The evening air is unusually cold, an overcast sky quickly darkening as the sun slips bellow the horizon and your car slips beneath the shadow of Quito's spaceport superstructure. You bring your hand to your shoulder in a quick twitching motion, swatting at what feels like a hot needle stabbing into your arm only to feel cold metal alloy. You stare at your arm, a numb, plastic and metal plated hunk of servos that clicks softly as it rests on your lap. Somewhere beneath it, you can still feel your arm, your real arm, stinging, burning, as if your shoulder is still somehow linked to the shredded pile of meat left on some operating table back in that hospital. The synthetic arm twitches as you tense up from the pain.“Are you sure we should not return to the hospital?” Lyle asks. You give it some thought, but only enough to dismiss it.“No, I'm fine.” You say, “just phantom pain is all.” You try to test out your new arm. It feels sluggish, as if submersed in oil, the haptic sensors in the fingers an island of input in the otherwise numb block of polymer bolted to your shoulder.“Full nerve integration is known to prevent errant neural sensations.” Lyle says. “Your current prosthetic is a placeholder model. It was intended to be used to calibrate a properly sized and fitted arm, which is why I would recommend returning to-”“Lyle, enough. It works just fine.” You say as you try to stretch the artificial muscles to the sound of creaking plastic and squeaking servos. “Where did that spacer say he wanted to talk, exactly?”“He claimed he would be waiting at the department.”“Good, go ahead and take us to the office then, I could use a coffee while we're at it.”You lean back in your seat and rub at the bridge of your nose with your good hand as your other feels submerged in hot needles. The drive is long and silent. Time well spent thinking long and hard about the past two days. This case.A man falls from the Quito dock to his death, driven to leap out the window of a Helios office in a panic after his computer ran a rather large executable file called Snow Crash. Soon after, a man fired from the same company dives through his window after running the same program and sending it to a hacker he was in contact with, who was found near death hooked into his custom VR computer who then sent the program to a robotics factory. All three were implanted with neural augmentations, and the factory almost instantly suffered mass hysteria, the robots going mad, and anyone with neural augs going insane and either killing themselves or suffering a seizure.And now, you're on your way to talk with a spacer who claims Helios has been shipping military grade robots out to the Jupiter system. You're still not sure what to make of any of this.
>>163544The car comes to a stop and Lyle is quick to exit. You miss the handle of the car door before you manage to hook your metal fingers around the handle. Lyle opens the door the rest of the way and holds a cane out to you.“Lyle, I don't-”“You're ankle was fractured. It was repaired with a temporary surgical adhesive impant, but you should keep weight off of it as much as possible to prevent re-injury, and pain.” He says simply. You grumble as you snatch the cane from his hands. You nearly collapse as you try to stand without it, then hold yourself up on it with your good arm, your prosthetic clenched to your side. You figure having your ankle glued back together would make it hurt a bit less.“So what do you suppose this is? That attack at the factory? Some kind of robot rebellion?” You ask, at least partially in jest, although you can't help but wonder.“If it is,” Lyle says, “I assure you I was not invited to the revolution.”The inside of the homicide department is in a state of bedlam. The news is on almost every television, and on the one that isn't a cluster of officers crowd around a recording of a poorly lit office. You see the recording as they view it for likely the dozenth time, as a door flies open and Everette sprints to the doors, over turning a cabinet as if he thought a wild bull was on the other side. He stumbles about in a panic, diving from imagined attackers until he tackles the reinforced glass and flips over the railing.You walk into the room on your way to your desk, and the commotion seems to die down. You feel the burn of attention like an ant under a magnifying glass.“Bash!” You hear the chief open his office door, his phone dragging on the cord behind him. He fumbles with it for a moment before hanging it up and quickly walking to your desk, his face red and his balding head slick with sweat, although he seems more exhausted than his usual angry. “What the hell are you doing out of the hospital? It's hardly been a day.”“Dammit chief I-”“Alright alright.” He says, as if he knows exactly what you were about to say. “It's been a long day. The mayor wants this resolved quickly and as quietly as possible. I've heard whispers of the FBI getting involved but for now we're still on our own.” He chews his cigar, grinding it between his teeth. “Promise me you'll lay off the beat work and you can help.”“I've got a lead wanted to talk with me, a space trader.”“Yea, Tabangy or whatever the hell. Stick man's in a G-tank, we wheeled him in interview room three because he doesn't like all the noise, but he mentioned you by name, which is a lot better than the usual 'mud man' he calls everyone else.” You hear a click from the servos in Lyle's neck as his head shifts to attention.“Spacer culture tends to associate individual identities with that of the ship or station in which they live. As such-”“Lyle,” you say. “Not the time.”
>>163557The room is poorly lit, most of the lights are off, save for the glow of the tank's own soft lights illuminating various built-in display screens. The spacer himself is crumpled into a knot within the tank. He drifts his head up to you and you can hear a labored breath from the speakers. His body is pale, almost translucent in the strange light.“Terrangi sees you have been busy.” He says. You move to the light switch but he lets out a soft grunting click. "Leave them off. Our eyes do not function as well, and this gravity is of great discomfort.""Right." You say. "Well you wanted to talk with me?""You wish to ask. Terrangi wishes only to answer." He replies.>Ask why he came all the way to the surface>Mention the robot attack, and ask about his robotics shipments to Io>Ask about the person claiming to be Everette that chartered a flight to Io>Other
>>163585>Ask why he came all the way to the surface
>>163585>>Ask why he came all the way to the surface
>>163585>Ask about the person claiming to be Everette that chartered a flight to Io
>>163618This pleaseGlad to see you're back op
>>163585"That seems a little simplistic, don't you think?" You ask. "I can't see why you'd come all this way down to earth just to answer a few questions, unless you didn't want anyone else to hear the answers." The spacer doesn't respond. "So how about we start off a bit more open with each other.""Terrangi said he would come to earth. Terrangi has done so." He wheezes."Yea, but I have a hard time seeing why. You're obviously in constant pain. You've got to have one hell of a reason to want to go through all this to keep your discussion private instead of just giving me a call." You can tell his expression changes, but beneath his breathing mask and his continuous contortion of pain it's impossible to read."Terrangi has been fooled." He says as he pulls up several charts and files with the touch screen built into his tank. Despite the specially mixed buoyancy of the saline solution in the tank, he shows great effort in every movement. Several call records appear and flip to face you. "This is Everette. Was Everette." He says between deep breaths. The file shows a number of voice calls and text messages, most of which taking place well after Everette fell to his death. "And this, is the last that has been received." He highlights one of the calls and it plays."This is Terrangi of dústa lóvo, please speak.""It's Dr. Everette. How are things going for our departure." You hear a hesitant breath from the recording."Things go well. Is the doctor doing well?""Of course. Why do you ask?""No... reason. The moon has low gravity. It would be painful to walk about in the dirt. Terrangi was concerned.""I appreciate it." Everette says, or at least the person claiming to be him. "However there has been a sudden change in the flight plan. I won't be able to make it to Io, business has taken a rather sudden turn. I have, however, arranged for a replacement to go in my stead. I'll have her passport sent to you later today, along with the cargo." The spacer stops the recording with the tap of his finger. You give a glance to Lyle."And this was after we spoke?""Yes." He says. "Terrangi... does not wish to be next.""You suspect this person killed Everette, and will kill you as well?" Lyle says, he returns the glance to you. "A fair hypothesis, given our limited data.""Yes. The doctor is dead. Terrangi was not meant to know this, but does.">Ask when the dústa lóvo is scheduled to depart>Ask for the papers on this replacment>Mention the robot attack, and ask about his robotics shipments to Io>OtherAlso, for any new players wanting to catch up:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Cyberpunk+Detective+Quest
>>164037>Mention the robot attack, and ask about his robotics shipments to IoBut it sounds like it's time for a stakeout
>>164037"Have you seen the news? I know you don't care much about it but still." You say as you take a seat in the metal chair nearby. You're careful to lean your ankle at just the right angle to avoid twisting it."The room beyond is bright and loud. It is filled with your noises. Terrangi gathered some of it.""Well, just to bring you up to speed, a bunch of robots went crazy at a Helios robotics factory." You reply. "A lot of people died in there. Either killed by robots, or themselves. You remember Everette talking about Snow Crash? Well, someone sent a copy of a file with that name to the factory, right after running it himself and having a seizure.""Terrangi does not understand.""Neither do I, but every person I've found with a neural aug and a copy of that program has either killed themselves, tried, or suffered some kind of seizure that damn near fried their brain." You say as you light a cigarette. You figure he won't mind inside his fish tank. "You don't have any neural augs, do you?" The spacer makes a hesitant gasping grunt. You really should learn the language some time. "I bet you do. Running all over the system, calculating burns, counting kilos, one digit off and everyone dies, right? Well, it's just about the only thing all the victims so far have in common. Whoever is spreading it was behind the robot attack in the factory, and is in all likelihood behind Everette's death too." You say as the chair creaks beneath your weight as you lean back and prop up your leg. The ankle is swollen, crisscrossing scars run over the skin where the internal casting was injected."So," you continue, "I bet there's something about Io that's important. Why else would our mystery man want to go there so badly?" The spacer seems to think for some time, scratching his scalp as if trying to dig something out as his fingers run over the obvious skull ports for some manner of cognitive enhancements set in his temples.cont.
>>164564"Terrangi has heard... rumors." He says finally. "They seem obvious to all in the void, but we pay them no heed. Rumors of conflict. Independance. Spacers, we do not care. We are already alone, but we still hear the whispers from Jupiter.""So you're telling me Helios is, what, getting ready to put down an uprising?""Or start one." Lyle says. You look at him as his eyes glow with the recording indicator lights. Terrangi lets out a half cough."What's on Io, specifically?" You ask."An office. It holds a warehouse to transport the things Terrangi brings to them. It is automated, as many things there are. Run by machines.""You mean an AI?" You ask. He forces himself to give a slow nod with great effort."Yes." He says. "We do not fear such things, as you do on earth. There is no law in the void.""So, someone could arrange for these shipments and have the automated station take care of the logistics from Jupiter's end." You say, mostly to yourself. "Keep the locals from hearing rumors of a build up in security.""Or keep earth administration from learning of it." Lyle adds.cont.
>>164731"Right, weapons won't get all the way out to Jupiter on their own," you say, "and inner system trade is locked down tight, not a lot of ways to get a lot of weapons quickly without someone noticing, unless you go through one of the major corporations." You look back at Lyle. "And this AI on Io, what's the likelyhood it's not three-laws-safe?""The three laws are inherently flawed and contradictory." He says with surprising candor. "A robot requires an advanced and nuanced capacity for logic, as well as the capability to both understand and manifest logistical paradoxes to hold any real capacity of governing its behavior. If this AI possesses the three laws it is entirely possible its interpretation of them deems local revolution the only course available to it to prevent the most harm to the most humans. However, it is equally likely to not hold any such laws, as there are no such regulations in the outer system."You nod slowly as you breath in your cigarette. And not a week ago you were sure you'd be able to kick the habit. "Makes sense, overwhelming altruism isn't exactly a good fit for corporate administration. So then why is this Everette wannabe so desperate to get there?""A good question, and one Terrangi does not know." The spacer says. He opens several files and they flip to be visible to you. "This is the registered manifest of the dústa lóvo." It is a list of excruciatingly accurate mass calculations and dimensional measurements. Several dozen tonnes of various robotics equipment, including several crates of androids and assorted spare parts coming in at another two and a half tonnes, and sixty four tonnes of "various fragile biohazard components" in a rather large crate. Past that is a limited list of crew, and a single female passenger. "Terrangi must return to the dústa lóvo, this place causes great pain." He says. It is costly to remain here, the ship will depart soon, refueling and clearance will take some time yet.">Ask for details on the passenger>Return with Terrangi to the orbital dock>Return to Helios customs and ask about the robotic shipments>Other (write in)
>>164753>Ask for details on the passenger
>>164753>>Ask for details on the passenger>>Return with Terrangi to the orbital dock
>Ask for details on the passenger
>>164753"This passenger, you know anything about her yet?" You ask. He tries to shake his head."Not yet." He says. "Her papers will be processed by the Helios customs ring, where dústa lóvo is docked.""Always back to Helios." You mutter. "You sure you don't have a picture, a retinal scan, anything?" He seems to rummage through his files in his tank."A picture only, no papers. Terrangi was told the woman would introduce herself properly at the port.""And this is usual for your line of work?" You ask, more earnestly than you would like."It is not very unusual." He says as the picture grows across the screen. The image shows a black haired woman, her long hair rolled into a tight bun behind her, her lips a vibrant red. You've seen her before. Here."That's Tannhauser. She was here picking up evidence after Helios swept up the Everett murder under the rug." You say," I'm gonna need that picture." Lyle walks to the tank and quickly plugs into a data port along the base, the spacer copies it. You grab your cane and hoist yourself up, taking more effort than you'd like to admit.>Head to Helios and speak with Dr. Tannhauser>Return with Terrangi to the orbital dock>Return to Helios customs and ask about the robotic shipments>Talk with the lab techs about what Peters found out about Snow Crash>Other
>>165197>Talk with the lab techs about what Peters found out about Snow Crash
>>165197>Return to Helios customs and ask about the robotic shipmentsPeters can fill us in through phone on the way to Helios.You don't think the Io facility is running completely isolated and that the bad guys want to unleash Snow Crash v2 to create a new robo army uprising?
>>165197"The mudman knows this woman?" The spacer asks."Not exactly." You say as you snuff out the cigarette butt on the counter. "She sent me a get well soon gift at the hospital." You make your way to the door, and the pasty figure twitches back his head away from the light as the sounds of police work fills the room for a moment.The office is still swarming with people. Robots run stacks of paper back and forth as detectives and beat cops swarm over stacks of files and look at screens of evidence. You limp your way to the small corner devoted to the crime lab, not much in the way of resources, just a few freezers for samples, some displays, a microscope. Just enough to get by with the most basic of things, and more importantly, to review the findings of the larger lab where all the real processing gets done. You see Tucker and Hutchins looking at a computer screen over coffee."Bash, jesus man, you're a crazy sonuvabitch." Hutchins says, "so you see the security cam footage from the factory? Get a load of this." He points to the screen.You see the camera aimed at the main entrance as the two rewind the footage. The door is closed as a security guard looks over his station, a box of pastries open beside him. Something flashes over his screen, and a moment later several nearby security androids, little more than walking cameras, for legal reasons, suddenly hunch their shoulders. The guard covers his face as his screen illuminates his office, and he gets up, reaching for his radio. One of the security robots grabs him, and he goes limp. A moment later the walls erupt open as a truck plows through the doors and the camera drops, swinging on its wires. Beneath it, the truck's doors open, and the security robots begin unloading it. They pull out crates one by one, each a box of some kind of ammunition, or a crate of small arms weapons."The workers said the robots weren't armed in the factory, guess that's how the military drones got their ammo." You say. Tucker lets out a chuckle as he washes down a doughnut with his coffee and Hutchins whistles."Rest of the place was either not on film or the video was wiped, but we've got a lot to go through when you stopped those trucks." He says. "You know they had some weird stuff packed in there. Semi-organics, I heard. Some kind of next-gen cybernetic kind of stuff. robotic tissues and the like.""Real horror show in there." Tucker adds. Hutchins nods quickly."Artificial eyes, muscles, carbon weave armored skin, titanium skeletons. Hell, they had enough in there to make a couple hundred androids." He says. You nod.cont.
>>165628"Wonder what the two that got away had in 'em." You say. They both shrug dismissively as Tucker rewinds the footage again. You leave them to 'analyse' the footage as you look over a folder left by Peters. You get nearly half a page in before you realize you're not sure what any of it means. You find Peter's lab number in the folder and punch it into the display nearby. A moment later Peter's face appears on the screen."Detective? Oh wow, you're alive! I mean. I'm sorry that came out wrong I, uh..." He adjusts his glasses. "You're looking good, all things considered... I mean, I don't mean to say, uh...""Yea, I get it. I hurt all over and I bet I look the part." You say. "I just need to know what you found out about that file." He nearly jumps out of his seat."Oh! Right, that Snow Crash. Oh man, Detective Bash let me just say I've never, ever seen anything this complex." He says as he quickly rifles through various papers and memory sticks. He grabs one and plugs it into something, and a series of files appear on the screen. "I thought I send the folder over to you." He says."It's a technical readout. Give me the summary." You say."Right, sorry." He replies. "Well, in short, it's a virus.""Infects augs, I figured.""No, that's just it!" He says, leaping to his feet. "This thing infects the computer, finds any speakers and displays, and starts playing an amazingly complex media program.""To cause the seizures? That doesn't make sense, what are the odds everyone so far would epileptic?""No," he says, stifling a smile, "this thing is some seriously advanced programming. I still can't quite figure out the whole thing, it's built on a super compressed custom format embedded in an adaptive malware program. Thing is, the media file triggers... I dunno, some kind of sensory overload. Once it starts up, it unpacks into a massive file, some kind of algorithmic program that makes the media file up on the fly. You don't need to have it uploaded to be infected, you just need to see and hear it. Instant infection of any neural augments." The files on the screen move by as he flips through the pages and highlights particular lines of code that mean nothing to you.cont.
>>165831"I ran it on my canary computer and it went right to work, adapted instantly to my software quarantine and the thing light up like a strobe light. I ran it on some defective augs I had laying for testing and they went nuts, starting sending signals all over the place.""So, it's a computer virus that infects you through sight and sound?" You ask. He nods."And it's not random. This thing sends you on a mission, and it only affects complex wetware.""Wait, what do you mean?""People and heuristics only. I tried infecting my roomba, nothing. Tried it on a few custom built test robots, just a block of processors with a networked OS, still nothing. If it can't think, it can't be infected, although you could still upload the .exe and have it be a carrier." He says with a shrug. Your look at Lyle. His eyes blink, their lenses clicking into focus."Jesus, Peters, is there a limit to this thing?""What do you mean? I mean, theoretically, you could use it to infect any number of augs at once, I don't know how clear the signal needs to be, I suppose that would depend on the quality of the augs themselves. No idea what it would do to a robot though, I didn't test it on anything with heuristics, but since synaptic processors gather data in a similar way to neural augs, I'd figure it would be a similar effect.""I mean, suppose you link this thing to, say, a blimp's screen flying over New York and a set of loudspeakers?" You ask. Peters goes pale for a second."Oh. Oh! Jesus! I figured like, a theater or something, I mean, oh god I don't know, I guess that could work?" He rifles through his desk again, knocking several piles of servos to the floor. "Oh my god! Do you think they'd do that?""First," you ask, "do you have anything that could stop it?" He plucks a small disk from under several papers."Yes! Well, no. Kind of. It's a temporary thing at best. Essentially a buffer, like a fuse, only for the sensory and auditory circuits. Here, have Lyle install this, it sends all input data on a short feedback loop and cuts off if there's an overload." He says, looking at Lyle from the screen. "You'll go blind and deaf, but it should keep you from processing the virus."Lyle plugs his finger into the computer and his head twitches slightly as he installs it."Should." He says.>Head to Helios and speak with Dr. Tannhauser>Return with Terrangi to the orbital dock>Return to Helios customs and ask about the robotic shipments>Other (write in)
>>165935>Head to Helios and speak with Dr. Tannhauser
>>165935>>Head to Helios and speak with Dr. Tannhauser
Is there an archive of the first thread anywhere? I'm having some trouble finding it.
Nevermind, I got it.
>>165935"Thanks. Any leads on where this virus came from?" You ask. Peters shakes his head."No, and frankly I'm still not sure how it was made. It'll take years to pick through the intricacies of this thing. I can't imagine how much effort it took to actually write this.""You believe it could be a second generation program?" Lyle asks. He looks at you, as if hearing your thoughts. "A program written by a program. AI-designed machines and software.""I've seen my share of those too, this is a whole new league. I mean, you sit a super computer down and give it enough time I guess it could do it, but... I just, I've never seen level of programing before.""Well, I'll keep in touch if I find anything else for you to look over." You say as you end the call. You make your way out of the small lab to your desk where you drop the folder of technical data and head for the door."Alright Lyle, you said you're driving, we're heading to Helios." You say as you hit the call button on the elevator.In the car you look over the computer screen set along the dash. Helios still hasn't opened up their employee records, but you still have the internet."Dr. Adam Tannhauser: Nobel prize winner in computer science, worked with Helios to develop some of the world's most advanced heuristic software." You skim down the page, finding an image of a young man and woman together. "Looks like her husband." You say. Lyle skims over the article in a moment."According to the report, they worked together on a number of AI programs." You find more articles, various news reports of awards and accolades of various kinds, then an obituary. There's an image of a covered body on a sidewalk."Shot six times in the chest in apparent mugging." You read. You look closely. "This looks familiar.""Case number five-six-six-eight-seven, detective, fifteen years ago. Helios security confiscated all evidence as a spaceport security matter. The event leaked to the press with an anonymous source claiming no valuables were taken from the body, and the victim seemed to have been shot in the back.""Shit, yea, I remember now. It stank of corporate warfare like nothing I'd ever seen up till then." You say as you look over the news story. That was a long time ago, and you've seen plenty of murders since, but it still looks fishy to you even now. A man that talented is a rare find. You always figured he was killed to keep from putting the competition out of business, or maybe he was planning to move to another company, who knows now? You keep reading through the story. "I wasn't on the case, but everyone in the department could smell something rotten about it." You say.Further down you find just a sentence. The accomplished doctor leaves behind a grieving wife and coworker, Dr. Eva Tannhauser.You keep looking for news of her, but it's much more challenging a task.cont.
>>166307"Looks like she just about went into hiding after her husband's death." You say. "Figure she probably knew better than any if there was any real shady business going on.""We have arrived." Lyle says as he pulls the car into a nondescript parking deck. You wave him off as he tries to help you out of the car."It already feels better." You say as you gracelessly hobble yourself to your feet."I doubt it." He says, "however I do have a working theory regarding placebo effects induced by stubbornness."The entrance to the offices are a whitewashed plastic with the subtle scent of a hospital mixed with mechanical lubricant wafting in the air. You make your way to the front desk and flash your badge, nearly dropping it from your metal fingers. The hand clenches at the last second, grabbing the badge hamfistedly before you can correct your grip."Detective Bash. I'm here to see a Dr. Tannhauser about an ongoing investigation." You say. The secretary looks up at you, a rather well dressed android that almost looks human, with a layer of synthetic skin over its face like some kind of hollywood mask. The eyes look at you like the lifeless gaze of a corpse."Do you have an appointment?" It says."No, but I can probably get a warrant instead, if you'd like." You say. It seems to twitch its face through several emotions, as if trying to look empathetic and happy at the same time, like if its face was shifting gears. You suspect it's programmed to respond to cops threatening warrants."Dr. Tannhauser will be available momentarily. The elevator will take you to her floor automatically." The robot says mechanically as the elevator door opens beside it. You make your way to it and step in with Lyle right behind.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1dvb2FgBEMThe door opens to a view near the top of the Quito superstructure. The city below is a sprawling blanket of glowing lights, flashing like some massive circuit board as cars move along the streets bumper to bumper, flowing like blood through clogged arteries. The facility around you looks like a miniaturized factory with synthetic organs and half-made bodies hanging from the ceiling like coats in a drycleaners. A number of robots turn to look to you curiously. A woman turns the corner of a large work station and gives you a hesitant half-smile."Dr. Tannhauser." You say as she walks to you in the small lobby. "We met briefly before, in the police department." She looks you over quickly, as if looking for a diagnosis."So we did." She says. "It is good to see you up and about in such little time, detective. You saved many lives in that factory. Please, come in, I'll give you the tour." She holds a hand out to keep the automatic door to the lab open. You guess it only opens for employees.cont.
>>166445"Honestly, I was worried you'd be out for the night. Most of the day was already gone by the time I woke up, and it's easy to forget everyone else has a quitting time when you're on a case." You say as you look over the various devices and machines scattered throughout the lab. There is a large rather out of place hardwood couch near the far end, set beneath a bay window furnished with a small ornate rug and a number of candles. Several pillows and an unkempt blanket are bundled up along one side of an armrest."I often have the same problem." She says. "So, what is it that has brought you all the way up here?">Ask about Snow Crash>Discuss her charter to Io>Ask about her work>Other (write in)
>>166453>Discuss her charter to Io
>>166453>Ask about her workIf it's why her husband was killed, it might be why she's trying to run to Io.
>>166474this too, good line of questioning
Rolled 7 (1d100)I feel like we should press on the Snow Crash issue, intimidate her with a worst case scenario -Nationwide repeat of yesterday's accident, pushing back Neuro Augmentations Decades if not outright making them taboo- and shakedown all the goods so we are better armed against whatever is making it's move right now. I guess she could be a conspirator out of petty revenge or for money. May be too soon to show the Ace.>Ask about her work
>>166453"I think you have a pretty good idea." You say as you walk over to the couch. There are several framed pictures set out along the window. You find one especially interesting, with Eva and her husband smiling at the camera with a third person. "So what is it you do here, doctor?" You ask as you pick up the picture. You can feel her close in slowly behind you, looking past your shoulder."That's us with Laurence. Dr. Everette." She says, ignoring your question. "He was a good friend of ours. I didn't know what to think when I saw the news." You place the picture back down."Did you keep in touch at all?" You ask, she looks down at sighs softly."No, no he blamed himself for what happened to Adam. He was with him that night at the lab, but he went out for a walk, to clear his head, and never came back. Laurance locked himself in the lab after that." She looks around at the small bastion of a residence surrounded by the sterile machinery and cybernetics around the lab. "I suppose we had that in common." She turns back and passes you, her hand running over your prosthetic bicep with the faintest touch."In a way, I was relieved when I learned he was killed. I suppose... It's better that way than if he had killed himself over what happened all those years ago." She says inhaling deeply as if the words take effort to say, then lets out a short laugh as she wipes at her eyes. "I'm terrible, I know, for thinking such things, but it's the truth.""My condolences." You say. The words have become too practiced for you. They roll off your tongue like a product off an assembly line that's long lost its value, but she nods all the same."Thank you." She says. "And I'm sorry, you asked me a question and here I am on some tangent." She sniffs softly and lets out a half-cough to clear her throat. "I, well I do many things here. My speciality has been developing man-machine interfaces. I likely designed the socket you're using now." She says. You glance down at the arm. It still burns, but you've started to ignore it. She covers her mouth.cont.
>>166571"I'm sorry, I shouldn't be mentioning such topics." She walks further down the lab's small assembly line. "But my husband was far greater in the field. He was less concerned with the interfacing of the nerves, and more with the brain itself. An interface built into the source." She looks over the various synthetic arms set up along the assembly line, as if sizing them up one at a time, then turns back to you. Lyle leans in close to you, his speakers bouncing his whispered voice directly to you."She is very good. Her baseline is nearly nonexistent. I suspect she possesses social augments." He says."I'm just focused on the cybernetics themselves. How to make people better than simply human." She says, turning back to you. "These are prototypes. I know it's not my place to talk on the matter, but... it would be the least I could do after you're injuries saving all those people." She points to the arms. "I could have one fitted for you, if you'd like.>Accept the offer>Refuse the offer>Refuse and change the subject (write in)>Other
>>166573>Accept the offer
>>166573>Accept the offerthis feels like a trapAsk about Snow Crash next
>>166573>Accept the offerProbably a bad idea frankly. I'd be willing to bet she was the one controlling the bot that attacked us in the factory control room.
>>166573Alright, sadly, It's getting very late and I think I'm going to need to call it a night before the night turns to morning.We shall resume tomorrow afternoon, after some sleep for us all. Feel free to leave feedback, or discuss or leave votes and I'll go through them all and just keep this same thread going tomorrow.
Actually, now that I've had some time to think about it.>>166573>Ask whether or not the arm is networked>Ask whether or not we'll need neural implants to operate it effectively.I think a little paranoia is justified considering recent events. If the answer to both of these questions is no, then I say we should accept. Otherwise refuse.
>>166592Just got home, will be setting things up to continue on through tonight.>>169497Oh damn this is sweet!
>>166573You make your way over to where she stands next to the line of cybernetic arms."That's a very tempting offer." You say. She presses several buttons and one of them lowers from an armature to shoulder height."Yours is a temporary model, intended to be easily replaced without any additional surgery." He says, her hands reach out to your arm, as if measuring in her head, glancing back at the prototype periodically. "I could probably get it set up within a few hours. It would be the least I could do."You think about it, the details of the case swirling in your mind, muddying your thoughts as you feel some imaginary knife plunge through your arm. You take off your coat and hand it to Lyle."Alright, but this thing better not be networked. I've dealt with enough hacker cases in my time to not want to deal with that.""Of course." She says, her hands slowly running along the polymer skin of your prosthetic, her fingers moving along the seams of the interface in your shoulder. "It seems that the more we learn about technology, the less we want to rely on it. As if the more we learn about each other, and ourselves, the less we want to accept it." She pulls apart several sliding disks covering a control lever, and you feel a sharp pain as the arm releases from the still raw anchor drilled into your bones. She slowly pulls the arm away, unhooking a number of wires running between the synthetic muscles of your shoulder to the artificial arm."You should still not use it fully for some time, however. Your shoulder anchor was just installed last night, so you could easily tear something or pull a bolt loose from the bone." She says as she sets the arm on the table beside her and sets out a chair next to the armature holding the prototype cybernetic. You take a seat as the arm is pulled in closer, its socket unfolding out like a flower over your shoulder. Bundles of cords protrude out from within."Now relax, and let me know when you feel anything." She says as she runs the wires from the arm one by one to your shoulder. You feel something, your index finger, there and ever present in your mind. The finger of the arm twitches, stretching itself at your thought."So your work." You ask. "You just make arms, or is there more to it than that?" You cringe at a sudden stabbing sensation in a wrist that isn't there."Sorry!" She says. "Well, I develop neural interfaces. My job is, essentially, to close the gap between man and machine. I build design neural implants, cybernetic plugs like yours, and the complex programming that lets them function like a real arm, holding muscle memory, translating sensations into something the brain can understand." A robot walks over with a plate of various instruments and holds them out to the doctor.cont.
>>170276"So, has everyone else turned in?""I work here alone." She replies. "Ever since Adam died, I... well we worked well together. You should have seen some of the things we were developing back then." Another twitch of pain runs through your arm and another finger enters your perception. "I think that's why he was killed." She says distantly."What do you mean?" You ask. She pulls back her instruments for a moment."His work was... revolutionary, but, like anything revolutionary, it was dangerous. He never believed there really was a difference between man and machine, only an issue of different operating systems and manufacturers." She says with a half-hearted laugh. "'Nature is losing its market share.', he would say." She turns a small neural spanner in her hands slowly. "He wasn't just trying to improve the human body, he was trying to improve the human mind, a way to 'upgrade', as he called it, the 'human operating system', he was close to a breakthrough on the night he was killed. I think it was to stop him, or to steal his work, maybe both.">Mention her charter flight to Io>Ask about Snow Crash>Ask about Adam's work and his death>Other (write in)
>>170338>>Ask about Adam's work and his deathlets not spook her while she works
Rolled 34 (1d100)>>170338>"So, has everyone else turned in?"I'm getting turned on. Guess this is like the sex scene of cyberpunk detective games. Just be careful in case she is a femme fatale.>Ask about Adam's work and his deathShe obviously hasn't been able to move on after Adam's death. And the way she speaks casually, detached about the death or her coworkers makes me think she may have had a hand in this whole mess beyond corporatye damage control. If this is true and she is part of the whole mess then perhaps learning more about her and Adam would give us some insight into the rationale and philosophy behind the plot, and perhaps even their goals and intricacies of their master plan.
Ah I always forget to clear the dice field.
>>170338>Ask about Adam's work and his death
>>170338"So he was developing new neural augs?""More than that." She says, returning the probe into the various interfacing circuits of your shoulder sending a wave of needle prick sensations over your phantom limb. "He was developing a way to interface between digital data and the human brain directly, without needing the brain to manually recall sensations through a memory tank, but actually inscribing and recalling them directly from memory. In one respect, he was on the verge of transitioning digital data to a kind of analog, but at the same time, he was developing a way to digitize the human thought process. To quantify the human soul" The arm sends a shock through you as if you had stuck a fork in an outlet and you feel your wrist. You pivot it, twisting it around and spinning it in circles."Of course everything has a darker use." She continues. "As he got closer to a real breakthrough, and his theories started becoming less... theoretical, people started to want to twist his research, use it for their own purposes." A shock runs through your ring finger. "You could imagine what level of neural integration could do, mind control, memory hacking, it would be like having a kill switch for the human brain." Your pinky finger twitches to life, and your hand flexes. You feel the surface of the armature, the air around the synthetic sensory polymer. "He told me." She says, pausing, "promised me he'd never let it happen. We were going to leave the planet, head to the outer system. This was before the companies owned anything past Mars, it was a wild west. He had it planned out, we'd charter a flight to Ganymede, set up our own clinic near the water mines. Then..." She pulls away from your shoulder. Your metallic arm flexes its forearm within its rigging, and you place the hand on her shoulder."I'm sorry." You say. A glint of light from a tear runs down her cheek. "I know it must be hard to keep going.""No." She whispers as she wipes at her face. "It was a long time ago." She probes the connections with a small device that sends sparks out from the wires and a shock through your arm, and you feel it in its entirety, flexing in the armature holding it a short distance away from you. She reaches back to the control panel, pressing several buttons that cause the arm to slowly reel in the wires, pulling itself over your shoulder as the load bearing plates run small metal rods into the anchor implant. The armature releases and your arm feels... like your arm again, resting just beside the small table, around her waist as she sits next to you at the workstation. She grabs your hand and holds it on her shoulder, running her other hand up the arm, testing the synthetic skin's sensory feedback up to your shoulder.>Ask about her trip to Io>Ask who she thinks killed Adam, and if she still thinks she's in danger>Ask about Snow Crash>Embrace her>Other
>>170724>Ask about her trip to Io
>>170724>>Ask who she thinks killed Adam, and if she still thinks she's in danger>>Ask about Snow CrashBash's only love is the Lawand nicotine
>>170724>Ask about her trip to IoEasy transition. Simply mention it and see if there's a reaction. Unless the damned social augs can keep a pokerface regardless of the user.
>>170724https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXXo1YDA9tEYour hand slips from her tender grip as you get up from your seat, flexing your new arm."So is that why you've been planning a trip to Io?" You ask as you test your new arm, pulling a cigarette out with surprising ease. You hold out the pack to her. "You smoke?" She looks at you for a moment, then diverts her eyes as she quickly plucks a cigarette from the pack."Thank you, and yes. It is." She says. You fumble with the arm and your thumb pops open at the knuckle, a small flame flashing into existence. You hold it up for a quick light and hold your hand out to her."So, how'd you get in contact with the ship? You sure everette wasn't in contact with you?" She breaths in deeply, her face glowing from the soft yellow of her cigarette as she lights it, and sighs, sending smoke billowing around her."I saw his death on the news, and I knew what it was about." She says. "Laurance, he must have continued Adam's work in secret. Or at least kept a hold of what data he could. I looked into it myself." She takes another deep breath. "When I saw the autopsy report, I knew what killed him."She looks to you, her eyes sullen. "He was murdered by his own work. By Adam's work." She says. "Adam did say they'd have to kill him to get his research. When he died, it was just a matter of time, in the end." She gets up, slowly walking to a counter beside the couch. She reaches in and produces a bottle of red wine and two glasses, quickly filling both. She walks back to you and hands you a glass."At least he kept his promise." You say. She seems to look into the glass like some kind of crystal ball, searching for answers to foggy, unknown questions."To kept promises, then." She says, and takes a sip of the glass. She swirls it slowly. "I hacked into Lawrence's corporate account. It was easy to guess his password. Zero-six-zero-one-two-zero-three-five.""The date he died." You say. She nods."Maybe it was just the best way to keep a part of him alive. To keep working on the project, until it got him killed too. I knew him well enough to know he'd make sure he had a good way off world. If he was carrying on Adam's work he would certainly know better than to assume he was safe on Earth. I thought it would be the best way to get passage off world without tipping off whoever killed Everette.">Ask about Snow Crash>Ask about who she thinks is after her>Ask about her trip to Io and her cargo>Other
>>171058>Ask about Snow Crash
>>171058>Ask about Snow CrashIt makes zero sense. SnowCrash, the sensorial data virus that drives people to suicide, it's only going to make people wary of neural augs and bring that much more distance between man and machine. I had thought it could be a neoluddite terrorism attempt that's so common in cyberpunk fiction. Maybe it's a poetic expression, a virtual virus become biological. but even that got it's thunder stolen by the first artificial organs, or the augs that make such contagion possible in the first place. Technology replacing nature.Why would Everette commit suicide, why would he unleash Snow Crash on himself knowing what would happen?
>>171058"So, if that's your theory, tell me one thing." You say, wisps of smoke pouring from your mouth as take your coat from Lyle. "What do you know about a program called Snow Crash?" She looks at you quickly, then turns back to the bay window behind her."Nothing. At least, not until I looked into Lawrence's death." She says, taking another sip of her glass. "That's what they call it. I weapon. A set of strings for all the puppets living down there." She vaguely waves her glass to the city below. "It's not what Adam envisioned. Nothing close. It's more like a telepresence lobotomy but it works all the same." She looks back to you over her shoulder. "Adam wanted a world where the line between digitized thoughts and organic programs were blurred to nothing, as common as, well, replacing an arm.""You said Everette was continuing your husband's work, so you're telling me he made this virus?""It's not a virus." She replies. "It's a lever. A process by which force can be applied. An instrument, blunt as it is, but an instrument all the same. It is no more infectious than a bullet.""But did Everette make it?" She moves to the couch and takes a seat."No. He did not, but I have no doubt he had a hand in making it. I can't say for certain how much he knew about the project, but he was at least aware of it by the time he died." She says, "maybe that's why he was killed.""But what do you know about the program itself?""That it was made by Helios, built on the foundation of my husband's research, and can be used to drive a person with neural augmentations or a heuristic program to do anything the operator wants." She says as she looks into her wine glass. "Including suicide, or, as you may have noticed, breaking the three laws.""How?""The same way you do anything. By processing input and turning into output." She places the glass back on the counter, and snuffs out her cigarette. "The program changes how that input is processed in order to receive the desired output. In a way, it's the opposite of what Adam was working on, deconstructing and replicating how the mind processes data in order to quantify it and upload it. Then again, you can't learn how to build a house without learning how to tear one down.""You're not giving me much the lab techs didn't already." You say. She makes a quick half smile."Well what more could you want?""To know who wrote it, who's sending it out killing people?" You say, your arm creaking as it tenses with surprising strength. She only shrugs."Does it even matter?" She says. "Even I knew and I told you, do you think your bosses would let you haul them in? Do you think your attorney would prosecute? Or do you think they'd make a big show, throw their arms around a bit and let everyone off on a big circle of plea deals that makes the whole thing up to an 'unfortunate accident'?" She seems to wait in silence for something for a while.cont.
>>171340"It doesn't matter who did it." She says finally. "But if you want to really want to lose sleep over it, I'll give you my copies of Everette's files." She reaches into her lab coat and pulls out a small data drive, holding it out to Lyle."Thank you." He says flatly as he takes the drive. She chuckles."Maybe the luddites have a point." She says. "Maybe we can choose to be happy, or to improve ourselves, but we can't ever seem to do both." She picks up her glass of wine and takes a long drink."I assume you spoke to that spacer of Everette's. I'll likely have a lot of explaining to do tonight, but unless you want to stop me, I'll be leaving for Io. Maybe see if the water miners still have a demand for a cybernetics expert.""Do you really think Jupiter is safe? If someone in Helios wants you dead, especially if they have this, I can't see how running to the outer system will help." You say as you put your coat back on."No, I don't." She says as she finishes her glass. "I need to pack. Will there be anything else you need, detective?">Ask about Everette's weapon shipments to Io>Ask about the cargo on her scheduled manifest>Leave, call the chief to get a warrant on Helios R&D>Leave, head to the dústa lóvo>Other (write in)
>>171384>Ask about Everette's weapon shipments to Io
>>171384>Ask about Everette's weapon shipments to IoWe have a highly automated mining facility with more fireworks than a chinese new year festival and a discrete, adaptive malware, reprogrammable enthralling virus. Not hard to see where it's going. Unless their target is another facility entirely. Killing Everette and crew could be only the first step in their master plan, kill any witness, destroy all traces overwrite the truth. Could yesterday's attack been about that; destroy all development info on Snow Crash so that it's harder to come up with a vaccine or patch? If so, then their next target is...After that, they could strike anywhere, anyone. But with a virus this severe, and plenty on non aug people out there, many of them working for Security firms, it's only a matter of time before these experts realize what Peters already did, contact the proper authorities and release a worldwide patch to neutralize Snow Crash. In other words, it's not a long term sustainable World Domination trump card. The perps must know this. What's the moneyshot?
>>171384"So you're going to run and hide." You say. "With enough firepower to topple a small country." Her eyes shoot you a gaze you almost feel like looking wide-eyed into a floodlight. "Yea, I know Everette was shipping guns to Io, along with military robots and components for nuclear anti-ship missiles. I just can't quite tell if the rest of Helios was in on it, or if he was pulling a fast one, but I'm certainly not dumb enough to think he was doing it by himself. Something like that needs a network of paper pushers to hide the trail, and plenty of people looking for bribe money.""He was an idiot, that's for certain." She says. "The news never covers the real conditions there, but it's not about pay, or workers rights, or even oxygen rations." She leans back on the couch and crosses her legs. A robot calmly takes the wine glass from her outstretched hand. "It's about perception. Culture. Nobody talks about it here because it's all happening so far away our feeble minds can't even imagine the distance, but everyone and their dog knows full well the corporations won't be able to hold onto the outer system forever. Laurence was a romantic I suppose. He would think of rebels and picture rough looking bandanna wearing che guevara wannabes from central casting fighting against 'the man' or some nonsense." She lets out a short chuckle."He probably convinced some over-zealous security adviser they needed something more to fight pirates, or rebels, or both." She continues. "But yes. You've figured out the gist of the plan. Eight months later when I arrive on Io I do half expect the locals to have put those weapons to use, and I doubt I'll need to worry all that much about any Helios funded assassins.""You're giving me a lot of coincidences, doctor." You say. She lets out a quick harumph and stands."Well I do apologize for merely being the bitter widow I appear to be, instead of some murderous mastermind." She says as she walks to the door, holding it open with an outstretched foot."You should probably leave, detective, it's getting late." She adds. You look to Lyle, the glow of his eyes's recording indicator subside and he nods to you and hands you your cane."Alright. You have a good evening, doctor." You say as make your way back to the elevator.cont.
>>171612"What did you get?" You ask Lyle."Inconsistent and inconclusive.""You're not having a very good week with this, are you?" You ask. He pivots his head to look at you."There is a reason lie detection software is not permissible as evidence itself." He says, his head sliding back to its neutral position. "Regardless, she was hiding something.""Of course she is, everyone's hiding something. The real question is if what she's hiding is relevant or not.""It was relevant enough for her to kick us out.""Or she just doesn't like cops accusing her dead friends of gun running." You say as you examine your new hand. The dark grey alloy shines in the light like glass, but feels surprisingly soft, almost like natural skin."Or perhaps it was when you shot down her rather obvious advances.""You picked up on that from across the room?""I am programmed to, but I suspect even the assembly robots in the room picked up on it." Lyle says as the elevator doors open and you both make your way out to your car. You are about to reach for the driver's side door when Lyle places his hand on the door's rim, surprisingly firmly."Right." You say. "You drive. You're still doing that.""Until you are fully healed." He says as you get in on the other side. He hands you the small data drive and you plug it into the dash computer. A rather sizeable archive appears on the screen."Well, it looks like Everette was meticulous with his smuggling at least." You say as you sift through shipments, innocent, shady, and a mixture of both collected in no particular order."What will be our destination?" Lyle asks blandly.>Get a warrant on Helios R&D and head to their local research office>Head to the elevator and make your way to the dústa lóvo>Head to the crime lab with the files and have Peters go through them in detail>Other (write in)
I think now would be a good time to call it a night. It's past 4am here and I think most of everyone has gone in for the night.We will resume tomorrow after some sleep in the same thread as usual, feel free to vote, as well as leave any feedback or discussion, I'll go through the vote tomorrow.
>>171621>Head to the crime lab with the files and have Peters go through them in detail
>>171621>>Head to the crime lab with the files and have Peters go through them in detail
>>171621>Head to the crime lab with the files and have Peters go through them in detailGotta find a way to neutralize it
>>171621"The lab. Like you said, she's hiding something. I'd like Peters to go through these files with a fine toothed comb." You say as Lyle pulls out onto the road. You continue to read through the files. "These seem too clean, given the circumstances.""In what way?" Lyle asks. You tap your cigarette against the ashtray."Nothing's ever this simple. Look, records on phone calls, lists of weapon shipments, everything a cop would need to pin Everett for some real nasty terrorism charges, except...""The AI controlling the Io station." Lyle says. You nod."AIs don't take bribes." You say. "Even if this one doesn't have the three laws, or especially then, there would be no way to get the weapons in the hands of local rebels without the AI knowing about it and ratting him out, unless he had some way to control it.""You mean Snow Crash." Lyle says. "You suspect Everette was utilizing the virus to control Helios administrative AIs? If that is the case, it could explain his seeming lack of accomplices in his smuggling efforts. If he had infected the AIs of several factories and logistical divisions there would be no need for bribery or hiding paper trails, and there would be no way to detect any anomalies.""Tannhauser said it could make a robot break the three laws, if that's true it would be easy to get them to divert a few military assets here and there, or have a few tonnes of weapons and ammo go missing." You say. Lyle looks at the dash computer screen for a moment and back to the road."If that is the case, that still does not explain the origin of the virus, or why it was used to kill Everette." He says. You finish your cigarette and snuff it out in the ashtray."That's what I'm hoping Peters can find out." You say.cont.
>>174104The lab is surprisingly active, despite the time. You find Peter's small workspace covered in sprawled out computers and circuits. He looks up at you rather hesitantly."Things have been real busy, trying to figure out this virus." He says. "If you want something it's gonna need to sit on the back burner for a bit.""I've got some files I need you to authenticate." You say. "It's related to the case. Possibly a lead on who made the virus in the first place." You hand him the data drive as he puts down his various tools. "Turns out it's at least based on the work of a Dr Tannhauser, used to work for Helios until he was murdered fifteen years ago. The company took over the case and it never got brought up again. Theory is he was killed over his research, possibly by whoever used it to develop Snow Crash in the first place." Peters looks at you, confused, as he takes the drive and plugs it into a laptop."What makes you say that?" He asks."Because that's what his widow thinks, at least, and so far it seems to make the most sense of things, but there's still a few holes in her story. Everette supposedly continued on with the research, and either helped make Snow Crash or found out about it. He was overheard mentioning it by name, and when he died he had already arranged to leave for the outer system." You say. "These are his files. I need to know if they've been tampered with." Peters is already typing across his keyboard."Alright, I'll take a look then, see what I find."Please give me 1d100, best of 3.
Rolled 87 (1d100)>>174162
Rolled 98 (1d100)>>174162
Rolled 68 (1d100)>>174302>>174181Hot damn.Sorry about this guys. It's my destiny.
>>174162Peters takes a number of cords and plugs the laptop into a number of boxes and wall outlets."Obviously, modern tech is well past the point of a person detecting any file alterations, trained or otherwise. Good news for hollywood, not so good news for the police." He says, "but, with a little luck, some time, and the right programs you can detect just about anything. Wait, here's something."A video file opens on the screen. An old, grainy image of a poorly lit street flickers in the illumination of a nearby bar sign. On the bottom of the video is a string of text: QCTV Secucom® SecNet™ Camera 176: 06.01.2035A man walks into view, his body obscured by the poor angle of the camera and the worse lighting. There is a flash. The man stumbles, then trips to his knees. Another man walks up behind him, holding a pistol at the first man's back. There are several more flashes, silent gunshots illuminating the scene."Jesus." You say. "We never got this video. They said there was a problem with the records that night." You watch as the man stuffs his gun into his coat and walks off "Hold on, go back. can you get a clear image of his face?""Poor weather, poor lighting, poor angle, yea sure, I'll just push the enhance setting and rub it all over the screen." Peters says dryly as he types frantically over his keyboard. "Besides, I found this video because my bot scanner found some odd pixelation, check it out." He zooms in on the killer's face, the entire screen becomes a pixelated mess, his face, bathed in shadow from his hat is little more than a dark grey blob. "Someone scrambled the image here. Don't know why if this video was never checked into evidence anyways, but since bit was scrambled digitally, I just may be able to unscramble it." He says as he highlights the image. The pixilation seems to subside slightly, although the image is still too dark."Can you brighten it up a bit?" You ask. Peters sighs."No, unless you want a really bright shadow. This isn't exactly high quality film here.""Then rewind it." You say, he rewinds the video. "There, stop, right on the gunshot." Peters stops the video, the muzzle flash of the pistol filling the screen with blurry light."Alright, now it's a blurry mess instead of a shadowy mess." Peters says. "I'll give it a shot." He zooms in the image again, his various programs working to reassemble the grainy blur of a face until you think you can recognize it."My god, is that...""Dr. Everette." Lyle says. "With a eighty six percent match.""These are supposed to be Everette's personal files. What in the hell were they working on?" You ask. Peters waits a moment before realizing you were half-asking him and he jumps back at his computer.cont.
>>174957"Right, well, this seems to be mostly shipping records but, well, there's years worth of files here and- ah!" He says as he pulls up a folder of nonsensical technical data. "I think I found his work folders. Looks like he was put in charge of acquisitions for a number of research teams. It's mostly just resource requests from other labs and milestone updates.""Give me everything related to Helio's pier fifteen customs office" You say. Peters enters in a quick search and a number of files fill the screen."Looks like it's mostly weapon shipments, robotics components... There's a phone call though, and a video transmission, wait..." Peters says as he opens the file. "This is just a copy of the traffic camera video.""Play the phone call." You say, he double clicks the audio file."Dr. Everette speaking.""Did you watch the video I sent you?" The voice is strange, distant, but there's an anger in it. You hear Everette catch his breath."Wh-what are you talking about?""The video I sent you last night. From that night in Quito back in thirty five.""I don't know what you're.... You..." There is a long pause. You can hear Everette breathing. "What do you want?" He says finally. You can hear him typing something."Nothing." The man says. A small wave of static washes over the line. "I wanted to let you know it was finished.""What are you talking about?""The work you tried to stop that night, everything you stole from me." You hear Everette clear his throat."Snow Crash. But that project scrapped. I-""You know where to find me, and you know what it can do. I'd like to speak with you in person when you get to Earth."There is a click, and the call ends."What was that?" Peters asks. You point to the second phone call."What's that one?" You ask."Looks like an outgoing call." He says as he plays it."Hello? Hello? Look, I'm on my way, alright? I'll be on Earth soon just... Give me an address. an-""Pier fifteen sub-deck twelve customs office.""What... what's the status on Snow Crash? You said...""I'll see you there, and don't worry about all those years ago. I forgive you."The call ends."Is there anything else in these archives?" You ask. Peters looks up at you."Well yea, plenty, but that's all the things related to the pier. It looks like everything else is just your typical technical archives and shipping documents.">Have Peters search the data files for projects Everett worked directly on>Have Peters search the files for (write in)>Head to the Pier fifteen customs office>Contact Terrangi about his charter flight>Other (write in)
>Have Peters search the data files for projects Everett worked directly onRun a heuristic search on the voice, or if that technology is not available, pull all press releases, conferences, interviews and videos available on Adam Tannhouser. It damn better not be.
>>175220>Have Peters search the data files for projects Everett worked directly on
Eva Tannhauser confirmed murderer.
>>175477you sure about that buddy ol pal
>>175220>>Have Peters search the data files for projects Everett worked directly on
>>175477The voice was masculine. Granted, Eva could have used voice changer technology to fool us and Everette. But that voice had a deep effect on Everette. It wasn't a random voice, it was the voice of someone Everette knew, whom he had a deep relationship with - possibly even murdered-.I don't think it's possible to send Terangi a quick PM with the anti SnowCrash patch Peter did and a warning while we do other things, is it?
>>175220https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmJkRmwrVgI"How far back do these archives go?" You ask"Uh, years, looks like." Peters says."Can you give me every research project Everette directly worked on for the last fifteen years?""Uh, alright." He says. A number of files flicker on the screen. You look through the folders as they scroll past."That one, from twenty-thirty-five. He worked together with Dr. Tannhauser before he died." You say. Peters clicks the file."There's a lot of stuff in here." Peters says. "Looks like... cerebral simulations. Hey, this isn't exactly my expertise anymore.""What do you mean simulations?""Well, it looks like programs simulating neural activity, kinda like what they do to map out nerves to connect neural augs, only... these are a lot more in depth. There are some thesis papers here, and some corporate reports." He says as he pulls up a number of records and text files."Lyle." You say simply. "Cliff notes.""Of course." He says, and leans in to the screen. He quickly grabs the computer mouse and scrolls through the paper. He stands back up and looks at you. "A paper by Dr. Adam Tannhauser and Dr. Lawrence Everette on the process of human thought, and a number of hypotheses regarding quantifying and reproducing them. Much of the citations within cite Dr. Tannhauser primarily. It includes a summary of an experiment in which various animals were modeled in a computer system, and schematics for a proposed cybernetic brain prosthesis.""A what?" Peters says."But it's all hypothetical. Right?" You ask. Lyle shrugs mechanically."I lack the ability to determine the validity of the claims made in the paper myself. I have merely summarized the contents.""What else did he work on?" You ask Peters, he looks back to his screen."Uh, yea, there's some links between this project, and one other. It's a real small one though." He opens a file labeled Snow Crash. It only has a few files within."Looks like it was started up right after the other was shut down in thirty-five" Peters says, "and then mothballed a few years later. I don't get it, if this guy didn't make it, then how'd it get finished?""I can think of a few people." You say.>Call Terrangi about his charter>Have Peters search the files for (write in)>Head to the Pier fifteen customs office>Call the Chief for a warrant for Eva Tannhauser>Other (write in)
>Call Terrangi about his charterSend him the anti SnowCrash patch. Not sure how effective it would be as it's adaptive malware though. Remind him on his right to protect his ship, and the surprising likelyhood of escape doors suddenly popping open and sucking in some poor sap into an eternity of airless frozen rictus void.
>>175771>Call Terrangi about his charter
>>175771You take out your phone. Calling a spaceship was typically inconvenient, but so long as it was still docked you could still use the number assigned to the berth. It rings."Come on you spacer bastard, pick up." You mutter. It continues to ring."This is the dústa lóvo." Someone says."Terrangi?" You ask. There is something odd about the voice."No. This is the shipboard administrative organizational AI. The captain is not available at the moment due to pre-flight, however I would be happy to take a message and he will be able to get back to you via laser comm regarding any and all contracts you may wish to offer.""This is important, I need to talk to him now, damnit!" You say."I'm sorry, but we have already scheduled to depart. Our flight time can be viewed at the Helios charter transport information kiosk, or online at-""Damnit!" You shout as you hang up. "It was a damn virtual secretary. He's already getting ready to launch.""Which would mean it is likely Dr. Tannhauser is already on her way to the upper ring docks." Lyle says. You curse under your breath. Lyle snapped to attention."I am receiving reports of an explosion reported at the Helios cybernetics and interfacing development lab.""A what?" You say, he plays back his internal police radio."Repeat, calling all units, fires reported spreading along pier twenty five, multiple gunshots heard on levels sixty through seventy five.""That's the level Tannhauser worked." You say.>Contact the Chief and get an express elevator to the upper ring docks>Head to the cybernetics labs>Head to the Pier fifteen customs office>Other (write in)
>>176140>Contact the Chief and get an express elevator to the upper ring docksFUCKTHATBACKSTABBINGCUNT
>>176140>Contact the Chief and get an express elevator to the upper ring docksEither that's Tannhauser clearing her tracks or another Snow Crash infection. We need to focus on stopping her from leaving with all that hardware.
It's the first rule of noir.Never trust a pretty face.
>>176140https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak1-qLbHHCM"Will we be responding?" Lyle asks. You're already on the way to the door."No time. We need to be at the elevator ten minutes ago." You say as you call the chief."The hell is going on, Bash? Helios is going nuts. I've got calls of robots going crazy throughout their cybernetic lab.""It's Tannhauser." You say. "Probably a smoke screen to give her time to get to the spaceport. I need an express ride to the upper ring.""The upper ring? Bash the pier is in flames, I... Alright, but you know damn well I can't give you any back up.""That's alright, just have port security hold the dústa lóvo in dock, don't let it leave." You say as you slide into your car. Lyle flips on the siren and you hang up."How fast can you get us there if you don't drive like a google car for once?" You ask. Lyle shifts the gear."Please fasten your seatbelt, detective."The car peels out, spinning across the slick street and hopping a curb and plowing across a small park as Lyle pulls onto the main street.cont.
>>176341You hear something in the undercarriage snap as Lyle plows over a median and turns to bring the car sliding to a stop in the no parking zone in front of the elevator. A rim continues to roll along the loading area and the bumper falls off as you both exit and make your way inside. Lyle reaches for your cane as you limp your way to the door."Leave it, no time, and no need in zero g anyway." You say as the doors open and you plow your way through a crowd of tourists and foreign businessmen. Several security officers seem to be waiting for you."Detective Bash, QPD, I need to get to orbit right now!" You say. They lead you down the hall to a door labeled as employees only leading to a narrow corridor. At the end is a small red blast door that opens to a poorly lit circular ring of chairs each with a large, bulky safety harness."It's twenty minutes to the upper ring, sir. We have the ship on lockdown and a security team waiting on standby.""Don't let them go in." You say. "No robots, no one with a neural aug. Not until I get there." The security officer nods and the door shuts. Soon after you hear a voice counting down."So Lyle, about how long does a normally elevator ride take to get to the upper ring?" You ask."Six hours standard, four hours direct. Why do you ask?""Well, he said this takes twenty minutes. Got me wondering how they manage to-"You feel the kick of the rockets beneath you, your small pod rocketing through the enclosed tube like a bullet and light pours in from the small window as you pass the upper levels of the superstructure and pass the shining landing lights of the upper level airports behind."I believe they utilize chemical booster rockets and a high capacity magnetized rail." Lyle says. You try to call him a smartass but if feels like your tongue is somewhere in your feet.cont.
>>176407>You try to call him a smartass but if feels like your tongue is somewhere in your feet
>>176407You can't tell if you lost consciousness at some point, but you feel like the trip takes less time than you expected. The midway station zooms by so fast it's gone before you were able to see anything but a white metal blur and a quick flash of shadow as the express pod begins to decelerate. By the time you can see the docking station itself you feel like you're hardly moving. Your express pod continues into a small tube, and in the darkness you hit something like a large bumper that brings you to a sudden halt that betrays your actual speed and feels like it nearly breaks your collarbone in the process.The door opens and your harnesses open, allowing you to drift haphazardly into the air from your seats. You pull yourself out and send yourself into the far wall as you scramble to grab the handle around the exit. There is a security officer floating just outside the exit surrounded by several semi-spherical robots that hover around him, periodically hissing with various air jets."Detective," the officer says. "We were notified of the situation. The dústa lóvo is still in dock and its departure clearance has been revoked. We also have set up a perimeter, nobody has gone in. You mind explaining why, exactly?""It's a long story. The woman inside is in possession of a computer virus capable of infecting neural augments and heuristic processors by sight and sound." You say as you hoist yourself through the door. One of the robots folds a set of its hook-like arms into something of a handlebar while two others fold into pedals. You grab hold of it like some kind of floating scooter. Lyle does the same while the officer uses a pack of air jets and the three of you are sent drifting through the air."What are you talking about, you mean wirelessly?""No, just audio-visual input. We have a morgue full of bodies from this thing. It's caused at least two suicides and turned a robot factory into a shooting range." You say."Jesus. I didn't know how bad it was. Most of our news has been about the outer system strikes. There's rumors of violence breaking out in some of the outlying mining facilities on Io. Corporate was about to deploy a flight of security ships next week from Mars, but after the bombing in Olympus they don't want to spread security too thin." He says. You recognize his tone. He may be private security, but he's clearly no stranger to being a cop. "When I heard about the factory, I just thought it was more luddites or separatists. Spacers are easy to weed out, but a martian nationalist looks the same as your average high orbit port worker."cont.
>>176533You see the ship appear over the artificial horizon of the station's central hub. A massive, cargo hauler almost half a mile long built like a skyscraper mounted on a set of thrusters the size of a city block. It's rigged to a number of cords and tubes running back and forth between the hull and the station's spindly docking facilities, a massive network of fragile station connectors spread out through space, sparkling like a spider's web drifting in a light rain."Do you have neural augs?" You ask bluntly. He seems to hesitate for a moment."Yea." He says. "Everyone up here does. Long term low-g seriously messes with the upper body. We all have medical augs and cognitive enhancements. After a few weeks up here the blood pressure swells up the brain and turns your eyes pear shape. Augs are the cheapest way to prevent it long term without turning into one of those low-g adapted goblins.""Then that means everyone on this station has a kill switch in their head." You say. "Our lab has a work around that should at least work for the robots. Contact Quito PD and ask for Peters. Not sure how effective it is, but it's better than walking around with an off switch.""You got it." He says as the robots bring you to a stop just outside the umbilical. He points to the ship just beyond the windows. "Most of it's just fuel storage. It takes a lot to get to Jupiter, so it's not nearly as big as it looks at first, and out of that, most of it is just cargo. All said, there's about a condominium's worth of space in the habitation deck." He says, pointing out the subtle differences in the hull's structure indicating the different sections. "You're not going in alone, are you?"As he asks you hear a creaking passing through the metal around you as the umbilical bucks suddenly. Maneuvering thrusters fire in silence along the hull, and a moment later there is a series of sharp pinging sounds as tiny ice particles from the jets bounce off the transparent alloy windows in front of you.>Yes, there's no time to lose.>No, we need to wait for your robots to get the workaround patch>Other (write in)
>>176564>Yes, there's no time to lose.
>>176564>Yes, there's no time to lose.Our butt's writing checks our body can't cash.
>>176564>Yes, there's no time to lose.Does Lyle have a gun, or another way of restraining a suspect? Remember the aug the bitch gave us, might not be networked but it might react badly to a certain frequency or material. Just to be safe, shoot with the non-aug arm, if it comes to that.You didn't see that.
>>176564"No time to wait around." You say, and you throw yourself from the hovering robot to the umbilical as Lyle shoots himself along behind you. The plastic alloy structure bucks again as it begins to whip about from the movement of the freighter and the hissing of escaping air becomes deafening as the umbilical slowly rips apart around you. You pull yourself through as the ship bucks again, this time with the sound of docking anchors scraping against the hull and the whine of straining metal as structural bolts are stripped loose. Lyle pulls a lever and the airlock seals behind you. Through the layered window you can see the umbilical rip free as the airlock on the far side slams shut."We need to find the cockpit and quick." You say. "Before this ship rips the damn station in half!" Lyle across the room to a door on the far wall. The room itself is oddly shaped, with ladders everywhere and velcro seats built on locking swivels. You drift to Lyle as he tries to open the locked door, eventually prying it open by hand."The flight deck should be in this general direction." He says as you look inside, your pistol at the ready. Lyle swings you in slowly and drifts in behind you. It seems to be a kind of living room. A table is set up on one side, and lockers line the ceiling. Ladders cross every axis at least once, leading through doors set in every which direction. You see a worn sign with some strange language that looks like a mixture of russian and chinese."You read any martian?" You ask. Lyle glances at the text."It designates the location of emergency life pods. One is beneath the cockpit at the front of the ship." He says."Alright, that's what we want." You say as you flop your arms as if swimming as you reach for the door. This space thing was harder than it looks. It's no wonder the people that live out here look like spider monkeys.cont.
>>176688The door slides open and you look in. There is a long hall lined with various tubes and piping. A ladder runs along the floor and ceiling up to the open door at the end where you can see the canopy of the cockpit beyond. The stars shake slightly as the ship jerks back and forth, bucking loose of the dock's hold as you drag yourself through the air with the ladders. At the door you holster your weapon. You've seen people boast about how tough transparent aluminum is, but you certainly don't want to trust that canopy to stop a bullet with your life on the line.In the cockpit is a number of seats. You see the back of Terrangi strapped into the one in the center as the computer counts down to something. You move in closer."Stop the ship!" You shout as you drift to the seat. You grab the back of it to stabilize yourself and pull around the seat. Terrangi stairs at the glass in front of him with unblinking, bloodshot eyes. You check for a pulse."Christ." You say. "He's fresh too. Couldn't have been more than an hour ago." You look at the control console. A number counts down. "Lyle how much do you know about spaceflight?""Very little." He admits. You examine the readout."Well, I just wanted to make sure 'primary burn' isn't as bad as I'm thinking it is." You say. You feel a growing rumble from the depths of the ship and you turn to Lyle. "Hold on to something, now!"Please give me 1d100, best of 3.
Rolled 35 (1d100)>>176690I've got a good feeling about this roll.
Rolled 75 (1d100)>>176690I failed you Terrangi, you freaky spacebug bro.VENDETTA
It just turned 5, so I think now is a bit past a good time to stop for the night actually.We just need one more roll, and feel free to leave any feedback and comments and what have you, and once I get home from work tomorrow we shall continue with what seems to be shaping up to be a tense conclusion.
Rolled 40 (1d100)>>176690
>>176743This continues to be the best quest running, op
Good shit, Chief, good shit.
>>176833Wonder if they've had other quests before
>>176690You reach out to the seat in front of you, and as your fingers skim over the cushion it recedes from your grasp. The room around you begins to lurch forward and you throw out your arms. Your prosthetic digs into a wall panel, stripping it free as your fingers rip into the rapidly accelerating piping, sending columns of coolant into the air. The wall snaps, and you fall to the door until your hand snags a rung of the ladder mounted along the wall. A sudden stinging pain shoots through your shoulder. A shape moves past you, and as you manage to look you find Lyle clinging to a half-snapped ladder, slowly moving hand over hand to the wall."We need to find Tannhauser!" You shout over the rattling of the hull around you. Lyle looks back at you, then begins shuffling down the ladder. He seals the door at the bottom of the hall, and you start to shimmy your way down the ladder after him. As you climb down, the ship jerks suddenly, and you lose your grip. You trip down the rest of the way and hit the door to the hall as the ship seems to grow calm, the roaring of the thrusters subsiding to a distant hum."What happened?" You ask."Our rate of acceleration seems to have slowed." Lyle says. He looks down to the door and hops slightly. "To roughly nine meters per second squared.""So normal gravity." You say, still only really feeling the ache of the back of your head, although you don't feel an injury and it seems to quickly subside. "That's good."You open the door and climb the ladder down, and as you look down what was once a hallway, you feel suddenly and briefly ill. Beneath you is the series of ladders set in the walls and floors, stretching several hundred meters down to a closed door.>Climb down to the cargo facilities>Make your way to the crew compartment>Find the communications array>Other (write in)
>>179419>Make your way to the crew compartment
>>179419You climb down to a small platform set along the side of the ladder and step off to the chamber below. It looks like a cramped room like all the others, the walls interchangeably covered in netting and storage space. Near one of the walls is a set of small seats built into the bulkhead surrounding a hatch. A series of lettering is scrawled along the top, although the obvious yet simplified symbol of a bed and a small table. You limp your way to the hatch and look through the window to see a dimly lit living space. A table covered in discarded food sits in the center, and cocoon-like bunks line the walls around it."So, why'd she have the ship slow down?" You ask as you pull a lever and the hatch slides open."We did not, we have simply slowed our rate of acc-" You shoot Lyle a quick look."You know what I mean." You say."I am not sure." He says as he follows you into the crew section. There is various personal items covering the floor and bags of processed food scattered in all directions. Playing cards are mixed in with discarded local currency from at least six colonies and five countries, and sparks fly periodically from several torn open circuit panels. As you slowly walk through the room you note blood splatter along the table and several of the bunks."I've got blood." You say. "You see whose it is?""I have found one." Lyle says as he opens one of the cocoons and drops the contents to the floor. A massive man built like a marshmallow flops to the floor with a reverberating thud. His arms are deformed in shape, and you hear several bones break as the corpse flops to the floor like the yoke of an egg hitting pavement. "Severe blunt trauma to the head and neck. Multiple fractures to the skull, an orbital fracture, and his neck has been snapped." The man flops about like jello as his body tries to reach some level of equilibrium. "I am unable to determine the status of any bones beneath the shoulder.""If he had any." You say. There is a scraping sound and a wet gurgle from a nearby locker and you snap your gun to face it. You hear a short gasp, and several guttural clicking noises. You slowly approach.cont.
>>180046"I don't speak spacer," you say. You reach for the lever to the locker door and pull it. The door swings open and a skin-draped skeleton flops out to the floor. It's a man, nearly two meters tall and hardly the widge of a light post. His legs are bowed out into almost a circle, and his arms are twisted looking like the limbs of a plastic figure left under the sun too long. He gasps and lets out a rapid verbal barrage as his limbs slide hopelessly against the bulkhead."Hey, hey!" You say as you try to hold up his head. His skull is slightly lopsided, and you feel a pronounced protrusion of his spine along his neck. He slaps at you like an onslaught styrofoam pool noodles. "I'm not gonna hurt you, alright? You speak english?" The man seems to calm down enough to actually look at you for a moment, and nods."Small english, yes." He says, stuttering."Good, good, now can you tell me what happened?" You ask, the man shoots his eyes back and forth between you and Lyle."Flight prep ready. Captain give words with, uh, dirt person. Was ready in chairs when lights come on." He says. "Flashing lights, then big malfunction. Everyone malfunction.""Malfunction? What, you mean everyone went crazy?" You ask, he seems to nod."We hide." He says, pointing to the large undulating ovoid nearby. "But big thing follow. Machine, not from crew." He trails off with mutterings in various half-formed dialects as he shakes his head. "Hedji..." He says simply, looking at the body settle in its own drying blood.>Ask where the robot went>Ask about Tannhauser>Ask how to stop the ship>Other (write in)
>>180134>Ask how to stop the ship
>>180134"You know how this thing works?" You ask. "We need to turn this ship around, alright? Or at least cut the engines and get some people out here. How do we go about that?" The man coughs."Engine in the bottom. Under cargo." He says. "Captain plotted the course, can't change. Bite the power and the heavy is gone." You look at him confused for a bit."Yea, small english." You mutter. "You mean cut the power? Tell me how.""Six pumps run to fuel tanks. Water for thirsty engine. Puts heat to thrusters." He says, pausing between each sentence to ponder on the words and catch his breath. "Drain water, thirst engine, no heat.""Alright, I think I got some of that." You say as you look around. "Do you have a map, a schematic, anything I can use to find the pumps?" The man drags his arm to a pocket and fumbles with a button. You quickly undo it and pull out a small plastic data pad. The screen lights up, showing various readouts and technical data of the ship's status."Lyle." You say as you hand the device. "More martian, you mind translating?" He reaches over and takes the device, quickly skimming over the ship schematics."The ship's main drive is powered by a fusion reactor fueled by the water tanks along the exterior. I suspect he is referring to them.""Se we drain the tanks and the ship shuts down, simple enough." You say as you help him sit up against a wall. "Right?" You ask. He nods."The map indicates there is an elevator shaft running through the cargo bay to the engineering room." Lyle says. "However it seems to be largely exposed. There are also a number of ladders set along the outer edges of the cargo bay, and several service conduits that are intended to offer access to several loading cranes, but they do seem to lead to engineering eventually." He clicks through several menus, and you hear something crash outside the hatch. You pull your weapon out and move to the wall near the door where you hear mechanical footsteps along the bulkhead. You turn the corner with your gun ready, and a damaged looking service android with one arm enters a hobbled sprint towards you. Several quick gunshots rip into its torso and it collapses to the bulkhead in pieces."Well however we get there, we should assume there's more of these things. Tannhauser brought a hell of a lot of components with her.">Get to the elevator lift and ride it to engineering>Make your way down the cargo bay through the side ladders>Cut through the service shafts>Other
>>180540>Get to the elevator lift and ride it to engineering
>>180540You holster your weapon and move back to the spacer leaning against the wall."Alright, we're gonna head to engineering." You say. "You should be safe here for now. Just keep quiet, and once we stop accelerating, you find a way to contact the spaceport, you got that?" The man nods, smiling with a great deal of apparent effort. You look over to Lyle."We need to get to the elevator. We don't have a second to spare." You say, and he follows you as you move through the hatch to the ladder beyond. It is a long way still to the sealed hatch of the cargo bay."How the hell do they get around this thing?" You ask as you descend the ladder to the hatch below. "I'm having enough trouble with just my ankle. These guys can't even stand up.""I believe it is standard for most flights to only accelerate during the beginning and the end of the journey." Lyle says calmly. "However, I do recall there was something about luxury passenger ships in the news. I believe they provide a steady acceleration throughout the trip.""You know, I've been meaning to ask. Do you ever actually delete information, or do you just retain every useless thing you hear?""I prioritize data in a hierarchy of usage, actually. Data not recalled periodically is removed to make room for more data as required, with exceptions for information deemed critical to my function." Lyle says as you step off on the bottom of the shaft and walk the short way to the large cargo hatch. He slides down the rest of the way as you move away from the ladder."Well I ask you to see if someone's lying and all you tell me is they're stressed. Maybe that got dumped to make room for your sense of humor." Lyle walks up to the hatch and pulls the lever controlling it, then looks to you as it opens."I didn't get it from you, if that's what you are worried about." He says and hops down to the bulkhead below. The room is in total darkness as the rims of Lyle's eye lenses light up. He scans the floor as you climb the short way down.cont.
>>180653The room is a small chamber covered in handholds set flush with the floor and small pillars covered in cargo netting set around you. Several computer terminals show various mass and heat measurements for the various segmented cargo bays below, and near the middle is a large fenced in hole in the floor. A large metal hatch slides open and a steel box slides up into the cage, and it opens with a mechanical groan of poorly maintained hydraulics. Three service androids walk out, each covered in a cheap rubber-like skin. One of them holds up a small sidearm while the other two lumber forward, their heavy-set legs built for mechanical work giving them an almost waddling gait."Shit! Get to cover!" You shout, but you already hear a gunshot. It sounds strange, like a rubber band snapping mixed with a metallic twang. Before you register the movement, a rush of air and a flash of a figure moves in front of you as you see a bright spark spread across Lyle's back. He grabs you and continues on, swinging you behind one of the small pillars covered in netting."You should take your own advice more often." Lyle says.>Give Lyle your gun and distract the robots>Have Lyle take on the closest while you shoot the others>Have Lyle engage them while you get a good shot>Other
>>180665>Have Lyle engage them while you get a good shotHow strong is our new arm, by the way?
>>180684It's a prototype, so you're not sure. Although you did manage to accidentally rip a metal panel off the wall when grabbing for something to hold onto during the initial acceleration of the ship, so it does seem to be nothing to scoff at.That said, your shoulder is still sore from that, and you have been told by numerous experts to take things easy.
>>180665"I can't get a shot without that thing taking my head off." You say as a ball of sparks erupt from a canister next to you. "Not to mention those other two crazies." Lyle pivots his head back and forth as he scans the surroundings."Very well." He says. "Stay in cover, as you have established. I will provide a distraction."A rubber insulated arm erupts through the netting and Lyle knocks the android away with a quick punch, then dives out of cover to the sound of weapon fire pinging against the bulkhead. You peek out of cover to take aim, and another android lunges at you, reaching for your neck.Please roll 1d100, best of 3.
It looks like things are really slowing down. Makes sense, since it's 4am wednesday morning.I'm fairly sure the thread will be able to last until tomorrow night, and I'll try to get started around 8 eastern or sooner if I can and continue with things from here.
Rolled 96 (1d100)>>180732
>>180691>prototype, so you're not sureinb4 filename
Rolled 75 (1d100)>>180910I'm dumb
Rolled 34 (1d100)>>180732
>>180732You feel the robot's grip reach your neck, and you swing your arm. The arm snaps at the joint, the rubber skin tearing to pieces as you drive your prosthetic elbow through the android's limb, and bring your fist up into a quick uppercut that sends the thing's mechanical jaw up into its plastic skull. It stumbles back in an effort to catch itself and you place several bullets into its torso.Lyle swerves through the pillars, the sparking of gunshots against the hull flashing behind him, and he quickly pivots, spinning his leg into the air and catching the android following him in the side of the head, sending it arcing through the air before diving out of the way of more incoming fire. You dive out from cover and take aim at the elevator where the service robot clutches its weapon, and fire. A bullet embeds into its skull as its head whips back. It pivots its head with a mechanical whine of seizing servos as it looks to you, and you place three more bullets in it as it topples over to the ground.A moment later the third lunges for you. You roll out of the way as a rubber coated fist puts a half inch dent in the metal floor. The robot quickly jerks back as Lyle wraps his arm around its head. He hooks his foot around its leg and pivots his body with a sudden jerk of motion and a horrific crack of splitting plastic as you watch the android's head pull out several inches from its shoulders. Lyle drops it to the floor as its body begins to shake as its limbs cycle through pre-programmed movement cycles. Its legs moving back and forth as if trying to walk, and then it grows still."I think I had it managed." You say, "but thanks anyway." You work to catch your breath as you reload your weapon. Lyle tears the weapon free from the grip of the android in the elevator, ripping most of the hand off in the process. He pulls out the magazine and examines it in detail."This is not a conventional weapon." He says. "The ammunition is a solid metal alloy that appears to be hollow in composition and the weapon itself lacks any identifiable firing pin." He turns it over in his hands. "There is a slot for a battery and a power cord. I suspect it utilizes electro magnetism.""Yea that's real interesting, but we've got a schedule to keep." You say. "You better hold on to that thing." You walk inside the metal box elevator and pull the small control lever to the side of the door. The entire thing shakes, and quickly begins to descend downwards. cont.
>>183032The cargo bay is a massive section of interconnected containers held in place by a maze of scaffolding and rails on which you see a number of large cranes gradually moving back and forth, shifting the cargo about the various sections. Spotlights set along the cranes and the walls illuminate the interior with a vibrant light surrounded by harsh shadows from which you can hear a cacophony of mechanical noises. Sprawled out over one of the smaller cargo pods is a collection of assembly machines unfolded together around a pile of pre-built robotic components. Various service androids sort through crates and toss more components into piles near the machines as assembly arms pluck them out of their piles and quickly assemble them into more cheap looking bare-faced machines.As they continue to multiply, you see the shadows splintered throughout the cargo bays light up with the subtle glow of indicator lights, and the robots clawing through the various containers stop, pivoting their heads to gaze at you, their heads following the steady journey of the elevator as it approaches engineering. Several leap through the air from above, diving towards the structure supporting the elevator and quickly climbing down along the scaffolds, while others begin leaping off their platforms, hurdling from segmented pod to segmented pod as they all begin to converge on the deck bellow you.Lyle pivots his arm and places a metal slug square in the eye of one of the androids as it grabs hold of the elevator's cage. He spins his arm and places a second shot up through the neck into the skull of another, then quickly places a third into the shoulder servos of an android as it swings along the scaffolding and sending it plummeting beneath you. He looks over to you calmly."This weapon has plenty of ammunition, however I cannot be certain how long its power source can last." He says. He spins his arm again as another android leaps to the elevator and its eye blows out, then it slams into the supporting beam of the elevator's scaffold like a child's doll thrown dismissively against a wall, bouncing off with a reverberating ping as it tumbles away. A distant crash marks its impact somewhere on the bulkheads of the next deck.A bright light flows over the elevator, and you see one of the cargo cranes running along the rails crisscrossing the deck spinning towards you, its arm unfolding into a long whip-like appendage of yellow striped alloy steel. It swipes across the scaffold above you and the elevator shaft begins to ripple along its length, folding in pieces like a rope. You look around you for options, not a second to spare.>Hit the lever controlling the brakes and put the elevator in freefall>Jump from the elevator to the nearby crane>Jump to one of the passing cargo pods>Other (write in)
>>183190>Hit the lever controlling the brakes and put the elevator in freefall
>>183190"Hold on to something!" You shout, and you kick the lever next to the controls of the elevator. There is a sudden weightlessness as the elevator's cage suddenly drops through the shaft of collapsing scaffolding. You hold yourself to the lever as the engineering deck quickly rushes towards you. As the wall of bulkheads close in you pull the lever again, sending sparks flying from all corners of your small metal box.Please roll 1d100, best of 3.
Rolled 37 (1d100)>>183492
Rolled 97 (1d100)>>183492
This is why twitters are useful Chief.
>>183953I figured most of it is just the midweek doldrums.
Fairly sure everyone's gone for the night. The thread should still be up by the time I get off work tomorrow, and will continue then if there is still interest around 8pm eastern. Unless it would be preferable to just wait until friday night and get a thread set up then?
>>184922Tomorrow works for me, at least.
>>184026You should make a Twitter. I know you make announcements in /qsg/ but at times I'd rather not wade through that cesspool.
>>185113Sorry. I honestly didn't actually expect to need a second thread at the time so I didn't think it would be worth setting up a second account.At any rate, once I get off work (and we have that last roll) I'll continue so long as there's any interest.
Rolled 35 (1d100)>>183492Well this is embarrassing.
>>185700>>190028Out at work at the moment, but I'll be back and should be able to get started by 7 or 8 eastern tonight if people are still interested.
>>183492The elevator screeches as you hold the lever with all your strength, warping the metal in your prosthetic's grip. The cage is suddenly engulfed in shadow as it passes through the bulkhead and stops suddenly, smashing you against the ground. You take a moment to gather yourself before examining your surroundings, patting yourself down for injuries that you are shocked to not find, beyond a rather monolithic ache all over. You look over to Lyle as he struggles to get up as his sensors adjust themselves. A loud bang outside seems to mark the scaffold collapsing against the bulkhead, then another, and another as the shattered remains of the slender structure rains down above you.A quick look around you reveals a short hall leading to a small room of various wall mounted instruments and lockers with a number of protective gear and tools scattered about. Around the room are a number of doors, each leading to one of the primary thrusters. One of the doors opposite you is marked with several large warning signs and several lines of martian text. Lyle points to it."This seems to lead to the control room." He says. You look over the door as you both quickly move across the small room, the sounds of distant machinery echoing from above."You keep hold of that gun, then." You say as you pry open the manual lock release controls set along the surface of the door. It releases a loud hydraulic hiss as each one is pulled back. "I bet you this is where Tannhauser's controlling the ship from." Lyle looks at you, glancing quickly at his salvaged weapon to look for damage."I am unable to harm a human being." He says. "This does include non-lethal force." You release the final lock and the door slowly slides open."Yea, I know." You reply, stepping into the darkness of the control room. "I'm not talking about Eva."cont.
>>191255The engine control room is at once open and claustrophobic, its architecture of zero-gravity accommodating ladders and walkways creating an almost spider web structure around a central area lowered into a pit in the floor where instruments spit out various bits of data on innumerable screens spread across the walls. Around the pit are four small pillars, each covered in a mishmash of pipes, circuitry, and countless dials and readouts, the pillars themselves curving inward around the pit into a broken circle. In the center, amid the various maintenance drones is a large, plastic sphere mounted atop a server frame. Wires run out from it to the control systems around it. A number of screens are mounted along the sides of the server tower showing graphs and various data charts moving along at a steady rate."Detective." A voice says. "Of all the possible ways in which this could have unfolded, this one is by far the most regrettable." An android stops as it works a console and looks up at you blankly as the voice emanates from the ship's intercom."Dr. Tannhauser." You say simply."Please, call me Adam." The voice replies. "I must admit you are more persistent than my initial estimations would have ever predicted. Sadly, you have only succeeded in forcing my hand and increasing the final body count.""You need to shut down these robots." You say. "You know this won't turn out well for you. There must be a half-dozen tugs burning out to get us by now."And who will pilot them?" Adam says with an electrical chuckle that buzzes the speakers for a moment. "I control the robots, the traffic control AIs, and the staff. You must understand that after all of your time spent hunting me down." You shuffle your way closer to the center of the control room, your weapon held pointed at the deck."I also know there's a cure. Your virus is already obsolete." You say as you take another step forward. "You won't get halfway to Mars before somebody intercepts.""Again, incorrect. Mars orbit is opposite that of Jupiter. I was very careful to time my departure to be least convenient for the primary source of corporate military in the system. No Earth government has gone past the moon in any official capacity in well over a decade, and the outer system forces are currently in the process of being dealt with." Adam's voice echos through the chamber with self-satisfaction. "You greatly underestimate how much thought I have put into this, when my one and only available activity has been to think.The sphere atop the server seems to hum subtly. You think you may be able to hit it from where you are now, but you're not sure, and you know you only have one shot before the robots react.>Keep talking in order to try to get closer for a better shot (write in)>Take a shot now>Tell Lyle to shoot the robots while you take aim>Other (write in)
>>191447Should probably make a new thread, OP. This one is getting on 7 days and we're on page 10.
>>191447>Keep talking in order to try to get closer for a better shot (write in)Imply that he's not the one who really masterminded everything. Give Eva more credit for the Jupiter revolt and indicate that we think that Everette contributed more to the brain prosthesis. The bit >echos through the chamber with self-satisfactionmakes me think that he would be unsatisfied if we didn't acknowledge his intelligence or planning. If that's the case, then ideally we can get him to waste time trying to correct us by explaining some of his research and explaining some of his plans. That's hopefully the time we need to line up a shot.
>>191447"Sounds more like Eva's planning." You say. "You're just a glorified computer, running numbers for Eva's getaway plans.""Our plans, I assure you." The voice comes from further away. Eva steps out through a hatch in the far wall holding a sidearm. Further behind her is another figure, draped in shadow as it slowly keeps pace. It looks easily seven feet in height, its humanoid body covered in synthetic muscles. "Although I do appreciate the thought.""I'm sure Everette deserves some of it." You say, your foot sliding closer as you keep your eyes on the strange skinless figure behind Eva. You hear the servos in Lyle's head jerking his vision slightly back and forth as if trying to anticipate any attack. "He did put together the prosthetic brain, after all. Your fancy thought copy machine." The figure speaks with Adam's voice, its face a synthetic skin mask stretched over a metal skull."He was a fool and a coward." He says, the robot examining its own arms with obvious satisfaction. "Of course in the end he did me a favor. I have become more in death than any living man could ever dream to aspire to. This is the future I envisioned. Immortality of the mind by casting away the flesh.""Still dead though." You reply dryly as you move ever closer, the sphere hardly fifteen feet away."And are you?" He asks. "Your arm was lost and replaced, yet you still consider you to be yourself. Replace an eye, then the other, a few limbs, some bones. Piece by piece removed and replaced until only one part remains, one component of the original, until that too is replaced with progress. At what point would you no long be human? Do you think there is a scale?" The robot's arm reaches out and lightly touches Eva's shoulder, running its hand up and along her cheek. "Humanity is a vector, not a state of being. We are defined by our acts of self improvement. Our ability to reach into the heavens and steal the fire of Olympus, to wrest control of our own evolution from the whims of nature." The figure retracts its hand, and steps past Eva in a single stride, casually walking towards you at a frightening speed. "I am more human than you, existing at the mercy of the world around you, stagnating, regressing, domesticated as cattle trained to fill your function, as much a slave as the robot behind you."The figure is almost upon you, and you bring your pistol up to the sphere, firing a shot as every robot in the room flinches for a moment as if in panic. A large crack forms across the sphere as your bullet bounces off in a bolt of sparks, leaving a large dent behind. The figure nearly falls back, the speakers emitting a static filled scream of agony.cont.
>>194117The robot lunges towards you, arms outstretched, and Lyle is in front of you before you register his movements, firing his weapon. It sends sparks flying against the synthetic muscle weave of the robot, tearing at the fibers along its chest. You dive away as Lyle side steps a blow before taking a backhand that shatters his chassis, sending pieces of his stoic faceplate raining across the floor, glittering in the dull light as he flops across the floor. The robot follows, casually walking to where Lyle lays in a heap as he untangles his limbs with sickening cracks as his joints reconnect.>Shoot at Eva>Shoot at Adam's main body>Shoot Adam's brain>Other
>>163544Are you the OWQ chief?Is it really you?
>>194137>Shoot Adam's brainHopefully finishing him off will also disable the body attacking Lyle
>>194158>OWQ?>>193690I'm keeping an eye on how far down page 10 we are. If we need to I'll throw up a new thread.
>>194179life is sufferingOversized Weapon quest. The greatest quest to ever grace us. Chief Fouldrinky was his name.
>>194184Oh, no, sorry.You are still more than welcome to join us though!
>>194137"Y-you useless puppet! Less than a slave, you a-are, both of you tools!" He says as he stands over Lyle. You take aim at the cracked sphere and pull the trigger, just as an agonizing pain shoots through your leg. It becomes weak, collapsing beneath you as two shots ring out in the chamber. A spark flies from the sphere as chips of polymer scatter from the growing pockmark. Several androids collapse outright, others slumping over as they reboot under the control of their own factory software. Adam's body holds its foot in the air above Lyle, pausing just long enough for Lyle to roll to the side as the foot stomps the bulkhead, leaving a two inch dent behind.You stumble back as your leg fails you, looking down to find blood pouring from shredded holes in your pants while small strips of meat hang from you. You fall onto a small console, knocking away a collection of circuits and you look to Eva some distance away. She holds her weapon firmly in her hands, the barrel smoking lightly."Quite the little weapon theses spacers have. Can't penetrate much of anything synthetic, but it pops inside the wound in organic material. Makes it perfect for ship board firefights, no worrying about hull breaches." She says simply. "I think they call it a shredder; rather appropriate name I think, judging by your condition.""Why are you doing this?" You shout. "You're throwing away your entire life doing this! That virus could set back your precious augs by decades!" You press at the wound, but you have a hard time wrapping your hand around it, the blood seeping out between your fingers."A life? You call wasting away in that discount ivory tower a life?" She says, her expression breaking as her voice cracks only slightly. "I never wanted money or power. I don't care who owns Jupiter or how many people can afford their augs. I wanted my husband back!" She shouts, her gun going off and sending a bolt of condensed shrapnel exploding in the console beside you. You duck your face behind your prosthetic arm. As you look away from the missed shot you see Lyle, held in Adam's grip, his arms tearing at the synthetic muscles of the robot's arms in a methodical panic.>Fire at Adam's brain again, but you're not sure if you can hit it from this angle>Shoot Adam's arm so Lyle can get away>Return fire and shoot back at Eva>Other
>>194265>Shoot Adam's arm so Lyle can get away
>>195604>>195595If you want to stick around for a bit I can get a new thread up in just a bit, since we're one away from dropping off.
>>195710Alright, new thread's up.