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File 150215229537.png - (219.29KB , 600x600 , The Sunfish.png )
820992 No. 820992 ID: a6af03

Chapter 4

Wiki: https://tgchan.org/wiki/The_Sunfish

Previous chapters
1: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/762401.html
2: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/779392.html
3: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/801983.html

Disthread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/106228.html
Expand all images
No. 820997 ID: a6af03
File 150215397143.png - (57.07KB , 600x434 , 4-1.png )

You stand in the dark. 
You are Sam. 
A pair of tired eyes watches you. 
She is Sam. 
No. 820998 ID: a6af03
File 150215398111.png - (48.59KB , 390x600 , 4-2.png )

You remember what she did for you .
"Thank you...", your voice is almost a whisper. 
She doesn't react. Maybe she couldn't hear you. 
No. 821000 ID: 7b7ab3

"Can you hear me?"
No. 821001 ID: 3abd97

Maybe she's tired. Maybe she wore herself out seizing control and doing her doctor thing. I mean, she's incomplete, right?

If words won't work, try a hug.
No. 821003 ID: ed048e

>Thank you for letting me out, to heal your boyrfriend. Being a subconscious current of thought within another beings mind is a strange and stressful afterlife
No. 821005 ID: be0718

Get bored, start lucid dreaming. You're piloting a giant robot through a city now.
No. 821007 ID: 3ce125

Speak louder.

Also maybe it's time you apologized for assuming the worst and keeping her so deeply suppressed until now. Maybe you can plan out a time sharing schedule?
No. 821021 ID: 8cb228

Definitely hug her! And tell her 'thank you' into her ear! And 'I'm sorry for keeping you so suppressed'.

We should set up some kind of time sharing... uh, are those tricks that 'normal' healthy multiples do, like time-sharing and memory-replays and 'peanut gallery commentary by the backseat person' doable with the way our brain is set up?
No. 821023 ID: bb78f2

Grab her/your boob
Use honking as a proxy for morse code
No. 821049 ID: a62648

Also hug.

Then maybe ass grab. We're pretty skilled at it.
No. 821069 ID: c31aac

honk you-boob, yes
No. 821079 ID: 143250

You're... not mad at me, are you?
No. 821161 ID: a6af03
File 150223377772.png - (62.74KB , 524x600 , 4-3.png )

You go in for a hug and your hand hits something.
Both hands.
You run them across the surface, its smooth and cool.
You push and your fingers spread out until your palms are flat against it.
Sam sits on the other side, as if trapped in a mirror.
No. 821162 ID: a6af03
File 150223378422.png - (68.81KB , 556x600 , 4-4.png )

She cautiously places her palm against the glass.
Sam looks at you, her eyes full of concern
No. 821163 ID: 8d4593

Break the glass
No. 821164 ID: be0718

DON'T break the glass. This isn't what you wanted for you.
No. 821165 ID: c31aac

Huh. Looks like we kinda walled her off from ourselves.
I wonder if we'll ever be able to group back up into one person again without her personality overwriting ours.
No. 821166 ID: 3abd97

Don't be hasty. That barrier might be for your own good. Something kept you from merging, or her overwriting you, right?

Leave your hand pressed against the glass, and your doppelganger's hand, and look around. It looks like you're in a padded room with a window, now.
No. 821168 ID: c31aac

...wait. Try fogging up the glass and writing to her!
Something like...
"Hello. What's going on?"
No. 821169 ID: 3ce125

You're in a room. Examine your surroundings before you do anything.
No. 821173 ID: 91ee5f

This is probably a flashback of Old Sam's memories. We were told that Old Sam didn't want to be copied and this is probably the room where she was strapped down and forcibly copied to create her clones.
No. 821177 ID: 2e620f

Express yourself non-verbally. Hold up two fingers behind your head to indicate a bunny. Press your hands together in front of you and bow to say thank you.

Or just gently press your hands where she's pressed hers. Maybe a little warmth will go through.
No. 821202 ID: bb78f2

Just breathe on the glass
Write a message like whats wrong
Maybe add a dickbutt, for comic relief. You need it.
No. 821204 ID: 8cb228

Fog up the glass with breath and write, "???"
No. 821233 ID: ccd925

are you, perhaps, just awake and looking at an actual mirror
No. 821245 ID: 2d1231


What if we breathe on the glass and draw a little heart. Because hey, you're not so bad, Sam. Thanks.
No. 821451 ID: 8cb228

Also, try to probe the extent and the shape of the glass via touch, yea?
No. 821621 ID: a6af03
File 150240849162.png - (45.31KB , 555x600 , 4-5.png )

You notice something around you: a room. You turn to look at it but Sam pounds once on the window. She points to herself: to her eyes. 
You nod and match her stare.
No. 821622 ID: a6af03
File 150240849866.png - (107.99KB , 600x600 , 4-6.png )

You hold your hands close to your chest and do your best to thank her. She nods a response. 
Through the corners of your eyes you catch glances of the white tile around you. You feel the clinical chill creep its way up through your feet. 
There's something in the room with you. In the corner. You can't see it, but you feel it tugging at you with magnetic animosity. 
No. 821625 ID: 3abd97

There's a danger in looking away from her, or looking at whatever's in there with you.

Trust her.

Don't look.

Maybe try morse code, if you know it? Or sketching letters in the air? Ask her what it is.
No. 821628 ID: 91ee5f

She wants you to look at her and only her!

Trust her judgement and do what she wants. Look at her and nothing else.

Don't look at it! Don't even look at it in the reflection on the window! Just keep looking directly at Old Sam and nothing else! Focus on staring into her big blue eyes!
No. 821635 ID: ed67d9

There is nothing here but you and her. Everything is her and you. Stare and watch her. Try to count her eyelashes, see how many she has! Study the little contours of her irises, watch her her pupils dilate and constrict ever-so-slightly as she breathes in... and out. As you breathe in... and out. Slow, calm, deep breaths.

Breathe in until you can feel practically feel that breath in your stomach, then hold it for three seconds. 1...2...3.... and slowly let it out. Keep doing this over and over until she says it's okay.
No. 821645 ID: be0718

Ignoring whatever it is isn't going to make it go away. Look to your right for a door.
No. 821659 ID: ed048e

This feels like a trap. I hope the Repo-men didn't build in some mental trap where Old Sam is ""forced"" to take over our mind/body. I would expect that to be something they would do if Sam were an unwilling participant in being clone.

Keep looking other Sam, hold our arms way out to your sides so we can feel whatever it is that's in here with us.(The Other Sam could be Young Sam, since we aren't sure which Sam we're controlling. What if this sterile place belongs to memories the Repo-Men?)
No. 821666 ID: 3ce125

Mash your face against the glass so you couldn't look away if you tried.
No. 821708 ID: 8cb228

Trust her. Look only at her. Use a hand to guard against reflections of the thing in the glass. In fact, eyes on the glass with your hand guarding. Start using morse code with your other hand to communicate with her.
No. 821725 ID: 19dd52


... .- -- --..-- / .-- .... .- - / .. ... / -... . .... .. -. -.. / -- . ..--.. / -.. --- / .. / -. . . -.. / - --- / -... . / ... -.-. .- .-. . -.. ..--.. / .. / - .-. ..- ... - / -.-- --- ..- .-.-.- / .--. .-.. . .- ... . .-.-.-
No. 821866 ID: ccd925

don't look back. wait for it to go away, like it did last time
No. 821893 ID: 2d1231


Does she know what it is? And why does it look like whatever we saw before in the sickbay?

Somehow I feel it might be something left over, like all our fears coalesced into one. Or maybe it's something she left behind, and that's how she was able to slip in and out again.

But what if we became SamSam, twice as Sam and twice as powerful?
No. 821916 ID: 3ce125

I'm pretty sure this is part of the process that allows the original personality to overwrite the clone's.

I wonder if it runs off of fear?

I think it'd be simpler to trace letters on the window, since a knock can't be "extended" to make the lines.
No. 822060 ID: 7cdf1e

The knocks themselves can't but the interval between can.
No. 822071 ID: 3ce125

Well how do you signal the space between words, then?
No. 822085 ID: a6af03
File 150250594509.png - (201.29KB , 600x600 , 4-7.png )

You keep your eyes focused on her. Sam places her palms on the glass and you put yours over them. As the you feel the thing in the room creep closer, you keep your breathing steady; forcing yourself to look at her and not the hideously familiar reflection in the glass. It stands behind you: oppressively tall and intimately close, and you feel yourself shaking as fear washes over you and through you. 

You take a deep breath and... its gone. 
No. 822086 ID: a6af03
File 150250595090.png - (112.42KB , 600x498 , 4-8.png )

You wake up with a gasp. Your eyes dart in every direction as the panic drains from your body. You're still on the couch in the medbay, having fallen asleep in Annie's lap. She turns her head and grumbles at the movement. Seening her all right, you breathe a sigh of relief. 
No. 822090 ID: 3abd97

Snuggle into your bird a little bit before facing reality.
No. 822091 ID: be0718

Ask where his brother is.
No. 822092 ID: a6af03
File 150250686524.png - (145.30KB , 568x600 , 4-9.png )

You sit up and stretch your creaking bones; your spine complaining about the night spent on the couch. Around you are a number of unfamiliar faces, drawn by rumors of strange new visitors. There's an awkward silence as their curiosity clashes with caution.

A smaller figure sidles forward, shyly and you recognize him as one of the mouse twins, although which one you can't tell.
No. 822094 ID: 3abd97

Um, hey guys, what's up?
No. 822103 ID: 2d1231


As entertaining as a septisome could be be, I think we just call that an orgy and this is totally not that wrecked train car, but hey, thanks for offering to donate some DNA samples ...?

In all reality, let's ask what our buddy Robbie needs. Or is it Baxter?
No. 822114 ID: 4458f2

"...Hey. Problem?"
No. 822123 ID: 9876c4

Ain't none of you slack jawed yokels ever seen a Gay Amazon Space Feline before?

Nontheless. I will allow your champion to scratch my ear. The left one, not too hard. Point me towards the nearest steak while you discuss it amongst yourselves.
No. 822128 ID: fc33ea

... You haven't been standing there long, right?
No. 822133 ID: ed67d9

New people! New friends? Introduce ourselves!
No. 822136 ID: ba56e6

Pretty sure that's Baxter, he's the shy one. Ask what the word is.
No. 822148 ID: fe7355

Nah, that's Robin. His suit has the tape on the torso on the left side. (See >>/questarch/770585) Baxter's suit has the tape on the right side, and it's in a cross pattern.
No. 822159 ID: ccd925

what the fuck is old annie doing trying to get into our brain

ask if bucky is alright
No. 822168 ID: 3ce125

Pretty sure it's just a manifestation of the residual shock of seeing the clone of her lover dead on a slab.
No. 822194 ID: 2d1231


Agreed. That'd fuck up anyone, and considering it looks a lot like the Spooky Shading Effects we saw during Bucky's ER scene, in almost the same way as what brought Old Sam out, I think this is Old Sam helping our Sam get over it.
No. 822206 ID: d36af7

"Everybody willing to donate DNA samples, please form an orderly line to the left. Dumb questions about the past couple centuries of galactic history, form a line to the right."
No. 822210 ID: 13fded

I'm afraid we might be out of the market.
No. 822219 ID: 91ee5f

I've got a feeling that collecting DNA samples is no longer something we need to worry about.
No. 822308 ID: 15a025

Ask our shy mouse friend where their buddy went?
No. 822310 ID: fe7355

And also what happened to 'em after you and Annie went down the recycling chute.
No. 822733 ID: a6af03
File 150275560549.png - (57.57KB , 600x482 , 4-10.png )

"Hey... Robin? What's this? Not here for DNA samples I hope..." 

"What? No! Just, word gets around, eh? Heard you were here; thought I'd say hi, also have you seen Baxter at all?" 

"He's not with you? What happened?" 

Robin shifts from side to side anxiously, "We got split up, I kept my head down over at Reed's place..." You look over at the deer manning the reception desk and he coughs, pretending to study the overhead lights. "Last I heard, Flint picked him up for questioning, but that was yesterday and, well..." 
No. 822734 ID: a6af03
File 150275560996.png - (77.08KB , 600x480 , 4-11.png )

He comes closer, dropping his squeeky voice to a whisper, "People are talking, mate. They want to know if you're going to get them out of here..." His eyes are hungry for that scrap of hope.
No. 822740 ID: 91ee5f

"If word gets around, then you must've heard about the attack that happened, right? Well, our ship got trashed pretty badly. I'm afraid we won't be able to salvage it or even if we do, I'm not sure we can put it back together. Sorry."
No. 822741 ID: 094652

Nnn...nnno. No, noo, nooo. Ship crash, no lifeship. No.
No. 822742 ID: 3abd97

..our ship got banged up pretty bad in that fight. We're not getting anyone out of here soon.

The drive's still intact, though. It's still possible, things are just gonna take longer.

I'm sorry. I know that's not what you wanted to hear.
No. 822750 ID: 3ce125

If things go well, we're gonna get the whole ship out of here.
No. 822805 ID: be0718

"Put that rumor on ice before they put you on ice."
No. 822814 ID: ed67d9

"*I* can't everyone out of here, no.


There are enough smart people here that together we'll figure out something. We all have our part to play, even if we don't always know what it is.

Figuring out what exactly that part is... is half that fun!"
No. 822821 ID: 600f38

"We intend to get people out of here, but all three ships are dead in the water - which reminds me, how is the retrieval of the remains of our ship going?"
No. 822832 ID: bb78f2

It's gonna take a lot of work and luck.
And time. Truth is getting the Sunfish to a new home is our best bet for safety with our own ship out of commission.

We're not getting anyone out of here, we're getting the Sunfish out from these coordinates and HOPEFULLY to a green planet or way station where you guys can sneak out into Gen pop without standing out too much, but that'll be a long shot in and of itself.
No. 822872 ID: bf8f3f

>kept my head down over at Reed's place
I bet you did.

If we can get the Pinch drive from either our ship or the repo ship then maybe we can try install it in the Sunfish but there's no guarantee it'll work and with no ship of our own...
No. 822978 ID: 8d4593

There's real hope, kid. For everyone.
There are two pinch drives floating around out there. Just gotta go get 'um.

We have work to do.
No. 822994 ID: d36af7

>If we can get the Pinch drive from either our ship or the repo ship
Or enough salvageable parts from the two of them combined to build a new one!
No. 823345 ID: a6af03
File 150292706394.png - (97.34KB , 600x514 , 4-12.png )

"No, not yet." He deflates a little. "We're working on it though. Its going to take a little while. Our ship was... damaged. Just be careful about those rumors; you don't want to end up on ice."

He bites his lip but nods. "I haven't seen your brother since we got split up, but maybe you can show us around?"

He brightens up, giving you one of his goofy grins. "D'you mean it? I swear it'll go better than last time!"
No. 823346 ID: a6af03
File 150292706810.png - (108.72KB , 600x600 , 4-13.png )

Both of you heads swivel as the clinic door opens. Dr. Spencer shuffles through, drinking a cup of something and looking exhausted, "Sam, you're up? Excellent! He's awake and well... quite chatty."
No. 823348 ID: 76ae76

Hug doctor, show gratitude. Ask if you both can go see him now.
No. 823349 ID: 2d1231

>Pants-optional doctoring

That, or ... yeah, let's go look in on Bucky.
No. 823350 ID: be0718

Her shirt's just untucked. Let's go in there and keep Bucky's mouth busy.
No. 823354 ID: 3abd97

Be careful not to spill her life-giving coffee with that hug, she looks like she's none to steady on her feet right now, and like she really needs it.

>show me around
Um, quick rain check?
No. 823356 ID: ed048e

Pat the mouse on the shoulder, hug the doctor, go into the room and embrace bucky while rubbing his ears (they're the only part of him that wasn't seriously hurt, so do the hug gingerly)

We need to get Bucky in good spirits so he won't worry about having nearly died in space. With his neural collar he might also be able to interface with the Sunfish like he did with the Starlette, so we should keep that in mind if he asks how he can help (if he's in a state where he's capable of helping).
No. 823364 ID: 3ce125

Let's go see Bucky! Give him lots of kisses.
Wake up Annie so she can visit him too.
No. 823416 ID: 143250

Is chatting the only thing they did...

Lets not question it. Go see your rabbit friend.
No. 823618 ID: a6af03
File 150309613727.png - (98.78KB , 469x600 , 4-14.png )

You pat Robin on the shoulder and gently shake Annie awake. She comes to with a squawk, takes in the crowd and looks at you questioningly. 
"Hey, wh- whats up?"

"Bucky is, come on!" The two of you work the cramps out of your legs and follow the Doctor into Medbay. 
No. 823619 ID: a6af03
File 150309614226.png - (149.02KB , 600x600 , 4-15.png )

You step into a curtained off area. Bucky is sitting upright, propped up by pillows. "Sam! Annie! God, its so good to see you!" You and Annie rush to his sides and put his head in a double hug. He doesn't move his body as you do so, but you see that he's still wearing the medical collar you last saw him in. Still, he twitches his head back and fourth, trying to nuzzle you both. "I didn't know if... I thought we'd... oh man, I don't have the words.." tears are flowing freely, leaving wet streaks in his fur. He sniffs, "Thank you both."

"You don't have to thank us, bun." You feel your cheeks getting wet as well. "We're always here for you."

He sighs and settles back into the pillows, "I love you guys..."
No. 823621 ID: a363ac

put that bun in the oven and shake it till it explodes
No. 823625 ID: ed67d9

Cherish this moment forever.
No. 823640 ID: 91ee5f

Start by asking what happened when you guys split up earlier. Then ask how his leg feels.
No. 823641 ID: 3ce125

Aww, you love him too.
So ask him how long he's gonna be stuck in bed.
Also, tell him about how you made friends with Old Sam! Has he spoken to Old Bucky much?
No. 823642 ID: e420b6

bask in the moment for a bit, you've all earned it.
No. 823677 ID: 600f38

Think the captain would be willing to marry the three of you?
It seems like it might be appropriate at this point.
No. 823774 ID: 2d1231


No. 823775 ID: 6102e3

You guys gotta catch each other up on all you've been through and found out.
No. 823891 ID: 15a025

Snap a cute pic.
No. 824366 ID: a6af03
File 150344371341.png - (114.13KB , 600x577 , 4-16.png )

"Are you okay? How are you feeling?"

"Well they've got me numbed from the neck down, but they said the swelling has faded. The doctor said she could probably be released later today, as long as I'm careful not to open my stitches." Bucky closes his eyes and sighs, "I'm real sorry about the 'Lette guys..."

"It's okay, we're all here and we're safe." Annie pets his ears, "we'll figure something out..."

"Its not just that; I probably led the Repo men here! Whats to stop them from just sending another ship?"

"I don't know... we were talking about trying to salvage the pinch drive out of the 'Lette. Maybe we could set it up and move the [i]Sunfish[/]."

He mulls this over, "It would take a lot of power to move something this big... I don't know what kind of reactor they're running onboard but it might be doable. The asteroid has some big capacitor banks... if we charge those up, hook up our nav charts...we could make one, maybe two jumps. But if we can't pump out enough juice it would tear the ship in half."
No. 824369 ID: be0718

That'd work too. We'd just need to figure out which half of the ship to move everyone to.
No. 824370 ID: fc33ea

We'll be sure not to skimp on the calculations when the time comes... Where will we jump to, though?
No. 824371 ID: 3ce125

We could also reduce the size of the ship. Reclaim anything useful from non-required areas near the edges of the Sunfish then seal off those sections and cut them off. If the laser on the repoman ship is salvagable we can use that for the cutting. Just gotta make sure to keep structural integrity, and isolate the electrical systems and other things like that so the cut doesn't screw with the rest of the ship.

I'm assuming the plan is to remove the capacitors from the asteroid and install them inside the sunfish for power storage and additional surge when it's required for the jump? Jumping with the asteroid seems like a huge waste.
No. 824374 ID: 3b09e3

We'll have time to worry about that after salvaging the equipment.

Time to swap stories from the past, uh, day? It's hard to tell in space.
No. 824379 ID: 035e4a

That's a risk we're going to have to take.
No. 824383 ID: d36af7

Is it a mass limit, or a volume limit? Can a pinch drive work from inside an atmosphere? The Sunfish seems to have a lot of open space inside, we might be able to cobble together a minimal 'interstellar shuttle' in that big spherical cutout, send it on a supply run instead of the whole structure... hey, do you suppose that might be how the damage there happened in the first place?
No. 824384 ID: bb78f2

The repomen will never send a force big enough to overtake the ship Bucky. They're not an army, they're specialized capture squads. They're at a disadvantage. The group that came in were a bunch of idiots that didn't even have an organized plan to deal with the ship's security forces. Had they succeed in neutralizing BOTH me and Annie, they'd need a way OUT with two people over their shoulders while still fighting the crew.

It's a miracle even one's still alive.
No. 824397 ID: 91ee5f

>It's a miracle even one's still alive.
Correction: 3 out of 4 are still alive.

But you're mostly right. They're at a disadvantage with numbers, but with technology way more advanced than anything that can be found on the Sunfish, they could've easily hacked life-support systems and threatened to kill the non immortal crew members. And I'm sure the Commander wouldn't be willing to sacrifice her crew to save Sam and Annie, who are complete strangers to her.
No. 824408 ID: bb78f2

Letting Sam, Annie, and Bucky go with the repomen means letting survivors escape to report on the Sunfish's location, which will inevitably lead to the vivisection of the crew.

Gutting life support (or threatening to) with no real escape option means their own death, as well as their quarry's. Making all this loss for nothing.

So, those are more comforting facts we can give to Bucky.
We got PRETTY good odds yo.
We good, calm yourself Bun. Maybe with a little pick me up oh no wait that'll open the wounds.
No. 824415 ID: 91ee5f

They do have an escape option. Their boarding ship is still sitting in the spot where they landed.

Plus, as far as we know, capturing Sam, Annie, and Bucky alive could be optional. Just because they're important targets, that doesn't mean all of them have to be alive if they get captured.
No. 824488 ID: 5bcb58

Remember if we need to we can also salvage parts from the repo ship.
What kind of generator/pinch drive do you think it has?
No. 824498 ID: fe7355

Wipe Bucky's tears away and tell him we'll see what the salvage teams can recover before we make more plans, then give him a kiss on the head. Now, you want to hear what happened with him back on that asteroid.

Oh, and where did Bucky's neruo-collar get to? You ought to get the data he pulled from the Starlette copied out of it and into the Sunfish's computers to be sifted for usefulness by the crew.

Also, the reactors from the Starlette and the Repo Man's frigate might be able to be salvaged too, giving additional power.

It's unlikely the boarding shuttle has a FTL pinch drive, so they wouldn't be able to escape from this star system. ...Though, that does give me a idea. How 'bout capturing the boarding shuttle and retrofitting it with a pinch drive? It'd be a hell of a lot easier to do than the Sunfish, and a shuttle could do loads of jumps, easy. Then use the shuttle to scout, do supply runs or maybe ferry folk off the Sunfish.
No. 824531 ID: 094652

"I think this ship might have enough parts to build a fusion reactor. We can use the Pinch Drive on a smaller scout vessel, grab some uranium from a highly dangerous area, and teleport back. Then we put the cancer patients in cryo and hook up the Pinch Drive at the same time we get the fusion reactor going."
No. 824650 ID: a6af03
File 150353955129.png - (112.46KB , 600x428 , 4-17.png )

"We might be able to use parts from the frigate as well. We'll have to make plans to salvage it."

Annie drums her fingers on the bed, "What about the scout ship? Could we use that?"

"You don't think it has a pinch drive do you?"

Bucky looks back and forth at the both of you, "I've heard rumors: people have been working on pinch drive miniaturization. In theory the technology is scalable, just like grav plating. Might be worth checking out."

Your eyes light up, "Really? How small are we talking?"

"Dunno, it would output a lot of radiation though. Its why ships usually have them in a shielded engine spike. A small drive moving that much mass could be pretty dangerous."

You exchange a glance with Annie and smile, "Maybe we should take a look..."

Bucky sputters, "H-hang on. That ship is going to have electronic lockouts, probably biometric too. I don't know if Smartfog is powerful enough to hack... you know... military grade hardware. You don't know what kind of coountermeasures might be onboard; if you do check it out, just.... be careful."
No. 824655 ID: 3abd97

Pretty sure we have a way to hack that, actually.
No. 824658 ID: 3ce125

Sure. Maybe one of the crew can assist too. Assuming they're not focused on taking on the remaining repomen loose in the ship...

Heyyyy, maybe that helmet could be hacked to let us into it. Assuming we can verify it doesn't do anything weird, Annie could just straight up wear it to fool the ship's security. The cornergun could potentially be used to take out any defense turrets, too.

Ah, yes, maybe it's time for Annie to have that talk with Bucky. Along the same lines we could ask him what Old Bucky is like, since Old Annie turned out to be a good person.
No. 824680 ID: 600f38

"Biometric lockouts won't be a problem - we'll tell you about that when you've recovered.
I could see them trying to put a micro pinch drive on a repomen scout ship, radiation be damned."
No. 824725 ID: d8be16

Buck can't feel it, but give him a visible fondle.
No. 824726 ID: d8be16

Ask what he was talking about with the doctor.
No. 824871 ID: a6af03
File 150361917995.png - (132.76KB , 600x600 , 4-18.png )

"Well, we have some gear from one of the scouts, including a helmet. I bet it has security clearance." 

"But what about the biometric system?" 

"About that..." Annie exchanges a meaningful look with you and you nod, "Annie?"

"Bucky..." she finds his hand and holds it, the numb fingers dangling loosely, "I'm a Repo-man..."

Bucky's brow furrows as though weighed down by confusion, "What? Wait, what do you mean?" He looks to you for reassurance, "you're not joking, are you?" 

"Thats my installment plan: Re-nu clones my template over and over to ensure a whole army of loyal, disposable soldiers. The other Repo-men? They're just like me, except they never had anyone like you guys. It’s the only difference." 

"Huh..." he stares at her slack-jawed while this sinks into his mind. You can almost see the information being written to his mental hard drive as his eyes flicker between her and you, suddenly very uncertain. "I, uh..." 

"Well?" Annie drops to her knees, her eyes level with his and pleading. Fresh tears start to build up and threaten to overflow, "Bucky, please... say something."

"Annie, I… holy shit… Sam, is this true?" he looks back at you in a panic. "What- I don't know what to say…"
No. 824880 ID: 440bf0

She's still Annie, Buck. The very same Annie she was five minutes ago when you didn't know. The very same Annie she's always been. Nothing's changed.
No. 824881 ID: 8080e6

"Bucky, it's not like she chose to be born a repo man. She left that life behind and chose us. In life, it's what you choose that matters, more than anything else. She, just like you and me, chose something other than her programmed purpose. I dunno. Seems pretty easy to swallow, to me."
No. 824890 ID: 91ee5f

No. 824894 ID: 094652

Calm down, Bucky. She didn't sell us out or anything, we got her out of the program before her class got field experience in "Civilian Hyper-Relocation Protocol".
No. 824895 ID: 9dc26d

The starting point dictates a great deal, but choices matter. Free will matters. People can choose to change.
No. 824896 ID: 3ce125

Love can change people, Bucky. It changed her.
No. 824918 ID: be0718

"How about 'well fuck me sideways?' Because I'd do it."
No. 824927 ID: 015058

Bucky we were both born intended to be other people. But we got lucky and were able to choose who we grew up as.

Annie got the same lucky chance and used it to choose us. Just think off all those poor repo men who were not so lucky.
No. 824928 ID: 600f38

Wrap your arms around them both
"Breathe, Bucky.
It's partially true.
She killed one of them to save me, and I got a good look at the corpse. That's her template.
But we got you out BEFORE you became a Repo Man, Annie. That's not you any more than Bucky is OldBucky or I'm OldSam. You're cursed with the memories of Repo Men, but that's not who you are.

Annie, had a few minutes after finding out to work through it before I saw you, and in that time I had a panic attack and almost broke down crying. It's going to take Bucky a few minutes to reboot his brain. We love you, it's ok."
No. 824929 ID: bb78f2

Our lineage always has its secrets. I mean, we're pretty much all bred from the most talented, morally dubious motherfuckers in the universe.

I mean, shit, yeah she's repo stock, but Old Me created a medical marvel, hid it here, and stole the barbaric idea, from a doctor that lives on this ship might I add, for the clone immortality program just so she could one day sabotage HER cloning and get her redemption out here through us.

Frankly speaking, I'm have expecting Old Bucky to be actually an AI given life through you. Or you're actually the only one of us to come from just a rich, talented douche using his child as his phylactery. I don't know which is worse. Would YOU like to be an AI's child? We can pretend and then we'll never have to learn the Truth about Old Bucky. Not that if you do, we will be here to support you, no matter how terrible the truth turns out to be.
No. 824930 ID: 600f38

"While we wait, how would you like to talk about what kind of tattoo we should get you?"
No. 824931 ID: bb78f2

Also, Bucky, how does it feel to know you've made a Repoman orgasm and want you in ways you can't even imagine?

No. 824951 ID: 5bcb58

Don't think of it as Annie being a Repo, instead think of the Repo as cheap puppet knockoffs of Annie.
No. 824988 ID: e420b6

You don't need to say anything, we all know the drill by now, we didn't get to choose the baggage we've been handed.
No. 824989 ID: e36c7f

"It's a big difference."
No. 824993 ID: a6fd87

"We're all flakes, Bucky. We owe our identity to each other. Thanks to us three, Annie is Annie, rather than some number in a soulless army."
No. 825005 ID: 2d1231


And Sam's the embodiment of the person who made sure all of this could happen. But she's not Old Sam, nor is she herself responsible for what any of us are.

There's a good chance that each of us were once someone horrible in the past, but there's one thing we mustn't ever forget:

We aren't the people we originated from. We're Sam, Annie, and Bucky. No one else.
No. 825075 ID: a6af03
File 150370366678.png - (180.50KB , 635x800 , 4-19.png )

"Its true..." you put your hand on his shoulder, "but then again, none of us are who we were intended to be. We met each other and became who we are now. The rest of the Repo-men... they've just been programmed to be soldiers, they never knew love like ours." 

Bucky blinks back tears and very quietly says, "Sam, can you help me get this collar off?" 

You reach behind his head and unbuckle the collar. Bucky gasps as the suppressed pain signals pour back into his body, arching his back and flexing his numb extremities. He slowly sits up, leans over and engulfs Annie in an embrace. "Sorry, I- I'm not good at these kind of things. Truth is: every day I wonder how a goofball like me  ended up with such amazing partners. I love you guys..." Annie leans in to the hug and after a moment you join them. After everything that's happened, having your partners in your arms again makes everything else inconsequential: this is all you need. 
No. 825076 ID: a6af03
File 150370367155.png - (48.83KB , 378x600 , 4-20.png )

There's a small noise at the curtain and an elegant looking snoot pokes around the hanging cloth. Commander Feist clears her throat, "Sorry to interrupt the moment, may I come in?" 
No. 825078 ID: a363ac

NO! go away we are fucking in here!
No. 825081 ID: 8cb228

Uh, Sure? Just give us a second to compose ourselves.
No. 825089 ID: 3abd97

Yes, but we're not gonna stop hugging.
No. 825092 ID: 38aa3e

No. 825110 ID: 600f38

Yep. This.
No. 825133 ID: bb78f2

If you come in here, you are in danger of getting hugged
No. 825157 ID: 2d1231


Only if she's joining the snuggle-pile. Not optional, commander. Gotta get some hugs in. Protocol, and all that.
No. 825387 ID: 15a025

Only if you're up for joining this group hug.
No. 825797 ID: a6af03
File 150397221324.png - (98.05KB , 438x600 , 4-21.png )

"We've got some hugging to catch up on. You want in on this?" You motion for her to join you. 

The commander's eye goes wide with surprise and she backs away from the curtain. "I- um, thank you but I'll... check back with you later, Sam." With that you hear her leave.

A few seconds later Feist's footsteps return and she pokes her head back through the curtain. There's a flushed look to her thin cheeks as in one breath she spits out, "I'mgladeveryoneisalright!" She then draws herself up to her full height and marches away, her shoes clacking a staccato on the hard tiled floor.
No. 825798 ID: a6af03
File 150397221863.png - (96.09KB , 600x474 , 4-22.png )

"Who was that?" Bucky leans back in his bed with a "whoof!" 

"Commander Feist, she seems to be in charge of the Sunfish." Annie wipes her eyes and gives you a playful grin. "Something between you two we should know about?" 
No. 825799 ID: 2d1231


Oh, you know, just aware of an alternative universe and a few other secrets thanks to having another entity living in my head. The usual.

Yes, do tell. Juicy gossip time as we catch up on the Bun and life~!
No. 825800 ID: 3abd97

>"Something between you two we should know about?"
Not yet.

Although I think there might have been with Old Sam.
No. 825803 ID: 91ee5f

"I don't know what you're talking about.~"

We probably should go see what she has to say, it might be important.
No. 825807 ID: 3ce125

From what we've heard about Old Sam I wouldn't be surprised if she bedded half the crew, and Feist sure is cute.
No. 825812 ID: 600f38

Alternate universe? Link?

"Not with me. Maybe Old Sam, but I haven't checked.
Besides, you know I'd never have a fling without you two. What do you think, Bucky? Should we tap that?"
Give them a playful smile.

In all seriousness we do need to put a permanent marking on Annie. The Repo Men saw her, so they know they can impersonate her just by taking off their helmets.
They're not stupid, it's a cheap and effective plan for sneaking around unnoticed in plain sight.
No. 825814 ID: e36c7f


It'd need to be some double-layered thing, like the ol' straw hat pirate cloth wrap over the cross mark gambit.
No. 825822 ID: bb78f2

Old Sam probably tapped that.
My flirting ability is definitely genetic and innate.
I expect worse from our children, if we have any, Bucky. Bunny libido supercharged with MY libido?
The universe will have a overpopulation crisis within the millennia.
No. 825869 ID: 2d1231


At least we know one of the mouse twins is doing his best to follow in our legendary footsteps.
No. 826136 ID: bf3b49

Except instead of a cross, it should be a symbol chosen by someone outside the trio, whom they can't predict.
No. 826226 ID: a6af03
File 150414136420.png - (107.26KB , 518x600 , 4-23.png )

"Well Dr. Spencer did say Old Sam was quite the flirt. Maybe there's some history there..." you give Annie a lewd grin. 
Annie chuckles, "Some things never change. She had good taste." 
You sidle closer until you're face to face and squint up at her, "Oh yeah? How do I taste now?"
She grabs your hips, pulling you closer until her breath is in your ear. "Delicious..." she whispers and gives your butt a squeeze. 
No. 826227 ID: a6af03
File 150414136989.png - (76.84KB , 600x479 , 4-24.png )

"You girls keep that up and I'm going to need my collar back..." 
No. 826231 ID: 3abd97

I think the two of you need to put on a show for the poor, bedridden bunny.
No. 826232 ID: 600f38

"Oh, I'm quite certain you can manage without it~"
Is cross-breeding possible? Do they need protection?
No. 826237 ID: 2d1231


Bucky, dear ... you near broke your leg, not your dick.
No. 826240 ID: 3dbd55

Well, honestly, you should probably have the collar back on anyway, Bucky, so you don't injure yourself.
No. 826242 ID: 3ce125

Pretty sure he's implying the collar would be used for pleasure.
I guess it was never clear just how often he uses it during sex. If it's every time then okay, but we might get interrupted anyway. If it's not every time, then maybe he should skip it since he's used it several times already. Also we gotta be careful about his stitches...
No. 826243 ID: ed67d9

While there deeeefinitely needs to be more of a show going on, I propose we have Dr. Spencer come in to make sure things are okay first. Sometimes these situations can get a bit out of hand, and we want to make sure Bucky is fit for such a thing.
No. 826244 ID: 91ee5f

We probably should go see what the Commander had to say. It's probably important.
No. 826262 ID: a363ac

yeah we need a medical professional to make sure everything is safe and in working order. Might as well keep her around while the deed is done too just to make sure nothing bad happens
No. 826460 ID: a6af03
File 150423053077.png - (145.23KB , 600x566 , 4-25.png )

You exchange a salacious glance with Annie, "Aww, our poor bun. I'm sure you can live without it for a few moments."
The two of you move to flank Bucky, fingers tracing the bed's railing before slipping under the sheets. You find what you're looking for, warmed up and ready for attention. Annie pushes him back against his pillow, "Now lay back and enjoy our bedside manner..."
No. 826461 ID: a6af03
File 150423053701.png - (172.76KB , 600x600 , 4-46.png )

A voice mutters "I wonder what the commander want- oh my!" You look up from your task just in time to see a red faced Dr. Spencer duck back out of sight. Her voice addresses you from the far side of the curtain, "Sam! He's supposed to be resting! You two are going to be the death of him!"
No. 826462 ID: a363ac

then get in here and make sure we aren't making him work too hard~
No. 826465 ID: ed67d9

"Well, perhaps you could keep an eye on him and make sure nothing too bad happens... Cheri. <3"
No. 826466 ID: 600f38

"He is resting! See, he's not moving a muscle!
... You can join if you want."
No. 826467 ID: 3abd97

"...Mfs fine. 'M 'otally ma doc'or."
No. 826468 ID: e420b6

It'd be an awesome death at least... still, no actually hurting the bun after all that physical and emotional effort to save him.
No. 826482 ID: 2d1231


Laughter and blowjobs are the best medicine, doctor.
No. 826486 ID: 9215e1

Well, doctor, we can tell you for certain that he has a very strong, healthy pulse.
No. 826524 ID: ae9b99

>You two are going to be the death of him!

I smell foreshadowing
No. 826593 ID: 1e828c

Swallow, then answer.
No. 826609 ID: 8a204b

"We're just making sure the patient is completely and totally relaxed."
No. 826617 ID: fd306a

No, continue sucking bucky's dick while you talk. Don't worry about whether or not she can understand you.
No. 826791 ID: a6af03
File 150431245703.png - (120.71KB , 403x600 , 4-27.png )

You stalk up to the curtain and reach through it, wrapping your arms around the petite doctor. You purr into her ear, "Well, Cheri, its a good thing you're here. We don't want anything medically dangerous to happen."

She shudders, "God, You really are Samantha Tran." You can feel the excitement in her breath and in your arms she feels so warm.
No. 826792 ID: a6af03
File 150431246258.png - (129.80KB , 600x600 , 4-28.png )

You quickly check back on your partners.
Annie finishes shedding the last of her flight suit; her hungry, lithe body poised over his. Catching your intention, she gives you a wink before reaching down to line herself up. Bucky's smile gets even wider as he gets what's happening and gives you an encouraging thumbs up.
No. 826793 ID: a6af03
File 150431246875.png - (116.21KB , 600x600 , 4-29.png )

"Is there somewhere...?" You start before Dr. Spencer takes your hand and pulls you into another curtained partition. Inside is a crisply made bed which she backs up against, her blushing face hidden behind her rose colored glasses. 
No. 826794 ID: a6af03
File 150431250383.png - (115.88KB , 600x600 , 4-30.png )

You grab her around the waist, lift her onto the bed and she giggles. You land on top of her in a kiss that feels sinfully familiar. Behind the curtain divider, the rhythmic sounds of passion are punctuated with soft, lewd exaltations. 
No. 826801 ID: e36c7f

Tell her you don't know if you can claim to be the Sam she knew or not, but if you aren't, you're sure she'd like you to deliver a message for her.
No. 826804 ID: a363ac

No. 826807 ID: 094652

Ask about the lack of exponential reproduction on this ship if crew members are capable of reaching this level of heat.
No. 826809 ID: ed67d9

The only thing that can happen at this point is to see who THE SUPERIOR LICKER IS! You are a flexible friendly feline and that makes it easier for you to get into good licking positions... BUT she possesses an amazing aardvark appendage - namely, her tongue!

There has only been ONE PERSON TO EVER challenge Beatrix at the title of Licking Champion, and it was an aardvark named Aubrey! Aardvarks are devious lickers! BEWARE!
No. 826810 ID: 3ce125

I wonder if Old Sam would rather be driving, and if Dr Spencer would like that. Can you switch for her? You'll get to watch, too!
No. 826812 ID: ed67d9

This is a fun idea, but... hell, even just see if she can ask Old Sam what Cheri's kinks are!
No. 826835 ID: 600f38

I think you should set the mood with a strip show.
No. 826844 ID: 8cb228

Second the offer to let Old Sam drive. Try to, uh, co-front? Have shotgun? Watch? That is possible, yes?
No. 826852 ID: 3abd97

Maybe internally ask Old-sam if she wants in on this before getting the doc's hopes up by asking her if that's what she wants (although she seems pretty okay with jumping into bed with now-Sam).

And even if she can't, I'm sure she's watching and approves. Just let instinct / genetic memory drive.
No. 826947 ID: 32d29a

Help undress the doctor. See if you can leave her glasses on while doing so.
No. 826971 ID: ec5ca0

I'm thinking you can just do what you do here. Let instinct guide you and show her just how different you can be from OldSam.

Bet you can come up with TONS of ways to use that tongue she never tried.
No. 827006 ID: c31aac

No. 827056 ID: be0718

Open a line to the bridge on an intercom and leave it on.
No. 827073 ID: 2d1231


Let's show her just how much Sam has learned about lovin' the ladies.

Sleeping with her at night.
Taking her for walks.
Holding her tight.
Talking to her
About nothing.
Smooching her so right.

No. 827116 ID: f129fa

Fuck her up, fam.
No. 827120 ID: fc33ea

Tell Annie to be careful in there.
No. 827249 ID: 15a025

Ask other Sam more about her relation ship with the Doctor.
No. 827250 ID: a6af03
File 150440507460.png - (162.85KB , 600x609 , 4-31.png )

You break away from the smooch, "You okay with this?"

"Sam, you have no idea how much I've missed this. Just being close to you- to her." She sighs and lays back on the bed.

With an impish smirk you slide backwards off the bed and drop to the ground. Its but a moments work to slide her garments aside and spread her legs. You feel the presence of your old self guiding your hands along her thighs and under her dress, running them down her spine to the base of her muscular tail. She gasps as your tongue finds its mark, "Sam, oh my god!" Cheri struggles to stay quiet under your ministrations, "Oh fuck, Sam. Sam, you're going to make me- !" Her voice elevates into a silent squeal as pleasure radiates through her body. You press yourself to her and coax her further as tiny aftershocks spasm randomly.
No. 827251 ID: a6af03
File 150440508035.png - (73.01KB , 600x367 , 4-32.png )

"Hang on… okay"

"…Let me just…"

"Is this okay?"

No. 827252 ID: a6af03
File 150440508592.png - (86.80KB , 600x600 , 4-33.png )

"Ohhh god, yes, yes, yesyesyesyesyes… Ohwow! What- oh god, What was that!?"
No. 827253 ID: a6af03
File 150440509205.png - (148.71KB , 600x600 , 4-35.png )

Several inches of pink tongue slip out of you. She licks her lips hungrily and smiles, "Not bad for an old lady, eh? She never told you about this did she?…" She dives back into you as if it were the first thing she had tasted in a hundred years.
No. 827254 ID: a6af03
File 150440510099.png - (142.25KB , 600x600 , 4-36.png )

She thrusts deeper inside and you gasp. You've never experienced anything like this: her tongue pushes and twists, stretching and tasting places hidden even to you. You grab on to the railing and hang on for dear life, held against her snout by a pair of surprisingly powerful arms. You feel your mind going blank as the thorough cunnilingus finds its way to that spot again and again. Soon you're bucking, grinding into her as she teases you; pushing you closer, until all at once it crashes over you and you fucking cum in a shrieking, loud mess. You struggle to hold yourself up as great shuddering orgasms wrack your frame and you feel yourself clenching down on her tongue as your shivering hips surrender to her.
No. 827255 ID: a6af03
File 150440510550.png - (121.22KB , 600x462 , 4-37.png )

You fall forward, gasping for breath and legs shaking: a boneless puddle of well licked kitty. From the other side of the curtain you hear: "Holy shit.. You okay, girl?"
No. 827257 ID: a363ac

"I am leaving you guys to elope with this amazing lady~" joking of course
No. 827259 ID: 3ce125

"Guys her tongue is so long"
No. 827260 ID: 600f38

"I found us a fourth."
No. 827267 ID: ed67d9


we're done here folks

quest is over nothing more to see now
No. 827271 ID: fc33ea

thank you miss may i please have another
No. 827287 ID: ed67d9

Actual response:

No. 827288 ID: 32d29a

Inform them that they both need to see the doctor for a physical once they wrap up.
No. 827314 ID: 0b6716

"Remind me to try that with an Anteater, Pangolin, and a Hummingbird when we make it out of here."
No. 827315 ID: 094652

"I was going to ask for a 'second opinion' but your tongue is long enough to be a third."
No. 827324 ID: 8a204b

"Spriggan bramble...copenhangen punch fizz..."
No. 827325 ID: e420b6

yeah this
No. 827333 ID: a302b2


Follow it up with a girlish giggle and something delightfully inarticulate and well pleasured.
No. 827337 ID: be0718

Ripley didn't know what she was talking about, you're in space and I think everyone heard that scream.
No. 827445 ID: a6af03
File 150449181520.png - (108.74KB , 600x600 , 4-38.png )

"Mmmmmmmmhhhhhhmm, gooooooood doctor….."
No. 827446 ID: a6af03
File 150449182051.png - (120.08KB , 600x600 , 4-39.png )

No. 827448 ID: a6af03
File 150449187751.png - (122.90KB , 600x528 , 4-40.png )

You hear your partners intensifying their pace next door. They've always enjoyed hearing you get off and it sounds like they're really having a fun time over there.
You're content to bask in the afterglow, curled up against the doctor and nuzzling one another. There's a familiarity to this feeling that doesn't go lost on you.

"God, I missed that so much… Sam, you have no idea." She sighs and puts her hand on your thigh, "Thank you."
"I shouldn’t stay… but, working alongside Samantha again I felt this energy I haven't felt in ages. She did that for us: she was more than a scientist, she was our heart. When we had to leave her behind… it felt like the soul had been ripped out of the ship."
No. 827467 ID: 600f38

"I'm pretty sure mom planned for most of this. I expect she'll show up in person sooner or later.
...But it's not later yet."
You should reciprocate.
No. 827501 ID: fe7355

"I hope I can be at least a little bit of that soul returned while I'm here." Give Cheri a kiss and pull her in tighter.

"What was the reason Samantha had to leave the Sunfish? ...And I wonder if she's still out there, searching for this ship."

Whisper to Cheri so Bucky's big ears won't pick it up and distract him from his well deserved fun: "I noticed how you first reacted to seeing Bucky's face. Was Old Bucky involved with the Sunfish?"
No. 827653 ID: a6af03
File 150457358289.png - (99.64KB , 600x403 , 4-41.png )

You lay against the doctor on the narrow hospital cot, "What happened to Old Sam? Why isn't she on the Sunfish?" 

Dr. Spencer sighs, "She was arrested..." 

"What!? Why?"

"The investors claimed that her process belonged to them. If we hadn't left they would have captured us and taken us apart for the secret. Sam claimed her research was a lie in order to keep them from following, giving them Dr. Kent's neural transference project instead." She wipes tears from her tiny eyes, "She sacrificed everything to keep her secret safe from the world: her friends, her reputation, her chance at a new life. In retaliation they labelled her a fraud and charged her with embezzlement. We all thought we could trust them at first…"
No. 827666 ID: 600f38

Squeeze that poor girl!
"Somebody cracked into the installment plan system and replaced the command trigger to kill me and restore her with an infodump about the Sunfish's location and what I needed to know to escape and get here. That means whoever did it knew the system inside and out.

She wouldn't have trusted anybody else with that kind of information either, and she wouldn't have left it where somebody could find it.

I don't think she ever intended to use the installment plan. I think she wanted a daughter who could bring her back what she lost. I think she's alive and waiting for us. At least, that's what I want to be true."
No. 827676 ID: bb78f2

Yeah, immortality is not one of the things you can trust sociopathic rich people with. I mean, they all got mostly got rich by BEING sociopathic.

I mean, again, they're willing to go through fake ass immortality by cloning themselves, and reprogramming another consciousness with their brain patterns and shit. It's not even really them when the process is done. They're actually dead and in hell, probably. Only now they have a doppleganger to take over their lives and property.

So take comfort in that they're ALL in hell by now, no matter how many clones they've made. I guess I should feel bad for even someone like Old Bucky, who might even be a clone of Older Bucky, who could be a clone or a clone of a clone of Oldest Bucky.

Wait... what if Oldest Bucky was an investor. He could be, depending on when the latest process to extract memories from Old Bucky into our Bucky was done, we could get info on what the bad guys are planning through our Bucky. Our Bucky says he's a huge crabbity asshole, so he totally could be one of the evil investors that might be thinking of what to do to find the Sunfish. Old Sam and Old Annies wouldn't be privvy to that info, but Old Bucky would!

And if Dr. Kent is the progenitor of the project, he could come up with a process to extract those memories safely into a computer or VR experience! If someone besides Bucky experiences Old Bucky's memories, there's no risk for personality takeover!
No. 827684 ID: 22d3a4

Do you think there's a way to tell the entire world? The consequences will be huge I know, but it may be the only way for them to leave us alone...
No. 827692 ID: 094652

"Unfortunately, I think Sam made a bad decision in the long run. After seeing you guys? I we should have given them immortality. They would have stayed the same, just like you, and the world would eventually replace them while they tried to hold onto their power with obsolete strategies. But without any hope of a long life, business is booming, corporate ladder climbers are constantly trying to make it to the top before they die in a mere century, and nobody lives long enough to grow a conscience on the many deaths of us expendable clones. In the long run, giving them clones instead of immortality has made the economy stronger than ever and dependent on our exploitation."
No. 827783 ID: e36c7f

I don't think this is the time for speaking at length about this whole system and why it went wrong and what to do about it. There are more immediate problems to solve first. As for right now, just comfort that doctor.
No. 827872 ID: ec5ca0

No. 827873 ID: 2fe26a

Striking to the heart of the problem, and tearing it out with his teeth to feast under the blood moon.
No. 827875 ID: 4854ef

Agreeing with this
No. 827923 ID: 018165

Comfort first, critique/solve problem later. The idea is good, but should only be given in an appropriate time and context.
No. 827926 ID: ed67d9

What is the more immediate problem that needs to be solved?
No. 827975 ID: e36c7f


Comforting this doctor, for one, and then eliminating possible threats on board, then eluding pursuit for the forseeable future. Once all that's taken care of, then we can talk about why things went wrong to start with and how to fix them long-term.
No. 827999 ID: 3abd97

Hug that doc.

Don't go second guessing your progenitor now, that doesn't really do any good but make her feel worse. We have to deal with the situation at hand, not the situation that was.
No. 828170 ID: a302b2


What if we stayed, tried to finish this? We've got nowhere else to go anymore, and it's gotten pretty obvious that whatever accord we'd struck with those bastards is dead. Maybe we can work with Sam, get it finished and save this ship.
No. 828187 ID: 8b2654

Ask her about options for getting Annie a permanent marking so the repomen can't impersonate her.
Can you create a tattoo that dyes the feathers that grow out of it?

Alternatively, can we turn immortal? Then solving a question of identity is as simple as shooting everybody and letting the real Annie revive.
No. 828332 ID: a6af03
File 150475532257.png - (82.97KB , 600x447 , 4-42.png )

"Its okay. That was a long time ago and I'm sure mom knew what she was doing..." 

"Huh, I guess she was your mom, wasn't she?" Dr. Spencer roll onto her back and stares up at the ceiling, "I'm sure she would have been proud of you..." 
No. 828333 ID: a6af03
File 150475536125.png - (137.04KB , 600x623 , 4-43.png )

The sounds in the next bed reach a crescendo, followed by a gasping, giddy exchange of admiration barely audible through the curtain. The two of you take it as a sign to wrap things up and start hunting around for discarded items of clothing. A few minutes later, a slightly disheveled Annie peeks through the curtain. "Hey!" She leers at your partially clothed bodies, "Sounds like you had fun. You going to teach me to make her cum like that?"

Dr. Spencer goes bright pink, "Oh my!"

Half-naked, you strut up to her and tap her playfully on the beak, "You will have to find out about that next time."

The doctor goes from pink to crimson. "Next time!" She squeaks, "I knew Dr. Tran was, well, flirtatious but are you all so... open?" 
No. 828336 ID: 3abd97

>"I knew Dr. Tran was, well, flirtatious but are you all so... open?"
*Shrug* Unique upbringing?
No. 828337 ID: ec5ca0

Are you *not* curious?
No. 828338 ID: fd306a

Whenever the situation allows it I guess.
No. 828341 ID: 91ee5f

>"I knew Dr. Tran was, well, flirtatious but are you all so...open?"
"Well, when you've been together as long as the 3 of us have been, it's kinda hard to not be open!" ;D

"But out of curiosity, did my mom happen to get around to everyone on the ship?"

I guess after we're done here and we've said our goodbyes to Bucky, we should go look for the Commander to see what she had to say. Whatever it is, it's gotta be important, right?
No. 828349 ID: 600f38

"It's a lot simpler than you'd think. We're all completely devoted to each other.
I know Annie and Bucky would enjoy being with you, and I enjoy their enjoyment. The same goes for them; Infinite happiness loop via recursed enjoyment.

So, this immortality. Is the equipment for it still around? Mom wanted you to study it; what have you learned about it?"
No. 828358 ID: 3ce125

Focusing on sex is how we keep our identities stable.
No. 828392 ID: 8cb228

Eh, we make sure to keep 'comperson' a big part of our relationship. And I know she would enjoy being with you! It's really as simple as that.
No. 828445 ID: ccd925

"only to people we trust."
No. 828748 ID: a6af03
File 150483035810.png - (113.78KB , 600x600 , 4-44.png )

You shrug, "Unique upbringing. All us flakes are kind of like that. Everyone knows that they're going to get overwritten so they just..."

"-Let go." Annie finishes. "We're raised in pretty big groups, so the management looks the other way a lot. They don't care what you do as long as you don't damage the merchandise. Everyone's looking for an escape."

"Besides," You take Annie's

hand, "mom trusts you, and I trust her."

Bucky chimes in from his bed, "We have moms now? Cool!"

You roll your eyes and smirk at your boyfriend. "Don't worry. We'd never do anything unless everyone is onboard and comfortable. I love them and want them to enjoy themselves, and I want the same for you."

Dr. Spencer appears to calm down, patting her tightly bound hair, "Well, Your mother and I had our exploits when we were younger and this place isn't exactly a nunnery, but sorry if I was a bit surprised by your proposal." She sighs, "As I said, it's been a long time since I've felt like that."
No. 828752 ID: 3abd97

>"As I said, it's been a long time since I've felt like that."
Weeeeeeell, you just lemme know when you feel like feeling like that again.
No. 828753 ID: 3ce125

...are the other members of the crew like that too?
No. 828782 ID: ed67d9

Oh my god yes
No. 828815 ID: 32d29a

Well we should dress and leave our friend to heal or we should ask the doctor if she is up for a round two.
No. 828817 ID: 91ee5f

"Soooo, does that mean that my mom has been with everyone on the entire ship?"

Let's go look for the Commander, she had something important to say.
No. 829006 ID: a6af03
File 150492379345.png - (66.79KB , 600x455 , 4-45.png )

"Well, the offer still stands should you ever feel like that again." 
"And with me! Don't forget about Bucky!" 
"No one's forgetting about you, sweetie. Get some rest."
"I'm feeling better already!"
No. 829007 ID: a6af03
File 150492379868.png - (82.14KB , 418x600 , 4-46.png )

"Does everyone feel the same way? Are we really that unusual?"

Dr. Spencer gives a weighty sigh, "Many of us, yes. A long time ago things were easier: The cryo cycles weren't as strict and some of the crew had long term relationships with passengers. Now... its hard. Many of us just stick to doing our jobs and keep the ship from falling apart." She shrugs and smiles tiredly, "Some of us are lucky, like... Dachelle and Cain are completely devoted to one another." 
But... forever is a long time. There are days where its hard not to feel like gods; the fucked up kind that were always fighting and screwing around. One of the things we've learned is that nothing really prepares you for the concept of 'forever'. Things happen, life changes, and we keep going."
No. 829008 ID: a6af03
File 150492380215.png - (82.47KB , 508x600 , 4-47.png )

You and Annie give Dr. Spencer parting hugs and explain that you're going to go see what the commander wanted. You give Bucky a kiss and promise to come see him before he is discharged. With goodbyes said, you step back out into the waiting room. 
Commander Feist unfolds her slender form from the small couch and approaches you, politely pretending that the whole ship didn't just hear the doctor tongue-fucking you into a brainless puddle 10 minutes ago. 
No. 829011 ID: 3abd97

>politely pretending that the whole ship didn't just hear the doctor tongue-fucking you into a brainless puddle 10 minutes ago
Own it. Smug smile.

"You had something you wanted to discuss?"
No. 829012 ID: 32d29a

Tell her the offer to go through that experience is open to her as well.
No. 829013 ID: 600f38

No need to be ashamed. If they heard it it's because they didn't invest in proper sound isolation for privacy in their medical bay. That's on them.

Find out what she needs. Also, ask about the process for producing immortals - did it survive all this time?
No. 829015 ID: be0718

That opening is not available in the security department.
"Care to tell us what it is you wanted to discuss while we're still young, Feist?"
No. 829017 ID: 91ee5f

>Commander Feist
"The doctor is busy at the moment, but we'll see you in her place. ~"
No. 829020 ID: ed67d9

Thanks for sending her back there. We... we all needed that.

...next time, you won't escape so easily.
No. 829140 ID: 3ce125

...huh, if the personality implantation process can be used to create perfect soldiers, why haven't they used that with other skills? They could make incredibly skilled scientists and artists.
No. 829993 ID: a6af03
File 150519015506.png - (87.43KB , 600x406 , 4-48.png )

"Just what the doctor ordered, right? Thanks for that."

The commander's eyebrow notches itself up a degree, "I assure you, I have no idea what you're talking about."

You leer, "Sure, sure. What was it you wanted to talk about?"
"I was going to discuss formally announcing your presence on the ship to the rest of the crew, but…" She pauses diplomatically, "You've already made quite the announcement."

She clears her throat and carries on stoically, a bulwark against the seas of awkwardness, "Nevertheless, your presence is already known by most of the crew, and rumors have made them restless. Since it seems you will be staying here for the near future, we'd like to at least extend a welcome. I'd also appreciate it if you'd take a moment to help… clarify any questions our passengers might have."
No. 829995 ID: 8a204b

>I'd also appreciate it if you'd take a moment to help… clarify any questions our passengers might have.

Quick, which one of you can do the best impression of a Politician?

Cuz you're gonna need to do a shitload of deflecting around the question and answering without actually answering.
No. 829996 ID: 3abd97

All right, we've had our fun, we can stop rubbing her nose in it.

>we'd like to at least extend a welcome
Thank you. It's appreciated.

>I'd also appreciate it if you'd take a moment to help… clarify any questions our passengers might have.
How much are you willing to tell them here? I'm not the only one here keeping secrets, and it seems like all my secrets are tied up in yours.

(Or in simpler terms, is she willing to spill on the immortality to the Popsicle).
No. 830065 ID: e36c7f

Sure, you can answer questions and declare yourselves.

Actually, if you're introducing yourselves, this is the perfect time to set up some way of distinguishing Annie from her fellow clones for everyone. We'll need to come up with something good and tricksy.
No. 830066 ID: 8111b6

..but we didn't rub her nose in it! She sent the doctor in instead~
No. 830111 ID: 91ee5f

Are there going to be people that have held a grudge against the original Sam? Because I'd rather not have to worry about them trying to kill me. And with those other Repo guys still running around on the ship, I wouldn't be surprised if those people with a grudge would end up helping the Repo guys for the sake of getting rid of me.
No. 830398 ID: a6af03
File 150535446856.png - (65.31KB , 600x394 , 4-49.png )

"Sure we can introduce ourselves. One thing: how much are they allowed to know? Like, how secret is your immortality?" 

She sighs and runs her fingers through her fine hair, "Most of the older members of the community know. Its a kind of open secret we've had to trust them with, but its a trust they've had to earn. I worry that learning about our condition may foster resentment... as it did long ago."

"What about Annie?"

"What about her?"

"If we have all these clones of her sneaking around, is there some way we can distinguish her from the others so that, well, nothing happens to her?" 

Feist examines your girlfriend while she thinks, "Yes... I think we might have something..." 
No. 830399 ID: a6af03
File 150535447267.png - (130.95KB , 600x478 , 4-50.png )

She walks out the door with a swish of her tail and you follow. A couple of paces behind, a pair of guards peel away from the door and take up positions behind you. One of them is sporting a fresh patch over a stained hole in his chest. 

The commander leads you a short distance to a large warehouse like chamber, one side if which opens directly into the grove. Crate filled shelves line the walls, and scattered around the wide room are a number of tables and workshops. The people at each table are hard at work... crafting.
Both of you are a little stunned: you came from a world where almost everything is manufactured. To see someone sculpting a block of wood is like seeing a wizard prestidigitating. In one corner, a person turns a glowing chunk of steel in an induction forge, while another lays out damp sheets of-
No. 830400 ID: a6af03
File 150535447734.png - (122.76KB , 600x600 , 4-51.png )

"Paper!" Annie runs up to the rack and hunches down to admire the thin sheets as they dry. "Sam they have paper!" The young craftswoman is surprised by Annie's sudden appearance, but seems smitten by her delight. 
Wood and paper products are pretty rare in your experience, Since plants are more useful as food and O2 recycling than raw material. You can still find them in use in some places, but it tends to be something of a luxury. One of your first presents you bought Annie after flaking was a pack of thin, crisp folding papers and she spent hours making tiny jewel-like origami figures out of them. Your heart pangs at the thought of those tiny, paper constellations now adrift in space.
This paper is coarse and off white; you hardly recognize it as something made, it looks as though its been grown

"We practice a variety of crafts here in the hopes that once we establish a colony, they will help us flourish." The commander smiles at Annie, "This is more what I was interested in." She strides over to the shelf and opens a drawer, inside is a collection of brilliant pigments, labeled and organized in tiny plastic containers. "It wouldn't be permanent, but you should be able to make something simple, something we can recognize in an instant."
No. 830401 ID: a6af03
File 150535448553.png - (51.15KB , 600x508 , 4-52.png )

Decorate your girlfriend time!
No. 830402 ID: 91ee5f

Damnit! My computer won't let me draw on her! DX

Oh, well. I'll just describe it.

I was thinking of giving Annie the same face markings that Amaterasu from the game Okami has on her face, as seen here: http://okami.wikia.com/wiki/Amaterasu .
No. 830404 ID: ed67d9
File 150535637348.png - (157.62KB , 924x786 , weddingband.png )


Joke suggestion: The scarf

Real suggestion: Two bands of color on her left ring finger. One is Sam's color, one is Bucky's color. Easy to check, easy to conceal, unlikely anyone would think to fake it.
No. 830406 ID: be61f7

This idea is tops.
No. 830407 ID: 094652
File 150535687330.png - (51.36KB , 600x508 , 8teva 4 8teva .png )

This is one of the few times tgchan's joke brand could actually work. If it doesn't work here, then I don't want to see it work anywhere less appropriate.
No. 830408 ID: 3ce125

>a colony
Oh, they want to do that? Maybe that can be our long term plan. Find a habitable world far outside the influence of the repomen, and bring the Sunfish there via pinch drive to establish a colony.
I really do wish we could stop the installment procedure, though. I'm not sure how we'd manage that though... unless we do it by force? Form a team of highly trained immortals to storm the headquarters and take it over/destroy it? We do have an advantage in a war of attrition, at least.

We'll need markings easily recognizable even while she's wearing her helmet. Something needs to go on the arm/hand, not just on a finger, and it should be COVERED by a strip of cloth. Then an ally would ask her to remove the cloth, and she can show the true symbol underneath it. Our enemies would see the cloth and assume that's all that's required, but they would not know what is under it.
No. 830413 ID: ec5ca0
File 150535844660.png - (75.74KB , 600x508 , AnnieDrawthing.png )

First time I've done this. Was in paint, too. Went for subtle yet clear symbolism. Sorry if it's too garish or stupid.
No. 830420 ID: 91ee5f

>I worry that learning about our condition may foster resentment...as it did long ago.
Ask if that's what happened in this room: >>/questarch/807922 ?
No. 830453 ID: d0dc72
File 150537364405.png - (77.65KB , 600x508 , muffled YOOOOOOOO in the distance.png )

No. 830455 ID: d0dc72
File 150537428013.png - (65.06KB , 600x508 , muffled kodhok ngorek in the distance.png )

No. 830458 ID: c31aac
File 150537513417.png - (51.26KB , 600x508 , 150535448553.png )

haha, c l a s s i c
No. 830472 ID: 8b5260
File 150538301853.png - (45.68KB , 600x508 , 150535448553Idea.png )

An idea
No. 830475 ID: 0cf890
File 150538497284.png - (100.67KB , 600x508 , 150535448553.png )

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING: Serious application. Don't you agree it would fit her character

No. 830478 ID: 2870fe
File 150538591865.png - (61.54KB , 600x508 , recognize.png )

>something we can recognize
No. 830479 ID: 830fb7

sometimes simplicity is best.
No. 830480 ID: be0718
File 150539045173.png - (133.75KB , 754x638 , OBDNS.png )

You gotta make it something the soldiers would never willingly paint on themselves. A combination of imperative and incentive.
No. 830491 ID: 904bad

I would go with this, but with a ring on top to hide it, as >>830408 said. The scarf is nice too
No. 830492 ID: 2fe26a

I didn't know you could wear lipstick on a beak. Now I do.
No. 830493 ID: 8e802d
File 150540653399.png - (60.78KB , 600x508 , crow annie.png )

No need to overthink this. Just be the black Annie!

Black is:

a) hard to see in the dark, provides natural camouflage in dark ships and in space
b) the sexiest color (think of the sex cum)
c) look like a crow
d) recognizable by your friends but not overly distinctive at a distance
e) easy to draw
f) your whole butt will be black
No. 830538 ID: e36c7f
File 150541577149.png - (93.51KB , 842x508 , burdmarks.png )


I like that idea, but the finger band being so subtle is also a drawback, because the ship's security might need to make a snap judgement from a distance.

So, we make the wedding band a backup, and include a bigger, more visible mark by putting a "band" around Annie's tail, as well. It's not really a band, it's two arrows pointing down at her butt in her partners' colors, representing just who that butt belongs to. An implication that will hopefully be embarrassing to the clones, but which Annie I assume will be fine with. Anyone with suspicions can just ask her to tell them what the tail marks mean and the answer will probably be characteristic.

And then we add a THIRD level of secret subtle backup! If you have pigments that will survive palm sweat, put a little symbol of a cat and a rabbit on each palm, or some similar small but distinctive mark. The palm of the hand will be very hard for anyone to spot, BUT whenever the security needs to check she is who she says she is, she can lift her hands in the way a person naturally does when faced with people who have weapons, that sort of "hey man be cool" motion, and subtly flash one of the marks on her palms. That's just the thing that someone could easily miss. This sort of layered deception could get us a captive or something! That'd probably be useful.

Also, I like her standard red eyeshadow, so I kept that and I also put a heart on her forehead because it represents our feelings and the feelings we hope are directed at her by others, and might also be another obvious detail that could distract from the subtle details.
No. 830565 ID: 63d0e0
File 150542771785.png - (345.84KB , 1440x2560 , sketch-1505427637719.png )

No. 830577 ID: b3d900

Annie is poly, meaning her butt doesn't belong to anyone. Let's avoid symbols of ownership or commitment that could ruin chances with future hookups.
No. 830582 ID: e36c7f


It's not a permanent tattoo, it's just paint or dye. Once the crisis is over and the clones aren't a threat it can come off.
No. 830585 ID: 600f38

She should wear gloves so they can't even be seen incidentally.
No. 830586 ID: 2d1231




What if we left her as-is and were able to fulfill our ultimate sexual fantasy of DOUBLE-ANNIE!?

Oh, wait. Pigments.

... uhhhhhhhhhh, dunno. Change her eye-shadow-coloring-stuff?

What's Annie's favorite color, anyhow?

I also notice no one has suggested Pennywise getup for her.
No. 830636 ID: d36af7

Hybridizing some other suggestions: a circle of high-visibility orange on the forehead, centered around a chevron the color of Sam's eyes and the shape of Bucky's ears.

Polyamory and committed relationships are not mutually exclusive, as you seem to be implying.
No. 830665 ID: 3d22f6

Actually seconding this one. It's a good suggestion and could add some STYLE to the HEPPEST cat in town, ya dig
No. 830666 ID: fd306a

when bucky gets out of the medbay we should draw all over bucky next time he falls asleep. Who knows, there might be ninja bucky clones out there, we should have a way to identify him!
No. 830697 ID: 8a204b
File 150548089950.png - (71.09KB , 600x508 , puffinannie.png )

Puffin Muffin
No. 830729 ID: 2d1231


Isn't that a line in that one Lady CawCaw song, lol?
No. 830790 ID: ff0191

Puffin is good
No. 830799 ID: 51e4a1
File 150553817583.png - (74.91KB , 600x508 , muffled untz untz untz in the distance.png )

Untz Untz Untz
No. 830852 ID: 462842

I quite like this one
No. 830853 ID: 830fb7

this one looks nice
No. 830941 ID: a8df8f

The blood sacrifice is maintained
No. 830962 ID: e380a0
File 150561847176.png - (63.17KB , 600x508 , robinannie.png )

i couldn't think of any other bird patterns
No. 830977 ID: d25fe8

wouldn't it be nice for anny to experience being another bird?
No. 830979 ID: be0718

I thought the point of flaking was to avoid that experience.
No. 831370 ID: a6af03
File 150578121870.png - (92.67KB , 577x600 , 4-53.png )

"There, should be easy enough to recognize..." You put your finishing touches on her feathers and stand back to admire them. 
"How do I look?" Feathers aren't made to be painted on, but you did your best. At least she should stand out now. 
Feist nods approvingly, "Very sweet, the hands are a nice touch."  
She takes your brushes to a nearby bucket to clean up. 
No. 831371 ID: a6af03
File 150578122583.png - (183.89KB , 600x600 , 4-54.png )

"Commander... you said the passengers might resent learning about your... condition, does that have anything to do with the Gaps?" 
She finishes cleaning the brushes and sets them out to dry wordlessly before nodding for you to follow. The three of you set off into the grove, still tailed by a pair of guards. Once she's sure no one is eavesdropping, Feist starts talking. "Long ago, the crew was tested in a way we… never imagined and what happened in the Gaps was part of that tragedy. It very nearly spelled the end of our ship. I will not allow that to happen again…"
No. 831372 ID: 600f38

"We need to know what happened.
Also, do you currently have the capability to apply the technique to people?"
No. 831374 ID: be0718

Should we spin our clone origins as a horror story about the state of the outside world?
Can we promise them there is a destination at the end of this journey?
No. 831384 ID: 91ee5f

Ok, let's come up with a script or something on things that can and things that can't be talked about when Sam reveals herself.

And should we even mention the Repo guys on the loose in the ship or does everyone already know about them?
No. 831562 ID: 2d1231


Yeah. So far no one has been willing to tell us quite exactly what happened, only that something went very, very wrong.
No. 831638 ID: a6af03
File 150587259143.png - (82.31KB , 430x600 , 4-55.png )

"If we're going to be of any help, we need to know what happened." 

Feist feigns casually looks around before continuing on. "60 years into the journey, several crewmen were injured in a mining accident. One of them, an immortal, managed to regenerate but... something about him changed. Because of the severity of his injuries, it was impossible to hide his condition, what's more; he began openly spreading information known only to the crew. Passengers began organizing, forming a mutiny; demanding we make arrangements to give them the treatment or return to Earth."

Annie leans in, "Can you give them the treatment?" 

The commander sighs, "Not at the moment. While our doctors have made efforts to replicate the process, it isn't something we've been able to test on Terrans." Her sapphire eyes are brimming with worry, "I decided to receive the treatment because I knew the effects and was comfortable enough with my body to accept them. With an untested treatment… you could end up like one of those terratomas: an immortal, yet, unviable lifeform. We need to be sure before using it..."
No. 831641 ID: be0718

Who better to test the process than its inventor?
No. 831643 ID: 094652

Next question: which came first, the exploding mutant, or the exploding volatile materials?
No. 831644 ID: 600f38

"Show me your research. I have almost all of Mom's memories available, and should be able to work out your problems.
I'm both surprised and unsurprised that she didn't send the details of the process with you. Well, knowing her she probably did, but hidden in a form where it wouldn't be recognizable.

What are the known effects of the original treatment? Regression of physical alterations to the specifications your genetic baseline? Sterility?"
No. 831645 ID: 010def

Who better to help perfect and recreate the initial experiment than its original creator living inside their clone.
No. 831651 ID: 3ce125

Okay let's fix it then.
No. 831652 ID: 3abd97

If this information caused deadly rioting and resulted in permanent damage to the ship before, that does kind of put the question of how much you can share with the crew back into focus.

>We need to be sure before using it...
The sad truth is no matter how much planning you do ahead of time, eventually, the only way to be sure is human testing. Someone will eventually have to try it.

>get Old Sam to finish the work
Honestly, that mentally draining (to dangerous) for us, and RnD is less of a priority than the immediate survival / organization / conflict problems.
No. 831654 ID: 91ee5f

Show her the picture you took earlier and ask if the treatment was ever given to any lab rats on board?

Also, you should probably mention that when you guys first arrived in your ship, you tried calling the Sunfish over the radio, and then describe that instead of an answer, you just heard a weird noise before it went completely silent.

"That guy was in the asteroid, right? What're the odds that a part of him is what we found latched onto Bucky's leg?"
No. 831655 ID: 33b7e7

You've had Old Sam's help a lot lately. Take time to be yourself and recover before you ask for anything else from her. You'll need to think through all the various ramifications and what to do about them, anyway, before you make everyone immortal. They have a system set up to give you time.

What is the full list of effects? And how did the crisis get resolved?
No. 831674 ID: bb78f2

I'm actually starting to get paranoid about Old Sam for some reason.

What if she's an evil genius/manipulator, understanding the risks of an escaped clone, and so THIS is her secret plan to attain immortality and keep it to herself? Her backup plan to immortality?

First, she gets captured letting her experiments escape, then she establishes an alternate, lest optimal way of immortality to somehow get a ride back to this place, take control of Sam if the clone escapes before successful mind transference by convincing her to let her take control through several key moments, and then perfect her true immortality serum even further, and then destroy all evidence as she eventually becomes supreme Overlord of the Universe, killing everyone on the ship, including Annie and Bucky?

And that's why I'm voting for not getting Old Sam out for this kind of thing. She hasn't earned ENOUGH trust to let her in this deep.

I mean, ultimately there's still the issue with the whole soul/consciousness thing only being a copy and not truly transferred to the clone, so it still sucks for Old Sam.
No. 831682 ID: e026d5

By the way, do they know if the treatment had any adverse effect on reproductive ability? And if not, is it hereditary?
No. 831795 ID: 2d1231


And if we could perfect it? Finish it? Maybe we don't need to give it to everyone, but ... in the very least we could eliminate some of the risk.

Wait wait wait, Fiest -- you said you received the treatment? And you're fine? So what's there to worry about?
No. 831856 ID: a6af03
File 150595270386.png - (103.20KB , 497x600 , 4-56.png )

"What kind of known effects are we talking about here? Physical regression?"

The commander nods, "Yes, the treatment causes your body to rebuild itself according to its adult genetic template. Surgical modifications, scars, even missing teeth eventually regenerate."

You scratch your chin, "What about reproductive viability? Any effects?"

She looks surprised, "Very astute, yes: none of us have been able to sexually reproduce. The doctor's aren't sure exactly why, but the process disrupts embryonic development. There have been attempts to solve this but with the ship's limited resources… we haven't yet been able to make progress."

"What happened to the mutiny?" Annie eyes Fiest warily.

Feists pale fingers tighten around the pommel of her sword, "We stopped it, but not before it nearly killed us all. Several people were slain attempting to broadcast our course back to earth… Many of the remaining mutineers took their own lives detonating an explosive device they had built… The survivors, we put on ice… They'll remain there until our journey is complete and they are no longer a threat to our existence." She takes a long, careful breath. "I'm telling you this because… because I knew and trusted Samantha Tran. Just as I'm trusting you, now, with the future of the ship."
No. 831857 ID: 3abd97

We're trusting each other. We're depending on you guys right now, too.
No. 831860 ID: be0718

Maybe now would be a good time to revisit the mystery of the comms room. It it really haunted, by teratomas perhaps? Or were you just maintaining radio silence for reasons we now understand?
No. 831861 ID: 91ee5f

"Speaking of which, when we first arrived outside the ship, we tried contacting the ship, but we didn't get an answer. Instead, we only heard a strange noise before it went completely silent. Did you have anyone stationed in the communications room at that time?"

>detonating an explosive device they had built…
That explains the giant hole earlier.
No. 831862 ID: 3ce125

They blew themselves up? That's rather extreme... (maybe we should see if there's any way to verify this story eventually? We could try asking Polly) Well, it's in the past now. What matters is what we do next. When will their journey be complete? Was there supposed to be a destination that wasn't a frozen planet?
No. 831865 ID: 094652

>No reproduction
Who cares? Cloning is real.

Do you think they were trying to destroy the secret to immortality after seeing what greed for life had wrought?

Why didn't you just show the colonists what an unstable treatment could do? Sure it would be sadistic to visibly show someone mutating into an incomprehensible chaos in front of their families, but hundreds died thinking they were denied immortality so you could lord over them like gods.
No. 831877 ID: 67d5dc

Cloning is also causing the slow collapse of the genome, so maybe be more worried.
No. 831895 ID: 600f38

"You let them live. I'm not sure I could have done the same.
I'll do everything I can to help.

Speaking of which... Annie, we need to talk to Bucky. About kids, and immortality. We've been on the run for so long we haven't had a chance to think about that, but we may have to make some tough choices soon and we should know how we feel before we have to choose."
No. 831910 ID: 830fb7

I advise you and old Sam (mother) work together to study this immortality with her experience and your help you could find anything out about it and maybe find a way to give the subjects back their fertility (side effect of that research could be a way to cure it, improve the treatment or find a more stable solution).
No. 831942 ID: 5322c5

So the immortality serum forces the body to conform to its adult genetic template. Thats probably why embryos fail; it takes several stages of quite distinct body structures during the growth of an embryo, in specific order to support the growing complexity.

Pretty hard to go from 'flexing tube of cells that is transporting waste and nutrients in the same system' to 'complex adult vertebrate' with no stages in between.
No. 831943 ID: 13fded

How could a sane person ever forgive the indignation of people who's dreams of unravel the unknown were sabotaged by a bunch of immortal that turned your people on servants on their isolated refuge. We would never consider to let them live!
No. 831952 ID: 600f38

They tried to blow up the ship, and partially succeeded. They killed a lot of people, and made things extremely difficult for the rest.
It's hard to be forgiving with fresh wounds.
No. 831957 ID: 4854ef

Because they were basically being forced along by the crew to begin with when the journey had a predestination. It seems they killed the people who tried to broadcast the location of the ship first and then the mutineers turned to the explosives.

If you were trapped in a voyager with a crew that no longer cared about you and your peoples concerns but soley their own, along with the idea that these people cannot be killed by conventional means..

Means that the passengers essentially stopped being passengers and started becoming Prisoners.
No. 831958 ID: 13fded

In the heat of the moment it's easy to be resentful, but that doesn't change the fact that they are tyrannical and had stolen people's hopes.

Think of the point of view of the colonists:
They abandoned everything end everyone to seek a new world, but they will never be allowed to find this promised land. They were prepared to work the rest of their lives to build a place for their offspring, instead they are condemned to do this labour for the sake of the fugitives that hijacked your journey so they could hide.
Your home will never be build, you will never be allowed to return and you can't even contact what used to be the world you knew.
On top of all that those arseholes have the ultimate privilege. They are free of the fear that follow everyone else and have no intention to share their blessing with you.
What else is worth doing with a life this pointless than to fight the responsible for your misery?
No. 831962 ID: 33b7e7


If she trusts you, that's good. But I'll bet there's a little crack of doubt in that trust, and you need to not lean on it too hard before you can mend it.

You don't need to give her any speeches or talks about anyone's motivations or reasons: she clearly already feels that she understands the mutineers' reasons, and regrets what had to be done. And it did need to be done, given what would have happened if they had managed to do as intended. Tell her you understand, that news of what earth has become like (with the physical evidence of Annie's clones) might ease tensions some more, and that there might be a chance now to get everything moving forward more, again, so everyone can be happier.

You need to think of how to present all your news, actually. If you start with the shiny new technology people will think earth is rad, if you start with how shit it is they might suspect you of speaking propaganda on behalf of the immortals. You'll need to blend it a little, not be too overt right away with how terrible it is but give strong hints to it, and not dazzle them with tech either. Try to remember any history lessons you've had, because people will want to hear specific news of certain countries and peoples and such that they're related to.
No. 832350 ID: a6af03
File 150620145244.png - (126.38KB , 600x598 , 4-57.png )

"I think I can understand why the colonists would be angry. I know you did what needed to be done..."

"We did." She sighs, "There are still some in the crew that saw what we did as no better than the world we left behind. It's something I ask myself about every day." 

"Maybe what they need to hear about what Earth is like now would help?" 

Her ears perk up, "Possibly..." 

"I mean, just look at what they did to Annie! They have to know what we've been dealing with." 

The commander nods, "Good. Let's tell them your story, give them context, then we can give them hope." 

Feist starts walking purposely through the forest and as you follow, Annie asks, "Speaks of hope... why is the ship in orbit around a frozen world? Shouldn't you have settled somewhere already?" 

"This is part of the captain's flight plan." Its hard to tell, but there's an uncertainty to her voice that wasn't there before. "He is adamant that we wait here before proceeding. He... says this is the plan..."

"Another thing, when we first found the ship, we tried hailing you. Someone responded with a series of taps. Would you know anything about that?"  

Now she looks very confused, "Its been decades since anyone has had a reason to be in the comm center. If you'd like, I could arrange for someone to take you there later. Right now, I'd like for you to meet our colonists." 
No. 832351 ID: a6af03
File 150620145996.png - (105.27KB , 600x570 , 4-58.png )

As you've been walking, you've noticed a bouncyness to your steps. Approaching a massive tree, Feist suddenly leaps straight up and lightly lands on a platform suspended 30ft in the air.
No. 832355 ID: be0718

Did you get a good look?
No. 832360 ID: a363ac

"nice view." hop on up low gravity is fun to play in.
No. 832361 ID: 3ce125

Alright let's do a couple practice jumps to get used to the gravity then try to copy what she did.

Use grapple if needed.
No. 832362 ID: 3abd97

>The captain
Seeing if Old-Sam can help with whatever's wrong with him should perhaps be on our todo list.

Cool, we're in a low grav area again. Time to fly!
No. 832365 ID: 91ee5f

When you get up there, whisper to Feist and give a comment on the lovely color of her underwear.~

Or if she's not wearing underwear, whisper to Feist and ask her if she ever gets a little chilly down there?~

Whichever one it is, you might want to whisper to her that she should've let you and Annie go first or she should've wore some pants under there, but you'll thank her for the show anyways.~ ;3
No. 832422 ID: 15a025

Space jump!
No. 832456 ID: 5471c9

do matrix spins.
No. 832463 ID: 8a204b

Embrace your inner nerd and do a Super Mario 64 triple jump. Complete with "WAHOO!"
No. 832467 ID: 3fb646

Let's fly with our favorite bird. Hold hands while you're at it!
No. 832681 ID: 9c2d0c

can we NOT say things that might ping Feist's gender dysphoria?
No. 832704 ID: 2d1231


Shhhhh! That hasn't been completely revealed yet. No crossing the dimensions,
dood. Do you want paradoxes? Because that's how you get paradoxes.

No. 832707 ID: b60dfa

yeah it has, she mentions it in chapter 2 during first meeting with her as she lists the health issues the regenerators have.
No. 832723 ID: 2d1231


Ah, found the mention of it. Somehow I completely missed that (or simply forgot).
Good catch! https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/779392.html#781930[/spoiler]
No. 832797 ID: 4854ef

You know telling them about earth wouldn't really reinvigorate much.. it wouldn't really help the passengers, whose idea to call Earth was to prevent themselves from being imprisoned by the crew here. Which they are still are of course and hearing about Earth won't help them.

And the Crew hearing about earth will likely just cause them problems, given the idea that Cloning was the backup and so many are now treated as things because they fled.
No. 832891 ID: a6af03
File 150639564146.png - (117.24KB , 600x600 , 4-59.png )

You and Annie push off of the ground, soaring up towards the platform. Enjoying the low gravity, you spin in a lazy backflip, closing your eyes and breathing in the strange organic smells of trees and dirt. 
Your eyes open and you realize that you've overshot your target, and are sailing up into the canopy. A quick grappling hook later and you're standing next to the commander, flushed with embarrassment. "Sorry, I got distracted..."
No. 832892 ID: a6af03
File 150639564684.png - (114.49KB , 600x329 , 4-60.png )

She smiles, warm and genuinely, you see some of the earlier tension melt away. Feist's shoulders shake with a silent chuckle, her fine hair floating around her in a diaphanous tangle. "Sam you are a gem." 
You feel Annie's arm thrown over your shoulder, "I know, right? Isn't she the best?" You feel your blush overtake you and bury your eyes in your hands, hearing Feist laughing openly. Its a hearty, joyful sound; something familiar that's been locked away and finally unbound. 
No. 832893 ID: a6af03
File 150639568026.png - (180.95KB , 600x600 , 4-61.png )

She sighs and you finally peek out of your protective stance. As you do, you finally get a chance to enjoy the view. Above you, various hand made structures are suspended from the canopy, lashed to one another by bridges and guide wires. The quiet murmur of activity filters through the branches. A pair of kids leap from roof to roof in a flashy acrobatic game, laughing as they juggle a ball between them.
No. 832896 ID: 600f38

"Well, this is pretty idyllic."
No. 832901 ID: 91ee5f

You've got no one but yourself to blame for that! Why did you even think closing your eyes was a good idea in the first place?!

You realize Annie is going to tell Bucky about this later, right? You're never gonna live this down for a while!

"Normally, I'd say, 'I can see my house from here!' But we don't exactly have a house around here."
No. 832920 ID: 8a204b

"This reminds me of an old Earth movie. Something about...angry teddy bears and evil soldiers in white power armor."
No. 832951 ID: 2d1231


Earth has NOTHING like this.
No. 833433 ID: a6af03
File 150664879209.png - (127.02KB , 600x428 , 4-62.png )

"Wow, its so peaceful... We've never seen anything like it..."

"We built it after the fire," The commander leans on the railing and eyes the village with an undeniable sense of pride. "With low gravity and an endless growing season, the trees flourished. People wanted to be close to them; and since we have to do much of the crop pollination ourselves, it made sense to live in the canopy." 

She motions for you to follow, leading you into one of the larger huts. The occupants stand up and address her as she enters. 

"Commander, good to see you. Are these the folks we've been hearing about? Grant Carrey, ecologist." He extends a hand like a worn out glove and you shake it. "Honor to meet you guys, this here is Eduardo Reyes-Alba: our mycologist, and Morgan Drake, our arborist. We're the Keepers of the Grove."

Eduardo rolls his eyes, "Man, you and that fuckin nerd shit. What is this Lord of the Rings? Apologies for ranger Rick here." This elicits a chuckle from Morgan. "What can we do for you guys?"

"Sam and Annie here are going to be needing a place to stay for… a while," Feist waves a hand at the two of you, "also probably a bath and… when's the last time you ate?"

You shrug, "Yesterday? Its hard to tell around here…" Your stomach groans, you realize its been a while. "What about you?"

Feist turns to leave, "I'm going to see about getting together some of the crew for a meet and greet. You two rest a bit and we'll talk more later."

Should you look for a place to stay, get some food or take a bath first?
No. 833434 ID: be0718

A bath doesn't seem likely. Shelter looks to be open season. Get that foooooood!
No. 833435 ID: 600f38

Food first.
After that, take a nice long bath.
Then find a bed.
No. 833438 ID: fe8424

No. 833454 ID: 9876c4

This guy seems alright. You should definitely bang him, first chance you get.
No. 833461 ID: 91ee5f

>"Sam and Annie here are going to be needing a place to stay for…a while," Feist waves a hand at the two of you
What about Bucky? She's not expecting him to be bedridden for for too much longer.....right?

These, in that order!
No. 833628 ID: a6af03
File 150674245931.png - (157.38KB , 600x509 , 4-63.png )

A slab of hojas slaps down on the electric grill, spitting steam and searing the outside. "Good stuff, ya?" Eduardo pokes at the fleshy substance with his tongs. "Its a pellicle: grows on the surface of water and absorbs whatever we put into it. Ms. Polly and I worked on it with your mom before we left. The idea was that we use the Cycler to break down biomatter, then feed it to the hojas to convert it into something edible. We can skim it off, cut it up and cook it and the colony starts regrowing almost instantly, but only doesn't grow out of control." He turns the slabs over and squishes them against the hot surface a little, releasing a meaty odor. "Not quite as tasty as a nice Agaricus bisporus but its hard to grow those here without getting spores everywhere."

"Gawd, Ed, now who won't shut up about nerd shit?" Carrey lounges in a hammock, watching as the mycologist grills. "They came here for lunch, not a dissertation." Morgan snickers again.
No. 833632 ID: 3ce125

Please, don't shut up about nerd shit. Ask about that stuff you saw in the cycler. How do they get textiles and leather?
No. 833633 ID: be0718

Hairy and fleshy teratomas, no doubt.
No. 833643 ID: 91ee5f

>A slab of hojas slaps down on the electric grill, spitting steam and searing the outside.
>Eduardo pokes at the fleshy substance with his tongs.
>He turns the slabs over and squishes them against the hot surface a little, releasing a meaty odor.
Great, now you've made me hungry.

Sam, Annie, both of you are drooling. Wipe the drool from your mouths. Has it really been that long since you guys last ate?

I'm gonna laugh if Sam and/or Annie accidentally burn their mouths from eating the freshly cooked food! XD

>Ms. Polly and I worked on it with your mom before we left.
>your mom
Wow, that didn't take long to catch on.
No. 833669 ID: 600f38

I am impressed by the apparent psychic link communicating that information, but happy about it.

"Did your team solve the problem of it growing amorphously instead of in directed strands?"
No. 833670 ID: 830fb7

say: "The more I know the more help I can provide, so don't hesitate to tell me anything you think may be useful. After all you do know who mum is and I am probably more like her than you (or I) think."
No. 833679 ID: 2d1231


No, no, tell us more. The implications of fungal colonies and Samantha Tran's involvement in their development -- as well as her creation of the immortality deal -- could be very enlightening.
No. 833751 ID: 15a025

It's fine. Continue on with the cooking lessons!
No. 833849 ID: 3abd97

>They came here for lunch, not a dissertation
It's okay, I'm at least half nerd, I get it.
No. 833850 ID: be0718

You could say it's in my DNA.
No. 834186 ID: a6af03
File 150699313803.png - (81.96KB , 493x600 , 4-64.png )

"Its fine," you say catching your mouth watering, "I'm part nerd myself. I'm interested in figuring out how her research tied into all of this. Its got pretty huge implications, like... why fungus?"

Eduardo slides the cooked slabs onto some translucent plastic plates and hands them to you with some utensils. "Genetically, It's fairly close to animal DNA, and already exhibits a pretty robust ability to regenerate. I think she intended it as a steppingstone towards full on Terran immortality. As I understand it, she went on to test it on tissue samples: the doctors still use them for synthesizing stuff like steroids and hormones." 

"So how do you manage to control the growth? It seems like it should be an amorphous blob like those teratomas." You scarf down the meal: there's a briny taste to the savory slab that suggests its been marinated in something. Its nice and filling.

"It involved something about implanting some sort of 'template'. It was easier to test on fungus, since there are no organs or organized structures to replicate. The template is pretty simple: expand horizontally and create a mesh of hyphae." Eduardo shrugs, wiping down the still warm griddle with a spongy substance. "I can show you were we grow it sometime, its designed to cover the surface of these large trays, and we pump in nutrients to feed it from underneath." 
No. 834187 ID: a6af03
File 150699314464.png - (78.84KB , 457x600 , 4-65.png )

You finish chewing and lick your lips, "How do you make other stuff, like leather and cloth?" 

He wipes his hands, "Oh, you want Morgan for that. A lot of our textiles come from their management." 

They stand up and stretch, giving you an impish grin. "Bathtime?" 
No. 834188 ID: be0718

This sounds like a meager pretense for more lewdness! I'm in.
No. 834191 ID: 3abd97

>They stand up and stretch, giving you an impish grin. "Bathtime?"
Like you really need an excuse to get people naked.
No. 834197 ID: 9876c4

Demand the trash panda too, for added saturation.
No. 834204 ID: bb78f2

One orgy after another, lets do it.
No. 834222 ID: ccd925

ohhh my god they're so cute we can't NOT fuck them
No. 834250 ID: 2d1231


Thought so ...!

That'd explain the issues with the treatment and the terratomas; if the template is corrupted or too greatly varied, it can cause incorrect cell differentiation. Same way we get regular old terratomas and cancers.

Though genetically engineering fungus as a food source and experiment on regenerative immortality ... very clever. Could also explain what Fiest expressed about reproductive problems.

Does the treatment involve gene therapy of the subject on a near-holistic scale?
No. 834255 ID: 33b7e7

These guys are very cute, but if you want to get saucy with them, you should call Bucky and inform him. Communication! ... And don't take too long, anyway, you have things to do. I'd actually advise skipping but you two do probably need a wash before your big social tour.

A bath's not going to wash off Annie's new marks right away, is it? Maybe she should wash up in a different, more careful way.
No. 834329 ID: a6af03
File 150708416178.png - (131.43KB , 600x516 , 4-66.png )

"Bamboo," Morgan slips in opposite you, their slim frame barely causing a ripple in the warm water. "Lots of bamboo. Grows fast, strong as hell and there's no limit to what you can do with it." They sigh, "'Course we spend more time managing it than even the fig trees. Seriously, what dumbass decided we needed a tree that uses wasps to pollinate?" They rub their forehead in disbelief.

You nod lazily, chin barely below the water. Still sore from being electrocuted, you feel your limbs jellify into some kind of noodly cat ramen. You hear Annie sigh as the bath does its work on her worn bones.
Looking around, this is actually much less salacious than you expected it to be. While its fairly private and screened by a stand of bamboo, you can hear other bathers in a nearby tub. Group bathing seems to be a pretty casual thing here, judging by the murmurs floating through the bamboo.

Just the fact that they have baths is kind of astounding. On most ships, space and water demands make luxuries like this impossible. Most spacefarers make do with a tiny, stainless steel shower and a meager supply of potable water.

They snicker again. "Noooobody thought of this stuff before we left. I mean, we left in a rush, but… those first few years were scary. We had all heard about what happened to ships that left before us. By all rights, we shouldn't have survived."
No. 834331 ID: 3ce125

Well you had a very smart woman in charge of planning the trip. And apparently a capable, exceedingly loyal captain. When can we meet the captain?
No. 834342 ID: be0718

Yeah, that does sound crazy. It must have taken a conspiracy to smuggle wasps onboard a space ship!
No. 834344 ID: 91ee5f

.....ohhhh, I get it! XD
No. 834366 ID: 3abd97

>By all rights, we shouldn't have survived.
Your dedication to staying alive long enough to provide me with a luxurious bathtime is appreciated.
No. 834382 ID: 600f38

"I haven't heard about those. Care to tell us about them?"
No. 834383 ID: 3ce125

...hey how come they have these big wasteful tubs full of water when the civilians have to shower with dirty water?
No. 834387 ID: fe7355

"Was the Sunfish's design and preparation really that lacking? Why was that? Well, besides the rush to leave after my 'mom' made her sacrifice."

"There is something I've been wondering about the Sunfish's departure. According to the ship manifest archive, this ship left three months after the first successful pinch drive test. What kept the backers of this venture from demanding the Sunfish stay put until it could be refitted with a pinch drive?"

"Do you have any idea how ridiculously luxurious it feels to have a bath like this while on a space ship? It's the kind of thing I've only ever heard of happening on some rich fuck's yacht or a wealthy cruise ship. Damn near everyone else is stuck with showers barely big enough to turn around in and a minuscule water allotment. ...Actually, how do you have so much water you can do this kind of thing?"

Slide down just enough that your mouth is below water level so you can blow bubbles, then grin like a goof. Damn, it feels good to be silly and relax.

Oh, and Annie's gonna have to reapply those hearts on her hands after this bath. Perhaps this time put them on the backs of her hands so they won't get worn off by handling things and won't be obscured if she's holding anything.
No. 834570 ID: a6af03
File 150716149363.png - (74.88KB , 600x462 , 4-67.png )

You push yourself up out of the tub a bit and lean against the side. "That's one thing we've been wondering about: according to the archives we found, the Sunfish left three months after the first successful pinch drive test. Why didn't you wait to get one installed?"

A myriad of emotions flicker over Morgan's face in an instant: confusion, anger, frustration. Their mouth twists up into an incredulous sneer, out of which escapes a cynical scoff, "Is that what they called it? Dude... that wasn't a test flight. That was a supply run. The public was never supposed to know about it. Its existence was leaked.
No. 834572 ID: 3abd97

Still sounds like you knew about it, though.

Where where they supplying?
No. 834581 ID: 3ce125

Oh, so that's how it is. And the Sunfish wasn't part of their plan to save face, huh?
No. 834601 ID: 600f38

"Ok, we need to know more about this. How long did the pinch drive already exist? Supply run for who?"
No. 834602 ID: 094652

"I don't blame them. I mean, I don't loathe them even more than I already do; I just don't think their motives were unprofitably inhumane. They were worried the public wasn't ready. I mean, if you suddenly discovered that a nuclear warhead could be instantaneously warped in to your local solar system from a planet on the other side of the galaxy by an insane dictator, with no possible defense or prevention technology for at least a century, how would you react? No, they were planning to keep it a secret, get all their daily infrastructure literally streamlined instead of turning the pinch drive into the greatest civilization-dumbing supertoy since the internet. Which it was, and which we also crave as much as the net."
No. 834615 ID: 8cb228

Uh, so obviously the history I 'know' was propaganda. So, I'm all ears. What really happened?
No. 834648 ID: 2fe26a

So the aristocracy is and always has been corrupt and using restricted advanced technologies with the intent of maintaining their superiority over the unwashed masses. Not really surprising, having been part of a different project with the same aims, but do go on.
No. 834715 ID: 2d1231


Wait ... were they supplying ... you guys???
No. 834736 ID: a6af03
File 150724564062.png - (78.89KB , 600x382 , 4-68.png )

You and Annie share a look of confusion, "A supply run? You're saying pinch drives were already in use? For how long?"

Morgan scratches their chin, "Not sure... years probably."

"But why keep it hidden? Why not outfit the gen ships with them?" Annie bristles.

They give you a pointy toothed smile, "That's exactly what we wondered. What were they doing? For how long?" Morgan leans forward conspiratorially, "The gen ships were a bait and switch. The investors were using FTL to consolidate power, sending their own colonists ahead of the unlucky bastards taking the slow boats. By the time gen ships made it to their destinations, there'd already be colonies well established; better equipped and tightly controlled."

You feel a cold shiver despite the bath, "So how did you find out about it?"

They sigh, "The captain. He brought us together, told us what was happening and as a crew we decided we were leaving. I'm not sure how he found out though."
No. 834740 ID: d887c0

>The investors were using FTL to consolidate power, sending their own colonists ahead of the unlucky bastards taking the slow boats. By the time gen ships made it to their destinations, there'd already be colonies well established; better equipped and tightly controlled.
The gen shippers would be trapped on a world controlled by corporate monsters with no means of escape and no means of resistance. The corporations could do whatever they want with them.
That's some evil bullshit.
No. 834754 ID: 3abd97

...I guess I shouldn't be surprised at rich and powerful assholes trying to control everything at the expense of everyone else, should I. It's the same as the cloning all over again.
No. 834760 ID: 600f38

"You're telling me the gen ships were part of a slavery plot?
I think I understand a bit more now. I think Mom found out about what was going on, and tipped the captain off. That would explain why she backed the installment plans even if she hated them. Everybody involved would go for the installment plans, and then act to suppress other technologies. That gives them a single point of failure as a weakness.
If we can quietly sabotage the installment plan system then they'll all die permanently.
No. 834764 ID: 33b7e7


How about we meet more people and resolve the situation here before we get into the revolutionary plots for Earth?
No. 834773 ID: 3ce125

We'll have to ask him about that later. Sounds like the man with the plan. What's he like?
No. 834831 ID: d36af7

A solid enough revolutionary plot for earth might help with getting everyone to support the process of resolving things here.
No. 834836 ID: 33b7e7

It might also scare off people who don't want to be involved with Earth any more (like, you know, people who signed up to go make a colony world) and just want to live their own lives while getting into as little trouble and conflict as they can manage. Everyone on this ship is someone who already decided to NOT try fix things at home.
No. 835026 ID: a6af03
File 150741324429.png - (79.86KB , 600x477 , 4-69.png )

You feel pieces falling into place, the rest if the world slipping out of focus as you think. "That's why Mom was trying to keep the treatment secret; if they'd already monopolized pinch drive tech, what's to stop them from taking her research as well?"

Morgan nods and continues, "We had started to suspect something: the Fish was running into weird construction delays. Things would be ordered but delivered in the wrong specs, installed improperly or just changed arbitrarily. Fuck, its probably why we have stupid shit like fig trees. They didn't want us to leave..."

They lay back, sending a small wave your way, "When we finally launched, we spent a year and a half with the entire passenger compliment in cryo while Polly rebuilt the recycler from scratch. The engineers had to spend months fabricating the umbilical cable so we could capture that asteroid on our way out of the solar system. All this here in the grove? We only managed it because we were able to sneak in tons of extra soil and water under the radar."

They stand up, water cascading off their slight frame, "By all rights, we shouldn't have survived..." Morgan turns to climb out of the tub. "Come on, help me scrub up."
No. 835027 ID: a6af03
File 150741325144.png - (114.05KB , 424x600 , 4-70.png )

You join them at a low bench and take turns lathering up with a block of lye soap, lightly scented with pressed purple flowers. You dump a bucket of water over your girlfriend, surprised at how well the paint you added holds up to the bath. Annie sputters and asks, "So, the captain... what's he like?"

They pause while scrubbing, "He hasn't been seen much lately- Hardly leaves the bridge anymore. He helped us stick together early on... a lot of the crew was worried about having to leave your predecessor behind... about," Morgan waves their hand to indicate the entirety of the ship, "Him and Feist, they saw us through the worst of it... But... last time I talked to him, he didn't know who I was."
No. 835029 ID: 600f38

"A lot of things could cause that, and I don't think the treatment would help against Alzheimers.
You have my condolences, I know this must be hard for you. Still, we should meet with him."
No. 835061 ID: fe7355

Sounds rather like Captain Stokes has the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. Feist did say he was among the oldest who got the immortality treatment, so he may have had been in the early stages of a neurologically degenerative condition and either hiding it or unaware of it. But then, why didn't the treatment lock his condition at that point so it wouldn't progress? Hm... About when did the crew start to notice the captain's mental decline?

It's also possible that the captain's mental issues are from serious brain trauma. The immortality treatment would regenerate the nerves, but not the neural pattern. You figure the treatment couldn't set the neural pattern in the regeneration template because then the person would be unable to form new memories or change their behavior. Has the captain ever had severe head trauma that could have destroyed parts of his brain?

Another possibility is he was exposed or is still exposed to neurologically toxic material such as lead or other heavy metals and even with the immortality treatment his body can't expel. Though, you figure the doctors on-board would have caught such a thing long ago.

And yet another possibility is that Stokes' immortality treatment was faulty in some way, merely slowing the aging process for either his nerves or his whole body. But then again, you'd think the ship's doctors would have caught that after decades and decades of tests recording his condition.

You would like to visit Captain Stokes anyway and spend some time with him and talk. Maybe seeing Samantha Tran again will knock loose some of his old memories. And even if you're not the real deal, seeing her finally back on this ship after so long and so much sacrifice may bring joy to him.

Is there anyone who regularly sees Stokes and talks with him? That cares for him? You'd like to meet them before meeting with Stokes and go in together.

And you think you'll bring your "mom" back up in your mind at some point so she can work on helping find a cure for Captain Stokes. Though, then it's a matter of whether this ship has the supplies and equipment to research and develop it. And there's the same question for the immortality treatment itself and if it's possible to recreate on-ship.

You have to wonder why in all the time since the Sunfish launched the immortality treatment wasn't discovered by another, independent of Dr. Tran's work. Because there's no doubt those fuckers wouldn't have stopped chasing true immortality at the Installment Plan. ...And then it hits you: It was. It was and only the secret tech suppressing and hoarding cabal's tip top members have access to it. The Installment Plan is the cover. The not quite as grossly wealthy get the Plan's "immortality," and it's also used to crank out Repo Men and other expendables. And nobody will question why the handful of fuckin' Illuminati-esq overlords with the immortality treatment never age 'cause there's got to be all kinds of other medical treatments and tricks that keep you lookin' and feelin' young and capable right up 'till you croak. So they walk into the Installment Plan center, then come back out a few days later and everyone not in the know thinks they uploaded to a new clone.
No. 835414 ID: 3abd97

>But... last time I talked to him, he didn't know who I was.
"I'm sorry."

Maybe there's something Dr Tran can do to help, but I don't think getting their hopes by saying so right now is the right thing.
No. 835427 ID: a6af03
File 150758949119.png - (87.12KB , 547x600 , 4-71.png )

“Sounds like some kind of alzhiemers disease... does anyone go see him regularly?”

They shrug, “Feist, the security crew, sometimes Dachelle or Kent is called up to the bridge. I think a lot of us are worried about what it might mean for us...”

Toweling off Annie remarks, “You know I can’t help noticing the difference between things here and below decks...”

Morgan nods glumly, “Yeaaahhhh...” They sigh, “Polly’s brilliant, but, well... she has her opinions about how we run things. She sealed herself away ever since we started using cryo stasis punitively… Eduardo is just about the only crew member she will even talk to these days."
No. 835428 ID: a6af03
File 150758949720.png - (91.52KB , 538x600 , 4-72.png )

No. 835432 ID: 3ce125

...is that Kilroy? Wait, where did he go after the fight with the repomen, anyway?
No. 835434 ID: 91ee5f

We had it with us the whole time.

So either that's Killroy or it's one of the Repo drones.
No. 835438 ID: 3abd97

Hey, who's got the controls for our drone? You spying on us, Bucky?
No. 835456 ID: 600f38

Bucky's controls ae in the neurocollar he's not wearing.
Prepare for combat!
No. 835464 ID: ed048e

No. 835496 ID: c31aac

...oh shit that's a good catch
gods damned repo men
No. 835497 ID: be0718

Smartfog it!
No. 835538 ID: fe7355

Is that Kilroy? Did you leave it in with your clothes where it's at? If so, then either someone has swiped your datapad and is controlling Kilroy to watch you bathe, or Bucky has put his neurocollar on and is remote controlling Kilroy. If not, then it's a Repo Man Owlet drone, in which case you and Annie should dive behind a filled bathtub for cover (water is good for stopping bullets) while yelling to Morgan to take cover and that drone isn't ours.

You're gonna have to remember to mark Kilroy to distinguish it from the Repo Mens' Owlet drones next chance you get so there isn't doubt about who's is who's.
No. 835552 ID: c88e6d

Throw it in the tub. It's vacuum sealed so it should be undamaged, but it won't be able to use its electrowizardry or jumping abilities while underwater. Then wrap it in a towel and prepare for an imminent attack. Call for backup if you can, there's Clone Commandos about!
No. 835677 ID: a6af03
File 150768284246.png - (92.20KB , 509x600 , 4-73.png )

Morgan squints at the tiny drone, “What the hell is that?”

Annie lunges at it, grabbing the orb and holding it off the ground as its legs kick helplessly. “Woah! Hey, Annie! Its me!” A tiny voice emerges from the drone.
Annie turns the camera towards her and glares at it, “Bucky?”

“Yeah, I was getting kind of bored and Dr. Spencer let me have my collar back, provided I don’t-“ he coughs, “exert myself. Anyway, I thought I’d try accessing your drone remotely; we really gotta change the password on this thing.” Tiny servos whirr as the camera zooms out on Annies nude body, “Uh, am I interrupting something?”
No. 835679 ID: 3ce125

Bathtime and storytime. Though, if you really want a show, there might be someone around here who's up for it.

Hmm, we should change the password on it, shouldn't we? Also we should mark it so we know it's our drone and not a spare one the repomen had.
No. 835680 ID: a363ac

Throw Bucky's special ball at Sam.
No. 835681 ID: 3abd97

Nah, s'cool, Bucky. Just had to make sure that was our drone, and not one controlled by baddies.
No. 835682 ID: be0718

"Hey Bucky, wanna see an egg get laid in reverse?"
No. 835683 ID: 33b7e7

Not right now.

Maybe you should put a heart mark on this, too.
No. 835686 ID: 91ee5f

>It's Bucky.
This is actually good! Now he can participate in conversations and he can learn things at the same time as Sam and Annie, so that he doesn't have to wait on Sam and/or Annie to come visit him and tell him about things!
No. 835687 ID: a363ac

lets go!
No. 835688 ID: 91ee5f

>Hmm, we should change the password on it, shouldn't we? Also we should mark it so we know it's our drone and not a spare one the repomen had.
These are also good ideas!
No. 835689 ID: 600f38

We really shouldn't... but ok, do it.

Afterwards, lets get some metal paint and put some sweet flames on the side so we don't have any more scares like that. And change the password.

Then we should ask how Annie and Bucky feel about immortality and kids - if they would be interested if we could get the immortality working, and if they want to have kids some day.
No. 835700 ID: c31aac

oh my god yes we gotta do that
No. 835766 ID: 35b5ca

No in fact you're just in time.
Well technically he wouldn't actually see it, he'd see it from the eggs perspective.
Maybe ask this to Sam, or ask if he knows what unbirthing is , or ask how well the drone sees in the dark, or comment on him coming in you twice in such a short time or just ask out loud "You guys ever see a bird lay an egg in reverse?"
No. 835768 ID: d36af7

>from the eggs perspective
Complete with ultrasonic 3-d mapping, which I'm sure his neural-interface synesthesia could find some way to enjoy.
No. 835892 ID: 2d1231


Yes, Bucky.

You're interrupting the privacy of three people trying to take a nice and relaxing bath, you insatiable rabbit. Now are you going to behave or will we have to "overexert" you and have your collar taken away again?
No. 835893 ID: c88e6d

Welp! Give Bucky a show, but make sure to change the password RIGHT NOW. Tell Bucky to just think of something that isn't "Annie and Sam have the most glorious tits and ass" because everyone will guess that one straight away.

Anywho, just stick the Drone on the edge of the tub and show off for Bucky. No harm there, and his camera eye will be able to detect if anything tries to sneak up.
No. 836262 ID: a6af03
File 150785070634.png - (91.02KB , 512x600 , 4-74.png )

“No perfect timing dear.” Annie sets the orb down on the bench, turns, and leans over dramatically before plopping her feathery butt down on it. “I just got all warmed up from a bath to hatch an egg”

There’s a muffled “Hey!” from the owlet, followed by a “Nice view, though.”

Annie sits up straight in a statuesque exaggeration of politeness, “Sorry about that, Morgan, this is our boyfriend Bucky. Bucky, this is Morgan.”

A slightly squashed “Charmed...” emerges from the region of her tail feathers.

Morgan snickers again, “Kinda small isn’t he?”

Annie shifts her weight, rolling the sphere around beneath her, “I dunno, I could get used to a pocket sized boyfriend.”

“Har har, just for that I’m changing the password to BIRDBUTT.” Kilroy bleeps in confirmation. “Where are you guys? I’m checking things out on ultrasound and... what is all this?”
No. 836264 ID: be0718

Checking out her butt, huh? Well keep your voice down in the hospital ward, but this is a space onsen. A sonsen.
No. 836266 ID: a363ac

"The baths you numpty"
No. 836267 ID: 600f38

"The bamboo? The hot-springs themed hot-tub? The giant hole gouged out in the inside of the ship? Annie's fantastic bone structure?
You're gonna need to be more specific, love."
No. 836269 ID: 3ce125

It's the arboretum.
No. 836270 ID: 3abd97

It's the mandatory sauna episode, of course.
No. 836271 ID: 2d1231


Our posterior, nether-regions, a bamboo forest inside of a larger, more forest-like forest, and a bath.

Which evidently the Sunfish has which makes it the most magical place in all of space.
No. 836730 ID: 15a025

It's the forest of hot tubs. You should swing by for a relaxing visit.
No. 837261 ID: a6af03
File 150819998004.png - (80.21KB , 600x457 , 4-75.png )

“Its an arboretum, Bucky. They’ve got trees like you wouldn’t believe!”

The camera pans around, “And why are you naked?”

“We were just taking a bath you goof. They’ve got hot water and everything here!” You smile for the camera.

The drone whines, “Whaaaat? Aw I wanna bath, guys. I’m all sweaty and gross from earlier.”

“Well if you’re good, maybe the Doctor’ll come and give you a sponge bath...” you wink.
No. 837262 ID: a6af03
File 150819998434.png - (72.84KB , 480x600 , 4-76.png )

Morgan scoffs with disbelief, picking up your innuendo, “Wait you mean Cheri?” Their pointy smile threatens to bisect their head. “Holy shit, you guys are doing Gods work, you know that?”

“Anyway, Bucky, they were just telling us about why the Fish left without a pinch drive.”


Morgan waves, “Yo.”

“Oh, cool. What happened?”

“Turns out, pinch tech is way older than we thought. The investors were using it to secretly set up their own colonies ahead of the gen ships; it was all a big scam!”
No. 837263 ID: a6af03
File 150819999127.png - (74.32KB , 471x600 , 4-77.png )

There's silence from the drone for a moment you hear Bucky growl, "Motherfuckers! The gen ships… no wonder the survival rate was so low… they were engineered to fail! Any survivors would be so desperate that they'd have to fall in line with the established colonies."

You can almost hear his mind testing ideas and putting things together, "Sam, if they hid pinch drive tech that well, who knows what else they've been hiding? Who knows what they're really doing on the ship? You guys saw the Repo men, right? What happened?"
No. 837268 ID: 91ee5f

>You guys saw the Repo men, right? What happened?
Tell him what happened up to the point where you got knocked out, then have Annie tell him what happened after that.
No. 837275 ID: be0718

Annie: "I don't know, but your angry buzzing is doing wonders from where I'm sitting. Do it again!"
No. 837277 ID: 094652

>Gen ships designed to fail
Makes sense. You look at this basic steampunk-themed "make a metal bubble and throw it into space" premise and can't help but feel like only a madman would be this suicidally idiotic, with a general lack of innovation worthy of the future. Not many corporations would put much stock into whatever they might find, even if FTL technology hadn't been invented beforehand. The real question is, why would they waste all this money if the turnover rate is about 10% of the total sum of potentially brainwashed subjects?

Answer: It's what you have been doing here. Surviving. Do you realize how precious survival intel is? Here you are, the best of the best, constantly in danger of dying every day, on a ship with inappropriate resources, and you're finding genius and innovative ways to survive in comfort! You're paving the future for further expeditions into harsher territories, like asteroid fields, radioactive galaxies, and even fine living on a supernova!

But what idiot would get on a ship and deal with death and despair and never-before seen ridiculous challenges every day just to develop some survival skills that may have been invented already for a crowd of schoolchildren that will never appreciate what you've built? Why, the same idiots who leaped into the generational ships, of course!

Basically, you're all test subjects forced to invent new ways of surviving, so when the ships finally arrive, they can capture you all and get the survival logs from your computers and brains.
No. 837308 ID: 19afca

No. 837313 ID: 3ce125

>what are the repo men really doing here
It's likely the repo men are here to try to steal technology and not just recover the escaped clones, but I expect the crew are keeping that highly secure AND they can't exactly run off with it anymore. It's not like they can teleport home with just the staff. There's no way something like that can be used at interstellar ranges.

...well there is one worry. They might have some way to send information back. ...oh god if they reach the communications array they could send out a distress signal, we have to make sure they can't do that!
No. 837401 ID: c88e6d

It appears we have a "Patriots" worst-case-scenario here. Widespread technological suppression is ongoing and the state is attempting to engineer a total lack of social and economic mobility. A solution to this is unknown but would likely involve mass assassination of everyone involved with the system currently.

Meanwhile, in more important news, it's going to be important to kill the first team and get to the Repo Ship. The secrets of their weaponry and defenses will be crucial. Meanwhile, recovering the pinch drive from our own ship will also be vital.

Bright side, if we ever manage to catch up to the Repo Men on board, we can kill them and steal their magic teleport-stick.
No. 837510 ID: a6af03
File 150829393214.png - (128.45KB , 800x669 , 4-78.png )

“I’m not sure, once that one with the stick attacked me, I passed out pretty quick. Annie would know better...” You rub the back of your neck, remembering the assault.

“Stick? Like a stunprod?”

Annie grumbles, “It was like a prod, but larger. Never seen anything like it... He did something with it and... they teleported... Once I had one if them pinned, they disappeared. I had Kilroy running ultrasonic mapping, check the last playback."

You can feel the hype in Bucky’s voice, the kind he gets when he’s excited about nerd shit. “He Teleported? Duuuuuude, that sounds like miniaturized pinch tech to me!”

You shrug, “So? Even the Starlette’s drive would be too small to move the Sunfish.”

“Yeah, but something smaller: like a scout craft? We need to figure out how that thing works and get on board that ship...”
No. 837511 ID: 3ce125

...heyyy, if we figure out how they miniaturized it, we could use the raw materials from the two pinch drives to make something powerful enough to move the Sunfish. Probably. Bucky's the engineer, what does he think? Could we manufacture something to get the Sunfish moving once we salvage the two ships?
No. 837512 ID: 3abd97

Yes, I agree we need to steal Repo men's toys for ourselves again.
No. 837513 ID: 600f38

"So, think their ship might have enough power to move the sunfish, if we can pinch their pinch drive?"
No. 837521 ID: bb78f2

Ok so what if we take the tech that miniturizes it, and reverse it to maximize? Then the size of the pinch drive doesn't matter! Even the tiniest size can become the biggest size!

Or we can figure out of they minimized the pinch drive, and make the Sunfish and everyone on it miniturized! Then it'll be easier to move with a standard drive like the Starlettes!
No. 838098 ID: a6af03
File 150845812994.png - (92.64KB , 436x600 , 4-79.png )

“Okay, so we need to get a hold of their gear…”

Annie thinks for a moment, “Actually, we have some already, right? Maybe we should take a closer look at the stuff they were carrying? I think Dachelle said she was going to examine them at some point.”
No. 838111 ID: be0718

Annie looks like she's sinking about something. Hmm...

That unknown device seems most likely to be connected to pinch technology. If we're lucky, the 'remote activation' it requires is linked up the beakie helmet.
No. 838112 ID: 3ce125

The unknown device sure has enough of a power source to be related to pinch drives. Close examination and maybe careful disassembly could reveal something useful.
No. 838126 ID: 3abd97

Not a bad idea.
No. 838127 ID: 91ee5f

They left their ship just sitting out there. If we can disable it, then even if they teleported in there, they wouldn't be able to leave.
No. 838130 ID: 3ce125

Bucky rammed it with the Starlette (accidentally). It's disabled.
No. 838149 ID: 91ee5f

True, but that's not the ship I'm talking about.

I'm talking about this one: >>/questarch/787158 .

That ship is still sitting out there. So we should disable it so that the Repo men on the Sunfish can get to it and run away!

Plus, it'll have some good stuff on it that we could use to help the Sunfish.
No. 838152 ID: 3ce125

Oh that yeah. IIRC we were planning on heading there soon.
No. 838166 ID: fe7355

Wait, I thought we wanted to capture that shuttle, not disable it. And we wouldn't want to leave it unoccupied anyway, since leaving a possible way for the Repo Men to jump to if they get cornered on the Sunfish is not a good idea.

Now, if they can teleport to that shuttle, then it's very likely there's a specifically designated tele-entry area in it with a target beacon which we can set up a kill zone over or traps in. Like, they pop in and get pinned to the floor by a high gravity trap or blasted by a shield pack made into a improvised claymore mine.
No. 838423 ID: 67d5dc

More sabotage it in the 'Take the sparkplug and the car can't be started' fashion.
No. 838480 ID: fe7355

Oh, right. Well, even letting the Repo Men get into the shuttle could be bad, even if the shuttle can't go anywhere, because we don't know what's on board. For all we know, there's a miniaturized pinch drive courier drone stashed in there they could deploy to report back where they are. Or they could self-destruct the shuttle and take a chunk of the Sunfish along with it.
No. 838563 ID: 15a025

Suppose we should pay Dachelle a visit and talk about this more with them.
No. 839001 ID: a6af03
File 150880433428.png - (175.98KB , 428x600 , 4-80.png )

“We should check with Dachelle, there was that one device we couldn’t identify...”

Curious, Morgan agrees to take you to engineering. You get dressed and follow them out of the Grove, their bare feet plap, plapping softly on the cool metal as they lead you deeper into the ship.

You pass the Gaps, detouring into the lower decks until you are surrounded by the hum of machinery. They stop at a heavy blast door and place a palm over a scanner. A screen above it flickers on in acknowledgement, displaying the cruel curve of an oversized beak. It shifts and Cain’s craggy face rotates into view, regarding you with avian curiosity.

“Oy, Cain!” Morgan beams, “Is the missus in? These guys wanted a chat!”

The vulture’s beak clacks once and, with slow mechanical ceremony, the blast door slides open. You step inside engineering and are instantly overwhelmed by noise and heat. The walls thrum and howl as lathes and forges pulse with activity, shaping and casting the millions of moving parts composing the ship. All of the machines here are ancient in design, but well maintained enough that, given enough time, they’d be enough to build a second Sunfish. Above you, wrapped in insulation is a massive series of pumps and conduits that you recognize as one of the engines.
No. 839002 ID: a6af03
File 150880434334.png - (92.82KB , 493x600 , 4-81.png )

Dachelle steps out from between some metal-weaving printers and wipes her hands on a rag. She removes a pair of ear protectors and raises an eyebrow, "Morrgan? To whadt to I owe the pleasurre?"
No. 839003 ID: 3ce125

Ask if she's made any headway on analyzing the unknown object. Maybe Bucky might want to take a look at it? He can take a look via Kilroy.
No. 839303 ID: c88e6d

Yeah, ask about the magical gadgets!
No. 839310 ID: 91ee5f

No. 839311 ID: be0718

Wait a sec, how does everyone around here avoid getting their super-long tails caught in machinery?
No. 839328 ID: 91ee5f

Very carefully.
No. 839336 ID: a6af03
File 150889268354.png - (119.05KB , 600x633 , 4-82.png )

You wave, “Hey Dachelle, we were curious if you’d made any headway on examining the gear off of that scout.”

She shakes her head, “I haven’dt had time. Too busy salvaging equipmendt from the asdtserroid.”

“Well, Bucky would like to take a look. There might be something we can use.” You indicate the drone.

“Oh! Nice to see you again. I hope you’rre doing well.” She bends down to check out the robot. “We used to have drrones too. They werre a devil to maindtain though.” She taps the side of the sphere experimentally. “Surre, maybe you can make sense of whadt we found. Overr herre.”

She guides you to a crowded workbench, pitted and stained by centuries of use. Your old grappling gun sits in a vice, its mangled fingers balled up like a well used monkeys paw. She bustles around and rearranges things, “I had the syrringe sendt to Dr. Kendt to analyze, budt everrydting else is herre.”

You lift Kilroy up to the bench and Bucky immediately zeros in on the device. “This is definitely pinch-drive tech. That’s a Gillespie coil right there…" He examines it from several angles, presumably using some of the drone's sensor modes, "Hmm…. I can't tell exactly what its supposed to do, but whatever it is… its doing it right now."

Dachelle looks around alarmed, "What?!?" Whadt do you mean?"

"Its… armed, or active, or something… Its generating a pinch field. Not a big one, mind you, but… a stable one, here in this room."
No. 839337 ID: c88e6d

Huh. It's a Teleport Homer or a cloaking device. Fascinating.
No. 839338 ID: be0718

Bucky, hop your tiny buddy into it. It's likely a backdoor into their ship.
No. 839342 ID: 3abd97

Sonar the room, Bucky. Make sure it's not cloaking something visually.
No. 839343 ID: 91ee5f

Doesn't that mean that the other Repo guys that are still on the ship can teleport to this disk?! Can we turn it off?!
No. 839360 ID: 2d1231


Well, if pinch tech is intended to literally "pinch" two points of space together, it's probably folding the area around it.

In which case, can we lob something nearby? It could be intended to act as a method of misdirecting projectile fire by causing the vectors to be displaced.

... or it's one of their teleport things, was activated and never finished, and simply points ... somewhere.
No. 839365 ID: 3ce125

Teleporter beacon connected to the staff? We have to put it somewhere more secure! Wait that doesn't make sense, the staff is used on its own and for a beacon like that they'd have to leave it somewhere, unsecure. ...maybe it's half of a linked pair of platforms? Maybe it's meant to be used to teleport captives to their ship. If we can activate it, we could teleport someone in there.

Obviously I don't expect it to respond to anything but a command sent from a repoman helmet.
No. 839418 ID: bb78f2

Well fucking turn it off.
Don't want no one poofing in by surprise or it sends Dachelle into the vacuum of space... or splits her in half.
No. 839441 ID: 8d4593

Sounds like their using it to hide. perhaps get security in here before turning it off.
No. 839538 ID: e54266

Well, turn the damn thing off!
No. 839553 ID: b9b4da

There's only one thing to do: REVERSE THE POLARITY!
No. 839752 ID: a6af03
File 150898148315.png - (114.64KB , 600x500 , 4-83.png )

“So its pinching space? Like some kind of teleport pad?”

There’s a flicker of LIDAR from Kilroy and Bucky reports, “Yeah, there’s a lensed area about... 200 nanometers wide above it.”

Annie squints at the invisible deformity, “Could something come through it?”

“I.... I’m not sure, but it seems like… instead of a bridge between two points, its more like… a pocket. I can’t really interface with it from here. You guys got any ideas?”
No. 839754 ID: be0718

Annie: sit on it.
No. 839756 ID: c88e6d

No. 839757 ID: 3ce125

Well I suppose annie could put on the helmet and see if she can interface with it.
No. 839758 ID: 33d4be

Poke it with a stick.
No. 839760 ID: 3abd97

A 200 nm pocket sure wouldn't hold a lot. Unless this is a bigger on the inside kind of thin.
No. 839762 ID: 91ee5f

>a pocket.
Well, first things first, borrow a wrench or something and stick it in the spot where the pocket is supposed to be to see what happens.

If nothing bad happens, that's when you say, "Well, then let's make like a thief and pickpocket this thing!"
No. 839766 ID: 600f38

Do they have a hermetically sealed brig? Potentially one that can quickly vent into space?

That's what was on the floor when the repomen vanished, right? They may be hiding in it.

Annie has the biometrics to use the repomen gear, including the helmet. She can try to use that to make this thing disgorge its contents.
No. 839772 ID: 830fb7

oh cool, pocket demission technology. They are using the pinch drive to create a rip in the fabric of space-time to create a space that is safe for them to hide in for long enough to be thought of as gone, once you backs would have been turned they would pop out and try again.
No. 839777 ID: d6bc63

cant we just... space it? Whatever it is, we dont want it that bad
No. 839792 ID: fe7355

A 200 nanometer diameter sphere pocket of folded space who's contents can't be interacted with by any matter outside it, right? Now, what could be put in there that'd be exceptionally nasty if it got out, and would need such special containment? Probable answer: Antimatter. How much energetic force would a 200 nanometer diameter sphere of anti-hydrogen annihilating with matter put off?
No. 839818 ID: d36af7

We're in main engineering. They've got machine tools sufficient to build a whole second ship. How fast can they slap together an armored box, with beds and life-support hookups for two people Annie's size, and a tiny hole in the side for the 'rope trick' device to reach through?
No. 839827 ID: 600f38

Basically nothing.
But pinched space doesn't have to be the same size as regular space.
No. 839832 ID: 2fe26a

The device is a machine and cannot be trusted. Throw it out the airlock.
No. 839844 ID: 5b93d3

>How much energetic force would a 200 nanometer diameter sphere of anti-hydrogen annihilating with matter put off?
Assuming solid anti-Hydrogen ice, that's 3.6x10^-16 g, or 1825 joules, roughly half a gram of TNT. Unpleasant if you're holding it, but otherwise not catastrophic.

No, if you really wanted to put something nasty in there, a singularity would be the thing. Letting that out would ruin everybody's day, and a nanoscale Black Hole also works very well as a near-infinite power source (it continuously emits Hawking Radiation). A Black Hole with a 200nm wide Event Horizon would have a mass on the order of 1.34x10^20kg, or about half the mass of Vesta. It would emit about 0.2 microwatts pretty much indefinitely (stable over many times the lifetime of the universe). You could also drip-feed it particles to generate more energy as desired.
A smaller black hole, e.g. a mere million tons, would still have a lifetime of 2600 years, but would emit 350 terawatts (steadily increasing as it loses mass).

Needless to say, letting any Black Hole out of containment would be exceptionaly bad.
No. 839845 ID: 2fe26a

What?! Changed my mind, ALL HAIL LORD SINGULOTH!
No. 839901 ID: 600f38

Yeah, but it's incredibly hard to form black holes that small due to the energy output. You'd have to create it artificially, meaning you'd have to put in more power than it could contain. It'd basically be more of an awkward battery.
No. 839979 ID: a6af03
File 150906386992.png - (85.03KB , 415x600 , 4-84.png )

You scratch your head absentmindedly, “They probably control it through their helmets. Annie, you want to give it a shot?”

She regards the cracked helmet with disgust and hesitates, ...Okay, I’ll do it for you guys...”
No. 839980 ID: a6af03
File 150906388299.png - (141.92KB , 600x600 , 4-85.png )

She picks it up and checks inside before lowering it onto her head, “Ugh, smells like blood in here.” The eyepiece flickers for a moment, “Hang on... looks like it recognized me, booting up...” She looks around experimentally and as her gaze sweeps over you, a shiver goes up your spine. You instinctively take a step back, but feel Old Sam inside catch you.

“Huh, okay, it looks as though it works like a neurocollar. Never did like those... no offense, honey.” Her voice takes on a slightly electronic growl as it pipes through the mask. She waves a hand vaguely over the pinch device, “Hmm, seems like I can... move the pinch around a couple of feet. There’s an option to ‘deploy’ but it says it needs more room. Like... a ten foot cube or so.”
No. 839982 ID: be0718

That's enough to fit any number of possibilities.
...Ohh shit those are helmetcams. COVER YOUR EYES ANNIE.
No. 839983 ID: c31aac

yo wait fuck are those live cameras? IS THAT MOUSE DUDE? shiiiiiit man
No. 839984 ID: 3abd97

We might want to prepare a specific area for that, we don't now what kind of risk the stuff in there might pose.

What's that on the right? Is that what the other Repo men are seeing?
No. 839989 ID: 33d4be

The repos can see what you see! They know you can see what they see!! Memorize what they're seeing so you have a clue where they are before they turn it off!!

... Or those are views through those little camera bots. You should tell everyone to watch out for those. Find yourselves a ten foot cube.
No. 839991 ID: 8d4593

Deploy it in space.
No. 839993 ID: 27600a

Ah fuck, the right hand feed bank is squad cams isn't it? Either that or owlet cams.
No. 839994 ID: c88e6d

Yep, they have helmet or dronecams. Identify the view with the mousedude while looking at the floor. I suspect the missing team might be hiding in a 10 foot cubic pinch space.
No. 839997 ID: 3ce125

Ahhh I know what it is. It's a portable armory. Or something like that. I imagine it could be used as a prison space in a pinch, but... would a person be able to survive in there? Is there an air supply...?

Uhhh those camera feeds... take a good look at them. Do they move like people, or are they like drones? They might have multiple owl-bots and those are the feeds for them. ...in that case guess what? We can spy on what they're spying on.

It's *possible* they can see what your helmet is seeing too, but that's fine. Just turn it off and keep it in a box or something until you need to use it again to deploy the 10 foot box.
No. 839998 ID: 600f38

Call out the locations you see, and have security dispatched to each one.
This is HIGH priority!

After that take off the helmet. We don't know what they can do with an active helmet.

Take the pinch pocket to a large airlock that has a two-way comm setup. If you can set up a secondary killbox inside the airlock (It only needs to be enough to cause suit breaches) then do so. We're going to put it in there, and once security has contained the drones we'll deploy it and start negotiating with them from a position of power.
Have Annie keep quiet
No. 840028 ID: bb78f2

Haha, wow they don't have security measures for rogue repomen... do they? Take that off, if it's a neurocollar, if they can, they might neuro-something Annie.
No. 840101 ID: 495a05

What are the red boxes on Sam's body supposed to be?
I suppose vital spots would fit, given one is over her head and another is near her heart(although too far to the left).
But I don't know what the last one is. Thought it might the liver but it stretches down too far for that, and it stretches up too for the kidney, as well as there only being one box.
The lower box nicks the stomach and liver, but mostly just covers the intestines, so not sure what it's supposed to target.
No. 840103 ID: 8a204b

I think it's just supposed to be easy identification of any possible weapon the current "target" has in their hands.
No. 840107 ID: d36af7

Open a voice channel through that scout bot looking at the mouse, and say "Hi, I'm an evil spy! Kinda lost, though. Could you please pick me up and bring me to main engineering?"
No. 840108 ID: 4b5115

Another helmet seems to be seeing our missing mouse
No. 840229 ID: 2d1231


Ahhhh .... it's a cache. Basically it folds a pocket of space (our 10 ft cube) down into something that's no bigger than ultraviolet light waves, and thus the distortion wouldn't be easily detected. It's basically the backpack of the future.

Probably best to "deploy" it outside of here, like in a secure and not-inside-the-Sunfish area.
No. 840341 ID: 2d1231

That's the drone Baxter (Robin?) found!! And it looks like there might be three more roaming around.

OH SHIT, these guys are potentially all networked together.

I think these are supposed to be focal-points for targeting.
No. 840448 ID: a6af03
File 150924210982.png - (61.26KB , 600x458 , 4-86.png )

Annie waves her hand vaguely around, searching for an unoccupied space in the engineering bay. “Can’t find room, can we-“ she hesitates.

She suddenly slaps her hands against the helmet and runs them over the faceplate desperately, “Shit, shit, shit! Sam, I can see through their helmets! The heads up display has all of their cameras! That means they can see what I see!” Annie implores you, “What- what do I do?”

“Take it off, now!”

She rips herself free and the helmet clunks agains the floor. Annie pants, her eyes wide with panic.
No. 840449 ID: a6af03
File 150924211878.png - (75.41KB , 526x600 , 4-87.png )

No one says anything for a while, Morgan and Dachelle stare transfixed, waiting for Annie to collect herself. Finally Bucky speaks up, “Did... did they notice you?”

You see her throat bob as she swallows the acid taste of fear, “I don’t know, maybe...”

Dachelle leans forward, “Whadt did you see?”

“Trees: one of them is in the Grove somewhere...” She pauses and remembers, “A corridor with pipes... like a maintenance hallway, um... a large structure... And one was looking at someone, one of the mouse twins I think; didn’t Robin say his brother was missing?”

“Four of them? I thought there were three left...”

She shrugs, “Not sure, might just be a drone cam... or there could be another one.”
No. 840454 ID: c88e6d

It was probably a Dronecam. Try putting the helmet in a cardboard box and then wearing it while staring at a wall.
No. 840455 ID: 91ee5f

>And one was looking at someone, one of the mouse twins I think; didn’t Robin say his brother was missing?
He was looking down at the camera, right? Well unless one of the Repo men are really short, I think he was looking down at a drone.
No. 840456 ID: 15a025

Ask Dachelle if any of those areas sound familiar. Maybe start hunting them down before they cause any more trouble.
No. 840475 ID: 600f38

Dispatch security to those locations.
Put a box on the helmet so it can't see.

We can use it to help security find the others - get a radio.
No. 840486 ID: 2d1231


Underworks, Medical sector, Grove ... all places we've been.

All places a drone could feasibly move around in undetected, too.
No. 840537 ID: bb78f2

Dachelle, feed the feeds from that helmet into something if you can. Destroy the camera or turn it off too.

Annie, give her a sample of your blood or whatever's needed to hack it if these things are biometrically locked.
No. 840539 ID: bb78f2

And for fucks sake, write everything down in case these things ALSO have audio feeds
No. 840551 ID: 094652

They saw the mini pinch drive. They can hack into it now and warp a bomb in. You'll want to turn that off first.

Alert everyone of the situation, then put the helmet back on and start chanting. The enemy will realize you have access, which is risky, but that means they'll realize they need to switch their comms off, and that should decrease unit cohesion.
No. 840642 ID: 6236a1

Quick, do we still have some smartfog left, or are we outta luck? If we still have some, we can hack the helmet!
No. 840671 ID: 8a204b

I'm pretty sure you're in the clear. None of the camera views were showing views from inside a helmet, so there isn't really any reason to believe that there's a camera -inside- the helmet itself to watch the user.
No. 840703 ID: 3abd97

We're sort-of okay. Assuming these guys don't have the interior of the ship memorized, they won't be able to converge on your position from what they saw.

In fact, Annie can even use the helmet to check on their positions further, or in the future, so long as she makes sure she's facing a featureless wall or has the helmet-cam covered when she puts it on.

...actually, wait. Do you know the camera isn't transmitting video right now? Taking it off might not have fixed anything.
No. 840870 ID: 2066a4

Don't know how smart they are, but could you possibly trick them to thinking the dead repo man's alive? Maybe lure them into a trap or something?
No. 840875 ID: 600f38

That's not how that works.
That's not how anything works.
No. 840943 ID: fe7355

Dammit, you don't know if that helmet was transmitting audio or any other sensor data to the Repo Men too. Hell, you don't know if they remotely activated the helmet and have been watching and listening through it the entire time since Annie killed the Repo Man it came off off. Fuck! Gotta treat this thing like it's a continual snitch to the Repo Men.

Grab the helmet and stuff it in box or other enclosed container, then put your index finger to your lips in the gesture of silence to tell everyone to shut up. Tap out on your datapad that the helmet may be transmitting audio too, and that it could have been remotely activated and transmitting the whole time and show that text to the group. Tap out text asking Dachelle if there's any RF shielded areas or containers on the ship the helmet could be stored in. If Annie puts it on again for any reason other than monitoring the Repo Men, you want it to be in a RF shielded area so the Repo Men don't know.

Do we have access to a wireless camera small and thin enough to slip in front of Annie's face or eye when she puts the helmet on? If so, then we could take snapshots or video of the video feeds from the Repo Men's helmets to show to members of the Sunfish. Then we could get a much better idea of where the Repo Men are than what Annie could say.

We should also inform Commander Feist and Officer Flint of this discovery so they can assemble teams that'll be ready to go after the Repo Men based on intel we get from the helmet.

The helmet is military grade, so normal smartfog won't work. It might even trigger a anti-hack countermeasure, like wiping the helmet's data, locking it or even possibly making it fry itself.
No. 841023 ID: b9b4da

And what basis do you have for our smartfog being a civilian-grade model? Even if the helmet shorts out, that denies the repomen any tracking devices they have inside it.
No. 841095 ID: 600f38

Actually, at the moment the helmet is much more of an asset for us than it is for them.

If they can track THIS helmet, that means we can track THEIR helmets.
If they CAN'T track the helmet then we have the advantage of being able to identify their locations based on landmarks.
Also? WE have a security force we can call on.

Does the Sunfish have maintenance robots? Mobile construction equipment? Indoor drones?

Find them, capture them dead or alive.

However, that DOES give us an idea: "Hey, Bucky, since Annie has clearance to use this helmet do you think you can use that to hack it? Maybe use that as a foothold to get into their network?"
No. 841131 ID: a6af03
File 150941479731.png - (53.13KB , 600x464 , 4-88.png )

You hold a finger up to indicate silence and creep up on the discarded helmet. You prod it with your foot, turning it over until you can look inside: the display appears blank.

Its hard to speak quietly over the ambient sounds of machinery, but at least it should mask your discussion. “It looks like its off, though it might still be transmitting. There’s no telling what they can do with it remotely...”

You place it on the desk and Dachelle points out several pinhole sized cameras she noted while inspecting it earlier. You cover them with small squares of tape, unsure if the device might still be capable of covert reconnaissance.
No. 841132 ID: a6af03
File 150941480330.png - (72.69KB , 600x451 , 4-89.png )

“What now?”

Annie glares at it, “We tell security. One of the feeds looked like it came from around medbay...”

Kilroy practically squeaks, “Medbay? Seriously?” The volume cuts out as his collar filters his voice, “Hey! Doctor! Anyone?”

Dachelle nods, pulling out a piece of electronics that looks mostly homemade and punching a command into the touchscreen. She ducks around a corner to make the call undistracted.

This leaves Morgan, Annie and yourself standing awkwardly, trying to fight a rising tide of anxiety.
Bucky's voice comes back over comms, "Uhhhh guys? What should I do?"
No. 841134 ID: c88e6d

Put a box over it? It's profoundly unlikely that they planned for their own members going rogue, and if there was a remote-kill command, squads wouldn't have access to it in case their helmets were stolen.
No. 841136 ID: 015058

Now that the cameras are covered she needs to put it back on while sitting at a computer keyboard.

Then Annie needs to type what she is seeing (To avoid microphones hearing her talk) while you and security track down those cameras.
No. 841138 ID: 3ce125

Tell Bucky to just stay put. They shouldn't know he's there, and there should be people guarding him.
No. 841188 ID: 91ee5f

True, but the fact that a doctor or a nurse or some other kind of medical staff didn't respond to Bucky concerns me.

I think we should start heading back towards Bucky just to be safe. And have him keep talking to us and telling us if he sees anything wrong.
No. 841189 ID: bb78f2

If you can't walk, Bucky, get a wheel chair nearby, security will hopefully be coming soon. Grab a scalpel as well, hide it. In your state, the only way you're gonna kill a repoman is with surprise.

How loud is this conversation Bucky, we can't exactly give you the best tactical commands if your radio is too loud.
No. 841194 ID: 600f38

"Bucky, there's a waste chute heading down to the ship's recycling plant. Throw a pillow down there, wrap yourself in a blanket, and jump in feet first. You'll be safe there. We'll tell them you're coming."
No. 841214 ID: 634f2e

That's genius.
No. 841241 ID: fe7355

No, it sounds more like it'd fuck up Bucky's already injured leg. Remember, Sam and Annie had the grappling hook to lower themselves down before releasing it. If Bucky goes down the chute, it'll be a more than 150 foot fall to a landing in medical waste bin. Oh, and Bucky doesn't have his boots, so he'd also take any cutting or piercing injuries to his feet from this as well.
No. 841245 ID: 3ce125

Well, if Polly is given the heads up she could just catch him.
No. 841281 ID: 600f38

The pillow is to mark what chute he's coming out of.
The blanket can be used to brake against the sides.
No. 841785 ID: a6af03
File 150958868546.png - (85.94KB , 600x465 , 4-90.png )

“Stay low Bucky, security is on its way...” You lean down in front of the drone and give it a reassuring smile, “Its going to be okay. Look around, do you see a panel with a blue triangle anywhere?”

“Uh, hang on...” there’s some shuffling from the other end of the line and a painful intake of breath as he tests his leg. “Fuckin’ hell, yeah I found one.”

You nod, “If things get dicey, throw your pillow down there, and slide down after it. It leads directly to Recycling. Ms. Polly runs it: tell her I sent you. Trust me, you cant miss her.”

“Ms. Polly, Recycling, got it.”
No. 841786 ID: a6af03
File 150958868994.png - (104.49KB , 600x600 , 4-91.png )

Annie leans into the camera, “Stay safe, hun”. She stalks back over to the taped up helmet and glares at it. The two of you nod meaningfully to one another and, wordlessly, she puts it back on. She pulls out her datapad and silently starts to write:
inside medbay
No. 841788 ID: fe7355

Get Dachelle's attention to relay what Annie wrote to security, then type out "anywhere near Bucky?" on your datapad and show it to Annie and relay her reply to Bucky.

If you could slip a mini-camera inside the helmet and point it at the HUD, then the feed from it could be streamed right to security and make things much easier than Annie relaying what she sees. Ask Dachelle or Cain via writing on your datapad if they have anything like that nearby.
No. 841790 ID: c88e6d

I agree with this plan, it seems entirely rational.
No. 841792 ID: 91ee5f

Ask for the camera angle.

Is it low to the ground, like from a drone, or is up off the ground, about person height? Or could it be from a drone walking on the walls and/or ceiling?

And if she can suddenly see Bucky from that camera, immediately alert Bucky to jump down that chute and get to Recycling!
No. 841803 ID: 600f38

It's going to take Bucky time to get in the chute with his injuries unless he wants to go head first.
He does NOT want to go head first.
If he doesn't go before they see him they WILL capture/kill him.

Sam, tell Bucky to go!

Then radio Polly and give her a heads up!
No. 841882 ID: c1f05e

man i hope that thing doesn't have a self-destruct function
No. 841890 ID: e24b91

Tell bucky to run.
No. 841983 ID: bb78f2

We also need to change Annie's makeup again. It's been compromised.
No. 842145 ID: 600f38

Not the parts we told her to cover with cloth!
No. 842303 ID: a6af03
File 150975208883.png - (100.61KB , 600x408 , 4-92.png )

“Drone or person?” You ask quietly.

person armed

“Near Bucky?”

not yet trying to get into lab

You relay this to Bucky and the drone nods in reply.

Cain wanders up, wiping his hands on an oily cloth and cocks his head at the bizarre scene unfolding in front of him. His yellow eyes look down at Morgan for answers but they shush the silent colossus. “We have a situation...” they mouth quietly.
No. 842304 ID: a6af03
File 150975209205.png - (85.47KB , 509x600 , 4-93.png )

Cain scratches his head thoughtfully and performs a kind of inward digging motion with his knuckles touched together before pounding a thumbs up fist gently into an open palm and raising it in your direction.

Morgan nibbles at their nails, “Call Polly, let her know someone’s coming from Medbay. A friend.”

Cain bobs the thumbs up at them and pulls a larger touchscreen device and starts typing.
No. 842319 ID: c88e6d

We need to find some better weapons.
No. 842321 ID: be0718

We've got plenty of weapons to deal with a single squad, and immortal security staff to use them - what we really need is someone who can identify the other spaces in the helmet cams. Can the images be transferred to or snooped by devices like Cain's datapad for a member of the crew to review? Can someone else just stuff their head in the helmet once Annie's unlocked it?
No. 842330 ID: 3ce125

Why is Morgan a "they"?

>repoman headed for lab, not the patients' rooms
Sounds like she's more interested in stealing research than abducting Bucky. Really up to him if he wants to take the chute and most likely bust his stitches.
Or is the lab the same area in medbay? I'm not clear on the layout.
No. 842390 ID: 600f38

Probably trying to recover the corpse.
Get Bucky out of there, and get security in there. Bucky's the only person there at the moment, so once he's out they can use explosives or chemical weapons.
No. 842398 ID: 3ce125

...hmm, maybe we're thinking about this wrong. We need to think from their perspective, not just treat them as a mindless enemy. The repomen must by now realize that they have no way of getting back home. If their mission was simply to recover the three flakes, then it is without a doubt a complete failure. How would they cope with that?

They've split up, that much is obvious now. Why would they do that...? I suspect there was a schism in their group. They've split up because they have different ideas on what to do next, and the one that was killed was the ranking officer of the group. One of them is approaching the lab, sure, but is that to steal information, or is it to recover the corpse of her sister, like >>842390 said?
One of them is in the forest. Is that scouting, or peaceful exploration?
One of them is talking to Baxter. Is that information gathering? Social engineering? Or a friendly conversation? Is she trying to convince him to help her avoid getting killed by security? I imagine they must at least be somewhat concerned about their chances of survival over the next few days.
No. 842608 ID: 15a025

Tell Dachelle that one might be trying to get the corpse.
No. 843023 ID: a6af03
File 151001929753.png - (108.96KB , 600x574 , 4-94.png )

“Bucky, we’ve told the recyclers you’re coming. You should get out of there...”

“Okay, wish me luck...”

You plant a smooch on the drone’s glassy camera and step back. “You got this, honey.”
No. 843024 ID: a6af03
File 151001930711.png - (80.04KB , 589x600 , 4-95.png )

Annie suddenly gasps, “He’s grabbed someone... the doctor, uhh the tall one?”

Morgan clutches nervously at their tail, “Dr. Kent?”

“Yeah, he’s... he’s got one of those syringe things held to his neck. The Doctor... he looks scared.”
No. 843037 ID: c88e6d

Hmmm... We need a way to get the doctor out of there without getting him injected and presumably mutated into a horrible teratoma or something. Is there anything we can trigger or do to distract the guy using the helmet?
No. 843040 ID: 600f38

Annie, tap your implanted memories. Can you get audio? What does she want?
No. 843043 ID: 3ce125

Hmm. Scared? Or is he acting? I mean he can't die from whatever that is, right? ...unless they knew the basics of how this version of immortality works and that's what the syringes are FOR. Like, it's fungicide or something.

I feel a bit helpless, especially since Bucky's leaving the area. He's the only one that could do anything to save Kent.
No. 843045 ID: 91ee5f

Tell someone with a communication device of some kind to send security to Medical! Dr. Kent has been taken hostage by our unwanted guests!
No. 843051 ID: 094652

Well, the disease would probably cause excessive pain and screaming. Then the agent would resort to shooting, followed by swearing and bashing until his brain stops working.

Nonlethal takedown would work here.
No. 843348 ID: a6af03
File 151011080651.png - (73.74KB , 411x600 , 4-96.png )

“Can you get audio?”

Annie’s hands fiddle with some invisible controls. She gives you a thumbs up and starts typing on her datapad.

You scurry around the corner to find Dachelle, still on the comm with security. She covers the handset with a hand, “Therre arre three officerrs converrging on the sidtuadtion. Morre on theirr way.”

“Annie says there might be a hostage. Dr. Kent was grabbed.”

“Dr. Kendt? Budt he is immorrdtal?”

“He wasn't scared of Annie earlier, but whatever is in those syringes has him worried. Let security know that he’s in danger.”

She nods and relays this into the communicator.
No. 843353 ID: c88e6d

Little we can do but wait, monitor the situation and search for a way to install ad-ware onto the shared helmet network so popups blind all these dudes.
No. 843362 ID: 3ce125

Okay now go see what Annie is transcribing and relay anything important to the security team.

...is it possible for you to link up your tablets so that when Annie types something it shows up on yours? Then you can just stand right here and read aloud what Annie is typing.
No. 843364 ID: bb78f2

Kent's just worried about being abducted.
Maybe tortured or interrogated. Also, maybe beheaded.

Like, you know, you guys can still be beheaded. Or put into vacuum.
No. 843365 ID: 91ee5f

Immortal doesn't mean "immune to truth serums and/or tranquilizers"! .....I think.
No. 843918 ID: a6af03
File 151027586111.png - (101.18KB , 600x533 , 4-97.png )

You check back in with Annie as she types

you know what this is then Just nod

Good i dont have to explain myself then take me to your archives
i want all of your dna scans research and bio templates

Radio- you have incoming 2 min

Thats too fast what tipped them

R- not sure keep moving port ready in 60 sec
Get us inside now

Inside lab, sealing and fogging door
Okay got the system fogged initiating hack
I can hear them working on the door

R- somethings off, check your feed

What who is-
No. 843919 ID: a6af03
File 151027587054.png - (114.55KB , 600x600 , 4-98.png )

The datapad slips from Annie’s hands. You look up at her masked face as every muscle in her body clenches with tension.


Her fingers slowly claw their way towards you. Her voice comes through the helmet in short desperate barks: “Sam. Run.”
No. 843920 ID: bb78f2

Knew it was rigged in case of this.
I knew it.
Can you cut off a neurocollar thingy? Tell me Bucky told you how to get it off him if it went haywire. Get him on radio if you can, because if he didn't tell you he should know how if he's a responsible user.
No. 843921 ID: 600f38

Rip the helmet off.
No. 843922 ID: be0718

Stun baton! Robust the bird, fix the helmet later.
No. 843923 ID: 3ce125

Can't you just take off the helmet for her? She's fighting against what is apparently some kind of remote control, so you should have enough time to do it. Or would breaking a direct connection like that be dangerous?

The alternative is to try to take her down nonlethally, but really, we don't have anything available. Oh! Break the helmet and the connection goes dead without much issue. Should be able to do that via blunt force trauma. No that YOU should do that. Might want to leave that to the crew, or security. Which means you run. ...you have the cornergun, right? Don't let her get her hands on it.
No. 843930 ID: 33d4be

You heard the lady.

This may be a control device built into the helmet or it may be some sort of conditioning she was put through being activated. Or both. Maybe just pile on her? I hope that that thing can be disengaged safely. Do you know where the power supply is? There should be some safety mechanism that disables the whole thing in a relatively friend way in case of dead batteries or EMP or something.
No. 843932 ID: c88e6d

You should yank it off before it explodes or teleports her away.
No. 843947 ID: 830fb7

say: "No I'm not leaving you", then start yanking it off.
No. 843949 ID: 3abd97

Do we still have our equipment? Cause smart-fogging the helmet seems like it would mess up or slow down whatever it's trying to do.
No. 843952 ID: 91ee5f

Wait! Sam still has her can of Smart Fog, right?! Spray the helmet with the Smart Fog to hack and deactivate it!
No. 843956 ID: a8dd10

Wait you have a stun baton? If not, then run. You might be uniquely vulnerable here. Otherwise, give those electrical components a taste of pain.
No. 843957 ID: 91ee5f

We probably should've done that before we had Annie put the helmet on. Then this wouldn't be happening to her!
No. 844173 ID: a6af03
File 151036862412.png - (146.01KB , 600x593 , 4-99.png )

“No! I won’t leave you!” You reach up to yank the helmet off and she blurs. A savage rabbit-punch to your exposed midsection lifts you off your feet and slides you across the floor.
No. 844174 ID: a6af03
File 151036863589.png - (105.64KB , 465x600 , 4-100.png )

You curl up in agony, struggling to pull air into your lungs and wordlessly clutching at your stomach. You’re reduced to a writhing, gasping invertebrate, cast up onto a broken shore to be picked clean by predators.
Through your tears, you look up and see a set of cruelly poised talons hover above your neck. Somewhere someone is yelling something.
No. 844175 ID: a6af03
File 151036868205.png - (137.15KB , 600x600 , 4-101.png )

A larger shape looms and wraps itself around Annie. Pinning her arms to her sides, Cain lifts her off the ground in a massive bear-hug. He stands as unshakable as a mountain while her dangling legs kick freely, carving scarlet gouges into his thighs. Struggling against the crushing force, she still has the strength to howl into the helmet.


She screams your name until it dissolves into a meaningless roar of frustration, sucking air back in between heaving, gasping sobs.
No. 844178 ID: 33d4be

Focus. Annie needs you. Get up. Get around behind them, come up from the side, and break the connection as quickly and safely as you can.

She may be in some sort of "automatic" that reacts to perceived threats (like someone going for the helmet), but there is a big possibility there's a function that lets one of the others hijack control of her body through the neural interface. Hopefully that means they have to give up control of their own body in the meanwhile. It also theoretically means the others have a way to be hijacked, too.
No. 844179 ID: ed67d9

I'm going to assume (hope, really), that the blood is from Annie carving up Cain and not from carving up Sam.

Either way, someone's gotta get that helmet off. Smartfog might npt work on military grade hardware (per >>824650 ) so it's gotta get pulled off.
No. 844180 ID: a363ac

No. 844183 ID: 91ee5f

Get that helmet off of her!
No. 844186 ID: be0718

Shut down bird first, then helmet! If you don't have the stun prod, tell the big guy to use a sleeper hold. We're not in immediate trouble where we are.
No. 844193 ID: 600f38

"Morgan, stun rod!
Bucky, if you're listening we need you to hack this!"
No. 844211 ID: c88e6d

You need to get the SmartFog. Set it to just break all the circuitry directly or something, you need to disable that helmet.
No. 844214 ID: ed67d9

Smartfog doesn't work on the helmet as near as we can tell. D:
No. 844216 ID: 91ee5f

That's because we haven't tried it yet.
No. 844237 ID: c1f05e

No. 844326 ID: 3abd97

Get up. If nothing else, she can see that you're okay.

Then we need to take her down, cause he can't hold her forever. Either we need to fog or remove the helmet, or we need to drug her, or something.

Be careful, and don't go where she can kick you. She's not in control.
No. 844328 ID: 2d1231


Ah, neural uplink collar which can be used as an override -- but not psychologically. Her very nerves are being puppeted, it seems. Gotta get that off, somehow. Any chance we can create enough radio interference to shut the thing down?

Better get Bucky to take his off right the fuck now.
No. 844331 ID: 91ee5f

Annie isn't wearing a collar, that black part on her neck is a part of the helmet.
No. 844390 ID: 15a025

See if Bucky can't hack into it?
No. 844398 ID: 2d1231


Yes, because one is built into it.
No. 844927 ID: a6af03
File 151063254074.png - (118.46KB , 600x565 , 4-102.png )

You grimace and drag yourself to your feet. You watch as Morgan throws their skinny arms around Annie’s flailing legs and clings there. Whoever is puppeteering Annie head butts her helmet against Cain’s chest in retaliation.
No. 844928 ID: a6af03
File 151063254850.png - (120.41KB , 600x600 , 4-103.png )

Still clutching your stomach, you stagger up to Annie and... smile, “It’s going to be okay.”
She stops screaming, but pants furiously and grunts as her body is toyed with. “Do it.” She manages.
You take either side of the mask in your hands and lift it away.
No. 844929 ID: a6af03
File 151063255683.png - (43.18KB , 436x600 , 4-104.png )

Annie’s limbs immediately go slack and Cain gently lowers her to the floor.
You drop to your knees next to her and put your ear to her chest. You lay there for some time, listening to the steady pulse of her heartbeat as if it were the most important sound in the universe.

End of chapter 4
No. 844931 ID: 3ce125

Sleep well birdbutt.
No. 844934 ID: c88e6d

Everything is going to be okay. Lives have been saved this day and no one is dead.
No. 844946 ID: 91ee5f

Damn, they're stronger than they look!

If we ever have to do that again, let's hack the helmet to prevent that from happening again! Not that we should try that again.

Also, the fact that they could get Annie to easily attack you instead of blindly flailing around, means that you probably missed some cameras on the helmet! Or they were using Annie's eyes to see where to attack!
No. 844952 ID: 600f38

Shoulda put a box on the helmet like we asked.

Oh, well.
Bucky, we need you to hack this helmet and sanitize its inputs.
No. 845027 ID: d36af7

>you probably missed some cameras on the helmet! Or they were using Annie's eyes to see where to attack!
Or, Occam's Razor, it's got the same ultrasound active scan capabilities as the owlet scouts.
No. 845051 ID: a3c940

No. 845112 ID: 99fef2

Nobody died, well done all!
No. 845197 ID: a8dd10

that was a real hellmet
No. 845243 ID: 2d1231


Or, more likely, being a neural uplink collar, it's wired directly into her brain, which is how the augmented reality works and how she was puppeteered, and thus someone Assumed Direct Control, which includes vision.
No. 845356 ID: a6af03

Next chapter: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/845350.html
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