The lost sea.   Posted by Failed GM.Group: archive 0
Failed GM
 GM, 125 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sat 10 Oct 2015
at 16:32
The lost sea
Darkness. Fin awakes with a long scream to total darkness and dull pains all over. It feels something startle, then whimper somewhere to her left. The seskii. After a while, Fin can perceive it's in some sort of crowded space. To its sides, the Bazian can touch several thin, cylindrical, tall objects. To its back, a large rounded thing. A faint "voom" is audible, though Fin would have taken it as part of its imagination at first. Suddenly, there's a trill: the automaton is still there, but somewhat battered from the sound of that complaint.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:56, Sun 11 Oct 2015.

Final Command
 player, 91 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Tue 13 Oct 2015
at 08:45
The lost sea
Fin tries to turn, tries to see, but there is nothing to view.

Hopefully that is just a matter of the location, and not a complete failure of its occular sensors.

Considering such things keeps the feeling over almost overwhelming uncertainty at bay.  But the seskii was here, and C40rla was here, and while Fin was in pain, it was still alive.  It takes a few deep air exchanges, strokes the seskii, and trills back to C40rla in what was meant to be reassurance (or possibly "the bubbling sky is often shades of chartreuse").  Fin does not precisely feel much calmer, but enough to consider its surroundings more carefully.

It does not know where it has gone.  Did the twin (?) structure take it inside themselves?  Had Fin been teleported?  Transmorgafied?  While it considered, Fin stretched its limbs carefully, easing aches and pains, soothing its skin and recovering as best it could from the harrowing experience.  Once it has taken the time to center, now it feels ready to work.

Fin reaches out for the cylindrical objects eagerly, trying to see if they can be manipulated, if there are any protrusions or markings it can feel, if they can be moved (or removed), if there are any switches, buttons, slides, membranes, or anything else that might mean they are numenera that could get Fin and its companions out of here (or perhaps just illuminate the situation; Fin will take what it can get).


[Private to GM: 03:35, Today: Final Command rolled 8 using 2d6+2.  1st and 2nd recovery rolls.

03:43, Today: Final Command rolled 16 using 1d20.  Numenera (T).
]
Failed GM
 GM, 127 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Thu 15 Oct 2015
at 02:04
The lost sea
Fin's eyes are open, but nothing is coming on. Either this is blindness, temporary or permanent, or the darkness is so thick that the Bazian can't see its hands in front of its face. Stumbling as best it can, Fin touches everything. The groups of cylinders it felt previously turn out to be something like chairs, but very tall or too low. The large rounded thing looks to have been the support of a bench that spans a few meters in length. Stuff is on the table: cubical objects, warm flasks, hot objects that almost scald Fin, surfaces with many, many buttons. In her condition, Fin tries touching everything. One of her hands dips into an open... ¿vat? full of cold liquid. It stings at first, and Fin is sure it feels that hand swelling terribly, but then a great sense of relief pervades her. This gives Fin 2 extra Might points.
A series of button punches trigger something else: first a loud squawk, then a wooshing sound to Fin's back, the distinct feeling of moving air, then a rhythmic tapping. Something is behind the human. C40rla trills something like "You!" The tapping stops.

I'm rolling with the idea of blindness, consequence of the last intrusion and your second sentence. It will add a couple levels of difficulty to relevant tasks for a while.
Final Command
 player, 93 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Mon 19 Oct 2015
at 01:04
The lost sea
Fin turns, trying to regular its air consumption, avoiding overloading on vital gasses until it could no longer function.  It had done that before, and the experience was less than pleasant.  Fin flexes its hand, obscurely pleased to find it working properly after its exploration into unknown substances, and reaches out towards the tapping sensation.  There might be no lights, or Fin's eyes might be non-functional, but it must discover what is around it, what has happened from its random exploration of buttons.  It uses its hands and nose, it sense of taste and touch, its ears and sense of space to try to find out what it has unleashed in this unknown place...


[Private to GM: 20:02, Today: Final Command rolled 18 using 1d20.  Perception?]
Failed GM
 GM, 128 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Tue 20 Oct 2015
at 13:09
The lost sea
Final Command hears the other being in the room approach her. A sweet, tangy, really pleasant scent floats in the air. The being is so close, the Bazian can feel its immediate body presence, even if it's not touching. Then Fin feels something touch her: cold, metallic things, soft synth things, and, surprisingly, warm, soft skin. It's gently forced to sit, then to lie down on a soft surface. The other being removes Fin's helmet, or what's left of it, and then touches and twists Fin's face and neck, apparently feeling for wounds or internal lesions. Next, Fin feels the touch of a damp surface against her head, and a warm rivulet of liquid falling on the left side of her scalp. It starts burning: a cut must have opened.

Fin hears soothing words come from its handler in an unknown language. It's a deep, electronic voice, with a touch of femininity perhaps. There's something else about it, though.

The procedure continues along Fin's body: Fin's clothes are cut around its tearings, pastes and liquids are applied, leaving the classic sting of wounds being disinfected. Nothing untoward -or perhaps, more untoward- seems to be happening for a while, until Fin starts feeling a warmth against its eyes, like the caress of the sun on a nice day of summer. After a few more minutes, Fin's vision starts to come back. It's all still blurry, and the colors are all wrong, but in front of Fin is a tall humanoid, a woman perhaps, but with a single elongated shining surface where her head and face would be. Her neck is tilted, in a gesture that reminds you of disapproval, or perhaps mere bafflement.

I was wrong in the bit about Might points in my previous post: Fin recovers 2 Might points. Giving 2 Might points to permanently augment your pool is a bit too much as the result of a single successful roll. Sorry. I'll make it up to you.
Final Command
 player, 94 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Wed 21 Oct 2015
at 14:44
The lost sea
Fin feels unregulated panic at having its organic parts revealed.  For most of the cycles it could remember, it was careful to cover its organic flesh with comparable flexible synth, imitating those automatons made in the image of other bipedal organics.  Its helmet had been a vital part of that disguise, and as damaged as it had been, losing it was causing a serious fault in her identity code.

But the loss was partially countered by the competent medical care it was receiving.  Many medical automatons in the Weal were far less gentle, perhaps having been programmed to tend to a hardier stock, or a different species.  Once, Fin had been suspended upside down for hours, queried as to why its mouth was in the reverse position, before Guardian had arrived to correct the confusion of the elderly automaton.

The thought of Guardian fills Fin with regret.

Looking up at its tender, blinking with the now-novel sensation of sight filling its brain, Fin cocks its head at the same angle.  Imitation could sometimes lead to communication.  Sometimes.  "I am Final Command.  I appreciate you fixing me.  What is your designation?  What is this place?"  Fin will run the statement through as many languages and codes as necessary to try to find a compatible form of communication.  It looks around as it talks, trying to firmly local both C40rla and the seskii.
Failed GM
 GM, 129 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Wed 21 Oct 2015
at 17:36
The lost sea
Actually, what comes out of Fin's mouth at first is something like "UUUUUOAEUOGH DDDDBLLOLSLLLE", followed by similar moans. The caregiver seems almost bemused, in its inexpressive blank surface. It only lacks a soothing smile. It's all about the posture: her crossed legs, her slanted shoulders, her tapping metallic and synthetic fingers...

Her metallic and synthetic fingers. She still has a human hand, but the other has three rubbery fingers, and two clearly metallic ones, shining under the chiurgic lamp. Her "face". The skin below the neck looks human, but ends seamlessly into this smooth surface. And then she speaks. The sound is definitely feminine, but she's completely incomprehensible at first.

A short dance of languages follows. Eventually, through a combination of basic Truth terms, gestures, songs, drawing and some more gestures, the conversation starts trudging. The being seems curious about Fin's origin, and about how the trio seems to have opened and closed a gigantic hole in her lab. C40rla keeps trilling "It is you!" for some reason, but the being doesn't even register it. The seskii is sound asleep in another gurney, some of the crystals on its back broken and oozing a luminous fluid. Poor thing.
Final Command
 player, 95 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 23 Oct 2015
at 15:54
The lost sea
The confusion of languages was unfortunate, but Fin kept at it until something intelligible managed to emerge.  It didn't quite know how to answer the being's question though, as Fin would also very much like to know how it managed to get to... wherever it was.  The structure it had seen?  Or perhaps it had been transported elsewhere?

As for Fin's origins, it was trying to figure out how to explain the Weal within necessary security protocols when C40rla began to communicate.  "It is you."  Wait... could it be?

"Astaria?  Ceara?" Fin asks, wondering if by any quirk of the randomness of the universe it has managed to find its goal in an unexpected fashion.
Failed GM
 GM, 130 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sun 25 Oct 2015
at 22:26
The lost sea
Fin's interlocutor seems baffled. What you can gather from her response is why would you think this is a city by the sea? And what, or who, is Ceara? Me Taerenai. You Fibaaab Cobbaaab?

Astaria really is a city by the Maricas, on the Imoros strait.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:21, Mon 26 Oct 2015.

Final Command
 player, 96 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Wed 28 Oct 2015
at 11:51
Re: The lost sea
Failed GM:
Fin's interlocutor seems baffled. What you can gather from her response is why would you think this is a city by the sea? And what, or who, is Ceara? Me Taerenai. You Fibaaab Cobbaaab?

Astaria really is a city by the Maricas, on the Imoros strait.


Well, the guess of Astaria had been a tenuous one.  Fin did not know exactly how long it had been unconscious, nor what might have happened to it while it had been so.  The world was full of ancient technology, and running afoul of it could do anything.  Even teleport one across many miles in an instant.  Or worse, only teleport part of one.

"Taerenai, I am Final Command, yes," Fin says.  Perhaps its host had translation problems, or gaps in its articulation.  Fin had accepted many versions of its name during its existence.  Or maybe Fin's own tongue was still not fully functional.  "I was approaching a structure in the wastes, and some property near it made my lose consciousness.  I wasn't certain what had happened to me.  I asked about Astaria because there is a mechanic called Ceara there.  Ceara can repair C40rla fully."  Fin points at its now round companion.  "C40rla kept saying 'It is you,' and I thought it may have recognized you.  I do not know what Ceara looks like.  I did not intend to mis-identify you.  I appreciate your repair work."  Fin flexes its limbs, feeling far better than it had.  "The restoration of my ocular sensors is particularly appreciated.  Taerenai, what are you?  What is this place?  I have not encountered anything like you or here before."
Failed GM
 GM, 131 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Fri 30 Oct 2015
at 11:51
Re: The lost sea
Fin's words are accompanied by much pointing and gesturing, and the whole thing seems to work. Taerenai starts speaking in calm tones, conveying scenes of her past. She seems to describe a battle, a lonely exploration, a discovery. When she sees Fin frown in effort she changes approach. She signals to wait and walks out of the chiurgic room. When she comes back, she holds  a shining black sphere, bigger than a human head. She motions to put it on Fin.

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:54, Fri 30 Oct 2015.

Final Command
 player, 97 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Sat 31 Oct 2015
at 10:55
Re: The lost sea
A translation device perhaps?  Or maybe a holographic representation of what Taerenai had been trying to explain?  Fin tried to examine it briefly, not distrusting its host, but mostly curious about what it might be, before allowing Taerenai to settle the device on it.

[Private to GM: 05:54, Today: Final Command rolled 11 using 1d20.  Numenera (S).]
Failed GM
 GM, 132 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sat 31 Oct 2015
at 18:33
Re: The lost sea
Taerenai can sense Fin's distrust, and tries to soothe the Bazian, and display the contraption from other angles, but the only details noticeable in its surface are the points where Taerenai is holding it: her hands depress the sphere, hinting at some level of flexibility. Fin cannot detect any harmful effect from it. Again, the woman's gestures and voice combine to show Fin images of understanding. She gives Fin the sphere, then gestures again. It apparently goes on the head. The thing feels cool to the touch, with a delicate smell of synth and metal. It's quite nice, actually.
Final Command
 player, 98 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Mon 2 Nov 2015
at 16:01
Re: The lost sea
Fin places the device on its head, reasonably certain that it wouldn't be unduly lethal, and indicates for Taerenai to proceed.  There would be little advantage to repairing Fin and then breaking it apart again.

"I am ready."
Failed GM
 GM, 133 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Tue 3 Nov 2015
at 17:39
Re: The lost sea
Fin holds the sphere against its head, tentatively, with a bonk. Taerenai comes closer, and points out a specific pressure of the fingers, and when Fin executes it, the material starts flowing. Pushing against it, the surface ripples, and Fin's head starts passing through. It's somewhat like being born, in reverse. Or perhaps, like submerging your head in water. The inside is full of tongue-enabled commands, and testing them Fin obviously pushes the one that ejects the helmet. Fin starts again, this time trying other buttons. As it depresses them, the voice of Taerenai starts coming in clear and crisp. Puoi capir... understand me now? The button with the squiggles is the one that enables the communicator subroutines.

The helmet has many other functions and features, not the least that it makes you less susceptible to mental attacks.
Final Command
 player, 99 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 6 Nov 2015
at 15:19
Re: The lost sea
Fin marvels at the novelty of the curious helmet, and explores a function or two before Taerenai explains one that will be useful for the both of them.  It finds the squiggle-button and presses it with its tongue, quite eager to have clearer communication, for both of their sakes.

"Taerenai, am I more comprehensible now?  This is a most useful item!  Where am I located?  How is the seskii-beast?  I saw it still had damage.  What are you?  What is this place?"  The questions bubble out of Fin without a great deal of meaningful order, mostly a need to discover answers to its myriad of unknowns.
Failed GM
 GM, 134 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sat 7 Nov 2015
at 19:54
Re: The lost sea
Taerenai changes her posture as she hears Fin reply, and you hear her laugh. Ok, one thing at a time, kiddo. Your seskii will probably make it, but it will take a while for its crystals to grow back. It's a tough piece of work, that one, and it really, really likes you, you know. I saw it trying to guard you while you were unconscious and it could barely gasp: it was something incredibly moving. So treat it well. You named it?

Taerenai walks Fin towards a corner of the room where a few commconsoles are vooming. She turns to show the Bazian some readings. At first sight, they're completely cryptic. They might represent the desert above, or perhaps the subterraneans Fin is now in. Well, this is NagalHooeh. I live here. I study here. I'm... Lahquehquehdah. I'm the one that's left. I'm a human like you, if that's what you ask. I've lived here for many years, after I escaped and found this place, much like you just did. I too barely survived. How... Why did you keep walking? What brought you here?

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:53, Sat 07 Nov 2015.

Final Command
 player, 100 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Tue 10 Nov 2015
at 03:20
Re: The lost sea
Failed GM:
Taerenai changes her posture as she hears Fin reply, and you hear her laugh. Ok, one thing at a time, kiddo. Your seskii will probably make it, but it will take a while for its crystals to grow back. It's a tough piece of work, that one, and it really, really likes you, you know. I saw it trying to guard you while you were unconscious and it could barely gasp: it was something incredibly moving. So treat it well. You named it?


Fin considers Taerenai's words, wondering if she had not heard Fin when it had explained its designation.  "I am not 'kiddo,' my designation is Final Command.  Fin, in brief.  It is good the seskii-hound will continue.  I don't know as much about organics.  I... did not realize it had a guard function."  The notion pleases Fin inordinately.  "I have not specifically designated the seskii-hound yet, as it is the only one around me.  I will consider doing do.  It acts, in some respects, as Guardian, the one who raised me."

quote:
Taerenai walks Fin towards a corner of the room where a few commconsoles are vooming. She turns to show the Bazian some readings. At first sight, they're completely cryptic. They might represent the desert above, or perhaps the subterraneans Fin is now in. Well, this is NagalHooeh. I live here. I study here. I'm... Lahquehquehdah. I'm the one that's left. I'm a human like you, if that's what you ask. I've lived here for many years, after I escaped and found this place, much like you just did. I too barely survived. How... Why did you keep walking? What brought you here?


"NagalHooeh," Fin repeats, fixing the name in its mind.  When Taerenai explains about her humanness, protests automatically rise to Fin's mouth.  "I am not-"  Fin stops itself, pressing its mouth shut to avoid unauthorized word transmission.  Fin's organic origins were an embarrassment to itself, even if it had required to learn about them in order to do self-maintenance.  "I kept walking because I am seeking any ally, any way of help that I can.  The place I saw looked intriguing, and I have been investigating nearly everything I have found, trying to find help.  There is an infestation in my home, nanites or similar of an aggressive and destructive nature.  I am immune, I am not infected, and so I was selected to go seek aid.  Guardian..."  Fin's speech fails as the file of Guardian's final moments replays without authorization in its internal visual screen.  "Guardian was amongst those who were infected and did not survive.  I brought a contained sample of the nanites.  Do you know anything about items of this nature?"  Fin tries to find the sample container, holding it up so Taerenai can see it.
Failed GM
 GM, 135 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Thu 12 Nov 2015
at 01:16
Re: The lost sea
Wait. Wait. I've lived in the sea under the desert for more than 15 years, and I still find your speech weird. What's up with you? What's with all that "designation", and all the stick up your butt? Did you eat a wordbook for breakfast for two years straight? Try it with me: "named". "My name is."

... Ok, sorry, sorry. That was uncalled for. The Truth must have changed in all these years. I'm just not used to talking anymore. I'm very grateful for having someone here, in fact. So let me see.
.
.
.
. Ok, no, come with me. I can't actually recognize nanites by sight. This is a work for things.


The woman leads Fin down corridors, and after a straight passage, the two come to a sloped, curved walkway. One side of it is metal and synth, the other is clear crystal. Behind the crystal is the sea. A weird, greenish, translucent sea. A weird, greenish, translucent sea full of creatures. A weird, greenish, translucent sea full of creatures where the Errid Kaloum should be. One of the creatures, a large lump of dark gray flesh with many flippers approaches the crystal and swerves left at the last moment. The walk extends for several minutes, and Lahquehquehdah continues her chat, asking more precisely where Fin comes from, and what kind of "allies" does it think it will find just by asking.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:18, Thu 12 Nov 2015.

Final Command
 player, 101 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Sun 15 Nov 2015
at 13:13
Re: The lost sea
Failed GM:
Wait. Wait. I've lived in the sea under the desert for more than 15 years, and I still find your speech weird. What's up with you? What's with all that "designation", and all the stick up your butt? Did you eat a wordbook for breakfast for two years straight? Try it with me: "named". "My name is."

... Ok, sorry, sorry. That was uncalled for. The Truth must have changed in all these years. I'm just not used to talking anymore. I'm very grateful for having someone here, in fact. So let me see.
.
.
.
. Ok, no, come with me. I can't actually recognize nanites by sight. This is a work for things.


The woman leads Fin down corridors, and after a straight passage, the two come to a sloped, curved walkway. One side of it is metal and synth, the other is clear crystal. Behind the crystal is the sea. A weird, greenish, translucent sea. A weird, greenish, translucent sea full of creatures. A weird, greenish, translucent sea full of creatures where the Errid Kaloum should be. One of the creatures, a large lump of dark gray flesh with many flippers approaches the crystal and swerves left at the last moment. The walk extends for several minutes, and Lahquehquehdah continues her chat, asking more precisely where Fin comes from, and what kind of "allies" does it think it will find just by asking.


Fin is not quite sure what all the talk of sticks rammed into rectal orifices is all about.

"Guardian used what language programs were available.  Guardian was an automaton.  I was raised amongst other automatons, and used their language protocols to learn speech and code," it tried to explain.  "Where I come from, they do not trust organics very often.  Sometimes errors to speech patterns may have been transmitted without correction, if the source was disregarded."

It considers Lahquehquehdah's speech style, mentally composing a new sentence: I am Final Command.  My name is Final Command.  Perhaps that variation on Truth-speech would be useful in further interactions.

"My name is Final Command," it tried out loud.  "I grew up in a place north of here, a place for automatons and other machines to congregate in safety.  We do not trust organics very often, but some allies have been accepted in the past, particularly those with a great understanding or integration with machines.  I hoped to find allies of that type who would be willing to aid us in ridding my home of the nanites."

It follows its host as they they traverse below the sea, below liquid water and things living in it.  It is the first time Fin has seen such things outside of holographic interfaces, and its occular orbs are open to the maximum extent to view them without impediment.

"Liquid-adapted organics!  What are their designations?  Their... names?" Fin asks, momentarily distracted.
Failed GM
 GM, 137 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sun 15 Nov 2015
at 20:41
Re: The lost sea
You don't know about live fish? OK, I guess you wouldn't. I'm sorry I can't give you too much detail about them right now, but this nanites stuff seems more important. I do have files on them, they're one of my areas of research. Oh, look. those small ones with the iridescent pattern I call "true chahs". They're quite good to eat.

As she takes in what the Bazian told her earlier, Taerenai leads Fin down a side corridor, away from the sunken sea, but after passing several closed doors, a curve leads into a huge open space, full of boxes, benches, artefacts, machines, wheels, solid light platforms and walkways, staircases, elevators, and possibly stuffed animals. The far wall shows the greenish blue expanse again. A huge "fish" is approaching.

Wow. What a weird life you've had. No wonder your speech is stilted and precise. I'm sorry about your guardian. Sounds like it was an important figure in your life. What was it like? And what about your parents? You are most definitely not "another automaton", for all you'd like to. I can treat you like one, if you prefer, but you seem human to me. Your story is fascinating: someone growing among automatons, then having to go out to find how to help them... I want to know more. I've had no visitors in a very long while. Removing your helmet and finding out someone my own species was a really welcome sight, I'll tell you that!

Taerenai is, unconsciously or otherwise, trying to pry into Fin's life. Avoiding to tell her what she wants to know and only telling her what you want will be a base level 4 task, to which you can apply assets/effort/inabilities.
Final Command
 player, 104 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Wed 18 Nov 2015
at 17:56
Re: The lost sea
Failed GM:
You don't know about live fish? OK, I guess you wouldn't. I'm sorry I can't give you too much detail about them right now, but this nanites stuff seems more important. I do have files on them, they're one of my areas of research. Oh, look. those small ones with the iridescent pattern I call "true chahs". They're quite good to eat.


"True chahs..." Fin says, repeating the word to learn it, examining the glittering scales.  Then another part of the statement sinks in.  "Eat?  One can consume it?"  The automatons of the Weal could take sustenance from any number of substances, and Fin had been trained to scavenge very thoroughly, but a purposeful eating of a living creature?  "You eat it alive?" Fin asks tentatively.

quote:
As she takes in what the Bazian told her earlier, Taerenai leads Fin down a side corridor, away from the sunken sea, but after passing several closed doors, a curve leads into a huge open space, full of boxes, benches, artefacts, machines, wheels, solid light platforms and walkways, staircases, elevators, and possibly stuffed animals. The far wall shows the greenish blue expanse again. A huge "fish" is approaching.

Wow. What a weird life you've had. No wonder your speech is stilted and precise. I'm sorry about your guardian. Sounds like it was an important figure in your life. What was it like? And what about your parents? You are most definitely not "another automaton", for all you'd like to. I can treat you like one, if you prefer, but you seem human to me. Your story is fascinating: someone growing among automatons, then having to go out to find how to help them... I want to know more. I've had no visitors in a very long while. Removing your helmet and finding out someone my own species was a really welcome sight, I'll tell you that!

Taerenai is, unconsciously or otherwise, trying to pry into Fin's life. Avoiding to tell her what she wants to know and only telling her what you want will be a base level 4 task, to which you can apply assets/effort/inabilities.


"Guardian was the most diligent of beings in my early life.  It performed its named function with the utmost dedication and held to its directives all of its existence," Fin says with straight-backed pride, its breathing passage unwantedly narrowed by inexplicable sensations, combined with the feeling of moisture prickling in its occular sensors.  There was no higher praise for an automaton than to have performed its function to the best of its abilities. And Guardian had done that to the end.

"My organic origins are of little consequence to me.  I don't view automatons as something subordinate.  The opposite is true.  I was pleased to have acceptance," Fin says guardedly.  It had nearly said too much, given away too much information about the location of the Weal before, and it had to be careful. The safety of the Weal was all...

"I appreciate your understanding of my... organic interface, because my own is purely... utilitarian," Fin adds.

In another time, if Fin had been raised another way, that might have been, Thank you.

[Private to GM: 11:34, Today: Final Command rolled 16 using 1d20.  Keeping appropriately mum about the past (E).  With any assets/inabilities as per my question in the OOC thread.]
Failed GM
 GM, 139 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Thu 19 Nov 2015
at 18:40
Re: The lost sea
[Private to Final Command: Your roll is enough to avoid unwanted confessions.]

If Taerenai had visible eyebrows, she'd raise them now. She probably is, if she has them under the surface covering her face. Wait. What do you eat? ...Nevermind, I'm not sure I want to know. Yes, fishes are edible. And no, I don't eat them alive, though I suppose someone somewhere would. I can offer you some later. Delicious with a white salad and some distilleds.

She takes Fin through corridors, moves some decaying taxidermy aside and sits at a lab bench, a puff of dust floating upwards. She cleans the dirty bench, sets the nanite container on it. As she sticks one of her mechanical fingers in a female connector on a device, a visor comes alive to her left. It flickers, and goes out again. Sticking fingers in and out repeatedly while muttering interesting phrases doesn't seem to improve things, though a weird smell starts coming out of the processing unit. Argh. Right. I'll need your help with this. This device has not been turned on in... I forget. So we need to fix its power source, and calibrate it. And I honestly don't know much about this one. I was hoping to play it by ear.

Helping fix the machine is a base level 5 task.
Final Command
 player, 105 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Tue 24 Nov 2015
at 11:30
Re: The lost sea
"The offer of sustenance is appreciated," Fin says.  But it seems some fish can be eaten alive, but some are not?  Or that convention differs by location?  Or is it by species?  When the time comes to consume the aquatic organism, Fin will ask the questions it is compiling.

When Taerenai began talking about ears as she began to try to work the device, Fin cocked its head to try to get another visual aspect on the situation.

"'Play it by ear?'  Is there an audio component to the activation of this device?  Does it insert into the auditory orifice?" Fin asks, and draws closer so it can get a better look at the device, confused.  When Taerenai starts to talk about power sources and recalibration, however, its confusion clears and it begins to clear the workspace to examine the machine with its tools.  Normally indifferent to small irritants in its environment, Fin knows that contaminants can interfere with some devices.  Once clear, it begins the examination, starting with a series of testing tones for auditory response.

If one had appreciation of music, it might almost sound like Fin is doing wordless scales...

[Private to GM: 05:09, Today: Final Command rolled 17 using 1d20.  Repair the machine.  Numenera (S) + (E).]
Failed GM
 GM, 140 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Tue 24 Nov 2015
at 16:42
Re: The lost sea
Argh, I keep forgetting that you don't have a grasp of idioms, sorry. "Playing it by ear" means roughly "hoping for the best". As for eating fish, I guess you could eat them raw, and it probably wouldn't be good for you. We cook some things to make them safer to eat. It would taste much worse, at any rate.
Taerenai stops tinkering when Fin starts testing the machine with different tones. Wow, I really like what you're doing. Actually, it kind of reminds me of tunes I heard long ago. She grows wistful.

With that roll, you obviously succeed. Please describe the machine, ow it works, and what you expect to get from it. I'll say what the result of the research is.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:43, Tue 24 Nov 2015.

Final Command
 player, 106 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Sun 29 Nov 2015
at 14:49
Re: The lost sea
Fin considers Taerenai's words, and files them away for later use.  The flesh of aquatic creatures could be consumed, but it was "better" when heat was applied.  Flavor was less of a concern to Fin; if it didn't make it regurgitate or otherwise cause a deregulation in its internal calorie processors, Fin would use it for fuel.

"The 'cooking' process, does that make the fish easier to consume?  Or less toxic?" Fin asked, in between checking the auditory response of the circuits.  The comment about "tunes" didn't make a great deal of sense either.  "What are 'tunes'?  Are they further variation on tonal response in auditory systems?"

Fin continues to work as it speaks, recoiling two wires that had to be cleaned, resetting a circuit, and adjusting the flow of energy with a half-step tonal trigger.  The device hums, churning up its power reserves from deep-laid temp-diff engines, and lights begin to illuminate in sequence.  Fin darts to the third panel before the lights can reach it and pushes two controls, one smooth hard synth going all the way in to its receptor, the other a sticky ball that needed to be heated in the palm of a hand.  When the lights illuminated that panel, Fin felt relief.  If the controls hadn't been in the right position there, the system would have just kept cycling without reaching operational capacity.  Fin was not certain why the synth button and the stick ball had to operate that way, but it knew was was necessary to get the functionality required.  There had been a cypher of that ilk in the Weal once, and it had taken Fin, with its internal heat generation, to realize what it required to work.

Fin pulled on a disk on the fifth panel, which flipped down flat and triggered a scanning beam from the ceiling.  It retrieved the nanite container from Taerenai and placed them in the beam, making a fifth-step tone in the high range before moving a sliding panel in a wave pattern.  The beam narrowed, then brightened, and the sixth panel lit up with a series of symbols and floating geometric shapes, showing the results as the unknowable builders had (theoretically) intended...

[Private to GM: OOC: Sorry for the long delay - Thanksgiving vacation!]
Failed GM
 GM, 142 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Tue 1 Dec 2015
at 13:39
Re: The lost sea
Taerenai pauses to answer in between hitting the contraptions in ways that apparently make sense to her: "I'll answer that with dinner. And tunes... This is a tune." She starts whistling. She's quite good at it. She stops, and changes to a something completely different, humming a sad melody. "This is also a tune, from when I was young. Eu... Eu tenho saudade de tudo que marcou a minha vida."

Her reminiscence is interrupted by the panels coming to life. i a a a a t e t s k a l o a. Symbols float around the main display unit. Triangles and squares coalesce into circles, shuddering, and form a vision of greed and power. A gigantic obelisk stands tall, alone. The face of the automaton GSCDC floating in random motion comes up, embedded deep in the nanite programming, marked as "do not consume." There are no obvious signatures, but the code is elegant, the work of a master.

Reading up and down, some modules hint at unused "features", mostly about the extermination of visitants. The whole thing seems to be made for the explicit purpose of getting rid of non-human intelligence, and then shutting up. Well, that's the idea. Fin notices several leaks and overflows that would introduce who knows what behavior.

[Private to Final Command: Yes, 1 billion years in the future, memleaks and overflows still exist.]

Taerenai is pointing her facial surface at you. Her whole body is expectant.

[Private to Final Command: If you want to study something in particular that you feel I left out of this (i.e. you have a particular question), I'll try to answer.]

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:57, Tue 01 Dec 2015.

Final Command
 player, 107 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Thu 3 Dec 2015
at 17:15
Re: The lost sea
When Taerenai began to make her unusual sounds, Fin was intrigued.  Even though the words were not comprehensible, the sounds were... oddly pleasing.  Perhaps it was another form of language?  Fin would try to learn later.  Perhaps over their shared meal.

As the machine spun up its old memory, Fin examined the symbols, seeking an origin, a weakness, a way to disable the nanites' code, or even a regional designation that might tell it where to look further.  There had to be a way for it to track the source of the danger, or even disable it entirely.  Was there a way to reverse-engineer it to destroy the others and then self-destruct?  Could Fin exploit the unused parts of its code to target the nanites themselves?  And most importantly, who had unleashed this menace upon the Weal?

Fin starts to quietly vocalize its thought processes, though it switches between forms of Truth and different code, so its translated syntax is likely... interesting.
Failed GM
 GM, 143 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Fri 4 Dec 2015
at 21:41
Re: The lost sea
Aside from a heavy level of spaghettiness there's nothing remarkable in the style of coding, no obvious "Bradley Evilguy ipse scripsit", sadly. But there are a few phrases left, written in a dialect of the Truth whose origin Fin doesn't immediately recognize. Perhaps Taerenai could be of some help there.
Speaking of, she approaches the machine, checking some gauges and visors. Hm. I don't think these readings are good. We don't have much time left with this. Sorry, it's old and I didn't maintain it as often as I should have.

Interpreting the origin of the nanites is a base L4 Int task. Understanding the code enough to turn the nanites back against their maker is a base L6 Int task.
Final Command
 player, 108 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Tue 8 Dec 2015
at 05:32
Re: The lost sea
"I shall figure out what I can," Fin says, and utters another tone, twists another globe, touches another control...  Perhaps it was one control too many.  Perhaps its tone was off, its interpretation incorrect, or perhaps the years of neglect had been too much.

Because something went terribly, terribly wrong.

[Private to GM:
23:30, Today: Final Command rolled 1 using 1d20.  Figure out the nanites (E).
Le sigh.  Bring on the intrusion, oh GM.
]
Failed GM
 GM, 145 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Thu 10 Dec 2015
at 20:57
Re: The lost sea
The last control Fin presses starts shining gold, then blue. The readings go off the scales, the last message apparently a conscientious mention:
quote:
TODO: remap this section to avoid spillage - CeSae
. Then, in a beautiful silence the screen shuts down, the nanite container opens, and its contents start spilling out. It's such an innocuous-looking thing, that gray liquid, it's a marvel to watch it dance on the floors and expand. In slow motion, Fin and Taerenai can see how the strands bob and weave up into several devices, and Taerenai mouths a single "oh no".

Then everything moves. You fall over onto a machine, and Taerenai starts running towards one of the affected mechanisms, the one tweeting in green lights. What have you done! This set loose the ship's anchors! We must stabilize it!. A sudden, violent shake hits and she stumbles to the floor, face first. She's not moving.

You earn 4XP for your discoveries in the Lost Sea. After this is done, if she's still alive, Fin can advance level, or do something else with her XP.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:11, Tue 15 Dec 2015.

Final Command
 player, 110 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Tue 15 Dec 2015
at 13:02
Re: The lost sea
Fin has an unstable feeling in its middle, akin to watching the others of the Weal fall to the virus it had now so stupidly released.  How could it have been so careless as to expose its host's home to the deadly nanites?  It had exposed it allies to the very thing it had hoped to neutralize!  It had to correct the error, and it had to correct it now!

Taerenai would have to wait - Fin's best knowledge was of mechanics, not organics, and once it had stabilized the machine and quelled the nanites as much as it was able, hopefully it would be able to figure out to revive Taerenai.

What else could it do?  What else was it good for if it could not do this?

Fin's closed its manipulators upon the controls and prepared to battle the nanites for the control of the machine...


[Private to GM: 07:01, Today: Final Command rolled 8 using 1d20.  Numenera (S)  Stabilize the ship!  Could I possibly construe an asset for having worked with the nasty nanites before?]
Failed GM
 GM, 146 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Thu 17 Dec 2015
at 01:23
Re: The lost sea
The whole ship rocks side to side with jerking motions that tell Fin it's really, really not supposed to do that. As soon as it gets on the controls, the Bazian discovers that the controls aren't just rudders and gauges, but also the means of managing much more. Possibly defense mechanisms, probably also the anchoring systems, perhaps assault weaponry. No time, alas. For the moment, all Fin can do is pull hard on what it sees as the main steering, labeled "krals-kefarben" for some reason. The rocking stops, and a strong sinking feeling on the pit of its stomach tells Fin that it just sent the ship into a deep dive. C4rla chooses this moment to start beeping again in its own language: "I can help. Hike me up there." Something else is audible beyond the howling of the seskii, the trills of the automaton, and the general fracas: a bad crack: the shakes have flung Taerenai against some equipment, hitting it full force. Blood stains the floor around her chest. A deep hum is coming from somewhere else, too, but Fin is too busy right now to figure out what that is.

Connecting the automaton on time is a level 4 Int task, but would provide an asset for further maneuvering tasks. Stabilizing Taerenai is a level 4 Int task. You can of course do something else.
Final Command
 player, 111 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Tue 22 Dec 2015
at 10:14
Re: The lost sea
Fin is torn between multiple options for a positive outcome - attempting organic repair to stabilize Taerenai, attempting to connect C4rla to assist in supporting the craft, continued attempts on its own to reverse the dive, to remove the infectious nanites, to save itself...

Taerenai was leaking a substantial amount of vital fluid.  But attempting organic repair while the craft was about to crash would be a waste of resources.  Fin knew machines better.  It was all it knew, really.

Taerenai would have to wait until all of them weren't at risk of terminal shutdown.  "Concentrate on not leaking!" Fin said to Taerenai, and dove for C4rla.

There was associated risk with putting C4rla in contact with the nanite-infected ship, but not as much risk as crashing was right now.

Fin grasped C4rla and pushed her up, pulling on cables to put them in the right ports, and shining the correct lights on her ocular sensors.  "Self-protection protocols at maximum; do not let the infection take you," Fin warns, and goes for the controls again, trying to pull the ship from its dive with C4rla's help.

[Private to GM: 04:07, Today: Final Command rolled 15 using 1d20.  Afix C4rla to the ship.  Repair automatons (T).
04:13, Today: Final Command rolled 5 using 1d20.  Stabilize the ship.  Numenera (S) (A).
]
Failed GM
 GM, 148 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Wed 23 Dec 2015
at 18:30
Re: The lost sea
C4rla starts beeping and tweeting in earnest, and its color changes to a deep green all over. A couple visors appear in midair, showing the terrifying dive the ship is making. If it had the time to consider, Fin would not be really sure that it was necessary. As is, Final Command has only the time to feel very, very ill and watch as the bottom of the sea seems to come up at high speed towards it.

At the very last moment, Fin manages to coordinate with the automaton and crank the ausradier levers. The deceleration is terrible, and so is the bump and grind against the sea floor. Readings start appearing in alarming colors and blinks, showing a the ship as a vessel the shape of a toothpick, shining all over from a myriad portholes. Readings also start showing a large creature coming at you at full speed. It looks like all the tentacles ever gathered to a tentacle party and the chosen theme was "hoses". The humming Fin felt earlier is getting louder. C4rla detects that its due to structural stress in the hull.
Final Command
 player, 113 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Thu 31 Dec 2015
at 02:20
Re: The lost sea
Fin takes one look at the tentacle creature and starts to verbalize commands to C4rla with excessive stress in its voice.  "Surface, surface, avoid contact with the tentacle-creature and surface the vessel!"

This creature was no helper-automaton, but likely some native that found the intrusion far too uncomfortable to its liking.  There were multiple assistant repair units with a wealth of arms, but this looked more like the dreaded dissaemblers (a story of horror passed around the Weal; it had never witnessed one, but the description resonated).  This was organic, but the sensation of fear remained the same.  With the ship already compromised from the extreme conditions, it would take little force to damage it beyond repair...

And if Taerenai shut down forever, Fin would be far from help.  Again.  It placed its manipulators upon the controls, seeking the correct combination to bring them out of the worst of the danger, following C4rla's prompts.


[Private to GM: 20:19, Today: Final Command rolled 7 using 1d20.  Surface the ship!  Numenera (S) (A).]
Failed GM
 GM, 151 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sat 2 Jan 2016
at 23:19
Re: The lost sea
The humming sound of "imminent hull breach" is muted somewhat by the sounds of "hull about to give up the ghost, seriously, I'm not joking here, do you see me laughing?". Those are about the same thing as the biting and gnashing of the creature's teeth against the sunken lab vessel, but with the added tentacles twisting the vessel into the shape of a pretzel.

Fin executes the commands as stated, and every display that wasn't already turns bright orange, then deep crimson. The seskii is howling again, right next to Fin, and C4rla looks like it's about to pop a diod. Then, with a deep *BOOOOOOOM* that Fin can feel right in its chest, the ship explodes upwards, yanking itself from the tentacles. Pieces of flesh could be observable over the hull, if Fin could detach itself from the floor it's now glued on by the terrible acceleration. Everything starts to feel fuzzy, starting with Fin's vision.

You'd better roll well to
* regain control of the ship
* avoiding the hull goin' buh-bye
* avoiding a case of the bends the size of the Sere Marica
* avoiding going *splat* against the crust that covers the sunken sea
The basic idea is a level 6 base task. You tell me what you want to do. You don't need to make one roll. Subsequent rolls are level 5 base tasks.
You have the C4rla asset, as before.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:37, Sun 03 Jan 2016.

Final Command
 player, 115 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Tue 5 Jan 2016
at 11:46
Re: The lost sea
Fin gasps as the world starts to gray, inching towards the controls, trying to lift itself off the floor.  It had succeeded, to an extent, and overshot its original goal so much it was in danger of permanent shutdown.  Too much success!  Fin felt a wordless vocalization ripping through its sound-producing apparatus as it reached into the light bubbles of the lower controls.  They were surfacing out of control, the walls failing, Taerenai badly damaged, Fin about to be.  What was the most effective way to save what they could...?

Fin's eyes lit on C4rla.  They were out of control with the current power and surface area.  They needed to reduce!

"C4rla, jettison the exterior tanks and outer fuel reserves counter to our thrust, close off internal segments to strengthen the control area, pump atmosphere back in to neutralize air mix!" Fin said, working what controls it could reach, thanking the builders they had put enough back-ups for C4rla to access the others.


[Private to GM: 05:45, Today: Final Command rolled 9 using 1d20.  Save the ship and ourselves!  Numenera (S) (A).  Whew!  Just made it.  Hopefully...]
Failed GM
 GM, 152 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Tue 5 Jan 2016
at 18:31
Re: The lost sea
The ship starts rocking hard, each blast pitting the passengers to the floor with great force, but the crazy idea is just mad enough to work. The vessel shakes for a while, pushing you forward and back, hurtling towards the seskii, then resumes something like a normal course. The alarms in the visors start calming down, and some lights turn a beautiful, calming puce.
The visor suddenly shows the massive creature coming back towards you, but a chirp from C4rla and a well-directed fuel tank to the maw soon have it scurrying back to the depths. The automaton seems in control of the vessel, as much as that is possible. It asks "what direction, cap'n?" It looks almost smug. You could swear that the trills it's emitting are patterned not on speech but on what Taerenai was referring to as "tunes".

Apropos of Taerenai, the liquid she is oozing does not look encouraging...

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:58, Tue 05 Jan 2016.

Final Command
 player, 116 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Sun 10 Jan 2016
at 15:44
Re: The lost sea
C4rla had done its function with admirable swiftness and creativity!  Also, they had not gone into terminal shutdown.  Both things were highly acceptable.  "C4rla, you have excelled past all possible expectations!  Try to find a break in the sea so we can surface for potential repairs."  Fin moves to Taerenai, trying to find the source of the leak.  The leak had to be stopped, and internal damage assessed and repaired.  Luckily most organics had some auto-repair function, but there were things that could speed the process considerably.  Were there any organic suspension cyphers, any chemicals to make the healing?

[Private to GM: OOC: Heal check?  Hunt for medical supplies?  Any medical-type cyphers or functions about?

09:43, Today: Final Command rolled 17 using 1d20.  Stop the leak!
09:44, Today: Final Command rolled 6 using 1d20.  Find a healing cypher?  Numenera (S).
]
Failed GM
 GM, 153 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sun 10 Jan 2016
at 16:27
Re: The lost sea
Not everything is smooth sailing. Ominous rumblings and stress sounds point out that the ship is not nearly close to functioning at 100% capacity. There's also the nagging problem of where to go. Right now, Fin is busy plugging organic leaks. With some time, Fin could fashion some healing salves from its salvaged components. Or it could try and bring Taerenai to the sickbay where Taerenai treated itself. The human female is breathing almost imperceptibly, and her heartbeat is also very feeble. Fin manages to stabilize her somewhat, but nothing it has at hand can immediately bring her to full consciousness.  Right now, by using pieces of its garments and bits from Taerenai herself, it manages to stop most of the leaks. Problem is, some of it comes from within the helmeted head. As Fin unlocks the latches by following the same procedure of her own new cover, something incredible happens. The face Fin now sees is practically the same as its own, only years older.
Final Command
 player, 117 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 15 Jan 2016
at 08:18
Re: The lost sea
Fin touches the helmet over its own face, remembering the look of its own visage, momentarily stunned to see a reasonable facsimile on Taerenai's face.  An aspect of its mirror-helmet?  A genetic anomaly?  A visual distortion?  Fin realizes there is little time to mess about with crafting cyphers at the moment, and grasps Taerenai, dragging her to the repair chamber.  Hopefully with all the violent motion of the ship, it hasn't been too badly damaged.  With grunts of effort, Fin goes to put her in the central organic repair pod and activate it.

"I will have many more questions for you, when you awaken," Fin says quietly.  It is unlikely Taerenai will hear, but one of her recording devices may.  If Taerenai is able to be repaired to the point of consciousness, well, things will be able to go much more smoothly.  Fin's technical expertise has been taxed to the breaking point, as well as the ship's!


[Private to GM: 02:18, Today: Final Command rolled 6 using 1d20.  Turn on the doctor machine!  Numenera (S).]
Failed GM
 GM, 154 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sun 17 Jan 2016
at 15:09
Re: The lost sea
The machine is actually a chiurgical laboratory, comprising benches -one of them a deep rust red from Fin's blood-, terminals, racks of equipment, and a coat hanger with a few chiurgical coats. The lab interfaces and commands are not dissimilar to those Fin interacted with on the bridge, so turning everything on is not really a challenge: just set virtual toggles and input some basic coordinates, for healing this time.

The bench Fin sets Taerenai on folds and extends to adapt to her shape. A faint, sharp smell emanates after a gushing sound.  The problem is, chiurgical expertise is hardly in Final Command's list of aptitudes. The interface lists a lot of procedures available after a basic analysis of Taerenai's state, but it's hard to determine how to proceed. Limb extraction? Alameddining? Cortar por lo sano? The list goes on and on, with things like reduce core temperature next to "aperturare la salamanca come fosse antani".

Meanwhile, Taerenai is looking very, very pale. Greenish. No obvious smells that Fin can detect come from her body or her torn clothing, and the blood spattered is understandable. Her breathing is shallow, and her head seems to burn when touched. Her left leg is... wrong. The foot points in a direction it should not.

You'll need a base L6 Int roll to manage to bring Taerenai back "in one piece".
Final Command
 player, 118 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Wed 20 Jan 2016
at 02:15
Re: The lost sea
Fin's vocabulary for organic damage is limited and often heavily modified, and its comprehension is not helped by the multiple languages the laboratory uses.  But it has learned Three-Code Basic, Base Ten Terminal X, and Bolt-Latch Clickalian, so learning this is not beyond the realm of possibility.  Identify words for limbs, for internal scans and corrections, gross anatomy repair...  It could do this, it could!  Fin scans the list for its most likely candidates, bringing everything it can remember to bear, slides the necessary controls, and awaits a positive outcome.

It feels a shaking in the core of it, and hopes nothing was shaken loose in the frenzied escape from the deeps.


[Private to GM: 20:08, Today: Final Command rolled 11 using 1d20.  Fix Taerenai right!  Numenera (S) (E).  w00t!]
Failed GM
 GM, 155 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Fri 22 Jan 2016
at 02:00
Re: The lost sea
Even with the advanced tools of a prior age in good working conditions, the process is long and grueling, and four hours are long past before Fin can be reasonably sure of a positive outcome. Turns out, the best thing to do first is bring the temperature of the victimpatient to normal, and the chiurgical equipment suffused the table with cold green vapors for that. Hm. After that, there's a tense couple of minutes when Taerenai's heartbeat monitor shows a horizontal line, and the system's best choice seems to be applying a lot of anbaric right to the sternum. Fin does follow those instructions, possibly for the last time, ever.
After the beating goes back to a somewhat healthy ba-bump ba-bump, the automated systems ask for help in setting back the woman's leg and foot. The CRACK is really hard to stomach, and Taerenai wakes up for a second to scream her lungs out, then collapses again. It seems that the optional item about pain reduction was not really optional. Fin applies that, and after another minute, the frantic convulsions stop. A very snug synth cast materializes over Taerenai's leg and ankle, and expands until it covers from toe to calf.
After that, it's a matter of cutting up the woman's clothing, taking a few incisors and chiseling over the lines drawn with colored light over her stomach, extracting some bits that apparently don't belong, and applying some spray over the cuts. The flesh closes up immediately, leaving only faint silvery scars.

In the whole process, Fin has managed to only faint once. Well, twice, but the second time almost didn't count. The vomit... Nevermind. It's done. Taerenai will apparently live. The last indication is to administer a few more salves and ointments. Fin goes a page beyond the manuals and covers her host back with a clean lab coat. Taerenai's breathing is now normal. She's in a very deep sleep.

The ship, on the other hand, starts rocking again. Perhaps it's time to go back to help navigate. Or crash and sleep, hoping for the best. Who knows.
Final Command
 player, 119 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Mon 25 Jan 2016
at 07:56
Re: The lost sea
The involuntary personal protein spill had been... unfortunate.  Fin will use anything suitable as personal fuel, and it hates waste.  But the repair process had been... an ordeal.  It takes a few seconds to regulate its temperature, and examine Taerenai one final time, for its own reassurance.  Finding her still in deep sleep, it sways slightly, but heads into the navigation compartment to consult with C4rla.

"Status report?  Any further degradation of the ship's functions?  Any knowledge of our location?" Fin asks.  A recharge sessions is going to be necessary very, very soon, but not before it knows that the ship will be intact when it wakes up.
Failed GM
 GM, 156 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Tue 26 Jan 2016
at 12:50
Re: The lost sea
Maybe it's due to Fin's exhaustion, but you could swear C40rla is introducing a sarcastic note to its trills. Amazing what can be done with Pentonic Base code. The Ship [actually, C40rla used the name "Sarissa", but the meaning is clear] is doing well, [no thanks to you]*. The leaks are no problem, no. Just places where the external pressure will eventually implode us. You can find the exit location yourself, have at the maps. I could only see walls. Oh, you'll need this.

A full array of oceanic maps materializes in the air. What also appears before Fin is a full array of control instruments for weaponry, including a nice array of gauges, wheels and levers labeled "La Destrucción Total." You could point it at stuff.

In the time Fin spent over the chiurgical table, C40rla has taken you far south. The maps show you're close to the enclosing walls between the sunken sea and what must be the Sere Marica, the Salted Sea. Close examination apparently reveals a few tunnels, and those might lead to the other side. Closer examination also reveals blurriness and pain. Fin is dog tired.

*this phrase is dubious.

I'll need a base 5 int task for Fin to remain awake and alert. Please explain how you manage (or not). If you succeed, feel free to act.

Turns out I've been dropping a 0 from C40rla's name. Rude.
Final Command
 player, 120 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Fri 29 Jan 2016
at 15:47
Re: The lost sea
Fin fights past its exhaustion, clinging to coherence by a thin margin.  "I will attempt to find a suitable route so we will not implode.  That would be detrimental."  The sarcasm is apparently either on a delay to Fin's comprehension circuits, or unable to be comprehended entirely.  It forces focus and examines the maps with care, attempting to find one that will bring it to surface water.  Or at least one with the fewest obstacles that it can blast out of the way.  It is not in the mood for obstructions, not today.  Not at all.


[Private to GM: 09:44, Today: Final Command rolled 17 using 1d20.  Stay awake!]
Failed GM
 GM, 157 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sat 30 Jan 2016
at 22:38
Re: The lost sea
Fin pores over map after map, trying to fill in the blanks when they appear. After a few hours spent studying the depths and avoiding other beasts, it's evident that no exits are available. Recalling Fin's grand entrée, getting into or out of the ship seems to be an accomplishment in itself.

That's when you hear a wheezing, angry voice, whispering very low: What have you done to my lab? And where are you taking it? Where are you taking us? Who gave you the right to do this? Your home being blown apart by nanites doesn't give you the right to do the same to mine. Move. You won't find exits that way.

Taerenai is sitting in a floating contraption, chest taped to its support, a few canules going in and out of her face and body. She is not wearing her protective helmet. She still looks like an older Fin.

And then, all of a sudden, she sighs, tears up, and speaks Fin's true name. It's amazing that one would remember such a thing after all those years, but it's unmistakable. Oh dear. I didn't think it would be like this.

[Private to Final Command: This is an intrusion. You can accept the 1XP if you want to move forward with this plotline.]
Final Command
 player, 121 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Wed 3 Feb 2016
at 12:20
Re: The lost sea
The name.  The name coming from the woman's mouth.  A burst of static on Guardian's past recordings.  A memory so dim its emergence from deep storage was physically painful.

Molfeen Seb-sen

If Fin was, if it was, if she was, then Taerenai had to be...  Ovum supplier.  Live incubator.  Genetic donor.  Mother.

"I was trying to find a way out, I was trying to find a way to safety, so I could preserve your life, and thus continue to find a way to protect the Weal..."  It was not conversing in a particularly coherent manner, but it couldn't seem to assemble its speech properly.  It was, she was disrupted.  "I just wanted...  Guardian was gone and I just wanted..."  Fin- Molfeen, could feel the pressure of moisture behind its visual receptors, a partial closing of its air intake that accompanied disruptive emotional processes.  "I wanted to protect who was left," Fin manages to say, moisture falling from its eyes.  It- she goes to Taerenai, kneeling on the deck of the ship so it can easily see her face.  Her mother's face.  "How did you...?  Guardian's recordings indicated fatalities."

[Private to GM: OOC: I kinda squealed when I saw what you had written.  I'll take that XP happily!  :D]
Failed GM
 GM, 158 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Fri 5 Feb 2016
at 10:40
Re: The lost sea
Taerenai wipes the tears and looks back to a past long gone. I told you I was "lahquehquehdah." The one that's left. I survived. Your father and your sister didn't. We managed to set your automaton, Guardian -you always loved it, even then- to get you somewhere safe. Didn't imagine it would be the Weal. We were about to do the same with your sister, Kybeen, when Aramakal's goons hit us hard. You two got out by a miracle or two. We underestimated its desire for revenge. I've had time to think about it, drit knows.

-Here, scoot a bit. Sit there, you'll be more comfortable- I survived all these years because I set up the death field in the middle of a desert. I still don't understand how you managed to pass it. Perhaps it filtered your essence and found it related to me. I don't think the ship was expecting you to do what you did to her, though.


Taerenai pauses, and appraises you again. I didn't think I'd see you again. And after seeing you, I couldn't believe. You've grown in a way I could never have imagined. But it's you... And now you are going to Astaria. That's uncanny. The place where it all started.
Final Command
 player, 122 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Thu 11 Feb 2016
at 11:54
Re: The lost sea
Kybeen.  Fin had had a sister.  It had had a biological sibling.  Molfeen had had...  It would take some time before Fin could accept the birth-name as a primary designation, as well as the human gender terms it had striven to eliminate from earliest age.

But Fin would never meet this being.  Kybeen had been dead before Fin had even entered the Weal, along with their mutual genetic donor- Father.  There would be no transference of memory.  No multi-viewpoint sharing of events.  Not with them.

Taerenai was still existent, though.  She had survived.  Some mutual history had been kept between them.

"Aramakal.  Was it destroyed?  Could any of it survived?  Could it have... found me or you after all this time?" Fin asked.  It didn't know if there were protocols for sharing of mutual history with organics.  Certainly Taerenai had seemed to be disappointed with Fin's speech patterns in prior conversations, but it had to start somewhere, and this was the last point of mutual reference.  "And Astaria.  Is that where we originate?  What is it like?"

Fin had had lessons from other automatons who had the purpose of interacting with organics, but such things had been brief and perfunctory, and it would admit it founds such things less than stimulating, and hadn't devoted much processing power to putting them into long-term memory storage.  Yet Taerenai had put forth extraordinary effort to preserving Fin's life.  That meant Fin was necessary for her.

Fin would try to be necessary for Taerenai in return.
Failed GM
 GM, 160 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Mon 15 Feb 2016
at 01:24
Re: The lost sea
Taerenai looks back with deep fear and sadness. Aramakal is the mind in Astaria, or was at the time we ran away from there. We were working in the city, and it wanted us to work for it. I was an expert in... well, you see here. Your father was wise in the numenera, too. We did not want to work for him. It almost managed to enslave us under its mindspells, but your father got lucky with a misting rune and it bought us time enough to run. Its enforcers did catch up, though, she sighs. If Aramakal has been destroyed, we certainly didn't do it, and it would surprise me greatly. I don't think it can have found you or me, by what you have said, but all the destruction of strange -sorry, non-human - intelligences you have witnessed is suggestive. Perhaps it's making some sort of move. It's probably using some enforcer to do all this: I don't recall it ever leaving the city. It needs the energy, i guess.

</Coral>You could probably meet the Mind in the giant pillar at the center of Astaria, although you probably really really don't want to do that, it would be better to do almost anything else. It does roam the city from time to time, although it's not a nicer sight. But we have to get there, or somewhere. Now, I can surface this vessel, and generate a new death field. But you can't just go knock on Astaria's gates. Well, I guess you could. Once.</Coral>
Final Command
 player, 123 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Thu 18 Feb 2016
at 16:57
Re: The lost sea
Fin... Molfeen has no desire to find itself terminated for Aramakal's interests.  To recklessly confront it, no matter its form, would be a violation of all Taerenai had hoped for when she had put Guardian to task to care for her... daughter.  The thought that it would be behind the slow destruction of the Weal was cause for great concern, but Fin was not going to throw itself headlong into an unknown danger, not when it had a new ally.  New... family.

"There is no need to reveal ourselves.  We can find another way to determine if Aramakal is harming the Weal; between our skill sets, I'm certain a solution can be made viable."  Despite Fin's exhaustion, it feels decidedly more optimistic in outlook than it has for a long time.  "How can I help with the ship?  I do not wish to crash it again; I was in... a hurry the last time."
Failed GM
 GM, 161 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sat 20 Feb 2016
at 19:10
Re: The lost sea
Taerenai is busy for a while hming and interfacing with the ship. When she turns back, her frown is noticeable even by you.

So. You didn't quite manage to kill us all, but you got close. And drit knows what those nanites did, if they have even stopped. I'll have to check _everything_. That and of course fixing the largest problems, like the breaches in hull integrity, or the problems with the second propulsor. But you did get us out of the jaws of that malander, though you almost blew us up with it. So, thank you very much, and don't do it again.

As for how you can help: This ship is on the brink of collapse, and I need to take it up to anchor against the sea ceiling. You can help me maneuver, although I could manage with the information engine, especially with your automaton friend already augmenting it. You could also build a body for it, and take care of your seskii. You will need them outside. If you want to build up, go check the storage area for parts, I'm sure you can find something to work with. When you're done and we're safely moored, we can take C40rla out and set her up.

She pauses, and changes track: I guess you have many, many questions. I also guess you find it hard to ask them. I find it hard to talk, myself. This is unexpected. But I am happy to see you, I want you to know that.

Finding parts for C40rla is a variable task starting at level 4. Every extra level of success will mean a better body.
Helping Taerenai man the ship has the same base difficulty with an extra asset applied.
You could also come up with a plan to fix parts of the ship, or something else. What do you do?

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:31, Wed 24 Feb 2016.

Final Command
 player, 124 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Thu 25 Feb 2016
at 15:39
Re: The lost sea
"Considering my last effort at piloting, it would be more beneficial to observe and gain greater practice before attempting it again.  Now is not the time for practice.  I shall work on giving C40rla a body.  And aiding the seskii-organic.  It has been a constant companion, and it was damaged badly.  Is it good you told me your feelings.  I... do not have the correct vocabulary to express them well.  I... am very glad to see you too," Fin said.  Perhaps there were gestures or other nonverbals to express happiness, but that had been little part of Fin's lessoning.  Perhaps Taerenai could explain later, if she knew them.

Fin headed over to the stores, hunting through various parts for something appropriate for C40rla.  The humanoid form was rather inefficient, as it had seen many times in the Weal, but it did allow for better acceptance by organics.  It would be up to C40rla if it wanted a more humanoid appearance though.  Fin had done a certain level of customization in its life, and wished to do a good job now.

The stores were a treasure trove of scavenged items from many sources, some metallic and shiny-green, others fuzzy with nanobots clinging to the edges,  some slick with oil, others rough and scaly with fused organic elements.  At least five were glowing, one was pulsing, one smelled like a flower, and one kept changing shape every time Fin looked away.  One kept moving until Fin put its foot upon it and commanded it in eight different codes until one made it stay still.  Fin wasn't sure that was because it understood the code or had just gotten bored.

With care, Fin started to pull likely-looking parts, items that had possible compatibility, items that would make compatibility possible, a few things that looked decidedly useful, and at least a couple things that would enhance the uniqueness of the constructions, because C40rla's original body had been particularly well-made, and it would like that.

There's a sinuous central motor unit with multiple attachment points, in a soft shade of blue, and then three trifucated metallic-scale bio-mechanical manipulation extrusions which would be very useful indeed.  The base movement has Fin divided, as there is a rugged tread-type base that's a possibility, but then there's also four multi-jointed metallic insectille legs that could work as well.  Then there's the thing that won't stop moving, except when it wants to.  That... well, Fin would have to see what it could do with that.

Fin laid out the parts, made multiple sketches on some flat pieces it wasn't using, and brought them to C40rla for her opinion.  After all, if Guardian had had let Fin do so, it would have made a body to suit it, so it's only fair that Cr40rla have input into what form it would be using.

[Private to GM: 00:03, Today: Final Command rolled 15 using 1d20.  Build a body (Building and repairing automatons T) (E).
00:03, Today: Final Command rolled 6 using 1d6+1.  1st recovery roll.
]
Failed GM
 GM, 164 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Sat 27 Feb 2016
at 21:52
Re: The lost sea
C40rla definitely likes best the more humanoid-looking designs. As it says, those remind it of what it was before. It and Molfeen both finally settle on a design, and start building.

For your success, you can build up C40rla as a L6 automaton. You get your choice of Might-, Speed- or Int- based abilities and powers. You can model it after other automaton creatures, e.g. the Disassembler, the Zhev, the Mastigophore, or perhaps the Callerail :)

Time seems to fly -more appropriately, to swim- and as Fin's work is coming together, it hears a soft sound: Taerenai's come in her floating contraption. The seskii is with her, panting slowly. It looks mostly recovered.
Right, we're as close as I can set us. If the ship was in better shape, I guess I could try finding a way through to the Marica, but as it is, we're lucky to be here. We're near the southern walls of the sunken sea. It's still a way to go from here, but the strait of Emoross is not far, and transport will be available. This doesn't mean it will be cheap, or easy, but I think you can manage. Come, Molfeen -Fin-, let's take a rest and have supper together. You've worked hard enough.

She floats at Fin's side through the corridors. The mess hall is dimly lit, and the kitchen is spartan. As you both try fixing up a meal, Taerenai tries to start a conversation. It's awkward. So... What was it like, growing up in the Weal? How did you manage?
Final Command
 player, 127 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Wed 2 Mar 2016
at 18:07
Re: The lost sea
Fin consults with C40rla as it forms something as human as it can make it, modifying the insect-like feet with additional attachments for feet, but still allowing for easy movement on difficult terrain, using the tentacle attachments for the arms, and cramming every scanning and defensive device it can into the body and head (made from sculpted synth and ceramic, less automaton and more artistic, why it was in with the spare parts, Molfeen wasn't sure).

There was scanning capacity, machine interfaces, drone command (if she could make some helpers), even a remote disassembly and control function, should C40rla find herself in the midst of the crisis that had precipitated the need for a new body in the first place, at least part of her would be able to go for help.  The functions would need some tinkering as C40rla's command modules were transferred and she got used to her new body, but Fin thought she had a good start.

[Private to GM: OOC:  I'll give further thought on specific abilities hopefully on the weekend!]

---

When Taerenai comes at the end of the day, Molfeen is glad to see her, and the seskii-hound.  It had been a good companion.  Molfeen touches it, and finds it living, warm, vital.  It is a good thing to have around.  For Taerenai's- her mother's questions, Molfeen- Fin, tries to consider how to explain the normal course of her life.

"Guardian hid my organic status as much as possible, though it communicated with a small amount of other automatons about my needs, as it was uncertain how to tend to them.  While I was still non-mobile and non-verbal, it mostly kept me out of the attention of other inhabitants.  When I was able to coherently communicate, it taught me many forms of code, and also the Truth-tongue.  It had spent time around "civilized" organics, it said, and so had other units, so it was a useful thing to know.  I learned about repair, creation, adaptation...  I listened to its final command many times, but parts were redacted, for security.  I could repair sixteen different automatons by my fifth annual.  I learned to cover myself to normalize my appearance in the Weal.  Guardian forbid me from exchanging my flesh for synthetic, though I asked many times.  It had good information; I would have terminated if I hadn't been what I am, when the infection came to the Weal...  Guardian... the infection was too severe..."  Pressure and moisture built up behind its visual receptors, and Molfeen realized she was crying for the death of the only parent she had ever really known.

This message was lightly edited by the player at 18:07, Wed 02 Mar 2016.

Failed GM
 GM, 165 posts
 A struggling GM who
 Turns Coffee into Story
Tue 8 Mar 2016
at 01:28
Re: The lost sea
Taerenai watches the outburst in silence, and starts approaching Molfeen... but perhaps not close enough. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Molfeen. This life you have, so far beyond what I imagined. I think... I wish Guardian was still with you. It was always your favorite, always could soothe you when you were a baby. I would have been angry, had our lives been easier than they were. We were almost always on the run. Your father, myself... We needed all the help we could get. And you probably wouldn't even exist without Guardian. I'm not... I'm honestly saddened by its disappearance. I've missed you terribly. I've missed everyone. I have saudades of everything.
Her eyes become lost in time, and when she's back, she pats herself. Here, I almost forgot: these were us. She passes you a small red synth sphere. When you squeeze it, an incredibly vivid image fills your mind. It's your whole family. Your father, Guardian holding an incredibly small baby, and a younger Taerenai nursing another infant. You can hear whispers, laughter, and some gurgling coming from your sister and yourself. The smell of the sea is clearly perceptible. You can have it, if you want.

After some more reminiscing over the dinner table, Taerenai asks Well, do you need anything else? Are you ready for the crossing? Only otherwise you should rest now, while you can. We're safely moored.
Final Command
 player, 130 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Tue 29 Mar 2016
at 11:16
Re: The lost sea
Molfeen takes sphere and stares at it for a very long time, visual receptors- eyes feeling very hot, moisture trickling from them.  These were the images and sounds it had wished to see, information it had wished to know in it- her earliest life.  This was information Guardian had told her it could not convey due to security procedures.

It was something she'd had never known she could have.  Bio-related unit.  Family.  The past-tense of most of them did not negate their history.  They had sounded... happy.

"I don't need... anything else," Molfeen says, shaking her head.  "But I have been up for three day-cycles and I should rest before my performance degrades anymore.  Taerenai..."  Molfeen reaches out to simulate the embrace she'd seen in the sphere, holding her head to Taerenai's chest and encircling her with arms far larger than any infant's.  "I am glad I found you."

Molfeen lets go of Taerenai and goes to find a semi-horizontal space to rest.  Once there, she doesn't so much fall asleep as likely pass out due to her advanced state of fatigue.  She had learned to work through long hours alongside indefatigable automatons, but Final Command had her own recharge cycle that could not be ignored forever. But when she woke, hopefully she'd be able to participate in making the crossing intact...
Final Command
 player, 131 posts
 Bazian Jack who
 Battles Automatons
Sat 9 Apr 2016
at 13:38
Re: The lost sea
As the ship surfaces, Molfeen knows it is time for her to go.  Of all that is left of what had been its- her family unit, she alone had a quest, and she alone might survive scrutiny of this Aramakal, should she be unlucky enough to face him.  Taerenai had survived by not chasing someone who wished her death.

Molfeen turns and again imitates the arm-circling gesture she'd seen in the mental image on Taerenai.  "I will keep you in long-term memory storage, highest file priority," she said.  It was likely not the correct mode of way to say things, according to Taerenai's comments, but it was a very high compliment in the Weal, the highest one could give.  "Thank you for surviving, and giving me the chance to survive."  She doesn't know what else to say.  If there were more time, less of an urgency, she would like to stay, to learn.  But it isn't possible.  Taerenai risks everything coming here, and the Weal is fading every day Final Command is gone.

Molfeen presses her hands into her mother's side and back one more time, and then Final Command leaves the vessel behind her.