Session 3 5

Movie time! It is a spacious, if small, theater, seating at most 30. Though projection technology has changed over the years, the basic seating has not: staggered rows, the rear above the front so people can see over, and a big screen in front.
Thanes leads the party in. The lights are dim, but not yet too dim to see by. A few guests - likely VIPs - are scattered around; most notice the party.
Abraham briefly laments the demise of the 'Drive-in' movie theaters of the twentieth century. Those looked fun.
Michael, Heggy, and Ingenue all pick up the Integrated in a corner seat, who is chatting quietly with the human next to him.
Hrrin walks directly into the middle of the theatre, or as near as she can get barring the presence of other VIP, and seats herself, ears shifting to confirm that, yes, this is where the best acoustics will be.
Thanes: "So! We'll be doing this Mist-style. If you must speak up during the show, please try to keep it witty, funny, and/or entertaining. Or at least salient."
Thanes: "The movies will be scored based on audience reaction."
Zinda Tegram glances around without moving her head too much and takes an inconspicuous seat near the middle of the back.
Doc Alexander joins Zinda in the back
Abraham takes a seat next to Thanes.
[OOC] WC GM: Anywhere special for Michael/Heggy/Ingenue?
Thanes sits front and center.
[OOC] Hrrin: Huh. Next to Hrrin?
[OOC] WC GM: In front of Hrrin.
[OOC] WC GM: You were going for the middle, yes?
Abraham is glad that he is not an excessively tall man.
[OOC] Hrrin: Gotcha.
Ingenue settles in beside Zinda.
Michael Pearson follows Thanes' lead.
The first film focuses on the action aboard the shipyard station. The dockworkers are portrayed as struggling would-be unionists, exploited by harsh management practices - a few of which would be reportable offenses if they actually happened, and not all of which are immediately dismissable charges. Then the Nephilim invade.
Management retreats and holes up, while the workers are left to fight and die. Which they do, felling one enemy for each of their own that falls, until the last of the invaders (on screen) and the last of the unionists face off. The Nephilim's suit is ruptured, suffocating him - it is implied they do not breathe oxygen-nitrogen - but not until the unionist is heavily bruised, having been pelted with an endless barrage of spoon-like objects.
Hrrin hadn't known that about the aspirations of unionization. She leans forward in interest, wondering if those hopes were dashed by the chaos of violence.
The unionist collapses atop his foe. The civilians slowly emerge once the fighting has stopped. Management does not show its face.
Michael Pearson: "Are the spoons some kind of marxist reference? I'm afraid I don't get that part."
Thanes: "I…think they were a historical reference?"
Abraham: "I'm afraid the only significant spoon historical reference I know of involves Bards."
Hrrin: "Shame they didn't open up the hidden door on the third level," Hrrin chuckles to herself.
Hrrin: "They had a spork hiding there."
Michael Pearson grimaces.
Abraham: "SHhhh! Don't give a way the surprising plot twist!"
Thanes: "Indeed. And why discriminate against forks and knives?"
Abraham: "I'm guessing because they're dull, so they'll hurt more."
Abraham does not finish the quote.
Hrrin: "Nay, clearly a representation of how damn long it took to kill those bastards."
Movie number two immediately comes off as a documentary. Pilot's-eye view, though something seems off - ah, the models are reconstructed. This must be based on a description, though a very accurate one. The voices sound familiar, though it is not until the pilot turns around and glances at her copilot - Michael - that the party recognizes where exactly this "footage" was taken from.
It has little plot, just a mostly-faithful recreation of the dogfight.
Thanes lifts an eyebrow. That one Integrated is giggling.
Michael Pearson sighs quietly.
Thanes: "I was…quite certain these were independent efforts?"
Hrrin: "Tegram, did you know Sternlanze's tail wiggles like that when you bank?"
Abraham: "I can't help Zinda. I'm not in this episode."
Zinda Tegram glances back at Hrrin. "It's…tail? You mean the rotary thrust-assembly?"
Michael Pearson: "Oh, they are. If she'd actually been involved in the script-writing process I'd probably have lost my shirt at some point. Nice renders, though."
Hrrin: "Aft. Or yes, that."
Just then, the point of view faces "Michael" again. The center of the point of view is not his face, but the slightly unbuttoned suit.
Michael Pearson: "….."
Michael Pearson raises an eyebrow at Heggy.
Hrrin giggles.
Hrrin: "The female gaze at work."
Abraham nods. "Michael does his best dogfighting shirtless."
Heggy blushes and ducks lower in her seat.
Heggy: "I didn't! I swear!"
Hrrin: "Zinda does her best work with someone drugged in the back seat."
Michael Pearson: "[Sometimes I really hate this planet.]"
Doc Alexander takes notes on the various 'characters' reactions to their portrayals.
Zinda Tegram glances back at Hrrin.
Zinda Tegram: "Careful."
Zinda Tegram: "If I recall I had Karlt with me on that flight."
Michael Pearson: "Yeah. You don't want to be Zinda's performance enhancing drug-ee."
Zinda Tegram sighs and buries her face in her hands.
The third movie focuses on the hotel. It is a slapstick farce, marines and Nephilim slapping back and forth until the Nephilim wind up face-to-face with a carrier-sized Stern Lanze, a mostly-accurate Zinda standing on its prow and staring them down with a fierce grin as the very large number of cannons pivot to track the Nephilim.
Michael Pearson: "…Now that one's pretty accurate."
Thanes: "Remind me, her craft does not actually have that many guns, does it?"
Michael Pearson: "I'm Zinda Tegram. And I can BREATHE IN SPACE."
Zinda Tegram chuckles. "It has four. But they're all bigger tham those."
Hrrin: "What, no! Go back to the 'hot potato with antimatter grenade' bit!"
Doc Alexander groans
Doc Alexander: "What happened to smart films?"
Zinda Tegram: "I'm surprised they didn't show the torch."
Said bit comes up after the Nephilim flee deeper into the station - which keeps getting torn up by Stern Lanze fire, taking the most expeditious route to its quarry.
Zinda Tegram: "Ah, of course."
Thanes: "Would this be the, ah, 'combination of metaphors' the filmmaker talked about?"
Hrrin: "I've got to love the attention to detail on the animation here. Look at those whiskers twitch."
Ingenue: "Zinda? These recordings do not match the information stored in this units databases."
Zinda Tegram closes her eyes and thinks.
Zinda Tegram: "That's not surprising Metis. They're allegorical pieces of fiction."
Zinda Tegram: "But something is…"
Abraham in a comically dramatic Zinda voice "My name is Zinda Tegram, and this ship is the flesh of my flesh, sharing my blood; the friend that shares my fate; the Arcadia of my Youth. When this plane, with whom I shared my youth, with whom I rode the skies, has ceased to fly, so too will my life cease."
Film four opens with an industrial beat, and dim scenes of something being welded together. It switches to over-the-shoulder shots of the Nephilim, riding in cloaked through the jump point, scanning for something. Slice of life shots are interspersed, but the main themes are the construction and the search.
Hrrin: "Oooooh."
Zinda Tegram: "Who are the film-makers, Mayor?"
Ingenue looks downwards at the admiral. The Stern Lanze is Zinda's flesh? This will require extensive examination.
Eventually the search settles on Mu Cephei Prime. Artillery is called in - there are shots of some massive cannon aiming at the planet.
[OOC] Abraham: As planned
Zinda Tegram laughs and hugs Metis. "No, it's a reference to a piece of cultural material."
Thanes: "Various aspiring artists. I have their addresses on file - umm, except for this one. This was anonymous, I'm afraid."
Doc Alexander: "Anonymous?"
Zinda Tegram narrows her eyes. "Really…"
Abraham: "From a Nephilim point of view? Not ominous at all."
[OOC] Ingenue: Wenser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Probably.
[OOC] Abraham: No. Anonymous.
The industrial beat ramps up a notch, as the lights come up a bit around the construct. It is a humanoid frame - and its cold grey eyes snap open.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Or, well, one of them.
Zinda Tegram: "Dammit, 'in-crowd'…"
The cannon is boarded and taken offline before it can fire. The Nephilim are speaking no intelligible language, but from their body language it is clear they are falling back on Plan B.
Ingenue: "That unit looks similar to this unit."
Integrated: "Umm…wasn't us. That I know of."
Integrated: "[Anyone out there responsible for this film?]" He sends his visual feed with the query. There is no response.
Abraham: "Nice use of body language."
Zinda Tegram: "You sure?"
Integrated: "I'm checking, I'm checking."
Zinda Tegram: "You're the ones who'd know about it."
Zinda Tegram glances at the Thane for a reaction.
Thanes is calm, concentrating - though he seems to be more concerned about the audience's reaction than the film itself, judging by the swivel of his head to pick up any audio cues behind him.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: No reaction to the 'in-crowd' he so curious about just happening to be around to respond to my comment?
Zinda Tegram puts a shoulder on Metis. "It's similar to you because it's supposed to be a depiction of you."
[OOC] WC GM: You can guess he's filed that for later following-up-upon.
Zinda can HEAR the audience blink at that.
Zinda Tegram closes her eyes.
There is a shot of a world none of the party has seen before. Coming up from it is the wormhole stabilizer, which passes through piece by piece as a dogfight breaks out.
Hrrin: "Who /made/ this?"
Zinda Tegram: "I can think of two sources."
Doc Alexander: "Those parts are going IN to the wormhole… "
Said world - even though it is only seen for a few seconds, the colors and patterns seem to evoke a dying, burnt-out planet. Many large craters can be seen, without the lips to suggest natural craters.
Then the construct again - a spotlight behind it, almost religious overtones, though whether it is for a messiah or an angel of genocidal judgment is hard to say.
Zinda Tegram: "Actually, come to think of it, I don't think the frame was a reference to you after all. But I think I know who."
Then back to the Nephilim again, whose fighter jukes, weaves, then Hrrin's fighter comes into view, turning toward the point of view. "Hrrin" shoots right at the camera…
White fades to black, saved for the words in English, "And I will never know."
It holds for a minute before the film ends without credits.
Doc Alexander: "That's… "
Zinda Tegram: "That's certainly an ostentatious way for them to send a message."
Doc Alexander: "That's interesting misen scene…"
Hrrin: "#You -wanted- us to get better. What did you expect?#" She mutters under her breath.
Thanes: "#You know them?#"
Hrrin: "#…It's ancient history. Not well. Decaying magnetic tapes and old religious texts.#"
Thanes: "#Oh, right, the prophecy.#"
Thanes: "#Well. None now alive were there, and all that.#"
Thanes: "#It was your ancestors' problem. Don't let it trouble you.#"
Hrrin: "Generally speaking," Hrrin responds, switching to Terran, "I make it my business to be troubled by those who have me 'tween their crosshairs."
Thanes: "I'd say you had them 'tween yours. That was your ship, I take it?"
Abraham not letting on that he understands Kilrash has served him well.
Michael Pearson: "I can see that."
Hrrin: "Aye, that was Lynx's Eye." Hrrin allows herself a nod and a moment of pride, at that.
Film number five focuses on a little lago girl, clinging to her mommy's leg as she watches the construction of an evacuation transport. This one, too, is wordless, conveying meaning through music and vocal tones. A small crowd of Big Important People - stylized versions of the party - rush past, then take off in their fighters. She boards the transport but soon gets separated from her mother.
Michael Pearson is fighting down the tears.
Zinda Tegram pulls Metis close.
After a brief play scene, she wanders, searching - and comes face to face with the business end of a Nephilim injection drone. She runs.
Hrrin glances behind her. Yep, there are Metis and Tegram, just as she expected.
Soon she finds her mother - or rather, her rotting half-corpse, who has just enough life left to smile at her daughter before she dies.
The daughter freaks out and runs, discolored gas that is either her somehow able to see the infection or just her imagination. She manages to get to an airlock and seal herself in, though the seal begins to corrode…then it stops.
Michael Pearson is no longer suppressing the tears as well as he'd hoped.
Outside she sees the fighters from before blasting off the injection drones. She waves to them, but is apparently not seen. Then the shipyard station looms, swallowing her view.
Doc Alexander tears up a bit.
Medical personnel rush in, and all is lights and beeps and bizaare monitors and brushes and a few needles.
Then a Nephilim bursts in, shooting the medics. Once they have fallen, he advances on the girl…
Hrrin: "This is heartbreakingly schmaltzy." Hrrin hopes nobody hears her.
…who reveals she had pocketed a small piece of the drone this entire time. She hurls it into the suit of armor, scoring a cinematic lucky hit. The armor shudders, then falls.
She looks straight at the camera, promise grim on her face.
Ingenue notes that several members of the audience are leaking lubricant. Biologics are /weird/.
Movie: "[I will protect you.]"
…the source of that was clearly the movie projector, and only perceptible to those with neutrino communicators.
It fades to black after that scene.
Thanes: "Well. That was…something?"
Ingenue: "That statement is true."
Doc Alexander: "It didn't really end, did it? It kinda just trailed off."
Thanes: "The producer is listed as one of the 'In Crowd'." He looks to the Integrated on the corner. "Something you want to share with us?"
The Integrated smiles, looking around the audience. "It's already been shared."
Thanes: "…"
Thanes: "Anyway. Those are the films. While the judging is proceeding, what did you think?"
Doc Alexander: "I think we need a copy of that fourth one."
Zinda Tegram: "You seem to have gotten some very interesting entrants."
Zinda Tegram: "I like that fellow's interpretation of my ship though, haha."
Zinda Tegram glances over at the Integrated audience member.
Thanes: "But of course. All five are for public distribution. I'll have copies forwarded to the Roland."
Zinda Tegram: "All of them?"
Thanes: "Yes."
Zinda Tegram: "I'm not sure the fourth is…well, do what you want."
Thanes: "I suspect the vision of another world may cause a minor fad. You know how it is."
Thanes: "Though it did not seem particularly inviting."
Doc Alexander: "I think as a matter of security, you should withhold it for further analysis."
Zinda Tegram: "It was probably nephilim, to be honest."
Thanes raises an eyebrow, then frowns. …yep, that's genuine anger, the first you've seen from him. He calms himself down before speaking. "Yes, well, it's a little too late for that."
Zinda Tegram: "May we return to your office?"
Thanes: "Even if you were to try to suppress it, it's been distributed already."
Hrrin: "Pandora's box."
Michael Pearson frowns at Alexander.
Doc Alexander: "Can you get them back?"
Zinda Tegram: "Well. What's done is done."
Hrrin: "Kkkht! Take a viral video off of distribution networks?"
Michael Pearson: "Seriously, Commander? You think he has control over them? This planet is like security breach central."
Thanes: "I am afraid stopping distribution will be quite impossible." He gets up, then bows slightly to the rest of the audience. "If you'll excuse me." And nods to someone in the corner, who nods back, before heading to his office.
Doc Alexander frowns
Zinda Tegram focuses on the one Thane nodded to.
Michael Pearson: "Besides, saying 'you can't watch this movie, it has pictures of something that might be a nephilim world' is kinda ridiculous."
Said one busies herself with a datapad.
[OOC] Michael Pearson: And this is coming from Michal "Secrets must be kept secret" Pearson.
Ingenue: "It would be necessary to block the signals used by integration, then engage in deep mental erasure of all nearby integrated, to prevent this from spreading. This is not a gentle process for biologics."
Thanes pauses, briefly. But only for a moment.
Michael Pearson sighs.
Zinda Tegram smiles slightly.
Zinda Tegram: "I hope we keep in touch, Mayor."
Michael Pearson: "If that is a genuine picture of a nephilim world, spreading it does absolutely nothing we need to worry about. What would have to be done is investigating the source of the picture to see if it was real."
[OOC] WC GM: Everyone's heading to his office?
Doc Alexander: "What if it contains a message?"
[OOC] Ingenue: Other than potentially increase tourism to a Neph world.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I thought he was excusing himself from us.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: as did I
[OOC] Michael Pearson: So did I
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: It t'would be rude to follow, I thought.
Michael Pearson pulls out his computer.
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Communications to see what that woman has on her computer?
[OOC] WC GM: No need for a check.
As Michael may have expected, that woman is triggering uploads of the movies to make certain they are, in fact, distributed. It is impossible to say if hers are the only uploads, or whether uploads had happened previously, though.
[OOC] WC GM: Ah, no, he's heading to his office because Zinda asked.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Ah, then I come.
[OOC] Ingenue: Presumably, so say we all.
[OOC] WC GM: If the party does not follow, he'll wait at the exit until at least Zinda follows.
[OOC] Michael Pearson: What was it Zinda asked?
[OOC] WC GM: "May we return to your office?"
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Ah, just saw it.
[OOC] Abraham: I am going.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: me too
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Well, I'll follow.
Once the party has returned to Thanes' office, he smiles. "Integrated. Such an interesting term."
Hrrin: "You go on ahead," Hrrin remarks, waving a hand. "I'll catch up."
Zinda Tegram: "You think so?"
Zinda Tegram: "What do you think it means?"
Thanes: "Well of course I can not help but suspect the In Crowd."
Zinda Tegram: "Mm, close."
Zinda Tegram: "I don't think they're too opposed to meeting you, but I'm sure you understand that we're not in the business of spilling beans."
Thanes: "And you mentioned something about a medical operation, Admiral."
Thanes: "Would it be overly…hmm, I'm not sure 'paranoid' is the right word. But would it be wrong to suspect they may be, ah, akin to me?"
Thanes spreads his arms.
Zinda Tegram: "Their hardware makes yours look like a pacemaker, in terms of tech."
Thanes blinks. "Oh really?"
Zinda Tegram: "You've got more of it than most of them, though."
Ingenue: "The majority of the 'in crowd' lack the capacity to surreptitiously inject others with… nasty chemicals."
Michael Pearson looks decidedly angry.
Zinda Tegram smiles.
Michael Pearson casts a pleading look at Abraham.
Zinda Tegram: "My angry friend here can tell you more about it."
Michael Pearson: "Yes, but I WON'T, because it's NOT my secret to SHARE with whoever I choose!"
Thanes: "A…non-lago?"
Michael Pearson: "Admiral, is there some way you can explain to Miss Tegram just what 'secret' means?"
Zinda Tegram: "To be honest, I wouldn't worry about them too much."
Abraham: "I'll give it a go. Zinda, 'Classified' pretty much means 'State Secret'"
Ingenue: "Zinda, a secret is knowledge that is hidden and intended to be kept hidden. Synonymous with 'confidential'."
Zinda Tegram closes her eyes.
Zinda Tegram: "He's gonna figure it out eventually. We might as well get something for it."
Michael Pearson: "Out of curiosity, Miss Tegram, when you fly by a passing rock, do you launch every missile in the Stern Lanz at it to watch the pretty lights?"
Thanes: "Such as what I know about the author of that fourth film?"
Michael Pearson: "Because that's what I see happening any time you have a conversation."
Ingenue: "Oh, can we? That could be interesting."
Thanes shrugs, returning his hands to his sides. "I was going to tell you anyway. It did strike me as unusually secretive."
Thanes: "So of course I traced it as best I could. Which…is not as good as you could, I suspect, though the trail's cold by now."
Zinda Tegram: "I'll take what you have. We appreciate your cooperation in this endeavor."
Thanes: "It was relayed through Salaam - as if I don't know all about their relays. From there I traced it to the jump point, so the author is clearly out-system."
Abraham: "Let us worry about how cold the trail is. Worst case, we get no further than you."
Thanes: "Which makes me curious how the author knew about the film competition. Although…I could have mistaken it for an entry. It was not clearly labeled."
Doc Alexander: "Do you have any of the original files?"
Thanes: "But then, it's not like we don't regularly have such competitions."
Zinda Tegram: "It struck me more as a message, to be honest."
Thanes: "But of course. Copies of the originals are being sent to the Roland, as I said."
Zinda Tegram: "You seemed angry, earlier."
Thanes: "The message pretty much was just the movie."
Zinda Tegram: "What encoding algorithm?"
Abraham: "Is that normal? What is the application process for this festival?"
Doc Alexander: "I think we'd rather have the originals, Mr. Mayor."
If Thanes heard Zinda ask about the anger, he gives no sign of it. "Standard codecs. Not encrypted."
[OOC] Michael Pearson: xvid
[OOC] Doc Alexander: take that is that normal out, I have no idea where it came from. I think it pasted in
[OOC] Doc Alexander: wait, that was Abraham… I'm confused. IGNORE ME
Thanes gives Alexander a brief patronizing look. "You know how files are. Technically, even I do not have the 'originals'. I have the copies that were written from the relayed transmission. And so shall you receive a copy."
Michael Pearson: "Eh. He's a physical specialist and he's out of his depth on this, as you've seen."
Doc Alexander shrugs
Michael Pearson: "[Does anyone recognize that world?]"
Thanes: "And no, it was not normal. There was a site to go to, to fill out an application form. This was a message addressed to me."
[OOC] Michael Pearson: I can't believe I didn't think of that earlier.
Doc Alexander: "And yet you still used it as a submission?"
Integrated: "[Nope. We've been checking our databases. Whatever it is, the Terran Confederation had never seen it before Chandley.]"
Thanes shrugs. "Like I said, I assumed. Perhaps in haste."
Zinda Tegram: "It must have been made recently."
Abraham: "Interesting. Is this 'you' as in 'Thanes'? Or 'you' as in 'The Mayor'?"
Zinda Tegram: "Like, after Mu Cephei."
Thanes raises an eyebrow at Abraham. "How do you mean?"
Thanes: "The address? It was to the Mayor."
Abraham: "Ah. Thank you."
Zinda Tegram: "When did you receive it?"
Thanes: "My official business line. And of course I was hosting this competition in my official capacity."
Abraham: "And who judges what films are selected?"
Michael Pearson: "Can you forward me a copy of the official mail? I'd like to take a look at the header?"
Thanes: "Yesterday morning. Just before you jumped in, in fact."
Thanes: "There were five entries. All five competed."
Zinda Tegram frowned. "Someone's stringing us along, Abraham."
Abraham: "I am inclined to agree."
Thanes: "Hmm…tell you what. As a backup." He sits at his desk, bringing up his computer with a few taps to specific places.
Thanes: "Search mail…yesterday…ah, here it is…and traaansfer…there." He pulls a datachip out of his desk and presents it to Michael. "The mail with all headers."
Thanes: "Though most of my search involved the relays' databases, and those will have been wiped by now, as this was more than a day ago."
Michael Pearson: "Thanks."
Doc Alexander: "How completely are these relays wiped?"
Michael Pearson: "Overwritten with new data, I'd bet. It won't be /perfect/ but it'll be chaotic enough to be unreadable."
Abraham: "And are the logs backed up anywhere?"
Thanes nods to Michael. "Your friend here would know better than I. I am but a Mayor, of a planet that thrives on communication technology, so I must dabble. He's a professional."
Doc Alexander: "Even to a super smart AI?"
Ingenue: "With proper tools, depending on the storage medium, reacquiring the data is possible. However, it could require extensive time, depending on the storage medium."
Thanes: "So. Quid pro quo. What are you willing to tell me about these Integrated?"
Zinda Tegram: "Hmm. Mayor, do you anything about an individual known as 'Badger'?"
Thanes: "But of course I know him. Why?"
Abraham decides to allow the actual Integrated to decide how much to reveal about themselves.
Zinda Tegram: "Just curious about how his clients scale. Don't sweat it."
Zinda Tegram: "You want to know the In Crowd?"
Thanes: "As I wish to know all the factions of note on my planet."
Zinda Tegram: "I'm personally willing to tell you the basics, as long as you don't ask where they came from."
Michael Pearson: "The 'In Crowd' are the displaced refugees of one part of Mu Cephei."
Thanes: "But of course."
Zinda Tegram: "That's a good place to start."
Thanes: "…they're lagos. I knew that. You're the first non-lago Integrated I know of."
Zinda Tegram: "Michael's a special case."
Michael Pearson: "Hmm? I'm not Integrated."
Thanes: "And all the ones I know of are first-generation Mu Cephei evacuees."
Zinda Tegram: "Unfortunately, that goes a bit beyond what my tongue is willing to spill."
Michael Pearson rolled up 4dF: + - 0 - (Base: 4 Total: 3) (for the flat-out lie)
[OOC] Michael Pearson: FP to pull in "Information, First Principle of Warfare if needed.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 - + - (Base: 7 Total: 6) (Resolve + I Know My Planet to see the truth)
[OOC] Michael Pearson: that's…a lot of dice.
Zinda Tegram: "All you need to know is that they've got some very advanced communications technology in their head, and the manufacturer's a bit psychotic. They don't talk to the manufacturer this far away from Mu Cephei, so they're more or less a bunch of fun-loving networked Lagos."
[OOC] WC GM: 2 from the aspect, plus 5 from a boosted base skill.
[OOC] WC GM: His cyberware isn't just for show.
Michael Pearson blinks.
Michael Pearson: "….I forgot about that damn CASIE aug."
Thanes smiles. "I would not have it if it was not functional."
Zinda Tegram: "There's more to the story of course, and Crest knows the whole story anyways, so it's a bit of an open secret."
Thanes: "But that you could read it - ah, but I was not trying to hide that I knew."
Thanes: "Perhaps I shall venture to see this manufacturer."
Zinda Tegram: "That's an awful idea."
Ingenue: "That's a wonderful idea."
Thanes: "Mu Cephei, and first-generation - I take it the manufacturer is still on Prime for some reason?"
Michael Pearson: "Yeah. It would mean being away from your constituency for a long time."
Michael Pearson: "Not knowing if someone else - maybe with a CASIE augmentation of their own - is making inroads."
Thanes: "Tsk. Yes, that is something I shall have to plan around."
Michael Pearson: "Into YOUR voting pool."
Thanes: "Well. That's the thing, isn't it?" GRIN. "Make them my voting pool."
Doc Alexander: "Sir, I advise that you don't go through with that plan."
Doc Alexander rolled up 4dF: 0 + 0 + (Base: 4 Total: 6) (Charm for bluff)
Zinda Tegram: "Mayor, the manufacturer is the sort of thing that'd pop Mu Cephei prime with a temblor bomb so it could ride the shockwave through a jump portal and land on another planet."
Thanes: "I shall consult with the In Crowd here first. Perhaps there is a way I can spin this without going there."
[OOC] WC GM: What is Alexander bluffing?
Doc Alexander: "it's very dangerous, some subjects do not survive the operation."
Zinda Tegram: "From sapient to sapient, we have every reason to leave it where it is."
[OOC] WC GM: No roll - he has no reason to disbelieve Alexander. Autosuccess.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: Ah.
Zinda Tegram locks eyes with the mayor.
[OOC] WC GM: No defense roll, that is.
Thanes: "I shall take it under advisement, and, ah, consult locally more heavily than I had planned to."
Thanes: "Perhaps I might just convince the manufacturer to set up shop here."
Zinda Tegram: "I don't think I've fully impressed upon you the gravity of what you're talking about, Mayor."
Doc Alexander: "You really don't want to do that either."
Zinda Tegram looks back at Abraham. Let me tell him.
Michael Pearson: "I don't think you can. I mean that literally - I don't think you can."
Thanes: "Then please enlighten me. What am I talking about?"
Thanes: "The manufacturer is that stubborn?"
Michael Pearson: "No, the manufacturer is that immobile. With a possibility of exploding above the Mohorovic Discontinuity."
Zinda Tegram: "Occupying the majority of Mu Cephei's core by volume are several million AI cores that make up the intelligence 'LaGOS'."
Thanes: "…"
Thanes: "So, what, you're saying the manufacturer is planet-sized and would have to fit through a jump point?"
Zinda Tegram: "It was originally created by Lagos prior to being driven underground, and was given two directiives."
Abraham mentally throws his hands up in the air.
Zinda Tegram: "One, dig deeper. Two, expand capacity to dig."
Zinda Tegram: "It has reached the core of Mu Cephei, there's nowhere deeper to go. So it wants to move, find another planet, and dig more."
Zinda Tegram: "And when it's finished there, it will find another, and another, and another."
Thanes COUGHS. "On that note, I have mentioned you should go see to Mahavier once you are done in this system, yes? Somewhere around 4 to 6 days hence?"
Zinda Tegram: "You have."
Doc Alexander: "Want to get rid of us so soon?"
Zinda Tegram: "But do you see now why I think it's best to leave LAGoS where it is?"
Thanes: "Good. I thought I had. It would be a shame for you to - ah, but what might a simple Mayor be allowed to know of such things?"
Thanes: "…yeees, I can see why you'd prefer it."
Zinda Tegram is giving the Mayor a very intense look.
Thanes: "So there are at least two. Interesting, interesting."
Zinda Tegram: "The integrated are those who've turned to LAGoS for a better life than they had in the poverty-stricken depths of Mu Cephei."
[OOC] Michael Pearson: I know I prefer not to have Michael react, but so you know, yes, I did pick up on the hint about Mahavier having a Lagos-type AI.
Thanes nods. "From what I have heard of the conditions, it could make for desperation."
[OOC] WC GM: And then there's what he's not saying.
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Elles has already been moved to Salaam!?
[OOC] WC GM: No, Salaam has different problems.
[OOC] WC GM: Of more urgency to Thanes.
Zinda Tegram leans back into her chair.
Zinda Tegram: "Promise you won't free it."
Thanes: "…I doubt I would have to. I strongly doubt I have the capability to."
Thanes: "You, on the other hand…"
Michael Pearson eyes Zinda.
Thanes: "ALL of you."
Thanes: "Though I suspect such things can free themselves. If not intervened with. On a certain timetable."
Michael Pearson: "Say, four to six days?"
Thanes shrugs, but he can not quite conceal his smile. "If certain data I don't have, honest, is accurate."
Zinda Tegram: "Be straight with us Mayor. You're saying there's another Super-AI?"
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Well, CASIE augs are about extracting information, not hiding it.
Thanes: "Not…quite."
Zinda Tegram: "Well, I could sit here and needle you with questions and you could smile and give us half-answers, or you could just tell us and save everyone some time."
Thanes: "And if you were to display knowledge before getting there, well, things could go bad. For me. For you as well."
Zinda Tegram: "I see."
Thanes looks out a faux window, currently displaying a satellite view of the city. "You must understand, politics - and other actions in support of the government - make for…interesting, tricky…balances. Compromises."
Thanes: "Delicate maneuvers. Feeding just enough information to one side to enable them to act - but safely and effectively, without putting certain other elements on guard."
Thanes: "Especially if, say, one suspects that another faction on guard could very easily overpower one's own allies."
Zinda Tegram thinks back to her time in the royal guard, when she watched her father's execution from her post as a guard.
Thanes: "Tell me. If this LaGOS were to go rogue and needed to be destroyed RIGHT NOW, would you have the firepower to do so? I hear the cannon being assembled for such purpose is no longer operational."
Zinda Tegram: "I have a plan."
Zinda Tegram: "It's crude, but it's the best shot I have."
Thanes nods. "I'm sure you do. Since you've met LaGOS, and know its nature. LaGOS is - probably - unique."
Michael Pearson: "Depends on how much of a precision strike it'd take, honestly."
Thanes: "Whereas, what say if you knew of a team of operatives, who could get behind a certain thing's defenses, but only if those defenses were not up?"
Abraham: "To the best of our knowledge, LaGOS is the only one of her… make."
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Good thing I forgot to drain that antiproton tank.
Thanes: "And you wished very much to make sure those defenses do not GO up. That no reason whatsoever is given to bring them up."
Thanes: "That these operatives had an impeachable official excuse to be there, even."
Thanes: "Might you encourage it as best you can without leaving any possibility for hands to be tipped?"
Thanes looks at Zinda, all business.
Michael Pearson: "Not from what I've seen. Subtlety isn't exactly her specialty."
Zinda Tegram: "Subtlety, despite what folks may think, has not yet been called for from me."
Thanes: "Well." He smiles. "First time for everything, then?"
Michael Pearson: "Actually it has. A number of times. You just ignored it."
Michael Pearson: "'Oh, hey, phone's ringing again. Subtlety? Meh. It can wait.'"
Thanes: "…quite. Now if, say, you were to leave unexpectedly early?" He holds his hand out, then tips it.
Thanes: "You see my dilemma?"
Michael Pearson: "I see."
Zinda Tegram: "Of course."
[OOC] Ingenue: Has anyone checked to see how secure this room is?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I just assumed it wasn't.
Thanes: "So! Four to six days. I do recall something about a dance and a rave, and then perhaps a bit more business on this planet, then tend to Salaam." He untips his hand.
Thanes: "And then Mahavier. As. Planned."
Michael Pearson: "And of course if I seem extra suspicious that really spoils nothing, because I'm always extra suspicious. I hate not knowing what's going on…"
Thanes smiles. "And if I happen to have mentioned the possibility of looking into something like that cannon you destroyed, well, you destroyed it *and* it came up in that festival now, didn't it?"
Thanes: "And of course we might have discussed what is publicly known about Mahavier. Such as the near-intelligence of its plant life. The purpose, the greed, the - why, things that might, in utterly fantastic wild speculation, might just possibly amount to at least self-awareness."
Thanes: "And a capacity for engineering."
Thanes: "And how it covers the entire planet. But you knew that."
Michael Pearson nods.
Michael Pearson: "So next up….dance."
Michael Pearson sighs unhappily.
Doc Alexander: "Ugh."
Heggy: "Ball."
Thanes: "Oh, don't fret, I'm sure you'll do fine."
Heggy sighs happily.
Thanes: "I'll have a valet transport you - to a clothing shop first, though. This is a formal event."
Michael Pearson: "Oh believe me. I know how to dance. Somebody - and I'm not naming any names here - insisted that I do it so that I'd get, and I quote, 'at least some exercise other than -' um. I'll not quote."
Heggy: "He has a point. Come on, we should get going. I need time to decide what you're wearing."
Michael Pearson sighs unhappily again.
Michael Pearson: "Yes, dear."
Thanes: "…right." He glances at Heggy. "I am, ever so slightly, jealous, Lieutenant Pearson."

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