[Episode 1.5] Bivona

Pancakei

Well-Known Member
Outer Sectors
Bivona

3 Days After Episode One

In the days following the trip to Loinia, the Downrider was in a bit of an unusual state. In part, because of the holographic Overseer model that liked to just hang out by one chair in the commons area. Their new guest hadn't gone far out of their way to strike up much conversation with the crew beyond the basic greetings, but occasionally the physical body of OSC-01 would be seen slumping through the cargo bay. To ensure crew safety to some form of degree, Dahlia had wrapped bungee cables all around the folding feather-like glaives of the robot. They didn't seem to care.

The bulky courier ship slowly descended upon the stark colony of Bivona. One of the more "successful" examples of living in the farthest reaches of the known star chart, the lakeside city that nestled up against the bowl of surrounding was livable at best. While the town was a pretty sight during the summer, the crew had the misfortune of arriving in one of their rough winters. The air was cold and dry, and the normally blue lake had been iced over with grey slush that washed upon the rocky beaches. The city itself seemed to be having an identity crisis. Older, wooden and metal buildings sat neighborly next to more modern bunkers of concrete and glass. Scaffolds sat strung up around several in-progress buildings, the workers having left for the evening. In the plazas sat large metal tubes, with fans atop them that drew warm air out from beneath the earth, and pushed it out onto the mix of pedestrians below.

The Downrider crew had arrived well into the evening, on the brink of dusk. The night life of the city had only just started to take off for the weekend. Dahlia stepped out of the cockpit of the Downrider, making her way to the commons area. She was clad in a greyish-blue coat, and wrapped around in a hooded grey cloak that was insulated with a purple fleece lining. The cloak met in a large metal and glass slide that rested just below the neck, a deep blue in color.

The cozy captain turned back to the amount of crew she was likely holding up from getting off the cramped ship. "Alright everybody. we're only staying here for the night or so. I'm going to be gone for a little while, I have to go meet an.... informant. I trust at least one of you can handle refueling and restocking while I'm gone, yes?" There was barely a pause for commentary, "Good. We'll be meeting with a few people tomorrow regarding our finds. Osco?"

From across the room, the hologram poked its head up. In the meantime, OSC-01's Pixy units had been wandering around the ship. In fact, one of them was poking around looking at the various star charts the group had pooled together.
"Don't leave the ship. We don't need to draw attention."

The hologram looked up briefly, before continuing on in their.... whatever they were doing. "Wouldn't dream of it."

Dahlia nodded and exhaled, opening up the side door of the ship to let the crew out onto the asphalt lot they had parked in. The scholar hopped off the last step, avoiding a puddle of slush on their way down. She then turned back. "And uh, one more thing. The local mob runs this place. Try not to pick any fights."

With that last message of... vague worry out of the way, Dahlia went on her way, pacing east towards the more built up section of town.



So this thread is a bit of a little intermission before the official Episode Two. The main goals here is just to introduce a few new players to the plot, which I will be handling. Do what you want, just don't get crazy or too off-topic about it. If you want to do some short JPs with a character, this might be a good place to do it. OSC-01 is available for a chat, if you dare.
You can also follow Dahlia if you want, but you won't be able to actually participate in the meeting when it happens.
If a few people want to go as a group to go explore and get groceries or something like that, I'd be willing to keep describing for that.

Also, she wasn't kidding about the whole mob thing.
 
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META_mahn

Well-Known Member
Downrider Parking Spot

Marie agreed, quite casually. She didn’t have her mind set on going out into the town aside from food, materials she needed, and perhaps some alchemically-fueled dumpster dives to make big sticks of homogenous mixtures of elements good for transmuting into other things.

Her mind was on the bracer currently holstered to the side of her leg, hidden under the lab coat. Almost immediately after Dahlia finished, Marie went back inside where she went to her lab bench, starting up the recorder for some logged transcripts.

She’d been dragged out and called up for a little address from the captain to the rest of the crew, and she would very like to get back to doing this experiment of hers.

The experiment in question was the bracer strapped to her leg, a sleek white-and-gray thing, was the culmination of the past three days of work. It was a driver, not of Romulus’s design, but her own.

“For the glory of science it is.” she muttered to the lab bench recorder.

“This is my first test of the driver, with a live key, no less. This can either go really well or really poorly. If it goes really poorly, I doubt much genetic material of me will remain since I don’t have the things necessary to perform a safe test.” Marie sighed. “Or maybe that won’t happen and instead I’ll get thrown across the room since I think of this goes wrong a small tornado will whip up here. And yes, I have debug voicing on. Deal with it.”

Marie took out the green, glowing key. She took off her watch, adapted to be a sort of key for the driver, fitting the watch into a little notch in the driver’s wrist end.

Click. The driver extended a shell around the circumference of the watch, as well as extending a bar across the top that was slightly loose and could be pushed in, making a very subtle symbol. It was fitting, Marie decided.

A smooth male voice began rattling away at the system startup functions, naming away core processes.

Main Bus Diagnostic...Ready.
Computing System...Ready.
Driver Lock...Ready.
Fusion Level...31.
Driver System...Ready.
Process System Ready.


That was part one. That was the safe part. And now she put the driver on her arm, turning the sound down a little.

Straps shot out and cooled around her arm as she affixed the watch to her wrist properly. The computer inside the driver activated, displaying a flat holographic screen in the air, like a computer desktop of sorts.

But more importantly, a hologram around the bracer itself appeared, showing a diagram of a plate on the driver that could be pulled back and a key being inserted into the slot. She held the key up, before driving it in like a nail into the open slot.

Click.

Cyclone: Standing by.

The slot crunched down on the key, leaving a stripe of bright green disrupting the whites and grays, quickly disrupted again by a faint green glow that emitted from the cracks of the driver itself. A latch on the top of the driver flipped down, in the shape of a convenient handle. On the sides, two metal arms popped out. The hologram changed, turning into three separate diagrams. One was closer to the wrist, showing a person pushing the bar back and then firing a generic energy blast out from the hand. The other showed a person pulling the metal arms down and raising the driver into the air. The third was much simpler: A crossed-out diagram of a person pulling the latch.

Of course, Marie knew what each diagram meant. She walked out of the engineering room with the driver on.

“Preface: I have no idea if this will work or not.” she told whoever was there to listen, a hint of a smile on her face. She didn’t care. This was about to be great.
 
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ZweiHawke

Active Member
Bivona
Downrider


Reman got up out of his little corner of the ship, nearly finished cloaking generator left unfinished. For the first time in a while, he was able to wake up without a brace, and that feeling to him was greater than any satisfaction his job had ever brought him.

Getting to work on the ship again with a free arm, however, was even greater. He could really get into the grit, and get moving, fixing this run down sack of junk into something that ran well,without issues.

During work, he thought about that conversation about Marie's driver, and his dreams from the previous night. With a bit more of a carefree attitude, he shrugged off his nightmare and kept working.

But, as if by some otherworldly coincidence, he could hear the engine of a hoverbike nearby...
 
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speeder01

Active Member
Bivona

Within the 'successful' dredges of Bivona, a young, irritated girl sat on a roof with her feet hanging off the edge. This place was always terrible, but now she couldn't even get a proper place to spend the night or something to eat without breaking laws. It wasn't HER fault that the mob had beef with her now, but it already locked her out of nearly everything. "Oh, lovely red apple, tho art my only friend." She said holding it out away from her with her hand on her chest, before taking a nice big bite out of it. "And just like that, you are half the friend you once were."

With her only friend half gone already, she stood up and stretched, eyeing the layout of the town once more. It was like Hell had frozen over out here. She didn't mind the cold so much when she had a nice cozy building to hide in, but now... She shivered, and took a few more experimental hops, then with a running jump- hopped off of her perch, seemed to run across a wall for far longer than a human should have beenable to manage, and landing somehwat unsteadily on some scaffolding outside said building. It was a wonder she hadn't accedently knocked down any walls doing this yet. Or broken her neck. "Haha, well, that- was fun. Let's go again."

And just like that, the young ex orphanage dweller traversed the town, never setting foot on the ground. Although htere were a few close calls where she only barely managed to hangon to a roof and clamber up. Anyone watching intently may notice odd glinting whenever she ran in these odd fashions, especially under her feet. Eventually- she arrived within a suitable distance for actually laying eyes on the port, and noted an unfamiliar ship. "Oh, fun, visitors? Maybe i'll say hi!." But, untill then, she continued traversing the rooftops in her odd, haphazard manner. Occasionally quite ineffeciently too, when she found her way up tall buildings.
 

Pancakei

Well-Known Member
Bivona
Streets


Mikodimus had met up with Dahlia having a few topics he wished to discuss with her. After the mission he had left open the next steps they would be taking with everything they had brought back. There was also the unsual feelings he had towards her. Most of the time people were just a means to an end yet she had managed to pull his attention.

"Thanks for joining me out on the town. So as I was saying, what plans do we have for the loot?"

Dahlia kept up the pace as the two went through the town. She didn't exactly invite Miko, but she didn't mind the company. The cloaked scholar fiddled with their wallet as they carefully tread the iced streets. "Tomorrow morning I'm having a buyer come by to pick some of it up. Some of it I'm entrusting to some.... friends. They take a bit, and they'll send what I want back to Talamon."

"Very good, I hope they pay well. I am looking forward to our next adventure and will need funds for it." Miko was enjoying his walk and thinking of the payday coming soon. "If you don't mind me asking, who are the buyers?" He asked in a curious tone.

Dahlia held a low note for a moment. "Well, right now I have a few informants that are looking for a cut of the profit, and some have asked to remain anonymous. The one's were dealing with here are... well, the mob."

"The what...did I hear you right that we are dealing with the mob? Oh gosh, that makes me uneasy as me and the mob do not get along. Bounty hunter and all that." Miko was shocked this young girl would get herself tied up with the mob. "I hope the pay is worth being connected with the mob."

Dahlia rolled her eyes at the man who was exclaiming quite a lot for someone who just found out they're linked to the mafia. "No no no, not quite like that. I didn't take out a 'loan' or anything. I've got an informant in them. They're the ones who found Loinia to begin with." She took a pause, making sure there wasn't anyone listening.

As they continued on towards the higher-price part of town, the two had started to occaisonally notice some people a little out of the ordinary. Dressed either in robes or in a casual uniform that was a strikng mix of teal and black. They didn't really seem to bother them, but in one instance Dahlia noted one looking right at them as they passed. Police, maybe? Perhaps the mob had let their hold slip.

Dahlia turned back to Mikodimus after a while. "Don't worry about it. I've been working with them for a few years now, its the fastest- sometimes only way to get something done around here."

"You have done us right so far and have no doubt in what you say." Miko said with a smile. He was still uneasy about this as he noticed all the new eyes on him. His vector powers in response moved her slightly closer to him. A glance over to see her this close caused him for just a moment to be shy.

Miko reached up and rubbed the back of his head. "So think all these wondering eyes think we are on a date?" He did his best to chuckle with the nervous undertones.
Multiple
Dahlia gave a brief, albiet hoarse snicker. "IIII don't know. Most dates involve at least some degree of hand holding."

There are moments in life that cause Miko to believe there are higher powers at large. Miko chuckled along with her thinking how foolish it would be for them to hold hands. He glanced down to her hand that was next to him. Oh please, its not like this was really a date. His eyes grew huge as the unthinkable happen. Either her hand moved to his or his to hers but watched as he took her hand in his. Oh fuck... Without missing a beat he smiled at her, "you mean like this?" If his vectors had shape he pictured them chuckling at this spectacle.

Dahlia was caught a little off guard at first, but then it turned into a smile. "Yeah I guess, if it were..." After a moment, her pale hand wriggled back out of the grip.

The two slowed as they reached deep within the heart of the colonies’ metropolitan district. There sat an old, run-down bar, completely unremarkable in any and all aspects. On the outside, the saloon holds a flickering neon sign struggling against its untimely death - "The Blind Vulture". Its windows were barricaded with construction tape, and stapled to the front door was a notice of foreclosure. The structure seemed to be all-around in a state of disrepair - boards missing or hanging loose from the walls, their nails bent and often found on the nearby ground. It looked completely abandoned, about to collapse at any given moment. No average passerby would, in their right mind, have any reason to even stray near the building.

Dahlia took a step onto the creaky old porch, turning back to face Miko. There was something that needed saying. "Look, don't think I don't know why you followed me."

She rested her arms breifly, folding them back under her cloak. She kept a somber smile for the moment. "You can be a... likeable guy. But for now, we're looking for a lost civilization, not a date. Let's keep it like that for now?"

"Business before pleasure, can respect that about you." He had a soft smile on his face. "I admit I wanted to spend some time around you. There was something I wanted to confirm if I could. I believe I have my answer."

He tipped his down for a moment then took a step towards the porch. When he looked up at Dahlia he still wore the smile. He gave her a soft pat on the shoulder. "Well, lets go find this civilization then, then we have have that date." He said with a wink.

Dahlia cracked open the door to the condemned building, pausing for a moment. "Maybe."
And with that, she was gone.


---

Bivona
Not Too Far Away

A few blocks down the street from "the Blind Vulture" stood a rather inconspicous pairing. Sat out on a screened-in balcony, the two had a good, and hard-to-detect view of the Mafia-run bar in question. One of them, a rather tall and dark man dressed in black and teal robes, scratched his chin patiently in thought. An unusual and tall fellow, he wore a dark teal blindfold wrapped around his eyes, that came tied together under a stark white diadem of metal. It was an odd fashion statement, but it didn't seem to impair the man at the slightest.

A pale, honred woman sat next to him there in a dark dress that paired exceptionally well with her red, draping hair. She looked incredibly out of place in the town, though not many people took mind of her as they passed by. If one looked close enough they could see a small but thick tail dangling behind her. She looked rather uncomfortable in the seat she was sitting in, as if there was a needle in the chair that she didnt wish to share the existance of.

Their silent watched continued for a few minutes, before the best candidates came into view. The man pulled his hand away from their sharp graying beard, watching as another odd pairing held a conversation on the Blind Vultures porch. One cloaked in grey and purple, and the other standing tall and in gear. The two parted ways, with the cloaked one heading inside the supposedly condemned house.

The man spoke up, his voice left gravely from the period of silence. There was no harshness, however. "There. I believe those two may be of help to you." His half-concealed face yawed just enough to face the strange girl next to him, the occiasonal brown lock of hair poking up from the otherwise orderly cut.

"Well," a sudden smile flashed across her face as she stood up "lets go have a conversation with them then!" Yvonne marched towards the exit of the balcony.

The man gave a gruff 'hmm', standing slowly to match the girl. "I'm sorry, but you'll have to do it alone."

The man flattened out his robes, running his hand across a recently repaired seam on the right sleeve. "I wish I could do more, but you won't find what you're looking for by following me."

For a brief moment there was a sad look on the girl's face, she briefly hugged him. The manner of kindness took the man a bit by surprise, as he returned it simply with a pat on the shoulder. She followed up by thanked him for everything hes done for her, and then quickly exited the balcony.

The dark man turned, begininning to make his way back into the building the balcony was affixed to, before turning to say one last thing. "Good luck. And to you and them, I am but a stranger."

Yvonne gave him a worried look, but said nothing and kept moving onto the streets below.
 
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Pancakei

Well-Known Member
Bivona
The Blind Vulture
Mafia Time



Despite its decrepit exterior, however, the bar was a sparkling new, completely different world. The first thing of notice was a spotless, vermilion carpet floor, adorned with numerous black domino patterns. The flawless dark wooden walls could have only been the fruits of a master's labor, and the tables were made of seemingly the same material. The numerous stools scattered around the place, each around a table, were composed of a fine midnight black leather with long metal legs - except for the ones around the bar counter, which appeared to be of a crimson red in color. Behind the bartender there were a few shelves which held the drinks, each exhibited bottle more exotic than the previous. Finally, the ambience was illuminated by no shortage of colorful (though faint) neon lights.

There was no absence of customers inside. A lot of them were like you’d see in those ancient black-and-white detective films, wearing matching suits and hats that have long since fallen out of fashion. Some liked to show off their body scars, others their tattoos, most are cheerfully having drags off their cigarettes and sips of their exotic beverages provided by a rough looking bartender. They sat in groups around the tables, making merry and betting against each other on the roll of dice or their hand of cards, though most of the gamblers seemed to be concentrated on the far backside of the place.

Near the bartender, however, was a figure that quite stood out from the inexplicably monochromatic crowd, wearing clothing more befitting a desert bandit than a generic mafia mook. He seemed to be making small talk to the man behind the counter in an effort to pass the time until when he could go off ahead to mind his own business - whatever that may be.

Needless to say, the blue-haired girl that had just entered the bar seemed far out of place at a glance. Dahlia didn’t seem nearly fazed by the finer upholstery nor its rougher clientele, however. She folded back her hood just a little bit, exhaling away the conversation with Mikodimus as well as the bit of frost that had formed on her red nose. The short woman worked her way towards the counter without need for introduction, clad in a purple-and-grey cloak that looked rather… comfy compared to most of the attire in the bar.

Dahlia took a seat a few feet down from the bandit-esque man, giving a subtle ‘not drinking’ signal to the bartender. She wasn’t here for that. Once the man behind the counter had gone on to tend their more profitable clients, she finally spoke up with an attempted formal tone. ”Ausse Avara.”

The figure shifted in his seat a bit into a more formal sitting position from his previously lax stance. Having just finished his drink, he slammed the empty cup down onto the counter, sliding it over to the bartender for another round of… whichever bottle he was currently holding, really. ”Hello there, Ms. Dahgan.” He seemed to be trying hard to stifle a chuckle at the saying of her “name”. ”I take it you’ve come seeking information as usual, is that correct?”

Dahgan couldn’t help but pass a chortle as well. So much for the serious film noire meeting. She pulled out a leather wallet, sifting through the various cards and bills from within her cloak. ”Perhaps. The lead you have on Loinia was good. We found a lot more than we bargained for down there."

The cloaked scholar took out a small wad of bills, carefully sliding it towards her informant. She still hadn’t looked his actual direction. "We’re working on the paperwork right now, but I figured you deserve an upfront bonus."

The figure carefully took hold of the bills and counted them one by one, before shaking his head and laying them down on the table once more, sliding them back towards his client. ”I appreciate the sentiment and your generosity, but I don’t have much use for any monetary value beyond what we agreed on. Rather, I’m much more interested in the reasons for your return trip.”

Dahlia reluctantly slipped the bills back into her coat pockets. "My crew will be refueling and working with a buyer soon, and we’re shipping some of the good back home. But that’s not why I urged to meet so soon.” She paused for a moment. ”We found something down there… a...:”

She motioned vaguely with her right hand around her head. She knew exactly what it was, a robot. But it was a robot that was just a little beyond a brief description. ”An interesting lead.” The scholar sighed for a moment, deciding now would be a good time to cut back to the chase. "Have you ever heard of Oakland Industries? Or, an Oakland Industries Overseer?"

He remained silent for a good few seconds, hands clasped in front on him on the counter, as if thinking about how best to relay that information. ”...Not as much as I’d like, I must admit.”

Dahlia nodded. ”Well, we found one. A full, working one of a line called 'Overseers.' She’s…" the scholar paused to find her words as her brows furrowed, ”She’s a character. I was wondering if you knew anything about them."

Nonchalantly as ever, the bartender arrived with the informant’s new drink, a glass of red wine, before heading back to tend to the other customers. The figure nodded a silent ‘thank you’, and turned back to his client beside him. ”I’ve seen a few ones, but they were all either a bunch of dismantled parts, or damaged beyond repair.” He paused to take a sip of his new drink, shortly afterwards placing it back down on the counter and running his fingertips in circles along its rim.

”It’s quite advanced tech, but I thought it had all been lost to time. To find out that one still exists in a working state is…” He caught himself mid-sentence, his voice suddenly turning to a tone of worry. ”...your crew didn’t damage it, did they? This has to be the first mention of a functional one I’ve ever heard of. I can’t even begin to give an estimate of how much they would be worth - I’m willing to judge them priceless antiques, even.”

There was a quiet, loathing hiss from Dahlia, directed more at herself than anything else. "Unfortunately, there was some… collateral damage. When it first activated, it tried to- well, kill us." The scholar took a moment to get the story straight. "Their reactor blew out, but they’re still in one piece. According to them, there was a virus sent out in a fake update. An aggressive one, sent from somewhere higher up. That… might explain why people are only bringing back chunks."

She got lost in thought for a moment, before snapping herself back to reality, "Now, they’re- calm, is the only word I can use. All I know is they know a lot about what we want to know. They’re looking to help us out but, they want ours in return. Something about checking up on some unfinished deeds." She paused for a moment, realizing just how ridiculous that sounded. "I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them, and judging by how much armor they were laden with, that’s not very far."

He let his head drop into both of his hands, covering his face in dismay. ”...collateral damage, you say…” There were a few quiet seconds of mourning before the informant slowly picked his head back up, hands dragging across his face, and looked down at the reflection of his drink. ”...well, let’s hope that it knows how to fix itself, at least. Because I strongly believe that any further tampering with it by unknowing hands will only damage it further.”

”But, yes, that would explain quite nicely. They’re being destroyed in self-defense, or the virus is causing them to, somehow, damage themselves. And… it seems that it would be in your best interest to heed the requests of the unit - if you’re still interested in pursuing that legend, that is. They certainly know more about themselves than I would ever be able to, and will be able to answer your questions about Oakland in further detail.”

He turned his head to once again look at his client, his eyes narrowed in what would seem to be annoyance. ”If they’re willing.”

She rolled her eyes. ”Please. I’ve been contemplating that for the past three days." She sighed, setting her hands on the bartop. "They seem crafty. I imagine they’ll try to fix themselves using whatever we’ve got on-board. Might need to lock up engineering until we can trust them."

”...Anyways,” she segued into a new topic, ”I had a few people jump ship as soon as we landed. I guess the idea of them actually dying to a robot was enough to set them away. Not like it wasn’t in the contract."

The scholar ran a pale but roughened fingertip up and down the grain of the wood surface. ”I’m telling you. We’re catching onto something big here, I feel it. If this Overseer is worth nearly the amount of credit they look, we may hit it. If you want in, we could use another gun.”

She looked over at the informant, one very blue eye peeking out from the sides of her folded hood. ”One with some trigger discipline.”


The informant mulled over her words for quite a while in an unnerving silence, no shortage of wine sips in-between. When the glass was finally empty once more, he signaled for the bartender to take it away - it was in his best interest to try and stay (mostly) sober during the meeting.

He briefly leaned back into his seat and stared up at the ceiling in thought, before speaking up. ”I am more experienced at striking unseen than being useful in a direct confrontation.” The informant pushed his travel poncho a bit to the side, revealing the prototype bracer strapped to his left arm, presumably to reinforce his point. ”And you do know, of course, that my methods are entirely non-lethal.”

”If you have no qualms about that, then I would gladly accept your invitation to get out of this place.” He vaguely motioned with his right hand towards his surroundings.

Dahgan let the air out of her lungs. That was a perfectly fine set of skills. ”That’s fine, just so long as you can carry some weight too. We need some more tranquility judging by how that fiasco went down.”

The scholar eyed the bracer momentarily, and rolled her eyes lightly. They eventually landed on the various bottles lining the wooden shelves. ”That thing doesn’t flash and scream, does it?”

”I can certainly haul some things around if you need me to, yes. A soldier’s physique isn’t just for show.” The informant chuckled lightly at her later remark, and shot back with a rhetorical question. ”It wouldn’t be optimized for stealth if it did, now, would it?” As he said that, he brought his right hand to the smallish screen of the bracer, and seemed to be typing in some sort of password. Maybe it would be better to show rather than tell.

”It’s just a prototype, so it’s not entirely flawless, but…” At the input of the final digit, some sort of field flickered briefly around the informant before he and his belongings became entirely transparent, invisible to the unobservant customers of the bar.

A few seconds later and after a bit of shuffling, he reappeared back into full visibility on the opposite side from Dahgan where he once sat, resting his boots up on the bar counter and sporting a snarky grin on his face. ”...for my needs, it’s just perfect.”

The scholar gave a flat “pffft” at the soldiers witty remark. "Good, one is enough on the ship. Speaking of, we do have an engineer-" Dahgan’s eyes widened briefly as the informant had disappeared. She was, however, expecting the sudden reappearance and had leaned her head over in that direction. "Ha-hah."

Her incredibly fake laugh trailed off for a moment, before remembering what she had seen stalking around outside on the way. "I take it you’ve probably seen the people in black n’ teal walking around with the odd looks? Are they in with the Mafia or something?"

The informant’s grin turned into a tight-lipped frown just as quickly as it appeared. His legs dropped from the top of the counter back into a more acceptable sitting position, though he shifted in his seat a bit, seemingly uncomfortable. ”Part of the mafia…? No. Not at all.”

”They’re not affiliated to anyone we know of except for themselves. They just… showed up one day, and started conglomerating near the outer colonies over the past few months, increasing in presence during these last few weeks. So far, we’ve found that they’re a paramilitary nomadic group who’ve taken to calling themselves the ‘Arcandum Union’. Name rings a bell?”

Dahgan bit her lip for a while, thinking it through. She had heard the word a few times, but never in reference to a group. Her face showed a good glint of concern at the mood shift her informant just had. "No. I’ve heard of a metal called Arcandum from a few sources, but never in reference to a group. Have they tried anything, done anything?"

He furrowed his brow in thought, trying to remember what he and his contacts have been able to gather about the union. ”No. They’ve been laying low so far, which is what makes them that much more disconcerting. We don’t know much of anything else about them, but I’ve a hunch they seem to be searching for the same thing as you.”

He glanced sideways towards the door of the bar. Even though security was tight around those parts, thanks to no shortage of eyes on behalf of the mafia, the informant couldn’t help but feel watched. ”I don’t trust them. And you’d best not, either.”

She perked up a bit, but not exactly with excitement. ’What makes you think they’re after Arcadia?"

”It really doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. It’s in the name. Arcandum Union. And where else can you find Arcandum but Arcadia?” The informant crossed his arms, tilting his head and looking to the ceiling in genuine contemplation, trying to think of anywhere else the metal could be found.

Dahgan smirked. "You’d be surprised. I’ve found traces of the stuff in all kinds of pawn shops.”

After a moment, she continued. ”Anyways, thanks for the heads up. I’ll make sure to steer clear of them.” The scholar then paused, looking around the room for a little bit and taking in all the lights. She had been here a few times already, but there was an almost subtle charm to it. If you could get past the smell of drunken sobs. ”So. If you want on my crew, you’re gonna have to tell me your name eventually. I don’t think you can receive payroll on a pseudonym.”

The edges of his mouth curled into a smirk. ”Why not try and see for how long I can keep going as ‘Ausse Avara’?” The informant snickered. ”Well, you already know my upkeep isn’t too expensive. I’m even willing to throw in a limited-time offer for you! You get me out of this place, and I’ll just need the minimum for survival and a couple odds and ends.”
”And, cap’n, you can call me Keith. Keith Argyris Sylva. I’m still a wanted man, so don’t go spreading that around.”


Dahgan smiled with a bit of a laugh, in relief. ”Good, the bare minimum is all we have. Don’t worry, I’m not too heavy on the gossip.” Well, that only took two years. ”Dahlia, by the way. Morgan. So far the only person to refer to me as captain has been, the robot.”

Keith shrugged somewhat in indifference. ”Well, you are the captain of the expedition and my superior from now on, are you not? Used to always have to refer to others by their ranks back in my military days. Old habits die hard, I guess.” He kicked himself off from the seat, crossing his arms behind his head to stretch his back. He began to make his way towards the set of stairs that led to his room, but stopped abruptly after a few steps.

”Oh, that’s right, huh. Where exactly did you park the ship?”

Dahlia set an elbow up on the counter, rubbing the lack of sleep away from her face before returning. ”Chances are, just look for the nearest column of smoke.”

”That certainly doesn’t seem like a very promising way to introduce new arrivals. Hopefully there’s not a fire going on as well.” He rubbed the nape of his neck. ”I’ll grab my things, and meet you there. Be careful on the way back,” was the last thing he said before completely disappearing up the flight of stairs to the second floor.
 

Burgmond

Well-Known Member
Downrider Parking Lot

"You go, girl! Woo!" Yes, Marie has her own peanut crowd, the infamous monster in the skin of man, the terror that would not only dance on your grave but do the backpack dance on your grave, and the essence of Chaotic Neutral: Juryrig. He's reading sensitive documents that she didn't do a good job securing; those documents in question are the blueprints and research for Drive technology. Not bad, not bad, but hardly fun and enduring to use.

It's why, while Juryrig is doing various drafts of something known as 'Codename: Mixtape' and 'Codename: Tapemix', AKA the DJ Drive and the Beat driver key, all on the newly made Alchemical Horse, he's also glancing at Marie's homework and also watching Marie as she messes with her toy.

Granted, formulating the new Drive & Key hasn't been everything that Juryrig had done the past few days! Oh no, he's been hard at work getting his three robot minions to a higher standard; giving the Downrider more unstable alchemical upgrade modules, such as a stolen snack machine that had been rigged to feed off the ship's alchemical energy to restock half of it's snacks every fourteen days.

He had considered either making the Drive a mechanical arm, or... Perhaps not, actually. Who knows, there is so much he can get away with for the Drive technology! It made Juryrig just so excited, oh the possibilities!

No, losing your arm and getting a mechanical arm that has the ability to apply alchemical magics directly into a solid surface does not count as a possibility, that's called an 'opportunity'. Juryrig checked the time piece that's imbedded in the wrist of the new arm, and continued working as he switched gears to reflecting on his conniptions...
 
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ZweiHawke

Active Member

Bivona
A few miles outside the Downrider


The biker drew closer to the target he had set. The engine on his bike was deafening, and fire was spewing out the exhaust, leaving a dusty trail of smoke and fumes. The maroon getup he wore fluttered in the wake of the bike. It wouldn't be long now until he had reached that victory he had so nary grasped so long ago. The first step to cleaning up his failed project at the facility.

The bike was now about a mile outside it's destination, and because of it's sheer velocity, it had to deploy a parachute, which it had materialized a few seconds prior. As soon as it came to a full stop, it was right outside the ship it was looking for, and the parachute simply fizzled into dust, and then was sucked back into the bike.

Downrider

The biker took off his helmet, put on a pair of round glasses, and a maroon trilby lined with a black band, to match his previous getup. The man, prepared a band on his wrist, and it spatially compacted the bike into a small little neon blue cube, no bigger than his thumb, and put it in his pocket.

The man coughed. He was surprised to see his target working... Here. Of all places. On the ship of the famous (or infamous) Dahlia Morgan.

How peculiar.

As startling as this revelation was to him, it was of no real consequence, but rather, a way to get even closer to the target. He brushed aside his dirty blonde hair, and prepared a buisness card from his wallet, before clearing his throat as he walked towards the ship.

"*ahem* Is there a... Dahlia Morgan... On this ship?" The man bellows. "I would like a word with her."
 

Burgmond

Well-Known Member
Jury looked up to the direction of the surprise visitor. Or perhaps a not-surprise-surprise-visitor. Or maybe the kind of fortold but it was subtley foreshadowed during all the exposition dumps that Reman spewed out time to time. "A new element to the plot of the filler pisode? Well don't mind if I just scooty my booty for the sake of causing serious kahooty!"

Leaving all the paperwork on the Horse for the time being, the alchemical artificer intercepted the blonde with a wide smile, and yet the blacks of his eyes were cold end seemingly endless, physically incapable of being even a decent window into the soul. "DAHLIA? Well Dahlia actually kinda sorta left already! I think she wanted to see someone about something, don't remember where and why, but I know she'll have to come back eventually, so you can just sit tight right here and eventually you'll get your encounter!"

"Though uh, who're ya exactly," Jury's eyebrows furrowed, but his smile remained unchanged, "because that is a fine trilby right there!"
 

ZweiHawke

Active Member
The man in maroon was disinterested in talking to one of the lackeys that Dahlia employed to do her dirty work. However, if he was going to get close to the captain, he'd probably have to get through someone, and this overly friendly sucker would be the one to help him get a foot in the door, and close to Beta.

"Is she not here?" The biker reaches into his pocket, and pulls out a business card. "Then tell her that she's expecting someone when she gets back." He then flings the card square into the center of Jury's torso. "By the way, The name is Caesar. Caesar Auric. And that's my card." Upon inspection, the card is just blank white with the words 'MY CARD' printed in a sans-serif font.

"Pardon me? Is there someone she was waiting for?" Reman says, stepping out from underneath the ship's engine block.

To the biker, this was like Christmas day. There he was. This byproduct he was chasing for years was finally right before him. Ever since the tracker restarted, he knew he'd find beta eventually. Someone would have to have found the capacitor it was hidden underneath though, which means... There was a previous worker from Amperia on the ship, who must have broke the seal, which means... No more Proto1 Driver.

Even Better.

"I'm sure you know who I am." Caesar replied.

"No, other than what you just told us, I don't. Did she send for you?" Reman asked, unsure of this cocky, well dressed eccentric gentleman.

"Not quite, but I did hear about the expedition that you went on. And this well meaning individual sure has been friendly to me so far." Caesar went in for a handshake with Jury, extending his arm towards him.

"I'd like to join the Downrider Crew."
 
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META_mahn

Well-Known Member
Marie simply followed the instruction guide on her driver, pulling the arms back, making an audible ka-chunk.

"That's something I need to fix..." Marie stated, audible to the man outside, as the Process Driver on her arms began to emit a pulsing bass thrum, confirming that it was ready. Marie only raised her arm into the air as a pulse of air blasted outwards, knocking open the door. To the man outside, Marie was encased in lines drawn outwards from the driver, running across her body.

Materialize.

The air sucked back in, blowing away the light encasing Marie as the armor revealed itself. Complete.

Marie was silent for a while, as the door rocked on its hinge. Then, she looked at her hands and the driver, where the top hologram instruction changed to pulling the latch to cause some sort of...big explosion.

"It works! It really works!" she exclaimed, still in the armor and oblivious to the fact the door was now blown open, her friends were probably blasted out across the ground, and there was a stranger standing outside. "I actually made the thing work four days ahead of schedule! I am an actual genius!"
 

Forumlurker

Member
Bivona
Downrider Cargo Bay
Shortly before Romulus arrived


A piercing electronic screech echoed through the Downrider, emanating from a corner of the cargo bay. Shortly before the party had entered the ruins three days prior, Cognis had, for lack of a better word, crashed. The android froze, unresponsive despite the events that happened soon afterwards. He was discovered as the crew left, and unceremoniously dumped into the cargo bay. However, it would seem that he had just woken up. Though he had been left in a standing position, he had fallen over at some point in the ensuing days, and now lay twitching and flailing on the floor. After a long moment, the screeching and flailing died down, leaving Cog silently on the floor.

A few seconds later, the android stiffly rose to its feet, looking around at the various scrap and artifacts recovered from the ruins of the ruins of the sanctum. Cog’s head swiveled around, taking in the sight of the cargo bay, before freezing upon facing the door. The android's body promptly pivoted around to match the direction of its head and broke into a sprint out of the cargo bay, crying out.

“MISS MORGAAAAN!”

OSC-01's limp body had been standing propped up against one of the cargo boxes in the bay, the consciousness controlling it being elsewhere. A moment after the screech occurred though, the host snapped back into control. Apparently, there was someone competing for the title of Squall.

Before Cognis made it to the door, a somewhat annoyed- and unidentified, voice rang out. "She's not home."

The frantic android attempted to screech to a halt, but an unfortunately-timed twitch of its foot caused it to instead trip and roll across the ground for several feet before coming to a sprawling halt. Still on the ground, Cog retorted;

"ShE ISN'T?! wHAT DO YOU MEAN SHE I- waitwhoareyou?"

He began to rise to his feet, nearly falling to the floor when hit by another involuntary spasm, but managing to keep his balance.

"You look like Bert, but you aren't Bert. Did you make Bert? Are you broken? You look a little broken-- WHaT HApPEnED?! WHAT DAY IS IT?!"

The battered Overseer pressed away from the wall, doing their best to stand proper despite servo damage. OSC-01's green eyes quickly flickered on, looking the robot over with a significantly more calm demeanor. "I am OSC-01, an Oakland Heavy Industries Overseer Model T."

With the more formal introduction out of the way, she resumed her normal take on conversation. "I haven't seen you active, who are you. And... pull yourself together."

"I'M TRying... It won't-- listen."

Cog twitched again, one hand and arm seizing up in an almost palsied manner before returning to normal.

"But what about you? Where's Oakland? How were you damaged?" He shuddered again. "HOw LONG wAS I-- er, how long was I inactive?"

OSC-01's eyes narrowed at the hysterical robot. She had half a good mind to slap them, but she didn't need any more reasons for the group to distrust her. The Overseer pulled up their wings straight with their body, but then decided to take the risk. She swung her right arm around, the rounded ball that formed the end of their forearm smacking Cognis right in the side of the head.

Who knows, he could have had the virus too.

CLONGGGG

Cog's head snapped to the side with the impact. He swayed with the hit, compensated, slowly raised his featureless head back to its normal position, and whipped his own right arm around in a motion that mirrored OSC-01s, his open metal palm striking the side of their head with approximately the same amount of force that was delivered to him.

"That was very rude. Would you please answer my question?"

The surprisingly hefty head of the Overseer barely yielded as Cognis' arm impacted it, leaving it stuck straight out. After a moment, OSC-01 responded in an equally unsatisfied tone, as statuesque as ever. "Miss Morgan left to visit an informant somewhere in the city, as of nine minutes ago."

"Now, tell me who you are and why you're here," she said, slowly folding their disembodied wings once more. Notably, the front four "feathers" had been wrapped up in bungee cords and bright orange ratchet straps.

Completely ignoring the second question, Cognis' voice perked up somewhat.

"Oh! Did she sa-" he shuddered, "Y wHEN SHe'D BE BACk?!"

The android was acting restless now, shuffling from foot to foot and making small movements with its hands between small spasms.

The question garnered silence from the Overseer.

The staredown lasted for a few more seconds before Cog turned and began walking towards the exit, stumbling slightly every few seconds.

"I nEEd to go find her. We'll talk more later!"

The Overseer remained still for a moment, watching the hysterical robot leave. She'd do more, but her battery life dictated... calmness. Instead, their right forearm split open to reveal their more human-like hand. The Overseer grumbled silently and started to follow Cognis, tearing off the twice-wrapped bungee cord circling one of their feathers.

The android accelerated into a run as it entered the hallway off of the cargo bay, but promptly faceplanted when hit by another bodily spasm. Cognis quickly stood again, but decided to limit himself to a brisk walk until he could get his body completely under control.
 

Burgmond

Well-Known Member
"Ha, so you say, my esteemed to-be colleague! You and I are two peas in a quantum entanglement!" Juryrig took that hand and gave it a firm shake, and progressed further into a very one-sided bear hug.

"Working here will be an experience you will never forget! But, you know," the scientist had begun adding as he let Caesar go, "paperwork and blah blahs and the downtime we all gotta endure and crap like that," he said with accompanied hand gestures.

"For now we're just working ooooooooooooon... Drivers, right?" Juryrig twisted to look at Reman, only to trust right back to Caesar. "Yeah, Driver stuff! That girlie over there was just testing, hence why she's currently talking to herself at grossly exaggerated volume! See how I wrapped up those elements so seamlessly?"

The lunatic cackled, wiped a tear of joy from his eye with a magi-tech hand, and then pointed to himself. "The name's Juryrig! Pleasure's all mine!"
 

ZweiHawke

Active Member
When Jury shakes Caesar's hand, it was quite a warm gesture, quite literally. The skin on romulus's hand seemed to be a way higher temperature than it should have been, physically steaming upon the gesture ceasing. The Biker looked toward the man he'd been chasing all this time.

"Are you hired help as well? Or are you one of the local boys?"

"I'm onboard as well, but I'm here for maintenance purposes and a bit of firepower if worst comes to worst." Reman said, eager to bet back to work and tiring of this conversation already.

"You problably should get back to it then, so don't mind me." Caesar said, walking past Jury before a door in front of him slams open, as if an invitation. He saw another opportunity to get a foodhold with the crew.

Reman did just what he had wanted to earlier, and got back to work; fixing up the engine block to run at capacity.

Marie's display with the driver was punctuated with a loud metallic CLANG from behind the door, followed by a clattering noise and the sounds of robotic limbs fervently scrambling to stand again. Cog pushed past the freshly-dented door and moved to head down the ship's on-ramp, but froze at the sight of Caesar walking up in front of him. The android waved, twitching unnervingly

"Oh, h-eEElLo! You must be new! Do you know where Miss Morgan is- whoa. You are REALLY hot! Are you a sage?"

"Sages are not quite my area of expertise, but I can tell you with certainty, that I'm not." Caesar said, quickly realizing something he hadn't before. "Hang on Jury... Did you say... Drivers?"

Marie wasn't incredibly sociable, either, walking out in her suit of driver-made armor. "Sweet, so I do have someone to witness my first working prototype!" she started off, still completely self-absorbed in her amazing creation.

"As in, ones that use..." He rummaged around his belt, and pulls out a sterling silver key, one that someone might have... 'Lost' a little while ago. "Stole this from some clueless sucker in a nearby system."

Marie instantly swiped it from his hand, disengaging the current Cyclone key and switching it out for the new key.

Steel: Standing By.

Once again, the arms popped out, swinging down. Marie pulled them back once again to engage her transformation, this time without raising her arm up.

Materialize.

The Cyclone armor faded off, leaving Marie basked again in a glow, before heavy plates formed around the Sage, casting themselves around her body in a heavy armor.

"Never thought I'd run into an institute member here that worked on that project... How has it been... Marie." The biker said, having a clear knowledge of who this lady is despite presumably not ever meeting her before.

Complete.

"IT WORKS! It works with other keys!" Marie exclaimed once again, completely ignoring the biker. "No bugs in the code, no flaws, I am the greatest!"

Cognis stood off to the side of the exchange, staring at each speaker in turn like someone following a tennis match. This was fascinating, to be sure, and the time for relentlessly questioning them would come soon, but he had higher priorities at the moment.

"The last sane survivor of Project Round Table." The biker gave a smug smirk to Jury, and then walked over to marie. "Do you mind for a sec?" Caesar grabbed the bracer, and pressed his arm to it, causing whatever display to read a number.

49

"Still got it."

"Huh?" Marie asked. "Oh...wait, FUSION LEVEL 49?"

Caesar removed his hand from the bracer and started walking straight into the ship, uninvited and uninterested in what he knew as his former assistant, acting as she did while on the project. A hapless romantic with a love for creating things. Now it was time to find the tracker.

He was blocked by Cognis standing in the doorway

"Excuse me sir, but do you know where Miss Morgan is?"

"Been looking for her myself. Trying to get along with the crew so far." The Biker tilted, as if to try to get past Cognis.

"Ah, well. W-" He twitched "Ee CAn go look for her together, then!" The android threw both arms out wide in a display of enthusiasm, hands colliding with the walls.

Caesar paused, and thought of an idea. "That'd be a wise decision... Oh man. So bad with names today. You are?" If he was to get on the ship, if Dahlia saw him with an established member of the crew, he'd have a foothold for sure. Wherever she was.

"Cognis!" His tone indicated that if he had a face, he'd be beaming like a child that had just found a bag of candy. Then again, that was fairly normal for him.

The enthusastic android turned towards Marie

"Miss Conroe, did Miss Morgan say where she was going?"

"I...don't remember." Marie replied, now calming down as she disengaged the key.

Decompression.

The driver made a small hiss of gas as the armor plates came off, the internal glow fading to reveal that the person inside was indeed Marie Conroe. "Wait, how do you know me?"

Caesar tapped a little bit of his holster, and as if light itself bent, he was by marie, and gently took the key. He then tapped it again and rocketed back to where he was. "You were involved in Round Table."

"I don't recall a...Round Table." she answered, taking out a notebook to start writing down results of the first driver test.

"Besides, this isn't yours... yet." Caesar replied. "Can't go take anything from a store you like without buying it. You gotta earn it first."

"Oh yeah. Right." Marie replied, now a little down. Still, the fact it worked with a different test case was good news. Maybe she should ask for more test cases...

"Do you have any more keys I could test with?" she asked.

"Quite possibly. Maybe even one you'd be especially interested in, sage." Caesar puts the key back in his belt, and displays the full array of them by lifitng up the corner of his suit jacket, revealing the whole of the holster, the silver key, a yellow one, and a red one. "You always were an inquisitive member of the team, you know."

"Isn't it natural to ask for as many test cases as possible?" she asked, gently peering at the keys.

"Possibly, but that's how the project ended to begin with." Turning to the AI he had just encountered, Caesar asks; "So, if you were Dahlia, where would you be? I'd be hard pressed to find her."

"I have" twitch "nOOOOO IdeA!" Cog replied.

"Um, dealing with the mafia, I think she said?" Marie answered.

"Hah. Figures." Romulus walks slowly towards an open area, and takes a disc out of his front pocket. "Want to help me find where?"

"No, I've got another driver to assemble." Marie answered.

"ABsOlutely! If you have a way to find her, then let's go!" Cog briskly followed Caesar down the ramp, stumbling twice on the way down but miraculously remaining standing.

"That's a shame, Marie. It's be good having you onboard again." The biker then tossed up the disc, which started growing in size before it split in two, with little particles of energy inbetween the two halves, which then subsequently arrange themselves into a smaller, sleeker fighter craft. "Cognis, you may want to get in." The fighter craft hovers gently above, and extends a small disc of energy right below the hovering mast of the ship. Caesar steps on, and gestures cognis to join. The android jumps straight in. The disc retracted and the two entered the craft. "You problably know what she looks like better than I do, so you're on spotting duty." Romulus entered the cockpit and slowly drove off, shifting the floor to a more transparent state, as he started to scour the area around the downrider.

"How is his fusion level 49?" Marie asked, to no one in particular, after Caesar flew off.

A moment after the craft ascended above the lot, OSC-01 stepped out onto the top step of the ramp. She was late to catch the culprit, two of them now. Starting to dearly miss power, the Overseer looked to one of the three Pixy units floating around, willing it to follow the craft. Just in case it posed a threat to the captain.

The Overseer's focused shifted however, at a series of shuffles and quiet clangs coming from the cargo bay.
 

Burgmond

Well-Known Member
Juryrig had, once again, suspiciously stayed out of this exchange, the quirky, careless, annoying man observing the discussion, although never being too far from Caesar. He will admit, the man has a damn nice bike; boring, but nice enough to appeal to his brother's tastes. His bro would've loved it.

Now where was he going with this? Oh yes, Juryrig was forming a small social experiment when he saw Caesar; a very last minute decision, but because of the fact he slipped in about Drivers at the last moment, he got the Caesar fellow to focus more on Marie, and from there work out what motivates the man. It's something Jury's been working on during the three days they've all been up in space, seriously, don't diss the internet, it's got good shit.

Anyway, Jury stayed behind as Caesar and Cognis (oh hey, Cognis is alive again!) left the area, and was about to head back to work outside the ship when he has also percieved the noises coming from the cargo bay. He twisted his head slowly, his mechanical arm twitched eagerly; it could be one of his machines, but a small voice in Juryrig's head told him that this was the part where new characters are introduced. Small, insane, but seldom wrong.
 

Trainscanflytoo

Active Member
Bivona Port
Inside of the ISS Downrider

Deimos never liked the cold. Despite the fuzz on his tail and fluff of his ears, the biting frost that lingered even where internal heating systems fended it off always left the boy in an eternally tremulous state. It didn't help that - from what he could hear - the hatches leading out of the ship were being continuously opened and closed, letting puff after puff of snug, warm air be exchanged for blizzards.

It didn't help to have a slab of metal strapped to the cliff that is his shoulder. Being completely hollow, there wasn't much surface area to retain heat in the first place. With a little effort, he managed to tuck the armor beneath the padding of a fur-lined bomber jacket, with his trademark cloak exchanged for something much thicker. The result was something like out of a holiday card, with hi being bundled tightly beneath layer after layer even within the confines of the ISS Downrider.


His door hissed open, and all that could be seen between a bush of hair and the mounds of fluff that comprised the collar of his cloak were a set of two amber eyes staring beneath glazed lids out into the opening of the ship's common area. If it hadn't have been for the ruckus outside, he would have stayed in and slept, lying dormant in what one might consider hibernation until the party left the planet's surface for their next destination.

"You know some of us are trying to sleep."
 

META_mahn

Well-Known Member
Bivona Port
ISS Downrider


The fox-man was promptly ignored by the silver-haired engineer pacing around just outside of all of their doors, inconveniently, muttering to herself while writing in her notebook.

"The gel-formation assembly seems to project power out...too much of it...maybe we could trickle it? No, that wouldn't be good for emergency situations. How can we solve this? Route the effect capacitors for the transformation power to vent into? No, they're being stressed enough as-is. If those things blow up that'll surely cause adverse radiation effects seeing as the gel-sinks that radiate the power out when the user is unable to fight anymore are already at high stress. A better material is certainly a large luxury at this point...and I'm not sure how to procure those alloys." Marie mused, then stopped. Then, she threw her notebook across the hall.

"Dammit, why didn't I take that material studies class?" she raged, at no one but herself. But then, a thunderbolt of an idea -- literally, as a spark leapt from her body to a nearby metal object -- struck her.

"What if we siphon the assembler's power into a tube...like a gun?" she asked herself. What if was the big question. It would make for a good opening strike...and not one that would be too shabby either. The Sage ran over to grab her notebook again, starting to write down formula after formula on plausible strength of the alpha strike. She finally looked up, after what seemed like minutes of math.

"This...could work."
 

ZweiHawke

Active Member
Bivona Port
Downrider


Reman, finished with the daily maintenance of the Downrider, walks over towards Marie, lays down his tools, and sits on his bag full of components. He looks at the empty space on his left arm, and clearly being a little intrusive to Marie's thought process starts to ask a question.
"How's the Process going? Particularly well?" is what he asked, eyeing Marie's watch-driver hybrid.

"And what about that guy on the bike? Anything in particular interesting about him?" Reman asked, lulled into a false sense of security by the mannerisms of his inventive coworker. "Seemed like some watch-selling jackass that'd ask you about timeshares, but I wouldn't know. The damned engine is rustier than I first thought. WOW does that make noise." Not wanting to rant further, he self-consciously checked if the cyclone key was still there.

It was.

He was relieved by even this tiny thought. Finally, someone who wouldn't try and murder him the first chance they got. For once.

------------------------------

Bivona Airspace
Caesar's Ship


Caesar, starting to make conversation with the malfunctioning android, hovers over a large busy area of traffic, in order to find the key he would need to enter the crew that held Beta in it's ranks. Making friends who could possibly help him out seemed like not only a great scapegoat to get in, but a good one to get out too. If things got hairy enough, he could bail himself out by having a friend with an alibi at his ready disposal.

"So... Cognis. Spot her anywhere yet? I doubt that a captain like her likely wanders far from her ship, no matter how much of a junker it is." Caesar said, calmly piloting the ship around the town. "What is she like? I'd assume someone like her is 'charismatic' and 'leaderly', if you could describe someone like that." Clearly slightly disgusted not at his own use of leaderly, but at his use of charismatic, he says one more thing through a smug veneer of pride. "And is there anything else I need to know before I attempt to join your ranks?" Before slowing down a bit to get a better look at civilization below, he checked if his weapon was still at full function.

It was.

He was elevated by the thought. Finally, a piece of the mess he'd created would gain closure. For once.
 

META_mahn

Well-Known Member
Bivona Port
ISS Downrider - Engineering, Once Again


Marie's desk surface was quite clean -- what was on top was not.

Piles of scratch paper, a wastebin with even more on the side stuffed to the brim. A large notebook was open in front of her, with sketches and too many equations crammed in the margins. To the side was a notepad, completely dedicated to being nothing but scratch paper. And in front was the driver parts. What seemed like a NUC disassembled was on an elevated platform, still displaying information for her. To the side was the 3D part printer pretty much hogged up by her and her current project for the past few days, plugged into the NUC. The current status of the NUC seemed to be printing a new shell for the driver itself, now with a strange sort of gun barrel-esque addition on the top with the words engraved in the side Aim Towards Enemy.

"Not really." Marie replied to her partner. "See, I came up with an idea...you know how the drivers tend to vent a lot of their respective aspect when you transform? It's a little risky to be pointing that all over the place, so I decided to redo some parts and focus that into a sort of barrel as a preemptive strike. Luckily I said that I'd finish in a week three days ago, so I still have four days to do both."
 

Forumlurker

Member
Cognis was lying faceplate down on the floor of the craft, scouring the streets below for a particular blue-haired archeologist. Upon hearing Caesar's question, however, the troubled android sat up sharply. "Miss Morgan is five-fo-- shudder OOoot- three; has short, dark blue hair; a medium build; and a pale complexion. She--EEeEeeE- is a very good leader!" Cog's voice warbled slightly as he rattled off all of the necessary-- and some of the unnecessary-- information regarding the Downrider's captain. There was a moment of silence, then the android erupted in a loud burst of static which quickly gave way to his normal speaking tone. "Wait, what do you mean by what you need to-- to-- to-- to-- know?


"Like, what are you all doing out there even? Searching old relics for artifacts or logging?" Caesar made a slightly sharp turn, jerking the ship around a bit, as he was intent on delaying finding her just a little bit longer. "And what are you doing with one of the researchers of Project Round Table on the team? She even has a key."


"The last thing that I remember is us investigating a ruin that appeared to be related to the ancient race that Miss Morgan has been studying. I don't know what happened after I--" twitch

Cognis swayed with the movement of the ship, managing to stay jitter-free long enough to avoid falling over, then resumed.

"Which is why I NEED tO FInD HER-- Oh, you mean Miss ConrrrrrRRrroe? I thought shEEee was an engineer. What's Project Round Table? And I think that-- that-- that--- wwas Reman's key. It had similar effects to what he showed me."


"Interesting, so beta HAS been practicing." Caesar smirked, pulling into a straight to make another pass.


“Who? RemaaAAnn?” Cog interjected as his head tilted inquisitively, twitched back upright, and then tilted back to the same position.


"Yes, him. And what did he… do with the bracer?"


“...Wear it?”


"Why was it not on his wrist?" Caesar slowed the ship down a bit, and hovered his finger over the autopilot button, expecting to hear an answer to his question.


“Wait, he-- I… I don-- don-- don’t know. I dON’t know! We--” Cog began shaking his head rapidly “I MUST find Miss Morgan! Quickly!”


"That’s fair, we probably need to get you to wherever she is, fast." He takes his finger off the autopilot, and gets a little lower to the ground. "See her yet?"


THUNK


Cognis dropped his head back to the transparent floor of the craft, searching intently for the Downrider’s captain with everything that his acute visual sensors and facial recognition software could muster.


The wayward captain in question had been making her way back from her appointment, only just having left the Blind Vulture. The blue-haired, robot-hiring, mafia-dealing, ruin-plundering, book-reading, hood-wearing, tech-savvy scholar pulled on the edges of their insulated cloak, wrapping it around them as best as possible to ward off the falling sleet. The two soaring above finally caught eye of Dahlia as she took a moment to pause, standing by one of the vents stationed at the edge of a plaza. It wasn’t enough to unfreeze the nearby fountain, however.


Caesar spotted a near match to cognis’s accurate description, and pointed to it in a little area of the city nearby to the ship. "Hey, can you confirm if that’s her down there?" Shortly after, he opens up a hole in the floor, with a small platform on the bottom to catch whatever drops out of that hole in his ship.


The android was already in motion, sprinting towards the exit as it opened. Just before he reached the lip, he spasmed and stumbled, falling out of the port head first and tumbling through the air, jump-jets firing sporadically in an attempt to slow himself down.


MISS MORGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!”
 
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