Making of an Eliminator
- 1 Pre-Game
- 2 Annoying the Giamons
- 2.1 Game Night 2010-09-09 - Fighting Trainees
- 2.2 Plot Infliction 1 - Time to repair
- 2.3 Game Night 2010-09-17 - Discovered 'Swipe Stuff'
- 2.4 Plot Infliction 2 - Newly Professional
- 2.5 Game Night 2010-09-09 - Fighting With A Buddy
- 2.6 Plot Infliction 3 - Kvankii's suck
- 2.7 Game Night 2010-09-30 - Train... Train... Train...
- 2.8 Plot Infliction 4 - Speculating
- 2.9 Game Night 2010-10-07 - Sonic Rifles Hurt
- 2.10 Plot Infliction 5 - They call me 'Bruce'
- 2.11 Game Night 2010-10-14 - Tough fight and a slaughter
- 2.12 Plot Infliction 6 - Giamon's starting to get pissed off
- 2.13 Game Night 2010-10-21 - Even the younglings were killed
- 2.14 Plot Infliction 7 - Two shooters and a sapper
- 2.15 Game Night 2010-10-29 - Bada bing, bada BOOOOM
- 2.16 Plot Infliction 8 - Homecoming
The planet Sarin is actually a moon around a gas giant in the star system Delta Herculis. It is well within the Giamon Empire and is largely a Dynomer producer and ship building facility. The system has an enormous asteroid belt that seems to be an inexhaustible supply of raw materials.
Before the merging with the Giamon empire, Sarin also has a fairly large robot building industry, but since the Giamon Empire appointed a governor to Sarin, the robotics division has been scrapped. It seems the governor retained some of his Trupepol roots.
This has also increased tension between the government forces and the large Kvankii-Lood influence on the planet.
You are a freshly created robot. While not having any behaviour protocols, you do have a mission - annoy the Giamons. The goal is to disrupt their operations as much as possible. You don't know who your creator is or who gave you the mission.
Whoever created you was a 5th stage physicist, so you have 35 points for the custom being generator. However, 8 of those points must be used to make your stages require only 8 skill per stage.
Your creator also had a stage of Artist - Robotics. This means that you automatically have the coolness factor without expending any points. If you do devote a point to coolness, you will be ũbercool. This has the benefit of always winning initiative if your opponent has a stage of technician or physicist (and low will power) as they gape at your coolness.
You will start with 16 skill - two imprinted occupations, one combat and one non combat. Both are maximum bonuses and stamina.
Whoa. I didn't realize that two maxed stages would be so scary.
Ya, not bad for a green dude.
You have a 1D laser pistol, tool kit (1D), and 10 patches.
Your consciousness begins in a 10 meter by 10 meter room with a circular table in the middle surrounded by 8 chairs. It seems you were deposited on the table with a delayed activation timer. There is no-one else in the room, but you can hear beyond the single door that there are a large number of people beyond. From the loud music, various snipits of conversation, and occasional sound of weapons fire, you'd guess you're in a typical bar. Looking around the room you're in, you spot a cracked mirror allowing you to look at yourself. While the craftsmanship is obviously top notch, it is apparent that you were made almost completely from other recycled robots.
You do a quick inventory of your meager possesions and a diagnostic of your systems. To your untechnical, but highly aware eye, you can tell that your gear is second hand, with various scuffs and scratches. Even more interesting, you find that you have two internal communicators, instead of the expected one. One of them seems to have an auxillary link tied into your tactical scanner and is currently active.
First instinct: I hide.
I query my internal systems to see what degree of control and access I have for that second comm. I doubt that it's working via tightbeam, so I determine if it's transmitting broadband EM or etheric. Hopefully the mode of the communicator is beyond my ken, and is some specialized non-standard comm - something that doesn't give away my location to everybody. Also important is to find out is if I can deactivate the second comm... without doing anything drastic. And, I'm extremely curious if I can send/receive via the second communicator: "Hello? Who's there?"
And, just to cover my bases, I deploy my gigantic robotic bunny ears and do a locate. I'm interested if I can remotely parse what's going on in the next room with more specificity.
The second communicators is tight-beaming to a communication node on the wall by the door. As far as you can tell, you have complete control and can turn it off at any time.
A voice responds: "Hello. My name is Shenandoah, Shen for short. I've been assigned as one of your trainers. As long as you stay on the planet, I can stay connected, finding nodes to tight-beam to if possible and using other means if necessary. I have access to your tactical scanner, so I can see all that you see. My job is to ensure that stages earned end up as good as your imprinted ones. As long as we don't encounter too much jamming in your exploits, this shouldn't be difficult."
"While most green combatants have some leeway when earning skill in terms of what occupation they choose to earn at the end of a stage, I must ask that you decide now what you want to go up in next. This way I will know if I will be your trainer or if I need to find someone else."
"Hello Shenandoah. You wouldn't, by chance, be a third-stage assassin, would you?"
I sneak to the doorway, and try again to get more of a sense of the details of what is transpiring beyond with my quivering ear-like antennae.
Immediately beyond the door, you can hear the sounds of glasses clinking and liquid pouring, so you think you are near a serving station of some sort. You can overhear a couple of conversations - one involving scheduling of some sort and another talking about a recent fight they were in - bragging about a nasty head shot on a robot with a sonic rifle. The people discussing scheduling are the closest to the door - a group of 3, while the braggart seems to be among a group of 4. Make that 5, as a voice you hadn't heard yet let's out a Groten sized beltch.
Shenandoah pauses. "No, but one is available. Do you plan on pursuing assassination skills?"
What sort of door is there, and how complicated and potentially noisy is the opening mechanism?
Shenandoah: "Assassination primarily, perhaps augmented with weapon specialist for general effectiveness."
The door is simple. There's a door, hinges, a doorknob, and a button for engaging the deadbolt. It swings inward into the room. You doubt it will make significant noise, especially compared to the noise out in the bar.
Someone else comes on the comm: "Well, well, well... It seems I have the dubious honour of teaching someone today. I'm - HOLY SHIT you're small. Wow. I've see Groten turds bigger than you. Ha. This should be interesting. Anyway, like I was saying. I'm an Assassin. I'll be able to train you in your three stages of Assassin if that's what you intend to do. That is, unless you die. Which seems likely."
"Though, I guess, one advantage of being small is that fewer people are going to bother trying to take you down for recycling. A lot of the bigger robots have that problem."
"You can call me Ares. Now let's go do some kill'n!"
You notice a slight hint of an accent when he talks - different from Shenandoah and different from what your speech patterns are set up for.
Time to sneak out and hide in a vantage point for determining who I might want to single out and kill. SNEAK SNEAK SNEAK!
Ares: "I might be small, but I have the innate sense that I would be surprisingly hard to kill. Which, ironically, is what I think I'll have to rely on heavily for a while. What should I be looking for in a victim? Besides being a Gaimon, I mean."
Knowing nothing about dialects or anything at all, really, I don't even bother pursuing a line of questioning about Ares' origin. However, I do start trying to mimic his accent when I talk with him. Annoying bunny see, bunny annoyingly do.
Ares: "My job is to instruct you on technique when you do attack, not decide who you should have a gripe against. And well, since I'm decidedly not green, you probably don't want my advice on who to attack. I'd likely suggest someone more than you can handle. As for it being Gaimon or not, I personally don't give a fuck. I'd actually like you to die off rather quickly so I can get back to my knitting."
Your small size and high awareness allows you to exit the meeting room mostly unobserved. A bartender did notice you, but aside from a quizical look says nothing. You ascend to a vantage point over this section of the bar. It seems that about 30-40% of people in this section of the bar are uniformed. The uniformed people seem to be in groups of 3 to 4 on average, while the rest of the population varies from single beings to small groups.
Very few robots in the room. You can count three, of about 200 beings in this section. There seems to be archways at the other end of the room that lead to different sections.
An assassin trainer who kind of hopes I'll die so that they can get back to their knitting? I think that is probably the exact right sort of instructor for Myxo.
If possible, I log into a free information net to learn more about these uniforms, and hopefully to decipher any sort of insignia.
I also tightbeam the bartender that saw me. "Say, you didn't happen to notice who put my back there, did you?"
It's not too hard to find the information. Most of the uniforms appear to be government military trainees. There's a few actual soldiers in the mix as well.
Bartender (a brawny Hylosis): "Put? I figured the only reason you were able to sneak past me was cause you were so small. Wern't you the one who rented the room?"
I scour the interwebs for anything that sets this particular bar apart from other bars. Like, say, being particularly geared towards the demographic of newbie military personnel. Or anything else, really.
It also seems prudent to look if any of the other loner-type folks might potentially be allies. Anybody looking sourly at the military personnel? And, even better, anybody cool who looks like they might be a technician?
The military acadamy a few km away is probably the reason for the high number of trainees.
A quick check for people looking sourly at the uniformed dudes doesn't reveal much. You spot three obvious technicians - two uniformed dudes sitting together working on some weaponry for a couple other dudes. One non-uniformed guy in a corner working with a tool kit on some armour.
OK. Let the killing proceed.
Annoying the Giamons
Game Night 2010-09-09 - Fighting Trainees
Figuring that the best way to annoy the Giamon trainees would be to shoot at them, Myxo set about looking for targets. She settled on two trainees near the archway to the next section. Without any preamble, the small robot started shooting. Surprise earned her an early hit and after that the combat preceded slowly. The two trainees were not as skilled, but they out numbered and out firepowered Myxo. Myxo made use of cover and her impressive awareness to enable many all agressive + dive behind cover attacks.
Eventually, one of the enemy was worn down and rendered unconscious. Myxo led the other one out of the room and then snuck back in to claim a trophy weapon. The other returned and now with larger firepower Myxo was able to prevail much quicker. A group of three other trainees acknowledged that Myxo won the fight, but then told her to go away, which he did, to lick her wounds. She convinced a couple of technicians to fix her up just so they could work on her ubercool body.
Some sort of shift change happened and most of the trainees left. Myxo went back and found the same group of three and eventually shot at them too. The battle was long... so long in fact that both sides eventually got bored and called it a draw.
Nord, a recent graduate, learned of a small annoying robot through keeping an eye on a grudge bounty system the acadamy had. Seems the small robot was worth 10 credits to take out, so he figured he'd go earn a couple patches. He went to one of the bars on the outskirts of the training facility and looked for the robot. Though somewhat hidden, the Zygroten spotted the small robot and battle ensued. Nord had to take a few hits just to be able to land shots on the wildly ducking robot and eventually decided that he wasn't going to waste any patches keeping up the fight. He attempted to put a couple of mentalist marks on him, but they were scrubbed. He left, went back to the training facility and took a nap in the medical cabinet.
Myxo felt smug.
- Body count: 0
- Skill earned: 3
- Annoyance factor: Minimal
Plot Infliction 1 - Time to repair
Shortly after the last fight, a new group of trainees enters the bar and heads to that back section. They look mostly similar to the last group, except that there isn't anyone with twin pistols. They only have rifles.
The obvious thing for Myxo to do is to sneak out of this bar, and find... a technician's bar. So that she can convince dorks to fix her for free.
Then to return to the original bar - whatever it's called - and resume training.
I'd like to find and log onto this grudge bounty system, but Myxo doesn't know about it - strictly speaking. Too green to even have the concept occur just yet. Though probably just clever enough to know better than to make any connection whatsoever with any local robot mafia - the whole purpose for Myxo's isolated existence is probably to insulate the Lood from casual mentalist derivations.
Sneaking out of this bar isn't a problem... however you can't find any bars in the area that are advertised as a 'technician's bar'. However, most bars will likely have an assortment of techies you can try to convince.
Let's start at a space port bar, if possible. Ships are bound to have swarms of techies looking for some time off and brewskies. Working on an übercool robot has got to be a welcome diversion from tending loader bots on a freighter.
The nearest spaceport is just over an hour away by public transit, so you can do a fix enroute. You hide under someone's seat and are undisturbed.
There are a few bars in the space port, but none of them stand out from the others so you pick one at random. You pass by the bouncer and the ultra-negative-to-sneak entrance and enter the bar. Your awareness allows you to spot some scary people that, while not actually trying to hide, are hard to spot just given their base awareness. For example, there's a Kvankii over there... there's a scary looking Vega Lizard over there, etc. It's a bit unnerving.
However, there are enough green and professional people in here that you don't feel too overwhealmed, though you aren't really able to tell them apart from some of the just mearly seasoned folk.
A quick glance around allows you to spot 10 obvious technicians. Anything in particular you're looking for, or shall we let the luck dice have at 'er?
...Just wanted to shout that, even though it's probably "dice".
Alrighty then... 2D6, high is good, low is bad. Dice say... 7 for the first guy... well that's boring. You approach a likely technician and while motivated to work for you, he can't bring himself to work for free, so you move on.
Technician #2 - 6 - same thing.
Technician #3 - 8 - getting redundant
Technician #4 - 10 - success! You approach a Trolian Trop who is customizing a weapon and when he sees you, you think his eyes are going to fall out of his eyestalks. After some minor arm twisting, you convince him to fix you up. He pulls out a tool pack and works on you for a couple of hours, bringing you up to full.
Just out of curiosity, what's the general population like - at least between the bar and the spaceport.
Let's see... a variety of species. Most everyone is armed in some way. Occassionally you see non combatants, but they are always escorted by combatants, usually in Giamon military uniforms. They're probably scientists, administrators, etc.
Game Night 2010-09-17 - Discovered 'Swipe Stuff'
Back at the bar, Myxo discovered shock shooter trainees instead of shock trooper trainees. The first group of three who were fought were all brought down, but Myxo was content with taking their stuff and left them to be recovered.
She went back to the spaceport bar to be fixed, except this time luck was not with her. A technician who seemed nice tampered her unconscious, fixed her up, and sold her to a rather stupid Groten as a patch robot. Myxo swiped the Groten's medical supplies to trade in for new gear.
Heading back to the training area, she prowled for single combatants. None were found, but she did discover a trio where only one was armed. A long battle ensued, with the two unarmed trainees attempting to help by patching the third or by occassionally trying to kick Myxo. Myxo was able to stealthly steal some of their med kits during pauses in the combat and eventually, the three ran off.
This time, Myxo decided that healing herself would be the more prudent choice.
Some hours passed.
Nord the Zygroten used a bit of prescience to learn the general location of Myxo, meditated his points back so he could get perma-mark and then went out looking for her. Unfortunately, his sneaking ability was woefully inadequate and Myxo saw him coming. Myxo snuck right up to him, swiped his med kit and patches and then attempted to tamper one of Nord's heavy blasters. She was successful, though it alerted Nord to her presence.
Battle ensued and at the first possible moment, Myxo gave him a mortal wound. With no patches, this put Nord in a precarious situation. He first attempted to flee, but the area they were in involved moving cover to cover for too long before he could escape. During this time, Myxo landed another head shot and gave him another mortal wound ruining any chance of him making to an equipment store before bleeding out.
He managed to convince an onlooker to trade his tampered weapon for a patch and managed to keep himself from dying. Myxo negotiated a cease fire where Myxo would be left alone to heal and warned the next time Nord went hunting for her while Nord got his medical equipment back. Nord sulked off contemplating a stage of scout.
Myxo healing was interrupted once by a dumb Vega-Lizard who mistook him for a patch robot. Myxo attempted to swipe his med pack, but by fluke the hulking Reptiloid stopped him. They fought and Myxo was able to drive him off.
The last fight earned him the final skill for his third stage. Ares is somewhat confused that someone would earn a stage of assassin without actually killing anyone.
- Body count: 0
- Skill earned: 4
- Annoyance factor: Minimal
Plot Infliction 2 - Newly Professional
Wandering along near the bar, you notice a 1D laser pistol that someone has very inexpertly hidden by a food dispenser.
Ares also mutters "Now that you're professional..." and you find you have access to the training facilities local network through his comm (read only access).
The term "very inexpertly" might be skewed from Myxo's perception, but nevertheless I do a locate to see who's watching the bait. If an opportunity presents itself, I might sneak over and re-hide the pistol.
Woo - access to the Giamon training LAN. I immediately look up my grudge bounty to see what's listed in terms of information.
"Come on, Ares, you have to admit that was some pretty funny cunning shit - even if I do still suck at combat."
Your locate reveals a whole lot of nothing. Nobody seems to be watching the pistol. At the moment, you're about 30 meters away from it. You guess someone would have to roll a 15 to spot it.
Your grudge bounty contains a few images of you, mention of the bar you were hanging out on, and an amount of 20 credits. Looks like an instructor tagged it with "Suggested target for high awareness trainees or recent graduates looking to earn scouting skills. Recommend arming with sonic weaponry."
Ares snickers, but says nothing else.
Well, if there seems to be nobody observing, Myxo is going to re-hide the pistol to be hidden with something more like 25-30. Mostly to be annoying, but also to possibly have a reserve weapon for the next time I'm weaponless. I'd have to somewhat desperate, though, as my innate paranoia tells me that this is a marked item.
Note to self: be on the watch for uniformed dweebs with sonic weapons.
You approach the weapon and as you reach out to grab it you are hailed - tight beam, from a relay pin communicator accross the street.
"Please leave it there. I'd like to see if my trap actually works." He includes coordinates in the message, and following them, you see 10 2D Lasers, bundled and griped to a nearby wall pointed directly at you. They are hidden extrememly well - you'd guess at about a 30.
Myxo steps out of the line of fire and gives a respectful bow. "Apologies, Stealth Master. What would you be hoping to catch with your trap? Aside from annoying mechanical rabbits, I mean."
Ares: "Were you snickering because of my awesome pwning of that mentalist, or because you could tell I was about to run afoul of a trap?"
Ares: "I was snickering about the mentalist. I wouldn't dream of giving you advanced warning about a trap."
There's a significant pause from the communicator. Then you catch a glimpse of someone sneaking out into the open for a moment, pausing, and then sneaking back to his hiding spot. He gave you a quick nod while he was out. The communicator then says: "It looks like we have something in common."
He was a robot, humanoid, about 100 kg. In the glimpse you had, he appeared to be made almost entirely of recycled robots.
And he was übercool
Brother! I give an even more respectful bow, and flash my comm ID tightbeam to the comm pin. "I'm just starting training as an assassin, in case you ever might need some discrete backup." To make sure I don't attract any undue attention to the trap/setting, I hide in line of sight of the comm pin.
Ares: "You're just jealous because I'm cooler than you are."
"Assassin... so you have someone training you too? That's interesting. Have you managed to get any information out of your trainers? Mine have been pretty tight lipped about where I came from. So, by 'just started', does that mean you've been fairly recently activated? Where did they drop you off?"
He pauses for a second. "Sorry for the flury of questions. It never occurred to me there would be others. My name's Torres."
You get a comm number in return.
"I have specifically avoided asking my trainers any origin-type questions. Judging from my construction and the disassociated manner of my activation it seemed pretty clear that they don't want to be back-traced from us by the Giamons. Though I have to admit to being very curious about who made us. So, Torres, what are you trained as?"
Please say technician. Please say technician. Please say technician.
Also, I need to remember to get myself a supply of pin communicators.
"Well, when I was activated I had a stage of scout and a stage of technician. Since then I've managed to get another stage of scout and pretty close to getting my third. Let me tell you, max stages of scout kick ass! I'm like a freak'n ghost."
Humina humina humina.
"Torres, my fine übercool brother, I would like to cordially suggest that we team up. This would obviously benefit me more than you, because I am more in need of a technician than you are of an assassin. However, I think that our teaming up would be ultimately more affective than working independently. Because, if we succeed in being extremely annoying to the Giamons, they're going to send mentalists after us capable of tracking and locating us despite our stealth. And, at that point, an assassin might be rather handy indeed."
"Also, since we're both übercool, working together would be twice as übercool. We could call our team Ü2."
"As an aside, after you succeed in getting your third (!!!) stage of scout, what do you think you might work on next? I might suggest... munitionist."
"A combatant partner would be handy... to be honest, I haven't had many fights. Mostly I've been sneaking around and stealing stuff. Oh, and way ahead of you. I've already mentioned to my trainer about going up in munitionist and she's said she can train me in that too."
"This trap is my first attempt at actually taking someone out. Want to stick around in case whoever sets it off isn't completely taken down? Or if they've got friends?"
"Excellent! Yeah, let's stick around and see what your little set up can snare. The tricky bit will be if there's more than one in the troupe that tries for the bait. We'll have to play it by ear."
"As a general tactic we can probably avoid having anybody know you even exist. I typically run from cover to cover during combat, so if we coordinate what cover you're hiding behind it'll just appear as though patches appear on me. What would be especially handy is if you have a force beam, that way all we need is line of sight instead of having you actually present at where I dive for cover.
"Say, how fast are you?"
Ares: "Do you have any problems with my teaming up with another übercool robot?"
"Ha, I've been stealing and selling stuff for the past week. I've got a force beam. Not a lot of gear I don't have. Let's see, me gots average strength and speed, plus acrobatic agility. Y'know, I've poked around the training facility a bit. All of the ways in are guarded in areas that are quick difficult to sneak. I wouldn't have been able to force my way in myself, but with the two of us, we might pull it off. Once we're in there, we could sneak around and cause quite a bit of annoyance."
Ares: "I don't give a flying flatulent fuck who you choose for playmates. I'm here to train you, nothing else. Now hurry up and get yourself killed. I just had an idea for a sweater I could knit."
"Right. We should get you some move boots. Hell, I'd like some move boots myself, but it would be best if you can keep up with the shifting tide of battle while sneaking."
"Hmmm... I'm not sure that we're quite ready for penetrating the training facility just yet. I mean: I think we could do it, but I think we'd be mostly just moderately annoying, and then they would be on guard against future incursions. It seems to me that it would be a better target to save for after you've achieved a stage of munitionist... if you get my meaning. Making repeat incursions somewhat unnecessary. And, consequently, having some major bounties targeting us, proving for an endless supply of training encounters."
Ares: "Flatulent? You're biological? Gross. No wonder you're not übercool."
Aside: Pandora started playing "Song 2" by Blur as I was typing this. Woo HOO! I can totally imagine Myxo making it to 3rd stage assassin and being über-annoying.
Game Night 2010-09-09 - Fighting With A Buddy
The trap was successful, though the damage wasn't as impressive as Torres hoped. The unfortunate trainee who sprung the trap was down, but not dead and two others came over to help. Myxo fought them and almost brought them down, but they fled. Backup for them was approaching, so Myxo and Tores made a discrete exit from the scene.
While they were healing, they discovered that Myxo's grudge bounty shot up to 200 credits. Seems Myxo was blamed for the trap and by proxy all the stolen weaponry that Torres has been taking. Soon Myxo heard from his old buddy Nord.
Nord brought a friend. A pitched battle was fought. The friend ended up dead and Nord again sulked off to rethink his tactics.
During the fight, Torres noted that they were being watched by a couple of robots - a hulking monster robot and a Kvankii-Lood. After the fight they were beckoned over and after a brief discussion Torres and Myxo were intimidated into handing over the bundle of laser rifles and agreed to provide 20% of all cash earned. The Kvankii's name was Angus and the giant robot was Beef.
Comparing notes, they figured out that Myxo was activated in one of the training facility bars and Torres in another. They decided to go check out one of the two other remaining bars in the area. At least after selling off some of their conquered gear, and they decidedly didn't transfer the 20% cut to Angus.
Approaching the bar, they saw a soldier with a sonic rifle hidden and waiting for them. Torres snuck over and swiped his medical kit and patches and then attempted to disable his gun. It was disabled, but not permenantely so and after a moment was able to use it to fight off the two robots. He landed an impressive head shot on Myxo almost dropping him, but was assassinated shortly after. Having no patches, he fled into the bar to attempt to find a comrade, but was quickly taken down by an oppertunistic individual with a 429.
- Body count: 1.5
- Skill earned: 3
- Annoyance factor: Noticeable.
Plot Infliction 3 - Kvankii's suck
So, hide and fix? You've got a nasty head wound to repair.
DEFINITELY hide and repair. Hide good, and repair for a good long time.
You find a good place to hide and Torres breaks open the tool pack to work on your brain.
On your third hour of fixing something... odd... happens.
Remember that laughing bag at the end of Batman that was pulled off of the Joker's dead body? Torres is busy fixing you and you are keeping watch when you both suddenly hear a demented laughing similar to that - obviously fake laughter as it repeats endlessly. Torres stopps working and you both look around to find the source of the sound.
It makes itself apparent soon after. A force beam slowly lowers a severed robotic head towards you and stops when the head is hovering at eye level. You quickly recognize the head as Beef's and it's dead eyes are staring at you while the endless laughing continues. A moment after recognizing the head as Beef's you noticed that someone has attached numerous Kvankii legs to the head, coloured them yellow and arranged them to look like the head is a deranged robotic Goldilocks.
It's wrapped in a pretty pink bow.
Ha ha ha ha... ha ha ha ha... ha ha ha ha... ha ha ha ha... ha ha ha ha...
Myxo is, of course, totally unnerved, but tries hard to maintain her cool.
To Torres, via tightbeam: "Do you see who or what might have done that?" 'That', of course, being the gruesome display of disrespect done to a couple of fairly powerful combatants. "It's a helpful thing, to have taken care of our extortionists. But there's something more being conveyed here. A powerful being looking out for us could have just done away with Angus and Beef quietly, so clearly they want us to know that they exist. And, more than that, they want us to know that they're either insane or really, really twisted."
"Which, upon reflection, might be a metaphysical message saying, 'a powerful protector exists, but you probably don't want to find it or ask it any favours directly'. Or something. Which fits quite well with the whole making us from spare parts and activating us remotely in enemy territory with no idea of what's what."
The temptation is to turn off the laughing mechanism, but instead Myxo will suggest just leaving it on and re-hiding so that it doesn't point us out. It should act as a handy warning to everybody else to fuck off.
All of this assumes that Torres (and, by assumption, Myxo) do not, in fact, see who or what might have done that.
Torres does a good hard locate... and spots nothing. The force beam generator is gripped to a side of a building overhead.
Torres is also totally unnerved. "Dude, whatever did that totally kicks our ass in awareness. We were hidden good and they found us and snuck up on us without us even getting a bad feeling..." He continues babbling.
Shortly the head stops laughing and instead says. "This head will self destruct in 10... 9... 8..."
Just in case this is a Darwinian test, here's hoping that intermediate scale cover is reachable in 7 seconds.
Easily done. It's about a 1D intermediate scale blast.
Right, Myxo sneaks onto Torres, and then we leave with as sneaky a sneak as we can sneak.
Once we're comfortably distant, we re-hide and resume fixing Myxo's gaping head wound. All the while being quite paranoid.
You're able to spend a few hours and fix up to full. Anything you want to do while you're fixing?
Three simple letters: ABP
Always Be Paranoid. ALWAYS be paranoid. Always be PARANOID.
(This makes more sense if you've seen Glengary Glen Ross.)
Basically, Myxo is quite content just doing continuous locates while being fixed. Afterwards we probably want to do some scouting around looking for other such traps...
Game Night 2010-09-30 - Train... Train... Train...
- Couple of soldiers guarding a bar. Draw
- Same soldiers after healing along with 5 trainees. Draw
- Lone hand to hand Takolee. Defeated.
- Body Count: 0
- Skill Earned: Myxo: 2, Torres: 1
- Annoyance Factor: Minimal
Plot Infliction 4 - Speculating
Torres: "I think our creator must be really anti-social. Maybe he had a troubled youth."
"Technically, I suspect that it is impossible for our creator to be anti-social - in the classic sense, anyway. An anti-social personality construct is not geared toward functioning in any group, and since our creation includes access to an array of trainers, it would appear that there is definitely a functioning group in play."
"Alternate possible scenarios that have occurred to me so far:
- The group running us is the vestige of some robot-oriented entity that lost power due to the Giamon Empire influence over the robotics industry - and this is all about
- The group running us is poised to take advantage over a focus shift afforded by an irritating up-tick in robot-related violence. This could be anything as mundane as the weapons or training operations hoping to goad the military establishment into increased spending, or as convoluted as the Giamon governor orchestrating it to help "prove" how much people really should dislike robots. Or a bunch of things in-between.
- We, ourselves, are being fattened up by the robot-building industry (now underground, I suppose) or the Kvankii-Lood as max-skilled brainees to then later be forced to donate our skills as imprints. Joy.
"Gah, I didn't think about that third option. That would suck. I figured at first we were Kvankii robots - the whole anonymous crap was to be able to interfere with Giamon operations without implicating the Kvankii. But after that whole severed head incident, I'm not so sure."
"How many trainers have you encountered so far? I've talked with two: Shenandoah and Artemis."
"So, how do we determine if we're going to be brain sucked? And if so, how do we avoid it?"
"Well, I've talked to two trainers too - but one of those was called 'Shenandoah'. It seems feasible that there is an array of trainers ready to accommodate whatever idiotic skill set one of us free-range imprint donors might attempt."
"I don't think there's any good way to avoid the brain sucking, really. Especially considering our, uh, Kvankii-killing friend. I think we might be better off negotiating access to the trainers after the brain sucking to replace our lost skill - or even to get our own stages re-implanted. Hell, maybe even see if we can get a couple extra implanted stages for our trouble. And maybe they'll give each of us a kitten with a pretty little bow."
"Realistically, considering the technical prowess employed by our creator, is there any remote possibility that there isn't some control or feature built in for preventing us from avoiding our designed fate?"
"Well, there's no control features a first stage techie with awesome awareness could find... but I have a feeling that isn't saying much."
"So, what now?"
"It's possible that our creator might have programmed in a blindness to the mechanism or code that overrides us - so we couldn't detect it regardless of our awareness. Or maybe we need to be mathematicians to understand it. Or, as you imply, maybe we're talking a whole different realm of awareness here."
"What now is I suppose we continue enjoying our skill-building mission, and maybe hope that there isn't some tap in the language centers of our brains the spews out everything we communicate to anyone to our 'trainers'. Speaking of which, how friendly is your current trainer? Mine seems to regard me as an irritant, sort of like a roommate's incontinent pet that he's forced to take care of for the weekend and really wishes he could flush down the toilet. Which sort of reinforces the sense that I'm a farmed entity that he doesn't want to become too attached to due to the inevitability of my demise. Either that or he's just a callous dick. Regardless, if I were to attempt to confront him about being a brain donor, he would have no qualms either denying anything or making shit up just to fuck with me. I'm thinking maybe we'd have more luck pumping yours for information. Although, I suppose that a high-stage scout/leader is going to be just as hard to manipulate as a high-stage assassin/leader."
"Yeah, basically we're screwed. We should just get used to it."
"Well, my trainer doesn't seem that bad. I've attempted to gleen more information from her, but she's been insistant on just training me, not revealing anything about our origins. I want to say that she seems old, but compared to us, everyone would seem old. Sometimes I wish I had more will power."
"Wonder what would happen if we stopped our mission. I don't think I really want to find out, but I am a bit curious."
"Perhaps if you just flatly asked your trainer about how many stages we can expect to be allowed to gain before we're harvested?"
"Incidentally, I can think of a way to satisfy your curiosity about what happens if we stop our mission. All we need to do is find another übercool robot like ourselves, convince them to quit their mission, and see what happens. I mean, what are the odds that we're the only two they've created and are currently running? I'm betting there might be more."
Not actually intending to get a sibling in trouble, necessarily, but I do conduct a search of the grudge bounty system for all übercool robots - particularly on ones that have manifested after Torres and myself.
No, check that. Younger siblings are only useful if we want to fuck with them, and I sort of don't. Even more useful would be an older sibling that has more skill, so that if we are farmed entities we can see what stage they get to before harvesting.
Torres: "Um, here's what my trainer said." and he feeds you a recording. "Once you and your comrades have reached 5th stage, your mission parameters will change. When you have reached that level of skill, and you feel you have no loose ends to tie up, you will be given further instructions. From your tone and use of the word 'harvested', I assume you expect something unpleasant. Assuming all goes well, you will have a choice of opportunities to persue. These opportunities will require all of your skills and sanity intact." The voice is female and has a hint of an accent.
A search of the training facility network reveals something interesting. You find a video of one of the trainees fighting a robot. It happened a few weeks before Torres said he was activated. The robot was übercool and obviously made by the same person who made you. It was shaped somewhat like a Felinid and about 3/4 the size of Torres. The battle happened in one of the two bars you haven't visited yet. The trainee won and the robot was destroyed.
That's the only indication of any other übercool robots.
Oh, and the trainee was Nord.
"Well, if I wasn't pathologically paranoid, I'd find that quite reassuring. But, since I am, in fact, pathologically paranoid, the very reassuring-ness of that explanation seems awfully convenient - like the sort of thing they'd say to keep the merely mildly-paranoid from being too worried about eventual harvesting. Luckily I'm also fairly fatalistic, so am disinclined to be too worried about it."
Nord?! Interesting. What, if any, are the significant differences in his capabilities between his victory with the other übercool robot and his tussles with moi? It's almost tempting to ask him about it. Before I do that, though, I inquire with Torres about borrowing a supply of pin communicators/sensors. Hell, perhaps we should set up an ad-hoc, triple-redundant, 30+ hidden, cookie-crumb network knitted around the four training bars so that we can totally hide our actual location.
And, what the hell, I ask Ares how far along the noble path of InstaDeath™ he's going to train me.
Looking at the video a few times, you can see that Nord was less skilled than he is now. The uniform indicated he was a 2nd stage trainee. The robot he was fighting made a good go of it, and assuming you let Torres take a look he lets you know the robot had a stage of technician (there was some patching involved). Nord landed some lucky head shots and was victorious.
Torres is able to set up your own comm network. Gives him some scouting practice. In fact, he suggests you ride on him while he goes and swipes some more stuff. He needs 1 more skill for the next stage of scout so he'd like to focus on that for a bit.
Ares: "I'm able to train you up to your third stage of Assassin."
Sounds good - I ride turret on Torres and practice acquiring on people as well as providing an unnecessary extra set of scanners.
To Ares: "Fourth stage would be sooooo much cooler..."
Ares: "After I acquired insta-acquire ability I switched to other persuits. And as scout-boy told you, after you're seasoned you'll be harvested... um, I mean your mission will change. Yes, ignore the Interrogator behind the curtain..."
Torres: "My trainer just told me to tell you to not mind Ares - he's a dick."
Torres decides to try picking on non Giamons and is able to collect a bunch of gear you guys can sell for 150 credits. He also gets his last point of skill and is 4th stage (3 scout, 1 tech). In your travels you notice the number of soldiers on the street has increased, as well as the number of robots.
Game Night 2010-10-07 - Sonic Rifles Hurt
Myxo and Torres had a couple more fights outside of bars with Giamon soldiers. At one, she convinced the soldier - Murphy, to only use one of his two sonic rifles in exchange for actually giving him a chance to fight. Otherwise, Myxo would have snuck away. During these fights, Myxo earned her second stage of Assassin.
Myxo and Torres are now both 4th stage and somewhat ahead of schedule their trainers requested they go to one of the bars. They took out the Giamon guard (again) and went inside. Once reaching the room where most of the trainees were lounging about, a 200 kg robot emerged from a back room. He was of similar construction to Myxo/Torres and he had with him Beef's two assault blasters.
"Hi! I'm here to annoy you!" he told the stunned crowd. And then he let loose with the 1Dx10 blaster at them all.
Myxo and Torres went to help, Torres patching the robot and Myxo taking care of two soldiers and a bouncer. They all eventually fled.
Plot Infliction 5 - They call me 'Bruce'
The three of you leave the vicinity of the bar and then Torres hides you both. He then starts working on Bruce.
Bruce: "That was AWESOME. Let's do it again."
You can see that Torres is quite impressed with Bruce's construction - he's muttering about his strength, speed, and agility all being sixes. From the way he was walking here, you'd guess his awareness is somewhere around 7 to 10.
And he seems as dumb as a post.
"Nice to meet you, Bruce. I'm Myxo, and that's Torres. We have the same mission as you do."
"Except we're nowhere near as stupid as you are, so you should just do what we say. OK? Good. Torres, how do you think we should employ yonder walking tower of firepower?"
Bruce: "I had a feeling they didn't make me too bright. Bah, intelligence is overrated. Who made us anyway?"
Torres: "Hell if I know. I've been keeping an eye on the Giamon network. Seems everyone has been ordered to search for us. If they find us they're to report in and not engage. Seems some heavy combatants are being sent in and they'll use reports from the trainees to converge on us."
A glint comes into his eye... "So, I'm guessing the actual training facility itself is somewhat poorly defended. Maybe we could hide Bruce outside to cover our escape and we could try to penetrate it."
"Intelligence is, in fact, not overrated, Bruce. But then neither is strength, speed, or agility. Besides, you're also über-cool. And now you've got Torres and I to be advisors."
"Torres, have you confirmed that the heavy combatants they're sending after us are indeed from the training facility? It might indeed be an opportunity, as you say, but I still think that it mostly just impedes us from attempting to penetrate it later when you're able to blow shit up. We might be better off spending this time leading the pursuit efforts in a wrong direction, and maybe ambushing the heavier combatants."
Torres: "I don't think the heavy combatants are from the training facility itself. It mentions something about some guys being dispatched from a ship in orbit. Doesn't say anything about how tough they are."
"Is there any indication of how many individuals they have on the team?"
After everybody is up to full stamina, and assuming that mentalists haven't tracked too close to us, we should check to see if the trainee bars still have their coterie of ambush soldiers. They might not want to warn us about the impending doom by changing their MO, hoping instead that we'll blithely keep attacking in the same way and reveal our location.
Of course, we might be inadvertently giving away that we have access to the Gaimon network, which might cause them to modify their encryption protocols and starve us of info. Hmmm...
Torres: "Nada, just mentions they're coming."
You're able to fix up to full, but going to check out the bars will require some sneak checks since Bruce has a significantly lower base sneak.
Ah, right, we are now less cumulatively stealthy.
Perhaps it would make more sense for our scout to go, er, scouting. What we need is a good ambush set-up that also gives us nigh-foolproof escape route. Because my paranoia sense suggests that they will be sending mathematically unbeatable forces to deal with us, if you get my meaning. And, since we're virtually certain to get marked, we'll likely want to make sure we have redundant gear that we can shed.
Hmmm... Torres could go find an ambush spot and maybe set a trap of some sort. You and Bruce could lead said mathematically unbeatable forces to the trap and hopefully it would weaken them enough so that you and Bruce could finish them off.
You'd have to figure out a suitably effective trap though. No explosives handy.
Say... what sorts of public transit are there on this rock?
Well, there's the system devoted to Giamon personel, and the system for everyone else. The system for everyone else has a reputation of being inhabited by mostly hand to hand combatants. Apparently it's more violent than the bars.
So, would these systems include buses and trains and moving sidewalks and cabs and palanquins and teleporters?
There's a network of trains. There's usually a station every 10 km or so.
Mmmmm… trains. Underground tunnels, street level, or elevated? How predictable are the trains? And where the the nearest stations with respect to our current field of operations?
A mix, but mostly street level. The schedules are available on the net. There's one station about 3 km away from the outskirts of the training facility.
The trains definitely sound like the kind of restricted setting that might work, but 3 km seems like a bit too far for group-sneak or to be split up. What would work well is if Torres could steal a POS car, then we could sneakily load Bruce into it, and then use that as a means of getting us to the train station unnoticed.
But first, perhaps some more salient information can be sieved from the network. Is it possible to get a general schematic of the trains? How fast do they travel?
I talk it over with Torres. "Luring the 'heavy combatants' onto a train would mean that we might be able to reduce their ability to summon back-up. It also might mean it could be possible to bail from the train if necessary - possibly even stealthily - and that if they follow they might then be sufficiently further away to allow us to hide/escape. If we could inspect the route carefully, we might even find local terrain that gives us access to something strategic - like, say, a hidden vehicle or a known robot ghetto or something. Additionally, with some leg work, we might even be able to tamper the train to do something unpleasant at an opportune moment. Much depends on the particulars of the trains in question. What do you think?"
Torres thinks for a moment, then both of you get a bad feeling™.
OK, what's our current setting? I'm assuming that Bruce is pretty well-hidden by Torres by cover. I'm interested in directions of approach, distance and type of cover. If it is a team closing in on us, hopefully we can spot them early and fuck with their medical gear, then I'll work on harassing them with assassinations. When the opportunity arises, Bruce can go all-aggressive from hiding with the assault weapon and leap behind cover (assuming they're sufficiently distracted by Myxo and don't spot him), then join in the fray as best he is able. Torres as fucking-with-stuff and patching backup.
Game Night 2010-10-14 - Tough fight and a slaughter
The bad feeling™ turned out to be a Yiptak and a Felinid sneaking towards them. The Felinid was riding on the Yiptak's back and they were moving quite stealthly. It didn't take long for the Yiptak to spot the group despite being well hidden and Myxo was the first to feel herself be mentalist marked.
Battle ensued and Myxo's group quickly found out the enemy was well equiped with weaponry, armour, and shields. They also moved as fast and the Yiptak had comperable stealth abilities. Bruce would have been repeatedly brought down if not for repeated patching by Torres, but despite the patchwork he was fading fast. Neither he, nor Myxo was able to inflict significant harm.
Wanting to get out of range of the hand to hand Felinid, Myxo had Bruce throw her so that she could fight at range. Bruce then ran in the same direction to try to seperate the two enemies. It worked and the Felinid was led off while the Yiptak stayed near the cover he was at and tried to blast at Bruce with his heavy blast rifle. The battle continued with both the Felinid and the Yiptak trying to take down a running Bruce while Myxo made the occasional assassination attempts.
Impatience got the best of the Felinid and he attempted an all agressive attack on Bruce - and flubbed it, thus leaving himself vunerable. He was assassinated by Myxo a moment later and never regained consciousness. The Yiptak continued the fight for a while longer, but was eventually brought down as well.
They collected their booty and went to the local weapon and equipment shop to sell it. They ran into 5 trainees and a couple soldiers and one the trainee's lucked out and spotted them. Fight fight fight. Bruce almost got pasted with a sonic rifle to the face, but Myxo was able to distract the rest from finishing him off while Torres patched them. Shortly the trainees and soldiers were all killed. The group again collected their booty and sold it all at the shop.
- Body Count: 9
- Skill Earned: Yup
- Annoyance Factor: Significant
Plot Infliction 6 - Giamon's starting to get pissed off
Note: From now on, group skill. Bruce is at 24, Torres is at 35, Myxo is at 36. The goal is to get all of you up to 40 -> 5th stage.
Shortly after the last battle, a broadband communication bathes the area. You get a visual of the Governor of Sarin - Governor Dahkceid.
"Attention citizens. Recently our training facility has had a problem with some robots attacking our personnel. In order to bring them to justice we must block off the surrounding area for a short time so that our search parties can find them before they escape. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We have also noticed a larger than normal population of robots in the area. We ask that all robots head to the perimeter and surrender to our troops there for questioning. After the questioning, you will be allowed to leave. Coordinates of the perimeter to follow. Thank you for your cooperation."
You get coordinates of a sphere surrounding the training facility - of which you are currently inside. The perimater is a couple km south of you.
Group skill? OK. Myxo is working on more assassin (duh) with 4 to go. Torres is working on munitionist with 5 to go. Bruce just completed a stage of weapon specialist (duel assault weapons?!) - what's he planning on training on next? He's got two stages to go, and I'm guessing one of them is going to be mercenary.
"Quick poll, guys: do we try to sneak out or do we stay and continue the futility?"
I suppose it would also be prudent to check with Ares. "Any Official Instructions™?"
Bruce indicates that he's going up in another stage of Weapon Specialist next.
Torres smiles: "Continue the futility of course." Bruce agrees.
Bruce: "If you guys promise to keep me patched and not leave once you're seasoned, it seems to make sense for you to finish off your stages before I start working on a brand new one."
Torres suddenly gives a WTF look. "Artemis just told me she's sending some friends to help out."
A few tense moments pass as you all do hard locates to see what's coming. None of you get anything so you relax a bit. Abruptly twenty tiny robots jump down from a ledge a couple meters away and you're pretty sure they must have been there when you all did your locates. They look like baseballs with legs. They all look up at you giants and say: "Oooooooooooooooooooooo. You're big." They sound like those aliens in toy story.
A stunned Torres says: "They're grenades."
Ares says: "I am truely shocked and awed that you're not dead yet. No Official Instructions™."
Niiiiice. Twenty sentient super-stealthy grenades definitely gives us the ability for some badass impromptu ambushes. So, any telling how fast they are? Or what their nominal yield is? "So, what are your names?"
And, really, how fucked up are they psychologically? Being a sentient explosive would be even worse than being a lawyer (but not as bad as being a politician).
Also important: I'd like to get those shields fitted on Bruce and myself. How much cashola do we have after selling off all the other stuff? And what does our patch supply look like? I also suppose we have a crap-load of fixing to do, too.
Slight misunderstanding - the grenades are not anywhere close to super-stealthy. Someone snuck up on you, placed them on that ledge, and snuck away. Torres figures they're slow and clumsy and from their size, probably 4D of damage, but he's not sure about that.
"We have no names."
"We need names."
"What should we name ourselves?"
After a brief discussion they give themselves simple Human names alphabetically, kind of like hurricanes are named. Alex, Bart, Connie, Darcy, ...
You guys find another place to hide and Torres starts working on the shield.
Selling all that gear (there was quite a bit) you got 400 credits. Torres spent half of it to get another 40 patches, bringing his total up to 55.
Bruce is at 16 of 64 stamina and he looks like a patch-work quilt.
Nord hails you.
Not super-stealthy sentient grenades - got it. Still, with Torres' help, potentially very effective. Also: our guardian angel is a scary father-mucker.
I believe that there were two shields - one for Bruce and one for Myxo. Though it's possible that Bruce's shield doesn't need any significant alterations to fit...
Torres already spent half the money? Shazbut! I would have liked to spent more on move boots. As it is, I think we should spend the remaining 200 on move boots for Bruce, because the tactical benefit of a good-ducking fast-moving steed is too good to pass up. Although, we probably need to upgrade Torres move boots in order to compensate for any increased movement capability of the group, if Myxo was to get move boots too.
To Nord via some misdirection with our ad-hoc network: "Amigo! I hear the hunt is back on. What's your part to play?"
Yes, two shields. You could buy Bruce x2 move boots for 200 credits. That would indeed be cool. You'd have to head back to the equipment store...
Nord: "I'm screwed. You're screwed too, but I'm definitely screwed. The head of the training facility is coming to get you before the Military can send in their sniper goons - some kind of pride thing going on. Apparently after reviewing all the evidence on you, he figured out that I'm a mentalist, and that didn't go over well since I didn't reveal that when I joined up. I did a bit of prescience on my own fate and it tells me I have more to fear from the government for some reason than from you. I did some searching on the net and I can't find any other troops that are obviously mentalists... which doesn't make any sense to me, but is kind of making me parinoid."
"Anyway, the point I'm eventually getting to is that I seem to have no reason to help them aside from being executed for treason." snicker "I was wondering if we could come to some arrangement where I give you advanced warning of what's coming and you help me disappear - preferably, not dead. I'm going to be the one leading them to you."
Righty-ho. No more venturing out until we're fixed and have the shields fitted. How big are those shields? THEN, first stop: 2x move boots for Bruce.
"Nord, it saddens me to hear that you are screwed in such an annoying manner. I was fancifully hoping that I'd have a contact within the upwardly-mobile echelons of the Giamon Empire after I had graduated from whatever freakshow program I'm doing. I'm not sure what we could do to help you disappear, but if you help us survive this next bout of being hunted down we'll definitely do whatever we can to help you out."
I check with Ares: "I'm on communication with the mentalist that the Training Facility dudes are probably going to be using to hunt us down in advance of the Giamon sniper teams - any way we can help him out if he helps us out?"
The shields were 40 stamina each with a duck buffer of 5.
Ares: "Well, I could make his death fairly painless..."
Nord: "Damnit. Just don't kill me when the times comes. Maybe once all this is over I can sneak off. We're all on our way to the store where you had your last fight. Commander Kaleb wanted to pick up a new gun and then I'm to follow your trail. I'll make it a slow process so if you keep moving you should be able to avoid us."
The facility network shows Commander Kaleb being a beefy Groten who's a seasoned shock trooper.
I share the tactical info with the other guys. Well, maybe not the alphabet boys.
"So, Nord, do you want us to still shoot at you - so that it's not obvious to any observers that you were complicit before the fight? Because any evidence that we let you go afterwards probably won't mean a thing; I have a proven track record of reaching agreements with you after fights. Or are you willing to shift obviously to the Annoying Side for the purposes of expediting your escape?"
How are we doing, time-wise?
Nord: "Ha! I think you'll have other targets to worry about. When the shooting starts I'm going to find cover and stay there. Did I mention that Kaleb is bringing 20 soldiers and about 100 trainees with him? That's the entire zarking senior year comin' after you."
When the conversation with Nord started, Torres was finished Bruce's shield and half way through yours. He says he'll be done in about 10 minutes. At the moment, you're about a 1/2 km from the equipment store.
Well, that's some tough odds. Again, I pass this tactical information on to the others. We'll have to come up with some very effective ambush strategy to deal with that size of force. Hit-and-fade tactics are clearly in order, augmented with explosive booby traps. But I'm not sure Bruce is up to that, unless we can turn it into a running fight and they lose cohesion as they chase us. Even better would be if we could funnel them into some sort of confined space - like the transit trains.
Have we already finished fixing?
When you say "the equipment store", you don't mean the equipment store, do you? Because that would be silly. We should ride Bruce as he sneaks to a different equipment store, so that I can do locates and Torres can fit the damn shield.
You haven't done any fixing yet.
The equipment store is the equipment store, as in the only one within the sphere that the Giamons said they blocked off. To get to another one you'll have to penetrate the perimeter.
Torres: "So, if the Commander, soldiers, and senior trainees are all coming after us, who's guarding the base?"
No fixing yet? Makes me much more OK with Torres' huge pile-O-patches. "Slap us back into fighting condition, Torres! Then Let's go see who or what is guarding that base."
We'll have to skip the move boots for now, I fear.
After patching you and Bruce up to full, Torres is down to 38 patches.
Game Night 2010-10-21 - Even the younglings were killed
En route to the facility, the Evil Group Of Robots were intercepted by a couple other robots, utilizing a hyper-aware individual who was stoned on stim patches. Myxo's attempt at building an assassination acquire was deemed a hostile act so battle began. The opposing side was made up of an X93 and a Bladieer, and EGOR quickly thought that discretion was called for, so they ran into a nearby apartment building.
They ran up a few flights of stairs and came to the conclusion that the other robots were likely following. They broke into an apartment, killed the occupant, and used four of their newly found grenades to set a trap.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?), Torres underestimated the yield of the grenades. Instead of 4D of damage, each one did 10D. When the Bladieer started hacking his way through the door, the explosion killed him, the scout, and severely wounded the X93. It also did superficial harm to the EGOR. The X93 was disabled and interrogated. Predictibly, they were sent by the Kvankii's to figure out a) what happened to Angus/Beef and b) what was going on with the Giamons and EGOR. After some ignored threats by the X93, it was tossed out a window.
EGOR then proceeded to the base, fought their way in, and killed everyone inside. Everyone. Even the 0 stage trainees who were too stupid to run for it. It was a bloody mess.
They also hid explosives in the Captains desk, and various other places in the base.
Enough skill was earned such that Torres earned his 5th stage.
Plot Infliction 7 - Two shooters and a sapper
Moving faster with our new move boots, we mean to slink back to the violated base and re-violate it. Except maybe more stealthily this time, and with twice the BOOM hidden in it.
...assuming, of course, that it hasn't already exploded.
Game Night 2010-10-29 - Bada bing, bada BOOOOM
After doing all sorts of unseemly dances and jigs wearing their nifty new move boots, the terrible trio paused in their return to the training facility upon learning that it was once again filled with capable troops. Instead, the incredibly pissed-off Groten running the facility went to hunt down the robots using just the direction-finding capabilities of Nord. And armed with an assault sonic weapon.
Scheming a scheme-y scheme, the robots contrived to use the granularity of Nord's mentalist sense against their pursuers, and found a location such that they would be lured through a narrow pinch point. At which point, Torres would hidden and make a telling tamper on the feared assault weapon. This aspect of the plan worked well enough, and its lack meant that when Myxo and Bruce engaged with the Groten and Nord they were generally able to nibble down the Groten's defenses faster than they themselves were harmed. Much dancing ensued, and the battle was grueling, but it slowly went in favour of the robots. The Groten saw this, and abruptly switched tactics: he changed to using a flail.
At first this seemed to not work very well, because it decreased his ability to check both enemy combatants and as a result took damage to his shield faster. But then the tactic bore fruit as he landed a massive blow to Bruce's head, driving him to the verge of unconsciousness. This changed things, and the robots adapted their strategy to make it so that the Groten could not risk attacking as aggressively again. Being seasoned, the Groten saw this, and first shifted strategy back to ranged weapons, but then thought better of it and fled.
Additionally, during the fight Nord was assassinated, but a mortal wound was not inflicted in accord with prior arrangements. The Groten saw this, and could have deduced the implications.
After taunting the Groten via stolen communication links, the robots settled down to fix Bruce, thinking that perhaps they might have something of a respite. They were incorrect. The Groten merely went to have his assault sonic rifle repaired, and in just a few minutes was again homing in on the robots. Armed with a fully-functional assault sonic rifle, Myxo did not think they had much chance of success, and suggested to her companions that they flee while she kept the Groten occupied for a while.
Torres, now being seasoned, had a better idea. Myxo was to keep the Groten occupied, but was to then lead the monster along a specific vector when told to do so. And so the little robotic rabbit and the gigantic hulking behemoth played a game of cat and mouse, until the behemoth found itself located conveniently next to some extremely-well-hidden explosives.
The large blast flatlined the Groten's shield, toasted his range weapons, and shattered his quintupler-boots. It left nothing at all of Nord, who was riding on his back. The Groten was left almost totally at the mercy of Myxo and Bruce. They had no mercy at all. To add insult to injury, when they heard the sounds of a vehicle approaching to render aid, they shoved a grenade in the mostly-dead Groten's mouth and let a soldier die from flying Groten brains.
From this point, things got spooky as hell.
The three were all told simultaneously to report to a particular abandoned warehouse. The exact center of the abandoned, to be specific. Creeping in with excitement and unease, they found themselves suddenly not alone. Two Tundaks appeared, as if by magic, and revealed themselves to be Ares (Myxo's trainer) and Artemis (Torres' trainer). And Ares wanted to play.
He stripped himself of shields and armour and patch robots and even weapons. Then asked the group to fight him. And when they obliged, he did so at first whilst spending no dice. It was full-on intimidating. Myxo asked Torres to help her verify where Ares' vitals were, and after many, many, many attempts actually managed to land an assassinating hit. In that brief instant that the Tundak was defenseless, Myxo was a twit and dared Bruce to shoot it - which he of course then attempted to do. Artemis intervened in a very creepifying manner: she merely placed herself in the way and absorbed all the damage with her shield. Actually catching the brunt of the beam in the palm of her robotic hand, in fact.
From that point on Ares was using dice, but kept fighting. Even at negative stamina and using no weapons, he seemed more than a match for the trio. But again, after many, many, many fruitless attacks, Myxo again managed to land a telling hit, and downed the Tundak. This time Artemis stepped in to fix Ares, and the fight was done. An instant later Ares was back up, and seemed slightly impressed.
Then it was time to talk business.
Plot Infliction 8 - Homecoming
After the battle, Ares retrieves his patch robots and it seems obvious that they each have multiple stages of technician because Ares is patched up to full with remarkably few patches. He also puts on all his gear.
Meanwhile, Artemis steps forward and says: "I am your creator. Ares and I came to this planet a short time ago and decided we wanted to take it over. Our initial step is to create a large number of underlings we can trust, which is why we created you. Eventually we will replace the Kvankiis as the dominate underground establishment, and finally we will acquire enough influence within the government that we will be the defacto rulers."
"We don't want mindless slaves, which is why you were not created with any behavior controls or protocols. You do have the choice of politely declining to assist us and be on your merry way. However, if you do decide to join us, there will be many potential benefits, including new bodies."
Ares: "Though if you do decide to leave, we will need to retrieve the memory mapping components of your mind. We plan to use your memories to provide accellerated training to other robots." He smiles evilly. "I promise to be gentle."
Artemis: "I'd be the one doing the surgery actually... Ares isn't much of a technician."
Ares: "I'd have more fun. They'd probably live."
Artemis: "Anyway. Any questions? Also, please discuss amongst yourselves the situation and decide if you want to join us"
Curse my metal body for not being able to GRIN. What Myxo wants to say is, "The possibility of working for Tundaks? Screw what those other guys might think; I'm IN." Except, of course, she doesn't. Though I imagine that hyper-willpower Tundaks will read her like a book.
Myxo turns to Torres and Bruce, trying to quell the quivers of pure evil in her ears, and engages a tightbeam conversation. "So, guys, what do you think?"
Torres: "Well, part of me thinks they're a bit nuts. I mean, sure they're powerful and all, but two robots taking over a whole planet? I think if we join them, our lifespans may be quite short. On the other hand - FUN! If Artemis can make 10D grenades like that, imagine if she put her mind to something bigger. I think we should go for it."
Bruce shrugs: "Got nothing better to do."
"It's true, they seem insanely ambitious. However I'm liking the concept, fundamentally. I mean, they're not talking about running the whole plant; just being the most influential beings on it such that their will can be exerted. Done strategically, with some deft applications of ...pressure... I can see that being a very effective means to challenge to influence of the anti-technology Governor. And frankly sounds like the kind of adventure I was made for."
Also: different bodies has a nice suggestive ring to it. Myxo is quite taken with the idea of one day having an extensible torso.
Torres nods and turns to the Tundaks: "I think I speak for both my comrades - we're in."
The Tundak's smile evilly (cause that's pretty much the only way they smile) and then retract their torsos. Ares says: "Follow us."
They lead you into an office and Artemis tampers open a trap door in the floor. You all climb down and eventually end up at some sort of transit pod. You all climb aboard and Artemis sets it moving.
Artemis: "This was once a secret Confederation transit system back in the day. The Giamon's haven't found it yet."
Ares: "The next thing you need to decide is how you want to participate. We've thought of three options. One, is you get your body upgrades and are put into stasis for a while until we're ready to unleash you. We're going to wait until we have a few hundred trained up before we start any operations against the Kvankii. Once active you two..." he indicates you and Torres "will likely be assigned targets we want dead, and you" he nods to Bruce " will be given variable duties - body guard sometimes, hit team support other times. Given your skill sets, you two will be put into Eliminator bodies, and Bruce will be a Gavagh Millitia."
Artemis: "The second option is a bit more intense. In addition to Eliminators and Gavaghs, we need more Tundaks. You would get your new bodies and continue your training, but not here. We would contract you out to a warzone somewhere. You would be on your own - no trainers, but it would be the quickest way for you to earn more skills. Once you reached 9th or 10th stage, you'd come back and be fitted for a Tundak body. While the survivability of this option is unfortunately quite low, it's likely the only way you'll ever be a Tundak."
Ares snickers: "Though not as cool as us."
Artemis: "The final need we have is for more trainers. We were able to obtain some imprints geared towards base Eliminators - Infantry, Scout, and Technician. We also have five trainers, and they are geared towards base Gavaghs - lots of Weapon Specialist, Mercenary, and Infantry. If you wish, your minds will be attached to our communication hub and you would work along side our trainers to earn Leader skills. Eventually you would train new robots as we have trained you."
Ares: "Which would free up our time. We don't have trainers for assassins or sappers yet, so having you as trainers would be handy."
Artemis: "And as boring as that sounds now. I would modify your phyche somewhat so that it would be immensely satisfying work. It would also be the safest. Down the road, your leadership skills will also be put to use once we've largely taken over."
Note from God: This option means a happy retirement for the characters - end of game. First option may be kind of dull. Warzone will be FUN
After travelling at high speed for a while, the pod stops and you are led through a tunnel to a largish bay. Inside the bay are about 20 partially constructed Eliminators and Gavaghs.
Artemis: "The bodies haven't been completed, so their stats are up to you. I can also adjust your base mental attributes. If you don't want to go the trainer route, then it's time for an upgrade."
You can now design an Eliminator character - no skill adjustments, with 37 points from the custom being generator. That is, unless you want to be a Gavagh Militia. (She's actually 7th stage physicist - 2 of the points in your original body were for an enhanced memory recording system for future accellerated training.) Same option for übercool. Your stages will be translated to 50 skill. The Eliminator bodies are just shy of 500 kg.
Rabbit-hop up to about shoulder height and high-five Torres. "WAR ZONE PLEASE."
Torres also indicates the warzone option. Bruce is going to wait to decide until he gets his new body (with an intelligence upgrade).
|ELIMINATOR basic chassis||Myxo-Eliminatus|
Torres goes for a similar body, except more strength, less agility. Plans to avoid most direct combat anyway, so duck isn't as much of an issue.
Bruce gets his upgrade and then wants to wait a full day before making his decision. He goes off to a side room alone. Artemis mutters: "He wanted to be as smart as possible. He's probably in there right now earning a stage of mathematician.
Your old bodies are given semi-intelligenct brains with two imprinted stages of infantry. Ares takes them back to get sniped so that the Giamon's figure the threat is over.
Most robots that attempted to leave the perimeter by surrendering to the Giamon forces are never seen again. Lots of propaganda on the net about how the Giamons were ruthlessly attacked by Kvankii robots and that the offenders were destroyed.
The new leader of the facility blows himself up when he moves into his office.
Bruce eventually comes out. "War zone."
Sniped? Awww. I liked that body. Bunny killing bastards; I'll be back.
"Bruce, you're hyper-intelligent now, right? And you still want to work with Torres and myself? Shiny."
"Ares, Artemis, would we still be working together as a crew if we're leased out? Who hires a trio of Eliminators?"
Note: Bruce is now in a shiny black Gavagh Militia body.
He says: "Statistically, our chances of survival are about equal. If we go to the war zone, we have a high probability of being destroyed in the short term. However, if we survive long enough to become Tundaks, our long term survival here is at a much higher probability than if we were to begin operations as we are now. They about even out."
Ares: "The obvious choice is to send you to the 2nd galaxy to assist in the fight against the Xoids. We already have contacts that could arrange a fold space over there. You will be assigned to a mercenary group."
Once in your new body, you note that you have a hollow compartment inside you containing another small robot. She indicates she's your patch robot and says she can do good fixes and create armour for you as well. She's a second stage technician.
My very own 2nd-stage patch robot? Niiice. I'll call her "Patchita".
I have no qualms about fighting Xoids. Let's do it.