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File 142010607405.png - (45.65KB , 800x580 , bloom_m2.png )
617229 No. 617229 ID: 256d52

Wiki: http://tgchan.org/wiki/Bloom
Previous Chapter: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/554553.html

Even if it's dangerous, isn't it better than being alone?
598 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 874255 ID: 10c408

Honestly? Grab any of your discarded gear that's still within reach while you continue pulling yourself together and make sure that blake doesn't get anywhere near that open door.

Why? Because assuming that the xotl guard at the jailcell door you killed earlier wasn't part of the patrol who moved Dr Mason, then there's another two xotl holed up in the room with her, not to mention the dragon slayer who is also missing.

We're nowhere ready to breach until we recover from the basilisk trying to reclaim us or whatever and it would absolutely suck if spring the xotl's trap without expecting it.
>>
No. 874262 ID: 074011

Prolonged physical contact may be harmful to unprotected personnel. Maintain an inorganic layer between your Alice(tm) and any desired humans at all times!
Your Alice(tm) will often experience hazardous environmental factors, including but not limited to: Shotguns, hand-grenades, anti-materiel rounds, Daggers, and low ceilings. Sensitive baggage may come to harm.

Alice might need to immediately haul The Doctor to avoid a fight, but it is bad practice, especially while her morphology is unstable...

There must be a secret around here somewhere, if we don't find them all then the completionists will go insane.

Blake's head probably doesn't grow back. Stick yours into the room to check for hazards but then send him in to be the party face.
>>
No. 874274 ID: 2120ee

>>874244
Gonna have to put the doctor on a cart if you can't find her legs. You might be able to shape up a bit more of a seat?
>>
No. 874276 ID: 094652

Scavenge and hide. Also, grab some useless ^&*( and throw it in a random direction, make the next wave think you were dropping loot while running.
>>
No. 874301 ID: a98542

>>874244
Give blake a thumbs-up (with a hand. not a flesh-bow, gun, or shield.) to both confirm that his summary is correct and to convey that you're fine-ish, even if you can't do the talking thing right now. Or do the tablet thing, if that isn't broken yet.

Then go check on Mason. If you wanna be max paranoid, get blake to deal with her while you camp the door you came in. If xotl are gonna sneak up on us, we might as well not be cornered in a single room at the end of a dead-end hallway.

And then, you know, try not to listen in on them while they talk about you behind your back, but listen in anyways.
>>
No. 874304 ID: b7627b

>>874244
Make sure your knockers are in the right place, you reformed with those as a focus after all, right?
>>
No. 874321 ID: 3abd97

>The sole surviving xotl catches a bullet in the neck.
Wasn't there a dragoon in the prisoner escort group? Worst case he's still here, waiting in ambush in the room with the doc.

>she feels a bit like a kid in an adult's clothes
That's good, right? Kids are cute. Better if the baseline humans see you as cute and not terrifying.

>Alice has so many questions right now but she also has vague recollections of imminent xotl murder parties so they need to grab Mason and get out of here. What's the plan?
Get you locomotion under control. Make sure you can stand and move and wield a weapon. Due to your size shift, you might have to discard or apply engineering tentacles to some of your gear if it's restricting or preventing your movements.

Then you need to finish clearing the area. Take point. Double check the cell that popped out doesn't have anything else inside, then advance carefully on the room at the end. Be wary of an ambush.

If the area's clear, Blake takes point on assessing the doc's condition, trying to wake her, and explain the situation.

Then, as nice as it would be to talk to the doc and get some answers, we need to get the hell out of this area before reinforcements arrive. Talk somewhere when the enemy doesn't know your location.
>>
No. 874422 ID: 600f38

>>874244
Can you hack yourself to make your body look more human?
And, more importantly, flag "Humans" as "inedible" and "Xotl" as "Delicious"?
>>
No. 874480 ID: b15da4

Just shake it all off like a wet dog. Then replenish your stocks - biomass, guns, grenades - before checking the remaining cells for more traps and more prisoners, friendly greeting (datapad) in one hand and unfriendly greeting (shotgun) in the other.
>>
No. 875325 ID: 31b497
File 152194121356.png - (29.14KB , 800x550 , whats_up_doc.png )
875325

>Give Blake a thumbs-up (with a hand. not a flesh-bow, gun, or shield.) to both confirm that his summary is correct and to convey that you're fine-ish, even if you can't do the talking thing right now. Or do the tablet thing, if that isn't broken yet.
Alice gives Blake a thumbs up and then scrubs futilely at the data pad. It's caked with goo and she doesn't have the time to clean it properly. She massages her throat. Ideally she'd like to spend a minute or two retching in a corner to get rid of the dead Alice bits seemingly pooling in every internal cavity she possesses but there's no time.

"Are you sure?"

Alice makes a chopping gesture. Cut the chatter and get to work.

>Wasn't there a dragoon in the prisoner escort group? Worst case he's still here, waiting in ambush in the room with the doc.
It'd make no sense for him to have kept hiding in there while his troops were in a pitched gun fight. That hallway was perfect for his big gun.

>Blake's head probably doesn't grow back. Stick yours into the room to check for hazards but then send him in to be the party face.
Alice pokes her head in. No more ambushers. Looks like Mason's still unconscious. That both simplifies and complicates things. No need for explanation but she'll have to be carried.

>Then Blake can go in and explain what's going on. If her limbs are lying around in there they should be immediately attached. If not, put her on something with wheels and get moving.
She ushers Blake in and he confirms she doesn't wake up when shaken. Must be drugged or something. Alice looks at Blake and makes a walking motion with her pointer and middle fingers.

"Legs don't seem to be in here."

They weren't in the cell either.

>Prolonged physical contact may be harmful to unprotected personnel. Maintain an inorganic layer between your Alice(tm) and any desired humans at all times!
>Your Alice(tm) will often experience hazardous environmental factors, including but not limited to: Shotguns, hand-grenades, anti-materiel rounds, Daggers, and low ceilings. Sensitive baggage may come to harm.
Alice has been catching a lot of bullets lately, maybe she shouldn't be carrying anything. She thinks her face has started growing back, which is nice.

It had gone away while she was in that strange mental space but now she's hungry again. So very hungry. All that smell of blood in the air and two humans close at hand now. Alice thinks she has a handle on it but isn't sure if she wants to get too close to anyone at the moment, especially if she gets hurt again. It's odd she feels so indifferent towards eating things like the basilisk and the piggy. Are they all the same kind of thing? They seem to want to eat her though. Does she have something they lack?
>>
No. 875327 ID: 31b497
File 152194130657.png - (29.59KB , 1000x450 , panning_shot.png )
875327

>Assuming that the xotl guard at the jailcell door you killed earlier wasn't part of the patrol who moved Dr Mason, then there's another two xotl holed up in the room with her, not to mention the dragon slayer who is also missing.
From the looks of things at this point, the dragonslayer suspected someone was coming here for the prisoners and detached part of his patrol here with the basilisk as a stalling move. Presumably he's out rounding up more of his friends!

>Can you hack yourself to make your body look more human?
>And, more importantly, flag "Humans" as "inedible" and "Xotl" as "Delicious"?
With what? The eye-spike, attempts at self hypnosis or strongly felt wishes? Those all take time Alice doesn't have.

>>She feels a bit like a kid in an adult's clothes
>That's good, right? Kids are cute. Better if the baseline humans see you as cute and not terrifying.
Alice doesn't think that'll help much.

>Make sure your knockers are in the right place, you reformed with those as a focus after all, right?
Alice is wearing a not particularly flattering armour vest and not about to strip off and check.

>Then, as nice as it would be to talk to the doc and get some answers, we need to get the hell out of this area before reinforcements arrive. Talk somewhere when the enemy doesn't know your location.
Better skedaddle.
>>
No. 875328 ID: 31b497
File 152194138072.png - (32.86KB , 1000x450 , what_a_mess_alice.png )
875328

>Get Blake to put the cripple friend on trolley, then GTFO before reinforcements show up.
Alice mimes putting Mason on the trolley.

Blake shakes his head. "You jammed the door, remember? We've got to go out the hatch we came in through."

Right, shit. Alice could force the door if she really wants to take the trolley but otherwise they'll have to settle for manhandling a few things through the maintenance hatch and subsequent wall breaches Alice made.

They could also smash the office window- no, wait that's armoured glass.

>Don't forget to loot the xotl bodies for anything useful, and see if you can carry some materials for armor too. Maybe put it on whatever wheels you've got.
The xotl are wearing armour which could be used for armour! Obviously a lot of tailoring would be needed.

>Alright you lost some of your mass buffer. Maybe you can eat the basilisk after all. It's certainly less objectionable than eating a Xotl. Just grab and carry it for now though.
It seems to be melting.

>Just shake it all off like a wet dog. Then replenish your stocks - biomass, guns, grenades - before checking the remaining cells for more traps and more prisoners, friendly greeting (datapad) in one hand and unfriendly greeting (shotgun) in the other.
There's a lot of things scattered along the hallway they might take in addition to Dr Mason:

[ ] Alice's Shield
[ ] Alice's Helmet
[ ] Alice's Shin Guards (too long to wear)
[ ] Dead Xotl (Shot in neck)
[ ] Dead Xotl (Dismembered)
[ ] Dead Xotl (Back in prison office, stabbed in head)
[ ] Basilisk Husk
[ ] Flechette Gun
[ ] Goo Gun
[ ] Shotgun (Alice and Blake both already are carrying one)
[ ] Shock Gauntlet (xotl sized)
[ ] Loot Xotl Pouches (up to 3x)

>There must be a secret around here somewhere, if we don't find them all then the completionists will go insane.
Next, there's eight cells in total and Alice has seen the inside of four of them. Two were empty instead of having any prisoners, one was empty like it was marked and the last one had a basilisk instead of the doctor. Three of the remaining cells are marked as being allocated to human prisoners and the last one is empty. The second last one is probably Alice's cell as only two were marked as having females.

It might be a waste of time checking them: the xotl seem to be slow to update the roster since Blake was being kept here too, Alice has heard no noises out of the other cells and the xotl don't seem to be big on personal effects.

[ ] Thoroughly search interrogation room
[ ] Check the trolley drawers
[ ] Check Alice's cell
[ ] Check other human prisoner cells
[ ] Check all cells

Last who should be carrying Mason: Alice or Blake?
>>
No. 875332 ID: 33cbe7

>Dead Xotl (Shot in neck)
The most intact source of biomass in the room. You can just drag him down the hatch and eat him without carrying him too far.
>Dead Xotl (Back in prison office, stabbed in head)
Take him to cover up his cause of death - got to keep some tricks up your sleeve after all.
>Alice's Shield
>Goo Gun
>Shock Gauntlet (xotl sized)
>Loot Xotl Pouches (2x)
The xotl and the shield are probably all you can carry in your hands. (Technically, you have three of those right now...) The rest goes in your "inventory." Goo gun > flechette gun because the flechettes remove too much biomass from targets and are also ineffective against the armor they're all wearing.
>Check all remaining human prisoner cells
No meat man left behind. (Alice's room too because seeecrets.)
>Blake carries/drags
Alice's butt tentacles are suited to carrying more small objects than Blake's non-tentacled butt.
>>
No. 875333 ID: ad51b8

>[X] Dead Xotl (Dismembered)
bite size peices for you to snack on... just don't go into a feeding loop again, now is not the time for that mess.
>[X] Flechette Gun
>[X] Goo Gun
I mean both are right in the hall sooo... plus we can give one to Mason when she wakes up and stops freacking out.
>[X] Loot Xotl Pouches
honestly I'd say just search the guy we're bring with after we're out of here. I mean the main reason I'm saying bring him is because we're going to need to tear the armor up anyways to try and get it to fit us and that's already been handled here. We can pick his pockets as we modify the armor.

>[X] Check Alice's cell
>[X] Check other human prisoner cells
might give us hints to where they are/what the fuck happened to us.

Also blake can cary mason because for one you're hungry right now, and two seeing how you're kind of a hot mess right now I really don't want to see how Mason would react if she woke up and saw someone who looks like they're still melting carrying her around like a sack of potatoes.
>>
No. 875334 ID: b1b4f3

>>875328
>armored glass
I don't suppose you could just cut through that with your tendrils? Sure it's armored but so was the literal armor you chopped up.

Take the flechette gun instead of your shotgun. Take a second gun, don't care what.
Drink one of those nutrient cans you were saving for exactly this situation.
Grab a chunk of Xotl for later eating, you should regain some of your mass buffer and you did cut one up ahead of time, it's convenient.

Just check all the cells, it barely takes any time to look in each to make sure you aren't leaving someone behind.
Search the trolly drawers. Search Alice's room.
Loot a couple pouches. We could use another grenade or two.
>>
No. 875336 ID: 3abd97

I like that even Alice's little eye-flower on the top of her head looks fed up at this point.

>[X] Check all cells
You broke into the jail, you might as well make sure no one else is in here while you can. You're going to feel real bad later if you discover you left anyone behind. You can't assume any of the records are up to date, and heavily drugged humans don't make noises.

Nor do dead ones. If you find bodies, at least someone will know.

>[X] Check the trolley drawers
>[X] Thoroughly search interrogation room
You're going to feel really dumb if you leave Mason's legs behind. Check trolley before the room.

>Last who should be carrying Mason: Alice or Blake?
Blake. You don't want to be carrying her if you lose control of your hunger. Also combat has routinely left your body and equipment in tatters. You don't want to risk putting Mason through that if you end up in a fight.

>There's a lot of things scattered along the hallway they might take in addition to Dr Mason:
>[X] Alice's Shield
Riot shield is always good, especially with how often you get shot, and with the need to protect the baseline humans.
>[X] Alice's Helmet
If it still fits, not getting shot in the head is nice.
>[X]The xotl are wearing armour which could be used for armour
Take some armor bits for later tailoring. Mason could use a vest to stop her organs catching bullets. Blake and Mason could probably use helmets.
>[X] Flechette Gun
>>
No. 875337 ID: 12b116

we better go ahead and at least check the rooms supposedly containing humans
>>
No. 875339 ID: b1b4f3

Oh right supporting taking the shield too.
>>
No. 875340 ID: 91ee5f

>>875327
Damn, you really did shrink! You were taller than Blake, but now you’re down to being the same size as him!

>>875328
>Alice's Shin Guards (too long to wear)
That’s an easy fix. Eat the Xotl and then you’ll be able to wear them again.

>What do?
Basically do all of this: >>875336 .

>You're going to feel really dumb if you leave Mason's legs behind. Check trolley before the room.
Especially, so you don’t end up missing Mason’s legs!
>>
No. 875342 ID: 2120ee

For what to take:
[X] Alice's Shield
[X] Alice's Helmet
[X] Dead Xotl (Shot in neck)
[X] Goo Gun

Grab the immediately useful protective gear, the biggest xotl snack for the road, and the goo gun for the doctor to use or as a tool for quickly sealing doors or what have you. If she needs something more lethal later on, everyone's got guns anyway.

Searching:
[X] Check the trolley drawers
[X] Check Alice's cell
[X] Check other human prisoner cells

Trolleys have been good luck so far! We owe it to trolleys to make the attempt.
We need to check the rest of the rooms just to confirm there's no humans left behind. I'd like to loot the xotl for keys or something, but there isn't time.

Who carry:
Blake. It's too awkward to carry your shield, a xotl, and the doctor, even though I trust you could carry her safely. Getting Blake to drag a xotl you're going to eat would- no, we aren't doing that. Grab some blankets from one of the cells to fashion a sling so the doctor can be carried more easily.
>>
No. 875343 ID: 0d1514

>>875328
Eat Xotl and search their pouches, then quick-check the cells. You need mass and it'd be real stupid to leave someone behind because you didn't take a few moments to check.
>>
No. 875344 ID: deec6e

>[X] Alice's Shield
>[X] Alice's Helmet

Basic protection. Given time you can make more, but these should be easy to pick up.

>[X] Basilisk Husk

It should have some kind of control unit or something on its body. Snag it, to go with the other one. The more the eggheads have to work with, the better.

>[X] Goo Gun

Goo gun should come in handy against armored foes - clog up their joints or their vision. Comparatively, the flechette gun is shit because it's only going to come in real handy when fighting monsters like ourselves or unarmored Xotl. Especially now that we have MIND HACKING it'd be a backup solution primarily.

>[X] Shock Gauntlet (xotl sized)

Hey, look! Batteries that you can use to power things without tapping into the station's power grid!

>[X] Loot Xotl Pouch

Check only one. You really can't linger too long here if you want to get a chance to recover your wits safely somewhere else. It'd be handy if you got another tablet so you can more immediately start communicating with Mason and Blake again, though.

[X] Thoroughly search interrogation room
[X] Check the trolley drawers

A) Obviously get Blake to help with this to reduce time. B) Cells are probably empty, so skip 'em unless you don't find the legs, in which case [X]Search Mason's Cell. If there's anything inside the cells, it shouldn't be crucial to survival (unless there are still prisoners in there...), while interrogation room data logs might give hints as to what happened to the other crew members (and you), as might the trolley drawers.

Oh, and don't forget!

[X] Barf

Where to go next:

Could we go back to the incinerator complex and hide there? It might not be one of the places where they expect to find us again any time soon, and we could sabotage/repurpose the machinery and fuel lines with careful use of Clever Hands and lay booby traps for anyone trying to enter the room.
>>
No. 875345 ID: 074011

Try to find a bucket to throw up into. There may be more Original Recipe Alice Extras(tm) to be found! Gotta collect 'em all! For possible reintegration if you stop being Alicey enough...
>>
No. 875346 ID: 10c408

Grab the following

[X] Alice's Shield
[X] Alice's Helmet
[X] Dead Xotl (Shot in neck)
[X] Dead Xotl (Back in prison office, stabbed in head)
[X ] Loot Xotl Pouches (up to 3x)

[X] Check Alice's cell
[X] Check other human prisoner cells

Take everything listed, grab the jail cell door xotl last since that's where you made your entry point.

If you need to puke at any point, use the basilisk's suit as an impromptu container.
>>
No. 875350 ID: a98542

>>875325
Oh hey, were those neck-arms there before? They're a little weird, but I guess they might be handy.

Definitely take the shock gauntlet - it probably has a battery or something in it, and you can never have too many batteries. And maybe check the shock gauntlet guy's pouches for more batteries? If we're going to be abusing engineering nonsense, we might as well grab things that'll help with that.
>>
No. 875361 ID: c88e6d

>>875328
Check for humans, re-equip your helmet. Hopefully the Basilisk was a prototype. Also hopefully the Dragonslayer has gone insane from his cybernetics and is intentionally making you stronger in a self-destructive urge to improve itself.
>>
No. 875584 ID: 5c3123

Before you start feeding (to minimize hunger risks), poke at the doc's sockets with your Clever Hands. Might be some diagnostic monitors you can tap into, or even a way to wake her up quicker. At the very least, familiarizing yourself with the interfaces in there will make subsequent custom work easier. Maybe the xotl will come after you with another armored drone, but this time you'll be able to capture the thing intact and put an ally in command of it.

Also check all the drawers of course. Hopefully find some useful drugs, or disturbing secrets.
>>
No. 875585 ID: 33cbe7

>>875584
You just want to touch the butt, don't you.
>>
No. 875800 ID: 074011

As much as I oppose groping the unconscious amputee, I am more worried about expending the time to do so. Unless you think she might be a trap?
>>
No. 875900 ID: 5c3123

>>875585
Cybernetic prosthesis sockets are not the same as butt. I do not recommend that Alice touch any human's butt now or in the foreseeable future, at least not until she's got that whole "ravenous hunger" thing under control.

One of our immediate goals is getting Dr. Mason out of here, quickly and safely. Having Blake drag her unconscious body through a maintenance duct is neither quick nor safe. So, it would be helpful if we could wake her up first, and there might be some quick easy way to do that by messing with something inorganic that happens to be plugged directly into her nervous system.
>>
No. 875948 ID: b53bd0

actually, where's that idol we got clever hands from? now that we got a better connection system maybe we can learn more when we activate it.
>>
No. 876189 ID: bfea51

>>622974
Wait, if you can sprout an eye from anywhere, what's to stop you from growing one in your empty eye socket? Once you eat some much-needed biomass, of course. IIRC, you're slightly under your original human total.
>>
No. 879192 ID: e56bf6
File 152395908874.png - (14.32KB , 800x520 , oh_boy_a_secret.png )
879192

>You're going to feel really dumb if you leave Mason's legs behind. Check trolley before the room.
A secret has been found.

It's an air horn. Alice doesn't recognise the logo. A sports team?

Alice moves away from the trolley and down the hall.

>Drink one of those nutrient cans you were saving for exactly this situation.
Makes sense. Alice guzzles one down.

1 mass gained. Mass total is 70.

>Oh hey, were those neck-arms there before? They're a little weird, but I guess they might be handy.
Alice tries waggling one. It's a little grippy thing. She tries handing the empty can to it, then throws the can to the ground. It might be handy for holding her datapad at least. Maybe she was more convinced that hands are important than she realised?
>>
No. 879193 ID: e56bf6
File 152395921815.png - (20.05KB , 800x550 , cell_with_blanket.png )
879193

>We better go ahead and at least check the rooms supposedly containing humans
Alice checks the cell that she thinks should have been hers. It's identical to the others she's seen, the blue blanket tossed on the drained xotl pool/bed is one of the ship's. She doesn't remember this place. Alice grabs the blanket and smells it. Does it smell like her? She doesn't know.

>Grab some blankets from one of the cells to fashion a sling so the doctor can be carried more easily.
Heading back, Alice tosses the blanket to Blake. Some sort of sling will make it easier for him to carry Mason.

Unlocking each one in turn with the prison key, Alice looks in the other cells that should have had human prisoners. They're all empty. No belongings, the only clue they had anyone at all is the ship blankets.

>Before you start feeding (to minimise hunger risks), poke at the doc's sockets with your Clever Hands. Might be some diagnostic monitors you can tap into, or even a way to wake her up quicker. At the very least, familiarising yourself with the interfaces in there will make subsequent custom work easier.
Kind of in a hurry right now.

>Actually, where's that idol we got clever hands from? now that we got a better connection system maybe we can learn more when we activate it.
Later!

>Wait, if you can sprout an eye from anywhere, what's to stop you from growing one in your empty eye socket?
Lizards with guns?
>>
No. 879194 ID: e56bf6
File 152395935463.png - (33.37KB , 800x600 , maybe_these_corpses_will_be_my_friends.png )
879194

>Grab the immediately useful protective gear, the biggest xotl snack for the road, and the goo gun for the doctor to use or as a tool for quickly sealing doors or what have you.
Alice recovers her helmet and shield, then grabs the xotl Blake shot and carries it with her down the hall. She'll look through its stuff properly later, right now it's meat, armour and supplies in a single package.

>Damn, you really did shrink! You were taller than Blake, but now you’re down to being the same size as him!
Roughly half of Alice's body did just melt. That generally means a reduction in size.

>Eat some much-needed biomass, of course. IIRC, you're slightly under your original human total.
Yes she is gravely reduced. Wait, no. She should be shorter than Blake. Still, the fact a handful of slip-ups got a substantial fraction of her body mulched has left her distinctly nervous. Better to use it if she's not going to take it with her.

Alice infiltrates the lower half of the xotl she dismembered with her feeding tendrils as she squats and sorts through its pouches.

8 biomass consumed. Digestive efficiency is 55%. 4 mass gained.
Conversion efficiency increases to 60%.
7 biomass consumed. 4 mass gained. Mass total is now 78.


It's a little worrying how fast and natural this is becoming. At least she feels still in control of her facilities.

>>[X] Flechette Gun
>>[X] Goo Gun
>I mean both are right in the hall sooo... plus we can give one to Mason when she wakes up and stops freaking out.
It would be good to have something heftier than a spare pistol to give her. Good thing Alice checked the dismembered xotl's pouches, she almost forgot the flechette gun was unloaded. She quickly slaps in a replacement flechette slab. A grenade to replace the one she used on the basilisk too.

>Definitely take the shock gauntlet - it probably has a battery or something in it, and you can never have too many batteries.
Alice grabs the gauntlet. Oops there's still an arm in there. She'll, uh, she'll worry about that later.
>>
No. 879195 ID: e56bf6
File 152395943195.png - (32.30KB , 800x550 , oh_no_a_map.png )
879195

Finally Alice steps past the basilisk's rotting husk and picks up the goo gun from where she dropped it outside the basilisk's lair.

Blake is coming down the hall after her with Mason slung over one shoulder, careful not to slip on the slime and gore coating a good part of the hallway. Alice tries not to think about how much of that was originally her or about the weird misshapen slimey footprints she's left behind her.

Ahead she hears a muffled clang.

No. Oh no.

They've been too slow. That must be the xotl.

The brig had a prison office that looked out on a T-junction. Alice's secret tunnel came out in the office. The entry for normal people had a barred gate onto the hall. Alice jammed this gate with a combination of tentacle-welding and the goo gun.
>>
No. 879196 ID: e56bf6
File 152395950743.png - (22.44KB , 800x500 , exterior_refresher.png )
879196

One problem: the exterior gate is just bars - you can see (and shoot) right through them. If Alice wants to get back into the prison office, she has to pop out in full view and then go left into the office. The office's window is armoured so it should stop shotguns and grenades.

This is the only exit Alice knows about. She could move people back into the cells - she thinks she has the only key, but there's no exit unless she cuts her way through, which is slow.

If she goes out she either needs to fight (through a locked gate?) or create a distraction that will let her shepherd Blake into the office without getting shot to pieces. Assuming the gate holds and the xotl don't have anything that will follow them into Alice's mystery tunnel.

If she waits too long, the xotl will force the entrance and it'll be a fight.

>Hopefully the Basilisk was a prototype. Also hopefully the Dragonslayer has gone insane from his cybernetics and is intentionally making you stronger in a self-destructive urge to improve itself.
There's no way Alice's luck is that good!

What should she do?!
>>
No. 879200 ID: d8ce3a

>>879196
I dont suppose we could jury rig some of these corpses into a kind of scarecrow-esque decoy to use as part of the distraction? Like prop it on something that moves so they'll chase after it?
>>
No. 879203 ID: ad51b8

have/see anything reflective you can use to look around the corner?

Only thing I can think of right now is hope something explode-y was back in that lab they kept mason and by combining that with the battery in the shock gantlet and/or the grenades on the dead guards we can put it on the trolly and make a make shift bomb with hopefully enough power to blow the door open so we don't have to shot through it. Failing that find some wire, make a trip wire trap attached to the airhorn to act as a warning system and try to find an escape route to with some kind of air duct system that might be in the lab if you can see one or just say fuck it and just try to eat through the wall back into the office you snuck in from and then try to escape using that tunnel you already made.
>>
No. 879204 ID: bfdaf0

Equipment check first: Do you still have the shield somewhere?

I think you're better off making another exit, but you'll have to slow down the enemy further to buy time to do so.

Any grenade left for booby-trapping the first metres after the door?
>>
No. 879205 ID: 2007b6

How long would it take to remove the doors from the interrogation room, if you didn't care about keeping the edges intact? Tack those onto your shield, put a glue-gun glob on the outside. Open the front door, rush through, shield-slam to stick the interrogation-room doors onto the portcullis.

Probably not a perfect seal, so be prepared for incoming fire around the edges, but better than leaving it wide open. And, hey, any xotl close enough to use the gaps as arrow slits would also be close enough for you to engage hand-to-hand.

If you can't get the interrogation room doors free quick enough, roll the trolley over there and flip it up on end. Whichever option you take, try to rig a spare grenade as a trap for whoever moves it out of the way. Doesn't have to hurt any of 'em to be a good investment: the more time and energy the xotl spend on EOD, including slowing down to check for traps you might have planted once they know you're capable of that, the less they have to spare for going after you and your friends directly.

Maybe also spray some slime on the inside of the prison office window, or scuff up the surface at least? They already know you're in here, might as well switch to dazzle camo to keep them guessing about what you're up to.
>>
No. 879208 ID: b53bd0

hide in nearest cell to door, use an extedo-limb to open the door.
>>
No. 879210 ID: 2fe26a

You protect that air horn with your life! Artifacts made with bananium are incredibly valuable. Also honk it whenever possible.
That couldn't have been your cell, there's not nearly enough blood and scratch marks.
There's not enough time to dig another tunnel into the side office, better try suppressing fire instead. Bring the trolley and flip it over for use as cover. Apply goo gun to gate liberally, and flechette gun to xotl liberally. Add finishing touches with danger close grenade. That ought to be enough flash to cover your escape.
>>
No. 879218 ID: 10c408

>>879210
The Xotl have almost consistently been wearing full body armour and helmets. The flechette gun is an awful choice when we have a shotgun with normal rounds that can actually penetrate and do damage.

And as for what to do...

We're not in a good state to fight through anyone, let alone trying to take down the dragon slayer in this narrow corridor.

So let's mix it up and go full guerrilla tactics.

1: goo up the secondary door between the prison cells and the little booth room you came in with. Hopefully it'll gum up the door that they can't open it very easily.

2: convert your grenade into an IED and put it near the door. Use some of the xotl corpse bits as cover.

3: Break all of the lights in the corridor on your way back.

5: hide in mason's room, goo up that door as well and then move the trolley closer to the little corner bit that's on the same wall as the corridor.

6: start cutting through the floor in the little corner. It doesn't have to be a big hole. Just barely big enough that you can get everyone into the crawl space. Blake and mason go first, then you.

7: drag the trolley over the hole and weld it back into shape.

If we're VERY VERY lucky, they're gonna spend an age on IOD and freak the fuck out at the darkened corridor full of blood, murder and IED's and not figure out where we actually went.
>>
No. 879219 ID: 10c408

whoops, forgot two items.

3.5: close all the prison doors while you break lights.

6.5: if you can get the hole open, break the lights in mason's room as well.
>>
No. 879221 ID: 2fe26a

>>879218
The point of suppressing fire isn't to kill them, it's to keep them down. The flechette gun puts out an unparalleled storm of lead or graphite or whatever, and it is this very ineffectiveness that makes it acceptable to waste on shoddily aimed, wild spraying and praying. Plus you'll still catch the occasional idiot with no helmet.
>>
No. 879229 ID: b1b4f3

>>879194
>At least she feels still in control of her facilities.
This is a SIGNIFICANT improvement from last time you ate. You should be proud.

>>879196
Well that's a problem. How about we try using our new tool? Create the basilisk organ and see if you can use it to stun the xotl so that Blake can shoot/evade them.
>>
No. 879234 ID: 10c408

It's not an SMG that fires bullets. It's a fletchette gun! It does jack and shit to armor and when they realize what we're firing at them Alice is going to get even more destroyed by grenades and/or lasers.
>>
No. 879254 ID: 2fe26a

>>879234
By that point, Alice hopes to be gone. Just because your armor can protect you from the cloud of death doesn't mean your first instinct is to go try it!
>>
No. 879279 ID: 074011

Put the grenades on the trolley, arm them, then roll the trolley at the gate. Some of the grenades ought go through the bars.

Grow an eyeball-on-a-tendril and stick it into the corridor, then try out that new Basilisk power.

Cut and glue bits of the basilisk into one of the xotl corpses then infiltrate enough tendrils into them to make them walk. Have them stumble into the corridor and hope that is enough to get the prison quarantined instead of invaded.

Put all the gore onto the trolley, then chop it up a bit for good measure, then hurl it at the grating. Being splashed with shredded bits of people and basilisk should invoke enough helmeted nausea to cause a distraction.

Use your technical know-how and the local power-grid to electrify the gore and glue everything while you make a new exit.

Goad the 'slayer into firing that ridiculous gun, then make your escape while they are recovering from burst ears.

Play dead amongst the gore. When they get close, eat their hearts out.

If they know it is a water-pistol, they won't be suppressed. It is one of their own water-pistols, so they can recognise it, but it'll be shooting in their view and they are probably not trained to ignore incoming fire even if it is harmless. Probably good for a handful of seconds of suppression.
>>
No. 879280 ID: 33cbe7

Create a distraction? How convenient that you just found a secret distraction!
Put a body on the trolley, perhaps the basilisk's armor, switch out your robot hat for a xotl hat, and stay low. Then creep your way over to the microphone, and blast the airhorn into the mic!
>>
No. 879307 ID: c0641d

Easy. Lock and jam yourself in one of the rooms, and dig out into an adjacent space. They’ll have to cut through I think 3 barriers to get to you, so you should have time.
>>
No. 879312 ID: b1b4f3

>>879307
Well this could work too, assuming there is an adjacent space.
>>
No. 879336 ID: b1b4f3

Hey, I got an idea. The problem right now is they can shoot through their door. They can't shoot through your door, so... detach your door and put it in front of theirs.

Clever Hands really is the best.
>>
No. 879408 ID: a98542

>>879196
Use an incendiary grenade to deny the area on the other side of the gate - the xotl don't really have much room on their side to get an angle to shoot through.

Shield up, open door, throw grenade through bars, move up enough to let blake get into the office without exposing himself, duck into the office yourself, close the office door.

Maybe lay down some suppressing gunfire while blake is getting into the office.

ezpz.
>>
No. 879409 ID: 5fd619

>>879408
If you throw some goo before the incendiary it will probably provide a smoke screen. Hell, there's already some goo there.
>>
No. 889372 ID: b80c8f
File 152940766967.png - (32.62KB , 800x550 , carry_all_the_things.png )
889372

>The Xotl have almost consistently been wearing full body armour and helmets. The flechette gun is an awful choice when we have a shotgun with normal rounds that can actually penetrate and do damage.
There is a substantial risk of further weaponised fleshbeasts and Alice has repeatedly discovered they're really hard to kill. She gives the flechette gun to Blake.

>Equipment check first: Do you still have the shield somewhere?
Yes. Alice is carrying a lot of stuff, shield included. Blake has Mason, spare guns and some of the lighter stuff.

>You protect that air horn with your life! Artifacts made with bananium are incredibly valuable. Also honk it whenever possible.
No.

>>At least she feels still in control of her facilities.
>This is a SIGNIFICANT improvement from last time you ate. You should be proud.
Last time Alice ate about four times as much. Portion control!

>That couldn't have been your cell, there's not nearly enough blood and scratch marks.
Thanks?

>Well that's a problem. How about we try using our new tool? Create the basilisk organ and see if you can use it to stun the xotl so that Blake can shoot/evade them.
Not enough Alice.

>I don't suppose we could jury rig some of these corpses into a kind of scarecrow-esque decoy to use as part of the distraction? Like prop it on something that moves so they'll chase after it?
>How long would it take to remove the doors from the interrogation room
Longer than it would take the xotl to force open the door they're currently forcing open at this very moment! The trolley is good cover, she wheels it up.
>>
No. 889373 ID: b80c8f
File 152940777733.png - (26.89KB , 600x750 , let_me_in_im_a_fairy.png )
889373

>Use an incendiary grenade to deny the area on the other side of the gate - the xotl don't really have much room on their side to get an angle to shoot through.
>Shield up, open door, throw grenade through bars, move up enough to let Blake get into the office without exposing himself, duck into the office yourself, close the office door.
>Maybe lay down some suppressing gunfire while Blake is getting into the office.
Right, yes, good. Distract xotl, prevent them gaining entry, cover escape. Open door, throw grenade through bars of second door directly ahead, go left into prison office, escape through office crawl space.

Alice juggles the various things she's carrying and passes an incendiary grenade from her hip tentacles out under her poncho to newly freed hand.

Pull the pin, opens the door and - thAT'S A FAFNIR!

Big, tough, shoots laser and she didn't expect to be running into another killer robot this soon. Alice tosses the grenade anyway. She thinks a few xotl scatter away from bars of the gate but her attention is absorbed by its eyes locking on to her. The protective cover on its laser cannon is irising open.

The grenade bounces off its lower body and then explodes.
>>
No. 889374 ID: b80c8f
File 152940786008.png - (26.79KB , 600x750 , that_thing_alice_dislikes.png )
889374

Fire! Fire!

Alice cringes as the grenade blossoms into a burning mess that clings to everything it touches. The Fafnir is obscured behind billowing smoke as flame creeps past the bars.

She can't go out there, she'll burn up. Alice's skin crawls at the thought. Wanton disarray, terrifying dissolution. Something that will corrupt the protean possibilities of her naive and underdeveloped flesh into simple light, heat and ash. She takes a step back.

No no no no.

Something bumps into her from behind. Blake. She thinks he says something, moves to go past her. He can't go out there, he'll die. There's fire!
>>
No. 889375 ID: b53bd0

ALICE relax, he has his special boots.
>>
No. 889380 ID: e3e99e

>>889372
A good show of trust, giving him the weapon that's more effective agaisnt you than against most enemies.

>>889374
I'm very happy that your panic attack involves instinctually protecting Blake.

However, it's better to tell him about the heavy armor and let him make the call on what to do.
He is more fire resistant than you.
>>
No. 889382 ID: 5f3f48

>>889374
Trust Blake. Mastering fire is one of the first things humans do in a lot of mythology. If he sees a way past or around the fire, it's there. You're for fighting and eating, the human is for being clever.

...granted you're sort of the more Prometheus figure here with the ancient power stolen from precursors and having your liver-parts regularly ripped out. But that level of metaphor is for people not locked in primal monster-mode by fire.
>>
No. 889383 ID: 0c3c2c

>>889374
Trust in Blake
>>
No. 889387 ID: 10c408

Close your eyes, you are letting instinctual fear overpower logic and reason. You are about to get hit by a laser beam and Blake has no idea. Dodge to the left so you don't get cut down by the laser
>>
No. 889389 ID: 33cbe7

Duck and take Blake with you. Break line of sight with the fire, creep around the heat. Between the limited angles of attack and the blaze it's standing in it shouldn't be able to get off more shots once you get moving.
>>
No. 889390 ID: 10c408

>>889389
limited angle..? We're standing in a corridor! The best we can do is not get tagged by the first shot and get down the hatch in the other room before it fires again.
>>
No. 889391 ID: 33cbe7

>>889390
once you get moving. Once we're out of the cell block it can't follow us very well past the receptionist's desk.
>>
No. 889393 ID: b1b4f3

>>889374
Remember, humans are less flammable than you are. He'll be okay. More importantly, he could get lasered. Fire the goo gun at the bot's optics, that should blind it so that he can get by.
>>
No. 889406 ID: 5fd619

Shoot goo at the fire, you'll have a lot less fire and a lot more smoke.
>>
No. 889407 ID: 977456

Warn Blake about the fire. Maybe he didn't sense it? Make certain that he understands that there is fire out there, and that we can't risk going through any fire. Also mention the Fafnir...
>>
No. 889417 ID: 2007b6

On the off chance you're clear-headed enough to remember procedure, and have the correct hand sufficiently free, jam your harpoon into that fafnir's laser aperture before it shoots you. Up and at 'em, soldier, you've got a tank to kill!

Then, close the door and calm down. Hopefully most of the fire is out on the other side.
>>
No. 891966 ID: 96457c
File 153122347409.png - (30.93KB , 800x500 , high_stress_decision_making.png )
891966

>ALICE relax, he has his special boots.
Haha, right yes. Boots, everyone has boots. It's going to be fine.

Alice does not have boots?!

>A good show of trust, giving him the weapon that's more effective against you than against most enemies.
If they turn on each other maybe they can die together now, hahah?!

>Trust Blake. Mastering fire is one of the first things humans do in a lot of mythology. If he sees a way past or around the fire, it's there. You're for fighting and eating, the human is for being clever.
Because he makes such good decisions all the time?! Alice doesn't want to burn again. But she's a fighter. A weapon. Her flesh squirms, she feels a spike of pain in her head. ...Isn't she?
>>
No. 891967 ID: 96457c
File 153122353972.png - (21.26KB , 800x500 , shoot_bang_pew.png )
891967

>Remember, humans are less flammable than you are. He'll be okay. More importantly, he could get lasered. Fire the goo gun at the bot's optics, that should blind it so that he can get by.
>Shoot goo at the fire, you'll have a lot less fire and a lot more smoke.
Alice points the goo-gun at the fire and the dark bulk looming out of it. The flickering, ever-changing tongues of heat and light licking up form the floor nauseate her. That is chaos, death. She should look away, remove her eyes so she doesn't have to look at it. She spasmodically pulls the trigger with her shaking hand until the gun stops firing. She lets the useless thing fall out of her nerveless fingers.

>Close your eyes, you are letting instinctual fear overpower logic and reason. You are about to get hit by a laser beam and Blake has no idea. Dodge to the left so you don't get cut down by the laser.
Alice does not want to be lasered! She knocks into Blake and hunkers down behind the trolley for shelter. The hydrocarbon reek intensifies. No blue spears of coherent light pop out of the billowing smoke to stab her.
>>
No. 891968 ID: 96457c
File 153122360575.png - (26.04KB , 800x600 , blake_escape.png )
891968

Blake makes noises then pushes her again, harder.

He scurries to his feet, Mason still slung on his back, and goes for the door. No! Alice goes to snatch at his feet. There's fire out there. fire, xotl, entropy and danger!

She's too slow. He disappears out of her view.
>>
No. 891969 ID: 96457c
File 153122367519.png - (29.12KB , 800x600 , alice_activities.png )
891969

The door closes. The noisome flickering of the flames is gone. The noise is muted. The smoke slowly thins as it spreads out down the corridor.

Alice is damaged, hungry and afraid. A cold and disdainful thought tells her she's alone again. Her guts churn, is that important? There's enemies outside. She needs to retreat. Hide! Regain her strength!
>>
No. 891970 ID: 33cbe7

Grab a mouthful of xotl for focus and charge out that door. Blake and Mason are safe for the moment, but they still need you to catch up with them. Short term worries are now all about you. If you stop moving, you won't be going anywhere for quite a while. This is not the place to take that break! Keep that shield between you and the threat.
>>
No. 891972 ID: b7627b

>>891969
Pick that gun back up and head after Blake, the fire is still behind the bars, so you should be fine so long as you hurry up.
>>
No. 891973 ID: 75f0bc

bodies, food, mass, POWER!
>>
No. 891974 ID: ad51b8

oh, sweet, that dead guy has a grenade. Think that could help?
>>
No. 891975 ID: 33cbe7

>>891974
That would just renew the fire and flames. Save it for later.
>>
No. 891998 ID: b1b4f3

>>891969
Note to self: never use the fire grenades ever again, and don't let a xotl use one either.
Also this is solid evidence that whatever you are isn't designed to be used as a weapon. Such an obvious, easy to exploit weakness would make such a weapon useless. It's probably designed more around being a worker drone.

Now, anyway, the fire is gone. Clear your head and listen for a moment for tactical awareness, then follow where Blake went.
>>
No. 892000 ID: 094652

And this is why pyrophobics should not use pyrotechnics.

Eat your lunch, replace old armor, and equip the grenade. Take your time.
>>
No. 892044 ID: 977456

Humans make fire go away! Locate humans, acquire hugs!
>>
No. 892047 ID: 4f1cbc

>But she's a fighter. A weapon. Her flesh squirms, she feels a spike of pain in her head. ...Isn't she?
No no, you got that wrong. You're a soldier, not a weapon. That's an important distinction!

Names and categories are important.

>She needs to retreat. Hide! Regain her strength!
No. Retreat leads to getting penned in. To being contained. To the enemy knowing exactly where you, and coming after you with other-whelming force. To being burned out of hiding and killed.

You need to follow Blake. You can't be a soldier if you don't have a crew to protect, right?
>>
No. 892226 ID: 0c3c2c

>>891969
Acquire the dead xotl's grenade, then eat him. Maybe food will settle your nerves. You need to calm down, you're suffering from a phobic panic attack by your body.
>>
No. 896848 ID: e2ea73
File 153406422584.png - (28.84KB , 600x750 , alice_consideration.png )
896848

>bodies, food, mass, POWER!
Yes, good!!!

>If you stop moving, you won't be going anywhere for quite a while. This is not the place to take that break!
Wait, no?!?

>Note to self: never use the fire grenades ever again, and don't let a xotl use one either.
Incomplete, unstable, mass easily liberated into disunity!

>This is solid evidence that whatever you are isn't designed to be used as a weapon. Such an obvious, easy to exploit weakness would make such a weapon useless. It's probably designed more around being a worker drone.
Makers, mimics and reshapers. Builders of cities. Ductile, infinitely malleable. Weapon is... unintended? Excluded!

>No no, you got that wrong. You're a soldier, not a weapon. That's an important distinction!
>Names and categories are important.
>You need to follow Blake. You can't be a soldier if you don't have a crew to protect, right?
Alice feels an intense surge of self loathing. He's out there trying to survive and she's in here doing... what exactly?
>>
No. 896849 ID: e2ea73
File 153406427778.png - (19.44KB , 800x560 , tentacles_will_solve_your_problems.png )
896849

>Acquire the dead xotl's grenade, then eat him. Maybe food will settle your nerves. You need to calm down, you're suffering from a phobic panic attack by your body.
Is this a smart move or are her instincts tricking her? Alice doesn't know any more. She's too tired, too distracted, to argue with the bedrock conviction that food is important but she can't stay here. Something she has no better name for than instinct whispers a way. Knowledge without learning.
>>
No. 896850 ID: e2ea73
File 153406432772.png - (21.69KB , 800x520 , take_back_control.png )
896850

The xotl is dead but the body can still be compelled. Her tendrils burrow through the neck and seek the spine. The control hierarchy has not yet decayed. It will respond to the correct signals. Her feeding tendrils corrode flesh where she touches it but she can consume and replace with her own mass to keep her interface intact.
>>
No. 896851 ID: e2ea73
File 153406436842.png - (33.97KB , 800x600 , make_zombies_not_war.png )
896851

The xotl lurches to its feet and staggers after her. She ramifies the tendril connecting it to her, thickening it and making extra connections to fully bind it to her. She can redistribute the additional mass into her main body later.

10 biomass consumed. 6 mass gained.
>>
No. 896852 ID: e2ea73
File 153406443870.png - (27.25KB , 800x500 , your_mssion_is_to_move_half_a_panel_right.png )
896852

>Pick that gun back up and head after Blake, the fire is still behind the bars, so you should be fine so long as you hurry up.
Alice recovers the goo gun but seeing the close quarters keeps the shotgun in her hand.

The door opens; acrid smoke and smouldering fire. She waves her xotl decoy in the gap first. Alice keeps her shield up to protect her body and so she doesn't have to look at the fire. Where's the door controls? There!

She moves into the prison office. Just past the dead xotl slumped in its chair, the floor hatch!
>>
No. 896853 ID: e2ea73
File 153406446779.png - (47.67KB , 800x550 , thats_reinforced_glass_btw.png )
896853

The prison office's window explodes inwards.

Alice feels a hand close on her neck. Ghrk!
>>
No. 896854 ID: e2ea73
File 153406451609.png - (31.05KB , 800x500 , wrong_exit_alice.png )
896854

An incredible force yanks her through the window. glass shards raker her body. Her tethered xotl snags on the edge for a moment - it feels as if her infiltrated material is going to pull free from the neck - then she's flying through the air and slams into the opposite wall with bone breaking force.

5 mass lost. Mass total is 79.
>>
No. 896855 ID: e2ea73
File 153406453717.png - (31.41KB , 900x530 , mission_failed.png )
896855

fuck
>>
No. 896856 ID: e2ea73
File 153406459117.png - (50.91KB , 800x600 , bloom_m2_summary.png )
896856

END BLOOM MISSION 2

Final Ranking: BONSAI BATTLER
>>
No. 896857 ID: 977456

Nnnnng. Missed secret, need wiki...
>>
No. 896858 ID: ad51b8

>>896855
Pic- name

Don't worry, we'll get them next time
>>
No. 896860 ID: b5fb67

>>896856

Reload checkpoint! RELOAD CHECKPOINT!
>>
No. 896872 ID: 33cbe7

*incoming codec call*
Alice, remember the basics of CQC!
Biomass rating: Terrible!
>>
No. 896881 ID: 10c408

fission mailed!
>>
No. 897530 ID: e45686

>>896881
squad broken!
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