Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
Eleanor Webb
 player, 296 posts
Tue 17 Sep 2019
at 11:40
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
"That's good. I don't think I need anything more at this time, we'll see later." After a small pause, she added. "In fact, getting more AIs is... well, it's definitely something I'll want to talk with you about. I mean... Is it right? We're basically giving birth to them with a clearly defined goal in mind, where they don't really have any say. I guess some sort of rebellion because AIs were treated as pets or slaves started the whole genocidal thing, no? Uh, anyway, something to talk about later."

Eleanor continued to read her mails, marking a few she needed to answer to. "And speaking of war... I'll have to talk to Hestia, Vulcan and you soon. Tomorrow morning? I have quite a few ideas, quite...ambitious...and I need to talk about them to you three. Oh by the way, were you able to get that new chassis of yours? And how goes Æride and Landres Beaumont? Did you pretend to be me to keep things rolling on that front?"

Once she finished with her mails, Eleanor remembered the journal and went to fish it in her office, then came back to the kitchen to see if there were anything new to read...forgetting that to anyone else the journal looked like her baby photo album.


Noted :)

Æride is the nanites company, and Landres Beaumont the CEO Eleanor recruited.

This message was last edited by the player at 13:41, Fri 27 Sept 2019.

 GM, 320 posts
Wed 18 Sep 2019
at 18:51
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
Aether is going quite well. Landres is doing a bang-up job. She's a real go-getter. We've had several deep-pocket investors get onboard already. I have, in fact, three alternate chasses to select from: a heavy eighteen-foot mecha weighing in at three tons, submarine for the underground river, and an octopoidal with electromagnets that is very resilient.

We've succeeded in creating a Tech 6 power source the size of a cellphone that will power the mecha for 8 uninterrupted hours at maximum power output. And we have a functional prototype of your invisibility shield.

Eleanor Webb
 player, 297 posts
Thu 19 Sep 2019
at 13:14
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
"That's good, I'll look into that tomorrow." Eleanor wasn't sure she liked the idea of investors. Well, no, not investors themselves but what they wanted in return... while aware that there hadn't been any way around it. "Or rather we'll talk about that tomorrow, it's part of the plans I mentioned before."

"I, uh... I was expecting you to get a bigger cat or something..." Eleanor mumbled and drank from her bowl. "But that's cool." Though she couldn't imagine how that was supposed to work, it wasn't like Bastet could use any of those three in public, could she?

"Oh, great! I'm eager to see that, that'll be really good to have. There'll be plenty of opportunities to test that soon." If nothing else, if she had the time among all her projects she wanted to stomp on the creeps she had started investigating: she had no doubt that kidnappings and the slave trade had been far from hurting from the current troubles in Chicago.

Shaking her head, the girl looked up at the door, wondering what held the other three, then focused back on her journal, to see if she had new messages to read.
 GM, 321 posts
Fri 20 Sep 2019
at 11:00
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
As you peruse your "baby book", you hear Muchai's unmistakable clop-clop as she enters the kitchen.

A new page has appeared in your book.

"Daughter, greetings. If things are as I suspect, then it's hard to gauge how much time has passed since last you read from these pages. One of three things is true, now: either you've been to Haught and know much that I have wanted to tell you, or else you haven't and should ask Marius, or you are dead. Did Earth get invaded, or have we avoided the Skave threat thus far?

I have an insight for you. There are wholesome and unwholesome AI, both on Earth and on Haught. The key to overcoming them individually is nanite tech, but to stem the tide you must find a way to infiltrate the location of their top echelon intelligences. On Haught, those are ensconced in highly secure locations held in the territories controlled by the Ice Cabal.

I've a gift for you. Duck-taped under the water tank covering of the commode in the second guest bedroom is an amethyst. It will grant you a reserve of power and mental acuity.

One final thing, this entry: Kualag is of chief importance, even over Earth. If it falls, all Haught is lost and, eventually, therefore, Earth as well."

You hear Lida and Choktah join Muchai in the kitchen. An android clatters around, serving them.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:17, Fri 20 Sept 2019.

Eleanor Webb
 player, 298 posts
Fri 20 Sep 2019
at 14:19
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
It took a moment for Eleanor to digest what she had just read. Not that there was all that much new. The location of the AIs on Haught might be, but she probably already had it in the data she had collected, and hopefully much precisely at that than somewhere in the territories of the Ice Cabal. Nanites to destroy the AIs... She wasn't so sure. Done right, it would destroy the infrastructures and the cores of the AIs, but if they were able to send their code away, it wouldn't help much. Unless they had nowhere to send that code of course. Something to study at any rate, and it wouldn't hurt to have multiple options.

No, what truly mattered in what she had just read was the last line. Granted, it wouldn't change much for her plans as she had already decided to try and kick the AIs out of Haught, but it was good to know that it mattered even as far as Earth was concerned. Too bad keeping Haught secure didn't mean that Earth was safe. Not that she had any way to tell if any of that was true or not of course, but considering the situation, it wasn't like it was going to hurt to assume it was.

Shaking her head, she came back to the present and turned to Lida, indicating her old laptop. "You can read your mails on that one. Use the guest account, there's no password to boot it." She then looked at Choktah and Muchai. "Other than that, everything alright so far?"

As she listened to the answer, she sent to Bastet. "Can you send a briefing for one of the androids to present about the current situation in Chicago - and the world at large - and how it happened? Unless you're on your way? I want to understand where we're at before I contact anyone."
 NPC, 24 posts
Mon 23 Sep 2019
at 00:53
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
Via the cognonexus: I am about twenty minutes from arriving at your estate myself, Ellie. Will a talking cat freak out any of your guests? If so, then yes I can forward a presentation to one of the androids. Oh, by the way, don't overreact if the house sensors indicate a pair of airborne objects in the next ... oh, two minutes. I'm bringing two heavy drones in for extra eyes and firepower.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:54, Mon 23 Sept 2019.

Eleanor Webb
 player, 299 posts
Mon 23 Sep 2019
at 12:25
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
"Oh, good." Eleanor answered distractedly. After a couple of seconds, she added. "I guess two of them will freak out as you so eloquently said, but since it'll happen anyway, we might as well do it sooner rather than later. They'll have to get over it."

She grumbled a bit about the house feeling like a fortress, then as she finished her first round of mails, she asked. "Oh by the way, are the dogs flesh and blood, or...?"

To the others, she said. "We'll have a briefing about the current situation in twenty minutes or so. In the meantime, I'm going to take a shower." A nice, long, hot one. With no one in the vicinity.
 GM, 322 posts
Wed 25 Sep 2019
at 21:19
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
As you get in the shower, Bastet replies. The dogs are biologicals, genetically enhanced. Fast and vicious. I'm on the grounds. Is it okay to let myself in through the security cordon?

In the kitchen, Lida and Chocktah have tucked into the sandwiches, cheeses and crackers, and Muchai is showing decided interest in a box of wine Eveylyn has left on the countertop near the refrigerator.

You step under the hot water, reveling in the experience you've not had for so many days. A speaker in the bathroom announces. 'Housenet has detected two airborne objects in the estate air space. A guest has arrived.

Eleanor feels the telltale touch of Marius' mind. I sensed your return. I am glad you are well. I have received news from your mother. I will share it with you when you aren't ... indisposed.
Eleanor Webb
 player, 300 posts
Thu 26 Sep 2019
at 10:03
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
"Biologicals, enhanced, fast and vicious?" Eleanor's tone proved she wasn't particularly happy. "They better behave or I won't mind kicking their butts. I've learned a thing or two while I was away." In fact... maybe she could briefly let a bit of her dragon side get out and it would be enough? "You don't really need my permission to come in you know. Though it'd probably be best if you avoided the kitchen before I get there, I'm in the shower."

Feeling Marius' contact, Eleanor winced a bit. She'd have liked to get up to date before she contacted him, but it obviously had been too much to hope for. "Hi, I'm back yes, for a bit anyway. I wanted to get a better idea of the current situation before I contacted you, probably tomorrow night. If nothing else I'll need of a couple of fake IDs..." She hesitated a bit, grumbling under her breath, then added. "And thank you for taking care of Evelyn and Graham."

At the mention of her being "indisposed", the girl frowned. "Indisposed?" Her period was ending and they were never a problem outside of the obvious, or the painful cramps she suffered through on the first day and the day before that. Plus, she sure as hell hoped he wouldn't mention that or even know about it.

She turned slightly to watch her right side in the mirror, where the bruises that went from her knees all the way up to her shoulder, consequence of being tossed to the icy ground by that droid a few days ago, had taken deep blue and purple colours, with a dash of green here and there. They didn't hurt all that long as she didn't lie on her right side anyway...but they were quite impressive. Maybe those were what he was talking about? "Why should I be 'indisposed'?"
 GM, 323 posts
Mon 30 Sep 2019
at 00:01
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
It is some time before Marius gets back to you. While you're dressing following your shower, his mental voice comes to you. What's that? Er... oh! 'Indisposed'. The cognonexus can sometimes given those so joined, who have some lengthy familiarity, a vague sense of how ... free the other individual is to converse. I simply sensed you were busy, your attention elsewhere. Nothing specific is conveyed by the cognonexus. You may have been fighting, or using the toilet, or hiding. At any rate, I somehow sensed you were indisposed.

Very well, then. Tomorrow night. And as for the added protection for Evelyn and Graham — it was nothing. My resources are without merit if not so used.

You hear a babble of conversation coming from downstairs. It sounds like perhaps Bastet has arrived. When you reach the kitchen, your various links with her verify that she is indeed present, but you note that she's currently embodied in a rather sophisticated and quite life-like female humanesque android.

Choktah pivots as you enter. "Ah, Eleanor. A friend of yours has arrived. Lady B."
Eleanor Webb
 player, 301 posts
Mon 30 Sep 2019
at 12:14
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
"Oh." Eleanor scowled, not particularly pleased by the amount of information Marius was getting through the link. And the problem wasn't Marius. Hopefully it was limited to when they were talking, and not a constant thing. After a few seconds, she added. "Just taking a shower."

Getting out of said shower, Eleanor rolled a towel in her hair then put a white tank top with a unicorn on it and pink sweatpants, with panties of course. It made her look really girly, even younger than she really was but despite that and the visible bruises on her right shoulder it didn't make her look vulnerable, and that was probably due both to how fit she was and the confidence she projected.

Still, when she reached the kitchen, she couldn't help but be surprised as she looked at Bastet's new chassis. "Lady B, uh?" She snorted, then nodded. "Well, that's more how I expected a new chassis to be, that's for sure." She went to take a sandwich and ate half of it in short order, then shrugged. "Well, if you already know Lady B..." She looked at Bastet and asked. "Where does that even come from?" Before she could answer, she shook her head. "Nevermind." Looking at the three others, she added. "Anyway, she's an AI from...hmm...from a distant planet who's been helping me."

That said, Eleanor focused on her food, apparently unconcerned by what she had just said, as if it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Which was of course far from the truth, but she hoped that it would lead the two from Haught to behave rationally.

This message was last edited by the player at 10:08, Thu 10 Oct 2019.

Sun 13 Oct 2019
at 00:44
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
Muchai seems to be loving gnoshing on a box of Honey Bunches of Oats. "Mmm-mm! I wish we had this on Haught." She has devoured almost the entire box of cereal. Of course, she is feeding a body that masses in excess of two normal humans.

Choktah is enjoying a western style omelet and link sausages prepared by a servant android. He forks another bite and takes in your attire. "Well, you certainly look ... refreshed. The food here is excellent. And this," he gestures at the steaming cup of dark fluid. "I like this coffee. Very bracing."

Bastet interjects, "Nice to meet your new friends, Ellie. Now, how do we need to proceed?"
Eleanor Webb
 player, 302 posts
Sun 13 Oct 2019
at 14:02
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
"Well..." Eleanor looked at the box of cereals. "There goes my week's breakfasts..." She shook her head lightly. "It's usually eaten with milk you know..." Or chocolate milk for her since she couldn't stand simple milk.

Looking at Choktah, Eleanor blinked a couple of times, wondering what she should make of his "refreshed" comment. She did however wrinkle her nose as he indicated his cup of coffee. In a more or less neutral tone, she commented. "A lot of people agree with you." Which seemed to imply she didn't, and for good reason: she simply hated the thing. Even the smell of it disgusted her. "It'd be easy to get some to grow in Haught if you want I suppose." Lower she grumbled. "But chocolate would be a much better option, and you'd make a lot of girls happy that way..."

Turning to Bastet, she nodded. "Well, once we're done here..." She turned to one of the android servants. "Make sure we have enough cereals to last for a while please..." Then back to Bastet. "So, tomorrow morning, I'll need to talk to Vulcan, Hestia and you to define my plans for the future, both short and long term. In the evening, I'll go meet Marius. Among other things, I need to give him back his sword and ask him for chips for those two. Until then, they can't get out of the house... For right now though, I want you to tell me... Us... What the current situation is around here regarding the invasion and how it reached that point."

She looked around for a second, then added. "We'll go in the living room for that, you'll be able to display stuff there." Of course there was a TV in the kitchen, but the living room would be more comfortable for it.
 NPC, 25 posts
Mon 14 Oct 2019
at 22:48
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
Bastet, if possible, shows irritation later in the living room when she is forced to pause her presentation due to all the oohing and aahing about the holographic display. But, finally able to forge ahead, she lays out the developments of the past weeks that you've been absent from Earth: at first, gradually increasing appearances of lone monsters, then how they began appearing not solo but in duos, trios, sometimes even quads. And finally, in the past eight weeks, the arrival of very large abominations.

"These really big ones didn't appear in or near population centers, but always some distance from any of our firepower. They arrive and hide, but somehow their presence strengthens the smaller abominations, which become harder to kill but, more importantly, more cunning. The authorities, to my knowledge, haven't been able to get a big one cornered. Crime has skyrocketed, and martial law has been declared. The problem has spread throughout Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. Marius thinks this somehow may tie into the Mehein."

This message was last edited by the player at 23:23, Fri 18 Oct 2019.

Eleanor Webb
 player, 303 posts
Tue 15 Oct 2019
at 06:22
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
Eleanor smirked, amused, buy didn't say anything, content to listen - and watch. When Bastet was done, she nodded. "I wouldn't be surprised, especially if like Marius thought it was a Tower who allowed those beasts to arrive in the first place." The girl rubbed her chin for a second. "And I suppose one of the issues is that they're able to quickly regenerate damage, at least coming from firearms like the one I killed a few... Hmm... Before going to Haught?"

Eleanor sighed. "The crime thing and martial law could be a problem, I'll have to see if we can get some passes or something. But..." She shook her head. "I'm not saying I'm not going to do anything about all of that, but it won't be my focus, far from it. There are lots of people in better positions to do that, both in the military and the Magi, starting with Marius. Whatever I could bring there would likely only be a drop in a bucket." She frowned. "Unless we can design ammunitions that would be effective against the things maybe?" She was pensive for a while, then shrugged. "We'll see, but I have to choose my battles and what I'm here to do is focus on helping Haught, and in a larger sense, prevent the GAIs - the Genocidal AIs - from 'cleansing' Earth and that's something for which I believe I'm in the best position to do. And in fact maybe the only one who has the knowledge, means and opportunity to do it. No pressure or anything... But we'll talk about that tomorrow. Oh by the way, not that it really matters all that much, but in a message he left, my father said that if Haught falls, Earth follows. Considering that it doesn't imply that Earth won't fall as long as Haught stands, it doesn't really help of course, but I guess it could serve as an incentive if I wasn't motivated enough already."

"Anyway, it's important to know what the current situation is, even if we don't deal directly with it. For the most part at least." After a brief pause, Eleanor yawned and rubbed her eyes, clearly exhausted after the last few days that saw quite a bit of action and little sleep. "Are there any questions for me or can I leave you and go to bed?"
 GM, 324 posts
Fri 18 Oct 2019
at 23:35
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
Choktah stands from the table, patting his belly contentedly. "It sounds like this world has serious problems, so it appears Haught is not alone in its agonies. Your engines are impressive, even if they are a different sorcery than my queen's. I think there is nothing that cannot wait till after we rest," he says, turning to query Muchai.

The centaur nods after lifting her head from a large mixing bowl still half full of milk. "I am glad Haught remains our priority. Frankly, I couldn't blame you if you changed your mind. This is your homeworld, after all. I stand ready to follow your instructions. And I agree with Choktah. This place would seem very well guarded, given these engine-droids you have stationed here, plus the two of us."
Eleanor Webb
 player, 304 posts
Sat 19 Oct 2019
at 11:45
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
"Well, for now, I'm afraid..." Eleanor stopped for a big yawn before continuing. "...that until we get you some IDs, you'll be stuck in the house. And that'll probably last at least two days. After that... Well, we'll see. It probably won't be straight away, unless I get good news tomorrow, but I should have plenty for you to do in the near future. Anyway..." She stood up. "We'll talk about it at lunch tomorrow since in the morning I'll be busy with them." She indicated Bastet. "Speaking of which, can you make sure it'll be safe for me to pop in the lab in the morning?"

With a wave to those present - and little doubt that they'd have an "adult conversation" now that the kid had gone to bed - Eleanor headed to her bedroom. She brushed her teeth and her hair, then stripped down and disappeared under her blankets. There, she hugged Marshie - her purple unicorn plushie that she had really missed - and went to sleep.

Eleanor woke up early in the morning, not quite rested enough, but with too many ideas and concerns occupying her head for her to get more sleep. She put on a jean and the unicorn tank top she had in the evening then went to take her breakfast, intent on going to her underground lab straight away: she had many plans to talk about to the three AIs there, and she was quite eager to get to it.

Unless there's something happening at breakfast, we can skip straight to the lab.

 GM, 325 posts
Thu 24 Oct 2019
at 11:13
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
At the lab, Bastet has double-checked to ensure you are keyed to bypass the defenses, active and passive. The three AIs present greet you and provide carefully prepared overviews of recent operations, forward-planning documents, and schematics. You note that the physical size of your subterranean domain has almost doubled: the drillers and diggers have been busy. They've improved the infrastructure significantly - better recycling and ventilation, additional contingency plans for defense, escape, and containment.

Bastet joins you, still in her humanoid form. "The production of nanites is fully sustained, and you're already beginning to show profits on selling some of them to medical tech companies. Your CEO would appear to be doing a more than passable job. We've added a main laboratory and two side labs, all three reinforced with carborundum alloys.

The bottom of the river houses a full dozen heavy attack, and two dozen reconnaissance flying drones."

Eleanor Webb
 player, 305 posts
Thu 24 Oct 2019
at 12:19
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
Eleanor was impressed and pleased by the developments of her underground lab, but more than that she greeted Hestia and talked with the AI for a bit: while she had done everything to find and assemble the hardware, when had landed on Haught Hestia still didn't exist. She nodded as Bastet praised Landres. "Well, that's good. I'll have to talk to her at some point, if nothing else to reassure her that I'm still alive. And a bit more than that. Speaking of..."

Eleanor looked at the three Ais in front of her, shifted on her butt for a few seconds to find a more comfortable position, then lightly coughed. "So, as I said to Bastet yesterday, I've had a few ideas that I want to talk to you about, because I'll need your help. In fact, it's more than that, I won't be able to succeed without you three. Those ideas all concern how to fight the GAIs - the Genocidal AIs - on Haught first, on Earth second...and maybe even more globally than that. Long term anyway. To do that, it will be necessary to get a lot of resources, mostly technology and people. The biggest problem however is that if we make any wave, we lose."

"We know the GAIs are aware of Earth's existence and location. If they haven't acted yet, it's probably because they're not in a rush: we're no danger to them, at all. Instead, they've probably put us on their agenda somewhere down the line, at a time before their projections give us the ability to resist in any credible measure. But if we increase our technological base noticeably and way above a normal rate, I have little doubt they'll adjust their plans and come for us earlier than initially planned. On top of that with the spies they have here, we can't risk warning anyone in a position to do something about it."

"So we have to find a solution to both increase our technological base, prevent the GAIs from learning about it until they can't do much of anything about it, and protect Earth and Haught in the meantime. The first real idea I had was to create a few companies, like Æride, to spearhead the technological shift. Give them a few new concepts to release for public consumption and allow them to research even more advanced technology, and it would both increase our technological level more rapidly than predicted but within acceptable bounds and give us a sort of foundation to use if it came necessary to suddenly boost our technologies, for example if we detect an enemy fleet at some point or something: at which point, it wouldn't matter if our technological base increases radically after all. Well, not as far as the GAIs are concerned anyway. Socially and economically, I suppose it'd break a few things."

"There are however two problems. Or three big problems anyway: the first one is that since we do not know  what the bounds are, we could easily slip on the wrong side of them, especially if we really want to speed things up. The second one is greed: those companies would be the subjects of multiple attacks, in the form of espionage no doubt, but maybe also from nations who want to get their hands on them. The biggest issue is that while we could, I suppose, hide from everyone what we're doing, for the GAIs the simple fact that we can hide it from them would probably be seen as the only proof needed that we know a lot more than we let on, triggering their attack plans."

"Still, the companies are fine I think... as long as they don't really have - or know - a lot more than what has been released to the public. But the research into the really advanced stuff can't be done there. Before I go to the solution I have, a point about why I think research is important: yes, with your databases, what I found from the AIs on Haught and a few other things I'll mention later, we could simply use what we have and release those. But there are two reasons not to do it: first, I don't want anyone to realize it's anything but native technology. The GAIs would probably attack and we'd get in trouble with Elegor or others no doubt. Best avoid that. Second, and at least as importantly, I think it would really damage our civilization if we simply took what already exists. I'm not saying I want humans to rediscover everything, we don't have time. But I want them to take those technologies and make them their own. While the science is universal, I want the final products to be nothing else but the results of human's creativity, design, etc."

"So now, how to achieve this. At first, I thought about finding some place hidden in a valley or something. While it will need to be done like that at first, I don't think it's a long term solution: it'd be relatively easy to find us, and then we're in the same position than if we had used the companies. No, we have to think bigger, much bigger: I want to do all that away from Earth, on another planet entirely."

"Of course, that comes with quite a few problems, however I believe not only that none of them are impossible to overcome, but also that the advantages easily make up for them, especially regarding secrecy: there, we would be able to develop our technology as much as we can away from prying eyes or greedy hands and release to the companies we have on Earth a few new products when the time is right."

"So, how to do all of this. Well, there are quite a few steps. The very first one is to help Haught. For that, I will need you three to go over the files I gave you, find the GAIs strengths, vulnerabilities, plans and alliances. On top of that, you will need to design and create weapons, armours and tools to equip a dozen or so humans: I have a few ideas for that as well, but it's not that urgent. In parallel, I will want you to get me the files of ex-special force people, in collaboration with Lida. The country of origin doesn't matter, as long as they speak English. I will want them honorable, skilled as hell, with still that sense of adventure and desire to do something right. A bit like Lida. Don't ignore them if they have PTSD: I've been told it can easily be treated. Of course preferably, I'd want them without family considering that their very first mission will be to accompany me on Haught to strike the GAIs there. With plenty more to do in the future. They'll obviously need to be experts at fighting and killing stuff, but I want as many other fields represented as possible: sniping, hacking, demolition, infiltration, underwater operations, two medics, etc. Oh and someone who knows how to conduct an investigation, one of those spy types you know."

"The second point is to kickstart the companies, through which we'll release some of the new stuff both to get some money and also to slowly increase technology here on Earth. We already have Æride on tracks, here in the US, that's good. I want to add quite a few more:
- Æther, specialized in Energy, probably based in Australia or maybe Russia, I'm not sure. Maybe we could start by giving them a miniaturized version of the LENR, to use in vehicles or even drones.
- Æolis, specialized in space and environment, based in Western Europe. I don't want to give them much regarding space for now, but the idea with environment is to pave the way to terraformation. I was thinking of starting with some good filtering / anti-pollution / recycling techniques, probably using nanites among other things? For the space thing, I'd like to stay in the anti-pollution theme and give them a way to clean up Earth's orbit of all the junk up there.
- Ælfred, specialized in software and robotics, based in Japan. Definitely NOT SAI, only the non-sentient ones for the time being. Maybe with a bit of cybernetics?
On top of that, there'll be two other organizations that aren't companies per se: Ægis, for security related stuff, weapons, etc. Very limited presence on Earth, if any. Maybe just as security for the other companies. And Æon, which will be a sort of umbrella corporation tying everything up."

"Third, we have the colony. The first point will be to find a planet we can go to, and to be honest I'm not too sure how to find that right now. I'd like to avoid terraformation as it takes quite a lot of time, but that makes things a bit harder. Hopefully you have candidates in your databases, or I'll have to go see a seer or something... Anyway, a colony is obviously extremely ambitious, and there are a lot of things that need to be done just right for it to work, in a lot of fields I know nothing about and don't really have time to look into in the first place. So in parallel of finding me those soldiers, I want to assemble a team of researchers that I could talk into designing the ideal colony, complete with constitution, government, etc. Given some guidelines of course. To start things off, I'm thinking of renting a big house for a month and bring them there to brainstorm. They'll need to be social, ideally under 40-ish, motivated by that kind of challenge, able and willing to adapt to circumstances and think out of the box. I don't want zealots about their pet projects or whatever. Probably need to be single, but if there's a couple where both could fit, then it's something to consider I suppose. Ideally, I want them to have more than a theoretical knowledge of their fields: a military historian who served in some kind of army, a crime specialist who worked as a cop for a bit, etc. Oh and I didn't mention it for the squad but it's valid for them too: I don't really care about their sex. If we are close to parity, that's good, but the thing that matters most is quality. For their specialties, I will need at least: education, science, culture, medicine, sports, law, constitution, agriculture, defense, police, town planning, architecture, bureaucracy, business / finances. Maybe a philosopher or one of those social types you know? And you'll be included at some point of course, probably after the first two weeks."

"Hopefully after a month of brainstorming, I'll have both a good foundation for a colony - as far as the theory goes anyway - and I'll have recruited them for the real thing. Oh and while I'd really like to avoid it, you can take into account that if someone reacts badly, Muchai who came back with me can alter memories if needed so there's a bit of latitude there as far as risks are concerned. They'd probably need to work longer on that, but that's alright since in the meantime, we'll have to find the planet and kickstart things: get some basic industry and buildings up and running, but we'll talk about that once we have found the right planet." She glanced at Vulcan, obviously thinking about him as she mentioned that bit.

"As for myself, there are two things I'm going to do personally. On top of talking to everyone, hopefully convince all the people you found to work for me and all that obviously. First, we'll need a big, huge, amount of money. I'm really hoping the companies will produce some, but in the beginning they'll drain a lot rather than earn anything. So I'm thinking of seriously going after the trafficking ring we found before I went to Haught. Given the situation in Chicago, I really doubt they've paused their activities and I'd bet they've instead increased those. They're both filty rich and plain filthy, so not only it would be a good thing to clean them up, it'll give me a lot of money no one will know anything about which is pretty nice."

"The second thing I want to do... Or that I hope to be able to do anyway... Is get my hands on more advanced technology and science in order to avoid relying quasi exclusively on Elegor's tech. It would be too obvious and it could get you into trouble which I'd rather avoid. And I'd really like to get some kind of fighter or ship able to destroy the satellites in orbit of Haught, but that's probably too much to ask. So..." Eleanor looked at Bastet. "Is there some kind of trade hub, station or planet in the galaxy, where I could find that with a hope of being able to somehow buy it one way or another? It doesn't need to be the absolute best in the galaxy, as long as it'd allow us to reach TL7. Though for that matter, if you somehow know about a cache of technology and artifacts left behind by a civilization that ascended in the past, I'm all ears. Or even an Ascended who's known to give that kind of knowledge to people who reach him or whatever, that'd work too."

Eleanor looked at the three AIs. "Well... What do you think?" She seemed... Not anxious, but... Alright, maybe she anxious...
Thu 31 Oct 2019
at 00:23
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
Hestia's delicate metallic fingers have been slightly moving while you've been talking. Vulcan stands stolidly. Bastet has seated herself on a table in the lab.

Hestia says, "I will spearhead acquiring the personnel you need for brainstorming in your rented mansion; I'll spread a wide net and catch you all the professionals you need; and Bastet is the logical choice to organize the formation of these additional companies and the hierarchy to oversee them."

Vulcan swivels his head. "I will tap NASA's databases and coodinate with Eleanor to discover possible colony worlds and caches of advanced tech."

Bastet stands. "It's ambitious. Very. But doable. We will make it happen, Ellie."
Eleanor Webb
 player, 306 posts
Thu 31 Oct 2019
at 10:08
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
Seeing Eleanor's grin, it was obvious that she was quite relieved. "Great!" She tapped the table with a finger for a moment, then added. "For the timetable... Let's say it'd be good if we could have the squad assembled in two weeks at the latest, which means I'd need to have the first files next week if possible. I want them to get used to each other, briefed and more importantly, I want them to learn how to speak Haughtian - among other things - to prevent the AIs over there to know where we come from. Having new weapons, armors, tools etc. designed in a month would be good, even if it's just prototypes. For the scientists, let's give ourselves a month if needed as we're much less in a hurry. Though of course if it's possible earlier it's all good. And for the rest..." She shrugged. "I guess it'll happen when it'll happen."

"Now I have two questions for you." She looked at Bastet. "While I was on Haught, I...well, I guess you could say I changed. Apparently I'm on my way to become a dragon too. Among other things. The thing is, since I'm only... well, half-blood I suppose you could say... it's supposed to be much less powerful than Amandiluth's. Turns out... Not at all. According to her, I'll probably be much more powerful than she is, and there is only one explanation she can give: if I were half-dragon, half-human nothing like that would happen. Which means, I'm even less human than I thought. I'll analyze my DNA once again, and I wouldn't be surprised to see that the non-human half - my father's - is still the same, while the mostly human half - Amandiluth's -  has started to change on the way to that dragon thing, but... Do you know or remember anything that could lead you to believe that my father wasn't human?"

After barely a pause, she continued. "The second one is completely different. I had considered going to Wespoint next year. The military academy, to learn how to lead, strategy, logistics, etc. Stuff that would be really useful in a war, and in...well, empire building I guess. Hopefully anyway. But there are quite a few problems: it takes far too long, they'd teach me stuff I don't care about or that I already know and worse...what they'd teach me would be about war on Earth. It'd probably be next to worthless considering the situation." Eleanor shook her head. "But as I thought about it, I had an idea. Surely there are some coalitions in the galaxy to oppose the GAIs, right? Does one of them have a sort of military academy where they train young elites in something like a year, or two at most? Not only it would give me what I want, but it could also give me a bit of status later on if the colony thing works."
 NPC, 26 posts
Sat 2 Nov 2019
at 23:20
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
Bastet considers the two questions only a moment which, for a human, would be like taking half an hour to think them over. "As you know, Ellie, I was with your father for quite some time before he put me in storage against the day you would find me. I have a lot of data from those days, including his DNA record. Your father is definitely a homo sapiens, genetically. But remember, he is also magi and has ensconced himself in forces that even the science of my advanced homeworld hasn't fully fathomed.

And you, too, are magi, but not just magi. You are the scion of two maji, your father a very formidable one and your mother... Well, perhaps we do not fully understand what sort of a force she is. We should certainly do some tests, but it may be that these esoteric and hereditary forces together somehow account for the expected projection of your power as time goes on."

Hestia clears her throat. "I'll assign one of our quantum AIs the task of recruiting the team you need. Did I mention that our quantum computers now exceed the capabilities of any others known on the planet?

Bastet nods, clearly unperturbed by the interruption. Perhaps she wasn't interrupted. Who knows the microsecond communications that pass between advanced androids? "As for an academy elsewhere in the galaxy, almost certainly there is one, though I will have to consult with friends on Elegor for specifics. If there are coalitions that have formed in opposition to the evil AIs, we don't have data about them ... yet. But we'll look into it.

I think that, if I'm reading between the lines correctly, you seem to be playing the long game: thinking about empire building. That's probably a good idea, just in case things go particularly badly here on Earth. Even Haught's outcome is uncertain, though with you in the mix, I'd say their chances are quite good."

I've got a UTI. Taking Cipro. Man, yesterday I was trembling so badly I could hardly type.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:09, Thu 14 Nov 2019.

Eleanor Webb
 player, 307 posts
Sun 3 Nov 2019
at 13:48
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
"Hmm. It's possible I suppose." Eleanor looked pensive for a moment, then shrugged. "It's not like I know much about the genetics of Magi. Since we'll need a doctor too, to take care of everyone, I suppose I'll ask make some tests. It wouldn't hurt to document the changes as they happen, especially to know what I can...and can' Oh, speaking of." She looked at Bastet. "Can you produce nanites to fix the spine of the daughter of the maid who died when I took care of the assassin? Since I kinda promised myself I would do it and we should have the means to do so... Plus, I suppose the doctor could use a nurse, so one stone two birds and all that."

She turned to Hestia and nodded with a smile. "That's cool." She grimaced a bit sadly. "A pity I won't be able to play with it all that much... Oh, but... I wanted to ask Marius to get me some fake chips for Choktah and Muchai, but can you do it yourself? It doesn't need to be all that impressive as far as fake IDs go, I don't need them to take a plane, hold to the scrutiny of the CIA or whatever, as long as it allows them to walk in town, go to whatever restaurants or shops they want, it'll be good enough."

Eleanor looked back at Bastet, and shrugged. "Well, as I see it long game is the only way to win the game. Or at least not lose it, as long as we don't sacrifice the present for the future and all that. But the present being Haught, it should be covered. Or will be anyway, as long as I have the other stuff up and running. Which is why that coalition stuff isn't all that urgent, there's time so don't take risks. Ideally, I'd go to that academy or whatever while the scientists finish preparing the organization of the colony, Vulcan builds it - or at least, prepares the industries we'll need particularly in terms of mining resources - and obviously once Haught is in a decent enough state that I can leave."

Well, when it rains it pours, or so goes the saying... Get well soon!

This message was last edited by the player at 19:05, Sat 09 Nov 2019.

 GM, 326 posts
Thu 14 Nov 2019
at 15:23
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
Two days later, Hestia reports that she has the requested nanites for the injured woman's spine, and has arranged for a shell corporation to pay for neurosurgery at a local hospital, during which the nanites will be introduced. "And, we've recruited her to our cause. She has the training to serve as a nurse aid to whatever doctor we acquire for the project."

Vulcan shows an AI-produced video overview of the production microfactories he's designed to be deployed at, and collect and process the resources of, whatever planet(s) is/are targeted for colonization. To that, Bastet adds that a Norwegian scientist with impeccable credentials and who is apolitical has been recruited to assist with selection and recruitment of other needed scientists for the project.

Hestia supplies adequate fake ID cards for Muchai and Choktah.

Bastet fairly crows, "Ellie, my contact on Elegor has located a 'training facility' meeting your requirements on Elegor's fifth moon. Tech 7 and a variety of environmental conditions in which to train."
Eleanor Webb
 player, 308 posts
Fri 15 Nov 2019
at 11:23
Ch. 11 — Visiting Earth
For the last two days, Cailin had been mostly working on a personal project. Oh, she had gone back to her house in the evening, to keep Muchai, Choktah and Lida updated but other than that all her time had been spent on the computer. And not to play around with the computer itself.

No, she had had an idea about medical nanites, and she wanted to bring it to life, by herself. In fact, she had specifically told the three AIs that she didn't want them to do it for her: she was perfectly aware that they could do it, that they probably even had a ready made solution in their files in fact. Of course, it wasn't that she didn't want them to help at all: in fact, she would rely on them at some point, mostly to monitor clinical trials on rats or something like that. But she wanted the ideas to - mostly - come from her: she wanted...she prove to herself first, then to others, that she could do it, that she could do the work and that if she could, they could to. Plus, she was curious to see how her solution would differ to the ones they had. Assuming the problem had existed in Elegor's population.

She wanted to tackle two problems, two big ones, for which she believed medical nanites could be a real game changer: the first one was cancer, the second was the Alzheimer disease.

For cancer, her idea was to come up with a mechanical variant to chemotherapy. What chemotherapy did was to stop mitosis in cancerous cells, with the problems that not all cancerous cells responded to the chemotherapeutic agents for one, and that some perfectly viable cells were destroyed for two, which led to a host of secondary effects like hair loss for the most benign one. If however she could design nanites that specifically targeted cancerous cells, then both problems would be nullified. Since the problem with cancer came from DNA mutation in affected cells, "all" she'd have to do was to design nanites able to recognize good from bad DNA...and destroy the bad.

For Alzheimer, the problem seemed more complex, but she instead believed it would be the simplest of the two, and that was due to the causes of the disease, namely the accumulation of tau or amyloid proteins in brain cells. Drugs had a very difficult time targeting those due to the blood-brain barrier, which prevented pretty much everything from going from the blood to the brain in order to protect it. Nanites specifically designed for this and able to target the right spots could effectively stop the progression of the disease. It wouldn't heal the damage already done since those neurons had been destroyed, but it could prevent it from getting worse and could effectively work as a vaccine. Or maybe it could be better to think about it as a periodic clean-up.

When the AIs came to her with their news, she interrupted her work - she wasn't yet designing anything of course, just doing some paper reviews, checking her hypotheses, etc. - and focused on them. She nodded to Hestia with a grateful smile. "Thanks, that's good news." Of course, they needed the doctor too, but she wanted to talk to her first before committing to anything. Since she would be Cailin's - among others' - doctor, it was important that she had a good feeling about her after all.

The girl watched attentively Vulcan's video, asking a few questions here and there. "That's good. I'd like to throw in a few little complications though: first, I'd like all mining - or at least as much as possible - to come from asteroids, captured or not. I'd like to avoid gutting a planet where life is possible. Second and in the same vein, I want all production factories to be completely clean, with zero pollution." She paused, then added. "And third, I'd want those mining sites and production factories to be temporary: it's perfectly fine to use every tricks in the your book, but ultimately, I'd want everything to be replaced by stuff designed by the colonists. The transition will probably be hard and painful, but I hope that if we start with that in mind it'll make things a bit easier on us. Obviously it's not because I'm worried or I don't want to rely or you or whatever, you - all three of you - will get massive credits for this, but I think long term it would be really important for the colony's - and colons' - identity and sense of self worth to have only local solutions without using foreign tech and science as a crutch." She tapped her lips for a second. "Which might make things a bit hard for you to help with since you can't exactly forget stuff, but there's probably a way."

"A Norwegian scientist, eh?" Cailin considered the news for a second, then shrugged. "Well that's good. He certainly knows a lot more about what to look for, or what to avoid, than we do, good move." Plus, if one of their peers convinced them to work for her, it would make things a lot easier. And by the time she appeared, well... She was pretty sure she'd get their attention. Speaking of. She turned to Hestia. "Regarding the scientists, I've thought about what I'd tell them in the beginning: I'm going to pretend that I want them to test and push an AI simulator, something able to take a whole lot of parameters and from those realistically evolve a full civilization on a large timescale. Could you prepare something like that on that fancy Quantum Tech? You can pretend to be the AI, or create an NSAI for it, depending on what you think would be best. That means we'd need good visualization and inputs tools, but there's a hundred years of history of games for that, so I'm confident you'll have more than enough resources to achieve this." She rubbed her chin for a second, then shrugged. "It would give them a good explanation, something they can perfectly understand, to work on what I want. And hopefully the system is good enough to get them hooked and do it seriously before they know the true purpose behind all of that." Once they had the system, all they'd need were the scientists and the villa. "Oh and thanks for the IDs, I'll give it to them tonight." She paused then shook her head. "Actually, I'll probably go when we're done here, I'm sure they've had more than enough of the house."

Turning to Bastet, she nodded but didn't seem particularly eager. "Okayyyy? What do you mean by 'training facility'? It doesn't sound very military academy and more like army boot-camp when you say it like that..." She didn't want to train to be a grunt after all. On the contrary, she wanted to train to become a leader of armies, of an entire civilization for that matter, someone who knew how to wage a war on a galactic scale...or part of it at least... not someone who knew how to fight this or that drone. Well, not just that anyway. "And what are their requirements to allow pupils in?"

Biology: [roll=1573816601.73944.325265], +1SWS, +5XP
Luck: [roll=1573816670.79776.325265], +1AP

Can I use APs on rolls like that to get the +2 shifts? They don't exactly happen in a round after all.

And my first Electronics roll being a beautiful 100 (I had 2% chances to fail...), I'll spend that AP to reroll: [roll=1573816918.13203.325265]
Not great either, but she's only considering options at that point, so it's not that bad.