The Weal's Crumbling Defenses.   Posted by Failed GM.Group: archive 0
Failed GM
 GM, 12 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Thu 26 Mar 2015
at 01:58
The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
*#@#~plain(self):
  exposition = "It is a rainy morning, smelling of drit and dreaded rust. The Weal is activating, with every automaton for itself, when you hear an unusual BOOM coming from the high side, near the rockside. A cloud of smoke rises. Several older autos start rolling and stumbling towards the noise, despite their age, joining the newer models of firefighting units."
  print exposition
Final Command
 player, 14 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 27 Mar 2015
at 12:48
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
Fin raises its head from its nightly down-cycle and data compilation.  The tag-ends of unprocessed data roil through its processors as it cycles up to full awareness.  Explosions.  Explosions!

Fin kips up to its motation components and makes its way as rapidly as it can towards the source of the disturbance.  Though it lacks the specialized capabilities of many automatons, Fin's strength lie in its versatility and unconventional processors.  Organic in origin Fin might be, it could still use its mind to serve the Weal.

"Source of attack?" Fin calls, adding in a translation in Metalline Six (a language of pops and screeches) and Code Grel (a susserating, tonal communication) for the benefit of those machines (most of them) who lacked organic language interpreters.
Failed GM
 GM, 14 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Fri 27 Mar 2015
at 13:28
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
One small, hairy duct cleaning machine rattles at you in improved quaternary tricaidecimal (that coder should have been shot on sight, and probably was, you muse), but it seems to be about the latest clog in its assigned tubes. Your aging comconsole shines with data. After a moment, you compare the smoke to the readings: The holo generators.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:36, Fri 27 Mar 2015.

Final Command
 player, 15 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 27 Mar 2015
at 21:21
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
The holo generators?  That boded very ill indeed, a danger to the entire Weal, not just a malfunctioning bot or corrupt power source.  Fin indicated her acknowledgement with an almost static-like burst of agreement in improved quaternary tricaidecimal (the sound was difficult for her vocal apparatus to replicate, something that had always irritated her) and ran on towards them at top speed.
Failed GM
 GM, 19 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Fri 27 Mar 2015
at 21:59
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
After jumping over XT239's low "villa" and turning right after Corolario's hut, you see that "boded very ill" might well be an understatement. Bits and pieces of the outwards part of the great mechanism lie scattered, and in several cases, nailed, in a 3 meter radius. The magic smoke, as they say, has thoroughly ran out. GSCDC floats around, crying in its metallic contralto voice Odd. That wasn't supposed to happen. Years of maintenance gone. I must get a new Necklin rod and ~@¦هوهوّ conduit. I miss the required appendages. I checked this section. I checked this section. Hello Final Command. You can help. Come. The small eye beckons you to the smoking opening.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:05, Sat 28 Mar 2015.

Final Command
 player, 16 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Sat 28 Mar 2015
at 12:00
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
Fin chirps to GSCDC in acknowledgement of the loss of its components and heads straight for the smokey opening.  It took a deep breath of cleaner air, frustrated that it might not be able to sustain itself in the face of environmental factors, and headed inside to see if she could find the source of the damage.
Failed GM
 GM, 20 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sat 28 Mar 2015
at 19:11
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
As the black cloud clears, you begin to see around you. Space is cramped, and orange. A few circuits that still work emit a greenish light, but most are blinking in a terrible blue. The machine is shot. Your appendages help you reach spots even GSCDC's shape cannot reach. It was supposed to only supervise the holo generators, not service it.

As you check the machine, you reach what is evidently the point of explosion. Charred cables still stink of burnt synth, the walls of the enclosure are slightly curved, broken glass tubes everywhere, a great big opening that follows the paths of least resistance... It will take a good amount of work to reset this into any semblance of functioning. And what this means is immediately clear to you.

The previous words of GSCDC resonate, while it resumes speaking to you "...Unfortunately, my usefulness to this particular assignment has come to an end. Protocol does not allow units with my classification to perform a task as important as the repairs of damages such as these."
Final Command
 player, 17 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Sun 29 Mar 2015
at 11:18
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
Fin looks over the damage with dismay.  This was extensive, truly a catastrophe.  If maintenance had been properly performed, perhaps there was another reason why this occurred.

"GSCDC, if there are comparable components in the Hoard, try to locate them.  If other units are available to remove debris and salvage what is still viable, that would aid in efficacy.  I will attempt to determine the root cause of the equipment malfunction," Fin said.  It looked over its upper appendage attachment, wondering where Guardian was.  It did not always linger near Fin, but it was close more often that not, and was a good source of guiding principals.

Then it turned its attention to the task at hand, and tried to dig down to the reason the holo projector had exploded.  The Weal needed it, and badly.  It kept the Weal safe from view and observation by outsiders, and without it, the Weal and its inhabitants could experience peril.


OOC: 06:08, Today: Final Command rolled 17 using 1d20. Numenera (S).
Failed GM
 GM, 21 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sun 29 Mar 2015
at 14:02
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
Fin is quickly joined by two other machines, more apt for the job at hand than sad little GSCDC. Wengtirry, a small snakelike automaton that came in from the hole opened by the blast, trills with shock MIUIUIIMMMIIIUUUUUIUIUI MUIIIIUUMMMUUU MUU MIUIUIUU [Private to Final Command: This looks like the iron wind...] The other intelligence is silent while it scans the damages. Between the three, they ascertain that something exploded inside the holo generator. Something that wasn't originally part of the device. Somebody put a detonation inside the holo generator. Fin manages to find and separate parts of the explosive for future reference. She should be able to understand who pieced this together with further investigation.

As the three share impressions and data, other automatons come, quickly filling the available space. As Fin sings and taps and talks and shouts to different friends, Guardian arrives and silently checks on her, before connecting to the others and absorbing the information flow.

Wengtirry suddenly stops its MIU chatter. It emits a long FFFFFFFFFFF and its blue-colored scanner turns purple, then pops. Something similar happens to Capek the scanner: it falls silent all of a sudden, then bits of it blast out.
Final Command
 player, 18 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Mon 30 Mar 2015
at 09:47
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
Fin considers Wengtirry's comment about the Iron Wind and dismisses it.  As chaotic as the blast is, it is not the pure chaos of that particular disaster.  It has seen files on the Iron Wind, and it is far more destructive than just a detonation.  If the Iron Wind had truly touched the Weal, worse would have happened than just the destruction of the generator.

Fin was satisfied with its workup of the source of the explosion, and acknowledges Guardian's involvement with attentiveness.  But when Wengtirry and Capak begin having spontaneous malfunctions, Fin realizes there is something worse going on than just a detonation.

"Evacuate the area!  Unknown contaminant, cease all scans and retreat from the area!" Fin calls, its internal pump racing to supply its body with vital nutrients for this high-action time.  It helps the two damage automatons from the explosion site before returning, warily, to the area to see what it can find.  They had lost parts, functions, why had Fin not?  Was there something there that was specifically targeting their systems?


OOC: 04:46, Today: Final Command rolled 19 using 1d20. Automaton repair (T).
04:47, Today: Final Command rolled 13 using 1d20. Numenera (S).

Failed GM
 GM, 22 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Mon 30 Mar 2015
at 17:44
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
Fin's examination of her friends yields no explanation at first. Then, she's joined by another automaton, one designed for microscopic examination. Its lenses provide terrible information: Capek and Wengtirry are crawling with anomalous diminute machines. And so is Fin. Why those don't seem to have affected her is anybody's guess. They seem to have disseminated by contact.

The three affected, and other automatons that got close, are promptly dispatched to the Weal's Empty Spaces, where the most delicate repairs are usually performed. Excruciatingly clean workers prop up divisions, then fire-wash them, then put the affected and suspected in, giving Fin a wide berth. As soon as exams are concluded and a plan is formed, they'll all be let out. Surely.
Final Command
 player, 19 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Tue 31 Mar 2015
at 15:11
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
A machine disease?  Miniature spies?  Some aggressive colony who didn't understand the Weal was a have to all automatons?  Fin's mind processed at top speed as it tried to consider what this meant for the Weal.

More personally, it placed a front appendage against its central chassis, feeling the variable fluid pump therein.  Try though it might, as hard as Final Commanded had worked to sublimate all aspects of its inner nature to an extent that newcomers frequently did not realize that beneath its armor and helmet lay an organic being, Fin could not, in this instance, deny its fundamental being may have protected it.  Despite all pleas to Guardian, Fin had not been allowed to upgrade itself by replacing any flesh with machine components.  Guardian had shown admirable foresight.

Guardian!

Fin's pump began to work harder as it realized that Guardian had been within the wreck as well.  Guardian was an older model with obscure components, and it could not compensate for reduced function very well.  Had Guardian gotten prompt treatment?  Was it all right?

"Guardian? Fin asked the nearest diagnostic bot, its voice muffled behind the ionic screens they were trying to use to keep the contaminant contained.  "Is Guardian in this repair ward?"
Failed GM
 GM, 23 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Tue 31 Mar 2015
at 21:37
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
The diagnostic automaton burbles something vaguely reassuring, and leaves. After a short while, a protocol bot approaches. His somber Bazian dialect of the Truth is... not helpful. Final Command, he says, Your Guardian has been gravely affected by the microscopic machines. Its intelligence remains somewhat active, and its memory banks seem intact by the analysis we have been able to conduct... but its chassis suffered much. And as you remember, it's a big part of what makes Guardian itself. It's currently connected to a rudimentary interface and a battery, but we will have to suspend its cycles soon. Several other bazians are in dire need, and have better chances. I regret to inform you this. You have my deepest sympathies.
Final Command
 player, 20 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 3 Apr 2015
at 04:33
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
Final Command feels its air exchange begin to draw unnecessarily hard, its pump pause a moment before resuming function, and a hot, rising pressure against its visual scanners.  Guardian was going into terminal shut-down.  Guardian, who had been Fin's guide since its earliest memories.  Fin had never known existence without Guardian nearby to inquire about the unknown.

It had to...  It must inquire what it could, while Guardian was still active.  It must...

Fin moved to where Guardian was being kept activated, its movements even more jerky and automaton-like than even the rustiest of the Weal's denizens.  Clouded recollections were impeding basic motor functions, and it didn't known how to stop the feedback loop that was causing its visual scanners to leak hot saline.

"Guardian!  It's Final Command," it says, dropping to Guaridan's level, because it could no longer levitate.  Guardian's chassis was pitted, badly disrupted, its functions hollowed out and mostly gone.  Guardian had always been a very active automaton, and to see it reduced to a fraction of possible output, being kept active by the most stop-gap measures, made Fin feel unstable in its central core to a degree it didn't understand.  "Is there anything you wish to communicate?  Do you-?" Fin's voice faltered as more hot saline leaked out, its air exchange feeling labored.  "Do you have any final commands for me?"  It placed its hands close to Guardian's central panel, where it had done so many repairs before, repairs that it would never be able to do again.
Failed GM
 GM, 25 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Mon 6 Apr 2015
at 14:32
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
T h e W e a l n e e d s y o u r h e l p F i n f i n d h e l p a n d s a v e t h e W e a l d r e a m a n d s w e a t a n d e a t a n d c r y a n d s h o u t a n d f i n d w h a t t h i s w a s a n d s a v e u s
The rest of its reply is garbled.
Final Command
 player, 22 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Tue 7 Apr 2015
at 08:12
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
"I will, Guardian.  I will-" Fin says, its voice faltering and finally failing as it waits, hand upon Guardian's chassis, no words available to express its internal processes.  Its eyes blur from the saline leak that will not stop, and unwanted noises rip from its vocal processors as it waits for Guardian's last cycle, when the Weal will remove battery power for another, more viable automaton.  When the last of Guardian is gone, when someone comes to remove what is left, Fin speaks, is voice strangely rough.

"It was Guardian's final command to attend to my needs and keep me safe.  It brought me to the Weal to fulfill that directive.  Now Guardian has directed me to find help and save us, save the Weal."  Fin stands up, not conscious of who it speaks to, recycler or command-node.  "I have my own final command now.  I must follow my directive.  I remained viable when others were harmed, thusly I am the best choice to seek the source of this cascading malfunction and its solution."  Fin clings to the directive, a direction, a necessary motivation in a world that inexplicably seems to have lost its color.  "I must go.  I must... I must seek a direction, and allies, and I must go to save us."
Failed GM
 GM, 27 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Wed 8 Apr 2015
at 01:47
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
Final Command is cleansed and dressed as she requests. The treatment of the rest of the Weal is distant, as she cannot be thoroughly purified by either fire or sonic bath without risk to her basic subroutines. Her assigned spaces now contain her equipment, a map of Navae Marica and the Errid Kaloum as far as the Bazians have explored it, and an anbaric notepad full of good advice and experience. Sadly, there are more places marked "beware" than there are friends of the Weal. The whole Salted Sea has always been beyond the reach of Baz.

After a few hours she is approached by the protocol automaton, burnished and cool, who seems to have been designated as the go-between for the Weal. Its voice is always circumspect, but full of nuance.

Final Command. t I must say I am glad of your decision. The Weal needs you more than you know. We are weak now. We will wait for you. We will wait for your help. Know that the Weal will be closed after you leave, and will be much, much harder to enter. Our sentries will remain posted with slugspitters, but the main entrance will be blocked, showing true rock where once was hologram. Do you have any further commands before leaving?
Final Command
 player, 23 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Wed 8 Apr 2015
at 02:50
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
With the maps, supplies, and what advice, there is little left to keep Fin here when the Weal needs her outside.  Besides, it it making everyone more nervous than normal because of its odd survival in the face of what was certain doom for some...  It forces back the hot saline leak and answers the question.

"Yes.  Yes, could I get any deactivated samples of what attacked us?  And if there are any names and locations of organic allies of the Weal, they might be the most logical ones to seek out to aid me.  I have lived here since before I had reliable memories and... despite my efforts, you know I have... an unconventional understructure and systems.  When I return with help, it may be with organic allies.  Do not destroy them upon sensor pick-up."  Fin says that with reluctance, the stiffness in its words very evident that it doesn't like this any more than a true Bazian.  But it maybe necessary for their survival.

"I will go now.  And I will return with answers and aid.  I will do this.  All processing and power to the Weal of Baz, and may you find a palliative for this attack."  Fin gives the protocol bot a choppy gesture of farewell, and once it has any other samples and information the Weal will give it, will step outside of its walls for the first time it can ever remember in its entire life.

Its center feels as if gravity has locally lightened, in a very unpleasant way.  It might be what is known as "afraid."

So very, very afraid.

If the hot saline leaks, Fin does not bother to stop it now.  There is no one near to see.
Failed GM
 GM, 28 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Wed 8 Apr 2015
at 23:40
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
The Protocol automaton leaves briefly, and returns with an ornate, rusted oblong box, 30 centimeters long. We have taken every precaution to deactivate these particles. I am not sure of their current usefulness, but it is what we can give you. It deposits the box on a table and then retreats so you can approach it without being close. We have annotated the maps you received with what we knew about our neighbours. Beware, though, for the information is not fresh. Avoid the salted sea. Avoid the rust. That we know for certain. We have lost much.

...But I thank you again, Final Command. May your circuits shine and your programs be fruitful.


def exit(self):
    exposition = "Not many automatons are there to see Fin go, but the ones she calls friends do show. Some archival machines also analyze the event and store it in the Weal's diminishing archives. As Final Command takes the long road that leads outside the Weal of Baz, some other workers follow, ready to seal the main entrance with explosives. It is a bitter morning in a black age. She's out of the Weal."
    print exposition
Final Command
 player, 24 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 10 Apr 2015
at 15:31
Re: The Weal's Crumbling Defenses
Fin stows the box and turns away from the Weal.  It has a map, a place to go, a warning of where not to.  It has advice, and a good sample of what it was looking for.  It has everything it needs.

Except for the logical company of the automatons of the Weal.

And Fin was as rust to them now until it could find a solution.

It stared down at the map, names and roads and paths and location seeming a random string of letters and code without meaning.  It was tempting to use a randomizer to determine where to go, the choices were so many.

Flushing in fresh air, Fin cools its thought processes.  One of the earliest lessons in coding it had ever been taught was that one always started at the beginning, not in the middle or end, lest one miss something.  Keeping that solid piece of advice in mind, Fin looked for the physically closest ally on the map, and struck out in that direction.

It has no firm idea of what lies ahead, as it was warned the information is incomplete.  But the regularity of motion is enough to banish unnecessary thought processes and continue with forward action.  It must.  It has no other choice.