Don't like the snow? You can make a bookmark with the following text instead of a url: javascript:snowStorm.toggleSnow(). Clicking it will toggle the snow on and off.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

[IC] Exigency: Infinite Sky

245

Posts

  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Stephen takes another shot at the remaining squad members with the scattergun before turning back to his MediStat. He need only enter in a single command to finish the download.
    Spoiler:

  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    Looks like a busy night for Asperia security

    Spotting the grenades, Rel pulls the five-pack into his grasp and pockets them, just the kind of "equalizer" he was looking for. Not being immediately familiar with their model he does a casual search of the intranet based on their image and serial number, mostly out of curiosity. Continuity takes the initiative of keeping the manufacturer's "Customer Feedback" comment page handy.

    The councilor glances at the pistols and rifles remaining in the racks, looking for any specialty models. Although he certainly respected the efficacy of the typical photonic wares, he usually preferred to rely on his intrinsic abilities for that scale of damage.

    Rel takes a moment to glance about the room in detail before turning to leave, in case the tactical teams missed any other handy items.
    Spoiler:

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Stephen

    Stephen's shot fails to wound. He's not really paying attention to it anyway: he's browsing his finds.

    The Asperia Solutions database includes a full map of the facility as well as an inventory and manufacturing schedule. It seems that the armoury is directly above; home to Dustin's longed-for grenades, if only they could reach them. There don't appear to be any convenient hidden caches in the command centre itself.

    Looking at the files it's clear that Asperia has been fabricating illegal weaponry, not just testing it in variously horrific fashions. Microwave guns that cook the innards of targets, molecular disruptors that destroyed the bonds between atoms, nanoconstituted munitions that eat the victim alive.

    In a purely pragmatic sense, Stephen wasn't sure he saw the point of such tech. Stigma aside- they were weapons beloved by the Ploror Conglomerate- their mechanics were less understood and their effects were often redundant. Modern PEP guns were less lethal and painful than microwave cannons, plasma guns were quicker and clearner than molecular disruptors, and nanotech... well. Nanotech was a very complicated field, as the operatives of the Duality Corporation knew very well.

    But perhaps the mechanics would be better understood now. According to these files Asperia Solutions has been testing these technologies on everything from rats to vagrants, becoming "progressively more efficient and effective". A scientist's entry on disruptors boasts that their recent efforts had literally twice the power of the Conglomerate's in a unit half the size.

    Stephen looks at the camera feeds. There's some kind of black-uniformed figure roaming the armoury, and there's another squad of guards approaching the control room's sundered doors. They look to be wearing armour and toting bigger weapons than the previous groups. Strange, unfamiliar weapons.

    Comparing the bulky tubes to pictures in the database, Stephen realises that they're molecular disruptors- aka "raze rays"- liberated from workshops on the upper level.
    Spoiler:


    Rel

    The items aren't familiar to Rel, but they're familiar to his communicator's search engine. The pistols are Pieren-Gillesse c23s, a cheap and nasty anomaly in the catalogue of a company that was usually renowned for their quality and firepower. Just the kind of thing you might order en masse if you were a manager on a tight budget who lacked the sense to do any research.

    The rifles are stubby laser guns with a single-shot capacity. They're actually made by Asperia themselves; the reviews on the store page are glowing, but Rel gets the feeling that they're all plants.

    The grenades are DC13s; another Duality Corporation product, this one currently being the standard handout for the units of the Mercenary League. Rel realises that he has seen them in action before. He knows he can rely on them, although their fatality radius has been carefully restricted to 3 metres to avoid unwanted collateral injuries. Using a more powerful explosive when you were fighting on a space station, for example, probably wasn't so wise.

    Rel gives the whole armoury a thorough look-over, but he doesn't find anything else of interest.
    Spoiler:

    Edcrab on
    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    Finished with inspecting the armory Rel Morrow casually steps into the empty elevator shaft and drops two or three meters to the most stable looking piece of elevator wreckage below, the psionic fields and auras enveloping him easily absorbing the shock of landing.

    He extends his senses out to the command floor beyond, and slowly, cautiously pries apart the elevator doors and employs more of his senses.
    Spoiler:

  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    Annoyed at being shot, Dustin directs a blast from the turret directly at the group of soldiers, and directs the other machine to fire at the first mech he'd targeted. The plating in his skin coupled with his knowing that he wouldn't move out of the way fast enough to evade damage somehow allows him to keep both is composure and focus on the job at hand. He wondered how Stephen would handle being shot.
    Spoiler:

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    Rel

    Rel is off his game, but despite this he can hear the sounds of distant gunfire. At the junction where one corridor connects to the other, Rel can see a six-strong squadron of heavily armed and armoured guards emerge from a different elevator and head away from him; no prizes for guessing where the armoury's contents had gone. They haven't noticed Rel yet, too preoccupied with reaching their current objective, whatever that might be.

    And as he continues down the corridor Rel can hear the heavy stomping footsteps of something large and heavy coming towards him, overwhelming even the marching feet of the troopers.


    Dustin

    Barely registering the wound, Dustin watches with satisfaction as the turrets bring down the most damaged mech and the last of the security contingent.

    The last mech begins backing away at surprising speed. Which is strange; that's not normal behaviour for a robot. They're usually programmed to pursue targets until their destruction.
    Spoiler:

    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    "Look at the distributions on these graphs; near the end there they were getting some beautiful data! The ways they controlled for variations are all rock-solid, too. Its clever how they tried out various nanite designs simultaneously on living flesh samples from the same individual," Stephen speaks aloud, ostensibly to Dustin but essentially to himself. "It's a shame that whenever these illegal facilities crop up they're always researching weapons, though. How incredibly dull."

    "Oh, you've been shot again," Stephen says as he turns and realizes Dustin's wound for the first time. "Well I hope it's not too bad, there's more guards approaching the door, and they've got molecular disruptors."

    "And by the way, your grenades were on the floor above us, but it seems as though someone is walking off with them," Stephen activates and fires the third turret at the second mech and then attempts to break the last little bits of remaining protection on the Asperia network.
    Spoiler:

    Winky on
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    Let's see, the enemy of my enemy exchanging fire up ahead. What must be the heavy response team moving towards them. And I'm not sure I want to know what the hell that other thing is.

    Rel moves to follow the armored guards discretely, waiting to attack until they make their assault.

    All their stomping around should at least make it easy to remain unnoticed. Actually coordinating a pincer maneuver would be ideal though. Or say, knowing what lay ahead at all

    Rel pulls two grenades from the five-pack as he walks and tries again to get a sense of the local psychic landscape. With a thought to the digital battleground he also tries to see if the defeated guard's codes can access the security comm chatter from the team up ahead.
    Spoiler:

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    Stephen

    Stephen disables the security system in the upper levels, and then preps the announcement protocol just because he can. Meanwhile the turret, ever-loyal, follows his instructions and puts the retreating mech down in a sad little cloud of smoke and flame.

    Stephen examines the black-clothed figure. No visible firearm? No signs of augmentation, so likely a psionor. Possibly a High Council operative. Or maybe a Vigilante or an undercover cop.


    Rel

    "Careful. One of them is a Spokesperson. Expert shot."

    "There's only two of them. Stay together."

    "Means nothing. Did you hear what the Dualists did on Ethiliun?"

    "I hear they hired a mad cyclops who was invulnerable."

    "Shut up."


    Rel listens to the comm chatter. There's a lot of it; despite their flashy equipment, these are no experts. He has little difficulty following behind them...

    ...and even less when something explodes, further masking his approach. Rel, and the guards in front of him, arrive at the command centre entrance in time to see the mech collapse in flames. The squadron goes quiet and slowly edges towards the door frame. One of them, being careful not to expose himself, takes a grenade from his belt and preps it.

    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    Dustin doesn't respond to Stephen, his attention on the door and any other threats.
    Spoiler:

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    Well it's now or never

    Rel doesn't want to be the first to attack, but grenades tend to make short work of defensive positions and well, better to be the one teaching that lesson than watching his allies learn it.

    Taking cover behind the downed and still burning mech, Rel drops the two grenades down next to him and telekinetically rolls them along the ground... without their pins. The grenades smoothly work their way into range of the guards.

    Waiting for the explosions the High Councilor concentrates on the area of the doorway, establishing a subtle telekinetic field in tune with the various pieces of metal and carbon on or around their persons and, very soon, in the air, building a charge that would arc through his enemies in its search for ground.

    As the grenades go off he focuses his inductance field into effect.
    Spoiler:

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    Dustin, Rel, Stephen

    Huddled behind the reassuringly hefty form of the downed mech, Rel sends the first grenade rolling. It takes out three of them. The others spin around, prepping their bulky, alien-looking guns... in time to be blown up by the second's blast. Rel desists in his psionic follow-up when he finds himself electrocuting mangled corpses.

    Dustin, watching the entrance, sees a bloodied piece of armour shoot past during the explosion. He very nearly takes a snap shot at it.

    Stephen sees it all happen on the surveillance cameras. Definitely a telekinetic, definitely no friend to Asperia Solutions.

    He also sees a second- and hopefully last- group heading down through the upper levels. A trio. Strangely one of them totes a disruptor, another's armour is in the pale blues and greys of Asperia's colour scheme, but the third is wearing a jacket with a pin clearly indicating that he's an auth-2 member of the Vigilance Movement. They'll likely arrive at the command centre in under five minutes.

    Stephen idly checks the Vigilante's appearance against the complete Asperia Solutions database that he had the foresight to download; his name is Farris and he's in Asperia's pocket.

    Not in an official capacity, working contracts under the authority and approval of the Movement. He's been taking money from Asperia for a number of years, and the data hints at missions far less noble than mere security detail. He and the other members of his team are, it appears, corrupt.
    Spoiler:

    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Rel brings up the grenades' Customer Feedback Comments page and composes a ringing endorsement while he steps out from behind the mech and approaches the remains of the heavy response team, closing with "I don't always use grenades, but when I do, they're DC13s". As he emerges into view from the command center proper he calls out,

    "Hold your fire, as you've probably inferred, I'm on your side."

    The High Councilor stops in the doorway and looks to see what of the fallen guards' equipment remains functional, with en eye to acquiring more grenades. As his gaze notices the large number of bodies and a second destroyed mech he adds,

    "For which I'm quite glad. Allow me to introduce myself, I am High Councilor Rel Morrow, field operative and incorrigible provocateur. Or so my superiors keep telling me."
    Spoiler:

    Lanlaorn on
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    Rel

    A lot of the equipment was lost in the blast. Rel finds three still-functional grenades and one disruptor.

    He also, not being squeamish, finds some sort of microwave weapon under a charred corpse.
    Spoiler:


    Charles, Randolph

    "In the red corner... Simon 'The Axe Hand' Feldeng!

    In the blue corner... Charles 'Hammer Punch' Konev!"

    Randolph, being Randolph, sizes the pair up.

    Konev's face is scarred, but most of them are the clean, straight incisions of surgery. His eyes are piercing and clearly artificial. The rest of his (visible, at least) augmentations are confined to his arms and upper torso. They've seen a lot of use but been well maintained. One fist is more imposing than the other, obviously his favoured hand- a rugged gauntlet that would be more at home as part of a suit of Ancient full-plate.

    Feldeng's face is in better nick. His body... not so much. Not a single patch of his shirtless torso has avoided a brush with a biotechnician; rivets and screws and plates and valves and various other nodules and protrusions cover his skin. It's like his very flesh is studded leather. His hands are outsized and haggard, discoloured skin with broad metal seams on the underside- it's easy to imagine them descending like chisels or, being titular, an axe.

    Konev is tall, but Feldeng is taller- if not quite as bulky. Randolph (and Charles, though the conman doesn't know it) takes one look at Feldeng and determines that at least half of the gizmos sticking out of his hide serve no actual purpose. They're aesthetic, to cater to the crowds that want weird-looking exotic cyborgs... and to intimidate opponents that didn't know any better.

    "No grappling," said the short, elderly referee. "No throws, no ground and pound, no ranged weapons, no ionics, no EMP, no harmonic edged weapons.

    You can put each other on the repair table, but any deaths and we'll hand your ass over to the Vigilance Movement and you won't see a single credit."

    In the stands, hundreds of people watched the proceedings eagerly- people of all statuses and wealths. It seemed the cyborg bout, illegal or not, truly was a popular exhibition for the Maladrians.

    Randolph suspected the illegality wasn't an issue pursued in the courts very often. Hell, Korpec wasn't the only Councillor here by a long shot. In fact if Randolph didn't know better he'd have sworn he'd seen a Domarian Enforcer a few minutes ago.

    "Feldeng looks like a real monster," said Senior Councillor Korpec, deigning to actually face the ring instead of ogling the waitresses. He pressed a button on his armrest, and with that he bets 5,000 credits on the monster. He drains his overpriced drink and asks for a refill.

    "Keep it clean."

    The ref backs out of the ring and the bell sounds. Feldeng immediately steps forward and makes a cautious- but powerful- left jab.
    Spoiler:

    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    "Well you showed up at quite an opportune time, didn't you? Interesting that you chose not to bring any reinforcements," as Stephen speaks he attempts to erase the database on the Asperia network and make it look like it was some sort of automatic fail-safe. The most sensitive information he stores in his own personal datastore, the rest he uploads well-encrypted to the rather significant bit of storage that had been allocated for his personal use on the Duality servers. He isn't sure exactly how Duality would want them to handle the sensitive data, that's Dustin's job, but he's at least fairly confident he'd rather that the High Council had to ask them for it first.

    "I am Dr. Stephen Dawker, you may have heard of me. My injured friend here is my corporate escort, Dustin Marvough. We were here to conduct an impromptu investigation on behalf of the Duality Corporation. This isn't exactly what we had in mind," Stephen moves to go address Dustin's wounds as he speaks. "The High Council will be as delighted to learn what has been going on under their noses as we have, I'm sure."

    "And by the way, there's another group heading this way. One of them is a Vigilante."
    Spoiler:

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Stephen, Dustin

    Stephen handles the upload so cleanly and covertly that he'd be surprised if even Duality's network admins would notice it until later.

    And then, with far less finesse but just as much success, he sees to Dustin's glancing wound. He does the job, but it's in the manner of a grumpy construction worker rather than an artisan.

    Edcrab on
    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    The disruptor and microwave guns floating in the air before him, Rel makes note of their prototypical nature

    Well this must be what all the fuss is about.
    "Well you showed up at quite an opportune time, didn't you? Interesting that you chose not to bring any reinforcements,"

    "I am Dr. Stephen Dawker, you may have heard of me. My injured friend here is my corporate escort, Dustin Marvough. We were here to conduct an impromptu investigation on behalf of the Duality Corporation. This isn't exactly what we had in mind," Stephen moves to go address Dustin's wounds as he speaks. "The High Council will be as delighted to learn what has been going on under their noses as we have, I'm sure."

    "And by the way, there's another group heading this way. One of them is a Vigilante."

    "A pleasure to meet you both. Dawker... neuroscientist, right? I believe I've read some of your work, I have an interest in mental implants myself, despite the typical illegality of psi-enhancing wetware.

    "And well, I'd love to quip something along the lines of "one crisis, one councilor" but things are a little more complicated than you may think,

    "Officially? This is a High Council raid weeks in the making and meticulously planned, a joint effort with the Duality Corporation and supported by the full cooperation of the local Police Department. There will be press conferences where a Lord Councillor, Dualist Executive and Maladrian Police Commissioner make speeches patting each other on the back behind a table laden with confiscated weapons, and each man will be elevated for his fine work here. Especially considering the experimental data and prototypes from the labs above quietly secreted away by the CSI teams.

    "Or, more accurately, it will be that when my e-Secretary submits my after action report and the bureaucracy races to make it so, creating appropriately timestamped, signed and sealed documentation out of thin air.

    "Because, honestly? I'm on this world nominally investigating a chauffeur who wrecked one of his employer's trophy cars in an illegal street race. The employer has a little clout, the chauffeur is now (sigh) a Renegade and I could not care less about the matter. While "investigating" the fine dining scene my liaison from the local investigative service piqued my interest with stories regarding Asperia. Unexplained disappearances, unusual deliveries, ties to criminal elements, etc; they know there's something sinister in this arcology, but lack the political will or physical resources to do anything about it.

    "Earlier tonight I was just observing the minds coming and going, to maybe find someone to tail or question. You two were coincidentally entering at the time, two minds set to purpose, one obviously bright and the other harder than a coffin nail. An investigator and an enforcer, just as I thought. Clearly someone had the will and the means to do something about Asperia, I saw it as an excellent opportunity to go in as well and here we are."

    Rel explains the situation at length while making an inspection of the command center, when speaking about the frivolous use of the Renegade brand for personal whims, you don't need to be an empath to feel the contempt radiating off of him.

    "And considering you obviously have control of their computer system, as long as they don't cut the power it shouldn't be too hard to take another wave with these monstrous turrets alone. Can you manipulate the rest of the security system? They have some neat tricks, the elevator I commandeered blew itself up, for example."

    Absentmindedly noticing he had the prototype guns still orbiting him,

    "Oh, and does anyone want one of these? Or perhaps some fine Duality grenades?"
    Spoiler:

    Lanlaorn on
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    "Ah, so it was you that I picked up on my MediStat trying to psionically scan us as we entered. Well the High Council isn't particularly well known for keeping their minds to themselves, are they?" Stephen hastily finishes dressing Dustin's wound and then moves back towards the console to access the Asperia mainframe. "You have no idea how difficult it was to do confidential research for a bunch of psychics; back when I worked with the High Council, of course."

    Stephen had spent a good deal of his early career researching psionic abilities on contract with the High Council. His research started out innocent enough; in-depth investigation of the origins of psionic powers. As he progressed, however, he also obtained increasingly more interesting assignments. Psionic enhancement through technological and genetic means, psionic networks that crossed vast distances, various manners of interlinking up to thousands of minds, even research into how to induce psionic abilities in those who don't express them. All of his research was purely hypothetical and academic, of course; Stephen was never asked to implement any of these concepts and all of his experiments were purely within universal ethical standards (even if they did often touch the boundary). The details of his leaving the High Council's employ were complicated; unbeknownst to Stephen an illegal facility was discovered attempting (unsuccessfully) to produce devices according to Stephen's specifications. While no connection to the High Council or Stephen himself was ever discovered, everyone involved agreed that it was ideal for them to go their separate ways and wash their hands of the incident.

    "To tell the truth I was just hoping to audit Asperia's data and find evidence of them wasting their funds. This-" Stephen gestures at the piles of charred corpses "isn't the sort of task they send a scientist to do."

    "I didn't suppose that there was going to be any way for this to end in a discrete manner. Well, if Duality can't save themselves from looking like fools from the misappropriation of their funds then at the very least they can take credit for being the ones to figure it out." As Stephen speaks he reviews the map from the database and looks for any other security systems or strategic advantages they could exploit.
    Spoiler:

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Stephen

    Stephen was in the process of scanning the network when the camera feeds erupt into static and strange signals dance across his MediStat's screen. Someone else is trying to hack the network, trying to hijack the turrets... Stephen takes action and blocks them, but he knows they'll keep at it.
    Spoiler:

    Edcrab on
    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    "I didn't suppose that there was going to be any way for this to end in a discrete manner. Well, if Duality can't save themselves from looking like fools from the misappropriation of their funds then at the very least they can take credit for being the ones to figure it out."

    "I'd be fine with keeping this discrete personally, but after the body count racked up here it probably isn't feasible. I imagine the Arcology above is going into full red alert; if we fail here expect the newscasts to mention a "terrorist incident" and nothing more, heh. That many people talking needs some kind of response and honestly council, corp and civilian would all probably want to make this into a message. Maladria is a council controlled, multicorporate haven and Asperia Solutions just disturbed the apple cart."

    Seeing Stephen manipulating his medi-stat Rel inquires,

    "By the way, are you two running any kind of tacnet or comm channel? I'd love to join in for the secure communication, sensor feeds and what not."

    Lanlaorn on
  • ZandraconZandracon Registered User regular
    Charles grunts as Feldeng's jab impacts, and he shifts his stance from waving at the audience to a more combat oriented facing. He then proceeds to attempt to punch Feldeng's lights out.
    Spoiler:

  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    Words. Dustin looks at Rel but largely dismisses what he says having already made an assessment of him long ago. Or at least most of it. A coffin nail? How insulting. His stream of thought returns to the task at hand. Killing the next group of enemies and securing a way out of here. Finally, he speaks.

    "How many more do you see coming?" He asks Stephen, then looks back at Rel.

    "We can talk more later. Perhaps over tea or a nice wine, ne?"

    He studies the hovering weapons and plucks a grenade out of the air as if it were a ripe apple.

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    "That's fine with me, it gets pretty boring on these joke cases."

    Rel pockets the remaining two grenades, restoring the five-pack, and sets the unwanted weapons on the ground.

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    Charles

    Charles eats the jab. He knows it'll slow him down. He tries to power through it regardless, ignoring the pain and his protesting lungs.

    Feldeng steps out of the range of one swing but is caught short when Charles darts forward and adjusts his angle. Feldeng is used to being punched, but he's not used to being hurt. Any confidence at winding Charles is soon knocked out of him by a blow that would snap lesser men in half.

    "Like for like!" Says the commentator, to anyone who hasn't already muted him. "They are exchanging some real hurt!"
    Spoiler:

    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • ZandraconZandracon Registered User regular
    Anyone able to hear him would likely notice that Charles was mumbling under his breath, working out the costs of repairs to any broken equipment. Eh, should be fine, I'll just use the prize money to fix anything. While doing so he continues to casually throw punches at Feldeng.
    Spoiler:

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Charles

    Konev gives Feldeng the ol' one-two. Unfortunately the two has most of his power behind it, and after taking the one to the face Feldeng leans away from the follow-up.

    And then he leans right back in returns the favour. Charles rocks violently, as if hit by the double-tap of a pistol.

    "I bet that hurt!" The commentator announces, needlessly.
    Spoiler:

    Edcrab on
    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    "There's three, one has a disruptor, seems the leader is a Vigilante named Farris who has been working for Asperia for some time now," Stephen runs his fingers furiously over the screen of his MediStat. "We have another problem, though, they don't like me controlling their security systems. Someone's trying to get their turrets back."

    Stephen moves quickly to replace the firewalls covering the security system access with his own, meanwhile obfuscating the pathways he used to break into the system. As he does this he tries to identify the point of access being used by the hacker and return the favor.

    As he works he monitors the actions of the intruder carefully, attempting to identify any sign that the hacking is being done through a mental implant or by an artificial intelligence. The internal architecture of neuronal-emulating systems generate some predictable behaviors that Stephen knows how to exploit.

    When the attack relents for a moment, Stephen quickly sets up a 'GUEST' member on Stephen and Dustin's less clandestine and more restrictive secondary network, then offers up a secure wireless node for Rel to connect to. When Rel connects Stephen notes the model of his computer, "Minimally-Invasive, how quaint."
    Spoiler:

  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    "Keh, trigger the self destruct on the turrets or turn them on each other?" Dustin looks at Stephen and shakes his head as if Stephen wasn't already familiar with Dustin's scorched earth policy.

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    Testing the comm channel, Rel messages in reply,

    "Yea, they literally got the design out of a museum for me, the CPU itself is modern though."

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Dustin, Stephen, Rel

    The attacks are repetitive and predictable. Stephen realises that the "hacker" is actually an automated routine; not a true AI, and certainly not Asperia's own mainframe, but some kind of interloper. He hazards a guess that one of the new arrivals hooked up an infiltration device to an upstairs terminal.

    Enough to bamboozle a civilian network but little more than a nuisance to a professional. It's strange how Stephen's experience with implants, and artificial simulacrums of human neural nets, has lent itself to countering simpler technology.

    The unit is desperately trying to eavesdrop on the group's vox connection, but it's failing to break through. The fact that it's tentatively relaying data to one of the approaching operatives– the one in the armour is Stephen's guess– betrays that they were expecting it to do its job far faster.

    "This is officer Ringer Farris of the Vigilance Movement," a voice suddenly cries out from the corridor, hidden behind the wall. "You have broken into a private facility and assaulted the security detail. If you do not immediately surrender, we are authorised to use extreme force."

    The downed mech continues to quietly sizzle to itself.
    Spoiler:

    Edcrab on
    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    "I didn't spend all that effort breaking into their security system just to make them self-destruct!" Stephen replies annoyed. Again he tries to defend the system while attacking the hacking device.

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    Stephen

    The device is on the run. So to speak. Insofar as an immobile box tied to a control panel can be on the retreat. Stephen knows how these things work; if its program deems failure to be the most likely outcome as things stand, it'll throw caution to the wind and sacrifice its own integrity in order to overcome the hostile network.
    Spoiler:

    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Over the comm network, Rel asks,

    -- "Can you make out what weapons they're carrying from the security feeds? Besides the disruptor, anything else unorthodox or exotic?"

    And speaking of exotic weaponry...

    Rel thinks to himself, as he goes through his routine of adjusting his gloves and preparing the lashknife. Letting his mind wander outside his skull, he tries to get a sense of the enemy, and relays what he discovers to the others by means of the tacnet;

    -- "Mental contact, sending positioning and superficial psionic data."

    Crouched behind cover and ready, Rel establishes a psi shield and decides to see if he can rattle the Vigilante, if for nothing else than to kill time until their inevitable attack. He calls out,

    "Who are you trying to fool Farris, us or yourself? The Dualists went through the database, your past with Asperia is all in there. You know corps, more accountants than anything else, always keeping the receipts.

    Tell you what though, join us and arrest those other two you're with, you can probably sell an infiltration story, everyone knows about the Vigil's integrity. I mean, you're on Maladria, if a High Councilor and two Dualists say it's so, who's to argue?"
    Spoiler:

    Lanlaorn on
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Rel, Dustin, Stephen

    Rel lets his psi creep outward. The potentially-hostile trio are bunched closed together, about five feet away from the mouth of the entrance. They obviously understand the threat posed by the turrets.

    The armoured man appears to be a low-grade cyborg, mostly mental and optical implants for assisting in the use of his weapons, whatever they might be. The woman with a disruptor is a telepath. She was trying to mask this fact, but Rel knew what signs to look for.

    Even as he telecasts this information to the Dualists, Rel realises that his fellow psionor most likely noticed his jaunt into her group's surface thoughts. She's likely informing her boss right now.

    "James here is my brother," Farris says levelly, "and Itrea and I are very close. Selling them out does not appeal."

    Regardless, Rel's suggestion struck a chord. Just not a particularly pleasant one.

    "If any deals are struck it would have to include them. But the thing is... if you're all dead, and there's no footage to be found, who's going to be around to question any story we tell?"
    Spoiler:

    Edcrab on
    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Stephen focuses on the task at hand, ideally to have the hacking device crippled before the fighting starts. He decides to try to split himself between attack and defense again, hoping that the device will over-extend itself and then he can finish it off in one fell swoop.

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    Stephen

    There is an audible curse from around the corner as Stephen defeats the device- or more accurately lets it defeat itself.
    Spoiler:

    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    "Keh. Another psionor, ne? She doesn't seem that interesting either." Dustin says out loud. He looks down at the crumpled corpses of the men he'd just slain, projecting a sense of empathy and pity toward the fallen. The burn patterns of his laser beams, the tight spread that he'd applied to the turret fire, all the little details that made him an artisan of death.

    "Ne, what you make surely isn't worth throwing away your lives over?"
    Spoiler:

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    As Dustin responds to the Vigilante's taunt, Rel considers their position. Over the comm channel he says,

    -- "If we can't talk them down, we may want to escalate the situation. They're probably waiting for something to even the odds and I'm sure we don't want to find out what that is. I should be able to force them out from their cover. Thoughts?"

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    Dustin, Rel, Stephen

    "You're delusional if you think we'd go down so easily. If anything we should be offering you a way out! The Vigil is sending us backup, and who do you think they're going to listen to? You'll have a killer cyborg trying to tear you a new one."
    Spoiler:

    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Stephen hears the corrupt vigilante's threats and decides its worth it to look into his claims of backup as he begins searching for relevant files from his download. Cross-referencing is just good science.

Sign In or Register to comment.