Its that time of the month again (and a day late, apologies)!Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=LOIGTwitter: twitter.com/GuyWithParrotYou are Durendal, an ancient God-Machine. Arbiter, warrior, and deity made metal. You defend the city of Thebes. Not the ancient one, but a modern one by the same name.As you shake off the idle minded thoughts of a sleeping mind you find yourself once more in the square, still lined with people from the night before when you settled, standing through the night. Some have brought tents, chairs, bedrolls, all manner of things to stick around and watch you.While some part of you appreciates it as if it were a form of solidarity, it is rather disconcerting.On the other side, near the half constructed palace, separate from the others, you see a collection of figures, most of them young. Atlana, the maid android who had chatted with you there is among them, as well as some grumbling old man following her closely, and the man you recognize to be the council member who had recognized your arrival with religious fervor a few steps behind. She's walking up and down a line of the younger figures like drill sergeant, occasionally pointing her hand into the air to punctuate some speech you can't hear, much to the disgruntlement of the other two. At least she's enjoying herself.You finally shift and move, making your way over. Stray peices of earth still dislodging themselves from your metal body from the evening before. Most every head cranes to look at you. Not that you can approach quietly, with footfalls like cracks of thunder.Atlana immediately queries you for a connection, which you accept out of hand."Good morning! I hope you slept well, or whatever it is you do.""Sleep is appropriate. What's this?" You step a few dozen meters from the line up, less than a footstep for you. A few in the line shrink back in fear, and the council member does his best to keep his composure."Its what you requested! Or at least what we could manage. I don't exactly know what qualifies as a pilot, so we picked a few of the braver and well known volunteers."
Your eyes flash with a golden light for a moment, studying each and every one, and passing over them with scanning gaze, and a pilot handshake. One's hand springs to their head, grasping it as if in mild pain, another takes another half step back. Neither of them succeed even an initial connection. Another shields their eyes from the light of your eyes before slowly lowering it out of the way, peering over. They succeed the handshake, but no further.Two complete it, and their minds surge forwards into your vision. One is alien, eccentric, surging with a curiousity unbound, the other was more tempered and resolved, knowing what they want, but not how to grasp it. You pick them out of the line. The curious girl, and resolved boy. The curious stands tall, staring at you in awe, and the resolved slouches, studying you as you study him with a wary eye.Both of their synchronizations are, expectedly low. They're new, fresh to you, and you can only feel the surface currents of their minds, but even this is enough to sooth you some what. You extend an arm and close your hand of all but one finger, which you use to point at them."Although, it seems we searched well enough!" You can almost feel Atlana's excitement again, but this time she curteously doesn't begin to barrage you with more messages.The girl you point to actually jumps for joy, letting out some elated non-word, while the boy breaks into a laughing grin. They both pause and turn to look at each other in confusion. The boy remains focused on his apparent competitor and you can feel his cogs turning, seeing her as competition while she looks up to you and reaches out with her mind for an answer. There isn't much for her to feel or for you to give her, however. Not this soon after first contact.>She's too much, too fast, too unfocused.>He sees you as a tool.>Its too early to decide. Ask Atlana about them.
>Its too early to decide. Ask Atlana about them.
>>2949363>Its too early to decide. Ask Atlana about them.
>>2949363You let out what can only be interpreted as an internal sigh. This was neither a decision you can afford to rush into, nor was it one you ware, in truth, were ever intended to make. In times long past you would be assigned someone who had run through a simulacrum of you. Something close, an immaterial emulation.Now, though, you need to do this cold."Alors. Who are they?"Atlana obliges you after a moment. You can see the woman collecting her thought in the corner of your vision, as well as the old man departing, shouting angrily at her. You surmise that it may well be the man who she had worked for as a maid before."I don't really know the girl beyond her relations. She's a daughter of mister Edwards, the head councilman. Calliko, I think her name was." You survey the council member again, this Edwards. His lips are drawn, expression tense, and stands a few feet behind Atlana, looking to his daughter and you."The guy is, however, someone I know personally. Aristides Galdo. Before the Duchy came in his grandfather ran a nearby city, named Ephesus. The Duchess had them stripped of title and property when her forces seized it, and they eventually left for here. We were sort of taken over too, but they stuck around.""Is this all the sons of nobles and politicians?" It looked somewhat suspicious."No. Most of them here, aren't. Actually, more than a few are from the local defense force. He's a member, himself."It occurs to you after some thought to ask for another."What of that Alexander Campton? The pilot of the Duchy God-Machine?""Is that a joke? I mean, I could ask, but I don't think any council member would ever allow that."Even as you question, the two below you begin to survey their connection. Calliko openly, unguarded and wondrous at the simple images of your thoughts as you converse, Aristides like a cautious surgeon, prying cautiously at the snapshot of Alexander, ever interested at the competition.>Have her ask for Alexander anyways.>Pick one.>Write in a question.
>>2949393>Write in a question.>Tell me about yourselves. I don't want to know what battles you have fought or won, I simply want to better know who you are in your own words.
>>2949490I can back this
>>2949393You opt to have the android relay a question."Atlana, ask them to explain and introduce themselves. I want to hear it from them. Who they are, not necessarily their stories."She hesitates a moment before nodding and turning to pass along your inquiry while you ruminate on the lack of fundamental communication. You were never meant to be without a pilot to speak for, or on some occasions, through.Aristides casts only a sidelong glance to Calliko before taking a step forwards, speaking loud and clear, in the way one would to a crowd. He's tall and narrow. Still youthful and still growing into himself with the pale skin of someone accustomed to life indoors. The jacket he wears seems like it was meant to be formal. Likely an officer's jacket for the defense force, but its left unbuttoned, revealing a white t-shirt beneath. "I am Aristides Galdo, son Caleb Galdo. I am the proper heir of Ephesus. Know me, machine, because with or without you, the city will be mine as it was meant to be. My family paid in blood to try and keep a hold of their rightful place, and it will be taken back." He stares at you in almost burning defiance, and you can feel a surge of pride and ferocity in him. Its reminiscent of your old pilot, but lacked the more pensive, empathic undertones."I'm sure you don't care for the Duchy either. Fight for me, and they can be brought to heel." He lets it linger there, and you think at first he missed the point of the question, but the basic fundaments of the connection suggest otherwise. He's consumed by the goal. He has a purpose for you, although a risky one, and there is no telling where it would take you in the name of his ego.Calliko, however, has patiently waited quietly, and now remarks in an even tone, "And I'm Calliko Edwards. I'm not really sure how well you know my father, since you just got here, but he..." She drifts off for a few moments before continuing. You can feel a degree of unreadiness, but also her feeling of necessity to push on in spite of it."He's done his best to shield us from the worst the Duchy has to offer. I just want to prevent the worst from coming to pass and having them attack here again. I want to help you defend Thebes. And the people in it. I don't know if I'm the best choice, but I'm willing to find out."She definitely seems to embody the empathy of your former pilot, and she hasn't stopped trying to wedge he way into your head since you started. Its given you a more immediate purchase in return. You catch the occasional stray thought and fleeting memory. Simple things. Exploring a creek while her father fishes in her youth. Flashes of the red and yellow of Duchy tanks in the streets of Thebes. She seems little older than Aristides, dressed in a long, simple dress. Streaks of red hair interrupt its blue, meeting against sun burnt shoulders. You feel she's untested, over-stressed, and worried, feeling the weight of this city on her shoulders.>F:\>Atlana:\>Well?
>>2949535Its a question and a half to be asked of you, with this many variables in play, but you choose the one most comfortable to you. Turning your hand over, you lower it to the ground in front of Calliko. Her father acts before she does, the aging man actually popping off, and pumping a fist before glancing around as if to make sure no one noticed he had."I think she will do, but we will see. Thank you, Atlana."Calliko's expression brightens a fraction and she covers her mouth with both hands. Her emotions surge and broil. Fear, joy, excitement, hope, worry, coming and going in intense waves."Congratulations. Seems like its made decision." You flick your attention back to Aristides, and in turn you can feel his frustration before you cut your connection to afford a better one for your new pilot in training. His face is tight. Not necessarily angry, but disappointed and all at once tired.The girl squeaks from behind her hands, a bit of a misfire attempt at a thank you before she pulls them away and manages to get it out properly and steps up onto your hand, resting a hand on one of your finger's for support. You lift her easily, the woman barely as tall as the length of a finger, and once she reach's shoulder's height, you open your cockpit. The front of your neck folds open like gull wing doors, revealing a sort of 'pod' area inside."So what now?" Atlana rings in your head. It occurs to you it likely wouldn't be terribly long before Calliko could follow the conversation as well, depending on how things went."Now I try to get her acclimated." A glance at the ground revealed Aristides sulking away, hands stuffed in pockets, and Mister Edwards near panicking as Calliko climbs into the cabin, which swing shut behind her, leaving her in the blue light of your screens. "Do tell him she's fine. I'll have her back by evening."Somewhere down below, Atlana laughs aloud before taking the man's shoulder.Your own head is swimming while your new pilot takes her seat and she speaks to you in a soft, unsure voice, "So how does this work? Do I just..." She lets out a surprised sound as the control interface raises from below. Grasping both of the control sticks, she settles back and takes her first action as your pilot.To anyone outside, you'd have just T-posed. A goofy sight, but immediately after she gives your torso a twist left and right, as if stretching. "So I guess this will be sort of like exercise in a way?" The question is honest, and simple, and your answer, albeit in her head, affirmative.She turns you about and heads out of the city, walking slowly. Very slowly. Tediously carefully. Otherwise, so far, she's doing fine, but how much of that is you telling yourself that, her telling herself that, or how much you actually believe it isn't clear."So, where are you from? I mean, I don't think you can really show me... I've heard you might be able to but there's so much myth that I don't really know for sure..."
>>2949698You do your best to oblige regardless, bringing images of your hangar forwards, but you can feel in your mind her pressing further still, further back. Her wonder only deepens as you find yourself looking down at the heavens from above in some observatory. You can see ocean, dotted by tiny lands that stretches not for miles, but for dozens of millions of miles until the haze of your inadequate optics overtake them. Around you is another hangar. Vast, but scattered with other God-Machines. Old ones, such as yourself."Wow." You distantly feel her, know she's there, watching with you, your hand pressed against the glass of a window twice even your vast height, and then it begins to fade. Not from memory, but your focus, and you find yourself near a creek, where she had brought you. "Maybe... one or two of those legends are true..."You mull it over yourself for a few moments. Much of your past was shrouded, forgotten to eons of idleness. Of empty, thoughtless waiting for a tragedy yet, or never to arrive. It wasn't a matter now though. Now, you and Calliko must grow acclimated together. You're not meant to train her, but just as the simalcrums used to, so can you. Any action you'd take would put mental strain on her, but it also could teach her the process on its own.>Take it easy. Work her through the basics one step at a time.>Take it from the top. See what she can keep up with and go from there.
>>2949701>Take it from the top. See what she can keep up with and go from there.
>Take it easy. Work her through the basics one step at a time.can we play some music for her?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58NKCwjz6e8
>Take it from the top. See what she can keep up with and go from there.
>>2949701No point in being squeamish about it. Discomfort may be fleeting, but dying tends to be a more permanent affair.You perform two warningless suicide dashes back and forth over short distance, pivoting and careening through the loose top soil. You can immediately feel Calliko's mind reel at the experience. You've had it explained to you once that the sensation was like motion sickness, but for one's soul, and you can only imagine that's how she feels right now.Your hand springs to your blade as your feet slide at the apex of a third dash, plunging it into the ground to slow your momentum. For her, panels are flicking on and off on their own, control sticks moving without input, a pedal suddenly dropping, but the inputs and their meaning passing through her on your way into the motions."Slow, slow, arretez!" She likely didn't even say the foreign word consciously. You're doing something akin to forcing your mind onto hers, at the moment, and your thoughts must be oppressive and uncomfortable.Letting out a scream she yanks one of the control sticks back, your fingers coming free of the hilt of your sword, leaving it planted in the ground once you've come to a stop. Her feet snap down on pedals that a moment ago she didn't know was there, and you fall to your knees while she cries in distress. You can begin to feel it now. A violent, throbbing pain in her head, and a deep sickness in her stomach. Your mind flashes back to Primo's rage and violation and a familiar disquiet builds inside of you, repeating the same line.'J'regrette.'But it comes through clear in her mind, and even as you feel her pain you know you've come to a firmer connection in the short time, uncomfortable as it was. And still is.She speaks aloud in answer, "Just stop... Don't do anything." Not that you had intended to move at this point. Her synchronization with you fluctuates, and she brings a fist down on bare segment of control panel with one hand, and brings your fist through open air with the other, hand clasped tightly on the control stick until you lock it in place to save her the feedback.Leaning over the same control panel she lets out a few raspy sobs, whipping at her eyes with the back of a wrist, "It's not supposed to always hurt like that, is it?"'No.' You're not right sure how to comfort her. If you even should. She's going to have to be a fighter, and some times take your own pain, just as you can increasingly feel hers. Your own vision swims, splicing with hers, her mind thoroughly in disarray as she tries to right herself on the seat."That's a start." Calliko presses the blades of her palms against her eyes, dulling the pain some what as she calms down, "Alright... Alright I think I can just..." She winces as she takes the comparatively simple task of getting you standing once more.Something shifts in her there, though, and she lets out a curse, spitting over the side of your control surface as she pushes you into a slow jog.
>>2950140"If you do that again like that, I'll, I'll..." She drifts off and lets out a cathartic laugh as the two of you move, almost as one. You can still feel twinges of discomfort and vertigo. Habitating another's body is no small task, let alone when one person is five and a half feet tall, and the other fifty and then some. Running you through a few simple checks, she grasps the sword over your shoulder, opens the plating to your chest burner entirely of her own accord, even hopscotching on open ground a few times before slipping into more elaboration, drawing the sheathing the blade mid hopscotch, giving it a few one handed and slightly unsure swings. She does eventually bring you to slow and stop, quite a deal further down the length of the creak, approaching its end.The change of momentum though sends a rolling wave of naseau through you both, and she slaps the open cockpit button, practically drags herself to your opening plates, and vomits her breakfast out the gap, no longer able to hold it in now that she has relaxed. You give her the best mental pat on the back you can manage while she spends a few moments more spitting to try and get the taste out of her mouth after sitting up.No words needed to be exchanged, even in your heads for you to move back to the creek side and, with the aid of your hand, set her down by the water. You lower yourself down on one knee not too far away, from the water while she washes her mouth out. Once done she turns to face you, gesturing with both hands."You're an asshole, you know that?" In spite of her harsh reaction, theres more than a hint of thrill there in her, excitement bubbling just below the surface. She suppresses a giddy laugh and spins in the open air, thoughts resurging of happy days by the same body of water and an overwhelming sensation of liberation."That's alright, though. We sort of needed one anyways. We'll keep the Duchy off. Like Jun on his porch." The image of an old man on his porch with a rifle leaning against the wall slips past, and soon after you sitting there, with you're sword in the rifle's place. Giant white fuzzy beard and all. As the two of you drift back into the city and into the square you notice a fair bit of bustle around the palace. The giant throne, originally intended for a statue is now surrounded by maintenance scaffolding, the top of it carved with your name."Dammit dad..." Calliko has already picked out the man in question, pacing a tad worriedly near the recent construction. As you approach and set her down in front of him the same reaction surges to the minds of the two of you."Will it at least work?"Mister Edwards gives a relieved laugh, "Well, at least it your little trip went okay, then... And of course!">Give it a try, you're still dinged up a bit from Primo.>"This is way too impractical."
>>2950148>Give it a try, you're still dinged up a bit from Primo.
As a side note, I keep reading "Calliko" and thinking of the breed of cat. So, I start thinking we're being piloted by a cat or cat-person, even though I know that's not what the character is.
Welcome back, OP. Was worried when you did not post yesterday, I was warmly waiting my The Big O pics. Will catch up in about 20 minutes, when I'm free.
>>2950148This is, simply put, ridiculous. You would never put up with a- You're sitting down. Calliko is down there arguing over it with her father, but you're sitting down.Arm's swing around in front of you and pass over with an automated scan. It takes you a moment, but it seems like these are the very same arms from your hangar. It seems the team sent out there had worked swiftly in recovering some materials.A second set of arms turn around, burning white hot and roll over your surface, melting and smoothing over the surface before a third set its way over as well, cooling the plates at an appropriate speed and finalizing the swift cosmetic repair with a fresh coat of paint.By the time the process is finished, Calliko is still arguing the point of its absurdity."Well where else would we put him?""I don't know, some part of the league's storage?" She has taken an exasperated tone by now, and you can feel the twinge of embarrassment."Magnus would never allow it. Besides, its something to be proud of and display!""That will just-" 'call down the Duchy upon us.' you finish as one. Even you find it a tad foolhardy, "Its in the open and will let anyone see when repairs are happening."Mister Edwards grimaces a pinch, "Fine. I'll look into it. But I won't promise more than that. Just making what it is now was expensive.""Dad, just... don't worry so much about showing off. We'll be fine, just think with your head, not your pride."He nods slowly, "About that Alexander boy, though. He kept asking about the pilot... Should I inform him it was you or just keep quiet about... you know.">No sense keeping him in the dark.>He could still escape, and if he does, any bit of information held back is valuable.
>>2950348To be fair, I keep thinking of the crappy Calico pistol. I've had fun with names.>>2950405And cheers for the concern. Was simultaneously a busy and quiet week. Went back and forth between the extremes.
>>2950417>He could still escape, and if he does, any bit of information held back is valuable.As a side note, what are some thoughts on perhaps allowing Aristides a ride tomorrow? There are a lot of variables when it comes to protecting others, so we want to know our choices. The way I see it, a lot can happen, and humans aren't nearly as resilient as giant robots. So, say something does happen to Calliko, Aristides - who was our next best - isn't completely lost when tossed behind the controls, and also so he doesn't feel left out or unworthy and remorseful, resulting in him running off and do something incredibly stupid, likely resulting in us having to fight him (Or a brainwashed version) in an epic climactic battle
>>2950417He could still escape, and if he does, any bit of information held back is valuable.
>>2950417>No sense keeping him in the dark.For similar reasons as >>2950540 states.I'd actually like to get a little bit of a connection going with Aristides and Alexander. Alexander would be an interesting partner, or at least a good source of intel about the Dutchy as a whole. Plus I'd like to see if we can win him over. Seemed like he was a lesser lordling in charge of a crumby God Machine and Tributary. If we can get him accepting the role of a guardian rather than an extortionist, he could either be a pilot or a wingman.Plus, the ability to have a fallback pilot wouldn't be too bad of an idea. These are not purpose-trained pilots or soldiers from the peak era of God Machines. These are two kids who just happened to get a handshake established in an era where we are more myth than anything. If one just can't handle the mental toll of fighting day after day, it might be nice to have another to handle some of the fights.Also, OP, can we pull a Pacific Rim here? 2 Pilots for lessened load on them, and greater response?
>>2950606Due to the nature of maintaining a connection, God-Machines which use multiple pilots are particularly rare. Its less of a matter of the difficulty of piloting one, generally, and more a figuring out ways to bridge the gap between the difference of information processing. When a pilot sees, for example, an android, they see their physical form, hear their voice, and can feel their surface. A God-Machine meanwhile, reads their connectivity and information input and output, and can see them. When their minds have completed a handshake they're both getting this surface level information starting to be shared. A person generally finds a lot of these differences irreconcilable, thus, most people fail the handshake stage. Those that can manage, typically need an adjustment period, where both them and the God-Machine find ways to bridge the gap in understanding, similar to how Atlana's connection has become parsed as speech. So, unless they develop parsing it all in the same way at the same time, it will be a fairly bumpy ride. This doesn't prevent different pilots from operating a God-Machine, as each pilot's adjustments are stored separately, but only one set of adjustments can really be handled at a time on the God-Machine's side.
>>2950417Both of you debate the idea internally, but for now it seems best to keep quiet about it. He's an unknown quantity and when so is a large part of the Duchy, its hard to afford him any possible leg up."I... Really don't think it'd be great to let him in on any of that. Telling him there was no pilot would probably just hurt his pride, and telling it was me... wouldn't be much better and probably tell him a bit more than he should know."With another wistful nod Mister Edwards sighs, "Ah, perhaps for the best, then... Still, taking the wind out of his sails would be fun."Calliko shoots him a bit of a playful glare before he adds, "But safety first! Also, dear, you simply must come back home for lunch. You're mother is still worried sick and nothi-" The aging man begins to practically doppler out, setting a hand on Calliko's back and hurrying her towards what you assume must be their home. You start to move to follow them, when you receive an interesting query. >F:\>guest deus acceptprobe-Y/N?I'll leave it here for tonight and pick things up again tomorrow evening.
>>2950786This was a similar command to the one we used to override Alexander's God Machine, right?>Y?
Yes! I love this quest
Apologies. A recent hire no showed yesterday and I wound up coming home dead tired.>>2951259Its how you established a connection to Primo, just from the other end, and with the luxury of having an actual filter for it. Primo lacks a lot of the security features you do.>>2950786There can really only be one God-Machine around trying to contact you, and its one you're far from afraid of. You accept the handshake and brace for whatever state you find them in.>Retrying...>Reign JustlyFortunately, Primo is calm this time. Its limited intellect worms its way across your senses, seeing as you see for a brief moment before you cut it off, mere packets having been exchanged before the boundaries were set.>F:\>deus:\>Where is Alexander?The question puzzles you at first, and so you press forwards, into its mind, to see what Primo sees. Its not an easy task to put together just what it is, that he's looking at first. Steal beams criss-cross along your vision in an ever higher dome of steel.It occurs to you that the only place they had to contain him securely was likely some old hangar. In either corner of Primo's vision lay tanks. Likely off, but not unprepared.Its not hard to surmise that Alexander is being held not far from his God-Machine. Considering that Mister Edwards seems to know where he is to talk to him, he's probably either close at hand in the palace building, or in the same camp. You run a brief depth scan, checking just how deep Primo has wedged himself in your mind, just to be sure, and answer in mostly truth.F:\>send -I don't know.Lying to a God-Machine is typically hard. Doing it while directly connected to its mind is often a different thing entirely, but you can manage. It helps the one you're lying to only manages to fit the category by hanging on its fingernails. It goes quiet for a time and you can sense its worry, which you try to allay. No need for it trying to make its way there by force, not that you think it could manage in its condition.F:\>send -He is certainly safe either way.You wait a bit for an answer, but none comes, and a few milliseconds later the connection cuts and you're put back to you're senses, now alone aside from the crowd of observers in the square.>Track down where Alexander is. He can't be far, or hard to find if he's under guard.>Visit Atlana. Her connection is easy to reach, and she's a good source of information.>Catch up with your new pilot. Calliko's family seems to be just down the street, from what you can feel of her.
>>2954303>Visit Atlana. Her connection is easy to reach, and she's a good source of information.We could ask her where Alexander is.
>>2954303>Visit Atlana. Her connection is easy to reach, and she's a good source of information.
>>2954303>>Visit Atlana. Her connection is easy to reach, and she's a good source of information.
>>2954303You opt to find the android maid, or at the very least fire off a query towards her. You don't get a response, but as you pace down the roads, carefully treading around the occasional tiny automobile, you do manage to catch a blip of connectivity. For you, however, its a perfect image of where she is. Turning down the next right, you mosey up to the source and offer another quick query, which remains unresolved until she steps out onto the roof of the building from a stairwell door. Among the windows you notice a stout looking man peering between drapes, the same that had been storming out of the square, a detail you tuck away for later, should it ever prove useful."Pardon. You wouldn't happen to know the whereabouts of Alexander, would you?"Her synthesized voice rings back in your head, "No, pardon me, actually. Who?""The pilot of the Duchy God-Machine. It seemed like you would know."She lets out an audible bark of a laugh from the rooftop before answering via connection, "No. Turns out that being able to middleman for a giant doesn't come with that perk in particular attached. If I had to guess though, they would probably be keeping him in the central office."You look down the street, field of vision swiveling independent of your facing as you look for where that may be, "And that is?"Atlana takes several sweeping steps towards the edge of the roof before leaping off of it with a stiff, unnatural grace that only a machine could manage. Kicking off the angled surface of your arm, she perches herself on your shoulder, steadying herself with a hand against your collar."I'll point you there." She's speaking out loud now, and out of the corner of your vision you can see the man in the window scowl and pull the curtains closed.She quite enjoys guiding you around, occasionally pointing out an occasional landmark. A piano store here, an art museum there. At one point she even has you turn down the wrong street, certainly intentionally, to pass a school. Hundreds of tiny faces press against the glass of windows as you pass.
"While I can appreciate someone enjoying their self, I must point out, mademoiselle, that I have things to do." Though, you're having a bit of fun with the experience as well. The streets are lively, and diverse, and carry a living spirit that the countless eons spent in the hangar could never provide."Can you blame me for wanting to do this? I'm higher than the rooftops! I can see everything." You note that she's starting to rush again, the last three messages came so fast they all strung together as one in your head. She points you down another left and you follow suit. A medium sized, brown bricked building lined in the front by countless black automobiles sporting two lengthwise stripes, red and yellow."I can when its spent on my time." She folds her arms and stares at the side of your head for a moment before pointing to the building."That's it. Want me to head inside for you? I'm sure more than a few of them know by now that I can speak on your behalf.">May as well.>That won't be necessary. (attempt to handshake with Alexander)
>>2954889>>2954893Attack of the phantom tripcode.
>>2954893>May as well.
>>2954893>May as well.In part because from the description of that mode of communication is kind of super intrusive. Just imagine you are sitting in your prison cell eating some beans then sudenly modem sounds and a ticker tape of random images slams across your vission. You then come to with beans all down your front.
>>2955597Fair point. Probably want to have a verbal contact and agreement with him first, before we try a proper handshake. For etiquette and what not.Also might want to judge his mental health before linking our minds like that as well. He's probably more equated with it than our new pilot, but it'd probably be super jarring if he's not in good sorts.
>>2955597This nigga eatin beans
>>2954893You begin to lower yourself down to one knee, blocking a bit of stunned traffic as you do, to let off the android."I see no reason not to." She's already taking several elated hops down your armor, though, landing before you make it down half way before half running excitedly to the door, swinging it open and then walking in as politely and calmly as the android can manage.
You are Atlana, an android. Talker, soon to be ex-maid, and middleman for a deity made metal. There's a bit of a job ahead of you now, but more importantly, adventure and a continuing break from the monotony of sweeping the floor and looking after bratty children.If you could do more than simulate breathing you'd take a deep one to compose yourself as you walk up to the front desk. A pair of uniformed officers, sans the enforced additonal badges of the Duchy, sit just behind it, one typing away at a giant, boxy faux-wood panelled computer while the other half looks up from his papers only briefly before rattling off a dismissive canned non-greeting."Noise complaints and other minor code violations can be reported at the table next to the entra-""Durendal wants to know where the Duchy pilot is." You've heard this line before more than a few times when delivering checks to pay for your boss Leland's tickets, back when he was still allowed to drive, and its just not all that appealing anymore. The officer, however, immediately looks up at you now, actually looking in proper and then gazing glassy eyed out the window. It takes him a moment and a frantic sip of his coffee, but he comes about from the pressing irreality of his paperwork and jabs a finger on a speaker button, "Magnus, its that android and the Machine. They're asking about the pilot."The response through the speaker is too muddled for you to understand, but there's a snap as a remote lock opens on the door to the right of the desk, and he motions you in, "Commander Magnus will see you in his office."You resist the urge to smile and hurry through the door before it has a chance to lock. The inside of the office was busy, very busy, both with celebration and work. It seems the city has had a minor crime wave to accompany the more lax atmosphere brought around by the defeat of a Duchy authority. Magnus' windowed office in the back, blinds close but door slightly ajar. You can't help but scan through the paperwork on desks as you pass. Burglary on Downer Street, stolen automobile on Maybell. One does catch your attention for a moment. Reports of giant serpent in Main Street sewer, Flag Street sewer, and Duchy Road sewer. Peculiar.You realize you've stopped walking for a moment and glance around to make sure no one had noticed before opening the door to Magnus' office, who immediately waves you in. There's a sheen of sweat to his forehead, and his usually well kept mustache is a frazzled mess."It want's Alexander, huh? What for?">He told me to go talk to him and ask him a few things. (Try to go question him yourself)>He wants to see him. (See if they'll bring him out to talk to the God-Machine)
>>2956123>He wants to see him. (See if they'll bring him out to talk to the God-Machine)
>>2956123You raise your hands and shrug your shoulders, "I don't know. Its certainly important, though, otherwise he wouldn't have asked."Magnus grimaces and twists one of his mustache ends furiously, only worsening its condition. He stares past you, at the door, "I already know I have Duchess loyalists trying to get him free. I can't just let him out of the building.""Oh come on. We have a God-Machine! He won't make it far."His eyes focus on you, intense and sharp olive irises surrounding ever shrinking pupils, "It doesn't matter if he makes it away. What matters is I don't risk the more zealous loyals trying anything. We're overworked right now. I have people who put in fourteen hours since that giant bastard turned up.""You can't really be blaming him for this." You say flatly, meeting his stare with your own. As it so happens, you, like most androids, are pretty supreme at staring contests."Dammit I can! Things were quiet before then, and the instant it turns up we have Duchy sympathizers running around causing all the trouble they can, and criminals thinking since we're already busy now is the time to nab Ms Jenkin's television, or that car down the street!""Look, there's really not much I, or probably even the God-Machine can do about petty crime. Maybe we can do something for the loyals. I don't know. But for now, all its asking is to talk to the pilot.""Fine, but you'll owe me." You're mildly surprised that his mustache hasn't caught fire with the rate he's twisting it, but a bit of tension leaves his shoulders once he's said it. "I can at least get him put in front of a window or something maybe. Would that be enough?">E:\>MES He's saying that he can put him in front of a window. Would that be good enough?>E:\>DEUSDUR1:\>It should do.You smile as convincingly as you can manage, "That would be fine, thanks." He finally lets go of his mustache to press a button on his desk and give the order, keeping an eye on you the entire time. Once finished, he continues, "Look, can I just get you to do one thing for me as well?"Its your turn to grimace, although you don't outwardly, "I suppose.""If your friend there has a moment, send him stomping around the old water treatment plant a bit. The one on Flag Street. I've had... an officer go missing around there a few days back. And its probably nothing but weird reports. Sea monster type stuff in the sewer. Hokey nonsense, but if its a bunch of loyals putting on costumes and all that it could scare them off, right?"You have a brief laugh inside about quick payoffs before giving a cheerful nod, "I can certainly see about it, Magnus, but remember, Calliko is the pilot, not me. I just get to talk to him."Magnus chews on his lip for a moment before gesturing to the door, "Well, go on, get. I have paperwork to do." Before you even stand he's slipped another sheet from one pile to the next and stamped it, a bit more forcibly than necessary.
Before you make it half way through the swarming offices before you find you find yourself deafened by information you could never hope to make scan. Its almost impossible to notice anything else. Your vision swims, ears click like a geiger counter, connectivity topping out at 1024 possible connections, all of which are locked. It quickly quiets to steady stream of ambient information that you can't make sense of. Somewhere above you, you're certain, Durendal had made a connection to the pilot.You walk the rest of the way out of the building with an odd satisfaction. The man who let you in casts you a sidelong glance, tearing his attention away from an elderly woman trying to hand him a bag of something. You note with a bit of disapointment, that the other guard had been replaced with one still wearing a Duchy badge.
You're Durendal, and you've made contact with Alexander. He's definitely a much more immediately synchronized candidate, but also wary, combative. You can see him through a window. Red vest, white, puffy undershirt, high collar, and a bandaged head. You don't need to take the bandages off to tell he'd cut his scalp on the control panel when you threw Primo.Despite this, his mind is razer focused, and guarded in ways that Calliko and your old pilot never were. Like Aristides, in some ways, but taken and tempered by the realities of a harsh world and decidedly less than good fortunes."Then tell Primo I am fine if he is so concerned. It won't be terribly long before I'm walking free." You can feel something else, trailing off from it, but intentionally guarded and hidden. Atlana, meanwhile, has emerged from the building and is currently the height of your leg in quick leaps.You decide to probe carefully, and not to tip your hand how much or more accurately how little you know of him, "I would not expect the most warm of receptions in the city at large.""Once I make it to Primo, the reception will be irrelevant.""I have pulped him. He will not be going anywhere under his own power for quite a while." There's an uncomfortable dread and understanding on the otherside of the connection as Alexander acknowledges your certainty. While he was unconcious he hadn't taken the time to consider the possibility of Primo being too damaged to operate properly, and as it dawns on him, his guard slips.This time you begin to rifle through his mind purposefully, and unlike Primo, who would notice, a person's brain lacks some of the more robust self evaluation that a God-Machine has. You find it full of doubt as he searches his own memories. Primo appears again and again, as a resolute savior. When is mother and father feuded he had ran to the machine. When his father was stripped of personal title he ran to the machine. When his mother was poisoned, he ran to the machine. When he was he was told he must manage their lands he ran to the machine and hid himself away in his family's villa.And now the one reliable element of his life had failed him, or worse, he had failed it. You can see him fight back tears from the window before he raises his head."Leave me be."
And that would be the thread, folks, thanks for playing. I'll largely be too busy for the rest of the week to keep plugging at this. First saturday of every month's still the same schedule, though, and hopefully I won't Hunter_Command my schedule, if you catch my drift. Until then...>Our hero Durendal tries to reason with Alexander, but can he make it stick? Who or what is this serpent lurking in the sewers? Find out next time on, Lo, Our Iron Gods!Also, feel free to pop me some questions. I'll be around to answer for a bit, still.
>>2956706Thanks for running! So, how close to Big O's tone are you shooting for?
>>2956840The intent was to start pretty straight forwards and slide into the more noire/Big Oish tone as things open up and I have more of the cast fleshed out to everyone.
>>2956706Fun times. Thanks for running, QM. Eagerly await the first saturday of next month.No questions at the moment, but enjoyed seeing a bit more into alexander's past. And interested to see the rest of the cast, especially if this is going to take a noire tone.