[Episode 1.5] Beta Testing


Well-Known Member
Downrider Engineering
Day After the Initial Thread

“So… About what happened with the key last night. I was having my usual kind of nightmares… but this event in particular is different from the rest. It hasn’t happened yet.” Reman used his free arm to pick up the key, dormant and unresponsive. “I think it was trying to warn me about something.”

“Correct? How?” Marie asked as she began to look around the construction of the bracer, running electricity around it to produce magnetic fields where she could visualize the entire construction using.

“I could see Romulus chasing me down, but I heard a few new things. There was engine revving, and some sort of change in his driver. It didn't seem the same type as mine.” The bracer almost responded to the electrical pulse, but it seemed to scan marie's biometrics, and finally after all this time, the brace retracted its grip on Reman, and slid off his wrist, the straps compacting back into its hull.

Reman's curse was lifted.

“Or that can happen. Damn, what a way to ensure people stay locked up and such. It’s like when they branded people with barcodes in the worst prisons.” Marie commented on the bracer, now neatly packed up. Now the work really l began, taking the driver apart and trying to remember how it worked.

Reman's arm underneath was red and chafed. The driver really had a tight grip on him, and it was evident by the marks in his skin. “Oh my GOD fresh air! It’s like I can finally move this arm again!” Reman took a deep sigh of relief before continuing. “There were others too… quite a few actually.”

“Tell me about them, then.” Marie asked Reman. “Also, key please. I need it for testing and debugging.” She began to remove plates and such on the driver, exposing the internals, and making a long face when she found something in there she didn’t like.

“I hate my old work.” Marie muttered, seeing so many little places she could have optimized a little more. “It’s all just a mess. There was a way more efficient routing I could’ve done with this part. This part is just badly designed and honestly here I should’ve just used the IC.”

“The one I remember most was Delta, he apparently was a prison architect.” Reman handed over the cyclone key, and found a good place to sit. “From what I remember, he broke us out once. It didn’t last long though. Even if he escaped, I was tossed back in the lab.”

“The environment probably didn’t help.” Marie replied as she began to revise her drawing, adding and tweaking components. She began to hack the biometric chip, changing it to accept anyone as an unlocker. “There’s so many weird folk that you’d just slip right under the radar even if you broke out. Heck, we had a few demon occultists with constant schizophrenia. You’d look just like one of those if you broke out, probably.”

“Another was Gamma, after a while he actually started… working on the experiment with Romulus.” Reman idly reached for a key that wasn’t there. “I think he still works at the institute or at least close.”

“And I bet he made this bit.” Marie grumbled as she found another large inefficiency in the design. She took the soldering iron, put it against a part, and a little while later a pair of tweezers held the speaker that she popped out of the driver itself. “And this...will no longer be so noisy. And I need to ask the alchemist to shape me a few pieces of material in order to continue construction of the driver. Or ask to use a 3d printing machine of some sort once we get in town.”

“Zeta And Epsilon were a couple, never saw too much of them… Then there was Theta. Probably the nicest out of the bunch, she knew how to avoid those two, and she clearly had some sort of combat experience… and... ” Reman stopped, taking a deep breath, he remembered something that brought him great pain. “Lambda. When he left… He said something about… ” Reman paused and looked down quietly while marie worked, keeping silent for a few seconds before resuming his explanation. “It sounded like a fairy tale… Like he could become some sort of deity. He was a lunatic.”

“And I assume all these people are now loose.” Marie stated, while continuing to modify Reman’s driver.

“Romulus wasn’t too happy about having these living subjects escape into the open. He was terminated from his head research position because of it.” Reman got up again, and walked toward the driver in progress. “How goes the internals?”

“It’s usable now. No more weird vestigial systems, and the speaker’s just been ripped away for now.” Marie answered. “But I’ll be developing a new one anyways, since I still hate the look of the current driver.”

“Do you have the weapons?”

“What weapons?” Marie asked. She didn’t know anything about weapons involved with the thing. Well, besides the obvious weapon.

“When I was fighting that robot over there, I tried to pull out my key’s weapon. ”

“And it failed?” she asked. “Yeah, there seems to be a system for that right here…”

“Good. I hope so. ”

“There doesn’t seem to be a limiter on it, like a safety or something.” Marie observed. “Probably because it might be its own safety.”

“I think now, let’s get two of these going, and that’ll be said and done.” Reman stretched out, letting his free arm finally get more blood flowing to it.

“You mean two of these.” Marie replied, pushing a stack of blueprints towards him. They had a different driver design, one made to be more modular and upgradeable separately. There were spaces for tools, a microcomputer housed in it, as well as enough armor in the front to be suitable for use as a shield. Most of the interface seemed to be software and hologram driven, but there was some sort of key gel-capacitor that stored fluid for use in attacks to take down stronger enemies.

“Of course, I’m going to be using whatever material Romulus used on his driver’s shell. That stuff took such a beating, and look. It’s still fine.”

“Something I have no idea about. When do you think it will be ready by the way?” Reman asked, looking at the torn bracer. “By the way, did you see anything in that bracer? Like, a kind of… tracker?”

“If there is one, I didn’t find it.” Marie told Reman. “In any case if you’re really concerned about that, we can throw away the entire internal assembly. If I can get the proper parts machined easily, the two drivers can be ready in about a week or so, probably yours with a little bit of your Greek letter stuff.”

“I’d assume he wasn’t the subtle type. If there was one, It’d be obvious.”

“Well, we’re still probably throwing a fair few parts in the ‘still good’ bin. We aren’t reusing this circuit board at the very least.”

“So, are we keeping the scanner as well?”

“For now. I’ll make something about the same to it since I’m actually okay with how I designed it.”

“We could just put the one on there on mine, right? Is there anything that we’d need to throw out from it?”

“Only the PCB. Completely unusable in a different thing due to how it’s configured.”

After this, Reman paused, and prepared to ask a stupid question he would likely regret if he asked anyone else on the ship. “Can I customize this thing? I’ve kinda grown attached to the grandiose announcements.”

Marie took a while to look at Reman. “Yeah. I’ve thrown the whole sound thing back in anyways. I thought it was completely impractical at first, but auditory cues to the user are...useful at times so long as you can mute it. Maybe a dusty environment. Heck, I’ve even gone a little vain and made my driver have my own symbol on it once it attaches. Of course, the voice is being resynthesized and everything.”

“Symbol? Are you going for the whole ‘greek letter’ format as well? ”

“I’ve been part of this thing for potentially longer than even you have.” Marie answered. “Well, without being frozen in a tube.”

“So… What is it?”

“The symbol for flux, phase shift, and power phases. Phi.” Marie answered. “A greek letter I respect instead of one forced on me.”

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