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Spooky Mittens

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  1. Unity sat patiently, observing the room before her with extraspectral assistance. She would be able to discern that it was roughly forty feet wide by eighty feet long. The walls presented nothing special, nor did the floor or the ceiling. The scattered bodies, however, scanned with her special optical x-ray, were filled with cybernetics. Some were familiar, almost new. If she had direct access to a database she might even be able to pull serial numbers for some of the parts. Others were different. Almost recognizable, but changed somehow. If she looked close enough, she would even be able to see that some of these dead men had endoskeletal implants that we're still in motion, and not in the sense that the bones moved, but that the implants were migrating. Depending on how long Unity spent observing, she would eventually witness a very peculiar event. There in the middle of the room was a body that straggled away from the rest, a soldier by the look of his clothes. The skin on his face had been blasted clean off by some kind of directed heat, leaving bits of meat here and there, bust mostly just charred bone. This body suddenly turned it's head, empty eyes looking in Unity's direction, and it started to hiss. It was like a sudden release of gasses, like what happens when you open a vacuum sealed can. Two cameras now forced their way out from the thin bone behind it's empty eye sockets, and it started to scramble it's limbs rapidly against the smooth ceramic floor. It struggled to right itself, as it's legs were broken, but it seemed very eager to reach the duct where Unity was hiding. @Sigil Warden
  2. Slide she did, deftly adjusting for the sudden drop into the deep dark below. The walls remained wide enough until the sliding came to a halt at the bottom and the ductwork constricted. Another tunnel for Unity to shimmy through as before. It bent to the left, leading further away from where Unity first entered, and it carried on straight for some time. Several minutes would pass, even at maximum crawl, before Unity would catch a glimmer of light again. At the end of this duct was another grate cover. Unity would find that when she reached the cover it was already halfway pried loose, hanging on by a few bent metal clips and nothing more. It opened into a large chamber that was very dimly lit by a few pulsing lights that washed across the walls in waves. She would see the scorch marks on the walls and floor from the impacts of projectile weapons, a mix of ballistics and directed energy one might surmise. Bodies seemed to litter the edges of the chamber to the left and right, piled near the entrances. All was quiet, save that ever present thump of energy from deep below. @Sigil Warden
  3. A flash of light and a sudden pulse, it happened in a flash. Unity made her move to pass the little drone and in the process rendered it's being into pieces. She probably hadn't expected this outcome, but the use of a localized EMP proved quite effective at disabling the observation drone. Unlike before where she had merely sliced it to pieces, this time the drone shattered into tens of thousands of individual grains. It formed a pile on the floor, scattered this way and that, like smeared ashes. A little black scorch mark on the otherwise pristine ceramic ducts. She didn't wait, so she wouldn't see, but this ash pile was still moving, pushing itself back together a millimeter at a time. She turned right and headed through a corridor with her head tucked down. This wasn't an exit, however, and if she didn't correct his facing soon enough she would quickly come upon a sharp downward slope. Slipping here meant that she would slide down this duct, the smooth ceramics providing little in the way of traction. In all, it descended roughly two stories by modern standards where it would narrow back down to a crawlspace with a leftward bend. @Sigil Warden
  4. She was agile as well as fast, with a good deal of physical strength to boot. So far Unity was performing right along specifications, and the telemetric data her "benefactors" collected would prove more that satisfactory. She wasn't in their world right now, however. Now she was in the home of her little optical gremlin friend. Shimmy along she did, following the trail. It wouldn't be too hard since the drone left small scratches on every surface it touched, but it could traverse these ducts several times more swiftly than Unity could. It would be several minutes before she would catch sight of it again. She would round a bend in the ventilation shaft, where the actual ducts opened up to the size a person could reasonably expect to stand in. Ahead of her was a hub. It split off into five directions. One could go forward, left, right, or backwards, but also down. The gremlin drone was on the side opposite to Unity across the gap in the middle of the ventilation hub. It's options were splayed and fanned out into a matrix, each tiny camera locked into Unity with interest. It let out a noise, a garbled series of beebs and static, but if Unity listened close enough she might pick up the faint sound of a child's laughter. @Sigil Warden
  5. To say that Unity was fast was woefully inadequate. She was like a blur, a sudden crackling wind, tearing through the shadows with razor sharp precision. One, two, and through and through; Unity embodied this piece of poetry as her knives cut through the metal and plastic shell of the drone. While she took a moment to assess her kill, the data streaming across her implants and feeding positive reinforcement to her brain, something peculiar began to stir within the tiny observation unit that lay in pieces before her. Within it's framework, it's sinister origins sought to make themselves known. The drones solid pieces started to go limp. Not like melting, or dissolving, but limp like a piece of meat or something quite soft. Its parts started to slither, splitting into a hundred different segments, snaking their way like worms away from the blades that had just cleaved them. In the blink of an eye the drone was gone, transformed, and then suddenly reborn several feet away. This new form it took was akin to some kind of humanoid, though again it was only about the size of a house cat. It looked a bit like a cartoon gremlin with fins sticking out of it's optic bundle, while it's tiny "hands" seemed comprised entirely of blades. This time it made nary a sound, except the noise of metal scraping metal as it turned and started to flee towards a ventilation duct. @Sigil Warden
  6. Thanks for the tag @supernal. I'll be focusing my attention into Absalom moving forward.
  7. It was well known that the disparity between the "haves" and the "have nots" in Absalom was just about the worst in all the land. Nowhere in Absalom was this more apparent than in the nether city that existed inside the sinkhole where the entrances to The Sarcophagus existed. Scraptown, also referred to as Gutter City, or the Trash Pit. Whatever you call it, it had no official title. This sinkhole was neutral ground due to the myriad of hazards that made permanent occupation unprofitable. The refuse of Absalom above was cast into this put on a regular basis, and yet despite being a fixed and known depth, it never seemed to fill up. No matter how much trash, human waste, or actual humans you tossed down there, it all seemed to vanish just as soon as you weren't looking. It was no wonder such a place served as the last refuge of the indebted or the escaped. So few bounty hunters and debt collectors would dare to delve it's depths. Unity, on the other hand, was a unique case. It wasn't entirely uncommon for high tech soldiers to come down into The Sarcophagus looking for live combat data. Testing high tech implants and prosthetics didn't require this kind of danger, but it still happened once or twice a year. At least, that's what the news said. Unity charged through the dark, chasing a beacon of light from ages long past. She made her way in near silence, save the energetic thrumming that filled the very walls around her. A moment may have passed, or maybe several thousand, for time in this raided tomb seemed to stretch and contract on a whim. She rounded a corner, and there it was spotted, the source of her beacon. A tiny drone, no larger than a house cat, comprised of some amorphic metal and plastic. It sifted and searched, an array of sensors serving as it's face. Pieces of tech, bits of bone, pools of blood, all of these things it scanned, until the buxom spelunker became visible. The drone halted, cocking it's sensor piece high, locking a few dozen miniature cameras onto Unity. It emitted a high pitched beep, just a single piercing blip of noise, at an interval of one tenth of a second. Then it waited. @Sigil Warden
  8. Nah, I've made 0 points about you personally. I'm talking about pretty general ideas. Whether these thoughts apply to you in particular or not is irrelevant. So, about those sticks; yes they have hand guards. Those particular hand guards were popular in the 17th century because the swordplay of the day was broadsword/backsword. Those kinds of swords had basket hilts, so to train in their use you need something there to restrict your hand. Whether the leather cup actually did anything to protect your fingers or not is secondary to the muscle memory function. Earlier periods didn't use hand guards, but singlestick was still a practice that goes back to Rome.
  9. Ah, I gotcha now. Basically that's just the really safe version of single stick. It's a tradition as old as swordplay. So, I say it's as valid as anything else for beginners.
  10. Hey, take it from a poolboy. Pool noodles are the Pinnacle of melee weaponry.
  11. Few people have that resource lol @Garion That plays into what I was saying about the difference between a journeyman and a layman. You and your brother have a baseline, you have had instruction, so these concepts aren't just theoretical to you or your sibling. They're practical. You understand how they are supposed to work, so you can spot when they don't. Few players have practical skills in fighting, they have theoretical skills instead. So if they try to apply it in practice they have no idea if it's right or wrong.
  12. The only problem with getting up and going through the motions in private is that you lack an outside eye. Someone who has never had any instruction before isn't going to know that their movement is improper or that their technique is weak unless they have someone there to tell them. The other problem inherent in that is finding someone with an instructor-level knowledge base to help you work out your pretend fights on the internet. So, might be useful for a journeyman but definitely not for a layman.
  13. Mmmmm, half-dragonnnnnn. Boi, I need you for a plottttt
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