[Burichan] [Futaba] [Nice] [Pony]  -  [WT]  [Home] [Manage]
[Catalog View] :: [Graveyard] :: [Rules] :: [Quests] :: [Discussions] :: [Wiki]

[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [Last 100 posts]
Posting mode: Reply
Name
Email
Subject   (reply to 617229)
Message
File []
Password  (for post and file deletion)
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, PNG, SWF
  • Maximum file size allowed is 10000 KB.
  • Images greater than 250x250 pixels will be thumbnailed.
  • Currently 38780 unique user posts. View catalog

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?
Expand all images
>>
No. 617232 ID: 256d52
File 142010643138.png - (22.72KB , 800x600 , corner_watcher.png )
617232

Alice and Blake are skirting the labs in the xotl facility, looking for wherever they've stashed the rest of the Penguin's crew. Once they've grabbed everyone they can, they might get lucky and be able to dig up some info on what exactly the xotl have been working on while they make their exit.

Having some idea of what exactly the xotl have done to her would certainly help Alice sleep better at night but her crew comes first.

The xotl finally went on alert status. A new announcement came over the base's intercom just a few minutes ago. According to Blake, it ordered a lockdown. All non-essential personnel should be moving into shelters. Hopefully that'll make it easier to sneak around. On the other hand, if the xotl bioweapon clean up crews are moving in, there might not be much time until things get ugly.

The thing is...
>>
No. 617233 ID: 256d52
File 142010645792.png - (22.76KB , 800x450 , glorious_xotl_discipline.png )
617233

What is this xotl doing? Alice and Blake barely avoided getting spotted as he scurried past. Now he's stopped and is tooling around with something in the hall. He's grumbling to himself and thumping on the front panel. Is, is that a vending machine?

Alice could just leave him alone and see if he leaves once he finishes what he's doing. Or she could try to take him out. Guns might be too loud but she does have that harpoon.

Would need to hide the body too.
>>
No. 617234 ID: b8ceae

>>617233
Take its gun, take it prisoner, and pump it for information.

If you need to hide a body, you can hide it in your gut.
Also, I think Blake might be able to get the chest plate on, and that would offer him at least some protection.
>>
No. 617238 ID: a2f9bc

How's Blake's xenolingual skills? If we can't effectively interrogate this thing, then it's a futile exercise. I'm willing to take the risks involved, but only if it's not a waste of our limited time.

Harpoon is the safest bet, but I'd prefer getting in close and snapping his neck if possible with minmal risk. No blood spatter there; I'd like to reduce our trail if possible.

Alice can probably carry the body without trouble, just bring him along till a convenient room to toss him into presents itself.
>>
No. 617244 ID: 2f4b71

Without weaponry, the Xotl themselves aren't particularly a physical thread. If you can stretch a tendril out to snatch his gun (helpfully loose in a back holster) there's not much he can do to stop your grabbing him.
>>
No. 617262 ID: 9ddf68

would rather just let the guy pass since if he goes missing they might send MORE people to go looking for him, also I don't want to get into another "should I eat him" debate so damn soon.
>>
No. 617264 ID: 350a50

>>617233
Could be a trap. Scan the area for hiding places first where an ambush could be waiting. If there's none, restrain the xotl so Blake can interrogate him. Her?
>>
No. 617266 ID: dd4ed3

>would help Alice sleep better at night
Assuming you still sleep.

>kill xtol?
Yeah, looks like a vending machine.

I'd wait a minute and see if it leaves. If you kill this one, his absence will be noticed in the lockdown shelters, or on guard rotation. Since everyone is supposed to be in specific places in lockdown, this makes you much easier to spot.

Only kill him if the choice is between making him disappear or letting him call it in. Discovery later is better than discovery now, but we'd prefer discovery not at all.

>take it prisoner, and pump it for information.
Way too slow with the language barrier, and very liable not to produce any useful intelligence if he's just a dumb guard.

>eat?
Also, you're not injured, and you're already huge. You just resolved to stop increasing your mass until you understand what's happening to you. So decide in advance: you aren't eating this one, unless you somehow lose a lot of mass you need to recover.
>>
No. 617283 ID: 687279

>>617233
After he's gone, loot the vending machine. Just rip it open, I'm sure you're strong enough.
>>
No. 617336 ID: 95fb3b

>>617283
Don't do this if you want to be stealthy.
>>
No. 617344 ID: dd4ed3

>>617336
Stealth is kind of important at this point. If they figure out you're going right for your crew, that gives them a chance to set a trap with them, or move them, or kill them... or worse.
>>
No. 617347 ID: 60700b

...When was the last time Blake ate?
>>
No. 617351 ID: 256d52
File 142016778547.png - (19.48KB , 720x480 , srsly.png )
617351

>would help Alice sleep better at night
>Assuming you still sleep.
Thank you so very much.

>Take it prisoner, and pump it for information.
How's Alice going to stop it shouting the house down the moment they let it speak?

>If you need to hide a body, you can hide it in your gut.
Alice said she was going to try to cut down on that. Plus that wouldn't do anything about the xotl's gear or the buckets of slime it'd produce.

>Also, you're not injured, and you're already huge. You just resolved to stop increasing your mass until you understand what's happening to you.
For exactly those reasons.
>>
No. 617352 ID: 256d52
File 142016781591.png - (24.20KB , 800x500 , refreshments_procured.png )
617352

>I'd wait a minute and see if it leaves. If you kill this one, his absence will be noticed in the lockdown shelters, or on guard rotation.
Alice gives it a little longer. The xotl grumbles to itself then picks some containers out of the dropper in the machine's base. It walks off humming to itself. There's a pause a little further down the corridor. The xotl juggles its load as it tries to open a door and then scampers through.
>>
No. 617354 ID: 256d52
File 142016789594.png - (27.83KB , 800x550 , return_of_the_smoothie.png )
617354

>After he's gone, loot the vending machine. Just rip it open, I'm sure you're strong enough.
>Don't do this if you want to be stealthy.
Alice could do that, but she presses one of the buttons instead. A can rolls into the bottom. Looks like one of those meaty smoothies she found on one of the other guards. Guess the xotl don't charge for food.

Blake shakes his head. "Stopping to grab snacks in the middle of a security alert." he says, voice low. "Did we really get captured by these guys?"

"Ahhhnt komplahnnghnn."

>...When was the last time Blake ate?
"Hunghreh?" Alice offers him the can.

Blake grabs it and cracks the top. "Ugh, not great cuisine." he says around a mouthful.

Looks like it's a canteen ahead. The door the xotl went into. Makes sense, you'd want to put a safe room there. Alice isn't sure whether or not it's worth checking out though.
>>
No. 617356 ID: fef726

Just a quick glance inside. See how many of the things are in there. So you know if you need to be extra quiet.
>>
No. 617357 ID: 95fb3b

Probably not worth checking out the canteen, you'd have to deal with the Xotl who just went in plus who knows how many were already in there, and they almost certainly wouldn't keep any crew in there.
>>
No. 617358 ID: 687279

>>617354
Canteen won't be where the crewmembers are. Pass it by.

Hey, can you make an eye on a stalk or something to see around corners? Or some extra-sensitive feelers to listen through a wall or door?
>>
No. 617359 ID: dd4ed3

Hmm. The vending machine vended for you. If it's not broken, I guess the xtol was upset that it was out of something.

>>617352
Pff. It's almost cute making that face.

>Looks like it's a canteen ahead. The door the xotl went into. Makes sense, you'd want to put a safe room there. Alice isn't sure whether or not it's worth checking out though.
Yes, let's check the potential safe room with lazy ass xtol guards sitting on their asses eating snacks. I'm sure they won't notice the plant monster interrupting their lunch.

Move on. Stealth means not sticking your head in places with likely congregations of hostiles.
>>
No. 617366 ID: 9ddf68

They probably don't have your crew in the canteen so I say skip and keep looking for your crew. Time is of the essence, especially now that this guys are actually looking around
>>
No. 617367 ID: db83ac

>>617358
Seconded.

You may want to place some of your biomass in a protective casing. That way, you have a much higher chance of survival if you are downed and executed - they might capture you alive but that's better than being completely burned to death by paranoid troops.
>>
No. 617413 ID: eebbcb

skip the canteen
>>
No. 617458 ID: a2f9bc

The Xotl aren't what we're here for, keep moving.
>>
No. 617467 ID: 8f01e8

Don't look inside the canteen, just find some way to jam the door shut so it'd be as difficult as possible to open from inside. That way, xotl inside are out of the picture until somebody outside (who might otherwise have been shooting at you) takes the time to rescue them.

That's one of those rules of behind-enemy-lines action, isn't it? Never pass up a chance to delay and inconvenience your foe.

Also, grab as many of those meat smoothies as the machine is willing to dispense or your tendrils are able to carry, whichever comes first. Just because you're not injured now doesn't mean you should pass up a stack of free health potions.
>>
No. 617482 ID: dd4ed3

>just find some way to jam the door shut
I wouldn't do that, even. If they discover a deliberate jam, then they call it in, and security forces know or suspect your current location, or worse, what we're headed for.
>>
No. 617522 ID: 350a50

>>617458
Second.
>>
No. 617533 ID: a3c9ee

grab three smoothies and proceed to the lab
>>
No. 617562 ID: 8f01e8

>>617482
The alarm's already going off, and Alice and Blake are wandering around in a search pattern rather than zeroing in on somewhere specific. By the time a xotl guard calls in the evidence of sabotage they'll be somewhere else.

Does the entrance to the canteen look like an actual bulkhead, capable of sealing airtight? If so, maybe open up the door controls and trick it into thinking there's hard vacuum and/or a radiation hazard in the hallway, triggering a safety lockdown. Throw some FUD around.
>>
No. 618262 ID: 882dc6

It's back~! :D

Say, where WOULD the xotl stash the crew? Any likely locations? It'd be better start there than wander around aimlessly until we bump into someone.

Also I realize it's unlikely, given realistic specs for ventilation, but what are the odds of us traveling through the air vents, Alien-style?
>>
No. 618265 ID: 066a87

>>618262
Maybe they've been dissected for xenobiology specimens for students to look at. "Why yes, here we have a set of human eyes! Note how the iris patterns are unique to each individual, they use this as one method of biometric security validation..."
>>
No. 618566 ID: 3c17ca

>>617354
Alice...alice...the canteen is full of lightly armed if not unarmed xotols, its all for the taking. Flesh ripe and wet. hungry yet? oh you want a justification. heeeh...do you really think your crew is alive still? Hmm on second though, Ignore me. Just your stomach talking. Be seeing ya.
>>
No. 618589 ID: 962eb4

>>618566

I agree with the part that says "ignore me."
>>
No. 619847 ID: 256d52
File 142105599302.png - (27.20KB , 800x520 , canteen_door.png )
619847

>If it's not broken, I guess the xtol was upset that it was out of something.
Nothing comes out when Alice presses the middle button. The blue light must mean it's out of that type.

>Grab as many of those meat smoothies as the machine is willing to dispense or your tendrils are able to carry, whichever comes first. Just because you're not injured now doesn't mean you should pass up a stack of free health potions.
Alice settles for three. She doesn't want them banging together.

>Does the entrance to the canteen look like an actual bulkhead, capable of sealing airtight? If so, maybe open up the door controls and trick it into thinking there's hard vacuum and/or a radiation hazard in the hallway, triggering a safety lockdown.
They're already in a lockdown! No point in getting extra attention.

It's a slightly bigger door but it doesn't look like a secure door. Not even a keypad, just a normal open and close. Uh, two. Different heights. Based off the incinerator door, at her current mass Alice could smash through that in seconds. She would assume there's an entrance to a secure shelter inside.

>Probably not worth checking out the canteen, you'd have to deal with the Xotl who just went in plus who knows how many were already in there, and they almost certainly wouldn't keep any crew in there.
Not worth it then.

>Alice...Alice...the canteen is full of lightly armed, if not unarmed, xotl. It's all for the taking. Flesh ripe and wet. Hungry yet? Oh you want a justification. Heeeh... do you really think your crew is alive still? Hmm on second though, Ignore me. Just your stomach talking. Be seeing ya.
Right. Ignoring that.

Alice and Blake move on.
>>
No. 619848 ID: 256d52
File 142105607991.png - (22.80KB , 800x550 , i_screen_you_screen.png )
619848

>Hey, can you make an eye on a stalk or something to see around corners? Or some extra-sensitive feelers to listen through a wall or door?
Um Alice kind of has no idea what she's doing. Once they're out of the open maybe she should take some time to experiment. Until then she's not going to risk screwing something up.

She thinks these head tendrils might be ears.

>Also I realize it's unlikely, given realistic specs for ventilation, but what are the odds of us travelling through the air vents, Alien-style?
Definitely a no go for the side rooms but the main distribution trunks should be large enough for a person to move through them. It's got to move a lot of air.

>Maybe they've been dissected for xenobiology specimens for students to look at.
No.

There's... something puts Alice on edge. She moves carefully along in a low crouch, at about xotl eye level.

There's a secure door ahead. The lock's engaged. Reinforced glass on the (tiny) window as well. There's a screen. There's a message on it. Not xotl.

Hello?

Alice can't see anything but the dim bulk of lab fixtures and tiny tell tale glimmers of powered up equipment in there. Nothing's moving.

Could there be someone in there?
>>
No. 619850 ID: 8339bb

confirm with blake you aren't hallucinating. if so then it's worth checking it out.
>>
No. 619851 ID: ecd0ab

There definitely COULD be someone in there. It could also be a trap, but it would be a weird trap, so potentially still living crew member seems more likely. Can we open the door? Or respond to the message somehow?
>>
No. 619854 ID: d9999b

look for another entrance. try the vents if nothing else works.
>>
No. 619856 ID: b00646

Send Blake to communicate, provide cover for him.
>>
No. 619865 ID: 9ddf68

any way you think you could open that door without ripping it to peaces or setting of any alarms? either you or blake? This room definitely looks like it has something we'd be interested in.
>>
No. 619868 ID: 69ab8d

Point at the screen, so Blake sees it.

Then... go peer in the window, I suppose. Let's see what's in the room before we try to get the secure door open.

This could be a subtle trap, but it's just as likely the xtol screwed up again, like they did with you. Meaning we don't have much choice but to risk it.
>>
No. 619927 ID: 687279

>>619848
Keypad... if we could abduct a Xotl we could get past the door. Damn, missed an opportunity with that lone one. Maybe we can open it up and bypass it via rewiring the circuitry? Does your engineering background include electrical engineering?
>>
No. 619942 ID: 3c17ca

>>619848
get Blake on that door now. If it is a friend, we rescue them, if it is a trap, we kill and eat it. We eat it with rationality and calmness. delicious calmness.
>>
No. 620080 ID: 256d52
File 142114210724.png - (31.67KB , 800x500 , thinking_about_entry.png )
620080

>Confirm with Blake you aren't hallucinating. If so then it's worth checking it out.
"Blaghk, see thesh?"

Blake peers in the window. "Huh. Hello? Was it already there when you came to the window?" Alice can assume she's not hallucinating. Or that this is a complex hallucination.

"Yesz. Trahph?" She taps at the window experimentally. No response.

"Don't think so." Blake pauses, watching with her to see if there's any response. "We don't know how long ago that message was written though. The xotl might have moved them." He sighs. "We don't have a lot of choice. Someone could still be in there."

>Then... go peer in the window, I suppose. Let's see what's in the room before we try to get the secure door open.
The windows are small and reinforced glass. Alice is pretty sure she'd be able to smash them and crawl through but she can't get at any wiring and they're probably alarmed.

The lights are out. Just a few screens providing light. Alice thinks she can make out a stretcher trolley. There's a fair bit of equipment in there but still no movement. Looks jury rigged, cables everywhere. Could easily be someone hiding in the clutter. More small windows on the opposite wall but it's even darker in there. Not a hallway, maybe a holding cell?

>Maybe we can open it up and bypass it via rewiring the circuitry? Does your engineering background include electrical engineering?
Yes. Alice pries off the key pad to take a look. It looks like forcing the door or entering the wrong code too many times will trip an alarm. It's all on the same power circuit but its a secure door so it'll stay locked if there's no power.

>Look for another entrance. Try the vents if nothing else works.
Looks like the next door is to a separate room. There was an access point for the vents a little down the hall though.

She raps on the door. The sound is dull and immovable. Something's telling her opening it through main strength is just beyond her... but that doesn't have to stay the case.

As far as Alice can see, her entry options are:

>Break a window. It'll probably trip an alarm so she'd need to get in and out fast.
>Try the vents. It'd probably take a few minutes to crawl to here and she doesn't know what's blocking it.
>Rewire the door. It'll be a little tricky with no tools so it'll take a few minutes. Screwing up will trigger an alarm.
>Cut the power and force the door. It's juuuust too tough for her but that vending machine is just around the corner... 8 more mass should do it.
>>
No. 620083 ID: 687279

>>620080
Juuuust too tough for you? Get Blake to help, that should work without having to eat more.
>>
No. 620090 ID: b59974

Try the vents. It's a bit of a time investment, but it has no risk of alerting anyone, and we might just find other useful rooms via said vents.
>>
No. 620093 ID: b00646

Boost Blake into the vents.
He's smaller and can fit in better, And if the message was typed in english, blake can communicate better than alice.
>>
No. 620112 ID: 768e0f

>>620080
try knocking on the window with a pattern or tune a human would be familiar with. Maybe that'll stir a response.
>>
No. 620115 ID: 9ddf68

does blake know anything about electronics? could he help you with the door? If not go the way of brave heart and find out what a TV diner feels like (aka go through the vents).
>>
No. 620122 ID: 01efb5

Dude, just try to hotwire it. This is your core skillset, something you actually trained for. This is the only choice who's outcome depends on skill. The other options are basically pure luck (forcing the door and breaking the window are both gambling that we find something and get out before the alarm brings guards, the vents are gambling we can get through and there's nothing bad in there).

You might trip the alarm anyways, but then we can always go through the window.
>>
No. 620123 ID: d3be40

Use your biomass as tools? You should be able to resist electric shock for obvious reasons.

If you can will your body to produce a set of specifically designed tools made of the same material for spikes, that should help.
>>
No. 620137 ID: 2f4b71

>>619847
>Not even a keypad, just a normal open and close. Uh, two. Different heights.
That's... really odd. So far, we've only seen Xotl here, but why would they deliberately, install an extra door panel out of their own reach? Who else do they have working with them here?
>>
No. 620140 ID: 9ddf68

>>620137
could be for the combat drones they have running around, those where kinda big.
>>
No. 620144 ID: d3be40

>>620137
I think they were trying to recreate precursor technology, and didn't modify the architecture for Xotl physiology because they were worried if a little change in an advanced technology they didn't understand would cause a malfunction.

This should work in our favor, as Alice has been genetically modified based on one of the precursor's experiments.
>>
No. 620159 ID: 8f01e8

I'd vote for rewiring the door.

Also, see if you can extend the flower-eye on a little bit of a stalk, for peeking around corners or maybe even exploring down the vent as an endoscope. Lot of potential applications for a trick like that, but it's definitely not a weapon.
>>
No. 620215 ID: 3c17ca

>>620080
see if Blake can do the door at less risk, otherwise vending machine. It is corruption in small steps, but this one is us not eating another sentient. alternatively, we have a lot of biomass, it is unknown if the biodart is a built in feature of our horrible evolution or not, but perhaps we can manage to shift some of that weight around, loose effective mass for durability, but gain some in mechanical strength.
or
If we can destructively use our body, pushing it past the limits to open the door, and loose some mass in the process. e.g. guy lifts a car of another guy, but his arm muscles are shredded and he may have dislocated a joint or two.
<Arhra, if possibru please inform us if "evolutions" are a non viable choice until certain points so it stops being suggested>
>>
No. 620313 ID: 256d52
File 142122416991.png - (28.92KB , 800x550 , hacking_ur_door.png )
620313

>Try knocking on the window with a pattern or tune a human would be familiar with. Maybe that'll stir a response.
Shave and a haircut... no luck.

>Not even a keypad, just a normal open and close. Uh, two. Different heights.
>That's... really odd. So far, we've only seen Xotl here, but why would they deliberately, install an extra door panel out of their own reach? Who else do they have working with them here?
Most likely high caste xotl. They don't have same bans on augmentation that the Hegemony does. Doesn't rule out the possibility the xotl are in this with another exot group though. It is awfully far out of their space.

>Dude, just try to hotwire it. This is your core skillset, something you actually trained for. This is the only choice who's outcome depends on skill. The other options are basically pure luck.
Uh, there's a fair bit of luck involved here too. No tools so Alice basically has to try to puzzle this thing out, guess the rest and hope the xotl designed this lock in a vaguely sensible manner.

>Use your biomass as tools? You should be able to resist electric shock for obvious reasons.
You can't make a circuit probe with tentacles! And if anything it's more likely electrocution would be effective on her.

>Does Blake know anything about electronics? Could he help you with the door?
Alice is better with electronics. Blake's more focused on xenology. He's keeping lookout.

>Also, see if you can extend the flower-eye on a little bit of a stalk, for peeking around corners or maybe even exploring down the vent as an endoscope. Lot of potential applications for a trick like that, but it's definitely not a weapon.
Later! Alice is feeling awfully exposed out here.

"Dietrich." Blake whispers urgently. "You hear that?"

Footsteps. Maybe as many as half a dozen, coming from the same direction Alice and Blake originally came. They should get out of the open.

"How's that door coming?"

Alice thinks she's figured out how to bypass the keypad. Lights are off in there and it's pretty cluttered. Easy to hide. Or maybe they shouldn't risk an alarm and try the next door down the hall - no lock on it but no idea what's in there.
>>
No. 620314 ID: 687279

>>620313
Next room over.
>>
No. 620316 ID: 256d52
File 142122557939.png - (17.33KB , 480x480 , the_many_faces_of_helmet_guys.png )
620316

>Arhra, if possibru please inform us if "evolutions" are a non viable choice until certain points so it stops being suggested
Just to clear things up, its the sort of thing that can easily monopolise suggestions so I'm saving them for when Alice has some breathing space to figure things out, if its a real emergency or it's a solution to try that seems clearly better than all the alternatives. She doesn't exactly have the instruction manual after all. There's some things Alice can figure out how to do and also an upgrade system that will come up soon.
>>
No. 620317 ID: f61b8d

Hmmm, kinda a toss-up. But if you think you've figured out how to bypass the keypad, I gueeeesss go for it.
>>
No. 620320 ID: 5d2f8c

I say its pretty much a toss-up too. Next room might be worse for hiding in/occupied and the guards might notice the panel being messed with; but we might set off the alarm system or not be fast enough. I'm leaning towards keep trying here though.
>>
No. 620321 ID: bfdaf0

Make a single try, and attempt to hide in the next room if it fails.

If the alarm starts, still punch open the window if you have time, to make them think you went in there.
>>
No. 620336 ID: 9ddf68

well you're here and have a good idea what's inside this room while other rooms you have no idea what's in them, whether you could hide in them, whether they are locked as well, if they are occupied, or even if the is or isn't another patrol group coming from the opposite direction. So I say try this door and hope for the best.
>>
No. 620342 ID: a18f15

Problem is, we don't know what's in the next room. And there's no guarantee we don't set off an alarm or anything over there, either.

...I'd say take the risk. Try to get the door open. If the alarm goes off, be ready to fight or run.

If there's a fight, remember, you are not going to put on any more mass. You're only going to eat to repair damage, if necessary.

>You can't make a circuit probe with tentacles!
Why'd you have to turn into a space plant monster. Why couldn't you have turned into a space shark monster or something. Electroreception would have made your job easier, not harder.
>>
No. 620350 ID: 8566ae

how do you know they arent coming FOR THE CREW INSIDE?
how do you know they arent relocating them somewhere safe from you??? try the damn door.
>>
No. 620382 ID: 316b0b

Go ahead on this door. Opening it up was a good idea already; incoming troops make the risk of an alarm redundant.

If it comes to a fight, eat just enough to recoup injuries and gain the extra mass you need to force the door, then burn off the remainder on experimental limbs and accessories and so forth.
>>
No. 620384 ID: ca9f7f

>>620313
>keep rewiring and succeed
That would result in avoiding a fight and examining the room.
>keep rewiring and fail
That would lead to a fight, while also being unprepared.
>stop rewiring and get into position
Would make a fight unavoidable, but would improve chances of survival.

Maybe you should play dead and hope they go away.
>>
No. 620503 ID: a2f9bc

Here's a concern: assuming you succeed and get into the room, are you going to be able to put the panelling back before those xotl show up? If not, there will be fairly obvious evidence of your presence.
>>
No. 620698 ID: 8f01e8

Assuming the xotl are coming around an appropriate corner, and you've run out of time to get the door open before they arrive, here is how you ambush them: back to the wall, right forearm parallel to the edge of the cover, right hand relaxed, most of the way closed, and level with your head. Left elbow behind you, left hand mostly open, in front of your chest, harpoon readied.

If the first thing around the corner is a xotl helmet, right hand clenches to a fist and comes down like a hammer. Conventional armor is irrelevant to this technique because impact applies almost directly to the weakest point on the spine, whatever that happens to be. Second xotl takes a harpoon to the neck, then both of them get dragged away around the corner, hopefully before the rest of the patrol realizes what just happened. If you're very lucky, those two will be it; else, improvise, and maybe let Blake pick up the slack.

If, instead, the first thing around the corner is a gun barrel, right hand drops palm-down, grabbing and twisting it to point at the ground. Momentum and weapon-retention training will force the xotl wielder to continue forward. Left hand grabs a shoulder or something, hoist up as a shield. Extend a feeding tendril into the trigger-guard (as previously practiced) and light up the balance of the patrol with the pointman's weapon. Leave the bodies where they fall, don't feed, and the next patrol will think one of their own just snapped under the stress, went blue-on-blue bananas.
>>
No. 620777 ID: d5f3c4

We don't want to fight in a hallway, not enough cover, nothing to throw at them, nothing to improvise with. Get into the unlocked room and let them pass. If it goes quietly, fine, if there's people inside and it's a clusterfuck, it's still better than facing an armed patrol in a hallway. Literally the only thing that could be in there that's problematic is armed guards and it'll be a bigger problem if you are fighting a big group of them and they hear come up behind you, so into the unlocked room. Go Go Go.
>>
No. 621112 ID: 256d52
File 142166125949.png - (32.76KB , 1000x500 , hide_and_seek.png )
621112

>Problem is, we don't know what's in the next room. And there's no guarantee we don't set off an alarm or anything over there, either.
>...I'd say take the risk. Try to get the door open. If the alarm goes off, be ready to fight or run.
It looks like this is a good hiding spot. And if there is crew in there, Alice doesn't want to just leave them.

>If the alarm starts, still punch open the window if you have time, to make them think you went in there.
Good plan.

Alice shorts one last connection. The door slides open without protest. Loud alarms fail to go off. Success. She exchanges thumbs up with Blake.

>Are you going to be able to put the panelling back before those xotl show up?
Alice crams the front panel back on. It should look OK she hopes. Alice and Blake pile in.

Inside there's a second door slightly offset on the wall opposite the entrance and some reinforced windows. No time to see if anything in there's in there.

Alice and Blake move right, rounding a trolley parked next to some bulky device, trying to find a hiding spot in the clutter without banging into anything. Blake crawls under a table, the piled wires and boxes stowed underneath conceal him pretty well. Too tight for two. He's got the sack of guns with him, including their one grenade. Alice just has a shotgun.

Moving further along, Alice pokes around and settles for squeezing herself into the awkward little space between some stacked crates and a cabinet. The little gap between them lets her watch the windows.

The door quietly hisses shut. There's a scraping sound as Blake moves something to cover himself better and then silence as the two of them wait for the xotl to appear.
>>
No. 621113 ID: 256d52
File 142166132006.png - (40.72KB , 1000x500 , xotl_patrol.png )
621113

Footsteps.

The lead xotl barely comes into view and then calls a halt, signalling behind him. Looks like he saw the message in the window too.

It's hard to get much of a look at what's out there. Alice holds still and watches, putting together what she can from the slivers of the hall she can see. The xotl move forward to look in. They're mainly looking at the screen. Alice tries to act like a pile of rags.

One thing's immediately obvious. They've got a dragonslayer with them. The height and the fancy hat are a dead giveaway. Dragonslayers are elite shock troops. Cyborgs. Alice doesn't like the thought of tangling with one, let alone one plus his four little friends. This is bad. Very bad.

The xotl don't sound alarmed but Alice can't make out any detail in what they're saying.

The dragonslayer gives a few short commands. Most of the xotl move back but one goes to the door. The keypad seems to give him a little trouble, it beeps angrily twice, but then the door opens. Alice hopes she didn't screw something up.

>How do you know they aren't coming FOR THE CREW INSIDE?
Shit, maybe they are here to move a prisoner. They seem a little surprised to see the message though.

It looks like some of them are coming in. The dragonslayer grunts something at the one not wearing a helmet. That one moves forward and pauses in the door frame. One of the other xotl growls something at him, annoyed. Blake's holding still, Alice doesn't think the xotl have spotted her or Blake. Maybe they should hold tight a little longer.
>>
No. 621114 ID: 687279

>>621113
It's possible they just sent one person in as a scout. If you can avoid detection it'll be fine. IT'LL BE FINE JUST HIDE OH GOD
>>
No. 621117 ID: fef726

Yea, there isn't anyway we can successfully take on this many Xotl. For one thing I'm counting about 4 incendiary grenades visible.

I kinda want the dragon slayer's gun though. I betcha you are big enough to wield it.
>>
No. 621120 ID: 9ddf68

yeah, hiding sound like a great idea her. Just don't move, hope they go away, and if they should find were either you or blake are hiding hurl as many of the boxes as you can at these guys to buy some time and hopefully be able to take out the big fucker in the confusion. Just try to aim for the neck.

But yeah as for what to do, hide unless they find you are find and start carting away anyone who looks like they might have been part of your crew.
>>
No. 621121 ID: a08637

>>621112
that thing to the left that's connected to the screen, could that be a crew member in a chamber of sorts, ruby style?

the hell is that blue thing in a red casing thingy? it looks cool and shiny and i want it.
>>
No. 621123 ID: 3c17ca

>>621113
Its time to get real, real fast. That is a Dragon Slayer, a cyborg with enhanced cyborg senses. How long can we pretend it has not already detected Blake's human heartbeat, or the new and exciting hydrocarbon trails we have been leaving? On top of that, you outta bet your inhuman tentacles that there is something, likely someone in that cyber casket in front of us.

Strategy and reality time: We are going to have to eat after this one, because this is gonna hurt. (cant remember our exact inventory)
-The enemy is clustered in tight, and so are we. Throw any explosives or entangling devices we can at them first. If possible, "cook" it long enough that the enemy does not have time to react and use that shield.
- priority one is the big guy. Bum rush him, entangle him, stop him from bringing that big ass gun to bear. Go berserk, chew off his head, blast feeding tendrils out at the little guys.
* or Harpoon the big guy in the neck second, failing that, harpoon a target of opportunity, and pick off a few enemies with your weapon.
-While you are undoubtedly getting shot up or dealing with frantic xotls scratching at you, hopefully Blake is shooting as well.
-Open up that casket.
-Finally, Eat them all, in a calm and controlled manner, interrogate a survivor if one exists, break it's neck and eat it too. Ponder on life. See if we have a moment of quiet.
>>
No. 621129 ID: a18f15

>Looks like he saw the message in the window too.
Oh, shit. That was dumb of us. We should have turned the monitor off, or turned it away from the window, before hiding. Didn't think ahead enough to make plans for what to do if we got in without tripping the alarm.

>what do
An ambush here would... not be optimal. I don't see a way to put the dragonslayer down quickly, you're in an enclosed space, and they all have grenades. And the door acts a choke point, especially with that shield of his.

Stay hidden, observe, ready to fight if we have to.

I note the dragonslayer's BFG has a cable on the back. A power supply, maybe, or just a tether so he can't be separated from it?
>>
No. 621153 ID: d152ef

um, guys
the helmetless xotl has a gun trained on...it??? clearly there's a reason it has no helmet, and the reason aint gonna be insufficient armory. so, if you can, spare that one. but since it also has a gun, kill if it shoots at us
WHAT is that TURQUOISE thing? examine further when youre safe
okay so, wires connecting the monitor seem to be coming ouf of the fancy coffin thing, and so there is probably someone inside.
THE PROBLEM IS, the same thing blocking us from sight is the thing blocking us from attack. i mean all they have to do is chuck a grenade and call it a day - but would they sacrifice the rest of the bs here?
okay so, basically, wait and see, and if at any moment the dragonslayer's back is turned or he is vulnerable, FUCK HIM UP. FUCK HIM UP BAAAADDDD. CONSEQUENCES BE DAMNED. i want that fucking gun
>>
No. 621161 ID: 8f01e8

Xotl can see pretty well in the murk, dragonslayer probably more so. Can you extend your hair to cover more of yourself, or make your skin the color of your hair, or otherwise experiment a little with chromatophore-based camouflage?
>>
No. 621256 ID: 350a50

Try to wait it out for now. Only engage if you or Blake is imminently about to be spotted.
>>
No. 621278 ID: 256d52
File 142175835250.png - (21.02KB , 800x500 , the_secret_garden.png )
621278

>Yea, there isn't anyway we can successfully take on this many Xotl. For one thing I'm counting about 4 incendiary grenades visible.
Shit, hopefully they don't want any fires in here if they spot her. She could maybe hang off all that tubing on the ceiling, but getting Blake clear is iffy.

>I kinda want the dragon slayer's gun though. I betcha you are big enough to wield it.
Well, given Alice is slightly taller than the xotl and that she's super strong now... Yes. Yes she could.

>I note the dragonslayer's BFG has a cable on the back. A power supply, maybe, or just a tether so he can't be separated from it?
It's some sort of energy weapon.

>If at any moment the dragonslayer's back is turned or he is vulnerable, FUCK HIM UP. FUCK HIM UP BAAAADDDD. CONSEQUENCES BE DAMNED. I want that fucking gun.
Alice's gun envy isn't bad enough to be that desperate!

>The hell is that blue thing in a red casing thingy? it looks cool and shiny and I want it.
Doesn't look like xotl technology.

>Xotl can see pretty well in the murk, dragonslayer probably more so. Can you extend your hair to cover more of yourself, or make your skin the color of your hair, or otherwise experiment a little with chromatophore-based camouflage?
Alice can't change colour, unless sprouting red tentacles counts. Her hair is already pretty much covering every part of her that's exposed in this narrow gap. She doesn't have great visibility of most of the room. Hopefully that means she should be harder to spot in return.
>>
No. 621279 ID: 256d52
File 142175861072.png - (24.76KB , 800x450 , checking_for_life_signs.png )
621279

>It's possible they just sent one person in as a scout. If you can avoid detection it'll be fine. IT'LL BE FINE JUST HIDE OH GOD
Alice hunkers down. A fight has so much potential to go horribly wrong. Just wait, hopefully it'll go fine.

>That thing to the left that's connected to the screen, could that be a crew member in a chamber of sorts, ruby style?
Alice only had a glimpse of it as she passed, but it's definitely big enough. She doesn't know what they'd put someone in there for though. This doesn't seem like a medical lab.

Three of the xotl stay well outside.

The dragonslayer takes up position just inside the door, shield raised and weapon ready. He's not taking any chances. Alice holds very still. His head and gun slowly swivel as he sweeps the room but he takes no movement further inside. For a heart stopping moment Alice thinks he saw her but then his gaze moves on.

The bare headed xotl pushes the trolley out of the way. Alice thinks he's inspecting the panel on the coffin chamber. She can hear it tapping a few things into a keyboard. Then anxious papery whispering as it relays something to its boss. Alice blinks, hoping she didn't hear right.

Oh Messenger, no, the xotl's saying there is someone still in there.

The dragonslayer seems annoyed. From what Alice can tell, that's not supposed to be the case. He's saying to get her out of there and on the trolley. Sedated?

There's a deactivated drone behind the dragonslayer, looks like a basic hauler. Lift and carry things. Alice guesses they'd use that to move the prisoner onto the trolley. A human would be too bulky for anyone but the dragonslayer to easily move otherwise.

Her. Uh, Alice strains her memory. Two other women on the ship. The XO and the hyperdrive tech. Damnit, damnit, damnit. She balls her hands into fists, feeling them quiver with her agitation. If she stays holed up here, the xotl might just leave. The dragonslayer ignores his minion as it circles around him, moving to the drone. It's just standing there, gun ready with that same predatory patience. Holding cells, maybe the rest of the crew's there. But there's someone right here right now and the xotl are about to take her away!
>>
No. 621281 ID: 9ddf68

... you got some grenades left right? And how strong do you think you are now?

Because what I'm hoping we can do is find something small, fling it towards the opposite end of the room and when big blue turns to look we charge the bastard, aiming for the joints, and the moment we make a hole shove a damn grenade in it and throw/shove him into the group of Xotl. The hope here is to get in really close with the dragonslayer and by doing so rendering his gun useless and making it so his friends can shoot you without risking shooting the Dragonslayer. Only works though if you think you can overpower or match the dragonslayer though.
>>
No. 621287 ID: 677fc7

>>621281
How discreetly could we follow them? They'll probably lead us to the other prisoners, or at least part of the way.
>>
No. 621288 ID: 8bd2b1

This isn't the moment to engage. We're gonna wanna follow them. Also, grab that blue and red thingy, it looks like it matches your aesthetic.
>>
No. 621292 ID: a18f15

>there is someone still in there [...] that's not supposed to be the case
I really wish we'd had just a little more time. We could have messed with the chamber, made it look empty like it's supposed to be, and they would have walked right by. Why didn't we hide the hello.

>what do
First priority: safety of the crew. Which means the biggest risk in engaging the xtol now is Blake and the unknown woman getting caught in the crossfire. This is a small room, and there are a lot of well armed hostiles.

Although, by the same token, if you're going to attack, you need to do it now. While the woman still has the cover of the cryo-chamber (?), and isn't in the open on a gurney.

...I hate to say it, but unless her life is in immediate danger (and they're apparently only planning to sedate and move her), engaging is the much riskier option. Someone on your side is probably going to end up dead.

Be real convenient if an alarm sounded somewhere else and drew attention away.
>>
No. 621299 ID: ecd0ab

If there is a moment to engage, it's going to be when the dragonslayer can be taken out in the initial ambush. Unless you can manage that...
>>
No. 621318 ID: 687279

>>621279
Fuck it, let's do this. Grab the heaviest thing near you, lift it and rush the dragonslayer using it as a battering ram. Try to get in close combat with all the xotls so they can't use grenades against you. Make hardened bone spikes on your knuckles so you can penetrate armor with strikes. To take down the dragonslayer, snap its neck. Optimally you would grab its weapon and start using it to shoot the other xotls.
>>
No. 621355 ID: 3c17ca

>>621279
Alice...its me. and its time. hehehee...lets try a little breathing experiment. Take one in, hold it, build that rage. Hold it. Compress it, make it hard, make it crystalline. Make it hurt. Use that pain as a focus. Feel your finger tips, flex the talons. The hammering of your circulatory system. Can you still sweat? Stop breathing, eyes fully dilated. Now wait. In this second we have two choices. Release yourself, be everything you can be, and direct it at the enemy in front of you.

Or wait. Grab the idol. we need it. we want it.
>>
No. 621374 ID: 687279

>>621355
Well it is worth pointing out that the "idol" looks very thematically similar to Alice. Maybe... it's something she could use to get stronger?
>>
No. 621476 ID: a2f9bc

You have a decent chance of taking out the dragonslayer, albeit not without damage to yourself, but not decisively enough to then face those outside after. Now is not the time to attack.
>>
No. 621572 ID: 256d52
File 142192880796.png - (23.11KB , 800x500 , crew_fractions.png )
621572

>We could have messed with the chamber, made it look empty like it's supposed to be, and they would have walked right by. Why didn't we hide the hello.
No use crying over spilt milk.

>If there is a moment to engage, it's going to be when the dragonslayer can be taken out in the initial ambush. Unless you can manage that...
Barring a master class distraction, Alice is going to get nailed by whatever that lance shoots the second she moves out of cover. Something about that guy has her seriously rattled.

>...I hate to say it, but unless her life is in immediate danger (and they're apparently only planning to sedate and move her), engaging is the much riskier option. Someone on your side is probably going to end up dead.
Alice doesn't like it but she thinks the only option is to wait this out. Too much risk, not just to her but to everyone else. She might be able to walk off horrible injuries, but no-one else can.

The little xotl, regular xotl really, taps some more commands into the chamber then activates the drone. The drone whirs to life, rolls over to the chamber and levers open an access hatch. Its manipulators snake in and pull someone out.

Half of someone.

>Try a little breathing experiment. Take one in, hold it, build that rage. Hold it. Compress it, make it hard, make it crystalline. Make it hurt. Use that pain as a focus. Feel your finger tips, flex the talons. The hammering of your circulatory system. Can you still sweat? Stop breathing, eyes fully dilated. Now wait. In this second we have two choices. Release yourself, be everything you can be, and direct it at the enemy in front of you.
Those bastards. For a moment Alice almost does, then common sense and memory rein her in.

Mason. Doctor Mason. Keziah Mason. Hyperdrive tech, yes, but seriously overqualified for a position like that, but small crews mean everyone wears a few hats. When not attending to the ship's needs, she's a physicist. The one to turn to for anything deeply weird that uncharted space tosses at them. Alice wasn't too close. There's something about people who work in that field that... well... they're spooky. She also had a way of making Alice feel like dumb muscle soooo... strike two there.

The xotl have detached her prosthetic legs. That is going to complicate things. In fact the xotl probably did it specifically to complicate any escape attempts. It makes her blood boil, seeing that tiny shape slumped on the trolley. Alice might not have liked Dr Mason very much but seeing her reduced to this is just awful.

Do nothing, Alice reminds herself, easing her face out of the grimace it's become. If she moves carelessly now, chances are someone will get hurt or killed in the cross fire. Wait for the appropriate moment and then save everyone.
>>
No. 621573 ID: 256d52
File 142192888731.png - (23.46KB , 800x550 , fourth_wall_stare.png )
621573

The drone shuts back down and the xotl rolls the trolley out.

The dragonslayer slowly turns to exit, shield covering his body as he swivels clockwise. He pauses in the door, eyes sweeping the room again.

Alice freezes. He sees her! He must see her, how does he not know she's here? Isn't he looking right at her?!

The dragonslayer walks out the door.

What was that? What the hell was that?! Does he know? Did he see her? Why'd he leave if he did? Alice forces herself to take a deep breath. Paranoia. She's hiding away from murder squads and she has no idea what crazy things her body chemistry is doing to her. Stay calm, watch and listen.

The dragonslayer loudly says he wants two of the xotl to move the prisoner, the others are to continue the sweep with him. The door shuts, muffling the sound. The xotl that was in the lead comes over to him and he bends, saying something helmet to helmet.

That xotl takes the trolley, one of the other helmeted ones going with him. Huh, the dragonslayer's moving back the way they came? A few faint footsteps then nothing.

>How discreetly could we follow them? They'll probably lead us to the other prisoners, or at least part of the way.
Uh, it's risky but it'd be the quickest way to find the holding cells. With them split up, Alice might even be able to intercept them before they get there. She has to leave right now if she wants to track them though.

Maybe... maybe she should hide a little longer.
>>
No. 621574 ID: 60700b

While I agree getting that idol now would likely grant a new power, it could cause sanity to slip.

If you do grab it, remember the mission.
>>
No. 621575 ID: 2839a0

that was a little too obvious a declaration. going out now is very obviously a trap. the dragonslayer may not know where you are exactly, but probably suspects you are in ear or even eyeshot.
since you'll want to wait a little longer, investigate that creepy idol thing.
>>
No. 621576 ID: 6e79d4

I think paranoia is a good thing, given the circumstances. Grab that totem thing and try going out the vents.
>>
No. 621587 ID: a18f15

>The xotl have detached her prosthetic legs. That is going to complicate things. In fact the xotl probably did it specifically to complicate any escape attempts.
It's logical. Detachable limbs are pretty convenient for security, and aren't prone to the same failures restraints or drugs might be. (...and at least that means they didn't have to resort to amputation. Or incineration).

That's going to be a problem if and when we rescue her, though. She can't walk, and she won't even be able to ride piggyback while sedated.

>Did he see her? Why'd he leave if he did?
If we assume he saw you, there are a few reasons he could have reacted the way he did:

If he recognized you were concealed and not about to engage. If he attacked you, a fight would immediately ensue. Why wouldn't the dragoon want a fight? Maybe there's something worse nearby it's concerned about. Maybe it doesn't want to engage you so close to its prisoner and its shorter brethren, risking collateral damage. Maybe its setting a trap. (Talking loudly, and limited to common, easy to understand phrases?).

>what do
Carefully sneak out of cover. Is the room clear?

Might be worth quickly checking if the prosthetic were stored in this room, or if anything was left in the pod. Or to investifate the crystal-thing.

Can we use your flower-eye to peek out the window without being seen?
>>
No. 621596 ID: fe4bfc

Saying something helmet to helmet means he could be wary of someone listening in on there coms. This is probably because of the Hello on the monitor. That showed him that someone might have access to the network.

This whole thing feels like they suspect something and are setting up for a ambush. If one of the little guys had seen you then they probably would have panicked and opened fire. But the big guy is a pro so might be trying to lure you into the open.

So as tempting as it might be to immoderately go after the doctor you should be very careful.
>>
No. 621598 ID: 9ddf68

why do I have a feeling we're going to be seeing that big motherfucker again sooner then I'd like. Ok I feel like the big guy is either setting you up or the much less likely option of actually helping you other if it is the latter and I highly doubt that it is, I have no idea as to why he would.

Anyways how's your sense of smell? Think you could track them with that? Oh and idol, grab and and see what happens.
>>
No. 621628 ID: aef4c1

Most likely, it's a trap.
...Is there another exit from this room?

If you stay, remember to check out the monitor - after all, that's why you came here in the first place. If it's a way of contacting someone, it could mean an ally against the dragonslayer. (Even if there's no-one responding, leave a short message that they took Dr. Mason, probably as bait in a dragonslayer's trap.)
Also, that piece of alien-tech may be important - bring it along. Of course, touching it with your bare skin might cause something to happen, for good or bad. (Any instinctual feelings, from looking at it?) If you're wary of it, you could wrap it in something, like a drink container.

If you do run out of the cell to follow them, you could still leave Blake to respond to the "Hello". (If you're leaving, though, I say take the extra risk and grab/eat the alien gizmo on the way out, on the off chance that it'll help you against the dragonslayer.)
>>
No. 621638 ID: 2f4b71

>>621573
>The dragonslayer loudly says he wants two of the xotl to move the prisoner, the others are to continue the sweep with him.
>The xotl that was in the lead comes over to him and he bends, saying something helmet to helmet.
>That xotl takes the trolley, one of the other helmeted ones going with him. Huh, the dragonslayer's moving back the way they came? A few faint footsteps then nothing.
Nope. Totally not a trap. Totally not the Dragonslayer setting up a rear ambush for when you follow the trolley he just loudly stated was going to be minimally guarded.
>>
No. 621639 ID: 687279

>>621573
Once the area is clear, go get that thing on the table. Then tell Blake you're going to go rescue Mason, and he should probably just stay here.

I find myself wondering if the dragonslayer is the other specimen from the other wing, somehow having disguised themselves and infiltrated into the security forces. Or maybe, just maybe... it wants you to survive, and continue fighting, because they thought you were a failed experiment and now that they were proven wrong, they want to gather data on what you can do. Obviously only the higher ranking members of security would know this, because they want the cannonfodder to be their unwitting "research" target dummies.
>>
No. 621650 ID: 3c17ca

>>621638
>>621573
as much as I hate this, there are three things we need to do.
1. Grab the idol and do a final quick sweep of the room.
2. Arm Blake the best we can, and send him after the trolly.
3. Lie in ambush for the rear guard. If a fire fight does happen, blake kills the trolley guards and we go from there.
~~~~4.Consider using the vents we did not take to sneak out and execute the ambush as they walk by. We can drag at least one xotol kicking and screaming into the confines of the vents, and I vote for the dragon slayer if we can pull it off. I doubt his CQC skills are that good against a tentacle attack grabbing him by the ankles, horror movie style.
>>
No. 621655 ID: 8f01e8

Be careful about letting Blake interact with the blue egg thing. I'm guessing it could turn him into another one like you, which is a short-term gain, long-term loss sort of deal.

Did Doctor Mason by any chance have a pet rat-or-something named Jenkins?
>>
No. 621665 ID: a19cd5

>>621573
What if the dragonslayer's on our side, though? It'd explain why we weren't incinerated way back at the start.
>>
No. 621711 ID: dd5655

Bet he's waiting with his gun pointed at the door. Check the room for air vents.
>>
No. 621798 ID: b8ceae

>>621573
So the dragonslayer saw you, then proceeded to order everybody in his group to leave with him while two of them take the prisoner off alone. Then he gave you a good, hard stare to let you know he knows you're there.

He's either giving you a perfect opportunity to rescue your crewmate, or baiting you into a trap.

Grab the idol, then follow your crewmate. When you get wherever they're going, ambush the xotl and disarm them, but leave them alive. If it's a trap you'll have hostages, while if it's a gift you can show that you're appreciative by not killing his subordinates. (And thus making him more willing to help you out in the future)
>>
No. 621827 ID: f61b8d

>>621798
That does raise a good point: if he really did just STARE at us (did he?) then surely HE knows WE know he knows we're there. He seems like he's probably super competent enough not to need to stare directly at a partially concealed foe, and to know not to do so unless you WANT them to know you know they're there....probably. Assuming that to be true...WHY?
>>
No. 621928 ID: 072a83

>>621827
He simply wants Alice out of the room so he can shoot her up without damaging valuable scientific equipment.
>>
No. 622107 ID: 256d52
File 142219810587.png - (23.38KB , 800x550 , grab_that_thing.png )
622107

>That's going to be a problem if and when we rescue her, though. She can't walk, and she won't even be able to ride piggyback while sedated.
They'll just have to come up with a work around when they rescue Dr Mason.

>Did Doctor Mason by any chance have a pet rat-or-something named Jenkins?
Huh? Jenkins, Jenkins. Uh, no. Alice wouldn't really call a data ferret a pet. It's just a little general purpose drone/computer.

>Nope. Totally not a trap. Totally not the Dragonslayer setting up a rear ambush for when you follow the trolley he just loudly stated was going to be minimally guarded.
Put that way it sounds alarmingly plausible.

Blake's starting to crawl out from his hiding place under the table. Alice mangles an instruction to wait and then slips him her data pad.

Probly trap
Too convenient
Wait a moment.


>That was a little too obvious a declaration. going out now is very obviously a trap. the dragonslayer may not know where you are exactly, but probably suspects you are in ear or even eyeshot.
That must be it. If he'd known for certain she was there, Alice is sure there'd have been a much more aggressive response. That look though, he must have had a feeling she was close. She must have picked up on it. Thinking it over, a ploy to lure her out into the open just makes too much sense.

>Since you'll want to wait a little longer, investigate that creepy idol thing.
Despite wanting to lurk in her increasingly inviting feeling hidey hole, Alice supposes she should take the opportunity to check that thing. She crawls on top of the table, the two big equipment racks in front of it should keep her mostly concealed. She'll grab it and see if Blake knows anything about it.

"What are you doing up there?" Blake hisses.

"Jussz wunn pthingh."

>Be careful about letting Blake interact with the blue egg thing. I'm guessing it could turn him into another one like you, which is a short-term gain, long-term loss sort of deal.
Surely it'd be in a protective case if it was that reactive?

>Of course, touching it with your bare skin might cause something to happen, for good or bad. (Any instinctual feelings, from looking at it?)
Now Alice looks at it closer, she could have sworn it looked a little different a moment ago. Something seems strangely familiar about it. Is it moving? And core.. wait... there's...

There's words in there.
>>
No. 622108 ID: 256d52
File 142219814133.png - (44.86KB , 800x600 , system_update.png )
622108

Signal corrupt, reverting to optical channel. Wavelength synchronised with noetic linkages. Loading basal modification in node 02. Specification of instruction subset required.

Select one:

[ ] Megastructure - Improved cohesion and linkage of the worker-body. Template for formation of hardened structural elements. Uhhh... It seems like it'd make Alice stronger and tougher, and allow her to armour herself up. Guess she could grow other things with it too?

[ ] Clever Hands - Refinement of the subsumption architecture: basic modes to interface with non-biological material. Huh, Alice guesses you CAN make a circuit probe out of tentacles. If she is understanding this at all, it'll let Alice use her feeding tendrils as tools, allowing her to cut, shape and weld raw material. They should be able to pierce armour to some extent as well.

[ ] Quicksilver - Accelerated dissolution and reformation of structures in worker-body. Improved control of unstructured mass and reallocation to different functions. Alice's interpretation is it'd make her shape more malleable. Her boy would be able to turn semi-liquid so she'd be able to squeeze through tight places and she'd regenerate from injuries even faster as well.

[ ] Cancel
>>
No. 622109 ID: b13a51

>>622108
[x] Cancel
For the time being, cancel. It looks like it may take some time to work and you need to go out and save the rest of the crew. Also, inform Blake that you found something that can transform you to do more things and explain what it does. Get his opinion on it.

It looks like it may make you less human for more 'utility' but I believe it is a good sacrifice to make. One's humanity for your crew's lives. Fair trade.

If I had to choose between the three options with no cancel and wait till later, I'd go for Clever Hands.
>>
No. 622110 ID: d3be40

Hm, Quicksilver might be fun, but clever hands is probably the optimal choice - Alice is a tech expert, she needs tools.
>>
No. 622111 ID: 2839a0

give an engineer enough tools and they will destroy and rebuild the world with a 10% increase in efficiency.

voting for clever hands so hard.
>>
No. 622112 ID: f290a2

>>622108
let's see.
control over hard things (snicker), so make armor, maybe hard weapons?
tools and dexterity
or.. strechy powers? there were a few instances where that could have been useful but it's hardly imperative.

i vote clever hands because engineer. we'll have to hope she'll get more of these soon.
>>
No. 622113 ID: 9ddf68

want to say Megastructure really just because I feel like we're going to be getting into a fights with stronger and stronger opponents before we actually got out of here and it's more then likely we're going to have to fight to get Manson back.

While clever hands does sound useful for getting around and quicksilver sounds like it would help us sneaking around without getting caught, it's just that seeing our track record I can't help but feel that we're going to get into a fight sooner or later so yeah, I cast my vote in with Megastructure.
>>
No. 622127 ID: a18f15

This is software update. It just offered to reprogram your body.

This changes the situation. You're not just a one-off xtol experiment that escaped- this is too robust for that- you're part of an established system. There's support infrastructure, and updates, and messenger knows what else. (Maybe there's an option somewhere to quit? Downgrade back to your baseline self? You can only hope).

Since this tech doesn't look xtol in design, and they aren't using it themselves, and don't have the tools to control their test subject, the best assumption is this is some kind of salvage- someone else's tech they've stolen or dug up somewhere.

...I suppose that's sort of a comfort? Precursor tech is scary and all, but I have more confidence they knew what they were doing than I do in the xtol.

>what choose
Alice is struggling with a kind of body dysphoria and identity crisis since this started. I feel like turning herself into a liquid metal terminator plant would be pretty bad for her long term sanity.

I'd go with the nimble hands. Alice was an engineer, but she's not getting access to other tools anytime soon. And we're in a base full of tech worth interfacing with. This choice reinforces part of her humanity / identity, lets her be more of herself. (Arguably, the armor reinforces her role as a soldier, but she's already got her quest to protect her crew and lots of combat to bolster that).
>>
No. 622128 ID: 350a50

[X] Clever Hands
>>
No. 622131 ID: fef726

Voting for Clever Hands.

We can't turn down the upgrade. Not when facing a dragon slayer. And though the warrior upgrade is useful it will take Alice further away from her roots. Clever Hands however gives her a bit of what she lost when she got big back.
>>
No. 622133 ID: d5f3c4

Cancel! We don't need your biology being messed up anymore. This is good though, clearly plant creatures are sentient to some degree if this thing is kicking around. We should keep it but not use it.
>>
No. 622135 ID: b8ceae

Clever Hands.

You're an engineer, so we'll get more use out of something that enables you to use your skillset than anything else.

Also: Your major threat isn't bullets or beams, it's fire. Nothing here is going to protect you against fire. At all.
Turning to goo would be useful, but this IS a spaceship so you can expect most areas to be sealed air-tight in a lockdown. Slipping through cracks isn't very useful in a place without a lot of cracks.
>>
No. 622149 ID: d958ad

>>622108
Clever Hands! You will never become a not-engineer now. BE WHO YOU ARE.
>>
No. 622153 ID: 3c17ca

>>622108
choices from top to bottom.

[x]quicksilver. lets us alter the shape of our body. we can look human again. we can look like a xotol if we need to. it is freedom. it is letting us be ourselves more than before. we could blend back in with society if we go home. We can heal faster and take more risks, play dead and infiltrate. If we are more malleable...we can have our voice back, we can talk without that fucking data pad. it sounds so nice...

[x]the hands. we can be our job, and maintain identity this way.
followed up by

[x] megastructure. we can protect and it is the most guaranteed way out of this shit hole.
>>
No. 622157 ID: d5f3c4

Again, I urge caution. We don't know how this is going to impact your biology or psyche.
>>
No. 622171 ID: f461c5

Clever hands, definitely.

You may even be able to construct new prosthesis for your doctor.

Plus, it doesnt seem like there is anything preventing you from manipulating raw materials from inside your body, so the next time you fire that harpoon, it could be metal.
>>
No. 622189 ID: 10d2ed

Cancel, then later you can choose clever hands. You know, when you aren't on a time-limit to save a crew member.
>>
No. 622237 ID: a2f9bc

Internalizing the programming here could make your instincts harder to resist, but it could also make them more structured and controllable. It's impossible to say for sure.

Finer control of your feeding apparatus might help. Might hurt. Or you could learn to get hard for Blake's sake. Quicksilver seems like it would shine with a more lone-wolf/predator style than you're going with right now.

Overall, I have to go with Clever Hands. Being able to engineer it up better, weld doors shut, tentacle molest Blake, and more easily mitigate enemy armor fits the tactical stealthy approach we've (tried to) adhered to.
>>
No. 622272 ID: 89b2a2

>>622108
You're not an engineer. Megastructure or quicksilver, definitely.
>>
No. 622279 ID: 256d52
File 142226588939.png - (23.82KB , 600x800 , blake_wanted_bottom_bunk.png )
622279

>It looks like it may make you less human for more 'utility' but I believe it is a good sacrifice to make. One's humanity for your crew's lives. Fair trade.
The opposition she's facing is steadily ramping up. She needs an advantage or no-one's getting out of here.

>Overall, I have to go with Clever Hands. Being able to engineer it up better, weld doors shut, tentacle molest Blake, and more easily mitigate enemy armour fits the tactical stealthy approach we've (tried to) adhered to.
Yes, that - wait, what?!

>This choice reinforces part of her humanity / identity, lets her be more of herself. (Arguably, the armour reinforces her role as a soldier, but she's already got her quest to protect her crew and lots of combat to bolster that).
Uh, armour would also greatly bolster her effectiveness as a soldier to be honest? She's gotten badly shot up so far and things could have gone a lot worse.

>Alice is a tech expert, she needs tools.
They might find a tool kit somewhere in this base but this will give her all of it at once. It'll help them so much. She can't turn it down.

>Again, I urge caution. We don't know how this is going to impact your biology or psyche.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

[x] Clever Hands

Alice shivers as shapes and forms and formulas flicker through her mind's eye. The ghostly flickers elude her attempts to grasp at them, inspect them, hovering just below conscious meaning. But there's still a sensation of knowledge slotting in at the back of her head, new arrangements as natural as moving an arm or recognising a colour. Her body tingles pleasurably, intensifying to a burning sensation as it completes its reconfiguration.

11 mass lost. Mass total is 101.

Ugh, slime again. Alice can feel it accumulating inside her. Waste left over from the conversion, moved and stored to be evacuated when needed. She isn't feeling an urgent need to projectile vomit it everywhere, but she might want to dump it when she has an opportunity.

Maybe she should have those xotl drinks now. It seemed to be effective at countering mass loss.

"Dietrich, you alright?" Blake whispers.

"Uh, yezss." Alice says, trying blink her eyes clear. She crawls above Blake. "Padgh."

Looked at that artifact on
the crate. Loaded some sort
of instructions set off it.
How to make tools.


"You, you could read it?" Blake says. "That's dangerous, no telling what it might have done to you."

Had a cancel option.
Seemed fairly safe.
Do you know what it is?


"... Maybe. Not 100% sure yet."

Alice thinks he might be holding something back but she's feeling a little too exposed to launch into a full argument.

Wait a little longer.
I'll hop back in cover.

>>
No. 622280 ID: 256d52
File 142226592611.png - (25.71KB , 800x550 , lets_experiment.png )
622280

Alice gets off the table and slides back in behind the crates.

>Since this tech doesn't look xotl in design, and they aren't using it themselves, and don't have the tools to control their test subject, the best assumption is this is some kind of salvage- someone else's tech they've stolen or dug up somewhere.
Starting to really look like its Precursor. What are the xotl up to? Maybe a control mechanism is what they're looking for. They can't control Alice, sure, but her mind seems to be reasonably intact. If they can refine the process and use it on their own troops... oh Messenger, maybe that's it. They might have tried it on her purely because she was expendable. Lab rat.

Speaking of which, while Alice is hiding in her hole like a little rat waiting for the cat to leave, maybe it's time to start figuring out what exactly she can do. She's stuck with this screwed up body, so she should make use of it.
>>
No. 622281 ID: fef726

We got a lab full of equipment here. And Clever Hands just gave you OPTIONS.

E
Lets look through the stuff here and see what we can make.
>>
No. 622282 ID: d958ad

Alright, ideas.
1) Try making some sort of hydraulic spike you can shoot out of your palm on the non-harpoon side. That'll shove its way through really tough armor, so all you'd have to do is get your hand on an enemy's helmet to kill it.
2) Try making something that will let you launch the limb that has the spike in it, like the harpoon. That way you can get your hand on an enemy's helmet at range.
3) Acid spit!
4) Some kind of grippy surface on your arms and legs so you can climb on walls and ceilings.
5) Camouflage?
6) An eye on each limb.
7) Extra-sensitive hearing.
8) Enhance knockers.

Oh, and you should examine those maws you have all over your body in closer detail. You have some on your chest, how wide can those open up?
>>
No. 622283 ID: fef726

>>622282
That doesn't sound like anything Clever Hands can accomplish.
>>
No. 622286 ID: 89941a

>>622280
You were able to launch bone out of your body, perhaps you can simply extend some and use as a stabbing implement?
>>
No. 622287 ID: a2f9bc

>>622280
Well Blake is right there so get to tentacle molesting him. You chose this Alice. This is the fate you have decided. If it makes it easier, just think of the tentacles as a dozen tongues sliding all over his body.

Once that's out of the way, you're supposed to be able to "cut, shape and weld" plus some armor piercing capabilities, so what you should make is a wicked-cool thermal cutting sword. Totally rad.
>>
No. 622290 ID: b8ceae

>>622280
First, rescue their prisoner. Everything else can wait.
>>
No. 622295 ID: aef4c1

Some suggestions:
*A tool to break through armor, and remove inconvenient walls/floors; diamond-edged claws, or an organic drill, or super-acid...
*Tentacle Logic Probe, for lockpicking.
Upgrade to above: Organic Data Port - the ability to interface with the local computer network by patching into a wall cable. (We've got cables here we could adapt to. Also, this could let us respond to the monitor's message without coming out of hiding.)
Are there any security cameras to hack into? If so, they haven't been an issue, so far...
*Power supply: the ability to provide electricity to machines even in blacked-out areas. Could probably be jury-rigged as a taser. Combining some upgrades, we could make a wicked armor-piercing taser. Are Xotls vulnerable to electricity?
*Adjustable Grip: Ability to fully use tools and weapons, both Human and Xotl ones, regardless of our size. If nothing else, should improve our aim a bit.
*Organic Weapon Mount: Ability to incorporate captured weapons into body (or tentacle hair), aiming and firing multiple weapons while keeping hands free for other tasks.
*Some production ability? We might be able to spin/extrude an armor vest if we empty the vending machines. Or recycle Xotl suits into something that fits us.

BTW, how durable are the materials in this room? Like, if we snapped off the sarcophagus lid, would it make a decent bullet shield?
>>
No. 622296 ID: a18f15

>Alice thinks he might be holding something back
Too be honest, even if he's holding the info back, the fact he might know what it is is reassuring. That reinforces our guess this is some kind of non-xtol (probably precursor) tech.

...of course he also thinks it's not safe to tell you, which is less reassuring, but honestly, if you weren't in your current situation you'd be a lot less inclined to trust things that reprogram bodies and dump information in the back of your head.

>Maybe she should have those xotl drinks now. It seemed to be effective at countering mass loss.
I dunno. You don't actually have any injuries you need to grow mass into now, do you? You're just a little lighter, now.

>maybe it's time to start figuring out what exactly she can do
Start with the obvious things from the description.

Make some kind of armor piecer. Practice simple tools you're familiar with or think you might need. Make adaptive interfaces to plug into electronic ports.
>>
No. 622301 ID: bfdaf0

Can anything in the room be taken apart? Does any equipment have some thick metal plate that could serve as makeshift armor?
>>
No. 622342 ID: 3c17ca

>>622280
The world is at your finger tips. Despite all these humerous thoughts, three things to do. Step one, take the little idol, we will attempt to interface with it, or take it apart with our fingers, learn something...clever.

Two. We are surrounded by machines, our playground. We recall an ancient earth game, a malevolent AI called Shodan hijacked all of a ships controls and wrecked havok. We probably cannot do the same, but we can perhaps look into the security system, open and lock doors, play with remote AI. And with that thought...

-Take over the drone carrying the good doctor, attack the custodians and if it survives, the dragon slayer. If we cant do that...
-Lock down the doors, isolate the slayer, and the others, pick them off.
-Turn off the atmosphere to certain rooms if possible.
-locate your crews holding place, and learn any facts possible about your current predicament.
-Find any more idols...yes...this would be optimal for us. listen most to this thought, and we will grow stronger.

Three- Can we whip up some armor/ weapons for us and blake, even something improvised like a crude shield.
>>
No. 622352 ID: 2f4b71

Trace the connections to the monitor which had the "Hello?" message on it. We've been assuming that was Dr Mason's doing, but only because she happened to be nearby.
>>
No. 622366 ID: f461c5

We need to figure out the extent of your capabilities, and many of these other suggestions seem exellent.

But the description implies you can manipulate non-organic materials now, and I wonder on what scale. Can you eat metal or synthetics and process them like a 3-d printer? How complex can your manipulations get? I will assume you probably cant produce a firearm from raw materials, due to complexity, if not lack of propellant, at least unless you can produce a thick coil bundle of hair-thin wires, attach these to a superstructure of polymers or even your own bone, and provide power to your new coilgun from a presumably external source with your newfound conductivity.

But for now, I am more interested in the possibilities of immediate temporary semi-prosthesis; E.G., producing metalic armor plates that you can fit under your skin. Your body should be able to shift and work around anything you put in it, and you can probably build things inside yourself. So internally constructing some armor plating and possibly some blades or nice big bludgeoning parts should work well.
>>
No. 622385 ID: 3c17ca

>>622280
To the vending machine, we will carefully bore into the side so as to not draw attention, and consume the interior, then rig it to murder the next user...who we will also consume.

Or...or..

We eat the machine's contents and then regurgitate our own slime into it, sit and wait. trololol xotols.
>>
No. 622386 ID: d3be40

Start by taking the closest scrap metal you can find, and try to use your abilities to make some crossbow bolts. Test how well your new abilities work with crafting tools and weapons.

Then load up a tentacle and see if you can make it VERY spiky.
>>
No. 622407 ID: 350a50

>>622385
>We eat the machine's contents and then regurgitate our own slime into it, sit and wait. trololol xotols.

Oh god that would be great.
>>
No. 622493 ID: f61b8d

>>622385
Hahahaha
>>
No. 622504 ID: 8f01e8

Check to see if the updateosphere can be re-used. It might just be asking you to pick modules one at a time because of limited bandwidth and metabolic installation costs.

As for tools, focus on something you could use to peel open that dragonslayer and get at the squishy bits. Think about the result you want and let your instincts find the most efficient way. Remember, it's not a weapon: it's just a more advanced version of the scissors an EMT would use to remove obstructing seatbelts and clothes before inspecting and treating an injury.

>>622107
>Surely it'd be in a protective case if it was that reactive?

If it was being *transported,* sure. For just storage, if it's not leaking contagious fluids, sealing it up in a disused lab behind a password-locked blast door sounds secure enough. The xotl seem to be fairly competent soldiers, but, based on your having survived the incinerator and so on, not so great hazmat techs.

>Jenkins. Uh, no. Alice wouldn't really call a data ferret a pet. It's just a little general purpose drone/computer.

Something like a smartphone, plus an extra pair of hands for fetching tools and such? I think her great-to-the-Nth-power grandmother, of the same name, wrote a paper on higher-dimensional spatial geometry at MIT's Arkham campus which laid the foundations for modern FTL. Sadly, that being either the earlier part of the 20th century or the later part of the 17th (records are inconsistent) and her being female, some grad student named Walter Gilman got all the credit.
>>
No. 622506 ID: 60700b

>>622504
>Check to see if the updateosphere can be re-used.
Good idea.
>>
No. 622507 ID: 01745f

What is the penetrating power on their guns (aside from the huge beam weapons)? Would we be able to weld off a section of wall or floor plating to use as a shield against normal xotl gun fire (or literal fire for that matter)?

>projectile vomit
Maybe you could focus it in one direction to spit goo from a distance on an enemy's head to impair their vision?
>>
No. 622974 ID: 256d52
File 142271339485.png - (17.71KB , 800x520 , handiwork.png )
622974

>Check to see if the updateosphere can be re-used. It might just be asking you to pick modules one at a time because of limited bandwidth and metabolic installation costs.
Alice looks at the idol again. Now she knows what it does, it seems easier. From across the room she can lock her eyes onto it and then it feeds information to her. It's offering the same options, but it'll overwrite what she currently has.

Alice familiarises herself a little with some of the quirks of her body. Her feeding tendrils come most naturally out of the red slits in her body but she can also easily slip them out of the tips of her fingers and tentacles. Speaking of which her fingers seem to be a little indecisive on whether or not they're tentacles depending on what she tries to do with them.

Her feeding tendrils feel dexterous now. Alice has a lot of fine control over them and can thin them down to hair thin filaments.

Time to see what else she can do.

>Tentacle Logic Probe, for lockpicking.
Alice tires out her modified feeding tendrils near the cabling. Hmm, she has some sort of electric sense, she can tell some are active. She can get some idea of conductivity too, with two she can check continuity of a connection.

>Upgrade to above: Organic Data Port - the ability to interface with the local computer network by patching into a wall cable.
Alice is checking things at a hardware level here. This doesn't turn her into some kind of living computer. She can't read any information off a data cable, she simply doesn't have the capability to interpret it. She isn't going to be able to hack the xotl's computers, drones or fancy hats with this.

>Power supply: the ability to provide electricity to machines even in blacked-out areas. Could probably be jury-rigged as a taser.
Low current only. Alice is just going to electrocute herself if she tries to use her own body as wiring for high power applications.

>Some kind of grippy surface on your arms and legs so you can climb on walls and ceilings.
Alice already has a strong grip and with a little fiddling she can get some suction or adhesion going on. Climbing stuff should be easy.

>Camouflage
Alice can't change colour.

>An eye on each limb.
One of the slits in her hand peels open as an eye forces its way out. It's a little eerie being able to look at herself. Disorientating. Alice isn't used to the extra sensory input. She wouldn't want to try moving around like this. She dissolves the eye again.

>Extra-sensitive hearing.
Alice hasn't had much trouble hearing things coming so far and doesn't want to mess with that. Too sensitive hearing would just be a liability.

>Organic Weapon Mount: Ability to incorporate captured weapons into body (or tentacle hair), aiming and firing multiple weapons while keeping hands free for other tasks.
Alice is most comfortable using weapons with her hands. It's how she was trained after all. She just doesn't quite have the multitasking to be able to coordinate herself like that.

>We eat the machine's contents and then regurgitate our own slime into it, sit and wait. trololol xotls.
Hahaha, Alice probably shouldn't do that but she can just imagine the looks on their faces.
>>
No. 622975 ID: 256d52
File 142271344842.png - (24.80KB , 600x800 , do_what.png )
622975

>Enhance knockers.
What? Why? And, uh, this top here is kind of at maximum capacity already.

>Acid spit
All Alice has is slime and it doesn't seem to be very reactive.

>projectile vomit
>Maybe you could focus it in one direction to spit goo from a distance on an enemy's head to impair their vision?
Ugh, Alice would normally say she'd rather just shoot the enemy but seeing she's already had to deal with one thing where her guns alone wouldn't cut it, maybe she should consider it. She could make some sort of sprayer? It wouldn't be too difficult though getting much range out of it is the tricky part.

>As for tools, focus on something you could use to peel open that dragonslayer and get at the squishy bits. Think about the result you want and let your instincts find the most efficient way
Alice tries her feeding tendrils out on the crate she's hiding behind. It's ruggedised plastic. She extends one, makes it as thin and rigid as she can and simply pushes it through. Better than a knife. She'd liken it to a blowtorch except there doesn't seem to be any heating going on.

She cuts a circular hole in the side and pulls it free. To experiment further she lops off a chunk and then reattaches it to the disc, running a tendril around like she's trying to spot weld it. It seems to have fused the material. Almost no sign of a join.

The crate is empty except for some fabric. A dust cover probably. Maybe she should try to make some clothes out of it.

She tries her tendrils on the table next. It's a steel beast of a thing. Very heavy and solid. There's a lot more resistance, but she can cut it. She just forces her tendrils against it and they slowly worm their way though, like they're sinking through molasses.

It seems her feeing tendrils would make a fairly effective weapon even unmodified, but perhaps she should give more consideration to how to best use this.

>Well Blake is right there so get to tentacle molesting him. You chose this Alice. This is the fate you have decided. If it makes it easier, just think of the tentacles as a dozen tongues sliding all over his body.
WHAT. No, oh Messenger no! These things can saw through steel now. There's no telling what they might do to a human body. And that's assuming it doesn't make her go crazy with hunger again and eat him. Alice is just going to have to come to terms with the high probability she's never sleeping with anything ever again.
>>
No. 622976 ID: 256d52
File 142271353910.png - (34.17KB , 600x700 , open_wide.png )
622976

>Oh, and you should examine those maws you have all over your body in closer detail. You have some on your chest, how wide can those open up?
Uh let's see. Alice rises to open them up. Her flesh splits, the seam widening as the ones just above her breasts open up. The slit replacing her navel opens at the same time, feeding tendrils creeping out instead of her guts spilling everywhere. Ugh, it looks like she's trying to vivisect herself.

The splits keep lengthening, joining together in a Y. Something itches in her sternum and then unlatches. Her rib cage feels loose. Her top is in the way, stopping her ribs swinging out and holding her chest closed.

Alice is going to have to say somewhere between 'All of the way' and 'Inside-out' with respect to how wide they can open. She hugs herself closed until her flesh stitches itself back together.

>We got a lab full of equipment here. And Clever Hands just gave you OPTIONS.
>Lets look through the stuff here and see what we can make.
Ah, well, right now Alice doesn't want to move around too much in case she's seen from the outside. But given enough time Alice could take everything in this room apart.

>But the description implies you can manipulate non-organic materials now, and I wonder on what scale. Can you eat metal or synthetics and process them like a 3-d printer? How complex can your manipulations get?
Sub-millimetre scale definitely. But its only bulk adjustments. She's also getting a feeling she should swallow something she wants to reshape substantially. It'll be faster.

>Adjustable Grip: Ability to fully use tools and weapons, both Human and Xotl ones, regardless of our size. If nothing else, should improve our aim a bit.
She can do away with the tiny trigger guard these xotl guns have. Marvelous!

>Can anything in the room be taken apart? Does any equipment have some thick metal plate that could serve as makeshift armor?
The table or the drone's casing are her best bets - the drone casing will be much lighter and need less rework too. Probably not as good as xotl armour, but a lot better than running around naked. She could try to haul around a section of a reinforced door as a shield, but that'd be extremely heavy, slow to cut and very obvious.

Unless she wants to try something with electronics, it looks like Alice's best bets are adapting her guns and trying to cobble together armour for herself and Blake.
>>
No. 622977 ID: 2f2fc2

>>622975
"sleeping with anything ever again."
You know for enough money I bet someone could fix that....
>>
No. 622978 ID: 89941a

I.. uh... huh.. that's quite odd..

So on top of being a plant-tentacle-freak, you can also do tech stuff inside your body?
>>
No. 622979 ID: fef726

Lets get some armor together. Guns afterwords.
>>
No. 622980 ID: f290a2

>>622976
see if you can make grenades and/or flashbangs (would those work on xotl?)
how's the speaking situation? any easier? can you modify your mouth(s) to speak?
your harpoon, is the wire that it's attached to responsive now? directing it midflight, digesting people that are hit, that sort of thing.
i want to see what that ribcage thing is. what, it's for eating something whole? is it and inside-out transformation into something strong? we should find out, ask blake to turn around for a moment and check. it's quit possibly for eating something during a fight which might be handy, so see what it is and if possible make the armor so that it'll enable you to use whatever it is.

>Alice is just going to have to come to terms with the high probability she's never sleeping with anything ever again.
i wouldn't get carried away, never is a long time and you're in better control of yourself now than you were an hour ago. you'll learn to handle this better with time. don't rush into premature conclusions.
>>
No. 622982 ID: d72ee5

Okay, this is just a theory, but I think you may have a mouth inside your stomach... Have fun with that!
>>
No. 622983 ID: 696535

>>622976
Check to see how horrified Blake is at your body experimenting.
>>
No. 622984 ID: 60700b

>>622983
Lets hope he doesn't have permanent nightmares from that.
>>
No. 622986 ID: 326ee1

>>622976
Next experiment: fine-tune your vocal cords.

who knows you might be able to attain your original voice and get spooky semi-useful mimicry.

also make sure Blake didn't peek and go catatonic.
>>
No. 622988 ID: 9ddf68

uh, when you were experimenting with your body was Blake in view or was he out of eyeshot? Just wondering how he's taking these view if he was watching is all.

But yeah the only electron thing I can think of that COULD help would be finding a way to turn this place's power off. I'm not sure if you can see in the dark and I'm even less sure you could pull it off but if you could pull it off it would fuck with the xotl possibly slowing them down and giving you more wiggle room to move around with. Other then that though yeah, go make armor for you and black... and maybe use that cloth as padding for black so it would soften the blow against bullets for black since he's a little more fragile then you are.
>>
No. 622992 ID: 7d265e

>It's offering the same options, but it'll overwrite what she currently has.
Okay, cool. So if you really needed to respecialize, you could. Robust system.

Um. Do we want to leave that here? If the xtol do make some of their own plant monsters, do we want to leave them the capability to upgrade them? We might want to take it with us. (Or hide it. Or destroy it, if we can't do anything else). ...at the very least, we might want to turn it off.

>The crate is empty except for some fabric. A dust cover probably. Maybe she should try to make some clothes out of it.
Anything with pockets would be a big help at this point. Or a backpack or satchel to carry supplies. (Need to stick the data orb somewhere if we steal it).

Blake probably needs clothes more than you, since you're the shapeshifter who gets shot somewhat regularly, now. Also, if you cut up crates or the table, you might be able to jury rig a vest, at least. Decrease the odds he takes a fatal shot.

>An eye on each limb.
Useful for peeking around corners maybe, though. Snake a little tendril or finger over, close your eyes, open one on the end.

>She's also getting a feeling she should swallow something she wants to reshape substantially
So... your insides would function as an organic factory? I suppose you have a lot more tendrils to shape stuff with, in there.

>Unless she wants to try something with electronics
You know what would be useful? Some kind of radio to listen in on xtol coms. Or a small scale jammer to turn on in fights- prevent them from calling in the engagement or getting backup. Don't know if there's circuity in here we could cannibalize or jury rig to those ends, but it would be nice if we could.

>Alice is just going to have to come to terms with the high probability she's never sleeping with anything ever again.
Unless you find a data-orb that lets you turn this stuff off. ...or they experimented on more than just you.

Although even if you could make it safe for your partner, sleeping with anyone is off the table until we're sure monster-babies won't result.
>>
No. 622993 ID: 2f4b71

If we can find some flame-retardant fabric that would be great to make a cloak out of. Even if it provides more psychological protection than actual flame resistance.
>>
No. 623007 ID: d958ad

>>622976
I don't suppose you can make a drill-tentacle?

Make some clothes for Blake. Also, see if you can put together some basic body armor for him using the materials present.
>>
No. 623009 ID: fef726

Just remember don't take too long to do all this. We gotta catch up to our crewmate.
>>
No. 623012 ID: 350a50

Make a simple toga and riot shield for Blake out of the cloth and drone plating, respectively. That should be simple enough for you to do quickly without letting the doctor be taken too far.
>>
No. 623013 ID: 01745f

We should remove the trigger guards first since that will be faster (just a small piece cut off each), then see what we can quickly cobble together with armor.

> She just forces her tendrils against it and they slowly worm their way though, like they're sinking through molasses.
Could we cut faster if we focus those tentacles into a smaller area (like a 'blade' or 'spearhead')?

>It's offering the same options, but it'll overwrite what she currently has.
We should carry it around if we can. It'll probably cost some time and mass to respec, but being able to change our abilities fairly quickly could be worth it (especially if we run into another upgrader with something super useful that has superstructure as a prerequisite).
>>
No. 623054 ID: 3c17ca

>>622280
>>622975
>>622976
Welp. we are what we are. These clothes are getting a bit small and in the way. Probably don't even have the right bits to hide anymore so no point in getting too modest. Gonna have to doubt Blake is into monster tentacle women.


Our clothes are small, our weapons are inadequate, the idol is essential, our biomass is small. Oh and we need to rescue the crew, but not go off half cocked.

-Take the cloth inside the crate, see if there is anything else that is cloth like, and grab some good metal for armor. Make yourself and blake some new armor/ outfits.
-Fix these fucking guns with the small ass triggers, see if we can make some sort of multibarrel/ improved weapon out of this garbage.
-Eat the idol. We need to do a long term study of this, manipulate it, learn from it. Most importantly, keep it safe. When we get off this station, the Shape shifting/ camouflage will let us blend back into society. Or we use it to reconfigure ourselves as needed on the fly.
-Find some food.
>>
No. 623059 ID: d958ad

It occurs to me that you could swap skillsets on the fly by carrying the idol with you.
>>
No. 623088 ID: 8f01e8

Grab some of the more versatile/high-value-density electronic bits and stow them in your abdominal cavity to play with later.

Maybe stick a snack canister in there, too. Less cumbersome, frees up external inventory space for a grenade, no harder to eat from in there, and the spent container might be a last-ditch hideout option if you get knocked back to single-digit mass.

>>622975
>kind of at maximum capacity already.

Any functionality, or strictly vestigial?
>>
No. 623091 ID: 321d85

>>623054
>Make new outfits
Yeah, that's a good idea; maybe make yours adjustable.

>>623088
>Store electronics components
Yeah, that's actually a pretty good idea. Harvest stuff from something handy nearby, and keep them around for modifying stuff later.
>>
No. 623093 ID: 275075

Errr... Perhaps you should keep Blake's reactions to the changes in your body in mind before you go exploring the improvements the idol has provided.
>>
No. 623094 ID: 1f2a28

Totally take that idol with you. Maybe Blake should hold it though.
>>
No. 623096 ID: 60700b

>>623094
Better yet, make a bag for it out of the cloth.

Ask Blake if he wants to have some clothes/armor made for him.

Shame we don't have any kind of standard measurement like a ruler or tape measure to get sizes.
>>
No. 623146 ID: 8f01e8

>>623096
Measurements are only useful if you're working with standardized materials. For one-off work from scrap, it's simpler to fit by holding material up to the recipient's body directly.

If you've got plates of maybe-bulletproof stuff but you don't have enough time or skill to reinvent the biomechanics of closely fitted body armor from the ground up, make lamellar: strips of rigid material laced onto a jacket so they overlap. Historically, the basic concept has even been adapted to use ingredients like horse hooves and truck tires as the plates.

Main priorities for armor (on a humanoid, at least) are 1) center of mass/chest vitals, 2) brain, 3) joints in major limbs. Limiting factor for armoring the head is obstructing hearing and vision, limiting factor for armoring the shoulders, neck, knees, elbows, and hips is restricting range of motion.
>>
No. 624169 ID: 3c17ca

>>622976
This is a bit horrible, but I suspect we can engulf Blake in our body to act as bio armor. If the need arises. Like going out in the vacuum.
>>
No. 624189 ID: 89941a

>>624169
And I suspect her body would eat him, whether she wants to or not.
>>
No. 624219 ID: 321d85

>>624169
>>624189
Both good points. Perhaps we could test it on a xotl at some point? I guess?
>>
No. 624343 ID: 3c17ca

>>624219
Trying to not eat, but hold a likely highly unwilling xotol within our horrible cavity maw. Yes. this sounds wonderful, surely we will not traumatize the creature before we render the flesh from its bones. and then its bones from its marrow...then the sweet marrow. yes. We really must look into getting more biomass...
>>
No. 624357 ID: 890dfb

Make Lamellar armor for Blake, and also some for you if possible
>>
No. 624534 ID: aef4c1

Consider carving a hole in a wall leading to an adjoining room or two - coming from an unexpected direction would give an edge against ambushers. (Small hole at first, soundlessly, to pop an eyeball through and make sure the room is unoccupied.)
Also consider prepping a last-ditch trap/escape route through the floor, cut not QUITE all the way through, so as to avoid detection from below.

If we had biomass to spare, I would advocate cutting trigger guards, making armor and wall hole(s) with Clever Hands, THEN switching to Megastructure for an armor-on-armor bonus for your next fight. (And probably switch back to Clever Hands when the fight is over.)
Of course, Clever Hands might be necessary to get through dragonslayer armor. Unless you can forge a diamond-spiked club?
And constant switching might not be ideal for our sanity, either, come to think...

If we leave without checking out that mysterious "hello?" it's going to irk me something fierce. Maybe if we defeat the ambush or confirm a lack thereof, we could pop back in again and type a few words in reply?
>>
No. 624588 ID: 8f01e8

>>624534
Plenty of biomass to spare if we can win the fight cleanly or pillage the vending machine.

What's the smallest hole you could crawl through without injuring yourself, Alice? Carve some holes that size through the bulkheads into both adjacent rooms, parallel to the hallway.
>>
No. 624609 ID: f461c5

So your tendrils affect non-organics either by some extremely fast easily reversible chemical reaction or by chewing at it on a microscopic scale. Need to watch out for chemical resistant or just flat out non-reactive armor and materials.

So as far as chemical refinement goes, is your body going to let you produce volatiles, or is it wanting to take any caloric content from such asap? If so, you may still be able to process chemicals by building a small processor out of reshaped metal.

Anyway, gunpowder is an entirely organic mixture, so it would be nice to know if you can produce munitions for yourself. Guns of course are better at shooting things than whatever you are likely to be able to build, but having an explosive option in melee may be worth the experimentation. Of course there are more potent explosive substances you could likely process, but their chemical structure isnt as widely known. And most of what you would make is more burny than blasty, so no go there.

More widely useful, however, is the possibility of your being able to construct chemical batteries, using either your own processing abilities or simply cannibalising the contents of an existing battery and shaping the container to fit snugly either inside your body or strapped to your person, thus providing you with a convenient power supply.

As far as electronics that we might power with said supply, a radio or jammer would of course be supremely useful, though the jammer is easier to make. the possibility of winding a microfine wire of the most conductive material you can get your tendrils on into a coil, coating it with insulating plastic inside of your forearm, and from then on firing your harpoons with a steel core using your new coilgun is too good to pass up, however; this would both be more convenient (And likely powerful) than the crossbow mechanism you used earlier, and leave you capable of using your arm. It should be noted that if you can construct the coil, you can easily construct capacitors to store charge to power the coil.

Other than that, attaching some sort of chopping or stabbing devices to your firearms couldnt hurt, nor could providing yourself and your ally with some custom fitted armor, as well as experimenting with the manipulation of fabric, because POCKETS ARE GOOD.
>>
No. 624613 ID: f461c5

>>623059
>>623013
>>623054
>>623088


But yeah, totally take as many usable resources with you as possible, though the idol should perhaps be kept in Blake's care.

if you can get enough parts, probably using the smartphone thing as the core, perhaps make a small, maximally powerful computer for quick interfacing. Speaking of which, definitely check the 'hello' before you leave.
>>
No. 627456 ID: 211082

after you're done fabricating the adjustments and what not, you could try cutting a hole to the next room in the direction dragonguy is so you can maneuver behind him. you can avoid major wiring or whatever vital thing is between the walls, use the device to switch to quicksilver to get through and switch back.

that in mind maybe you can access important lines in the walls and hack them or redirect them and havok. Say you can clog up ventilation in the safe areas the little salmon colored shits are hiding. If they're fortunate enough to have an air-supply in their helms, it would be limited... or you can open up a water or sewage line in there and drown them out(unless those things on thier heads are gills, in which case sewage would be better)...
>>
No. 627460 ID: 211082

I wonder what that secret was that we missed out on last mission...
>>
No. 627795 ID: 8f01e8

Might be worth it to rip the whole reinforced door out of wall and bring it along. Probably less work than cutting a chunk out of it, if you're willing to trash the room anyway. Don't think "shield," think "portable cover."

You're walking into an obvious ambush to save doctor Mason, and given how competent most of the xotl have been so far, that means concentrated fire from the heaviest weapons they've got. The door should completely block most small-arms fire, especially the literal incendiary sort of fire which is such a concern, and might even take the sting out of that dragonslayer's marvelous gun; field-expedient lammellar, while far better than nothing, can't confidently do any of that.

If you're strong enough to lift it (or become strong enough, during the fight) the door is also a weapon. Clumsy, admittedly, but unstoppable. High-tech armor is optimized for beams, blades, and bullets, not multi-megapascal hammerblows. Narrow corridors should make it easy enough to put your target in a position where they can't get out of the way, and then... skudge.
>>
No. 627885 ID: 11d040

>>622979
Not sure how long they're willing to wait before they storm in. Relocate first, reseal exit and prep. It's nice that these fishies come in cans, at least we'll have an influx of material to make armor out of.

>>622980
Flash-bangs seem too complex for her first try and under pressure at that. Frags seem doable: segmented hard outer-shell filled with combustible material and accelerant, assuming we can salvage some from the arms we have. Also, the insides of a creature tend to be more vulnerable than their outsides. I'd reserve eating someone whole for the dead or unconscious.

>>622988
>>627456
Mess with the power wiring... or use it as a weapon. If she can find we can find a source of water, she could adapt to make some sort of high pressure water sac--spray them then drop some exposed high voltage wires.

>>622993
Good idea if we could find the material. Perhaps not in this room, but I'm sure there's suit somewhere in case of emergency fire on board a space vessel.

>>624534
>>624588
>>627456

Yes, there would be an edge on coming up behind them, but there's risk of being heard and the moment they turn around the advantage is over. I've read some people want Alice to drop on enemies from above. Maybe instead of dropping on them and presenting a target, we can carefully carve out the ceiling with an extended appendage (we risk less of our body mass if they hear something and unload into the ceiling) and let that drop on them instead.

>>627795
Stealth and mobility are Alice's assets in this encounter, and that would be a significant hindrance to both. In a face-to-face and back-to-the-wall situation it would make more sense, but I think the point is to avoid a firefight rather than walk into one.
>>
No. 628154 ID: 256d52
File 142580566858.png - (25.19KB , 800x550 , just_make_out_already.png )
628154

>"sleeping with anything ever again."
>You know for enough money I bet someone could fix that....
What, to pay for the funeral?

>Although even if you could make it safe for your partner, sleeping with anyone is off the table until we're sure monster-babies won't result.
This conversation is over.

>Knockers
>Any functionality, or strictly vestigial?
There's no way of knowing that right now.

>Okay, this is just a theory, but I think you may have a mouth inside your stomach... Have fun with that!
At this point Alice thinks she'd have a harder time finding something that's not a mouth.

>I.. uh... huh.. that's quite odd..
>So on top of being a plant-tentacle-freak, you can also do tech stuff inside your body?
Yes. Apparently that's the deal.

>This is a bit horrible, but I suspect we can engulf Blake in our body to act as bio armor. If the need arises. Like going out in the vacuum.
That sounds like the worst idea.

>Perhaps we could test it on a xotl at some point? I guess?
>Trying to not eat, but hold a likely highly unwilling xotol within our horrible cavity maw. Yes. this sounds wonderful, surely we will not traumatize the creature before we render the flesh from its bones. and then its bones from its marrow...then the sweet marrow. yes. We really must look into getting more biomass...
Alice has changed her mind. This is the worst idea. And just the thought of it is making her hungry again.

>Make sure Blake didn't peek and go catatonic.
Well, he's still under the table so, uh. Oh. He was watching. This is awkward.

"Uh, szorryeh?" Alice whispers.

"Dietrich, I'm a xenobiologist. I'm not going to lose my head over something a little strange." Blake says. "Just... give me some warning next time." He shakes his head. "Do you have any idea how anatomically impossible you are?"

Footsteps. Alice hushes Blake and they hunker down again.

The dragonslayer passes, his companions in tow. That was fast. It's only been a few minutes. He must have decided he wasn't going to flush them out. Hopefully they should be in the clear now. Alice just hopes they're not going to be tightening the guard around wherever they're holding the prisoners.

Alice moves out of her hiding place and motions to Blake. He crawls out of his spot, pulls his gun and their sack of mostly guns out form under the table and then stretches.

Time to check out some things.
>>
No. 628155 ID: 256d52
File 142580569481.png - (19.04KB , 800x500 , hacking_ur_email.png )
628155

>If we leave without checking out that mysterious "hello?" it's going to irk me something fierce.
Alice quickly checks. The screen's connected to the tank Dr Mason was in. It also runs off to the server rack and has some ports on the wall, into the dark room behind this one. While she's sorting through the tangle of wiring, Blake sticks his head in the tank.

"Sensory deprivation tank." Blake says. He rubs his chin. "My best guess for why it's here is post-installation adjustment to cybernetic implants. Maybe they were doing something with Doctor Mason's implants?"

Alice checks the screen wired up to the tank. It's saying its disconnected now. Must have detected Dr Mason being taken out. She scrolls back. There's a short message history available.

IT'S ROTTING ALREADY
>X: STABILITY OF THE HYBRIDS IS NOT YOUR CONCERN
>X: LINK WITH THE SPECIMEN AND TELL IT TO PERFORM THE MODIFICATIONS
THERE'S TOO MUCH NOISE ON THE LINK
MAYBE IF YOU GAVE ME ONE THAT DOESN'T FALL APART AFTER A FEW DAYS
I'D BE ABLE TO TRAIN IT TO GIVE USEFUL RESULTS
I NEED TO REST
THIS ISN'T EASY AT THE BEST OF TIMES
>X: IF YOU WOULD STOP DELAYING AND DELIVER USEFUL RESULTS
>X: THEN PERHAPS I WOULD LET YOU OUT MORE OFTEN
IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE
YOU'RE TRYING TO SHOEHORN INSTRUCTIONS FOR FINE SCALE STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS
THROUGH A NEURAL INTERFACE TO AN EMULATION OF AN ANIMAL BRAIN
RUNNING ON A MOLECULAR ROBOTIC SYSTEM/COLONY ORGANISM
THAT YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT DOES
NO WONDER YOUR A.I.S ARE GOING PSYCHOTIC
HELLO?
ARE YOU STILL THERE?
>X: YOU ARE BEING PUNISHED
WHAT?
NO
DON'T LEAVE ME IN HERE AGAIN
ARE YOU THERE?
PLEASE
I'LL TRY AGAIN
>X: GOOD
>X: I HAVE DEVISED A NEW SPECIFICATION
+ FILE a112 SENT +
>X: YOU HAVE AN HOUR TO FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH IT
>X: AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS
HELLO?
+ DISCONNECTED +

How dare they. How dare they.

Dragging Mason into their experiments and then leaving her alone in the dark for Messenger only knows how long. No time stamps. Was it only going to be a matter of time until they finished experimenting on the rest of the crew?

And what was that about hybrids? And rotting. Is Alice going to start falling apart because of what the xotl have done to her?! Blake seemed to know something he wasn't telling, maybe she needs to press him on this.

Alice, Alice needs to do something to take her mind off this.
>>
No. 628156 ID: 256d52
File 142580574662.png - (32.42KB , 800x600 , armour_fitting.png )
628156

"Dietrich, you alright?" Blake says.

Alice waves her hands in agitation as she tries to think about what explanation she's least likely to mangle, settles for pointing at the screen, then moves over to the drone they xotl used to lift Mason out of the tank and starts dismantling it.

Disabling the worker drone and dismembering it's casing settles her down a little. Its about as tough to cut as the table but lighter. Still won't be as tough as the actual xotl armour but it seems sturdy enough to give some decent protection. The main trouble is going to be shaping it.

There's some reddish material that acts as a flexible cover for some of the drone's working. Consistency's a bit like a diver's suit - some sort of padded layer in the middle. Good, it'll give her a little more options for padding even if it's not too protective. Alice grabs the dust cover and some of the plastic from the crate she opened. The plastic's very easy for her tendrils to reshape, she can make buckles with it.

>Ask Blake if he wants to have some clothes/armour made for him.
Alice hands Blake the datapad.

Making some protective gear for you.
Hold still.


She quickly holds up some of the various bits she's gathered to try and determine what will and won't fit. Main priority is cooking up a protective vest. Her feeding tendrils make very effective measuring tapes but she's reluctant to get them to close to Blake.

Arm armour looks like it'll probably going to be too restrictive and heavy for him, since this isn't a military drone she's using the parts from and there'd be a lot of rework getting the casing to fit.

In a surprisingly short time, she's gotten something resembling clothes and armour onto Blake. It feels like some real progress. Its satisfying.

"You think we're going to run into more resistance from here?"

"Yeszzz." Alice says. It's practically inevitable.

"Going to make anything for yourself?" He's been surprisingly calm. Alice expected more questions about her new abilities. There's a lot going on she supposes.
>>
No. 628157 ID: 256d52
File 142580578357.png - (60.43KB , 600x800 , bloom_paperdoll.png )
628157

Alice does needs to consider clothes and armour for herself.

She essentially has a miraculously good cutter and welder. Reshaping bulk solids is doable but slow. As far as raw materials for armour and clothes goes, she has lot of the drone casing, dust covers and that drone fabric left. She can cut up the table or something else if she needs to as well.

Playing around with chemistry or anything like that is beyond her.

>These clothes are getting a bit small and in the way. Probably don't even have the right bits to hide anymore so no point in getting too modest.
Alice isn't going to start running around naked.

So, how to dress?
>>
No. 628158 ID: 256d52
File 142580600996.gif - (23.26KB , 600x800 , bloom_paperdoll.gif )
628158

Annnd since I couldn't work out an alternative, here's a dodgy gif with layers if that makes things easier for people.
>>
No. 628159 ID: d3be40

Make a bulletproof shield and reinforce one side with flesh. Add some eyes to the opposite side.
>>
No. 628160 ID: d958ad
File 142580754121.png - (50.71KB , 600x800 , aliceshirt.png )
628160

>>628157
Well, we've seen you can stretch your limbs out. Anything resembling tight sleeves or pants will get in the way. Your torso could be given a little bit of covering, assuming you don't want to use your chest-mouths for anything. Also you can't even wear pants because of those butt-tentacles.

So... something like this? T-shirt, armor plate on the front just in case there's something vulnerable in your chest. There doesn't seem to be anything vulnerable in your head... I wonder if you HAVE any organs anymore. Might be worth it just to keep up appearances.
>>
No. 628162 ID: d958ad

>>628159
Yeah, actually... lugging around some sort of shield would be better than wearing armor, considering Alice's weird body and the fact that she needs to worry about other people more than herself.
>>
No. 628163 ID: 256d52

Someone pointed out the obvious to me so hooray, layered things for all.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/29oh8ws7nsxlr60/bloom_paperdoll.psd?dl=0
>>
No. 628165 ID: 321d85

Hey, heads up, people: Dr. Mason mentioned an emulation of an animal brain. It's possible that this is effectively a copy of Alice, and we're going to run into Alice 1.0 at some point. That might get awkward.
>>
No. 628169 ID: 2a1897
File 142581310380.png - (84.83KB , 700x800 , aliceoutfit.png )
628169

Cloth wrap-ey stuff can be adjusted to fit whatever size Alice happens to be at the moment, and it allows for a full range of motion (including stomach mouths and whatever).

Beyond that, a shield allows for good protection against bullets while not significantly limiting mobility, and shin-guards protect what the shield can't.
>>
No. 628183 ID: 89941a
File 142582644774.png - (53.89KB , 600x800 , 142580578357.png )
628183

All I can think of right now are some longer, and looser pants, and perhaps some metallic bracers on an adjustable cloth backing for melee combat. The aforementioned shield could be useful if you can carry it and have the materials. Any sort of head protection would be rendered inefficient by your flower eye I think.

In either case, would armour even prove efficient against their weaponry?
>>
No. 628189 ID: bd8b82

>>628183
bracers would hinder our ability to split our arm into a crossbow.
>>
No. 628201 ID: 70e037

A glove type thing on one arm might help if we come up against more fire or heat. A maul might be nice too, a big hunk of metal to swing around.
>>
No. 628217 ID: 5db52c

>Do you have any idea how anatomically impossible you are?
Trying not to think about that. You have enough strains on your sanity as is.

>Dragging Mason into their experiments
Okay. Good points about this:

Mason is apparently useful to them as more than another subject. That's good. That means, even though she's still in their captivity, they're not likely to kill her, or subject her to potentially deadly and definitely life altering plant monster experiments.

(They could use her to run more plant monster experiments on other members of the crew, but that's unlikely with everything in lockdown and panic mode. They'd have to be desperate or insane to try that before regaining control of the base).

Also, if they've been forcing her to help, that means she knows stuff about what's been done to you. She can help, or at least answer some important questions, when you rescue her.

>Is Alice going to start falling apart because of what the xotl have done to her?!
If your transformation isn't stable, and it's going to end up killing you, does it help you in any way to know in advance? You still have to save your crew and get them out of here, whether or not you survive.

An exact timetable might help (so you could plan how cautious to be versus how much time you had remaining), but you're not likely to get one.

>Blake seemed to know something he wasn't telling, maybe she needs to press him on this.
I suspect it wouldn't really help you with your immediate problems if you knew, and you already have a lot to worry about.

Let's consider what he might have figured out. They used precursor tech? Yeah, you got that. That this might be fatal? You got that too.

What's the worst possible thing he could say? Uh, you're not Alice. You're a plant monster they fed Alice too and now you think you're, um, you? Right, that's a disturbing thought, but does it really make a difference if they used science to turn your meat-body into a plant, or if they uploaded your mind to the plant-body? Same end result.

See, there, you've guessed all the horrible things he might say. No need to ask him about that. Trust him to tell you if he needs to, and focus on the more immediate problems of staying alive and mounting rescues.

>clothing for self
Remember that you want your torso to be accessible, even if it's covered, so you can put stuff inside your stomach-mouth to bio-factory it, if you need to. Maybe some kind of removable plate over your middle (assuming organs are more important and take more energy to repair than limbs?), or something under your hair to prevent them from blowing your head off again? (No exit wound means less lost mass).

Limbs, hands, feet should be reasonably free considering how malleable they are in shape.

>Cloth wrap-ey stuff can be adjusted to fit whatever size Alice happens to be at the moment
Adjustable seems a reasonable idea, in case we gain or lose mass.

Could we make a fire-blanket, or something similar? Being able to put a non-combustible barrier between flames and yourself, or being able to smother flames, seems like it would we really helpful.
>>
No. 628231 ID: 3c17ca
File 142584459021.png - (65.85KB , 1055x800 , 142580578357.png )
628231

>>628157
mobility, armor, and a mantle that can be lit on fire and disposed of first when dealing with situations that involve fire.

tl/dr: Fire proteciton.

Suit splits open down the middle and on the arms to allow for horrible plant monster action.

stretchy for growth.
>>
No. 628233 ID: b3ff00

>>628169
that looks good. might want to look into some head protection too.

if possible get some sticky tape or something on your breasts. you may need to sever your top for some weird shapeshifting purpose we can't foresee and that'll protect your modesty in that eventuality.

do you still have bones? spine, pelvis, skull? if there's something solid left in you cover that area in the thickest armor since that area won't need to change shape much.
>>
No. 628245 ID: d3be40

Hm... You need fire protection, but also mobility so that your tendrils can shift and stuff...

I'd suggest some kind of liquid armor, but that's for later. Right now, focus on interleaving your flesh into the armor so that you can survive if your center mass.

Use your tendrils to reinforce armor that is extremely elemental-resistant but relatively fragile. You may be required to destroy your own armor to survive. It doesn't take a scientist to try out elemental attacks against a shapeshifting flora-based enemy.
>>
No. 628251 ID: 8f01e8

Anywhere cloth crosses a seam on your body, such as the forearm harpoon or torso workshop, cut the cloth and add strips of velcro to hold it shut again. Preserves your modesty for now, and the material if you need to hulk out.

I think modesty is actually immensely important. Animals go to pieces because their lack of self-image means they thoughtlessly overwrite core systems, while a technically-inclined sapient being can be flexible while maintaining integrity.

Put a plate of hard material over your face in such a way that it covers your unused eye socket, the bridge of your nose, and as much of your forehead as possible without limiting your flower's field of view. Some elites get trained to go for headshots, and while that won't work on you as well as they want it to, no sense making it easier for enemy bullets.

Across the front of your faceplate, in big block letters of contrasting material, write "HELLO MY NAME IS" and below that, in some more artistict style, "Alice Dietrich" Apart from the psychological value of asserting your identity, and simplifying communication problems if you run into more survivors and Blake isn't there to help, it's dazzle camo: some xotl who sees half a nametag peeking around a corner might have a harder time identifying exact size and shape, and that confusion buys you crucial seconds of not being shot at accurately.
>>
No. 628267 ID: 2f4b71

A simple cloak made of a fire-retardant material keeps itself out of the way, and at least provides some psychological protection.
>>
No. 628302 ID: 3c17ca
File 142586319231.png - (70.74KB , 692x964 , 142584459021.png )
628302

>>628251
by our powers combined, all ideas in one.
>>
No. 628616 ID: faa750

>>628302
That looks pretty damn badass. Also protective and flexible. Bonus points if it's also comfortable.
>>
No. 628726 ID: 91ee5f

As a woman, I'm pretty sure Alice is happy with the fact that when she grows, she is growing upwards and not sideways! XD

Also, she seems to be some sort of plant. A carnivorous plant, but still a plant. So, what would happen to her if she got some fresh water and sunlight? Would she grow faster or something?
>>
No. 628737 ID: be5ae1

our asset is fleshy plantmonster and you want to cover her up head to toe so she cant shift
okay.png
>>
No. 628741 ID: 91ee5f

Also, we should take that idol thing in case we need to switch abilities.
>>
No. 628755 ID: 3c17ca

>>628737
read up. the proposed outfit is designed to split open as needed and can be re attached later. see the divides along the legs, arms and torso. It also has a an overcoat that can take getting lit on fire first instead of Alice, so she can remove it.
>>
No. 628821 ID: 34bbab
File 142618978541.png - (106.41KB , 600x800 , Trupr.png )
628821

Clothes would be good for her psychology (and hopefully for that abysmal sanity rating)

Something that reminds her who she is and what she's here do to (besides chew bubblegum.)

Helmet protects her veri important sensory organs, with an extra little blast shield that can slide down to protect against forces that could shatter her visors, which is accessible from the inside of the helmet by her headrils (tendrilocks?). Holes in the ear guards for her to retract her auditory stalks. Chest plate held in place by elastic bands that will stretch out and aside should she decide to open up to somebody.

Incorporates shield and name from other suggestions, as well as some stitching along some key areas that respond to her clever hands thing to open and close when needed. Decided against bracers and grieves because they would interfere with the harpoon or any other appendage mods she'd like to use.
>>
No. 628851 ID: 3c17ca

>>628821
we need to make a Large duffel like sack to carry our illgotten goods. For as much prepwork is going into this iteration of armor, the moment we kill another group of xotols we can take their armor and weapons and really get to work with some quality materials.

...I wonder if it would be as psychologically damaging if alice just Cubed the xotols up into items the size of candy bars with her hands, then she could snack on "Meat sticks! the meat for the monster on the go!"
>>
No. 629045 ID: fb3812

Where's the obligatory pokemon shirt? Did that die out?
>>
No. 629133 ID: bdb2dd

>>628851
As a monster, I sure loves me some meatsticks!
>>
No. 629179 ID: ba8629
File 142639618938.png - (160.12KB , 590x787 , steve_shirt_returns.png )
629179

>>
No. 629229 ID: 310f64

>>629179
THANK YOU
>>
No. 629262 ID: 31f075

>>629179
i was worried for a second there
>>
No. 629346 ID: 3d1c54

Remember to root through the trolley when you've beaten them all up. I'd hate to see another secret slip through those fingers
>>
No. 629442 ID: f75cf9

>>628155
There are a few different ways to interpret that, actually. Yes, it's possible that the "specimens" were other members of your crew that underwent the same process as you (in which case you should be worried about stability... but not like you can do anything about it). In which case, Mason was intended to work like the idol?
However, other possibilities include:
*the specimens were Xotl that were transformed like you. In which case I wouldn't be too worried about stability; they probably rotted because their bodies are less suited to plant-monster purposes(hence why Blake seemed more delicious than the Xotl before)
*the specimens were AIs running on virtual bodies, probably to find out what the idol does
*the specimens were AIs running on actual plantmonster bodies
Or it could be entirely unrelated! (But probably not.)
Anyway, though, don't worry too much about "rotting", it may not even happen to you and we have no indication of how to prevent it anyway. Heck it may have already happened as much as it will and that's why half your face is messed up?
>>
No. 629451 ID: 3d1c54
File 142654849833.png - (162.73KB , 600x800 , suprtrupr.png )
629451

forgot to show the product features to our discerning customers! The slide down blast protecting faceplate has several extension configurations! Can cover:

- upper visor only (not shown)
- both upper and lower visor
- full head protection
- upper visor and half-mask
- lower visor only
- lower visor and half mask only

Have a busy schedule? Big order to go? now you can save the time chewing and swallowing would cost you by placing foodstuffs directly in the digestive area thanks to the new, patent pending protective vest door hinge(TM)!
>>
No. 629489 ID: d3be40

>>629451
Nice. Hm... why not replace the retracting top plate with a tablet or something, so that your flower-eye can use a battle scanner or something?
>>
No. 630453 ID: 256d52
File 142711541363.png - (27.49KB , 600x640 , cherno_alice.png )
630453

There's a tense silence as Alice gets to work. Neither of them want to talk about the implications of that log.

>Let's consider what Blake might have figured out. They used precursor tech? Yeah, you got that. That this might be fatal? You got that too.
>What's the worst possible thing he could say? Uh, you're not Alice. You're a plant monster they fed Alice to and now you think you're, um, you? Right, that's a disturbing thought, but does it really make a difference if they used science to turn your meat-body into a plant, or if they uploaded your mind to the plant-body? Same end result.
>See, there, you've guessed all the horrible things he might say. No need to ask him about that. Trust him to tell you if he needs to, and focus on the more immediate problems of staying alive and mounting rescues.
Well, he could say that loading that idol has overwritten part of her brain? Or her mind's going to rot before her body and she'll turn on her crew? Or that he's been collaborating with the xotl as well? Or that there's an original Alice out there damaged by the copy process? Or she's releasing spores and he's a dead man walking? Or maybe he smells so much better than the xotl because there's something in humans that she needs to eat to keep her body stable? Or any of the dozens of other horrible things that it might be?!

That's enough. Back to problems she can solve.

>Anything with pockets would be a big help at this point. Or a backpack or satchel to carry supplies.
Easy. Alice converts the labcoat-sack into a proper bag and makes a second one for herself.

>Well, we've seen you can stretch your limbs out. Anything resembling tight sleeves or pants will get in the way. Your torso could be given a little bit of covering, assuming you don't want to use your chest-mouths for anything. Also you can't even wear pants because of those butt-tentacles.
Uh, Alice has been wearing pants for some time now? But anything too tight is definitely a bad idea. Messenger knows how much Alice needs to get out of these old pants. Baggy. Baggy is good.

>So... something like this? T-shirt, armor plate on the front just in case there's something vulnerable in your chest. There doesn't seem to be anything vulnerable in your head... I wonder if you HAVE any organs anymore. Might be worth it just to keep up appearances.
Alice isn't really sure how a horrifying torso maw could come in handy for anything but just to leave her options open she makes a vest and attaches some armour pieces to it. Thankfully it's very easy for her to make fasteners to hold it shut.

>>Do you have any idea how anatomically impossible you are?
>Try not to think about that. You have enough strains on your sanity as is.
Alice thinks she could use this drone head casing as a helmet.
>>
No. 630454 ID: 256d52
File 142711549963.png - (34.90KB , 800x600 , question_time.png )
630454

>...I wonder if it would be as psychologically damaging if Alice just Cubed the xotols up into items the size of candy bars with her hands, then she could snack on "Meat sticks! the meat for the monster on the go!"
That sounds awful. And would involved carrying around about twice as much stuff than if she just ate something on the spot.

>As a woman, I'm pretty sure Alice is happy with the fact that when she grows, she is growing upwards and not sideways! XD
Alice guesses so, but she's half a meter taller than she used to be and this place was designed by midgets.

>A simple cloak made of a fire-retardant material keeps itself out of the way, and at least provides some psychological protection.
Alice uses the dust cover to make a poncho. Clasps hold the back together so she should be able to tear it off easily if she gets splashed with something flammable. She doubts it's flame retardant.

>Beyond that, a shield allows for good protection against bullets while not significantly limiting mobility, and shin-guards protect what the shield can't.
Alice settles on using large pieces of the drone's case to make a shield. She has to cut it into segments to flatten it out but it's tougher and lighter than the table.

>A maul might be nice too, a big hunk of metal to swing around.
So far the only thing to survive five seconds of close proximity to Alice has been Blake.

Well, that's her ensemble assembled then. An armoured vest, baggy pants, a poncho, a silly hat, a shield and guards for her lower legs. Alice hands Blake the data pad to get his opinion.

Does this make me look fat?

"Oh God. Please no. Why?!"

Alice feels a little better.

>Also, we should take that idol thing in case we need to switch abilities.
In it goes with the gun collection. Though if the xotl can afford to leave it sitting around in a random lab like this, it can't be the only copy.

>Remember to root through the trolley when you've beaten them all up. I'd hate to see another secret slip through those fingers
Have to find them again first.

But in the here and now, Alice guesses she might have a proper peek into that dark room behind this one. She crouches at one of the windows, trying to make out what's in there before she tries the door.
>>
No. 630455 ID: 256d52
File 142711556775.png - (22.97KB , 800x550 , the_thing_in_the_window.png )
630455

What the hell is that?

Is it a xotl? It looks a bit like a xotl. A mutant xotl. That's dying. A mutant, malformed dying xotl. Why does it have a thing jammed into its eye?!

>Mason is apparently useful to them as more than another subject. That's good. That means, even though she's still in their captivity, they're not likely to kill her, or subject her to potentially deadly and definitely life altering plant monster experiments.
Alice thinks she's found another subject here. The specimen from the log? It's just lying there in a puddle of its own goo, occasionally twitching. Rotting, ugh. She points it out to Blake.

xotl?

Blake shakes his head. "Can't be. Look at it. It's too big. There's no thumbs. The eye's too small compared to the skull. There's no ear frills. Just about everything is off. They must have done animal testing."

>Also, if they've been forcing her to help, that means she knows stuff about what's been done to you. She can help, or at least answer some important questions, when you rescue her.
The log said Mason was linking with a specimen somehow. Loading instructions? More command sets like the idol? Mason had a neural link because of her cybernetics, but what about the other end? Maybe that's what the eye spike is for.

>I think modesty is actually immensely important. Animals go to pieces because their lack of self-image means they thoughtlessly overwrite core systems, while a technically-inclined sapient being can be flexible while maintaining integrity.
Alice is definitely in better shape than that... thing.

Ugh, she doesn't want to think she might end up like that. Just lying there in a deliquescent mess watching herself fall apart. They've got to rescue Mason but... maybe she should go in for a closer look.
>>
No. 630456 ID: 0b4647

Er, why?
>>
No. 630457 ID: 2839a0

>>630456
lunch, obviously. craft checks are hungry work.
>>
No. 630458 ID: ad7bba

>>630455
Nnnnnnnah. Worst case scenario, it infects you with faulty programming somehow, and I'm not seeing much value in poking this thing. We can't even send Blake to poke it because it's gross and tentacly and looks dead while also being a little bit of a cyborg and those are never really dead.
>>
No. 630460 ID: 89941a

Ahahaha, nope. No. Don't.
>>
No. 630461 ID: cd9270

>>630453
Okay, congrats, you thought of more horrible things. Although most of those fall solidly in "you couldn't do anything about that right now even if you knew it were true" territory.

If you're going to rot out or go crazy, you can commit suicide before you get too far. If we stay alive that long. If he was forced to colloborate at gunpoint, hopefully he realizes sharing Intel is better than being ashamed of it. If you need to eat people? Maybe you can make due with cadavers or suppliments. If you've already killed him with spores? You're never going through an airlock to human habitation again. If there's annother you? ...you'll deal with that when you find her.

>Alice isn't really sure how a horrifying torso maw could come in handy for anything
It's the easiest access if you want to place something inside you for bio-factory manipulation. And then take it out when complete.

>Ugh, she doesn't want to think she might end up like that.
Inform Blake, in no uncertain terms, if you get that bad you want them to kill you. Incendiary bomb or something. You do not want to melt slowly to death.

>what do
Don't touch it. If it's got faulty genetic instructions based on your own, they might be transmissible. Don't even make eye contact, in case in can do a remote transfer, like the idol.

Maybe Blake could try plugging something into the eye port to check it out, but I'd advise him not to touch the biohazard either.

I would consider mercy killing it. Don't get any splatter on you, though.
>>
No. 630465 ID: e6e219

I want to look at that cyber jack they have stuck in its head. It could be a recording device the little guys were using for monitoring or it could be the artifact that started the transformation.

But I know if you go in there its going to attack you or try to merge with you or even worse it will smell so tasty you wont be able to resist or something.

So maybe get the thing but make sure it is thoroughly dead first.

It sort of looks like they tried using this tech on a pig. Would make sense as its really close to humans genetically and safer than trying it on a ape. Guessing the tech only really works on stuff with complex enough brains to control the process afterwards.

Honestly just looking at it makes it look more and more like they jammed a alien spike in your head and when nothing immediately happened figured it was a wash and disposed of your body.
>>
No. 630474 ID: 296917

>>630455
Dare you to eat it.
>>
No. 630486 ID: 350a50

Leave it. Too much risk, if it's as hungry as you are.

And mercy killing it might be difficult, considering how much punishment you can take without flinching. There are better things to spend our time and bullets on.
>>
No. 630513 ID: bd8b82

self image.
the creature in the room tried to be whatever it was looking at rather then be itself. you have taken on a very close approximation of Alice's body. your subconsciousness knows what it looks like, this probably is what holds you together.
i doubt it can be dangerous to you, open the door and look at it from a distance wave a tentacle at it. see what it does. anything hostile can just have the door slammed in it's face.
>>
No. 630530 ID: 95fb3b

If the eye spike is what lets mason communicate with it, you might be able to use it for the same purpose, assuming it can transmit the other way.

It's dying already, so you probably don't need to worry about it attacking you. See if you can use your harpoon to take it out quietly from a distance, then see if you can jury-rig a prybar or something to get the eyespike without touching the creature directly.
>>
No. 630538 ID: 3c17ca

>>630530
>>630455
keep blake at a safe distance, and yourself too. attempt to communicate. If it cant communicate, and is not too much of a threat, investigate the jack, the creature, and all the potential implications. We might be able to locate the good doctor much faster with any data it has, and potentially learn something about ourselves. If not my jack, by optical link.

Finally, if it is broken, we may not have to mercy kill it. Expose it to the idol, perhaps it can be fixed.

If we need to mercy kill it, I propose eating it, might learn something that way. Our body is adaptable, we can probably reject most bad things, or even ID it as not good to eat.

TL/DR: Investigate> Communicate>Jack/ Optical> Idol> Eat
>>
No. 630595 ID: 350a50

>>630538
Don't attempt to use the idol. Alice is dangerous, but she's still Alice, this thing is just dangerous.
And don't eat it, we might get its rot.
>>
No. 630672 ID: ad7bba

I amend my previous position to being cautiously open to the prospect of harvesting they freaky eye-piece on the chance that we can use it to communicate with the doctor, maybe. Seems like a longshot though. And interface on our end will be a challenge, since there's no way sticking it in -our- face is a good idea.
>>
No. 630678 ID: f75cf9

>>630672
There's basically no way that'll work with her not in the "bed".

I suppose it might be worth seeing if she can "program" us later, but more likely that'd just mess us up.
>>
No. 631554 ID: 256d52
File 142763076778.png - (25.73KB , 800x500 , sit_down_talk_plan.png )
631554

>Guessing the tech only really works on stuff with complex enough brains to control the process afterwards.
Alice is starting to think something like that's going on. Why not just load an AI in directly otherwise? Mason can probably tell her more.

This is a xotl pig? Alice asks via note, handing the data pad over to Blake.

"Uh, their analogue of one." Blake says. He pauses and then evidently decides against giving Alice a detailed correction. "It's not very, uh, intact but that looks like the best guess."

>Inform Blake, in no uncertain terms, if you get that bad you want them to kill you. Incendiary bomb or something. You do not want to melt slowly to death.
Don't want to end up like that
If I get that bad, put me down OK?


"It's not going to come to that, Dietrich. We just need to get out of here and then we can-"

Alice shakes her head. "Szzay eht!"

Blake looks down and frowns, jaw working like he's wrestling with some unpalatable alternatives. "OK Dietrich." he says slowly. "If it comes to it, and I think that the situation's not salvageable, I'll do it."

Alice nods and takes the datapad back.

I'm going in for a closer look
That thing in its head looks important
Finish off mr piggy down too.


"I don't think it's a good idea, Dietrich." Blake says, scanning the pad. He shakes his head at her choice of names for the specimen. "That thing looks like it's on its last legs but it's still dangerous."

Alice shrugs. Everything's dangerous right now.
Stay here, it might still be mobile.

>>
No. 631555 ID: 256d52
File 142763086705.png - (24.45KB , 800x500 , old_yeller.png )
631555

>See if you can use your harpoon to take it out quietly from a distance, then see if you can jury-rig a prybar or something to get the eyespike without touching the creature directly.
Uh, why would Alice stab it with something from inside her body if she wanted to avoid touching it?

>But I know if you go in there its going to attack you or try to merge with you or even worse it will smell so tasty you wont be able to resist or something.
>So maybe get the thing but make sure it is thoroughly dead first.
Alice is going to play it safe. Try a few things but put a few bullets into the critter before she gets into arm's reach.

Since it might get in the way, Alice strips off her poncho. She carefully opens the door. Her hardware override works again here and is much easier with her tendrils. There was a screen set above the keypad, it's simply a camera for checking the room. Piggy's still lying there rotting.

The door opens into a small room. Other door opens into the pigsty. They're interlocked, can't open one without closing the other. There's lurid warnings on the inner door. Alice shuts the first door behind her, giving Blake a thumbs up through the crack. All good so far.

She inches the inner door open and steps inside, shield covering her. No reaction.

>Wave a tentacle at it.
>Attempt to communicate.
Alice waves, gargles and stares really hard at the piggy, in that order. No reaction. She's starting to feel a little stupid.

>If we need to mercy kill it, I propose eating it, might learn something that way. Our body is adaptable, we can probably reject most bad things, or even ID it as not good to eat.
It's not making her feel hungry looking at it. If she thinks about eating it there's no sense of revulsion. She's kind of neutral on it?

Well old Yeller, we've had some good times, but it's time for you to go. She lines up her shotgun on the thing's eye and pulls the trigger.
>>
No. 631556 ID: 256d52
File 142763089355.png - (40.82KB , 800x600 , turnabout_is_fair_play.png )
631556

Oh Messenger WHAT?!

That's not dead!

That's barely even dead at all!
>>
No. 631557 ID: 9ddf68

SHEILD, USE YOUR SHEILD!

then use your strength to push the damn thing against a wall and crush it. maybe put a few more bullets in it just to be safe.
>>
No. 631559 ID: 09b7fb

Engage in giant feeder-tendril maw wrestling.

Kinda like thumb wrestling, only with feeder tentacle mouth things.
>>
No. 631562 ID: 49b970

>>631556
Shield bash, back off into the door frame. Put the door between you and it.
>>
No. 631565 ID: b9cef6

God, we should've thought of this. If it's like you, even if it's a failed experiment, it's body is still like yours; a few bullets aren't going to do jack shit. We need to tear it apart.
I propose using the shield to push it into the pigsty doorway, then getting Blake to push the " Close Door" button. That should cut it in half, or something.
>>
No. 631568 ID: 5db52c

>That's not dead! That's barely even dead at all!
Of course it's not dead. Would a bullet to the head have killed you? Why did you think that would work on it!

I think our best advantage here is the idol upgrade. We have magic cutting torch tendrils, it should have normal ones. Anytime it gets a grip on you, or tries to feed? Cut it off. Snip snip.

There's a tendril coming around the shield, wrapped around your hand. Slice if off before it can start to feed or something.

Shoving it away with the shield long enough to escape out out the door might work. Or failing that, we pin it up against a wall and try to crush it to death, and cut off any bits that squish out. Eventually it'll run out of mass or we'll damage something vital.
>>
No. 631574 ID: 89941a

Whelp! Good luck!
>>
No. 631577 ID: e3d9fb

>>631556
Just get out of there. A fair fight with anything even close to as tough as you are is going to leave you injured.
You can come up with a proper plan once there's the door between you again, for now, hit it with your shield.
>>
No. 631582 ID: 350a50

>>631568
Second
>>
No. 631592 ID: 296917

>>631556
It's about to try to eat your hand. Your tendrils are very sharp now, dice it up. Eat it better than it can eat you.

Though mostly I'd say try to remove the thing in its face as a priority.
>>
No. 631595 ID: 8f01e8

Back away a half-step, separating your left arm from the shield and the "pig's" feeding tendril. Then, right foot up and kick the shield-pig assembly on it's approximate center of mass, the same way you would kick a fire escape door, to propel it away from you and possibly crush it against the far wall.

Once it's stunned, grab the eyespike, rip and tear.
>>
No. 631605 ID: 2f4b71

>That's not dead!

>That's barely even dead at all!
It still might be pretty dead. Who knows what sort of post-mortem autonomic response this Precursor nanotech has.
>>
No. 631673 ID: 8e294c

A bullet would not be any more effective against this thing than it would be against you.

A point-blank shotgun blast to the... er.. let's call that a 'face' - that would probably give it pause though, at the very least. Try to aim less towards the eyespike, and more towards the hellish, tentacle-filled maw. And keep that shield up.
>>
No. 631745 ID: 3c17ca

>>631556
ok, shit. Shield up, smash forward, pound that fucker into the ground. While we are at it, use those new and improved feeder tentacles to rapidly slice and dice anything that is touching you. Meet it tentacle for tentacle.

Just keep advancing with your tentacles and eat it. This is gonna be ugly.
>>
No. 631761 ID: e3d9fb

>>631592
>>631745
I'm going to strongly advise against eating it.
Not only has Alice already eaten WAY too much shit, but that thing doesn't exactly look like the foundation of a healthy diet.
>>
No. 631762 ID: 88960e

>>631761
I would agree. We set an artificial cap on our mass because there were consequences last time, and we don't understand what further consequences will follow.

And mass laced with a flawed, corrupted, experimental and/or wrong copy of our body's base programming is far too dangerous to consume. We could compromise ourself.
>>
No. 631764 ID: 350a50

>>631761
That's why we don't eat it, we slice it apart with our welding-torch-tentacles.
>>
No. 631860 ID: 3c17ca

>>631761
If we cant simply slice it apart, I say fortune favors the bold. Maybe it tastes like nachos.
>>
No. 631898 ID: 2f6bf7

>>631860
Nope, too dangerous.
>>
No. 631962 ID: 350a50

>>631860
Even if it wasn't dangerous to do so, we're already goddamn huge. We don't need or want any more mass.
>>
No. 631977 ID: 296917

I reiterate:
Dare you to eat it.
>>
No. 632000 ID: 3c17ca

>>631977
Challenge accepted. though we are but two fleeting thoughts blazing across the existence of this moment in Alice's mind. Our notions perhaps more of what she is vaguely aware of.

Besides I am not against eating a little calamari sushi from time to time, the fresher the better.
>>
No. 632375 ID: cdc521

>>631762
Seconded. I really don't think we should risk compromising Alice's identity with faulty software.
>>
No. 632377 ID: 60700b

>>631762
Thirded.
>>
No. 632418 ID: d3be40

>>631762
Fourth vote
>>
No. 632446 ID: 350a50

>>631762
Fifth.
>>
No. 632733 ID: 2305b0

>>631556
push the shield out! smash that thing against the far wall!
>>
No. 633277 ID: 6800c2

>>631962
We want all the delishus biomass. Well, most of it anyway. Some of it is friends, not food.
This... thing is neither, however. This is an aberration, and by our standards that's sssaying something. Shotty don't fail us now!
>>
No. 633310 ID: 3c17ca

>>633277
Concur. We have consensus amongst the urges. The little voices, we have given them the moments between the survival. It is their place. Here it is ours. Alice, survive. Shoot with the weapons, smash with the metal, it is a flat hammer. Cut with the tendrils, ribbons of knife. Eat the flesh, red, wet, and waiting. After that, the little voices can have their moments again. Survive. Survive and kill.
>>
No. 633317 ID: df6640

Can you try to take whatever it is in its head out right now? Maybe that is what allows it to last that long.
>>
No. 634241 ID: 3c17ca

>>633317
Rip out the machine! RIP RIP!
>>
No. 637251 ID: a07890
File 143048474891.png - (31.45KB , 800x520 , eat_boolet.png )
637251

>It's about to try to eat your hand. Your tendrils are very sharp now, dice it up. Eat it better than it can eat you.
Alice extrudes her tendrils. Time to make some bacon rashers. What is this going to be like? It's composition is so close to her. Is it more compatible than these xotl she has been eating? How does it taste?

She tries to cut and it resists her! This decomposing thing resists like nothing else has.

Burning, poison, bad. It metamorphoses under her touch, weird corrosive structures that gnaw back. Licking sandpaper, drinking acid. It's hard to scavenge anything from it. Her feeding tendrils recoil, wavering indecisively as they attempt new configurations.

Old Yeller bites back, tendrils from one limb snaking around and lashing at her shield arm. They slice like knives, possessing a cutting and penetrating power like her own. Alice's flesh squirms, blunting them as she clumsily attempts counter-measures in return.

>SHIELD, USE YOUR SHIELD!
Alice snarls and bashes her shield into the thing's tentacular maw. Seems to stun it. She gives it a shove and it stumbles back. Piggy's rotten, body riddled like a sponge with defects. She's stronger.

>Rip out the machine! RIP RIP!
Alice drops her shield and goes after it. The spike's embedded in the socket. She jams her hand in, twists and pulls. Something pops wetly and she yanks it free.

>A point-blank shotgun blast to the... er.. let's call that a 'face' - that would probably give it pause though, at the very least.
Following through, Alice gives it another taste of her purloined arsenal.

Once, twice, thrice.

Out of bullets.

It doesn't have a head any more and its upper body is a mess but it's still mobile. It thrashes and then takes on some semblance of coordination, shambling at her again.

>Even if it wasn't dangerous to do so, we're already goddamn huge. We don't need or want any more mass.
True. Alice can barely eat it anyway. She moves forward. She'll stomp and rip and slice and tear until its not needed any more.
>>
No. 637252 ID: a07890
File 143048480777.png - (34.96KB , 800x600 , sweet_victory.png )
637252

Piggy's definitely dead now.

Alice slumps against the wall. OK.

The wall moves a little. She hears a scrape behind her. Its Blake steadying his gun on the door frame and sweeping before he tries to enter the room. Well, he's learning at least.

"Dietrich." Blake says. He'd better not be going to ask if she's feeling OK again. "You're blocking the door."

Right. Thank you so very much. In retrospect a little concern would have acceptable. "Wegh." Wait. Alice needs a minute. Need to gather her wits.

4 mass lost. Mass total is 96.
Conversion efficiency increases by 10% to 55%.


Alice doesn't think she has rabies. She has a spike thing. What she really needs, though, is a plan of how exactly she gets from here to breaking someone out of xotl jail.
>>
No. 637259 ID: 91ee5f

Well, obviously, the only way to break someone out of a xotl jail is to keep doing what you've been doing this entire time, improvising. It may not be the best plan, but it is better than nothing.
>>
No. 637261 ID: 3c17ca

>>637252
Ok. time to collect ourselves. Go back into the laboratory, see what this machine does, see if we missed anything, and keep walking.
>>
No. 637265 ID: 88960e

Tell Blake you're adding an addendum to that promise. He only has to kill you if he can do so safely. He shouldn't get himself killed being careless like you just were.
>>
No. 637269 ID: 2a7417

Fascinating. Learning from the experiment even though it is inedible! There's our gory silver lining at least.
Examine the device, see if anything looks like it's meant to plug into a computer. Do not use your nano-tendrils to do this, though! Or your eye socket. Why would you use your eye socket?
>>
No. 637274 ID: 89941a

You should obviously stab yourself with that spike.
>>
No. 637275 ID: bd8b82

plug spike into computer.
>>
No. 637297 ID: 140972

Hand the spike to Blake while you collect yourself.
>>
No. 637299 ID: 809713

>Conversion efficiency increases by 10% to 55%.
Huh. Well, that's more than worth the awkward take-down.

Kind of double edged, though. It does mean we can regen mass faster, but at the same time we really need to watch the hunger if we want to avoid rapid increases in size and unknown side effects / development.

>What she really needs, though, is a plan of how exactly she gets from here to breaking someone out of xotl jail.
Information. The first step in any heist or any military operation, is intelligence. You need to know where the people you want to break out are, where the exits are, what obstacles are where. You need to get informed, fast.

Secondary to that would be avoiding detection and keeping from being pinned down in one place so the enemy can take effective action against you.
>>
No. 637304 ID: 9ddf68

un Alice, you got a little something hanging off the side of your mouth there.

But yeah, to my knowledge their are a few things people need to break out of a prison. 1 is time to set things up, we don't have time so we're going to have to try something else. 2 is deceit, if we can get the xotl to think we're somewhere else or get them to think we're someone else we could possibly walk out of here, like if we could find some dragoon armor or something we might be able to pull it off but don't hold your breath. 3rd is a distraction, like a riot or something that forces the xotl to focus on something other then you. If we can find out where these guys are holding our crew mates we could try to set off an explosion or something away form where we'll be trying to free them and the xotl would be forced to send men away form these areas to try and fix whatever mess we just made. As for right now though seeing what we have to work with. I think we're going to have to keep doing what we have been doing, sneaking around and find what supplies and weapons we can while looking for the crew. Because until we find an armory or something that looks important or learn where to find these things there's not much we can do other then what we've been doing.
>>
No. 638036 ID: e2a92b

>>637299
This fear of new developments is based off one deviation from the normal human form (which we aren't following very well to begin with, mind you). This isn't enough of a pattern to decide whether new changes are good or bad. We should give biomass acquisition at least one more chance before deciding whether the changes are detrimental to our continued rational sapience.
>>
No. 638037 ID: 47dc75

>>638036
"I stuck my fingers in an electrical socket and it was an unpleasant experience. But without further experimentation, it is impossible to tell if this is representative of all electical outlet/finger combinations, or if this was a special case."

Some things are not worth the risk of the scientific method.
>>
No. 638038 ID: 809713

>>638036
The fear comes from a complete lack of information. We fundamentally do not understand what we are, or what we might become, and it is dangerous to progress further without information, or test through trial and error. We have a sample size of one. This demands caution.

Furthermore, testing "just one more" in no way resolves this problem. Even if we find the next change to beneficial, this does not in any way inform us that we will find future changes beneficial.
>>
No. 638048 ID: e2a92b

>>638037
This argument implies the change has injured us. The experience, while unfamiliar (as is everything right now) had negligible positive or negative effect on us.
>>638038
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It's not just about whether the changes are beneficial, we need to see what direction the changes are taking.
Hopefully the good doctor (Perhaps even this lab) has information that can settle the matter, but until we have access to this, I'm in favor of exploring the potential abilities we could gain. We cannot sit around waiting for someone to assure us it's safe when it is something so essential to our survival.
>>
No. 638058 ID: 809713

>we need to see what direction the changes are taking
Frankly, I largely don't expect that to be possible. There's no requirement for the progression to be linear, or for one change to logically follow from the next.

If, for instance, we have to follow a series of evolutionary steps to get where we're going. Or if we have a set life cycle with different developmental stages / forms / roles along the way- we could suddenly encounter drastic paradigm shifts.

In a situation where future behavior is not predicted by past trends, no amount of experimentation fixes that.

>We cannot sit around waiting for someone to assure us it's safe when it is something so essential to our survival.
That risk / reward analysis ignores that future transformations pose a risk to our survival. Our potential threats are not solely external.

The two most obvious ways this could happen would be extensions of the changes we've already experienced- if we grow to a size that impedes our ability to function in the facility (or in fights), or if our mental facilities are impacted further in a way that affects our ability to run an effective guerrilla campaign / stay alive.
>>
No. 638178 ID: 8f01e8

The good news, here, is you can be pretty sure you now know something about your abilities that the xotl don't. They know what that pig could do, and they know you're a more successful version of the same thing, but they probably don't have a full understanding of what's encoded in that blue egg idol, and thus they don't know you've got a machine shop up your sleeve now. So, make maximum tactical use of that.

This base is a labyrinth. You need to become the minotaur. Every wall you see, you should think, "What's on the other side? Where could it be advantageous for me to punch a hole?" Even for an armored bulkhead, probably doesn't take too long to cut out an inch-wide circle. If there's a xotl immediately on the other side of the wall, thinking he's got hard cover, you stick feeding tendrils through, like a prehensile garrotte. Hostiles further away, it becomes a gunport instead.

They're smart. They've got multiple layers of ambushes set up. Disrupt those plans: force them to choose between being picked off one by one from unexpected angles, or breaking formation to hunt for you through disadvantageous terrain. Netting to deflect grenades, tripwires to slow them down and inflict minefield stress, all the petty little pranks and inconveniences you can dream up and slap together. Every second they spend trying to be smarter than the burglars in a Home Alone movie is a second they're not shooting at your friends, AND a second in which you and Blake can be taking aim at a relatively stationary target.
>>
No. 638288 ID: 2a7417

This battle will be fought with information. Information you scavenge from the labs, concealing knowledge of your location... Conflating the troopers' fear of you with ambushes from the shadows... For now, your plan is to find out where your crew is being held and how to get there, and to start by searching for any data we can find.
>>
No. 643694 ID: 91ee5f

>>637252
"You're blocking the door."

Wait a minute. IS HE CALLING YOU FAT?!?! D-:< Doesn't he know that you should never call a woman fat?!?! Especially a woman who was turned into some sort of plant monster with an increasingly questionable mental stability that could turn around and kill you for saying something like that!
>>
No. 649777 ID: 26d95a
File 143487236898.png - (40.79KB , 800x500 , the_plan.png )
649777

>un Alice, you got a little something hanging off the side of your mouth there.
Uh, she, uh, she was just drooling a little.

>Wait a minute. IS HE CALLING YOU FAT?!?! D-:< Doesn't he know that you should never call a woman fat?!?! Especially a woman who was turned into some sort of plant monster with an increasingly questionable mental stability that could turn around and kill you for saying something like that!
Well she did kind of start it by asking about how her new outfit made her look. Thank you for assuming Alice would fly off the handle and murder her only ally over it.

Alice stops leaning on the door and gives Blake an update.

Cut up my arm a bit
Other than that I'm fine
Got the thing.


Blake doesn't step inside just yet. He eyes the carnage. "You're definitely sure it's dead this time?"

Alice makes an obscene gesture.

There's some good sized chunks scattered around the but they're just twitching a little, visibly decaying. There must be some sort of minimum threshold where they just give up the ghost. Decay might be a self destruct come to think of it. Same thing happened with her severed parts. Shooting the specimen in the head definitely seemed to stagger it and mess with coordination. There was a brain in there doing something but clearly whatever it is, whatever Alice is, has some sort of decentralised backup. Guess that's the xotl general containment scheme - use the guns to stagger or and immobilise the escapee and then burn it while it's regenerating higher functions. Alice relays her observations to Blake via pad.

"Don't rely on that too much." Blake says. "We don't know how much redundancy you've got. Keep in mind any damage you take is potentially brain damage."

Ugh.

>Information. The first step in any heist or any military operation, is intelligence. You need to know where the people you want to break out are, where the exits are, what obstacles are where. You need to get informed, fast.
Right. Alice still doesn't remember anything much after being captured. Now they've got a lull, time to pick Blake's brains. Alice scribbles out some questions: how did they get captured, how long has it been and where was Blake being held?

"Uh, not much to say. Supposed to be an empty system. They got the jump on us. Would almost think they were expecting us. Little eight person scout ship's no match for a warship. Surrendered rather than getting blasted out of the sky. We could have outrun them if we'd seen them coming. This base must be on one of the planets. The xotl hauled me in for questioning but it seemed pretty cursory. Mostly ignored me aside from that. I think they just re-purposed some cells in their brig for prisoner holding. Everything looked about xotl sized. They just drained the wallow and put extra bedding in there."

"Interrogation room was at the end of the cells - there's at least a dozen cells - but they put me under before moving me anywhere else. Been a few weeks I think. Not sure how much time I'm missing. You were definitely being held there as well, spotted Mason being moved once and I think I heard Upton."

How'd you know
it was me?


"Would you take it the wrong way if I said you're a loud and violent person?"

... Moving on.

So if the prison's mainly just a detention block for misbehaving grunts Alice doesn't think it'd be too protected normally. The fact that they're willing to move prisoners there during a lockdown suggests there's some protection against wandering monsters though. The plus side is so far these measures don't seem to assume any intelligence on the behalf of the escapee.

>if we can get the xotl to think we're somewhere else or get them to think we're someone else we could possibly walk out of here, like if we could find some dragoon armor or something we might be able to pull it off but don't hold your breath.
Dragonslayer armour is cybernetic. The xotl's wired into the torso and the limbs are all robotic. And there's no way Alice or Blake are going to fit into regular xotl armour.

>The good news, here, is you can be pretty sure you now know something about your abilities that the xotl don't. They know what that pig could do, and they know you're a more successful version of the same thing, but they probably don't have a full understanding of what's encoded in that blue egg idol, and thus they don't know you've got a machine shop up your sleeve now. So, make maximum tactical use of that.
Alice isn't so sure about that. The log on the isolation tank talked about instructions for 'fine scale structural alterations'. They may have exposed it to the idol and were trying to train it to manufacture things on command, or maybe it was about tweaking the settings for one of the other abilities.

>Fascinating. Learning from the experiment even though it is inedible! There's our gory silver lining at least.
She probably could eat those chunks now, they're dying and too small to coordinate a defense like before. Maybe she should. She has lost a fair chunk of mass to the idol's upgrade and that critter.

>Examine the device, see if anything looks like it's meant to plug into a computer.
The free end has an access port and a wireless transmitter. Port's a waterproof design, unsurprisingly enough. The spike end is a neural bridge according to Blake, it's got some fiddly bits that suggests it'll seek make connections automatically if implanted.

>You should obviously stab yourself with that spike.
Uh... the fact it was plugged into the piggy's eye socket and she's got an empty eye socket on the same side is awfully suggestive.

>This base is a labyrinth. You need to become the minotaur. Every wall you see, you should think, "What's on the other side? Where could it be advantageous for me to punch a hole?"
Speed would suffer but the ability to take a look ahead for risky business does seem useful. Alice will have to try that technique. Until they find a map or something, it's going to mostly be improvisation.

So the big three questions remaining are should she top her mass back up, should she jam a spike in her eye and play with the equipment here and how are they going to transport someone who has no legs?
>>
No. 649781 ID: bd8b82

yes, no, you can carry stupid amounts of stuff now. just carry her with your butt tentacles.
>>
No. 649786 ID: 0fc976

Biomass! Delishus! Also, if you're seriously considering sticking that in your face, perhaps you need to eat so you can think straight. We could fiddle with some of the equipment here first, see if they cause any changes within the device.
Giving piggy-back rides with your tentacles seems like a splendid idea.
>>
No. 649788 ID: 9ddf68

>should she top her mass back up
no lets not go down that road again

>should she jam a spike in her eye and play with the equipment here
fuck no! or at least not now, maybe when we escape this place

>how are they going to transport someone who has no legs
find a dolly or a cart or maybe even her legs. I mean the xotl have been moving her around so if we really need to we'll just steal something from them to move her around.
>>
No. 649797 ID: e114bc

>>649777
Go ahead and eat the chunks. It wasn't even a person before, and you probably won't go into another feeding fugue since they're not especially "delicious" to you. If you're going to avoid eating xotls later you're going to want to at least stay near the maximum biomass you were at before.

...you don't have to jam the spike in your eye. You could probably just poke the spike to see what it does. I mean, what's so special about your eyesocket anymore? Also, maybe you instinctually know how to connect to it. Sortof think about how you would do it and do whatever comes naturally.
>>
No. 649799 ID: 6cb413

You're already carrying some food you know is safe. If you need to top your biomass, use *that*.
>>
No. 649800 ID: 0fc976

...Oh. Oh! Reading back can be so helpful at times. That device was probably how Mason communicated with the subject. Perhaps the link is two-way, and could be used to contact her. Three problems with that right now, though: 1) You don't know who else is listening, 2) it may assert some form of control over the subject you will be unable to resist, and 3) Mason is unconscious anyway. So keep it handy as a possible communication device, but it won't be of much use to you right now. Besides, you'd look silly with that poking out of your hair.
>>
No. 649803 ID: b27a55

Please do not jam a spike into your eye.
>>
No. 649809 ID: 3c17ca

>>649777
Lets eat the chunks, we need the biomass, things are only going to get rougher from here on out and we have a good hold on our sanity, probably from tenuous to "not bad given the situation"

See how we feel after that. Here comes step two. We need to see what we can learn about this spike, see if the lab has any data before we act. Otherwise, fortune favors the bold. Spike in eye!

Have Blake keep a shotgun pointed at your head, if it gets weird we shoot it out.
>>
No. 649819 ID: ab7529

>Maybe she should [eat]. She has lost a fair chunk of mass to the idol's upgrade and that critter.
If you do, practice discipline. One piece at a time, and stop when you reach your former mass maximum. We don't want to explore new territory right now, or new physical transformations (especially since we just made armor to fit this body).

>how are they going to transport someone who has no legs?
Can you grow some creepy plant prosthetics for her?

Seriously, though, if her legs aren't here for the taking (we looked, right?), you probably want to make some kind of papoose or backpack you can throw her in. You're big enough to carry half a grown woman around. (Not a long term solution, though. If you're the group's fighter, you don't want a civy strapped to your back all the time. It's unhealthy for her).

Or... wheels. Wheels are easy. Be could make her an undignified scooter or something.

>should she jam a spike in her eye [socket]
Take a moment and reflect on the fact that this was a perfectly normal thought for you.

...I don't think we can chance it. Too many unknowns. It's wireless. For all we know, plugging it in will make it report to the xtol wireless. Last thing we need is to give them your location, or data on you. Worst case, it could be used to control or influence you.
>>
No. 649822 ID: 91ee5f

>Base must be on one of their planets.
>Punch a hole in wall.
>Try that technique.
How about we don't potentially open a hole outside to an atmosphere that may or may not contain oxygen, okay? I mean, YOU might be okay, but what about Blake? He might die from lack of oxygen if the planet's atmosphere doesn't have any breathable air for humans!

>Put spike in head.
Let's not put a potential mind control device in your head. The last thing we need is someone controlling you and forcing you to kill Blake. Let's find a computer to plug it into and see if it's listed on an inventory or something that tells us what it does.

>Regain biomass.....
Finally! A reasonable suggestion! Yes, we should get back-

>.....by eating chunks of pig thing.
.....aaaand just like that, the suggestion goes from "reasonable" to "half of a good idea". Yes, you should eat, but not that. Let's eat something we know isn't going to make you try to eat everything in the room, including Blake. Instead, we should-

>Already have food.
And now the suggestion is "reasonable" again! Sure, it's not going to give you much biomass, but we know it won't make you go into a feeding frenzy! Which also means Blake won't be in danger, which is a plus! Maybe, when you're by yourself and Blake and the others your trying to rescue aren't in any danger at all, you can go on a feeding frenzy when it's just you and a room full of enemies that don't have a chance of killing you by accident.
>>
No. 649825 ID: e114bc

The food canisters are on reserve for healing large wounds, IMO. When Alice eats, she gains a brief burst of potent regeneration, rather than the passive regen she normally has.
>>
No. 649874 ID: d4a543

>How about we don't potentially open a hole outside to an atmosphere that may or may not contain oxygen, okay?

Takes a long time for a room full of STP air to leak out an inch-wide hole enough to be dangerous. If there's hard vacuum or something else dangerous, she can just seal it back up.

Welding escape routes shut and creating a really big hull breach might actually be a good tactic for taking out a whole group of xotls, once you've got friendlies out of the area.
>>
No. 649876 ID: d4a543

>how are they going to transport someone who has no legs?

Same gurney or pod or whatever that the xotl have been using? Don't mess with success.

If that turns out to have a tracking device or remote self-destruct or something, have Blake carry the doc on his back. No legs means she'll probably only weigh 60 pounds or so, that's a manageable backpack in 1 G. How strong IS the gravity here, anyway?

Alice should not be carrying around someone made of meat right now. She's going to be the first one xotls will shot at, and if her composure slips, allies need to not be at the top of the menu.
>>
No. 649878 ID: fcff20

>>649822
Xotols seem to be moving around breathing the same air as blake. I say go for it. Eat, grow and be merry. Examine the pikethis is gonna sound weird, but can we try sticking it in our hand first? If our head is primary control and we have distributed control elsewhere then we might be able to interface with the spike at less risk and discover its function.
>>
No. 649888 ID: c3a57c

I don't know about the other two, but we don't know nearly enough about what security and control measures they've got on that spike and what it connects to for us to want to jab the thing in our eye socket. The bizarre eye-flower arrangement is not bilaterally-symmetrical, which means that it's probably a hack of our phenotype design by the Xotl so they could jab their spike in our skull and skull-love us with it.
>>
No. 650025 ID: 6cb413

Let's not try anything with the spike until we've retrieved Mason. She's the one who might know how it works.
>>
No. 650083 ID: 3c17ca

>>650025
hmm, this is good. we wait for herr doktor
>>
No. 652987 ID: 91ee5f

>>650083
Why are we going to wait for her doctor? I'm pretty sure he or she doesn't do house calls. And even if he or she did, I doubt they would come all the way out here to an enemy base to give Alice a check-up. And I'm DEFINETLY sure he or she won't go ANYWHERE near Alice in her current condition to even give her a check-up. So, I ask again, why are we waiting for her doctor?
>>
No. 653006 ID: 350a50

>>652987
Herr doctor, not her doctor.

>>649777
Don't cannibalize the strange unstable alien biomass. Don't jam random alien technology into your face.

Was there a room next to this one? See if you can cut a small peephole into the wall with your tentacles and look into it. Maybe we can travel room-to-room for a bit to avoid detection in the hallway, in case the cyborg is still on watch.
>>
No. 653193 ID: 91ee5f

>>653006
That still doesn't make any sense. Does adding an extra "r" at the end of "her" change its meaning or is someone hitting the "r" button too many times by accident?
>>
No. 653195 ID: fa5b29

>>653193
"Herr" means "mister" in German.
>>
No. 653311 ID: 350a50

>>653193
>>653195
He's saying we wait until we rescue the doctor so that she can tell us what it does.
>>
No. 653356 ID: 57d76a

>>653193
Also, because German, "herr doctor"(or doktor) carries a connotation of "mad scientist".
>>
No. 653449 ID: 91ee5f

>>653195
>>653311
>>653356
Oh, now I understand!
>>
No. 653495 ID: f61b8d

NO NO, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE DOKTOR FOR A FEW MORE POSTS!

:P
>>
No. 653499 ID: 2a7417

What's a dis thread doing on the front page of /quest/?
Anyway, the dragonslayer might not fit those of us with limbs, but perhaps if we slay the dragon his legs could be reclaimed for Frau Mason?
>>
No. 660239 ID: 5c9255
File 143869000282.png - (21.51KB , 800x500 , check_the_tank.png )
660239

>That device was probably how Mason communicated with the subject. Perhaps the link is two-way, and could be used to contact her.
Hmm, wait, why would they leave Mason with the ability to access a control module for one of those things?

Haha! Alice searches the interior of the sensory deprivation tank and finds a cybernetic module. Looks like it's the receiver for the spike. It's wired in but it looks like it's got a wireless mode too. Alice grabs some spare cable to connect the two, then plugs the module into her datapad. She's quickly reaching the limit of her xotl technical vocabulary, but it looks like the module's got some sort of diagnostic and detects being connected to the spike.

She hands it over to the qualified xenologist. Blake says it can execute simple commands: come, go, stop, sort of thing, but it looks like it needs someone with a data jack to make full use of it.

>We need to see what we can learn about this spike, see if the lab has any data before we act.
Alice and Blake are both defeated by the ass-backwards design of xotl UI's. Parts of it need password access. That file that was sent to Mason in the log doesn't open in any sort of human readable format. No appropriate software on this computer? Judging by the log, they were trying to get piggy to either manufacture an object at a very fine scale or form certain structures in it's body?

>Biomass! Delishus! Also, if you're seriously considering sticking that in your face, perhaps you need to eat so you can think straight.
>Please do not jam a spike into your eye.
Both good points.

>Go ahead and eat the chunks. It wasn't even a person before, and you probably won't go into another feeding fugue since they're not especially "delicious" to you. If you're going to avoid eating xotls later you're going to want to at least stay near the maximum biomass you were at before.
It should be doable now, Alice thinks. That resistance before was an active defence and now the specimen's in pieces and almost entirely dead instead of mostly intact and only mostly dead it shouldn't be able to resist.

>Don't cannibalize the strange unstable alien biomass
... Alice is really in two minds about this. Maybe she shouldn't risk it.

>You're already carrying some food you know is safe. If you need to top your biomass, use *that*.
Alice is carrying three cans and she'd need to eat well over a dozen to get back where she started from.
>>
No. 660241 ID: 5c9255
File 143869003998.png - (25.47KB , 800x600 , stand_in_the_door_like_a_team.png )
660241

>Find a dolly or a cart or maybe even Dr Mason's legs. I mean the xotl have been moving her around so if we really need to we'll just steal something from them to move her around.
There was that sign pointing to a storage area way back before Alice found Blake, but Alice has been heading in the exact opposite direction since then. Unless they're being kept at the prison, legs are probably a no-go.

The trolleys are pretty big and bulky and offer no protection to whoever is on top of one. Not Alice's first choice there.

>Can you grow some creepy plant prosthetics for her?
So far anything detached from Alice's body decomposes very quickly. Also ripping off bits hurts.

>You can carry stupid amounts of stuff now. just carry her with your butt tentacles.
>You probably want to make some kind of papoose or backpack you can throw her in.
>Alice should not be carrying around someone made of meat right now. She's going to be the first one xotls will shot at, and if her composure slips, allies need to not be at the top of the menu.
Uh, yeah. Alice thinks she has slightly more of a handle on her current circumstances now, but she doesn't think it's time to put it to the test. She is expecting to get shot at a lot and so far that hasn't done wonders for self control.

>Have Blake carry the doc on his back. No legs means she'll probably only weigh 60 pounds or so, that's a manageable backpack.
Hmmm, probably the best solution.

>Or... wheels. Wheels are easy. We could make her an undignified scooter or something.
As the emergency option, Alice might cannibalise the next trolley she sees.

>Anyway, the dragonslayer might not fit those of us with limbs, but perhaps if we slay the dragon his legs could be reclaimed for Frau Mason?
Huh, that's just crazy enough to work.

Time to blow this popsicle stand.

No assassins leap out and Alice doesn't get nailed in the head by a spooky cyborg super-xotl and his directed energy weapon. So far so good.
>>
No. 660242 ID: 5c9255
File 143869016147.png - (38.67KB , 800x600 , many_finger_discount.png )
660242

So the two of them will quickly backtrack and stop by this drink stand.

It'll only take a minute or two and won't deplete the cans Alice was carrying. Rather than manually eject each one, she just worms some tentacles into the receiver slot and bores straight through the thin metal cans to sip on the fishy nectar within. Since Alice now knows her body will violently and automatically purge itself once it decides she's carrying around too much slime, she deposits it back in the emptied cans. Trololol xotls.

Blake stands lookout. Maybe he should be a little further away just to be on the safe side.

Somewhere around two dozen cans later, Alice is back where she was before this whole pig lab escapade. There's more cans here, she won't say she's not tempted, but this is where she should stop.

17 mass gained. Total mass is 112.

... One more for luck.

1 mass gained. Total mass is 113.

Alice disengages from the vending machine. Biomass: restored. New clothes: still roomy. Blake: still smelling too damn good for Alice to be at ease, but not uncontrollably so.

"Any urges I should know about?" Blake asks as Alice dusts herself off and retrieves her poncho and miscellaneous carried items.

She gives him a thumbs up.
>>
No. 660243 ID: 5c9255
File 143869027675.png - (23.16KB , 800x550 , scenic_brig.png )
660243

Thankfully the xotl prison detention brig or whatever they call it isn't too evasive. No new announcements or alarms by the xotl either.

Alice peek around the corner and scopes it out. It's at the intersection of a T-junction ahead. Looks like there's a a barred gate, with a proper door behind it. A warden's office is next to it, she thinks the office access is between the bars and door. There's a xotl manning the desk. Window looks like reinforced glass. Alice has no idea if that's the same xotl as was with the dragonslayer before. They all look the same to her. He doesn't have a hat so he's probably not very switched on.

Blake says there should be a window to view the cells from the warden's office. There must be an internal partition.

This is going to be tricky. The office protrudes from the wall a little so the xotl grunt's got a decent view of all the approaches. Alice thinks she has three basic options:

1) Blitz it. Those bars will only slow her down. She can just kick the office door in. It's going to make a hell of a lot of noise and that xotl's almost certainly not alone though.

2) Vent exploration. Either Alice, Blake or both can look for a way in through the air system. They'll have to shed their bulky gear though and if they make too much noise or encounter an unexpected obstacle they might be in trouble. Alice is a lot bigger than Blake but her skeleton is somewhere well beyond worryingly double jointed so she can probably squeeze through.

3) Dig for victory. Just go through the walls. By far the slowest option and Alice doesn't know what she might run into, but probably the biggest chance to catch whoever is in there by surprise.
>>
No. 660245 ID: 2a1897

>>660243
Dig dig dig. Check out what you're digging into first by making small holes and peeking through them with an eye-stalk or whatever.
>>
No. 660247 ID: 88960e

>>660239
Oh, cool. You have alien diagnostic tools. If you recover your human scientist(s) and a place to work to go with your linguist, you'll actually have the tools to investigate your condition. There's good news.

Make sure you keep those safe. Don't plug into your eye socket till it's necessary. No point risking breaking it.

>what do
Blitz is bad. That gives them warning to move prisoners, or worse than that, kill them before we get to them.

Of our other two choices, playing mad engineer cutter seems more reliable than vent creeper. That splits the party and leaves the new gear we just made behind.
>>
No. 660248 ID: 41f864

It looks like there's some kind of receiving slot beneath the warden's desk. Could you shimmy a tentacle up there and kill the guy manning the spot? That's your best bet, if you could somehow distract his attention and sneak up on him.
>>
No. 660259 ID: 2a7417

>>660248
This, but I don't think we have a path around his field of vision.
...Or do we? Alice, can you do the wall crawler thing to scuttle around out of his sight? You'd have to shed your gear, but you could leave it with Blake.
>>
No. 660276 ID: 3c17ca

>>660243
Dig, but dig smart. Bore a single tentacle through, pop an eye stalk up to the hole and see how we can catch them by surprise.
>>
No. 660281 ID: 99cfa8

>>660259
How long can we make a single tendril? Can we poke one out from around the corner all the way to his mail slot and in to nom his spine or whatever?
>>
No. 660284 ID: 9ddf68

Diggy diggy hole

Have blake on lookout again
>>
No. 660296 ID: ab7529

>>660259
>>660281
We would have to snake a tendril all the way around the edge of the room and up the mail slot there. Maybe we can do that? No idea how prehensile they are at full extension, or how far we can extend one usefully.
>>
No. 660309 ID: d4a543

Dig. It's a T-junction, so get as close as you can through those rooms on the corners of the T, and then cross the hallway above the ceiling.

Lead with a grenade, to simultaneously splatter the warden and slag his control panels, since they're largely useless to you anyway. Any sort of automated lockdown that damage triggers will only serve to further delay reinforcements, since you're already inside the brig perimeter. Blake stays up top, by the exit, Alice breaches and clears, then hoists Doc Mason up to the extraction point at the first reasonable opportunity. Keep the less bullet-tolerant types out of the line of fire.
>>
No. 660310 ID: e114bc

>>660243
>They all look the same to her.
Alice, don't be racist.

Dig in there.
>>
No. 660543 ID: 3c17ca

>>660243
if we can dig, there are two thoughts I have for tendrils.

1. we dig..under. takes a little longer, but we could cut power to the room, and sabotage the alarms or whatever else there may be, clip the wires.

and/or

2a. We can burrow under, and up. Up into the sitting xotol, and kill one bird, drink it until it is a dry husk. like a ration fluid pack.

2b. Pop up behind the big guy, and stab him in the neck/ brain if he is not too aware, then we get robo pants for the doctor, make this room our base of operations for a bit.
>>
No. 660546 ID: 3c17ca
File 143882606970.png - (14.32KB , 664x237 , howtokillxotolbymeage4.png )
660546

>>660543
modified thought. the xotol in the chair gets murdered every time.
>>
No. 660651 ID: 91ee5f

>>660543
The big guy? Do you mean the dragonslayer behind the guard? Well, it's not possible to kill him because he's just a picture on a poster. The only one we can see in the room is the guard watching the hallway.
>>
No. 762636 ID: 3343bd
File 148050444212.png - (20.58KB , 800x600 , minscule_delay.png )
762636

Back to business now. Alice has to sneak up on a guard with a good view of all the obvious approaches.

>It looks like there's some kind of receiving slot beneath the warden's desk. Could you shimmy a tentacle up there and kill the guy manning the spot? That's your best bet, if you could somehow distract his attention and sneak up on him.
No easy way to get that close while remaining out of sight. Alice doesn't think she can make one longer than a few metres either.

>Alice, can you do the wall crawler thing to scuttle around out of his sight? You'd have to shed your gear, but you could leave it with Blake.
Y'know what would be even more out of sight? The vents.

>Dig in there.
>Dig, but dig smart.
>Diggy diggy hole
>Dig dig dig. Check out what you're digging into first by making small holes and peeking through them with an eye-stalk or whatever.
Alice tries doors until she finds one that's not locked and enters. Blake follows her. With that shut, she finds an open space on an interior wall and starts operation dig for victory.

>Have Blake on lookout again
A little gesturing and writing and then Blake watches the door while Alice digs. Place is a half empty storeroom. Nothing worth grabbing.
>>
No. 762637 ID: 3343bd
File 148050455156.png - (23.14KB , 800x600 , movement_detected.png )
762637

The walls not facing the corridor are pretty flimsy this time. Alice guesses this place is modular to some degree. Seeing the occasional heavy duty pressure doors out on the corridor she's guessing it's assembled out of blocks and then these rooms are partitioned according to use? Explains why bits don't seem to be especially well built for their intended purpose. Maybe they're still scaling up their operation? That's good news if they are.

>Oh, cool. You have alien diagnostic tools. If you recover your human scientist(s) and a place to work to go with your linguist, you'll actually have the tools to investigate your condition. There's good news.
Just gotta save the doctor now!

>Make sure you keep that equipment safe. Don't plug into your eye socket till it's necessary. No point risking breaking it.
Alice puts the eye-spike in the care of the other valuable, breakable object: Blake.

Some experimentation gives Alice a good method for getting through walls. She drills a small hole to infiltrate an eyeball and checks the other side, then she anchors the palm of her hand and slices in a circle around it with extended tendrils like a circular pane cutter.

Outside she hears several footsteps as she digs, twice. Sounds like there was movement around the jail. People coming and going? Not sure what it means. It'd be odd to be moving their prisoner again so soon. Maybe it's the hub of some patrol routes?
>>
No. 762638 ID: 3343bd
File 148050468805.png - (22.37KB , 800x600 , this_is_the_enemy_hate_him.png )
762638

>>They all look the same to her.
>Alice, don't be racist.
Look, recognition of facial features is a skill built up over generations of adaptation. It doesn't map well to aliens. Also they're shitty little lizards.

.If we can dig, there are two thoughts I have for tendrils.
>1. We dig... under. Takes a little longer, but we could cut power to the room, and sabotage the alarms or whatever else there may be, clip the wires.
The relatively light internal walls make it easy to tell when she's reached the corridor. Under seems easier than going over.

The floor is hard to dig through. Beneath the plating is composite layers of insulator, cross-trusses, more plating and a plastic that tries to flow and close the hole - some sort of automatic seal for small punctures. But there's an unexpected prize. Underneath there's a sort of half floor, regularly sectioned off with bulkhead pass-throughs for pipe and cabling bundles. It's not quite in the crawl space category but it was designed with lizard midgets in mind and they'd have to crouch a lot.

Alice has no easy way of determining what wire's for what unfortunately. If she could get to some sort of maintenance panel but it's all just cable junctions down here. She assumes that's inside the guard room seeing that's where she would put it. Also if she tries to cut a high voltage line she might end up electrocuting herself.

She creeps forward a few meters and makes a peep hole. Not quite on target but it's inside the prison office. She's in luck and finds a maintenance hatch. Alice drills out the screws holding it in place and tries to silently crack it open. Success.
>>
No. 762639 ID: 3343bd
File 148050476968.png - (21.99KB , 800x600 , this_is_a_sneaking_mission.png )
762639

Alice takes a moment to watch the xotl. He's just sitting in his seat, singing to himself as he swings slightly from side to side. The xotl version of 99 bottles, as far as she can tell.

>We can burrow under, and up. Up into the sitting xotl, and kill one bird, drink it until it is a dry husk. like a ration fluid pack.
Alice slides the hatch over to the side, eases herself inside and creeps close. She jams a feeding tendril into the base of the xotl's skull and piths him, killing him instantly.

The xotl stops kicking his feet, gives a sad little sigh and slumps in his chair.
>>
No. 762640 ID: 3343bd
File 148050482481.png - (28.88KB , 650x750 , rip_random_xotl.png )
762640

Well, that was easy.

1 biomass consumed.

Alice should probably dispose of the body and get Blake in here, right? There's probably keys in here too.

1 biomass consumed. 1 mass gained.
>>
No. 762642 ID: ba506f

ok stop eating because now we really need to move. From the foot traffic and from what little data we found saying that half of this facility is currently in some kind of crisis I'm guessing a lot of people are coming though here and someone is bound to notice the missing guard at some point. I would like to be long gone with our handy capable friend before they get to that point. Just stash the dead body, put the floor cover back where it originally was, unlock the door, and grab blake and move.

But be careful, that big bastard still might be waiting with a trap still thinking we're going after our scientist friend.
>>
No. 762650 ID: 7d8168

Yay, Bloom!

If there was a way to prop up the body so it would look like it's still sitting around that'd be great... but like we don't know Xotl facial recognition cues, we probably also don't know exactly what they look for to see if somebody's still alive.

Stash the body somewhere, probably just behind the desk since the hole through the floor probably rates higher on the "oh shit security breach" scale than a corpse and is a lot harder to hide. If you can hide the hole, then maybe stash the body there once Blake's through since, again, if they see the big problem, them also finding the small problem isn't so bad.
>>
No. 762656 ID: 0555b9

>>762642
Fuck that noise, EAT! Look, the guard doesn't need anything from the waist down to convince people he's still on duty. Affix him to the chair with some hardened goo and you're goo(d) to go.
>>
No. 762679 ID: 216ddc

>>762640
Stash him in the crawlspace. Good for hiding bodies, and possibly as a food cache if a fight goes bad.
>>
No. 762680 ID: 398fe1

>>762640
Why don't you leave the body right there? Considering the wound is so small people wouldn't suspect anything.
>>
No. 762699 ID: fceae5

>>762640
Eat the legs and leave the rest as a distraction.
>>
No. 762721 ID: 398fe1

Also don't eat any more. You're too big already.
>>
No. 762725 ID: b88e47

Eat it all.
>>
No. 762728 ID: 3abd97

>>762640
Don't eat the body. You were already concerned with the side effects and transformations with earlier mass increases. If your new form has some kind of life cycle or transition, you don't want to trigger it without understanding it better. You can't afford to be less in control, and you're already big enough you're having trouble getting around this small place.

Just prop him up like he's sleeping on the job. I'm sure that's normal.

Give Blake the all clear to come on through, and start looking at the security console in front of you. Can you tell where they're storing prisoners? Where guards and defenses are? Tactical data would be good now.
>>
No. 762737 ID: 7f917c

>>762640
Oh sheesh that was awfully cold.
Place the body on the ground and shut its eyelids if they have any?
>>
No. 762743 ID: 1a626b

I get the feeling you ate a noble. And their pet. Or their kid.

Integrate the pink blob with your chest, see what you can modify before you eat the @#$%er.
>>
No. 762748 ID: 71d443

>>762721
This is no time for cowardice. Obtain more biomass: it's health, ammo and cognition all rolled into one.
>>
No. 762883 ID: 997414

>>762640
Eating now would only send you into a feeding frenzy. Better to stash him for later, unless you can make him look alive but asleep instead.
>>
No. 762886 ID: 398fe1

>>762748
>ammo
No. The body refuses to let go of biomass so we can't use it as ammo. The way we got around it was to have a spear projectile on a tether but we discovered that has disadvantages.
>cognition
I don't even know what you're trying to claim here but it's wrong probably.

More biomass is just health and physical bulk. Also, more appetite. The more Alice eats, the more she wants to eat. It's a positive feedback loop and that's very dangerous!
I reiterate: this is serious. You guys may think you're being hilarious by suggesting "lol eat everything" but it's not going to be funny for long.
>>
No. 762909 ID: bfdaf0

>>762886
This.
>>
No. 762915 ID: 71d443

>>762886
Not literal ammunition for a gun, it's fuel for modifications, modifications like that harpoon.
>I don't even know what you're trying to claim here
Hello? Eat to stay sane?

I reiterate: this is serious. Passing up chances for biomass is hazardous to our health. Don't let this little guy go to waste.
>>
No. 762920 ID: 91ee5f

>>762915
>Hello? Eat to stay sane?
Last time she went on a feeding frenzy, she had a hard time stopping herself. If she does that again, guess who's outside the door right now? Blake. Guess who she might not be able to stop herself from eating if she loses control? Blake.

Point is: she doesn't need to constantly be eating, only when she needs to resupply her biomass to her self established safe zone of "somewhere around 100".
>>
No. 762957 ID: 398fe1

>>762915
>eat to stay sane?
Stop fucking trolling. That is the opposite of what happens when she eats and you know it.
>>
No. 762959 ID: 0555b9

>>762957
Stop fucking blocking our progress.
>>
No. 762968 ID: f75de4

>>762959
Shut up. We'll eat when we actually need to, and can do so safely.
I'm all for keeping the corpse handy, though.
>>
No. 762975 ID: 0555b9

>>762968
Alright, but imagine for a moment the mental image of Alice going below the table on this xotl. With Blake probably watching.
>>
No. 762987 ID: 71d443

>>762968
We can't lug around corpses for later, Alice has already stated it's impractical. Either we take it now* or we forever lose this opportunity.
*= Now, give or take opening the door for Blake.
>>
No. 762989 ID: 3abd97

>rehashing an argument for the tenth time
>central theme of the quest
>forever lose this opportunity
>a limited opportunity
>>
No. 762992 ID: 71d443

There will be many dead guards later on down the line, but this guard won't be one of them. You snooze, you lose.

>central theme of the quest
>actively working against it
>>
No. 762998 ID: 398fe1

We ALREADY DECIDED last time this argument came up that Alice would stay around 100 biomass.

The central theme is NOT eating. It is coping with change and attempting to not be a monster when your instincts drive you towards monstrous behavior.

Also, >>/questdis/94347
>>
No. 762999 ID: 7f917c

>>762998
I suspect the suggestions to eat were brought on by the relatively long downtime of this quest. People may have forgotten the consequences.
>>
No. 763000 ID: 216ddc

>>762987
Not lug around. Hide in closets and crawlspaces.
>>
No. 763002 ID: a8bc5c

Alive is literally holding onto cans of extra mass with her butt vine-tentacles in case of an emergency, such as post combat recovery.

She almost lost control and ate her only ally the last time she went on a binge.

There is NO REASON to eat whenever possible.
>>
No. 763084 ID: a107fd

>>762650
Unexpectedly abandoned post means trouble at a single glance. Intact body might not. So, prop up the corpse all "Weekend at Bernie's"-style, fabricating grisly animatronics using door servos and nonessential bits of the security console. If you're not confident in your ability to arrange xotl facial features into something that'll read as 'asleep on the job' instead of 'severe brain damage,' scrounge up a spare helmet to cover the face. Then, proceed with rescuing crewmates.

As a bonus, stealing the motors out of the prison's powered doors will further delay any investigation, and possibly get some sort of heavy equipment involved, which you could then capture and repurpose.
>>
No. 763101 ID: b3061b

>>763084
Ooh, I like this idea. Seconded.
>>
No. 763102 ID: 350a50

>>763084
Yeah, gonna support this.
>>
No. 763108 ID: 61c7b9

>>762640
Just leave him posed in the chair, asleep.

And yes, DO NOT BINGE EAT. You're fine as you are, Alice!
>>
No. 763149 ID: 3343bd
File 148068923062.png - (24.21KB , 800x600 , lets_talk_about_cannibalism.png )
763149

>Oh sheesh that was awfully cold.
This is war!

>We can't lug around corpses for later, Alice has already stated it's impractical
Uh, at the time Alice was kind of smaller and her biomass conversion was slower and much less efficient. Right now she only turns a little over half of what she eats into more Alice though.

>OK stop eating because now we really need to move.
It'd only take maybe thirty seconds? Alice could carry it around with one hand. She's very strong and has mouths in a terrifying number of places. Alice puts her helmet back on to free up a hand.

>Last time she went on a feeding frenzy, she had a hard time stopping herself. If she does that again, guess who's outside the door right now? Blake. Guess who she might not be able to stop herself from eating if she loses control? Blake.
Blake is not food, her crew isn't food she definitely shouldn't be eating delicious things.

2 biomass consumed. 1 mass gained. Total mass is 115.

In hindsight, it'd be easier to think about this objectively if she didn't have her feeding tendrils jammed inside someone's skull. Alice disengages, sliding her engorged tendrils back out of the xotl. Despite the interior hollowing she's started, the only surface wound is the entry points.

>Don't eat the body. You were already concerned with the side effects and transformations with earlier mass increases. If your new form has some kind of life cycle or transition, you don't want to trigger it without understanding it better. You can't afford to be less in control, and you're already big enough you're having trouble getting around this small place.
Right, it was careless of Alice to get distracted by the xotl's essential meatiness of being. She'd already decided to proceed carefully until she had some better idea of what was going on. It doesn't reflect well on her to be forgetting it the moment she's got a fresh corpse in reach. She's about the size of a dragonslayer - a little taller though less bulky - but not all the areas seem to be designed for access by them.

>More biomass is just health and physical bulk. Also, more appetite. The more Alice eats, the more she wants to eat. It's a positive feedback loop and that's very dangerous!
Not exactly. From what Blake and Alice have figured out so far, she has trouble thinking straight for a short time after eating. Impaired judgement. In particular she's found it very easy to convince herself to go looking for more food.

To play devil's advocate, there's a few benefits to be considered though. The more she eats, the faster and more efficient the absorption process has gotten. That could end up being a life saver. Additionally she's had that feeling she'd just be able to break open the basic doors if she just ate a little more. Not even a full xotl more. She's close to some sort of threshold?

But maybe her judgement is impaired already.

Come to think of it, she didn't have much trouble stopping herself from going for more of those xotl fish smoothies when she was replenishing her losses from the idol even though she ate dozens of them. Something about the xotl (and humans) makes her more, uh, excited. Eating the smoothies didn't have any impact on her efficiency either. There's something special about actual bodies?
>>
No. 763150 ID: 3343bd
File 148068948702.png - (20.95KB , 800x500 , prison_office.png )
763150

>From the foot traffic and from what little data we found saying that half of this facility is currently in some kind of crisis I'm guessing a lot of people are coming though here and someone is bound to notice the missing guard at some point. I would like to be long gone with our handy capable friend before they get to that point.
Groups of footsteps twice and it took at least twenty minutes to dig to here so yeah that is pretty busy.

>Unexpectedly abandoned post means trouble at a single glance. Intact body might not. So, prop up the corpse all "Weekend at Bernie's"-style, fabricating grisly animatronics using door servos and non-essential bits of the security console
Just how much time do you think Alice has to improvise stuff here? She closes the xotl's eyes, nudges his head back a bit like he's sleeping and hopes that's good enough.

>Just prop him up like he's sleeping on the job. I'm sure that's normal.
It'll probably be fine! These guys aren't very competent form what Alice has seen.

>Give Blake the all clear to come on through, and start looking at the security console in front of you. Can you tell where they're storing prisoners? Where guards and defences are? Tactical data would be good now.
Alice crouches by the access panel she entered through, picks up her shield and uses the screen of the datapad to flash a light at where Blake was waiting half bent over.

With Blake moving up, Alice goes back to look at the xotl's desk. No convenient map. Key's nice and obvious, sitting out on the bench. Looks like one key fits all. Weird, fishbone looking thing. There is a list of cells up on the wall by the looks of it.

From the discussions with Blake that Alice had to refresh her memory of the prison layout, the prison office exits on to a small room. That room has an open barred door connecting on to the main hall that the window looks out on and a reinforced door that goes to the holding cells. There's eight cells and an interview room at the end. Seems they're mainly used for punishment, since they're set up for xotl.

>But be careful, that big bastard still might be waiting with a trap still thinking we're going after our scientist friend.
Wait. Alice hears the whispery voice of a xotl - 'Report'. Where did that come from?

Oh shit. Oh shit oh shit oh shit. The little bastard had a paperweight on the push-to-talk button for the prison office's microphone here. That's why he was singing - to confirm he was still there!
>>
No. 763151 ID: 7f917c

>>763150
PANIC
PANIC AND ASK BLAKE WHAT DO

Also don't eat Blake no matter how delicious he looks.

Perhaps a prison break is in order?
>>
No. 763152 ID: 0555b9

can you meat puppet the xotl to sing some more?
Or you could try altering your own voice to mimic the xotl's whistle. You already weren't very good at English.
>>
No. 763157 ID: 91ee5f

Give Blake the universal sign of "be quiet" by putting your finger up in front of your mouth. Then point at the microphone so that he knows why you want him to be quiet.
>>
No. 763160 ID: ba506f

uh...can blake fake being an xotl to buy us a few minutes? If not go with plan fuck it. Open every door in the cell and move quick before they can recover form the shock. Unless blake can read the xotl language. If so then see if he can tell what rooms are occupied and we can lock everything down excepts for that room to trap them in with us... plus we do have that hole we dug if we need to run.
>>
No. 763161 ID: 0555b9

More realistic plan:
shush Blake, hand him the keys, and get him to look for crewmembers in the cells. We haven't got much time.

Although, we should have thirty seconds... And incoming hostiles after that.
>>
No. 763174 ID: 398fe1

>>763150
Well shit. Leaving the corpse there won't help, so carry it as suggested. If the time comes that we need to bust down doors you can eat it real fast and get past that threshold. I'm guessing the threshold is 150 biomass, though. That's 50% more than what we wanted to stick at... Well, a secondary benefit of carrying around the corpse is that you get to practice not eating it. Willpower training!

As for the security console, open all the doors then take the paperweight off push to talk. Then it's time to run and retrieve your crew.
>>
No. 763214 ID: 3abd97

>report
Well, that's not good. You can't convincingly speak right now, let alone a foreign language, or mimic another voice.

(Huh I wonder if we'd gone the Daniel Jackson space linguist route in char selection if spending mass upgrades on improved speech or mimicry would have been an option. Could have done stealthy impersonation stuff maybe).

Right. Speaking is out. Silence will alert them. You might be able to stall until Blake gets here, and then have him say something, he knows more xtol-speak than you. (Type out information on tablet in advance? "Help Xtol called for report"),

Pretend you're a lazy xtol sleeping on the job? Can you make snoring noises?
>>
No. 763224 ID: 5b93d3

>>763150
Do the Xotl cough? Could you try and imitate a Xotl cough, a raspy bit of the song he was singing, then some more coughing?
>>
No. 763225 ID: 216ddc

>>763224
I was thinking similar. Whistle or hum the melody best you can. But now with their suspicions roused, it may be too late for something other than a status report.
It's time to act fast.
>>
No. 763228 ID: a107fd

Jam the prison's main door, beyond the extent to which it's already locked down. Permanently disable the controls and weld it shut with your abdominal machine tools... but just a little bit, don't waste time. Enough to cause some delays and force them to get heavy equipment involved. If feasible, remove one of the cell doors and stick it in place over the window.

As for the microphone? Well, somebody's asking for a report. Give 'em your name, rank, serial number, and a suitably formal notification that the Doom of the Precursors is upon them.
>>
No. 763238 ID: d79f26

jam tendril into corpse spine and drive it.
>>
No. 763245 ID: a107fd

>
Come to think of it, she didn't have much trouble stopping herself from going for more of those xotl fish smoothies when she was replenishing her losses from the idol even though she ate dozens of them. Something about the xotl (and humans) makes her more, uh, excited. Eating the smoothies didn't have any impact on her efficiency either. There's something special about actual bodies?

Setting aside any spiritual speculation, and given that the fish-bacon smoothie was military rations so it's probably not missing any key micronutrients... living (or at least raw) tissue has a lot more interesting chemistry going on than processed food. Cooking kills microbes (including symbiotes such as mitochondria), drives out the volatiles, carmelizes the sugars, denatures complex protein structures, on and on.

Say you've got a busload of preschoolers, and you can only communicate with them once a day, and then only through the medium of directing them into a room with some number of colorful wooden blocks inside. More blocks won't give them more information if they're all just dumped out on the floor, right? To teach them any new lessons, you'd need to lay out something elaborate for them to pick apart. Complex structures.

This theory could be tested by checking whether licking mildew out of damp crevices does anything useful for you. Not a lot of conventional nutrient value there, but it's definitely alive, with all sorts of intriguing new cellular machinery to destructively analyze. If it works, that's your 'training' problem solved. Somebody would have to be a pretty hardcore vegan to take an ethical stance against eating mold,

>>763238
Mechanically reanimating the corpse was already proposed (by me) and rejected (in the most recent update). Tendrils will instinctively consume flesh on contact, not manipulate it.
>>
No. 763297 ID: 3343bd
File 148077484260.png - (15.32KB , 800x550 , import_blake.png )
763297

>Take the paperweight off push to talk.
First things first, Alice removes the paperweight from the push-to-talk.

>You could try altering your own voice to mimic the xotl's whistle. You already weren't very good at English.
Alice can barely speak English. Trying to speak an alien language is folly.

>PANIC
>PANIC AND ASK BLAKE WHAT DO
No, no panicking!

>Whistle or hum the melody best you can. But now with their suspicions roused, it may be too late for something other than a status report.
It's time to act fast.
Alice taps the mic and clicks the transmit on and off while humming. She can do that at least. Maybe they'll delay a bit if they think it's technical problems?

>uh...can blake fake being an xotl to buy us a few minutes?
Great! Blake emerges from the underfloor and Alice thrusts her datapad at him.

xotl snging to keep
in audio contact!
spottd too late
pretend to be him


"Seriously?" Blake says.

Alice shrugs helplessly. Any time's going to help.

"Then what?"
>>
No. 763299 ID: 3343bd
File 148077519781.png - (31.80KB , 800x600 , barring_the_bars.png )
763299

Alice gestures at the pad - scroll down.

going to jam main door
and grab the doc
we fall back through
that hatch.


>Jam tendril into corpse spine and drive it.
she probably could make it twitch a bit with current but she's got no time to experiment!

>Setting aside any spiritual speculation, and given that the fish-bacon smoothie was military rations so it's probably not missing any key micronutrients... living (or at least raw) tissue has a lot more interesting chemistry going on than processed food.
Interesting, but Alice shouldn't be thinking about food right now!

>Jam the prison's main door, beyond the extent to which it's already locked down. Permanently disable the controls and weld it shut with your abdominal machine tools... but just a little bit, don't waste time. Enough to cause some delays and force them to get heavy equipment involved. If feasible, remove one of the cell doors and stick it in place over the window.
Alice is operating under a time crunch here! Using the prison office door to shield her against any splash-back she fires a low dispersion shot with the goo gun to hopefully gum up the bar gate. Not sure how effective it'll be, so she tack-welds some bars to the wall with her feeding tendrils.

With that sorted she turns and unlocks the behind her door with the prison key. Blake's muttering into the microphone in the office, he's agitated. Guess he's not having much luck. Gotta grab prisoners.
>>
No. 763300 ID: 3343bd
File 148077527336.png - (17.11KB , 1800x300 , so_many_doors.png )
763300

OK, nine doors. Last door is the interview room, leaving eight cells. There's a trolley parked up the far end, maybe the one they moved Dr Mason on?

If the board in the office was right, cells 2, 5 and 8 are empty. The rest have human prisoners. It doesn't use their real names. It's probably her, Blake, Dr Mason, the other specialist Derby and the other grunt, Upton. There was a note warning of dire consequences if they get the prisoners mixed up again. Female prisoners are cells 4 and 7. There was also a reminder that human females can be recognised by their longer hair and fatty deposits and a warning that the one in cell 7 bites.

Hmmm.
>>
No. 763301 ID: 7f917c

>>763300
Well then, time to get cracking I suppose. Unlock all of the doors with peeps in and get em out.
Although they may be monitoring the cells from a different location, so make haste, you can do introductions later.
>>
No. 763302 ID: 71d443

The last door is... propped open? Investigate!
>>
No. 763305 ID: f75de4

Problem is, when you open that door, they'll see a monster in Xotl armor. You need to have a message ready on the tablet, or preferably on something bigger (the shield?).

Something like "BREAK OUT. EXPLAIN LATER." should suffice.
>>
No. 763313 ID: a107fd

Doc Mason is probably in cell 4, since biting seems more characteristic of a cornered soldier than somebody under the hippocratic oath. Hey, good news! If you were trying to nom on xotls even, ah, before... that would mean you haven't degenerated as much as you thought.

Also take the opportunity to learn Xotl numerals. Maybe even carve a little quick-reference pad for yourself, since it might help with future computer UI problems.
>>
No. 763314 ID: ba506f

well might as well start with the door closest to you and work your way down.
>>
No. 763315 ID: 71d443

When opening the cell doors, go from last to first without stopping, so you'll be back with Blake. Uh, Skip 7 at first, though. It may or may not be empty now.
>>
No. 763317 ID: d9cc5c

>>763300
remember there are a lot of guns attached to midgets and a mech with the doc. thing is, they won't be coming out to investigate or some shit. they have a prisoner, they know backup is coming and it's not like we can hold a two way seige. that means if they are given time to hole up it will be incredibly difficult to enter that room without getting shot to pieces.
i wanna say let blake take care of the smaller rooms while you rush into the investigation room, but the xotl might be hiding in the rooms waiting for you to do just that.
i'm thinking go door by door as fast as you can, peek inside, if there are humans let blake handle them while you move along. when you get to the last room.. either rush inside and tank shot with the shield and start eating, or drill a hole in the wall to have a look inside first. i'm not sure which because every second they have to prepare the worse off we are, but going in blind is probably dumb.
>>
No. 763323 ID: 3abd97

>>763300
Hey, look, now we know xtol numerals! At least 1 through 8.

Hmmm. They only have 8 fingers though, which would make me expect them to use octal / base-8. The numeral for "8" doesn't look like it loops back to 1-0, though. Guess that means they're more like Mayan or Roman numerals than Arabic ones. Or maybe they used toe counting too and everything is in hexadecimal / base-16?

>what do
Have a message typed out on your pad in advance to show to panicking human prisoners when they see a giant green plant monsters open the cell. "Hi, I'm Alice! This is a rescue, please hurry. I know I look weird, blame xtols. Speech impaired." Also might help to point at or display your dog tags.

Peek into the interview room first. If there's a xtol (or multiple xtols) in there with a prisoner, you can't leave them there to cause problems. If there's a prisoner strapped to an interrogation table, you don't want to leave them there while helping everyone else.

Check the cart for hidden secrets. Like the doctor's dog tags.
>>
No. 763324 ID: a107fd

Upon further consideration, Doc Mason is most likely assigned to cell 4, but her current position is in the interrogation room, accompanied by an ambush party.

Can you get the cell doors to open just an inch or two, and then stop? Tilt your head and position your arm so both eyes and gun are in the same vertical plane, practice 'slicing the pie' as you move down the corridor, to check for flankers waiting in the "empty" cells. When you get to the propped-open door, move the trolley over to block it, set the glue gun on maximum spread, and fill the entire room with sticky inconvenience at the first sign of trouble.

Alternatively, is there any chance of following that maintenance tunnel further and accessing the interrogation room without walking into a killbox?
>>
No. 763327 ID: a8bc5c

There's a very small box like object in front of the interrogation room. You've probably been spotted by the xotl team moving Doc Mason.
>>
No. 763330 ID: 398fe1

>>763323
>numbers
Maybe the doors start at 0.
>>
No. 763334 ID: d79f26

get blake out since he seems to be failing, need a human face for the other humans to trust. open doors and set notepad to "hello i am alice"
>>
No. 763335 ID: 398fe1

>>763334
Shit, you're right. If we do find someone, they're going to react the same way Blake did. Which means if we find them, Alice should NOT approach. Just slide the datapad over.

Also make sure to ask via the datapad which cells the other prisoners are in.
>>
No. 763352 ID: 3abd97

>>763330
Yeah, that's also possible. So we know the numerals for 1-8 or 0-7. Probably 1-8 since most cultures don't come up with zero immediately and introduce it later, after numbering conventions have set in.

>>763334
>>763335
I think having Blake buy us whatever small time he can stalling is worth it. If we start with the doc, she should recognize what was done to her, and then we can use her as a friendly human face when rescuing the others.
>>
No. 763420 ID: e95cec

As far as messages, I'm in favor of
>>763305
"BREAK OUT, EXPLAIN LATER"
>>
No. 763461 ID: 3343bd
File 148086138965.png - (20.36KB , 1011x671 , go_to_jail.png )
763461

>Problem is, when you open that door, they'll see a monster in Xotl armor. You need to have a message ready on the tablet, or preferably on something bigger (the shield?).
>Something like "BREAK OUT. EXPLAIN LATER." should suffice.
Shit, Alice forgot all about her previous introduction problems. At least they can't possibly go worse than the first time. She scribbles out a note on a datapad. BREAK OUT. EXPLAIN LATER.

>Check the cart for hidden secrets. Like the doctor's dog tags.
Noted, Alice will check it when she gets there.

>There's a very small box like object in front of the interrogation room. You've probably been spotted by the xotl team moving Doc Mason.
That makes too much sense. The cells are tiny but that last room's a bit bigger. If you're going to leave forces here for an ambush that's where to do it.

>Upon further consideration, Doc Mason is most likely assigned to cell 4, but her current position is in the interrogation room, accompanied by an ambush party.
That would put a damper on just chucking a grenade in there, wouldn't it.

>Is there any chance of following that maintenance tunnel further and accessing the interrogation room without walking into a killbox?
It'd take several minutes to cut a hole.

>I think having Blake buy us whatever small time he can stalling is worth it. If we start with the doc, she should recognise what was done to her, and then we can use her as a friendly human face when rescuing the others.
Right, maybe Blake's getting a few seconds of confusion out of it at least. Alice doesn't want to delay and doesn't want to put him in the line of fire. Plus he's covering the line of retreat. It's probably just Dr Mason and Upton here so she's got a 50% chance of grabbing the doctor first.

>I wanna say let Blake take care of the smaller rooms while you rush into the investigation room, but the xotl might be hiding in the rooms waiting for you to do just that.
Hiding a xotl or two in a cell seems risky seeing how incredibly lethal Alice is up close, but she wouldn't put it past them. No way around it, she'll clear each room with the glue gun ready and keep an eye on the interrogation room.

Cell one and two are empty. Light fitting, sink, toilet and a shallow bathtub that serves as a xotl bed. Cell three is the same but with some blankets added.
>>
No. 763462 ID: 3343bd
File 148086145074.png - (24.98KB , 1000x1000 , maybe_its_a_friend.png )
763462

>Doc Mason is probably in cell 4, since biting seems more characteristic of a cornered soldier than somebody under the hippocratic oath. Hey, good news! If you were trying to nom on xotls even, ah, before... that would mean you haven't degenerated as much as you thought.
She's a physicist, not a medical doctor. No comment on the rest.

No movement from the interrogation room yet. Alice moves to cell four, most likely Dr Mason's cell.

The door slides open. Inside-

What in the Messenger's name is that?!
>>
No. 763463 ID: 3343bd
File 148086158969.png - (32.89KB , 1362x665 , basilisk.png )
763463

Optical connection estab|isheD. Lin\< open.

Alice freezes like a rabbit in the headlights. She can't look away. She can't blink. He ears are ringing, she can't tell what's going on around her. Those eyes fill her world.

0verride overridE override
STOP desis+
movement syste^n halt
musculoskeletal overric|e

Her body's shuddering, she can barely move!

>A link's got to be two-way right? Counter-attack!
>What about the xotl? Focus on what's happening in the real world!
>______
>>
No. 763465 ID: 7f917c

>>763463
Well, if the eyes fill your world, why not bring them closer?

Scream & Headbutt!
>>
No. 763473 ID: 3abd97

>>763463
If you can wrest control of your own body back at all, the least effort for the most gain is mashing the door close button so the eye-creature can't mind-rape you anymore.

Other than that, you want a fist to it's face (so you've damaged the interface) or you want to vomit goo all over it so it can't see through the helmet.

>A link's got to be two-way right? Counter-attack!
Considering you're been concerned about the stability of your mental facilities since you woke up, and your modifications seem to emphasize physical strength at the cost of mental strength, and given that this guy seems specifically modified for mental combat versus you engaging it brain to brain seems like a very bad idea to me.
>>
No. 763484 ID: a107fd

First of all, stay calm. As a soldier with engineering skills, surely you have some familiarity with infowar tactics? Right now, you're not your body; you're chief of security on a ship that's being hacked over a laser link. Think of it like a training exercise. Red team's already shut down weapons and maneuvering, put the servos into maintenance mode. What do you do?

First, cut the link. Shutters aren't working, so go ahead and disassemble your exterior eyes (they're easy enough to regrow), or at least excrete waste in such a way as to temporarily blind yourself.

Then, purge the bad code by reloading from a clean backup. Make a new eye inside your chest cavity, log on to the system update idol, and swap out "clever hands" for "megastructure."

Finally, being careful not to regrow any eyes yet (or if you start doing so involuntarily, hiding them behind opaque armor plates) fumble over to close the door to cell #4. Alternatively, if you have already come under physical attack by that time... it wouldn't be going for a hack if it thought it could take you in a conventional fight. Tackle the basilisk, smash it's bubble helmet with hydraulic piledriver strength, and eat it. Food that fights back builds character, and closing the distance gets you out of the hallway's line of fire.
>>
No. 763489 ID: 91ee5f

>>763463
What if that's another one of your crew members? If it is, then you're not the only one that got experimented on.
>>
No. 763500 ID: 71d443

Shoulda gone from last to first...

If this thing is a former crewmember, it's been kitted out with control interfaces and fitted for xotl-built armor. Doesn't seem likely that it's on our side anymore.

Shields up (over the eyes), ramming speed!
>>
No. 763501 ID: d9cc5c

..is that Upton?
>>
No. 763506 ID: 398fe1

>>763463
Confirm it's an enemy before attacking. It's in a cell, so maybe it will be willing to break out with you.

Tell it you're breaking out, does it want to join you? Um, do this by thinking at it, maybe, since talking is hard.
>>
No. 763521 ID: 3abd97

>>763489
>>763500
>>763506
I'm for plan "lock it back in the cell, sort it out later."

If it's hostile, giving it more chance to mind rape us while we're attempting to communicate is bad. If it's friendly, we can reattempt communication after getting a baseline human it hopefully can't hack to act as an intermediary, and/or we start the next attempt with our eyes covered, and very little will be lost.

(Alice might be able to tell if it started out human or xotl by the smell? Personally, I'd say it looks more like a potato than a monkey, but it's not like that's trustworthy with shape shifting).
>>
No. 763582 ID: d79f26

close your eyes. fight with echolocation.
>>
No. 763684 ID: d9cc5c

>>763463
what? fuck no.

i'm overriding the override override override bullshit.
unstop, undesist
movement system unhalt
musculoskeletal unoverride

fuck this. Link closed motherfucker.
blink, Dietrich, and close the door.

fuck. we had better not have gotten some weird eldritch alien std.
>>
No. 763713 ID: dd4df2

... don't think this was ever human.

>>763463

Barely move is enough to toggle the door switch. GET TO DA BAHTTON! DO EET NAUW!

Then open up with whatever gun you have handy, suppressing blindfire style, in the direction of the interrogation room. If this was at all planned (which we really don't know, but better safe...), the xotl are going to be moving out while you were struggling with the hacking creature.
>>
No. 763739 ID: 5b93d3

>>763463
DDOS spam it with ALICE DIETRICH on loop. If it's another crewmember the Xotl have experimented on that should tip them off. If not, it might break the link enough for you to stager backward and close the door again.
>>
No. 763875 ID: b7883c

>Optical connection estab|isheD.
Well the obvious answer then is to close your eyes before stepping back and closing the door on it.
>>
No. 764461 ID: 3343bd
File 148120235989.png - (31.45KB , 800x600 , in_ur_head_hackng_ur_flwr.png )
764461

>Well the obvious answer then is to close your eyes before stepping back and closing the door on it.
She can't! She has to look. Eyes, she needs more eyes. Her flesh twitches. No! No she doesn't!

>What if that's another one of your crew members? If it is, then you're not the only one that got experimented on.
It doesn't look anything like a human. It can't be, right? Right?!

>Alice might be able to tell if it started out human or xotl by the smell?
No way to smell. It's in a completely sealed suit for some reason. Why? Those arms and legs look artificial too.

>If this thing is a former crew-member, it's been kitted out with control interfaces and fitted for xotl-built armour. Doesn't seem likely that it's on our side any more.
>... don't think this was ever human.
Yeah, it's an enemy! It had to go!
>>
No. 764462 ID: 3343bd
File 148120252468.png - (23.19KB , 650x650 , easy_push_the_button.png )
764462

>If you can wrest control of your own body back at all, the least effort for the most gain is mashing the door close button so the eye-creature can't mind-rape you any more.
She needs to get this thing out of her head! Alice lets her shield slide out of her left hand and - O\/ERRIDE - stabs her fingers spasmodically at the control panel in her peripheral vision. Her trembling hand slips and slides ineffectually until - at last! - she makes contact and presses the button.
>>
No. 764463 ID: 3343bd
File 148120268494.png - (27.93KB , 600x800 , mysterious_force_prevents_door_close.png )
764463

The door slides shut and hits the basilisk's helmet with a dull thump. Its arms flail loosely at her as it keeps staring and drools. Alice blanks out for a moment, freezing completely.

One limb slaps her weakly on the cheek then slides down and starts tugging at her poncho. The other wraps around the goo gun she's carrying and pulls it out of her hand.

The basilisk isn't very coordinated but that doesn't really matter when Alice can't move!
>>
No. 764464 ID: 3343bd
File 148120272657.png - (17.57KB , 600x800 , have_you_tried_vomiting_on_it.png )
764464

>Vomit goo all over it so it can't see through the helmet.
She needs to make herself vomit! Alice twists her freakish tongue around and crams it down her throat. A moment later she gags and she sprays slime over the thing's helmet. Eye contact broken, she can move!

The basilisk releases its grip on her poncho and rubs vaguely at its helmet. It's only a matter of time until it gets a good look at her again.
>>
No. 764465 ID: 3343bd
File 148120285942.png - (26.97KB , 800x500 , xotl_in_the_house.png )
764465

>The xotl are going to be moving out while you were struggling with the hacking creature.
There they are! Xotl were hiding in the interrogation room after all. One with a shotgun is using the trolley for cover while the other one's advancing. Alice isn't sure what the close one is carrying. Gun looks vaguely familiar but she can't place it. And what's with that glove? Some sort of close combat weapon?

The basilisk has Alice's glue gun. She's still carrying a shotgun and some grenades on her person but she's empty handed right now. Her shield's on the floor. She has to do something about the basilisk first. Either get its cell shut and locked - this time getting it well inside first - or crippling it.
>>
No. 764466 ID: e4abe1

>>764465
throw a granade under the basisk and shot the xlotol
>>
No. 764467 ID: 9145ba

Yank the glue gun back and kick basilisk back, then shoot it in the face with glue. Shut the door and grab your shield - this gun looks like it sprays something nasty.
>>
No. 764468 ID: fef726

I see the back of your crewmember, which means the dragonslayer is nearby.

The highest priority is the basilisk, it can lock you down with a single look and I doubt you can vomit any more times. It's greatest weakness would be fire, barring that a grenade rolled through the gap in the door should both contain the explosion so it doesn't hit you. and hurt it greatly.

I also suggest you put your morphological traits to use and use your foot as a hand to grab the shield.
>>
No. 764472 ID: ba506f

toss a grenade into the fishbowl thing's room and kick in inside and slam that door shut. Then grab shield and shotgun the weird weapon xotl till dead and move up. I can see your friend in their and I want to get the hell out of here.
>>
No. 764474 ID: 3343bd

>>621113
Oh I just realised the lead xotl's gear is a little obscured in that shot. Here he is earlier. His grenades have conveniently switched sides so you can still see he's carrying them.
>>
No. 764475 ID: 7f917c

>>764465
I'd guess those helmets of theirs shield them from that thing's gaze, so yeah, boot it in, shield up, nades out?
>>
No. 764481 ID: 04c3d3

Shotgun the eye monster in the eyes. That should rupture it's suit at the very least, which is probably bad for it.
Then, kick it into the room while it's stunned from the shot. Grab the glue gun if you can.
Now, these dorks. I suggest falling back, shield up, grenade into the hall.
Do we still have the pistol? We could use it more effectively here than the shotgun.
>>
No. 764504 ID: a107fd

Given that this is a hostage situation, best use for one of your incendiary grenades is to keep the basilisk from getting lonely after you shove it back into cell 4. Pick up the shield to block line of sight, kick underneath the shield until the doors are closing on your ankle instead of something wider, then pass the grenade over the top.

Let Blake know he can stop making silly noises and start either contributing to the fight, or possibly fleeing.
>>
No. 764518 ID: 2ec5a8

i don't get it. why leave the room at all?
we can't possibly sustain a siege and they have backup coming. they have a real shot of surrounding us, while we're forced to either go through a choke point or give up on the doctor.
i just don't get it.
well, fine. if they make a mistake it'd be rude to not capitalize on it.
>>
No. 764523 ID: 398fe1

Once you have the shield up and the cell closed, advance to close range while blasting them with the shotgun. When the dragonslayer shows up you're gonna need their corpses available for the fight.
>>
No. 764557 ID: b7883c

>It's only a matter of time until it gets a good look at her again.
Pick up your shield with your foot tentacles, then make like Perseus and hold the shield between you and the basilisk's' face while shoving the basilisk into the room.

>i don't get it. why leave the room at all?
They wanted to shoot us before we found a way around the basilisk. And they would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for that meddling vomit.
>>
No. 764640 ID: 3abd97

Sucks for the prisoners who are going to have to listen to this battle going on and pray they don't catch a shot through the walls. Oh well, cells should be tough, right?

>No way to smell. It's in a completely sealed suit for some reason. Why? Those arms and legs look artificial too.
Two possible reasons. Either the basilisk is vulnerable to the environment and won't survive without it's suit, or the basilisk is a dangerous bio-hazard. Meaning rupturing the pressure suit is either a really easy way to kill it, or a really easy way to give everyone around here a really bad day.

We can't risk popping it and contaminating or killing the humans nearby.

>what do
Shove the basilisk. One good punch or kick. It isn't strong, once the obstruction is removed the cell will close, removing it from the fight without risking breaking the suit and maybe releasing a biohazard. The glue gun can't do anything inside the cell if you're fast.

>Gun looks vaguely familiar but she can't place it.
A chemical sprayer, maybe? Napalm or agent orange or anything like that would be pretty effective against you right now.

Shoot it with the shotgun, close and grapple, keep the glove away from you. Use cutting tool tentacles to go right through armor and kill. Don't bother feeding, just finish him and keep going.
>>
No. 764711 ID: dd4df2

>>764465

Alright... alright. We gotta deal using multitasking quick fixes until our attention doesn't need to be divided.

Basilisk:

1-1: Lean in with your face, turned so that you have eyes on the xotl. Use blind, eyeless feeding tendrils to cut through the Basilisk's helmet, then reach in and yank out or damage the control spike you recall seeing at the side of its head. Fumble blindly to do so, and furiously cut at any of ITs flesh, if it tries to stop you.

1-2: Use one leg to shove the glue gun's sights away from you and then keep shoving the Basilisk back through the door; it seems like it's got bad dexterity, so punting it over on its ass will help. Try not to get your head and foot stuck in the door if it keeps closing after the obstruction is removed.

Xotls:

2-1: Use an arm to fumble for and pick up the shield to cover your current activities. Hunch behind it, if possible.

2-2: Use your other arm to ready the shotgun, hidden behind the shield, and blast at the either xotl if they start trying to prepare grenades or ready themselves to shoot.

Priority in doing these things as able: 1s before 2s.
>>
No. 764712 ID: 343850

>>764465
welp.

The basilisk is still a huge threat, but unless it has more tricks, it can be ignored for a moment as long as alice doesn't look at it.

Fisto is charging despite alice being a known cqc monster. Assuming he isn't completely stupid, that means that A: he thinks he has a way to wreck alice's shit and B: he has to be closer to use it. Ergo, we gotta make him dead before he gets close.

Senor shotgun is in cover at range despite holding a shotgun. Again assuming he isn't completely stupid, his shotgun is loaded with something that isn't standard buckshot, and will be effective from his current range.

Grenades are no-go on the xotl: can't risk hitting the friendly.

So I guess go for an arm-javalin shot on fisto ASAP, shove the basilisk back into the cell with a grenade (and don't look at it, obviously), and get your shield up between you and the shotgunner (and grenade).
>>
No. 764720 ID: 91ee5f

>>764465
>Gun looks vaguely familiar but she can't place it.
Is it a flamethrower?! Fire bad!
>>
No. 766272 ID: c45b7e

>>764465
Feeding/ cutting tendrils, slice and dice. It slapped you on the face and didnt hurt. This thing can be dismembered quickly. Maybe we can figure out another piece of the puzzle.

mmm a piece...yeah. that could hit the spot.
>>
No. 766477 ID: 2120ee

Yeah, maybe don't breach the containment suit of this bullshit mutant asshole. Even if Alice would probably, but not necessarily, be fine, Blake and No-Legs could be exposed to contaminants.

Also, Alice, "No-legs"? Really? You're so insensitive.
>>
No. 766990 ID: 3343bd
File 148219704460.png - (26.69KB , 600x800 , look_at_this_nerd.png )
766990

>Let Blake know he can stop making silly noises and start either contributing to the fight, or possibly fleeing.
"Blaaghke!" Alice doesn't try to add anything else. It'll be obvious once the shooting starts.

>>I don't get it. Why leave the room at all?
>They wanted to shoot us before we found a way around the basilisk. And they would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for that meddling vomit.
A few seconds more and that lead xotl would have been in position to just shoot her if it looked like she was breaking free. Alice thinks they might be trying to capture her alive! The basilisk forced an optical link to her like the idol. Did they make it just to help catch other escaped science experiments? Just how many escape attempts have they had?!

>>Sealed suit.
>Two possible reasons. Either the basilisk is vulnerable to the environment and won't survive without it's suit, or the basilisk is a dangerous bio-hazard. Meaning rupturing the pressure suit is either a really easy way to kill it, or a really easy way to give everyone around here a really bad day.
Alice is pretty sure it's the same sort of thing as she is. There's an obvious reason for keeping the hungry, hungry bioweapon in a sealed suit. It's drooling a lot of slime and it's oozing around the optical implant. Is it decaying like the xotl piggy?

>I see the back of your crew-member, which means the dragonslayer is nearby.
Alice isn't looking forward to fighting that thing. Well, Dr Mason's here at least. Alice would be pissed off if they'd shuttled the crew away while she was digging her way in.

The door the basilisk is blocking bleeps angrily, opens and tries to shut again. donk. It shuts on the basilisk again as it shuffles forward.
>>
No. 766992 ID: 3343bd
File 148219715583.png - (21.10KB , 800x500 , no_harpoon_for_you.png )
766992

>Fisto is charging despite Alice being a known cqc monster. Assuming he isn't completely stupid, that means that A: he thinks he has a way to wreck Alice's shit and B: he has to be closer to use it. Ergo, we gotta make him dead before he gets close.
That is suspicious. Right, he's first.

>A chemical sprayer, maybe?
>Is it a flamethrower?! Fire bad!
Alice doesn't see an obvious fuel canister on that xotl's gun.

>So I guess go for an arm-javelin shot on Fisto ASAP, shove the basilisk back into the cell with a grenade (and don't look at it, obviously), and get your shield up between you and the shotgunner (and grenade).
Alice splits her arm and fires her javelin at the lead xotl; it's faster than going for her gun. It seems to catch him off guard, he tries to jump aside at the last second but it stabs into his thigh.

She thinks about giving it a good yank to knock him off his feet but he grabs it to steady himself and lines up his gun.

It buzzes. A section of the connecting tissue evaporates. Alice's connection to the harpoon is lost. A streak of glints comes at her. Something snags the edge of her poncho, rasps against her leg and gnaws at the tendrils behind, feeling like the sting of dozens of angry hornets. Far behind she hears something rattling against the wall like someone dropped a box of pins.

6 mass lost. Mass total is 109.

The xotl's got a fletchette gun. Shoots hundreds of magnetically accelerated tiny needles. Of course, for killing the meaty science experiments huh? The armoured vest Alice made will probably stop the worst of it, but it'll turn flesh into bloody mist. Her limbs and her face are vulnerable.
>>
No. 766995 ID: 3343bd
File 148219729432.png - (33.37KB , 800x600 , get_rekt_nerd.png )
766995

>Toss a grenade into the fishbowl thing's room and kick in inside and slam that door shut.
Averting her eyes from the basilisk, Alice shoulder barges into it. A claw slaps at her face and the thing stumbles backwards. As the door starts to slide shut, Alice rolls a live grenade in with her free hand as a gift for the basilisk.

>I also suggest you put your morphological traits to use and use your foot as a hand to grab the shield.
Alice slides her foot out as she bounces off the door and snags the dropped shield with her foot tendrils. The xotl with the shotgun chooses this moment to shoot her.

2 mass lost. Mass total is 107.

Center of mass, her vest seems to have stopped the worst of it. Shrapnel penetration. She doesn't think it can take many hits like that though. She hears a muffled whumph on her left and something starts battering on the cell door. Alice's grenade was definitely not a dud.

Two enemies still. One's not going to be moving fast because he's got a harpoon in his leg. He's got that fletchette gun but Alice should be able to flick her shield to her hand. Not sure how much longer he's going to be able to fight for, but Alice is going to err on the side of tenacious lizard bastardry. Still no idea if that glove does anything and he's got grenades too.

The other one's still in cover behind the table, has a shotgun and presumably yet more grenades.

Alice's leg has a chunk missing but it should be fine if she doesn't put too much stress on it for the minute or so it'll take to heal. She's got no harpoon and no goo gun but still has a shotgun, grenades and a pistol as well as her shield. Blake should be popping out any second now so she needs to act decisively.
>>
No. 766999 ID: ba506f

well hide behind your shield and use your shotgun to hit the acid spray guy. Because he's closer and the bigger threat. Also aim for his weapon as I'm kinda curious to see if we can't crack open whatever the hell counts as that things magazine and what it will do to him if he get's covered in the stuff.

Also DON'T throw a grenade at the shotgun lizard as it might hurt the good doctor. For that mater probably shouldn't use the shotgun when trying to take him out either seeing as that's a spread weapon. Pistol him or just get in close with you shield so he can't use a grenade without blowing himself up and just beat him with it. But first spray gun guy, then shotgun guy.
>>
No. 767001 ID: 398fe1

>>766995
Get the shield up and ram the leading Xotl with it. Gotta get that gun out of order before Blake shows up. Then cut his spine and start shooting the other one from behind your shield cover.

Your leg's an issue but you can just limp, or use your free arm as a third leg.
>>
No. 767002 ID: 398fe1

>>766999
It's a flechette gun, not an acid gun.
>>
No. 767004 ID: 9145ba

Your weapons are close quarters, your body is a close-quarters weapon. Get in close and capture that flechette gun intact! Shield bash the impaired xotl, and shotgun the both of them. The armor will protect you from xotl #2's shotgun for this encounter.
>>
No. 767005 ID: ba506f

>>767002
oh I read it as the flechette was just the shotgun guy in the back shooting at us to cover the other guy. my bad.

either way though still get that shield up and shotgun the closer guy to death and charge the other one with the shield.
>>
No. 767065 ID: a107fd

Probably the biggest threat they've got is those incendiary grenades, which could put you out of the fight in one shot, from around corners. Best way to neutralize that threat is to get close enough they'd be setting themselves on fire if they tried it.

Step one: Shield up, crouch behind it. Run a quick diagnostic, make sure you've got motor control back at 100%.
Step two: Big acrobatic flip over the shield. Push off with your good leg, and if possible bring the injured leg down on glove boy's arm. Bite the hand that hasn't fed you yet.
Step three: Continue forward, tackle the xotl with the shotgun. Use clever hands to snip pull rings off the safety pins of those grenades, so the pins remain in place, and become impossible to remove in a timely manner without tools. Easy for you to fix, impossible for them.

Blake can finish off wounded and partly disarmed xotls, especially with the benefit of tactical cover from your abandoned shield. With grenades and mystery glove out of the picture, next thing you need to worry about is the dragonslayer.
>>
No. 767137 ID: a8bc5c

Yeha, this is probably going to get ugly fast.

Grab the shield and use it to protect your head while you charge down the corridor, firing your pistol at the shotgun xotl while you go.

When you reach the fletchette kotl, just grab him by the head, squeeze hard and throw him at the shotgun xotl.
>>
No. 767232 ID: 3abd97

>Did they make it just to help catch other escaped science experiments? Just how many escape attempts have they had?!
It would be useful for immobilizing or pacifying non-escaped experiments, too. So scientists and handlers could enter cells safely.

In fact, this thing might be why you don't remember anything post-transformation before the incinerator. They kept you helpless and hypnotized right up until it was time to dispose of you.
>>
No. 767244 ID: c45b7e

>>766995
How hard can you whip that shield down the hall? If hard, might a suggestion be to; charge shooting your bangy blasty, while throwing the shield in a manner of a rotating slab of death?
>>
No. 767250 ID: 91ee5f

>>767244
>Throw away your only means of protection against a gun that was specifically designed to kill you.
Fixed that for ya.

Also, no, that's a bad idea. Don't try to do a Captain America shield throw.
>>
No. 767738 ID: 65ba11

>>766995
Gonna agree with this >>767001
Shiled first, and then just shield check this guy down the hall. Finish the job with the shotgun once youve got at least Partial cover from the other guy behind the trolley.
Alternately, if you hurt flecthette guy enough with that first hit, you can use him as a shield, they might at least hesitate to shoot through him to get to you, or at least not use the grenades.
>>
No. 772828 ID: 45b631

Raise the shields!
Hobble to close range and release the shield to fall on number one.
Draw the shotgun and shoot down number two as the shield falls.
Aim carefully, you can take a hit but reloading is a pain right now.
Kick number one as quickly and as forcefully as you can, try to aim for number two, but beggars cannot be choosers...
No matter what that glove does it isn't going to stop kinetic energy and you ought to have enough foot power to make a dent, even if the leg you use is damaged. Remember that pain is an illusion, a really really painful illusion.

And stand tall and proud so as to try to cover the soft-coated human with a delicious crunchy centre behind you.
>>
No. 772882 ID: 45b631

Don't forget to tell your pet human that there is eye-scream in the fourth room!
>>
No. 778681 ID: dd5b4d
File 148681917322.png - (64.58KB , 800x500 , run_alice_run.png )
778681

>Get the shield up and ram the leading Xotl with it. Gotta get that gun out of order before Blake shows up. Then cut his spine and start shooting the other one from behind your shield cover.
Alice hunkers behind her shield and charges the fletchette armed xotl. If he can't get a good shot on her, she can take him out! Her hurt leg puts a hitch in her stride but with a harpoon stuck in his leg, that xotl's not going anywhere. He stands his ground, seeming to hope he stands a better chance than if he tries to hobble out of the way.

For his troubles, he receives a shield to the face. The xotl staggers but in exchange jabs out with his gauntlet. His aim's poor, it's just a glancing contact on her arm but it immediately becomes obvious this is why he thought making a stand was his best hope. An intense electric shock runs through her body and she jerks back.

As her shield twitches out of position, the xotl holds down the trigger and sprays her with fletchettes.

It rattles off her shield, shreds her poncho, nibbles on the edges of her armour vest and chews into her right shoulder and face. Then it's up and past, rattling harmlessly off the ceiling and destroying a light before the gun gives a sad little click.

9 mass lost! Mass total is 98.
>>
No. 778682 ID: dd5b4d
File 148681931888.png - (29.97KB , 800x500 , losing_her_spaghetti.png )
778682

Alice's injured flesh erupts into tentacular knots. They wave indecisively trying to decide how to reweave around the damage. She's hurt! Her right arm feels strange, it's responding weirdly when she tries to move it. The xotl's going for one of his grenades. Hurt, threat, meat! Alice dives on the xotl and tears him apart. She rips her harpoon free and jams it back into her arm.

3 mass gained! Mass total is 101.

One xotl down, one to-

Another shotgun blast. It hits her helmet and she stumbles, dazed for a second. Her helmet slips off her head. She's still got her shield and guns.

1 mass lost. Mass total is 100.

Another shotgun blast behind her. The remaining xotl hunkers into the cover of the trolley. "Dietrich!" That's Blake then. She's halfway up the corridor so no risk of a grenade getting both of them.

Then behind, closer, to her left. The sound of a door opening and the scrape of something dragging itself along the ground. Blake gasps. Shit, is it the basilisk? That thing's not dead?! And it can open the cell doors?!

>It would be useful for immobilizing or pacifying non-escaped experiments, too. So scientists and handlers could enter cells safely.
>In fact, this thing might be why you don't remember anything post-transformation before the incinerator. They kept you helpless and hypnotized right up until it was time to dispose of you.
Not the time!
>>
No. 778683 ID: d79f26

just don't look at it. focus on the enemy in front of you. charge, slam into the cart it's hiding behind and bowl it over.
>>
No. 778684 ID: 9145ba

Good thing you weren't using that eyesocket for anything. You need to focus on the enemy still in front of you, the basilisk may not have an effect on standard humans and it's crippled to boot. Don't take your shield focus off this shotgun xotl. Flank and eat, flank and EAT!
>>
No. 778693 ID: 398fe1

>>778682
You could blindfire your shotgun at the floor behind you to shoot the basilisk. Maybe tell Blake to take cover first.
>>
No. 778706 ID: ba506f

show shotgun guy you got a shotgun too and blow him away then move the shield back around so you don't have to directly look at the basilisk and finish it off.
>>
No. 778728 ID: d36af7

Forget about the basilisk. It's slow and clumsy and Blake has a perfectly good gun. Trust him to take care of it.

Kick the cart back, crushing - or at least pinning - the hunkered-down xotl between it and the far end of the corridor. Crawl around the right side of the cart as you're pulling yourself together, keeping it between you and the interrogation room door. Whoever's in there will be expecting you to peek around the edge of the doorframe, but probably not the edge closer to the end of the hall.
>>
No. 778751 ID: 45b631

There is a potential hostage in the room next to the Xotl, don't let it alone to think about that.

You are surrounded, you need to clear one threat quickly and the thing behind you is tough.

Food is nice, but there is a time and a place, notably a time when you are not surrounded in a firefight with things you can't even look at.

Harpoon the trolley, shotgun the xotl, smash the basilisk to the ground with the shield(keeping it between your and the basilisk's eyes), pin it to the ground under the shield, shoot its head with the shotgun, then rip apart what is left of its head with your tendrils, taking special care to crush anything eyeballish.

There is no need to kill the basilisk just yet, it is mostly harmless when decapitated...
>>
No. 778792 ID: 9145ba

>>778751
Nuh-uh. Don't start that to eat or not to eat bullshit in the middle of a firefight. You snap his neck or eat his eyes or rip his arms off or whatever you want to neutralize that xotl permanently, Alice.
After locking it in a room with an incendiary grenade, not ensuring its death at this point would be cruel. Blake or Alice will finish it off, one way or another.
>>
No. 779320 ID: 3abd97

>survived a close range grenade blast in a small cell that would have focused reflected and contained the concussive blast
Damn, that thing is tougher than it looks.

>what do
I'd say focus on killing the xtol in front of you first, then we can worry about how to kill the thing you can't look at. Maybe Blake will shoot it from behind?

Don't go past the cart and make yourself a target in front of the door at the end. The dragoon could be in there, waiting.
>>
No. 779374 ID: eb3cf7

Surely soldiers like you and Blake have some kind of and signal language. Can you point at the basilisk and do the signal for "kill" without looking at the thing? Blake should get the message.
>>
No. 872322 ID: 31b497
File 152050974752.png - (29.01KB , 600x750 , beauty_is_only_skin_deep.png )
872322

>There is a potential hostage in the room next to the Xotl, don't let it alone to think about that.
This'll all be for nothing if they can't save her.

>Good thing you weren't using that eyesocket for anything. You need to focus on the enemy still in front of you, the basilisk may not have an effect on standard humans and it's crippled to boot. Don't take your shield focus off this shotgun xotl.
Alice drops the xotl she murdered and raises her shield to better cover her as she advances in its shelter.

>Show shotgun guy you got a shotgun too and blow him away then move the shield back around so you don't have to directly look at the basilisk and finish it off.
He's in cover so Alice fires a few shots as she advances to make him keep his head down.

>Forget about the basilisk. It's slow and clumsy and Blake has a perfectly good gun. Trust him to take care of it.
She hears a shot behind. Blake curses.

"It's not working!"

>Survived a close range grenade blast in a small cell that would have focused reflected and contained the concussive blast
>Damn, that thing is tougher than it looks.
The incendiary grenades have very little concussive force so they're safer to use in pressurised environments - its only purpose is to scatter the flammable gel around. But still why does everything have to be so hard to die?!
>>
No. 872323 ID: 31b497
File 152050986582.png - (28.92KB , 800x500 , oh_my_goodness_how_horrifying.png )
872323

>Just don't look at it. Focus on the enemy in front of you.
Shit, she looked!

Alice looks forward again. It didn't paralyse her this time. Maybe she didn't make eye contact long enough. Maybe it's too damaged to manage that same trick. The image from that fleeting glance is burnt into her brain all the same. The thing is horribly injured but it's still crawling after her in its barely functioning exoskeleton. The half boiled, half blinded head is flowing out of the shattered helmet like a slug.

There's another shot from behind: Blake. He's shooting at the thing's armoured backside, the thing's half out of its containment suit as it comes after her but it's still protected by its bulk.

Then the basilisk screams. Alice's head whirls. There's informational content there. She- no she mustn't listen! Her mutant flesh quivers, locks and loosens; struggling to interpret conflicting orders she can't understand. She stumbles forward and falls, one arm knocking into the trolley the xotl's sheltering behind.

Blake and the xotl are not firing, perhaps affected by the same vertigo.

The sound can't go on forever, can it? Alice tries to get her revolting arms and legs underneath her. If she can just get to her feet...

Something strikes her heel like a lash of fire.
>>
No. 872324 ID: 31b497
File 152050988907.png - (1.16KB , 800x600 , this_jellyfish_is_behind_it_all.png )
872324

What the hell just happened?
>>
No. 872325 ID: 33cbe7

A communication channel has been opened. Fill it with curses and insults.
>>
No. 872326 ID: b7627b

>>872324
Someone hit the light switch, did you see where it was? Pay no mind to that psychic horror stuff you're being exposed to and go look for it.
>>
No. 872329 ID: ffdd5f

Did the lights go out? Are you still aware of your own body?
>>
No. 872331 ID: ad51b8

...SHOOT AT IT!!
>>
No. 872345 ID: b53bd0

make a sound.
>>
No. 872401 ID: 074011

Eat Everything!
>>
No. 872404 ID: b1b4f3

>>872324
Looks like some kind of mind bullshit. Exert your willpower. Drive out the intrusion.
>>
No. 872508 ID: c88e6d

>>872324
Roll a grenade in the direction of the basilisk.
>>
No. 872509 ID: 33cbe7

>>872508
1) How are you going to tell which direction that's in?
2) It grabbed her ankle. Setting off a grenade that close to Alice, especially an incendiary one, will have catastrophic results.
>>
No. 872511 ID: 31b497
File 152059282608.png - (7.13KB , 600x750 , pew_pew_mind_bullets.png )
872511

>Did the lights go out? Are you still aware of your own body?
Alice feels oddly exposed and light. She also feels an oppressive, possibly infinite void.

>make a sound.
>A communication channel has been opened. Fill it with curses and insults.
>...SHOOT AT IT!!
Alice attempts to vent her feelings about these circumstances and instead some sort of object materialises in front of her. It moves forward and then dissipates after travelling a few body(?) lengths.

Well that's a thing?
>>
No. 872512 ID: 31b497
File 152059288976.png - (19.00KB , 800x500 , an_enemy_battleship_is_approaching_fast.png )
872512

>Someone hit the light switch, did you see where it was? Pay no mind to that psychic horror stuff you're being exposed to and go look for it.
The void parts and something fades into existence near her. It's tenuous but gigantic! Enormous filaments wave and bend in towards her. She's got to get out of here.

>Looks like some kind of mind bullshit. Exert your willpower. Drive out the intrusion.
This is definitely some bullshit!

>Eat Everything!
It looks like everything wants to eat her!
>>
No. 872513 ID: 33cbe7

Swim up, shoot down! Remember your training! Well, at least pretend you had training!
>>
No. 872520 ID: 2120ee

>>872512
Head towards the hugs. Avoid that suspicious starburst thing in the background.
>>
No. 872525 ID: 0f8a75

>>872512
Wild guess says that it's a representation of an external psychic influence attempting to gobble your mind up.

Shoot the tentacles, avoid anything it shoots at you, eat the things the tentacles or other hostiles drop, press X to bomb if you're getting overwhelmed but try to avoid doing it. Finally, never stop shooting.
>>
No. 872526 ID: ad51b8

Oh shit, you're in an astroids game but the astroids have been replaced by eldrich monsterS. OH FUCK YOU'RE TRAPPED IN A GAME OF SINASTAR! DODGE AND SHOOT EVERYTHING, DODGE AND SHOOT!!!

Also it looks like something is about to pop in at your 12 o'clock (right in front of you) so you may want to avoid it while shooting everything around you if you can.
>>
No. 872538 ID: 0d1514

>>872512
If there are only two things in an infinite void and one is trying to eat you then the other is your only real option. Go to the weird faded star, hope it's an exit.
>>
No. 872547 ID: b1b4f3

>>872512
Shoot at the green thing, travel towards the subtle blue thing in the other direction.
>>
No. 872548 ID: c88e6d

>>872512
REMEMBER YOUR YOUTH PLAYING GRADIUS, IT IS YOUR ONLY HOPE NOW.

Also, you should have two or three Bombs, save them for when you get surrounded and target the enemy's core.
>>
No. 872549 ID: 600f38

>>872512
Head towards the starburst. If you can move backwards, shoot while doing it!
>>
No. 872574 ID: 074011

Try up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start!
Tell mum you'll take out the garbage when you finish this level. Ugh, a thousand kids and you're always the one she hassles...
>>
No. 872631 ID: 31b497
File 152063835039.png - (10.57KB , 800x500 , just_like_my_video_games.png )
872631

>Oh shit, you're in an asteroids game but the asteroids have been replaced by eldritch monsterS. OH FUCK YOU'RE TRAPPED IN A GAME OF SINASTAR! DODGE AND SHOOT EVERYTHING, DODGE AND SHOOT!!!
>REMEMBER YOUR YOUTH PLAYING GRADIUS, IT IS YOUR ONLY HOPE NOW.
>Also, you should have two or three Bombs, save them for when you get surrounded and target the enemy's core.
Alice doubts it's that simple!

>Try up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start!
>Tell mum you'll take out the garbage when you finish this level. Ugh, a thousand kids and you're always the one she hassles...
Not the time!

>Wild guess says that it's a representation of an external psychic influence attempting to gobble your mind up.
Y'think?

>Shoot the tentacles, avoid anything it shoots at you, eat the things the tentacles or other hostiles drop, press X to bomb if you're getting overwhelmed but try to avoid doing it. >Finally, never stop shooting.
Alice finds she can move and has momentum so she can coast while facing another direction.

She can hurt the tentacles but they seem to be healing very quickly.

>Head towards the hugs. Avoid that suspicious starburst thing in the background.
That sounds like a terrible idea.

>If there are only two things in an infinite void and one is trying to eat you then the other is your only real option. Go to the weird faded star, hope it's an exit.
One way to find out!
>>
No. 872632 ID: 31b497
File 152063841088.png - (13.65KB , 600x750 , you_have_died.png )
872632

The void surges again and a similar presence to the first extrudes itself into being. Filaments lance through her.

Alice feels like she's being torn in half.

50 mass lost. Mass total is 50.

She probably has been torn in half!
>>
No. 872633 ID: 31b497
File 152063847123.png - (38.06KB , 800x550 , wakka_wakka_wakka.png )
872633

Alice feels a larger part of her self convulse and rupture. The void buckles, forcing the starfish intruder back to wherever it came from.

Red particles spill into the void around her, flying away in every direction. She sees them and feels they should be blue. Her pursuer seems to be eating them.

Now she can see the whole thing, it has a solid interior mass. There's two structure embedded in it - one thing that looks like her and another thing.

This isn't going well. What should she do?!
>>
No. 872635 ID: 600f38

Eat the red, shoot the thing! Don't let it touch you!
>>
No. 872636 ID: c88e6d

>>872633
Evade its jaws, attempt to sever the connections between things. Also, next time someone tells you to evade the faded star, EVADE THE FADED STAR.

EVERYTHING here is deadly, physical contact is lethal!

You need to provoke it into charging or attacking then attempt to pivot to the side and disable the control-cables maintaining this organism's connection to enemy command staff.
>>
No. 872637 ID: b53bd0

eat reds, try to lure giant thing into starburst.
>>
No. 872638 ID: 34c3e2

>>872633
Dammit, we're trapped in a lethal round of Agar.io

Try to reclaim the red dots.
>>
No. 872640 ID: b1b4f3

>>872632
Fucking two pronged attack, this thing has skills.
>>872633
Make yourself bigger or create structure around your core. This is your mind, surely you can do better than the little jellyfish you've got? Hmm, maybe you should imagine some form you're familiar with. Your opponent appears to be doing the same.
>>
No. 872641 ID: 33cbe7

Shoot its tentacles away from your precious redness, then collect the ones most in danger first!
>>
No. 872643 ID: 2120ee

>>872633
Are you any faster now that you've lost some weight? Dodging is looking like the name of the game.

DO NOT TOUCH THE RED ORBS. Try shooting one.

If they detonate or something, we might actually be able to blast through its outer layer, which we definitely can't with our pea shooter. At the very least, the red orbs could just as easily hurt us, so don't go crashing into something else that kills you.
>>
No. 872658 ID: c88e6d

>>872643
The red orbs are her biomass exploding outwards.
>>
No. 872669 ID: 10c408

Start grabbing your lost mass. With any luck you can start making your own tentacles to collect bits faster.
>>
No. 872743 ID: 2120ee

>>872658
Yes, but we have no evidence backing up the assumption she can safely reabsorb it. In fact, we have reason to pause, since she "feels they should be blue". Grabbing them could hurt her, or slow her down while she re-incorporates the material, like we see the enemy blob doing. We could get our own blob. We just don't know.
>>
No. 872745 ID: d1248b

Circle around, try to get behind the big thing and disable it's propulsion system. Superior maneuverability is your only advantage here, so use what you've got to get even more. Reabsorb biomass as opportunities permit. Once you've got the big thing's engines out of commission, pick a good spot to start drilling toward the solid core.
>>
No. 872757 ID: 31b497
File 152068143641.png - (44.28KB , 800x600 , final_form_infinite_alice.png )
872757

>Are you any faster now that you've lost some weight? Dodging is looking like the name of the game.
Nothing's changed in terms of performance.

>Make yourself bigger or create structure around your core. This is your mind, surely you can do better than the little jellyfish you've got? Hmm, maybe you should imagine some form you're familiar with. Your opponent appears to be doing the same.
The other thing - the basilisk? - has got a jellyfish embedded in it. Alice is going to try to start with something simple - a bigger wriggler. She concentrates on where she felt her lost mass come from and pulls more through. It's blue. She quickly forms some whiskery things and a tail. She's apparently been running around in a mind battle without any defences for her jellyfish core thing. Great.

>Start grabbing your lost mass. With any luck you can start making your own tentacles to collect bits faster.
Alice lances some things but the large enemy is getting too close. It must might have swept up as much as a quarter of her shed mass already. The thing's getting noticeably bigger as the absorbed material flows down the the tentacles into the main body. She sweeps around, intend to collect more particles with her tail as she spins and tries to move out of its path.

>EVERYTHING here is deadly, physical contact is lethal!
That can't be entirely accurate. How come touching stuff hurts Alice but not the attacker? What's with that shell it has?

>Eat reds, try to lure giant thing into starburst.
Alice thinks that was a piece of the same creature.

>Fucking two pronged attack, this thing has skills.
She doesn't know when it can do that again, best to get some space.
>>
No. 872758 ID: 31b497
File 152068162944.png - (38.15KB , 800x550 , fight_fight_fight.png )
872758

>Eat the red, shoot the thing! Don't let it touch you!
>Shoot its tentacles away from your precious redness, then collect the ones most in danger first!
The ones in the most danger are too close to the tentacles!

>Yes, but we have no evidence backing up the assumption she can safely reabsorb it. In fact, we have reason to pause, since she "feels they should be blue". Grabbing them could hurt her, or slow her down while she re-incorporates the material, like we see the enemy blob doing. We could get our own blob. We just don't know.
Re-absorbing them does seem to be slowing her down a little. Might be the awkward shape her 'tail' has taken on by contacting so many. Maybe she can change shape or put them back wherever they originally came from?

A familiar form... well there is one thing Alice has invented. Something approximating her harpoon forms at her head and she fires it at the smaller tentacle cutting off her escape.

The stronger shot severs the tentacle completely. The tentacle-shell vanishes and the mass inside it turns red again.

>You need to provoke it into charging or attacking then attempt to pivot to the side and disable the control-cables maintaining this organism's connection to enemy command staff.
>Circle around, try to get behind the big thing and disable it's propulsion system. Superior maneuverability is your only advantage here, so use what you've got to get even more. Reabsorb biomass as opportunities permit. Once you've got the big thing's engines out of commission, pick a good spot to start drilling toward the solid core.
She might be able to flank it and try to target something? The enemy seems to be prioritising going after the rest of her mass so this might be her best chance. What should she be attacking?
>>
No. 872767 ID: b53bd0

sever the tentacles. prioritize your mass shell for speed.
>>
No. 872787 ID: 600f38

>>872758
Be fast, with a secondary goal of harpoons and a tertiary goal of tendrils to gather mass.
Aim to sever its tentacles.
>>
No. 872788 ID: 10c408

Sever the enemies feeding tentacles. If you get more of the mass than it, you'll have a better chance of killing it.

Make more harpoons, if you can. Or maybe a sharpened tentacle you can use to just hack away at the enemy if it gets too close?
>>
No. 872790 ID: b1b4f3

>>872758
Optimally you should sever the connection between its jellyfish and the other thing.
>>
No. 872791 ID: 074011

The dots seem to be prioritised to turn bright-green, and the bright-green section is more protected. I would guess that the bright-green core belongs to whatever is most aggressive and the dark-green core is being enslaved somehow.
It will probably need a bigger harpoon with more leverage, but piercing that bright-green core might cause an internal conflict.
>>
No. 872819 ID: d1248b

>The enemy seems to be prioritising going after the rest of her mass so this might be her best chance. What should she be attacking?
Sever enemy feeding tentacles as close to the root as possible. That should re-neutralize a lot of the captured mass, which buys you some time to work out improved propulsion and defenses.
>>
No. 872856 ID: 33cbe7

Wololo!
Attack the tentacles that have abosrbed the most mass. If it's that focused on collecting loose mass, that should distract it even longer and free up more mass for you to absorb. Convert all mass regained into additional ballistae to up your firing rate. Circle-strafe your target - new flanking attacks could apparate from anywhere so it's best not to stand still.
>>
No. 872932 ID: 31b497
File 152074918441.png - (35.83KB , 800x500 , final_form_v2.png )
872932

>Sever the enemies feeding tentacles. If you get more of the mass than it, you'll have a better chance of killing it.
Alice starts by trimming the tentacle she shot first to stop it getting too close then twists so she can target the nearest mass bearing tentacle when the harpoon is ready to fire again.

It looks like she can manage the little peashooter while reload the harpoon. She shoots a thin tentacle to crop it too.

>Be fast, with a secondary goal of harpoons and a tertiary goal of tendrils to gather mass.
The direction of Alice's drift and the tail sweep absorbed a lot of the stray mass while keeping her very close to the enemy. It's making her ungainly while she attempts to shift it around, maybe that was a mistake.

She feels the other space where her mass was pulled from twisting oddly. There's something else in there that she can't keep hidden in there any longer. The blob of new mass moving up form her hail suddenly distorts and presses outward as a structure similar to the enemy's one forces its way in.

Is it a representation of some other piece of her? It doesn't have any mass to it? If the core is her brain then what's this?

>Sever the enemies feeding tentacles. If you get more of the mass than it, you'll have a better chance of killing it.
>Make more harpoons, if you can. Or maybe a sharpened tentacle you can use to just hack away at the enemy if it gets too close?
Her harpoon collected a lot of the stray mass so she forms a new one on top and fires. More mass is freed from the enemy's grip.

The other mass bearing tentacle has started thickening - she can't sever it in one shot now. More tentacles are growing towards her and a starburst just appeared ahead. Alice thinks she pissed it off. She hasn't properly integrated all this recovered mass, what should she do?
>>
No. 872935 ID: b1b4f3

>>872932
Cheat. Be an engineer. Make some real guns! You aren't restricted to actual biology here, remember? This is your mind. Either guns, or affix a bomb to the end of your harpoon and start delivering explosive payloads. Or if you can't manage anything complicated, make a sword. Or teeth and start biting the shit out of the enemy squid.

Obviously stay away from the starburst this time.
>>
No. 872941 ID: 09e13b

>weird new bit appearing
Well, it looks a lot like update thingie that appeared in >>622108 No clue what that means, though. Possibly it's the representation of some sort of brainstem or autonomic nervous system belonging to you plant body? The body does seem to 'know' how to do a lot of things instinctively that you didn't as a human, so it possessing some nerve center(s) other than what you originally had makes sense. That would also explain where those instructions were downloaded TOO.

>Weapons
Well, copying you body's physical structures worked really well once. Could you create some equivalent to your feeding tendrils here? They've been admirably effective in melee so far, and they've already gotten an armor piercing upgrade. (Clever Hands)
>>
No. 872944 ID: 33cbe7

Just keep forming more harpoons in a spreadgun pattern. You won't have to turn as much to face multiple threats. Think Merrimac, not Monitor.
Shoot the starburst while it's forming its attack. This might knock it off balance.
Form the extra mass into a spiky shell around your new installation. Or, if not spikes, the beginnings of your own tentacular entourage.
>>
No. 872950 ID: fa2e5d

What is going on with those pieces you leave attached to the other mass's severered limbs? Shoot one. See if those barbs(?) within burst out.
>>
No. 872951 ID: 10c408

Okay, it's time to cheat like mad. Deconstruct the harpoon launching assemblies while you pull your entire assembly closer together for this next bit.

Start making a gargantuan sized harpoon without the launcher assembly. Instead, form a semi-empty cavity around the spear that has [clever hand] tentacles loosely packed inside. What you want to do is use the tentacles to force the fuck-off harpoon INTO the enemy mass, hopefully piercing the enemy core and killing it. You may have to reorient yourself a bit for accuracy, but if you can pierce the enemy core, you win and won't have to waste more time in a losing battle over resources that you aren't going to win.

ALSO the basilisk is stupid and won't see this one coming.
>>
No. 872953 ID: 91ee5f

>>872932
>It's making her ungainly while she attempts to shift it around, maybe that was a mistake.
Then pull yourself towards your tail and compress your mass together so that it’s not spread out so much.

>a starburst just appeared ahead.
Last time the starburst seemed to also have that green mass inside of it. So maybe if you shoot the starburst, it’ll also drop mass?
>>
No. 872957 ID: b1b4f3

Ah, maybe you can make structures that will help you move around. Fins?
>>
No. 872966 ID: 074011

It seems to be uncreative, having done no more than bulk its tentacles. Try getting some distance to form some sophisticated equipment. Focus on flagella and flippers with an elongated body.
It will eventually increase its own speed to adapt, which will give you a chance to use its own momentum to shoot deep with something big. Perhaps a multiple-stage + multiple-projectile harpoon? Or you could try to make explosives by hyper-compressing a piece of your being then hyper-expanding it. You would still need a rigid barrel to form a gun... Hyper-compressed material might make better harpoons even if it expands quickly...

Or you could just turn yourself into a star-fish with clubs on the ends of your tentacles and spin around quickly, anything that gets close would be clubbed...
>>
No. 872973 ID: c88e6d

>>872932
Deploy additional harpoons, try working on some kind of self-guiding projectiles.
>>
No. 872989 ID: 600f38

>>872932
Form a chunk of your mass into flagella to increase your maneuverability and speed. Pull back away from the large creature and from the starburst.
Shoot the starburst.

Can you make the bolts embedded in the attacker explode? Or corrode their body like a necrotic infection?
>>
No. 873000 ID: 12b116

Go full on attack and try to damage the core
>>
No. 873011 ID: d1248b

>If the core is her brain then what's this?
The databank idol. Can you load alternate configurations? Armor would probably be more useful than clever hands at the moment.
>The other mass bearing tentacle has started thickening - she can't sever it in one shot now.
Build a second harpoon, further back on your tail so they won't interfere with each others' firing sequence, and then double-tap it.
>>
No. 873067 ID: deec6e

Withdraw your cores away from the starburst and thicken your mass' thin points so the enemy can't pull the same trick you're doing to them by cutting off weak segments. Essentially, blob up, especially around your cores. Keep collecting mass.

Thought. You have improved feeding tendrils. Does that mean you can cut through the enemy faster than it can bite into you?

... second thought. Can you create a giant crossbow at your back end and launch a huge-ass spear-self of yourself at it to penetrate into its interior and directly use your mass' feeding tendrils to assault its core and the connection between the core and its 'upgrade'?

It's a risky move, as the enemy might be able to assimilate you faster than your parts can attack it, or could sever your parts while you're trying to move towards it. It might also be able to move its core out of the way and then just completely envelop you. You should definitely test the functionality first. Prepare some tendrils to envelop and attack the starburst limbs that are gonna pop up and sneak attack you. If you can chop into those tendrils faster than they can defend, you should be good to go.

As long as you can cut through it faster, then even if it would win a protracted battle expending its mass to hurt your mass, as long as you can shield your core while being able to reach its core the battle should be yours. Ideally, you should have your main core not be a part of the speartip, but you may have no choice but to commit it unless you spend more time picking up enough mass to be able to safely extend a part of yourself deep into the enemy without it getting immediately overwhelmed and cut off.
>>
No. 873091 ID: adbeaa

I notice the enemy has a thin layer that's a good distance from the bulk of its opaque mass--could we do something similar? Create a buffer region around ourselves?
>>
No. 873104 ID: 31b497
File 152085725014.png - (41.51KB , 800x550 , final_form_gun.png )
873104

>Pull yourself towards your tail and compress your mass together so that it’s not spread out so much.
Alice starts by consolidating her mass.

>I notice the enemy has a thin layer that's a good distance from the bulk of its opaque mass--could we do something similar? Create a buffer region around ourselves?
Alice doesn't seem to be able to create something like that disconnected membrane. Damage to it hasn't released any mass either. She extends some thin tentacles instead - hopefully they'll help her move faster and help shield her main body.

>Thought. You have improved feeding tendrils. Does that mean you can cut through the enemy faster than it can bite into you?
That physical upgrade doesn't seem to have any effect here.

>Cheat. Be an engineer. Make some real guns! You aren't restricted to actual biology here, remember? This is your mind. Either guns, or affix a bomb to the end of your harpoon and start delivering explosive payloads. Or if you can't manage anything complicated, make a sword. Or teeth and start biting the shit out of the enemy squid.
This is in her mind though. These are what, symbols of intent? Actual biology and actual engineering don't necessarily mean anything.

Wait, are you seeing this? Something's forming on the enemy - looks like it just learnt how to create guns!

>Just keep forming more harpoons in a spreadgun pattern. You won't have to turn as much to face multiple threats. Think Merrimac, not Monitor.
Right it seems her guns are better for now, Alice forms a much bigger harpoon and a second the size of the original on its other side. She can feel a projectile forming for each.

>What is going on with those pieces you leave attached to the other mass's severed limbs? Shoot one. See if those barbs(?) within burst out.
They linger for a little bit after her attacks hit. Seems to stop the enemy from expanding in that direction? Like some sort of temporary cauterisation?

>If the core is her brain then what's this?
The databank idol. Can you load alternate configurations? Armor would probably be more useful than clever hands at the moment.
Blake has it at the moment and she doesn't see him here. This is the ability she has loaded maybe?

>Go full on attack and try to damage the core
>If you can pierce the enemy core, you win and won't have to waste more time in a losing battle over resources that you aren't going to win.
So far Alice hasn't actually hurt the thing, she's just stopped it claiming mass that's supposed to belong to her. She needs to get a hell of a lot more aggressive.
>>
No. 873105 ID: 31b497
File 152085730535.png - (41.99KB , 800x500 , gun_shoot_bang.png )
873105

Looks like a firing chance is coming up. Her harpoon seems to be slow but powerful so let's see how much damage the big one does.

Thread the needle, in between those two tentacles, POW!

Her main gun springs open. She forgot about the spread - one side grazes the enemy's upper tentacle and gouging a chunk out of it. She feels pain is it gets torn up in the process.

>Well, copying you body's physical structures worked really well once. Could you create some equivalent to your feeding tendrils here? They've been admirably effective in melee so far, and they've already gotten an armor piercing upgrade. (Clever Hands)
Alice tipped the harpoon arms with something like her feeding tendrils. She can damage the membrane but she gets hurt too. That's BS.

The harpoon shot is amazing though. The front of the enemy basically explodes. Maybe this is going to work, Alice waggles her to the side, squirms the extra mass she picked up out of the way and takes aim with a smaller harpoon.

Nooot quite. Come on!
>>
No. 873106 ID: 31b497
File 152085732921.png - (31.33KB , 800x500 , is_kill.png )
873106

Last harpoon.
>>
No. 873107 ID: 31b497
File 152085742507.png - (28.15KB , 800x550 , to_the_victor_the_spoils.png )
873107

Foreign animating principle has been eliminated. Reclaiming and reformatting stolen mass. Some mass has been corrupted by controller exchange and discarded.

40 mass recovered. Mass total is 90.

Foreign basal modification is recoverable and can be loaded into empty node 01. Warning: All nodes will be filled. Active instruction subset is Interface. Other instruction sets have been interpolated. Specification of instruction subset required.

Select one:

[ ] Interface - Connectivity and communication between the worker-body and complex systems. Order exchange protocols with foreign bodies. So this is the source of all the bullshit the basilisk was pulling out? It seems to be really good at messing with other... whatever Alice and the basilisk are.
[ ] Multi-task - Division and recombination of animating principle process streams. Division of labour. Control of worker-body portions can be ceded to parallel processes. So if she wanted, Alice could walk and chew gum at the same time, huh? Or fire two guns while jumping through the air. Or use her Clever Hands to make stuff while exploring.
[ ] Fine Detail - Improves tactile, visual, olfactory, auditory and kinaesthetic sensory functions of worker body. Interpretation and fusion of sensory cues and options for eidetic storage of sensory input and fine scale destructive analysis of structures. Obviously better senses mean Alice will be more aware of her surroundings, better hand-eye coordination means she'd be a better shot and the last one seems a little ominous but might work well with Clever Hands.

[ ] Cancel

Additionally, foreign marrow can be converted and absorbed, allowing an instruction subset of one basal modification to be permanently integrated into worker-body.

[ ] Absorb Marrow
[ ] Cancel

Alice doesn't think that's actually physical marrow. That would free a node up for more of these abilities, probably?
>>
No. 873109 ID: 830fb7

Going with Interface seems to be the best option followed by Fine detail because if you are able to pull off the lock down mauver on others like you that seem hostile they no longer become a threat, plus it probably comes with future immunity to others using it against you.
>>
No. 873110 ID: 2120ee

>>873107
So, it looks like the squiggly bits are some sort of proto-mind to the type of body that you and that thing have, I think. Default baked-in programming, where you're the "animating principle" represented by the eye thingy, that applies higher-order directives. Or maybe the squiggly thing is just the upgrade programming, but I think the mind/body divide is set up to work that way. It's good news, really, since it could mean with better mastery of program bullying, your hunger and pyrophobia could be lessened.

Marrow- It looks like Alice has 2 slots right now, but they are to some extent differentiated, since she can't load 2 abilities from the one program totem thing she found. Consuming this "marrow" to offload Clever hands from the slot it is occupying may allow her to equip a second code set from the totem she has, but it may also not; it's a gamble.

Interface- Some potential it will allow more intimate, and therefore complete, control over Alice's body which could mitigate some of the problematic instincts, but closer association could also influence her behavior in other, unknown ways. Being able to initiate this kind of mind-scape battle with other worker bodies and steal their upgrades is potentially very potent, especially if they are much more physically capable than she is.

It's unknown if modules or "marrow" can be harvested from a conventionally disabled worker body; the damage may be too extensive. This would allow Alice to take "marrow" from later worker bodies via this kind of combat, so skipping that option now would potentially be less of a missed opportunity with this module selection.

Multi-task- Plays well with our "do everything" plan principles, and should greatly ease mid-battle biomass integration. A solid dependable upgrade, it means not having to rely on Blake for cover so much, which means not putting him in the line of fire so much.

Fine Detail- Obvious synergy with Clever hands. Increased sensory capabilities should lead to fewer or more advantageous engagements with enemies, and may include viable scent tracking. This would be useful since we're looking for our crew, and their scents are distinct from sad space fish.

In the end, my choice is
[X] Interface
>>
No. 873111 ID: c8ffa1

Take interface and marrow.
i’m getting the feeling that things like you and it are going to become more common as we move on, why not gather an army of mind-slave-alien-plant-monsters to help us along the way?
>>
No. 873112 ID: 91ee5f

>>873107
>Select one
Interface

If this is the source of the basilisk’s paralysis, then us having it will help whenever we run into more of these things, as both a weapon to use against them and hopefully an immunity to us being paralyzed again.

>Additionally, foreign marrow can be converted and absorbed, allowing an instruction subset of one basal modification to be permanently integrated into worker-body.
Absorb Marrow

Might as well do this too.
>>
No. 873124 ID: deec6e

>>873107

Oh my. Fine details? Fine Details! It'll allow you to do so many things better, among them:

You'll spot weird things sooner, detect that enemies are coming faster, and know better where they are during a firefight. Sensory input is vital to your continued survival!

Shoot better good. You're a trained soldier who SHOULD be real good at that, so embrace something that allows you to avoid getting into melees ALL the frickin' time!

Dismantle items to know how to create new ones from template. Is useful ammo scarce? Dismantle bullets, get the right raw materials and you could restock! As an aside, this might also allow you insight into how the items actually operate - bypassing electronic locks might be easier if you can use Fine Details and your engineering know-how to figure out exactly how they work.

Importantly, the eidetic storage of sensory input thing might allow you to keep better hold on your memories so you don't lose 'em. You could end up being able to create sensory backups of yourself - of how you felt and acted - for someone like Blake to hold on to. That last one might be super important later on, should circumstances ever threaten to make you lose yourself. There may also be other uses for it. Like... it could enable a limited form of communication with other mutated creatures, one that isn't Interface's weird hacking.

Oh, and it'll let you TYPE FASTER, BETTER. Improved communications through tactility, baby!

Interface could be super useful, but I feel it's also a bit of a gamble. The enemy might be expecting you to have that capability following eating/defeating the Basilisk. Accordingly, they'll throw less of their experimental subjects at you and more of their conventional forces, meaning you'd have to find and subsume other experimental subjects on your own. It could also be that they'll throw experiments at you that they know won't be affected by Interface's capabilities, either through weird-ass mental hardening or from just not having the kind of sensory input needed to hack.

There's also the issue of what continued Interfacing will do to Alice's mental state of being! We should definitely check to see what's happened to her WHILE in this mode before we decide to equip it. Did she actually get torn in half? Did she actually twist and change her shape in a ridiculous fashion, while under the mental influence? What will the strain be from coming out of it?

Multi-Task might be very useful, a sort-of-passive-but-not-really boost in terms of productivity and fighting ability, but it may be mentally dangerous. We have no idea of how Multi-Task will affect Alice's mind. Will she just be more capable of thinking two things at once, or will she literally have a split personality doing other things inside her, or will there be some kind of autonomous not-self doing whatever she wills it to do. And if she doesn't will her other half to do anything does it just... do its own thing while idle? If there IS an autonomous aspect to her other-self, imagine suddenly being of two minds about eating Blake! Erk... we should wait on equipping this until we've spoken more with Blake and the good doctor about the xotl experiments and have had Alice tell them what's up with the Precursor artifacts. They'll be better able to say whether or not it's a good/bad move to start enhancing her sense of self in this manner.

As for Marrow... think long and hard about that one. Are we 100% that the Marrow is coming from the Basilisk and not, say, nearby sources? Like, y'know, Blake or the doctor? It probably isn't - just asking to make sure. We're also not sure about what kind of physical and mental effects it will have on Alice to integrate Marrow (probably some kind of bodily effect at the very least!), not to mention the added strain of equipping not just one but two new abilities after this traumatic fight.

We probably want to minimize the trauma, so I suggest we [Cancel] on Marrow. Let's not overwhelm Alice by installing every upgrade we find. This could also be a test to see if Marrow is something you lose to natural rot, or something that can be preserved for later subsumption. Get a doggie-bag and wait for science-colleagues' opinions.

Also remember that equipping upgrades uses Mass. Clever Hands cost 11. Equipping both would probably take us down a bit from our current 90.

That said, if we DO take Marrow and offload Clever Hands into it for a new slot, we should probably take Megastructure from the node Blake's carrying as our secondary. We'll then have all the tools we need to armor up, arm up, stock up, and turn ourselves into a walking tank and super-soldier counter. The armor pretty much saved us from being torn apart by flechettes in this fight so if those are the tools they're using, we should double up with the biological counterpart.

All of this said, wasn't there a Xotl still alive? That Xotl had an incendiary, didn't he? If he's still all grogged out from the Basilisk scream, you'll want to hurry up waking up and get him before he can deploy it. Reinforcements may also be on the way and you've no idea how long you've been out, so up and at 'em, soldier! Remember you'll need Blake to carry and get the good physicist somewhere safe and out of the way.
>>
No. 873134 ID: 10c408

fine detail covers a multitude of things that will let us stay alive in the long run.

And as for absorbing marrow to free up more space for abilities.... Do it, and let's hope that we can do it passively and turn our attention back to what's happening around us because we are in such trouble.
>>
No. 873136 ID: 33cbe7

Absorb Marrow and take two upgrades.
Fine Detail first, which would provide an overall stat boost plus the ability to recreate or at least analyze more complex stuff with Clever Hands, followed by Interface second, for stealing the basilisk's tricks in engagements like this again. It may also have the side effect of giving you that disabling shriek ability, which seems to work on most organics.
We haven't received the option to absorb marrow before. Either we haven't fought anything with sufficient Marrow before to unlock additional modification slots, or perhaps marrow can only be unlocked through this minigame.
>>
No. 873146 ID: 33cbe7

>>873136
Oh, wait! What if you can install Quicksilver in the additional slot instead of Interface? Hold off on filling it for now, then, until you get back to Blake and the idol.
>>
No. 873149 ID: d0d281

Uh, should we be eating that kind of thing? I think you are already far enough off of human without adding a little... well, of whatever the fuck that thing is into it. Yeah, it's an upgrade, but what's the cost. Alice doesn't want power, she wants to live.
>>
No. 873150 ID: b1b4f3

Don't take the marrow. I'm sure there is some hidden cost to it. Also, that would affix one of the modules permanently to you. Do you want to change yourself permanently any further than you already are?

...I guess clever hands wouldn't be a bad permanent change.
>>
No. 873152 ID: 074011

Interface is necessary. Someday you are getting out of this, and when you do, you will need quarantine. The ability to exert control over... whatever you are made of, will be invaluable for containment.

There is a non-zero chance that the Xotl will lose control of the project and the facility will be overrun with wild bioweapons.

There also exists a possibility that the Xotl have equipment based upon this technology. If you can interface with a xotl's regenerating armour or psychic scope...

Interface seems like a way to effectively confirm a mission-kill on a bioweapon, at a distance. Given the amorphous nature of the things, vital signs are difficult to identify and even scattered fragments are a potential threat. It might seem like a waste to expend a limited ability slot on a specific opponent where a few incendiary grenades would do, but we saw just how unreliable kills are against the basilisk.
>>
No. 873153 ID: 094652

Interface seems like the obvious choice - without it, you were hacked and dealt a near-fatal ambush that left you tiny and easily killable. Hacking other enemies in turn before consuming them may result in more salvaged cores, which means more augments and augmentation slots.
>>
No. 873204 ID: 600f38

>>873107
>So this is the source of all the bullshit the basilisk was pulling out?

INTERFACE! FUCK YEAH!
>>
No. 873216 ID: fa2e5d

>Fine Detail - Improves tactile, visual, olfactory, auditory and kinaesthetic sensory functions of worker body. Interpretation and fusion of sensory cues and options for eidetic storage of sensory input and fine scale destructive analysis of structures. Obviously better senses mean Alice will be more aware of her surroundings, better hand-eye coordination means she'd be a better shot and the last one seems a little ominous but might work well with Clever Hands.

>auditory

Wouldn't you like to be able to speak again, Alice?
>>
No. 873217 ID: 33cbe7

>>873216
Sensory functions. She'll hear better, not speak better. Maybe if she destructively analyzed a voicebox, she could replicate it.
>>
No. 873221 ID: fa2e5d

>>873217
Whoops. Misinterpreted that.
>>
No. 873223 ID: 31b497
File 152093452702.png - (23.09KB , 800x550 , delicious_core_must_be_eaten.png )
873223

>This could also be a test to see if Marrow is something you lose to natural rot, or something that can be preserved for later subsumption.
It's visibly decaying.

>We haven't received the option to absorb marrow before. Either we haven't fought anything with sufficient Marrow before to unlock additional modification slots, or perhaps marrow can only be unlocked through this minigame.
Alice has only encountered the piggy and she didn't try to eat it because she was worried it might have cooties. Or cancer. Cootie cancer.

>And as for absorbing marrow to free up more space for abilities.... Do it, and let's hope that we can do it passively and turn our attention back to what's happening around us because we are in such trouble.
>Consuming this "marrow" to offload Clever hands from the slot it is occupying may allow her to equip a second code set from the totem she has, but it may also not; it's a gamble.
Only one way to find out...

>Don't take the marrow. I'm sure there is some hidden cost to it. Also, that would affix one of the modules permanently to you. Do you want to change yourself permanently any further than you already are?
Slippery slope arguments aside, a little more monstrosity isn't going to hurt at this point. She's a slightly floral fleshbeast with cannibalistic urges. Alice keeps getting the feeling Blake knows more than he's letting on. Odds are he's trying to cushion her from the realisation there's no way back.

Alice extracts something from the decaying core and swallows it. Nothing feels different. Just a melting sensation as it dissolves into her.
>>
No. 873224 ID: 31b497
File 152093486164.png - (45.92KB , 600x750 , twice_the_fun.png )
873224

>Fine Detail covers a multitude of things that will let us stay alive in the long run.
That's true, but...

>Interface
>If this is the source of the basilisk’s paralysis, then us having it will help whenever we run into more of these things, as both a weapon to use against them and hopefully an immunity to us being paralysed again.
Alice doesn't want to go through that again!

>There is a non-zero chance that the Xotl will lose control of the project and the facility will be overrun with wild bioweapons.
Yuuuuup.

>Interface- Some potential it will allow more intimate, and therefore complete, control over Alice's body which could mitigate some of the problematic instincts, but closer association could also influence her behaviour in other, unknown ways.
Alice isn't sure if she can hypnotise herself.

>Being able to initiate this kind of mind-scape battle with other worker bodies and steal their upgrades is potentially very potent, especially if they are much more physically capable than she is.
Messenger knows being able to pull that sort of bullshit on her enemies is only fair at this point.

She feels flushes of hot and cold as she integrates the new ability. Ghostly flickers again as she tries to comprehend the information slotting into herself. Again it's a pleasurable feeling, but she distrusts her instincts. Is her body conditioned to pursue growth in whatever form it takes? Again it intensifies to a burning sensation, whatever changes are necessary consumes some of her body to fuel them.

9 mass lost. Mass total is 81.

>So, it looks like the squiggly bits are some sort of proto-mind to the type of body that you and that thing have, I think. Default baked-in programming, where you're the "animating principle" represented by the eye thingy, that applies higher-order directives. Or maybe the squiggly thing is just the upgrade programming, but I think the mind/body divide is set up to work that way.
Alice has two now. It's probably a representation of a loaded node? Does that mean she can tear one out of an enemy if she targets it?

Alice feels her self quiver after she finishes assimilating Interface.

Alice has learnt a new configuration!

Basilisk Organ: A specialised structure intended to broadcast simple instructions or incapacitating inputs to disconnected objects using available transmission mediums. Requires 8 mass + 5% of total mass to form.

So she needs a thing to pull maximum bullshit huh?

Marrow available to integrate instruction subset from filled node. Select option.

[ ] Clever Hands
[ ] Interface
[ ] Cancel


Currently fused to inert worker-body. Estimate 35 servitor mass. Absorb and convert?

[ ] Absorb
[ ] Cancel


>All of this said, wasn't there a Xotl still alive? That Xotl had an incendiary, didn't he? If he's still all grogged out from the Basilisk scream, you'll want to hurry up waking up and get him before he can deploy it.
Maybe she could wake up if she could get out of these menus! She hasn't felt any mass loss from getting shot or set on fire, which is encouraging.
>>
No. 873226 ID: 33cbe7

Cancel marrow. Save it for later, it might lock out other abilities from that node.
Absorb/eat inert body to regain mass lost from being worked over. Maybe if you get cancer cooties, you can spread them among the xotl and cause mass chaos.
>>
No. 873227 ID: 9814f3

...Except that you lost half of your total mass before you had to engage the basilisk and it felt like you were cut in half by a barrage of filament ammo.

So let's get a move on.

[X]clever hands Let's just get that one locked in now and worry about switching interface/fine detail/multi-task later.

[X]cancel. We were in the middle of a fire fight that is likely still going on, we do NOT have time to convert the basilisk into anything useful!
>>
No. 873233 ID: 830fb7

[ ] Clever Hands
[ ] Absorb
>>
No. 873244 ID: 5f2b81

Clever hands
Absorb
>>
No. 873246 ID: da1652

>>873224
Cancel Absorb, push for using your normal senses again.
35 is roughly Blake sized
>>
No. 873254 ID: 2120ee

[X] Interface
[X] Cancel
>>
No. 873255 ID: c88e6d

>>873224
Clever Hands

Cancel


We need the ability to tear through armor right now and Clever Hands is convenient for that.
>>
No. 873258 ID: 3abd97

This might be kind of weird, but I think your life as a shmup is going better than your life as a fps horror protagonist.

>Alice isn't sure if she can [hypnotize] herself.
But it sure would be handy if you could. Even being able to program commands for your body would be nice, even if it turns out you don't have write access to your own brain.

I wonder if the basilisk organ can figure out frequencies to talk to non-plant monsters? Telepathy with people you like might be cool.

>Alice keeps getting the feeling Blake knows more than he's letting on. Odds are he's trying to cushion her from the [realization] there's no way back.
I mean, it's nice that he's being considerate, right? It means he's still treating you like a person.

There will come a point where you need the information to stay alive, and keep the others alive, more than you need the kindness, though. Hopefully we'll be getting some answers from the doctor soon.

>Marrow available to integrate instruction subset from filled node. Select option.
>[X] Clever Hands
You're an engineer, you wanna bake the engineering power in, darn it!

It's a little late, but multi-task or fine control could have been used to try and improve your speech, either by having more attention / processing power to apply to the task, or by having finer control over the pertinent systems.

Oh well, you can still work the datapad for communication.

>Currently fused to inert worker-body. Estimate 35 servitor mass. Absorb and convert?
>[X] Cancel
We don't want to get any bigger, you already towered over Blake and had a hard time getting around.

>what's going on outside
To be fair, you have no way to judge passage of time in here. This is happening at the clock speed of your crazy alien plant brain, and time in dreams and VR is always deceptive.
>>
No. 873261 ID: deec6e

[X] Clever Gir-er, I mean-Hands

[X] Cancel Absorb, for reasons of hurry up and wake.
>>
No. 873271 ID: ab7dcc

Absorb the mass. Fight's not over yet, you'll probably burn off any excess in the course of tangling with that dragonslayer.

Lock in Clever Hands.
>>
No. 873274 ID: 600f38

>>873224
Clever hands
Absorb


I can only hope you can instruct yourself that Humans are unappetizing and should never be consumed.

I wonder. If we put more points into Interface can we dominate Basilisks?
>>
No. 873603 ID: 074011

Blake might want to tell you that you are on a time-limit before physical or mental death! Or there could be a real Alice out there to save! Perhaps Alice exploded when they were boarded and you were an experiment in advanced mop technology!
Whatever the case, you still need to get as many people out of here as possible, and getting your story out is better than nothing, while the Xotl have been consistently hostile. So nothing he tells you could change your overarching priorities.

Unless there is trigger information that makes whatever you are kill whoever says it? That is something that you would really want to know, even if you can't hear the specifics...

Try to get Blake to be honest. It will make communication faster if he doesn't have to worry about hurt feelings.
>>
No. 873621 ID: 31b497
File 152102684858.png - (38.28KB , 800x550 , wilted_alice.png )
873621

>Blake might want to tell you that you are on a time-limit before physical or mental death! Or there could be a real Alice out there to save! Perhaps Alice exploded when they were boarded and you were an experiment in advanced mop technology!
Thank you for reminding Alice of all the horrifying possibilities.

>>[X] Clever Hands
>You're an engineer, you wanna bake the engineering power in, darn it!
Sounds good. Alice makes something shift inside her and then feels the tingle building to a burning sensation that signifies transcription of a skill-set.

9 mass lost. Mass total is 72.

>[X]cancel. We were in the middle of a fire fight that is likely still going on, we do NOT have time to convert the basilisk into anything useful!
Back to business then. No (further?) eating of basilisks.

The void vanishes and Alice's eyes begin to focus, the blurs aggravatingly slow to resolve into objects. She's lying on the ground, something dead is wrapped around her right leg. Things seem to be gradually speeding up around her. Alice feels sluggish, bloated and half melted. Her slowly responding body is desperately trying to shed dead mass, she's drooling, sweating and dripping slime everywhere.

There's a tooth in front of her. She must have thrown it up. Why didn't her body break it down? Was it encysted somehow? It looks human. Alice hopes it was one of hers.

She tries to move and her body protests extravagantly. Most of her skeleton, various chunks of important internal structure are distorted, decayed or outright missing. Her mind recoils at the flood of information that's shoved at her.

>This might be kind of weird, but I think your life as a shmup is going better than your life as a fps horror protagonist.
Alice's life is just generally shit, OK!?

Alice tries to clamp down on the panic rising up within her. Reason, she needs reason. Her body is mutable. Obviously the bits she lost control of must need to be rebuilt. All she needs to do is shape that undifferentiated mass and pull herself back together. She tries to form a self image and feels an unaccountable sense of confusion. What is she actually supposed to look like? What are the key features of an Alice!?
>>
No. 873622 ID: 33cbe7

Just think about knockers and the rest will come back to you.
The most important bits would be your heartbeat (to remind you you're still there), arms (for hugging), and legs (for moving around while the arms are busy. Then, hmm- feet? No, we've transcended feet a while back.
Okay, your mind's really scrambled right now. Find some not-dead matter and eat it to clear your head. Preferably green, like that basilisk you didn't think you needed to eat.
>>
No. 873623 ID: a98542

>>873621
Two arms, two legs, one head. Get up and get slaughtering - you've still got Xotl trying to kill you.
>>
No. 873625 ID: 69d4b9

>>873621
Alice Dietrich was human. She could look human if she could rebuild just a few things different.

Teeth. She needs human-like teeth so she can talk properly. And smile again. And pretend to be a human. She needs her skin to be the proper color again. She needs her head tentacles to have a layer of normal hair hiding them.
>>
No. 873626 ID: 0d1514

>>873621
An Alice is a thing that can survive this mess.
>>
No. 873629 ID: 00b11f

>>873621
Thinking about moving or how to move is the worst thing, just keep telling your body to move like how you did before the most recent mental assault.

Also, was blake tasty?
>>
No. 873630 ID: 5f3f48

>There's a tooth in front of her. She must have thrown it up. Why didn't her body break it down? Was it encysted somehow? It looks human. Alice hopes it was one of hers
Yeah it better be yours. If the doctor or Blake is losing teeth in your face something (else) has gone terribly wrong.

Save that. It still looks human, it might be the last piece of old you.

>She tries to form a self image and feels an unaccountable sense of confusion. What is she actually supposed to look like? What are the key features of an Alice!?
Alice is a person who can talk. She is a soldiers and an engineer and a at least nominally a member of a social, cooperative species. Those things all require communication. Speech is important, you hear that, horror body?

Also Alice rembers being a human female and would like to still resemble one thank you. Bideal locomotion. Manipulator hands. A head with sensory organs. Aesthetically pleasing physical proportions. A chest- not letting monster puberty take those away!

Speaking of puberty, just no. The ability to create more monsters is not an essential function, feel free to divert resources away from that.

>what do
Need to check your surroundings for hostiles and friendlies ASAP. You might be in danger, or your allies might be, or Blake might think you're dead, etc. You need to know the situation to react.
>>
No. 873633 ID: 91ee5f

>>873621
>What is she actually supposed to look like? What are the key features of an Alice!?
This: >>628157 .
>>
No. 873634 ID: 600f38

>>873621
Like this:
>>554582

But this time let's get some vocal cords going.
>>
No. 873637 ID: 13fded

Egg shaped head with a jaw, a nose and two eyes forming a face... well, one eye and a scar. This all connected to the torso with a neck. Passing through head to the base of the torso a spinal structure that offer structural stability. On the top half od the torso a cage of bones with somewhat cylindrical shape on top of witch two triangular bones form protuberances to sustain arms. You had two but if you can make four arms I bet it would be handy. For a functional hands a thumb and two to four fingers allowing you to grab objects in a pincer gesture. On the base of torso a stable bone that remind a U shaped butterfly connected to two legs that are long and tick to sustain your increasing weight and increase mobility.
>>
No. 873641 ID: cf9f0d

Well, you know the basics. Upright posture, two arms, two legs, a head. But in terms of what’s most IMPORTANT...

I would suggest focusing on the hands and face. Your hands are how you interact with the world, how you feel it and shape it. They’re also something with a lot of human memories attached: engineering, building, handling guns.

Your face is the part that represents you as a person. Who you are. It’s what people think of when they think of you, and the part to which they look when they speak to you. Get those right, and the rest will follow.
>>
No. 873642 ID: b53bd0

infinity may be scary, but if you embrace it you can be anything.
>>
No. 873645 ID: 5f3f48

Oh also: you'd like it if your clothes still fit after repairs are completed, thanks.
>>
No. 873650 ID: b1b4f3

>>873621
You're supposed to look HUMAN. This is your chance to force the issue.
>>
No. 873656 ID: 10c408

Focus on looking like you use to, before you woke up in an incinerator. You ARE human and you should not let the precursor coding change you into something else. Try and get some of the more non-human 'features' done away with though. Namely, the gaping maw stomach you had migrating the eye-flower thing to where your missing one was, assuming that you can't just replace it with a regular eye.
>>
No. 873658 ID: deec6e

>>873621

Even if you can't be yourself, isn't it better to be anything at all?

That said... do not panic, Alice Dietrich. Soldiers do not panic. Consider this just another battle of wits with your new biology. Forgetting your shape isn't even abnormal - few remember how they 'look' on a day-to-day basis unless they spend an extraordinary amount of time in front of the mirror or they have good visual acuity and/or eidetic memory. Other than that, people just FEEL how they are - so much of it runs on your biological autopilot you don't notice it until it's gone. Like now - only you've got it slightly worse. Our biology is built into us and for obvious reasons you don't have that connection.

But you can still force it right with what you appear to have left.

You can extrapolate. You've got functional memories. Memories of being a soldier, an engineer, of people dear to you - like your grandma, Marie Dietrich. You can assemble a set of basic anthropometrics! The size and proportions of humans you've trained to fight - the sizes for which to fit full-body armor, on which the equipment you wear and maintain and use, and the dimensions that will fit these things. Create a grid in your mind and start filling it in.

In this way you can create a fair picture of how the human body might look and operate. Grit your ragged gums, where teeth and lips should be. Blue eyes, blonde hair, fair skin, perhaps those things are lost to you, but not this. Whatever else you've got that your new biology won't let you go without can be tacked on top of or inside of an anthropomorphic shape, but it is your absolute baseline.

... that said, whatever you do, don't forget about thumbs. How else will you conquer the world this station?

>tooth

Speaking of teeth, grab it. It's got your DNA, and maybe that can be significant. Maybe a small piece of you can make it home. Maybe it can just serve as a memento. Either way, take it and keep it, and while you resolve your shape issue as much as you can, try to get a good view of what else is going on.

It might be that the Xotl haven't attacked you because everything's too much of a mess and too uncertain whether their Basilisk won or not. It might be that time slowed down to such an extent that the Basilisk's hacking shriek still has 'em half knocked out. You need to get moving sooner rather than later. If your gun is still nearby and not gooped up, get it ready. If your shield can be picked up and wielded against an assault, get it in position. There's a xotl with incendiary grenade still out there and unless a new threat has entered, he is shut-down priority #1.
>>
No. 873659 ID: 094652

Being human is about making choices. Beyond that, your body is just a collection of tiny lifeforms that work in tandem to create complex tools for the bidding of a system of tamed and evolving chaotic signals, processes, and reactions.

So the Key Features of an Alice are Success, Ingenuity, and Survival. It's what we've seen from you so far.

Worry about the decorations after you're out of this hellhole.
>>
No. 873663 ID: 074011

I just remember that you had the most lovely eye-flower just behind your right temple.

Ummm, did you have giant spider-legs coming out of your lower back? There was something going on back there and that look rocked on Deem!

Just focus on not eating anything. "Remember the tooth" and get it in a sample bag later if it might have your original biology.
Try to get your hearing sorted, it is a fast and stealthy means of determining if you need to play dead or get moving.
>>
No. 873667 ID: c88e6d

>>873621
Think about the happiest day of your life before you became a plant-monster. Visualize it!
>>
No. 873674 ID: 630b63
File 152107300698.png - (21.72KB , 600x400 , 138858593103.png )
873674

Well, Alice, hopefully pictures work, because here's your ID photo.
>>
No. 873693 ID: 2120ee

>>873621
An Alice has an embarrassing birth mark on her left butt cheek.

>There's a tooth in front of her. She must have thrown it up. Why didn't her body break it down? Was it encysted somehow? It looks human. Alice hopes it was one of hers.
If it's not Alice's, that means the most likely source was the eye-beast she just melted. Which is... not an encouraging possibility.
>>
No. 873741 ID: 2fe26a

The key features of an Alice: Improvisation, adaptation, and a taste for seafood. By these powers combined, you are Alice Dietrich! And you will knock the teeth out of whoever's knocking teeth out!
>>
No. 874115 ID: 2120ee

>>873693
Just a quick add-on:

As pointed out by >>873674 an Alice has a regulation compliant haircut! Not some shaggy hippy cut.
>>
No. 874242 ID: 31b497
File 152134559606.png - (46.96KB , 800x600 , pull_yourself_together.png )
874242

>Two arms, two legs, one head. Get up and get slaughtering - you've still got Xotl trying to kill you.
Right, basic functionality trumps all.

>The most important bits would be your heartbeat (to remind you you're still there)
Alice focuses on that, heartbeat, circulation, life. Distribute r