Twenty years ago- years before you were even born, your homeworld repelled an alien invasion which arrived with no warning, no declaration, no communication. The invaders killed tens of thousands of your people before they all suddenly died- killed by their own ships.Your first meeting with a real Valkan seems to have gone rather well. At the very least she didn't try to kill you. It's a shame that she didn't have the time to teach you the Art for now, but you've got a plan for the next month or so now....---You can read the previous threads here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=COADE(Thanks to whoever archived the previous thread)Name: Tiiris ElsonAppearance: Sixteen year-old girl. Blonde hair, and very similar looking to her mother. While her mother was a beautiful woman, though, the features of her daughter are just slightly ‘off’. Her face is a little long, her eyes lidded, the nose slightly crooked, cheeks gaunt.Personality: Becoming more ambivalent towards the Valkans and unsure of how to reconcile her ingrained dislike of them with her status as one of them. Bit of a curious sort, doesn't run away from her hallucinations.Life: Works at a bookstore for some extra money. Has a brain condition where if she focuses on something with complex detail for too long, her brain begins to ‘fail’ and can't process all the information, causing her view of the world to fade out and wash away.Qualities:‘Reading Troubles’‘Seeing the Unseen’‘Light User’‘Good Condition’‘Book of Drawings’ -> ‘Valkan Sketchbook’‘Some Pocket Change’‘Glass Pendant’ -> 'Valkan Rosary'‘Valkan Device’‘Valkan Repair Drone’ -> 'Antique Valkan Scarab'‘Collection of car documents’
>Who the hell is shipmaster Alich?Writing.
>>3914814Could we also ask Jess if she knows what the "Valkan Device" we collected is? It never does anything and we keep forgetting about it.
"Oh! Um..." You fumble in your bag before withdrawing the odd cylinder you'd recovered from the Valkan wreck you'd found. "I found this a while back, do you know what it is?"Jess takes it with a look of curiosity, turning it over in her hands before giving it back to you. "Datacore of some kind. Computer storage that's been worked with the Abyss, lets it transport AIs.">Quality upgraded: 'Valkan Device' -> 'Valkan Datacore'"Any idea what's on it?" You turn it over in your hands."Probably an AI backup of some kind." Jess shrugs. "Maybe some mundane data. It needs some pretty major hardware to read it, though. A ship, or a refit station for a warskin.""'Warskin'?" Kara mutters to you."Oh." You look at it one final time, before slipping it into your bag. "One final question- my drones mentioned someone a while back- Shipmaster Alich. Do you know him?"Jess gives you a tight-lipped smile. "We don't talk about him.""Oh, did he-""I said we don't talk about him.""I- uh, I understand." You bob your head quickly in understanding. "I won't mention it again...""Good..." Jess lapses for a moment into silence, looking at the floor before clearing her throat. "Anyway, I won't keep you any longer. Come back any time.""Thanks..." You smile, quickly backing off the porch and stepping onto the dirt path back up to where you parked ST. Easy floated closely behind you, returning to the trunk as you got close."Think we touched a nerve there?""Big one." You mutter, opening the door and stepping into the navigator's seat. "Let's get going, ST.""Understood." With a smooth motion, ST makes a U-turn back the way you came. Jess waves from the porch until you turn the corner and she vanishes from view.You sigh a bit and relax into your seat. That was one hell of a meeting."So..." Kara twists around in her seat again, then turns back to you. "Who'd you borrow this car from again?"---Fortress Ship Creator's Wake1785th Year of Pilgrimage, 3000 Hours Shipboard Time"Sand-Sweeps-Deserts?"The woman's eyes snapped open, and she raised her head towards the figure approaching her. Letting go of the stripped down hilt in her hand, she let it float away from her to a nearby adjutant. Rising to her feet, she bowed to the newcomer, before pointedly saying. "How many times have I told you to just call me Kathari?""Oh." The newcomer blinked behind her visor, the lights along her armor pulsing a brief purple and slimming down briefly. "My apologies, I merely...""Relax, Karos." Kathari held up a hand. "Your training has been over for a century now, you can address me as a peer." She took a step closer, studying the face of Karos' helmet carefully. "...what's troubling you?"Karos shifted back and forth on her feet, the flaps on her suit thrusters twitching nervously. "...it's the splinter fleet."
>>3916070"What about them?" Kathari folded her arms and raised an eyebrow. "Thinking about joining them?""No! Never." Karos immediately held up her hands in a placating fashion.Kathari gave her an odd look. "...wait, you aren't seriously considering it?""I... a little." Karos pinched her fingers. "What concerns me more is how many are leaving. Ten ships, now, and I have word than another six and planning on joining them.""It's their life to live, Karos." Kathari jerked her head towards the wall- towards the bridge of the ship. "So long as they aren't forbidding any of their crew to stay with us, I don't see what the problem is.""They have one of our lifeships! Don't you see?" Kathari held out her hands. "We have no shipyards, it's not like we can make any more of the damn things. What if another leaves with them? Maybe it's their life, but it's our survival too.""You would raise arms against another Valkan?" Kathari put her hands on her hips. "Did you learn nothing from your history lessons?""History means nothing if we all starve!" Karos swore to herself, pacing away. Her suit pulsed red with agitation, the sensor spines along her helmet standing up stiffly."We won't starve." Kathari said passively. "Don't get worked up over an imagined problem. We can expand our food production.""How?!" Karos came closer."We'll figure it out." Kathari gave her a short look. "We can't build a lifeship. So what? We'll build smaller ships, engineer food modules, raise shades. We'll figure it out. That's what engineers do. Have a little faith."Karos stopped, then sighed and threw up her hands. "Somehow I knew that's what you'd say.""Trust a little bit more in the Wake, Karos. We have a destiny to follow as much as they do.""Always with you and the faith..." Karos muttered. "Convince them through logic and knowledge, right?" She looked down at her hands, flexing her fingers carefully. "I can do that..."---Residential District, Miir, 1st Floor26th of 4th, 1173. 10:08PM."We have arrived." ST's voice cuts through your brief lapse into sleep.Opening your eyes, you slowly shuffle to a sitting position and look around the car. "Where's K-" You yawn. "Kara?""She disembarked at her residence. You were asleep.""I gathered..." You sit up and look around the car. ST had parked right outside your apartment building, idling and waiting for you to wake up. Fumbling with the seatbelt a little, you stumble out onto the street, bag in hand. Taking a moment to thump the roof of the car, you mumble. "Goodnight, ST...""Goodnight, Tiiris."You shuffle up the stairs, taking a moment to check that the book Jess had given you is still in your bag before opening the door. "'m home."Dad's laying on the couch when you walk in. "Get into any more fights today?" He asks dryly. "You're home so late...""...oh. Right. Sorry." You mumble a bit. "Went out with Kara, got a bit caught up in stuff..."
>>3916071"It's alright." He glances at you. "Just wish you'd text me more often. Have fun?""Yeah." You smile at him, then yawn. "I'm gonna head to bed. Love you.""You too." Dad smiles before leaning back again.Shuffling back into your room, you toss your bag on your desk for Easy to grab later. The book partially slides out, and the dim promise of magic nudges at your mind briefly. You can feel one of your 'surges' coming on, actually. A faint hint of nausea and a mild headache, but you're pretty beat...>Give it a cursory glance. At the very least, a simple exercise or something. To keep it away.>Sleep
>>3916072>Give it a cursory glance. At the very least, a simple exercise or something. To keep it away.Based on past experience it seems better to power through these Abyss surges by focusing on something. Waiting them out is just slow and miserable.
>>3916072>Give it a cursory glance. At the very least, a simple exercise or something. To keep it away.Thoughts of accidentally setting something on fire in our sleep trouble me>get easy to watch and help us if something goes wrong
>>3916072>Give it a cursory glance. At the very least, a simple exercise or something. To keep it away.
>Give it a cursory glance. At the very least, a simple exercise or something. To keep it away.Writing.
Reaching out, you grab the book and slide it out of your bag, setting it down in front of you as you sit cross-legged on your bed. Flipping it open, you turn the first few pages and immediately feel your heart sink. It's written entirely in Valkan. Jess must have forgotten that you can't actually read it. Luckily..."Easy?""Yes, miss?""Can you translate this book for me? I can't read any of this...""Of course." Easy approaches the bed and begins reading over the book, flipping the page once or twice a second before picking up the book. "'Chapter 1: Breathing With Lungs and Organs Unseen'.""...great.""The goal of this exercise is to learn to control your natural ability to draw in the energy of the Abyss, a process known as respiration." Easy read. "Begin by making yourself comfortable. There is no prescribed position for this exercise, simply whatever makes you most relaxed."After a moment's thought, you lay yourself back down on your bed, putting your glasses down on your bedside table. Stifling a yawn, you nod for Easy to continue. You probably wouldn't fall asleep, with him glowing right there."Breathe in. Let the air fill your lungs, then breathe out..." Easy recites. "Let this process become automatic. Breathe in. Exhale. Breathe in..."You try your best to follow Easy's guidance, although laying on your bed like this, slipping into sleep would be such a temptation..."Without moving your lungs, exhale. Do not breathe, but inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Breathe only when you absolutely need to."Struggling just a little bit to follow the bizarre instructions, you find yourself slipping into sleep. Your chest moves only slightly, taking shallow- almost involuntary breaths. An odd disconnect forms, where you will yourself to breathe in while resisting the urge to do the same."Inhale. Exhale. Inhale..."You breathe in- and in that instant, your lungs fail you move as you take in a long, deep breath with lungs that aren't yours. The air tastes metallic and stale, making no sound that reaches your ears, but dimming the faint glow of Easy's signature. Against your back, you feel someone's chest expand against yours- and your find yourself blinking your eyes open and throwing yourself into a sitting position with a yelp of fright. Turning around and raising an arm, you make to hit whoever the intruder is with your alarm clock, but blink when you find nothing there.The light out your window was the faint orange of morning, and you blink. You don't feel all that... tired anymore. A dark black mist issues from your mouth as you breathe out, and you tentatively raise a hand to it. The mist curls around your fingers and dissipates, but you feel nothing as it passes across you. In fact, you might be the only one who can see it at all.
>>3917593Easy is still waiting at the foot of your bed with the book, and after a moment's pause to verify that you're alright, continues reading. "'Continue to master this basic expression of your natural abilities. At first, you will only be able to find it when alone. Continually expand on your connection. Learn to perform respiration even when surrounded by the cloying presence of others. Only through mastery of this process can one truly begin channeling their power'.""How long was I doing that for?" You mumble, reaching out and plucking your glasses off your nightstand."Seven hours." Easy replied, closing the book and placing it to the side."Felt like it was quick..." You mumble, rubbing your head. "What time is it?""Five hundred and twenty hours, local time. Shall I prepare breakfast early today?""Uh..." You shake your head. "I think I'm just going to take a shower...""Understood, miss."---You yawn slightly to yourself as you stumble into class that day. Magic Abyss meditation or no, you probably should have slept a little while longer. Kara's already at her desk when you sit down, sparing you an aside glance. "Mornin'.""Morning." She turns her head to you. "You look tired.""Had a weird night." You grunt, before looking around your classroom. "Doesn't it feel a bit weird to come back to this after last weekend?""A lot." Kara looks around at the classroom. "I met an actual Valkan and shapeshifting robots yesterday. That's like something out of a bad cartoon from Kana.""I probably had a lot longer to adjust to it than you..." You smile a little. "It was pretty crazy, though..."Kara looked like she wanted to add something more, but had to cut herself off as the teacher got to her feet and called the class to attention. "Alright everyone, short number of morning announcements today. First off- remember that Flag Week begins three weeks from today. If you haven't signed up for anything yet or have and want to change activities, make sure to get your slips in now. Schedule changes will not be accepted the week of. Secondly, remember that there's a track..."You find yourself automatically tuning her out. Three weeks to figure out your plan of attack for getting into Y'avel. Or another crash site, it depends. You'll go to the office as soon as you can to dig up the schedule- see if there are actually any trips going to it. But regardless of what you find, what is your actual plan of attack going to be?>[Write-In]
>>3917594Uhh sneaking in??
>>3917594I think figuring out how to get into Y'avel could be done a lot more intuitively id we had a map of the place
>>3917594Using a tour to scope the place out sounds reasonable. Preferably not one that involves shepherding kids. Using kids like that would feel pretty reckless and manipulative. Sneaking off during a tour might be possible, but it's generally a good idea not to rush into an armed military installation quite that spontaneously.Getting one of our cloakable Drones onto the site would be handy for building a plan to get into the ship. Have it watch patrol routes, scope out security systems, map things out a bit. Also we could avoid going to heavy-weaponry areas entirely, since our interest is entirely on the ship's medical/cybernetic equipment and not the explosive bits. I assume the weapons are the most heavily monitored areas, but you never know.Night time sneaking would probably be the best bet. No tours to use a distraction, but less eyeballs keeping close watch. If ST can cloak temporarily, that would be nice for getting in once we know where we're going. Otherwise... just climbing walls with one of our builder drones making handholds? Grappling hooks are cool too. Very traditional!The athletic parkour cat-burglar stuff is what Tiiris should be great at, funnily enough.That's everything I can think of. Anyone else?
>>3918033ST has the ability to cloak. ST also has the ability to fly. Go together much?
>>3918093Pretty much this
>>3918093If it's viable, fly in invisibly is one of the best possible plans, yes.
>Get ahold of a floor plan>Look into just flying in. A stealthy approach is best, right?>Cloaked drones would make good scoutsWriting.
When the lunch bell rings, you immediately walk down to the front office. Looking at the slips on the wall, you pick over them until you see... there we go. The same trips that you went to when you were younger needed chaperons. Babysit some kids and easily get inside! Er... except that means you'd have to abandon a bunch of kids to go and poke around the ship... leaving a bunch of elementary school kids unattended if anything went wrong with what you were doing......okay, maybe that wasn't the best plan. Still, you pick up one of the handouts. Maybe the tour map will he- and nope this is hot garbage. Damn, did you use to fawn over this stuff when you were in elementary school? Shaking your head, you fold it up and slip it into your bag. Well, that was a bust. You pull out your phone and text ST.>T: How difficult would it be to get the floor plan to the Y'avel Shipbreaking Yards?>ST: Much of it's contents are classified to the public, and general tours are restricted to a specific area.>T: Can't you hack in or something? I thought Valkan hacking was amazing.>ST: Acquiring information with no warning or trace from a dedicated server is difficult.>ST: I may simply strengthen security at the facility if I was detected accessing it's floor plans.>T: What about scouting it ourselves?>ST: Risky to make multiple flybys. Each additional pass raises the chance that we may be detected. However slight.>T: What about with a cloaked drone?>ST: Depends on Tagaran military equipment. They are likely aware of the weaknesses of optical camouflage, and neither EZ0021 or OH4875 are in possession of lensing field generators.>T: What can we do, then?>ST: Acquire a cloaking device, or send in a more inconspicuous agent to scout the facility.>ST: Even the most rigorously guarded secrets escape. A former Avel employee may have a copy of the floor plans.>ST: We may need to attack without floor plans, in the end.>T: Please don't phrase it like that.You put your phone back into your pocket, and think for a second. Okay, you have pieces of the puzzle to put together. You need to gather information on Y'avel and prep whatever you're going to take in there- and, come to think of it, how you'll actually smuggle that stuff in there. After school every day, you have work, then you need to keep up with schoolwork. You suppose it's possible to cut back on some of that stuff for more time, but- no, you couldn't skip out on the money Sana gives you. Not unless you secured a different source of income, and you're not even sure where to begin with that. The question now, is how you'll divvy up your time.
>>3918999The following three weeks shall be broken into simple blocks of time. These blocks represent your free time after school each week and during your weekends, which are assumed to be equal to each other. You may dedicate these six blocks to specific tasks. Doing well on these tasks may shorten the time it takes to complete them, giving you additional time to focus on additional tasks.>Y'avel floor plans are critical. You have to get them first.>>[Sub-Option] Focus on the human element- former employees of Y'avel who may have old floor plans, however outdated.>>[Sub-Option] Try an electronic method. The risk is there, but you're confident in ST's ability to stay undetected.>>[Sub-Option] Take a tour with your own money and time. Don't get the kids involved, but see the inside with your own eyes.>>[Sub-Option] Send Easy or OH4875 in there to scout.>Focus on your own skills. The Abyss is the one thing you bring to the table that the robots couldn't possibly do. Even if it's self-taught, just a bit of actual magic has got to count for something.>Hunt for more Valkan artifacts. ST mentioned a 'lensing field', right? What if you could whatever generates one out there? Or even a weapon?>Spend time with your friends. They help keep you grounded and sane- and you might want to ask one or two of them to help you...>>[Sub-Option] Elan.>>[Sub-Option] Kara.>>[Sub-Option] Taylor.>>[Sub-Option] Dad.>>[Sub-Option] Someone you haven't hung out with in a while or don't know very well. (Write-In)
>>3919000>Y'avel floor plans are critical. You have to get them first.Are any other crashed ships around the world of the same design that could be travelled to and inspected to get a "close enough" plan? Even better if they're in the oggin, since they probably won't be swarming with soldiers and the robuddies would be able to look unmolested.Failing that>>[Sub-Option] Focus on the human element- former employees of Y'avel who may have old floor plans, however outdated.Get list of former employees, go from there.>>3918999Even the future uses cheesy stock icons and Comic Sans. Am disappoint.
>>3919000>Focus on your own skills. The Abyss is the one thing you bring to the table that the robots couldn't possibly do. Even if it's self-taught, just a bit of actual magic has got to count for something.
>>3919000>Hunt for more Valkan artifacts. ST mentioned a 'lensing field', right? What if you could whatever generates one out there? Or even a weapon?Definitely need a weapon if we run into more people trying to kill us for our artifacts.
>>3919000>Focus on your own skills. The Abyss is the one thing you bring to the table that the robots couldn't possibly do. Even if it's self-taught, just a bit of actual magic has got to count for something.Seems like a good thing to start with. Getting control of our 'episodes' and maybe learning how to do that space demon magic high jump from earlier.>Spend time with your friends. They help keep you grounded and sane- and you might want to ask one or two of them to help you...>[Sub-Option] Elan.This is also worth considering for later. Elan's a gaming nerd, and a military sim buff. He can't infiltrate anything personally but he could have some kind of insight. Or just experience in some military propaganda shooter where you have to retake the fictional Hull 18 from The Terrorists.Plus, being a friend and not leaving him to stew alone in the hospital. Even if we do get more weird looks from the nurse.
>Focus on your own skills. The Abyss is the one thing you bring to the table that the robots couldn't possibly do. Even if it's self-taught, just a bit of actual magic has got to count for something.Writing.
>>3919000>>Spend time with your friends. They help keep you grounded and sane- and you might want to ask one or two of them to help you...>>>[Sub-Option] Elan.
Commercial District, Miir, 2nd Floor28th of 4th, 1173. 5:40PM."Tiiris?"You blink open your eyes and look to your right, letting the metallic breath rush through you. "Yeah, Sana?""Are you doing okay? Feeling sleepy?""No, I was just-" Doing an exercise to build control over your illicit Valkan powers. "Thinking.""Well, if you're feeling up to it, can you do a quick sweep? It's been ages since we cleaned up in here...""Sure." You smile reassuringly, hunting down the broom in a side closet and starting to sweep out the corners of the shop, waiting until Sana ambles back up to her office before resuming your exercises. Still the lungs, focus the mind and... try to breathe. For some reason, it's a lot harder to do it out here than when you're at home. When you're totally alone, you 'feel' the lungs better than you do out here, but it's like your muscles are filled with lead now. The sensation is still there, but it takes much more effort to move them. When you 'breathe', an odd sensation of dread starts to fill you. Hairs on the back of your neck stand up, while you feel odd and tingly and get a bit of a headache. The longer you hold it, the more an odd anxiety begins to build up, becoming stronger until you suddenly can't hold it anymore and expel it all out. Like trying to hold your breath normally. Each time one of your odd 'episodes' has come on recently, you've felt the lungs filling of their own accord, at which point you can easily expel it to dispel the headache.The fact that you've started to have multiple episodes in one day is concerning, though.Easy translated the rest of the book ahead of time for you and sent it to your phone. Reading ahead, the other exercises seemed to be variants on the breathing exercises you were doing now, but with progressively more complex instructions, with the aim of gaining control over... whatever it was that you were connecting to. You tried to practice with them, but your sense of your 'organs unseen' was apparently too weak to really do it. Many of the exercises were simple, but for some reason you were having trouble with the strict rote each of them seemed to demand. You'd always been a bit more of a physical learner than a book learner- your awful technical skills were a testament to that. Maybe you'd be better served by just throwing yourself into actually using it?Jess had mentioned something before about other people serving as a distraction at first, which is why you needed- oh! The rosary! Elan still had it hopefully. Maybe wearing it around again would help you like it seemed to before. Although that would mean taking it away from him, and it was helping his bones heal...>Stick to the rote. They've used it for a bajillion years, there must be something to it.>Jump straight into practical use. There's a few fairly simple exercises in the book...>Ask Elan for the rosary back, see if you can't just speed up your natural attunement that way.>[Write-In]
>>3920387>Stick to the rote. They've used it for a bajillion years, there must be something to it.Something something jedi training
>>3920387>Stick to the rote. They've used it for a bajillion years, there must be something to it.Let's ensure that Jess's jokey example of turning into a wildebeest from wild Abyss energy stays a joke, as opposed to a proven fact.
>>3920387My dearest OP, sorry for the spammy off-topic post, but I've just binge-read the archive, and I must say that reading this quest has given me an extraordinary amount of enjoyment. It has been really long time since I've read something so interesting. Please keep up the good work!
>>3920387>Stick to the rote. They've used it for a bajillion years, there must be something to it.
>Stick to the rote. They've used it for a bajillion years, there must be something to it.Writing.>>3920630
Miir City-State Academy, Miir, 3rd Floor30th of 4th, 1173. 2:10PM."Now, can anyone tell me what mercenary force was present at the battle for Esari? Taan?"Inhale. Exhale. You breathe easily, somewhat tuning out the teacher's lecture to slip into your own world of meditation. It was becoming almost frighteningly easy. The book said it would become increasing natural over time, but the rate at which you were improving slightly frightened you. A small, tiny part of you wondered what might happen if it became as natural as actually breathing, if your head would split open and you would go insane. But that hadn't come yet....history being boring as sin definitely wasn't helping much. You muffle a slight yawn and continue to zone out, comforted by the steady beat of your space-lungs. Gotta be a better name for it, but it's what you've got. Occasionally, you could swear there was a twitch of something else- an arm, maybe a suggestion of a heart and torso, but the sensations were fleeting.Another yawn. Funny, when you breathed in and the familiar stale air rushed across your tongue and your head throbs, you could swear there was something else. For a brief instant. Very faintly whispered words that make you sleepy when you try to make them out. An electric tingle rushes across your skin sometimes, when you breathe deep. That's when the voice is clearest, and you can feel your odd limbs. At the same time, you feel your sense of yourself loosen, like you could slip away at any given moment.Something in the teacher's desk felt funny. It kind of itched at your mind in the same way the printouts and leaflets on the wall did, but in a much more overt way. Anxious, needing to both back away from it and get it under your control. Like a gun. Except there was no gun. There was a dead crow on the sidewalk outside. You could see it laying in the middle of the road. Someone hit it with their car, maybe? The self-driving ones didn't swerve for anything, you know... shame, though, it was such a pretty bird.What gnawed at you the most was a vague sensation of... tightness that seemed to accompany every breath, conflicting with the sensation of your body loosening. Your skin felt weirdly shaped, like it was just ever so off in places. A restricting barrier that held you closed in a chafing way. Kara didn't sit next to you in this class, but you saw the boy sitting next to you glance your way a few times out of vague interest and amusement. You probably looked like you were about to fall asleep, which... well, you suppose you are.You shake your head. Don't slip into crazy land too much, Tiiris. Exhale, then focus on class with all your faculties like a normal person.
>>3922213>Just take a nap. Let yourself slip into the dream you're being tugged into for a second.>Something's wrong. Put some distance between yourself and others. Run, if you need to.>Push up at that annoying barrier. Try to push past it.>What thing in the teacher's drawer? Agh, no, it's just some random sensation. Try pushing it out of your mind.>Poor crow. You could almost reach out...>[Write-In]
>>3922217>What thing in the teacher's drawer? Agh, no, it's just some random sensation. Try pushing it out of your mind.
>>3922217>What thing in the teacher's drawer? Agh, no, it's just some random sensation. Try pushing it out of your mind.I'm sensing either oracular remote viewing... or the ability to explode desks with one's mind.>There was a dead crow on the sidewalk outside. You could see it laying in the middle of the road. Someone hit it with their car, maybe? The self-driving ones didn't swerve for anything, you know... shame, though, it was such a pretty bird.Wow, harsh. I've never seen a crow hit by a car (they're smart enough to stay out of the way), but a society that allows automated vehicles programmed to not give a crap about things smaller than a human is brutally pragmatic. Pets must have mandatory RF tags.
The vote will close much later today due to something that cropped up.
>>3922217>>Just take a nap. Let yourself slip into the dream you're being tugged into for a second.
>What thing in the teacher's drawer? Agh, no, it's just some random sensation. Try pushing it out of your mind.Writing.
The odd sensation digs into your mind like a sour thought that won't go away. At first, it's presence merely nettled you, poking at your mind and making it's presence known. It's persistence served to make it more and more irritating, a foreign intrusion that made you want to hit something, or angrily stomp off. You swat at the thought mentally, trying to chase it out of your head by running others through yours.A loud wooden thunk comes from within the teachers desk, making her pause for a moment before resuming her lecture.The thought rebounds against the walls of your mind and echoes back into it, making you snort slightly in irritation and swat at it again.Another solid clinking sound comes from the teacher's desk again, getting the attention of several students at the front of the class.You were trying to pin down the thought in your mind now, the irritation amplifying at how formless it was. What right did this idle thought have to bug you so much? What exactly made you so irritated about it? Grabbing onto it, you found that it was more solid than you could have expected- more solid than than a 'thought' really should be. It shudders at you clamp down on it, something within it eagerly starting to vibrate, like pushing a ball down a hill.The teacher's desk was now rattling loudly, something large and heavy slamming against the walls of the drawer. All of the class except for you was now looking at the desk with confusion. Stepping away from the board with a confused look on her face, the teacher reaches out for the drawer.At that moment, you carefully bat the thought away from you, and the drawer explodes out of it's railing, carried forward by a white-hot glass bottle tucked in the back. Smoke and the smell of singed paper fills the room before the bottle collides against the wall and shatters with a loud crack, jerking you suddenly out of your stupor. The thought- no, not a thought, the bottle dissolves in your hands, the grains inside running through your fingers and the heated shards of the bottle.They promptly burst into flames.Whatever green liquid that was inside the bottle ignited as it spilled over the hot shards of glass and onto the walls and floors behind the teacher's desk. It soaked into the cheap drywall and spilled across the flooring, the blue and yellow conflagration briefly flaring upwards for a moment. The teacher jumped back with a shout of fright, while a few at the front of the class shouted. A few of the more shrill girls made an assault on your ear drums with their shrill screaming, but all you could do is stare at the fire.
>>3923960No less than ten seconds later did the flames rapidly climbing the wall burst the automatic sprinklers in the room, dropping a sheet of water on you and everyone else in the room. Your hair and clothes were instantly soaked, a trickle of water running down your chin and splashing on your skirt. Students were rushing to the doors, holding bags over their heads and swiping at things still left on their desks. The fire alarm drowned out everything else the water didn't, despite the quieting flames in front of you.Shaking your head to clear the droplets from the lenses of your glasses, you slowly turn your head to the back of the class to look at Kara with a wide-eyed expression. You couldn't see her over the sound of the fire alarm, but even someone half-blind like you could make out the words her lips were forming:"What did you do?"New power gained: Self-taught psychokinesis.Thirty minutes later, you find yourself sitting on the field outside of school with a towel wrapped around your body. Your soaked blazer, dress shirt and bra are laying on the lawn next to you, slowly drying in the afternoon heat. Several fire trucks were parked outside of the school, with students milling on the lawn with their phones out, texting parents and waiting for the fire department to allow them back in so they could get their things.Kara flops down onto the lawn next to you. "Well, they're saying we have to stay out here another hour."You groan. "School'll be over in another hour.""...I don't think you get to complain."You flush. "...point." You tug the ratty gym towel closer to you. "Should we just leave?""I wouldn't object." Kara shrugs, before glancing sidelong at you. "I also wouldn't object to a goddamn explanation.""I already told you!""'I think I'm developing psychic powers' isn't much of an explanation." Kara said dryly. "Although, you'll need something you can actually wear, first.""I'd wear my gym jumpsuit, but it's in my locker..." You trail off. "Could always grab a cheap shirt or something until I get home. Or wear the wet stuff."
>>3923963You've completed your task a day early. You can either use the overflow to extend your next timeslot, or use the remainder to socialize.>Spend some time with Kara.>>[Sub-Option] You mentioned wanting to get new clothes before, might as well do it now...>>[Sub-Option] It'd probably be more expedient to just hit up a laundromat or your own house.>It's past time to get your hands on Y'avel floor plans.>>[Sub-Option] Focus on the human element- former employees of Y'avel who may have old floor plans, however outdated.>>[Sub-Option] Try an electronic method. The risk is there, but you're confident in ST's ability to stay undetected.>>[Sub-Option] Take a tour with your own money and time. Don't get the kids involved, but see the inside with your own eyes.>>[Sub-Option] Send Easy or OH4875 in there to scout.>You've... actually got some kind of power. That's something. Focus on it more, try to develop what you have further.>Take what you've learned and use it to hunt for Valkan artifacts. It's easier to find signatures when you're focusing, it'll be a piece of cake.>[Write-In]
>>3923964>[Write-In]>Bring all your robots to the crash site the repair drone led you to, do some excavating, maybe get some more valkan tech, or parts.>Ask ST if he can get us into space
>>3923960>filenameNeither do I, but it must be very cute!
>>3923964>Take what you've learned and use it to hunt for Valkan artifacts. It's easier to find signatures when you're focusing, it'll be a piece of cake.
>>3924175She's supposed to be fairly unattractive, though. Not cute. YET.
>Take what you've learned and use it to hunt for Valkan artifacts. It's easier to find signatures when you're focusing, it'll be a piece of cake.Writing.
Holy shit, we actually mindsploded the desk.Well okay, the thing in the desk. Still. Kablooey!
Getting to your feet, you yawn slightly and tug the towel around your shoulders. "I think I'm just going to duck out early. Go home, take a nap or whatever. Sleep off... this mess.""...Alright." Kara shrugs her shoulders. "Hope you're... whatever goes okay.""Same here." You mutter. "...do you want me to send you the exercises, by the way? Maybe it'll help with your... you know, your thing."Kara shook her head. "No offense, but I'd rather not start setting stuff on fire accidentally.""...fair enough." You lean over and pluck your clothes out of the grass. They were still damp, but... good enough for now. Stepping behind a tree, you pull on your bra, then your shirt and blazer in the relative privacy behind the trunk. The wet fabric clung to your body, but at least you were modest.Wandering up to the school gates, you skirt the mob of official looking people up front. You spy the principal reaming your history teacher the fuck out near the edge of the crowd. Given that there were only a few things a large bottle of highly flammable green liquid could be... you can't say you blame him.Teachers were ostensibly watching the field to make sure nobody left, but these were public school teachers. A few seconds of waiting for an opening as you were able to walk right on past them and out to the curb where ST was parked. Flopping into the passenger seat, you lean back and sigh."I presume your training is going well?" ST's voice sounded.You just groan in response."Perhaps some refinement is required.""I wasn't supposed to progress this fast..." A small grin comes over your face. "Have to say, it's pretty cool, though.""Setting course for home.""About that." You lean forward. "I actually was thinking about equipment. You mentioned a locker and a gun before- right?""A weapon, yes. They are still unaccounted for.""Right- what else is there nearby, in terms of equipment?""I previously told you of more dangerous artifacts in the hands of criminals. Some in private ownership. Many are dangerous, others harmless except in the hands of a materials scientist.""Right. What about those? Do you think it would be possible for us to grab them."ST paused for a long time, something you'd almost mistake as hesitation if you didn't know better. "Possible. Not recommended. Rewards possibly greater, but risk is high. Criminal elements armed, civilian elements heavily secured.">"That's okay, just tell me about the one you think you know about, the-">>[Sub-Option] "Locker.">>[Sub-Option] "Weapon.">"This isn't facing down a terrorist bombing, this is robbing some geeky collector, right?">"I'm not scared of a few death cultists if you guys are with me. What are the possible rewards?">[Write-In]
>>3926179>>"This isn't facing down a terrorist bombing, this is robbing some geeky collector, right?">>"I'm not scared of a few death cultists if you guys are with me. What are the possible rewards?"
>>3926179>"That's okay, just tell me about the one you think you know about, the-">[Sub-Option] "Weapon."Interesting that ST keeps clarifying that it's a 'weapon' whenever it's referred to as a 'gun'.
>>3926179>"That's okay, just tell me about the one you think you know about, the-">>[Sub-Option] "Weapon."
>>3926179>"That's okay, just tell me about the one you think you know about, the-"
>"That's okay, just tell me about the one you think you know about, the-">>[Sub-Option] "Weapon."Writing.
tfw no psychic half-valkan gf
"Let's just focus on the gun- er, weapon, then." You lean forward. "Where is it?""Our best observation places it's location at the Tomaa Crystal Ballroom, on Miir's third floor."You start to open your mouth, then tilt your head. "Wait, really?" Most of the Valkan artifacts you'd found so far had been locked in difficult to read places- or, failing that, places where they'd be hidden in the clutter. The crash site, the junkyard, the abandoned factories."Yes. The Valkan Ruutha aust Sauhs was observed on city cameras entering the building at one point. When his body was found, the weapon was not on his person. He was not recorded with it afterwards. It was likely discarded here.""That's all well and good, but..." You wave your hand with uncertainty. "It's the local convention center. It's barred to the public unless you have tickets. I can't just waltz in and ask to see their basement.""Their security systems are civilian grade. Very weak. Minimal security guard presence, mostly closed-circuit cameras and door sensors.""Breaking into a scrapyard with one guy in it to find you is one thing, but..." You rub your shoulder self-consciously. "I dunno about a big convention center.""They are currently making preparations for a electronics hardware conference taking place in three days. Workers are frequently entering and leaving in addition to presenters touring the facilities. It will be much easier to blend in among the confusion.""Dunno how many school girls will be there..." You mutter. "What about getting into the convention while it's running?""Entry is paid. You would have to acquire a ticket.""I have money. How expensive are they?""Cost for a single Independent ticket is five hundred Tagaran credits."You choke. "That's nearly as much as I make in two weeks!""Yes."Thinking about it, you did have that money- or, you would after tomorrow, when Sana pays you. Still, that's everything you have...>Pay for a ticket legit. Safest way of getting in, and you'll have an excuse for being there.>It's a convention center, not a prison. Just say you're an intern or something if you get caught.>Maybe there's another way in? Er... a disguise? Something? (Write-In)>Break in, but after hours, when there's less people around.>[Write-In]
>>3928364>>It's a convention center, not a prison. Just say you're an intern or something if you get caught.
>>3928364Rob or forge a pass?
>>3928364>Maybe there's another way in? Er... a disguise? Something?Janitorial staff. Dress in some frumpy work clothes, carry a bucket full of rags and a spray bottle full of cleaner. Randomly polish things to maintain cover story.Nobody cares about janitors, yet everyone likes to see them scrubbing things clean.
>>3928877This, nobody suspects the janitorHave one of our bots go check out the staff to see what the uniform looks like so we can either get something similar or steal one so we don't look out of place.
>>3929200Sure. We probably don't need to steal anything though.Janitor "uniforms" are likely standard dirt cheap coveralls. Dad might even have some ill fitting hand me downs. Pre-stained with paint and grease specks for extra authenticity.
>Maybe there's another way in? Er... a disguise? Something?>>Disguise yourself as a janitor, whatever that looks like here.Writing.
"...what uniforms do the janitors have at this place?""Janitors do not have uniforms." If you didn't know better, you'd say ST sounded almost puzzled."What do they wear, then?" You sigh. "I don't know about ancient janitorial customs.""One moment." Images flashed across ST's fake console display. A series of images flashed across it. "Work pants or overalls. Collarless shirt. Work boots." Snippets of security cam footage played back. Mostly of older, balding men in various states of grease-stained."I'll stick out a little." You say dryly. "I can probably find a pair of overalls at a department store.""You already have one." Easy's voice comes from the backseat. You feel briefly proud that you didn't jump at his sudden interjection this time. "Specifically, your father owns a pair. I laundered it last week.""Dad doesn't own a pair of overalls." You say wish confusion."It was in the back of his closet, along with a pair of bell-bottom jeans and a sequin-""Nevermind, I don't want to know." You hold up your hands. "Let's focus on the technology theft."---"I stick out a lot." You mumble, pushing your squeaky little janitor cart along. Other than your baggy, ill-fitting overalls, you have on an old oversized t-shirt and a field cap you found laying around the house.Sneaking through the back had been rather easy- turns out the janitorial staff frequently propped the door open for their carts. A few minutes of waiting while Easy disabled the cameras and you were able to dart in. Nobody even glanced your way as you wheeled your little cart around. Everyone were professional technicians of some kind, fiddling with cables or putting down stage tape. Business types stood next to teleprompter magnifiers and spoke with presenters with animated expressions.You keep your distance. No need for anyone to bump into you and ask what the hell you were doing here. Loitering near a wall, you quietly steady your breathing and stretch out your senses. You cut back a slight wince at all the noise that floods into your senses, and very pointedly don't try to reach out to any of it. It would not do to set this place on fire, no sir.Like the machine seed, this thing isn't intelligent - if it was, you could just ask it to join you over the radio or something - so it won't show up as a signature. Even without trying to move it, your new... power is sort of like a radar. When you're focusing, you can sort of feel things around you, although the sense seems to be stronger if they're... something. Paper and clothing stand out especially stark in your senses. Organic things, maybe?All you know of the 'weapon' is that it's man-portable. ST was a bit cagey on proper details thought. 'Dangerous to speculate' your ass. It's also been hidden, and in a good place if it hasn't be found yet. If it has been found, that means it was a pretty shitty hiding place, right?
>>3930344Now, if you were hiding something dangerous here, where would you put it...?>In the basement. Out of the way, plenty of nooks and crannies behind equipment and other crap in storage.>On the show floor. Put it in broad daylight, where nobody is even going to think to look for it.>In the offices that overlook the show floor. There was probably all sorts of loose room above their ceiling tiles.
>>3930346>>In the offices that overlook the show floor. There was probably all sorts of loose room above their ceiling tiles.
>>3930346>>In the offices that overlook the show floor. There was probably all sorts of loose room above their ceiling tiles
>"It was in the back of his closet, along with a pair of bell-bottom jeans and a sequin-">"I stick out a lot." You mumble, pushing your squeaky little janitor cart along. Other than your baggy, ill-fitting overalls, you have on an old oversized t-shirt and a field cap you found laying around the house.This plan is so much better than I could have imagined.>>3930346>In the offices that overlook the show floor. There was probably all sorts of loose room above their ceiling tiles.
>>3930346>In the basement. Out of the way, plenty of nooks and crannies behind equipment and other crap in storage.
>In the offices that overlook the show floor. There was probably all sorts of loose room above their ceiling tiles.Writing.
There were multiple convention halls in the building, connected by a large, open hallway that ran between the gaps. Around the edges of each hall, staircases rose in several places, allowing access both to the balcony section of one of the convention halls as well as the offices around the edge.Pushing your rickety little cart into a nearby elevator, you ride it up to the second floor and push it down the hall, reaching out with your senses. Occasionally, you'll glance furtively into one of the offices. All of them seem to be abandoned, and judging by the nameplates, whoever works in each of them wouldn't be around anyway until the convention was under way. Private showrooms, a breakroom for the guides- the only one that's occupied is some kind of supervisor.You circle the entire floor once without noticing anything weird that screams 'HIDDEN GUN HERE'. Then again, if you were trying to hide something, you wouldn't put it somewhere a janitor could just stumble across it at random. Once again, you reach out with your senses, trying to feel out anything out of the ordinary. With all the bustle of the convention below you, it's a mite harder than doing it at home or in your classroom, but it's simply enough to get a feeling of the layout.There's... flooring, walls, ceilings... the soft carpet and the paper notices and sticky notes on most of the office walls stand out to you. A bright flash in your senses immediately gets your attention, an odd, tiny little ampule of something standing out in stark contrast in your senses. It takes a minute's focus and poking your head into a nearby office to figure out what the hell it is. A fire sprinkler head. In fact, many of the fire sprinklers stand out to you, tiny little beacons of potential in your senses. None of that's a weapon, though. You feel out the pipes each of the sprinklers are attached to, in a vain hope that it might lead you to something interesting, but... no dice.Turning to push your cart away in defeat, your senses bump up against something in a weird place. Stopping to look, you see the wall of the empty office you're standing outside of, featureless and painted an inoffensive teal. Something was lodged in the wall. It was oddly boxy, with what felt like a... long protrusion? No, a piece of pipe? It was set at an odd angle within the wall, and wasn't connected to anything else. Not part of the plumbing, then. You didn't know much about electrical wiring, but it didn't seem like anything related to the building's power. Way too boxy and big.It's quite a way's below you, though. Stepping into the office, you get right up to the wall, until all you can sense is whatever it is directly below you. You realize with a sinking feeling that it's very below you. In fact, it's so low that... it would have to be in the floor below. The convention hall.
>>3931659The motherfucker literally stashed it in the wall of one of the busiest parts of Tagara. There's no way you can get that thing out without smashing a hole in the wall, and somebody noticing...>Walls aren't solid rock, right? What if you lowered yourself through the gap between walls all the way to the convention level and grabbed it? If there's anything in your way, have a scarab cut through it.>Try to use your mind powers to lift whatever object it is up to you instead.>Leverage your janitorial powers and put down a wet floor sign and use a few carts to build a privacy wall so you can extract it from the convention floor itself.>Bail for the day, then come back after hours when there's less people here to catch you.>[Write-In]
>>3931663>Try to use your mind powers to lift whatever object it is up to you instead
>>3931663>Bail for the day, then come back after hours when there's less people here to catch you.
>>3931663>Walls aren't solid rock, right? What if you lowered yourself through the gap between walls all the way to the convention level and grabbed it? If there's anything in your way, have a scarab cut through it.Sounds annoying but athletics will help, and our spider buddy is reliable.Reaching out with the Abyss to this weapon thing could activate it. Might not be the best idea in a crowded building.
>>3931663>Walls aren't solid rock, right? What if you lowered yourself through the gap between walls all the way to the convention level and grabbed it? If there's anything in your way, have a scarab cut through it.
>>3931663>Leverage your janitorial powers and put down a wet floor sign and use a few carts to build a privacy wall so you can extract it from the convention floor itself.
Rolled 1 (1d2)1 for lowering yourself through the walls, 2 for just coming back after hours.
The ceiling was done in the way you'd find in a lot of offices- and your school, come to think of it. Getting out a stepladder (man, these carts were useful) and setting it up against the wall, you clamber up and gently push up on one of the ceiling tiles. It pops upwards and you're able to slide it over, poking your head into the significant 'attic' space between the grid that holds the tiles and the actual ceiling.You spy plumbing, networking tables and air conditioning ducting running around the ceiling space, but thankfully none of it is in your way, allowing you to lift yourself all the way up and peer down the dimly-lit gap between the walls. "Kind of a tight fit..." You murmur. Pitch black at the bottom, too. For a moment, you mildly regret not learning how to shapeshift- however the hell you're supposed to do that... no matter, the past's the past and you have shit to do. Grabbing your bag from the cart, you fish out your trusty spiderbot and wake him up. "Can you make a light for me?"It springs out of your hand and into the gap. A thin beam of light shines from it's case into the dark below, illuminating the internal framework of the building. Beams and cross beams of metal hold up the sections of insulation that fill the insides of the walls.Scrabbling up the rest of the way, you slip yourself through the tiny gap and lower yourself onto the first cross beam. Experimentally pushing your foot into the narrow gap between each half of insulation, you find it's comfortable enough to try and drop yourself down the rest of the way. It's a tight fit, and you find yourself having to wiggle and thrash your way through to the next level. There's a small gap between the insulation of the second floor that gives you space to take a few breaths while sitting partially on the crossbeam and partially on the insulation of the convention hall itself.You vaguely recall reading somewhere that breathing in insulation was really bad for you. Or was that only when it was being installed? A beam of light appears as your scarab drops down onto the cross beam next to you. One of the walls next to you was the smooth stone of the convention hall. Alright, that's progress.Taking a breath this time, you shimmy down through the next layer of insulation...---"Who's the sponsor this week?" The host asks, running his hand through his short, bristly hair. "This jet lag is killer..." He yawns."It's..." The host fished through his for his phone and flipped through his notes. "...X-Factor Gaming Hardware. Remember to plug our new merch store."THUNK."Right, right, the keyboard." The host nodded, zipping up his hoodie before turning to the woman at his side. "Once again, thank you so much for the advanced... sneak..." He blinked, an odd expression coming over his face as he turned to look at the wall next to him.
>>3933273THUNK."Anyone else hear that?" The host asked, turning to his crew."No, I definitely hear that." The woman said. "Construction?"---"Come on, come on..." You mutter to yourself, finally shimming through the last layer of insulation before promptly dropping the rest of the wall onto the thicker retaining wall at the bottom. "Oof!" You wince, bumping your head against the wall. "Not my most graceful landing..." You're about to complain more when a metallic clink gets your attention. "Light?"Your scarab crawls through a second later before shining it's beam of light down at your feet, illuminating a dusty piece of metal at your feet.Squatting down - at least as best as you're able to - you run your hands over it, creating glossy streaks in the dust. It was in two pieces; a large, circular protrusion of metal amalgamated with sections of grippy rubber and attached to a metal backplate, and a long, thin piece of metal that you'd have to be stupid to not recognize as a rifle. The two were connected by a metal hose that plugged into rectangular receptacles in the back of the circular module and the right side of the rifle.You stare at it for a long moment before digging around for your phone and taking a picture and sending it to ST.>ST: One moment.>ST: Are there markings on the receiving mechanism?>T: The what?>ST: Are there markings next to where the hose plugs in?>T: Two dashes, some dots?>ST: It is likely a Type-11E rifle and portable plasma generator. It is akin to a high-power rifle.>T: So, don't play around with it.>ST: We shall review the six rules of firearm safety at a later time.>T: ...six?Shaking your head, you fumble with the generator in the confined space. It was seemingly jury-rigged to a leather harness that creaked with age and poor maintenance. Trying to keep the noise down, you pull it to your chest, then tug the rifle up as well, being extremely careful to keep the barrel - at least what you hoped was the barrel - pointed up.Having to stand on your tiptoes a little, you thrust the whole thing upwards, into the insulation and hopefully up onto the next crossbeam. You swear a little to yourself and hiss to your scarab. "Can you pull it up for me?"It disappears up the scaffolding, and a few moments later, you hear a distinct drilling sound, and the weight of the gear is taken up by something.You let go carefully, then bend your knees in the confined space and grab the crossbeam above you. Heaving yourself up with effort, you manage to scrabble up one level, but not without making some noise. You wince slightly at that, but there's nothing for it. Leaning off the crossbeam, you dig your fingers into the plush bag of insulation and slowly make your way up.
>>3933274Emerging to the next cross beam, you see the scarab helpfully waiting next to the small post it created in the cross beam, upon which the straps of the harness hang. "Good robot." You grunt, grabbing the harness from the hook and making to push it up to the next level, again. Going to take a lot of this to get back to the top. At several points, you find yourself thankful that you're so small, otherwise you would have never... ugh, at least there's a benefit.As you near the top, you start to hear voices."...swear it wasn't...""You kidding... the organizers...""What do you expect me to do?""Look, it's your convention hall, and the only thing we did was hang some lights. Whatever's banging on in there is disrupting the workday we paid you to have. The contract clearly...""Relax. One of the janitor's carts is right here, he probably has a reasonable explanation for all of this...""Fine. Whatever. Just take care of it?""Sure..."You stop, just short of the second floor."...self-important asshole."Getting to the very top, you poke your head up into the 'attic' layer and peer into the hole you left in the ceiling earlier. A man was pacing in the office and around the cart you stole with obvious agitation. He was a young, irritable sort of guy. It takes you a minute to realize that he's the supervisor you passed by on your way in here. Well, shit. Guess you were making more noise than you thought. That's your way out, unless you want to try your luck moving to one of the adjacent offices unseen. Plus, now you have to get a bleeding rifle out of this building without alerting someone. Somehow. A small part of you suddenly wonders how much force it would take to knock him out, but you rapidly shake that thought out of your head. Just because you have a couple different hammers doesn't mean you have to start making holes.>Try making your way to a different office. An empty one, preferably.>You can stash the rifle in your cart to get it out. The only question is how to get him out...>>[Sub-Option] Don't try to get him out at all. Just take the yelling.>>[Sub-Option] Try and use your mind powers to create a distraction.>Leave the rifle behind, just get yourself out for now.>[Write-In]
>>3933275>You can stash the rifle in your cart to get it out. The only question is how to get him out...>>[Sub-Option] Try and use your mind powers to create a distraction.
>>3933275>You can stash the rifle in your cart to get it out. The only question is how to get him out...>Send Scuttles (Is it Scuttles, or the other scarab?) down the hall to create a distractionPreferably something with a very loud, breakage-sounding bang or crash, or trigger the fire alarm (if they still exist in the future), since I doubt he'd stand around and get soaked in filthy water and it would give us a clear run out.
>>3933275>You can stash the rifle in your cart to get it out. The only question is how to get him out...>[Sub-Option] Don't try to get him out at all. Just take the yelling.Just let him yell. Sounds like he might need to vent a bit. The conventioneers are prissy babies if a little banging was getting to them. We could use "I was hunting the weird smell they were complaining about," if he really wants an excuse, like if some critter died in the wall? Couldn't find anything, naturally.The gun is... just some junk we tripped on. An old insulation sprayer some idiot must have lost during construction.
>>3933458Fire alarm could work. I'd feel guilty about ruining the convention if the sprinklers go off, though. That stuff takes days to clean up.Short loud noise shouldn't work. The janitor cart squeaks. He hears it going, he's going to come back angrier than before at everything around him falling apart or making annoying noises.
>>3933530I don't think *all* the sprinklers would go off, it's usually just one room or set of rooms.
>>3933550Ah, that would be ideal. Poor manager though, we're really screwing up his day.
>>3933275>You can stash the rifle in your cart to get it out. The only question is how to get him out...>>[Sub-Option] Don't try to get him out at all. Just take the yelling.
>>3933530>Fire alarmSounds good.
>You can stash the rifle in your cart to get it out. The only question is how to get him out...>Send Scuttles (yes, it is Scuttles, you only have two) down the hall to create a distractionWriting.>>3933530>>3933550Fire sprinklers are a passive system. Each of the sprinkler heads is just a fitting in a pressurized water system. There's an ampule lodged in the opening filled with a specific amount of alcohol. When it heats up to a certain point (depending on the style of ampule installed), it will burst and allow the pressurized water to flow through and spray against the gear shaped head you see on the other side, thus creating the stream. They're strictly localized, because you actually have to heat them up to trigger the mechanism at all.This should give you a clue as to why the ampules were showing up so brightly on your senses.
>>3934128Cool. The cleverness of engineers never ceases to amaze.Almost makes me wish we'd set them all off with Tiiris's hearty mind fists now. Buuuut maybe it's best not to flood the ENTIRE building... and the ones across the street...
You gesture rapidly to Scuttl- er, your scarab. It leaps into your hand without a moment's hesitation, and you bring it to your head. "I need you to make a distraction for me- go to the next room, set off the fire alarm, break shit, whatever you can do to make noise."The scarab makes a little nod and jumps off your palm, scuttling along the grid of metal frames to the next room over. It vanishes around the piping of a vent. The wet scrape of ceiling tile against metal is the only indication you have that anything is happening. You strain for any sign that it's doing something, a scrap, a whine-A reverberating crash shakes the walls, nearly making you jump out of your skin. It was shortly followed by another crash, then a fizzing sound as water suddenly rushed in the pipes next to you. Ceiling tiles popped up from their housings with enough force for you to see them float just above the pipes before coming back down."What the hell is going on over ther-" There was a stomping beneath you as the man in the room stormed out, walking over to the next room. He went dead silent, then started shouting and swearing loudly. "Who the fuck-" His voice grew further away, and you realize he must have stormed into the next room over.You scramble, hurriedly lifting yourself out of the walls, tugging the rifle and reactor over with you. Dropping your legs through the hole, you drop onto the stepladder and look around the room hurriedly. Good, you're alone. Reaching back up, you pull the rifle and reactor down and drop it into the trash can that makes up the bulk of your cart, tying off the black trash bag to cover it up.Sticking your head out, you glance up and down the hallway. It looks abandoned, and the supervisor's shouting seems further away now. Taking a chance, you push the cart out and rush as quickly as you can without seeming suspicious down the opposite hall. Ducking into the elevator, you hammer the close doors button as hard as you can, only relaxing when the silver doors slide shut and you begin descending.When the doors open, you put your head down, pushing the cart forward out into the crowd of workers and... spectators?A hand suddenly pats the back of your arm. "Hey, do you know what's going on up there?""Huh?" You look up for a moment at the man who stopped you - some dude in an orange and black hoodie - then look back down. "O-oh, I don't know, something in the walls.""In the walls?""Yeah, some kind of animal. Keeps knocking stuff over." You can't help but frown at the man's feet. Who wears socks with sandals? Sparing him a nervous smile, you push past him and back down the way you came. Goddammit, Tiiris, you couldn't have been more suspicious if you tried just then. Circling back the way you came, you duck into the janitor's little back office. Nobody home, good.
>>3934746Stashing the cart back where you found it, you grab the trash bag containing your prize and your bag from the cart, before booking it out the back entrance. Clutching a suspiciously rifle-shaped garbage bag was probably also suspicious as hell, but you just wanted to get out of there by this point. Turning the corner into an alley, a familiar green station wagon backs in, the navigator's side door popping open.You slide in, breathing heavily. "Did anyone see me?""Security cameras only point externally and at entrances to individual halls. You appeared twice."Your breath catches. "Twice?""Yes, once entering and once leaving the primary convention hall.""Why didn't we kill it like before?" You hiss."A blank screen would have been more suspicious than a full one, considering the number of people."You want to argue, but then sigh. "Do you think it's a good idea?""It is a risk worth taking." ST affirmed. "You have the weapon system.""Yeah." You breathe, unwrapping the black bag. "What gives? You kept stressing that this thing was a weapon, not a gun. Heavy one, too." You turn it over in your hands as ST begins rolling down the alley."The Type-11E is in fact a plasma rifle. When paired with a plasma converter, it forms an element of a greater weapon system.""Sounds interesting." You trace your fingers over the finish. "Whoever had this last had a flare for brass...""Application of personal finishing is a common form of integrating with a piece of weaponry.""Remind me to ask about that later." You murmur.'Type-11E Plasma Rifle' and 'Plasma Converter' have been added to your inventory.It is now the weekend. What shall you do with your time?>It's past time to get your hands on Y'avel floor plans.>>[Sub-Option] Focus on the human element- former employees of Y'avel who may have old floor plans, however outdated.>>[Sub-Option] Try an electronic method. The risk is there, but you're confident in ST's ability to stay undetected.>>[Sub-Option] Take a tour with your own money and time. Don't get the kids involved, but see the inside with your own eyes.>>[Sub-Option] Send Easy or OH4875 in there to scout.>You've... actually got some kind of power. That's something. Focus on it more, try to develop what you have further.>You're on a roll now, aren't you? Let's find more artifacts!>Practice with what you have now- the rifle and your psychokinesis.>Spend time with your friends. They help keep you grounded and sane- and you might want to ask one or two of them to help you...>>[Sub-Option] Elan.>>[Sub-Option] Kara.>>[Sub-Option] Taylor.>>[Sub-Option] Dad.>>[Sub-Option] Someone you haven't hung out with in a while or don't know very well. (Write-In)
>>3934747>It's past time to get your hands on Y'avel floor plans.>>[Sub-Option] Take a tour with your own money and time. Don't get the kids involved, but see the inside with your own eyes.
>>3934747>Spend time with your friends. They help keep you grounded and sane- and you might want to ask one or two of them to help you...>>[Sub-Option] Someone you haven't hung out with in a while or don't know very well. (Write-In)your secret crush
>It's past time to get your hands on Y'avel floor plans.>>[Sub-Option] Take a tour with your own money and time. Don't get the kids involved, but see the inside with your own eyes.Writing.
I'm very stupid and thus the previous mention of the date being 30th of 4th was in error. It was actually 1st of 5th.Y'avel Shipbreaking Yards, Special Industrial Zone Site 23rd of 5th, 1173. 2:47PM."And as we turn the corner here, we'll see one of the stretches of the bog where rainfall has gathered, turning the ash into..."You eye the security cameras of the tram uneasily. The damn things were everywhere, painted on every available surface. Guess becoming open to the public didn't reduce the paranoia of the military at all. Glancing out the window, you scratch a few more lines on the back of the program you'd picked up a the front.Without ST, Easy or any of your scarabs nearby, you feel oddly naked and vulnerable. You'd become so accustomed to their presence that their absence now felt conspicuous. The risk of any of them tagging along with you was simply too great considering the heavy military presence, and so with some reluctance you had taken an actual bus out here. You couldn't even bring Scuttles in your bag, due to the metal detectors and mandatory bag searches.The tour was a lot more structured than you remembered, too. The visitor's center built into the entrance reminded you a lot of museums, with little attractions to amuse guests waiting for tours to start. A small cafe, a gift shop, so on. Big glass windows had given you an almost unobstructed view of Hull II in the distance, surrounded by a sea- not of white sand, as it appeared, but of ash in stark contrast to the verdant countryside around it, and hemmed in by massive concrete walls.It's funny, Hull II looked tiny compared to the landscape rising around it. Even as you approached it in the tram, the tour guide prattling on in the background, you could cover it up with your hand. The map showed it as being much bigger compared to the desert around it. Was it partially buried, perhaps?"Interestingly, the chemical composition of the ash bog is suitable for many forms of algae and bacteria to grow, but growth has been very minimal so far. We believe that..."No kidding. This place was engulfed in the Abyss. You barely knew what that meant, and you still recognized it. Even when you were outside of the walls, you could feel it filling you up, like having a breath of air forced into your lungs. Respiring was effortless- even though it seemed almost unnecessary with this much of it in the air. Your tongue felt like it was covered in charcoal, for how much stale air flowed across it."Shortly, we're going to pull into the Biomedical Research Center, where you'll have an opportunity to speak with researchers looking into ways to restore the ash bog to it's previous states, and even potential industrial uses of it's contents..."
>>3936199You pitch forward in your seat slightly as the tram slows down, putting down your program and pencil and bracing yourself against the seat in front of you. When the doors open, you get up, sparing one final glance at the ever looming hulk in the distance, then a glance backwards.A Planetary Guard trooper was standing at the back of the train, stock still with his rifle completely stowed. Upon seeing you, he inclines his head and smiles lightly at you.Getting off the tram, you find yourself on a landing platform where the tour guide is leading your surprisingly large group forward. You would have guessed that the gigantic reminder of the people that tried to kill you all wouldn't be such a tourist attraction, but the museum was host to several medium sized tour groups- primarily families and college students.Following behind them, you find yourself in an open exhibit room that reminded you shockingly of an aquarium. The tall, domed hall was filled with many raised aquariums filled with shallow water. Small fish splashed in some of them, but many were filled with the swirling white ash of the bog outside, with people standing behind them talking to gathered crowds about their research. The closest one to you was talking about the ash's uniquely abrasive qualities that made it useful for polishing and cleaning, showing off small plates of brass next to him.It wasn't much, but this was the first time the tour had opened up a little bit since you got on the tram more than half an hour ago. More than a few people were wandering off to take bathroom breaks - which, come to think of it, was probably the point of this little stop - while your tour guide went over to the opposite side of the room to talk with someone manning a podium near the doors.>Stick with your tour for now. Be patient and wait for an obvious chance.>See if you can't see anything with your senses.>There's so much energy around you, maybe it's time to improvise?>Why not just badger the guides with questions? It's their job, after all. (Write-In)>[Write-In]
>>3936200>See if you can't see anything with your senses.
>>3936200>There's so much energy around you, maybe it's time to improvise?
>See if you can't see anything with your senses.Writing.
Leaning against one of the windows that overlooks the bog, you reach out with your senses. It truly was ridiculously easy in this place, which was both convenient and a stark reminder of how far you had to go. Despite the readily available energy, your senses still felt limited, your clarity of what was around you dim and limited.Interestingly, your senses seemed to sweep out a wider area out here, allowing you to pick out the intricately barren desert with a much longer reach than you were used to. Perhaps it worked better in wide-open spaces? You stare out at the small shape of the Hull, something lightly bugging you about it. Something that you should have expected it to have, but that you can't seem to recall.It clicks after a moment. Hull II had no signature. Did that mean it was dead, or that it wasn't broadcasting anything? There was something that could block all signals, you remember it from physics class- maybe it was like that.You continue to search with your senses, looking for anything in the small space you could reach. Other than the sand itself, you do notice that the bog seems to be filled with a large number of metal poles. They didn't really stand out on your senses much, but against a backdrop of total ash they might as well have been neon lit. Each of them had several square bulbs at the top. Cameras of some kind? You suppose it was still a military base- although you didn't actually see any military presence other than the guards.Still, though. That seemed kind of overkill.All of this respiration was bringing back your headaches, though. Eugh. What with how easy it was to fill up with Abyss energy, your weird pseudo-migraines seemed to be on a hair-trigger. You focus on respiring out, letting some of the excessive energy you've built up return to the environment."Tiiris..." A voice echoes just behind your ear. A distorted and resonant feminine voice.Your eyes bulge and you immediately start coughing, feeling like you choked on the stale air. A passerby glances at you with concern and holds out a water bottle, but you wave him off. "Sorry, just swallowed down the wrong pipe..." You lie, thumping your chest as tears stream down your face. Rubbing your head, you go very still, waiting for a long moment to see if any other words come, but none follow."If we could all gather at the exit, please..." A voice calls. Your tour guide, standing at the opposite end of the track.Shaking your head, you spare one final glance out the window before stepping away from the glass and walking over to the platform.A second tram was waiting, while the tour guide continued on. "Our next stop will be one of the few points at which Hull II was damaged when it fell to the surface of the planet. We'll speak with..."
>>3937839You tune her out again, your gaze fixated on the slowly approaching wreck. Your mind was still elsewhere, though. The sudden voice has thrown a complete wrench in your thought process. Hearing voices was a new one on you, and you weren't sure you were ready for the goosebumps it gave you. None of the exercises mentioned shit like this happening to you.The tram bent around slowly towards the ship, maintaining a very healthy distance from it, but now traveling alongside it so you could get a good look at it's profile. It truly was nothing like what you expected out of Tagaran ships. It was geometric, with thick armor plating painted a dusty orange, with white highlights and the thin outline of hatches across it's body. The prow extended out, splitting down the middle to give way to what were presumably huge clusters of antenna.Hull II was exactly what you'd been conditioned to fear growing up. Huge, monstrous and just... Valkan. But seeing it in person, now, you feel an odd pang of longing in your chest. A deep misery for the death of a home you never knew, that you can do nothing but push out of your thoughts.Slowing down, the tram coasts into a station on raised legs above the bog. It was a little patio space, lined with benches and with a small platform that a man was sitting on the edge of, holding a casual conversation with one of the guards. When you disembark, he glances up, then waves to the guard as he steps away before getting up onto the platform and beginning his own spiel. "Hello, all! Imposing up close, isn't she?"The platform actually wasn't very close to the ship at all, to the point that the edges were lined with those awful coin-operated binoculars. You have to rummage in your pockets a bit for some change to get it to open up to you. Fiddling with it a bit, you eventually manage to fix it in Hull II in the distance, sweeping across it's length.The fine details of it's plating were even sharper up close, and the zoom was adequate enough for you to pick out the scaffolding covering it's side. The workers were like ants from this far away, even through the binoculars. The best approximation of scale for you were the great construction cranes that leaned against the hull, and even those seemed tiny in comparison.Something catches your eye at the broken 'back' of the ship, where you had first swept by on the tram. It had been a bit too blurry at the time, but... yes, there was definitely something on the other side of the Hull. A sweeping tarmac of concrete, buildings and- was that another gate? Come to think of it...You pull out your little pamphlet that you'd been given again. The tour conspicuously didn't travel to the other side of the Hull, nor show anything being there. It was plainly obvious there was something, though. Perhaps that's where the military or Avel's presence was in this facility. You had assumed they were inside the walls or something...
>>3937844Well, shit. This tour might not even help you, in the end. Everything you might need to know is in the restricted spaces, and they literally walled you off from it with a fifty foot drop...>Ah, dammit. Cut your losses and head back home so you can think of something else.>There's gotta be some way over there that won't arouse too much suspicion. If only you had access...>[Write-In]
Due to my own terrible mistakes, the next two votes will remain open for twice as long. There will be an update tomorrow (Sunday) and then Tuesday. Normal updates will resume after that.
>>3937846>Ah, dammit. Cut your losses and head back home so you can think of something else.>>3937876stop exploding desks damn you IT'S NOT A SUSTAINABLE WAY TO LIVE
>>3937846>There's gotta be some way over there that won't arouse too much suspicion. If only you had access...
>>3937846>[Write-In]Might as well start focusing, see if we can hear that voice again. Maybe it knows something?
>>3938109Worth a shot, support.
>>3937966BUT IT'S SO MUCH FUN.But yeah I dunno, discuss whether Tiiris is an ass or boob woman while I'm away or whatever it is you do when I'm not around.
>>3937846>Ah, dammit. Cut your losses and head back home so you can think of something else.>>3938553She has NEITHER! But if we get to a Valkan body shaping machine she'll definitely go for the boob enhancements.
>>3938553I WILL lewd the Tiiris and there is nothing you can do about it, Bentus.
>>3939249T-Tiiris is the player character.How.
>>3938109+1>>3938553Tiiris is a CUTE! CUTE! She needs to remain ADORABLE. also she has to find a full blooded Valkan to have many many kids with
>>3939353With my mind
>>3939353That's just going to encourage them. But hey, could be worse. Could be Akun. Or better, depending on who you ask.
Think I'll switch my vote >>3937966 to this one: >>3938109Listening for ghosts in a military cordon built on the dead lands surrounding the home/tomb of a spaceship full of powerful necromancers is an exciting plan that could go a lot of different ways.
>Listen for the voice more.Writing.
Okay, okay, maybe you could slip away when the guard isn't looking- no, maybe you could hide beneath the rails? Wait, that's stupid as all hell. What about... this isn't going to work. Try as you might, you can't get the memory of that voice out of your head. Who was it? A ghost? That would make sense, you're right next to Hull II after all. Maybe you should try and listen to it more...You close your eyes, steady your breathing and allow the Abyss energy to rush into you again, pushing it out a few times to reassure yourself that you still could. Reaching out with your senses again, you carefully feel around for the... was it a presence you sensed before?"Tiiris..." The voice emanates from behind you, making you involuntarily shudder at the feeling of someone whispering into your ear. It was resonant, with a flanging quality to it that made it sound slightly inhuman. Many voices slightly out of sync."Hello...?" You whisper quietly to yourself. No, is that how it works? You try to will a greeting towards the voice, pushing out with your senses, repeating the words over and over in your head."Tiiris..."Dammit, you wish you were better trained than this. Wish you had thought to ask Jess for some advice, or were lucky enough to have had Valkan parents like her... developing your talents on your own was hard, so much of what you were doing guesswork. Come on, come on, you hear the voice... "Can you hear me?" You whisper."I... I can hear you..." The voice said, a strain of effort coming into it. "Give me... a moment..." It grew more definite, the resonant tone fading as it settled, becoming a deeper, feminine voice. "It's been so long since I... Tiiris?""How do you know my name?" You murmur, glancing nervously at the speaker on stage wrapping up his presentation."I heard you calling." It... she said. "I am... am... er..." The voice lapsed into an uncomfortable silence. "I can't seem to recall..."Did you do it wrong? You don't know much about how ghosts work, shit... "I'm sorry." You murmur.The voice was silent for a long while. "I was... this is... the lifeship? A lifeship? It's no use..." It sighed. "Can't remember much of anything. You called for me?""You called for me, actual-" You start to murmur, then nearly jump out of your skin as the speaker suddenly shouts."Enjoy the ride back, folks!"Practically spinning around, you turn to see the tour group filing back onto the tram, chatting with each other and flipping through their most recent pictures on their phones. "Shit, I need to go...""Go, then." The voice paused, before adding. "I won't fade."Leaving the binoculars and whatever little QR code for pictures it spat out hanging, you quickly dash back onto the tram before they can leave without you, sitting in a seat a the very middle. As far away from the driver and the guard at the back as possible.
>>3941024>Instantly ask every question that comes to your mind. All of them. Who she is, what she did, how she died, anything.>>[Sub-Option] She can't remember her name? She'll need a nickname, then...>Get out of here quickly before people notice you talking to yourself.>Holy fuck you're a necromancer this is super illegal and heresy you're fucked.>[Write-In]
>>3941025>Instantly ask every question that comes to your mind. All of them. Who she is, what she did, how she died, anything.>Act like you're talking on the phone, it'll be less suspicious.
>>3941025>Instantly ask every question that comes to your mind. All of them. Who she is, what she did, how she died, anything.>Holy fuck you're a necromancer this is super illegal and heresy you're fucked.Do they still burn people for heresy and shit?
>>3941025>>Holy fuck you're a necromancer this is super illegal and heresy you're fucked.>Instantly ask every question that comes to your mind. All of them. Who she is, what she did, how she died, anything.>Act like you're talking on the phone, it'll be less suspicious.
>>3941025>Instantly ask every question that comes to your mind. All of them. Who she is, what she did, how she died, anything.Pssh, necromancy isn't illegal. Ain't no law what says a ghost can't play B-Ball. True fact.Also, talking on the phone is a good idea but it depends on if the military is jamming the whole area. Talking to a dud phone would be even more suspicious than just weirdo muttering to oneself.
>>3941388>it depends on if the military is jamming the whole area. Talking to a dud phone would be even more suspicious than just weirdo muttering to oneself.This. If we're asked we can just say we're thinking up dialogue for some characters we're writing for a short story.
>>3941025>Instantly ask every question that comes to your mind. All of them. Who she is, what she did, how she died, anything.
>Instantly ask every question that comes to your mind. All of them. Who she is, what she did, how she died, anything.Writing.>>3941141They don't burn people for heresy, but grave robbing - and by extension - corpse robbing is still a crime.
"Who are you?" You murmur to yourself, surreptitiously checking your phone. The signal was pretty weak out here, owing to the lack of signal towers near the SIZ, which made sense. Not a lot of demand. It was plausible enough for you to pretend to be on the phone....after quickly checking to make sure there were no signs saying they were banned."You mean besides my name?" The voice paused. "I was learned in the way of the Abyss. Not one of those stuffy knights, either.""There are different kinds?" You mutter."Sure, sure. Warlocks, knights... there are other traditions beyond those. The Valkans aren't just one homogeneous people, you know." She sighed. "I'm kind of an outlier even among those. Not properly trained in any tradition.""How'd you die?""In the crash, I would think? Same as everyone else. Slowly died among the wreckage. My body might be here, somewhere... or it might have been reduced to ash like everything else living.""That makes you... a ghost, right?""There's no such thing as ghosts.""...what? But you...""After death there is only the Dead." She explained. "Sometimes people can hang on- exist as shades if there is something binding them to this world, but there's no coming back from passing on.""Then why are you still here?""I'm not sure. Perhaps I managed to anchor to something? An element of the ship, a drained datacore, perhaps. Maybe even just the sheer presence of the Abyss here prevented my body from ever truly dying. It is of no real importance.""If you say so..." You mutter. "...if you can't remember your name, what should I call you?""Good question." She paused for a moment. "Call me Wander. I'm a wandering soul, after all.""Original.""It is a sufficient pseudonym for now." Wander said, a degree of amusement creeping into her voice.You don't answer, instead watching nervously and hanging up your imaginary phone call as the tram pulls into the visitor's center. Everyone disperses to the gift shop and restrooms as you get off. Following suit into one of the bathrooms, you quickly relieve yourself before quickly heading back out to the shuttle just outside the visitor's center, trying to ignore Wander's commentary in your head."So, this is how Tagaran's live? It's... messier than I would have thought." She sniffed- how she could do that without a nose you weren't sure. "I thought Tagarans were advanced enough to replace such bodily needs.""It's not considered right." You mutter. "Only replace what has been lost or damaged, don't improve.""That hardly seems fair. People rise past their bodily limitations all the time. Is exercise considered a sin by your kind as well?""No, that's inherent to the body and genetics." You board the shuttle, sitting in a lonely seat in the back.
>>3943359"You could argue that the ability of the body to accept augmentations is much the same. Everyone's immune response is different, after all.""Are you going to be like this all the time?""I think of myself as a deep thinker.""Deeper than me.""Quite." Wander's voice was deep and mature, but... surprisingly warm. Despite her status as a Valkan, she seemed friendly- then again, Jess was friendly to you if less judgmental than Wander was. It was the kind of even voice you'd mimicked in flights of fancy when you were very young, pretending to be a pilot in your old apartment.This trip was a bust for getting any real floor plan out of this, but it seems you walked away with something much more interesting in the process. Maybe it's time you delved into the decay half of the powers of decay and renewal? That, or, with a real Valkan - or rather, their shade, whatever that really was - you could ask for her advice on the other challenges you're attempting to surmount.>New Quality: [Shade?] Wander.You have failed to complete your task today. You can either continue to focus on it, or give up and switch to a different task.>No, you can't call it quits just yet. There has to be another way to get the plans.>>[Sub-Option] Focus on the human element- former employees of Y'avel who may have old floor plans, however outdated.>>[Sub-Option] Do you know anyone who could conceivably help you with this?>>[Sub-Option] Try an electronic method. The risk is there, but you're confident in ST's ability to stay undetected.>>[Sub-Option] Perhaps there's a magical method that would be superior...>A Valkan shade is now bound to you. See if Wander can help you with anything. Deepen your abilities, maybe?>ST mentioned a thing called a lensing field before, right? Focus on your search for artifacts - the truly dangerous ones. Let's find that lensing field.>Practice with what you have now- the rifle and your psychokinesis.>Spend time with your friends. They help keep you grounded and sane- and you might want to ask one or two of them to help you...>>[Sub-Option] Elan.>>[Sub-Option] Kara.>>[Sub-Option] Taylor.>>[Sub-Option] Dad.>>[Sub-Option] Someone you haven't hung out with in a while or don't know very well. (Write-In)
>>3943360>A Valkan shade is now bound to you. See if Wander can help you with anything. Deepen your abilities, maybe?
>>3943360>No, you can't call it quits just yet. There has to be another way to get the plans.>>[Sub-Option] Focus on the human element- former employees of Y'avel who may have old floor plans, however outdated.
>>3943360>No, you can't call it quits just yet. There has to be another way to get the plans.>>[Sub-Option] Do you know anyone who could conceivably help you with this?Sana, or rather her book store.Physical media is harder to censor than digital, and we already found Kathari's sketchbook there. Maybe some rando civilian didn't quite grasp the concept of operational security when writing a travelogue or journal. Or old maps from deceased collectors, sandwiched in books where no one expects them."Flag Week stuff" makes a hilariously good excuse, too. Teachers are always pestering kids to look for essay sources other than the internet. Clearly, this is why! Infiltration training!
>A Valkan shade is now bound to you. See if Wander can help you with anything. Deepen your abilities, maybe?Writing.
I've had a thought (in the shower no less) regarding Elan. At the beginning of the main quest we had to pick between Tiiris, Kara and Elan. So far we've determined that both the girls' disabilities are related to the Valkans in some way - Tiiris' eyes can "see" Valkan signatures and Kara's "voices" are really Valkan robot comms. But what's Elan's ability, and how does his disability tie in with the Valkans? Hell, do both Kara and Elan have Valkan lineage too? I suppose we'll find out, but it's nagging at me.
>>3944086Yeah, I've been assuming they're all related to Valkans, too. But families are weird and Valkans even weirder, so how it happened is anyone's guess. Genealogy goes right out the window when a civilization considers Advanced Biotech to be the first step of planning a family.
>Elan can actually fly.
Residential District, Miir, 1st Floor3rd of 5th, 1173. 4:20PM."So how was your day trip?" Dad asks, leaning against a doorway."Eh." You grimace at your failure slightly, letting yourself fall backwards onto your bed. "Not as illuminating as I'd hoped.""You went to see the old shipbreaking yard place, right?" He dug around in the bag of chips in his arm. "Interested in a little piece of- er, 'your' history?"You smile. "Something like that, yeah, but we didn't even get close.""That's too bad. They were really paranoid about security just after the war ended, you know. Although... given ten years with basically no progress, it's no wonder they softened up a little."You turn your head towards him. "They've only been open ten years? I thought it was longer than that.""Well, think about it- open up a tourist trap, right after the war? Not a chance. They were talking all these big ideas back then. 'Breakthroughs in hyperspace technology!', 'Travel times exceeding one light year a month!', 'Perfect renewable energy!'. Been twenty years, and we haven't learned a thing." He threw a couple chips into his mouth. "Funding must have started to dry up.""But... it's a Valkan ship." You look up at him in confusion. "Popular or no, there's no way they're just going to shrug and give up. It- one of those things blew up Kana!""Not give up, but lower their expectations. Budgets are limited and stuff gets moved around all the time. That happened at my old job, they're probably just getting more realistic about the time table.""I guess..." You trail off. Something still vaguely nags you about it. "Thanks, Dad.""No problem." He munches some more while walking away. "Did you get lunch?"You shake your head. "No.""I'll whip something up for you, then.""Thanks, Dad." You call softly, before rolling your head to stare at the ceiling. "...hey, you there?""Ye-""Yes, miss?""Er, not you, Easy." You smile sheepishly."Do you wish for OH4875?""No, I'm just... talking to a shade."Easy was silent for a moment. "I see." After a moment, it glided out of the room.You cough. "Er, sorry about that...""Both of them seem nice." Wander said brightly. "You're lucky to have a father like that.""You make it sound like you didn't have one.""No, my father is- was wonderful. I love him dearly."You crack a little grin at that. "Anyway, I was wondering... you said you were a shade, right?""That's correct.""You think you could... help me out? I don't know how much you remember, but you said you knew, uh...""The Art. Which is not what I practice. My form is self-taught.""Think you could pass any of it on to me?" You ask. "Or, if not, anything else you could remember..." You wait for an answer. "...Wander?""...are you sure this is what you want, Tiiris?""Uh... yeah?" You hesitate. "Why?"
>>3944505"You have a stable life here. Money is tight, but you have the things that matter. Food, a home, friends. The power of the Abyss changes people, you put all of that at risk by learning it. The Tagaran government may come after you. They could drive you from your home, imprison your friends, ruin it all.""...so that's a 'no', then.""I am merely making you aware of the alternative.""What's the alternative?""Forget about the Valkans. Surround yourself with people, let their presence drown out your senses and suffocate your connection to the Abyss. Let the muscle memory you're building fade and live a normal life. Let it all go.">"But I AM a Valkan. I can't just deny a part of who I am.">"My friends are why I'm doing this. My problems- my eyes, my body. I don't need to fix those... but Kara is being driven crazy by the voices, and Elan's bones...">"If I don't do this, someone else will. Death cultists, or someone else dangerous. If not me, then who?">"There's no place on Tagara for someone like me- I'm book dumb, half-blind... but if I was a Valkan...">"You can't just expect me to be able to turn my back on this now. I've come too far to give it all up, no matter the outcome.">"This is the biggest thing that will ever happen to me. The biggest thing that's ever happened to this planet! I'm part of something important here.">"I just want to be pretty and able to see. It's a selfish desire, I know...">"The mystery of this all is calling me. I have to know more, even if it changes me.">[Write-In]
>>3944506>"My friends are why I'm doing this. My problems- my eyes, my body. I don't need to fix those... but Kara is being driven crazy by the voices, and Elan's bones..."
>>3944506>>"My friends are why I'm doing this. My problems- my eyes, my body. I don't need to fix those... but Kara is being driven crazy by the voices, and Elan's bones...">>"There's no place on Tagara for someone like me- I'm book dumb, half-blind... but if I was a Valkan...">>"I just want to be pretty and able to see. It's a selfish desire, I know..."
>>3944506>"The mystery of this all is calling me. I have to know more, even if it changes me."I'd love to say all the trespassing and breaking and entering collecting artifacts has been a noble plan to help our friends, but to be honest that sounds like revisionist BS. It's all come down to personal curiosity nearly every step of the way.>"If I don't do this, someone else will. Death cultists, or someone else dangerous. If not me, then who?"...and maybe a bit of desire to not let the crazy psychos blow even more people up.
>>3944506>"But I AM a Valkan. I can't just deny a part of who I am."
I forgot that it was Thanksgiving today along with all it's dumb bullshit so there will be no update.
>>3945014Merry Foodmas 'Murrica
>>3944506>>"I just want to be pretty and able to see. It's a selfish desire, I know...">>"The mystery of this all is calling me. I have to know more, even if it changes me."
>"My friends are why I'm doing this. My problems- my eyes, my body. I don't need to fix those... but Kara is being driven crazy by the voices, and Elan's bones...">"I just want to be pretty and able to see. It's a selfish desire, I know..."Contradicting answers, interesting. Writing.
"My friends are why I'm doing this, though..." You trail off. "My... I'm- I'm good how I am. I don't need to fix anything, but Kara has voices in her head, and Elan can't walk...""Helping your friends? How selfless." Wander drawled. "Now, be honest with me. Why do you really want to do this?"You begin to speak, but the words die in your throat. You mumble, trying to put together a sentence. "I... I just want to be pretty, okay? And I want to be able to see.""There it is. Doesn't it feel good to admit that?" Wander soothed. "It's encouraging, as well. Honesty is the first step to clarity, and only someone with a clear mind can command the powers of the Abyss. If you engage in self-deception, your control over yourself and your powers will crumble, and you will join the Dead.""It's selfish..." You bury your head in a pillow."It is." Wander assures you. "...but just because something is selfish doesn't mean it's worthless. You matter, too." Wander was quiet for a moment. "...promise me something, Tiiris. Promise me you won't forget about yourself. Don't be a hero. Be a person.""Why do you care?" You mumble into the pillow."I've seen it happen to people dear to me. Just once was too much to bear.""...so you do remember something.""...ah. A minor slip of the tongue.""If you don't want to tell, I suppose I can't stop you." You grin slightly, looping your arms around the pillow and rolling onto your back. "So, can you teach me?""If you're sure." Wander said airily. "I'm no master, but the very least I can offer is teaching the fundamentals better than your adjutant. The basic powers.""That would be useful... what else?""I don't mean to put myself on a pedestal, but there's me." Wander 'coughed'. "That will require deepening our connection. One day, I may even be able to manifest physically, but until then I can pass on what I know.""That's... necromancy though, isn't it? Raising the dead?""Of course it is, but who's actually using those bodies anyway? If you can't consign yourself to using actual corpses, you can bypass it with enough effort. Corpses are cheap, though.""I'm not going to grave rob!""Does it not count when it's a Valkan?" Wander waited. "No? Well then. Either way, I'm a fully intelligent shade, no complex rituals or summoning training required. There's all sorts of uses for an intangible, intelligent spirit if you use your brain.">Let's focus on the fundamentals.>I'm a bit wary of necromancy, but you aren't a corpse at least.
>>3946470>Let's focus on the fundamentals.