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Spooky Mittens

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  1. The machine began to creep as Unity lost herself in her mind. It had time for maybe one step before the clatter of Contrast hitting the floor snapped her back to reality. Dozens of miniature cameras locked into various portions of Unity, her daggers in particular. This creature clearly sought to mimic life. There were any number of ways a machine could be more efficient than a human body, and yet this one seemed content to limit itself to a specific range of motion. It has two arms, two legs, a torso, and a head. While it was true that it comprised itself of something much more durable and lasting than human flesh, it seemed to desire this form. So it would be really no surprise then, when it reshaped it's hands into a pair of long, double edged daggers rather akin to a cinquedea attached at the swivel joints of the machine's wrists. When Unity spoke to it, it attempted to speak back to her. It made a series of electronic buzzing sounds, as well as a set of diagnostic beeps before it attempted to modulate actual speech. "At. Ack. Dayyyyy." It tried to copy Unity's words, but came off sounding like a Speak and Spell with low battery. It seemed more confused than anything, but those blades on it's limbs seemed to make it's intent quite clear. With a flash of red light, the machine lurched forward with precision and intent, almost mirroring Unity's grace if not for a few locomotive errors. However, as it approached the distance where it could be a threat, it hesitated. The machine didn't seem to know what the next move was to be, and for a second longer than it should have, it simply waited. Then it attacked, cutting through the stale air with both of it's limbs, from left to right. @Sigil Warden
  2. Cabbage was happy to continue swiping this way and that with his toy version of Arthur's weapon. He didn't understand fancy parties or feasts or small talk, and Gabriela's assessment of the leshen creature's madness was rather quite accurate. Of course when your brain was mostly cellulose and water, how sane could you really be? Something caught his attention then, though. Arthur's female companion had made some kind of Jan at Cabbage with her eating utensil. He had seen her salad and noted that the fork was used specifically for stabbing plant life, and so he put up his tiny bitty polleaxe before Arthur came to his aid. Something the woman said had really stuck in Cabbage's leafy head though. Was he full of meat? He stuck the pollaxe back in his mouth for a good while, at least long enough for Arthur and this woman to have their flatware duel. When he finally pulled it back out the stick-turned-polleaxe had become a fully cooked chicken leg. That is, if you replaced the bone with wood. Cabbage still didn't understand that bones and branches weren't the same thing. Cabbage started to waggle around his chicken leg. "HuuuBEH." @Voldemort @Gil @Pasion Pasiva
  3. A storm of steel. That was an apt description for Unity's display. Her nervous system overclocked, and her newly modified body finding itself able to utilize all of her newfound vigor. She was like an elegant dancer, tearing her way through a crowd of drunks. An angel among mere men. It didn't take her long to rend the machine flesh of these zombified corpses into ribbons, freeing the nanite clusters from their skin sacks. Flesh fell to the floor with plopping sounds, and all the while the machines reconfigured. When finally Unity cut down the last of these minions, would she have noticed the large mass forming in the middle of the back wall? Over the head of the first corpse she skewered the nanites that comprised the nerve clusters within the corpses had gathered and coalesced. The formed a shape that was mostly humanoid. A man's shape, but it lacked a face. Instead, a sensory cluster, contained behind a crystal-like screen formed it's head, while it's torso and limbs seemed to be amorphous. It was either having difficulty remaining intact, or perhaps it couldn't decide what an arm or a leg were supposed to look like. This machine crouched on the end of the bolt that Unity fired into the wall, teetering perfectly on it's tip like some kind of gargoyle. When everything finally went quiet, it would bellow out a low pitched electronic hum. @Sigil Warden
  4. Cabbage sat happily in a little clay pot that hard been packed with fresh soil earlier that day. His pot was plopped onto a chair at Arthur's table, and when Arthur had received his food so too hard Cabbage been given a generous sprinkle of water. His leaves were vibrant and stiff and his spindly little root arms were nowhere to be seen. However, he did seem to take to singing a bit, possibly as a subconscious display of joy. "Heh behhh beh, heh behhh beh, heh behhh beh." It was steady and rhythmic, but quiet enough that he wouldn't be disturbing to anyone in close proximity. It wasn't until Arthur mentioned that he hadn't truly been tested this tournament, and that the massive chunk of beef before him was to be his first true test. Cabbage had no idea what that meant, but he had learned to pick up on Arthur's tones and sense of humor over their time together. "Heh heh heh. Heh beh." He feigned laughter, being unable to actually laugh. Then he pulled his spindly little root arms from the soil and grew a stick from his face. He broke the stick off with a snap and stuck the end in his mouth. When he withdrew the end of his new stick, it had transformed into a very tiny replica of Arthur's pollaxe, metal and all, which Cabbage started to swing around. "Hehhh BEH!" @Voldemort @Gil
  5. "Yes, that's right. Credit chits like that are pretty secure - so make sure not to misplace it." Annalise explained as Erika pulled her chip out and mused over it. Annalise seemed unimpressed with Erika's display. She'd seen it already, really, so a second showing just wasn't interesting anymore. Such was the way of Annalise's attention span. What really did her over was that Erika didn't seem to be following along with Annalise implied meaning. "Oh, so, I just need to learn to throw it? Hmm. I wonder how my brother would get mad at me for doing exactly that if I'd no idea how to do it?" She had a very clear tone of sarcasm to her voice as she spoke, tapping a finger to her chin and gazing vacantly into the ceiling. She put her casting aid back into her bag and turned on one heel. Real magic, heh. Perhaps she thinks the casting aid is the only part of the equation? Annalise thought to herself. Perhaps she would keep that secret a little longer. Straight ahead was a long corridor that led to an elevator. "I want to go shopping." With little hesitation she started off at a brisk walk towards the elevators. @Houndy Poochykins
  6. "Ooh!" Annalise answered with a start as Erika summoned her halberd to her grasp. Then she began a magical display right there in the middle of the executive offices. Annalise, of course, was excited to watch. She didn't really fathom the power that lay beneath the surface inside Erika, but then Erika may have also been underestimating what it meant to be a Schuler. "So you're like, one of those old school mages then? You say magic words and you use wands and stuff?" Annalise seemed like she was about ready to geek out over it as she started to circle Erika with wonder in her eyes. "That's pretty retro!" She then reached into her bag, a small little clutch hanging under her left arm. She pulled out something like looked like an approximation of a modern smart phone - if a bit smaller than average. She held it up for Erika to see. "My dad invented these. Our company, see, it's called Applied Arcana." She flipped the device over to show the back where the logo was printed. "You could say it's like, a wand. But like, it's more than that. You can track spells and skills, and it actually takes a measurement of your ambient control medium. Dad calls mine Mana, but I dunno what the technical term is." Annalise flipped the device over again and tapped the screen. It showed a silhouette of her body with various calculations running across the screen. "I dunno what it all means though. My brother tunes it for me. I do know it lets me do some fancy magic thingies too." She pressed a button on the device with her left thumb. Then, holding her right hand up, she splayed her slender fingers and turned his wrist. Above her hand appeared a disc of light that spun rapidly, making a soft whistle as it did. Then she released the button and opened her hand and it shattered before dissolving back into nothing. "He gets mad if I throw those inside." @Houndy Poochykins
  7. Leopold didn't react when Erika mentioned the Indentured Servitude that was prevalent across Absalom. Even The Schuler's company l, Applied Arcana, utilized Indentured Servants in their work force - particularly on the manufacturing side. It wasn't something Leopold had any say in, and it was something that he was none too fond of on a personal level. However, in public at least, he had to keep up appearances. He let the comment slip by as if he hadn't even heard it. "You start now, if that's alright with you. I'm booked up with meetings for the rest of the week so I won't be able to attend to her in the meantime." He started to turn to walk away, but drew up a finger and turned back as if he remembered something important. "It's not so much where I want her or when. She'll be deciding that herself." He slipped his hands through his sleeves and fixed his overcoat before he continued on his way, leaving Erika standing not six inches away from Annalise - slip by a lane of glass. "Uhg, finally. I thought he was going to keep yammering on for at least another hour." Annalise complained, loud enough that he voice carried through the glass door to the outside. She stepped out of the conference room, standing about five feet with her three inch heels. She continued twirling that one bouncy strand of hair in he left hand, while her right found a perch on his waist. It was at this point that the girl actually took a moment to soak in Erika and really see her for the first time. She noted that Erika didn't wear armor, nor did she carry any firearms. Instead she seemed to be toting around an old weapon - one that Annalise didn't know the name for. She quirked a brow and frowned a bit. "You sure you can keep me safe with just that?" She smiled sweetly as she spoke, but the cadence and inflection of her speech made it obvious that this was a taunt. @Houndy Poochykins
  8. "Right on time." Leopold said to himself as he lifted his right arm. He turned his wrist, as if to look at a watch, and sure enough there was a device attached to his arm. A screen appeared in the very air above this object, hard as glass and very tangible, and yet crafted of little more than projected light. He lifted his left hand and he tapped the projection in a few places, if one had been peeking over his shoulder they would see he was adjusting his daily checklist, before lowering his hand. Erika stepped out of the transport shuttle to the sight of a young man. He was certainly well dressed, wearing a very modern black quilted waistcoat, a white silk shirt beneath, black pants rather similar to his waistcoat, and some high boots. He wore a long overcoat, which hung from his shoulders with his arms out of the sleeves. "Yes! Indeed Miss LesChance." Leopold answered as he motioned for her to follow and turned back towards the doors inside. "I'm sure that you were briefed on the job when our company first contacted you, but in case my assistants were remiss I'll go over it with you again." He carried on with a confident tone that seemed to project far beyond his years. He couldn't be any older than nineteen by the looks of him. "I have a younger sister you see." He continued as the doors slid open automatically and closed behind them with a very soft him and a click. They moved from a the smog outside into a sterile white hallway. It had the look of an office building with floor to ceiling windows. Men in suits sat at desks. What they whittled away their lives at was anyone's guess, but this company in particular was known primarily for it's programming. Specifically the kind that allowed users of magic to produce their spells with technological assistance. "She is a sweet girl at heart, really, but when it comes to outsiders she can be extremely difficult." "To be frank, she scared away her last personal guard. We need a new bodyguard for her. Of all the possible candidates, you were the only one she would allow." Leopold led her along the halls to a conference room, wherein sat his kid sister. She looked to be about fifteen or so, dressed in clothes actually quite similar to Leopold's. She wore a skirt instead of slacks, and the cut of her overcoat was different, but the materials and style seemed to match. He stopped outside the doors, his sister now peering through the glass at him and Erika. "She can be quite a handful, but the pay is almost double our usual rate. So, hopefully, you find it worthwhile." Leopold handed out a secure chip that contained Erika's pay. The first week was paid up front, a small fortune in fact that would allow Erika to establish herself in the city. "Make sure you don't lose this. You'll receive all payments through this chip." At this point, Annalise had her face practically plastered against the glass doors. She leaned to her side, tilting her head and twirling a single curl of her bouncy pink hair around one finger. She had a sour expression on her face like she was sniffing something foul. @Houndy Poochykins
  9. Absalom. A dystopian nightmare, spawned from the adherence to ultracapitalist principles, lacking any oversight or governance. This cesspit of slavery and vice was responsible for grandiose suffering felt my thousands of people in the streets below. In the high central tower, however, their moans of agony were silent and foreign. Absalom's high society was sterile and demure. People were robotically pleasant in passing, and money changed hands here as a matter of habit. To find yourself in the upper echelon of the Archology's high society was usually the result of countless atrocities committed below and out of sight. One such individual, Annalise Schuyler, was born into this society. Her father, a purveyor of unique technology that helped integrate the use of supernatural abilities with modern technology, was able to maintain his position in this place through the very specialized skills he possessed, along with his many holding in other corporations. He was part of a network which his company sat at the head of, and within this particular sector the name Schuyler was synonymous with royalty. Annalise was the very image of privilege. She wanted for nothing. She knew not a single days hardship. Every minute of every day had been filled with dozens of yes men and servants. The word "No" was not something Annalise could even understand. So when she asked her daddy for a new bodyguard, she simple couldn't refuse her. Leopold Schuler, her brother and former guard, awaited his replacement at their family's private shuttle pad. The woman on question should be arriving any minute, but he seemed in no hurry. @Houndy Poochykins
  10. There was a sudden crackle through the air as a projectile launched from Unity into the scrabbling amalgamation of flesh and tech. It found itself rapidly restrained, it's central machine brain shattered and scattered against the wall. The skull around the foot long spike was so brittle and hollowed out that it cracked wide open like an egg smashed into the floor. What came out, however, would have been unexpected. There was no blood or Gore, no bits of brain and viscera. Instead, clusters of machines that formed huge nerve bundles spilled out around the body, hanging loose. The limbs still moved, now directing themselves in all directions. Out of synch, and as if with a mind of their own, hands clawed and legs flopped, pulling against the middle of this body and actually tugging themselves loose from their joints. All the while, bodies around the room started to rise. Some in better condition than others. About half of them managed only to animate at the torso, while the other half managed full standing positions. They seemed to be men from the city, mostly, wearing the garb of opposing corporate interests. Their weapons were no longer present, but many seemed to have sharp blades protruding from their hands. They would watch Unity, waiting for action. She would once more hear the faint laughter of children filtered through the synthetic blips from the drone before. There it stood, in it's cat-like configuration, in the duct that Unity jumped down from. @Sigil Warden
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
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