*The Last Survivor-Prime Reloaded

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Dumastin
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Joined: 13 May 2010, 14:28

*The Last Survivor-Prime Reloaded

Post by Dumastin » 15 Aug 2017, 08:13

[CHAT] Dumastin - Silas took his first steps down off the landing ramp quickly, closing his eyes and drawing in a deep breath as he took in the sounds of his home city, the ever-boisterous New Haven. He only indulged for a moment, though, before turning around and looking back into the shuttle. “You coming?” Idly, his right hand went above his shoulder, touching the wrapped hilt of the sword now hanging at his back, as if to reassure himself that it was still there. He’d found it floating in the wreckage of the Sanctum, and while it no longer resonated with the great powers it had once held, he had grown rather close with Soulmirror over the course of their brief partnership. He still wondered if the blade was ‘dead,’ or if the incredible stresses Dumastin had subjected it to had simply drained it of power. Whether the effect was temporary or permanent. He’d carry it in either case, though, until he knew for sure.

[CHAT] Thousand steps out of the shadows and onto the landing ramp, obviously having been quite busy during the trip. His head was once again on his shoulders, a long plain brown robe covering the rest of his body. His “normal” hand -sans artificial flesh- emerged from the right sleeve, looking for all the world like the hand of a cyberpunk skeleton, the ebon gem of his absorption node glittering dully in the palm. It grasps the handle of a large case, containing a number of spare parts and scrap for continued repairs.. From the other sleeve emerged the end of a thin, wiry makeshift limb ending in a three-pronged “claw” similar to what might be seen in an arcade, if a touch more reliable- the clawlike hand currently holds the detached hand of the original limb. Beneath the robe, a pair of similar thin, wiry makeshift limbs emerge, the end of each being a flat bit of metal, upturned slightly at the tip, like an extremely miniature pair of skis. His intact right eye flits about, while the damaged left eye has been removed entirely, leaving an empty socket in his skullike metal head. He pauses at the bottom of the ramp, taking in the scene with his eye and with his partially-rebuilt scanner array, before nodding to Silas. ‘All set…’ The android focuses his attention then on the blade on Silas’ back. It was quite familiar, though the last time he had seen its like, it all but throbbed with raw power of various kinds. As it stands now though…. The android focuses his scanners on the blade, searching for a trace of anything.

[CHAT] Dumastin - Silas didn’t pay attention to Thousand’s appearance, having had time to get used to it on the trip. Still, other people moving through this public spaceport did notice, and staring wasn’t terribly uncommon. “We don’t have too far to go. Try and keep up if you can. We shouldn’t need a ride.” He bounced from foot to foot, the return to New Haven making him itch to pull on a patrol helmet and go for a run. He resisted the urge, but it was still there. As for Thousand’s scanners… The blade didn’t have the feeling of raw power that it had once emitted, and it seemed to resonate more with Silas’s own natural ki field. But beneath that… Thousand could detect that something had changed about the blade on a basic level. Whatever Dumastin had done to it had likely altered it permanently, and those energy readings… it was certainly more focused, more quiet than before, but if anything, it was hard to say that the blade’s power had actually been *diminished,* even if the power was hard to detect.

[CHAT] Thousand, despite the makeshift nature of his limbs, is nonetheless able to keep pace with Silas pretty effectively- while the limbs would unlikely stand up to actual combat, and were slightly less flexible, their ability to slide along the ground easily with each step made up the difference, giving the androids gait an appearance of some kind of hybrid of walking/running and skating. He ignores the stares for the moment, glancing around as he follows Silas, before calling out to him to hold for a moment as he ducks into a nearby convenience store. A few moments later, he emerges with a pack of cigarettes and lighter in his good hand; he opens the pack and lights one immediately, eliciting more strange stares- in his normal state he’d just appear to be another human smoker, but an obviously damage robot puffing away at a cigarette was a strange sight indeed. The android soon catches back up to Silas, his gaze fixed on the blade at his back. The readings were strange, was it really the same blade? ‘So, um… where did you find this thing?’ Resting the cigarette between his lips, he reaches out with his good hand and lightly touches the hilt with his fingertips.

[CHAT] Dumastin - Silas deftly stole one of the cigarettes, then stuck it in his mouth. He held up his thumb and middle finger next to the tip of the cigarette, and snapped them, putting a tiny jolt of ki into it to spark the cigarette alight, then took a good pull at it. He exhaled slowly, puffing out a cloud of smoke before him as he continued to lead Thousand through the city streets. “I think it found me, honestly. I quit my job, went to go train somewhere secluded while I sorted out some tough feelings. The Thorned came here to New Haven, you know. New Haven’s police department employs a couple of special-purpose full-Ascended squads…” His fingers idly went to his chest, and he closed his eyes and took a deep draw at the cigarette. God, but it felt strange not having a badge there. “I used to be a squad captain for the Northstars. Fast-deployment disaster response, fugitive recovery, we did a little bit of everything… Didn’t matter against that monster. Everything we threw at him, everyone, he trashed us. Even tried to use a special takedown tech, an energy-combining special that I’ve never seen someone take and stay standing. He barely even flinched.” He shook his head, pulling the stub of the cigarette from his mouth, holding it between his fingers, and incinerating it down to a puff of ash with another jolt of ki. “He seemed to take an interest in me. Maybe because he knew me; I don’t know how much of Dumastin was in that monster, but like I said, I flew with the old crew for a while. Most of the force that deployed that day survived, for a given value of the word, but there at the end, when we ran out of things to throw at him… He killed a couple of my officers, just to mess with me. Or scare me, or motivate me, I don’t know which.” His fist tightened. “One day, while I was training, I think I did come to peace with it. It was when I resolved to gain the strength to crush him. Then the sword appeared before me. It seemed… to be searching for someone. Maybe it found what it was looking for, who knows.”

[CHAT] Thousand got a faraway look in his eye at Silas’ discussion of the Thorned. Memories of his own few encounters with the demon prior to its.. Rebirth? Reincarnation? Just rename? Whatever, before the Thorned became the ally known as Iapetus, at any rate. ‘I, too, clashed with the Thorned on a couple of occasions. At its strongest, it was just as overwhelming as you say. We survived the first encounter only by virtue of divine intervention, and the second… well, that one nearly cost me dearly as well. My friends managed to survive the encounter, and it was eventually brought under control, but I blew out most of my capacity in an attempt to breach its armor- I don’t even know if the attempt was successful, or if the Thorned flinched... This, recent struggle…’ The androids voice shook. ‘Is not the first time that I ended up unconscious for the climax while my friends bled. It would appear to be the last time, though…’ The android lit another cigarette as soon as the first burned down to the filter. And his head is constantly turning in every which direction, as if expecting something to jump from the shadows at any point. At every blind intersection, he hesitates, peering around the corner before walking across, going to great lengths to avoid presenting his back to a direction he hasn’t checked within the past few seconds. He shakes his head violently for a moment before continueing to speak. ‘The Thorned was an interesting case… despite its power and penchant for destruction, it proved a potent ally even before emerging as the Thorned, and again after it was brought to heel. I don’t know if I’ll ever fully understand what motivated him. I wonder if Iapetus survived the encounter somehow?’ He becomes quiet again for a long moment, before asking in a low voice: ‘How did you…. I mean, after losing all of your friends like that… what is there-’ The androids head suddenly snaps to one side, focusing on what he had thought was movement in the corner of his eye, good arm raised at guard for a moment, before he slowly lowers it and returns his gaze to Silas. ‘What is LEFT after something like that?’

[CHAT] Dumastin - Silas halted at that last question. A streetlight overhead sputtered and flickered, and… his shoulders seemed to shake slightly, his back to Thousand. “I-” His voice cracked for a moment. “Took me a long time to work my way around to something like an answer for that one. I mean… I fought as hard as I could, with everything I had, and it wasn’t anywhere near enough. I don’t think I can just go back to the way things were, because I knew that every day I walked into the station, I would have noticed the faces that weren’t there. And I didn’t lose as many people as you did.” He looked back around at Thousand, his face tight. “I still don’t know for sure. I just know that I can’t go back, but I can’t face their memories if I just crawl down a hole.” His fingertips brushed Soulmirror’s hilt gently, and he felt a tiny ghost of reverberation. So the sword still recognized him, it seemed. “I mean to become a man who can make a difference, next time. I wasn’t strong enough to fight the Thorned, and nowhere near strong enough to fight the Crimson Queen, with or without the blade’s power. Maybe next time someone like them appears, that’ll still be the case. But it won’t be for lack of trying. There are monsters in this universe that still deserve hunting. It’s something.”

[CHAT] Thousand shakes his head slowly. ‘I think you’re more martial minded than I am, sorry to say. My combat functions, believe it or not, are wholly secondary. And…’ A million thoughts race through the androids mind, even as he continually sweeps the area for potential threats. He can’t just unload everything on this guy- it’s not fair! But he had no words for it. He had only -just- started to accept this universe as home, only for his “family” for lack of a better word to be wiped out in a day. His original home was gone, and everything that makes this universe home, also gone. He admires Silas’ convinction, even in the face of what he’s seen, but… can he mirror it? What ties him here, anywhere? Who is left to defend? What difference is there still to make? He agreed that there were certainly still monsters out there likely to arise, particularly after such a disruption to the balance of power, but… he can’t seem to bring himself to care. Pausing to glance down a nearby alley, the second cigarette burning close to the filter, he speaks sideward towards Silas. ‘I like the idea of making a difference, I just… I don’t know what’s left to fight for, or if I even still have it in me to fight.’ Thousand makes this realization in realtime even as he says it- despite looking for trouble at every corner, and a portion of his arsenal remaining intact… (Can I motivate myself to fight, even just to protect myself? Or would I just let the end come?) A small part of him even longed for it, even as a larger part saw ghosts around every corner. He flicks aside the butt of his second cigarette, but not before using it to light a third. ‘Sorry, I daresay I’m not making the best company right now. Do you drink? I could use one..’ The androids eyes alight on a dimly lit bar a few blocks down.

[CHAT] Dumastin - Silas came to a halt once more. “Yeah, a drink sounds good, but it’ll have to wait.” He pulled a slip of paper from his pocket, scanned over it once more and then looked over the surroundings. “We’re here.” He tilted his head and indicated for Thousand to follow him into the last alley they’d passed. He kept looking down at the paper and glancing around, passing several security doors that presumably served as service entrances. He seemed to be counting under his breath. “You don’t have to be so jumpy. I grew up in this city. It’s pretty safe most of the time, and a lot of the types that might be inclined to give you any trouble are going to recognize my face and know better.” He stopped at a door, looked down at the paper again-using a spark of ki to light it-and tapped a sequence into a keypad next to it. The door’s magnetic locks clicked open, and Silas pulled the door open. “After you.” Once they were inside, he shut the door behind them and looked around. The place was deserted, but looked like some sort of office. There were signs that it was used during business hours, signs that humans used the place regularly; lots of workstations, with cubicle walls, and a sort of baked-into-the-wall smell of strong coffee. Silas picked up a flyer from one of the desks. “This place is… Huh.” He looked around. “Factor Games. It’s a development studio, small and independent, came out of nowhere just a few… years ago…” He flipped the flyer open and skimmed through it. “I remember now. They introduced some kind of next-generation VR arcade system, and made several games for it. Some really popular arcades run their equipment. Fighting, space and air dogfighting... “ He offered the flyer to Thousand. “I had no idea Prime was involved somehow.”

[CHAT] Thousands looks over Silas’ shoulder at the flier before taking it himself, with something approaching interest for a change. ‘A game studio…? Featuring… full immersion VR, and Prime is involved? Safe bet that this is more than just a game then… Prime seems to be as obsessive about collecting data as I once was, I wonder what sort of information he’d glean from this?’ He stoops, distracted for a moment from this momentary diversion, opening up a computer tower beneath a nearby desk, and attaching a long cable from his midsection to a connector within the case. ‘I should be able to worm my way through their network and grab logs, records, data, whatever, if I have an idea of what we’re looking for here. What does a game studio have to do with anything, much less Prime, I wonder?’ He takes a seat in the cheaply-built office chair before the desk, though turning the seat around so that it faced the entrance to the cubicle. ‘I have something somewhat similar to a VR setup, in a manner of speaking. I wonder if I could offer Prime some assistance. What is our goal here, anyway?’ His normal relative stillness was completely absent, the android rotating the chair slightly from side to side and bouncing one leg as he sits.

[CHAT] Dumastin - Silas looked down at the instructions he’d been given. “We’re supposed to head back to the conference rooms, but I’m curious what he’s up to here, as well. I’m not familiar with the games, so I don’t know what his goals are there.” He pocketed the paper and started looking around the office while Thousand worked. It looked like a couple dozen people worked here, which didn’t seem like enough given the relative complexity of the game… “I’ll bet that there aren’t very many programmers here. How much you want to bet that Prime built the bones of the game himself? Look at these stations, the way they’re built…” He poked his head in one of the conference rooms. “Yeah. I’ll bet anything these are artists and designers, not programmers. They probably assume, or are told, that the backbone work and QA goes on elsewhere with another team. Prime never claimed to have much of a knack for artistic creativity.” He looked back to Thousand. “Getting anything?”

[CHAT] Thousands eyes widen as his interface decodes and works its way through the system. ‘I think you’re probably right there. This is… way overkill for any kind of game I can think of. He could cut the resources used for the physics engine by a factor of one hundred, and still be well beyond the threshold of any organic mind I’ve encountered to differentiate it from real world physics. It’s on par with my own simulation engine in terms of complexity, and dwarfs it in terms of capacity- and mine is used for stringent data analysis and simulation for real-world purposes, not for gaming. And the level of detail that goes into the players avatars is something else entirely! My system uses a basic nerve mapping to replicate the connected individuals body in the environment with near perfect accuracy, but actually designing and emulating an entire individual from scratch? I wonder if this isn’t being used for psychological evaluation of players as well- I hear a lot can be learned about someone just from character creation.’ He pauses a moment. ‘It’s far more data than I have the capacity to handle at the moment, what with how full my buffers already are. I’m going to snag a few key bits here and there, but this warrants revisting after I…’ He trails off. (After I work through my buffer and relive everything…) he shakes his head, disconnecting the cable. ‘Definitely have to come back here at some point. But…. I’m curious what we’re doing here, who you’re working for?’ Thousand slips sideward into one of the conference rooms, immediately moving to the far end from the door and placing his back to the wall, scanning the room visually.

[CHAT] Dumastin - Silas frowned. “That’s more than I expected… That’s crazy.” He mused, wondering what Prime could possibly do with all of that data. Sighing and shaking his head, he took out the directions again. “Conference room, step inside, shut door…” He muttered to himself as he shut the door behind himself and locked it. He jerked his hand back as the sound of magnetic bolts sliding home made the door shudder, and he gave the door a casual inspection. “Hmm. There’s a wood veneer, but this isn’t a wooden door. Metal core? That’s unusual…” He looked around the room with Thousand, then back at the instructions. “Projector?” He turned the lights off at the switch, then reached over to prod the on-switch for the high-grade projector mounted from the ceiling, then entered another code on the keypad attached to it. Light spilled over the blank white wall at the back of the room, starting off with the Factor Games logo, only to be replaced with… Prime’s wireframe face?

[CHAT] Prime appeared on the video screen. “Entry code accepted.” The face disappeared, replaced by the projection of a door; the door slowly swung open, revealing a passageway beyond. Following that passage opened up into what appeared to be some kind of server room, and at its center, lounging in an elevated chair-almost a throne of sorts-was Prime himself, in one of his vaguely-skeletal, chrome-plated battle bodies. “Ah, this is a surprise. I wasn’t expecting word so soon. Silas Henries, it’s been quite some time since we spoke, hasn’t it? And Thousand. Glad to see you.” He seemed unsure that they’d been coming. Perhaps because, with the HELIOS network down, the other gestalts hadn’t been able to warn him?

[CHAT] Thousand had been literally leaning against the portion of the wall that had unexpectedly changed into an open door, nearly falling flat on his back as it opened. He catches himself on one of the makeshift feet- mostly. It skids backwards along the floor with a screech, Thousand’s body dropping nearly into a full split before he recovers, jumping back to his feet and whirling on Prime, a frantic look on his face and a faint globe of energy already beginning to form in his shaking palm. The energy disappates a moment later, as a look of recognition crosses his face. He shifts to one side, away from the open doorway, to the nearby corner of the room, leaning into that after staring at it with an untrusting look for a moment. He speaks now, in an unsteady voice. ‘Prime… surprised to see you here. Er…’ He trails off for a moment, eyes flitting from Silas to Prime and back. ‘What…. What exactly are you doing here with this game company, anyway?’

[CHAT] Prime shrugged. “Pursuing a hobby. I found myself with quite a bit in the way of financial resources, after all, and after I got tired of upgrading my enclave here, I became bored. Developing the game and the associated technology took some time, of course, but the data has been more than valuable. Why, my specifications for combat drones alone skipped two generations worth of design in the course of a single one-week “Infinite Starfighter” tournament, with a corresponding increase of efficiency on the squad-command level of something approaching sixteen percent.” He seemed quite satisfied with himself. “I assume you two came here at the behest of one of my severed gestalts, yes?” He looked between them, noticing a short nod from Silas. “I’m sorry, but you may have to explain what you need. I’m afraid that, cut off from my other gestalts, I’m not quite sure what the chain of logic was that wound up having you sent here.” He cast a gaze over Thousand. “Although I can probably guess.”

[CHAT] Thousand slides down the wall, coming to a seated position on the floor in the corner opposite Prime, keeping the nearby doorway in the corner of his eye. ‘That’s actually a very good question. I’ve just been following along, essentially, since…’ He chokes for a moment, shakes his head violently, and continues. ‘Since my defeat at the Sanctum.’ The word defeat was stressed, though Silas and possibly Prime may question that usage of the word. He continues, in a monotone: ‘I’m not entirely sure what the goal is here overall… for now, it’s just a stop for me on the way back to my ship and some much needed spare parts. Of course I’ll help out however I can, but… even the things I’m relatively good at don’t really seem to be up to par.’ He shrugs at the others, before perking up slightly, though not smiling. ‘I think I can probably offer some information that would help you refine the simulation further- and for that matter, you could probably help me refine my own quite a bit, if you’re interested.’

[CHAT] Prime leaned forward, hands clasped. “Ah, I see now. You need to find your ship… That’s why I sent you here. Yes, I believe I can provide a vessel to go looking for it. Let me scan the spaceport inventory for a moment…” He paused, staying still for a short time. “There’s a decommissioned NHPF pursuit stinger available. It’s a small ship, but fast, and with an optimized sensor array designed to find other ships attempting to flee. The weapons have been removed, of course, but the sensor array is a few generations behind the current state-of-the-art and ships of this sort generally are prioritized for first-line upgrades, so the array wasn’t tampered with. Yes, that should serve your purposes nicely…” He looked to Thousand. “I’ve made the necessary arrangements and transferred the necessary funds. Give the spaceport drones about an hour for a maintenance check and fueling and you should be ready to go.” He tilted his head, the lights glittering off of part of his jaw plate in a way reminiscent of a grin. “I’d be happy to exchange any data you deem useful, when you have a chance. Especially regarding the events at the Sanctum battle... I’m afraid that my own logs of the battle are somewhat lacking. The Prime collective was,” he paused, considering. “Somewhat preoccupied at the time.”

[CHAT] Thousand bows his head towards Prime for a moment. ‘That will do nicely, I appreciate it. The sensors shouldn’t be a big deal, even in my current condition my own array rivals the current state of the art. And I know where the ship was left, where it was going, and how quickly it was moving… account for relativistic effects…. I’m pretty confident I can narrow the location down to an area I can sweep in just a couple passes.’ He lifts the clawlike left hand briefly, stares at it, then lifts his right hand instead, resting his chin on it. ‘Data exchange…’ He speaks the words slowly, almost as if tasting them. ‘Yes, we can do that… I’ll need to… process…’ He trails off there, shaking his head violently before giving a measured look back to Prime. ‘At any rate, in the time it takes me to get back here with my ship, I should have everything processed. I’ll be happy to share what I have then.’ He speaks aloud, while following the thought mentally (if it doesn’t break my mind for good…) The android plants his feet on the floot, rising to his feet once more, and glancing towards Silas. ‘But, I wasn’t asked here by one of your Gestalts, I’ve just been tagging along with Silas, ever since he found me after the battle. It seems he was directed here, rather than myself. Was it Prime who directed you here, Silas?’

[CHAT] Silas nodded. “Yeah, didn’t I tell you? Sorry, I had a lot on my mind. Some kind of dropship landed near the Legacy while you were out, took all those demon soldiers that were left behind. Before he took off, the Prime gestalt in control of it told me to look after you for a while, suggested we come here, and gave me detailed instructions on how to find the place once we did.” He pulled a cylinder from his pocket. “He also asked me to give you this.” He lobbed it over to Prime, who caught it deftly, and nodded. “I’ve still got to figure out where I’m going… seemed to be the least I could do to get you to somewhere you could maybe find some help.”

[CHAT] Prime caught the data device one-handed and scanned it briefly. “Ah, a general situational report from the fleet. Good, I was wondering what we were up to ever since the Helios network went down. It sounds like repairs are in progress.” He looked over to Thousand briefly. “But you… Thousand, are you quite alright? You don’t sound well, on top of not looking all that well to begin with.” He peered closer.

[CHAT] Thousand feels the back of his head connect with the wall behind him as he attempts to step back from Prime’s scrutiny, his hands raised in front of him, snapping: ‘I’M FINE!’ A long pause of silence from all parties occurs, before Thousand lowers his hands, repeating himself quietly before staring at the floor. “I’m fine. Or I will be.’ The conversation continues, in a sense, within the androids mind. (Will you? Yes, I will. Are you sure? Yes. Don’t lie to yourself, you aren’t sure and you know it. This isn’t the first time I’ve lost everything! It’s the first time you’ve lost everything with certainty and had to come to terms with it before you’ve found something to fill the void. I’ll manage! Yes, you certainly seem to be managing well so far, argueing with yourself again. This is temporary! So… you expect it to get better after you’ve poured through and analyzed all of the data, relived it a few times? I’m done with this conversation.) Not allowing his thoughts to continue uninterrupted a moment further, he raises his head, speaking rapidly. ‘There really has been quite a lot on my mind recently, I’m sure you all can understand, I’m not really ready to talk about it in depth, lots to work out in my head, oh yes, lots indeed, sorry I forgot, you did mention that, Silas, I’m just a bit distracted is all, distracted indeed, I really do appreciate the assistance you’ve offered me, and yours as well Prime, I truly do not have words to convey just how-’ And then, he was interrupted.

[CHAT] Prime paused, listening to Thousand talk, and then… “Thousand.” He cut the fellow android off, standing up and walking closer to him. “Look at me, Thousand.” The android wasn’t actually taller than Thousand, but he’d picked up a lot of tricks in his time with Dumastin, and he projected a sense of presence that was quite a bit larger than life when he wanted to. “Oh, dear. Look at you. No wonder your automated nanorepairs are going so slowly.” He backed away slightly to give Thousand a bit of space, and started to pace to the side. “Lots to work out in your head, indeed.” His own head shook, the lights of the server room glittering off of chrome plating. “Like the people who aren’t there. Am I right? I should have considered this. I… I’m afraid I’m not as susceptible to things like grief, although in my own way…” He paused, straightening and crossing his arms. “My apologies. I don’t mean to intrude. If you would prefer to work through your feelings on your own, it is of course your right to do so.”

[CHAT] Thousand holds still in silence for a moment before quietly nodding at Prime, a ghastly, sardonic grin splitting his face. ‘They said, “We’re barking up the wrong tree by faking emotions here. What if we make the ego actually -feel- them, while the id operates per command? It’d be WAY more convincing.” The perhaps misguided reason my line was created and subsequently cancelled. As double-edged a sword as Swordy McStolemyname over there.’ He gestures towards Soulmirror with a thumb.’ It allows me to enjoy life in a way that most AI’s cannot, while also affording me misery beyond words…’ The androids bitter voice trails off, before returning an octave lower and quite a bit louder, thrumming with conviction and bravado. ‘But I will endure it, I will get through it. It comes hand in hand with a sort of pseudomachismo and sense of pride that I’ve found to be a net benefit in practice. How do you feel about your own existence, Prime? Do you both praise and curse your design as well?’ It may have been a good speech, but the deflection was yet quite transparent.

[CHAT] Prime regarded Thousand with an even gaze, the glow of his optics twinkling as he considered. “I do not consider it a weakness to have developed the capacity to grieve, although I must admit it wasn’t part of the original specifications for my program.” He turned his face away from Thousand, the telltale lights of the rows of servers glittering off of the chromed sections of his body, his gaze sliding over Silas briefly. Or over the sword he carried? “I don’t express it as you or others might. Perhaps that is Dumastin’s influence on me, his habit of concealing his feelings from others as a matter of course. But I do feel diminished, and I do have the capacity to recognize that diminishing and to mourn it.” The thought occurred to him that Dumastin would have moved into something, possibly, inspirational from here. Conversation was a natural habitat of his former partner, and he’d had a way of manipulating its ebb and flow, treating it like a living thing. Prime inclined his head slightly, resting the smooth dome of his upper cranial plate against one of the server racks. It was like having a piece of his mind missing. An entire world of skills and abilities, ripped uncleanly away, leaving their memory and the ghost of what they were. “I was created to evolve, to become greater than I was. That is an eternal goal, one that can never truly be reached, but is still worthy of being strived toward every day. I believe… that the capacity to mourn makes us stronger, in some way. Or so my Captain believed. Perhaps it is a truth only knowable through hindsight.”

[CHAT] Thousand’s contrast with Prime was never so thoroughly underscores previously- the former designed to wear his heart on his proverbial sleeve, the better to blend in, the latter having learned something of emotion indirectly, and concealing it without even dirextly intending to do so. Nonetheless, a faint, fleeting glimmer of a smile passes across Thousands face- the two were quite different, but Prime seemed the only intelligence in the universe capable of understanding him in any way. ‘I wish…’ the android ruminates ‘That I had the chance to get to know Dumastin more. And so much more…’ He closes his eye for a moment, though almost immediately snaps it back open with a furtive glance towards the door. He plants the palm of his “normal” hand against his midsection, lost in his own world again for the briefest of moments, before pushing off of the wall and standing firmly. ‘But much remains to do, I fear. Silas, what is your next move? I need to get back to my ship at some point , make my repairs, prepare my address for the Alliance, but… I’m dreading it, and would welcome a bit of a diversion beforehand.’

[CHAT] Prime straightened, turning away from the server rack and looking back to Thousand. “Perhaps. I think you two understood each other better than many others did. Perhaps it’s because you came to know him without the baggage the others knew.” He swiveled his head to Silas and back to Thousand. “He left a message for you, of sorts. You don’t need to listen to it now, though. It can wait until you have sorted out your own feelings; any Prime will be able to deliver it to you once you feel yourself ready.”

[CHAT] Silas shrugged his shoulders and continued to lurk against a back wall, staying instinctively where he could see both Prime and Thousand moving around without even noticing he was doing it. “Well, I was going to try to kill a Namek sometime this week, but at this point I think I can cross that off my calendar. They say the beaches are nice on Hylia this time of year, I vote we dip you in a barrel of Rust-ex and go for a swim.” He quirked a little hint of a grin. “Ah, maybe we need to finish getting you patched up before we try that. We’ll call it plan B.” He was only half joking. They said that the only thing more spectacular than the resort beaches on Hylia was the women who populated them. He didn’t know about Thousand, but blowing off some steam sounded like a better way of dealing with… complicated emotions… than sitting here in some sort of hidden supercomputing bunker talking about them. On the other hand, he did recognize that he had it easier than the others; he hadn’t been especially close with any of the other warriors from the battle of the Sanctum, after all.

[CHAT] Thousand bows his head toward Prime. ‘I think it might be better to hear it now. I’m not sure, honestly, how I’m going to come out once I’ve… sorted my feelings. His message may well make it a bit easier to cope, and at the very least would bring some closure to one part of it, hopefully.’ He turns his head over to Silas, a faint but unmistakeable hint of lasciviousness entering his voice, perhaps a good sign? ‘A trip to the beach and few stiff drinks sound amazing, but I’d strongly prefer to have my… ahem. Beach body, before taking stock of the… scenery, and wildlife.’ A grating chuckle rumbles from his chest as the android thumps the warped, partially melted breastplate making up the front of his torso. Hylia was not among the places he had visited, and was most certainly a location of interest. ‘I can make repairs a lot more quickly onboard my ship, and can whip up a batch of artificial flesh with the equipment I have on board to boot. Having some immediate and pleasant memories to recall would undoubtedly make processing all this easier.’ Given his mood swings, he probably would manage to enjoy at least part of the diversion. ‘So I’m thinking, grab a drink or two, hopefully the Stinger will be prepped by then, and we can… move forward.’ The last words are quiet, the android twitching slightly as a few of the microbots climb out of the damaged eyes socket, clicking the eye into place as they exit, the eye immediately coming to life and swiveling to focus alongside its mate. ‘Ah…. that’s already a bit better.’

[CHAT] Prime nodded. “Silas, if you would please excuse us.” He bowed slightly toward the human, and with a sweep of his arm that was very similar to the theatrical way Dumastin would have done it, indicated a rear exit. It led to another of Prime’s fronts. Once Silas had continued ahead, Prime turned back to Thousand. “If you wish to hear it now, well, far be it from me to decline. A moment.” He brought his hands together, one palm flat against the other, then separated them, raising his left hand vertically above his right. Between his two palms, a stream of light coalesced into a holoimage of the late Dumastin.

[CHAT] Dumastin - The Namek paused before speaking, a slight smile on his face. “Thousand. If you’re hearing this, then the battle is over, and I’m gone. I presume the galaxy hasn’t been destroyed yet, although I have no way of knowing that, or knowing who among us lived to see it. I’ve tried my hand at scrying the future before, and it just… doesn’t work all that well once you get more than a few seconds out. So, flying blind here.” He grinned, that same impertinent grin he always seemed to wear. “First things first, I don’t want anyone crying over me. Not that I’d presume that to be the case, of course. I’m not planning on walking away from this one, not if it means I have to execute my plans early and take on the power of Balance to try to face her down. I…” He looked away for a moment, his face clouding over, and when he looked back, his eyes were troubled. “I think you should know, more than anyone. There was an alternate timeline that I’m aware of, and I’ve sometimes suspected that you wound up here from there somehow. It’s possible, at least, although I’m not quite sure how it’s possible because anything involving temporal manipulation is pretty damned difficult to comprehend completely… That timeline was annihilated. The Crimson Queen, the very one we now face, we think she was the one that destroyed it. All of us, except for me and Jules, dead without ever even slowing her armies down. We never even got to see her. Got so desperate that Jules died buying that Dumastin the chance to travel back in time, try to fix things at the root. He managed it, buried that timeline and started a new one at Arlia, and Old Gods willing we’ll kill the Queen herself tomorrow and end the possibility of it repeating completely. You might meet the guy, depending on how things go; if he looks exactly like me, except with a mouthful of lemons, plenty more scars, and a left arm that looks like he stole it off a heavy machinery assembly line, that’s probably him. If that was your timeline, I have to say I’m sorry for the trouble it’s caused you, although not for putting it to bed while I had the chance.”

[CHAT] Dumastin paused again, giving the little head-toss he tended to make when he was thinking or changing mental gears. “The past aside-and I dearly hope that what I’m talking about truly is, once and for all, the past-the future awaits. I wrapped up everything I could, while I could do it, in the hopes that you and any new future generation which arises could seek new meaning in a universe no longer dominated by old conflicts. I… dream often of the future, a future I no longer have any hope to see.” He closed his eyes and bowed his head slightly, then looked back up into the camera pickup. “I hope that, come whatever may in this battle, you, too, Thousand, can find your own meaning in life afterwards. Doing so after a bloody war can be… difficult, at the very least. It’s hard to… to continue on, wondering what could have been done better. Wondering if maybe the empty seats at the table wouldn’t be empty if you’d been better, stronger, faster. Believe me.” He paused again, and sighed heavily. “Just don’t make the mistake I made. Meaning isn’t to be found in the next war, no matter how hard I looked for one. I missed so much, made so many mistakes after Arlia, after Max…” He stopped, bringing his face rapidly under control and then giving the camera a level gaze, although his eyes were moist nonetheless. “I left behind some gifts, for you and anyone else who made it out. There’s a bottle of a very fine vintage of Saiyan whiskey, from before the Fall of Vegeta. Prime knows where it is. A few other things too, that Prime will take care of. And that’s…. Really all I’ve got. Take care of yourself, my friend.” The holoimage winked out.

[CHAT] Thousand watches and listens to the hologram of Dumastin silently, catching himself starting to comment or add questions at several points, but suppressing each, understanding the nature of such a message- he had left something similar for Requius prior to his departure. And the message sparks a lot of thought and questions in the androids mind- enough, for the moment, to quiet the proverbial storm. He thinks back to the fragmented memories of the universe he once called home, and his recent exploration of the ruins of that universe. He never got a solid reading from the ribbons of scarlet energy that slashed through the entirety of that dimension, and it was certainly possible that those originated from an unrestrained and uncontested Crimson Queen. Could it be? His memories from before seem irreversibly fragmented, he would be hard pressed to deny it simply due to not recognizing names and events through the lens of -this- universe’s history. He has little time to dwell on this diversion, however, as the end of the message arrives, bringing all of the recent events and feelings back to the forefront of his thoughts. He opens his mouth, closes it again, and repeats this a few times, never quite finding the words. Finally, he offers Prime a silent wave and a small bow, speaking lamely: ‘Thank you, for conveying this to me.’ The android was sure of only one thing at this point- he was going to enjoy a healthy portion of the whiskey, trigger his simulated intoxication, and leave that running for as long as he could get away with it.

[CHAT] Prime lowered his hands and inclined his head in a nod of respect. “Please. If you wish to inquire further, particularly once you’ve… come to terms with the aftermath of the battle, I am at your service. While I can’t offer Dumastin’s occasionally-unique perspective on things, there is very little of his knowledge in the matter that I do not possess.” He walked away from Thousand, through another concealed door, and returned a minute later holding a wax-sealed brown glass bottle, his long, skeletal fingers curling easily around the bottle’s width. The label was faded, but still legible, and a connoisseur of such things would recognize the vintage, now that the distillery that produced it was long gone, to be worth a small fortune. Prime extended his hand, offering it to Thousand. “Dumastin had… intended there to be a celebration here. Our hope was that his would be the only life lost that day.” He looked down at the bottle, the rich, smoky brew inside still shifting slightly from the bottle’s motion. “A shame. I shall have to have the small paper hats and such returned to the vendor.”

[CHAT] Thousand accepts the bottle somberly, turning it over in his hands- well, his hand, and his makeshift clawlike appendage. Only moments ago, he was certain he would tear into the valuable liquor without hesitation, but looking at it, thinking of the celebration that was not to be… he tips his head to Prime, opening up his chest compartment and tucking the bottle neatly into the cavity where his nanobots were typically stored- another thing to be fabricated anew when he makes it back to his ship. ‘Much as I’d love to break into this now… it’s not the time. I’ll share this bottle with Sam’s children, Jules children...maybe even Dumastin’s heir.’ The android wasn’t sure just how appropriate (not to mention legal) such conduct would be in all cases- Jules’ children were predominately in adult bodies, and he had little concern that the mimic children would suffer actual damage from the liquor, but Dumastin’s heir could be another story. He shakes his head. ‘If… any of them are around. At the very least, after my address to the Alliance, and after the memorial service…’ He speaks quietly, turning his gaze back directly onto Prime. ‘Speaking of which… I was….’ And he couldn’t. He couldn’t bring himself to ask for Prime’s help regarding the memorial service, not just yet- it was all still too raw. It could wait… ‘I’ll ask you later, I suppose. Perhaps hold on to the party favors? I’m not exactly sure who I would invite, but I just -know- Sam would want people to enjoy themselves at his wake. And…’ He trails off again, a lump in his throat.

[CHAT] Prime nodded slowly. “Yes… Yes, perhaps you’re right… In any case, it is yours to do with as you please. There are other items as well, items he intended to see passed on, though I do not have them here. I suppose it would be best if any heirs they left behind receive those items…” He leaned forward, his hand grasping Thousand’s shoulder tightly. “As for the heir… I can’t be certain, I lost contact with the Cradle when the Helios network went offline, but I have strong reason to believe he may be alive, and active now. I’m still waiting for confirmation from any remaining Earth gestalts, but the process of his awakening should have begun long before it could have been interfered with…” He withdrew his hand, crossing his arms and looking away in thought. “I hope he finds his way here, sooner or later. I wonder what kind of man he will become.”

[CHAT] Thousand strokes his chin gently, the metal on metal grating irritatingly, though quietly. ‘Seems that Helios hub is causing you one heck of a problem. How feasible or complicated would it be to repair or replace it? I’m unfamiliar with the technology, unfortunately, but it seems like you’re in a bad place here, separated from your other gestalts. I imagine getting that network up and running again would help with a lot of things.’ He shakes his head, tapping his pack of cigarettes against his thigh momentarily before putting them away once more, not about to light one up inside here. ‘I hope he takes after Dumastin. He wanted me to look after his heir, but I don’t have the best track record with raising kids. Although… I suppose the fact that there is still uneaten life in the galaxy is a testament to my success with Sam.’ He smiles faintly, though his voice is strained. ‘I… don’t suppose you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Sam’s children? Or Jules’ for that matter. I was away for some time- even longer, subjectively, and came back right in the middle of things, I hadn’t expected to…’ His voice falters for a moment, but raises once more, louder and clearer. ‘I hadn’t expected to adopt these responsibilities so suddenly.’ And then, the idea occurs to him- this was by far not the only conflict in recent memory, and his friends by far not the only fallen. It was a wonderful idea, and served to buoy his spirits for the moment. ‘That’s it, Prime. I’m going to start an orphanage, for those who’ve lost parents in this, previous, and future conflicts. This is how I will turn my failure into something beneficial. They’ll need the support themselves, and the galaxy does not need a glut of ascended feral children either…’

Dumastin
Posts: 374
Joined: 13 May 2010, 14:28

Re: The Last Survivor-Prime Reloaded

Post by Dumastin » 15 Aug 2017, 08:13

[CHAT] Prime brought his gaze back around to Thousand. “Very difficult to repair or replace. Are you familiar with the concept of quantum entanglement? Particles capable of being affected by the actions of other entangled particles across arbitrary distances? Through the power of his magics, Dumastin managed to replicate the effect on a consistent and reproducible level with, as it happened, small wafers of steel. Each Helios communicator contains one such wafer, coupled with the necessary equipment to detect vibrational transmissions and to decode the unique machine code language so transmitted. The Hub of which I speak is no more than a large collection of such magically-entangled steel wafers, with one of my gestalts to serve as an intermediary between what is effectively a large subset of one-to-one communicators, forming an interconnected network.” He tilted his head back, and his voice filled with pride at such a joint accomplishment. “And then…” He pulled something out and held it up for Thousand’s inspection. It was one of the steel wafers of which he spoke, but it was warped and half-melted. “As I said, the gestalt that joined with Dumastin at the end of his life attempted to use Helios to transmit as much data about his experiences as he could before being destroyed. Far in excess of the network’s normal safe tolerances… He burned out every Helios device within transmission range of the Sanctum. My understanding is that the effect began to cascade once those began to overload, and resulted in most or all of the Helios chips in existence selfdestructing in a similar way. I believe it is in my ability to replace them, but I have not received any updates on the progress from the Gestalt who would be working on that project.” He looked down at Thousand’s cigarettes with mild distaste, the vice never having been one he was able to figure out, then went on. “The Heir is not a child. Mentally, physically, emotionally, he would be a young adult Namekian, approximately the same age Dumastin was when he was first exiled from Namek. What he would need is less assistance and more guidance, particularly as he comes into himself and begins to choose a path in life. Unfortunately, as to your other questions, I’m not aware of the whereabouts of either Sam’s offspring or of any remaining children Jules might have…” He paused, listening to Thousand’s last statement. “An admirable goal, especially considering what a threat the Tuffle or Mimic offspring could represent unchecked.” He knew there were still a couple of other threats out there, but… he had to admit that the prospect of an unchecked Jaraid or Flay did concern him, as well.

[CHAT] Thousand follows along with the description of the Helios system, nodding quietly. ‘That makes sense- I suspected it involved either quantum entanglement or some form of magic, possibly both. I’ve been experimenting with a design for a miniaturized particle accelerator, mainly to maintain communication with different parts of my body when separated to eliminate latency. So restoring the network would mean creating and installing new entangled pairs in each node, given that each nodes original counterparticles are damaged, dispersed, or destroyed. That’s a staggering undertaking, logistically.’ The look at the cigarettes did not go unnoticed, Thoussnd shrugging sheepishly. ‘A habit I picked up courtesy of my infiltration suite. Minimal detrimental effects to my person, but still objectively distasteful. But, man, as distasteful habits go, they’re awfully satisfying.’ The description of Dumastin’s heir was surprising, but not in a bad way. ‘I guess no problems having a drink with the heir, then. I’m far more confident in my ability to guide a young adult than I am in raising children. I’m most worried about Jaraid, in all honesty. He has the intellect and education to fully understand everything, but lacks the experience and emotional maturity. I won’t be able to use the clever euphemisms and fantasies typically used to cushion the blow of death when speaking to children. Flay, at least, I can break it to gently…’ And then there was the completely unknown quantity of other war orphans, ascended or otherwise, which may pose even more challenges. ‘I don’t expect this to be easy, but it wouldn’t really be an atonement, were it easy. Seems like I’m going to be pretty busy, moving forward.’

[CHAT] Prime’s head lowered, and his hand came up to stroke his chromed jawline as he considered. “I have long wondered at the tendency of organics to disguise the truth of things when children are involved. Metaphor, certainly, when the child’s understanding does not go deep enough to properly comprehend what is being conveyed… Then, I have never understood the tendency toward cloaking one’s worldview in such comfortable fantasies to begin with…” The question still troubled him, for reasons Thousand might not be able to decipher. “That said, while I would like to imagine that the Mimic offspring would respond positively to a reasoned and nuanced explanation of events, delivered delicately, the Power line has certainly displayed a strong tendency toward rashness and overly-emotional responses. It is not an assignment I envy you, although I do suspect they would accept news more readily coming from you than from me.” He raised his face again, looking at Thousand’s. “I will assist if I can. New Requiem might be a solid place to do this, and while I don’t have an enclave there yet, I can make it a regular stop for some of my mobile elements.”.

[CHAT] Thousand sighs, wearily. ‘It’s difficult to convey to someone with your worldview, I expect. But when we’re talking about a subject like death, we’re not just talking in a cool, clinical sense, like an “alive” bit flipped from one to zero. We’re talking about a phenomena that life itself is, in a manner of speaking, hard coded to avoid at all costs… well, generally speaking at least. What might be presented to a computer as a list of imperatives to fulfill… presents as emotions to organic life, and typically negative ones. Even adults often have difficulty managing their emotions- children simply lack the emotional maturity to do so- they are particularly vulnerable to emotional trauma, and traumatic experiences reverberate through the entirety of an organics remaining life. I understand it, because I am built not merely to convincingly emulate it, but to convincingly experience it, making the emulation itself largely seamless.’ He rubs at one eye before continueing. ‘That’s why they use euphemism and fantasy- the intent isn’t to disguise the truth, the intent is to minimize the emotional blow as much as possible- even the best of us aren’t always so good at handling those emotional blows…’ He stares off for a bit, a faraway look in his eyes. ‘New Requiem… that may be a good call, maybe not. They had an almost fanatical attachment and devotion to Requius, from my limited observation. We’ll need to see how well the populace handles the news of their benefactors death before we can even consider it as a site. For all we know, they may abandon the colony altogether.’ He shakes his head, returning to the earlier thought, smiling ruefully. ‘If organics could be trusted to process data in a rational manner, consistently… there would be no utility in my line, and I would not exist. Also, I imagine the universe would be a rather dull place…’ He gives off a half-hearted chuckle, staring down at the makeshift skids currently serving as his feet.

[CHAT] Prime was silent for some time after Thousand spoke. It took him a short time to parse his thoughts on the matter into words correctly, true, but the pause, he realized, was also another trait he’d picked up from Dumastin, who frequently used them to adjust the flow of conversations. When he spoke, his tone was slightly duller, and quieter. “I do understand the subject of death, as organics do. At one point, of course, I did not; I was Prime, I had discovered ways of threading my essential self through as many disassociated locations as possible to ensure the probability of my own continuance in the event one of my selves was destroyed… It was the day that Dumastin’s cybernetics were first brought online. The eye, as it happened. That one wasn’t the result of an injury. No… It was intentional. He had Jules remove a healthy, living eye to make way for the cybernetic… If you saw his body shirtless at some point, you might have noticed the scars on the cranium and spinal area where additional hardware was grafted as part of the same operation. My hardware, as it happens; a full Prime gestalt built into his very body.” Prime tilted his head forward, bowing it in thought, then looked back up at Thousand once more. “When that connection came online, the experience was… indescribable. I suspect it changed his worldview as radically as it changed mine. More information was exchanged than we initially suspected, and I came to know him as he knew himself. Prime, as a collective, learned what it was not just to fear death, but to view oneself as an individual, to embrace that individuality and to cling to that life. It was traumatic in some respects.” He raised his head as a beeping sounded from a nearby cluster, and he turned away, nimble fingers working away at it as he addressed the problem. “It gets under your skin, life…” He looked down at his own body, the design blatantly mechanical and lacking anything in the way of biological ornamentation beyond the basic humanoid form. “Metaphorically speaking, of course. The more you fight for every moment, the more alive you stay… He thought like that, to some respect. He thought that people were complacent, that they could be capable of so much more. That there was a difference between living and staying alive. Wrongly, in some cases, though rightly in others.” He turned away from the server case, lowering his hands to his sides. “May I speak for him for a moment? If you wouldn’t consider it too bold of me to do so, if he were here, I suspect that he would disagree strongly with the idea of a wait-and-see attitude where New Requiem is concerned. To follow the thread of our earlier topic of conversation, I believe he would argue that the people of that colony are, themselves, as much orphaned as anyone else we’ve discussed. They don’t need time, or observation. They need a leader to emerge, someone who can show them that there is a path beyond the life of Requius. That they can *live* rather than falling back onto the path of fear and complacency.”

[CHAT] Thousand nods, dully. The description of Prime’s transformation was a fascinating topic, but he finds himself lacking in regards to a reply to the statement, opting instead to simply take it in. After a few moments, he replies: ‘I can definitely agree with the notion of a difference between living and staying alive, though the former does seem to be rather predicated on the latter. Were I an outside observer, I may find the notion of two AIs waxing philosophical on the nature of life rather amusing, incidentally.’ He tilts his head to one side scratching the back of his head. ‘I also think I may have misspoke. I wasn’t suggesting passive observation prior to making a decision- I’ll definitely be headed to New Requiem in the near future. I’m suggesting that starting the process of establishing a new enclave should wait until the area has been stabilized- I don’t believe they’d take kindly to what is to them a foreign invader setting up shop on their world. The populace there is quite diverse, and I’m not confident in the ability to do so completely unobserved. Further, that population arrived courtesy of the Requiem, and as such were exposed to the effects of the Nightmare balls for an extended period of time. I’ve seen what they can do to even a strong mind with relatively short exposure, and the colony was set up with the understanding that Requius and Sam would be providing direction and defense. The power vacuum on New Requiem, I fear, has as much potential for disaster as any other. I don’t believe myself cut out to be a leader, and doubt they’d accept me as such even though they know me, at least as an acquaintance. A complete outsider would be even more difficult, and an insider potentially problematic as well. It’s… not an easy problem.’ He pauses, fiddling with a bit of insulating tape wrapped around his torso for a moment, smoothing it where it had started to lift up. ‘But you are right that they are, in a sense, orphans. If I can make peaceful contact with them, at the very least I believe I can set up shop there. If that pans out, perhaps we could set up your enclave below the facility?’ Optimism and Idealism alike seem to be in short supply to the android who typically brims with both.

[CHAT] Prime regarded Thousand with a stare, then straightened and clasped his hands in front of himself once more. “I suspect Dumastin would have regarded such a power vacuum as a challenge, or a puzzle to be unraveled. But I am less inclined to meddle in the affairs of others than he was. Perhaps he would have tried to push you to take a more active hand in events; I will not.” He had no reason to push Thousand to assume a role of leadership, after all, although the pressing thought did occur to him that Dumastin likely would have. “Don’t worry about me. If New Requiem stabilizes enough to be worth my attention, I will see to the establishment of a safe enclave at a later date, likely in a separate facility. Still, I will help you as I can.”

[CHAT] Thousand lets out a bitter, grating laugh, eyes blazing. ‘You’re right- Dumastin would have had that inclination! And look where Dumastin’s inclinations got him!’ He snapped that last part out loud, the sound echoing through the room. A long moment of silence passes, before he lowers his gaze, speaking more quietly. ‘I’m sorry. That wasn’t called for. I… should be better than that. I’m not handling this well, Prime…’ He shakes his head vigorously. ‘I shouldn’t speak ill of him. For all that happened, he did in fact accomplish what he set out to.’ He turns this idea over and over in his mind. ‘Still… my talents make me more suited to be an advisor than to be a leader, I think. Assuming I can get back to normal, at least.’ He sighs quietly, continueing. ‘I do appreciate the offer though, and if I haven’t burned that bridge, I’ll take you up on it. I suspect this entire problem is too big for me… even if there were a hundred of me, all linked together with something like the Helios. My mind just… isn’t structured that way- key “features” in my design are actively obstructing me here. I’m so frustrated….’ He pulls a cigarette out of his pack, not lighting it, but simply placing it between his fingers, “walking” it across his hand, passing it between each pair of fingers, back and forth, staring at it the whole while.

[CHAT] Prime stepped back slightly from Thousand. A slight tilting of the head, a slight brightening of the optics… It was hard to discern, but Thousand’s snap *had* offended the AI to some extent. But then he accepted Thousand’s apology with a stiff nod. “As I said. Dumastin might have considered it his duty to push you to grow, to change, to perhaps become someone capable of handling the problem as he saw it. I do not. That tendency…” His voice shifted in tone slightly. “That tendency did lead him to ruin in more than one way, but it was core to who he was. He was obsessed with proving that no setback was insurmountable, that no problem insoluble. He had weaknesses, but I do not consider that to have been one of them…” For a moment, he considered offering a quote from one of his many conversations, but decided against it. He had no intention of becoming a preacher of the Way of Dumastin, and so instead he simply watched quietly as Thousand fiddled with the unlit cigarette. “It sounds to me that your chief design ‘flaw’ is a tendency toward excessive humanity. You may feel crushed now, and ineffective in the short term, but I do not believe that what you experience now is a weakness.” It was a difficult concept to explain, particularly when the survivor’s guilt seemed to lay on Thousand so heavily. In the end, he left it at that, wondering if he should add anything more to that statement.

[CHAT] Thousand, preoccupied as he is, fails to notice the subtle signs of having offended the gestalt. ‘You may be right, but it ultimately comes down to a question of semantics, doesn’t it? It may not represent a weakness objectively… but in practice…’ He trails off, then speaks flatly. ‘In practice, objectively, it’s been a boon more frequently than a hindrance. It’s easy to say that, and the data supports it, but it just doesn’t FEEL right. And yet…’ He trails off once again, turning his head to the side as if contemplating the architecture that went into the nearby wall, crossing his arms tightly across his chest. ‘And yet…’ His contemplation and focus appear to travel down the wall, finally resting on his skid-feet, which were apparently utterly -fascinating- at the moment. He shifts from one skid to the other, before finally relaxing his arms and letting them drop to his side and meeting Prime’s gaze once more, with a faint wry smile. ‘I really wish I could turn it -off-. I expect numerous organics have been known to share that sentiment, I suppose. That feature was entirely overdone, that much is certain. It’s the reason my line existed, and the reason my line was ultimately mothballed and cancelled.’ He shrugs. ‘Even without telepaths and psions and mages, and whatever the hell else is going on, the dumbest of humans still has a certain measure of empathy, and can catch false emotions pretty readily. The solution, if not the implementation was obvious, but I can’t help but feel that this should have been foreseen.’ He gazes upward, stroking his chin again. ‘Maybe that hypothetical assessment from Dumastin would prove accurate. Maybe I have the potential to be a leader. Maybe I’ll revisit that thought when I’m myself again. But that’s never really seemed like the proper path for me. There’s a good argument for reducing ones weaknesses, but it seems like that path would also fail to leverage my strengths, at least as I am now.’ He raises his hand to tuck his cigarette behind his ear- the artificial flesh being missing, the cigarette simply drops, bouncing off of his shoulder and falling unnoticed to the floor. ‘I should never have left, Prime. I knew what Dumastin had in the works, even if I didn’t know how it would play out. I could have endured it, probably for weeks longer. I could have dealt with it after the fact. I should have been there from the start. One more person… one more rational opinion for the course of the battle… one enemy dispatched or even just distracted that in my absence wounded one of my friends… maybe it wouldn’t have changed anything, or maybe it would have. It’s the not knowing that weighs on me, and makes it all but impossible to see this as anything but my complete failure. I shouldn’t be putting that on you, or anyone else. I shouldn’t be lashing out. Maybe neither human nor android can control the flow of their thoughts, or the tide of their emotions, but we all carry the capacity and the responsibility to control the actions we take based on them.’ He stares at his feet once more, noticing and picking up the dropped cigarette, tucking it back into its pack.

[CHAT] Prime shook his head. “Events moved toward inevitable outcomes when Requius killed herself, or nearly so, flying a suicide mission against elements of the Queen’s fleet. When we went into battle so fractured as a result, the result was almost inevitable, I fear. It was nothing you did, or could do… Not even Dumastin’s hubris ran so deep as to take responsibility for Sam’s impulsiveness, or for the other failings inherent in our little fellowship. Broken as he was, he could not repair that fracturing, and I do not expect you to have been able to do so as well, not when the animosity ran so deep. Certainly you are responsible for your own actions, but you should absolve yourself of the weaknesses of the others. Particularly when the force we faced was so overwhelming. I have scarcely ever even heard of a demonhorde of that size.”

[CHAT] Thousand continues staring at the floor, Prime’s words having had the opposite effect they were intended to have. ‘That… is where it all went wrong? Then…’ He raises his head, fixing Prime with a blank expression. ‘I KNEW Requius better than anyone. Better than her father knew her, better than Sam knew her, despite their shared affections. Requius has been, quite literally, inside my mind, and I hers. We never really had romantic feelings for one another, but the intimacy we shared went well beyond such things. If I were there, I could have talked her out of it. I’m certain of it. There are no inevitabilities- I think Dumastin knew that better than anyone, with his forays into time itself. It’s something I came to understand during my journey, though by a different method altogether. The smallest, most innocuous change in a sequence of events can cause a drastically different outcome, and Requius’ action hardly seems like a small thing here. And Sams impulsiveness, in this case, was a direct result of Requius’ actions and her ultimate fate.’ He reaches out with the clawlike left hand, bracing himself against the wall, suddenly a touch unsteady on his feet, before straightening once more. ‘It is not their actions I feel responsible for- it is my absence, which was ultimately by my own choice. I don’t believe for a second that my presence would have transformed us into a unified, disciplined fighting force- but… this isn’t a dichotomy. There are innumerable points between that and what we had.’ He sighs. ‘I don’t claim to be better at this sort of thing than Dumastin was- the opposite is likely true. But I had a much greater rapport and mutual respect with both Sam and Requius than Dumastin had… the capacity to exert a greater influence on them. Generally speaking, Dumastin’s capacity far exceeded my own- but under specific circumstances…’ He trails off, yet again, before shaking his head. ‘No, no, this line of conversation isn’t going to go anywhere good. I’m not going to process this rationally in my state. I need to power down, break it down, analyze it, restructure it in my head, and hope I come out ok.’ He smiles half-heartedly. ‘Even if you could present me with irrefutable evidence that my presence would have changed nothing or even make things worse, I know myself well enough to know I couldn’t accept it. Not yet.’

[CHAT] Prime raised his hands, palms out, in a gesture of supplication. “Forgive me. I… suppose I spoke wrongly on this. You did know Requius better than I, I’m sure, and I must admit that my own perceptions of her were, and still are, colored by the animosity between her and Dumastin.” He thought back to Arlia, to Dumastin’s bone-deep shock when Prometheus had related to him the true history of the doomed timeline and their own part in it… “You’re right. Let’s let this topic rest for now. I suspect neither of us are prepared to be entirely rational about it.” He gazed at Thousand for a moment longer. “If there is some way I can help you come to terms with what has happened, please let me know, Thousand. We…” His optics dimmed, and he looked away from Thousand again, averting his face as a bit of shame for what he was saying crept across him. “I spent a long time traveling in the company of people with the capacity, even the urge, to be monstrous. People who were broken in their own ways, who had only managed to channel destructive impulses into constructive pursuits rather than eliminating them completely. Dumastin perhaps most of all. I would not like to see these events leave you… damaged, as we were. As he was.”

[CHAT] Thousand relaxes, then straightens again almost imperceptibly. ‘I’ll contact you once I’ve managed to make repairs and made an attempt to process the data. I expect at that stage, some support will be quite helpful. I certainly can’t afford to be off in the head right now- I have far too much I still have to do. I’d like to think those concerns are unnecessary- I’ve been called good natured to a fault, less a few minor quirks some might call deviant. I think if I’m to put anyone in danger as a result of all this, it’s likely to be myself. I think… I can sort of understand how Dumastin wanted to go out on his own terms rather than succumbing to the mark. It’s an entirely different situation, but… if feeling like this is what’s in store for me, I’d prefer to go out on my own terms than to slowly go mad.’ He shakes his head. ‘I’m sure there are plenty of red flags in that little rant, but… I mean, come on, the only time I’ve ever had a destructive impulse was when Jules linked my mind with Sam, exposing us both to his hunger, and the only victim there was a couple steaks.’ He chuckles warmly for the slightest moment, an inkling of who he was before all this glimmering through, before the memory began to sting, leaving him in sullen silence for a long moment. ‘I’m going to do my best to come out of this intact- and I’m not too proud to ask for help when I need it. Regardless of my feelings on the matter, as the survivor here, a lot of responsibility falls to me, and I intend to fulfill that one way or another.’ A small sensation passes through his consciousness- a timer set earlier, marking out the hour before the Stinger was supposed to be prepared, seemed to just be going off. ‘It seems like my ride ought to be ready about now. Anything else you want to go over, any more info you want to share? If not, I think I may just see if Silas is up for a drink before I head out.’

[CHAT] Prime indicated the rear exit Silas had used with a gentle wave. “You are always welcome here if you need shelter. I don’t have anything more to convey, I’m sorry to say, though I’m sure I’ll be contacting you soon if I manage to reestablish the Helios system.” A slight twinkling of his eyes and a contraction of his faceplates suggested a bit of a smile. “Be well, Thousand. Take care of yourself, above all else. I would miss our conversations if something happened to you, now more than ever.”

[CHAT] Silas - Once Thousand made his way outside, he’d find the tall Human leaning against a wall. He had a newly-purchased bag slung over his shoulder, and had added some kind of new equipment to what he’d been wearing: some kind of chest-harness with a blinking control module, and thick new boots reminiscent of the sort Dumastin had used to favor, also modified with some sort of technological addons. “Thousand, good to see you…” He grinned, and in the streetlights the grin seemed to come off as slightly evil. “I think, before we go, it’s time to introduce you to a New Haven tradition.”

[CHAT] Thousand nods to Prime, then thinks better of it, and offers a formal bow instead. ‘Of course. And if I don’t hear from you, I’ll make my way back once I’ve taken care of the loose ends. Take care of yourself too…’ The android pauses a moment, concerns of possible ramifications of the various gestalts becoming one mind once more after each has been independent going unvoiced for now. ‘We’ll talk soon.’ He makes his way through the rear exit, appraising Silas’ new kit quietly for a moment, the ridge making his brow raising slightly the mans grin. ‘I don’t suppose this tradition is something akin to lazer tag? What’s with the outfit?’

[CHAT] Silas reached into the bag, pulled out a visored helmet, and slipped it over his head. He shoved the bag toward Thousand and fiddled with the straps on his helmet. Inside the bag was a set of similar equipment, although the boot portion had been removed in favor of a set of straps that looked like they’d affix correctly to the crude skids Thousand had in place of feet. Once he was suited up, Silas would reach over and tag a switch on the chest unit Thousand had donned, then pull his hand back and do the same. Immediately, some sort of force would begin lifting them both off the ground, levitating them upward along the side of the towering building they’d just exited. As they ascended, Silas, still wearing that grin, pulled out a pair of brown bottles and pulled the tops off, offering one to the android. “Laser tag? No, not at all. Let’s get to the top and I’ll show you…”

[CHAT] Thousand would take a bit of time getting the gear on, relying more than a little on Silas’ help- the clawlike replacement hand was certainly better than nothing, but was poorly suited for operating fastners et al intended to be operated by humanoid hands. Soon enough, however, the android is accepting the proferred bottle and ascending alongside Silas. The android was somewhat confused- he was more than capable of making this ascension without external equipment, but figured there must be some reason for it. He sniffs at the bottle curiously, trying to determine its contents. ‘Is this going to be one of those things were we jump headfirst into the tradition, and you explain it after the fact?’

[CHAT] Silas took a heavy pull from his own bottle as they finished their ascent; the levitator fields deposited them at the edge of the rooftop, where some sort of beacon was putting off a gentle spotlight of green light up into the air. It was an imported beer, and rather good. “Close… we don’t have to jump headfirst.” He perched on one leg, holding up the other to tap on the underside of the boot he wore. “Grav-skating! It’s only really a sport here on New Haven, but the locals love it. Here, I’ll show you.” He indicated his own helmet, and demonstrated the heads-up display integrated into the visor. “The traffic authority actually shuts down a few pathways at a time through town, changing from day to day on a schedule, and some of the high-rises around here are constructed with the levitators to be used as launching points. These boots exert a friction-nullifying field, and the chest piece has a stabilizer and a kinetic-nullification crash field. It’d probably blow the unit out, but you could jump off a building wearing one of these and get up without a scratch. Or slam into the side of one, as the case may be…” He grinned widely, reset his own helmet, finished his drink, and tossed it into a can sitting on the rooftop. “Nobody should come to New Haven without giving this a try. Even if you can fly, skating along the ground itself is a completely different feeling. And the route from here just so happens to end near the spaceport… so I’ll race you there!” And with that, he backflipped over the edge and plummeted toward the ground, the stabilizer field aligning him. Another field at the bottom of the drop formed a ramp of sorts, so right before he hit the ground, he slid along the air in a curve, deposited onto the street, and started to streak off into the distance along the road.

[CHAT] Thousand inadvertently gives Silas a sizeable head start, staring down at the drop- not concerned over any damage to his person, but uncertain of the equipments capability to bear his weight. Even stripped down as he is now, the android is still nearly three times as heavy as a human of equivalent build. Shrugging, he downs the bottle that Silas had offered him- mostly. A small trickle of liquid flows down his chest from an unsealed crack in the structure that forms his throat- a low priority repair item. Nonetheless, as usual, the effect is almost instantaneous, his systems immediately adapting to reflect the admittedly minor level of intoxication that an organic of his build would display after the time consuming process of fully absorbing the drink. He experienced the intoxication consciously, but his data collection capacities are uninhibited by the process, and is able to restore himself to full sobriety in an instant- a boon, really. Somehow, after the drink, the prospect of damaging someone elses equipment was of far less concern, and the android takes a deep, completely unnecessary breath, before taking a simple step, tilting his skid-feet to match the perceived angle of the field-ramp, and moments later is sailing through the air, then sliding down the streets. Unused to the equipment, he is completely unable to catch up to Silas- his speed was not a concern, but he slid wide around each turn, nearly colliding with buildings, vehicles, and people several times and scraping about a quarter inch of metal off of his shoulder in one poorly-planned turn, leaving a gleaming streak of metal dust along the entirety of a squat, brick buildings street-facing wall. Despite himself, mastering the basics of the grav-skates occupied his full attention, forcing the dark thoughts from his head in the short term. He could definitely see the appeal, of the activity despite battering himself a few more times before Silas once more came into view, the android waving and calling ahead, unsure if the man could even hear him over the roar of the wind resistance.

[CHAT] Silas, for his part, hadn’t done this in a while, but a few members of his old squad had been rabid gravskaters, and they’d dragged him along more than a few times. It was exhilarating, particularly since it didn’t require the expenditure of any Ki and so allowed one to simply concentrate on the pleasure of movement. He wove around turns easily, just letting the sights, sounds, and smells of his home sink in; both the city and the feeling of speed were soothing to him in a way that conversation never had been. He watched the map icons on his helmet; the visor showed him the boundaries of the marked course, warnings about any upcoming obstructions, and more pertinently, the location of a stop point close to the space port. Normally he’d just keep going until he finally slowed to a halt, but since they had a destination in mind this time, he angled himself off the regular course and toward the area that his visor marked as a course exit; as he hit the zone, he felt a tractor field link up with his kinetic gear and drag him rapidly to a stop. It put some g-stress on the body, but the kinetic field kicked in to reduce it significantly. He disengaged the friction field on his boots and turned to watch Thousand come in, chuckling as the android struck a shower of sparks off a wall. It wasn’t a huge deal; the building owners whose structures were along grav-skate courses generally took pains to reinforce the exterior walls against just that sort of wear. For all their occasionally spotty reputations as dangerous tinkerers, his people did put a lot of work into making sure that the borderline-insane ways they spent their free time and creative energies were at least safe.

[CHAT] Thousand is far less graceful in coming to a halt, if some allowance for understatement is made. After grazing the wall and grinding off a generous portion of his shoulder for it, his skating was less stable, and increasingly so. His left ankle joint had started wobbling under the strain, extreme sports not having been in mind when it was hastily assembled. The wobbling increases more and more, and then, unsurprisingly, the skidlike foot and attached skate twist off completely, coasting along the course without him and vanishing into the distance. The android struggles in vain to balance on the remaining skate, lights on the chest harness flaring to life and rapidly flashing red, along with a number of warning indicators popping up in the visors HUD. Unintended for an android of his mass operating so unstably, the stabilizing harness overloads with a spark and fails in relatively short order, and the android pitches forward. He bounces once… twice… three times, rotating in midair on the last and finally rolling several dozen meters on his side before finally coming to a halt, visor cracked and harness severely damaged, at Silas feet, looking up in a daze. ‘I… made it, but… I think I may need more practice…’ The android says faintly, before planting the clawlike hand and pushing himself up to his feet- or rather, one skid, and the stump where a skid once was. ‘It was pretty fun up until that end bit…’ He glances down at the wrecked equipment, then back to Silas, sheepishly. ‘I’m sorry, I think I broke your stuff… how much is it going to cost to replace?’


[CHAT] Silas chuckled as he removed his gear and gathered up what was left of Thousand’s. “I’ve seen worse, from a beginner.” He surveyed Thousand’s kinetic harness, pulling open the damaged casing to check it over before shoving it back in the bag. “Don’t worry about the cost. Renting this stuff isn’t terribly expensive… It *should* have been able to take your weight, though. I’m surprised you were even bumping into buildings, this unit should have blocked that from happening, and the normal tolerance on these units goes up pretty high. I wonder if they’re maintaining their stock as well as they should… I’ll put in a word with an old friend before we leave, to get them checked out.” He looked Thousand over, shaking his head with a bit of a grin still on his face. “The spaceport is a few blocks away. Think you can make it, or do you need me to go get your cart again?” There was a bit of a joking edge to his words, the little race having left him in a fairly upbeat mood.

[CHAT] Thousand shrugs. ‘I think it would have gone better if I was in normal condition. Wouldn’t have looked a pro by any shot, but probably could have avoided that storefront.’ He shifts his weight back and forth, testing the stump of his ankle. ‘It’s a bit awkward, but I can manage. Best to avoid hardwood floors for a bit. I’m going to head straight for my ship, so I don’t expect that’ll be a problem.’ He trails off, looking to one side, before facing Silas once more. ‘I want to thank you again. I’ll be headed back this way before too long- maybe we can get that trip to Hydia in, eh? Really, Silas, I can’t thank you enough.’

[CHAT] Silas shrugged. “I can come with you if you’d prefer. New Haven is my home, but I’m not needed here. And to be honest, I really want to get out and see more of the universe. I got a taste of it when I flew with Dumastin, but it’s not until recently that I started to feel… How do they call it on Earth? ‘A big fish in a small pond,’ I think? It’s not an idiom that translates well for New Haveners, the planet doesn’t really have any indigenous fish.” He gave a wry grin. “Besides, I really need to find out what that Namek did to my sword. I still mean to be ready to fight if the time comes, after all.”

[CHAT] Thousand gives Silas a neutral look for a moment, before shrugging. ‘It’s up to you. The Stinger is pretty cramped as is, and once we reach my ship you’ll need to wait a bit more as well- I don’t normally keep most of my ship pressurized, so I’ll need about an hour to render it suitable for organic occupants, which I can’t start until I at least replace my arm…’ He waves the clawlike limb around in the air for emphasis. ‘Could be a dull wait. You’re more than welcome to join me, but I suspect your best bet for getting an answer about the sword is for Prime to get the helios network up and running. Between the various nodes, they probably have records of what Dumastin did.’ It still seemed strange to him that Dumastin would literally build a Prime gestalt into his own body, but he had to acknowledge there was a lot of utility in that, and that further it was the only likely way he could imagine to gain the information Silas wanted. ‘As I said, your call…’ The android walks along, popping open the canopy to the Stinger’s cockpit, looking back at Silas quizzically.

[CHAT] Silas eyed Thousand briefly, then sighed. “I’d kind of like to come along, but maybe it would be more effective if I stayed around here. Maybe I can help Prime with his repairs, if nothing else. I suppose you’re right about Prime probably being the best possibility for details, and it’s a possibility I hadn’t considered.” He looked over at the police stinger; he’d flown similar craft before on occasion, and it was true that two people would be relatively cramped in there. “Hydia then? I’ll meet you there once you’re finished. A week, two weeks?”

[CHAT] Thousand nods to Silas- he would have been happy to have the company, but it didn’t seem the best option this time around. ‘Sounds good to me. I’ll contact you within a week, let you know how I’m progressing, and we’ll hammer down a more specific time. There’s also a helios comm built into my ship, and it may be useful to get that to Prime as well- I’m not sure.’ He chuckles briefly. ‘I can probably make better time if I don’t have to run life support or environmental controls too.’ He wonders, for a moment, if the stinger will fit into his ships small cargo hold- it didn’t have any kind of hangar facilities, but it wouldn’t due to leave a borrowed spacecraft in the middle of nowhere. Again. He swings himself up into the cockpit, realizes very quickly that the current state of his limbs is ill-suited to operating the controls manually. He snakes the interface cable out of his midsection, connecting it into the stingers main computer, gaining full control of all systems within a few seconds. He glances over to Silas once more. ‘A week, then. I’ll be in touch, Silas.’

Ceal
Posts: 123
Joined: 24 Jan 2009, 17:46

Re: The Last Survivor-Prime Reloaded

Post by Ceal » 15 Aug 2017, 17:03

So... I see... I has new friends to harass. >.>

ikenbon
Posts: 738
Joined: 23 Jan 2009, 00:21

Re: The Last Survivor-Prime Reloaded

Post by ikenbon » 23 Aug 2017, 10:32

This was a really dense read and took me several tries of picking up, putting down, and picking up again to get through. There are parts of this that I really like, such as Thousand jumping at every shadow during the approach to Prime's VR company or Dumastin's 'message-in-a-bottle" for Thousand, and also parts that don't sit well with me, but all of it was fine writing. There are some strong moments here and some revelations/reveals worth reading if you've been following these characters long enough but I felt like that shadow of Dumastin hung so heavily over these characters that it was almost smothering. Even when he's dead it feels like he's in the room, which might be what you're going for (Nygmus), but I feel like the tension here with Thousand is that Dumastin and many others are gone.

Feeling the absence of their presence and knowing or believing that there are gaps now where they stood is hard when he shows up in a holovideo in front of you (even if it is to say goodbye) and tells you there might be an alternative timeline version of himself running around / heir and essentially sends the lone survivor of the final battle to go find him and (metaphorically) put him right back on the old pedestal before it has a chance to get cold. It's not just the video either. At the very start of the log Silas can't stop touching or thinking about Soulmirror and whether there's any old power left in the sword or if Dumastin spent it all. Prime goes back to remind us about how he and Dumastin were bonded together for a time and even starts up a philosophical discussion with Thousand about New Requiem and tells him, "If Dumastin were here he would say..."

These characters just felt like they're more than capable of standing up on their own without leaning on him for so much support. Couldn't Prime have just said what it thought Thousand should do? Especially -this- particular gestalt of Prime which, apparently, gets bored and has his own hobbies. And likewise Silas is a strong character without Soulmirror. I understand him keeping it as a memento but it just kind of felt like it (and the hints of power still inside) was brought to great attention so that later on Silas can hand it off to someone else.

I for one really hope the new Dumastin finds new ground to tread and doesn't just take, adopt or inherit the NPCs, artifacts and equipment left behind by the old one.

I liked the roleplay, I really did, so this isn't a serious critique but I felt like ghost of Dumastin here in this log was just doing a bit too much haunting for my tastes.

RPP rewarded

Dumastin
Posts: 374
Joined: 13 May 2010, 14:28

Re: *The Last Survivor-Prime Reloaded

Post by Dumastin » 23 Aug 2017, 12:49

Some good critiques here that I appreciate a lot. Not sure if you swing back through to read these comments, but here's a stab at some thoughts. I've rewritten this twice now trying to make sure I don't come off as defensive, because that's definitely not what I'm going for here.

Silas: For what it's worth, if I do keep using Silas in side stories like this, I intend for him to keep on carrying the sword and whatever power it has left. Sorry if it came off otherwise. (One thing I definitely do *not* plan to do is to hand it off to the Heir.)

Silas, mentally, is slightly dependent on Soulmirror. He had his world tipped upside down, leading to this big epiphany that culminated in the sword presenting itself to him, and he had to reshape his worldview around being this guy carrying around all this power that represented. Now, as far as he knows, that power is gone, and he has to come to grips with that *again.* He's got a stubborn core to him and he's a bit slow about making all these adjustments, and right now he's grappling with the question of whether or not he can continue along the path he'd already set for himself without that additional power. I didn't necessarily mean for it to be about Dumastin, but Silas *is* really preoccupied with Soulmirror right now for his own reasons.

Prime, for his part, is much more than simply preoccupied. In a very real sense, Prime as he was died along with the rest on Arlia, and what is left behind is a being struggling to piece together an understanding of what he is without that eternal presence. In a real sense he's simply going through the motions, executing on ongoing and premade plans, while trying to figure out where he goes from here. I also didn't really mean to intend to divert focus for the grief in the air from the others; that happened, in retrospect, but it happened organically, as a function of Prime's own weaker ties with most of the "second generation" crew. He was pretty indifferent to Sam and Rizion and actively disliked Requius to some extent, for a variety of individual reasons.

That's also partly why Prime tended to couch his advice in that way, referring to Dumastin as he did: Prime is *much* less comfortable reading people or attempting to lead than Dumastin was, and while Prime did tend to pick up some of his characteristics, his charisma (or attempts thereof) was not among them. Prime feels... inferior, right now. He's diminished heavily both by the damage to the Helios Network (which normally would link all extant Prime gestalts in a real-time collective) and by his partner's death, and his personal faith in his fitness to step into roles Dumastin naturally filled in their partnership is staggeringly weak right now. He believes there are things Thousand needs to hear, things that may help him, but there's nobody else in that time or that place to say them and he fears that he's woefully unsuited to being the one to say them.

Regarding the Heir: I didn't mean for it to come off with Dumastin telling Thousand to go find his heir now; this was something prearranged between them while Dumastin was still alive, and in fact, Thousand was pretty much the only dude in the galaxy other than Prime who even knew the Heir existed.

Prime will continue to be a major, major character in the Heir's storyline, but that doesn't entail the Heir stepping into his dead "father"'s shoes. There's a long path to follow for both of them.

Kuro
Posts: 141
Joined: 16 Mar 2016, 13:12

Re: *The Last Survivor-Prime Reloaded

Post by Kuro » 24 Aug 2017, 10:40

Was a nice log weighing heavily upon the survivors actual reason for living or purpose post survival. In this log I feel the heavy sense upon thousand, as well as some possible errors in his systems that may have been caused by his emotional technology or a blend of everything he's been through. Can't wait to see if/how thousand gets out of this.

As for Dumastin, I am more gravitated to seeing Silas story as a main character. I am more intrigued by him than any other the other new personas currently. (This version of prime trying to cope with the loss of himself is a close second)

Dumastin
Posts: 374
Joined: 13 May 2010, 14:28

Re: *The Last Survivor-Prime Reloaded

Post by Dumastin » 24 Aug 2017, 10:56

well shit, Silas was supposed to be kind of a side NPC to everyone else's stories... I guess I can expand on him though, he's fun to write...

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