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436389 No. 436389 ID: f09b71

I feel pretty good, all things considered. That might just be the bio suit's pain diminisher kicking in. Or maybe the crazy is setting in, as I'm not regretting coming here as much as I should. Before coming to this region, I've never seen real combat. It only came easily because of years of training combined with extenuating circumstances.

So here I am, in the now-familiar bio suit. Light as a feather, best shape of my life, new armor on top of the biosuit and well armed.

The good circumstances end there. Rokoa dumped me off without any knowledge of where I am, other than what I could feel. I am not far from the teleporter, on the same floor level. The ship is most likely a capital ship.

The lights are off, and the night vision is working fine. There are neumono scattered all around me and above, but not below, all emitting a dismaying amount of drive and discipline. It is not remotely unreasonable for me to assume that the majority of individuals in this war hive has had at least as much formal training as myself, with authentic combat experience added on to that. My only edge is that the training that I have had is specifically focused on exactly this kind of mission. Infiltration, assassination and so forth with empathic silence.

The door on my right is where I came in from. There is a catwalk to a second story with various storage units, and a large door at the opposite end where large shipments would come and go.
Expand all images
>>
No. 436395 ID: b85f8c

They have security cameras, you can bet on that. We need to stick to darkened areas or maintenance shafts to get around undetected. Cutting the power would work quite well for keeping our location unknown if their cameras are optical-only, but would raise the alarm. Granted I'm not sure if we can even get anywhere without raising the alarm...

How LONG did it take for Rokoa to get to the queen after she was separated from you? That should give us a good idea of how far away her chambers are.
>>
No. 436398 ID: 886a4d

We're going to need a map. Pity we don't have access to any hacking tools b/c we're going to need to get to a computer terminal. See any in here?
>>
No. 436403 ID: b33427

Close up the crate you just came out of; No sense in giving them even a little hint that someone was in there.

Read the signs on the door to your right, then search for a cargo manifest or other such record of what's in storage here. There may be something you could use as a distraction.

Check the room for other exit points, such as access to maintenance crawlspaces and shafts, large vents, or cargo delivery conveyors and chutes.

You're pretty much stuck to avoiding all of Rokoa's hive in this run. Even a non-lethal takedown will raise the alarm as the target's link goes out. Only way to do it would be to make it look like an accident.
>>
No. 436432 ID: f09b71
File 134329508632.png - (10.13KB , 700x700 , 693.png )
436432

>Close the crate, read the signs on the door
Done. "A sign to the Teleporter operation tunnel... and a couple warnings about safety, mostly in the tone of 'don't be a dumbass.' There are many warning signs like these, with basic storage operations. It isn't anything helpful unless I wanted to apply for a job here.

>Is there any computer terminal, map or records?
If there are any terminals or records, it is behind this door labeled Storage Operations. And behind lock and key. It looks like there is a slot for a keycard, a retinal scan, and a numerical password. Either there are different options, or this level of security is borderline paranoid. There are a couple of forklifts, however, and this place is far from full capacity.

>How long did it take for Rokoa to get to the queen after she seperated?
9 minutes, but that would be the most direct route, and for all I know she sprinted through 5 security checkpoints.
>>
No. 436433 ID: f09b71
File 134329511561.png - (11.83KB , 1000x600 , 694.png )
436433

>Scan the room for exit points and security sameras
There are grates on the ceiling, and I do have my grappling hook. The air vents in such a ship may even be large and sturdy enough for me. There are trash chutes at two walls.
Security cameras... everywhere! I can spot at least 5 at a glance, and 2 on the second level. There are only blind spots because of all of the boxes around.

And there is already a squad of 4 neumono coming. They are hustling in my direction to investigate. No mistaking it, I've been found out already, and they're going to arrive in under a minute.
>>
No. 436437 ID: 6e44d2

Hide in a camera blind spot where you have height on them, if at all possible. Optimally, we'll want to get out of there without killing any guards. Maybe it'd be best if you just hopped into one of the vents, but, knowing these guys, the vents probably have some security bullshit in them. How terrible would that be. Jeez, how're you gonna pull this off?
>>
No. 436451 ID: 507f4b

Check the forklifts, see if they're drivable. People often leave the keys in the things, just out of practicality. You may end up setting a speed assassination record.
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No. 436454 ID: 61e7f9

Shoot all the cameras. Then jump into the air vents.
>>
No. 436455 ID: 24f833

Wow, that was quick. Thought our cover would last longer.

Pity you don't have any non-lethal weapons, like a taser, or knock out darts. Because you can't kill these guys. Unless you're willing to make this a suicide mission, or you're willing to kill Rokoa before she finds out (unlikely- she'd sense from her hive things like "intruder danger" and "casualties").

That means a fight is out of the question. Even assuming you can quickly beat these guys 4 on 1, what are the odds you can guarantee non-lethal injures to the whole squad during the firefight? So you need to bug out. We need an escape route, one that preferably gets you off camera. Vents, or the garbage shoot, maybe.

If I may suggest a longer term objective, for later? We should really find Rokoa's quarters. It'll be less secure than the ship's armory, but you *know* there's going to be awesome stuff in there. Her personal stash is worth raiding.
>>
No. 436457 ID: bf54a8

>>436455
i think you are underestimating neomono healing factor, they can have their heads blown off and get better.
>>
No. 436477 ID: 0b766f

Actually, come to think of it, our knowledge in non-lethally disabling Neumono is fairly limited.

We know what doesn't kill Rokoa, but we can hardly use her as a baseline. From the zombie fight, it seemed the difference between staying awake or not from a non-lethal gunshot wound was willpower, which Rokoa's hivemates will likely have in spades. We know stomach and heart shots can produce unconsciousness, but those are likely difficult to hit in a firefight, and they may be wearing some kind of body armor or vest. Headshots will produce unconsciousness in all but the toughest nuemono, but I'm afraid on non-Rokoas that much damage could be fatal without quick medical attention, which we can't afford to give or call in. (Even Rokoa ended up in the Salikai's hospital reasonably soon after both headshots).

Polo, we need an honest assessment of your ability to disable multiple targets non-fatally. If you have any doubts, withdrawing and playing on your stealth seems the better option.
>>
No. 436493 ID: 886a4d

I vote stealth, the vents seem the best idea since there are likely cameras everywhere in the corridors.
>>
No. 436513 ID: 2eac65

Before you hide, make sure the cameras lose sight of you first, and then move to a spot that isn't too close to the last place you were seen. If you see someone, say, hides in a locker, it's easy to tell where they are even after they're outside your field of vision.
>>
No. 436514 ID: 68f2f2

Easy Peasy. Block the door with a forklift. Those things are heavy. Think the doors will hold up to having the forks rammed through them?

Was hoping you'd get to do this without most of the hive on alert, but I guess you'll be sneaking in a hot zone instead.
>>
No. 436530 ID: f09b71
File 134333591147.png - (19.10KB , 700x700 , 695.png )
436530

>Non-lethal takedowns
Given this hive, they should be able to handle a shot to the head. While they need medical attention, I would be amazed if there was not at least an adequate hospital ward on this ship. My concern is that I do not know how many will be able to stay conscious and fighting with a shot to the head. Nevertheless, I will focus on stealth over fighting. Against 4 opponents, I would have doubts of my ability to take them down at all, regardless of lethality or not.

>Block the door with the forklift
Yes, that is doable! That will tip them off for sure, but it's a bit late for that, and I could use the time.

... except there are no keys, they actually took them out, and I don't see them in any compartments! It's like these guys expected an infiltration.

>Shoot the cameras
I have the ammo to spare, so I will shoot the cameras I can see to at least blind them. They can see me anyway, so this will help blind them to any hiding spots I may have.
>>
No. 436532 ID: f09b71
File 134333595921.png - (16.79KB , 700x700 , 696.png )
436532

With the cameras disabled, I will be able to hop into the vents, but they are covered with grates. They do not look heavy duty, but it will be a clear giveaway to my entry. I will also be able to take a trash chute, but don't know where it will take me. Alternatively, I can hide behind some boxes to take a closer look at my immenent adversaries, but it may be difficult to hide from them for long.
>>
No. 436534 ID: 886a4d

Take off the vent covers then go through the trash. If you can you want to go up, not down.
>>
No. 436543 ID: 0b766f

We can't convince them you're too big a threat, or they might actually more vital personal (ie the Queen) off the ship while trying to contain you. We also can't afford to get pinned down in an extended firefight.

I think a fakeout might be the best option. Break open an obvious exit, hide and cover, then take another route when they leave. Stealth, misdirection, and you possibly get to overhear useful information. Get them to underestimate you, if possible. They may assume you're an alien, since they can't sense you, and they may not know of your abilities at all (I doubt Rokoa, Kork, or Tirrek has had a full debrief yet).

You have the advantage of being able to listen to their emotional broadcasts. I don't suppose use your suit's equipment to listen to their comms? ...I doubt you have the right frequency though (it would make sense Rokoa wasn't broadcasting to you on the hive's main communication frequency).

Possible things for the To do list:
-get map / schematics
-frequency for enemy comm channels
-acquire more firepower for the actual assassination. Queenie's likely approaching Rokoa levels of toughness, we need something killtastic. Steal from the armory, or Rokoa's quarters, if she has any on board.
-secure an escape route. A shuttle or pods would be nice, or emergency teleporters.
-possibly break into the brig, take Rokoa off the hook. Might be useful for intel. Or good to have her healed up, and in a position to help keep her hive from killing you after your assassination.

>Specifically trained for this kind of mission- assassination.
Off topic slightly, but Polo, it occurs to me you might actually be the first neumono assassin in history. With the link, stealth would be next to impossible as would keeping the intent to kill hidden. I suppose someone could have done it equipped with a jammer, but a tinfoil hat ain't exactly good for sneaking.
>>
No. 436544 ID: e3f578

You can't hotwire a forklift?
Wow, an infiltration specialist where their training did NOT include hotwiring
Did they not also teach you how to pick a lock or hack one?

I mean, a child could hack a fucking ATM if taught. I mean, sure, that was in a movie, but there might be a bit of truth to that lie.
>>
No. 436559 ID: 61e7f9

Pull off air vent grate, go in trash chutes. Try to go up.
>>
No. 436585 ID: b33427

Before ripping the vent grilles off, open the trash chute and check whether you can even get up it. If it's slick walls and no place to throw a grappling hook, you're going to have to go out the vents. Make sure to rip the grilles off more than one vent before leaving.

Just throwing this out, but there might be another way to disable members of Rokoa's hive. This is a space faring ship, so it must have some form of artificial gravity. If Polo can get to the controls for that, even for just one section, she could dial it up. Even they couldn't fight when they, and everything in that section, weighs ten times normal.
>>
No. 436595 ID: f09b71
File 134334178517.png - (19.56KB , 700x700 , 697.png )
436595

>Hotwire
I know how to hotwire, but am not confident I can do so, and drive the slow vehicle to the door, in under what is becoming far less than a minute as they speed up from shooting the cameras. I know basic lockpicking as well, but not hack any computer opened door that has anything more than child safety security.

>First neumono assassin, and jammers
Only among the first in this particular scenario. There have been long range assassinations taking place outside of empathic range, but that is very situational. A jammer is possible, but they do tend to require a large, heavy box. Nevertheless, they are able to be carried, so I will have to be careful in case they try to get to me with a jammer to hide their approach.

I fling the grappling hook up just to yank off the grate, and hop into the trash chute. The walls are somewhat slick, but the armor provides enough friction to gradually climb up. I move up a few dozen meters until I can see an exit above. It continues going up higher, if I wish.
>>
No. 436597 ID: 886a4d

Skip the first exit then go to the second as long as there aren't any neumino near it.
>>
No. 436602 ID: b33427

Take the first exit if you sense no neumono near it, otherwise keep going up to the second exit. You want out of this cramped shaft ASAP. They know it's one of only a few ways out of that cargo hold, and they'll check it real soon. They spot you and start shooting, and you've got nowhere to dodge.
>>
No. 436603 ID: 61e7f9

Take a look out the first exit. What do you see. A peek, don't climb out.
>>
No. 436632 ID: 58d4d3

A second exit might be best. If they think you're in the vents above floor 1, then they're going to try to get at you through the floor of floor 2. Floor 3 won't have patrols actively expecting you, yet.

(Obviously I'm arbitrary labeling the floor we came in on as 1. We can rescale later when we learn actual scale and measurements).

It might be wise to peep out the floor 2 exit as you go by- if it's a high intel value target, say a control room, data hub, etc that could help your survival, it might be worth investigating it.

If we're lucky, they might not be well prepared to deal with this kind of infiltration. It's not a common or practical tactic among neumono. Additionally, you're pretty dang small, and can get into places they may not expect. So they may make initial mistakes in their containment and response tactics, though you can hardly count on that.

Have you considered how we're going to kill Queenie? She's pretty big, and runs a war hive. We have to assume she's pretty tough physically. Maybe not on Rokoa's level, but getting there. I'm not sure what we have in your current arsenal could take her down permanently, and quickly enough for us to get out before guards appear. Sniping, or hit and run, aren't going to work unless you get something with more bang.
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No. 436640 ID: f09b71
File 134334903053.png - (6.03KB , 900x455 , 698.png )
436640

I peek out the first exit I see, but don't exit. No neumono to be seen or sensed close by, although I am still surrounded entirely. Left door is labeled 'Stables', right door is labeled Exit, the door next to me is Farm Water Closet, and the one next to that, closest to the exit door, is just labeled 'utilities.'

>Have you considered how to kill Queenie?
I have considered the possibility of attempting to acquire a particularly big gun.
>>
No. 436641 ID: 886a4d

Stables? Thats unusual for a space ship isn't it? Anyway continue on up.
>>
No. 436642 ID: b85f8c

I thought we had explosive rounds. Surely a few of those to various parts of her body would work. Unless she's wearing bio armor I suppose, then we'd need more than a few.

If you can see a security cam from here you're already spotted. Going further up the trash chute would allow them to predict where you're going and that's bad. If the cam saw you, shoot it then enter the Stables door.

What does your training say about infiltration missions like this?
>>
No. 436643 ID: 58d4d3

>I have considered the possibility of attempting to acquire a particularly big gun.
Attagirl. Keep an eye out for an armory, or Rokoa's room. You know she's gotta have a personal stash of explosives, or a BFG...

Any guess as to the origin of this craft? Given the timeframe since first contact and major tech step-up, I'm assuming the war hive bought or commissioned this from off world.

What would "Stables" mean on a spaceship? For smaller craft? Fighters, shuttles, etc? We're not out to sabotage the whole ship, so they water supplies aren't really of interest.

Let's try utilities. Maybe they'll be something useful in there.
>>
No. 436644 ID: 61e7f9

Keep going up.
>>
No. 436653 ID: f09b71
File 134335036312.png - (15.94KB , 700x700 , 699.png )
436653

>Unusual stables
It implies that this capital ship is either intended to be entirely self sufficient, or to compliment a food supply in case of emergency. A neumono can live off of plants alone, but it is not healthy.

>Explosive rounds
I can hope those are enough. Although Rokoa may be the best of the best, the fighting ability and toughness of a queen of a warhive is at least as important as a fitting, strong personality. The chances of her being stronger than Rokoa are not to be ruled out.

>The origin of this ship
It is most likely built by offworlders. It is most likely commissioned for neumono, as while the structure is large for me, I believe most other major species that have the technology for this would find themselves cramped.

There is no camera in this hall, however, so I can safely continue traversing on up. I get about 12 more feet up, before I hear the telltale metallic thunk of a chute hatch opening.
>>
No. 436655 ID: 886a4d

Brace yourself for falling garbage. Think you can aim that pistol in case its someone looking for you?
>>
No. 436656 ID: 58d4d3

Brace yourself. You're either about to get splattered with trash, or someone's about to stick there head in and start shooting. Or drop a grenade, if they're smart.
>>
No. 436679 ID: b85f8c

Can you snipe the poor bastard's head from that angle?
>>
No. 436686 ID: f09b71
File 134335513507.png - (12.72KB , 700x700 , 700.png )
436686

>Aim the gun
I can do that, if somewhat awkwardly. It is still about 20 feet to the next exit, if it is consistent. A head pops in, and the shine of a flashlight that prevents me from seeing anything other than a silhouette. I take a shot, and hear a thok as it hits something thick, most likely a helmet, mixed with the various pinks of richochets as the bullet bounces around the chute. And through it all, I can still tell that I hit that person, as he or she jumps back out in surprise and pain.

>"Contact! In the trash chute! The infiltrator is in the trash chute, she is armed!

But it wasn't nearly enough. I was hoping they would make this easy for me.
>>
No. 436688 ID: b85f8c

We need to be quick. Slide down to the previous exit and get out.
>>
No. 436690 ID: 886a4d

Well, crap. Drop down to level two. They'll be waiting for you up there. I bet the stables has lots of ventilation to escape through.
>>
No. 436696 ID: 58d4d3

Hmm. They used specific gender pronouns. Now, that might just be sexism speaking, as neumono seem to be female dominant. You used the correct he or she for an unknown though. I think that suggests they know who you are. That's unfortunate.

You need to bug out, get down to the exit you passed, and move. They'll be coming to cut you off on floor two, and in a moment the people on floor 3 are going to realize they can drop a grenade on your head.

This whole mission depends on stealth. We haven't even got a chance to catch our bearings. I'm not sure how to do this anymore without getting inevitably caught, or blowing the ship.

We need to distract attempts to come after us. Spaceships are delicate. Lots of things needed to function right. We need to distract efforts from searching for us, force people to waste time on repairs and guarding critical systems so we're free-er to move. That means we fuck shit up as we retreat. Break systems as we go. When you get to floor 2, we should damage the water plant, and maybe release the livestock. Give them other problems to manage.

Also, if you act more like a saboteur, they'll suspect assassin less.
>>
No. 436728 ID: f09b71
File 134336045271.png - (8.21KB , 900x455 , 701.png )
436728

I slide down as fast as I can manage and not risk falling farther, and hop out of the exit.

Not seconds later, blaster shots fly upwards through the chute.

I hear the intercom from other floors flare up as well, but I can't hear it clearly enough to hear what is being said. Either this floor does not have an intercom, or they are specifically turning this floor's intercom off so I can't hear what is being communicated.
>>
No. 436730 ID: b85f8c

>>436728
Stables.
>>
No. 436731 ID: 4a328b

Stables, go go go
>>
No. 436732 ID: 886a4d

I doubt the Farm Water Closet will effect anything else but this level. Peek into utilities.
>>
No. 436736 ID: b33427

How many can you sense on this level, and in what directions?

Peek into the Farm Water Closet. If there is a very large water tank in there for the farm, a block of C4 dropped to the bottom of it would punch a hole through into the level below. In addition to creating a flood, it would make another route down through the hole.
>>
No. 436769 ID: 1c8255

I'm glad we didn't try dropping to the bottom.

Pop the door to the water facilities, lob some explosives and or shoot the place up a little. We need to buy breathing room- force resources towards things other than hunting you. That means we damage systems as we go, but nothing too vital to not crashing.

Farm seems a good escape route- lots of cover, hard to track you by sensors with animals around. You can also release them for more havoc.

There are probably multiple exits too. To the slaughterhouse, or waste processing, etc. We need to lose pursuit for a little while.
>>
No. 436828 ID: f09b71
File 134337017296.png - (27.13KB , 700x700 , 702.png )
436828

I head into the water closet. Using explosives here would likely not have as much effect as I would like, as I do not know how thick these walls are. It looks more to be a pipe section rather than a water storage area anyways. I do pop a few shots in, causing heavy leaks.
>>
No. 436834 ID: f09b71
File 134337029336.png - (49.90KB , 1002x647 , 703.png )
436834

I can't afford to stay long, and run into the stables. There are sunlamps on the ceiling, and animals grazing here in what is distincly not a stable. Honestly, I don't even know what these things I'm looking at are, but they don't look interested in escaping. Slaughterhouse entry to the far left, and a stairwell to the right end. And in between my entry door and the slaughterhouse door is a cryogenic chamber. And of all the continually bad luck, another camera is here. Worst off, there's a squad coming straight down from the stairwell, and these ones are practically sliding down the stairs. They aren't investigating, they're here to either subdue or kill.

And of all things, they are happy to have something to do, like they were sore they got stuck up here instead of getting to fight in the facility.
>>
No. 436840 ID: 1c8255

>they are happy to have something to do, like they were sore they got stuck up here instead of getting to fight in the facility
Well... given that this is Rokoa's hive, that response perhaps isn't surprising.

Well, the water will be a hassle for the engineers, depending on how long it takes them to notice the leaks. If you're really lucky, the water will get into some of the electrical systems before they do anything about it. It would be really handy if they lost lights or comms for a little while.

Adorable, passive, bunny-lizards. Free range. Great. No cover, no hiding places, no stampede. A docile food animal makes sense,actually, dangit.

Kill the camera, can't let them see which way you go.

Damaging cryogenics might divert more manpower for repairs, but only if they're using them. No good if they're only for storing people while deep space traveling.

There has be heavy equipment in the slaughterhouse. Something you can knock over and block the door with. There should also be multiple exits- a place like that needs good ventilation, access to waste disposal, and possibly a way to ship the meat out.

Sabotaging food production while you're in there is another petty annoyance to slow them down.
>>
No. 436841 ID: b85f8c

>>436834
If you haven't been spotted by the camera, *don't* destroy it. Simply avoid its line of sight as you go through another door.

I'm thinking Slaughterhouse. The cryo chamber is likely a dead end.
>>
No. 436842 ID: b33427

If there's only one camera, and you didn't step into its line of sight, don't destroy it. Otherwise, shoot it and any others in sight before proceeding.

Head towards the slaughterhouse, but stop and look in the cryo-chamber room on the way. Shoot any and all canisters that look like they contain cryo-gas or cryo-liquid, then shoot the hinges off the door. That'll flood this "Stables" area with suffocating, and obscuring, cryogenic gas, which won't do the livestock any good, and possibly the pursuing neumonos. However, if there's no time, just skip it and continue to the slaughterhouse door.
>>
No. 436864 ID: f09b71
File 134337668139.png - (19.33KB , 700x700 , 704.png )
436864

Unfortunately, the camera trained on me as soon as I entered the door. I suspect they have security personnel actively watching for me.

I peek into the cryo, but it is merely a mass chamber of frozen livestock, I suppose for backups. Standard cryo glass is extremely strong and thick, and I would need to put out a more firepower than I have time for while that squad on my tail is falling fast.

So I head into the slaughterhouse.

I do not know what kind of slaughterhouse needs a neumono jammer.

>"Freeze. Don't get cocky in that armor, there's a reason I'm hanging back here. Drop the gun."

Seconds until the other squad shows up.

At the side of her helmet is a small incription. Q.I. #23.
>>
No. 436867 ID: c6ec33

>>436864
You're boned. Time to hope she's a surprise ally. Keep it short and sweet: "I'm a friend of Rokoa's. Hide me from your pals and I'll talk."
>>
No. 436873 ID: 886a4d

If shes hanging back there to avoid blowback dive to side, then use the wall to push your way to her. It will take time to move that thing around. Once your close enough aim directly at her lovely eyes. Take the shot and book it.
>>
No. 436879 ID: e3f578

That's a goddamn double-barrel shotgun, that isn't built for piercing armor. Unless Neumono shotguns are.
She also isn't anticipating Rokoa's bioarmor being under there.

Ugh, QI, greeaaaaat. I'm good with the plan of saying something short like, "Friends with Rokoa. Wearing her bioarmor under. Hide me. Queen bitchslapped her, have to rescue from cryo." That shouldn't take too long to say.
>>
No. 436880 ID: b33427

...Fuck. That's gotta be an anti-armor gun with explosive rounds, and at this range she doesn't even have to aim well to hit. You can only hope she agrees with Rokoa, but don't count on it.

Don't move, only say "I'm on Rokoa's side." If that doesn't get a favorable response then it's time for plan B.

Dive through the doorway and to your right, and tuck into a roll. Hopefully she'll miss, hit the wall behind you, your armor will soak the blast, and you'll be thrown across the room. If she hits... Well, you'll find out if the shot can penetrate both armor layers. Whatever happens, keep moving, and sprint for the nearest exit.
>>
No. 436881 ID: b85f8c

>>436864
All you have out is a pistol? You won't be taking her out with that. You're boned.

Wait. She's a QI? They're all supposed to be in the field. You can bet she's Rokoa's buddy, to have stayed behind and hidden herself with a jammer. Tell her you'll drop it as soon as you get the door closed behind you. No cameras in here, right?
>>
No. 436883 ID: e3f578

>>436879
err rescue from brig
for some reason I thought she was in a cyro brig jail.
because I don't think anything else could effectively hold her.
>>
No. 436887 ID: 68f2f2

>>436867
This. All the others were operating on a shoot first basis. This QI hasn't started blasting yet, and that means she has some reason to not splatter you across the bulkhead.
>>
No. 436888 ID: 1c8255

Okay, it's been, what, minutes since they first discovered you in the storage chamber, right? They couldn't possibly have had time grab the jammers out of storage, and deployed QIs behind doors on your potential path to wait for you. She must have been here, and had the jammer ready, before you were spotted.

Okay... tactically, I've got two possible analyses.

(1) You're fucked. She's one of Rokoa's squadmates, she's got you in her sights, and all you can quickly bring to bear is a pistol. You're not going to quickly take her down or get by her before the squad of gleeful no longer bored guards shows up behind you. You might be able to retreat and hope she's slowed by the jammer, but then you'll be caught in an open field, and outnumbered.

(2) You may not be quite fucked. Just because she's cocky doesn't mean she's actually using ammo that can penetrate layers of conventional and bio armor. Shoot her in the face (jammer's not made to double as good face armor, I assume), take the hit, move into the room, and get to a fucking escape route.

...but then you're in the same desperate situation as before, running to stay just ahead of an opponent who's been tipped off from the start and isn't giving you any room to do your stealth thing.

We need a third option.

(3) You'd really think the A team would be in the field now. And as I said before, it really doesn't make sense she was ready and waiting for you. Plus, she's talking instead of just shooting you. All that together means there's a chance she's not out to kill you.

Best bet might be to move into the room (buying precious seconds before the squad sees you), and ask her what the hell that reason is.

I don't like spouting off "Rokoa sent me" since it obviously puts her in deep shit if it doesn't work. On the other hand, she's already being tortured, refused to kill you, and carried in a crate you came out of. They'll figure it out. If you're going to say it though, you might want to lower Silence just long enough for her to see you're telling the truth.
>>
No. 436901 ID: 1444d5

Lower you gun, but don't drop it. Tell her the response team is about 5 seconds away. Ask if she wants to to be the distraction, or spring Rokoa herself.

Because why else would a member of Rokoa's QI unit be hiding near cryo with a jammer turned on in their worn hive?
>>
No. 436920 ID: 6a1ec2

OK just to be clear on this we're not here to save Rokoa. She will kick your ass if you try to save her. We're here to kill the rogue queen, and stop this hive from annihilating what's left of our own. With the queen tipped off she either went into hiding or she's ready to take you on herself.
>>
No. 436924 ID: 842d23

Rokoa did make it perfectly clear she wouldn't help us fight her hive, so breaking her out the brig wouldn't help us in the short term. Heck, it would probably be a detriment, as we could blow our cover (except, derp, no cover they already found us >_<).

The only advantage sneaking into the brig to see her might have had was:
(1) Useful intel to accomplish the mission with. Although really, you'd think she would have given it to you at the onset if she had any to give. And not left you in a room full of cameras.
(2) Give her the tools to escape later, and/or pull her off the hook so she can start healing. That way, she'd be in a position to stop her hive from killing us after we kicked up the anthill shooting the queen. I mean really, they'd need to be called off, and we'd likely need some help in getting off this death trap.

Of course, we were discovered already, so that's kind of a moot point.

On the subject of motive- yes, we're here to kill the Queen. But we've got a few reasons. Partially to stop the needless agression and attacks, partially for revenge. But it's also because this hive is sick- Polo said it herself. The Queen is a disease to be cut out. We're here to help, in a strange way. Because everyone's better off with the warhive not crazy. And maybe we're doing it, just a little bit, for Rokoa. She's earned some grudging respect, and we feel we owe it to her- or that she doesn't deserve her home and family to be fucked up the way we they are.

>Because why else would a member of Rokoa's QI unit be hiding near cryo with a jammer turned on in their worn hive?
Possibly as a crazy prepared anti-infiltration countermeasure. I mean, it worked, did it? Yeah, it's great if she's hiding because she turned on her Queen too, but you can't just ignore the possibility of crazy. Rokoa-class elites, remember? And just because she was one of them, doesn't mean they're more loyal to her than the Queen. We can hope, but we don't know.

That said, we probably just have to risk it. Our options right now are basically (1) surrender, get tortured and killed. (2) Fight, get killed, or subdued then tortured and killed. (3) Find out the reason she's here is to help you and somehow escape survive.
>>
No. 436926 ID: f09b71
File 134341539113.png - (16.26KB , 700x700 , 705.png )
436926

I do want to know how this QI managed to get a jammer and get down here in the short few minutes that I have been discovered, but I have more important questions than what is already done.

>Possibly lower silence
Neumono jammers work in and out. This QI may not even know that there is a squad coming, and if she does, it's because it is communicated, not because she can sense them.

I start lowering my gun as I inch my way in past the door.

"I'll drop it when I have the door closed. I'm a... friend of Rokoa's. Are you not out to kill me?"
>"Just gonna bring you in alive for some questions, since I doubt poor old Rokoa will answer any. You won't like our treatment much, but you'll live if you cooperate. Now drop it!"

I entered the jamming field, but I can estimate that the other squad will enter the pasture in a couple of seconds. I can dive in to avoid being seen for a few more seconds. A gunfight would last about that long, whether or not either of us need multiple shots to bring down. It may come to that. If she is allied with Rokoa, she is doing a poor job of showing it. Although I have a rifle, I've kept my gun at hand given the short range I've usually been in. I am certain that all of my practice to duel Rokoa will guarantee me at least one good shot before she fires that shotgun.

In the back, I can see a door labeled Exit, likely the entrance this one came through.
>>
No. 436931 ID: 842d23

>Don't get cocky in that armor, there's a reason I'm hanging back here
Wait, shit. I just figured it out. She's saying she's standing well away from the door because she's got explosive ammo. That's why she's confident the armor won't help you. We were so desperate for help we ignored the obvious answer. -_-

>Surrender or no?

Well, she's promised you'll live if you give. Unfortunately, there are fates worse than death, and her Queen has already shown she doesn't honor bargains, and wants you dead. Captivity is therefore not a safe place to be.

Also, you're fully equipped with gear right now. Even if you escape later, you'll lose all that you have on you- putting you in a much worse position to get the mission done.

Take the shot. Got for the head. Throw yourself from the coming explosion as you do. Maybe if you're real lucky, the blast will block, obstruct or damage the door so the squad can't follow immediately.

I'd like to throw in a quip like "Sorry, but your queen doesn't honor deals", but won't really have time.

tl;dr: Headshot. Dodge.
>>
No. 436933 ID: 68f2f2

>>436926
well that's about the worst case. There's no way you can let yourself get captured. (Though it's curious she doesn't shoot first anyway.. you spacebunnies can take a ridiculous amount of damage and live to be interrogated later.

explosive ammo is likely, considering she's standing back instead of right beside the door, which would have been ideal for solid shot. Think you can dive into the room and put a shot down one of those barrels? This is good time to give thanks for generally slow neumono reflexes.
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No. 436935 ID: 68f2f2

>>436920
but if you let them THINK you're here to save Rokoa, they'll be defending the wrong place.
>>
No. 436937 ID: 0c2247

>>436926
Walk into the room and close the door.
"First, some privacy.
You know I cut a deal with your queen, right?
She doesn't attack my hive, my hive stays out of the fight.
You know what's going to happen when other hives find out yours negotiates peace just to catch others off guard? They're not going to let you run, since you would come back. They're not going to let you surrender, since your word has no meaning. They're going to wipe you out.
Unless, of course, your rogue queen is deposed.

I am going stop this nonsense by any means necessary. I strongly suggest you let this happen.
>>
No. 436939 ID: 842d23

>>436935
Hmm. Misdirection. I like.

>>436937
...I don't think telling someone our assassination plans are such a good idea. Kind of defeats the purpose. Also, a speech wastes time, of which we have little to spare.
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No. 436946 ID: e3f578

"The reason Rokoa is not going to talk is that there's nothing to talk about. I can sum up everything important in a single goddamn sentence. Your queen is a big fat red bitch, she is the daughter of Clifford the Big Red Dog and a chihuahua. That's the entire extent of it."
>>
No. 436947 ID: 61e7f9

Dude, shoot it's gun then it. You don't have time to be fucking around surrendering and shit.
>>
No. 436953 ID: f09b71
File 134342289924.png - (8.38KB , 700x353 , 706.png )
436953

Normally, shooting down the barrel of another gun is a notion too ridiculous to even think, but the oversized barrel of that shotgun looks far too inviting. Especially for what must be a loaded shotgun, with what I suspect is armed and loaded with explosive ammo. I can't resist the potential one-shot.

I launch myself to the forward and side, popping a shot before I get too misaligned with the shotgun's barrel. She doesn't get a chance to fire the gun, and I don't get a chance to lay out a snazzy one-liner.
>>
No. 436954 ID: f09b71
File 134342299018.png - (82.93KB , 700x700 , 707.png )
436954

I don't know if she attempted to fire reflexively or if it happened when I shot in the barrel, but her gun explodes in her face.

I get launched back into the wall, having dived. My armor takes any serious damage, and my bio armor prevents even much dazing from occurring from the noise and blow.

The jammer, nearby her, got knocked around and, fragile as they are, let me sense. In that, I can feel the QI's pain, as she was not knocked unconscious. More importantly, the squad, can feel her pain, and they know what happened. And most of all, I can feel their pride taking a hit. In an instant, even if it was luck, I took down one of their elite. She is attempting to kill me still, but she can't move her arms, and I believe that she is trying to get her bearings despite what I am sure is blindness either because of shrapnel in her eyes, or lack of eyes.

I get up while I hear one of the squad members yell into his comm. They aren't having any fun, now. For better or worse, now they are taking me dead serious. They aren't slowing down, either. Once again, I have a couple of seconds.

I can't stick around. In the moment of vision of the room prior to shooting, I saw the main exit, a few air ducts that I could scrample in, and another, larger, trash chute. There is also a mini-elevator I could fit in that is used for delivering goods upstairs, but I don't know if I can operate that by myself while inside.
>>
No. 436955 ID: 61e7f9

Run towards exit, leave her. She's down for sure. Not going to be a problem anymore.
>>
No. 436956 ID: 842d23

Too bad about the armor, but that's what it's there for. She survived, but is in no condition to stop you if you move fast.

The pride hit is a mixed bag. It's good they aren't having fun, but now they're coming fo reals. Yay.

Okay. Obviously, you need to get out of here fast, before you're forced to fight the squad, or put down the temporarily disabled QI23. The question is which exit is best, and we're still horribly lacking in intel. Choices?

(1) Vents. Classic for sneaking, there will probably be branch points, and corners we can duck around. Plus, big people hive will have trouble following or tracking you unless they've got drones or advanced sensors. In damaged armor, you might make a lot of noise in air vents though.

(2) Trash. Only goes strait up and down, we've done it once already. Not a good idea, someone will probably look in before we've climbed up or down out of sight. Also, if it's wider, it's harder to climb. The laser fire earlier might also mean there's a team waiting by the shoots where the trash comes out.

(3) Dumbwaiter. Almost certainly goes to the kitchen, and given the size of this hive and how regularly neumono need to eat, that's probably manned. So no.

(4) Exit door. Complete unkown. Fastest way out, but they can follow, and there's probably cameras out there somewhere. However, the QI came in that way. They probably don't have backup for her- they didn't think she'd need it. The path that way might be clear.

Okay, I'm thinking the vents or the door seem like the best option. I'm open to additional analysis though- we need to think this fucking through if Polo's ever going to get far enough ahead to start putting her stealth to use.
>>
No. 436957 ID: 886a4d

I'm going to say vents this time.
>>
No. 436958 ID: e3f578

I'm curious if you could spam anger, frustration, a desire for justice, and bloodlust towards them to make their morale lower. Or if you can spam any emotion to make their morale lower. If you could even slightly emulate Rokoa's psychotic broadcast of emotion, they might actually shit their pants. It was all fun and games when they had their own Rokoa, but when they think they found an equivalent from an enemy hive that can turn off their link at will... hoo boy.

Bolt for the exit.
>>
No. 436959 ID: b33427

Crawl into the vents. The squad can't follow you there. Take the first turn you can so they don't have a direct shot.

Remember, folks, no killing members of Rokoa's hive, or Rokoa will kill Polo. Disabling, but no killing.
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No. 436960 ID: 6a1ec2

Polo. You just shot down the barrel of a gun. That's amazing.

>>436958

Yeah, where's three-stripes when you need him.
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No. 437005 ID: b85f8c

>>436954
Take another shot at her head if you can, to see if you can knock her out. Don't slow down though. Get the fuck out! Vents, I think.
>>
No. 437014 ID: 0c2247

>>436954
Rip off the vent cover, then rush through the exit. Let them think you're in the vents.
>>
No. 437051 ID: 733ae0

>>437005
>shoot the blind cripple.
Why?
>>
No. 437058 ID: b85f8c

>>437051
To force those coming from behind to spend time getting her to a hospital. Granted, they might do that as she is now. I dunno.
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No. 437062 ID: 842d23

We blew her up. Polo couldn't decide if she was blind from shrapnel or lack of eyes. She's due a visit to the medics already, I'd say.

Plus, we're in a hurry, on a no kill conduct, don't know when we'll get more ammo, and she's currently well enough neutralized to bypass. All good reasons not to bother hurting her more. She's not a threat unless we actually wait around for her to get her bearings and pull out a grenade or something. So let's just move on.

>Where's three stripes?
Amusing enough, he's currently our friends' best line of defense against any war-hive complex raider who might wander up the spire while we're off running a suicide mission for the fun of it.

I'd also just like to comment that the picture of mecha-Polo riding the explosion is awesome. You can almost read it backwards so it looks like she's throwing a fireball, actually.
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No. 437476 ID: f09b71
File 134362289020.png - (40.49KB , 700x700 , 708.png )
437476

Despite that she is attempting to yell at me, with a broken jaw, I do not believe that she needs a shot to the head.

>Spamming anger/frustration/etc
Forcing emotions rarely works, and when it does, it feels as forced as it is. And despite everything, I don't feel a damn thing. I am simply their enemy, in their home. And for a couple of seconds, I take down my link to share that absolutely nothing. Nothing except that I just took out one of their supposed elite, I am an enemy, and I am here. I take the normal exit. The live squad and they just barely manage to get a visual glimpse of me.
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No. 437477 ID: f09b71
File 134362290007.png - (17.00KB , 900x900 , 709.png )
437477

The squad will not be following me, at least not immediately. Two of them are tending to the heavily wounded QI before bringing her to the ward, and the other two are covering my exit, so I reload. The stairwell blares red.

>"QI is down! QI is down! Infiltrator is in stairwell section G-7! All non turret-recognized personnel get out of sight, all battle units cover, all available QI hunt her down!"

Not a single code in their speech. They wanted me to hear that.

The door leads into a staging hall, ending with a sliding metallic door ahead of me that I peek throw, revealing a stairwell of several floors.
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No. 437478 ID: 886a4d

Alright since we're not going to get that map we're going to have to have to guess. Or visit Rokoa for information. Where is the bridge usually located on these things? Where is the brig? If you have no idea just head one floor up and find someone to interrogate.
>>
No. 437480 ID: 61e7f9

Up.

Cover all areas, sweep as you go, there is going to be some security and we need to spot it before it shoots us. Take out any cameras as you go.
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No. 437484 ID: e3f578

>>437476
I thought that maybe you had those legit emotions, since you've been under a lot of stress and that you might have a flux of all sorts of emotions. Then like, color them up sorta like Rokoa's by suppressing the fear? Though the fact that you're chill is pretty chill.

Sooooo... there are turrets in this path. Great. Any training on dealing with those? I hope Rokoa wasn't running the entire time, that wouldn't help you judge how far the objective was at all. If she did keep a standard walking pace, it shouldn't be too far in x and z directions, it's the y direction that's the real issue. In a ship design like this, which floor do you think would be most likely to have the bridge? Second to last, perhaps? If we can find just the type of ship we're on, it's standardized and popular enough for you to know it, you might be able to pinpoint its exact location through your own logical deduction.
Just be careful with the corners and test them if you can, in case of disguised turrets in the walls, floors, or ceilings.
>>
No. 437486 ID: 842d23

>Empty emotionless link stare of doom.
Damn Polo. You actually gave them pause there. You just earned your title of Silent in a whole new way.

...remember why you're here though. It's not all about revenge. Crazy as it may feel, you're here to help the nutter-hive by cutting out the sickness at the core. Not that you can really think about that right now, but don't let your hate get the better of you again.

>They wanted me to hear that.
Well, that's interesting. If they're being honest, we now know their are automatic defenses active, and there will be less personal in our way. But what personal we do encounter will be QI. That's a mix of good and bad- we don't have to worry about not killing them much, and we've been training specifically to combat one of their best. Also, many of them will be away in the facility attack. Bad news is obviously they're sending their best after you. And that they want you to know they want you dead.

I kinda doubt they're bluffing to trip up your expectations. It's possible, but from what we know of the psychology of this hive, straightforward anger and retaliation seems more likely than deceit. It also sounds like they took your message as a challenge- and they're answering it.

All in all, this is probably your first chance to put a little distance between yourself and your pursuit, and try and leverage your stealth.

>G-7
Okay, so we're on the 7th floor then, so we came out of the box on 6.

Any markings or indications of where the stairs lead? I'm getting kind of tired of picking turns at random. We need intel, bad. Barring any info, I say go up.
>>
No. 437487 ID: 61e7f9

>>437480
Scratch that. We are going down. We are finding the engines and shutting them down. We force the ship to land. They won't go on an offensive with a ship crippled that badly. Especially one this important.

We are not going to be able to kill her, but we can stop the attack.
>>
No. 437488 ID: 842d23

>>437487
Is that important? The gang of hives fighting the war-hive is warned and prepared against any nukings, and it sounded pretty clear that the war hive was going to be routed. They were only willing to consider peace because they were losing.
>>
No. 437491 ID: b33427

Head upwards. Watch for signs marking the levels. The bridge on a capital ship will likely be buried in the center of it, for protection. So it'll either be on either level 4 or 5, or level D or E, depending on which characters they're using for level marking.

Standard operating procedure from here on out is to break any and all cameras encountered. Ammunition is tight, so hitting them with something heavy to break the lenses is preferred, with knocking them to face the ceiling a second option, and covering the lenses with something, like paint, a third.

Do you have a mirror you could use to check around corners? If not, keep on the lookout for one, or something reflective enough to be used as one. The automated defenses might not pick up on you checking around a corner if you us a mirror.

>>437487
No, we don't want this hive to be grounded. If they're cornered, about to lose, they're going launch their entire arsenal at everyone; Conventional, nuclear, and chemical. What we want is for them to blast off on a one-way ticket to outer space, without using their arsenal as cover to take off.
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No. 437582 ID: f09b71
File 134368619575.png - (12.88KB , 700x700 , 710.png )
437582

>Any training with turrets?
Yes, unfortunately. They do not mess around, but I do not know what the quality of turrets there are on this ship. At worst, they take a moment to recognize a target before deciding to fire with questionable accuracy. But I have heard of turrets that can lock on, process a target, and fire half a dozen rounds in the time it takes for a neumono brain system to process the data the eye sees. I am hoping that either they do not have that kind of budget, or that that was just exaggerated rhetoric.

>In a ship design like this, which floor do you think would be most likely to have the bridge?
I have no idea about the design of this ship, I still don't have any bearings. Most likely near the center or partially off-center, as ships with bridges with windows right in the front tends to be a bullseye target. Where I am in that regard, I do not know.

I head up, shooting the lens off another security camera. Ammo will be difficult if I do that every time, but at the moment, I can't think of anything I have to use as a club, aside from the sniper that I would rather not use like a baseball bat.

>Do you have a lens to look around a corner?
My knife will perform sufficiently for that.

The next floor up, G-8, has an especially large door labeled 'Embassy.'

I still sense lots of neumono, but the ones around are playing it more cautiously. Prepared to fight, but not quick to come at me. This door does not appear to have any signs that it is locked, if I wish to stop here.
>>
No. 437583 ID: b85f8c

The Embassy is sure to have a map. It is also quite likely to have turrets. Try to stay around the edge of the door when you open it.
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No. 437584 ID: c1a7db

>Anti turret tactics
Be observant for anything that looks like paneled recess in the walls or floor, peek around corners before progressing, and move into new areas cautiously enough that you can fall back quickly. Don't cripple your speed, but be cautious.

If there really are well hidden devices that can pop out and fire faster than your reaction time, there's not much we can do, except maybe take unconventional paths (vents, etc), or hope your armor saves you.

>Neumono- Prepared to fight, but not quick to come at me
Confirms that troops are following the announcement's orders then. They've fallen back, and are likely defending hardpoints while the QI commandos look for you. If you sense outright aggression- that's one of them coming for you. They may have jammers though.

...I really wish we'd asked Rokoa what QI stood for now, that's gonna bug me.

>Embassy.
I wonder if the human who started this whole mess is there. If Rokoa was right about half of what she said about him, there's a target of opportunity I wouldn't mind putting down.
>>
No. 437585 ID: 0c2247

>>437582
The human Rokoa wanted dead is probably in there.
Target of opportunity time. Duck in and nail him if you see him, but if not then try to trick them into thinking he's your target; once you encounter resistance back out, then rip open a vent to make it look like you're trying to navigate through those. Ideally you would also rig a proximity explosive around the first bend in order to make it hard for them to follow 'you', but that's not really an option.
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No. 437587 ID: e3f578

>>437582
Oh, ambassadors, these should be easy to convince to betray the queen. They stand to gain a lot, hell, they'll probably be like 'oh, we don't have to follow our dumb queen anymore and put someone else in charge and don't have to deal with the consequences of the betrayal? Sign us up!". These are also the dudes that chose a job based around diplomacy or "diplomacy" over something fun and violent in a fucking psychotic warhive.

Charge in there, proclaiming to the diplomats that you come in peace! Slightly. You're here to kick ass, but not theirs. Just the douchebag or bitch who decided to backstab the peace deal.
>>
No. 437588 ID: b33427

Check in there. Do the usual stand to the side when you open the door and check with the reflective knife. Hopefully there'll be a map you can check. Unfortunately, there will be loads of cameras, and probably turrets.

>>437585
Actually, don't kill the human right away. He is probably on the auto-turret white-list, so he could be used to keep them from firing on Polo by standing behind him. Actually capturing and keeping him from running away easily will be the tricky part. Of course, we'll have to see if the human is actually in there.
>>
No. 437596 ID: c1a7db

We obviously can't pop the human as soon as we see him. We need to at the very least confirm his identity first. And we might be able to squeeze a little info out of him first, if he fears for his life.

Not sure if he has any value as a hostage though. And even if there are neumono diplomats aboard (which kind of doubt- this hive doesn't seem to have allies from what we know), they aren't worth trying to recruit. Potentially useful for information, but you're probably best off stomach shot-ing them if they get in your way.
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No. 437617 ID: f09b71
File 134370115885.png - (18.88KB , 954x624 , 711.png )
437617

There is a hall on the way, but no turrets to be found. I will have to constantly remember to use my knife around every corner whenever possible.

There is a belenosian in the next room.

>"Don't... shoot. Are you taking us - me - hostage?"

She is nodding frantically as she asks that question.
>>
No. 437618 ID: 4a328b

Roll with it. "Yes."
>>
No. 437620 ID: c1a7db

Oh, hey, it's a sheep person! Been a long time since we saw one of them. And we finally know what they're called.

I'm kind of surprised they have allies on board, though.

She *wants* to be taken hostage? (They might already be political hostages of the war hive?) I'm not sure why, but I doubt hostages will slow the QIs down. And they might slow us down. Not to mention we might get her killed. We can comply until we leave the room, I suppose. "Sure".

Keep weapons ready- she might be armed or bluffing. What do you know about disabling or killing this species?

Computer connection. Registered user. *Bingo*. Have her start pulling intel *now*, before they notice the line is compromised and cut her off. We need maps, schematics, communication frequencies. Locations of the Queen, troops, military resources, vital ship systems. *Go*.

Also ask who's we. Who / how many in the embassy?
>>
No. 437623 ID: 61e7f9

"This hive is about to break a truce and attack my hive. I am here to stop it. I am not here to do anything more than that. I need a map of this place, now."

Failing that ask for direction of armory, central security, bridge, brig, engineering. Ask for all of those to mask which one you want to go to.

when you leave
"Give them a message for me. I am here to enforce the truce. If the truce is kept, I leave."

If you really want to, you can use "unconditionally surrender" instead of "leave".
>>
No. 437630 ID: f09b71
File 134370353623.png - (13.51KB , 700x700 , 712.png )
437630

>What do you know about disabling or killing this species?
Disabling, hit them once. Killing them, shoot them once.

"Yes, you are a hostage. Start pulling up maps, schematics, communications frequencies. Location of the queen, troops, military resources, and vital ship systems. Go. While you are doing that, who is 'we?'"

>"We're a military corporation. Well, we are just businessmen and women, not the actual builders or anything - uh, anyway, there's only about 8 of us, including bodyguards."

Neumono are gathering outside of the hallway, where the embassy sign was held.

>"Miss Emere, are you alright in there?!" is heard over the intercom.
"Respond, slowly, keep your hands visible."

She is cooperative.

>"This one is holding me hostage - please don't come in!" She releases the intercom to speak to me again. "I'm going to print you a map. And vital areas? There are lots. Teleporters, where two thirds of the hivewould get borderline stranded if the teleporters were destroyed, the engine room, engineering bay, the airport where fighter jets are deployed, the security room, and of course the bridge. What are you here for?"

"This hive is going to break a truce and attack my own. I am here to stop it."
>"How would you plan on that?"

I do not know if telling her my assassination plan is beneficial.
>>
No. 437631 ID: 83694f

Feed her a bogus plan, something that will divert forces away from you for a while.
>>
No. 437632 ID: 886a4d

What we plan on doing is disabling those aircraft and as many weapon ports as possible. They can't attack if they have nothing to attack with. Destroying the main computer so everything is on local control might help with that as well. As an afterthought ask where the Queen would most likely be say we wish to avoid her as the security will be far too high to do anything about it around her. Do not mention your plan to kill the Queen, as the neumino probably will question her after you leave.

>>Aircraft
>>Teleporters
We have two escape routes now.
>>
No. 437633 ID: 61e7f9

nope, no plan revealing.
>>
No. 437637 ID: 4a328b

"Classified." Things to keep an eye out for on the map: Queen's location, and EXITS
>>
No. 437638 ID: 61e7f9

Order secretary to sit/stand up against the desk facing the door. You get behind the desk away from the door. Hit the intercom and say "Keep the truce, get the fuck off this planet, and I will surrender. Otherwise you've got a hostile neumono on your ship."
>>
No. 437651 ID: c1a7db

Private contractors, doing delicate computer work giant fat fingered neumono aren't so good at, I guess.

>What are you planning?
Don't bother with bogus plans. That's not worth it. Honest answer:

"You're better off not knowing."
(Implied, I'd have to kill you if I told you.)

Grab some more info, but be fast. We need to move on: non-engine power generators might be nice to take offline. Central camera control. Number of QI on board. Location of command personnel. Central engines (we would never actually disable those and suicide, but it might be worth throwing them off track a little).

Then we need an exit route. Sheep girl would probably prefer it if you didn't have a firefight with that squad in this room, and a prolonged hostage situation will almost never ends well.

Remain wary- she appears comliant, but could be activating a turret or something. Or the nuemono could decide they want you dead more than her alive and come in anyways. Or her guards could enter from one of the other doorways.

>>437638
Negotiation or blackmail won't work. The whole problem with this hive is the Queen is insane and cannot be trusted. She needs to be removed for them to function, at all. Besides, we came here to help Rokoa- we came at her bequest, to do her mission. And the mission objective is killing the Queen. Anything else we can do is an action of opportunity. (Although, with internal security flipping out over us, and most the crew hiding, I'd say we're probably distracting them from external fighting pretty well right now).
>>
No. 437660 ID: f09b71
File 134370982248.png - (10.92KB , 700x700 , 713.png )
437660

"You're better off not knowing. How many QI are on board?"
>"Theyyyy're often the queen's personal guard, handpicked. I doubt she sent more than half down below, so you're going to have a bunch chasing after you."
"There is already a bunch outside of this hall. Two dozen in the stairwell, waiting for me to get out. I need that map, and I need an escape route."

She raises her hands again getting up and slowly putting the printed map sheets on the table. Before I can get to them, however, she moves closer to me and gets on her knees, eyeing the computer again before whispering quietly to me.

>"I - we - are in deep poo here. The hive isn't allowing us to leave, as per our contract. And even if we could escape this ship, we'll be betraying our contract. Our corporation will throw us under the bus. I'm desperate here, I'm begging you, if your here to stop an attack, you can kill the queen. We can help you, and want to, because our treaty wasn't exactly with the hive, but rather with the queen, and won't live a minute longer than her."
>>
No. 437665 ID: 61e7f9

"I'm not specifically after the queen. I only want to stop this attack. And I've already made a promise to not kill anyone (besides her). Stay here and wait this out."

"Are we in orbit or atmosphere?"

Plan is to take out engines and force a landing or make this ship vulnerable enough they can't launch an attack without leaving it open to attack.

We need to stop the offensive and all we have to work with is stuff inside this ship. The engines are easier to go after than the queen. And will accomplish the goal of stopping the offensive.
>>
No. 437667 ID: 886a4d

If the queen was my target, I'd need a route to her, a weapon capable of putting her down permanently, a way to get at her despite her guard and a way off this ship afterwords. If the queen was my target.

>>437665
We aren't here to stop the attack, not really, we're here to assasinate the queen to prevent a rogue queen from ruling this paticular bunch of war-crazy maniacs.
>>
No. 437669 ID: c1a7db

Oh, that's excellent if she's telling the truth.

And I'm inclined to believe her. This hive strong-arming assistance fits with what we know of them. It's possible she's loyal and is just trying to squeeze your objective out of you... but really, I don't see that making this stealth blown disaster much worse. We need an edge, or we're going to get caught, soon.

I vote we go for it.

It's also apparent from her behavior she thinks you're being listened in on (the computer). You need to answer her in a way that doesn't expose yourself to the listeners.

Nod, "That's fine- I learned some things from Rokoa."

Anyone who hears- it sounds like you're explaining your confidence to handle QIs. But if sheep-girl heard about the uproar when Rokoa confronted the Queen, she should understand.
>>
No. 437670 ID: 6a1ec2

>>437665

Fairly sure the plan is to kill the queen. There's no actual imminent attack on our hive (they already set them up the bomb). But don't agree with her out loud! She's obviously being monitored and if you announce "YES YOUR PLEA TO KILL YOUR CONTRACTED EMPLOYER IS SURELY ONE I WOULD AGREE TO HELP YOU WITH" to the microphone, then you'll be looking for her under busses for parsecs.

Just nod, say "Agreed" quietly.

Honestly these twigs break so easily for them to have simply survived a contract with this hive they've got to be packing some heavy arms.
>>
No. 437671 ID: e3f578

ask her if that one merchant Rokoa wants us to kill is here and works with her.
If he is, do not comply with them completely, because then these motherfuckers started a lot of this mess in the first place to increase trade.
>>
No. 437674 ID: c1a7db

Why is landing the ship a good idea? Right now our target is trapped on board with us. We land, and she could escape. Plus, the other hives in the fight could destroy the ship (breaking our no kill conduct), and kill us. Also, corning them encourages the fuck it all last barrage of nukes.

Besides, after the queens dead, we want these guys to be able to flee offworld.

>for them to have simply survived a contract with this hive they've got to be packing some heavy arms
That, or they're just really handy with computers, and worth keeping around (and pushing around). This hive doesn't strike me as producing many techies or IT people (though, I suppose, if we are in the past, Lakkat might be here).
>>
No. 437693 ID: b33427

Nod in agreement, take the printed map, and make a writing gesture to indicate you need a pen, if you don't have one. Write in the map margin "will help; need secure comm," where she can see it. Nod towards the computer and add "sec. monitoring? AI?" as well, while saying you're only here to do your mission, nothing more.

Definitely ask how good the auto-turrets installed in the ship are. Are they insta-kill top-of-the-line models, something cheaper, or a mix? Also ask how good the security cameras are. Do they have night-vision, infrared, or motion sensors? Ask the same for the turrets.

Find out if the ship is still in atmosphere or not. If it is, then the option of taking a parachute and jumping when the objective is complete is open.
>>
No. 437704 ID: 6dd84f

If the queen has these people tied down to a contract, then there might be others on board in the same situation. We might as well grab all of the help that we can in order for the queen to go down.

I'm thinking that because this is a warhive, then they might have recruited a few extra engineers and technicians to handle some of the non-war aspects of the hive. We could grab these people to disable turrets, teleporters, cameras, computers, doors, etc.

If they're aren't tech-savvy, then I guess they can help by hammering cameras, releasing these >>436834 things in the hallways, start a fire or anything to create distractions away from Polo.
>>
No. 437724 ID: f09b71
File 134372043434.png - (13.42KB , 700x700 , 714.png )
437724

I do not believe that having intensely bad luck gives me entitlement to an qual amount of good luck, but if this is the truth, this would be a step in that direction. I give her a nod.

"Are we in orbit or atmosphere?"
>"High atmosphere, and the artificial gravity is turned on.
"Turrets. What kind, how good, and do those and the camera have night vision, infrared or motion?
>"Very good, not very accurate at a distance, but the response times are extraordinary. They have all three visions you mentioned, and the security camera have night and infrared."
"I am going to assume you are packing good weapons here. I want some."
>"Er... s-sorry, this is the embassy, not the armory!.... we might have something! Yes, speaking of turrets, I actually have a smoke grenade in the desk, but that's all I have here, I swear it!"
"Another question. Is someone named Lugo here?"
>"Yes, he's our main businessman. How do you know about him? Do I even want to know about that?"
"I've learned some things from Rokoa."
>"... oh. I think that's the one that socked Lugo in the face, once. Her ire is misplaced, Lugo is just a middle man. I know it might seem odd to some of you, but we don't necessarily have even similar ideals to some of the people we associate with."

I find it odd, but also find it odd how she handles the grenade. Like it would go off at any time, with inexperience, enough to make her continually nervous. That she would be a weapons dealer with no experience with weapons is what makes them alien to me.

I will communicate a couple of things via pen and paper, but first have to decide if Lugo being here will change my level of cooperation.
>>
No. 437726 ID: 4a328b

Lugo being here doesn't change a thing. Rokoa has a beef with him, but she also implied you'd be dead if you killed him--'suicide mission.'
>>
No. 437727 ID: c1a7db

>That she would be a weapons dealer with no experience with weapons is what makes them alien to me.
She's out of her element. She's a negotiator, or a businesswoman. She has skills that a weapon dealing group needs- but no experience with weapons herself. She was hired and put into position by people who wanted those skills, and didn't care if she was unprepared for the rest.

Besides, the war-hive almost certainly hired her firm for support services (tech, IT, ect) and resource supply. Not as military support. Her helpless is probably a plus for them.

>Lugo
If he's the middle man, that may mean the corporation set this up. We don't necessarily want to get the employees killed for their bosses decisions. We go for the head.

That, and sheep-support is too good to pass up right now. We need an edge, desperately. For now we work with them, and learn. If it turns out Lugo is behind everything? We can betray him later. It might turn out someone higher up, or off world, is to blame. Or the sheep is right, and some of the other corporate people are just jerks. Or Rokoa was wrong, and projecting her feelings about the Queen. For now, allying with the trapped contracts makes sense.

We need to get out of here, ASAP. Establish some means of secure communication, then find an exit. It the sheep doesn't have anything better, there's a vent by the door.

Trade names on the way out, just so I don;t have to keep calling her sheep.
>>
No. 437730 ID: b33427

Rokoa is the one with the problem with Lugo. You've got no reason to not cooperate with Lugo right now. Even if he turns out to be neck-deep in orchestrating this whole conflict, he's still the middleman, and middlemen are meant to take the fall when things go bad to protect the higher-ups. He can be squeezed for information later.

Gladly take the smoke grenade, but double check that it's actually a smoke grenade. Comment that you find it a little odd that Emere hasn't had much contact with her employer's stock-in-trade.

>>437727
Makes sense, given how fast this hive armed and built up, that they contracted a complete logistical package. Though the question of what they offered in trade for all these goodies is still up in the air.
>>
No. 437732 ID: c1a7db

I'm also assuming they can do something to help once you leave? Independently? The intel is nice, but it would be awesome to have them running interference in some way, maybe make cameras or turrets miss you, minor technical problems or delays, warn you of incoming troops, etc. There has to be ways they can impede the efficacy of the war hive without giving themselves away.
>>
No. 437741 ID: b85f8c

>>437724
Take a look at the maps.
>>
No. 437872 ID: f09b71
File 134377278882.png - (49.88KB , 1400x1400 , 715.png )
437872

The smoke grenade will now look like a proper smoke grenade.

>See the map
I pocket the smoke grenade, and scan the map as fast as I realistically can.
>"It's a simple version, just to show what is where! For security, we don't have free access to where every air duct, side entrance or panic room is. There are so many entrances to everything though, you'll have a difficult time finding a dead end. The whole ship is 16 floors high plus the roof, divided into 4 layered sectors. We're at the top of the second sector by stairwell G."

I write down on some spare paper that I am expecting them to run some interference for me, but she silently replies that the hive has ownership over their tools, not the embassy. She cannot give a communication frequency for me to hear what the hive is saying, but she can give a frequency so that she may communicate with me directly, and she further writes that Lugo and them will attempt to seperate the queen as much as they can, at least to get her out of the bridge. How, she isn't sure, but she'll keep me updated. If she feels confident, she may be able to hack the system and mess with turrets or view security, but she would certainly be killed caught.

>Her name
The communication to her earlier would imply her name is Emere.
>>
No. 437877 ID: c1a7db

Oh, I missed her name, since they addressed her, she didn't introduce herself.

She's more useful to us alive and doing what she can, than dead and doing what she can't. Hacking something and revealing their betrayal to the hive is only worth it as a surprise tactic near the end.

Take the comm frequency, and bug out. We've been in one place too long. The QIs could be lining up around this room. There's a vent in the wall behind you if Emy doesn't have any better options.

We want to head up. It's not worth going all the way to the bottom of the ship to fuck with engineering. It's suicide to go for the engines. We could raid storage or the teleports, but there are other places to get guns, and the teles aren't our priority.

Sneakiest place to get big queen killing guns is to sneak into residential and grab Rokoa's. Residential people should be hiding in their rooms, per orders, and the residential area isn't where they'd expect a saboteur to target.

Convenient that the brig is on the same floor as the target. We can wave as we go by.
>>
No. 437888 ID: 886a4d

A good place to sabotage, or at least pretend to make the attempt to sabotage is the shield and gravity emmitters. Blow that and they won't dare to attack, furthermore low gravity might give us an advantage. It also gives us a reason to be in that part of the ship.
>>
No. 437892 ID: e3f578

I... wonder if this can be made simpler.
Can we ask her if we should just straight up yell to the other neumono outside that we demand to challenge the queen into a fight to the death? That you accepted Rokoa's challenge and won, thus you deserve the right to challenge the queen through some form of a psychotic code of conduct. And that if you are refused this right, you insult them that their queen is weak and frail, after all. She shot an unarmed Rokoa, she is a fucking pussy. That you heard the shots on a bug you planted on some of her equipment. (maybe phrase it in a way that doesn't implicate Rokoa too hard or that she's a traitor, that she just think the Queen is fucking retarded at most and wants her to step down and let someone better take the ropes. That doesn't sound too heretical? Wait, ask Emere that too, if that isn't too heretical for this hive)
Just throw out all the stops. Insult them for following such a weak coward and propping her up on a pedestal. And that she looks like a clown dressed up in red make-up.

What I mean is, ask Emere if she thinks any of that might actually work. We wouldn't have to sneak our way though, I mean, I wouldn't actually trust them to let you just walk to the bridge, but you could egg on the queen to come down here and deal with the matter herself. Just have a big ol' fight in the embassy. You are the both the predator and the prey, you hunting in the shadows and out of sight while she hunts you down in the hallways. You could shoot out various light sources in here.
>>
No. 437893 ID: 886a4d

It flat out won`t work. The queen will happily order them to kill you no matter what you or they say. The Queen is insane. Besides we aren`t built for the type of combat a duel will need. We`re an assassin and infiltrator, not a soldier.
>>
No. 437895 ID: e3f578

>>437893
but will they follow a queen's orders when she's been appropriately served with no comeback whatsoever? Well, yeah, they will. They're soldiers after all, but they'll still be like "Oh no she didn't. Queen, you are NOT just gonna let that go? Oh, you're not going to beat her up? well fine, I guess. But now she's kinda got a point you big red bitch." which may slightly alter morale, which can affect the battle in many ways.
>>
No. 437901 ID: c1a7db

Any psychological or morale damage we could inflict with a challenge like that isn't worth giving away our target. If defenses on the Queen are tightened too much, we either won't be able to kill her, or we'll have to kill her a lot, in ways that leave collateral damage.

If it's any consolation, they likely are somewhat shook up by the Queen ordering a truce betrayed (they might not all take it as seriously as Rokoa- but I bet honor matters to them). And Polo's open, terrifying challenge to the QIs shook them up some. Plus you know, slowly losing the war can't be good for morale. So they aren't golden on that front.

>>437888
Shield emitters are a good target- it seems legitimate, could distract personnel from our actual target, and discourage them from closing to fight or firing nukes close by.

But I saw we go for getting guns first. When we blow a system, we give away what floor we're on, and I'd like to sneak in and out of residential first, which is on the same floor(s). There have to vents between the rooms there, and if we can get our support to look up an exact address for us, it shouldn't be hard getting to the one we want.

Assuming of course we can ditch pursuit for a little while as we leave this room.

...do we have to knock Emere out as we leave this room? To make it not look suspicious? Otherwise, they'll wonder why she doesn't alert them as soon as we leave. We want a head start, and her to maintain her cover.
>>
No. 437968 ID: f09b71
File 134379196981.png - (11.68KB , 700x700 , 716.png )
437968

I have felt this hive constantly since coming, and I can say with better certainty now that Rokoa's sense of honor is unique more to herself. The rest of this hive does not give me a sense of constant betrayal and subterfuge, but doing what needs to be done to win, even if honor has to go by the wayside.

Especially concerning the queen, whos outright backstabbery may be as much out of line as Rokoa's romantic ideas of fair duels. If I challenged the queen, I would be genuinely more terrified if she accepted.

"Again. Give me an escape, or I start shooting."

This grate in the wall is too small, even for me.

>"Uh... uh, in the back. There is an escape grate for, well, us, in this circumstance. Two, actually, one secret door and one grate. The door goes starboard right into the hospital ward, just underneath the shield and gravity systems. The grate goes up a few floors, entering, uh... a c-crawlspace that goes up a few floors, more towards the bridge and security room. Not in them, mind you, but along the outskirts. Oh, and one more thing, the armory specifically is in the supply rooms." As she speaks, I input the comm frequency in my armor's communicator as she gives it with her fingers.

The intercom on the Belenosian's phone opens in chat.

>"Infiltrator! We wish to speak about your demands."

I plan on knocking this girl out, as to not blow her cover.
>>
No. 437970 ID: 6e44d2

>>437968
Don't respond to them at all. We can deliver our demands once we hold an obvious upper hand.
>>
No. 437972 ID: 886a4d

Knock her out while telling them to disable the gravity, the cameras the gun turrets as well as prepping a shuttle for use. They are to clear out the engineering section, as well as the planes. Any interference will see your hostage dead. Tell them you found their com frequencies and any hesitation or noncompliance will see her dead. Changing the channels will see her dead. Once she knows those sections are cleared she will exit with the hostage. If she sees signs of any gaurds she will kill the hostage.

After giving your spiel take the secret entrance to the shield generators... we'll stop off at residential after.
>>
No. 437980 ID: e3f578

>>437968
I am tempted to whisper coffee cake, though joke responses that imply noncooperation like that will probably result in immediate response. No response will get you a few extra seconds. Perhaps real demands could keep them a little distracted to put up a show of complying with them, but that's it.

I vote no response. I see it as better for the hostage's cover. They'd think we merely disposed of her after we used her for all she's worth.

If we use the secret door, we'll be seen on a few cameras in the hospital shortly after. If we use the crawl space and they have no sensors in them, then we'll be off the grid. Should they storm the embassy, and we're nowhere, they'll put two and two together and search the crawlspace, that is if security heads are smart enough and have the plans with them to anticipate your moves. Use the crawlspace. It'll take a bit to put two and two together, though your travel will be slower.
>>
No. 437986 ID: c1a7db

>victory before honor
Huh, it sounded like whoever Rokoa talked to on that radio call disliked the backstabbing, at least.

>I plan on knocking this girl out
Remember when you do that you're currently covered in metal, and strengthened by bio armor. Compensate for that so you don't overdo it.

Going for the armory would be nice, but there's forces coalescing around this room, and supplies is too close nearby. The upward exit is better- puts us close to our planned distraction target, and crew quarters.

>Demands
Best thing I can think of is to stall while you make your way out of here. Can you tie/relay your comm temporarily through the intercom, so you can stall them even as you sneak away in the exit?

Stalling means getting them to talk as much as possible- we don't invent stories, we goad them into talking to us. They'll play along, as they think they're buying time while they surround and trap us in the room, preparing to come in for us.

I'd play up the nukes. They're losing. We know about their nuclear contingency. We offered them a chance at truce and withdrawal, and they turned it down. So now the stakes are higher. If they don't want you killing hostages dead, or doing anything worse, they can start by calling off the nukes.

(pause and let them get a word in whenever they want- draw it out).

I like this threat, because we're relatively confident that our hive and allies are prepared for the nukes anyways at this point.

If you can't stall and walk, you might want a quicker stall, like you'll make your demands when you're good and ready.

>>437972
Don't say things they can easily falsify- they'll discover pretty quick when don't react to them doing forbidden things with their comms. Once they know we're bluffing, that's bad.

Also, I'm not sure disabling gravity helps us, if we want to move quickly. Hell, do our guns still work in zero g?

>>437980
There's nothing wrong with starting with a sarcastic "Slice of coffee cake would be nice." =D
>>
No. 437988 ID: b33427

>>437986
Polo's guns would still work in a low gravity environment, along with, unfortunately, their recoil; One shot would knock her off her feet. However, if she does gain access to the artificial gravity controls, there's other ways to use them. Perhaps turning them up, to the point that those without the strength benefits of bio-armor are stuck to the floor under their own weight. How slowly tilting the gravity like the ship is listing over, until the walls are the floors, or spinning it 'round 'till everyone hurls. Really, theres all kinds of fun to be had with gravity control.
>>
No. 438001 ID: c1a7db

Eh, Things like gradients or spinning are probably not good for the structural integrity of the ship. There's a good chance we could cause casualties (especially in say, the infirmary), or that the ship could break up.

As for just strait ups and downs, I can't imagine either way gives us a significant edge. We're fighting almost exclusively QI, who will probably all have bio armor, and the whole hive is physically stronger than us. The turrets would be designed to work in even a zero-g boarding action.

Dynamic, on the fly gravity control, now that would be awesome. But I highly doubt we could rig that up.
>>
No. 438004 ID: 6a1ec2

Ask if they have any cake. No, no stay silent.
>>
No. 438011 ID: b33427

>>438001
Alright, the possibility of casualties and deaths is a good point, though I doubt a ship that's kept aloft by a gravity drive couldn't structurally take or compensate for extreme gravity events. Now, if the artificial gravity settings could be changed in only certain areas, then that'd be something else.

However this is all moot if Polo doesn't go to the artificial gravity generators, or can't access the controls, and is stuck with either pulling the plug or blowing it up. There's also the matter of the hive probably not being able to safely head into space without artificial gravity, delaying them until repairs can be made, so that's another thing to consider.
>>
No. 438081 ID: 61e7f9

Go towards shield and gravity systems. Reply with this but nothing more. "Stop the attack. Keep the truce. And I will surrender.". The surrender is of course after they have confirmed left the planet and no longer pose a threat.

Did somebody say gravity systems? >: D Polo, how good are you at 0-G combat?

And shield systems. We can make this ship vulnerable if we go after those too. Force them to spend resources defending this ship and pull them away from any offensive actions.
>>
No. 438118 ID: f09b71
File 134385320643.png - (40.47KB , 700x700 , 717.png )
438118

>Rokoa talked to someone who disliked backstabbing
Yes, disliked backstabbing, but there is a middle ground between backstabbing and standing toe to toe trading blows in honorable combat. I believe that is where this hive lies, with exceptions such as Rokoa and the Queen.

>Can you tie/relay your comm temporarily to the negotiator
Emere writes that this is possible, and gets my communicator tied in with the telephone in good speed.

>Fighting in 0g
I can do this, it is likely no more of a nuisance to me than it is to them. There will still be as much atmosphere, so my guns will still be able to combust and fire.

"First of all. No nukes." I begin telling them, moving while I wait for a response.

>Be careful while knocking her out
I do not have a lot of experience with handling other species. I do not know how hard I have to hit to knock her out, but not do harm such as, I hear, a concussion. In fact, I believe this species cannot hold their breath for half a minute. I will take advantage of that.

They do not respond as Emere leads me to the door, as I will head through there to sneak through the hospital. I do not see anyone else around the embassy. I expect they are hiding, and I begin asphyxiating the belenosian while pocketing the paper we used to communicate.

>"Fine. We will not be using any nukes. Do you demand anymore?

"...... Coffee Cake."
Another pause.
>"Excuse me? What does coffee cake mean?"

... I do not know where the one negotiating with me is, but based on the neumono that are around and hearing this, they think that 'Coffee Cake' is some kind of code.
>>
No. 438135 ID: e3f578

"You don't what coffee cake is? You are missing out. It's... I don't know what it is made out of but it makes a great breakfast and you drink it with coffee. Ask around, like, Rokoa, apparently she's a good cook and knows how to make it. Before we tried to kill each other in our duel, she made this delicious cake out of salikai... I think. Just like Mom used to make. 'cept with more salikai."
>>
No. 438141 ID: b85f8c

>>438118
Give them a basic recipe, but tell them if they don't know how to make it already it probably wouldn't be any good anyway. Also it was a joke, since you don't expect them to give you anything. If they're serious about giving into your demands, ask for them to get you a shuttle ready. We could use an escape route...

>>438135
I don't think we should keep throwing Rokoa's name around, not unless we want her branded as a traitor.
>>
No. 438145 ID: c1a7db

Aw. Poor Emere. I hope she knew that was coming, and doesn't think you betrayed her. Little late too warn her though.

>0g combat.
This is a spaceship based war hive. They've gotta have some people trained for that contingency.

Continue to the upward exit, stall them as you go. Gotta keep them thinking you're in that room as long as possible.

They agreed to the nukes fairly easily. Probably means they don't intend to keep the promise, or they aren't important.
>Coffee cake?
"*Sigh*. I guess the sense of humor isn't shared trait.

Forgive me if I don't immediately release the hostages, stand down, and trust your word. You haven't stood by it so far. What assurances are you offering me, negotiator?"
>>
No. 438160 ID: e3f578

>>438141
That's why I added a bit about the duel. They know what Rokoa's like. And they've already thrown her in the brig. And that hurt QI already knows we're friends with Rokoa.

They want to know what's up, and if they anyone to Rokoa, or connect the radio to her, they'll know exactly what's up. It's just coffee cake. Plus, it implies that both Rokoa and Polo have devoured some Salikai baked into a dish. That is some hardcore shit right there. And these are neumono we're talking about here, Rokoa can't really lie to them at all, she shouldn't be broadcasting traitor signals, at most, she's broadcasting hate for the queen and only the queen and, if they mention salikai coffee cake, hunger.
>>
No. 438162 ID: bf54a8

how about we just GET ON WITH IT instead of ranting about cake for an hour.
>>
No. 438168 ID: c1a7db

>>438162
We're going out the back door, using comms, while they think we're in the room on the phone. The longer we talk, the longer we can trick them thinking we're somewhere we aren't, and build up a head start.

Alternate idea for coffee cake:
Play up the codeword. Respond curtly, "Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about." Cue them frantically try to figure out what you are talking about, and being unable. If they think to ask Rokoa, she'll just laugh insanely when she realizes you've made her hive paranoid over coffee cake.
>>
No. 438174 ID: 4a328b

>>438162
Just leave, yeah.
>>
No. 438199 ID: f09b71
File 134386403677.png - (48.99KB , 700x700 , 718.png )
438199

>Get on with it, just leave
>Play it up
"...... figure it out yourself." I am leaving regardless, as my comm is hooked up to the phone.

>"Keep talking to us, infiltrator! Don't fuck with us!"

I remain silent. It isn't far before the range of my communication with the phone expires. Continuing on leads to a shift in the hive, going from the unnerved soldiers to the hospital ward. The feel is far different, and for them, I may as well not exist.

Lots of frantic doctors and medics work on lots of wounded neumono. By the time I can reach the dead end to open the door, I can sense Tirrik here as well. And... two others. Not part of this hive, but rather, similar to.... whats-her-face. Korli. From the science hive, native to the facility. It seems that they have been brought up here, after sustaining injuries. I do not sense anyone in the immediate vicinity outside of this door.
>>
No. 438202 ID: b85f8c

>>438199
Then we should enter.

What's that on the ceiling? Another grate?
>>
No. 438203 ID: 61e7f9

Walk in. Get to the gravity gen and shielding room place thing and disable both systems. I don't think everyone else will have an easy time fighting like that.
>>
No. 438204 ID: 886a4d

Careful of QI units with jammers, still ya go in.
>>
No. 438205 ID: c1a7db

>Door, what do?
Make sure your line to the phone is disconnected, so they can't use it to track you or anything.

Do you know where we are on the map right now? Make sure you've got your bearing in case we have to run again.

I'm assuming this is a secret bolt hole for the company people? So the war hive doesn't know about it, and hasn't deployed shielded teams to cover this exit?

We want to exploit our small lead as much as possible. As soon as you leave this passage, we need to find a path out of camera sight, and start moving up and over, towards gravity systems and residential. Getting into the vents is probably a good bet for this.

>Pinkie-hive prisoners
They got all the way down to the science hive, and started taking prisoners? That or the Salika were low enough on monster cannon fodder to send their pet nuemono into battle. Either way, that means the battle's going better for the war hive than I expected down there, and faster too. Not good- they may have more QIs freed up soon.

The prisoners are none of our concern, though. We can't afford to blow the little bit of cover we've earned ourselves to rescue them. That and you can't, as their movement would be sensed.

>Tirrik
I wonder if the same "shoot 'em, earn friendship / respect" thing we saw in Rokoa and Kork applies to him too now. XD

Seriously though, avoid him. He's no help to you, and we don't want to kill or shoot him particularly.
>>
No. 438230 ID: b33427

Open the door slowly, just far enough to check around it in the reflection of your knife. If it's clear, then pass through, and close it after you.

Once through, take a moment to monitor the movements of the neumono nearby. Pay attention for any that blink out of your senses and back again; There's probably a QI in a jammer bubble near there.
>>
No. 438245 ID: f09b71
File 134387108516.png - (15.78KB , 700x700 , 719.png )
438245

>The ceiling
It does appear to be a gap in the ceiling, but it may or may not move anywhere.

>Does the hive know about this secret hole?
If they do, they are doing a poor job of covering this exit.

I open the door, checking as much as I can with a knife. I end up at the side and back of a room with 4 neumono that are sleeping or passed out. None of them wake up, thankfully, as the door does make much noise. Then again, I don't know if these ones could be easily awoken in the first place.

Keeping my sneak advantage may be difficult. I do not see any cameras in here, yet there is a lot of bustle outside of this room, covered with only a flap for a door out into what I am presuming is a hallway. I can bolt out and attempt to find a stairway, attempting to keep out of sight based on my senses, but I will otherwise be out in the open, and whether or not I am seen is just as much luck as skill.

>Watch out for neumono fading in and out in case of a jammer
..... now that I think about it, there is a small disturbance a floor or two before, where there is some phasing in and out. It is somewhat difficult to tell, as lots of neumono from the same hive tend to blend together. If it is a QI with a jammer, then I still doubt that I will be too pressed for time so long as I don't twiddle my thumbs here.
>>
No. 438247 ID: 61e7f9

Take a peek outside the "door".
>>
No. 438253 ID: c1a7db

...dangit, we should have taken the other passage Emere offered. Too late to go back though, they may have breached the embassy by now.

Hmm. Not that it's relevant, but do we recognize any of the patients in here?

Medical is a bad place to be with your no-kill conduct. Any fighting has high odds of collateral damage- we could get the wounded killed, and any medical personal we injure reduces their capacity to keep people alive. Plus we can expect the patients and medical staff to be more fragile than the soldiers.

Bolting isn't a great option, I'd rather not immediately lost our stealth advantage. Getting off the camera grid- into the vents say, should be our goal. Stairs will be watched.

Could you create a distraction, to improve your odds of sneaking out? A patient's alarms going off to draw people in for a code would be great, provided you have a (non gunshot) way to set off the medical alarm at range, and a place to hide (in a side door? In an empty bed?) as people rush in/by.
>>
No. 438255 ID: 4a328b

Go through that gap in the ceiling you just passed, instead
>>
No. 438260 ID: b85f8c

Peek out using the knife as a mirror.
>>
No. 438275 ID: 6a1ec2

>>438253

Set alarm off at distance. Find a place to hide. How about the morgue? You can convincingly imitate a corpse.
>>
No. 438276 ID: b33427

You could use the smoke grenade to make it look like there's a fire, by putting it in the air ducts. Their fire protocol would likely be to move the patients out, leave, and have fire control come in, leaving you with fewer people to handle, and smoke to hide in. Is there a vent within reach that you can take the cover off, roll the active smoke grenade into, and put the cover back? Do that, then go back and close the door until they clear out.

>>438253
Hold on any action that would bring them in here if you can't hide where you could slip out behind them, or close the door you just came through; It's a dead giveaway you came through here. If you do do this plan, don't get fancy, and just simply pull some leads from the medical monitors on one patient until it alarms. It'll look like the patient shifted in their sleep and popped them off.
>>
No. 438287 ID: c6ec33

>>438245
Can you sense whether or not Rokoa is in here? If not, you may want to check top left. No visible head, tons of tubes going in... I'm guessing massive damage.
>>
No. 438291 ID: c1a7db

>>438287
I'd assume Rokoa is in the brig, hanging on the hook the Queen sent her too. It's only been what, half an hour, an hour, since Rokoa's confrontation with the Queen? I doubt any torture or physical discipline has crippled her to the point they'd have to stop and send her to the infirmary, yet.

Idea: you have a much closer connection to Rokoa than anyone in this hive, and she should be immobile. Can you sense her at all at this range? If you can, you can use her as a reference point as you travel- she's a north you can track with your emotion-compass.
>>
No. 438397 ID: f09b71
File 134393602339.png - (34.60KB , 900x700 , 720.png )
438397

>Sense Rokoa to use as a point of reference for navigation
This would be a nice idea, however, by the map, I should have passed right underneath the brig. And when I think about it, I did not sense a single neumono inside. I am thinking that there is a constant jammer inside, as I have heard of that tactic being used in rough prisons. Solitary confinement is undermined if the prisoner can sense the guards and cellmates around them. It also prevents guards from forming sympathy from prisoner feedback, or the prisoner getting a sense of authority from the guard's feedback.

>Massive damage
There is the one whos head is not visible. The one to his bedside has a blanket that drapes off to mattress level far earlier than it should. That is the one whos plugs I detach from the monitors. Not the life support itself, but simply a few of the heart detectors and so forth closest to the injured one. I barely manage to get on the doorflap bar before a doctor swings in to work on this false emergency. In the instant the flaps are open, I hold my knife down to view the hallway. No turrets or cameras that I can see, and the coast is clear. Normally I would expect myself to get found out like this, but the doctor's focus on the task is resolute.

>Hide in a morgue
While my silence helps with playing dead, my armor would both be subject to removal, and also act as identification.

I can't say I like the idea of bolting for the stairs, but the vents out in the hall may not be ideal. Though I can fit in them, they are likely difficult to crawl through with any satisfactory speed, most likely create noise, and aren't made to hold a person's weight.
>>
No. 438398 ID: b85f8c

>>438397
Leave quietly but quickly. Do not attack the doctor; that endangers lives indirectly and would leave a trail for the QI to pick up on.
>>
No. 438403 ID: c1a7db

Man, a neumono in a surgical mask is kind of scary.

>shielded brig
Hmm. Bonus of that. We could actually conceivably sneak in and talk to or release Rokoa if we had reason to, and it would't be sensed until she left.

Although if the brig is secure enough, there's a good chance it's not worth the effort.

>>438398
This plan for now. We'll hope a better route presents itself. We know stairs have cameras every floor. Don't take the vents if you think they'll give you away. Maybe another garbage chute? Or enter/leave the staircase via vents to bypass cameras.

>Morgue
I think the idea was more you'd be just one more lump under a blanket, temporarily. Obviously you wouldn't want to hang around long enough to be examined or stripped.
>>
No. 438500 ID: b33427

Silently drop down and make a break for the stairs. Head up to Shield and Gravity Systems. Note the locations of vents as you pass, in case you have to hide in one to avoid detection.

Keep mental watch on that jammer void you noticed earlier, in case it moves towards you. If it does, you've been spotted and called in.

We're going to need something other than bullets to disable cameras soon. Keep on the lookout for a long narrow pipe or broomhandle, and a spike or heavy weight that could be attached to the end. Also keep an eye out for something that could be used to slip up or slow down pursuers, such as lubricants or ball-bearings.
>>
No. 438514 ID: 61e7f9

Run for stairs go up to grav gens.
>>
No. 438626 ID: f09b71
File 134395829477.png - (21.16KB , 700x700 , 721.png )
438626

I run for the stairs as quietly as I can manage. Most of the activity is downstairs, much of the top floor, from what I can see, is for stabilized patients.

The jammer void down below is moving swiftly but steadily. I am quicker, and manage to make it through the stairwell, shooting another security camera after not finding any clubs or conveniently heavy object on my way through. I couldn't have avoided this camera either, and no convenient alternative entrance showed itself unfortunately. But, at least I have a head start, and a clear shot to the shield and gravity room.
>>
No. 438634 ID: f09b71
File 134395842912.png - (20.68KB , 700x700 , 722.png )
438634

The door to my goal opens without resistance, and I go through. Only to have the door beep and lock after I make it through.

There are warning labels. Unlike most others that talked about not being a dumbass, this one has threateningly serious tones about not using guns or any sparks, as death will occur. Not serious injury or death, it claims, but serious injury and death.

There is a strange smell here. I would not say it is gas, but I have never been around plasma generators before. Gravity generators, as far as I can tell, do not make such a smell.
>>
No. 438653 ID: fa9f7e

>>438634
...Maybe it leaks hydrogen? That shit's flammable, and it'd probably blow the generator if it went up.

Also, probably radioactive, given the nature of the generator and its incredibly poor design if it really is leaking.
>>
No. 438656 ID: 4a328b

Maybe high oxygen content? ...Avoid sparks at all costs. What floor are you on, again?
>>
No. 438659 ID: e3f578

We can't just fire a bullet into here from a safe zone without investigating first. IF there are neumono with a jammer in here as well and they're caught in the explosion, there goes our no-kill policy.
Look for a console of some sort.
>>
No. 438681 ID: 6a1ec2

Hydrogen is most convenient to render into plasma it's true. Though helium might be preferable for its stability. But that aside, you probably walked into a trap. Until you can identify the smell I advise holding your breath.
>>
No. 438691 ID: b85f8c

>>438634
Shit, the door LOCKED?! You need to find a way out, pronto. Fast fast fast.
>>
No. 438694 ID: f09b71
File 134396212391.png - (414.63KB , 800x800 , 723.png )
438694

>Look for a way out
The grates at the bottom are bolted down hard. The larger door at the other end is also flashing LOCKED. I don't see any ready exits, but I will keep my eyes peeled. There is a fog in here that is more apparent in an open area.
To be safe, I close my armor's air vents and hold my breath.

>What floor are you on?
This should be floor 9. This area appears to encompass two floors, as the map indicated.

I do not know which contraptions are the gravity and which are the shields. Perhaps it is a single mechanism for both. It sounds unlikely, but the existence of nebulous shields forming a bubble that can block high level explosives sounds magical anyways.

>Look for terminals
I do not see anything major, but each tube here appears to have some kind of control panel. I have no idea how to work them.

The jammer void has not moved faster, but it did change to my direction. There is a high chance that it is coming for me.
>>
No. 438695 ID: 6a1ec2

Move slowly and carefully to conserve oxygen. Get a close look at one of the terminals, and if there's no off switch, then climb the ladder in the back and continue searching for hiding spots.
>>
No. 438697 ID: 4a328b

Any exits when you climb up?
>>
No. 438698 ID: 886a4d

TIme to see if the sheep has recovered, we need her help. Click the com link once to get her attention. If she doesn't answer right away click again every minute while you mess with the control panel of one of the generators.
>>
No. 438703 ID: 61e7f9

Click the radio com to get Spiky's attention. Start fiddling with the controls. Even if you don't know what you are doing.

If you have a plasma sword or some other form of really hot flame pull it out and keep it handy. Only Rokoa knows you are trying not to kill anyone. And blowing up this ship to save your hive from attack is a perfectly reasonable thing to do from the enemy's perspective. They will take this as seriously as it gets. This would be an even better place for an armed standoff. Your hostages are things that blow up really really big. And would at the very least take out a chunk of the ship's shields, if not all of them.

If they try to communicate again give us a chance to think up a response.
>>
No. 438705 ID: b33427

Check for cameras. Considering the haze, they're probably set lower here. If you can reach any by climbing or jumping, do so, and knock them around so they face the wall.

Did the warning sign indicate any emergency shutdown or venting procedures? Considering the flammability of the air in here, it's almost certain there's atmospheric dump vents to the ship's exterior from this room, since there would be no way to fight a fire here once it starts. Look for any buttons, switches, or controls outlined in bright red or black and yellow warning stripes. How well can neumono handle low or no atmospheric pressure environments?

Once the jammer void get's starts to get near the entrance, climb up on the catwalk and move over where it'll come in.

>>438698
Definitely get Emere on radio, discreetly. In fact, don't say anything that'd give away you're talking to her or anyone in the Embassy; There might be security microphones active in here. If she picks up, ask how to identify a gravity generator from a shield generator, and instructions on how to operate whichever these turn out to be.

>>438703
Even better, deliberately not knock one of the cameras all the way to the wall, pull out the C4 and remote detonator just within its view, move out of shot, and put the C4 back in your pack. Then you could use the remote detonator as a bluff.
>>
No. 438707 ID: b85f8c

>>438694
Get up above the door the void is heading towards. Sneak attack with your knife the instant the door opens. They'll be expecting to take YOU by surprise, not the other way around! But y'know if there's a security cam in here you won't be able to sneak attack at all.

First priority is finding an alternative exit, though. If we can avoid having to face the QI at all, that's optimal. Climb that ladder.
>>
No. 438715 ID: f09b71
File 134396669639.png - (137.03KB , 700x700 , 724.png )
438715

There are a couple camera. I knock them into the wall, flashing the fact that the capability of laying C4 should I want to bluff.

I cannot tell where the void is anymore. There are no neumono specifically to that location anymore, so whoever is holding it is alone.

>Fiddle with the controls
Completely locked down. It needs permissions of some kind.

>How well can a neumono handle no atmosphere pressure?
Not for long, it would kill anyone within a couple minutes tops. The only procedure signs I see for emergencies are to get the hell out and let the technicians handle it.

>Check the sheep
"Come in."
>"Yes, infiltrator? What do I call you?"
"Polo. I'm in the shield generator rooms." I speak quietly. The armor, I believe, muffles much of my volume well.
>"Oh. OH, do not take the shields down! We're on high alert for incoming missles!"
"What are the differences between shield and gravity?"
>"The plasma cells are the lit up blue parts, and the gravity generator is a gigantic engine spread throughout the room - the idea is that if there is an explosion, it won't be destroyed completely and utterly, or at least reduce the chance of it."

I climb up to the higher area. The only exit I find is also locked from the inside. There are plenty of hiding spots in the mess of machinery, especially with the fog.
>>
No. 438716 ID: b85f8c

>>438715
Ask her why it smells funny in here. Just so you know if it's okay to breathe. Also we need an exit; everything's locked!

And hide. Can you listen closely enough to tell when the QI enters, and about where they are?
>>
No. 438717 ID: 4a328b

Yeah, ask what'cha breathing here.
>>
No. 438719 ID: 61e7f9

"That's the plan. I take down the ship shields, they are forced to keep the truce else their queen gets blown to hell. How do I shut them down without making this entire place explode? And taking out grav gens is a given."
>>
No. 438720 ID: b33427

Confirm if "high alert" means either missiles are incoming right now, or just really likely to be incoming. 'Cause if there are missiles incoming, the truce is busted already. If they aren't, then breaking the shield generators will encourage them to keep the truce.
>>
No. 438721 ID: 886a4d

I think she means the missiles are on there way here now. Taking the shields down would probably mean deaths. Then Rokoa would kill us. Since we have sticks of C4 lets bluff some more and stick two on a couple plasma generators. Set them up with a dead man switch and such so they can't disable them easily... they'll also have to sweep the entire place for more.

Ask the sheep how to disable the gravity generator from here and are are there any exits or can she re-enable the doors.
>>
No. 438737 ID: b33427

Honestly, you can't hide in here; You'll end up stuck in place while every QI in this ship comes in to search for you. You have to get out ASAP, and the only obvious chance is when that QI in the stairwell comes in. They're going to close the door as soon as the QI crosses the threshold, so you'll have to jam it open.

Here's how you do that: Swing over the edge of the catwalk and drop down, to save time. Drop the grappling hook at the edge of the doorway, and play out just enough rope to tie it to either the ladder up to the catwalk, or something more solid. At this point if you're going to plant C4, place it on the shield generator nearest the rope.

Wait next to the door, with the grappling hook in hand. When your sense of the neumono below blinks out, that means you're in the QI's jammer bubble, and the QI is about to enter. This is when you crouch down, ready to spring forward. As soon as the door opens, hook the grappling hook over the edge of the frame. The QI's going to charge in, since they want to keep the door open as short as possible. That's when you spring forward as hard as you can to knock the QI off balance, then slip through the door when it jams.

Once outside, rush up the stairs. If you've planted C4, wait until the QI is just starting to climb the stairs after you, and detonate it. The explosion will sever the rope, and the door will close, shielding the QI and you from the brunt of the blast.
>>
No. 438741 ID: c1a7db

Hmm. Eme regained consciousness and got out of any questioning or medical check rather quickly. I thought we'd have to wait longer till she was free to offer support.

If the air in here is combustible, we can't really afford to fight a QI in here. With ranged weapons out, we're at the same disadvantage we were always afraid of with Rokoa. You just can't match them in strength and durability at close range.

If the combustive fog is heavier than air (so it fills up the bottom of the room) you could always exploit that to blow up the QI when she enters. Of course, you have no idea how big the explosion could be. You could easily kill her, or take out the shields completely, or kill yourself. So that's not such a great idea.

Taking out the shields completely might be a bad idea, but it would be nice to distract them with something. Partial damage of shields or gavitics. Besides, if you don't want them to guess your actual target, it'd be good to look like you're targeting something else.

...could you rig a spark trap? The fog seemed less dense at the door, and when opened, it'll mix with clear air. Maybe a smaller, non-fatal explosion could be triggered there. A single cartridge maybe, left on the floor it such a way that opening the door will crush it. Boom. Explosion in the doorway, knocks the QI back on her ass.

Might want to let sheep girl explain exactly what's in the air and how combustible it is first though.
>>
No. 438778 ID: c6ec33

>>438715
"Don't worry; blowing up the ship is plan B. That should be incentive to help me as much as possible with plan A, which involves some aggressive negotiations with a certain Neumono.

However, right now I'm stuck in this room, and all the exits are locked. I hope you can find me a way out of this area, because plan B is looking more and more likely. The QI are closing in on me, and combat in this room would be a fast-track to plan B."
>>
No. 438790 ID: c1a7db

>>438778
She's already afraid for her life staying here, I don't think threats help. We don't need coercion to motivate her- the war hive's already put a gun to her head for us.

Heck, we may even want to take the opposite approach, and try and build a rapport, so she sees as more than a disposable means for her own escape. You could start by quickly apologizing you couldn't warn her before knocking her out to maintain her cover.

There's nothing wrong with reassuring her that blowing the ship is not your objective- you'd very much prefer to kill the Queen and escape alive if at all possible. You were hoping damaging some of this stuff would make a useful distraction, and keep them from guessing your true intent.
>>
No. 438861 ID: f09b71
File 134401126162.png - (55.65KB , 700x700 , 725.png )
438861

"You got out of questioning pretty quickly."
>"There wasn't much to say! You just came in to take advantage of the opportunity. The hive does trust us well, I don't think they would expect us to play against them."
"Sorry about knocking you out without warning."
>"It was the best way to do it, I know."
"Does high alert mean they're coming? And do you know what the smell here is?"
>"No, but it means that an enemy base or ship has them actively armed and trained on us, and just needs to give a command. And the plasmashields emit a tiny bit of radioactivity, and, well, there are some funny molecules in the air. It's why the shield generators aren't manned, but so long as you don't hide out in there, you'll be fine. Oh, and hydrogen. There's that too."
"Do you know how to mess with the gravity?"
>"Well... yes, I think you can do it there, there are emergency backdoors, but even those require logins. You know, Rokoa's ID probably isn't locked out or anything, if you can get to the brig to ask her."

>Jam the door
The problem with this is that a jammer bubble can be as short as a couple meters, so I will barely get a notice even if I do wait by the door. That is not, however, as big a problem as attempting hand to hand combat with even a single QI.

"Most of all, I need an exit. Something more detailed."
>"Uh... I would have to hack something, which I'm willing to do, but there is always the risk of discovery."
>>
No. 438868 ID: 7ea3a9

Set explosive charges on the shields. Announce that you are in a more comfortable position to discuss things with their hive now. Don't go anywhere near the doors.
>>
No. 438869 ID: c1a7db

Are the user names just peoples' names, and not quasi-randomly generated tripcodes? If so, we might know Rokoa well enough to guess her password.

ID: Rokoa
Pass: Kakra

If this works, proceed to fuck with gravity.

Hacking and giving away our source of intel probably isn't worth it just yet.

Could you hide just out of sight, outside the room? Then when the QI enters, you fire past her, into the room. Explosion knocks her back out the door, into the wall, hopefully disabling without killing. Then you gtfo.
>>
No. 438870 ID: 886a4d

We can't get bottled here. Tell her to hack it. Do place the C4 though as it will take her a little bit of time.
>>
No. 438878 ID: b33427

Hold on the hacking for now, and try the login and password in >>438869 first.

While Polo's hive would abide by the truce, consider that if the shields go down, there's a chance one or more of the other hives will take advantage and attack. Even so, plant one charge on a plasma generator, just to have the option. Use the grappling hook to get up high and stick the C4 in the mess of tubes and wiring around the generator's "chimney." Uh, but first ask Emere if these shield generators put out a lot of EM or comm interference that would block your remote detonator.

As long as you're up there, look around for other vents, hatches, doors, loose panels, or any other possible way out, or someplace you could safely seal yourself in and detonate the C4 or ignite the air in here.
>>
No. 438880 ID: c1a7db

I'm just hoping the ID is right. For all we know, the format might be more <name>_<rank> or something. Emere could probably fill us in on what the format is, but we don't, for example, know Rokoa's QI number is (one of the three QIs in the chapter 1 reports in as #6, but we don't know if it's her or not). I suppose her rank would be a matter of public record though.

We don't have anything else to guess for the password though. I really hope she didn't use the name of her other kid.
>>
No. 438891 ID: f09b71
File 134401934451.png - (145.03KB , 700x700 , 726.png )
438891

I use my grappling hook to start moving around quicker. First to drop down and input Rokoa/Kakra, but assuming that her login is correct, she did not use such an easy password.

"Hold off on the hacking. Do the shields or anything here generate enough interference to mess with a remote detonator?"
>"You're not planning on that?!"
"Bluffs."
>"Well, now, it would be okay, but this better not be a suicide thing for you!"

I plant the C4 out in the open to easily show that I have done so, but away from any doors so that it could not be kicked away safely. At least my pack is lighter now.
>>
No. 438892 ID: f09b71
File 134401936082.png - (164.92KB , 700x700 , 727.png )
438892

I head to the top, at the ceiling. I find grates, but they aren't the screw on plates that I can yank off or unscrew. More like closeable grates that are on tight.

There is an echo in here. I can most likely speak without giving away a precise location. My gut is telling me that whoever is coming will be here at any second, if I want to position myself anywhere in particular.
>>
No. 438894 ID: e3f578

I don't suppose punching through the grates is an option? At least enough to where you can get your hand through and yank it with better grip?

It's kinda hard to see what the best vantage point or hiding spot would be without a good, knowledgeable mental layout of the room. it looks like your hiding on top of one of the generators pipes for coolant or cords.
>>
No. 438897 ID: f09b71
File 134402118573.png - (8.05KB , 601x497 , 728.png )
438897

>Hard to get a mental layout of the room
It is. There is various machinery blocking much of my visibility on the second floor up, aside from the single exit on the second floor. On the bottom level, there are 8 canisters, and only a couple of security cameras that were mostly trained on the doors before I hit them.

I punch a grate. It makes a bang, but does not bend past its maximum elasticity. I may be able to loosen it with time.

As for the pipe that I am on, it could be anything. It is wide enough to fit into if I had the tool to open one of the plates, but I don't know if I would want to.

>"Oh, I just noticed - your armor's visor can exchange visual info. Do you mind if you let me see what you see?"
>>
No. 438905 ID: c1a7db

Dang. So much for getting an actual tactical advantage out of Rokoa cuddling.

Knife to watch them come in the door?

I'm not sure what our plan is. What do we bluff for? Sacrificing one infiltrator to blow an entire enemy flagship almost makes sense as a tactical wartime sacrifice (or maybe not, considering how rare and valuable a functional neumono infiltrator is). We literally are in a position to destroy the ship right now. So if you don't destroy the ship, that raises a very big question- what the hell are you here for? What's the bigger objective than their deaths? Logically, they'd expect you to demand they stand down and surrender. Or retreat from the battle. If you just use this opportunity to demand the QI surrender (assuming that works), the rest of the hive is gonna be hella suspicious about your actual objective.

They may come to the correct conclusion you're gunning for the Queen. Or they might decide Rokoa's betrayal is deeper than they though, and you've come for her. ...or they could decide you're here for the "coffee cake", whatever the hell that is.

Regardless, I wouldn't seriously try bluffing the warship into surrender. Being pinned here for a long period is more suicidal than the regicide, I think.

Don't count on the QI to be unarmed, or limited to hand to hand. She knows your location, and has had time to prepare. There may be weapons that can be safely used in here (airgun with nonmetallic projectiles?)

>Share video feed.
...that's a lot bigger risk to you than a comm channel if the hive taps your broadcast. If you're confident in the encryption or whatever, go for it- having her be able to suggest things is useful. We never would have thought to check the login, for instance. She may observe things we can use we would never think of.

You know, it occurs to me Emere never questioned how you expect to / are able to sneak through the hive. Either she hasn't had a chance to think it through, or your silence ability is now common knowledge to this hive.
>>
No. 438914 ID: b85f8c

Even if we hide and cloak our voice with the echo, how would we fight the QI? Forcing them to disarm the C4 might allow for enough of a distraction for us to escape, but only if the exit remains unlocked after the QI enters.

Does the smoke grenade produce a spark?
>>
No. 438954 ID: 61e7f9

Nay on sharing visual info right now.

Our only demand is that the truce hold. They get the fuck off this planet and never come back. They don't attack anyone while leaving. If they do that, their queen, their ship, and everyone on it are safe. It's very simple.
>>
No. 438955 ID: b33427

Emere can use your visuals only if she's sure of the strength of the channel encryption, and that whatever comm. system she's using is isolated from the ship's internal network; You don't want the possibility of ship Security watching and listening through a backdoor in her system. Also ask if she can tell if your visor has a HUD that can display info uploads; You don't know since it didn't come with a manual.
>>
No. 438958 ID: f09b71
File 134403321456.png - (14.38KB , 700x700 , 729.png )
438958

"Only if you are completely confident in the encryption."
>"Yes, yes, and it can be killed at any time, by just shutting off your armor's communication with that button on your inner left ear, and rebooting it will only have audio again!"

Bluffing will be difficult. I can do so, but it is either that, fight a QI, or attempt to burst through the door right when it opens and hope to catch him or her off guard. The only other idea offhand is to change my mind about getting the sheep to hack information on an exit.
>>
No. 438960 ID: 4a328b

Sure let'er see
>>
No. 438966 ID: b33427

OK, Emere can have a look-see. Maybe she'll spot something you didn't.

Once the QI enters, do you think you could bluff him or her that the C4 has a proximity sensor secondary trigger? Hopefully that'll keep the QI from going right up and defusing it.

Those vent doors look like they're probably part of an emergency venting system, in case of fire. Maybe there's a way to trigger a test cycle of the venting system that'll open them. Ask Emere if she can pull up info on the fire response systems for plasma shield generators of this type, and look for the maintenance procedures. They should have directions on how to activate the test cycle, what happens during the test cycle, and how long it lasts.
>>
No. 438968 ID: c1a7db

>Our only demand is that the truce hold. They get the fuck off this planet and never come back. They don't attack anyone while leaving. If they do that, their queen, their ship, and everyone on it are safe. It's very simple.
You can't hold someone at gunpoint and yell TRUCE~!. That's not how truces work. That's either holding someone hostage, or a mexican standoff, depending on the circumstances. And it only holds as long as the gun's at their head, so it wouldn't work. (And it never works at all when your target is crazy. And with the mad-Queen in charge, they are crazy).

It's not our goal, and it's not a good or believable bluff. Please stop suggesting Polo needs to be the impossible peacekeeping enforcer. She's here to force regime change instead.

>>438958
Give her visuals. She's free to alert us to anything useful we may overlook (especially tech or systems we may be unfamiliar with), but we're probably about to be very busy.

If she hacks open a door immediately, that just means you fight a QI in a hall instead of here. If she locks the door behind you, you get away, but almost certainly gives away her interference. I'm reluctant to get her killed so soon- we're going to need intel / interference to get to the Queen (well, that and getting her killed is mean).

...do you have any weapons that are safe to use in this environment? Could you say, turn the energy [i]way[i/] down on your laser rifle, so instead of firing high energy plasma blasts, you just fire a high intensity laser and aim to blind the QI as she enters?

Or you could just keep quite, let her go up to disarm the C4, and then drop something on her. You're up pretty high. Go anything heavy that won't spark when it hits?
>>
No. 438970 ID: b33427

>>438968
...There is one heavy thing that Polo has she could drop: Herself.

Could you position yourself over where the QI would stand to disarm the bomb, and remain hidden, even when you drop? It'll have to be from fairly high up to incapacitate the QI with the impact, and you will end up injured yourself, even with the bio-armor. As long as you're not incapacitated completely yourself, and the QI is knocked down long enough for you to cut it to immobility, then do it. Otherwise... I'm out of ideas. Sorry.
>>
No. 438992 ID: 5b5339

>Attack from a two story drop
>Hope the target doesn't notice, move aside and let you splat
>Pray your armor doesn't make a spark on impact.
>Engage Rokoa class person in close combat.

...wow. I can't even count the ways that could for spectacularly wrong. Would be unbelievably awesome to pull off, but waaay too risky.

I was thinking more along the line of a blunt tool, or a detached piece of pipe or something.
>>
No. 438996 ID: 733ae0

>>438974
This is splitting hairs but I'm fairly sure the only Rokoa level close combatant is Rokoa herself.
>>
No. 439218 ID: f09b71
File 134409711253.png - (20.12KB , 700x700 , 730.png )
439218

Most of everything is on down tight, as far as the engines and mechanics go.

The catwalks, however, are not so. The railings are solid, but built in a temporary, easily removed fashion. I get a solid pipe out of it. My only other available weapon is a knife. Unfortunately, my rifle does not have a setting to reduce intensity.

"Yeah. Go for it."
>"Thank you."
"Can you pull up info on fire response systems? I see some grates that may be able to be opened."
>"Like almost everything in that room, I'd have to hack. I'm willing to risk it as always, total stranger or not."
>>
No. 439219 ID: f09b71
File 134409725087.png - (292.93KB , 700x1100 , 731.png )
439219

I get in a position over the C4 such that I can see it if I look over, but am otherwise out of sight.

There isn't much time to spare on it. The door slides open, I hear a couple quick footsteps, and the door slides back shut. It only sounds like 1 person came in.

There is a pause. I do not have visual or empathic contact, but it is obvious when the C4 is discovered.

>"You unbelievable son of a bitch."
>>
No. 439220 ID: 4a328b

Keep still for now
>>
No. 439223 ID: 61e7f9

"So how close are you all to being packed up and leaving this rock for good? Please answer honestly. Trained infiltrators with high explosives in ship critical locations don't like being lied to."
>>
No. 439229 ID: d6c330

...you don't recognize the voice? I was half hoping/afraid it was Rokoa (either she'd escaped, or QI23 actually died). We need some kind of visual contact, if you can get it without giving away your position. We need to know what we're working with here- if he or she has hydrogen safe weapons, if they're armored, or if they have a helmet. Then we can make a more reasonable decision as to if you're going to engage, or risk Emere in retreat.

What's the floor made off? Was it some kind of metal? Plastic, ceramic? That affects how risky dropping the pipe on the QI's head is- metal pipe hitting metal floor could mean sparks and instant space-Hindenburg. (Actually, how viable is that plan? We never thought to ask if a that kind of blunt trauma would be enough to incapacitate a neumono.)

I'm not sure we want to talk to him or her. If we want to try and attack while they disarm the C-4, we want them to not know where we are, or think maybe we got out somehow. If we confirm our presence, the C-4 isn't their priority, necessarily.

Alternatively... you could just try to barter and slow 'em down.

"Yeah, being cornered will do that. Open the doors, and maybe you'll have enough time to disarm it and find the others while I get away."

Bonus: they won't attack you again until they're sure they found all the C-4, and risk you taking a last ditch suicide.
>>
No. 439233 ID: b85f8c

>>439229
>saying there's more C4 than that
We must do this. This is important. Nothing is better for delaying your enemy than a wild goose chase.

I agree that we should try to use it as leverage to get out of the room.
>>
No. 439242 ID: b33427

Remain silent, and watch where the QI goes. If the QI moves underneath you and starts to defuse the C4, that would be the time to strike, but what to strike with? The pipe doesn't have enough mass on its own to do more than crack a bone, if it hits right. To make the pipe hit hard enough to disable the QI, Polo would have to jump down, hold it between her feet, and with both hands on top, such that it would impale the QI. How much that would injure Polo depends on how much of the impact the bio-armor can absorb, but at best she'd hurt her legs and be slowed down.

If the QI doesn't go for the C4, start heading up to the closed vent, while saying to the QI "It's proximity fuzed, as well as all the others. My "gift" to you. Enjoy." Once up there, slip your knife between the slats and bend them wide enough to slip the pipe in. Slide the knife to the edge, and pull it and the pipe. All the slats should be on the same mechanisim, so applying enough force should make them all move.

>>439233
Seeing that C4 in such an obvious position, they're going to assume there's at least one other explosive planted in here. It's such a brazen display, they wouldn't think otherwise, even without Polo pointing it out. Best to stay quiet and not risk messing up.
>>
No. 439380 ID: f09b71
File 134413348379.png - (152.15KB , 700x700 , 732.png )
439380

>Get visual contact
Easy enough. This one looks far better prepared than the first QI, at least by way of bio armor. He moves out towards the C4, but slows down as he gets close until he is simply keeping his distance.

>Blunt trauma to incapacitate
It would require a hard hit on me, a far harder hit on a neumono double my size, and even harder on one with a helmet and bio.

>What is the floor made of?
I don't know. If it is plastic, it is hard enough to pass as metal.

"Being cornered will get certain things done. Open the doors, and maybe you'll have enough time to disarm it and find the others while I get away. How close are you to being packed up and leaving this planet for good? Mind the position your ship is in, mixed with my disliking of being lied to."
>"Less than a day, and it would go a whole lot faster if we didn't keep getting interrupted. You want to get out of here? We want you out of here too. We'll let you get off the whole ship. Even give you a gift basket on the way out. We don't care what hive you're in or whether you're a prisoner, because we're leaving and it just won't matter."
>>
No. 439382 ID: 4a328b

Where-ever they're going they probably won't be sending mail either. Almost a shame, really.
>>
No. 439384 ID: e3f578

>>439380
"I want to leave too, but first I must correct an inefficiency in this hive. I won't deny it isn't a form of vengeance, but that's relatively minor to what you'll gain. Tell me, can love bloom on the battlefield? Apparently, you can bake coffee cake on the battlefield. Damn good stuff. Sorry about your friend, they'll make it though. You QI's are made of tough brass. You know, you really should have brought a crossbow. Better than a knife. Or a classic spear."
>>
No. 439385 ID: 61e7f9

"I have confirmation the truce you agreed to was going to be broken by your queen and an attack launched on the other hives. I'm here to make sure that does not happen. I'm going to oversee your operation and make sure it stays on schedule without any deviations from getting the fuck off this planet. After you have kept the truce and are well on your way away from my home I will disarm the explosives and surrender to you."

Mention you'd like some fresh air in here because passing out would set off that dead man switch you have hooked up to all the boomstuff. Also make it clear you are 100% ok with blowing up this whole ship with you still on it if that will prevent casualties to your own hive.
>>
No. 439392 ID: d6c330

Well, he looks armored enough that plan "hit 'em in the head" is no go. Also, close combat is a bad idea- you're both armored, so that leaves him a size, strength, and probably training advantage over you. What the heck is that thing on his back through? A rocket pack, with strings strung across? Some kind of senor apparatus? A sonic weapon? Emere, feel free to speak up if Polo doesn't know.

>We're happy to leave, just get off our ship.
Gods dammit, this is exactly why I wanted to avoid this line of discussion! If we really wanted them to gtfo, we have no good reason not to negotiate for that. Passing, or bargaining for anything else now confirms to them we have another reason for being on board. We don't want them thinking too much about that!

Best recovery I can think of:

"Forgive me if I'm reluctant to trust myself to a ceasefire, or an escort off-board, as your hive's already tried to use one truce as a screen for an attack, today."

(That, and their Queen explicitly ordered our death. We can't trust anyone loyal in this hive with our safety, ever. Won't help to say that out loud though).

"Again, open the doors to this room, and I'll consider getting out of your way. But if you're not standing aside to watch me walk out of here, I don't see we have much to talk about. Or that I have another option."

Bing bang boom. You don't trust them enough to accept their out, and you make clear you feel cornered. Cornered people with bombs is bad for them.

>>439385
For the love of your continued life Polo, not this. You're not a danged UN envoy to oversee disarmament, and you'll get yourself killed if you try to be. Also, again, arguing that all you want is for them to leave, but then continuing to act otherwise, gives away the fact you have another objective or target. That's bad.
>>
No. 439393 ID: 886a4d

>>439384
>>439385
These will give the game away, we want to force them to get stuck at as many hotspots as possible. Having us stick around or clue them into our true objective is bad.

>>439392
This sounds good. Once we're out of here we need to head to the living quarters for anything Rokoa might have stashed in her room. Plus its a direction they won't expect.
>>
No. 439396 ID: d6c330

I'd like to discuss the apparent continued disagreement over what the mission is where it won't risk Polo.

>>/questdis/58128
>>
No. 439460 ID: f09b71
File 134416337688.png - (173.48KB , 700x700 , 733.png )
439460

>Thing on his back
That is the neumono jammer. The strings make oscillations of varying size that determine the range of the jammer. As for what goes on inside the pack or why oscillating strings do anything, I have no idea.

"I'm reluctant to trust myself to a ceasefire or an escort. Your hive has already tried to use a truce as a screen for an attack, today."
>"And we're reluctant to let you go to do whatever it is you're trying to do. It's obviously not a suicide mission. If it were, you'd have already blown yourself up in a blaze of glory with that bomb of yours out in the open. Not too hard to admit we're not going to mess around with you just to see if you blow yourself up though. We're at an impasse."
>>
No. 439462 ID: b85f8c

>>439460
Tell them that what you're planning on doing here will not have an overall negative impact on their hive.
>>
No. 439467 ID: 4a328b

No more talking, focus on escape
>>
No. 439469 ID: 886a4d

>>439467
This. Hopefully that hacking job is done soon.
>>
No. 439476 ID: d6c330

...I don't suppose damaging the strings on the jammer produces horrific link feedback? Cause they're a real convenient target. Yeah, grasping at straws here.

Fuck. Exactly what I was afraid of. He's calling your bluff, and they're questioning your motives. Badbadbad.

...I think we may need to risk Emere. We can stall while she hacks, but I don't see us talking him into submission.

Regardless... here's some suggested dialog. It'll either get you out, or buy Emere the time she needs.

"Not a suicide mission, no. But if I've got no way out, I might as well blow your hive to hell with me.

If you don't believe I'll do it, call it in and ask Rokoa. I blew myself up to stop her the first goddamn day I met her. If there's one thing that crazy bitch knows, it's another crazy bitch.

If you really think my death is worth more than your entire hive, go ahead. Make. My. Fucking. Day."

Emergency plan: a hydrogen explosion might be less fatal then taking the ships shields offline, especially when you're armored and if you set it off well away from you (depends on the concentration, really). You could throw your pipe or dagger at him, get a spark and pray the line you're hiding behind, and your armor(s) save you. ...and that he's not dead. C4 shouldn't go off, I think, it's pretty stable.
>>
No. 439486 ID: 997ce7

>>439476
C4 is fairly stable as explosives go, true. It won't detonate when struck by kinetic bullets, true. However, it will still explode IN AN EXPLOSION. The only way to detonate it is to apply extreme heat AND a shockwave, such as that generated by exploding hydrogen.
>>
No. 439490 ID: d6c330

...yeah, that was a longshot. So an explosion of any origin will kill us, and then the shields, and then the ship. Yaaay.

Our only outs then are (1) successful bluff (2) stalled bluff, successful hacking or (3) combat. Or (4) defection, I suppose. (3)'s a longshot, and (4)'s a preposterous longshot, though.

...actually. Hmm. Maybe we could play up the crazy bitch angle, and Rokoa. What's our objective? Why're we insane enough to break into a wartime space-cruiser, if not to blow it? She owes us a goddamn rematch. >=D They know how insane Rokoa is. We convince them we're another her. Given Rokoa's refusal to outright kill us, they might believe it.
>>
No. 439491 ID: 997ce7

>>439490
Seems a bit inconsistent with what we said earlier, but I can't think of anything better, so let's go for it.
>>
No. 439493 ID: f09b71
File 134416789873.png - (98.99KB , 700x700 , 734.png )
439493

>Messing with the wires
It just causes the jammer to fail. It is easy, but won't cause horrific feedback.

"Emere." I whisper. Between my armor and the engines running, there is no way the QI can hear me. "Hack. Get me out of here."

"If I've got no way out, I won't stop myself from blowing away your hive with me."
>"I told you, we're not going to press you. Not going to let you do something worse, either."
"I'm not here to commit genocide. Rokoa owes me a damn rematch."
>"... that's why she brought you on board? So she could get rescued out of this once she turned herself in, because of some match or something you want? Her train of thought is something out of a damn wreck. And if you're not making shit up, so is yours. No offense."

Emere sounds through after a moment.
>"It's coming along... do you want to leave through the roof or one of the doors?"
>>
No. 439496 ID: 4a328b

The roof~

Be all like "She did WHAT" like you snuck on by yourself and have no idea what she was up to.
>>
No. 439500 ID: b85f8c

>>439493
We still have to go up, right? Roof. Besides, we're right next to the roof access. I just wish we actually knew where the queen was. She's NOT in the bridge. We might have to capture a noncombatant to find out where.

Right before we leave, throw the pipe at the wires to break the jammer.
>>
No. 439502 ID: d6c330

...I'm assuming the QI is large enough he can't follow you if you leave through the vents? If so, that's the way to go. Otherwise, you may as well take the door, let him follow you, and then disable him when you're in a place that guns work.

>Your train of thought is something out of a damn wreck
"Yeah, because anyone willing to sneak into the middle of a war hive on anything but a suicide mission is thinking rationally.

And I think we both know she'd never settle for this kind of rescue."
There. Let them think we're crazy, and we're maybe here to kill or rescue Rokoa. It's kind of crap, but I've got nothing better. Hacking better be ready soon.

>>439500
I don't think risking a spark, killing him in the hydrogen explosion, setting off the c4, taking down the shields and getting the ship exploded is worth just disabling the jammer.
>>
No. 439515 ID: 2a7713

Lets go for the roof. And when you are leaving mess with the QI and throw your smoke grenade at him while yelling fire in the hole.
>>
No. 439522 ID: e3f578

>>439493
"Well, in all honesty she really needed to speak with the Queen in person. Come on, you're part of Rokoa's hive, you didn't know that she was insane already? The honorable fight is what she loves most, next to her hive. She's always got something to prove, even when completely alone. And personally, I think that's adorable. I can't believe I know her more that you do, a comrade, with just with a few fights. You really should fight her, it's like sitting in a AA group or whatever. Really deals with your emotions."
>>
No. 439548 ID: f09b71
File 134417681244.png - (79.89KB , 700x700 , 735.png )
439548

It's hard to tell how big he is, but far closer to Rokoa size than my size.

"Did I seem rational when I went on a warship?"
>"Point."
"I am wondering if I know Rokoa better than you."
>"Rokoa is - was - a valuable ally, but I did not like being around her. I'll give you that point too."

There is a moment as the QI continues scanning the room, but does not find anything more, before Emere speaks again.

>"Bingo. 20 feet to your right side. There is a vent that leads straight to the rooftop. I'll open it when you get close."

It is maneuverable, but I will have a difficult time moving without being seen.

>Throw pipe/knife/metal at him/jammer
Sparks to explosion danger aside, there is a good chance he would see it coming, as he is constantly pivoting his vision around.

>"One more thing - they're having a lot of trouble down in the facility. They're moving fast, but taking a lot of losses - you could probably feel that from the hospital, huh? God knows why they're even down there. Anyways, I'll keep you updated if they start heading back, but right now, as seriously as they're taking you, they don't want to retract a ton of forces and QI's for a single infiltrator. More immediately - there is are two squads of 5 neumono each in the warp engine room - and currently QI 8 is on the roof, but I don't see much other choice."
>>
No. 439552 ID: b85f8c

>>439548
Toss the pipe somewhere else as a distraction. Go "Shit!" as it makes noise, as if it were a mistake.

Then when the QI rushes over to the noise you go to the vent.
>>
No. 439553 ID: 886a4d

Well if you need him looking the other way you can always throw that pipe in a random direction to make some noise. You no longer need it as a melee weapon and it is taking up a hand.


As for QI 8 we might have to disable him \ her in order to move past them.


We need a route to Ronoa's room. Here's to hoping she has something stashed there.
>>
No. 439554 ID: 61e7f9

What is wrong with sticking around? We are in a good position. An impasse is what we need. We wait till they pull everyone out and leave then the impasse is at an end and our mission is complete. The objective is to prevent an attack and we can do so by staying right where we are.
>>
No. 439557 ID: d6c330

>rooftop
Wait, rooftop? Of the spaceship? Or just this chamber (that would put us on floor 11, I think)?

>QI8
Well, I'd rather face one of these guys in an environment where weapons are useable than not. Without crazyface to back us up, we're not so good at bomb threats. We'll disable or sneak past, as we're able.

...there aren't any more crazy areas on this ship that auto-lock us in, and you can't use guns in? Because we'd like to avoid those, if possible.

>We need a route to Rokoa's room. Here's to hoping she has something stashed there.
This. Emere should look up the floor, room number. Here's hoping we can get in via vents, or you don't need a damn password to open personal quarters.

>>439554
He doesn't buy our bluffs. It's an impasse that'll only end in our death, either when we surrender, or blow the ship. No good.
>>
No. 439558 ID: bf54a8

the objective is to kill the queen.
>>
No. 439559 ID: 61e7f9

"This /is/ a suicide mission. I'm willing to blow myself up and am making no attempt at escaping alive."
>>
No. 439566 ID: e3f578

>>439548
Before leaving, might want to mention that Rokoa is still a valuable ally to him and the others.
>>
No. 439579 ID: b33427

Going to need to distract the QI long enough to get to the vent, but just throwing things down won't work, and might make a spark. However, we could use the knowledge of a metal-on-metal impact causing a spark to our advantage.

Tell Emere to hack the door controls for the upper entrance as well, and be ready to open it, when you say "catch," followed by the vent when you reach it. Don't move and wait until she's ready.

"You know what happens when metal hits metal? It makes a spark. Guess what I have in my hand, and the floor is. Now, catch!" Lob the metal pipe in a high arc where the QI would be able to easily see and catch it in time, but not in the direction of the upper entrance. Jump up and dash for the vent, not caring for how much noise you're making, and get up it.

With any luck there'll be at least some confusion about which exit you took. The QI will also think you're going to blow the C4 any second, now that you're out of the room, and move to either defuse it, or pull it off and run to dispose of it. That means don't detonate it even when you're clear. Though, you may be able to fire down the vent shaft and ignite the room from the roof, if the QI is clear. On the way up ask Emere if she can monitor the status of the doors to the Shield Generator room, since she's already hacked the door controls, and see if any are unlocked, opened, and closed.
>>
No. 439592 ID: d6c330

...I don't suppose we could use the smoke grenade to set off the fire suppressants when we leave? That would slow him down. Might not be safe for us though, depending on what kind they are (chemical? Rapid atmo evacuation?), or if we're climbing out a fire suppressant chute.

>>439566
I suppose it's worth throwing something like that as we leave. We are kind of digging her a deep hole here. And I suppose stupid bullshitting about feelings buys a little time to move towards out exit?

"For what it's worth, as far as I can tell, crazy-face is still loyal, for whatever reason."

>hey, catch!
That could be a decent diversion, though it he misses the catch, we're all dead.

>Rokoa's room
...it occurs to me now they know we're involved with her. It's not impossible they searched her rooms already. ...or maybe not, they locked her up, and then 10 minutes later were on infiltrator red alter and lockdown. I suppose crew quarters searches would be a low priority, especially since she hasn't been in there a month.
>>
No. 439604 ID: f09b71
File 134418463033.png - (145.94KB , 700x700 , 736.png )
439604

"Emere. Open the upper door entrance and the grate at the same time I say catch."

"Do you know what would happen if I made a spark?"
>"Same this as if you set off the whole bomb."
"Right. And I'm willing to blow myself up. Catch."

The door and grate each opens, and I toss the pipe and start leaping to the grate.
>>
No. 439605 ID: f09b71
File 134418465778.png - (122.13KB , 700x700 , 737.png )
439605

>"... no."

CLACK

>"You crazy son of a bitch, you really thought this room was made out of sparkable material?!"

... Shit! Can't get a damn break! I can't understand, but I hear him murmur something into his microphone.
>>
No. 439607 ID: 4a328b

"Your sensible designs are making it very difficult to be dramatic."
>>
No. 439608 ID: e3f578

Oh fuck it, drop an unarmed grenade, pretending it's armed and tell him to toss it out of the door if he wants to live.
>>
No. 439613 ID: 735f4f

That or toss a armed grenade.
>>
No. 439615 ID: d6c330

Is gender not apparent from your voice? He keeps calling you a son of a bitch. I suppose he hasn't had good line of sight, and you're armored, and neumono might be used to using the link to pick up on stuff like that. Well, that and daughter of bitch just doesn't roll off the tongue as well.

Dang intelligent spaceship engineers. We got spoiled by the crazy ones in the spire. We should have thrown at him, so he had to dodge to keep it from sparking off his armor.

...and we could have kept the pipe for clubbing cameras! Dangit, really not on the ball here today.

We need to get out here asap. There's a chance he's been stalling us because reinforcements are coming, or they're trying to flank you, or something. A one Polo impasse is not sustainable.

Problem is now the QI above is gonna know the grate you're coming out of. ...I don't suppose Emere learned if it's safe to set off fire suppressants when she hacked this room?

Aw fug it.

"Said I was crazy." Throw the smoke grenade at him. He won't see which way you go out, and hpefully ends up mired in foam raining from the ceiling.
>>
No. 439617 ID: b85f8c

Toss the smoke grenade. A distraction didn't work so we'll have to obscure his sight DIRECTLY.

Then go up the vent. If we can sense the QI up there we'll be able to get their position. Hmm. From that guy's angle can he see that the vent is open as well as the door, or just the door?
>>
No. 439622 ID: d6c330

>his comm
Actually, revision: If he saw the grate or door open, he's either warning them which way you're going, or that someone opened the doors for you when you were nowhere near them. Emere's at risk. She might want to wipe her workstation, and get back to doing whatever it is she's supposed to be doing. Like freaking out over her near death hostage situation on the break room couch like a cowardly sheep while her co-workers cover for her.
>>
No. 439695 ID: b33427

Sigh loudly. "Yes. Not like I could check it ahead of time, now could I?"

Tell Emere that the QI just called in the door opening, and possibly the vent too. You want her to pull out all the stops before bailing: open and lock all the doors available, cut lighting everywhere she can, activate fire alarms and suppression systems, and anything else she can think of. You've got an idea to cover her, though. If she sticks a wireless network plug into her workstation, then wipes the system, that might convince them that the infiltrator put it there as a relay for another operative to work through. Maybe burn a hole through the wireless plug before sticking it in, so it looks like it activated a self-destruct.

Just noticed something: This QI doesn't have a visor, so he doesn't have night- or infrared-vision. Could Emere cut the lights in here, or are the plasma generators so bright it wouldn't matter? Instead, would turning the lights on full brightness, then off again in a strobing pattern mess up his sight?

Security is going to be combing over the networked systems in here in short order, and they'll find the vent open as well as the door. The QI on the roof is going to be moving to the vent exhaust anyway, so trying to cover your exit is pointless. Best get out of here before they regain control and lock you in again.
>>
No. 439696 ID: d6c330

Okay, you know what? Let's more cautiously. We're kind of making decisions too fast here, and burning up options.

Polo, before you chuck the smoke grenade, check with Emere that the fire suppressant systems won't kill you, in as few words as possible. Like, maybe glance at the grenade and mutter, "this safe?".

>>439695
Let's wait for confirmation from Polo that he saw the door/hatch open (he might not have been in a position too, with all the equipment in here). And if he did see, they'll only be suspicious. Emere can hide from and recover from suspicious, I think, especially if she gets her coworkers to cover for her (hacking? She was kidnapped whatever minutes ago. She hasn't stopped shaking, yet). But if she panics, and does last ditch dramatic hacking and interference, they'll have confirmation. That will probably get her killed in short order, and leave us in the lurch.
>>
No. 439709 ID: b33427

>>439696
Alright, keep "pulling out all the stops" on the back burner as a last ditch option for when Emere's cover is known to be completely blown and they're going to bust down the door any second. While Polo is climbing up the vent, Emere should still do that stuff to make her workstation look like it was being used as a relay, and she wasn't the one doing the hacking.

>>43960
Thinking about it, the QI might just be calling in that Polo is crazy, and hasn't seen the door or vent open. Is he in a position to see either one?

Popping smoke isn't going to hide Polo's exit route for long enough to matter. As soon as she doesn't show on the cameras on the routes from the open door, they're going to know something is up. Better to keep the smoke grenade for when it's needed to cover Polo's movement in a firefight or some such.
>>
No. 439724 ID: 18af26

Umm, I might just be I don't know her technology, but I thought smoke grenades created a spark when activated, wheich considering the hydrogen-rich environment, might be bad to do.
>>
No. 439727 ID: d6c330

>>439709
>>439724
I light of these two, I'm rescinding plan smoke grenade.

We should just run, we're out of options.
>>
No. 439902 ID: b85f8c

No, I asked. The smoke grenade does not create a spark. This room is making you all a bit paranoid and irrational.
>>
No. 439908 ID: d6c330

>>439902
Really? I went and looked up how they functioned after the point was raised. There's a few different ways they can work- but they're generally exothermic (canister gets hot- might not need a spark) or actually *burn* something (flame's bad).

I suppose, theoretically, you could make one by just compressing a bunch of smoke into a canister. Compressed gasses tend to be cooler, actually, especially if you force a state change down to liquid. In that case, it would be safe to use. And possibly beneficial. I like the thought of them having to dig this guy out from under a room of fire retardant foam after the smoke detectors go off, and then having to clear the room and look for the c4.

>This room is making you all a bit paranoid and irrational.

For sure. We've made a few mistakes that in retrospect, we could have easily avoided if we'd thought ahead (of course he was gonna be armored. Of course the floor would be spark safe. Etc).
>>
No. 440108 ID: f09b71
File 134433529062.png - (19.99KB , 700x700 , 738.png )
440108

>Son of a bitch
A figurative expression, after the standardization of languages. I do not know its literally meaning. That said, I don't think my voice is THAT masculine, but maybe the armor changes it.

I hold the smoke grenade up to my visor and ask 'safe?'
>"Yes, that model is sparkless!"

So I toss it.

>".... you unbelieveable..."
>>
No. 440110 ID: f09b71
File 134433534809.png - (84.43KB , 700x700 , 739.png )
440110

>"...son of a bitch..."

No expense was spared on the fire retardant. I don't stick around to see much more than the whole place get foamed up while I scoot into the grate.
>>
No. 440111 ID: f09b71
File 134433542160.png - (19.34KB , 700x700 , 740.png )
440111

The neumono jammer malfunctions. The QI is barely more than agitated while thinking about what to do about the C4. It is underwhelming.

"Emere, how is your cover? Don't go crazy over there."
>"You're oddly concerned about my well being for being a total stranger. But don't worry, our systems are good and secure, but we did throw together a hastily assembled contingency for this kind of scenaria. So it's way safer for me than it sounds. I mean, it is still dangerous, but not a guaranteed death sentence. Anyways, I don't have good sight on top of the roof, I'm sorry to say. They're really pissed off, though. Not just from you, but the soldiers down in the facility have been brought to a near s-standstill once they entered a CAI's range of influence. They're sending reinforcements down there, and even thinking about throwing Rokoa in the fray even if she apparently is malnourished."
>>
No. 440114 ID: b85f8c

Man that guy really likes using that phrase.

Get up to the roof quick. When the troops don't see you coming out of that door they'll know you went somewhere else and the roof is the next most likely path.

God I hope the QI up there doesn't have a jammer. We rather need to tell if they're waiting in ambush right next to the vent or not. We really need the advantage of surprise right now.

Don't stick your head up first obviously. Spy with your knife.
>>
No. 440121 ID: e3f578

Will the Queen join those reinforcements eventually? How long before the Queen's guard might be considered thrown into the fray? Between Never and soon? Or just never? Or just soon?
>>
No. 440138 ID: d6c330

>agitated, underwhelming
Eh, oh well. It'll still keep him busy for a while, especially if he bought the first part of your bluff and has to check for extra c4. That's one less QI after you for a little while, and one less jammer functioning (I imagine those are touchy little buggers, and it won't be fixed fast).

>concern for a total stranger
"Hey, you're useful. And as surprising as this may sound for someone in my position, I don't really like the idea of people getting killed for me."

We never clarified, what floor is the roof on? We should start thinking about which way we want to go once we're up there.

Even jammed, if we don't walk strait into an ambush, I think we can sneak around / handle a QI in a distance fight. Unless he or she's got a more apparent weakness, you want to aim for the eyes. The visor's the weakest point, and blinding or headshotting neumono is a good disable.

>CAI problems, Rokoaforcements
I find it amusing our one time avatar is giving them more trouble than the hordes reanimated of monsters.

And they must be worse than desperate- Rokoa's not malnourished, she was send off for torture / physical discipline.

...still, I wouldn't be surprised if she made a difference in that condition. And it'd be nice if she gets to prove herself to her hive again. We might want to hurry up and raid her quarters though, before she stops by and picks up the good explosives for herself.
>>
No. 440146 ID: 997ce7

>>440110
That guy has the fluffiest ears.

Anyways, yeah, she's still useful and you're only pretending to be crazy.

>>440138
Does she count as one-time if that happens in the future?
>>
No. 440169 ID: e3f578

>>440138
>>440146
I thin he's referring to the CAI talking about the caused problems.
And we don't know if that's the same CAI at all! Because we were a CAI in a storage vessel... apparently just made for the single purpose of helping some dudes use it.
Wow what a waste of a CAI.

That CAI is kicking ass. I think that the CAI is literally the only thing worth even going down there for beyond wanting to kill a bunch of arkots and salikai, maybe get a bit of the salikai's experimental data. Polo, can you ask Emere what the hive's main objective is with that artificial ecosystem down below? They really should be busy hightailing it off the planet, not that I'm complaining.
>>
No. 440172 ID: d6c330

>one-time if that happens in the future?
A CAI was our one-time avatar, regardless as if it happened in the past, future, or another continuity. Or even if this is the same one or not.

But really, the reason I mentioned it is the CAI's biggest threat was its hacking capacity. If the war hive is using mostly non-smart weapons, there isn't much to hack. I suppose it could still mess with communications, but without hacking it can only run what's available to its native systems. So if it's a serious threat, that implies there are tons of mechanical weapons, traps, defenses, etc. we never got to see.

>ask Emere what the hive's main objective is
She already said "God knows what they're doing down there". She doesn't know.
>>
No. 440201 ID: b85f8c

>What floor is the vent on
Oh, I just realized... if we can avoid the roof entirely via the vents that would be optimal! Any branching path we can get to is good, but right now I kinda want to visit either Rokoa's room or the brig.
>>
No. 440203 ID: 6a1ec2

>meanwhile
>CAI: fire ALL the lasers?
>CAI: FIRE ALL THE LASERS!
>>
No. 440228 ID: f09b71
File 134438032422.png - (16.00KB , 700x700 , 741.png )
440228

"You're useful. And I don't like people getting killed on my behalf. What floor is the roof on?"
>"17. You're going to have to go up 6 tall stories straight upwards. And short of bursting out by making an exit somehow, they have most side grates covered, since they do suspect the vent was taken."

It doesn't take long before I lose track of how many floors I climb. Bio armor or not, I'm not able to ignore that it takes a lot of exertion moving this high.
>>
No. 440229 ID: f09b71
File 134438033338.png - (15.09KB , 700x700 , 742.png )
440229

>"Speak of the devil.. missiles were just launched from a long range distance. They're going to take several minutes to get here. If I had to take a guess, I would say you've got 1 or 2 more floors to go. The shields show no signs of malfunctioning though, sooooo I think we'll be fine."

I keep moving up. It's a long drop, but these walls aren't slippery.
>>
No. 440230 ID: f09b71
File 134438045061.png - (14.30KB , 700x700 , 743.png )
440230

And finally I reach the top, only to find that the top is covered by a heavy grate. I had forgotten about the real sky.

>"I can open that grate, just give the word."

There is a neumono watching intently. Feels like a QI, unsurprisingly. Most likely watching this pipe. Probably about 10 feet below me or so, and 30 feet in front of me, indicating that this pipe does protrude past the roof. Could be more neumono behind a jammer, but I couldn't tell, and the grates are just a bit too big to stick my hand and knife through.
>>
No. 440233 ID: bbee3d

Announce your arrival with a grenade or two as soon as the grate opens, then get out of there fast. If there's someone watching the shaft, and they've thought ahead, they've probably got weapons that can shoot straight through whatever metal it's made of.

...Unless the war-hive makes bulletproof ventilation shafts, but that seems like overkill even for them.
>>
No. 440234 ID: b85f8c

>>440230
If the QI is smart, they rigged the chimney with explosives, or are intending to just riddle the top of it with bullets the instant the grate opens. We can avoid that by going back down to ground level before opening the grate.
>>
No. 440246 ID: b33427

The QI is a bit too close if its rigged the vent with explosives. It might be armed with something that shoots armor-piercing rounds in rapid fire, so being in the vent section that sticks up when the grate opens is a bad idea.

The QI is likely standing on the roof deck, so slip down the shaft to just below that level. Face towards the QI's position, ready your kinetic rifle and switch to armor-piercing rounds. Tell Emere to open the grate only a little, then all the way if you sense the QI isn't going to react quite yet, and to be ready to close it if grenades start falling in. If the vent is shot to hell or explodes, wait for the firing to stop, then move up high enough to line up a shot on the position you sense the QI through the vent wall, and fire until the QI is incapacitated. If nothing happens when the grate opens, even all the way, then move up and take the shot anyway.

Hey, before Emere opens the grate a little bit, could you stick one of your armored gloves to the underside of the grate where you would have put your hand if you were opening it yourself? If the QI spots the glove, it would be more inclined to open fire, or do whatever it's going to do.
>>
No. 440258 ID: d6c330

Damn. A 6 floor vertical climb to an ambush? Followed by a rooftop boss battle. And then we have to work our way back down. I kind of wish we'd gone out the other way, or punched a hole out on to an earlier floor now. Oh well, might as well deal with the problem at hand. And I suppose we could take some generators offline as we go back down- make it hard for them to use electronic doors, cameras, and turrets.

Okay. 10ft off the ground with no room to move is a bad position to be in, especially if someone is waiting with a gun trained on your position. Or a rocket launcher, or worse. You need to get out, get moving, and force them to move, fast. Opening with a grenade sounds reasonable- you only have to be so accurate to force them to move. And it's not like you can reasonably snipe through the walls. Up over the sides fast, use the grappling hook to swing down, shooting.

When you're down, switch from the grappling hook and handgun to your rifle. If he or she is armored similarly to the others, the visor and headshots and the weakest point. Bioarmor is designed to handle kinetics and lasers, so the explosive ammo may be the most effective.

I have this crazy idea of using the c4 to blow the base of the pipe and knock it over, but you'd have to ride it out in the falling pipe, or hang right below the explosion. I'm not sure that will work well (although, knocking the pipe over does give you a safe exit if they've mined the top). Maybe rig the pipe to blow, then knock it down after you're clear, when they try to close with you? That falling on them would slow 'em down.

How close are those missiles? Could we use the explosion when they hit the shield as cover / distraction?

Oh gods. Horrible paranoid thought. The missiles didn't launch for the surface, did they? Not from the spire facility? Because if they did, they aren't going to be conventional warheads that explode harmlessly on the shields. They're going to be something horrible. Like a bluff; seemingly harmless conventional missiles, but loaded with radio relays and communication equipment inside instead of a payload. To get the CAI into hacking range. 0_0 Just like Iron Cove, except using a missile instead of Rokoa (a downgrade, sure).
>>
No. 440322 ID: c6ec33

>>440230
Ask her what the expected effect of the missiles hitting the shields is going to be. Also ask whether or not she thinks we have the time to wait around for them.

The missiles hitting the ship might be the perfect distraction to allow us to pop the vent and engage the QI.
>>
No. 440406 ID: f09b71
File 134440654859.png - (20.62KB , 700x700 , 744.png )
440406

>C4
Only one satchel left, and I don't think I could rig anything reliable up in my position or time constraint.

Although I can tell general directions, I can't sense neumono with nearly enough accuracy to snipe. I tell Emere to open it, and I lob one grenade over, accurate enough to force movement. That leaves me with 2 grenades left.

"Do I have time to wait around for the missiles, if they have some kind of effect of hitting the shields?"
>"The plasma shields will cause a premature explosions, but some of theq shockwave won't be caught entirely by the plasma shields. It won't be enough to knock the ship around much by any means, but it may knock anyone still hanging around on the roof."

There is cover. Turrets, cannons, side entrances,so forth. I attach my grappling hook on the side so that I can swing off to the side and launch myself into cover. Which is good, because I hear the warming up of some kind of heavy duty machine gun.
>>
No. 440409 ID: f09b71
File 134440663310.png - (41.14KB , 700x700 , 745.png )
440409

I unhook my grappling hook from the pipe as I swing, just in time to see my enemy swing out from behind the building, ready to fire.
>>
No. 440411 ID: bf54a8

keep moving, get in dat cover.
>>
No. 440412 ID: 6a1ec2

Wow, so you did the direct approach after all. OK then. Dodge!
>>
No. 440416 ID: c6ec33

RIP Polo.

OK, first thing you do is yell out that you surrender. That will get them to hold their shot, because they want to know why you're here, and if they're smart, where else you may have planted bombs.

After you've got the QI *not* shooting you, point out that shooting you will cause the C4 you planted in the shield generators to blow via dead-man switch. And there are missiles just minutes away. While they digest that, wait for the grenade to explode. When it explodes, run for the nearest cover and duck between cover until you reach an exit.
>>
No. 440424 ID: b85f8c

>>440409
Holy bejeezus! We are not taking that on in a direct confrontation.

Go "OH GOD WHY" and run into cover. Hell, just run. Look for a way to escape.
>>
No. 440427 ID: b33427

...Fuck. You're going to take a hit, no way to avoid it. Only thing you can do is try to keep your visor and gear from getting shot up while dodging for cover. Hot lead won't cook off the C4, but the frag grenades might, and it'll definitely mess up your rifles.

Shove yourself up with your right arm, and sprint to the cover on your left. Keep your pack facing away from the QI mech suit, and shield your visor with your right arm. Once you reach cover, keep moving as fast as you can into new cover farther from that QI, and keep doing that. Don't lose your momentum, even if you're injured.

Once you've put enough distance between you and the QI, ask Emere how long until the first missile impact, and to alert you when it's about to. You'll need to know that so you can brace yourself against the shockwave.

>>440416
The guns on that mech suit are already warmed up and ready to fire. There's no time to shout anything out in the open. Maybe after Polo is in cover, but not before.

Is there a general broadcast channel you can switch to to speak to the QI in the mech suit? It'll give your position away, but if the QI already knows where you are, then it won't matter.
>>
No. 440430 ID: f09b71
File 134441000360.png - (31.27KB , 700x700 , 746.png )
440430

I didn't attempt to go directly forward, but the QI lunged out and made my manuever as good as that.

I kick and push myself off the ground dodging, my arm is hit. I shield my visor with my right arm, and it takes a hit. The bullet glances off. It still makes my arm sting and ring, but I don't believe anything is broken, other than any remaining doubts to the armor's worth. All in all, I consider that damage to be excellent luck.

>"That was a Gamma Dragoon! We dont' even make those! The hive said they don't even do business with others! In fact, it was part of the contract!"
Another voice comes in from the background.
>"Emere, the hive is coming in to ask us what the hell is the weakpoint of our systems, cut your shit!"
>"What, now?! She'll get locked on the roof! Damniiiit, infiltrator, the joints are the weaker parts, but just try to find a way to g-get the hell out! 4 minutes until missile impact!"

"QI! Shooting me will get a deadman's switch to blow the whole shield generator!"
>"Ah blow it out your ass! You're mine!" I hear over a speaker.

She is not calm, like the man in the plasma room. This one reminds me more like, I hate to say it, Rokoa.
>>
No. 440431 ID: 4a328b

How MUCH like Rokoa? Are we talking "this could be that kid she was talking about" levels, or just another crazy hivemate.

How many of each round do you have on you, right now?
>>
No. 440432 ID: b85f8c

Get to high ground and try to stay out of view while moving from cover to cover. See if you can 'vanish'. Keep looking around for another vent or stairwell or something.

It might be worth attempting to destroy that thing too, but we need an edge.
>>
No. 440437 ID: c6ec33

>>440431
Hahaha, yes. If she seems related, we might as well start up a chat. Point out that Rokoa will be very sad if you die, because you promised her a re-match.
>>
No. 440446 ID: b85f8c

Um, actually, you know we might get further by taking advantage about what we know about Rokoa. Challenge this QI to a fair fight. Dare her to exit her mech and fight you head on.
>>
No. 440450 ID: 4a328b

>>440446
I like it.
>>
No. 440452 ID: e3f578

>>440430
>Ah blow it ass
Retort with "Your face, your ass, what's the difference."
I'm okay with the challenge too.
If it doesn't work, we're going to have to completely frustrate her to madness that using that walking death trap becomes impractical for her. Just generally be faster than that armor can, keep lobbing quips at her, and occasionally hitting a weak point for massive damage.
>>
No. 440457 ID: b33427

Keep moving and stay in cover. Ready your kinetic rifle and switch to armor-piercing rounds. What do you know about hover-drives like the one on this Gamma Dragoon? Can they hover upwards far enough to get on top of the structures here? If they can't, then use the grappling hook to get on top of the structure nearest to the QI, and get a view of the top and back of the Dragoon suit. Throw something against it to check if it has energy shields, electrified plating, or other close-quarters defense measures, then run away.
>>
No. 440476 ID: f09b71
File 134442202255.png - (19.24KB , 700x1000 , 747.png )
440476

"Emere, give advice! I haven't had a moment's peace! How's the Dragoon's hover drive?""

She could be related for all I know, but this is the same hive. Even if Rokoa is unusual, I should not be surprised to sense some others in the same ballpark.

For my sniper rifle, I have 10 normal shots, 10 armor piercing shots, and 8 explosive shots.

I will definitely wish to keep with range, although a close up would allow me to hit those joints. From that one shot, I am assuming I was not just extraordinarily lucky, and simply very lucky mixed with an innaccurate machine gun, or machine gunner. I get my grappling hook again, and start scrambling top side. I have no idea how the hover systems, if any, are. Emere hasn't answered.

"How about you exit your mech for a fair fight?! Rokoa's already in line for a re-match, and she'd be sad if you killed me!"

.... Emere's communications are silence, damnit! I've even forgot to ask her a few other things!
>>
No. 440477 ID: f09b71
File 134442204812.png - (61.66KB , 700x700 , 748.png )
440477

>"I fucking hate Rokoa, I want to show her your head even more now! She's pretty goddamn green for a QI if you ask me! There you are, quit wasting my gas and stand still!"

And the damn mech can fly after all?! Right into the sun, too, and I haven't gotten a chance to pull off my sniper rifle!
>>
No. 440481 ID: b85f8c

>>440477
Really, she hates Rokoa? Tell her you're surprised; because of how LIKE her she is you expected them to be friends. Get her pissed off and her performance will suffer.

Also goddammit, we're caught in the open again. Drop off the side immediately and run.
>>
No. 440496 ID: e3f578

"Man, you're just like Rokoa and if you hate her, well you and the Queen have something in common. Does the Queen hate you too? Then it's big fat hatefuckfest of people reminding people of each other."
>>
No. 440508 ID: d6c330

Run and cover, keep moving.

Hmm. Flying power armor. Our best bet is probably to get back down through a door too small for her to follow, but we're cut off from Emere, at least for several minutes. So we're on our own to get a door open, with limited explosives (we really need to resupply soon- get to Rokoa's room or the armory ASAP), and a foe who's not going to let us set the stuff up.

...and because she's fighting in power armor, there's no useful guns or ammo to loot if you do take her down. Inconsiderate jerk.

She admitted she has fuel constraints, and flying a big heavy mech is not energy efficient. Still, I wouldn't count on her mech running dry before you tire out and/or start taking hits.

Oh, obvious idea. Get shooty mcTrigger finger there to shoot a small access door open for you. It's going to require running and dodging fire, but you're stuck doing that anyways. Might as well redirect the misses somewhere useful.

Depending on how stable those thrusters are, and how big the shockwave is supposed to be, it could work to just keep her in the air until the missiles hit. If it'll knock around someone on the roof, it should be worse for someone in air. Especially since if she gets knocked much past some minimum angle from vertical, her thrusters stop providing sufficient lift (vectors, bitch). And if she start to fall, she could find her thrust pointing down. (...or worst case, her armor is hardy enough to ride it out, and you'll be the one off guard).

I didn't see any visible weakeness when it was on the ground. Hell, I didn't even see the joints Emere mentioned. If and when you get to your rifle, I'd think armor piercing at the joints, or up into the hover system, would be the most useful.

>Rokoa type of pycho.
Really not surprised one psycho doesn't like the other. Hell, you only worked your way up to frenemy staus after a month of trying to kill each other, and because you worked your way into her honor system. I doubt the QIs get long periods of kill each other bonding time, and there's not much to go on if mech girl don't buy into the same honor code.
>>
No. 440509 ID: bf54a8

jump on it! can't use guns an missiles in melee range!
>>
No. 440590 ID: f09b71
File 134445473597.png - (40.32KB , 700x700 , 749.png )
440590

I leap off the side of the building. As much as I'd like to leap onto the mech, it is too high.

The guns blaze again, and my left ear takes a grazing hit, and a bullet through the backpack. No more damage than a sharp bang to my hearing. Until she starts firing missiles or something at me, I won't be able to get her to make a quick exit.

"You're just like Rokoa, I thought you'd be friends! At least you and the queen have something in common. Does the Queen hate you too?!"
>"Hell no, Queen loves me!"

She is pissed, but at the same time, I'm working against the crowd. I can still sense a bunch of neumono, even as far as the now distant upper floors of the hospital. They know that she's fighting me up here, and they're all mentally cheering her on. In this psychotic love of battle, it does feel like fighting Rokoa again.
>>
No. 440591 ID: f09b71
File 134445475850.png - (23.40KB , 700x700 , 750.png )
440591

I manage to run away across another couple of buildings. I can still sense her flying around and trying to find me, but as I can feel her general location, I have the hiding advantage. Nonetheless, she moves far faster, and I can only buy so much time. At least I have my rifle in hand, now.

Music. She starts playing music on her damn speakers. She is loving this, pissed off or not.
>>
No. 440592 ID: b85f8c

>>440591
Well, start sniping. Use armor piercing, aim for the thrusters on the mech. If we can destabilize the mech then it's basically over.
>>
No. 440593 ID: 886a4d

Hmm, the flying part of that tank should be vulnerable. Use your sense to pinpoint where she`ll head to next then aim to take out whatever is holding her aloft. Explosive ammo probably would be the best for damaging it, but if you don`t think it`ll penetrate that armor use AP instead.
>>
No. 440597 ID: e3f578

Is it good music?
If it is, ask its name and origin, only if you're spotted though.
It'd be awesome if you could commandeer it. I wonder if you need training to use it or if it's user friendly or assisted by AI.
It's probably assisted by AI. And if it's a voiding contract type of business deal to buy it, it probably isn't prejudiced about its pilot.
>>
No. 440608 ID: d6c330

Haha, music. Makes it a boss fight all right. I almost considered asking you if there was any neumono radio to tune to, but it seemed a silly waste of your communicator on a stealth mission.

Lay off the taunts for now. She's a battle freak, she's got a battle to keep her happy. We aren't going to get her off her game that way, especially with her hive's psychic support, and voice just gives her one more means to track you.

Keep a close eye on the time. Emere told you when the missiles were going to hit- you want to be braced and under cover when they hit, not sprinting from QI8's fire. Right after the shock wave is going to be when she's most vulnerable.

Explosive or armor piercing up the "skirt" of the propulsion systems. Unless it's running on internal levitating antigrav, if there's propulsion coming out, there's room for ammo to get in and fuck it up. Destabilizing her takes away her advantage.
>>
No. 440611 ID: bdb3f8

Judging by that thing's impressive aerodynamic properties and the billowing clouds of exhaust, I doubt that sneer earlier about wasting fuel was a jest. Unless they built that thing with a huge, flammable, (glowing, red) weak point, it shouldn't be able to keep air superiority up for long. I mean if you get a shot, take it, but expect that if you stay evasive, soon she will have to be more cautious with her fuel consumption.

Punctured backpack probably means punctured equipment, remember to take inventory again when you get a free moment.
>>
No. 440684 ID: f09b71
File 134446740322.png - (44.17KB , 700x700 , 751.png )
440684

The QI is trying to find me on the ground. It does further imply that flying that thing does take up a lot of gas. Yet I hear its thrusts boost, shortly followed by a loud thud, making it appear that it is jumping around to get brief sights from high up.

It isn't a long wait before it jumps again, looking away from me, and I swing my sniper into position. And it swings right around, locking onto me. I expect it has sensors that can detect me so long as it has an open line of sight. I will likely take a hit or two if I continue taking a shot instead of leaping behind this building immediately.
>>
No. 440685 ID: 886a4d

Take the shot. We can't play cat and mouse forever.
>>
No. 440686 ID: bf54a8

if you can get a shot into the rocket tube it would be worth it, if you don't think you can do that then dodge.
>>
No. 440688 ID: b33427

Unless you think you can line a shot up a missile tube or down the barrel of one of those machine guns, pull back behind cover and keep moving. It'll frustrate this QI to no end if you keep pulling back and hiding.

The tactic here is to run out the clock; Keep moving from cover to cover, avoiding taking damage, until the missiles are about to hit. That's when you bait the QI into using her jump jets, and take cover where the shockwave won't blow you off the roof. With any luck she'll get blown off, or crater against the deck, and if not, then you'll just have to fight her.

If you don't find a place to hole up from the shockwave while moving, circle back around to the vent you came out of and go down that.
>>
No. 440692 ID: 4a328b

>>440686
Agreed
>>
No. 440696 ID: d6c330

>>440686
>>440688

These guys have it right. You can take way less punishment than her armor can, and you're in it for a longer game (you have to beat the whole ship- she just has to beat you). Trading damage isn't worth it, unless it hurts her a lot.

The missiles were several minutes away before you finished your climb, and it's been a few minutes of battle. They've gotta almost be here- any minute now. Continue avoidance, stay close to cover, and hope the shockwave throws her off balance, or at least gives you a clearer, safer shot at her propulsion system.
>>
No. 440699 ID: b33427

>>440688
Another place you might be able to take cover from the QI, and the shockwave, is under the overhang of one of the ship's big gun turrets. If they're the kind where the body that houses the gun is bigger than the rotational base, there'll be a gap you can slip under and brace yourself against the blast.
>>
No. 440927 ID: 2a7713

While we are running it might be a good idea to scope out possible exit and escape routs.
I mean do we really have to fight this QI?
>>
No. 440933 ID: c6ec33

>>440688
This. Best plan.
>>
No. 441064 ID: f09b71
File 134455488730.png - (20.32KB , 700x700 , 752.png )
441064

I roll into the side, forgetting the shot. It pays off at least, as a few bullets come ringing.

>Fight duration
So far it has been around 50 seconds.

>Ask about the music
"What music are you playing?!"
>"Hell if I know, it was left in here! Overture of some kind, played with cannons! You wanna have a sip of tea and discuss the finer points?!"

She is still attempting to find me, but I will make that as hard as possible. I am keeping an eye out for any possible escape plan to get out of this as I lose her again after shouting to her.

Every door is locked. Every grate is sealed. Even the one I left has been remotely closed again. Every panel on tight, every inch of floor and wall built solidly, as the outside of a ship would be.
>>
No. 441066 ID: f09b71
File 134455490669.png - (15.70KB , 700x700 , 753.png )
441066

I try to conserve my energy, but she keeps me running circles around buildings, and every time I can't avoid an open line between us, she swings to me without fail with guns and boosters coming after me.

Emere's voice comes onto the comm I have. She is whispering.
>"1 minutes, 4 seconds. I'm going to try to open up the Dragoon's cockpit when the missile hits and she'll most likely be off balance - but she knows when the missile hits too, remember, so she may try to brace herself as well!"
>>
No. 441069 ID: 6e44d2

Try to be as tempting a target as possible in the last few seconds. Knowing what we know of her, she'll get overeager at the opportunity and forget to brace herself against the blast while she guns for you.
>>
No. 441075 ID: d6c330

The 1812 overture? That's human music! That tells us who built that thing, or at least the last owners. Not terribly useful, that, though. (Although, now we can listen along).

I'm not sure you have a tactic other than to keep moving, unless there's cover you can get under she can't reach. (Like the gun housing someone suggested).

If she's following you in predictable patterns, you could slap your last c4 on a wall as you go by, and blow it when she passes. I'm kind of loath to burn our last explosives though, and I think it's armored enough to handle an indirect explosion.

If you're crazy, and desperate, we could always go over the side, and try to swing into an entrance on an early floor. That would take perfect timing though, and be ore than half impossible.

She might brace herself, but you can distract her with conversation or try to tempt her into the open with a good shot, when the blast hits. And even if she does brace herself, she won't be expecting her mech to pop. Still your best shot, I think.
>>
No. 441088 ID: b33427

Ask Emere if she can get into the Dragoon's speaker controls at the same time as the cockpit canopy controls. If so, you want her to jam the internal speaker volume all the way up right before opening the canopy. That should make the QI flinch.

The QI will avoid using her jump jets close to when the missiles strike, so that'll give you a chance to get onto a structure and move right above her. Look for one with a pipe, grate, or ladder on top you can attach your grappling hook to, and tie the rope around you, so you aren't blown away by the shockwave. Maneuver her around so she's next to it when the clock is about to run out. Best case is she'll jump when she spots you, and still be airborne when the blast hits. If not, you'll still get a shot in when the canopy opens; Use an explosive round, and aim for the head.
>>
No. 441524 ID: f09b71
File 134464583650.png - (18.57KB , 700x700 , 753.png )
441524

"Emere, think you can..."

The comm at the bottom of my goggles says it is currently disconnected. She's having difficulty, I imagine.

10 seconds go by, no changes.

But the QI is thinking something. Waiting for something, and she is keeping close around a specific door now. It makes it easy to avoid her now, but she is up to something.

>Jump over the side
With her distracted, I may just be able to try this without ending up as a fish in a barrel.
>>
No. 441525 ID: 997ce7

>>441524
Okay, so it's a human vehicle... ask if they stole it from Lugh or whatever his name was.
>>
No. 441526 ID: b85f8c

If we have a chance to escape, we should do it.
>>
No. 441527 ID: b85f8c

>>441525
Well first off I'm not sure if Polo has any way of knowing it's a human vehicle. Second off if we talk about it as if we know it's not really theirs they might figure out we're cooperating with Emere.
>>
No. 441528 ID: 886a4d

Shes waiting for reinforcements of some sort... and I doubt they will be protected by tank armor. The instant that door opens shoot whomever is there.
>>
No. 441529 ID: a6ab09

>>441524
might be attempting to refuel seeing as she's been so bounce crazy
>>
No. 441530 ID: d6c330

Waiting by a door? Is she waiting reinforcements from another shielded QI? She's be able to flush you out pretty quick if she had a second person to restrict your movement. That or she's using it to brace from the coming blast, or she's got a tactic, and she's counting on the blast to affect you worse than her.

Or someone on board got smart, and she's waiting for the ship to bank, or for the rooftop turrets to turn on you.

>Over the side.
Biggest problem is timing. There's a shockwave in 54 seconds, and you don't want to be knocked around and miss your window. That's a long way to fall. Then there's picking your entry point, and the length of your grapple to consider. There might be an entry by the escape shuttles (or nor)- they're closest to the roof, and on the port side. You might be able to make it in a single swing. There's more shuttles starboard, but they're father down- you'd have to time and deploy your grapple while and in freefall. Lastly, there's the plane bays, way down at the bottom. Hardest to time and hit, because you're going to be moving fastest by then.

I wish we knew the approach vector of the missiles. That would make it an easier choice of where to jump off.

Polo, I'm really not familiar with you good your skills or training are in the area. Acrobatics never came up before. ...although you do have climbing experience going up the spire. If you think you can pull off going over the side and swinging in somewhere else... I say go for it. It's not like we actually need this QI disabled, and this fight is sapping time and energy.

Best case, they think you're dead, and we get a little room to actually do your stealth thing.
>>
No. 441546 ID: b33427

The QI is waiting for reinforcements, likely another QI or two with jammers, though they won't come out until after the blast passes. Now, even if Emere manages to pop the canopy on the Dragoon, and you land a perfect incapacitating explosive round on the QI inside, you'll still be knocked around by the shock wave, and be open to fire from the QI (or QIs) coming out the door. They're going to be packing some serious anti-armor weapons by this point, so it won't be more than a matter of one or two shots landing now. All together, going after the Dragoon QI is a bad deal. Best to go over the side.

Looking at the map, the roof over the Sector 3 escape shuttles look like the best place to head. There's a point where Sector 3 sticks out farther than Sector 4 that might be flat on top. There's also two unidentified boxes sticking out from Sector 3 on that corner, that could also be flat on top. You probably won't have to worry about anyone spotting you out the windows, since the blast shutters should be lowered due to the incoming missiles.

Since you can sense all the way down to the Hospital, you should be able to sense where the Bridge is, due to the Queen being there. Use the position of both of those to determine which way to run to get over the Sector 3 escape shuttles. Once there, check over the side to figure out where to go, then anchor yourself down, and brace for the shockwave. Once its passed, then rappel down.

If you reestablish contact with Emere before the missiles hit, tell her to not open the canopy on the Dragoon. Instead she should work on opening the outer hatch on a Sector 3 escape shuttle launch bay so you can get back in.
>>
No. 441550 ID: d6c330

>>441546
I'll endorse this logic.

When / if you're secure after attempting this maneuver, you need to take a moment to pause, and review your own condition and any damage to your equipment. If the hive is fooled into believing your death, or at least doesn't know where you are, a brief rest, or ration eating may be in order.

You next priority, when you get moving again, is to get some heavier armaments. We're having trouble with the QIs, and you're almost out of explosives. That doesn't bode well for a confrontation with the Queen, especially if she's well defended. You need more firepower.
>>
No. 441681 ID: f09b71
File 134466842824.png - (131.58KB , 700x700 , 754.png )
441681

>Sense the bridge
Actually, I cannot sense them. They are either farther away lengthwise than the hospital is downward, or they are inside a jammer bubble.

I run to where the escape shuttles are, where there are some balconies off to the side. My grappling hook should be able to reach down that far without much issue. Escape sounds plausible, if there is an entryway down there that I currently can't see.

The QI disappears. The delivery was another damn jammer. I can still hear the mech engine anyway.
>>
No. 441683 ID: b85f8c

>>441681
Get gone!

The bridge is most likely empty. Remember, they said they were going to move the Queen. We don't know where she is, and if she's using a jammer we'll have to look for a void again.
>>
No. 441700 ID: b33427

You can't leave any indication you're going down this way, lest risk the QI Dragoon spotting it. She flies over here, and you'll be a dead easy target, either on the balcony or climbing down.

Do you think you could swing your grappling hook down to catch on the right outside corner of the right-hand balcony, then run to your right, vault over the edge, and swing around underneath the balcony and back up on top of it? Otherwise you're just going to have to hook on up here, descend as fast as you safely can, unhook, and hope the QI didn't spot you.

By the way, how much time until the missiles hit? You'll have to delay going over the side if don't think you could make it down in time.
>>
No. 441736 ID: d6c330

Get down, Asap. You've got under 50 seconds till the shockwave hits. That tank is made for hops, not flight, it can't really follow you. And if it does, I think it will get knocked around worse that you if you're grappled. Move.
>>
No. 441799 ID: d7361e

>>441681
Delivery of a jammer + you can still hear the engine. Doesn't that sound like a trap to you? She's had a jammer delivered so that she can leave the mech behind and try to find you on foot. Stealth mode, again. Get yourself in cover for the shockwave hit, but be ready for her to be hunting you on foot. ...and probably just as well equipped as you are.
>>
No. 442378 ID: f09b71
File 134482711794.png - (38.87KB , 700x700 , 755.png )
442378

>Can't leave any evidence of going off the side
I won't attach the grappling hook at the top, then, as I'm sure I am going to be hunted again and found if that is the case. So I leap off.
>>
No. 442379 ID: f09b71
File 134482715220.png - (8.87KB , 700x700 , 756.png )
442379

Fire the grappling hook to the balcony, latching it onto my belt, hoping that my senses gave the right length of grappling wire, and my armor holds.
>>
No. 442380 ID: f09b71
File 134482716365.png - (7.00KB , 700x700 , 757.png )
442380

Got it.

Two doors. Plain looking, electronic, no indication of whether or not they are locked.
>>
No. 442381 ID: 6a1ec2

You da bunny Polo. Very little time before shit gets real, so listen at the door and if you don't hear anything then quietly open it and slip inside. Not that a flimsy door is going to shield you if the force field shields fail, but no time to dwell on that.
>>
No. 442385 ID: d6c330

Superbly executed Polo! Well done.

Time till missiles hit? (I was tempted to do the math myself, but I don't know which side you jumped of, how many floors you fell, your mass with all that armor and gear, or what g is for you. Waaay to many guesses needed to get a useful estimate). If you have time, you want to get inside first, otherwise, brace yourself- get in the corner between the wall and railing, and grab on.

Electronic doors tend to leave records when they're opened. Exterior doors tend to have alarms attached to them, because they're dangerous to open (intruders, vacuum).

It would be best if you could get Emere to hack the doors so they don't alert anyone to being opened, and to unlock them if necessary. So don't test then, try to contact her, this is more important that fucking with the QI's power armor. Although, if she still has the visual feed, she knows the situation has changed.

You don't sense anyone on the other side, right? That likely means the doors are clear, for the moment. They won't have people with jammers guarding every outer entrance- there aren't enough QIs or jammers for that.

Do you know what floor you're on now?
>>
No. 442387 ID: b85f8c

>>442380
Brace for impact! Whisper to Emere that she doesn't need to hack the mech.
>>
No. 442390 ID: b33427

>>442385
Seconding not touching the doors just yet, and bracing yourself in a corner for the shock waves. Once the first wave passes, you'll have an idea which way the missiles are coming from, and if you can get up without being blown off the side. Keep the grappling hook roped to you the entire time you're out here, until the missile barrage stops, or you go inside.

Get that grappling hook out of sight as soon as it's safe to. As long as you stick close to the hull, the QI Dragoon won't be able to see you over the edge.

If Emere regains contact with you before she pops the Dragoon canopy, tell her to not do it, and instead work on these doors, and tell you what's behind them. If she does pop it, then hopefully the QI will be facing towards the shock wave when it hits.

Oh, and exterior doors almost certainly have cameras watching them as well, so ask Emere if she can do something about that as well.
>>
No. 442460 ID: f09b71
File 134485286202.png - (10.45KB , 700x700 , 758.png )
442460

>Seconds till missiles hit
30. I do not know what floor I am precisely on, but I am guessing 12.

I recheck the connection, while trying to hug the wall. The alcove of the door was enough to block sight of the door, but not entirely myself. I will have to hope for the best, and I attach myself to the rail, also hopefully as out of sight as I can manage. I wrap the grappling wire around the rail a couple times hastily as well, as I do not know which direction the blast would come from.

The connection is still disconnected, but then she reconnects as though in response to my own attempt right as I finish securing myself.

>"E-er... Polo?" she asks.

22 seconds.
>>
No. 442462 ID: b85f8c

Ask her if the doors here are monitored. Tell her not to bother hacking the mech.
>>
No. 442463 ID: 4a328b

"Present."
>>
No. 442467 ID: b33427

"I'm here. Don't pop the canopy. Change in plans. Need you to open door..." Look around for any identifier for this particular door, and confirm she has a good look at it. If there isn't one, just say your level and how many doors from the corner of the ship you are. Tell her to take her time; You need this to be quiet. You'll need any cameras on the other side neutralized as well.

Keep in the doorway until right before the missiles hit. Check that your gear is tightly secured. Ask Emere which direction they're coming from, so you know where best to brace yourself. Right before they hit, move out of the doorway, wedge yourself into a corner, and hold on tight.
>>
No. 442468 ID: f09b71
File 134485770279.png - (55.00KB , 700x700 , 759.png )
442468

"Don't bother hacking the mech. Are these doors monitored? If not, I need them opened. And for that matter, what direction are the missiles coming in from?" I take a close look at one of the electronic panels, where it says 'Door O-17'

There is a silence. 18. 16. 14 seconds.

>"What doors? Almost all of the doors are monitored. This is going to sound crazy, very crazy, but please jump off the side. Activated nets will automatically catch you."
>>
No. 442469 ID: f2974f

Lets first actually make sure the doors are not unlocked and we could just waltz inside. If they are locked then we jump over the railing.
>>
No. 442472 ID: e3f578

I think she's been compromised Polo and now they've got a gun to her head.
Damn we should have had a password for this kind of thing.
Fuck.

She's nervous for some reason.
Automatic catching nets? I love doing crazy shit but that's completely... understandable crazy shit within the logic of reason. With our luck, that means that it's not going to work and we're going to fall to our death.
>>
No. 442473 ID: a9298b

Even if there really are nets, I don't think that's a position we want to be in. Try to get through the doors.
>>
No. 442474 ID: 4a328b

Make sure the doors are not locked, and feed some false info to Emere if convenient. Like lying about your location.

Going by the map, you're on the "south" side of the ship, right? So pick a location faaaaaaaar away~
>>
No. 442483 ID: 886a4d

The biggest point is she should have seen where you are. She cut the feed herself. Which at the very least means she doesn`t want people to see what your seeing. I think we`re on our own for now. Go through that door.
>>
No. 442486 ID: d6c330

>Emere's been compromised.
Yup. Her pattern of speech is different (nervous, uncertain, much shorter sentences, not mentioning what she's currently doing for us or giving options, and addressing us by name, which she almost never does). Her font has changed. She cut or hasn't reestablished the visual feed (what doors?). And she's giving you suicidal advice- even if there were nets (ha!) you'd be a sitting duck, and their deployment would be noticed.

Pity she didn't slip a coded message in for you though.

Best thing to do is to play along a little, hope she doesn't get murdered, and then disregard everything she says.

"I'll consider it. Hold on, have to deal with the mech again."

Make sure your video feed is cut. She closed the window on her end before they found her, but you could still be broadcasting to her computer. Make sure you aren't.

Hopefully they think you're still on the roof, and that you're talking about those doors. You have to choice but to risk opening these doors and giving away your position- you've lost hacking as an option.

Floor 12 puts you in sector 3. We can't go for Rokoa's room, since we don't know the number, and can't look it up without Emere. That leaves two potential targets. We raid the supply room for more munitions, or we try to reach Rokoa in the brig. We get her room number, and her ID/password, which we probably need now that we've lost Emere.

I vote Rokoa. We need guns, and some kind of edge, and she get us them.

Regrettably, we can't go to rescue Emere. If she's got gun to her head, confrontation will end in our surrender or her death. Even if we do save her, she's no practical use away from a computer station, and we'd be forced to drag her around with us, where she'd likely be killed. Her best odds (which aren't great) are to leave her where she is right now. Maybe one of her friends and/or coworkers can get her out.
>>
No. 442489 ID: e3f578

All right then
I have an idea
"Emere, okay, now I think I can let you go now. The bomb I hid is within those vents, you know the one. To disarm it, type in '1234'"

Wait for a decent beat
"Yeah okay if you found no bomb there just wanted to say that I was lying before, sorry for keeping you hostage for this long with it. I never put a bomb there. I'm not really comfortable killing a bunch of civilians with a bomb, but I think I've held onto you as long as I could with no real leverage."
>>
No. 442508 ID: b85f8c

>>442468
If that was really an option she would have mentioned it from the beginning.

We would like the hive to think she is still useful, so she doesn't die. Flatly say you're not willing to risk getting tangled in the nets, and just go through one of the doors.

We should disconnect her visual feed as soon as we have a chance to get somewhere that cameras aren't pointing.
>>
No. 442549 ID: f09b71
File 134490075002.png - (7.70KB , 700x700 , 760.png )
442549

"Hold on, Mech's getting close. I'm at the south side."

No way to tell if the doors are locked or not without trying them, unfortunately. So I have little choice but to try.I do confirm that there is no current visual feed at the moment.

BEEP
Damn. It.

6 seconds.

>"Please stay where you are, help is coming - and I'm sure you'll be fine, I promise!"
>>
No. 442552 ID: 886a4d

Brace yourself. After the shockwave do you have any way of bypassing the lock or forcing that door open?
>>
No. 442554 ID: d6c330

>Exterior spaceship door is locked
Well, dammit, of course. We were afraid of that.

>6 seconds
Brace for impact! Nothing else for it.

After the shockwave, recover your grappling hook. The door will have compromised your position, and security will be one the way. You're either going to have to force it (which might be tough to do, exterior spaceship hatch after all), or retreat further down for a more convenient entrance.

Might as well keep talking to compromised Emere. The longer they think she's doing something, the longer they keep her alive. And it's not like it costs you anything, yet.

"Help? What help?"
>>
No. 442615 ID: f09b71
File 134490749292.png - (24.33KB , 622x800 , 761.png )
442615

>Any way to brute force it?
Wishing I had a plasma sword. As it is, all I believe I have is one more block of C4, and my explosive ammo.

"What help?" I say, making sure my rope is on tight, along with the rest of my equipment, and go hug a corner.

There is no response, but the music is getting louder. Too loud, too quick, and then she exits the jammer. The QI knows where I am, and she plans on lunging off, even with 2 seconds away.
>>
No. 442617 ID: 886a4d

Nothing to do but wait. starts to die down take out the C4 (I hate to waste it) and take out the far door. We're sitting ducks otherwise.
>>
No. 442618 ID: b85f8c

We can use the platform as a shield by swinging under it, or just open fire as she does. Whichever is safer.
>>
No. 442619 ID: d6c330

Ah. She was trying to warn you with obvious lies. Stay where you are, help is coming meant move, she's coming for you. Dang, too slow.

There's no time to move. Brace yourself, hug your your rifle tight, and pray. Watch the sky. Her propulsion will have to be exposed at some point as she comes down, or else she'll be in freefall. (...which is crazy, but possible I suppose. Take the shot(s) to destabilize her if it presents itself, duck and cover your visor again if you take strafing fire.

If she gets a stable point of fire, you're going to have to do something crazy, like going over the edge again, because you're pinned down there.
>>
No. 442624 ID: b33427

The QI Dragoon has certainly had enough of you by now. She's likely going to use her missiles. All of them.

Only cover against the QI now is under the balcony. Jump the guardrail, and hang on to the edge. If the underside of the balcony is open frame, or has anywhere to hold on, grab it. Otherwise, hope she doesn't hit your anchor point or the rope, swing away, and let go. You'll be harder to hit being buffeted by the shock wave on the end of the rope.

>>44261
No time to ready the rifle before the blast hits, and the QI is going over the edge right now.
>>
No. 442633 ID: d6c330

>>442624
Alright, I'll buy that logic. She's going to pummel us.

Problem is two seconds is very little time to get underneath. Good thing we already have the grappling hook strung along the underside. Too bad we didn't hear the warning for what it was 4 seconds ago. No real choice now, though.

(If we watch one of Rokoa's insane hivemates suicidally jump off the ship like an idiot, does that still violate our no kill conduct? It's not like we can do anything about it).
>>
No. 442637 ID: e3f578

>>442633
Yeah Rokoa will chalk that straight up to her own stupidity. She might be a little pissed off though. But luckily they hate each other so any emotional blow Rokoa suffers will be softened. Or who the hell knows, she may survive the fall down to the planet below. She may have a parachute and jump out, or maybe neumono can survive freefall. Tough ones anyway.

Okay fuck it lets jump off with that hook... hopefully the balcony will be able to take it.
>>
No. 442929 ID: f09b71
File 134496545234.png - (41.07KB , 700x700 , 762.png )
442929

I leap over the rail in the next second, to grab hold of the edge rather than let myself fall, and be a sitting duck tied to a rope.

One second to go.

I imagine missiles are going to come out of the dragoon right now.
>>
No. 442931 ID: f09b71
File 134496547547.png - (25.34KB , 700x700 , 763.png )
442931

But instead, the QI's canopy flings upright.

The QI thinks 'what', and given that Emere appeared compromised, so do I.

I hear an explosion from the opposite side of the flagship.
>>
No. 442932 ID: fa9f7e

pfffffffffthahahahaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Oh god that QI
>>
No. 442933 ID: 886a4d

No time for the rifle. Think you can make the shot with your pistol?
>>
No. 442935 ID: e3f578

So is the QI just falling now?
Is she trying anything?
>>
No. 442944 ID: d6c330

I guess Emere completed the hack job before being compromised? And tied the missile launch controls to pop the hatch?

Or she's not compromised at all, and someone else hijacked your com and is talking to you right now. That would explain the change in font voice.

If you can possibly nail the QI, or her control panels, take the shot. Preferably, nail the controls, disabling the dragoon. You do not want her unconscious- you want her able to deploy a that parachute she look like she's toting (don't shoot that either!).

>explosion
Oh thank goodness, my paranoia was wrong. They weren't CAI hacking relays disguised as missiles.

...don't talk to who may or may not be Emere, who may or may not be compromised. Let them speak first, see if they make any friggen sense this time round.
>>
No. 442994 ID: 6a1ec2

>>442944

No, no you were entirely correct. The CAI is already here. That canopy malfunction was not necessarily Emere's doing.

...must have detached prior to the missile impact.
>>
No. 443196 ID: b33427

If you've got a grenade handy, now would be the best time to lob one in. Otherwise, pull your pistol and fire into the cockpit. Aim for the controls more than the QI. While nailing the QI in the eyes would be the best, they're too hard to hit in this situation. Best to aim for the larger target of the controls.

If the QI opens fire, that would be the time to leap off the edge. Angle so that your momentum takes you under the balcony all the way to the other side.
>>
No. 443200 ID: 4a328b

Give a cheerful wave, I suppose?
>>
No. 443202 ID: d6c330

>>443196
A successful landing of a grenade in a cockpit would do waaay too much damage. And that looks like a very bad shot to try and lob a grenade over anyways. Either way, it's a waste of limited resources.
>>
No. 443352 ID: 61e7f9

Shoot the bitch in the face with whatever you can.
>>
No. 443647 ID: f09b71
File 134508355005.png - (28.17KB , 700x700 , 764.png )
443647

>Is she falling?
At first her boosters were controlling her fall, but she tilts forward and starts letting gravity do its thing.

She is trying not to let her boosters get in the line of fire, and appears willing to take a shot sooner than letting those take shots. That, and fire back on me.

>Pistol
I try it. To put it bluntly, I simply shoot at the cockpit, hoping for a shot to take out any controls or to hit the QI. I'd take either.
>>
No. 443648 ID: f09b71
File 134508358942.png - (39.74KB , 700x700 , 765.png )
443648

Her attention swings to her right. I don't know what caused it, but I keep taking shots. Between the closing distance, her now predictable pattern with the distraction and a bit of luck, I nail her head.

Right about the time that I see the missile, right about when it doesn't matter.
>>
No. 443649 ID: f09b71
File 134508361373.png - (53.88KB , 700x700 , 766.png )
443649

Also right about the time I feel like my everything got sucker punched.

I owe the armor again, as it pinged off the side. Nevertheless, despite that I took a bullet on the head while she took a bullet through the head, we are both about equivelantly dazed. And equivelently wanting each other dead. It looks as though she is going to fall right on this balcony, around the center. The shockwave will most likely hit her beforehand.

But damn if it doesn't hurt more than either her or Rokoa ever let on!
>>
No. 443650 ID: 886a4d

Get onto the deck. Then hold on as tight as you can. The missile shockwave and the tank landing is going to make this dificult enough without you clinging to the side of those rails.
>>
No. 443652 ID: b85f8c

Did you just let go of the balcony?! Regardless, get some cover. If she lands on the balcony it's possible that she'll BREAK it, so plan ahead for that possibility.
>>
No. 443664 ID: d6c330

Hey, I don't see the bio-armor through the hole in your head. Shouldn't that have helped?

If the tank crashes to the platform, she'll be vulnerable. You can fire right into the cockpit until she's disabled.

If it lands rightside up, you're in deep shit, as she'll be able to rotate and perforate you with the main guns.

Duck and cover, be ready to use the grapple if she forces you to jump, or if the platform breaks.

>And equivelently wanting each other dead
As much as you want to, hold back. Disabled, in pain, paid back, yes. But you can't afford to kill her.
>>
No. 443666 ID: b33427

Holster your pistol right now, lest you lose your grip on it, and swing your feet up so they face the ship's hull right before the shockwave hits. Since it looks like the shockwave is coming from a location perpendicular to the hull, it'll push you feet first against the hull. Grab on to the railing near the hull when you land there. As the wave passes, push off from the hull, on to the balcony, and close the distance to the Dragoon.

At this point, even if the Dragoon manages to fire its boosters at full, the shockwave is going to slam it against the hull. And if it doesn't fire its boosters in time, it's going to crash nose first into the balcony, since it was tipping forward to aim at you. Either way, at the very least the QI is going to be disoriented; Probably injured from the crash as well.

If the Dragoon is still upright, run straight up the middle, and get to it as fast as you can before the QI can focus. Once you get close enough, the machine guns and missiles won't be able to aim inward far enough to hit you. Wrap your line around one of the machine guns, to keep her from boosting away, and jump onto the nose of the cockpit. The QI's harness will keep her from reaching you, but she'll certainly have at least a pistol. Shoot her in both arms with your pistol, preferably in the elbows; That'll keep her from aiming or operating the controls worth a damn. Relieve her of her pistol, if you think you can.
>>
No. 443819 ID: 1444d5

She tried to keep her booster pointed away from you, even in preference to keeping her open cockpit pointer away from you, so it's likely rather vulnerable. If she's falling towards the platform, she'll have to point the booster your way in order to decelerate. As long as she isn't angry enough to just ram you, that is.
>>
No. 444077 ID: f09b71
File 134518046394.png - (28.44KB , 700x700 , 767.png )
444077

>Bio armor
I am positive it helped, although it can only do so much to a calibar of machine turret.
The lack of appearance, however, was an art error.

I twist my feet up to face the wall while holstering the gun, given the chance is too high to accidentally fire or drop it. Th shockwave hits, and I land far more gracefully than I would have expected on the wall.
>>
No. 444079 ID: f09b71
File 134518049698.png - (23.09KB , 700x700 , 768.png )
444079

The Dragoon fires its booster thrusters, but it still falls as I manage to run across the side of the wall straight at it.

Despite that it did get knocked around, it lands on its feet in an impressive display of piloting, swiveling its turrets at me.

It is too slow, and I get too close for it to do anything. I take my gun out as the force of the shockwave leaves.
>>
No. 444081 ID: f09b71
File 134518052376.png - (37.71KB , 700x700 , 769.png )
444081

QI 8 has managed to unbuckle herself as she reaches for a pistol with a cutesy war face that she probably practices in the mirror now and again.

Again, she is too slow, and I kick it out of her hand.
>>
No. 444082 ID: f09b71
File 134518057144.png - (20.12KB , 700x700 , 770.png )
444082

Before she has any chance to counterstrike, I shoot her in the head again, taking out an eye, and one bullet goes in her right, dominant elbow. It hurts her more, but she is still up. I am expecting that I could blow off her head and she could still be conscious, although sufficiently disabled.
>>
No. 444083 ID: f09b71
File 134518064740.png - (25.28KB , 700x700 , 771.png )
444083

But her side arm manages to get a hold on some important looking Big Red Button. I don't fire, I know I'm in trouble.

>"I activated the self destruct, bitch! One press of the button and you won't know what hit you!"

She's serious. There is not a slight bit of hesitation to the prospect of blowing herself up if it'll bring me down with her, and she is resisting the temptation to do it even without my provocation. It's rash, and she'd blow up what must be an expensive toy, but it is all honest.

>"Just back away. You get my parachute. You jump over the damn side."

I don't get the sense that she is trying to pull a trick on me.
>>
No. 444087 ID: 4a328b

Jump onto a balcony.
>>
No. 444088 ID: 886a4d

Shoot the wire leading to the button. It might still blow you up but at least you won`t be out of the safety of those shields where they can pick you off at leasure.
>>
No. 444095 ID: e3f578

>>444083
"Okay, just want to say that you're pretty cute when you're angry."
>>
No. 444105 ID: d6c330

Polo, that was unbelievably fucking awesome. Well done. Well, except for the annoying stalemate at the end.

Look around you. How disabled is her mech? Because it seems to me if she's not going to be able to follow you, you could accept her offer and then just jump down to a lower floor. We're on level 12, and you'd have a grapple and parachute to work with.

Looking at >>441681, there are definitely lower platforms you can hop to.

Respond with a curt "...fine." And back away, keeping the gun trained on her. Wait for her to take the parachute off and toss it to you. You need the range so she can't try to tackle or grapple you while untangling herself, and so she doesn't think you can go for the switch while she's untangling herself.

Obviously, don't stand where the turrets can get ya while doing this.

...this would be awesome time for the dragoon's power to fail though, or for Em to come the rest of the way through and hack it off. If those lights go off, just shoot her.
>>
No. 444136 ID: b85f8c

>>444083
She's gonna shoot you the instant you leave the cockpit. That's the trick. Tell her no, SHE uses the parachute.
>>
No. 444145 ID: e3f578

I got an idea
Look like you're gonna do it, take the necessary steps, when she starts to relax whip out your combat knife and cut the cord.
Or rip it out of her hands if you think you can.
We can't risk showing our backs to this woman.
>>
No. 444147 ID: d6c330

Too many bomb stalemates. Rokoa, the egg bomb, the shields, and now the dragoon...

Cutting the cord ain't a great idea. We have no idea if that would break or open the circuit. Besides, you're counting on our bullet or knife being faster than a reflexive tightening of her finger, and electrons.

Faking her out seems the better option. We don't need to back up far enough to get in range of the guns, and we can jump off backwards if you're worried about turning our back on her.
>>
No. 444171 ID: c6ec33

Fake her out, hoping that Emere will come through for you. Make sure to comment on exactly what she's doing *with your comms to Emere open*. Throw in some misdirection while you're at it.

Something along the lines of "Oh, you're no fun. Threatening to take us both down with your self destruct? That sounds like something I said a while ago - you know, the part where if you kill me, the C4 I've planted around the ship goes off. Both of us getting killed does no one any good, does it? No matter - I failed to take the shields down in time for the missiles. My mission is over. Power down your weapons, give me your parachute, and I'll leave."
>>
No. 444188 ID: f09b71
File 134519737056.png - (34.78KB , 700x700 , 772.png )
444188

The jammer up top goes silent. A few neumono aim their rifles at me.

"I won't back up when you can just perforate me with your shittily calibrated turrets. Move this thing forward to the edge. Then toss me your parachute. I didn't take out your shields in time to do any real damage anyway."
>"Fine!"

>Balconies below
At first I thought the same. But on a close look, I realized that those aren't balconies, those are partial domes where escape shuttles presumably launch from. They do not look like they have any grip, and if they do, then they still have no cover or exits to escape from being shot. even at the top, I do not think that they have an angle less than 60 degrees.
>>
No. 444189 ID: f09b71
File 134519748481.png - (13.07KB , 700x700 , 773.png )
444189

My communication speaks up, while she moves the Dragoon closer to the edge.

>"I know you've been getting some help from Emere, Miss Polo. Having a delayed timer on the cockpit controls to make it look like you were still getting outside help despite us watching her was clever, but it wasn't hot enough. Do you value her life?"

Bad to worse, their chips are piling up quick.
>>
No. 444190 ID: bf54a8

you can still land on them and blow a hole back inside.
"does it matter? i doubt anything short of killing myself could give them a chance to live"
>>
No. 444191 ID: b85f8c

>>444189
Tell them you'd rather not have someone killed on your behalf, despite the fact that they're wrong about her. Ask them what they want.
>>
No. 444195 ID: 886a4d

Its now worse then I thought. Those rifles are going to take us out before we can do anything with the shuttle entrances. Damnit. I say we take the risk and try to destroy the self-destruct switch while she fumbles with the parachute.
>>
No. 444199 ID: b33427

Be curt. "Yes. Why are you even asking, anyway?"

Tell the QI to give the parachute to you now, so you can put it on and be ready to jump ASAP.

>>444195
Breaking the self-destruct control isn't going to do jack about the soldiers aiming at Polo, and puts her in serious risk of either being blown to pieces, or over the edge without a parachute. Even if she does break the self-destruct, the only cover down here is right behind the open Dragoon canopy, right next to the QI. Even injured and unarmed, that QI could take Polo in close quarters combat. So, no, Polo should not try to break the self-destruct control. She should put on the parachute and jump off.

However, there may be a way to salvage this. Consider that the parachute is made for someone at least twice Polo's mass, so it's big. Also consider that there must be a rising air thermal next to the ship's hull, since it's a big metal object that's been in the sun all day long. Now, if Polo jumps off, deploys the parachute right away, and angles over to the long side of the ship, she could catch the rising air there, be lifted up over the top of the ship, and land there. Honestly, it's a long shot, but it's an option.
>>
No. 444213 ID: d6c330

Don't confirm that you're working with Emere. They have no proof, and until you tell them anything, they're just reaching. Also, there's no good answer to that question. No gets her killed, yes gives them leverage over you, and likely still gets her killed.

A simple "Who the hell is this, and what do you want." will suffice as a response.

>The situation
Okay... the rooftop rifles aren't much a direct threat with dual layers of armor. They're more a problem in that they could fuck up any attempt to use the parachute or grapple for anything clever.

Really not sure how we exit yet. Obviously, a fair use of the parachute is death. They could shoot it out now, or deploy a plane or shuttle after you on the way down. And naturally, that would be mission failure.

If those domes are above the escape hatches in sector 3, then we still have the whole length of sectors 1 and 2 below them to hope for another entrance.
>>
No. 444216 ID: f09b71
File 134521328257.png - (21.25KB , 700x700 , 774.png )
444216

She just had to insist on helping me. Which was certainly a good help while it lasted.

"What does it matter? Who is this, and what do you want?" The speakers in the canopy sound as well, so the QI is included in this conversation."
>"A warhive representative other than the QI you have at gunpoint. I want you to jump, like all of us. You've got some begrudging respect. I expect you to take our offer of leaving here alive, rather than push your luck skittering around our ship. As far as your actions, not words, have explained, you seem to just be having fun running around. I sug..."

It pauses. They all pause. I hear a crash, far off, from far below. Something just went terribly wrong for them, but I don't know what or where precisely. It is obviously more important than me, because despite them being in position, the upper squad runs away. And many of the farther off neumono I sense run off as well, towards the center. If I had to take a stab, I would say something involving the teleporter.

>[code]".... don't mind what you must be aware of. You're in the same position now as you were 3 seconds ago. I suggest you take our offer, as the alternative is death. Also, we will be killing the sheep if you do not jump. You have one min- no, 30 seconds. That is non-negotiable."

The parachute is probably made for something 2 - no, at least a few times my weight. It is possible that if there is thermal heat, or even a stiff upward breeze, that I could be carried upwards and, with a longshot, manage to go up, not down.
>>
No. 444217 ID: bf54a8

use chute, drop bomb for very short delay, go with the blastwave.
>>
No. 444218 ID: f2974f

Would it be possible for us to drive the QI's dragoon? If i mean we manage to kill or knock out the QI while she is distracted with the parachute?
>>
No. 444219 ID: d6c330

>you seem to just be having fun running around
So they decided the only logical explanation for your behavior is you're crazy and this is how you have fun. (How unusually astute of them. That's not your motivation, but it is ours). Let them keep thinking this. It's a better bluff than we've come up with to date, and it distracts them from your mission (assuming there's any way to pull it off at this point).

>Emere
There's nothing we can do for her now. Assuming they've got her, she's a contractor turned traitor. She's dead, possibly preceded by torture, if they've got room to make an example of her.

(Maybe we could have prevented it? Chucked the smoke grenade before the pipe, so QI SOB didn't see the hatch open, went door instead of roof so she didn't have to hack the dragoon... or hell, we could have talked before ducking into the shields room and found out that was a bad idea. Too late now, though. We're two for two on getting sheep killed after taking them hostage).

Only way we might be able to help is if we fake an exit, and then get back on board to rescue her unnoticed. But given our experience, moving around this place unobserved isn't gonna happen, unless that explosion took down the camera network, and/or cost them power.

>The plan
Can we jump off, and then ride the wind up underneath? Come in that big open gap in the bottom. Plus, that way the QI won't see you breaking the deal.
>>
No. 444220 ID: 886a4d

If they are going to kill her no matter what ... well then theres no point in negotiating is there?

Cut the communicator. Take the chute, since and as your taking your sniper rifle off blow the QI's arm off. Then her other arm for good measure. Shove her out of the vehicle and use the machine guns to blow a door in.
>>
No. 444228 ID: d6c330

>blow the QI's arm off
Rokoa's leg kept kicking for a while after it was severed. And the neumono brain is distributed throughout the body. If we sever the arm, it's more than likely to still push the button, either by spasm, or on purpose. Assuming of course we can blow her arm off faster than she can bush the button in the first place, which isn't a very sure thing.

If we get blown up, the mission's over, even if Polo's somehow not dead. If the QI blows up, she's dead, and that breaks our no kill streak.

We don't have much choice but to go for a jumping feint of some kind.
>>
No. 444233 ID: e3f578

>>444216
"I suppose the fact that I've hidden a bomb in the embassy to convince her to help me won't change that then? Poor girl was just trying to get the disarm code whenever I decided she helped out enough and she could save her friends. I told her she couldn't leave the embassy and draw suspicion or I'd kill her. I'm a proffesional, who ever you are. The sad fact that you're going to kill off one of your own hostages when she's one of mine too shouldn't hurt relations at ALL with the people you're doing business with. No way. Do you even know who you're killing, who she's related to?"
>>
No. 444250 ID: 0c2247

>>444216
"I came here because my pet was begging. I'm not leaving without my Rokoa."
>>
No. 444251 ID: c7dc56

>>444233

I think that's a bit to long winded for the situation. How about: "Alright, and tell sheep that there is no bomb."
>>
No. 444253 ID: d6c330

I understand the sentiment to try and deflect blame from Em. But by this point, they think pretty much everything we say is a blatant, pointless lie (our own fault really, for not being consistent). If we make up a phoney bomb story to try and cover for her, they'll see it for the cover it is and know she's complicit.

She's better off if we confirm nothing, and all they have is suspicion. It's possible they won't kill her (immediately) without proof.

A better approach might be to play nonchalant about her safety.

"...I've already got a bomb in my face here. You really didn't need to drag your helpless friggen sheep back into it. I'm going."

(Of course, I'm assuming they're trying to get confirmation. If they caught her red handed, she'd dead. Nothing we can do).

>>444250
Hilarious, but doesn't help us. Or Rokoa. ...and gods help us if they did send her down. She'd kill us.
>>
No. 444265 ID: b33427

Sounds like something big and nasty just came back up the teleporter. Likely at least one of the salikai's more dangerous critters.

Sadly, Emere has next to no chance to live through this, but there's no point in giving them more reason to kill her now. Don't confirm anything, but make it sound like you don't care if she dies. It'll make you sound even more crazy. "Doesn't matter to me if you waste your time killing sheep, I'm already standing on enough reason to go. This place is no fun anymore, anyway."

Take your backpack off, keeping the rifle side away from the QI. If the QI objects, say you've got thirty seconds to put a 'chute on, and you're starting now. Once you have the pack off, tell the QI to pass the parachute up. When she reaches for it, grab the trigger of the kinetic rifle with your left hand, flip it to explosive rounds, tip the whole pack so the muzzle is pointed at QI's left hand, and fire. At this range, and with the size of her hand, it'll be like shooting the broad side of a barn.

However, if you instead choose to go through with taking the parachute and jumping, you'll want to get around the corner of the ship after your jump, so you're out of the QI's sight. Do this by running along the balcony railing in that direction, once the Dragoon has stopped next to the railing, and then leaping off and immediately deploying your 'chute.
>>
No. 444283 ID: e3f578

>>444265
>Emere has no chance of living through this, there's no reason to give them more to kill her for
Well, I do believe that we should tell them they should at least research her own connections within the company. She might be related to someone important and influential, which could break them down even worse. You know, like how in movies where relatives to politicians or gangsters are generally untouchable by both the law and crime for simple diplomatic reasons? Then we can insult them for being amateurish for not looking into the backgrounds of people they're prepared to kill for any reason beyond direct self defense.
Killing one of their own hostage's to the business they're dealing with to deal with a completely separate problem is absolutely stupid.
Remember, everyone in that embassy is a hostage. They're all useful to keep leverage with the company the embassy works for. You kill one hostage, that's less leverage. They're bluffing or they're really stupid on how to treat hostages/POWs. Double hostages do not work.
>>
No. 444310 ID: b85f8c

I think we should go with the jump and explosion lift in order to attempt reentry near the bottom of the ship. There are plane hatches down there, as well as an open gap.

...wait a second. How do we know they actually have Emere? That could be a trick in itself. Ask them to put her on. If they refuse to prove that they actually have her as a hostage then we should just stay put and wait for the "help".
>>
No. 444413 ID: f09b71
File 134526454083.png - (17.34KB , 700x700 , 775.png )
444413

>Drive the Dragoon
I have no idea how to operate one.

I move my backpack to my frontside so I can properly wear the parachute. The QI tosses it at me.

"I've already got a bomb in my face. You didn't need to drag your helpless sheep into it. I don't even know if you have her like you claim."
>"Th-they have me!"

Well, there's that.

"Do you even know what her connections are in the company?"
>"More than you. She's just an uppity secretary."

I get the parachute on, wait for a cloud bank to come by, and jump off. I don't deploy it right away, I will hope to aim underneath the ship, if possible. The cloud cover and some drifting should be enough to make my destination hidden.
>>
No. 444415 ID: f09b71
File 134526462829.png - (28.70KB , 700x700 , 776.png )
444415

I deploy the parachute near the bottom, and get something to eat while I float along and hope for the best.

>"Good choice, Polo. Hope to never se-"

>"Hello! Hello, is this Polo? This is K-"

A roar. A roar from some kind of monster down in the ship echos around, interrupting the party in my communicator.

>"This is Korli! Did you hear that?"
".... yes. Explain that, and explain why you're talking to me.
>"We used our CAI to hijack their teleporters, and, uh, there are a few vernauts and things that just went in. And we tracked your armor as soon as finishing that, so we know you're on the ship! What are you trying to do?"
>>
No. 444416 ID: c31f72

>>444250
This is the perfect thing to say now.
>>
No. 444417 ID: b85f8c

>>444415
State quite plainly that you're trying to kill their queen. It's proving difficult because there's so much security around catching you on camera and blocking your progress, and they moved the queen so you don't know where she is. Right now they have no idea what you're doing, so that angle is covered. We just need to get back on board and find the queen.
>>
No. 444422 ID: 886a4d

>>444416
This said in utter deadpan. Then >>444417
>>
No. 444423 ID: a9298b

>>444416
yes, yes it is.
>>
No. 444436 ID: b33427

Before replying, close your helmet up, confirm that you're not on speaker on their end, and that this channel is completely secure.

Just say the bare basics of your mission: Assassinate the war hive's queen, without killing any of her hive. Tell Korli you need a discrete way back into the ship ASAP, before something else happens, and tell her where you are. Say you'll fill her in on the details, and figure out what to do next, once you're back inside and not dangling from a parachute at the whim of the winds.

On the way to getting back inside, tell her that there's a Dragoon mech on the balcony outside external door O-17 that the CAI might be very interested in taking control of; It's already been hacked once via Emere's computer in the Embassy, so the CAI can start there. Warn her that there's a QI in it that won't hesitate to hit the self-destruct, with her in the mech, if she thinks it'll keep the mech out of enemy hands.

Also, tell Korli that you'd like the CAI to check on Emere in the Embassy, do what it can to keep her safe; You'd rather she not die by the hive's hands for taking the big risk of helping you out earlier.
>>
No. 444439 ID: d6c330

>We hacked them with the CAI
I friggen knew it! Hacking relays in the missiles.

Go ahead and reacquaint Korli with your sense of humor. After she's done not enjoying it again,

"Their Queen was willing to break the truce we brokered. To use it as a screen for another attack. You might be surprised, but Rokoa has a pretty strong sense of honor mixed in with all the crazy. So she snuck me on board to arrange a... permanent solution."

Do not outright say "I'm here to kill the Queen." over the airwaves. Just make it clear that's your intent.

They interested in helping? CAI assistance sounds fantastic.

How much help we can accept from the spire people is gonna be iffy, though. We can't collaborate close enough that they're killing for us.
>>
No. 444460 ID: b33427

>>444439
How about instead of Polo saying she's here to kill the queen, she says she's here to remove the queen's influence on the war hive by any means necessary. That leaves Polo open to more options than just outright killing the queen, however unlikely that would be.

Aw, dammit! I just realized: Polo left her grappling hook and rope back on the balcony. Too late to go back and get it. Maybe Korli could have someone pick it up, if they're nearby, but that's doubtful. Or Korli could ask the CAI to check the ship stores database for a replacement. Since the route to the Bridge is through the Storage Sector, Polo can pick it up on the way, along with any other goodies.
>>
No. 444466 ID: d6c330

>>444457
We can be vague with our communications for security, or if we don't trust the spire.

But as for keeping our options open, I'll direct you to the list of reasons why we want the Queen dead in second half of this post.
>>/questdis/58128

The one thing I'm waffling on is telling the spire about our no kill conduct. We do that, we potentially give them leverage over us. The Salikai could control or manipulate us by threatening the lives of the crew, or "helping" us into a situation where killing is unavoidable.

I'd rather just make it clear we're doing something they'd like done anyways, and we'd appreciate any aid they could throw our way, like some CAI support.
>>
No. 444498 ID: c7dc56

We might want to mention rokao's terms of non lethal incase they don't want to incur her wrath again. Whatever you say, be sure to ask what they're here for too. I mean they just got rid of rokao for gods sake.
>>
No. 444554 ID: f09b71
File 134529761165.png - (32.55KB , 700x700 , 777.png )
444554

>Grappling hook
I managed to get it prior to jumping off, awkward as it was.

"Is this connection secure? I'm not on any speaker, right?"
>Yes, it is secure, but you might be heard by the salikai. It's not public or anything though."
"I came here because my pet was begging. I'm not leaving without my Rokoa."
>"... are you two in weird love or something?"
"Their queen broke a truce. Rokoa has a sense of honor, and snuck me on board for a more permanent solution. I would like the CAI's help."
>"Hold on a minute, please... uh... yes, okay. We have some miklik infiltrators. Each of them have a wireless node, because that ship has some layered CAI defenses. It was apparently extremely hard just getting the teleporter hijacked, and the hive already physically shut them down for the moment. Either way, it's challenging for our somewhat limited CAI to hijack the whole ship, so the most we can do is just to get as many nodes plugged in and do what damage we can to fend them off, hopefully taking the whole ship before they can add countermeasures. We'll help you, since we think our goals at least partially coincide. Say, where is your... where is Rokoa?"

The thermal heat is satisfactory, but I am not gaining much height at all, if any. I may need to lose some weight.
>>
No. 444570 ID: d6c330

I really don't need the whole ship suborned. Messing with enough surveillance to get around unnoticed is most of what I need. Little hard to find and take out one specific person when you're forced to spend your time running around fighting all the QIs. ...although my doing that probably made your agent's lives a little easier while they were distracted.

>Where's Rokoa
Doesn't matter - not in a position to do anything. They don't trust her after denouncing the rogue Queen and smuggling me on board. And she made it clear she won't fight her own- that's the whole point of getting me involved.

...if the Salikai's still interested in settling the score with her, I'm sorry, but I'm not giving you any help there.

(You cannot tell them she's helpless in the brig. The Salikai wants her dead, and has agents on board).

>Falling
I don't suppose you're in grapple range yet?

Not sure what you can dump. The heaviest thing would be your armor, but it's perhaps the most useful. Plus, hard to take off in your current position. You can't dump your guns. You could sacrifice what little explosives you have left, or your backpack, hoping you can replace them raiding the supplies or armory.
>>
No. 444572 ID: 4a328b

Not telling where she is, but if you see her, leave her be. She might kill you guys. Honey-bunny's crazy.

She'll DEFINITELY be after you if you kill one of her hivemates, so be careful.

Drop the guns, keep the explosives.
>>
No. 444624 ID: b85f8c

Drop the plasma rifle. We need those explosive rounds for the queen, and plasma rifles are commonplace. Gotta keep at least one good gun, even though we've mostly just been using the pistol.

The C4 is too useful to drop, I think. What else do we have?
>>
No. 444625 ID: 886a4d

>>444624
Agreed.
>>
No. 444629 ID: d6c330

...why don't we get a quick synopsis of our gear, and then decide what to dump? Assuming you can't just grapple over.

If we have to ditch a gun, we should probably take reaming ammo into account first. As I remember, we used up a lot of explosive ammo in the Rokoa fight.

And I don't think explosive ammo by itself is enough for the Queen- it would take a few good shots of what we have to kill someone of Rokoa toughness. We want to pick up a BFG somewhere.
>>
No. 444659 ID: 6e44d2

Couldn't we use the heat from an explosive to go higher? Maybe we should use the C4 to boost ourselves up.
>>
No. 444852 ID: b33427

Tell Korli that after Rokoa called the queen out on her bullshit right to her face, she was hauled off to the brig, and is probably still there, hanging from a hook. You say "probably" because they were considering loosing her to fight if the situation got bad enough, which it just might be now.

Take an inventory of what you could drop to lose weight. The armor covering your ears, and most of the armor over your tail, would be prime candidates. Food and water can go, since those are available on the ship. Also, check to see if anything in your pack was damaged by that bullet that went through it earlier. If there is something damaged beyond repair, chuck it.

>>444659
Then Polo would have to take the brunt of an explosion, plus the shockwave might be more than the parachute can handle and rip it or the lines to it. There's also the chance it'll push Polo away from the ship. It'd also make a very loud noise, which might draw attention. All together, it's not a good idea.

We should consider breaking into the brig to talk to Rokoa. She'd know where to go in this ship; Where the turrets are, what defensive measures they have, where the armories are, and where her personal stash is, if she has one. Also, she could tell us her passwords, and access codes, and her keycard would be with her stuff they took off her when they threw her in. We might even get her eye for the retina scanners, if we got a scalpel and a jar of water to put it in before hand, though it may not work since she's regenerated both of them since she was last on the ship.
>>
No. 445001 ID: f09b71
File 134534205234.png - (27.60KB , 700x700 , 778.png )
445001

"Not telling. Just leave her alone, and she may leave you alone. She'll definitely come after you guys if you kill her hivemates, though."
Another roar. I get close enough to sense death involved.
"It is too late for that, isn't it?"
>"Yyyyes. Some of the vernauts really want to kill Rokoa, the way the salikai described her made her out to be the hive's champion or something, even if she's just one. One of the best, but we've had to deal with some real monstrous neumono already. We'll tell all of our people though to leave you alone, as long as you do the same. Uh, except for the grottles. They aren't really sapient or intelligent enough for that. As long as you try to stay away from cramped areas and crawlspaces, you should be fine."
"... that's exactly where I want to be!"

>Check Inventory
Good idea.

Current Inventory
Sniper Rifle | 10 Normal Shots | 10 Armor Piercing Shots | 8 Explosive Shots
Pistol | 23 shots
1 Charge of C4
1 Frag Grenade
1 Smoke Grenade
1 Grappling Hook
10 Meter Rope
1 Net
~17 hours of rations
1 Machine Gun | 200 Rounds


... a machine gun. That explains something. Might be a few more things at the bottom, but it gets too awkward to check. I think I have everything. Old and new equipment has got shuffled, leaving me to admit more disorganization than acceptable.

>Grappling hook
The tricky part is that I cannot aim up, as I would then just grapple with my parachute in a spectacular display of incompetence. I have to aim at a diagonal, which greatly cuts the available distance. There are a few nooks and pipes coming out, but for the most part it is not left unarmored. I may be able to enter a plane hatch.

>Armor
It is overall light, but detaching my tail armor could be fine. My ear's armor however is protecting some of my outer communication controls.
>>
No. 445006 ID: 886a4d

Ditch the machine gun. As fun as it would be to level it at the queen we need to be ON the ship to kill her.
>>
No. 445007 ID: 4a328b

I think you can drop the machine gun or the sniper rifle. I'd go with dropping the machine gun.
>>
No. 445015 ID: d6c330

I assume you forgot to list the remote detonator for the C4. But if you managed to lose that, you might as well ditch the C4, because it's no good without it.

And you still have a smoke grenade? I thought we'd used the only one.

You can afford to ditch some rations- if you haven't succeed in 17 hrs, you'll likely be dead already. Cut 'em down to 1/2 or 1/3.

The machine gun and all that ammo will free up a lot of weight. You'll need to get more ammo or a new weapon soon though, your other guns are a little light.

Don't detach any armor unless you have to. You may not need your tail in a fight, but pain and damage can slow and distract you.

"...I don't suppose the grottles are trained to recognize friendlies? I did steal this armor from you guys."
>>
No. 445040 ID: d4083c

Any of that stuff damaged from when you pack got shot? That would be a quick way to narrow it down.
>>
No. 445074 ID: b33427

Check for anything that was damaged when the pack was shot, and chuck it if it's broken.

Toss a third to a half of your rations. If you're here as long as that, you'll likely be able to nab some of the hive's rations, or find something else to tide you over.

That machine gun will be helpful if you encounter a grottle. It'll also be useful in taking out cameras if it has a single-shot mode, since you have more ammo for it than the pistol. Better keep it, but toss half the ammo if you have to.

Before throwing anything out, better check all the way to the bottom of the pack, but all this crap is in the way. You'll have to attach what you can of it to your belt or armor while you rummage. First, take the grappling hook and rope out, tie the rope to the hook, the machine gun to the rope, tie the rope around both straps of the backpack (in case you drop it,) then hang the grappling hook from your belt. Clip the grenades to your armor so they're at hand, which they should have been from the start. This should lighten the backpack enough to take it off and hold it in one hand where you can look in while pawing through it with your other hand.
>>
No. 445123 ID: b85f8c

>>445001
Ditch the machine gun, the rounds for it, and the net.
>>
No. 445145 ID: b85f8c

Wait, actually, do a quick analysis of how damaging each of our two big guns are compared to how much they weigh. We'll be in close quarters most of the time so the rifle isn't actually that great a weapon. Maybe we should ditch it instead, if the machine gun is comparatively lethal?
>>
No. 445199 ID: f09b71
File 134536124911.png - (21.73KB , 700x700 , 779.png )
445199

Yes, I still have the detonator. I included that as part of the C4 itself. And scratch the smoke grenade. I don't know why I thought I still had it. Oh, and binoculars. I have binoculars, and despite their questionable worth, they are light.

I drop the machine gun. It's a dismaying waste, and while it is possible it could be more useful than a sniper rifle, it is far heavier, I am less familiar with it, and it has probably slowed my agility up to this point more than acceptably. I toss off a few rations as well, but stop when I feel myself rising satisfactorily.

"I don't suppose that the grottles are trained to recognize friendlies? I did steal armor after all."
>"They recognize vernauts, mikliks, salikai... well, really anything that is part of our facility and not a neumono as a friendly. They have been trained from birth to hunt and kill neumono relentlessly. With our small numbers it hasn't been a recent thing, but our hivemembers used to regularly be placed in a hunting ground with grottles, with the promise that we would live if we managed to escape and not harm any of the grottles."

The parachute snags on something, allowing my not having to worry so much about a couple miles of nothing below me. And with that, it's a now familiar choice. A door on the side of either a main entrance or flight hatch, or a small hatch I can go through.
>>
No. 445201 ID: b85f8c

Let's avoid small entrances. The main entrance is probably locked. Go through the flight hatch.
>>
No. 445206 ID: 4a328b

Flight Hatch.
>>
No. 445210 ID: b33427

Pull out the binoculars and use them to look for an identifier on the small door, then relay it to Korli and ask if the CAI has control over that door. If so, have it quietly unlocked, open it enough to check around it with your knife for cameras and hostiles, then go through if it's clear. Otherwise, open the small hatch, pull out your pistol, turn on night vision, and go through.

Check with Korli if it's possible for her to receive the video feed from your helmet's visor. You might need her to see something later on, and it'd be best to find out if she can now.

>>445201
>>445206
There's no going through the flight hatch. What Polo sees as a possible entrance is a small door next to what she thinks is a flight hatch or main entrance.
>>
No. 445215 ID: b85f8c

Oh whoops. Well, uh, I suppose it would be better for us to risk grottles than risk getting locked out here and forced to blow the door with C4.

Does it look like a particularly cramped space or crawlspace? Maybe it's relatively big?
>>
No. 445256 ID: f09b71
File 134538351379.png - (75.50KB , 700x700 , 780.png )
445256

"Can you get visual through me?"
>"Absolutely."
"Anything through this door, such as CAI control?"
>"At the moment the CAI has no control over anything. We'll keep you updated about any chances."

While drifting over there, I get a visual on the door and a better look at the hatch. The door is a side entrance, probably for maintenance, to a flight exit or entrance. There are no signs of whether or not it is locked.

The grate is, as common, a nice size. Too small to comfortably fit the larger neumono around here, but crawlable for myself.

>"Careful, it does look like a grottle could fit through there. There aren't any that are close by, but they move quickly and unpredictably. One of the vernauts are moving a bit in the direction of the flight hatch door. On one hand, they should be fine around you, on the other hand, they are attracting attention in that sector."
>>
No. 445257 ID: f2974f

We don't want any more attention so lets just get in the damn vent. I mean im sure we can take on a grottel... right?
>>
No. 445263 ID: d6c330

Okay, on the one hand, we have a very good chance of being observed by troops hunting the vernaut if we go through the door. Plus, the door is almost certainly electronically locked again. So getting in that way gives away your position. If we go through the hatch we preserve stealth, but we run a chance of running into a grottle. If we do run into one, it's more likely to be fatal or injurious, though. (Fast, designed for small spaces, all we'd be able to bring to bear is the pistol, and it'll melt into acid if we kill it).

I think the vent is the better idea, so long as we get out fast. We can't use it for a transit system, just an entryway.

Do you sense Rokoa yet? They let her out of the brig to start killing monsters?
>>
No. 445278 ID: f09b71
File 134539081557.png - (20.07KB , 700x700 , 781.png )
445278

Vent crawling returns. I cannot sense Rokoa at the moment, but I did sense a neumono disappear into the empathic deadzone of the brig with intent of release. That may be for her. There are nearly-rokoa level monstrous neumono rushing around, and occasionally one gets mortally wounded or goes silent. Sometimes, hives have a difficult time dealing with death. Not this one, they respond with more vigor to pick up the smaller number. They just keep running at the vernauts, and this hive is already thinned out. I have not sensed nearly enough neumono to justify a ship of this size.

>".... shit."
"Don't say that, Korli. What's happened?"
>"Uh.... the grottles are reminding us that they're hard to tame. That is, they're intelligent, but sometimes... okay. One of them just clicked out a noise, and in response, all of them just crushed their trackers. And from the pitch of their clicks, they are ecstatic. We have no idea where any of them are anymore. Completely loose and renegade. All we can monitor are their life signs."
"Life signs, but not locations? How do you even monitor their life signs?"
>"All of the vernauts and grottles are wearing sensored bio-armor. The vernauts have 70%."
I am trying to keep my cool, but the salikai are one-upping themselves in complete madness. I have half a mind to go to the brig and beg Rokoa to protect me, or go back out the vent and just jump off and break my fall with the trees.
>"What is your destination, do you mind telling me?"
>>
No. 445279 ID: 886a4d

>>445278
The Queen, if you can get me her location I'd appreciate it... and maybe then we can go home.
>>
No. 445280 ID: d6c330

...they gave their absurd unstoppable monsters bio-armor?! ..and seventy percent, at that? Good gods, I'm not sure there's going to be anything left of this hive to save after we put down the mad Queen.

(What's Polo wearing anyways? A 20?)

...congratulations, Korli, you guys just found a way to make soloing a warship significantly more suicidal.

We should have blown the fucking cryo chambers to hell when we had the chance.

Anyways, this may work somewhat to your advantage. With all this chaos and death around, if you do get to the Queen and kill her, the hive won't necessarily know who did. You could have a clean exit.

>destination?
I'm getting out of these fucking vents as quickly as possible. Then I'm finding a bigger gun.

>complete madness
...it makes a distressing amount of sense, actually. If you have horrific monsters you can't control, where for you want them deployed? Behind enemy lines and away from yourself. Whatever goes wrong here doesn't hurt the salikai a whit.

>I have half a mind to go to the brig and beg Rokoa to protect me
Teaming up with Rokoa, or even other warhive members, to survive the horrific monsters is viable if that option presents itself.
>>
No. 445321 ID: b85f8c

>>445278
Tell her you are strongly considering getting the fuck out of here but right now we are just going to abandon this vent as fast as possible and get our bearings.

I think our destination would be the armory. Defend ourselves first before we do anything else. This mission just went completely FUBAR!
>>
No. 445323 ID: 6a1ec2

Speaking of complete madness, the CAI is probably having a fit of indecision about what's going on right now so you might be able to take advantage of that to get it to do stuff for you. If there's anything a CAI is good at, it's fits of indecision.
>>
No. 445326 ID: b33427

Pull the sniper rifle off your back and switch it to armor piercing rounds. As awkward as it would be to crawl through here with it in one hand, your pistol isn't going to do jack shit against a bio-armored grottle.

Tell Korli that your first destination is the nearest way out of this vent. Next up, the nearest armory, but you need access codes to get in; Either a CAI relay to crack it, or you'll have to find Rokoa and have her either tell you them, or come along with you. Your long term destination is the hive's queen, but you have no idea where she is by now. Perhaps Korli has some idea where she was, or is.

Hey, how malleable is bio-armor? 'Cause if it can drastically reshape itself to fit its wearer, then Rokoa could wear one peeled off a dead grottle or vernaut. If Polo finds one, then she should take the bio-armor off of its corpse and stow it in case she meets Rokoa and she doesn't have bio-armor yet.
>>
No. 445365 ID: d6c330

>>445326
>steal bio armor from dead monsters
Bio armor is species exclusive. 70% fatality rate for them means 500% fatality rate for us.
>>
No. 445438 ID: 6a1ec2

>>445365

Fairly sure it's toughness related. Hok's species is just a bunch of giant pussies.
>>
No. 445445 ID: 4a328b

Polo, you're not going to beg Rokoa for protection. You're going to go PROTECT ROKOA. Feel free to freak out a little. It's a perfectly normal feeling right now.

Anyway, you have some rations you can toss her if she's not in great condition, but other than that you're probably on your own here. Don't tell where you're headed (the brig) the line's probably monitered and it'll make your life harder.
>>
No. 445589 ID: f09b71
File 134547285175.png - (75.52KB , 700x1000 , 782.png )
445589

"My destination? To go get a bigger gun."
>"Is the sniper rifle not enough?"
"Did you hit your head? I am surrounded by monsters."

>How malleable is bio-armor? If it can reshape itself, Rokoa could wear one peeled off a dead grottle or vernaut.
Wearing a torn off sheet of bioarmor can lead to disproportional balance and adverse effects, but could be better than nothing in such circumstances.

Armory... supposedly in the supply rooms, 9 to 12 floors high from here. On the other side of the ship.

I move quick then, despite the crippling paranoia that there is going to be a grottle around every corner. Floor after floor, until I estimate that I am on floor 5, 6 or 7, and no idea where I am on the first 2 dimensions. I crawl over a room, and it appears that there was a vernaut fight here. There are 4 neumono down below that are awake, all heavily wounded. I sense Rokoa heading here with 2 other units, and I am tempted to pop down in a room to see where precisely I am, as the grate is not offering enough visibility.
>>
No. 445590 ID: f2974f

Unless we can get inside the room unnoticed we should wait for Rokoa to arrive before we make an entrance.
>>
No. 445592 ID: d6c330

>we should wait for Rokoa to arrive before we make an entrance
What, so she's forced to either back up her two hive mates when they attack us, or stand by as we shoot them up?

Let's get out of the vents, we've been lucky to make it this many floors without running into any monsters. Besides, if they can move faster than us and we've covered a few floors, they could be anywhere by now.

Exit in a nearby empty room (say, the next room over), wait and listen to see what happens when Rokoa and co arrive. If they recover the wounded and leave, you can try and loot any weapons left behind. If Rokoa separates from the two after, you can approach her. If she emotes surprise, anger, bemusement or whatever, it probably won't be noticed by the hive with all the violence and death.
>>
No. 445596 ID: f09b71
File 134547848663.png - (27.31KB , 700x700 , 783.png )
445596

>What percent are you wearing?
30% bio.

I do not know if it is possible to enter another nearby room first, so I wait as Rokoa comes with her entourage of 2, each of them pick up one, leaving the worst off one to die. That is not expected of her, and I don't understand why. Rokoa and the others are only determined to save the three they got, or at least to give them quick medical attention before chasing down a vernaut.

I wait until she leaves before jumping down to take a look at the right where the remaining wounded one is, who feelss too far gone to notice me with any lucidity.

... not a nice sight.
>>
No. 445597 ID: 886a4d

They probably knew she wouldn't make it anyway. They have lots of wounded and picking those who can be saved is practical. Anyway, look for weapons, if none found lets start making our way to the armory.
>>
No. 445598 ID: 4a328b

>>445592
Yeah, try to get your favorite psychopath ALONE before you pop out and say "HI"
>>
No. 445599 ID: d6c330

It's all out war, now. You save who you can. As much as she'd probably prefer how to keep her whole hive safe, she knows how to make hard decisions. I doubt it's the first time she's had too.

Although I'm slightly surprised they didn't mercy kill the one who was too far gone. Do neumono not believe in that? ...you can't mercy kill him yourself though. It might alert them to your presence. Plus, well, your conduct.

Check for guns. If they didn't have hands for all the wounded, they didn't have hands for all the weapons.

Then figure out where you are, and we can plot a path.
>>
No. 445600 ID: 4a328b

is he/she too far gone to save? do you know how to tell?
>>
No. 445602 ID: 87ccf8

cast Life2!
>>
No. 445604 ID: f09b71
File 134548036583.png - (13.82KB , 700x700 , 784.png )
445604

>Mercy kill
I thought it was a thing this hive would have done. I suppose I was wrong. His eyes aren't even - wait. No. This person is dead.
The one I'm sensing is the leg. Needless to say, it is far too gone, and dimming fast. Rokoa is moving fast, now. The shrapnel in her knee must have been removed right away.

>"Could you take a look at that plate you landed on for me, Polo?"
"Just a sec..ond.... HURK"
>"Take it easy, yeah. I thought you weren't green?"
"Never seen a real combat mission before the facility."
>"Wow, okay then."

I have never been more glad for the detachable mouth piece after having to vomit. So much for saving rations. It is still loud and chaotic, so I do not believe I tipped myself off.
>>
No. 445605 ID: f09b71
File 134548041605.png - (16.94KB , 700x700 , 785.png )
445605

"What about the metal piece? ... is that a latch?"
>"Oh, okay. Thank you, I just wanted visual confirmation that one of the vernaut's armor plates fell off."
"... it's bigger than me."
>"Yes, it's for his upper arm."

>Check for weapons
Alright. I see one machine gun. There are many rifles strewn about as well that I can take. All weapons here are large for my size, but should be acceptable to use reasonably.
>>
No. 445607 ID: 886a4d

Will the machine gun slow you down too much? Your biggest asset is speed and maneuverability. Not to put a too fine point on it but there is no way you can take anything on straight up. Let the warhive and the spire handle the bulk of the combat... all you are for is one target only.
>>
No. 445614 ID: d6c330

Is the rifle ammunition compatible with yours? I'd assume with as much variability in neumono sizes as there is, an intelligent manufacturer would use standard calibers and ammo clips for several differently scaled models. Saves on manufacturing costs.

Anyways, if the ammo's compatible, stock up. If not, grab an aditonal gun.

>>445607
Agreeing that you should prioritize maneuverability over firepower, for now. Take enough to function, but not to weigh you down.

In any event, we're going to need something bigger caliber for armored monsters, or if we want to take down the Queen hard and fast. We need a rocket launcher, or RPG, or something.

>Yes, it's for his upper arm
...I'm so glad we aren't fighting those ones. How the hell are they moving around the ship though? Something that scale should have trouble fitting through the halls, let alone the doors.

We need a location, so we can decide where to go next. Things to do:
-get Queen's location
-acquire big fucking gun and/or explosives for Queen speed kill, and dealing with monsters.
-(target of opportunity) save Em if we see her locked up or held somewhere. With the monster attack, I doubt they had much time to do anything with her, they either locked her up or shot her and moved on. This isn't a priority, but if we get the chance, we might as well let her go and run for an escape pod, or go hide or something.
-Contact Rokoa (optional). Not happening anytime soon, she's got company, and is going monster hunting (which we want to stay way the fuck away from).

>green
No shame, Polo. That stuff's hard to get used to. And you've accomplished some amazing things in the short time since you started real combat.

>>445602
Polo's obviously playing some kind of ninja / assassin / ranger / sniper. Not a white mage. Or a ninja wizard doctor.
>>
No. 445629 ID: f09b71
File 134548438990.png - (23.54KB , 900x500 , 786.png )
445629

"How are the vernauts even traveling through here?"
>"They have to stick to the main halls that are capable of vehicular traffic, but occasionally they can rip through some of the weaker structural points if they have to. They also are armed with some explosives that we can explode remotely, they just have to set them down and move away."

Not worrying about that. All of the rifles are plasma, and I grab one. It shouldn't slow me down significantly in the face of all the other equipment. I find a sign saying floor 6, and which way the front of the ship is. Enough to go on to hop back in the same vents, move up two floors, and find a long stretch. I should be getting close to the armory. Still no signs of any grottles. More wounded and killed neumono down below. I can tell that they are slowly getting the better of most of the vernauts, despite the losses.

>"Oh, uh, one of our vernauts is getting kind of right under you. It's going to try to wreck a lot of what it can in the armory."
"Looks like it confused the armory with the air vent. It's 5 minutes backwards just to get to a previous exit or fork that doesn't plop me down into a danger zone."
>"Yeah. Don't worry, though, like I said, the vernauts are smart. They know you're an ally, unlike the grottles, so it should be safe to go down. Just... treat it with some humility, and it shouldn't disobey direct orders. Sorry, we're having trouble pinpointing exact locations here, you might not even see it."

There is a short airduct tunnel straight down that is limiting my visibility once again.
>>
No. 445630 ID: 886a4d

Right the way forward is blocked, and backtracking won't do much... however if this thing is in the armory they won't worry too much about you. So first make sure your not going to drop down on the damn thing then head on down.
>>
No. 445633 ID: d6c330

>plasma
I suppose energy weapons are even easier to standardize, actually. No ammo at all.

I thought Emere said the armory was in the supply rooms, not storage? Floor 6 puts you in sector 2, not 3. ...I guess it makes sense they'd have smaller caches of weapons spread around the ship.

Well, we might as well go in. I think we can handle diplomacy with a monster under orders not to kill you. Besides, you want to grab some good stuff from the armory before he trashes all of it. Stock up on more explosives, and look for something you like that packs a punch. We want to put the Queen down hard and fast, not give her time to fight back, or reinforcements to arrive.

I hope if there's a camera in there he already broke it. Last thing we want is for the hive to know you're back, or think you're allied with the monsters.

...if Korli's got radio contact with the vernaut, it might be better you don't go unannounced. Otherwise he might react the way anyone would if you're in enemy territory and neumono start dropping from the ceiling.
>>
No. 445636 ID: b85f8c

>>445629
Oh god why are we in the vents again get out of the vents!

Go down.
>>
No. 445641 ID: 886a4d

We are in the vents because its actually the safest despite the grottles. Out of the vents we have the warhive and the vernauts running around. Of course now that we are at the armory its time to vacate and ho0pe the vernaut really will be friendly and the hive will have other things to worry about besides one lone infiltrator.
>>
No. 445653 ID: f09b71
File 134548841974.png - (44.86KB , 900x900 , 787.png )
445653

"Can I presume the vernaut is getting a warning about me?"
>"Yes, he was just told he might see you."

So I jump down.

In the words of one QI, son... of a bitch.

>"R...rrrrr... oka. Roka. Where."
>>
No. 445654 ID: 886a4d

Running around, looking for a fight. I can't tell you where exactly though. Sorry.

They grow em big don't they. Anyway lets get our bearings after making sure the homicidal and suicidal monster isn't going to kill you over something.
>>
No. 445656 ID: f2974f

Holeee shit that thing is huge.

But yeah we dont know where Rokoa is but if the vernaut would accompany us to the armory she just might turn up to protect it.
>>
No. 445658 ID: d6c330

>In the words of one QI, son... of a bitch.
Oh, gods. Is that him impaled up there? Poor dude, he was one of the most reasonable people we'd met in this hive. Especially for a QI.

Hey, it's the same guy from the murder room. He's missing the arm plate. Doesn't look like he has bio armor though.

>Rokoa?
Uh, hi there. She's down a few floors. Pretty sure she's looking for a fight with you.
(Let him go fight her. If anyone can handle something like this, she can. It's not like we wanted the war-hive massacred anyways).

Man, your planet had a lot of very different things spring from the same common ancestor. The facial structure, the paws, it's something else from the same ancestors as the neumono and predators (must have diverged before the empathy developed, though).
>>
No. 445659 ID: b85f8c

Say that you're not sure where Rokoa is right now, and you'll stay out of the verenaut's way.
>>
No. 445660 ID: d6c330

He knows we're neumono. If he knows anything about us, he'll know we should be able to sense her. If we don't at least give him a direction, we risk aggravating him.

...so long as she's on the hunt already though. We don't want to send him crashing after her towards the infirmary. That would be bad.
>>
No. 445670 ID: 6a1ec2

Well it's the same fur... and the same teeth... uh, anyway uh... damn is that QI still alive?
>>
No. 445692 ID: 87ccf8

>>445670
yes, he/she/it should drop the QI...
the QI could be just used to locate the vernaut
(and more important for it: avoid it).
>>
No. 445717 ID: f09b71
File 134550617424.png - (21.42KB , 700x700 , 788.png )
445717

No bio armor on this one? Unless.. oh, I see it. It's a partial bio-suit, attached underneath the metal plates. Unusual.

>QI Son-of-a-Bitch
I think that is him. He is... alive. Unconscious, but I can see him twitching now and again. It is a shame, he actually seemed to like using words over guns.

>Lots of different things spring from the same common ancestor
Yes, most of everything has distant cousins, for instance motons have similarly large birds in other parts of the planet.

I don't mess around with the vernaut.
"She's a floor down, probably coming to you right now. She'll come on her own, and I'll stay out of your way."

>"Nnnno. You. Leead. K-k-kill Rrrroka."
>>
No. 445719 ID: e3f578

"I have my own mission. Beneficial for the salikai. We go our seperate ways. Duties are our own."
>>
No. 445721 ID: b85f8c

>>445717
Tell it we're gonna need a bigger gun if we were to help kill Rokoa. So we're just gonna go over to the armory here for a minute, okay?
>>
No. 445722 ID: bf54a8

"i was told the kill the queen, the big boss of all of them"
>>
No. 445724 ID: e3f578

Rub his belly by the way, or scratch under his chin.
Maybe ask first.
>>
No. 445727 ID: c7dc56

This might be a pretty good opportunity to permanently kill Rokao if you're still interested. Atleast then you won't have to try and explain all this shit wasn't your fault.

Other wise just point lead him to the most direct exit, point him in the right direction, tell him "You have things to do", and ske-fucking-daddle.
>>
No. 445728 ID: d6c330

>>445722
Don't say that, he might be stupid enough to repeat it where someone could hear.

>Lead to Rokoa.
Go for a simple explanation: I can't. I have orders.

Hopefully he respects his masters enough not to break their orders, or expect you to go against them.

...ask if he needs that annoyance pulled off his horn. Maybe you can pull a lion and the mouse here and save that QI.
>>
No. 445732 ID: 886a4d

I kinda want to attempt to rescue SOB from that horn. Say you'll tell him where you last saw Rokoa in exchange for the QI, alive, you need someone to interrogate. Other then that your sorry you can't help him, you have your own job to do.
>>
No. 445735 ID: b33427

Try for some misdirection to get this beast out of the way long enough to raid the armory.

Say you're sorry you weren't clear with your previous statment. Clarify by saying that you know Rokoa's a floor down because you sense her right now. Point far down the corridor behind it and say she's under that point waiting for reinforcements, with the intent to come up here and fight. Suggest that if it blows a hole in the floor over her with one of its charges, it'll have the drop on her.

If it goes to blast through, you've got until it figures out Rokoa isn't there to grab whatever you can from the Armory and get away. Assume that the vernaut doesn't have to take the stairs back up 'cause it can climb back up the hole it makes.
>>
No. 445747 ID: 0c2247

>>445717
"I have much more important targets to kill. I'm going to make them surrender.
Besides. I beat Rokoa. She is mine now. I am not going to break my own toy."

So, I think we'll have to kill the queen and then broadcast to the rest of the hive that you are taking over as queen and everybody is to stand down.
>>
No. 445751 ID: d6c330

>>445747
>I'm more important than you
>I already beat the hive champion
>The hive's champion is MINE

...in what way is that acting with humility? This thing's mindset seems to be to prove itself the best by killing the best thing it can find. You're practically daring it to kill Polo.
>>
No. 445757 ID: 4a328b

Fine, let me up and I'll steer you to her. [Then shoot him in the head. That's fatal to them, right?]
>>
No. 445759 ID: 735f4f

Tell it you need to get that Qi alive off there horn for bait. Then set up a "trap" for Rokoa. Will have saved a hive member for her and given her something awesome to fight. In the confusion can head to the queen.
>>
No. 445760 ID: b6edd6

> [Then shoot him in the head. That's fatal to them, right?]
Consider how well that works on neumono. Then consider how this guy is related to neumono, except an order of magnitude larger.
>>
No. 445771 ID: f09b71
File 134551971934.png - (20.76KB , 700x700 , 789.png )
445771

>Shoot in the head fatality
From what I see, he's already been shot in the head. It is also possible that his brain is deceptively small, and could be anywhere in his head. I don't know enough about vernauts to know if they also have a scattered brain sysem.

"I have other orders? In the meanwhile, I can take that neumono off your horn if you want."
>"Ssrrrrr.... thinks I... need help."
"Uh... no. It's an offer. I want to interrogate him. I'm sorry, Rokoa is one floor down, straight behind you."
>"... fiiiine. Must move. Neumono will firrre from shhhhsssmall waalls. Could smash... you. Ssso easy. "
"... I know."

He wrenches the QI off in a distinctly not gentle fashion, and the vernaut starts turning to go.
>>
No. 445773 ID: b85f8c

>>445771
Let it go, then. Drag the wounded neumono off to the side somewhere and get in the armory. Find a good compact gun fast, ditch the plasma rifle, and then let's get the hell away from the armory before it returns.
>>
No. 445774 ID: 4a328b

know any first aid?
>>
No. 445775 ID: 886a4d

We need something with a lot of oomph, Remember that explosive round gernade launcher from the first QI we encountered? I bet one of those would take out the Queen quick.

Anyway yeah drag the poor SOB into a side corridor and hustle to the armory.
>>
No. 445776 ID: d6c330

Let him go. If that didn't kill QI SOB, see if you can do anything quick to patch or stabilize him. I mean, if you can stop him from bleeding out, hopefully being a tough neumono SOB in bio armor will keep him alive till a rescue team finds him. They keep some medkits here, I hope?

While you're working on him, do a quick look around, give us a list of available (non-wrecked) weaponry.
>>
No. 445788 ID: f09b71
File 134552322987.png - (17.02KB , 700x700 , 790.png )
445788

I drag him off, and apply some sort of... first aid. It is of my medkit, but I occasionally see first aid along with fire extinguishers along the walls. It won't take long for me to replenish my stock. Most of my first aid is me shoving some bandages around to try to stop the bleeding that there is, although much of it his blood is already clotted and crusted. Although I may know first aid, gaping holes are somewhat beyond my expertise effectively.

>Look for weapons
I manage to find an explosive shotgun. I don't know if the user tried to get too close, but it looks like only one shot was fired.

It doesn't stop him from waking up and looking at me. Realizing who I am, realizing that I'm not trying to kill him with bandages in hand. Then confusion.

>"...why?" he manages, while I still look caught in the headlights.
>>
No. 445789 ID: d6c330

Holy hell yes, QI SoB is still alive. You the man, man.

>why?
I told you I wasn't here to kill you all. Besides, your hive is crazy enough. They can't afford to lose any sane people.

>Explosive shotgun.
That could work on Queenie, especially if you get it off at close range, and if she isn't bioarmored. Not enough for a vernaut, maybe good for grottle.

Be wary of the obvious weakness you discovered when you were on the other end of one of those (thankfully Queenie's a bad shot).
>>
No. 445790 ID: b85f8c

>>445788
Well... because we need information. Specifically, where the queen is.

And I guess... because we could.
>>
No. 445791 ID: 6e44d2

"You aren't my enemy."
>>
No. 445792 ID: 886a4d

Rokoa asked me not to kill any of you...

We have our weapon, now to get the Queens position.
>>
No. 445796 ID: d6c330

>>445790
>>445792
Don't give away the fact we're on a no-kill mission. If he passes that information on, they can use that against us, putting Polo in positions where her only options are kill or surrender.

Don't ask where the Queen is either. Again, he could tell someone, and that would fuck with our shot at a stealth assassination (which is now actually possible with all the monster chaos). Besides, he's been riding a horn for 10, 20 minutes or something. He's out of the loop, she could have moved.

We can use Korli and the CAI (as it comes online) to get the Queen. Besides, if Polo can't sense her now (you'd think the Queen would stand out) it's obvious we need to head for a jammed zone.
>>
No. 445808 ID: b85f8c

>>445796
The fact that we just saved his life would conflict with his loyalty to his queen. The information being possibly outdated further lessens the urge for him to keep his mouth shut. I think it's worth asking at least.

We've been told that the CAI is almost useless here. It's working against shitloads of anti-CAI protection. Our best bet is to find out about the queen from a hostage. It's not like he's in any condition to move and we can make sure he can't contact anyone besides.
>>
No. 445811 ID: d6c330

I really don't see how having an enemy spare or save him would make him willing to see his Queen dead. Confused? Yes. Treacherous? No.

If he doesn't tell us, we've given up our objective for nothing. Then we either have to resort to torture for the information, or kill him to keep him quiet. Those are bad options.

If we can't sense her, we know she's in a jammer bubble. There aren't many of those, and she won't be in any of the ones attacking boarders. She's probably the bridge. And Korli seems to have a map or schematic to go by, so we should be good as is.
>>
No. 445815 ID: f09b71
File 134552764453.png - (16.50KB , 700x700 , 791.png )
445815

He almost nods off, but I pick his head up to make sure he is aware as I tell him.

"Because you are not my enemy."

More confusion. Like the idea that only his hivemates are possible of the slightest compassion.

"You are also just about the only sane person I have seen - or sensed - on this whole ship."
>"No wonder Rokoa's so pissed. Beaten by a softie... I'll put- put in a good word if you get caught."

Still confused. Like he feels like he should owe me one, but still sees me as an enemy. He tries to move, but there is too much damage to body and musculature to do anything more than fidget awkwardly, as though drunk.

>"Wait, weren't you going to interrogate him? We were certainly hoping this one might talk." Korli asks.
Right. In the unlikely chance he does say where the queen is should I ask, I would effectively be telling the Salikai as well so long as my communicator is on.
>>
No. 445816 ID: b85f8c

Switch off the communicator. In fact, take off your helmet so he can see your face when you ask. If the Salikai get to her first they'll probably wind up capturing her to usurp control of the hive via manipulating her, and we do NOT want that.
>>
No. 445817 ID: bf54a8

"it's your queen, look around you, you are enemies with everything, she has led you down the path to ruin and rokoa saw it coming"
>>
No. 445819 ID: 886a4d

>>445816
>>445817
Seconding both of these.
>>
No. 445845 ID: d6c330

Dwaw~! Dem eyes! Just lookit him!

>telling the Salikai
...that raises an ugly point. If they have a location to swarm with the surviving monsters, the Salikai doesn't need you alive. And if you call a monster strike down on the Queen's location and get everyone around her killed, I think Rokoa would count that as breaking conduct.

>owes you one
Okay, that might get us one question answered, if we ask. But he still sees us an enemy- we can't ask for him to betray his Queen.

We might be able to ask a clever question that gets him to give her location away without asking exactly, if anyone's got one. Something like;

"I don't suppose I have any chance of getting on the bridge?" "Pff, hell no, (Queen and her guard is there)".

Although there's probably a clever-er prompt. We shouldn't strait up ask where she is, I don't think it will work, and we don't have time to convince him she's evil. He's falling unconscious fast.

(Also, if he thinks we saved him just for interrogation, it'll just reaffirm his "only hivemates show compassion" feeling. And that would break my heart).

>Korli
Cut the feed, and bring her back afterwords. When/if she objects, remind her it's your target, and you're not letting a bunch of monsters beat you there. ...and sorry, but you're not in a rush to make yourself expendable.
>>
No. 445863 ID: f09b71
File 134553181284.png - (16.91KB , 700x700 , 792.png )
445863

I turn my comm offline, and take my helmet off. I feel I am quickly getting too much sympathy here.

"I did not save you just to save you for interrogation, but I want to know where your queen is."
>"Queen..."

He is struggling to stay conscious. Rokoa has caught wind of this QI, and is rushing here. He knows this, and perhaps it is because he is too dazed, perhaps Rokoa has some indirect influence, but he answers.

>"The bridge. It is in lockdown. Jammers, huge doors, the works. You can't wiggle around in the airducts to get through there. You'll either need huge explosions, or CAI-level hacks. Only one around is owned by those salikai, and you're not on their side.... right?"

He isn't scared or worried about it, but the idiot thinks he's going to die.
>>
No. 445869 ID: d6c330

Ohmyd'aww. kiss him!

>the idiot thinks he's going to die.
Well, that's a legitimate point, considering the damage he took. ...is he?

>Salikai's side?
No, I'm my own side.

We should probably thank him, tell him he's going to be alright, and let him pass out already.

>Rokoa
Is she coming alone? If not, it's time to skedaddle. Otherwise I suppose we could say hi. Also, wow she killed the vernaut quick?
>>
No. 445873 ID: b85f8c

Tell him you're just using them for your own ends.

Then put your helmet back on and GTFO. Unless Rokoa is alone. Then we're fine, but keep the communications cut.
>>
No. 445874 ID: 6a1ec2

The Salikai have the forces and heavy arms to get through those bulkheads. The CAI also seems to be cooperating with them pretty exclusively (it might even be masterminding the whole spire operation), and can potentially lift the bulkheads or flood the bridge with flame retardant (or something). Effectively the only force on this ship who the queen is totally protected from is you. I'm not sure what you can do at this point besides save people and escape intact. Your word shouldn't take precedence over your hive or your life. Mission is FUBAR, abandon ship.
>>
No. 445878 ID: e3f578

>>445863
"No, but a lot of people owe me favors, including the salikai and a few of her personal neumono. She may just hack the bridge and let me in just out of curiosity of what I'd do. Right now, everyone just sees me as a neutral third party screwing things up around here. Which is why the sentient thinking beast didn't try to kill me. I'm just too damn cuddly, everyone wants to cuddle me. 'Cept the queen. Well now I'm going to cuddle the fuck out of her. No one insults my cuddling and gets off scot free."
>>
No. 445888 ID: c7dc56

You could probably work a deal out with the spire folk. Turn on the comm and tell them that you made a deal with rokao to kill her hive queen, specifically her alone. If you could open the doors I need, I'm sure a dead queen is a fair return. Either way you won't impede their efforts to fight anyone else, but you won't participate either.
>>
No. 445889 ID: c6ec33

>>445863
Keep him focused and awake.

"I'm independent, and was hoping to avoid this bloodshed. To tell you the truth, I made a promise to Rokoa that I'd do my best to avoid killing any of you. Unfortunately, Rokoa kinda murdered a bunch of Salikai, and now their mom's very pissed off at you. *I* just want all of you off this planet, and I want you to leave peacefully.

Tell me the truth: Will your queen ever leave peacefully? Will she ever agree to negotiate in exchange for non-hostile withdrawal? Or will she just nod and then backstab everyone, like she planned to do before?"
>>
No. 445932 ID: 4a328b

Not being on their side doesn't mean I can't use their stuff~

Apply rations to face. That helps with healing, right? Eating?
>>
No. 445938 ID: f09b71
File 134556181168.png - (77.01KB , 700x700 , 793.png )
445938

>She killed the vernaut quickly
And as though on cue, the vernaut roars, and machine gun fire starts up. Rokoa was on her way, and just made contact with the vernaut. She has 2 others, but even if she were alone, I would not stop by and say hello under the circumstances. I may check on the state of her living or not after visiting the armory.

I dig my claws into his face, just enough to prick him to keep him conscious. "I'm on my own side, but they owe me favors. And Rokoa will too, after I finish a deal I made with her. Everyone thinks I'm a neutral third party cuddle hive member. And you're not going to die." It's on the fence, but leaning favorably. "You have an infirmary here, and I saw someone without a face. Or head. You'll be fine. Rokoa's coming."
>"Rokoa is badly injured."

I can't argue with that. She's still got a limp from my taking a chunk off her foot. For all intents and purposes, she shouldn't be walking, let alone messing with a vernaut. One of Rokoa's entourage just got silenced, too. Then another explosion in the engine room, enough to shake the whole ship, but that may have been another vernaut.

"Will your queen ever leave peacefully? Negotiate, or anything, or just backstab?"
>"I don't... know. Rokoa... may have a point. We're all loyal, even her, but... how to show loyalty to the hive is in question."
He's drifting off again.

>Give rations
I almost apply rations to his face, but right now he does not have a functioning stomach. In fact, I had better let his body induce hibernation after all, because it is taking far longer than it should for help to come to him. He's starting to like me far more than he has business liking me, anyway. It's starting to confuse some of the more nearby neumono.
>>
No. 445939 ID: f2974f

We made a friend!

Let him slip to unconsciousness and lets head for the armory and find something with what we can create a "Huge explosion" if the CAI cant hack open the bridge doors.
>>
No. 445943 ID: 68f2f2

>>445938
>He's starting to like me far more than he has business liking me, anyway. It's starting to confuse some of the more nearby neumono.

That's actually good for you. That will slow their reaction speed to you. You'll be able to move a *bit* more openly as they have way more important things to worry about. Anyway, let him hibernate. He's pretty much just confirmed what you already suspected. The bridge is in lockdown and you'll need the CAI hack to get in. Best get to hopping.
>>
No. 445944 ID: d6c330

>Rokoa v vernaunt
Machine gun fire? Damn, I was expecting her to be carrying heavier ordnance. She likes explosives, and you'd expect her to be prepared if she was deliberately hunting those things. Maybe she's gonna huck a bomb down it's throat?

No way to know if she'll win, and we can't afford to help her kill it (then we'd lose any Korli help, and all the monsters turn Polo hostile). Not that there's much a difference you could make with your current ordinance.

Good luck Rokoa. Don't you dare die.

>confusing happy vibes
Yeeeah, war hive not used to cuddly battle field triage tactics. Time to let him pass out. They know he's here and alive now, someone will be along to recover him. He's as fine as you're going to be able to make him.

Time to move on. Thank him and go. Helmet(s) up, check the armory, get Korli back on the line. Talk as you loot. Speaking of which:

>Reestablishing with Korli
Sorry about that, it was getting a little personal there, and I needed the room to think.

I've got a location. If tell you where the target is, can I trust you to use the CAI to get me in, and not just flood the place with monsters? ...and your plan isn't to crash or blow or crash the ship, is it? I know you're at war, but I'm not keen to aid a genocide.

(At this point, I think we can probably trust her answer. The Salikai have never backstabbed any deals we've made with them).
>>
No. 445960 ID: c6ec33

>>445938
You've got all you can get. Wish him luck, gently lower him back into a good hibernation pose, and GTFO to at LEAST a good hiding spot. I don't think we actually want to run into Rokoa here without a solid answer of HOW to get all these motherfuckin' monsters off her motherfuckin' spaceship.

Speaking of which, when you put your helmet back on, start asking questions. Ask what the Salikai hopes to accomplish here. And what it would take for them to pull their troops back and GTFO.

Afterwards, THEN we can consider sharing the queen's current location and fortifications. I don't think we'll be able to get in to her on our own.
>>
No. 445961 ID: f09b71
File 134556677543.png - (19.37KB , 700x700 , 794.png )
445961

I thank the QI before I catch his name and he drifts off. I get the explosive shotgun and move on. There is a parking zone for dropoffs, but a distinct main entry point.

>"Why'd you cut communication?"
"Things got personal."
>"The head salikai didn't like that at all, uh, just keep that in mind."
"If I tell you where the queen is, and you get the CAI to let me in, can I trust you all to not just flood the place with monsters? What is your goal, anyway?"
>"Uh... sorry, I'm not allowed to tell you that."

The door is not locked, and as usual I stay to the side and use my knife to see around the corner. I don't sense any neumono right in the hallway. In fact, I don't sense any nearby at all. It's more silent than I would have thought.
>>
No. 445962 ID: f09b71
File 134556681236.png - (17.20KB , 700x700 , 795.png )
445962

BLAMBLAMBLAM

A turret. It actually fired at my reflection before I knew what I was even looking at, and hit the knife dead on.
>>
No. 445964 ID: 886a4d

Time for that gernade. Think you can bounce it off the wall to the turrets approximate position?

>>Can't tell you their goal

... they want the ship. They know their Spire is now comprimised and now they want the friggin ship to skedaddle.
>>
No. 445966 ID: f2974f

>>445964
I am not sure about the grenade plan, if the turret is so fast and accurate wont it be able to shoot the grenade in mid flight? Or did it only shoot at the knife because of our reflection?

Only other thing i can think of is to either ask for CAI to hack the turret or just rush in hoping our armor can take some punishment and quickly either disable the turret or find cover inside, tough this should be our last option.
>>
No. 445967 ID: 68f2f2

>>445962

I wouldn't pit Neumono reaction times against an auto-turret.

So it fired at your reflection, not the knife itself? Interesting. If that's the case then it's got some good image recognition software. Don't suppose you can get around it?

Are you in another jamming field? Keep talking to the Salikai. It doesn't matter what they want as long as they can clear you a path.
>>
No. 445968 ID: c6ec33

>>445963
The turret can hit an object the size of a knife. It will have no problem shooting down a grenade if it's programmed to do so, which is something I sure as hell would add if I were programming it.

>>445962
Close door, notify Korli, ask for advice. Possibly CAI support hacking turret. Odds are that the armory will be heavily protected by turrets from all approaches, so figuring out how to knock them out now is a good idea. Odds are also good that someone in the war-hive was alerted to your location by the turret firing at you.

For infiltration, it's probably best to do things in a way that does not alert the war-hive to Polo's presence, so blowing up turrets or deactivating ALL turrets is a bad move.

Depending on how their computer security is set up, it might be easier to add Polo to the "friendly target list" than to shut down the turret completely. Or you could possibly shut down just turret targeting sensors, so it wouldn't be able to find a target to shoot at.

I think our best bet is to try to hack the friendly/not friendly system. Stick Polo on the friendly list and the Queen on the non-friendly list. If we're lucky, there's a turret on the bridge.

Also, while we're at it, since the Salikai won't talk about ITs goals, let's try to convince them to align with OUR goals. We've already revealed that we're after a "permanent solution" to the queen problem, so let's explain the benefits of doing so. Point out that the war hive is in a state of questionable leadership, and replacing the queen would likely result in a leader that would be willing to negotiate a cease-fire and withdrawal of troops from the facility, as well as a withdrawal of the war-hive from the planet.

If that doesn't seem interesting to the Salikai, we know that they're going for something more extreme. Like wiping out the entire hive. And if that's the case, we'll have to make some tough decisions about whose side we're really on.
>>
No. 445969 ID: d6c330

Well, at least the knife didn't shatter. You can retrieve it. Hit the button that closes the door back up.

Okay, they're in lock down, and the armory is set to shoot up anyone who opens the door. You probably have to enter something on the keypad there to get them to shut down- it can't possibly be set up to recognize every member of the hive and fire on anyone / anything else.

We can't bounce a grenade, we don't know what the floor looks like in there, or where the turret is located. The knife was knocked away before Polo could focus. Besides, throwing a grenade into a place filled with weapons and munitions may not be such a good idea.

>Can't tell you.
Damn. That almost certainly means something we won't like. Capturing the ship is interesting, but they might just as well want to blow or crash it. All three end up with the hive dead, which isn't what we want.

We may need them to take the bridge. But if we give them the bridge, they can do whatever the hell they want.

What are you allowed to tell me Korli? I've been honest, and put a lot of trust in you here. Be nice to get a little in return.
>>
No. 445972 ID: f09b71
File 134556927236.png - (13.66KB , 700x700 , 796.png )
445972

It only appeared to shoot at the knife once my reflection, but a grenade is iffy. It also does not feel like I am in a jamming field, though that can be hard to tell. I close the door and retrieve my knife.

>"SHIT. Er, sorry."
"Talk to me. What's the word on the CAI? Can I get assistance with that turret?"
>"Uh.. one of our mikliks might be headed to the armory, actually. But we don't have access, they're still in a CAI defensive posture, so you might just be able to wait for help if you're not in immediate danger. Then again... well, anyway."
"You know, if the queen is replaced, the hive may be more willing to negotiate some kind of cease fire."
>"Sorry, it's a bit late to change much, and I don't think we're so willing to change much."
"I'm putting a lot of trust in you, here. It would be nice to get some in return."
>"I'm sorry, I do trust you, but I am under supervision and orders here."

I look back down the tunnel. A lot of the lights are off, but I hear an explosion, then silence. No vernaut growls or roars, and I can't sense Rokoa or her buddies.
>>
No. 445973 ID: 886a4d

... fuckit, lets go check on Rokoa while we wait for the miklik
>>
No. 445974 ID: d6c330

Okay, we're stuck, for the moment. We need either need the CAI to get us into the armory so we can break into the bridge ourselves, or we need the CAI to hack us into the bridge.

I say we hold on telling the spire people our final destination, for now. We can always bring them into the loop later if we have to.

>>"I'm sorry, I do trust you, but I am under supervision and orders here."
Fine. We'll work with that for now. I'll be more forthcoming as I need to, or if the Salikai decide to trust me.

>>445973
Yeah, might as well.
>>
No. 445979 ID: b475a7

>>445972
Ask for a status report on the nearby vernaut while heading in that direction, looking for alt exits.
>>
No. 445981 ID: f09b71
File 134557425239.png - (37.81KB , 700x700 , 797.png )
445981

>Check on Rokoa
I head over. It smells like someone left a microwave on for too long.

"I'll work with that. What's the status on the vernaut?"
>"Uh, we lost contact with it after Rokoa found it, we're not sure how it's doing, bu..."
"Found it."
>>
No. 445983 ID: 735f4f

Anybody still alive in that mouth?
>>
No. 445984 ID: 886a4d

Rokoa once agian proves shes the BAMF of the hive. Any sign of her?
>>
No. 445985 ID: d6c330

...I don't know enough about their physiology to say for sure, but that thing looks dead. Is blowing off their heads open fatal?

It's not Rokoa in the mouth at least, the fur is too blue. I don't think you're strong enough to lift those jaws open anyways.

Okay, don' prod the dead beast in case it isn't dead, and be wary, Rokoa or her surviving companion could be about, or be hurt (or dead). Look around, see if anything's up.
>>
No. 445986 ID: e3f578

This image makes me wonder what a vernaut steak tastes like.
Ask Korli if she's ever had some.
>>
No. 445987 ID: d6c330

>>445986
I doubt she has, unless that's part of how the Salikai abuse the Pinkie hive. According to Polo,
>and vernaut meat is, I hear, plain bad.
>>
No. 445992 ID: f2974f

Any big weapons or useful equipment laying around?

Didin't Koril mention that all the Vernauts had some explosives with them? See if the body still has those with it.
>>
No. 446008 ID: b85f8c

>>445981
If the neumono in its mouth is alive, open it up.
>>
No. 446012 ID: 6a1ec2

She's being supervised and can't tell you vital mission parameters? Ask to speak to her supervisor! I bet they could tell you.
>>
No. 446052 ID: f09b71
File 134559341932.png - (21.37KB , 700x700 , 798.png )
446052

The vernaut isn't making any signs of life. The arm, whether or not be belongs to Rokoa, has a heartbeat, is large enough to be Rokoa's, and despite being broken, is mildly responsive to touch.

"Have you ever had vernaut meat?"
>"Uh, no."
"And really, what happened to the explosives on this thing?"
>"I think they got damaged in the blast, we can't arm them from here, even though they should be on that vernaut still."

I can't lift the jaws of this thing. There is, however, some knocked out teeth on the other side I can use as entrances.
>>
No. 446053 ID: b85f8c

Go peek inside.
>>
No. 446057 ID: 886a4d

Well lets get that Neumino out of there. I say we gather those explosives.. SoB did say we would need QI support OR explosives and those would do nicely.
>>
No. 446064 ID: b33427

Head around the other side, but don't go in immediately. Use your nightvision to check inside first.

Do you have anything that could break or cut loose the teeth holding that neumono? Maybe a plasma rifle shot to the gumline? Check around for dropped weapons that could be used here.

Perhaps you could pull one of the armor plates off the vernaut, and use it as a shield against the turret fire in the armory. Just haul it upright, and tighten the strap around your midsection, and shuffle on in there. If the plate can absorb the shots with little or no damage, you might even be able to run out the ammo supply on the turrets, giving you free run.
>>
No. 446072 ID: b85f8c

Oh, they might be expecting a grottle or something, so call out before you poke your head in there.
>>
No. 446074 ID: 886a4d

>>446064
That is a pretty good idea. The smaller plates of armor should be perfect.
>>
No. 446080 ID: d6c330

Korli, this thing is dead, right?

Godsdamn, it would be just like Rokoa to blow the thing's skull off from the inside.

>>446064
This sounds reasonable for investigating the body. Not sure about the turret plan though. Running out the ammo could take a while, and sustained fire would likely attract the hive. As for advancing with the shield, what happens if there's another turret off to the side?
>>
No. 446085 ID: f09b71
File 134559645912.png - (17.49KB , 700x700 , 799.png )
446085

>Use vernaut armor to block turret
Yeah... could work, if troublesome. It isn't perfect, but the hive is getting spread thin even if the turret does alert them. I'll try lifting a plate to see if I can even carry it in the first place.

>Look around for weapon
As luck would have it, there's a dropped plasma sword. I'm able to cut out the gumline and teeth to make a hole on this side.

"Korli, this vernaut dead?"
>"I'm going to say yes."
"And your supervisor can't tell me vital mission parameters? I don't suppose they'd be willing to speak with me?"
>"Sorry, they're busy with everything else! Well, almost. They do want you to find Rokoa and make sure she's dead. Our miklik should be there before too long. Oh, and my supervisor is telling me to remind you not to cut communication, sorry!"
>>
No. 446087 ID: f09b71
File 134559662670.png - (21.98KB , 700x700 , 800.png )
446087

Takes no time at all for me to close my suit up tight to block the smell.

It was Rokoa after all. Stupid, heavy girl, I have to end up protecting her after all! And she's wearing bio armor, at that. She must have been trying to fight while it fuses to her, as there is no way she was able to put bio armor on properly in such short time. And it's still likely binding to her, the damn idiot. Other than the fact that it's still taking its toll on her, she's in one piece, surprisingly. Although as I go about lifting her up, I am realizing that her insides what's taken the beating.

She grunts, starting to wake up on me.
>>
No. 446090 ID: 4a328b

Say "Rokoa's dead..." Act like you're getting choked up over the death of your weird lover, say, "sorry, I need a moment," and cut communication~

Then see how this psycho is ACTUALLY feeling.
>>
No. 446091 ID: e3f578

Remind Korli that you are a neutral third party and do not answer to them. Even if they have big beasties you really can't take on, they still have no real practical reason to threaten you with them.
You'll do as you please with your communication. And you'll remind them that your goal will help them as much as it'll help you and a few people in this hive. They have more at stake if they stop helping you for something as little as privacy. You are the "cuddle hives"'s soldier and work for no one else, you're merely helping everyone out up here of mutual beneficiary objectives. Otherwise you would have been long gone. You are not their hitman, you are not their lackey, you are not their bitch.
>>
No. 446093 ID: b6edd6

>>446091
Straight up saying that we don't answer to them does not seem like a good idea at this point.
>>
No. 446097 ID: d6c330

...there's no good way to swing this. We can't cover up the fact she's alive by going dark again. They'll know what that means.

I think you're better off refusing orders than cutting them off blindly. They'll take that as a complete break. Backtalk might be salvageable.

Talk fast, we gotta do this before Rokoa wakes.

Korli, I told you at the onset why I was here. I agreed to accept your aid for a common goal, and to leave your monsters alone if they left me alone. At no point did I agree to be your murderer, or to follow your superiors orders. If the Salikai want more from me, I'm going to need more from them. Pass that along.

Then cut the call.

Theeeeen see about not getting maimed by Rokoa as she wakes up. I doubt she's in a cuddly mood right now.

"Hey Rokoa? For future refrence, dumping your inflitrator in a well lit room covered in cameras isn't the best way to start a stealth mission."
>>
No. 446098 ID: fa9f7e

>>446097
Yep.
>>
No. 446109 ID: 886a4d

>>446097
Yes this.
>>
No. 446111 ID: b85f8c

>>446087
They don't share our visuals, do they?

Drop her, set the plasma rifle near her, and hold up a finger to your face as she wakes up to signal her to be quiet. Say "No visual on Rokoa and I can't sense her. The vernaut must've eaten her. Making my way to the bridge now." And leave. Rokoa will be able to handle herself and she can meet us at the bridge later to help, if she wants.

Try lifting an armor plate and using it to get past the sentry. The explosives on the vernaut should be able to blast open the bridge, too...
>>
No. 446114 ID: f09b71
File 134560096259.png - (20.93KB , 700x700 , 801.png )
446114

>Cut the communication
"Far as I can tell, Rokoa is dead. Give me a moment. I accepted your aid for a common goal. I didn't agree to be your hitman and murderer, or to follow your superiors orders. If they want more from me, I'll need more for them." I don't allow for a response before I cut it and drop Rokoa to a wall less gently than I would have liked, but it was hard enough just moving her.

>"Who're you talking to? Can't feel my arm. That thing still there?"
"Why? You want it removed?"
She is pretty mad, I don't know why. So am I, I also don't know why.
"For the record, dumping your infiltrator in a room covered in cameras isn't how stealth missions are supposed to start."
>"Yeah? Didn't do too bad though, did you? How's your mission doing? Still can't believe you took it."

Other than being increasingly pissed off, and conversely glad that I'm alive, I can't read her at all. I'd leave, but despite that usual grin and not being torn in half, I'm not so convinced that she can take care of herself. I doubt that she just passes out when it strikes her fancy to do so. I'll still leave a plasma rifle with her at least. Or maybe a pistol, if she can't use one of her arms at all.
>>
No. 446115 ID: fa9f7e

>>446114
Alternatively, pretend to leave while doing nothing to help her and see if she objects. Whether or not she does, pause and toss a loaded firearm over your shoulder at the wounded, angry psychopath.
>>
No. 446116 ID: 886a4d

How do you think its going? I got to the top of the damn ship looking for a weapon to take out your queen. Met some of your friends along the way... they are all alive in case your wondering... Went off the side of the ship and ended up at the bottom right back where I started pretty much... then monsters started wrecking the place. I think the term is FUBAR.

At least I have a weapon and I know where the queen is now. I'd be on my way if I didn't have to save your sorry ass.

thats my day so far... so hows yours been sweetheart?
>>
No. 446117 ID: e3f578

Look back to the vernaut. "You and the events around you are absolutely coated in insanity. Fuck, who killed it?"

You have communication with Korli and the bunch. You seem to be getting help from everyone you were physically in contact with. She's offering some CAI and mikluk assistance, that is if you haven't pissed off her superiors too much. You, again, are just some stupid third party in the middle of this chaos now. The vernauts might actually be coming after you next. Whatever, you don't care. If you can't hack into the bridge, you'll just blow it to hell. Killing the queen is going to be the real hard part. We could shove this stick of C4 up her ass or down her throat but you'd have to get pretty close than far away really fast to detonate it.
>>
No. 446118 ID: 4a328b

Didn't get a chance to take out your queen before these bozos showed up. On the one hand, it seems like it might be a bad idea to open the way to the bridge while they're still around. On the other hand, doing so would probably get the queen killed.

Apply rations to Rokoa's face, if she has a functioning stomach.
>>
No. 446119 ID: b85f8c

She's probably angry that you of all people found her like this. And you're angry because she's supposed to be BETTER than this. She gave you so much trouble that seeing her like this is a blow to your own self esteem.

Give her a summary of the various awesome things we've done, and tell her we know where the queen is but she's locked in the bridge and we're going to need a shitload of explosives to get there or somehow convince the salikai to unlock it for us, despite the fact that we just cut them off.
>>
No. 446123 ID: 0c2247

>>446114
"The queen fortified her position with everything she could. Everybody else seems to be stretched too thin.
I need the bug's help to get to the queen, and I told them you're dead. If they find out you're not then it's going to become impossible, so you need to lay low until I've gotten to the queen."
Then kiss her angrily
"Get your ass to the infirmary and stay there."
>>
No. 446124 ID: a3b384

"If you want a rifle, clap. For a pistol just flip me off."
>>
No. 446129 ID: 4a328b

Anyway we should let her know about the other QI and that a miklik's targeting the armory apparently, and let her make a call on what she wants to do.
>>
No. 446135 ID: b33427

Tell Rokoa that you had just managed to fake her hive into thinking you'd parachuted away, when the salikai's fuckin' menagerie came up the teleporter. Now the queen's bunkered down in the Bridge and you need high explosives from the armory to bust in. Ask if she knows how to shut down the auto-turrets in the armory so you don't have to lug this chunk of vernaut armor along to block them.
>> <