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File 138856080955.png - (14.16KB , 600x400 , bloom.png )
554553 No. 554553 ID: 1e6280

Even if it seems hopeless, don't you dream of escape?
Expand all images
>>
No. 554554 ID: 1e6280
File 138856086621.png - (12.52KB , 600x400 , its_dark_here.png )
554554

The prisoner awakens; drowsy, feverish and curiously satiated. It's dark here. It smells like blood and scorched metal and ozone. The floor quivers in tune with muffled thumps. Far away, sirens wail with an alien, three-tone ascending modulation. Something important is going on, something dangerous, but she needs to lie here a while and regain her strength.

Her body feels sluggish and sore but her thoughts are racing, bouncing around her skull like they're trying to escape.

She can't remember who she is. She thinks maybe, if she can just try to remember her name...
>>
No. 554555 ID: d46ef3

Butt Jones.

Your name is Butt Jones.
>>
No. 554557 ID: 5869f6

Marie Dietrich
>>
No. 554558 ID: 1e9bd6

Roselle
>>
No. 554560 ID: 9ddf68

Alice
all you can remember about your name is Alice, I mean how often does one use there last name after all.
>>
No. 554566 ID: fb4e93

Haha, well YOU picked a thing to do right as the new year hit!

Darcy Mitburgh, or a vote for Marie Dietrich, though "Butt Jones" would be pretty funny.

Also, do you REMEMBER that you're a prisoner? Do you remember why? I suspect an escape may be going on; you may want to get in on that.
>>
No. 554567 ID: 1e6280
File 138856754164.png - (13.01KB , 600x400 , an_astronaut_is_you.png )
554567

>Your name is Butt Jones.
Her name is... What, no. That's not it at all. Where are these stupid ideas coming from?

>Marie Dietrich
That's familiar but not quite it, the prisoner thinks. Hazy impressions coalesce. Yes, that's her grandmother's name. The old lady was quite an inspiration. She's why she decided to join the Survey Corps.

>Alice
Her heart thumps for a moment. She's Alice. Alice Dietrich.

>All you can remember about your name is Alice, I mean how often does one use their last name after all.
Alice uses it a lot. Survey ships have a small crew but they're usually not on a first name basis.

>Also, do you REMEMBER that you're a prisoner? Do you remember why? I suspect an escape may be going on; you may want to get in on that.
The Survey Corps. That's it. Her ship, the Penguin, had been attacked. The Xotl. Light years out of their territory. In the chaos, the crew hadn't been able to do a clean wipe on the ship's data core. The Xotl'd managed to recover the crew roster. They'd taken the ranking officers for questioning and set the others aside for... other purposes.

Prioritise the following:
Combat: The eggheads need some protection when they're off exploring possibly hostile exoplanets.
Science: Linguistics, archaeology, medicine and xenobiology, oh my.
Engineering: No-one's exploring anything if the ship explodes on the way there.
>>
No. 554569 ID: 9ddf68

1) combat - because fuck those sexist stereotypes

2) Engineering - don't fight all the time after all and besides something always seems to brake on those damn ships

3) Science - you know what you were taught but even in space, it wasn't really your job to remember all this stuff, I'd say your more out of practice with it than anything but yeah, not your biggest strength, that's for sure.
>>
No. 554571 ID: 8aeb05

1: Combat, things work better when you force it.
2: Engineering, things work better because you make them to work better, and know how to do so.
3: Science, thing work better when you understand it(ha, yeah right)
>>
No. 554572 ID: 2f4b71

1) Engineering
2) Combat
3) Science
>>
No. 554573 ID: 379075

Science, then Engineering, then Combat:
We're dealing with aliens here, nothing they use is going to be built according to human production standards so science is more important than engineering. Also, combat really sucks as a means of keeping people alive.
>>
No. 554575 ID: ae98d5

>>554569
This has my vote
>>
No. 554576 ID: 1aa5f4

Fight, fix, learn!
>>
No. 554581 ID: 53ba34

engineering, combat, science.
>>
No. 554582 ID: 1e6280
File 138858593103.png - (21.72KB , 600x400 , recovered_record.png )
554582

>1: Combat, things work better when you force it.
>2: Engineering, things work better because you make them to work better, and know how to do so.
Alice is beginning to remember a little about who she is supposed to be. That's progress. The Survey Corps takes a lot of recruits from the military so she signed up there first. She knew what she wanted, wasn't be afraid at being forceful about it, distinguished herself once or twice, and hooRAH, she got in. Helped she was good with her hands - with a normal crew size of eight people, there can't be a strict division of roles.

She's living the dream: to go to space, see strange new places, meet exotic new life forms and sometimes kill them.

Shame it's looking more like a nightmare.

>We're dealing with aliens here, nothing they use is going to be built according to human production standards so science is more important than engineering.
Alice only knows the basics, like assessing exot behaviour and never touch anything in a Precursor ruin but the Xotl do get coverage in the Survey Corps training. No surprises given they're vicious little psuedoreptiles with a profound sense of manifest destiny, no regard for exot life and a penchant for meddling with forces they don't understand. They're aggressive, expansionist, and full fledged interstellar war can't be far away if they keep heading for Terran space.

That still doesn't explain why they have a base here though.
>>
No. 554583 ID: 1e6280
File 138858604906.png - (12.04KB , 600x400 , a_sound.png )
554583

>Combat really sucks as a means of keeping people alive.
Alice disagrees! Threats are very bad at killing people if you kill them first!

The thumps stop and the alarm dies down. There's a sequence of three oddly musical sounds and then a papery whispering. It's still distant. Alice suspects power might have been knocked out completely in this area. Seems awfully strange there's no emergency lighting though. This room's tiny. She can barely lie down.

Alice doesn't speak horrible space lizard very fluently. The announcement is something about they've come under attack and damage to the facility has released a... bad thing? A contaminant?
>>
No. 554584 ID: 53ba34

try all the walls. maybe they meant cells?
>>
No. 554586 ID: 6ed3b7

>>554583
>damage to the facility has released a... bad thing? A contaminant?
Well, you might need those combat skills after all then.

First things first; feel around the room/cell. What can you find?
Are there any hatches, buttons, lights, vents etc?
>>
No. 554589 ID: 2baea8

Oh hey, are we the alien flower growing on your head?
We've actually been a flower growing on someone's head before, so we need to know this for future reference.

If it's barely large enough for you to lie down, you might be in a maintenance shaft or maybe a morgue? Feel around a bit, see if anything feels like it opens.
>>
No. 554590 ID: 1e9bd6

...you don't appear terribly clothed. And your hair was cut above your shoulder before. Anyone with a military background or who works with machines or who has worked in zero-g understands the value of keeping hair short. And there appears to be a flower in your hair too.

Which means what? You've been unconscious long enough for your hair to grow out, and plants to grow over you? That the Xotl did something to you? That you've already been affected by whatever containment they're squawking about?
>>
No. 554591 ID: cf49fc

>>554582
Well, best get up. Try to find some clothing. Or an atomic maser rifle. Or a splint.
>>
No. 554595 ID: 9b57d3

>>554583
Examine the walls. Perhaps you can break them.
>>
No. 554596 ID: 379075

>>Alice disagrees! Threats are very bad at killing people if you kill them first!

Most threats can't be killed, like hypothermia, hyperthermia, starvation, dehydration, asphyxiation, radiation and toxin exposure and so on. Space is a very bad place to be caught with an extra gun when what you need is to make breathable air from a comet using improvised tools.

>Seems awfully strange there's no emergency lighting though. This room's tiny. She can barely lie down.

Engineering a power-failure is a potential strategy for trying to make a breakout in a prison. It seems that the Xotl would prefer to err on the side of unnecessary prisoner casualties instead of risking design features like emergency lighting for cells that can potentially favour a breakout. What *can* you do trapped in a small, dark room? Theoretically we could use morse code to tap on the walls and check for fellow prisoners, but thermo-acoustic insulation is cheap compared to coordinated prisoner action, eh?
>>
No. 554610 ID: 9ddf68

feel around for a door or something, I mean if you got in here there's got to be a way out.
>>
No. 554622 ID: 1aa5f4

How long have you been growing that hair out? It's short enough in that ID it can't be too recent a photo, but you don't seem to have the crazy long nails to suggest you've been out so long as to go all Rip Van Winkle.
>>
No. 554700 ID: 5eea01

Is...something groping your butt there?
>>
No. 554725 ID: 1e6280
File 138866328494.png - (12.62KB , 600x400 , show_that_wall_whos_boss.png )
554725

>Most threats can't be killed, like hypothermia, hyperthermia, starvation, dehydration, asphyxiation, radiation and toxin exposure and so on. Space is a very bad place to be caught with an extra gun when what you need is to make breathable air from a comet using improvised tools.
Alice thinks that a presumably well stocked alien base isn't the place to be worrying about that.

>...you don't appear terribly clothed.
The Xotl aren't big on prisoner welfare! They confiscated Alice's uniform. It makes sense, she supposes, given it's modestly bulletproof and an emergency pressure suit, but she's sure she at least had underwear previously.

>How long have you been growing that hair out? It's short enough in that ID it can't be too recent a photo
...Alice's ID photo was taken only a week before shipping out on the Penguin. It shouldn't be this long unless she's missing a lot of time. Her hair feels slightly tacky and doesn't want to separate into strands easily. It's got some sort of gunk in it? Something screwy is going on.

>And there appears to be a flower in your hair too.
>Which means what? You've been unconscious long enough for your hair to grow out, and plants to grow over you? That the Xotl did something to you? That you've already been affected by whatever containment they're squawking about?
Alice gingerly feels for the flower. There's a fleshy texture to it and it is firmly attached. It hurts when she tries to pull it off.

>Is...something groping your butt there?
ALICE WOULD PREFER TO GET ON WITH THE ESCAPING RATHER THAN PONDER THAT THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING GROPING HER BUTT AND THESE OTHER THINGS.

>What *can* you do trapped in a small, dark room? Theoretically we could use morse code to tap on the walls and check for fellow prisoners, but thermo-acoustic insulation is cheap compared to coordinated prisoner action, eh?
Alice taps the wall experimentally anyway. Nothing.

>First things first; feel around the room/cell. What can you find?
>Are there any hatches, buttons, lights, vents etc?
Alice checks the walls, the floor and the ceiling. The cell, if that's what it is, is metal cube about a meter and half on a side. If there's any mechanisms, they're not designed to be opened from the inside. No openings at all. This can't possibly be intended as a long term holding cell.

The sounds from outside are a little louder near one of the walls.

>Examine the walls. Perhaps you can break them.
Alice braces herself and kicks that wall, hard. It gives way a little. A few more kicks and it pops loose.
>>
No. 554726 ID: 1e6280
File 138866332424.png - (13.57KB , 600x400 , huh_whats_that.png )
554726

The hatch drops to the floor with a clang. Alice grabs the top edge and to stop it falling over and making more noise. Heavy.

Alice hears footsteps and then a door sliding open. She can see the shadow of someone in the light cast by the doorway. Casteless xotl, judging by the height. Looks like he's here to check the noise. And has a gun. Shit.

He'll see the panel the moment he rounds the corner. She's a sitting duck here. Have to rush him and hope for the best.
>>
No. 554727 ID: 1e6280
File 138866334951.png - (22.29KB , 600x400 , y_hallo_thar.png )
554727

Alice leaps out of cover screaming like a maniac, hoping that'll put off his aim.

The xotl looks like he almost died on the spot from shock but he's on the ball for a little space lizard.

He gets a shot off, squawking like a chicken. Alice feels pain explode in her gut as she gets in arm's reach of him.

Alice has lost two mass. 48 mass remaining.

High on pain and adrenaline, Alice knocks his gun arm aside, wraps her arm around it and heaves, with her other arm pressing against his neck-piece. The squawking rises an octave as she feels bones snap and muscles tear. Tangling him up with her ???'s, she hammers a fist down on his soft little amphibian skull and caves it in. The squawking immediately stops.

What- what the hell. She practically dismembered him. Alice just isn't that strong, even when she's taking full soldier boosts.

...

He smells delicious.
>>
No. 554731 ID: 53ba34

EAT
>>
No. 554733 ID: 6ed3b7

>>554727
I think YOU were the thing that just escaped.

Anyway, lets save the shock, horror and self-reflection for later.
It's quite likely that the shot was heard, and more guards will be coming. Let's set an ambush for them - hide back in your cell with the body, then come out with the gun when they show up.

We'll deal with the next step once they're dead.
>>
No. 554737 ID: 1e9bd6

...you're in the light now. Look down at yourself. You don't appear exactly human, anymore.

Pity you don't know their language. Discovering what they did to you is going to require reading alien biological records, medical reports, experiment logs. Hmm. Maybe if you steal the data, you can get someone else to analyze or translate it. Assuming you get out of here, or there's more of your crew somewhere in this base.

>EAT
No time for that. You need to get away from the immediate area of your cell and the gunshot and all that other noise you made. If it wasn't heard, someone will be along to check up on the guard who didn't report back soon. Likely more than one someone, with more guns.

Also: first rule of changing into a horrible monster is to test how much self control you have. If you can't control your instincts when you want to, that means you won't be safe around other humans.

How bad is your injury?

You should test if you can still speak, actually.

Take the gun.
>>
No. 554739 ID: 5869f6

Alice.

Something happened. I want you to look at yourself.
>>
No. 554740 ID: 53ba34

>>554737
we can at least eat his head right? it's unarmored. and what if we are an assimilator, so eating brains gives us their memories? also it was noted we loss mass from the wound. critters are made of mass.
>>
No. 554743 ID: 6ed3b7

Definitely don't eat him.
>>
No. 554744 ID: 9b57d3

Snack on his arm while you check yourself out.
>>
No. 554748 ID: 9ccb59

>>554737
>If you can't control your instincts when you want to, that means you won't be safe around other humans.
Shes not around other humans, She is around enemies who want to kill or capture her and she has just been shot. It would be stupid not to restore her mass, she can learn self restraint when her life isn't on the line.
>>
No. 554749 ID: 1e9bd6

>>554748
Yes, but the immediate test is to see if she can choose not to consume when her biology is screaming at her to do it. If she can't, she needs to know that now, not later. Because that's going to shape our long term plans. It's not about learning restraint- it's about testing if we still have it at all.

...also, despite space monster cliches, we don't actually know how fast she can regenerate biomass, or consume baddies and turn them into herself. If it isn't a fantastically rapid process, then staying here and eating as opposed to getting the fuck away before more people show up to investigate the gunshots is stupid. That wasn't a quiet kill.
>>
No. 554750 ID: b8ceae

>>554727
I think they modded you into a weapon so they would unleash you on other humans. Eating sentients may not be the best course of action, since you don't want to weaken your humanity - what would people think if they found out you munched on things that talk? They won't be guarding the mess hall; go devour their food supply.
Disregard this if humans already eat these guys.

While you want to free your friends, take control of the ship, and head back to human space so you can warn people about what these fucks are doing, you're going to want to attack places they wouldn't anticipate, and do so without a pattern for them to use against you.

Make sure you can still form words - don't want to come across your allies as a flash-ripping monster only to be unable to communicate.
>>
No. 554751 ID: 53ba34

>>554749
>stay and eat
we can just rip a part of it off and eat while moving.
>>
No. 554752 ID: 1a06cd

Don't eat it. Humans don't eat sentient creatures. You don't look human anymore but if you eat everyone you run into you really won't be human anymore.

Try to suppress the hunger for now. Take his gun and look out into the room he came from.
>>
No. 554756 ID: 1e9bd6

Oh, and don't forget to check him for any useful equipment besides the gun. The armor is the wrong shape, but he may have been carrying other tools or supplies that will be useful to you.
>>
No. 554765 ID: cf49fc

>>554727
I recommend you abstain from eating the alien biology, and acquire his gun. Also, look at your hands.
>>
No. 554766 ID: 1aa5f4

Eating his head at least might not be a great idea. Assuming you've basically become The Thing, and it DID transfer memories, might be better off with just the one identity clattering around your noggin, you know?
>>
No. 554772 ID: 2baea8

It seems that a symbiotic alien plant has merged with your body, turning you into some type of predator.

You have sustained minor damage. Consume some of the Xotl to restore lost mass and salvage its equipment.
>>
No. 554776 ID: fb4e93

Hmm. Well, then.
...
You got any protocol for this kind of situation?

Our advice depends kinda on how you react to this, I think. I don't know whether to expect freaking out or taking it in stride. It also depends on, like, further information about circumstances. I'd agree that it's probably best to avoid eating dead sentient things where possible, but on the other hand, I've always kinda thought that if it's necessary, it's not like it makes them any deader.

I've always thought it might be kinda cool to get freakish lab mutant powers, but I might change my mind if it actually happened, I suppose. I'ma go see if Mitzi is around to give advice.
>>
No. 554778 ID: 9ddf68

...uh, panic later! For now we get the hell out of here, then we can panic till our heart gives in, then we can figure out what the hell happened.
>>
No. 554792 ID: eaa372

Grab any useful tech along with the gun and keep moving. Given how pathetic the security detail is in this section we want to move on while we still have the advantage. Keep an eye out for anything that looks like a security camera, we want to keep the lizards in the dark about what's going on.
>>
No. 554825 ID: 1e6280
File 138872436182.png - (22.63KB , 600x600 , wat_happn.png )
554825

>EAT
Yeah!

>Don't eat it. Humans don't eat sentient creatures.
Wait...

>...you're in the light now. Look down at yourself. You don't appear exactly human, anymore.
What the hell is going on?! Alice is... different. Her skin's gone rubbery, she's got claws for hands and her hair is an amorphous tentacled mass. Her heart is pounding, which implies she still has a heart at least.

How bad is your injury?
Alice's bullet wound itches. It should be doing more than just itching. Its gone tough and scaly like a scab and is weeping some dark, viscous fluid.

>Anyway, lets save the shock, horror and self-reflection for later.
No. Oh sweet Messenger no. Nonononononoono.

>You got any protocol for this kind of situation?
'So you're trapped in hostile territory and have become a carnivorous alien tentacle beast' is a little outside any situations the protocol planners came up with!!

Alice feels like she's hyperventilating. Is there any hope for her, even if she does escape?
>>
No. 554828 ID: 1e6280
File 138872439287.png - (17.03KB , 600x400 , r_u_ded.png )
554828

>Also: first rule of changing into a horrible monster is to test how much self control you have. If you can't control your instincts when you want to, that means you won't be safe around other humans.
Right. She needs to keep herself together. The other members of her crew might still be alive. Its her duty to get them out of here if she can.

>Pity you don't know their language. Discovering what they did to you is going to require reading alien biological records, medical reports, experiment logs. Hmm. Maybe if you steal the data, you can get someone else to analyse or translate it.
Alice does speak a little of the Xotl language, but she's not fluent enough for those sorts of technical documents. Still, if she can grab them, maybe there's a cure.

>You should test if you can still speak, actually.
Alice tries a few words.

"Ssshree sellgglgls ssseashrewlls by pthhhh seashroargggh!" It sounds like she's gargling molasses.
>>
No. 554829 ID: 1e6280
File 138872442416.png - (15.13KB , 750x400 , zoom_pwrz.png )
554829

>Take the gun.
Alice Dietrich is armed and dangerous now!

>Oh, and don't forget to check him for any useful equipment besides the gun.
Corpsy here has a few things in a little fanny pack. A datapad which is password locked, a spare clip of ammo and some sort of... smoothie?

>It's quite likely that the shot was heard, and more guards will be coming. Let's set an ambush for them - hide back in your cell with the body, then come out with the gun when they show up.
>Grab any useful tech along with the gun and keep moving. Given how pathetic the security detail is in this section we want to move on while we still have the advantage.
Alice looks around to help make up her mind. Move or lie in wait for any more guards? There's only one exit. Two places she could hide; there's the cell she was in and a big, tough looking metal trolley with two drawers in the side.

She glances at the control panel next to the cell. Power's out, but the label doesn't need power. She can read it.

...

It's an incinerator. She was inside an incinerator.
>>
No. 554830 ID: 9ddf68

huh, I wonder if they where simply trying to kill you... or get rid of evidence. I mean whatever happened to you looks like something someone would be a lot happier off knowing nobody else know about it.

As for what to do, Do you hear anyone coming your way? If not I say move now and try and get out of here in the confusion of whatever the hell is happening to this ship/station. If you do hear people coming, rushing out to meat them head on might be a bit reckless so an ambush would be wise.
>>
No. 554831 ID: b8ceae

>>554822
You're really strong now. Grab the incinerator door and the trolly. Bring them with you so you have mobile cover. Also, because then you can carry everything you looted off corpsy here in spite of not having pockets.

Can you identify the smoothy? Is it labeled?

Hmm... I suppose he's too oddly proportioned for you to fit into his armor. It looks like you might be able to use the torso piece.
It'd be a poor fit and would reduce your mobility a bit, but clothes is one of the visual cues people use to tell person from not-person. Also, it's armor.
>>
No. 554832 ID: 9b57d3

>>554829
Try taking a sip of the smoothie to see if it's to your liking. If not, then you may have to consider eating Xotl for nourishment, much as you don't want to. Also, make note that you are very strong now.

I say, whether or not you take a bite out of the lizard, we should poke our head out into the corridor. This isn't a good place to stage an ambush against alerted guards, especially since the gun you have is unlikely to be effective against their armor. We need to keep moving.

Oh, and make sure the guard's dead and not just knocked out. I'm sure you can easily twist his neck all the way around.
>>
No. 554833 ID: 53ba34

if they are already on their way they will probably spot you while you are in the hall. and you will have no cover. get behind the metal trolley and get ready for a fight.

then eat the corpses.
>>
No. 554834 ID: e3aff6

>Is there any hope for her, even if she does escape?
There are some exots that Terrans are not at war with, right? If so, it isn't out of the question to establish yourself as non-hostile, and then you will probably be ok unless the Terrans practice mad science or your condition develops in some particularly unpleasant way. Of course, all of that requires making your escape from the SpessLizards to begin with.

Can you move the cart to have it act as cover you can take with you?
>>
No. 554835 ID: 2baea8

Consume smoothie for sustenance.
Carry spare ammo and datapad with hair tentacles. The latter could be used for communication later, the former will be useful if your new claws hinder your ability to aim.
Exit room.
>>
No. 554836 ID: 1aa5f4

Couple points you might want to verify on the biology front so they don't trip you up down the road:

1- It seems your head flower thing has an eye on it, and your "hair" has been covering your right eye since you woke up. Cover your left and work out if you can see through the weird one. If not, that more or less confirms its just some freaky symbiotic critter. If so be aware of the weird eye position screwing with your equilibrium.

2- Regardless of the eye thing, you should at least try and peel the thing off. Because seriously, the way it's just kinda glommed onto your skull and excretory systems it really does give off a parasitic monster vibe.

3- Less supporting of the just-a-weird-critter glommed on bit, you seem to have a few new orifices on your torso there. And hands. Possibly other places. Those just lesions or redundant mouths or gills or what? You should poke at one a little just so you know for later.

All that being said, you have a perfect spot to stash a body right behind you. I'd do so and make yourself scarce.
>>
No. 554837 ID: f61fb9

can you figure out how to turn on the incinerator? if so it might be possible to hide the body, at least for a little while by reducing it to ash.
>>
No. 554838 ID: fb4e93

Ah. Focus on something else, like, look through the trolley. Anything interesting?

Bringing the trolly seems like it would hinder mobility and stealth. COULD make for good cover, I suppose. Note that anything we store in it would be difficult to recover if we had to flee suddenly.

>>554831
In line with suggestion about clothes, keep an eye out for them. I would expect clothes to go a long way in helping you if you ran into potential allies.

Also, do you know whether Xotl food was compatible with human biology? At least then you know that you'd originally have been able to eat it. I maintain the recommendation that you refrain from eating dead sentient things until/unless it becomes important.
>>
No. 554839 ID: cf49fc

>>554829
Alice. You are NOT a gun. You are who you CHOSE to be. So chose.

Also, if you want to know what a gun is, it's that thing you're holding in your hand. Why not see if you can find some clothing to make you feel more normal? Clearly the Xotl have done something they shouldn't have to yourself and your crewmates. You need to find a ship and get back to Sol to warn them!
>>
No. 554844 ID: 1e9bd6

>speech problems
Well, maybe you should avoid s-es. But you're not completely unintelligible. It might be possible to get messages across in the right circumstances. It's also possible, with practice (speech therapy?), you could learn to get your altered biology to make more recognizable sounds.

>Is there any hope for her, even if she does escape?
If there's a cure or the transformation is reversible, yes.

And yes even if you're stuck this way, assuming certain conditions are met. First up, assuming your mutation is stable and non-degenerative. The fact that you're alive and functioning at all after radical experimentation is a good sign, but it's no assurance you'll stay that way. And secondly, assuming your mental facilities stay intact.

Humans obviously aren't friendly with the Xotl, but are they friendly with any other alien species? If people are used to working or living with any other weird looking thing, a toothy plant person could be accepted, too. Or at least, it would make it easier to be accepted.

How benevolent is your government, or fleet, or whatever? What's humanity's science-types like? If something like you were to end up in the hands of the boys back home, would they be looking for a cure, whisking you off to a black site for dissection, or seriously considering the military applications of someone stronger than stims who can shrug off bullets naked?

>Oh sweet Messenger no.
Who's the messenger?

>ambush or leave
>it's an incinerator
Get the hell out of here. You incinerate things that are dangerous. They didn't want anything of you left. When they realize they underestimated the threat you pose, they're going to come down on you, hard. Or at least, that's what a smart commander would do. And you can't afford to bet your life on them being dumb.

>important question
If you're an experiment, there are only two reasons they would dispose of you. Either they thought you were a failure, or they thought you were too dangerous. If the former, that doesn't bode well. That means they were either wrong (and their science won't be much help to you) or they were right (and you're not long for this world). If the later... well, you're going to show them just how right they were.

>>554836
...let's not try and peel our eye off, thanks. Although you should check the right side of your face to see if you have three eyes or two, now.
>>
No. 554858 ID: eefbfd

Take as many pieces of the Xotl's clothing/armour as you can fit on you. "Unclothed tentacle monster" may send your fellow crew into a panic, but wearing clothes downgrades that to "somewhat toothy exot".
>>
No. 554865 ID: 6ed3b7

You are eventually going to need to dig that bullet out. Lets save that for another time though.
You could try to steal the guards clothes, but that might take too long.
The smoothie is probably edible and will help to keep your hunger under control, so start by eating that.

As for what you do next;
The incinerator changes things. It means that the Xotl see you as a serious threat. Ambushing the guards would have been been a good plan if there were only a few of them, but if they crack down hard you would be overwhelmed.

Instead, you should focus on running and hiding.
Hiding here won't work well (it's where they'll look first), so lets run as quickly as possible out of here. Take down any guards you come across, and try to find a good hiding place.

>Is there any hope for her, even if she does escape?
Your odds of living a happy life have been steadily climbing ever since you left the incinerator.
Now lets focus on surviving, okay?
>>
No. 554869 ID: b849b2

First of all, Alice, try to calm yourself down. Loot the guard of everything, including his clothes, and stuff him into the incinerator. If you can see a way to turn it on, do so. If not, abscond with your new equipment and find a place to hide for a little while. A few quick knots make a shirt into a bag, but you probably don't have time for that. Get out of there.
>>
No. 554901 ID: 34b2f2

What to eat or not to eat, what to take or not to take, whether to hole up or flee, the extent of the changes to her body; these are all important questions, but not the most important. If the Xotl have done this to you... what might they be doing to your crew?

Don't you think you should find out?
>>
No. 554965 ID: 1e6280
File 138880862149.png - (16.85KB , 600x560 , i_can_haz_smoothie.png )
554965

>Try taking a sip of the smoothie to see if it's to your liking.
Alice finds it tastes like fishy bacon. It actually tastes really good! She slurps down the rest. It's bit cold for her liking though.

Alice has gained 1 mass. Total mass is 49.

Strange. She was feeling full when she woke up, but now the moment she thinks about eating something, she's hungry again.

>Also, do you know whether Xotl food was compatible with human biology?
Yes it is. There's a surprising degree of biocompatibility between alien species. The leading theory is panspermia due to the Precursors.

>huh, I wonder if they were simply trying to kill you... or get rid of evidence. I mean whatever happened to you looks like something someone would be a lot happier off knowing nobody else know about it.
The Xotl might have thought she was a failed experiment, given she only woke up now. Then again, she doesn't really remember anything after getting captured and everything before that is patchy.

>Well, maybe you should avoid s-es. But you're not completely unintelligible. It might be possible to get messages across in the right circumstances. It's also possible, with practice (speech therapy?), you could learn to get your altered biology to make more recognizable sounds.
"Rrroun ahhhn rrrourrn tthhhckt ragglle rroksss pthh rrraggl rasscalglgls raaarn."

Perhaps she should stop trying tongue twisters.

>You seem to have a few new orifices on your torso there. And hands. Possibly other places. Those just lesions or redundant mouths or gills or what? You should poke at one a little just so you know for later.
Alice probes one experimentally. It's a slit that opens onto some red material underneath. The red flesh is fairly sensitive. It feels like it'll part if she keeps- OH SWEET MESSENGER IT OPENS UP LIKE A FLOWER.

>Who's the messenger?
The Messenger is the soul and emissary of the Sleeper, the prime mover who dreamt the universe out of blind chaos.

>It seems your head flower thing has an eye on it, and your "hair" has been covering your right eye since you woke up. Cover your left and work out if you can see through the weird one.
Alice tries that and... yes, she can see out of it. She has misplaced organs and orifices everywhere... this is getting a bit disturbing.

>Although you should check the right side of your face to see if you have three eyes or two, now.
Alice feels and... There's nothing under there. Just an empty socket.
>>
No. 554966 ID: 1e6280
File 138880872230.png - (10.00KB , 600x400 , you_got_the_pantsu.png )
554966

>Ah. Focus on something else, like, look through the trolley. Anything interesting?
A secret has been found.

Alice found her underwear! She also finds her hair clip and dog tags. Guess they were planning to dispose of those too?

>Why not see if you can find some clothing to make you feel more normal?
Alice is less naked now!

There's something in the other drawer...

Some ridiculous smily faced boxers and a pair of dog tags for 'E. Derby'.

He... he was part of her crew, she thinks.

>Oh, and make sure the guard's dead and not just knocked out.
Alice crushed his skull like an eggshell. He's very dead.

>Hmm... I suppose he's too oddly proportioned for you to fit into his armour. It looks like you might be able to use the torso piece.
It's not really the right shape. She could barely put it on, let alone move around in it.

>can you figure out how to turn on the incinerator? if so it might be possible to hide the body, at least for a little while by reducing it to ash.
There's no power and Alice broke the door. She stashes the body there anyway.

>Is there hope?
>And yes even if you're stuck this way, assuming certain conditions are met. First up, assuming your mutation is stable and non-degenerative. The fact that you're alive and functioning at all after radical experimentation is a good sign, but it's no assurance you'll stay that way. And secondly, assuming your mental facilities stay intact.
That's a lot of ifs.

>Humans obviously aren't friendly with the Xotl, but are they friendly with any other alien species? If people are used to working or living with any other weird looking thing, a toothy plant person could be accepted, too.
There's been peaceful contact with a few exoterran species. One of the crew of the Penguin is an exot, she thinks?

>How benevolent is your government, or fleet, or whatever? What's humanity's science-types like? If something like you were to end up in the hands of the boys back home, would they be looking for a cure, whisking you off to a black site for dissection, or seriously considering the military applications of someone stronger than stims who can shrug off bullets naked?
... Alice doesn't think so, but she isn't sure.
>>
No. 554969 ID: 1e6280
File 138880877135.png - (20.66KB , 1000x400 , guards_arent_crazy.png )
554969

>What to eat or not to eat, what to take or not to take, whether to hole up or flee, the extent of the changes to her body; these are all important questions, but not the most important. If the Xotl have done this to you... what might they be doing to your crew?
>Don't you think you should find out?
Yeah! There's no telling what's happening to the others right now. She has to get moving. Time to blow this popsicle stand.

>Your odds of living a happy life have been steadily climbing ever since you left the incinerator.
Probably the best way to look at it, Alice tells herself. Where there's life, there's hope.

>Can you move the cart to have it act as cover you can take with you?
Alice thinks she'll push it out into the hallway at least. It'll make a decent obstacle if there's guards running around the hallways.

Footsteps. Someone's coming. Alice ducks back into the cover of the doorway.
>>
No. 554970 ID: 18866b

Hope they don't see the blood on the floor. Anyways hide and wait for the to pass or check out the room. If the pass bitchin that means we can just sneak by, if not... Well we still have that ambush plan ready to go.
>>
No. 554972 ID: 379075

If these guards are smart their tactic is to throw a grenade: Let's hope they're not smart or the grenade they use is something like a flashbang or teargas round.
Any chance you could shove the cart to go wheeling towards them with one hand and plink them with the pistol while they're recovering? It's not a grenade but it is something that can hopefully distract them from pointing guns at you.
>>
No. 554973 ID: 1a06cd

Ok, there's trolley right there next to you. Get low behind it and push it into them. You aren't planning on hurting them with it (though maybe you will anyway), you are trying to set them off balance while closing the distance so you can use your superior strength.

If you have the coordination you can add suppressing fire from your cover while you are at it. The idea here isn't to shoot them, they are armored and it's much less likely to be effective when compared to closing and breaking limbs or crushing heads.
>>
No. 554974 ID: 2baea8

The one in front has a helmet, which is probably able to protect against fire from a sidearm. Aim for his hands, to prevent him from firing at you, then aim for the other one's head. Once the first one is alone and disarmed we can close to melee range and use our strength to capture him.

We can then restrain him with something and use the datapad to interrogate him.
>>
No. 554979 ID: b8ceae

>>554969
If they throw a grenade then throw it back.

Otherwise, grab the incinerator's door and use it as a shield to rush them. It has a handle; it should work ok. Since it's designed to resist temperatures hot enough to vaporize bone it should be durable enough to discourage bullets - at least enough so that they only make a half-hearted attempt to shred you.
Further, people with guns generally don't expect to get rushed, which makes it a rather effective tactic. You might be able to knock them down before they can respond, then finish them off while they're down.

In short? INCINERATOR DOOR SHIELD BASH!
>>
No. 554980 ID: b8ceae

>>554979
Oh, and try to keep one alive so you can demand to know where your crew is.
>>
No. 554981 ID: 53ba34

shoot them. hands seem weakpoint for the first guy.
>>
No. 554982 ID: 9b57d3

>>554969
Pop back out behind the trolly and give it a mighty shove so that it hits the guards. Then pounce on them. Or shoot them if you have a good shot.
>>
No. 554991 ID: 1aa5f4

Oh split the difference. If they've seen you, pop a shot off at the idiot who forgot his helmet, while kicking the cart into the fully armored one. That should buy you time to close the distance and I think it's been established that you can mess people up in a hand to hand fight no matter what they're wearing.

>Alice probes one experimentally. It's a slit that opens onto some red material underneath. The red flesh is fairly sensitive. It feels like it'll part if she keeps- OH SWEET MESSENGER IT OPENS UP LIKE A FLOWER.

Time and a place but that still leaves some questions when you get to it. Just a bunch of impractical mouths in those or something grosser?
>>
No. 554998 ID: 1e9bd6

>Dog tags
Well there's something that might help with your identity, at least. Moreso than say, dental records, anyways.

>... Alice doesn't think so, but she isn't sure.
About what? That's a simple negative to a multi-part question.

>what do?
If we have to fight these guys, a close range ambush might work best, considering you're way stronger then these guys. Break the gun arm of the lead guy as he comes around the corner, shoot the second one in the head, and then turn your attention to finishing off the first.
>>
No. 554999 ID: 34b2f2

Trolly push seems like a solid opener. I'd rather keep distance to reduce the chance of getting hurt if possible, even with our obvious advantages in close range. But I have no clue how effective our firearm will be against their armor, rushing them might be more tactically sound than trading shots.

I think it'd be funny to throw the corpse at one of them. I mean- I think that it would be an efficient use of battlefield resources to utilize the deceased enemy combatant as a diversionary projectile.
>>
No. 555005 ID: fb4e93

Unless you want to wait in the room to ambush them, shoving the trolley at them (possibly moving down behind it first) seems like a good idea. I'm too used to conserving ammo, so I dunno whether just shooting them is better or what, but it seems quite feasible to run up quickly (maybe while making them take cover by firing at them?) and take them out by hand. Seems quieter and more efficient, at least. Maybe you could try to shoot the unarmored one while running up? I would expect that the easiest way to kill the armored one would be by snapping their neck. If it seems feasible and profitable to interrogate one, though, you might consider that. Try not to let him use a communicator or anything, though.

Somebody remind me, if I ever make a battle station, to have everybody wear/contain life sign monitors that, if the bearer dies, auto-transmit recordings of the last 10 minutes to the central computer. Or maybe just always auto-transmit, though that's more objectionable.
>>
No. 555015 ID: c50eae

Okay, Inventory. Take the both dog tags.

The two guards? Well we can throw the corpse into those two then using the incinerator door as a shield, charge them.
>>
No. 555021 ID: 6ed3b7

First up; just two guards?
Either they don't know that they're fighting you, or they MASSIVELY underestimated you.

Hiding would be the best plan, but I doubt the guards are going to miss that pool of blood. So you should set an ambush.
That trolley should block the blood from the guards sight until they get close to the doorway. Once they do, hurl the incinerator door at them (to stop them from shooting you) then charge them.
Once you're in close quarters with them, you shouldn't have much trouble taking them down - It seems you were a tough opponent as a human, and now you have claws, tentacles and ridiculous strength.

If you can manage it, you should try to capture the guards so you can interrogate them. It's not a disaster if you kill them, but you are going to need information if you want to do more than just survive.
>>
No. 555022 ID: 1e6280
File 138882041504.png - (12.97KB , 600x500 , take_a_shot.png )
555022

>About what? That's a simple negative to a multi-part question.
It did kind of stray into a lot of questions about dissection and black projects and mad scientists.

>Well there's something that might help with your identity, at least. Moreso than say, dental records, anyways
Alice isn't entirely sure if she has teeth any more.

>Hope they don't see the blood on the floor. Anyways hide and wait for them to pass or check out the room.
Alice doesn't like the idea of staying in a confined place when they have grenades and the blood's a dead giveaway.

>Otherwise, grab the incinerator's door and use it as a shield to rush them
It's too big, heavy and awkward to use it for that.

>Oh, and try to keep one alive so you can demand to know where your crew is.
Taking them down comes first.

>The one in front has a helmet, which is probably able to protect against fire from a sidearm. Aim for his hands, to prevent him from firing at you, then aim for the other one's head. Once the first one is alone and disarmed we can close to melee range and use our strength to capture him.
That's a really small target!

>pop a shot off at the idiot who forgot his helmet, while kicking the cart into the fully armored one. That should buy you time to close the distance and I think it's been established that you can mess people up in a hand to hand fight no matter what they're wearing.
Sounds like a plan.
>>
No. 555026 ID: 1e6280
File 138882045429.png - (19.40KB , 600x450 , stop_dying.png )
555026

Helmet guy's on the ball! Alice would have gotten a pretty little headshot if he hadn't knocked the other guy out of the way. Saving his friend stopped him getting a shot off at least. Probably good. The large bore on shotguns makes it easy to fit specialty rounds. They usually have explosive rounds or flechettes or something else nasty.

His friend squawks in pain at the hit to his ear-frill and the helmet one snaps something in that papery whispering of theirs. Something to the effect of 'stop dying.'

While his finger's off the trigger, Alice leaps out of cover and shoves the trolley, staying low behind it. It's not rolling as easily as she'd hoped. The one with the pistol got a shot off but it went hopelessly wide.
>>
No. 555028 ID: 1e6280
File 138882049260.png - (23.64KB , 1000x400 , gunfights_are_fun.png )
555028

Helmet guy's really on the ball! He stopped it. Stupid shitty Xotl trolley! Alice gets in tight behind it. This isn't good. The other one seems pretty rattled at least.
>>
No. 555029 ID: 53ba34

grab it by the under carriage. and FLIP the whole thing over on them!
>>
No. 555030 ID: fb4e93

Well...GOOD FOR HELMET GUY, I GUESS. Ruining our parade....

>>555029
Seems like a good plan B. Did the trolley just have sticky wheels, or was it really heavy? Hopefully the former, for the sake of plan B.

Oh, also, very good news that normal food is still good.
>>
No. 555031 ID: 1aa5f4

Didn't we just establish you have enhanced strength? Better leverage too it seems. Shove it hard and quick enough and you should have him nicely floored. Take another headshot while he's preoccupied, and from there I suppose you can vault into the cart itself to close without getting shot.

I realize plan B seems a lot like plan A, but it's still a good one.

Oh, and while you're at it, see if you can't do some tentacle flailing and oriface opening. Hiss a bit and stick out your tongue. The one's already panicky, he might really lose it.

Also hey, for future reference, the messed up hair eye is pretty far off from the center of your head. Don't need to lean all the way around corners when lining up a shot. Could come in handy.
>>
No. 555032 ID: 34b2f2

Blindfiring and then charging when they move for cover is the best I can come up with that hasn't already been said. But at this range helmet guy has a reasonable chance of blowing our hand off so... plan flipping seems like the best option.

Better act now before no-helmet gets ahold of himself and they flank us.
>>
No. 555033 ID: 6ed3b7

>>555028
Damnit, gunfights are not your strong point here.
You need to bring those two into arms reach without getting shot, or this will be a very long and painful fight.

I can see two good options here.
Ideally you should follow >>555029's advice, and flip the trolley onto them. Then you can rush them while they're pinned.

Alternatively, if you can't lift the trolley pull it toward you.
Then you can get back into hiding behind doorway, and wait for them as they try to walk around the side of trolley.
Once they they try to clear the room, smack them with the incinerator door.
It's risky, but the door should block any grenades or fire, and the surprise will give you an opportunity.
>>
No. 555051 ID: 9ddf68

huh, well shit, flip table if you can and if not try to take out no-helmet so we only have to worry about helmet guy here, he's bad enough.
>>
No. 555060 ID: 3f5cd3

Hrm... Let's test something.

>Burn 2 Mass to boost Strength
>>
No. 555061 ID: 1e6280
File 138884020845.png - (19.02KB , 600x500 , make_a_plan.png )
555061

>Damnit, gunfights are not your strong point here.
Alice doesn't think fighting two better armed enemies while half naked is anyone's strong suit!

>Did the trolley just have sticky wheels, or was it really heavy?
Both really.

>grab it by the under carriage. and FLIP the whole thing over on them!
Alice paws under the trolley for a good grip and-
>>
No. 555062 ID: 1e6280
File 138884023770.png - (28.69KB , 1000x520 , xotl_is_a_pretty_cool_guy.png )
555062

"Phhhhhuuuurrrrrkkkk!" Agh, it feels like her skull is exploding. She thinks she dropped her pistol.

Alice has lost six mass. 43 mass remaining.

The little bastard climbed on top of the trolley. She was more exposed than she thought. Stupid, shitty Xotl trolley built by midgets!
>>
No. 555063 ID: 1e6280
File 138884027833.png - (21.95KB , 600x400 , flip_the_table.png )
555063

Enough of this! Die trolley die!

Alice grips the frame and surges to her feet. Her loose-jointed body seems to tighten and strengthen at her need. She hauls it up and heaves it over on top of the helmeted Xotl.
>>
No. 555072 ID: b849b2

To quote ancient sorceror, "FINISH HIM!"
Seriously, rush out of what cover you have (not like it's much) and snatch up the competant one's shotgun before he regains it. Use it to finish him off. This will, unfortunately, give the other one a good shot at you. Take the hit and then turn and give the dumb one a point blank headshot. Then loot and scoot before you're swarmed.
>>
No. 555076 ID: 53ba34

keep flipping until it's all the way around and on top of the helmet guy. the kill the helmet less guy. then run off with his body, rip parts off and eat them while moving.
>>
No. 555078 ID: 6ed3b7

Charge the helmetless guy and disarm him - you could do without getting shot again. After that, kill the other guy; he's too competent to leave alive. Then grab the helmetless Xotl, smack him around a bit, and interrogate the shit out of him.

And for future reference:
Ambushing opponents and killing them by hand before they can react properly seems too be your best plan.
Cover-shooting just seems to play up the advantages of the Xotl (better guns and more numbers) without bringing your natural skills at close-quarters into play.

Finally, resist the temptation to eat the soldiers.
If you really need to recover body mass, let's raid a food store or something.
>>
No. 555079 ID: a36601

Don't kill the helmet less guy. We need someone to interrogate.
>>
No. 555080 ID: 1e9bd6

Advantages of being a horrible plant monster: if you were still you, you'd be dead several times over. You wouldn't have been strong enough to break out of the incinerator, you wouldn't have been able to take that round to the gut, and you certainly wouldn't be fine after having the back of your head blown off.

>what do
Crush this guy. Slam the trolly down on him. Be careful- if he's dying he may pull the pin on his grenade, meaning you'll have to dive for cover behind the corner or something. No need to test how indestructible you are right now- there must be limits.

Once helmet is down, take out the other, fast.

>Ambushing opponents and killing them by hand before they can react properly seems too be your best plan.
Not that your training with a sidearm is worthless, it's just the natural advantages of your new body at just that great.

...although you should totally take their guns. No reason not to shoot things when ambushing isn't an option. Even if you get shot up, you can seem to take it.
>>
No. 555081 ID: b8ceae

>>555063
Grab gun, shoot Idiot in the face, strip Helmet of his weapons. Remove helmet's helmet.

If Helmet is still alive, demand to know where your crew is under penalty of a horrific death. While eating part of Idiot. If Helmet doesn't comply, then rip off Helmet's limbs and use him as a shield.
>>
No. 555091 ID: fb4e93

I recommend continuing to overturn the trolley onto Captain Helmet: try to finish him off quickly. If you try to interrogate someone, it probably ought to be Private Gibber, there. I think that if we were to try to interrogate Captain Helmet, he'd probably activate suit explosives or call for reinforcements or be all "I'll never talk!" or something.

As a note, interrogation may be difficult, since we can't really speak horrible space lizard, or much of anything at all. We could probably shove the datapad at him and maybe he can furnish the password. (Unless it was a personal or high-clearance password.)

Furthermore, still try not to eat them, yet, though we may have to amend that decision if we lose much more mass.

Ooh, ooh, if there's a really convenient opportunity, give Captain Helmet a thumbs up or something immediately before he dies.
>>
No. 555093 ID: 5fd94e

Leave the one with no helmet alive to interrogate.
>>
No. 555110 ID: 1aa5f4

Fully flip this over, jump onto it as it tips, and just kinda... monster out as best as you can. What comes next depends on whether we're trapping this guy or crushing him, and how no-helm reacts.
>>
No. 555121 ID: 7bbaae

>>555063
Get the gun away from the other guy, then ask him simple questions you can understand the res- wait nevermind you can't speak. Just eat them both.
>>
No. 555123 ID: 1e9bd6

...the immediate priority is to make sure that all enemy combatants are incapacitated while you take as little additional damage as possible.

Worry about taking prisoners or killing them if and when you have the luxury of making that choice. For the moment, this fight isn't over, and you don't have the time to worry about anything but ending it.
>>
No. 555291 ID: 1e6280
File 138893559090.png - (18.90KB , 600x540 , ventilation.png )
555291

>Advantages of being a horrible plant monster: if you were still you, you'd be dead several times over. You wouldn't have been strong enough to break out of the incinerator, you wouldn't have been able to take that round to the gut, and you certainly wouldn't be fine after having the back of your head blown off.
Alice has a hole in her head that she is fairly sure she could fit her entire fist into and would appreciate not being reminded of how dead she is supposed to be!

>Don't kill the helmet less guy. We need someone to interrogate.
There's still two live enemies, and Alice isn't sure how long she'd have to question someone or even how to question them.

>...the immediate priority is to make sure that all enemy combatants are incapacitated while you take as little additional damage as possible.
This is a mindset Alice can get behind!

>And for future reference:
>Ambushing opponents and killing them by hand before they can react properly seems too be your best plan.
Alice thinks so too. In the future she'll hopefully be able to position herself better.
>>
No. 555292 ID: 1e6280
File 138893568778.png - (17.31KB , 750x400 , situation.png )
555292

>I recommend continuing to overturn the trolley onto Captain Helmet: try to finish him off quickly.
Alice pushes it over with great force. She hears a clatter as the helmeted xotl drops his shotgun and then much more clattering and a muffled squawk as the heavy trolley comes down on top of him.

>Snatch up the competent one's shotgun before he regains it.
The lack of clearance between the trolley and the wall doesn't really permit it. Helmet should have just as much trouble getting his gun back though.

>Fully flip this over, jump onto it as it tips, and just kinda... monster out as best as you can.
Alice's instincts are screaming at her to attack. Helmet's pinned and disarmed, and the other xotl is shaking and slowly backing up, but keeping his gun pointed at her. Alice has been shot at enough today. He's going down.
>>
No. 555293 ID: 1e6280
File 138893580721.png - (19.60KB , 800x450 , gotta_go_fast.png )
555293

Snarling, she vaults onto the trolley and charges at the xotl on all fours. The muzzle of his gun waves erratically as he squeezes off two shots. One is hopelessly wide and the other takes a chunk out of her arm. She barely notices it.

Alice has lost one mass. 42 mass remaining.

Her tongue lolls, her eyes dilated as she tracks her prey's panicked motions. One more moment and she'll lunge and bite his head clean off.
>>
No. 555294 ID: 1e6280
File 138893587371.png - (13.32KB , 600x400 , hes_got_a_thermal_detonator.png )
555294

>Helmet may pull the pin on his grenade
A nudge of tactical awareness at the back of her head prompts Alice to glance down mid-charge to see if helmet is going to try anything else clever. She spots him doing just that.
>>
No. 555297 ID: 1e9bd6

Reach down and grab the grenade, fast, before he lets go or drops it. Use your superior strength to crush his hand and keep the lever depressed so the grenade can't go off. Then rip it out of his hand or just rip his hand off.

Once we have the grenade safety in hand, you can either waste it blowing up dummy there, or kill him one handed and then find the pin and replace it so you can let go of the grenade lever without it going off.
>>
No. 555300 ID: 53ba34

the grenade does indeed seem to have a two stage priming process. and will not blow unless he lets go. so stop that from happening.
>>
No. 555301 ID: 386df6

two choices here. A- reverse direction and leap behind the trolley.
B- spring for helmless, and use his body to protect yourself from the blast.
>>
No. 555308 ID: 6ed3b7

Sir helmet is too damn clever for his own good.

Assuming that grenade is lever operated:
Crush his hand against the grenade to stop him from detonating it, then use your other hand to punch him in the head, stunning him.

You'll get shot again by the other dude while you finish Sir helmet, but at this point that's not much of a threat.
>>
No. 555310 ID: e3aff6

I think we have too much momentum to back up mid-charge, but we can possibly rip his hand off with the grenade in it then toss it to the other side of the cart.
>>
No. 555321 ID: 7bbaae

>>555294
Rip the grenade away and throw it behind you or just keep it by holding the lever down. We can find the pin later. Then kill the second one. One punch should do it.
>>
No. 555324 ID: 34b2f2

Trying to take it from him is a gamble that puts us at the center of the blast. I'd rather take the gamble of running the heck away, past the standing Xotl, without slowing down to muck with him. At least that should put us further from the blast if we're not entirely successful. Helmet xotl is pinned and shouldn't be able to throw it after us properly, and we presumably have plenty of hallway to run in.

After the detonation we come back and scavenge what we can.
>>
No. 555327 ID: fb4e93

CAPTAIN HELMET, YOUR COMPETENCY IS BOTH IMPRESSIVE AND AGGRAVATING. Ok ok ok, so. If you, with your military training, think you can grab and stop the grenade, do so. Otherwise, I would recommend actually grabbing it and throwing it past bare-head. While running farther down the hall is not a bad idea, I don't think we can count on Captain Helmet not still managing to catch us with the grenade, and/or just standing back up and shooting us more.
>>
No. 555328 ID: b849b2

We're in mid-charge so our momentum has to be figured into this. If you can, reach down and try to smack the grenade out of his hand. Regardless of whether this works or not, run like your ass was on fire. Grapple the idiot and shove him down onto the grenade. Then, haul ass. After the boom, return to scavenge what you can, stealthfully.
>>
No. 555335 ID: 9ddf68

if you can grab the grenade do so if not when you jump off the trolley make sure to land on helmet to try and knock him out so he can't throw the grenade at you and then just keep running toward no helmet.
>>
No. 555342 ID: 96b823

If helmet-head hasn't released the 'nade's lever yet, dart your hand down and grasp over it, and his hand if need be. Then hold on tight and keep charging forward, ripping things off if need be.

However, if the grenade's lever has been released, then the best option is to smack it back the way you came and pour on the speed to get behind the helmet-less mook. Grab on and use him as a meat-shield to protect against the blast and shrapnel.
>>
No. 555388 ID: 1e6280
File 138897241945.png - (22.23KB , 450x720 , shes_got_the_thermal_detonator.png )
555388

>Reach down and grab the grenade, fast, before he lets go or drops it. Use your superior strength to crush his hand and keep the lever depressed so the grenade can't go off.
Oh no you don't! This is going to be awkward with all her forward momentum, but Alice lets herself drop on top of the helmeted xotl and closes her fist on his hand and the grenade.

As she more or less faceplants on top of him, Alice squirms her fingers around to get a solid grip so he can't jerk his hand free.

>Use your other hand to punch him in the head, stunning him.
Alice unhinges her jaw and extends her tongues to grab the xotl's head. He starts struggling more.

>Sir helmet is too damn clever for his own good.
Now he's going to be clever and dead!
>>
No. 555389 ID: 1e6280
File 138897246661.png - (25.57KB , 750x500 , turning_things_around.png )
555389

>You'll get shot again by the other dude while you finish Sir helmet, but at this point that's not much of a threat.
Ow. Alice has another hole in her head. That didn't hurt as much as the first time.

Alice has lost two mass! 40 mass remaining.

It's hard to dodge like this but- Pressing against the upturned trolley for footing, Alice snaps out her free hand and snags the xotl by the forearm. Her tendrils coil around and tighten. Something snaps under her grip and he squawks. She starts reeling him in as her jaws find the weaker, flexible neck lining on the helmeted xotl's armour.
>>
No. 555390 ID: 53ba34

snap helmet's neck. eat it and spit out the armor.
>>
No. 555391 ID: 7bbaae

>>555389
Rip off his helmet then feast on the succulent flesh underneath. Drag the other one forward and do the same to him.
>>
No. 555392 ID: 496daf

>>5553>>555389
Damn it!, Pull the unhelmeted guy in or dash him against the wall, and try to take the grenade away from the pinned one, sever his wrist if you have too!
>>
No. 555393 ID: cf49fc

Do not ingest! Terminate or disable at your leisure, do not integrate.
>>
No. 555395 ID: 9ddf68

finish whatever you're doing to helmet and then lets focus on the other guy.
>>
No. 555397 ID: 1e9bd6

Huh. Well, we can confirm your new biology includes at least limited shapeshifitng. Your hand grew and wrapped around his, your other arm elongated and vine-grappled helmet-less, and nevermind what your head is doing.

At this point the battle is basically won. You have it in your power to kill helmet- do so. He's proven too dangerous, competent, and persistent to leave alive. You might be able to merely immobilize helmet-less by breaking his arm, or slamming him into the wall repeatedly. Although I'm not seeing much advantage to keeping him alive- he seems too low rank and incompetent to know much, and we'd have severe language barriers preventing interrogation.

...I suppose one reason to leave anyone behind alive but badly injured would be to tax their resources? Dead are dead, but living survivors need to be collected by recovery teams, brought to medbay, and time and resources spent treating them. Leaving badly wounded people behind when you can might help a fight of attrition, and maybe contribute to a psychological impact.

Although that might not be worth leaving behind a survivor who can describe accurately what you're capable of. Perhaps it's better to leave them guessing, than give them intel.

>what do
Kill helmet, kill or mail helmet-less, then immediately find the pin for that grenade and secure it.

Then check how quickly your wounds are patching, consider if being a monster means you should eat some of the corpses to replace mass, and search the bodies qucikly for useful equipment (new guns, at least).

Do not give into your instincts and start feeding or enjoying it before they're both disabled, or the grenade has been safely re-pinned. Even if you bite his head off.
>>
No. 555400 ID: 6ed3b7

Once you've removed Sir helmet's head, give a sharp push to helmetless to knock him over. If possible, pull the gun out of his hand as he falls.
That should give you a moment to disarm the grenade (or chuck it if you can't).

Next you should jump at helmetless, and smack him around a bit until he stops fighting back.
Then try to interrogate him. I'd recommend shoving those dog tags from 'E. Derby' in his face, and gesturing at the pad and the hallways.
I don't think you'll have any issue getting the guy compliant, but you are going to have to work hard to explain what you want.
>>
No. 555402 ID: 1aa5f4

OK, when I said "monster on out and intimidate them, I meant more like... hissing and wiggling around and stuff, not so much uh... what you're doing here.

While you're at it though, might as see how flexible you are like this. flip your legs around and try to strange no-helmet or something with'em? Or eat his face with mouths you secretly have on your soles or something. Whatever you can manage really.
>>
No. 555417 ID: 53ba34

guys we are down ten mass. smoothies only give us 1. imagine if we had to fight two or three helmet guys at the same time? we NEED to eat these guys so the next group can't take advantage of out wounds to finish us off.
>>
No. 555420 ID: eaa372

>>555417
It might be necessary to give in and start eating the guards. If the rest of them are competent like mister grenade your mass will get whittled away until you're too weak to physically overpower them.
>>
No. 555422 ID: 41d75c

Geeze, it's not a matter of tactics. If you are human you don't just start eating sapient creatures. Until it becomes a biological imperative and can't be avoided, no eating them.
>>
No. 555423 ID: 1aa5f4

Not much point in debating the ethics of eating people when in order to survive a tense fight that's still going on, you're already in the process of biting someone's head off.
>>
No. 555426 ID: 2baea8

Consume them. It's not as though they'll be using the biomass once they're dead. Such a waste to just leave it there.
>>
No. 555430 ID: 927563

Rip and tear, but be a proper lady about it.
>>
No. 555440 ID: 1ce34b

>>555430
>>555426

This is your old/inner drill seargant speaking!, Belay those orders, spaceman! You're a soldier, not a savage!

Since you're clearly fond of cliché American clichés, here's one for you: don't feed the bad wolf! You're a security officer, massacres are not you're speciality! Expeditious slaying?! Yes! Casualties of war?! Yes! Hannibalizing sapient anthropoids?! Not on the menu... I mean agenda! Make the jailbird sing or squawk: just make him talk, You need intel on your shipmates! I swear, spaceman, if you make it out of here alive with another crew-member without excessive force (and or face-eating) I'll give you my personal challenge coin on a titanium-gold-fibre ribbon and I'll drop and give you fifty! OOO-rah!
>>
No. 555444 ID: df83d8

>>555440
What.
>>
No. 555463 ID: 0b54f4

Just kill Captain Helmet before he demonstrates his competency again, and interrogate or kill helmetless.

THEN we can debate diet. Though, personally, I think the choice is largely dependent on your own feelings.
>>
No. 555481 ID: a36601

>>555400
I agree with this. Information is the most important thing you can get right now.
>>
No. 555482 ID: cad45e

>>555444
Don't be a god damned degenerate and stay away from eating living, thinking people with personalities and such.

That's just not right.
>>
No. 555491 ID: 2baea8

>>555482
These are soldiers of an unethical enemy organization of expansionist aliens, who experimented on us and possibly our crew to turn us into a mutant killing machine. I prefer to think of this not as eating people, but as karma running its course.

It's also a tactical decision, because we've lost one fifth of our mass after bringing down only three people. We need to heal ourselves somehow.
>>
No. 555492 ID: 80ea97

Survival triumphs over this kind of qualm. Eat them, but in a more controlled manner, aware of what you're doing and why. If it seems like you'll give in to your impulses, stop.

The true no-no would be eating non-hostiles, including neutrals or those that've surrendered. Above all, remember that if you were in a better situation, you wouldn't be doing this.
>>
No. 555503 ID: 097017

>>555440
Yes. Remember your training, Padawan. you may kill Evil Dark Hemlet-head in self-defense, but just remind yourself he's doing the same job you would be if this were your ship; shoot space-monsters attacking crew members. You may eat him after he is medically dead, and may the Schwartz be with you.

>>555482
B polite, she's going thru a lot atm. Don't be surprised her training doesn't include reigning in alien instincts after being abducted by little hitlers and almost burned to death in their ovens only to find she has become The Swamp-thing Zombie Frum Outr Spesch.

>>555291
> difficulty translating in broken Xotl
Get him to activate map app on alien smartfone in the following manner:

Show him your comrade's dog tags then point to him, the hallway and then the pda; that should get the message across. Don't forget to keep the pda active by repetitively moving the 'cursor' equivalent before it goes to sleepmode and locks you out again or just have him show you the password. If he doesn't know have him pull out his own.
>>
No. 555638 ID: 03e747

BLOOD FOR THE SPESS SOLDIER
FERTLIZER FOR THE SPESS PLANT
CRUSH AND CONSUME ALL OPPOSITION
MURDER THEM THEN CRUNCH THEIR BONES IN YOUR FACE-HOLE
>>
No. 555641 ID: b6178d

>>555638

Hey, hey, easy now. Easy. Shhh. It's okay.

Look, woman, you're confused and hurt, and hurt on the inside too. You want to live, and right now, to live seems to involve consuming copious amounts of flesh-stuff.

But those things may not come without consequences. Have you thought about what makes you, well, you, right now? You dunno, right? There's already a hunger and aggressiveness in you that's not of the 'you' of before. So what's gonna happen if you eat too much, well, not-you? Is whatever bio-experimental thing that revived you gonna take completely over? You've taken two shots to the head, whatever identity you have ain't in your brainmeats anymore. It's an issue.

That said, if consuming stuff doesn't make you less you, as long as something's dead and you've got the time, you should probably eat it. Survival's a big deal and having more mass seems relevant for survival... and also your self-control? Perhaps retaining your sense of self is about achieving a balance between too little and too much mass?
>>
No. 555675 ID: 1e6280
File 138908337383.png - (22.37KB , 600x450 , xotl_resistance.png )
555675

>Snap helmet's neck. eat it and spit out the armour.
Alice bites through the helmeted xotl's neck with her mandibles and comes to the unfortunate realisation that she's trying to swallow something larger than her own head. She awkwardly tries to manoeuvre it around in her mouth and insert her feeding tendrils through the neck piece.

>Finish whatever you're doing to helmet and then lets focus on the other guy.
The living xotl shouts - 'Glory to the Xotl Empire!' or something similar. He hauls with his broken gun arm and steps in. Aaaargh! Little bastard punched her right in the eye!

1 mass lost. 39 mass remaining.

>While you're at it though, might as see how flexible you are like this. flip your legs around and try to strange no-helmet or something with 'em?
Alice violently kicks out with her left leg. She grabs him by the throat by the throat with her foot and- oops, looks like she snapped his neck.

>Then try to interrogate him. I'd recommend shoving those dog tags from 'E. Derby' in his face, and gesturing at the pad and the hallways.
Alice didn't like her chances of getting a hostile exot to talk even without the language barrier. He wouldn't have known the password for the other xotl's data pad anyway. She grabbed it so she'd have the option of doing a hardware reset - she'd lose any personal data on the pad but be able to use it for herself.

>Rip and tear, but be a proper lady about it.
Alice isn't very good at being a proper lady!
>>
No. 555677 ID: 1e6280
File 138908343262.png - (24.30KB , 720x500 , sudden_realisation.png )
555677

>Consider if being a monster means you should eat some of the corpses to replace mass
She needs this! She needs it, she needs it, she needs it!

>Don't be a god damned degenerate and stay away from eating living, thinking people with personalities and such.
They're dead! Alice killed them! Dead people aren't alive!

>Consume them. It's not as though they'll be using the biomass once they're dead. Such a waste to just leave it there.
That's right, that's right!

Alice devours everything inside helmet's helmet. Tastes like chicken.

8 biomass consumed. Digestive efficiency is 25%. 2 mass gained. Mass total is now 41

...Alice suddenly doesn't feel so good. There's too much uh... she's got to... uh... the residue... its built up too much... she thinks she's going to...

BLURGH.
>>
No. 555678 ID: 1e6280
File 138908347570.png - (19.63KB , 600x400 , you_slimed_him_alice.png )
555678

That was unpleasantly like a full body sneeze.

Um, Alice just vomited up about a dozen litres of thick, dark, slime. It looks and smells identical to the stuff that comes out of her wounds as they heal.

She feels a little clearer headed now.

>This is your old/inner drill sergeant speaking!, Belay those orders, spaceman! You're a soldier, not a savage! [...] OOO-rah!
Or maybe she really is losing her mind.

>OK, when I said "monster on out and intimidate them, I meant more like... hissing and wiggling around and stuff, not so much uh... what you're doing here.
So what, was she meant to just let them kill her? It wasn't pretty, but it worked.

>Survival triumphs over this kind of qualm. Eat them, but in a more controlled manner, aware of what you're doing and why. If it seems like you'll give in to your impulses, stop.
Right. Survival takes priority. And to survive, Alice needs to regain her strength.
>>
No. 555679 ID: 1e6280
File 138908351883.png - (19.06KB , 450x650 , inventory_check.png )
555679

>Hey, hey, easy now. Easy. Shhh. It's okay.
>Look, woman, you're confused and hurt, and hurt on the inside too. You want to live, and right now, to live seems to involve consuming copious amounts of flesh-stuff.
Alice tries not to think about how good they taste.

42 biomass consumed. 11 mass gained.
Digestive efficiency has increased to 30%!
30 biomass consumed. 9 mass gained. Total mass is now 61.


It's probably terrible to say it, but Alice feels more like her old self now.

>Well, we can confirm your new biology includes at least limited shapeshifting. Your hand grew and wrapped around his, your other arm elongated and vine-grappled helmet-less, and nevermind what your head is doing.
Alice didn't know she could do that. She thinks she's learning how to operate these tentacles a little.

>Check how quickly your wounds are patching
They've all closed up. Having a meal looks like it gave her a boost.

Alice now has a shotgun with 11 shells. 4 shells are different. She can't read the markings. She has her pistol, with two bullets out of seven fired from the current magazine and two reloads. She doesn't need more data pads, and neither xotl was carrying any of those smoothies. She also has two pairs of dogtags.

Oh, and she found the grenade's pin and stuck it back in.
>>
No. 555680 ID: 1e6280
File 138908355152.png - (17.25KB , 600x400 , where_go.png )
555680

>Have you thought about what makes you, well, you, right now? You dunno, right? There's already a hunger and aggressiveness in you that's not of the 'you' of before. So what's gonna happen if you eat too much, well, not-you? Is whatever bio-experimental thing that revived you gonna take completely over? You've taken two shots to the head, whatever identity you have ain't in your brainmeats any more. It's an issue.
Alice has been trying not to think about it. If she can hold it together until she can get the others out, that'll have to be enough.

There's a sign ahead. Right is 'Medical' and left is 'Storage'.
>>
No. 555681 ID: 53ba34

so far it seems being low on mass makes you hungry, desperate, and animalistic.

not sure what we could get from medical that could be useful... unless the lab they did this is in there and you can get the data on it. go medical
>>
No. 555682 ID: eaa372

That's enough body horror for now. Let's go to storage and see if there's any proper food there. It looks like your body can't digest people efficiently you might get better efficiency by consuming prepared food if that smoothie is anything to go off of.
>>
No. 555688 ID: a90328

OK #1- Make sure you aren't suddenly having any weird salamander thoughts after eating these guys' heads. That would suggest you're really just some tentacle monster assuming the identities of people you eat and that would just plain suck.

#2- If it wouldn't take too long, maybe strap one of those arms or legs around your freaky stomach mouth? Not only would it let you eat on the go with your hands free, but... frankly it looks rather indecent and it would be nice to keep it covered up.

#3- Medical should definitely take priority over storage. You did way better in hand to hand than at range, may as well play to that strength. Meanwhile, medical might have some intriguing insights into your general condition, and it'd help to check those out before the place gets swarmed and/or they're destroyed.

#4- Make a mental note. At some point between getting out of here and getting turned back to normal, you REALLY need to look into whether there is such a thing as a professional twister player. I mean, gymnastics would be close, but more likely to arbitrarily ban you from competing, you know?

#5- So... you basically have a tail now which is primarily being used as in-built underwear? Is that what's going on downstairs?
>>
No. 555689 ID: acb7da

Looks like you've learned the Xotl language since eating some of them. That's interesting. Do you have any other knowledge now that you didn't have before? Think back to what their homeworld is like, or the layout of this facility.
>>
No. 555692 ID: 379075

What about the first guy who showed up with the cart? If we're giving up on allowing our enemies proper burials we should probably consume their remains and hide their equipment in the incinerator. Double check that there's nowhere else by that incinerator other members of our crew or equipment might be... stowed.
>>
No. 555710 ID: 2baea8

Head for medical. A noncombatant, educated doctor would be far easier to interrogate than a soldier, at least as far as humans go. Who knows with Xotl. Either way, it seems more likely to have clues you need.
>>
No. 555712 ID: 627d94

Oh, hey, you've got handy tentacle holsters. That's neat.

>residue / vomit / sneeze
So on the one hand, you can heal what by all rights should be mortal injuries, rapidly, by eating. On the other, it's kind of gross and unpleasant.

>on eating people
Look, obviously, in normal circumstances, you wouldn't want to listen to your body telling you to eat people. Rules are a little different when you've been taken prisoner by hostile aliens who experimented on you and are now trying to kill you. Their lives and dignity are kind of forfeit, in that situation. You do what you have to to survive.

>She also has two pairs of dogtags.
Xotl dogtags, or were they carrying a set from one of the other humans?

Also, you should be wearing your tags, if you aren't already. It's a way to declare your identity and hold onto who you are. Or who you're supposed to be, at least.

>a shotgun with 11 shells. 4 shells are different.
Hmm. If the 11 are regular ammo, the 4 might be scatter-shot, or high explosives? Kind of hard to tell without testing unless there are obvious visual warning labels or something.

>Looks like you've learned the Xotl language since eating some of them.
What? We have no evidence of that. She already knew the crude basics- she understood the incinerator sign and bits of the intercom warning before eating anyone. And she can't read the labels on the shotgun ammo, still. If she recognizes the words 'Medical' and 'Storage', it's likely because they're common labels for parts of a ship or base, and included in the basics she was taught (common labels being useful to know if you might end up fighting on one of their facilities).

>where go
Medical. You want to try and grab any records as to what they've done to you, or to the rest of your crew. And it would be nice to get there now before the place starts filling up with wounded and security guarding them. You might also be able to 'thank' some of the scientists who did this to you before they have a chance to evacuate or get away.
>>
No. 555714 ID: 7bbaae

>>555680
Did you eat the one in the first room too? Waste not want not.

Also I'd say head to medical.
>>
No. 555715 ID: b8ceae

>>555680
Eat the first corpse, then go to Storage. Maybe they kept your gear?
>>
No. 555736 ID: d2995c

>About eating people
The important distinction is between killing people to eat and eating who you kill. It is essentially the difference between killing people to take their stuff and taking stuff from people you have killed for other reasons (for example, their guns).

By the way, there was some kind of poster on the wall you just ran past with a bunch of linked rectangular things. Is that some kind of area map?
>>
No. 555737 ID: 34b2f2

Medical is far more likely to provide answers on what happened with the rest of the crew. Maybe unpleasant answers, but we need them if we can get them. Medical is also more likely to be located centrally or near modes of rapid transit which could be risky but means paths of escape.

>>555736
Has the right of it. Eating sentients should be minimized as a motivating force, but it is clearly an important tool at our disposal that can't exactly be ignored.
>>
No. 555741 ID: 9ddf68

hm, storage will probably have more gear and other things to help you escape but medical would probably be the best place to go to try and learn about what the hell happened to you and maybe even the rest of your crew...
If you think you need a bigger gun I would say storage, if not medical would be far more helpful here.
>>
No. 555745 ID: a90328

Actually you know what, before dealing with ANY of that... did you get the pin back in that grenade, or are you just going to hold the handle down until you see someone else you don't like and/or drop it in surprise at something?
>>
No. 555757 ID: 097017

>>555681
That's life. Any HALT condition (Hungry Angry Lonesome Tired) make instincts that are already in a situation to subvert 'higher' functions even stronger, and Alice had to deal with the first three and being shot at to boot.

>>555680
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

Go right, and she won't have to be woefully under-equipped anymore. Go left, and perhaps you can find biomass for later consumption, maybe she can find some blue pills to pop and 'escape', or take red ones and see how far the rabbit hole goes... but go to medical and give her captors more time to plan, capture and kill her along with the rest of Penguin crew.

Go left and she might find some living crew members to save and she would have an extra set of eyes and hands to watch her back and shoot guns, but they'd all still be very vulnerable without the equipment and... maybe they aren't even around anymore; I think it's pretty clear that good ol' Eddie Derby got his ashes spread over the big, black sea.

flip a coin and walk, so long as she gets somewhere, I suppose.
>>
No. 555758 ID: d0e0a2

Poke around and try to find the shell casing for the shot helmet-head put into you. Then you can compare its markings to the other shells so you'll know what some of them do.
>>
No. 555762 ID: 03e747

>>555680
chicken strips come in packages of 3 and you seem to have left one back in the incinerator room. go finish your meal.
>>
No. 555816 ID: 0b54f4

>>555736
Seems pretty accurate. You kill them because they're trying to kill you, but while they're dead, it's not like they're using their biomass anymore. Beyond that, I think that whether and when you eat dead people depends on how you think you'll end up feeling about it. If you think it's going to haunt you for the rest of your life, mmmaaybe you should try not to eat people unless you really, really need to. Otherwise, I'd say it's basically fine. Kinda your choice about the remaining guy, in other words.

Also, yeah, go to medical. Information is a potent weapon. Hmm, I wonder if there are any other crew members that now...uh...have interesting abilities. Speaking of which, if you run into anybody/anything that isn't Xotl and doesn't immediately attempt to kill you, you should probably not shoot at it - it could be a teammate.
>>
No. 555827 ID: 8eb1e2

Go to medical. Storage could mean useful supplies or it could mean 5 years worth of toilet paper. And even in the best case, you probably can't carry much more than you have already scavenged without a proper pack or something similar.
>>
No. 555838 ID: 1e6280
File 138919386091.png - (7.21KB , 500x480 , sector_status.png )
555838

>By the way, there was some kind of poster on the wall you just ran past with a bunch of linked rectangular things. Is that some kind of area map?
Its some sort of status board. It lights up dimly when Alice pauses in front of it. Only a simplified map, unfortunately. Alice can't make much of it, but it looks like she's in Lab... something... Call it A and there's also a Lab B. The other two quadrants seem to be living quarters and there's a hangar in the middle. Looks like there's choke-points between each of the quadrants too.

Blue is the Xotl warning colour. Security alerts?

>So on the one hand, you can heal what by all rights should be mortal injuries, rapidly, by eating. On the other, it's kind of gross and unpleasant.
It definitely gets slime everywhere! If too much, ah, residual biomass builds up from feeding or being injured, Alice seems to need to vent it. Quickly. It could make going undetected difficult.

>Poke around and try to find the shell casing for the shot helmet-head put into you. Then you can compare its markings to the other shells so you'll know what some of them do.
The floor's covered in slime. Alice isn't going to try and sift through that.

>Hmm. If the 11 are regular ammo, the 4 might be scatter-shot, or high explosives? Kind of hard to tell without testing unless there are obvious visual warning labels or something.
That's 11 in total. Judging by what's loaded, seven are the same low yield explosive fragmentation round she was shot with, aka cripplers. They're terrible against heavy armour but they should still be decent on the kind of armour these guards were wearing.
>>
No. 555840 ID: 1e6280
File 138919396738.png - (12.27KB , 600x400 , not_a_zombie.png )
555840

>It looks like your body can't digest people efficiently you might get better efficiency by consuming prepared food if that smoothie is anything to go off of.
The benefit Alice got from the smoothie was tiny and Alice doesn't think she would have gotten anything if she hadn't already been injured! It's kind of small compared to two whole amphibians.

Which reminds her...

>Did you eat the one in the first room too? Waste not want not.
It looks like corpsy here hasn't rejoined the Being Alive Club while Alice's back was turned. Alice extends an invitation for him to join her club.

20 biomass consumed. 6 mass gained.
Digestive efficiency has increased to 35%.
20 biomass consumed. 7 mass gained. Total mass is now 74.


That was a metaphor for eating him. Ugh, more slime.

>Make sure you aren't suddenly having any weird salamander thoughts after eating these guys' heads. That would suggest you're really just some tentacle monster assuming the identities of people you eat and that would just plain suck.
Alice is not feeling any corpsy-thoughts, and previously didn't feeling any impulses to shout about loyalty to the glorious Xotl conquerors or to punch herself in the eye. Her tentacle monster identity crisis so far is firmly Alice-centric.

>I think that whether and when you eat dead people depends on how you think you'll end up feeling about it. If you think it's going to haunt you for the rest of your life, mmmaaybe you should try not to eat people unless you really, really need to.
Alice is trying not to think about futures she might not have! She's a little worried she's not completely freaking out about the day's events so far.
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No. 555841 ID: 1e6280
File 138919411996.png - (24.48KB , 600x700 , butt_examination.png )
555841

>Make a mental note. At some point between getting out of here and getting turned back to normal, you REALLY need to look into whether there is such a thing as a professional twister player. I mean, gymnastics would be close, but more likely to arbitrarily ban you from competing, you know?
Hahahaha, Alice supposes she might have a good shot at a career in that.

>So... you basically have a tail now which is primarily being used as in-built underwear? Is that what's going on downstairs?
Pretty much! Probably a good thing, her clothes are getting a bit tight.

>you should be wearing your tags, if you aren't already. It's a way to declare your identity and hold onto who you are. Or who you're supposed to be, at least.
Alice will put them on.

>Also, yeah, go to medical. Information is a potent weapon. Hmm, I wonder if there are any other crew members that now...uh...have interesting abilities.
Alice didn't really think of that possibility. Only one way to find out, she supposes.

>Medical is far more likely to provide answers on what happened with the rest of the crew. Maybe unpleasant answers, but we need them if we can get them. Medical is also more likely to be located centrally or near modes of rapid transit which could be risky but means paths of escape.
Medical it is. Storage seems like it has just as much chance of being a broom closet as prison cells.

Actually, she should settle one more thing - does she want to go in guns blazing, or try a more subtle approach?
>>
No. 555844 ID: 627d94

Try the subtle approach. If you get in unnoticed, you'll have more time to dig around and try and find information before reinforcements arrive to try and kill you, or they figure out what you're doing and cut power to that section. If you go in guns blazing, we may not have much of a window to look around at all before you're forced to retreat or start fighting again.

>a little worried she's not completely freaking out about the day's events so far
Survival instincts, or military training, maybe. If you let yourself freak out now, that puts a big disadvantage on your survival. Assuming you get out of here, you'll have plenty of time to work through that later.

>>555841
...wait, what's with the extra tendrils coming from your head. Are you... blooming?
>>
No. 555845 ID: 0c2931

Hrrm.
If this was a horror movie, this is still the part where the monster keeps to the shadows and is mostly an unknown terror that kills what it encounters, I think.
At the same time...We don't do stealth with any real skill, and assuming Helmet boy is the norm, I think now might not be a bad time to try and brute force it.
>>
No. 555848 ID: 9ddf68

well we may be strong be shot still kinda sucks ass so I say try stealth for now and if that fails then we can go in guns blazing.
>>
No. 555859 ID: 7bbaae

>>555841
Stealth can be turned into brute force. Force can't be turned into stealth.

Start with stealth.
>>
No. 555861 ID: 627d94

Hey, wait! Kind of a crazy idea. How much fine control do you have over those prehensile, semi-shapeshity tendrils? One communication option might be to actually spell words out with vine-cursive.
>>
No. 555876 ID: a90328

Largely, how stealthy you should be depends on how much you can hear. That was a loud, loud fight just now. If anyone else is coming, you're going to hear'em running down the hall when they're halfway close... and they're going to have itchy trigger fingers. So if you hear anyone, get a move on.

If you don't, that means you just dealt with the only group patrolling the area so... really you should get a move on before anyone notices they're missing, and you don't have to worry about being caught.

Once you're actually closing in on your destination though, yeah, try to creep in all quiet-like.

Also seriously, are you still holding a live grenade? Because if you are, you're kinda going to be forced to toss it next time a fight breaks out, and I thus have to change my answer to going in loud.
>>
No. 555883 ID: 4f909d

Stealthy approach seems best. Try and see if that plant will let you shapeshift into a quieter more stealthy form of sorts.
>>
No. 555884 ID: cad45e

You know what really bothered me about your whole uncontrollable hunger attacks when you are hurt? Now i'm gonna be honest about the situation, you're behind enemy lines, out gunned, outmanned and probably outsmarted if it's a science/military vessel, so of course survival is on of top priority. well you'd think you would at least have an little "Oh my god" moment about chomping down on someones people meat. If i gotta be honest your actual lack for any attention other than crack a few jokes really sounds a bit insane.
Now i'm not shaming you with all this because it get's me hot and bothered, it's because i'm kinda wondering what happens when we meet the rest of the crew, get them out and get on a little escape plan. Say they are still the so mushy mushy as normal people are and that you find the the space vessel escape thingamabob. What if one of these fishy fellows jump out and blasts a good amount of meat out of you? What if your uncontrollable little hunger comes back and you just so happen to not have any alien people around to munch on? Not only would you probably gobble one of the crewmen up out of desperation but they would be livid, turn on you if you haven't actually eaten them all already. Are you really the hero here alice, can you, and this isn't a question about skill this is about you right now, can you save the day and savor it with someone who isn't generally considered criminally insane?

Now i'm gonna give a final slightly scary thought here: What if you're not actually human? You woke up alone in an incinerator, you generally lack anything related to your old self other than your mind and when you eat someone... you gain their memories. I mean it would explain the lack of empathy while you still know that it's a thing. It explains how you can actually be another creature that can shapeshift.While we both probably want to stick to the prettier side of the story, and rightfully we should since sociopathy and general lack of humanity for a human is... well bad.

Well anyway, for better understanding on what is actually true and maybe actually prove most of this wrong, let us head to the lab. I'm sure our fancy new language skills will help us out finding out what really is going on. I mean hope is always something to strive for, so you wag that... xtotl like tail you got from eating one, yeah.
>>
No. 555887 ID: 34b2f2

>>555884
Alice is a trained soldier with combat experience who has repeatedly stated she's actively trying not to dwell on issues that might compromise her performance. Let's give her the benefit of the doubt for now, even with her massively augmented biochemistry. She also said she wasn't gaining intel or memories from her meals, you might want to re-read.

Anyway, stealth for now. If our crewmates are alive, I'd rather not give the Xotl time to harm them or try using them as hostages against us.

Hey you know what would be cool? If we could extend our flower-eye on a stalk to more subtly peek around corners.
>>
No. 555913 ID: 53ba34

>>555884
we will think about this LATER.

for now we just fight an try to survive. if something happens, it happens.
>>
No. 555925 ID: 7bbaae

>>555884
She didn't gain any memories from eating the Xotl guards. This strongly implies she is still Alice, but heavily mutated by something.
>>
No. 555933 ID: d2995c

>Blue is the Xotl warning colour. Security alerts?
The blue rooms are on the other side of the map. It looks like someone or something broke out in the other lab first and has already made gotten into the right crew quarters. This suggests a stealthy approach would be best for now as their forces will be concentrated on the other side and we would like it to stay that way as long as possible.

>>555884
From what we have seen, our hunger isn't uncontrollable. We deliberately did not eat that first corpse the first chance we got, and we came back for it after a conscious resource-management decision.
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No. 555939 ID: 2baea8

>>555884
She did not get any memories from the Xotl, nor did she gain any linguistic ability, as she just stated directly. She had a basic knowledge of their language as part of her training, for reading maps and better understanding the enemy during combat. She did not gain a tail from eating the Xotl, if you look back the tail was there since the fourth panel, it just looked like an extension of her hair tentacles back then due to perspective.
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No. 555940 ID: 41d75c

We are being way to flippant with the whole alien killing machine thing. This is serious, you wanted to eat those corpses, and you were monstering the fuck out when you were fighting. You've got to keep that shit in check so your higher functions are in control. Survival doesn't mean much if you become some instinctual alien killer.
>>
No. 555961 ID: 4f909d

Well it could very well be worse. Alice could become a Xenomorph or John Carpenter's The Thing
>>
No. 555964 ID: de0f5a

>>555940
believe it or not that was a fairly human reaction, at least on an emotional level. Its normal for humans in a survival situation to focus exclusively on survival.

despite the physical change the mental changes seem to mostly be in response to the new biology, ie acting like she's starving when low on biomass. Its possible there are issues we are not seeing right now, but so far it seems whatever happened did't really change her personality that much.
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No. 555965 ID: df83d8

First of all, you seem to be holding together fairly well. The whole not-flipping-out thing is probably just adrenaline, and you've done a good job of keeping in control even when you were hurt and in danger.

I am a bit surprised that it's the OTHER side of the ship that's under alert is interesting, but for now that's a bonus - there will be less soldiers around where you are. Maybe that has something to do with the announcement you heard before you escaped?

That said, going into the medical area guns blazing sounds like a massive mistake.
You have no armour, only a handful of bullets, and are outnumbered. You'd probably survive - it seems like you can soak up a disturbing amount of fire before you get badly hurt - but you would be a mess by the end of it.

Considering you seem to do best ambushing people anyway, you should definitely try to sneak in instead. Keep quiet, and rip open anyone who spots you before they can start shooting.

Finally, I know it's impolite, but whats going on with your weight?
As far as I can tell, you now weigh much more than you did initially. Are you getting bigger? Denser? Is there some upper bound?
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No. 556103 ID: 3f5cd3

What I find funny is that no one seems to have considered that the new flower-eye might be covering where there was once a head wound. The darkened coloring underneath it implies that it's covering something. Probably was dead and was set to dispose of the body. Only something came up that not only delayed that but resulted in what is probably an unknown symbiotic creature...Reanimate the corpse? It'd certainly explain the memory issues earlier.
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No. 556108 ID: a90328

>>556103

That came up. She checked. That's her original right eye, it just migrated on up there.
>>
No. 556111 ID: 3f5cd3

>>556108

No, We just know that her original eye is missing, and the eye socket is all that's left. If her entire eye moved up there I'd like to think the eye socket would have gone with it.
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No. 556123 ID: 097017

>>555841
Since you seem to be a growing girl, have you considered trying to shape your mass into physiological features like batman-style arm spike/thorns, movie-spiderman with hand-barbs for climbing, long bulbasaur whips or a hardened carapace armor? Think Tyranid or Zerg upgrades. Utility items can now be grown from you and that's pretty darn handy. Have you tried altering your pigment or your general form? If you redistributed your mass and general shape into one like a xotl you could gain the benefit of armor and go undetected until asked a question, then do a sky walker and pretend your helmet is not working and is stuck, say this as you close in. The only problem with this plan is what to do with the rest of you. You if ou can compact biomass into bone segments that would be helpful for space efficiency... I know this might be a kinda personal thing but seeing as how your in survivor mode and don't want to be voted off the island... Can you bud? Not flowers but other, similar organisms as your self with enough intelligence to obey you? Asexual reproduction. If you could clone yourself to look like two midgets that would be interesting.

-- here ends the practical suggesting section of post--

Alan Moore's Swamp Thing Theory: Alice was killed, or was experimented on live with symbiote/parasite that consumed her body and now assumes to be her. Since it was its first people level intelligent meal it ate (or because she was alive during) it bonded strongly with her psyche and self identification and now believes to be her.

Kurgan Horsewoman Theory:
Alice IS Alice, her biology has just been wildly mutated my a contaminate so powerful and dangerous it's tempting to think the Xotl just discovered it rather than invented it and have no idea what they are playing with.

Likelihood for either theory: Undefined, insufficient data - there's no way to know except try to meta game and guess what QM was thinking, which is inadvisable.

Food For Thought Hypothesis:
All meals provide subconscious information, but not subconscious impulses.

Likelihood: ~35% and holding
I'd expect if Alicething could actually gain memories she would have made more comment about it, but she is a practical type so maybe not. She does seem to have the same if not better grasp at the language, so we'll wait to see if that improves or plateaus.

You Are What You Eat Hypothesis:
Instead of memory food grants you access to physiological features of your victims.

Likelihood: ~40% and rising
Her pigment has not changed, neither has any of her features altered... Except she had what might be compared to Xotl ear-frills. That bodes not well if she wants to stay a human simulacrum. Since this is first visual evidence this had more clout, but still low probability since the change may be unrelated to the type of food rather than her just developing due to eating any kind of food. This has yet to be determined and cannot reliably be until we are in a laboratory environment with our bones' trying to help us out.

One species' vomit is another species' excrement

Likelihood ~80%
Mechanic statements indicate that her body is not completely efficient at mass consumption. What ever is left over is hurled out.

How that eye get up there?!
No idea.

Xotl:
Might have a two stage caste system or development process. Some species never grow out of their adolescent stages and continue to grow and mature (but not develop) without the distinguishing attributes than a proper 'adult' of the species would, giving the impression of two different species rather than one. Or maybe they're just called Xotl cause they look like those aquatic salamanders.

If Not... Beware the big ones.
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No. 556313 ID: 256d52
File 138933400156.png - (20.98KB , 500x620 , grope_that_tendril.png )
556313

>...wait, what's with the extra tendrils coming from your head. Are you... blooming?
What?! Alice feels around. Uh, there's three stems on each side, they're attached near her temples and they're are stiff and springy, like whiskers. There's a little bud at the tip that's softer.

They don't seem to be doing anything.

>I know it's impolite, but whats going on with your weight?
>As far as I can tell, you now weigh much more than you did initially. Are you getting bigger? Denser? Is there some upper bound?
Alice thinks she got a little taller after she ate that last xotl and she's definitely put on some weight all over. Her clothes are a lot tighter. She was quite a bit thinner than she remembered being when she first woke up too.

>Kind of a crazy idea. How much fine control do you have over those prehensile, semi-shapeshifty tendrils? One communication option might be to actually spell words out with vine-cursive.
Nowhere near that much.

>Since you seem to be a growing girl, have you considered trying to shape your mass into physiological features like arm spike/thorns, hand-barbs for climbing, long whips or a hardened carapace armour?
That would be very useful if Alice had any idea of how to do that!

>We are being way to flippant with the whole alien killing machine thing. This is serious, you wanted to eat those corpses, and you were monstering the fuck out when you were fighting. You've got to keep that shit in check so your higher functions are in control. Survival doesn't mean much if you become some instinctual alien killer.
So what, is Alice supposed to curl up in a little ball and sob her mutant lungs out? Of course she wanted to eat them, her body was practically screaming at her that she was starving and that there was a meal - a delicious meal - right in front of her! And she knows a human shouldn't be thinking like that.

But... they were dead, they're the ones who did this to her, and they had it coming.

>If I gotta be honest your actual lack for any attention other than crack a few jokes really sounds a bit insane.
Fine! Alice admits she's bonkers. She'll fashion herself a straitjacket at the earliest opportunity. Now shut up.

>when you eat someone... you gain their memories.
For the last time, as far as Alice can tell, that doesn't happen!

>a little worried she's not completely freaking out about the day's events so far
>Survival instincts, or military training, maybe. If you let yourself freak out now, that puts a big disadvantage on your survival. Assuming you get out of here, you'll have plenty of time to work through that later.
Urrrr, Alice thinks she's going to need an army of psychologists at this rate.

Now, back to business.
>>
No. 556314 ID: 256d52
File 138933408640.png - (18.47KB , 750x400 , science_xotl.png )
556314

>I am a bit surprised that it's the OTHER side of the ship that's under alert is interesting, but for now that's a bonus - there will be less soldiers around where you are. Maybe that has something to do with the announcement you heard before you escaped?
There must have been more than one break-out, or leakage of something dangerous in the other lab, Alice guesses. Hopefully it'll keep the Xotl distracted.

>Try the subtle approach. If you get in unnoticed, you'll have more time to dig around and try and find information before reinforcements arrive to try and kill you, or they figure out what you're doing and cut power to that section. If you go in guns blazing, we may not have much of a window to look around at all before you're forced to retreat or start fighting again.
Stealth definitely sounds like the way to go then. Alice can't hear anyone coming, it must be pretty deserted in this section at the moment.

>You have no armour, only a handful of bullets, and are outnumbered. You'd probably survive - it seems like you can soak up a disturbing amount of fire before you get badly hurt - but you would be a mess by the end of it.
Alice would definitely like to avoid getting shot some more!

There's an intersection ahead, but it's blocked off by an airtight bulkhead. She guesses the place is still all battened up due to the attack the announcement mentioned in case of damage. Whatever is outside mustn't be breathable. The bulkhead's environmental tell-tales say the other side is fine and the door mechanism is simple, so her weak understanding of Xotl isn't a problem.

She closes it behind her with a dull whomph. It blocks sound quite effectively.

Moving further along there's a window into a lab space. The room seems to be occupied.
>>
No. 556315 ID: 7bbaae

>>556314
If your clothes are getting tighter you're probably gonna have to remove them before your next meal. Better to go naked than painfully constricted.

Do you see a quiet way into the lab that won't immediately result in you being spotted? There's what looks like a human in that tube, getting them out seems like a good idea.

You can very likely crawl along the ground to stay out of sight to reach an entrance like that.
>>
No. 556316 ID: a90328

Well, if you know how the doors work, and you don't speak the local language well enough to ask questions with complex answers, it seems the thing to do here is casually walk up behind doctor eyepatch there, dispatch him in silent efficient fashion, and check out just what he's doing with... someone familiar I'd assume?
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No. 556317 ID: 53ba34

try to get in and sneak up on them. go below the window if you have to. then point the gun at him and try a combination of demands, pointing, and miming to make him release the other guy or point you to humans.
>>
No. 556323 ID: b8ceae

>>556314
Silent takedown.
Try to keep him alive so you can extract information you need - like what they did to you, and how to revive your allies.
>>
No. 556324 ID: db7998

>They don't seem to be doing anything.
Maybe they'll keep developing as you eat, or over time? Buds tend to turn into things.

>Whatever is outside mustn't be breathable.
Although for all you know, what's breathable isn't the same for you as it was. If you're a plant, does that mean you swapped CO2 and oxygen? It's also possible you're more vacuum hardy than you once were, but no reason to put that to the test.

>lab
Can we get inside without being noticed? Ideally you'd like to prevent that science-xotl from doing anything further to that human in there, or hitting a kill switch, which means knocking them out or killing the xotl. Preferably without making a lot of noise, of setting off an alarm.

No way of telling from here if the human is alive, unaltered, or in any condition to be let out of a tube. At the very least though, any lab where they're examining a human may have something relevant to you.
>>
No. 556328 ID: 9ddf68

we can't talk, we can make noise but we can't talk and we don't know the langue enough to try and spell things out. If you can get in there without being seen just bash him in the back of the head with your gun. Failing that, just smash the window and shoot him or just bum rush him if you don't want to wast ammo.

Either way we're going to have to figure out how to free the guy in the tube, then figure out how to make it so he doesn't freak the fuck out when he sees us but one problem at a time.
>>
No. 556338 ID: 2be169

Let's hope the door is unlocked so we can go through it and take the Xotl scientist by surprise.
>>556328
Before trying to free him, I think we should look for a datapad or paper and something to write with so, if he is awake in there, we can communicate with him so he doesn't panic too much.
>>
No. 556347 ID: 496daf

>>556314
Hm, if you can isolate him from anything this should work fine, try to pin his arms against his chest and keep him from getting a good grip on the ground. Then I guess you can question him as much as you are capable of, given speech barrier. Even if you can't we could always stash him or knock him out.
And let's not drain the tube, until we can determine what condition the occupants are in. It would be bad if we have to take care of someone unconscious or injured right now, as much as it would be nice to help them.
>>
No. 556364 ID: 34b2f2

There is a valid reason for capturing and not killing the Xotl, and it's making use of their familiarity with the equipment if the humanoid figure in the tube is in a state that breaking them out carelessly would compromise their safety. Not hard to communicate "open the fucking tube" to them. Depends on the equipment setup and status of the occupant though.

Actual questioning of the Xotl is, as always, silly due to language and speech barriers.
>>
No. 556365 ID: 256d52
File 138935498390.png - (19.42KB , 600x400 , surprise_its_alice.png )
556365

>Do you see a quiet way into the lab that won't immediately result in you being spotted? There's what looks like a human in that tube, getting them out seems like a good idea.
A human? Alice can't leave them here then. The door has a pass code lock and the doors aren't completely silent when the open in any case.

>Can we get inside without being noticed? Ideally you'd like to prevent that science-xotl from doing anything further to that human in there, or hitting a kill switch, which means knocking them out or killing the xotl. Preferably without making a lot of noise, of setting off an alarm.
Need to get him away from the control panel then. Hmm....

Alice knocks on the door. Footsteps on the other side and then -

"Hhhhiiiiiiiii." Alice breathes as it slides open. She grabs the scientist before he can make a sound and then throttles the xotl until he passes out.

She moves into the room and shuts the door behind her.
>>
No. 556366 ID: 256d52
File 138935508628.png - (18.38KB , 600x400 , science_tube.png )
556366

>If your clothes are getting tighter you're probably gonna have to remove them before your next meal. Better to go naked than painfully constricted.
They're fairly elastic. It's more they were fairly loose when Alice first put them on and now they're... not so loose.

>Before trying to free him, I think we should look for a datapad or paper and something to write with so, if he is awake in there, we can communicate with him so he doesn't panic too much.
Alice has the datapad she took off the first xotl still. She could reset that now to use it as a stylus.

>No way of telling from here if the human is alive, unaltered, or in any condition to be let out of a tube. At the very least though, any lab where they're examining a human may have something relevant to you.
Hmm, it's definitely some kind of science-tube. She can't make out much more than basic shapes in there though.

Alice doesn't think the Xotl have done anything to the human yet - there's no apparatus connected to him and a quick glance at the display shows it looks like its just monitoring his vital signs. The tube almost certainly has a suppression field on it - it inhibits electrical activity in the brain to put the subject into a coma. The Penguin had a few specimen tanks that remind her of this tube.

Running over the options in her head, Alice thinks she can try to decipher the interface herself, shut it down manually, wake up the xotl and see if he can be coerced into letting the human out, or she can just break the science-tube.
>>
No. 556370 ID: f461c5

These xotle seem fairly fanatic. Dont let him anywhere near something that would let him hurt you or your crew-mate. for now, it seems like the best idea is to keep him unconscious and try to figure this out yourself; there's no harm in study, and the more well informed you are, the better of you are.
>>
No. 556375 ID: 0b54f4

Well, I might look at the interface before trying the other things, though shut it down manually would be my second choice. However, do you see anything else around worth investigating first? Once you open the tube, there may be a lot of diplomacy and explaining to attempt.

Speaking of which, waving hello seems to me like a very human looking gesture. Like, it seems really hard for me to imagine a creature waving hi and simultaneously think of it as hostile or non-sentient. I might recommend waving hi when the occupant of the tube sees you, followed at some point by showing them your dog tags.
>>
No. 556382 ID: 53ba34

try to understand what the screen is saying first. when science guy wakes up on his own you can ask him questions/demands.
>>
No. 556383 ID: 834ce6

Hrrrm. As much as screwing around with the interface might be appealing as well as manual shutdown (Are those exclusive to each other?), part of me wonders if that Suppression field the tube has would be disrupted if we just broke it.
>>
No. 556385 ID: db7998

>Knock
Pff. That worked.

>what do
I don't really trust the xtol to operate controls the way we want. He could very easily set the tube to 'horrible monster mutation' instead of 'release', or just activate a silent alarm. Also, fear is only a reliable motivator so long as we know it values it's life more than it's mission or duty, and it stays more afraid of us than any other consequence.

Breaking the equipment might get whoever's in there out in a hurry, but there's the risk of complications or injury. I don't think that should be our first choice.

Let's put your engineering skills to work, here. Try and shut it down. Either the via the interface, or manually.

(Guessing here: interface is linguistics / engineering, manual shut down is engineering, smash it is soldier?).

Get your writing tool prepped and ready (with things like "Hello." and "I'm not going to hurt you, really.") in advance, and keep an eye on your unconscious prisoner, in case it wakes up.
>>
No. 556393 ID: 2baea8

You're an engineer, right? See if there's a maintenance panel where you can cut a few wires and disable the suppression field - as well as any defenses or alarms.

After that, you can smash it and get the guy out of there.
>>
No. 556402 ID: 7bbaae

>>556366
Oh, I see, that door was the door to the lab. Definitely reset the datapad so you can use it as a stylus. Then pre-write a message on it. Something like "I've been turned into a monster, but I am still human. Do not be afraid when you see me. My name is Alice, and I am going to get everyone out of here. I'm behind the console right now with the Xotl, so when you're ready please come give me this datapad." Then leave it within view so he'll pick it up when he gets out of the tube.

Try to figure out the interface a bit first. We can't trust the Xotl to follow orders. Consider that the last one tried to punch you rather than run away- they seem to undervalue their own lives. If you can figure out the basic functions but are prevented from further using the console due to security stuff, wake the Xotl up and only allow it to touch the console to bypass security checks. If we're not careful it will set off an alarm.

Hmm, what would shutting it down manually entail?
>>
No. 556420 ID: 9ddf68

try to decipher the interface first because if that fails we can still just shut it down.

Also if you got closer to the tube would that give you a clear image of who's inside or no not really? Cause if so it might give us a better idea to what kind of condition the guy is in.

Oh and get the datapad ready to use, if the guy is still awake when we let him up push the pad in front of his face so all he can see is whatever message you write on there. Something like "are you from the penguin?"
>>
No. 556429 ID: a90328

Eyepatch isn't going to help, so don't bother waking him to ask. Try and get things open the sciencey way first, but if it's too hard to figure out or gives another fight time to get here, smash and grab is the way to go.

When you do get him out of there, make sure to close your right eye, don't let any of those extra orifices show, do make sure to hand him a gun and present your dog tags. At that point, he'll be in a "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" situation and you can explain the rest of this as you continue sneaking around getting what you can done before the next wave of angry guards says hello.

And if you can manage a joke or two, poor pronunciation or not, that should help set him at ease too.

This is all assuming he's conscious. Otherwise I guess you just kinda have to tuck him under an arm and have a more awkward intro later.
>>
No. 556430 ID: b8ceae

>>556366
DO NOT break anything! He's in an induced coma; if he's not woken up properly then he's probably not going to wake up.
At least, not in a reasonable amount of time.

Try to figure out how to wake the guy PROPERLY. If you can't then do the following:

Reset the data pad. Write on it "Wake him and you live", then strip the Xotl and wake him up.
Keep your tendrils tight around his neck while he works so remains fully aware that shenanigans mean instant death.
If he complies then knock him out and lock him in a closet or cabinet or something - nothing airtight. If he is found then he will tell the others what happened. It's letting a little intel leak, but once word gets around their morale will tank; it's easy to stand and fight when the only way you'll survive is killing your enemy, but it's a lot harder when your best chance for survival is avoidance.
>>
No. 556431 ID: 2f4b71

Do you know roughly how long Xotl stay unconscious for after hear trauma? If not, it's probably a good idea to bind Science Dude before doing anything else.
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No. 556468 ID: d0e0a2

Do not attempt to break the tube or suppression field. I suspect that if you can't break it in one hit then a half-broken field generator will fuck up whoever is in the tube. Also, there's a decent chance there are sensors on the tube that'll trigger an alarm if the occupant breaks the tube open or tries to.

Don't try to force the xotl to unlock the tube either. It knows the control console far better than you and might trip a silent alarm, or even a loud one if it thinks it's going to die anyway.

Attempt to figure out the controls yourself. The control to release the occupant will likely be designed to not be triggered accidentally; Second hardest would be "terminate specimen," and the third would be "trigger alarm." It'll probably require a key or use a covered button or something. Unfortunately it might require a password, which means you'll have to wake the xotl up.

Rummage through the xotl's pockets and pat it down for anything else it might have. Then strip it to its underwear and tie it up and gag it with its clothes.
>>
No. 556486 ID: df83d8

Tie up the Xotl and write on the datapad. We don't need things going horribly wrong here.
You should probably check the Xotl's pockets too.

Next up you should inspect the console. If you've worked with suppression kit before, then you should know what shutting it down involves - even if the specific controls here are alien to you.

If you can't shut it down yourself, then maybe see if you can get the xotl to do it.
It's a big risk to let him near the controls, but I don't think we should smash the thing.
>>
No. 556550 ID: 256d52
File 138944760412.png - (30.24KB , 600x560 , user_friendly_computer.png )
556550

>I don't really trust the xotl to operate controls the way we want. He could very easily set the tube to 'horrible monster mutation' instead of 'release', or just activate a silent alarm.
Hmmm, Alice doesn't like the idea of putting him in front of a set of controls that she doesn't know know what it does and letting him press buttons. They've been too clever by half so far, and unexpectedly gutsy.

Heh, guts.

>Tie up the Xotl and write on the datapad. We don't need things going horribly wrong here. You should probably check the Xotl's pockets too.
Alice does so. Gags him too. He's not carrying much aside from... uh... she thinks it might be tranquilliser gun?

>Try to understand what the screen is saying first
...

What is this crap? The xotl clearly don't put user friendliness as a priority.
>>
No. 556551 ID: 256d52
File 138944764881.png - (30.29KB , 600x598 , its_all_greek_to_me.png )
556551

>Let's put your engineering skills to work, here. Try and shut it down.
Alice is... Alice is going to try a manual override.

>Do not attempt to break the tube or suppression field. I suspect that if you can't break it in one hit then a half-broken field generator will fuck up whoever is in the tube. Also, there's a decent chance there are sensors on the tube that'll trigger an alarm if the occupant breaks the tube open or tries to.
And definitely not that sort of manual override.

>Hmm, what would shutting it down manually entail?
Venting the fluid, switching off the suppression field and opening the tube.

>He's in an induced coma; if he's not woken up properly then he's probably not going to wake up.
Alice knows 'induced coma' is inaccurate, but she wanted to emphasise it was deeper than normal sleep. It should be possible to get him up a minute or two after the suppression field is disabled, though he might be woozy for a bit.

>Also if you got closer to the tube would that give you a clear image of who's inside or no not really? Cause if so it might give us a better idea to what kind of condition the guy is in.
Alice presses up against the tube and squints. She... she thinks that's Rob Blake in there. She remembers a little about him. One of the junior research weenies. He seemed pretty bright. Kind of artistic. Lacking in common sense. That last thought stirs up a murky memory. Something about a giant exot antlion?

>You're an engineer, right? See if there's a maintenance panel where you can cut a few wires and disable the suppression field - as well as any defenses or alarms.
It goes one better. The maintenance panel is close enough to what she's familiar with and simply labelled enough - there's even pictograms! - that Alice is able to figure it out without too much trouble.
>>
No. 556552 ID: 256d52
File 138944768264.png - (29.17KB , 700x560 , hai_thar.png )
556552

>Oh and get the datapad ready to use, if the guy is still awake when we let him up push the pad in front of his face so all he can see is whatever message you write on there.
Alice resets the datapad and finds a stylus mode that lets her draw on it.

>Speaking of which, waving hello seems to me like a very human looking gesture. Like, it seems really hard for me to imagine a creature waving hi and simultaneously think of it as hostile or non-sentient
Blake's getting up. Alice waves and holds up her datapad hopefully. It's good to see another human being.

"Alikzz hietriich... amh Alizzssss."
>>
No. 556553 ID: 256d52
File 138944770578.png - (10.19KB , 600x400 , its_going_to_be_ok.png )
556553

>>
No. 556558 ID: 097017

>>556553
That was clearly spoken enough. Still, might need some way to compress the more complicated words in a understandable way. This fella is youngish and spends much time on the computer? speak to him in electronic medium contractions and abbreviation. internet creole.
>>
No. 556559 ID: b6178d

"Hyu hhaw oh kee?"

No sudden moves, but back a bit away, point to the pad and get ready to write things.
>>
No. 556560 ID: a02217

Show him your tags. Point at your tags then point at you, then let him see.
>>
No. 556573 ID: 9c12b1

Maybe you should just wait a moment for him to gather his wits. The man must be suffering from the after effects of the suppression field and might not even be able to read your text yet.
>>
No. 556575 ID: 87e6c2

...You may want to cover his mouth before he alerts the enemy. Just don't get to tentacle-y in his personal space.
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No. 556576 ID: 3a1f17

Note to self, smiling is a bad idea when meeting new people.
Interpose yourself between him and the door we can't have him fleeing into hostile territory while he is in a panic.
Dog tags are a very human thing show yours to him see if you can get him to calm down.
Make him feel like he has some control of the situation. Answer any of his questions as best a you can and when you feel he is no longer going to do anything stupid in a panic give him a weapon. Also try and find him some clothes.
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No. 556579 ID: df83d8

It turns out that "reassuring smiles" don't work so great when you have the mouth of a saltwater croc.

Place the pad down in front of you, and take a slow step backwards. Try to keep your eyes focused on the datapad. We need Blake to read your note before flipping out.

Also, try talking again.
Even if Blake doesn't understand a word you say, talking is a fairly non-threatening behaviour.
>>
No. 556591 ID: 2baea8

>>556579
This. Make sure you're in a position to grab him if he panics and runs for the door, though.
>>
No. 556593 ID: 53ba34

hold the datapad forward more like you are offering to to him.
>>
No. 556594 ID: b8ceae

Shush him. That body language is easy to understand.
Offer him the data pad as soon as possible.
>>
No. 556595 ID: 7bbaae

>>556553
Just shove the datapad in his face. He will understand.
>>
No. 556596 ID: 74c4ad

>>556550
Part on the right might be... brain waves, heart monitor, and status on some chemical? DNA, maybe. Not enough detail to be sure.

Interestingly, their language kind of looks like some kind of cuneiform. Where's an expert on ancient Babylon when you need one?

>Something about a giant exot antlion?
...the first human you find is the one willing to get dangerously close to space monsters? That's... convenient, I suppose.

Still, research weenie is useful. He might be able to make sense of more of this alien biology experiment stuff that you can. Assuming you get him calmed down.

>>556552
Uh, close your big mouth full of teeth. Lip-smile only, please. He looks like he's about to panic, hold up your hands in the universal "woah, woah, calm down" gesture. If he starts to shout or scream, put a finger to your lips and shush him. (We know she can do long s-es, that's easy).

Don't move closer or try to touch him unprompted.

Once he starts to calm down point to your tags, point to the datapad. Answer / ask questions via datapad (even though most of our answers will be "I don't know" and "I woke up in an incinerator like this, okay"), try and resist the impulse to speak and freak him out further.
>>
No. 556600 ID: eaa372

Close your mouths and just hold up the datapad along with your dogtags.
>>
No. 556605 ID: 9ddf68

oh for fuck sakes...

grab your dog tags and show him them, then point at yourself and see how long it takes before it clicks, also don't point at your mouth or anything on you that could be mistaken as a mouth as we don't want him to freak the fuck out more then he already is.

...also can that data pad take pictures? if so take one of his face right now so we can forever give him crap about it later.
>>
No. 556630 ID: a90328

This is where the "close your right eye and cover the extra orifices" part of the plan was supposed to come in. Bit late on the eye, but closing your mouth at least would be a good idea.

You should also at least try to acknowledge how messed up you must look. Something like "I know, right? I haven't seen a mirror, but I can imagine."
>>
No. 557060 ID: 0b54f4

Yeah, I, too, recommend smiling without showing teeth, and refraining from attempts at talking until he's over his initial freak-out phase. Maybe lightly shake the science-xotl to indicate "hey, I took out this guy, I'm on your side."

>>556553
Hahaha, it would be hilarious if it turned out that that face was not an "Oh dear geeze I'm toast" face, but rather an "Oh my word, what is this marvelous work of science I see before me" face.
>>
No. 557121 ID: cf49fc

>>556553
Hand him the datapad whilst doing a top-hatted song and dance routine. The resulting nonsequitor should force their terror-processors to reboot, allowing them to think rationally for a second.

Well, either that or show them your dogtags.
>>
No. 557352 ID: 097017

>>556366
what's that change in color in the room you're in? That looks potentially important. A heavier than air gas? Also, is Xotl atmosphere compatible with human physiology? I mean... do both species originate from class M planets?
>>
No. 557558 ID: 256d52
File 138978199162.png - (23.66KB , 800x600 , dont_look_at_me.png )
557558

>It turns out that "reassuring smiles" don't work so great when you have the mouth of a saltwater croc.
Alice kicks herself for her stupidity. She should have remembered her mouth doesn't work normally any more. A moment's relief at seeing one of her crew and she lost all caution.

Has she changed that much? She hasn't seen a good reflection, but she still seemed Alice-shaped as far as she could tell. Maybe she should have hidden and left the data pad out somewhere obvious for Blake. Should she stand? No! He might feel threatened.

This is where the "close your right eye and cover the extra orifices" part of the plan was supposed to come in.
They are covered! Alice didn't think the eye was too obvious!

>hold the datapad forward more like you are offering to to him
>grab your dog tags and show him them
Alice shields her face and snaps her dog tags off from around her neck, holding both items out. J-just don't look at me! Look at the pad! Look at the dog tags. Ignore the monster behind the curtain!
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No. 557559 ID: 256d52
File 138978202328.png - (17.99KB , 600x450 , dont_do_that.png )
557559

>If he starts to shout or scream, put a finger to your lips and shush him. (We know she can do long s-es, that's easy).
Blake starts spluttering. He probably still has fluid in his lungs and he's agitated. He's not paying any attention to her outstretched hand. Alice thinks he's going to scream. She turns her head back to him put a claw to her lips and hisses urgently.

"Sssssshh!"

Agh shit! He's going nuts. He's going to bring the xotl down on both their heads!

>...You may want to cover his mouth before he alerts the enemy. Just don't get to tentacle-y in his personal space.
Alice drops the datapad and springs forward. She clamps a hand over his mouth. She's trying to hold him but he won't keep still which is making her feel... strange and- oh Messenger no. Oh no oh no. Now she's close and the cloying smell of the oxygenated fluid is wearing thin, he smells amazing. Better than the xotl even!

Alice wants to say something to Blake but her mouth wants to gape wider, feeding tendrils squirming inside so she clamps down instead. She's going to hurt him if he keeps squirming, but she doesn't want the xotl coming.

He just won't be quiet! He's thrashing and choking and Alice can hear his heart hammering louder and louder and louder. This is all his fault! He's screwing everything up!
>>
No. 557560 ID: 256d52
File 138978205194.png - (17.14KB , 600x500 , murder_is_the_best_solution.png )
557560

Wouldn't it be better if he just disappeared?
>>
No. 557562 ID: 2a1897

No, bad Alice.

You are not eating the first human you've found in this nonsense.

Firstly, rip off a strip of clothing from the scientist and gag the dude with it. Use a foot or something so you don't have to let go of the guy. And be goddamn careful when you're doing it, dismembering or mutilating a body in front of this dude aint gonna help anything.

Once you have that sorted out, hold him down and keep prodding him with the datapad until he calms down and takes the hint. He'll get it eventually.

Or piss himself and pass out, but whatever.
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No. 557563 ID: bbf7be

>>557560
No it wouldn't, it would simplify things, but let's not dig a grave when we need a ladder.
He's choking because you are pressing down on his nose, so he can't breathe, change your grip so you are holding and gently pressing his mouth closed. This way you probably won't be frenching him with your radula or feeding tentacles or whatever.
Secondly, he's not screwing anything up, you're choking him while going into the same rhythm of killing and eating the mess left behind. You know what the one thing that separates people from monsters? They don't attack people that aren't harming them. What are you thinking of doing right now? Do you want to only be able to interact comfortably with the small fraction of the population that has whirring bits of ceramic and metal in their chests? To have to deal with this every single time you are even nearby anyone capable of helping you? Do you?
If you can't deal with it, just leave the tags and datapad near him and get out of the room, if anything, you being out of sight will get him to look at those, since he's already caught up in his stupid set of instincts that dictate he lock his eyes on you, and scream and scream.
>>
No. 557565 ID: a90328

Seriously. Roll your eyes, call him a crybaby wimp, give him the pad, a spare gun, and head out towards the next obvious destination. Best case scenario he pulls himself together and follows along shortly. Worst case scenario, he screams, takes a shot at you, and starts running around. Even that works to your advantage though because anyone hearing about some human escaping from a horror tube will just think it's him and leave you to your thing.

It's like Omnipotus said in that one Tick episode. Not eating people is the first step to making friends.
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No. 557574 ID: 0b54f4

Ok, yeah, you're definitely going to regret it if you eat him. So...don't do that.

Gag him and/or just leave the room with the datapad near him and hopefully he'll calm down. If worst comes to worst, knock him out, but reeeeally don't eat him. And yeah, probably best not to eat the xotl in front of him.

Geeze, this guy is a bit of a pansy.
>>
No. 557578 ID: 53ba34

open his hand. place the pad in it. and close his hand on it. do NOT break his hand.
>>
No. 557581 ID: b483c5

Alice, you cross that line, there's no going back. You WILL be a monster then, by your own choice.
>>
No. 557582 ID: 1c677c

Infest him. That should buff his courage.
>>
No. 557583 ID: 097017

>>557560

WTF Alice, who are you? No, Alice, it isn't the best solution; it's called the final solution, and never solved anything. Just cuz people seem incompetent because they were knock unconscious in what looked like a nightmare, probably slept through several nightmares to wake up to another nightmare doesn't mean you can euthanize him.

You're supposed to protect your comrades and this is /your/ comrade that didn't do anything but be bright eyed, naive and ignorant enough to wear old spice around space women. If you can't resist him that's not his fault, its yours. And if he doesn't like your new look think of it this way--most people have two very instinctual reactions to something they don't understand and often experience both; fear and infatuation. Don't become a man-eater just because he's intimidated by your confidence, and your new exotic, unconventional beauty.

Heh. He heheh. "Exot-ic."

Quick, episode 23 of Star Trek TNG: which are you, Tasha Yarr who sacrificed her life and acting career to save a crew-mate in the the most inane and uninteresting plot since The 'Original' Series, or are you the Tar monster that ate her? See the thing here is you get to choose. We don't choose for you, your instincts for choose for you, heck not even the powers that tell your story chooses for you. In moments like these, in the space between the author and the audience you are alive, in these moments you are truly free. The caveat is that after the moment is over, the consequences are set, and you can't choose which consequence you get. If you don't understand the extended metaphor just accept its your crazy talking, but the message is real: your actions don't effect just yourself or space hitlers anymore, they effect a living, breathing (arguably innocent) soul that you are now responsible for. How does that make you feel? *crosses fingers* (oh please, maternal instincts, if there was ever a time to interrupt someone's plans now's the time so freaking butt in already!)

TL;DR
Don't be a monster and while you may wear the pants in this relationship but no means no when guys say it too, /especially/ when it comes to vore.
>>
No. 557590 ID: bca1e4

Alice, this is very important.
How much do you remember of you time on the Penguin?
Do you remember what Rob Blake was like?
What happened with the giant antlion?


Now, if you keep pinning Blake down, either he's going to suffocate or you're going to lose control.
He's not going to calm down and co-operate no matter what you do. So you need to hold yourself together, tie him up and gag him. Once the panic is over your head should start to clear.

However:
If you start to lose control, just run away.
Nothing good can come from you both losing it in a small room with a hostile force outside.
>>
No. 557595 ID: 4a75fa

>>557560
No, bad Alice. Your new crazy instincts are trying to piggyback on your panic. Just because you have a problem, doesn't mean the answer is to kill it. Killing your crewmate because he's panicking is a bad idea.

Just let him go and back away. Show him you're not going to hurt him by action.

...could we get the datapad to say "Don't Panic" is big red friendly letters?
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No. 557600 ID: e9e331

put the data pad in his face, remove your hand from his nose so he can at least breath, wait for him to calm down, then see if we can't talk to him
>>
No. 557606 ID: b483c5

You're better then that.
>>
No. 557616 ID: a1b1b2

Back away from him, make a "sh" gesture, and then begin writing something like "Don't panic" on your pad. If you act calm, collected, and non-hostile, he'll get it eventually. If he doesn't hurry up about it though, well, write him a message, close the door, and go to deal with whatever local Xotl he's alerted to your presence.

The situation is extraordinarily bad, and you NEED allies right now... the flower in your hair and the voices in your head don't cut it.
>>
No. 557618 ID: 4a75fa

Oh, and don't kill the scientist xtol just yet. There's no pressing need to do so, and he may still prove useful if fearful human here ever calms down and knows more of their language than you do.
>>
No. 557620 ID: 61e403

>>557560
No, it wouldn't. Back up. Obviously, he cannot think clearly with you right in front of him and you can't think clearly either! Leave the pad there and move out of the room. No matter how scary, people are far less likely to scream if something runs away from them and is clearly visible. He fears you, let's play the "I'm totally not powerful enough to kill you with a flick of my hand" game. Pretend to be the weaker of the two by backing up and 'hiding'.
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No. 557621 ID: a1b1b2

>>557620
Pretending to be afraid of him is NOT going to work right now, you've already gotten all up in his face and groped his mouthparts. That's not "afraid" behavior. Backing up is fine, hiding would just come off as fake and make him MORE nervous.
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No. 557622 ID: a87e3a

>>557560
Fluid in his lungs! He's not trying to scream, he's trying to breathe! Help him with that. Bend him over and compress his torso a little.
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No. 557623 ID: b6178d

>>557560

Nope.

Let's count the pros:

-He might know/remember what happened to y'all. THIS IS IMPORTANT.
-He's probably an ally as long as you can manage to convince him to work together with him. At the very worst, he'd distract the xotl.

-His skills complement yours, and you need those skills. You're not an egghead. That guy is. If you're going to stand a chance of understanding sciency stuff on this station, you gotta have him alive and well.

-You are presently in an enclosed space. Him freaking the fuck out and yelling isn't going to attract the whole station down on your head. A few guards coming to check on how the human got free, maybe.

Anyway, no. Just no.

So how do we fix this mess?

Well, he's a bit too focused on you right now, and you're -much- too close to him. Y'need something to indicate to him something other than OH GOD MONSTER is going on. Try holding up the unconscious scientist and point to the machinery all around him. Hell, retreat out of the room and take the pad with you. There's no other exits out of that area so he won't be able to slip away, and you can communicate with him through the pad through the window. He'd probably feel a lot better about that!
>>
No. 557624 ID: 7dbd6b

Sheesh, if him yelling is enough to draw in the Xotl through a closed door (you did close the door right? Maybe you should turn around and check on that) in a laboratory in which they're medically experimenting on people, then they're really close already. Maybe you should scout a bit to see whether there are any patrols around, while Blake there gets conscious?

Leave the datapad, dude's more likely to read it when there isn't plant-gater in his face.
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No. 557629 ID: b8ceae

>>557560
Damnit, no. You are not eating him.
Pick him up and lay him on the floor on his stomach to ease the fluid purging process.
You can't seem to keep his mouth shut without hurting him, so let him go and deal with the consequences.
>>
No. 557635 ID: 34b2f2

Killing him is dumb. Shoving more things in his face isn't likely to help with the panicking issue either. Just back away, if he screams he screams but if he still has liquid in his lungs I doubt he can manage a very loud one and you -did- say the doors block sound pretty well.

Back off, leave the pad and the tags near him. Go to the other side of the room and let him calm down. Maybe even go outside the room to keep an eye on possible enemy movement. We can gauge his reaction to things through the window.
>>
No. 557646 ID: a87e3a

Try not to dwell on the fact that your cannibalistic urges mean you will never be able to live with humans safely again.
>>
No. 557648 ID: 2baea8

Leave the datapad and dogtags in the room, then drag the unconscious xotl out and stand guard outside the door until he gets his shit together.
>>
No. 557696 ID: a90328

>>557629

No. Don't touch him at all. You don't know your own strength, and you look like a monster. Pad. Gun (in proper, hold the barrel offer the handle fashion). Actual verbal speech. Leave him to process things while you head out to the hall.
>>
No. 557887 ID: 41d75c

hand him your dogtags and let him go.
>>
No. 557951 ID: a90328

>>557887

Well, those you should really hold onto. At some point you're going to go through this whole thing with someone else, and your mouth has a hard time with your name.
>>
No. 557959 ID: 8eb1e2

Ok, your new instincts are getting in the way now. Just drop the data pad and dog tags and get out of there. He'll probably scream, but that's better than risking losing control and accidentaly killing him.

Better find a hiding spot. If he alerts the enemy you will want a good place to ambush them when they come to check.
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No. 558184 ID: 256d52
File 139004766193.png - (19.11KB , 600x480 , against_regulations.png )
558184

>No it wouldn't, it would simplify things, but let's not dig a grave when we need a ladder.
Simple is good! Alice likes simple!

>No, bad Alice. You are not eating the first human you've found in this nonsense.
Wait...

>He's not screwing anything up, you're choking him while going into the same rhythm of killing and eating the mess left behind.
What is she doing?!

>You know what the one thing that separates people from monsters? They don't attack people that aren't harming them. What are you thinking of doing right now?
Her grip slackens. Sh-she was seriously considering eating him. Just because he is here and frightened and making her think about things she doesn't want to, and she's hungry, why is she still hungry?!

>Your new crazy instincts are trying to piggyback on your panic. Just because you have a problem, doesn't mean the answer is to kill it. Killing your crewmate because he's panicking is a bad idea.
Bad? It's a terrible idea! An awful idea!!
>>
No. 558185 ID: 256d52
File 139004771263.png - (16.64KB , 720x300 , get_away.png )
558185

>If you can't deal with it, just leave the tags and datapad near him and get out of the room, if anything, you being out of sight will get him to look at those, since he's already caught up in his stupid set of instincts that dictate he lock his eyes on you, and scream and scream.
Alice... Alice has to leave now. She can't stay near him like this.

>Alice, this is very important. How much do you remember of you time on the Penguin? Do you remember what Rob Blake was like? What happened with the giant antlion?
She, she- ugh! It's nothing important! Alice was with Blake, he fell into its trap, she got injured and no-one died except the antlion!

>Geeze, this guy is a bit of a pansy.
Gee, maybe he was a bit unhinged by the cannibal monster getting in his face?!
>>
No. 558186 ID: 256d52
File 139004775911.png - (21.33KB , 600x550 , lookin_super_sane.png )
558186

Alice gets to the door.

>Fluid in his lungs! He's not trying to scream, he's trying to breathe!
Aaagggh, maybe he was just trying to clear his lungs?

>Try not to dwell on the fact that your cannibalistic urges mean you will never be able to live with humans safely again.
Its hopeless, isn't it? A ship like the Penguin can feel pretty small. Cramped even. What will she do? There's no way Alice is getting out of here alive.

>Alice, you cross that line, there's no going back. You WILL be a monster then, by your own choice.
What if she's already crossed it? She's eaten at least three people already. Fairly terrible people, but people still! She could justify the first two, she was badly shot up... but was there any reason to eat the third one, other than she wanted to?

>Do you want to only be able to interact comfortably with the small fraction of the population that has whirring bits of ceramic and metal in their chests? To have to deal with this every single time you are even nearby anyone capable of helping you? Do you?
Aaaagh, no. She has to get the crazy out. She has to tear it out. It's the only way!
>>
No. 558187 ID: 256d52
File 139004779580.png - (25.69KB , 560x660 , get_out.png )
558187

3 mass lost.

Agh! Blind One's pipers that hurts! That really hurts!

>Infest him. That should buff his courage.
>Not eating people is the first step to making friends.
>Don't become a man-eater just because he's intimidated by your confidence, and your new exotic, unconventional beauty.
It's not working! She's losing her mind!
>>
No. 558188 ID: 53ba34

sit down and take deep breaths. just IN and OUT. you are thinking too hard and you are tripping over yourself.
>>
No. 558189 ID: 34b2f2

>>558187
First off, if you're still moving around the place stop, stay put. Second, calm down, you're panicking and making rash decisions and taking rash actions. You are in a stressful situation, unclear thoughts are not unusual, it's your actions that matter.

What you're doing right now is not good. Your motivations are good, but you need to stop hurting yourself. If you impair yourself, who is going to rescue your crew, hmm? You have a duty Alice Dietrich, and that is the safety of your crewmates. If that means staying behind in this facility after you've secured your crew an escape route, well maybe that's what it means. We'll see if it's necessary when you've done it, now get ahold of yourself, soldier!
>>
No. 558191 ID: bca1e4

>>558187
STOP.

At this point you need to stop panicking and sit down. Don't say anything, don't do anything.

Sit down and take ten deep breaths.

You can fix this; you're Alice Dietrich, and you CAN control yourself.
But you NEED to calm down.
>>
No. 558195 ID: cf49fc

>>558187
Alice, automutilation is not the solution. As a chronic insomniac, mild addict, severe anxiezealot, and terrible hypochondriac, I can safely say that you should put your eye back in your head, have a good cry, and go find a book of erotic literature to remove your frustration with.
>>
No. 558196 ID: a1b1b2

>>558187
You know, you certainly seem to heal quickly when you eat things, and you've definitely injured yourself pretty badly, here. You need that biomass back.

You know, those changes that are happening to you, are happening to your brain? The flower may not be directly responsible, but it's definitely symbolically significant. You need to get rid of it... don't just detach it, it needs to be destroyed.

Eat the flower.
>>
No. 558197 ID: 9383c1

Just focus on the short term danger. Focus on short-term goals and accomplishing them. Set strict rules and use them to repress your instincts. You have at least two main goals at the moment:

1) Recover the ship from the Xotl.
2) Rescue all the remaining humans and allies.

Blake should also have read the note by now. Take a look around to make sure no Xotl are approaching and go back into the room carefully and take the datapad back. Then keep your distance and let him know of your shared predicament before he starts asking stupid questions.
>>
No. 558199 ID: 9ddf68

Dammit calm down! You just woke up this way not even an hour ago and only now are you getting freaked out by it. You need to calm down and stay on task, we don't know what happened to you but for all we know there is a cure and we simply have to look for it.
>>
No. 558202 ID: b8ceae

>>558187
STOP. YOU GET HUNGRY WHEN YOU ARE HURT. HUNGRIER.

The urges are strong because they are new. Remember puberty? Yea, it's like that.

Blake looks unconscious. Can you tell if he is breathing from here? If not then you need to clear his lungs - FOCUS and you'll be able to resist.
>>
No. 558206 ID: a87e3a

>>558187
Discipline, soldier!
>>
No. 558208 ID: 4a75fa

No, stop.

You can't tear the crazy out, or get rid of through self harm. That's never worked. (Also, you took a pretty good hole to the head before without noticeable change to your mental processes- I'm not sure your thoughts, memory, or consciousness is centralized inside your skull anymore, anyways).

Don't give up hope. You've been tested here, but you managed to endure, to pass. You didn't give in- things aren't hopeless. Maybe you can learn to control it (people spend their whole childhood learning self control- you've only had these instincts for minutes!). Maybe there's a cure or way to reverse the process. Maybe there's a drug that will at least take the edge of the hunger. Maybe they can lock in stasis and take you to a lab somewhere. If you help your crew escape, there's all kinds of ways they might be able to help you.

It's not certain, but it's worth trying. Your odds are better with them than the Xtol. And besides, you're a soldier, aren't you? You took an oath, or made a promise, at some point. And were assigned to this ship. That means it's still your duty to protect them, even if you're not sure you're coming back.

Also- think of it this way. You were worried you weren't freaking out before? You're freaking out now. That's a normal reaction. You're not crazy. But you do need to control yourself. No murdering crewmates, no self mutilation.

>why are you still hungry
I'd assume your body wants to grow and develop. Even though it doesn't didn't have an injury to fix, it might think it's supposed to be bigger, or want to make those buds grow into something.

>what do
...could we just sort of put the flower back?
>>
No. 558209 ID: d2995c

>Its hopeless, isn't it? A ship like the Penguin can feel pretty small. Cramped even. What will she do?
The scent thing will probably wear off with practice at not killing people, but even if it doesn't your ship has environment suits or breathing apparatus, right?
>>
No. 558214 ID: 1c677c

Damnit, shouldn't have been smart. Now she's getting worse. I'm clueless. Maybe thinking to go on in this curse didn't work.
>>
No. 558231 ID: d0e0a2

>>558208
Yes, do put the eye-flower back, but first try putting it in the empty socket where your right eye used to be. Maybe it'll take root and regrow there.
>>
No. 558243 ID: 4a75fa

>>558231
I meant putting it back where she got it. I really don't think we need to make the self mutational worse by attempting (additional) cosmetic alterations. There's nothing wrong with the flower eye (aside from the whole transformation being transformed into a monster against her will wrong).
>>
No. 558296 ID: a90328

When you're trying to prove to someone that you aren't a crazy monster planning to kill them, totally freaking the @#$% out is not a really productive thing to do. Take a deep breath, pull yourself together... possibly literally at this point, and... honestly you really really need to leave this guy alone while you both recover your composure. Make sure to leave a gun for him, see if there's any other prisoners in the medical wing here, and move on. He'll work things out and catch up.
>>
No. 558369 ID: bbf7be

Okay, calm down a bit, don't go tearing yourself up, since the crazy is not a physical thing you can cut off or destroy by any normal means. Try to focus on your breathing, or the feeling of the surface of the dog tags, do you remember anything from your training that relates to distressed people? If anything, try to sit, and do something calming, even simple things like imagining landscapes.
>>558231
I would not suggest putting your eye on your face, better to put it back on the wound than have to heal it through the skin on your face as well.
>>
No. 558383 ID: 8eb1e2

Curl up into a ball and cry. That will solve about... 20% of your problems.
>>
No. 558390 ID: cea9ba

Alice, calm down.

I want you to do something.

Take a deep breath. Count to seven as you breathe in.

Then let it out slowly, count to eleven.

Keep doing this. In, and out. In, and out.

You need to remain calm. Panicking never solves anything.

In and out, remember - don't stop. Keep it up until you're consciously aware of being calm.

Right now you're in a precarious situation. On the plus side, you're a living weapon. If anybody is going to save your crew and get them home, while trapped behind enemy lines with no equipment, it's you.

But you can't do this if you can't focus and stay calm. And your instincts are trying to throw you off and take control.

Don't let them. You're a soldier. You're better than the animal.

In and out.

I assume you've probably been trained in ways to prevent panic? Even if you don't remember them, this breathing exercise was probably among them, so it should stick fairly well. The method of breathing activates the parasympathetic reflex, the 'rest and digest' systems, overriding the 'fight or flight' response.

Just take a few minutes to breathe, then think things through clearly.
>>
No. 558394 ID: cad45e

>>558383
Yeah, at least then the guy would probably know that you are less monster and more "thing that cries for no reason"
>>
No. 558466 ID: 34b2f2

If all these breathing to calm down suggestions don't work, don't freak out.

It's kind of an assumption that her body will respond the way it would in the past.
>>
No. 558467 ID: f0418c

>>558394
That's called a woman. Hey-oh!
>>
No. 558555 ID: cf49fc

>>558467
I believe the correct response is "Zing"
>>
No. 558604 ID: 3e1409

>>558383

as an average person who frequents tgchan, I know for a fact that this feels very pleasant and calming to do. do it.
>>
No. 558801 ID: 256d52
File 139031341463.png - (25.26KB , 600x700 , curl_up.png )
558801

>STOP.
SHE HAS TO TEAR THE CRAZY OUT! Otherwise she'll... this is... crazy...

>Sit down and take deep breaths. just IN and OUT. you are thinking too hard and you are tripping over yourself.
Alice slumps in the door frame, just outside the lab. She tries to stop thinking for a moment and just concentrate on her chest rising and falling as she takes some slow, deep breaths. The thudding in her ears and the impulse to claw out her own brain recede a little.

>Yes, do put the eye-flower back, but first try putting it in the empty socket where your right eye used to be. Maybe it'll take root and regrow there.
It's already dead.

>You know, those changes that are happening to you, are happening to your brain? The flower may not be directly responsible, but it's definitely symbolically significant. You need to get rid of it... don't just detach it, it needs to be destroyed. Eat the flower.
Alice doesn't think it's a good idea to be eating anything right now.

Alice's total mass is 71

Besides, she can feel it growing back already. Can't even hurt herself properly. Talk about your screw-ups.

The door starts softly beeping, politely complaining that it wants to close and something is obstructing it. Yeah? Well screw you door.

>The urges are strong because they are new. Remember puberty? Yea, it's like that.
Right. Miscellaneous extra orifices sprouting everywhere and cannibal hunger all over the shop. Exactly like puberty.

>Curl up into a ball and cry. That will solve about... 20% of your problems.
Its starting to look very tempting.

>Yeah, at least then the guy would probably know that you are less monster and more "thing that cries for no reason"
That doesn't seem very-
>>
No. 558802 ID: 256d52
File 139031351957.png - (18.31KB , 600x438 , laff.png )
558802

>That's called a woman. Hey-oh!
Pffft-ahahaHAHAHAHA!

>Don't give up hope. You've been tested here, but you managed to endure, to pass. You didn't give in- things aren't hopeless. Maybe you can learn to control it (people spend their whole childhood learning self control- you've only had these instincts for minutes!). Maybe there's a cure or way to reverse the process. Maybe there's a drug that will at least take the edge of the hunger. Maybe they can lock in stasis and take you to a lab somewhere. If you help your crew escape, there's all kinds of ways they might be able to help you.
Alice finds herself nodding in agreement, spirits lightening a little. There's still a lot of options. If all else fails, they should have the specimen tanks on board.

>It's not certain, but it's worth trying. Your odds are better with them than the Xotl. And besides, you're a soldier, aren't you? You took an oath, or made a promise, at some point. And were assigned to this ship. That means it's still your duty to protect them, even if you're not sure you're coming back.
And if those options fall through, duty remains.

>Right now you're in a precarious situation. On the plus side, you're a living weapon. If anybody is going to save your crew and get them home, while trapped behind enemy lines with no equipment, it's you.
A less double sided weapon would have been preferable, Alice thinks, but she'll have to take what she can get.

>But you can't do this if you can't focus and stay calm. And your instincts are trying to throw you off and take control. Don't let them. You're a soldier. You're better than the animal.
It's been close so far, but she can do this. Back to business. What next.

First off, she's out in the corridor and she needs to find out if she did get the attention of anything. If she stops blocking this door, though, it'll close and she doesn't know the pass code for getting back in. Remaining in place, Alice cocks her head and listens hard. Footsteps. Two pairs of them. Boots on metal. Coming fast from up ahead. And something else. Humming and... vibration?

She'd had better get out of the open. Alice shoots to her feet, slips back into the lab with pistol in hand and-
>>
No. 558804 ID: 256d52
File 139031386844.png - (30.30KB , 900x450 , he_stopped_screaming_at_least.png )
558804

Oh damnit Blake!

THIS IS THE WORST DAY EVER!
>>
No. 558805 ID: 7400f2

Ugh. Okay, try to say, as clearly as you can manage, that there're enemies coming. Say it slowly if need be.
>>
No. 558806 ID: 356cea

Give him space, Don't pressure him.

Use the datapad to warn him of incoming hostilities.
>>
No. 558809 ID: b2c9e1

Drop your gun and put your hands up, Try to make it clear you aren't going to hurt him...And don't try to talk, So far all that's done is make him scared...and scared people are unpredictable.
>>
No. 558810 ID: 9ddf68

roll your eyes and back away from any windows or whatever lets someone see you from outside of this room, motion for him to do the same but if he ignores you just ignore him back and hope they don't see him. Also where did he get that gun?
>>
No. 558811 ID: 76b151

Point to the dead guy, mime walking with your fingers. Then hold up two fingers to show how many there are.

Finally put your finger to your mouth to indicate silence.

Non verbal communication works people.
>>
No. 558815 ID: 74e566

>>558804
"Blake. Hostiles incoming. Take cover. I will handle this."
Motion for him to hide behind that ridiculously large console.
>>
No. 558817 ID: 4a75fa

Uh, military handsigns! You know, the ones you use to signal your squad when you see something but can't talk? It's a far cry from sign language, but surely you can flash him "hostiles incoming- thataway" or "get to cover" or something similar?

Or if Blake's never had sufficient training to know those, >>558811 works. Point to the Xtol, point to the door, then hold up too fingers. Then a finger to your lips for silence. Then gesture towards getting to cover.

Whatever you do, do this with limited, non-threatening motion. Leave your gun-arm where it is, and half-raise your left (like you were doing a hands up), and then start your gesturing.

If we're desperate to try and get him to trust you, you could always try, very carefully, to get one word out. His name, maybe. Or "please".

If he starts shooting at you, don't return fire, just give for cover, and then start shooting the xtol when they come in. Assuming Blake manages not to get killed by them, maybe he'll realize the scary monster is killing the alien kidnappers and not him.

>Humming and... vibration?
They brought some kind of machine, I'd guess. Something you can't eat. They learn fast.
>>
No. 558820 ID: 728984

make the universally known shush gesture, then turn around and leave the room, closing it behind you. you don't wanna risk him getting shot.

he hasn't shot you yet, so it's safe enough to assume he won't do so unless you do something threatening. not that it'd be that terrible if he did. I mean come on, my sister has a bigger penis than that peashooter he's holding.
>>
No. 558830 ID: a87e3a

>>558804
Don't move towards him.
>>
No. 558843 ID: a87e3a

>>558830
On the other hand if he does shoot you, immediately rush him and take the gun away before he can fire another shot.
>>
No. 558846 ID: 8ea63b

point at the Xotl on the ground and the frantically point at the door, all while pointing the gun at the door ready to take a shot as soon as one of them pass through. if he doesn't get that he's too stupid to be helpful anyhow.
>>
No. 558853 ID: a90328

That doesn't appear to be "I'm going to blow you away you monster" body language he has there,so you should be good. So yeah, give him, at the very least, a quick thumbs up for getting on the right page, and focus on what's going on in the hall. Downside is, for trust building purposes, you should probably avoid eating, or even ferally pouncing on, this next set of mooks. Take'em down with normal human gunplay to prove how totally not ruled by instinct you are.
>>
No. 558856 ID: 2f4b71

Listen up Corporal! Blake may be a science weenie, but they had to have at least sent him through Basic. It's time to put those NCO chops to good use; don't try and reason with him, just appeal straight to his hindbrain desire to not get yelled at for screwing around. These hand-gestures aren't a suggestion, they aren't something you should take under advisement. They're orders son, now hop to it!
>>
No. 558881 ID: cf49fc

>>558804
Put your gun on the floor and your hands on your head!
>>
No. 558888 ID: 9383c1

>>558811
>>558817
>>558820
This. Just give him a hush signal and try to communicate nonverbally. Check your gun silently and honestly, but keep it pointed at the door. Try to move carefully in a natural manner.

Hide the unconscious alien somewhere you can see him but that couldn't be seen by anyone peering into the room.
>>
No. 558892 ID: 4a75fa

Another thing, when taking cover, put yourself between the door and him. This serves a dual purpose- putting the regenerating superweapon between the squishy civy and the hostiles, and as a gesture of reassurance / trust (you're giving him the chance to shoot you in the back, but trusting he won't).
>>
No. 558908 ID: 8eb1e2

Put your gun on the floor, out in the open. Then step out of cover with your hands in the air. Try and show him your dog tags.
>>
No. 558910 ID: 2baea8

>>558811
This, slowly. No sudden movements.
>>
No. 558913 ID: 34b2f2

Blake's visible through the window. Try to gesture at him to take cover against the wall under the window, or on the far side of it. Ideally you get him to understand so he'll let you drag the Xotl out of sight without freaking out.

But if Blake's not getting it, just get ready to fight some Xotl. Better we fight them than have him lash out and have to fight them anyway, but injured and with an unreliable ally.
>>
No. 559391 ID: 256d52
File 139065843894.png - (23.04KB , 600x400 , charades.png )
559391

>Drop your gun and put your hands up
Alice isn't giving up her only gun.

>Where did he get that gun?
Alice may or may not have left the shotgun behind when she freaked out and fled the room.

>Use the datapad to warn him of incoming hostilities.
She also may or may not have dropped the data pad she was holding.

>"Blake. Hostiles incoming. Take cover. I will handle this."
Alice can barely talk!

>Don't try to talk, So far all that's done is make him scared...and scared people are unpredictable.
That too.

>Blake's visible through the window. Try to gesture at him to take cover against the wall under the window, or on the far side of it. Ideally you get him to understand so he'll let you drag the Xotl out of sight without freaking out.
>Whatever you do, do this with limited, non-threatening motion. Leave your gun-arm where it is, and half-raise your left (like you were doing a hands up), and then start your gesturing.
Alice attempts to inform Blake that there's three enemies coming and that he should get down.
>>
No. 559392 ID: 256d52
File 139065857652.png - (13.53KB , 600x400 , his_guard_is_down_finish_him.png )
559392

Blake straightens and lowering the gun a fraction. "Dietrich... is that really you?" he whispers.

It's a start, but Alice isn't sure if she's going to be able to explain things before the xotl and/or killer robots get here!

>They brought some kind of machine, I'd guess. Something you can't eat. They learn fast.
Drone weapon probably. They'll most likely send it in first, too! They've been aggravatingly on the ball so far.
>>
No. 559393 ID: 8ea63b

>>559392
nod your head and repeat the gesture
>>
No. 559394 ID: 53fda7

Hrrm.
nod, and then point him, then. point at someplace with cover, while you position yourself next to the doorway.
Best to keep him safe and out of danger for now, and then later, use the datapad for a more in-depth explaination of what happened to you.
>>
No. 559396 ID: 53ba34

repeat it but add a 'walking' motion on the end. two fingers downward to represent legs.
>>
No. 559398 ID: f7d778

take a peek.
>>
No. 559399 ID: 9ddf68

nod and motion for him to get the hell away from the window.
>>
No. 559400 ID: bca1e4

>"Dietrich... is that really you?"
Nod in response to this, and then let's focus on those Xotl. Until you get used to that mouth, there isn't much point in trying to communicate when you don't have time to spare.

There are two plans you could try here:
The first is an ambush, which seems to be your speciality.
Get Blake to take cover behind something solid, then hide just outside the door. When the Xotl bust into the the room, jump in behind them.
You should be easily capable of taking out the pair of guards. The risk is fighting that Drone; if it goes in first you'll have it surrounded, but depending on how dangerous it is that may not be enough.

If you don't think you can take on a Drone, you are going to have to run.
Leave the Xotl scientist (there is nothing he can say that won't be on camara anyway) and dash for the storage area, Hopefully the storage area will be bigger and have more obstructions than the lab, and that should give you an advantage.
>>
No. 559405 ID: 4a75fa

Bad filenames! No channeling homicidal plant instincts.

>is that really you?
Nod.

Then take cover behind something, ahead of him, weapon trained on the door. Then turn back to him and make a frantic "get down" gesture with your free hand. Hopefully between you taking up position for an ambush and gesturing frantically, he'll get that danger is coming.

>They'll send in the drone first, aggravatingly on the ball
Agreed. How does one properly ambush a drone, though? Maybe using the shotgun (assuming that alternate ammo is AP or HE), although you don't exactly have time to convince Blake handing over his only gun to you is a good idea. Meaning you'll have to do without it.

...wait, did you leave the torn off flower in the hall? They'll definitely know to check this room, then.
>>
No. 559416 ID: 34b2f2

Thumbs up, repeat the gesture and drag the Xotl out of sight of the window, while making sure to keep the gun in a non-threatening position relative Blake.

Door ambush is looking tempting, I wonder if you can hide up above it on the wall/ceiling.
>>
No. 559424 ID: ccd544

>>559416
>Door ambush is looking tempting, I wonder if you can hide up above it on the wall/ceiling.

yes, but she should shoot down into their helmets and backs, instead of jumping down with claws into their line of fire!
>>
No. 559426 ID: a87e3a

>>559392
Nod emphatically. Then sortof sidle into the room while looking at the corridor.
>>
No. 559427 ID: 51507a

>>559392
Nodding is good, since you seem to be limited in your phonemes. That said, given your previous experimentation, you might be able to manage something approximating a "yes" or "uh huh." Probably with more Zs and Gs than you'd like, but it's better than nothing.

After that, either hiding above the door or behind something expensive-looking they won't want to shoot at would be nice, depending on how feasible that first one is for you.
>>
No. 559493 ID: a90328

This actually works out great for you. Still building trust here (nod to the name thing), so you really do kinda want to fight something with brains and guns rather than ripping it apart and eating it. With a robot or whatever, there's no temptation there.

Do you still have that grenade by the way? Big slow moving hard target seems like a good thing to use it on.
>>
No. 559561 ID: bca1e4

>>559424
>shoot down into their helmets and backs, instead of jumping down with claws into their line of fire!
I'm not sure this is a good idea. Leaping into close quarters allows us to control the fight, and actively stop the soldiers from getting a clear shot at us. Plus, their back isn't really in the "line of fire".
By contrast, in a fire-fight we would be out numbered and out equipped. We'd still be a lot harder to kill than a Xotl, but that's not a fun thing to fall back on.

Think about the first and second fights we got into.

>>559493
>Do you still have that grenade by the way?
A grenade sounds like a fantastic way to bring down that "drone" thing.
>>
No. 559572 ID: d489ff

How smart are drones? Are they independent or remotely controlled? I'm just thinking you could hide behind your hair folds or roll up into a nonhumanoid shape so it won't detect you as being a living creature.

Regarding Blake just nod and point your gun at the window while you hide yourself and the Xotl scientist.
>>
No. 560357 ID: 761017

>>559561
>Plus, their back isn't really in the "line of fire".
Military tactics says that only part of the squad enters the room, the others use the doorway for cover and guard it from a back attack!

I'm saying, let them start to come inside the room, then shoot them from the ceiling before your leaping death attack!
>>
No. 561583 ID: 256d52
File 139195205965.png - (27.04KB , 600x480 , establish_communications.png )
561583

>Nod and motion for him to get the hell away from the window.
Alice nods emphatically. "Yezss!" She steps closer but that immediately puts him on guard again so she stands and waits.

"Can you talk?" He fumbles for the data pad, unwilling to take his eyes off her. She should approve of his caution, she supposes.

"Naowh wehlll." Alice repeats her last gesture, more emphatically. She glances back at the door significantly. "Geh douwn! Szhhhhhh!"

It seems it's sunk in. Blake moves behind the console. Alice tosses the downed xotl into the vacated tube. He seems too rattled still to risk trying to get her shotgun back off him.

>Best to keep him safe and out of danger for now, and then later, use the datapad for a more in-depth explanation of what happened to you.
Right. There's no time to explain.

>Door ambush is looking tempting, I wonder if you can hide up above it on the wall/ceiling.
It shouldn't be too hard to hang on to something. From what Alive has seen, the xotl don't bother with false ceilings in most spots, so there's a lot of exposed pipes and cable runs up there.

>You should be easily capable of taking out the pair of guards. The risk is fighting that Drone; if it goes in first you'll have it surrounded, but depending on how dangerous it is that may not be enough.
The element of surprise should hopefully be enough if Blake can provide some supporting fire.
>>
No. 561584 ID: 256d52
File 139195209088.png - (12.60KB , 400x600 , flower_recovery.png )
561584

>...wait, did you leave the torn off flower in the hall? They'll definitely know to check this room, then.
Shit! Alice moves to the door to grab it.

>If you don't think you can take on a Drone, you are going to have to run. Leave the Xotl scientist and dash for the storage area.
They're coming from that direction.

Speaking of which... they're here.
>>
No. 561585 ID: 256d52
File 139195211710.png - (22.05KB , 600x400 , sensible_response.png )
561585

Oh now this is just bullshit.

That's a Fafnir! Those things are used for frontline combat! Heavy armoured on the front and yes, it has a variable mode heavy laser for an arm. Extra heat sinks and the laser's battery are in the reinforced 'shoulder' on the other side, as the battery can be quite explosive if damaged.

With a pistol, the only things she could hope make a dent in from the front are the eyes (of which it has four), the laser's focal lens (protected by an armoured shutter unless it's about to fire) or maybe the treads.

The xotl have a shotgun, grenades and something else she doesn't recognise. Wide bore... some sort of launcher?

>Do you still have that grenade by the way? Big slow moving hard target seems like a good thing to use it on.
On the weapons front, Alice currently has one grenade, a pistol, nineteen bullets, seven shotgun shells and herself.
>>
No. 561586 ID: 426396

launchers mean they can blow up the room. you can survive in the ceiling, but Blake probably can't. you gotta move in, biomass be damned.

start off with the grenade. try to have it land past the Fafnir, but as close to it as possible. and rush them. aim for the centers of mass while closing as much distance as you can. that thing probably can't do much once you're too close for it to maneuver fast enough, and hopefully the lizardlings will be stopped long enough by the shock and awe tactics.
>>
No. 561589 ID: 53ba34

it looks more grenade then rocket launcher. besides, they have a poor angle to even get it INTO the room where they are, they need to get closer before they can use it.
>>
No. 561594 ID: 53ba34

and i guess i should give an alternative plan too,
wait until the guy with the launcher starts to aim, that means he thinks he has an angle. THEN throw the grenade and rush em. tackle launcher guy and wrestle it away from him then move away and fire at the mech with it.
>>
No. 561595 ID: c3a253

Getting close to the Fafnir is, I think, a priority. It doesn't look like it has anyway of dealing with something that has literally climbed onto it's frame. Killing the Xotl while closing is also probably a good idea.

So yeah, grenade then rush in is a good plan.
>>
No. 561607 ID: 9ddf68

Did they see you? If not wait in the room for them to get closer before trying to ambush them, cause right now that launcher seems to be the only thing in our area that can even hurt that thing.

I see two ways we could attack, If they haven't seen us we could wait for them to get right next to this room's door and then jump out and see if we can't stick the grenade somewhere on the drone (I mean that thing does look like it has a few places you could jam the grenade, hopefully somewhere around the shoulders next to the highly volatile battery) and then either let the door close and you can take cover while that thing explodes or you can run out into the hall to see if they'll chase you leaving Blake alone. Also if you do go with this try to see if you can't plant the grenade without the two little guys seeing it.

Option two is if they see you or you don't want to fight so close to the room you're in is to go with the throw the grenade and rush them plan. Just make sure you cook the grenade a little so they can't throw it back at you.
>>
No. 561608 ID: b8ceae

>>561585
Your course of action is clear. Rush in and get the launcher, then use the launcher on the Fafnir.
Blake won't survive being in the same room as the fight, so don't let that happen.
>>
No. 561615 ID: 4a75fa

How wide is the hallway, how well can the Fafnir turn, and does it have any rear-mounted weapons?

Because I'm thinking the best plan might be to get behind it, rapid-kill the infantry, and then see what you you can do to kill the bot from behind. Combine with an ambush so you're behind it and on them before they can react.

I suggest looking at Blake as you visibly cock your weapon, or arm the grenade. Let him see you're going to hit them.
>>
No. 561635 ID: a90328

There's a lot to be said for ending most attacks by rushing in to hand to hand range, but it is very rarely a good way to start things off. Facing heavily armed and armored guys at the far end of a long hall way for instance is not a time when that's a good idea.

Before you do anything, double check- Are there any other potential exits from this room? Maintenance hatches? Bizarrely wide ducts? Even just some sort of back office? If walls aren't necessarily solid cover, it's good to have somewhere you can fall back to when it's their turn to take a shot back at you.

Let them close a bit so rushing out can potentially become a good idea.

Toss the grenade past them, where it can do the most damage. Maybe even overshoot if you think they're likely to drop everything and try to throw it clear.

I'm guessing the Fafnir is going to ignore it and try to get a shot off on you. If you're confident enough in your aim to pull off that shoot the laser's lense trick, the grenade should buy you time to do that. Otherwise, time to fall back to where you can, and prepare to take some shots at anyone who approaches the entryway or makes a new one.
>>
No. 561638 ID: a87e3a

>>561585
How about you slide the gun over to Blake, and point at his shotgun, so you switch weapons? Then you'd have something that could better damage the mech. Definitely open up with the grenade, but wait for them to get closer so you can get in close without taking as much damage.
>>
No. 561642 ID: a7868d

if there's exposed wires and pipes maybe you can climb into the ceiling and use them to get above them. Then drop the grenade on them from above. That probably wont take out anything that heavily armored so you'd have to get on it's back and tear it open, ad keep going until it's non-functional.
>>
No. 561649 ID: 2baea8

If it's a launcher, try to get it for yourself. You can use it to help take out the mech.
>>
No. 561811 ID: 761017

You could run right past them, vine-grab the launcher guy, and dive into a side-room to prep for the Fafnir, while letting Blake have a few shots open.
>>
No. 562616 ID: 256d52
File 139244659223.png - (13.00KB , 600x400 , tater_tot.png )
562616

>Are there any other potential exits from this room? Maintenance hatches? Bizarrely wide ducts? Even just some sort of back office?
There's another one of the trolleys and then more machinery and other random crap piled up. If there's a maintenance duct, there's other crap in the way.

>If there's exposed wires and pipes maybe you can climb into the ceiling and use them to get above them. Then drop the grenade on them from above.
Alice doesn't like the idea of being that close to an explosion.

>How about you slide the gun over to Blake, and point at his shotgun, so you switch weapons?
There's no time! Alice doesn't want to risk losing her only gun.

>How wide is the hallway, how well can the Fafnir turn, and does it have any rear-mounted weapons?
A few meters, irrelevant since the upper body is a turret and no.

Getting close to the Fafnir is, I think, a priority. It doesn't look like it has anyway of dealing with something that has literally climbed onto it's frame.
It's got two arms tucked away in the lower body, but they're mainly for righting it if it falls over and switching out equipment.

Getting close in looking like the best bet.

>Start off with the grenade. try to have it land past the Fafnir, but as close to it as possible. and rush them.
Doesn't look like they've seen her yet. Using the door frame for cover, Alice lobs her grenade through the gap and down the corridor.
>>
No. 562617 ID: 256d52
File 139244668738.png - (22.66KB , 750x400 , hot_potato.png )
562617

The grenade bounces off the Fafnir's head and skips over. A little lower than she'd intended, but not a bad throw, even if she does say so herself. The xotl scatter, backing down the corridor to try and get clear.

Alice gets ready to charge.

>Rush in and get the launcher, then use the launcher on the Fafnir.
It's a non-standard design. Alice has no idea what it shoots!
>>
No. 562618 ID: 256d52
File 139244670975.png - (25.80KB , 600x450 , warning_contents_hot.png )
562618

The grenades goes off in midair. That's not a normal grenade...

One of the xotl got caught on the fringe. the Fafnir barely seems to notice, but the main heat sinks are covered in fff-
>>
No. 562619 ID: 256d52
File 139244672672.png - (43.64KB , 480x600 , highly_reactive.png )
562619

>Launchers mean they can blow up the room. you can survive in the ceiling, but Blake probably can't. you gotta move in, biomass be damned.
Fire! Fire! Retreat! Retreat!
>>
No. 562620 ID: 2380bd

So we have an instinctive fear of fire, wonderful. On the other hand, this implies that the Xotl have fought creatures like us before if they're carrying around incendiary grenades like that as standard gear, and that they've got something to do with our current form. FOCUS! TAKE COVER AND START SHOOTING THE FAFNIR'S EYES OR WAIT FOR A SHOT AT THE FOCAL LENS.
>>
No. 562621 ID: 9ddf68

ok we now know we're afraid of fire, and we just set the robot on fire, and it's coming towards us... SHOOT THE ROBOT BEFORE IT CAN GET CLOSER.
>>
No. 562623 ID: a87e3a

>>562619
Shoot the tank treads! Can't let it get to us.
>>
No. 562624 ID: d2995c

There isn't anywhere on the tank's front we can shoot aside from the small and multiple eyes or the gun barrel that only opens when it is about to shoot. Notice how the treads have plating over the front of them, so we would need to be next to the tank to get at them.
Back to the room for now I guess; hopefully the fire on the heat sink means that the tank can't just shoot at us from where it is until it gets lucky.
>>
No. 562625 ID: a90328

Shooting out the laser lens is absolutely worth it right now if, and only if, you're sure you can get a clean shot off. The xotls are panicking so they won't be shooting back, but once they recover, you miss your window.

If you're still panicking, then that plans out for now, fall back behind the nice relatively safe wall and calm down a sec.
>>
No. 562644 ID: 649589

be brave. move in.
>>
No. 562647 ID: 53ba34

it's heat sinks are on fire. meaning trick it into shooting its weapon, it will overheat, perhaps making it's gun melt a little.
>>
No. 562651 ID: 7efc17

Get your head back in cover! The fafnir being on fire will mean a short-term overwhelming of it's heat sinks, but that will take a moment or two to kick in. A moment or two in which it can shoot you!
Force the thing to come to you!
The door frame can probably take a hit or two so stay in cover behind it for a moment while the fafnir is overheating. When you notice some damage, then prepare to charge it and go over like the grenade did. Cling to it's back side and point-blank shoot it in whatever vulnerable area(s) you can find.
>>
No. 562657 ID: 4a75fa

>That's not a normal grenade
Incendiary instead of fragmentation? Not that great versus armored targets, or in this enviroment. Distressingly, this again points to them being on the ball when it comes to planning to kill you. Fireballs hurt plants.

I suppose if the Fafnir has its heatsink napalmed, there's only so long before it overheats.

...wait. Use your engineering know-how. What happens if that thing fires while the heatsinks are covered in flaming material like that? Will it overheat, or explode? We could potentially use that, it you can bluff it into firing (and missing).

>fear of fire! Retreat!
No. There's nowhere to go, and if you hold position of try to find a back way out, the Fafnir will just blow the room you're in to shit. Trapping you and killing Blake.

I think we really only have two options. Fake the fafnir into firing and overheating (in which case, you don't want to be anywhere near it), or get too close to it for it to be able to hit you.
>>
No. 562727 ID: a7868d

You can't go into freak out mode right now. Get your head together. Get into the roof wiring and get much closer, trying to avoid being seen as you do so. You don't have to get too close, but you have to be closer than this.
>>
No. 564396 ID: 256d52
File 139341377528.png - (14.98KB , 600x400 , alice_uses_gun.png )
564396

>...wait. Use your engineering know-how. What happens if that thing fires while the heatsinks are covered in flaming material like that? Will it overheat, or explode? We could potentially use that, it you can bluff it into firing (and missing).
Maybe, maybe one shot then it'd overheat? Not likely to explode unless the battery is short-circuited.

>be brave. move in.
Nonononononono.

>The door frame can probably take a hit or two so stay in cover behind it for a moment while the fafnir is overheating. When you notice some damage, then prepare to charge it and go over like the grenade did. Cling to it's back side and point-blank shoot it in whatever vulnerable area(s) you can find.
Hide! Hide!

>So we have an instinctive fear of fire, wonderful. On the other hand, this implies that the Xotl have fought creatures like us before if they're carrying around incendiary grenades like that as standard gear, and that they've got something to do with our current form. FOCUS! TAKE COVER AND START SHOOTING THE FAFNIR'S EYES OR WAIT FOR A SHOT AT THE FOCAL LENS.
She has to stop it! With shaking hands, Alice pops into the door frame for a moment and fires at the Fafnir's head.
>>
No. 564397 ID: 256d52
File 139341384674.png - (22.71KB , 600x450 , its_not_very_effective.png )
564397

BLAM BLAM BLAM

>Ok we now know we're afraid of fire, and we just set the robot on fire, and it's coming towards us... SHOOT THE ROBOT BEFORE IT CAN GET CLOSER.
IT'S NOT WORKING! It's on fire and it doesn't even care!

Four bullets left in the magazine.

It hasn't shot back? Waiting for a clear shot?

>You can't go into freak out mode right now. Get your head together. Get into the roof wiring and get much closer, trying to avoid being seen as you do so. You don't have to get too close, but you have to be closer than this.
Alice could cling to it easily, but she'd be in plain sight unless she hid behind a door frame or something!

She can't go out there! Alice starts backing into the lab.
>>
No. 564398 ID: 256d52
File 139341388718.png - (25.28KB , 800x400 , return_of_the_helmet.png )
564398

>There's nowhere to go, and if you hold position of try to find a back way out, the Fafnir will just blow the room you're in to shit. Trapping you and killing Blake.
Maybe, maybe there's an air duct or something!

The gel inside the grenade is starting to throw up a lot of smoke as it burns. A wide slick of burning gel between the xotl and the Fafnir takes up most of the width of the corridor. The smell is acrid and unpleasant.

The xotl with the launcher is doing something.
>>
No. 564399 ID: 256d52
File 139341391433.png - (20.77KB , 840x450 , potato_boogaloo.png )
564399

A grenade lands just outside the door and bounces inside.
>>
No. 564401 ID: fb228a

Ok this was one of the helmeted Xotls so he probably cooked the damn thing so kicking it back out is probably a bad idea. Pretty sure it's also an incendiary grenade like the one we had, between that and the smoke we won't be able to survive in the lab for much longer even if we took a human-sized air vent to crawl through; We'd die to smoke inhalation.

...Ok I got nothing. Options I can think of are taking cover behind the lab with our friend or jumping out the window. Both options are pretty shit to be honest but that's all I can come up with.
>>
No. 564409 ID: 25dfb7

kick it away. it's either that or a roomful of fire. you don't want that.
>>
No. 564423 ID: 53ba34

throw science xotl at it
>>
No. 564425 ID: 53915f

>>564401
he fired it from a launcher, launcher don't let you cook grenades, kick that thing back like a punter or else your entire room will be full of fire. FIRE BAD KICK PRE-FIRE AWAY BEFORE IT BECOMES REAL FIRE!
>>
No. 564426 ID: 4a75fa

Exploit your new biology here. Extend a tentacle (or your leg?) and tentacle smack / kick it back at them, as you dive for cover. There's a chance you might lose the appendage you extend to do the job, but it'll grow back, and it beats a room full of fire.

It's a risk trying to smack it, yes, but if that grenade goes off in here you're dead. Even if you somehow survive the immediate detonation of the firebomb, you'd be too consumed by your new instinctive fear to react intelligently after that. Which would make you as good as dead in a combat situation.
>>
No. 564435 ID: 3ca413

>>564399
You're too close to get away from that grenade, kick it back toward the door and dive.

Thankfully Blake is behind cover, so he should be okay.
>>
No. 564459 ID: fb228a

>>564425
Take another look, he threw the grenade it didn't come from his gun. Heck his gun is in his other hand.
>>
No. 564460 ID: 116d88

Actually, it looks like it might be set up to detonate as soon as that sort of button on the bottom makes solid contact with the floor... which seems like a less than reliable design. I suppose you'd know, you've dealt with these guys before, but if so, you want to catch it from the sides rather than put your foot right on the bottom.

Also has your lack of depth perception come back to bite you yet? Don't forget you're only seeing out of one eye right now and misjudge something.
>>
No. 564465 ID: a87e3a

>>564399
INCENDIARY! GET BEHIND COVER!
>>
No. 564506 ID: a7868d

Fire bad, kick it away. If it goes off in here you are screwed anyway, so do what you can.
>>
No. 564510 ID: 0b54f4

Gaaah, ummm, yeah, kick it back.

Gaaaa, gosh dang it, THIS GAME IS HAAAARD! (double spoiler) That's...not necessarily bad, though. (/double spoiler)
>>
No. 564518 ID: b8ceae

>>564399
Use a tendril to throw it back.
>>
No. 564548 ID: 2baea8

>>564518
This.
>>
No. 565606 ID: 256d52
File 139427556437.png - (24.90KB , 800x550 , kick_that_grenade.png )
565606

>Kick it away. it's either that or a roomful of fire. you don't want that.
It's a risk trying to smack it, yes, but if that grenade goes off in here you're dead. Even if you somehow survive the immediate detonation of the firebomb, you'd be too consumed by your new instinctive fear to react intelligently after that. Which would make you as good as dead in a combat situation.
Fire! No! Get rid of it! Fire!

>Exploit your new biology here. Extend a tentacle (or your leg?) and tentacle smack / kick it back at them, as you dive for cover. There's a chance you might lose the appendage you extend to do the job, but it'll grow back, and it beats a room full of fire.
Alice steps forward and drops, sweeping her foot out in a low kick. Compelled by urgent necessity, she reaches and feels her foot distort into tendrils to punt the grenade away before it can bounce deeper into the lab. The tendrils at her waist push against the ground, steadying her and coiling to help boost her back to her feet. Fire! Retreat!
>>
No. 565607 ID: 256d52
File 139427562497.png - (15.10KB , 600x400 , grenade_uses_self_destruct.png )
565607

The grenade explodes a split second later, just outside the door.

The distant, papery whispering of the xotl, one pained, is meaningless sounds to Alice as the incendiary bursts with a crisp crack, followed by a fwoomph as the fuel mixture inside ignites. Alice can't look away as flame blossoms into a hideous flower in an instant. The main spill in the corridor blocks the exit completely. Nothing is going to get close to that.

Burning gel splashes Alice's foot.
>>
No. 565608 ID: 256d52
File 139427563757.png - (22.50KB , 600x500 , alice_is_not_actually_surrounded_by_fire.png )
565608

Alice is on fire!
>>
No. 565609 ID: 53ba34

rip your leg off at the knee!
>>
No. 565612 ID: cecece

>>565609
REMOVE KNEE? NO. DO NOT DO THIS, PEEL LEG LAYER OFF TO BECOME LESS ON FIRE.
>>
No. 565613 ID: 116d88

Oh, you're only a LITTLE on fire. Which is a totally solvable problem. Just back up, find that dead scientist, smother the flames out in his corpse, find some cover to hide behind for when they get bold and come closer. And MAYBE try to shut as many mouths as you can to help not freak out the squares.
>>
No. 565614 ID: 34b2f2

Fire is bad, but I'm not sure it's rip your leg off bad. The fire is on the outside bits, right? So just scrape that, uh, flesh I guess, off. Use a chunk of metal ripped out of a console or something, don't wanna get fire stuck on your hands.

I highly doubt smothering will actually be effective here. Better to remove the flames than fight them.
>>
No. 565615 ID: 209014

>>565608
extend the on-fire part of the leg away from the leg itself, then sever it, thus making you no longer on fire.
>>
No. 565622 ID: 3ca413

>>565608
SMOTHER THE FIRE!
>>
No. 565625 ID: 4a75fa

Smother the flame by rapid expanding the part of you that's on fire, and using your superhuman strength to bury it in the wall. That should cut it off from oxygen. And if that doesn't stop it, you can always sever something before the fire spreads.

...here's hoping our human ally isn't freaking the fuck out at your reaction behind you.
>>
No. 565626 ID: b6178d

Smother the bother!
>>
No. 565636 ID: 9ddf68

it's a gel, this crap burns even when underwater, can you just remove whatever is on fire... and close the door so they can't lob more fire bombs in here as we're not getting out this way anyways.
>>
No. 565642 ID: 9b57d3

>>565608
Dump your foot in the pod with the remnants of the liquid in it!
>>
No. 565659 ID: ae7db7

>>565625

do this. it didn't work when Jake did it, but it's still worth a try.
>>
No. 565770 ID: 53ba34

yeah guys, NAPALM doesn't get smothered.
>>
No. 565836 ID: 2baea8

Just detach the leg.
>>
No. 565843 ID: 0b54f4

Come to think of it, any chance you can just will your leg detached? As little of it as still solves the problem? It might cause less damage, and you certainly don't lack for motivation.
>>
No. 565947 ID: 256d52
File 139454183737.png - (14.81KB , 600x450 , break_a_leg.png )
565947

>close the door so they can't lob more fire bombs in here as we're not getting out this way anyways.
The door closes itself, bleeping urgently.

>rip your leg off at the knee!
>Come to think of it, any chance you can just will your leg detached?
Squirming on the ground, Alice grabs her lower leg in both hands and tenses, feeling a crack. The flesh of her leg bulges oddly in her grip.

She pulls.
>>
No. 565948 ID: 256d52
File 139454186586.png - (13.94KB , 600x400 , dont_try_this_at_home.png )
565948

It pops and parts wetly in her grip. SKkkrrrAAAAAH! Oh Messenger that hurts!

4 mass lost. 67 mass remaining.

Alice flings the burning portion away from herself, its tendrils thrashing feebly as it dies.
>>
No. 565949 ID: 256d52
File 139454190065.png - (35.61KB , 600x720 , instinctive_behaviour.png )
565949

Alice rolls into her stomach and rises in a predatory crouch on her three intact limbs, looking back into the laboratory.

Fire! Retreat! Hide! Hurt! Hungry!
>>
No. 565950 ID: 256d52
File 139454191547.png - (17.11KB , 600x450 , hang_in_there_blake.png )
565950

>...here's hoping our human ally isn't freaking the fuck out at your reaction behind you.
"Dietrich, get a grip!" Blake unsuccessfully tries to compromise between whispering and shouting. He raises the shotgun uncertainly as she pads closer. "The xotl will be in here any moment!"
>>
No. 565951 ID: 53ba34

enemy xotl = food. get yourself together, you need to win!
>>
No. 565953 ID: 4a75fa

Get a grip, Alice. Your instincts are controlling you. You need to be able to think if you're going to survive this fight. You're a soldier, Alice. You were trained to overcome pain and fear. These ones may be new, and unfamiliar, and powerful, but you can and will control them. Your life depends on, as does Blake's.

Now, if the Xtol are coming, you need to prepare. Get to an intelligent ambush position. Say, pressed up next to the door? They won't be expecting that, if they're expecting you to run from the fire. Do you still have your gun, or did you lose it in that last panic?
>>
No. 565961 ID: 760eb8

Whimper "fire" and then consider getting a grip. Maybe don't eat any non-combatants in front of your new and tenuous ally just now. There will be more food coming to visit soon.
>>
No. 565962 ID: 4a75fa

>>565961
I was thinking, after the fight is done, we might use the datapad to warn him to look away or something. (Assuming the datapad survives the firefight).
>>
No. 565963 ID: ae43f7

Fear of fire is normal.
But fear to this point isn't you. Besides, maybe there wasn't exactly procedure to handle getting monsterized, but I'd be surprised if you didn't know ANYTHING on how to handle fire.
Now...Given your new-found phobia, and the Fafnir's vulnerability to overheating judging by the heat sinks, we should seek to ambush them when they enter the room...I'm thinking right next to the doorway or above it would be good...But which one is good is tricky to decide.
Next to it means less getting grenaded, since we can kick/knock it back out instead of just getting blown up. Above is a better pounce point though. Maybe when we see the Fafnir approaching we should climb up...I wonder if you could tentacle into it's opening and tear it apart from within?
>>
No. 565968 ID: a87e3a

>>565950
Alice, calm your shit. Focus on that xotl, stay away from your buddy. Do not ignore the incoming forces either. Make sure you keep your gun.
>>
No. 565971 ID: d90d89

Damn it girl you need to calm down, you're a solder for god's sake and solders don't loose there shit when in a fire fight as that's one of the best ways to die. Calm down, think about what to do next CAREFULLY, and get ready to tear those two little shits apart when they get closer. You can freak out all you want once we get off this damn station but for now you need to FOCUS ON YOUR GOALS. Like getting out of here alive WITH as many of your crew as you can find.
>>
No. 565974 ID: 20a40e

he knows it's you. it should be okay to eat the corpse now.
>>
No. 565976 ID: d90d89

>>565974
what corpse if you mean the lab coat we knocked out he's still alive, just knocked out. Also I'm sure that Rob Blake is kinda freaked out that we're freaking out and eating a whole body in front of him probably would only cause him to freak out more. Let's just wait for a moment when our lives aren't in danger. Also eating the body would take time and leaves Alice venerable and if those two solders and there killbot break in while we're eating she'd be kinda SOL
>>
No. 565985 ID: 6abcd2

Eat the xeno scientist behind cover. That'll let you regenerate your leg!

Blake can hold them off for a minute.
>>
No. 565989 ID: 88960e

I don't think we have time to eat the scientist right now. It's a bad choice, tactically. (Also, killing prisoners is often a bad choice for other reasons).
>>
No. 565993 ID: 116d88

Don't go being some animalistic idiot now. Finish dealing with the people trying to kill you. I'd say the first thing to do is try to get back into as close an approximation of the Four Limbs Club as you can manage. Like... if you can just quickly regrow your foot that'd be ideal, or at least get it to stop bleeding and like... support your weight with that tail thing maybe?

Once that settled, you really need to grab your gun again and see if you can't take out the guy with the grenade launcher. Because you obviously don't want to deal with that whole mess again.
>>
No. 566003 ID: 76b151

Guys appealing to her reason is all well and good... but right now she isn't really reasonable.

Downed food is easier to eat then mobile food. Eat the pink one.
>>
No. 566013 ID: 34b2f2

There are definitely downsides to eating right now. However, she's currently experiencing severe fear, pain, and hunger. I don't like the chances of resisting these compound instinctual triggers, not in any kind of timely fashion anyway. The entrance to the room is in flames and we've got an ally covering it with a shotgun. An easily spooked one maybe, but better than nothing.

Eat the space-lizard.
>>
No. 566015 ID: 3ca413

Come on Alice, let's not do this again.
Focus.
>>
No. 566037 ID: 0b54f4

I'd argue that under the circumstances, eating the xotl is not a good move - we don't have time, and it may easily freak Blake out. We're already 17 mass over where we started, so after a fashion we have mass to spare, though I acknowledge that as of yet there's no such thing as too much mass.
>>
No. 581898 ID: 256d52
File 140404893516.png - (18.75KB , 720x450 , just_shoot_her_already.png )
581898

Alice crawls back from the door, wounded leg dragging and smoke billowing up from behind her. She can feel the heat of the flames. There's enemies outside. She's hurt and hungry and she has to hide.

Two people are ahead of her. One is her former crew-mate, holding a shotgun. The other is further back, the xotl scientist. Unconscious, tied up and stuffed into the base of the tube Alice found Blake in.

"Don't make me do this, Dietrich!" Blake grimaces, aiming the gun slightly above her head. His pulse is racing.

Stupid, stupid, stupid! One shot's not going to put her down and he might not even have that chance if he's not on target. She hunches slightly, wanting to pounce.

>Don't go being some animalistic idiot now. Finish dealing with the people trying to kill you. I'd say the first thing to do is try to get back into as close an approximation of the Four Limbs Club as you can manage. Like... if you can just quickly regrow your foot that'd be ideal, or at least get it to stop bleeding and like... support your weight with that tail thing maybe?
Does Alice look like she knows how to make that happen?!
>>
No. 581899 ID: 256d52
File 140404898903.png - (17.61KB , 500x640 , titular.png )
581899

>Eat the xeno scientist behind cover. That'll let you regenerate your leg!
Alice relaxes and turns, moving toward the other side of the computer terminal Blake is taking cover behind. The tube is on that side.

Of course. It would be easy.

Pierce through his innards with her feeding tendrils, end his life, and drain substance and vitality from him as he cools, assimilating it into herself and leaving behind nothing but viscous slime. An organic mush stripped of anything her body might find useful.

Bolstered by that, she could easily regenerate her lost foot, moulding her protoplasmic flesh into new tissue and replace it. The growth on her head finally parts, fleshy fronds opening like a flower to replace the one she'd torn out. The mound at the centre splits, tissue rolling back to reveal a vacant blue eye beneath.

>There are definitely downsides to eating right now. However, she's currently experiencing severe fear, pain, and hunger. I don't like the chances of resisting these compound instinctual triggers, not in any kind of timely fashion anyway. The entrance to the room is in flames and we've got an ally covering it with a shotgun. An easily spooked one maybe, but better than nothing.
Blake says something. Meaningless sounds. Smoke is filling the room, the gel from the grenade is still burning in the entrance and his gun isn't pointed at her. She dismisses him as a threat.

>Eat the space-lizard.
Alice reaches the rim of the tube and hauls herself up. Here is the xotl. Still alive. A prisoner. She pauses. Why does that matter? He's an enemy. She needs to regenerate. This makes him food.
>>
No. 581901 ID: 256d52
File 140404914421.png - (27.37KB , 400x800 , eye_roll.png )
581901

The replacement eyes rolls out of the back of her head and the iris contracts, leaving a slit of pupil. Alice reaches out a hand and then pauses again. She feels like she's in the grip of a fever, her thoughts racing too fast and taking on odd shapes.

Why stop with the xotl? Why not continue regenerating? She is critically damaged. The other one here, and the two outside. Them too. That would be a start. The other one here, Blake. Not an enemy. But the fire (the fire, the fire!), is between her and the other two. The Fafnir is likely to damage her further as well. Shouldn't she be at as full strength as she can arrange?

Blake is a friend. She shakes her head in irritation. What is that?

>Alice, calm your shit. Focus on that xotl, stay away from your buddy. Do not ignore the incoming forces either. Make sure you keep your gun.
Her, her gun? Alice doesn't have any weapons formed.

Where is her gun? She's not supposed to leave it lying around the place. It's not safe and it's against regulations. She pats herself absurdly, as if it might be in one of the pockets she doesn't have and then she glances behind her, despite the smoke and the flames and remembers.

... She dropped it. It's behind her, near the entrance.
>>
No. 581902 ID: 256d52
File 140404918650.png - (17.79KB , 720x500 , perfectly_normal_human_despair.png )
581902

>Get a grip, Alice. Your instincts are controlling you. You need to be able to think if you're going to survive this fight. You're a soldier, Alice. You were trained to overcome pain and fear. These ones may be new, and unfamiliar, and powerful, but you can and will control them. Your life depends on, as does Blake's.
Alice feels like she's been doused in cold water. She flops on her side and curls up shivering.

She can't do this. She can't go on.

She's screwed up. A complete disgrace to the Survey Corps. She's supposed to be trained to keep her head in any situation, no matter how unexpected, and respond appropriately. So far all she's managed to do is get shot to pieces, eat three people, almost strangle her one crew-mate and loose both guns she's found. She can't think straight, she's just some dumb animal that thinks she used to be human.

She wasn't up to it. She's let everyone down.

Alice always thought she could do it. That when it came to the clutch, she could be the hero, the one who steps forward and saves the day. But she's not. She's just not the person she thought she is. Or... was.
>>
No. 581903 ID: 53ba34

even if you can't save the day, you can save blake. you already rescued him from the tube, now you can rescue him from the building. one step at a time girl.
>>
No. 581905 ID: e31ca1

Forget the bigger picture. If a problem is stressing you out, it's okay to take it one step at a time. Eat the Xotl, he is the Enemy. Do not eat Blake, he is a Friend. This will help you save not only yourself but also Blake. This is a small step in the big picture which we are not worrying about right now.
>>
No. 581910 ID: b6178d

Wait a second.

First of all; the gun you had doesn't help against a well-armoured foe, which the fafnir is, and it might be retrievable, so no big loss yet. The second gun is in Blake's hands, which isn't 'lost' per se, just given to an ally. You could ask for it back.

Eating three xotl, now that's a whole other can of worms, but if there's one thing both you and your new biology can agree on is that it was done for your survival. Don't waste that by having a lie-down in the middle of a firefight.

The strangling? Blake will understand. He can eminently see what's been done to you. He's seen you react weird... and he has a gun and he hasn't shot you yet, even if he's wary. So hey, that's a win, considering the circumstances. He knows you're not quite yourself.

And yeah, you may be a tad instinct-driven at this point, but ordinary human folks are pretty instinctual at times too. Phobias exist. There are people with wild urges and fears that somehow, on a daily basis, manage and deal with them. People get diseases and disorders of the brain. You're not special in becoming a bit whammied in the head. If some random guy can walk around with Alzheimer's and still remain largely functional for years, you can pick yourself together for five minutes, can't you?

Identity isn't the big issue right now. You are what you are, and by the way you're reacting right now you're far from some mindless beast. So congratulations, humanity affirmed, if slipping.

And even the slipping bit... well, the xotl scientist could give answers. Answers to what you are. Blake knows the lingo, doesn't he? Better than you do, at least. Or he could figure it out. He's clever. Maybe you need both the xotl scientist and Blake to figure out what's been done to you. Maybe it'll be easier to do so with them alive. Maybe you've got a damn good personal reason, beyond and above your duty, to shape up right the fuck now.

You need to win this fight to find out. Focus.

The Fafnir wasn't shooting you, for some reason. You might've lit up its vents, making it hazardous for it to start firing. It might be out of ammo (although not an assumption you'd want to test unless forced to). One of the xotl was lit on fire. The other one chucked the incendiary. He and the Fafnir might be coming closer soon. You need to get an overview of the situation, set up an ambush and/or try and prevent him from doing anything else nasty.
>>
No. 581917 ID: 50338d

>She can't do this. She can't go on.
>She's screwed up. A complete disgrace to the Survey Corps.
>She wasn't up to it. She's let everyone down.
Your screw ups so far haven't been irreparable. You can recover, continue, adapt. Don't focus on mistakes. Don't focus on what you've done wrong. The only thing you can focus on is the current situation, and figure out how to react appropriately. What you can do right. That's your only chance at survival, and of proving yourself. At keeping Blake alive. Do right now- block out the past. Focus on tactical analysis.

So sit up, look around, and asses the situation.

What do we have to work with? You have one friendly, unarmored but armed. You have one prisoner. Potentially a source of intel if you keep him alive, or as a hostage or distraction in the here and now if the enemy values of the lives of their science personnel. He's potentially a source of biomass for your repair, too, although it's uncertain if you have time for that. And it may not be such a good idea to give into your instincts when you're having such a hard time controlling them. That, and the brutal execution of a prisoner goes against the regulations you're supposed to follow, and may shock the friendly enough to turn him hostile. You can't save Blake if he decides you're a monster and tries to kill you.

How badly to your current injuries hamper your mobility? There's at least one additional gun in the room. How far away is it? How far are the potential exits? How can we deal with the fafnir if it appears in the door? Can you estimate in what condition the enemy are likely to be in after your initial clash with them?
>>
No. 581926 ID: 707a11

Did you say you could grow guns? Let's try that.
>>
No. 581959 ID: 76b151

Also you just had a thought about NOT having a weapon formed. Which means you might have the ability to do so, more then just claws and teeth. You know what a gun is, you know how it works, it ties both into your soldier and your engineer education.

It's something with a projectile and a chemical reaction to propel it. Try to make your arm into one. Don't worry about details, your new instincts should take care of the rest.
>>
No. 581978 ID: b8ceae

>>581902
You've got a cocktail of who knows what in your brain. All things considered, you're doing remarkably well.

You have crew to protect, and hostiles to kill. It's time for threat elimination.
>>
No. 581988 ID: 2fd516

>>581902
Alice, you are winning the fight against your instincts. Blake is alive and the captive is still uneaten despite you REALLY wanting, even needing to eat it. Keep it up. Nobody has ever had to do this before, don't expect yourself to perform well in this situation.

Here's a new idea. Use the captive as a hostage instead of food. Try to wake it up, make it call out to its allies so they back off.
>>
No. 581997 ID: c5e29d

Toss Blake a quick "Sorry" there over the whole eating someone in front of him bit, because that probably has him all distracted and freaked out and worried again. Past that... how the heck did the security forces in the hall not burst in and kill you while you were busy eating? You need to check what's up. Did they think the grenade got you and let their guard down? Are they coming in to inspect things? Or are they using the time you're giving them to plan something you'll have a harder time dealing with?
>>
No. 582087 ID: 9ddf68

You haven't fail shit yet kid so get up and see about getting out of here alive and with Blake alive as well. Right now you have control of your mind so you're already doing great, now you just need to remember your training and stop cowering on the floor. You're still breathing, Blake is unharmed and you got a prisoner that also might be able to tell you what the hell happened to you and maybe even where the rest of your crew is. Just for the time being focus on the hostiles and maybe seeing if you can't find another way out of this room. If we can naturalize the hostiles or find a way to get out of here we're still good and still have a chance to get the hell out of here alive with some of your crew even. But if your brake down now then everything was for nothing, so get up and do you job as a solder. Just because things haven't gone your way doesn't mean you can throw in the towel, it just means you have to work harder to fix them or work around them.
>>
No. 582132 ID: 007647

>>581902
Wait could we crawl through the vents and get behind them? If so we could attack them from both directions.
>>
No. 582271 ID: 000499

a] blake is a cute
b] DONT DESPAIR ALICE! you are needed! you have not fucked anything up yet! alice dietrich UPON YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S HONOUR GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER STAT.
you are a soldier, and being afraid is okay, it makes you human. bravery isnt not being afraid, it's persisting DESPITE being afraid.
how well can blake shoot? do you remember?
>>
No. 583783 ID: 89b2a2

>>581902
Well, let me see. After being transformed into a horrible monster you...
A. managed to escape an incinerator
B. Overcame a bunch of aliens with malicious intent against the WHOLE HUMAN RACE
C. rescued humans!
I think you're doing pretty well so far. Now get your tuckus up, get moving, and crunch down some delicious Xotl. Part of this balanced breakfast.

You can make it a game! 1 point for every Xotl devoured, 10 points for every human rescued.
>>
No. 583824 ID: a7868d

Alice... Alice, get up.

You haven't lost. This alien symbiote that's bonded with you, it's given you a chance to win a game that's rigged against you. You aren't gonna give into it's control, you are too smart for that.

But right now you need to stop panicking. Right now you need to get up and act. Take control. You are alive and that's better than you thought you would be when your ship was being boarded.

Get up, take cover. Away from Blake if you can. Again, if there's wiring in the ceiling you can hide in, do that. If not, find some spot where they wont be able to immediately see you. Let the machine come to you.

But remember, the two xotl are the threat. The machine is a stupid machine, avoid it's vision and you'll be fine. The xotl are smart, and they are expecting you. They probably know more about the symbiote than you do. They are your priority, particularly since disabling the bot will be much more difficult and require them not being there interrupting.
>>
No. 583902 ID: a2f9bc

Hey come on, Blake's managing to keep it together. He's being dumb but keeping it together. You can just do the opposite. You'll compliment each other.

And maybe take a look at what you've got wrapped around your wrist. It's there for a reason, remember? It means something.
>>
No. 588847 ID: ed7e4a

>>581902
There is one thing you always have no matter what. No matter how bad a situation is, no matter how insane you are, and that can help you hold onto at least something. A bad joke.

Now get a leg up on the situation. heh heh heh..heheheh....leg up, get it?
>>
No. 596787 ID: 256d52
File 141224835338.png - (29.43KB , 800x500 , floor_plan.png )
596787

>You've got a cocktail of who knows what in your brain. All things considered, you're doing remarkably well.
Coming first in the screwup Olympics still isn't anything to be proud of.

>Hey come on, Blake's managing to keep it together. He's being dumb but keeping it together. You can just do the opposite. You'll compliment each other.
So what? Go to pieces but with precision?

>There is one thing you always have no matter what. No matter how bad a situation is, no matter how insane you are, and that can help you hold onto at least something. A bad joke. Now get a leg up on the situation. heh heh heh..heheheh....leg up, get it?
Absolutely disgusting. Alice supposes only a human could think like this.

>Take a look at what you've got wrapped around your wrist. It's there for a reason, remember? It means something.
Alice closes a hand on the tags. Right. There's things she has to do. Because she's the only one who can do it.

>Your screw ups so far haven't been irreparable. You can recover, continue, adapt. Don't focus on mistakes. Don't focus on what you've done wrong. The only thing you can focus on is the current situation, and figure out how to react appropriately. What you can do right. That's your only chance at survival, and of proving yourself. At keeping Blake alive. Do right now- block out the past. Focus on tactical analysis.
Gotta keep moving forward. One step (ha), at a time.

>You have one prisoner. Potentially a source of intel if you keep him alive, or as a hostage or distraction in the here and now if the enemy values of the lives of their science personnel. He's potentially a source of biomass for your repair, too, although it's uncertain if you have time for that.
Alice isn't going to eat a helpless captive. That's just wrong. Second, taking a hostage is a position of weakness and buying time is only good if it advantages you, not the enemy.

>How badly to your current injuries hamper your mobility? There's at least one additional gun in the room. How far away is it? How far are the potential exits? How can we deal with the Fafnir if it appears in the door? Can you estimate in what condition the enemy are likely to be in after your initial clash with them?
Alice is missing a foot. She could probably walk on the stump. It doesn't hurt nearly as much as it should. Failing that, she's still fairly quick on all fours. Threes?

Pistol's near the b-burning fuel. Alice doesn't want to risk getting closer.

The door's shut. Smoke's getting everywhere on both sides. There's the trolley, the tube, the console and a bunch of shelves at the back of the room. No false ceiling so pipes and cable bundles above. She could hang from them easily but she'd be a sitting duck.

Alice isn't sure where the xotl or the Fafnir are. The gel is burning out, but anything going through that door right now is going to catch on fire. There's a good chance it would damage the Fafnir's tracks too. Probably why it hasn't just rushed in.

The Fafnir's a drone weapon with heavy armour. It's not exactly agile though, if it comes to it, Alice is best off trying to get close. From her experiences so far, if it shoots her there's a chance she won't die. A high power shot could literally cut her in two. It is overheated though?
>>
No. 596788 ID: 256d52
File 141224848088.png - (28.40KB , 800x520 , how_i_mine_for_gun.png )
596788

Alice sits up, tries to splutter out something to Blake before she remembers her screwed up mouth. Alice settles for gesticulations. Blake doesn't say anything but he's not pointing that gun at her. Shit, he could just go to pieces.

>Identity isn't the big issue right now. You are what you are, and by the way you're reacting right now you're far from some mindless beast. So congratulations, humanity affirmed, if slipping.
Maybe... maybe Alice does need to think about who she needs to be.

>Also you just had a thought about NOT having a weapon formed. Which means you might have the ability to do so, more then just claws and teeth. You know what a gun is, you know how it works, it ties both into your soldier and your engineer education.
How would that work? How could that work? Alice tries to visualise it. Gun. Weapon. Excluded function. What? Alice shakes her head. Something's not right.

>It's something with a projectile and a chemical reaction to propel it. Try to make your arm into one. Don't worry about details, your new instincts should take care of the rest.
It doesn't have to be chemical. A gun is a class of projectile weapon. A mechanism that accelerates an object to speed so that it will accurately impinge upon a target at range. It's very simple really.

Alice's head hurts. Not permitted.

She shakes her head and stares at her arm. The flesh twitches uncertainly, as if it wants to dissolve or unbraid itself into tentacles. The hard surfaces below, what she's hesitate to firmly label as bone, seem to stiff and pull apart.

Alice swallows, her mouth feels dry. Her head is pounding. She's strong, right? Before guns, projectile weapons relied on muscle power. She has the parts, she just needs to combine them. That is a weapon!

Her brain feels like it has pins and needles. She can throw things. That doesn't make her arm a weapon. Alice just wants to throw something very hard. She squints, her thoughts feel wrong, there's a bright spark of pain in her skull.

1 mass lost. 66 mass remaining.

Harpoon discovered!

Alice shudders. Her hand curls and splits, forearm parting, a bone rotating to each side, cantilevered at the elbow. Ropy strands of flesh anchor the spear extruded in the middle, drawing taut.

Well, that's something. Alice isn't sure whether to be impressed or horrified.

Alice feels the vibration of something heavy moving outside. The Fafnir must be finally making its move. Fire's died out in here, must be gone outside as well.

She hunkers down between the tube and the trolley. Blake flinches and moves around to the other side of the console. No time to try and explain anything. Alice watches the billowing smoke covering the entrance. Only way in or out so...
>>
No. 596789 ID: 256d52
File 141224852879.png - (24.73KB , 800x500 , this_robot_is_trained_to_shoot_you.png )
596789

SHIT! It's at the window!
>>
No. 596790 ID: 2ec61a

FIRE! big red target in the gun, just mark that as the target and let the instincts do the rest. THEN DODGE.
>>
No. 596797 ID: 001618

crap get a shot off at the big red target it's showing you and get behind cover. You're not out of this fight yet.
>>
No. 596802 ID: 8b533b

>headaches, (not) permitted
Do you have some kind of AI in the back of your head now? Something to manage the functions of your new biology for you? ...if this form were designed as some kind of a bio-weapon, it would make sense for there to be preset configurations, and some kind of control system.

Have to explore that later. Understanding your own capabilities is important.

>>596790
Yeah, firing down the barrel to try to force a misfire or jam is probably your best bet. You have no idea what kind of penetrative power your pseudo-bone harpoon has (or even what your bones are made of, anymore). You can't fire anywhere else and hope it penetrates the armor.
>>
No. 596837 ID: b8ceae

>>596789
Fire down the barrel of the enemy's weapon.
It's an energy weapon; if it fires while the bone harpoon is lodged in the bore then it'll ablate the bone into plasma and damage the weapon. From there it will only pose a threat via physical attacks, and it's not very agile.
>>
No. 596847 ID: b6178d

Gift horse, mouth, etc. let's not think too much about your new tool. Fafnir's the probs now. And hey, lookie, the laser's focal lens is open. 'poon dat fucking lens.

It might be prudent to push down Blake and dive for cover afterwards (can it even depress its gun? If not, you might be safest below its front, by the window, at least until it backs off), in case the window is reinforced or throws off the aim.

Keep in mind the other Xotl, he'll be hanging out somewhere behind it. You've still got to deal with him once the Fafnir's decomissioned.
>>
No. 597167 ID: a2f9bc

We don't know how tough that window is. It wont stop the Fafnir's attack, but it might ruin ours. I think it's worth the extra half second to punch the window first, to weaken it, and then fire the harpoon.

There's nowhere to hide in this room so we have to attack.
>>
No. 597257 ID: 645a90

>>596788
ok that is the grossest thing i have ever seen and i've seen you eat a guy.
>>
No. 597258 ID: 2ec61a

>>597167
if we were next to the window but we kinda need to take a step or two to reach the window.
>>
No. 597289 ID: 2f4b71

>>596802
If there are limits, then they are not properly implemented, or Alice would be deactivated rather than up and about.
>>
No. 597668 ID: 256d52
File 141276780890.png - (23.66KB , 800x500 , forearmed.png )
597668

>OK that is the grossest thing I have ever seen and I've seen you eat a guy.
No time! Gotta shoot fast!

>FIRE! Big red target in the gun, just mark that as the target and let the instincts do the rest. THEN DODGE.
Alice raises her arm, tension in the strands webbing her impromptu spear. Her bones flex and creak under the strain. It's an odd sensation, a heat like exercising a rarely used muscle.

She releases. It stings and sounds like a whipcrack. It stings. Tendons rip free from their hooked anchors, lashing the flesh of her forearm as they retract.
>>
No. 597669 ID: 256d52
File 141276788867.png - (22.08KB , 900x420 , more_of_a_dagger_really.png )
597669

Of course, a laser is effectively instantaneous over a distance like this. The Fafnir fires before Alice's harpoon reaches it. Her weapon seems puny against the Fafnir's bulk, more a dagger than the harpoon she dubbed it. A blue light pierces the space she occupied, like a sliver of an intense blue sky invading the darkened room.

BANG. A shot rings out behind her.

Alice is already gone, flinging herself forward and to the side, using the base of specimen tube and trolley as cover. She smells burning metal and burning flesh. It smells, Alice tries not to think about how it smells.

She feels a judder as her weapon connects. Strange, how? Light sprays and the beam is gone, leaving only afterimages. Her spur is lodged in the muzzle of the Fafnir's laser. The focal lens or some other part of the beam-forming optronics must have been damaged in the exchange.

The Fafnir smells like hot metal.

>Do you have some kind of AI in the back of your head now? Something to manage the functions of your new biology for you? ...if this form were designed as some kind of a bio-weapon, it would make sense for there to be preset configurations, and some kind of control system.
Thinking about making a gun was like... looking over the edge of a cliff. Vertigo. That queasy, irrational realisation you could jump but no that cannot be done. Something that cannot, must not happen. And then it started hurting. Her head still feels like mush.

Her body seems very reluctant to throw anything away. The harpoon, its still attached to her. A ropy strand of red flesh. Alice didn't intend that.

Sidetracked, she's got to focus on the situation.
>>
No. 597670 ID: 59a91b

First, retract the bolt. You're basically using your arm as a crossbow so it fits. Then say "That worked?" out loud. Yes, despite the fucked up voice box. Then check on Blake, possibly mention that you may have been turned into some kind of bio-weapon sooner rather than later, that sort of thing just ruins friendships. Also maybe inquire to yourself about improved vocal chords.
>>
No. 597671 ID: 5af684

>>597669
huh. lets see, can you change the harpoon from where you are? see if you can dig into the gun?

how fast can you move to the Fafnir? can you use the harpoon for speed?

how is blake? is he still alive? did he shoot?

why is there fire on the Fafnir? can we use that? can we get it to overheat faster?
>>
No. 597672 ID: 2ec61a

check self for new holes, check blake for new holes too.
>>
No. 597674 ID: d90668

If that thing tries to shoot that laser again it might go boom. I would make sure you are not anywhere near it just in case.

Also does it have any secondary weapon systems?

Check to see what Blake was shooting at. And if he got hit by the laser.
>>
No. 597693 ID: 8b533b

Being tethered to a giant robot enemy is a bad thing. You either need to retract your harpoon or sever the cord connecting you before you have a chance to think about it and your body reacts (you ripped off your foot before- it's doable if you think being trapped is bad).

Look around, where's Blake, and the other baddies? Tactical situation.

You damaged the Fafnir's main weapon, but now what? It's still up and mobile, possibly with other weapons systems (at the very least, it can try to crush you). Apply engineering skills, here. Do we need to find a way to further disable it (how)? With the laser 'jammed' and the vents clogged, can we expect it to overheat or explode? (If the laser beam terminated early that left it with a bunch of excess heat / energy it was trying to output that has to go somewhere).

>Her body seems very reluctant to throw anything away.
Then, in the future, we'll try and rely on tech for ranged weapons. Good old guns. Limit freaky shapeshifting for melee weapons. (A combat 'knife'? Would you be more effective with something you're familiar with and trained with than instinctual tooth and claw?).
>>
No. 597694 ID: 9ddf68

check on blake and see if that damn drone is down yet. It's vents are on fire, it's main weapon is now useless, it's got to be on it's last legs. Also could you recall your harpoon... or even form an eye on it to look around where you can't?
>>
No. 597701 ID: 330ce5

soooo your "system" doesn't like the idea of projectiles, although it might not be useful know it might be worth thinking about long ranged melee weapons. Meaning possibilities such as a whip or spear could be valid, and if all else fails...you could try to make a better defensive. Something like a tail shield seems a bit too much at the time but it is something to consider.
>>
No. 597733 ID: 2fd516

Get over to the window and look out to see if there are other active hostiles. The drone should be mostly disabled now.

Look back at Blake- he didn't get hit by the laser, did he? You may have to administer medical care.
>>
No. 597739 ID: 9b554b

> Thinking about making a gun was like... looking over the edge of a cliff. Vertigo. That queasy, irrational realisation you could jump but no that cannot be done. Something that cannot, must not happen. And then it started hurting. Her head still feels like mush.

Okay, if that sounds like anything sensible, it sounds like a built-in safety mechanism. Something to stop you from going all one-winged-angel on the people who were experimenting on you. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Good, because it means you have a built-in sense of how far is too far, before pushing your abilities could lead to possibly permanent consequences for your soul and sanity. Bad, because it not only limits your abilities, but it means they may know way more about your abilities than you do.
...so maybe they weren't burning you because you were a failure, after all. Maybe they were trying to get rid of you because you were too successful. Or, they got what they wanted and you were just too much of a liability to keep.
>>
No. 597807 ID: 8e294c

>>597669
Sounds like your body has less of a problem with projectile weapons than it does with losing biomass. Which... makes sense. That's what you're made of. You need it.

If that's the issue, you might be able to get away with some kind of launcher for found projectiles, but that's probably something to experiment with when you're not being attacked by a bipedal bulldozer with lasers.

Along those lines, first order of business, pull back your harpoon. You might not be able to fire it again quickly, since that firing mechanism seemed pretty destructive, but at the very least, you don't want to leave something of yourself out there to grab. Between the looks of its heatsinks, and the damage you just did to the laser, you probably want it to try for another ranged attack. If you're lucky, it might end up hurting itself.
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No. 598408 ID: 256d52
File 141337364344.png - (30.61KB , 1000x450 , broken_glass_behind_screen.png )
598408

>Say "That worked?" out loud. Yes, despite the fucked up voice box.
"Thhha werrrghedh?"

>Possibly mention that you may have been turned into some kind of bio-weapon sooner rather than later, that sort of thing just ruins friendships. Also maybe inquire to yourself about improved vocal chords.
Alice has more important things to do right now than mangling more syllables!

>Check self for new holes, check Blake for new holes too.
Hole count unchanged (still higher than Alice is really comfortable with).

"G-guess so." Blake says. Looks like he popped up on the other side of the console and took a pot shot at the Fafnir's eyes. Not bad. He's breathing heavily. Alice thinks he's pretty shaken up. Not surprising. His eyes dart around nervously, flicking to Alice and then he immediately looks away. "Penned in... how do we get out of here?"

Given the smell of the cooking meat is coming from the specimen tube she had the scientist shoved in and that she used it as cover, the Xotl scientist is probably dead meat. Laser must have burned through the outer rim. Alice swallows. That smell is - never mind that right now.

>Look around, where's Blake, and the other baddies? Tactical situation.
Blake's in behind the computer console. He's got the shotgun, looks like he's got good coverage of the door. Alice in behind the trolley. Tube's too low to hide behind unless she crawls.

Speaking of mobility, her leg seems to be growing back - tendrils are working their way out of the stump. They're fusing together, she could probably walk on it. She's sure it'd be faster if she - NEVER MIND THAT RIGHT NOW.

Fafnir's still at the window.

>You damaged the Fafnir's main weapon, but now what? It's still up and mobile, possibly with other weapons systems (at the very least, it can try to crush you). Apply engineering skills, here. Do we need to find a way to further disable it (how)? With the laser 'jammed' and the vents clogged, can we expect it to overheat or explode?
Xotl autonomous weapons are intended as support units so they're fairly specialised. Does have two stowed arms for self maintenance though so it's not completely helpless. It can't come in through the window and Alice doubts it can fire again soon. With the beam focus messed up it'll probably be ineffective at anything but point blank range.

>Why is there fire on the Fafnir? Can we use that? Can we get it to overheat faster?
It got splashed by Alice's grenade. Judging by the colour of those heat sinks, it is overheated. If it fires again in this state, it's dead.

>If the laser beam terminated early that left it with a bunch of excess heat / energy it was trying to output that has to go somewhere.
Battery charges up a capacitor, lets it dump a lot of energy in each shot. Cutting the beam early just means less time to charge up the capacitor for the next shot.

>If that thing tries to shoot that laser again it might go boom. I would make sure you are not anywhere near it just in case.
While a good battery is also a good bomb, that'd probably only happen if the battery pack was short circuited. A direct hit to the battery would also do it but seeing it's located in the right shoulder under some of the thickest armour the Fafnir has, Alice doesn't think anything she has will scratch it.

Fire covering the door is out completely. Still no xotl. What the hell are they up to? Waiting for Alice to make a break for it?
>>
No. 598409 ID: 256d52
File 141337373863.png - (22.84KB , 800x500 , dronestuck.png )
598409

>Gun vertigo
>Okay, if that sounds like anything sensible, it sounds like a built-in safety mechanism. Something to stop you from going all one-winged-angel on the people who were experimenting on you. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Good, because it means you have a built-in sense of how far is too far, before pushing your abilities could lead to possibly permanent consequences for your soul and sanity. Bad, because it not only limits your abilities, but it means they may know way more about your abilities than you do.
When Alice said her head feels like mush, she wasn't kidding. She thinks she damaged something. She sincerely hopes that isn't her brain leaking out of her nose.

>...so maybe they weren't burning you because you were a failure, after all. Maybe they were trying to get rid of you because you were too successful. Or, they got what they wanted and you were just too much of a liability to keep.
The possibility of being a tall poppy instead of a lizard's failed science project isn't very comforting.

>Huh. lets see, can you change the harpoon from where you are? see if you can dig into the gun?
Seems unresponsive.

>Along those lines, first order of business, pull back your harpoon. You might not be able to fire it again quickly, since that firing mechanism seemed pretty destructive, but at the very least, you don't want to leave something of yourself out there to grab.
Alice clenches something internally and feels that ropy strand start to flow back into herself. Ah, its stuck? She can pull harder?

Or cut it off? The thought of that makes her feel queasy.

>Sounds like your body has less of a problem with projectile weapons than it does with losing biomass. Which... makes sense. That's what you're made of. You need it.
That scientist is right here...

>How fast can you move to the Fafnir? Can you use the harpoon for speed?
Smash through the window? Alice could try?
>>
No. 598416 ID: 2ec61a

make a ram shield on your other arm, just a hard slab with a spike on the front. the bigger the better. then just rush em. the grenades seem like the only thing that could really hurt you and those are not impact grenades so they would bounce near and then pass you and you would already be running away from it before it went off.
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No. 598418 ID: 9ddf68

retrieve your harpoon if you can otherwise remove it. And still no eating the dead xotl scientist. You've had enough freak outs today and we still have no idea on what the two xotl solders are doing or where they are. If we're lucky they sent the drone to deal with you while they ran for it but more then likely they're covering the door and waiting for reinforcements. If I recall correctly on had a shotgun which isn't to bad unless he's close but the one with the and we're still not sure what the other xotl had, although you did manage to catch on in the blast of you grenade. I say rush the Drone and try and keep it between you and the last spot you saw the two xotl solders. also try and stay at least arms length away from the drone so it can't attack you. If we can take down those solders and hopefully the drone finally decides to die we can grab Blake and finally get the hell out of here.
>>
No. 598426 ID: 8b533b

>never mind that right now
Combat first, eating second. Hierarchy of needs. I don't care if your crazy bioengineered body wasn't exactly subject to normal evolutionary pressures, it's going to shut up and listen to Maslow.

Biggest reason not to is eating leaves you exposed and vulnerable, and not fully in control of your actions. The fafnir could rush you, or Blake could freak out and think you lost it.

Save eating and repairs for after-action. Preferably prefaced with a warning. ("I have to do something... disturbing."

>If it fires again in this state, it's dead.
Then our best bet at this point might be making a high stakes bluff- attack it with the intent of forcing it to fire. If it thinks it has a shot at killing you, or that you're going to take it out anyways, it should take the shot. (Assuming we've got an AI pilot evaluating action based on mission objectives. A living pilot, you just have to scare badly enough to pull the trigger).

If we do go through the window, can we set up a means of fast retreat? Get back fast so we don't blow ourselves up with it? Like... a bungee cord? Or springs?
>>
No. 598433 ID: 2fd516

>>598409
Provoke it into firing again. Then you can NOT rush blindly into the corridor, and check it for enemies in a reasonable manner. Possbly with your gun, which is right over there, not on fire.
>>
No. 598448 ID: 1fd448

I think eating is a fairly high priority--the fafnir isn't an immediate threat, and that'd improve our combat capabilities. Go get the burned alien.
>>
No. 598456 ID: a7551a

>>598448
eating the fish lizard will fix you faster, wich will make fight easier, just drag it undercover and notify your friend you are about to eat
>>
No. 598458 ID: 9ddf68

>>598448
>>598456
There are still two xotl we've lost sight of and have no idea where they are... plus Blake might just shoot us. It would be safer to make sure that the area is safe first before we decide and also try to get the hell out of the area before the xotl show up with reinforcements and more Fafnir drones.
>>
No. 598478 ID: b8ceae

>>598409
If the focusing lens is damaged then when the laser fires the lens will start absorbing much of the laser's energy (With some of what's left being improperly diffracted, ruining the lasing) and immediately exploding. Most of what makes it past the lens will hit the harpoon, which would immediately ablate the bone and create a cloud of plasma which would absorb even more energy, and occlude and further diffract the beam. As this is working at weaponized power, the plasma would expand at an explosive rate and most likely destroy the weapon's housing.

Cut the harpoon off for now (We can collect it again later, but you need to let it go for now), then prepare both arms to fire harpoons.
Rush the Fafnir to get inside of its minimum range. This should prompt it to attempt a shot at you, resulting in it self-destructing.
Then step around it and immediately fire your harpoons into the two Xotl. Use the tethers to pull them back to you and finish them off.
>>
No. 598489 ID: b0fadc

Don't eat, you need to seem as human as possible if you want to have a good chance of being reintegrated into society.
>>
No. 598492 ID: 8bd2b1

>>598489
Dumb.
>>
No. 598500 ID: 2fd516

Okay since we're talking about the eat/don't eat issue here, I say don't even think about eating it right now. Focus on combat. We'll have plenty of time afterwards for food.
>>
No. 598524 ID: 2fd516

I have an idea. You're tethered to it. Is your tether stronger than its torso rotation? The maximum awesome thing we could do is yank it around to make it shoot its allies in the corridor.
>>
No. 598532 ID: 5af684

>>598409
i say eat the dead xotl. it's dead, it's not a prisoner anymore. but only eat when it's safe, not during combat.
if you can immobilize the fafnir you can freely eat as long as the other xotl don't attack.
if the harpoon is stuck, that's a good thing. pull harder, as hard as you can without tearing the rope. that would hopefully take care of the fafnir since it has no ranged weapons. as for the xotl, we're gonna need some intel. any way to sprout an eye on the fafnir using the rope? or grow an eye and throw it out the window? for now get blake to keep in cover and watch the door or the window or anything other than you really.
>>
No. 598640 ID: 95fb3b

I'm in the "wait to eat until the fight is over" camp. Also, pull the harpoon back or cut the cord if you can't.
>>
No. 598641 ID: 89b2a2

EAT ALL THE THINGS.
>>
No. 598642 ID: 8bd2b1

>>598500
This body of hers handles food differently from how a human's body would. Eating will have immediate combat benefits for her.
>>
No. 598683 ID: 8f01e8

Step one, scrounge and/or excrete some sort of goopy tar. It needs to be sticky, and it needs to be opaque to as much of the spectrum as possible: IR, visible light, and UV. About a handful, in the palm of your free hand, or possibly on the sole of a foot if that seems like it would work better.

Step two, retract the harpoon as a power-assist to jump through the window and get all up in that Fafnir's face.

Step three, apply goop to robo-eyes, limiting enemy intel.

Step four, extricate harpoon from laser, extricate other limb from goop.

Step five, quick glance around the hallway to see what's going on out there.

Step six, assuming the situation is anything other than "all clear," jump back through the window and return to cover.
>>
No. 598827 ID: a9c58e

For PR purposes, don't eat yet. You could, however, try to gram a piece of the 'xotl and see if your leg stump assimilates it.

Trying to goad the Fafnir into firing again sounds like a good option.
>>
No. 599576 ID: 256d52
File 141449663653.png - (26.16KB , 800x500 , aim_at_where_i_was.png )
599576

>Biggest reason not to is eating leaves you exposed and vulnerable, and not fully in control of your actions. The Fafnir could rush you, or Blake could freak out and think you lost it.
Alice is shedding body parts at an alarming rate, so Alice will eat the dead xotl soon but not right now!

>Don't eat, you need to seem as human as possible if you want to have a good chance of being reintegrated into society.
Ha. Hah. Hahahahahaha.

>Make a ram shield on your other arm, just a hard slab with a spike on the front. the bigger the better.
Where's all the material for that going to come from? Second, Alice isn't exactly bulletproof.

>I have an idea. You're tethered to it. Is your tether stronger than its torso rotation? The maximum awesome thing we could do is yank it around to make it shoot its allies in the corridor.
Um, Alice can only pull it to face her, and she is almost in the opposite direction to them. Wait, it is wrapped around the specimen tube though... maybe if she keeps it taut, she can move away but keep it pointing at the tube.
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No. 599577 ID: 256d52
File 141449669270.png - (19.67KB , 800x550 , making_an_exit.png )
599577

>Our best bet at this point might be making a high stakes bluff- attack it with the intent of forcing it to fire. If it thinks it has a shot at killing you, or that you're going to take it out anyways, it should take the shot.
Time to get all close and personal.

First Alice risks exposure for a second to grab the dead xotl. Fafnir is probably unwilling to commit unless it has a clean shot.

With the xotl, she makes a new exit.

Keeping the connective strand of her harpoon taut, Alice vaults over the trolley and runs for the window, hauling it out behind her. She can feel it sawing against the broken edges of the glass but it'll probably hold.

The strand's twanging as she moves and the Fafnir tries to track her movement. The drone's winning but turning slowly.
>>
No. 599578 ID: 256d52
File 141449674741.png - (27.83KB , 800x550 , shoot_the_laser.png )
599578

Oh Blind One's pipers, shit, no! Her harpoon comes loose right as she exits the window.

The Fafnir jerks and traverses its laser arm suddenly. Heart thumping in her chest, Alice dives for the ground as the barrel swings back to correct for its overcompensated movement.

Everything turns blue as the drone tries to fire its compromised laser. Alice feels a blast of heat and light.

Alice has lost two mass. 64 mass remaining.
>>
No. 599579 ID: 256d52
File 141449682008.png - (30.06KB , 800x520 , goodnight_sweet_prince.png )
599579

Alice's skin burns for a moment and then it subsides to just tingling. She can't see well out of her right eye but vision's coming back. She was afraid she'd been blinded for a moment.

Damage to the laser must have been bad. The Fafnir could barely focus at all. The xotl robot slumps, smelling like a hot grill and fried electronics.

Still heavy smoke around the entrance. No sign of the xotl. Alice scrabbles back into the cover of the dead drone's hulking form. She's got a moment to herself now, right?
>>
No. 599580 ID: 256d52
File 141449689490.png - (30.57KB , 800x550 , eat_that_guy.png )
599580

>This body of hers handles food differently from how a human's body would. Eating will have immediate combat benefits for her.
Alice squats and drags the dead scientist over to her. She wants her leg back. Her feeding tendrils slide out of her body and her split arm, wriggling in anticipation.

>For PR purposes, don't eat yet. You could, however, try to gram a piece of the 'xotl and see if your leg stump assimilates it.
Alice can definitely taste it with the stump tendrils. That'd work.

>Eating the fish lizard will fix you faster, which will make fight easier. Just drag it undercover and notify your friend you are about to eat
Even better she doesn't have to worry about explaining this to Blake right now.
>>
No. 599581 ID: 256d52
File 141449694588.png - (28.48KB , 1000x400 , remembuh_me.png )
599581

Behind her something splats on the ground, just past the edge of the Fafnir's bulk. It expands with a hiss, flinging out gooey strands of material, mostly in Alice's direction.

Shit! Her right arm and leg are all gummed up. That's not an ordinary grenade launcher after all. More like something for... for specimen capture.

Alice should have remembered: xotl are great at seeing in murky conditions.
>>
No. 599582 ID: 256d52
File 141449702785.png - (21.72KB , 800x500 , oh_no_not_those_guys.png )
599582

Alice tries to move to peek around the Fafnir, hampered by being stuck in a crouch with one foot glued to the ground. The xotl, both of them, are just before the door into the lab.

The one with the shotgun - the one who got set on fire before - is moving a bit painfully. Alice can see patches of some pinkish material on his suit. Must be more on his back. Some sort of fire retardant spray?

He's still got another incendiary and the one with the goo gun has a pistol for backup. Shit, this is bad.
>>
No. 599583 ID: 03e639

Call for backup from Blake
>>
No. 599585 ID: 2149ae

Hrrm...Now might be the time to use that harpoon again, fire out at the one in front, and then either retract the harpoon quickly to toss at the second guy or if you think you can, while the harpoon is stuck in the first guy, whip him into his buddy behind him.
>>
No. 599587 ID: 894462

>>599585
this and hope the harpoon shoot fast enough to stab both
>>
No. 599589 ID: 2ec61a

you can shed a super thin layer of skin. imagine peeling glue off your hand. just need the absolute top most layer of cells to come off.
>>
No. 599597 ID: 8f01e8

Eat the corpse, then expel waste material through pores in gummed-up parts of your skin as a defensive lubricant. If that doesn't seem like it could work, try spewing the sludge with enough force and precision to hit Mr. Shotgun in the face. Sure, xotl eyesight is good in murky conditions, and any optics built in to the helmets would help even more, but nobody can see through mud, and it might dent their morale a bit too.

In any case, prioritize finishing off the wounded xotl over dealing with the glue launcher. Right now you've got hard cover behind the mission-killed Fafnir, so they can't get a good line of fire without closing to melee range, where you would DESTROY them, tangled or not. The glue is only a serious threat because it might prevent you effectively dealing with another incendiary grenade. Remove the incendiaries, and you'd be able to deal with the glue at your leisure.

Speaking of which, check if the glue is digestible. It doesn't even have to be tasty, just something the feeding tendrils are capable of at least partly breaking down. Probably not, but you'd feel pretty stupid if there was such a quick fix and you missed it.
>>
No. 599599 ID: 9ddf68

you see, this is why you don't eat until you know the area is clear, it leaves you an open target.

any idea how good a shot blake is? because if they open the door he could blow they're asses apart before they even know what hits them. But seeing as Blake isn't a solder so is combat performance is questionable at best lets see what you can do. You still have your pistol on you right. Shoot the one with the grenade so he doesn't fry your ass and then work on gumbee over there before you can gum you up even more. But unless you're willing to lose your arm and last leg make sure those pistol shots count.
>>
No. 599601 ID: d73df7

Hmm.... One possibility for dealing with them before getting free might be to shoot the harpoon in the barrel of launcher right as he's firing the incendiary (assuming the explosion wouldn't set you on fire/make you freak out, of course).
>>
No. 599603 ID: d73df7

>>599601
Or a better idea might be to do that with the pistol if you can aim precisely enough.
>>
No. 599604 ID: 2fd516

>>599582
Re-arm your harpoon, nail one of them with it. Preferably the one with the grenade so it can't cook you. Blake can likely take out the other one.
>>
No. 599605 ID: 4d85c5

>shit this is bad
Yup.

Let this be a lesson. You make sure all hostiles in an engagement are dead or otherwise neutralized before looting or eating their corpses. All the mass in the world won't help if you're pinned down and lit on fire!

>what do
You're in front of the window. Than means Blake should be able to see you. Assuming your combat training assumed some kind of basic sign language for the parts of ops when talking is a bad idea, you can raise one hand and tell him the baddies are over there, without the xtol seeing. Not that I'm sure how well his weapon will fare against their armor, or that he'll have a chance to take the shot in time, but maybe it'll help.

Immediate priority is preventing yourself from being lit on fire. Since you likely can't free yourself to move quickly enough, that means the goal is to interrupt the xtol before he can fire the incendiary.

This could mean another harpoon (Smaller? A finger?). It could mean throwing something at him (part of the bot? The dead guy, or part of his gear?). ...I'm not sure you're strong enough, but the Fafnir is on wheels (well, treads). It would be pretty cool if you could shove it hard enough that it slammed into or crushed those guys. It's probably too heavy though, and the treads probably locked up when it died (unless they disengage from the motor when damaged so you can roll it back for repairs?. Or unless you know how to force the engine suddenly to life in full reverse).

If you can't stop the shot, fallback priority is taking cover. Press yourself against the Fafnir, and/or try to rip off an armor plate and get behind it. Hopefully you can take the heat longer than your restraints can.

>getting free
Given how reticent your biology was to give up a projectile, I doubt shedding is an option. Brute strength might work eventually, but it will be slow. Shapeshifting a knife to cut free might be faster. Or you could do something like morphing blades all over the blade, or secreting an acid or solvent from your skin, but I'm less sure you can accomplish that degree of fine control in time.
>>
No. 599615 ID: 2f4b71

Alice, can you... taste the glue? You might be able to replicate it if your tendrils can analyse it chemically.
>>
No. 599622 ID: 95c255

>>599582
Attempt to signal Blake. He's in a perfect position for an ambush right now.
>>
No. 599623 ID: b6178d

Tear a piece off for consumption, then toss the xotl body at them for a distraction, or use it for cover against more grenades (after you threw the last one back, they may be more wary with the timing).

Hard question, but can you, using your engineering know-how, make the fafnir's back batteries explode?

The batteries face the xotl, so if you could push the fafnir towards them or time it right, you might be able to catch them in the blast without getting hit yourself (since its armored bulk will between you and the explosion).

Finally, the xotl may not yet know that Blake is about and armed. If nothing else, you should try to keep the xotl's attention on you, so that he might get off a surprise shot, and try to be ready to take advantage of the xotl getting distracted by such a shot.
>>
No. 599643 ID: a5bd6c

Shed a thing layer of skin where it's binding you and leap to the immediate attack. You are lucky they hesitated this long. The one with the incendiary is the real threat, but with your long limbs I'm sure you have the reach to disabled both of them at once.
>>
No. 599645 ID: b8ceae

>>599615
Yes, taste the glue. If you can eat it then even if it doesn't nourish you it's still a viable method to free yourself.

Get Blake's attention, then use hand signals to signal the following information:
Myself:Restrained.
2 hostiles. That direction. Powered armor. One injured.

Then harpoon the closer one in the SHOULDER and pull him over to you. You can trap THEM in the goo, then take his weapon.
From what you know about these jerks would a hostage situation give them pause, or would they kill the hostage themselves? If they'd hold their fire for the sake of their comrade, then put your captive's gun to his own head. If not, shoot the free one in center-mass.
>>
No. 599710 ID: ff5ba1

Your crossbow arm thing probably has enough energy to fire a bolt that was modified to have fingers so you could grab the grenade, so try to do that.
>>
No. 599729 ID: 2baea8

>>599710
Genius! Just remember to logic that the mass won't be lost, because it's still attached.

>>599643
Don't do this, it will cause more brain damage. Just try reallocating the mass from your stuck portions to the grapple-hand to make the tether stronger and more difficult to break. Anything extra can be reallocated elsewhere until you can get away from the goo grenade gunk.
>>
No. 599780 ID: 864b03

See if you can make some sort of fire retardant yourself. Maybe a secretion? Anything that would help make you less flammable is a good thing.
>>
No. 599844 ID: a5bd6c

I think it's an inherent part of her now plant/mammal hybrid biology that she is vulnerable (and deathly afraid) of fire.

I think we should go with shedding some skin to help escape the confinement. Yeah, it's freaky, and her body doesn't like losing mass, but it's not much mass and the situation is desperate. It also can't hurt to learn control, even where it's uncomfortable to do so.
>>
No. 600152 ID: ebd037
File 141491263304.png - (21.11KB , 800x500 , shoot_the_bullet.png )
600152

>You can shed a super thin layer of skin. imagine peeling glue off your hand. just need the absolute top most layer of cells to come off.
Alice isn't sure how to do that and doesn't know how much that'll help. She's lost a lot of mass already, she doesn't want to risk it. Maybe after she's eaten. Too risky now, definitely. The goo bomb explodes into a mass of webbing, stays sticky for a few seconds, wraps up everything in reach then it sets. It's pretty constricting so even getting unstuck doesn't necessarily mean she can just slip out of it.

>Eat the corpse, then expel waste material through pores in gummed-up parts of your skin as a defensive lubricant. If that doesn't seem like it could work, try spewing the sludge with enough force and precision to hit Mr. Shotgun in the face.
Alice doesn't know if that is possible but she'd better eat it anyway. She pivots on her stuck foot, going down on her knee to put her stump closer while she looks around the Fafnir at the xotl. Tendrils slipping out of her stuck hand, tails(?) and stump to burrow into it.

Alice has doubts about her ability to projectile vomit accurately at distances of several metres.

>Re-arm your harpoon, nail one of them with it. Preferably the one with the grenade so it can't cook you. Blake can likely take out the other one.
First stop the biggest danger. No more fire. Pushing her free arm out as far as she can go, Alice folds it back out into her harpoon weapon, the tendons reattached already.
A squeeze and she releases it. In the shoulder, good. She wasn't sure if it was strong enough to penetrate the hard plates. The xotl jerks but doesn't make a noise. It drops the grenade it was pulling from its belt but keeps a hold of the shotgun. Grenade's not armed.

The other xotl takes a second shot with the goo gun.
>>
No. 600153 ID: ebd037
File 141491267648.png - (25.75KB , 800x500 , we_re_whalers_on_the_moon.png )
600153

Not as close a hit but her other leg is half stuck now. She's all tangled up with the xotl corpse. At least that won't be a problem for long.

She's tethered to the xotl with the shotgun as well.

>Let this be a lesson. You make sure all hostiles in an engagement are dead or otherwise neutralized before looting or eating their corpses. All the mass in the world won't help if you're pinned down and lit on fire!
If Alive had eaten the xotl sooner she wouldn't have had this problem!

>Hard question, but can you, using your engineering know-how, make the fafnir's back batteries explode?
Yes but Alice does not have the tools to do that, nor the tools to open it up to get at the battery in the first place.

>Speaking of which, check if the glue is digestible. It doesn't even have to be tasty, just something the feeding tendrils are capable of at least partly breaking down. Probably not, but you'd feel pretty stupid if there was such a quick fix and you missed it.
It isn't appetising at all. She can't eat this. Forcing her tendrils into it seems to make it weaken though.

>Alice, can you... taste the glue? You might be able to replicate it if your tendrils can analyse it chemically.
Alice has no idea if that's even vaguely possible. Just because she managed to kludge together one thing doesn't mean she's suddenly an expert at this.

>See if you can make some sort of fire retardant yourself. Maybe a secretion? Anything that would help make you less flammable is a good thing.
No! There's only one way to test that and Alice isn't about to try it!
>>
No. 600154 ID: ebd037
File 141491270050.png - (22.35KB , 800x550 , say_a_witty_one_liner.png )
600154

>The xotl may not yet know that Blake is about and armed. If nothing else, you should try to keep the xotl's attention on you, so that he might get off a surprise shot, and try to be ready to take advantage of the xotl getting distracted by such a shot.
They seem pretty distracted! Alice can't look back into the lab and decides to risk calling out. They probably won't understand her. Blake probably won't either though.

"Blaaeegh! Blaaghkh!"

>Attempt to signal Blake. He's in a perfect position for an ambush right now.
The door slides open, he must have had the same idea. Blake's practically on top of the xotl with the goo gun.

BLAM

Helmet or not, Alice doubts he'll be walking away from that.
>>
No. 600155 ID: 2fd516

>>600154
Yank the guy with the shotgun! You can't let him get a bead on Blake! Also, if you get him close to you, you can eat him. If you can get that shotgun away from him before he gets a bead on you too that'd be optimal.
>>
No. 600156 ID: 2ec61a

yeah, pull hard to knock shotgunner off his feet and drag him to you. jerk the line repeatedly so he can't orient himself an shoot you ether. then just snap it's neck.
>>
No. 600157 ID: ff5ba1

Pull the one with a the shotgun towards you so he can't get to the grenade and if possible increase the mass of the tip of your bolt so it doesn't come out.
>>
No. 600158 ID: 9ddf68

QUICK reel your harpoon back and try to knock down the still standing Xotl so he can't shoot black... cause I think we might need him to get us out of the goo crap. That and all the effort we just put in to make sure he would be ok I'll be damn if we're going to lose him to some twitchy fingered xotl.
>>
No. 600159 ID: 4d85c5

>If Alive had eaten the xotl sooner she wouldn't have had this problem!
True, but earlier you didn't have a leg blown off you needed to regrow, either.

And your name is Alice. Alice. Don't go letting that speech impediment get into your head.

>>600154
All right! Now we just need to make sure the one you harpooned is out of the picture, before he tries to shoot Blake or take a swing at him. If and when the xtol tries anything, yank hard on the harpoon to throw him off balance, and slam him into the floor or wall. (Then Blake can coup de grace him).

When it's over, give Blake a thumbs up and a weary expression when he looks your way.

See about regaining mass and doing repairs from your meal while trying to tear yourself free from the glue. Or possibly, it would make sense for a specimen capture gun to come with a counter-agent. If the xtol is carrying that, you can just wait for Blake it get you out.

Pay attention to how much mass you regain. If you're going to need to eat the other two, you're going to have to explain or excuse your actions to Blake so he doesn't freak out. Which would mean sending him back for the tablet, assuming it survived the firefight.
>>
No. 600163 ID: 2fd516

Waaaaaait a minute. Part of you is already attached to the xotl. Can you eat him through your harpoon?
>>
No. 600200 ID: 8f01e8

>Alice has doubts about her ability to projectile vomit accurately at distances of several metres.

Yeah, but five minutes ago you didn't think you'd be able to turn parts of your own body into a projectile weapon at all. This isn't really a situation where we can afford to overlook potential tactics or resources just because they're weird and gross.

That being said, experimental stuff you're not confident with is better tested when you've got slightly more breathing room, and the harpoon seems to be doing it's job just fine. Good work, soldier. Keep it up.
>>
No. 600254 ID: 3c17ca

>>600154
This harpoon is part of us. Yes...Tendon and bone, but vascular activity. Simple mechanics to...drink with it, maybe even burrow with it, or inject digestive fluids? Ask the body, see what it can do. Time to make this fucker into a husk.
>>
No. 600268 ID: 2baea8

>>600254
This sounds like a viable idea, vampire harpoons. Since we can absorb the dead xotl with tendrils from our foot it isn't such a stretch to modify future harpoons to allow the same thing upon impact.

Doubtful that we can do so now though, she couldn't alter the harpoon while it was already lodged in the fafnir.
>>
No. 600269 ID: a2f9bc

Yank the harpoon to put the Xotl off-balance. Obviously yank it to the side a great deal rather than simply towards yourself, as we want to reduce the chance we just yank it out.
>>
No. 600270 ID: dd8e0b

>vampire harpoon
The problem there would be moving all that mass through a tiny tendril. It could be severed before we get the mass. Also, it's going to really obvious what we're doing, I think.
>>
No. 600365 ID: ff5ba1

We could absorb him and replace the parts that we absorb with our self to basically give us control of him and kill the other guy without him knowing.
>>
No. 600378 ID: d73df7

So, make the vampire harpoon if it's reasonably practical/quick to do so, otherwise just yank the guy. Even if you don't pull him to the floor, you should put him off-balance enough to give Blake a chance to fire.
>>
No. 600398 ID: 3c17ca

>>600378
or just injection harpoon. I hear violent inflation with extra fluid let alone digestive juice can be a problem for most organisms even when it comes to simple internal ruptures. quite incapacitating. And all the equipment is already there in the harpoon, just a matter of either growing the vein into the victim, or a small hole in the "bone". loos a little bit of biomass in the form of fluid during the attack, maybe get a bit woozy from "blood" loss. Proceed to reclaim lost material shortly there after.
>>
No. 600440 ID: 3c17ca

>>600153
>>600154
Hey Alice. This is your logic speaking. Just wanted to say that you can reel this sucker in. Take a hit from his weapon and survive. Not like our less ablative friendly friend with the shotgun. He is too fragile to deal with that. Even a scratch might kill him, leaving us with all that biomass.
>>
No. 600479 ID: 330ce5

Sanity is overrated kill them all, become the strongest!
>>
No. 600517 ID: 2baea8

Do not kill the Blake.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
>>
No. 600550 ID: 888a93

The worst part about being a flora-morph is that you don't have a handy "pack" sense like fauna-morphs, or any kind of familial senses to lean back on.
>>
No. 600856 ID: 256d52
File 141551718050.png - (27.09KB , 800x550 , xotl_are_jerks.png )
600856

>See about regaining mass and doing repairs from your meal while trying to tear yourself free from the glue. Or possibly, it would make sense for a specimen capture gun to come with a counter-agent. If the xotl is carrying that, you can just wait for Blake it get you out.
Alice has just finished off the xotl scientist, pulling her feeding tendrils back into her body and leaving just slime and empty clothes behind.

30 biomass consumed. 10 mass gained.
Digestive efficiency has increased to 40%.
10 biomass consumed. 4 mass gained. Total mass is now 78.


Her body must still be adjusting. It's getting a little faster every time.

There's the soft thump of that goo gun firing again as the xotl carrying keels over. Maybe it was a last 'Screw you!' or maybe his finger just tightened on the trigger as he died. Right in the doorway, Blake probably got caught on the fringe.

The other xotl's still holding it together. He's gripping Alice's harpoon to try and stop it causing any more damage and he's still got his gun, trying to raise it and fire.

>Hey Alice. This is your logic speaking. Just wanted to say that you can reel this sucker in. Take a hit from his weapon and survive. Not like our less ablative friendly friend with the shotgun. He is too fragile to deal with that. Even a scratch might kill him, leaving us with all that biomass.
Shit! Can't take the chance of getting Blake injured. Alice hauls on the tether with all her strength. She's much stronger than the xotl. He fires down the hall - nothing, a miss - and then trips.
>>
No. 600857 ID: 256d52
File 141551728357.png - (27.74KB , 800x550 , full_of_healthy_tentacles.png )
600857

>Pay attention to how much mass you regain. If you're going to need to eat the other two, you're going to have to explain or excuse your actions to Blake so he doesn't freak out. Which would mean sending him back for the tablet, assuming it survived the firefight.
Alice started at 50 mass. Her body was much thinner than she remembered it being when she was hu- back before she got captured. She got a little taller after she ate the third xotl, which put her at 74 mass. That's also when she grew the head tendrils.

Having eaten the scientist, Alice is starting to feel back on top of things. Her leg's back and the tangle-goo's turning brittle and parting where she works at it with her tendrils. She could probably get mobile right now if she pulled her feet off the ground, though she'd still be partially webbed.

She's not even converting half the mass of the xotl and they're fairly small so she'd better eat everything.

>Yank the guy with the shotgun! You can't let him get a bead on Blake! Also, if you get him close to you, you can eat him. If you can get that shotgun away from him before he gets a bead on you too that'd be optimal.
Yes yes yes! He's the last remaining danger he needs to be gotten rid of. Get him here, then kill him, pull him apart, drink up his blood and unravel his flesh! Tendrils worm out of her split arm and wave with anticipation, ready to snag the xotl when he gets close enough.
>>
No. 600858 ID: 256d52
File 141551736991.png - (33.32KB , 800x620 , ciao.png )
600858

>Waaaaaait a minute. Part of you is already attached to the xotl. Can you eat him through your harpoon?
Alice doesn't seem to be able to modify bone outside of her body at all and her flesh is only a little amorphous. Extruding internal changes seems to work better for some reason. Her insides are less solidified?

Quicker to bring him here.

>Yeah, pull hard to knock shotgunner off his feet and drag him to you. jerk the line repeatedly so he can't orient himself and shoot you either. then just snap it's neck.
The xotl slips and struggles as Alice reels him in with short jerky motions.

The the alien's in arm's reach. Alice pulls her other arm free of the weakened goo, pulls him tight and snaps his neck. Alice pulls harder to open up his armour and get at the amphibian flesh within.

"Dietrich?" Blake's voice comes down the hall, relief evident in his voice. "You stuck? I'm a little tangled."

"Weghh!" Alice growls back, voice muffled. Blake can wait a moment, she just needs a minute to finish. There's no immediate danger, it'll take longer to get pull her tendrils free than it would to just eat the rest of the xotl. This is good, this is the right choice.

"Yes or no?"

"Weghh!"

"...I'll take that as a yes."
>>
No. 600861 ID: 256d52
File 141551849983.png - (30.58KB , 800x560 , awwwkwaaaard.png )
600861

40 biomass consumed. 16 mass gained. Total mass is 94.
Digestive efficiency is now 45%


Alice feels satiated. No, more... sluggish.

Ugh, slime, she's full of that slime again. The leftovers from repairing her injuries and eating the xotl. Clogging up her body and slowing her down. Alice starts retracting her tendrils. She'd better find somewhere to discretely throw up. Before her body doesn't give her a choice in the matter.

Then, closer than before.

"Dietrich, what are you doing?!"

Blake has rounded the burned out Fafnir. How did he get free?! He starts to raise his shotgun.

>Do not kill the Blake.
>Be the good girl you always have to be.
What if he tries to kill the Alice?!
>>
No. 600862 ID: bb3cfd

>>600859
If he tries, just repeatedly tell him to stop while guarding yourself as much as possible. Keep in mind you can take a lot of damage. He will have to try REALLY HARD to kill you. I don't think he even has it in him to kill you, since he knows you. You can also pull the leftover armor in front of you, to block his shots. Basically just turtle up. Try to be nonthreatening. Last resort, take his gun. You're much stronger than him, you can do it without having to kill him.

If you can modify your body, can you modify your mouth so you can talk better? Or heck, make a specialized orifice for it.

Maybe you can choose a funny moment to puke up all the goop. Nothing makes something less scary like laughing at it.
>>
No. 600864 ID: dd8e0b

>What if he tries to kill the Alice?!
Then he's going to have a hard time doing so. Even if he shoots you, that's not exactly fatal to your current biology. If he does something stupid out of fear, you can suck it up and take the hit (or take cover) without killing him in retaliation. Restraint and control are probably the best evidence you can give of your humanity.

>what do
Make eye contact, hold your hands up in a "wait don't shoot" posture (but not a "I'm going to shoot you with my arms" pose. Forearms to the side, not strait at hum), and work on making yourself look 'normal' again (turn off tentacle monster mode). Even if that means disengaging feeding before you got absolutely everything. Yes, losing food sucks, but if you lose the crew you're supposed to be saving you've got nothing.

You can't really talk, but you can try to say his name, calmly. Or maybe ask for the tablet, so you can explain yourself better. (And maybe barf while he'e getting it).

We really should grab the baddie's guns (way more convenient than bones), and whatever we can from the lab and skedaddle before more security arrives, though.
>>
No. 600865 ID: a2f9bc

Try not to throw up on him. Throw up on him a lot.
>>
No. 600866 ID: 2ec61a

sure, throw up and then mime writing.
>>
No. 600867 ID: a19cd5

>>600861
Stop what you are doing. slowly raise a single finger so he knows to just hold on.
Try to form a working mouth so you can talk without a chalkboard around your neck from now on.
>>
No. 600868 ID: b8ceae

>>600859
Untangle from the husk, then lift your hands to your sides with your open palms facing him in the universal sign of peaceful intent.
You're not hurting for mass right now, and you're not in danger. Your ability to survive now depends on your ability to communicate.
Spend some mass to grow a flap of petals just below your breasts, and behind that add a mouth designed for consuming food. This is now your eating mouth.
Then change your jaw, tongue, teeth, lips, and the rest of your facial mouth to be as close to human as possible - draw on your memories of your old mouth, and the shapes you needed to make to make words, and try to remake that. This is now your talking mouth.

With your talking mouth: "Surviving. I'm now carnivorous, and I need to eat. I don't like it, but I don't have a choice.
I'm going to teach these Xotl the lessons of B Horror Movies, but you are my friend and I am going to get you out of here alive."
>>
No. 600875 ID: f86d3b

Can you excrete the waste material through a non-standard part of your body, like your leg? If so, get rid of the stuff quickly.

And gesture for the datapad.
>>
No. 600889 ID: 2ec61a

>>600868
that would probably look really horrible to watch.
>>
No. 600905 ID: 2baea8

Firstly, pull back all of those tendrils.

Secondly, back away from Blake and try to look non-threatening.

Thirdly, turn around and barf on the floor.

Fourthly, gesture for him to bring you the tablet so you can communicate.
>>
No. 600916 ID: 07a835

>>600868
There are mouths on the palms of her hands, idiot.
>>
No. 601031 ID: 3c17ca

>>600861
Allllice....allllice...ALICE. Its me again. The logic. He couldn't even kill you if he wanted. No point in loosing your head.ehehehe... Hmm, though you just had your head half blown off, got shot, and lasered. That shotgun might as well be a tickler ray..hehehe. Tickle gun. Maybe you got a little crazy, but you are still you just shaken not stirred.

Look at him, shrug, put up a finger in the universal "wait a sec" and finish what you gotta do. He has seen it all now girl, cant really hide it by putting away those tentacles and pretending it didn't happen. At least he will know you are rational and not after him. Also, try and fix that fucked up voice box. Maybe say "sorry. I didn't even ask if you wanted any." no that's crazy, he might be a vegan.
>>
No. 601108 ID: 01745f

>"Dietrich, what are you doing?!"
"Recycling."
>>
No. 601189 ID: 321d85

>>600864
This seems reasonable.

>>601031
You...out of all our attempts at rationality, YOU'RE the logic? Well, we're toast. You're too goofy to be the logic. :P
>>
No. 601190 ID: 321d85

Oh, also, I posit that now (and in general, any tricky situation where ANYTHING else might work) is not quite the right time to be trying grow-new-organs experiments...maybe.
>>
No. 601209 ID: 256d52
File 141562392780.png - (27.83KB , 700x600 , trust_me_on_this.png )
601209

>Even if he shoots you, that's not exactly fatal to your current biology. If he does something stupid out of fear, you can suck it up and take the hit (or take cover) without killing him in retaliation. Restraint and control are probably the best evidence you can give of your humanity
Alice is tough, being shot isn't the end of the world. Slowly then. This isn't a time to move precipitously. Self control. Alice isn't entirely sure she could stop herself from lashing out if he did shoot her. Even an injury would be very bad considering the situation they're in.

>Stop what you are doing. slowly raise a single finger so he knows to just hold on.
Huddled up, Alice tries to make herself look small and nonthreatening. Trying to make sure everything that belongs in her mouth is back in there, Alice looks up at Blake. She gingerly raises her right hand, finger extended.

He doesn't shoot her. It's an encouraging first step. But the way he's looking at her does not fill her with hope.

>You can't really talk, but you can try to say his name, calmly.
"Blaegh."

>Try to form a working mouth so you can talk without a chalkboard around your neck from now on.
Speech pathology isn't exactly Alice's stock in trade and her mouth is screwed up enough as it is. Alice doesn't want to risk making it worse.

"Khanngh spheagh guhh." Alice says, massaging her throat with her free hand. Seeing she can't speak good, they're either going to need the datapad or rely on a lot of yes or no questions. She starts to pull away from the armoured husk that used to be a xotl. Most of herself is back inside herself.

"Neee pah." She mimes writing now she has both hands free. Itching, waiting for the feeling of a bullet, Alice rises to her feet with almost glacial motions. She feels heavy and clumsy.
>>
No. 601210 ID: 256d52
File 141562398169.png - (29.68KB , 800x541 , the_trouble_with_sphincters.png )
601210

The smell of Blake is still powerful but it's not making her hungry now. Almost the opposite. It makes her want to, want to, oh no.

>Try not to throw up on him. Throw up on him a lot.
Slime. Slime everywhere.

First on Blake, then she turns, hunches over and retches until her innards feel like they've been wrung out. Alice pulls ramrod straight and clutches her hands to herself in horror, not willing to look Blake in the eye while he works out how to respond. This is the worst thing!

"I..." Blake says eventually. "I'm going to get the datapad."

"Yezzss..." Alice nods anxiously.

Honestly if their places had been switched, she'd probably have shot him.

>Grow a flap of petals just below your breasts, and behind that add a mouth designed for consuming food. This is now your eating mouth.
ALICE ALREADY HAS A SURPLUS OF MOUTHS AND MOUTH-LIKE THINGS, THANK YOU.
>>
No. 601211 ID: 256d52
File 141562400422.png - (22.81KB , 800x550 , cannibalism_is_the_best_solution.png )
601211

>We really should grab the baddie's guns (way more convenient than bones), and whatever we can from the lab and skedaddle before more security arrives, though.
While Blake goes into the lab, Alice scoops the shotgun off the ground and grabs the xotl backpack off the emptied armour. It's still half covered in that fire retardant pink foam.

She should think about grabbing the scientist's coat too. He had some sort of tranquilliser gun on him, but Alice doesn't know if it'd be any use to her. The xotl with the goo gun is over near the door. The grenade was dropped over there too.

Alice needs to think about what she's going to say (write) to Blake. How is she going to rationalise doing what she needs to do? She takes a sidelong glance at the last of their fallen enemies. She's hungry again. She should eat the third xotl, right? It's not as though Blake can actually stop her from doing it.
>>
No. 601212 ID: 89b2a2

>>601211
Waste not, want not. He's already dead besides. And with your luck you'll get shot up again anyway.
>>
No. 601214 ID: 2ec61a

i think we should tell blake the deal first.

something like "this body comes with new instincts, one of which is telling me it is seriously hurt and needs material to fix itself. organic material"
>>
No. 601215 ID: 572297

experiment changed body-it wants to eat stuff. Stronger instincts now-but less 'override' and more 'PANIC PANIC AHH!' bad decision-making.
However, capable of shape-shifting, as you have seen, only restriction is it doesn't want to lose mass.

I figure we can reserve things like the pyrophobia for later.
>>
No. 601216 ID: dbe554

Make sure your writing comes clear that you are sane, but when you are weak you feel impulses, while eating them is horrible, it makes you feel far better and in control enough that you don't revert to more 'feral' instincts.
>>
No. 601218 ID: 2baea8

Explain that whatever freaky symbiote bioweapon thing the xotl used on you, starving or injuring it seems to make its instincts take over and suppresses your humanity. You're not sure if there's a way to fix you, but you can at least help get Blake out of here and pay the xotl back for what they did to you. If you're lucky there might be clues in the facility here to help figure out what exactly this 'flower' - for lack of a better term - is.
>>
No. 601221 ID: 7c58ae

>He had some sort of tranquilliser gun on him, but Alice doesn't know if it'd be any use to her.
More options are always a good thing. Maybe we'll need a xtol alive for some reason. Or maybe you'll run into a crewmate who isn't in their right mind, or reacts predictably to the appearance of a toothy plant monster. Take it.

>Slime. Slime everywhere.
...I hope there's one of those emergency wash stations in the xtol lab behind you. Poor Blake.

>She's hungry again. She should eat the third xotl, right? It's not as though Blake can actually stop her from doing it.
He can't stop you, but eating again before you've tried to explain this to him is probably just going to freak him out again. Probably worse, this time.

Tell your stupid body to shut up, you just ate. Concentrate on all the throwing up you just did to control your appetite. You can eat after you explain yourself.

>Alice needs to think about what she's going to say (write) to Blake.
Probably the first thing to do is turn on caps lock, max out the font size and write SORRY. I mean, you just barfed dead xtol slime all over him! And you acted like a figgening monster, and you freaked out on him with the fire and...

As for what else to write, you didn't have a chance to explain much before. So start at the beginning. Default to something familiar- write up what happened today like you were writing a report. A mission summary. You've had to write lots and lots of those over the years, right? Should be almost automatic.

You don't know how either of you ended up on this rock. You woke up today to find some xtol grunts trying to stick you in an incinerator, and to discover you'd been turned into some kind of a terrifying plant monster. Your best guess is you were an unwilling test subject in some kind of bioweapon program. You regenerate, you shapeshift, and you're really strong. It messes with your head- makes you want to respond to anger, fear, pain, with violence. Irrationally. Overwhelming fear of fire. And... it's made you carnivorous. You need to regenerate lost mass from somewhere and you're apparently equipped to devour and convert biomass rapidly.

You know it's fucking freaky as hell, and makes you some kind of immoral cannibalistic abomination, but you're perfectly willing to do horrible things to the bastards who did this to you. They had him in a tube, too. You just want to find the rest of the crew, and get out here. Hopefully steal enough data that someone can fix you. You're scared to hell of what they've done to you.

...please help me.

>tldr
I'm a monster now, but it's okay to eat the bad guys who did this to us in order to escape, right?
>>
No. 601225 ID: 72fcca

"You can reuse their guns to fight them, I can now reuse their leftover biomass to fight them. That makes sense, right?"
>>
No. 601231 ID: 321d85

Hahaha, his face....
>>
No. 601245 ID: 07a835

>>601211
Don't eat it until Blake understands why you're doing it.

Tell him that, due to your new body, you have a very strong instinct to eat everyone you can see. It is something you can barely control, so you aren't in danger of eating him. (yes, tell him that even if it's a lie. What if his smell doesn't make you hungry anymore though, even after the puking?) However, by eating, you are growing stronger. You need to be strong to escape. Therefore, you are eating the xotls when they are either already dead or actively trying to kill you, even if you hate the idea of doing it.

Abbreviated: "Instinctual urge to eat people. It can be controlled; I won't eat you. Eating makes me stronger, so we can escape. I hate it, but I must eat my enemies."

Once he understands, point at the last xotl so he knows you're about to eat it. He can look away, or not. Then puke afterwards so you don't get sluggish at a bad moment.
>>
No. 601286 ID: 8f01e8

Keep it simple.

"Sorry about the puke.

I woke up in an incinerator. Maybe Xotl used some Precursor thing? Weird powers, weird instincts, hungry all the time.

When there is normal food, I eat the food first. Haven't killed anyone who wasn't trying to kill me. Whatever else happens, that's not going to change."

Putting it in writing might help solidify your own resolve, too.
>>
No. 601317 ID: 95fb3b

Hmmm...would it be possible for you to grow a gun/grenade belt? All you'd really need are a few loops and maybe a couple of pouches for ammo?
>>
No. 601338 ID: 3c17ca

>>601211
heh...Alice, that wasnt too bad was it? Not at all. FEeeling a bit less, ehhh..errr...squigglly. Little easier to think, basic biology 101 from the academy, less feed and breed instinct going on. Now its time for fight and flight. Hmm, though that blake. This power feels good doesn't it? Could almost take anything you want.

Enough daydreaming though. Police the gear, stuff it all in the bag, be careful of the pink foam. Time to pretend like you arent too crazy. We arent right? hehehheee...gotta keep that inner monologue under control ya know?

These clothes, pretty tight now. Might want to slip into something a little more comfortable like extra clothes. That lab coat, or if there is any of that xotol spandex left might look pretty nice, girls gotta look good for a night out on the town. Even if town is an alien facility, night is xotols, and on is murder.
>>
No. 602116 ID: 3c17ca

>>601338
Be quiet instincts. We all know what you are, and it is time for Rational to take over. You are an engineer. You know you are scared, but that is an emotion, chemical, chemicals are things to be controlled.

You need to regain some humanity, you need to twist your flesh just a little more, keep that anchor to reality.

Your voice. It wont be perfect but you can try to get some of it back. Vocal cords vibrate of pneumatic flow to create sound, shaped by the throat, tongue, and mouth structures, similar to ducting in any star ship for life support. In and out.

Or this could go horribly bad and you scream like a banshee.
>>
No. 602122 ID: 9ddf68

>Alice needs to think about what she's going to say (write) to Blake
"Blake, I woke up about an hour ago (How long has it been in game since we woke up?) looking like this with my last memories being of when we were captured. The only reason I'm not freaking out right now is because these guys have been trying to kill almost since I woke up like this. I have no idea what I am, what I can do, or why I'm like this, and right now the only thing keeping me from freaking out like I did during the fire fight is the goal of finding the rest of our crew and getting the hell out of here. Once we do that I'm going to find a room with really thick doors, lock myself inside, and freak the hell out. Until then please try to keep monster related questions to a minimum because I'm trying not to brake down because right now we just don't have time for that."

>She should eat the third xotl, right?
"also Blake, on the subject of monsters... do you mind if I eat that guy over there? If not please say something otherwise I'm going to assume that's a yes."
>>
No. 602277 ID: 95b7a3

>>601211
Fighting, eating and surviving are all things that a plant-monster is good at. Now is the time for communication and planning: things that people do well.

>She should eat the third xotl, right? It's not as though Blake can actually stop her from doing it.
Eating it seems reasonable, but it would be best to talk (write) to Blake first. Whether he can stop you is irrelevant, what matters is what he thinks of you after.

>Alice needs to think about what she's going to say (write) to Blake. How is she going to rationalise doing what she needs to do?
Don't try to rationalise it, be honest with him.
You ate the Xotl corpses because it kept you alive, and it left you in control of your actions.
Tell him about how you broke out of the incinerator and fought your way here.
Tell him that you're still Alice Dietrich, and that you're going to find the rest of your crew.

>She should think about grabbing the scientist's coat too. He had some sort of tranquilliser gun on him, but Alice doesn't know if it'd be any use to her.
A tranq gun sounds handy.
>>
No. 602403 ID: 256d52
File 141604186603.png - (27.05KB , 800x500 , maintain_safe_distance.png )
602403

>Waste not, want not. He's already dead besides. And with your luck you'll get shot up again anyway.
Right, right, right, they've got to move on and she'll only lose it again if she's not careful so more is better.

>Tell your stupid body to shut up, you just ate. Concentrate on all the throwing up you just did to control your appetite. You can eat after you explain yourself.
Thinking about that's just making her feel hungrier! She can eat more again!

>I think we should tell Blake the deal first.
>He can't stop you, but eating again before you've tried to explain this to him is probably just going to freak him out again. Probably worse, this time.
Alice has been shot too much already today. She's going to eat it, she wants to eat it, but she has to wait.

>More options are always a good thing. Maybe we'll need a xtol alive for some reason. Or maybe you'll run into a crewmate who isn't in their right mind, or reacts predictably to the appearance of a toothy plant monster. Take it.
Alice backs away from the last xotl body, heading to where she ate the other two. She skirts the worst of the slime and broken glass to grab the scientist's coat. She makes a crude bag out of it and puts the scientist's tranquilliser gun and goggles inside.

>Hmmm...would it be possible for you to grow a gun/grenade belt? All you'd really need are a few loops and maybe a couple of pouches for ammo?
The things at her waist seem to be able to hold on to the shotgun and xotl's pouch for her.

>Slime. Slime everywhere.
>...I hope there's one of those emergency wash stations in the xotl lab behind you. Poor Blake.
Thankfully it scrubs off fairly easily. Alice hopes its not poisonous or something.

Blake's come back and has the pad. He holds it out to her. Quite far. She shies back then takes it off him. Given everything her proximity has meant for him, she can't really blame him for wanting to keep his distance.
>>
No. 602405 ID: 256d52
File 141604196716.png - (38.06KB , 800x520 , the_terror_of_reading.png )
602405

>Probably the first thing to do is turn on caps lock, max out the font size and write SORRY. I mean, you just barfed dead xtol slime all over him! And you acted like a figgening monster, and you freaked out on him with the fire and...
Thinking about it makes Alice want to crawl in a hole somewhere and hide... she's put him through a lot of shit so far.

>As for what else to write, you didn't have a chance to explain much before. So start at the beginning. Default to something familiar- write up what happened today like you were writing a report. A mission summary. You've had to write lots and lots of those over the years, right? Should be almost automatic.
From the beginning then. Argh, why is this so difficult. She's having trouble thinking what to say, how to turn it into words, how to put it on the pad.

SORRY
Cant rmmber much Woke uP broke out.
xotl xper imented on me


... Is this really her handwriting? It seems a lot worse.

She shows the pad to Blake. He squints for a moment. "Are you sure the xotl did this?"

Alice looks at him. No, it was the Messenger come in the night from the east leading a procession of the Blind One's pipers and looking like a king of old; and they were all fools to have ever doubted.

The information content of that glare must have been unusually high. Blake winces. "Stupid question." Alice turns the screen and scribbles some more. "It's just, it seems like something beyond what they're capable of." he says slowly as she writes.

>Maybe Xotl used some Precursor thing? Weird powers, weird instincts, hungry all the time.
Precursors... Alice pauses. A formless dread comes over her at the thought. The best guess is they went extinct over 150 million years ago and what they left behind is, uh, Alice will settle for 'dangerous'. She wouldn't exactly call it a cover-up, but there's a general acknowledgement it's not for public consumption.

All Alice really knows is how much she doesn't know. An unofficial mission of the Corps is to identify species that might be sponsored for uplift, to help avoid certain... failure modes. The fossil records and rare archaeological investigations are revealing. Meddling with the hypertechnology of the elder things is a sure-fire way to resolve the Fermi paradox.

>You just want to find the rest of the crew, and get out here. Hopefully steal enough data that someone can fix you. You're scared to hell of what they've done to you.
Alice is very scared, but she isn't about to admit that to Blake. Someone needs to keep their head.

Been awake mybe 1/2 hour Xotl everywhre
Looking for othr crew.
Find cure? Get othrs out aT leas

>>
No. 602410 ID: 256d52
File 141604267814.png - (18.85KB , 800x500 , seriously_its_kind_of_creepy.png )
602410

>You regenerate, you shapeshift, and you're really strong. It messes with your head- makes you want to respond to anger, fear, pain, with violence. Irrationally. Overwhelming fear of fire. And... it's made you carnivorous. You need to regenerate lost mass from somewhere and you're apparently equipped to devour and convert biomass rapidly.
He needs to know what she's capable of now. What she might do.

CHanges: strnger, heal fast, chng shape?
gets hrd to think strght
HUNGRY


To his credit, though he looks like he seriously considered it, Blake does not back away from her.

"You're, uh, still hungry?"

Alice turns a little away from him and hunches over her tablet "Yezzzs." she says, trying to turn her agitation into scribbling. It's like trying to fill a bottomless pit. If she thinks about it even a moment later, she's just as hungry as she was before. Five xotl so far. Five! Maybe the sixth one will help.

>Something like "this body comes with new instincts, one of which is telling me it is seriously hurt and needs material to fix itself. organic material"
Yes, he needs to understand that clearly the only reason she is doing this is to help everyone escape. Clearly!

Barely handld frst seein yu
Tryn to kep it tgehr
Weird instncts, mayb somethng more
AI? Biologicl intrface?
body damagd, wants more for repair


>Tell him that, due to your new body, you have a very strong instinct to eat everyone you can see. >It is something you can barely control, so you aren't in danger of eating him. (yes, tell him that even if it's a lie. What if his smell doesn't make you hungry any more though, even after the puking?) However, by eating, you are growing stronger. You need to be strong to escape. Therefore, you are eating the xotls when they are either already dead or actively trying to kill you, even if you hate the idea of doing it.
Yes, yes! It's horrible, it's horrible. That's why she has to do it now and get it out of the way. Alice doesn't want to eat Blake, she'll only do it if - no, never! She needs more control over herself so she has to eat the xotl. She has to be stronger so she has to eat the xotl.

Dun wnt to risk crew
xotl ded, enemy. jst meat
need to be strngr to escape
dnt like it but hve to eat thm


Blake frowns and shakes his head. "Dietrich, you sure it's not screwing with your head? Xotl are small but you've just, uh, processed what, your weight in raw material? It's barely been a minute and you're hungry again. When's it going to end?"

Alice moves past Blake, heading for the xotl. If she keeps eating maybe it'll stop. They don't have time to keep arguing.

"What do you mean 'stronger'?" Blake calls, more urgently. "Dietrich, everyone's got guns. What will it do except make you a bigger target?"

What he's crazy. It's for his own good can't he see that. He needs to stop looking at her like that. "Loogh awwhy."

All together they've got two shotguns, two pistols, the goo gun, the tranquilliser gun, one grenade plus the contents of the xotl's packs, which they haven't gone through properly yet. She wants to eat this xotl and then move on. Who should have what. They should probably leave some of it. They are under equipped with pockets.
>>
No. 602412 ID: 1f2a28

Blake Grenade, Shotgun.

Alice Goo Gun and Tranquilizer; I imagine that those are quieter than the pistol/shotgun, and you might have biomass stealth ability now. Vent crawling and whatnot.

Also, the Goo Gun might be able to put out fire?

You may be consuming the mass, but then you're vomiting it right back up or getting it burned off. Biomass for you right now is ablative armor, in terms Blake can understand.
>>
No. 602414 ID: 07a835

>>602407
He doesn't know you took a direct hit from a shotgun to your head and were perfectly fine a minute later. Tell him about that. The more you eat, the more bullets you can absorb. The more bullets you can absorb, the better you can keep those bullets from hitting him or the crew. You probably won't ever stop being hungry, Alice. You must eat so that you can keep your crew alive. Also, yes, it's messing with your head, you know it. You should not ever be okay with eating anyone, enemy or not. Yet, you are, and you must. If he doesn't understand, so be it. You will stop eating xotls once the crew are safe. You will eat animal meat from then on.
Just eat the xotl. Even if he's watching.

Shotguns will likely only do lethal damage to xotl troops at very close range, which the unarmored squishy Blake should never be in. Blake should carry the goo gun and the tranquilizer gun as a sidearm because they are the only things that can stop you, and if you go nuts he needs to be able to stop you. Also, the goo gun is good against armored targets.

The grenade... it's another fire grenade, right? Give it to Blake if you don't think you can use it without scaring yourself shitless. Tell him to only use it if it'll land far away from you. Or to use it to scare you away if you go berserk.
>>
No. 602416 ID: 9ddf68

I'm kinda against eating the dead guy simply because the more you eat it seem the more feral you're becoming, then again you've only been like this (awake at least) for less then an hour so maybe not? Still you really need to get your hunger under control before you hurt someone you don't want to, maybe you just need something to distract you. Ask Blake with the data pad what he thinks happened to you or at least what he makes of the situation... also what he remembers from before you woke him up. Just make sure you walk and talk, I don't want to be here when reinforcements show up.
>>
No. 602418 ID: 07a835

Personally I don't think Alice is getting more feral. It seems to me she's getting LESS feral. The first time she ate someone:
>It's probably terrible to say it, but Alice feels more like her old self now.
>>
No. 602419 ID: 2ec61a

yeah, as she eats the signals TO eat are getting weaker, but still there since there are still issues. probably has signal to repair damage, signal to increase size, and signal just for hunger. once she has the damage fully repaired one problem should shut up. like a factory with three different alarms going off. just one turning off will make the other two more bearable.
>>
No. 602421 ID: 07a835

...on the other hand, Alice has a lot of biomass already. Does she really need more right now? What if going past a certain amount of biomass has severe disadvantages?
>>
No. 602422 ID: 2ec61a

>>602421
total mass maybe, but her body is probably requesting trace elements.
>>
No. 602429 ID: 95b7a3

Full credit to Blake, he's taking all this incredibly well.

>"Dietrich, everyone's got guns. What will it do except make you a bigger target?"
You should answer this, because it's easy.
Eating makes you harder to kill, and it gives you natural weapons.
It also seems to keep you sane?

>Argh, why is this so difficult. She's having trouble thinking what to say, how to turn it into words, how to put it on the pad.
>"Dietrich, you sure it's not screwing with your head?"
Blake's right, that plant IS screwing with your head.
That's why keeping Blake safe is important: the best way to keep yourself together mentally is by interacting with other people. You are going to need to take every available opportunity to be Alice if you want to remain Alice.

On a more pragmatic note: you two need to come up with a plan.
The Xotl aren't dumb. They're not going to keep sending small numbers of troops out to see what's going on. So you're going to need to decide what you're going to do here, and then you'll need to do it FAST.

The way I see it, you need to do three things:
1) Disrupt the Xotl. Kill power or shut down communications or something. You can't fight everyone at once, and this will buy you time.
2) Locate and rescue your crew. It's likely they'll be the labs, so you'll need to figure out what's happened to Lab B.
3) Break out. You can probably escape through the hanger.

To do all that, you're going to need more information. Unless you can get a hostage, this means scouting.
>>
No. 602430 ID: 14f309

"I'm like a video game character-more mass means more HP. Only dies when HP=0, melee class now."
Dunno if Blake's a gamer but that should be a simpel enough explaination, and one that's more perhaps, human at least.
>>
No. 602431 ID: 5ba925

There's a meditation-lite trick you can try. Listen to your hunger - don't act on it just yet, but give it your undivided attention - let it fill your awareness, and then say, mentally, "Yes. I'm aware of it. I'm handling it. Calm down."

Go back and answer his question first though. Body language indicating hurry but self-control. Seconding the HP explanation, but add "(ablative armor)" just in case he doesn't play games.
>>
No. 602440 ID: 2f4b71

>>602410
>Dietrich, you sure it's not screwing with your head?
No, you're sure it IS screwing with your head. It's not like you have much of a choice in the matter though.

>"Dietrich, everyone's got guns. What will it do except make you a bigger target?"
We have guns, the Xotl have more guns. We need an edge.
>>
No. 602441 ID: b6178d

Blake isn't wrong, though. Whatever new biology you have, it IS imposing new needs and priorities. You're acting under an influence.

Consider. You seem disposed towards certain kinds of logic or instincts; i.e. anything that allows you to eat and escape existential threats. Rejiggering those thoughts to a more... diplomatic level is going to take conscious effort. Like a person with Asperger's trying to make sense of social cues they don't normally understand by compensating based on experience and knowledge.

Fact is, Blake's also right about the Xotl probably not having the kind of tech to make you as you are right now. Which, loath as you are to admit it, probably means Precursor. Be impressed, he's already putting two and two together, and he's still willing to talk with you, help you.

Clearly, he has a better head on his shoulders for these things than you do. If you want help dealing with your condition, curing it or making it managable, perhaps you should be more prepared to listen to him and take his words with due seriousness.

Consider. Your new habits are filling some manner of need for your new biology, and there are plenty of practical arguments for why you might want extra biomass... but we have already dealt with nearby threats and have no data on the long term effects. To keep doing what we've done so far doesn't make sense from a 'heading into enemy territory' kind of perspective. We don't know the full consequences and the dangers involved, ergo we should take as few risks as possible and try to manage with what we have.

Consider. Are you tending an addiction here? Will your efforts to gain strength end up becoming a hindrance? Will you have trouble STOPPING, in the end? Fermi paradox, ma'am. Face the fact that you may be in the ballpark of becoming an existential threat... although there's no clear evidence of it yet. That said, there's certainly enough evidence that you may end up a danger to your crewmates, and that is reason enough to aggressively seek information on your new biology.

Act. Whether or not the Xotl had the tech to create you, they had SOMETHING and you need to give Blake a little direction on figuring things out. They had him in a tube, prepped for experiments, and there's room full of tech and a console full of xotl know-how and whatnot just inside the room there. He may even know the lingo.

Write a new message: say you want to help, but you also need his help. Say you want him to take a look at the science stuff, maybe there are some answers to your current state in there, and how to... sate yourself. Meanwhile, you need to try and find the others and get rid of xotl threats.
>>
No. 602444 ID: a7efea

>Dietrich, you sure it's not screwing with your head?
You are sure it's messing with your head.

Yes, tell him this. Seriously. It's important.

>Xotl are small but you've just, uh, processed what, your weight in raw material?
Wait, wait. Stop. He has a point. Where's all that biomass going- why aren't you huge? Apply your science, here. You were more engineer than chemist, but you can do simple math. Pull up the tablet's math or calculation program. Start making rough estimates of how much chemical energy there is stored in a xtol. Estimate how much energy it takes to break down biomass and convert it to other biomass. How much energy does it take for a harpoon gun? For super strength? See if your sums make any sense, or if there's a huge hidden cost your body is paying for that you haven't seen, yet.

If Blake's right, tell him so. It doesn't add up. If he's wrong, well tell him that too.

>Dietrich, everyone's got guns. What will it do except make you a bigger target?
Stop. Consider that. You're a soldier, too. What is the tactical advantage of having more mass if you're already healed up?

The simplest answer is maybe that energy or reserves are useful for repairs when someone shoots at you. More complex is the idea of force multiplication. More mass unlocks more capabilities, like that arm spear thing. More options are a good thing.

...but Blake's right if that all it does is make you bigger, it's not very useful. Tell him this. If we find out that's the case, you won't eat yourself into being a bigger target the next time you get painfully cut down to size. But you want to eat this one, to see what happens. Experiment. No way to know until you try.

Please make an effort to communicate this stuff to him, via tablet, before eating. I know the delay is driving you crazy, but showing him you're thinking about this, and not just letting the body control you, is very important right now.

>When's it going to end?
If you were designed as some kind of self repairing bioweapon meant to be dropped on enemy positions? It doesn't. The hunger would be intended to keep you going until everyone was dead. And then to make sure you safely starved to death before the people who deployed you moved in.

>Who should have what.
Blake should keep his shotgun, and take the ammo from the other. Blake get the grenade, too.

Alice, take the pistol and the ammo from the other. Because you're more likely to be at close range to the enemy. Take the trank, too, just in case you need to put humans trying to kill you to sleep.

>They are under equipped with pockets
You have tentacles, though. Black might be able to improvise something from the tattered xtol lab coat, too.
>>
No. 602450 ID: 2baea8

>>602441
Second.
>>
No. 602460 ID: 01745f

You really should consider hard whether your hunger was more or less after eating that last Xotl.

We should also type "Saw bigger alert on other side of map, maybe another thing like me."
>>
No. 602522 ID: 2f4b71

A lot of the mass difference could be made up by the regular vomiting. It's quite likely that it's not biomass that Alice's body is looking for, but some rather more specific elements or chemicals. The Xotl contain some, but not very much.
>>
No. 602528 ID: b6178d

Perhaps what needs to be considered is that the very thought of the idea of, or opportunity for, consumption seems to increase... awareness.

Which makes for a headache of the 'try not to think of the colour pink' psychological variant, as up until the point a prompt, mental or material, is made, there is no actual necessity, and after, there is some which is very difficult to ignore.

Consider. This new biology in itself does not actively seem to require anything to able to function, i.e. move around, choke a xotl, etc. Mass is added or re-purposed, not expended, despite our considerable amounts of exertion so far. Actual loss has always been caused by factors like violence. All of this means the biology can sustain itself on a stable level of mass, at least for a while.

So... there is only ever need because there is thought of need, and while that need may fulfill some function, that function is certainly not to fuel a demanding metabolism (or if it is, it's like that of a bear trying to bulk up before winter).

Excise or distract oneself from the thought of the need, and one will probably be able to function fine. Likely, the new biology probably has a few different modus operandi, which are triggered by the right (or wrong) kind of thoughts and stimuli.
>>
No. 602542 ID: 3c17ca

>>602410
Alice its me, logic again. Dont listen to them, I am not just survivalism. He doesn't understand, but he will soon. This is not the time or place for emotions. You do need mass, all the mass you can get. The other side of the map, this compound, it is probably where your crew is. You can soak up the damage, distract, hell...lets be honest with ourselves.

Speaking of honesty, do you really think we are going home? In this form? That we are going to survive? Even fit in a cryo tube and be ok? Stick it out in a small can back to point A and not feel the urge to eat everyone as time drags on? No, probably not. It is a little sad, but I think we both knew this already. There is always the mission though. We need to protect and evac the remaining crew. Give retribution for those who are not with us still.

Maybe we find a way to unfuck things between here and there, but until then. The mission. Expect people to trust you less, expect things to slip a little, but hold onto the urge to protect your crewmates, family. Protect the Family.
>>
No. 602566 ID: a2f9bc

Try looking at it from Blake's side. He might be as worried for your humanity as you are, but he has an external perspective. I think he's trying to coach you in staying you however he can, and I'm not sure we should reject that.

He's keeping his head fairly well so far, and can you honestly say you trust your judgement more than his in your state, Alice? He's also got a point: we don't know how your biology will continue to adapt to additional biomass; growing head fronds was benign, but we don't know what's coming. Crossing into some kind of immobile breeder mode or something is not my idea of a good time.

Plus, you sprayed your chest-juices all over him and, while some guys are into that sort of thing, you didn't exactly get his permission first, so you kind of owe him.
>>
No. 602804 ID: 8f01e8

Extra mass is more than just making you taller, it's setting up some kind of internal infrastructure. When you first woke up digestive efficiency was only 25%; now it's 45% and shows every sign of continuing to rise. Head tendrils are new, the harpoon thing is new and it seems like there's more to be discovered down that path, to say nothing of recovery from extreme injury. Tell Blake all that.

Theory: the Xotl opened up something that should have been left closed, and they hurt your friends. You are the incarnate doom that is coming to them for both of those crimes. The way forward, the way to escape this hell and eventually return to calm civilian life, is to play out the rest of your tour of duty in the Precursor Foreign Legion with focus, discipline, and valor.

Nobody ever comes back the same after a war, right? In body or mind. You may have gotten it worse than most, but that's if you're only counting the ones who make it back at all. Got family back home? Survive this, and even if your side's scientists can't find a way to fix you, you can still watch the kids grow up and stay in touch by mail. Sounds a lot better than slacking off in that incinerator, or staying down the first time you got your head blown off, doesn't it? Use what you've been given.
>>
No. 602875 ID: 3c17ca

>>602410
Alice...its me. There is hope, you are changing each time you eat, gaining in biological efficency, becoming more. Something new, something wonderful. Don't concern yourself too much with fettering things. At the end of this transformation is freedom. Just do us a favor, remember who you were compared to who you are now and ask if old you would do this given the circumstances. You are gonna be fine, we are gonna be fine.
>>
No. 603399 ID: f0a5e4

>>602875
Woah there Mr. Posthuman Urges, I know we're way, way down the rabbit hole and Alice's moral compass is currently reading ultraviolet and infrared, but telling her to drink the Koolaid and ride the Perfect Predator Train isn't going to get her out of here.
She may be an unstoppable bioweapon whose very nature could render her unstoppable on an unprepared station but we are not fighting an unprepared opponent! Literally EVERY SINGLE opponent we have faced so far has been equipped specifically to deal with our flavor of "perfection", and I have no doubt they have more aces up their sleeves. Giving in to our nascent god complex just because you may be part Old One ubertech will only get Alice, and every single person she swore to protect killed, incinerated, and forgotten by all but the void and us. Come on, don't make the same mistake every doofy poorly-written post-singularity horror villain ever has made.
Alice, you are no longer the Alice Dietrich who signed up to see the stars and serve the species. But just because you've changed, doesn't mean you get to cop out on the promises you made. Shit happens, but that's life, that's love, and that's war, and it don't give you a free ticket off this ride, Corporal.
I am but a voice among many, and all I can do is advise you, advise you to embrace your strength and accept it as who you are, but don't you dare forget for a second why you need that strength. Don't be just another broken toy soldier who couldn't stand the heart of darkness and gave their soul for the wretched laws of the jungle. Come on, are you made of flesh or tin? Be the hero your crew needs. Be a hunter, and protect your pack. If all you can do is fight, then fight for your men! If all you can do is feed, then feed on those who dared to harm your friends, your brothers and sisters! And if you must burn, then burn! If you must bleed, bleed! If you must die nameless and forgotten so that one, just one of you survives to tell the tale, then so be it! Evolve as the child of Earth you are and show these ugly fishfucks why YOU ARE THE QUEEN BITCH OF THE UNIVERSE!
In short, eat fishsticks, embrace transhumanism, kick ass, save the prince, smoke a kipper and be back for breakfast. Please. You're cool and I like you. Stay strong.
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No. 603402 ID: fef726

My advice? Eat the Xotl, use the pad to explain just what eating things has let you survive... then lets explore the rest of this wing to see if we can't find the rest of your crew.
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No. 603889 ID: 90504c

Hmmm, just thought of something. The whole 'not allowed' forced thought patterns seem like some sort of organic AI. At the very least there should be some sort of interface between you and the restrictions. Maybe not something to turn them off, but something to help list them.

So I'm suggesting a sort of experiment. Try thinking some 'keywords'. Offhand 'help', 'information', 'abilities', 'status', 'diagnostics', and 'restrictions' might be good ones to start with.

Oh and while I'm remembering, when I suggested trying to make a fireproof secretion/protection, I didn't mean 'test it on yourself'. I meant more try making it, and hope it works. A better than nothing solution.

Although, if you can make a fireproof secretion, you can do something to test it without being near the fire. Simply get something that can be flammable, coat it with the secretion, and have Blake take it somewhere far from you, and try to set it on fire. Only do this if you think it's safe to take the time to do so.

Perhaps the slime is fireproof? It'd be a good idea to figure out the properties of it, at least. It would at least be good to figure out if it is flammible.
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No. 603900 ID: 256d52
File 141648323278.png - (28.25KB , 640x640 , alice_ur_drooling.png )
603900

>Go back and answer his question first though. Body language indicating hurry but self-control.
Arrrggh. They don't have time for this. With twitchy, agitated motions, Alice wipes the screen and writes some more.

>He doesn't know you took a direct hit from a shotgun to your head and were perfectly fine a minute later. Tell him about that. The more you eat, the more bullets you can absorb. The more bullets you can absorb, the better you can keep those bullets from hitting him or the crew. You probably won't ever stop being hungry, Alice. You must eat so that you can keep your crew alive. Also, yes, it's messing with your head, you know it. You should not ever be okay with eating anyone, enemy or not. Yet, you are, and you must. If he doesn't understand, so be it. You will stop eating xotls once the crew are safe.
Yes, that. She needs to eat to keep the crew safe. She'll have to do it until all the xotl are gone.

>...but Blake's right if that all it does is make you bigger, it's not very useful. Tell him this. If we find out that's the case, you won't eat yourself into being a bigger target the next time you get painfully cut down to size. But you want to eat this one, to see what happens. Experiment. No way to know until you try.
She needs to find out, yes yes yes.

>Blake isn't wrong, though. Whatever new biology you have, it IS imposing new needs and priorities. You're acting under an influence.
Yes so if she eats there won't be any more influence!

Eat then think strght
Hrd to kill. Shot in head, walkd it off
Regrew leg, flower. Eat, bettr bullet sponge.
Not sre what else more wll do call it expeirment!
Jst bgger not usful btu xotl too dangrous need edge
do it thne we move


>Just eat the xotl. Even if he's watching.
Alice thrusts the data pad at Blake and then dives on the body. Her feeding tendrils thread through it, shredding, converting and consuming the dead amphibian into slime and more Alice.

40 biomass consumed. 18 mass gained. Total mass is 112.

>...on the other hand, Alice has a lot of biomass already. Does she really need more right now? What if going past a certain amount of biomass has severe disadvantages?
She wants more! If there was some downside to it why would her body want it so much? Why isn't there any more. She wants more. Alice shakes the emptied suit of armour, flailing her tendrils through its interior but doing nothing but thrashing slime and shredding the soft portions.

There's nothing but slime inside. There's got to be more, she needs to find more. Blake's here, she can't eat Blake, she needs to get out of here and find more xotl. She can eat xotl.
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No.