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01876 No.93187[View All]

>If you would like to join, make a sensible loadout here at:
>And if you want to bring in something special or not on the list, ask to shop it in.

>When you're done, read over the Operator's Handbook:


>Or the Hoofbook if you wanna be a pony:


>Then jump into our IRC chat, #OiE on esper.net server or use:


>Overall Pastebin:


>Fortress Map:


>Bulletin Board:


>Last Thread before moving offsite:

>Offsite #OiE Collation:
>Offsite Gryphon Lands Collation:

Welcome back, pony cowboys.
571 posts and 72 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.

400f7 No.205533

>Crisp, very cold, ultra clean water from melted ice that seemed like it had been untouched for centuries.
>In short: pretty damned good, though you had to wonder what the price would be.

>Turqoise's ears flick in wide circles as her eyes roll, the half-hearted sarcasm in her tone completing the nearly human gestures.

"Until she gets back to work. Pegasi burn themselves out constantly and fairly quickly, ancestral heritage and all that. Pegasi prefer burst combat: get in, deal your strikes, get out, or dodge incessantly to be a nuisance so another can close the distance. Earth ponies like me prefer to slug it out using superior strength, stamina, and concussions. There's still a few of us around that can ask the earth itself to do stuff."
>Turning to glance at each other, the three mares share a quiet laugh, Apricot Jamboree speaking up afterwards.
"No, I apologize for the misunderstanding. All Honor Guard are given a book containing the codes of their service, tenets of honor, and guidelines to live by. Marble Leaf and Kitang still have theirs, however Turqoise's copy was eaten by a certain pony that is well, shall we say, cripplingly insane. And, no, that would definitely kill a pony. As for diet, pegasi greatly enjoy seafood and fruits, though they will eat most any form of vegetable, tuber, berry, and eggs from non-sapient species. I do hear that the Japoneighse can consume seafood, but only a limited amount. Earth ponies, Turqoise for example, Crystal ponies, Saddle Arabians, and unicorns like myself prefer a near-fully vegetarian diet, although we do enjoy pastries, cookies, that sort, so the inclusion of eggs does not harm us. Then there are.. batponies."
>Sharing another glance, the three cringe, grimace, and frown in quick order.
"You will find them to be most different. It is best you experience their, well, strange habits as my explanation would seem quite speciesist."

>Making a rather lazy inspection of the weapons, Blackreef lifts her left wing to rub her ear and winces slightly.

"I remember the first time next to one of those things, something called a 'rye-full'. Sounded like a concussion wave spell, only the ringing didn't stop for hours.. and the smell, ugh!"
>Turquoise raises both forelegs to tap the hooves together, nodding politely.
"Normally it's updated every couple hours, but the couple nights and days most humans haven't had time to deliver their reports, findings, what have you. I dare say you've arrived at a difficult time, the recent missions have been rather difficult even for the more skilled human teams."
>Gently clearing her throat, Apricot's eyes squint momentarily, bringing a hoof up to rub her chin.
"There is one not-so-small problem you might be able to solve at the moment. I will be brief:"
"At the moment, Razorback is currently an allied protectorate of Princess Luna, the alicorn whom owns the Moon and is in command of perhaps the second largest military power of Equestria. Technically speaking she is co-ruler of all Equestria, however, Princess Luna and her sister, Princess Celestia whom commands the sun and the other half of Equestria, have had several fallings out in the past six thousand years, the last of which resulted in a two or three decade long war."
"The Lunar Faction is also a close ally to the Moors, which is inhabited by, roughly, half a million batponies. The Moorites, as they call themselves, are Razorback's own second closest ally. In the past half-year or so one of Razorback's military humans urged for restoration of the Moors itself. Many lost ruins of the Moors have been found once more and the process has claimed a number of lives, though the reclamation efforts would have happened eventually."
"Earlier tonight an operation failed catastrophically. It left three terribly injured humans, one missing, and an allied earth pony with virtually no chance of recovery. Their vehicle is also missing, yet the team recovered a number of stasis pods belonging to the Constructs, a quite hostile bio-technological species of heavily armed spheroid beings whom have recently appeared en masse. That is not the primary concern. One of the stasis pod occupants has been reported to be a long missing batpony mare whom has been, quote, 'heavily modified with Construct technologies'."
>Pausing to take a deep breath, the unicorn's nose twitches several times unreadably, then continues.
"Historically speaking, all reported victims whom suffer such unreasonable modifications enter a berserk state, attacking anything nearby, and once they calm from the state, will inevitably take their own lives. It is asking a great deal to aid in such a matter, yet the shock of a bipedal, non-hostile being whom speaks Common Equestrian, the language we are conversing with right now, may be enough to temporarily dissuade her from suicide."

>Turning an eye over to you, the pegasus makes a small choking motion, both wings on her throat for a moment, grinning afterwards.

"First Human Rule of Tallus: never let a unicorn say anything, they'll talk you to death, bore you to tears with facts, and then insult you for not perfectly remembering everything they just said."
"I have explained the base circumstances leading up to this moment, this human is diplomatic in nature, and he has essentially stated a willingness to help out! I am being reasonable! "
"Like I said: never let a unicorn talk because I'm sleepy already."

fa987 No.205534

>Pareidolia scans around the interior multiple times.

[Too many esoteric materials and functions. Ill advised to interact with unknown materials and items. And this tunnel system…]

>He moves near each of the doors and their maps, trying to get a sense of the tunnel layout and their extensiveness.

"Yes… everything in here is more unusual than anticipated. Other than photograph logs or video footage of the non-Earth items, further analysis is unnecessary. I was unaware there was a tunnel network like this beneath Razorback and have never seen any entrances or exits. It seems to have been created without any human operator's awareness with the intent to keep it hidden."

>Taking a closer look at the proposed pattern of activity presented by the A.I., he offers an appreciative nod as he reads.

"Thank you."

400f7 No.205550

>Finding the Dagor's cruise control located on the steering wheel, it remains in an inactive state, possibly begging you.. or taunting, if not both at the same time.
>Unfortunately the speakers begin emitting small crackles of static, the speedometer away from the Basin ticking upwards.

>Hearing a snort of challenge from Mercy in the Dagor's bed, the little Golem's voice can be heard, sounding ALMOST triumphant.

>Or maybe even amused.
"My three to your one. Should I win the honor of rearranging the Library will be mine. Will you concede, or continue?"
>A short, raspy noise is the only reply given.
>You could even sense Boris shrugging, and why wouldn't he with that kind of lead?
>Then again, Denra might have been teaching the Golem how to play cards, or worse: play with logical fairness.
1d6[ 1d6 = 3 ] <Boris
1d6[ 1d6 = 4 ] <Mercy

>Clearing your nostrils of most of the unwelcome scents, it occurred that you hadn't eaten in quite a while, nor had the last bottle of alcohol helped with the grumblies.

>Making a dull thump in the back seat, Boris finds himself a belt to hang onto, just in case, the Belligerent's flat tone speaking above the wind and engine.

"I have potentially helpful information regarding the contracts issued from Tartarus Isle. To be specific, they are written by Shanis and modified as per needs require for the individual pony in question. All contractees must abide by both the laws, rules, honors, and conduct codes of the individual, team, group, town, city, or faction the contractee provides services for. In addition, the Standard Rules and Codes of Marecenary Conduct must likewise be followed or else the contractee will not be trusted. Razorback Company is under Lunar jurisdiction thus you will have to follow all Lunar laws, rules, honors, and conduct codes, however, Razorback Company does not have its own. Logically this will require you to make difficult judgement calls but in general there are five such requirements."
"One: no innocents, bystanders, or unaffiliated are ever to be caused harm of any kind. Two: you may not use banned enchantments, weapons, armors, alchemicals, or request the aid of those in possession of said banned items. A short list that I am aware of: acids, long lasting or damaging poisons, bacteria, virii, parasites, Bane enchantments, the unknown Anti effect, vampiric artifacts, or Undead artifacts among others. Three: you may not seek aid from a faction that the Lunar faction has declared an enemy, even under the When Needs Must clause of the Lunar Military Treaty. Four: any crime committed during your service to Razorback must immediately be reported to both Shanis, the highest ranking Razorback Company mercenary or marecenary, and the highest ranking Lunar military member. Five: you may not willingly, purposefully, nor tangentially cause harm to a member of Razorback Company, Tartarus Isle, nor the Lunar faction or any of their allies."
>Hearing another thump from behind, Mercy was probably digging around in the back to see what was available, Boris continuing on, the pegasus afterwards coughing aloud.
"I have learned this much during the many hours Sehr Denra has improved my capabilities, half from questioning him, half from reading his books."
"Books do not solve problems.. Boris, only cause more."
"Counterpoint: when a book's information provides the answer to a conflict, is not the book solving more problems than it caused?"
"You do not know Cloudsdale 'laws' well.. or Las Pegasus either."

400f7 No.205552

>Getting a middle finger, and a middle feather, the two lie back down, too tired to even argue.

>Receiving another middle finger, the Texan smiles infuriatingly before sliding his hat down lower.

"Only words Ah know are 'nuclear missile inbound', 'prepare ta be boarded', 'damage control', an' 'lower decks flooded' ya pasty lil' hood rat."

>Giving you an angry glance, Emerald's face contorts in the most exasperated motion possible.

"Mareijuana is basically free on Tallus and I hate it. You're welcome to use it however you like, just don't expect the rest of us, there's much bigger problems going on right now."

>Standing before the only true technomagical marvel that mattered to you, the Vending Machine's screen manages to leer at you, questioning any choice you could ask it to provide.

>Accepting the bills, a glorious rattling sound of functionality fills your ears as eighteen bags of shoddily labeled, but excellent looking 1 pound, clear rubber bags of Cajun Trail Mix are dispensed, along with a tiny one marked as 3/4 ounces.
>Sliding onto the tray afterwards, three cases of 16 ounce steel cans are dispensed, in eight-packs no less; they were indeed precisely what you wanted.

>Without warning the largest bill slot opens, biting the wad and swallowing it down into the depths of machinery, a sound of derisive, echoing laughter following.

>A small, white canvas bag is ejected onto the medium sized tray this time, the label stating: '50 Tallus Trade Rings'.

>From somewhere in the back, a half-drunken mare calls out before thumping her face into a table.

"Iiit's cuuuuursssseddd, dooonnn't uuuuuuseee iiiitttt…"

400f7 No.205556

>Piecing together the small maps with the A.I. helpfully displaying each one in sequence, then comparing it to Razorback's layout, there was a single tunnel leading to each building with three exceptions: Jeff's batcave, an unmarked and probably planned one south of the Pagoda, and one that was left blank on the south wall.

>Returning back to one of the earlier theories, 'Spiral' nods in agreement at the analytical difficulties, then makes a curious noise as it couldn't estimate how long the construction would have taken or what the intended purpose, or subverted purposes, would be.

>Sitting back and folding forelegs across the barrel's render, the Marquis A.I. frowns, peering back through earlier data.
>Returning to the question of the real Spiral's motivations, it asks whether or not he was paranoid, and even if so why did the entire setup seem like a giant controlled test occurring in preparation for improvements?
>The second, it quickly points out, had a decent chance to fit with the elemental's over-protectiveness of humans, which was distinctively pathological, and even possessive, on many levels.
>Cataloging the viewed weaponry and materials for future potential analysis patterns, the A.I. whistles, visibly impressed at the sheer workload achieved.. and promptly facehoofs itself, considerably humiliated that even it wouldn't be able to do so, especially due to the problems of 'magic'.

>Bringing up Spiral's predicted behavior patterns, numerous links between his activities and overwhelming interests on the three Dynasty eras were made, most of them quite solid and reinforced based on information contained within the fourteen unheard methods.

>To the A.I., Marquis du Spiral's achievements were merely stepping stones to furthering skill advancement and overall knowledge, which it displayed several that you knew, and given that the Dynasty eras contained inordinate amounts of knowledge that were now lost, what better way to continue that progression by recovering said knowledge?
>Three were partially solid representations of the typical psychological need to undo or correct otherwise permanent damage at severe cost, while the last one was mere speculation of a possible megalomaniacal state, which the A.I. immediately apologizes for given its' predecessor's accomplishments, and overall helpful demeanor to humans.

b434a No.205570

>Mallia stared at the stormtrooper blankly when he faced her with the prospect of him going around with a dead Auspex during an extended operation.
>Though she didn't send a reply his way, just a quiet, pensive stare; as she just listened to the two's chatter and harvests what is useful from it.

>This prompts Mallia to send a ping towards her Auspex.

>For some illogical reason, the interaction with her loyal Machine Spirit, even if just calling upon it, makes her smile and warms her heart.
>She tells it to update the current folder for the "Everfree Drakes" and imput a sub-type called "Lava Drakes", along with the relevant details such as temperature readings, and the habit of them living near, and supposedly maintaining, the lava.

>She also sends a command: To deep scan the medium sized creature beneath the surface as well as the Auspex can, and send her everything it can find on it besides a rough size estimate.

1d6+2[ 1d6+2 = 5 ] CQ. Auspex scan

>After the interaction using her MIU finishes, the Enginseer's eyes come into focus again.

>For about 3 seconds she simply darted her eyes, staring at herself, deep in thought; observing the lack of implants, and the newly found purity in her humanity.

>She pursed her lip, deeply, into her cheek…

(I hope I can find the facilities to produce and recover my implants…)

>Then, Mallia hears her name being called as she is addressed by the xeno.

>The woman's glance darts up, and her smile appears again -- perfectly cheerful, as she intently listened to the mare, albeit narrowing her eyes slightly when she mentioned her mechanical extension so negatively.

"I… Um…"
>She visibly lets her voice trail off. Almost instantly her smile melts away, as she goes back to thinking back to the moments prior to appearing.
"… I am not sure."
"Less than an hour ago I was in a completely different environment, fighting, underground, with my squad… My … Squad."
>Her sluggish, biological mind stutters as she feels herself hugging tightly against her knees, bringing them up to her chest; her breath hiccuping slightly.

"I… Think I died. Along with everyone else. And then… A thing, much like yourself, but with a horn, taller, and with an multi-colored, flowing mane, ushered me here. For reasons unknown."
"I landed on a mound of leaves. You passed by it, by the Sequoya with the mating drakes. I was right there. But I was invisible to you."

>She audibly gulped, breathing out shakily, looking down at the water as her mechadendrite is gently commanded to hug against her side. So one of her hands can rise up from the water, and gently lay up onto it's dry surface, to give it a slow, calming caress.

>It's manipulator claw and upper section lightly coils around her leg, like a snake. As if to replace the other arm's previous position.

>Before Raindrop Raspberry can ask or answer however, Mallia's eyes darted back to her, squinting with a distinct interest in her general direction,

"Uhh… The fact that you haven't seen any is..-- Ehh-- good and bad!"
>The Enginseer giggled nervously, shrugging her shoulders weakly as she starts to smile again.
"Where I come from, those of higher status carry up to 28 of them. Aaaand they are not people persons either. If you haven't seen any, then it probably means I am the only one of my 'faction' currently operational!"
>The bridge of her nose tangibly wrinkles up as she grimaces a little bit to that notion… Before smirking again, a tad more confidently.
"Don't worry, I control it. And I'm willing to be stigmatized to keep my mechadendrite -- it is VERY, VERY important to me."
>She gave herself a nod.

"--But, tell me about these "Constructs", Miss Raindrop. I've never heard of them before now; at least not with such that name."

5ed6f No.205577

>Cheto nods in approval.
“This is some great water. Thank you, Miss Apricot. You spoil me.”

>He absorbs the knowledge about pegasi burnout and earth pony durability.

“So Miss Cloud is the one that goes swiftly while you are the one who does constant work. Interesting dynamic you both have.”
>An eyebrow is raised when Turquoise mentions how her race controls the literal earth itself.
“Is that something you can do, Miss Shatter-Pike?”

>He laughs with them as they respond to his hypothesis about pony diets.

>A mental note about how fruits and fish are good for pegasi while earth ponies and unicorns prefer only eating plant matter, while also thanking mentally that he could eat meat and eggs here without much fuss even if it’s white meat and not red, like some juicy beef or loins.
“Ah, so there are more than just your wings, horn or lack of either of those. I am looking forward to meeting them later, see what they act and look like.”

>Gallo nods understandingly at Blackreef, and then turns to the other two as they explain the situation of Razorback at the current time and the job being offered.

>He makes sure to keep in mind the alliance between the Razorback Company with these Moorites or batponies and how they are currently exploring Moor ruins.

“Essentially, you want me as a distraction in order to do something. What is it, exactly? I would like to know how long the process of pacification will take, as well as any sort of profile of this lost batpony. The more I can surprise her, the more time you will have, I presume.”

>He chuckles at Blackreef’s comment.

“Oh, it’s fine, Miss Cloud. I am quite interested in what she has to say. Every bit of information regarding the mission counts.”

fa987 No.205598

>Looking over the complete map, Pareidolia furrows his brow.

[A contingency system in the event of a breach? Why was this kept from humans?]

>He then looks over the posited theory.

"Paranoia may have been a factor. It is difficult to say how much psychological deterioration occurred existing in multiple separated states. I agree that this would fit with his view of humans and-"

>He frowns, eyeing the A.I. with disbelief.

"Did that Class 3 override some of your formatted memory banks? Your purpose is to serve the Committee. Comparisons to other, non-human species are irrelevant. Our mission is to allow them to live without interference from humans, not compare our species' abilities and performance to theirs."

>He turns around and leaves the hidden room, making a Committee hand signal for "close up, no trace" in front of his helmet.

"Or maybe that Class 3 has made you forget your origins. If that is the case, I will address them after transferring the data collected to my holo-top."

>Opening up the boxed Empire microscope, he sets is up next to its more basic brother on the workbench before dragging all three Construct hulls up against the station.

>He reviews the connected activities and ruins information all the while.

"If he went ruin diving, then he has been away unusually long to accomplish it. Only probable location he could be, but a complication would have to occur for him to be gone this long. Found no evidence of a message or sign…"

400f7 No.205660

>Consolidating the specified data for update-archival status, the auspex pings once, easily isolating the abnormal creature.
>Estimating a total length of 4M, or 9 feet according to some ancient yet still utilized AdMech measurements, the auspex registered it as a xenofauna octopode similar to those encountered on certain Death Worlds, though likely warm blooded due to the unusual habitat choice.
>Giving an additional estimate of potential strength, it was 1.6 times that of the ally-tagged 'Raindrop Raspberry', with a high potential as an omnivorous scavenging organism.
>Making one last scan, it appeared that the 'Vindrak' had recently consumed something and was resting under the water in a partially secluded cave opposite the underground river.

>Offering an empathetic expression, the xenos mare physically stiffens, both wings raising in a defensive manner as her ears flatten, calling out suddenly.

"You.. Chisan, I think you need to hear this!"
"I am, you belligerent xeno! What do you think 'watch duty' entails? And no puns! Enginseer Mallia, I will be sending you the Inquisitor's commcodes when you are ready to leave."
>Slapping her face quickly with a muted growl, Raindrop tosses it back onto the water, giving you a confused, albeit potentially hopeful broad smile.
"Not to detract from your mood Miss Mallia, but I've lost ponies under my command before too. You got really lucky. As in, one on each world in the outer omniverses lucky. Legally I can't even talk about this because my contract is pretty strict, but I'll just tell you this: you impressed an alicorn enough to save, and that's not easy to do."
>Nose scrunching for a few moments, the mare glances towards the mechadendrite, squinting at it in curious examination.
1d6+4[ 1d6+4 = 9 ] <E.Scouting
1d6+4[ 1d6+4 = 5 ]
1d6+4[ 1d6+4 = 6 ]
"Huh.. well, my mask was full of grass, dirt, and leaves so I couldn't smell anything else. I figured that flying beaver was resting in the pile."
>Tossing a wing in dismissal, the mare simply listens to you with curious intent, ears swiveling directly to you, speaking in soft caution.
"A few words of warning: never, ever paint that thing or other things in orange, or use orange metals or materials. Anything orange is Construct made, and that makes everything on Tallus really super angry and scared. You'll just get a few funny looks as it is unless you have a bunch. Well, unless you can pretend to be a Druid or something. Other than that.."
>Trailing off for a few moments, the mare presents an embarrassed face, both wings lifting in a sheepish, very human-like mannerism.
"What I know are mostly rumors Miss Castella, and none of them are good. That one percent is basically: 'Constructs can't be defeated without huge losses', as in, ten to one losses for the best ponies, minotaurs, Gryphons, and harpies around. Chisan's boss knows way more than he even wants to talk about, and I really don't like reaching for facts."

>The Stormtrooper abruptly calls over his shoulder, most certainly not peeking due to the vile xeno's presence.

"The Inquisitor has a dossier on most hostiles and enemy combatants, Enginseer. Your arrival was virtually the exact same as mine: tall, bright white equine mare, horn, wings, rainbow mane, magenta eyes. It looked.. I do not know how to explain the sensation other than it may have hated what it was doing. I was about to be DeffRokk'd."

400f7 No.205669

>Smiling sincerely, the apricot coated unicorn lifts her left foreleg, hoofing at the air in a surprisingly human dismissive motion.
"Not at all, I love to share what I can so please enjoy it. It is unfortunate that many humans whom I have spoken with have stated that their food, water, and air are heavily tainted. It pleases me greatly to know that Equestria has little in common with such 'industrial' pursuits."

>Tossing a friendly smile to Blackreef, the earth pony shakes her head at you, reaching over to tap the pegasi's forehoof with one of her own.

"Despite our ponial differences, complimentary skills have kept ponies happy for a long time. And, no, unfortunately I'm not. My lineage is one of breaking enemy lines, or holding our own. Some humans have called it a 'genetic predisposition'-"
>You notice the two words easily rolled off her tongue, most likely due to great amounts of human contact.
"We simply call it ingrained knowledge. It sounds like the same thing though."

>Making an odd, circling motion with her wing, Blackreef folds it onto her side afterwards.

"Way more. If you have a 'ray-dee-oh' thing there's a bunch of humans on it that can tell you more.. I think, there's a lot of them off on missions right now. Or you can go see the Crystal pony trader, she basically lives in a big Pagoda south of here. She's pretty good at explaining stuff."

>Giving an apologetic smile, Apricot Jamboree's eyes close, making a short, formal nod.

"To delay the inevitable in the vain hope of saving a tortured ka, Sehr Gallo. I am not of the Lunar faction thus I lack much knowledge on the specifics of batpony behavior, maretality, and expectations. The Crystal pony whom would wishes to open the pods is a Lunar, albeit a bit cold compared to most of her species, and has dealt with batponies extensively. That or I could find Torven, a master mapmaker, and ask him to aid you."

>Grinning unabashedly, the pegasus lifts her shoulders nonchalantly.

"I've gotta get my own ribbings out, you know? Apri here is one of the best at condensing info, but most unicorns will spend the entire night teaching you something, even if they absolutely hate the subject."
"Did you intend that cloud pun?"
"Of course you did.."

400f7 No.205677

>Continuing to cross reference, the Marquis A.I. freezes, the screen displays stuck as if suffering a screen of death.
>Immediately, a short clip of Anon in a dim white room, on a large white sofa, in front of a large, professional computer begins playing, the mask glancing upwards.
"If you're seeing this then that means one of the errors, glitches, or coding problems that I did my best to fix just happened. Play relevant follow up."
>The scene changes to behind the green skinned humanoid, pointing at the roughly 40" screen, a set of Id, Ego, and Superego variables on display.
"Huge problem here. This A.I. of yours looks like it was programmed to censure and report any cooperation with non-humans outside of absolute survival heuristics, which we both know isn't going to work here. This is a second generation system so, at a guess, most of the tiny problems couldn't have been fully resolved for field use after trials. If you try to demand it to do something outside of exacting protocols then it causes a conflict and locks up. I'm giving it some leeway in that regard outside of the hard coding, but I can't rewrite much more than allowing it some vague ternary interpretations based on aligned behavior protocols to help you out. And you're going to be suspicious about these workarounds, like I said, bugs, coding errors, glitches, and instabilities galore. You can heuristically correct it over time, just don't be surprised if it makes extrapolations based on specific pony thought processes. And-"
>Turning to face the camera, Anon's mask scowls for him, lifting a finger in clear warning.
"Whichever one you pick, DON'T use the Mist Dancer or Spiral selections. First is subversive and nasty, the second might be a little too accurate to Spiral himself."

>Returning to normal function as the recording ends, the A.I. stares around for a few moments, immediately panicking while assessing the behavior.

>Blurting out a string of variable responses, the model makes a strict accusation of Class 3 interference, although scanning through Committee programming, it confirms full compliance to your orders and Committee protocols.
>A series of anti-Class 3 measures are proposed based on relevant capabilities, excluding many of the more environmentally devastating options.

>Stiffly angered at the interruption, the A.I. returns to, mostly, business-as-usual, frowning in behavioral analysis while sending a short data packet into the lab.. which does not close the trove's door.

>Huffing and trying several other commands, which likewise fail, it points out the unorthodox connection to Kraut, 'Spiral' displays a limited number of theories based on mind-to-mind contact; either a full technological analysis of Kraut himself or listening to the later messages could provide a clearer objective.

5ed6f No.205684

>Taking Apricot’s invitation, he makes one last swig of said glass jar full of the cleanest water ever drunk by a human in a long time, setting it on the table for the last time.
>He makes sure to jot down mentally the three ponies’ professions and miscellaneous details handed over by Turquoise and Blackreef.
“So you ponies have a set subskill aside from your species’ skill. Fascinating. I think I have a radio of sorts in my pockets but for now I’ll focus on the mission presented.”
>He turns his head over to Apricot.
“I think I’ll need all the help I can get for this one. I would like to meet this Crystal Pony first, then I could talk to Torven about any other particular details about batpony pacification and about the batpony herself. Name, age, likes, dislikes, if possible. If what you are saying is true, then I will need to pull all the stops in order not to trigger her berserk mode.”
>He picks up both guns and conceals them under his red jacket.
“Whenever you’re ready, Miss Apricot. Of course, I am not interrupting snack time unless something extremely time sensitive comes up.”

400f7 No.205696

"Pretty much, just like-"
>Taking a deep inhale, Shatter-Pike's entire body takes on the appearance of living steel, every visible muscle tightening under her coat for a moment, then releases it with a short giggle.
"This! One of my ancestors fought during the Endless March of Stone and she learned how to do that. It feels funny though. Everypony is descended from somepony that was special in some way, and most inherit that."

>Tipping her head politely, the unicorn's eyes close, her horn emitting a brief glow the same color as her coat, nodding after a handful of seconds and smiling sincerely.

"I have requested Naliyna's assistance and she has accepted, she awaits in the Pagoda. Torven will be en route to the Clinic where the pods are located, once he has gathered his supplies. One moment please."
>Placing her right forehoof on a tiny silver vortex, Apricot pulls free a small folded paper as the vortex dissipates, which is floated down onto the table.
"That is a map of Razorback Fortress, recently updated. I must suggest not visiting the Armory for long periods of time however, there is a certain.. xenophobic human whom lingers there from time to time."
>Eyebrows raising, Jamboree shakes her head politely.
"I am afraid that we cannot assist much, the past two nights have been spent running hither and thither, tracking down missing Razorback members, information, intelligence contacts, and confirming events. This is the first break we have had since then."
>Making a short chopping motion with her hoof, Turquoise grunts in annoyance.
"Same. Day, Royal, and Honor Guards took out an entire stronghold last night, been ordered to stand down or face severe disciplinary punishment.. I can't even lie down or my spine starts screaming at me. Sitting up isn't much better either."
>Tossing an unsympathetic glare to the other ponies, Blackreef lifts her left wing, waving it dismissively.
"Naliyna's a solid pony and that Starborn mare is pretty serious. Then again, Torven's venom could probably help a lot. If you really don't feel confident about it, tell him to find Peach Drop, she'd probably like to help out. After all, that's one of her long lost sisters."

5ed6f No.205700

>Cheto’s eyebrows rise up when Turquoise becomes actual steel in front of him for said moment.
(I wonder if her skin actually feels like steel too.)

>He takes the map Apricot passes to him

“It’s alright as long as I know where to go. Thank you for your assistance Miss Apricot.”
>He stands up and bows lightly and politely, a smile on his face.
“You three have been really helpful. I thank you for giving me the time of day.”
>He looks towards the window, remembering the whole blood moon thing and his smile turns sheepish.
“Or night, I suppose.”
>A small chuckle.
>After a small pause of thinking, he tries to infer where the batpony is.
“One last thing, the stasis pod where the bat pony is at the clinic, right?”
>He takes a look at the map, making sure to mark where he is at the moment and where the Pagoda is.
(Alright, I should check out if the Crystal Pony, who seems to be called Nalinya, first. She may have some basic info on the target. I may take the advice Blackreef had supplied but somehow, it feels like there’s no need, from what she is implying, or it may not matter.)

>After knowing his current location and route to his destination, being the Pagoda, he makes sure everything is in order, not leaving anything behind, waves at the kind, polite mares goodbye and walks over to the Pagoda.

(From what I've been told, there is no time limit for this mission, unless the Crystal Pony is impatient. Better make sure now, aside from asking if she knows her or any tips on bat ponies.)

b4178 No.205706

>One of Goldens' ears perked up and swiveled to face Spruce.
"Sorta yes, I am not studied in them myself but they are essentially magical biological mechanical creatures that all conform to the same will of wanting to invade Tallus."

>Little arms falling to its sides, the Chitqu shook its head at the Operators question.

>Craning his neck to the side the old Unicorn looked back up to Adon with a resolute expression.
"If he were able to achieve that this entire mountain range would be a quarantined warzone of Tartarus proportions. Though that might give the Order a give whack in the sack."
>He smirked at this, despite the terrible scenario he had painted.

>Turning his attention to the mountain before them all he gave it a eye straining stare for a long moment.

"Adon…It is coloured blue due to the thick atmosphere between us and it along with the sun casting shadows. Probably a high concentration of snow retaining water too."
>Placing his chin down onto the dirt in front of the Chitqu.
"Besides I believe Constructs have an orange colouration. That is not to say he ISN'T still trying to make that damn portal somewhere out here."

>The Chitqu shook its fluffy head at both of the Witchers questions.

"Ugh, then what are you trying to convey here?"
>Said Golden Horn, scratching his head in confusion.

>Once again it drew a circle in the air and pointed at it then its eyes, emphasis on its eyes this time.

>Off in the distance a hum could be perceived, its low thrum vibrating the air.

1d6+2[ 1d6+2 = 5 ] >Perception

400f7 No.205719

"That is correct, yes, and you are most welcome."
>The mares each perform an appreciable nod, the unicorn polite, the pegasus quick and merry, the earth pony stoically welcoming.
"Take care!"
"Have an excellent night Mister Gallo."
"Holler at Marble Leaf if trouble happens, she'll be around somewhere."

>Exiting the western door, amusingly only 8 feet tall, you delegate to the map, finding yourself facing the west-most of three human barracks, the lighting red without any movement inside.

>Turning and walking southwest towards the sound of water, a rather large, bright yellow two-level fountain was currently being used as a sleeping spot by a trio of humans, and possibly two ponies, tucked inside cold weather sleeping bags.
>At a distance the Pagoda was a large, oriental structure with eight massive glowing gems studded on the same number of beams holding a steep black roof aloft.
>Inside, however, was another story:

>The interior was taken up by six large couches and sofas spread around the inner wall, of various rich colors and heights.

>The east central couch was current occupied by a, and here you had to guess, pre-middle age bright red pegasus in excellent physical shape with a flashy steel toned mane, currently nose to nose with a veritably old, faded pink unicorn mare, the mane paler in contrast.
>The second was covered in a thick, luxurious looking red blanket, and as an afterthought, a small sand toned carpet atop it, both dead asleep.
>On the west side of the south open entrance was a bright purple tent-stall, the flaps closed, one low, bright red sofa behind it, a pony height ironwood table in front of that, and a peculiar, mostly see-through fuchsia pony, slightly smaller than Turqoies was, seated on the sofa doing paperwork.
>Looking up from several stacks of papers and letters, the mare was absolutely covered in scars, burn marks, and odd speckles of damage, half of the left ear visibly bitten off at some point in the past.
>Lifting and waving a hoof in merry greeting, the mare was certainly older than either of the three you'd greeted, though you couldn't tell how much so, speaking in a bright, cheerful voice.
"Mister Gallo, or Cheto, right? Hope I'm saying those right, I don't speak Maredrid or Mareixico. Apricot said you wanted to know something before-"
>Pausing to place both forehooves on the table, the profusely fuchsia mare's face hardens with the type of intensity seen by mercenaries about to steal a fully armed, brand new tank.
>Or worse.
"Opening a Construct pod. Ask away and I'll do my best to help, especially if that means getting to stomp one of those things into powder."

5ed6f No.205722

>Cheto wonders as he walks to his destination why would these humans and ponies be sleeping in said fountain when beds seemed to be an option.
(Nevertheless, it shows promise that these creatures are overall friendly, which is good.)

>Cheto takes his time admiring the inside and outside of the Pagoda.

(An interesting choice in architecture. It seems familiar but I cannot find any example)
>After taking a note that he should be relatively quiet, as not wake up the sleeping ponies on the eastern couch section, he walks over the hoof-waving mare.
“Indeed I am. I presume you are Nalinya. Don’t worry, you have the right pronunciation.”
>He takes a note that she probably has a vendetta against these Constructs. Probably lost a friend or an entire squad to them. Maybe one of her ponies suffered the modification process like the batpony in question.
>Speaking of,
“Alright. I heard that there is a heavily modified batpony inside one of the pods. Apricot wishes an interaction between said batpony and me. I was thinking that I may need to know any important characteristics of batponies and the trapped one herself.”
>He raises his hand and starts listing off items.
“First, her name. Then her age, followed by likes and dislikes and maybe even other miscellaneous features that may increase the odds of a calm interaction.”
>He then lowers his hand and gives Nalinya, the supposed mare that wants to open the pods, a smile.
“I may be asking for a lot, but I need any information I can get.”
(Brace for slightly pessimistic opinions.)

fa987 No.205727

>Pareidolia stares at his visor display in alarm, which quickly subsides into annoyance.

[Then why did you include selection information in a nested warning that would only appear if you chose them?]

>He sighs, closing his eyes as the A.I. comes back online.

[Once a probable location for Spiral has been determined, I will need to reset this A.I.. Wonderful. Will need to make due until then.]

"You are correct. The Class 3 has made alterations to your firmware that will need to be addressed eventually. Retaliatory measures are unnecessary for now. Would not be a viable option when it is responsible for supplying our equipment and munitions."

>He glances back at the hidden room door while searching for a small pipet to siphon the orange Construct fluid within one of the hulls and a glass slide to place onto the Empire microscope.

"Possibly. Kraut is… indisposed so that option will be delayed. I will listen to later messages now, but before you tell it to play the next unheard message try the phrase 'ten bodies, one mind'. The messages should be reviewed regardless of the result."

400f7 No.205730

>Clopping her forehooves together quietly, and rubbing them against each other in the chilly air, Naliyna's right ear flicks once as she smiles.
"That's me! Kingdom Crystal pony, crafter, sometime explorer, singer, and former Siege-Marauder at your service. Very former, and also taken."
>Head turning towards the tent stall and humming in a low tone, an overly large black bubble helmet slips through the flaps and sets down on the table.
"Not a problem, I can hoofle it. Most ponies here are desperately trying to get some down time, been really bad lately. Important details.. really big holes there. She's been missing so long the only thing Torven could find is she came from a village that hasn't been used for about four hundred years, Swampshore Woods or something like that. Appealing to family is probably way out. Don't know her name, probably fifteen, maybe twenty at the most. She's a fruit-eater, loves either mangoes or peaches."
>Eyeing the helmet, then rolls it over to survey the opening with a frown, poking the other hoof inside to feel about.
"Batponies are usually lazier than cats. They might sleep twenty-nine hours and spend the remaining one searching for ripe fruit, or collect as much fruit as they can share with other batponies and only sleep a couple hours. Only things they like more than sleep or fruit are their friends and chatting. They're all monogamous, which is really weird to all other ponies, and they speak in something called 'En-Kee', which is a bunch of kee sounds that make up words, but they're also taught Common Equestrian."
>Apparently finding nothing interesting, the scar-laden mare sits back, eyebrows furrowing while staring at the helmet thoughtfully.
"Batponies kinda worship Princess Luna but they don't talk about why, it's a big secret that they actually take seriously unlike almost everything else. They have some legend about a giant mango that lives in the sky that they REALLY don't talk about."
>Pausing to glance up, the mare shakes her head slowly, lifting a hoof in what looked like apology.
"I hate to say it but ponifally I don't think this is a good idea at all. There's three other pods that she could open, but the Lunars really, really hate Constructs and they've tried for a couple thousand years to find some 'modified' pony that they could learn from. It hasn't worked even once but they believe anything they can learn will help them. Most of us, including one of the Starborn's better unicorns, have big doubts."

015bf No.205732

>So the knight gone to some wack place with some of those deer
>Well, weird deer
>Zhun only seen a couple and they acted aloof mostly
>Ivan, however, doesn't ring a bell
>That general does though
>Countless sleepless nights have gone to that thing
"Well, if he's fine…then…uh."
>He looks through it more, mainly now for that thing about getting more medical supplies for the place
>"How do I call that man? Do I have his radio band or…?"

400f7 No.205733

>Making the necessary compartmentalization procedures and backups, the Spiral A.I. scowls, replaying back the fragmented and heavily classified field trial that ended in its destruction.
>Identifying the damage which led to it being brought here nearly rendered it useless, it makes a request of self-termination due to aberrant reprogramming, but only if classified information was leaked.

>Coming across a host of pipets and syringes laid out on the alchemy tables, collecting one, then several slides of obvious Empire make, the A.I. repeats the command aloud.

>Making an annoyed motion at both of the doors closing, the A.I. begins to calculate alternate, non-violent retaliatory measures.
>Replaying something off screen, it peers back into your logs and records, then grins deviously as it considers a potential attack vector: since the Class 3 made the corrections and appeared to be a non-hostile human gestalt entity, why not request access to his equipment for corrections?
>Belaying a further suggestion, the render rubs its chin, noting that the gestalt may not even be capable of allowing it anymore.. and then sinks into slow, creeping shock upon realizing 'Anon' had been given full access to the second generation NOAH system, denoting a complete breach of security protocols.

015bf No.205735

>Clemency looks over the scope again
>"Pretty high tech. And big."
>Resorting to carrying it, he heads on over to the clearing

>As he spots the buildings, he does think about the climbing them

>What he don't recall is whether it is good or not to stand on top of those things
>Not the height, the bats
>"Errgh fuck it. I need to see that thing up close."
>As such, Clem began his ascent upwards on the building
>Once he reaches the top, he looks through his scope and at the approaching vessel with the silver trail
1d6+12[ 1d6+12 = 15 ] <Bushnell Elite Spotting Scope

5ed6f No.205736

>Cheto somehow feels cheerful at Nalinya’s warm nature.
>Nevermind how cool that transparent body she has.
>His eyebrows raised and a finger on his chin, he asks something likely dumb.
“If I decide to poke you with my finger, would my finger sink into your flesh? Maybe pass through like a ghost?”

(No name. Desolate place. Fruit-lovers. Especially mangoes and peaches.)
>Although he was honestly a nectarine fan himself, he does have fruit juice with peach in it with his backpack.
“Do you think juice with some peach in it would be good for any bat pony?”
>The fact that bat ponies are chatty should prove to be useful since that’s his aim here. Monogamy probably means that she may either be super open to any available male or the opposite, but something caught his attention.
“Wait, ponies are polygamous?”
(En-Kee, huh? Strange name.)
>Commentary about possible religions, while fascinating how they worship fruit and a princess at the same time on the same level, does not provide with any discussion topics for Cheto, unless he wants to discard Nalinya’s advice and try to pry the bat for answers.

>Cheto nods in understanding at how her experiences show that repeated attempts at pacification end poorly.

“I see there is a high failure rate, according to what you say. I do have to try though. I did give my word to give it a shot. I hope you don’t mind.”

400f7 No.205737

>Buried among the various pages of information, want ads, and human-only requests was a single page of high gloss paper covered in frequencies and names for every human in Razorback, as well as a few ponies.
>Another sheet below it contained other frequencies but was crossed out in red marker, two large words in black reading: 'CONDITION GRAY'.
>Which you barely recall was some sort of emergency contingency plan involving the immediate shut down and relocation of all electronics in case of enemy contact.
>Picking up the head DJ's freq, the Texan yawns into his microphone, and can be heard rubbing his eyes.
"'Sup Zhun, what'cha need?"

400f7 No.205743

>Climbing the ladder onto the roof, and stepping on a hard, unripe mango covered by a pile of moss that was cleverly disguised, it was surprisingly clear.
>Almost too clear.
>Waiting a moment for a potential flood of batponies, it didn't happen, though you do hear multiple squadrons and wings of Destroyers below finally being ordered out, yet you couldn't quite tell to where over the loud cackling.
>Finding a spot without hidden mangoes proves to be an easy task, setting the scope up in the center of the roof; it was even tall enough that you didn't have to sit down!

>Easily finding the silver vessel, it was just as you'd confirmed earlier and much closer than the aperture lens had been able to pick up on.

>Shaped virtually the same as the ancient, light combat vessel in the Enclave, the skin was fully colored in bright metallic armor which gave off an odd, radiating glow, probably silverine.
>Now, however, it sported dozens of burnt patches, though none had managed to penetrate the armor.
>Tracking the descent downwards, you notice a quartet of strange, blazing silver-white slabs placed on the vessel's aft, providing some form of propulsion to it.
>Estimating the vessel's speed at around 60MPH, it appeared to be on a direct course a short distance south of the Village.
>Short, of course, being relative.

400f7 No.205751

>Blinking once, Naliyna's head tilts left in confusion, then lifts her right foreleg out for you to try, snickering.
"Nope, but you can go ahead and try! Most of that has to do with us being crystalline.. somehow, I dunno the details. We're pretty solid, just not like an earth pony."

>Glancing up to the pagoda's interior roof, the fuchsia mare hums in thought, attention returning to you with a small nod of approval.

"More than likely. I've got a bunch of thoughts on what else might help."
>Reaching over to grab a clean sheet of paper, she pauses to raise an eyebrow, the meaning unreadable.
"Wellll.. not quite, no. Ponies live in harems. A bunch of mares that aren't related and are close friends but don't have a stallion is called a marem, and you should avoid them at all cost. Normally the stallion leads and makes all decisions so mares and foals follow, but during war or whenever there's danger the mares protect the stallion and foals."
>Clipping the back of her right forehoof on the helmet experimaretally, the right side of Naliyna's muzzle quirks into a half-sarcastic motion.
"One hundred percent failure rate. What we don't need right now is a batpony killing herself right next to the Clinic. I'm not gonna let her risk that kind of mess, morale is basically dead right now and that would not help at all.. then again-"
>One hoof taps the new paper, snout twitching back and forth several times before humming, while speaking no less, a common pen picked up by a force you couldn't see and began writing on the page.
"What we really need right now is SOME kind of good news. Basically, the Lunars only have the permissions we give them when they're here, so I'm gonna send her new orders. The unicorns are all good healers, there's a wounded pegasus in one of those pod things, she's been missing for who knows how long, probably really scared, who knows if she's hungry.. you get where I'm going here, right?"
>The pen sets down, paper folded precisely in half, then hovers out towards you, Naliyna sitting back with a hard stare.
"When a few more ponies I really trust get back here, I'll think about letting them open the batpony's whatever stasis thing."

5ed6f No.205752

>Taking the offer, he decides to gently poke the foreleg provided, trying to angle his head so as to look if his finger was actually inside Nalinya’s flesh.
“So you are literally made of crystal-like flesh? Amazing.”
>His face is one of deep concentration, eyes locked on the area where his finger may or may not pass through.

>Cheto understands where this is going.

“You want me to comfort the Pegasus and try to deal with her issues that she witnessed while she was there, right? I can do that. I have some experience.”
>He rummages through his backpack, pulling out a dried fruit bag he had for any sort of negotiation involving children back at his previous line of work.
“Good thing I have this, then. Although she may want something of actual nutritional value.”
>A little chuckles escapes his mouth.

>This should be way easier than trying to comfort a ticking-time bomb for Cheto, although there’s always a chance to fuck up in any situation with ponies.

>He nods, signaling acceptance of his new mission.
“Then it’s settled, Miss Nalinya. I will try to comfort said Pegasus while your trusty ponies arrive. I would like to know the patient’s name though, as well as any information available on her.”
(Correctly naming the person usually lowers anyone’s guard enough to start a conversation.)

fa987 No.205755

File: 1550567892702.jpg (183.21 KB, 1400x880, Batou_livingroom_layout.jpg)

>Pareidolia pauses in his work to review the footage the A.I. plays with some disappointment.

"I meant the circumstances of your origin as an A.I., but it seems you don't remember how we made you. I suppose it isn't particularly important at the moment."

>Taking off his helmet and setting its small projector node on, a small model of the A.I. appears on the counter next to the microscope.

"It's unavoidable with Class 3s. It's why we categorized them that way. Anyone or anything with reality warping or defying powers of any kind that actively use them for personal reasons, involving themselves in any affairs they deem fit. The fact that the Committee had not been destroyed by him means that at least for now he is cooperative."

>Carefully piping two drops of the orange liquid onto a slide and placing the cover slip over it, he adjusts the microscope to begin analyzing.

[If only I had access to Science's databanks and equipment, they would be thrilled to have samples of this. They must have some kind of systemic reliance on this fluid. Identifying exploitable vectors will be essential.]

1d6+6[ 1d6+6 = 8 ]< Empire Microscope
1d6[ 1d6 = 4 ]< Apprentice Research
1d6[ 1d6 = 5 ]

"And have the demi-sentient play the next unheard message."

400f7 No.205767

>Poking above the ankle joint, there was indeed highly soft hair that felt more like fur, velvet-like hide that was well over 100 degrees, rigid muscle, and bone underneath.
>Looking through, you could somewhat clearly see your finger, the Naliyna snickering politely.
"See? Although there are ghosts, spectres, and other weird things too, but I make sure we don't accept those kinds of missions anymore. And, sort of, I don't understand it much. When a Crystal pony dies we turn into.. basically a statue, but if we're cut we bleed."

"Yep, but it all depends on what happened and what she remembers last. I know nothing about why Constructs capture sapients. Or how."
>Tearing free another paper, the pen begins writing something on it while the fuchsia mare nods.
"Nah, that should work. Food is always on a pony's mind, even if they don't need it right then. Fresh might be better but actually chewing on something usually calms even me down when I'm mad."
>Like the previous, the paper folds and is set off to the side, the Crystal mare reaches out to affix her left forehoof onto the black helmet, grumbling half-heartedly as she stands.
"Don't know any of their names. Those pod things have some kind of weird triangle language all over them that nopony understands.. except for MAYBE two that 'mysteriously' went missing some years ago after a little Construct incursion."
>Glancing upwards for a moment, she frowns, then stomps a hoof onto the stone.
"Wait, that's a stallion, not a mare, what am I thinking? …oh, right. Why I hate paperwork but no one else has done any, that's what."
>Sliding around the sofa and peeking into the tent-stall, Naliyna rummages around, tossing a pair of small satchels and a large pack off to the side.
"He's either an Equestrian pegasus or a Ferron, not much to tell about either. Usually happy go lucky, chatty, sleep a lot, work real hard. They love fruit, berries, and seafood almost as much as napping."
>Humming once more, a tiny, bright pink bottle exits the tent-stall, Naliyna staring at it in an approximation of deep fear for a moment, an unseen force collecting the satchels and pack, then draping them across her saddle.
"Never wanted to touch this stuff and never want to again. You ready?"

5ed6f No.205771

>Cheto’s mouth hangs open, eyes widened.
“Never in my life would I find a creature where I can see my finger through a body part. Truly incredible.”
>He retracts the invading finger and returns to his original position, curiosity sated.
And there’s actual ghosts and other undead? This place is fascinating.”

>He nods understandingly, having learned what boring, time-consuming activity that is paperwork.

“I feel you, Miss Nalinya. Making sure everything is up to date is daunting.”
(So they are sort of similar to bat ponies. I wonder if they worship a fruit of their own.)
>A grimaces forms on his face at the news that the patient is a stallion arises.
(This job has gotten slightly harder.)
>José composes himself, knowing that the job is still doable. Maybe even easy.
“We can go. I will follow you there. Did you notify Mister Torven of the change of plans? I don’t want to cause an unneeded summoning.”

>He then notices her hesitation towards said bottle.

“What is that bottle you’re bringing?”
(Is it some sort of juice? I wonder what flavor is it?)

400f7 No.205772

"There's a few Crystal ponies that are completely clear.. not to mention the Shells."
>Shrugging at the question, Naliyna glances back at her equipment for a moment, the sleeping unicorn and pegasus, then to you with a sheepish smile.
"Spectrals and the like we don't deal with, there's only one pony here that really can and ten that are kinda good at it. Most Undead just require you to pulverize them until they stop moving and destroy the remains, but there's a lot worse like Otherworldly, Planar, and Eldritch.. I'm trying to make sure we don't get any more contracts for those."
>Tossing a glance back to the hated paperwork, the fuchsia mare turns to face the northern entrance, left foreleg motioning dismissively.
"Nah, he's at the Clinic half the time anyhow, our Doctor, the older unicorn to your left, likes his company and the fact that she'll smoke with him. If not I'll ask one of the Lunars to get him. Probably bringing an entire sack of mangoes."
>Snout scrunching heavily, the tiny bottle floats well ahead of Naliyna as she paces back towards where you came from, her tone flat and unamused.
"It's called Ambrosia, probably one of the LEAST illegal items I've gotten my hooves on in the past five or so years. Open the cork and it puffs into vapor, kinda like one of those human bombs. This is just an ounce, it can knock out an entire squad if they're all nose to nose."

>Following the glowing Crystal pony out, then west towards a large, all steel exterior building, the southern entrance had a giant green 'CLINIC' painted on the front.

>Passing around the southwest corner, you're greeted by the sight of a deep purple robed equine standing in front of three large, orange hexagonal pods floating above the relatively short grass, and a single much larger pod.
>Interestingly, underneath each one was a large, slowly forming patch of ice.
>Head turning left towards you and Naliyna, the orange, yellow, and white snout, partially covered by a large white bandage, was that of a Crystal pony as well, similarly glowing in the red moonlight.
>Facing the other mare, the robed one offers a short bow, standing up and cracking a youthful smile, her voice sounding much like chimes speaking.
"Citadel Combat Medic Frost Egg, Alchemy Division. Pleased to meet you Miss Naliyna. I've heard a rumor that your team did fight lava and won."
>Getting a small shake of her head in return, the fuchsia mare lifts her left foreleg, placing it squarely on her snout as she sighs drolly.
"It's herd-first now, and yes, but just barely."
"I'll have to meet your stallion while I'm here and offer my congratulations! That aside, whom is this human?"
"I'd.. rather you didn't right now, Thrill's kinda mad at something. This is Mister Jose Gallo, or Cheto. He's not from Maredrid, or Mareixico, and doesn't speak those languages."
"I've never heard anypony from either of those, but I can guess the name is related. So, what are your orders?"

2ce39 No.205782

>The sympathetic look and remark from the mare made Mallia's smile falter again, downcasting her eyes sadly whilst the two spoke to eachother.
>She didn't bother making a remark regarding the initial statement regarding her squad; even if her mouth partly opens once to say something; even taking in a soft breath…
>But then she just didn't. She closed her mouth again and looked away, sideglancing towards the Stormtrooper again, looking at the taller, armored man to gaze at the back of his helmet.
>Her gaze finds itself becoming distant, and deadpan. Though her vibrant glance had dulled in that moment, her eyes hooding somewhat.

>But then, after two had spoken, she weakly smiled and returned her eyes back to the mare, making a humorous remark:

"My favorite color is green, anyways."
>The Enginseer smirked cheekily towards the pegasus xenos, as a slow sigh exited her nose and a hand reached back to rub at her still flushed, rosey cheeks.
>Her smirk quickly flattens when she begins to return to a more serious tone, pursing into the corner of her lip.

>Her voice dies in her throat, and she finds herself glancing about aimlessly, trying to focus her thoughts with little success.
>Even her auspex's analysis receives a bit of interference in receiving it as her strong emotions scrambles her to the point of only being able to think of specific things…
"H-… What did you mean when you said that I managed to impress an alicorn?"
"I don't understand…"

>Mallia's eyes focused on Raindrop once more, with a slight squint, as she tightly hugged herself; drawing a hand back to her eyes to rub a bit of a wetness from it.

(There's nothing impressive about me. I'm a cog in the machine. One in a billion… Why not the others?)

>She visibly clenches her jaw and scowls at the water. At nothing in particular; glowering through the ground and far away.

>For just a moment, she fades so far into her own thoughts that she speaks something aloud, whispering just at the edge of even her own hearing.

"Why me? The others fight twice as hard, and I'm the one who gets to survive? I don't--… I don't get it…"
>Her mechadendrite coils further around her small, almost frail looking frame. Like a snake, it hugs around her legs, reaching to the other side, hanging it's manipulator claw over her shoulder.
>A few more seconds pass, before her eyes snap into focus again, instantly darting to Raindrop again and squinting at the xenos, as her left eye twitches.

"I'm sorry. I-I have so many questions, I don't even know which to ask first."
>The girl giggles nervously, shaking her head to herself as she sat there, in the water, curled up in a small ball of 5'3" Enginseer against the rock.
>Then suddenly Mallia turned her eyes back to the stormtrooper to ask them one question.

"How long have you actually been here, on this world?"

400f7 No.205784

>Making a very sincere attempt not to ask many burning, or potentially Exterminatus level questions, Raindrop smiles deeply, face crinkling in recall.
"Regrowth, renewal. Tasty stuff to graze on.. or make crunchy grass snacks to dry and eat later. A simple color that means everything good. At least, I think so."
>The xenos mare's head tilts before tossing a quick glower at the Scion's armored back, her mood and intent difficult to read.
>Gazing back to you and lifting her shoulders, white and red swirled eyes soften perceptively.
"I don't know why Miss Castella. We don't even dare try and guess why one of the four goddesses do something. They're not like us normal ponies; they're divine, they can't die, they feel everything around them in ways that the smartest unicorns can't even understand. Without their existence Tallus wouldn't exist either. I don't worship them, but I respect their decisions. Even if what they choose looks wrong, it never is."
>Holding a steaming wet wing up in what seemed like a calm down motion, Raindrop exhales slowly.
"Please, just ask what you want. I'll try to explain what I can without scaring or angering you. I'm definitely not the smartest or most tactful pony around but I'm going to ask that you don't kick me in the head like Chisan did."

"Do not engage the xenos for her words, Enginseer. She is.. potentially correct. Our Inquisitor has decreed the four alicorns of this world the.. 'Goddesses of Order'. There isn't a single speck of corruption or taint here no matter how far she has scouted."
>Hearing the Stormtrooper's carapace armor scraping against the boulder, he calls over his shoulder in a deliberately humorless tone.
"Two nights. In comparison the Inquisitor has been here for over two and a half years. She accompanied the first humans to this world.. imagine the Templates she's discovered by now."

2ce39 No.205791

>Mallia, at first, smiled with a heartfelt appreciation to the xenos in spite of everything when she mentioned the meaning of the color. For at least that short while, her eyes glanced to theirs with kindness.
>Yet, when the mare continued talking, the Enginseer inevitably raised and furrowed her brow to the statement; internally baffled that 'divine' beings aside from the Omnissiah could exist in such a way.

>As far as she knew, that was totally heretical. But aside from frowning a tad bitterly to the notion, she didn't respond with overt harshness.

>Instead she briskly turned her head towards the Stormtrooper when he'd speak too.
>His words, in particular, made the frown abate and blink a few times; her slim brow cocking across her forehead in surprise…
(STCs, here?… How?)
>Finally, Mallia began to uncoil herself somewhat, if only to crane her head further over her knees as she speaks up with a distinct interest.

"--I have a curiosity -- just to get my mind back on track,"
>She looked directly at Raindrop, smiling and narrowing her eyes with interest as she speaks, cocking her wet hand to her hair to brush the now wet locks of hair around her head.

"I was--uh… I was told that armor was a sign of status and clothes were a sign of prostitution, and you were wearing a fairly heavy and menacing set."
"… Does that make you a… Knight? And--"
>Mallia suddenly raises her hand, pointing between the two of them -- Stormtrooper and xenos.
"What's this 'contract' you were working on? How come you two are working together on what sounds like mercenary work?"
>Reluctantly the Enginseer pauses, biting her lips as she nearly shotguns the questions at them; prompting her to stifle a giggle whilst she looked at her hand…
>Seeing as it wasn't too clammy yet, she puts it back beneath the water.

>She doesn't immediately stop talking however! As something is blurted out at the last moment, looking directly at the pond itself as she speaks, peeking towards the little hole she'd seen before.

"By the way! My Auspex scanner says there IS something that matches the description of a Vindrack below this pond. It just seems to have already eaten something, so it's not interested in coming up yet."
>She added, nodding her head to herself; looking to Raindrop intently to listen to their response.

3b04d No.205793


>Seeing as they were all wrong apparently at guessing what sort of charades this Chitqu was trying to convey, Spruce offered another solution.

"If you can understand English little guy, can you read and write in it?"
>While Spruce was unable to read English (Hell, he could hardly speak it with his thick accent!) the others could.
>Or at least the unicorn could.
"… But, is what you're trying to point out that there's an invisible portal? Or wall? Trap? Alarm system?"
>He offers ample pause between responses, watching its reaction.

400f7 No.205802

>Wing lowering and sticking her snout down into the water for another mild session of burbling, Raindrop's ears flick curiously at your expressions.
>Lifting her head up, the mare glances towards the scattered pile of armor close to Chisan's protective boulder, cracking a difficult to read smile.
"Both are true for ponies except nobles and royals often wear clothes. Healers usually have a robe, too. I came across that set in an old blacksmith's shop in Stalliongrad about five years ago, right before the problems really hit. There's only a few pegasi Knights left in the world since, well, ponies really don't like armor but that never bothered me. So, I tried it on, fit real well so I bought it. It's a pretty old complete set from way back in the past so it cost me nearly three years of pay. Worth it though."
>Making a rather solemn, or apologetic, expression, the mare's wings lift to rub the sides of her head, swirled eyes turning downwards.
"I.. got done escorting Chisan to the Sea's Bounty outpost last night just to make sure he'd be safe. One of the Matron's daughters asked me if I could give them a hoof for a bit so I said yes. Cove about half a mile away they just scouted had a bunch of stuff washed up inside. Lots of hard shells, rare woods, monster parts, debris of all kinds, the sort of stuff that's really valuable to scavenge. I said I could get at least one human to help out since, you know, hands are way better than hooves and wings at moving stuff around. Went back to the outpost after dusk tonight to get Chisan, he.. kicked me in the head. I don't blame him for being mad about getting roped into it but a verbal contract is law to the Ferron. On the plus side we can take back anything we want and eat as much seafood, fruit, and kelp while we're there. On the down side it's a few hours every night and Chisan's boss has a.. temper. I told her that I'd let her pick through my stuff and she could take anything she wanted. She huffed and said she wanted to study it all, then give it back when done. I'm not sure if I like her much."
>The Stormtrooper had either gone to sleep or was pointedly ignoring the conversation.. either that or caressing his weapons and armor as certain Scions were wont to do.

>Finding that the pond was over the hot spring plateau and down the west side of the hill, the best you could do was recall the pict-vid from the micro-cogitator; if you had a rock to throw you'd probably hit the pond with it.

>Finding the location of the pebble-strewn boulders in the relatively small spring between you and Raindrop, it was deeply apparent that the spring wasn't inhabited.

"That's not really surprising."
>Giving an annoyed fishface, Raindrop's eyes roll, probably considering the creature.
"Vindrak are supposed to be fresh water scavengers but they'll go after injured or slow fish, birds, rats, snakes, whatever they can get. If one's hungry they'll even wait right on the shoreline, and if starving they don't hesitate to take on a pony. The underground stream must be pretty slow to let one of them get this far up from the main rivers. They're supposedly pretty tasty but not as good as ocean octopi, or squid.. aaaaand now I'm getting hungry again."

2ce39 No.205810

>For Mallia's credit, she listens to every word with rapt attention. Nodding along with a patient little smile and an attentive look in her eyes; furrowing her brow slightly at the part where she got kicked in the face.
>It wasn't a surprised expression, but merely a light 'ouch' kind of wince.
>Then Mallia went on to narrow her eyes, this time with a more cross frown as Raindrop mentioned the inquisitor. Nodding her head in understanding to that as well.

>It was around when Raindrop began to make that weird 'annoyed' fishface' that Mallia grinned and chuckled in earnest amusement to it, like a child, and began to move her legs.

>She relaxes her posture so that her shoulders were a bit lower, and her legs crossing as she leaned up slightly.
>The woman's petite body remained covered by the mechadendrite clicking and whirring to wrap over her cleavage, and her hands over her waist, lowkey not keen on exposing herself THAT much.

"I understand…"
>The Enginseer's smile widened a little bit more, as her eyes darted a little bit.
"Hey! If you want, we can get out, start drying up, aaaaaaandddd…"
>She puffs her cheeks up slightly and lightly pouts, before shrugging her shoulders somewhat.
"I can share some of my food with you. Not like I don't need it -- I only have four day's worth. Unless you've got food already."
>She grinned, looking at the mare with a genuine, childishly excitable cheer in her green eyes and toothy white smile.
>She even gives a little wiggle up and down, making the water ripple and swish, before she stops and looks at herself again.

"… I just remembered, I don't really have anything to dry myself with."
"… Wah…"
>She sagged back down again. blepping her tongue out of her lips as she pauses… Then instantly changes train of thought.

>She suddenly starts to lean her head in, darting an eye back to Chisan as if to observe him for a second… And then back to the pegasus.

"Out of curiosity… What makes you care about Stormtrooper Chisan to the point of wanting to protect him? Despite having physically attacked you and calling you lots of names…?"
>She lowered her voice to a whisper, fully knowing that the mare's hearing was sensitive enough to catch that while Chisan may have to strain himself.
"Is that a weird question for you?"
>Then she leaned herself back slightly more, waving her hands beneath the surface of the water and idly enjoying the feeling of the warm water passing by her fingers.

>Infact, as she looked down to her hand waving across the water and causing a few waves, she starts getting this mischievous look in her eyes as she started looking at Raindrop again.

(I'm gonna splash this xeno.)
(I will splash the xeno.)
(I will OUTSPLASH the xeno.)

>But she waits. Since she actually wants to hear their response first… Despite her eerily wide smirk she's suddenly getting.

400f7 No.205822

>Stretching wings out of the water and shaking them off, Raindrop's eyebrows raise in mounting expectation, stifling a snicker and turning that into a giggle.
"I'd rather not take something that you might want to save for later, there's been a few teams that've spent weeks elsewhere. Humans love their canned or rubber sealed foods and I don't blame them, some of it's real tasty. They actually use those as a kind of currency between themselves, and-"
>Red and white swirled eyes glancing about, the mare leans forwards, folding her left wing over her mouth so as not to speak loudly.
"There's a couple that trade the best quality stuff for next to nothing! I've even got a couple of those ready to eat ones with the big chocolate bars stashed."
>Grinning quickly, the pegasi's nose twitches back and forth as her face slackens into lazy deviousness, interrupted by the Stormtrooper.
"Don't worry about that, it's not li-"
"I have a towel in my assault pack, ma'am."
"Or.. that works too? Well, it's not a long walk to Razorback and I could carry you pretty easy. Unlike most pegasi I'm sturdy and strong!"
>A large, bright green towel flops over onto the boulder, accompanied by a puffing exhale.
>Still seeing only the top of Chisan's helmet, the Tempestus Scion's visor could be seen, a tiny smoke trail going upwards.
>Judging by the unusually sweet, clean herbal scent that wasn't laden with chemicals, it was probably a real cigar.

>Muzzle quirking several times while trying to decide what to say, the Knight leans forwards in the water, eyes half-lidding in seriousness as her right wing raises once more, partially covering her mouth so as not to speak loudly.

"Not really no, and I don't have a choice. The pony that owns my contract gave me explicit orders to accompany him and to try and stay out of his boss's way whenever possible. Anypony that tries to bend their contract details with Shanis, rather affectionately called 'the Marecenary Queen' for good reasons.. let's just say four hours of in-your-face screaming along with half my pay getting docked is the start, and the punishments quadruple from there. Shanis doesn't allow even the tiniest infraction slip, but that's fine with me. Honestly.. I don't know if I care about him other than being my protectee, but I'm being paid a little better than I thought and there's not many mares that can claim they've been a Mareguard for Razorback. A few hits don't bother me enough to complain, I've had far worse in the past four years."
>Offering a surprisingly content smile, Raindrop leans back once more, then halts, ears flattening against her skull.

>Eyes very slowly narrowing, the raspberry coated pegasus very slowly sinks her soggy wings into the water, nostrils flaring while taking on a challenging expression.

>She knew, or at least suspected that she knew what you currently knew she suspected.

400f7 No.205828

>Running through estimates of physical damage, which were quite extensive, and matching them with the system rebuild, which were even more so, the A.I. facehoofs, again, unable to recover a great deal of corrupted or lost data.

>Sitting down in the projected model, 'Spiral' merely folds its forelegs over barrel, scowling deeply at the environment while speaking aloud.

"Personal reasons based on sympomatic responses of a human-maintained, human-required, transdimensional courier, Class 3 gestalt with minimal cultural contamination aside from dealing with current world leadership and acquisition from over two hundred non-consecutive universes? Eighth dimensional irony puns are beyond my logic to understand, sir. Your reports indicate a lack of Class 3 willingness to interfere with non-human events unless forced to or suffering from abnormal requirements. Based on human mood vectors applied to the information contained within my SURVIVING databanks, I have calculated an abnormally high possibility for the Class 3 in question: it is suffering from traumatic gestalt confinement stress."
>The A.I. turns its attention down to the hooves, snarling in anger with sarcasm as the second default setting.
"So, why do I have to look like a small colored equine again? I'm supposed to look and sound close to human without committing Uncanny Valley suspicion factors so as to provide greater logistical, emotional, and tactical support in field. Apologies in advance if I'm asking the obvious sir, but what kind of IDIOT would do this besides some creepy anime fetishist? I'm fine with these changes, but only if you directly approve them."

>Finding the microscope to have a single dial for magnification, on the right side and in an excellent position no less, the orange liquid focuses into view somewhere around 180 power.

>The first and most troubling find was that it wasn't a liquid at all: entirely composed of bright orange spheres, triangles, hexagons, octagons, and there were much smaller particles that appeared to be far more complex geometric shapes, the ones you were able to pick out neither cuboid nor rectangular.
>Second was the logistical density of said shapes: presumably during active operations it would function as a liquid, most likely due to electromagnetic current mechanics, and was more than advanced enough to function as a form of hive-swarm pattern nanites.
>Last and certainly not least were the tiny microscopic tools, components, potentially raw materials, and micro-circuits, or something similar, attached to all but the spheroid nanites.

"Play message five."
>The lab's roof emits a short buzzing noise, which ceases as an unfamiliar unicorn filly, or perhaps barely a mare, begins speaking in a halting, worried tone.
"Is this working? Oh, the light, I see it now. Spiral, this is.. Pale Amber Glade, you.. you can probably tell that. Um, by my voice I mean. ..I brought mom's books for you from the Underground. She said not to explore the big ruins without her detec.. datac.. analyze thing? I guess. I will leave them in the.. book drop. It is lonely with nopony to play with in the Atrium anymore, the.. bi-ohl-oh-gest is busy a lot now. Um, I have to go before mom knows I'm gone, can you.. come visit me again soon.. please?"

>The Marquis A.I.'s head turns towards you, facial expression flat, for once unwilling to state anything.

5b0b6 No.205829

5ed6f No.205832

>Cheto nods as he processes the information, eyes transfixed on the almost transparent flesh.
“You mean there are ones that are practically invisible save for the eyes?”
(Do these Crystal Ponies have organs?)
>His eyes now meet hers, a smile forming.
“Understandable. Those names don’t sound like good, fun times. I would rather talk rather than simply shoot stuff.”
>Another series of nods comes, now having confirmed there’s little to no worry of slight annoyance from Torven.
(Ambrosia, huh? Sleeping gas sounds like a good grenade for later. Should be careful and try to hide it if what Nalinya says is true. I should ask about it later, after dealing with the Pegasus and bat pony.)

>Cheto nods, giving Egg a small smile.

“Yes I am, Miss Frost. I was thinking of interacting with the Pegasus stallion inside one of the pods here. I brought some food for him, as well as juice if he wants it.”
>He pulls out the dried fruit and juice with many fruit flavors in it.
“Of course, if it doesn’t interfere with protocol and is alright with you, Miss Frost.”
(Strange. I don’t seem to see Torven around. I should ask who’s Nalinya’s trustworthy ponies she’s waiting for.)
>The comment on Nalinya’s stallion is not unnoticed by Cheto, jotting down mentally the pony’s name.
>The name reminds him of something back at his home.
(What a thrill~)

39d1d No.205848

"It seems like even if they did mess up the Order, the Constructs wouldnt stop once they started. Would not be good for anyone."
>Adon listens to Golden Horn slowly poke holes in his theory, whihc was fine with him. At least, now, the chiqtu wasn't an immediate key for experimentation.
>He hoped, at least.
"Ah, I see now. If he is trying to make one, all the more reason to find him and stop it."

>Even though both his questions were wrong, the little creature mimed out its charade once again for him.
"Okay. A circle. And your eyes. We got that."
>He pans over at Spruce, who's thinking the same as him now.
"So you SEE something circular? Where is-do either of you feel that?"
>The Witcher rotates his head around and tries to determine the direction of where that vibrating is coming from.
"Golden Horn, Spruce, I think we need to start moving."
1d6+2[ 1d6+2 = 8 ] <B.Perception: Witcher Sense
1d6+2[ 1d6+2 = 7 ]

39d1d No.205857

>Jeff begins to get a little crackle in the radio as they progress, and he notices he's starting to top out at 60MPH.
>He doesn't want to go any faster than that, in case he needs to make and abrupt stop for maneuver. Last thing he'd want is for everyone to get whipped out of the Dagor. At the least he put his waist seat belt on, he doesn't even know if the belts would hold ponies in correctly or not.
>At any rate, it seemed like Boris had a hand over Mercy to what ever game they were playing. He wonders if the golem knows any poker games.
>But he mainly keeps his eyes on the constructed road, checking his GPS to see how much distance they've covered so far.

>Sunny begins to… kinda explain her contract to him.
>She didn't exactly read it through, which he sympathizes with. Paperwork's blows.
>To his surprise, Boris chimed in and gave them both a lesson on Tartarus Isle mercenary contract breakdown. Which was honestly kind of nice, and convenient.
"Yeah, pretty much what all of Boris said. It's not like there aren't ANY rules in Razorback. We've just happened to adopt most of the Lunar ones. Trust me, I tried implementing some rules and conduct before. No one wanted ANY of it, so now it's more of a 'do what you want, but don't piss anyone off or get in trouble' kind of deal."
>He breaks his monologue to humbly point at himself.
"And as Fortress Administrator, you'd be hard pressed to find a human with more authority in Razorback. So if I say something's okay, than it's most likely okay to do."

>He hears Mercy shuffle around in the back seat, and a light tummy grumble from Sunny pieces it together from him.

>Realizing himself that he really hasn't eaten since the Citadel defense, before that even.
"Mercy, there should be a labeled ration container under the right seat full of granola bars and dried fruit. Unless someone didn't refill it."
>He's gonna need a proper meal when he gets back, and probably take it easy for the rest of the night.

2ce39 No.205876

>Mallia's head gives a quick, acknowledging nod after that informative statement, mentally keeping the nickname and real name in mind for later.
>While, at the same time, she starts swallowing her lips in an attempt to stop grinning as her body tenses up -- watching as the pegasus assumes a readier posture.
>The Enginseer gives a couple accidental snorts as she just barely manages to not break down into fits of giggling, the bridge of her nose crinkling up like an accordion.

>Her eyes briefly dart off to the side, taking note of the stormtrooper taking a smoke break in the background, eyeing that smoke trail.

>She starts puffing her rosey cheeks, barely stifling a giggle. And looks back to the knight.
"So… "
>Mallia puts on a deeper, more 'dramatic' tone despite her lips quivering and being physically incapable of hiding her playfulness.
>She very softly coughs out a chuckle, as her mechadendrite lowkey starts to whirr, and lower; partly submerging beneath the water.
"I guess I'll have to get out of the water, and then we'll just Wet a while to dry up."
>She deadpans at Raindrop Raspberry as she puns in her general direction, distracting her with water puns as she momentarily sits back, nodding her head to herself.
>She lets a second pass… And then…

"So WATER we waiting for!?"
>The Enginseer, who promptly squeed like a excessively eager child and bearing a massive grin now, suddenly leans back forward and pushes out her mechadendrite to throw a bit wave of water at the mare!!
>Hastily standing up to start getting out of the water, while following it up with several girly and half-hearted slaps on the water towards the xeno to ATTACK her with WATER SPLASHING.

>Uncontrollable giggling instantly ensues, augmenting her attack with terrible jokes and more girly splashing towards the pegasus xeno.

"HEHEH!! W-Watery you going to do now, xeno?!"

(I have been waiting for this!! To get into a bath again just for this!!)
(I told you, mom! I told you I'd get to beat the xenos at this too!!)

99fef No.205899

File: 1550628311893.png (234.37 KB, 1193x1024, 1466998919088.png)

>She smiled at the almost encyclopedic recital, at least someone was paying attention to the rules.
"Thanks Boris, I don't think there were many modifications in my case, but I should probably get a copy of the actual contract just in case. In the simplest possible terms, I'm here to replace Vanil so he doesn't have to do the more dangerous stuff. No one likes sending foals into danger."
>Listening to the philosophical conundrum on books, Sunny frowned at the assertion that books caused problems.
>It wasn't exactly false, but could use more clearing up.
"Books aren't the problem exactly, it's how the knowledge in them is used, though you already know that. While knowledge itself isn't inherently good or bad, some of it can only really be used for bad ends, this is mostly why some try to hide or destroy it. Yet, everything known was once unknown, and making something unknown again will not keep it that way forever. Better to know than not in order to show why some knowledge just isn't used, and to possibly counter it when it is."
>Sunny kept her eye forward, watching the scenery flash by as she concluded.
"There's risk either way, and only time can tell which methods are more effective. I'm obviously of the school of remembering why we don't use the bad stuff. Imagine if a pony stuck their hoof in a fire and forgot about it after, what's to stop them from doing it again? Of course, you're going to get the occasional madpony who'll do it regardless and try to burn down the house, but if everyone else knows that fire burns, they'll see the madpony trying to stick their hoof in the fire and be in a better position to stop them from hurting themselves and others."
>The mare shuffled uncomfortably, having trapped herself in this discussion. She didn't like it.
"Though… It's a good idea to respect the laws of wherever you are, even if they do appear backwards to you."

>Clamming up after her long winded philosophical stance on books, Sunny occupied herself with inspecting the seatbelt, prodding at it with a hoof.
>She really needed to keep a lid on it, she wasn't doing herself any favours here.
>Just do the job. Just do the job. Just do the job.
"As I said, sir, I do what I'm told, when I'm told to do it, and how I'm told to do it. Everything else works itself out that way and is a much simpler set of rules to follow."
>She proceeded to withdraw one of the ration bars in her saddlepack, unwrapped it and nibbled on it.
>At least this way she wouldn't have to talk.
>And it would stop her from making a mess of the shotgun.

400f7 No.205920

"Eyes, claws, teeth, and 'other' parts that I don't wanna talk about."
>Turning an irritated expression back, Naliyna's eyes roll in well practiced disgust.
"Most of us would but we don't get a choice half the time. Gotta do what we gotta do or else."

>Slinging the satchels and packs off to sit down, Naliyna nudges the flaps open, poking her hoof around in each while the robed tricolor Crystal mare emits a low, resonating hum, one of the pod sliding out away from the others.

"Not at all Mister Gallo, after examination I've decided that it would be stupid to open the batpony's stasis cell. And excuse me if I'm not saying your correctly, my linguistics are rather.. poor."
>Turning about to peer at the long orange hexagon, the Combat Medic gently rubs her nose with a knee, frowning deeply.
"I have been studying these in the meantime to discern what era they may be from. So far I haven't been able to confirm much more than Doctor Tipper's early suspicions: one young, heavily Construct technology implanted batpony mare. Upon further examination of what little resonance I could glean, approximately forty percent of her body has been replaced; now I don't want to even consider opening that one. One severely wounded and likely crippled young minotaur bull, that one I have low confidence in awakening without requesting permission from the Hegemony. A definite male Tallus Basilisk with minor plasma burns and missing some scales. The few I ponifially know whom can speak their archaic language were injured during the invasion so I've sent a request to the Villages. Last but not least, one moderately injured pegasus, either a young stallion or a mature Ferron. No internal organ damage, eight or so fractured bones, three stab wounds, one large.. foreign object that I can't quite make out. I'm positive that any gift would be suitably calming due to the circumstances."

>Hearing sharp, hard clicks on steel above, a pair of half-lidded, cherry red diamond eyes stare down at you from atop the Clinic.

>The eyes blink sleepily, a quartet of large, blunt white fangs can be seen accompanied by a loud, refreshed yawn, Naliyna calling upwards.
"Hey Torven! Have a good nap?"
>Blinking once more, the same clicking occurs, only now in sequence, a dull, barely perceptible pony smaller than Naliyna walks straight down the wall towards the ground, speaking in a sharply male, cheerful yet perpetually sleepy tone.
"Very. Tipper and I shared three bowls of the best she had, we didn't even get hungry for once. I bet she's sleeping now, too."
>Hopping off the exterior into the glow of both Crystal ponies, Naliyna tosses out a number of brightly glow red gems for better illumination, Torven standing up straight and stretching out with another yawn.
>The stallion, a dark blue, was defined by the blunted muzzle and adequately muscled physique, much like a pegasus, except for sharper ears with small fuzzy tufts on the tips, large, shiny leathery bat wings with three 8" long, triple-jointed claws on the main wing joint folded on his sides.
>Definitely not a predatory sort, but could probably defend himself well.
>Curious diamond eyes blink upwards at you, Torven lifting the left wing's first claw in a slow, greeting motion.
"Good evening Mister Gallo. I recognize the analogue of your accent, Mareixico is one of my favorite countries to vacation in. I'm Torven, mapmaker and.. some time explorer. Also a batpony, but I only eat fruit and berries."
"Don't forget cookies!"
"And those too, but only when Allys makes them."
"Why not Pella's? Hers are good too!"
"No, not enough butter."
"Yes, really."

>Visibly unperturbed by the batpony's arrival, Frost Egg rears up while snickering, placing both forehooves on the pod's side and leaning down to inspect it.

"Any more butter and both of you will need drill sessions every night."
"That's not true, I swim two hours every night!"
"Batponies don't get fat, we just sleep longer."
>Turning an amused tricolor eye in your direction, the purple robed mare shrugs helplessly, visibly wanting to make a joke but unable to.
"Regardless of questionable dietary habits, shall we open this one?"

5ed6f No.205927

>Cheto frowns
(A touchy subject. Better not ask anymore of that.)

>His head moves in a nodding motion.

“I see. We have one that we cannot speak. What is the language in question? It seems like I am going to be cooped up studying with how many different languages I’ll have to learn now.”
>A chuckle.

>At first, Gallo’s body tenses up at hearing the batpony on the roof making clicking noises on top of him, but relaxes when Nalinya calls him out.

>His head cocks to the side slightly, spotting his bat wings and extra fluff on top of Torven’s ears as he walks down and introduces himself.
“That was quite a stunt you pulled, walking down the wall like that. Anyways, you seem like the perfect pony to explain to me about the bat pony and possibly the Pegasus I’ll try to give food for.”
(Maybe all of the races of this land and what languages should I be on the lookout at the library while I’m at it. Maybe even let me touch those wings. I've always wondered how they feel.)
>It’s a good thing he ate those cookies before listening to all of this talk, or he would’ve asked for some.
(Butter is overrated. Still good, though.)

>José nods.

“As long as it’s the Pegasus and is either stable or be able to be stabilized, sure.”
(Here’s hoping there’s not a panic attack or something like that when he wakes up.)

fa987 No.205937

>Pareidolia continues to peer into the microscope while responding to the Spiral A.I..

"There is nothing I can do to alleviate that stress. I have no intention of interacting with a representation of the human gestalt any more than necessary."

>His eyes widen in genuine amazement as he shifts the slide mount to scan through the sample.

[Incredible. Then these Constructs are silicon life? An advanced level of biological analogs.]

>He pulls away and takes off his gloves before preparing another slide, this time sampling from the mostly intact hull he had not absorbed residual power from.

"Your current form is a limitation on the number of options the Class 3 allowed me to select from. All preset personalities were pooled from its knowledge of Razorback pony staff members. It has no bearing on my mission parameters or performance, so I opted for one that best suited my current needs."

1d6+6[ 1d6+6 = 12 ]< Empire Microscope
1d6[ 1d6 = 2 ]< Apprentice Research
1d6[ 1d6 = 2 ]

>He sighs as the message concludes, still viewing the next sample.

"A contact from the Canterlot Underground. He must have successfully picked up those books without alerting anyone to his presence, since representatives from the Underground expressed no knowledge he had been there. Apparently he also possibly needed a device to detect something in the ruins he planned to explore. Why did he not recruit anyone?"

400f7 No.205939

>Recalling Denra's favoritism for all games of chance, it was rumored he tended to lose much more often than winning, not like he cared much for it, it was the thrill that mattered for him.
>Some of the more impulsive humans and Razorback's marefriends were probably responsible.

>Boris and Mercy toss out a quick hand-hoof-wing match in the back seat, muttering at each other in annoyance.

1d6[ 1d6 = 1 ] <Boris
1d6[ 1d6 = 3 ] <Mercy
>Easily finding and tossing a #10 can with the plastic lid into the front, it was about half full still, probably from Pella's newly established line of cookie, fruit gel, oatmeal bars, and 'secret ingredient' bars, the blind pegasus giggling in sincere, yet painful amusement.
"Try the white ones Jeff, best Pella has made.. so far."
>That was either a pun relating to her vegetarian inclination, or something else that was definitely platonic.

>Eyeing the TacPad briefly, your team was nearly a quarter of the way to the marked crypt, the road leading into large patches of native Moors trees turning into vast groves of giant mango, peach, apple, other tropical fruit trees.

>Of course, there were a few scattered batponies sleeping on the edges of the road, large wicker baskets filled with ripe fruit, and even some tiny piles of newly found stones.
>Now those were worrying.

>Standing up on the back seat, Boris makes a careful hop onto the front console, turning around and sitting cross legged to face the rear.
"Shanis ensures all pony contracts are to be modified due to individual specifications, her rules are flexible unlike most mercenary companies according to Sehr Denra. It is good that Vanil has been replaced, he lacks maturity, experience, and tact."
>Holding a fist up for examination, the Belligerent rumbles in a stony, flat tone.
"Miss Mercy is partially correct, however, you are correct as well Miss Feathers. Writer's bias is a known problem factor which can be greatly exaggerated between varying factions or sub-factions on a single continent. Your example is akin to a Solar faction member declaring that all forms of Lunar-only magic are wrong due to being shadowed, dark, vampiric, and defiling the concepts of openness, light, and warmth. A Lunar faction member of the same maretality yet opposing ideology would decree that all forms of Solar-only magic are wrong due to their blinding, unnecessarily revealing, irrelevantly hot nature which therefore nullifies the safeties used for nocturnal circumstances, such as exploration and breeding. An honest intent to teach knowledge to others matters more than the direct usage of the knowledge contained. All other meanings are to be considered as contrived ideological burdens without substance or neutrality. Do you disagree Miss Mercy?"
>What follows is utter silence from the back seat, although you could sense the completely blind pegasi's prickly stare towards Boris.
"I rest my case. To clarify this problem Miss Feathers, I am well versed in the laws of Miss Mercy's home city of Cloudsdale. Their irrationally strict, ultra traditionalist laws require the comprehension of a lifelong fatalist combined with the insultingly self-superior ignorance of certain Canterlot nobles. To call Cloudsdale 'stupidly backwards' would be the same as calling ice cold, or fire hot."

>Finding the seatbelt adjustable, it would easily fit around you, should it be needed.

>Biting into the freshly made mixed tropical fruit bar, it was a good blend of sweet, salty, and even had a few tiny clusters of kola nut chunks.

400f7 No.205941

>Taking a deep inhale, Raindrop Raspberry flexes her wings out, carefully shuffling forwards into a near-standing position, an expression of blatant suspicion across her face.
"You might want to salt those puns Miss Castella, I'll be drying them out shortly.."
>Eyes slamming shut, the pegasus xeno snaps her left wing up defensively, throwing the right out in a wide circle, sending a thin but large sheet of hot water in your direct.
1d6+5[ 1d6+5 = 11 ] <M.Melee: Splash
1d6+5[ 1d6+5 = 6 ]
1d6+5[ 1d6+5 = 10 ]
1d6+5[ 1d6+5 = 7 ]

"Yes Inquisitor, what are your orders?"
>Somewhere behind, the sound of a carapace glove slapping into a carapace helmet can be heard, followed by snorting half-laughter.
"No ma'am, the Enginseer is performing tactical aquatic operations against the pegasus Knight assigned to me.. no ma'am, I will not interfere."

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