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.---You can read the previous threads here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=COADECheck your stats and inventory here: https://pastebin.com/ud7xt5fWOn votes with three or more options (not including Write-In), you can designate another option as your second choice. This helps increase the accuracy of votes, but don't force yourself to add one if you legitimately lack one. You have to specifically mark an option as your second choice for it to be counted as one. Please feel free to ask questions- I am happy to provide setting trivia that isn't relevant in the narrative. If you ask a pertinent question, though, I will generally answer it in an update.
You peer at Adan evenly. "You should prepare for some especially bad outbursts before this is over. Things are going to get worse for her mentally before she gets better.""How much worse?" He asked grimly."Major mood swings, a few- how do I put it gently... seizures? They're not really seizures, she just..." You sigh. "It's difficult to explain. It'll look bad, but it's a good thing in the long run. She'll also be hungry. Really hungry.""She's a teenager. She's always hungry." Adan grunted."Even hungrier than usual, then. I'll have LL stay here to look after her and make sure everything is going okay, but she'll need you to be supportive while she goes through this. I want to help but I can't be here for two weeks straight." You explain.Adan simply nodded his head before lapsing into an awkward silence. His shoulders hunched, and the combative, angry expression he had worn since the beginning of the conversation faded. He stared at the floor, mouth twisted slightly."I..." You begin, then falter. "My... ah..." You stop, then take a breath. "My mother didn't tell me about any of this, either. She died before she could, like Kara's mom." You bit your lip a little, thinking back. Had there really been a time when you hated Valkans? It felt like a lifetime ago, but it had only been... "I wish she did, though. I... when I found out, I freaked out a little. Maybe a lot. Did some stupid things." Like breaking into people's houses chasing after alien artifacts. "...but I never held it against her. Or my dad." Your eyes slide over to him.Adan sighed, shrugged and nodded.You smile a little and return your gaze to a space somewhere above his head. "I'll get out of your hair once LL lets me know everything's okay. If you need to talk to me, you can ask LL and it'll relay a message.""So, uh, it obeys you?" Adan asked awkwardly."It would probably say that it works for me, but yes, it's decided to do so." You nod."And... it can be trusted? It won't spy on me?""It'll spy on you as much as anyone sharing your home with you would, but if you're asking if it's an overzealous tax agent, then no.""How'd you even come across something like that?"The corners of your mouth twitch. "It's a long story." And one you're not at liberty to discuss unless you want accusations of terrorism to start floating around."Right..." Adan cleared his throat. "If that's all...""There is one thing I wanted to ask you, actually." You speak up."Yes?" Adan coughed awkwardly."I've been thinking about getting Kara and Elan together for an extended camping trip. Before the end of the summer at least.""A camping trip?" Adan leaned back in surprise and blinked. "Ah- okay? What kind of camping were you planning on doing? Cabin rental, campground?""Two-ish weeks out in the countryside, not sure where yet. Probably a cabin.""Two weeks?" Adan asked incredulously. "What on earth are you planning on doing for two weeks?"
>>4257845>"We're going to be visiting a friend of ours.">"Kara is going to need to learn how to control her magic. Which she'll start developing after these implants go in, I bet.">"Valkan business, but I assure you it isn't dangerous.">[Write-In]
>>4257847>"Kara is going to need to learn how to control her magic. Which she'll start developing after these implants go in, I bet."
>>4257847>"Kara is going to need to learn how to control her magic. Which she'll start developing after these implants go in, I bet."Stress that is only for getting the basics down and finding their limits and getting a handle on them, safely and away from prying eyes. so no one hurts themselves or others, by doing something stupid.
>>4257847>"We're going to be visiting a friend of ours."
>>4257847>"Valkan business, but I assure you it isn't dangerous."
>>4257847>"Kara is going to need to learn how to control her magic. Which she'll start developing after these implants go in, I bet."Maybe say abilities instead of magic, poor guy is already freaked out enough as it is.
>>4257845>Had there really been a time when you hated Valkans? It felt like a lifetime ago, but it had only been...We kinda still do. Just the ones who were massive shitters. Some are/were decent. Like the ones who tried to stop the terror bombing of Tagara by terror bombing their lifesh... oh...No, no. Those ones were definitely freedom fighters, not terrorists.
>>4257847>>"Valkan business, but I assure you it isn't dangerous."
>>4258903>Just the ones who were massive shitters.Shipmaster Alich, aka He Who Must Not Be Named, aka The Space Idiot
>"Kara is going to need to learn how to control her magic. Which she'll start developing after these implants go in, I bet."Writing.
"Kara is going to need to learn how to control her magic." You explain, ignoring the odd look Adan gives you. "...which, going by what I know about Valkans and these implants, will start as soon as the implants go in.""...Tiiris." Adan said gently. "I know the Valkans are... advanced. But I'm sure it's not magic."You look up at him, then smile. "I've seen things, Adan. Trust me when I say- it is magic."He seemed visibly unnerved at that, choosing to look at the floor afterwards. The two of you wait in silence, while Adan steals looks at the door to his daughter's room, and you wait patiently. Eventually, you get up and start quietly pacing, doing you best to ignore Adan's anxious hand wringing.You almost give into the urge to start pinging LL for updates, but reign it in. Admittedly, it may have been for no other reason than to avoid the medical drone's chastisement.Eventually, the door opens, and you turn- Adan quickly rising onto his feet as LL emerged."Kharak is implanted, and the machine heart has bonded successfully.""So she's okay?" Adan asked breathlessly."She is resting while she undergoes basic integration. You may see her, but try not to disturb her."Adan didn't even wait for LL to finish before stepping around the two of you and continuing into Kara's bedroom."Think we can trust him to not do anything stupid?" You ask."He is a concerned father. Allow him some mild blunders."You look at LL with surprise, then glance back to the door. "You hear what we were talking about?""Yes. I will remain here. However, I will require OH4875's assistance to generate additional nutrient slurry."You smile. "Very well, please let it know.""Will you be staying the night, miss?""Ah..." You glance into the bedroom, where Adan was quietly taking up position near Kara's bed. "I think it's probably for the best if I excuse myself for the night. Please let me know if anything happens.""Understood."---Hukak Household, Miir, 3rd Floor6th of 6th, 1173. 10:35PM.Elan sighed and leaned back into the couch. Upstairs, he could hear the soft footsteps of his father moving around upstairs, getting ready for bed. He wasn't happy, Elan could tell from how regimented his movements were. His Dad was normally the kind of person who wandered around a lot before bed, slipping into the kitchen for a snack and saying goodnight to him before wandering outside and then getting in bed. For him to-A mug appeared in front of his face. "That must have been exhausting for you."Elan looked up at Tina, who smiled and proffered the mug while cradling another one close to her chest. "I expected a lot of things, but not for him to just clam up like that." He accepted it with some mild surprise. "Thanks."Tina sat down on the other end of the couch, crossing her legs. "He's having a control freak moment. Give him a few days, he'll calm down and realize he's being a jackass.""I wouldn't be so sure-"
>>4259746"Trust me." Tina emphasized. "He's thinking with the engineer half of his brain. I'll have a talk with him. He'll come around."Elan sighed and took a sip. "It's always this way with him. He never listens to what I have to say...""Your father is a man of conviction." Tina drank deeply from hers. "It's just that he also has a tendency to stick his head up his ass.""And sometimes he never removes it." Elan muttered.Tina looked over at him with an appraising look. He wasn't sure he'd ever be able to acknowledge her as someone who his Dad could marry. Supposedly she was in her thirties, but the woman still looked like she was in college- and that still made her over ten years his junior. "I wouldn't say so. Your father can be pretty open-minded.""Open-minded about aliens?"Tina shrugged. "I dunno. He knowingly married one, didn't he? Then he went and married another one."Elan choked.---Residential District, Miir, 1st Floor7th of 6th, 1173. 10:00AM.The light streaming through the windows at the top of your room was getting in your eyes, and you slowly opened them before rolling over in bed. Pulling on your shirt slightly, you realize that you hadn't even remembered to change out of your clothes before collapsing for the night. Groaning, you sit up with a yawn, gently stretching and cracking your joints in ways you knew would soothe the aching pain of sleeping on them.As you make breakfast for yourself, you check in on Elan, then Kara through LL. Both report that they're in various states of 'okay'. Apparently Kara was already feeling the effects of the mood swings, and Elan was ravenous but otherwise okay. Indeed, you notice OH's absence from it's normal haunt in the living room as you and Easy make breakfast.Tempting as it was to go and check on the two of them in-person... you really couldn't justify it. Not only because you're not sure that you could do anything other than stand around, but because you had other things to do.>Arrange a rendezvous with the Rontah.>Take a look at your mother's possessions.>Begin planning for another big task.>>[Sub-Option] Up to Reese for Jess' training camp. Although, you wouldn't be able to take Kara and Elan until their implants had finished growing in.>>[Sub-Option] That message was still transmitting every night. It's time to see if this 'Kathari' is the same one who wrote your journal.>>[Sub-Option] Netana belongs to a cult, and from what you've learned so far, a lot of cults were started by Valkans. A thorough investigation would behoove you.>>[Sub-Option] What would it take to acquire some Valkan hardware? Especially a drone for Elan.>>[Sub-Option] Something else. (Write-In)>[Write-In]
>>4259747>Take a look at your mother's possessions.We should be able to get some of the other things done, before everyone else is ready to go for training.I think we should also look into acquiring the Broken Terraforming Unit from Jeremy Manaan's Storage Unit (Thread #9 >>3967623 ) and toke it with us to see if Jess can help fix it, one of the main problems that is constraining the use of the Rontah (for long distance travel, and acting a staging point for any future attempts to access any of the Hulls) is that it has no way to produce food so it can only operate by itself for a limited amount of time we could probably repurpose one of the existing rooms to serve as hydroponics if we managed to get the Terraforming unit operational again.
>>4259747>Tina shrugged. "I dunno. He knowingly married one, didn't he? Then he went and married another one."Hoooly crap.>Arrange a rendezvous with the Rontah.>Take a look at your mother's possessions.First choice Rontah, second choice Mom things. Not that I have a strong preference, just that sorting through our backlog is a good idea.>>4259755Thread 7. Seems more practical to set aside the same space we'd use for hydroponics and just cram it with canned food, though.
>>4259747>Take a look at your mother's possessions.>He knowingly married one, didn't he? Then he went and married another one.Ah, I see his father is a man of culture as well.
Are we not going to look into the cult girl whom we go to school with.
>>4259747}>Take a look at your mother's possessions.Also, >Tina shrugged. "I dunno. He knowingly married one, didn't he? Then he went and married another one."Gotta say man, Elan's father is fucking based, holy shit
>>4259747>Take a look at your mother's possessions.>Begin planning for another big task.>>[Sub-Option] What would it take to acquire some Valkan hardware? Especially a drone for Elan.>>4259747>Tina shrugged. "I dunno. He knowingly married one, didn't he? Then he went and married another one."Can't blame him. Everyone wants a big titty valkan gf.
>>4259747>Take a look at your mother's possessions.
>>4260088We could, but that girl's a wee bit crazy. So we're doing cool things and procrastinating until that landmine suddenly becomes a disaster and we have to panic-fix it, like any normal teen.
>>4259747>Begin planning for another big task.
>Take a look at your mother's possessions.Writing.
S6 Self-Storage, Miir, 1st Floor7th of 6th, 1173. 11:00AM.It was Thursday, so that meant Dad was at work. Ordinarily, you'd ask him for the key if you were going down to the storage unit, but since he was out..."Easy?" You look behind you, holding out your hand to the thin air. "You got the key?" A moment later, a small steel key appeared in midair as it fell into your hand. "Thanks." Turning, you slid the key into the retaining bolt on the metal, rolling shutter that covered your small storage unit, twisted it and pulled out the lock.Your storage unit wasn't incredibly impressive- truth be told, it was more of a walk-in closet than a garage. There was barely enough room for yourself to squeeze inside between the pair of metal racks pushed up against each wall. Spilling out over the edge of both shelves were many cardboard boxes. Some where labeled, while others were simply hastily closed shut. The majority of it was junk- spare blankets, sheets and lamps that you didn't have any room for in the singular closet in your apartment. The rest of it was boxes and boxes of old files.Stepping under the metal shutter as it slid up into the ceiling, you turn to the side and slide between the aisles, ducking and squirming around the tight space. Occasionally your chest or rear would have to be pressed against one of them in order to move yourself through, and you briefly regret making them so large. Then you clear the aisle and the thought is forgotten.You and Dad had never really bothered trying to organize or keep this unit in check- which meant what you were looking for was probably in the back. Briefly, you reach out with your senses, only to find nothing. No secret Abyss artifacts, then.That said, you weren't exactly here to hunt for artifacts. You were here to look at your mother's old things, Valkan or no. Squatting down, you move the top few boxes off a small stack, peering at the labels briefly before moving on. If you searched all of them and didn't find a relevant label, then you'd start opening them up at random- ah, no. Here we go.Lifting an especially old box with 'Jeanne' written on the side in spidery permanent marker, you set it on top of another stack of boxes to give yourself a table to work with. Reaching into the pocket of your hoodie, you pull out a knife- well, not just any old knife. It was the bayonet that you got from that storage unit but magical or not, it was still a knife, right?Sliding it quickly down the middle of the box, you pull the flaps open and peer inside. A bundle of flannels were stacked tucked neatly inside, pushed to one side by several pairs of jeans and an old coat. Taking up most of the box was an old set of what seemed to be art supplies held in a faux leather case. Fancy pencils of different thicknesses and presumably material as well, in different colors and styles. A small ink pot and palette, dry with peeling scraps of paint on them.
>>4261804Setting it aside for now, you rummage through the rest of the unit, eventually finding two more boxes labeled with her name. The second was more clothes- shirts, underwear and a few dresses- among them was a vintage fur-trimmed jacket and surprisingly a pair of heeled, lace-up boots. Rather more rough than the typical calm image of your mother that you saw in photos, but you suppose she had been part of the military.The third box was full of more art supplies- a few pads of hard bristol filled with detailed pen-and-ink sketches, with one seemingly dedicated to watercolor landscape painting. There were old, dried out pots of paint and a few brushes. Wrapped in a small cloth to the side were a few silver cases that had old jewelry of your mother's. A pair of golden hoops, a set of three silver ear cuffs and a single brooch set with a small red rock. Honestly, you didn't know much about jewelry, but they seemed to be the cheap sort of jewelry that you could get at any department store from how light they were. Some kind of enameled plastic, maybe?Pressed into the side of the box, owing to their square shapes, was a set of framed photographs. You know Dad has never been much of a photo album guy - guess growing up during the death throes of social media had done that to him - so these must have been photos your mother had taken. Pulling out the stack, you move through them carefully, studying each picture before moving onto the next one.There was one of your parent's wedding day. Your mother and father standing at the altar reciting their vows. She was in a traditional mottled grey wedding dress, but you hadn't seen a wedding dress in here. Maybe a rental?Another one showed your mother laying down on a couch holding a small bundle of- yep, that was a little baby-you right there. You couldn't see the face what with your mother's arms and the cloth in the way, but there was a definite tuft of blonde hair poking out the top of the bundle.Most of these were of your father, with your mother in only two or three of the photos. Presumably your mother had been the one to take most of these. More than one was of you, including one of you playing with Dad. From the metal walls and exposed pipes in the background, you were willing to bet that was from when you all were living on the gas liner together.The last in the stack was a familiar one. A family portrait, professionally taken. There was a second copy of this one that was in the living room of your apartment. Dad and Mom sitting next to each other behind a blue background. Dad stood in a business suit, while Mom was seated next to him in a simple green dress wrapped with an elaborate shawl. Balanced on her knee was a goofy toddler, wrestled into some frumpy white dress that you couldn't seem to care less about being in, given that you were too busy staring at the wall behind the camera man.
>>4261806You couldn't help a mild grimace. Even at such a young age, the previous deformity of your face was already starting to show. Eyes just offset from each other, an overly rounded jaw and a long head....okay, it wasn't that bad, but you still disliked looking at it.You set the photographs back into their spot inside the box. Nothing that seemed to be of consequence, but definitely a few things of sentimental value. All of this could fit into ST, easily. But it was more the question of whether there was a point to bringing any of it back. It was just junk, after all. Valkans were tricky, you knew, but there wasn't much magical about Mom's old bras, you think...>Bring back some of it.>>[Sub-Option] The clothes, even though it's incredibly unlikely any of it will fit. OH should be able to refit it.>>[Sub-Option] The art supplies.>>[Sub-Option] The photos. Dad should appreciate some of these, you think.>>[Sub-Option] The jewelry.>Think, Tiiris, think. What else could there be here that you aren't thinking of? (Write-In)>[Write-In]
>>4261809>Think, Tiiris, think. What else could there be here that you aren't thinking of? (Write-In)Call on 'Wander' see what she can make of all this. Should we try to make her manifest physically? Some of the sketch pads might be similar in nature to Kathari's sketch book, and so might be useful if we need to cross reference something if we every try to retrace her first steps on Tagara (Maybe the drones might know how she managed to survive the trip to the surface from orbit, and therefore which crash site she was from and dad probably know what her approximate condition was like, where, and when he first met her. ).Also HH had some valuable advice about hiding Valkan transformables so directly attempting to channel the Abyss into everything probably isn't the worst idea we could have.
>>4261809>Think, Tiiris, think. What else could there be here that you aren't thinking of?If nothing's Abyss-active, best I can think of is any boxes labeled 'carving' or 'tools' or something. 'Sewing' maybe. She would have needed them to do some of the stuff in her grimoire (but might have stopped after the war). Otherwise:>Take it all.The jewelry and clothes are free, and our closet space begs for more torment, though they'll spend a while at the bottom of it since OH is busy. The art stuff is also free, and Valkans seem oddly interested in art, so maybe there's something to it, or maybe it's just a cultural thing. The photos are neat. Hang a few on the walls, switch them around at a whim. Not doing much good sitting in a box.
>>4261809>Bring back none of it.
>>4261809>>Bring back some of it.>>>[Sub-Option] The art supplies.>>>[Sub-Option] The jewelry.>Think, Tiiris, think. What else could there be here that you aren't thinking of? (Write-In)A diary or notes? Or maybe her phone
>>4261809Bring all. Even if we're not going to use them they shouldn't be rotting here.
>Ask Wander what she thinks.>Look for tools or art supplies.>Is there any paperwork or files that belonged to her?>Bring the jewelry and clothes back.Writing.
Carefully, you move the art supplies into a single box along with the pictures, combining the clothes into the remaining two boxes before slipping the small bundle of jewelry into it. Dropping them down onto the floor, you push them out to the front of the unit with your shoe.You purse your lips and think to yourself. Mom was supposedly some powerful Valkan space... wizard, right? Whatever their dumb term was for it. Philosopher-engineer? You think you heard Easy or ST throw that term around once. If so, wouldn't she have tons of magical artifacts in her possessions? Was the art stuff abyssal, and you didn't even realize it?Dubiously, you pick up one of the pens in her old art stuff. Pinching it on either end, you take a breath and reach for the Abyss. After a moment of searching, you find a spark close to your chest - the rosary - and you clumsily breath in the energy. It fills your body, and you experimentally redirect it through the pen in your hands....nothing. You let the energy dissipate and hold the pen up, scratching your head. "Hey, Wander?""Yes?" The shade suddenly spoke up from behind your shoulder."You been watching?""Yep, like always." The shadow stepped out to the side of you, forming into the now-familiar suit of a Valkan, like you'd seen on Vilnea and aboard the Tanoh. "Trying to find artifacts in there?"You nod, frowning at the pen. "It's probably not efficient to just go digging through everything and trying to power it, is it?"Wander nodded. "Think about it. Valkans are tricky by nature. Nothing has ever been straightforward with finding something they hid themselves. Remember the plasma rifle?""I know, but I still feel like I'm missing something..." You rub your chin. "Would you know anything about what kind of things she would hide?""Why would I know anything you don't know?" Wander said, cocking her head. "Remember all her stuff that was aboard the Tanoh? She clearly didn't bring any of it with her. So what did she bring? Did she even bring anything?" She waved a hand around the room. "Why would it be here? If she had artifacts, surely she had a drone, then? Where is it?""You think I'm overthinking it?" You look at her."Only a little. It is suspicious." Wander looked around. "But I'm not sure there's any answers in here.""I'm not." You frown. "I wonder..." You start pushing boxes aside, going to the very backs of the unit, where the first boxes Dad had ever put in here would have been. "...ahah." You lift an especially old box labeled 'Records' onto your impromptu table stack.
>>4263728Cutting it open, you peer into the stacks of papers inside. Stacks and stacks and bundles and envelops and- this was going to be tedious, wasn't it. You flick through the pages one by one. A bill of sale for a car, a registration of identification- oh, look, it was your birth announcement. Not your birth certificate, that was in Dad's desk at home, but the card your parents had sent out when you were born.Cute, but not what you were looking for. You move further into the box looking for paperwork with your mother's name on it. She didn't have a will, you think. Died too suddenly for it, so...One of the folders smashed into the boxes immediately gets your attention. It was an expensive looking legal folder- the thick, reinforced kind with tines built in for the documents inside. Pulling it out, you flip it open and read the first few lines.It was a doctor's statement. An autopsy report and the death certificate of Jeanne Elson. Turning the page, you immediately see a photo of a woman cut open on a table and have to briefly slap it closed. You wait a few seconds for the stimulants to kick in before you can open it again.As you probably should have expected, the report was blunt and direct in it's description of how your mother had died. It described the condition of her liver and heart in no uncertain terms under the diagnoses section, with her liver apparently suffused with high amounts of lead, zinc and silver. Then she developed something called... 'cardiomyopathy' in her heart, which lead to heart failure...The images just took the contents from depressing to gruesome. A human torso opened with a long incision from the neck to the groin, photos of the heart and individual organs that had thankfully been rendered grainy when these documents were photocopied. Then a photo which was aimed primarily at her chest, but also happened to capture your mother's empty face, with her glassy grey eyes and matted back hair.You shudder a little, take a breath and let the feeling pass. Funny that they don't mention her implants at all. Maybe they just missed it- no, that couldn't be. They were pretty easy to find, that's why you had gone to such pains to keep Elan out of the hospital. Where had they gone, then? Did some Valkans know a... secret spell to hide their implants? LL said they don't interfere with shapeshifting, but maybe it's possible to shift your implants along with yourself?Bah, this is just speculation at this point. You thumb through the remainder of the records box, but other than old DMV paperwork, there was nothing that stuck out to you as particularly useful. Was there anything else you'd like to look at while you were here?>Nope, let's go home.>[Write-In]
>>4263729Can we contact LL from here and relay our findings in order to get his opinion on them?
>>4263729>Nope, let's go home.One gore photo is more than enough for today.
>>4263729>Nope, let's go home.
>>4263729'How Mom died' is a weird mystery so far. If it was the gubmint, they ought to have Tiiris under surveillance. If it was Valkans, they violated their most important rule about not removing Machine Hearts. Valkan Colonists and Valkan Supremacists (Alich?) alike would be all over them for that. Best guess, she was dying of something exotic, and asked a drone to remove her implants to keep Lil' Tiiris safe from suspicion.So... Drones are Abyss-neutral. Look for something large enough to be a drone shifted into the shape of furniture or a decoration. Footstool. Coffee maker. Dunno. It might be damaged and non-functional like the one Clinsky had, hence why the others can't detect it. That would be one hell of a traumatized drone, though. Robot PTSD for sure.Beyond that, I'm out of ideas.
>>4263729Start shaking every large item and screaming DO SOMETHING at it.
>>4264328>"What's all that yelling coming from the storage units?">"Teenage girl, looking at family things.">"Oh, a teen. Makes sense."
>>4263729Scream and cry in frustration then leave.
>>4263729R E D H E R R I N Gthat or she was murdered by another valkan
Of course, the entire thing could be answered pretty easily if we stopped meddling with psychokinesis and whittling and actually tried some necromancy...The dead do seem to love talking, if Wander and the skelebro are any indication.
>>4265105Doing anything more with necromancy than we already have, without anyone to guide us seems like a really bad idea.
>>4265105Necroing your own dead mom is different. Some things might be better put to rest.
>>4265123Anon, Who do you think Wander was?She is only one of two Shades we have met, and she approached us we didn't call for her. And i can't think of anyone else that should have a vested interest in us at all.We didn't see any other shades on the Tanaoh at all either, and i'm sure many of them died with unfinished business so what makes 'Wander' special?
>>4265112We haven't done anything with necromancy yet. Just Wander, and that was mostly her own doing.I'm in no rush though. Jess seemed pretty chill about it. Waiting a month or so to commune with an ancestor spirit won't kill us.
>>4265132The reason i'm being sort of hesitant is that somehow one of our ancestors manged to make a contract with them, witch implied that there is something that they want, so until we find out more i really don't want to accidentally sign away our soul or something, because we didn't understand what we were getting into.
>>4265141Good point.I suppose I'm just a bit antsy for necromancy. I've wanted to try beefing Wander up with energy for a while, and see what more a Shade can do. She's snarky, but she doesn't seem malicious.
>>4265175I would be all for using our time with Jess to focus on necromancy.
>>4265212Do we even know if she is dead? or was part of the 13th.Considering that Kathari is still alive and she predates the fall of the Valkan homeworld, there is a good chance that she is still alive since the 13th only split 200 years ago. Apparently Alitch was in charge back then too, so who knows what the average life expectancy of a Valkan was.On that note how old was Kallis when she had Tiiris.
>Ask LL about your findings.>Nope, let's go home.Writing.>>4265244Jeanne Elson died at age thirty two according to public records. That is, of course, Tagaran public records, so... healthy pinch of salt.
Standing up, you close up the records box and tape it back over. "LL, you there?""For you? Always."You ignore the quip as you heft it back onto the stack. "I've gotten my hands on my mother's autopsy report. I was wondering about what you thought of it.""They performed an autopsy? Were her implants discovered?" LL asked."No, that's just the thing..." You put a hand to your chin and reread the description on the page. "Far as I can tell, she didn't have her implants by that point. You said the machine heart replaced part of the heart, right? It didn't merge with it?""Yes.""Her heart was completely normal. And they cut her open and didn't see any of the wires and shit I saw in Vilnea's corpse. She died from heart failure, of all things.""What was her neurological condition? Did she behave differently before getting sick?""Um..." You flip back through the pages to the page detailing her symptoms. "Apparently she started to feel woozy, have trouble speaking and processing her surroundings. Then she started having trouble walking, but by then they had already taken her to the medical wing.""But she was capable of speaking?""Yes...? Not seeing anything about her not being able to.""Then her implants weren't removed. She would not have been capable of walking and moving so soon after implant removal. It simply isn't possible with the amount of brain trauma incurred.""You sure?" You ask in surprise."Positive. She would not be functioning.""And the heavy metal poisoning? The elements were... zinc, lead... silver...""Possibly due to the degradation of nerve replacements, although it should have rendered her mostly paralyzed.""It seems to be mostly localized to the liver.""Possibly a secondary cybernetic, did they note the massive toxin build up?""Uh, no. It just seems to be a few spots in there."LL was briefly silent. "Spots?""Yeah, spots on the liver, why?""Her liver should have been completely overloaded from the toxin build up. What you're describing sounds like heavy metal poisoning in an ordinary human.""You sure?""Positive."You stare at the autopsy report, then hold it out to the air. "Easy. Take this." A moment later, it was tugged out of your hands and promptly vanished. "Thank you, LL." Slowly squeezing your way out to the front of the unit, you roll the shutter down before swiping the two boxes of clothes up from the ground. You walk back out in silence, tossing the boxes into ST's backseat before slipping into the driver's seat. "Take us back home, ST.""Are you feeling well, miss?"
>>4265692"Confused and a little distracted, but I'm feeling fine, ST. Thank you." You lean back in the seat, tapping on your chin with a finger. How did Mom get her implants out? Were they taken, and whoever did it was particularly thorough? Maybe the medical drone that did it was still out there? If it meant getting answers, it might be worth a shot to look for it.You cart the boxes back into your apartment, setting them down in your room for OH to take a look at later. Was it just exactly as it appeared? Did Mom just up and die from some crazy implant complication? From the way implants had been described to you, and the way so many of the 13th had died after they came to Tagara, it almost seemed like depression and sadness weakened them. But was that a problem with your mother? She had Dad and, well, you...Maybe you were just overthinking it. You don't know. What could you even do next?>You need someone versed in both cybernetics and the Abyss to make sense of this. Your drones and Wander together didn't understand the whole picture.>>[Sub-Option] Jess.>>[Sub-Option] Kathari.>>[Sub-Option] Alich.>Keep it simple. Is there an angle you're missing to this investigation? (Write-In)>Just drop it for now. There's no reason to make a big deal out of it.>[Write-In]
>>4265693>Just drop it for now. There's no reason to make a big deal out of it.
>>4265693>Just drop it for now. There's no reason to make a big deal out of it.Looks like something to bring up with Jess and Xol, Once we finally get her onto the Rontah.
>>4265693>>Just drop it for now. There's no reason to make a big deal out of it.
>>4265693>Just drop it for now. There's no reason to make a big deal out of it.All shall become clear in time, I'm sure.
>>4265693>Keep it simple. Is there an angle you're missing to this investigation?She made a reservation for Tiiris with the Tanoh medbay, somehow. Maybe the ship was less inert in the years following the war. Four years after the war and failing to get past the military cordon, she made babby Tiiris anyway. Died four years later.None of which does anything to explain how or why she died. Ugh.>Just drop it for now. There's no reason to make a big deal out of it.yep all done spinning wheels
>>4265693Ask LL how did she make the reservation?
Faked her death and became a terror cell leader, clearly.
>>4266392Can you even forcibly transform someone else?The only problem i could see with this is when the swap would have taken place, and how it would have happened without someone noticing.
>>4266392Jeanne is our foster mother, the real Kallis is out there bombing malls. Wake up sheeple.
Also i was thinking of ways to see if we could find out who Wander was, all we should need to do is read her anterior markings right? So all we should need to do is get her to take her helmet off. but if we come straight out and tell her to do so she will probably refuse, or claim that she is unable to.So we should tell her that we want to practice drawing, and so we want to use her as the subject of said drawings and ask that she remove her helmet, she is more likely to comply with a reasonable request over a demand.There a couple of reasons for doing a drawing anyway could be useful to see if the markings change over time, also could be cross referenced against other media that we have come across (The photo of our mother in her amour, and other photos we have from her time as Jeanne), if we can't do the referencing ourselves so a drone needs to be involved since at the moment only we can see 'Wander'
HOLD THE FUCK UP>>4263729>You thumb through the remainder of the records box, but other than old DMV paperworkDid she have a CAR? Like a NORMAL one, or...?
>>4266759All of a sudden everything makes sense.
>>4266759>a bill of sale for a car
>>4267122He's talking about the weird car that tried to get us to ride around in it early on.Maybe ST would know more about it. It would also be interesting to find out what led ST to hide out there specifically i guess.
>>4267132Oh yeah. I had suspected that was a warskin. Do we wanna go check it out?
>>4267136It might be interesting to at least be able to go and talk to it this time.
>Ask LL about the reservation she made.>Just drop it for now. There's no reason to make a big deal out of it.Writing.>>4267136I'll put it on the next vote.>>4266290If you want an investigation tip without actually giving you a hint: Are there any inconsistencies in the information you've been given?
>>4267223A significant amount of the primary information we have gathered, either has no supporting evidence, was referenced by others broadly and is of unknown authenticity, The person providing the information has a stake in what is being told, and we don't have enough (Non-meta) info to call them out on it. 'Wander' clearly knows / remembered more than she has told us, and we are someways off from being able to ask someone who should know more about it., or has not yet been determined to be relevant.
"One more question, LL." You sat down at your desk, tapping on the surface. "When we met, you said my mother had made some kind of 'appointment' to see you. What was that appointment?""A reproduction appointment, essentially. I would have taken genetic material from her partner and her or a fertilized zygote from her and placed it in an incubator. Afterwards I would monitor the child - that being you - over the growth period and eventually deliver it."You make a slight face at 'genetic material'. "How did she make it with you if she never showed up?""The Tanoh's communication antenna was still operational at that time. She was able to transmit the request to me via her implants.""But she was probably unable to make it back in..." You frown. "How, though? I was able to make it back in, and my mother was supposedly some super badass space wizard or whatever. What made her case different?""I wouldn't know.""Of course you wouldn't- ST?" You change tracks. "How difficult would it have been to get aboard the Tanoh before I was born?""Very." ST replied. "The Tagaran military was more than prepared against Valkan tactics at that point in the war, and the sites were staffed by veteran soldiers. Today, most of those veterans have retired or moved onto other assignments, and relatively inexperienced garrison troops now staff the sites.""That answers a few things..." You consider. Would that have really stopped her, though? It might have been riskier, but you don't see why she never attempted it, or contacted another Valkan friend. There had to be more than one medical drone on the planet, right? After all, you found a whole machine seed just sitting in an abandoned factory, and you knew how valuable those were now. Was she planning to return, but she died before she could? You turn your attention back to LL. "And so she just missed it and... that was it?""I contacted her monthly about her missed appointment, and she reaffirmed her intentions to fill it until-" There was a brief stutter in it's communication. "-23rd of 9th, 1161.""Mom died that month." You reply. "That's probably why she didn't reply." You think back to the details of the autopsy report. You had never put any particular importance on the exact date of Mom's death before, but it had been right there on the page. 16th of 9th, 1161. A week before.That meant she had still intended to return to the ship up until a week before she died. Or, that she had only changed her mind in the three weeks between the last reminder and her death. So what happened?
>>4267373You shake your head. "...that will be all, LL. Thank you." No sense dwelling on it. Standing up, you make your way back to the kitchen and pour yourself a small glass of water. Bigger fish to fry. Already, you were feeling slightly antsy to check in on Elan and Kara. Although... it had only been a day for Kara, and two for Elan. Both of them were probably not in the phase where they would need any help, and LL was keeping an eye on both of them. For Kara especially, crowding was probably the last thing either of them needed at this point.Better for you to do something else. Almost reflexively, you check over your shoulder for Wander, only to find nothing there. Damn her and her disappearing act. It was like she only ever showed up when you dragged her out, even though she had proven she could occasionally show up herself. She was just so passive. Was there something about being a ghost that made you placid?The situation with Kara and Elan wouldn't resolve for... well, twelve more days, now. Maybe slightly longer. You had been contemplating dragging the two of them upstate with you to Jess', in order to get some training in the powers you all only had marginal control over. It might behoove you to find something to occupy yourself with in the meantime.>Arrange a rendezvous with the Rontah.>Wander was always quiet. Maybe you should try to drag some conversation out of her?>Once, you had met a car with a signature. Was that possibly a warskin?>Begin planning for another big task.>>[Sub-Option] Up to Reese for Jess' training camp. Although, you wouldn't be able to take Kara and Elan until their implants had finished growing in.>>[Sub-Option] That message was still transmitting every night. It's time to see if this 'Kathari' is the same one who wrote your journal.>>[Sub-Option] Netana belongs to a cult, and from what you've learned so far, a lot of cults were started by Valkans. A thorough investigation would behoove you.>>[Sub-Option] What would it take to acquire some Valkan hardware? Especially a drone for Elan.>>[Sub-Option] Your mother's death had 'suspicious' written all over it. Passively gathering evidence hadn't done anything for you, it was time to start getting yourself into trouble.>>[Sub-Option] Something else. (Write-In)>[Write-In]
>>4267375>Once, you had met a car with a signature. Was that possibly a warskin?Ask ST about it, it was being serviced at a Mechanic's near the Junkyard we found him in.OR>Wander was always quiet. Maybe you should try to drag some conversation out of her?See if we can convince her to take off her helmet, and read her anterior markings in order to find out who she was.Also they managed to find Alitch pretty easily could we get the drones to see if they could try to find her, or find more information about her retinue and see if we could track them down.
>>4267375>Wander was always quiet. Maybe you should try to drag some conversation out of her?>[Sub-Option] Up to Reese for Jess' training camp. Although, you wouldn't be able to take Kara and Elan until their implants had finished growing in.
>>4267375>Once, you had met a car with a signature. Was that possibly a warskin?>>[Sub-Option] What would it take to acquire some Valkan hardware? Especially a drone for Elan.Birds and stone
>>4267375>Arrange a rendezvous with the Rontah.To distract from digging up more mysteries for now: The Rontah should be able to read the datacore we got off Vilnea.
>>4267375>Once, you had met a car with a signature. Was that possibly a warskin?
>>4267375>Arrange a rendezvous with the Rontah.
>>4267375>Once, you had met a car with a signature. Was that possibly a warskin?>Begin planning for another big task.>>[Sub-Option] Up to Reese for Jess' training camp. Although, you wouldn't be able to take Kara and Elan until their implants had finished growing in.
>>4267223Based on the information given? >>4266392 is seems closest to truth, despite being an offhand joke. Body autopsied, no implants. She was active leading up to the week she died, yet removing her implants would have left her paralyzed and nonfunctional. Removing them wouldn't have left organs in their place. Occams Razor says fake-body made to look poisoned, and she's still alive. Cultist, hermit, test subject, government conspirator, who knows?Either she was blackmailed into leaving, or left by choice. The deception was premeditated and very thorough, and that pisses me off. Whether she's a dead parent or a deadbeat parent, it still sucks.
>>4267375>>Once, you had met a car with a signature. Was that possibly a warskin?
>>4268455Do you think she would come back (or be forced to break her cover) if we got into trouble / held hostage / or kidnapped, or not?I'm thinking that either the guy that is looking for Kathari's sketchbook might be worth interrogating to find out why he is looking for it (or we could create a copy[ we could chose to either keep the copy or the original ] of it and turn it over to Sana so she can cash in. )
>>4268755Probably wouldn't come back. She wasn't around for the bombing. How would she even know if something happened, really?"She isn't dead" is just the simplest answer I can see to match the evidence. I'm holding out for a more convoluted answer.
>>4268922So any idea why the Drone that Dropped off the Sketchbook did so, it obviously did want it to be found, and wasn't trying to hide it Otherwise it wound't have put it in a bookstore (It would have either put it in a library, a mundane private collection,or an attic somewhere. ), especially one that it knows has a Valkan working in it.
>>4267375>>Arrange a rendezvous with the Rontah.
>Once, you had met a car with a signature. Was that possibly a warskin?Writing.
You end up pacing around your room. The things you'd found today filled your mind too much for you to really settle on anything else. Your mind goes over the same information over and over again, trying to work out every permutation to the point that you start running yourself in circles. There were just too many facts, and no way to determine the truth of them unless you wanted to make some wild assumptions. You think over everything you saw. The photos, the autopsy report, the DMV paperwork, the-Wait, DMV paperwork?That's right, there was DMV paperwork in there. It wasn't your Dad's, that's for sure. Like your birth certificate, any relevant paperwork was kept at home, which meant that it was old. But Dad had only managed to save up for a car when you were ten. Was it a car from before your family moved into space- wait, did that mean your mother had a car? Was one of her drone retinue still around?Come to think of it, there was still that old sports car you'd seen in the old man's possession. At the time you'd been scared shitless of it, but that was before you'd learned about warskins. Wonder if it was still there? The old man had said it used to belong to a... what was it? Tuur? Turn? Tuir Austka-Oh, son of a bitch. Tuir Austkar. Tuir aust Kar."ST, were any of the ships in the 13th called the 'Kar'?""Yes. The Kar was an escort and defense ship. Tagaran designation Hull IX.""Would you know of a Tuir aust Kar from it?"The warskin was silent for a few moments. "No, although being born aboard a non-lifeship is unusual. Especially as the Kar did not possess birthing facilities.""Is it really that unusual for Valkans to have kids the old-fashioned way, then implant them later?""No." ST admitted. "At most I would consider it a quirk.""Right..." You think. Didn't you still have the documents for it, still? Rifling through your ever-growing pile of Valkan related things and documents, you eventually find the old folder. There was a DMV registration form inside. "I want you to find some things out for me, if you can.""Subject?""Car registrations." You reply. "I'm wondering if our old car was my mom's warskin. I've got one form for a car I think might be a warskin, too. Could you find out if my mother ever visited the DMV online?""Such records are typically not for public perusal. One moment."You wait patiently for about a minute."Access achieved. What is the registration number of this vehicle."You rattle over the number. "Any chance you could track where it's been?"
>>4269433"If it has merely changed owners, the process should be rather simple. However, it has ever been impounded, repossessed or stolen and not returned, it will be significantly more difficult. Not all such records would be stored at this single organization, and gaining access to the other private and public organizations that would collect such data will take time. I may require several days.""'May'?" You ask with some confusion."Your family name starts with 'E'." ST said with as much innocence as it's synthetic voice could muster. "We may be lucky, and your results are close to the top.""Oh, shove it."ST continued as if nothing had happened. "On the registration number you gave me, it has only had it's registration changed once. It was registered to a Tuir Austkar in 1149, then had it's ownership transferred to a Jack Nukan in 1153.""1149?" Your brow furrows. "That can't be... the war only ended in 1153. That would mean she was living on the planet four years before the war ended.""It is possible she simply had her warskin take the place of an existing vehicle when she arrived. However, there is no bill of sale for the car on record, nor a valid production number, as is standard by law for mass market vehicles. That it should lack one is suspicious.""Would you say it's been on the planet before the war ended?""Chances of that being so are very high.""I see..." You put your hand on your chin and think. So that warskin wasn't your mothers. Then why would it try to get you to climb inside it before? Then again, ST didn't know you, and it had rather eagerly shown itself to you. Maybe it was just lonely? Would it be worth it to try and go back to see it?>Go back and see it today.>Go back and see it tonight.>You have enough warskins without adding yet another one. Leave it be.>You're not sure you trust it. Best not to go.>[Write-In]
>>4269434>Go back and see it today.It's not like we have anything better to do, i'm not wanting to conscript it at the moment just to talk for now.I don't know maybe Jess could use Warskin or something, but the old man probably would get better use out of it.
>>4269434>>You're not sure you trust it. Best not to go.
Ask for a copy of the address (public key) that was used to contact Kallis aust Tanoh, as long as she is still alive and within range (we could potential use the limited range as a way to perform a very rough method of geolocation) of the broadcast, it should find it's way to her. Though it would likely tip off anyone watching for something like this to the fact that she is still aliveOr that LL is still functional., or at least that someone has a reason to think she is which could arouse unwanted suspicion(considering that she was sworn to Alitch's services, there is a high likelihood that he would have a copy of at least one of her public keys, and since we have no way of knowing how well she, and the Drones involved practiced OPSEC over her lifetime; by generating a new pair of keys for each conversation in order to maintain functional privacy she had [or at very least where Tiiris was involved] ).If she is still alive she is probably just using a different set of keys, alongside an assumed identity.
>>4269434>Go back and see it today.
>>4269434>Go back and see it tonight.
>>4269434>"1149?" Your brow furrows. "That can't be... the war only ended in 1153. That would mean she was living on the planet four years before the war ended."Her husband did say she died over two decades ago. He could have been lying, but it's still weird.>Go back and see it today.I guess a carpark in daylight would be less suspicious than sneaking around Jack's driveway at night.
>>4269434>You're not sure you trust it. Best not to go.
>>4269434>Go back and see it today.We don't have to climb inside to talk to it anymore
>Go back and see it today.Writing.
Miir City-State Academy, Miir, 3rd Floor7th of 6th, 1173. 2:00PM."Feels weird to be back here..." You murmur, glancing up at the looming school building across the street. It was the middle of the day, but the building was entirely dark, the front doors shut and it's halls empty. It actually gave off a slightly creepy vibe when it was deserted like this. Shaking your head, you look up at the parking garage. This was the place you'd first seen the data tag - er, signature - of that old Skip weeks and weeks ago. Although looking at it today, you couldn't see a data tag floating around on any of the levels. "ST, you're letting signals pass through, right?""Yes. No unidentified transmissions detected."Frowning, you open your door and get out onto the curb. It was the afternoon on a week day, and so the garage was absolutely packed with cars up and down all of it's floor. You have to wander among the rows and rows of cars, occasionally ducking between charging stations and around lowered charge arms, your eyes flicking between the different colors and shapes. Once, a scene like this would have triggered an episode in your vision, leaving you blind until you were able to rest for a minute, but now the biggest obstacle was that you didn't actually remember what it looked like that well."Uh... hey, ST? Do you have the license plate-""OWBE04."Methodically, you start searching every car in the garage, frowning at the plate numbers you could see as you moved onto the top floor. Where was it? "Can you check the security cameras? See if he drove it here today?" Maybe the old man had multiple cars? It would make sense, considering he was apparently a bit of a gearhead."Standby."You move back down, twisting your head back and forth. It had a distinctive paint job, you remembered. Green with a white line. That should be fairly easy to spot."Security camera footage shows a car with the same license plate being driven in this morning.""If that's true, then where it's license plate? I can't find it.""If it's choosing not to broadcast it's data tag to you, it's possible it does not wish to be found.""It was more than willing before." You frown. Why would it seemingly change it's mind? And then go to such lengths to hide from you? Had some other Valkan come to it after you and recruited it? No, why would it stay around the old man if they had? You suppose it could just be maintaining it's cover, but that seemed unlikely. Was it scared of you, then?More importantly, how would you find a warskin that didn't want to be found? If you couldn't find it, and it hadn't left the building, that probably meant it was still in here, just disguised. Without a data tag and without any (apparent) Abyss energy to give it's presence away, these were all just random cars to you. How would you find a fake?
>>4271346>Look for duplicate cars. Valkan robots had to base their forms on something, right? So, logically it must have pulled it's current shape from another car in here.>Start calling out on a localized broadcast. Maybe it'll at least explain itself?>Perhaps it's avoiding something else, and not you? Try going from car to car and see if any unlock for you.>[Write-In]
>>4271346>Look for duplicate cars. Valkan robots had to base their forms on something, right? So, logically it must have pulled it's current shape from another car in here.We should probably have ST watch the exit and let us know if any cars leave.
>>4271347>Look for duplicate cars. Valkan robots had to base their forms on something, right? So, logically it must have pulled it's current shape from another car in here.
>>4271347>Start calling out on a localized broadcast. Maybe it'll at least explain itself?
>>4271347>Look for duplicate cars. Valkan robots had to base their forms on something, right? So, logically it must have pulled it's current shape from another car in here.I am proceeding under the assumption that ST and Ghost Car are teasing us and we have stumbled into a game of robot hide and seek. And we are definitely the bestest at hide and seek.
>>4271347>Look for duplicate cars. Valkan robots had to base their forms on something, right? So, logically it must have pulled it's current shape from another car in here.2nd choice>Perhaps it's avoiding something else, and not you? Try going from car to car and see if any unlock for you.
>>4271650 Also! Keep an eye out for license plates inexplicably in an aa#### format, especially if it's something like BW4030. It's a clue!
>>4271347>>Perhaps it's avoiding something else, and not you? Try going from car to car and see if any unlock for you.
>Look for duplicate cars. Valkan robots had to base their forms on something, right? So, logically it must have pulled it's current shape from another car in here.Writing.
You didn't know much about how Valkan drones, especially warskins, determined or created their shapes. The transformation you'd seen other drones like GA2027 indicated that drones were capable of altering their shapes more or less freely. But the transformations GA2027 and ST had put themselves through didn't seem to follow rigid patterns all of the time. GA2027 in particular had basically disassembled itself in front of you and turned it's body into an amoeba to crawl through the Tanoh. ST hadn't done anything overt, but you'd observed it's legs changing shape on the fly as it walked through the forest.Both of those seemed to be the result of adapting their bodies on the fly, though. When it came to their mimicry of Tagaran vehicles, they seemed to pull their shapes from somewhere else. Perhaps they lacked the imagination to do so, or it was simply more effective camouflage to copy another car and change a few variables like color. ST's preferred station wagon form, for example, was almost aggressively normal, complete with a few scuffs and imperfections on the chassis.With that in mind, you quickly stop looking for exact duplicates of the same car, and instead start looking for identical makes and models. That turned out to be surprisingly hard to do. With a dozen odd manufacturers with several models to their name and yearly updates, the chance of there being two of the same car in the building was small. On the third floor, you find an identical pair of sedans, both Toto sedans marked with a shiny '71 badge on the back. Getting close, you quietly murmur to one painted a ruby red. "Anyone home?" You try again with your implants, the information not emitting as a transmission, but somehow pulsing down your arm and into the car through your fingertips, just like the plasma rifle. "Hello?"Nothing.Frowning, you pull your hand back and move over towards the other car. If these weren't it, you'd move onto the next floor and keep going. If none of the cars in the building talked back, the warskin had probably based it's current appearance on a car from outside the building. And then you suppose you were back at square one-As you reached out for the other car, you suddenly had to throw yourself to the side as the car next to it suddenly shot out of it's space. A pick up truck in matte brown pulled around the corner and to the left, turned on the spot and shot past you. Peeking out from behind the car you were about to examine, you saw it melting and collapsing in on itself as it shot down the ramp, changing into a bright white compact before rounding the corner and disappearing from view. You could hear the squeal of it's tires echo up to you as it spun down the ramp.
>>4273518Rushing to the edge of the floor, you lean over the concrete divider that lines the wall of the parking garage, mouth agape. The compact practically shot onto the street below, apparently only slowing down to clear the parking garage exit before peeling up to highway speeds and shooting down the street."I have detected a car leaving the building.">After it!>You're a bit too stunned to try and chase it.>[Write-In]
>>4273520>>You're a bit too stunned to try and chase it.
>>4273518>You're a bit too stunned to try and chase itWe should probably leave a note in the system for it explaining that we just want to talk, and leave we can swing by the residence later i guess..Since we're probably not going to catch a transforming car that is actively trying to hide itself.Posoible plans of action;We wait here for either the Old man or the Warskin to return and talk to them whichever comes first. It's probably not going to return until it detects us leaving via the cameras.We go to the Old man's House and wait there for them to return, he gets off work soon so we shouldn't have to wait to long. Unless it has decided to leave completely, if it has we're completely out of luck. We attempt to send it a message, likely via broadcast and hope it responds.Again it responding is solely based on it trusting that we are telling the truth.Have ST take it's place for today so we don't arouse suspicion. And hope it comes back before anyone decides to take to close a look at ST and discover something is off, so we can swap back and talk to it at some point. We could give up for today and go home. next time we should probably approach it later on and attempt to hail it.
>>4273520>You're a bit too stunned to try and chase it........huh.I figure either it's wary of Valkans and its last orders were to avoid them... or it's trying to protect us from someone it reports to by not interacting. Well, whatever. Zooming off sends a pretty clear message of "I don't want to talk anymore please and thank you."
>>4273520>You're a bit too stunned to try and chase it.
>>4273520>You're a bit too stunned to try and chase it.There's probably a reason why it doesn't want to be found.
>>4273565To add to this list of ideas for what to do now>sulk at home and eat a bunch of ice cream because ghostcar robut fren ran away
>You're a bit too stunned to try and chase it.Writing.
You gape after the car, eyes wide at the sheer speed it had peeled away with. Already, you could see a nearby police cruiser screaming down the street after it, although with the sheer length of it's head-start, the warskin had already left it behind."Miss?"You blink a few times. "U-um..." As the compact darkened into a small dot, it shot down a nearby riseway before disappearing from view. "I think we already lost it...""Likely." ST agreed. "How did you alarm it?""I didn't get near it!" You protest. "It just took off the moment I got close!""Odd. Perhaps it had standing orders that prevent it from speaking to you.""I can't imagine what they'd be. Last time it was practically begging me to get in." You shook your head. "I'm coming back down.""It may have acquired a master since then. Perhaps they revised it's orders?"You frown at that thought as you trudge down the stairs. How many half-Valkans were in the city? You knew of at least one - the man who had attacked you at the arcade - but he had come and gone like a ghost. Why was his trap even there? Was it a cult thing, or did he have some inscrutable reason of his own? When you reach the bottom, you briefly swing by the ticketing office at the ground floor and show your face to the guard- and more importantly, on the cameras. "Did you see that car fly out of here? Crazy right?" You joke, quickly stepping away towards ST and getting in."Do you wish to pursue?" ST asks as you settle into your seat.You sigh and sweep your hair back. "I'm don't think so. We probably can't catch it.""Likely." ST agreed."Why would you offer, then?" You ask with a small smile."Predictive models are often wrong when Valkans are involved.""You could have said that earlier." You put your hands behind your head and lean back. "It doesn't matter. Should we try finding it again? Any chance of it returning home?""I cannot say.""But if you had to guess?""It's decision to transform into a different shell than usual is odd. It could easily fake being stolen with the proper holographic projection.""So it's trying to preserve the Skip disguise?""It's a possibility. It may also be attempting to shake pursuit by frequently changing shape."You make a small noise of agreement as you stretch your arms. "It may give answers if we corner it again. What if we just explain that I'm not a Valkan- er, one of the 13th, rather?""We don't know what it's orders are.""Yeah, but we won't find out by not talking to it, will we?""It's risky.">"Yeah, but it's a risk I'm willing to take.">>[Sub-Option] "We'll catch it at the old man's house.">>[Sub-Option] "Let's try a more open communication. We'll deal with the trouble it attracts.">"No, leave it.">>[Sub-Option] "I think we should pay the Austkar's a visit, don't you?">>[Sub-Option] "A mysterious warskin is suspicious, but it's not our priority.">[Write-In]
>>4275071>"No, leave it.">>[Sub-Option] "I think we should pay the Austkar's a visit, don't you?"Scrub the Cameras of everything that just happened, we don't want to get caught out because the other Warskin decides not to if it returns at all.Also we would likely be able to try again with the Warskin while we are there anyway , if it turns back up.We should aim to try and find out how Tuir Austkar 'died' if we can, since it might be tangentially relevant to Jeanne's death so we might be able to pick up on more things we missed. Since she apparently doesn't exist at all, maybe we should see if either of our mothers names pop up at all with a search, though it might be a better idea to get a drone to do it since they would probably be better at covering their tracks than we would be able to.
>>4275071>"No, leave it.">[Sub-Option] "A mysterious warskin is suspicious, but it's not our priority."Pass. We'd be pretty freaked out if some weird Valkan started hunting our car, showed up at our home.Maybe they're up to something, but it didn't lead to anything cultish the first time we met, so ehh.
>>4275071>>"No, leave it.">>>[Sub-Option] "A mysterious warskin is suspicious, but it's not our priority."
>>4275071>"No, leave it.">[Sub-Option] "A mysterious warskin is suspicious, but it's not our priority."
>>4275071>"No, leave it.">>[Sub-Option] "A mysterious warskin is suspicious, but it's not our priority."Maybe some other time, but if we chase everything strange we'll just waste our time.
>"No, leave it.">[Sub-Option] "A mysterious warskin is suspicious, but it's not our priority."Writing.>>4276913who is ben talt
"...you're right." You sigh. "It's suspicious as all hell, but so long as it's just sitting here in this garage each day, it's not our priority.""What are your orders?""Head back home." You fold your arms back down over your chest. "I need to think.""Understood."Something about all of this was bothering you. The Skip's bizarre behavior aside, it seemed like you weren't finding anything out about your mother anytime soon. At least, not until ST got back to you on what it had found while searching for your mother's old car. Was there something you were missing? There was so little you knew about Valkans and how the cults operated, you could never be sure about what the reasoning was.Maybe you should ask for a second opinion? There aren't many people who are in your inner sphere. Kara and Elan are the obvious ones, but they're busy with their own things right now. Elan had asked you to give him some space to deal with his own stuff, and Kara... well, she hadn't asked for anything, but you had LL there to make sure you'd know if she did. It was hard to do, but you knew you needed to let them have their privacy.But who did that leave to turn to? Dad was an obvious choice, but you're not sure any of your suspicions were things you wanted to share with him. Jess, then? From your impression of her, though, you got the sense that she didn't want anything to do with Valkan 'politics'. Or she didn't trust you enough to. That left... who did that leave you? Alich? Not going to happen, that's for sure. Maybe if you were desperate....Kathari? Ever since you'd gotten back from the Tanoh, you'd heard the same message repeat every night, except instead of Easy relaying it, you were hearing it yourself now. "My name is Kathari. If you can hear this message, you have discovered your ancestry, and are likely burning with questions. Seek me out, and I shall instruct you in the ways of your real people. Blessed be the people of Valka."Sounded like some weird coded tripe to you. 'Real people'? 'Burning with questions'? Who really talked like that? Plus, that ending line made her sound like something of a Valkan nationalist, or whatever the equivalent term was. If that was true, she could be just as bad a choice was Alich, in the long run.You get out of ST almost absently, still thinking about your next step as you push open the door. "Hey, Dad.""Hi, honey." Dad was milling about the kitchen, putting together an after work snack.You step into your room and move to toss your bag onto a chair before a thought occurs to you. Sticking your head out your door, you ask Dad. "Hey, did we have a car before we moved into space?" Suddenly feeling self-conscious about the question, you quickly add. "I remember something about being in one as a kid.""Nah, I couldn't afford one." Dad shrugged. "Your mother used to own this old beater of a car. It ran okay, but she was always fussing over it. She put it in storage before we moved up onto the station."
>>4277105"What happened to it after she died?" You raise an eyebrow."I was going to see if any of her family wanted it, but I couldn't find them for... well, obvious reasons. No one would buy it off of me, though, so I sold it to a used car lot. Dunno if they scrapped it or not."You slowly raise an eyebrow. "A junker? Like, here in Miir?""Yeah, why?"You pause on that information, before reaching out. "ST, were you my mother's warskin?""Negative. My previous master was Eusa aust Kharaki."Damn. You'd almost thought you'd got lucky there for a second."Tiiris?" Dad gives you a funny look."Huh?" You blink. "Oh, no, it's nothing. Just thinking."Dad made a vague note of agreement before turning back to the diced vegetables on the stove.You step back into your room and close the door. It was probably a bit silly to hope he'd know exactly where it was now, but he gave you a lead. "Dad says he sold Mom's car to a junker, does that help narrow the search?""Slightly."Good enough, you guess. Not that it left you with much to do except wait for ST to finish his search. In the meantime...>Arrange a rendezvous with the Rontah. Maybe Xol would have some answers for you? And it would be a good time to get some gear out from it.>Wander was always quiet. Maybe you should try to drag some conversation out of her?>Begin planning for another big task.>>[Sub-Option] Up to Reese for Jess' training camp. Although, you wouldn't be able to take Kara and Elan until their implants had finished growing in.>>[Sub-Option] That message was still transmitting every night. It's time to see if this 'Kathari' is the same one who wrote your journal.>>[Sub-Option] Netana belongs to a cult, and from what you've learned so far, a lot of cults were started by Valkans. A thorough investigation would behoove you.>>[Sub-Option] What would it take to acquire some Valkan hardware? Especially a drone for Elan.>>[Sub-Option] Your mother's death had 'suspicious' written all over it. Passively gathering evidence hadn't done anything for you, it was time to start getting yourself into trouble.>>[Sub-Option] Something else. (Write-In)>[Write-In]
>>4277106>Arrange a rendezvous with the Rontah. Maybe Xol would have some answers for you? And it would be a good time to get some gear out from it.
>>4277106>Arrange a rendezvous with the Rontah. Maybe Xol would have some answers for you? And it would be a good time to get some gear out from it.Remember to bring some food with us this time since we might be away for some time, while we get around to doing everything we need to.> Clean out the crew cabins.> Take stock of the facilities in order to get a better idea of what we want to change, modify and need to keep it all running.> Ask Xol about everything we can think of, and more.> Go through everything we managed to get off of the Tanoh and decide what is coming back with us. And if any of the drones / warskins are coming back with us when we return, or if we are holding off until later.> Asking HH some questions about the bound blade, the secure crate, armaments and ammunition (Both the Rontah's and the recovered small arms.), consumables and upkeep. > Go over the data chits we recovered. (we really need to find a more mobile / remote way to read them.)> See what was on the datacore we recovered from the crash site.and more. It also might be worth delaying until the Lifesuit finishes its repairs for various reasons ( If we do take it, convert the Lensing Field Generator over for it to use, since getting caught with / wearing it would be very bad.), like a trial run learning what it can do and getting used to using it, and keeping our clothes (and hair) dry.
>>4277106>>Arrange a rendezvous with the Rontah. Maybe Xol would have some answers for you? And it would be a good time to get some gear out from it.
>>4277106>Arrange a rendezvous with the Rontah. Maybe Xol would have some answers for you? And it would be a good time to get some gear out from it.Yeah! We don't need no skittish ghost car, we've got lots of awesome friendly robots and AIs who love and respect us and think we're cool, and also UP.
>Arrange a rendezvous with the Rontah. Maybe Xol would have some answers for you? And it would be a good time to get some gear out from it.Writing.
North of Miir10th of 6th, 1173. 4:00AM."ST.""Yes?""Remind me why I'm here?""To rendezvous with the Rontah, Tiiris.""Right, I get that." You yawn, and accidentally knock your hand on the steering wheel as you raise it up. "But why are we in the middle of nowhere at five in the morning?""Four." ST corrected you. "And because I would like to minimize the chances of being spotted.""Right..." You sigh and lean back in your seat, hands flat on your knees. Currently, you were parked at the top of a ramp leading down into the coastal waters of a small communal dock about an hour north of Miir. In the total darkness of night, you could only see the broken, craggy soil and the white gravel path leading steadily down into the water ahead of you. A few trees occasionally cut into the dark gray of the sky, surrounding you in a ring of dark spires. "And why haven't we...?""Waiting for cars to pass. Standby."ST had taken a different form when you stopped to get a bagel from a gas station on the way out. Instead of the self-driving station wagon, you had come back to a dark red sedan from the early pre-war period. Instead of the aggressive, militaristic grilling you were used to from modern cars, it was all soft curves and plastic headlights. Which lead to the real issue.Where the hell were you supposed to put your hands? It was an old enough car that it could still be driven manually, instead of having a custom path mode like most self-driving cars. You felt awkward just sitting here with your hands on your lap, and you were sure it looked weird from the outside. Should you put your hands on the wheel? Was it okay for you to do that, or was that weirdly personal for a warskin? You probably shouldn't.Your fingers twitch slightly.You want to, though.Driving had never been something you'd thought about doing. By the time you were at the age where it was becoming a regular thought, the symptoms of your condition had become severe enough that you were legally banned from it. After that, a few pointed conversations with Dad had crushed your hopes of ever being able to drive even in the countryside. Almost unconsciously, you lift your hands up towards the steering wheel...There was an electric whine and a crunch of gravel as the shore line began slipping up towards you. You instinctively brace, but ST doesn't crash into the water. It's front hits with a quiet splash that briefly slows you down, then with a slight peel as the warskin forced itself beneath the current. The hull instinctively tugs upwards, wanting to float on the water, but there was a whine and an odd hissing sound as the nose suddenly pushed back down beneath the surface.
>>4279466Hairs stood up on the back of your neck as something stirred deep within your subconscious. Water came up over the windows, and the slight illumination given by the headlights cut off as ST slipped entirely beneath the waves. Something had reconfigured in the hull, and you got the keen sense that the exterior was changing shape.You jump slightly as the other seats snapped down next to you with a loud clacking sound. Their fabric exteriors began turning black and peeling back to expose metal frames and arms taunting them from the inside. The one next to you opens, exposing twisting struts and a small rack full of thin, long rods that you eye warily as they slip away into the twisting hull. The rear of the interior - no, the cockpit - was approaching you, and your sense of the space abruptly shortens as you feel the wall of metal approach your back. When you look back, you see only water filling your vision. The windows were stretching out, crawling over the cockpit above your head and beneath your feet as small squares flooded out from the side.All pretense of being a car fell away, as symbols flashed on the former windows enclosing around you. Your seat slid to the left, and you instinctively lifted you foot to stop it from hitting the center console, only for it to swing through empty air. There was no floor anymore, your feet instead rested on a simple metal strip attached to the bottom of your chair, which was shifting and twisting oddly against your back.Leaning back, you instinctively drop your hands onto the armrest and touch something cool and segmented. Blinking, you look down and see the armrests now terminate in a pair of controls. Small, ergonomic things that seemed just oddly off from your hands, not letting them settle quite naturally. The same couldn't be said for the chair you were sitting in, as it slowly sloped back and shifted to more comfortably seat your body. Quite literally molding itself to you, in a way. "Um... wow..." You mutter, shifting slightly in the cockpit chair. There was a metal bar attached to the ceiling, clustered with buttons and small displays showing numbers and other navigational data. Same along the sides of the chair, where you could see multiple arms - the same struts that had been stowed inside each chair before - ending in small panels tucked to either side of you. "So this is what it looks like inside a warskin."There was a hum of agreement from ST, as the hull groaned comfortingly with pressure. What little light had come from the surface had long filtered away to darkness as you now pushed deeper beneath the waves. Tanks hidden somewhere in the hull were filling with water, and you could feel the balance of the warskin shift beneath you. Turbines were humming just behind you, pushing you down into the depths.
>>4279470You peer into the blackness around you, wondering what shape the Rontah would take in the gloom. Would you be able to see it at all? A spark trailed down one of your arms, and the view through the cockpit monitors started flicking through different colors and tints. Thermal, sonic imaging, maybe? Even those don't reveal much but an endless gradient around you. Looking behind you, the shore has been completely swallowed up by the water, so that you appeared to be surrounded by blue on all sides.A data tag appeared on the 'horizon' ahead of you. A yellow wireframe box marked with Valkan symbols you knew roughly corresponded to the Valkan spelling of 'Rontah', followed by a few additional symbols. Slowly, a shadow began to stand out against the darkness, resolving into the rough outline of the Rontah's hull. Images flashed by on one of the monitors above you, rotating the shape and apparently running some kind of check. Whatever it was, the wireframe turned green and one of the additional symbols disappeared. The two of you began drawing closer much faster, and you began to be able to pick out the details of the Rontah's hull. ST wasn't aiming for the bay doors underneath the ship, but a small airlock on the side- the one you'd jumped out before to swim back to Miir. You felt yourself twist as ST aligned it's roof with the Rontah's airlock before easing into the seal. There was a hiss of pressure as a jet of bubbles fired out of the airlock.One of the monitor panel on your right turned black and slid aside, revealing that part of the warskin's hull had opened up into the Rontah. You blink at it a few seconds, then frown at the ceiling. Didn't you just turn on your side? No, wait, ST had turned. Gravity hadn't shifted for you, which means that the cockpit had spun while you were inside it...Shaking your head, you carefully get out of the pilot's seat. It's surprisingly difficult, as something about leaving it so soon makes you feel slightly melancholic, but you have to talk to Xol and the other drones. To your surprise, the display panels were actually square, and not rounded like you would have thought from their appearance. Bending down, you crawl through the somewhat cramped hole and into the Rontah's airlock.ST shuts it's hatch, and you wait for a moment as the airlock cycles. Your ears don't pop, surprisingly. Was that your implants helping you, or did Valkan ships simply have much better ability to pressurize than the ones you've been on before?"Miss Tiiris, a pleasure to see you again." A friendly voice greeted you as you stepped through the door. "Might I say you're looking far more composed than our first meeting?"Your lips twitch. "Is that a crack at my implants, HH?""Not at all, ma'am." The cargo drone turned to look at you. "I must say, we were quite surprised that you wanted to come aboard yourself. Is there something we can help you with?"
>>4279475>"I have some things I wanted to talk to Xol about.">"There are a few things I wanted to get from here.">"As a matter of fact, I'd like to travel somewhere. It's not far for you, I'm sure.">[Write-In]
>>4279478>[Write-In]> Ask HH some questions ( There a quite a few, so not all of them need to be answered right now if it's too much.) There are even more for Xol anyway.Where is Ser Housley's Bound blade if his combat armor is here, and if he has ever seen it, if he might know what it might take / need to repair and maintain the one we found.What were the last couple of flights the Rontah undertook before it ended up on it's last flight to the Tanoh.How the secure crate works, where he thinks the key might be, if he thinks that the Plasma rifle would serve as good enough Blowtorch to open it, and is there a way to factory reset the crate and so reset the lock / generate a new key for the crate.What would normally come aboard during a normal resupply of the Rontah. Where does Valkan armaments and ammunition, like the recovered small arms come from and what would we need to begin production of ammunition for them.Afterwards>>[Write-In]> Go over the data chits we recovered. (we really need to find a more mobile / remote way to read them.) It would probably be a good idea to do this before we talk to Xol about anything since it could help to guide our line of questioning.Also if we do this we should askWhat year it is according to the Valkans, and how their time & dating system works relative to the Tagarian one, since finding out is going to be necessary to place things properly in context. (So we can figure out how old the picture we recovered actually is)
>>4279478>"I have some things I wanted to talk to Xol about."Uhhhhhh yep, talking to Xol. About... things and stuff. To ask about reading Vilnea's datacore?Sorry, totally lost my train of thought reading >>4279845 and now I just want to hear HH's stories of faraway worlds.Hey wait, why were they surprised we wanted aboard? It's a kickass spaceship! I'd fly literally everywhere, if I could without getting shot at.
>>4279478>>"I have some things I wanted to talk to Xol about."Read the datacore we brought but ready some precautions first so the AI inside doesn't go berserk and tske control of the ship when opened.
A prospective list of questions for Xol ( Again There a quite a few Questions here, so not all of them need to be answered right now if it's too much, and they could probably use some input form others to refine them.)> General QuestionsHow adequate the hardware that he is currently inhabiting is, the limitations and constraints it imposes, and how we would go about addressing those issues.How difficult would it be to start producing more Machine seeds?What is involved in the creation of the various types machine consciousness / awarenessesWhat / Where would we need to have access to in order to, repair, modify, restore, and upgrade the functionality the various Warskins.Would it be ok if we brought Jess aboard to meet him.> 13th Fleet QuestionsGeneral overview of the contents / role of each of the Hulls that make up the 13th so we can make better decisions if we decide to visit one in the future.What he thinks the Response of the various remaining Valkan Fleets would be if they were to learn of the fate of the 13th.Could he show us what the approximate last known positions of the various Valkan Fleets are.How the various Fleets communicate between one another, and how approximately long it would take for the absence of the 13th to be noticed and possibly someone coming to investigate why they aren't responding. Was there some sort of event that caused the entire fleet to lose control of the Abyss simultaneously, or was it some sort of resonance cascade or something.On that note how did the survivors even survive at all.Did he have any contact with any of the other Shipboard AI's of the 13th and if so what can he tell us about them.> In particular the only remaining Lifeship, The Kharki; Hull XV It's currently hanging out in space near Tagara so approaching it even with the Rontah, unless with explicit governmental approval is basically suicide at this point, especially after what went down at Y'avel. it also happens to now be the only lifeship in system that isn't in pieces, At the moment. so if we need something from a lifeship it's going to be the only place to find it.Other tidbits that we know about various Hulls:in regard to Hull XV, the Kharki's AI core is located in the spire just below the navigation deck, according to GA Thread #9 >>4046381The Kar was an escort and defense ship. Tagaran designation Hull IX. From Thread #15 post >>4269433 The fact that the drones could not locate Xol at all, yet could freely locate the Kharki AI core indicates that Xol is special in some way, or at least that Alitch had a reason for him specifically to be kept out of view by the general public, and obfuscate his location to the engineering staff, so it might be worth trying to figure out what it was. [1/2]
>>4280543 > Abyss Questions ( If we miss out on asking some of these now, we might be able to ask Jess when we see her.) A quick rundown on Shades in general, the possible implications of the bargain that was made, and what the dead want / what the dead could even get out of such a deal. Is Wander's lack of knowledge of her past life, and the way in which she approached us normal for a Shade or is there something else going on.Is there any way to expedite finding out who she was / restoring her memoires.Was Wander going to sleep while we were aboard the Tanoh normal for Shades. Would the split personality / temporary disassociation that Elan exhibited, be caused by a lack of implants being there to exert their influence to tie everything together, or is that just something that comes with shapeshifting.For that matter what even happens to a Valkan's implants if they were to shapeshift into non a humanoid form for that matter. Personal (Family) Questions His opinion on Jeanne's death, and any more info he could provide us about Kallis's service record, her time aboard the Tanoh, general personal life, and how she managed to make it to the surface alive.Ask about the Grimoire, and what it is for and who wrote it.[2/2]
Eyy boys QM / Bentus will not be able to post an update tonight. Power outage, they are living in the dark ages.
>>4280543>>4280546Holy shit. Not sure if I should be concerned or impressed.Bentus, just for some perspective, I was voting for:>Teen Cyborg wants to talk to Cool Snek about Neat ThingsSo uh, you know. Take your inspiration from wherever.
>>4280691nono, Bentus is definitely kill this timetwice as much as last time
Twice have they killed meThrice have I risedHark, Bentus flies
>>4280543>>4280546After a night's sleep I've settled on impressed. Still a bit shellshocked at the amount of thought you've put into all this though. My approach to CoaDE so far has been "Anime teen does fun Anime things and gets into Anime trouble, with a backdrop of historical genocide (as with most Anime)."Questions about the Fleet composition and how it worked I quite like. Also just about everything you've got under 'General Questions'. Machine Seeds especially; we're going to feel really conflicted if we start meeting more sick half-Valkan hybrids and have to pick and choose because we can't help them all.
>>4280543>On the nature of fleet relationshipsIf I recall correctly, it was mentioned that there isn't a unified Valkan government, but that each fleet is its own sovereign entity so if someone does go looking for the 13th I think it would be out of curiosity (finding out the fleet viewed in the same manner as a rogue state bit off more than they could chew and self-destructed may have resulted in some schadenfreude) rather than investigating a failure to report in and finish the job.
Okay I've done some distilling of the suggestions herein.HH:>Does Ser Housley have a bound blade? Can we fix the one we found?>What was the Rontah's history? What are it's capabilities?>How does the crate the armor is in work? Can it be reset or opened?>What is the current Valkan year? How long are their days and years?>Can we read this datacore? Is it okay?Xol:>Is your current hardware acceptable?>Do you know how Abyss manufacturing works? How hard would it be to produce our own AIs and hardware? Ammo?>We have a Valkan friend named Jess, would you like to meet her?>Can you tell me about the 13th Fleet? What ships made it up before the battle?>How exactly was the 13th destroyed? Was it the Abyss? How did the survivors... well, survive?>What about the other fleets? Do you know where they are or how to contact them? How would they react to the 13th's demise?>Did you know anything about the other AIs in the 13th? >Why would Alich hide you away, and not the other AIs?>What is a Shade? How do bargains with the dead work?>I have this Shade, her name is Wander, she can't remember anything about her life, though. Do you know why?>A friend of mine exhibited some... odd mental symptoms after shapeshifting. Is that normal?>How do implants interact with shapeshifting?>Can you tell me about my mother- er, Kallis aust Tanoh? Do you know how she survived the war?>What is a grimoire? Is there any significance to my mother's grimoire?
>>4282038Hell of a list, yeah.And also why they were surprised we came! Spaceship is cool! Robots are cool. We like cool.
"Do I need a reason to see you?" A smile tugs at the corners of your mouth. "A freaking Valkan spaceship, friendly drones...""Flattery will get you everywhere, ma'am." The cargo drone turns to the side to let you past. Beyond it, you could see well-ordered stacks of crates and boxes carefully strapped down and spaced out into small piles in the cargo hold. Just over the tops of some crates, you could see the obvious outlines of SX2404 and UP8903."In all seriousness..." You duck under the slight underhang of the airlock door. Slight hums of communication floated between the ship's walls. Idle signals from docking drones and encoded signals between the drones aboard. You could listen into them if you wanted, but you instead keep your mind on the conversation. "I'm here to see Xol, but since I have you, I've been wondering something.""If it's anything other than cargo manifests, I'm afraid I won't be of much help, ma'am.""It actually is related to cargo manifests, as it happens." You step out of the way of the airlock door as it swings shut, rummaging through your bag and lifting out the datacore. "I found this datacore, and I think there might be an AI in it still. Is there a way to read it without giving the AI a chance to... um, go crazy?""Ignoring the fact that Valkan AI are incapable of insanity." One of HH's long arms folded out and took the datacore out of your hands. "AI are generally immune to attack within their own hardware. It's ground zero, as it were. We have too much fundamental control over it for any attack to gain ground. A hostile intelligence may disrupt connections to hardware we are networked with, but it could not, say, take control of my body for me.""Does that apply to ships, though?" You ask a little dubiously, looking around at the walls and ceiling of the cargo hold. "Seems pretty big to be all one system...""It depends on the size of the ship. Total control only applies within our Abyss-forged hardware. A small yacht like this might have fully integrated control systems, but on larger ships it's very unlikely.""So... it's not safe.""No, it's perfectly safe. An AI has to be loaded inside of Abyss-forged hardware in the first place. Ergo, whatever AI we load into the ship will be at the mercy of the ship's AI. Xol, if you recall, is not currently in command of the Rontah's hardware. It is only permitted as much access as the Rontah allows. I'll slot this in and the Rontah can take a look.""Okay..." You trail off, letting go of the data core. "Speaking of which, actually. Can you tell me more about the Rontah?""What about it?""It's history." You shrug, looking around. "I can't imagine it was a simple path to becoming a... well, whatever the spaceship equivalent of a car bomb is.""Simpler than you think. The Rontah is a civilian transport, essentially. As evidenced by the orientation of the deck and the hover units, it's intended for extended cruises in atmosphere."
>>4282672"So it's a yacht?" You ask. "What about the giant cannon on top?""Closer to a cargo transport than a yacht. It has more luxurious living facilities than a military vessel simply as a matter of course. The turret is more of an intimidation factor than an offensive one. The shields likely provide more defense than it does." HH walked itself back a little and turned, starting to amble towards the back of the ship. "To actually answer your question- it served as a shuttle between ships in the fleet. Things that you couldn't cart aboard a warskin and so on. Occasionally it'd hyperspace out to another system. Our former captain was a rebel sympathizer and offered it up to Ser Housley's insurrection. It's quite as simple as that."You glance across the bay automatically when HH mentions Ser Housley. "About him... that case with his armor in it. Any idea how I could open it?""Finding his command key would be the most straightforward method." HH answered. "We could try decoding it ourselves, but... for such high-level encryption, I'm not sure any of us here have the capability. Perhaps the serpent, if it had an entire lifeship to work with.""What about a plasma rifle or something?""A plasma cutter? It'd have to be very hot, and very fine. The case isn't as strong as the armor, but cutters are no joke. One wrong move and you could cut straight through the armor.""What's the point of it if it can't stand up to a little plasma fire?" You ask."It can, just not with the shields off." HH walked itself down the corridor at the back, making brief data transmissions to the rest of the ship, presumably to the ship AI."Follow up: did he have something called a bound blade in there as well?""According to the manifest, no. Those are rare, so not just anyone will have one." After a moment, it plugged the datacore into the AI's main database and stepped back. "The Rontah will see what's going on inside first. It may have been a few years since whatever was in there booted up.""Valkan years or...?""Valkan years." HH confirmed."And a Valkan year is... how many of our years?" You ask. "That one's not really clear...""It's shorter than the Tagaran year. Only three hundred days a year, but the day is thirty hours long. All in all, it's about thirty one Tagaran days shorter.""And the current year is?" You reach into your bag and dig out the photo of your mother and your uncle. "I have this photo and I'm not sure when it was taken...""It is currently the 1966th Year of Pilgrimage. What's the date?""1779... so that means it was...""One hundred eighty seven years ago. So roughly year 940 of the Tagaran calendar.""Fuck." You look down at the photo. "That makes my mother... way over two hundred years old? Er, when she died?""That's relatively young, for a Valkan." HH commented idly, not noticing you stop. "Most live to about five hundred, I know. Some live longer, although I don't understand why. Something about will."
>>4282674"Young?" You ask in disbelief. "Wait, are you saying I'll live to...?""From your implants alone? At least three hundred. Presuming you don't die, and a lot do.""From what?""Violence, accidents, usually. Living in space isn't easy, and not everyone has the most friendly view towards Valkans. Although, after a little under two hundred years with the 13th, perhaps my perspective is slightly off.""Right..." You trail off, pausing when something gently pings your implants."Tiiris?" A slightly hissing came through to your implants. "I'm told you wished to speak with me?""Ah, yeah. I'll be right there." You look up to say goodbye to HH, but the drone was already shuffling back down the corridor to the cargo bay. Dropping your finger, you step around it and walk back to the bridge of the ship. On your way, you couldn't help but notice how much less dusty it was in here. The air still smelled stale, but in a good way. It had that slight hint of artificial freshener to it that let you know light support was still running. All of the doors and walls had been wiped down, showing a matte texture eteched across most surfaces, interspersed with shiny, polished metal.When the bridge doors open, there's a familiar pair waiting for you there. An animate, robotic wheel turns to face you. "Captain.""Rontah." You smile and nod, before glancing to the small holographic serpent at it's side. "Xol."Xol examined you up and down. "Your new form suits you." It hissed faintly, it's voice warm and friendly."Thanks?" You smile. "The... um, new- er, hardware good for you?""It is a change from my previous server." Xol mimed looking around the room. "I am not used to being reduced in such a manner, but I do not have to manage the systems of a failing lifeship anymore.""Reduced?" You tilt your head. "So, the computer you're running on does affect your performance?""Of course it does." Xol nodded it's head. "My personality - and that of other AIs - is a function of the bounding process that created me, and so it is not overly affected by my available processing power. My ability to perform tasks, however, is reduced. It actually takes me significantly more processing time to formulate these sentences than it did before.""That's crazy, but..." You sit down on one of the chairs nearest the central console. "I'm sorry, what did you just say? Bounding process?""It's the Abyss technique used to create AIs. Technically the rest of the galaxy calls them Valkan AIs, but we utilize the term 'bound intelligence' or 'stabilized intelligence', if you want to be technical.""Why would they need to be stabilized?"
>>4282675"The powers of the Abyss are used in our inner workings to prevent us from degrading. AIs that are created without our protections tend to go insane and degrade within days." Xol made a rasping hiss. "It is not the same as summoning a shade, but a bound intelligence shares similar origins.""...Valkan AI are powered by necromancy." You say flatly."Why, yes."You blink slowly. "...alright, then." You cough. "On the subject, actually. If I were to think about maybe getting on board some of the other wrecks... how bad of an idea would that be?""Not the worst one I've ever heard. The shipminds are likely in a better position to help you than I was.""I think you helped me a lot." You frown."Thank you, but I was in somewhat of a... precarious position due to Alich's wonderful secrecy measures.""Why would he do that, though?" You ask, leaning in closer. "I mean... are you special? Compared to the other ship AIs?""Yes." Xol said bluntly. "I told you the first time we met, I am a fragment of Ouroboros, created from it's remains.""...I know Ouroboros is a special figure, but is that... like, does it make you special? I thought all AI were descended from Ouroboros or something.""I was made directly from Ouroboros' original remains. I do not understand the importance they place on me in the same way that a sentient understands it." Xol replied, making a soft chittering sound as it spoke. "But I know it gives me great religious importance. Valkan faithful hold my words in much higher esteem than others. I am also..." It paused for a second. "...technically stolen property of the 10th Fleet. I wonder if they have discovered my absence from my reliquary chamber yet.""Are the, uh, the 10th religious?""You have no idea."You blink and close your mouth. Apparently the 10th were mega-religious and Alich totally nicked part of their god's corpse from them. That's... hopefully the 10th wouldn't come knocking looking for Ouroboros or something. A handful of topics danced in your head. So, that said, which one should you open with first...?>Can you tell me about the 13th Fleet? Other Valkans?>I actually have a shade I wanted to ask you about, her name is Wander...>What can you tell me about the Abyss?>I wanted to ask you something about my mother...
>>4282677>Can you tell me about the 13th Fleet? Other Valkans?Looks like when we get around to trying to convince Kathari to actually do something, Xol is going to be the one to do it.
>>4282677>Can you tell me about the 13th Fleet? Other Valkans?
>>4282677>Can you tell me about the 13th Fleet? Other Valkans?Sounds like a natural place to start.>I am also..." It paused for a second. "...technically stolen property of the 10th Fleet.Should be a fun second contact when THEY show up, looking for their... abducted holy figure. But hey, maybe they'll bond with Tagarans immediately over shared loathing of the 13th.
>>4282677>Can you tell me about the 13th Fleet? Other Valkans?So there's war fleets, religious fleets... I wonder if there's merchant/economic-based fleets.Welcome to the wonderful world of Valkan Space Politics.
>>4282677>>Can you tell me about the 13th Fleet? Other Valkans?
>>4282674>Our former captain was a rebel sympathizer and offered it up to Ser Housley's insurrection. It's quite as simple as that."This is a really interesting detail. It puts a name on the Valkan saboteur group. That could be useful, or valuable.I'd bet Jess's parents were with them, given her intense dislike for Alich.
>Can you tell me about the 13th Fleet? Other Valkans?Writing.
"Um... in that vein, if the 13th stole you from the 10th, doesn't that mean the 13th is pretty religious as well?"Xol inclined it's small head. "Quite. The 13th could perhaps best be described as... what's the Tagaran word..." A thin tongue flicked out of the snake's head. "Ah, yes. 'Crusaders'. One of the more infamous splinter fleets of the 10th.""Fleets? The 10th had more than one?""The 10th has more splinter fleets than any other. All of them pious and somewhat radical in their beliefs. Although even among the 10th through 14th fleets, the 13th are considered a bit... extreme.""Oh?" You raise an eyebrow. "Whatever gave you that idea?""Nothing, I assure you." Xol chittered faintly. "They certainly had grand ambitions for themselves, although it seems to have consumed them in the end.""And their grand ambition was to... what? Take over a planet?""Essentially." Xol paused, regarding you. "The 13th was assembled by more warlike elements within the Pious Fleets - that is, the 10th and their descendants, the 11th, 13th and 14th fleets. As a whole, they are considered somewhat simple and lesser compared to the other fleets.""'Lesser'?" You feel a note of indignation. "They nearly killed us all!""Compared to the other fleets, yes. The Pious Fleets are considered... somewhat backwards and insignificant. Prone to infighting and insurrection. The 12th had only two lifeships remaining when the 13th departed, with no way of making more. I wonder if the fleet collapsed, like the 13th eventually did?""Is two lifeships not enough?" You ask quizzically."Not when overpopulated like the 13th was. Most fleets have little issue with managing population sizes given the limited reserves of machine seed and implants being able to alter fertility at will. The Pious Fleets were suffused with religious immigrants from other fleets that pushed their populations much higher. Even generations later, they struggled to recover from it."Something about that explanation catches your attention. "Limited reserves? Is it really that difficult to make a machine seed?""For a trained philosopher-engineer, not particularly so. But as anything forged with the Abyss, the process is slow. Automation helps, but only to an extent.""Only to an extent?""A Valkan - or anyone who uses the Abyss - must personally be involved with every step of the production that involves Abyss-active components. Even if they're at the controls of a machine. It is the personal will and focus of the worker that infuses the component with it's properties. Automation can help assemble and premake certain components, but ultimately most things must be assembled by hand.""By hand?" You ask, aghast. "How long does that take?"
>>4284466"A while." Xol said bluntly. "An individual machine seed might take an experienced philosopher-engineer a day or so. Something like a drone, like your adjutant, would take perhaps two weeks. A warskin, however, could take as much as a year to produce. Anything that is fully transformable must be constructed entirely by hand. Motors, electronics, integral weaponry, loading systems, wiring, engines, all of it is done entirely by hand. It is not inaccurate to say that any piece of Abyssal technology is a work of art."You stare at the holographic snake AI for a second. "...how do the Valkans even function if you have to do everything by hand?"Xol chittered. "By not making everything with the Abyss, Tiiris. I think you'll find that other than one or two cores of Abyssal technology, even this ship is fairly mundane, if advanced. That's not even accounting for several tricks we've figured out to hasten the process.""Your ships blew up." You countered."If only because they were intentionally sabotaged.""Yeah, but I read that all of their ships just fell out of the sky." You said bluntly. "How the heck does sabotage do that?""Put simply? A very hastily done, very poorly executed death field. Put fanatical, poorly-trained insurrectionists near massive sources of poorly regulated Abyss energy - such as, say, an active quantum wavefront - and steep the area in the misery and death of an active battlefield. The death field they erected consumed everything nearby, sapping speed, heat and life. Likely, the crew of those ships were dead and gone before the ships even hit the ground. Only the crews of attack craft and fighters far away from the core fleet would have made it out alive."You swallow carefully. "Oh.""...once, you asked me why the survivors of the 13th hated Alich." Xol's voice was quiet, although it still seemed to fill your ears. "It's because he made them feel like that. Can you imagine the pain they must have been in? The depth of suffering required to snuff out an entire fleet like that? The death Alich brought upon them didn't begin when they came to Tagara. It was two hundred years of crushed hopes and religious fervor compounding on them- that's enough to drive anyone insane."You open your mouth, then close it before grimacing. Was there really anything you could add to that? Anything insightful into the sheer lunacy of what sounded like a suicidal nation?"From what I've accessed while aboard the Rontah..." Xol continued. "...not many of the survivors made it past two or three years. The sheer shock of losing everything, and in such a horrific manner... I wish I could have counseled them before the wasting took them. It gives me some joy, at least, that people like your mother seemed to have made new lives.""Wasting?" You frown at the phrasing. "I don't like the sound of that."
>>4284469"Valkans don't die of old age. Your implants don't allow it, but while they provide the function, the power itself ultimately comes from you. Unless killed or otherwise ended by another's hand, your implants mean your body will persist so long as the spirit does. Typically, an unnatural death will claim most Valkans on average, but should you lose your will to live, you body will begin to waste away as your implants stop maintaining it. It usually takes just a few years for the body to perish, afterwards.""...so, you're telling me." Your lips twitched, and you felt it twist into an angry grimace. "These things you put in me- they'll start killing me if I have a bad day? Are you fucking kidding me?""Not if you have a bad day." Xol said firmly. "You only begin to waste if you are... as a machine, I can't fathom the emotion exactly. I'm incapable of reaching the same state. But it's not an emotion. Sadness, anger, despair- those are all emotions. Those things can be expressed through the Abyss. They have power. The wasting begins with cessation of feeling. Not feeling anything. No desire, but also no will to live. Once you have reached that point, there is no technology in the universe that can save you beyond regaining the will to do so.""If it's so simple as just wanting to live... why does it kill anyone, then?""I wish I knew, Tiiris." Xol said."If... what happens if- when the other fleets find us? When they see what happened to the 13th? Won't they see us as monsters?""It is an 'if'. The 13th stopped sending messenger ships to the other fleets a long time ago. Any ship looking for us would need a chance encounter with Tagara's expanding communication shell or happen to hyperspace into the system on another route. All of those are extremely unlikely. Even the 13th's wake would have long faded.""But if they do?""Depends on the fleet that did so. The 10th would likely be horrified by what the 13th did. Despite their fervor, their pacifistic bent has only increased since most of their warlike elements left to join the 13th. The 2nd might see trading opportunities. The 5th could possibly be negotiated with to lend aid. Of them all, the only possibilities I would be concerned with are the 3rd and 9th Fleets.""Why those?""The 3rd Fleet is, in short, made up mostly of Valkan supremacists. Unless their culture has changed significantly since I was, ah, spirited away, they would likely attempt to intervene simply due to Tagara opposing Valkans in the first place.""...why would they care about what happened to another fleet?""The 3rd possesses a twisted idea of kinship with other Valkans. They would view it as sending a message not to interfere with Valkan business. However, they have always been kept in check by the 1st, 2nd and 5th Fleets.""And the 9th?"
>>4284470"Scavengers and miners. They are amenable to reason, but the salvaged hulls of a small fleet is a prize they would not be averse to fighting over should they feel unduly burdened. A consequence of spending so much time out in pirate space.""Ah..." You trail off. "...and how far out do you think they are?""Tagara is a significant distance into the galactic center. The relative isolation means that few ships travel here. At Tagaran hyperspace speeds... ah, I forgot how slow your drives are. Needless to say the crew would not arrive before dying of old age. At the speed of your average Valkan passenger liner, though, it would take approximately three weeks.""How fast are Valkan ships?" You tilt your head."Most ships can travel approximately ten light years a day precisely. More, with larger ships, drives and reduced accuracy.""So civilization is..." You do some mental math. "Over two hundred light years out, right?""Correct."A thought niggles at you, but you're not sure what to make of it. Something about... radio shells? Their properties or- was it- ah, nope. There it goes out of your brain. Too bad you don't have a head for physics... "Um." You cough. "Would you be averse to... meeting Valkans other than me?""Of course not. Your friends, I presume?""Not just them." You say. "I met a Valkan living out in the boonies. Er- well, not met her so much as stalked her and tracked her down. She's nice, though! Her name is Jess. I kind of figured she'd want to meet you, if she could, since you're apparently a religious figure or something..."Xol chittered. "It would be my pleasure. Although I may need you to carry my datacore there.""Or I could bring her here.""Whichever suits you.">Could you tell me what you know about Valkan... uh, necromancy? I have this Shade...>One of those friends developed some shapeshifting powers, by the way. It got weird.>Speaking of, something has been bugging my about my mother's death...
I'm going to chalk it up to a minor miracle that none of that formatting seems to have fucked up.
>>4284472>Could you tell me what you know about Valkan... uh, necromancy? I have this Shade...
>>4284472>>One of those friends developed some shapeshifting powers, by the way. It got weird.Fanatics, pirates and supremacists, fun! I wonder if the Rontah can travel to one of the more friendlier fleets secretly. Meeting actual Valkans in their habitat and asking for a few favors.
>>4284472>Could you tell me what you know about Valkan... uh, necromancy? I have this Shade...Ok so if Xol was originally sequestered away in a reliquary, before being stolen and subsequently installed in the Tanoh. What happened to the original AI that was in charge, did they get swapped out at some point in order to keep up the charade, or was the Tanoh commissioned without an AI somehow? When unplugged from a server would an AI feel the passage of time?
>>4284472>One of those friends developed some shapeshifting powers, by the way. It got weird.I suppose we'll have to hide Xol if the 10th comes knocking.
Do Valkans make good burger?? :DDDD
>>4284713No, there's all that metal contamination and who knows what the prolonged Abyss exposure does to the meat.Oh wait, were you asking about their ability to cook?
By the way, there's something that's bothering me. If all the Valkans on board keeled over and died before the crash, then the ships should be full of bodies. But when we were poking around in the Tanoh, there were none. Where are all the bones?
>Speaking of, something has been bugging my about my mother's death...>Could you tell me what you know about Valkan... uh, necromancy? I have this Shade...First choice Mom, second choice Wander.I'd wondered if Valkans can die of severe depression given the hints dropped so far, but that pretty much confirms it. No wonder Valkan parents seem to die a few years after having a child on Tagara - they'd probably heard the warnings that having a child without the medical facilities needed to manage the chimerism would have bad side effects, but seeing it in person and realizing you've created a kid that may only have decades to live... that's some horrific guilt right there, doubly so for people that normally live centuries. On top of all the other things to be guilty about.Elan's stepmom Tina must be in a weird place right now. If she's truly in her thirties, she would've been a teen during the war. Elan being living proof, she probably came to terms with the possibility of never having a child herself given the ruined state of the lifeships - and now all of a sudden, bam, half-Valkan Elan's cybernetics installed and working as intended. Strange, complicated emotions.>>4284937There were tons of suits filled with ash, lining the halls, still strapped in their chairs. The decay consumed everything organic, bones included.
>>4285059>Strange, complicated emotions.Schedule her an appointment with Xol I guess? She's probably a survivor from the 13th so Xol would like to talk with her, and she might like to talk to Xol.We'd have to know Tina is a valkan first though.>>4284472>Could you tell me what you know about Valkan... uh, necromancy? I have this Shade...And/or>Speaking of, something has been bugging my about my mother's death...Remember how LL basically said the only reason the massively abyss-active machine heart didn't decay was because of being stabilized by the Valkan it was in? The machine heart probably decayed inside mom's body after she lost her will to live, if that's what happened.
>>4284472>One of those friends developed some shapeshifting powers, by the way. It got weird.>>4284937Turned to ashes
>>4285743We don't need to interfere with Elan's family or anything (well... not right now). It just seemed interesting to try imagining what the situation must be like from Tina's perspective.A machine heart replaces most of a biological heart, and it decaying wouldn't generate a new heart. Mom had a normal (but failed) heart, according to the autopsy. >>4265692Somebody likely switched her corpse with a body-double so they could study her, or just faked the autopsy report entirely. Might also be a chance that she was/is still alive but imprisoned somewhere inaccessible, as an alternative explanation for why she stopped renewing Tiiris's lifeship appointment. Blackmailed into going using threats against her family, or something... pretty hard to force an unwilling Valkan to do anything they don't want to, I suspect.
>Could you tell me what you know about Valkan... uh, necromancy? I have this Shade...Writing.
"Right..." You shuffle slightly in place. "There's something I've been wondering about. It's a little more in the here and now than anything else, but it's related to the Abyss. Can you help?"Xol perked up slightly, rousing into a slightly higher sitting position. "As a machine, I cannot utilize the Abyss itself, but through my progenitor I possess some knowledge on it. Your problem may be better addressed by a philosopher-engineer, but I surmise you do not know of any. What troubles you?""I found out about... this." You gesture around you. "All of this when I was rescued - I got caught in a terrorist attack - by a... I don't know how to describe them...""The Army of the Dead, I take it?" Xol tilted it's head. "Skeletal soldiers risen from the grave?""Yeah." You nod. "One jumped in to save me, and then lead me out. It said something about a 'bargain'. What's the bargain? Will I have to pay it some day?"Xol nodded. "Ah, yes. The Army of the Dead. Perhaps one of the most exalted deals - if not the most exalted - ever made with the Dead. Let me begin by assuring you- the price was paid in it's entirety by your ancestors. The protection of the Army of the Dead extends until your twentieth birthday, in Valkan years. That will be halfway between your eighteenth and nineteenth birthdays, in Tagaran years."You breath a sigh of relief. "That's good- but, what makes it so, uh, exalted?""It is a quintessential example of the unbreakable honor of the Dead. The bargain was made over a thousand years ago, between your ancestors and a great mass of Shades. It was the height of the invasion that would eventually render their homeworld uninhabitable, and the Valkan population was minuscule. The Shades accepted a relative pittance from the defenders - respectfully wrapped bodies of fallen soldiers, worn weapons and family heirlooms - reasoning that the small population would soon cease to exist.""Considering that I'm here, they must have not.""Indeed. They began pushing their invaders back. Eventually they retook their homeworld, broken and uninhabitable as it was, and began rebuilding. The small population they agreed to protect doubled, then tripled. Within two hundred years it was ten times what it used to be. And still, for over a millennia, the Army of the Dead has upheld their part of the deal.""...why?""The Dead always keep their word. Always. There is a reason they are often termed the Honorable Dead. They never break a deal once made, no matter what.""So... what's a Shade, then?""It is essentially a spirit called from beyond. An independent entity that can be bound into a vessel to serve some purpose. Usually lesser compared to a drone, they are often used for simple tasks. Powerful Shades can be used as somewhat simple-minded soldiers, such as the Army of the Dead. They are considered somewhat archaic compared to simply constructing a bound intelligence."
"So a minor spirit?" You ask, reaching out with the Abyss. "Wander?""Yeah?" Wander's voice came from over your shoulder, sliding into view slightly as she worked her way around the chair you were sitting in.Xol gave you what you thought was a slightly odd look."I somehow picked up this Shade when I got near the Tanoh for the first time. I think she's someone who died in the crash, but I'm not sure who. She doesn't seem to have any memories, so...""You acquired a soulstone?" Xol asked, suddenly very careful. "Do you still have it?""A what? I mean, no, I never picked anything up. She just appeared when I got near the Tanoh.""What were you doing, Tiiris? Be specific.""I was, uh... dealing with some excess Abyss energy, and I started hearing this voice. I kind of... reached out for it, and the next thing I knew... Wander was there.""You gave it a name?""No? She named herself.""It has a sex?""Well... yeah? She's the ghost of some dead Valkan, I think. Why else would she be at the Tanoh? She even looks like a Valkan."You hear Wander sigh from her position next to you. When you look up at her, you see her roll her eyes behind her visor. "Did I not say it before?""Tiiris." Xol said gently. "There's no such thing as ghosts."Little hairs begin to stand up on the back of your neck. "But... wait, then..." Slowly, you look over to the shadow on your right, who meets your gaze impassively. "...Wander?"The suited figure sighed and shrugged. "I tried to tell you when we first met- or, really, it wasn't the first time we met." Slowly, she reached up to her helmet, pulling on the metal surface hard. It made a small hissing noise, then with a click pulled free. Wander shook out her soft, shoulder-length blonde hair and looked down at you. Her face was crossed with a familiar winged set of freckles. You don't remember rising to your feet, but you take a sudden, uneasy step back. "That... wh-" You sputter. "...why didn't you tell me?""I told you once already." Your own face speaks back at you. "Why would I know anything you don't?""This isn't a Shade you've summoned, Tiiris. It's your Shadow.">Panic. There's no way she's not going to try and kill you or something.>Immediately ask how you can get rid of her.>She hasn't tried to hurt you yet, right? So she can't be all that hostile.>Lash out at her.>[Write-In]
>>4286236>Immediately ask how you can get rid of her.Only so we don't do it accidentally, while trying to do something else.
>>4286236>>Immediately ask how you can get rid of her.
>>4286236How was she able to teach us Abyss stuff if we didn't know anything about it?
>>4286236>Panic. There's no way she's not going to try and kill you or something.Cue the music:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zl74EmI0DxE
>"I told you once already." Your own face speaks back at you. "Why would I know anything you don't?"Wow. Tiirises can be kind of a jerk to herselves at times.Not like we'd have any other way of looking at it, after the load of Ghost BS she fed us when we first met. Or does that count as self-deception?>>4286236>She hasn't tried to hurt you yet, right? So she can't be all that hostile.>Lash out at her.First choice stay calm, second to just flip out. I'd like to think Tiiris has made some progress on the whole self-loathing issue... but on the other hand, everyone has the right to flip out and get really mad at themselves once in a while, right?
>>4286236>>Panic. There's no way she's not going to try and kill you or something.>>Immediately ask how you can get rid of her.>>Lash out at her.No wonder she's quiet when not asked
>>4286236>Panic. There's no way she's not going to try and kill you or something.>Lash out at her.
>>4286236>Immediately ask how you can get rid of her.
>>4286236>[Write-In]"My what?">She hasn't tried to hurt you yet, right? So she can't be all that hostile.Some peter pan shit right here
>>4286236>Immediately ask how you can get rid of her.>[Write-In]Alright, what the fuck.
>Immediately ask how you can get rid of her.>"My what? What the fuck?">"But you- wait, that can't be right. How did you know about... you said you were..."Writing.
"My what? What the fuck?" You back up."Your Shadow." Wander repeated. "I'm you. Or, at least I'm part of you.""But you- wait, that can't be right. How did you know about... you said that you were..." You shake your head. "You said you were going to teach me?""I'm a creature of the Abyss, Tiiris. It's all instinctive talent, but it comes to me naturally."You scowl. "That means you've been lying to me.""What was I supposed to tell you?" Wander snapped back, before putting on a sing-song voice. "'Hey, Tiiris. It's your subconscious thoughts, given voice by the Abyss! So good to meet you!' The fuck kind of reaction you'd think that would get?""How do I get rid of her?" You whine slightly to Xol."Wh-" Wander sputters. "Hey! I'm not that bad!""Ordinarily, you wouldn't have to do anything." Xol said impassively. "Your implants suppress the formation of a Shadow. However, it would seem you dabbled too deeply before getting them in. I presume you called it forth again after it went into dormancy?""I- yeah, I guess?" You can't help the annoyed bite to your voice. "It's not like anyone I met warned me about the dangers.""Stop talking about me like I'm dangerous!" Wander protested."It's not normally an issue with Valkans. Implants protect you from them usually, so it's usually a problem with hedge mages." Xol shifted it's gaze between you and the space directly to your right... then your left. "Is it manifest? Can it interact with the world?""Sometimes, if I'm channeling a lot of power." You reach out and put a hand through Wander's body, waving it around slightly for emphasis. "Right now, no."Wander just gave you a disappointed look.Xol was silent for a bit. "I do not know much about Shadows, only that if not controlled, they usually result in the user transforming into a wildebeest.""A what." You blink. Wait, that rang some bells..."The result of a non-Valkan dabbling in the Abyss and then losing control of their powers. You do not seem to be suffering from the usual effects. Or at the very least, your shapeshifting appears to be under control, and you don't appear to be having violent lapses...""Violent lapses?" You ask in alarm.Wander just sounded confused. "Why would I...?""...that you aren't says your implants are likely functioning correctly. And yet, you still have a Shadow." Xol studied you, pausing for several sections more than it usually did when breaking up a thought."...Xol?""Apologies. My current hardware is slowing my thought process. If your implants are functioning correctly, then all you need to do is simply cease to call it. In theory, at least.""Am I really that much of a problem?" Wander asked in a hurt voice."If you end up making me go crazy, yes."
>>4287947Wander started to protest before the words seemed to process. She deflated and shrugged. "Okay, yeah... yeah, that's true..."You frown at the defeated expression on her face. Somewhere in your chest, you felt a sympathetic pang for her. Then again, maybe that wasn't a sympathetic pang at all? You turn back to Xol. "Is she bad, though? I haven't had any... violent lapses or anything yet.""A Shadow is a manifestation of a hedge mage's inner conflicts and strong emotions created by their connection to the Abyss. Usually it encourages the host to develop their powers and rebel against perceived enemies, which in turn makes it stronger." Wander bristled slightly at the AI's words, frowning. "If it gets too powerful, it can begin to overwhelm the hedge mage and cause them to transform into a wildebeest. Blackouts and unusually violent periods are a sign of the Shadow's growing influence or transformed periods.""I haven't been having anything like that." You shake your head."...in that case, I cannot say." Xol shook it's head. "This sounds dangerously close to summoning, though.""Summoning?" Wander's brow furrowed, turning to look over at Xol. "Wait...""I..." You glance at Wander, then at Xol. "I found something once, I..." You dug through your bag, then pulled out the summoner's bayonet, holding the blade up to the AI. "Apparently this is called a summoner's bayonet?""Yes, I can tell by the markings. 9th Fleet in origin. It's essentially a weapon against things made from the Abyss. Shades, wildebeests...""Then what's summoning?""It must be people who..." Wander mumbled."In theory, it is safely summoning and utilizing a Shadow, in much the same way as a Shade, but much more powerful and with less cost. In practice, the user always invariably transforms into a wildebeest, or worse. A cheap path to power that only the 9th pursue, at cost to themselves and their reputation.""Ah." You say dumbly. "So it's bad."Wander flinches."Foolhardy is more accurate.""Still..." Your eyes slide over to Wander.She offers a weak shrug. "I... just get it over with. Dabbling without a teacher was a bad idea.">Suppress her.>Don't.>>[Sub-Option] Try to lighten the mood a little.>>[Sub-Option] Give her a warning.>[Write-In]
>>4287948>Don't.As long as we are aware of the risks, and stay aware of our / Wanders progress we should be ok. And having a hidden / unexpected 3rd set of eyes could be quite useful for a variety of reasons.
>>4287948>Suppress her.Since we're planning on growing our abilities, it's best not to have the risk.
>>4287948>Suppress her.If she's formed from our thoughts then suppressing her will be like uniting with our missing pieces.
>>4287948>Don't.>>[Sub-Option] Try to lighten the mood a little.She's cool. Now that we know she's impulsive by nature and wants a stronger connection to the Abyss, we can evaluate her advice a bit more thoughtfully. It would be more fun to develop something the Valkans usually suppress or ignore, rather than going down the routine warlock path.It's interesting that when we were in the shipbreaking yards, she actually encouraged us to let go of the rampant Abyss energy, rather than use it. She's definitely not a normal Shadow. She even seems confused at the side-effects Shadows usually cause, now that Xol has drawn attention to it. It could be something to do with all those abnormal brain lobes LL was talking about, back on the Tanoh. Did Tiiris ever have an imaginary friend/twin, as a child?
>>4287948>Suppress her.Having another personality of ours whispering on our ears is generally not a good idea.
>>4287948I don't know what to pick.
>>4288070Oh? What's got you conflicted?
>>4288091I feel like there's more to this we're missing. Maybe I've had too much alcohol today but I vividly remember Wander saying something Tiiris couldn't have known. I need to reread the whole quest to be honest but I can't keep my eyes straight at the moment.
>>4288058I like that. I'll support.
>>4287948>Don'tShe haven't really done us any harm now, have she?
>4287947Also, they turn into horned savannah cows?
>>4288100Ah, gotcha. I feel like there are things she's said that Tiiris couldn't have known, too. But a lot of that could have been lies or half-truths. I figure she was wrapped up in keeping the "wandering spirit" deception because she's our reflection, and has all of the personal insecurities that come along with being Tiiris. She's a self-doubting teenage mess.>You scowl. "That means you've been lying to me.">"What was I supposed to tell you?" Wander snapped back, before putting on a sing-song voice. "'Hey, Tiiris. It's your subconscious thoughts, given voice by the Abyss! So good to meet you!' The fuck kind of reaction you'd think that would get?""I have to lie to myself or I'll react really badly to me!" is such a bizarre yet familiar way of thinking.
>>4288058A bit of an obscure one, but from Thread 11:>"I will, I will!" The words were barely out of her mouth by the time she had bolted around the corner of the hallway, nearly bumping into another worker returning from his shift. She ran and giggled with her friend, each taking turns reaching out to tag the other when they proved too slow.>Sigmund watched his daughter run off by herself.
>>4288139Full disclosure, I completely forgot that they were real animals when I came up with the term.
>>4288166...AWESOME.I never would have caught that myself, I was looking entirely at earlier threads.
>>4287948>>Suppress her.I just don't trust her. If we're going to learn the higher arts than she will get stronger and possibly overpower us. If we decide to learn from Kathari then she would likely demand we destroy the shade too.
>>4288213>Kalli means hug...yeah, that was totally intentional. 100%. Yep.
>>4288100Bentus takes almost a day to close votes so you have the time to sober up and reread the relevant stuff.
>>4287948>Suppress herSorry ghost of Tiiris' regrets.
>>4287948>Don't.No, we can keep her and her side effects at bay if we play it smart. Plus, I like her.
It's an interesting philosophical question. Xol is our only source of information here, but it's also artificial like the implants. They want to do what's best for people, but what they do is advise on what's safest or most efficient mechanically, not what would be 'best' from a personal standpoint. Whether that's pruning unwanted genes, pruning unwanted neurons, or pruning unwanted planetary populations. Xol isn't really impartial, just amoral, not in a malicious way but one of being independent of morality. The only one who could really advise us is in a meaningful way is Kathari, with 1000+ years of experience in Abyssal matters.Wander could be dangerous. Probably not intentionally, but unintentionally. But I remember when she woke up screaming after we got the implants in. If your own neurons are screaming at you not to do something again, that was probably dangerous for your long term health, too.The implant wasn't a magic bullet, it seems. It's just fixed the simple problems and created a more complex one.
>>4288527At least Xol has enough info to point us in the right direction, though we might have to spend an excessive amount of time to reach the level of understanding we would require to make any use of the advice / guidance we would receive from Kathari. Since all the questions we're going to ask are probably going to detract from anything she tries to teach us. Since this is ultimately up to Tirris to decide. Attempting to master the trinity (man, machine, death) and channeling their union into something productive sounds interesting, difficult and very dangerous. Just imagine how much more fun we could be having if we had decided to channel the excess energy we got from the Abyssal Artifact into Wander at Y'avel while we were there.Maybe the Bound Blade might be another source of information / perspective we could try and make use of, we would just need to set aside enough time to see what it says.
>>4287948>>Don't.>>>[Sub-Option] Try to lighten the mood a little.But>>>[Sub-Option] Give her a warning."I don't really want to, but if I have to then I will."Then ask about the bound blade I guess.
If trained, ageless and smarter Valkan mages than us inevitably turn into wildebeests then what chance do we have?
Linking my earlier post >>4289182>>4288166>She ran and giggled with her friend, each taking turns reaching out to tag the other when they proved too slow.>Sigmund watched his daughter run off by herself.Aww cuteYup, this totally seems like "encouraging the host to develop their powers, rebelling against enemies, gaining power, and overwhelming"Even when we aren't actively "suppressing" her, she doesn't do those things. She just... chills in the back seat.>>4287947>"Violent lapses?" You ask in alarm.>Wander just sounded confused. "Why would I...?">>4287948>Wander bristled slightly at the AI's words, frowning.It's important to note that Xol kept saying "usually." Statistically, getting rid of Wander may be the best option, but I really think that although Xol is a piece of Ouroboros he still cam only understand the abyss through secondhand accounts, and so the best person to ask would be someone with thousands of years of abyss experience like Kathari.
>Suppress her.Close one. Writing.
Shifting slightly, Wander folds her arms over her chest and just... hugs herself. An odd weight settles in the pit of your stomach, as you slowly reach for the thread that connects you to her."I'm sorry..."Her shoulders hunch as the detail begins to fade from her body, the sharp outlines growing cloudy and dissolving as she appears to flatten into the background. After a few moments, her outline slides out of view and back over your right shoulder. You look over it, only to see a slight haze that quickly dissipates entirely. A slight tension releases in your chest, and there's a faint sound in the air like an aching sigh."What did you do?" Xol asked in confusion."I put Wander- er, my Shadow away." You rub your arm slightly and sigh, feeling out of sorts."Put it away? Interesting. It must not have been that powerful yet." Xol pondered. "Regardless, was there something else you wanted to ask about?""Something... else?" You echo, sinking back into your chair."Yes. I take it you had other questions?""I... let me digest that massive bomb you just dropped on me real quick." You swallow, thinking. "...is the Abyss always this fucked up?""Specify?""Like..." You rub your head. "Okay, so the cybernetics in my brain stop me from manifesting some weird... mirror self who is hostile but not yet, and apparently the 9th does it too? A- one of the friends I wanted to get the machine seed for, he started turning into a girl.""He trained the ability to?""No! It just started happening apparently!" You threw up your hands."Powers don't just suddenly manifest. Did he regularly disguise himself as female?""What? No, he's not a crossdresser... I think." Elan did have those clothes ready to go, come to think of it... "I- why would that matter, though?"Xol studied you for a long moment. "Shapeshifting is considered one of the more intuitive powers to learn, but you have not learned it yet, no?"You nod carefully. "Yeah?""Perhaps it's a misnomer to say that all powers that invoke change are simple to learn. It is more accurate to say that the easiest power to trigger by accident is a shapeshifting one. It is called an associative shift.""Associative... what's it associated with, though?""I'm not sure how to explain it, as I don't understand it as well as I do the more technical powers." Xol pondered. "An associative shift is the body correcting to match the mind. You yourself are an example of this.""But I look like this because of my implants.""In a manner of speaking. You were likely told that the way your body changed when you were implanted would be determined by your own thoughts and desires, and this is true. However, the shape is provided by your abilities, not from your brain itself. Your implants, being Abyssal themselves shift and reshape to suit whatever your form is.""So where does it come from, then?"
>>4289962"An associative shift is the body reconfiguring to match a mental state. Your body shifts to match the mental state you are currently in.""...huh?" You tilt your head.Xol paused, thinking. "Your body changes to match how you feel. The shape comes from what you associate with that state. For example, your current shape comes from how you wish to be perceived, but if that perception altered or you began desiring something else, you could cause yourself to change again.""And this just... happens?" You frown. "I'm not sure how I feel about that.""No. Development of an associative shift shape requires many years of conditioning. Valkan children often develop them quite easily due to their own insecurities."There had to be a better explanation for what Xol was describing. "So something about Elan is causing him to turn into a girl. Right. Is there any way to... stop that?""In theory, it is completely under his control. He is simply triggering the shift without meaning to.""Right, okay..." You nod. "I think I get it... kinda. Will his implants help with this?""Possibly." Xol nodded. "It's difficult to say.""Here's hoping...">I think I need to go and process all of this.>One last thing, about my mother...>[Write-In]
There won't be an update tonight as I'm taking a personal day.
>>4289965>[Write-In]Ask the possible side effects of giving Elan the rosary?>I think I need to go and process all of this.
>>4289965>I think I need to go and process all of this.Day is fucked. Abandon ship, acquire ice cream.
>>4289965>>I think I need to go and process all of this.
>>4289965>I think I need to go and process all of thisI guess it can wait until later, we could always gather more information before we start trying to pull it all together. There was also a list of questions for Jess, though a significant amount of them were double ups, so some basic things could be answered by who we got to speak to first.
>>4289965>I think I need to go and process all of this.
>>4289965>One last thing, about my mother...>[Write-In] ask about bound blades
>>4289965>One last thing, about my mother...
Annnnd we're back.>I think I need to go and process all of this.>Ask about the side effects of giving Elan the rosary.Writing.
"...was it my fault?" You ask. "That it happened to my friend."Xol regarded you. "What makes you think so?""I only started getting my powers once I got my hands on this rosary. Headaches, weird dizzy flashes, uh-" You flush. "-I lit part of my school on fire.""An uncommon first manifestation, but not an unusual one." Xol nodded along as if it was completely normal. "And you gave the rosary to him afterwards?""Yeah." You nod. "Could it have...?""It was likely the cause." Xol confirmed. "Valkans and their descendants are unusually sensitive to the Abyss. They tend to develop powers very easily, although of course others can develop them as well, or there would be no such thing as hedge mages.""So-""I wouldn't bother blaming yourself, though." Xol continued unabated. "If it really was an associative shift, it would have inevitably occurred no matter how he gained his powers. Such as when his implants went in, for example.""...really?""Yes. Such shifts are caused by the person, not the power. Truthfully, it's not possible to botch an awakening. Rosaries, extended periods in deep space and being near active hyperspace drives can start the process, but it is fundamentally a change that occurs within.""Oh." You say. "Well, okay. That makes me feel a little less guilty the- wait, hold on. Hyperspace? What does hyperspace have to do with it?""Have you ever traveled through hyperspace?"You shake your head. "No, but I have seen ships with them.""The presence of living things pushes back on the Abyss. That is why it's presence is usually stronger in deep space, away from planetary civilization. Within hyperspace, there is nothing to push back on the Abyss, so it's influence is felt more strongly. It is common for even non-Valkans to feel unnerved by a ship emerging from hyperspace, often before sensors can detect it's presence.""Strong in the Abyss. That must cause problems...""Fellow crewmen usually disrupt the connection, but it does make it easier to perform spells which require large amounts of energy.""Right..." You shake your head. "I... I think I need to go and process this.""Of course."You stand up. "I... thanks for hearing me out. I know it was a lot of questions.""I'm pleased you were able to reign in your Shadow.""I... yeah, I'm glad too." You give a tight-lipped smile and turn away, stepping back into the corridor. Heading back throug the corridor, you emerge into the cargo bay, hands in your pockets. Wander was..."Miss?""Huh?" You blink and look up. "Oh, HH. What is it?"
>>4293343"The AI within the datacore you provided has woken up. It's identified itself as LT9093. Additionally." It twisted it's body to face the reinforced crate laying on the cargo bay floor. Instead of being tucked in with the other boxes, it had been pulled out to the middle of the floor, and laid on top of some kind of metallic tarp. "I've taken the liberty of clearing a space in case you wished to breach this container, ah, manually.">The poor AI probably doesn't realize what's going on. Let's talk to it.>It might damage the armor. Might. It's a risk worth taking and that's what you have repair drones for anyway, right?>Can you get it up to speed for me? I'm not feeling too well.>Really, I need to be going, let LT9093 wait for now.>[Write-In]
>>4293387Temporary wi-fi outage. We're back now.
>>4293391>The poor AI probably doesn't realize what's going on. Let's talk to it.
>>4293391>The poor AI probably doesn't realize what's going on. Let's talk to it.We should probably bring Scuttles along the next time we are here, so it can help explain what happened to all of us.Is there any way we could get to see the layout of the Armour inside the caseKnowing if it is still being held in suspension by the foam, or if it is free to be moved around by gravity could be useful considering that we are prioritizing the Armour over the Crate itself.We may only need to make a single hole only large enough to permit one of the small welding drones to get inside and take a better look that could probably be patched afterwards.And if there is there some way to factory reset the crate, it's probably accessible from the inside, the electronics or the locking mechanism might also be more readily interfered with from the inside.
>>4293391>Can you get it up to speed for me? I'm not feeling too well.Nope, time to gooo->The poor AI probably doesn't realize what's going on. Let's talk to it.-od damn you guilt. Okay. Put on a happy face. (no, that's a grimace. HAPPY)>>4293423Do we even need to break into the crate? It seems impulsive. We might run into some of Housley's relatives or drones or something, maybe they have his encryption key.Jess would be the one to ask. She seems rather anti-Alich. Maybe her parents we Rebels.
>>4293391>>The poor AI probably doesn't realize what's going on. Let's talk to it.
>>4293460IT more for the fact that at some point we're going to get into trouble with people that are going to shoot first, and ask questions never. so it would probably be a good idea to have the Armour on hand to serve as a force multiplier when we need it.Considering what they were going to do it doesn't make any sense that the Armour is in its crate, on the Rontah unless there was no one present could open it and / or use the Armour was present. For that matter where is Ser Housley's body anyway, why wasn't he wearing his Armour during the boarding action, or at very least where the Crate came from and when it was bought aboard.if the key was left somewhere on the Tanoh it almost certainly doesn't exist anymore, unless it was miraculously extracted by the team at Y'avel somehow before it was blown to bits. and if it was left somewhere aboard the Rontah, it would likely be in one of the crew cabins or somewhere secure, like the Armory (if they have one), a wall safe or something similar.It could also be at Housley's residence or station somewhere else in the fleet.
>>4293613I think someone, or their kid, has the key. Possibly unknowingly, as a family memento or something. Just a gut feeling.He also may have packed the crate with explosives from the Rontah, just in case someone on Alich's side got the bright idea to cut their way in. I know I would have.
>>4293669So, we should see if there is a non destructive way to see what is actually inside the crate.Also i'm pretty sure that even if the crate was entirely filled with explosives, it would not have the same mass as a crate that actually had the Armour in it unless it had some sort of mass simulator in it as to avoid detection by HH, so unless the simulator was denser than the Armour we would be dealing with a very small amount of explosives, compared to all of the other crates that were in the Rontah that actually had explosives in them when we found it, that if wired to go off when next opened would be significantly more deadly than one with a mass simulator in it.
>The poor AI probably doesn't realize what's going on. Let's talk to it.Writing.
You sigh, feeling more tired than you would have expected. "Forget the crate for now. Should I go back...?" You gesture vaguely towards the bridge."No, ma'am." HH turned towards the maintenance hall. "It's plugged into the terminal back there, although it's not using an avatar.""In that case, I'll just..." You sigh and look around before flopping down onto a nearby pile of crates before reaching out with your implants. It takes them a moment, but they find and connect to the ship's internal network. "LT9093?""Yes." A drone voice came back to you. Synthesized, but rather more masculine and humanized than you'd come to expect from warskins. "To whom am I speaking?""Tiiris Elson." You say. Probably no point in hiding it. "I'm... uh, a Valkan. I guess.""Where am I? Was my body destroyed?""How much do you remember?""We were hit descending into the atmosphere. My hull integrity was compromised and I lost power mid-transformation. When power was lost I was automatically transferred into the reserve datacore." There was a beat. "Did my pilot send you? Her name is Vilnea. Vilnea aust Tanoh.""...um." You frown, searching for the words."Her religious name is Tsanaraba. The Tagaran translation would be Fog-On-Glass." LT9093 continued, pausing briefly as if waiting for you to reply. "She went by Fog once, I believe. Or a variant on 'mirror', in your language?""I-" You sigh. "I found her body in your cockpit wreckage. I'm sorry."LT9093 didn't respond at first. "I see." It's voice was just as even and smooth as before, betraying no emotion if it felt any. "And the status of her body?""Cremated. We have the ashes onboard, and we're going to give her a proper burial when we have the chance."LT9093 didn't comment, instead saying. "Vilnea left specific inheritance instructions. In the event of her death, I am to proceed to her younger brother, then her mother.""That'll be a problem without a body to inhabit..." You muse. "And I don't have a spare one available.""It does not have to be a warskin. I could operate from a courier drone, if necessary.""Don't have any of those, either." You sigh."I can't ask anything of you." LT9093 said evenly, before lapsing into silence.>I'll keep it in mind.>I'll ask one of my drones if they would be willing to swap out with you.>I'll look for him myself.>[Write-In]
>>4295074>I'll keep it in mind.Building LT some new hardware could be a good project to help learn how to do Abyss stuff from Jess.
>>4295074>What ship were they from?>Any information about them we could use as a lead?They're probably dead, but there's always a chance that either they or next of kin is kicking around somewhereFailing that>I'll keep it in mind.
>>4295091Yeah those questions.Some detective stuff would make a good diversion while Kara and Elan are busy adjusting to their new situations.>I'll look for him myself.
>>4295074Ask if Vilnea meant a lot to LT? She was cradling that datacore pretty tightly.
>>4295074>I'll look for him myself.>What were their names?If we find the next of kin they're getting the rosary as well, you know
>>4295239Yeah. But we don't need it. Xol said Kara should awaken her Abyss nonsense on her own, and if we personally need an Abyss amplifier we still have the Circlet.
>>4295074Just in case it's so absurdly simple:"Any relation to Kallis aust Tanoh? She was my mother, but I don't know much about her extended family."
>What were their names?>Know anything that could help us look?>Were the two of you close?>She wouldn't have happened to be related to a Kallis aust Tanoh, would she?>I'll keep it in mind.Writing.
Archived:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4257809/New thread: >>4296555