Natural Born Killer
- 1 Pre-Game
- 2 Game
- 2.1 Game Night - Feb 19, 2011 - Faerie on the run
- 2.2 Plot Infliction I - Josaphene
- 2.3 Game Night - Feb 24, 2011 - Tormenting a Crocaloid
- 2.4 Plot Infliction II - Plot? We don't need no stinkn' plot!
- 2.5 Game Night - Mar 3, 2011 - Rainbow Death Faerie
- 2.6 Plot Infliction III - Taste The Rainbow
- 2.7 Game Night - March 11, 2011 - Coming out party
- 2.8 Plot Infliction IV - A Paranoid Governor
- 2.9 Plot Infliction V - A pause in the fabric of space-time
- 2.10 Game Night - April 1 - SPLAT
Some time has passed since the events of Making of an Eliminator. The previously uncontested Kvankii underground has recently been the victim of a sudden emergence of Eliminators and Gavagh Militias. While their numbers are few, they have been extremely annoying.
But that doesn’t really concern the fresh young Giamon soldier who is undertaking his first mission. You started in the diplomatic corps, but found it too dull and decided to train as a combatant.
You are second stage, with your first stage being diplomat – and you were lucky enough to become a mentalist because of it. You get the standard 30 points in the character generator (no robots).
Well, that's different.
You're given 50 credits worth of gear. Introduction to follow...
Question: is the +3 to duck and parry including the natural bonuses, or is that just the bonuses from infantry?
Fixed - forgot the natural bonuses.
The diplomatic corps was ok, though kind of dull. Getting the MBA was cool. You transferred to military partially because they tend to earn more skill there than in the diplomatic corps, so you'd be able to develop the MBA faster. Your diplomat teacher suggested keeping your MBA to yourself for some reason... and well, he was damn persuasive.
In battle school, you found that people didn't really take you seriously. You're not sure if it's because you were a diplomat or because they had a problem with butterfly wings. Regardless, you earned your combatant stage and was assigned to a mentor to continue your training. You think that you probably got the most annoying, stupid, arrogant soldier on the planet as a mentor - a Yiptak named Barf.
Also, you think one of the instructors had it in for you. He always seemed to glare at you for some reason. And there was that one time when a stun laser was accidently replaced with a 3D laser while you were training. The mistake was discovered after the first shot, but that first shot nearly took your head off (You only had 5 stamina at the time.) It's made you a bit paranoid.
One day Barf wakes you up early.
"C'mon bug-bitch we got a frak'n mission. You're gonna help me persuade some frak'n scum bags to tell us what they know about the frak'n Kvankii. See if that frak'n diplomatic shit is frak'n worth anything."
Game Night - Feb 19, 2011 - Faerie on the run
According to Barf, the mission involved seeing a Human named Jacob at an old warehouse. Barf was misinformed. They ended up at a robotic's lab run by Kvankii and endup up trapped with 10 fresh robots, a Kvankii, and a large robot guard. The Kvankii implied they were sent here to die... and the 10 fresh robots made every attempt to make it so.
During the battle, Oberona got a simple text message "Do you want to live?" from a communicator stuck to a wall. Answering in the affirmative, the communicators said "When the distraction happens, DON'T DUCK."
The battle raged on for a few more moments, and then an explosive when off near the Kvankii. Oberona held still for a moment and prevented herself from flinching when she was grabbed with force beams. A very sneaky being carried her off, out of the building. Apparently, whomever it was didn't have any interest in saving Barf. A larger explosion leveled the building shortly after they left.
Oberona was put down nearby and she finally got a good look at her benefactor - an Eliminator robot. This caused a certain amount of stress... The gist of the conversation was "You work for me now." and the Eliminator went off. An odd thing did happen though - at one point, the sneaky Eliminator picked Oberona up and moved to a different location, doing lots of looks behind him. The Eliminator's name was T89.
Before figuring out what to do next, a communication bathed the area identifying Oberona and Barf as traitors to the Giamon Empire and a bounty was placed on their head.
The next few hours were spent fighting off would be bounty hunters and trying to heal in between. The bounty system was nicknamed RHOAP bounty, which stood for Rotting Head On A Pike... in other words, not wanted alive. Everyone who wanted a shot at the bounty had to donate a credit to it, and if they succeeded, the bounty would be theirs. If not, the bounty would go up for the next person. The idea being, once the bounty was sufficiently high, it would attract higher stage combatants.
Also, every time someone added a credit, a communication beacon would go off, revealing the location of the battle to everyone in the vicinity.
While fleeing a somewhat scary bounty hunter, Oberona encounters a human hiding on a rooftop. She offers to help and uses her mentalist ability to convince the persuer to run away. She indicates she is also a low stage Mentalist - scout specifically and is still in the experimental stages of figuring out her powers. The two ladies team up.
Things change during a battle with a crazy Hylosis. Oberona is taken down and she happens to wake up to see her new friend use MBA to make the Hylosis lie prone and be executed.
Ref Note: This was a very annoying fight for Josaphene - double digit duck and parry and she still gets hit three times, once in the head. That crazy Hylosis kept rolling double-sixes.
Plot Infliction I - Josaphene
Josaphene takes you to a nearby bar and hides you in a corner. You're a little unnerved by this, being at -1 stamina in a room full of combatants, but it seems you are hidden quite well. She goes into the crowd and about a minute later she returnes with a med pack which she gives to you. It has 20 patches.
She asks you to hop on her back again and you head out.
"You don't mind if I communicate telepathically from now on, do you?" you hear in your head. "It's much more secure, and I'd rather not have a record of this in case someone is able to download your memories. We're going to go find some place to hide and heal. There's a cheap apartment nearby where someone forgot to lock the door."
"Josephene, ma'am, one thing I did learn well from the diplomatic corps was to recognize one's place in power and setting. And I'm a canoe on a stormy sea in the middle of some sort of maneuvers between battleships. I'm in no circumstance to question the means or motivation of your helping me. Whatever or however you say things are going to be, I'll be agreeably toeing that line."
That being said, Oberona wears a carefully-controlled expression of being patiently curious to hear about who Josephine is, what she is, who she works for or represents, and what the zark it has to do with me. Aside from the grimacing that is the natural consequence of using the med pack.
"Stop calling me ma'am." and she mutters "First time I've been called a battleship." under her breath.
"Y'know, I came here to either warn you, or kill you. When I first saw that uniform, I thought for sure I was going to end up killing you, but then that message about treason came out and you were riding on that freaky robot..." she looks at you thoughtfully as if trying to decide whether to continue or not. Eventually she shrugs - then starts talking.
"The Gians are eventually going to try to kill you." You note she says Gians, not Giamons. "A lot more than they appear to want to now. I don't know what the hell is going on with this whole bounty thing, but if they knew what you are, then they would have put a more concerted effort into it. I thought maybe they would want to recruit you, but it appears that isn't the case. That seems to fit with what I've observed about your governor - I don't think he would have nutured someone who might end up more powerful than he is."
"But that's irrelavent right now because I don't think they know about you."
She notes the blank look in your eyes and this point and realizes you don't know what she's talking about.
"Sorry. You're what we call a 'Natural'. Every once in a while a mentalist comes along that has an ability way beyond the normal range of abilities for a typical mentalist. Back home they are highly coveted by the various factions. Many of the Gians are one." You're starting to notice that whenever she says 'Gian', there's scorn in her voice.
"That's why I was asking if you'd played with the various abilities. To see if anything seemed abnormally powerful. But it seems you haven't had a chance to try much yet. Problem is, it might not even be something you're capable of yet, you're still pretty green."
"Anyway, I can't stick around to find out. I try not to stay on one planet for too long. But now that you know, you need to realize that if the Gians find out, they'll come after you. Once you figure out what you can do, keep it hidden. Meanwhile, try to develop it. That's your best hope of survival. Any questions? I'll stay until you're healed, but then I'm leaving."
- Will we stay in touch telepathically? Even if only for the sake of your curiosity and my random questions.
- Are you affiliated with any organizations? Particularly organizations that might benefit me to try to join once I'm worthy?
- How did you know that I was one of these 'naturals'?
- Are you a 'natural', and if so how does it manifest?
- Can you clarify who the Gians are, and how they're related to the Giamons?
- What do you know about the Kvankii's versus the Eliminators going on here? Are the Kvankii's influencing the government?
- If I get move boots, do you know how they'll affect my movement as a flying being?"
I also silently ask myself how the zark I'll get out of this bar after Josephine leaves.
Actually, you've relocated to somebody's apartment.
"I can check in telepathically occasionaly if you want." She smiles amused. "I don't think my organization would be interested in having you join them. You're not human enough... and too much of a cyborg for their liking. A natural has one specific ability that is significantly more powerful than what it would be for a regular mentalist. For example, if bonus to hit was your natural ability, a point of MBA would be a lot more than +1 to hit. Maybe +5, or +10. It's not really an exact science and different naturals can have different strengths of the same ability. I'm a natural in bonus to locate. That's how I found you. I can think about what I want to find and I find it. When I get to a planet, I do a locate for naturals, and then I go find them."
Her demeanor darkens a bit. "The Gians are the traitorous Trupepol that left Earth and founded the Giamon Empire. They are the ones that are using both their mentalist abilities and high technology to keep the Trupepol mostly contained. And despite all the warnings, all the latent prescience that has haunted Humans since before we went into space, they're partnering with Daemons. Power has corrupted them."
She relaxes after a moment. "As for your last two questions, I have no idea. I did a locate for powerful beings when I got here. There is one significantly high stage Kvankii here, as well as three Tundak's. I doubt Kvankii's are influencing anything but the lower levels of government. Governer Dahkceid was once Trupepol - he wouldn't let himself be influenced."
"Follow up questions:
- If you're Trupepol, why would you help a mechanism-afflicted individual such as myself?
- Why would the Gians no longer be interested in (re)recruiting me? How is it in their interests to get rid of me?
- Do you know Governor Darkside personally, or just by reputation?
- Since you can find me anyway, how about you leave a mark on me for ease of future telepathic gossip?
"I would help you because I'm long since caring about you cyborgs existing. I've lost a lot of the ideological zeal of my youth. However, betrayal is another matter. If helping you has a chance of hurting them, then it's worth the effort. As for the Gians, think about the situation they are in. They've amassed galactic power extremely quickly and it's taking all of their effort to both control their territory and keep a lid on us. Being a natural is a threat to them, and it's easier to just kill you off now than risk you becoming as powerful as they are and upsetting their fragile hold on things."
"I don't know the governor. I only know what I've learned since I've been here, and that's not much."
She smiles. "I marked you the first moment I saw you."
Now I'm just plain confused. There is no game theory variant wherein selectively killing off randomly-occurring powerful mentalists from within one's own pool of access is beneficial. It just means that all competitors, particularly including internal counter-government groups, are going to have relatively increased access to new powerful mentalists. If anything, they should logically be extra-interested in wooing such individuals - particularly because the Giamon influence is so strongly associated with mentally based abilities. It's roughly equivalent to a powerful army deciding to kill off all promising new combatant recruits they have access to. Is there something she's not telling me that makes this make sense?
Oberona clamps down on these thoughts, realizing that poking the crazy might get her killed. She focuses instead on finishing healing.
She smiles. "I don't need to read your mind to see you have doubts. And you're right, a lot of it doesn't make sense. Perhaps in the historical setting you're thinking of the Giamon Empire as a replacement of the Confederation. They're not. Think of them as who they really are - Trupepol. And they were one of the less nice factions. While they've gotten over their technophobia, they still are highly xenophobic. If you were human, you might have been able to find a place with them, but since you're decidedly not there's no way they'll let you become a threat. It's not rational, but knowing them as I know myself, it makes a certain kind of sense. Believe me."
With that last sentence, Oberona loses all doubt and believes her.
The healing continues uninterupted.
Mmmmm... Freshy washed brain. Shiny.
After the healing is complete and Josaphene has taken her leave, it's time to settle in and start experimenting with the abilities Oberona has access to so far. Systemically going through the 1-point powers then 2-point powers, meditating in-between.
As luck would have it, a test subject appears. The owner of the apartment comes home shortly after Josaphene leaves.
"Well, look at that. An intruder. And a tasty looking intruder at that. The stars are shining on me today."
The triloid draws a couple of pistols and looks at you hungrily.
Well, that would seem to delay testing until Game Night...
Game Night - Feb 24, 2011 - Tormenting a Crocaloid
If Dante envisioned an 11th level of hell, it will have been filled with small children with stomache flu puking all over the place.
Plot Infliction II - Plot? We don't need no stinkn' plot!
Waking up at 3 am to clean up puke really sucks.
Game Night - Mar 3, 2011 - Rainbow Death Faerie
Fighting bounty hunters and Kvankii robots. Made third stage. Sold some gear.
Plot Infliction III - Taste The Rainbow
You're able to make it to a different weapons store if you want to sell more booty.
Oberona is definitely going to take advantage of that. She sells off the blasters and the med kit, for a total of (I think) 22 credits. The temptation is to start buying idiot savant missiles to mess with bounty hunters who tend to drive the Oberona to go all-defensive, but she can't afford a tactically-significant number of them. No, it's time - as always - for ever-more patches.
After which it's time to "quietly" practice with the rainbow powers. As unobtrusively as possible, anyway.
I'm trying to think of a way you can 'quietly' practice with a 2D intermediate scale rainbow death blast, but surprisingly nothing is coming to mind.
Fortunately, a number of terrible ideas occur to me.
- The most obvious possibility involves picking a setting and and targets that nobody gives a crap about - I could find a school. Except that all the little bastards would tweet about me faster than I could test the rainbows on them.
- The next possibility would seem to be to hide the indiscriminate violence amongst other thoughtless antisocial acts - like a freeway on-ramp. Again, though, the potential reporting array is problematic.
- Perhaps what is needed is a more private setting - like a nice, quiet home invasion.
- Or, you know, I could go to a bar. Nobody notices what happens in dingy old bars.
But, in actuality, what I think Oberona will do is stick to just tiny rainbow flickers in bathroom stalls until another bounty hunter test can be made.
Actually, trying to do a tiny blast reveals a lot. When you've got the ability in permanent ability, you can do up to the full 2D* of damage. So you can do a blast that only does a point of damage if you want to - or a blast that looks impressive, but doesn't hurt at all. You're also able to get the rainbow effect mastered.
After a short bout of experimentation, T89 hails you. "Meet me here as soon as possible." He sends coordinates that coorespond to a bar nearby.
Oberona heads directly to the indicated drinking establishement, does a good locate outside, then sneaks in.
No one seems to pay you much attention when you enter the bar. It appears to be largely green and professionals here. No Giamon personel evident.
Once inside you get hailed and directed to a seat in the corner. Once seated, T89 makes himself visible to you, hanging creepily from the ceiling.
"Greetings Oberona. We hava job for you to do." You're sent a list of 5 names, plus comm #s, locations, and visuals. "These beings are in our employ similar to you. You are going to be their collector. You are required to meet with each one, once every five days and collect some funds for us. We have no set amount that they owe us, it's more of a percentage of what they make in their various activities. They will transfer the credits to you, and you will confirm that they are transferring the proper amount using your mentalist abililities. If you discover they are cheating, you are to kill them. At the end of the 5 day cycle, you are to report to me and transfer the full amount, minus 2% which you can keep for yourself."
He pauses. Then after a moment. "Also, I'm curious about something. Please send me your sensor feed from timestamp XXX to XXX." And the times he wants are from the moment you are about to enter that Husk robot's vehicle you destroyed to shortly after you leave the vehicle.
"You know, technically, I'm not really a soothsaying sort of mentalist. " I send him data for the entire fight, including the exploding husk droid.
There is a very pregnant pause.
"Also, I realize that it's almost completely irrelevant, but back before I was sucked into the vortex of corruption in the local Giamon government, or pissed off Kvankiis, or had a bounty pinned on me, or was claimed by Eliminators, or started spouting deadly rainbows of massive destruction... I had ambitions of becoming a pilot. Seems pretty far-fetched from the corner I'm heading into at this point, but I would like to mention that I have not-terrible duck based on maneuverability - in case you have ships you might need piloting. You probably don't, considering how your operation seems to be very skulking-in-shadows-y and not at all roaring-overhead-in-ships-y. But I thought I'd raise the idea, because I'm sort of at a crossroads about what to be and I'd appreciate some input."
After a few more moments T89 says: "Of our likely probabilities for you, it seems the most likely case is that you are a scientist in addition to your combat and diplomatic skills. However, that conflicts with your history that our mathematician gleened when checking you out. Care to elaborate? Are you in fact 6th stage? If so, I'm sure we can find a more lucrative job for you."
"At present we're not at the stage where pilots are of use. In fact, any pilots we require would likely be coopted from within Giamon ranks."
"If this ability is somehow beyond the normal range for a typical mentalist... well, the possibilities are interesting. Obviously, any type of combatant would be much more effecitve. I'm somewhat biased to stealth... so what immediately comes to mind is that you can be make to look quite harmless. If you were unarmed, and used your diplomatic skills to seem fairly non combatant, you may be able to get into places that myself or other combatants would have difficulty. If you had a specific target in mind, you could potentially get quite close without them realizing the threat. If you had a stage or two of sharp shooter, you could aim without their knowing it, and probably take them out regardless of how good at ducking they are."
"On the other hand, I could see the appeal in being a shock trooper and laying waste."
"-sigh- I suppose I'll have resign myself to laying waste. By the way, is there some quiet place where I could practice controlling unnaturally devastating blasts of angry rainbows?"
"If you're willing to be briefly rendered unconscious, I can take you to a completely secure training facility, complete with drone robots to practice on."
He pulls out a tool kit while he waits for you answer.
"I'm willing to be unconscious. But, I should point out that you might not want to trust that as a means for keeping a location secret with mentalists. The main thing I want to test, other than target practice at full deathbow, is whether or not I can automatically pulse rainbow death through a marked object when thrown. As luck would have it, there would seem to be moderate advantages to being a hand-to-hand combatant bonus-wise - but not at range, unless a marked blade I throw into a target can guide a rainbow death blast. So, with all the mentalist marks I mean to be throwing around, I'm going to have to be careful to scrub them all."
Having a 1/2 tonne death machine tamper you unconscious is somewhat unnerving, but you let it happen. You awaken in a training facility not unsimilar to ones you're used to in the Giamon ranks. This one is deserted except for you, T89, and a bunch of deativated robots in a pile."
"Here, this should be fun." In the pile, one of the robots shakes itself loose and hovers towards you. It's a Kvankii.
"It's brain was whiped and we put a stage of infantry in it and then made it go insane." T89 then has to duck as the Kvankii shoots it. "I'm going to hide. Enjoy."
Game Night - March 11, 2011 - Coming out party
So much for a low profile.
Plot Infliction IV - A Paranoid Governor
T89 hails you... starts to speak and then breaks down in fits of giggles, which is a bit hard to imagine coming from an Eliminator.
"They pissed me off."
Plot Infliction V - A pause in the fabric of space-time
It seems the Giamon forces are a bit taken off guard by the attack of the leprebots. You have some time to heal.
Leprebots. A scourge of biblical proportions. Oberona heals up to full, and contemplates how god could be so horrid.
Also, Oberona braids her hair. To improve her disguise.
At some point during the healing, T89 hails you.
"Hello. It seems the Giamons are not actively looking for you at the moment, but that's likely to change soon. I've chatted with some associates about you and they have a couple of suggestions... one thinks you should allow us to tamper you unconscious and store you for a couple years. Let the Giamons think you were killed by those odd green robots. We would charge a slight storage fee, but you would be safe barring unforseen circumstances. Personally, I don't really recommend it. A lot can happen in a couple years. Another thinks we should make you a psudis armour robot. It would effectively make you look like a robot, and we can add some technology that would fool scanners. In a way, it would be a small ship. Our tech quoted 5000 to build it, and given what I know of her capabilities it is an extremely good deal. I realize you likely can't afford it now, but it may be something to work towards."
You know, I can imagine hibernation (by virtue of technological means) being a relatively common practice. But, yeah, I don't think Oberona will be partaking.
The idea of a small ship-like robot-impersonating armour is pretty compelling. But it seems like by the time Oberona could afford the 5 kilocredits, she's probably survived long enough to have sufficient skill that she isn't scared of much.
Oberona does her best to convey that in the form of a long sigh through her nose. "Perhaps a more timely solution would be some regular armour and robotic clothing such that I appear to be some nondescript being. It's not like I have to pass active scans very often. And some sort of facial disguise such that I could open a visor on the helmet and appear to be something with an amusingly-shaped proboscis. Or, you know, point me in the direction of an area not continuously teeming with combatants and soldiers."
Game Night - April 1 - SPLAT
Stupid faerie wandered into ambush. Should have died, but luckily the ambushers were fucktards.
Then the stupid faerie tried to kill off some Gaimon soldiers guarding the bar she was supposed to rendezvous at, and got her fool head blown off.