[Post Episode 2.5] Juryrig's Arm

Burgmond

Well-Known Member
Downrider
A period of time after Romulus's interrogation

It has been a good day or so after everyone sat around a fire and discussed everything they learned, and whatever they already knew. Except Juryrig (and/or Tom), who had been doing power cleaning and power fixing the cheap Downrider, only able to participate because Osco had streamed the meeting to him. Now, whether or not it was out of the kindness of her programming, or out of practicality, Juryrig himself didn't care to think about that. What demanded his attention was Deimos, but first the ill alchemist must find this particular demi-fox.


Deimos had holed himself up in a corner of the downrider's living quarters, his metal arm strewn across the table in different pieces. The other hand was hard at work buffing out scratches and dings that their latest opponent had induced. It had seemed that with every passing fight between the Downrider and some unknown assailant, his arm would suffer the consequences of becoming ever more tarnished. It was about time he paid it a little TLC.


He kept the pauldron looped over his knee while his foot kept the plate still. True, it wasn't an easy task, but it was rewarding in its own right, and it wasn't like he was unused to using whatever limbs he had to compensate. In a way, the process was almost meditative, and after what seemed like an eternity of being thrown every which way both digitally and physically, a chance to slow down and think amidst the still air was enough to let the Fox-boy sift through it all.


This peace was unapologetically disturbed as Juryrig rounded a corner, and jumping over a unused chair. Before the red alchemist could shout "Hardcore Parkour", he ended up rolling and faceplanting on the floor, easily breaking his nose. It ended up leaking a black fluid.


"Okay, that was easier to pull off when I was on Ayenee," Jury muttered, instead of apologizing. Naturally, he manhandled his broken nose until it straightened itself out. "Better. Kinda. Hey Deimos, nice to meetcha pal!" The madman got up on his feet, and looked over the shoulder of the fox. "You're fixing that thing? I'd think you would have spares as opposed to just one."


Deimos would only watch as the man righted himself from the floor, the mysterious dark puddle something that would probably be best cleaned up and never asked about lest he fall down the rabbit hole. His head would reorient back towards the task before him, his palm flush against the metal's surface. "I'm pretty sure 'meetcha' is a little overdue. Then again I haven't exactly talked with you guys that much outside of the field."


He paused as he commented on the pieces of limb scattered across the table. "Two, actually. One is just out of commission since the Observatory incident. Found out how to merge stuff to the godforsaken things - but taking it off?" He shook his head. "Until I get a better sense of how this even works, that gnarled bunch of wires slapped onto a buzzsaw is stuck as it is."


"Yeah, you get extra points for exquisite jerry rigging and all, but... Why would you even want to take that apart? Don't tell me you're not happy with a lollipop of death," Jury says with the same wide smile. "It just needs a bit of refurbishing, elbow grease, alchemy~ You know, the works."


The mad alchemist took a better look at all the parts, noting that they aren't ... The best. At least not all of them. By the sacred works of Pete himself, some bits have even rusted! "My my... What do you even with your time outside of 'the field', smooching the blueberry captain? You've let some of these parts go bad!"


"I haven't had the time to do maintenance." The fox grumbled as he brought the pauldron back down to the table. One feature of note was that this was much less like that of a mechanical limb, rather a mere stretch of armor from the shoulder down. Completely hollow and leater-lined with not a single servo or circuit to be seen. He plucked up the gauntlet sitting on the other side of the table closest to the pysch ward escapee.


"Been trying to wrap my head around this entire mission. From Osco to Arcadia itself. It all feel so... impossible how fast that entire society rose and fell. How much they managed to accomplish." His eyes fell to the stump on his shoulder. The skin wrapped in the knotted black sleeve of his bodysuit. "It doesn't help I've been trying to figure out what happened in that observatory, either."


"Oh ho ho, well it's not that much harder to wipe out a society than it is to wipe out a entire town, it just needs more effort! But enough talk about my brother, as brief as it was, let alone talking about any of that sand-foundation nonsense that's Arcadia's entire existence." The alchemist rubbed his eye, wiping away something before continuing.


Juryrig sat on the table itself, propped one leg over the other, and clicked his tongue, looking up at the ceiling first before finally looking back at Deimos. "Buddy, you need more arms than this; ol' normie prosthetic and buzzhand isn't going to cut it at this arms race. How many times now that you keep coming in underarmed, huh? When're you gonna get better stuff?"


It was true that Deimos felt ashamed of his lack of real combat contributions. If anything, that last match made him moreso beneficial for the opponent, turning him into a makeshift projectile slamming into the very man tutting at him from the table. The plate in his lap would clatter beside the madman. "I'll admit the thought has sprung up in my mind. But it's not so simple as an upgrade."


The fox deliberated for a couple moments. Everybody knew his arm was hollow. Not a real prosthetic so much as a set of armor occupied by air alone. what he hated was explaining it - and as far as Deimos was concerned, nobody could see the wound holding those plates of metal together.


He shifted his weight and pulled at the cloak around his body, letting the garment fall to the couch and the knot in his right sleeve become apparent. It took a little effort, his fingers digging into the tight loop of spandex like a wedge and tugging. His torso twisted around to let the alchemist get a better view as he rolled away the fabric. If anybody could understand this sort of thing, it would probably be the one who dabbles in runes the most.


Beneath it, ancient marks formed a circle on marred flesh hastily grown over where an arm once filled a shoulder socket. In the center, three rings formed a "Focus Point" of sorts.


Empathy washed over Juryrig's features, exuding a almost entirely different version of himself; a lot kinder and human than what should be expected. "Wow... Alright, it's not alchemy, but I think I get the idea of the runes. How long have you had these, though?"


Oddly, his accent altered as well. It came with a distinct mix of properness and slang, with 'I' sounding like 'aye', and the 'O's being more pronounced.


Deimos gave Juryrig the strangest look, as though the man had sprouted wings from his ears and his head flew away. The shift in tone was... uncharacteristic to say the least.


"Years now." He let his gaze settle on the metal floor of the Downrider living quarters. "I've lost count. I couldn't get an actual prosthetic installed. Not at time I got this." It was clear that memories were yet again seeping through the walls of Deimos' mind. He didn't know how much he wanted to divulge to the man on the table. He didn't even know if what he had already said was too much.


"The mage that gave it to me called it a 'Soul Conduit.' Apparently where my limb once was, my soul still exists. That tattoo lets it slip inside of anything remotely arm shaped and occupy it - but at the cost of fragility," He plucked up the guantlet from the table. The finger plates clicked and tapped at the joints. Noteably, a couple of fingers were missing. "When I punched that brute in the snow, I could feel pieces of my arm falling off. I'm sure they're buried in powder by now. When I struck you?" He gestured to the counter. It was snapped in two. "The plate over my elbow fell apart. Any more and I'm sure that arm would have burst into pieces."


Jury schooled his head, as if waking himself up. "Uh, yeah, gotcha. Cheap magic." With that, Juryrig is behaving normally, his tone normalized. "Yeah that's a problem; so much for a hand cannon! I'm sure there would've been some prostitute who who'd be into a man with a big gun for a hand. I'm talking sixty millimeter rounds, pal. Absolutely amazing stuff."


"But that being said, you working a one-hand hour-long man-ritual is both inspiring and absolutely killing me, so let me sell you an idea here: how about I make you a arm that'll be good for general technician, mechanics, and metalworking tasks, ideal for fixing your other arms or whatever Ol' Blueberry needs fixing."



The fox-boy looked at the arm, rolling his lips side-to side to let the premise swish around in his skull like freshly poured wine. It was after a moment that he shook his head. "I'm afraid I couldn't do much with that. Technical matters aren't quite my cup of tea. The generation of weaponry grafted to a limb only really seems to happen when the necessary components are there on the fly, so I wouldn't think I'd be able to do much with some legitimate R&D tools."


"However..."
He began scooping up different pieces, locking each piece back together to the best extent he could until it was all locked back onto the revealed stump. In the lower temps of the cabin, the arm had grown scaldingly cold against the fox-boy's skin. "If you could help me get my hands on a better arm in general. One that could maybe deal with opponents to a greater degree... I wouldn't turn that down."

"Oh? So that's what you want..." Juryrig chuckled, his smile growing wider than it already is. It would've been a outstanding opportunity to break apart his arms and put them together much easier; but as Juryrig suspected, Deimos wanted a weapon, not a tool. Score 1 for Jury, 0 for Tom!

"Alright then~ But I need you to come with me first." The alchemist hopped off the table, and looked back to Deimos.

Of course, despite the opportunity Jury presented to the fox, he was still hesitant to stand up and follow him. The horrors that must dwell within his head. The ideas that make regular men tremble at the thought of, yet are perhaps par for the course to those such as Juryrig.

Whatever he does to his arm, he knows it will have to be mutually agreed upon. Something both he and the lunatic could settle upon. The least he could make sure is that, whatever he is installed with, it doesn't double as a toaster or window washer.

"Hmmmm? I'm getting that you're... Ahm, a bit unsure?" Juryrig asked with those eyes of his; those dark eyes that don't reflect any light, those irises are just a vantablack carbon insert.

"Don't take offense when I say even if I ask this of you, I don't completely trust your... judgement when it comes to fabricating devices that aren't a little bit... off the wall..." the vulpine let his head drift off to the side. True, he had the tendency to speak bluntly, but that didn't mean that he wasn't entirely proud of letting his words slam upside anyone else's head. "Honestly if it weren't for the magical nature of my limb, I wouldn't be asking you for such assistance."

"You do understand my hesitation, don't you?"


Juryrig's wicked smile didn't waver in the face of those words. "Hehehehe, thank you, thank you! I got kinda worried you were all getting used to my designs; case in point, you're meant to feel that way. To fear it and yet doubt it, just to buy the two crucial seconds I need to alchemically deconstruct you."

He leaned closer to Deimos. "A little secret, just between a couple of shmucks on a mininum wage: nothing that I do is 'just because', Deimos. I know you have your own objective, everyone on this ship has their own little 'end goal', and mine requires that I stay alive, and that this ship and crew are readily available. You can't be readily available if you're dead, no?"

The alchemist leaned back, and adjusted his cherry-red coat. "Now then, if you don't trust my judgement? Why don't you walk with me to my little workshop of horrors, where you could be my overseer of the project?"

Deimos' eyes would find themselves locked onto the madman walking in front of him. It took a breath or two for him to steel himself, his shoulders cocking back with a puffed out chest before he made his way forward, steadily letting loose the air in his lungs.

"So be it. Let us begin."

"That's the stuff! We'll be using my equipment in the cargo bay for this, now what're you looking for in a combat-ready arm?" Juryrig asked as he walked.

"I guess it should be lightweight, for starters." the fox looked off into the distance, trying to imagine what a "Battle Arm" would be like for somebody such as Deimos. to call him imaginative would be a stretch to say the least.

"Durable, too. Though I can't say I know how fast each material breaks down when I use it, it wouldn't be unwise to try something with a bit more oomph..." He paused to look at Juryrig as he walked alongside him. He was surprised at even his willingness to negotiate with the loon.

"Then again..." he added with a sneer hanging off his jaw. "...I feel like those two are pretty hard to balance, especially when it comes to something like armor." The look of puzzlement faded when his ears perked. One could almost see the lightbulb flickering to life above his head. "Maybe something more versatile?"

"Versatility is something I can make, but I'll tell you right now that there's more than one way to be durable. On one hand I could just do what a normal man would do and call it gucci with a harder metal, yeah? Well see, obviously it won't do. Not for you, especially. Therefore what we need is something a bit mooooooore, ah... Regenerative~! And a little something that'll go easy on the arm..."

Juryrig glanced up at Deimos's cute fox ears for a moment. Then chuckled, finding a idea that'd really, really pay off nicely. "Okay, stop me if you heard of this one before: retractable claws with some very sharp blades of nonmetallic composition!"

The word "Nonmetallic" was the key concern there for the Fox. He wasn't very knowledgable on the topic of manufacturing. Metalwork was the most durable form of weaponry he was aware of. "But what would it be made of, instead?" His left ear ducked to the side while the other perked up, mirroring the position of his eyebrows.

"And the concept of claws isn't a new one to me. I had opted for a Pata before but it got ruined in the air ducts of the Observatory." His expression curled into a grimace. If that weapon hadn't been lost, odds are both of his past battles would have gone a lot differently.

"If I might also suggest a potential means of long-range combat?"

Juryrig chuckled to himself, and crossed his arms, intentionally not sharing what those blades are gonna be made of. "Well-"

Immediately afterwards, Jury fidgeted and changed his tone and how he presented himself, back to the unusually human persona. "- Sure! What's on ya mind?"

Deimos jumped a little at the snappy shift in Jury's demeanor. "Well..." He hummed with crossed arms, raising a brow. "I was thinking maybe something that can aid in mobility AND combat simultaneously. Like a Grappling Hook. Perhaps a claw would be able to assist in that sort of thing."

He raised his arms to sort of demonstrate the idea, lifting and dropping his flesh limb up and down the length of his forearm to give a vision of what he might have in mind.

"Oh! Well, the hand can be modified to be able to grab onto surfaces easier; the Munch-Munch Turret, just as a example, has a durable tongue that's coated in artificial juices and manipulated in a manner similar to your arm. It's primarily meant for better manipulation of the environment, but I upped it a while back to give it the ability to climb and swing around! Of course we aren't going to be doing that, that'd be - uh, weird. Really weird. So I'll find other ways of doing that!" Juryrig(?) explained with a obvious enthusiasm and a more innocent attitude, using his hands to gesture out his Munch-Munch example.

"So where was I... CLAWS! Yeah claws, um, basically here's a quick overview of a simple machine called a wedge. Simple thing really, it's just a triangle that's meant to split matter, due to the force behind the wedge being focused through the smaller contact area that's the front of the wedge. That's how you cut. Technically speaking, if you have a thin enough blade that has good rigitity, you could can cut through more minerally things, like rocks and steel! So, what I was thinking is that we give your arm special extendable claws that're just a few atoms thick, made up of alchemically magnetized black iron particles that would be attracted to the two magnetic fields created by the claw. Just imagine the longetivity of a weapon like that!" The alchemist said, all with a single breath.

"So? How about it?"

"So what you're saying is that you just give me really sharp claws on the end of my fingers? To be fair with fingers that long it might be a little funky to manage. I can hardly use chopsticks as is so manipulating the equivalent of five giant ones will probably be a pain in the ass..." Deimos looked off to the side as he imagined such a thing. Giant nails seemed like such a womanly weapon, at that. He crossed his arms, pondering the possibility.

"I've noticed, however... that extensions to my arm function even if they aren't naturally a part of my soul. Like that sawblade. Plus, that arm turned out a lot bigger than my normal arm. If you were to say... throw my forearm forward with some kind of really strong chain or cable... then maybe it'll have a similar effect! Like the runes will interpret it as a really REALLY long arm."

In an almost about-face in his demeanor, he snapped his fingers and pointed towards the mad scientist. There seemed to even be the shadow of a smile dashed across his face at the idea. Something about increasing his maneuverability while simultaneously giving himself a new edge on the battlefield rang a few notes with him.

The fox felt like dead weight. A fluffy ball that was thrown here and there when battle came around spouting out information on his scanner that proved to be irrelevant at the end of the day. Thermal readings and points of weakness that anybody could see with the naked eye didn't mean jack so long as your damage output was abysmal. He was sure the others shared the same sentiment - especially Osco and Dahlia.

Juryrig(?) shook his head. "Oh no no, not THOSE kind of nails. It'll be basically two shortsword-like projections coming from between a couple of knuckles- like a fist sword! But as for the chain... OOoooh! Oh yeah I can totally do the cable thing, cable's are what we're gonna go for, they're usually sturdier and a bit less flexible than chains, anyway!"

The alchemist seemed just as excited about the idea! He never got to work on anything in a long while, so he's glad he gets to do something like this for Deimos. Commissions like this are fun for him.

"Darn, but a nail-based move might be kind cool. Kinda fitting for the visage I've got going on, too." A chuckle escaped Deimos as he gestured towards the black bodysuit-white cloak combo he'd been rocking ever since stepping aboard the ship. "Think about it. Animal ears, claws, the mobility. All sorta has a theme going on dontcha think?" The walls seem to have fallen. Whether that was a mistake or not would probably wait until the days to come.

Deimos moved his fingers about. "Just not... like... really long ones. Just enough to dig into an enemy... though a spare blade hidden somewhere to serve as an anchor might be a helpful addition as well... maybe..." He didn't know what got the "Idea juices" flowing through his brain, but he seemed like a kid talking about the latest superhero and what he could do. "Maybe in the palm! Like a spike that can be deployed from the arm if the wrist is crooked back far enough!"

"Oh! Oh yeah, I love that! It'd save on energy requirements if we kept them short anyway, it'd give more to the palm blade you want. I can definitely make all of that work, and it'll look GREAT!" Juryrig(?) maintained his innocent enthusiasm.

"Alright, then it's settled. But..." the fox spun on his heel. That very same sour face came back in a wave from top to bottom. His hands fell across one another at his chest. "I'm pretty sure such a thing doesn't come without payment - especially given the potential material cost. What'll you want in exchange for this arm?"

"Aw no, I dooo-" Juryrig(?) paused, and looked off elsewhere, distantly. He refocused himself, and chuckled without a hint of malice.

"Nah, Deimos! I'm not making you pay anything, you're just going to get a better arm!"

Of course the addage of "If it'd too good to be true, it isn't" rang through /Deimos' head like the siren bells atop a burning church... but he knew he didn't have that much of a choice. The next mission would be soon, and their local Engineer would have to probably install some full-scale machinery into his being - a prospect that scared him.

"Alright..." He dropped his flesh hand towards the mad scientist - though his hesitation was obvious as he mulled over this sealed deal in his head as one would a strange new beer across their tongue. "...Then let's get to it, shall we?"

"Uh huh! Right this way!" Juryrig(?) led the way to the cargo bay, where his workshop had been set up. He pulled out a variety of jerry-rigged machines from storage boxes, plus tools... Including a guillotine like contraption.

"Whoo boy..." Juryrig twitched, and his composure changed to being that of the chaotic menace that he is. "This will be the fun part~!" He says, putthing his arm through the guillotine machine.

Deimos' eyes widened, observing as the madman proceeded to drop his arm into a device like some kind of b-rate horror film. He stood there, paralyzed to what his next act should be. "A-Are you sure that is a good idea? Or even necessary to make something like this?" He looked around the ramshackle workshop, hoping to find some means of communicating to the party healer that their alchemist had officially joined the three-limb club.

"Good? Nah. Neccessary? Nah. Honestly there's a arm template I made back made for this, but I'm feeling really, really good today!" He activated the machine, and chopped his own arm right off, his body briefly erupting with blood through the stump before this blackened ooze began to coalesce and expand, growing eyes and teeth that seemed to be half-melted, the whole thing looking out-of-place... Like bad CGI in a animated film.

"Aaaaaaaah..." Said both Juryrig and this... Whatever the fuck grew in place of Juryrig's arm, like a creepy, parasitic twin. "Cathartic." The alchemist set aside the decapitated arm on the work table, while grabbing a canister that held yet another arm, floating in a vat of clear fluid.

He forced the Thing to contract and pull back within his body. After it was nothing more than a lid of unsettling flesh on his stump, Juryrig attached the new arm, and just healed it on. "Ah, that arm'll take a moment to moving again. Now all jokes aside, a fresh arm of a human infected by The Curse is objectively rarer than platinum, making it a good alchemical fuel as well as a good mold for metal."

"Remember what I told ya, Deimos; I don't do shit for no reason. Got it?"


The vulpine was pallid, staring at where the eldritch entity had once swelled into the air like an expanding ballon only to be snorted back into his arm like a dribble of snot on a cold day. He glanced back and forth between the stiff, arm that filled the room with the rancid scent of formaldehyde, and the leaking pile of flesh and bone that was laying on the floor. His once white coat had even taken on a few sputters of alchemical ichor splashed upon it as though he had just committed a murder.

Why he couldn't just cast a limb in a normal fashion was beyond him. He didn't even have any words to describe such a scene. If anything, it was obvious he was starting to regret dropping his guard around such an unstable... creature. What he was witnessing was not just a man. Not some human hell-bent on ensuring those around him felt the chaos emanating from him to its fullest degree...

What he was looking at... was chaos.

Much to both of there surprise... Deimos held firm. Whether it was fear of what would happen to him should he run back outside or just the sheer determination to get a new upgrade to his arm.

"So... Care to explain what I just saw...?" A bead of sweat dribbled down his temple. His fingers were ice cold. He was pretty sure his bladder was on its last leg. "Before I go away from this thinking you might be a greater threat than we first thought?"

There was a silence. It didn't seem to have a end, as Deimos stared into Juryrig's black eyes, where there was no light to be seen. The alchemist stood there, his smile maintained. "... Smart that you finally recognized that."

Juryrig turned on his heels, rummaging through parts; metallic plates, little cubicular thingies, plenty of wires, dumping them next to the arm.

"You saw me. What I really am. I am Juryrig, a four year old parasite that resides within this body, belonging to Thomas Addison. I was a part of a worse 'thing', which people back at Stallion Hallow called 'The Curse'. We didn't know what it was, but it changed the world around us, turning a town known for their horses into a place where you could see stone rot. It took our loved ones, and made them into monsters worse than me, while keeping their hosts deep within themselves, feeding off of them... It's like they're horrid mechs of flesh, and they ran off of a humans like a battery until they couldn't sustain their form. Then die, and spread their disease. Anybody that came in? Converted. Anybody who tried to leave? Wound up back in town. Kids drowned in mud, metal rusted, moss grew, and nobody could even smile. Why would they, that place was the worst!"

"I was different; I empathized with Tom, and in exchange for his body, I took over and began to work with him to right the wrong he did way back when. Now I'm being rewarded with a promising lead; echyllis, poisoning the microecosystem and transforming it into a hivemind with a specific targetting group. I'd need to see more examples than me, I've seen myself enough times in the mirror to know how I function on a microscopic level."


Juryrig began to draw out alchemical symbols on a blue print with the speed of a printer. "Lately, Tom's kicking around." Juryrig tapped his temple. "Occasionally getting the nerve to take the driver's wheel away from me. Poor kid's been starving from interaction for you guys, but it's not like I can trust any of you, either. BAH! Why should I, we've only been on about two or so missions together, we all have our ulterior motives and all that crap, and Tom's way too trusting in strangers to go about alone."

"Now how much of all that answers your question, huh Deimos?"

The fox wanted to retaliate. To bite back about how much he can really trust what is effectively a puppet and his microorganism of a puppeteer - or even how much he could trust the product he was forging at the speed of near sound. He wasn't just scared of Jury. He was mortified. He was bearing witness to what was a true force of nature manipulating a breed thought to have its own dominance over such a thing.

And yet all he did was bite his tongue as he mulled over every single syllable. That was all he seemed to do: think.

As Deimos thought, Juryrig threw his paper at the pile. Great alchemical fire erupted, with alchemical sigils coiling around it, forcing it into a pillar that illuminated the cargo bay. Juryrig faced the fire, his back turned to Deimos.

"I can smell your fear. Like I could smell Marie's desire for that Data Key I have on my person. It's good for you to fear me, even, despite the fact you haven't taken step towards me, or away from me. So why don't you do either?"

Deimos reached his hand up towards his collar, kneading the fabric between the fingers of his gauntlet. It was obvious what he was doing. The very same thing he did with every opponent he faced before: Stood back and observed. It was obvious such a threat as a biohazardous opponent could be devastating without the vessel that is Jury - no - Thomas to keep it in check. It'd be like unleashing some kind of microbial bomb onto the whole downrider. One that ate the very metal that it was composed of.

His right ear flitted through the air. His tail swished. He wanted to see Jury's next move - but he seemed hard at work at the device before him. Amber eyes darted up and down. "It's true. I can't hide that you scare me. I'm sort of on the borderline between running away and soiling myself. I can't say I even experienced that the day I lost my arm..." He clenched his fist beneath his cloak, the leather bindings of his gauntlet creaking.

"But... that aside, you've done nothing to harm any of the crewmembers. Even now, you know good and well I stand no chance against you - especially with that Echyllis Key in your posession." He wanted to ease the tension he was experiencing, but the animalistic side of him just wouldn't let up. It was the same feeling that made dogs bark and cats raise their hackles. One could see his hair even seeming to poof up just the slightest.

It was an emotion he felt whenever Jury was nearby. Something about the way he smelled, maybe, that threw his instincts into overdrive. He always hid it by avoiding the male - even if it meant leaving the room.

"I want to run. I want every muscle in my body to twist around and throw myself past that door and lock it until we hatch up a plan to turn you into a black and red stain... but at the same time I know such an action is uncalled for..." Deimos tried taking a step forward. To show a sign of trust towards the male and the creature inside of him.

But he couldn't.

"So tell me... why show me this? Why reveal such a secret to me of all people here on the Downrider? Hell... how many people even know what you really are, Juryrig?"

"... To be honest, that wasn't all me. You can blame Thomas for supplanting the thoughts in me, dumb brother that he is. He's taken a liking to you and Reman so far, and wants to talk about his trauma to someone else aside from me. You're the first one to be made aware of what I am because of a moron intervening like he did."

"Much like Reman, the boy would get himself killed. Probably others as well, if I'm going to be frank; he's careless and shortsighted, even if he's eager to help and please. It was because of that need to help that bordered on insanity, that Tom flattened the entire town trying to help."

"If anyone's going to fix the messes he made, it'll need to be me. Even if I am not as great of an alchemist as he is, I can at least guarantee my machines won't devour rugs or jam all radio frequencies."
The column of flame died, allowing Juryrig to hold the product which remained veiled to Deimos.

Juryrig turned around, and revealed a hollow, armored arm, which was cleaner and less cluttered in design than Juryrig's other machines. The most it had in terms of components is a glowing core in the upper arm, with fingers tipped with orange pads. At the wrist is some kind of thin, rectangular projector. Rivets and metal bands reinforce the arm and hand.

The weapon before him was a lot more elegant than that of the makeshift cluster of wires and metal that his last upgrade had been. He reached his hand forward, but soon withdrew it before he could even make contact with it. It had been made so fast, yet here it stood in a solid piece. As though the arm that he had just cut off had become the metal that Jury held before him.

"One last question... why did you make this for me? Was that Tom's doing as well?"

"I originally wanted to make you an arm in exchange for intel on Dahlia, rather than monetary gain. Tom butted in and ruined that for me, too..." Juryrig sighed.

"Even with the power boost thanks to Romulus, I'm having trouble keeping Tom in check. He just babbled his way to the front seat and took over, even when he promised he wouldn't! I don't understand him sometimes."

"Just take the stupid arm and go, Deimos! It's not going to bite your other arm off."


Deimos took the arm in his hand, nodding. "Thank you." He didn't even feel the need to address Jury's desire for information on the captain. He had his own motives just like anyone else on this ship. Who was Deimos to judge? With a deep breath, he took a single step away from the two-in-one standing before him.

As much as he didn't want to, he spun around and made his way towards the warehouse door. His pace was notably faster than it was upon entering the now blood-stained mess of a room - and yet he would find himself at the doorway, looking back at the half-man-half-pestilence that had forged his new equipment for him.

The moment hung in the air like dust only to fall to the floor as the door closed behind the vulpine, leaving Jury and Tom as alone as they could possibly be in each others' company.
 
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