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File 143306562354.png - (10.54KB , 840x600 , 4001.png )
644296 No. 644296 ID: defceb

Expand all images
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No. 644297 ID: defceb
File 143306572629.png - (22.71KB , 840x600 , 4002.png )
644297

>Wake up
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No. 644298 ID: defceb
File 143306574482.png - (24.36KB , 840x600 , 4003.png )
644298

>...I said wake up!
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No. 644299 ID: defceb
File 143306575323.png - (23.88KB , 840x600 , 4004.png )
644299

>>
No. 644300 ID: e114bc

>>644299
Greet whoever that is. Then check out your surroundings and inventory.

Ask after Rudy.
>>
No. 644301 ID: be24a8

What's your opinion of the colour green?
>>
No. 644306 ID: 89941a

Caution: Wet paint
>>
No. 644307 ID: cbc9e6

"Whose bright idea it was to put me on wet paint?"
>>
No. 644325 ID: d3be40

Looks like a few decades pass each time you wake up, or something. This place is deteriorating, you need to find the others and get out.

Recall as much as you can. Were those avian aliens really just a dream, or did that happen? It's possible that you picked up a broadcasted memory file from some deep-space explorer.
>>
No. 644327 ID: 8e0b6a

Check internal clock. How long has it been since you left Rudy?

It appears you're back in the room where you found the bag of blood and the beheaded person, and then fork bombed yourself. Only someone painted over the glass.

Double back to Rudy's location. Is he okay?
>>
No. 644330 ID: d26c2a

there is no one in the room, is there.

apollo this whole playing with the medium thing is very well done
>>
No. 644342 ID: 8e0b6a

Also: inspect thing on the floor that was thrown at you. Is that a wallet?
>>
No. 644389 ID: defceb
File 143313051950.png - (26.58KB , 840x600 , 4005.png )
644389

>Greet whoever that is
>Wet paint?

You appear to be alone. The paint is long dry, though the paint job is shoddy.

>Check inventory
>Check surroundings

Your inventory is empty.

There is a large Fresnel light in the corner of the room The power cable runs off the table and through an exit to the next room. The surface of the two paint buckets have dried over, forming a solid layer that renders them largely useless. The tall cabinet doesn’t have any visible locks, but it lacks a handle to be opened with.

>Check internal clock.

The clock numbers spin around wildly, producing nothing but junk data. Of course.

>Were the avian aliens real?

They were very real. Memories of your time spent with the aliens drift back to the surface. After exchanging plaques you immersed yourself in their available culture. Movies, art, listening to their conversation day in and day out. Eventually you pieced together that they believed you were some sort of intergalactic warlord, and your drone was the first wave of tank units sent to capture the moon. When they saw they didn’t have the means to stop it on-site, they decided to surrender in the hopes you wouldn’t cut them all down. Oops.
>>
No. 644390 ID: defceb
File 143313053236.png - (21.81KB , 840x600 , 4006.png )
644390

>Inspect the thing on the floor.

You pick up the leather wallet. Inside you find a security card.
>>
No. 644398 ID: e114bc

You "appear" to be alone. Things have been invisible to you before. Still, it's possible (maybe even likely) that the person who woke you up is simply in the next room. Go look. Also of note is that the spotlight "dream" was likely artificially created in this room...

Are you serious about the drone being mistaken for a tank? It didn't have any weapons! Are the avians stupid or just easily frightened? I guess your fully artificial body would be appropriate for a warlord.
>>
No. 644401 ID: 7ac5a0

>>644398
It was full of cameras, any of them could have been some kind of directed energy weapon.
>>
No. 644404 ID: 8e0b6a

Gah. Our spiffy duds. We're dressed in rags now. We'd look cooler just going for android naked chic at this point, but we'd weird too many people out, and we don't need more reason for anyone to question our sanity.

>no inventory
Still bothered we're not gonna get a complete set of posters, now.

>The clock numbers spin around wildly, producing nothing but junk data. Of course.
You broke your internal clock. You're a computer, how's your brain supposed to work? How many internal processes depend on the clock? How are you supposed to handle file creation and memory organization, and scheduled tasks and a million other little things?

...I guess you're completely reliant on your human side. Hopefully your automated systems can cope with that. Does that mean processor time is gonna be subject to perceptual lag?

>When they saw they didn’t have the means to stop it on-site, they decided to surrender in the hopes you wouldn’t cut them all down. Oops.
So... did you eventually clear that confusion up? Explain how things really were? Did they have a good sense of humor about it? (Did they have a sense of humor?).

I guess if it was a mass cultural exchange all that earth based entertainment library you spend so long burning through was useful too.

>>644390
>R. Svensson
Rudolf Svensson. That's Rudy. Or... is it? Do you have facial recognition software to compare against? He looks too old, there. And he's wearing his hair differently. Bushier eyebrows. And it's pre-skin graft. You'd think a security keycard photo would be kept up to date with something like a major disfiguring injury.

So... this is a message. It's either telling us we were tricked. (Rudy wasn't Rudy). Or it's taunting us- cause we left him alone for too long.

Either way, only one course of action. Out the door, back to the hallway, where we left him. What's happened? Is he still okay? Is it too late?
>>
No. 644443 ID: defceb
File 143314479715.png - (32.91KB , 840x600 , 4007.png )
644443

>So did you clear that up?

Probably, maybe, hopefully. It’s difficult to tell if they really understood.

You enter the next room. There doesn’t appear to be anyone here either.
>>
No. 644444 ID: e114bc

>>644443
Check the doorway the bottle's in front of, then examine the bottle. After that, check what's on the desk in front of the fucked up mirror. Then the heads, then the wardrobe.
>>
No. 644445 ID: d3be40

Check for traps, that bottle looks like a rudimentary bait. It's possible that someone in this area went feral and is placing basic traps.
>>
No. 644452 ID: e114bc

Speaking of bait, how are our coolant levels now?
>>
No. 644471 ID: be24a8

Check those documents on the bench. Maybe your rescuer left a note. Check those labels on the busts too. Is there anything in that shoebox or under the bench? Might want to grab a change of clothes too.
>>
No. 644476 ID: 88960e

No comment on if that looks like Rudy to you?

Are those your clothes on the floor of the closet? Looks like they could be.

Check documents on the counter.

Check the nameplates on the mannequin heads.

Where's that cable go?

>Probably, maybe, hopefully. It’s difficult to tell if they really understood.
How long did you stay? Months, years? Did you get any upgrades? (That's not where you got the new eye, is it? One of their design)?

Were you on the trip back from that when you crashed?

"The accidental warlord" would make a pretty great title for a memoir.
>>
No. 644482 ID: 46984a

What's that covering the walls and the ceiling? Scorchmarks? Cracks? Scratches?
>>
No. 644676 ID: defceb
File 143323665575.png - (31.96KB , 840x600 , 4008.png )
644676

>How are the coolant levels?
Your coolant supply is full. Whatever poor drone runs into you next won’t have an easy time now.

>How long did you stay? Did you get any upgrades? Were you on the trip back when you crashed?
You stayed for a least a year, roughly speaking, and made no internal changes outside of normal maintenance. Thinking of the trip back to Mars brings up only vague impressions, like there’s still a missing piece in your memories.

>Check EVERYTHING.
The wardrobe is full of a variety of clothes. You could easily put together a new outfit from here. Your old outfits are hanging on the coat racks.

The cable leads off into another exit.

You peer through the doorway. There doesn’t seem to be any traps. The bottle appears to be full of normal water.
>>
No. 644677 ID: defceb
File 143323669232.png - (27.27KB , 840x600 , 4009.png )
644677

On top of the desk you find a note, two photographs, a small drawing, a tape, and your cassette player.
>>
No. 644678 ID: defceb
File 143323675765.png - (22.68KB , 840x600 , 4010.png )
644678

You move to inspect the mannequins, starting with the pair on the side. Their proportions are out of order, and their features have been scrubbed down to being unrecognizable. You read the nameplates.

Furious Mask: A fragment that lashed out against it’s peers, torn by a loss it can’t recall.

Lamenting Mask:

The words are scratched up and impossible to read.
>>
No. 644679 ID: defceb
File 143323678701.png - (16.58KB , 840x600 , 4011.png )
644679

You move to the next mannequin head. A note hangs from a chain around it’s neck.

Peculiar(?) Mask: An oddity in the wrong place and the wrong time.

It feels like it’s looking right at you.
>>
No. 644680 ID: defceb
File 143323681164.png - (14.48KB , 840x600 , 4012.png )
644680

You inspect the last mannequin head.

Narrator

There is no additional text.
>>
No. 644681 ID: bd8b82

>>644677
radi0?
>>
No. 644689 ID: be24a8

Heeeey try setting your radio to 464.5155 MHz
>>
No. 644691 ID: b283c9

You might want to wear the peculiar mask. It should fit comfortably.
>>
No. 644693 ID: 57d76a

>>644689
If that doesn't work, treat those letters as hex and try that.
>>
No. 644699 ID: 88960e

>>644676
Hey, the posters are on the wall! Not lost. Small joys.

Any new posters? We were looking for one to open that keypad, before.

Grab key and Swiss army knife.

>You could easily put together a new outfit from here. Your old outfits are hanging on the coat racks.
Well we need some kind of outfit. What we have on now is a little sad. (Anyone got ideas for wardrobe improvements)?

>>644677
>radi0
Hey, a non-obtuse clue!

Although if bold letters mean tell hidden radio frequencies, we might have to go looking for those ones from before.

Recollect the tape player and tape (we didn't get all the way through listening to it before, plus something might have been added). Take a closer look at those two photographs.
>>
No. 644701 ID: 46984a

I feel like we're not going to like what's under the peculiar(?) mask. And it's partly why we must find out.

Does the handwriting on the note look familiar? Like Haley's or yours?

Also, the note itself.
FOURTH WALL VIOLATION CODE YELLOW

>>
No. 644724 ID: 4189b9

Is that a sitting figure behind those bars? After checking out the things on the table and posters, get a closer look and maybe try to get their attention of they aren't rotting.
>>
No. 644754 ID: e114bc

>>644680
Well. I recognize that head. That's the guy who was building the city.

>>644693
Hex doesn't work, there's an odd number of letters in the first segment.

>>644676
More movie posters. Also, there's someone in that cell! We can deal with that later.

...you said those are your previous outfits? But you only had one previous outfit. Unless you mean those are outfits from your past, before you came here? Outfits that should be IMPOSSIBLE to be here? Your optics are being manipulated again. That, or there's something massively wrong with your memories... or this place.

Wait, your cassette player? I don't remember you having one before. If you feel it is yours then it's important I suppose. Try listening to the tape before you do go into the room with the posters and cell.
>>
No. 644792 ID: defceb
File 143328691945.png - (38.36KB , 840x600 , 4013.png )
644792

>Inspect the pictures

You pull up the two pictures and take a look at them. One of them has “I don’t want to sign your picture. -R” written under it. The handwriting on both the picture and the note are unfamiliar to you.

>Listen to the tape

You reacquire the cassette player and play the tape sitting next to it. The tape plays the sound of someone tapping their fingers for awhile, occasionally highlighted by the hums and haws of a man trying to piece together their thoughts.

“Earth is different from what I can remember of it. I guess Haley was always right all along, we really can’t return home. I visited an apartment, one that apparently used to be mine. The layout was just as I written in the journals, right down to the computer scraps hiding in all the corners. It was all… foreign. Or rather, I had become foreign to it. To everything. The world was the same as back then, and I had changed to be out of place. But I guess that doesn’t really matter now.”

They tap the tape against something, giving a series of dull thuds to punctuate their moment of silence.

“Getting into Haley’s circle was easy enough, she just needed someone who supported her ideas and could help. I was fortunate enough to find her before Victor will, though I suppose that meeting is inevitable with his condition. Finding Marie proved to be more difficult. She never talked much about her past, leaving me to piece it together from bits and records of the old times. I had hoped to find her before the bombs fell but… I’ll have to live with that mistake. There’s no way to turn back time, so there’s no point in feeling regret for my shortcoming. There’s an old geothermal plant in Idaho, it’s much more secure than the California facility was. I’ll suggest the spot to Haley tomorrow.”

The tape cuts out.

>Radio to 464.5155MHz

Your radio emits a weak level of white noise. A thin, raspy voice crackles into being over the background noise. “Are you there?” They cough repeatedly, rising up into a broken crescendo. “Can you hear me? Can… can anyone hear me?” They wheeze, deep and painful. “I can’t… I can’t hear anyone anymore. Where are they? Where... where is everyone?” The voice fades back into the background.

There’s a distant rumbling sound, like something falling apart.
>>
No. 644796 ID: d3be40

This was supposed to be your civilization branching out into space. Did cutting off Earth to die somehow choke humanity of a vital societal need? Or is this suicidal apocalypse simply what happened the moment you finally had an apparent solution to all of mortalkind's individual problems?

Hopefully the aliens are doing well.

Alright, take what you can and leave. This place seems structurally unsound and there's a distress signal out there. You'll need intel if you want to make it to Idaho.
>>
No. 644807 ID: e114bc

>>644792
That tape suggests time travel. Someone set up the facility in a different spot this time around because someone arrived from the future and directed events differently. Didn't work out very well, apparently. Maybe it has something to do with extended space travel?

Respond to the radio. Tell them you can hear them, you're sorry you didn't figure out the frequency earlier. Where are they? You can try to rescue them if you can get to them.
>>
No. 644812 ID: 8e0b6a

>“I don’t want to sign your picture. -R”
Is that Roderick?

>Getting into Haley’s circle was easy enough, she just needed someone who supported her ideas and could help. I was fortunate enough to find her before Victor will, though I suppose that meeting is inevitable with his condition. Finding Marie proved to be more difficult. She never talked much about her past, leaving me to piece it together from bits and records of the old times. I had hoped to find her before the bombs fell but… I’ll have to live with that mistake.
That sounds an awful lot like he's a time traveler trying to find people in his past.

>There’s no way to turn back time
I'm not sure if that's intentional irony, or if that means we're in the kind of universe where time travel never changes anything, and always happened in the first place.

>Can you hear me? Can… can anyone hear me?
Try to respond. Hello, I hear you. Who is this? Where are you?

>also
You still have to check if that's a person in the cell, over there.
>>
No. 644813 ID: 8e0b6a

Oh wait. And if they never found Marie before he convinced Haley to set up here instead of California... that means you're out there slowly dying. And no one's gonna save you, this time.

What does that mean? Is she another you? Are you... going to disappear?
>>
No. 644857 ID: 7df7d1
File 143330230604.png - (29.54KB , 840x600 , 4014.png )
644857

You try to call out to the voice on the radio, telling them you’ll come rescue them as soon as you can. A low white noise dominates the radio, punctuated by painful, drawn out gasps of air. The person in the cell, however, speaks up in response.

“...hello?” They speak up in a dry voice. “If you exist and uh… aren’t just an audio illusion, do you have some water?”
>>
No. 644859 ID: 8e0b6a

>>644857
I exist. ...I think. Hold on.

Grab the water, sample a sip so you can analyze it and make sure it's not drugged or poisoned or something. (Trust nothing, here). Then offer it to the prisoner, if safe.

Introduce yourself. I'm Marie.
>>
No. 644860 ID: e114bc

>>644857
Toss them the water bottle. Then grab the swiss army knife and key. Ask what they mean about audio illusions.
>>
No. 644871 ID: 8e0b6a

>>644857
Oh wait, he's got that food-terrorist symbol on his hand. Had that already started up? I assumed it started later.

Uh, don't call him a food terrorist. That's kind of rude, and probably not the right name for his group.
>>
No. 645232 ID: defceb
File 143340145457.png - (34.80KB , 840x600 , 4015.png )
645232

>”I exist… I think. Hold on.”

You test the water and find it safe, then pass it off to the prisoner. “Thank you!” They practically shout, flailing to catch the water bottle. They guzzle down the water while you step aside and add the Swiss Army Knife, Key, and Posters back into your inventory.

>”I’m Marie, by the way. What did you mean about audio illusions?”

They let out a satisfied sigh and toss aside the now emptied water bottle. “Oh that? I just figured I’ve been in here long enough for something to snap.”

>”About that mark on your hand…”

“Have you been living under a rock? Ooohhh, wait, you’re foreign, huh? I thought I heard an accent in there. It’s the New Organic Party symbol. Real anti-industrial, rejecting the meta-narrative sort of stuff. Ever heard of ‘em?”
>>
No. 645236 ID: e114bc

>>645232
Ask what they're in the cell for.

...I'm tempted to just say leave. We know there's someone in trouble somewhere due to that radio signal. If we can find the source by triangulating it or something...
>>
No. 645270 ID: defceb
File 143340695757.png - (18.18KB , 840x600 , 4016.png )
645270

“Depends on who you ask! According to the state I’m behind bars because I participated in a violent protest and attacked a police officer. Between you and me, I’m stuck in this gig because I stood a little too close to some club-happy cops.”

“You’re really the inquisitive type, aren’t you? What about you? Why are you stuck down here? And uh… I don’t want to be rude but what’s with your ears?” They stand close to the bars. “If those are ears. It’s a little dark in here, ya know?”
>>
No. 645272 ID: e114bc

>>645270
...where's the lock on this cell? We could probably bust it open.
>>
No. 645273 ID: a19cd5
645273

>>645270
"I'm a robot girl. beep boop."
>>
No. 645296 ID: 88960e

Did they see anyone else come through here recently?

Could we turn on some lights in here? Or failing that, night vision? I'd like to see this guy.

>New Organic Party
Were they involved in the protests against, um, well, you? Or the shit that got Haley shot? He might not be do friendly to a cyborg.

>Why are you stuck down here?
I had the misfortune of crashing into this place.
>>
No. 645337 ID: 82c018

Short story our space ship crashed and there are zombie cyborgs here. We can try and get them out of the cell if they want, but that might let the zombies get to them.
>>
No. 645386 ID: defceb
File 143344645493.png - (20.74KB , 840x600 , 4017.png )
645386

>”I kind of crash landed in here and now there’s zombie cyborgs everywhere and it’s all kind of freaky.”

“Still got the zombies roaming around? I would’ve thought by now that they’d have rotted through. It’s been…. how long now? Feels like everything started years ago.”

>”I think I can get you out of there, but I can’t guarantee you’ll be safe out here.”

“I’m not safe in here, either! It seems like everything is about to collapse any minute. Not too long ago I heard this loud noise and all the walls were creaking and cracking and- eugh, I don’t want to think about that. I’m sure there’s a control board somewhere around here, please help me.”

New Organic Party. They were the group that organized the protests against Haley’s work and eventually stormed the building. Nothing but trouble happened in your life when they were involved. This person probably isn’t going to be friendly once they find out you’re a cyborg.
>>
No. 645391 ID: d40861

>>645386
they'll find out regardless, lets not hide it lile a doof and get our aas bit.
>>
No. 645395 ID: dccc95

Let Lautrec out and go back to doing your own thing. No chance of backfiring.

How did they even survive in there this long?
>>
No. 645398 ID: e114bc

Yeah don't let her out. Tell her you'll look around but you can't promise anything.

I'm all for forgiving humanity in general, but let's not be foolishly idealistic. Individual members of humanity can be scumbags, and she's got a freaking tattoo of an anti-cyborg organization which is known for being hateful and violent.

Just move on to the other unexplored room.
>>
No. 645400 ID: f43c8f

Tell the prisoner you're still bitter about their "party" pumping you full of bullets. Regardless of whether it's true, just to read them better.
>>
No. 645409 ID: ab7529

Let's bear in mind this situation was orchestrated. We were left here on purpose. This is a trap. It could be one of two things- trick us into hurting someone again (abandoning them because of the political affiliation) or to take advantage of our good nature by forcing us to work with someone toxic.

>what do
Offer a hypothetical to the prisoner.

This is a zombie survivor scenario, now. How do you feel about the other people who might still be here with us? The ones who worked here?

Do you blame them? Would you work with them to survive, or are they too dangerous to trust because they might have been involved?

What's idealism, here?
>>
No. 645424 ID: defceb
File 143345344581.png - (21.76KB , 840x600 , 4018.png )
645424

>”Your party and I have a poor history at best.”

“What, are you one of those cybernetic-types?”

>”Yes, actually.”

There’s a long silence between you two.

>”This is a zombie survival scenario. How do you feel about the other people who might still be alive in here? The ones who worked here? Do you blame them? Could you work with them?”

They wave their hands up and shrug. “Anything I say you could brush off as desperate lying. I’m a cornered mouse and you know it.”

>”Is that your answer, then?”

“It’s the most honest thing I could say.” They start laughing. “Nothing really changed. In here, out there, either way I’m stuck at the mercy of machines.”
>>
No. 645431 ID: d40861

>>645424
"I'm not a machine. I'm a person with machine parts. I'm letting you out by the way, give me a moment to figure this out."
>spring 'em
>>
No. 645434 ID: e114bc

Marie you are bad at interrogation. You're supposed to ask them about their reasons for joining the movement *before* telling them you're a cyborg.

Do not let them out. Those directly associated with our enemies are not our friends, shitty situation or not. I don't regret giving them water, though.
>>
No. 645438 ID: ab7529

>In here, out there, either way I’m stuck at the mercy of machines
Some of those machines happen to human enough to feel guilty at the thought of leaving you to rot in a cell. And to be merciful.

*Open it*

Look, you can try and go your own way, or stick with safety in numbers. Just please focus on that being human thing you're supposed to be big on? There's enough actual monsters down here without making monsters out of people.

*beat*

...you sure you didn't piss someone off or something? It's awful creative cruelty to lock an eco-protestor in what sure looks like a cybernetics research facility.
>>
No. 645904 ID: defceb
File 143349755597.png - (23.49KB , 840x600 , 4019.png )
645904

>”I just have one last question.”

“Well shoot, it’s not like I’m going anywhere.”

>”Why did you join the New Organic Party?”

“Why did I- are you familiar with the grand utopian ideal? Great cities of science and technology that sweep in to save mankind? Pure. Fiction. We’re fed these narratives of how we’re marching towards a bright new future, when what do you see outside? Gas bombs, global warming, mass extinction. Tuna went extinct recently. TUNA, for fucks sake! Meanwhile, we’re gleefully throwing soldiers at each other, stitching them back together, and throwing them back into the fray. And all that grand tech we’re all supposed to have at our fingertips? Suffice to say, the price tags are left out of the commercials for a good reason. This whole world is seeing two classes of people become more and more separated. Us, who get stuck footing the bill, and them, the ever shrinking circle of people who can afford to lift themselves out of this shithole.”

“So excuse me for getting mad that our crops are dwindling yearly. We were promised that GMOs would save us, weren’t we? Pardon me for wanting to protest the excess drone flights. We’re just being protected, right? I’m so sorry I’m against the use of chemical fucking weapons in South America. We still don’t even know how long the impact of that will be felt. Probably longer than we’ll be around. The gas isn’t going away, it’s just spreading out in a fine toxic mist everywhere the wind takes it.”

“So that’s the narrative as I know it. A bunch of uptight assholes are expecting the world to dance to their tune, and I sign up with the people who are against that. If that makes me a villain to your story, well I can live with that. So do whatever you think is best. But at the end of the day, I refuse to bleed for your future.”
>>
No. 645913 ID: a19cd5

>>645904
i agree with that though. that's all some horrifying stuff. the bit I disagree with is you hating me for having an artificial body.
>>
No. 645923 ID: e114bc

>>645904
I want to show him you're a full uplift, just to blow his mind.
>>
No. 645939 ID: 26e769

But... but...


...enhance knockers?

Look, I'm sorry, but there's no going back for me.

*reveal cybernetic body*

I feel for you and your suffering. But violence solves nothing, especially right now. If I offered to let you come with me, would you? Or would you hurt one or both of us out of anarchistic spite?
>>
No. 646092 ID: 88960e

>>645904
Believe me, I really don't have a problem with wanting the world to be a better place. Or wanting people to stop fucking the world up.

It's when people start protesting using tech for good that pissed me off. I would have died in bed as a kid, wasting away to nothing, if it weren't for this cybernetic stuff. I have a friend who got shot because people thought that was wrong.

Excuse me for wanting to live. I refuse to die for your future.

Rip the lock off the cell door for emphasis. They're free to go.
>>
No. 646316 ID: cc676d

I've already bled for yours. It is hardly a new narrative to want to overthrow the system; to clearly see the injustice of the world and to be sure you can set things right if only you can destroy the "them" who must be to blame for all of it. It also isn't new how "them" inevitably shifts from being those who have power to being anyone who is different and within arm's reach, whether shopkeepers, vaguely defined intellectuals, religious minorities, or hospital patients being treated for terminal illness. Reject the narrative of progress if you want, but don't pretend you aren't dancing to a tune of your own or that history doesn't have some things to say about how likely that one is to actually improve things.
Now if we are done lecturing each other, I am willing to work with people I disagree with to make things better and to survive this place in particular. Are you?
>>
No. 646318 ID: d3be40

"It's not my future. Not anymore. Let's get out of here; I'll do the bleeding but you have to do your part - whatever you decide your part is."
>>
No. 646353 ID: defceb
File 143353259537.png - (25.27KB , 840x600 , 4020.png )
646353

>“I didn’t have the luxury of a choice in getting this body. It was either that, or die young. “

“And how many people died for your saving grace?”

>”I’ve seen people die from your ideology too! You don’t want to bleed for my future? Fine. But I’m not dying for yours either. It is hardly a new narrative to want to overthrow the system; to clearly see the injustice of the world and to be sure you can set things right if only you can destroy the "them" who must be to blame for all of it. It also isn't new how "them" inevitably shifts from being those who have power to being anyone who is different and within arm's reach, whether shopkeepers, vaguely defined intellectuals, religious minorities, or hospital patients being treated for terminal illness. Reject the narrative of progress if you want, but don't pretend you aren't dancing to a tune of your own or that history doesn't have some things to say about how likely that one is to actually improve things.”
>>
No. 646354 ID: defceb
File 143353261739.png - (30.17KB , 840x600 , 4021.png )
646354

You punch through the lock, metal shards and wiring piercing through your hand in the process. There’s a dull creaking sound as the cell unlocks.

>“Now if we’re done lecturing at each other, you’re free to go. I need to find some real clothes and find a way out of this mess.”
>>
No. 646368 ID: ab7529

Turn back, go back to getting dressed.

If there's a light in here, turn it on. They don't have built in night vision. Or if the flashlight we used to have in inventory is here, kick it in there direction. (Or if nothing else, we could turn the spotlight on).

If they stick around after getting out of the cell, and don't just run out of the room, introduce yourself. "Marie."
>>
No. 646369 ID: ab7529

>metal shards and wiring piercing through your hand in the process
Oh, and uh, bind your hand. We've got enough extra clothing her for a bandage. I doubt you did serious structure damage, but we can't afford another coolant leak.
>>
No. 646419 ID: e114bc

I don't see how binding the hand is going to accomplish anything. It's not flesh and blood. If it's leaking coolant then maybe.

Go throw on that second outfit. The one with the stripe.

For future reference: don't punch metal things. Also don't free your enemies god damn it.
>>
No. 646428 ID: defceb
File 143354230792.png - (19.64KB , 840x600 , 4022.png )
646428

You turn away from the cell and go back to the wardrobe.

So, what will you wear next?
>>
No. 646441 ID: d4a543

Armor.
>>
No. 646444 ID: 89941a
File 143354581082.png - (15.78KB , 840x600 , ShirtWhy.png )
646444

>>646428
All I could find was an oversized shirt. Who even has arms this thick?
>>
No. 646446 ID: 60700b

>>646441
What kind?

I think the author wants us to design some clothes/armor.
>>
No. 646454 ID: ab7529

>I don't see how binding the hand is going to accomplish anything. It's not flesh and blood. If it's leaking coolant then maybe.
Stopping leaking coolant, yeah. And/or if we've damaged our artificial skin, we want to keep dirt / debris from getting inside the joints and motor mechanisms of our hand.

If it's just scratches, it's not worth bothering with.
>>
No. 646455 ID: 26e769
File 143354804045.png - (47.62KB , 840x600 , the finest threads.png )
646455

>>
No. 646458 ID: b9cef6
File 143354940625.jpg - (92.44KB , 840x600 , image.jpg )
646458

It's time to get your Fonzie on.
>>
No. 646459 ID: 26e769
File 143354950707.png - (51.03KB , 840x600 , more fine threads.png )
646459

They'll never see it - or you - coming.
>>
No. 646461 ID: ab7529
File 143354954547.png - (32.26KB , 840x600 , traitor to your Phil-osophy.png )
646461

>>
No. 646470 ID: fef726

>>646444
This, the cuteness compels me to vote for this.
>>
No. 646474 ID: e1a171
File 143355293358.png - (18.28KB , 840x600 , come at me bro i'm ripped.png )
646474

Something comfortable, with just a hint of "I'll fuck you up"
>>
No. 646478 ID: 26e769

>>646474
>>646455

A combination of these two would be perfect.
>>
No. 646701 ID: defceb
File 143363554891.png - (2.87KB , 840x600 , 4023.png )
646701

Hmm, a bit of this, a bit of that….

“Fuck it’s dark out here.”

>”Give me a second, there’s a light I can go turn on.”



“Do you need another-”

>”I’m kind of naked right now.”

“Oh! Are there… enough clothes for two over there? I’d like to get out of these things too.”

>”There’s plenty. Just let me put my pants on and I’ll hit the light.”
>>
No. 646702 ID: defceb
File 143363557210.png - (33.00KB , 840x600 , 4024.png )
646702

Click!

>”I’m Marie, by the way.”

You walk back out to the wardrobe while idly picking the last bits of metal out of your hand. The former prisoner gives a sudden yelp and hides behind a sweater. “Don’t look!” There's a large scar trailing across her abdomen, coming to rest just below her belly button. They hastily throw aside their prisoner’s uniform and start pulling together items from the clothes pile.

“...name’s Liz. Elizabeth Aurelius. Thanks for helping me. So do you have a plan to get out of here?”
>>
No. 646706 ID: ab7529

>Aurelius
Do you know a Marceline?

(Maybe not, there's enough of a time gap between now and Mars she might not be born, yet. And just cause they share a last name doesn't mean they're related).

>>646702
Bind that to stop the coolant leak. One of those silly fingerless gloves suggested in one of the outfits could be used to cover it up / hold stuff in place.

>So do you have a plan to get out of here?
Not yet. I don't know how far underground we are, or how to reach the exit. There's two people hiding out in the medical bay below us who helped me. There's someone else I saw on the stairs who spooked and ran. I was trying to find the code for the security room, so I could get past a locked door back to the stairs. Code's hidden in the posters, I think. ...and I got separated from Rudy. He was hurt. Shit, I hope he's still okay.
>>
No. 646708 ID: e114bc

No. You don't know where the exit is. Lately you've been finding injured or trapped people and trying to get them to safety, with partial success. You're just going to keep exploring for now. Let's go.

...why does coolant even reach your hand? Is it a heatsink?
>>
No. 646722 ID: 7668ec

Is the Peculiar(?) mask still there? If so, ask what it looks like to her. For some reason the thing seems to glitch our vision in a weird way.
>>
No. 646812 ID: 1f3797

Liza wouldn't happen to know the current date and time, would she?
>>
No. 646817 ID: ab7529

>>646812
Doubtful. Not giving prisoners a means to track time is a pretty common technique. And even if they weren't deliberately doing that, she was in the dark, with no food or water, for who knows how long. That messes up your perception of time.
>>
No. 647154 ID: defceb
File 143379591551.png - (23.45KB , 840x600 , 4025.png )
647154

>”No plan yet. I’ve been exploring and finding survivors so far but I still don’t know how far underground we are or where the exit is.”

“Can’t just take the elevator up to the ground floor?”

>”The elevators are keyed to security cards, and last time I took one I got ambushed.”

“What about a freight elevator? They have to have something to bring down all the heavy machinery they were working with down here.””

>”Do you know where one is?”

“Got me there.”

>”Hey, how does this mask look to you?”

You point out the Peculiar(?) mask.

“...it’s just some dumb mask. I’m not sure what you’re expecting me to see here.”
>>
No. 647155 ID: e114bc

>>647154
Is it jet black with a red eye?
>>
No. 647162 ID: defceb
File 143379664166.png - (16.37KB , 840x600 , 4026.png )
647162

>"Is it jet black?"

"Yeah, of course."

>"With a red eye?"

"No?"
>>
No. 647163 ID: e114bc

>>647162
Hah. The eye changed, too. Poke the eye.
>>
No. 647165 ID: ab7529

Not gonna follow up on the common name? I suppose the 38 year time gap makes it too messy. Marceline is probably a kid, if she's even been born, yet. And we can't explain how we know her.

They do look like they could be related, though.

>>647162
Well, great. Now the person who would have been worried trusting a robot now knows we're hallucinating.

*audible sigh* "There's something down here fucking with me."

>freight elevator
Something to look for. You were looking for the a way to get into a security post nearby. Without that we're locked into this area.
>>
No. 647195 ID: 7668ec

>Well, great. Now the person who would have been worried trusting a robot now knows we're hallucinating.
Well I mean we are, and her being entirely unaware of it he next time it becomes important is a recipe for hilarity. (Also, I find it useful to confirm that the mask is indeed physically there.)
>>
No. 647294 ID: b283c9

>>647163
Or maybe poke her eyes? Gotta be something wrong with 'em if she doesn't see the red.
>>
No. 647517 ID: defceb
File 143391600347.png - (34.54KB , 840x600 , 4027.png )
647517

You give a heavy sigh.

>“There’s something down here fucking with me.”

Liz holds back a small chuckle. “Oh no, your technology has left you open to unforeseen consequences? Who could have ever predicted this?” She waves her hands in a mock fashion.

>”This is serious!”

“We’ve all got people trying to manipulate us. Out there, in here, doesn’t change. But I don’t see how someone could benefit from slapping an eye on that mask. If they were intentionally trying to fuck with you, wouldn’t they do something a little more… subtle?”

She walks towards the exit, following the cable. “Have fun with your spooky mask, I’m going to go look for an exit.”
>>
No. 647518 ID: e114bc

>>647517
Yeah, subtle, like the invisible trap in the room with the heart. No, we're not dealing with subtlety here.

Just go. Don't follow her, but do trace the cable to see where it goes.
>>
No. 647520 ID: 225f37

>>647518
Both follow her AND trace the cable.

Because of your tech, she might see things that whoever is doing this is hiding from you. And You might see things that are hiding from her. Benefits and drawbacks to all things, and all that. This is a dangerous place, and neither of you should be venturing out alone.
>>
No. 647521 ID: d3be40

Take the mask. Sure, it might have surveillance bugs for armor scales and a lattice of hacking cyberwire, but it also survived this long so it should be bulletproof.

I expect a forecast of stray bullets with streaks of sniper lazers. HELMETS. ON.
>>
No. 647523 ID: b283c9

Shouldn't just take the mask, but also wear it.
>>
No. 647543 ID: defceb
File 143392584932.png - (27.34KB , 840x600 , 4028.png )
647543

>“I don’t think whoever is doing this is the subtle type.”

“How do you know that?”

>”Well they had this trap with a mechanical heart and-”

“Did they leave a calling card? A name? Anything concrete to say it’s one person and they’re actively hacking you?”

You take the mask and follow after her. The cable trails a winding path along the walls, framing a heavy metal doorway. There’s no apparent way to open it from here. A putrid stench seeps in from underneath it, where some fungus has grown. Liz has already moved to the next room. “Ooh, a computer!”

>Wear the mask

You hold up the mask and look at it. The eye is missing now, but it still feels like it’s staring at you. Are you sure you want to wear it?
>>
No. 647544 ID: a19cd5

>>647543
Yo check out those sweet mushrooms
>>
No. 647545 ID: d3be40

>>647543
Hmmm

Wear it when you get outside. For now, try to find something that can scan and disable all the potential malware.
>>
No. 647550 ID: b283c9

It's just a mask, no harm in wearing it. Just give it a try.
>>
No. 647555 ID: e114bc

>>647543
Look inside it. Examine it carefully- is there anything electronic in it? But no. Don't wear the damn thing. Not until we have some downtime and privacy. Keep following the cable. What computer is she talking about?

This looks like an airlock of sorts.
>>
No. 647556 ID: 6c8858

>>647543
>Are you sure you want to wear it?
Uh... No. Let's not turn into our cold, heartless future self just yet.

What are those things on the shelves? Some kind of giant cyborg limbs?
>>
No. 647570 ID: 88960e

>Are you sure you want to wear it?
Fuck no.

>Liz's reaction
Well, could be worse. She's not taking it seriously instead of freaking out you're dangerous.

*Huff* Excuse me for being nervous about potential brain hacking in a secret underground mad science base. I'm sure you'll be chill when the zombies wanna mess with you.

Speaking of which, catch up. If you let her get out of sight, something could hurt her before you could intervene.

See if she's found anything useful on the computer.
>>
No. 647584 ID: c39e56

>Are you sure you want to wear it?
No. Keep it to examine later though.
>>
No. 647605 ID: 9ebc55

>>647543
remember that time you were offered free coolant by an enemy and got your ass ganked like 5 seconds later? wearing this mask is an even dumber thing to do. just, don't.
>>
No. 647625 ID: defceb
File 143397347199.png - (33.72KB , 840x600 , 4029.png )
647625

You inspect the back of the mask before putting it back into your inventory. It continues to appear as an impermeable black surface, despite being held in the light, and feeling it over with your hands doesn’t reveal anything unusual. You move on to the next room.

>”Excuse me for being nervous about potential brain hacking in a secret underground mad science base.”

“Would it help you feel better if I rolled around and panicked?” Liz says without looking away from the computer. “Aww fuck it, this thing is password protected. So you’re a full cyborg then? Brain and all?”
>>
No. 647627 ID: e114bc

That's right.

Oh hey another poster. Collect it. Also look up through that crack in the ceiling.
>>
No. 647631 ID: ab7529

>Aww fuck it, this thing is password protected.
May I?

See if you can hack past it. You've gotta have a program for hacking past the lock screen on obsolete OS-es.

>So you’re a full cyborg then? Brain and all?
Yup. All metal. Monsters less scary, information security much more so.

>poster
Examine. Is it one of the numbered series? Does it have a code on it like the others?

>Would it help you feel better if I rolled around and panicked?
No, not really. You are taking being trapped in a crazy lab and confronted with your philosophical antithesis a lot better than I would have expected. I'll count that as a good thing.
>>
No. 647632 ID: fef726

Oh hey, that power cable is unplugged. Iiiiiiinteresting. Hey, its connected to a searchlight right? Why don't you bring it over to peer into dark places for your friend.

Unless of course its actually another camera. See if she is seeing the same thing you are. In fact have her point out any cameras around you that you yourself don't destroy. You need to destroy them.

Ask her what username its asking a password for. Maybe we can help guess.

Jacket under the bed. Anything useful in the pockets?

Also... that air vent is leaking something. See what. Air vents generally don't leak fluid.
>>
No. 647636 ID: d3be40

Take the plug for now, but don't just stick it into the wall; if that outlet isn't properly grounded due to structural damage, you might blow a fuse or something.

Hack into the computer, see if the ID card can help.
>>
No. 647652 ID: ad7bba

>So you’re a full cyborg then? Brain and all?
Yeah. Not too interested in debating the philosophy of mind though.
>>
No. 647722 ID: cbc9e6

That socket is just begging to be plugged in.
>>
No. 647753 ID: defceb
File 143400759673.png - (81.70KB , 600x840 , 4030.png )
647753

>“I’m a full blown cyborg brain and all.”

She opens her mouth to reply.

>”And I’d rather not spend time debating patronizing philosophy over it.”

She closes her mouth.

You inspect the jacket underneath the bed. There’s a crumpled up piece of paper and an inhaler in one of the pockets, and a patch of the Brazilian flag on one of the sleeves. You move to inspect the poster.
>>
No. 647754 ID: defceb
File 143400762315.png - (9.83KB , 840x600 , 4031.png )
647754

>”You’re handling being trapped in a crazy lab and being confronted with your philosophical antithesis a lot better than I’d have expected.”

“If that’s how it looks to you I won’t debate it.”

You inspect the power cable and see that it is certainly plugged into the wall.

It’s too dark to see anything past the hole in the roof.
>>
No. 647757 ID: defceb
File 143400774364.png - (8.35KB , 840x600 , 4032.png )
647757

>”Do you see any cameras around?”

“Nope.” She says before giving a frustrated sigh and stepping away from the computer. “You want to give this a shot?”
>>
No. 647758 ID: 26e769

"...I think it might be better if you do it. Trust me."
>>
No. 647759 ID: b283c9

I.. I think you need to go find a closed room and have her lock you in it.

At least for a while.
>>
No. 647760 ID: 57d76a

>>647632
...oooooooor maybe we don't have to guess?
Well then, Red, what is it?
>>
No. 647761 ID: e114bc

>>647757
Hmm. Starting to think putting on the mask might make things better, not worse.

Also, of note: there's no unlocked exit. That means whoever threw the wallet at you is still in here. Invisible.
>>
No. 647785 ID: 88960e

>>647754
Bold "L"

>>647757
Wait, redaeth is one of us. That's the second time we've seen suggestors logged in somewhere.

...Does that mean whatever password redaeth guesses will automatically be right?
>>
No. 647803 ID: fef726

Hmm, lets say I'm inordinately stupid about passwords. Or that I wanted to give Marie a break.

pAsswOrd!23

There, passes all the checks for a strong password, while not actually doing so.
>>
No. 647818 ID: defceb
File 143404627734.png - (10.05KB , 840x600 , 4033.png )
647818

>"Try pAsswOrd!23."

"Hey, it worked! How did you know that?"

>"Just a random guess."
>>
No. 647820 ID: d3be40

Check Trash first, make sure that anything important doesn't get deleted while you work.

Then look at documents and messages.
>>
No. 647821 ID: 88960e

The garbled options are probably view, hide, and settings. ...not sure what the remaining one should be.

Well, start poking around. Any interesting trash, messages, documents?
>>
No. 647831 ID: 57d76a

>>647821
Mount... something? Maintain?
And also, view or hide what?

I'm tempted to say click the mystery option, but let's be a little wiser than that and hit View instead. After checking Trash, Messages and Documents ofc.

Hmm, this is supposdly your account Redaeth; anywhere you don't want us poking around?
>>
No. 647832 ID: defceb
File 143405293523.png - (10.10KB , 840x600 , 4034.png )
647832

>Check trash
There's only one text file labeled 'secret_do_not_look'. You look at it.
>>
No. 647834 ID: defceb
File 143405318792.png - (15.19KB , 840x600 , 4035.png )
647834

>Check messages
Three messages pop up.

>Check documents
The document collection on this computer is both massive and haphazardly labeled. There's a search function to look up specific terms, or you can just sift through blindly and hope to find useful information.
>>
No. 647837 ID: fef726

Apparently I work in IT. Neat.

Alright, how about we search for that string of numbers that was in the do not look file. 18121?

We should also look up.... hmmm, a map? Supervisor\Administrator passwords for the machines? The sorta stuff IT has to have in order to work on things that staff breaks in their stupidity.
>>
No. 647844 ID: ab7529

>>647753
Dang, poster 5. We need to find poster 2 to get into the security room. >>/questarch/628336

The password in the trash probably isn't the security room code, either.

>suggesters apparently have valid login credentials at the base
Idea: we were all people who worked here, who got our bodies jacked and turned into scary cybernetic zombie-drones. And somehow our excised consciousnesses were dumped on Marie.

>messages
Is there any way to send messages? Or see who else is online? Maybe we can talk to other survivors on the local intranet. Learn something useful, or coordinate somehow.

>The document collection on this computer is both massive and haphazardly labeled.
Sort by timestamp. Check the last few items to be edited or accessed. There's a decent chance the last things looked at might be relevant to the disaster going down.

Short of that searching for a map would be useful. Or an anything on Maunus.

...search your own name, too. And Elizabeth's. Don't read her file without permission, but it might be nice to see if they have anything on the two of you. (Checking yours first is a gesture of trust- if she sees anything they have on you, she's more likely not to object you checking on her).
>>
No. 647873 ID: 7668ec

Also search Power, Grid, and Eye.
>>
No. 647876 ID: e114bc

>>647818
Check mt%$$%^GFds.
>>
No. 647924 ID: d4a543

Ask Liz to check what that power cord goes to, since you can't gauss any current on it even though it's clearly plugged in to a live outlet.

Also, verb "gauss" to mean sensing something magnetically.
>>
No. 647964 ID: defceb
File 143409130340.png - (30.41KB , 840x600 , 4036.png )
647964

>Look at the last few edited/accessed
You poke around, but can’t seem to spot any time stamping function on the documents. Weird. You opt instead to pull open the documents that were immediately available. They consist mostly of hastily written notes, and make several references to repairing the uplift machine. Stashed between documents is a blueprint for the uplift machine labelled ‘for repair reference only, delete after use’. They also note that Haley should have a clean copy of the software for it as well.

>Search 18121
No results.

>Search for Supervisor/Admin passwords
Lots of frustrated journals. The author seems to have been bothered often to change passwords at the behest of ‘government folk’.

>Search for power
It looks like the whole building is powered by the geothermal plant it was built upon. Most of the writing details the extensive reconstruction needed to get it running again, followed by energy plans for the excess power it puts out. Apparently this place is hooked up to a nearby town of… Malta? You’ve never heard of it before.

>Search for your own name
You try search for Marie, pulling up a list of unrelated names. No such luck with Castillo either.

>And Elizabeth’s.
Looks like they have a file on her.

>”Hey Liz, they have a file about you in here. Mind if I look at it?”

She shrugs and turns to fiddle with the poster. “Go ahead, it’ll just be their version of who I am anyway. Hey, did you see any number combination in there? Five digits maybe?”

>”I found a 18121, why?”

She reaches behind the poster. A series of light beeps ring out, followed by the heavy grinding of the exit door. “I think that's our way out.”
>>
No. 647969 ID: ab7529

>Go ahead, it’ll just be their version of who I am anyway.
Mostly I just wanted to check if they did any horrible experiments to her. Less interested in unflattering things they might have said about her.

>I think that's our way out.
Hold on a second, let me see if there's a map on this thing before we move on.
>>
No. 647974 ID: defceb
File 143409693250.png - (10.34KB , 840x600 , 4037.png )
647974

>”Hold on one second, I want to see if I can pull a map off this thing first.”

“If you insist.”

>Inspect Liz’s file.
You mull over all the information in LIz’s file. Age 29, known activist, allegedly participated in a few riots that started over food shortages. Also allegedy a leader figure in a militant sect of the New Organic Party. She was very violent to the guards, but also suffered from an allergy to their readily available tranquilizers so all testing was held off until a suitable replacement could be found. They were in line for artificial nerve testing, which was approved by an Agent [Redacted] who commented “best keep their presence under wraps, we don’t want them to slip back into the public by accident.”

Known relatives:
John Aurelius [Husband, 27yr, deceased. Toxic waste exposure. See; Boston plant incident file 5823a.54]
Marceline Aurelius [Child, 2 days, deceased. Toxic waste exposure. See; Boston plant incident file 5823a.54]
Ashlynn Rosenak [Mother, 89yr, deceased. Heart attack. Unrelated]

>Search for a map
You manage to piece together a basic map of a part of the facility. Seems to be focused around where the person used to work.
>>
No. 647976 ID: e114bc

>>647974
Ugh, illegal testing. What a shitty facility. I wonder if the previous timeline was doing the same thing.

That map is good for now, let's jet.
>>
No. 647995 ID: 88960e

>Marceline Aurelius
>deceased
Well, shit. Unless she has another daughter with the same name later, that's proof this is a different timeline. Even if you get everyone out of here okay, your future isn't gonna happen the same. She was close to a man with a lot of power and influence. What does her being gone change? ...what will your being gone change?

Another question now is how far back the timeline started to diverge.

...it's a good thing you didn't ask before. People don't respond well to questions about dead kids out of the blue.

I'd follow up the incident file, but she's waiting.

>>647976
>I wonder if the previous timeline was doing the same thing.
Well, per the recording we found, and our own memory, this facility wasn't in use in Marie's timeline. And Haley needed a sick volunteer, which wouldn't have been necessary if she had illegal test subjects. So probably not, is my guess.

>militant sect
Well, means maybe she'll be okay around the drones. Have to watch her around the scientists, though.

>map
Where's this room on that? Where do we think Rudy might be?

>what do
Grab poster and go.
>>
No. 648000 ID: 980812

>>647974
>husband
>child
oh god. say you're sorry.
ask about and look for said boston plant incident file 5823a.54.
look for 'Jeannine Lyotard'. also Kirkman, Haley, Morgan and Rudy.

speaking of Rudy, think he's the guy on the radio? we did leave him dying there. did they sound similar?
>>
No. 648033 ID: ab7529

>boston plant incident file 5823a.54.
It's a divergence point. A thing in this timeline that didn't happen before, or happened differently. (Okay, I just want to look at the file long enough to get the date for the timeline).

...I almost think we should make some kind of gesture, like screenshoting your memory and showing her what Marceline would have looked like. I don't imagine that going well, though. It'll way more likely to dredge up pain and anger than anything positive.

Maybe we should stick the laptop in inventory? It doesn't do much good left behind. And technically, I don't think Marie even needs to use the human interface. (Although plugging into a networked computer when we're worried about our security probably isn't the best idea)
>>
No. 648153 ID: defceb
File 143418438444.png - (23.14KB , 840x600 , 4038.png )
648153

>Think Rudy’s the guy on the radio?
It didn’t sound like him. The radio voice seemed lower.

You store the poster and laptop in your inventory and move on. As you approach the now open door a foul scent assaults your nose.

>”What the fuck is that smell.”

“I think I found one of your zombie friends.” Liz peeps up, gesturing through the doorway.

>”...what the fuck, Liz.”

“Maybe a little more rotten and without the hardware bits.” The body before you is now more mold than a corpse. The prosthetics have been removed, leaving only bits of connective wires and joints protruding from the side. “Big flaw in zombie plans. Organic bodies have a habit of falling apart like that.”

>”Well don’t you sound chipper.”

She shrugs, hops over the corpse, and starts looking around. “I think this is the back area to the pharmacy.”
>>
No. 648154 ID: e114bc

>>648153
Man. This doesn't make sense. Ask Liz when's the last time she heard this door open.
>>
No. 648192 ID: ab7529

>I think this is the back area to the pharmacy
>empty shelves
You'd think if the disaster were unanticipated, there'd be drugs they meant to use leftover. Someone made off with a pile of drugs already.

>zombie
...I was actually calling them drones. Someone took offense to the whole zombie thing, since it wasn't the people who went wrong, but their experimental prosthetics.

If she's surprised you're willing to blame the machinery: well, it was the machinery. And being upfilted doesn't mean you're magically sympathetic to every malfunctioning piece of metal. Especially ones that have tried to kill you.

>I think this is the back area to the pharmacy.
Look ahead. Is the room all locked up?
>>
No. 648234 ID: defceb
File 143423180565.png - (39.88KB , 840x600 , 4039.png )
648234

>”This doesn’t make sense…”

“There’s a lot of things that don’t make sense around here. The furniture is missing, the medicine is gone, everything is broken up, the door is placed right through where shelves should be, zombies-”

>”Drones. zombies implies it’s the person that got reanimated, when it’s just the machines that have gone wrong.”

She shoots you an odd look.

>”What? Just because I’m a machine doesn’t mean I’m going to be sympathetic to every toaster we encounter. Especially when they try to murder me too.”

“...and also I think in the time it takes for all the bodies to reach this state of decay and the concrete to break up this badly, I would have starved to death in the prison cell.”

You look ahead, out to the main pharmacy. Liz moves to speak more but you raise a hand to shush her.
>>
No. 648235 ID: defceb
File 143423181806.png - (64.93KB , 840x600 , 4040.png )
648235

Something is out there.
>>
No. 648242 ID: e114bc

...how do we know Liz is who she looks like, to us? Your optics could be hacked to display her as human, when she isn't, and she's been lying to you a whole lot to keep up the act.

>>648235
That's a full prosthetic. We won't have the advantage in a fight, here. You need a weapon. ...the door made a loud noise when it opened. It either knows you're here, or has really bad ears. ...it also seems to have a welding torch somehow?

If there are no weapons available, then try to sneak around it.
>>
No. 648245 ID: fef726

We have at least 1 drone. It is generating static so we won't be able to trust our senses around it.

Cameras and monitors on the pillars. We will need to take those out.

There is a lot of pieces of broken concrete around here. Think you can find large enough pieces to throw at the drone and the cameras and maybe break them before engaging in melee?
>>
No. 648253 ID: ab7529

>...how do we know Liz is who she looks like, to us?
In her defense, if she were trying to fool us, she shouldn't be pointing out anomalies like the damaged concrete, or corpse decay, and her not starving. Also, if she were mechanical, she could have forced the lock herself.

>>648235
Scan the design. Does that match your own? Are we looking at a stripped down version of your own frame, or is this some experimental early model? (For all we know, there's still a brain or other organics inside a shell).

What's that the drone is standing over? Another body?

Is there anything in the back room that could be used as a weapon? I don't fancy hand to hand with another one of these things.
>>
No. 648319 ID: 7df7d1
File 143425598618.png - (41.74KB , 840x600 , 4041.png )
648319

You take a closer look. The thing seems to be constantly just out of focus. You can't determine if it shares any mechanical similarities to your own body.

You grab a small chunk of concrete and toss it at one of the cameras. It misses by a wide margin, clattering noisily against the bare floor. It doesn't react.

Liz grabs a handful of concrete and joins for a second salvo. This time you two hit the screen and camera off the right pillar, creating a bright shower of sparks in the progress before ducking back behind cover.

That seems to have caught it's attention.
>>
No. 648322 ID: ab7529

Wait to see what it does. If it moves to investigate the cameras, or turns to come for you.

Grab anything that could be used as a weapon. Lots of broken concrete- any rebar around?

If it does see you, try talking to is, just to confirm it's not a person before killing it. "Uh hi, you're not a person, right?". (And on the off chance there is, it might back down. Not that I expect that).
>>
No. 648325 ID: fef726

It might be just me but I think the static emissions lessened after you broke the monitor. It might be worthwhile to continue to try and breaking the others.

Since I doubt Liz is going to be much use going hand to hand with the drone put her on camera destruction duty.

We know that they are editing things as you see them, however what if they don't have perfect access to your own vision centers? The cameras would help them fine tune things. It would explain why things are blurry most of the time instead of invisible like in that room that had pretty much complete camera coverage.
>>
No. 648348 ID: 89941a

Have static things been nice to you at any point in the past?
>>
No. 648584 ID: defceb
File 143435244831.png - (67.84KB , 840x600 , 4042.png )
648584

You signal to Liz to hit the rest of the cameras before sneaking up behind the counter. A stray chunk of rebar rests on the floor there, roughly a foot long. Concrete still cakes over one end, making it a rough improvised hammer. You take it and peek over the counter.

It’s already right there.
>>
No. 648585 ID: defceb
File 143435247977.png - (52.27KB , 840x600 , 4043.png )
648585

>”Hey, you’re not a person right? Like a friendly person?”

In one swift motion it flings you over the counter and onto the floor.

That probably means no.
>>
No. 648588 ID: fef726

We can't really trust our eyes. We can however trust physics. In order to throw you it had to be in a certain position and such. I suggest aiming your hammer at where the shoulder joint would be given how it threw you.
>>
No. 648592 ID: e114bc

>>648585
Well, that was less than lethal. Get up, ready your hammer, go in for a swing. Tell Liz to get gone while you keep it busy.
>>
No. 648610 ID: ab7529

Welp. Time to hit it with the hammer. Take advantage of the fact this is your first real fight where you're not hurt, low on coolant, or too tangled up to use your speed or strength effectively.

>>648592
Don't talk to Liz, in case it's smart enough to realize you're talking to someone. We want it targeting the durable android, not the squishy human.
>>
No. 648630 ID: d6d7e7

>>648585
don't think of that thing's shape as how it really stands, just think of it as where it generally is. in all practical sense, he's got constant camouflage, concealment even. aiming where it looks like it is, and defending from where it looks like it's attacking is useless. keep your distance and try to attack the center of the area, or if it performs an action try to guess how he'd have position to do that action and strike accordingly.
>>
No. 648842 ID: d4a543

Can't count on precision targeting, especially when you don't even know what it's made of. Go for a leg sweep and pay close attention to what it sounds like when it hits the floor.
>>
No. 649070 ID: ac1a99

oh hey, guess what.
liz is your eyes now.
>>
No. 649099 ID: defceb
File 143458219256.png - (21.08KB , 840x600 , 4044.png )
649099

You scramble back to your feet. The drone is fuzzy and out of focus, it’s exact location blurred by the static.

Liz pops up from cover and tosses a chunk of concrete at the drone. “Hey asshole!” She shouts. The chunk bounces harmlessly off it’s head, but the distraction causes the static to cease momentarily.
>>
No. 649100 ID: defceb
File 143458220537.png - (83.72KB , 840x600 , 4045.png )
649100

You throw your full might into a swing at the drone’s center while it’s distracted. Your blow pushes it back into the counter, smashing through the weak plywood surface. Artificial ribs buckle under the sudden pressure, tearing audibly.
>>
No. 649103 ID: ab7529

>>649100
Use a kick to sweep it's legs out from under it before it can recover, and then hit it with your weapon again. Concrete will give less than plywood- it'll be caught between a rock and a hard place instead of having a crumple zone to absorb part of the blow.

Careful of Liz, she should be on the other side of the counter. Hopefully she has sense to stay clear. She's done good so far, distracting it at the right time.
>>
No. 649104 ID: bd8b82

twist it's head off.
>>
No. 649105 ID: fef726

It looks like its other arm is coming up for a counter strike.
>>
No. 649106 ID: fef726

Also watch out that right arm looked suspiciously like a gun barrel.
>>
No. 649174 ID: defceb
File 143460685470.png - (141.09KB , 840x600 , 4046.png )
649174

You attempt to sweep it’s legs out from under it. It grabs hold of you and twists, sending you both tumbling down instead. The static flares back up, louder than before.

>Also watch out that right arm looked suspiciously like a gun barrel.
With a sharp yank on your ear, you get a forced closer inspection and see that it more resembles a blow torch being pointed at your eye.
>>
No. 649178 ID: fef726

Do a barrel roll!
>>
No. 649179 ID: ab7529

Dangit. It grappled us. That was the biggest risk of being that close. I guess we should have immediately jumped back instead of trying to knock it off balance?

>>649178
...that's probably the best we've got. A roll will put your eye out of the line of fire, and possibly wrench you free, or pull it forward and off balance. If done right, you can kind of turn it into flipping the drone over you.

Smash your left elbow into the arm holding you and toy throw / roll yourself to your right as hard as you can. Kick off against the floor, and/or it.

Liz is coming up behind, but there's too much static too see what she's got. I doubt she can hurt the thing, but she might be able to distract it. ...and probably get killed in retaliation. That would be bad.
>>
No. 649180 ID: fef726

Anotehr option of course is to yank your head and hand so he is cutting his own arm instead of burning out your eye.

(See this is why I said strike at the shoulder he can't grab and hold you with a damaged shoulder mechanism)
>>
No. 649188 ID: e114bc

>>649174
Strike out with your free arm, try to force it off you so that you can get away from that torch.

Also keep your head turned away from the torch.
>>
No. 649190 ID: bd8b82

bend leg at an angle that would be impossible for a normal leg and kick it.
>>
No. 649280 ID: defceb
File 143467142531.png - (60.06KB , 840x600 , 4047.png )
649280

You twist one way, and they pull another. Your ear tears from the motion, but you dodge the direct burst of flame. Instead it burns along your cheek, lighting your scarf and hair on fire.
>>
No. 649282 ID: e114bc

Alright, use your free arm to grab the arm that's grabbing you, and use that leverage to toss it off you.
>>
No. 649284 ID: ab7529

Aw, man, not the elf ears. That's just depressing.

(Really did not look like it had that good a grip on it).

>face and hair on fire
...at this rate we're gonna need the mask just to cover up our burns. And that hair won't grow back, either.

>what do
You might be able to rip off your burning scarf with your free hand, and shove it into its face to blind it.

You might be able to roll further so you can grab the burner-arm, and keep it from bring it to bear. If you get your hands on it, you might be able to point it at itself. Or if you crushed it somewhere, you could cause a build-up and explosion (though after the crush, you'd have to get clear, fast).

You might be able to punch it in the chest. You broke it's ribs before- the cage protecting its internals is compromised. If you assume it's built similar to you, do you know where the central processor or power source should be? Those are good targets.
>>
No. 649288 ID: e114bc

It occurs to me if Marie was wearing the mask, getting fire in her eyes wouldn't have been a problem. WELP.
>>
No. 649305 ID: defceb
File 143469153453.png - (165.35KB , 840x600 , 4048.png )
649305

You grab at its left arm with your free hand, forcing it off by breaking it’s elbow into useless scraps. Liz sweeps in from behind, shanking it in the base of the skull with a chunk of rebar. You take the opening to punch through it’s chest. An unnatural scream fills the room.
>>
No. 649306 ID: defceb
File 143469155575.png - (76.76KB , 840x600 , 4049.png )
649306

Stop

Fire licks alongside your face. The smell of burnt hair and melting skin hangs in the air.

Let… go

Your hand finds a box in it’s core.

STOP!

You squeeze. It howls in pain.

IT HURTS
>>
No. 649308 ID: e114bc

>>649306
Don't kill it. Disarm it. Now that it is talking to you, find out who it is, why it's attacking you.
>>
No. 649310 ID: fef726

Kill it. It tried to blow out your eye so you would only see what it wanted you to see. Even now its trying to twist your vision. Everything it does is a deception.
>>
No. 649311 ID: defceb
File 143469710689.png - (58.36KB , 840x600 , 4050.png )
649311

>”WHO ARE YOU?”

I c-c-c-c-c-c-caaaaaaaa-

>”WHY DID YOU ATTACK ME!?”

Stopstopstopstopstopstopstop

The box crumples in your hand. There’s silence. A great, terrible silence.

Liz is trying to say something, but she sounds a thousand miles away.
>>
No. 649312 ID: e114bc

>>649311
Well shit.

Put yourself out. Look at what you just broke.
>>
No. 649314 ID: defceb
File 143470161542.png - (28.54KB , 840x600 , 4051.png )
649314

“Marrrriiiieee. Marie. Mariemariemariemarie.”

Extinguishing agent splashes against your face.

“Bros dead, lights are on, let’s get going.”

Liz continues to vent the fire extinguisher at you.

“Or do you need me to return the favor and carry you now?”

The drone lays at your feet, having been torn to shreds. It’s internal components are strewn about the room.
>>
No. 649317 ID: e114bc

>>649314
Tell her hi, yes, you're back.

It looks like the room is lit now too. Find a reflective surface and check yourself out on it.

Also, examine the components. Can you salvage the blowtorch?
>>
No. 649323 ID: 26e769

Examine yourself carefully. Find out how damaged you are. Thank Liz for not leaving you to die horribly.
>>
No. 649344 ID: 88960e

...thanks.

I'm a big girl. Kind of heavy to carry.

To Liz: how bad is it? Do I have terminator face yet? *touch side of face*

Grab your missing ear, give it a forlorn look. Maybe Haley can reattach it? Not much we can do about the artificial skin and hair, this place doesn't seem big on cosmetics.

Is the static gone? Can you get a good look at thing's design or serial numbers now?

...the fact it could communicate the way it did is weird. Are these things AIs without context? Just defending themselves and attacking things out of ignorance?
>>
No. 649354 ID: cbf1f5

>>649314
any way to reconnect the ear? will it grow back if you eat it?
>>
No. 649369 ID: d4a543

Looks like you just killed somebody. Pretty much self-defense, and you made an effort to communicate instead of striking first, so by any reasonable legal standard you're in the clear. The only thing now is to figure out who they were, and notify next-of-kin or activate their most recent uncorrupted backup, then try to get on with your own life.

Check all the broken bits for serial numbers or other identifying marks.
>>
No. 649370 ID: 88960e

It occurs to me that if the drones are hijacked people, maybe the reason it didn't try to communicate until you grabbed the processing core is that the person in there wasn't in control.
>>
No. 649401 ID: defceb
File 143474531346.png - (24.98KB , 840x600 , 4052.png )
649401

Most of the internal components are either crushed or torn into pieces. You pull up the remains of its right arm. The blowtorch appears to be whole at least. Sifting through the wreckage just reveals a plethora different parts there were slapped together. The thing was a patchwork job, and a rushed one.

You pick up the severed part of your ear. The tear is uneven, you won’t be able to sew it back on.

>”...what just happened?”

“You did. How are you feeling?”

>”My face hurts. How do I look?”

“I’m not going to lie, you were cuter before.” She sniffs. “And smelled better, too. How’s it feel?”

>”It hurts a lot.”

“Do you uh…” Liz gestures weakly. “...need a hug? I don’t know how to help your kind with this.”
>>
No. 649403 ID: e114bc

Hang on, you have two red eyes now? How did that even happen?
>>
No. 649415 ID: ab7529

>do you need a hug?
...I wouldn't say no.

Thanks for the help back there. You kept your head a hell of a lot better than I did. (If she presses the issue- you're got an advantage of strength and durability, but you're not military or trained for combat or anything like that).

>It hurts
Uh, does your UI have an option to turn off pain receptors in the damaged areas? It doesn't do much good for burn skin to constantly report to your brain it hurts.

Can you get a damage report? How bad is that- is it just cosmetic? Did it damage anything more than your skin? (Skin alone just costs you the sense of touch in that spot, some prettiness, and waterproofing).

Could you remove the bandana scarf (tear off the burnt bits) and use it to cover up the wound? Tie off a one sided veil or bandit's mask kind of thing.

>two red eyes
What. How is that possible. Your default eyes don't have variable color settings, and you certainly didn't just surgically replace the hardware. (Another perception hack?).

Maybe you need to check the settings / specs for your eyes again.

>You pick up the severed part of your ear. The tear is uneven, you won’t be able to sew it back on.
Keep it anyways. Your ears are something uniquely you. A part of your identity you defined yourself. Maybe it can be repaired, someday.

>The blowtorch appears to be whole at least.
Well, yay. We won a tool we're never gonna wanna use.
>>
No. 649416 ID: ad7bba

>you were cuter before
That sucks, but we show her you can be just as cuter as before. Expand your jigglejogglers.
>>
No. 649419 ID: ab7529

Oh as for the burnt hair: we'll have to cut off the burnt ends with scissors, later. The smell won't go away with lots of scrubbing, though. (And you really can't do that until you've got something waterproof covering up your circuitry, again).
>>
No. 649426 ID: 89941a

Get some gaffer tape on that cut, and then cover em up with bandages.
>>
No. 649433 ID: cbf1f5

>>649401
hugs are always the answer. also let's face it, she's pretty cute and you won't get to touch many cute girls from now on. you know, with your face an all. i'm saying your face is fucked.

if sewing won't work, you'll have to tape it on. do you even heal? will your face unfuck itself and grow a new cheek? does us seeing your teeth mean you're gonna spill everything you drink through the right side of your face from now on?
>>
No. 649448 ID: c39e56

So the immediate danger is dealt with and Liz is being supportive and has already mentioned noticing time wonkyness... I think now is a good time to tell her we are from the (or rather a) future.

Would one of its legs make a better bludgeon than the rebar piece? Having a bit more reach on our bludgeoning would be nice for helping us keep our distance since these things really like going for the grapple.
>>
No. 649572 ID: defceb
File 143479046758.png - (17.46KB , 840x600 , 4053.png )
649572

“Alright, bring it in.”
>>
No. 649573 ID: defceb
File 143479048838.png - (14.28KB , 840x600 , 4054.png )
649573

“Actually, let’s put a rain check on that pending a haircut and a shower.”
>>
No. 649574 ID: fef726

... I think she is about to pull a Lucy on you.
>>
No. 649575 ID: fef726

She did.
>>
No. 649576 ID: defceb
File 143479060648.png - (23.61KB , 840x600 , 4055.png )
649576

You sift through your UI to assess the damage. It appears the fire has caused mostly topical damage, burning away skin but not piercing the envelope underneath. You’re still waterproof at least, but the intense heat has damaged some of the musculature on your right side. Your eyes read the same as before, quarantines and all.

You attempt to access medical controls, and are relieved to find it working this time. Medical gibberish floods your vision as you attempt to shut off the pain from your burns. After much frustration, you ultimately flip on and off random nociceptors until the pain finally dies down. Close enough.

“How bad is it?”

>”If I bandage the wounds and trim the burnt hair I’ll be fine-ish for now.”

Liz walks back to the wardrobe and returns carrying a replacement scarf, some tape, and improvised bandages. “Sit down and strip.”

>”W-what?”

“Scarf off so I can tape up your wounds.”

>”...oh.”

“You’re awfully calm given the situation.”

>”I could say the same for you.”

“I’m not calm. Hold still, please.”

>”Could have fooled me.”

“You don’t know me very well. Tilt your head a little.”

>”Why are you helping me? I thought you hated robots and progress and science and all that.”

“It’s not that simple. Please stop flapping your ear.”

A series of chimes pop up over the loudspeaker. “Attention; there has been a disturbance in the [Pharmacy]. Please remain calm, security is on their way.” The message repeats intermittently.

“That’s probably our queue to leave.”

A second message interrupts the first. “Attention; [Security Floor 1 - Armory] has been breached. Please remain calm, security is on their way.”

“Our queue to leave quickly.”
>>
No. 649578 ID: e114bc

>>649576
Dash away, dash away, dash away now.
>>
No. 649581 ID: 26e769

Run! Also, enhance your right jigglejoggler to help balance the lost weight from the damage.

Don't forget your ear! You're going to get that reattached. You have to get it reattached!
>>
No. 649614 ID: ab7529

>calm, I'm not
Can we do visual biometrics? Can we see her pulse / heart-rate? Rate of respiration? Other indicators of stress and the like?

>armory breached, security coming
This is the part where we use our map and head in the opposite direction from the armory, right? Odds are it's drone(s) who broke in there, not another survivor.

>why are you helping me? blah blah hate
>It’s not that simple.
For the moment, don't insult her. She's earned some benefit of your doubt, here. Her group may have come across as or have devolved into little more than angry robo-racists in the history you remember, but it's entirely possible she honestly believes in making the world a better place, and has more complex views than the rhetoric you're familiar with.

Leaders, founders and/or earlier members of a group often have more complex and nuanced views than what their movement later turns into.

>queue
Cue?
>>
No. 649633 ID: d3be40

You need supplies, an armory should be useful against the tide of insane androids.

>>649581
In this case, her ear was burned off and it's replaceable.
>>
No. 649699 ID: ab7529

>>649633
>In this case, her ear was burned off and it's replaceable.
No... it was deffo torn off.

>>649280
>Your ear tears from the motion

Plus, you know, we're holding the torn off part.

Replaceable, well, sort of. It's a custom cybernetic part. If we don't get back to our own time, we'd have to get someone to custom manufacture one for us. Which is technically feasible, since we have blueprints in local storage.
>>
No. 649790 ID: defceb
File 143487982847.png - (57.95KB , 1680x600 , 4056.png )
649790

>“Cue?”

“What?”

>”You said ‘queue’, as in getting in a line. Don’t you mean ‘cue’, as in-”

Liz slaps her forehead and mutters to herself as she walks away. You add the ear and blowtorch to your inventory, then you rip off the drone’s calf for use as a bludgeoning weapon.

>Can you do visual biometrics?

No, not visual, but…

You run up to Liz and grab her by the wrist, leading her out through the door. “H-hey, slow down!” Her muscles are tense, and her heart is racing.

The two of you step out into the hallway.

“The hell came through here?” Liz asks, gesturing at the wreckage. “An airplane?”
>>
No. 649791 ID: 26e769

>>649581

Oh, in addition to jigglejogglers, enhance knockers. You know. For balance. Also to put another nail in the coffin of Liz's philosophy.

"So, progress only leads to suffering and destruction, huh? Then what about... THIS?!" *enhance knockers*
>>
No. 649792 ID: fef726

Spaceship actually.

What is with that door with the numbers? I mean its facing the room you just came out of...

Anything down the hallway with the door?

Wait that number format is familiar. Can you tune into the frequency 464.5155 for a second?
>>
No. 649793 ID: 26d95a

Same frequency as before. Maybe that person is somewhere nearby seeing there was a collapse.

Can you see something white just below the pipe on the top right?
>>
No. 649794 ID: fef726

>>649793
>Can you see something white just below the pipe on the top right?

That. That is a key. What the hell is with these keys being placed in difficult to reach places?
>>
No. 649795 ID: e114bc

>>649790
They sound exactly the same, how did you know how she was spelling it? Also, answer "That might be where my drop pod landed."

Tune your radio to 464.5155, just to see what happens. That's on that door over there... Or whatever that is.

Use the calf to fetch the key. Or ignore it if you seriously can't reach it. It's not like the last key we fetched turned out to be useful. ...hang on, is that key even real? Ask Liz if it's seriously there. After that's dealt with head to decon.
>>
No. 649802 ID: 3e2cae

>>649791
This
>>
No. 649817 ID: ab7529

>“The hell came through here?” Liz asks, gesturing at the wreckage. “An airplane?”
My escape pod, maybe. I was being literal when I said I crashed here. (Compare internal maps, what you got from the computer, and what you mapped near your crash site before- does that make sense?).

You can't really get close enough to peer over the edge, there are big pieces of the floor that look unsteady.

>>649791
...let's save that for the next time she's actually arguing with us. It's enough of a non-sequitur to short circuit almost anything. (My boobs can be as big or as small as I want them! How is that not awesome progress?).

>Her muscles are tense, and her heart is racing.
Okay, so she's just got a good poker face, then. She's as scared as anyone.

>key
Hmm. Could we fashion an extended grabber out of that drone's limbs? Weld a few together, with a hand on the end, and just grab the key that way.

>Tune your radio to 464.5155
>>
No. 650265 ID: defceb
File 143504311709.png - (33.08KB , 840x600 , 4057.png )
650265

>“Spaceship, actually.”

“Care to explain?”

>”It’s a long story that I’m still trying to piece together. Hey, do you see a key up there?”

“A key dangling precariously off the edge of a broken pipe over a big gaping hole of probable death? Yeah, I see that key.”

You go back and proceed to weld together bits of the drone. Using the improvised tool, you manage to reach out and snag the key off the pipe. You now have two keys!
>>
No. 650266 ID: defceb
File 143504318654.png - (17.15KB , 840x600 , 4058.png )
650266

>Take a peek down that hallway.

>”Hey Liz, what does this hallway look like to you?”

“Like the kind of place we aren’t supposed to find. I say we explore it."

>Tune your radio to 464.5155

The radio hums back to life with a low white noise. You call out for the person over the radio and are met with weak coughs. “Is someone… out there? Can you hear me?”

>”I’m still here. Where are you?”

“I don’t know. It’s dark, I can’t move, I can’t feel anything.” Their voice sounds strained. “There used to be others. In here. We were panicked, crying, screaming. I think… I think they’re gone now. Somewhere else.”
>>
No. 650267 ID: e114bc

>>650266
Okay, where WERE you then? What's the last place they can recall? A floor number would help.

...man that hallway looks freaky. Let's go check it out. Better than running into the big corridor that reinforcements are likely to come from.
>>
No. 650269 ID: fef726

Open that door with the frequency on it. Might have a clue or two where the voice is.
>>
No. 650281 ID: 88960e

Can you tell what direction the radio signal is coming from? If we keep talking long enough, we should be able to triangulate the source.

I'll get you out just as soon as I can find you. Keep talking to me. Can you remember anything? How you got here? I'm Marie, who are you?

>Like the kind of place we aren’t supposed to find. I say we explore it
I like the way she's thinking.

Advance carefully, testing the floor as you go. That hall might not be structurally sound all crumpled up like that.
>>
No. 650397 ID: defceb
File 143512375585.png - (32.89KB , 840x600 , 4059.png )
650397

>“I’m trying to find you now. Keep talking to me. Can you remember anything? Where you were last, maybe?”

“I was… I was in the tech lab. I was working on a machine when… no, no that’s wrong. I was in the pharmacy, or performing surgery. I think. It’s all blurring together.”

>”Keep talking, I’m listening.”

“The others… I can’t hear them anymore. There’s something out there. You’ve… seen it, haven’t you? A predator. I think it took the others. I guess it’s only a matter of time before it gets me too.”

The two of you advance through the broken hallway, taking precarious steps all the way. The next room appears par for the course in terms of repair. A pile of papers rests on top of a broken desk. The doorway on the far side has two large strips of red tape holding it closed. Liz walks ahead and sifts through the paperwork.

“Looks like a guest list. Nurses, mostly.” She says, flipping idly through the paper. “Must be some special patient to get all this attention.”
>>
No. 650400 ID: e114bc

>>650397
Only guest lists? Surely there's something in the papers about the patient's condition. You wouldn't want to go in there without knowing what's up with them. Could be dangerous. Or contagious.

If there's nothing to go on, just cut through the red tape and open the door.
>>
No. 650416 ID: defceb
File 143513163404.png - (29.02KB , 840x600 , 4060.png )
650416

>”Anything on the patient’s condition?”

“Hold on…” She flips through the remaining papers quickly. “Ah-ha! Says here the patient is brain dead. The reason why has been redacted though. You go take a look, I’m going to see if there’s anything else important in here.”

You cut through the tape and step into the next room. The soft hums and beeps of medical equipment are the only source of noise. You call back to the person on the radio.

>”Still there? I need you to keep talking if I’m going to find you. What were you just talking about, a predator?”

“It… I’ve never seen it directly. But I know when it’s near.” The white noise in the background begins to rise to a crescendo. “I can’t think straight when it’s near. It’s like there’s sstatic. In my head. You’ve seen it, haven’t you? The thing… the static… I can feel it. Marie…”
>>
No. 650418 ID: defceb
File 143513166838.png - (56.93KB , 840x600 , 4061.png )
650418

“...hide.”
>>
No. 650421 ID: 89941a

Hide? Ahaha.... probably a tad late for that... How about running again?
>>
No. 650429 ID: fef726

Don't run, hide. Into the curtains and into the bed. Don't let your silhouette be visible.
>>
No. 650431 ID: 26e769

Don't run! Make sure Liz is safe, then find a place to hide with her.
>>
No. 650432 ID: e114bc

>>650418
...you could hide behind the patient curtain. You'd also get to see who the patient is, to boot.
>>
No. 650433 ID: fef726

Oh ... we missed a trapdoor on the ceiling in the previous room. I'd have liked to look at that.
>>
No. 650440 ID: 88960e

Oh man, did we find another poster? Can't grab it with the static, though.

>static in my head
That suggests whoever is on the other end is a brain uplift. Or at least they've got cybernetic sensory organ replacements to perception-hack.

>what do
Fall back. You want Liz to be your eyes if you can't see reality, again. And we don't want to lose track of her or risk harming her in a hallucination and/or leaving her to face a shadow thing herself.

Tense whisper: something's coming, lots of static. I can't trust my eyes.

>ceiling trapdoor
Rather large for an air vent, isn't it.
>>
No. 650482 ID: defceb
File 143518265528.png - (99.24KB , 1080x600 , 4062.png )
650482

You whisper out to Liz, telling her to hide before doing so yourself. The voice over the radio continues to speak in pained tones.

“Oh, I get it now… it’s you. It was you the whole time.” They laugh weakly. “You just keep getting bigger, huh? Probably don’t even remember why you’re hunting us like this-”
>>
No. 650483 ID: defceb
File 143518267668.png - (104.15KB , 1080x600 , 4063.png )
650483

“-hnk!”
>>
No. 650484 ID: defceb
File 143518269575.png - (106.02KB , 1080x600 , 4064.png )
650484

“Mother forgive me.”
>>
No. 650485 ID: defceb
File 143518272662.png - (60.49KB , 1080x600 , 4065.png )
650485

There’s a great crash, like thunder.
>>
No. 650486 ID: defceb
File 143518274625.png - (17.38KB , 840x600 , 4066.png )
650486

Then silence.
>>
No. 650488 ID: e114bc

>>650486
What the FUCK just happened

Time to freak the fuck out. Then maybe... take a look at who the patient is. (is it you?)
>>
No. 650489 ID: 89941a

Might er... Sound odd, but could you confirm with Liz that the other half of the room is actually missing?

After waiting a good 10-15 minutes of course.
>>
No. 650490 ID: ab7529

...ask Liz what the hell she just saw or sees, because you're pretty sure you can't trust what you're seeing. Is the left half of the room... still there?

(If that side of the room is gone, we just missed a poster, dangit!).

If that wasn't an invisible person... I think that was an uploaded consciousness. That's why they had a radio, and were alone in the dark. They were just a virtual brain in a box, crying out for help. I'll bet the thing on the floor is a hard drive / cyborg brain, and in the bed we'll find the dead body they uploaded from.

And we got here just too late. That thing got to it first.

We'll need Liz's help to investigate, because we can't see the brain-box we want to examine, or the poster we want to take, if they're still there.
>>
No. 650519 ID: defceb
File 143518765881.png - (20.00KB , 840x600 , 4067.png )
650519

>Time to freak the fuck out

You freak the fuck out.

>After waiting a good 10-15 minutes of course.

You quietly freak the fuck out. After a good 10 minutes of internal screaming, you call out to Liz.

>”Liz, can you uh… take a look in here please?”

“Is it safe?”

>”I think so.”

“Well I’ll take a look but- what the fuck.”

>”Is half the room missing?”

“Yes, what happened!?”

>”Thank you, Liz.”
>>
No. 650520 ID: 2a1897

>>650519
So, uh. Look up the hole? Is there any way to climb out of this shithole? We are (supposedly) underground, right?
>>
No. 650521 ID: 225f37

>>650490
Oh my god, that would make this make almost perfect fucking sense- this isn't strictly Marie's senses being hacked, but a networked Augmented Reality overlayed onto the physical space. That's why, despite the fact that all the mind-fuckery is digital in nature, most of it still seems somewhat spatially-bound and not omnipresent: of course it is, if it's not always MARIE that's being directly hacked but instead the augmented reality AROUND her.

So, uh, yeah, figure out from your friend what is currently happening in this room.
>>
No. 650523 ID: e114bc

>>650519
Tell her that some kind of huge monster broke into the room through a crack in the floor then proceeded to eat that half, where an invisible person was hiding.

Okay so this strongly suggests you're stuck in some sort of simulation. Or a coma. Either way, this isn't reality, which means we need to stop treating it like reality. We should focus on looking for symbolism and flaws in the structure of the false reality we're in.

Look at the patient.
>>
No. 650524 ID: ad7bba

There's also the honestly pretty weird vent in the ceiling outside of the room to poke at and probably have cyborg scorpions fall out of or something.
>>
No. 650525 ID: ab7529

>“Yes, what happened!?”
Some staticy monster ate someone I couldn't see and it disappeared. I'm... not sure if that really happened or if my eyes are lying again.

Is there a big hole? I can't even see a crater, there's just this... gap. Like someone tore a page. I can't look at it. Way worse than the fake red eye thing.

>what do
Check the bed. I'm pretty sure you'll find the empty body of someone who uplifted, possibly with some of the tech used to do it, left over as evidence.

If that's what you see, please explain, so Liz isn't left in the dark.
>>
No. 650527 ID: a19cd5

>>650418
The most upsetting part of this to me is that we didnt grab the poster before the room disappeared
>>
No. 650528 ID: ab7529

>>650527
I know!

Can anyone guess what quest it was from the tiny thumbnail?
>>
No. 650531 ID: d3be40

Some kind of AI, I think that only people with cybernetic vision (augmented eyes, cyborgs) can see them. Unfortunately, she just got hunted down by some giant beast.

The beast didn't seem to care about Marie. Maybe it's hunting down AIs using augmented reality to make real changes to the environment that have a direct effect on the AIs. In this case, it ripped off half the room and the poor girl couldn't do anything but watch and die.

Looks like the beast was once a person. You'll have to decide whether or not you want to try to destroy it. On one hand, that's suicidal and unnecessary. On the other hand, if it's left alone it'll probably keep eating people who have been uploaded to the building's network, and it should have some intel or powerful parts after all the people it probably ate.

Your choice.
>>
No. 650624 ID: defceb
File 143522219408.png - (21.23KB , 840x600 , 4068.png )
650624

>“There was a monster, or an AI, or a person who became a monster and it tore open the room and it ate this other person.”

“Marie.”

>”But I think that other person was an uplifted mind and they were in a hard drive but I just saw the monster eat them or at least it looked like it ate them.”

“Marie.”

>”And it tore off part of the room, there was a hard drive and a poster and now there’ just a gap there! Like someone took a whole page of reality and tore it right out! But I don’t know if that’s what's really there, I don’t know if anything I’m seeing is real. There’s hackers, or this is a virtual reality, or I’m dreaming. I must be dreaming. Stuff like this doesn’t happen in real life. This all just has to be fiction, doesn’t it?”

“Marie!”

>”It’s all just so absurd! All the static, the drones, the memories. Why am I even here!? As far as I can tell, I’m from the future! Or a future. Or an alternate timeline. I shouldn’t be here! I want to go home!”

The dam breaks. Tears fall freely from your eyes as you crumple into the corner. The aches and pains of accumulated wounds bear down on you all at once.

>”It’s all out of order Liz. I should be on Mars, with Haley. Not here. The facility should be in California, nothing should have gone wrong. Victor should be uplifted too, running around in a cyborg body like I am but…”

You gesture over to the bed, where the still living corpse of a man lays hooked up to life support machines.
>>
No. 650626 ID: a19cd5

>>650624
yo what
>>
No. 650627 ID: d3be40

Just leave the corpse. It might be respectful to turn off the life support, but THERE MIGHT BE AIS THAT NEED NEW BODIES.
>>
No. 650628 ID: 1f8505

>>650624

Examine catatonic man.
>>
No. 650644 ID: 88960e

In for a penny, in for a pound.

Your daughter isn't supposed to be dead! She's supposed to grow up. She's supposed to know him!

...she's supposed to try and bribe me with coffee. She's supposed to help build that better future, even if Victor couldn't find the right path on his own.

(Probably just gonna get us slapped, but if we already told her about the time travel, she deserves to know how bad she's been fucked with).

Open laptop, upload mental screenshot. Show her her daughter.

>also
So the body there is confirmation that uplift is cut / paste, not copy / paste. It doesn't leave the original behind.

What are those leads going to his chest? They look like more than you need for a heart monitor.
>>
No. 650658 ID: 2a7417

Steal his breathing mask.
>>
No. 650679 ID: 26e769

>>650644

Yeah, tell her everything. If she doesn't believe you, explain in more detail.

Look at her face, see how she's reacting to all of this.
>>
No. 650693 ID: ab7529

>>650624
Do the biometrics thing on Vic's empty shell. See if it turns up anything anomalous, or if we learn anything.
>>
No. 650983 ID: defceb
File 143537641080.png - (21.64KB , 840x600 , 4069.png )
650983

>”Your da-”

Liz pulls on your ear.

>”Ow ow ow.”

“You’re panicking and rambling nonsense, chill.” She lets go of your ear.

>”I don’t think ear pulling is supposed to help with panic…”

She shrugs. “You were stuck on time travel blahblah, I didn’t know what else to do.”
>>
No. 650984 ID: defceb
File 143537644445.png - (20.13KB , 840x600 , 4070.png )
650984

>Examine Victor Kobayashi

A variety of medical machines are connected to him, keeping his body alive despite his condition. His skin is unusually pale, and his hair is a stark white. You find an audio tape being held in his left hand.

Liz leans over his face. “I wonder…” She muses as she moves to open his eyelids. “Eugh, bright red. You seeing this?”
>>
No. 650985 ID: 26e769

Play audiotape.

Tell her about her daughter. Also explain in more detail how no, seriously, you are from the future.
>>
No. 650991 ID: ab7529

>Eugh, bright red. You seeing this?
Yeah. I'm seeing it. Victor had them post-uplift too, though he was touchy about them for some reason.

Marie, do you know what medical condition Victor had that made him seek out uplift? ...it wasn't just albinism , was it?

Um. Are my eyes red? *wait a beat for her to answer* ...they're not supposed to be. One changed earlier.

>>650985
The tape isn't proof, and it's circumstantial at best, and a lot worse without any context.

The only proof we have is that we know her daughter's name (which she can say we just got from her file). And maybe we can upload a picture she'll maybe recognize as her grown daughter.

She cut us off, we're not freaking out anymore, it's not worth pushing at this moment.
>>
No. 650992 ID: e114bc

>>650984
I am pretty sure his eyes are red because he's a construct based upon someone's memories who never saw his true eye color.
>>
No. 650994 ID: ab7529

Oh, wait, a new audiotape, not the old one. Yeah, play that.
>>
No. 651119 ID: a19cd5

>>650984
Man he is almost inevitably going to lurch awake and grab someone now that he's dead. I mean shit, that's seeming to be the case with all the OTHER dead uplifts so far
>>
No. 651154 ID: 08f4b2

Tell her we are serious about the time thing; she has already seen that things in here have decayed much more than they possibly could have without her starving. (Also, in the likely event that our body is made of more up-to-date components than the drones we can point that out as well.)
>>
No. 651315 ID: defceb
File 143546054841.png - (20.90KB , 840x600 , 4071.png )
651315

>Play the audio tape

“The operation is tomorrow. Others worry for me, that it might fail or that I may be changed. But it won’t fail, of that I am certain. The girl has already been uplifted successfully, and so far only shows minor changes in attitude. Enough to list purely by physiological changes. Being reborn without such severe injuries would naturally raise one’s spirits.”

“That is not to say I am without anxieties. One success does not guarantee a million. But when the alternative is to die on a hospital bed… I understand Haley now more than ever. We leap forward, to the unknown. Not from hope for possibilities, but from the fire licking at our feet. We run away from the past, not to the future. I will not stand down to the risks of this operation. To stagnate would kill me, so surely whatever comes tomorrow will be better.”
>>
No. 651316 ID: defceb
File 143546059508.png - (16.82KB , 840x600 , 4072.png )
651316

>“...I was serious about the time travel talk. Something fucked up happened, but I don’t know what yet.”

“You actually sound insane right now.”

>”I knew your daughter.”

She pauses. The silence between you grows in magnitudes.
>>
No. 651320 ID: ab7529

>The girl has already been uplifted successfully
Jeannine? If they couldn't find you with things different, and a year early, she was first this time instead of you?

>so surely whatever comes tomorrow will be better
It should have been. Sorry, Victor.

>You actually sound insane right now.
>She pauses. The silence between you grows in magnitudes.
I. Am not. Crazy.

Pull out the laptop, turn off it's wireless, plug into it, and upload a still of Marceline from that memory.
>>
No. 651348 ID: e114bc

Tell her about the woman you know.
>>
No. 651377 ID: defceb
File 143547184508.png - (11.35KB , 840x600 , 4073.png )
651377

>”I’m. Not. Crazy.”

“If you’re not, then you’re just rude.”

>”I knew her! Marceline-”

“Yeah, right, fuck off.”

Liz closes the curtain and leaves the room.
>>
No. 651379 ID: a19cd5

jesus christ why did we say that shit
Now we gotta find some way to provide proof of our words later or she's gonna think we're a dick forever
fuckin christ that was dumb
>>
No. 651380 ID: a19cd5

>>651379
Actually you know what, we can probably chalk this up to the insane ramblings of a nervous break. We do gotta apologize later after she's cooled down a bit.
>>
No. 651381 ID: ab7529

See, this is why I wanted show, not tell. You might have got an emotional "oh my god my is that her" reaction not a "why the fuck are you talking about my dead kid one". I guess plugging into the laptop and using it as a display device isn't an option.

>what do
Take a minute to compose yourself. Say goodbye and you're sorry to Victor's empty shell.

Then go after her. You may have been an ass, but you can't leave her alone to get ventilated or eaten by the next shadow monster.

And drop the fucking subject.
>>
No. 651397 ID: 0fc976

Hmpph. Fine, you- you- DOUBLE MEATBAG.
>>
No. 651419 ID: defceb
File 143547975876.png - (20.01KB , 840x600 , 4074.png )
651419

You take a moment to collect your thoughts and bid farewell to Victor. Somehow, it doesn’t feel like parting ways.

You find Liz leaning in the hallway. She’s taking deep breaths and holding her sides, shaking slightly.

>”I’m sorry.”

“We should go.”
>>
No. 651421 ID: e114bc

>>651419
Yes.
>>
No. 651422 ID: ab7529

>We should go.
I-uh, yeah. We should.

Down the hall, careful the security door there doesn't fall on you, keep you eyes peeled for more drones and thing.
>>
No. 651449 ID: 6ba835

Every person with a psychosis is certain they are not crazy. It's basically what defines a psychosis. So let's not push that "I am not insane!" thing. We'll just have to find proof elsewhere.
>>
No. 651495 ID: defceb
File 143553327026.png - (24.80KB , 840x600 , 4075.png )
651495

>”I- uh, yeah. We should.”

The two of you proceed towards the decontamination chamber. The next room appears to have a large, rectangular cut taken from it’s center, going through the lockers and the outer wall to decontamination. A low, quiet thrumming sound emanates from the decon chamber.

Liz is standing at the edge of the former doorway, tapping her fingers in thought.
>>
No. 651496 ID: ab7529

Are those tracks or rails in the floor? It looks like maybe a barricade is supposed to slide across and slot into those indents on the other side.

All that decontamination equipment also screams traps. It wouldn't be hard to change the chemicals they're supposed to spray or something to make them dangerous.

More worryingly, there's absolutely no sign of the missing walls.

What's that on the floor next to you? Shelving? With a pillow case on top?

Um, whatever we do, you have to go first. You're a lot more durable if this is a trap of some kind.
>>
No. 651499 ID: 89941a

Examine the clothing on the ground. Rub it against Liz's skin for a bit and then throw it into the presumed trap.

I'm guessing it might target biological matter?
>>
No. 651500 ID: e114bc

Ask if she's worried about the decon chamber.
>>
No. 651515 ID: 3e2cae

Check under the towel. There might be a keycard under there. or a clue.
>>
No. 651525 ID: 3e2cae

Smash the decon machine with your mighty robot fists.
>>
No. 651526 ID: d4a543

Climb up and disable the sprayers by cutting those hoses.
>>
No. 651527 ID: ab7529

>>651525
Our fists aren't very durable. They bled the last time we smashed something.

If we find we need to break stuff to proceed, we'll need a tool to do the smashing with. (I guess we have metal locker parts to use as smashing things?).

Granted, I don't want to smash first, ask questions latter. That might trigger whatever the trap is, and make us look crazy to the gal already worried about that.
>>
No. 651567 ID: defceb
File 143555577160.png - (23.25KB , 840x600 , 4076.png )
651567

>”Worried about the decon chamber?”

“Amongst other things.”

>”Well hold on one second, I think I have an idea.”

You pick up the lab coat and search through the pockets, finding some sunglasses. Then you rub it against Liz’s face.

“Can I uh… help you?”

>”Shh, I’m experimenting.”

You throw the lab coat into the decon chamber.
>>
No. 651568 ID: defceb
File 143555579544.png - (25.69KB , 840x600 , 4077.png )
651568

A loud klaxon rings out as the red lights switch on. You hear a series of pops come from behind the wall.
>>
No. 651570 ID: ab7529

Throw sunglasses on against the red light glare. (Or offer then to Liz, as her eyes might actually need them).

Yup, it reacted to organic material, I think. Step back, please, don't know what this is gonna do.

Observe, from a save distance, what it does to the labcoat.
>>
No. 651572 ID: 1cebc8

Back away from the wall of death.
>>
No. 651575 ID: e114bc

Alright, time to step back. Don't fuck with it until you see what it does.
>>
No. 651586 ID: defceb
File 143556054855.png - (14.16KB , 840x600 , 4078.png )
651586

Something bursts, and a blinding light floods the room. You barely manage to snap the sunglasses onto Liz in time. You vaguely hear the sound of the fire alarm and water sprinklers activate.
>>
No. 651591 ID: e114bc

>>651586
So... malfunctioning decon system. Great.

Adjust your eyes to compensate for the light then go smash the light bulbs with your club, assuming they're still on.
>>
No. 651618 ID: 88960e

What was that, a crapload of UV? Hopefully We didn't just give her skin cancer.

If that's still going on, guide Liz into a locker recess so she's got some shielding, then set about breaking things. Smash those emitters. ...try not to use something metal, it'd be nice not to get electrocuted.

When it's stopped, ask "you okay?".
>>
No. 651622 ID: 89941a

..Talk about excessive. Damn.

Any time to reduce the exposure time on your eyes to get a clearer picture of what exactly happened? Or can you just edit it from memory?
>>
No. 651876 ID: defceb
File 143565136231.png - (44.33KB , 840x600 , 4079.png )
651876

Two of the UV lights burst, and the rest flick off. The sprinklers slow down to a drizzle after, before turning off completely.

>”You okay?”

“I don’t know, on one side I feel a little bleached. On the other I’ve been doused in gross pipe water. A real shower would be nice.”

>”Right, I’m going to smash the rest of the lights just in case.”

“Are you uh… sure that’s a good idea?”
>>
No. 651878 ID: e114bc

>>651876
idk what could go wrong with smashing the lights. I mean if she wants to just go on through now that's fine, we don't have to break anything.
>>
No. 651884 ID: 1cebc8

If there's a powersurge, the UV light could kill Liz. You may need to backtrack, so don't risk keeping this thing on.

Though, you should try to rip open the casing and just unscrew the bulbs. They might be useful.
>>
No. 651892 ID: 88960e

>Are you uh… sure that’s a good idea?
Um. Well, maybe breaking things hooked up to electrical power while standing in a sprinkler puddle would be a bad idea.

Drop something metal in the water, see if there's a short and it's electrified. If not, test to see if you can retrigger the decontamination protocol again, or if it's dead.

If these tests pass, walk over and investigate the door.
>>
No. 651893 ID: 88960e

Also, what's that on the floor behind you? Is it fixed? If not, you can slide it forward and use it as a bridge to avoid getting feet wet or risking an electrocution trap.
>>
No. 651899 ID: 60700b

"I could just steal the lights instead if you want."

>>651893
Looks like that got filled with water from the nozzles, considering the lack of containing wall.
>>
No. 651984 ID: 825af6

Hold up a moment. Don't obviously look at it, but there's a highly suspicious dry spot on the floor in the aisle behind you to your current left. And it's about the size and shape of one that a person standing there would leave. Also, when the red warning light flashed it cast the shadow of two legs from that position. And when the UV lamps went off it briefly lit the outline of someone or something standing there. Put it all together and it's very likely you've got a cloaker tailing you.

If the sprinklers are still going then you might be able to track the cloaker's location by the void where the water isn't falling and strike it now. Otherwise the standing water in the decon chamber would give away where it's standing, if it comes in there. However, the cloaker probably won't step into the water when you can see or hear it. And even if you two stepped through the chamber the cloaker most likely won't follow until you're well out of range of hearing it step through the water. You may not get another chance to pick up the cloaker's location then.

You could try to expose the cloaker by picking up one of the locker bases under the pretense of moving it to make a bridge across the suspect decon chamber floor, then swing it up where the cloaker is to both soak it so you can locate it by the water running off and bash it in the hopes of damaging its cloaking system. However, this would be risky as the cloaker may have moved.
>>
No. 651994 ID: 89941a
File 143569930497.png - (22.36KB , 1064x408 , Waitwhatyou'reright.png )
651994

>>651984
Wait, you're right.

Hope nobody minds if I post an image. The circles are arguably not needed. But eh.
>>
No. 651996 ID: defceb

>>651994
For the record, I'm cool with you guys posting images like these.
>>
No. 652000 ID: 3e2cae

tell Liz about the possibility of a cloaker. Whisper it to her so you don't tip the cloaker off.
>>
No. 652004 ID: ab7529

Talk about something else, and maybe make like you're checking the glasses worked, to get close enough to whisper that there's something behind us.

I'm not really sure how we're supposed to reveal the cloaker, short of slapping them with the wet labcoat. (I regret not looting one of those buckets of green paint, earlier).
>>
No. 652292 ID: d4a543

Could you unscrew one of the UV bulbs, carry it around, and light it up with your own power supply? That way you'd be able to highlight the cloaker at will.
>>
No. 652721 ID: defceb
File 143589736527.png - (21.89KB , 840x600 , 4080.png )
652721

>”Did the sunglasses work for you? Your eyes okay?”

You lean over to Liz as if checking the sunglasses, and whisper into her ear that the two of you being followed. She doesn’t visibly react. You sneak a glance over her shoulder as well.

“Yeah, yeah, my eyes are fine, thanks to your fast reactions. Let’s get going. Do you have a keycard for the door?”
>>
No. 652724 ID: 742b4a

Superimposed image of the masked redeye and... something/someone we haven't quite seen before. Is that a big ol' third eye?

You know, considering this isn't reality I'm really wondering what would happen if Marie put on the mask. No harm in waiting on that until later I suppose.

>>652721
Yeah, Svensson's keycard.
>>
No. 652725 ID: ab7529

>>652721
Overlapping image- the shadow person, and someone with Marie-style ears.

>Do you have a keycard for the door?
Yeah, I found someone's earlier (Rudy's). Hopefully it works.

Get Liz through the door, and use the door as a choke-point to ambush the invisible person (maybe wrap them in the wet labcoat?) Watch the water, subtlety, so you know when to move.
>>
No. 652732 ID: a19cd5

oh hey, we can see the other guy's shadow. ignore for now, we already look crazy.
>>
No. 652743 ID: defceb
File 143590566590.png - (25.13KB , 840x600 , 4081.png )
652743

You open the door with Rudy’s ID card and the two of you proceed into the next room. The door quietly slides shut as soon as you pass through it.
>>
No. 652744 ID: 742b4a

>>652743
I see a little silhouette of a man. Go look into that room. Or maybe Liz should instead as she's less intimidating. You can check out the newspaper.
>>
No. 652746 ID: a19cd5

>>652743
Guy in the next room over.
>>
No. 652748 ID: 26e769

Examine the computer console. Read newspaper. Hug Liz. Check Liz's biometrics.
>>
No. 652752 ID: bd8b82

line bisecting the room looks dangerous.
>>
No. 652753 ID: a19cd5

All of what the last guy said but with a downvote for random hugging. The fuck, no thats creepy and weird.
>>
No. 652762 ID: 1cebc8

Looks like something was either clawing desperately away from the door... or towards the security room. Head to the latter.
>>
No. 652763 ID: 53a13f

...
Knock?
>>
No. 652766 ID: defceb
File 143591177114.png - (26.65KB , 840x600 , 4082.png )
652766

You ask Liz to take a peek through the window while you read the newspaper.

“Just looks like some old security room. I’m seeing a shadow back there but I can’t spot where it’s coming from.” She looks over the plain door next to the window. “...or how we’re supposed to open this door.”
>>
No. 652767 ID: fef726

Check out page 2. That might be you.

Also that 'dirty gas' is horrifying. Good thing you don't have any organic parts.

As for the room.... see if that window can be opened or smashed.
>>
No. 652769 ID: defceb
File 143591396308.png - (19.87KB , 840x600 , 4083.png )
652769

>Check page 2

>"Think the window can be smashed in?"

"You can try if you want, but I like having hands so I won't."
>>
No. 652773 ID: fef726

That fit your vessel profile?

Might as well break the window, if need be you can always use your jacket if your hands are fragile enough to get cut on the glass when it breaks.
>>
No. 652792 ID: 742b4a

Use robot hands on window. Try not to injure yourself. You could use the newspaper as a protective covering.
>>
No. 652793 ID: 742b4a

Oh and what's that terminal on the huge door?
>>
No. 652797 ID: ab7529

>That fit your vessel profile?
Yes, this is an important question. If so, that means you somehow went back in time before you even got here.

>other stuff
Wait, before you try to move onto the next room, or start breaking things:

Check that blue panel on the other door, it has some kind of display.

Glance back through the door you came through- is the invisible person following? They have to go through the puddle, where footprints would be visible. And they can't open the door until you leave the room, if they want to remain undetected.

What's that slanted panel on the right?
>>
No. 652820 ID: fef726

>What's that slanted panel on the right?
I'm almost certain those are stairs going up.
>>
No. 653628 ID: defceb
File 143625065744.png - (24.59KB , 840x600 , 4084.png )
653628

>Is that your spaceship?

The silhouette strikes you as familiar, but you can’t recall if it is your own ship or not.

>Check the screen
>Punch the window

Liz wanders over to the panel on the door, and idly taps at it for a few seconds. “According to this, the next room is being kept at 98 degrees fahrenheit. “ She taps the screen a few more times. “...and I think we’ll need the security card of someone high up the totem pole to get in.”

You punch the window. Something in your hand buckles and shoots pain signals straight up your arm. The window is unfazed.
>>
No. 653630 ID: e114bc

>>653628
Good job breaking your hand, moron. Whatever that window is made out of you're not breaking it.

This is a dead end, go upstairs.
>>
No. 653632 ID: 1f8505

>>653628

Check hand for damage. Repair damage if applicable.
>>
No. 653659 ID: 89941a

You're going to be falling apart by the end of this...
>>
No. 653667 ID: 3c06ed

>>652766
fuck, the gas is that bad? how did marie only get facial scars? i mean, she would have died from it eventually somehow, but this is all very vague. also why is the gas article in the same page as the getting your wife back article.

please read the gas article before moving on, it seems important as fuck.
>>
No. 653678 ID: 88960e

>You punch the window. Something in your hand buckles and shoots pain signals straight up your arm.
NO. Bad. Stop doing shit like that! You're more durable than a regular person but you aren't some super combat model. Hit tthings with things, Marie! Use tools. It's part of what makes you human.

(Seriously guys, we're not terminator-durable. Stop that!).

*Sigh* damage report / diagnostic, please.

>what do
Go back to transparent door, see if you can make our invisible friend in the last room. They still there? (Still a shadow on the floor, or footprints in the water?).
>>
No. 653699 ID: eac8be

Really? We just acquired a drone-limb bludgeon so we don't have to keep damaging our fists all the time. That is both more effective due to lever effects and more replicable. From now on before punching think "should I bludgeon that instead", and the answer is almost always yes.

Would the blowtorch work on the window?
>>
No. 654189 ID: defceb
File 143642285196.png - (11.24KB , 840x600 , 4085.png )
654189

You examine your hand. Your ring finger appears to have busted; it’s stuck in a curled position. You pull on the finger and feel something tug inside your hand - probably a crumpled joint, or a torn muscle. It continues to send pain signals which arc across your arm, making your forearm twitch involuntarily.

You glance through the glass doorway before heading upstairs. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of someone trying to approach the door from the other side.

“Is your hand going to be okay? That noise didn’t sound pleasant.”

>”My ring finger is stuck in this position, but I think it’ll be okay otherwise.”

“Can’t just tear it open and fix it?”

>”A: I don’t have the tools, and B: that’s a sealed environment. I don’t want to let anything get inside that could do even more damage.”

“But isn’t the hole in your gut already letting everything in there?”

>”Excuse me? How do you know about-?”

“What? I peeked. Besides, I thought robot bodies were supposed to be invulnerable and lift hundreds of pounds and shoot lasers out of their eyes.”

>”Oh, here we go…”

“What, are you telling me you can’t just launch your fists like rockets and say stuff like ‘Where is Sarah Connor?’?”

>”You’re awfully inquisitive. You know, for an anti-robotic racist.”

“It’s not that simple!”

>“You keep saying that!”

“Because it’s true! It’s not just about progress, it’s about the lies of the meta-narratives, the collections of power- Hell. Why am I even explaining this to you?”

>”Because I’m the closest thing to a friend you can find down here?”

“Perhaps in the same way a broken phone can be my friend.”

>”Did you just call me a phone?”

"I could call you a laptop if that would make you feel better.”

>"Hippie”

“Calculator.”

>"Tree-hugger”

“Roomba.”

>"Hey, some of my best friends were roombas.”

“I can’t actually tell if you’re joking or not.”
>>
No. 654192 ID: e114bc

>>654189
Tell me about the lies of the meta-narratives.
>>
No. 654233 ID: 89941a

Start making up a roomba friend to tell her about.
>>
No. 654238 ID: 88960e

>>"Hey, some of my best friends were roombas.”
>“I can’t actually tell if you’re joking or not.”
Hey, it gets lonely in space. Don't judge.

>I thought robot bodies were supposed to be invulnerable and lift hundreds of pounds and shoot lasers out of their eyes.
I'm not some kind of super soldier! I mean, yeah, being more durable than the average person is handy in this mess, but if I were built for battle, I don't think they'd have bothred with the pretty face, elf ears, or knockers. I'm just me!

And being strong just means you're strong enough to break the tougher stuff you're made of if you do something stupid.

...the eye lasers haven't worked since I got here.

>finger damage
Well, plus side is that sounds fixable, with the right tools. Assuming we ever make it back to Haley and have downtime. You're headed in the wrong direction right now.
>>
No. 654239 ID: 562051

Why not treat her to the laundry list of what you can and can't do? Then she can can tell you about the meta-narrative. It's fun to vent.
>>
No. 654364 ID: defceb
File 143648238814.png - (10.00KB , 840x600 , 4086.png )
654364

>“It gets lonely in space. Don’t judge me.”

“Did you really-”

>“I named it Ruby, and programmed it to say hello every time it passed by. On my birthday it would sing to me.”

“...uh.”

>“I spent a lot of time alone.”

“...SO! What can your robot body do?”

>”Not a whole lot more than yours can. Most of the internal space is taken up by base functionality. Although I guess I’m more durable and kind of strong and can” -cough- “enhance knockers.” -cough-

“What was that last one?”

>”Being strong? Synthetic muscles like the kind I have are pretty tough, yeah. Don’t need to exercise to be strong when I’m just naturally that way. Unnaturally, I mean. Though in practice this just means I can break myself as much as the things around me. At this point I’m honestly not sure what is and is not broken on the inside.”

You try a weak laugh at your own expense. Liz gives you a concerned look.

“Uh, not that one.”

>”Well when I say durable it really just means I don’t have to worry about things like blood loss, organ failure, infection, and the like. Though I don’t repair naturally as far as I can tell so it’s not like my standard of living bounce right back up, you know?”

“...what did you say about knockers?”
>>
No. 654365 ID: ad7bba

EXPAND JIGGLEJOGGLERS.
>>
No. 654366 ID: ab7529

>...what did you say about knockers?
Sigh, and demonstrate.

After whatever her reaction is:

...like you've never had moments where you wished they were bigger, or smaller! It's convenient!
>>
No. 654367 ID: ad4fa3

>>654364
show her your miraculous boob powers
>>
No. 654369 ID: 26e769

>>649791

>in addition to jigglejogglers, enhance knockers. You know. For balance. Also to put another nail in the coffin of Liz's philosophy. "So, progress only leads to suffering and destruction, huh? Then what about... THIS?!" *enhance knockers*

It's time.

"Hey, Liz. If technology and robotization only lead to suffering... then what about this?"

Enhance! Give yourself an hourglass figure out of nowhere.
>>
No. 654370 ID: 89941a

>>654364
Enhance knockers to maximum capacity!
>>
No. 654373 ID: 9b1a75

Push titties into MAXIMUM OVERBOOB.
>>
No. 654390 ID: ab7529

>>654370
>>654373
No no, we can't go right to the maximum size. You need to stop a little short so you can expand a little more when she's busy staring incredulously or laughing or whatever. A plus 1 at the end counts for more than going right there.
>>
No. 654405 ID: ffd5c5

Oh, you know. These bodies are designed to be customisable. Also you have a radio and wifi!
>>
No. 654556 ID: 1f3797

Maximize mammaries.
>>
No. 654557 ID: defceb
File 143650442395.png - (21.81KB , 840x600 , 4087.png )
654557

>”Well, uh, part of the whole thing is that these bodies are supposed to be customizable to some degree. Like, waist size and and uh…”
>>
No. 654558 ID: defceb
File 143650443967.png - (21.51KB , 840x600 , 4088.png )
654558

>Enhance knockers
>>
No. 654559 ID: 0f2037

Give her a hug. Maybe even "enhance" a bit more during the hug.
>>
No. 654562 ID: ab7529

Well, she's shocked. Wait to see if she unfreezes?

If she keeps being weird about it, get defensive. "...like you've never had moments where you wished they were bigger, or smaller! It's convenient!"
>>
No. 654564 ID: e114bc

Just wait to see a reaction.
>>
No. 654573 ID: 26e769

Seconding suggestion for hugs.

Say "Impressive, isn't it?" while enhancing and un-enhancing knockers and smiling.
>>
No. 654574 ID: a19cd5

>>654564
seconding this, let's not ruin this wonderful moment
>>
No. 654579 ID: fef726

Just wait for her to recover her shock. Maybe tell her that after all she's seen here it is a pair of size-adjustable breasts that breaks her composure?
>>
No. 654585 ID: defceb
File 143650869690.png - (15.36KB , 840x600 , 4089.png )
654585

"...science has gone too far."
>>
No. 654587 ID: 0fc976

There was a point to stop and we clearly passed it, but let's keep going and >enhance some more!
>>
No. 654589 ID: a19cd5

"Oh? is that -jealousy- I detect?"
>do a pose

"No but seriously, being synthetic has a lot of drawbacks in addition to the perks. I can't heal naturally, and I kind of have a problem with people hacking into my head apparently. It's kind of fucked up. REALLY fucked up."
>>
No. 654590 ID: e114bc

Repeatedly enhance and un-enhance.
>>
No. 654591 ID: 26e769

>>654590

Seconding.

Grin. "Jealous~?"
>>
No. 654593 ID: 1cebc8

Don't push it, you might alienate her.
>>
No. 654594 ID: 0fc976

>>654593
Agreed. Don't push it, squeeze it.
>>
No. 654601 ID: a19cd5

>>654589
yeah on second thought I retract my own statement in favor of
>>654590
>>
No. 654605 ID: fef726

Say something like :

It's not the killer drones of some mad AI or human that gets to you. Its not the advanced uplift from outer space. It's not the outright bizarre time anomalies.

It's the adjustable breasts.

You know what? Fine. Here. Feel them. Marvel at them. Maybe give them a squeeze.

Place her hand on your breasts and then show her your full range that you can do without bursting your clothes. That should get her outta shock.
>>
No. 654608 ID: defceb
File 143651292096.png - (15.53KB , 840x600 , 4090.png )
654608

>”Is that jealousy I hear?”

You enhance a touch more.

>”If it’s not the drones, the space cyborg, or the time anomalies that get to you, it’s the adjustable breasts! Why not give them a squeeze while we’re at it?”

Liz mumbles something under her breath, frozen in place.
>>
No. 654609 ID: a19cd5

>Blood coming from nose
YOOOO
shit are you having an anneurysm?
>>
No. 654610 ID: e114bc

>>654608
Um are you okay?
>>
No. 654613 ID: 1f8505

Take one of her hands. Press to knocker. Watch reaction.
>>
No. 654614 ID: 26e769

>>654613

Absolutely perfect. Seconding.
>>
No. 654615 ID: 89941a

>>654613
I agree wholeheartedly.
>>
No. 654616 ID: b19c84

So how about that meta-narrative?
>>
No. 654642 ID: 88960e

Have mercy. Dehance knockers down to standard levels.

Make a love not war joke. You didn't beat her with cyber muscles or eye lasers- you did it with boobs. Terminator's got nothing on you.

Also, yes, ask her where your puppies fit into the meta narrative.

>put her hand on boob
That seems like it crosses a line. It's one thing if she pokes em, it's another if we force it.
>>
No. 654657 ID: 88960e

Oh, and if/when you reset them: go all the way down to the minimum before going back up to your default. Just to mess with her.
>>
No. 654659 ID: fef726

Oh that reaction is perfect.
>>
No. 654670 ID: ad7bba

Okay, uh, this is kind of weird, actually. One person getting nose bleeds is understandable from, like, a humor point of view. Two though? Are we accidently emitting nerve toxin or something when we ENHANCE KNOCKERS?
>>
No. 654674 ID: 0fc976

Judging by the reaction, I think she likes them just where they are.
>>
No. 654680 ID: 92d17d

>>654608
bonding through boobs. those things are so useful.
>>
No. 654731 ID: defceb
File 143655814026.png - (10.56KB , 840x600 , 4091.png )
654731

>”You okay, Liz?”

She mumbles something about feeling light-headed. You set yourself back down to normal settings.

>”Liz?”

Liz teeters backwards and falls over, hitting her head against the wall.

Liz is now unconscious.
>>
No. 654733 ID: 89941a

>>654731
Note to self. Next time you enhance knockers, make sure to be close enough to catch them.
>>
No. 654735 ID: 0fc976

Catch her with your comfy pillows.
>>
No. 654737 ID: 26e769

Take care of her. Cuddle her until she wakes. It's the only way to avoid monsters getting at her while you're not looking.
>>
No. 654738 ID: e114bc

>>654731
God damn it, why does everyone near us eventually sustain grievous injury?!

Check her head for bleeding, check her vitals in general.

...we're going to have to just wait until she wakes up, aren't we. There's no secure place to put her!
>>
No. 654743 ID: ab7529

Quick, catch her! You can't let fall down the stairs, she could get really hurt. Sit her own on the floor, gently.

Check her pulse, check the bleeding (how much / how bad?), and run whatever on-board biometrics you have available. Check if she hit her head hard enough to bleed, or for anything to crack. Can you tell how severe her injuries are?

Quick, the laptop. Her file. Is there a medical history?

Spot check: any sign the invisible person has followed you up the stairs?

Great. We're now 2 for 2 for traveling companions in need of medical. Too bad we don't know where we are right now in relation to that- we don't even know what floor we're on (or between, technically).

Assuming there's nothing we need to do to stabilize her, I don't think we can afford to wait around. Nor do I think we can leave her here (we know the invisible person is nearby, and the static thing was too). We'll have to carry her. Good thing you're strong.

Unless. Uh. I don't suppose we can just put her in inventory? That would be convenient.
>>
No. 654744 ID: ab7529

>>654733
Next time the thing to do would be to use robot-reflexes to catch someone before they crack their head on concrete.
>>
No. 654754 ID: defceb
File 143656101132.png - (6.63KB , 840x600 , 4092.png )
654754

You scramble over and catch Liz as she falls. A quick check doesn’t reveal any cracks or external bleeding, except for her nosebleed. Her vitals appear normal so far.

You hear the glass door from the previous room slide open.
>>
No. 654757 ID: 89941a

>>654754
Oh great, the invisible bastard. Got any sort of extra functions in those eyes to help presumably defend against it? Like IR or thermal. Assuming that it'll help of course.

Or.. Try to wrap your scarf around it somehow?
>>
No. 654761 ID: ab7529

The invisible person has arrived.

One small bonus- they had to cross though the puddle. If you're going to face them, their footprints should be wet and visible for a short time. Plus, you have a blowtorch, and the high ground. Small tactical advantage.

Problem is, if we challenge something, we run the risk of triggering another flashback. Last time we did that, we lost Rudy. I'd prefer not to black out again, lose Liz, and find out what happens when we've run out of eyes to turn red.

That leaves retreat. The problem there is you'll be slowed down carrying someone, and retreating into unknown territory means you could walk into another danger.

Best case would be if the invisible person is content to shadow us without engaging. It might be, if we don't let on we know it's there. (Then again, maybe we need to deal with it while we have the chance).
>>
No. 654762 ID: eac8be

I guess we cold try waving the scarf or our bludgeon though empty space to see if we can come in contact with it.
>>
No. 654764 ID: ab7529

>Got any sort of extra functions in those eyes to help presumably defend against it? Like IR or thermal.
We could try turning up the sensitivity on our ear(s). Even if its got optical cloaking (or its real-time editing what we see) that doesn't mean it's necessarily doing anything about it's footfalls or other noise.
>>
No. 654765 ID: e114bc

>>654754
Time to go talk to your stalker. Ask why they're following you.
>>
No. 654816 ID: defceb
File 143657832318.png - (10.33KB , 840x600 , 4093.png )
654816

You look up towards the end of the hallway. You’re more than halfway towards the exit, and you could carry Liz there, though she would slow you down.
>>
No. 654817 ID: defceb
File 143657835909.png - (11.37KB , 840x600 , 4094.png )
654817

You try listening closely, and can just barely hear soft footsteps approaching your position. They come to a halt as a wet footprint appears just around the corner of the hallway.
>>
No. 654818 ID: 0fc976

Get out of here, STALKER.
>>
No. 654819 ID: e114bc

Wait. Are those even cyborg footprints?

Tell them you know they're there. Ask who they are and why they're following you.
>>
No. 654821 ID: ab7529

Man, I really wish we had something to dump down the stairs, make it hard to follow us up. A bucket of water, a bunch of beads, anything. Nothing appropriate in inventory though, and I don't see any part of our outfits that could be cannibalized for that purpose.

>you could carry Liz there, though she would slow you down
But you have sufficient coolant to exert yourself now, and leaving someone behind was never an option. The only choice is if we stay and risk confronting this thing or bug out.

I say we have a pretty terrible track record getting beat up by these things, and not getting separated from people. I say we go for the door with Liz.

Try acting calm, at first. It might not charge if it thinks you haven't made it.

>Wait. Are those even cyborg footprints?
Maybe? Marie's feet look pretty human, though maybe the cross-strap things would be visible in a footprint like that.
>>
No. 654832 ID: ebcefd

They could have organic feet with cybernetic attachments to the joints or spine.'

I think they know we are here, so we should try talking but if that doesn't work retreat.
>>
No. 654846 ID: defceb
File 143658479215.png - (8.18KB , 840x600 , 4095.png )
654846

You haul Liz into a fireman’s carry and start trudging up to the doorway. You hear the footsteps resume once you turn your back to them, and pick up your pace. They pick up speed to match yours, and soon you’re bounding down the hallway, through the door…
>>
No. 654847 ID: defceb
File 143658480816.png - (28.32KB , 840x600 , 4096.png )
654847

...and right into a person on the other side
>>
No. 654849 ID: fef726

Oh great. You are about to become a sandwhich, I doubt your follower is going to be fast enough to react to your sudden halt.
>>
No. 654851 ID: 0fc976

Emergency knocker enhancement to get her out of your personal space!
>>
No. 654853 ID: ab7529

Dump Liz in her arms so she can't run away while you turn and slam the door shut.

HelloagainI'mMariethisisLizholdherokay?

Hold door shut, take out the blowtorch, and spot-weld it shut. Let's see it follow you now.
>>
No. 654855 ID: 26e769

>>654851

Seconding emergency knocker enhancement.

"Hello! I'm Marie! I don't suppose you're a doctor? My friend here just passed out after bleeding from her nose."
>>
No. 654857 ID: 2a1897

enhance all knockers.
>>
No. 654862 ID: e114bc

Do we have to use boobs to detach ourselves from her? Can't we use hands instead?
>>
No. 654893 ID: defceb
File 143659740836.png - (27.40KB , 840x600 , 4097.png )
654893

>”HiI’mMarieonesecond”
The door slams shut, and you proceed to torch the door and the card reader until it’s functionally useless.
“StandbackI’marmedand-” THUNK
>”That’sLizshe’shurt!”
“Whoareyouwhat’sgoingon”
>”Areyouadoctorsheneedshelp”
“WHY ARE WE SHOUTING!?”
>”I DON’T KNOW!”
“I HAVE A GUN.”
>”PLEASE DON’T SHOOT ME.”
“I DON’T WANT TO DIE YOUNG.”
>”WHY ARE WE SHOUTING?”
“I THINK IT’S THE ADRENALINE.”
>>
No. 654903 ID: e114bc

>>654893
Okay time to sit on your ass and calm down.

Wait do cyborgs even have adrenaline?
>>
No. 654932 ID: 89941a

See? Enhanced knockers could have softened that initial impact. Take a moment to calm down.
>>
No. 654964 ID: 92d17d

>>654893
hey! we met this person before!
twice even, i think.

also, there's a UV decon thing again behind you.
>>
No. 654980 ID: fbc59e

so, calm down, let's ask the other person his/her name, and since we're all friendly ask her if she has any idea what this place is, and any other pertinent questions we have built up.
>>
No. 654986 ID: ab7529

Okay, okay, calm down.

Start over: Hi, I'm Marie. We met before on, on the stairs, and over the radio? What's you name?

Look, there's a bad thing on the other side of that door, and I'd like to get away from it. Do you know where we are? Cause I'm lost- I don't even know what floor we're on.

Do you know how to get to those stairs where we met before? If I could get there, I can get her to Haley and medical.

>another UV decontam thing.
Stand by with the sunglasses to keep the human eyes from getting toasted. (I guess we only have the one pair, so we'd have to cover Liz's eyes by hand, but she's unconscious and facing away).
>>
No. 655004 ID: d4a543

Facing away might not help much, if those lights are bright enough to really saturate the room. Everybody outta the decon chamber before it explodes.
>>
No. 655182 ID: 26e769

"BUT I DON'T HAVE ADRENALINE, I'M A ROBOT"
>>
No. 655817 ID: defceb
File 143685657976.png - (30.16KB , 840x600 , 4098.png )
655817

>”I DON’T HAVE ADRENALINE I’M A CYBORG.”
“WELL OF COURSE YOU’RE A CYBORG! Who are you, anyway?”
>”I’m Marie and we’re getting out of this decontamination chamber.”
“But I already disabled the-”
>”Out! Outoutoutoutoutoutout.”

The two of you exit the decontamination chamber, with Liz in tow.

“I’m guessing this isn’t the part where you try to kill me, then?”
>”I wasn’t going to kill you to begin with! Do you know where we are? Who ARE you? Please don’t run away again I’m friendly I promise.”
“...Uh.”
>”We met in the stairwell before. I think. If I didn’t hallucinate that.”
“...I’m Pat. Nice to meet you.”
>>
No. 655821 ID: 0fc976

Puff out your chest (enhance knockers) to establish your dominance as the alpha female.
>>
No. 655829 ID: e114bc

>>655817
Likewise, oh hey is that another cyborg in the room behind the window?
>>
No. 655834 ID: 1cebc8

Ask about the major threats and local history. You aren't sure what's going on, but there's a cyber-hunter.

This is also a bad thing for organics since it treats the cyber-hunt like a LARP and will cause real-life destruction by activating broken security ^&*(.
>>
No. 655835 ID: 89941a

Close the door behind you. And observe pointy ears in the other room.

Also is that an automatic tripod turret I spy in there?
>>
No. 655847 ID: 88960e

Prop Liz up somewhere if we're gonna be talking for a bit. Check that the running and dragging didn't make the bleeding worse.

Right. Explain you're not even supposed to be here, you kind of crashed into this place. Although you admit that's a pretty big coincidence considering you're an uplift and that's what this place is apparently researching.

Ask what she does (or did?) if she doesn't mind sharing?

Does she know where you are? You're kind of lost- you don't even know what floor you're on. Can she give you directions back to the mural staircase? Then you could get Liz here to Haley, um, doctor Anselm. (Explain symptoms, if necessary).

Is that a painting or mirror or window, there? Look at the figure with your ears.

Why would I want to kill you? Why would I wa to kill anyone?
>>
No. 655996 ID: defceb
File 143694102373.png - (36.72KB , 840x600 , 4099.png )
655996

>“It’s nice to meet you too! Do you know what’s going on around here? I think there’s a cyber-hunter and murder drones roaming around.”
“Uh-huh.”
>”Which is kind of weird, ‘cause like they’re cyborgs, kind of? And I’m an uplifted cyborg who crash-landed in here. Big Coincidence, a cyborg crash-landing into an underground uplift facility like this.”
“Mhmm.”
>”I shouldn’t even be here, as far as I know. Do you know where we are, exactly? I’m a little lost.”
“One, we’re on the sixth floor. Two, you’re talking very fast. Are you sure you don’t have adrenaline?”
Pat strolls further down the room to a desk littered with unidentifiable junk. She grabs it by the fistful and throws it into a bag.
>”Not technically? It’s a simulation of adrenaline by my neural code that mimics neurochemical release in digital form- is this going to make any sense?”
“Not really.”
>”Well I may have knocked out Liz, and got chased up a hallway where I bumped into you so I’m a little on edge?”
“Chased?”
>”By a, hm, I don’t know what actually. They’re kind of invisible? Or realtime hacking my vision so I can’t see them. Or we’re in an AR digital space and they’re hacking whatever sort of system set it up. Or they don’t exist and I’m just hallucinating signs that something is stalking me. Or, hm.”
“...right.”
>”...do you know a way to the surgery room? Or the staircase where we first met?
“Perhaps. But, Marie, was it? Marie, you sound like you’re half-dipped into a panic attack and if you intend to keep following me around then I’m going to need you to take a deep breath, calm down, and try speaking again with a little less crazytalk this time.”


You look through the window. There doesn’t seem to be anything notable on the other side. Are you sure you’re you’re you’re not jjust seeing things again?
>>
No. 655997 ID: 5a7179

Wave back at your future self/past self/clone/what is going on.
>>
No. 655998 ID: 89941a

Deep breath.

What's in the other room past the red tape? There's static keeping you from seeing much.

Also, if she asks why Liz is unconscious, make sure to demonstrate why.
>>
No. 655999 ID: e114bc

>>655996
Okay, first, confirm that there was something chasing you. When you shut the door, there was an audible thump. Ask Pat if she heard that. Second, ask Pat to look through that window, is there anyone in there?

Third, set down Liz and sit, then calm down. Or just open up your internal controls and reset your emotional state.
>>
No. 656025 ID: 99cfa8

>>655996
> waving cyborg buddy
I can't tell if that's motion lines, or horrible things going on with their hand...

... Marie are you aware of that text garbling going on when you were talking about how you might just be seeing things? That being there makes me think that it's you not seeing it that's fake but uh. It's pretty much impossible to tell. Without asking our new friend.

>try speaking again with a little less crazytalk this time.
Right, sorry, Pat. It's kind of hard to keep calm when I don't know how much of what I'm seeing is real. Uh, speaking of. Just after I closed the door there was a big think from the other side of it, did you hear that too?
>>
No. 656037 ID: 88960e

>we’re on the sixth floor
Wait, do we know what floor we were on before?

>Marie, you sound like you’re half-dipped into a panic attack and if you intend to keep following me around then I’m going to need you to take a deep breath, calm down, and try speaking again with a little less crazytalk this time.
Take the deep breath. It'll help psychologically, if not physiologically.

Right. Sorry. Haven't had the best day.

Less crazy panicked version: I don't know what's going on. I'm worried about my mental health and/or if the grid or something is hacking me. I'm pretty sure something was just chasing me. Liz here passed out and I'd like to figure out how to get her to Haley for a checkup before something else bad happens.

Also I'm really sick of things trying to kill me. And not being sure if I can trust what I see.

...okay, that still sounds a little paranoid. Sorry. Not sure how you talk about being trapped in an underground lab with an unknown situation and have it sound normal.

How's your day?

>junk
Can I ask what you're looking for there?

...see anything that looks like a still in the wrapper leg, Marie?

>static doorway
Is that a grid boundary? Are we off grid or on right now? (We didn't leave last time we went in, but we were moved).

>waving person
We could just ask Pat what she sees in there.
>>
No. 656071 ID: 937a79

>>655996
..i really want to walk through that doorway blind. ask pat if that static is really there, step in if not.
>>
No. 656077 ID: e114bc

>>656071
It's the Grid. The borders of the Grid always look like that to marie. I strongly doubt any organics see it.
>>
No. 656078 ID: fef726

They are getting pretty blatant about editing you. You stuttered you're three times there. It's also worrying that they are getting into your thought processes.
>>
No. 656116 ID: ab7529

Is it just me, or does that box on the floor with the piece of red tape on it look a lot like the one in >>650416 ? That's not an uplift hard drive slash brain, right? No one in there?

>we're on floor 6
>Wait, do we know what floor we were on before?
We crashed and found Morgan on floor 3. Haley's room is on floor 5. Rudy was one story up from that, so presumably he's somewhere on floor 6 too. (Pat might be able to direct us to that shuttered of security room, from before, that's where he should be). We met Liz one floor down, so presumably that was floor 5 too.

I think all the maps we've seen are: >>/questarch/614614 >>/questarch/640687 and >>647974

>bold letters: nnd
Hmmm. Google says: number needed to harm. The average number of patients you have to expose to a treatment before one suffers harm they wouldn't have otherwise.

...well that's cheery.
>>
No. 656394 ID: d4a543

Sit down, hug Liz like that teddy bear pre-uplift Haley smacked you with. De-overclock yourself and let some waste heat dissipate. Run whatever diagnostics are still working, and internal damage control.

Maybe hack together an inhibitory instinct against punching stuff that might damage your hands when you've got an equal-or-better melee weapon available.
>>
No. 656447 ID: defceb
File 143711058446.png - (31.03KB , 840x600 , 4100.png )
656447

You wave back at nothing in particular.
>>
No. 656448 ID: defceb
File 143711063410.png - (26.49KB , 840x600 , 4101.png )
656448

You stop to take a deep, slow breath and let your anxiety slip out as you exhale.
>”Right. Sorry. I haven't had the best day.”
“It’s alright.”
>”Less crazy panicked version: I don't know what's going on. I'm worried about my mental health and/or if the grid or something is hacking me. I'm pretty sure something was just chasing me, too. I'm really sick of things trying to kill me. And not being sure if I can trust what I see… okay, that still probably sounds a little paranoid. Sorry.”
“Hacking?” Pat gives you an odd look.
>”Well, I mentioned I’m a cyborg, right? Technically I’m a digital entity which acts through this cyborg body, which I’m pretty sure has been compromised. I’m finding it difficult to trust any of my senses anymore since it seems like someone else is, uh… editing what I see. Speaking of, just after I closed the door, there was a big thunk from the other side of it. Did you hear that?”
“I couldn’t hear anything over your shouting.”
>“Aaaaand do you see anything in the next room?”
“Nothing unusual.”
>”...um, well, have you noticed any prosthetic legs around here?”
“I think I saw one a few doors back. It was still in factory packaging, if that helps.”
>”Can I ask what you're doing with all that junk, there?”
“Hoping to find anything useful. I’ll sort through it once I get back to my hideyhole.”

You pick up the hard drive sitting on the ground. There's a strip of red tape crossing over the side, with the words ‘Do not remove from [redacted]’ printed on it.

“If’n you don’t mind, I’d like to get back in the hole before anything comes down upon us. If you’re looking to tag along and…” She looks over you then to Liz. “...are safe to be around, then you can follow, I guess.”
>>
No. 656449 ID: ebcefd

So DID she see us on the stairs earlier?
>>
No. 656467 ID: e114bc

>>656448
Tell her Liz passed out without you touching her. It should be fine.

We should pick up that leg.
>>
No. 656513 ID: 937a79

>>656448
would someone please stick their head through that static door?
>>
No. 656517 ID: 26e769

"Hey, I didn't hurt Liz! She just had a bad reaction to, uh, certain attributes of my body. "

Be embarrassed. If she asks for clarification, display those certain attributes.

Tag along with Pat. Ask her how things have been for her, as well as if there's anyone else waiting in her hidey-hole. You did see her talking on a walkie-talkie earlier.
>>
No. 656540 ID: 88960e

>You pick up the hard drive sitting on the ground.
Stick it in inventory, we'll examine it in more detail later (in Pat's safe area maybe). Unless there's a radio frequency inscribed on it to talk to the inhabitant?

>Hacking?
Hey, something made the tech here go mean.

>I think I saw one a few doors back. It was still in factory packaging, if that helps.
Well, if we're headed that way, that will get Morgan back on his feet. Well, someone's feet.

>Liz, safe
I didn't lay a finger on her, honest! She got a nosebleed suddenly and collapsed on the stairs.
>>
No. 656542 ID: 88960e

Oh. Also. Ask Pat why she's covered in coolant splatter? (If this gets a weird look: um, sorry, it's just that stuff is sort of cyborg blood. *Wave one of your many injuries*).

>>656513
Maybe. So long as that doesn't mean getting left behind.
>>
No. 656891 ID: defceb
File 143728953780.png - (51.86KB , 1680x600 , 4102.png )
656891

You throw the hard-drive in your inventory.
>”I didn’t lay a finger on her! She had a nosebleed and passed out, promise!”
“...right. Well, I’m going to head back now. You can follow, but it’s going to be a dark trip so I suggest letting me carry the girl there.”
You pass off Liz to Pat and move on to the next room.
>”So about this hidey-hole of yours…”
“When they rebuilt this place for their mad science project they left a bunch of the old pathways laying around. The engineer boys and I used them all the time to keep the new generator running, but it’s a real maze so anyone else would just get lost. Others took to calling us rats in the hole, once we’re in the walls it’s pretty much impossible to catch us. So don’t lose track of me, I don’t want to have to hunt you down back there.”
>”Oh! I need to get that leg first. Morgan needs it.”
“I’ll give you ten minutes. If you’re not back by then, I’m heading out without you. I’ll be under the desk, knock twice and I’ll let you in.”
>>
No. 656893 ID: ab7529

Look at mural. Is that you and Haley?

Ask for clear directions to where she saw the leg so you can get there and back quick. No need to waste time searching other rooms.
>>
No. 656901 ID: e114bc

>>656891
Hmm. There's some dark blue markings on the floor rather than the usual scratches. Check it out.

That IS a mural back there, right? Not a corridor and some bogies?

Anyway yeah, get directions, go straight there and back. NO DETOURS. Oh, that reminds me. Is there a route to Rudy from here?
>>
No. 656915 ID: defceb
File 143729893363.png - (26.83KB , 840x600 , 4103.png )
656915

>”Where did you see the leg?”
“I saw it through an open door to one of the offices. It was the only open door, third row down I think? Should be hard to miss.”

>Look at mural. Is that you and Haley?
You inspect the mural in the mirror. You suppose there’s a vague resemblance.
>>
No. 656916 ID: defceb
File 143729897015.png - (37.83KB , 840x600 , 4104.png )
656916

You turn around and inspect the mural directly, finding it to be exactly like what you saw in the mirror. Do you really have time to waste inspecting useless paintings like this?
>>
No. 656917 ID: c4d90f

hm, what is up with the top of that blue mural? looks like the canvas doesn't touch ceiling. Maybe knock to see if it is hollow?
>>
No. 656918 ID: e114bc

>>656916
>stop
no.

Marie stop looking at the fourth wall and go get the leg.
>>
No. 656937 ID: ab7529

>Do you really have time to waste inspecting useless paintings like this?
I kind of assumed Pat's clock didn't start till we actually left the room.

>You suppose there’s a vague resemblance.
Well, you've got the pointed ears and the eyes, she's got the ponytail and those hair streamers out front.

>>656917
It also looks like it's behind glass. Actually, looking at the previous panel, I think the background is painted on the back wall, and the foreground figures are painted on the glass in front of it.

...with a line leading off to the right, where the glass ends, and a real wall starts. Is there something over there, around the corner?

>>656916
The arm tattoos on that figure match the photo here >>644792 , and who I'm guessing is Rodriguez.
>>
No. 656950 ID: 99cfa8

>>656915
>>656916
... those appear to be psychopomps. But those... shouldn't exist yet?
>>
No. 656957 ID: e114bc

>>656950
The first painting has them holding hands but their hands are severed. That's not a psychopomp. Second one, though... yes.

>>656937
>behind glass
It's a mirror.
>>
No. 656963 ID: 937a79

>>656916
marie! snap out of it! it's not the same as what's in the mirror! shake yourself hard and pretend that i'm the one shaking you!
>>
No. 656989 ID: defceb
File 143734793251.png - (61.82KB , 1680x600 , 4105.png )
656989

You inspect the area some more but don’t find anything unusual.
“Starting your timer right… now.” Pat says before ducking behind the desk.
>”Right. Open door, third row down.”
You repeat her words under your breath as you trek down to the hallway. Third row down, third row down, third row down…?

It appears the third row is the only row now.
>>
No. 656990 ID: e114bc

>>656989
Man what the fuck?

Glance at the red thing in the first row on your way there. Also, the signs.
>>
No. 656994 ID: 1cebc8

Grab some water from the vending machine while you're at it. Might be useful later on.
>>
No. 656995 ID: ab7529

Put your ten minute countdown up on the HUD.

Paint bucket! If it's not empty, put it in inventory. That will be useful if we come across the invisible person again.

Speed-read signs, keep moving. I assume this is the first row of doors, we need to reach the third. Also, the leg isn't visible in the open door.
>>
No. 657045 ID: 354a82

>Paint bucket! If it's not empty, put it in inventory. That will be useful if we come across the invisible person again.
It it makes itself invisible by hacking our vision, giving it a chroma key will only make its job easier.
>>
No. 657048 ID: ab7529

>>657045
Except I don't think it's invisibly is all vision hacking. Liz didn't see it either. And if it were vision hacking, it could have hidden the tells we saw too- like the water, or the footprints, or the shadow in the UV burst.
>>
No. 657062 ID: 89941a

If you're on a time limit, you should avoid looking at anything that might upset whoever it is that's hacking you.
>>
No. 657070 ID: defceb
File 143737978405.png - (23.38KB , 840x600 , 4106.png )
657070

You set an internal timer. 10 minutes left.

>Look at the red thing.
Thats…

>If you're on a time limit, you should avoid looking at anything that might upset whoever it is that's hacking you.
Right. Moving along.
>>
No. 657071 ID: defceb
File 143737983163.png - (9.74KB , 840x600 , 4107.png )
657071

You skip down the hallway at a brisk pace, glancing over the signs in the walls as you go. They list a variety of names, two to each plate. The plate adorning the un-flattened hallway shows Rudy’s name, with a number 2 next to it.

That must be Rudy’s office then. It’s the only open door so far, too.

You check the paint bucket. The few remnants of paint still left in the bucket have already dried over.
>>
No. 657076 ID: e114bc

>>657070
What the fuck!?

>>657071
Peek around the doorframe. Could be anything in there at this point.
>>
No. 657081 ID: 88960e

I was kind of hoping the countdown would show up on panel.

Tune your radio to 462.7123 MHz. That's the channel Pat was using before, and we want it open in case she tries to contact us, or we need to call her.

>>657070
Okay, that's your hand. Right down to the bandages the ring finger locked in a curl. Obvious conclusions are that has to have been staged for your benefit, more perception hacking, or time travel shenanigans. Although I doubt the last one. We haven't seen other evidence of multiple yous here.

>Rudy's office
Check, quick. If he's here, that's more important than a leg.

Although maybe you should move forward and get the leg first, as anything involving people will slow you down.
>>
No. 657143 ID: e114bc

>>657081
Doesn't have to be time travel. Considering this place isn't real (as evidenced by HALF A ROOM TURNING TO VOID), it must be some sort of VR simulation or dream. In the first case, Marie could be reverting to set savestates every time she dies, or there's multiple Maries running around. It's likely every time Marie walked past that window she tried to punch it open. In the latter case, then well... that could explain literally anything.
>>
No. 657320 ID: defceb
File 143747238559.png - (19.87KB , 840x600 , 4108.png )
657320

You tune your radio to 462.7123 MHz. Silence fills the airwaves.

You take a quick look into the room. There appears to be another tape resting on the floor, and something mechanical sealed in plastic behind the desk.
>>
No. 657321 ID: e114bc

>>657320
Make sure the room is clear before you step in. Don't rush, we're 5 minutes ahead of schedule.

Then take the leg and the tape. Start listening to the tape immediately.

What's that stuff on the desk?
>>
No. 657322 ID: 5b69c0

Look at ALL OF THE THINGS.

The stuff on the desk, the leg, the markings on the desk leg, the bookshelf, behind the books, check down the side of the recliner for pennies...
>>
No. 657326 ID: 937a79

>>657320
under the couch, take the painting off, freak out because you just saw your own hand buries in rubble somehow, shimmy open the desk drawers, is that stain blood on the chalk line? would would take the time to-- at this point it's really pointless to ask, isn't it
>>
No. 657327 ID: 89941a

Acquire tape, leg and presumed booze. Then get out of there.

If the alcohol content is high enough, it can be useful for various things.
>>
No. 657334 ID: 88960e

Regret. Rudy was hurt, and you never found your way back to him. And now we're looting his stuff.

Grab booze (useful to treat human injuries, stress relief, and a combustible), grab leg (double check the seal is intact), grab tape (we'll listen when we reach the safety of Pat's hideout).

Glance down at the outline with the evidence tag. That's weird. I wouldn't have expected normal police in here.

Hmm. Booze is fuel. Hey, Marie, if you don't need to eat, what are you using as a power source? You got battery reserves? An internal generator? Have you checked how full the (metaphorical or literal) tank is recently?

>silence
Well, her walkie talkie might still receive on this channel, even if she ain't chatting now. That or they changed frequencies after you compromised them before.
>>
No. 657336 ID: 1cebc8

If any of your scanning augmentations are functioning, use them.

Other than that, scan the books and desk for hidden items. Grab the leg and get going already.
>>
No. 657347 ID: 937a79

OH! go back and take your doppelganger's hand so you can fix your own with the spare parts!
try to rummage through the rubble for a spare face and ear, too.
>>
No. 657481 ID: d4a543

Check out titles on the bookshelf and grab one at random, inventory space permitting.

>>657347
Bad idea. No tools, no clean room, probably damaged in exactly the same way, and high risk of time-wasting flashback or freakout.
>>
No. 657638 ID: defceb
File 143763765060.png - (27.09KB , 840x600 , 4109.png )
657638

>Look at ALL OF THE THINGS.
You enter Rudy’s office and put the leg, booze, and tape into your inventory. On the desk you find an old vinyl-player and an ash tray with half of a cigar. From the chair you manage to pick out $2.75 in quarters.

You check through the desk, behind the painting, under the chair, under the desk, behind the books,
>>
No. 657639 ID: defceb
File 143763769669.png - (19.41KB , 840x600 , 4110.png )
657639

>Freak out because you just saw your own hand buried in rubble somehow.

>Regret. Rudy was hurt, and you never found your way back to him. And now we're looting his stuff.
>>
No. 657640 ID: defceb
File 143763772353.png - (27.43KB , 840x600 , 4111.png )
657640

and even prod the dark stain on the carpet without finding anything noteworthy.

You flip through the books absentmindedly and pull one out at random. ‘The Post-Re-Modern Condition’, a book best described as hefty, voluminous, or a potentially lethal bludgeoning weapon.

You play the tape. It crackles to life with the noise of a struggle. A man’s voice rises up over pained gasps in the background.

“Hey, it’s Engineer Kirkman again. Today’s date is, uh… what was the date again, Rudy?”

“FUCK YOU!” A deeper voice shouts over gasps for air.

“So rude! Although, I guess manners are hard to come by when I’m… strangling? Choking? I get the two mixed up. Hey Rudy, what’s the difference?”

“This isn’t you! Your brain chip-”

“THIS ISN’T ME!? THIS-” Each word is punctuated by a sharp, wet gurgling noise. “ISN’T.” Chain clinks loudly against itself. “ME!? Well neither was the skin graft but that DIDN’T STOP YOU PEOPLE. I WAS SET UP, THAT THIEF IS THE ONE WHO'S AT FAULT. IT’S THEIR FAULT THAT WE’RE STUCK DOWN HERE. IT’S THEIR FAULT THAT EVERYTHING'S GONE TO HELL. IT’S THEIR FAULT THAT I GOT BURNED.”

Someone bangs loudly against the door. A barely muffled voice shouts: “Kirkman, we know you’re in there! Open up!”

“Rude! I am TRYING to have a CONVERSATION in here!” A painful crack fills the air. “Now, Rudy, where were we? Uh, Rudy, you’re being awfully quiet there. ...Rudy?”

Splintering wood and chaotic shouting punctuates the end of the tape.


You hear the sound of footsteps just outside the doorway.
>>
No. 657641 ID: e114bc

>>657640
What. But Rudy was the one with the skin graft? ...oh. Oh dear. I think Kirkman was the person we met that got stabbed, not Rudy. We met a brain-addled impostor. Time to stop feeling guilty.

Rush out and accost whoever approaches. Confirm the target before you attack for real, but at least catch them by surprise.
>>
No. 657642 ID: e114bc

Also give us a better look at that painting please.
>>
No. 657644 ID: 89941a

Find out who's approaching.

Might as well get ready to leave too, you'll want to try to grab the arm found in that rubble.
>>
No. 657657 ID: 5b69c0

Hide behind the chair! It's the only way to be sure. Also half your time's up, so better start thinking about heading back.
>>
No. 657660 ID: 88960e

So "Rudy" was a lying imposter? Great.

Although we forgot the possibility of brain chips. So even apparently organic people could be affected by the bad stuff down here.

(Hmm. I wonder if maybe Rudy wasn't lying. Could they have uploaded him to Kirkman's chip after Kirkman tried to kill him? A body forfeit for murderers).

Hiding behind the chair seems reasonable. Maybe if they come in, we can go out the door behind them.
>>
No. 657732 ID: ab7529

>Rudy isn't Rudy
Well, that would seem to be consistent with the not-really matching photo ID. >>644390

Although, uh, you listened to the first of Kirkman's tapes, the one Haley gave you, before you met Rudy. If Kirkman was pretending to be Rudy, why didn't you recognize his voice? (Do you recognize the voice now?).
>>
No. 657784 ID: defceb
File 143771880520.png - (21.59KB , 840x600 , 4112.png )
657784

You duck behind the chair, safely out of sight.

The person walks towards the entrance to Rudy's office with broad, heavy steps.

"Is anyone in here?" You hear them call out. Their voice is strange, unfamiliar. "Any survivors?"
>>
No. 657786 ID: e114bc

>>657784
...uh. Shouldn't this Rudy's voice be familiar from the last time we spoke with him? I'm guessing he changes his own voice as part of his craziness, which is why the tape doesn't sound like him and he doesn't sound like himself either.

Can't tell if he's unarmed, but his sleeves are rolled up... I say ambush him.
>>
No. 657797 ID: e114bc

Oh jeez his sleeves are rolled up *and bloodstained*. Treat him like a moderately dangerous enemy considering we don't know how, exactly, he is armed.
>>
No. 657799 ID: 1cebc8

Grab the painting. Be ready to throw.
>>
No. 657811 ID: 89941a

Can you speak on that radio frequency without actually speaking out loud? Just to check up on Pat, to see if she's still there.


Also, wait for Rudy? to get close, and then dash past him.
>>
No. 657815 ID: 55c682

Move somewhere you can't be readily seen, equip bottle of booze as projectile weapon.
>>
No. 657822 ID: 88960e

We lost our countdown. Estimating five to five and a half minute remaining?

>Shouldn't this Rudy's voice be familiar from the last time we spoke with him?
Or from the tape? He's either Rudy or Kirkman, right? Unless there's a bunch of people all sharing one head.

>Can you speak on that radio frequency without actually speaking out loud?
Yes. Marie talked to Pat without locker-Rudy hearing the first time, and she talked to the disembodied Victor without Liz hearing. Or at least, neither reacted as if they heard.

>bloodly sleeves mean he was bad / is dangerous
Well, he might be, but the most likely source of that blood is trying to treat his gut wound slash change the dressing slash applying pressure. It's probably his own.

>what do
If possible, let him enter the room, the step out from cover, between him and the door.

Rudy? Or is it Kirkman, now? *Raise tape* Who are you?

I would point out that unless he's got some serious cyborg stuff hidden under his skin, he's at risk of dying. He needs us to get him to medical care. Granted we have our own safety to worry about, and the others, but if he doesn't have super strength, we could always just bind his arms.

Also, try contacting Pat on radio, that you found someone. Maybe she's on the channel, maybe not.
>>
No. 657834 ID: 26e769

Let's be civil. Outside of this audio tape, Rudy/Kirkman has given us no real cause to consider him an enemy.

"Hey. Glad to see that you're alive. How have you been? Does the name 'Kirkman' mean anything to you?"
>>
No. 657951 ID: d4a543

Do NOT mention Kirkman until we're in a safe place off the grid. It'll probably trigger some sort of confrontation and/or flashback, and our guide through the labyrinth will be leaving soon.

Assuming she hasn't already been murdered! If so, feel free to ask about Kirkman after discovering that.
>>
No. 658082 ID: e114bc

>>657822
It's not his own blood. The blood on his shirt is dried. The blood on his sleeves is FRESH. Also, there's blood spatter on his shirt! He just killed someone.

If we don't treat him like he's dangerous, Marie is going to be injured again.
>>
No. 660222 ID: defceb
File 143868188024.png - (23.60KB , 840x600 , 4113.png )
660222

You step out from hiding. Rudy jumps defensively, but relaxes once he sees it’s you. He flashes a bright smile and tries to speak in a familiar voice. You can hear a nervous crack through his words.

“Oh, Marie! It’s good to see you again. I was worried.”

>”Hello, Rudy.”

You brandish the tape.

>”...or is it Kirkman now? Who are you, really?”

His shoulders slump and his voice clocks back down. “...oh, so you found out. To be honest I was worried that the gig was up when we stepped into that bathroom some time ago. Do you remember that one? I remember her pretty well. She made this really sad sound when I offed her. It was kind of a warking noise. Isn’t that silly? A wark. Like a chicken! ...no? Heard it before?”
>>
No. 660223 ID: defceb
File 143868190072.png - (22.97KB , 840x600 , 4114.png )
660223

He closes the door.

“Figures. All the good jokes are taken by the time I get to use them.”
>>
No. 660225 ID: e114bc

>>660223
Time to die, Kirkman. Make it quick, we're on a time limit. He might be reaching for a weapon now, so either hit him hard and fast or try to disarm him first and foremost. Should be relatively easy, he's a squishy human and he doesn't have the advantage of surprise.

Also collect the poster.
>>
No. 660226 ID: 1cebc8

Proceed to rip his limb off, break his fingers so that he can't fight back. He'll be useful against the hunter, so don't kill him. Plus, he might know where Marie is.
>>
No. 660230 ID: 89941a

Huh, a random number in coolant. It matches he door number, although that also looked fairly digital.

Aaanyhow... Enhance knockers?
>>
No. 660237 ID: 26e769

"I don't understand. Why? There's no need for this."
>>
No. 660246 ID: 88960e

Where's our goddamn timer? This is exactly when we need it.

Poster 2, Static on the Wire.

Speaking of the wire, report on the radio you've encountered Kirkman. Hope Pat is listening.

No killing. He's a murderer, but we don't have to be. You should be more than strong enough to subdue him. Heck, we can bend metal to make cuffs around his wrists he can't break. If he is a threat and this becomes self defense, that's different.

>>660237
This.
>>
No. 660255 ID: fef726

Honestly I'm for killing him. This is no time to play amateur cop and trying to do so is just going to get more people dead. He just admitted to killing people after all and I have no wish to find out because we left him alive more died.
>>
No. 660275 ID: cbc9e6

>Isn’t that silly? A wark. Like a chicken! ...no? Heard it before?
"No. You ever wondered what sound you'd make?"
>>/questarch/525838

Killing him might be a bit too much. Who knows what he can tell us?
But if we don't have time to disable him and drag him back to the hideout, then he has to go.
>>
No. 660289 ID: ab7529

>poster 2
Heeeey. That's the one we need for the security room password. If that puzzle is even still relevant.

>kill
Friendly reminder that we can't trust what we see or hear- we should not be quick to commit to deadly force, or the static will find a way to trick us into doing more harm.

As far as we know, he doesn't have any cyborg gear on board besides a chip in his head, and he's been weakened by being stabbed in the gut. That means if he's going to be a threat, it's because he's armed. His left arm is in a position to draw a gun or something from behind him- we want to get a hold of his arms, fast.
>>
No. 660290 ID: f38086

>>660223
>kill him
>implying we wont get our asses kicked like the last five times

we gotta run away and group up with someone.
>>
No. 660311 ID: d4a543

Kick him in the crotch, shove him over between the door and the wall, slam the door on him, and run. If you see a weapon, grab it away from him and proceed as previously scheduled.
>>
No. 660416 ID: 5c9255

Why, Kirkman? Why? What's the point of this? What did they do to you?

If you have to defend yourself, whallop him with the ashtray off the desk. That's pretty heavy and solid, right?
>>
No. 660423 ID: defceb
File 143876912414.png - (20.37KB , 840x600 , 4115.png )
660423

You take a step to the side, subtly reaching out towards the ashtray. Rudy Kirkman doesn’t react, either from confidence or ignorance.

>“Why, Kirkman? What’s the point of...”

You gesture wildly into the air, your hand coming to rest next to the ash tray.

>”...all this? What did they do to you?”

Your finger close in around the heavy glass, and you spare a glance down to it before tensing up to-
>>
No. 660424 ID: defceb
File 143876917466.png - (28.56KB , 840x600 , 4116.png )
660424

<<Audio squelched; above 140dB>>
>>
No. 660426 ID: 1cebc8

WHERE THE FUCK DID HE GET A RAILGUN

USE BERSERK MODE NOW!!!
>>
No. 660430 ID: e114bc

No no, KEEP TALKING TO HIM! That'll work!
>>
No. 660431 ID: 243dc7

Is he even the one who fired the shot, or is he just as surprised (and/or just as wounded) as you are?

Also, 140+dB is good at incapacitating squishy humans, so if you can still move now might be the moment to restrain him.
>>
No. 660435 ID: 88960e

>admits he's a murderer
>we suspect he has a gun behind his back
>tried stupidly and obviously going for a weapon in front of him
Goddamn it, why. Why do we keep going for gung ho stupid caution to the wind bullshit. Why do we keep pretending we're invincible when everything keeps hammering in the fact we're not.

Damnit, there go the knockers. In addition to whatever internal damage we took, we're going to have a massive coolant bleed, and whatever we uses to inflate the knockers will be bleeding all over the place too.

Of note is that in the one flashback, Marie was shown having tanked multiple gunshots trying to protect Haley from the rioters who overran the facility, and they did nowhere near that level of damage. That's a ridiculously large hole, especially for what we're made of, and from what is presumably a handgun if he had it hidden.

...hopefully your heart wasn't just completely destroyed.

*Cough* Damage report?

>what do
Do or die. He's going to kill you if you don't stop him first. And you only have a brief window where you're still going to have the collant to go all out before it bleeds out your chest. Assuming you can even function right now. Take him out.

Issue a mayday. Call for help, all available radio bands. If you survive this confrontation, you're not gonna last much longer than that on your own.
>>
No. 660471 ID: 89941a

Oh great. Now we can't enhance the knockers properly.
>>
No. 660472 ID: 3e2cae

Eat his face.
>>
No. 660473 ID: 3e2cae

also, RIP Knockers :(
>>
No. 660480 ID: ab7529

Our only saving grace is that we're only a short distance from Pat. Unless something happened to her, she definitely heard that gunshot, and knows something is wrong. She won't be caught unawares.

No telling if that means she's gonna grab Liz and bug out early, wait out the clock with weapon drawn, or if she'll come to help (pretty please shoot him from behind). We don't know her well enough to say.
>>
No. 660490 ID: d5d185

I'm going to reach through my monitor and slap every last one of you
stop trying to fight people we have established several times it doesn't work
we keep trying that and shit like this happens
s t o p.
>>
No. 660597 ID: defceb
File 143884683385.png - (48.97KB , 840x600 , 4117.png )
660597

“FUCK! You didn’t tell me it was going to be so LOUD!” He shouts into the air, grasping at his bleeding ear. Information swims into your view. Unresponsive systems, broken connections, pressure drops. You flood every radio channel you can manage. Heart’s unresponsive, coolant pressure dropping, pulse flat lined. It was probably destroyed. Chest cavity is exposed. Contamination risk. Broken muscles. Shattered ribs. You try to breathe but that isn’t working either.

You feel something slip out of place and tumble off the back of your mind.

The something skips and slides off

where it falls

and the something


just




breaks
>>
No. 660598 ID: defceb
File 143884686949.png - (9.07KB , 840x600 , 4118.png )
660598

“....how are you still moving?”

Hand-cannon added to your inventory!

“S-stop!”

Prosthetic shoulder port added to your inventory!
>>
No. 660599 ID: defceb
File 143884688334.png - (10.86KB , 840x600 , 4119.png )
660599

“ST-”

Brain chip added to your inventory!
>>
No. 660600 ID: e114bc

>>660599
Marie why did you spend over 3 minutes beating Kirkman's meat? Don't forget the poster. Or at least, make note of the date on it.

I'd suggest stumbling back to Pat but I'm not sure you SHOULD. Are you sane, Marie? Are you at risk of systems shutdown? We may need to find a new chassis somewhere.
>>
No. 660604 ID: 5c9255

Back up the hall! Run! Sprint!
>>
No. 660606 ID: 89941a

If you can still move somehow, it's time for a sprint.
>>
No. 660621 ID: 1cebc8

>>660599
Well, I'd say he's dead

But I'm having too much fun flogging this dead horse

So rip his torso open

Tear out his heart

And stuff it in your chest cavity

Because seriously, that asshole deserves it.
>>
No. 660623 ID: a19cd5

wow, fuck you. no.
this is way overkill.
no good will come of going further than this.
>>
No. 660625 ID: defceb
File 143885653770.png - (33.94KB , 840x600 , 4120.png )
660625

You take the poster and stagger out the doorway. With barely even twenty seconds to spare you try your best to run back towards Pat. By your best I mean you barely strut halfway down the hallway like a drunkard before crash landing on your own face.

>”...shut up.”

You can’t make it back in time now. It’s for the better, really. You’re hardly safe to be around. Who knows how much trouble you’ve put everyone you’ve met into? She probably ran off as soon as she heard gunfire anyway. That would be the safe thing to do.

>”I said shut up.”

Poor little Marie.
>>
No. 660629 ID: defceb
File 143885672572.png - (28.72KB , 840x600 , 4121.png )
660629

All all all all all all all all all all

“Do you really think that I’m talking to you? No. I’m talking through you.”

all abandoned and alone. Limping like a wounded puppy.

>”I’m just tired.”

You want to go home. You want answers. You want some tea and biscuits.

>”I’m gonna…”

You want to get back to safety. You “If you should need me, just say the word, and I’ll have always been there.” want to tear the heart out of the beast.

>”I think I’ll just take a little nap now.”
>>
No. 660630 ID: 1cebc8

Marie, do NOT take a nap. Naptime is bad. Naptime means all that coolant has time to bleed out of your utterly voided knocker and then you die. Get up, find something to plug into that hole and SCREAM.
>>
No. 660632 ID: defceb
File 143885682840.png - (2.87KB , 840x600 , 4122.png )
660632

End of Thread 5
>>
No. 660633 ID: e114bc

Well, that might be the end of Marie. Probably not getting up after that.
>>
No. 660635 ID: 1cebc8

>>660633
She just survived a railgun-tier attack to her center mass and tore into Rudy until she ripped out his BRAIN. Survival should be EASY

But I'm not sure what she'll be after all this.
>>
No. 660636 ID: 243dc7

What happens when Marie overheats again?

I'd guess her body would want to shut down to avoid damage, like some computers reboot. So I'd guess *some* of Marie could probably still function, but much slower.

PS: Since it was confirmed Kirkman shot us, the cause appears to be "FAILED STEALTH CHECK WHEN GRABBING WEAPON". Need to put more ranks in sneaky skills in the future. At least the fact he had a prosthetic arm explains how he could shoot so fast.
>>
No. 660639 ID: 1cebc8

Wait, "End of Thread 5"? This is Thread 4!
>>
No. 660674 ID: 99cfa8

>>660639
Shit, we were out so long we missed a whole thread!
>>
No. 660690 ID: ab7529

>She just survived a railgun-tier attack
>survived

>>660636
Yeah, funny how someone watching you waiting to see if you try something notices when you try something.
>>
No. 661001 ID: 8adffb

>>660690
Especially when one's attempt at "distraction" involves drawing attention to the very hand that does the sneaking, instead of the other one.
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