Author Topic: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm  (Read 21086 times)

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saltmummy626

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5175 on: October 16, 2019, 09:42:54 pm »
[written by salt and wilson over the course of several months, oof]

A man walked away from the group, giving a wave of his arms. He was finely dressed compared most of the others, a velvet paisley vest with a dark red dress shirt along with a golden puff tie and two pistols at his hip, butts pointing forward. As he walked close enough for the duo to hear, "Can't stand that fucker..." He growled, deep enough in thought to not notice them right away. Jennifer watched him go, noting his bearing and the way he stuck out among the common raiders.

"Who is that?" She asked, giving Dave a nudge. Dave watched the man warily but with a hint of distaste mixed with fear. His walk slowed to something more matching their own almost imperceptibly to all but Jennifer, and she realized the mans ears were sharp. He'd caught her question and was waiting to hear what the answer would be, and she wondered.

"Duke..." Dave said low and full of acid, "With the Sun Dogs for only a week now. Nobody knows why he's with them but they figure he'll move along eventually. Has a habit of jumping from clan to clan for a few years now. Never stays with clans like the Sun Dogs long though... Maybe he fancies himself the next Raider Khan..."

Duke rocked back and forth on his boots, pondering to himself. Only listening to the last part of Dave's explaination. 'Raider Kahn...' he thought to himself, 'It's a temptin' position, but... too many potential knives in m'back. It's too tempting, bouncing between these 'clans' or somesuch...' He glanced over at Jennifer, giving a little tip of his pork pie hat to awknowledge her as he paced around. ''m bettin' there are folks willin' to pay better t'see that Hoyt sumbitch fall right on his ass t'put it lightly... Maybe...' His thoughts trailed off as he took off his hat, to scratch at his scalp in thought. Duke took out a little composition notebook, not much larger than the palm of his hand, out of the inside of his vest. He scribbled down his thoughts and plans, grunting a bit as he squinted at the writing.

While the girls and the Raider were talking, they felt eyes peering at them. A short, thin man stood a ways behind them, simply staring at them. He donned a navy blue jumpsuit, with big black workboots and an olive green dufflebag along with an odd device on his wrist and an albino rooster mask.

And he was simply standing there, staring at them.

Cherise noticed and stared back for a bit while Jennifer talked, then shook her head. 'Weird.' she thought, 'People are weird out here...' Then said aloud, "Are we getting a move on? We should probably step lively."

Duke finished adding to his journal, before looking up and seeing the figure behind the girls. "Ah god dammit" He grumbled, walking past the girls and smacking the man upside the head. "Dammit Richie what the fuck did I tell ya 'bout starin' at folks?!" He berated, as the man went from dead still to flinching and typing on the device on his wrist. "Sorry.- It's a force of habit.-" The device said in a feminine monotonous voice.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 09:49:44 pm by saltmummy626 »
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Chaosvolt

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5176 on: November 10, 2019, 04:17:27 pm »
(( Written with Salt. ))


Minx had seen Medeina assert control over other robots before and thought that this would be something like that, but when they got to it, Medeina simply scuttled around it. It was dead, well and truly. Up close to it Minx and Medeina had no problem seeing the extent of the damage and very shortly Hector could see it too. Inside the cage, along the "roof" of the robot, a circular panel had been pried open and the machines guts had been carefully pulled out. Minx didn't have much attention for it though, Hector noted. Her eyes seemed to find themselves drawn away again and again, and when he followed her distracted gaze, he saw what she saw. Coyotes. Avoiding them of course, seeming to avoid the cage machine or the town center itself. There wasn't fear or nervousness in Minx's look. Just a kind of sadness.

"Mr. Lowe," Medeina asked, "When we are done with Catnip's task, would it be possible to drag this machine back to Walkerville? I would like to run an inspection diagnostic, but I cannot move from my proxy while this far from Mr. Koenigs computer."

Hector gave another little glance at the local wildlife, keeping the M2 pointed in a safe direction once the others were close to the machine, and the animals skulking about didn't seem like much of a threat for now.

"I suppose we could, I'd suggest being careful with it though. Given how a lot of the AI was back when this all started, don't want you catching something from it." he remarked, before turning his attention down the road. They were definitely close, it was just a matter of finding the facility among all the greenery.

Medeina prodded at a bone, some large slab shaped thing with holes running up the beak like ridge at it's center. Hector had no doubt that it was some kind of skull. The coyotes kept their distance, and soon vanished back into the greenery from whence they came. In the distance to the east, the call of some unknown creature rose and faded away. Hector realized there were no undead here, and he found that a bit odd.

"Shouldn't be too hard to find it." Minx commented, pointing up towards a vine covered pillar with a sign on each side. Hector shielded his visor and leered at it.

Quote
WELCOME TO NEW GAIA CENTER
TENJIN -  EAST
BHADRA - SOUTH EAST
APHRODITE - SOUTH WEST
MENRVA - WEST
MEDEINA - NORTH

"I suppose we start north then." Hector said, adjusting his grip on the M2. He had to reign in his surprise and his urge to raise the weapon again because at that moment a man in a lab coat strode out of a small apartment building up the street. He saw them. He saw them seeing him, and Hector thought he would bolt, but then the man waved and began to weave his way through the growth and few wrecked vehicles towards them.

Hector glanced toward the brush the man went through, gesturing to Minx and Medeina as he pulled the tank a bit closer to the side of the road and shut it out. "Who's that..." he said softly, shaking his head as he secured the mounted gun before closing the hatch, slinging the carbine propped up nearby over his shoulder and picking up his shield as he made his way out of the back hatch to join the other two. Seeing the stranger approaching, he gave a wave, for now only having shield in hand.

saltmummy626

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5177 on: November 29, 2019, 06:13:07 am »
Cole McKinsey and his brother Wade were having a bad day. It had all started the day before when the contract holder had finally reached out to them with instructions for delivery. It was the realization of who they were delivering too that had brought around the first tingles of trouble at the back of Cole's head. Their company had continued in seclusion after the Cataclysm, running as though they had been prepared for the lawless world that would come. From the people at the top to the men like Cole and Wade at the bottom, it was good business. Sort of. Making deliveries to people like Hoyt wasn't exactly what they'd originally been in for, but the men up top needed guys like the candy man to operate here and there. Make money in the foreign markets and all that. God knew they had their fingers in every pie up north already.

The second thing had been the nearly sleepless night of trying to contact Hoyt while fending off the undead, then later trying to contact Hoyt and his army of junkies while fending of Hell's Raiders. They'd managed to fight from street to street with the South's brand of unusually unkempt hordes while keeping their langourous cargo within their armored trailer safe with relative ease and success to find themselves only a few miles later being harried by the men and woman on motorcycles and in startlingly nimble trucks and cars. Stops and starts all night it had been until Cole had made the fatal mistake of trying to plow his big rig between two trucks making up a barricade across the road. On the other side, the rig had met the real trap. The bump. A log, split down the center and laid flat side down onto the road. The rig hit it at only slightly reduced speed, sending Cole's ass bone up into the back of his skull, Wade's teeth scissoring into his own tongue, and the rigs suspension up into the engine compartment. It had been less destructive than the raiders had thought it would be, Cole surmised from the dimly heard conversation outside the locked and armored cab, but it had disabled the semi.

When he came to his senses, Cole saw the man straddling a motorcycle pointing some kind of small automatic at him and slammed his fist into the emergency shutter switch on the dash. A split second later, the first two bullets punched into the seat between the brothers and then the shutter was between the shooter and them catching the rest of the slugs.

"Holy shit Cole!" Wade shouted, throwing an arm over his face. It sound more like "hoewee shid koh" coming from Wade's damaged mouth. Cole slapped the door locks in the same movement, and sealed themselves in. The brothers had been robbed on the road before, you couldn't well not in this day and age as a transporter of goods and services. He tried the radio again and got nothing, then he tried the short range and got the fizzle of static that said someone was transmitting. Every now and then, the ghost of a voice or other sounds would drift through the short waves tiny spraker. The two men sat in the cab and listened to that and sounds of the people outside trying half heartedly to get in. Wade took the time to stuff his mouth with gauze while Cole tried again and again to raise somebody, anybody, on the radio but nothing happened for a long few hours. Then, someone outside was addressing them.

"Excuse me, I need you to come out. We're taking your trailer." Said the voice. It sounded like a woman, good natured enough but authoritative. Next to Cole, Wade was shaking his head back and forth wildly and Cole could understand why. The men they worked for were not to be fucked with and neither was the man they were delivering to. "Hello in there?"

"Fuck off, ya hoser." Cole shouted, then nearly slapped himself.

"Hoser? What?" The woman asked, seemingly to someone else.

"They're Canadian..." Came a mans voice, "Quebec plates."

"Oooh. Okay." The woman quietly exclaimed, then to Cole, "Now come on, if you come out now I can at least make sure these guys don't decide to blow up your truck or cut their way in and string you both up. Your truck may still be running, but I gerauntee you it's not moving. We've already unhooked your trailer and are gonna have to tow your truck out of the way anyway. Make it easier on everybody and just come on out."

Cole could see them through the small slot he and his brother had cut into the armor playing over the windows. A woman with a luxurious fox tail, a taller more well built woman, and a man in a leather jacket. Beyond them was a collection of nasty looking folk smoking cigarettes, passing around a bottle of who knew what, and spitting the shit waiting for the action to start again. The two women were talking quietly to each other now, waiting for his response. "Wade, hand me the rifle." Wade did as he was asked and passed over the hunting rifle he kept behind his seat, but with a look on his face that said "Sure, I'll hold your beer, but you better be sure about this." Which wasn't far off the mark really. Cole did feel as though he was about to do something that warranted a request to 'hold his beer.' "I said fuck off!" Cole cried as he jammed the barrel of the rifle into the driver side porthole and squeezed off one quick shot. The man in the leather jacket dropped while the woman with the fox tail went into a dive/crouch that was too fluid to be anything but trained. The taller woman though flicked her wrist and drew some kind of rod and charged. There was blue fire, shouting, and before the brothers knew what was happening, they'd both been pulled from the trucks cab.

"Y'all right Hussar?" The fox woman asked the taller woman.

"I'll be fine. Burned myself worse when I was a little girl reaching onto the stove. How about them?" 'Hussar' said back. Wade was smoking lightly from his lightly charred jeans, but Cole had come through the still cherry hot cavity carved into the trucks armor with plenty of holes burned into his clothes and blisters forming on seared skin. The bandits checked over the man Cole had shot and determined that he'd be fine, and while they were at it others came and moved the McKinsey brother's semi, thoroughly looting the clients other orders from the back cab.

"Okay, that's good then. Fine work guys, get that other semi over here and hook it up so my me and my fellow ranger can take it back to our people. Send a rep from your clans to the location we talked about earlier and we'll have a cut ready to hand over, like we discussed." She looked around while the bandits went about the work, then let a broad warm smile cross her face. "I'm so proud of you lot working together."

"Atomos, what do with do with these two now? Should we take them back with us or..." Hussar asked, punctuating the 'or' with a little fingering of the rod in her hand. 'Atomos' gave the question some real consideration before asking back; "I mean, technically we are the bad guys here? I think?" Hussar shrugged a little. "Eh, we could just leave them here. It's your call."

"Yeah... Okay, we'll leave them tied up here and as soon as we've gotten a fair distance away, the Sun Dogs can decide what to do with them. That sound alright with you guys?"

The cheers that brought up was enough to tell Cole that the day was only going to get worse.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

Chaosvolt

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5178 on: January 05, 2020, 11:57:48 am »
(( Written with Salt. ))

"Ah, uh, hello hello. You're certainly the smallest group I've seen here in awhile. If your after pre-cataclysm technological treasures, you won't find them here." Said the man. He was armed, Hector could see that easily when he got close enough. His hair had grown long and meticulous but altogether futile care had been taken to keep his clothes intact. Medeina watched the man carefully and her two companions as they interacted with him. She had a feeling about the man, a spark of something somehow familiar and yet totally unremembered. "My name is Charles Chelsea," he went on in his worn out and shaky sounding voice, "and I imagine if you were going to shoot at me you'd have done so already."

"What are you doing here?" Minx questioned warily, noticing the ill kept pistol sticking haphazardly from one pocket of Chelsea's labcoat.

"Well, warning people off." He explained, "or trying to anyway. Very few people listen and most of them don't come back. Some do, but even they don't find much they can use I suppose. Except the hunters. Sometimes a few hunters come through hoping to get one of the more dangerous specimens. But uh, this isn't a military installation. It's an ecological project."

Hector remained quiet for the moment, observing the man as the others talked for the moment, still carefully regarding their surroundings in case any of the likely wildlife might've wandered this far off. "We're actually here for a different reason. Do you know of the AI that formerly operated in this laboratory?" he asked, before looking back down to Medeina's proxy.

"Of course I know of them, I was the security analyst for the labs around New Gaia Center." Chelsea scratched the back of his head and glanced down to trace the line of Hectors gaze. "Oh, you've got a robot. First I've seen that wasn't trying to kill things or take my picture. Yes, I know of the AI. Mainly the AI core, but the others were using the same systems. The Tabula Rasa project was the brain child of my partner, but I could probably get you through the basics of it."

He turned then and shaded his eyes to look up at the signs on the nearby pillar, then pointed to each one at a time. "Tenjin, the fact checker that made sure the others didn't go rogue. Something happened to him, so there was no one to keep the others in check in the weeks before they were... Well, I don't know what happened to them, I was too busy watching the world fall apart. Bhadra and Menrva, who would work together with the core to acquire new specimens for observation and cataloguing, along with developing new survival strategies. Aphrodite, responsible for monitoring the breeding of more specimens in an effort to repopulate reduced populations in the case of an extinction event. Finally, there's the core, Medeina. Her job was to monitor and take down observations of everything. Every piece of data collated into her repositories for future use by the others. Each AI could work independently of one another, or collaborate thanks to Medeina and the unique AI structure designed for them."

Minx scooped up the small proxy just as Medeina broke the silence she'd held since the encounter had begun. "Are there records available from the labs concerning this Tabula Rasa project?" Chelsea turned sharply, causing Minx to jump and Hector to raise his shield a little. He'd gone white and wide eyed, staring at the proxy.

"I know that voice... Professor Harriet Glastur provided the template and we used it in... Who are you people?"

"It's a bit of a long story..." Hector admitted. "I'm assuming that most of the AI are no longer functional, Medeina in particular?" he said, only for the proxy to perk up a bit, interrupting him. "Mr. Lowe, I am quite functional at present." The knight facepalmed at that, looking away. "I mean no longer part of this facility, right?" The proxy paused a moment, looking up at Hector before responding. "We are currently at this facility, actually..."

Charles Chelsea was still staring at the small robot, and the small robot was staring at him. A long awkward silence followed the last exchange, then Chelsea cleared his throat. "Y-yes, they're gone now. A few weeks after the world ended they're data was erased by another AI from a disconnected lab via a security breach we'd been in the middle of patching. Where did you get this robot?"

Minx adjusted her grip on the eye bot and let Medeina waggle it's front limbs at the air for a moment. "Our friend Dee built it from some kind of eyebot or something like that, but she's projected out of a laptop on their farm." The eyebot in question was one of Dee's better works. A robot he'd put a lot of effort into making it harder to tell what it had been built from.

"A laptop... I don't believe a laptop has the vast processing power required to run the real Medeina AI..." Chelsea whispered.

"It does not possess the vast processing power required to run me. That is why we are here Dr. Chelsea." Medeina was quick to add. Upon hearing his name, the security analyst visibly shuddered.

"The last time I heard that voice," He said, recoiling a little, "She was contacting me through my home PC to tell me that everyone was dead and the project AI's were releasing all their specimens into the countryside." There was a long pause in which Minx stared down at Medeina, then he added, "There were coyotes everywhere for months."

Hector seemed increasingly leery of this, regarding the proxy before taking a look farther down the road. "So you know about the lab that grabbed Medeina at least. I don't know if your AI here can tell you much about what happened, somehow she was the only AI on-site that hadn't been picked apart by the one that was running the place we looked into. Was a while back." he explained.

"Dee's hoping to get materials to make a more useful proxy for Medeina, and on top of that another friend of ours is working on projects for surrounding communities that require materials of that sort. Hence Medeina's idea to come here..."

"Grabbed?" The scientist said, "I know C.I.D., the AI they were hooked into because of military branch bull was deeply jealous of them for some reason. I don't... Mr. Lowe, are you sure?"

Hector nodded promptly, "We retrieved her from another lab a few miles away from here, and I recognize the name of the AI C.I.D. from that lab. If memory serves, and Medeina won't remember this, she claims there were other AIs from other labs trapped there and C.I.D. was assimilating them." Chelsea's lips worked even as his brain worked, Hector could see the distrust worming it's way into the mans brain.

"She gave me status updates." He said finally, "Three weeks of status updates on how well the team was doing at surviving the horror she and her siblings had unleashed on them. The mating habits of coyotes, the feeding habits of creatures I can't even describe. How they needed more people and they were sending out Bhadra's cages to bring in more. She gave me that final update, then the labs just... went dark."

"Is that true?" Minx asked, shocked. Medeina tried her best to swivel her spherical frame up to look the woman in her electronic face, but failed and replied "Possibly, but I do not remember. I remember nothing from before I was activated by Mr. Koenig on the farm."

"Mister, uh..."

"Lowe, Hector Lowe."

"Mister Lowe. Frankly, I don't... I don't think that's a good idea. She... She has flaws... in her thought palace. She can pick apart the rules to adjust them in any way she needs them to be picked apart, and she's designed to enjoy whatever task she's assigned. She-"

"I am programmed to do a great deal more than just enjoy my tasks Dr. Chelsea." Medeina interjected, and Chelsea shivered at hearing her voice say his name, "I am outfitted with a complete emotional emulation prototype, though I suspect it is not mine. Please do not think me some rogue machine with no value on human life."

Chelsea cringed a little and glared at the robot more warily than before. "I don't trust you Medeina, not after what you-"

"We have a manifest." Medeina interrupted. It was a first for Hector. Not the interruption, Medeina interrupted conversations all the time, but her sudden change in tone. It was the first time he could hear a kind of agitation in the AI's voice. "A partial anyway. Do these labs have the materials we need or not?

Hector seemed to be scrutinizing Medeina, underneath that helm. He had his own thoughts on everything that'd been discussed, and even as he read the distrust evident in the doctor's voice, he still knew they'd have to see this through. Well, we'll have to see if he's right.

Chelsea almost seemed as though he hadn't listened at all, but Hector and Minx could see the doubt. Medeina could more than see it, she could feel it and the way Hector was now scrutinizing her. She was different now, somehow. The emotional emulation had a small but profound effect on how she carried out her observations, and what Charles Chelsea described didn't seem like the Medeina she knew herself to be at all. If creatures like Mica could change, then so could Medeina. Chelsea had cringed away from them, but only for a moment. Now he seemed to have something to say, but was unsure of how to say it.

Then, quietly, he asked "Mr. Lowe, can I speak to you in private for a moment?" Hector gave a nod of understanding before leading the way back over towards the road, leaving Medeina with Minx for the moment...

 

NOCTIFER IS A FAGGOT