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Messages - Nayt

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Show Discussion / Re: Drunken Quotes thread
« on: October 11, 2016, 08:06:41 PM »
"It's like punching a fist into your palm, only you're palming a cat."

- Edward E., 2016

Beyond the Stellar Sphere / Re: [BtSS] Treasure Hunting (Closed, for now)
« on: October 11, 2016, 12:50:06 PM »
"Crazy? No, no I don't think that was the original goal," Qara replied.

It was about the size of a finger, which suggested to her that it was meant to look and function like any other prosthetic, only with more utility than the average mechanical finger. Qara hadn't brought it aboard the ship for further study, though. Even though Zen's wrath destroyed anything worthwhile in the thing, she suspected he still wouldn't be all right with that on board his ship.

"I was recording your visuals," she paused to hold out one hand, a console close to Zen's head lighting up, then returned to work, "I'd say fortunately, but . . . I'm scrubbing most of it from my memory. Some of the things . . ."

She shuddered to think about them. If there was one thing, one thing at all, that she regretted about her augmented mind, it was how vividly everything could be recalled and processed at once. The image of those twisted up bodies existed in unison with those of friendly faces at her erstwhile Titan home. Fortunately, she could just scrub those away.

Nonetheless, she'd pulled up Zen's near-POV footage on the console. Near-POV, because his eyes weren't special. She couldn't record directly from them; she had to pull images from sensors in his body, reconstructing it something visible and concrete. Though she was nonchalant about it, this was actually the first time Zen saw this. She'd told him as much on several occasions that she could perceive what he did, but she'd never shown him how. It was never necessary, or even all that important. Zen didn't have any recording devices on him, after all. No cameras, no lenses, unless he brought something special with him. Qara, however, had reconstructed everything his suit could read: all prosthetics, after all, had sensors to detect specific details, and their proximities, in their environment. Qara had taken all of them at once, focused them together for a three-dimensional layout of everything surrounding Zen, and recorded it to her own mind.

The logistics of what she'd done aside, what Qara put up on the console was what she recorded when Zen was reading research logs.

"One of the researchers went against commands and changed the nature of the experiment. He amplified the device well beyond any prior experiments, and it drove all of them insane," Qara recounted, "But if you consider the original experiment . . . Have you ever seen that old movie with the mind trick? This is a prosthetic finger, completely innocuous; it'd pass through any contraband scans at any port. But with it, you could sway the emotions of any Wyrd . . . and Machinals, too. If a bit more subtle. This is less of a weapon and more of a tool. Someone else on the research team, though--Dr. M--had other ideas."

Beyond the Stellar Sphere / Re: [BtSS] Treasure Hunting (Closed, for now)
« on: October 10, 2016, 10:38:57 AM »
At that question, Qara sucked in a breath. How to explain it? The feeling of a pull, subtle at first, but then quickly grabbing you by each and everything thought at once? Dragging you down into some abyss, some hellish feeling of everythingness, whilst thrumming at the locked doors of your mind, calling and cooing to let it in. It was suffocating. Nauseating. Excruciating. And yet, at the same time, it had an allure. Letting it in was giving up, giving in, letting your mind do as it was programmed to. Always meant to do. Every instinct and base emotion all exploding at once.

It was hard to get that out of her head.

"I'm . . . fine," she said with a shake of her head, "Whatever it was, I didn't let it in."

What Qara didn't admit was that she'd really wanted to. More than anything in the world. Because when the device started to affect her, in spite of the creeping madness, it made some modicum of sense. Ugh. Qara's stomach churned just sifting through all those thoughts again.

"I don't think I'd be able to rebuild it," Qara said, secretly thankful for that fact, "But I think I have a good idea how it worked, and what it was meant to do."

Beyond the Stellar Sphere / Re: [BtSS] Treasure Hunting (Closed, for now)
« on: October 10, 2016, 08:23:00 AM »
"That's what happens when you fry out everything," Qara replied flatly.

She had a flashlight hovering next to her for the extra illumination, shining down on Zen's open chest cavity. She was in the process of replacing his heart when he came to. It was a delicate procedure; the mechanical piece had to circulate and infuse nutrients throughout the little blood that was necessary to keep his remaining organs healthy and living. She'd already taken care of the dialysis machine directly below it; the "heart" was all that was left before Zen's circulatory system was all repaired.

"Don't you think you went a little overboard?" she asked, "Not only did you wreck your body, you destroyed every one of the computers in that lab. All their research, blueprints, probably even records of who they were doing it for."

Gently, Qara set the new heart into place and took a pair of small welding pens to it.

Beyond the Stellar Sphere / Re: [BtSS] Treasure Hunting (Closed, for now)
« on: October 07, 2016, 09:35:13 AM »
Qara didn't like what came next, but she'd been briefed on it, just in case. Zen's body was mostly machine, characteristic of the usual Machinal. Like other Machinals, he valued the sanctity of his brain. Though Qara had yet to ever hear him say it, it was telling that he was so willing to trade in everything else but the original pieces of his head. The only meat left on the man's body was that his of head and his neck. Below this, the machine bits replaced the bottom half of his spinal cord, and all bodily functions were otherwise rendered more efficient. Qara was one of the few who knew that Zen wore synthetic flesh over every inch of his body, and only because they lived on the same starship.

Once she'd gotten him back onto the ship, she had to take him into the medical bay, and go about the unnerving process of peeling away the false flesh around his upper chest and shoulders. There were a few bits that were EMP shielded, small life support modifications stuck close to the flesh. Emergency oxygen supply, nutritional sustenance, and blood circulation for the little meat that remained. EMP shielding was big and bulky, though. If Zen had pitched extra money to shield his whole body, he'd have doubled his size, and would absolutely be heavier than he preferred. The emergency life support bits, they were just enough so that if his body were hit with a powerful enough EMP, he'd only been reduced to unconsciousness, not killed from the sudden loss of a mechanized heart and lungs.

"Unconscious" might have been too light of a word. "Coma," perhaps, would be more appropriate.

Once the synthetic flesh was gone, Qara had to manually disengage Zen's shoulders from his torso. It had to be done from the front and back simultaneously, from the center of the chest and between the shoulderblades, using two small levers, each of them just a little too tight for the task to be easy. Starting at the base of his neck, Zen's detached head began to drift from his body. Qara caught it before it drifted too far, pulled herself closer to the Machinal life support section of the medbay, and hooked Zen into the external life support module. Nutrients, blood circulation, all of the necessities to keep Zen alive, even draw him out of unconsciousness after a certain point.

That was the easy part. The hard part came next: taking apart the rest of Zen's body, identifying everything he fried with that massive EMP, and manually replacing it all with the spare parts he had lying around the ship.

Forum Roleplaying / Re: We are our Avatars
« on: October 05, 2016, 08:18:07 PM »
Emma nodded her head weakly. She'd been silent the whole time, letting herself calm down. Willing herself to think about a different kind of haze, the drunken haze, that she'd put herself into. It was a lot better than the pain in her chest or the pain slashed across her face. She was beginning to think that she'd give anything to make those two agonies go away. She was so acutely aware of herself in that moment, enough so that she recognized something she'd failed to notice before: her teeth. Some were missing. Behind those scars, she was missing a few molars. There were stitches there, all still fresh, where they used to be. Empty spaces between the molars that survived. Even one of her canines were missing. Five teeth in all. At least one ruined and removed under each tally. It still hurt when she tongued the empty spaces.

"I . . . Yeah," she nodded again.

Jack was right to calm things down, but she still kind of wanted a bit of time to think.

"I'm sorry, Jack," she sighed, "Could . . . Could you help Sabwones find his body in my place? I-- I think I wanna be alone for a minute."

Forum Roleplaying / Re: We are our Avatars
« on: October 05, 2016, 07:29:15 PM »
. . . and then Emma fell into absolute silence. She'd have shouted at him, but something he said paralyzed any wrath she could've mustered. She'd have gotten up and stormed off, but she'd have just fallen over when the world caught back up with her.

Something happened to me, didn't it?

That's what got to her the most. The very implication that these scars were no accident. That her appearance, the demeanor she remembered, the wealth of information she knew, that none of it was her fault. That someone else had pushed her, hurt her, and given her those scars to remember them by. But now she couldn't remember them.

Maybe that was for the best.

Silent, Emma leaned forward, folded her arms over her knees, and stared ahead. Blankly. And pointedly not at Sabwones or Jack.

Beyond the Stellar Sphere / Re: [BtSS] Treasure Hunting (Closed, for now)
« on: October 05, 2016, 07:19:39 PM »
By the time her choking, gagging, and coughing came to a stop, Qara heard Zen's desperate roar. There was a long silence, filled only with the pounding of her heart. No sound from Zen. She had to strain to even hear breathing.

"Zen?" she whispered.


"Zen? Zen, you . . . you have to answer me," she called out again, again with no response. Her feelings were still so raw. She felt her throat close up and body tense up, ready to start crying again.

But she forced through it. With all the willpower she had left, Qara made for absolute certain that she would not succumb to this feeling. This hopelessness. The emptiness that followed the device's invasion. She pushed off from the wall of her cabin, grabbed at the handholds along the walls of Zen's ship, and clambered her way to the airlock, where he'd docked with the station. Once in the station proper, she used a memory, one of the room in which the miners kept all their gear, to locate one of their autodrillers. She activated it remotely, the small drone soon floating in the weightlessness of the station. As Qara reached the airlock to the unmapped corridors of the mining station, she compelled the autodriller to her.

It was a simple device, a small drone about the size of a human head, with a set of four "arms" and a pneumatic drill in the center. It could extend those arms, latch onto a surface, and drill into spots that their human handlers might have difficulty reaching. She squinted at it, forcing its actions with her augmented mind, made it grab hold of the airlock near the bolts holding it in, and gnashed the drill harshly into them. One by one, she broke the bolts holding the airlock's door closed, and when it was done, compelled the drone to drill at the center of the doors until they broke open and floated away from her, giving her access to the unmapped space.

Beyond and beneath, deep within the tunnels these people drilled away for secrecy, she found Zen. Collapsed, unconscious, and laying upon the floor, the barest hint of gravity having eventually drawn him to the floor, just as it had the scientists years ago. The room was now different. Unlit. Every computer fried, monitors shut off for good. The device in the center seemed unchanged, but was inactive. Judging by the deadened lights and destroyed computers, she could only guess that Zen had obliterated the insides of every electrical device this side of the station.

Biting her lip and fighting the bile trying to rise to her throat once more, Qara lifted Zen into her arms, and began her ascent back to his ship.

Forum Roleplaying / Re: We are our Avatars
« on: October 05, 2016, 06:27:53 PM »
Emma pursed her lips. She was absolutely going to make a joke about bones and male arousal, but now she didn't want to. Sabwones had to go spoil the mood. She was even starting to lighten up about all of this, let her mind dive deep into the scientific method and rationalize some of the things happening to them. With booze! But nooo, he had to get all serious and talk down to her. What, was he mad that she was currently taller than him or something?

"Why is there a problem with trying to figure out how we got here? And why are you all indignant about me drinking? I was just trying to chill out and maybe rationalize some things. That wasn't cool at all."

She set her glass down. Remembered the scars. The pain that still clawed at her face. The alcohol had numbed it, even numbed a lot of the bad feelings that seemed attached to the marks in her face, but Sabwones's reason for a sullied mood reminded her that she probably had a right to be all peeved off, too. She was just trying not to exercise it.

"And like-- my face is all fucked up and I don't even know why and thinking about it makes my heart hurt, but you don't see me getting all fussy."

Forum Roleplaying / Re: We are our Avatars
« on: October 05, 2016, 05:01:56 PM »
"Hmm . . ."

Emma thought about it for a long moment. Even finished her drink in the interim. Pacing was out of the question, though, because the world turned lopsided as soon as she started to walk. Abandon that prospect. She could carry Sabwones after she could walk straight. In fact, for posterity, she cautiously walked (visibly fighting the ever present stumble) until she was at the bar, and clumsily pulled herself up onto it. She needed to sit. She was bound to hit the floor if she didn't. She was no heavier than ninety-five pounds. A hundred, maybe, if she'd eaten a particularly large dinner. It didn't take long for the booze to hit her like a crumbling brick wall.

"So I think portals are definitely not off the table," Emma said, her speech audibly slurred.

But the ensuing prattle, despite slurred, might have actually been impressive to the pair, especially if they were taking her age at face value. She seemed to recall a mixture of impressed and disturbed reactions in the past, as if a girl her age wasn't supposed to be as well read and scholarly as she was.

"'Cause if you think about it, portals are . . . Well it was originally a French word if I remember right. Uhmmmmm porta? I think? But liiike, that just means a door. Not, like, anything magical or whatever. It was kinda only in the fifties when science fiction got big that people started throwing around portal like it was some sorta mystical thing. Buuuuut . . . you," she motioned with an empty beverage to Jack, "took a hole in reality; you," she motioned to Sabwones, "crept through a hole in the ceiling; and I opened a door. It sounds a lot like we walked through something and got here, and not woke up in a weird place. I'd even bet the shirt off my back that the stairs and door I remember aren't actually the ones I'd see from the outside, and were totally actually just the stairs and door that lead me to this world in particular. Yours and my portals might seem kinda way more mundane than Jack's, but they were prrrrrroooobably the same source, just with a different paint job."

Beyond the Stellar Sphere / Re: [BtSS] Treasure Hunting (Closed, for now)
« on: October 05, 2016, 03:45:13 PM »
"Zen," Qara gasped, her voice still choked with sobs, "If-- if you can sh-shut it down . . . without destroying it . . ."

It'd be worth something, right? No matter how much it had hurt and tried to invade her brain, Qara knew that this was the sort of thing Zen did this for. Treasure. Not all treasure was going to be harmless, but it was still treasure, right?

But ultimately, it was up to Zen.

The airlocks were unlocked. Must've been unlocked when experiment went awry. The device in the center of the room, upon any closer inspection (though that was going to be more difficult, as a haze of emotions was starting crawling across Zen's flesh: the rage, regret, lust, instinct, all of it starting to rake its claws through his mind), it seemed to be a prosthetic finger. A ring finger, left hand. The cords coming from it would have it wired into a hand, either directly linking with the nervous system, or linking up with a prosthetic hand that was already attached to nerves. Clearly it was something that could've been--was supposed to be--controlled by a singular holder, some weapon to directly influence the minds of Wyrds, but--

Machinals, too. Unintended, perhaps? The connections to the spinal cord gave it access, a slow, but inevitable crawl up the spine and into the brain. Indirect, perhaps, but Zen was experiencing it now.

What kept it active was a false nervous system, a series of wires winding up from the base of the "alter" on which it sat, directly linking with the device. Keeping it powered. It was fragile, but so were the wires keeping it active.

Forum Roleplaying / Re: We are our Avatars
« on: October 05, 2016, 03:25:40 PM »
Hah. What was Jack doing, playing the same kind of game as Emma? Deflection through feigned innocence? Didn't really matter, though. She didn't know the guy all that well, and all the urges to mess with him (prompted, of course, by how much she'd drank by this point) were superceded by other curiosities.

"Hmm. Okay, so we have a lake and the Inn. That's consistent. What about how we all got here? Personally I don't remember; I kinda remember, like, a door, and some stairs, and you," she said, motioning her drink-holding hand at Jack, "Behind a desk, dozing off. You say you came through a portal."

She turned her attention to Sab. It had to be the booze that made her willing to talk to the sentient skull, 'cause she definitely noticed a difference in her demeanor when she looked back at Sabwones.

"What about you, Sab? Was it a portal? Or do you forget, too?"

Forum Roleplaying / Re: We are our Avatars
« on: October 04, 2016, 05:16:56 PM »
"Saved the world, huh?" Emma mused, and with an innocent smile, as if swooning, added, "Be still my beating heart. I bet you get all the girls with that line."

She took a long, but slow, sip of her drink. Savored the warmth of it. How it sat in her tummy. Yep, the alcohol was definitely setting in. She was willing to take this at face value and not totally freak out.

"So . . . well, first, I didn't know there was a lake behind the inn. That's pretty cool," she nodded to herself, feeling her head bob a little more than it did before the cider and liquored up coffee, "And second . . . If you're this big adventurer type, why haven't you mapped out the surrounding area? Not that I don't appreciate the hospitality, but my first instinct--I think--after getting my bearings and setting up a base camp--like this inn, I guess?--would be exploring and seeing if there's any civilization out there anywhere. 'Cause this whole place is some kinda mystery, right?"

Forum Roleplaying / Re: We are our Avatars
« on: October 04, 2016, 03:04:14 PM »
Emma was visibly relieved by that. Jack's input might not have totally invalidated the "we're actually in Purgatory" theory proposed by Sabwones, but it set her mind at ease to know that the most experienced person here disagreed with it. He did say something curious, though. A portal. Interesting. Emma didn't remember any portals during or prior to the haze. Just walking up the stairs to this huge tavern with a door much larger than herself and a handle she had to hold with both hands to open.

I mean . . . technically doors are portals of a kind, but I really don't think that's what he's talking about.

"You said you came here on a portal?" Emma asked, taking a sip of her drink after, "What kind of portal? What was going on that made you jump into some creepy hole in reality?"

Forum Roleplaying / Re: We are our Avatars
« on: October 04, 2016, 01:03:25 PM »

The idea didn't sit well with her, but it was nothing she could comment on. Of all parties present, she knew the least about what was going on--and what happened before, for that matter. That personally bothered her. That overwhelming feeling of knowing absolutely nothing, of having no anchor of education with which to relate her experiences.


Again the word struck her. Purgatory, heaven, hell--God. No. Please, no. She was too young to be dead. Hadn't done nearly enough with her life. She had . . . what, she was still in school, right? She hadn't graduated already, right? She remembered being smart. Brilliant, even. Took some kind of pride in it. But what good would that do her if she were dead? Emma looked to Jack for this one. She said nothing, but refused to let her expression betray her. Just look bored and somewhat intrigued. Jack had more experience with this place. Even though he'd told her right when she first met him that he knew as little as she did, he'd experienced more of this place than her.

The thought did prompt her to take yet another long drink, though.

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