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.
«15 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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



HP: 16/16 | Armor: 2 | Damage: d8 | Charge: ◇◇◇ | Load: 9/10 | XP: 3/9

"Cixi Redhand, owner-operator Iron Boots Survey & Salvage." Cixi says, raising her coffee mug in greetings. "I'm one of this one's girlfriends," she pokes a still only marginally sentient Behold, who mumbles something about water pressure. "Especially since she's saved my life like... for the third time now? Hells, all of you did. Thank you again."

Cixi looks back at Neon again, glances away, glances back. "Uhm..." Finally she breaks down. "One second..." She hurries off, then comes back with an album and a pen. "I'm sorry this is so dumb - but can I get your autograph? I love your music. Nat and I play it in the shop all the time. You and Hibiki. Nat was unbelievably jealous I had tickets to the concert, her head might explode when she finds out I had breakfast with you!" She spots Seira coming in. "Introducing your friend to Nat would score major points, Seira!"

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.



HP 25/25 | Armor 4 | Load 8/14 | XP 2/9

Sol returned Neon's wave, and looked up from his book once more as Cixi spoke. "One of? Huh. You've my respects, Behold. Met too many folk with ugly opinions regarding polyamory."

He shifted gears now that most of the crew was here. "Do we have plans for today, besides apparently acquiring an espresso machine? That last job was wholly unfulfilling - too many explosions, not enough proper face to face violence."

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010


Royalty is a continuous cutting motion



HP: 18/18 | Armor: 0 | Damage: d4 | Load: 4/6 | XP: 5/9
Undead Servants: Chauncey, Gigantic Multi-Armed Porter| Stats: +3 STR, +2 CON/DEX, +1 INT/WIS/CHA | HP: 12/12 | Armor: 2 | DMG: +4


Zann doesn't have a room, really -- just some closets on the same floor as the lich's workroom/office. There's a standing desk bereft of a terminal (need to get some equipment delivered) a few assembly platforms (we don't say "magic circles" in this profession, thank you) one currently occupied by a certain custom heavy-lifter model, a workstation for channeling and control gear (we certainly don't say "wizard's workshop") and some cheap chairs for visitors around, but no beds in sight. Zann doesn't sleep. Or eat. Or breathe. Or snore, as someone in this building is clearly doing, but you can't help the foibles of the living.

Preparing the new hire package takes most of the night, since you never really put much thought into how much basic knowledge a professional picks up over the years. There's certainly some things left out, but Zann's pretty sure that the kid will keep anything from tearing his face off if he sets them up wrong. Or not -- nobody ever said mastering the dead was easy. With most of the night's work complete, Zann is alerted to some kind of sounds from below. Ah, yes -- cooking.

Briefly pausing to wake Chauncey from sleep mode and giving the tidy-up command, Zann clicks downstairs to the unfamiliar sight of people at breakfast. "I have an employee stopping by... sometime. I don't think the chemicals he ingests allow him to be a "schedule" person, but that's what the eternally patient dead are for." Remembering that there's a guest, Zann gives Cixi a hello on the way to a corner to lean in. "I remember you. You're with Behold, yes? I'm trying to figure out which person in this building snores, and my positional hearing isn't good over indoor verticals. I should upgrade, but this frame is a bit of a classic."

wiegieman fucked around with this message at Sep 6, 2017 around 22:13

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




HP: 18/18 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d8 | Poise: 4/4 | Load: 5/6 | XP: 7/9 | Currently: Stylish

Neon=Neon smiles beneficently, any remaining fatigue fading away as she is faced with her adoring public... or, at the least, an adoring goblin, and she accepts the album and pen, "Oh, of course, Cixi! Anything for a fan!☆" With a quick flourish, her intricate signature consumes the cover of the album and she hands it back to the adorable goblin. Neon=Neon purses her lips playfully, then adds, "I suppose since you're Behold's friend~ I can let you in on some of my upcoming tracks~! What's your @handle? I'll invite you and your friend, Nat, to my secret fan zone. I'm posting hot tracks as they happen! Between you and me, I think Sparkling Armageddon Haberdashery could go triple-plat."

Admittedly, her secret fan group currently consisted of her fans on the Vulture Capitalists, Hibiki, that cyber-troll guarding Hibiki's swank pad, and... that was it. Clearly, there was work to be done before her comeback offensive was ready to launch. Her former fan group had a wider audience, but with her "death" had devolved into an odd mix of vigils, posts of memorial listening parties, and a small but dedicated community pumping out trashy Neon=Neon fanfiction. Though she would admit it to no one, reading that was one of Neon=Neon's guiltiest pleasures.

Neon=Neon takes a mighty swig from her coffee and then points the mug at Sol, "Yeah! Isn't there that satellite thing that Hibiki was talking about? I bet we could really make a splash with that!"

Atlatl
Jan 2, 2008

Art thou doubting
your best bro?




Those with better hearing sense the approach of a cheap, two stroke scooter engine. A few moments later Matthias knocks at the door, greeting whoever answers it. "Heeeeey, how's it going? Name's Matthias, new hire. I'm looking for, uh..." He leans to look past, giving an up-nod once he spots Zann in the living room. Perhaps an unliving room in Zann's case? "Hey boss, morning! Hope I'm not, like, intruding." Matthias slides past his greeter and notably fails to remove his sunglasses despite being indoors. "Oh, nice. Breakfast. I got bored and read a lot of that stuff last night, was wondering if it was time to hit the field soon, you know?"

Behold's PA beeps. A holographic reminder from her calendar pops up, prompting her to visit the Arrowist collective some time today.

Mitama
Feb 28, 2011

Indulging in daytime naps is the highest pleasure mortals can attain!



HP: 12/12 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d8 | Load: 4/7 | XP: 3/9

Seira leans against the countertop, already on her third cup of coffee. Despite her poise, she didn't really sleep that well. And it seems like it's going to be another of those days.

"That for the collective, Behold?" Another sip. "I'm going with you. Sol's right, we need to be out there making more money than the last time." That's probably not what Sol meant at all.

Mitama fucked around with this message at Sep 8, 2017 around 08:07

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009




HP: 26/26 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d10 | Load: 5/9 | XP: 5/9

"We need way more money. Good food isn't cheap, and neither are better cyberarms," says Jet.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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



HP: 16/16 | Armor: 2 | Damage: d8 | Charge: ◇◇◇ | Load: 9/10 | XP: 3/9

Behold doesn't answer immediately, instead getting up to get another cup of coffee. She finishes this one in a single long pull, then blinks at everyone in the room like she hadn't noticed they were there before now. Seeing that Cixi is busy thank Neon for the signature and sharing her contact info, Behold pauses for a second, clearly replaying the last minute or so to try and parse the question she knew she'd been asked.

"Right, the Collective. That's today." She grins. "I could do with the backup, thanks Seira. Let's get breakfast, and then in an hour or so we can head that way. Anyone else who wants to come is welcome to." She gives Zann's hireling a bit of side-eye, but doesn't say anything about him at this point.

"We should call that 8R guy again too, he sounds like some kind of fixer. Us lapsed Arrowists usually end up with a bunch of corporate and professional connections like that."

Behold takes a second to add a new reminder: purchase and install an espresso machine.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Sep 10, 2017 around 04:31

Atlatl
Jan 2, 2008

Art thou doubting
your best bro?




Those that decide to go out to the Steadfast Heralds of the Forthcoming Dawn Compound stop by a greasy all-hours diner for a delicious breakfast (or second breakfast, depending) and soon find themselves on the opposite end of the populated sector. The geolocator directs the group to park outside the most fantastically barren gray concrete building imaginable. The unfriendly air of the place is accentuated by the single heavy steel door and the notable lack of windows on the first floor. An obvious camera dome is the only feature on the front side.

The first to approach is met by a holographic notification stating [SOUND ONLY]. Everyone can hear the sounds of a microphone being fumbled.

"Ahem." The act of pretending to clear his throat comes off as fairly pretentious. "May I ask who you are and your business here?"

Scrambling footsteps can be heard in the background and a second voice chimes in. "Can I see the feed? Oh. ... Hey, is that...? Wait, run facial recognition!"

"Is that Behold the Fires of Industry Pascale?" A third voice asks. It's apparent that they are entirely oblivious to their hot mic.

"Woah, no way." Another. "That has to be a fake. This is definitely a trap."

"Oh yeah, maybe it's someone trying to - "

"Like to besmirch her good name?"

"No, the gait analysis checks out as well."

"Somebody just open the door!"

The door's locking mechanism clicks. It cracks open, revealing five masked faces. After a moment they throw caution to the wind and pile out onto the doorstep.



The two shortest pull their hoods and masks off. They crowd out and gawk at Behold without any remorse.

"Arrow's bits, it is! They didn't ignore our request! I can't believe they sent her!" Chimes one.

"For real! Are you here to join us?" Shouts the other.

If you want to do something other than visit the tech cultists Arrowists then please feel free to do whatever or make up a location or add to the home base.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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



HP: 16/16 | Armor: 2 | Damage: d8 | Charge: ◇◇◇ | Load: 9/10 | XP: 3/9

Behold is rather nonplussed by the Collective's response to her arrival. She holds up her hands, palms out in a sheepish attempt to slow the torrent of words.

"No, no, that's not - I mean, I am Behold Pascale. But no one sent me. I was here to - never mind that." Behold takes a deep breath and tries not to get distracted by the two cute ones looking at her with wide eyes. Good thing Cixi had to take off, in order to run her business and all.

Behold puts her hands on her hips and adopts a more heroic pose. It somehow manages to both be rather silly, and look really good on her.

"What's the trouble?"

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009




HP: 26/26 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d10 | Load: 5/9 | XP: 5/9

"Is that a Sekihara G250 "Hand of God" in the chrome plate?" says Jet, excitedly. "What's someone with something that cool doing all the way out here? Does it really survive smashing through someone's ribcage? Have you tried?"

Atlatl
Jan 2, 2008

Art thou doubting
your best bro?




The young man with the novahot mods cocks his head at Jet, obviously uncomfortable with the question. "I wouldn't know, I haven't been unfortunate enough to be in a position to use it," he states after a moment of thought. "I had it installed for self-defense before coming down here. It's not quite as dangerous as most people made it out to be. Still, better to have and not need."

Down here. The way the phrase is spoken makes it clear that it's spacer talk. His parents probably bought those mods for him.

Behold's admirers look to each other and compose themselves.

"You don't know? They didn't tell you?"

"Oh, that's fine. We can explain! Bishop of the Prosperous Singularity has been having trouble - "

" - with his memory storage. Our last contact with the troubleshooters before our radio equipment failed said that - "

" - he has symptoms of someone who hard-coded too soon, or maybe that the storage module he got was partly DOA."

Troubleshooters. They're likely DSH kids since the Troubleshooters were a DSH entity. Hard-coding being their euphemism for lichdom, or disjoined as Zann would be quick to correct. The way the two stumble over each other's sentences implies some variety of fast mental link is at play, though they haven't really gotten the hang of it yet. It's obviously not an attempt at a full on gestalt. No backup communications, no parts in hot standby, no training for their gear: all signs point to this collective being the usual bunch of fools jumping into the deep end of the pool before knowing how to swim.

"They said that they had a replacement prepared but couldn't get it shipped out of Xiaotian since there aren't any deliveries scheduled out here, and - "

" - and they can't risk a small drop on the island! We asked for someone to hand deliver it, but that's about when - "

" - our radio gear got, um..."

They look to each other before simultaneously admitting "Shorted out by coffee."

"We don't know anyone that could get us over there in time! Everyone here wants - "

" - monetary payment or want way too much Rep for a trip, or there's too long of a delay for transport to get there."

"Late stage capitalism at work!"

"Yeah! The only way we could get enough money for the parts to save him is through barbaric mercenary work - "

" - and Bishop wouldn't want us to do that just to save him."

"But if you're here, then it means they sent someone down to help!"

It looks like there might be a pile of @DSH rep involved, but no real money. Sounds easy enough to pull off as a side job if you were to take up the travel portion of Hibiki's job.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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



HP: 16/16 | Armor: 2 | Damage: d8 | Charge: ◇◇◇ | Load: 9/10 | XP: 3/9

"Huh," Behold said, considering. Not a great job, but probably doable, and given how much equipment they're still procuring, the rep would be useful. "I - we - might able to do a pickup. There'll still be payment, but we might be headed that direction anyways."

"Oh, this is Jet Magnum, Neon=Neon, Ramified Soliloquy, Zann Marat, and Seira Blackwell," Behold introduces all around. "Seira and I can take a look at your com gear. And maybe Zann can look in on Bishop?" Behold looks at their own lich a bit hopefully.

"What are you all up to down here? Oh and what do I call you?" Behold thinks about whether she was ever this green. Probably not, to be honest. She'd been a bit older and had real work on the space elevator before she went down-well. But Behold had been pretty naive when she'd first struck out on her own after the crawler incident, all the same. She clearly already has a soft spot for this ship of fools.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Sep 11, 2017 around 20:23

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.



HP 25/25 | Armor 4 | Load 8/14 | XP 2/9

Sol stood next to Neon, jaw firmly shut. His introduction got no more than a curt turn of the head to look at Behold's acquaintances. He knew of these sorts. Common assumption among the Tribes was that they were all bunch of deviant tech fetishists. Sexbots stuffed in the closet, that sort of thing. Probably unfair to paint them that way, but he was not especially charitable considering everybody always assumed the worst about him. Just because the Tribes sneered at the idea of stuffing microchips into everything you owned, people thought they also had no concept of microwaves or plumbing.

He leaned down to Neon. "Are you allowing for normal meet and greets today?"

Sol just wants to double check if Neon is feeling her normal friendly self, or if he's allowed to break anybody that bothers her for autographs and such.

Mitama
Feb 28, 2011

Indulging in daytime naps is the highest pleasure mortals can attain!



HP: 12/12 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d8 | Load: 4/7 | XP: 3/9

Seira assumed Behold had the team's interests in mind when she took hold of the conversion here. Only when she hears that they've just agreed to work without pay, does Seira eye at the artificer with a look that says: "really???????".

She broke away with BTC for a few reasons, part of it which was the worthless corporate scrip. Rep is just that by another name.

Mitama fucked around with this message at Sep 11, 2017 around 23:43

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




HP: 18/18 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d8 | Poise: 4/4 | Load: 5/6 | XP: 7/9 | Currently: Stylish

People surely had strong opinions on the Arrowists, nutty tech fetishists that they were, but Neon=Neon considered herself to be rather enlightened after all, money was the universal denominator. If an Arrowist bought her album, then surely they were a nutty tech fetishist of taste and virtue. She got on quite well with Behold, after all, so clearly they had potential as a collective societal group. These ones, though...?

Without her smile dropping the barest iota, Neon=Neon lifts herself up on tip-toe to murmur in Sol's ear, "If they're too broke to pay us for our time, they're too broke to be fans. Try not to break the kids, they're cute enough and that'd be bad publicity, but the rest...? I'll leave that to your professional judgment, Mister☆Bodyguard."

Busying herself with her communications overlay for a moment, Neon=Neon paused the update she'd been drafting for Cixi and Nat's grand entry into the enlightened society of her Secret Fan Zone and sent Behold a brief missive.

@Behold posted:

Hey!! I'm all about the @rep and the hearts and minds biz, obv, but we can't cheapen our brand like this right out of the gate, right?? Maybe press them for some of that hot Arrowist tech to sweeten the pot a bit.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010


Royalty is a continuous cutting motion



HP: 18/18 | Armor: 0 | Damage: d4 | Load: 4/6 | XP: 5/9
Undead Servants: Chauncey, Gigantic Multi-Armed Porter| Stats: +3 STR, +2 CON/DEX, +1 INT/WIS/CHA | HP: 12/12 | Armor: 2 | DMG: +4


At the team building:

Zann moves over to greet Matthias, gesturing with one hand to indicate he should check his inbox. "Good, you're here. There's now a file archive waiting for you containing what I consider the be the basics of the modern necromancer's art, and I suggest you read it over the next few days. In particular, it describes in detail some proprietary C&C methods and technologies that you should know how to set up yourself. Now, the team here is going to run down a lead, and I intend to join them. This isn't part of your job, but we'll likely be heading for a meeting that may concern it afterward, so if you want to tag along and see some fieldwork I won't stop you. Otherwise, you may look but not touch at my lab, or make use of the fabrication station." Which is a reminder... "Chauncey should be down shortly."

At the Arrowists' building:

zmarat, group message posted:

Oh, isn't this just precious. Behold, no wonder you're down here and not up there.

Even if Zann still had a heart, the naivete on display here wouldn't warm it. "So, let me get this straight. You want me -- an expert on disjoined existence who is literally older than all of you put together, to perform what may be delicate and existence-saving operations on someone important to you, and you want me to do it on the cheap? Where are your parents, because I need to have a talk with them about how to treat a professional. My time is valuable because I am skilled, and my skills are rare and in demand. You should consider it neither wrong nor surprising that people want to be compensated for their time."

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009




HP: 26/26 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d10 | Load: 5/9 | XP: 5/9

Jet scratches her chin idly, making a small metallic scraping noise. "I mean, yeah, you all are right... but I feel like I got an idea, ya'know? Why don't we take the barbaric mercenary work? Then, we buy whatever he fuckin' needs, plus a little extra for myself, and boom, everyone gets all geared up, true story no moral. Arrowists are the best cutter-riggers around..."

Jet pauses. "I mean, that's enough for me, I don't really know about you dorks. I'm so pent up at this point I'll take something just to smack someone good, ha! Ok, maybe not so good deal for everyone else..."

She pauses a bit. "Hey you, God Hand. That's good gear, your parents loaded? Maybe you could give them a call?"

Mitama
Feb 28, 2011

Indulging in daytime naps is the highest pleasure mortals can attain!



HP: 12/12 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d8 | Load: 4/7 | XP: 3/9

"What my well-meaning colleagues are trying to say, dears..." Seira steps in before this gets out of hand. "...is that you're not only making a contract with Miss Behold Pascale for this task. You're making a contract with the entire strength of the Vulture Capitalists. And I don't mean to brag, but we are amongst the most respected mercenary outfits in Kolai, as you can see by our AP1 rating. And our success rate for assignments is 100%."

Seira spent the last few days running spambots to inflate their scores, her team better have a high AP1 rating.

"We will get this done, but our contracts stipulate monetary compensation, there's no way around it. And if you cannot pay, well." She glances around the various pieces of hardware in the base to emphasise. "I'm sure the market price of some of your equipment will suffice."

Using Sellsword to make an additional demand: give us some cool tech as a reward.

Mitama fucked around with this message at Sep 12, 2017 around 02:39

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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



HP: 16/16 | Armor: 2 | Damage: d8 | Charge: ◇◇◇ | Load: 9/10 | XP: 3/9

Behold looks a bit embarrassed through all this. She may be a lapsed Arrowist, but she was raised as one and whatever else you want to say about the philosophy, it does walk the walk on helping those in need. On the other hand a lot of the problems these kids have are ones they made for themselves, and if they can't sort them out, they really should head back upstalk.

"Look," Behold says, trying to cut a middle path. "I'll personally look at your comms either way, but you can't just count on people bailing you out if you make mistakes. That'd be true in the orbitals too, right? And this is mostly problems you've made for yourselves, so you have to put the effort in to solve them, or to make sure the people who solve them for you get fair back to cover their own needs - same as if you put in somewhere for a repair to a skiff, you owe them air or fuel or parts to cover what they put into providing for you. You have to look to the future, and remember the broader need." Behold winces a bit at the last line - it's probably some Arrowist maxim every parent says a gazillion times.

While she's more or less lecturing the kids, she sends to the other team members on the personal channel.

@everyone posted:

I know they're bright as a new weld, but they're still useful! And not just because their parents have money. I mean, they sort of don't actually but - er, forget the economics lesson. But you have to remember, Arrowists out of the high orbitals don't buy their gear exactly. If they've got bleeding edge hardware, its because either they can make it, or someone they know can. I 100% agree with you all that they do need to pay us back, and Seira has the perfect idea for it because they should be a great conduit for hight tech stuff, but please please let's dial back the rent-seeking mercenary at least 10%.

Not trying to shut down any moves and Behold is definitely not going to push the group to take the job without compensation, but she was raised by altruistic gay space communists so she does feel a little guilty.

EDIT: Also the collective Behold's parents are part of - and her too technically - is Vectored Trust.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Sep 12, 2017 around 03:11

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009




HP: 26/26 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d10 | Load: 5/9 | XP: 5/9

code:
dang tell me this stuff sooner. 
ill take plug and pay of some of that arrowist gear over money any day

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.



HP 25/25 | Armor 4 | Load 8/14 | XP 2/9

Sol nodded to Neon. "Of course. I'm a professional. Professionals don't hurt kids." His heart did that weird thing it always did when the boss lady spoke in that way of hers. She somehow made stars and hearts and sparkles an understandable part of her speech. An absence of sound that nevertheless carried its own meanings. Some sort of magic, or just her own incredible talent? Likely a combination of both.

He straightened up and nodded to the group of Arrowists, paying a bit more attention to them now. "I'm game, on one condition. I want one of those helmets. Those are modified MET systems, right? Integrated rebreather/gasmask/respirator with a chemical seal, rated for null atmosphere. Something like that? Tried to buy one a while back, the guy just laughed. One of those and a poncho like shorty there has. In matte black." He cocked his head towards the young lady in white.

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




HP: 18/18 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d8 | Poise: 4/4 | Load: 5/6 | XP: 7/9 | Currently: Stylish

Neon=Neon gives Sol a big thumbs-up, then listens to him adding personal requests. WHOAH! They got to do that? What did she even want from this crowd...? She had a big-rear end gun, a guy with a big-rear end bat, and... Hm. Her staff was a little scant for an idol of her unbelievable talent.

Neon=Neon taps her chin for a moment, then adds, "Well, if any of them want to get out of the fully automated luxury gay space communism racket, or even just take a teeeeeeensy break~, there are exciting employment opportunities on my staff and extended retinue! I'd even spring for their share of the payment for this job as a signing bonus and I'm boasting 100% employee satisfaction." She spun, striking a pose, as her neon constructs flared to life around her. She points to the pair of adorable tiny space commies and shoots a pair of finger guns at them. "No harm in giving a little late stage capitalism a try, yeah? It's great, you're gonna love it~!"

Atlatl
Jan 2, 2008

Art thou doubting
your best bro?




"We're Routine Abuse of the Naming Convention!" The two proudly declare in response to Behold's request for an introduction.

"No, she meant your names," the young man with the Hand of God corrects. "Personal names. I'm Herald of All Souls' Prosperity."

"Oh! I'm Singer of The Architect's Praises - "

" - and I'm Seraph of the Shining Future!" The two hold their hands aloft.

The expressions of the two without masks gradually become more somber thanks to Zann's lecture. And Behold, too! Neon's pitch gets a more skeptical reception as expected, at least. They look thoroughly defeated by the end of it all. Even Herald's shoulders sink a bit. He looks to his cybernetic weapon with distaste as he contemplates the philosophical problems of offloading dirty work to others and enabling a probably violent sociopath's behavior by paying her with an advanced weapon in his possession.

"It's not like I really know how to use this, anyways..." He looks to the other members of the commune and hangs his head apologetically. "I can give you this," he holds out the Hand of God, "though I'd be lying if I were to say it would be an equivalent exchange. I'm not particularly eager to give this up, but... We could give you Oxide."

Every other member of the commune immediately begin to argue against him.

"Hey! Hey! Come on, it's not like we can even move it without lifting equipment. And if someone actually dangerous finds out about it, what chance do we have of stopping them from taking it? If Behold and her friends aren't good enough to keep it out of the wrong hands, who is?" The other four go quiet. Herald looks to Behold. "I fully trust her to do the right thing."

They'll add on the Hand of God and an artifact weapon that's under their "protection," Oxide.

Mitama
Feb 28, 2011

Indulging in daytime naps is the highest pleasure mortals can attain!



HP: 12/12 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d8 | Load: 4/7 | XP: 3/9

"We'll take those." Seira says, barely able to contain her delight. "I'll work the contract for you to sign before we depart, but in the meantime, why don't we take a look at your communications gear?"

group message posted:

Thank you for the compliment, Behold.
I greatly empathize with your dilemma here, but we came here to get rent money.

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009




HP: 26/26 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d10 | Load: 5/9 | XP: 5/9

"Yo, can we get equivalent value on the Hand instead?" says Jet, hand rubbing the side of her neck. "I never feel right taking someone's like, stuff that they got in them. At least while they're still alive. We'll take some of that stuff you ain't put in yet instead. It's a good hand, and yer young enough to enjoy it."

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




HP: 18/18 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d8 | Poise: 4/4 | Load: 5/6 | XP: 7/9 | Currently: Stylish

Neon=Neon shrugs grandly, surely communicating her amazing beneficence even in the face of utter refusal to all watching her, then turns her attention back to her communications overlay. There would surely be others to join her staff. It would have been quite nice if they were morally obligated to avoid being paid for their labor, but some things were surely too sweet for this plane of existence. Though this Oxide thing was surely some sort of exciting weapon that would come in handy down the line, she'd better get them a real job. The kind that pays rent and maintenance.

She opened a channel to Hibiki.

@Hibiki posted:

Hey~!✨✨✨

It sounds like we're heading out on some Arrowist bullshit, but it should be in the same general direction as that satellite thing you were talking about! Mind shooting me the deets on the job so I can sell it to the rest of the crew? Much love, Senpai~~!

Atlatl
Jan 2, 2008

Art thou doubting
your best bro?




"Alright!"

"Right this way!" Singer and Seraph each take one of Seira's hands and drag her into the minimalist compound, easily forgetting any ill will now that there was hope of saving their friend and their gear.

Seira, you find out something you probably shouldn't have known while doing the radio repairs, accidentally or otherwise. What is it?

Herald gives Jet an apologetic shrug. "Sure, though you shouldn't worry about me. Care to come in and take a look around? I'm sure there are some spare parts you could get more use out of." He waves her inside as well.

Jet, you get the opportunity to scrounge around for stuff. What sort of useful non-weapons do you nab from the Arrowists?

Hibiki takes uncharacteristically long to respond.

@Neon posted:

Yo kohai, sorry. Have to wait on the text to speech and speech to text horse poo poo.

Going up, then? There's a GKI airlift to the island happening tomorrow at 0800 at the port. They'll head for Xiaotian for the next delivery afterwards. I know a guy who knows someone that's an escort pilot for the job; they'll bum you a ride over there. Take the elevator up to the geosync launch facility and meet up with a guy named Big Wei, he'll get you to the place. Just follow the directions he gives you and you'll get down here with the cargo, easy.

I'll be jumping to the pickup event next, just let me know when you're ready.

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009




HP: 26/26 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d10 | Load: 5/9 | XP: 5/9

"Seriously kid, learn to hang on to your stuff. Being nice is great an all but down here you be that nice and poo poo gets taken," says Jet, eyes distant. "Eh, whatever. I'll grab that rebreather there, then, and... are those auto-pitons? Were you planning on climbing a mountain or what, ha? Is there a mountain around here somewhere? I got an idea for those."

She turns them over in her fingers. "Before any of you other shits mouth off, it's not climbing a mountain of corpses."

Mitama
Feb 28, 2011

Indulging in daytime naps is the highest pleasure mortals can attain!



HP: 12/12 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d8 | Load: 4/7 | XP: 3/9

Radios, huh? Not her field of expertise, but nothing she can't search online and needle Behold for advice for. Seira won't be able to restore it like new, but there's enough high-tech bits in this place to use as substitutes for the shorted out parts.

Seira fixes the radio in due time, though she quickly discovers a complication with the new setup. See, the old speakers were busted, so she installed a wireless connector to link the radio to a pair of wifi speakers lying around on the floor. However, these speakers were already connected to the collective's internal network, possibly through a music app or something. An extremely uncharitable person could gain access the Arrowists' network through these speakers, unlocking not only a vast collection of porn (teenagers...) but their security systems as well. That heavy door and all those weapons won't mean anything in the face of a simple hack.

Well, good thing Seira's here. She's not out to be their security nanny, but losing a source of income to script kiddies would be bad for everyone. She closes up the backdoor in short order, just leaving a small gate open for her. Just in case.

Atlatl
Jan 2, 2008

Art thou doubting
your best bro?




It feels like there's hardly any time at all to prepare before the next morning. Before the team can properly wake up (save for Zann, who could care less), they find themselves stumbling out into onto the wharf the had arrived on scant days before. You Won't Believe This Housewife's Top Ten Recipes for Avoiding World War has made her departure, leaving the place just that much more lonely. There's absolutely nothing going on, though the heat from the sun is already on its way to being uncomfortable. Hibiki arrives shortly after you, guided by a troll lacky rather than the skeleton that Zann had so graciously provided her.



The approaching aircraft are flying so low that they only appear over the horizon three minutes before the planned meeting time. A bloated cargo VTOL cruises towards you, escorted by two fighter craft so thin that they almost disappear in the distance. The only indicator of their speed is the long trail of mach diamonds following behind them. Those with more refined sensory capabilities can see that they're hardly trying to hide; their full spectrum intensity make them shine bright as the sun.

The three craft decelerate at a crushing rate in the center of the harbor but emit no sound. The water is pushed mirror flat beneath them as they hover towards you with perfect precision. Holographic banners plaster each of them in various neon colored warnings: WARNING: SILENT MODE ACTIVATED! DO NO APPROACH JETS!, SUCTION: STAND BACK, REMAIN CLEAR THIS DISTANCE, and so on. The fighter plastered in kill markers and graffiti folds and shifts, hovering with its cockpit just above head level. The REMAIN CLEAR banner moves in as the cockpit opens to reveal its pilot:



The interior speakers blast some variety of oldies. Apparently even those living in the future enjoy their road music.

"Hewwo!" An adorably squeaky voice greets the team. "Hi 'Biki! We bwought new eyes fow you! Hewwo evewyone!"

A package deploys from the cargo craft and floats into Hibiki's hands. "Hey Cinnamonroll. Sorry you're in a rush, let me know next time you're around. You still good to take them over?" She nods her head in the team's direction.

"Yup! No pwoblem!" A hatch pops open on the side of the cargo craft and a ladder lowers for the team to board. CR motions towards it. "Go on, wet's go. Big wush dewivewy today! Pwease don't look behind the cuwtain."

After boarding you find yourselves in a spacious, empty cargo hold with a big olive drab curtain separating your area from the forward portion. There's plenty of room to sprawl out for the trip. Of note are a pair of tall ladders leading to hatches on the roof. The sides are lined with rugged fold-out seats, and the rear loading ramp switches into a giant transparent screen. The view will surely be as terrifying as it will be magnificent.

"Wet me know if you need anything," CR mentions over the radio. Your craft begins its departure immediately.

The music on the radio shifts as the island disappears from view.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlFXhigvTvM

Hibiki didn't really mention how long the trip would take, but you expect it shouldn't be long despite covering a solid quarter of the planet's surface. What did you bring along to entertain yourselves with for this trip and the big elevator ride?

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.



HP 25/25 | Armor 4 | Load 8/14 | XP 2/9

Ramified Soliloquy had a dog eared tome of elven poetry by one Serenity Greymist. If anything, it was even more esoteric than the draconic poetry he'd been fumbling through the previous day. That at least had proven much easier to understand once he realized all the mentions of acquiring wealth and power, burning things down, and eating people were not actually metaphors. The Lady Greymist, meanwhile, couched absolutely everything in metaphor, and in the High Elven tongue to boot. And while he had facility with languages, his grasp of the Middle Tongue was strictly functional and he had to use that as a springboard to understand the much more complex High Tongue.

Suffice to say, there was a reason the book was as beaten up and worn as it was. The woman had a marvelous way of turning a phrase but it took all his fortitude to interpret even a couple of lines. So for now, he was delaying the inevitable headache by engaging in shop talk with Hibiki's aide.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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



HP: 16/16 | Armor: 2 | Damage: d8 | Charge: ◇◇◇ | Load: 9/10 | XP: 3/9

Behold clambers into the aircraft and settles into a seat near the rear ramp, clearly used to flying this way. She puts some music on and brings up some reading material - the technical manual for the satellite type they're going to be dealing with. In short order she's deep into wiring diagrams, head bobbing along to what she's listening to. Peering over her shoulder, you can see she has the maintenance manuals for the two trucks you acquired queued up, plus a bunch of tabs for building your own espresso machine. That, and the channel of a popular battle royale game streamer.

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009




HP: 26/26 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d10 | Load: 5/9 | XP: 5/9

Jet's power napping in the corner seat already. Probably won't be out the whole flight, but if she doesn't conk out for the first hour at least she gets airsick. That, and it passes the time.

Queued up in her earphones is the latest from the minimalist orc-hop group Grok The Future. Even over the sound of the interior music, the deep thump thump of boom-bap can be faintly felt from the oversized bass woofers.

For when she wakes up, there's a book- a proper one, in paper- sitting on her lap, one hand holding it to prevent any accidental foot landings. What can be seen of the title reads "How to Serv-."

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage




HP: 18/18 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d8 | Poise: 4/4 | Load: 5/6 | XP: 7/9 | Currently: Stylish

Neon=Neon is settled into a seat near Sol. It's hard to tell what she's doing, exactly, but it appears that she's busy working on the choreography for her next video on some sort of AR layer. At times, neon constructs pop into existence near her head and communicate some sort of guidance on the aesthetics of the performance. She gets into occasional debates with them, only partly vocalized, but it seems clear that this process could easily last for hours.

Mitama
Feb 28, 2011

Indulging in daytime naps is the highest pleasure mortals can attain!



HP: 12/12 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d8 | Load: 4/7 | XP: 3/9

Seira spends most of the flight wondering when is it a good time to call Natasha.

She's also trawling through several terrabytes of data that she pulled off the collective, finding anything that might resemble a secret superweapon schematic or something. But uh, she's also just quietly mouthing the words she wants to use. The Call screen has been lingering in front of her PA holo-screen since they got aboard.

"How the hell do you even greet someone on the phone..." She groans to herself.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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



HP: 16/16 | Armor: 2 | Damage: d8 | Charge: ◇◇◇ | Load: 9/10 | XP: 3/9

Behold, noticing Seira talking to herself, slowly leans over to peer over the other's shoulder. This goes on until Seira notices. But Behold doesn't glance away and pretend she wasn't peering - instead, she looks back at Seira for a second, then quickly reaches over and boops the call button.

"You'll thank me later!" she says with the most aggravating grin possible.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

The end! No moral.



HP 25/25 | Armor 4 | Load 8/14 | XP 2/9

Sol glanced over to Seira, shaking his head at the crass joke the troll had just made.

"You say hello, confirm the identity, and depending on your intentions, you do one of the following: ask them how they are, make known your demands, or detonate the explosives while reciting your manifesto."

That was probably a joke, but Sol could be hard to read sometimes.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010


Royalty is a continuous cutting motion



HP: 18/18 | Armor: 0 | Damage: d4 | Load: 4/6 | XP: 5/9
Undead Servants: Chauncey, Gigantic Multi-Armed Porter| Stats: +3 STR, +2 CON/DEX, +1 INT/WIS/CHA | HP: 12/12 | Armor: 2 | DMG: +4


Zann greeted the mayor when they reached the dock, radiating professional concern. "Miss Hibiki, I can't help but notice that you've misplaced your mobility aid. I hope its performance was satisfactory -- RHR considers all work to be under reasonable warranty, should the need arise. Apropos, might I introduce you to my employee here? We're hoping to do great work on Kolai."

--

Some people bring books to stay busy on long plane rides. Zann brings apprentices, since this one seemed so eager. Besides, seeing some work on a memory module would be a good learning experience. "Now Matthias, we're here for three reasons. One, I'm being paid, which means you're being paid. Two, the mayor liking us means more business in the future, which means we'll be able to shortcut competitors on contracts. Three, despite that lecture I gave the disjoined should look out for each other, I just wanted to razz those little communists -- never do any professional work for free, it cheapens you. If you do decide to go that route some day, and it's absolutely not required to do what we do, keep in mind that engaging with the rest of the community is an important safety net." Doing a brief equipment and tome check, Zann continues. "From what those children said, we're probably dealing with an embodiment failure or some ego fragmentation due to the subject jumping the gun. If it is a phylactery problem, it will still be fixable but difficult. Regardless, pay attention and try not to stress the subject."

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Mitama
Feb 28, 2011

Indulging in daytime naps is the highest pleasure mortals can attain!



HP: 12/12 | Armor: 1 | Damage: d8 | Load: 4/7 | XP: 3/9

"What!?" Seira glares at Behold first, then at Soliloquy. "No, don't misunderstand, I'm just trying to-"

And she spends all of two seconds scrambling to hit the End Call button when she hears a voice on the other line.

"Oh! Hi. Hello, Natasha." She suggest shifts to an extremely awkwardpolite tone and makes sure the speaker function is off. "How are you? Oh. That sounds rough. Valve problem, sounds like? Figures. No, no, I'm fine. Just you know... strapped to a jet hurtling past the sound barrier to reach a space elevator. Mercenary things. Can't be a worse time to call, right?" She laughs, twirling her hair with the emotional maturity of a teenage goth. "Oh, well, sure. Souvenirs, I can do that. If I finish this early, we could meet up? Alright. I'll send you a text in advance. I'll leave you to fix that thing for now. Okay. See you."

She quickly hangs up, visibly shaken by what she just did.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«15 »