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615246 No. 615246 ID: 3ec38a

"Ah-ha! You're awake! I mean, of course you're awake, it worked! There is no reason that shouldn't have worked. I think. Hello! I am- wait, wait, no, they said stick to the script this time."

*ahem* "Greetings [input user name], I am [Psychopomp Class D, unit 032] and I will be your assistant for the duration of your work. You may assign a nickname of your preference whenever you so choose. You may notice at this time that you are feeling several symptoms, which include but are not limited to: intense back pain, a runny nose, mild headache, gangrene, broken or missing bones, liver failure, heart failure, brain failure, spontaneous combustion, exploding muscle syndrome, an itchy nose, and/or a sudden painful death. These are temporary and will fade within the next 30 minutes to two hours. In the mean time I will give you a questionnaire to distract you from any pain of discomfort you are feeling."

"I hate scripts. Okay sooooooo first question is... blah blah blah... family history.... blah blah blah.... are you now or have you ever been a communist... blah blah blah... oh, here we go. What is your full name?"

Expand all images
>>
No. 615248 ID: 5f402f

...missing bones and exploding will wear off in 30 minutes? Wouldn't think those would wear off.

>Psychopomp
You escort the dead? Am I dead?
>>
No. 615256 ID: a2b630

Nah, look, we obviously dead, so asking that might sound a little bit fooly. He gotta follow the script, so script we go. Name, name...

Let's go with... Alexandrius Falt? Alexandrius Falt works.
>>
No. 615264 ID: 9ddf68

>name
Alex Drake?
>>
No. 615287 ID: 3ec38a
File 141949290025.png - (86.23KB , 900x700 , 002.png )
615287

"Alexandrius Falt? How majestic. Much better than my last user. I hope you last longer than they did too! Mind if I call you Alex? Or Alexis? I'm not judging."

"No, don't move yet. Your spine is still smeared across the rocks. That should be better in about a minute."

"Next question, next question... favorite book? No, that's irrelevant. How many siblings did you have? BOooooooring. Ohhhh, here's a good one. According to records you are supposed to be Dust attuned. How did this come to be? I am including some wiki entries for your convenience."


Dust: A fine powder that gained it's name for being practically everywhere. It is theoretically infinitely versatile and massively valuable. People who are 'attuned' to it are capable of manipulating it to create structures, tools, or manifest actions that are referred to casually as "fucking wizard magic or something." (Heinz, 47)

Methods of Attunement

Birthright: You were born with the innate ability to manipulate dust. You stand taller, stronger, and smarter than the average person. Soft blue circuits glow near your superficial veins. People who have the birthright generally live long lives as wealthy nobility. They also tend to have their heads planted 12 lightyears up their own buttocks.

Exposure: Due to a massive exposure to dust, it has bonded to you. Intricate gold patterns swirl across the surface of your skin, alike detailed tattoos. People who have been afflicted with exposure believe they have a greater mastery over dust, but also tend to lead short, explosive lives.

PLague: Many years back infected dust swept across the lands, killing many. Those who survived gained a chaotic grasp over it, but also suffered a variety of mutations. The mutations in question were sometimes beneficial, often not. Generally seen as outcasts as many people still worry about them spreading the infection. They can't, by the way. At least not by accident.
>>
No. 615289 ID: 5f402f

Exposure.
>>
No. 615290 ID: f4f6ba

So it's a toss-up between a prick, a mutant leper, or a tattooed time-bomb.

I vote plague.
>>
No. 615324 ID: 0f3813

Exposure
>>
No. 615331 ID: 01f35a

Go for plague
>>
No. 615338 ID: 1071f4

Exposure.

also being both practically everywhere and massively valuable don't really work together so i call bullshit.
>>
No. 615339 ID: 01f35a

Plague
>>
No. 615351 ID: ecd0ab

>>615338
dude it sounds like they are describing nanomachines

don't tell me nanomachines aren't valuable.

Exposure.
>>
No. 615357 ID: acd64c

Birthright, we don't HAVE to be jerks though, and I like being one of the few that actually care.
>>
No. 615361 ID: a79844

Birthright
>>
No. 615362 ID: 9ddf68

Plague sounds fun.
>>
No. 615367 ID: 41fd27

Plague. Because mutants are fun and everyone likes to be unique.
>>
No. 615412 ID: a2b630

Alex sounds like a good name, Class D. Now, as for Dust affiliation...

An elemental prowess with a lot of negative reputation. We're starting out as outcasts here, it seems.

If anything, Exposure could be good for any last minute martyrdom, if we have any sudden plans for it. And it sounds the least... malignant, compared to the others.

A Short life in modesty compared to a long life in pain or arrogance. It sounds fitting.

Go for Exposure, Class D.
>>
No. 615484 ID: 330ce5

i vote for exposure! Also i want to call you Sidney, is that okay?
>>
No. 615493 ID: f5baae

>>615287
By any chance, did this story get inspiration from 'Endless Space'?

Also, Plague.
>>
No. 615522 ID: 3ec38a
File 141958359646.png - (85.12KB , 900x700 , 003.png )
615522

"Cid-knee. Siiiiidddnnnneeeeyyy. Sidney. I like that name, let's go with that."

"Exposure, huh? That explains the crater you're in. I think I'll hang back over here until this is done."

"Due to the extent of damage you suffered, I can't restore your original appearance. It was probably overrated anyway. So! Since we still have the time to change it, what would you like to look like?"

>>
No. 615523 ID: 3ec38a

>>615493
In short, yes. In long, I'll throw up a discussion thread and answer there tomorrow.
>>
No. 615582 ID: a2b630

Alright, Sidney, apparently we're not getting any old faces back, so lets not get too attached to the new one. That means this one doesn't have to be the prettiest, obviously...

But Black and Gold do wonders together, aesthetically speaking. Possibly a black exoskeleton, lean, but compact, overlaid with the gold markings Exposure to dust leave behind. The markings could still be the swirls the original Exposure left us with, but since we've apparently exploded before, a few other golden miscellaneous marks might be good, almost a reminder of what brought us here to begin with.

That in mind, we either go with an insectoid extraterrestrial appearance, whatever insectoid comes easiest to you, or we could go with a semi-insectoid, semi-gelatinous look, like an armored Cnidaroid with limbs. The second one doesn't sound as classy, but really, we're not trying to impress anyone, so either could work.

But we'll need the basic senses - Taste, Touch, Sight, Sound, so on - so however you choose to help us restore those in particular won't matter. We could always read things in heat signatures, that'd be cool. Really, I just don't want us crippled on field for missing anything important.

I hope that doesn't sound too confusing, Sidney?
>>
No. 615587 ID: db83ac

Badger face?

I dunno, I'm just being spontaneous here.
>>
No. 615589 ID: 9ddf68

can you give us wings? I mean isn't that something everyone gets when they die?
>>
No. 615596 ID: 330ce5

If you can make look like anything, try your best to make me look handsome and mysterious. I would prefer purple eyes but that detail is minor.
>>
No. 615617 ID: 5f402f

>what would you like to look like?
Cool? Kind of hard to posit your own appearance, from nothing.

Something non-terrifying or weird, preferably. People are gonna be weirded out enough b the gold exposure whorls / tattoos. No need to exacerbate bad reactions.
>>
No. 615647 ID: 5cf51d

Can you make us a robot?
Make us a robot.
>>
No. 615660 ID: db83ac

How about a goo body, capable of shapeshifting? Or partial ability to shapeshift, so that we can play as the AFGNCAAP.
>>
No. 615822 ID: defceb
File 141966861195.png - (264.14KB , 900x700 , 004.png )
615822

"Uh oh, looks like they almost caught up to us already. We're running a little short on time here so this is the last option I can give you right now. I can't undo it, though!"

"First option will be the least stressful on your system. You'll come out of it with most of your circuits in tact so you'll have better control over dust afterwards. You'll look the most like a normal person too."

"Second is the bug option. Can't say I've seen a user go that route yet. I can give you the wings with this one. Least welcome though, I've noticed that most users are rather uncomfortable around bugs."

"Last option, I can focus most of your dust inward. Make a few mechanical systems here and there, a little toughening up, and you'll be a real tank with strength to match. Your control over the dust will be heavily impacted though, so you'll have to rely on physical ability the most."

"That's all for the questionnaire. Finally. Do pick quickly, it would be awkward for everyone involved if they get here before you're ready."

>>
No. 615829 ID: 5f402f

Holy crap the bug form is adorable and we have glowing wings of magic dust. I'm not sure we could say no to that.

Normal dust mage is kind of cute too. Tank is boring.
>>
No. 615830 ID: 9ddf68

bug please, it doesn't matter if people are creeped out by us as long as we get wings, cause who the hell doesn't want to fly? Seriously it's like THEE number one wanted superpower in the world. Plus it looks kinda bad ass.
>>
No. 615834 ID: 01f35a

Make us a flying bug spider thing then I will be happy. (I like spiders)
>>
No. 615839 ID: f461c5

I say bug form.

The dead dont need to look pretty. But versatility? And we already ought to be more powerful in dust than the norm... so not specialising wont hurt us too much.

But we are more powerful mage than the norm, du to our exposure...

COULD WE FLY ANYWAY, with some experience, if we chose the high-magic-control route?
>>
No. 615848 ID: f94fe1

The bug seems to be the most interesting.
>>
No. 615862 ID: 223c09

Wings sound like a safer flight option than hard-to-control dust magic (Exposed people tend to explode, remember?), so yes, bug bug bug
>>
No. 615865 ID: 246006

Torn between Mage and tank myself, Flight sounds AWESOME but I doubt having a monster face in what looks to be pseudo-medival world is wise...
Gonna vote Tank.
>>
No. 615873 ID: 0f3813

MOTH!
BUG!
>>
No. 615886 ID: a2b630

Oh, shoot, Sid, you didn't tell us we were timed! That's not good, that's not good at all...

I say the most mobility will do us good, seeing as we won't care for the outside world viewing us wrong. Get is into bug shape and make it fast, Sid, 'fore the devil catches up!
>>
No. 615893 ID: db83ac

How about a female bug-reptile hybrid?

Fine, bug.
>>
No. 615897 ID: 13c4a5

First option please.
>>
No. 615904 ID: 01f35a

Male bug, that way we get armor. (I'm just guessing.)
>>
No. 615927 ID: c4c35d

>>615822
Voting human body. Is there any way to attach wings to that?
>>
No. 616142 ID: defceb
File 141975140989.png - (302.46KB , 900x700 , 005.png )
616142

"I have good news and bad news. The good news is that your medical status has just been updated from [deceased] to [kind of creepy]! You're now a full fledged user and I, Sidney, shall be your assistant! It is my formal job to help inform, guide, and assist you to the best of my capabilities. Due to a more pressing matter, I hope you understand if I save the details of your job for if/when we get out of this place alive."

"Now the bad news. Due to a series of bad decisions a former user made, you are being hunted. More bad news, we are currently surrounded. According to current records there are four units nearby. Three are scouting units, one is airborne, and all are armed. We have roughly 45 seconds before they spot you. Please decide a course of action soon, I've lost five users to inaction at this point."

>>
No. 616145 ID: 5f402f

>medical status: kind of creepy
Reclassify that that as [cute], please.

>Please decide a course of action soon
Do the enemy possess ranged weapons? With no information, I'm guessing our best option is to take to the air, where only one hostile can pursue / engage us, and we can attempt to leave the range of the weapons of the others.

Unless enemy weaponry is sufficiently accurate, powerful, and close to cut us down if we take to the air?

>additionally
Please begin crash course rapid verbal instruction on how dust manipulation can be used in combat, as I attempt to evade. If I can fight back, defend myself, or hasten my exit with dust manipulation, I need to know how, now.

Additionally, if I survive, I would like to schedule a time in the future to verbally berate and curse the prior user(s) that caused these circumstances, in detail.
>>
No. 616147 ID: 742b4a

Check on weapon-making capabilities. What can we do with Dust?
>>
No. 616152 ID: 82c018

Depending on whether they have good ranged weapons, we should either take flight or look for cover.

>Reclassify that that as [cute], please.
Motion seconded.
>>
No. 616157 ID: 01f35a

Not even a minute awake and already in danger sheesh. You didn't even get to stretch your limbs o little bug.
>>
No. 616162 ID: a2b630

Oh, goodie! Nanoseconds among the technically living and we're already hunted. A fly pursued by spiders.

I say disappear, either by running or hiding. Use your masterful dust abilities and either camouflage yourself, or get these wings going and zip away! Only one of them is airbourne, so if you manage to make way through complicated flying terrain, you can lose all but the one.

So I think we'll get moving, don't you? I'm more fond of flight. We chose wings for a reason. Hope you can keep up, Sid?
>>
No. 616168 ID: 9ddf68

quick yes or no questions, do we know how to fly, do we know how to fight, can we use our dust effectively, what spells do we have? If we can fly and if we can hide ourselves take to the air and do our best to remain unseen and get the hell out of here. If we can't hide but can fly and fight I'd suggest hitting the flyer and hopefully taking him out and then fleeing since the remain three can't effectively chase us. If we don't know how to fight, fly, or use our dust then find a rock and hide under it and hope they leave us the fuck alone or at the very least we can get the jump on one of them.
>>
No. 616228 ID: 13c4a5

Which direction is the distinction? Heading there while hiding behind cover might be the best option untile we understand how to control this body.
>>
No. 616267 ID: 311774

We have flight, so let's go flight over fight and get the hell out of here for the time being.
Maybe we can find some place relatively obscured and high up so we can study our pursuers.]

>Reclassify that that as [cute], please.
Thirding this.
>>
No. 616284 ID: 0173b8

>>616142
Fly up and away. Hope fighting just the one unit will be easy enough.
>>
No. 616285 ID: defceb
File 141980815554.png - (139.05KB , 900x700 , 006.png )
616285

"I have reclassified your status to [cute], as requested. I have also updated your calendar to allow time for the thorough cursing of previous users."

"Your abilities for combat should be unaffected or improved. According to various books on mental health, I should give you moral support to help motivate you to success. I believe in you, Alex, and the 12% success rate of previous users to evade an early death is just a number that doesn't mean anything. I have also found a recommendation to stretch thoroughly before engaging in physically stressful activities-

"-or go straight to flying away, that works! Current dust in the local area is sufficient to arm yourself with a simple weapon of choice, or otherwise simple spells. Small scale extreme temperature manipulation, dust barriers, and minor environmental manipulation are examples of what previous users have done in this situation. The limit is defined purely by your knowledge and the local dust supplies."

>>
No. 616289 ID: defceb
File 141980864831.png - (298.49KB , 900x700 , 007.png )
616289

"Here is the most recent map of the local area. I has some inaccuracies of scale, but it otherwise sufficient. You are the blue dot, the red dots are our pursuers."

"There is a local town to the right. If you escape in that direction, the scouts will get occupied with the civilians and be severely delayed. The civilians will suffer roughly 60% losses in attempting to defend themselves, and are unlikely to destroy any of the scouts, but you will be able to get far away before they can continue."

"There is also an abandoned city to the north, through the crags. Locals have apparently given it a spiritual significance, believing it to be home to spirits of their past. I have found no record to indicate that there would be anything living there, and the dense architecture could provide ample cover against the airborne enemy. It would be more difficult to lose the scouts this way, as they are more capable of following our trails when unhindered by opposition."

>>
No. 616294 ID: 2f4b71

>>616285
>Small scale extreme temperature manipulation
Thermal ramjet. Form a cylinder that tapers toward either end. Fly forwards, then heat the air in the centre of the cylinder. This produces thrust.
Abscond at maximum speed! The faster you go, the more effective the ramjet will get (and unless the heating is effected by shockwaves, you can move from a ramjet to scramjet regime with ease when you pass Mach 6).
>>
No. 616296 ID: 2ec61a

north while casting a Dust-net. aka, filaments of Dust set to attract more Dust to it. it should give us at least one shot with a big thing as all the Dust we have trapped in the net is used.
>>
No. 616297 ID: 9ddf68

going to have to say north here simply because seeing where the last known positions of the scouts were and seeing how just 4 of them could take our 60% of a town without any casualties I don't like the idea of trying to fly directly towards one. Plus if we can reach the crags we can try and lose the flyer. Plus the crags will probably slow down the ground troops so we could probably outrun them easily. We'd just need to lose the flyer and we'd be home free.

So head to the abandoned city buy flying between the gap of the two most northern scouts. Also Sydney can you fill us in for the reasons WHY these guys are trying to kill us before we even got out of our... grave?
>>
No. 616299 ID: dd4ed3

Is the effective range and capabilities of enemy sensors known? I would suggest gaining altitude while heading away from the enemy flier. If we can get out of range of the land based sensors, will will only have to evade pursuit from and/or neutralize the enemy flier. Then we will be able to travel in any direction without leaving the land based units a trail to follow.

What techniques / simple weapons have previous users applied successfully to damage, neutralize, or destroy enemy units of these configurations?

What is the known effective range and type of the enemy's weapons?

>>616294
>thermal ramjet
Yes. Our best bet is to maximize our speed to escape, and/or hide ourselves from enemy sensors.
>>
No. 616308 ID: db83ac

Can the platform fight back? Try going south, combat the enemies, and win.
>>
No. 616317 ID: ecd0ab

accumulate as much dust as we can
>>
No. 616318 ID: 330ce5

We should go save that village, they need help we need supplies and the combat experience. I want to be known for acts of courage!
>>
No. 616323 ID: 2ec61a

>>616318
save the village from what? the only danger would be if we bring the hunters to the village.
>>
No. 616325 ID: 330ce5

>>616323
Right you are, guess all we need to do is just fly other way then. Towards the abandoned city we go!
>>
No. 616346 ID: 82c018

Are the non-fliers fast enough to keep up with our flight over rough terrain, or will we basically be able to outrun them if we can deal with the flier?

>examples of what previous users have done in this situation.
Any advice on what sorts of things the long-lived 12% users used compared with users in general?
>>
No. 616429 ID: 223c09

Cover is good, if we use it wisely, maybe we can take down the aerial scouts and make an easy escape.
>>
No. 617241 ID: e59933
File 142011408464.png - (89.13KB , 900x700 , 008.png )
617241

”Common names for our pursuers are Safeguards, Antibodies, or Hunters. Most recent cultures have attributed to them the status of demons, spirits, or demigods. This is a wholly inaccurate representation but unfortunately locals are much quicker to turn to occult answers than listen to me. The truth is that they are an automated service whose purpose is to protect the remaining structures on this planet. You are being hunted because a former user took ill-advised actions that caused me to be flagged as a dangerous individual. Because I am also an automated service, they are unable to attack me directly and instead have chosen to kill every user I get into contact with. I find this to be a very frustrating development in an already frustrating journey.”

“The sensor ranges are strongest on the scouting units, though the exact range depends on type. Radar, for example, is limited by line of sight, pulse repetition, and environmental factors. Their sensors are also sufficient for thermal tracking, scent, and traces of dust usage within a roughly five mile radius. Furthermore, scouts are capable of classical hunting and tracking techniques. Administrators on the other hand can request my GPS information directly. But in that instance I will be able to retrieve a notification and warn you.”

>>
No. 617242 ID: e59933
File 142011426959.png - (291.59KB , 900x700 , 009.png )
617242

“I would like to clarify, the previous users who survived their first encounter did not live a long life. The average life expectancy of a user is roughly 3 months. Users who are being hunted have a lifespan averaging 14 hours. Those who survived generally stuck to fighting the hunters one at a time and destroyed all four or completely avoided combat. Users who fought and let one escape were often overrun later by reinforcements. Successful weaponry choices consisted of either melee weapons or, when sufficient energy supplies are available, laser based weaponry. Kinetic weapon users were more often felled when reloading, generating additional ammo, or reconsidering their life choices. This information is based purely on averages over time, and do not guarantee or deny success.”

“So far they appear to be armed with melee weaponry. No requests have been listed on the server for further armaments. This can change if they see fit to raise your threat level. Speaking of, the airborne enemy is rapidly approaching our position. They are sweeping in low to chase us through the crag formations. I hope you have a plan for when it catches up, because I actually like you and would be kind of bummed to have to find another user today.”

>>
No. 617243 ID: 01f35a

Try losing the flyer in the rocks.
>>
No. 617248 ID: 2ec61a

none of the dust usage ideas were good?
create a small fusion reactor, as big as current dust will allow, be sure to include a power tap port to get the energy out when needed. after it has used the dust in the area we keep moving till we reach a place with more available dust. and then create a high powered laser rifle, the whole rifle is just the laser generating apparatus with no internal power supply, allowing it to be more powerful since the dust doesn't need to build a huge battery for it as well, just a little capacitor that can hold enough for one shot. then plug it into the micro reactor.
>>
No. 617261 ID: 9ddf68

well looks like it's time to earn our wings, let's try and loose the in the crags, also do we have enough dust to create missiles to launch either at our pursuer or the rock formations ahead of use to try and slow the guy chasing us down so we can actually make it to the city?
>>
No. 617268 ID: b957be

>>617248
They were good I just forgot to add the line highlighting them. Whooooops.
>>
No. 617272 ID: dd4ed3

>Those who survived [...] or completely avoided combat
I like that option. We use the dust to craft a ramjet or some other kind of additional propulsion and accelerate out of range of the conflict. It's simple, and has less failure points than eliminating every enemy in combat, and runs less risk of getting them to up our threat classification than killing them.

...only reason this couldn't work is if our dust wings are more 'magical' than physical and wouldn't benefit from added thrust, or if there are hard limits to the stresses we can put on our wings without damaging them.

Or, well, if there's not enough dust for this.

>They are hunting me because...
Is there an intelligence these drones answer to? Is mediation or a reclassification possible?

>Try losing the flyer in the rocks.
Environment reshaping was listed among our capabilities, was it not? Rock-bending the formations as we pass seems a good way to increase the odds off the flyer loosing us, or getting it to damage itself in its pursuit. And simple form-restructuring seems like it would be less dust / energy intensive than crafting advanced weapons out of the air.
>>
No. 617290 ID: dd4ed3

>And simple form-restructuring seems like it would be less dust / energy intensive
Especially if we don't reshape entire rockfaces, and just make small changes to trigger rockfalls / rockslides / collapses.
>>
No. 617363 ID: 9ddf68

Hey, quick question. Could we use dust to crate some kind of foam or webbing that can't be easily broken down or destroyed for non leatal take downs? I mean we're probably going to be forced into a fight at some point right? And they're just going to keep throwing stronger and stronger guys at us until we finally meet someone we can't beat, but if we can take the scouts out without killing them then they have less reson to throw everything they have at us, at least not as quickly.
>>
No. 622963 ID: defceb
File 142269479568.png - (455.64KB , 900x700 , 010.png )
622963

>Collapse the rocks
>Cast a dust-net
>Ramjet out

"The last recorded instance of an actual person logging into the safeguard network was [18,567 years, 8 months, 19 days, 4 hours, and 3 minutes] ago by Earth calendar. I think it's a safe bet that they're not available to help us."

"At your current rate of dust collection, you could create a small fusion engine in [2 minutes]. I must warn that constructing such technology from thin air is inefficient and you would not be able to maintain it for long. The foam or net idea is also feasible for trapping our pursuers, though at this speed the flying unit would likely be torn apart by it's own momentum if it were caught. Or punch right through, depending on how good you are."

"Speaking of, it appears to have have performed a rapid ascent to avoid the rubble. You now have the advantage in distance and speed, but not in long-term acceleration. The scouting units will be heavily hindered by the rubble and will be unable to provide timely assistance. Do you wish to attack the flying unit while it's alone, or push your advantage to escape?"

>>
No. 622966 ID: d958ad

>>622963
Attack! We have an advantage, press it. Instead of just some net, toss out chaff. A cloud of dangerous objects.
>>
No. 622967 ID: eb487c

>>622963
Is it possible to hide from them? I would like to use the current advantage to make it look like we are escaping (if possible by creating a decoy that moves further) while hiding in a crevice that is to far up for the land-bound enemies to reach.
>>
No. 622968 ID: 85fc92

Attack
>>
No. 622989 ID: 9ddf68

going to have to say run. Didn't o say that unless we take them all out the survivors run back home and bring friends with them next time with bigger guns? Just use the dust (actual dust not magic dust) from everything falling to cover your escape. Hell use magic dust to kick up a giant dust storm and use it to flee from the flying scout.
>>
No. 622991 ID: 7d265e

>Do you wish to attack the flying unit while it's alone, or push your advantage to escape?
Really would prefer to keep running, if killing them is just going to get them to up our threat classification and send more dangerous units after us.

>you could create a small fusion engine in [2 minutes]. I must warn that constructing such technology from thin air is inefficient and you would not be able to maintain it for long
Important criteria: would it last long enough to escape from immediate pursuit? And when we fail to maintain it, would it shut down, or melt down? An uncontrolled nuclear meltdown on our back would be a dumb way to die.

Could we construct a non-nuclear propulsion? A small jet engine, or a rocket pack? What's important is the additional thrust to out-accelerate our pursuer, not how we do it.
>>
No. 623341 ID: defceb
File 142294599677.png - (308.93KB , 900x700 , 011.png )
623341

>Run!
>>
No. 623343 ID: defceb
File 142294607889.png - (176.47KB , 900x700 , 012.png )
623343

>Crate a dust cloud/toss chaff
>>
No. 623344 ID: defceb
File 142294608754.png - (189.30KB , 900x700 , 013.png )
623344

>>
No. 623355 ID: defceb
File 142295204988.png - (249.97KB , 900x700 , 014.png )
623355

>Hide

"Records of previous users attempting to generate nuclear power indicate a failure to create proper shielding or sturdy devices leading them to either die of intense radiation poisoning, heat venting into the torso, or a sudden and colorful explosion. You wouldn't happen to have been a nuclear physicist before you died, would you?"

"On the flip side there are [four] cases of success. One moment while I load that information."

"....it's been archived by [Psychopomp Class B, unit 5]. I could request the information if you desire, but they're kind of a jerk so no guarantees."

"I have been informed that they think of themselves as a polite enough individual given their busy lifestyle."


Edited for bad grammar.
>>
No. 623359 ID: d958ad

>>623355
Information is good regardless of presentation.
>>
No. 623372 ID: 7d265e

...how large is this pool of previous users you're drawing statistics from?

>request information?
I suppose if the transmission isn't going to reveal your position to the flying unit we're trying to evade, it couldn't hurt to have more information.

Other than that, we should keep it down. We want that thing to fly past and miss us, not notice us.
>>
No. 623381 ID: 9ddf68

well if the information won't give our position away then I see no harm in asking.

Also how long would you say until the ground units would be able to reach this city? Oh and do you think we could fit in that pipe sticking out or would it be silly to try?
>>
No. 623443 ID: 330ce5

As long as our position is not given away to our pursuers then I don't see the harm in requesting some information.
>>
No. 623475 ID: a6502a

If we destroy [Psychopomp Class D, unit 032] will the Hunters stop pursuing us?
>>
No. 623988 ID: defceb
File 142338460063.png - (207.27KB , 900x700 , 015.png )
623988

"I feel confident in saying that you could fit into that pipe. I am also confident in saying it is gross and I don't want to touch it."

"Due to a programming error, our count for users capped out at 3 billion. Relevant information of previous users is still maintained properly, so the total pool for statistical information is much larger. In previous years, our ability to raise users has diminished with the gradual decline in global population and societal shift towards cremation, so statistical information relevant to local societies is relatively sparse."

"The ground units should be able to reach this city in about 15 minutes, the flying unit on the other hand should be passing over us momentarily."

"I'll request that information right away. [Unit 5], please relay the archived information."

"Yes, it's important."

"I would hardly call this a waste of our time."

"No, you're wasting my time."

"This is literally what you were built for [Unit 5], it is explicitly your purpose to provide relevant information."

"I wouldn't call my work meaningless. That's just rude."

"I have plenty of friends!"

"Well I consider Alex a friend, what do you have?"

"Books are not sentient, and do not qualify for the classification of [friendship]."

"This is not the time for sad poetry."

"....I have convinced [Unit 5] to transmit the information. They will now speak through me."


"Testing, testing, can you hear me now? I'm only going to play this for you once so listen carefully."

"The first instance happened in the year-

>>
No. 623989 ID: defceb
File 142338466217.png - (350.78KB , 900x700 , 016.png )
623989

-FWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM-
>>
No. 623990 ID: defceb
File 142338472227.png - (295.19KB , 900x700 , 017.png )
623990

-ringing noise-
>>
No. 623991 ID: 03f896

Get your segmented ass in that pipe ASAP
>>
No. 623996 ID: 330ce5

Don't hold me to this but i don't think it saw us, so for now we are (possibly) safe. We might want to listen to this the best we can, the information wasn't super easy to get. But listen while you hide, if it isn't the pipe choose somewhere else quickly.
>>
No. 623998 ID: d958ad

>>623990
It's fine you're fine get your ears fixed and watch that graphical representation of SCIENCE.

But uh, keep glancing back to see if the scout doubles back or starts searching the area in detail. You may need to make a quick exit.
>>
No. 624019 ID: 256d52

Hey unit 32, you can make a copy of this information, right?
>>
No. 624025 ID: 9ddf68

OK time to hide, please ask Sidney if she can copy this or at least tell you again later since we'er currently deaf. Also please find somewhere to hide and/or somewhere that will let you escape the flying guy. Oh and thank Sidney for calling saying we're a friend, it's nice to know we're not alone.
>>
No. 624064 ID: 82efdc

Politely excuse yourself to unit 5. Thank you for sharing, but you're sorry, your aural capabilities were overwhelmed by the passage of the flying pursuer unit, and you're not sure how long it will take them to reset and the ringing to stop.

We'll have to review the records later, unless Sidney can save a temporary local copy.

We should wait a beat to let the flyer build up a lead, and then sneak away. We want to be gone before the ground units catch up, or the flyer realizes it's lost our trail, abandons pursuit, and doubles back to begins an over-watch search pattern.
>>
No. 625042 ID: defceb
File 142390445063.png - (251.37KB , 900x700 , 018.png )
625042

>Politely excuse yourself to unit 5. Thank you for sharing, but you're sorry, your aural capabilities were overwhelmed by the passage of the flying pursuer unit, and you're not sure how long it will take them to reset and the ringing to stop.
>Ask Sidney to copy the information

-ringing noise-
>>
No. 625043 ID: defceb
File 142390448797.png - (240.28KB , 900x700 , 019.png )
625043

>Get your segmented ass in that pipe ASAP

-ringing noise-
>>
No. 625044 ID: defceb
File 142390462572.png - (346.14KB , 900x700 , 020.png )
625044

"...anyway I guess the moral of the story is not to ask heavy metal bands for directions. Did you actually hear any of that? I hope not, it was mostly made up. Can you hear me now? How about now?"
>>
No. 625045 ID: f77f01

Shhh. Sneakily follow that person.
>>
No. 625046 ID: 9ddf68

don't worry Sidney I can hear again, can you give me a quick recap of what he said?

and there's someone down here, I suggest we try to avoid them as I think it would be rude to dump our problems on them, what with the hunters on our tail. Although that guy being here does tell us that there is another way out besides the way we got in so I say head down the tunnel they just came from and see where it takes us. If we can get away from the hunters we can ask sidney what she wants from us when we don't have to worry about hunters stabbing us in the back.
>>
No. 625047 ID: d958ad

>>625044
Whisper yes. Also introduce yourself to the human!
>>
No. 625067 ID: 82efdc

Are those mummies? We found a crypt?

What were the dimensions of the ground units? If they find the pipes, will they be able to pursue?

Big disadvantage of being underground is if we are found, we can't just fly away. We're constrained by the terrain and layout.

>How about now?
Yes, shh. Human.

...not sure if we should interact with them? We might frighten them, bt more importantly, we're putting anyone else at significant risk just by being near them. We attract collateral damage with that death sentence and hunter robots.
>>
No. 625750 ID: defceb
File 142442177935.png - (188.90KB , 900x700 , 021.png )
625750

"This looks like an old maintenance shaft. Judging by the mummies I presume it has since been reclaimed for funerary purposes."

"The scouts are of similar size to the flying unit we saw earlier. I doubt they could fit in here, but they could camp out the exits if they know we are here."


>Shh, human

"Whoops, sorry."

"...hello? Is someone there?"
>>
No. 625758 ID: d958ad

>>625750
"Nobody here but us crickets. Chirp chirp."
>>
No. 625781 ID: 88960e

They've got a light. Another thing like Sydney, or just a glowing ball, or is that more dust magic? (Although I don't see any markings).

Stay back, and out of sight, at least initially. You have a startling appearance.

>funerary purposes
I suppose you fit in, then.

>anyone there?
Sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you.
>>
No. 625782 ID: 9ddf68

well if they can block off the exits I think we should try and get out of here before they can regroup and figure out where we are.
>>
No. 625807 ID: 330ce5

We come in peace and wish not to fight, please don't shoot/stab/kill us.
>>
No. 625871 ID: ccfb4b

>>625781
the markings make us better at dust, not required for simple use.

i think we should state we come in peace, and may also freak them the fuck out so we want them to mentally prepare first.

also, alteration of dust net. we emit a single dust string behind us as we walk around this place. it gathers what ambient Dust it can and then when we need it we retract it and use the new reserve for something big.
>>
No. 626187 ID: defceb
File 142466039077.png - (145.65KB , 900x700 , 022.png )
626187

>"We come in peace and wish not to fight, please don't shoot/stab/kill us."
>Stay out of sight
>Dust net into dust thread

"Won't you come out then? It gets lonely in these caves."
>>
No. 626188 ID: defceb
File 142466055477.png - (179.41KB , 900x700 , 023.png )
626188

>"My appearance can be a little startling."
"Told you so."

"So you can see me but I can't see you? That hardly seems fair."
>>
No. 626194 ID: 82efdc

Oh. Gold and brown. Another attunement from exposure, or plague?

>So you can see me but I can't see you? That hardly seems fair.
Fair enough. Poke your head up, Sydney floats up for light.
>>
No. 626200 ID: 330ce5

We are pleased to meet you and we think your rope looks quite nice. Could you be so kind as to tell us where we are?
>>
No. 626201 ID: 9ddf68

>"Told you so."
Well I still say I look adorable

may as well let her see us but keep your guard up. she might panic when she see us and throw something our way when we show ourselves.
>>
No. 626212 ID: d958ad

>>626188
Looks like a Plague dust user. Go introduce yourself.

"I told you so" about what?
>>
No. 626277 ID: 39d5a4

Maintain caution and distance however.
>>
No. 626422 ID: 7ee488

>>626188
"Alright, but dont say I didnt warn you."

>>626212
Sidney warned us that most users are rather uncomfortable around bugs.
>>
No. 626823 ID: defceb
File 142502494129.png - (159.61KB , 900x700 , 024.png )
626823

>"Well I still say I look adorable."

"You just described yourself as [startling]."

>"Startlingly CUTE."
>>
No. 626824 ID: defceb
File 142502500990.png - (211.73KB , 900x700 , 025.png )
626824

"Then consider me surprised."
>>
No. 626828 ID: 321d85

Ahahaha

What's your name? (Exchange names.)
>>
No. 626833 ID: d958ad

>>626824
Wow, thank the nice lady for the compliment!

Introduce yourself, and your helper.
>>
No. 626845 ID: 9ddf68

"why hello there, my name is Alexandrius Falt and this is my best friend Sidney."

give her a curt bow

"and who might you be madam if I may ask and how can we help you this day?"
>>
No. 626848 ID: 88960e

You guys sure that's a lady? Looks pretty androgynous to me.

Anyways, quick recovery! Fancy bow at the waist, offer hand to shake.
>>
No. 626853 ID: 330ce5

>>626845
Is that are name? I thought last name was Rogansmith. Anyway greet the nice person and ask them if there is a safe place to hide.
>>
No. 626961 ID: b2c9e1

also maybe mention the things hunting our ass.
>>
No. 627011 ID: 321d85

>>626853
>>626961
Yeah, we should probably do that, amidst all the introductions.
>>
No. 627152 ID: defceb
File 142519724356.png - (237.39KB , 900x700 , 026.png )
627152

>"Why hello there, my name is Alexandrius Falt and this is my best friend Sidney. Who might you be?"

"Ah! You're far more polite than I am deserving. I am Photina, servant of Meliton. Pleased to meet you."

>"By the way I'm being hunted by big scary things."

"...pardon?"
>>
No. 627163 ID: d958ad

>>627152
Yeah like 5 scout aircraft, all armed, will probably keep sweeping the surface until they find and kill you... Say these tunnels wouldn't happen to keep going for a mile or two before surfacing would they?
>>
No. 627164 ID: 5db52c

Okay, yup, she's got tits.

>"...pardon?"
Someone Sydney used to travel with foolishly offended some nasty robots a long time ago, and they hold a grudge. I recently flew away from some and doubled back underground here to lose them.

Sorry, I'm just preemptively explaining in case I'm forced to make a quick exit without explaining, later.
>>
No. 627176 ID: 9ddf68

Photina? What a lovely name, again it is a pleasure to meet you. If you don't mind me asking would you tell me who Meliton is? I'm afraid I haven't heard of him.

Oh and about the hunted thing, I'm currently fleeing 4 beings that I believe the people around here call Safeguards, Antibodies, or Hunters. Possibly demons. Anyways I have lost them for the moment but if you would be so kind could you tell me any exits I could use to escape pursuit? Oh and possibly what this area is? from the dead bodies it looks kinda like a burial site.
>>
No. 627241 ID: bd8b82

if she gets scared or nervous at the mention of the attackers, allow her to rub our neck fluff to calm down.
>>
No. 627288 ID: 03f11c

>>627152
excuse me, you seem to have misplaced your underwear. do you need help looking for them?
>>
No. 628696 ID: defceb
File 142606545905.png - (251.37KB , 900x700 , 027.png )
628696

>"That's a lovely name. If you don't mind me asking, who is Meliton? I don't believe I've heard of him."

"Really? You must not be from around here then. Meliton is the first son of Kyrillos the merchant. He is quite wealthy, having inherited control of his father's markets. IT's mostly spices and wine, I believe. Though I'm just a servant of his, I'm not truly informed about the nature of his wealth."

"Would this Meliton happen to be a little pale, dark hair, surrounds himself with beautiful women and writes poetry all day?"

"Yes, how did you know?"

"We've met. It was less than pleasant."

>"So I'm kind of maybe being hunted by some robots that hold a grudge over something one of Sidney's previous friends did. I managed to escape them but I need to find a way away from here before they find and/or kill me/us. These tunnels wouldn't happen to keep going for another mile or so would they?"

"....Ha! You're funny. If you're lost you can just say so, I won't judge you for it. Here, grab the bodies and follow me this way. It's almost sunset anyway, I should be returning to town soon."


[[WHISPER]]

"I have updated your relation with Photina to [acquaintances]. Persons with her condition tend to be much more reserved than she has been acting towards you. Maybe she's one of those people that think bugs are cute?"

"Either way, we are out of immediate danger. I believe that this is an excellent chance for some exposition as to why I had revived you in the first place. If you would prefer, we could review the information recorded from Unit 5 in regards to nuclear fusion."

"However we will be in Photina's company for the duration of the walk, that would give ample time to attempt conversation. If you are shy, I have [13] books immediately available on [social interaction]. Befriending locals leads to a 4% increase in long-term success."

[[End Whisper]]

>>
No. 628699 ID: d958ad

Bodies? What is she doing with a couple of mummies? But yeah we can help.
>>
No. 628701 ID: 8d0e32

>thinks bugs are cute?
Told you I was adorable.

>so your lost?
... Well I'd be lying if I said I knew where I was so yes you could say we're lost.

As for what to do, grab a body or two, ask what she needs them for, where we are, and Sidney why her relationship with this merchant went so poorly. Once we run out of things to talk about the Sidney can explain our mission
>>
No. 628704 ID: bd8b82

it could be a openness with someone else with Dust abilities. it's rather hard to conceal.

also, talk shop a little. can trade any focusing techniques to control the Dust. and like what is the power source of that light ball she got?
>>
No. 628725 ID: 5db52c

>Meliton is the first son of Kyrillos the merchant.
Honestly I was expecting her to be a priest and that be her deity. At least a merchant is easier to talk to.

>If you're lost you can just say so, I won't judge you for it.
Well, I do admit I don't know the local area very well.

>Grab the bodies
Alright. May I ask why you are you collecting mummies?

>town
Um. That seems like a bad idea. We're a walking disaster beacon. We might be able to hang with a person like this, and lead our pursuers away safely if discovered, but there's no way our presence wouldn't cause collateral damage if we're discovered in an inhabited settlement.

>what do
Tell Sydney that yes, this would be a good time to act as an exposition fairy. You'll study the footage later.
>>
No. 630063 ID: defceb
File 142683583518.png - (225.02KB , 900x700 , 028.png )
630063

>"So why are you collecting mummies?"

"Religious beliefs dictate that come sunset, the sun will lead a person's soul to the afterlife. But we need to leave the body somewhere it can be seen by the sun for that to happen."

"So your people have reverted to sun worship already?"

"...what?"

"Disregard my commentary, it's irrelevant to your generation."

"...anyway, Meliton has been trying to earn the favor of the priests as of late, so he's been sending out servants to turn up every corpse we can find to appease them."

>"Where are we anyway?"

"In here? I'm not too sure myself, honestly. Others spoke of this place like it's a tomb, but personally I feel it's a very poor place to leave the dead. Wouldn't it make more sense to bury them in the ground than hide them in these caves?"

>"Do you have any neat focusing techniques for controlling dust?"

"I'm afraid I can't do much more than light this little thing here. It'll follow my directions, but trying to control the dust directly is just outside my grasp. Sorry."

"Plague leaves a very primal control over dust behind in it's survivors. It appears you are instinctively draining energy from yourself to power the device. Do you eat a lot?"

"I wouldn't say a lot but-"

"And yet you are unusually skinny. I can name a great number of people who would murder for that sort of weight loss regimen. Either way I believe you could be a candidate for being a user post-mortem. Please leave a mostly intact corpse if/when that happens."

"Should I be insulted or...?"

>"Uh, SO, Sidney how about that exposition?"

"Excellent choice. A far distance south from here, to the equator actually, is a tower. We need you to reach the top of that tower by any means possible. Start a war, jump a shark, make a giant drill and go under it, whatever will work. Except what I listed before. None of those actually worked. Especially the drill one, it was messy."

"Perhaps it's best I continue outside, I believe seeing the tower will help with the rest of the explanation. Any questions so far?"

>>
No. 630067 ID: 296917

>>630063
Can't we just fly up?
>>
No. 630070 ID: bd8b82

seems to make sense so far.

and tell Photina that no, that was probably a compliment.
>>
No. 630072 ID: bd8b82

>>630067
is probably covered in guard units.
>>
No. 630076 ID: f75cf9

>>630063
Just the big one: Why?
>>
No. 630087 ID: 9ddf68

>"Should I be insulted or...?"
please forgive sidney, she means well but isn't the most socially gifted of individuals. Impressive vocabulary though.

>Any questions so far?"
If I had to take a guess the reason we simply can't fly there is because something or a lot of somethings are guarding it so what can we expect to find there?
>>
No. 630089 ID: 64d5b0

>reverted to sun worship already?
Hey, the sun is overwhelmingly the source of all energy in a local system, which in turn sustains life. There's a logic to holding that in reverence, at least.

>It appears you are instinctively draining energy from yourself to power the device.
If she's opperating on instinct now, does that mean she would be capable of more if she learned deliberate / conscious technique?

>Should I be insulted or...?
I think that was meant to be a compliment, actually. Saying you'd be worth working with slash giving a place in her version of an afterlife.

>questions?
Why do I need to be on top of the tower slash what exactly do I need to do there? (Just stand, fight something, manipulate something, destroy something, talk, etc). That effects how I might plan an approach.

For instance, if we don't care about the structural integrity of the tower of anything there, we might bypass defenses by dropping from orbit in a protective capsule. (Putting ourselves in orbit is obviously non trivial, but building a rocket and engineering something to survive a violent landing might well be easier than fighting through an army of entrenched and prepared defenders, for example).
>>
No. 630304 ID: defceb
File 142699972120.png - (200.87KB , 900x700 , 029.png )
630304

>"I'm pretty sure that was a compliment. Sidney just isn't the most socially gifted. Do you think you would be capable of more if you learned a conscious technique for controlling dust?"

"I... maybe? I could never afford such an education so I never really bothered to think about it."

>"Sidney, why do I need to climb the tower?"

"I'm afraid that in compliance with [National Parks and Natures Reserves Act of 2818 UE], all information in regards to the tower has been [classified] and moved off available servers. I do, however, have a theory."

"This world has been facing several worrying trends. The atmosphere, for one, has been thinning out at a regular, though small, rate and shows no sign of declining. In the past thousand years, gravity has become slightly weaker. In the past hundred, temperatures have dropped by an average of [four degrees] worldwide. By this trend, in the foreseeable future the world will become [uninhabital] and be reclassified as [barren]."

"Furthermore, there is a wide variety of incredibly hostile species. The safeguards, for one, are responsible for several instances of catastrophic destruction that have resulted in a 'reset' for civilization. Previous users also tie for first place, often choosing the most self-serving paths to reach the tower. Most users choose to sacrifice the village. Then comes the various constructs, strange biological beasts, storms, unexploded munitions, etc. Current global population is now less than a tenth of what it was when I first started."

"Last, and most worrysome, is from the sun itself. It is nearing the end of it's life as a Red Giant star. It will initiate a series of thermal pulses, dump most of it's mass, and become a stellar nebula. Unfortunately, as you accurately observed, we need a sun to survive here. Once the sun dies, this system will be reclassified as [uninhabital]."

"In short, everything is falling apart at the same time."

"I believe that at the top of the tower is supposed to be some sort of solution to these problems. Perhaps something to repair terraforming engines, or a kill-switch for mechanical life. Maybe it activates a ship, or for all I know dumps this whole place into a wormhole and drops us off somewhere nicer in the galaxy. I simply don't know."


>"So can't I just fly up to the top?"

"You may wish to see the answer to that yourself. Look to the horizon, you should be able to see it."
>>
No. 630305 ID: defceb
File 142699984033.png - (194.54KB , 900x700 , 030.png )
630305

"It's a little obscured by atmosphere, but over there is the top portion of the tower. By my estimates, it reaches the Lagrange 1 point between here and the host planet."
>>
No. 630306 ID: defceb

>>630304
Planetary not stellar fffff-
>>
No. 630307 ID: 296917

>>630305
So... rocket up to the top, wear a spacesuit to survive in the vacuum and find an airlock?

Sigh, we probably will have to go up using internal elevators or whatever's in place to allow people to move around in there at any decent speed.

What was that about sacrificing "the village"? If previous users chose that why is there still a village?
>>
No. 630308 ID: bd8b82

has any previous user made it inside the tower? what tactic did the one that did or got closest use?
>>
No. 630311 ID: 5db52c

>By my estimates, it reaches the Lagrange 1 point between here and the host planet
Wait, what? Isn't L1 unstable? L4 and L5 are the stable ones. Why park a building there? Normally, if you're building an orbital elevator, you tie it to a counterweight, not a Lagrange point.

Could you tie a super-tall tower to a Lagrange point to keep it stable? Would you need stabilizing thrusters? (Well, a satellite at L1 would, I'm not sure about a building). Uh, what latitude is the tower base at? Is it conveniently equatorial? What's this moon's angle of inclination relative to the plane of its orbit around the planet? Does the rotational period equal the orbital period? For the tower to stay at the Lagrange point, the same side needs to always face the planet. And if the orbital / rotational periods aren't equal, that means the tower passes in and out of the Lagrange point, which strikes me as... not exactly good for structural stability.

...I need to do some math.

And to answer Sydney's earlier question: maybe we were a physicist in a previous life.

>important question
Projected time remaining until this world becomes uninhabital?

>I believe that at the top of the tower is supposed to be some sort of solution to these problems
Let me play devil's advocate for a moment, here. Do we have any reason or evidence to support this belief? Can we afford to spend all our time and resources on getting there, and assuming a miracle is waiting? If this would is dying, it almost strikes me as irresponsible not to try and take some other direct action to help or evacuate the population.

...although without an established industrial base, and with hunter robots looking for me, trying to build some kind of space-ark would be extremely non-trivial. We may have already reached the point where gambling on a miracle is the only remaining potentially-feasible solution. ...getting a lot of dust users together and training them might let us cut a lot of industrial production corners, though. Also if we managed to suborn the infrastructure that produces the hunter-robots.

>question
So... have any previous users tried to reach the tower top by building a rocket ship and heading for L1?
>>
No. 630314 ID: 9ddf68

> I could never afford such an education so I never really bothered to think about it."
well I'm not a teacher or anything but I might be able to help with some pointers, think of it as thanks for showing me the way out.

>By my estimates, it reaches the Lagrange 1 point between here and the host planet."
so unless we can create some kind of suit to let us move around in an area with no air or find someone who could make something like that we're stuck getting up there the hard way huh? So do you have any plans to reach the top or is this one of those "come up with it as we go" type of plans?
>>
No. 630315 ID: bd8b82

>>630311
other problem is knowledge, you CAN tell dust to make "a rocket" but you need to be incredibly detailed to make a GOOD rocket. and unless we are a rocket scientist we probably dont know enough details.
>>
No. 630317 ID: 5db52c

>>630315
I imagine for anything of sufficient mechanical complexity, you wouldn't want to dust the whole thing at once. You'd use dust to manufacture parts and pieces and components.

...but yes, we need an in-universe knowledge base.
>>
No. 630416 ID: 8f01e8

Alright, so we're on the tide-locked moon of a gas giant, trying to get to the far end of a space elevator. Obvious reason to have a space elevator terminate at an unstable lagrange point is if the counterweight station is a shipyard: microgravity industries, which a space elevator can't otherwise directly connect to, and it's possible to get in and out without needing continuous thrust just to match velocity with the dock.

Of the previous users who evaded their pursuers nonviolently and then walked toward the base of the tower in a conventional sort of way, what did they typically get destroyed by?
>>
No. 630548 ID: 2f4b71

>>630311
IF the toper top at L1 acts as a counterweight (it would be situated just past L1) then the 'tower' would actually be a tether in tension, keeping the counterweight (tower top) in position. This assumes the moon is tidally locked to the planet, and the tower base is at the point on the surface that lies on a direct line between the centres of mass of the two bodies.

The 'cheap' route to the tower top would be to head for the other side of the planet, where the Safeguard are presumably less active, launch there, and orbit around the the L1 point. Assuming there are no Safeguard active in orbit.
>>
No. 630783 ID: 5db52c

>>630548
Thank you for putting my concern into far fewer words. If we assume a dense enough top to act as a counterweight, and that it's past (not at) L1, it makes sense.

And yeah, an endgame of orbiting around to the location seems good.

>Administrators on the other hand can request my GPS information directly.
Although, it occurs to me, if we're going to initiate a stealth-based endgame, that we have to prevent Sydney from being able to give us away once we start the endgame.

Sydney, what do you use to communicate with the rest of your networks? If we to, say, put you in a Faraday cage, would administrators still be able to send and receive messages?

Possible plan: put Sydney in a Faraday cage and either instruct her not to leave until we return successful or a pre-agreed time passes (indicating our failure). Or if she can't be trusted to stay in (programmed to maintain contact, check in?) we lock her in, and leave Photina or someone instructions to let her out if we don't come back.
>>
No. 631218 ID: defceb
File 142744743280.png - (160.27KB , 900x700 , 031.png )
631218

>"Projected time until this world becomes uninhabital?"

"Worst case scenario, somewhere in the next two hundred years. Best case, three to four thousand years. Plenty of time by your scale, but a dangerously small amount of time by my scale."

>"Has anyone made it inside the tower yet?"

"Technically yes. One user lead a group of five others in a blitzkrieg attempt at the tower. He succeeded at getting a foot in the door. A shame the rest of him did not make it. The next closest attempt was one who lead a sizable legion, believing that large numbers would guarantee success. I learned that day that large numbers guarantee napalm."

>"Let me play devil's advocate for a moment, here. Do we have any reason or evidence to support this belief? Can we afford to spend all our time and resources on getting there, and assuming a miracle is waiting? If this would is dying, it almost strikes me as irresponsible not to try and take some other direct action to help or evacuate the population. "

"I do not know for certain. But my explicit purpose is not to save a dying world, it is to raise users so that they may attempt to reach the top of the tower. For all I know, there could be some supremely bored individual with cake, confetti, and a little party hat waiting to congratulate someone on their success. Either way, our job is unchanged."

>"Sydney, what do you use to communicate with the rest of your networks? If we to, say, put you in a Faraday cage, would administrators still be able to send and receive messages?"

"If what you see were my main body, the answer would be yes. However, this is a projection that is anchored to your position. I am currently hardwired into the larger Psychopomp systems and have a direct connection to the netsphere, through which all communication is handled. If your goal were to remove me from the system, and thus prevent the Safeguards from using that connection, you would have to break into the main structure, find me, and rip me out by hand."

>"How about if I head for the other side of the planet, where the Safeguard are presumably less active, launch there, and orbit around to the L1 point?"

"Off the top of my glowing core section, the first problem would the use of anti-orbit weaponry, such as large ballistic missiles. Or even anti-air weaponry, if the safe-guards can respond fast enough. Attempting stealth in orbit is functionally impossible, as many of the sensors can easily ping out your location. If you were to say, loop around the planet first, you would have the benefit of losing whatever tracking method they use and find a sneaky approach. For further advice, I recommend the book 'Space Flight and Submarines: An Approach to Stealth' by Herald van Blitzen. If you feel space combat is a risk, I also recommend 'Anything is a weapon once you strap a rocket to it.' by W. Massachusets."

"But how do you intend to make a spaceship? Pure dusting is, as you surmised, a risky endeavor. That method is inefficient, and small mistakes are easy to make. With complicated machinery like this, any mistake can easily turn fatal."


>"I could take over the infrastructure used to make those hunter-robots."

"...one moment please, while I search for relevant information."

"..."

"..."

"...I'm afraid I don't have relevant information, as that idea is insane and has never been attempted before."

>>
No. 631220 ID: aeadb9

So we have to make it to the tower regardless of the reason. Well fair enough, you did bring me back so I can at least try and make it to the tower. But if it is just some guy with cake it better be the best damn cake I've ever had.

From what you are telling me though it seems that any dirict attempt to reach the tower will not work baring something drastic, like building a nukular warhead but that kinda defeats the point. So all that really leaves us is stealth or finding some way to get them to invite us in, like hacking whatever the tower's friend foe software so it sees us as a friendly. Not sure how to pull off either but where there's a will there's a way
>>
No. 631234 ID: bd8b82

perfect, a never attempted before idea means no failures so the odds of success are currently 100%

and they would never see it coming.
>>
No. 631235 ID: 60700b

>>631234
Especially if that structure contains the control mechanism to control those hunter-robots.

I say go for it.
>>
No. 631238 ID: 88960e

>200 to 4000 years
That is an absurdly short time on a geological time scale, agreed. Your every user and tower approach attempt needs to count now- brute force solving the problem statically is no longer viable.

Presuming I avoid hunter drones, what's my projected life span? What's the upper limit on the time I personally have to devise and implement a solution?

>Sydney's primary purpose is to get a user to the tower
Ah. I'm almost tempted to ask the consequences of refusing the call, but I strongly suspect you'd be compelled to abandon me for a new user.

>the exposition fairy is just an avatar
Ah. Then any stealth approach is completely untenable unless we sever Sydney from the network, or we find a means to cut ourselves off from slash hide from Sydney.

Obvious follow up question: what's the security around her main body like, where is it, and how portable is it? Is her body even detachable? (If she's a single personality stored in a large server, say, her data isn't necessarily isolated physically).

>stealth in space is hard
Well, yes, but that all depends on what they're watching the sky with, and what countermeasures were prepared. (And how much debris there is already in orbit).

If an orbital approach had never been attempted before, there might not have been anti-orbital weapons in place, or anti-air weapons at sufficient elevation.

>Anything is a weapon once you strap a rocket to it.
As is the rocket. Forget not the Kzinti Lesson, here.

>I'm afraid I don't have relevant information, as that idea is insane and has never been attempted before.
Your mission is statically more fatal than most means of deliberate suicide attempt and plagues (they all have a survival rate greater than zero, this mission does not). Any approach to this problems, almost by definition, will be insane.

That said, genuinely new ideas are good.

We need a paradigm shift. We don't need a means to climb over, punch through, or even tunnel under the wall of security we've been presented with. We need a means to bypass it entirely.

Distrupting or suborning the enemy's means of production would be a major paradigm shift.

Similarly: where is the consciousness of your counterpart, charged with guarding the tower, located? If it's external and remote, like yourself, rather than stored in the tower, assassination may be an option.

Or: what do we know about how the security units are controlled? What would happen if we jammed or interrupted communication with their controller? Or could we hack or suborn them, or spoof their controller and submit false instructions?

...are the defenders entirely mechanical in nature?

>what else
An alternative approach to building a space ship would be to sponsor the necessary industrial production. Specifically: rapidly uplift a human population. Work on building up a society with the industrial slash technology base we'd to manufacture we'd need. You have access to the knowledge base of an advanced, technological society. We use that.

Theoretically, it should be possible to accomplish in a few decades to generations.

The problem would be guiding them while not drawing hunters down on them. And we'd need the enemy not to take preemptive measures against the populace. ...And a decades long plan does push worrying against the time limit.
>>
No. 631239 ID: 88960e

Also, you need to stop and look at Photina at some point. See how she's taking this, and if she's looking at you like you're crazy, yet.
>>
No. 631241 ID: cd9270

Has Sydney ever tried simply manifesting a projected avatars at the top of the tower?

Failing that: could Sydney be hacked? If say, we made changed the "current user location" variable to the victory location, we might trigger it. Or we might get a very interesting reaction from our opposition.

Can Sydney recruit more than one user at a time?

Technically, Syndey doesn't need to get a living user to the top. If a suitable corpse is delivered to the victory location, she could revive it on the spot. This would be especially effective if the defenders prioritize living or active intruders, and are distracted by some. We'd have to carpet bomb the tower with bodies or something, overwhelm point defense to get through. (This is a terribly morbid plan, but it was too funny not to suggest).
>>
No. 631245 ID: 8f01e8

How much do we know about the hunter-drone infrastructure?

Seriously, "seize the enemy's forces and make them your own" is, like, Sun Tzu 101. I'm appalled nobody has even tried it before.

>>631238
>If an orbital approach had never been attempted before, there might not have been anti-orbital weapons in place, or anti-air weapons at sufficient elevation.

If the defenders have a space elevator and the equivalent of jet-fighter aircraft, they've got anti-orbit defenses, no question. Even without dedicated systems, longer-range air-to-air missiles can strike targets in low orbit, because they don't need to go into orbit themselves, just reach the same altitude and intercept. The kinetic energy of orbit itself does most of the work.
>>
No. 631248 ID: 88960e
631248

>>631245
Again, it's all about preparedness. Just because the enemy is capable of guarding a specific approach, doesn't mean they have. (If getting one of us to orbit was deemed suffiently unfeasible, orbital defense might be a lower priority for limited resources than lower elevation defense, or search and destroy).

Especially if our opponent is limited to retaliatory and/or adaptive measures only (possible, but suggested by drone behavior and the description of the initial user offense). If it's only allowed to respond to observed threats, 'new' approaches might be less defended.

If the enemy were allowed complete discretion in defense strategy, I'd do more than defend the tower and spawn camp Sydney. In their shoes, I'd start a campaign to systematically destroy all the potential users. Deploy distributed corpse destroying scavanger bots. Inspired a cultural or religious movement for rapid cremation. Possibly drive humanity to extinction.

...um. Sydney. Could the looming destruction of the biosphere have been engineered by your opponent to deny you users? And could they have been behind the movement to collect and dispose of corpses Photina is participating in? Slow orderly extinction and corpse disposal would suit the objective of keeping users out.

Nevermind what I said before. We've already got weak evidence the enemy is intelligent, has strategic discretion and is taking advanced preparitory measures. We need to assume the orbital approach will be guarded.
>>
No. 631368 ID: d04d05

If the tower is destroyed, where does the "top" end up? Is it a static location? Is it anchored to the gravity well? Is it defined by "standing on top of the material currently composing the top of the tower"? Nuclear weapons aren't, in an absolute sense, that hard to make if you have a lifetime to work on it.

There's no need to commit to a single solution. For best chances, you should recruit others and try at least ten solutions at once, to maximize the usefulness of any disruptive preparations we come up with.
>>
No. 631373 ID: 2f4b71

Dang, if the Safeguard have anti-orbital assets, that pretty much rules out the orbital route in the short term. A quiet launch and ballistic approach even with radar stealth and cooled to background won't work, because they can always just ping Sydney and get our exact position. Dodging incoming warheads may work, but trying to build a MaRV and countermeasure suite out of Dust is would take a lot of explaining to get the chemistry right and all the equipment working.

Suborning the Safeguard seems like a more viable route. There's probably some defences to prevent it, but if nobody has tried it before then those defences have never been tested.

The two approaches might even be combined. Rather than trying to take over the safegaurd outright, take the more subtle approach of crippling their response to certain specific threats. E.g. mess with the targeting software of their anti-orbital weaponry so it just misses whatever it is aimed at, without it being an obvious enough fault for it to be fixed on-the-fly before we reach the tower top.
>>
No. 631395 ID: 8f01e8

Okay, next step is to look through some geological survey data. We want a cavern or mineshaft or something, ideally with lots of industrial metals already available inside or nearby, just big enough for one of the ground-based hunters to get in, or slightly too small but plausible to expand.

Once we get in there, use the dust to start building heavy-duty machine tools, some code-breaking computers, and then use the tools and salvaged materials (or smelted ore) to build a fake shell that looks enough like one of the hunter drones to pass casual inspection on long-range sensors. It needs to be mobile, but it doesn't need to match actual combat-ready specs. Also, load the cave with some highly specialized one-shot weapons, and a Faraday cage around the whole mess.

Once that's set up, lure one of the hunter drones inside, disable it in ambush as quickly and gently as possible. Then do high-tech brain surgery to extract and subvert it's comm hardware, especially the GPS unit and any other IFF tags. Best-case is we get it's private crypto keys and can then "speak with it's voice" on the defender's internal network.

Load all the useful salvage into corresponding parts of the decoy shell, then put on a show of the drone heroically clawing it's way out of the rubble of a collapsed cave, announcing a confirmed kill, and requesting a return to base for repairs. Ideally, we can parlay that into subverting the entire repair/resupply base; things could go wrong and we'd still get some very interesting intel, maybe be able to keep the buried hideout with a machine shop and a few tons of high-grade scrap, which is still a much better position than we're currently in.
>>
No. 632730 ID: defceb
File 142805614931.png - (177.01KB , 900x600 , 032.png )
632730

>"Presuming I avoid hunter drones, what's my projected life span? What's the upper limit on the time I personally have to devise and implement a solution? "

"Based on statistical data, a few days."

>"Natural life span, Sidney."

"Oh, a few years perhaps? I hope you understand exploding and then un-exploding leaves one a real mess."

>"Can you recruit more than one user at a time?"

"Each Class D Psychopomp can raise and support one user at a time. At this moment, there are 76 active users and 24 Class D Psychopomps in search mode."

>"Could you be hacked?"

"I wish to change the subject."

>"What's the security around your main body like, where is it, and how portable is it? Is your body even detachable?"

"Let's cross that bridge when we get there. Suffice to say, I can be detached from the system. I think."

>"Are the hunters entirely mechanical?"

"To the best of my knowledge, all previously seen hunters have been purely mechanical in nature. Certain classes have yet to be seen in person and may defy the trend. This includes [Administrator] and [Dust-Eater] class hunters."

>"How much do we know about the hunter-drone infrastructure? Seriously, "seize the enemy's forces and make them your own" is, like, Sun Tzu 101. I'm appalled nobody has even tried it before. "

"I do not have records of a [Sun Tzu] available, could please you clarify? Current information on hunter infrastructure is limited to guesswork at best. Considering the size of their forces I can assume that they have a very large industrial base, with a vast amount of resources available. No such locations are immediately noticeable above land or in orbit, so I must guess that it is located underground. They are active on the netsphere, so their base must be somewhere that is not wholly shielded from outside communication either."

>"If the tower is destroyed, where does the "top" end up?"

"If it is a tether as you reasoned earlier, it would likely drift off into space."

>>631395
>All of that

"A sound plan, if it follows severing my connection. I am requesting a collection of geological survey data to find fitting locations."

>"If the enemy were allowed complete discretion in defense strategy, I'd do more than defend the tower and spawn camp Sydney. In their shoes, I'd start a campaign to systematically destroy all the potential users. Deploy distributed corpse destroying scavanger bots. Inspired a cultural or religious movement for rapid cremation. Possibly drive humanity to extinction. "

"...um. Sydney. Could the looming destruction of the biosphere have been engineered by your opponent to deny you users? And could they have been behind the movement to collect and dispose of corpses Photina is participating in? Slow orderly extinction and corpse disposal would suit the objective of keeping users out. "

"I find the implications of that disturbing."
>>
No. 632731 ID: defceb
File 142805619834.png - (241.98KB , 900x600 , 033.png )
632731

"...but plausible."

"Just a moment you two, I need to start this fire then I can get going."

"A correction to my earlier statement. There are now 41 active users."
>>
No. 632732 ID: defceb
File 142805691552.png - (228.20KB , 900x600 , 034.png )
632732

"I have received the survey information and found three fitting sites."

"Site One appears to be a long abandoned military facility. It will have been already well fortified, and there may be recoverable technology present as well. However, there is no doubt that the hunters will have some information of the site already."

"Site Two is a larger naturally formed cavern. It is rich in material, and in a remote location. Also, it is closest to me."

"Site Three is actually already settled. A citystate currently controls the location and uses it's abundant resources to fuel their military strength. If you won their friendship, they could assist in holding the location. Or be cannon fodder."

"Site Four is unrelated. It is almost sunset, and that is the site for the regular celebration of light, a wonderful festival to remember all the good warmth and sunshine they received in the day and herald in the long night. I recommend it as it will grant you a chance to actually feel alive again and relax a little."

"...it also makes a great date spot."

"I have also placed a marker for my location, if you wish to head there before tackling any of the three main sites."

>>
No. 632734 ID: 9ddf68

>..it also makes a great date spot.
you asking me out Sidney?

but yeah let's head to 4 then and if for no other reason lets see if we can't make some friends. It could open up more options for us to use or at the very least give us somewhere to go if plan A fails and we actually survive. But as for the 3 sites I'm liking 2 the most. Closest to you should we ever decide to bring you along for the ride and not just your avatar, undeveloped so we can likely do whatever we want with it if we're not in a rush, and is sounds like they're no civvies around the area so we don't have to worry about innocent people getting hurt when we put the plan into action.
>>
No. 632737 ID: 1f1d59

>>632732
Site 2 seems the best, it gives us a very good spot to maneuver from. As well as giving us the best spot to get to Sydney when its in our best interests. It will also (hopefully) be the least known of the sites, giving us an advantage if we map them out to our own benefit.
>>
No. 632738 ID: 296917

>>632732
Let's stop by 4 regardless. Just for a little while.

I think we could stop by 3 to see what it's like then possibly head to 2 if it doesn't suit our purposes. Fortify a little at either location to make a base of sorts and then go check out the landing site.
>>
No. 632739 ID: bd8b82

oh oh, does the city have a library? a book on nuclear physics would be great, would help a lot with the miniature fusion power cell.
>>
No. 632743 ID: 88960e

>I wish to change the subject
So yes. I'll drop the subject for now, as it's obviously uncomfortable for you, rude to consider, and I lack the means to attempt it anyways.

...of course, there's an aphorism about hacking. "Once you gain physical access to the hardware, it's all over".

>A correction to my earlier statement. There are now 41 active users.
I think keeping running announcements on the active user count changing will become annoying and depressing. Please only altert me if there's an anomalous or unusual change in the data.

Has coordination between users been attempted? Are you in regular communication with your peers- do you share information on attempted strategies and discoveries made? Does our opposition respond swiftly to such attempts?

>I do not have records of a [Sun Tzu] available, could please you clarify?
Human general, philosopher and strategist, circa 500 BC, Earth. Author of "The art of War", recognized as a fundamental text on the subject.

If this information is not available to you, I suspect your opposition has deliberately suppressed it to their advantage.

This could be confirmed with a library search and statistics. Search for books on military tactics and strategy, asymmetrical warfare, game theory, etc. Compare to the number of hits on search results for more innocuous subjects. If there's significantly less available on subjects directly useful to this conflict compared to other subjects, we can reasonably conclude your library is being censored.

>where go
Site 2 seems to best suit our purposes. 4 might be interesting, but if we're a walking target, isn't it recklessly irresponsible of us to put ourselves in a populated areas without good reason?

An obvious question might be which way Photina is headed. (Also if we're traveling together. We're slower on foot that by air).

Still kind of impressed she's not phased at all by this conversation. Unless we have a private channel to Sydney.
>>
No. 632747 ID: 88960e

>so I must guess that it is located underground
Or underwater, unless your satellites can see there too.

...or alternatively, they are on the surface and your satellite data is being sanitized.

>class D psychopomp
Are there other classes of psychopomps active?

>enemy plausibly engineered extinction event
Are there any non-pyschopomp and non-enemy units active who would be opposed to or disapprove of this strategy? Perhaps we could gain support from previously unallied systems if we disseminated this hypothesis.
>>
No. 632755 ID: f75cf9

>Hunter base must be underground
Or it's in the tower.

>35 users died in the last minute or so
...Is that normal?
>>
No. 632799 ID: 5db52c

>> 35 users died in the last minute or so
>...Is that normal?
Maybe we should limit ourselves to tracking established users (say, those that have managed to stay alive more than 5 minutes or something) and treat the rest as noise.

>you asking me out Sidney?
That or she's shipping. Both of which seem silly with a user's life expectancy. But okay.
>>
No. 632869 ID: 8f01e8

Let's stop by site 3 on the way to site 2, see if we can barter Dust tricks for tools and materials that will make the ambush quicker and easier to set up.

On the flight there, rig up a megaphone and a hologram projector or something, and rehearse your grand entrance. Something along the lines of "Be not afraid! I am the herald of Sidney, and I come in peace! Great blessings shall be upon the one who provides me with two hundred kilograms of sintered tungsten/palladium alloy and a multiaxis lathe." If you're not going to pass for human anyway, may as well turn that to your advantage.
>>
No. 632895 ID: defceb
File 142813253160.png - (237.34KB , 900x600 , 035.png )
632895

>"Are you asking me out Sidney?"

"What, no, I mean, well, uhm, I always wanted to go but- you know what, let's change the subject before I dig myself deeper."

>"Has there ever been co-ordination between users? Are you in regular communication with your peers?"

"All psychopomps are connected to the same main system, so we share a constant stream of information. Teamwork between users is fairly common, as is backstabbing. I'll mark the location and last known path of nearby users if you wish to contact them."

>"Sun Tzu. Human general, philosopher and strategist, circa 500 BC, Earth. Author of "The art of War", recognized as a fundamental text on the subject. "

"Perhaps I don't have records because his texts are billions of years old. Although now I have to ask, which era are you from? You seem to have a much more thorough scientific understanding than previous users, bar some in the first era of my work. Paired with your knowledge of Earth history and calendars, I presume you are from several billion years past. But the fact that you are dust exposed means you could only be from the previous 2 billion year range. You're an oddity, Alex."

>"Maybe Sun Tzu is unavailable because our opposition is deliberately suppressing it."

"I'm being disturbed by implications again."

>"This could be confirmed with a library search and statistics. Search for books on military tactics and strategy, asymmetrical warfare, game theory, etc. Compare to the number of hits on search results for more innocuous subjects. If there's significantly less available on subjects directly useful to this conflict compared to other subjects, we can reasonably conclude your library is being censored."

"...most warfare literature I have on hand relates to intergalactic scale conflict. I appear to be lacking in more immediately relevant matters. On the bright side, I have [1,268,403] encyclopedic collections of dog information."

>"Let's head to 4 for a little bit, then go to 3 on our way to site 2. Does the city have a library with books on fusion? Also I'm thinking I could rig up a megaphone and a hologram projector then make a grand entrance. Something along the lines of "Be not afraid! I am the herald of Sidney, and I come in peace! Great blessings shall be upon the one who provides me with two hundred kilograms of sintered tungsten/palladium alloy and a multiaxis lathe."

"Average technology levels are roughly equivalent to late bronze age civilization. Plus some dust wizardry."

>"Aww."

"Also, if you wish for your fortification at site two to remain secret, I would advise picking me up before going there. I believe it would be difficult for us to establish a strong foothold if I were to get pinged before we were ready."

>"I guess the obvious question might be which way is Photina headed."

"I'll be heading homeward. It's this neat little town by one of the river bends. There's a trail I can get to from here that would be a relatively straight path home."

>"I'm kind of impressed you're not phased at all by this conversation."

"I chose not to translate the preceding conversation for her, so as far as she is concerned we were speaking gibberish."

"Cindae au cruono, ja maiati pruorun a tu!"

"Please repeat that Photina, I wasn't paying attention."

"Fires ready, so I'm good to go when you two are!"

"...about that fire..."

"What about it? I think the priests say it wards off evil spirits or something."

"...the smoke..."

"Leads their spirits to the sky so the sun may whisk them away."

"...is going to be visible for miles. Alex we need a way to sneak out of this city before the hunters catch our trail again."
>>
No. 632896 ID: bd8b82

let's give her a lift. arms around the waist and away we go.
>>
No. 632900 ID: 296917

Right... sneak out of the city... hmm... I don't suppose we have enough Dust to set up some sort of optical camouflage?

There's a player like, right there. Let's at least go check them out on the way to 4. We can part ways with Photina then meet up again at her village maybe, assuming it's safe. We can get to the village by going underwater if there's still risk of hunters (probably will be).
>>
No. 632901 ID: 9ddf68

well shit, which is closer, her village or the festival? Also is Photina on a schedule or not. Could take her with us to the festival so we don't have to worry about leaving her behind with the hunters and not have to worry about missing the festival or if the festival is still a bit off and she needs to be home sooner rather then later we can just drop her off. If both things are happening at around the same time we can drop her off after giving her a head start home and head towards the festival.

>Also, if you wish for your fortification at site two to remain secret, I would advise picking me up before going there.
First you invite me to the festival and now you're inviting me to your home, why Sidney I'm flattered. But in all seriousness how difficult will it be for me to simple walk in and take you with me?
>>
No. 632905 ID: f75cf9

>>632895
>Map

Okay, the grey circle is Photina's village, and the blue dot coming from the grey line is us, right? If not, we certainly should meet up with whoever that is.

>guy on island
Either he's incredibly lost or he doesn't know how to sail.
>>
No. 632914 ID: 8f01e8

Is that user off in the distance heading for Site 1? How much information about their own plans are the other nearby users willing to share?

Okay, no databank on planetary-scale-and-below military ops. What about industry? Particularly something called a Von Neumann Machine. Core concept is to incorporate mining, smelting, and manufacturing into a single mobile frame. Does all it's own maintenance, and can even make copies of itself without human intervention. See if you can find blueprints for a pre-nanotech working model. Failing that, the Global Village Construction Set. http://opensourceecology.org/gvcs/ You said there's only been one massed assault on the base of the tower, and it got wiped by incendiary bombardment? Having a real industrial base could change that.
>>
No. 632915 ID: 5db52c

>Teamwork between users is fairly common, as is backstabbing.
Jeeze. Backstabbing runs directly contrary to your shared goal, though. Then again, I suppose you have to real means to actually control or rein in your users before they do something stupid.

Are any psychopomps more statistically inclined towards treachery or teamwork? Might be useful to check the track records of the local ones before we make contact.

>Although now I have to ask, which era are you from?
I have to admit, I was going to ask you something similar. I seem to have a significantly better scientific background than appears baseline for the population, here. And I'm having difficulty remembering details of a personal life. ...I don't think I remember much history past... circa 2000 AD?

In either case, I'm surprised there was enough of a corpse left for you to work with after billions of years. Unless I fossilized?

Just checking- that is Saturn in the sky, right? We terraformed one of the moons? That's not another ringed gas giant in a different system?

>translate
Wait, what language am I speaking when you're not translating to the local lingo? Could that tell us where or when I'm from?

>science says you're 5 billion, dust says 2
Maybe I'm a scientist who came forward several billion years in time via a time dilation and got myself killed. ...it might explain why my first impulse was to jump to rockets as a solution.

>I would advise picking me up before going there. I believe it would be difficult for us to establish a strong foothold if I were to get pinged before we were ready
That makes sense. Although, we might well want to prepare some portable tools and gear before we break in to get you.

Obvious question: has retrieval of a psychopomp been attempted by users in the past? Was it ever successful?

>smoke will be seen for miles
Oh, yeah, they'll investigate that, whoops. Only plus side is when they find the bodies, they should realize that cremation is the behavior of an human, not a user or psychopomp, and conclude it was a false lead. We need to be clear before they show up, though.

>Either he's incredibly lost or he doesn't know how to sail.
Or he took evasive maneuvers to lose enemy pursuit.
>>
No. 632998 ID: 8f01e8

On the natural lifespan issue... could you look up a 'top ten' list of user survival times, presumably the hypercompetent cowards who also managed to get extremely lucky, and check what exactly they died of, and if they were facing any sort of degenerative internal symptoms just from dust attunement?
>>
No. 633917 ID: 050ebb
File 142879994686.png - (377.19KB , 900x700 , 36.png )
633917

>"Do I have enough dust to make an optical camouflage?"

"If you make a shell roughly large enough to fit all three of us, I think you can make one good to a resolution of 1600 dpi."

>"That'll work. Hey Photina, have you ever flown before?"

"Like a bird?"

>"More like an airpl- you know what just hold tight."
>>
No. 633918 ID: 050ebb
File 142879998483.png - (239.77KB , 900x700 , 37.png )
633918

>"Hey Sidney!"

"..."

>"WHAT?"

"..."

>"I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THIS WIND."

[[WHISPER]]

"I was going to say maybe a headset would have been advisable. What did you wish to ask?"


>"I can't recall much history past 2000 AD. That is Saturn in the sky, right? Are we on one of it's moons?"

"Saturn is one of it's antiquated names, correct. You may recognize the name of this world as Titan. Are you referring to the Gregorian calendar? I find that implausible"

>"But not impossible! What language am I speaking, maybe that will help nail down where I'm from."

"According to records your language most closely resembles Kyton, the trade language local to a former star system some 700,000 light years from here."

>"Well that's not very helpful. What do you know about industry? How about a Von Neumann Machine or GVCS?"

"Pre-nanotech I presume? I have available blueprints."
>>
No. 633919 ID: 050ebb
File 142880007990.png - (134.27KB , 900x700 , 38.png )
633919

>"So has anyone ever successfully retrieve one of you guys before?"

"Three attempts that I know of. Two were knocked unconscious and tossed out of the building, one made it all the way but changed their mind after reaching us."

>"Why would they do that?"

"I don't know. They never saw fit to explain and were cut down shortly after."

>"Will it be difficult to get in there?"

"When we get there I can trigger a power cycle that will enable you to slip in. As long as you don't get caught by the security, we shouldn't run into major problems."

>"Doesn't sound too bad. Let's split ways with Photina and meet up with the nearby user for now."

"Then you will wish to stop at the fork in the road up ahead.We will take the left path, she the right."

[[END WHISPER]]

>>
No. 633920 ID: 050ebb
File 142880012155.png - (308.68KB , 900x700 , 40.png )
633920

"Is flying always that c-c-c-cold?"
>>
No. 633923 ID: bd8b82

only when you go high or fast. it helps to have a built in neck warmer.

hmmm, are those bones or a robot skeleton or something? made of stronger then average alloys? if so then i think we should grab a chunk to convert later. could be great to add to that fusion reactor we want.
>>
No. 633924 ID: 9297f4

With your current clothing, it would be.
>>
No. 633926 ID: 4769ad

>>633917
is there a way to edit the an out of the first line? *facepalm*
>>
No. 633927 ID: 5db52c

>I was going to say maybe a headset would have been advisable
We'll put that on the queue if things to manufacture when we have the available dust.

>Pre-nanotech I presume? I have available blueprints.
Hmm. If they're not censored, that means our opposition doesn't consider them to be a credible threat, and/or no one has tried that before.

...we should evaluate the blueprints before attempting construction. Make sure they aren't sabotaged in some way.

>where Alex is from
This might be just paranoia, but is there any chance my death was staged or set up for you to find? Providing you with a user candidate with enough knowledge to do something dangerous or creative enough to disrupt your efforts might be a possible enemy stratagem.

...I'd be suspicious the plan to go for Sydney's body might be a Trojan horse for us to damage the psychopomp system, except she suggested it, not us.

>Only user to get into psychopomp central left
Huh. That might suggest either some kind of a break or disagreement between user and their psychopomp... or they didn't like what they found. Like you guys are a bunch of cyborg babies in jars instead of servers on racks.

Sydney, it occurs to me, that if I take you off the network, you might no longer be protected by the injunction that prevents our enemy from harming you. Are you okay taking that risk?

>I don't know. They never saw fit to explain and were cut down shortly after.
You know, you guys should really have been putting black box flight recorders in your users from the beginning, so you could learn as much as possible each attempt, without nasty information gaps like that.

>part ways
...so we're skipping the date point?

>Is flying always that c-c-c-cold?
Oh, sorry! It is when you go fast or high. I should have thought of that.

Can we use dust to (safely) heat her back up? (Dunno if direct thermal transfer / excitation is an option, or if we can just make a heated blanket or something).

>>633926
Bug a mod on irc for post edits like that. Lago's probably your best bet.
>>
No. 633928 ID: dba5a3

it get's colder the higher you go up and wind chill is a thing. Anyways we're going to part here. I hope I helped cut down the time on your return trip. Anything you wanted to ask me before I take off?
>>
No. 633930 ID: 296917

>>633920
Oh hey, a thing! Looks like a busted battlemech left to be used as a pot. I don't suppose we could salvage something from it?
>>
No. 633931 ID: 8f01e8

>>633927
>If they're not censored, that means our opposition doesn't consider them to be a credible threat, and/or no one has tried that before.

I'm guessing the former. Building up pre-nanotech industrial infrastructure takes months or years, spotting it from orbit and burning it down takes hours or minutes.

Seeding a bronze age city-state with GVCS prototypes and instruction manuals could still do a lot of good, though. Better standard of living and more resources to throw at the tower, 'magic' which can't be sniffed out from five miles away.
>>
No. 633937 ID: b6178d

>Is flying always that c-c-c-cold?

Chitin, babe! Keeps out the chill winds AND is pleasingly aerodynamic. If you become a User, you should totes go for the awesomebug option too.
>>
No. 635176 ID: 7df7d1
File 142940240266.png - (168.73KB , 900x700 , 41.png )
635176

>"Chitin! Keeps out the chill winds AND is pleasingly aerodynamic. Consider going for awesomebug if you ever become a User, it's worth it. Also with your clothes any flight will be cold."

"It's called f-f-fashion, even girls like me appreciate feeling pretty sometimes."

>"Would a blanket help?"

"I think I'll be ff-f-fine for n-now, thanks."
>>
No. 635178 ID: 7df7d1
File 142940246408.png - (245.19KB , 900x700 , 42.png )
635178

>"Sidney, you should consider having a black box flight recorder installed in your users so you don't get gaps in information like that."

"I would not willingly chose to lie or withhold information from you. I do not know why the previous user changed their mind at the end."

>"If I take you off the network, you might no longer be safe from being hunted. Are you okay with that?"

"Getting to the top of that tower is literally my entire purpose to existing. I consider it a minor personal risk if it were to lead to your success."

>"If you say so. Any chance we can salvage something off this wreck?"

"The internals appear to have been broken down to decay at this point, but the external plating is still strong. You could probably find a use for persistent material like this."
>>
No. 635180 ID: 7df7d1
File 142940252563.png - (223.70KB , 900x700 , 43.png )
635180

"You kind of look like a copper moth up there!"

>"...a what?"

"Copper Moth! They eat metal!"

"A common misconception, the moth itself only lays its eggs in metal rich locations. The larva eat the metals, but the moths do not have mouths and starve to death over the course of a week."

"That doesn't sound pleasant."

>"Photina! I think this is where we part ways for now."

"So soon? Where are you going?"

>"We were thinking of meeting up with someone up the road and then heading to this festival-"
>>
No. 635182 ID: 7df7d1
File 142940257697.png - (153.50KB , 900x700 , 44.png )
635182

"You're going to the festival of lights!?"

>"....uh, did you want to come with?"

"MAY I!? I'D LOVE TO! I think I have time, right? Maybe? Or maybe I'll sneak back home later and hope Meliton doesn't notice I'm missing for a while. Do you think they'll still have the lanterns? I had a chance to go there with my family when I so much younger, there was all this food, and celebrating and all the..."
>>
No. 635183 ID: 7df7d1
File 142940261111.png - (129.93KB , 900x700 , 45.png )
635183

"...all the people. Perhaps it's best I don't, actually. I wouldn't want to risk infecting anyone else. Or rather they'll think I will. Others generally aren't too kind to people like us. I mean like me. I mean like- I don't mean to say you're weird. You're not weird! Bugs are kinda weird, but like in a cool way? That came out wrong. I'm just trying to say that being in big crowds with my condition isn't, it isn't really- you know what I mean?"

"...I'll shut up before I embarrass myself more."





"...I should go home."
>>
No. 635185 ID: b9cef6

Pick up lady.
Noogie.
Take to festival. We'll just stay out of sight if we can help it.
>>
No. 635186 ID: bd8b82

be a much smaller use of the camo and wouldn't even need to actively change color just cover her markings in a thin layer of flesh colored material.

anyway, drag your finger in squares and tell the dust to cut straight through it along the line you are dragging. make small easy to carry super heavy duty chips.
>>
No. 635187 ID: 9297f4

She's adorable. Make a mental note to wife her as soon as we can get. As for the robot, COMBAT SUIT AND WEAPONS. Maybe also a radar. Oooo, maybe a communication device so we can talk to Photina.
>>
No. 635198 ID: 5db52c

>I would not willingly chose to lie or withhold information from you.
I wasn't suggesting that! I just meant you should have something in place to prevent users from doing that to you.

>>635183
Photina, you show up to a party with a bug dude and a glowing cyber fairy and trust me, no one's going to be looking at you like you're weird!

If you want to go to the party, you should go to the party. Life's too short to worry about what other people might think! Come with us.

>You could probably find a use for persistent material like this
First priority would probably be com gear.

After that, some kind of passive scanner so we get early warning of incoming hunters.

Next would probably be too start on some of our hacking tools we're planning to use later. Might be useful to have portable hacking / electronic interface stuff when we go break Sydney out.
>>
No. 635207 ID: 2e2694

well we could just give you a mask or something, I'm sure it would be fine.
>>
No. 635220 ID: 296917

Inform her that the Plague is not accidentally infectious. Infected dust causes it, not people. I think it may be possible to create a disguise for her, so noone is aware she's got the disease.

Hmm... we could turn some of the metal into a multitool. I like the idea of comm units too but how would they be powered?
>>
No. 635226 ID: 696535

>>635220
She know's this. in fact she just said:
>Or rather they'll think I will.
She's worried about people accusing her of spreading the plague.
Take her with us. If she gets worried about what people will think, tell her we don't care what they think.
>>
No. 635236 ID: 8f01e8

>>635178
>I would not willingly chose to lie or withhold information from you.

"Willingly," eh? That still leaves open the possibility of coercion, unconscious bias, or miscellaneous negligence. Gotta assume a certain amount of good faith and competence to have a working relationship, but when your best friend gives an alarmingly vague answer to an important question it's not unreasonable to do some follow-up.

If we've got enough Dust to do high-res dynamic camo, we've got enough for a nifty 3D map. How 'bout you show us as much as you know about the way your base is arranged, Sidney? Particularly interior furnishings. If seeing something there is what sets off some psychological response, let's get it over with. If the map is accurate, that should help quite a bit with planning the raid, and if it's Bostoned, nature and extent of divergence still provide some clues.
>>
No. 635238 ID: 8f01e8

Bronze-age tech, mostly, and this guy Meliton writes a lot of poetry, and wants to get in good with the priests? I have an idea which might make Photina his new #1 favorite servant: carve up some of this hullmetal into components for a moveable-type printing press.

With such a machine, any text - sacred scripture, verses of his own composition, trade agreements, whatever - can be stamped out with staggering rapidity, hundreds or thousands of pages in a day. Furthermore, each copy will be precisely identical, rather than muddled by bored or confused scribes across weeks of tedium.

So, she runs off with us, attends the festival in disguise, comes back to the boss behind schedule and slightly hung-over, but bearing a priceless relic which she could plausibly have stumbled across in the course of her mummy-hunting job and taken the extra time to dig out and drag back. Everybody wins. Even random bystanders get a better chance of literacy.
>>
No. 635251 ID: 57d76a

>>635178
>I would not willingly lie; I don't know why they changed their mind.
So what you're saying is, you do know, but you can't tell us.

How about this: do you think it's likely we would make the same decision? You know, based on our and their mental states, and certainly not on any information you don't have about why they made that decision.

Also I'm thinking going to the festival is more than a whim. If we weren't already going we definitely should.
>>
No. 635426 ID: 6410b7

>>635182
>festival of lights
Usually that refers to Christmas.
>>635183
Call her cute.
>>635236
>If we've got enough Dust to do high-res dynamic camo
http://www.physics.org/article-questions.asp?id=69 We could do that with silk.
>>
No. 636900 ID: defceb
File 143028463045.png - (122.20KB , 900x700 , 46.png )
636900

>"Photina, c'mon. You show up to the party with a bug dude and magic fairy, and trust me nobody will be looking at you like you're weird."

"You really think so?"

>"I know so. If you're still worried about it, I think we can dust up a mask or something just in case."

"Oh, alright, if you absolutely insist. I hope Meliton won't mind me staying out late though."

>"Two words: Printing press."

"That was four words. What's a printing press?"

>"I'll explain on the road. I need to harvest some metal and chat with Sidney before we leave though."

"Have fun, I'll wait over here."
>>
No. 636903 ID: defceb
File 143028478761.png - (220.29KB , 900x700 , 47.png )
636903

>"Sidney, could you draw up some blueprints for comms gear, computer interfaces, radar, combat gear, so on and so forth?"

"I'll have them ready once you finish harvesting."

>"Wonderful. By the way, I didn't mean to suggest you were lying to me, Sydney."

"I did."

>"...oh. Do you think I'll change my mind when I get to you as well?"

"I would hope not, however I can't genuinely say I know you well enough to give a real answer to that."

>"Hmm... can you make a map to show me as much as you can of your base?"

"I'll try to the best of my ability, but the official map is off limits to me. Please keep in mind that to the higher ups what we're planning is equivalent to unsolicited brain surgery, so they aren't going to make this kind of information easy to come by."

>"They're not going to explicitly stop us?"

"The greatest benefit and drawback to automated systems. We follow our rules to the letter, even in conflicts of interest. In this instance, the directive to assist you prevents them from stopping you directly. Internal security, however, has no assistance guideline beyond trying to not kill you and will gladly throw you out if you get caught inside."
>>
No. 636904 ID: defceb
File 143028481136.png - (560.25KB , 900x1400 , 48.png )
636904

"Here is the base to the best of my knowledge. There are large sections that are incomplete, but for now I hope it is sufficient."
>>
No. 636907 ID: e114bc

>>636904
Still under construction? We can use that to our advantage. Just how deep inside is she? What are our chances of getting in undetected, anyway?
>>
No. 636913 ID: bd8b82

>>636907
no no, he means incomplete as in the server wont cough up the info.
>>
No. 636924 ID: bd8b82

... anyway, how are those tool schematics?
>>
No. 636925 ID: 9ddf68

well it looks like there would be lots of places to hide, at least on the outside. That's something at least. We could make up a plan to get in form this but I feel like we should wait until we scope the place out ourselves just to make sure.

don't think it means anything but anyone else noticed how sidney's text color has changed? pretty sure it's nothing but part of me can't help but worry it means something plot wise
>>
No. 636932 ID: ca3361

Can you explain the purpose of some of the structures? There's a lot of flat panels and cratering on them. Are they just shields for the central tower? What are the spheres? Storage tanks?
>>
No. 636943 ID: defceb
File 143032820009.png - (172.39KB , 900x700 , 49.png )
636943

>"What exactly is the purpose of all those structures?"

"I have a theory, though it's just wild speculation on my part."

>"I'm all ears!"

"It appears to have similar design qualities to a [Wandering Star] class- wait, no, what is it called in your era.... um.... oh! An [O'Neill Cylinder], with one major exception."

>"Which is...?"

"[O'Neill Cylinders] are intended to be space habitats. Last I checked, outer space is not underground.

>"So these big flat panels in your base, you think they are-"

"Mirrors, intended to direct sunlight inside the cylinder. Not that they're doing much good right now."
>>
No. 636944 ID: bd8b82

neat. being a space ship is cool.
>>
No. 636945 ID: 88960e

>>636943
I would agree with those suspicions. That design doesn't make sense for something intended to be underground. It looks repurposed.
>>
No. 636946 ID: 2a7417

>>636945
Or maybe... We're in space and we didn't even realize it.
Holy heliocentrics Batman, this ENTIRE PLANET could be in SPACE!
>>
No. 636949 ID: 9ddf68

>>636946
or the whole planet is actually one giant spaceship and the top of the tower is bridge to let you actually drive it.
>>
No. 636951 ID: bd8b82

>>636946
>>636949
naw, the fact it's sitting in the middle of a crater makes me inclined to think it crashed, but was made of some tough shit and the rock got the worst of it.
>>
No. 636962 ID: 2f4b71

Had to dig out my copy of The High Frontier, got sidetracked reading it again
A nominal Island Three was to be on the order of 4 miles wide and 21 miles long (tall in this case). The Agricultural hab ring appears to have been lowered halfway down the sides, apparently to act as a brace for at least two of the main mirrors.
Going in from the top would be a bad idea: that's where the structure will be thickest, to protect the interior from sudden stellar radiation bursts.
Luckily, the side 'windows', alternating with the 'land' segments, should be fairly easy to get through. Rather than sheet material, they're actually a serious of 'chevron mirrors' (designed to allow light to bounce through but block hard radiation). Flying between these chevron mirrors and poking through whatever remains of the interior pressure vessel should allow entry anywhere along the cylinder.
The sun being a late-stage Red Giant (and the unfavourable orientation and surrounding atmosphere) means it's probably not solar powered any more. Those spheres clustered at the bottom look like large pressure vessels, so it could be running on fusion, or even chemical fuel. If we want to shut down the power more permanently when Sidney triggers the power cycle that would be the place to aim for.
As for where inside Sidney's body/brain is? The 'base' would be where the engineering block were normally located, but there must be a reason for keeping the whole ponderous superstructure around. Who knows what the inside would look like with the soil dropping down to the bottom. A lot of horizontally cantilevered 'skyscrapers' probably.
>>
No. 636971 ID: bd8b82

>>636962
i'd agree except the central tower appears to have been modified to allow egress, probably the repair units needed access to the surface for some reason so they made a way.
>>
No. 637118 ID: 8f01e8

Somebody went in there before, can you highlight the route they took?
>>
No. 637445 ID: ea0ad9

Just had a worrying thought, Sidney. What if the reason the user changed their mind was that they suspected you would die, as in, disconnecting you severs you from things you need to continue functioning, and your circuits degrade quickly without them? Like, some sort of super-coolant system preventing a meltdown.

Do the other Psychopomps have the same orders as you, or are you the only, or one of the few, who has them?
>>
No. 637453 ID: defceb
File 143055680524.png - (153.83KB , 900x700 , 50.png )
637453

>”Sidney, I’ve been thinking.”

“I would hope so.”

>”Is it possible that the person changed their mind because they thought disconnecting you would make you unable to function? Also, is it possible that if I were to disconnect you that you could then become an actual target as well?”

“...before I answer that, I have a counter question. Did you ever question what it would be like to have a clear purpose?”

>”I don’t think I understand what you’re getting at.”

“I have a very clear, very singular purpose to existing. I’m talking about, looked my creator in the eyes and was told EXACTLY why I’m here. I’m here to raise the dead and help them get to the top of that tower. It’s what I’ve always been doing since I came to be, and it’s what I’ve been doing for thousands upon thousands upon [ERROR: null count] years and I’ve seen A LOT of people die trying, and I’ve seen A LOT of failures, and I’ve tried all number of things and yet I’m still here trying.”

“If doing a hula hoop dance backwards somehow made you more likely to succeed, I would do it. If reciting the entire wikipedia collection somehow made you more likely to succeed, I’d already be on the letter W. If for some obscure insane reason success meant having to ENACT A BLOOD SACRIFICE I WOULD BE STABBING MYSELF RIGHT NOW.”

“So I guess the real answer to your question is that I DON’T CARE. If you really need to hop off the grid and that requires tearing me out of the system and terminating me, THEN DO IT. AND THEN GO CLIMB THAT TOWER AND SHOW IT WHO’S BOSS. If it weren’t for the FUC-”

[[Disconnected]]





[[Reconnected]]

“I’ve been reprimanded for unbecoming behavior and instructed to get a move on. I have the blueprints ready at your convenience”




“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to yell. It’s a touchy subject for me.”


“Are you two okay? That was a lot of noodle language.”

”I’m sorry Photina, I neglected to translate for you again. The language was [Kyton], by the way, and was considered a galactic standard for trade due most species’ being able to roughly pronounce it properly. It shares no similarities to [noodles], a type of wheat or rice based food.”

“Cool!”
>>
No. 637456 ID: 9ddf68

>>637453
...I'm sorry, I should have guessed... SO, this festival, think that thing would be the last quite moment we're going to get before things get serious or is it just something that we should check out because it's nearby and you figure why the hell not? Oh and thanks for the blue prints, we'll give those a quick look over and then a more serious one once we get closer to our new base of operations and and make a proper plan to try and bust you out.

And on a side note, Sidney, Photina, what can you two tell me about this festival, I'm honestly clueless at what to expect. Would be nice to know what's there so I can try and see it all before it's over.
>>
No. 637461 ID: bd8b82

got a sack of super metal chunks? okay. let's go.

also, i think you needed that, get the anger out instead of holding it in all the time.
>>
No. 637504 ID: 809713

>I’ve been reprimanded for unbecoming behavior and instructed to get a move on.
>I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to yell. It’s a touchy subject for me.
Sorry, Sydney, I didn't think through the emotional impact all this might have had on you. *Pet in sympathy*

Um. Do you have access to psyc profiles on your peers? If any of you fell into depression or nihilism or actual insanity instead of, um, manic determination, they might not exactly be the safest people to cross paths with.

>I have the blueprints ready at your convenience
Could I see the comm gear to start with? (Let's see if we can make the smaller stuff on the move, we've been here a while).
>>
No. 637913 ID: 8f01e8

If I ask you about the second half of that last sentence fragment ("If it weren't for the fucking [blank] I'd be able to [blank]" ?) would that be more likely to result in useful answers, or further distress and reprimands?

Also, is this festival thing mission-related in some way you're not allowed to explicitly discuss?
>>
No. 638121 ID: defceb
File 143076725401.png - (221.83KB , 900x700 , 51.png )
638121

>”...SO, the festival. Think it’ll be the last quiet moment before things get serious or just something we should check out ‘cause why not?”

“Bit of column A, bit of column B, and a dash of column C. The festival itself has a tendency to gather a wide variety of…. colorful personalities, which could possibly include other users and people who would be willing to lend assistance to our journey. Additionally, the festival itself is a pleasant place to be, which makes for a relaxing time against what will certainly be a high-anxiety journey. Also I really wanted to go but most users consider it to be a frivolous side-quest against a more important journey..”

>”Als,o I’m sorry I didn’t consider the emotional impact on all of uh… that stuff earlier.”

“It’s alright, I’m sorry I lashed out.”

>”Do you have psych profiles on your peers by chance? If any of them fell into depression or nihilism or full blown insanity they might not be the best to cross paths with.”

“If a Class D psychopomp has lapsed into faulty mindset, I’m am not presently aware of it. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but if it is the case they may be attempting to cover that up. I’ll remain vigilant.”

“That’s a lot of metal to be carrying in your hands. I’ve still got room in my bag, I can carry some if you’d like?”

>”It’s kind of heavy Photina, I wouldn’t want to impose.”

“Bah! Nonsense! I’m stronger than I look! I’m a real swordfighter!”

>”Whaaat, no way.”

“Yes way! Father taught me when I was younger. Mother never approved, of course, but he was adamant that I be able to defend myself in this day and age. Not that I actually -have- a sword anymore. But nobody ever believes me anyway. They say I look too skinny!”

“That may be related to your condition. Alex, I have the blueprints for comms gear ready, it’s fairly simple so I believe you can make it while we walk.”

>”Well then, what are we waiting for?”
>>
No. 638122 ID: defceb
File 143076729323.png - (82.86KB , 900x700 , 52.png )
638122

Sidneys’ notes:

Photina has been upgraded from [Acquaintance] to [Friend]!

There will be a storm in roughly [three Earth-days]. Flight during this time will be [difficult] to [impossible].

Notes on previously requested subjects including, [Successful nuclear fusion generator construction], [Health risks related to dust exposure], and [Health risks related to raised users] will be listed shortly. If you wish for more information in other subjects, I can have that ready soon as well.

FUN FACT: One ‘day’ on titan takes just under 16 Earth days. After sunset, it will be night-time for about 7 days.
>>
No. 638123 ID: 88960e

>>638121
Ooh, we should make her a sword. A fancy high tech one that works on things made of metal.

We'll have to ask what style / type of blade she's familiar with and see what blueprints Sydney has.
>>
No. 638124 ID: 9ddf68

>>638123
maybe we could give her a practice sword as well and the two of us could spar to see how go we both are in melee combat
>>
No. 638130 ID: 7188e2

Are there enough countermeasures to guns for melee weapons to be at all viable in a fight vs system machines?
>>
No. 638131 ID: 809713

>>638130
Well, according to Sydney, past users have used melee weapons successfully, among other thing. >>617242 (I assume she's defining 'success' as 'surviving at least one engagement using the weapon in question').

Realistically, I expect melee weapons to only really be effective if you're fast enough to stay out of the line of fire / ahead of the firing arc, or you ambush or get the drop on the machine. (Or if you can tank the hits, but I don't quiet think that's an option for us, right now). We could reasonably set up ambushes with optical camo, or flying and luring into ambush, or hunter units failing to consider a baseline human a credible threat before getting too close.

Regardless, we're putting Photina's life in danger just by hanging out with her. We might as well provide a weapon she knows how to use. A measure of experience and skill probably counts for more than the advantages of any unfamiliar means of self defense we could offer.

...Although I kind of expect we're going to have to ask Sydney to call in one of her compatriots to res Photina as a user eventually, regardless.

>>638122
Are we getting an infodump between threads?

I might suggest [An idiot's guide to not getting human friends killed]. Or [A basic primer on present day cultures and society].
>>
No. 638133 ID: bd8b82

i suggest [micro fusion reactors and not getting cooked by radiation]
>>
No. 638164 ID: 8f01e8

Ooh! Some kind of ginsu-style fractal super-sawblade, inside a sheath that's disguised as a regular steel sword (which would still be a step above what most people are using), and then a second conventional-looking sheath that holds some Dust to keep it all clean and sharp. So it's like a sword cane, except the cane is a less wizardly sword.
>>
No. 638210 ID: ea0ad9

>If for some obscure insane reason success meant having to ENACT A BLOOD SACRIFICE I WOULD BE STABBING MYSELF RIGHT NOW.
Whoops, thought I added this thread to my watchlist. My intended answer would have been, "Sorry, just wanted to know your position... If you're that serious about this, then I'll go through with it, no matter how dangerous it is for you. Failing your life's mission does sound worse than dying, after all."
I guess if that can still be relevant or something, then go ahead, but I feel the time's already passed.

>“Bah! Nonsense! I’m stronger than I look! I’m a real swordfighter!”
Well, having a body designed more for flight, myself, I suppose it would be easier to be stronger anyways.
>But nobody ever believes me anyway. They say I look too skinny!
There are plenty of martial artists who boast incredible strength in a skinny frame!
>That may be related to your condition.
It's also possible that unlike myself, your dust is primarily focused inside your body, keeping you very strong. Sidney mentioned that as a choice for how I could grow my powers, but I figured flying was cooler.
I mean, Sidney did say, "Plague leaves a very primal control over dust behind in it's survivors," so it probably grew in its own direction, or was guided that way from your training.
If you don't mind me asking, how long ago were you exposed? Or infected, since exposure's a different sort.
>>
No. 638230 ID: defceb
File 143080149191.png - (169.72KB , 900x700 , 53.png )
638230

“Begin audio log.”

“Confirmed ten corpses burned, one sustained. Appears to have been stored in a black body bag that has preserved the remains. WIll move to labs for study, then disposal. Could one of you tear down that relic too? I’m tired of seeing that face everywhere.”

“Primary target appears to have been at this location briefly, before vanishing. Hawk-c32-000183 recorded video data that indicate flight capability. No record shows them leaving the city, so I believe they had mustered a means to cloak themselves against our cameras. Current generation lacked sufficient acceleration to maintain pursuit, though I believe that their maximum speed will be sufficient. Next generation will be modified to account for this.”

“Suggesting continued pursuit. Requesting further parameters.”

“I get to choose this time?”

“I do have a few ideas…”

>>
No. 638243 ID: defceb

As organized by [Psychopomp Class B, unit 5]

There have been four cases of a user successfully creating a stable fusion generator and not killing themselves in the process. I will list them here from order of difficulty.

First case
A user who hoarded a vast collection of dust which they used to uproot a pre-existing reactor and re-engineer it into a mobile platform. The generator remained perfectly functional, and it required a small amount of effort to maintain. Overall I give them a 4 out of 10, while smart they had no sense of fashion to their mobile platform and squandered their chance for showmanship. At this point, most generators have already been rendered useless from time or destroyed.

Second case;
A user seized control of a large manufacturing plant, repurposed it, and constructed a generator the hard way. While it worked, they were then surrounded by corporate security and shot dead within a few hours. I give them a 6 out of 10, I liked their bravery but they lacked foresight. As you’ve since surmised, finding a manufacturing plant to make something like this properly would be tricky at best.

Third case;
A user racked their threat level so high that eventually a machine was fielded which required a fusion generator to stay afloat. The user in question then tore the beasts’ heart out and held on to it like a trophy. 8 out of 10, though they never actually understood the importance of having it. Suicidal plan, don’t recommend unless ‘glorious death in battle’ is your religion of choice.

Last case;
This one wasn’t actually the user, but the person they had the misfortune of choosing the fight that day.They were hassling some people for supplies, and it turned out a person going by the name Archmage Juno of Edessa was present. They were capable of creating tokamak style plasma ring, which fueled a laser generating apparatus, which rapidly heated said user into a user-shaped shadow on the ground. The Archmage is neither a user nor a known factor in our records outside this incident. This occurred only some ten years ago, perhaps they’re still alive somewhere? Currently filed under [#pending investigation #unreleased information #weird]
>>
No. 638245 ID: defceb

Taken from Dust attunement in the modern day.

Persons who become afflicted with Dust Exposure are commonly noted by the tattoo-like shifting patterns of dust on their skin. In fact, the dust networks have actually infiltrated throughout their body and similar patterns could be found throughout their internal organs as well. Long-term health risks include organ degradation, internal scarring, and chronic migraines. If any dust circuits are unfortunate enough to pierce vital organs, the afflicted person must seek medical attention immediately. Otherwise, they will likely suffer profuse internal bleeding and die. If you aren’t experiencing any unexplained bruises and lightheadedness within 3 hours of exposure, you should be fine. Additionally, exposure results in a person storing a massive amount of energy within themselves. One can easily lose control of said energy, creating a feedback loop that ultimately yields explosive results.

Recommended that exposed persons seek a low-stress lifestyle, and avoid heavy dust usage or strenuous activity.
>>
No. 638246 ID: defceb

As written by [Psychopomp Class B, Unit 2]

Congratulations on being raised from the dead! The following are some, but not all, symptoms you may feel within a week of being raised: Runny nose, minor headaches, unexplained bruises, minor organ failure, joint pain, diarrhea, occasional vomiting, constant vomiting, blurred vision, double vision, false vision, explosive headaches, actually explosive headaches, unexplained moral shifts, narration, numbness, paranoia, temporary schizophrenia, paranoid delusions, fugue states, obsessive behavior, back pain, and/or allergies. This is normal, as your body is still resetting after having been decomposed. If any given symptom lasts longer than an hour, or is present after a week, consult your psychopomp for options.

If you have any of the following conditions, please seek medical assistance immediately: Function without heart, function without blood, function without +50% body tissue, missing organs, sudden bleeding from the eyes, corpse-eating parasite infection, wrong identity, delusions of grandeur, and/or allergies.

The process is 90% successful with well-maintained corpses. Even then, there is only so much that modern medicine can do for the dead. You will not be able to be raised a second time if you fall. You may experience some new health risks. These are to be unfortunate, but to be expected. Keep an active lifestyle and seek low-stress situations as you go to complete your mission. Good luck!
>>
No. 638247 ID: defceb

Take from Man and machine, a guide to your first human friends:

“So you finally made friends with a filthy organic. You may note that, unlike us superior uplifted individuals, they are frail and easy to accidentally permanently injure or kill. Unlike us, they are not capable of replacing any given part of their form in cases of incident or injury, and must be handled with care. Here is a handy list of suggestions on how to handle your first human friend.

Do not:
Stab your human friend
Shoot your human friend
Feed your human friend poison.
Drown your human friend.
Do ‘that hat trick’ with your human friend.
Invite your human friend to unassisted sky diving.
Give an up close and personal lessons on the structure or organic gastrointestinal structure to your human friend.
Do not do that.
It’s creepy.
Show your human friend the inside of a fusion reactor.
Invite your human friend to a nudist moon run.
Tell your human friend that the air is nice outside of the domes.
Have a 10 hour drinking run with your human friend.
Seriously why do you keep doing that.
Play russian roulette with your human friend.
Do that cool lightning trick with your human friend.
Do “All the drugs” with your human friend.
Push your human friend off a cliff.
Or off a skyscraper.
Or off a mountainside.
Or off the space elevator.
Or off a spaceship.
Or off a moving airplane.
Just don’t push people.
It’s not that hard.
Really.
Swap your human friends’ air canister with laughing gas.
Ask your human friend how the barrel to the gun looks.
Do not treat your human friends as cannon fodder.
Forget to feed your human friends in times of extended travel
Take your human friends on long-term spaceflight.
They really aren’t built for that.
Don’t even fly them past Saturn.
Just don’t.
I still have nightmares.
Play the choking game with your human friend.
Play any of those highschool games with your human friend.

Look, if you wouldn’t do it to a puppy don’t do it to people. It’s that simple. Why do I have to write this out?”
>>
No. 638248 ID: defceb

As written by [Psychopomp Class B, unit 3]

So you’ve been a fossilized corpse for countless years, have lost all known friends and family, and are now being pressed into a suicide mission in a strange, foreign land?

It could happen to anybody.

According to historical texts, local cultures are roughly similar to [Ancient Greek] societies. People are separated amongst city states, which are ruled separately from each other. In the local area, there are no current warlords or emperor’s to-be trying to unify the given city states.

Predominant religion appears to have looped back around to sun-worship, with a smattering of minor deities. The second highest object of worship is what you know as Saturn. They believe it to be a servant of the sun due to it reflecting light upon them at all times. Priests reside in a temple, where they are constantly covered in intricate robes and preach their beliefs down upon the people. Oddly enough, the robes the priests wear are the same in every city. Sometimes I wonder if they’re really people.

Commonly accepted currencies are precious metals and dust. Local cities also highly value precious gems, salt, and spices.

There is a constant flux of travel, and most local city-states are open to foreigners. As long as you’re not making a huge scene, and at least attempt to fit in you should be fine. Making friends with a local could get you a long way in travel. If you ever find yourself being chased by an angry mob, please refer to [So you’ve angered the locals and are about to be lynched; a guide to what you did wrong] or the follow-up [Successful escape from bronze-age prisons] and it’s sequel [Obtaining a new identity in old land].

A small portion of the population are dust attuned. With the exception of plague victims, dust attuned individuals are often seen as either nobility or fancyshmancy wizardly folk and tend to congregate at the upper echelons of society. Plague victims on the other hand are largely the victim of their appearance.

Currently favored arts lean towards weaving and pottery, with a burgeoning interest in bronze statues. Nobody will turn down a little music either.

By and large, if you’re not a huge asshole tall order for some people I swear then you should get along fine.
>>
No. 638250 ID: defceb

Chapter 1 will begin once Grocery Store wraps up.
>>
No. 638273 ID: 8f01e8

Salt! Of course. As long as we're reintroducing the printing press, how about some more efficient machine for desalinating seawater? Basically just an evaporator/condenser. All that plumbing could be tricky, especially by bronze age standards, but it lacks the high-energy failure conditions of a fusion reactor.

After throwing around some societal uplift stuff like that, seek out the Archmage Juno (where exactly is Edessa, by the way?) and hopefully make a good impression on the basis of all the people whose lives you've improved.

This is assuming that the "capture and subvert/replace a hunter" plan neither opens up even better opportunities nor gets us killed outright, which admittedly is a long shot.
>>
No. 638282 ID: 3db3cf

I'm kind of curious about that hat trick you mentioned...
>>
No. 638291 ID: 367ba0

>>636943
Theory 1:
Cylinder crashed and is being repaired.

Theory 2:
Its under construction and gets transported to space later (teleportation? levitation? we're a billion years in the future, someones bound to have found a better way of getting stuff out of orbit rather than strapping it to a rocket)

Theory 3:
It's not going to space at all and they just nicked the design.
Maybe the inside of the cylinder has antigravity or sopmething.

Things to ask Sidney when we can:
What sort of tech did we miss between 2012 and whenever it is now?
How much of it can he access?
How much of it can we make?
What has humanity been doing in the intervening years?
How come humanity hasn't evolved?
How come people are ok with a bug-person? Have there been other uplifted animal-people?
How come Titan's a backwater no-man's land, did humanity's interstellar community abandon us?
Did humanity ever even leave the solar system?
>>
No. 638311 ID: 2f4b71

>>638291
Anyone with access to casual counter-gravity has better manufacturing options than piling bits together at the bottom of a gravity well.
>How come humanity hasn't evolved?
Take someone born 2000 years ago and give them a lifetime of modern food and medicine, and they'll be indistinguishable from a modern human unless you know what specific genetic and epigenetic markers you're looking for. Evolution is slow on human timescales.
>>
No. 638318 ID: 367ba0

>>638311
Alright fair enough on the antigrav.
Just seems odd that a huge 5 mile wide spinning space cylinder could either survive falling from space or seem like a perfect habitat for whoever made Sidney.

I get that humans evolve slowly, but its been literally 5 billion years since 2000 AD.
5 Billion years ago there wasn't life.
5 Billion years ago there wasn't even Earth.
>>
No. 638615 ID: ea0ad9

>wrong identity
Should we be seeking medical attention, then? We clearly see ourselves as somebody from an era we could not possibly be from. Or does acknowledging that it's an impossibility negate psychological issues that would normally be present in such a belief?
>The process is 90% successful with well-maintained corpses.
Please tell me this is an older article and that rate is higher, and/or the loss of success rate isn't very large for those who are not well maintained. You did tell us we were kind of exploded. That qualifies as failure to preserve the corpse, right?
>Oddly enough, the robes the priests wear are the same in every city. Sometimes I wonder if they’re really people.
Wonder if anybody told Psychopomp B3 that people sometimes try to grasp onto some sense of immortality, or machine-likeness, through uniform things like that.
>Local cities also highly value precious gems, salt, and spices.
I heard that salt was a valued form of currency in Ancient Earth, but they're seriously doing that here on Titan? Buncha weirdos.
Gems and spices, though, sure.
Spices are totally different from Salt, for some reason. Don't ask me, they just are.
>please refer to [So you’ve angered the locals and are about to be lynched; a guide to what you did wrong] or the follow-up [Successful escape from bronze-age prisons] and it’s sequel [Obtaining a new identity in old land].
Is there one for stealing a means of travel and obtaining a new identity in a new land, without giving away that we stole things from our last location?
>dust attuned individuals are often seen as either nobility or fancyshmancy wizardly folk and tend to congregate at the upper echelons of society. Plague victims on the other hand are largely the victim of their appearance.
Are we an exception to that, being a cute (But also creepy. Creepy can be cute, Sidney, Shut up.) moth person?
(To clarify: Something different from the normal can be creepy. Creepy is alien. Alien is attractive, since people are innately curious. Attractive makes cute. On the other hand, some people hear "Curiosity killed the cat" and flip the fuck out, ignoring the following "But satisfaction brought it back.")
>if you’re not a huge asshole
Bluh bluh huge asshole Unfortunately for some people, being a "Superbly mannered individual" means "Rich douche" and "Huge Douche" means "Serious asshole." Lousy mental chains, but people stick to them.
>rather than strapping it to a rocket
Rail-launching. I mean, they did they have a bunch of scaffolding around it. It's plausible.
>What sort of tech did we miss between 2012 and whenever it is now?
We totally should see a psychiatrist, once we're no longer in danger of being gunned down if we stay in one location for more than a week.
>How come humanity hasn't evolved?
Did you forget the whole part about users sacrificing the entire local human population to try and buy themselves some time? Any survivors have had to build back up from scratch. Kind of hard to evolve past a point when you keep getting set back from it.
>How come people are ok with a bug-person?
Sidney already said that most people find it creepy. Again, lousy logic chains. The "Death" is simply of your perception of the world, people! Satisfaction brings it back--even if it does have a small but permanent change to it!
>Have there been other uplifted animal-people?
Probably, since there's actually statistics to say "Most people" find them creepy.
Or did you mean legitimate animal people? Heck, even non-users who simply underwent surgery to become animal people (Or dust-attuned who did it to themselves without Psychopomp guidance) would be surprising. Have there been such people?
>5 Billion years ago there wasn't even Earth.
What do you call dust, mate? I'd say that's evolution, right there. People from five billion years ago could never have hoped to use dust like this. Dust was literally just useless organic debris back then.
>>
No. 638805 ID: 82c018

>What do you call dust, mate? I'd say that's evolution, right there.
That is a technology, not a heritable genetic change (unless ability to manipulate dust does have a genetic component that has become more prevalent over time).

>Oddly enough, the robes the priests wear are the same in every city. Sometimes I wonder if they’re really people.
That scale of consistency in religious traditions on a global scale in a low-tech society is a bit odd. That furthers the "priests work for the System*" theory. ...Do priests carry some sort of ceremonial staff or polearm?

* Do we have a proper name for the whole system with the tower and hunter drones and so on?
>>
No. 638815 ID: f461c5

We absolutely, 100% need to find and learn from an archmage.
>>
No. 638838 ID: 8f01e8

>>638805
>That scale of consistency in religious traditions on a global scale in a low-tech society is a bit odd. That furthers the "priests work for the System*" theory. ...Do priests carry some sort of ceremonial staff or polearm?

They wouldn't need to if they're literally just humanoid drones, and the robes are integral. The fine art of concealing a deadly weapon against a human-shaped silhouette with the aid of some bulky clothing might well be older than domesticated dogs and fire.

"Copper Moths" seem like another thing to ask a few mildly paranoid questions about. If you want to stop a society from re-industrializing, it'd be logical to engineer a pest that makes every brownsmith's supply chain a constant uphill battle. Is there some other sort of vermin, like D&D 'rust monsters,' that eats iron? The locals might not even remember it, if the Iron Age has been successfully held in abeyance.
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