Recovery Aborted*

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thousand
Posts: 144
Joined: 23 Feb 2016, 14:45

Recovery Aborted*

Post by thousand » 06 Oct 2017, 11:57

[Log occurs several weeks after 'Bar Buddies,' and occurs at the same time as 'Hell of a Kee-Ball Game']

Thousand had been obsessively monitoring every transmission regarding the Ki-Ball player "Crimson Rhevy" almost constantly since their meeting at Tap This, trying to reconcile the irrational fear and anger he felt towards her with the information he had been able to glean from their brief mental interface and the further observations. Rationally, he understood that the girl was fundamentally not the same person that had slaughtered his friends to a man and nearly killed him as well. He had been making progress, though only after ordering his microbots to prune a handful of key connections between his artificial neurons, effectively toning down the impulse. He had been working, inside his mind, with an AI construct of his own creation, based loosely on the appearance and personality of Jules, though serving more as a therapist than a doctor.

His efforts had done little to curtail his obsessive observation, but the fear and anger were at last beginning to ebb, he had begun once more to pursue other activities than drinking, had managed to complete the physical repairs that had been put off so long, and just the other day had sat with his back to a door for five whole minutes without freaking out. Things seemed to return to normal, and he had begun to take an interest in Ki-ball as well. Likely, the rollercoaster of emotions he experienced while observing Rhevy had something to do with that, but the android wasn't at all certain. He had almost been lost. Almost.

The android thought about that, for a moment, his eyes turning away from the main viewscreen on his ship towards a small object on the cockpit floor to his left. Meanwhile, the viewscreen focused on a sports announcer, going on a long spiel with his co-host regarding the imminent game between the Vitae City Firebolts and Rhevy's own New Hope Arsenal- the latest in the events Thousand was determined to observe until he worked through this somehow. The device was the size of a childs fist, with a short cable attached to it, designed to connect to his SACI interface. A rather morbid creation, all told.

In his darkest moments, the android had found that his designed capacity to emulate intoxication from a handful of popular recreational substances was insufficient to achieve the effect he desired; a part of his mind always remained fully conscious and aware, and that portion of his mind never saw any relief from the constant storm that had assailed his mind since the Battle of the Sanctum. This device was to be Thousand's answer to that.

He had utilized a small portion of the components harvested from his duplicates encountered during his journey- in particular, the artificial neurons. It was intended to expand his consciousness, in a manner of speaking. The configuration of the artificial neurons was patterned after the pleasure center of his own mind, and was intended to augment that region of his mind while heavily stimulating the external module. In theory, the device would have an effect roughly an order of magnitude more powerful than an organic mind exposed to the highest non-fatal dosage of the strongest opiates available, and would effectively drown out all of the memories, emotions, and pain in a torrent of pure unadulterated bliss. It was created out of desperation, and had yet to be used- the mere fact that this form of escape existed had become a source of comfort for the android. He picked up the device, turned it over in his hands, before setting it aside once more, his attention returning to his viewscreen as players from both teams filtered into the arena.

His eyes focused on the Kaio girl, a whirlwind of emotions ripping through his mind. His progress had been astounding, and his dive into her mind helpful- the irrational traumatic emotions associated with the girl vieing in his mind with attraction, the impression that she was a good person, and a strange sense of familiarity that he couldn't seem to place. He thought, for a moment, about the large sealed door in her psyche, and what it could possibly have represented, even as the game began. He had only just started to relax a bit and start to focus on more of the game than just Rhevy, when the transmission appeared to cut out.

Or had it?

A quick analysis of the viewscreen indicated that it was still receiving video and audio data, at the same bitrate it had when the picture was available. Quirking an eyebrow, he unmuted the screen, wincing suddenly as a cacophony of screams began to echo throughout the cockpit. He freezes in place, the screams echoing through his consciousness, touching the portions of his mind still yet to be reigned in. He tucked his knees up to his chest, under his chin, wrapping his arms around them, rocking slowly back and forth in his seat, eyes unfocused and staring at the black screen. He was uncertain of how much time had passed, before the video feed came back, and the spokesman for the Ascended Hunters began his spiel. He watched in horror as the bodies of hundreds of ascended were raised up on chains, like a set of ghastly chandeliers, even as his eyes trailed down to those still standing on the field- Rhevy among their number, and... that man- Gilder? The one who had led him to that plague village, leading to Sara's infection and death, and who had brutally attacked him, displaying nought but hatred even AFTER the effects of the plague had worn off.

Were they among the ascended hunters? Had Rhevy taken out the Universe's strongest, and meant now to clean up the remaining weaker ascended at her leisure? Why would Gilder be helping her? It didn't make sense- she had no memory of those events, and her affections for her teammates was evident, even though at least one of them he recognized from Tap This was among the dead. Had she or someone else turned her into some kind of sleeper agent? To what end? As much as he tried to suppress it, the fear and anger began to build up slowly once more, his vision of the events beginning to waver. He shook his head violently, bringing his vision back into proper focus. [Think, Thousand. There is more than meets the eye here. Something must...]

The androids mind blanks out, then, as he observes the ascended on the field, foremost among them Rhevy and Gilder, begin casting blasts of energy into the crowd. It was over in mere moments- thousands of spectators, gone, in yet another slaughter.

He stared at it for a long time. The irrational fear melted away, and the anger soared, along with self-loathing. The video screen exploded in front of him, his left fist embedded in the bulkhead behind where it once was. When had he fired it? He stared at the stump of his left forearm dumbly, before slowly rising to his feet.

There was only one coherent thought in Thousand's mind. [YOU did this. YOU let your fears, your little savior complex, and your insistence upon hard evidence override your instincts. You spared the man. You spared the woman. And now all those they have slaughtered since are on your head.]

He keyed his comm, trying to contact the local authorities of Vitae City- more information, even as he rapidly tapped at the console before him, angling his ship towards that part of the planet from its low orbit. A panicked voice answered the line, and Thousand opened his mouth to speak.

'...'

The android blinked, even as the storm in his mind began to worsten. The voice on the line repeated its panicked query, and once more, the android attempted to speak.

'...'

No matter how hard Thousand tried, he could not speak. He could barely manage more than that single coherent thought. In short order, the voice on the line promptly disconnected the call.

Staring at an indicator for the progress of the autopilot, the android began to pace the deck like a caged animal.

Already, his scanners locked onto the distant energy signatures of Rhevy and Gilder.

Before the Sanctum, he might have suspected foul play- he employed his own holograms frequently, and hardly had a monopoly on the technology.

But it was far too late, and the android far too gone to even consider that angle now.

Thought, fear, and rationality had slipped away almost entirely.
He was left with but two feelings. The first, pure rage.
The second, A long forgotten feeling.
He had forgotten it while here.
A consuming obsession.
And that, to kill.


The pair would have no idea of the approaching storm until it was on top of them...

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

Re: Recovery Aborted

Post by Kuro » 06 Oct 2017, 13:04

All the stars are aligning for an end to the confusion and happenings between Thousand's survivors guilt and Rhevy's unexplained survival from the Sanctum. Can't wait to see what will become of this at the end.

rpp awarded

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

Re: Recovery Aborted

Post by Dumastin » 07 Oct 2017, 21:08

Meanwhile, Silas Henries threw back a drink, something fruity that came in a very small glass and yet kicked like a mule. He shifted in his seat, adjusting how the unfamiliar weight of the dagger on his belt laid against his waist, and wondered whether Thousand had forgotten about him.

Maybe it was time to get moving.

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