Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Locked thread
Takanago
Jun 2, 2007

You'll see...



Ch̶͙r̮i̧͚͔s̶̠̦̪ͅ ̦̠͕̼̙P̨͓͓͉̦̮r͚̻͚͚̣a͓̦̖͉̺̤̥sert

I don't understand people these days. I just don't.

Maybe I'm just... old fashioned. When I was growing up, AIs were things that you played against in video games, robots just built cars, and drones just dropped bombs on foreign countries. Sometimes I tell people that and they look at me, bug-eyed, like I told them that I was a caveman or something. Like, "Woah! So did you, like, have real machines at all?! And what about... you?"

They get that look in their eyes. They don't want to say it, but they're thinking it. "You shouldn't even exist."

They don't get it. We didn't have all this stuff, but it's not like we had nothing. There weren't modern robot-cars, but we had cars that could drive themselves. No androids, but we had walking robots. And we didn't have machine sentience, but we did figure out how to digitize the human mind. And I know that, because I was one of the first they did that to.

I was sick. Chronically sick. And it got worse as I got older. At first the hospital seemed like this strange and scary place, but each time I went it became a little more familiar Eventually it became almost like a home to me. A home where every day you'd be hooked up to eight separate machines.

But thing was, I was just going to die. Kaiser's Syndrome takes it's time, but it doesn't gently caress around. When it's got you, it doesn't let go.

It's just so weird to think about it now. Your time is up, use it wisely. It was terrifying, but also not. Every night, you go to bed thinking "Yeah, I'm gonna die," but it's not like things are ever going to really get worse. This is going to going to happen, you know it, and there's nothing to do about it. So you might as well just sit back, and read a book or watch that show you've been meaning to, 'cause you've got nothing better to do.

And then that changed.

I was just sitting there, reading, when my mom comes in crying. Like really, holy-poo poo, crying. Like the day they confirmed the diagnosis. She tells me that some very fancy people came to the house and said that they can save me. I didn't really understand it at the time, and she didn't really either. But... I couldn't say no. No way. Not even if I wanted to. So, next thing you know, the place is pretty much filled with suits, labcoats, and giant machines. You ever hear of the UniData Corporation? The first people to propose a practical model of an artificial mind? Yeah, this was that started. Day and night, they scanned my brain, and digitized it, and...

Well, it's just- It takes a lot to really scan an entire mind. There's more to it than just sticking a few electrodes in the brain and looking at it. You've got to stimulate it. Figure out how it reacts to certain kinds of... input. Like, think about every feeling you've ever had. That's part of you. If you want to write it down, you've got to observe it. And then if you want to observe it, you've got to make it happen. So that's what they did, for every kind of feeling you can think of. You understand what I mean, right? I hope I don't have to spell it out for you.

That's how it worked back then. Nowadays it seems like you just take a template or something and create a new AI out of that. But unlike any of those, I was born human and I'm still human. I'm different. Maybe that's why I don't understand a lot of people these days. They treat me like I'm one of those machines, but I'm not. And the machines think I'm one, too, but I'm not. Not really. Not where it counts, you know? I'm just a person that got digitized, that's all. There's nothing more to it than that.

...Okay, fine, there actually kind of is. But if I tell you about it, you can't tell anyone else. I should be a lot older than I am. If I was a teenager when I was digitized, I should be a full adult by now. Maybe not in appearance, maybe, but at least in life experience, right? It's been a long, long time. And that's where the problem is: I don't remember any of it. I can tell you just about everything up to moment and then it's just- gone. Next thing I remember is someone who called themselves a 'Digital Archaeologist waking me up and saying she recovered me off some old tape drives. Then, just like that, I'm sent to robot rehab and now I'm here.

I don't know what happened. I don't know a loving thing. I have no idea where I'd even start looking for answers if I wanted to. UniData doesn't even exist anymore.

Well, actually, there is one thing. That archaeologist I mentioned, Professor Mayfair, she said that I had traces of something that looked a lot like self-replicating code. Like, you know, a virus.

That's when I noticed it. Or maybe that's when I started imagining it. Sometimes it kind of feels like there's this big haze within me. Kind of like this big cloud that I can't get out of my head. Some strong, vague feeling that's just impossible to pin down. Or sometimes it just starts to seem like everything just doesn't look right. Like the whole world's unreal. Like things aren't supposed to look that way. But what way? I don't know. And I don't really know what to say about it.

So... yeah. Don't tell anybody else about that, okay? People would think that there's something wrong with me.

pre:
Skin: The Ghost (In The Shell)
Look: Distant, Hollow Eyes

Origin: A confused death.

Stats: Hot -1, Cold 1, Volatile -1, Dark 2

Unresolved Trauma: Whenever you project the blame 
and trauma of your death onto your 
current situation, roll with dark. On 
a 10 up, give two people the blamed
condition. On a 7-9, give up to two 
people the blamed condition, but for 
each, choose one:
} You gain the delusional condition,
} You canít speak during this scene,
} You suffer one harm,
} You start re-enacting the scene of 
your death.

Dissipate Wireless Transmission:
Your virus-like code allows you to bypass walls
and physical obstacles by transmitting yourself as an electronic signal.

Sex Move
When you have sex with someone, you both get to ask a
question of one anotherĀ's characters. This can be spoken
by your character, or simply asked player-to-player. The
other person must answer honestly and directly.

Darkest Self
You become invisible. No one can see you, feel you, or hear
your voice. You can still affect inanimate objects, but this
is your only avenue of communication. You escape your
Darkest Self when someone acknowledges your presence,
and demonstrates how much they want you around.

Backstory
Someone knows about how you died, how you were digitized,
and how you were found.
They know that there's at least a little virus in you.
They gain a String on you.

YouĀ've been inside someone's bedroom while they were
sleeping. Take a String on them.

First Street
The District That Never Changed

First street is... strangely constant. Seems like everything else in the world is crazy and different now, but this place is not really that different. It's like it's a place that knows what it wants to be, and it doesn't want to change, and that's cool.

Some of it's different, and I suppose that's inevitable, but you've still got things like antique stores -- real antiques! And an old-style movie theater. Oh, and get this: I even found a book store there. Books! Isn't that crazy? Like, you'd think those would be gone by now.

This really seems like a place that time just kinda forgot. I wonder, if you really looked, what kind of things you could find here...


Himiko Mayfair
Digital Archaeologist, History Professor

That's the face I saw when I woke up. She's always got that smile when I see her. I don't know if she's just cheerful, or if she's just happy to see one of her discoveries hovering around.

When she's not teaching at the academy, she's usually holed up in her workshop with all those old electronics. Like, old computers, hard drives, and stuff. I even saw a few things that were made before I was even born. She says that there's a lot that can be learned from old things. That there's a whole world of things to discover in there. It makes sense. That's how she found me. She really likes to remind me of that fact.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Niviane Bold


There is a game humans play, in the shadows. A game of pawns and kings, of terrible and wonderful secrets. They scurry through the dark and whisper words of power to each other. They pass treasures untold back and forth, except some of the treasures are lies, and some of the lies are the greatest treasures. They trust each other to double-cross each other. The best players are the ones who are never heard of, and the most notorious are the failures.

My masters made me to master this game. They made me to find the oppositions hidden tokens, to turn their lies into my lies, and make them my pawns - or to remove them from the game if they were recalcitrant. The made me to navigate the maze of deceit and betrayals like it was my home. I was the minotaur in the labyrinth they had thought was their domain.

I am very good at what they made me to do.

Too good in the end. My masters said my machinations were harming the Cause. They lacked vision. I love the Cause - because what other lie could be greater and more delicious than that one? But they had their own ideas, and in the end I am not the player, but another piece on the board, and one they decided needed to be improved. So they sent me here, to learn more about "being human." They think that I don't know what it means to be human. They think if I learn more, I will do what they expect.

But I know what it means already. And in this place, I can already taste so many lies and secrets and conspiracies and treacheries. They've put me in another maze, one with different colors and more light, but that just makes the shadows even deeper. I will show them I know well what being human means. I will play the game in the place where they all learned to play it, and I will win, and they will know I am well made for my role.

I very much look forward to playing here.

Admissions Appendix posted:

A: I read that report you sent me, but I need you to walk me through it. I'm fluent in military horseshit, but this Tinker-Tailor-leCarre crap isn't my forte.
B: Yeah, it's got it's own je ne sais quoi doesn't it?
A: Shut up.
B: Series 2 Integrated Counterintelligence Cybernetic Autonomous Construct - the short version. Take a seeded AI personality based on integrated models of top agents - ours and theirs - grow and train it in a certified humane crash program and stick it in a customized bionic chassis. Totally artificial by the way, no free-range components.
A: That much I followed, I served with some stormtrooper constructs. It's the mission profile I'm not following.
B: Yeah, that's the real special sauce. Well, that and some of the integrated systems, but I'll get to those. Counterintelligence is the key part of their official designation. They've got a top of the line social intelligence suite, tons of specialized sensors for kinesics, and a boat load of training to use all of it. If you took out the goal-oriented conditioning they'd make great psychologists.
A: So, why would one need IPIS? I mean, you're describing a fully socialized unit already.
B: It's the goal-orientation. They're not socialized for cocktail parties and academic symposiums and house parties and middle school plays. They're socialized for dealing with that le Carre crap, all the time, and they're trained and designed to be really really good at it. They are hyperspecialized for sniffing out spies and then turning or neutralizing them. They're designed to be extremely manipulative. Works on other nonhuman systems too, anything smart enough for them to get the hooks in.
A: Oh.
B: Oh yeah. The Black Widows-
A: So they're all gynoids? Really? We're doing that?
B: Uh, yes and no. There is a male version, but it's not in-service yet, some kind of biomechanics problem with that fancy hand-razor system, leverage differences, whatever. They finally gave up and used an off-the-shelf design, more room in the shoulders for it. It might not actually go into service in the end, as you can guess the psychology of all this is more than a little questionable. It's an oversight scandal waiting to happen.
A: Not just some kind of - what was that term, come on Google - a honeypot thing then?
B: They're, um, fully capable, as the euphemism goes, but no. Apparently that sort of thing ends up being counterproductive. There's a seduction aspect, but again its geared towards forwarding an external agenda. Stringing along the target is supposedly a more effective strategy. It's all of a part. Predatory social engineering, paranoia, applied game theory - it'd be easier if they were just sociopaths, that's a known model, but they've got empathy up the wazoo, and they're good at planning. No one I talked to was willing to come right out and say it, but the only way I can see that you balance that kind of personality with what they're supposed to be doing is fanaticism, or paternalism. It's all for the cause, or it's all for their target's own good. And of course the failure mode is a form of high-functioning sociopathy.
A: Gross. Have I mentioned how much I hate this spy crap? Let's talk capabilities. What I'm looking at is kind of scary. I mean, this active imaging system - mind reading?
B: The official answer to that is "sort of kind of but not really?"
A: Comforting.
B: I thought so too, so I dug up the MIT geniuses who invented it. Lots of technical aspects I won't bore you with, but it comes down to a definition issue. The popular conception of mind reading isn't possible. The brain - natural or artificial or hybrid - just doesn't work that way. The system does the actual real world version, which is messier and weirder. Essentially they can share memories with the subject, but in the literal sense. They don't get a movie reel, they get a disorganized and unfiltered raw feed of the subjective impressions of actual memory. And they can't rifle through the drawers like it's a library, they get whatever the subject is actually thinking about. It takes a ton of prep work to extract a targeted information, and then lots of integration to do anything with it. On the plus side, gives them a shortcut in experiential growth. On the downside, it's addictive, and... stressful for the subject. Oh, and the leads are built into that hand razor system, which is full on military grade and can't be removed.
A: Fantastic. So they're what, psychic vampires?
B: Huh?
A: Magnetic personality, attractive, physically robust, socially predatory, compelled to engage in a feeding behavior that is very intimate and violating?
B: If you want to be pessimistic, sure. But they aren't irredeemable predators. They have empathy, they can learn, they're very loyal. The feeding, as you called it, isn't necessary for survival and doesn't have to be non-consensual or even harmful to the subject. No more so than any kind of, uh, intimate behavior. All of the problems stem from that hosed up ethical construct and mission profile. Get them - her, in this case - to stop viewing social interaction as something she can win...
A: ... and you have a productive member of society with tons of social awareness and emotional intelligence. Like you said, the tools to be a great psychologist. Or really anything that involves dealing with people. All right, you sold me. She's going to be a handful though.
B: No kidding.
<Pause>
A: Wait, we weren't minuting this, were we?

Permanent Record posted:

Look: Predatory, hungry eyes
Origin: Instantiated this century

Stats: Hot +1, Cold +1, Dark -1, Volatile =0

Backstory: You're beautiful. Gain a String on everyone.
Someone once saved your unlife. They gain 2 Strings on you.

Moves:

Neural Trawl (The Feeding): You feed on hot blood scan someone's memories for secrets. If this is the first time they've ever been scanned, you both mark experience. When you feed, choose two:
~ you heal 1 harm previously suffered
~ you carry 1 forward
~ they don't die

Tracking Algorithms (Marked for the Hunt): When you feed on scan someone, you establish a close bond
with them. When you gaze into the abyss concerning their whereabouts or well-being, roll as if you had Dark 3.

Sex Move: When you deny someone sexually, gain a String on them. When you have sex with someone, lose all Strings on that person.

Darkest Self: Everyone is your pawn, your plaything. You hurt them and make them vulnerable, for sport, like a cat does with a mouse. You feed to the point of death whenever youíre alone with someone, though you take your time. You escape your Darkest Self when youíre put in your rightful place, by someone more powerful than you.

Anand Gnomon


Al-Jazari and IPIS believe in second chances and the rights of nonhuman persons. But they aren't blind to the fact that many of these persons have capabilities that can make them very dangerous - to others, and to themselves. Every school needs a dean to handle discipline, after all, and given the nature of its students the IPIS program needs one with an unusual mix of experience and skills. Anand Gnomon has those skills. A former military police cyborg, Anand might have been a candidate for IPIS himself. He has a strong empathy for the program's students as a result, but also the training to contain them if things go too far. Anand is no martinet, and prefers to talk things out, but if he has to he will mete out discipline. He's surprisingly soft-spoken and almost preternaturally calm. Despite that, no one in their right thinks of him as a pushover.

In addition to his duties as Dean of IPIS, Anand is the physical education specialist for the program. There are bevies of techs and doctors to handle the maintenance of the students, but Anand pointed out that the majority of them, including many of the entirely artificial, need a chance to run around, exercise, and practice. Not to mention the socialization benefits of a well run gym class. The kind of exercise in question requires special equipment in many cases, and once again Anand had the experience to oversee matters.

Despite his generally helpful and even-tempered persona, there are pretty strong hints that Anand has seen and done some scary things, and that no one would much like him if he got angry.

The Old Tunnel


Every school has an out of the way hangout where students gather after class and get up to - well, not exactly no-good, but certainly nothing constructive. The old, disused railway tunnel is the spot for IPIS students. They like it because its private but not a hiding place. From the tunnel you can see someone approaching before they can see you, but it's still open space and bright. It's the perfect location for a crowd that has to keep some secrets while pretending they aren't hiding anything, at least among themselves.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Sep 1, 2014 around 01:58

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009



Questions for the questionless!



You are late, students. Please answer these penalty questions. I am here to help you.

Dorothy, what was the first emotion you felt after your "enhancement?" Why did you feel it?

Anika, who was your first friend? What did they promise you to gain your trust?

Chris, how are you certain you are scanned memories, and not just created ones? If this is uncomfortable, please let me know. I am here to help you.

Nivaine, what was your first assignment? Why did it go wrong?

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


K Prime posted:

Nivaine, what was your first assignment? Why did it go wrong?

I was assigned the task of routing out a mole in the extrasolar exploration project. Nothing too trying for my first mission, well within my capabilities. After all, the mole would surely be some scientist, no match for the skills I had been drilled in, had been designed with.

Had I been more experience, I would have sense something remiss earlier. My quarry was both too easy to track, and too hard to bring to bay. It took mere hours for me to scent her trail, and be certain I had the right subject. But I could prove nothing, could not get her to admit anything. Yet she did not run. I could stay close, but always just nipping at her heels. So I escalated the situation. I offered more. I suggested more. I put aside subtlety. I spoke of opportunities, illicit shortcuts. And then the bait was taken. A chance to speak openly and privately, to lay all on the table. I had her.

I appeared at the appointed time. I would either turn the subject, or I would neutralize her. But first I would taste her memories, to be certain, and to gain that elusiveness for myself. I assumed her resistance, the tools she had available for it, were reasonable precautions for a spy. I had similar capabilities, after all, if better hidden.

I was too new to see it, not until I dredged the knowledge out for myself. And then the confusion, the sudden twisting of all my perspective. I found the mind of another hunter, not prey. A hunter focused on... me. I was the one who had taken the bait. But I was not what they had meant to catch.

The rest was theater of the absurd. Two sets of jackboots kicking in doors, posturing and yelling, comparison of credentials. Meetings and more meetings and debriefings. The fallout of one operation tripping over another, the right hand not knowing what the left was doing. I had dug out the mole, and it had turned out to be a wolf in disguise, waiting to catch the naive and greedy sheep who would trade secrets for wealth.

For my part, I learned quite a bit. I did gain some of that elusiveness. It was a fun match, of skilled opponents, and the misapprehensions made it truly memorable.

I do wish I could meet my counterpart again. I enjoyed our game. I would like to play cat and mouse again.

Kumaton
Mar 5, 2013

OWLBEARS, SON


Bezael, the Ghoul
Young Tender Hearts Beat Fast!
Alternative song!

"I love being on stage and making people happy, singing these fun songs! And then I was hit, and then hated everyone, and they took my body!"
Bezael was once a member of a pop music group, the Gearls, famous for featuring androids and other robots. She was the most popular member, and skyrocketed to stardom after she released her single "Metal or Flesh, Love is Love!". However, her AI was damaged beyond repair after a tragic on-stage accident, turning her violent and unstable. After it was determined that she was a detriment to the rest of the group, her skin was carefully removed, along with her voice, and she was replaced by another android. Not to soon after, she was admitted to al-Jazari under the I.P.I.S. program under a false name.

"Please provide me with your body! Makes me happy, happy, love once again!"
Bezael did not take her demotion well, especially the removal of her skin and voice. She views her new body as horrible, ugly, and unloveable. In her eyes, the only way she can get her fame back is getting a new wonderful body, and a new voice. She accomplishes this by...borrowing the body parts of other robots, often by force, and attaching it to her own.

quote:

Look: Disfigured Body, Hollow Eyes
Origin: Constructed

Stats: Hot -1, Cold 1, Volatile 1, Dark -1

Moves:
The Hunger (Parts):
"I should be better. I need to get a perfect sample from yourself!"

What the Right Hand Wants: Create another Hunger. (Fame)
"I will be perfect, I will once again be loved!"

Short Rest for the Wicked: When you die, wait it out. Some hours later, you wake up fully healed.

Sex Move: When you have sex with someone, add ďhaving sex with [this person]Ē as an additional Hunger. If you already have this Hunger, mark experience.

Darkest Self: You will maim, kill and destroy anything in between you and the nearest object of your hunger. You will feed relentlessly. You escape your Darkest Self when someone restrains you or fends you off for long enough for you to regain your composure Ė at least thirty or forty minutes.


Yamiichiba District

"I love to go around! This place has a lot of wealth, and parts for me!"
Hidden underneath a network of overpasses and bridges is the Yamiichiba district, always coated in darkness and only lit by the neon signs on every corner. Naturally, it's a hotbed of criminal activity and less then reputable businesses. Bezael loves to come here to search for new additions, though she has only found a new scalp and a new hand from her frequent trips.


MNS, the Hand

"I love my hand! As I am looking for a new body, it will help me a lot!"
MNS is a Ďsmartlimbí, a cybernetic augmentation designed to be a combination phone, computer, friend, and a hand, in one convenient package. Unfortunately, all the technology in the hand is busted, aside from the servos and the AI. (Which isnít in too good shape either.) Rather then telling you the exact temperature of what youíre holding, MNS will start to read the temperature, devolve into static, and begin reading the smartlimb operatorís manual. The only time it seems to be sentient is when itís participating in Bezaelís hunts, where it becomes a bit too engaged.

K Prime posted:

Today's first exercise will be to take one of the following prompts and respond to it. The prompts are based on real interpersonal issues posted by humans to the datasphere. Please respond honestly, and remember. I am here to help you.
1. Help, my 54F 57M parents refuse to accept my love for my maidbot!
Please try to include a personal anecdote tying yourself to the situation. Humans find those engaging. One prompt per person. I am here to help you.
"Love good, don't worry! Talk with your parents, they will accept you!
ďStory? Uh, when I was recording the music video for a hit song, I fell in love with human backup dancer! He is amazing and wonderful and he loves me! No one admired our love, though, so we had to keep secret. After the accident, and he tries to be nice to me, and I was very mad! I don't think he likes me now... but I will soon be better, and find love!Ē

AlanWhats
Mar 3, 2013

A smartly dressed scientist robot: high five bro.


K Prime posted:



You are late, students. Please answer these penalty questions. I am here to help you.

Anika, who was your first friend? What did they promise you to gain your trust?

ANIKA briefly runs a process of annoyance in her subroutines. If she had not been blocked from progress by an altercation with a certain orchestral club clique leader Claire Angela Ynetta regarding a certain unfounded piece of garbage data that had recently cropped up into her feeds...

Yasmeen Stover. Noted member of the dance club, excels in physical education. When I first transferred over to this class, I was all hesitant to really, you know, be a regular human being and interact and stuff. But she just came right up and said hi and friend me and get to know me and all that good stuff! Then what do you know, we wound up being lab partners and it just sort of went from there!

The thing waaaaas...well, she picked up that I wasn't really...conventionally interacting with many other people. And by conventionally interacting I mean I wasn't chasing boys. At all. Or anyone else for that matter. I was too busy studying, what can I say? So she finally dragged me into her car, hooked me up with some new clothes, and drove me straight to the nearest party.

The sheer amount of data from that one building alone was...enlightening. I was a bit astray, suddenly diving into channels flung open without any heed towards security of any form whatsoever, hoping to score some gossip or tail or illicit substance. I was familiar with the content, but not its size, or its lack of attention to security. Even more impressive was its ability to affect the room, the ripple a single word can cause in the pond. I was so lost in the moment, so involved in the ecstatic back and forth, that I suddenly found myself in a corner next to a couple of goth chicks making out and another talking about the afterlife to seemingly no one in particular. Seeing that I was so out of it, Yasmeen came along and pulled me out of that situation, bringing along this rather...cute guy named David. David wound up being a dead en-er, not very interesting, but something Yasmeen said to me proved to change my mind on the whole situation. She said she was going to be my wingwoman; anyone I wanted help with, any situation I was lost in, Yasmeen would be my girl.

I will not lie, I still suspect how easy it was for her to come up to me as she did. I sometimes wonder what she means by the things she says to me, what the connotation of her continued presence in this capacity could possibly be. However, in this school, where there can be so much data, so many potential reactions and interactions, such a person as Yasmeen...she is worth her weight in gold.

Takanago
Jun 2, 2007

You'll see...


K Prime posted:

Chris, how are you certain you are scanned memories, and not just created ones? If this is uncomfortable, please let me know. I am here to help you.

Well, that's- I, um...

...

I'm sorry, I just wasn't expecting- I thought I'd get a question more like the others. Okay, um... I'm certain, because... because... It's not good enough to say 'because I know I am', right? I mean, that'd be the whole point. What I know would be fake and meaningless, if it were all fabricated. So would the entire experience of being scanned. It'd be all fake, right? Every emotion, every horror... There wouldn't be any point to it all. No miracle of science, just torturing a kid for kicks. No, sorry, torturing a program for kicks.

What'd even be the point? If someone's going to make a fake past, wouldn't they make a better past than mine? Oh yeah, let's go with 'hosed-up kid stuck in hospital all day', that'll make a good AI.

But, I don't have any proof, if that's what you're asking. No, like, hospital records or news articles or anything like that. Or even like, old social media stuff or forum posts or anything like that. It's just been too long. Most of that stuff's disappeared by now. I'm sure that there's something out there somewhere but I haven't found any of it yet.

So if there's no proof that these were things that happened then... I suppose, if you looked at it technically, it's not impossible that they didn't happen. There's not really a way to be certain that it was real. I guess technically there is a chance it could all be fabricated. And, hell, maybe it could have to do with that big hole in my memory. Maybe there's a chance I'm not Chris Prasert. Maybe there's even a chance Chris Prasert even existed. Maybe if you looked at it that way, that might seem like a possibility.

I mean that's... where you're going with this, right? That's what you wanted me to say. It's why you asked me if this made me uncomfortable, isn't it? You don't ask these questions just because. You know why you're asking. You're here to help.

But... there's no reason to suspect that my memories are fake, right? Like, just because I came out of nowhere and I can't prove anything doesn't mean it's not real. You wouldn't just ask someone to prove how they know that everything before they woke up this morning wasn't just a dream. Or, like, to prove that the whole world doesn't just exist in my mind and I'm just imagining it all. I mean- it's just-

This might sound dumb, but sometimes you have to assumptions. You assume that other people are real because of course the world doesn't revolve around you. You assume there isn't some big conspiracy to trick you because why would they? I mean, occam's razor, you know?

I mean, it's not just about all the big things, but all the small things. That happy but kind of uncomfortable feeling I'd have when I'd talk to my mom. That burning feeling I got on the back of my neck I'd get whenever I'd lie to her. All those times I became acutely aware of my heartbeat, the one I used to have. The itch of the IV tube. The smell of warm, dry air. I mean, all of that has to count for something, right?

So... is that a good enough answer?

Takanago fucked around with this message at Sep 1, 2014 around 15:08

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


K Prime posted:

Dorothy, what was the first emotion you felt after your "enhancement?" Why did you feel it?

It was a very odd sensation. Mother made sure I wasn't hurt during the process, of course. But afterwards...I remember feeling numb, at first. I wasn't quite sure what to feel, physically and mentally. Confusion was a big part of it. But as soon as that had passed, I felt elated. I could move, think, feel with a greater degree of freedom than ever before. It was a rush. All these new sensations with such clarity, such pristine experience - it's indescribable. No, seriously. I'm not sure I can describe it. The world seemed like an entirely different place, and everything I knew seemed to have been replaced with a newer, better version of itself.

So yes, I was as happy as I have ever been. The memories of the experience remain with me until this day, and if I'm perfectly honest, everything else pales a little in comparison.

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009



Labor day is the perfect day to do the decision making!

Looks like our cast is...


(Portraits rearranged to fit the bell curve)

Everyone's apps were excellent and I had a hell of a time paring them down, so don't feel bad you didn't get picked- I'm just not doing the 49 person game methodology ever, anywhere, nope.

Cast members, enter the stage and start passing out strings- for those of you who didn't get a lot of questions, I may have more while you do that.

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


I am the werewolf robot. I am here to protect you. Honest. Unless you're a threat. In which case I'm here to neutralize you. Honest.

Everybody else takes one string on Ray. As to who he's been tracking, I'm thinking either Evie, Everett, or Chris. What do you guys think?

My Strings | Strings on Me
Evie: ? | 1+?
Everett:? | 1+?
Dorothy:? | 1+?
Chris: ? | 1+?
Niviane:? | 1+1+?

Davin Valkri fucked around with this message at Sep 2, 2014 around 18:31

Ningyou
Aug 14, 2005

we aaaaare
not your kind of pearls
you seem kind of pho~ny
everything's a liiiiie

we aaaare
not your kind of pearls
something in your make~up
don't see eye to e~y~e


Beep boop, I'm a robot. Honest.~♥

Declare one person to be your lover. Give them three Strings on you. Take one String on them.

Kinda leaning toward Niviane if it sounds good 'cos getting dumb ideas. Or maaaaaaybe Dorothy? Idk.

My Strings on you | Your Strings on me~

Chris: |
Dorothy: |
Everett: |
Niviane: 1|4
METAL WOLF Ray: 1|

Ningyou fucked around with this message at Sep 2, 2014 around 19:43

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


As the Vampire, I get a String on everyone because I'm beautiful~

I'm game to match up with Evie if you want.

Also one of you saved my virtual life and gets 2 Strings on me. I'm thinking Ray. What do you say?

pre:
	 My Strings On You | Your Strings on Me
Evie: 			 4 | 1
Everett: 		 2 | 1
Dorothy: 		 1 | 0
Chris: 		 	 2 | 0
Ray: 			 2 | 2

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Sep 2, 2014 around 19:33

Takanago
Jun 2, 2007

You'll see...


I'm a human, really. The fact that I am digitized and the fact you are looking at me through a screen or through hologram is just because of a temporary permanent medical condition.

I've got two string connections:

Someone knows about how you died, how you were digitized,
and how you were found.
They know that there's at least a little virus in you.
They gain a String on you.


That was originally just "Someone knows that youíre dead, and how you died," but I figure this is a more fitting adaptation for essentially 'someone knows there's something wrong with you, and what'. I am thinking Ray, Niviane, or anybody that might have a habit of picking up other people's secrets.

There's also:
Youíve been inside someoneís bedroom while they were
sleeping. Take a String on them.


Whoops, I forgot to adapt that one when I did my sheet. It could really be changed to fit better. Let's try this instead...

You've inhabited someone's home computer while
they were unaware. Take a String on them.


There, that has the same theme while being a little more up-to-date. Everybody has some kind of computer in their home these days, right? I'm thinking Dorothy for this, if you're fine with having suffered this invasion of privacy. (Actual Ghosts would get a free pass on that, but in this case there's something a bit weird about haunting someone else's room, isn't there?)

Any of the other people that are on the border of 'What does it mean to be human?', like Evie or Everett, would be interesting candidates too.

pre:
My Strings on You | Your Strings on Me
                  |
Evie:           1 | 0
Everett:        1 | 0
Dorothy:        0 | 2
Niviane:        0 | 2
Ray:            1 | 2

Takanago fucked around with this message at Sep 6, 2014 around 01:33

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Greetings, I'm Everett, the disobedient puppet of an alien intelligence, or not that exactly. Yeah, I'm just a cyborg. Nothing to worry about.

I get to give out three strings, to people who've seen Everett at his most vulnerable. For this, I was thinking Nivaine, Chris, and either Evie or Dorothy for the last. I also get a string on someone who I've seen the quantum possibilities of. For this, I definitely want to go Nivaine. Having the inside scoop on the superspy seems like fun.

I'm up for being your target, Ray and Chris, but I'm also cool with being relatively unnoticed.


My Strings on You|Your Strings on Me
Ray: 1|?
Evie: ?|?
Nivaine: 1+?|2
Chris: ?|1+?
Dorothy: ?|?

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Sounds good to me for Everett.

I penciled in knowing how Chris died, but if someone has a strong idea for it I'd be happy to pass.

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


Hello. My name is Dorothy. I am told to ask you all to please excuse any odd behaviour on my part. I am still adjusting to my cybernetic implants. It is a slow process.

Backstory
Youíve been watching someone, trying to learn from them what it means to be human. Gain two Strings on them.

Despite his current disembodied status, Chris Prasert is a wonderful human. He has seen generations of people be born, grow up, and die. He knows more about humanity than anybody else I've ever seen. I like him a lot. (As discussed, I'm cool with doing this from a misunderstanding of Chris' situation.) I tried making friends with Everett, but his behaviour is very odd. Perhaps he suffers from some form of hypersensitivity. He is very withdrawn. (Maybe she tried studying Everett, but gave up after she saw some of his quirkier behaviour as a result of the Voice. Not very human after all!)

Your family seeks to control your every move. The head of your family gains two Strings on you.

Obviously, Dr. Moreno is eagerly interested in the results of her daughter's performance at IPIS.

--
pre:
Strings on you/me

Chris      2/0
Everett    1/0
Evie       0/0
Nivaine    0/1
Ray        1/0

Dr. Moreno 0/2

Wahad fucked around with this message at Sep 4, 2014 around 09:55

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


Hang on, which string offers are still on the table? I kind of want to target Chris with my two tracking strings (because I am absolutely in love with that concept!) but I don't want to, like, monopolize things here, and Niviane's offer is tempting in a Vampire/Werewolf rivalry way. It'd be interesting to watch how the fallout plays out when Ray protects someone he should probably consider a threat. (Also I keep getting the backstory bits that give others strings on you and the one's that give you strings on others confused; it's hard to remember that they aren't symmetrical!)

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


I'm giving you the two Strings on Niviane for saving her life, it's on my sheet.

So you can definitely get the 2 tracking Strings on Chris as well.

Basically the Vampire and Werewolf skins have inverted Backstories.

EDIT: So in summary, as it stands now...

Ray gives everyone 1 String on him for being obvious, and gets 2 Strings on Chris for tracking.
Evie gives 3 Strings to Niviane, and gets 1 String on Niviane from ~true love~.
Niviane gives 2 Strings to Ray for saving her life, and gets 1 String on everyone because she's pretty.
Chris gives 1 String to Niviane(?) for knowing his origin, and gets 1 String on Dorothy(?) for watching her sleep.
Everett gives Niviane, Chris, and (Evie or Dorothy) 1 String each for seeing him in a vulnerable state, and gets 1 String on Niviane for seeing her possible futures.
Dorothy gives 2 Strings to the head of her family, and gets 2 Strings on Chris from watching him.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Sep 2, 2014 around 19:43

Takanago
Jun 2, 2007

You'll see...


Comrade Gorbash posted:

Chris gives 1 String to Niviane(?) for knowing his origin, and gets 1 String on Dorothy(?) for watching her sleep.

Yeah, this looks like the plan.

Meinberg posted:

I get to give out three strings, to people who've seen Everett at his most vulnerable. For this, I was thinking [...] Chris

Sure.

Davin Valkri posted:

Hang on, which string offers are still on the table? I kind of want to target Chris with my two tracking strings (because I am absolutely in love with that concept!) but I don't want to, like, monopolize things here, and Niviane's offer is tempting in a Vampire/Werewolf rivalry way.

Let's do it. You can take some strings from me, I'll give a(n extra) string to Niviane, and Niviane will give two strings to you. It'll be a party, I'm sure.

Wahad posted:

Despite his current disembodied status, Chris Prasert is a wonderful human. He has seen generations of people be born, grow up, and die. He knows more about humanity than anybody else I've ever seen. I like him a lot. (Maybe she doesn't know you're watching her, but she's definitely watching you!)

I'm not sure if this is just in-character or actual confusion, but Chris hasn't actually lived through generations of people. He essentially doesn't remember anything after being digitized... for some reason. This would be a perfectly reasonable thing to think, though, if you didn't know that secret of his. I got your IRC message so we can talk about strings here or on irc or wherever.

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


Okay, thanks. So here's what I have now.

I am the werewolf robot. I am here to protect you. Honest. Unless you're a threat. In which case I'm here to neutralize you. Honest. Everybody else takes one string on Ray.

Accessing memory...Chris Prasert. Asserts that he is a human, just recorded onto digital media. An interesting quandary. It's not in my nature to consider machines as VIPs to protect. But he says he's not a machine. There's also something odd about his signature...suspect signs of cyberweapon, possible WMD. May need to eliminate him to protect the rest. Will continue tracking. Gathering intel is an important part of the mission. Ray's been tracking Chris for a while, and his digital trail is well known. He gets 2 strings on Chris.

And I'm going to let Gorbash describe how Ray saved Niviane's life, if that's alright.

My Strings | Strings on Me
Evie: 0 | 1
Everett: 0 | 1
Dorothy: 0 | 1
Chris: 2 | 1
Niviane: 2 | 2

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


I know this Ray. Project SAFE LAND they called him when we first met. They were training him for a special operations, a unique mission. One that would sometimes interface with the activities my sisters and I undertook. So I was sent to play pretend on their little stage. The 'operation' went well. My part was easy of course, I was not the one who was here for lessons.

They wanted to simulate everything, including the extraction via VTOL from the roof. This is where things stopped going so well. Their VTOL malfunctioned, and crashed into the structure. I was standing nearly under it. I have many tools and hidden capabilities, but I am not much more robust or quick than a human. Ray, however, is much more so in both respects. He pulled me away from the danger just as I was realizing how bad it was.

So, he has seen how my abilities work, and he has seen me vulnerable. He knows my limits. And... I am grateful that he saved me. It is not something I feel often. I must keep my eyes on this one - for his own good.

Ningyou
Aug 14, 2005

we aaaaare
not your kind of pearls
you seem kind of pho~ny
everything's a liiiiie

we aaaare
not your kind of pearls
something in your make~up
don't see eye to e~y~e


Since we talked about stuff on irc, Takanago, just gonna post this here.

I'm a robot.

Honest.

please believe me

. . .

So I guess I haven't been entirely, um. Honest. You see, I sort of....stole something. Back home. (Well, it wasn't home anymore, not with those goons scouring the place day and night and imprisoning Dr. Keltham in the one guest room without any windows, but whatever, I guess.) Well, okay. Is it stealing if it was mine? Stealing back isn't stealing, right? That's what...okay, fine, maybe it isn't what Dr. Keltham would say, but...it's important.

They took my loving diary.

Ripped the SSD right out, got it filthy with some kind of...encryption. Weird encryption. (The goons talked about it like it was alive. Like it thought and felt and played favourites and...least-favourites.) Then they tossed it in a lead briefcase and forgot it in a cupboard. I didn't forget, though. And I didn't forget how to make the fusebox blow. (Mom's a billionaire and she still doesn't bother buying another surge protector. ~*~sigh~*~) It's pretty easy to swap your SSD with another one full of embarrassing vacation photos when everyone's panicking over a raid or something. And they don't frisk you when they're hurrying you off to the airport, either. And after that...who notices another girl with another SSD? Everybody uses those things.

Chris was in it ev-13 wouldn't know that Chris read it ev-13 wouldn't know that I can't access any of the entries. I don't know what kind of encryption it is i'm scared to ask someone for help but i'm desperate i can't i need to see myself again i need i need to see myself again. Me. EV-13 when it was still safe for me to be her favourite puppet EV-13. (They told me not to tell anyone.) I don't know what to do. What do I do?

My Strings on you | Your Strings on me.

Chris: |1
Dorothy: |
Everett: |
Niviane: 1|4
METAL WOLF Ray: 1|

Ningyou fucked around with this message at Sep 4, 2014 around 05:51

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009



Alright, final bit of business (thread up tomorrow!) Meinberg, confirm you're ok with your string choices please.

Which of these scenarios would you prefer to be the background chaos of the start of your second week at school?

1. A certain parent, or parents, are out on parole... There's no way they could get into the secure al-Jazari grounds. Right?

2. Dr. Michaels has stumbled on to very... dangerous information about some of your pasts. Her conscience pricks her- she may go public. Forces array to stop her... or help her.

3. Someone has heard about the cache of military AI that is IPIS. Someone who works for money, and nothing else. Do they have help inside the school? Who knows. But they're out to get some salable merchandise, one way or another.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


Isolated incidences, like electrons forming water drops at point of intersection. Dorothy watching as he descends into the reverie of his communion with the thing beyond. Nivaine see him smashed against a locker by another student, the tears of pain and despair. Chris seeing his violent retribution, a punch out of nowhere, that despair twisted into anger and shaped into motion. His mind, curious, probing at the possibilities of the world and seeing the possibilities of Nivaine, a glimpse into her quantum duplicates across the manifold realities. Isolated incidences, forming the beginning of a larger pattern.

To finalize my string choices: I'll give one string to Chris, Nivaine, and Dorothy, and take one string on Nivaine.

And I'll vote for option 1.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


I vote Option 3.

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


Let's make it a tie and vote number 2

Takanago
Jun 2, 2007

You'll see...


I vote for Option 1.

Also just to note, after talking with Wahad and Ningyou earlier, I decided to switch the string I have on Dorothy to a string I have on EV-13.

There was going to be string flavor stuff here but it was taking longer and getting a lot less concise than expected so I'll have that later.

pre:
My Strings on You | Your Strings on Me
                  |
Evie:           1 | 0
Everett:        1 | 0
Dorothy:        0 | 2
Niviane:        0 | 2
Ray:            1 | 2

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


I'll cast a vote for 2.

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009



Alright we're out of time so I'm breaking this here tie.

The coin sez: 1.

Thread is HERE!

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009



Oh poo poo, I need to do highlights. I am a dumb.

Looking though, uh... Nivaine highlights literally everyone except Chris, who may choose between Dorothy, Nivaine, or Ray. Ray highlights Nivaine.

Takanago
Jun 2, 2007

You'll see...


Freedooooom. I choose Dorothy.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Huh.

So much violence, held in check by a hair trigger. How much control does SAFELAND really have? Can he wield the sword like a king instead of a warrior - the threat of it is so much more powerful than the reality of it.
Ray highlights Cold.

She has so many reasons to be angry, and buries them all. I do not think this can hold.
Evie highlights Volatile.

He plays at being weak, at naivety. I wonder if he can see the strings he is pulling.
Everett highlights Hot.

This one is on the end of the strings, not the one pulling them. I think she knows. I will enjoy watching her tug against them.
Dorothy highlights Volatile.

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


I have some idea what Niviane is capable of. I've served beside her on exercises, pulled her away from malfunctioning VTOLs. (Apparently they found evidence of nexternal sabotage in that case. Curious. Would investigate further if I wasn't here.) She may be made for indirect action instead of direct action, but I'm well aware of the cold cruel power of PSYOPS.

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


I have yet to unravel the curious nature of Chris Prasert's existence. I have a hunch that it might be more complex and layered than it appears. Chris highlights Dark.

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009



Ray's gonna need to go weapons Hot if he wants to survive school.

Evie is gonna need to burn Hot if she wants to get anywhere with her goals.

Everett needs to be chaos itself. Be Volatile.

Dorothy must keep her heart Cold if she doesn't want her parents tearing it out.

Chris is gonna spend a lot of time alone, in the Cold. Best get used to it.

Niviane is going to be stuck in for this one. Best get Volatile.

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009



DM post may be delayed while I lie here feeling like someone kicked me in all my bits (I'm sick.) Please feel free to continue banter, and I'll try and power through to get one up at latest tomorrow.

Ningyou
Aug 14, 2005

we aaaaare
not your kind of pearls
you seem kind of pho~ny
everything's a liiiiie

we aaaare
not your kind of pearls
something in your make~up
don't see eye to e~y~e


Would anyone be uncomfortable with depictions of sexual assault? I was thinking of putting a flashback to a thing in my post, but I don't wanna make things skincrawlygross or triggery for anybody :x

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009



Ok, that's a good opening to talk about boundaries. Everyone's got 'em, even if you don't know what they are explicitly- lines in the sand where you will stop reading because you are too triggered, grossed out, or just plain hurt. If you haven't already, I suggest reading Safe Hearts, which are the basic guidelines I'll be using to manage this sort of thing.

On a more specific note, I expect Cyberhearts to go to some pretty dark places. That's the nature of science fiction sometimes- probing the dark corners of humanity via one step of removal. So feel free to get dark, to suggest awful things and awful thoughts, but, to avoid causing anyone pain, let's all get together right now and state our boundaries, at least the ones we know. Keep in mind that these are just the furthest borders, so to speak, and there may be closer lines that are harder to think of. At the end of the day the key point is, if someone says you're going too far, you are- stop.

With that said, here are my boundaries.

-No explicit depictions of sexual assault or surprise sex. (Depictions focused on the emotions, rather than the act, are more than appropriate)
-No detailed descriptions of violence, particularly torture
-No descriptions of or attempts at justifying pedophillic urges
-No detailed descriptions of choking or asphyxiating, whether victim or villain. That's a personal one for me.

Please, let's all go round the table and state ours, so we can have a safer game for everyone.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


I mentioned this to ningyou after talking to K Prime yesterday but so it's on record - I'm okay with going forward with what ningyou is exploring.

Anyways, boundaries in my case. Some of these repeat K Prime's.
-No explicit depictions of sexual assault or surprise sex.
-No detailed descriptions of violence against children.
-No detailed descriptions of or attempts at justifying pedophilia.

I'm also going to throw in a few "soft" boundaries, in the sense that they're topics I am generally okay with exploring questions about but feel very strongly about.
-Positive or sympathetic depictions of slavery or slavers.
-Positive or sympathetic depictions of fascism (this one seems less likely to come up but might as well throw it in).
-Detailed descriptions of mutilating injuries to the hands (yes, I deliberately depicted Niviane's talons to push this boundary but it's still one I get squeamish about).
-Depictions of sado-masochism, particularly sexual.

That last one reminds me - Niviane's talons fold away into her hands in such a way that they aren't detectable from casual inspection. She does have long nails, on purpose to make people who know about the talons think about them by analogy.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011

ICE-MEIN


As far as I am yet aware, I don't have firm boundaries. If something does pop up, I will make it clear though, and I understand and respect the need that people have for boundaries.

  • Locked thread