Power Function [closed]

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Revolt
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Power Function [closed]

Post by Revolt » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:12 am

After the closure of Nicolas Pendragon's portal away from the military's secretive installation, he and Revolt were removed to familiar confines of his lab, along with what was, for some definition of the name, Hector Williams.

Familiar was, perhaps, an overstatement - she'd been there once, after all - but she'd made sure she knew her way around, just in case she needed to be here. Her arm moved as the portal closed, reaching out to support Williams as she wove the current net back into the exoterium array. Portals had a way of disrupting things, sometimes. It took only a few seconds before she had him righted again, a marionette on invisible strings.

"Just let me know where I should put him," she responded to Nicolas, last things first. She kept her armor sealed for now - getting herself radiated wasn't in the plans she had set up, certainly. There was a hesitance, before she added, uncertainly, "...Owl-Boy?" She was fairly certain no one actually called themselves that, but of course it could only refer to Kriegergeist. The rest of them had been women, after all. "Nevermind. You can tell me that story another time. Let's get Williams taken care of first. I'm not giving you government secrets, but I'll send my feed from as soon as I entered the room. You should probably know I killed a guy. Frederick Damson, the military's lead on the Project."

He couldn't see her wry smile, but he could probably hear it in her tone. "Williams always hated the guy. If you manage to wake him up he'll probably be pissed that I took him out before he had a shot." She wondered if Nicolas' best friend had ever mentioned the guy, or told him what he'd thought about him.

She wondered if the body they'd brought back would ever have a chance to tell Nicolas anything at all. "Transferring files."

Now she just had to hope she'd picked the right side in all of this. Given that the other side was Voltgeist's... well, it wasn't really much of a choice at all.

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Re: Power Function [closed]

Post by Terminus » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:30 am

TerminOS v3.3.0
Now Playing: Sabaton- To Hell and Back.

Armor Model: Ajax.
Active Module: None.

Pilot: Pendragon, Nicolas.
System Status: Nominal.


"In there," Pendragon answered, gesturing to a device in the room's corner. It was an intensive-care pod, standard medical tech on Terminal, with some modifications. The device had proven sufficient to drain massive amounts of radiation from Williams nearly a year ago, but his current condition would require a more... esoteric solution.

Hector would be held upright inside the device, suspended in mid-air, as an initial assessment of his health was made. From there, they could work on actually fixing what was wrong with him, but understanding the problem was a necessary step to take before attempting to find a solution.

"He had an owl theme going on for a while," clarified Nicolas, offhandedly. Still armored, he was manipulating more of the hard-light holographic screens that controlled the lab, preparing an initial treatment program for Hector. It was more meant to keep him alive than anything else, but alive would be better than whatever he'd been before Alaska, so Terminus was willing to accept it. "Before he... died, I think? I didn't really know the guy, though it sounds like you have a history with your iteration."

Still loyal to the government, huh? After you killed a member of the top brass? Or does he not count, because he isn't from your government?

Revolt's loyalty to the United States was a little difficult to understand. Rationally, Nicolas knew that both versions had served in the military before being imbued with their abilities, but having little in the way of a comparable experience made it hard to relate. He didn't fight for any one nation- it was the entire species he protected.

The fact that she admitted to murdering the colonel, without even a justification other than that he was an asshole, was odd as well. Presumably that would come later. But it was also a point in her favor. Terminus had noted the corpse, and tracing the cause of death to the initial energy discharge had been trivial, but he hadn't been able to determine where that discharge had originated from. Here was Teja, admitting it.

Her video feed played out in real-time on the Ajax's HUD, while the armor's automated systems went through the entire recording at a hundred times the normal speed, checking to see if anything didn't match up with Pendragon's own assessment. To his slight surprise, both the armor and his own eyes confirmed that she was telling the truth.

Revolt had detonated explosives, killed Damson, and taken control of Hector with her armor, using him as a proxy to wield the sword and attack Teja. Not exactly a good look. But she clearly believed that there was a good reason to do it- one that he'd agree with. Otherwise, she would have tried to doctor the footage, or simply refused to provide it.

On instinct, Nicolas began constructing potential explanations in his head. One leapt out as being obvious. She'd felt the need to make a move on Voltgeist, and eliminating Damson was a necessity. Stalzahn was the only weapon she could be assured would work, and picking it up herself risked being exposed to the same corrupting influence that had transformed Capacitor. So she'd used Hector as a puppet. And then the Society had shown up, and everything went off the rails.

It made sense- if you agreed with the initial premise, that Capacitor needed to be killed. Terminus wasn't sure how he felt, just yet. But he could be fairly sure that Revolt wasn't going to stab him in the back. He stepped out of the Ajax, but didn't deactivate the armor entirely. Instead, he put it on 'sentry mode,' ready to spring into action if its creator was threatened.

Surprising himself with how exhausted he'd become, Pendragon fell into a waiting chair, the antigravity panels on the seat making it bounce back up after the initial impact. Floating furniture had been an adjustment, but Nicolas could barely imagine life without them at this point. Yet another reason to avoid actually living on Earth.

Addressing the lab rather than Revolt, Terminus spoke aloud, while massaging his temple with one hand.

"Coffee. Two cups."

The order was processed, and a machine on the other side of the lab sprung into action, brewing a fresh pot for the pair. Teja was still armored up, but Nicolas had a suspicion that she'd be grateful for the caffeine, after how the altercation with the Great Society had gone.

"So. You killed Damson, and tried to use Hector to kill Voltgeist." Pendragon paused for a second, to allow Revolt a moment to contradict him. This was merely establishing the facts of the matter. Presuming that she didn't do so, he continued.
"Let's start with why."

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Re: Power Function [closed]

Post by Revolt » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:51 pm

For a while, Revolt didn't say anything, just focused on getting Williams decanted into the corner capsule, the Eldest blade thoroughly encased in exoterium and set down outside the capsule. Separating him from it had not been difficult other than that she'd needed to do it entirely with exoterium, as there was no way that Revolt was going to touch that thing. She didn't exactly like putting Williams back in a box right away, but... well. It wasn't as if she had much choice in the matter, was it? He certainly wasn't going to sit down and join them for coffee.

For a moment, she had a bizarre vision of fine-tuned manipulation in order to get him to do just that - but the idea of it was somewhat sickening - and that was provided that Revolt had enough fine electrical control to even do such a thing, which she... doubted. Voltgeist could do it, though, she was certain. Voltgeist had managed to send out a communications signal without even having a device - unfortunate. Things would have gone a lot more smoothly if that hadn't happened.

Revolt didn't sit down, not yet. Instead, she remained standing by the stasis chamber, her gaze evidently locked on the man within. Nicolas wanted answers, which was understandable. Revolt didn't want answers - she wanted solutions. Her hand raised, resting against the outside of the stasis chamber in unconscious mimicry of the same way her counterpart's hand had rested against Terminus' shield, not very long ago.

Whatever happened with Hector Williams now, it wasn't likely that she could make much more of a difference. At least Nicolas had the desire to help - she was fairly certain the government would have been happy to keep him in stasis ad infinitum, more focused on harnessing what they could get out of him than returning him to his full power. She understood, of course - governments must be callous, at times - but they'd trained her to be callous as well, and she needed Williams more functional than he was, and out of their hands.

There was a sigh, and a shifting shimmer of exoterium as armor folded back once again - not just the helm, but gloves as well, leaving her fingertips bare where they rested against the glass before she withdrew them. "Garrick Valeria was Volksgeist's lieutenant," she stated eventually, answering two questions at the same time. "He was there, at Krakatoa. Where Williams ended up..." Words faltered, but she'd told him that part of the story before.

"The government couldn't save him then, and yours won't save him now." Her hand dropped, a hint of anger or frustration in her carefully controlled tone as she turned and left the man behind. Still she didn't sit, too wound up for it. "They'd keep him in a cage for a century if they could. I was working with them for him. If they won't try to help him, though, then I'm going to find another solution." By the drift of her eyes and where they found to rest, it was clearly evident that Revolt's other solution was Nicolas Pendragon.

"I need him alive."

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Re: Power Function [closed]

Post by Terminus » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:33 am

TerminOS v3.3.0
Now Playing: Sabaton- To Hell and Back.

Armor Model: Ajax.
Active Module: None.

Pilot: Pendragon, Nicolas.
System Status: Nominal.


Well then.

It wasn't necessarily fair to judge someone based on their actions in a parallel universe. But damn, it did not reflect particularly well on Noctua that he'd thrown in with Volksgeist, no matter what reality it had happened in. Not to mention the fact that in this reality, he had been 'killed' by Volksgeist, only to mysteriously reappear... right when the Nation-Spirit's new avatar needed help.

Nicolas silently revised the probability that Garrick Valeria was an enemy agent. Not just an internal calculation- he kept an actual list on his system. If the Society knew, they would probably have called him paranoid, but it was common sense to Pendragon.

'Be polite, be efficient, and have a plan to kill everybody you meet.' Words to live by.

"I wasn't really expecting the government to do much for him," Terminus replied. "Shit, if I had found him first, I can't say I wouldn't have left a few bodies behind."

Hopefully, Teja had been able to access the Meta-Inception Project's data on Hector's condition, before breaking him out. Their experiments were unlikely to have been ethical, but there was a chance that the findings would hold the key to reversing what had been done to Williams. If not, they were going to have to do it from scratch. The prospect didn't worry Nicolas too much. This problem, like all others, had a solution. One to find, or one to build.

Terminus didn't miss the fact that she'd said need. Revolt's primary concern was still using Hector as part of a superweapon. Her intentions were clearly altruistic, given that said weapon was intended to kill her world's version of Surgath. Still, it did make him a little uncomfortable.

"I'm with you there," he replied eventually. "Got no intention of letting him get hurt again. But there are... other concerns."

He glanced at Stalzahn, expression growing darker. It was a powerful weapon, but unlike Erujaorn, he felt no inclination whatsoever to wield it. Perhaps it would become a necessity one day. If so, he would take up the blade's burden, but not without reluctance. Unlike the Oldest Axe, it had been forged by truly evil hands.

Revolt, moreso than perhaps anyone else, understood how Nicolas felt about the Nation-Spirit. Though his interactions with Weltgeist had been few, Terminus had generally felt positively towards him, until recently. Magnetar, of course, had been a friend. But Volksgeist was a true monster. The darkest urges of humanity, personified. The savage, tribal nationalism that drove mankind to unspeakable cruelty.

Strange, that someone almost fanatically devoted to the United States of all nations would be so vehemently opposed to it. But there would be time later to examine Teja's motivations. For now, problem-solving was the most important thing.

"The sword. And Capacitor. My hope is that separating them will begin to reverse the corruption, but she spent so long directly exposed to its influence, it may be too late."

Obviously, Revolt had figured that it was already too late. Otherwise, she wouldn't have tried to kill her double. But Nicolas wasn't quite ready to write off an old ally. She would still have to answer for trying to take Hector's life, but there was no justice in execution. That sort of response was only necessary in circumstances of great magnitude- as it had been with Surgath.

"Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Right?"

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Re: Power Function [closed]

Post by Revolt » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:59 pm

It wasn't much of a surprise that Nicolas had concerns. Revolt had the distinct feeling that he wasn't voicing all of them, either. He didn't like the idea of Hector being used for anything, she could tell. Nicolas was... too much of a free spirit, she thought, in his own way. Used to making his own decisions, to being the one in charge of determining his own actions. He wasn't used to following orders - not like she and Williams were, anyway.

She wasn't all that surprised he avoided that particular topic. They both knew they needed to work together for the time being, after all, so he was going to focus on the things that they could agree on - the blade, where it lay. He didn't seem inclined to pick it up, which was somewhat of a relief. If she'd had to knock him upside the head to keep him from trying to become its next owner, things would have gotten awkward. He seemed about as eager to use it as she did, though - which was to say not at all. Revolt settled somewhat in her overenergetic movement, deigning to take a chair across from him. Her armor shifted, exoterium thinning itself where needed as she moved like a second skin, moving to cover joints in whatever position they rested. Revolt didn't really think about it much consciously any more - the exoterium knew where it needed to be, after all. She'd been bonded to it long enough, it was merely second nature.

The antigravity flexed beneath her, a strange sensation to be sure but it held fine as she tucked a leg up underneath her, halfway between being seated and being perched, leaving no question of whether she could tumble out of the position and into a fighting stance at an instant's notice. From the way her expression seemed somewhat distant, concerned with other things, she likely wasn't even aware of doing it, merely acting on years of training that had become instinct.

"I think you're being overly optimistic." Revolt had never pulled her punches before, and she wasn't about to start now. "Voltgeist is a ticking time bomb." She looked away again, her eyes pulled towards the capsule, seemingly without her notice - when she became aware of it, she pulled them away again, refocusing on Nicolas. "I'd hoped to take her out before Williams became part of the equation."

She looked back over to the capsule, this time deliberately. "For all their other faults, the military may have been right about keeping us separated. If you do manage to wake him..." A wry smile, more acknowledging the situation than happy about it. "Well. The last thing he'll remember is me killing him."

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Terminus
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Re: Power Function [closed]

Post by Terminus » Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:05 am

TerminOS v3.3.0
Now Playing: Sabaton- To Hell and Back.

Armor Model: Ajax.
Active Module: None.

Pilot: Pendragon, Nicolas.
System Status: Nominal.


Nicolas nodded, a little more emphatic than was necessary. The adrenaline crash had come faster than he'd expected, and it was starting to make Terminus feel a little shaky. Luckily, their coffee was ready. He stood, and used the scant few seconds it took to cross the lab and retrieve the drinks to think.

When he got back over, Pendragon had collected his thoughts. Handing Teja her drink, he sat back down, and paused for a sip before replying. As he did, he shot Hector a glance. Partly because they were discussing him, and partly because he wanted to make sure his friend was still there.

"Yeah. Good point. If you want, I can talk to him when he wakes up. Explain the situation, get him up to speed. Then we can... make introductions, I guess."

The thought was a little absurd. Hector, this is Teja. No, not the Teja who tried to run you through with a dead god's sword. Teja, meet Hector. No, not the Hector who got killed by the aforementioned dead god. I know it sounds hard to believe, but...

Every problem had a solution, but this one had been fairly simple. Revolt had raised another problem as well. Not intractable, but certainly far more complex. Nicolas had a feeling they might not see eye to eye, though he hoped his intuitions were wrong.

"As for Capacitor. I agree, she's a problem. She may already be too far gone, but we still need to wait and see. No preemptive strikes."

Terminus didn't believe in a great many ethical injunctions. Being fettered by laws only made you an ineffective combatant. The Society, for all of their virtues, failed to grasp that principle. But he still felt the need to limit himself in at least a few ways. If not, he might have turned Cotellia to slag a long time ago.

"I won't let her hurt anyone else. But for now, we help Hector. We observe her team, and we prepare. Best case scenario, the SOS goes back to saving lives. If they decide they'd rather rule... we'll be the front line against them."

There was no anger in Pendragon's words. Just a grim resolve.

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Re: Power Function [closed]

Post by illirica » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:23 pm

Nicolas rose from his chair, crossing the room in a way that vaguely reminded Revolt of her own hesitation to sit down - too much energy, not enough to do with it. He poured coffee, returning with two cups and holding one out with the obvious implication that she take it. She met his eyes, thoughtful, then shrugged slightly and reached out to accept the cup, the dart of electricity arcing from her fingertips to his when he came within a couple centimeters. Not enough to be dangerous, certainly - little more than the sort of shock one got on a dry winter day, but there was a reason Revolt - and Capacitor, for that matter - tended to keep her distance.

"I'd just as soon be there. I'll stay armored up until Williams is apprised of the situation." She didn't try to overexplain or give reasons - no doubt Nicolas could figure out a number of them on his own, and there was no sense explaining things that didn't need to be explained. That only came across as weakness. She set the coffee cup down on her leg, the armor she wore automatically adapting to hold it steady as she raked her fingers through her hair, twisting it back into a tail. Another exoterium extrusion coiled itself out from the armor at her wrist, wrapping around the hair and popping off of the armor proper. It would hold, for now. Revolt picked up the coffee cup and took a tentative sip, testing temperature more than anything else. If Nicolas wanted to poison her, he'd do it through the air, not through the coffee.

"I agree that Williams has to be our priority for the time being." As far as the rest of his statements, she didn't mention agreement, but likely this would be no surprise to him either. Silence would be enough on that front - not quite assent, but not outright disagreement, either. Revolt settled herself instead, focusing on coffee. His was better than the government's, but even Nicolas Pendragon wasn't enough of a genius to manage to develop a coffee that was worse than that.

It was nice to know that the universe had limits. Constants, too - the government coffee was no better in her native dimension, either. Fortunately, Revolt didn't drink very much of it. Circuitry didn't leave a lot of space for normal human systems, after all. Most of the time, that was an advantage. Sometimes, though, she missed it - like when the coffee was decent, and her limit was half a cup. She hadn't mentioned it to Nicolas, though she wondered if he'd be starting to piece things together on that account.

The turn of phrase amused her, given that he'd been involved in piecing them together, so to speak, in the first place.

Revolt thought through his statements, carefully matching them up with what she knew. His use of the key phrase was no mistake, she was certain. She hid a smile behind the coffee cup. "You wanted her, didn't you? Your Front Line. Except your team fractured before you could pull her in, and Invictus got to her first." That recalled other situations to hand, and she lowered the cup again, contemplating. "How go things with Weltgeist's offspring? Find a solution to that problem yet?"

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Re: Power Function [closed]

Post by Terminus » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:32 am

TerminOS v3.3.0
Now Playing: Sabaton- To Hell and Back.

Armor Model: Ajax.
Active Module: None.

Pilot: Pendragon, Nicolas.
System Status: Nominal.


Pendragon nodded. Her reasoning was sound enough, and wanting to be in the room with Hector when he woke up spoke to a bit of buried sentimentality under Revolt's cold metal exterior. Pushing further to find that human core would only make Teja retreat further behind her professional facade, so Nicolas was content to let it lie- but knowing that she did care was heartening.

So too, was the fact that she didn't vocally disagree on the point about giving Capacitor another chance. Terminus had no doubt that he hadn't won her over with a single argument, but there was still time to bring her around.

"Rust wanted her more than me, I think," Nicolas replied ruefully. He hid his grin at the slightly-unsubtle double meaning in that sentence behind another sip of his coffee. "But it was nice to have someone around who I could talk shop with. Brock was an engineer in his time period, but I never really found the time to bring him up to speed."

One of many regrets Pendragon still had about his time on Miracle Island. LaVerne had been a veritable genius in the forties, and Terminus had always felt certain that it would shine through again, if he was given a chance. Still, Nicolas had given Contrail a second chance, and some of Brock's inventions had survived the test of time.

Causality was a strange thing. Had Brock always been known as a prominent mind in engineering during the fifties and sixties? Had his designs always contributed to modern technological advances? Or was that a ripple effect resulting from being returned to his home era? Virtually impossible to know, assuming that the latter case would still mean that they all remembered things as if they'd always been that way.

"Rust... well, he was far from stupid, but he was happy to leave the tech stuff to me, and I was happy to leave the head-cracking to him."

Discussing Magnetar was an easy way to segue into talking about the man's son. Still, Terminus found it strange to think of Rust as a father. He'd been in his very early twenties when Pendragon had known him- now he was a parent of what, five? And his children weren't exactly moral paragons themselves, from the research Nicolas had done.

"No solution for William just yet, but I'm making progress. Much as I'd rather throw it into a volcano, the sword might be helpful in figuring things out. You have some experience with Eldest tech- I'll show you some other time."

Explaining the situation with the Aether Forge would have taken far too long. Not a subject for the present moment, when they were both a little on edge. Besides, the flashing red light on one of Pendragon's screens was providing an immediate distraction.

"What is- aw, goddammit, Teja."

Terminus paused, glancing away from the screen, and back at Revolt, looking guilty.

"Not you. Sorry. Just- fuck. Capacitor hit the big red button that makes all of Carter's watches explode. Cutting off all legitimate communications between her Society and the rest of the world. Not... not a great sign."

A little annoying for Voltgeist to be undercutting Pendragon's defense of her, but whatever. Maybe a mistake to read too much into it. But she was choosing to close herself and her team off, instead of reaching out. Hard not to read into.

"I still have access to the space station, but I'll admit, this doesn't exactly bode well."

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Re: Power Function [closed]

Post by illirica » Tue Apr 07, 2020 1:13 am

So, she'd extrapolated correctly that the Front Line had been interested in her alternate self. From the way Nicolas persisted in using the past tense throughout his synopsis, though, Revolt had a feeling those days were over. They'd probably ended about the time she'd shoved a blade through Hector Williams. That was understandable, given Nicolas' evident feelings for the man. She merely nodded a little, slowly sipping coffee and letting him unfold the story, content just to listen. Certainly she'd done her research on the Front Line, but there was little available, and no research was ever going to be as good as an interior perspective. There were times to talk, and there were times to be quiet and listen to someone knowledgeable. This was one of the latter.

As much as she might have liked to know more about Nicolas' team - the little glimpse wasn't quite enough - he'd moved on to a more immediate topic: William of Magnus. That he'd not gotten anywhere was displeasing - not that she blamed him for it, but she had hoped for the case to be otherwise. His hints about using the sword concerned her - she would have been fully on board with the idea of throwing it in a volcano, except that she wasn't sure that would actually destroy the damn thing. She wanted to ask him more about what he was getting at there, but they were both simultaneously distracted - he by a flashing light, and she by a a prickle at her wrist drew her attention, quite sudden. Revolt set down the cup, the armor she wore holding it in place for her as she pulled back the 'sleeve' and pulled the SOS watch off her wrist, looking it over. From the outside, only a slight hint of electrical damage, not enough to have harmed her. On the inside, though, it was entirely nothing, reduced to a fused mass of components. She'd not be able to use it again, certainly.

By Nicolas' reaction, he had some awareness of the devices, because he'd summarized the situation in a neat little package before she could even finish pulling the device off. She dropped it on the arm of the chair, disposable. As far as she could tell, it was essentially smelted inside - not even Nicolas Pendragon was going to be able to resurrect the thing.

'This doesn't bode well,' as he said. She probably shouldn't have been so amused, or at least hidden it better - it was just that it was so wrapped up in what he'd just told her not to do that she couldn't help but think that the duality of it was humorous.

"Preemptive strikes, Nicolas."

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