Tradition. Dedication. Loyalty. Stability.- Official Muramoto Corporations slogan, 2210Noir. The city of the night. The city of vice and dreams. The city of where a thousand spires of glass and steel rise above the cloud of smog, from which wealthy plutocrats look down on their sprawling domains of grimy stone and brick. A city with a population of 11.3 million residents each struggling viciously to rise up the class ladder between scraping a living, every single one of whose lives and very bodies is jealously claimed by their corporate overlords … or else banished to the wretched streetside slums. Noir. Just another port city among dozens sitting on the Southeast-Asian shipping routes.Amidst the dozen Megacorporations ever-skirmishing for control over Noir is the ancient Muramoto Corporation, a Japanese-based corporation rising above the turmoil like a monolith of financial and paramilitary power. But one whose foundation of power is built on sand and maintained by tens of thousands of loyal employees. This is the story of the Muramoto Corporation,one interweaving the individual stories from it’s fiercest Enforcers to it’s aristocratic owners.Thread Archive: >http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Corporate%20Cyber-Samurai%20Quest
Cont. from last ThreadYoji’s hands tightened on his microauto as he fired another burst. The deep underground chamber he was in was filled with fire. Micro and Portauto fire, Flechette Catapult fire. There were even two grenade launchers going off. His squad desperately fended off the attacks of the two Gun-Turrets weaving across the room on their wheeled tetrapodal legs.“Draw Turret B’s Fire!” His squadmate, Akio demanded, as he charged forwards. To avoid the attention of signal-guided Railgun fire, the squad had been forced to coordinate vocally. While it was better than nothing, it had nowhere near the bandwidth of communications over the Network. What had once been near-instantaneous was now limited by the painfully slow speed of sound. But they still had the coordination that came from more than a decade of drills together. Yoji dropped to his knees and squeezed off another burst as Akio had requested.Turret B swiveled around. There were twin popping sounds, and a pair of grenades were launched in Yoji’s direction. Yoji had had displaced before they even landed, subsonic rounds were easy to avoid. But he was still thrown forwards by the explosion. However, his body armour absorbed most of it, and he simply rolled back to his feet.Just then, the other Gun-Turret barreled towards him out of nowhere, it’s quad flechette catapults spraying forth a withering stream of fire. Caught out of position, Yoji dived away clumsily …>Into an alcove by the wall>Behind the nearest pillar>Towards the base of a Railgun Turret>Before rolling to his feet and meeting the Railgun Turret head-on
Alright, let's see if this baby still kicks
>>4224374>>Towards the base of a Railgun Turret
>>4224374>Towards the base of a Railgun Turret
I remember there was one more regular. Did he die?
>>4224374>Towards the base of a Railgun Turret>>4225015i have no clue. They are just that disposable.
>>4225015Here lies Anon. He never scored.
Yoji dived away clumsily towards the base of the ruined Railgun Turret Hide had destroyed. He barely managed to avoid the stream of flechettes. But as soon as he reached the base of the Railgun Turret, the stream of fire … stopped.The pursuing Gun-Turret was unwilling to fire on Yoji. Of course! Both turrets were completely insulated and had no way of reading whether they were online or not. And the Gun-Turret’s AI must have been too dumb to reliably tell whether the Railgun was still operational or not from sensor input alone.Then, Yoji jumped as the Railgun Turret swiveled around and fired … on the Gun-Turret! The Gun-Turret’s front caved in as the Railgun’s hypersonic slug smashed through, bursting from the other side in a shower of sparks, metal fragments, and flechette rounds torn from their feeders. Destroyed so quickly, the Gun-Turret didn’t even have the opportunity to release the tension in it’s legs, locking in a mechanical rigor mortis. The railgun swiveled again and fired at the other Gun-Turret, detonating it’s payload of grenades, turning the Gun-Turret into a blossoming fireball.Showered by debris and slightly singed, Akio sheathed his sword and stared over to the remnants of the other Railgun, where Hisashi had hotwired himself in. “Hey, watch it!”“It turns out, the Railguns had a shared hardwired network that was hackable.” Hisashi called out. He looked around the room. “Wait … where’s Nha … ?”“Dead.” Akio said bluntly. “Got taken out by a Railgun.”“Fragging bad way to go.” Hide grunted, “Not being able to see what hit you …”“Well, it goes like that sometimes.” Akio remarked cynically.“Nha dead, huh? After all those missions, never thought that bastard would go down.” Hisashi said sentimentally as he walked over to the decapitated body. “This his body?”“Yeah.”“You wouldn’t know it looking at it, would you?” Hisashi mused, staring at the corpse.Hide clasped his shoulder. “Come on, let’s keep moving. Nha wouldn’t want us distracted until we were facing his funeral urn in the company crematorium”“He’d probably yell at us for being soft.” Akio snarked depreciatively.“Right. There’s still more drones, so we need to keep moving.” Hisashi said. The other enforcers, who had been waiting statue-like for their seniors to finish reminiscing unfroze. Yoji hadn’t known Nha well, he was just a tactical enforcer who got assigned between squads. But from the times he had worked under Nha, he knew him as a hard and unsentimental man, but a good squad leader. He agreed with Hide about what Nha would have wanted. The squad had a job to do after all.
At the end of the underground chamber was a massive door of riveted stee, covered in rust. It was half open and looked like it had been that way for a long time. Stepping through, the enforcers found themselves in a chamber exactly like the one they had come from … except there was a small island of equipment at the very center. Mountains of arms crates. A fleet of armoured vehicles, over which towered a trio of Heavy Spider-Tanks. Thankfully, the Spider-Tanks were deactivated. If even one of them had been activated, the entire squad would have been dead. There was more, more esoteric, equipment hidden under tarps strewn about.In the middle of the equipment was a small, ramshackle concrete shack. Yoji could hear agitated voices from inside …>That’s the control room for the facility. Clear it.>It’s probably full of enforcers. Have Hide Grenade it.>Issue an ultimatum and demand surrender from anyone inside.
>>4225462>>It’s probably full of enforcers. Have Hide Grenade it
>>4225462>That’s the control room for the facility. Clear it.If it's samll there can't be many enforcers inside, and we have two melee specialists
>>4225501You only have one melee specialist.
>>4225510Yoji isn't one?
>>4225462>That’s the control room for the facility. Clear it.
>>4225523Yoji's an unspecialized Tactical Enforcer.
Moving at maximum speed, the Enforcers crossed the distance to the shack in seconds. A single kick from Hide knocked down the thin metal door, tearing it’s hinges out of the concrete they were anchored in. As soon as the dented mess of the door hit the floor, the enforcers flooded in. All stealth lost, they had to rely on speed and momentum.Moving single file, they rushed up a short flight of stairs. Hide shoulder-barged the fragile plywood door at the top, bursting through into a small lounge-room full of young-looking punks dressed in the trendiest street fashion. They clumsily trained their their sights on the heavyset man, their movements stiff and fumbling with fear.>Roll 3 1d20s. You will need one success.
Rolled 11 (1d20)>>4225698
Rolled 16 (1d20)>>4225698
Rolled 8 (1d20)Rolling for Ishii Punk-Enforcers
The punkish enforcers were embarrassingly slow. Hide managed to bring his heavy portauto to bear before they even managed to fire a single burst from their weapons. Two of them were smoked before any bullets even left their guns.But it was too late for the Ishii enforcers to have any hope. Akio entered behind Hide like a whirling dervish, dispatching three of the punk-enforcers before they could even react. The rest of Yoji’s squad flooded in, ripping through the room on full-auto and filling the air with a mist of blood and coolant. The squad was outnumbered almost two-to-one and had an overwhelming advantage as any cohesion in the Ishii punks was broken.Yoji tackled one of the punks who was trying to leave, lifting him up off the ground then slamming his head on a nearby metal console.“System access.” Yoji demanded, “What’s the access code?”“Go fry your balls on a power line!” The Ishii enforcer defiantly spat. Yoji lifted him up and slammed him into the console again, denting it and popping some buttons loose.“I’m not going to ask again.” Yoji warned.“Forget it.” Hisashi interrupted, “I already hacked in. It’s only the firewall for an inner-city arms deposit. Not Ishii HQ’s security network or anything. Deactivating Razor-Drones … Subverting network … The facility’s under my control now.”“W-what!” The Ishii punk exclaimed, “H-how!”“You’re lucky enough to see real pros at work, kid.” Akio snarked, “You should thank us.”“I have a few questions first.” Yoji said, squatting next to the punk and turning his head around, forcing the kid to look him in the eyes.>Why didn’t you activate any of the drones outside?>Since when did the Ishii start hiring punks off the street?>This is a rapid-response stockpile. Where’s the rapid-response team?>Write-in
>>4226367>Why didn’t you activate any of the drones outside?>Since when did the Ishii start hiring punks off the street?>This is a rapid-response stockpile. Where’s the rapid-response team?>Write-inHave Hisashi or someone run a background search on some of the few living punks to see if they have any living relatives. Just the implications as to why we would want to look them up might be more than reason enough for them to comply.
>>4226367Going to support >>4226401Also ask him why the hell a place with such expensive security is being watched by a bunch of nobodies?
>>4226367What was the goal here? Hostile take over? Will the enforcers and drones be recycled and refurbished int parts?
>>4226667Destroy Ishii assets. Weaken their influence in the city.
>>4226686>Destroy>Not lootI've lost some respect for the company we work for
>>4226719For shame anon. You'll put the poor factory workers out of their jobs.
>>4226725Corporate lies! Destroying would still equal factory workers our of their jobs. At least if we looted the place we could claim it as ours, and still employee said workers. How dare you.
“My first question is why you and your friends were so stupid. Seriously, you guys were amateurs.” Yoji asked.“Asshole, I’ll kill you!” the Punk threatened impotently, trying to rise. Yoji simply forced him back down before twisting his hand painfully. To his surprise, Yoji noticed it chafing and growing red in his grip. It wasn’t even augmented! There were the faint silver tracings of neuro acceleration inlay-tattoos, but other than that, the punk’s arm was flesh-and-blood.“Frag, you’re stupid.” Yoji said. “Got spirit though. Still amateurs. For example, you knew we were coming way in advance, right? Why didn’t you activate any of the drones outside?”“Not telling you shit.” the Punk spat.“Hey, hand him over.” Akio said, “We’ll see how talkative he is once I tie a noose for him out of his guts.”“He’s mostly organic. That might kill him.” Yoji pointed out.“I’ll be real gentle.” Akio promised. But they were suddenly interrupted when Hisashi simply walked up and plugged a cable into the Punk’s datajack. The Punk promptly collapsed unconscious.“Frag, he’s barely cyberbrained.” Hisashi complained. “ … Organic minds are so badly organized too … Alright, diving in.”Over the course of a few minutes, Hisashi sat down in a meditative pose, connected to the prone and twitching body of the Punk by a thick data cable. The Punk shivered and moaned in unconscious horror as Hisashi dove deeper and deeper into his mind. He shiveresoiled himself several times towards the end.“In yet?” Hide impatiently demanded.“The human mind’s more delicate than most computer networks, so I have to be more careful than I usually am.” Hisashi apologized. “... Okay, I’m in.”With a start, the Punk’s eyes fluttered open.“Wha-what are you doing? The Punk stammered. “Ge-get out of my head!”“So your name’s Leon, isn’t it?” Hisashi says in an amicable tone, “Born 2193, grew up in the Eastern city, in-valley from the North Port. Moved out of your parent’s apartment four months ago. And … hey, congradulations! Got your first girlfriend last week! Good on you, kid!”“Get out of my head!” Leon begged, “I-I’ll tell you what you want to know! I swear!”Akio walked over and slapped Leon on the cheek. “Can it, you brat. You had your chance to cooperate. Don’t worry though, Hisashi’s a pro. Here, let’s test things. Why did Ishii bother hiring punks off the street like you?”Leon dry-swallowed. Then, he seized, forcing Akio and Yoji hold him down until his convulsions stopped.“Sorry, that was his motor cortex.” Hisashi rubbed the back of his head, “My bad, my bad …”“Please … I’m begging you sir! You’re going to mess something up in there!” Leon begged, tears running down his face and mixing with a stream of snot and vomit.
>Access his truth centers so he’ll involuntarily answer your questions (Success depends on roll)>Access his memories, get your answers, probably fry his brain in the process>The kids scared enough to confess himself now
>>4226954>>The kids scared enough to confess himself now
>>4226954>The kids scared enough to confess himself now
>>4226954>The kids scared enough to confess himself nowIt's not like we're going to let him live afterwards, so we can still check his brain out
Sorry this update took so long, it was a doozy to write.“Okay, okay, fine!” Hisashi relented, pulling his datacable out of Leon’s jack. Leon openly wept in relief.Akio snorted. “You big fragging softie.”“If I think he’s lying, it’s going back in.” Hisashi protested.“Whatever … Yoji, ask him your questions.”“Right.” Yoji nodded, “So, when did the Ishii Conglomerate start hiring punks off the street to guard it’s largest Inner-City arm stockpiles?”“We’re enforcers!” Leon protested, perhaps trying to hang on to a remaining sense of pride.“Shitty ones.” Akio laughed, “I’ve seen highschool girls that are better fighters than you and your friends.”Leon gritted his teeth, but he didn’t say anything.“Really lacking in initiative too … you didn’t go out to help the Gun-Turrets when we were almost overwhelmed, you didn’t take defensive positions long before we got here … Hell, you’ve got a battalion of drones outside and two Spider-Tanks and you didn’t even activate them. Come on, where are the real Enforcers? Isn’t this a Rapid-Response stockpile? Where are the Rapid-Responders?”“They’re all away on a mission.” Leon confessed. “Also, the reason we didn’t have the drones outside activated was because we don’t have the activation codes. Not because we’re stupid.”“Well, I’m glad you felt the urge to clarify that.” Akio said sardonically. “You and your friends were left behind, huh? Not good enough to do anything except keep the shop open, huh? Well … you weren’t even good enough to do that …”“He’s telling the truth,” Hisashi said, “There’s a separate, closed network in this facility. Probably for the stockpile. I can’t hack in to confirm though.”“Good to confirm though.” Akio nodded. “Satisfied your curiosity, Yoji?”“I’ve got no other questions.”“Hisashi? Hide?”“I’m busy.” Hisashi simply replied, plugging back into the console.“Still wondering why the Ishii is hiring Punks now and calling them enforcers.” Hide grunted, “Still, I doubt this idiot knows.”“No questions then? I guess we’re finished then.” In a flash, Akio drew his semiauto and shot Leon cleanly in the head. Leon slumped over, dead.“Frag Akio, that was excessive.” Hisashi swore, “You didn’t have to kill him, he was unarmed.”“You’re such a bleeding heart.” Akio shot back, “Fragging softie …”“I have to agree with Akio this time.” Hide interjected, “It wouldn’t be professional to leave any survivors.”“Fine. Frag it.” Hisashi threw up his arms.“Uhh, let’s just do what we were supposed to do here.” Yoji suggested politely.“Right, right …” The others agreed.
The Enforcers spent the next half-hour raiding the Ishii stockpile for the explosives to destroy as much equipment as possible. Most of the more sophisticated explosives and shaped charges were locked by arming devices so they had to make do with primitive plastic explosives.“Shame we’re just going to blow all of this equipment sky-high instead of looting all this equipment. ” Hide sighed, gazing longingly at a man-portable rocket launcher.“There’s no way we’d be able to transport all of this out without someone noticing.” Hisashi pointed out.“I know.” Hide said, “Still, what a waste …”“All charges set.” An Enforcer called over.“Right then. Time to frag this place.” Hisashi muttered.The Enforcers moved to a safe location before Hisashi detonated the explosives with a mental command before leaving the way they came. Yoji looked back to find the room behind them had been filled by a sea of fire. In that sea of fire, Yoji saw the dark, bulky outlines of the Heavy Spider-Tanks, completely unfazed by the massive explosion. It wouldn’t have mattered if they had had twice the amount of explosives available. Nothing short of a specialized shaped charge would have been able to do anything except dent their armour.Mission: Stockpile Raid Complete…
Muramoto Manor, 2210“Sir, how can I help you?” The Secretary asks, staring up at the tall, serious-looking man dressed in the suit and dark sunglasses in front of her with a shirasaya hanging from his belt. That man is you.Your name is Kentaro Seido. Formerly an enforcer for the Muramoto Corporation, two weeks ago, you were unexpectedly promoted into being the retainer of the family’s illegitimate daughter, Kaguya Muramoto.“Can you please make sure this gets to the Branch Second Lieutenant?” You politely ask, handing the secretary an white tanto. Her eyes widen in surprise at the ornate, beautiful form of the tanto. It must have been pretty different from the paperwork she was used to handling. “Tell him it’s from Kaguya’s retainer.”“I-I’ll be sure to tell him. Just put it in the in-box. I’ll make sure it reaches him.” She reassures you.“Thank you.” You say, before leaving. Kaguya’s classes had ended just about half an hour ago. With Kyune’s business finished as well, you were now free to …>Visit the Enforcer’s Clinic to have your new sensory package fitted>Check on Akira like you promised you would>Meet Nagamasa for the drink he promised
>>4228140>Check on Akira like you promised you would
>>4228140>Visit the Enforcer’s Clinic to have your new sensory package fittedThere's no reason why we can't wirelessly contact her as we go to the clinic. As soon as we're done we can visit her.
>>4228140>Visit the Enforcer’s Clinic to have your new sensory package fitted
>>4228140>>Visit the Enforcer’s Clinic to have your new sensory package fitted
Earlier when you had checked your inbox, there had been a new message.To Retainer Seido KentaroThe cybernetics you ordered are here. Come to the Enforcer’s clinic in the Central Manor Basement 3 whenever you want and I’ll outfit you.- Doctor TyelWell, you were free now, so you might as well go. Passing through the Central Manor again, you reflect on how if you didn’t have the map in your head, you would have gotten lost.Below Basement 1, the architecture of the Muramoto Manor changes from a traditional style of architecture to a much more modern and utilitarian one. Your map leads you to a door labelled ENFORCER EQUIPMENT. You step in to find a lounge. A sign on the wall read PLEASE WAIT UNTIL CALLED.The lounge is almost empty. In fact, there are only two people sitting down. A bulky man built like a mountain, and a tall, thin man with an angular face who held a katana-type shirasaya in one hand. The other hand, the other arm in fact, was missing, leaving his suit sleeve to hang limply at his side …>Ask them what they’re here for>Mind your own business
>>4228618>Ask them what they’re here for
>>4228618>>Ask them what they’re here for
>>4228618>Ask them what they’re here forCan't wait till we get EMP'd
>>4228136> highschool girls that are better fighters than youUsing Kyune as an example is cheating I think.>>4228618>Ask them what they’re here forIt's Akio and Hide, right?
“Hey, haven’t I seen you guys before?” You ask, “In the … Kendo Hall right? You’re members of Division 8, right?”“That’s right,” The Bulky Man says, “I know you too. You’re Yoji’s sparring partner, right?”“Oh, you.” The Thin Man interjects, “You’re the one who hogs Yoji, aren’t you? Frag you, man, I can’t ever get a decent bout when you’re around. Yoji’s the only one who could make things a challenge for me.”You stare at the Thin Man, finding a sarcastic smile on his face.“Don’t mind Akio, he’s just a pompous asshole.” The Bulky Man apologizes for his friend, “I’m Hide. My friend is Akio. We’re enforcers for Division 8. And you are … Kentaro Seido, right?”“That’s right,” You nod. “So, what are you in here for?”“Replacing body parts. Akio here lost an arm. Me, well, take a look yourself.” Hide unbuttons his shirt, revealing a thick slab of dense synthflesh. But while the muscles would normally be rippling with power with every move, they looked dead and inert. A wide strip of jelly-like clots traced a path up Hide’s torso, where the muscle looked like it had been lacerated and torn.“Damn, how can you even move?” You ask. “Your abdominal muscles look completely fragged ...”“I’m moving on just spinal servos alone.” Hide explains with a smile, “I’ve got a tri-column setup, so I’ve got the servo power, but it isn’t any fun. Can’t lift any heavy weights at all, or else I’ll tear something important.”“Did something happen recently?” You ask, puzzled. Had there been another incident in the household you hadn’t heard of? With injuries this serious, you doubted it.“Yeah, a mission. Household enforcers are sometimes used for important ones, especially when someone from the Household goes directly into the city to supervise something big.” Hide says, “It was a bad one though, we almost lost half of our squad.”“That’s too bad.” You sympathize.“Well, it happens.” Akio interrupts cynically. That, it did.“Anyways, what are you in for, Kentaro-san?” Hide asks.“I’m getting new augments installed.” You explain, “An upgrade to my Sensory Suite.”“Huh? Aren’t you worried about EDMs?” Akio asks.“I’m more worried about being able to detect threats.” You reply.“Ahhh, that’s the eternal debate, isn’t it? What kind of versatility is more important? To be in a position to respond to any threat at any time, or to be in a position to not care what the threat exactly is?” Akio says. As soon as he started to discuss the theories behind combat, his voice lost it’s sarcastic tone. “Well, from your answer, I’d guess you’re optimized for precision, right?”“That’s right,” You admit, “Wait, you could tell just from my answer?”“Well, I’ve seen you spar with Yoji too.” Akio says.
Just then, an enforcer walked through the lounge, followed by a man in a white labcoat stained with grease and what looked like coolant stains stepped into the lounge. “Retainer Seido Kentaro?” the man asked.“Whoa, that was fast.” Hide exclaims. Well, that’s just the privilege of being a retainer for a member of the Muramoto Family.“That’s me.” You say, getting up.“I’m Dr. Tyel. I’m in charge of Enforcer maintenance and upgrades. If you’ll please follow me, Seido-san.”Dr. Tyel leads you to a clinical, sterile-feeling room, a cross between an operating theater and a mechanic’s workshop.“Please lie down here.” Dr Tyel directs you to a chair at the center of the room. “Please paralyze yourself for the duration of the installation procedure. Deactivate facial sensation and halt all non-vital body functions.”You oblige, going into the deep recesses of your settings to do so. Dr. Tyel raps your knee and shines a light in your eye to make sure, before beginning.A set of delicate robotic arms extends down from the ceiling. First, they trace along a seam hidden in your hairline. Then, they carefully peel back the layer of synthflesh on your face, exposing the cybernetics of your real head. Then, Dr. Tyell really sets to work. The robotic arms begin to disassemble your facial components. Tiny screwdrivers unscrew tinier screws in your face, before precise electromagnets gently lift the parts free. As soon as your face is sufficiently disassembled, your eyeballs are scooped out of their sockets to access the nerve clusters underneath. If you weren’t numb and paralyzed, you’d be screaming in pain.Optical nerves rewired, a remarkably more advanced set of eyeballs is installed in place of your old ones.A similar process is conducted for your nose and ears. Skin and muscle is peeled back to reveal your real body, which is then disassembled so new components can be installed. The whole process takes over two hours.“All done.” Dr. Tyell announces at last. You open your eyes and … Frag, this is incredible! The entire world feels like switching to HD in a SimRPG. You can make out the individual motes of dust on the far wall. You can hear and triangulate the sounds of two maids animatedly conversing about their days three floors up. You take a sniff of the air, before reeling back in surprise from the fragrance of even the sterile room you were in. The smell of the coolant stains on Dr Tyell’s lab coat are suddenly as sharp as if you had spilled a bottle of it on the floor. You can even pick out the scent of ramen broth from his lunch on Dr. Tyell’s breath. And on your neck … was the unfamiliar weight of a new, boxy external drive.>Kentaro’s Datajack: 2/4 slots occupied“Thank you Doctor.” You say, getting up from the chair. “This is pretty incredible.”
“Anytime.” Dr. Tyell says, “Now, make sure to turn down your sensitivity settings before removing the external drive. It’s picking up a lot of the processing slack and will combat filtering, since your cyberbrain proper doesn’t have enough sensory modules to avoid overload.”“I will.” You promise Dr Tyell. The weight of the external drive was already getting sort-of uncomfortable. Still, the world you saw with its help was completely different.But that was another thing off of your checklist. Now, it was time to …>Check on Akira like you promised you would>Meet Nagamasa for the drink he promised>Pay the Assistant-Head Maid a visit>You have some questions for Dr. Tyell
>>4229218>Check on Akira like you promised you would
>>4229218>Check on Akira like you promised you would>You have some questions for Dr. TyellWould it be possible to leave him a message with a bunch of questions regarding the new Sensor Suit?
>>4229218>>Check on Akira like you promised you would
>>4229218>Meet Nagamasa for the drink he promised
Well, it was about time to meet Akira and give her her daily allowance. You head back to your room. As soon as you get back, you sit back on your couch, pop open a can of beer, and check your inbox for messages. Aside from Dr. Tyell’s earlier message, there was nothing beyond the usual spam of ads, spam, notifications from the hundred or so brands you had been involved with the past week … Today had been … well, not a long day per say, but still, a moderately tiring one. Truth be told, your increased awareness of your surroundings was already starting to give you a headache. You turn down your sensitivity settings like Dr. Tyell told you before pulling out the external drive. You decide to save it for when you’re working. Being able to individually track every grain of dust floating in front of you wasn’t conductive to you relaxing.Strangely enough, Akira hadn’t arrived yet. You had expected her to come up to your room as soon as her shift ended. Maybe her shift was going on longer than normal today. You load up a SimRPG and decide to wait an hour ...…An hour passes. Akira still doesn’t show up. You decide it’s about time to contact her.Akira, are you coming today? You message.Oh! Kentaro-kun! H-hello! That’s weird. Akira sounds strangely … apprehensive.I thought you’d be over at my room by now.I-is that so? Akira stutters. Her tone of voice was as polite as always, but for some reason, you get the feeling she was waiting for you to shut up.Akira, is something wrong?What? N-no! Nothing’s wrong. Just a long day, I guess. Ahahaha!All right. So are you coming over?Um, actually, I, uh, don’t need to today. Akira says, obviously referring to the bag of narcotics you were keeping for her in your room.You don’t need any? But it’s been an entire day. Aren’t you risking ... You stop yourself before you say ‘withdrawal’.Y-yeah. Akira confirms I guess it’s weaker than I thought.Okay. If you say so. You reluctantly say.I’m coping fine. I promise. Akira swears. Oh, and thank you for saving me from that guy at lunch. I appreciate it.No problem ...Still, thanks … anyways, I really need to go now. Sorry, Kentaro-kun.>Okay, if Akira says so. Hang up.>Question Akira further (What?)>Hang up, and surprise her with a visit
>>4229741>Hang up, and surprise her with a visitBut don't just barge in. Put in the external drive and ascertain the situation remotely first. Because she's riding someone's dick for drugs right now
>>4229741>Okay, if Akira says so. Hang up.Check our room, to make sure she hasn't snuck a pill or two out.>>4229783Interesting proposal. Perhaps she's in bed with a guy right now trying to earn some dosh, hence the awkwardness? We could sneak around just outside of her general perception and use our better ones to figure out what's going on.
>>4229793I support you anon, we need to know
“If you say you’re fine, then I’m glad you’re doing fine.” You let Akira go.“Thanks as always, Kentaro-kun.” Akira thanks again, before cutting off the communication.Although you let Akira go, you were still left with a sense of suspicion. Wait. Akira was one of the household Maids. That meant, unless you went out of your way set the settings on your lock, she could come in and out of your room … what if she …You rush over to open the drawer where you had been keeping Akira’s pills. Like an idiot, you had left the pills somewhere where someone could access even without a key. Frag, you felt like slapping yourself.Looking inside the bag, it didn’t look like any of the pills were missing. But you had never counted all of them, so you had no way to know for sure. But the maid who was in charge of cleaning your room and doing your chores today would have registered in your room’s log. You bring up the log for everyone who had entered your room. Akira hadn’t been assigned your room today. It had been someone else.You breathe out a sigh of relief. At least Akira wasn’t stealing from you. You hate to even consider it, but if she had been, you doubt you would be able to trust her enough to work with her on her addiction.But still. Why didn’t she visit you? She would have needed to to avoid withdrawal. But what if Akira hadn’t given you her entire supply and had some extra stashed away? Or what if she had just planned to sleep with someone for her dose today. She’d probably be able get more that way, no not probably, almost definitely. Even you could tell Akira was lying to you. But why such a shitty one? Her need for neurofrag to avoid withdrawal made the lie painfully, stupidly obvious. Maybe she had thought of it in the heat of the moment, maybe you had interrupted her when she was otherwise ‘preoccupied’. But then you remember. Akira hadn’t grown up on the street like you. She wasn’t from the same world as you were. Growing up a Blank family kid, she had probably never learned about how serious the symptoms for Neurofrag withdrawal were.You had to visit her. Frag it, you’d go directly to her room if you needed to. You quickly search through the household databases to find where Akira’s room is in the servant’s quarters.
You walk there as fast as possible without being conspicuous. You can’t help but rush, you’re slowly being filled by a growing sense of worry. As soon as you’re almost at your destination, you plug in your external drive and activate the full extent of your sensory abilities. As soon as you do, you can hear everything going on in the rooms around you, and triangulate and pinpoint the sources of every sound. You can hear animated conversations, arguments, hair dryers, small stoves and boiling water for instant noodles. It’s almost as if you could see through the thin walls with sound waves instead of light.As soon as Akira’s room is within your range, you stop and focus all of your attention on what you can hear inside the room. You turn your vision to infrared, staring through the thin paper walls in your way. Inside Akira’s room are three figures. And judging from their voices, none of them were Akira. Oh, that’s right, Akira said something about having roommates, didn’t she? You listen to the women complain about their day to each other. The conversation sounds like nothing except tired venting, and no use to you. You’re just about to leave when suddenly, the conversation changes …“Hey, where is Akira anyways?”“How should I know? She came and left two hours ago. Probably sleeping around for money again.”The women laughed.“Seriously, it’s disgusting how she whores herself out. I hate girls like her, all they care about is how popular they are with guys. Her life must seriously be empty if that’s all she has to care about.”“I know right? You can say that again …”Just then, a bloom of heat approaches the room. You hear a knock on the door.“Coming.” One of Akira’s roommates calls annoyedly. “Do you know how late it is? What do you … Oh!”“What? Who is it?”“It’s the Assistant Head-Maid. Cora-san! H-how can we help you?”“Hello dears,” rasps the voice of an old woman. “Is Akira-chan here?” Despite how her choice of words should have been endearing, her voice doesn’t sound anything except callous and mean-spirited.“N-no, Cora-san. We haven’t seen her for hours.”“I see …” The rasping voice of the Old Woman pauses for a while, as if she was deep in thought. “Well, if you see her, make sure to tell me ...”>Akira’s missing. You need to go look for her now.>Approach the Assistant Head-Maid. Why is she looking for Akira?>You have some questions for Akira’s roommates (What?)
>>4231071>>Akira’s missing. You need to go look for her now.
>>4231071>Akira’s missing. You need to go look for her now.Try to be inconspicuous and light on his feet?
>>4231071>Akira’s missing. You need to go look for her now.>Pass by the AHD to at least see how she looksI know we can just look her up in the database, but all access is surely logged and I'm a bit paranoid.
>>4231128+1>>4231352You're overthinking it, I think. We're a bodyguard, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for us to randomly pull up records, and even if we did, who would care?
Akira was missing? The worst case scenario you had thought of was that she’d have gone back to her old habits of selling herself, especially for more neurofrag. But now … even the Assistant-Head Maid didn’t even know where she was. She could be anywhere from collapsed unconscious in a hallway somewhere, to kidnapped, to overdosed to dying of withdrawal.Frag, you had to find her. And you had to find her before anyone else did.>Roll 3 1d20’s. You will need three successes.
Rolled 1 (1d20)>>4231518
Rolled 4 (1d20)>>4231518>>423152514.26%
Rolled 15 (1d20)>>4231525>>4231554Kek. Every time.
But how were you supposed to find her? The Manor was huge and no one else knew where she was. Not even the Assistant-Head Maid had any idea.That just meant you would have to track Akira down by yourself. You try to recall her scent. With your now-enhanced olfactory sensors, if you remembered it, you would be able to track her like a bloodhound. What had Akira’s scent been? It’s hard to remember. Before your sensors were upgraded, your nose had only been marginally better than a normal human’s.No matter how much you try, you can’t remember. It had been exactly like the scent of every other maid here. A strong chemical odor of cheap deodorant covering up the slight scent of sweat. Wait! You had a source for Akira’s scent, did you? It was even in your room!You return back to your room as fast as possible and re-open the cabinet with Akira’s bag of pills in it. Her scent would be on it, right? You bring the bag close to your nose and sniff it very carefully, trying to differentiate the different, minute smells clinging to the paper. Akira’s scent had to be there!But it wasn’t. Any smells you can pick out are covered by the acid-sweet traces of neurofrag. Frag it! You had been so close! You had been sure this would work. But … now what?>Give up, it’s no use>Try to message Akira again>Return to Akira’s room and try to track the scent of neurofrag>Wait, you know someone with an even sharper sense of smell than you (Ask Kyune for help)>Wait, you know someone with an even sharper sense of smell than you (Ask Kaguya for help)
>>4232889>Return to Akira’s room and try to track the scent of neurofrag>Wait, you know someone with an even sharper sense of smell than you (Ask Kyune for help)Kinda torn between both options. Perhaps we could visit the quarters with the excuse of wanting to get to know everyone better, then once the coast is clear we can slip into the room.
>>4232889>Wait, you know someone with an even sharper sense of smell than you (Ask Kyune for help)She did recognize the smell of Neurfrag when we met her.
>>4232889>Return to Akira’s room and try to track the scent of neurofrag>>4232943I mean, do we even have to justify our presence to the maids? Just say we're performing our duty.
>>4233040Yes and no. it would draw less attention and for etiquette reasons it'd be best to be discrete less people spread rumors about us.
>>4232889>>Return to Akira’s room and try to track the scent of neurofrag
>>4232889>Return to Akira’s room and try to track the scent of neurofrag
>>4232889>Wait, you know someone with an even sharper sense of smell than you (Ask Kyune for help)
If you had nothing else, you could track the scent of neurofrag to find Akira. It was a long shot, but it was your only chance.You return to Akira’s room. Instead of staying where Akira’s room was at the periphery of your awareness, this time you walk all the way to the door. It’s closed now.You take a careful sniff of the air, trying to detect any traces of neurofrag. You can detect faint traces, but nothing else.You crouch to the ground, hoping to catch the traces of it lower down. You had something! A distinct scent trail! The acrid-sweet smell of Neurofrag floated close to the ground and led down the hall. If you were lucky, you would be able to follow it to Akira.>Roll 3 1d20’s. You will need two successes.
Rolled 17 (1d20)>>4233909
Rolled 20 (1d20)>>4233909
Rolled 7 (1d20)>>4233942I don't even want to roll against that
>>4233919>>4233942>>4233975Nice. Something to make up for that last set of rolls.>>4233909>inb4 typical maid goes "kyaaaaaaaaah! Kentaro-sama you pervert!"
>>4233942>*SCHNIFFFFF*>Yes, I can smell, *SCHNIFF*, her odor. Quite pungent.
>>4234011>Tomorrow in the news: Local pervert installs sensoy package to sniff every pair of panties in the mansion at once.
>>4233942Oh boy, Kentaro can smell colors and sounds
>>4234011>>4234358>There is active sex trafficking and human exploitation going on in this mansion that almost everyone knows about and ignores>But the one who only smells and doesn't touch is the biggest pervert>inb4 the future is truly a cyberpunk dystopia
>>4234777The future is truly a cyberpunk dystopia
You follow the scent of neurofrag. It was difficult to tell where you were supposed to be going. The scent of neurofrag was faint at best. Many times, the path doubled back on itself. Sometimes, it even crossed paths with another trail of neurofrag scent and you were forced to do your best to tell which path was the right one. But you manage, following the scent of Neurofrag out of the servants quarters and towards the storage rooms. What was Akira doing there?The trail leads past the closets and larders that held the consumables meant for day-to-day use and deep into the depths of the storage level where even the faux-traditional furnishing of the staff levels gave way to an utilitarian, industrial architecture indistinguishable from the countless warehouses you’ve raided in the heart of Noir. But this area was no different. The rooms around you were the warehouses that handled the Manor’s long-term storage. No one should be down here. It wasn’t a prohibited space, but there was no reason for anyone to visit here except to restock the day-to-day storage spaces once or twice a week.You finally trace it to a heavy metal door sealed with a keycard lock. The lock was disengaged.You do your best to silently push the metal door open, but as soon as you start, an ugly metal squealing assaults your ears as the unoiled hinges grate against each other. You had been aiming for stealth, but all hope of that was ruined now. If you were right and Akira was in this warehouse, she would definitely have heard that. But you had come this far, you couldn’t walk away now. Besides, the warehouse only had one exit. You’d find Akira one way or another.The warehouse was stocked with miscellaneous items. Rows and rows of everything from neatly piled bags of rice to crates of spare mechanical parts. Ordinarily, all of this would be shrouded in shadows, but with your new sensory abilities, even the faint moonlight coming in from the slit-windows set high on the walls was enough to illuminate the room as brightly as the middle of the day.You hear faint, shallow breathing coming from a forest of clothing racks where matte-black ponchos were hung. As you slowly step forwards, the breathing stops. Whoever you heard was now holding their breath. You slowly walk among the clothing racks, carefully scanning around you. Then, you see what you’re looking for. A girl, hidden among the ponchos. Perhaps she thought she was well-hidden. But to you, the pale-green of her yukata is a plainly obvious splash of color too vivid to be missed.You lock eyes with Akira. The faint expression of the realization she’s been spotted grows across her face. Then, she bursts out of hiding, bolting towards the door.>Catch her>Call out to her>Run to the door behind her
>>4234954>Catch herIt wouldn't even be a challenge.
“Akira, wait!” You shout. But Akira doesn’t listen. Frantically running for the door, you’re not sure she even heard you.Desperately, you reach out and grab her.“Let go of me!” Akira screeches, slapping you across the face as she struggled in your grasp, trying to pull free. You barely feel the slap.“Akira, it’s me! Kentaro!” You grab her shoulders, trying to break through to her.“K-Kentaro-kun?” Akira mutters in confusion. “Wh-why are you here?”“You were missing!” You explain, “You didn’t show up for your pills, so I got worried.”“I’m glad.” Akira says, throwing her arms around you, embracing you tightly. You feel your suit being soaked with sweat. Akira’s yukata was soaked through with it. So close to her, you could clearly smell Akira’s scent. A distinct blend of cheap deoderant, sweat, and musk, with hints of the toxins picked up from her unhealthy, synthetic diet. And nearly overpowering it all was the acid-sweet smell of neurofrag, like a barrel of charred honey mixed with molasses and and diluted in rubbing alcohol.“Akira, what have you been doing? Have you been taking neurofrag?” You grab Akira’s head, forcing her to look at you. Akira’s pupils were dilated. Her forehead felt feverish.“Yes.” Akira says without a hint of shame or guilt. Her breath was heavy with the scent of neurofrag. Akira stood on tiptoes to kiss you, but you block her attempt with your hands. As soon as she realizes what she was doing, Akira stands back down, tears welling in her eyes. “I hate this, Kentaro-kun! I-I didn’t … Hic … Hic ...”Akira wails, collapsing to her knees. You rub Akira’s back as she sobs.“It’s okay, Akira. I understand.” You reassure her.“Please don’t leave me, Kentaro-kun.” Akira begs.“Don’t worry. I won’t.”You hug the tearful Akira at your side. Akira clings onto your your suit, burying her face in it like a small animal caught in the rain seeking warmth. “Kentaro-kun.”“I’m right here, Akira.”“I know.”You wrap one arm around the curled-up Akira. At the same time, you remotely interface with the warehouse door to close and lock it. However, a notice pops up in your HUD.Request denied. Permission from Higher Rank required.Access to this warehouse was too important for you to allow and deny as you pleased.>It doesn’t matter, no one’s coming here anyways>Leaving it unlocked is too risky. Request permission from Kaguya.>You can’t stay here. Wrap Kaguya in a poncho to disguise her and bring her back to your room.
>>4235938>You can’t stay here. Wrap -->Akira<-- in a poncho to disguise her and bring her back to your room.
>>4235950holy shit im dumb. good catch anon.
>>4235950This. Tis funny. We can utilize our sensors to navigate around people.
>>4235938>You can’t stay here. Wrap Akira in a poncho to disguise her and bring her back to your room.I think this is probably the best idea.
>>4235938>You can’t stay here. Wrap Akira in a poncho to disguise her and bring her back to your room.
>>4235938>You can’t stay here. Wrap Kaguya in a poncho to disguise her and bring her back to your room.
But you and Akira couldn’t stay here. There was a small chance someone might come down here and find you. Besides, a warehouse was no place to ride out a neurofrag high.“Here, wear this.” You say, taking a poncho off the clothing rack “Let’s not let people see how much of a mess you are right now.”“O-okay.” Akira agrees, draping it on.Akira clutches your arm as you guide her back to your room. You use your new sensors to avoid other people as much as possible. But even with the most circuitous path, passing by other servants is unavoidable.“Here, pull down the hood more.” You tell Akira.“L-like this?”“No, lower.” You pull the hood down lower for her. Akira must not have had a lot of experience disguising herself or remaining inconspicuous with ponchos. You couldn’t blame her, but that had been a near-vital skill for you both working and growing up....As soon as you close the door, Akira collapses on your couch.“How are you feeling?” You ask.“Nauseous.” Akira replies, “I think I’m starting to come off …”Akira suddenly gets up, clamping her hand over her mouth and rushing out of your living room.“The washroom’s …oh, you found it.” Akira’s kneeled over your toilet, noisily vomiting. Of course she knew where your toliet was. She was the one in charge of cleaning it. You rub her back and hold back her short hair until she’s finished. “Feeling better?”“No.” Akira miserably groans, wiping away a trail of vomit dribbling from her mouth. All the energy seems to have left her body. Even kneeling over, she can only stop herself from collapsing by supporting herself on the toilet bowl. But it’s clear she’s finished vomiting.“Alright, come on.” You lift Akira up and support her with your shoulder. You slowly help Akira back to your couch. Frag, your entire living room smelled like neurofrag now, although that might just be that way to your enhanced senses.“I’m sorry this happened again.” Akira says as she exhaustedly lies down on your couch.“Don’t worry about it.” You insist …>Berate her for taking neurofrag in dangerous doses>Ask where she got the neurofrag from>She’s a mess, do your best to clean her up>Get her a blanket and pillow, let her sleep
>>4236674>Ask where she got the neurofrag from>Ask her why she did it
>>4236674>Ask where she got the neurofrag from>Ask her why she did itGet her a glass of water and a trash bin just in case.
>>4236674>She’s a mess, do your best to clean her up
>>4236674>Ask where she got the neurofrag from>She’s a mess, do your best to clean her up
>>4236674>>Ask where she got the neurofrag from>>She’s a mess, do your best to clean her up
“Where are you going?” Akira asks as you leave the room.“To get you a glass of water …” You respond. And after a bit of careful consideration, “And a trash can, just in case.”“Okay.” Akira nods.You return with a glass of water. While Akira drinks it in small sips, you put a trashcan in arm’s reach of her. Akira quietly thanks you again. You nonchalantly brush it off again. The two of you sink into a silence as Akira finishes her water.But eventually, you break the silence. “Where did you get it?”“I, um … remember lunch today?” Akira begins in an ashamed tone of voice. It seems she’s come down enough to feel shame.“Yes?”“That guy you saved me from … Nagamasa … he slipped me some just before I left …”As soon as you hear this, your blood boils. Nagamasa was responsible for putting Akira in the pathetic state she was in? You had spent so much time sparring with him. You even began to grudgingly like him. But now at the thought of how he had gone behind your back … Your fists curl into fists.“Nagamasa, huh?”>Ask her about her relation with Nagamasa>Let it go and let her go to sleep
>>4236807>>4237186I'll incorporate the cleaning Akira up in the next update regardless of what you pick
>>4237222>Ask her about her relation with NagamasaAt the very least she doesn't have to take neuro frag today. Sort of. Maybe. Probably? On the bright side she didn't have to pay for it. Does she have any clue as to the dosage?Do we know if neurofrag can dissolve in water or food? Akira's gonna need to be more careful around people near her food from now on. Specifically from Nagamasa.Can our sensors record that verbal tid bit of info for later to compile a list of who's buying an shifting Neurofrag?
>>4237222>Ask her about her relation with Nagamasa
>>4237222Hold on, to be clear. When she says, "slipped me some" does she mean full on date rape, of just tempting her with some?
>>4237222>Is it even true? Is the effect duration consistent with the time that has passed? Can you even take neurofrag without knowing it, I think it's produced in capsules? Google all of this, because Akira might be shifting the blame.
>>4237240>Can our sensors record that verbal tid bit of info for laterYour memories are all completely accessible in multiple file formats.
“How many pills?”“Five.” Akira replies, “H-he slipped them inside my sleeve when he grabbed my hand. ”You slap your forehead in frustration. If Akira had an alternate supplier, your plan of rationing her pills and weaning her off just got fragged. And judging from “Akira, how could you just take the pills?”“I wasn’t thinking!” Akira stammers, “I-I was waiting for my dose my entire shift. But then it ended a-and I had been waiting so long and then there were just five pills in my pocket. I-I …”“That’s not the problem!” You shout angrily, “You just took pills from some stranger? What if he had something mixed in? Some toxic cut or hypnotic or a harder narcotic?”“I-It was fine the other times have gave me it!” Akira protests.“So that’s what he does? Gives you narcotics for free?”“Only Neurofrag.” Akira says, trying to defend herself somewhat. “He tried giving me some other things the first few times I … visited him. But I refused.”“So whenever you visited him, he’d give you neurofrag?”Akira nods “Two or three pills, yeah.”You fold your arms and stare down in thought.“A-are you mad at me?” Akira asks timidly.“You’ve given me a lot to think about.” You tell her very bluntly. Akira bites her lip and nods.You continue thinking for a long time. Akira topples over on your couch halfway through. But she doesn’t go to sleep. She lies there with a guilty expression on your face. Eventually, you decide that you’ll need more time to decide what to do.“How are you feeling?” You ask the drowsy-looking Akira. “Come down yet?”“I think,” Akira replies, “I’m very tired. And sweaty. I’m soaked. C-can I say here tonight?”“I assumed you would.” You tell her, “I’m not giving up my bed though. You’ll have to settle for my couch.”“That's fine.” Akira says, “Your couch is already softer than … than …” Akira trails off, almost falling asleep ...“Don’t fall asleep soaked like that. You’ll catch a cold.” You berate her gently, shaking her back awake. “Come on, I’ll help you to the shower.”You help Akira to her feet, only for them to give out under her …>Okay, maybe a shower isn’t needed. She’s only sweaty, not caked in vomit>You’ll run the water for a bath. She can’t fall over in a bath>You’ll get her a bath, but you should probably supervise>Get her to the shower and pressure-wash her
>>4238165>You’ll get her a bath, but you should probably superviseI don't want her to pass out and drown, we should have her on a call or something
>>4238165>You’ll get her a bath, but you should probably superviseAre we off our work hours to guard Kaguya, or are we still up?>>4238175This guy gets it. We're a grow ass man in a dystopian future where vice, sex, and drugs are everywhere. Sort of. A naked chick isn't much.
So I have a proposal. What if we pretend we're dating Akira?
>>4238190That would reflect poorly on us, she has a public image of a major thot
>>4238268Do you have a better solution to prevent people from slipping her drugs?
>>4238317Aside from tying her to a bed? No, not really, our workplace is the main problem.
>>4238333Because everyone keeps fucking her? I suppose you're right about it negatively affecting us if we pretended to date her, but what would we theoretically lose if we went through with that idea? What would be the negative repercussions?
>>4238336It's kinda like school, some teachers and students will simply dislike you and make your life harder 'cause you're banging that slut Stacy.
>>4238362So what should we do?
>>4238406I would like to know, it seems that no matter what we do we're gonna get screwed later. The future is truly a cyberpunk dystopia
>>4238433If all actions are going to screw us later, which option will screw us the least? i still think the fake dating option is optimal.
>>4238470That's fine be me, if that doesn't work out the next course of aciton would either be persuading everyone to not give her drugs, or punching their lights out
>>4238165>You’ll run the water for a bath. She can’t fall over in a bath
>>4238165>Get her to the shower and pressure-wash herIf we can't leave her in a bath without supervision, why not walk the whole mile.>>4238336My expectation would be possessive creeps like Nagamasa will hate us because we "stole their girl", and possibly also try to force themselves on Akira. I thought about fake dating, but decided it would cause more problems than it'd solve.
>>4239091Do you think if he attempts for force himself on Akira, we could make it so he gets something a little more intense than a slap on the wrist?O'm open to better suggestions if you have anything better than fake dating.
>>4239189Unfortunately, I don't have a better suggestion for now
>>4239189What if we install cyberware on her? Maybe something to filter out drugs from her system, or perhaps if bioware is availible, we install something that let's her zap people like an electric eel?
>>4239204Hmmm, that might be an idea.
>>4239204At the very minimum, a liver filter, a kidney booster and a shot of a slow-dissolve endorphin salt in her thigh to help get her thru the bad detox period. Sure the kidney booster will make her pee like a racehorse, but the liver filter will detox her faster and the salt will buffer her against a relapse. She may need counseling too.
>>4239204>>4239219And how much would all that ware cost? Doesn't seem feasible.Theres got to be some way to convince/coerce Nagamasa and others to not give her drugs.
>>4239226Convince them to leave alone their sex toy? We'll have to kill half the household.
>>4239227I'm holding out for some anon to pop in with some genius keikaku.
>>4239226Ask the QM. For all we know, even crappier insurance might contribute (cheaper than long term care), or a street doc could help.
>>4239232Maybe we could obtain some sort of dophamine blocker
>>4239235Excellent addition.The dopamine blocker stops her from getting high, the liver filter processes the toxic byproducts of neurofrag at high speed, letting the kidney booster flush them out of her system. It puts her into a crash detox. The endorphin salt buffers her through the rough part of the detox, and she's neurofrag-free in about a week. After that, it's just whatever counselling is needed.The nicer part, is that you might be able to fake these using pharmaceuticals. Enzymes might substitute for the liver filter, and a diuretic might duplicate the kidney booster, but with lesser efficiency.
>>4239226>>4239232Good-quality cybernetics are expensive. Part of the reason why your wages are horrible by the standards of other corporations is because the Muramoto Corporation subsidizes your augments.With a street doc, rudimentary cyberization becomes affordable. But cybernetic internal organs are even more expensive than limbs or peripherals since you can't just steal them off of trashed drones. Only a street doc with gang or shady corporate connections would have access to something like an artificial organs. But drug pumps are very common. However, the biggest problem with off-the-street cybernetics are viruses. They're so ubiquitous they're not considered a risk to street augments, they're considered a reality. If you don't make the preparations or arrangements beforehand, street augmentations are a really good way for a pretty girl like Akira in a street brothel, maybe or maybe not mindwiped depending on market trends.
>>4239245How hard would it be to fake what we discussed using pharmaceuticals? Some loss of efficiency, but no implantation.
>>4239245How the fuck did you manage to make cyberpunk even bleaker. Cool implants was the only good thing about it, you monster.
>>4239248Affordable financially speaking, but you should think about any potential implications>>4239251Punks go against the mainstream with their cool implants. Unfortunately, the mainstream is bleak dystopian implants if any implants at all
>>4239204>>4239208>>4239219>>4239235>>4239243That doesnt sound cheap. We got a raise, but the only reason we can afford our upgrades is because they're Corperate given.>>4239248Wat?>>4239251That's the beauty of cyberpunk. It's a beast that takes as much as it gives.
Oh yeah regardless if the kidney and implanted chemical filters, shes still addicted to Neurofrag. The withdrawls could kill her.
“On second thought, maybe a bath would be a better idea.” You decide. You didn’t want Akira to collapse in the shower and hurt herself. But there was no risk of that if she was lying down in a bath.“A bath, huh?” Akira mutters wistfully.You lean Akira against the wall and begin running the water for a bath. All the while, Akira stares at the bathtub in contemplation.“It’s ready,” You announce. “Can you undress yourself?”“I-I’ll manage!” Akira squeaks, weakly but determinedly pulling at her clothing with trembling fingers. You chivalrously avert your eyes. But you could hear the sound of her clothing hitting the ground from a hundred meters away. “Kentaro-kun …”“Yes?” You ask, still politely looking at the wall.“I need help getting to to the bathtub …”“Understood.” Without looking, you offer your arm. Using it like a grab bar, Akira climbs to her feet. Supporting her in that way, you help Akira over to the bath. You feel her weight on your arm lessen just as you hear a small splash as she collapses into the bath.“Ahhhh.” Akira can’t help but sigh in relief as she immerses herself and lets the exhaustion in her limbs dissolve into the warm water.“Should I leave?” You ask.“No, please stay.” Akira says. “I might need your help. If I slip under, I might not be able to get up.”Well, if that was what Akira wanted …You continue staring at the light on the wall and wait for Akira to finish. At first, there’s the sound of Akira slowly cleaning her body, the soft friction of her hands rubbing against her wet skin. But eventually, that sound stops as Akira simply soaks in the warm, soapy water.“It’s been years since I’ve been in a bathtub.” Akira eventually says, breaking the awkward silence. “Not since I was a little girl. It’s pretty nostalgic ...”>Ask her about her childhood (What?)>”Not since your father died?” You have a few questions on that subject>”Well, you can come and bath in here whenever I’m working.”>”If you’re finished, let’s get you dried and out.”
>>4239879>Ask her about her childhood (What?)What was it like growing up? Anything cool? Video games?
>>4239879Supporting >>4239883Let's see if she knows the classics.
“What was it like growing up for you?” You ask Akira.“What was it like?” Akira muses, “Well, it was very comfortable by most standards, I think. I grew up in an apartment in slopetown and went to a general education school instead of a vocational school. My parents planned to prepare me for university, but really, I was just being trained to be married and be a good wife. That was all that was expected of me, so I didn’t have much pressure growing up. It didn’t really matter that I didn’t study that hard or do many extracurriculars, everything was being taken care of for me … Although I did end up pretty good at volleyball despite all that. I was on the school team and everything. It’s funny, you know? It’s been so long since then, but sometimes I wake up and feel surprised I’m not in my old bed … but I’m curious. What was it like growing up for you, Kentaro-kun?”“Me? I barely remember, It’s been a long time ...” You think about Akira’s question, trying to remember hazy memories of what seemed like a past life. What you could recall blended together into a stream of adventures on the street with a tight-knit group of friends. “Well, it definitely wasn’t as comfortable as you had it. My family was pretty normal for a streetside family, I guess. Everyone was just trying to scrape together a living. We were as cheap as possible with everything. I grew up on the street, you know? Roaming around the arcology-base slums. The sun was only visible at certain parts of the day down there. There was nowhere for a kid to go and play except the street.”“W-wasn’t that dangerous?” Akira asks.“What were we going to do, stay put inside a one-room apartment with my parents and two brothers?” You laugh, “Well, I’m still alive today.”“So you’d just roam around the street by yourself? As a kid?“Being on the street by myself?” You chuckle, “No, that’d be stupid. Down there, you’d get massive gangs of local street urchins like me gathering together for safety. We’d spend the entire day wandering the street. Sometimes, we’d save our allowances and pool them to go to a cheap ramen place. But usually, we’d spend our time picking over the piles of trash cast off from high up above. Actually, I found my first SimRPGs like that, in a waste pile. A crate of gamedrives had been dropped from somewhere up above us and somehow, some of them survived.”“Oh, you played simgames as a kid, Kentaro?” Akira asked.“Still do. Why, did you?”“No, but I had friends who did. I watched a lot of movies growing up. I was sort-of a cinephile. It was my main hobby.”“I see.” You nod. “Which movies?”
“Oh tons. I was a cinephile.” Akira says, “I still watch movies whenever I have energy left over from work. My favorites from back then were either Lady Snowblood or Shogun Assassin. But I can’t really forget about …”You listen to Akira ramble on about old movies. Akira’s upbringing had been almost completely different from yours, almost to a near unrelatable degree. Such a sheltered life, no wonder Akira wasn’t very street smart. But still, you can’t help but feel sympathy for this once-sheltered girl dropped into the world you had been lucky to escape…Interlude>Kentaro’s dream>Akira’s dream
Also, I want to say nice discussion this thread. It's nice to see you brainstorming ideas.
>>4240849>Kentaro’s dream>Why ain't Kentaro fighting other people in the dojo?
It’s been hours, but you still can’t sleep. You lie with your arms under your head, staring at the ceiling. Your sensory suite is keeping you awake. With your enhanced senses, even your dark, quiet room bombards you with too much sensory input. You could hear the falling rain outside. Every breath you take fills your nostrils with the acrid scent of the strong chemical cleaning detergent used on your sheets. And no matter how many times you close your eyes, they always open before long to continue to watch the patterns in the shadows.Your right arm is aching. It feels unbearably hot. You can feel it pulling on your bones where it is anchored, feel it’s clamps pinch against raw muscle. You writhe in discomfort under your covers. Your bed is soaked in your sweat.A flash of lightning fills your room, illuminating a figure in your room.“A-Akira?”The door to your room is hanging open. The sound of thunder had covered the sound of it opening. Wordlessly, Akira approaches you, climbs onto your bed, and straddles you.“Kentaro-kun.” She whispers breathlessly. Another flash of lightning fills the room, illuminating her soft, smooth skin. Akira takes hold of your burning hot wrist with her gentle, cool fingers and lifts your hands. You’re helpless to resist as she places it on her chest.“Akira, what are you doing? Hey, you should be sleeping right now … Wait, wait ...”Akira leans in close to you. You can’t help but wince and look away from her need-filled eyes. You can feel her hot, shallow breath on your face.“Kentaro-kun.” Akira whispers softly in your ear, “Why did you kill my Father?”What? “You might as well have killed him.” Akira says accusingly. “Why?” She demands, her voice isn’t angry or bitter. All it demands is an answer.You open your eyes. Akira is gazing at you with forlorn eyes. You pull your hand away from her chest, only to find it dripping with blood. Akira’s yukata is soaked in blood. Her chest is soaked … in blood?“You did this to me.” Akira says accusingly, tears gathering in her eyes.A third flash of lightning fills the room, filling your sight with white light. When the light clears from your eyes, instead of Akira straddling you, you find a bloodless corpse standing over you. It was the first person you ever killed. Or maybe third. A sense of guilt fills you when you realize you can’t remember who the person even was.”“Why did you kill me?” He demands.[/i]Interlude Out…
You wake up with a start. You were in your room, lying in your bed. But Akira was nowhere in sight. Neither was the corpse. Your room was completely dark, you had removed the external drive for your sensory suite before going to bed. And of course, your sheets were bone dry. Your skin couldn’t sweat after all.You check the time. 3:08. There was still enough time for it to be worth going back to sleep. But you were afraid of going back to sleep and dreaming again, so you walk out of your dark room. You look from your doorway out into your living room. Akira was lying on your couch and sleeping peacefully, dressed in one of your dress shirts that was much too big for her.That’s right. You were working so hard to help her, weren’t you? Finally doing some good in the world instead of just looking after yourself? But then why did you feel so guilty?You promise yourself you’ll help Akira overcome her addiction. Maybe then, at the end of that all, you’ll stop feeling guilty over the lives you’ve ended in your past.Just as you resolve yourself, a notification pops up on your HUD. You had a new message in your inbox … What’s this? You’ve never seen this sender before …To Netuser IntoYou are invited to the Eastern Wonderland Lobby. The gate will be open in the Boa Trance Virtual Club and Bar for three days. Please come over for some tea. Feel free to bring your netrunner friend as well.- ArisuFrag, what the hell was this? You had just been contacted by Arisu? The elusive netuser that Neon had hyped up so much? The one who might give you clues to Toshi’s appearance? And she had just contacted you out of the blue? This was unbelievable …>Contact Neon right now. The night’s still young.>This is big, but you should wait until tomorrow night.
>>4241770>Contact Neon right now. The night’s still young.
>>4241770>>Contact Neon right now. The night’s still young.
>>4241770Can't even have a normal wet dream in a cyberpunk dystopia.>Your skin couldn’t sweatI wonder how our cooling system works.>>4241770>Contact Neon right now. The night’s still young.
Grima Masquerade Club, Cyberspace, 2210. 3:15Neon is waiting for you at the usual spot. She has a slightly annoyed expression on her face.“Sorry for meeting on such a short notice.” You apologize.“Damn In2, I have a life too, you know?” Neon gripes. “I’m not always available to be at your beck and call …”“I’m sorry. I know it’s late at night.”“Damn right it is.” Neon says, “I’ve got dancing to do and cute punks to tease and you want to saddle me with work? You sound just like a blank-collared corpocuck.”“Aren’t these working hours for you?” You point out. Some nights when you had been working with Neon had stretched far past 4 in the morning.“Okay, okay, I would have been working for another client or on a side job.” Neon admits, “You’re lucky you pay better, In2.”“You’re lucky I pay you at all.” You shoot back, “Still. I’m glad to hear I’m not disturbing your sleep.”“Sleeping? At three?” Neon laughs, “In2, you know going to sleep any time before at least 4 in the morning is a sign of old age, right?”“Well, I’m glad to hear I’m not disturbing it.” you harrumph.Neon laughs again, before turning her attention back to business. “So? What’s got your trunks in a bunch, Granps? What is this ‘urgent message’ you received that’s got you up past your bedtime?”“This.” You reply, forwarding Neon the message you had got.“What’s ‘this?’” Neon mockingly repeats as the message materializes in tablet form in her hands. She casually scans the message as if to act as dismissive of your urgency as possible.Then, her jaw hits the table.“My circuits must be fried.” Neon mutters to herself, rereading the short message again. Her brow furrows in confusion, then total bewilderment. “What kind of fried plastrash is this?”“Does it look genuine?” You ask.“Absolutely.” Neon says in an astonished-sounding voice. “There’s a unique signature embedded in the message.”“Really? I didn’t see it.” You scrutinize the message closely. But all you could see was the text and the white background of your HUD display.“You wouldn’t be able to.” Neon says, “You don’t have the decoding software. But this signature proves it’s the real thing.”“Couldn’t it be copied?” You ask. It would be simple enough if it just relied on the message file, right?“It could be.” Neon admits, “But there wouldn’t be a point. No one except deep-in netrunners would notice the embedded signature. And no third-rate scammer would be dumb enough to target netrunners since all he’d get out of it is a pissed-off netrunner calling up their bored buddies to raid and dismantle his whole operation. There’s too many easy naive chumps to go after for it to be profitable.”“I see.” You nod, “So since we know the message is genuine, we will be going to the location it specified, right?”
“I wouldn’t be able to call myself a netrunner if I passed up a chance to investigate Arisu.” Neon says, “But still. Why would Arisu of the Eastern Wonderland be interested in frying no-name like you?”>We must have done something worth noticing investigating Toshi>She told to bring you, maybe it’s something you did>Maybe it was the virus I encountered>I have no idea
>>4242570Basically all cyborgs after a certain point of augmentation use a coolant circulatory system. alongside their regular circulatory system.
>>4242603>We must have done something worth noticing investigating Toshi>neon pretending she hasn't figured out we're not a nobody
>>4242603>>We must have done something worth noticing investigating Toshi
>>4242603>Maybe it was the virus I encountered>>4242605I mean, how do we dump heat into the environment?D owe have a superhot patch of skin somewhere? Or ventilation slits?
>>4242605I imagine gen one just had a ton of CPU fans straped to them, making them look like a science fair project.>>4242603>Maybe it was the virus I encountered
>>4242603>Maybe it was the virus I encountered
“Maybe it was the virus I encountered two days ago.” you suggest.“Huh? Why do you say that?” Neon asks. She sounds curious instead of dismissive of your idea. “Are you talking about how it mysteriously disappeared?”You nod. “Maybe Arisu’s just interested.”“It is frying strange.” Neon agrees, “And it was a weird virus. Just weird enough for a netuser like Arisu to be involved in something about it … In that case, pull up your system reports from that date. If you’re right, she’ll want to see them. Do you know how to access those?”“Well actually … no I don’t.” You admit. You weren’t dumb enough to frag around files in your head where you weren’t supposed to go. Some enforcers did and most of them got away with it too, and bragged about their skill too, posing to be amateur hackers. But you knew of at least one case of a total memory wipe. Not that accessing system reports was dangerous, even you knew that. But you still had no idea where to find which file in your head.“Damn. Well, they’d sure come in handy, you know?” Neon gripes.>Alright, fine. You’ll try to access your system reports. (Roll)>Allow Neon access to your system. You’ll make sure she goes straight where she’s supposed to.>No way you’re messing around inside your head, let alone letting anyone else in there.
>>4243060>Alright, fine. You’ll try to access your system reports. (Roll)
>>4243060>Alright, fine. You’ll try to access your system reports. (Roll)>Use F1 Kentaro!
“Alright, fine. If they’ll be so useful, I’ll try to get them for you.” You annoyedly tell Neon in an exasperated, wholly unprofessional tone. Your working relationship was like that.>Roll 3 1d20’s. You will need 1 success.
Rolled 4 (1d20)>>4243302FUCK
Rolled 6 (1d20)>>4243302
Rolled 13 (1d20)>>4243302
>>4242759Generation One already had very advanced respiratory-based cooling since robotics had undergone decades of research before the first android body was built.
I KNOW I ONLY UPDATED ONCE YESTERDAY! I’M SORRY!You determinedly search through the various pop-up menus of your HUD. The highly compact nested design of the menus was ergonomically designed, but a massive pain to navigate. You delve deeper and deeper into the menus, but you still don’t even have an idea where to find your system reports.“If it’s too difficult, you could give me access to your system and pull them up myself.” Neon offers.“Forget it. I’m not letting you inside my head.” You rebuff her.“Ah. So you’re not entirely naive.” Neon smirks, “That’s good to know. It’s pretty smart of you not to let anyone past your firewalls … still, I could walk you through it.”“I can handle it,” You tell her,“Hurry up. If you take longer, it’s going to be morning.” Neon goads you on. “Could you be quiet? I’m trying to concentrate.”Neon pouts, but she keeps quiet as you figure things out. Eventually, almost by sheer chance, you stumble across a folder labelled Recent System Reports. You access the folder.Insufficient Authorization: Read-Only Mode Activated.Inside the folder, you find a massive, exhaustive scrolling list of sub-folders organized by date stretching back to a week ago. It’s amazing how much space there is inside your cyberbrain, space you never accessed. You open one sub-folder, only finding it even more organized, sub-divided into files of hourly reports. You choose one report at random to open, and skim through its contents ...CPU Utilization 8% Speed: 7.2 GHZ Temperature: 47 RAM Usage: 67% Network connection 0.1 kpsBrain/Cyberbrain Communication: 0 ms … 2.4 ms … 0 ms … 0 ms … 0 ms ...Incidents: None…Unloading 0 unused Assets to reduce memory usage. Loaded Objects now: 2801.Total: 3.165100 ms (FindLiveObjects: 0.156100 ms CreateObjectMapping: 0.197400 ms MarkObjects: 2.803100 ms DeleteObjects: 0.007500 ms)…CPU Core 3Unloading 3 Unused Serialized files (Serialized files now loaded: 0)Unloading 0 Unused Serialized files (Serialized files now loaded: 0)Dropping scope changed the number of objects in memory from 5 to 2Incident: Deep Memory Write Speed spike above parametersIt was all incomprehensible jargon no matter where you looked. A millisecond-by-millisecond wall of text. But you’re amazed. Even on an uneventful day, your system was constantly making adjustments, running into errors, and patching them all on it’s own. If you dwelled on it too long, you’d begin to doubt the security of your existence.
Next, you navigate over to the system reports for the time in which you got the virus. They were … empty? How could they be empty? You recall your memory of that time, calling up images of the avatar that had infected you, the feeling of black ooze in your body, the way Neon had brutally counterattacked as soon as she noticed what was happening. They were all there, both in your organic mind and your digital memory. But the system reports for the hours preceding the attack and infection were … completely blank?And somewhere in the distance, in the back of your mind, you hear the sound of a child giggling.>Hint of the Unknown gained. Kentaro now has 2 Hint of the Unknown.“It’s … blank!” You say.“What? Impossible!” Neon exclaims. “Are you sure you didn’t just delete them by accident?”“I’m sure I didn’t it’s set to read-only.”“Hmmm … that’s really strange.” Neon sinks deep into thought, “Maybe somehow he’s stumbled across some presence. But he hasn’t even been below level 3. There’s no way. But if he did … No wonder even Arisu would be interested in him, if she somehow found out …”>What does she mean by “presence?”>Why can you hear her muttering in cyberspace?>Tell her about the giggling you heard.>For some reason … you have a feeling you should keep quiet
>>4245289>CPU Utilization 8% Speed: 7.2 GHZ Temperature: 47 RAM Usage: 67% Network connection 0.1 kpsOur own brain fucking thinks we're dumb. Jesus.>>4245295>Tell her about the giggling you heard.
>>4245295>What does she mean by “presence?”
>>4245295Anyone remember what was our first Hint?
>>4245295>What does she mean by “presence?”>>4245388Was it the vision of kaguya after we got dropped by the infected guy?
>>4245295>>Tell her about the giggling you heard.
“Wait Neon, what do you mean by ‘presence’?” You ask. But as soon as you do, Neon looks at you with an expression of incredulity on her face.“Wait, In2 ... you hear me speaking?”“Yeah, you were muttering.”Neon gives you a very serious look. “In2, people don’t mutter in cyberspace unless they want to … and I didn’t.”“Frag, what?” You struggle to understand the implications of Neon’s words. Neon hadn’t been muttering. But you had still heard her muttering. What … did that mean? “I heard you though. So what did I hear?”“Those were my surface-level thoughts.” Neon whispers.Neon’s surface level thoughts? But … how? “How did i hear them?”So he really has stumbled across some Presence. You hear Neon think to herself. But then, her thoughts suddenly cut off, as if moved behind a protective barrier.“You asked what Presence is, right? Well, you being able to hear my surface-level thoughts? That’s because you possess a small degree of it.”“But what is this … ‘presence’?” You carefully say the word. For some reason, when Neon said the word, it had a singular weight behind it. The word itself demanded your attention. The word itself had presence.“Well, the cat’s out of the bag now, I guess.” Neon sighs, “There’s no use not telling you. Okay, simply put, it’s a disproportionate amount of influence you have on the system. You see In2, to a certain extent, the environment of cyberspace is defined by your perception of it, and the level to which it is defined varies. With enough Presence, that level of definition approaches total. The existence of Presence is one of the most mysterious secrets of the deep netuser community. But this isn’t out of any design or agenda, it’s simply because possession of it is so rare it will never affect most people except as a rumour.”“But if it’s so rare, how did I end up with this ‘Presence?’” You ask.“Well, there’s only one way to gain it.” Neon says. “You have to catch a glimpse of the true nature of the Network. Most people looking for it have to seek it out actively. I have absolutely no idea how you gained yours.”>You never explained clearly what Presence does>This kinda sounds like magic. I know that cyberspace doesn’t work like that.>You’re going to have to provide proof to back up your claims>Are you trying to tell me I can dodge bullets?
>>4245318If it makes you feel any better, Kentaro still does most of his thinking with his meat brain. Only his hindbrain has been completely replaced with cybernetics so it's really only handling reflexes and coordination as well as regulating his cybernetic body.
>>4246762>>This kinda sounds like magic. I know that cyberspace doesn’t work like that.
>>4246762>Are you trying to tell me I can dodge bullets?This option can't not be chosen.
>>4246762>Tell her about the giggling you heard.
>>4246762>This kinda sounds like magic. I know that cyberspace doesn’t work like that.
>>4246773>>4246788>>4247019Are we not worried about the giggling?
>>4246762>You never explained clearly what Presence does
>>4247075I personally am not, since apparently it was Kaguya's giggle
vote called, writing
“That kinda just sounds like magic.” You point out skeptically. “I know that cyberspace doesn’t work like that.”You lived in an age of science and rationality, after all. Even if there had been a postmodern mysticism revolution going on for the last half a century, that was still the case. No one with any common sense believed in bull like ‘defining your own existence’, or the ‘subjectivity of the universe’, right? Especially not in a system as rule-based as cyberspace ...“Ah, but cyberspace is just that. An artificial system with arbitrary rules.” Neon rebutts your very thoughts, as if she could read them.Some of them can be bent. Others, broken. Understand?”“But you can’t just make changes to a simulated environment just by changing your perception of it.” You continue arguing, “The system should be much too dynamic and complex.”“Like I said before, cyberspace isn’t a simMMO.” Neon reminds you, “There are no stock sensations or even a physics engine. Hell, there’s barely even half-fried environment data. The look and feel of the space around you is largely defined by information about your past experiences that you provide yourself. Take this glass for example.” Neon says, picking up the cocktail glass in front of her. “What I am holding is not a polysensory model of a cocktail glass, but a variable placeholder representing a cocktail glass. Maybe the server this lobby is hosted on provides some basic geometric data, maybe it borrows my perception to define it a bit more, but the rest of the characteristics of this glass are defined by me.”You still have your doubts. Anything Neon claimed to be the result of ‘presence’ could just be her conventionally hacking. But you decide not to continue arguing. What the hell did you know? All you had been taught to do was swing your sword, kiss up to your superiors, and not get shivved walking down a dark alleyway.“Let’s just go do what we decided to do tonight before it’s morning.” You say....“So, this is the place we’re supposed to find the gate?” You say as you step out of the doorway Neon had created.“This is the Boa Trance lobby, yeah.” Neon nods. “There isn’t another place like it.”The two of you were in a space modelled after an underground utility room. Long, thick cables snaked across the floor and up the bare concrete walls. In the midst of them, a few dozen people mingled. There was a bar on the far wall, almost comically out-of-place.“Not much of a crowd.” You remark.
“It’s not a well-known lobby.” Neon explains, “It’s mostly a hub for hardcore netfraggers to lurk with their own people without diving into the chaos of lower layers. At least this place has rudimentary antivirus defences. But usually, it’s busier. There must not be anything interesting going on unimportant enough to not justify coordinating it in a community lower down.”“I see.” You nod. You look around the empty, ugly room some more. “So, where in cyberspace are we?”“At the border of Level Three and Four. Anywhere lower than this, and you’re completely responsible for your own safety. From what I’ve heard, Arisu’s gates usually open much deeper than this. So to go out of her way to connect her lobby just for you, well, she must really be interested in you, In2.”“I’m flattered.” You dryly remark.“I would be.” Neon says in all serious. Neon walks over to the corner of the room, where a large concrete slab lay on it’s side. She climbs on top of it, finds a relatively comfortable spot, then begins to meditate in a cross-legged position.“What are you doing?”“I’m searching for signs of a gate,” Neon says, “It might take a bit of time if it’s hidden well. If you don’t feel like waiting, you can try to search for simusensory signs yourself … or not. Your choice, really. Can’t hurt …”Neon closes her eyes. You can’t help but feel a bit ignored.>It’s no use. Go over to the bar, order a drink, and wait.>Find someone interesting looking and try to start a conversation>Start walking around the environment and look for visual clues you guess>Observe Neon as closely as possible, and try to see if you can learn something from her>Copy her and meditate, something might happen
>>4247748>Copy her and meditate, something might happenMaybe if we can hear her surface level thoughts, we might be able to hear other things...
>>4247748>Observe Neon as closely as possible, and try to see if you can learn something from herMaybe we might get post it notes on how to use basic programs.
>>4247748>>Copy her and meditate, something might happen
>>4247748>Copy her and meditate, something might happen
You find a comfortable secluded spot with Neon in sight. Then, you sit down and begin meditating as well. You slow your breath and bring it under your control, before spreading out your senses over your surroundings …You’re wasting your time already. You hear Neon’s voice clearly in your mind. I’m picking up excess queries to your sensory systems.Leaving you that short, cryptic comment, Neon returns to concentrating on whatever she was doing without further explanation. You ponder her words. You were wasting your time spreading out your senses? But then what should you be trying to sense? Earlier on, you had been able to hear Neon’s surface thoughts. If you had been able to do that, you might be able to hear other things ...>Roll 3 1d20’s. Degree of successes depends on the number of successes.
Rolled 19 (1d20)>>4248573Critfail now.
Rolled 5 (1d20)>>4248573
Rolled 3 (1d20)>>4248573
Instead of listening to your surroundings, you try to listen to the surface thoughts of the people in the lobby. It was hard for you to do so, thoughts were not something you would usually think of listening to. But since you had already heard Neon’s thoughts, you at least vaguely knew what you were trying to do. Was this the change in perspective Neon had been talking about?You catch yourself spreading out your senses again. No matter what you tried, you couldn’t seem to hear other people’s thoughts. Not even a whisper. This was hard. This was really fragging hard. Stubbornly, you keep trying, even though you only had a vague idea of what you were even trying to do … until you feel a tap on your shoulder.You open your eyes. Neon was standing in front of you, waiting impatiently. “Hey, I was waiting for like, a whole thirty seconds you know.” She complains, “It doesn’t look like you made any progress. You know, most people would have just given up.”“I guess I’m stubborn.” You reply.“Well, you don’t learn just by beating your head against a wall.” Neon says, “Anyways, I found the gate, so let’s get going.”“How did you find it by just sitting in place anyways?”“Come on, can’t you at least figure out I wasn’t just sitting?” Neon laughs, “I was sifting the variable environmental code for fixed-point simusensory packets where they shouldn’t be among the randomized and dynamic simusensory packets that should be there and then decrypting the patterns I found to derive the lobby invite we’re looking for. Sitting down and meditating’s just a way to concentrate better.”Once again, you have no idea what Neon’s talking about.You follow Neon through a jagged hole in the concrete wall out of the main lobby and into a decrepit, dark corridor with almost half of its walls covered with wire bundles running every direction.“The gate is down there?”“No, I just need somewhere reasonably out of sight to open it.” Neon explains. “Not that it will hide things from anyone actively watching us, but it’s considered bad manners to enter through a private gate where just anyone can see you.”Once you and Neon have walked a decent distance down the corridor, Neon draws a vertical line in the air with her finger. The line widens into a crack, filling the dark corridor with dim, blue light. Neon tries to step through, but she passes through the blue portal like it isn’t even there.Netuser Neon Identified: Access Denied. Access conditions unfulfilled. A synthesized female voice calmly says.“You first.” Neon suggests.
Tentatively, you approach the glowing blue portal. You cautiously try to push your hand through the blue wall of light covering the crack. However, as soon as your hand makes contact with the wall of light, it flares in intensity, enveloping your entire avatar.Netuser In2 Identified: Access Granted … 1 additional Netuser signature detected. Invite Netuser Neon? [y/n]“Don’t you dare not invite me.” Neon hollers seemingly somewhere in the distance, “This is a big opportunity for me.”You shrug. Neon had been a big help to you after all. This was the least you could do to invite her.“Yes. Invite Neon.”Permissions received. Access conditions fulfilled. Inviting Netuser Neon …A second later, Neon appears out of nowhere beside you.“Seems it was the right decision putting my faith in you.” Neon says.“I was considering not inviting you a little … Hey!”Neon elbows you lightly. You were about to respond when the blue light begins to fade, distracting the both of you.Welcome to Eastern Wonderland. The words flash in front of you and Neon. You find yourselves in a large, bustling restaurant. The walls were made from thin panels of cherrywood carved with intricate oriental patterns. The room was octagonal, like the inside of an eight-sided pagoda. Multiple tiers of floors supported by crimson pillars stretched upwards towards a distant ceiling, all visible from the open empty space at the center of the room. The air was heavy with the smell of spring onions, exotic sauces, and steamed pork buns. The restaurant was more detailed and laden with fresh, original sensations than any other lobby you and Neon had gone to. It was on the same level of simusensory resolution as a cutting edge simRPG.“So this is Arisu’s Eastern Wonderland.” Neon breathes in wonder, drinking in the environment around her with her eyes.Small porcelain dolls dressed in tiny, frilly costumes pfloated through the air on gossamer wings, carrying meals and empty plates back and forth, occasionally descending to attend to patrons. Even though the entire restaurant was bustling, for some reason, it felt like the crowd of patrons was waiting for something. The air was heavy with anticipation.Suddenly, with a flash of light, a four-story tall avatar appeared on the dais, dressed in a seven-colored lolita dress festooned with lace, ribbons, and lacey ribbons.“Welcome to Eastern Wonderland with Arisu, the premier c-cooking show lobby on the c-cybernet!” The avatar announced loudly in a warm, but overly enthusiastic voice. With a wave of her hands, a hologram of a wraparound kitchen counter stocked with ingredients appears around her. “Come g-get a home cooked meal, made w-with love, just for you!”
At the sound of the avatar’s voice, many of the people in the restaurant clap. Some even cheer.“N-now, our next dish is very easy to m-make, very hard to fuck up …” The avatar continued. You quickly tune out the voice. It was just too hammy.A doll floats over, stopping in front of you and curtsying.“Have you been helped yet?” It asks in the high-pitched voice of a small child.“Um … No?” Neon says.“Please follow me then.” The Doll says, before floating slowly away.You and Neon follow it up four flights of stairs to the fifth level of the lobby, where the doll stops at a table overlooking the center of the room.“Arisu will be with you shortly.” The doll informs the two of you before floating away, leaving you and Neon to wait.You and Neon wait patiently for several minutes. A doll floats by, bringing tall cups of iced tea. But a dozen minutes pass and Arisu is still nowhere in sight.“Well, I’m going to take a look around.” Neon eventually decides, “Just contact me when Arisu shows up, okay?”>Follow Neon around>Wander around yourself>Call over a doll and ask where Arisu is>Try to meditate and listen to people’s thoughts again>Just sit and wait, watch the Arisu avatar cook
>>4249690Note to self: programming for Dummies. It can't be too expensive to get a basic bitch tutorial on programming would it?>Try to meditate and listen to people’s thoughts again
>>4249690>>Try to meditate and listen to people’s thoughts again
>>4249690>Wander around yourselfIt's probably very impolite to listen to people thoughtsInb4 they're bots because Arisu has no friends>>4249686>seven-colored dressEither Arisu is a genius of color coordination, or this dress is a fashion catastrophe.
>>4249690>Just sit and wait, watch the Arisu avatar cook
You close your eyes and try to hear the thoughts of the surrounding people again. Controlling your breathing, you enter into a meditative state. And this time, instead of spreading out your senses again, you try to detect the thoughts of the other people in the restaurant. But you still get nothing. It made no sense. How were you supposed to hear other people’s thoughts anyways?“You’re p-practising passive surface thought reading, I s-see.” A softly stuttering voice shakes you out of your reverie. You open your eyes, finding a human-sized version of the avatar at the center of the room. “O-oh, I d-didn’t mean to interrupt you, Dear … Into, I p-presume?”“That’s right.” You say.“I’m g-glad you could make it on such a s-short notice. I-I’m Arisu.”So this was the Netuser Arisu. Human-sized, she looks like a refined young lady dressed in doll-like clothes. Kind-of like the Blank girls you saw in Midtown that followed that fashion movement … Lolita, it was called. She definitely didn’t look the part of an infamous, influential Netuser. Her voice had a synthetic edge to it, like it was being subtly edited and corrected by the kinds of programs viral e-celebs were always heard using. And that stuttering was definitely an act.>Nice lobby you have here (Try to make a good first impression)>I’ve heard a lot about you (You’re cautious and you don’t hide it)>Why did you invite me? (You just want to get down to business)>If you’re really Arisu, then prove it
>>4251165>Nice lobby you have here (Try to make a good first impression)
>>4251165>I’ve heard a lot about you (You’re cautious and you don’t hide it)
>>4251165>>Nice lobby you have here (Try to make a good first impression)
>>4251165>Nice lobby you have here>A lot of guests for an illusive legend
“Well, thank you for inviting me here, Arisu.” You say politely, “I’ve heard how this lobby is kind-of a secret club, huh?”Although the Eastern Wonderland was very crowded for a notoriously exclusive lobby.“I w-welcome anyone! As long as t-they can make their way here, they’re welcome.” Arisu insists, “By the way, h-how do you like it here in my Eastern Wonderland, dear?”“It’s quite nice.” You admit honestly. It was far nicer and more welcome-feeling than any other lobby you had seen. The only restaurants you had ever seen in the real world were all holes-in-the-wall, or else soulless corporate cafeterias. You had seen places like this in the SimRPGs you played. But still, the level of detail was astonishingly impressive. You could see now why getting addicted to exploring and living in online environments was such a risk.“I’m g-glad to hear that, dear.” Arisu smiles, “By the way, d-didn’t you have a friend here as w-well? You m-might want her around for what we’re going to talk about. She is your netrunner, r-right?”Well, there was only reason Arisu would suggest you have Neon around. To advise you. “Looks like you invited me here to talk about something serious. I’m guessing cybernet business?”“N-no reason it can’t be enjoyable.” Arisu says, pulling a delicate-looking china tea service out of nowhere, “But l-let’s not exclude your guide Neon from teatime …” C-care for some tea, dear?”Arisu leans to the side and calls out to Neon who was somehow right next to the table … except she she was walking along the side of the dais and admiring the central hologram.“Wha?” Neon turns around at the unexpected voice. But she only takes a second to adjust to the perspective bend before sitting down at the table. “Sorry, sorry, you surprised me. I’m new here, please be gentle with me.”“T-that’s totally understandable.” Arisu reassures Neon, pouring the two of you cups of a fragrant-smelling tea, “Care for a cup of freshly brewed tea?”Fancy teas weren’t really your speed, but the cup in front of you smelled incredibly good. You unthinkingly reach for it, just for Neon to grab your hand in a grip of iron.“I’d love to, but I’m not thirsty.” Neon says.“Are you s-sure? Today’s tea is c-chamomile and orange.” At Arisu’s words, the scent wafts even more fragrantly towards you, making your mouth water. It would be a waste to let what was obviously a very expensive tea just sit and grow cold.“Like I said, I wish I could, but I’m just not thirsty.” Neon repeats.“I m-must insist.” Arisu presses, “Y-you’re my guests here. N-new friends don’t show up often, so I h-have to be hospitable.”>Politely refuse the tea (Roll)>Drink the tea. What’s the worst that could happen?>INSIST on not drinking the tea>Follow Neon’s lead
>>4253339>Politely refuse the tea
>>4253339>Politely refuse the tea (Roll)Gotta say we're pretty lucky to be here. Not here in cyberspace but to not have much time to look through virtual realities. This is probably going to me our best and most memorable experience in the Net.
>>4253339>Politely refuse the tea (Roll)
“Well, if I have to.” Neon relents, hesitantly raising the cup of tea to her lips and taking the tiniest of sips. Neon frowns and purses her lips as if analyzing the taste, before her face lights up. “It’s … really good!”“I’m glad you f-find it that way, dear.” Arisu smiles charmingly, before turning to you. “And h-how about you, dear? C-care for some orange chamomile tea?”Your common sense was screaming at you not to accept, nevermind your caution for cyberspace instilled by your short time working with Neon. But … the tea smelled so fragrant and welcoming. Virtual or not, tasting it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, wasn’t it?>Roll 3 1d20’s. You will need one success.
Rolled 1 (1d20)>>4254297Critfail now
Rolled 3 (1d20)>>4254297
Rolled 20 (1d20)>>4254297Just so we don't get stuck here
If qm is extremely generous the 20 overrides, but most likely we're stuck with >>4254301
>>4254546A 20 will override a critical failure so that we will go with the remaining dice rolled.Which is always a good thing. A failure is almost always better than a critical failure.
You stare conflicted at the amber liquid in the cup. Well, if Neon was willing to accept the tea, then it should be safe … right? You hesitantly raise the fine porcelain cup to your mouth. Frag, even the way the cup felt when you held it was amazingly detailed. Then, you take a sip.“Frag, it’s good!” You exclaim. The tea was warm and earthy, and so organic. The flavour was really light, not overly strong at all, really in the border between tea and hot water. But more subtle undertones were still clearly beneath the light flavour. There was the sweet taste of what you guessed was honey. It was a completely different kind of sweetness than the slightly-bitter tasting sugar they put into almost all synthetic food. And beneath even that was an even more delicate flavour that somehow reminded you of the scent of the flowers in the Muramoto Manor’s gardens. If all tea tasted like this, you’d have gone to the cafes in midtown more often.“I k-knew you would like it. E-everyone enjoys the tea here.” Arisu proudly boasts, pointing out multiple tables where varied colorful avatars were all enjoying their own cups of tea.“Well, you can’t blame us for being cautious.” Neon protests, embarrassedly rubbing the back of her head.“It’s g-good to be careful in cyberspace, dear.” Arisu agrees, “B-but a word of advice from me as a cyberspace veteran to l-less experienced netusers like yourselves … If you were r-really trying to be cautious, y-you shouldn’t have come to this lobby in the first place. In a p-private lobby like this, one where I have f-full control overt, you’re v-vulnerable to virus attacks as soon as you step in. S-so refusing the tea would have been pointless … You’re lucky I d-didn’t have anything bad in mind for the two ”“Thank you for your advice.” Neon says in an honest tone of voice.“I h-have to take care of my netuser juniors … anyways, more tea?”You and Neon gladly accept.***“So, let’s get to the business.” Neon suggests after the third cup of tea. You were waiting for someone to bring that up … or maybe you had just been enjoying the atmosphere inside the lobby. “There’s a reason why you invited us here, isn’t there, Arisu?”“T-there is, dear.” Arisu says, “You m-might have figured it out by now, but it h-has to do with you Into.”“Is this related to the virus I encountered two days ago?” You guess.
“Y-you’re pretty sharp, dear!” Arisu compliments you, “It is about that v-virus, if we’re talking about t-the same one. In f-fact, I believe you have s-something to offer me regarding it. But I’m g-getting ahead of myself. Let me s-start from the beginning. About a m-month ago, a r-regular of Eastern Wonderland approached me for information on how to acquire a certain, especially d-dangerous virus. Of c-course, I would never refuse a s-simple request so I provided them with the information. More than t-that, I handled negotiation, transportation, and s-security. A-aren’t I nice? But s-shortly after the transaction, that virus began f-festering in multiple cyberspace communities, even escaping p-periodically to the second level of cyberspace. Which brings us to y-you, dear. You s-see, I’ve d-done some research on you and you’re a complete newcomer to deep cyberspace. And m-my research is very thorough. There s-should have been no way your system wasn’t completely corrupted by that virus. But … here you are!”That was reassuring.“So you invited me here to your lobby because you were … interested in how I survived the virus?”“E-exactly!” Arisu nods, “You should have b-been, to p-put it bluntly, fried. B-but here you are! A-and I’d like to know why.”“Well good luck. I don’t know.” You say upfront.“S-so considering that, I have t-three proposals for you, if y-you’re willing.” Arisu continues, unfazed, “F-firstly, I would like to purchase a copy of y-your system reports. I’m w-willing to offer 250 sincreds for y-your system reports from the time surrounding your encounter. “250 ‘cred?” You whistle. “That’s a fair bit of money.”“I d-do my best to sweeten my deals.” Arisu smiles charmingly, “However, f-for a complete copy, I would change my o-offer to 5000 sincreds.”Seriously? 5000 sincreds? Frag, this was your lucky day. With that much money, you would be able to pay for Neon’s services for a long time. How big was Arisu’s budget really, to offer so much money for some rando’s system report files?But you try your best to play it cool. You put on your best poker face. “You’re talking real ‘cred now. Alright, I’m considering it. So what’s your second proposal?”“F-for the opportunity to scan your cyberbrain directly … 10000 sincreds.”“T-ten thousand sincreds?” You stammer. All pretense of playing it cool was gone now. Ten thousand sincreds? That was enough to turn paying off Akira’s debt into something trivial. Sure, you might accidentally expose some corporate secrets but still … Ten fragging thousand sincreds. You sure could use that. “A-and your next proposal?”
“My n-next proposal is … this.” Arisu says while she pours you another cup of tea … except instead of aromatic amber liquid flowing from the teapot’s spout, it was a thick, viscous, dark gunk that smelled like tar and sewage. “T-this is the virus you were infected with. If you’ll reintroduce this into your s-system and let me observe … I will pay you 40 000 sincreds.”You stare at Arisu, jaw agape in astonishment. Forty grand? That was enough to pay of Akira’s debt, pay for safe neurofrag rehabilitation, and still have loose change! But you would have to put that back in your system. Frag, you couldn’t make up your mind!>Sell Arisu the relevant system reports>Sell Arisu all of your system reports>Let Arisu scan your cyberbrain>Reinfect yourself with the virus>Bargain for information instead of money
>>4255431>Reinfect yourself with the virusThis will potentially kill us so, might as well ask for 50k. If we die, we get nothing. If we dont, we get a little extra something.Actually I have a proposition for Arisu. Can we get the 10k forwarded now, we'll spend that to buy some security software, then if we actually live through this we get 40k? Is this fair? I don't know if she wants to see what will happen to a target if they if they're protected or not.Also can't she remove the sewage smell please?
>>4255431>Sell Arisu all of your system reportsKinda iffy on having her scan our brain, since the corp would probably not like its secrets getting out like this very much.Reinfection would be cool, if we had any idea at all how we survived it last time. Maybe she can tell us, and will be willing to pay for reinfection later?
>>4255431>Bargain for information instead of money>Sell Arisu all of your system reports>AFTER we do it, warn her that the reports around the time of the attack were deleted by something.Reinfecting without problems would be too good to be true. Also we had help fighting off the virus, and here in a private lobby it might not reach us again.
>>4255431>Oh, and ask waht the virus was for. If it's bought and not made by a psycho hacker for the lulz, it should have some purpose besides just spreading.
>>4255431>>Sell Arisu all of your system reports
>>4255871Who knows, maybe Ken might already have an immune system (get it?) built up for the virus.
>>4255431>Reinfect yourself with the virusGo big or go home.
>>4255431>Reinfect yourself with the virusLove me money. Love me drama. Love me suffering.
>>4255431>>Oh, and ask waht the virus was for. If it's bought and not made by a psycho hacker for the lulz, it should have some purpose besides just spreading.Asking in case we do drink it. Gimme some more of those sweet sweet FRAGMENTS.
>>4255431>Reinfect yourself with the virus
>>4255431can we ask for things? Gib rare pirated vidya SIMs. Sekiro, Skyrim, Bones Work, etc.
>>4255431>Reinfect yourself with the virusSign me in, that seems like a """"""good"""""" idea.
>>4255431What does Neon think?How do you have so much money to blow on this?
>>4256548>>4255961>>4255940>>4255920>>4255546This reminds me that a QM on this board offered a vote option that killed the MC, then was really surprised when anons voted for it.
>>4256594That QM was a retard for doing what he did, case closed.
>>4255431Seriously though give us some super any virus software too
>>4256594This situation is totally salvageable. Qm can deal with it.
“I’ll reinfect myself with the virus.” You decide. 40 000 sincreds was just too large an amount to ignore. There were plenty of people in the slums that would jump off a building for that much money even if their odds of survival were a thousand to one.“Whoa whoa whoa, In2, are you sure that’s a good idea?” Neon speaks up.“It’s the one I’m going with.” You stay stubbornly. “There are reasons I could use 40 grand.”.“There are other options.” Neon protests, “If you sell your system reports, that’s already 2500 ‘cred. Seriously. Purposely infecting yourself with a virus is a frying bad idea.”“2500 ‘cred still isn’t 40 grand. Besides, I made it out last time, didn’t I?” You say with as much bravado as you can muster.“All right. It’s your choice. But as your Netrunner, I have to make sure you know: That virus is bad news.” Neon’s face is grim. It looks like she really objected to your decision. But she couldn’t stop you. It was the decision you had made after all.You gather your resolve, then bravely pick up the teacup and down it in one gulp. Almost immediately, it sticks in your throat, choking you and causing you to double over and slam the teacup into the table. The teacup shatters into razor-sharp shards. You feel a sharp, stinging pain as one of the shards scrapes against your ring finger. You stare at the small gash on your ring finger, barely more than a papercut. A crimson ribbon of blood is trickling from the cut. Huh. How many years has it been since you’ve bled pure blood? With slowly blurring vision, you watch as the ribbon of blood flowing out slowly turns becomes replaced with a black filth. It bubbles tar-like out of your finger in impossible amounts, coating your hand, then your arm … frag, your vision’s going dark …***Neon yelped as In2 collapsed onto the table, flipping it over and spilling its contents onto the floor. Competely nonplussed, Arisu deftly plucked her teacup and teapot off the table before it flipped.Neon touched two fingers to In2’s neck. No heartbeat. But that didn’t mean much in cyberspace. She flipped over his catatonic body. Black ooze was trickling from his mouth and nose. Neon touched some and brought it to her nose. It smelled like raw sewage. What little coated her finger was already infecting her hand, extending burrowing tendrils into her thought-form. Neon closed her eyes and concentrated, before purging the virus from her system with a burst of power.“What the hell?” She demanded, staring at Arisu. “That was totally unneeded. That was my client, you know?”“R-relax.” Arisu said. She sipped at her tea, completely calm. “Observe Into’s noosphere v-very carefully. I’m s-sure something very interesting will happen ...”***
This was it. You had failed. Like an idiot, you had ignored even Neon’s caution and reinfected yourself with a deadly virus … You had been greedy. You had thought that you could fix all your problems in one fell swoop. And now, you were going to die for it.You can feel your mind going blank. The black ooze is everywhere inside you. Your last regret is that ...>You had failed to save Akira. You had thought you could rescue her from her horrible situation. In the process, you had thought you might even redeem yourself. But you had messed it all up, dooming who you were trying to protect in the process.>You broke your promise to protect Kaguya. At first, it had been professional pride, but you really had grown fond of her. Being her retainer had shown you the joy of peaceful days, something you thought you would never know. Who was going to protect her now?>Was this shitty life all you were going to leave behind? A long career of killing people and then failed attempts to protect two girls?
>>4257205>Was this shitty life all you were going to leave behind? A long career of killing people and then failed attempts to protect two girls?
>>4257205>>Was this shitty life all you were going to leave behind? A long career of killing people and then failed attempts to protect two girls?TIME TO DIG THE GRAVE WE DUG
>>4257205>>Was this shitty life all you were going to leave behind? A long career of killing people and then failed attempts to protect two girls?
>>4257205>Was this shitty life all you were going to leave behind? A long career of killing people and then failed attempts to protect two girls?Yes, yes. This is the pain I signed up for.We neon now, boys?
>>4257094AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA>>4255546>>4255920>>4255940>>4255961>>4256548You utter, undiluted morons>>4257547Especially you>>4257205>Was this shitty life all you were going to leave behind? A long career of killing people and then failed attempts to protect two girls?
>>4257591Rude.Just embrace the pain anon
>>4258043"But it changes?" Did google translate fail me? What do you mean?
>>4258465It's a JoJo reference, it translates to "I Refuse"
Was this shitty life all you were going to leave behind? A long career of killing people and then two failed attempts to protect two girls tacked onto the end?”Not necessarily.” A quiet voice says from high above you … Kaguya’s voice?You look up. Floating high above you was a phantasmal image of Kaguya, dressed in a bone-white furisode with a gossamer train that trailed off into nothingness. The distance between the two of you recedes like a wave receding from the shore until she’s right on top of you.You open your mouth, but no sound comes out. Your entire body is paralyzed.”You’re still useful.” The Image of Kaguya whispers, stroking your cheek. Then, she presses her hand against your chest. Powerless, you grunt in pain as she slowly pushes through your chest. You feel the black ooze in your body surge.Then, everything really goes black.***“Look, In2’s noosphere!” Neon exclaims, “It’s … pulsating?”“T-those aren’t pulsations. T-those are spin field oscillations.” Arisu calmly says, “S-see? I t-told you something interesting would happen … I w-wonder what will happen next ...”Into’s noosphere expanded around his body, billowing and circulating like the currents of a storm. But a ring of solid current was forming deep within. Suddenly, the ring dispersed outwards, taking the rest of the noosphere with it and leaving a cold, lifeless avatar behind. The stream of black ooze that had been pouring from Into’s orifices slowly trickled to a halt.Slowly, Into’s avatar grew fainter and fainter. It’s holographic personalizations grew less and less vivid, until finally, it disappeared without a trace.End of Thread
This is the end of corporate cyber-samurai quest. But the story doesn't necessarily end here. I'm considering continuing it from the viewpoint of another character, probably Kaguya.In the case of continuing with Kaguya as our PoV character, the new quest will probably be named Corporate Princess Quest. But I'm willing to accept suggestions or feedback. I don't even know if enough people are interested to continue.That being said, this new quest is probably going to be some time away.
>>4259456either we're apt to hallucinate a lot or Kaguya's got to do with those "hints of the unknown" we've been collecting.next thread when?
>>4259463Ha! So we really did commit sedoku.>>4259469Yeah I share your pain. This sucks sure, but fuck if it doesn't make things exceedingly more interesting. I'm usually a thorough / cautious player, but that shit option was so damn tempting.
>>4259463I wonder what the suicide option added to the quest, from your point of view.In any case, any sequel would remind me of bad things, so I likely won't participate.
I was mostly just interested in how players would respond.But picking the Kaguya option would have led to you surviving, collecting the money, and advancing the plot. I thought the fact that you kept hallucinating Kaguya's likeness and the fact that you saw her when you miraculously survived the last virus would tip at least someone off. But really the consume-the-virus option was supposed to be an all-or-nothing gambit. But I'm willing to admit there may have been a lot of bad wording on my part.
>>4259622>picking the Kaguya option would have led to you survivingSorry, this is a "floor shark" option. A prime example of what not to do in a quest, where you can't just reload a save.
>>4259622>Including an option that will end the quest>No roll, no disclaimer, no "are you sure," no chance for redemption>Not because the players screwed up>>>For kicksI hope you'll be a cautionary lesson for other QMs.
>>4259649Right now, I'm being a cautionary lesson for myself
>>4259495>fuck if it doesn't make things exceedingly more interestingIn what way though? The quest died. The end.Are you saying this quest has negative interestingness or something?
So just asking, would people be interested in a sequel potentially in the coming weeks?
>>4259670I don't think I would be able to play it. Too salty.
>>4259469Remember me, anon, as the man who crushed your dreams.>>4259463I have mixed feelings about this ending. It would've been lame to let players get away with such a dangerous and retarded choice without consequences, but on the other hand I think permanent death/quest end options should not rest on one vote. If I were you I probably would've sent Kentaro into a coma and switched POV a few times as others tried to save him, and then when he wakes up he has some lingering penalty from it.Either way, I think the end to this quest will be remembered for a good while.>>4259670I'm not sure how interested I would be in playing a character who isn't combat-capable, such as Kaguya. Even though intrigue was a big part of this quest, I felt that the combat scenes were necessary, and also the general feel of being a badass and all that.Any other characters you would be willing to write? Or other quest ideas, for that matter?
>>4259658Nah, not if the DM runs another QST in the same setting. Then it's a cautionary tale that did a good job of providing a setting. >>4259670I believe in you QM. You should run it, make this an event that actually happened. The same people still exist. This is but one story in a larger world, so instead perhaps take this chance to tell someone else's story. Maybe with even a different take on the same situation.
>>4259698>not if the DM runs another QST in the same settingThat would be a different story though. This one is dead. The characterization is dead. The intercharacter relationships are dead. The motivations that drove the plot are dead. A different story would not resurrect them.This was a character-driven story, not a plot-driven one. You can't just replace the main character and continue as if nothing happened.
>>4259698By the way>This is but one story in a larger world, so instead perhaps take this chance to tell someone else's storyHonestly, I don't think this setting is attractive enough on its own. Was it a good backdrop to this story? Yes. Will a story attract me just because it's in the same setting? Nope.
>>4259463I am really happy that you have such massive QM balls to end the quest after our choices.Definitely will follow you to the sequel, if you write one! Thanks for the ride, was a pleasure!
>>4259463I'm down for anything more of the time, provided a quest has decent grammar.
>>4259683>Spooky Kaguya tells Kentaro that his legacy isn't completely set in stone and that he's still useful.>But Kentaro's definitely permadeadHey keep your hopes up Anon. It's just that it's no use calling the quest corporate samurai quest if the samurai is in a coma.>>4259698Thank you for your confidence anon. If I were continuing, it would mostly keep the same cast of characters.>>4259946>Decent grammarI'm ... surprised you're still here anon.Okay, I've decided to run a new quest beginning Wednesday with Kaguya as the main character, this time with no putting in choices for kicks and suicide options. The title of this quest will be cyberpunk princess quest unless anyone has any better suggestions. The characters will be mostly the same, but the story will be completely different. The new quest will pick up directly from where corporate cyber-samurai quest left off.
>>4260060>I'm ... surprised you're still here anon.There have been worse
>>4260060really would like a way in the princess quest to bring Kentaro back from the dead and continue from his POV, I'm salty we just died like that from one vote
>>4260060Bring Kentaro back
>>4260060I like your balls qm. I'll definitely be following your newest quest. Hope you don't pussyfoot and bring MC back from the dead.
>>4260420He ded. gg. on with the next character to kill.
>>4260426He said coma. I'm gonna miss Ken but if he's coming back down the line I'd still want to play him.
>>4260060>mfw I perfectly predict QM's thought processI do hope to see Kentaro again