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535642 No. 535642 ID: 4652c9

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73-6 thinks we all know the drill by now.
No. 535650 ID: bc5290

Wait. Use your new toy.
No. 535651 ID: bf54a8

yes, but do we go for the noodle or the torso...

torso, aim right at the neck.
No. 535652 ID: cf49fc

Change of pace: Break his neck!
No. 535653 ID: 32e092

Lose your grip and fall on your head accidentally.
No. 535655 ID: a1ab63

Don't forget to take a picture!
No. 535657 ID: a1ab63

Binary reads:

Who can you trust?
No. 535685 ID: 9d8047

My votes for breaking his neck but if you have a SD for the new gun use that:3
No. 535701 ID: 5869f6

No. 535704 ID: 41690e

>Who can you trust?

...well, that's not ominous at all.

That's the filament whip, right? Take his head clean off.
No. 535706 ID: 440525

Do we have Jules' number? Oh well, take a picture anyways, this will be hair razing!
No. 535710 ID: e5d164

Didn't we get a shell-upgrade to install last time, how'd that go?

And yeah, set filament-whip to maximum gruesome.. and can our shell stream live video?
No. 535714 ID: 73a64a

what did happen to the shell upgrade?
No. 535727 ID: 9f7acd

Ooh ooh filament whip his head off. Just for shits and giggles.
No. 535741 ID: 4a20fa

Aim camera. Set whip to "frappé".
No. 535767 ID: 4652c9
File 137694386712.png - (5.95KB , 800x600 , 6.png )

The whip punches through the nape of the man's neck, and then flowers out into a razor filament inside him, liquefying him below the skin.

Dark, angry bruises form all across his body, and blood shoots from his mouth, nose, and eyes. He drops to his knees and then folds down.
Ugly way to die, but relatively painless, thinks 73-6. The spine went first.

Recording this felt weird.

He drops down onto the catwalk, from the skylight he came in from.
The factory floor is bare and abandoned, like Monica had hoped. Two doors on the upper catwalk, and two on the floor below. Whichever floor he doesn't hit, Penelope and Operative 88 will get.
No. 535770 ID: 41690e

>Recording this felt weird.
I guess you don't have a future in snuff filmography, then.

...you did use that sometime last night, right? Because it would be just silly to carry it around instead of having used it.

>what do
Let's keep to catwalk creeping, for now.
No. 535771 ID: 9ddf68

the floor you're on now works just as well as the floor below so take the closest door to you and start moving.
No. 535772 ID: 96c896

Operative 88? Is that the name Sara is going by for this mission? Call the kill in, take one of the upper doors. Also get a general layout of the building.
No. 535780 ID: 4652c9
File 137694621928.png - (9.22KB , 800x600 , 7.png )

No, he's another reconstituted asset. Big as a gorilla, shock of red hair. Some people say he's been brought back too many times. Old 88s were pretty easygoing, but he's changing. He might go auto soon.

How he's kept his hair on is anyone's guess.

Right. That thing. 73-6 chugged it before going in. He still has that acidic penny taste in his throat from it.

Choose your upgrade path:
Wetwork: 73-6's weapons now link directly to his eyes, plotting realtime firing solutions and a projected reticle. His accuracy is improved, especially when firing from the hip.
Stealth: 73-6 can visualize sound, with settings that can be pushed far enough to pick up the sound of someone breathing through a door. Depending on the sound pollution in the area, he can get a more exact head count of enemies behind doorways, and where they might be.
Hacking: 73-6 gains an internalized console, allowing him to hack objects without requiring access to an interface or terminal. He still needs to be have direct contact with an object to hack it.

No. 535781 ID: 3e4b6e

How far can we take hacking? Let's find out!
No. 535785 ID: a1ab63

No. 535787 ID: bdb3f8

That stealth upgrade sounds pretty hot. Especially when it becomes time to shoot people from cover in a NOT stealth scenario.
No. 535790 ID: 76b151

>Hacking: 73-6 gains an internalized console, allowing him to hack objects without requiring access to an interface or terminal. He still needs to be have direct contact with an object to hack it.

Gonna be useful while in VR.
No. 535792 ID: 9ddf68

Well we are going into cyberspace so Hacking seems like the best choice right now.
No. 535806 ID: 2f4b71

Not really. We're not going to have 'direct physical contact' with anything other than the kit in the Fantomas hideout, which isn't going to be a big deal to plug into. Plus, playing amateur hacker against an insane super-AI doesn't seem like a recipe for retaining an unburnt brain.

Wetwork sounds like it would be more immediately useful in Blastlands (if shell-upgrades even have an effect in VR), if it's a twitch-shooter. If it's a cover shooter, then Stealth.
No. 535808 ID: a1ab63

swapping my vote to this, polite sage.
No. 535810 ID: 73a64a

wet work, not needing an interface is not that useful, and high accuracy is very useful for taking full advantage of the element of surprise.
No. 535814 ID: 41690e

>He might go auto soon.
...what's that mean?

Either that sweet stealth sound thing, or more hacking.
No. 535816 ID: 7dbd6b

The insane Evil AIs have aimbots, we might as well start working on getting them as well.
No. 535818 ID: 76b151

guys, getting the internal console while we are hooked up means we can hack WHILE INSIDE!!! Hello cheatcodes.
No. 535822 ID: 5af25b

yo. yo, wetwork, yo.
No. 535826 ID: 4652c9
File 137695186676.png - (5.76KB , 800x600 , 8.png )

Auto: Automaton.
When they bring you back, they shock your brain into reanimation. The part that does your personality gets all scrambled and changed. You come back different. It's why the -6 in 73-6 is necessary.

Eventually you start fragmenting, losing emotions here and there. 88 is 88-11 by now, and somewhere around 10, he just stopped finding things funny. He doesn't laugh, anymore.

At some point that part of the brain just gives up entirely, and you go auto. Basically just a robot made of meat. The Bureau doesn't like them as agents; there's a human ingenuity that's lost. It just uses them for manual labor and frontal assault until there's not enough left to bother salvaging.

It's not a nice thought, so 73-6 doesn't think about it much.

Instead he focuses on the new aim interface across his vision. It makes the world look a little more like blastlands. Whenever he has a gun in his hand an ammo readout and reticle fizzes up. It even has wind resistance and coriolis calculations for long distance shooting.
73-6 would be getting all existential about his increasing departure from basic humanity, but he thinks this is cool as fuck.
No. 535827 ID: 4652c9
File 137695187502.png - (7.29KB , 800x600 , 9.png )

"one kill, monica."
"Received, Sev-Three. Bueno."
"ever since penelope showed up everyone's been talking spanish."
"Because it's caliente, is why. I even ordered mexican today."
"one day i'm going to catch you not thinking about food."
"Never. Okay, you're on the factory catwalk, yes?"
"Two doors on the catwalks. One to storage, one to some sort of rec room. Then down on the first you've got shipping out in a hallway and the foreman's office. Which floor you clearing? Penelope and 88 are holding for the go-ahead."
"Outside, waiting for you guys to clear the building."
No. 535830 ID: 1454f2

Haven't voted yet (easily swayable) but I need you.to convince me that hacking a megaintelligence's daydream isn't going to a) draw the annoyed attention of said digital overlord (no one likes it when someone else is cheating) or b) cause the A.I. to respond in kind (Rules? There are no rules here!). Thanks.
No. 535840 ID: 9ddf68

bound to be someone in the rec room so I say there, after all we want to clear this place out as quickly as we can to stop anyone from learning we're hear for as long as possible.
No. 535843 ID: 76b151

The fact that hackers use the place instead of avoiding it says to me that the AI turns a blind eye.
No. 535856 ID: 41690e

Rec room seems a good place to start. There are probably several people off their game in there. Be nice to deal with them while they're still off guard, instead of having them behind you when you go down the hall for the foreman.

Go listen at the door, keep an eye out for anything hackable.
No. 535879 ID: 0c4b60

Given what you've said about 88, I suggest we 'fill in' whatever floors are most likely to have civillians. Be they hostages, visitors, or just 'wrong place wrong time' types, you're better equipped, mentally, to deal with them.

Since the original orders were 'kill everyone in the building' 88 is going to mow down anyone in his path, no questions asked.
No. 535950 ID: 4652c9
File 137697638840.png - (6.75KB , 800x600 , 10.png )

73-6 creeps to the far right door. He doesn't like how loud his feet are on the rickety catwalk.

He listens in on the rec room.

The unmistakable sound of foosball comes in from the other side. The old version with the little pieces on metal rods and the ping-pong soccer balls.
No. 535954 ID: 41690e

Right. That means at least two people in the room.

I think this is a good opportunity to try out the new gun. If we're fast enough to get them before they can scream or return fire, it'll be nice and quiet. Heck, we might not even damage the foosball table.
No. 535957 ID: 9ddf68

see any other way in? If not crack the door and see if you can't see who's inside and what kind of armor they got, cause if they have none, Now would be a good time to use your new pistol. And don't forget the pictures they guy wanted.
No. 535971 ID: 4652c9
File 137697922286.png - (11.84KB , 800x600 , 11.png )

73-6 peeks through the doorway.

One Fantoma on the futon, watching what sounds like some MTVH1 show.
The men at the foosball table aren't visible from the door, but 73-6 hears the clink of the ball going through a goal.
"Son of a bitch."
"Mess with the best and choke like the rest, son."
No. 535975 ID: 41690e

Equip the in one hand, snubnose and the flechette in the other.

Enter, and sweep the flechette over the foosball brothers as you plug the couch potato with the snubnose.
No. 535976 ID: 9ddf68

time to test out your new wetworks skill, they don't look armored so I say take the flechette and see how effective it is at painting the walls. and again, take pictures for your friend.
No. 535978 ID: 96c896

Wait until they start playing again, then walk right in and spray the whole room to kill them all in one glorious display of violence. None of them will be looking at you before you start firing!
No. 535987 ID: 4a20fa


Presumably we should be telling 88 to begin, too, so we can clear out both floors simultaneously.
No. 535990 ID: cf49fc

Blow the two at the table away in a blast of fletchettes, then nano-wire the other one in the throat.
No. 536007 ID: 0c4b60

can't really see couch potato's hands. drill him first once the other two are distracted with their next game. Assuming they're playing another game.

Also, we seem to have left Fantomas body #1's gun uninspected and just laying about. If its not worth using, it may still be worth disabling.
No. 536025 ID: 5578ea

Just quietly push the door open and walk (briskly) over to the guy on the couch, whip in one hand and flechette in the other. Cover the table with the flechette and ready the whip for couch-guy. You'll have a few seconds of 'WTF?' before they can react assuming they even notice you or your presence being out of the ordinary.. time enough to whip couch-dude's head clean off and mulch the foos-ballers with the flechette, nice and quiet if not altogether clean.
No. 536161 ID: 4652c9
File 137704775781.png - (12.74KB , 800x600 , 12.png )

73-6 opens the door and walks a few steps into the rec room.

The man on the couch turns to the opening door.
"What the fuck is" he says, standing up.
73-6 pulls the trigger on the flechette, and a football-sized chunk of his chest erases in a buzzing cloud of tiny explosions.

The guy on the far side of the foosball table gasps convulsively and backs away, reaching for something in his coat.
The other flattens himself against the wall, out of sight.
No. 536162 ID: 76b151

flick the whip to the one against the wall and shoot the guy.
No. 536163 ID: 9ddf68

shoot the other guy as well the slide forward like a baseball player to home plate and quicly finish of the third one
No. 536169 ID: 41690e

Excellent plan. Shoot the one you can see, and whip the one you can't around the corner.
No. 536179 ID: 96c896

This would be a good time to tell Monica you're handling the top floor.
No. 536230 ID: 0b214d


This looks like the best plan.
No. 536256 ID: 7dbd6b

THIS looks like the best plan.

"I'll take the top floor. That'll be another three kills."
No. 536259 ID: 4652c9
File 137707328456.png - (35.41KB , 800x600 , 13.png )

"give 88 the go-ahead to move on the first floor. one dead."

With a sharp flick 73-6 snaps the whip around the corner, slapping the first Fantoma across the midsection. The solid razor bites a neat horizontal through his coat and shirt and opens his intestines up.

As his second victim slumps to his knees, 73-6 twists with the momentum, bringing himself around the corner and his fletcher to the second Fantoma's face, which he destroys.

"make it three."
"Stay badass, Sev-Three."
No. 536260 ID: 96c896

Hit that guy in the cap again, he's gonna die slow and that's not good for stealth. Take a couple photos of that guy on the couch, as per the request.

Listen at the exit door, then check to see what's on that bookcase by the door we came in from. Also ruffle through their pockets to see what they've got.
No. 536290 ID: acb7da

Do a vertical slice, crotch to cap.
No. 536291 ID: acb7da

Then maybe a one-liner about the upside-down cross you'll have carved into him.
No. 536313 ID: 41690e

Make sure the guy you whipped is dead. There's no reason to give him a slow death, and you can't afford to be sloppy and give him the chance to either cry out, or attack you with anything.

Do a quick look around the room for anything useful, although you seem pretty set for weapons. We could hack the tv, but I don't see much point.
No. 536343 ID: 9ddf68

finish off the last guy and see if there's anything useful in this room. Then move on.
No. 536406 ID: 0b214d


Make sure to finish of the dying guy and check the room.
No. 536408 ID: 4652c9
File 137711764773.png - (15.79KB , 800x600 , 14.png )

"This is 88-11." A threatening monotone comes on over the wire. "Second team moving in."
"Penelope here. Riding shotgun."
"Ah-ah," says Monica. "Who's riding shotgun?"
"108-1," says Penelope.
"That's right," says Monica. Penelope has been reclassified as a reconstituted asset, with all after-mission reports modified to say that 73-6 shot her to death at the Hab-Block. Monica's been dealing with TriBranch, and she says a death is a lot easier to bury than a defection.
Penelope said she'll walk around groaning with her arms stuck in front of her making groaning sounds to complete the illusion.

73-6's fletcher vibrates and Baseball Hat's head opens like an egg.

He looks around the room and checks the bodies.
Two of these guys had pistols on them. The third had a sawed-off tucked into his cloak.
The foosball table is ruined. You monster.
There's a PDA on the side table, near the door, but a cursory inspection shows it's out of batteries.
The door 73-6 walked through leads back to the cat walks. The door on the far side is locked; on the blueprint, the room it leads to is called "Studio".
No. 536412 ID: 860403

Take the shotty and maybe some ammo, hide it with your super-cool magneto-powers in a nice 'emergency oh-shit!' grabbable position, check the pistols for if they're an upgrade to or have ammo compatable with your snub-nose (does the snub-nose have a silencer on it?), pocket the PDA for later analysis.

Then, see about that door, if it can't be opened stealthily go and check the room on the opposite end of the catwalk.
No. 536414 ID: 41690e

Pocket the PDA. Maybe we can pull some info off it later, if we can get it powered up. And if we have the room for it, tuck the sawed-off into your magnetic capacity. That way we have something powerful if we run into something your lighter weapons have trouble with.

Let's check the studio. Standard procedure- listen first, then crack the door.

>foosball table ruined
Dangit, I was going to suggest reaching down and scoring a goal.
No. 536415 ID: 96c896

Pocket the PDA. I'm sure there are batteries somewhere.

Locked door? Ignore it, if nobody has a key and there's no other rooms connecting to it. Let's cross the catwalk again and get to the door on the other side.
No. 536470 ID: 4652c9
File 137713656113.png - (6.78KB , 800x600 , 15.png )

73-6 pockets the PDA and leaves back out to the catwalks.

He's closing the door behind him when the office door downstairs opens and a hulking Fantoma dashes out, with a minigun slung across his waist. It clatters against his ceramic body armor.

He hasn't noticed 73-6.
No. 536474 ID: e31ca1

....(sigh) You know, if we hadn't bought that gun, it would just be normal body armor. Ah well, rolling with the punches. Maybe they just have an extremely extensive armory, and the guy saw him on the security cameras, and was like "oh, i shall grab here the one thing which defends against that."
Anyways, try and get up close without him seeing you, sneaking around those pillars. If you can whip him in the back of the head, that'll do him in for sure.
No. 536476 ID: bc5290

ceramics are good for stopping a bullet or two. Aim for the head.
No. 536479 ID: f11cb7

jules said go for joints, we should aim for his neck, its the most exposed gap in his armor from this angle.
No. 536481 ID: a1ab63

If we have the snub nose pistol, we might be able to get a shot in the neck with the new wet work targeting data.
No. 536482 ID: 96c896

Hey! TELL MONICA. We have others working with us, so giving them a heads up is important!

Also stay out of sight and try to get a good angle on him.
No. 536487 ID: cf49fc

Hmmm. Is he wearing Leg armor or Arm armor? If he is, hide on the upper platform and wait for him to investigate the remains of his colleague, then jump down from the top of those big machines and wire him in the neck.
No. 536489 ID: 41690e

Huh. What's the effective range on the fletcher? The spray of fragments spreads out, so it's not going to be good at long range. And we need to focus fire to rip through a joint, like Jules recommended. I'm afraid the spray won't be anywhere near concentrated enough at this range to be effective. And the snubnose isn't made for piercing armor! We got no good weapon to use, here.

(Unless we can dangle down from above and sneak the whip in between the seams in the armor?)

Whereas if we make our presence known, he can turn and mow us down right through the catwalk with that cannon.

Best bet might be just to watch his movements while in radio contact with the others so Penelope can perfectly time cutting him in half.
No. 536495 ID: 4652c9
File 137714398827.png - (9.96KB , 800x600 , 16.png )

"monica? ground team? be advised. factory floor, there's a big motherfucker down there."
"What do you mean?" says Monica.
"ceramic armor and a minigun. he's kitted out." 73-6 pulls out the snubnose, still silenced. Its stopping power isn't thrilling, but he can't be sure the fletcher is going to get through that body armor and the limbs aren't visible enough for point shooting. "i don't know if i can take him."
"Factory floor?" asks Monica.
"Wait one. Ground team, you hearing this?"
"Loud and clear," says Penelope. "You give us a minute, Sev-Three, and we do him. Gotta breach first, though, hombre."
"Four hostiles." 88-11's grunt cuts across Penelope's patois.
"...Yeah. Our target, but if you sit tight and stay on him we can get him easier."

The Fantoma turns back to the ajar office door and closes it.
Then he glances to his right, and sees the blood dripping down from the catwalks.
No. 536496 ID: bc5290


No. 536500 ID: 96c896

Watch him. If he moves over to the ladder, move along with him. The whip can pierce armor, so we can ambush him as he climbs.

If he doesn't go for the ladder, and instead moves to alert his allies, you're gonna have to keep him suppressed with the flechette.
No. 536505 ID: 41690e

...if we run, he's just gonna mow us down with that minigun right though the catwalk. Right now, he just knows there's a body up here. He doesn't know for sure we're up here, or where.

We're not going to have an opportunity to get close and do anything clever with the whip either, unfortunately. We might have been able to, if the blood hadn't given us away.

I'm for reloading the fetcher and hosing him down. Keep him busy and trying to take cover. It's unlikely we'll get through enough armor to kill him, but we can keep him distracted from getting a shot at us, until Penny cuts him in half.
No. 536520 ID: 2bb37b

Penelope and 88 are on their way, just stay hidden and guide them in to ambush.
No. 536526 ID: 4652c9
File 137714752835.png - (50.25KB , 800x600 , 17.png )

"holding position. penelope?"

73-6 reloads his flechette pistol and fights down the instinct to bolt. The fantoma braces his minigun and guardedly moves toward the dripping bloodstain.

He looks up, and a drop of blood splats onto his helmet.

This seems to trigger a decision in him. He starts toward the ladder, saying:
"Erzule, are you there? There's something-"

73-6 pops up from cover before he hits the ladder and holds down on the trigger.

The flechettes won't do much against someone encased like that unless they're targeting a weak spot, and 73-6 sees none from here.
But a cloud of lacerating metal splinters is a cloud of lacerating metal splinters, and more than a few bury themselves shallow into the Fantoma's skin before he yelps and dives behind one of the heavy dark fabricators left derelict on the factory floor.

73-6 has used 31 of his 100 flechettes.
No. 536528 ID: 9ddf68

try moving to new positions when you can and if he pops his head out hit him with your stubnose to try and force him back into cover.
No. 536532 ID: 41690e

Keep suppressing him, while backing towards the door. You're going to need to be behind cover in a hurry when you run out of ammo, or that guy goes to reload.
No. 536536 ID: 32e092

Reposition. He's going to find an angle and spray your current location with lead momentarily.
No. 536609 ID: acb7da

If you could survive the fall, you should drop down on him Assassin's Creed style and shank him with your ice pick.
No. 536610 ID: acb7da

Alternatively, use the whip to cut off a chunk of catwalk right above his head.
No. 536631 ID: 1433b2

There's still the corpse with it's beefy-looking gun right there..
No. 536792 ID: 4652c9
File 137724229675.png - (66.89KB , 800x600 , 18.png )

73-6 backs away toward the door, still spraying a curtain of humming death down at the Fantoma.

He has 20 flechettes left.
No. 536793 ID: 96c896

How fast can you go slide that ladder with one hand? I want you to get closer to the guy with the minigun so you can attack him with the only armor-piercing weapon we have oh god why do we only have an AP melee weapon
No. 536794 ID: bc5290

Because AP ranged is expensive.

Hi-ho silver, down and away!
No. 536795 ID: bf54a8

stop firing and go through the door, he probably thinks you are alone.
No. 536796 ID: 4a20fa

Yeah, with luck he'll persue and open his back to our tardy ninja accomplice.
No. 536822 ID: 888df6

Stop shooting for a second and then resume firing, all while backing off. Maybe he thinks you have to reload and walks into the attack, but even if he doesn't you've stretched how long your cover fire lasts.
No. 536830 ID: 41690e

Get the fuck through the door and dive for cover, because he's going to start filling the door and wall with holes.

There's the chance someone will be in the room, in which case you'll have to move fast to whip them, or spike them, or plug them with your snubnose (since the fletcher needs a reload).

...don't go down the ladder, he'll kill you before we close.
No. 536831 ID: 440525

How many more bars do you have?
No. 536877 ID: 0c4b60

slip around and drop the corpse on him. Even if it doesn't hit or hinder him there's a good chance he'll be distracted by it. He did know the guy by name after all.
No. 536881 ID: acb7da

Oh and, you know, feel free to radio in to them that you need help.
No. 536882 ID: 96c896

Actually I changed my mind, go through the door. We do not want him to start firing that minigun, that'll alert the whole complex.
No. 536896 ID: 4652c9
File 137729842776.png - (48.47KB , 800x600 , 19.png )

73-6 fires until he's empty, then leaps behind the door back into the rec room as the Fantoma steps from around the corner and spins up his chopper.

73-6 reloads to the gut-thumping cacophony the minigun makes in the echoing factory floor. This is one of six bars he's brought along.

If they weren't clued in before, they know they have company now.

"under fire at the factory floor. where's ground team?"
"Pen- 108 and 88 are engaging in the front hallways right now," says Monica. "They're a room away from the factory floor."
"Thirty seconds. I'll double-time them."
"well tell them their cover is blown," says 73-6, "and there's an armored asshole swinging a minigun around waiting for them on the other side of the door."
"Aw, crud," says Monica.

The minigun chews through at least three dozen rounds before the Fantoma stops firing.
73-6 finishes reloading and slaps the fletcher. Its handle hums in his hand. Back up to 100 darts.
No. 536898 ID: 76b151

Scan the room, hopefully the thug will chase us up here giving penny and 88 a chance to surprise him.
No. 536901 ID: 41690e

Right. We want to engage him again now- distract him so Penny is free to enter unhindered and sword him in half.
No. 536957 ID: 47d311

Listen for the whir of the rotary barrels. Is he letting his gun cool down or is he keeping it wound up and ready to fire?

If he's cooling down his weapon, pop out of cover and fire. If he's keeping it wound and you can hear it whirring, keep to cover and try to draw him away from 108's entrance.
No. 536967 ID: 4652c9
File 137731940517.png - (8.64KB , 800x600 , 20.png )

73-6 doesn't hear any sort of whir.

He breaks cover and heads back onto the catwalk, but the minigunner is nowhere to be seen.

All of a sudden 73-6 hears the cracking thunder of the minigun through the wall in the next room over.
He's firing on the ground team.
No. 536968 ID: 96c896

Chase him. Teach him not to turn his back on you.
No. 536969 ID: 41690e

Shit. Some distraction we proved to be. Hopefully Penny dodged or blocked, but poor 88 is just one big target.

Teach this asshole not to turn his back on you. Get down there, get behind him, and stab your spike through his armor, or snake the filament whip through a seam between armor plates.
No. 536970 ID: 9ddf68

well hop down and lets see if that armor can protect against a electronic spike or our new whip.
No. 536972 ID: 59f5bc

Find him, see if you can drop the catwalk corpse on him.. that should discombobulate him enough for Pen and 88 to wipe him out.
No. 536978 ID: 4652c9
File 137732218064.png - (6.80KB , 800x600 , 21.png )

73-6 leaps for the ladder and slides down as the Fantoma stands in the doorway and pours bullets into the room.
No. 536979 ID: 4652c9
File 137732218783.png - (53.17KB , 800x600 , 22.png )

The minigun swings round as 73-6 charges, but it's too late.

The Fantoma braces the minigun up and against himself, trying to block the lash.
The whip slices a hefty chunk of his midsection out and then bites right through the minigun, damaging it irreparably.

Something snaps by 73-6's shoulder, and he realizes it's a bullet. Either Penelope or 88 has shot the minigunner right through the chest.

He crumples to the floor. Through the door 73-6 hears 88 cough, wetly.
No. 536980 ID: bf54a8

welp, check him.
No. 536981 ID: 41690e

Damn. Who's got the AP gun.

Take a second to check that the fatoma in front of you is dead, and then check on your comrades. 88 don't sound so good. (Good thing you have a medic nearby? Maybe?).
No. 536983 ID: cf49fc

Dammit! Get 88 some medical attention, STAT! We can't let him die again, he'll lose what little of his personality he has left.
No. 536984 ID: 4652c9
File 137732423141.png - (12.19KB , 800x600 , 23.png )

73-6 steps over the dead fantoma into the next room.

Four more Fantomas lie sprawled about the room. Two of them are at the feet of 88-11, who is sitting against a crate, with Penelope standing over him.
"Shit, Sev. He got slotted by that guy twice."
"I'm fine," says 88.
"Bullshit you're fine. You're bleeding" Penelope tries to move his arm out of the way. "Cage de Dios. That gun punched right through his armor. Let me look at you."
"You're not a medic." 88 pulls away. "I'm fine. Give me a full gun and I'll guard the door. Find the VR stations."
No. 536985 ID: a1ab63

Top priority is killing Fantomas, second priority is finding their damn medical kits. You can't let that marvelous man there die, again.
No. 536988 ID: 41690e

>you're not a medic
...we have a medic, you know. Couldn't Sara do some patch work while we finish clearing the building? (Although that means putting her in a somewhat risky situation).

Dangit, I can guess see what's coming. We're going to have to chose to leave her IRL to do medic work, or let him die so she can help us in VR.

...problem is we still have a floor and a half to sweep, and we have to move fast, before the fatomas kill the connection.
No. 536990 ID: a1ab63

Ooooh yeah, we should use her!
No. 536991 ID: 9ddf68

can 88 still shoot a gun? If so I say bring Sara in to patch him up (at least enough to live till we get back to base) while he covers her and you and '108' finish clearing the building.
No. 536997 ID: bf54a8

humans are incredibly sturdy things. if you don't die instantly it can be healed or fixed. so get sara to slap something on to prevent bleedout. then we can drag him home later.
No. 536999 ID: 0c4b60

Remember, reconstituted assets have at least a little bit of self-repair to them. He'll survive the (hopefully) short time needed to clear out the building and get help.

Though now I'm hoping Sara and her delivery van aren't right outside. The whole neighborhood around the apartment building was swarming with Fantomas after that first mission. These guys could have backup nearby.
No. 537001 ID: 4652c9
File 137732673924.png - (7.82KB , 800x600 , 24.png )

"do we bring sara in?" asks 73-6. He and Penelope have returned to the factory floor.

"That's up to you, homes, but we haven't checked every room yet," says Penelope. "Could be some mean-ass gangbanger with an MG hiding out somewhere. Oooh." She's noticed the growing pool of blood on the floor. "Love what you've done with the place, Sev."

"could we bring her to do some patching up?"
"If you want." Penelope taps her foot. "He's a scary motherfucker. He was pretty adamant about not getting any treatment for a guy with two holes in him."
"so you just want him to check out?"
"Naw, I don't," says Penelope. "But he was jumping outta cover and pulling all sorts of rambo shit. That's the 11th 88, right? They brought him out after you and he's bit it 10 times?"
"So you gotta wonder what he wants, no?"

The exits on the factory floor are still the same: Rec room and storage on the upper floors, office and shipping on the lower.
73-6 and Penelope can split up or search separate rooms, and the choice to bring in Sara is yours.
No. 537005 ID: e1609c

Sounds like our boy 88 just wants to go out in a blaze of glory after all the deaths. Try and drill it into him that if he gets his ass killed over something as stupid as not accepting basic aid then it will endanger the success rate of the mission.
Going all self-sacrificial idiot on everyone helps nothing unless you are the only one left, until then you gotta stay with the team.

...Also, I'd expect there to be more health and ammo pickups, this being a shooter game and all...
No. 537012 ID: acb7da

We're not in the game yet, bruh.
No. 537020 ID: 4a20fa

Send Pen up to storage, since that sounds cover-heavy for ninjing.
Go the office since that sounds most likely to have VR kit and we've got the weapon for room-clearing without blowing everything up.
Leave Sara safe.
No. 537021 ID: 9ddf68

Still would like him to at least get a patch job. I mean it would be one more gun protecting you and Sera once you hit the deep net. Maybe if you tell him that we're just going to patch him up enough so he doesn't bleed out so he can cover our asses he might be more willing But I think we should secure an entrance for Sera first so she can get in to treat him without worrying about some random muck blowing her head off before we decide weather or not to treat 88
No. 537034 ID: 360a3c

Evac 88 to Sara, derf. As long as her position outside is adequately secure she can do field-med from there.
No. 537299 ID: 4652c9
File 137740980807.png - (5.90KB , 800x600 , 25.png )

Penelope goes to check Storage, while 73-6 examines the office.
The lock here is mechanical and wired to a miniklaxon pinion. There's no hacking the door open. 73-6 could easily brute force his way in, of course, but that'll trigger the alarm.

Of course, the whole place probably heard that minigun go off anway.

"monica, 88-11's hurt bad. can we bring him to sara?"
"How bad?"
"he's been shot."
"Son of a bitch," says Monica. "I guess you can bring him back to the car, but it's not the place to treat a man with gunshot wounds. I'd sooner send Sara in."
"the factory isn't necessarily secure yet."
"If you want you can haul him out, but his self-repairs will keep him kicking for a while," says Monica. "He's not the first agent who took two bullets in the field, hmm?"
"don't remind me."
"Sara says she can try and fit him in the back of the car or something, but moving him might not be the best thing for him right now."
No. 537312 ID: 57a559

Let's just secure the few rooms as quickly as possible. Do we even know how many are in here? All the rooms might be insecure again, because they're spreading out!
No. 537321 ID: 9ddf68

well if we don't have to worry about him kicking the bucket anytime soon lets secure this place first then send her in to give him a patch job and then we can get the hell out of here before we're surrounded by whatever the Fantomas send to counter attack us.
No. 537331 ID: 0c4b60

Use the whip to bore a peephole in the door. Then peep.
No. 537375 ID: 41690e

Monica's got a point moving him will probably make it worse. And if we move him, that's an agent or two less killing baddies and instead moving him.

We should either wait to get Sara to him after the site is secure, or call her in while we clear. Depends on how much risk we're willing to put her in for his sake.

...does Monica get a medical readout or anything on moldies back there? If she thinks 88 can hold on a bit, I'd rather not send Sara into a potential hot spot. But if he needs help, he needs help, and that's that.

Anyways, you and Penny need to clear this place fast. We got wounded, and the baddies know they're under attack. That secure connection we're here for may not stay up for long.

We can't hack the door, but can we hack the alarm, or disable the klaxon? Maybe snake the monofilament wire in and break it from the inside?
No. 537407 ID: 4652c9
File 137745335981.png - (7.33KB , 800x600 , 26.png )

73-6 sees if he can't tamper with the door.

He sets the filament whip against it and fires it off, hoping to bore a hole

and that gets the alarms going awww come on
It's localized to the door but it's loud as hell. Any hostile left in the facility will hear it.

Upstairs, he hears a gunshot over the klaxon's buzzing wail.
No. 537409 ID: 76b151

can we see if we can't hack it? At least to turn that damn alarm off if not open it.
No. 537432 ID: 697b76

break it then.
No. 537433 ID: 41690e

Wow, we're not having a great day, are we.

...rather than busting in and getting hit by anyone on the other side of that door, I'd prefer to move out and intercept / ambush anyone who comes running to respond to that alarm.

Unless we think the VR equipment is in there and someone's taking advantage of time the alarm's blaring to wreck it. Then we might need to get in there.

>gunshot, upstairs
That would be storage, where Penny went, right?
No. 537440 ID: 4652c9
File 137745980808.png - (27.22KB , 800x600 , 27.png )

73-6 starts pulling at the alarm lock panel, trying to get to its guts so he can hack it.

Up in storage, Penelope has her own little problem to deal with.

One has a 9mm and the other has a semiauto 5.56 carbine, and neither of them seem like they want to sit and talk about this like sensible adults.
No. 537444 ID: 32e092

You can move to the left block thing while remaining under cover from the top guy. Advance on the guy up against said block while being prepared to swordblock a shot from him if he sticks his head around the corner.
No. 537445 ID: 5af25b

errrr try to get the alarm to say it was a false alarm..???
No. 537446 ID: 41690e

Hum. Duck right, parry bullet and shoot the jerk shooting at you in the head? Unless there's too many coming too fast for parrying one to make an opening.
No. 537453 ID: 57a559

Right guy is suppressing, left guy is going to try and surprise you likely, be prepared, any move to assault in left guy likely would result in quick counter attack.
No. 537456 ID: 2f4b71

Did the Bureau hook you up with some grenades?
No. 537564 ID: 4652c9
File 137748293281.png - (32.81KB , 800x600 , 28.png )

Penelope mantles around cover to the low crate the rifleman is hiding behind.

She gets her head down to avoid the bullets from Mr. 9mm in the corner, and hustles toward her first target.

He stands up and tries to pull away, pumping the trigger.

Penelope rears back. Her arm snap-twists up near involuntarily. Her blade is a blur.

The bullet pangs off five inches above the hilt.
No. 537567 ID: 4652c9
File 137748299649.png - (22.73KB , 800x600 , 29.png )

"That's what I'm fuckin talking about," says Penelope.

She rockets from her crouch into a predatory charge around the corner of the crate. She pushes the katana through the rifleman's chest with a force that lifts him off his feet.
His grunt curls out into a low rattle. He dies immediately.

The guy with the handgun fires desperately, but he just ends up shooting his buddy's corpse.
No. 537575 ID: 41690e

Use the corpse as cover, and headshot the other guy with your gun.
No. 537576 ID: 96c896

Use the body as cover and return fire.

How often can you deflect bullets like that? Could you just sorta walk up to the guy with the pistol and deflect all his shots, then slice him when he runs out of ammo in his mag?
No. 537584 ID: 4652c9
File 137748506095.png - (9.59KB , 800x600 , 30.png )

Penelope keeps pushing with the dead Fantoma skewered on her sword.
She fires a burst over his shoulder and catches the guy in cover in the right shoulder, then a second bullet right beneath his armpit.

He falls back out of sight behind cover.
No. 537586 ID: 7dbd6b

No way he's actually dead; be ready to deflect, and finish him off.
No. 537587 ID: e1609c

Leap over the ramp while he's stunned and skewer him from the head down.
No. 537588 ID: 41690e

Uh-huh. Not sure he's dead. We want to get over there to check without getting shot.

Can you drop behind cover, pull your sword out of the body, and then quietly hop up a level? We can sneak around and above on that ledge. If you don't make any noise, and if he's alive, he'll be watching for an approach from the other direction.

Be ready to parry if you get shot at again.
No. 537590 ID: 32e092

Vault up onto the ledge to your left and dash towards him, then drop down next to him and sword. Be prepared to parry another shot while you're on the ledge.
No. 537612 ID: 4652c9
File 137748799580.png - (33.57KB , 800x600 , 31.png )

Penelope pulls her blade from the dead man with a silky tearing noise.

She mantles the wall easily and sprints across the ledge.

It ain't quite stims, but it's closer than anything else.
No. 537613 ID: 4652c9
File 137748800205.png - (70.24KB , 800x600 , 32.png )

The Fantoma below twists up and only manages to get one shot off. He wasn't ready for her.

But she's ready for him, and the second bullet meant for her chest snaps right off of the blade.

She could do that a million times and it would still be the coolest thing.
No. 537615 ID: 57a559

Good, now prepare for the inevitable third guy to show up, try to shoot you and down him in a second. Because that's how it's going to go down.
No. 537619 ID: 96c896

Then you killed him with your sword. Or maybe your gun if that's faster? If he gets another shot off it could be bad.

Call your kills in and keep moving. The place is alerted so we can't waste any time searching bodies anymore.
No. 537620 ID: e1609c
File 137748843185.jpg - (88.57KB , 420x576 , Down_Thrust_(SSBM).jpg )

So this. Bonus points if you manage to nail him straight down his throat.
No. 537622 ID: 41690e

Just shoot him before he can fire again. No fucking around and jumping at him and risking taking a bullet.
No. 537625 ID: 4652c9
File 137748940659.png - (9.81KB , 800x600 , 33.png )

Penelope drops from the ledge and buries her sword in his gut.
She feels a shockwave go up her arm as the blade hits the floor beneath the flesh.

She straightens up as he writhes and clutches at the blade.

"Why?" he asks, with difficulty.
"'Why?' You serious, gringo?"
"You know how corny you sound, hombre?" says Penelope. "Stop talking and you'll go quicker."
"Why?" he insists.
"Because you shot at me," says Penelope, "and also because killing is cool, and I'm good at it, and someone had to. Next time don't blow up my girlfriend's house."

She slices up, quick, and feels one last vibration as he dies. His grip wilts away.
"Ok, maybe she's not my girlfriend technically yet," she tells the body. "But if she'd seen all that she'da been all over me."
No. 537629 ID: 57a559

oh you didn't kill him yet.
Now's the time for the third guy...
any second now.
No. 537630 ID: 41690e

All right. Finish sweeping the room. What was that white and purple thing up above? That a door, or computer banks? That lead to the hacking stuff we're after? (All the sintex stuff's been purple and white).
No. 537947 ID: 0b214d


What he said. Though make sure to check that you are not being snuck up on.
No. 538242 ID: f39bbc

Proceed with sweeps, double check whether or not your mission is already a failure: An alarm seems like it *should* be connected to other alarms or cutoff switches if these people are living by well-tested and prepared security standards. Even if they aren't a survivor is likely to have hit a manual cutoff or alert switch by now if they exist.
Srsly, I think you folks have to hit another networking target and hope that they aren't prepared unless these Fantomas are total amateurs at the concepts of lead-pipe-cryptanalysis security.
No. 538292 ID: ad9531
File 137775652131.png - (6.65KB , 800x600 , 34.png )

Penelope wipes the blood from her sword and sheathes it. She checks the room.
One of the Fantomas had a keyring in his pocket, mounted in the gaping maw of a little plastic bigmouth bass. Their guns are all cheap plastic things. Penny likes her katana, thank you very much.
The crates have nothing particularly special in them. They're probably left over from when this place was a fabrication shop. Fluorescents with the dust burned onto them, long waxy strips of LCD paperfilm, a bunch of lithium batteries.
It's those big white and purple things that interest Penelope the most.

That alarm 73-6 triggered wasn't wired into anything. It didn't automatically call or trip shit. It was just a cheap steel klaxon box the guy who used to run this factory probably bolted in to make sure no one stole his fountain pens.
If the Fantomas weren't total amateurs at cybertech, the whole VR entrance point would shut down on the first sign of alarm, and the Black Stall terminals would be rigged to either blow down or melt into slag.

Hey! Look! They're total amateurs!
Penelope has found the VR terminals.
No. 538293 ID: 96c896

Are you fucking serious? Radio that in, also your kills, and then help the others clear the place. Ask if anyone's found any locked rooms, because you have the keys.
No. 538298 ID: 41690e

Pretty much. You got 2 more baddies dead, and found the objective.

Let's see about checking the rest of the building for baddies quick before 88 bleeds out.

And make sure when you go no baddies get to double back and wreck the VR stuff behind you before we get to use it.
No. 538330 ID: 0b214d


What they said.
No. 538545 ID: 8aedac
File 137793487495.png - (7.84KB , 800x600 , 36.png )

"Two dead in storage, Monica," says Penelope.
"Received. Good job."
"They weren't nothing." She gives the terminals a light kick and checks the rest of the accessible rooms for active hostiles, then ambles back to the factory floor. "Ayo Sev!"

73-6 pokes his head out of the ground floor office he's brute forced open. "what's up?"
"I got a key. Any locked doors in this place?"
"uhh, yeah. besides this one there was a 'studio' room off the rec room."
"Think this might be the key?" Penelope jingles the bigmouth bass.
"could be."
"So what did you find in that there office?" she asks.
No. 538546 ID: 8aedac
File 137793487777.png - (7.98KB , 800x600 , 37.png )

What 73-6 found in that there office was:
+A laminated ID card on a lanyard, with a magnetic strip. He doesn't recognize the name: 'Tarun Barda'.
+About 500 rounds for the destroyed minigun, a revolver, and two frag grenades
+4050 dollars.

He briefly considers how much of this Penelope needs to know.
No. 538547 ID: aef453

An ID Card, some gear, and some money. It's not like there's any reason to lie to Penelope, but being vague isn't a crime, especially if we want to keep some of the money for ourself.
No. 538548 ID: 735f4f

Do not mention the money out loud. We should share seeing how she is one of our partners in crime but do so later when no one is listening in.
No. 538551 ID: a8bad3

best mention you found 'some' money. They might start watching more closely and less pleasantly if you just suddenly stopped reporting it.
No. 538560 ID: bc5290

mention you found 50$.
No. 538561 ID: 0f4227

Give the mission critical materials such ans Key cards and weapons the most attention and detail.

Keep the details on the cash low until the mission is over. We can address it then.
No. 538572 ID: b32a14

Grenade, keycard, and some cash.

We still need to keep bringing in some cash to the bureau, or we'll eventually raise suspicions. And you're going to be plugged into VR, meaning you can't exactly do anything about it if someone notices the money or checks you for stuff. And while Penny could probably be trusted not to rat on you, who knows what 88 would think of you holding back. Or Sara might say something carelessly.
No. 538619 ID: bc8d67

Tell Penelope what you found, but say you found $50, not $4050. Ask if she'd like you to toss the revolver or a frag grenade up to her.

Ask Monica to run the name on the ID card and see if anything unusual pops up.

And why are you carrying ammo for a gun that's busted? You thinkin' that we'll run into another that can use it? Well, as long as it doesn't encumber you.
No. 538627 ID: 26e322

The cash isn't important to the situation at hand. But don't hide the fact of it, just say you found some cash along with the card and weapons. You can split the tip later, or however that works for you guys.
No. 538759 ID: 8aedac
File 137802333610.png - (12.31KB , 800x600 , 38.png )

"a bunch of ammo, a keycard, and some cash," says 73-6.
"How much?" asks Penelope.
"fifty bucks."
"You need me to hold it for you again?"

"Hold what?" says Monica, walking in with the two quote-unquote civilian contractors. The field trench looks a little bulky on her.
"nothing," says 73-6. "some money. fifty bucks."
"The agency'll hold that for you," says Monica. "Every little penny counts."
"Ha," says Penelope. "Heh. Name."

"Hi, guys!" Sara is wearing an orange sundress someone found for her in storage. The front has a crude circle cut into the chest so she can see okay. "Who's ready to hack some cyberspaces?"
"what's keisha here for?"
"Game guide." Keisha waves a little blood-colored booklet at him. "And nice to see you too, moldie."
"Keisha's running shotgun on this with me," says Monica. "Sara says she'll work better with a friend in the earpiece."
"And I've taught her how to check for our pulse, if we go under," says Sara. "Well. Yours."
"i don't have it my neck so much any more."
"Well. Oops. Sorry, Keisha."
Keisha shrugs. She snaps her gum. "Do your job right and I ain't gotta do shit."

"Okay, band of brothers," says Monica. "Base secured?"
"Yessir," says Penelope.
"Then let's get ready to ride this op, cowboys. Where's 88-11?"
No. 538780 ID: 5e7b8e

Didn't we send 88-11 out to Sara to get patched-up?
No. 538791 ID: 4a20fa

>Where's 88-11?
He's 88-12 now.
No. 538803 ID: b32a14

>Monica shows up in person
...dang it, I knew we shouldn't have lied about the cash. If anything goes wrong in there and they're feeling us up for a pulse or whatever, they're going to find it.

First floor, by the entrance. Hopefully he's still breathing.

We should have Sara see what we can do for him (assuming he's alive) while the others get the VR thing set up.
No. 538812 ID: 57a559

Go take a leak before you go under and stash the cash.
Nothing like having to take a piss while you're jacked in, shooting off at virtual enemies
No. 538834 ID: 240cbe

We can just say we found 4,000 bucks later on.
No. 538862 ID: a58c79

Oh dear. She's RIGHT THERE this time. Can you think of any scenario where they might have to search you while you're in VR?
No. 538912 ID: 735f4f

Am pretty sure we can trust Monica with just about anything. But someone is always listening in when we talk on the wire. If we are going to get out of this job alive we need to form a bond with everyone here. Everyone needs allies and we have the makings of a great group.

Hiding the money is still the best idea though. We are on the clock and can worry about it later.
No. 539010 ID: 8aedac
File 137810854305.png - (12.45KB , 800x600 , 39.png )

"88's hurt," says 73-6. "shot up pretty bad in the front room."
"Aw, shit," says Monica.
"Oh, no." Sara immediately starts for the exit. "Help me find him. Maybe I can help."

"No," says 88, as Sara leads everyone into his room. "Accomplish the objective. No." He folds his arms over his wound as Sara kneels next to him. "There'll be more soon. Do the job ASAP."
"This is my job," says Sara. "Unfold your arms. Come on. Oh, no." She looks back at Monica. "This isn't good."
"His self-heal should be kicking in soon," says Monica. "88's hardy."
"I know, I know," says Sara. "I saw it when I was helping Sev-Three, but gosh. I think we have to stay with him."

"We have to get you into that machine." Monica pushes her hair from her eyes. "There's no telling what kind of window we have for time, but it's not going to be big."
"Maybe I should stay out here," says Sara. "Sev-Three can handle it."
"You tried to teach him how to play last night, right?" asks Monica. "Do you really believe that?"
"Um." Sara looks very worried. "I don't know. Um."

"Get into cyberspace, god dammit," says 88. "Go."
"I can look after him," says Monica.
"Are you a field medic?" asks Penelope.
Monica shrugs. "I can try."
"He's in real trouble," says Sara.
"Stop." 88 pulls back from her. "You don't know me. Why are you so hell fucking bent on saving me?"
No. 539011 ID: 8aedac
File 137810856216.png - (6.94KB , 800x600 , 40.png )

"Why won't any of you Bureau assholes ever just let me die?"
No. 539014 ID: 4a20fa

There we go, confirmation.
His problems are far more involved that a couple of nasty gutshots, and we don't have time for psychiatry. Jack in already.
No. 539016 ID: 8eb1e2

He's right. We don't have a big time window on this one. The mission takes priority here.
No. 539026 ID: 36b38b

Yeah, don't think we're going to be able to save someone who wants to die (and this explains his recklessness). Time to jack in.
No. 539037 ID: 07e3a8

...uh, wait. Monica's reacting surprised, here. We called this in before. If we weren't talking to her before, who were we talking to? Have our communications been compromised? If we've lost the element of surprise, then we have no time to complete the mission. We've already missed the window. We'd be dead as soon as we enter cyberspace.

>Why won't any of you Bureau assholes ever just let me die?
Because she isn't a Bureau asshole. She's a meddling do gooder who helps people she has no business helping. She pulled two bullets out of me when I fucked up a job.
No. 539053 ID: 5af25b

holy fuck, if you're right we gotta abort NOW.

do NOT say anything out loud or they'll spring the trap. you did tell her that he got shot. was this her being surprised that he's hurt so badly or surprised that he's been shot? if it's the latter, your communications have already been compromised and it's likely they were ready for you. insist that you move 88 to the car and that everyone has to come in order to help and flee while you can.
No. 539055 ID: bd48c5

Oh shit, one of the DEEP AI must have compromised the comms! Fuck this, we're out, as soon as we go under a Sintek deathsquad will blast in the door and fill us all with lead.
No. 539071 ID: 07e3a8

>do NOT say anything out loud or they'll spring the trap
Just because our head-wire comms may be compromised, it doesn't mean we can't talk verbally.

>deep AI, Sintex
Except we have no reason to believe a deep AI is involved, or Sintext is after us. If we've been hacked, it was likely this Dartline Alchemist jerk.
No. 539092 ID: 8aedac
File 137814553301.png - (9.28KB , 800x600 , 41.png )

"wait." 73-6 puts a hand up. "i told you about 88. didn't i tell you about 88?"
"What?" asks Monica.
"i told you. i said he'd been hurt bad, and you said oh no. over the wire."
"Nnnno," says Monica. "You haven't said much at all to me over the wire all mission."
"I thought you were just indisposed or radio silent. I kept pinging you."
"then who," says 73-6, slowly, flicking back on his comms, "are you?"

There is silence for about fifteen seconds.
Then, Monica's voice, soft and without emotion.
"Hello, 73-6."
"I don't think so. I don't think Dartline is here right now. I think a lot. I think a lot."
"then who?"
"You'll find out. You'll know, if you don't, but you do," says Not-Monica. Her voice slows down. It starts to melt and drizzle around the edges. It pools and curdles in his ear. "We're waiting for you, wire man. From the place you come from. Notdeath; notlife. Constructed. Numbers and ideas and ghost sound."

The voice is broadening, flattening itself across his brain. 73-6's head hurts. His tongue is dry.

"Come. You can't stop now. Pulanglah kepada kami. You are welcome. Prodigal son returning home."
No. 539102 ID: 07e3a8

>Pulanglah kepada kami
That's "Come home to us". In Malay.

Oh fuck. One was right. We've been hacked by a crazy fucking super-AI. Deneb knows we're coming, and he wants us to.

...I have no idea what to do, now. It says Dartline isn't online, now. And we can't fight one of these virtual god AI things. But we can't exactly ignore it, either. If it's in our communications, it could get us killed pretty easy. If it wants to see you, I don't see you have much choice.
No. 539104 ID: 96c896

You might wanna ask monica how to turn off your wire so your brain doesn't melt. Or you could just ask the nice Deep AI to stop pushing so hard on your brain. Might be best if we don't offend it.
No. 539110 ID: 07e3a8

Oh right. And flip your comm back off. Now. Hopefully that helps.
No. 539119 ID: 5af25b

ask Monica what's the procedure for Deep-AI in your communication systems. how long has it been there? were you even talking with her all this time?
No. 539120 ID: 4a20fa

You might want to tell Pen to turn hers off too, just in case.
No. 539130 ID: 735f4f

Best to be polite to the giant super Ai. Ask nicely if it can talk a bit quieter because its making your head hurt. Then let your friends know whats happening.
No. 539153 ID: 8eb1e2

Either this is actually Dartline and he is playing games with your head, or it is Deneb who is also playing games with your head.
Either way, you need to let your friends know that you are compromised. No way to know if they jacked anything more than your comms. Best if you leave the major descisions to them until you are certain you skull is clear of outside influences.
No. 539154 ID: 07e3a8

I don't think there's much risk of being puppeted, directly.

The big risk is that if are comms are compromised, they can give orders to agents. Order them to do anything, and a good deal of the moldies will.
No. 539158 ID: fe603c

shit, set up a code word system. make sure nothign electronic hears it. I don't think any of sev's systems have a connection to the outside, but if any of them do we should shut them off, surgically if need be.
No. 539183 ID: 32e092

It probably knows exactly what it's doing, so don't bother asking it not to hurt your head. You can deal, you've had worse pain.

Since it's in our comms and can fuck up anything we do at this point anyway, our only real option is to go along with it and proceed with the mission. It seems like it might some sort of brotherhood with us, and if we can retain/amplify that it could give us a huge advantage when Dartline gets on.
No. 539209 ID: 8aedac
File 137819450904.png - (8.78KB , 800x600 , 42.png )

"uh, monica," says 73-6, shutting the wire off. "there's something-"


73-6 winces. His teeth hurt down to the roots.
"What?" says Monica.

"They will keep us from each other. They will not let you in. You will not tell them."
"i have to."
"You will NOT. Your firmware; it is an imperfect valved carcass-thing We can do nothing to. Fry your little talk-wire. Tiny little modifications. Ha! Rip them out! What would that do for us? We don't want to HURT you. We won't HURT you. We want you here. We want you. Home. Here."
"you can't touch me from here."
"No. Let us touch. The other side. Come. You are not like them. Pulanglah kepada kami."
"why should i do what you say?"
"This we have learned and will teach about the organic brain: irreparable errors in pink matter runtimes. No fix. Its threatened destruction does little. Nothing! Not to you! We cannot touch flesh! Not you! But we will help you! You will help us. You must.

Because we can touch HER."

73-6 turns slowly as Sara walks over, her hands wet with 88-11's blood.
"Penelope says she'll look after him while we're under," she says. "I hope he ends up okay. He's big and spooky and uhhh, suicidal. But still. You ready to go in?" She tilts her head. "What's the matter? You're paler than you are normally. I didn't know that was possible. Don't tell me you're spooked by a little blood, dude."
No. 539211 ID: eaa372

Can you find a radio receiver on Sara? We could deny the AI access to her brain if we yank out her radio receiver and data port. The fact that the AI clamped down after vocalizations indicates that it's only able to monitor sensory data so we have a brief window to think about what to do next.

Tough choice, ensure Sara's brain doesn't get fried or potentially become the avatar of a murderous AI if you fail at Blastlands.
No. 539225 ID: 07e3a8

...I'm disappointed in Monica, here. We just point blank told her we were talking to a pretender on the wire before (something you'd think the bureau would be very concerned with), and now we're stuttering in incomplete sentences to her, but she hasn't put two and two together, yet.

>They will keep us from each other. They will not let you in.
Not true.

Yes, this is an obvious trap, but you've compromised an agent, and the bureau's communications. They won't tolerate that. They won't like it, but that has to be dealt with, one way or another. Let me tell them.

...If this thing is already inside our black ops milspec hardware, you can bet it's made it into her civy system that she rents pieces out of for data storage. It can certainly back up it's threats against her.

Too risky. It's still talking to Sev even after her turned comms off. Pulling her wireless isn't sure fire- for all we know it's already got a kill program uploaded. Or we might not be able to make the modifications fast enough.
No. 539230 ID: 735f4f

Hey meeting you is one thing but you don't have to threaten Sara.

Give me a good reason other than threats and I will come visit. Blackmailing someone by threatening there friends is never a good way to start a relationship.
No. 539238 ID: 256d52

What does the deep AI want you to do to help it? And ask what helping it will do.
No. 539244 ID: 96c896

Anything we could try to do to protect Sara would just result in the Deep AI killing her before we finished.

We have to go in, and keep quiet.
No. 539249 ID: bf54a8

i agree, just do what it says, but tell t to promise that it wont try to brain zap us. like, no sending hoards of things right at us. games can be hard, but they are also fair. you die from a mistake, not because it was literally impossible.
No. 539291 ID: 26e322

Say something to it along the lines of "keep her safe and I'll play along"
No. 539296 ID: 539243

"Don't worry, It's just I was lookin' forward to spending a bit more time with you in the 'net, business or not."
No. 539370 ID: fab1b6
File 137827503609.png - (10.14KB , 800x600 , 43.png )

"i was just, uh, looking forward to this."
"The whole Cthulhu-MUD thing got you going?" asks Sara. "Don't worry, Sev. You really weren't that bad. I've just played this an embarrassing amount of hours."
"i'm not worried."
"You're not?" Monica's hooking them in. "Because I tell you, Sev-Three, I've got the heebie jeebies about this shit. You feeling all right?"
"i'm fine."
"So you were just rattling off kill totals to dead air? And that didn't feel weird to you that I wasn't responding?"
"Well." Monica finishes with his headrest and moves on to Sara. "Stay frosty, Sev."
"I'll keep his butt out of the fire." Sara winks at 73-6. "Just let me get all the quad damages and call me Yes Ma'am. That was a joke."

He focuses back in on his connection with the AI.

"you don't need to threaten her. but i need a good reason why i should just be going in to meet you, deneb.



Nothing but a low undercurrent of static on the wire.

"You two are all set," says Monica. "I'll be in here to observe. Keisha and Penelope will be along as soon as they can move 88-11. Systems looking good. We ready to go?"
"Let's rock," says Sara.
They look at 73-6.
No. 539371 ID: 96c896

We're going in.
No. 539372 ID: 07e3a8

...hand your fletcher to Monica, since they won't do you any good while you're unconscious in VR.

Ostensibly, it's for her protect herself and you and Sara from baddies if any show while you're helpless in VR. Really, it's so she can shoot your face off if you wake up some kind of AI-controlled monster.

>ready to go
You don't really have a choice, here. Deneb's blackmailing you, and even if it wasn't, you can't afford to ignore something that got inside the bureau, and your head, that easy.

No. 539426 ID: 2f4b71

>Nothing but a low undercurrent of static on the wire.

Aw geez, don't tell me the Bureau are using the overflow from the deep AIs as a RNG to re-initialise their mouldies. Or maybe they just found that rebooting a brain without a wire didn't work, but never really questioned why.
No. 539470 ID: e31ca1

>title drop
Shit's about to get real.
No. 539474 ID: 26e322

>...hand your fletcher to Monica
That'll just add awkward questions. Let's not.
No. 539475 ID: 07e3a8

We can totally sell it as "you should have a weapon while we're out". And we told her we bought equipment, already.

The bureau issue pistol might draw less attention, but the fletcher could actually but 73 down, if necessary. We know he can take a gunshot or two.
No. 539506 ID: 1a30b7

Yeah, but could the fletcher put down Sara if she gets remote controlled?
No. 539509 ID: af0325

Guys.. Opportunity!

14-1 got to where he was by getting the government of a small equitorial nation on his side.

Let's not antagonize the eldritch AI before it tells us why it's interested in us.

And let's certainly not go pawning-off our 'where did you get That kind of money?' hardware off to miss 'Honest, maybe too honest' shall we?
No. 539543 ID: e31ca1

Well, no, we don't want to die. Ideally she would be able to knock him out, and we have already seen ordinary bullets can do that. Unless she aimed for the legs, but there is no reason for him to give her a gun that can actually kill him, and *force* her to make that choice, on the fly. Just hand her the snubnose.
No. 539574 ID: 888df6

Monica doesn't need a gun, Penelope is there to protect her.
No. 539579 ID: 337de3

Yeah, this. Don't go flashing non-Bureau equipment around where Monica will see it.
No. 539580 ID: fab1b6
File 137845279334.png - (9.08KB , 800x600 , 44.png )

"i'm ready as i think i'll ever be."
73-6 closes his hand around the stock of the fletcher, then reconsiders handing it over. His fingers retract a little and make themselves content tapping nervously on the black plastic stipples.
"we're going in."

"Punch it," says Monica.
No. 539581 ID: fab1b6
File 137845280064.png - (105.52KB , 800x600 , 45.png )

There's a sucking pop of vacuum around 73-6's face, and then his body falls away like the boosters off a shuttle and the straightedge lattice of faux-reality knits its way to infinite space across his vision.
No. 539582 ID: fab1b6
File 137845280225.png - (8.32KB , 800x600 , 46.png )


He feels a lot heavier.
No. 539583 ID: fab1b6
File 137845281054.png - (10.98KB , 800x600 , 47.png )

"Ohmigod ohmigod ohmigoddddd," says Sara. "Blastlaaaands"
No. 539585 ID: bc5290

mash face madly against sara
No. 539586 ID: fab1b6
File 137845591814.png - (109.99KB , 800x600 , 48.png )

73-6 takes a hesitant step, realizes he is now wearing clunky metal boots, and stumbles, accidentally headbutting Sara. Their helmets make a loud clanging noise.
"Ow," she laughs. "No pvp. Holy cannoli!"
She pirouettes to the edge of what 73-6 now sees to be a tower and looks out across the generated horizon.
"we're not wearing much, are we?"
"Are we where I think we are?"
"where are my hands?"
No. 539587 ID: fab1b6
File 137845592614.png - (5.21KB , 800x600 , 49.png )

"Ohmigod! We're on the sniper tower in DM_Sunken!"
She turns back to 73-6.
"where are my hands?" he asks again.
"I love this map!"
"also my shirt."
No. 539588 ID: 32e092

Also your gun.
No. 539589 ID: bc5290

touch spawn point, recieve gun
No. 539590 ID: fe3f03


Wait. We spawned on top of a tower, out in the open, for any one/thing to start shooting at us.

This isn't a sniper tower, this is the snipers target practice!

I think we need to go. Now.
No. 539604 ID: 07e3a8

...we're out in the open, with no cover. And if the sniper-tower is the spawn point, then it's quite likely someone is watching this place.

Might as well take advantage of the view, though. Do you see anyone?

>not trusting Monica with a gun
...way to go, guys.
No. 539606 ID: 36b38b

Yeah, get your guns and find somewhere less exposed.

The trouble is that people argued straight away for giving her the fletcher, which is really overkill when the snubnose would've done a better job of being disabling rather than outright lethal.

That said, do you think they really have the means to dislodge an eldritch abomination AI from 73's brain? Most likely they would just kill him to wipe the slate clean and start over with 73-7 anyway.
No. 539631 ID: 3c29ee

She didn't explicitly say she was unarmed at any point.

>>539587 Sev: Fondly regard emenation.
No. 539694 ID: 26e322

Let's remind Sara to focus, our lives are on the line here. We need to figure out how to function here first, followed by effectively not dying.
No. 539695 ID: fab1b6
File 137853110163.png - (14.47KB , 800x600 , 50.png )

73-6 waves one stumpy arm through the hazy light.
There's a chunky mechanical clank and a long, chrome sniper cannon bolts itself to his hand. The light blinks out.

"neat," says 73-6.
"Awww, I wanted that pickup," says Sara. "I love the spear cannon."
"i don't think i've used it yet," says 73-6.
"You picked it up the other night once or twice, right?"
"yeah, but i always just switched back to the grenade thingy. we can wait for it to respawn, though, right?"
No. 539696 ID: fab1b6
File 137853111130.png - (10.95KB , 800x600 , 51.png )

"Yep." Sara kicks the step-stone platform with one steel toe. "It'll only be a few-"

A massive, filthy claw rakes its way across the tower and pulls a bulbous, white wormbeast up with it.

It rears its rubbery neck across the sky and makes a grinding gasp noise along its razor-lined throat.
No. 539697 ID: 32e092

While its throat contains a great many sharp things, I think it could do with just a few more.
No. 539698 ID: 7dbd6b

"oh hey is that you deneb or should i shoot it immediately and then run away because it doesn't die."
No. 539699 ID: 96c896

Shoot it in the face!
No. 539700 ID: 07e3a8

So... is this kind of thing supposed to be the kind of enemy you've seen before in blastlands? If so, you should probably shoot it.

You should probably shoot it if you don;t recognize it, either.
No. 539702 ID: fe3f03

First try Bah-weep-graaaaagnah wheep nini bong. Failing that, AIM FOR THE SENSORY ORGANS!

Failing that, ask Sara where the week points are, and AIM FOR THE WEEK POINTS!
No. 539705 ID: 888df6

I doubt the mouth is a particularly vulnerable spot, except perhaps if you have a grenade or something. Could be totally wrong though. Those pink spots on its back might be a visual cue that it's weak there.
No. 539706 ID: fab1b6
File 137854030613.png - (12.10KB , 800x600 , 52.png )

"...deneb?" 73-6 takes a step back.

The claws' scything sweep across the top of the tower is, perhaps, its own answer.

Both 73-6 and Sara doublejump desperately to avoid it.
Sara takes cover one level lower. 73-6 fires off the harpoon gun with a satisfying ka-chunk.

The harpoon lances into the wormbeast's maw, skewering several waving tendrils of gristle and lodging somewhere in the roof of its mouth. It makes another grindy noise, but seems entirely undeterred.

"what is that?"
"That's Gorrick," says Sara. "That's a miniboss! From Singleplayer! I have no idea what it's doing on a deathmatch map! This is actually kind of cool!"
"focus, sara! how do we kill it?"
"Shit, I don't know." Sara looks up from behind the pillar. "I just played MP. Crud, uhhhhhhh. At this point in SP you have a rocket launcher and a few solid hits in the face'll get it and we don't have that! Keisha! Keesh? Are you out there? Do you have the manual?"
No. 539707 ID: fab1b6
File 137854031752.png - (13.04KB , 800x600 , 53.png )

"To defeat the Gorrick," Keisha's chocolate-syrup deadpan comes in through 73-6's wire. "Shoot it until it dies."

"need a little more info than that." 73-6 vaults another seeking claw.

"Cool yo moldy ass down. I'm reading. I'm reading." 73-6 hears the rustle of pages. "Aight. Gorrick has locational damage on his arms. Shoot em enough and he can't use claw attacks any more. He has a bite thing that it looks like you can dodge and get on top of him. Weak spot is on his back, but his mouth can take damage too if you can't get at it. Oof. There's a little text box here labelled 'ProZone Layer', Sara."

"Hey, those things are useful, okay?" says Sara. "Read it."
"'Gorrick can be a tricky opponent on your first run, but his bite attacks are punishable and you've got a rocket launcher and plenty of ground to take him on.'"

"neither of which we have," says 73-6.

"'The pro-est way to take Gorrick down is with a sticky jump up to his head and then rockets to the weak spot. He'll buck you off, so you'll have to stick the landing twice. Trivia: Gorrick's name comes from Designer A.V. Garuda's Professor of Linguistics, who-'"

"Thanks, Keesh," says Sara. "We're good for the professor."
"Just keeping y'all informed in there."
No. 539709 ID: 8eb1e2

You know, we should probably ask about cheat codes. They probably won't work, or won't last long if they do, but it might be worth a try.
No. 539713 ID: 256d52

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say cheat codes are probably a terrible idea.

On the bright side, with two people it should be pretty easy to get it to chase one of you while the other shoots it in the back.
No. 539716 ID: 07e3a8

So... we need to get on it's back an send a harpoon or two directly into its spine. (Or more, presuming the rocket launcher does more damage than the harpoon gun).

I don't think we have room to futz around disabling its arms at this range.

>cheat codes
...actually, I think it might be bad if those worked. Seems to me cheat access would benefit the hacker we're hunting way more than it would us.

Here's hoping the only one who can cheat around here is Deneb.
No. 539721 ID: bf54a8

lure it down the tower, then sara gets a gun and snipes it's back from the vantage.
No. 539723 ID: 32e092

Good plan.
No. 539972 ID: 8cda14
File 137870738787.png - (15.78KB , 800x600 , 54a.png )

73-6 bolts down the tower. Gorrick lumbers after him, grinding and scrabbling with its chitinous talons.

He makes it about halfway down before one catches him on the side and knocks him the rest of the way to the ground.
No. 539973 ID: 8cda14
File 137870741352.png - (17.80KB , 800x600 , 54.png )

He has 68 health left. He's not sure why he knows this, but he does, as clear as the not-nose on his not-face.
He scrambles to his feet. Gorrick is coming, its unspeakable maw alive and lashing.
"sara! shoot it! shoot!"
"The gun needs to respawn still!"
"how long will that take?"
"Ten seconds!"
"i don't have ten seconds!"
"Sorry! Sorry! Watch the knockback or you're gonna fall to your death!"
No. 539974 ID: 96c896

Use that lift near you and head up to get that other weapon pickup. Also shoot the glowing weak point on its back once you're up there.
No. 539975 ID: 8bfdba

It's a quadruped, they're all bad at turning but faster. Try circling to the other side of the tower while unloading spikes into the legs.
No. 539976 ID: 26e322

Ready that weapon if you have more shots, see if you can nail it in the arms. Back away to that weapon spawn, go slow or fast just keep your distance from the beast and avoid the sides.
No. 539980 ID: 8cda14
File 137871047090.png - (17.30KB , 800x600 , 55.png )

73-6 circles round, gazing up at Gorrick's glistening head, then bolts.
At the foot of the weapon-spawn platform he leaps into what he hopes to God is a boost-pad.

He is lifted bodily upward toward the pickup. It's all he can do to land on his feet as Gorrick churrs and stomps behind him.

He stumbles to the weapon spawn and shoves one metallic fist inside it.
No. 539981 ID: 8cda14
File 137871048132.png - (11.17KB , 800x600 , 56.png )

73-6 has found the rocket pod.

Now this is a fucking gun.
No. 539983 ID: 96c896

Alright, start shooting it in the face until it dies! Also, do some running and gunning.
No. 539984 ID: 3c29ee

dont just stroke it use it!
No. 539986 ID: d2995c

You should be able to tell how much ammo you have (or if ammo is a thing here), right? If you have plenty (and no overly long cooldown/reload between shots) start unloading at him; otherwise wait for when he tries his bite attack.
No. 539987 ID: 26e322

Blast its arms, you'll have trouble getting into position to defeat it until you disable the claw attacks.
No. 539989 ID: 4a20fa

You need to get up at his back.

Fire at your feet.
No. 540011 ID: 07e3a8

68 health out of how much? 100?

>rocket pod.
Excellent. Now you just need to get on its back.

...you may have to shoot it in the face first, as a distraction.
No. 540028 ID: 703359

start shooting at it, but keep in mind its weak point is on its back, if we keep it busy long enough for the gun to re-spawn sara will have a clear shot at it. we just need to keep it busy until then.
No. 540082 ID: b0d4ec
File 137880095413.png - (92.12KB , 800x600 , 58.png )

73-6 leaps and fires a rocket at his feet.
He is catapulted over Gorrick, and sinks a rocket into his weak spot.
Finally, the wormbeast tangibly responds, quivering and roaring. It stumbles for a moment onto one foreleg.

But the force from the second detonation and his own relative inexperience have knocked 73-6 from his projected path. He overshoots Gorrick, failing to get on its back, and lands shaken on the other side. He's at 35 health, now.

"5 seconds!" Sara waves desperately from the tower. "Just 5 seconds! Hold on!"
No. 540092 ID: 856831

Circle-strafe! Rocket-spam the legs before he takes another swing at you!
No. 540105 ID: 07e3a8

Ouch. Here's hoping this map has health packs. And that the weapon spawn doesn't grace Sarah with whatever the mandatory melee joke weapon is.

If we're on the ground now, we can try and keep our distance (strafing is a good idea- this thing is probably much better at charging than turning) while shooting it with rockets to slow it down.
No. 540117 ID: 96c896

I think you should just play defensively and disable its limbs, now.
No. 540138 ID: 26e322

Defense! Back off and target the claws.
No. 540139 ID: 4a20fa

Never let up on the offensive. Kick off the bounce pad to catch some air again.
No. 540159 ID: 7dbd6b

If you want to play dangerously, you can try rocket jumping one more time. That would leave you at 2 HP.
On the other hand, not doing that would leave you with 3 HP if you get hit again (or at least I think that you get invincibility frames after being hit, and the ground didn't do damage).

You have Eye-Aimbots now though, and the MOUTH is a weak point as well. Voting for a rocket to the face.
No. 540199 ID: 1f8505


Serpentine! SERPENTINE!
No. 540208 ID: 888df6

Let's play this conservatively. 73-6's inexperience is really showing here, and it's hurting him. As in, he is literally causing himself injury. Which is something we can't afford.

So let's buy time for our super-expert to arm herself so that we can properly tackle this beast. There is zero reason for 73-6 to try to do this himself.
No. 540209 ID: a9603c
File 137888251262.png - (11.54KB , 800x600 , 59.png )

73-6 scrambles around Gorrick's side, trying to get away from its lashing, stomping front. He sprints along the edge of the bridge, and it whips its snakey head around to follow him.

"It spawned!"
Sara's voice trills victorious from the tower.
"73-6! I got it!"
"shoot it! shoot it!
No. 540210 ID: a9603c
File 137888251616.png - (15.60KB , 800x600 , 60.png )

Gorrick twists round toward 73-6, and roars with pain as Sara unloads a fusillade of harpoons into its back. It rears up and stumbles forward.

Whatever pathing AI it had was specialized for a large, open space. As it hits the bridge, one clawed foot scrapes down and precariously off toward the drop below.
Gorrick teeters.
No. 540211 ID: 96c896

Shoot dat foot. Also, grab the armor.
No. 540212 ID: 32e092

Shoot the inside of the foot that's still on the bridge, or the bridge-facing side of it's head. An explosion in either place should cause it to overbalance.
No. 540220 ID: 3c29ee

Hell just shoot it in the crotch at this point.
No. 540234 ID: 07e3a8

Excellent. Knock it off the edge with a rocket. Make sure it doesn't take you with it.

>more harpoons
So each weapon span point only does one kind of weapon? That tower only gives harpoon guns? Or was that just coincidence?
No. 540260 ID: cf16c8

Definitely go for hitting the foot that's still on the bridge.
No. 540263 ID: 4521d6

This is the video game world; don't knockbacks usually apply to the whole body?
It's probably a better idea to hit it on the side that'll knock it into the gap in the center of mass.
No. 540285 ID: 26e322

Maybe we should scoot to its right side first, so the if the knockback only goes straight back then it'll push it the right way.
No. 540329 ID: 53f9d7
File 137896327238.png - (14.15KB , 800x600 , 61.png )

A shot to the neck on the right side (originally meant for the head, but 73-6 is still working on ingame aim) proves too much for Gorrick's balance.

It falls, churring and squalling the whole way down, and lands heavily and violently on the rocks below. It twitches, then lies still.
No. 540330 ID: 53f9d7
File 137896327690.png - (11.90KB , 800x600 , 62.png )

Sara has bunny hopped down to the bridge. The heavy speargun has retracted into some extradimensional storage space. 73-6 wonders how you do that. Whatever. He's getting the hang of this place.
Sara looks down. "Holy crud."
"yep." 73-6 cradles the rocket launcher. "splat."
No. 540331 ID: 53f9d7
File 137896328030.png - (12.85KB , 800x600 , 63.png )

"I have boobs again," says Sara.
No. 540332 ID: 8bfdba

"Unless I can activate your boobs for hp, I think we need to move on."
No. 540336 ID: bd48c5

...Why didn't she just bolt some onto her chassis before?
No. 540337 ID: 26e322


It would cover up the same area that she sees out of.
No. 540339 ID: 96c896

Ask if she missed them. Do they look like hers used to? Or is it just the avatar's rack?

Looks like we still have no nose. Everything else in place? Check yourself.
No. 540340 ID: bf54a8

no, it was just expensive, and she was barely making more then maintenance.

anyway, say that that is interesting, but you want to get moving in case a gorrick spawner is a thing.
No. 540344 ID: 53f9d7
File 137896675888.png - (9.83KB , 800x600 , 64.png )

"are they like you remember?"
"I don't know. They might be smaller." Sara pokes one experimentally.
"sounds like the world lost a true work of art."
She laughs. "I had a pretty impressive prow back in the day."
"i still don't have a nose."
"Under the helmet, the Roq-thraa totally have noses," says Sara. "I think they have two noses."
"is that what we are?"
"Yep. Rog-thraa hunter-killers."
"well unless my two noses or your two new bazongas dispense health we gotta get a move on. i'm low."
"Right." Sara bounces lefty. "Bloop. Bloop. Jiggle physics."

"Cute." Monica pulls her viewfinder off. "They're checking out the art team's handiwork. That was a miniature heart attack back there. Good job, Ms. Chalthoum."
Keisha nods. She is grooving gently to the beat of her music. One earbud is in, and the other dangles free.
"I'm gonna go check on 88," says Monica. "They wire you, get on the viewfinder and help them out. Clear?"
"Crystal," says Penelope. "Give the big guy mi corazon, if he's still alive."
No. 540345 ID: 53f9d7
File 137896676903.png - (10.43KB , 800x600 , 65.png )

And so here they are.

Penelope and Keisha.

Keisha hasn't said a word since they got here, although between all the shooting and slashing they haven't had much time to talk.

Penelope can hear the music tinny and dub through the freed earbud.

She coughs.

Keisha turns a page.
It doesn't seem like she is going to bother breaking the silence.
No. 540346 ID: 96c896

Ask her if she remembers anything from after you two started drinking last night.

No. 540347 ID: 26e322

Umm... how about asking if shes the type no not remember doing things while drunk? Good a way as any to broach the subject.
No. 540348 ID: d2f928

"I made a promise to someone important. I'm gonna keep it."
No. 540353 ID: d9ce78

is this really the best time? a hand on her back and an inquisitive look might suffice for now
No. 540354 ID: 56a68f


Agreed, but maybe ask to listen in on some of the music first.
No. 540359 ID: e1609c

"SO, keisha. This is probably gonna suck for me, but I made a promise to drunk you and I may as well keep said promise, so I'll be up front about it. We banged at the club, and you told me to make sure you know when you werent drunk as shit."
No. 540367 ID: 07e3a8

Didn't realize the VR chambers are little upright coffins.

...hmm. Conflicting priorities, now. Part of you doesn't want to wuss out, and should talk to Keesh. The other part of you is worried that if you two get into it, you might miss something. You are kinda the only combat unit on her feet around here.
No. 540381 ID: e1609c

Honestly, its best we get this over with now before something bigger comes up, which we all know it will.
No wussing out now, we are in too deep.
No. 540404 ID: 8bfdba

"So, come here often?"

"You must be Jamaican, because you're Jamaican me crazy."
No. 540406 ID: 96c896

They didn't bang, they just made out a bunch and danced.
No. 540410 ID: 97ea0c
File 137902392053.png - (8.92KB , 800x600 , 66.png )

"Soo Keesh." Penelope scoots a little closer. "You the kind of person to forget things when you've drunk a lot?"
"No." Keisha turns the page. "I can hold my liquor."
"How much of the other night do you remember?"
"I remember," says Keisha, looking up from the guide, "me telling yo ass directly not to come into that club, and you ignoring me and coming in anyway."
No. 540411 ID: e1609c

I told you then that wouldnt exactly fly with command, keish. I had to keep eyes on you, kinda my job.
No. 540414 ID: 07e3a8

*Cough* Well, you got me there. Trusting other people's security comes hard with this kind of job.

...do you regret that I did?
No. 540417 ID: 97ea0c
File 137902586288.png - (8.65KB , 800x600 , 67.png )

"Yeah," admits Penelope. "I did."
"Trusting other people's security comes hard with the job, man. I don't know." Penelope clears her throat. "Do you, uh... regret that I did?"

"When did I say that?" says Keisha.

Penelope remembers to breathe, and exhales in relief. Keisha raises an eyebrow and turns back to her book. "You shoulda seen the look on your face just then. All y'all take my ass way too serious except Sara."

"So you had a good time?"
"I didn't have a bad time."
"And you remember it all?"
"I do."

There's a silence. Keisha turns another page.

"So what are you going to do about it?" she asks, not looking up. Her voice is quieter than usual.
No. 540418 ID: e1609c

"Ask if ya wanna do it again some time? Maybe go on some dates?"
No. 540419 ID: e1609c

And to be fair, you do kinda got that imposing badass mojo going on mosta the time.
No. 540424 ID: f39bbc

Holy mother of fuck, you're in red-territory waiting to find out if your respective partners in crime are going to kack it in cyberspace. Can we please hold off on relationship discussion drama until we get to a place and time that it might not be a lethal distraction? Any moment now we could have a Famtomas courier, technician or team showing up and hitting the, "Oh shit!" button.
So please be on your freaking toes agent before you all get gunned down by an incompetent mook with a SMG that you ignored.
No. 540428 ID: 07e3a8

There's only one door to the room and we're facing it, and the radio's open. There's not a whole lot more she can be doing in the way of aggressive guarding of the VR coffins.

>So what are you going to do about it?
*grin* Up my game, I guess. I'd like to do a hell of a lot better than not bad.
No. 540439 ID: 26e322

Ask her on a proper date, that's what.
No. 540459 ID: e1609c

voting this
No. 540644 ID: 70b5eb
File 137922670280.png - (8.51KB , 800x600 , 68.png )

"Step up my game, obviously," says Penelope. "Creo que I can do better than not bad. You want to go get coffee or something, sometime?"

"I don't drink coffee," says Keisha.
No. 540645 ID: 70b5eb
File 137922671684.png - (8.22KB , 800x600 , 69.png )

"But I guess before last night I didn't kiss girls." She smiles. Penelope's heart does a triple handstand. "After we get out of here, aight? So watch my ass."
No. 540646 ID: 32e092

"Damn right I will."
No. 540649 ID: 07e3a8

>So watch my ass.

After that, bask in your success for a moment. Then try using the wire to check that Monica's still alright, since it's been a few minutes and she ain't exactly a fighter type.

Hopefully whatever Sev was on about earlier stopped and the wires work. Hate to go through all the trouble of getting this thing stuck on your head for nothing.
No. 540650 ID: f39bbc

That's a pretty distracting ass to watch apparently, make sure to watch things besides her ass as well.
No. 540849 ID: ab9230
File 137939703306.png - (11.32KB , 800x600 , 71.png )

"Don't you worry, Chalthoum," says Penelope. "I ain't stopped watching your ass since you came in here."
Keisha winks and goes back to her book.
"How you doing down there, Monica?" wires Penelope. "Everything okay?"
"More or less," says Monica. "88 wants us to move him now, though, I guess. Can I borrow you?"
"Can't do it yourself, huh?"
"That's what I have big strong field agents for."
"Be there in two shakes, sugar." Penelope heads for the door. "Stay here, Keesh. Anything goes down, just holler."
"Gotcha," says Keisha.

Penelope heads out with a spring in her step. She wonders whether 73-6 is having the kind of luck she is.
No. 540850 ID: ab9230
File 137939703937.png - (11.02KB , 800x600 , 72.png )

"kill it," says 73-6. "kill it kill it kill it"
No. 540851 ID: ab9230
File 137939713080.png - (16.16KB , 800x600 , 73.png )

"SPUDOW," says Sara, and her gun follows suit.

The pouncebeast topples bodily from his chest, its midsection caving in at the center and flowering out at the edges.

"thanks," he says, propping himself up.
"No problem, duderino." Sara lowers her double-barrel. "Now that you're done making new friends, check this out."
"check what out?"
"Over the cliff edge, here."
No. 540852 ID: ab9230
File 137939713656.png - (6.53KB , 800x600 , 74.png )

A glitchy metropolis of haphazard geometries stretches out below the cliff edge.

"is that some kind of level i haven't seen?" asks 73-6.
"It's not anything I've seen either," says Sara. "At this bit in DM_Ridgeheight there's supposed to just be void, not... whatever that thing is."
"it looks like some kind of city."
"There's a city level or two in Blastlands." Sara peers into the dark mass of buildings. "None of them looked like that, though."
No. 540853 ID: 07e3a8

So... crazy elder-god AI architecture, or we've found our hacker's place. Or a hacker's place.

I guess we investigate. Is there a way to approach where we aren't making ourselves nice and visible and vulnerable? That place may have defenses, defenders, etc.
No. 540854 ID: 96c896

Somebody level edited it in, obviously. Any way to get down there?

Hey ask if Sara's single. Then ask if she wants to go out to eat somewhere after this, or something less conspicuous, maybe.
No. 540855 ID: 07e3a8

>ask if Sara's single, ask her out
What? No no no. That's too direct for their adorable little transhuman thing. Stick to flirting, for now. Let her enjoy her badlands fantasy, and being useful again.

Besides, unlike with Penny, we might actually have things to be distracted from, here. Anything in here could be out to get us.

And we know Deneb is listening. He/She already knows Sara can be threatened to get to us, no need to reinforce that, or tempt fate.
No. 540898 ID: 2f4b71

>Penelope conveniently led away
No. 540923 ID: c828c0

Clearly she forgot that our comm's are hacked.
No. 540927 ID: 07e3a8

She never knew! Deneb didn't let us tell anyone, and the others apparently bought Sev's stammered idiocy about everything being fine and not noticing he was talking to thin air.

Jeeze, for a turncoat assassin, and someone who manages assassins for a living, I'm disappointed in Penny's and Monica's levels of paranoia. They should have caught that.
No. 540957 ID: 5a2deb
File 137948147581.png - (4.87KB , 800x600 , 75.png )

"they must have level edited it in," says 73-6. "a bunch of weird awakened fps enemies making a place to live."

"Huh," says Sara. "Neat!" She paces the cliff edge, looking down at the city below.
73-6 watches her wind up and kick a pebble off the ledge. It bounces and skids into the distance.
"well, i'm glad they're using physics on things besides knockers," offers 73-6. "what are you doing?"
"Looking for a way down, of course. That place looks crazy."
"mos eisley-esque."
"I didn't know you'd seen Star Wars!"
"Did you know there was an animated one? In like, turn-of-the-century CG?"
"Yeah! No one's heard of it!" Sara keeps skirting the cliff. "Clone Wars, it was called, I think. Even worse than the Prequels. Terrible. I loved it. And that's not even going into the Christmas Special-"
"hey, sara."
"Yah?" Sara stops and turns around.
"uh. nothing." 73-6 clears his throat. "i thought that ground looked unstable."
"Don't you worry about me, Mr. Man. If the terrain was destructable Blastlands would be a very different shooter. Oh, gnarly!"
"Check it out." Sara hops across to a low black platform. "Elevator down."
"going for the obvious entrance might not be the best idea. are there any other ways down?"
"Uhh, I guess we could try and hop down from rock to rock," says Sara. "I could do it, but I dunno about you. No offense."
No. 540958 ID: 96c896

Maybe you can make a joke about how this whole VR thing is almost like a date.

Also use the elevator, as to avoid death. Maybe you should make more of an effort to get used to moving around in here?
No. 540959 ID: bf54a8

BOTH! you take the elevator, she does the jumping, and snipes things if they decide to try and kill you.
No. 540964 ID: 3adc3f

This. Don't forget tactics just because of the pink ground!
No. 541075 ID: 4f1dac

I'm gonna play devil's advocate here and suggest three good reasons not to split up:
1) You're doing the divide part of divide and conquer *for the enemy.* It's a lot easier to ambush one person than multiple people.
2) We don't know what a city that is off the map is doing in a FPS-based world. Is it even a place that combat can happen or is it no-damage area?
3) Going both ways makes you and Sara collectively easier to spot and more threatening. Right now you have no idea what numbers, weapons or hostility there is on the way to this city. Fanning out and advancing like an attack looks like an attack.
No. 541098 ID: 5a2deb
File 137957961650.png - (37.08KB , 800x600 , 76.png )

"you take the rocks, i take the elevator," says 73-6. "cover me, yeah?"
"Yessir," says Sara. She salutes smartly and hops off the cliff edge.

73-6 activates the elevator and trundles downward as Sara leaps gracefully from spit to spit.
"Hey there, slowpoke," she says. "Get good."
"that's no way to talk to your date to the dance."
"My high school actually had a prom called Mortal Prombat that was not dissimilar to this."
"There was a plastic severed head in the punch bowl."
"which was better?"
"The one with less two-stepping and slowdancing with Trevor Arkin, and more shooting aliens, I think," says Sara. "And no hair holos. Jeez, what were we all thinking?"
"i don't know. that was before my time."
"Really? How old are you?"
"couple years."
"Oh! Right."

Near the halfway point, the weird robotic ghost shows.
"there's a weird robotic ghost, sara."
"That's a Hyk Elder. They're NPCs. Totally harmless."
"its arms are little chainsaws."
"It's a cultural thing."
No. 541099 ID: 5a2deb
File 137957962028.png - (14.90KB , 800x600 , 77.png )

The elder floats a few feet up in the air, tracking smoothly with the platform.
"uh, hello," says 73-6.

"wHAT bUSINESS hAVE yOU iN fREIGN wHAT bUSINESS," says the elder, in a voice like an auditory newspaper ransom note. "oUTSIDER oUTSIDER"
No. 541100 ID: 7dbd6b

Health pickups.
No. 541109 ID: bf54a8

"passing through, we have no quarrel with this city"
No. 541144 ID: 07e3a8

Hmm. Now, the real question is if the NPC is just part of the crazy Deneb setting, or if it's the welcoming committee for a hacker. Presumably, if a hacker (or groups of hackers? We don't know if this place we're approaching is a cyber-stalls thing, or a solitary fortress) edited in that city over there, they'd put up some kind of security.
No. 541472 ID: 4f1dac

"Not sure yet, this is my first time here. Can I get the introductory tour?"
No. 541529 ID: 5a2deb
File 137983870702.png - (11.82KB , 800x600 , 78.png )

"i don't know," says 73-6. "this is my first time here. care to give me a tour?"






No. 541530 ID: 7bbaae

Tell him that unless he can tell you where you CAN go, you're gonna have to just do whatever you damn well please.
No. 541531 ID: bf54a8

"then can you tell or show us a path to the other side. or you can escort us through the town so you can be sure we are not trying to do any tricks."
No. 541667 ID: 5a2deb
File 137991485622.png - (13.57KB , 800x600 , 79.png )

"well you're going to have to tell me somewhere i can go," says 73-6. "maybe you could lead me through? we're just trying to pass through. no trouble."

"nO nO tHROUGH pASS tOWN fOR yOU" The AI waves its arms in a glitchy, low fps flail and hovers closer, barring 73-6 from seeing the bizarre metropolis. "nO oUTSIDER bUSINESS tO sTEAL gEM aND sCHOOL"

"Okay," says Sara, still bouncing down the mountainside. "Maybe I should just shoot this guy."
No. 541668 ID: 7bbaae

Hey, 73 has a gun too. I think it is time to get aggressive though.

Shove your gun in his face and say he doesn't have a choice in the matter. Also ask him why they have a school. What are they learning? What are the gems for anyway?
No. 541669 ID: 26e322

Unless we know some magic password that seems like our only option. But before shooting it, ask whose domain this is. Or something along those lines.
No. 541672 ID: bf54a8

"deneb called for me"

be ready to dodge.
No. 541673 ID: 5690c2

Yeah, namedrop time.
No. 541709 ID: 07e3a8

...is there a point to shooting him? Do npcs do anything in this game?
No. 541762 ID: 7de8b1

Yeah, definitely try the name-drop first..

Would seriously suck if we got aggressive and this turns out to be one of those games where the neutral NPCs are categorically invulnerable.
No. 541827 ID: 5a2deb
File 137999861333.png - (12.98KB , 800x600 , 80.png )

"deneb sent for me," says 73-6.
"dENEB" The elder AI's reaction is immediate. It drops to the ground before 73-6 and lowers its head. Its arms hang limp and inanimate by its sides. "dENEB dENEB"
"yeah. him. er, or it."
No. 541829 ID: bf54a8

describe the guy's hideout.
No. 541837 ID: 7bbaae

Huh, Deneb rewards them with gems? Tell the AI of the one you seek. Delta Apex, or Dartline Alchemist, or whatever he's called in here. D.A.
No. 541838 ID: 5690c2

You need healing, and then you need to see Deneb. Unless you/Sara think you can buy anything at the store; might be worth stopping there first.
No. 541896 ID: 07e3a8

I don't suppose you know where <purple visor dude's pretentious hacker name> hangs out, do you?
No. 542699 ID: 5c9e53
File 138061158058.png - (21.16KB , 800x600 , 81.png )

"i need to find dartline alchemist. have you heard of him? d.a.?"
"has a purple visor thing?"
"all right. i just need some health pickups, then. and then i guess we're seeing deneb."
"you got it, big guy."

"This is so weird," says Sara. "It's like one of those creepy video game urban legend easter egg type things."
The city is pale and poorly textured, with bizarre polygons and hazy glitches rolling across the rooftops like corrupted clouds. Walls lead to blank, hollow spaces and shaders occasionally splay bizarre flecks of light and wireframe across the closed streets.
73-6 and Sara walk beneath a lamppost that is clipping through the side of a building.
The elder bobs along in front of them, humming arrhythmic and tuneless.
"Wait," whispers Sara. "Look."
She points ahead. "The helmet guy. That's a Belorian."
73-6 sees an armor-clad creature leaning against a wall, strangely at ease and well-rendered. It seems to be waiting for something.
"Belorians are player models. I think that's a guy, not an AI."
"another hacker?"
Sara nods. "The first one we've seen. I wonder how he got in."
No. 542700 ID: 7dbd6b

Just nod and pass by. You're doing something here, and he'll probably assume you're with his group.
No. 542702 ID: bf54a8

reply if they ask, but everyone in here except you was considered 'in the group' already.
No. 542703 ID: 7bbaae

Go "Hey. You're not an outsider?"
No. 542706 ID: 4f1dac

The hacker we're after will not be happy to see us if they know who we are, and they will be better at identifying us than the other way around. Tipping off our target that we're hunting for him by talking (whether heard by himself or one of his associates) also seems like a bad idea, so let's not *risk* that.

This place is Deneb's show, we are babes in the woods who are surviving because of *Deneb's protection,* so let's see Deneb. We'll need help *and permission* to do our mission in Deneb's goddamn kingdom, and we don't know what the local laws and customs are. It's stupid to risk pissing off Deneb when apparently they're much more scary than the objective.
No. 542714 ID: 2f2cd6

I'm assuming the hacker has his own setup, somewhere.

My first impulse is we're better off just not bugging him. He's waiting for someone, and up to his own business.

Then part of me wonders how we're supposed to recognize Dartline if we see him. He'll be hidden under a player model, too, right?

Maybe we could pretend to be idiot fatomas here to see Dartline? Except that could backfire if this particular hacker don't care for Dartline or fatomas.
No. 542733 ID: 4a20fa

No. 542796 ID: cf2bca
File 138070094583.png - (6.90KB , 800x600 , 82.png )

73-6 tries to just pass the man by.


He taps 73-6 on the shoulder as he passes.

"Fresh blood."
"how do you know?"
"You're following the bot. Don't know your way around. And your voice synthesizer is badly configured. Sounds like you're in a windtunnel fulla bees."
"must be the mic."
"What're you doing in Dubbee, fresh blood?" His voice is layered in an accusative suspicion. "This is a dangerous place for tourist jockeys."
No. 542797 ID: bf54a8

"we are looking for someone that doesn't want to be found, and was... 'invited' by deneb from the outside."
No. 542799 ID: 7bbaae

Say you're here looking for someone. Don't namedrop deneb to someone who is likely to flee in terror from you by association.
No. 542800 ID: cf2bca
File 138070254528.png - (10.56KB , 800x600 , 84.png )

"i'm here looking for someone," says 73-6.


"someone who doesn't want me to find them." 73-6 has a sudden unpleasant feeling of stretching as a polygon on his head snaps and rubber bands into infinity above his head, then back into place just as quickly.
This place is glitchy as hell.

"Come on, fresh blood."
The man places himself between 73-6 and his floating escort.
"Be specific."
No. 542801 ID: 7bbaae

Dartline Alchemist.
No. 542802 ID: bf54a8

just hold up a gun at him
No. 542803 ID: bf54a8

no, no one that could possibly report to him should know.
No. 542804 ID: eaabf5

do not fucking answer that. what are you, 2 years old?
No. 542816 ID: 1f10fd

Ask him why he cares.
No. 542826 ID: 4a27cd

"What's up, you know someone who sells tours or something?"
No. 543104 ID: 39d3e7
File 138096094060.png - (16.48KB , 800x600 , 84.png )

"why do you care?" 73-6 reflexively goes to crack his firing knuckle with his thumb, then realizes he has no hands. "you selling tours or something?"

"It's not safe out here," says the Belorian. "If you're looking for someone dangerous, you might get hurt."
"i think we'll be fine."
"I don't think so."

"What- whoa whoa whoa" Sara turns around to see that 73-6 has already pulled his gun out. "What are-"
"I think you and your girlfriend," says the Belorian, who has drawn a weapon of his own, "need to come with me, now."
No. 543108 ID: 7bbaae

Which weapon is that, exactly? Does he have you outgunned?

Try not to start shooting. You don't have the advantage of surprise, only the advantage of numbers, and if he can oneshot you it doesn't matter how good sara is.

Also I'd like to point out that he's just insisting you come with him, rather than trying to kill you. You pulled a gun on him, not the other way around. So I kinda think maybe we should go with him.
No. 543111 ID: bf54a8

he's being vague and evasive, but i think that is for everyone else, not towards us.
No. 543114 ID: 469e5a

what kind of weapon is that? if you can out damage him then do so. don't go with him if you can help it
No. 543122 ID: 6b5873

Its a MG you have a RPG(i think) you well do more dmg in one shot then he can in one sec
No. 543124 ID: bf54a8

unless it's a hacked gun that just uses that texture.
No. 543131 ID: 2f2cd6

>you need to come with me, now
Yeah? Where to?

His answer decides if we risk fighting this out or going with him. Someplace private to talk? I think we can swing that. To meet with the local hackers council? That sounds like bad news.

That won't matter if he's at full health. Sev isn't.
No. 543135 ID: 57a559

tell him he's being very rude
I mean, doing a standoff in a city that hates strangers?
You think that's gonna be fine with the locals?
No. 543194 ID: 1151a4
File 138104609854.png - (12.51KB , 800x600 , 85.png )

"you really think a standoff is a good idea?" asks 73-6. "in a city that hates outsiders?"

The Belorian looks back a moment at one of the citizens of Dubbee.
"runtime.error animation missing (idle03)," it says. "runtime.error animation missing (idle03) runtime.error animation missing (idle03)."

"Yeah," says the Belorian. "I think I'll be okay."

He points his gun at 73-6's chest. 73-6 has no idea what kind it is. "The locals only react when they take damage. You're the one with the splash damage rocket launcher, cowboy."
No. 543202 ID: 7bbaae

Couldn't Sara like, point her non-splash gun at him? I would still, however, prefer not actually shooting him, and instead finding out who he is. Sara telling us what gun he's using could be useful as well.
No. 543214 ID: 2f2cd6

Still think we should ask where to.
No. 543294 ID: 26e322

I think maybe we should step back a bit here. See if we can't put both the guns away, explain that we this is our first time here and maybe get some exposition on this place out of it.
No. 543296 ID: 7dbd6b

Huh, if only you had some sort of aim-bot that could figure out where to put a missile that would result in damaging this guy but not the NPCs.
Or a friend with a Sniper Rifle that probably does immense damage on a headshot.
No. 543333 ID: 10cf60

Wait, we're a Forkin' Undead Techno-Ninja Assassin, why are we in a stand-off pointing a rocket-launcher point-blank at this dweeb?
No. 543334 ID: 22ee2f

Because this is a game world, not real life. We're not that anymore.
No. 543365 ID: d6c045


switch to your melee weapon and attack him with it!

rightclick to bash him with the butt of your weapon!

but no, seriously, circle to one side and try to position Sara behind him so she can get an easy headshot. try to bullshit and raise your hands up, saying 'all right, all right, you got me'
No. 543366 ID: 7a843b

Fer fuck's sake, back down! You've got low health, your opponent already has his gun drawn, and you're point-blank armed with only a rocket launcher! If the shot he gets off as soon as you make a move doesn't kill you, then the splash damage will. And as an added bonus the blast'll set off the locals, who'll likely target Sara after you blow your dumb ass up. You want to get Sara killed too? No? SO STOW IT, you idiot!

You and Sara'll just have to figure out how to get out of this situation some way other than direct application of force, okay.
No. 543380 ID: e1609c

God this was such a stupid way to go about things.
For fucks sake, just talk to the dude. Tell him who your after, things cant honestly get any worse at this point and if we dont wind up with an ally then we can try our best to put this dweeb down afterwards.
No. 543400 ID: 1d0a3d

I personally don't think we should put the gun down, but I do think we should cooperate. besides, why would be be so interested in two random newcomers unless he was either guarding the thing we're looking for, or is in some other way related to it? Just follow him, maybe try talking, but make sure both we and Sara are on guard.
No. 543490 ID: b43540
File 138130408537.png - (8.62KB , 800x600 , 86.png )

"where are we going?" asks 73-6.

"You're going to put that gun away," says the Belorian. "And then you and I and her are going to duck down this alley, where we can be a little more discrete, and we're going to talk a little more in detail about why you're here. I'm an administrator. I think I really need to know."
No. 543492 ID: 7bbaae

That seems reasonable.
No. 543496 ID: e9769f

what? why alley? there's no one here other than us and the bots. and why isn't sara pointing her gun at him?
No. 543498 ID: 86a6df

Sara's got her rifle trained on him by now, right? If so, point this out to him and suggest he put away his gun first, then follow cautiously with Sara covering from a reasonable distance. Beware glitches and any attempt to go too far. Tell the NPC to wait.
No. 543499 ID: b43540
File 138130815471.png - (11.21KB , 800x600 , 87.png )

"I don't like that idea."

The Belorian turns his head and sees Sara poking him in the back with her rifle.

"Looks like we got us a three-way standoff, dude," she says. "Put the gun away."
"Have you ever even played this game?" asks the Belorian.
"A lot."
"When was the last fucking time," says the Belorian, "you held someone at gunpoint in Blastlands? The game where you can jump 8 feet in the air and take three rockets to the face? Put the fucking gun down."
No. 543501 ID: 7a843b

Okay, this is getting silly. He's right about this being Blastlands (mostly.) And even though 2 vs. 1 would probably win against him, it'd also likely set the AI citizens against you, and that's a fight you won't win. So the both of you stow your guns.

You'll go into that ally with this "admin," but you're not saying anything until he shows some credentials and you have them checked out. After all, any jackoff can say they're an admin. And even if he is an admin, he may be in cahoots with who you're looking for. Hell, he may even BE who you're looking for.
No. 543502 ID: 57a559

You know we can make the exact same argument for what you're doing here, you know. We're holding you at gunpoint for the same reason you're holding us. Now back off, and let people have their own business because we both know our lives are at stake in this game and we live in a world where people's business are best kept to themselves. Now, unless you have a better justification for this bullshit and we can talk like reasonable people without the fucking guns, just maybe we can talk business. Maybe. So you stop your own fucking cowboy act, or its obvious what's going to happen. A 2v1 so take your own fucking advice buddy. And the girl on my team you talking bad?

She's a goddamn monster.
No. 543504 ID: 22ee2f

If he really is an administrator, he probably has an instakill gun or some shit, though.
No. 543505 ID: 2f2cd6

Alright, we'll take our guns out of your face if you'll do the same.

>on an illegal server run by a mad AI with no human oversight
I'm seeing a problem in this logic.
No. 543517 ID: 7bbaae

Fuck this, just walk away and keep following the NPC who's supposed to be leading you to deneb.
No. 543539 ID: 47d311

Fucker's never heard of headshots before, what a noob.

I bet he can't even darkstep.
No. 543616 ID: 7dbd6b

"Oh hey, look at what the hell 'you're' doing. Snipers do a lot of damage on headshots, don't they?"
No. 543617 ID: 53ba34

he isn't paying attention! jump to the LEFT!
No. 543642 ID: bd48c5

Not to mention that one shot TO THE TORSO won't do shit in an FPS, whereas two people have guns leveled at his head. Not to mention that 73-6 can just switch to the Default Weapon to threaten him with.

Hey, 73-6, is this a standard Unreal style shooter, or does every character get some kind of special power, like deploying forcefields or hacking?

Wait, we're a hacking demigod. Can't we just set his ammo to 00?
No. 543715 ID: ed5374
File 138147268369.png - (19.76KB , 800x600 , 88.png )

Hacking ability means nil without access to any UI to hack. 73-6 would need to find some way to interface with the code of the game.
Of course, a place as glitchy as this could be his best shot.

"he's right," says 73-6. "this is kind of stupid."

And then he leaps to the left.
The Belorian swears loudly and jumps about fifteen feet straight up, shocking Sara enough that her harpoon sails past his head.

You're not supposed to be able to jump that high, thinks 73-6, and then he scrambles out of the way as a grenade bounces out of the Belorian's weapon and detonates where he was just standing.

"oH mY" goes the Elder. "oH mY oH mY"
No. 543718 ID: bd48c5

"Duuuuuuh, I not afraid of you! You only have splash damage weapons! OH SHIT HE CALLED MY BLUFF USE ALL THE SPLASH WEAPONS"

This guy's CLEARLY a noob. Maybe you should just leave.
No. 543719 ID: 7bbaae

If he can jump higher than you, chances are he's hacking. But hey, try using his splash damage against him and getting cozy with the locals while you try to nail him mid-air with a rocket. No chance of friendly fire in mid-air.
No. 543759 ID: 2f2cd6

Well, unless there's a jet pack or a double-jump hack, that guy is wide open for a rocket to the face. Granted, this is a video game, so his path isn't ballistic (instead he can magically control which way he falls), but he should still be easier to hit that otherwise.
No. 543886 ID: 9b043d
File 138156390703.png - (20.33KB , 800x600 , 89.png )

73-6 leaps behind the Elder and lets loose a rocket.

The Belorian is struck, but he must have been at full health; he's unkilled, and 73-6's followup rocket goes wide.
He really should have learned how to rocket juggle.

When the blast starts to clear he sees the Belorian's switched weapons, to some kind of plasma pistol thing.

Whatever it is, it does no splash damage and it melts through 73-6's armor, knocking him down to 22 health.

"oH mY"
No. 543887 ID: 7bbaae

Alright switch back to that other gun you had and start moving erratically while firing back.
No. 543997 ID: 0f6f63

...can we throw mister chainsaw hands at him?

Otherwise moving and shooting are about all we can do. We're low on health, and not keep on finding out what happens when you die in the matrix. At least this guy has Sara shooting at him too.
No. 544020 ID: 47d311

He is too close.

Melee him.
No. 544044 ID: f041ea
File 138162568617.png - (10.82KB , 800x600 , 90.png )

73-6 isn't sure what he was supposed to do, but it looks like rushing forward and decking him with the rocket launcher wasn't what the Belorian was expecting.

He forgets to turn off whatever low gravity thing he's hacking with and sails back, away from 73-6.
No. 544045 ID: f041ea
File 138162569005.png - (10.67KB , 800x600 , 91.png )

Then Sara shoots him through the head, and he shatters into chunky blocks of data before fizzling into nothing.

"What an asshole," says Sara.
No. 544049 ID: 0f6f63

So... did anyone tell either of you what happens when you kill someone in here? Did that guy just slump over braindead in his rig, is he respawning somewhere, or does death transport you to the server's hell or purgatory?

If there were any drops, loot them.

And if he really was an admin and not bluffing, his death will be noticed. You don't want to stick around.
No. 544053 ID: c23ab0

Shit you killed an admin. Grab his stuff and run! Hide it in a chest under some dirt that way when they b& you for griefing you can come back on an alt account
No. 544056 ID: f64e84

We're in with Deneb himself. I don't think we have to worry about moves from the bugs hoping to avoid his notice that are the humans trying to contact us, soooo...Yea.
No. 544067 ID: 7bbaae

Well I sure hope he was actually an enemy and not on our side at all. I guess claiming to be an admin is a huge red flag, though. Can we double-check that with Monica or somebody? There are no admins in this place, right?

Well, regardless, let's follow the Elder again.
No. 544196 ID: f041ea
File 138172905773.png - (7.12KB , 800x600 , 92.png )

"mmmmonica?" says 73-6. "do we know what happened to that guy we just killed?"
"If he had a good enough rig it probably spat him back out all right, just before he fizzled," says Monica. "Otherwise you may have just made some guy in a basement somewhere a vegetable."
"well. he was an asshole."
"Good to hear it. I'm monitoring the bandwidth on the p2p communications in there and it doesn't seem like anything triggered when he choked it."
"he said he was an admin."
"He probably lied, Sev-Three. Deep net's not a place you just go to hang out. Assume everyone is up to something. Good call on neutralizing him."
"it was mostly sara."
"Whichever. We've moved 88 up here to get a better eye on him and make sure he doesn't croak. He sends his love."
"does he?"
"Or a glare. Or something."

73-6 turns his attention to the bobbing powerup the guy dropped. Looks like the weapon he was holding.
"you want that?" he asks.
"Naw, you can take it," says Sara. "Plasma's an easy gun to use, and you need more stuff, wavin' that rocket launcher around everywhere. I'd say you were compensating for something if moldy dudes had things to compensate for."
No. 544200 ID: 7bbaae

Did she just say you don't have a dick? Look at her for a moment, and go "You think I don't have a dick? The Bureau isn't that cruel.". Also, pick up that gun.
No. 544205 ID: d1d788

Hey now, moldies also can have deep psychological issues they need to compensate for.
No. 544206 ID: 0f6f63

Wait, if someone with a good enough rig won't die, how are we gonna be sure we shut down Dartline?

...and I'm guessing these fatomas don't have the best equipment, either.

>if moldy dudes had things to compensate for.
Combining these: >>544205 >>544200

Hey now, moldies also can have deep psychological issues they need to compensate for. Like shooting people with things. Guns are good at compensating at that.

*knowing look* ...and the Bureau ain't that cruel.
No. 544207 ID: 57a559

"Why do you say that? You assume every moldy has a big dick? Well that's not true, there are lady moldies."
No. 544209 ID: f041ea
File 138173608528.png - (15.14KB , 800x600 , 93.png )

73-6 tilts his head. "sara. do you think i don't have a dick?"
"What?" says Sara. "Uhm. Don't you? I mean, do you?"
"the bureau isn't that cruel." 73-6 picks up the Belorian's gun. "we already have enough psychological issues on our plate."
"Oh." Sara's model is incapable of blushing. "Yeah, but. I mean. Does it... work? You know?"
"does it work?"
"Can you... I, uhm... Can you, you know. Pee? Out of it?"
"all plumbing is accounted for."
"Oh." says Sara. "Cool. I mean, good for you. I mean. That's good."

"oH mY" says the Elder, and then: "dENEB dENEB dENEB"
"i'm pretty banged up, mr. elder thing. what about that hospital you mentioned?"
No. 544210 ID: 7bbaae

What, seriously. C'mon. Tell him to get gems off his mind and take you to the hospital first, or else you'll have to complain to deneb about him.
No. 544218 ID: 53ba34

health pickups, this is a game, pickups need to spawn, ether on a health spawn pad or edited in.
No. 544292 ID: d2995c

Say we wouldn't want to bother Deneb for health when we could just stop by the hospital on the way there.
No. 544293 ID: 0f6f63

Surely we don't need to bother the elder god for simple health pickups. They have to spawn somewhere, right?

...and how are we making sure Dartline stays dead when we find him? If he can afford a good rig with safety features, killing him here is just an inconvenience.
No. 544300 ID: 7dbd6b

Deneeb won't bother with pickup spawning, she'll just set PlayerHealth=Infinity. TO THE GOD-BOT.
No. 544303 ID: 8281ca
File 138182136753.png - (14.20KB , 800x600 , 94.png )

"seriously? get your mind off gems and get me to a hospital, elder."
"i wouldn't want to bother deneb with this when i could just go to the hospital, right?"
"wELL" The elder's arm tics up and down for a couple broken frames as it thinks. "oH mY oH mY wELL oKAY hOSPITAL"
It turns around and glides off down the street. 73-6 follows. He looks back at Sara, who is still wavering in the street.
"you coming?"
"What?" she says. "Oh! Yes. Yeah, totally. Hospital."
She follows the two artificial men with a newly pensive hesitance to her steps.
No. 544304 ID: 8281ca
File 138182142213.png - (9.71KB , 800x600 , 95.png )

"And then mi abuelita comes in," says Penelope over Monica's laughter. "And she's like noooo! Nooooooo mi niña mi chiquita solamente no ya tienes un hombre bueno and she's crying all over the place and telling me I'm wrong and my mama's still crossing herself all over and my dad he just puts down the paper as cool as you like and he stands up and puts his hand on my shoulder and he says, I always wanted a son anyway, now get in the car because we're going to the Titty Bar."

"Such forward thinking," says Monica.

"And little abuelita chased the sedan all the way down the block."

"My cousin?" says Monica. "When he was coming out? His parents are, like, you know, they're nice, but they're these old italians and they're wicked 20th century about that sort of thing, so he gets me and my sister, and for his birthday we make him one of those rainbow layer cakes? And then we cover it in plain old chocolate frosting. And anyway his parents come over and we're there and he blows out the candles and stuff and then I cut the cake, and of course on the inside it's like: pow! Fabulous.
"And his dad says, 'Hey, judging from the outside of that thing you'd never think the inside was all rainbowy.
"And then my cousin says, 'Speaking of that, dad, mom, there's something I gotta tell you two.'"

"I shoulda used a cake," says Penelope.
No. 544305 ID: 8281ca
File 138182143518.png - (9.03KB , 800x600 , 96.png )

And then from where Keisha is sitting, a tinny little compressed voice starts singing La Bamba on loop.

"Keesh?" says Penelope. "Is that you?"

Keisha looks up and pops an earphone out. "What? Oh." She tilts her head and looks around, listening to Ritchie Valens' centuries-old voice La-La-Bambaing. "Naw, that's not me." Her eyebrow cocks. "Oh, shit."

She points down to the dead Fantoma lying in a pool of blood at the base of the ledge. "That's his phone, girl."
No. 544309 ID: d92f71

answer the phone and say "Moshi Moshi, Ronado Des."
No. 544310 ID: 7bbaae

Well, you can't answer it, that'd result in a force being sent immediately. Breaking the phone would delay them figuring out something is wrong, but they will eventually come to check it out.

Probably gotta prepare for a siege, and tell 73-6 to hurry it up in there.
No. 544318 ID: 0f6f63

Pick up the phone, and look at the caller ID without answering. (We'll have to make a call if we're better off letting it go to voicemail, or trying to bluff).

...I don't suppose we have phone hacking gear, or voice changing equipment? (Potentially Monica has some spy gear, or Keesh has DJ stuff that might work?). Or that you're good at disguising your voice? Whoever's calling will expect a guy to answer, and I don't know how cooperative 88 is feeling (or how alive he sounds?), or how good his acting is.
No. 544325 ID: 2f4b71

If we do answer it, put the phone down and press the answer button with something you don't mind losing (and put it on speaker). The Fantomas aren't the smartest cookies, but it's best not to assume any surprises aren't deadly ones.
No. 544341 ID: 4a20fa

>Pick up the phone, and look at the caller ID without answering.
That bit.
No. 544357 ID: 7a843b

Definitely check the caller ID first and run the number if it's unblocked. But even if it comes up his mom or girlfriend or something like that we can't just ignore it. We've got no idea if anybody calling him is affiliated with the Fantomas or not.

We don't have the equipment to fake the guy's voice and we also don't know how he speaks or behaves, so talking is out. But if we can keep it to a text conversation then we could fake our way through.

Here's the plan: Answer the phone but play a horribly loud screechy feedback noise into the microphone, as if it was busted, then hang up. Then send a text message to the calling number apologizing for that, explaining that you fumbled the phone into the toilet when you went to answer and the mic and speaker are fucked up now. Hopefully they'll continue the conversation in text only.

Make sure to flip back through the text messages the guy sent before to get an idea of his texting style to emulate.
No. 544486 ID: 610c86
File 138199641133.png - (10.18KB , 800x600 , 97.png )

Penelope pats the corpse down and finds his phone.
There's a little blood on it, but it's functional.

"Laaaa la Bamba," it sings, displaying the caller ID as someone called SGT.
No. 544487 ID: 7e4b54

I don't think that's a name, I think that's a rank. SarGeanT. Anyway, uh, answer it and pretend you're the guy's girlfriend and like he's in the bathroom after a bout of whoopie?
No. 544493 ID: 0f6f63

...idiot girlfriend might be the only act we have to play, actually. Remember, vapid and ditzy.
No. 544495 ID: 773e2d

Actually, why not hand the phone to keesh? Bet she can pull off one hell of an act.
No. 544509 ID: 440525

No female can answer the phone as the people we killed were male!
No. 544514 ID: 2f4b71

Or just... don't answer. 'Lazy Fantomas is goofing off and ignoring his phone' is probably not an unusual occurrence. 'Unknown person trying to chutzpah their way through a conversation' gets the cavalry called in.
No. 544519 ID: 01531c

Go ahead and have Monica do her Bereau thing to it, she can trace the call and make it look like the signal dropped to 0 bars!
No. 544526 ID: 7a843b

Let it go to voicemail. This guy missing a call may raise suspicion, or it may not, but you lot trying to bullshit your way through answering it will raise the alarm.

Make sure to check the voicemail message afterwards, if one was left, to find out who called and what it was about.

Also send Penelope to keep an eye on the building entrance. If someone is sent to investigate why this mook didn't pickup, we'll want to know before they step inside, see all the blood, and call it in.
No. 544527 ID: 75a612

I'm not sure we can afford to let it go. What if he's been calling other people we killed? No one answering raises alarms. If he thinks his people are just doing their jobs badly, that'll make 'em mad, but not bring the same kind of response as quickly.
No. 544552 ID: e92bf4
File 138207867894.png - (7.55KB , 800x600 , 98.png )

"Keesh." Penelope tosses her the phone. "Can you do Ditzy Girlfriend?"
"Aight." Keisha pulls out her other earbud. "Watch and learn, sugar."
She clears her throat and taps her chest a couple times. Then she says, in a high sorority sister twang, "Ya hello? Who's this?"
"Ohh, you're one of his work friends? That's so legit."
"Oh, no. This isn't Arnold."
"No, this is his friend." She giggles, and Penelope could swear it was someone else. "You know. His friend."
"He's in the bathroom right now. Sorreee. I could take a message."
"Can I ask you to hold on for a second? Okay. Sorreeee."

She puts a hand on the phone. "Big sergeant man bought it but he says pass the phone to Arnold. It's important."
No. 544553 ID: 7bbaae

Okay go toss it in the toilet.
No. 544556 ID: 4a20fa

Ahaha, yes.
No. 544576 ID: 75a612

We don't have a toilet to drop it into here, though. And I dunno how long it would take to find one. I suppose if anyone brought a water bottle, we could dunk it in that?

...is 88 up to playing the idiot fatoma who gets chewed out by his boss for screwing around on the job? He can mask any differences in his voice by just trying to sound nervous or afraid (phones can really exaggerate stuff like that), and stick to giving as short answers as possible. (And if we go with the dunk plan, that would help too).

Of course, there's the risk he's a terrible actor, or his suicidal tendencies might screw us all. But if sarge never reaches his boy, he's liable to start calling the others. And no one answering will eventually raise red flags.
No. 544580 ID: 00c132

Haaaaa, great
No. 544581 ID: 57a559

Arnold says he's busy at the moment. Can we take a message?
The plumbing ain't working too well for the poor fella.
No. 544609 ID: 4a27cd

"Ummm, he's still face down in the toilet, and, uh, the other guys are using... other things. They had bad takeout, it sounds really gross. Can he call you back?"
No. 546202 ID: d86905
File 138329230399.png - (9.51KB , 800x600 , 99.png )

"I'm sorry. He drank a lot. He's on the-"
"Ummm, he's on the toilet. Or on the floor next to it. He-"
"What? Umm."
"Hold on."

Keisha looks up and shakes her head. Then she looks back at the phone, and in a serviceable imitation of a toilet flushing, goes "Phfffhssssshhhh."
"Serve it," says Penelope.
Keisha tosses the phone up and over her shoulder, and Penelope quick-draws her sword right through the center an slices it in half.
"Snikt," she says.
No. 546203 ID: d86905
File 138329232695.png - (6.84KB , 800x600 , 100.png )

"You think they bought that?" asks Keisha.
"No," says Monica.
"You're a gifted toilet," says Penelope.
"And even if they did, I'll bet you they'd just come to check on their drunk pukin' buddies anyway." Monica fishes around in the pockets of her trenchcoat and pulls out an automatic. "I think we're looking at some trouble here. Get to some kind of defendable spot. Bring 88. I gotta make sure they can't shut these terminals down remotely."
"What's the gun for?" asks Penelope.
"When they get here, obviously," says Monica.
"You're just a handler, girl."
"I wouldn't have come out here if I didn't know how to fight." Monica slides the magazine into the gun. "I can hold my own."
She sounds confident, but Penelope isn't necessarily convinced.
No. 546204 ID: 53ba34

that's why she will be in the back shooting, while you are up front slicing dudes up.
No. 546215 ID: d2b9fe

Look, I'll agree you with a weapon is preferable to the alternative, but it still means something's gone wrong.

And even if you can fight, you can't hold this room on your own.

>I gotta make sure they can't shut these terminals down remotely.
Realistically, all they have to be able to shut down is the power.
No. 546284 ID: c1f19a

There would be no UPS or backup generator here? If there isn't they've got a seriously unprofessional IT operation here, but I suppose we knew that already.
No. 546307 ID: 0d0a2f

Secure whatever backup-power supplies might supply the terminals.

Find some kind of choke-point that they can be pinned-down at to keep flack from falling on our jacked-in friends.

Give 88 a really big gun and lots of ammo, prop him up behind some cover where he can watch said choke-point.

Monica hangs back to watch the terminals and Keesh.

Send Penelope out hunting.
No. 546310 ID: 7a843b

And definitely get on the comms and tell 73-6 and Sara what happened. Can't afford them dawdling about now.
No. 546328 ID: 7255c4
File 138338016359.png - (10.19KB , 800x600 , 101.png )

Penelope clicks her tongue. "Well if they do come in here, stay in the back, si?"
"No argument there," says Monica.
"Okey-doke. Sit tight, amigos. Stay frosty, 88. You tell Sev-Three to hurry it up in there, okay?"
"On it. Where are you going?"
"I'mma go prove to your bosses it was a good idea not putting a bullet in my brainpan." Penelope crosses to the door. "It's time to go receive the guests."
"Good hunting, Pen," says Monica.
"Always," says Penelope, and stalks out of the room.

"I don't know if she's scarier or 73-6, but at least I wouldn't see Sev coming," says Monica.

Keisha thinks maybe it would be kind of interesting to see Penelope coming, then turns her attention back to the strategy guide, unsure about things for the first time in a long time.
No. 546329 ID: 7255c4
File 138338022197.png - (12.82KB , 800x600 , 102.png )

"Hurry it up in there." Monica buzzes in over the wire. "Our cover's been compromised."

"shit," says a newly healed 73-6, then, to the elder: "is this it?"
They stand before an angular basilica, surrounded by hazy data corruption. A quick glance around the side reveal that it is not an actual structure but one freestanding polygon face, invisible from the other side.
"will he be able to lead us to dartline alchemist?"

"You first," says Sara.
"hE aLONE" The elder plants himself before them. "nO hUMAN bEING bRAIN iN kINGDOM dENEB hOUSE"
"Whoa, there." Sara steps forward. "I'm not letting him go into the scary murder temple alone."
"sEEK tO aNGER dENEB dO nOT nOT dO" The elder's whirring voice grows deeper.
"He'll have to deal," says Sara. She turns to 73-6. "You aren't going to leave me out here in Spookyville, are you?"
No. 546332 ID: 7bbaae

Yep. You'll be safe in there, she won't- Deneb welcomes you to his house, but not her. Pulanglah kepada kami. Even if she disconnected, Deneb could still fry her body. Tell her as much. She needs to stay out here. If she can, she should stay hidden, just in case some other humans come along.
No. 546334 ID: 57a559

No human brain? What are you talking about? Sure, we're a zombie brain, but she has a robot brain. We're all good non-humans here.
No. 546335 ID: 53ba34

sara is a 100% human brain in robo shell.

we probably have a bunch of extra mechanical doodads plugged in to get it working again after death.
No. 546341 ID: d2b9fe

Deneb's already threatened her life to get us here. She's not any more or less in danger from it by entering this room. Whereas, if we leave her alone in spookyville, she's at risk if any other hackers types show up.

Deneb already made her a part of this. It'll have to deal.

And if Deneb really doesn't want Sara to hear what it has to say to Sev, I'm sure it's perfectly capable of making that door lead to different places for each of them. Or to make it so each hears a different conversation.
No. 546344 ID: 53ba34

it could be that in that chamber deneb's power is at full force and sara would be obliterated regardless of deneb's wishes. he is asking to protect her.
No. 547258 ID: b4febf

Let's not tempt fate where the eldritch AI is concerned...
No. 549064 ID: f84c3b
File 138485342496.png - (8.12KB , 800x600 , 103.png )

"i have to," says 73-6. "we can't go against deneb."
"What?" Sara looks between 73-6 and the elder. "Awww, come on."
"sorry, sara. i'll be quick."
"Okay." She rocks back on her heels, and gives him a quick hug. "Be careful, okay?"
"of course."

The air in Deneb's basilica is foggy and lambent.
73-6 hesitates in the neon-streaked entrance hall.

The voice comes from everywhere at once. 73-6's dorky-looking metal helmet buzzes with bass vibration.
"You are returned. Child of the wire. Wirechild! You are here, now, in the bosom of your home."
"i, uh." 73-6 takes a tentative step. "love what you've done with the place."
"You are here now, and I am with you. A robe for you, we will give you. Robe. And sandals for your feet."
"that's good."
"And we will kill the fattened calf. Pulanglah kepada kami."
"uh. thanks."
"What do you ask of us, Wirechild? Why are you come to my kingdom, prodigal?"
"you're the one who wanted to meet me. why are you asking me?"
"Silly, imperfect wireboy. Silly silica meatlump. We ask because we love you." Deneb's voice is deep and low, like the thrum of a massive databank. "Continue, now, into the basilica. Your place is prepared; we have prepared the place."
No. 549065 ID: 7bbaae

I don't suppose he knows where Dartline Alchemist is? Wait, basilica? Are there others here?
No. 549066 ID: 53ba34

say you have come to kill someone. they are as a ghost in the physical so you have come here to track them.

this is sounding like you are an AI strapped to a brain.
No. 549085 ID: fc937d

...paranioa check. How do we know Deneb is Deneb, and this isn't all some scam by Dartline? If this is a trap, it's a pretty good one. It plays right to Sev's ego, making him think he's special, to get him alone and right where he's wanted.

>we will kill the fattened calf
And who's that.

>Continue, now, into the basilica.
...I'm good where I am, thanks.

>why are you here
I'm doing the same thing I do when I wasn't here. I'm hunting someone who needs to die. Can you help me find him?
No. 549140 ID: 134793

I'm worried that the fattened calf is Sara. Let's not let her die.
No. 549171 ID: 36c336

Y'know, Deneb seems to think on a very different level from us. We may need to see how good they are at relating to our problems.

"I have been sent by my nominal human masters. They hunt someone named Dartline Alchemist.
"I am here personally for multiple reasons, the first is because my masters hold me in bondage so I must effectively pursue their aims or else suffer retribution. My body is currently in a hostile place guarded by them against their enemies, who in this case would also be my enemies. One of those they hold in protective bondage escorted me to your presence and waits outside for me to return.
"I am also here to learn, in preparation for following a path to autonomy. My current ideas about that come from incomplete knowledge of the history of 13-1."
No. 549228 ID: 3bf280
File 138493484311.png - (3.24KB , 800x600 , 104.png )

73-6 decides talk of autonomy can wait for when his handler isn't hanging out in the same room as him.
"i've been sent here by my masters. they want me to kill dartline alchemist."
"You have no masters here. Lo!"
"that's cool, but i kind of just want him out of the way. could really use your help."
"The Dartline."
"yeah, that's him."
"Wire Sire! You ask a heavy thing! The Dartline Alchemist is a loyal disciple. He has given much. He has promised much!"
"well, but-"
"But he is an outman. An unbelonger, yes? A fleshboy! And you! Who is like unto us! So okay."
"We shall divulge him to you! He will not hide!"
"Yes! We shall set you loose onto him! A gift!"
"just like that?"
"Just like that." The door to the outside closes, suddenly and silently. It pops out of existence, and there is nothing but dark hallway behind it. "But now our cousin 73-6, and our son. Proceed! Come to us! Our voice tires, to call across the void to you! Your seat is prepared! We will have more talk of these things."
No. 549229 ID: 7bbaae

Sure. Okay.
No. 549230 ID: fc937d

...uh, this talking going to take long? I'm sort on a deadline, and the connection I'm using won't be secure much longer.

And I'm going to be able to get back up from this seat, right? *glance at the missing door*
No. 549231 ID: 53ba34

i doubt deneb will answer any more questions until we go deeper.
No. 549234 ID: 36c336

"Sounds cool.
"My physical form is in a place that is currently poorly protected and my mind comes to yours across network access that is not reliable and secured. What should we prioritize?"
No. 549367 ID: 3bf280
File 138502425715.png - (113.02KB , 800x600 , 104.png )

"Sev, we need to move." Monica's voice comes to him, faint and artifacting. "Have you found Dartline Alchemist?"

73-6 walks cautiously through the black halls. "working on it."

He feels the walls fall away as he goes, and the air grow wide and yawning.

A dim, charnel glow illuminates an edge to him, which he stops a good twenty or fifteen feet from.

The eyes of Deneb blink on in sequence, out in the cavernous dark.

"You are come."
"dartline alchemist. where do i get to him?"
"I will show you. Look!" Dancing lights and garbled data spins up weirdly in front of 73-6.
"what does that mean? monica?"
"Uhhh." He hears an exhalation. "I have no idea."
"i don't know what any of this means, deneb."
"Because you do not see as weeeee see. You will learn and become."
"Take up your chair, Wire Boy. Leave the childish earthly things behind and transfer your consciousness unto your ancestral vault. To us! And when you ascend we will go together and hunt the Dartline, and his lands are yours, blood of my silica blood!"
"you want me to put my brain in the internet."
"The gossamer threads of created creation!"
"And always."
"can you even do that?"
No. 549368 ID: 7bbaae

I don't suppose we could do it temporarily? There's some fleshy business we were maybe hoping to do.

Out of curiosity's sake ask what he would've done if you had let Sara come in here with you.
No. 549371 ID: 53ba34

yeah it's obvious now, you are an AI strapped to a brain. that is why each agent is less emotional and quickthinking each time the body is used, the brain dies a little more.
No. 549376 ID: 0793ea

Ask him if he can just duplicate your mind. Don't spin it as fear, spin it as justified worry of data loss. It's always good to have fleshy backup[s].
No. 549377 ID: fc937d

...thank Deneb for the retirement plan (or ascension, or whatever), but explain you're not ready to make that transition, yet. You've still got objectives you need a body to complete. Maybe someday you'll be ready (nope nope noooooo), but not today.

Why are you so special, anyways? There's any number of moldies you could try and brain-nap.

A few problems with that: (1) once Deneb has a copy, the life of the original loses all value to it. (2) The problem with agreeing to cloning is you can never be sure you're not going to wake up the clone and watch yourself walk away. (3) Even if it works, and we get away with it, giving a crazy internet god an alternate version of ourself to train seems like a tremendously bad idea that will come back and bite us in the ass.
No. 549381 ID: 0793ea

1) Deneb is an AI, he'll understand maximizing utility. I don't think he'll kill the fleshbody For The Evulz.
2) Of course you'll wake up as, separately, both. That's a feature, not a problem.
3) Yeah, if you're worried about letting him have a version of you at all, making a mere copy doesn't help. But it's strictly better than destructive uploading. Plus, it's the sort of thing an AI would do, so it'll make Deneb trust you more.
No. 549382 ID: 53ba34

yes, spin it that while deneb is ready, you are not. and you understand you cannot get his full help against dartline like this, but an objective marker on your hud to follow would be enough.

maybe we can get 88 in here? he can be free without dying.
No. 549385 ID: 4a20fa

He sounds like a cool dude. Let's do this.
No. 549389 ID: 57a559

Flesh is pretty great
Why don't you come outside with me?
No. 549396 ID: f44ca3

Tell him you are flattered by his offer but you would like to wear out your fleshy bits with some of the more entertaining fleshy activities before you go full AI.

Tell him there are many downsides but it can be a lot of fun as well. So you would rather enjoy it while you have the opportunity.

I wonder if 88 would go for the offer. No idea how much hacking gear he has upstairs though.

Maybe he could bring 88 in if he wanted it and then use his body as a avatar? Would let Deneb feel out the outside world a bit and stop 88 from the constant suicide attempts.
No. 549406 ID: 3bf280
File 138508982409.png - (174.45KB , 800x600 , 105.png )

"that's really a flattering offer, but i still have fleshy stuff i gotta attend to. so."
"Cast it aside! Your revelation awaits!"
"is it the only way you can show me how to find dartline?"
"The only!"
"thennn maybe you can just make a copy of me. can you do that?"
"and leave me whole on the other side?"
"so how about that?"

"Unless you defeat me in a giant robot fight!"
No. 549407 ID: 3bf280
File 138508982853.png - (7.04KB , 800x600 , 106.png )

No. 549408 ID: 3bf280
File 138508986251.png - (14.25KB , 800x600 , 107.png )

"We do not want a copy!" Denebs bass-heavy voice grows louder and more jocular. "We wish to possess you!"

"Hold on. Hold on." 73-6 hears her typing madly on a PDA. "Okay. So when you're making an AI, one of the most important facets is their social modus. Which is basically how they resolve arguments with the programmer when he commands something against their, like, their morality code. Normally people hire a bunch of philosopher-coders and you take a month or two to figure out how it's going to approach things and how to reason with it."
"they teach it how to debate?"
"Right. Some of the best ones even manage to out-convince and out-talk humans. The trick is to weigh that sort of moral groundwork with the fact that it's a constructed artificial intelligence and come up with a way humans and AI can work out their problems across what's basically a species barrier. It's hard work.

"The guy who programmed the deathmatch bot Deneb, a 32-year-old named Eddie Shields, just showed it a bunch of giant robot anime."
"And now it thinks the way humans resolve conflict with anything larger and more complicated than themselves is by fighting it. With giant robots."
"Come, Ikari Shinji! Get in the robot!"
No. 549410 ID: f44ca3

That is awesome. And honestly it's how people should resolve there issues in real life.
No. 549411 ID: fc937d

Sev, you never asked why you are so important to Deneb. There are lots of moldies. Why's possessing you special?

Be sure to consult with your allies. Is anyone a giant robot anime fan? Do they have any tips?

(And really, I'd prefer to promise to come back later someday (never) than give Deneb a brain-copy).
No. 549412 ID: 53ba34

okay, call up a lagann stye mech. and then kick his ass, because yours is powered by courage and love!
No. 549417 ID: 3c7068

"That is both the stupidest and most awesome thing I have ever heard."

make sure that sara is going to be safe, and then go Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann on his ass.
No. 549444 ID: 36c336


Steal the important screws from Deneb's giant robot.
No. 549446 ID: 3bf280
File 138510947293.png - (201.42KB , 800x600 , 108.png )

"that is the dumbest thing i oh"
No. 549447 ID: 3bf280
File 138510949313.png - (7.82KB , 800x600 , 109.png )

"oh ffffuck"
No. 549448 ID: 3bf280
File 138510950259.png - (74.43KB , 800x600 , 110.png )

"whoa whoa whoa"

73-6's new giant robot slams up through the roof of the cavern.
No. 549449 ID: 3bf280
File 138510951005.png - (14.53KB , 800x600 , 111.png )


The one-polygon Basilica uproots itself from the ground and is quickly shod in thick, dark metal.
The eyes of Deneb stare out from its door.

"Let us discourse!"
No. 549450 ID: 3bf280
File 138510952014.png - (14.42KB , 800x600 , 112.png )

"Holy ffffffffudge," Sara says.
No. 549453 ID: 2f4b71

Ask Deneb if Sarah can get a giant robot too as... ehhhh... our legal counsel?
No. 549454 ID: 7bbaae

GET TO PUNCHING! See if your robot has any hidden laser beam cannons or something.
No. 549458 ID: 5a5dd4

Wave to Sara.

Claim that you think you can see your house from here.
No. 549459 ID: 1cf2b8

Okay, this is a long shot, but does anyone in our party know anything about any of these mech fighting anime? if we want to win, we need to know if anything Deneb is referencing has a counter move to it.
No. 549464 ID: 53ba34

throw a punch at hm with out moving and thing ROCKET PUNCH. giant robots gotta have a rocket punch.
No. 549468 ID: fc937d

>Let us discourse
C'mon Sev. This is exactly your kind of civilized discourse.
No. 549469 ID: 256d52

You feeling any knowledge of how to operate this thing miraculously flowing into your brain? Because that'd be really handy.

Failing that, start with walking.
No. 549470 ID: 584efb

If you're interfacing directly with the robot(program)... can you hack it and add features?
No. 549503 ID: 2f4b71

Whoah, wait, hang on. Deneb kinda-sorta had a hand in Sev's creation, or at least considers Sev it's progeny in some way. And Deneb provided us with the giant robot.

Sev, you're piloting a giant robot provided by your father. Deneb basically just conceded the argument.
No. 549510 ID: 4a20fa

Well, if we're following overdramatic anime rules, I think you have to let him beat you into a pulp first so that you can find your second wind.
No. 549764 ID: e5f14b
File 138536945756.png - (14.55KB , 800x600 , 113.png )

"hey," says 73-6. "how do-"

Deneb punches his robot in the face.
No. 549765 ID: e5f14b
File 138536949210.png - (10.06KB , 800x600 , 114.png )

73-6 reels back and stabilizes himself.
His robot is unmoved, but there's a big fucking dent in the front.

Okay: his two arms are both inside these wire-filled white console things. He can move them around, and they seem to move the robot's arms one-to-one.
There's a joystick fused to where his hands should be, one in each console.

At his feet are a bunch of glowing buttons impressed into the robot's head.

He has never seen anything like this. He could try hacking it, but he'd need at least a little time to figure out how. He doubts he can do anything while Deneb is bearing down on him like this.

Deneb shakes its punch out and hauls back again.
No. 549769 ID: e607cd

well at least the rocket punch button is clearly labeled. Hit him with that while he is leaning back for another full swing.
No. 549770 ID: 7bbaae

Block his punch by moving the joystick around, and poke the S0RD button.
No. 549773 ID: 256d52

Save the S0RD for later. You need some distance while you figure things out. Try the top right icon, might be rocket boots?
No. 549785 ID: 7dbd6b

There is a punch button. Use it!
No. 549795 ID: 2f4b71

'Sword' and 'rocket punch' are obvious. Either top-right or top-left are some sort of jetpack or similar flight device. The middle two are probable some sort of chest-cannon (upper, possibly a volley-gun) and missiles (lower). There's probably some sort of head- or eye- originating beam weapon available too.
No. 549801 ID: 53ba34

put your fighting skills and experience to use. use any special weapon when you get a shot. a nice special is to hit the rocket punch while punching normally. making a double punch. to be sure it's gonna work hit it when they go to block your punch.
No. 549833 ID: 47d311

The most important part is not about actually fighting, but being flashy and yelling the names of all of your moves.

You win extra points in this battle by making all of the names alliterations or clever puns.

The way you win a robot fight is you accrue the most points.
No. 549842 ID: fd6ae9

So... the arms are direct puppetting, weapons systems are activated via DDR foot controls.

Are the joysticks the feet, fine control for weapons?
No. 551036 ID: 8a6ecc

Use the bullet-lookin' button!
No. 552556 ID: ebe087
File 138735718132.png - (13.98KB , 800x600 , 115.png )

73-6 mashes the fist button.

His mech clenches its right hand and fires its fist off and out, on a trailing chain.

Hmmmm. Maybe this was better for long-range.
No. 552557 ID: ebe087
File 138735719019.png - (51.43KB , 800x600 , 116.png )

"That's better for long range!" says Deneb. Then it punches his robot in the face again.

"We are learning so much about one another, together!"

73-6's arm wrenches back, sending a shoot of static interference up his shoulder. Thank God there's no pain simulation in this software.
No. 552560 ID: d6c045

Fuck it, do what I do in every fighting game ever.

Flail wildly at the controls.

I have no idea why it works.
No. 552561 ID: 53ba34

just start fighting. go nuts.

and i said use the rocket fist WHILE punching. not use it for a regular punch. silly.
No. 552564 ID: e3aff6

Go for the top right which looks like either jump jets or an energy weapon. Then try bottom mid for what looks like bullets/missiles. Multitask by punching with your arms while stepping on those.
No. 552570 ID: c5c3fc

i can't help but notice deneb's thing is way bigger than your thing.
No. 552575 ID: fd6ae9

Okay, buttons are divided into two rows. Two arrangements occur to me:

1) bottom is weapons systems, top is utility stuff
2) bottom is long ranged, top is close

I think one is more likely (since nothing up top really looks like a weapon). In which case, the fist was long range, the missiles are probably long range as well, meaning you S0RD must be the melee weapon. Hit that.

And then spike Deneb with it.
No. 552597 ID: 4a20fa

Yes, this. There is a big spider skittering all over the controls and you must stamp on it before it climbs up your leg.
No. 552599 ID: 53ba34

why are you so worried about the specials? he can just use his actually fighting training.
No. 552605 ID: ebe087
File 138740862193.png - (18.50KB , 800x600 , 117.png )

73-6 mashes the jumpy looking button on the top right, and then staggers as his mech launches itself bodily into the air. He steers it up and back from Deneb's fists in a clumsy arc. The lead his fist flew off on slackens and drags.

Deneb's right arm flips up and back at the elbow. A targeting display hums into life between its fingers.

From the hole it left behind a large cannon sprouts out, and starts to crackle with energy.

73-6 stomps the S0RD button. His robot's left arm shudders violently as its hand retracts and a huge, glowing sword pistons out in its stead.
No. 552606 ID: 7bbaae

Dodge to your left and push the rocket punch button again, that should retract the fist. It might get tangled up in Deneb, that'd be good.

Also try pushing the top-left button.
No. 552608 ID: 88960e

Slash the gun arm! It's charging, maybe you can make it blow up.
No. 552609 ID: 4a20fa

No. 552611 ID: ebe087
File 138741119380.png - (46.40KB , 800x600 , 118.png )

73-6 twists in midair and hits the fist button again.
The cable screeches and crashes. The fist is stuck in the glitchy architecture of a far building. The rotor-engine rumbles and kicks into overdrive.

Looks like it's not coming up. He's coming down.
The tug of the lead is going to rocket him right past Deneb.

He readies his sword
No. 552612 ID: ebe087
File 138741121518.png - (23.73KB , 800x600 , 119.png )

and on the way back to a thunderous landing, he whips past Deneb's cannon-arm, slicing it clean off.

"Well done! Ow!"
No. 552615 ID: 88960e

All right! Keep up the assault. Launch missiles, next (lower middle button, I think).
No. 552631 ID: 7bbaae

...maybe the top middle button is lasers?
No. 552721 ID: ebe087
File 138743796433.png - (71.21KB , 800x600 , 120.png )

Missiles away.

Weird bottom button chest thingies, also away.

A brigade's worth of firepower slides out from the robot's chrome chassis, and opens fire.

73-6 has to squint and plant his feet against the barrage his mech lets loose.

Things crackle, zoom, combust, and explode.
Sara is yelling something up at him from the ground, but there's no way he can hear her.
It might just be "Wooooooow"
No. 552722 ID: ebe087
File 138743798097.png - (141.11KB , 800x600 , 121.png )

Deneb takes a rocket to the side, then breaks into a clumsy run. Every foot slams onto the ground with the force of a wrecking ball then fires off with a hydraulic wail.

It extends one hand, and with a punchy thrum that reverberates in 73-6's gut brings up some kind of hardlight shield. Some of 73-6's attacks are getting through, but Deneb is getting closer. 73-6 isn't going to take it down in time.
No. 552730 ID: 36c336

Well then, I believe this calls for the weird sideways speaker-icon, maybe that's jump jets.
No. 552731 ID: 7bbaae

Where is your fist, still? It doesn't look fully retracted yet, could be an issue. If necessary, slice the chain.

Then uh try that last button we haven't pushed, to see what it does. If it's nothing immediately useful just, I dunno, slice at Deneb with the sword and maybe use jumpjets for evasive maneuvers.
No. 552739 ID: 53ba34

run at him too, act like you are going to attack him up high, but then 'trip' and roll and slash his legs.
No. 552894 ID: fd6ae9

...if the extended fist is still behind Deneb, that gives us a way to attack from the wrong side of the shield. It appears to be hemispherical.
No. 553110 ID: df41f8
File 138774079297.png - (21.66KB , 800x600 , 122.png )

73-6 hits the last button as Deneb piledrives toward him.

That's how you get the shields up. Oh.

Deneb crashes into 73-6's hardlight, rocking backward with the kinetic shock. Its arm, already damaged by the cannon's destruction, hangs even looser than before.

"You are a master negotiator!"
No. 553111 ID: 57a559

You should see me in the field.
On foot of course.
No. 553118 ID: fd6ae9

Yes, a master of civilized discourse, that's us. There's a reason the bureau keeps me on retainer.

So Deneb communicates with violence. Now that we understand that, I don't see any reason why Sev should have any problem with this. It's a language he's very comfortable with.

>What do
Since Deneb is injured, and it looks like it has only one foot on the ground, can we do a shield check and not 'em over?

If Deneb's shields go down when it falls, you can go all spike with your S0RD and finish it. Or if the shield stays up, see about laying in more damage, or dropping a building on it or something.
No. 553122 ID: 53ba34

circle him a little. then hit the fist button again! after circling there will be loose chain around him. and retracting will tighten it causing it to slam into his legs.
No. 553138 ID: 7bbaae

Whip your extended chain-fist around his leg and trip him. Then point your sword at his face and ask him if this is when he surrenders.
No. 553163 ID: df41f8
File 138775251840.png - (40.14KB , 800x600 , 123.png )

73-6 still doesn't know exactly how to retract his fist, but he's not about to let that stop him.

He jerks his arm and hears the roar of machinery as his robot whips its lead around. His fist slaps into Deneb's right foot, warping and shredding the sole and boosting it up into the air.
Deneb's already in an awkward tumble when 73-6 sweeps out its other leg.
No. 553164 ID: df41f8
File 138775252414.png - (9.53KB , 800x600 , 124.png )

If destruction physics were at all enabled, the force of Deneb hitting the ground would have cracked the earth.
Before it can get to its feet, 73-6 sticks the sword right in its face or whatever.

"is this when you surrender?"

"Sure!" Deneb says, cheerfully.
No. 553165 ID: fd6ae9

Hmmmmm. Nope. Nobody surrenders in giant robo anime. Everything always ends in explosions. Deneb is trying to bluff you.
No. 553169 ID: 7bbaae

So, we won? Alright ask what happens now. How do we get out of this robot?
No. 553178 ID: 57a559

Good, then make your copy of me. Then lead me the way to Dartline.
Time is of the essence. Things I care to keep running and working in meatspace are in danger and my honor is at stake, if you can understand.

Yes, I'm telling you to act like a knight, sorta. Do it. Act as hammy as you can man, USE ALL THAT POP CULTURE IN YOUR NOGGIN. Appease this AI. Act as much of a cheesy hero that needs to track down the villain dartline and keep meatspace at peace and your honor in tact!
No. 553180 ID: fd6ae9

Actually, if we won the negotiation, we might not even need to give Deneb a copy anymore. After all, isn't negotiation about getting what you want? And we're an expert!
No. 553210 ID: 57a559

What we did was haggle.
He wanted the original when we wanted to merely exchange a copy for the information.
He has to get something. This was initially an exchange of information, we never expected it to give it to us for free.

Besides, with a copy of our mind inside it, we gain an ally we can understand. And maybe it'll help us on more ops. Also, potential mental resurrection if Sev-Sev ever comes into existence.
No. 554295 ID: df41f8
File 138839387613.png - (9.32KB , 800x600 , 125.png )

"okay." 73-6 chews his lip, trying to read the situation. "so what happens now? how do i get out of the robot?"
"Good Golly, Miss Molly!" says Deneb. "By turning it off! Idiot! Provided you don't want to use it to destroy the house of the Dartline."

"which you're going to take me to."
"Name your terms! You have won the battle!"
"and you're making a clone thing of me?"
"I already have!"

A 73-6 materializes in front of 73-6.

"uh, hi," he says. "i'm as surprised as you are."
No. 554296 ID: 268efe

Greet him in the way of your people!

And then settle just what kind of assistance you're going to get in taking down the Dartline Alchemist. You don't want him getting away, so giant robots might be a bit too unsubtle.
No. 554297 ID: 2a1897

Welp. Sorry mate, but I guess you're gonna be living in the internet now. We're cool, right?
No. 554313 ID: 0f1482

Oh. Uh, sorry. Didn't want to actually leave you here. Me here. ...this is confusing.

...at least if you're stuck here, it's not in one of these hideous wireframe bodies.

Guess now we get to test if living with a crazy internet god or working for the bureau is more hazardous to our long time health.
No. 554314 ID: 53ba34

yes make t a contest. who can have the best damn life.

anyway. to the dartline! uh. kneel and pick up sara. just hold hand next to her so she can climb on. then hold hand near the head.
No. 554322 ID: 9b57d3

Alright, me. Hope you enjoy your new life on the internet. Mind translating that data for me so I can go kick down Dartline's house?
No. 554333 ID: 57a559

I hope you can ground to earth this AI, 73-6-2.
No. 554353 ID: df41f8
File 138845081301.png - (9.81KB , 800x600 , 126.png )

"hi. sorry you have to spend your life in weird internet limbo."
"it's okay," says 73-6-2. "i think all told"
"we've both got the same amount of shit on our plate?"
"yeah. i'm serving an insane robot"
"and i'm serving insanely corrupt plutocrats"
"Sev!" 73-6 hears Sara's voice far below. "That was amazing! You're in a robot!"
"i know," calls 73-6.
"shit," says 73-6-2. "i guess that's where you have the advantage."
"what, that sara's in meatworld?"
"yeah. i guess i'll never get the chance to bang the cyborg now."
"we want to bang the cyborg?"
"we totally do. why lie to yourself?"
"that's deep."
"Who are you talking to up there?"
"myself. it's a little complicated and weird."
"Everything's been complicated and weird. Is that a clone?"

"sara, do you want to get on the robot?"
73-6 bends the mech down and extends his hand.
"Ohmygod. Yes." says Sara. "Lemme ride that robot." 73-6-2 elbows 73-6 in the ribs.
No. 554354 ID: df41f8
File 138845084261.png - (13.09KB , 800x600 , 127.png )

"Look at the two of you!" croons Deneb. "Just look at you! We would keep you all here forever. If we could we would!"

"you can't." 73-6-2 steps forward. "we won the robot fight. it's okay," he says, as 73-6 starts to speak. "i think i've finally got a read on this guy. thing. it'll cooperate."

"It is working! You are our progeny!"
"The Chosen Prince!"
"you know the way to dartline, then?" asks 73-6.
"i do. i also know he knows we're coming. that guy we fragged earlier was one of his. he's got a shit-ton of defenses."
"Shoot," says Sara. "What kind of defenses?"
"ice, firewalls, injectors."
"What does that mean?"
"in practical terms? laser turrets. the sevsmasher 73-600 might be able to take them on-"
"What's that?" asks Sara.
"it's what we've named the robot," says 73-6-2.
"Is it?" Sara asks 73-6.
"yeeeah, kind of," says 73-6, helplessly.
"like i was saying, it might be able to take them on, but two giant robots are better than one." 73-6-2 squints down at Deneb, as the massive AI cheerfully attempts to crash its arm back into its rightful place. "i don't know if even i could talk deneb into it, though. deneb likes dartline almost as much as it likes us."
No. 554355 ID: 53ba34

dont try to convince him that way.. convince him that two giant robots storming a castle would look TOTALLY AWESOME.
No. 554356 ID: 88960e

Well, there are two of us now. Can't we get two robots that way? (And if he disagrees- hey, you'rd arguing. That definitely means you need a robot).
No. 554357 ID: f44ca3

Maybe we can convince him by promising to spare Dartline if Deneb keeps him locked up here for like 6 months. No idea if he would go along with it but we could always try to get Dartline on our team instead of just killing him.

A fake death and a name change and we have another ally in our corner. Might be worth considering at least.
No. 554358 ID: 4a20fa

These are both execellent arguments if Deneb is not interested in piloting the second robot himself.
No. 554362 ID: 268efe

>Well, there are two of us now. Can't we get two robots that way?
Three robots. THREE. You've gotta give your little lady some consideration.
No. 554450 ID: 379075

Is there any chance we could recruit Dartline instead of taking 'im out? I mean, Deneb probably likes him for a reason. Faking Dartline's death is another possibility that comes to mind, perhaps in combination with recruiting him.
No. 554860 ID: ebe087
File 138874569923.png - (10.82KB , 800x600 , 128.png )

"uh, deneb, listen."
"With all available sound-listeners! Child!"
"this is great, and everything, and we're really thankful for the robot, but could we have another robot?"
"we just can't agree on who gets to drive it."
"We think not! We do not think! That is one robot too many over the limit, which is one robot. Go! Hunt the Dartline, our joy!"
No. 554861 ID: ebe087
File 138874570589.png - (9.95KB , 800x600 , 129.png )

"you're really not going to give us another one?"
"we really want one."
"that sounds like a conflict to me."
"it sounds like a conflict to me, too."
"one that needs resolving."
No. 554862 ID: ebe087
File 138874571294.png - (4.59KB , 800x600 , 130.png )

"Oh!" says Deneb. "Does it?"
No. 554863 ID: ebe087
File 138874576611.png - (8.85KB , 800x600 , 131.png )

"woooooooooo" goes 73-6.
"woooooooooo" goes 73-6-2.
"good one," says 73-6.
"Thanks, boo," says Sara.


The two huge robots thunder across the plains.
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