa, but she still gets in axe-swinging proximity to drag me away. Now I am in great pain and not about to die, but I can't fault Katzati for that.

>"Who's that?" Rokoa asks. She isn't outright hostile, but she is weighing her options of whether or not to attack Katzati right now. I do not like the way that she is gradually coming to the conclusion that it was a good thing Katzati showed up.

"Can you not wake up?!" Katzati asks me.
>>
No. 516947 ID: 76b151

>>516946
Give Katzaki Rokoa's face. Then switch to a neutral memory.
>>
No. 516950 ID: 19b3c3

Do not switch to another memory until Rokoa's victim dies. You cannot let her reassert the original memory.

As soon as he dies, pull Katzati somewhere safe. A recent memory, where Rokoa can't reach you yet. Someplace we can talk in peace for a few minutes.

>"Can you not wake up?!"
...I can't afford to. I'm fighting her for control of my mind. If I wake up, I won't be concentrating on the memory battle, but she will.

>"Who's that?"
Don't answer. She doesn't need to know. And this is a battle of memory- information is valuable. Don't give her something for free.

>she is gradually coming to the conclusion that it was a good thing Katzati showed up.
...can you tell why? Does she believe this gives her access to another mind? Or that Katzati punching in means your mind is more vulnerable than she thought.
>>
No. 516951 ID: f2c20c

>>516946
Tell her you might be able to now, but it might also be important to keep your memories uneaten. Tell her some important information to relay to the others- specifically, the Biles method of removing the bugs, and what we learned of the escape routes.

Also, fuck. I think Rokoa is going to try to infect Katzati's body. She's already big. That means she will be in fighting shape faster! Also, she probably feels that Katzati is an easier victim. Tell her to get out, and stop doing whatever she's doing that let her connect to you. It's dangerous!
>>
No. 516958 ID: 57a559

>>516946
Tell her to play along.
"Mother! I am dying! Whoa is me! Whooooa is me! I had taken on a beast too strong and my sacrfice of surrender to pitiful. Do not avenge me mother for I deserve it for my foolishness! I beg thee forgive the snowbeast!"
>>
No. 516962 ID: bc8d67

Katzati showing up right now likely put your work on this memory at risk. You've got to get her out of here, without saying or feeling anything that'd break the alterations. If you're to speak to Katz, it'll have to be later, in your own later memories.

Stay in character as the dying neumono. As strongly, urgently and desperately as you can broadcast to Katzati to not do anything but drop you and run to save herself, and put a load of fear behind it. Don't say anything in your common language, since nobody on this world would know that at the time of this memory.

>>516947
Don't do this. Who's Rokoa in this memory is already set, and trying to change it will only work to break its solidity and revert the changes. And shifting before the memory is over will also cause it to revert back.

>>516951
Unless Katz has been injected with neural matter just taken from Polo, she's not in any danger of infection by Rokoa.

>>516958
No, because now is definitely not the time and place for hammy dialog.
>>
No. 516963 ID: 19b3c3

>>516958
Rokoa has already figured out she's external. I'm not sure silly playacting will do anything else. The memory has already shifted to Rokoa attacking dishonorably and watching her opponent die in the arms of someone who cared. (Just like Polo's memory of the coffee cake scene shifted to her mother being scary, but without the historically OOC Polo and Rokoa dialog).

All we have to do is stick around until he dies so the changes stick.

(What Katzati probably doesn't realize is Polo getting her ass kicked her works to her advantage. From an outside perspective, it looks like she's loosing, not winning a painful partial victory. We may have to clarify that when we pull her away).
>>
No. 516966 ID: beeca1

>>516958
Vomitable. That's nowhere near what Polo would ever be willing to do, it'd just piss Rokoa off, and I don't think it'd clarify anything for Katzati.



And your spelling is an atrocity unto itself.
>>
No. 516967 ID: f2c20c

I was going for a parallel between Rokoa letting her first child go off and hunt alone and get killed, and this one.

So, optimally we would have the dying guy tell his mother "I shouldn't have hunted alone. I am still too weak." or something like that.
>>
No. 517002 ID: 735f4f

As it is right now we will not die if Rokoa does not finish us off. If we change the memory so much it becomes completely alien it might not stick. Unfortunately the interruption gave Rokoa the time to think and realize that she was playing into our hands.

Is there any way to communicate what we are doing to Katzati without Rokoa hearing? If we could get her into the act we might be able to salvage it. Have her cry alot and drag us off to safety. Maybe a quick whisper to play along. If Rokoa decides to attack her then she could escape and let things run there course.

If not might need to just limp off into the jungle and then try to change the last bit of the memory to her hive praising her for showing mercy or something.
>>
No. 517006 ID: 19b3c3

>pull Katzati somewhere safe. A recent memory, where Rokoa can't reach you yet.
If she tries to follow, block her the way she blocked you. Throw your own memories of pain and suffering in her way. Being eaten alive by the voklit, burning alive on the warship, immobilized in pain first time you tried on her bioarmor, the all consuming grief and horror and anger when you discovered that your entire hive was dead (the news was false, but your reaction was real).
>>
No. 517008 ID: 735f4f

I don't think there is any pain Polo has gone through that would stand up to the tortures the Salikai inflicted on this clone.
>>
No. 517009 ID: 19b3c3

>>517008
I'm assuming perspective subjectivity matters. And we don't need to overwhelm her with pain- just to use it as a further advantage to wall off an already hard for Rokoa to influence / access recent memory.
>>
No. 517099 ID: d38f67
File 137132901170.png - (20.34KB , 700x700 , 386.png )
517099

>I think Rokoa is going to try to infect Katzati's body.
Implausible, as she should need a physical connection as well, one she has with me. As it is, Katzati should be nothing more than an audience participator.

"I can't afford to. She is trying to take control of me. I'll explain later, don't wake me up, and right now, play along with this scenario." I whisper to Katzati, which is good enough for Rokoa to not hear me. I speak louder, next. "I shouldn't have hunted alone. I'm still too weak." Katzati is still confused, of course, but Rokoa is approaching us.

"Run, run!" I shout, giving an appropriate level of fear in the tribal's empathy that Katzati can read.

Katzati tries to run, with far more hesitancy than she should have, while holding me in front. She is using herself as a shield in case Rokoa catches up. "Just get out of here, alone! She's goi-"
>>
No. 517100 ID: d38f67
File 137132902336.png - (22.20KB , 700x700 , 387.png )
517100

Rokoa lunges for us. She is faster than Katzati, and likely is faster than Katzati even without carrying me. The axe comes down. Katzati has somewhat of an idea of what is going on, now. At least, enough to get the impression that it might be better to stick around and play the memory out, even if she isn't sure. I am not sure either, but that is what she does. In terms of the how the history is remembered, the mother covers covers her son, who looks like Rokoa's son, as Rokoa keeps swinging the axe to kill her, then him, to feed her hive. As far as our real battle goes, Rokoa attempts to salvage the memory as close as she can. I expect that this level of fucked is what I am going to have to deal with on a constant basis. I might almost be glad to defend my own memories, if attacking Rokoa's is going to be like this.

>If she tries to follow, block her the way she blocked you. Throw your own memories of pain and suffering in her way.
Rokoa did not intentionally block me like that. It is simply that the information on the Salikai's base she has is so closely tied in with her treatment, that I cannot remember the important details without remembering the torment. They are a package deal by close association, but I will deal with that when it becomes relevant.

Even if I could throw in my own suffering at Rokoa, it would not stun her. What has been painful to me has been a mild discomfort to her, even if it might be new to her.
>>
No. 517101 ID: d38f67
File 137132910151.png - (26.21KB , 700x700 , 388.png )
517101

I now see where the memory was going. Now, she brings back the two corpses to provide for her hive. That earns her respect, as she knows her past hive far better than me. I cannot change their response to Rokoa so easily. Rokoa does not get as much respect though, as originally she proved that she could provide and fight. Now, all she has proved is that she can get lucky and find two neumono who assume the fetal position in front of her weapon. One of which was extremely well fed. It is not as much as I might have hoped for, but the memory has still been undermined, so I would not call it a failure by any stretch.

The hive, I now realize, didn't have a sense of honor. They fought to survive. That's it. That is what old Rokoa does. The Rokoa I know has some sense of twisted... I am reluctant to call it honor, but a twisted something. Whatever it is, she gained it later on, but at the time, Rokoa fit in... decently. Not perfectly, but decently.

The memory feels like it shifted permanently. There's a tingle, like a physical change in our brains to reflect it. That we 'changed' anything seems like a foreign concept that is becoming quickly hard to grasp. From our perspective, what just happened is what really happened. Old Rokoa killed two neumono that did no harm. New Rokoa does not like that one bit. It does create a sense of regret in her that she would do such a thing, but New Rokoa doesn't fit in with her hive nearly as well anyway.

Originally, Rokoa kept her streak of glorious combat going by hunting that tribal hive at a later time. Now, that memory is dissipating, and the rest of her life is turning to match it... she is going to do the same neumono hunting trip later, but now it's to prove that not just can she get food, but she can fight warrior neumono, not neumono that let themselves get killed.
>>
No. 517102 ID: d38f67
File 137132911955.png - (20.33KB , 700x700 , 389.png )
517102

I only get a moment. Rokoa is pondering which memory to attack. I can choose either the previous two, the new one in which she specifically hunts her enemy's hive, or defend my own.

For now, Katzati sticks by me and we simply share a dream the natural way. She could have woken up at any time, and the fact that she stuck around for my sake bewilders me. For someone who is in a constant state of looking like she's about to break down, she certainly does not hold many hesitations about going through rough patches. She's breathing hard, and clutching the back of her neck where she was first struck. Phantom pains, I assume. I explain the situation to her, or at least as much as she needs to know, plus what I know for Biles' bug removal technique, his location, and so on. It's a hasty explanation, but dream sharing helps with direct communication.

"And if I'm to lose to Rokoa, kill me before she gets the chance."
>"I... understand." She understands, but she clearly does not think she could do it.
"Tell Rokann and Viln to do the same."
>"Okay." That I can trust her to do, and killing me is something I believe I could trust Rokann and Viln to do. "So, um, you have to go through that? All the time?"
"Maybe. That was the first memory I ran through of hers. Given her past, I expect it might continue."
>"You... worked with her?"
"Sort of. I worked with the real Rokoa. This clone is almost the same. Almost. But where she is different is critical, and I could barely work with her as is. I do not believe I can work with this one."
"I'm still here, you know." Rokoa says.
"Ignore her."
>>
No. 517106 ID: f2c20c

Keep on the attack. As long as she's on the defensive, and you keep managing to change her memories, you're going to survive. What we really want to do is make a memory so objectionable to her that she erases it. Keep doing that, and she'll erase herself. That's probably how she won before.

Continue forward in time, with her fighting the other hive.
>>
No. 517108 ID: 5869f6

A small victory, but a victory nonetheless.
We have gained ground, but we can't let this turn into a godforsaken stalemate.
>>
No. 517110 ID: 5869f6

Keep onto the offense. Don't give her time to recuperate.
Once more unto the breach!
>>517106
Onwards to the fight with the other hive.
>>
No. 517112 ID: 735f4f

As important it is to defend your own memories we cant do that easily if she is not attacking one. We have some momentum now and are getting a better idea of how this works. I would say keep on the offensive for now if you can.

Might be best to go to the next mememory in the chain. When she goes to prove herself in combat we need to try our best to ruin that memory as well. We might even want to see if we can keep her children alive in later memories. Maybe we can make it so she is less a proven warrior and more a motherly caring type who was never hardened by loss.

But before you go to the next memory make sure you can stay asleep fine all the way through it. And decide if you want Katzati around for it. While she seemed weak at first the girl is willing to go through a lot to save you.
>>
No. 517113 ID: 19b3c3

>we simply share a dream the natural way
Even in your dreams, you're still trapped in caves!

>you have to go through that? All the time?
...I'm sorry. This is a terrible thing I'm doing to survive. I would not wish it on anyone, even her. Though I have little choice. I'm sorry to have subjected you to it. Thank you for staying, as long as you did.

I am not sure if you will be able to help, or not, if you stay. (Maybe we could use her as a second set of eyes? Scouting out other memories, learning, while we fight Rokoa in the memories we're trying to change? Could give us a strategic edge, without dumping Katz into as much horror).

>I might almost be glad to defend my own memories, if attacking Rokoa's is going to be like this.
Seems kind of like a losing prospect. As Rokoa just proved, you can lessen the damage to memories, but you can't prevent the other person from changing them all together. I mean, sure, defending yourself is less sickening than trying to ruin someone else's past. But if we fight in your memory, it's your past that is going to take the damage. And that will be plenty disturbing. And I kind of suspect an unwillingness to endure the horror of waking war on another's memories may have undone her previous victims.

...that said though, if and when Rokoa is on the offensive, you can't exactly let her run roughshod over your past.

>Whatever it is, she gained [he honor] later on
If I had to guess? From little we know of her history, I assume it would be when she went to attack the tribals young and confident, and ended up defeated and tortured and their prisoner for months. She was wearing their markings when she came to your duel, remember. It might make sense that that experience was where she picked it up.

>I do not believe I can work with this one.
...there's also the fact that even if I could, she is not willing to consider options that do not involve consuming me.

>defend my own memories
I still think the best way to go about that is to try and deny her access all together. Use your silence and three stripes training to make your vulnerable memories inaccessible, or hard to change.
>>
No. 517116 ID: 735f4f

When Rokoa mentioned the other victories she had had they were all fairly fast. I think whoever gets a lead and keeps it going will have the best chance of winning. Every memory we manage to change the less powerful she will become.

Might even be worth it to have Katzati leave the dream if you are in danger of waking up and have your friends do what they have to in order to keep you asleep.
>>
No. 517118 ID: 19b3c3

Oh, and ask the obvious question.

You entered my dream with... surprising ease.
>>
No. 517122 ID: 5869f6

Momentum WILL be the key to win this fight.
The more damage YOU do, the less damage SHE can do.
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No. 517130 ID: fd7000

Polo needs to go on the offensive to have any chance of winning this but it will be a matter of luck who can hit the most important memories first. The problem with fighting inside your own memory is that every change you make is how the scene always was. Nobody remembers the original version of this memory anymore. Katzati is not fighting to the death inside your head and remembers everything that happened.

We need to have Katzati follow Rokoa into our memory. As an outsider Katzati will remember with crystal clarity what Rokoa has destroyed and simply retelling how the memory originally happened will do a great deal to mitigate the changes that it is possible to make. Any change that is too large will ring false against the testimony of our friend.
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No. 517131 ID: 19b3c3

...the only reason I could think of not to keep pressing the advantage is if there's a mental stamina at play. Like, it's less taxing to defend than attack. (I mane, you had endure being murdered to change that memory- Rokoa just had to axe you up).

In that case, we might need to spend a portion of our time defending just to prevent us from burning out.
>>
No. 517177 ID: c23ab0

Rokoa fetishizes being defeated. That's why she acts so reckless and pushes herself so relentlessly. She's lived all her life with nothing less than absolute success demanded of her, so the only thing that thrills her anymore is the sting of an opponent's lash. The more difficult it is to defeat her, the greater an enemy who takes her down, the better she feels, but she still wants to be defeated. If you can exploit this I suspect she will be putty in your mental hands.

Find a memory where she succeeded at something, a fight maybe, and alter it so that that something instead trounces her thoroughly. Make it so the better man wins. I doubt she'll be able to put up with much resistence before such a suppressed desire, so you might have an easier time doing that than trying to make her falsely remember not feeding her kids or not suffering harsh environments.
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No. 517187 ID: bc8d67

Reach up and offer a hug to Katzati, since she feels like she needs one, and thank her for sticking around when she could have woken up. It means much that she suffered through that grisly memory with you. Though you don't know why she can share a lucid dream with you, nonetheless you're glad she's here.

Now, whisper to Katzati, so Rokoa might not hear, and say you need her to stay in here; That her help is likely the difference between keeping your memories and mind nearly intact or coming out of this a mental wreck. In addition to backing you up in defending your memories or changing Rokoa's, since her memory can't be altered, she can remember any changes made to your memories, and recount them later so you can fix them.

It'd be a good time to find out if Katzati is stuck to wherever your consciousness goes in here, or if she can leave to other memories, or perhaps stay with other memories you lead her to. It'd be great if she could glue herself to the Rokoa consciousness so she can remember all the changes it makes. Even stationing herself in link in the chain of your memory would be good. Also, finding out soon if wrapping your silence around a memory would stop or impede Rokoa's effects would be a good idea.

Ask Katzati if she can shift her appearance to anything else, such as a younger version of herself or someone she knew well. It'll be helpful if she can choose a form that fits better than her modern appearance in these memories.

Next target should be the next link in the chain of Rokoa's memory: The hunting of the enemy hive. Dunno how to handle this, since it's unclear whether she's hunting individuals or small groups that are away from the hive's village, or if she's going in as part of a raiding party from her hive on the enemy hive's village.

Just remember: If Rokoa chooses to abandon this memory and instead attack yours, immediately abort and defend your own so Katz'll be there to see what changes Rokoa makes, and so you might be able to test wrapping silence around that memory.
>>
No. 517190 ID: 19b3c3

>>517187
One caveat. I don't think we can bring Katz to a memory and try to protect said memory with silence at the same time. If selectively silencing specific memories works, it would force Katz out as well as Rokoa! Might even knock her out of our head altogether, and who knows if or when she'd dream-sync again.
>>
No. 517196 ID: bc8d67

>>517190
Yes, good point. Definitely don't throw silence around a memory Katz is in. In this case try silencing the memory first to see if that even impedes Rokoa's progress, then decide from there to enter it or not.
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No. 517204 ID: d38f67
File 137136366232.png - (19.16KB , 700x700 , 390.png )
517204

"I am wondering how you entered my dream with such ease, Katzati."
>"I usually dreamwalk with my hive a lot. All the time. I'm surprised too, in this case, since you're not in my hive, but it sometimes happens... uh..."
"I may be pried open...... Katzati. You are willing to help, right?"
>"Of course."
"I will not ask it of you, and will not hold any ill will if you back out at any time, but Rokoa is going to attack my memory. I am going to attack hers. I am not going to defend my memory as well when my attention is split, but you should be able to help defend my memories. I would say that my memories are much... calmer, but Rokoa will attempt to change that. I will spare the concentration to tell you how things should go, and if you choose to do so, please attempt to keep Rokoa from changing it as much as you can."
>"Okay. Of course I'm going to do that. I mean, even if it wasn't the right thing to do, you're important to us and our survival."
"Alright. Then please shift your form appropriately. You should be able to. Please remember all changes that Rokoa makes."

She is going to see the timeline of my past, so it would be silly to hold reservations against a hug. I will admit that I do not hate either of Katzati's hugs, since in a sense, she is doing it twice to me right now. Rokoa has that damnable excitement for a challenge, and equally damnable confidence she'll win regardless. It might get to Katzati, but she's proven to act despite that. As for my silence, trying to wrap my memory, in the case of the coffee cake, I believe helps. Not impervious, but does make it a bit more difficult for Rokoa to influence it. With Katzati defending my memory, however, putting silence on would likely kick her out. Meanwhile, I don't believe I can put silence on my memory and on myself at the same time inside of Rokoa's memory, which may be handy should I attempt to beat Rokoa in combat directly this time.
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No. 517205 ID: d38f67
File 137136367348.png - (33.67KB , 700x700 , 391.png )
517205

>Go to the next memory in line
Rokoa is going alone to fight the other hive, about two weeks after the previous memory. She knows where their territory is, and she expects that she will fight anywhere between one neumono, to a hunting group of about three. It is not a large hive, and there is only so much wildlife, so it is unlikely to find more at once short of going to their home.

Rokoa will find two neumono hunting a snowbeast. She challenges each one to one on one combat. They come at her one at a time, not because of some honor, but simply pride, thinking that they don't need to gang up on her. Rokoa does not kill them, but she does knock them unconscious and take their ears as trophies, which, Rokoa's hive takes as a sign of great offense, as to say they are not worth killing.

Things are more malleable without Rokoa, although my senses tell me that taking direct control of Rokoa will greatly increase how falsified the memory will be, so I should avoid doing so if possible. But, it is possible. I start off during the morning. Rokoa is eating and taking a great deal of food, as is customary for someone about to do something of significance. If I come up with any idea for some reason, I can have there be something of significance happen that morning, otherwise skip ahead and act when Rokoa confronts the two enemies.
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No. 517206 ID: d38f67
File 137136369268.png - (14.41KB , 700x700 , 392.png )
517206

On the other front, Rokoa has realized just how uneventful my childhood was in comparison. I explain to Katzati what I believe is going on.

"The aliens set up schools that were not directly part of an ultrahive, but would teach neumono about alien customs, and teach them to get along with other hives. I am with 2 others of my hives, and we know no one else. I have barely even been in empathic range of another hive, so seeing a building full of crossing hives was intimidating. We get bullied into giving our belongings away about an hour in, books and all. Most of our things were retrieved and given back in the following hour by the staff."

Katzati understood how rough some of these elementary schools could be. Serious injury was extremely rare, but there was immense amounts of bullying. Each hive had 3 to 5 children participating, and bullying was on a hive to hive basis, not individuals, as the children from a single hive would never go far from each other. Staff couldn't stop all of it, they merely made it clear that if a hive inflicted any significant injuries, they would be found out and be punished greatly, along with their hive being ostracized. They had to show us just how much surveillance they had, since many of us had never seen a recording before, even if it was a few decades from contact.

My college experience was far better, but this was a rather unpleasant year for me. Not traumatizing, but ironically, it taught me the significance of sticking to your hive just as much as it taught me that not all hives were horrible people.
>>
No. 517216 ID: f2c20c

>>517205
Have her take a bit more food than she should. A minor change, but important for when we make her fail the hunt by double-teaming her. Then she will come back with no success AND have taken too much food, to her hive's detriment.

>>517206
Hmm. Rokoa probably can't make you act out of character and seriously injure someone so that you'd get in major trouble, because that would falsify the memory... She'll probably take control of someone you grew to trust and betray you instead, making you feel less trusting of other hives.

Asking Katzati to make Rokoa overeat might be insulting so let's not do that, and do it yourself. Have Katzati take the place of someone outside your hive in your memory, so that she can act especially kind to you and thus Rokoa will have no chance of ruining your trust in other hives.
>>
No. 517227 ID: cf49fc

>>517216
Hilarious. Amplifying Rokoa's pride to cause a greater fall. Render Rokoa's entire life one hollow victory and prideful calamity after another!

And I expect Rokoa will make the Staff unsympathetic, attempting to generate Conflict and Resentment. Thus the Staff must be preserved, to make sure that history follows its' intended course.
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No. 517240 ID: 735f4f

Ok for defending our memory Rokoa probably does not have a unsubtle bone in her body so guessing she will try to turn the bullying into something far worse or Make one of the staff do something horrible. But watch for other stuff just in case. If she tries to be tricky she might take over one of your hive mates and betray you somehow.

As for attacking her memory start by taking more food than needed. Will make sure that after she limps home in shame she also hurt her tribe by losing food. As for the fight itself we should have the two Neumono fight together as a team using better tactics. Then beat her half to death take her food and her ears. She goes home beaten and wastes valuable resources.
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No. 517241 ID: 9ddf68

>>517205
Can we skip ahead to right before she fought the two hunters and have her encounter a wild beast that injures her but she prides herself to keep going so when she does face the hunters she's a bit handicapped. Once the actual fight starts we can morph it form there.

>>517206
ok all the ways I can see Rokoa trying to ruin this memory is by
- having you hivemates ditch you when you need them
- have your hivemates join in with the bullies so they get teased less themselves
- have the other hive children that where nice to you be complete pricks
- have it that your havemates get into a fight with another hive that normally you would have been friendly with (to stop you from learning to trust other hives)
- have it that one of your havemates seriously hurts another hive so you get punished for it
- Having the staff not help you out
- by having you or one of your hivemates get seriously hurt in an attempt to scare you

in the case of the staff being dicks have Katzati become a staff member that IS helpful to us
in the even of another hive is picking on you have Katzati be a 3rd hive that tries and helps you
and in the even that Rokoa tries to use one of your own hivemates against you have Katzati take control of the other one to try and counter/stop whatever Rokoa is trying to do.
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No. 517267 ID: 19b3c3

>taking direct control of Rokoa will greatly increase how falsified the memory will be, so I should avoid doing so if possible.
...wait, what? Don't we want to falsify the memory as much as possible? Or are you saying if we go too far off the rails that the damaged memory won't have influence on her? Or if we go too far it will be more likely to get Rokoa to respond and defend?

>Katz help
Good. Although we don't know how long we'll have her- she'll wake (or be woken) eventually, and time passes oddly in dreams.

>What Rokoa may do
I can see several logical approaches to mess with this memory. If this experience both helped to make your ties with your own hive stronger, and to teach you that some neumono from other hives can be good, it seems logical she would want to break of lessen those lessons.

Especially the later. You're currently relying on outside help in your own mind. It would be to Rokoa's advantage if she could make you lest trusting of outsiders and more xenophobic.

I expect she's going to get you bullied harder. Or prevent the staff from stepping in the way they should have. Or make you into a bully.

Not sure how Katz could counter that, except by stepping into your role (if available) and helping you roll with it, or by stepping into the role of one of your hivemates or teachers or the other students to offer the necessary support (so even if overall worse things happened to you, it has the same effect).

>what do
An obvious course of action to me would seem to be making the hunt go badly. Don't let her return with anything.
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No. 517273 ID: 735f4f

The one important thing to remember when altering this memory of her fight is we can try all the clever stuff we want but it all comes down to being able to beat her in hand to hand combat for the best result.

She will be challenging them to one on one combat and even with a big fake memory body and Polo's new training its not a sure thing. This young Rokoa would normally have less fighting skills but I am sure the second we try to ruin this fight she will abandon our memories to fight in person.
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No. 517275 ID: d38f67
File 137140281333.png - (193.81KB , 700x700 , 393.png )
517275

>Don't we want to falsify the memory as much as possible [by taking control of Rokoa]?
A bad choice of a word. I meant falsifying the memory so blatantly it becomes obviously falsified, and Rokoa can easily reject the changes. Much like if I attempted to have Rokoa die. Obviously, she would not have died.

So, I am reluctant to have Rokoa take more food directly, but I do have her hive trust her enough to give her a good helping of food, more than she normally would take. After she puts on her markings, which Rokoa did not know at the time, but they are markings resembling that of the pattern on a predator. I get the impression that that is the markings to broadcast the fact that they are hunting other neumono specifically.

She heads out, and takes a good portion of the day to find those couple of people. Meanwhile, Rokoa is not touching me or my hivemates, but is getting some of the friendlier hives to bully me as well, and have the staff turn a blind eye, even when the bullying gets to more than just a shove. Bloody noses are handed out throughout the day, but given Katzati just went through an axing, she handles it well for the few times Rokoa targets her. Katzati is make sure to cancel out Rokoa's actions by having others be friends with me, or make sure the staff does something at times. The few friends I had in that school are going to be remembered as enemies, while others I barely knew will be friends. I am going to remember lies, and I hope Katzati has a good memory to tell me every detail that changed. Either way, I am going to owe her more than a lot of hugs.

But Rokoa has found the couple of enemy tribes people, and is challenging them to one on one combat, dropping the weapons entirely and fighting each other barehanded. I am leaning on overriding the tribes' pride and ganging up on Rokoa, weapons and all, but this will be the time to have second thoughts if I have any.
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No. 517279 ID: 19b3c3

>am going to remember lies, and I hope Katzati has a good memory to tell me every detail that changed. Either way, I am going to owe her more than a lot of hugs.
Yeah. You're going to owe Katz big time. Damn glad she came along on this trip.

...I do hope though if you win this, that your memory will eventually recover. Things are being overwritten, but if you win out, maybe your mind will dig the truth out from underneath. Computers can do it, why can't a mind? Especially one built to be regenerative.

I don't suppose you kept journals or logs as a child? Those might help you reconstruct memories, later, if we survive this mission. ...although that kind of thing might not exactly have been a high priority to grab when your hive was evacuating. Unless they were electronic and Sealock had time to grab the main hard drives.

>I am leaning on overriding the tribes' pride and ganging up on Rokoa, weapons and all
Sounds good. Give them a reason. They know she attacked and killed two of their own (You and Katz) instead of giving them a fair shot. So now pride be damned, they're not giving her a fair fight.

A loss undermines her confidence and competence as a warrior. And their reason rubs in the fact that there are consequences to her violence. Painful ones.
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No. 517280 ID: 591152

>>517275
obviously you need to get rokoa to lose as spectacularly as you can without her rejecting the memory.
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No. 517284 ID: 57a559

>>517275
>I meant falsifying the memory so blatantly it becomes obviously falsified, and Rokoa can easily reject the changes.
OH thank god that means she can't find that one time you experimented in college and make you get pregnant at any point with her son...
right?

I suggest getting Rokoa and this other tribe to start the fight off with a dance off. If not, okay a loss here will suffice. IF you can find her first love somewhere in here mind, make the first time they meet her in battle to make this a spicy romance novel/musical about star crossed lovers.
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No. 517291 ID: f29aa1

>>517284
>dance off
>spicy romance novel/musical
Dirtbag, you're drunk.
>>
No. 517295 ID: e3aff6

>Give them a reason. They know she attacked and killed two of their own (You and Katz) instead of giving them a fair shot. So now pride be damned, they're not giving her a fair fight.
Seconding this. The language barrier is still there but empathy can probably convey the anger and accusation of knowing what she did earlier.
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No. 517297 ID: 735f4f

Ok personal hand to hand combat is definitely out of the question. Even with your new training and this being a mental battle its a risk we don't want to take just yet.

We can have them team up with weapons to take her down and that would help. Or we could have them reject her challenge entirely and leave and if she chases after they would have a good reason to attack at the same time.

Also you said they were out hunting a snowbeast. Could we conjure up one of those for the memory? Not sure how big or dangerous they are but if we could get a huge one to show up and attack we could move the memory other directions. Like have it attack Rokoa and the other tribe saves her. Or have it attack in the middle of the battle if need be.

Just noticed that one of the pair she is challenging is female with a bow. If we wanted to go darker we could make her very pregnant. Change the memory to a mated pair out to find food for there about to be laid egg. Would give them a strong reason to not fight solo and if Rokoa hurt her to much then we could add in the shame of killing someones unborn child.
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No. 517309 ID: a00410

If we want a realistic memory that will hurt and undermine her. Make it so she has to be save by her hive mates and have the other neumono escape. That way she fails and is an embarrassing liability after the food she just ate.
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No. 517314 ID: d38f67
File 137141308323.png - (133.81KB , 700x700 , 394.png )
517314

>Maybe your mind will repair its memories
I hope so. The fact that Rokoa's memories seem more or less intact after three fights is evidence in favor of this, so I have some leeway. As long as Rokoa doesn't dig too deep, I should be fine in the long run.

>Did you keep journals or logs as a child?
Not many, but it is not as though everyone from my childhood is dead. They will be able to set things straight after this, if Katzati can't.

>How dangerous is a snowbeast?
From Rokoa's memory, not very dangerous at all.

I will decide to beat Rokoa. The factors indicate I should be able to accomplish this. The two enemies will have no intention to give a fair fight. I figure that the hive must have found signs of Rokoa's previous fight, and by the looks of footprints and blood, their two hivemates did not even fight back. With that in place, they don't care for fair combat, they are going to get some revenge.

Rokoa catches this, and brings her axe as she charges forward. The one with the bow and arrow manages to land an arrow in Rokoa, and it's about then that Rokoa's conscience comes to take over for herself. She's at an advantage for swapping memories since her critical points take mere seconds, while mine are large pictures over the course of lengthy periods.
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No. 517315 ID: d38f67
File 137141309283.png - (104.64KB , 700x700 , 395.png )
517315

I do the same trick as before, and let the tribespeople broadcast their normal empathy while I keep their specific attacks a secret. While a defeat with perfectly normal empathy would be more believable and crushing, I do not want to take chances.

The benefit of silence while fighting other neumono proves itself again. Rokoa is experienced with broadcasting her own actions, and tends to make lunges that are difficult to avoid even if seen coming, opting to trade blows for blows. It works well for her with one on ones, but when she tackles one, the other stabs at her, and both are strong enough to prevent Rokoa from using one as a meatshield against the other. Rokoa is not fighting smart, but she knows it. After a few moments of this, I am coming to the conclusion that Rokoa did not even care about winning, she just wanted to have a casual physical fight with me. Not just that, she doesn't even care about this memory, it would seem.

These weapons are crude, and hardly pierce well, but we end up as bloody messes again. Rokoa prevented herself from losing as spectacularly as I aimed for, but it's still a loss.
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No. 517316 ID: d38f67
File 137141310002.png - (24.26KB , 700x700 , 396.png )
517316

Rokoa's conscience isn't amazed that she lost, and neither am I. She remembers these two being tough anyways. Between her recognition of that, and that she thought herself comparatively weak as a kid, it is not hard.

So I'm left with the arduous task of having one restrain Rokoa and the other proceed to beat her half to death, rip off her ears, and take the food she has. I have to remind myself that this is the best possible course of action I believe I can take for my own survival.

Given that Rokoa must survive this, and the enemy hive would want her dead, it is easy to have one of Rokoa's hivemates stumble into empathic range and rush to Rokoa's aid before she's killed. The enemies will consider their accomplishment to be good enough and run away.
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No. 517317 ID: d38f67
File 137141313378.png - (20.14KB , 700x700 , 397.png )
517317

Memory-Rokoa is unsurprisingly ashamed and enraged at herself, and the hive ashamed and enraged at her, as she is part of their hive, so it is considered a failure of the hive as well. It's a great failure on her part, but it isn't the first time Rokoa has failed at something.

The hive makes Rokoa train and fight more between hunting trips. Perhaps that is why Rokoa did not mind letting her memory fail this time, it was merely replaced with her hive training her more. I am unable to change that, as that is solid, and there are a great deal of gaps between memories I can access in a physical way to change. The same must go for Rokoa to me, as well.

I end up back up with Katzati, as our memories are altered. There is overlap between the new and the old for just a moment, in which I can tell that while the people I was friendly with swapped signifantly, the experience was largely the same. I got punched more often, but there was nothing traumatizing.

>"She's... so violent." Katzati tells me.
"Yes." I do not know how else I would respond to that.

The next memory... I have a feeling some of her memories were shifted out of order to fit her 'new' experiences. She is going to fight a particularly strong member of her own hive next before she is allowed to hunt the enemy again. That neumono is her first lover. I will have to do this one caref-
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No. 517318 ID: d38f67
File 137141314449.png - (15.61KB , 700x700 , 398.png )
517318

Something jabs my foot.

>"Wake up."

Kort. I can't move, I am hot, and feel like I am being crushed for reasons that only take me a moment to remember why. Katzati grunts as she is woken up as well. Kort sounds like he is in a bad mood, but it's hard to tell inside the jammer. Not as bad as mine. Not as bad as Katzati's is about to be, if I am reading her correctly.
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No. 517324 ID: 735f4f

Find out what is going on and let them know whats happening. If a patrol stumbles over us while we sleep we will be dead faster than if Rokoa gets us. Also is there any way to induce sleep other than stomach stabbing? Do not want to injure yourself more but worse case could be a option.
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No. 517330 ID: 19b3c3

...feel momentary relief we aren't having to delve into interfering with Rokoa's first sexual experience, for the moment. As if things weren't fucked up enough without getting literal.

Rough estimate: how much time has passed in the real world? How badly injured are you still? Hard to know if the inner battle means resources diverted away from regeneration, or if Rokoa working on your body at the same time means you'll heal faster.

Importantly, you need to know if you're in any condition to move or fight, if that's what is required. ...although I'm not sure if you can trust yourself with a weapon right now. And if you do need to move, thankfully you are the lightest person here.

>Rokoa came to defend
Damn it, we didn't work quickly enough. You should have been able to make changes while she was busy fighting Katz over your school days.

>Kort
...tell me what is happening, quickly.

>Inner battle, on hold
Try and turn your silence inward. Assume the same mindset as when resisting commands from three stripes. While you and Katz are conscious and unable to play defense, you need to try and block Rokoa from making changes.
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No. 517339 ID: f2c20c

>>517318
What the hell do you want Kort, I'm fighting for my fucking life here.

Ah well, Katz should debrief him on what we told her while we try to get back to sleep, if he doesn't want anything that Katz can't handle.
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No. 517347 ID: 5869f6

Aw, what the fucknuggets Kort.
We better fuckin' be under attack.
Or We'll rip your dick off.
Seriously, this is important.
YES KORT, us sleeping is REALLY FUCKING IMPORTANT.
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No. 517348 ID: 19b3c3

Try not to bite Kort's head off, Polo. He doesn't really know what's going on. And there's a chance you may actually need to be awake.

Even if you don't need to be awake though, there are a few useful things you could do before returning to sleep.

You could check if Niam and Korli have any advice on surviving this, since apparently their hive has been studying this kind of thing (Niam has some direct knowledge of the Rokoa experiments, and Korli discussed previous person-fusion experiments in ITQ). You can talk to Rokann and Viln personally, and spare Katzati that one task, at least. You can take the chance to eat- the last time you had anything was raw voklit, while underwater and on the run. (And you're not going to have much chance to eat if you need to keep sleeping through this). You could brief the others on your findings about the exits, and the discovery of Biles.
>>
No. 517350 ID: d38f67
File 137141971308.png - (18.92KB , 700x700 , 399.png )
517350

>You should have been able to make changes while she was busy fighting Katz over your school days.
It only takes a moment to flip between memories. The issue is that Rokoa only defended for a few moments, which did not take much out of what was seen as days of attacking for her, memory wise.

I turn my silence on towards my memories, since we are in a jammer anyways. Again, it will simply make Rokoa have a tougher and slower time changing much. She is continuing to do so in the back of my head. I quickly feel like I remember something, first off. It... is not my own memories. I recall how I've changed Rokoa's memories. Mine still feel unchanged, although I assume that they are. I will assume Rokoa remembers how she changed mine, while her memories appear unaffected to her.

>"Ack, sorry." Katzati whispers to me as she rolls off and stops smothering me.
"What is the emergency, Kort? I am struggling to maintain myself, here, as I am sure I told you about the dart. It is far easier to concentrate on that while sleeping." I check the time. I have only been asleep for a few hours.
>"Yeah, we've been keeping an eye on you. We only have about 10 hours left of food. That's including stretching it thin, which is why I'm hungry and telling you."
>"You woke us up for that?!" Katzati says in a shouted whisper.
>"... you are the last person who should be complaining to me about complaining about our food problems. You fucking tub of lard."
>>
No. 517351 ID: 5869f6

...
Oh, HELLS-TO-THE-NO HE DID NOT JUST INSULT KATZATI'S WEIGHT.
HELL
FUCKING
NO
>>
No. 517353 ID: 735f4f

This is not good. If Polo goes down then there is a good chance everyone dies. And having Kort being a surly asshole jeopardizes the whole mission. Also personal attacks on other team members is really pushing it.

We need to get him to back down so we can get on with surviving Rokoa's attack. I know this is going to sound horrible but worse case scenario you might have to kill and eat Kort.

You can not afford to go out on hunting trips right now and are the only person who can sneak around safely. If Kort or Katzati went out to hunt they have a good chance of running into a patrol and getting everyone killed.

If you have to get Viln to keep the peace do so. Because as bad as the situation is if you cant kill the Rokoa in your head in the next few hours its going to get a lot worse.
>>
No. 517354 ID: 5a5dd4

WE'RE FIGHTING TO KEEP MY MEMORIES AND PERSONALITY INTACT.

GET YOUR OWN DAMN FOOD. OH WHAT, YOU'RE NOT SILENT AND AWESOME?

YOU HAVE EARS. YOU DON'T GET TO COMPLAIN ABOUT BEING HUNGRY WHILE YOU STILL HAVE PERFECTLY EDIBLE EARS ON YOUR HEAD. IF YOU WEREN'T SUCH A PRICK, KATZATI MIGHT HAVE BEEN WILLING TO SHARE HER PLUMP, DELICIOUS EARS, BUT GOOD LUCK WITH THAT NOW.
>>
No. 517356 ID: f2c20c

>>517350
Tell Kort that if he wakes you again for something like this we will assume he is working for the Salikai and he will get his ass shot. If he wants food I'm sure someone else is willing to go out with the spare jammer, because you're NOT AVAILABLE. You're not the leader of this expedition, he doesn't need to come to you for every little thing.

That said, we will help briefly with the planning. How much longer would everyone last if ears were added to the rations? Optimally you would want to hunt silently, so Viln and I suppose Rokann could go out to engage in melee combat with some creatures to get food.
>>
No. 517357 ID: 19b3c3

...what?

All right. This doesn't make sense. Two possibilities here. Either something is really wrong (for instance, you're still sleeping, and this is Rokoa trying to fuck with and distract you. Or you're awake and the room is being gassed, making stupid here act stupid. Or he's been bugged). Or Kort has just cracked under the pressure and is making an ass of himself.

The first thing to do is check for situation a. Is this a dream? Can you exert any influence or move your location? Do you smell gas, or is there anything wrong with Kort's empathy?

If this is real, where the hell is everyone else? If you've been compromised, you'd think there would be someone armed nearby.

If this is real, and nothing else is wrong, it's time to chew out Kort. You will not speak to Katzati in that way. She has proved her worth to this expedition and to me many times over. You could barely do your job. If we need food, you will need to discuss it with Lucera. Or Rokann, or Viln, or Marra. Or eat your ears. I am in no condition to hunt. And even if I were, I would not trust myself with a weapon in this condition.

Do not wake me again without good reason. Or you will be injured. By me, or Rokoa.
>>
No. 517358 ID: 5869f6

So, to review, Kort.
GET YOUR OWN FUCKING FOOD.
...
NO YOU CANNOT HAVE HER EARS
YOU HAVE YOUR OWN ASSHOLE.
...
NO FUCK YOU. KORT.
>>
No. 517362 ID: d1d627

...K, Polo? How dire is this, and how much longer, in this plane, do you think it will be before Rokoa is toast?
Either way, inform him that if he continues to distract you from the combat, they will have to deal with an angry and starved Rokoa, which will be a far worse drain on their food supplies, disregarding if she turns traitor and tries to eat them.
It's good to know though, that hunting will need to be done soon...I wonder if Biles possibly can go hunting on his own?
>>
No. 517373 ID: 19b3c3

Oh wait, I got it.

Then take that stick (I don't know where you found a stick down here), stop poking me with it, and start fishing.

...now if you will excuse me, I have a madwoman eating my mind from the inside out. Your huger is not my concern!
>>
No. 517379 ID: 735f4f

Kort is probably just cracking under pressure. We need someone else to take charge of him and make sure we are left alone to fight Rokoa. Be careful about getting too angry or acting like Rokoa in any way. It might help her compromise you faster.
>>
No. 517387 ID: f2c20c

Wait a minute. I just had an idea. If Polo's dreamscape is wide open and easy to enter, maybe we could have EVERYONE help us out in the dream. Get the dream-combat over with faster, and we can help with hunting faster. Though, I suppose, Polo's still severely wounded.

Viln can stand guard.
>>
No. 517401 ID: d38f67
File 137142738664.png - (15.34KB , 700x700 , 400.png )
517401

Art Error: Polo's bioarmor is still put on.

I am not too inclined to believe that our room is being gassed or something similar. Kort has not acted this extreme to this point, but he has acted exceptionally stupid for no good reason in the past.

Nor do I have much reason to believe there is something special about Kort's actions. Everyone else is nearby, just not in our immediate vicinity.
>>
No. 517402 ID: d38f67
File 137142739447.png - (13.20KB , 700x700 , 401.png )
517402

"If you wake me up for no good reason again, I am going to assume you are working for the salikai, and you will be injured."
>"Are you threatening me?"
"We still have our ears. That will add hours. Otherwise, we have a spare jammer. Rokann or Marra can go hunting. Did you bring it up with anyone else first?"
>"Everyone else is awake and on duty."
"Meaning their ears are open. Secondly, you will not speak to Katzati like that. I still would not care even if she did eat more than us. She is still useful, and she has earned her share. So far, we are throwing your share of food at you, and what we are getting in return is disrespect and getting woken up."
>"Don't lecture me. It's not like you brought anything back, and now you can't even hunt." My foot is still broken, so that is true. "Katzati's ears come first then, if no one's going to hunt."
>>
No. 517403 ID: d38f67
File 137142740442.png - (9.84KB , 700x700 , 402.png )
517403

He says that while leaving to avoid us having the chance to retort. I doubt it is much good talking to him, his eyes glaze over when I said anything longer than five words.

Katzati can debrief everyone, since she knows what I have learned from my trip in full. For now, I would like to head to sleep, as there is a lot of work to be done. I have a feeling that beating Rokoa will take more than a few hours, but so will healing my foot.

On the other hand, I may wish to do something about Kort, first. I do not know if he has always had those feelings of hostility and just now had to let him out or if it is new, but either way, I do not expect our situation to get much better, and the same goes for his mood.

>Get everyone to dreamshare
Inside of our jammer, that would mean everyone would have to huddle around me and have a sufficient amount of surface area contact to share empathy. I do not believe logistics will be realistically friendly to that.
>>
No. 517404 ID: 5869f6

Kort, why are you such an ass?
K-Kort?
Where are you going?
H-Hey, dont you walk away from m-
The fuck did you sa-
ASFDSA
DON'T YOU FUCKING IGNORE ME
KORT
KOOOORT >:C
>>
No. 517406 ID: 19b3c3

>not as if you brought anything back
...you damn near got yourself killed trying to bring back intel, and more explosives, and he complains you didn't stop for snacks?

This guy really isn't cutout for this kind of operation.

>Do anything about Kort
I wouldn't object to trying to keep the situation stable, but he doesn't seem to want to listen to you. Is there anyone he does respect we could ask to speak with him? (Not sure if Viln would work. Does he respect voklit, or does he look down on them?).

>Rokann or Marra can go hunting
Don't forget Viln. The guy who's hunted here most of his life, and is most likely to know where to find food that is likely hiding with the whole cave system being searched. And who knows what might be taken down quietly.

>Anything else to do while you're awake
Maybe make your suicide requests in person? That is kind of a personal thing, and it might be the last time you see them. (...although time spent being sentimental is time wasted not spent fighting).

Might also be worth spending a few minutes checking if the science hivers have any insight that might help. Could be a dead end, but presumably their hive had to have studied this kind of thing.

>I do not believe logistics will be realistically friendly to that.
Even assuming they would be able to dreamshare. It's not exactly common, even between people who are close. You're lucky Katzati is good at it, or your condition has made you especially susceptible.
>>
No. 517409 ID: f2c20c

>>517402
>if no one's going to hunt
What? He assumed that since you couldn't, nobody would? Also, he said you didn't bring back anything, but you did bring back the bazooka round? Kort is so irrational right now, what the hecko. Just get in physical contact with him to get some empathy going to find out what's wrong with him. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Or just ask Katz to have Lucera find out what's going on with him.
>>
No. 517416 ID: 735f4f

Kort is cracking under the strain. Let Viln know whats going on and what to do if he breaks. Make sure he knows to watch for Kort getting a hold of any weapons or doing anything that might reveal our location. He might be fine but prepare for it just in case.

Logistics be damned! Start by lying on top of Katzati and then stack everyone else around like a pyramid.
>>
No. 517418 ID: f2c20c

>>517416
Well I dunno about a pyramid, but having just one other person in the dream helping out alongside Katzati would be a real boon. A Neumono sandwich would be simple to set up.
>>
No. 517421 ID: 5869f6

>>517418
Then let's hope none of the males get a boner.
...
(icouldntresist)
(bysheogorathsnipplesimsorry)
>>
No. 517422 ID: 19b3c3

We should probably ask Katz to fill the others in for us. It'll affect their planning to know Biles and his group are out there, and the fighters can start thinking about what exit they'd prefer to approach (if we ever make it that far).

She's welcome to join us again when she's able, and thank you for what you've done. And don't let him get to you- he's not taking the stress well.

>>517421
Pff. They're all neumono. They know how to cuddle-pile professionally. They don't have any human hangups about thinking sleeping together only happens for sex.
>>
No. 517436 ID: d38f67
File 137143998922.png - (13.92KB , 700x700 , 403.png )
517436

I let Katzati rest and go speak personally to various people, but I keep my talks short. To Viln and Rokann, I say that if I believe that me turning into Rokoa will not be a sudden thing. I will keep them updated if things are going badly, but otherwise, if it appears that Rokoa has won, then they are to kill me. To Viln specifically, I say to keep an eye on Kort for when he is not on shift at the front area.

I mention to those two and Lucera that some hunting will likely have to be done before long. I will leave it to them to sort out who goes hunting. I make Kort let my hand rest on him and be X-rayed. He is clean, and his empathy is simply erratic and panicked. He is just cracking and leaking his idiocy. Nonetheless, I alert Lucera to his actions, and he tells me that he will keep an eye on Kort. I ask Marra that, if she has free time and wishes to sleep, it would assist me to attempt dreamsharing. I tell her to sandwich me between Katzati with the straightest face I can muster. Her face is also straight. I do add that if she does not think she can get in position without waking me up, to not bother.

And to Niam, I ask if he has any insight. He explains that someone named Mirim was the neumono most closely associated with the brain darts, and will have the documents and knowledge.

With that, I go back to Katzati. Rokoa is still working away at my next memory, but has not gotten far with it. It does not take long for me to get to sleep, but Katzati is not there waiting for me. I will not wait, as I have no control or knowledge of when or if Katzati will show up.

Three memories are available.

http://www.tgchan.org/wiki/Polo_Quest_Statistics#Rokoa_Infestation
>>
No. 517438 ID: 57a559

Dad's run sounds fun
And it's father's day for 20 more minutes
go for it.
>>
No. 517439 ID: 19b3c3

>I have no control or knowledge of when or if Katzati will show up.
Dangit, Kort. That's the worst thing he may have done. We can afford to lose the minutes, but we have no idea if, or when, we'll be able to get anyone else in here to help.

...remember that we put our silence up to slow down Rokoa. You'll have to leave a 'safe' memory unshielded for Katz to be able to enter at all, maybe.

>Mirim
Well gee, that would help if we were able to infiltrate the salikai base for information. But seeing as we can't attempt that till after our foot is done healing, by which time this Rokoa battle will be mostly settled one way or the other. That, and you kind of need Rokoa's intel to break in.

>Rokoa is still working away at my next memory, but has not gotten far with it
Can you tell what memory she is working on? The silence may be slowing her down, but without Katzati playing defense for you, it may prove necessary to dart back to try and minimize the damage at crucial moments, the same as Rokoa has been doing against you.

>needs to beat someone, lovers
...oh gods, it's not Pilon is it? This is going to be awkward.

In the interest of your own sanity, I vote for doing the awkward sexy times episode before Katz gets back. I mean, the way your day is going, she'll probably show up in the middle, but let's at least try.
>>
No. 517444 ID: f2c20c

>>517436
I'm not sure what we could even change with the first child memory, but it IS a weak spot for Rokoa, and might distract her heavily. We could make the kid be extra-rude, and that might bother Rokoa.

The lovers memory is right out. She'd be able to easily psyche Polo out by getting too lovey-dovey.

The raid could be changed to outright fail, but would that be too falsified? They would just need to make a second raid, I guess.

I think we should change the first child memory, make her kid be super rude.
>>
No. 517449 ID: 9ddf68

lets go for Rokoa's lover for now since that is the furthest in the past we can work our way up from there.
>>
No. 517457 ID: 735f4f

I think going with the lovers fight might be best while we are alone. Should help avoid embarrassment. One problem that might come up though. Has Polo had any lovers? It might make it difficult to relate if she has never felt like that before.

On the other hand it might come in handy if she has not. Could make what used to be a important touching moment into a awkward mess.
>>
No. 517458 ID: 27146d

Go with the lovers, there is a bit of a trend with our attacks of making her more dependent on others and the lovers memory seems like the best target to continue that.
>>
No. 517502 ID: 54f5be

lovers sounds the most interesting, though if we pull it off the child one would probably be the most damaging
>>
No. 517542 ID: bc8d67

Actually, entering any of Rokoa's memories right now is risky. With when and where Katzati will enter your dreamscape an unknown, the risk of her coming in like she did the first time while you're working on those memories is too great. In none of those three memories will you be able to fit a foreign neumono suddenly appearing out of nowhere and make it stick. The validity of the memory will fall down, and your work will be lost while Rokoa gains ground.

So instead of attempting to alter Rokoa's memories right now, take this time to enter and defend whichever of yours she's attacking at the moment. Go in, assess the situation, then drop your silence completely so Katzati might enter.
>>
No. 517549 ID: 19b3c3

>>517542
...but if you follow that logic, we can't attack Rokoa at all for fear Katzati's entrance would mess up our work!

Which seems crazy to me. We can't take no action for as long as it takes help to arrive (especially when we have no idea when, or even if, she will do so again). If Katz messes up what we're doing, that's a small setback. If we can do nothing, that's a big one.

Besides, now that she knows what is going on, there's a good chance Katzati won't mess anything up entering.
>>
No. 517569 ID: 058fbe

I think we need to get more ruthless. Can we go to the memory of Rokoa's child, and alter them so that they look more like Polo? Not that they ARE polo, just close enough that they remind rokoa of her, and thus vice versa. Then, Rokoa should find it harder to do anything that harms Polo, emotionally speaking.

We need to think on the long term. Rokoa is smarter than she comes off, i think, and so far she's been allowing changes to her memories that still leave her as strong as ever, if worse in other ways that matter less.
>>
No. 517603 ID: 5869f6

Altering the memory of Rokoa's child would be a turning point in this fight, as it makes up a large part of her past.
>>
No. 517604 ID: 5869f6

>>517603
At least, the effects of it, anyways.
>>
No. 517613 ID: 19b3c3

>>517604
>>517603
Well, the problem with that is we can't fundamentally change something a lot of subsequent memory hinges on and expect to just win. Unlike with time travel, where changing a critical moment equals a cascade of change, here changing a critical moment too much means it clashes with the memories of what is casually dependent on it, allowing rejection.

This is the problem Polo alluded to earlier.

We're changing things for a few reasons. The way I see it, the process works like this:
(1) Every change we make gets us access to more memories we can change.
(2) Every change we make removes evidence (or provides false evidence) for cross referencing. The more changes we make, the harder it will be to reject further changes as false.
(3) This allows bigger, more significant, changes to be made.
(4) Eventually this snowballs past a tipping point. We move beyond being able to change more memories and to a better extent, and reach the point where outright deletion is possible.
(5) Deletion continues until the mind is destroyed.

There's also kind of a meta-game, where before consciousness is destroyed, changes in memory may effect how the mind behaves. This may allow us to chose changes such that it alters Rokoa's actions or style of play during the battle, but ultimately, rewiring Rokoa is not the end goal.

The rewiring is practice, and a means to an end. We rewire in order to gain root access to all memory sectors, and in order to expand our read/write privileges to include deletion.
>>
No. 517701 ID: d38f67
File 137152348768.png - (49.79KB , 700x700 , 404.png )
517701

>What memory is Rokoa attacking?
When it rained and I oscillated myself dry in front of the principal.

>Have you had any lovers?
There has not been anyone that I have paired with specifically for purposes of intimate relations. I have, however, had casual intimacy in the past. A few times.

The child is tempting, but I have a feeling I must deal with the lover's memory, and I may as well do this while the chances of Katzati being around are at a minimum.

I recall the details. Rokoa fights someone named Maro. Originally, she was doing so to simply fight the best of the best of her hive because she is Rokoa. And Maro is one of them. The queen is also spectating, along with several others that have hung around camp for the day. With the new array of memories, she has added motivation - and desperation - to do so to not be considered weak, as her track record for fighting other neumono has not been impressive.

Once again, originally, she beat Maro and... I am reluctant to call them 'lovers'. Mates might be a better word. Rokoa was simply impressed by his strength and dragged him off to the nearest tent, they got in the mood, and then Rokoa went at it and decided halfway through it was going to be for procreation. There was little more chemistry than what is already hivemate love, but to be fair, that is usually good enough for things like this.

>"It's good you're serious about this." the neumono who is loosening Rokoa's shoulders tells her. "But no one's going to think less of you if you lose this one."
>>
No. 517705 ID: 19b3c3

>Polo's only had casual romantic encounters
...well, that means they're not not going to be big seminal moments in your life. Which mercifully means literally fucking with you isn't going to be a priority of Rokoa's.

>No one's going to think less of you if you lose this one
I will. (Well, Rokoa will think less of herself if you lose in her place but... semantics).

Hmm. This one is delicate. We can't prevent Rokoa's son from being conceived - that would be too big a change. She's reject the memory as false. They still have to end up in bed, but we still have to make the day go worse for her.

Making her lose is one obvious way to change things. Or... just do a lot worse, if we can't swing that. Basically, end result, we don't want her getting as much respect out of this as she originally did.
>>
No. 517706 ID: f2c20c

>>517701
>oscillating
The truth comes out!

If we make her lose, could she take control of the memory-Rokoa and intentionally not Get Busay in order to falsify the memory? Or would she just wind up having her first kid from someone else or just at a later date?

Well, regardless, we should make her lose. Strengthen that history of losing important fights.
>>
No. 517707 ID: 76b151

Actually this time I think we should make her go beyond the bounds for an inter-hive bout. I'd say maim him enough that he needs help to live, draining resources. We want to undo the good done by that last memory.
>>
No. 517708 ID: 57a559

Again, thank god she can't change that much like convince you one of your casual intimate moments were with Maro and turn of the blue you tried getting pregnant for the hell of it... you don't think she can do that right? Right? Like, for serious, that would hit for high damage. Even if she can't change that you've never gotten pregnant, tapping Maro in any way would be a major hit. So protect the shit out of any of your friend's with benefits identities.

This is brutal, but maybe have the reproduction in front of everyone, the fight just gets out of hand and they just stop thinking and turn into beasts of instinct and only instinct. When it ends everyone will either cheer or she'll be mega embarrassed.
>>
No. 517710 ID: 735f4f

We cant stop her first child from being conceived because that would change to much to soon. A few possible options I can see are.

1. Have her lose badly and still mate with Maro but its him who drags her off and she feels like she has to have a child to redeem herself or something.

2. Have her lose and Maro rejects her and she ends up having a child with a weaker male.

3. She wins but we corrupt it so its a dishonorable win somehow. Continue the chain of her being a lucky brute rather than a skilled fighter.

4. Make her hive seem much more judgmental than usual and try to goad her into a berserk fury and have her accidentally kill Maro. Then have her queen force her to have a kid with some asshole so that there numbers are not compromised.
>>
No. 517712 ID: 19b3c3

>oscillated myself dry in front of the principal
...so, she's either going to try and make the shame of that day worse, or she's going to make you handle it worse? I could see her stepping into the principal's shoes and giving you way more of a dressing down than you got the first time, or stepping into your shoes and having you, uh, refuse to be shamed and punch him in the face or something. Trying to break you by traumatizing you with an authority figure, or by undermining your discipline and control?

Either way, the critical moment will probably be when you're in front of the principal. The rest of the day can mostly slide, that's when you may need to snap back and try and defend against and mitigate changes.

>what do
So... our choices really boil down to make Rokoa not go far enough or go too far.

And I guess we want to try and sour things from triumphant celebration of awesomeness victory-sex to well... consolation sex. An act of self-loathing and desperation to prove herself, and make up for it. Less "let's make an awesome baby because we're both really strong" more "if I can't be worthwhile as a fighter, at least I can make myself useful this way".

...which is really twisted and I kind of feel awful trying to explain. But it's really the worst blow I think we can strike under the circumstances.
>>
No. 517713 ID: fd7000

Rokoa losing is not itself devastating but we have damaged her self confidence before this. If we can make her lose and the guy shows no interest in her because she is not strong enough that might be the most damaging thing we can do. The child has to come from somewhere obviously but it doesn't have to be a direct result of this fight. It might require more input from Polo but it should be plausible. Rokoa's intervention is almost assured at this point but I think we can pull this one off even with her interference.
>>
No. 517716 ID: cf49fc

>>517712
Come on Team TOO FAR! Whoo! Murder is always the optimal solution.
>>
No. 517726 ID: 5869f6

>>517712
The Consolation-sex-thing seems really...
...
Damaging.
Let's do it.
>>
No. 517727 ID: bdb3f8

I kind of feel like if these changed memories become real to the other person, maybe we should be thinking more about what the effect of those changes will be. Changing her successes into lackluster failures seems to be turning Rokoa from a violent sociopath eager to prove herself against every foe into a violent sociopath desperate to prove herself against every foe. I have some doubts that is going to have a sufficient effect on her psyche to achieve any real progress.

Lets try something different. Without concerning ourselves with the fight results, how about if he came on to her instead, plied her with whatever passes for romance for this tribe. Either he comes on too strong and she rejects him or they end up with a longer lasting relationship, both could be substantial changes.
>>
No. 517729 ID: 76b151

Actually what we want is for her to become more Polo-Like. Part of that is to make her past self see rushing in and doing as much damage as possible is a bad thing. Her going beserk and earning the ire of her tribe for lack of self-control could have that effect.
>>
No. 517737 ID: 1cf691

>>517727
This guy gets it, we need to change Rokoas personality away from a violent sociopath into a loving, caring, compassionate figure. Hell we might even make her a queen.

Ignore the fight and change Rokoa and Maro into actual lovers with a deep long lasting relationship. We will probably have to change memories about her first child, and possibly Maro if he ends up dying.
>>
No. 517739 ID: 01531c

>>517737
Bonus: we already dug some huge chinks into Rokoa's psyche! Those issues could make this easier AND more effective.
>>
No. 517753 ID: 735f4f

I do not think we can change it to not have some sort of fight just yet. The central junction behind this memory is Rokoa proving herself in combat. Too many of her future memories still hinge on this one to change it that much. Once we change those we might be able to come back and remove the fight.
>>
No. 517769 ID: c23ab0

>>517737

If nothing else tweak Maro into a position where Rokoa had an opportunity to kill him, but shows him mercy instead. Either her memory gets fucked up by him dying and she got nobody to fuck, or her memory gets fucked up by an honest to god show of compassion on her behalf.
>>
No. 517793 ID: 591152

>>517701
you should turn the after sex into a very hauntingly embarrassing, cringe-worthy experience.
>>
No. 517816 ID: 5dd9ff

I don't think the tactic of trying to weaken Rokoa is viable in the long term. Remember, her ultimate motivation is the torture and other motivations that the salikai inflicted on her, and making her a worse or weaker person will, in all likelihood, just make her MORE motivated to destroy Polo. What we need to capitalize on is the more virtuous traits she's shown - honour and compassion - which have hints of holding her back. If we enhance those, endowing Rokoa with more strength, more determination, more sanity and reason, more overall virtue, then the more likely she'll stop doing what the salikai want and try to help Polo instead.

Polo is, after all, in the right. We already went ahead and talked about all the ways that Rokoa can't win and how her winning even if it was possible will only hurt her family and her species as well as making her a pathetic slave-tool. The only reasons she's not capitulating to Polo already is 1) Salikai influence and 2) Sheer Rokoa bloody-mindedness. What we need to do is to engineer Rokoa's memories so that she becomes a better person. Keep the honour, loyalty, courage and determination, add on Polo virtues like pragmatism and sanity and general-purpose practical compassion. The new Rokoa will be strong enough to overcome her conditioning and smart enough to let Polo have her. And, if she doesn't, and somehow Polo isn't killed once she starts changing, then at least Polo will turn into someone worth turning into. Always have a backup plan!

So what we need to do is, change this guy so he's super amazing. Have Rokoa give a good fight, one that impresses everyone watching, but that she still loses because this guy isn't just as strong and fierce as her, but smart and disciplined as well. And then, as well as being her lover, make him her mentor. Give her something to admire and live up to. A memory of someone who'd be ashamed of what she's doing.
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No. 517822 ID: 19b3c3

>make her more like Polo
>she'll stop doing what the salikai want and try to help Polo instead.
In the terms I used here >>517613, you're putting the meta-game above the game. It's more important we do damage that undermines her and grants us further access than it is we try to specifically change her behavior.

This is because major changes in personality and behavior won't happen until we've gotten most the way through her memories. If we ever get the in position where we can make her think what we want her to think, we would already be in a position to kill her.

And I'm not sure that's a desired outcome. I don't think Polo wants to be a predator- keeping a mind broken pet she can tell how to think around. This whole memory combat is pretty fucked up, but I'd consider making her some kind of mind-broken pet to be more horrific than just ending her. There's also the problem that Polo doesn't want to keep a friendly Rokoa in her head. She wants her gone.

>The only reasons she's not capitulating to Polo already is 1) Salikai influence and 2) Sheer Rokoa bloody-mindedness.
That's assuming she expects to win, and that she's currently broken by or loyal to the Salikai.

There's another interpretation. If we assume contact with Polo's memories really did fix Rokoa, the outlook could be very different. Remember: real-Rokoa isn't afraid of death, and wants to go down in combat. And she almost certainly believes that bit about Polo needing her. So what's she doing here? Fighting as hard as she can, knowing there's a reasonable chance she's going to die, but doing it anyways because that's how she'd prefer to go, and she wants to push Polo to the edge to make her better. She's trying to win, but hoping she'll lose, and make Polo stronger than ever in the process.
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No. 517837 ID: 5dd9ff

>>517822

You don't want her to be a mind-broken pet, but you're pushing for deletion when the process you propose for getting to deletion is to mind-break her! And I don't want her to be a mind-broken pet either. What I want to do is enable Rokoa to break whatever mind-breaking is already in place on her from the salikai. I think her being salikai-broken is much more plausible and likely than the idea that she was fixed and is somehow still making the attempt to brain damage to "make Polo stronger than ever". Rokoa wasn't that stupid or bull-headed, she knew Polo was strong already and that they were different people with different styles. This Rokoa is trying to justify her actions to herself; where the real Rokoa would answer back challenging questions, this Rokoa avoided the issues we presented her with and pushed on with exactly what the salikai want her to do. If she is mind-broken, torturewise, she won't admit it, she'd never admit it. Prideful people don't do that when their spirit's been broken, they try to rebuild themselves and pretend that they're doing what they want to do, lying to themselves as much as anyone else. "No no, I'm doing this to make you stronger! Whoops, you weren't strong enough, guess this was inevitable, I'll take over. And then I'll go back to the salikai and pretend I'm with them, yeah, so I can betray them at the right time. Yeah. The right time." I wonder what sort of thoughts the other Rokoa clones had about their lot in life? Do you think they went around thinking "well here I am a slave to the salikai forever, better just deal with it while they plot to torment my species (including my still-alive family)"? I'd lay a bet that they told themselves they were going to fight back somehow, too.

The path I propose won't force, manipulate or fool her into capitulating; it'll give her the chance to make that decision herself, and I think the real Rokoa, much less a psychologically reinforced one, would choose to give herself up to Polo - not to be a pet, but to die, which as you say she's not afraid of - so that Polo is informed and also gets whatever life lessons Rokoa might want to give her by giving access to her memories. Rokoa as we knew her, never really cared about herself; she cared about other people. Not everyone, but those who were close to her. She was willing not only do die for them but to suffer potential madness and humiliations for them. Remember, though she complained about it later, when the decision was on her she asked Polo to do what she would rather have done herself, because she knew Polo could do it better, because it was for the best. Giving up is the best thing she can do for her family and we just have to put her in a position where she knows that, admits it and is strong enough to act on it.

And right now I think the best way to do that is to make this guy great. Stick some vaseline on the lens, there, Polo. Make him all powerful and fierce and savage but also like, masterful. As much as you can without breaking the memory of him. And have someone who doesn't like her try to sabotage her and him not take advantage and her ask why and then he can be all "this isn't a real fight so we should fight full strength so we can become stronger long term" and that can start her on being honorable and stuff sooner than before. Actually that sounds sort of cheesy so you can use your discretion, Polo, you seem like someone who knows how to make things believable (but really, get some tribal romance novel fabio stuff in there).
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No. 517843 ID: 19b3c3

>has to be doing this because the salikai broke her
She flat out said she would try to do this whether she was for the salikai or against them.

Breaking her free of their control (if she's even under it) won't do anything by itself. Nor will making her more stable or rational or more happy. A fight to the death with her greatest opponent, in terms of pure will? There's no way any Rokoa would turn that down. Even in her clearest frame of mind, she would choose it. You aren't getting an outcome where she backs down of her own will. (...unless we get to the point where we are manipulating her will. At which point we've as good as killed her, and it would be kinder to just do so than continue).

The only path to victory is to break and kill her.

And whether she's doing it for herself or for Polo, with the expectation she'll live or die is really besides the point. She's doing it, and will not stop unless we can stop her first.

>You don't want her to be a mind-broken pet, but you're pushing for deletion when the process you propose for getting to deletion is to mind-break her!
Yes. There's a distinction between injuring someone and keeping them in that state indefinitely, and in injuring them as part of killing them.

It's the difference between killing someone in a fight out of necessity, or capturing them and torturing them indefinitely. Both involve doing the same kind of harm- one is considerably crueler than the other.
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No. 517850 ID: 5dd9ff

>>517843
>She flat out said she would try to do this whether she was for the salikai or against them.

And I think she's lying! If she is for the salikai, she would say that as a way to deceive Polo and to make herself feel better at the same time. Furthermore:

>A fight to the death with her greatest opponent, in terms of pure will? There's no way any Rokoa would turn that down. Even in her clearest frame of mind, she would choose it

I disagree! The real Rokoa demonstrated the capacity to swallow her pride and her bloodlust if it was in the cause of things she considered more important. The first time Polo had her captured and tortured, she came back with an offer to take out someone she thought was hurting her hive. The next time, when Polo came to talk to her and then shot her in the face, Rokoa jumped on her and started beating her up - then stopped and entirely lost interest when she realized a hivemate of hers was nearby and needed help. And when they arranged a duel, she didn't try to angle for anything advantageous or even fair to herself: she gladly accepted conditions that put her at a huge disadvantage. Why? Fighting in a way she isn't used to makes her stronger, but this was a sniper battle, it has no honor or glory to it, 95% of the time it's just getting the drop on people and picking them off while they're entirely helpless. She wouldn't want that for it's own sake, she'd only want it so it could serve her duty. When she and Polo went into action together, Rokoa took every shot she could herself, risked death, let herself be puppeted around as a fake corpse, reduced herself to a meat shield and, on top of it all, never stopped smiling no matter what indignity happened to her. It was only things happening to other people, to her hive, her family, that ever took the grin off her face. Even when she said:

>"I'll tell you why I'm ticked. I wanted you to kill my queen. I asked you to. I, allegedly the oh so might QI Rokoa who doesn't take any shit, asked you, someone half my size, to beat up someone I wanted beat up like I'm some kind of paper pushing dispatcher. And now that I realize I was acting like a fucking coward, I'm too crippled to do much more than flip you off and get a pistol the size of my finger, pinch the queen with it and then get hauled back into the brig."

She was still smiling, if with difficulty. And, despite her complaining about it, she still did it. When the chips are down, the real Rokoa admits what needs to be done over what she would like to be done.

I think that, if it was to ultimately help whoever she cared for, she would gladly turn down any fight, no matter how attractive. She likes fighting her enemies and she likes glory and getting strong and all that, but it's all secondary. At heart, Rokoa does not live to fight. She lives so that others may live. This heart may be what has been taken from these clones, and if so, we should give it back.

So she would not do this if she was against the salikai, in all likelihood. It's possible, sure, but improbable compared to the alternatives.

>There's a distinction between injuring someone and keeping them in that state indefinitely, and in injuring them as part of killing them.

Read more closely, I'm not proposing we keep her in that state at all. And, as I said, I'm not proposing we mind-break her. We free her, inform and strengthen her, and then she'll decide to do what's best of her own free will. After which she will die.

But we're probably arguing from different interpretations of Rokoa as a character.
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No. 517851 ID: 19b3c3

>I think she lied
Our fights have always been fairly straightforward. And if she were going to lie for advantage, she would have been much better off to lie to us about how this works.

>>517847
That interpretation of her character is actually why I suggested Rokoa is doing this for Polo's betterment. Look at her possible reasons for fighting:

On her personal selfish ego level? She wants to fight Polo. If she's compromised by the Salikai? She wants to fight Polo. If she wants to sacrifice herself for what's important? Fine- but she's going to go down fighting and at least get to enjoy Polo killing her in the best fight possible, and try to toughen her up in the process.

Remember the one way Rokoa doesn't want to die. Helpless. Impotent. With nothing to do but wait for the end. What would have awaited her in that pipe if we had left her, or what did happen to the Rokoa-dart. And what will happen to her, if she chose to step aside and let Polo live.

She can choose to set aside her pride and ego for bigger things. She can break free of the salikai, if she hasn't already. But there is no escaping the fact she wants to go out fighting.

>We free her, inform and strengthen her, and then she'll decide to do what's best of her own free will. After which she will die.
Which is why this will not work. If she's already free and informed, all you've done is waste time and strengthen her. And even if she does need freeing and informing, she will not chose to go quietly.

(My personal suspicion is she is free- that our memories gave her back enough of herself, and that she's fighting Polo to force her to kill her and toughen her up. But which case we're in really doesn't matter. Either way the outcome is the same. Rokoa is attacking, and we need to kill her).
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No. 517852 ID: 735f4f

This Rokoa wants Polo to kill her. She went out of her way to tell us how things worked and that she had info we needed. But she would never go out without a fight. She knows Polo is the best chance she has to fight against her captors. But she will not go easy on us and if she thinks Polo is to weak to do the job then she will steal our body and try to do it herself.
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No. 517871 ID: 5869f6

>>517793
Personally, I got nothin'. So I'll jus' second this.
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No. 517988 ID: d38f67
File 137161636543.png - (60.90KB , 700x700 , 405.png )
517988

Many other ideas still cross my mind. Unfortunately, many have issues. It is still difficult to directly take control of Rokoa herself unless she is undecided about something. But she feels exceptionally strong about needing to fight Maro. Moreso than having a strong relationship. Nonetheless, I can still attempt to make Maro into an honorable individual and attempt for a deep relation with Rokoa, while simultaneously making her lose and have the sex be a consolation act, and likely be terribly embarrasing for the circumstances. Awful, but I am attempting to weaken Rokoa's resolve as much as possible.

I take control of Maro to fight Rokoa. Rokoa-Consciousness does not show up to fight as herself or at all. She seems oddly apathetic about defending her memories right now, and while interested, she is opting to not get in another fight with me despite the fight being so even. I don't get the impression she thinks I'm doing the wrong thing, either, so I am simply puzzled. So Maro fights with the aid of my silence, using discipline and intelligence over raw strength and fierceness. I let Rokoa fight almost as well, but Maro manages to beat Rokoa sufficiently enough for the Queen to declare the fight over.

With that, I push for Maro to be impressed by Rokoa almost beating him. As awful as it seems to me, it is perfectly acceptable in this hive for a winner of a fight, who takes a liking to the loser, to drag them off to copulate. Similar to how Rokoa did to him. Except here, Maro took his loss better than Rokoa will, given how important winning was to her. Hence, I do not need to force Rokoa to feel like the sex is just an act that came about from her failure. Except, Maro suddenly seems hard to manipulate. Rokoa's conscience is actively denying the plausibility of this herself. She is not even paying attention to my memory anymore.

"Hey, I knew Maro well. He wasn't like that. He only liked people who did beat him up. He hated failure." Rokoa tells me. She isn't lying, but she doesn't go on to say what she is thinking. That I have to continue controlling Maro directly to force his hand, as I can't just will him on externally with that deniability.
"You are unbelievable. Are you serious? You are actually making me do this?" She is serious. She is, as usual, difficult to read accurately. This is why I do not like attempting to make sense of what goes on in her head. It makes none.
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No. 517989 ID: 735f4f

She knew that Maro would be like this and she is testing your resolve. She does not think you have the guts to go through with it.

She did not bother defending because she figured you would quit in disgust once you realized what you would have to do.

So you have to drop the memory and start over or fuck Rokoa in his body. Not the most pleasant thought but it beats losing all progress on this memory. Would be a huge change if you can pull it off though.
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No. 517991 ID: 19b3c3

>"You are unbelievable. Are you serious? You are actually making me do this?"
Can you answer without disengaging what we're doing? If yes, go ahead. If not, ignore her and my dialog suggestions and keep going.

You challenged me to a battle to eat each other's minds to survive, Rokoa. I wasn't aware that left any lines not to be crossed.

Do not pretend you didn't do as bad, or worse, to your previous victims. And that you did not intend the same for me.

I will do what I have to survive, distasteful as it is.
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No. 517996 ID: c23ab0

Aw come on, it'll feel great!
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No. 518001 ID: f2c20c

>>517988
Hmm. I don't think Rokoa's gonna let herself conceive from this, in this context.

Change the context. She said Maro hated failure, right? Well she's had some serious failures. Make it be something Maro does to her as a punishment. Not rape, exactly- have it be an agreement between the two. That her carrying his child will make up for her failures.
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No. 518005 ID: 57a559

>>517988
Clever girl

Goddamn. Maybe start making Mado a little more sadistic? Start wanting more fights right now, have him stop thinking. He becomes a rogue for some reason right, does Rokoa know that reason, you can read all that? Manipulate it, use that somehow. Make it key through right here. I recall that first guy she loved was killed by her hive, and second guy killed by her. You have the second guy on file in her brain? Start mixing them a little too. Her memories are changeable in the earlier years because of their distance causing the vagueness of accuracy, different people blending some parts together is another thing that happens with memory. If you can merge a personality factor from the second that will get him to sleep with Rokoa automatically in this situation, you won't have to have sex with her yourself.

Or wait, was he killed by the war hive and not the snow hive for going rogue? Fuck this memory and the wording.
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No. 518008 ID: 19b3c3

Okay, so the problem is Rokoa's pushing back hard enough against our change, and with actual evidence, that we can't just will our changes to be so. In order to change the memory we actually have to walk through the act. As in. Control Maro. Directly. The whole time.

Rokoa wants to get Polo to blink. It's a game of chicken. Only with mind-rape. And actual rape.

...which means unless context shifting ideas like >>518001 or >>518005 work to weaken Rokoa's counter enough, Polo is about to have to endure and do something pretty terrible.

(Geeze, we finally get some Polo x Rokoa slash and it ends up canonical, completely unsexy, and horrifying. Thanks a lot, salikai).
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No. 518071 ID: 5869f6

>>518008
I FEEL UNCLEAN
UNCLEEEAN
(sounclean)
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No. 518081 ID: f2c20c

I would like to make it clear that I don't want Polo to make Maro actually rape Rokoa. That is too much.

I am just worried that having no baby come of this memory will result in it being falsified. On the other hand, I guess last time we completely reversed the situation, like with her first Neumono hunt, it didn't falsify...

Maybe it's okay to have Maro not have sex with her?
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No. 518095 ID: 5dd9ff

Dammit. Can you make the memory-Rokoa insist on another fight, wanting to try to fight differently, and Maro accept? And make the Queen let them? If there's a problem with Rokoa being too beaten up for it, he can offer to take a few punches until they're equal. Then have Rokoa fight more intelligently and more disciplined, as you had him doing, and then win. Then they'll be... well, it'll be a draw technically, 1 - 1, but it'll work better.

I think there may be a double game going on here with Rokoa. The real Rokoa may or may not be capable of complex tactics, and a few scraps of brain matter should be stupid, but it's possible the salikai trained her with plans and contingencies - or that she's using Polo's brain to think with. Namely, I think Rokoa may be trying to set up a lose-lose situation for Polo. A choice is being set up between a) letting Rokoa stay the way she is or b) weakening her but having to do so by unsavory methods. Remember, this is supposed to be willpower vs. willpower. Making Polo force, witness or do things she doesn't want to be party to will weaken her resolve. Altering memories may not be the only way to win!

You need to stay strong, Polo. And don't play the game! If Rokoa is giving you options, don't take any of them; find your own. And preserve your strength! You are a ninja, Polo, swift and flexible, silent and deadly, a delicate scalpel on the body of the battlefield, cunning and, yes, even treacherous when need be! But you have your own honour, different from this warrior nonsense but still a measure for your righteousness. You are loyal to what's important to you, Polo, and in this mental combat, that will give you the power to overcome your opponent. Compromise yourself to win a battle and you'll lose the inner strength you need to win the war.
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No. 518098 ID: 19b3c3

> A choice is being set up between a) letting Rokoa stay the way she is or b) weakening her but having to do so by unsavory methods.
Yes, that's been the choice we've had all along. Let Rokoa win, or make ourself into a mind-eating monster in order to win.

...and horrific as what we're struggling with right now is, we already made the decision to be a monster to survive. And I'm not sure rape is actually even worse than what we've already committed to. We are literally going to take apart every part of her life and ruin all of it, before cutting her mind up in pieces.

(And I am now literally weighing how different means of violating a person completely stack up against one another. That's great).

>don't compromise yourself
If we can come up with a good third option, I'd be glad to take it. But I don't see how we can possibly win this without committing to absolutely horrible things.

...one option might be if we play chicken right back. Get Rokoa to blink. If she backs off, we can alter the memory without actually playing through the details. I mean, one reason she might be trying to get us to blink is she really doesn't want this to happen.
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No. 518103 ID: 5dd9ff

>>518098
>...and horrific as what we're struggling with right now is, we already made the decision to be a monster to survive.

No, we haven't. Not completely. You only need to be a monster to survive if you're not strong enough to be a hero to survive, and I think Polo can be strong enough. And, if we did, I think we'd be losing before we began. Remember, Polo fought this fight before. In her first adventure, a while ago now but still fresh in her memory I'm sure, Polo was defeated and tempted to harden herself to achieve victory. She became too driven, too focused and ruthless, and her allies and her long-term goals would have suffered from it if she hadn't finally turned from that path. That was when she dueled Rokoa, and spared her, and made her an ally as well. Which Rokoa did not understand! She went along with it happily, but she didn't expect it, and didn't get it, at least at the time. She would have advised against it, herself, and went on her own methods, i.e. slaughter (which she did, against the salikai). And how did that end up? Now we have the father salikai wanting to torment the whole species, directly traceable to Rokoa deciding to murder his family. If Rokoa wants to make us stronger as she pictures strength, that's what she would turn Polo into.

But that's how Rokoa thinks! On the inside, she's still a tribal, from a time when every member of a hive had to be strong, and able to take care of themselves, since any of them could die at any time or be forced to move. Independence, raw toughness and strength are how she works. But Polo is civilized, and being civilized means accepting that one person can't do everything, counting on others. All the people who trained her, the people who make the machines that make her equipment, the people who give her information, people to do what she can't do. A sniper never wins a war by themselves, but they find the right spot to strike so that everyone else can do their job better. And that's how Polo works! By learning to cut herself from her species' links, she opened up new ones, dumping prejudices not only on who to hate but who to like. She befriended a voklit, a predator, dealt evenly with salikai and allied herself with members of a hive that was enemy to her own, and all helped her achieve victory in the end. And Rokoa would never even have thought to do it. This one certainly won't have thought it, nor the salikai who made her. If Polo wants to win, and wants to stay herself, she needs to use power the like of which Rokoa wouldn't even think was an option.

The power of friendship. Possibly as some kind of beam.

No, I'm not serious about that bit. But the previous bits, yes. Basically, I think Polo can draw strength of will from places Rokoa wouldn't expect her to, and use that strength, with clever thinking, to achieve her ends without having to be totally horrible. This is a mind battle, after all. It's not real, and the normal rules of pragmatism that deal with reality don't need to apply here, and may even be counterintuitive.
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No. 518105 ID: 735f4f

So instead of following the memory and dragging Rokoa off we need o romance her and change the relationship entirely? Not sure if Polo would like that result much more than the other.
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No. 518108 ID: d1d627

Oooooh frags. Just thought of this, but if she knows him well enough just to say 'No' to that without really looking or paying attention? That probably means if she steps in and actively begins blocking us, we'll get punted from the memory if we keep going like this!
Buuut...If the Queen were to intervene, perhaps with the thought that Rokoa and Mado would spawn strong children, it could still badly distort the memory, while keeping us away from forcing PoloXRokoa.
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No. 518145 ID: 735f4f

I think trying to get the queen involved at this point might be your best chance. Maybe have her say "Oh Maro I know Rokoa is not up to your usual standards but she should have the chance to do something useful for the hive." Then just have her grin evilly and motion to one of the tents.

We know Rokoa had a strained relationship with the queen for a long time so might be close enough to her memories to stick.

Might not work but if it did you could avoid sloppy makeouts with Rokoa and taint her memories of Maro, The queen, and her first born all in one shot.
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No. 518156 ID: 5869f6

>>518145
Less traumatizing. Go with it.
...
BUT I STILL FEEL DIRTY
DIIIRTYYY
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No. 518159 ID: 735f4f

Dirty is better than having your brain eaten by a long shot.
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No. 518161 ID: 19b3c3

...wait, I don't get the idea. What does having the current queen (who isn't the Red Queen at this point in time, I think) interfere do for us? If she prevents copulation then Rokoa's son isn't conceived and this memory gets rejected as false anyways.

Sure, it spares Polo from having to finish the act, but it's a loss for us just the same as if we backed off from the memory.

I really think we want to push back, try to get Rokoa to blink first. She wouldn't be reaching out, trying to get us to stop, if she didn't not want to go through with this.
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No. 518164 ID: 735f4f

The idea is we have the queen ask Maro to bear a child with Rokoa so she can be good at something other than fighting. If it works we can tarnish Rokoa's memories of Maro and make her dislike the queen. Also will weaken her memories of being a strong warrior.

It might not work but the alternative is to drag Rokoa into a tent and bone her while pretending to be Maro. Or abandon the memory and start over.
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No. 518263 ID: d38f67
File 137170096372.png - (18.88KB , 700x700 , 406.png )
518263

Rokoa is difficult to read, but I still am not getting the impression she is desperately trying to defend this memory. She is just seeing what I will do with that aggravating interest.

The queen only has a limited number of years left before the Red queen takes over. This queen does not hate Rokoa like the red one does, so I start to influence her to tell Maro to copulate with Rokoa.

>"Rokoa lost. Get her out of my sight till she learns to fight, Maro." the queen says. That's not what I meant. At all. What... Rokoa.

Rokoa's real conscious takes over for old Rokoa and influences the queen over myself. She's not letting Maro fulfill this on autopilot. I still have to drive.

If this is the worst thing that I would do during Rokoa's infestation, then I will consider myself lucky. So I drag Rokoa off to the farthest tent myself, through Maro. I toss her on the tent's bed. She just stares back at me, waiting again with that passive interest.
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No. 518264 ID: d38f67
File 137170097447.png - (10.78KB , 700x700 , 407.png )
518264

I get onto the bed behind Rokoa, and hold her. Then I proceed to cuddle her for one hour straight, building their empathic relations to form a loving bond with each other. Maro gets up at one point to clean Rokoa's wounds. After this memory closes, Maro and Rokoa will have children later so that this memory is not easily rejected and wasted.

The real Rokoa laughs, honestly amused. Half an hour into the spooning, Katzati comes in. She just waits in awkward silence, since Rokoa is not attacking my memory.
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No. 518265 ID: d38f67
File 137170098236.png - (20.22KB , 700x700 , 408.png )
518265

I end up in the neutral zone once the memory finishes.

>"Should I have left? That was..." Katzati starts.
"That was nothing. Nothing, except the best alternative I could think of. Thank you for coming." Katzati gets my tone, and decides not to talk about it anymore. At first, I was afraid I was simply losing my nerve, and could not go through with where that memory was going. However, I do not believe that is the case. Rather, I believe that I would have little hesitancy in doing awful things to Rokoa if I know that it is the most reliable path to my survival.

The biggest issue I am having, and what might be the detriment to my resolve, is that I simply don't know if what I am doing is working. There is no way to know, this early, to my knowledge. Doing many heinous things to ruin her from the inside out because it might be the route to take is where I begin second guessing myself. Rokoa's empathy is not sharing much.

Perhaps that is how the other three before me failed. Not because Rokoa crushed their memories and personalities with alarming efficiency, but simply because they were.... nice. They were too good to go through with what they may have to. That, or perhaps they did do the worst things they could think of to Rokoa, and it simply did not effect this insane, often stupid person. In fact, neither could work. Or both could work, and just need great execution to do so.

The only people I believe could know anything about this are in the salikai base.
>>
No. 518267 ID: f2c20c

>>518265
Alternatively, they weren't nice enough. Changing her memories to more pleasant scenarios might work too, to change the core of who she is. She thrives on conflict, after all, and she is a deeply injured person. Piling more injury on top of that might be the wrong approach. Plus, if we make her more like you, wouldn't it make her more likely to cooperate with you? Or even, sacrifice herself for your benefit?

Still, that's just a theory without evidence. If we want evidence, we need to get in contact with that Mirim person. We could try to sneak in but that would likely result in your death. I think instead, what we should do is send Biles' invisible buddy in to ask for information. Biles might also have some useful information in general to tell us that could help, or he could even do some weird technique.

OH. I just realized, we can probably ask Biles to help get our group some food.
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No. 518268 ID: 735f4f

Good job there Polo. As for second guessing yourself you really shouldn't. It might not be a all or nothing thing with these memories. Some you might have to do something horrible and others you can change more with kindness.

This memory you managed to weaken Rokoa's history of being a successful fighter and replaced it with a softer less dominant version. And you did so by being smart and avoiding the obvious.

Ultimately you should not change who you are to fight Rokoa. That I think would be more damaging in the long run and might make you more susceptible to her changing your memories.

The more memories you change the more you have access to. And once you get far enough you should be able to break into her recent memories and learn how it works and get the info we need on the Salikai.

So fight smart and with clever tactics but don't be afraid to be horrible if you need to.

The only way you are getting info on how this works is from Rokoa's memories or sneaking into the enemy base. Unless you can heal up really fast or somehow pretend to be taken over by Rokoa you should try to get through the memories as fast as you can.
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No. 518270 ID: 57a559

Well, we could just kill another clone like she said to. There's no way you could take them in a fair fight (with only CQC allowed) though so...

Face it, she knows even that. I think you're at her mercy. Just don't start begging for it, she'd never respect that. I think she actually just wants to stay in here, maybe play around a little and test you consistently until she gets tired, then she'll start the real fight. Or maybe she's training you to fight better in close quarters through these people in her memory. You can't tell what the fuck she's thinking or doing. I mean, you've beaten the shit out of Rokoa as Maro now, somehow. And Maro lost originally. How did you do that? You're at least a better fighter than Maro and past Rokoa with just bare hands.

Maybe what I said up top was wrong, maybe you CAN take a clone in a fair fight.
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No. 518271 ID: 19b3c3

>I have the will and resolve to do horrible things to Rokoa to survive, if necessary
Good. Then let's not bring that up again. We won't flinch the next time we have to.

>The problem is we don't know how the previous three people failed. Either the worst things didn't affect the madwoman, or being nice didn't fix her. Or they just didn't execute properly.
That's a pretty concise analysis. The problem is we are not exactly how to proceed. Rokoa has told us how she won previously- we don't know for sure the same techniques will work on her.

>The only people I believe could know anything about this are in the salikai base.
Couple of problems with that. You need Rokoa's intel to safely infiltrate the base. We might be able to pull that off now. We reached beyond in memory before. We could see her memory of why she smiles even though it was too deep for us to change. And we don't need to change the intel- just see it.

You could use Katzati to run interference and defend your memories against Rokoa while you went for the information.

Also, it's possible Rokoa's own memories of prior memory battles could help, if you can get to those.

Second problem: you can't attempt an infiltration until you've healed up. You're hours away from being close to functional. I wonder- could we strike a deal with Rokoa? Get her to temporarily use her regeneration to help repair you, instead of trying to overwrite you? If the two of you worked together, you would have your eye and foot in working order a lot faster.

She even has good reason to help. If she wants you dead or is loyal to the salikai- getting you out there gives them the chance to get you. And if she is trying to help us, this helps us. Plus, you're going after the scientist who treated her like a lab rat, and whatever side Rokoa's on, she can't have fond memories of her. It's win-win-win for Rokoa to help get us up and at 'em again.
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No. 518272 ID: 735f4f

You know if you can you might want to try and speed run these memories. Both you and Kazati each take one and just go through it fast as possible making only quick and simple changes.

If you can pull it off you will be able to get to recent memories quicker and learn what you should be doing. Then armed with that knowledge you can go back and change things.

Plus with the two of your keeping her occupied Rokoa will not have time to mess with your memories because if she wanders off she risks one of you changing something big while she is not watching.
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No. 518277 ID: 01531c

>>518271
>The problem is we don't know how the previous three people failed.
>Rokoa has told us how she won previously- we don't know for sure the same techniques will work on her.

Uh oh.

>three previous mind battles
+
>each battle involves memory alteration
=
THESE OLDER MEMORIES MAY NOT BE ORIGINAL ROKOA MEMORIES
>>
No. 518282 ID: 19b3c3

>>518277
Strictly speaking, it's possible. But we haven't actually seen anything that would indicate that. We've been through he most vulnerable memories already- the easiest to reach, that even the most pathetic victim would have had access to. If they had been previously edited you'd think they'd have been made really awful or really nice- but they weren't. They were generally what I expected from Rokoa and a more brutal pre-contact world.
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No. 518360 ID: 382278

I think what we're in trouble with here is planning. We're fighting a sequence of battles in a longer conflict, and we need to know what direction we're trying to push to win overall. Our prime goal is to make Rokoa less, er, willful, let's call it. Other, equally prime goal is to preserve Polo's mental integrity and her own willpower.

Currently, the route we seem to be taking is to make Rokoa a gentler type of person, first by making her a less effective fighter and someone who doesn't prize fighting so much, and someone who acts more reasonably. We can't turn her into a housewife or the like, that would probably be too much; in fact, we probably have to keep her ending up as a QI, since without that her memories leading up to the point where she's cloned won't make sense. But we can give her a more delicate touch. Maybe make her a backup rather than a front-line fighter. Did the hive's QIs have medic or engineer types in their ranks? We might squeeze a softer Rokoa through on those. There are a few other routes we can try to the end goal, and it would be nice if we could figure out some sort of crazy doublethink where we catch Rokoa in no-win scenarios and the like.

The trouble is, we need information. More on how this mental battle works, more about Rokoa's life so we don't mess up memory alterations. Polo, I know it's not working out to try and observe her "indoctrination" process directly, but this Rokoa said she had been through three successful takeovers before. Could you do a quick strike - a raid, as it were - into one of her memories of being in those taken-over bodies, between cycles of infection and harvesting? We could listen in on the scientists interrogating and inspecting her, and maybe manipulate the memory to catch more information.
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No. 518512 ID: d38f67
File 137183613119.png - (17.80KB , 700x700 , 409.png )
518512

>You beat Rokoa in close quarter combat as Maro
Yes, as something several times the volume of my own size. Plus, that was fighting old Rokoa, and new Rokoa already thinks of her as weak. I have not yet fought a fight that would be anywhere near me fighting a current Rokoa clone in reality.

>Did the hive's QIs have medic or engineer types in their ranks?
They did. All of the QI's were exceptional fighters, but most of them were well trained in other manners, such as the dragoon pilot I fought, who could operate many kinds of vehicles. However, they were, in effect, the queen's bodyguards, and were only occasionally sent into the front lines when either necessary or simply to keep their skills sharp.

I will attempt to read Rokoa's most recent memories, of the fights themselves. Her practice would only be meaningful if she remembers it.

A lot of it is fuzzy, from the brain extraction process. Her brain is painstakingly removed by means of surgery, before her conscious is without a body. Then it is condensed, so that it may fit inside of a tube.

Then injected into someone else. The first one was just a neumono prisoner the salikai kept around, one of the few they have that is not of the science hive. He spent the entire time pleading with Rokoa to stop. Rokoa did not care to kill someone like that, but she did care to survive. The second person... Rokoa does not remember fighting the second person very well. The second one was doing well, but then did something or another that crippled herself, letting Rokoa win. The third one was trying to do what I am doing, but eventually could not stand to go through all of Rokoa's memories, as he either had to kill or be killed repeatedly. He eventually would have rather died. Rokoa just waltzed through their memories after they gave up, and started eating their personality's core. They didn't care enough to stop her, even though they still had the power to, since Rokoa did not eat much of their memories.

I also inevitably learn that the remaining salikai learned from Rosotski's mistake. Rosotski treated Rokoa with some amount of dignity. The current head of the salikai installs metal bars in Rokoa's joints so that she cannot bend them much, and keeps her in a thick walled holding cell in a constant state of half beaten to death with a relay for Four Stripes in range while they interrogate her. Generally it was the salikai that did the interrogation, not the science hive.
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No. 518515 ID: d38f67
File 137183644696.png - (17.32KB , 700x700 , 410.png )
518515

But Rokoa had been moved around and did learn some things about their layout. Aside from the few entrances around the perimeter on my map, there is an entrance far, far deeper down. The opportunity to sneak inside, should I wish to, is far more appealing from that angle. The trouble is, is that I do not know which cave paths to take. All I know is to simple go downward. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think she may not have been broken by the salikai. She paid a great deal of attention to what she could, and the salikai could not avoid her learning much of the layout. I will have to write it down when I can no longer sleep.

But my foot is still broken. I still have more memories to access while I get some sleep. This time, I may simply use my silence on my own memories, while having Katzati help me with running through Rokoa's. Rokoa is quickly losing interest in my own memories. She thinks my life was boring.

>Get Rokoa to help with regeneration
I doubt that she even could selectively do that.

"Rokoa. Can you speed my regeneration up?"
"What, manually? No one can do that, unless you're a freak. Let me take over and it'll happen on its own."
"Nevermind."

Current memory listing:
http://www.tgchan.org/wiki/Polo_Quest_Statistics#Rokoa_Infestation
>>
No. 518520 ID: 57a559

>>518512
>>518515
I really want to see the Dad one. As important as her son is to her identity, that sounds a little less life changing as changing hives. That could be a big turning point.

>Rokoa clones get metal in her joints
You still might be able to take one of them on then. This whole memory stuff might have more advantages though. You might be able to train through or gain some extra knowledge or skills through this. Though obviously Rokoa's boredom will either start to make her give up or start her getting real serious and trying her best to attack your core straight away if she can manage. A bored Rokoa scares me.
>>
No. 518529 ID: 3cbb02

Now, that's some useful information. Looks like mental fatigue is a big factor - that third person lost the will to fight from having to go through so much. I'm sure you're much stronger, Polo, but it's still something to watch for. On the other hand, the second person might have gone too far in the other direction, and became too much like Rokoa, so that they began to merge, and the memories became confused enough that they had to be rejected entirely before Rokoa took over properly. just a theory, though. It seems backed up by Rokoa no longer being interested in Polo-memories, so there must be other ways to "win". We need to walk the middle road, as always.

I wonder, were those clones killed, or did they just have a large portion extracted and left alive? It's not like they had to kill the original Rokoa to get enough for cloning, after all. The one we killed may have been one of them. Anyway, can't you pass a little of this info to Katzati right now, instead of waiting to wake up? It might be gone by then. But if you can't spare the time or effort, never mind.

The other-hive extermination mission... is it still the old queen, or the new one? I was thinking of visiting that memory and having Rokoa sneak along, but to play more of a support role, and earn more of a place for herself that way. I think she would make a nice medic-y type, but for that we might have to visit an earlier memory and arrange for her to have knowledge of splints and herbs and such. It would piss off the Queen to be disobeyed, but for the old Queen we could make it part of her decline from power, and for the new one it could be part of the antagonism she had for Rokoa.

Say, is it just me, or does Rokoa already look a little bit... gentler than she used to?
>>
No. 518530 ID: 19b3c3

>he current head of the salikai installs metal bars in Rokoa's joints so that she cannot bend them much, keeps her beaten half dead in a sealed room within Four Stripes range
Personally, I would have gone with amputating her limbs, lower jaw, pulling her remaining teeth, and capping all the injuries with metal. And then strapping her down in a secure room.

>the more I think about it, the more I think she may not have been broken by the salikai.
Yeah. Although that may be due to her repaired contact with herself via your memories- the other clone was broken enough for them to trust her with weapons and without bugs.

>what can we learn from her previous victims
...so "don't give up", "don't cripple yourself", and "don't wuss out".

So keep an eye out for any possible ways we might accidentally screw ourselves over, and don't hesitate or hold back when we have to do something awful.

>silence my own memories, while having Katzati help me
>Rokoa is quickly losing interest in my own memories. She thinks my life was boring.
That plan seems like a good idea. Although if Rokoa is leaving off the attack, that speaks of considerable confidence, or it supports the theory that she's more in this to fight you than win.

Let's see her Dad and the snow hive raid this time.

>No one can do that, unless you're a freak.
We are currently two people sharing and fighting over one body. We are a freak. It would be beneficial to both of us to be able to move again, but if you cannot focus or direct your efforts in that manner, it's a moot point.

...I was really hoping we'd end up back on our feet and with one freaky red Rokoa eye. :V

...any estimate how long it will take before your foot is healed up? Or your eye?
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No. 518532 ID: 4c4354

Whichever one we do choose, we need to kick it up a notch. Like have you appear as yourself and maybe eat her ears at the end of every one, just to show how much you're in control and how helpless she is in your own body, hopefully getting your own immune system to more aggressively attack the physical virus itself.

Start by replacing people with Polo, more and more often, eventually with the goal of replacing everyone with Polo, till the only thing she knows is Polo everywhere haunting her constantly until she completely breaks down. The ultimate goal being her turning to Polo at which point we should have won.
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No. 518546 ID: 735f4f

Well from looking at her memories we are on the right path. The only uncertain part is with the second victim.

Am guessing the second one tried to go to far one way or the other and ended up losing herself while strengthening Rokoa.

I think this battle is more about coming to know your opponent through learning there most important memories first. Then once you both connect at the middle as it were your personalities can fight it out.

So we want to keep weakening Rokoa as we go but not do anything so drastic it changes us in the process.
>>
No. 518571 ID: 735f4f

Try the one with her father first. Might not be able to or even want to change it much but will be good to learn more about him. And should open up memories of the other hive.
>>
No. 518573 ID: 19b3c3

Hey wait. We're down an eye and a leg. We've mirrored the injuries you gave Rokoa before. Can't believe I just noticed that. :V

>Rokoa's imprisonment and treatment
...all of which shows just how right we were to make the suicide play way back when with the egg bomb instead of surrendering and accepting the salikai promise that we would live. He made no assurances how we would be treated, after all.
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No. 518597 ID: 735f4f

So is there still a somewhat original clone locked up in the Salikai base somewhere? Or is this whats left of her after the brain dart stuff?

If she is not completely broken we might have a possible ally locked up deep in the base. Could rescue her and get her to help wreck up the place. Even with the metal joint thing she would be dangerous.

Broken or not you have to eat this one but at least you can send her off to Valhalla in style.
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No. 518631 ID: f2c20c

>>518515
From this information, it seems all we need to do is NEVER GIVE UP and also not fuck ourselves over somehow like the second victim did. Frankly, none of those mental fights were fair. In the end, she never won because of anything SHE did. Also, we're winning. Rokoa is bored and has stopped attacking much. She's waiting for Polo to screw up and cripple herself, like that second opponent. She's overconfident. Or maybe it's the opposite- she knows she's going to lose, and is just curious about Polo alongside maybe training her a bit via her memories.

So let's not fuck up. If we could somehow figure out exactly how the second victim fucked up, by examining those memories in greater detail, we could have a practically assured victory.

I think we should tackle the first child memory, personally. So far we've changed Rokoa's memories so that she's A) gotten her ass kicked because she killed defenseless neumono and B) been forgiven for being a failure. If we can change her memories of her children to be more positive too, that would continue to move her closer to someone we could work with. I mean, isn't that the main problem here? That this Rokoa is too different to work with?
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No. 518632 ID: d38f67
File 137185601088.png - (82.96KB , 700x700 , 411.png )
518632

Rokoa's mother, Rikora, is spending time with Rokoa, at her hive's encampment at the coastal cliffside. It is a very small hive of about 10, but most are out hunting, leaving only a few.

Rokoa's father, Kallan, heads up the mountain with 3 other neumono. When he enters empathic range is when Rokoa's memory begins. What would happen normally is that Kallan would demand Rokoa back after being stolen. Rikora claims that she beat Kallan before, and Rokoa has no place under a weakling. Kallan, however, claims that the individual has no place in the hive, but that her hive as a whole is weak compared to his own.

That insult sparks the fight between the five neumono left in Rikora's hive, and the 4 on Kallan's side. There are 3 and 2 deaths respectively, with Rikora and one other neumono left only wounded. Kallan and one other survive and make it back to their own hive with Rokoa.

Much of this is bits and pieces filled in by what Rokoa heard from her father later on, but he did not like speaking about this often.
>>
No. 518642 ID: 735f4f

Guessing that Rokoa is pretty young in this one. Can you tell if she has a stronger attachment to her mother or father later on in life?

Without knowing more its hard to tell if there is any change we can make to this memory that would help weaken Rokoa's personality.

But we might be able to make some big changes if we want to because this memory is mostly made up of stuff her father told her.

If her mother is more about individual strength and her father more about the hive as a whole that could be a start. We know current Rokoa values both of these strongly. Maybe we can try and push it one way or the other?

Or could have more or less of them die in the fight. Not sure if that would help though.
>>
No. 518643 ID: f2c20c

>>518632
Okay, we can't change the end result. Rokoa will be recovered, and there will be violence.

Let's try to do it via LESS violence. LESS trauma. Have a rematch decide her fate, make sure her father wins. Unless there's no chance for him to win- in that case, have him counter her argument that he's weak by saying that an individual cannot protect the entire hive. Have him demonstrate by having an organized battle between the other neumono, each side picking their best 3 and agreeing to avoid death.
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No. 518650 ID: 3cbb02

Her father's hive's mentality seems to favour less individual strength, more group strength. It's possible they'd be a bit more "civilized", with specialists working together rather than every person being fightey. So, if we wanted to push Rokoa into a more non-combat personality/skillset, we could make it so she learns such things enough to be useful with her father's hive, and then use that to justify her original hive putting up with her even if we make her into less of a warrior type later.

These memories seem faint, so they should be easier to adjust?
>>
No. 518653 ID: 5869f6

Making it LESS traumatizing looks to be the gameplan fer this 'un
>>
No. 518661 ID: 19b3c3

Okay. I see a few options.

We could make it more traumatic. More death, make little Rokoa get injured in the course of the battle.

We could make it trite and pathetic and less important by reducing the violence.

...actually, I kind of like a combo. This is mostly based on her father's story- it's a kind of hero's legacy. It took a battle to bring me into the work. Take that away from her, deflate her. Somehow get little Rokoa to screw up in the process, and get herself hurt- so instead of a family legacy it's a personal shame.
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No. 518678 ID: d38f67
File 137186476969.png - (21.18KB , 700x700 , 412.png )
518678

They get in empathic range to Rokoa and Rikora. To organize my thoughts, the father gets Rokoa, and the mother does not attempt to steal Rokoa anymore. Her father's hive is the one that she is raised with.

Rokoa is simultaneously excited to see her dad and sad that they have to fight. She just assumes that that is what they have to do. There is history between them, but those are the details that Kallan did not share with Rokoa much.
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No. 518679 ID: d38f67
File 137186478483.png - (47.99KB , 700x700 , 413.png )
518679

>"What do you want?" she asks to Kallan as he approaches.
>"Rokoa." They pause to gather each other's empathy.
>"And so you bring more than yourself. You are too weak to take her yourself. Rokoa has no place under suck a weakling."
>"She has no place under a weak hive. Your hive is broken. Keeping Rokoa to yourself will be the death of her, and you are too blind to realize it."
>"You speak as an idiot. Prove yourself and fight me alone if you are to raise her alone."
>"I have no intention of raising her alone like her selfish mother! She will be with my hive."

The thought of Rokoa resembling her father's hive turns out to be what gets Rokoa's mother in a frenzy. If I am to stop an angry bloodbath, I may have to take direct control of her mother.

On the other hand, Rokoa herself is starting to wish that they don't have to fight. She is already going to try to stop them, although she only gets tossed out of the way. I could have her intervention be more extreme, somehow. Katzati is also around to assist. Rokoa is only gliding through more school memories of mine and not changing anything.
>>
No. 518680 ID: f2c20c

>>518679
Hey, it's Pilon! We could use him- his personality fits someone who would step in as a diplomat.

Take direct control of Rokoa's mother and have her tell them to prove it. That their hive is stronger than hers. Rokoa's future depends on it, and she should realize that first and foremost- that Rokoa is the most important thing here, not the pride of a mother. Katzati can manipulate Pilon to get him to suggest a fair fight between the two hives without their parents involved. There's no need for death here.

Also Rokoa's mom should demand the right to visit her.
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No. 518682 ID: 735f4f

Ok seems like she definitely takes after her mother. If you can take direct control of Rikora and at least stop her from going berserk it will be a start.

I like the idea of proving his hive is stronger. Keeps the parents out of the fight and is less traumatic to little Rokoa here. Would be a 3 vs 4 fight but with your help could push it over the edge. If they win handily then will help prove that strength in numbers is more important than personal strength.

The trick will be keeping Mom out of the fight. She does not look to be one to back down from anything.

Also is that Pilon? Or maybe his dad?

Not sure what to make about Rokoa just coasting through your memories. It might just be you have less pivotal points to change earlier on. Or she could be just trying to get this done with and get to your personality so she can try and fight you faster. Keep a eye on her and if she gets to any really life changing choices make sure to defend them with everything you have.
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No. 518684 ID: 19b3c3

>Hey, it's Pilon!
...maybe? The snout is kind of short, and I don't think the ears are big enough, actually. You'd think Polo would have mentioned him by name if he were here, too.

>I could have her intervention be more extreme, somehow.
Yeah. This fight is supposed to be about two people trying desperately to do what's right for Rokoa- if she gets hurt by it, that changes the flavor. And it's another failure, and it's another reinforcement of "violence has consequences".

Might be accomplished by having her hold back- if she's not there initially to go thrown back, you can have her try to interne slightly later in the fight, when the combatants are more distracted and the danger of entering the fray is higher.

It think we also wanto tone down the glory aspect- lower the body count. Have the mother still be enraged, but the fight go out of her when Rokoa gets hurt.

That means between the two of you, one will have to control the mother to rein her in when it's time, and the other will have to control Rokoa. (I'd think you should be Rokoa? So you're the one hurting yourself and not Katz. Although she'll still have to fight. Also, silence will make mini-Rokoa intervening unexpectedly easier).

Rokoa's only real options if she shows up would be to possess her farther, or on of the other surviving warhiver or snowhivers to try and force things into escalating when we try to deflate.

>skimming through school memories
Probably just trying to get through them so she can get to something interesting worth messing with.
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No. 518689 ID: 3cbb02

Oh wow Rokoa's mother looks fabulous. Those clothes look way more advanced than anything the other hive has; whoever made them had more materials and time on their hands than any tribal should. Either they're heirlooms from some more advanced glory days (possibly a spartan-like society judging by the attitude?) or they're loot from a more civilized hive. And if Rokoa's weird biological properties are hereditary I'm going to guess they come from her mother, too, so it's possible there's some family line mutation that her mother's trying to preserve by keeping her.

Obviously Rokoa is the last in the line of some mystical ancient neumono super-royalty, and Polo will inherit her magical powers by consuming her, and swords will be reforged and the trees shall bloom again and she'll be able to use giant crystal balls with impunity. Although Polo is a little hobbitlike, now I think about it...

Perhaps before they start to actually fight and we have to deal with that, they can we make them argue about each of their hive's advantages and disadvantages a bit more? Like, "with us she will have X and Y and Z", that sort of thing. We would get more information about what will be Rokoa's hive, so as to better know how to arrange things in the future. It'd be nice to hear more about her mother's hive, too, but Rokoa likely doesn't have the information to construct such a memory.
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No. 518696 ID: 57a559

Can you try and have Rokoa hurt one of her Dad's hivemates?
I'm really more interested in the reaction, or if one of the Dad's hivemates hurts Rokoa. IF one's dumb enough to do so, probably get killed by the Mom instantly, this fight can get naaaaasty. There might also be infighting between the Dad (and other hivemates) and the hivemate(s) that "accidentally" hurt Rokoa.

I see where Rokoa got quite a bit of her attitude from at least.
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No. 518698 ID: 57a559

Actually now that I think a little bit more on it... I want a one-on-one fight between Rokoa's Mom and Pilon.
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No. 518706 ID: 735f4f

Well her dad did originally win this fight with less people so he proved that his hive was stronger in the end.

Honestly I do not think changing this to be more violent would at all help. Also causing little Rokoa to get hurt just seems petty.

Honestly the biggest damage we could do would probably be to make this a happy memory somehow. But not sure we can change that much.
>>
No. 518746 ID: 93ed4d

Could Rokoa be making alterations on a level other than emotional? Altering the material you were learning from to be distored, or even completely flawed? It would suck if woke up with the brain of a college dropout.
>>
No. 518762 ID: d1d627

Hrrm...Perhaps come to an agreement?
Rokoa is young here. We could have it occur that the Mother and Father find a way to settle their differences...
Maybe a change to the combat format.
The mother believes in personal strength. The father believes in strength of the hive.
Perhaps the Mother could, rashly attempt to duel each of the father hive members, one at a time, with the agreement that if she loses, Rokoa goes with the Father, or something like that.
A clash of ideals made manifest, is what I'm going for here. The power of the individual, versus the might of teamwork. We could reinforce this by having the father hive 'strategize' in how they bring down the mother, having the first Neumono focus on wearing her down, the second on crippling attacks, and the last, or third, makes the blow that defeats her.
Alternately, we could reinforce the 'combat is bad' aspect by having Rokoa interfere in the Father vs. Mother duel, and have her be injured by the Mother.
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No. 519007 ID: d38f67
File 137203176260.png - (96.77KB , 700x900 , 414.png )
519007

Oh. Rokoa is making me beat up a classmate and get my hive blacklisted from the college I just entered. That will be easily rejected. Rokoa is just messing around.

I have Kallan decide on how it will be done.

"You think the individual counts over the hive? Prove it to us. Fight us one at a time, with you alone."

Rikora gets up and sets Rokoa down rather haphazardly.

>"All you will return with are broken bones." she agrees, and motions the other members of her hive back and keep an eye on the fight.
>>
No. 519008 ID: d38f67
File 137203177095.png - (19.79KB , 700x700 , 415.png )
519008

One of Kallan's allies goes first to attempt to wear Rikora down. I attempt to control that ally, but my lack of hand to hand expertise gets in the way. That, and the fact that she is as big as the giant neumono the salikai only have through artificial growth hormones. I have a feeling that trying to control Rikora directly to make her fight poorly will make things unbelieveable, but I will do so if the alternative is failing this. My attempts to tire her out seem questionable, and eventually I make some kind of mistake when Rikora gets a hold on me and dislocates my shoulders followed by caving my face in. It is particularly disappointing but mostly painful. I get out of that body, and move to the second.

Even with my silence, she's more than formidable. I get several quick blows on her, but that ally goes down as well. Rikora is abnormally strong compared to the others in her hive. Kallan only was victorious originally because it was hardly more than everyone ganging up on Rikora while Rikora's hivemates proved little more than distractions.
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No. 519009 ID: d38f67
File 137203178009.png - (92.61KB , 900x700 , 416.png )
519009

Pilon goes third. He is almost as old as I am by this point, but he is one of the smarter fighters. I don't like how this is going, so I start to control Rikora after all. Rokoa's conscious senses that, and she controls Rikora as well. We cancel each other out, so Rikora fights as normal. Rokoa proves protective against the idea of me controlling her mother.

Despite that, Pilon does a good job, and forces signs of wear and tear on Rikora. The question of how Pilon's ears make him remotely viable for combat is answered when Rikora does grab an ear and yank backward, only to push herself unexpectedly off balance when Pilon's ear comes off with almost no resistance. It turns out he keeps a plate of wood in his ear to minimize the connective tissue, making it quick to rip off should it get snagged. How he is not knocked off balance with them flopping about remains a mystery.

Rikora still is clearly winning despite not getting a finishing move off on Pilon for some time, and Pilon eventually gets grabbed and swung repeatedly into nearby rocks until he empathically tags out.
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No. 519016 ID: d38f67
File 137203261325.png - (98.64KB , 700x700 , 417.png )
519016

Rikora gives him one last rock swing to break a leg and turns to Kallan, the last.

At my direction, Katzati takes control of mini Rokoa and runs inbetween them as they rush each other. Rikora unceremoniously picks her up and tosses her backwards. I then remember that things were fucked up, and Rikoa probably would except her offspring to take injury in stride, although the snow breaks her fall. Nonetheless, I get the impression that having Rokoa wounded would hardly give her parents any hiccup.

Kallan, with my control, starts fighting Rikora. I play it even more cautiously than I have already, and Rikora gets annoyed by what looks like my dancing and backing away. She starts pushing me back to the edge of the mountainside cliff, and though it is coincidental it is in that direction, she starts getting the idea to throw Kallan off of it should the opportunity present itself.

Katzati does not need to direct mini Rokoa anymore, she gets up on her own and grabs onto Rikora's leg, yelling at them to stop.

Though Rikora can sense Rokoa's intent to grab her leg, our footing and fighting prevents her from stopping Rokoa. In that, I see a chance to accomplish this. The distraction may be enough to simply throw Rikoa off the cliff. There are lots of ifs and buts with that idea, but it is a good shot considering the difficulty I am having. Rikora is the sort of person that could carelessly bum rush me without being unbelievable about it, so perhaps I can will that, at the least, onto her, though I do not know if Rokoa would stop that as well. In any case, winning is not the difficult part, I believe. It is winning while also performing minimal intervention to do so.
>>
No. 519019 ID: 735f4f

Would a fall off the cliff be lethal? If so can you tell when Rikora normally dies in Rokoa's memories?

Bum rush might work but you would probably have to taunt her somehow into doing it. You might be able to shove her off with the distraction but you would have to be quick to snatch up Rokoa in case she went along for the ride.

So if you do manage to get her off the cliff be very careful about little Rokoa. If she gets caught up in everything and goes over then Kallan would probably go after her.

If you do manage to knock her over you could try and have Kallan go down with young Rokoa and bandage her up. Then have him give her some speech about how this is why you don't try to fix everything yourself and to trust in your hive.
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No. 519020 ID: 57a559

All I can think of to change this battle is have it lead to mid-battle sex
Because, honestly, what subtle way else are you going to change it to have it matter? Have someone lose an extra ear or limb? What would a little extra or little less harm even do?

Or if you can get this to a bit of a standstill in some way, you can convince the mother to merge hives if she truly believes that she still would be the stronger of the two. Rokoa needs a strong hive and a strong individual as a parent, and if Rikora is the best at that job than she simply should just bring her hive along. Together, they will grow great! Super strong! The children bred by both tribes could easily rule over many lands and win many battles.

If Rokoa isn't supposed to see her Mom ever again because that's too big of a change, we could get her killed by a predator or through a popular illness. You know history pretty well Polo, just get that in somewhere. The change of having some of her old snow hive friends ought to do weird things with the empath waves and social interactions that will shape Rokoa very differently but also subtly at the same time, especially at such a young age. She'll remember feeling alien for some reason to even her old hive mates, which should create a significant backlash in her personality.

If your having trouble with convincing Rikora to join at all, then either get Pilon back into the fight somehow or bring someone you think that could be reasonably there back into the fight to get Rikora to that standstill or losing state. After Rikora's loss, try your best to get other snow hive members to join Kallen's hive, because it sounds a little more reasonable for a tribe to get in this serious fight to get more members instead of just getting Rokoa. Rokoa won't be as protective of her other snow hive members I'm sure.
>>
No. 519021 ID: 19b3c3

>Polo's inexperience in hand to hand hinders her controlling combatants
You can't take a little more hands off approach? Only sort of guide their intent, and cover them with some silence, and let their own skill and experience land the blows?

You might actually learn something that way, actually. Not that hand-to-hand will help you against much given your size...

>how Pilon's ears are useful
And in modern warfare, they serve as bullet stopping meat-shields!

>He is almost as old as I am by this point
Hmm. Should be older than you. He would have been almost 50 when Rokoa was born. Either Rokoa's remembering wrong, our previous changes had unintended effects, or my ITQ data is wrong.

>what do
Hum. What have we accomplished so far? I guess we've made it less of a bloodbath- previous the Rikora, one of her hivemates, Pilon and Kallan survived the fighting. I'm... not entirely sure what effect that has. Less of a baptized in blood origin mythos for her to grow up with, I guess. Takes a little wind out of her sails.

What's our goal now? Merely to have Kallan defeat Rikora so Rokoa gets where she's supposed to and the memory isn't rejected, I suppose.

Cliff plan works, I guess. Not sure what we can Katz do, aside from try to interfere with Rokoa's attempts to control anyone, so we're given the leeway to make the change unopposed. That, or if she sees an opportunity for mimi-Rokoa to 'accidentally' further trip things up...
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No. 519028 ID: d1d627

Sorry for that one on one idea guys, this does not look like it's turning out well.
Pilon is an awesome SOB even as a youngster!
I'm thinking he might actually be more awesome than Rokoa!
But as far as how to handle this...I'm thinking maybe, as a twist, go for Rokoa, control her so she goes to you, then when Rikora throws you off the cliff, shield Rokoa as best you can.
At the envitable tragic death landing, as best you can, send out empathetic coordinates to your hive/control Rokoa so she manages to make it home, maybe even use your stealth training to hid from Rikora!
This...Might toss Rokoa in a waaay different direction and invalidate your earlier work with her memories, but cause a far more radical change of character. Also, major gamble considering how harsh the wilderness around here may be...
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No. 519033 ID: f2c20c

The only way to defeat her is to get her off the cliff edge, most believably from loose rocks that were hidden under snow. Kallan doesn't even have to realize that the loose rocks are there! She doesn't have to die from the fall- she could grab the ledge or (relatively)safely land so far down she can't climb back up in time to stop Kallan from just taking Rokoa. In the first case, Kallan should threaten to make her fall if she doesn't hand over Rokoa, and in the latter he should just shout down that the fight's over and he's won.

If Rikora needs help getting back up from the cliff, then that would further reinforce the idea that fighting alone is a fool's errand.
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No. 519040 ID: d38f67
File 137203974286.png - (142.88KB , 700x700 , 418.png )
519040

>Pilon should be older than you.
Yes. I mean I am almost as old as Pilon. Relatively. He is older than I.

>What to accomplish?
Perhaps more of a lesson for Rokoa to have an example of smart winning the day rather than the normal case of everyone rushing each other and beating each other until someone wins. Maybe. It seems, perhaps, somewhat weak on second thought, but maybe Rokoa takes pride on having her parents fight brutally against each other or something. She is not actively thinking on that at the moment, so I couldn't tell.

Ultimately I may just wish to get through this memory, as Rokoa certainly isn't taking messing with mine seriously. So I don't drastically change this battle since both Kallan and Rikora must live for believability, and instead just give some mental pushes to guide everyone's intentions just a bit. Rikora charges, Rokoa distracts her in a timely fashion again after getting kicked off, and Kallan, who is far better at learned technique in fighting than Rikora, simply gets under her and relays her momentem forward. It is not a confirmed way to kill her, so the memory would not be rejected by that alone when she shows up again later. Which, she does.
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No. 519041 ID: d38f67
File 137203974839.png - (19.24KB , 700x700 , 419.png )
519041

I am growing sick of Rokoa's bloody past, but there is little choice but to move on.

The memories set in, and I briefly run through my memories. I am going to assume that that one time I inexplicably almost murdered someone and got my hive blacklisted from my college only to go back the next week without mention of it was all Rokoa's doing.

>"Are you going to keep going?" Katzati asks me.
"Yes."

And I believe I have found a theme. I will continue making Rokoa fail when she gets violent, and otherwise punish her normal lifestyle with shame and failure. In light of that, I will attempt, when possible, to make things go better for her when she is more ethical, chooses to support her allies rather than attack her foes, and otherwise reward her for not being a complete monster. Something tells me that changing her into... well, changing her motivation will be far more successful than attempting to crush her motivation through doing nothing but making her life a wreck.

However, I should either refine or, at worst, change what I have been doing thus far, as more than anything, I should be consistent if I wish my effects to be strongest. Once I choose, I will start running through as many memories I can before inevitably waking up.
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No. 519042 ID: c23ab0

Just keep in mind you're trying to erase her, not reform her.
>>
No. 519043 ID: f2c20c

>>519041
So, obviously-false memories still remain in memory. How about one last advantage. Tell Katzati what Rokoa changes during the memory-alteration time periods, so she can tell you what memories got changed and what they originally were.

I think you should allow violence to succeed for Rokoa when she has the right motivation for it.
>>
No. 519045 ID: 735f4f

Trying to make her life a complete wreck seems like it could backfire later on. Would rather have to fight a more passive motherly Rokoa than one that has been backed into a corner through a life of misery and failure.
>>
No. 519049 ID: 19b3c3

>I will continue making Rokoa fail when she gets violent, and otherwise punish her normal lifestyle with shame and failure.
>and otherwise reward her for not being a complete monster.
...I suppose this approach makes sense. Rokoa has been an ally before. It would make sense that it should be easier to undercut her motivation to attack you than to outright crush her psyche with trauma (she's pretty hardy, after all). Once she no loner wants to fight you, she's lost. Giving up was what did in victims 1 and 3, after all.

Although it's still not exactly clear how we progress from making changes to memories to deleting them.

Katzati can just help you make changes faster, or play defense for you when the silence isn't enough.

>>"Are you going to keep going?"
Yes. This is a terrible thing to do a person, and I would not wish it upon anyone, even her. But I will do what I have to.

>Crazy idea
...if we really wanted to prove to Rokoa that you're better than her? Take her to the memory of your duel. And trade places for a rematch (so Polo controls duel-Rokoa, and Rokoa controls deul-Polo). And then win as her instead of you. Of course, that seems needlessly risky, and since this clone diverged before the duel, you'd be damaging your own memories (since she has none of the duel). Silly idea, really.

>Also
In your memory raiding spree, check what her warship password was, just because it's nagging me. Was it something we could have guessed? (Then change the password to something shameful or insulting and move on).
>>
No. 519064 ID: 066a4d

Well, as mentioned before, even if we could crush her spirit with shame and trauma, the process would collapse because such a person would be increasingly unlikely to have part in Rokoa's later memories. Besides, it's a big if. For a start, Rokoa is already amazingly tough. Second, people can break in different ways under trauma; it's part of why torture's so unreliable. You can get a compliant wreck who'll do anything to make it stop, but you could get a mental shutdown that turns them into a total vegetable, and most dangerously, you can also get a breakdown into complete feral rage. That last one sounds very likely for Rokoa, especially when I look back at what the clone was like: enslaved, mentally conditioned, mutilated, and even when she was completely beaten with no possible hope at all, she just kept pouring out the murder vibes. Rokoa, the more you push her, the more she pushes back. It's in her bones. I'd bet half the reason she never went rogue was because she felt everyone else thought she was going to, and she willed herself to stay in her hive by sheer contrariness.

I think the only way to stop Rokoa fighting is either to overpower her, which is hard, or to make it so that she doesn't want to fight, by her own choice. So, instead, we capitalize on what parts of her already don't want to fight Polo. We make her feel that fighting for fighting's sake is no good, but let her keep fighting for smart, compassionate and self-sacrificing reasons, and encourage her to be softer and kinder outside of fighting. Someone who takes injury so other people don't have to. I think it's already part of her, we just need to bring it out more. That kind of Rokoa wouldn't want to fight Polo any more, I think.

Having mentioned clones, though... if this Rokoa isn't serving the salikai, then it's possible for the clones, too. Before you alter her memories further, Polo, perhaps you could ask Rokoa if there's anything you could say to another of her to stop her from fighting you, or some sign you could look for to tell you if they could be an ally or not? Like... maybe there's some particularly anti-salikai memory of hers, so that a fully slaved clone would have to have had it removed or suppressed, and if a clone does remember it you could be a bit more sure she'd be willing to work with you?
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No. 519095 ID: 19b3c3

>if there's anything you could say to another of her to stop her from fighting you, or some sign you could look for to tell you if they could be an ally or not?
Or perhaps, can we apply Rokoa's idea in reverse? She said before she would concede if we beat one of her clones one-on-one in a 'fair' fight. If we defect the mental intruder, will other clones we encounter be willing to acquiesces and acknowledge their defeat?

Would we be immune to further dart-ings? Would a new Rokoa give in, and let us keep our victory?

...the problem is that the active clones (those trusted with weapons and in the field) may very well be more broken than the 'progenitor' clone keep imprisoned for torture and dart harvesting. She might acknowledge our victory, while they might try to kill us regardless.

Also, even if it would work, there's the problem of somehow communicating with the clones without getting shot first. I'm not sure what would be convincing, and fast enough. Maybe using her own dead tribal language?

>another crazy idea
There's also one more nutters card we might be able to play at one point. Pretend Rokoa won. That you're a clone who took over a Polo body, and stole her silence. ...not sure what circumstances that would work in though. It seems way too nuts to try using a blatant cover like that to enter the salikai base, though. Even if they believed it, they'd still want to pull you aside and do science to you...
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No. 519286 ID: 376087

Any chance we can watch rokoa messing with our memories? It could be funny to watch past polo acting like rokoa.
>>
No. 519824 ID: 58e9db

Let's enumerate the clones. They start with an appreciable fraction of the original Rokoa, and use that to infect someone, and turn them into a Rokoa clone. So that's one. They take part of that clone and use it to infect someone else. Clone number two. Again, extraction, infection, another Rokoa clone. The salikai decide this clone is good enough and make her the "source" clone; the two remaining clones become the two we heard about earlier, one of which we killed. If I recall, Niiam reported failed clones, and if the salikai decided the third clone was good enough, then the failed clones likely come from secondary attempts using material from the earlier clones.

So: there's the first clone and the second clone, one of which is dead, and we don't know which. The third clone is imprisoned and repeatedly harvested of clone dart material. So the Rokoa we're dealing with right now is the third clone plus whatever essence of real Rokoa she collected from Polo. The third clone is most likely to be friendly, if this one not being allies with the salikai is true, and if it will remain true without the added real-Rokoa added by Polo. (Perhaps we could extract some Polo, from around the dart wound area for example, and inject it into Rokoa clone 3 to let her assimilate it and become smiley Rokoa? Could we do the same with other clones?) The remaining clone, of the three we know of, may or may not be allyable; the first clone experienced the least resistance and is probably closest to the real Rokoa, but that may also mean she was subjected to more processing and/or was bugged. I suspect it's the second clone that we killed, as that one had the messiest takeover and it would account for her differences from normal Rokoa.

However, there may be many Rokoa clones now, or at least some "in the works"; this Rokoa can give us an idea of how long it's been since the salikai started harvesting dart material from her. If the hunter hive offered resistance, or some of its members did, some of them would make for Rokoa subjects. And they could use these "blanks" that have been mentioned.

If I were Rokoa clone 3, imprisoned and being used to spawn clones, I would come up with a system of codes for myself, memorizing them in every possible way so that they'd persist to my offspring. I would want the clones to remember that they want to fight and to have methods for them to signal things secretly to each other, like "I've been bugged" or "I'm under observation" or "I'm getting too weak, get me killed before I ruin everything". And one of the codes I'd come up with is something that I could give to non-clones, sympathetic science hivers for example, that they could use to get help (or at least non-violence) from another clone. That would be very handy to know. But, of course, Rokoa may not be the type to try these sneaky shenanigans.
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No. 520111 ID: d38f67
File 137247006111.png - (13.80KB , 700x700 , 420.png )
520111

>Just keep in mind you're trying to erase her, not reform her.
Reforming is a means to the end, the end being erasing her. I am simply reforming her in a more healthy manner rather than attempting to make her insane. More insane. I have little evidence this manner of reformation is better than anything else, but I do have evidence that attempting to break Rokoa mentally is difficult.

So I start. Fighting. It's all she does. I return hostility with defeat. When she protects a hive mate, she succeeds. Constructed memories start showing up, ones I'm sure never happened, ones of her getting chastised for losing whenever she's alone and only winning when she is defending hivemates. It bewilders her mates that she fights so poorly one moment and so well the next. There is little I can do to prevent it, but in a way, that may solidify the notion that she cares for others far more than herself. The enemy tribe is defeated without Rokoa, who stays at home with her first child.

This must be about the end of 55 AW, as Rokoa and the hive, on clear nights, can begin seeing lights in the sky that cross from one horizon to the other a few times every night henceforth.
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No. 520112 ID: d38f67
File 137247007525.png - (13.17KB , 700x700 , 421.png )
520112

Soon after, the second, third and fourth children come one after the other. I do not change those memories much. Nor when she has the first one go hunting too soon. I do prevent her from punching the hivemate that brought the bad news to take her anger out. Instead, she bawls. That is new to old Rokoa, and new to me. Current Rokoa-Conscious rolls her eyes at it, at least empathically so. She is not ashamed of it, but more as though... well, it is in the past. Her hive did not consider her at blame, but it was close enough for her.

Once mourning ends, old Rokoa just goes and has another kid to replace the first. And the 6th soon after. Food takes a bad turn, the 3rd child gets lost and starves. She gets down, but still has her other children and hivemates to keep her up.
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No. 520113 ID: d38f67
File 137247008447.png - (32.56KB , 700x700 , 422.png )
520113

After food proves no better for years, they migrate. The run past territory from what I will call the castle hive. Castle, because they have... well, technology. Muskets. I was not aware Rokoa ran into any like that. The muskets are poor, however, and as likely to blow up in ones face as they are to hit anything. They are not powered by gunpowder, rather, a weaker alternative. Rokoa's hive moves past them and will not see them for years to come, when their muskets bring attention to the aliens, who decide to give that hive some upgrades.

Rokoa starts flowing through my memories. The silence hinders her active changes, but it seems that in light of me making her less aggressive, she is making me more aggressive. I start remembering getting in more fights, rougher sparring sessions, and constantly firing on range targets like I had a personal vendetta against them. It is like Rokoa is trying to turn me into her. Perhaps me turning Rokoa more like myself was the right option, but I am uncertain, and I have a theme to stick to.
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No. 520121 ID: d38f67
File 137247192907.png - (13.79KB , 700x700 , 423.png )
520121

Rokoa reaches a mountain range, where her hive will spend around 16 years of constantly cycling around for migrating food. It breaches various biomes, one of which is a redgrass, where red neumono fight them along the base of the mountain range. The hives have little interest in wiping each other out, but both hives move in split groups, and those split groups fight each other constantly. The losers are... well, I do not care to remember what happens to the losing groups. But red neumono are born into the snow hive, and snow neumono are born into the red hive. The kids are treated as the hive's own, despite being symbols of victories over the other hive.

As usual, Rokoa getting aggressive to the red hive is met with getting beat down, and Rokoa getting defensive about her own hive is met with success and not getting beat down. I realize that punching Rokoa on a repeated basis is hardly effective, as she just wants to fight more later. So when Rokoa gets aggressive, instead of kicking her, I make Katzati look away while I kick her children. Nonetheless, Katzati remains around every time I need to take control of two people over one.

>"I'm... starting to feel a little sorry for her." she tells me.
"Don't. The new Rokoa could care less. The cloned Rokoas are different altogether."
>"I don't think anyone can go through this much without having it impact them!"
"I am not saying these events are worthless, I am saying that she was not molded by her past as any sane person would be. If you are wishing to stop this, I will not hold it against you. You have done far more than what I have expected of you."
>"No. I'm going to stay." she says like I don't have a choice in the matter. "I think she's a really nice person down in there."
"Katzati, if I still had my camera, and you saw the clone fight, you would not be thinking this."
>"You said the clones are completely different!"
"We're moving on."
>"Okay. I still feel sorry for her."
"Don't." Rokoa says, imitating me. "Polo, I was expecting this to be a one on one."
"Learn to adapt."
"Fine, I'll wake her up.

Rokoa gets the idea to start moving over with intent of hitting Katzati directly until she wakes up from the perceived pain. Katzati has admirable determination against it as she goes to fight Rokoa herself.

It's like they've forgotten where we are.
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No. 520122 ID: d38f67
File 137247193950.png - (15.54KB , 700x700 , 424.png )
520122

I move to the next memory and bring Katzati with me.

Rokoa spends some time beating up specifically Katzati when she gets the chance, but Katzati remains in the dream, and Rokoa continues focusing more on my memories again. She makes old-me focus more on hand to hand, and takes direct control of me to manually beat people up. When those memories set in, it does feel like, for a moment, I was properly experienced in such combat. And it admittedly is nice seeing myself beat up some bully. I can only hope that translates even a little into real world application, regardless of if Rokoa ever had any intent of this happening. There is little sense thinking about it, either it happens or it does not.
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No. 520123 ID: d38f67
File 137247194921.png - (20.56KB , 700x700 , 425.png )
520123

The other biomes around the mountain range involve northern voklits, snow crawlers who, studies say, are also sapient in a loose sense of the word, and other wildlife that pose a great threat. Rokoa is quick to defend hhg memories of hive bonds and accomplishments, she has plenty of failures and, well, I have lost track of the number of times I have gotten wounded in this memory scape. And even for the former good memories, I have reservations against getting attached to Rokoa's children for various reasons.

Food is better, the 7th and 8th children are born. Rokoa and I are coming to the point that our decisions in our first half of the life are in great contrast to the latter half. We can safely assume everything before that point is untrustworthy. Yet I do sense changes in Rokoa, and she knows it. Maybe I have changed. I do not know it. Katzati and I start to the ne-
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No. 520124 ID: d38f67
File 137247195718.png - (13.30KB , 700x700 , 426.png )
520124

"We must move."
"G... Viln."
"Apologies for breaking eternal slumber. Hunter hive member has poked head up. Viln snatched neumono out of water. You are well rested, now?"
"Not even a little, but I doubt I can sleep again." I am not rested, but I have had more than a usual amount of sleep.
"Figuring new neumono is trouble?"
"Immensely. Important enough that I am not angry for getting woken up." I imagine the Salikai are keeping tabs on where their hunters are going and not letting them run loose, so it will not be long before they have far too good of an idea of where we are, moreso than they must have already suspected.
>"I might be able to carry you, if you want to rest more?" Katzati starts.
"That is appreciated, and not feasible. Like I said, I doubt I can sleep more. You are acting oddly courteous to me, Katzati."
>"Um. Well, I meant about your foot, anyways."
"Is small neumono questioning friend actions from own allies?"
"No. I am saying she is absurdly nice and I will never be able to repay her at this rate. Viln, you are oddly snarky compared to when we met." I just keep yapping without thinking first. Alarming.
"Was slave when first met, and slave keeps mouth closed. Not slave anymore. Is it problem?"
"No. I prefer it the new way. And you wake me up for valid reasons on top of that." That is more than enough banter. I do not quite feel myself, but the fact that I can tell that I do not feel that way is excellent.

Perhaps Rokoa also feels different, as now she is opting to wait before attacking any more memories of mine.
>>
No. 520125 ID: 57a559

>>520124
That still sounds like more Rokoa. For example, she might be thinking that you might come across a chance to try her real world challenge with the clone (even with the broken foot), so she wants to wait and see what's up, and to know what's going on.

It's also a chance to see how her changes have actually effected you, and have a chance to take pride in the work she's done on your personality.

Look at your body physically, any changes? Fur color? Muscle size? Bust size? Bone structure? Body fat?

What were you about to call Viln? Who's G...?
>>
No. 520127 ID: 735f4f

Looks like a bit of Rokoa has rubbed off on you here and there. Just like a lot of you has rubbed off on her.

Luckily she seems polite enough to put things on hold for the moment. We need to take stock of our group and move somewhere safer.

Find out what Viln managed to salvage off the hunter hive and talk to everyone to form a plan of action.

If all Rokoa has managed to do to your memories so far is make you a bit more chatty and more confident in your unarmed abilities then you are looking good.
>>
No. 520128 ID: 19b3c3

>loads of kids
...is that consequences of your changes? I thought real-Rokoa only ever had two.

>I think she's a really nice person down in there.
She is! She has here nice side. Problem is, it lives side by side with her "I will gleefully murder you with a smile on my face" side.

>Red v Gray rapes
Ergh. And here I assumed non-consensual pregnancies weren't a thing for neumono. I guess if we're playing by these tribal respecting strength and the victor rules though...

>Polo, I was expecting this to be a one on one.
And I was expecting our next duel to be years in the future, and not to the death. Or in my head.

>I can only hope that translates even a little into real world application
Well, it's theoretically possible for Rokoa to imprint some of her hand to hand skill to you. Although with your strength and stature, I'm not sure it'll mater against anything but arkots (maybe Miklik?). And then there's the possible personality cost of what she's overwriting to give you those skills...

>accumulating a debt you can't repay.
Well, Viln should understand that, at least.

>I just keep yapping without thinking first. Alarming.
The only counter to that is make a conscious effort to think before speaking. If Rokoa's succeeded in making you more impulsive, that could be dangerous. This situation is bad enough without accidentally saying the wrong thing to your allies. Or making the wrong tactical decision.

>Viln snatched neumono out of water.
Did any of it's equipment survive that? As a group, we're low on armor and ammunition.

Anyways, leave we have to leave the dead or disabled hunter here, and the group has to move. Everyone needs to be packed and ready ASAP. And Polo, if you're going to slow the group down, that does mean Katzati or Viln will need to carry you.
>>
No. 520131 ID: c23ab0

>7th and 8th children

You have got Rokoa by the ovaries!
>>
No. 520137 ID: 57a559

>>520128
You didn't consider that it was the ladies doing the raping, did you?
>>
No. 520144 ID: f2c20c

The hunter... if they aren't dead, maybe we can un-bug them using Biles' faster technique, once we've relocated. Meanwhile we can transport them like we did Rokann. Hey, I thought the plan was to keep the wall intact so any hunter checking on the area would just see a wall?

Hey, does the hunter have armor? Viln grabbed them so I can assume it's relatively intact. Now, I'm not saying we should automatically be the one to wear it, but it would be nice. Really, whoever can put it on fastest (closest fit) should be wearing it.
>>
No. 520150 ID: 19b3c3

>>520144
As we saw with Rokann, it's kind of hard to keep a bugged neumono quiet (especially if the hunter isn't cooperative when not-controlled). And an injured hunter we'd have to wait to heal up is liability while we're running, and someone to be carried, and another mouth to feed. ...and I'm not sure we have the means to electrocute her enough for Bile's method. We have what, lantern and laptop batteries? We need a car battery or generator.

>>520137
...you'd really think I would have thought of that, but no. That obviously must have been a thing that happened, though.
>>
No. 520153 ID: 0fb53f

Since she's inside your body, Rokoa is as much concerned about your health and safety as you are. She wouldn't want to interfere in your thought processes while you're dealing with anything that might be dangerous.

I wonder, could this be the hunter hive member that was with Biles? Viln may have come to you with this first. Most likely not, as I assume he would be able to tell that much. Take a look at them while the rest of the group is getting together.
>>
No. 520165 ID: 35edd4

>>520150
We have energy weapon charges, no?
>>
No. 520171 ID: 19b3c3

>>520165
...we didn't have any energy weapons when we last did inventory >>/questarch/503736, and I don't recall seeing any energy weapons on anyone, or mentioned, at all. I think all we've got are ballistic weapons.
>>
No. 520182 ID: b9fdc1

>>520124
good thing you know a tame predator that can help you revert back.
keep a log of changes, of old memories, of how you know you should act but don't.
>>
No. 520197 ID: bc8d67

That a single Hunter showed up bodes about as well as you could hope for this location being compromised. If the salikai knew the location for sure it would have been a full on assault team instead. Still doesn't mean you can dilly-dally around here though.

Take a moment to check how far along your foot, arm, and eye are in healing, and estimate how long until they're working. Then head out and see what gear your allies stripped from the Hunter; Might be something you could use in there.

Preferred option for dealing with the Hunter would be to use Biles' debugging method, but there's no time to do it here and now. The Hunter will have to be stripped to its skivvies, bound, gagged, blindfolded, deafened and carried by Viln so it can be debugged when the group reaches a spot they can hide for a few hours. And this time use a gag that can't be eaten or bitten through like Rokann did, such as a metal pipe.

How's the food situation? Was the hunting trip successful, or had they not even gotten to it before the Hunter showed up? Or did the Hunter show up very soon after the hunting party got back, before they got through the wall? 'Cause if it was that, then it might mean this Hunter spotted your group's hunting party, called them in, and then tailed them with the intention to radio back their precise position. And if that's the case, there's going to be enemy forces converging on both this position and the exits, so y'all are gonna have to get outta here ASAP.

Best get everyone to gather the gear and supplies and get everything out to the river before packing so the wall can be blocked up as soon as possible. You're gonna want to leave any enemy forces that come along to investigate unsure as to where their Hunter went for as long as possible, and leaving the wall open for them to see the signs of habitation your group left behind would be bad for that.

Also, did Korli and Niam manage to put together that salikai radio traffic level detector that was suggested earlier? If so, what kind of traffic spikes have they picked up?

You'd best ride Viln out of here. While it was real nice that Katzati offered to carry you, frankly she's just not in good enough shape for it, and Viln has already shown he can carry you and much more.
>>
No. 520199 ID: f2c20c

It occurs to me that this is a perfect opportunity to enact our escape plan. They will be searching around all over this area, but not necessarily near the exits or the fort. Also, with Polo's lifespan in question and Rokoa holding off in this situation, this might even be our last chance to do it!

So, ask if the explosives are ready, and get suited up. We should be healed enough by the time the group needs to move to the exit. Also at this point everyone needs to decide if they want to try to escape or stay with Biles to fight.

I know for sure that fighting while the radio's down will be a better situation. Ambushing scouting forces will no longer reveal the position of our forces! It would surely take a long time to repair the antennas, as well.
>>
No. 520207 ID: 19b3c3

>Debug the hunter
We don't have the food to feed another mouth. We don't have the time, or resources to debug them right now. We can't afford someone trying to give away our position while on the run (even when not controlled by the bugs, the hunter may try to give us away. We don't know what he or she thinks is currently going on, or how much it's been deceived. We saw with Rokann how hard it was to keep someone mostly cooperative quiet). We already barely have enough weapons and ammo to go around. We don't have the time to wait for the hunter to recover from being cut to pieces, or to recover from whatever injury Viln gave it.

...and I don't want to bring a bloodied and injured body along for the swim in space-piranha infested waters!

The best thing we can do for the hunter (assuming Viln didn't kill it) is leave it for its allies to recover, and make with killing four stripes and the control computer as soon as we can. Which won't happen until after we've healed, and dodged this attack.

>this is a perfect opportunity to enact our escape plan
Infiltration won't work so well if Polo can barely move at a walk. Also, The enemy is about to come down on this area hard when they notice the missing patrol. Splitting up increases the odds we'll be found. And the plan won't help at all if Polo's allies get caught while she's off sneaking.

The priority right now is getting everyone away from this site, and to a new hiding spot.
>>
No. 520451 ID: 19b3c3

Oh, actually, if we don't take the wounded hunter with us, we should at least take his or her ears.

I know it's barbaric, and dangerously close to emulating Rokoa's hive, but if we don't get the chance to hunt, what we can take off our pursuers is going to be the only food we can get.
>>
No. 521339 ID: d38f67
File 137296346997.png - (15.43KB , 700x700 , 427.png )
521339

>What were you about to call Viln? Who's G...?
G is the sound I make when I am woken up spontaneously without warning.

>Number of Rokoa's kids
She has had 14.

>Pregnancy options from snowhive/redhive warfare
Pregnancies are optional to females. It was not the women who were at the receiving end, however.

"I thought the plan was to keep the wall intact."
"Rokann thought too risky. Lucera agree. If hunter come and think wall is no good and we are hiding behind, they will come and we will never see the coming."
"Right. Show me the gear he has."

Viln squeezes back through the front door. The others are packing the bags. Allegedly, the neumono was grabbed by Viln before he had a chance to see anything, and was overpowered. The armor is intact, and Lucera thinks Katzati should be able to extract its AI. The armor looks to fit best on Rokann or Kort... and even if she was recently debugged, I would sooner trust Rokann. Otherwise, we loot anything he has of value. In other words, everything.

"Take his ears too and clear off any blood." I mention. "Niam, I need suggestions."
>"Your foot is still bad. That is a shame, as I was going to mention this as being a decent time to attack. My bombs are ready. One of us should escape the caverns to attempt getting out of the Salikai's range of influence and communicating with your command. Perhaps that will mean diving in the river for a lengthy period of time to get far away. And with that, while every moment we stay here is risky, I may recommend that Katzati resets this hunter's helmet if possible, so that we can have a mapper so that we do not get easily lost."


Marra comes up to me, indicating me to come to talk to her in a corner.
>>
No. 521341 ID: d38f67
File 137296352148.png - (17.59KB , 865x619 , 428.png )
521341

"How did the hunting trip go, Marra?"
>"Didn't find a thing, and didn't want to go far. Rokann and I talked. If Kort gives us any more shit about not going in water or standing still or some stupid crap, we're leaving him."

Inventory is updated to include everyone.
http://www.tgchan.org/wiki/Polo_Quest_Statistics
>>
No. 521346 ID: 19b3c3

>I would sooner trust Rokann [with the armor]
...agreed. Kind of silly to stick it on a non-com anyways.

The only real risk is if there are subliminal conditionings left in her, but I kind of don't think she's was under four stripe's control long enough for that. You've seen Three Stripes work- it takes him hours to a day to put long term changes inside a neumono.

>Katzati reset hunter helmet
Sure, have her working on that while everyone else plans and packs. If we're done first, we'll make the call to wait or just leave.

>Your foot is still bad.
Any estimate on how long that would take to heal? If the delay is short enough, one possible option would be to split up. Have Viln carry you, and get you to Bile's group, or somewhere closer to the enemy compound, so that you'd be in a position to plant the explosives when healed.

Downside is weakening the team that needs to punch out, putting Viln in danger (he's not really built for sneaking), leaving the team to evade without you, and separating from Katzati before Rokoa has been dealt with.

>Someone try to get out by the rivers
Risky. We don't know if they'd reach an outlet, or just deeper underground. Or that they'd bypass guards. We also don't have an air tank, I think. Even with neumono breath holding, that limits things. I suppose that's not a problem for Viln, but even if he slipped the cordon by himself, he doesn't know how to contact our command.

>Kort
Leaving him isn't really an option. He'll be caught, tortured, and bugged. And anything he knows about us our enemies will know. The only way anyone could be safely left behind is dead, and even that leaves a body to follow and for who knows what mad science.

...I would not want to kill or abandon a civilian simply for being a civilian. Even a foolish one. I suppose unlike when Rokoann was bugged, we have the option of knocking him out, but then Viln or someone still has to carry him.

(Maybe we need to talk with Kort? Or since he really doesn't seem to respect Polo much, ask Viln how his talk went? Someone needs to talk some sense into him before the soldiers get fed up with him).

>Rushed through a bunch of Rokoa memories
Did you ever get to see why she smiles? Or what happened to set her apart from her hive, or give her that sense of honor (or whatever you want to call it)?

>Something to check
You need to remember to turn your silence external again, to hide from enemies while outside or ahead of the group's jammer. (Which will regrettably make things easier for Rokoa if she chooses to attack). But more importantly, you need to have someone test that your silence still works. It's a delicate mental thing, and Rokoa's already got you speaking your mind less cautiously.

>Also
...can we talk to/hear Rokoa while awake? Are you there? Do you have anything useful to add? If you are against the Salikai and wish to assist, now's the time to speak, if you have anything to say.

(Even if she doesn't have anything useful to say, it will be good to know if she can talk to us, mentally. That way you won't be caught off guard if she decides to shout boo or something at a critical moment).
>>
No. 521347 ID: 19b3c3

>inventory stuff
Give Polo's machine gun ammo (useless to her without a machine gun anymore) to Rokann (she only has 12 rounds left).
>>
No. 521349 ID: 735f4f

If your foot is too injured to go on the offensive then we need to at least find food and move the base camp.

Talk to Viln about the best ways to find food in this environment. We need to find something and plenty of it soon or everyone wont be doing much of anything.

As for Kort we can not leave him. He has too much info about us and even though we don't like him much he does not deserve what they would do to him if he was caught. So we have to figure out a way to toughen him up quick or knock his ass out and drag him everywhere. He would be the best option for sending downstream to get out of radio range if not for his water issues.

There is of course the last case contingency for Kort but hopefully it wont come to that.

We could try to find Moi and Biles and team up with them but not sure if where they are has better options for food either.

This is a crazy idea but maybe we can get some info from Rokoa about the base and make a raid on there supplies. If the base is big enough and with them recently having moved in we could possibly find a place to hide out nearby?
>>
No. 521366 ID: d38f67
File 137296961424.png - (13.70KB , 700x600 , 429.png )
521366

"Leaving him is not an option. He will be caught tortured, bugged and spill everything we know."
>"Figured. Then we kill him."
"No."
>"We're not dragging a bag of scum who doesn't want to come, that's not up for debate. I'm only telling you where we're standing, and don't tell me you're a softie."

Rokoa, are you there?
Yep.
Damn. Tell me where a hiding spot is. I am under the impression you might know of one.
I'm not blocking you from my memories. Have at 'em.
Fine. Do you have any insight, something useful, at all?
Nope, can't say I do. But, I want to see if one of my clones can beat that one in front of you up.
Go back to being quiet.


All I can read is that there is a good chance rivers will lead far deeper into the caverns rather than out. That does not bode well for escaping in the end, but it does give us a better chance to escape the salikai in the short term. Going to biles has merit for food, I am sure, as the wildlife noises were far greater around his location.

>Did you ever get to see why she smiles?
No.

I should be able to walk on my foot before too long without damaging it further. It will be awhile after that before I can put heavy pressure on it without fearing I'll fall down.
>>
No. 521370 ID: 9b57d3

>>521366
Welp. RIP Kort. I guess we could at least try to get him to cooperate first though. We must do what we must to survive, but it would be nice if we could get everyone out alive! I guess if we do kill him, we can use him for rations, as gruesome as that may be.

I think it's time we delved into Rokoa's more unpleasant memories to retrieve some vital information about the cavern layout. Can we do that while awake?
>>
No. 521371 ID: 735f4f

She is the ranking officer on this mission so it is her decision to make.

Sometimes horrible choices have to be made in extreme situations but we should at least try to make a effort to make Kort understand the stakes here.

The biggest problem with dragging him along is that no matter what we say or do he will be a panicky civilian. And if he cracks at the wrong moment it could get everyone killed. Keeping him around puts our life and the life of everyone here in the hands of one very unstable individual.

Oh and I know we took the ears of the hunter Viln caught but what are we doing with the rest of the corpse? I know its a horrible thought but we don't have a huge supply of options here.
>>
No. 521373 ID: 2f4b71

As morbid as it may be, but in preference to just killing him: just how much of a neumono can you cut off, if you have the time to properly dress the wounds, and still have them survive for a few days if you can find prempt medical care afterward? Could you carry Kort around as a head and a small sack of organs in skin while you use the rest of him as much-need nourishment? At the very least, you could offer it to him as a horrifying alternative to him cooperating.
>>
No. 521374 ID: 19b3c3

>don't tell me you're a softie.
If it comes to it, I will do what is necessary to survive, and for the mission. But I am not fond of leaving anyone behind, or executing an allied civilian merely for being a coward or a fool.

...I will see if there is anything that can be done to motivate him. (Meaning we go talk to him, probably with Viln. I'm not sure he respects Viln, or if he falls into the inconvenient pet mindset, but I don't see anyone else getting through to him. He doesn't like Katz, we already know soldier types and authority ordering him around isn't enough).

>speaking of Viln
Should check how he's doing with food. He's explicitly not included in the rationing, for some reason. Maybe he can go longer than a neumono not eating, but something that big needs fuel. And we can't have him starving himself for us due to honor or something.

>rivers will lead far deeper into the caverns
Then having one person leave the group and attempting to escape via river as Niam suggested is not a good plan. All it would do is get one person separated, deeper in the mountains.

Having the group escape via the river initially and ride it a while is a decent option. You may even be able to ride past Bile's position, and regroup north. (No helping that Kort will have to be restrained. Even if you talk sense into him, there's nothing you can do about an irrational phobia. At least, not that quickly. They take time to overcome).

>totally crazy idea
Reprogram extracted bugs, use them to turn Kort into a useful, competent, contributing member of the team. :V

>Rokoa clone v Marra
I'd put my money on a clone.

...I don't suppose you have any way to actually get your clones to engage like that? The last one lost your sense of honor, and was only interested in killing. I'm not sure I could have gotten her to put down her gun and just punch me even if I'd offered.

>It will be awhile
So... hours until you could set off on your own. What about your eye? Estimate on that? Or on how badly your skills will be affected if you have to shoot with one eye? (...can you correct by drawing on Rokoa memories, actually? She has experience fighting with one eye shot out, and having to correct for that).

>Silence
Seriously, it is imperative that you test with an ally that it still works when you get a chance. Can't afford that Rokoa messed it up.
>>
No. 521383 ID: 19b3c3

>what are we doing with the rest of the hunter corpse?
I was under the impression he wasn't a corpse. We'll leaving him, unconscious, injured, and without equipment, for his hive to find when they notice he's missing and close in on our position.

>>521373
Well, they could always stab him. He's doesn't look tough enouhg to make the roll to resist hibernation, and he has no bugs to keep him awake. That would require one of the bigger people (Viln or Marra or Katzati) to carry him, though.

>not leaving anyone behind
Expanding on this: I did not leave or kill Rokann, even when it would have been easier or safer for me to do so.
>>
No. 521395 ID: 7d1f9d

Well, bad luck Kort, you're not only troublesome but the most expendable. Still, we could chat with him. "If you keep acting up you'll be left behind" is still technically not a lie if you're going to kill him, especially if you tell him something like "you won't get out of here alive on your own". Although... how severely can you beat a neumono up? Could you damage him enough that he'll be in a coma for long enough that he won't have any good information, and leave him to be captured so that they'll keep him alive? Maybe cut out his tongue and chop off his hands so he can't say or write anything, and leave him to be captured deliberately? It's gruesome, but it'd save his life. Heck, if you do something like that, you could even fill him with misinformation before abandoning him.

Anyway, the other decision we have on us is who makes the try to escape. Polo can't go, she's still in Rokoa danger and is the best person to try and sabotage the place. Rokann still isn't entirely trustworthy, Korli and Niam have info, Marra and Katzati are too big and Viln wouldn't be able to deliver the message. Lucera, then?

OR, we could go to Biles and get his invisible female friend to deliver the message. She's not a fighter, so she's not much use here, but she would be super aces at getting out (and wouldn't need much motivation to do that). She could easily evade any traps and could provide the rescue/smackdown team with a ton of info.
>>
No. 521397 ID: 19b3c3

>all this talk of mutilating Kort
Okay, first of all, it wouldn't stop them from getting information out of him. So long as he's alive, they can wake him up with bugs. And there's no way we can mutilate him past the point of giving information.

And mutilating him doesn't make transporting him any easier than just knocking him out (it's a drain on limited medical supplies).

The bigger problem here goes beyond just saving Kort's life, and preventing him from slowing down the group. If we kill our own that crosses a serious line and will start causing moral problems with everyone else. Lucera will be furious to have been undercut by the soldiers. Korli and Katzati will end up afraid and untrusting of their allies. Viln may see it as dishonorable. Everything will start to fall apart.

And the way to get him to act better isn't threats or beating him up. Either will just worsen his behavior.
>>
No. 521414 ID: 450660

>>521339

Better question: SHOULD we ever see why she smiles? Will that help us win?
>>
No. 521419 ID: d38f67
File 137297942113.png - (22.25KB , 700x700 , 430.png )
521419

"You will be killing a civilian for cracking in extreme circumstances, but you know as well as I do that none of us can force you and Rokann from doing that if you go down that route. However, I will remind you that I did not kill or leave Rokann despite it being both easier and safer for me to do so." That gets Marra to go silent for a moment.
>"We were able to extract the bugs from Rokann and recover her. Kort's proving to be goddamn inseperable from his fucking idiocy. But fine, you've got a point. Go talk to Kort, he gets one more chance to get his shit together." Marra says.
"I will talk to him after a couple of others." I say, heading to Viln first.

"Viln. What are our options for food?"
"Lots of creatures in cave, but most meat is found closer to the jungle exits. Deeper caves has the bigger creatures, but far more dangerous to fight with bare hands."
"And how are you on food?"
"Voklit only require so much food when needing the reg... repairing body. Do not worry."

I question how much of that is him putting on a tough act. Something as big as him is going to have to have an absurd amount of food, efficient or not. But, so far Viln has been able to back his words up, so I will not press him on that until later. I am sure if he wanted, he could eat the entirety of the food we have remaining.

>How long until your eye heals?
That will be at least one week. I can expect - hope, in fact - that the rest of this mission will have to be done with one eye. However, I have expected things like this to happen, so I have trained with one eye covered for events like these.

>Test silence
I am still able to go silent.
>>
No. 521420 ID: d38f67
File 137297943311.png - (23.89KB , 1022x608 , 431.png )
521420

I go to Niam and Katzati, who is trying to boot up the headpiece.

>"I think the data is gone." Katzati says. "It must have deleted itself once we nabbed that guy. I'm still looking, but I want to try to get it before activating the set."
"Keep at it. Niam. You said one of us should escape. Did you have anyone in particular in mind?"
>"No. I meant that your command must be alerted to stop the salikai as soon as possible, and that only one person has to succeed in getting out. Not that only one person should try to get out. I admit I did not make myself clear."
>>
No. 521421 ID: d38f67
File 137297944785.png - (9.81KB , 700x700 , 432.png )
521421

"Kort." I bring him away to talk while Lucera finishes taking stock of everything.
>"What?" he replies loud enough to negate any point I had in taking him off to the side.

I have not trained in extra-hive relations, so I will have to communicate carefully, given that he is completely unaware of the current danger he is in. The other hunter is still very much alive, and I get the impression that Marra has no interest in killing him, knowing he is in the same position that Rokann was.

I am dubious, to say the least, of the idea of lopping his limbs off and carrying the rest of him, although he can likely survive that. I imagine that being hydrophobic while being submerged with no limbs will not help Kort's mood.

If I am to force him through, I will do so by hoping he cannot handle a knife to the stomach.
>>
No. 521425 ID: 735f4f

Ask him how he is feeling and what his take on the situation is. We need to treat him like a adult and try to avoid talking down to him.

He is not a trained soldier and as such has not been prepared for most of the stuff that has happened. Being forced into water and the slime has been a scary and demeaning experience for him. Also as a civilian he is not used to following orders without question.

Do not mention the whole your boss is planning on killing you if you don't shape up part if at all possible.

Try to talk him through the situation and ask what he thinks our best options are. Then whenever he suggests a unreasonable solution to our problems carefully explain why it would not work. We need to try to make him realize how dangerous the situation is and that any hardships being imposed on him are not because we enjoy tormenting him but because the alternative is horrible torture and death.

We don't want to frighten him to much but he needs to understand just how worse it can get if he gets caught by the enemy. Death if he is lucky and horrible experiments if he is not.

Maybe if its possible have Rokoa show him what they did to her via her empathy.
>>
No. 521427 ID: 57a559

Kort, listen, please cooperate through the stresses of the mission. It will be hard, but you will live and go on to live a happy life if you do, and so will the rest of us. We would all like that very much.

So, simply, put, we need you to be professional when dealing with water and your other fears. Our odds will improve by a dramatic percentage if you can keep that up.

>>521419
Viln looks like he's hulking out in this cramped space. It makes him look very scary.
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No. 521433 ID: 19b3c3

>I have not trained in extra-hive relations
Aside from having to 'befriend' a warhive in the field.

>to Kort
All right. The problem here is he's afraid and out of his depth, and that's making him act out, lash out, and generally behave in an illogical manner. He doesn't just need to be told to behave better- we need to address the root of the problem so he does. Further threats likely won't motivate him (unless you make it so he's honestly more afraid of you than anything else).

One way to do that is to give him understanding. We understand this is hard for him- that he has not been trained for this. We do not fault him for this. But if we are all to survive, we have to ask more from him. Even if it is unfair.

What is important for him? Find out what he cares about, what he wants to get home to. Give him something good to think about, a goal to focus on, rather than the darkness around us.

Another thing we could do is try to give him a useful task. One thing we know he understands (to a degree) is voklit culture and behavior. Ask him to think about how the salikai have won their loyalty. Knowing what he does, if he were an outsider, how would he go about trying to manipulate their beliefs and honor into obedience and fighting with modern weapons? (As an outsider, he might be better at this than Viln. He's not emotionally invested, and he has the outside perspective) And once he thinks he has an idea about that- how might we go about doing something about that? Turning or freeing voklit might be useful to use eventually. Even just understanding what they're thinking might allow us to navigate a situation safely, later.

And his training goes beyond the language right? It must include negotiation, conflict resolution. Give him more thought problems- how might we negotiate a CAI bound under a timed death sentence that turning and risking death for freedom is better than serving its masters? What could we possibly offer Odihi to turn against his father, or to surrender himself, if it comes to that?

Oh, and most sneakily of all. If diplomat training includes conflict resolution? Make like we're worried about the morale and cohesion of the others. Ask him to work on that for you. He's not a fighter or a scientist, but he can keep the fighters and scientists going. (And if he's trying to get the others to work better, he'll end up working better :V).
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No. 521434 ID: 735f4f

That's a great idea to make him feel useful. Up until now he has been out of his element and feeling powerless. If we can give him something to work on other than being miserable he might be a big help.

Also we need to make sure we are using everyone's talents the best we can. Polo is used to running solo but that's only useful in the infiltration missions. We need everyone working together to get out of this.
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No. 521441 ID: d38f67
File 137298382627.png - (9.46KB , 700x700 , 433.png )
521441

"Something has been bugging me, and this is your area of expertise. If you were in the salikai's position, how would you have gone about getting the Voklit to abandon what they have called their honor and tradition and fight for you?"
>"Fuck, they're duty bound from birth. You'd have to make them believe that they'd be more honorable by doing something else. They're constantly shoved under the rug and given the short end of the stick by us, it's frankly something that they'd have to have the salikai to 'trick' them into fighting for them, against neumono. If the salikai somehow made themselves out to fight fair with strength and all that, wouldn't be hard to make the voklit listen to 'em. I dunno how they'd do it, but the salikai are in a good position for it.
"That sounds reasonable. Let me see what you want to do. If you were in command, how would you handle this? I am sure you want to get out of this as much as we do."
>"... you're not going to listen to me."
"If I did not want to listen, I would not be listening to you right now."
>"Fine. I'd sit here. I doubt the salikai care about one hunter."
"The salikai do not care about the hunter, no, but they do care about our location. So if there is a sign we are here, they will send more than Viln can pull out of the water and overpower before getting shot."
>"I fucking told you you wouldn't listen."
"I am telling you why your idea is dangerous at best. If not that, and you were not hydrophobic, what would you do?"
>"I'd jump in the damn river and swim downstream till I had to get out."
"Then if the irrational fear was removed the equation, you would do something rational. I do not know if I have decided that is what we will do, but that has merit."
>"But not a damn guarantee."
"There is no guarantee. But if the salikai find us, death would be the easiest way out."
>"Now who's the coward? They'll be found eventually, they can't hide something like this forever behind faking our voices to radio in that it's all going fine. So what if we do get captured? We'd live."
"I am not sure why you think the salikai would not kill us. What I will say is that until they decide to kill us or they are found out, our time will spent wishing we were dead. And our chances of avoiding that are greatly increased if we think amd act without giving our irrational thoughts a say."
>"... fine."
That is all he says, but I expect that is as good as it can get. I expect the others are going to be ready to go soon, and I will have to collect a decision on what we are doing and where we are going.
"Good. I will need your input again later."
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No. 521442 ID: d38f67
File 137298383528.png - (11.45KB , 630x382 , 434.png )
521442

>"We can't spend forever, sooo I'm going to activate it now and just try to boot it from scratch if its AI doesn't get along." Katzati says as I cross by the table again. "... shoot, it's got an activation password!"
>"I believe I remember what it was." replies Niam. "Although I am concerned about using this. The salikai have external control capabilities in earlier models we have made. This armor is from ultrahive manufacturing lines, but I cannot say if the salikai have tampered with them."
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No. 521448 ID: 19b3c3

>>521441
Well, that went well, I guess. About as chipper as he's going to get, I suppose. (Although I'm disappointed we didn't leave him a longer assignment to think about).

...if he really think we'd be safe in Salikai custody, you could always touch him, turn off your silence, and drag Rokoa's empathy to the surface. That is what they have in store for us.

>>521442
Poor Korli never gets to do any science anymore. Katz and Niam have stolen the show.

If there are external control capacities, would they not require external communication to manage? The caves have rendered our radios almost useless, we would not lose much by manually disabling the helmet's radio / communication capabilities.

Or worst case, even if we leave it powered off, it's still armor. Although then we miss the advantage of a mapper, or augmented vision.
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No. 521449 ID: 57a559

>>521442
Wait, external as in wireless control from the homebase or external as in there's external switches and controls on the armor? I'm assuming the former.

Is there a firewall or blocker of some sort that can interfere with the external control signal? Is there physical evidence of tampering or is the only way we're going to know if there was tampering is by turning it on and fiddling with the software?

If we can't makeshift a decent enough blocker and if the salikai base is good enough to not show physical tampering on generic armor, than don't risk it. But I think modifying a generic piece of advanced armor would be hard to do without leaving external physical evidence. That would mean having to rewire the radio parts around I'm quite sure. It's hard to believe to being able to do that much with just software.

Wait, we should be able to do some physical tampering of our own just by disconnecting all radio/internet wave functionality. There should be tuners inside the armor itself for such functionality. Physically remove those, and that armor is deaf until we repair it.
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No. 521452 ID: 735f4f

What type of network capabilities does it have? Also if it did show up on there network what exactly could the do if they had a backdoor?

As nice as it would be to have a working helmet it might be to dangerous to use unless we can make sure there are no back doors.

Usually to put something like that in a already built item they would have to program it into the software or add a chip to the computer. So if so can we reboot it from firmware in the first case and look for any modifications to the motherboard in the other.

Basically only chance using it if we have the ability to notice any tampering.
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No. 521454 ID: 735f4f

Honestly with the Cai around nothing we have is that secure if it has any sort of open network. Let them know about your old helmet and how its Ai was acting up before everything got blown up.
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No. 521465 ID: 9b57d3

>>521442
Can't they manually disconnect the radio and other wireless capability to ensure the AI can't work directly against us?
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No. 521634 ID: d38f67
File 137304712932.png - (15.23KB , 700x700 , 435.png )
521634

"Can we not disconnect the radio pieces? It must have external communication if the salikai can have external control."
>"Yes, of... course." Niam says.
"Perhaps Korli would be of assistance."
>"She already is double checking my bombs to make sure I did not miss anything obvious."
>"We don't really have the time to fully dismantle the helmet to do this, we're about to leave. Unless you prefer we crack this helmet open?"
"I would like to spend a few minutes to do so, quickly, before we risk using it."

Niam goes ahead and opens it while the others get impatient.

"Radio port, by the earpiece. There's also some other compartment. I don't recognize what this... wait. Yes, I remember. This helmet has been rigged with a bomb. Not a huge one if I remember this kind correctly, but I would not want to hold it if it goes off. Oddly, it is hooked up through the AI, not the radio piece. This is new. I do not know if I can safely remove it. Doubtful."
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No. 521636 ID: 19b3c3

If you doubt your ability to remove it safely, then do not risk it. You are worth more to us, intact, than one helmet.

Take note of the exact location of the explosive. If that's in the same place on all the hunter helmets, that's potentially a good place to shoot when fighting them.

Then I think it's time to move out.
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No. 521640 ID: 735f4f

Ahh its set up like what we did with our helmet. Its hooked up so that if one of the hunters gets captured and is outside of radio range the ai can set off the bomb so no info can be recovered.

Knowing that I am surprised it has not blown already.
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No. 521644 ID: 19b3c3

>Knowing that I am surprised it has not blown already.
They probably consider trying to take our heads off to be a higher priority than destroying information. So it's likely set to explode on equip or tampering, not on data access.

Actually, the more worrisome problem is if the salikai tampered with the hunter helmets, or if they compromised the ultrahive production line. We'll have to warn of that possibility when we contact the outside, or we run the risk of our reinforcements blowing their own heads off.
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No. 521654 ID: d38f67
File 137305168769.png - (42.96KB , 900x600 , 436.png )
521654

"Forget it. We are not going to use armor that could blow up in our faces. Let's go."

We gather our things and get to the waterline.

>"What is the plan, then?" asks Lucera.
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No. 521657 ID: 735f4f

Ok our two big items are food in the short term and escape/killing all the Salikai second.

If we can find and group up with Biles we can all work together to find more food and having Moi's stealth would be invaluable for planting the bombs.

So I say we try to meet up with Biles unless someone has a better idea.
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No. 521660 ID: 19b3c3

Geeze, does Viln keep getting bigger? And Lucera has glasses now?

>plan
Well, this spot has been safe so far, but with a missing hunting, we only have so long before the patrols close in an search this area closely. We will have to move.

As it is our only exit, we have no choice but to ride the river out initially. Our first decision is how long to do so. Your previous trip shows the river runs northwards. We can let it carry us into unexplored territory, further from the salikai base, or we could exit near exit 2.

...It would be convenient if we could ride the river south, towards (or past) Bile's position, but I don't see a way to reach that branching from our position. There's no way to do that without going upriver.

Our options boil down to running deeper with the short term benefit of probably less patrols and more (but dangerous) food at the cost of putting ourselves further from the exits, our allies, and Polo's bombing targets. And moving into the unknown. Or trying to get closer to our allies, with the benefit of being in range of both the sabotage targets and exits and gaining allies to help with punching out and/or Polo's sneaking mission, at the cost of there being likely more enemies to evade. But in an area Polo has partially explored and scouted already.

I like going towards Biles better overall, but I don't like having to sneak around the abandoned town at exit 2 with the whole group. Is there a better exit from the waterway than we used last time?
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No. 521687 ID: 9b57d3

>>521654
I say as a tentative plan we could head towards Biles. Viln should carry Polo and she should nap to try to get into some relevant Rokoa memories about nearby hiding spots.
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No. 521688 ID: 19b3c3

>>521687
She already said she can't bring herself to sleep anymore. And we kind of need her alert while we're on the move, anyways.

If he foot is going to slow her down though, she could ask to ride with Viln.
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No. 521700 ID: 735f4f

Pretty sure Rokoa only has info about inside the base. The dart version never got out of the lab for the most part. Might be a good idea to check but I don't think she can help much right now.
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No. 521703 ID: 450660

>>521634

Speculation: a bomb rigged to AI could either be a suicide on a voice command, or a literal "kill switch" -- as not too many neumono (presumably in "enemy" hands) would fare well without most of their head.

That of course begs the question how and why the AI would determine it necessary to kill the user. If that's even possible, we should consider further things potentially hazardous as the radio itself may not be the actual threat.

Oh, right!
Did we ever figure out what the heck happened with our own helmet? It kind of bugged out on us somewhere along the way, if I recall.
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No. 521715 ID: bc8d67

Top priority right now is securing food. While there should be easy hunting near exit 2, according to Viln, that's uncomfortably close to the enemy's camp in the abandoned town. If they get the alert to start searching downriver from our former hiding spot while we're hunting, we'll be right in their path. That means the safest way would be to get out of the river as soon as possible, then head north to search for some big game to shoot. While Viln said they're dangerous to fight bare handed, we have guns and that'll tip it in our favor.

Long term plan is to get to Biles; His group will greatly help with breaking out, and Moi's super-stealth suit invaluable with getting to the salikai's base and planting the bombs. The problem is that the group can't take the route Polo took. Getting through the abandoned town is iffy at best, but crossing the river is a deal breaker; There's just no place where the larger members of the group can cross without being spotted by a camera. This means having to travel to loop back around to the west, then south, back east and then south to get to Biles. It'll take awhile, but that'll give Polo's foot enough time to heal to the point she can continue the mission.

You're on point riding Viln, outside the group's jammer and silenced; Take the thermal goggles as well. Oh, and this time around ask Kort to plug his nostrils and tie his muzzle shut before everyone dives in so he doesn't inhale a load of water during his inevitable hydrophobic freak out.

Here's an idea for disarming the helmet: Dunk it in water until it goes into protective shutdown, then defuse the explosives. Not something to do right now, but keep it in mind for later, when there's time. It may also be a good idea to defuse it while it's submerged, since the water would soak more explosive energy then air if it does go off. ...And maybe get Kort do the final cut, but it'd likely take more convincing than possible to get him to do that.

Polo's bioarmor got removed by accident from the wiki inventory page.
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No. 521718 ID: d38f67
File 137306253846.png - (10.63KB , 700x700 , 437.png )
521718

I am unable to give Rokann my machine gun ammo, as it is non compliant with the machine gun that Rokann uses.

>Lucera has glasses now?
The odder thing I find is that he chose the moment before we dive into a river to put them on.

>Did we ever figure out what the heck happened with our own helmet?
No. Whether it was being compromised or if its AI was simply confused will be unsolved, given its fate.

We leave the armor and the hunter restrained in our hideout. Niam does not want to risk submerging the helmet to attempt to disable the explosive trigger, as we have no idea what the explosive trigger is.

"We will head to Biles. There is too much risk in going deeper for the long term. My biggest concern in that is that we will have to sneak right around exit 2. As far as I know, that is the only confirmed path to Biles we can take."

Nah. You can go through the railroad tracks if you take the same river and just wait awhile longer instead of getting out where you did before. Rokoa interjects.

I wish I thought to ask Rokoa before I went ahead and said there was no other confirmed path. However, I do not recall where Rokoa would know that information, as there is a lot of her later memories that is a haze buried under her treatment. But, I do not get the impression that she is lying, either.
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No. 521728 ID: 19b3c3

...although I have a strong suspicion the river may cross with the railroad tracks and offer another way around.

Looking at the maps... if Rokoa's right, and that river we were in continued south, it would intersect the railroad somewhere SW of the abandoned hive complex by exit 2. Assuming she's right, and that water exit isn't guarded or cameraed, that's a safer route for the group than having to navigate all the security by exit 2.

Personally, I think it's worth trying. We said Rokoa was good for information, and this is information.
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No. 521731 ID: 6c71bc

Well, it's still not a "confirmed" path, so you can just go on and mention it as a likely path. I wouldn't have expected a railroad track to be built in a way that it crosses a river, though.
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No. 521745 ID: 57a559

Rokoa's trying to lure you there alone. She knows that even with a bad leg you'd probably be cautious and scout ahead for that route, telling your buddies to stay behind for a little bit then to take the other route if you didn't return.

Even if she's telling the truth of that being a relatively safe path, I get the feeling she's going to try and take advantage of some part of your personality she knows about while your awake. Not necessarily to help win the mind battle or lure you into a trap, she could also have other motives we wouldn't like particularly. Like force you into a situation where she can amuse herself by watching.
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No. 521757 ID: 9b57d3

>>521718
Any path that doesn't involve moving past heavily guarded areas is a better path. Speak up, don't be afraid to mention that Rokoa is taking a bit of a break and apparently wants you alive for a while longer so is helping you out. ...she must've looked at some memories we weren't aware of to even know where Biles is.

Hey, you're keeping the non-helmet parts of that armor, right?
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No. 521793 ID: 735f4f

As creepy as the situation is I don't think she would steer you to far wrong right now. If you get found and killed so will she.

Also she want horrible horrible revenge on the Salikai for what they did. If she hampers you right now she wont get to see it. If she gets to watch you hack ones arms off she probably will be giggling like a schoolgirl.
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No. 521794 ID: 9ddf68

Just say you think you can also recall from the old map that there was also a path from the railroad using the river but not completely sure on that, so the choices are go with the sure route that puts you past and guarded exit or the more iffy but possibly safer path of the railroad.
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No. 521868 ID: d38f67
File 137308441302.png - (7.69KB , 700x700 , 438.png )
521868

"It is likely, however, that the railroad crosses the river, or close to it. If we go past the exit to exit two, then we should be able to get by the river."
>"I do not like 'likely.' Lucera says.
"Our alternative plan is simply to dive in and wait for a long time. If I am wrong, then we will just end up doing that plan."

There is still tension in the group. I doubt that there will be a 'good' time to tell them that I guided them through Rokoa's words, but there are better times than now.

Rokann, in the end, takes all of the armor except for the helmet, choosing to believe that those, at least, likely aren't rigged. Kort is silent, but Katzati appears willing to prepare him.

We tie each other together, as we end up traversing through the river blindly, since it is very likely that the salikai have eyes looking at the river. I am at the lead, with Viln behind me, and will light the cavern once I feel, based on time alone, we are a ways past the 2nd exit river exit.
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No. 521869 ID: d38f67
File 137308442797.png - (69.32KB , 700x700 , 439.png )
521869

And I do. Thankfully, the rope is intact, and Viln is still behind me. At the next visible section, I poke my head out. Luck is with us, sort of. The train tracks to go right over the water, but the edge of the cliff, and the train tracks themselves, are out of reach.
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No. 521873 ID: 19b3c3

Do you have your grapple handy? That would give us a way to get up.

The bigger concern is if this river exit is guarded or watched. You don't have Bell to ID cameras anymore. Although, since this isn't an easy in and out, it may not be.

>tell them Rokoa gave you information
...I'd couch it more that it was intel you pulled from her, than freely offered. If and when we bring it up at all.

If this route pans out though, and isn't trapped or guarded, be sure to thank her, grudging, for the help.
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No. 521983 ID: 9b57d3

>>521869
Use the grapple. It works when wet, right? If there is any issue, that cliff looks easy to climb.
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No. 522029 ID: d38f67
File 137313000299.png - (139.28KB , 700x700 , 440.png )
522029

The grappling hook will work for me. However, there is approximately one and a half metric tons worth of weight currently attached to me in neumono, equipment, and voklit.

I did not, however, choose the grappling hook figuring that I would always be alone. I doubt that the grappling hook will be able to pull us up, but if I get lucky on where the grips snag to, it might just be able to hold us. It's worth a shot, so I fire.
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No. 522030 ID: d38f67
File 137313009737.png - (32.98KB , 700x700 , 441.png )
522030

I cover the lantern enough to act as a flashlight beam directly back at the others to signal we're getting out. The grapple handle is passed to Viln, as I will take a wild guess and assume that he will be able to hold all of our weight against the current sooner than I could. As I do, I see an arkot look over the edge.
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No. 522035 ID: 19b3c3

>grapple won't work for everyone
I was assuming if we could get you in place, you could secure the stronger swimming line you're secured to, allowing the others to climb / pull themselves in / be pulled in by Viln.

>arkot
...has he made you? You're blue on blue, it's dark down here, he's shining his beam the wrong way and the line is dark. If we freeze we might be missed.

If you're made or worrying about being made, we could shoot him, but you're likely only going to get one shot and jam your weapon, and a gunshot will give away your position if he's not alone.

A better option, if he doesn't see you, is to have someone sneak up and see what the situation is. If it's only a small group or one arkot, kill them quietly and then the group can follow.
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No. 522060 ID: 735f4f

Yeah freeze and watch him carefully. If you are close enough to take him out only do so if he notices you.

Our best bet is to stay out of site and hope he does not notice anything and moves on.

You probably do not have a way of signaling Viln to stay under but hopefully he notices the light and stops moving.
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No. 522072 ID: bc8d67

Alright, unless arkots have very good low light vision, that one almost certainly hasn't spotted anyone yet. Just hold still, and hope that Viln notices the arkot's light and does the same. If it tilts its head down so the headlamp shines on you or any of your group, then you'll have a problem, but not before. You'll just have to figure out what to do if and when you are spotted.

>Grappling hook
Not the best plan, since there's a good chance the hooked terrain would give way under the weight, quite possibly while Viln is halfway up the cliff face. A better plan would be to have Viln and everyone else grab onto the rock face at water level and hold on while you use the grappling hook launcher's powered windlass to get up to the cliff top. Then you can find a good spot to securely hook the grappling hook and tie the cable off before dropping the launcher back down for everyone else to climb up. It'd also give you a chance to peek over the lip of the cliff and scope out the situation before everyone comes up.
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No. 522441 ID: d38f67
File 137323378536.png - (8.56KB , 700x700 , 442.png )
522441

I've already fired the grappling hook, so I will have to hope for the best. Perhaps that is what caught the arkot's attention.

If I fired correctly, then I fired straight upwards. The current is still powerful, and the forward momentum should have caught the grappling rope to loop around the top of the bridge, and the hook itself dropping down to the other end, where I floated down to next. That should maximize the chances of it snagging with the greatest leverage. I say, as quietly as I can to Viln when he surfaces, to try to grab a rock face. Most rocks are smooth and slippery, but the cliff itself is still bumpy. I am hoping that between him, the grappling hook, and anyone else who gets the hint to grab the rocks, there will be little chance of everyone getting dragged downstream. It is still too strong to swim against effectively.
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No. 522442 ID: d38f67
File 137323391161.png - (19.17KB , 700x700 , 443.png )
522442

I begin climbing the grappling rope. With all of our weight getting pulled by the current, it is stiff and easy to climb up after detaching myself from the rope that connects the group together.

So far, the arkot has not noticed me, and arkots are not known for their excellent vision. It is waddling liesurely across the bridge. It occasionally fiddles with its headlamp in agitation, but appears unable to adjust it. I believe it wants to do so, as currently, it has its headlamp on upsidedown, making the light shine upwards rather than downwards. Now and again it bobs its head up and down, yet does not seem to be able to shine the light where it wants to and look in that direction simultaneously.

By the time I get up to the bridge, I've looped to the other side, where the arkot gets to. I think it is investigating the grappling hook, although it does not appear to know that it is, in fact, a grappling hook.

I do not see anyone else around with the arkot, although I will have to get on top of the bridge to be able to scan thoroughly.
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No. 522444 ID: 19b3c3

Oh right, it has the same problem as prettiest. It can't adjust its headlight even if it wants to.

...who would have thought giving an arkot a pretty bow would later provide useful tactical insight.

>anyone else with the arkot?
You'd think any other sapients would have recognized what he's found, and that any other arkots would be working as a clumsy group. He's likely alone. Or at least, any others aren't within a few meters.

Sneak up, use the knife to go for a quiet kill. Use your off hand to cover his mouth- both to suppress a scream and to keep his head steady so anyone who may be around doesn't notice the light jumping erratically.
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No. 522447 ID: 735f4f

They are really scraping the bottom of the barrel with these little guys.

Well he has seen the grappling hook. And that is not good. But on the other hand he seems pretty incompetent so you should be able to off him without to much trouble.

I would love to leave him alive if we could be sure its stupid enough to shrug after awhile and then wander off to its preset patrol route. But I have a feeling it will fiddle around for awhile then wander off to get someone more competent.

I was going to say to kill him in a way that does not make it obvious in case someone finds his body washed up later but are Arkots edible?

Sort of creepy but food is food right? Whatever you do try to avoid leaving water and blood all over the bridge.
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No. 522467 ID: e6e516

If there was someone else with him nearby, even another arkot, there would have been some sort of chatter about whatever's attracted its attention, unless arkots are telepathic or they've spliced empathic abilities into them or something. On the other hand, it seems terribly stupid to have minions wandering around on their own; pairs at least should be the minimum, and larger numbers for the less intellectual ones. Most likely scenario: there is a group, probably within hearing distance at least, from which this arkot has wandered. You could take it out if you don't make any loud noises, and if you get ye gone quickly before anyone comes to investigate. If this is a particularly large cave, then it's possible as well that they might notice its light going out or suddenly moving in strange ways, but if there's no hint of other light sources nearby, then that's probably not the case.

Could you snap his neck? Then there'd be no blood left for clues, and you could drop the body in the river and make it look like an accident. Or, alternately, you could club him across the back of his head and just leave him knocked out. Depends how well you know arkot anatomy, I assume they're not as resistant to that sort of approach as you guys are. I'd also wonder how good their sense of smell is - if someone investigates here, they would know you came by - but that'll be a problem anyway, unless you river dunking has been sufficient. Letting him wander on ignorantly would be the best choice of all, but I don't think even arkots are stupid enough to see a grappling hook attached to a bridge with something clearly hanging from it and just ignore it.
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No. 522511 ID: f5680f

>>522442
Sneak up behind it and slice its throat.
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No. 522512 ID: 735f4f

Ok this is a crazy thought but if he is alone could we go up and pretend we are another patrol?

Then help him with his light and get him to ignore the line and send him on his way?

No idea if you would need to speak his language or whatever. Or how the Salikai control the little guys anyway. Can Arkots feel your empathy?
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No. 522559 ID: 5869f6

>>522512
Semi-possible, Arkots aren't very intelligent.
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No. 522576 ID: d38f67
File 137325004264.png - (46.58KB , 700x700 , 444.png )
522576

I will assume the salikai have not given the arkots any means to read neumono empathy. As far as I can tell, they have only communicated with arkots using their own speech capabilities, mostly clicks and squeaks. Although I would say their language is hardly on par with a predator's, the salikai's arkots have proven smarter than my own knowledge of them would imply.

Which is not saying much. They have persisted because of numbers and little else. They are edible. I doubt they taste good, but that is not our concern.

I don't believe they are hard to knock out, but I do not know if they are easy either. I leap over the edge and have his mouth shut sliced before I make any noise with my landing. Then his throat sliced before he can react. He has no gun. He bleeds, of course, but I hold his head steady to bleed over the edge and stabilize his light.

Before he finishes bleeding out, which admittedly is taking awhile, his radio blares up. Speaking of clicks and squeaks, that is exactly what I hear. The sound of the river below prevents me from hearing it elsewhere, so I cannot tell if it is coming from nearby. It does not sound frantic, however.

I believe I see Viln watching me. He may catch the Arkot if I drop him, or anyone may, knowing our food situation.
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No. 522577 ID: e6e516

Hopefully, that's just a message being put out, but it might be something that expects a reply. Unless one of you has a hitherto unrevealed ability to speak arkot (Kort maybe? Unlikely.), you need to get going right away
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No. 522578 ID: 8b9215

Do not respond to the radio. Ignore it. Get what you need and get out fast.
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No. 522581 ID: 19b3c3

Look around, quickly. Can you see anyone or anything else around? That determines our next course of action.

Not sure what dropping the body to your teammates does, unless you plan on unhooking the grapple and heading further down the river with them.

>loot
Another light may be useful, and the radio can be passed to the science hivers. We have to make a decision fast if it's off any use to us, or if the enemy can track it. And yeah, the body is a poor source of food, but we're hard pressed. Not that we have time to butcher it right now.

>radio noise
If they expect a reply, that means we don't have long. We need to get our people up and out here, quickly. Before anyone comes to check on the missing arkot.

>>522512
Never would have worked. We're not equipped like the hunters anymore, they know they're hunting neumono, the salikai train and condition them to hate neumono, and they almost certainly know what Polo looks like. The salikai would have made sure of that, and she killed enough arkots last time for them to have a personal reason to remember and hate her.
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No. 522582 ID: 57a559

Hey, before you throw him down to Viln put a little blood where it would be reasonable where the head would be if she sipped, fell on his head, and fell into the river.

You know it's happened.

If we clear the area and they fall for the trick, they'll search it less. Maybe.
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No. 522595 ID: 735f4f

If we are going to get out of the river here I would not bother throwing him off unless its to wash off extra blood. I would throw his radio over though.

Might have a tracker then it would look like he fell off and drowned if we do the blood smear thing on a rock at the edge.

The big thing is to check if there is anyone close enough to see. We need a few minutes to get everyone up to the bridge and moving and we do not want to leave water everywhere.
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No. 522769 ID: 2f4b71

We've got two choices: keep the radio, in case somebody speaking something other than Arkot says something important on it (and it doesn't happen to be trackable), or switch the radio on, and drop it so it bounces off the bridge railing and into the river. 'Clumsy Arkot dropped his radio in surprise' is better than failing to respond.
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No. 522773 ID: 19b3c3

>>522769
If they come looking later and conclude he fell, that's fine. But if we send worrying noises over the radio, they'll send someone to check now. As is, we might have a window to move before they interpret silence as bad.
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No. 522855 ID: bc8d67

No way to tell if that radio message was directed at this arkot or not right now. If it's repeated louder or more insistently, then it's likely it was for this one, and you and the group will have to pick up the pace.

Leave your knife sheathed in the arkot's neck and gesture over the edge for Viln and the rest to start climbing up right away; They can always drop back into the river if things get hot up here. Then slip your arm around the arkot and hold it tight to you, clap your hand over it's bloody neck to direct the bleeding down its fur, since that'll catch most, if not all, of the flow, and start turning the arkot around, aiming the headlamp to light up areas of interest nearby. Try not to make the movement of the light look too odd, and make sure your allies don't get illuminated.

There's gonna be a big problem once everyone is up on the bridge; They're all gonna be sopping wet. That's going to leave an obvious trail unless everyone strips to their underwear, "oscillates" so the spray goes over the water, and then wrings their clothes out over the river; Putting them back on will have to wait a bit until we're away from here. And to leave no indication that we came out here will take wiping the puddles off the bridge with their clothes before leaving, along with any blood, which will take even more time. If you've got the time, do it all, but if you can't even get the water off everyone it's going to point the enemy right at you, unless by some stroke of luck nobody comes along before it dries up.

Right before leaving flip the headlamp off, then cut the radio loose from the arkot's corpse, and bag the body for butchering later. Remove the batteries from the headlamp and radio if it's easy to, then chuck them both into the drink; You just can't trust that either one doesn't have a tracking device in it. This way it looks a bit like the arkot's headlamp batteries ran out, and in the dark it either fumbled its radio into the water, or fell in. Either way works for you.
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No. 522867 ID: 19b3c3

>>522855
We only cared about the oscillation before because it might lead them to our hiding place. We aren't close to our destination yet- we're running, and the trail won't last long. And there's no telling when someone will come to check on the arkot- we need to leave fast. No time for stripping, shaking, and getting dressed.
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No. 522876 ID: bc8d67

>>522867
Alright, no oscillation this time since this is likely a well traveled route even if nobody comes to investigate and we should get away ASAP before anyone comes along. We should still try to keep the blood drips to a minimum, and wash away any that does fall on the bridge. That way they may still think the arkot fell in, and might not think the water on the bridge was from us, or perhaps even think the arkot fell in by slipping on the wet bridge.
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No. 522971 ID: d38f67
File 137334319215.png - (41.47KB , 700x700 , 445.png )
522971

On second thought, everyone is coming up here, so it would be little more than inconvenience to drop the arkot for them to bring back up. I drop the arkot so it is leaning, and bleeding, over the edge, and motion my allies to get up here with haste. Thankfully, Lucera went over such a scenario, and the neumono at the rear heads up to come. I will also most likely pull the batteries out of the radio and get rid of it rather than bring what might be a tracker with us, but I keep it nearby for the moment. I do pull both the radio and the headlamp off the arkot, and turning the headlamp around so it shines the other way.

Marra is first, and she is holding Kort with her. As expected, they are sopping wet. I do not want to spend the time drying off enough to not leave a blatant trail, but naturally, I also don't want to leave a blatant trail. Eventually we would stop dripping so much, but much of our fur still absorbs water, as do most of our clothes. It will still be some time, as several of us are not able to scramble up the rope as fast as I would hope.

Another sound comes out of the radio. This time it is a voklit, saying... I do not know, its accent is heavy. 'Respond', perhaps. After a moment, shortly before Niam makes it up, I see some light off in the distance. It is around a far off bend, and it does not appear to be moving quickly at all. We still have some time.
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No. 522975 ID: f5680f

>>522971
Does Kort know Arkot language? If he can report in that all's clear, we'll lessen the chance of being caught.
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No. 522977 ID: 735f4f

Disperse the water around the area the best you can so there is not a big obvious puddle where you all came up. If you can make it look like the little guy slipped on the wet bridge and fell in all the better.

Biggest thing to watch for is not having a line of wet foot prints on the stone leading away.
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No. 522983 ID: 23b97a

...I don't suppose either of the science hivers can speak arkot? You know, for bossing them around? Or Kort? (unlikely, but you never know) Not sure of any other way we can fake a response on the radio, or buy more time. Although Kort might be better at listening to the radio and making out the voklit accent than you. Viln should be busy helping people out of the water. Marra too, maybe. Pulling and climbing goes faster than just climbing.

Maybe spare a moment for Kort. He's looking pretty frazzled, but he came through. Hand on shoulder, a simple "You did well."

If the train were moving quickly, we could leave something on the tracks to derail them. Doesn't look like that's an option, though.

Any estimate as to how quickly the train is approaching? Will our people be out of the water in time? If not, we may need to consider setting an ambush. Or a way to block the tracks, or derail them, or something.

As for the water, shaking off what you can would be good, although I doubt we have the time for everyone to strip down out of all their gear like last time.

Another consideration- what does our exit look like? If the only way out is along the train tracks, we're definitely going to have to do something about the approaching group. Or else they stand a good chance of catching up to us before we find a tunnel leading away from the tracks.
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No. 522985 ID: f5680f

>>522975
Oooh ooh, better idea. He could report that he "thought he saw something under the water traveling downstream", to make them think we followed the river further on.
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No. 523312 ID: bc8d67

If Viln is already up here, he and everyone else up top should haul on the line to pull the rest of the group up. If he isn't up here, then signal down below that he should be the next to climb up top, and do so as quick as possible.

Lay down, pull out and setup your sniper rifle and watch the bend with the night vision scope. If any enemies wearing what looks like thermals or night vision round that curve, you're gonna want to have a bead on their head right away. Just hold off on putting a standard round in it until the millisecond they look like they've spotted your group, in case their goggles don't actually have advanced optics.

Also ask someone to pull the thermal goggles out and watch the opposite direction along the tracks, just in case enemies that don't need a light source to see are coming. Maybe have Kort do that if he isn't too freaked out from being in the water.

Turn the lights down to just bright enough for everyone to see what they're doing and not accidentally fall over the edge. That way when you flip it off when the enemy is about to clear the bend they won't see any glow from it suspiciously blink out.

Have everyone spread the water they're dripping out, so it won't puddle and it'll be less apparent we got out here. Also make sure to wipe out any footprints. And while there isn't enough time to get all the water off of everyone, they might be able to at least shake off their feet and lower legs so they don't leave footprints.

The dead arkot is also going to have to be bundled up and packed away so it doesn't get blood all over everything in Marra's pack. It may come to wrapping it in one of the tents.

Perhaps when the group gets a breather you could tell Kort about Three Stripes and that he could likely cure Kort of his hydrophobia if he's willing to have a friendly predator prod his mind. Maybe the prospect of being rid of that phobia would provide enough incentive for Kort to soldier on through all this.

>>522975
>>522985
>>522983
Even if they could speak the arkot's language, it'd be accented and sound like a neumono speaking it. And even if they could speak it perfectly, all it'd take is the enemy asking for a code-of-the-day or even the dead arkot's name and the jig would be up.
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No. 523602 ID: d38f67
File 137351488228.png - (60.08KB , 700x700 , 446.png )
523602

"Kort, good job. Did you understand what that voklit said on the radio?"
>"Report."
"Thank you. I don't suppose you can speak in fluent arkot back to him."
>"No. Could be one click for yes, two for no. Point is, it's simple, random, and you're likely to say the opposite thing if you make a guess."
"Alright." The chances of the radio having a tracker are too high, so I extract the batteries and drop the radio in the river, while I dim the headlamp just low enough for people to see what they are doing.

>Get Viln to pull everyone up
It's an idea I wish I thought of earlier. I almost start to employ this, but the scenario that runs through my head has are too many logistical challenges. Getting a message down there for Viln to come up next instead of last. Somehow getting Viln's torso sized fingers a good grip around my grappling hook, or an appropriate rod that still allows leverage to unhook the grappling hook from its current snag. Trusting that Viln is strong enough to pull a great deal of drag from the heavy current below despite the rope being looped around. While none of these are insurmountable, there are plenty of chances for disaster along the way. I will opt to not upset the status quo, and let it spend a few more minutes than before.

The only current ways that we can go are downward to the northeast, upward to the southwest, or back into the river. Korli and Rokann are up, Lucera is almost up. Rokann and Marra are set up watching my backside while I look to the oncoming group, after Marra bags the dead arkot in what might be our tent.

I see a voklit gun appear over the edge of the faroff rocks, and I will be able to get sight of his head soon. However, at the point that I am able to take a shot, and perhaps at the point that he will be able to see us, I will be unable to tell if there is anyone beside him. There could be a legion of arkots, for all I know, that could be behind those rocks.
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No. 523604 ID: f5680f

>>523598
He's using a light, that means he can't see in the dark. Extinguish your light and everyone get behind cover. Lucera should wait on the rope below the bridge. We only start shooting if we can't avoid the patrol. If it's a single Voklit, Viln could try to ambush him and spear him through the chest to take him out quietly.

If we have to use guns then we run immediately afterwards, water trail be damned. Oh, Viln should snatch the voklit's bag to see if it has rations he can eat.
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No. 523656 ID: 23b97a

...if we get our people under cover, we might be able to see him him before he sees us. Although we're kind of in the middle of the bridge (nowhere to hide, and a terrible defensive position in a firefight) and Lucera is caught hanging. So I don't see how that happens.

And I'm not sure not engaging the enemy is an option. Voklit aren't stupid- even if we all somehow got out of sight, he'd recognize the grapple as significant. And we can't clear out in time.

Getting to better cover to engage, or a position to ambush the enemy as they approach or pass might be a good idea.

...and I'm not sure how a potential legion of arkots changes our thinking. Whether the enemy is alone or not, we're kind of pinned down and have to deal with them.
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No. 523819 ID: d38f67
File 137359252628.png - (17.27KB , 700x700 , 447.png )
523819

I don't see much choice but to engage. I motion and whisper for everyone to get down, and I dim the light. Not all of us are up, so we cannot simply abandon this section to get behind cover. It's another bad situation, and I take the shot soon before the voklit would turn the corner and illuminate us. It roars - it is not an instant kill, but it shakes, stumbles, falls and quiets down. I am uncertain if it will live, but for the time, I doubt I will have to worry about it.

I expect the shot to get my allies to hurry up to our bridge. It got the arkots - several, perhaps - behind the rocks to start chattering, and I hear something else. A series of some other noise that, for lack of a better description, only sounds marginally better than a perpetuated burp coming from around the arkots.
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No. 523822 ID: d38f67
File 137359306801.png - (32.90KB , 700x700 , 448.png )
523822

Lucera is up. A quick glance confirms that Viln has foregone waiting and is dragging himself forward and up, dragging Katzati with him.

One of the spider bots from the old salikai facility is lobbed over the rocks.
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No. 523823 ID: 23b97a

Here's hoping the arkots with the voklit don't know how to use his radio. Or that he fell on it. If we get that lucky and wipe them before they can call it in, reinforcements will come when the patrol is noticed missing instead of immediately.

>Spider bot
I don't see a mounted turret, like Niam warned us. What is that red thing? Is that an eye? Or a laser? Or a bomb?

Shoot it in the eye, I guess. Normal round or AP if we think we need it.

Korli's up already, if she has anything to say about the spider bot, she should say it.

Don't forget to grab the grapple when we fall back. Loosing that would suck.
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No. 523824 ID: 5869f6

Possible that it's some sort of scout drone.
Stay out of sight.
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No. 523834 ID: f5680f

Not sure we'll need to use a sniper round on this. Other ammo would be more plentiful, so our allies can try shooting it. Keep a bead on it just in case it tries something nasty, though.
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No. 523877 ID: bc8d67

Niam said the salikai had turrets mounted on the spider bots, but there isn't one visible here. Either it's in an internal compartment and hasn't popped out yet, or it doesn't have one and it's a either a scout or a bomb bot. Any which way you don't want it getting close or get any extra time to fire. Hope they didn't come up with a solution to the bots' turrets' recoil nearly tipping them over.

The spider bot's probably going to be an evasive little bastard and hard to target, so save your precious sniper ammo and have Marra and Rokann fire on it with their machine guns; Marra using burst and full auto to herd it so Rokann can take aimed single shots on it. That big glowing red eye will make for an easy target.

Turn the lamp on full and drop it on the bridge ahead of them, pointing towards the side with the spider bot, both to illuminate the enemy and make it hard for your group to be made out. Then fall back behind them and watch the enemy position through your night vision scope for any other activity. None of you stay in the same position after making the kill, since that'll open you up to getting a grenade dropped on you.

That series of burp noises is undoubtedly from one of the salikai's critters that you haven't encountered before, so best to find out what the heck it is right away. Think-ask Rokoa if she has any idea what made those sounds, and if she doesn't then ask everyone else if they know.

It was rather foolish of you to chuck the radio when you did instead of right before leaving, since it might have told you if this enemy group radioed this encounter in. As is you're just going to have to work on the assumption that they called this in right away and reinforcements are en route... Though you most likely would have assumed that even if you still had the radio. Still shouldn't have thrown it away so soon.

I'm thinking that no matter which way we're going along this railway, we should wipe out or at least drive off this enemy group since we need food and butchering that voklit corpse, along with any dead arkots, will provide that nicely. We should also consider blowing up or otherwise collapsing the bridge behind us to stop or slow pursuing enemy forces. A gel explosive shot to the middle supports, coupled with some precision grappling hook shots on the remaining ones so Viln can yank them out might work.
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No. 523884 ID: 735f4f

If it was lobbed is it still in the air? Might be worth a shot to try and shoot it in the air. Should not be able to move around fast until it lands.

If you cant get it in one shot you should have the others take it out with there weapons and we need to get around the rocks to take out whatever arkots they have back there. If we can take out the whole patrol its more food and resources for later.
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No. 523907 ID: 23b97a

>bot may be hard to hit
...so the best option is to stall, and direct one of our allies to take the shot, in low light, with an inaccurate machine gun, probably past its effective range? Instead of having the crack shot do it with a rifle, with one shot, while the glowy bit is visible.

Yeah, no, wasting a bunch of machine run ammo to save one rifle round ain't worth it.

Granted, our ammo constraints suck, but there's no good way around that.
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No. 523993 ID: bc8d67

>>523907
Alright, then. Forget the machine gun plan. It's better to take the shot while it's airborne and it's trajectory is known. Single standard shot to the red glowing eye. And this way the enemy won't know for sure if you're alone or with allies, if you don't give it away by you or them yelling. So keep communication with them quiet.
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No. 524116 ID: d38f67
File 137368546322.png - (20.13KB , 1000x700 , 449.png )
524116

>It was rather foolish of you to chuck the radio
I was hasty, I will admit.

I chance a shot while it is in midair. It may be easier than if it is intelligent enough to scurry randomly around to avoid getting hit. The red is the eye. Thankfully it is large and not difficult to hit.

All I can read at the surface level for what Rokoa knows of the burps are that it is something relatively big. Dangerous.
Rokoa, I know you know what is making those burping noises. Inform me. I don't want to deal with your memories.
The salikai gave me some hugeass monologue to why it was so interesting to them, but I don't feel like listening to them, either. Salikai told me they're called fufas. I'll spare the details and talk in munitions. Got a flame thrower? Napalm? Some sort of sticky fire?
Explosives.
That'll slow it down. If I were in your position, I'd just turn right around and keep yourself out of two arms length.


I see five arkots leap up, and I expect I have one second before they start fi-

>"RUN!" Niam shouts with no regard to volume. "Downhill or back in the river, now!" Viln is still coming up, but he will be up in seconds.
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No. 524120 ID: 6b40ea

>RUN
The group should run downhill, not jump into the river. With the line tying people together undone, you'll be separated and lose people.

Have the others start running ahead of you. Wait for Viln to get up, so you can recover your grapple and he can carry you. You can't run, remember.

As soon as you get to the other side of the bridge, turn, and focus fire. HE rounds, machine gun, and the gel launcher. Blow it up, and collapse the bridge below it. Even if it survives, it'll have to claw it's way up against the current and back up the wall.
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No. 524121 ID: f5680f

>>524116
Retrieve the grapple if you can. Everyone should retreat. Explode the bridge if possible to slow down the fufa and those with rapidfire weapons should spray fire at the arkots to keep them from shooting at us while we retreat.
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No. 524122 ID: 735f4f

Ok that thing is both good news and bad news. Good news is in a second it will kill and eat all your enemies. Bad news is you are on the menu after that.

I would go with the experts on this one. Run as fast as you can making sure everyone is along for the ride. If across the bridge leads us to where we want to go head that way and try to set fire to the bridge to slow it down.

If you don't want to go that way get everyone back into the river fast.

Have Kort yell whatever that things name is to Viln in his language. If anyone is a expert on these things it will be him. He will know which way to escape is safer. We do not want to get in the river if it can swim faster than it can run.
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No. 524125 ID: fc763e

If possible gel the bridge and set it off when the thing runs out of arkots to attack. If not just try to blow it as soon as possible.
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No. 524237 ID: bc8d67

Yell to Marra to fire on those arkots so they can't fire on Viln while he's vulnerable. Don't want to take the chance of one of them getting a lucky shot in on an eye, or them all concentrating fire on his head and knocking his senses out just long enough for him to fall into the river. It'll only have to be for the few seconds it'll take for him to get up on the bridge and get his head down and tail up to shield himself and most everyone else.

Best bet here is to take out the bridge and make a run for it downhill. That'll not only stop the fufa's pursuit, but stop or seriously slow down the flow of enemy forces from back up the railway, as well as make it impossible for any enemy trains to move past this point. It's going to take using the gel explosive launcher, and likely some well aimed shots on the supports, so Rokann instead of Katzati should probably be the one to fire it.

As soon as Niam is up, grab him and quickly ask him a few things about fufas: How fast are they, how well can they swim, how well they can climb, and if one could jump this gorge. All these will tell you how long you'll have after blowing the bridge, or if to alter the plan so as to damage the bridge just enough that the fufa falls into the river.

>>524122
>>524125
Considering it sounded like it was with the arkots, and it wasn't chowing down on them, the fufa (or fufas, if we're really unlucky here) is not wild but one tamed and trained by the salikai. So unfortunately pretty much no chance of it attacking the arkots for us.
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No. 524245 ID: 6b40ea

Also, I should say you're going to have to make a judgement call whether you have time to grab the grapple or just run with Viln. It would suck to lose another useful tool, but it would suck more to get caught by a rampaging monster.

>Best bet here is to take out the bridge
Seriously. Heavy monster + HE round(s) + Gel launcher + Rokann's grenade, if that's what it takes. Bye bye bridge, monster, and immediate pursuit.
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No. 524253 ID: bc8d67

>>524245
Actually, all it would take to retrieve the grappling hook would be for Viln to whip the cable out in the direction of the hook as he's running away. Without the weight holding it down it'll pop right off the rock. Or he could just use his really long reach as soon as he gets up on the bridge to grab the hook, which would probably be easier, faster, and doesn't leave us with a grappling hook dragging behind us eager to snag on things.

And setting the bridge up to collapse under the weight of the fufa would have the best outcome here, but it's unlikely we have the time, knowledge, or materials to set it up so it'd be near certain the bridge would collapse and drop the creature. It'd be horrible if use the explosives, only to have the fufa still make it across.
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No. 524259 ID: 6b40ea

>>524253
Hey, even if it doesn't work, the explosions would slow it down. And wreck the track to prevent anyone following that way.

Although we've seen the gel launcher cause a pretty decent cave in before. I'm not sure the stone bridge can hold up to that. Especially as any explosion would burn through / break the wooden reinforcement. Which, presumably are there because the bridge needs the added support to hold up a train car. And if the monster is close to the same size...
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No. 524777 ID: bc8d67

>>524259
Using explosives against the top of the bridge would actually be the worst place to use them to try and knock the bridge down, since the bridge is built to soak force from above and distribute it to its abutments. It'd be much more effective to apply explosives to the side or underside of the bridge to hit it from a direction it's not expected to absorb force from.

The most effective location to apply explosives would be midway along the underside of the rock span of the bridge. Unfortunately that'd likely require someone wielding the gel launcher quick rappelling down the cliff, aiming and firing it, and being hauled back up before the explosion possibly knocks them into the river. If it can be done, great, but it likely can't be pulled off under these conditions.

Second best option is launching the explosive gel against the side of the rock span, midway along and as low as possible. Not as good as from below, since the explosive kick from one side will be partially redistributed by the other side of the bridge. Still, it may be enough to cause half the bridge to fall into the river, and leave the other half not strong enough to support the fufa. That actually might be the best outcome, since the fufa may try to cross and then collapse the remaining bridge while it's on it. More likely the bridge will be weakened and knocked partially off its abutments, but not weakened enough, necessitating applying another shot of explosive gel.
>>
No. 524797 ID: d38f67
File 137394445221.png - (55.48KB , 700x700 , 450.png )
524797

"Go downhill!" I yell back, motioning them backward to be clear. The arkots aim is about as good as I can expect, and they are not willing to improve it while Marra gives fire back. One lucky shot out of a hundred from any arkot, though, could be bad. Yet the bullets go all over the place, and if anything, it serves to get us moving faster. Viln hops up and yanks Katzati with him, I unhook the grappling hook.

He notices the fufa in the back.
"Viln, what is that?"
"Not know."

I will assume it is only around here because of the Salikai.
>>
No. 524798 ID: d38f67
File 137394446489.png - (36.98KB , 1073x646 , 451.png )
524798

Viln picks me up, and we start running.

"Katzati, can you fire ba-" I see the fufa come out. I have no idea what I'm looking at. "The gel launcher, take out the bridge! Aim for the side of it, not the top!"

I am relieved that Katzati must have at least looked over the weapon's capabilities, as she makes a low powered, fair aimed lob shot that sticks to the bridge and takes a moment before it explodes. We are already running again by that time. I am relatively sure I hear the bridge collapse behind me.
>>
No. 524799 ID: d38f67
File 137394447329.png - (17.83KB , 700x700 , 452.png )
524799

"Viln, pick Niam up, I have to speak to him.... Niam. Can that monster jump bridges?"
>"It's possible, but they're clumsy!" At the very least, it hampers any other reinforcements it might have.
"How fast can it run, how fast can it swim?"
>"It is large, but considering that, it is not fast in any regard. Fufa cultures of that size become clumsy."
>>
No. 524801 ID: f5680f

>>524799
Cultures?! What the hell kind of creature is it?

Regardless, it sounds like if we can just keep moving it won't catch up. Ask Rokoa how far we have to go before we reach familiar territory.
>>
No. 524803 ID: c95833

Hey, we didn't wait for Katzati? Make sure we don't leave anyone behind. Viln can probably outrun the rest of the group.

Polo, remember that since you're riding, that means you can look back. Make sure Katz is keeping up, and you can see if the thing makes it over or not.

Cultures? It's some kind of colony?

Nice to know we can outrun it, if we don't run into another patrol. I don't suppose we can count on this thing being a lousy tracker?

Did we ever get our chatter detector working? Be nice to know if those arkots called this in (maybe the voklit's radio got crushed, or they don't know how to use it).

We're off our maps at this point. Rokoa have any more insight about the terrain or our options around here?
>>
No. 524891 ID: d38f67
File 137399600474.png - (26.20KB , 1058x612 , 453.png )
524891

Viln does not need to be told to not go too fast, we have all remained in range of a single jammer despite having multiple. Katzati is relatively slow, Kort as well, but we are in no danger of leaving anyone behind.

"... cultures."
>"Fufa is just a shortened term for 'fungal farm.' I will spare detailed analysis, and will tell you that they have a tendency to mimic things like bones, muscles, tissue and other things they eat. The Salikai have two cultures that have grown and worked together to make pseudo-organisms - making those elements of a body into something cohesive. And they have been fed a wide variety of creatures. In short, a Fufa is nothing more than trillions of fungal cells that, through a primitive form of empathy, are able to work together to form something like an organism. Despite that, even if they speak, they are no more sentient than a primitive AI programmed to speak.
"Do you have that radio detector?"
>"Yes. There may have been some activity from the arkot and fufa group. There is non detectable right now, however, but that may simply mean we are around too many corners to the nearest radio activity.

Rokoa. I need advice on where to go.
They didn't let me take that many strolls around the caves, you know. If you hang around the railtracks for too long, you'll get swarmed by arkots. Which is good if you want to fight all of 'em.

I listen carefully. It is oddly quiet, and the only noises I hear are our own footsteps.
>>
No. 524892 ID: 9c23dd

cultures, and rokoa wanting fire in particular-it's like...A fungus, or...some kind of tightly knit swarm.
Effectively? I'd say imagine the thing as being made of nanites, and able to reduce you or anything it catches into more Fufa.
>>
No. 524893 ID: 735f4f

Looks like we got some interesting pillars in this area. Are we getting close to one of the old ruins down here? Might be a good place to hide.
>>
No. 524895 ID: c95833

>fufa
Alright, so it's a horrible chimera of every monster they could feed it, and it eats like grey goo. Wonderful. I'll bet they fed it a Rokoa clone too. They gotta put her nastiness in everything.

...if we outrun it, can we lose it? It doesn't have exceptional tracking abilities or anything, does it?

>railtracks will get us swarmed
Well yes, thank you for stating the obvious. Even if they can't pursue from one direction, cars can still come from ahead of us. We'll take a branching path away from the tracks as soon as when we can.

And I'm sorry Rokoa, but we still lack the ammo to take on infinite arkots.

>oddly quiet
...and we're not picking up any radio activity, and we're moving through ruins which would provide a lot of cover, and the monster that's possibly still following us is making us move quickly.

Dunno about you, but this screams ambush to me. Perfect time and place for it. (Although there's an obvious trade off- we slow down enough to be careful, and the fufa may catch up).

Which way along the tracks are we moving? Not towards the abandoned city with all those enemy forces, I hope. I really hope we're running away from that direction and all those enemy forces are on the other side of the bridge we took out.
>>
No. 525088 ID: bc8d67

Oddly quiet means it's time to get a bit more paranoid. Hand signal to everyone to halt and be as quiet as possible, and listen intently for anything. Then signal to split into two columns and move to the sides of the tunnel. That way each column can watch where the other is going, and they're closer to cover if need be.

Ask Niam how the FuFa is controlled and kept from eating the salikai's forces. Then ask if the primitive empathy it uses is on or near the same "frequency" as neumono, meaning it could possibly be sensed by you if one was nearby. And if it's empathic signal is rather weak overall, that'd also mean it may be possible to disrupt its cohesion by using a re-tuned empathic jammer. Probably something not worth trying unless we're cornered and desperate, though.

Also ask Niam if he knows anything about this section of the railway. He may remember something of note from when the original Niam was riding the salikai's escape train to their base. Oh, and does he have any idea how much surveillance the salikai installed in the train tunnels?

Then climb down from Viln and creep ahead until you're outside the jammer range to sense if there are any unjammed neumono nearby. Probably by now any Hunters in the field are going to be using jammers, but there may still be some out there not using them.

When the group starts advancing again it should be as fast as they can without making a load of noise.
>>
No. 525738 ID: d38f67
File 137433814029.png - (15.32KB , 700x700 , 454.png )
525738

As tempting as it is to spite Rokoa for stating the obvious, she did have intention to help sooner than giving me some sideways, completely useless retort that I would normally have expected. That being said, fighting innumerable arkots is one of the stupidest ideas I have heard in awhile.

Currently, we are heading northeast, if my memory of the maps are at all accurate with whereabouts we should be. It is going away from the city, and away from the salikai base. In fact, as far as I know, we are going away from every single landmark we have gotten to.

"Niam, are we headed towards other ruins?"
>"There are ruins spotted in these caves, so we likely will continue running into more. This railway was built millenia ago, but the salikai restored it."
"What do you know of this railway, and how much surveillance is there?"
>"Up here, you can see where the railway falls into disrepair once again. We are likely past where the salikai cared. This also means that they cannot use it as another escape route, I imagine they are backed into a corner after all. I cannot say how much surveillance they have at this point."
"How do the voklit control the fufa?"
>"Sorry. All else I know of the fufa are superfluous details, such as why the salikai are scientifically interested in them. As long as we continue running quickly, it should not be able to catch up to us."
>>
No. 525739 ID: d38f67
File 137433815920.png - (60.95KB , 700x700 , 455.png )
525739

It is an uncomfortably long time before we get to another path off of the railroad, but we do find one to the southeast and run through it. Unfortunately if I get off of Viln to be a forward scout, we will be moving exceptionally slowly, a prospect that will be difficult to convince the others to do despite the risks of blindly charging ahead. Although, Katzati and Kort are noticeably slowing down regardless. Sounds of wildlife are heard again, and a voklit down a nearby tunnel that I do not recognize enters view. There is a way around it, but we have already been spotted. It does not appear to have any tech, and it merely tenses its posture as much as a hunched over beast can.

"Viln."
"Other cave village. Do not know voklits."
>>
No. 525745 ID: c95833

>NE
Oh, the river put us on the other side of the 'town' by exit two. We're off the up right hand corner of our map.

>voklit village
Great. It's almost a strait path from where we were to here. We only took one branching- if and when we're followed we'll have lead the enemy right here.

Can Viln or Kort tell them him that we are not their enemies?

We are enemies of the salikai, and their forces that now invade these caves.

If he responds like the last cave voklit we met (neumono are evil land grabbers) let's try this approach-

You are not here for their land. You were born by the sea, and you care nothing for the land under the mountains. You are here only because you pursued a cowardly enemy, who tricks and uses others to fight their battles.
>>
No. 525777 ID: a23afd

>>525739
Kort and Viln could go engage in diplomacy. We would like safe passage through their land and maybe if they have information about the layout of the caves that would be useful. Nearby hiding spots?

We could... ask for food for Viln? Maybe trade something for rations/other supplies? I'm not sure what of ours they'd want to even touch, but we'd only be able to offer services once we're sure the salikai aren't going to discover us mid-labor.
>>
No. 525819 ID: d38f67
File 137435095864.png - (38.09KB , 1057x622 , 456.png )
525819

"Viln, Kort, please go talk to him. Ask for food for yourself, Viln, and safe passage and layout of these caverns. Be certain they understand we are not their enemy."

Viln nods and Kort gives no reply, but both go upwards. Kort seems to let Viln do most of the talking, but a neumono's imitation of a voklit's voice likely puts him at a diplomatic disadvantage. Both voklit's words sound agitated at best, but then, so does Kort's, and he certainly has been giving a more subdued demeanor lately than angry, so perhaps that is how voklit negotiations go. Kort says something I can't make out, then the other voklit's attitude seems to be better.

My allies come back.
"Went well. Voklit camp is not salikai, welcome neumono guests for reasons Viln does not the understand."
>"I told them we're with the inspection crew." Kort says. "Didn't think it'd do much, but these voklit don't know a damn thing about our shitty situation. They actually think we just found them down here, and now they're gonna be all nice, I bet to try to get us to look past they fact they're out of reservation borders. Goddamn hilarious. They also deny any salikai presence, which is full of it, they know the salikai are around, and they've done dealings with 'em."
>"If that is true, then we can pressure a good deal of food out of them with threats of relocation or worse." says Lucera.
>"And get sold out to the salikai that might come pressuring them with death." Marra adds.
>>
No. 525824 ID: 735f4f

This could be really good if we can at befriend them or at least convince them to ally against a common foe.

Very happy we managed to calm Kort down. He should be very useful here.

As for dealing with them just tell the truth. We are trying to fight a enemy of both our people that are enslaving everyone they can get there hands on.

Make sure they know you were being chased by that horrible fungal monster though. Do not want that thing sneaking up on us.
>>
No. 525825 ID: a23afd

>>525819
Get some food supplies from them via said threats, look around a bit (and let the tired members rest up) to keep up appearances of being the inspection team and make sure they don't have guns stashed somewhere, then move on. Safe plan. Phrase it as that we know they're outside of the borders but it's not a huge deal, so we'd be fine with ignoring that if they replenished our rations. Say that we know they're good hunters so they shouldn't have any problems refilling their food stocks. You know, a little flattery to smooth things over.
>>
No. 525827 ID: c95833

Well, we're already in a better position than with the last group of voklit I encountered. Trying to be nice to get us to overlook where they are is a lot better than trying to kill us to cover up their existence.

I don't think we can afford to lean on them too hard, though. If we do, it'll just make it all the easier for the salikai to sell whatever story they've told about their own greatness and the terrible oppressive neumono when they come around. It'll give them more reason to sell us out.

We're better off getting what help we can get treating them with respect, rather than threats. And we've already been seen- we might as well help ourselves as we can before moving on.

...it might be a good idea to advise them to watch this tunnel as well. If it made it past the bridge and is still on our trail, I'd hate to see what that monster would do to a village.
>>
No. 525829 ID: 57a559

>>525819
We shouldn't stick around long then, but be curtious at least. Perhaps do a favor or two if they'll allow it. Ask Viln for ideas to get on their good side in a quick manner. This area is a little safer than the others we've been to if this is a party completely seperate from the salikai. I hope they have more distant relations with them then the village.

Do we know or at least can any of us predict the specifics of their dealings with the salikai, have they've been threatened, tricked, bribed, etc.? Perhaps poke around the subject, like, "have any other neumono come this way" and stuff like that.

I'd rather deal with a social challenge then deal with these shitty stealth ones, we've had a bad streak sneaking around.
>>
No. 525851 ID: 735f4f

If we are going to go the inspection team route on this we need to look the part. Poke around a bit look things over and maybe mention we are low on supplies because we ran into a giant "thing" a few caverns back and had to leave our stuff.

Maybe act like we are fed up with the place and ask for a few routes to the surface as far away as possible. And if we do take one of there routes make sure we promptly use the other one once out of sight.

We also have to decide where we are going from here and how far off route we are to Biles hiding place.
>>
No. 525861 ID: c95833

Also remember that Viln is only working with us out of respect. It's one thing to fight the voklit actively engaged in aiding our enemy, it's another to be dicks to other voklit just because we can.
>>
No. 526063 ID: d38f67
File 137443524795.png - (97.29KB , 700x700 , 457.png )
526063

"Let's go. We are in no condition to continue running indefinitely." We walk up, and I get next to the guard voklit, and motion Kort to translate for me. "Have you seen any other neumono?"
>"No."
"We ran into a large fungi before. Do you know anything about it?"
>"No."
"I advise you to keep an eye on this tunnel."
>"He says there is at least one guard at every tunnel, and will be going back to his once he shows us in."

We enter a wide cavern. A river crosses through the middle, but there is virtually nothing else of note. We are told most voklits are out hunting at the moment.

Except what I almost thought was the sun, but that is merely some kind of shining mushroom. It is no sunlight.
>>
No. 526064 ID: d38f67
File 137443526068.png - (45.34KB , 700x700 , 458.png )
526064

Word gets out of our arrival, which entails a great deal of remaining voklits running around and hastily scrambling a tent for us. Lucera brings Kort with him to someplace else, telling us that he will attempt to find their chief. We do not even need to press for food, as a voklit hauls a large carcass and several crude cooking tools with it. I cannot help but notice Viln giving a low grumble when no other voklits are around. I get off of him.

"Viln?"
>"Voklit here at neumono beck and call. Afraid of ragged neumono group. Not voklit from my village." he answers when a couple voklit run by. They do not acknowledge it, but Viln was hardly whispering.
>>
No. 526071 ID: a23afd

>>526064
Ask him what his village would've done. Refused us entry and let us die to the Salikai? Fought us when out of desperation we tried to shoot our way in to get food? Or just not be so shameful about setting up accommodations?
>>
No. 526075 ID: c95833

I don't much care for being feared myself, Viln. I suppose it is better than their trying to kill us, or working with our enemies, but...

>They do not acknowledge it, but Viln was hardly whispering.
Well, if they don't speak English, it's not as if they know what he said.
>>
No. 526081 ID: 735f4f

I don't like it any more than you do Viln. This whole "reservation" system is stupid and feels like something someone did out of spite after first contact got us superior weapons.

Maybe if we survive this we can work to change things. It seems silly that our species are still squabbling over space and food after first contact made it sort of pointless.

Do the Voklit have any ambassadors or representatives at all? Maybe we can convince Viln to take up the job if we get out of here alive.
>>
No. 526120 ID: d38f67
File 137444185875.png - (20.86KB , 700x700 , 459.png )
526120

>He is speaking in english
This alleviates me somewhat, but there is always a chance. Nonetheless, I reply.

"What would your village have done?"
"We would give food if asked, grant shelter if asked, and be tolerant. But the neumono would know the voklit do not approve, and neumono would feel unwelcome, as should."
"I don't like the reservation system any more than you. That is an issue for after the salikai."
"Viln knows."
"Do any of you have any ambassadors or reprentatives?"
"..."
"People whos job it is to speak to neumono."
"Entire duty?"
"Yes."
"No. Chief is to speak. Would be awful job, having to speak to neumono."
"You make it sound so shameful."
"Because is. Voklit with neumono speaking duty would want to die."
"That is awful, Viln, yet unsure if I should be offended."
"Tiny blue neumono still does not know much of Voklit, but if Viln thinks bad of tiny blue neumono, Viln will make it clear because Viln will be gone."

He looks like he is ready to say something else, but then sways his body to get something to eat. Drastically, at that. I resist the urge to call him out on his claims of being fine on food.
>>
No. 526134 ID: a23afd

>>526120
He was probably about to say that he hopes that does not happen. Hey, I thought Viln wanted to learn the neumono language, though? Is it not considered shameful to do the job, but only shameful to have ONLY that job? As in, not be able to do anything else for their tribe? I could understand that, as they would be pretty useless most of the time. If he wanted to keep his main job of hunter or whatever, and just help the Chief with language duties or secretly listen in on inspectors when they weren't talking to the Chief... that is a pretty good idea.
>>
No. 526137 ID: c95833

Maybe there is shame in doing nothing but talking to us. But I see no shame in speaking for your people. Someone will have to do that one day, and do it well. You shouldn't be under the Salikai's thumb. Or ours.

>food
Might as well eat as well. You are eating fro two, after all.

>I resist the urge to call him out on his claims of being fine on food.
Yeah, there's no reason to stick it to him for toughing it out.
>>
No. 526166 ID: 735f4f

Ask him what he thinks would be the best way to set up a ambassador position.

Might be some significant cultural problems between your people but maybe you could figure out a better way to co-exist.

Maybe while we are resting he can tell you more about his people and culture. I know Kort knows a lot but in this case its better to hear it straight from the source.

Also be careful about spending to much time here. They may not be working directly for the Salikai but they would turn you over in a second if they knew what was going on. So keep a close eye out.
>>
No. 526170 ID: d38f67
File 137444854232.png - (10.82KB , 700x700 , 460.png )
526170

It is true that while I could call him out on denying food, it is also true that he toughed it out rather than eating all of our rations.

"You could make a decent spokesman. It doesn't have to be the entire duty. I would think on that later, as that will greatly help your position. Is it so shameful, if that individual manages to pull better land and living out of neumono?"

Viln makes a noise I will assume is a 'hm', but he remains silent in his thoughts. I start to move to get something to eat myself, but Rokoa does not let the silence go far.

Sounds to me like you're in a cushy position. Go to bed, I've decided how I'm going to advance.

While that is not entirely false all things considered, I do not feel comfortable around these voklits, and I feel there is merit in finding out why they are acting in such a non-voklit manner.
>>
No. 526174 ID: a23afd

>>526170
Tell her you would like to confirm that. Let's wander around and listen in on the Voklits. They have no idea you know any of their language.

For all we know this is a tribe that the Salikai took over and armed, and the troops that are out "hunting" are hunting for YOU.
>>
No. 526175 ID: c95833

>I feel there is merit in finding out why they are acting in such a non-voklit manner.
As do I. We cannot afford to be quiescent, here. I'm not entirely comfortable trusting in their fear of us.

>Rokoa
I thank you for putting your offense on hold while I was awake, at least. And for providing what information you did.
>>
No. 526176 ID: 735f4f

Tell her to give you 5 minutes so you can make sure we don't get interrupted in the middle by getting murdered.

If she gives you some time then check up on things to see if there is anything suspicious. If she does not then we need to let everyone else know what to watch for.

And make sure Kort and Viln know your suspicions and to be very careful while you are asleep. Get a rotating watch set up and make sure they give you as much time as possible to fight in your head.
>>
No. 526191 ID: d38f67
File 137445196139.png - (20.58KB , 700x700 , 461.png )
526191

Give me several more minutes, Rokoa.

I grab some food and eat on the way to meet where I saw Lucera. So far I have seen 11 voklits in this village, but there may be more within crevices, and I have no idea how many hunters they have out.

>"Polo. I don't like this one bit. You?" Marra asks me nearby the tent.
"No. I'm looking around to see if I cannot find out anything that is more out of the ordinary than friendly voklit."
>"Rokann and I are gonna be watching the tent here while Korli and all them set stuff up in the tent. Careful. Not liking how we're suddenly out in the open."

Before I reach the river, I see some voklit coming and going out of a cavern off to the side. The voklits are carrying some bags out and moving them somewhere away.

Lucera was across the river, in a back cave, if I wish to find him and Kort rather then look into that conspicuous action.
>>
No. 526193 ID: a23afd

If they are up to something, interrupting the Chief might worsen the situation.

Let's just go check out what they're doing. Be sneaky about it. Try not to be seen.
>>
No. 526197 ID: c95833

Look in on the conspicuous action. Try not to be seen.

...and remember to x-ray around when everyone gets back together. Lucera and Kort are separated from the group, which means if we're being played, there's a chance they've been bugged.

At least the food probably wasn't drugged, or we'd have seen the effects in someone by now.
>>
No. 526206 ID: f0357f

>>526175
>I thank you for putting your offense on hold while I was awake
That is because Rokoa found our past really seriously boring, and watching the present is more fun.
>>
No. 526231 ID: 735f4f

Wait did they set up your tent in the middle of a empty cavern then all shuffle off? If so we are probably fucked.

Get your sneak on and check out those bags.

As for whats going on there are several possibilities.

1. They have instructions on what to do if a inspections team shows up. And they are setting up a trap so the salikai can come "collect" us. They are either moving there stuff out so the Fufa does not eat it along with us or gathering weapons.

2. This is some sort of giant Voklit cocaine farm and they are distracting you while they escape with the product.

3. This being a reservation and all there is a secret casino in that cave. Now that you are here the jig is up and they are making off with there ill gotten loot.

Honestly option one is probably more likely.
>>
No. 526249 ID: 2f4b71

Possibilities: drugged food? Hallucinogen gas triggered once you are away (assuming the Salikai know you can detect it better than other Neumono)?
>>
No. 526300 ID: c95833

Just noticed something. Every voklit you've seen here is an adult male. If this is a full village, that lives underground, shouldn't there be women and children? I mean, maybe it makes sense they're keeping them away from you. But the absence is conspicuous, and might lend weight to this being other than it seems.

(...that or voklit females just don't look very different).
>>
No. 526333 ID: b03e14

I wonder if this is really a village. I think it looks more like the equivalent of a hunting lodge, like a waystation for people who are out gathering food. For a secret community, especially, they'd want to hide themselves away somewhere remote, which would require sending their hunters long distances, so they would need such a thing. That would explain why there are no women and children, but still semi-permanent structures and a decent amount of people, if one or more hunting parties are visiting at the moment. And it means they can afford to abandon it if necessary.

As for how passive they are compared to Viln's people, it's probably because they don't meet neumono so much. Despite rejecting technology, Viln's people would at least be savvy enough from meeting neumono to have some idea of what technology is and isn't capable of, whereas these people might think you can shoot death out of your fingers, teleport from place to place and wear magic clothes that make you invincible. Exposure to the salikai might counter that idea, but it would also be in the salikai's interest to keep them ignorant.

If I were them, I'd be gathering up everything that could be moved and getting ready to book it at best chance, which is probably what the bag-carrying is about. What would be nice, Polo, is if you could find a way to eavesdrop on them, since getting Kort to translate for you would mean they think you can't understand them at all. I know you're not great at the language, but you might pick up something. It depends on how gossipy they are. For now, I think you should go find Lucera and Kort.
>>
No. 526421 ID: d38f67
File 137455259124.png - (23.06KB , 700x700 , 462.png )
526421

I cannot help but notice that there are no women.

But then again, I do not know if I have ever seen a voklit woman. And then again, I do not know if I have not seen a voklit woman, if there is little sexual dimorphism.

For all I know about voklit, Viln is a woman.

I turn my focus to things worth focus. Despite the height of senses that voklit possess, I am able to get close to the cavern with bag traffic coming from outside of this cave and being carried elsewhere away from our tent. Most bags are large, but the hides are thick enough to deter any pokes from stray items, so I have no idea what is inside. They continally glance towards the direction of our tent. They are not speaking at all. While I am attempted to peek in, there is one voklit on constant guard duty. If he leaves his post, I will assume it means they have carried all of the bags out as a possibility. I cannot expect to sneak by him, so if I am to pursue this, I will require following one of the voklits to find out where they are carrying the bags.
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No. 526425 ID: c95833

Hmm. They're not talking, and watching the tent. That means whatever they're moving they're actively trying to conceal from you.

This could be because of of your status as the inspection team (they're trying to hide something that really breaks the rules). We don't really give a damn about that. But it could also be something more dangerous- something that shows they're in bed with the salikai, say.

What concerns me is those bags are nice and rectangular. For anything other than stone, that suggests modern tech. Primitive tribes didn't tend to build rectangular support structures into bags.

I say following is worth checking into. ...unless they're going far, in which case your leg may be a problem.

>sexual dimorphism?
Even if we can't tell males from females, I'm pretty sure we haven't seen any elders or children. Odd for an established village, although, again, it could just be caution keeping the most vulnerable members of their group away from possibly dangerous outsiders.
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No. 526426 ID: a23afd

>>526418
Yes. Follow the bags.
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No. 526427 ID: bf54a8

just look under viln's loincloth next time.
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No. 526433 ID: 735f4f

I don't particularly like the idea of getting this far away from the others and possibly caught by the Volkits.

But if this is a possible trap and not just them trying to hide something from the inspection team we would be stupid to not make sure.

Do we know anything they could be hiding not related to the Salikai that they would go to this length to hide?
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No. 526663 ID: d38f67
File 137462703291.png - (19.00KB , 700x700 , 463.png )
526663

>Do we know anything they could be hiding not related to the Salikai that they would go to this length to hide?
It would not surprise me. They are supposed to keep their tech level low, even spears and mundane weapons minimal to 2 per voklit, only stockpile so many resources at once, minimal drugs, and other often arbitrary rules. I may simply be tailing contraband of a rather innocent variety.

I follow where the bags go. They are well made, either they take care in their bag craftsmanship, or they got them with outside help.

I get in a new hiding position. There is still some coming and going for about 20 minutes, and it takes the voklits about 5 minutes to get from each cavern. I see one more voklit go in with a bag, come out without, and 5 more minutes pass with no more voklits in sight. All voklits I saw enter have left. If there are any voklits inside of the new cavern, then those voklits were already there before I arrived. I see nothing special about this cave, other than it being somewhat larger than the previous.
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No. 526665 ID: a23afd

Get in there and find out what's in the bags.
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No. 526670 ID: c95833

Well, you've spent half an hour on this. Might as well poke your head into the room and see if it's innocent contraband, or something more sinister.

If it is innocent, I suppose that gives us another lever. We could use it as Lucera suggested to pressure them, or maybe we could win some actual respect or goodwill by choosing not to call them on it.
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No. 526698 ID: d38f67
File 137463076491.png - (57.25KB , 700x700 , 464.png )
526698

I move in at the risk of running into another voklit. I do not see one, however, but it is dark, and I almost bump into...

my sniper? No, my sniper is on my back. This is...
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No. 526699 ID: d38f67
File 137463079745.png - (48.19KB , 700x700 , 465.png )
526699

I shine a low light cone around the corner. Unfortunately, there is a voklit after all, holding a spear of all things.

Now you can fight their arkots.
Shut up, Rokoa.
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No. 526704 ID: bf54a8

say the voklit word for peace.
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No. 526705 ID: c95833

...turn to the voklit, guarding the armory, and look him in the eye. Is he going to attack you?

If you know a word that means 'peace' or 'I do not wish to fight' you should use that now. Or nod to him, as one warrior to annother. Or spread your hands to non-threateningly, or something. We very much want this encounter to end peaceably.

Provided he does not attack you, you can return to the others. We can use this. We don't care if they've traded with or stolen from the salikai. We don't care if they have tech they're not supposed to have. We'd just like the privilege of being able to reload from their stores.

>sniper
...oh my gods, you could get more ammo. You're hurting for ammo so bad.
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No. 526708 ID: a23afd

This is AWESOME.

Try as hard as you can to get that voklit to stand down, and get him to understand that you are very very happy that they have all this stuff. Let's not aggro the settlement, here. If they wanted to fight us, they could. As a last resort, run away and go get Kort or Viln. Whoever's closer.
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No. 526748 ID: 8b9215

Say whatever passes for not fighting in volkit, then point at the stuff and say "trade" if you know it.
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No. 526753 ID: 735f4f

If he just has a spear then that likely means they have not been trained with the weapons and might be brand new recruits.

Or they could be gun runners for the Salikai and in charge of getting weapons in the hands of other tribes.

Try to stay peaceful but if he charges you or goes for a gun you had better end him quick.

Best case we can exchange silence for plenty of food and a weapons restock.

Worst case we take what we need by force.

Either way we should not be camping out in the middle of a open cavern after this.
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No. 526754 ID: beeca1

Oh, hey, something good looks like it's happened.

Prepare to have it bite you in the ass, Polo.
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No. 526782 ID: 60ad76

>>526699
what are those? weapons?
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No. 526962 ID: d38f67
File 137471036496.png - (19.34KB , 700x700 , 466.png )
526962

The voklit word for peace is one that I have, although I have been informed it is more like 'truce'.

He puts his hands up, and jerk his head while he looks at all these weapons. He says truce back, but he looks uneasy.

I tell him 'don't worry' and 'talk' while pointing towards my tent, and my poor knowledge of the language prevents me from communicating any more clearly.

I start to leave, but the voklit catches up, talking to me in what I think is a pleading tone. I catch 'don't talk'. He is closer than I like. He does not appear aggressive, but I keep my hand on my pistol anyway.
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No. 526969 ID: a23afd

>>526962
So he doesn't want us to tell anyone. He probably thinks it'll get the village in trouble. We need those guns, though... Can you try to tell him that you won't say anything, but in exchange you want some of what's in here? Something like "no talk, give guns"? Also, try to stay out of arms reach, no matter what.
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No. 526970 ID: 735f4f

Try to gesture something along the lines of your lips are sealed. I bet he is currently trying to decide if he will be in more trouble if he lets you go or if he chomps you.

If you can get him to come to the tent where we can have someone translate that would be good. Otherwise we need to bring someone here to talk things over.

Just remember that Viln will be disgusted with them for having the weapons and Kort might be a bit to blackmail happy. This is a very delicate situation so make sure they are very careful.
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No. 526971 ID: c95833

Hmm. He wants you to keep this a secret. That's kind of useful, since then they're indebted to you.

That he's trying to cover this up, rather than kill you, and he's not actually armed with one of these weapons is a good thing. It doesn't look like they're working for the salikai- they're much more worried about what the inspection team might say about them. Overall, that means they don't want to fight the neumono, which is good.

That sniper matches your own though- pinkie science hive design. So they procured this stuff either from the salikai directly, or the hunter hive mobilization. We don't know if it was stolen or given, though. Or why they want it if they haven't decided to use it.

...ideally we'd like to trade the inspection team's silence on this for access to the armory. You might not get away with that, though. If we don't get out of things peaceably with this guard, that's our group against the entire village, and I don't like those odds. Lots of death, and our group would almost certainly come out worse for it (deaths and serious injury). We may therefore need to settle for less to keep things stable. We might be able to trade your silence for being allowed to replenish your sniper ammunition, at least.

Language barrier might be a problem though. Trade for no talk? You must know the voklit word for weapon. You need bullets... uh... 'food' for your weapon?
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No. 527058 ID: d38f67
File 137471817163.png - (22.83KB , 700x700 , 467.png )
527058

I point to myself and say 'no talk' while I take hold of the other sniper, motion to other guns, and point back to my tent.

He is starting to panic, apparently clueless how to handle this situation, and I have to take several steps back to keep out of arm's reach. Admittedly, I am also rather torn on how to handle this. He keeps on talking to me like I understand him at all. I don't get a word of it. I motion him to follow me back to the tent so I can get some kind of translation, but he starts trying to block my way and pleading more 'no talk' and trying to leave me his spear.

Another voklit notices us and is jogging our way. And damn Rokoa is getting ansty. She wants a body again, with disturbing intensity.
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No. 527064 ID: a23afd

He wants you to hide all evidence that the weapon cache exists. We don't talk about it to anyone, don't carry an extra gun from the place, and pretend it never happened.

So. Give him the gun, and for the love of christ go get Viln, and only Viln.
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No. 527066 ID: a01b62

Is that guy in the background supposed to be there?
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No. 527067 ID: 735f4f

Hmm this is not going so well. Try gesturing at your ears and shrugging. And keep saying "no talk" as best you can in his language.

He is obviously scared to death of being the one at fault for you finding out his tribes secret.

Try to keep things calm and make sure to edge around so he is in between you and the newcomer. Not sure what the other one will make of the situation but its to late to try and hide now.

Just be prepared to gun the both of them down if it comes to it. Would rather not have to but it beats getting mauled.

And tell Rokoa to cool it. Honestly at this point it might be worth it to have one of these guys bite your head off so we don't have to deal with her bitching anymore.
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No. 527069 ID: c95833

Augh. This is escalating. Starting a conflict with these voklit would be disastrous- your allies are split up, exposed, and wouldn't necessarily have any warning. De-escalating is our priority now, not ammunition.

Let go of or put down the second sniper. Raise you hands in defeat. "No talk, no talk." Allow yourself to be lead away.

Keep a close eye on the second voklit, and pay attention that he doesn't have more hostile intent than the first, or he doesn't order the other to attack you.

>thinks you understand him
Dangit, one of the first things anyone bad with a language needs to know how to say is "I don't understand" or "me no talk good".

>Rokoa wants a body, badly.
She may try to seize control. It wouldn't take much- if you say the wrong thing or your trigger finger itches at the wrong moment we're fucked. Brace yourself against this- you cannot allow that to happen.

Not now Rokoa. I will sleep soon, and then we can rip each other's minds apart to your hearts' content. Unless you're willing to clump up in one place and let me cut you out, you aren't getting a body to yourself at this moment.
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No. 527076 ID: d38f67
File 137471984131.png - (76.09KB , 900x575 , 468.png )