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The Only Winning Move Is Overwhelming Firepower [PA Multicross SI]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by TCGM, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

    Jan 30, 2018
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    adaw likes this.
  2. Threadmarks: Chapter 12 - Welcome to the Future

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

    Jan 30, 2018
    Likes Received:
    The Only Winning Move Is Overwhelming Firepower
    Chapter 12
    Welcome to the Future

    Finally I've assuaged the worries of, greeted, shaken the hand of, and had my hand shaken by every single politician on the stage.

    I don't know any of them, which means they're either NPC levels of people I need to worry about... or just people I've never heard of.

    "Sir, they're ready for you," one of my new bodyguards, Elsa, says.

    Yes. Elsa.

    As in ice castle building, country wide blizzard summoning, sentient snowman creating traumatized queen.

    Only without the crown, the Kingdom, or the powers… I think. But she looks and sounds identical.

    I can hear Writer Me's roll lists cackling right now.

    At least he's not to blame for her presence in the first place. I'm a head of state now, so I apparently must have at least one bodyguard. Nevermind that the person they’re guarding is infinitely more likely to survive a supernova than they are.

    This was the lowest I could get my new underlings to agree to. And hey, rubber duckies are always useful for debugging plans.

    The other three they picked are not as inconspicuous as they believe they are in their attempts to guard me from afar anyways.

    "Thanks, Elsa," I say, momentarily pausing and marveling at the fact that yes, those words did just come out of my mouth.

    I shake it off at Elsa's polite, but pointed cough.

    "Right," I say, and step up to the podium.

    ...That's a lot of gods damn people.

    "So I heard your species has been having energy problems? Something about not getting fusion working quickly enough to remove your dependence on fossil fuel sources soon enough to stop your planet from undergoing a massive extinction event?" I ask curiously, trying to break the ice.

    Heh. A climate change pun. I feel horrible.

    A couple of the governors shift nervously. Oh? That's something to check in on.

    The audience manages a subdued laughing, mourning half sob… thing.

    All the confirmation I need. "Well, all of you in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska are my responsibility now," I continue my train of reasoning. "And everyone knows how seriously I take that!"

    That gets a significant peal of laughter from my listeners.

    I throw my hand out at them and scoff. "Okay, yeah, very funny, laugh it up-"

    They do. A lot more this time.

    "-but know that for the responsibilities I do accept?" I suddenly, out of nowhere, get very serious. I put both hands on the podium and lean forwards. My gaze turns penetrating, sweeping over them all. "I'm the most serious individual on this planet."

    They stop laughing.

    I straighten back up and shake out my shoulders a little. "Things are going to change. They shouldn't affect you negatively in your lives, I'm trying to make this easy for all of us. You should only receive the benefits of my rule."

    The crowd goes silent, almost deadly so. The governor of Alaska behind me gasps, putting her hands on her mouth.

    Seems like Kate hasn't informed everyone about everything involved in this changeover. No matter.

    "Make no mistake, that's what happened," I keep going. "I bought these states from your former parent nation. I own them. That means I make decisions, and they happen. Regardless of who disagrees."

    Everyone is tense, so it's time to dial back.

    "But don't worry! Even though this is now a dictatorship, I'm your friendly neighborhood hyper advanced alien!" I exclaim, stepping back and raising my hands to the sky. "Ruling is boring, which makes me averse to doing it. That's why you all elect these people behind me!" I point back over my shoulder at the increasingly neurotic governors.

    Ahh, there's the laughter. It's nervous, but the audience, my… people, and damn that’s still strange to think, aren't quite as worried as they were before.

    "So, not much is going to change negatively. I'm the dictator now, yes, but I don't know how to do half the crap these guys do. Nor what our local level Congresses do. Even if I did, that's way too much work. So you'll still elect them, and they'll still run things. The only difference is I can pass anything I want and deny anything I want. Your world calls this benevolent dictatorship with advisory council, and it seems the best way to preserve the spirit of America while also letting me get done what I need to do," I explain at length, sounding as laid back as I can.

    Oh yeah. Those two governors are definitely sweating. As are a few of the various Congress members within my immediate sensor range. Interesting.

    "But I don't expect you all to believe me even I say everything will be okay. Dictators always say that," I declare, hitting the point I know at least some of them will be concerned about now. "No, I intend to prove it. Belief is undeserving without evidence."

    I then leave the podium and walk to the edge of the stage. It is conveniently facing a large area of dusty, dry, and most importantly empty ground.

    Time to show the world watching through the cameras, and my new citizens, just who and what is on their planet ruling their nation now. I draw back my hands, point them at the sky, and begin assembling nanites in my palms.

    My systems hacked into the audio broadcast system almost immediately, so I continue to project my voice over it while the nanite ball builds. "Sacramento is a big city. It uses a lot of energy. 13,698 megawatt hours per day on average," I begin lecturing, programming and modeling the new building these nanites will be assembling in my swanky design program at the same time. "That's a lot of power! And it has to come from your species' energy generators. A tall order on the best of days."

    The nanite ball finishes and I pull back my hand as if to throw a football. I toss it into the air, giving it a boost from my hand's thrusters as it goes. It launches on a ballistic arc straight for the center of the area next to us.

    I return to podium just as it lands. "But not after today," I announce. I grin and hold my hand out to the rapidly expanding navy blue sheet covering the formerly empty space. "Behold!"

    And as the assembled humans observe, and the cameras stream it out to the world, a massive building begins to rise from the pool. The structure is composed of a pearly white, slightly blue, concrete derivative which has more in common with carbon nanotubes than a sidewalk and gleams in the afternoon sun. Huge glass windows wrap around the building on its many floors, and the forest green of plants and a carbon scrubbing moss follow the sleek curves of the Solarpunk architecture. When the building is all the way out of the pool, a massive curving spire into the sky, the quad Progenitor fusion generators in the heart of the building begin their startup sequence and a soothing hum resonates out through the ground beneath our feet.

    They don't have to make noise, but silent energy generators are unnerving. I made this building to be comforting to all who see it, a beacon of hope and a vision of the future I was heralding. It shouldn't be unnerving.

    The crowd is awed to silence for several more seconds. Then… cheers.

    "This Beacon is just the first of many!" I bellow happily, grinning like a loon. "Within its heart are four fusion generators, each powerful enough to provide electricity to a city three times Sacramento's size. As of right now, electricity is free for anyone within the city limits, and my technology will ensure that!"

    I leave out all the other features present in the Beacon. I'm going to drag this world into a post scarcity utopia, kicking and screaming if I absolutely have to, but they can discover that over time.

    "Welcome to the future!"

    It's only after settling into my office at the top of my first Beacon, with a constantly following Disney character bodyguard, and looking into accomplishing my original goal of buying out Bethesda that I finally realize that I really shouldn't be relying on my own nebulously correct knowledge of my reality to predict this one. Even if I'm right about where they're based on Writer Me's world, something I'm not fully confident about, this world has some pretty gigantic differences.

    Like the President.

    The Wikipedia page for Bethesda, and the fact they're incorporated in Maryland, otherwise known as a state on the other coast of the United States, stares me right in the face.

    I lower my head into my hands. I just bought a bunch of states at least partially because I thought Bethesda was incorporated in one, allowing me to either put pressure on their board to sell the company to me or just seize it outright.

    And they're actually on the other side of the continent.

    I bought the wrong coast.


    Elsa just smirks at me.
  3. JammyASDFG

    JammyASDFG Getting some practice in, huh?

    Jan 5, 2018
    Likes Received:
    That moment when you realise you just made yourself the dictator of the wrong part of the world.:rolleyes:

    Although, with the changes you are making you should soon have the political capital to do whatever you want.

    Oooorr you could ask Kate for a refund and try again, I am sure she would be fine with it.
  4. kaazmiz

    kaazmiz Waiting for an Issekai Adventure

    Aug 9, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Buildings are not meant to make noise.
    Individual equipment yes, whole buildings no.

    Not only will the constant noise drop nearby parcel prices, it can affect wildlife especially birds.

    So not only did Caller buy the wrong coast, he also made himself an enemy of wildlife preservers worldwide.
  5. Flutters Is Shy

    Flutters Is Shy Friend of the Rage

    Jul 4, 2018
    Likes Received:
    'I bought the wrong coast' just hits me as a hilarious glib absurdism.

    "Hey, uh... So what can I offer you for the other coast? No, no no no, I'm not trying to take over the entirety of the USA, I'm just trying to make it easier to buy out Bethesda. Yes. No, I'm not joking. Because they have the rights to a game that I'm interested in- Yes, a game. No I'm not pulling a prank on you."
    Norbii, 05eolsale, Ilikebob and 3 others like this.
  6. adaw

    adaw Know what you're doing yet?

    Oct 9, 2018
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    Just as planned.

    "I kinda sorta promised a guy I would buy out Bethesda for him, because the executive choices they were making in regards to the game he was developing bothered both him and me."
    kaazmiz likes this.
  7. kaazmiz

    kaazmiz Waiting for an Issekai Adventure

    Aug 9, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Where the future saying "Species were uplifted for less" comes from.
    Ilikebob, adaw, TCGM and 1 other person like this.
  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 13 - Beth Is Duh

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

    Jan 30, 2018
    Likes Received:
    The Only Winning Move Is Overwhelming Firepower
    Chapter 13
    Beth Is Duh

    “Elsa,” I mumble, head still in my hands. “I bought the wrong coast.

    She turns to me and tilts her head. “What, sir?”

    “I bought the west coast. I should’ve bought the east one.”

    Elsa only looks confused for a single moment. Damn, she must be good at hearing weird shit from those she guards… bodyguards? What’s the verb for bodyguard duties? “Is there a particular reason why?” she asks, amused more than weirded out.

    I drop my head to the dark stone table that doubles as my desk. “Bethesda is incorporated in Maryland, not California.”

    Yet another single second of confusion before she just rolls with it. “The game company?”

    I’m keeping her. “Yup.”

    “I’m guessing you intend to take them over by buying them out?”

    Smart cookie. “Right again.”

    “Not that I’m questioning you, sir, but… why?” Elsa asks, for once showing a small amount of hesitance.

    That makes me shoot right up and I glare at her. “Don’t,” I say, crossly.

    To her credit, she only gulps. “Don’t what, sir?” is her exceedingly respectful query.

    I sigh and bring a hand up to massage my brow. “Don’t…. do that. Be scared of me. Of asking me things, of contradicting me, of questioning what I’m doing or thinking.” I look her in the eyes and attempt to get the message across as solidly as possible. “I’m a dictator, yeah. But the benevolent bit is important. I’m not normal, remember, I’m…” I sigh, gesturing to the greater world beyond the curved glass walls of my office. “I’m not going to do anything like what those who’ve borne that title in your history have. Ever.” I wince and slightly nod my head to the side. “Well, actually there have been some good things done by some of them, so I can’t say nothing ever, but you know what I mean.”

    She studies me for a few more moments before she seems satisfied. With that decision, Elsa is once more steady and on board with serving me. “I’m not a history student, sir, so no, I don’t,” she abruptly teases me, grinning wide. “But I understand the general gist.”

    I sigh with relief and nod at her. “Alright. Good. Glad we got that out of the way.” I shake my nanite body, entirely unnecessarily, in order to recenter myself. It’s a psychological thing. Other AI might call it a hangover from when I was human, or if I’m right from when I remember being human.

    Those AI can suck my gigantic nanite dick. I’m a human in a hyper-advanced body, but that doesn’t change who I am. And… hopefully I manage to keep it that way.

    “So yeah, I bought the wrong coast. I needed to buy the area Bethesda was in so I could buy them and thus control their company and their owned companies,” I explain to my bodyguard. “Specifically, Argus, the creators of Sword Art Online.”

    “So that’s where you went after you blew up the tentacle monster,” Elsa declares, eyes widening and a satisfied grin appearing on her face.

    I sigh dejectedly, accepting what I know is about to come out of my far too gleeful bodyguard's mouth. "Yeah, yeah. I came to your planet, trolled some people, organizations, the military, an entire country with one of their own memes… and then I discovered your video games. Laugh it up."

    Elsa takes my suggestion to heart and starts giggling.

    I roll my eyes and sigh. "Right. I'm going to ignore that and just call Kate. See if I can't buy another state off the US."

    That just makes Elsa burst out laughing. She has to use the wall to support herself as her legs are giving out on her.

    I plaster an unamused, flat look on my face and just sigh again. At my direction a stereotypical red phone flash constructs out of my 'mahogany' desk, and I pick up the red handle.

    A couple moments is all it takes for my systems to interface with the national phone grid. It's still entirely operational, even in my new country, as basically nothing procedurally has changed quite yet. All the connections that span the border of our two countries are essentially acting like they're still straddling state borders.

    Elsa finally manages to calm herself and more or less resume standing upright. The giant grin on her face doesn't budge, though.

    I'll probably just leave it that way until my semi planned network replacement takes off. But then it'll just be me as the ISP of the entire US and my country, so will anything have really changed?

    ...Well at least the up and down speeds will. Fuck that mismatched some download and jack shit upload bullcrap the current ISPs adore. I will avenge the victims of the corporate network oligarchy and bring the wonder of actual high speed Internet to all!

    The sound of someone picking up the phone pulls me out of the building mental rant I was about to embark upon. "Planetcaller. We've been expecting a call from you. I'm your designated liaison with President Lethbridge-Stewart's administration. My name is Stacey, how may I be of assistance?"

    I blink and hold the phone handset away from my ear, staring at it in disbelief.

    "Something wrong?" Elsa asks me, clearly concerned.

    I've never had a liaison. Hell I've never had an assistant or a bodyguard, much less a country, and here I am with all four.

    It's… the term mildly shellshocked applies here, surely?

    "They gave me a liason at the White House," I mumble out, still staring at the handset in my hand.

    "Yes, Stacey," Elsa nods in unsurprised acknowledgement.

    I feel my eyebrows rise all on their own. "You knew about this? Uh, her?"

    Elsa nods again. "I've been designated your personal assistant as well as bodyguard. The…" she hedges, looking hesitant.

    I give her an entirely unimpressed look. "The…?" I prompt.

    She sighs and rolls her eyes. "Oh, to hell with it. They think I can keep you from doing anything too insane. The local governments of your states," she reveals.

    My deadpan look only increases, morphing into disbelief.

    "I didn't claim it was them being smart!" she protests.

    I blink and roll my eyes. "Uh huh." I uncover the phone and put it back to my ear, taking my attention off Elsa. "So, Stacey, is it?"

    "Yes, Planetcaller?" she pleasantly and almost pointedly patiently repeats.

    "I need to talk to Kate."

    I can almost hear her patronizing smile. "I'm sorry Planetcaller, but Miss Lethbridge-Stewart is currently in a high level meeting. I can relay your request once she's finished, though." Despite being patronizing, she's still kind and respectful.

    Must be an ex middle school teacher.

    "Thank you for calling us, though. Is there anything I can do for you? Something that doesn't need to involve the President, maybe?" Stacey continues.

    Huh. She legitimately sounds like she wants to help me.

    Politician lying? Or is she really this nice? And if so, how and why did Kate break down the gates of Olympus just to steal her?

    "Uh, no thanks," I answer her. "Sorry, I'm… I'm just not used to this."

    "Miss Lethbridge-Stewart said that would be the case, Planetcaller, and that is why I am essentially your dedicated government correspondent," she says. "At least, with our government."

    I nod to myself and put a smile on my tone. "Well, thank you for that. I'll try not to drive you too insane."

    "That is what your assistant and bodyguard is for, Planetcaller," she amusingly fires back.

    I'm silent for several, gobsmacked seconds. She just made a joke. A good one.

    "...I think I like you, Stacey," I finally admit.

    Her amusement is almost visible. "The President said that would be the case too, Planetcaller."

    I digest that, somewhat annoyed at Kate having pegged me so well. "Goodbye, Stacey," I finally manage.

    "Goodbye, Planetcaller. Please call back if you have any… questions." She actually snickers as she hangs up, and I'm left staring at the phone in something like surprise.

    "What?" Elsa asks.

    I turn to her, still trying to process what just happened. "She's my kind of woman," is all I manage.

    "A complete troll who enjoys messing with people?" Elsa deadpans.


    Both of us say nothing for several seconds.

    “So… what now?” Elsa asks.

    I turn my attention more towards her, realizing I don’t actually know much about her other than the quick security check I ran on her. Not for any real purpose, mind you; just because I’m a head of state now and the meme had to be made. “Well, you’re supposed to be my personal assistant now, so… tell me about yourself?” I offer.

    She looks surprised, blinking and raising her eyebrows. “Really?”

    Rapid nods from me signal my vehement agreement. “Yeah. Why not? I’ve got some time to kill until Kate’s done with her meeting, so…” I wave in front of my desk and gesture, flash materializing a comfortable chair not unlike my own. To her credit, she barely flinches.

    “Why don’t you just look it up?” she challenges, still not entirely convinced.

    “I’d rather hear it from you,” I fire back, unmoved and entirely unsurprised that she suggested that. “Adds the… heh, human element. Personal connection, perspective that can’t come from mere files or records, you know.”

    Elsa peers at me suspiciously for a few moments. Then she shrugs and shakes herself. “Aight,” she agrees, taking a leisurely seat. Not even her semblance of casual leg crossing and pseudo-relaxed shoulders can hide how ready she is to leap into action from me, though.

    I really lucked out. She must be extremely competent.

    “Well, I was born in Norway,” she begins, “lived there until I was five. Then my family immigrated into the U.S. Here, actually, in California.” She smiles at that and snickers. “I’m more a valley girl than a Valkyrie, if you catch my drift.”

    I nod, understanding quite well. I originally come from the same state, after all, even if it’s in another reality, and another layer of existence entirely. “Makes sense.”

    Elsa nods and continues, lacing her fingers over her upper knee. “Let’s see, I blew through school with honors, graduated magna cum laude from UCLA, got my d-”

    I interrupt her by holding up a hand. “Elsa, these are the things I can learn from your records. I want to know you.

    Elsa looks like a deer caught in the headlights, her eyes wide and mouth just a little bit open. “.....Oh,” she squeaks. “Uh, uhm, okay… well, I surfed, gamed, boarded. Oh, I love dogs. And chocolate! And, uh… hmm. This… most people don’t actually ask personal stuff about me,” she admits.

    I frown, pity washing over me. “They should. You seem like an interesting person.”

    Yep, blush. Hot bodyguard personal assistant has blushed! Sound the presses, the Anime tropes are in full force here. “...Thanks.”

    She gathers herself and shakes the blush away. “Well, after I graduated I actually went into private security service almost immediately. I was scouted pretty quick. They like young recruits of my skills. My team… they are some of the best, and I miss them.” She freezes, like she’s just revealed something rather secret.

    I just shake my head, waving at her. “The others who I sent away from the rally?” I guess.

    Elsa frowns and nods, not trusting herself to speak.

    I sigh and lean back. A moment is all it takes to send off a message to… let’s pick Washington’s governor this time, that I’ll take her whole squad. “I’ve just accepted them all.”

    Elsa raises her eyebrows, her eyes shooting wide open. “You didn’t even move!” she states.

    I just point at my head. “Alien super intelligence that’s not exactly organic, remember?”

    She blinks again, then settles down. “Oh.” Clearly that’s going to take a little while for her to get used to. “Right.”

    “So, your squad?”

    And so she launches into a tale of comrades in arms, bravely guarding and halting some of the weirdest circumstances I’ve ever heard of. And somewhere in there, the topic of her childhood is breached, and we start swapping stories. Mine are edited to seem like an alien race, of course, though one remarkably similar to humanity.

    But that’s another story.

    We become buddies, and I can sense her including me in her circle of friends easily.

    Eventually, though, something ends up bugging me too much to ignore anymore.

    Her appearance.

    Because, seriously, I know I’ve said it before, but she is the perfect image of a certain ice queen.

    Did this universe get crossed over? Is this also partially the Disneyverse?

    ...Is Elsa super old?

    Quick, one lookup of a fictional Norweigan town, stat! It’s gotta be here somewhe-

    “You’re looking up Arendelle, aren’t you?” Elsa knowingly says.

    All I manage for several seconds is to stare at her, jaw dropped. I do manage to close my mouth and attempt an innocent smile. “...No?”

    Elsa sighs and rolls her eyes. “I’m not that Elsa. Arendelle doesn’t exist. Yes I’m from Norway, but the best you’re gonna get up there is the town they sorta based it on, Arendal. No, I’m not from there. Yes I could play the character that shares my name in a live action remake, no I do not have ice powers and no I’m not a reincarnation of a long dead magic queen,” she declares, deadpan.

    I blink in surprise, opening and closing my mouth several times.

    “The jokes and references have been done before,” she offers as explanation.

    “...Ah,” I say, grimacing. “High school?”

    She sighs and shakes her head, eyes closed. “And college, my Doctorate, and my career... it honestly gets old when you can’t do the things you’re supposed to be able to do.” She frowns slightly, shrugging self-deprecatingly. “Especially when you yourself wish you could, if for nothing else because it’s cool as all hell.”

    Doctorate. Wow. I have a really well qualified bodyguard, holy shit. Also, she definitely didn’t mention that in our heart to heart!

    Then the rest of her mini rant processes in my head and I abruptly grin widely.

    She shoots me a glare. “Pun unintended.”

    My grin vanishes as fast as it came.

    We sit across from each other for several long seconds… and then I get an Idea.

    I lean over my desk towards her and clasp my hands together. “So…..,” I begin, my grin slowly beginning to reappear, “if, say, you could do the things you’re supposed to be able to do…” I trail off.

    Her eyes shoot wide open and she locks onto mine. “What.” she asks, demandingly.

    “I mean it wouldn’t be magic, but I am supposed to rebuild this world’s ice caps relatively soon,” I reveal, unable to prevent a nerdy glee from entering my eyes. “And it can’t be helped if I want to make sure my bodyguard is more well equipped to defend me, now can it?”

    Elsa’s grin grows to match my own. “No, I guess it can’t be helped,” she agrees wholeheartedly.

    My grin turns sly and I wink at her. “You’re just as big a nerd as I am,” I accuse.

    “Tell anyone and I figure out how to end you,” she threatens teasingly.

    I shrug, entirely unconcerned by her faux threat. “They’re too focused on my shenanigans to pay attention to you,” I point out.

    Elsa nods, admitting my win. “Good point.”

    "For now."

    Her grin lessens slightly.

    And then... I get another Idea.

    “So about that ice cap job I’m supposed to do…”
  9. JammyASDFG

    JammyASDFG Getting some practice in, huh?

    Jan 5, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Oh no, there isn't a Magical Ice Princess in this world. I know, lets just make one.

    Great chapter as always, I think I am also going to enjoy future interactions between Planetcaller and Stacey, and probably Elsa too...
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  10. Tallonos

    Tallonos Making the rounds.

    Oct 20, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Are we going to meet Stacey's mom at some point.....

    Not sorry~~
    Ilikebob, TCGM, DJ Heroin and 2 others like this.
  11. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

    Jan 30, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Happens all the time, right?

    Right now Planetcaller has the big political miltary power dick to do whatever he wants. Remember that one of his first actions on the planet was reversing a hurricane's spin. He's just working on making people feel easier about him now.

    Ask the President of the US for a refund, xD

    What do you think those states are, Fallout 76?

    I have gone by buildings which vehemently disagree with your notion of building silence.

    As for why wildlife isn't affected;

    It's PA Tech, I ain't gotta explain shit.

    ^_^ We're all a little absurd here.


    Amusing that anyone thinks Planetcaller actually plans anything.

    "I need to buy out Bethesda because my future head game dev needs therapy."

    innocent whistling intensifies

    Modern problems require modern solutions.

    Thanks! Glad to know I made good characters.

    You got the reference!
    Tallonos and Ilikebob like this.
  12. Threadmarks: Chapter 14 - Testing Testing, Is This On?

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

    Jan 30, 2018
    Likes Received:
    The Only Winning Move Is Overwhelming Firepower
    Chapter 14
    Testing Testing, Is This On?

    "Okay," Elsa manages to remark, "that's actually really cool. Terrifying, but cool."

    We're standing on one of the many levels of my Beacon, in what used to be entirely empty space. As we approached this area on the elevator, though, I grew out hallways and supporting structures for what I'm currently building. They follow the aesthetic of the entire building, pearly milk white walls, ceilings and floors with some nice navy blue rugs and forest green accents within the structure itself. Straight 'glass' (which in actuality is transparent aluminum) windows serve as almost the entirety of the outer wall of the corridor we're in, curving around the building. Only a little forest green accented white wall border exists above or below the window.

    The rolling wall of silvery navy blue in front of us advances, leaving behind another hallway. This one is different. Every 'surface' is made up of interlocking silvery navy blue plates. Each of those plates is actually a semi solid block of nanites, which makes it extremely easy to reconfigure on the fly.

    As we watch they quickly rearrange themselves, becoming actually flat surfaces.

    "Definitely cool," I agree, nodding my head. "Also, puns."

    Elsa rolls her eyes at me. "You gave me ice powers, I'm not complaining."

    My grin is legendary.

    The hallway expands out into a large room that takes up almost the entire interior space that the Beacon tower offers. Not vertically, but definitely horizontally. Other than the wraparound hallway, the only thing on this level is going to be this room.

    "What exactly are you building anyways?" Elsa asks me curiously, peering into the quickly finishing, but still quite shadowed massive room.

    I turn to smirk at her as the plates around that room finish reconfiguring themselves, lock into place, and brilliant light pours forth from some of them. A holographic sign pops up in front of us, forming a room label over the entrance to the hallway.

    "Welcome to the Danger Room," I inform her, entirely unrepentant.

    She has the good grace to gulp.

    "First test; survival." With that, I move my hand behind her and momentarily activate the thrusters in my hand.

    She gets yeeted into the room. It immediately starts humming. Her startled scream cuts off when she flips herself over in the air, waves her hand to make an ice platform behind her to catch her, and finally glares at me.

    My grin just gets wider as several panels open. "Method one; lasers."

    Her eyes shoot wide open and she freaking jumps. A moment later, an overpowered laser beam shatters her ice mitt.

    The Danger Room spins up to full gear and I get to hear my new bodyguard cursing my name.

    I'm not cackling maniacally and anything you say to the contrary is bullshit.

    Elsa, panting, sweaty, and evidently very upset with me, allows the last laser cannon to drop to the floor of the danger room. It has an ice spike through it the size of my head. Honestly, it's a lot more ice spike than laser cannon at this point.

    "You…" she growls out, "asshole!"

    I just shrug, looking quite pleased with myself. I'm still standing at the entrance to the Danger Room. She did quite well. "Hey, I needed to see how well your power worked under stress. I've never done a mental interface of any kind before for a human," technically true, "so I'm glad it all worked out."

    Elsa fumes at the bottom of the Room. "You're glad it worked out?!" She yells up to me. "What the hell does that mean?"

    I grin again, and her face pales. "It means method 2; PARKOOOUUUUR!"

    The Room begins moving again, the floor disappearing from under her, and she swears at me. Again.

    I'm definitely going to enjoy this a few more rounds before I ease up. Plus, who doesn't want to watch a sexy woman with superpowers beat the crap out of dangerous objects?

    "I'LL-" she says, in the middle of the jumps she takes between safe platforms, "GET YOU FOR THIS!" A platform waits until she touches it with her foot then starts dropping out from under her. "PLANETCALLER!"

    "Test 2: Combat!" I announce, both using my voice and projecting it throughout the Danger Room. "Method: drones!"

    Elsa looks up at me and shrieks. "WHAT?!"

    Around the Room, several sets of four panels fold away into the walls. The space revealed is cast in black due to holographic 'shadow' being cast on it.

    Then those alcove start flash fabricating small drones with a round body, crablike appenages, red coloring… and plasma emitters in their faces under two sets of 'sensors' that look an awful lot like a bunch of red eyes and a hellmouth.

    They also make a disturbing skittering sound when they move.

    The legs are actually totally silent. I added those sounds literally just to freak people out. And the sensors aren't real either.

    I set the seven alcoves to produce twenty drones each. Then I let them loose.

    The drones start pouring out of the holes and Elsa's face pales again.

    "Oh shit."

    One of the drones gets a bead on Elsa and primes its plasma emitter. An ominous red glow gathers in front of it.

    "Oh SHIT!"

    And she's back to dodging. At least she's figured out how to emit multiple ice projectiles at this point.

    That'll help.

    "Test 2, Combat!" I call out again. "Method: Bossfight!"

    I'm pretty sure her voice reaches pitches a human can't hear. "YOU FUCK!"

    A massive drone, this one looking like the bastard child of the crablike
    drones, the starship Enterprise, and a Warforged, materializes out of thin air on the other side of the chamber from her. It arrives in a great flash of orange light… for presentation purposes.


    In not sure whether she's screaming at me or the boss drone, but it hears her anyways. Its red eye swivels to lock into a gulping Elsa.

    And then the floor opens up to a lake of lava.

    That the drone steps straight into without giving a single shit. On top of being immune to lava, its arms are pretty flexible.

    Speaking of those arms, it raises them towards Elsa.

    Then about a hundred various weapons pop out of each one.

    "FUCK YOU!"

    Elsa finally finishes all my tests. She stalks up to the Danger Room's entrance, the entire thing resetting to a calm state behind her.

    The beaten to hell and back, ice pierced and lanced boss drone sinks into the lava lake. Its head is absorbed into the wall where it was stuck with a conclusive blast that tore it straight off the drone. These two pieces are naturally entirely disconnected.

    Well, they were after Elsa took her rage out on them.

    Speaking of my bodyguard and assistant, she walks right up to me. She stares me in the eyes, looking mad as hell.

    I merely amusedly lock eyes with her, my grin still on my face. "Have fun?" I ask knowingly.

    She narrows her eyes, still panting. "Yes," she almost spits out. "A little warning would've been nice."

    "Wouldn't have tested your reactions or the ice direction system, though," I pointed out.

    She growls at me. "I'd like to be notified before being thrown into multiple deadly situations by someone I consider a friend-!" she begins to rant, but I cut her off.

    "What deadly situation?" I genuinely ask, confused.

    She stares at me, agape. "This!" Elsa finally manages to say. She gestures behind her wildly to the Danger Room which is still melting away all the ice she manifested. "The lasers, the lava! The fucking gigantic mechanical monster!"

    I tilt my head and look at her strangely. "Elsa, this is a training facility. It can't harm you."


    I shake my head, finally realizing what she's believing. "No, at your ice catcher… thing. And for the others, they only targeted you and prepared to fire. If you hadn't moved directly afterward as the system predicted, none of the shots would have actually gone off. And you may or may not have noticed, but you never actually got hit by any of the drones or the cannons."

    I'd programmed this room's controlling software off the FoF and aiming software of some of the most precise weapons the Progenitors had ever created. It only fires when it means to, and it will never miss. Or hit when it isn't supposed to.

    That seems to drain the wind from Elsa's sails. "Bwuh?" she asks. She glances over herself, seeing only light scorches from near misses, and looks back up at me. "The hell?"

    "Elsa, you were never in danger," I spell out for her. I place a hand on her shoulder to reassure her and smile kindly. "It's all just holographic illusions or precisely aimed weapons designed to make you feel like you're under threat, but the Danger Room will never actually harm you. It won't ever fire a weapon at someone. Might prep and look like it's about to fire, but if you had stubbornly stayed in your ice catcher, or just stared down a drone, they would've just… not fired." I grin and nod to the still disappearing lake. "And that's holographic lava."

    She stares at me, looking confused, hurt, but also relieved. "...Oh."

    I nod at her and let her shoulder. "Yep. Then again if you didn't move, it wouldn't be much of a training session, now would it?"

    She sighs and shakes her head. "I guess not."

    One more pat on her shoulder and I withdraw my hand, grinning wide. "So," I ask, "now that you know you're not actually in danger… wanna go again?"

    Her head snaps up and she seems to have eyes that literally glow.


    Oh, that's clever. She's manifesting slight ice mist just in front of her eyes from my perspective that makes her eyes look like they're glowing. Clever girl.

    "Hell yes."

    The Danger Room hums up to speed again and I take a step to the side. "Go, run, have fun, beat shit up," I say, turning towards a still entirely calm section of the Room. That section quickly grows a table and a steaming mug of hot chocolate

    "I'll watch."

    Elsa grins at me, fires off a cocky salute, and sprints back into the fray.

    I think she'll be using this room a lot. And I may decide to watch if she keeps wearing clothing that tight while doing it.

    "LET IT GO, MOTHERFUCKER!" Elsa yells, chasing after a training drone. The poor thing has half its legs, the other half are caked over in frost, and a gigantic ice spike has replaced the spot where it used to have faux sensors above its plasma emitter. It is also holding a ripped piece of ice material in its manipulator claws.

    Oh gods what have I done.

    Elsa catapults after the thing, growling. She has a form fitting ice dress on that she made about halfway through her 'training' session….. though honestly calling it a dress is disingenuous. Battle dress, maybe? Long and flowing, hugging her upper curves, but her lower body is still covered in a pair of skin tight ice pants and there is what appears to be a tactical belt around her waist on the outside of the dress. Her shoulders are covered in some sort of slim pauldrons, and there is no cleavage to be found anywhere in the original design.

    Honestly, it's like my bodyguard took the ice dress of her namesake and then merged it with the tactical suit of a certain scarlet Romanoff. And covered up her chest.

    The dress is also still mostly intact… except for the small part that the drone absconded with.

    The one that used to be covering her cleavage, funnily enough.

    Despite the drone she's chasing appearing for all the world like a scared child running from a monster, it has no intelligence. I'm driving all the drones in the Danger Room… or, well, the system is driving them. The one I made. So it technically counts as me driving them.

    Which means yes, I sorta did rip her dress in a sexy manner, but no way am I telling her that. Especially because it was a complete accident before it became hilarious.

    I wince as a huge wave of ice barely misses the drone and flash freezes the wall beyond it. The little crab like pseudo machine lets out an electronic shriek and abruptly changes directions, sprinting for the left side of the chamber.

    An enraged ice power imbued bodyguard chases after it.

    It was surprisingly easy and also quite difficult at the same time to devise a method for Elsa to get her trademark ice powers. The thing with ice powers is that they are inherently endothermic, which is actually relatively difficult to pull off for a Commander. Most of our technology is based around emitting energy (usually in violent ways), generating it, or converting it to matter. Removing energy from a system… well, it requires a lot of redesigning.

    However energetic our technology base is, there's still several avenues to begin at that can lead to or even make use of endothermic processes. Commander Resource Cores suck up zero point energy from the universe itself to produce power and matter (or just manufacture it from nothing but quarks if that's unavailable somehow, but I took one look at the science behind it and felt my brain melt). The Jig satellites which drink in the awesome power of the gravity well of a gas giant also specialize in endothermia… only through a small middleman called gravity. Slight frosting occurs on vehicles that pass through a Gateway…

    You get my point, there's ways.

    What turned out to be the easiest method to replicate magical ice powers began with the energy harvesting method of the Resource Core, only tuned to harvesting energy from a bit higher up the quantum scale. With that change the size dropped down to something barely bigger than a golf ball, and even further if the collection was handled by gravity manipulating nanotech under the Core's control. All that was needed to do this was that special version of nanites which could manipulate gravity, and another one capable of projecting holograms to cover up all the flowing nanotech.

    Well, technically the holographic ones weren't needed, in the strictest sense… but they made it look cool, damn it!

    Not that the initial test of the technology looked any less cool with the flashy blue and purple gigantic sky snowflakes turned off. I mean, who doesn't want a giant shiny blue hurricane above their city, am I right?

    The mayors of Sacramento and San Francisco, apparently, judging by the voicemails they left on my very much unanswered phone, but screw em. Science needed to be done!

    Afterwards, Elsa told me to put it in her hard and fast, grinning at how uncomfortable her clearly intentionally lewd phrasing made me blush and glare at her.

    The dress thing is partially payback for that, if I'm being honest. Or at least the retroactive application of my intent to have done it… intentionally.

    I'd have done it if I thought of it, aight? That's my point.

    Nevertheless, one painless and scarless nanite assisted surgery later, the thumbnail sized ball was resting just under Elsa's sternum, in the middle of her body. The nanites were flowing through her veins and under her mental control… at least for the functions I'd informed her of and exposed for user access. Frankly terrifying in scope endothermic environmental control, a colossal energy bank via the nanites themselves and a conversion and harvesting coordination system hosted in the small orb that had a side effect of keeping her entire body toasty warm and immune to cold. Oh, and the holography of course.

    The immortality, hyper regeneration, and near immunity to any kind of weapons fire I haven't told her about quite yet.

    Anyways, the room purpose grown to make the X-Men's Danger Room cry for its mommy because my big bad hyper advanced nanite testing lab is way better than it could ever be has taken a beating from her 'training'. Now that she knew she wasn't in danger, she took it as an opportunity to work out and experiment with her new ice powers.

    Such good times have been had in the last twenty minutes. Especially that time when I surprise ambushed my bodyguard with the drone dropping on her from the ceiling.

    "GET BACK HERE YOU LITTLE SHIT! YOU TOUCHED MY BOOBS!" Elsa yells again, launching another ice spike into the running drone.

    Thank you for your excellent literary timing, Elsa, I thank her in my own head, grinning.

    Yes, good times indeed.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  13. theonebutcher

    theonebutcher Hahaha! ... Waitaminute... Oh God NO!

    May 10, 2014
    Likes Received:
    So, why Not make Bethesda come to you? Make huge free computing Clusters and give Tax Cuts to Software Developers. Cite the need to rethink transmission protocols with the extreme bandwidth jump. Also, hire one of the best Stock Market wizards before you announce it. He'll take advantage of it and buy the company. Make sure to tell him you want revenge against them, so he doesn't think you want it because it's gonna be valuable and has no reason to pull a fast one on you.

    Really, a lot of strange plans can be made easy by hiring competent people to help.

    Also, "If you want new ice caps, you're gonna have to put up with the snow."
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
    Random Omnipotent Being and adaw like this.
  14. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

    Jan 30, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Because gutting the company top to bottom of the people who made FO76 a thing and are torturing Kayaba is a whole lot easier and faster if you just eminent domain the company as a whole.

    I don't like overly complex plans.
    Flutters Is Shy, adaw and edboy49 like this.
  15. MadGreenSon

    MadGreenSon Verified Devil Tiger

    Aug 3, 2014
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    You don't need Bethesda then. You need Zenimax. Zenimax pulls the strings and Bethesda is, at the end of the day, a puppet. You can acquire a controlling stake in Zenimax without buying another state.

    Hire experts, give them a huge pile of money and they will get it for you.
  16. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

    Jan 30, 2018
    Likes Received:
    You're still assuming Planetcaller is willing to work within normal legalities.

    He went for buying states instead of bothering with economics. This should tell you something.
    Flutters Is Shy and alanzilla like this.
  17. MadGreenSon

    MadGreenSon Verified Devil Tiger

    Aug 3, 2014
    Likes Received:
    So, he'll take on responsibility for even more people's lives and welfare rather than just use money? Yeah, it tells me he can't plan or think things through.

    I guess everyone worried about AI out-thinking us was getting all excited over nothing. :p
  18. CrunchySharpie

    CrunchySharpie A wild Bowsette appeared!

    Jun 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    The hardware is smart, the software is what's a bit of a moron.
    Ilikebob, alanzilla and MadGreenSon like this.
  19. kaazmiz

    kaazmiz Waiting for an Issekai Adventure

    Aug 9, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Technically he could just inform his friendly president of what went on ,and an equally friendly national letter soup agency would disappear those people without any court shenanigans, or have them slapped with so many extra charges that they would land in prison just as well as if they were properly sentenced.

    I get that its being done for plot reasons, but there is only so dumb you can make a person before it stops being funny.
  20. adaw

    adaw Know what you're doing yet?

    Oct 9, 2018
    Likes Received:
    screams in violated Prime Directive
  21. Flutters Is Shy

    Flutters Is Shy Friend of the Rage

    Jul 4, 2018
    Likes Received:
    "What? The ice tornadoes? Oh yeah, those. No, I was just figuring out how to give my Elsa ice powers. No, I didn't make an Elsa based off the movie, I found a woman who looks almost EXACTLY like the character, and has the same name! Oh, she's my bodyguard. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. No, I don't really think you have any authority to tell me not to make ice tornadoes, for any given purpose. Well tough tiddlywinks, if you don't like it you can move to Nevada."
    TCGM likes this.
  22. Threadmarks: Chapter 15 - Taking Flight

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

    Jan 30, 2018
    Likes Received:
    The Only Winning Move Is Overwhelming Firepower
    Chapter 15
    Taking Flight

    "Wow. This… this is really good," Elsa almost moans, picking up her mug with both hands and immediately taking another huge gulp of the divine brew within.

    Well. A huge gulp for her. Barely a mouthful for me. Elsa isn't exactly a small woman, but I look like I belong in a tree tossing tournament. Sexual dimorphism, yay.

    And yeah, I realize it's not really like that for me anymore. But my nanite body's default form is that of my original body (if a tad more attractive), which did answer to sexual dimorphism, so… so there!

    Regardless of biology, though, hot chocolate is hot chocolate. And I spent the entire time Elsa was training working on perfecting, at least to my tastes, the liquid gold, the mortal ambrosia, the heavenly dark goodness that is hot chocolate milk.

    Judging by Elsa's look of pure bliss, I nailed it.

    I mean, my sensors and taste emulation systems agree, but it's nice to know I didn't horribly mangle them when I was writing them from scratch. They're the first software of mine with that trait, it seems.

    I take a long sip out of my own huge mug and relax into my chair, letting out a contented sigh. "Indeed. The true drink of gods and mortals alike."

    Elsa finishes her gulp and plops her now empty mug back on the table, letting out a huge sigh of contentment. "Ahhh," she breathes, the tension in hey muscles draining away.

    The invisible nanoswarm all around us fills her mug back up with a flourish of magical looking sparkles, and she laughs.

    Then her eyes flick over to me, she grins, and I recognize her look. A teasing one. It's the look I see in the mirror almost every day. "And which of those do you think you are?" Elsa slyly asks, picking up her mug again. "God or mortal?"

    I don't even have to think about it. "God, obviously!" I snark back at her, grinning.

    To my utter disappointment, she doesn't immediately spew her drink across the table.

    So I sigh and shake my head. "But no, really, I can't answer that," I say, trying to be serious. "I'm not mortal, I have tremendous power over reality, and it takes a truly ludicrous amount of energy to even injure me, much less kill me. Nevertheless; I can't answer that."

    Elsa raises an eyebrow and places her mug down. It, of course, starts refilling automatically. "Why not?"

    "Because the word 'god' is a human term. And it's been redefined, with different levels of power and different requirements, throughout history," I explain. "So I can't tell you if I qualify as a god. Under some definitions I eclipse even the most powerful of the pantheon, and under others I'm not even close." My hot chocolate need is fulfilled for now, so I put down my huge mug and stand. "Only you guys can decide which to use for me. I'd appreciate the answer once you and your species figure it out, though."

    I turn around and slowly start walking out of the Danger Room, leaving behind a pensive bodyguard. "I'll be in my office, you can ask the Room for help in making more scenarios or join me whenever. That mug will keep filling with hot chocolate, by the way, until you tell it to stop."

    And with that, I'm around the corner, and Elsa takes another long gulp.

    Ice powers and hot chocolate. What's next, am I going to make myself a red fluffy suit and fly over the entire world delivering presents?

    ...Okay yeah I'm totally going to do that when XMas rolls around, I'm not even going to try and pretend I don't find the idea hilarious.

    An idle thought has some epic XMas rock start playing in the elevator, and I lose track of time as I jam out on my Oxygen/Nitrogen Guitar.

    I've got some time to kill before I can dial up DC again and not seem like an overly zealous pest.

    The Beacon's elevator opens up to my office and I step inside.

    The moment the doors close, everything begins to shift. The wall to wall windows cycle to a panoramic view of my Hub universe, my desk morphs into a futuristic and metallic drafting/design table, and all the chairs melt into the floor.

    Light blue and pale orange mood lighting flicker on from the newly revealed light emitter strips which wrap around the entire room along the seam where the floor and ceiling meet the walls… and my office is now in Developer Mode.

    I walk over to my design table and upload the UI system I've been idly working on over the last day or so, dedicating a few minutes of my attention span to it (mostly while I flew over the Pacific Ocean), and it flickers into being.

    I reach inside and push my hand into the hardlight mockup of a gauntleted hand, which immediately locks onto my arm and starts moving with it.

    And just to complete the theme, music abruptly begins.

    "Eat your heart out, Stark," I declare, grinning wide.

    A wave of my hands has the hardlight UI sliding off my design table and growing until it fills up most of the circular room, dozens of new windows and creation systems appearing around a semi transparent cube.

    "And fuck you, Blender." My eyes light up with glee and I almost sprint for the wet dream that is my new modelling and Progenitor tech capable design program.

    I've got stuff to make. The world isn't going to be shocked by my sheer presence for long… I'm going to need military, economic, and social units and buildings and technology, offensive and defensive installations, and so much more.

    And that's just to wage war… or rather, defend myself and my people from any idiots who try. On top of protecting them, I also need to make shit that my new people can use. Cars, jets, boats, gateways, hyperloops… the list of things I have to dream up is exhausting, and that's just for transportation.

    And all of it is going to be based on technology designed to fight an infinite, galaxy spanning war.

    I have the insane advantage that is my amorphous nanite technology, yet even with that...

    I'm gonna have to, somehow, idiot proof Progenitor technology.


    ...Bah. Cool shit now, safety later.

    I wonder how many pants will be shat in the world's nexi of leadership if I start replacing all flights based in my country with my own aircraft…

    Hmm, I still need a name for this place.

    Anyways, back to brick shitting. I think that a VTOL jumbo jet three times bigger than a 747, and just as wide, will do the trick. They'll be able to land at any airport a 747 can.

    The form of the aircraft takes shape under my hands as if the hardlight cube is clay, with the Progenitor design systems working on it behind them to make the thing a functional machine.

    Imagine a 747 that's three times bigger and looks like a fusion of the Progenitors, a fantasy sci-fi armorer, the Tau'ri, and Gray Goo created it. And then made it silver, white, gold and navy blue.

    Very nice.

    Hmm… If I fill in the wings to make it more like a triangle I can fit in roughly 2 times as many passengers as without doing that, which of course brings the total capacity up to 12 times the carrying capacity of a 747…

    Less 747 now and more like a ship from the X Files, but I can work with that. I'll need to ditch the jet turbine engines… maybe some fanless duct jets? As this will be a VTOL, it'll need a way to go up and down too.

    However, doing this and keeping the density of a 747 is just pushing as many people into the thing as I can.

    I don't just want the biggest dick measuring contest statement; I want the best.

    So let's turn every single seat into a small open walled apartment, with first class everything, including a massage system in the now full blown lazy boy chair, integrated speakers, surround sound higher than anything Earth has ever produced, and a wraparound hardlight system.

    This drops the carrying capacity to just over 2 times that of a 747, but every single person will be riding in style.

    Might as well toss in a NerveGear for each seat too, with a server onboard the craft. Ooh, and I can add food materializing pads, an independent internet connection, and this, and that, and how about...

    "Planetcaller?" Elsa begins to ask as she steps out of the elevator. "I'm done having fun now, what are we going to do about the coast thing-"

    Then she looks up, sees my office's state, and her eyes widen. She halts in her approach. "Woah."

    I finally notice her presence with my own eyes, or sensors… but calling them eyes makes me feel better, so eyes, and turn to blink at her. "Oh hey," I greet her. "Didn't see you come up."

    Elsa turns to look at me with astonishment on her face. "Planetcaller, what is all thi-" she starts to ask, then finds herself speechless when she realizes exactly what I'm doing.

    My arm is currently elbow deep in the guts of a scale model of an off-white aircraft that at this point most closely resembles a hybrid of a triangular X Files UFO and a B52 Stealth Bomber.

    From behind.

    Basically, and I only realize this now, it looks like I'm fisting the aircraft.

    I swallow as my bodyguard scowls. "I swear, this isn't what it looks like," I attempt to defend myself.

    "It looks like you're fisting a weird plane." Elsa's response is as deadpan as it is accusatory.

    I wince and shake my head. "I'd say this isn't the weirdest thing you've caught me doing, but you've never caught me doing anything else, so…" and with that, I slowly and carefully withdraw my arm from the hardlight mockup, the photons distorting around my nanite skin.

    Elsa raises an eyebrow, still seeming entirely unimpressed. "Oh, so you've been doing things I could've caught you doing?" she asks.

    It takes me a few moments to realize she's teasing me. I sigh and roll my eyes, not giving her the satisfaction of groaning.

    Regardless, her faux scowl morphs into an ecstatic grin.

    "For the record, I was doing some detailed work on the internals," I grumble her way.

    My bodyguard nods and smiles at me, giving me the impression she doesn't believe me in the least. "Sure. If that's what you want to call it, then go ahead," she singsongs, almost skipping up to the center of the room. She leans down a little to peer at the not exactly standard human aircraft and seems genuinely curious. "So… what is this thing?"

    "It's a design for a new aerial passenger and cargo transport vehicle," I inform her, stepping around her body to get a closer look at the front. I need to make the cockpit something pilots would pay me to get to fly in. "Gonna be replacing all passenger flights out of my country with them."

    Elsa's eyebrows skyrocket. "Wow, really?" she asks, then blinks. "Somehow I don't really see you as an infrastructure kind of dictator."

    She's teasing me again. In revenge, I give her a deadpan glare and point out the smaller plane next to it. "That's a 747, to scale."

    Elsa's head whips around to look at one of the biggest planes humanity has ever created, then back to the sleek vehicle that dwarfs it. "It's gigantic!" she exclaims. "Where the hell is it going to land?!"

    "Well, for one thing, it's a VTOL system, so it doesn't need a runway at all," I begin explaining, gesturing to the six massive aero induction engines I'd designed into the body. They're a work of technical art; each one dynamically adjusts the temperature gradient inside them to cause airflow in the desired direction. Likewise, there's two longer ones in the extended 'wings' of the thing that are rated for much higher throughput. They'll be the primary thrust providers. It's got more than enough energy to do all this from its onboard fusion reactor, too. No fuel, no exhaust, just good old physics and Progenitor bullshit. "And for two, it can actually land at any airport that can accommodate a 747. Other planes might have to make room, but it will work."

    Elsa tilts her head, seemingly analyzing the craft. "...Huh," she finally says, just as I start laying out details on the wraparound piloting hardlight systems, "it does kinda look like it would fit. Barely."

    I shrug and continue my work. "Never said it would fit well, just that it could."

    "How many people can it carry, anyways?" she asks.

    "Just over twice that of a fully loaded 747."

    Elsa's eyes start to widen, but then they narrow. "Hey, no, wait, I'm not an engineer, but I know this thing should have a lot more room than that," she protests. "What gives?"

    "If I used the same seating as a 747, it could fit 12 times the number of people," I agree, smirking as Elsa's eyes finally complete their bugging out. "However, I want this thing to be the best. Not just a replacement; an upgrade." I reach into the body of the aircraft through the top and pull out a copy of one of the seats and its surrounding features, blowing it up bigger, and then plop it on the floor so she can walk around it. "Every passenger seat is one of these."

    Her eyebrows join her eyes in attempting escape velocity. "That's not an airplane seat," she deadpans.

    "Not true," I affirm, pointing out the rapid securing mechanism, the oxygen system, and the built in escape pod to my bodyguard in turn. "It satisfies every single passenger flight safety law I could find. And some I couldn't."

    "And every passenger," she amusedly fires back.

    I shrug. "Like I said, I want the best." I finish my work on the cockpit with several hardware levers and buttons, just in case. Not just in case my tech somehow fails, these planes will take a nuke point blank and just use it as fuel, but in case the pilots get antsy about a fully digital interface.

    Until I feel good enough about my own abilities with programming in Progenitor, no AI will be there to take over for the human pilot. The VI I've written for these planes is incredible, and borderline intelligent, but it might still encounter something it can't handle before the human pilots notice.

    And then, somehow, the digital control system might fail, too.

    Which is what the physical backup controls are for.

    Look, it's not very likely, but better safe than sorry.

    Oh, wait, I forgot. This thing has to be able to haul cargo, too.

    I extend the belly of the craft down just a little and dig out what amounts to a crawl space in a horizontal slice of the hull. Next, some drones to fetch and pack things away into this space. More than enough cargo area without taking up that much room, and an automated packing and unpacking system. Finally, I stack package securing alcoves across the entire breadth of the cargo hold, each using tentacles to ensure the utmost flexibility in securing their charges once delivered to by the drones.

    Oh yeah, and since the drones look kind of mean, I'll coat them in an off white and soft spherical body, with golden outlined armor plates on the sides for 'arms' and happy glowing faces made of light emitting strips on the front.

    Because everyone knows if it's cute, it's not dangerous at all.

    Nevermind the fusion power plant and the stun cannon and plasma cannon hidden in almost invisible flaps where the cheeks would be. Nope. Cute and innocent cargo drone right here.

    "The cute look of those would work on me if i didn't just see you put guns far bigger than necessary inside them," Elsa needles me.

    "Yes, well, these are cargo drones, but also the only active defenses the craft will have," I inform her, absentmindedly patting the digital mockup of the new drone on the head. The Progenitor design program being what it is, the drone actually makes a synthetic chirping noise in response. "While I don't expect trouble… you never know. And I don't want to go chase one of these down while terrorists attempt to fly it into a building. Even though there's no fuel to go kaboom, I don't see the building leaving that exchange in a good state. It's white, not light."

    The mention of America's 21st century boogeyman is more than enough to shut Elsa up. "...Right. Better safe than sorry."

    I nod and give the plane a default loadout of a hundred of the drones. More than enough to quickly and effectively load or unload cargo… and just maybe brutally put down anyone stupid enough to attempt to hijack one of my vehicles. Terrorists... or not.

    Oh don't look at me like that, Writer Me. You know just as well as I that state sponsored 'intelligence' agencies usually have everything except their namesake!

    Straightening up, I grin and step back. "Aaand… It's done!" I cheerfully announce, smacking my hands together to brush off imaginary dust.

    "Well it definitely looks futuristic," Elsa admits. "What's it called?"

    At that I freeze, my processors almost short circuiting. "....Uh-" I stammer, trying to play for time while I can come up with a name.

    Elsa scoffs and rolls her eyes. "Of course you forgot to name it." She tries to frame it like a complaint, but her grin gives her away.

    I roll my eyes and look neck at the craft, racking my nanite head for something, anything. This sleek, powerful workhorse of an aircraft deserves a proper name-

    And then I have one.

    "Cimarron," I say, smiling as the design program accepts it and automatically renames the project.

    "Huh?" Elsa asks.

    My smile widens. It just seems right. "Cimarron Class VTOL Passenger and Cargo Aerojet," I expand, formally christening it.

    Elsa tilts her head to the side and crosses her arms. "Not bad," she finally admits. "Spirit Airlines is gonna complain, though."

    I scoff at her and gesture outside. At the same time, I have the design program finalize it and start materialization within the Beacon's vehicle hanger. "They can bite my shiny metal ass."

    Elsa finds her eyes automatically drifting to said ass before she catches herself. She sighs and shakes her head, pointedly ignoring the massive grin I've got on my face. "It's pretty impressive. But it also looks expensive, and hard to build." She locks eyes with me, a challenge in those slightly glowing ice blue eyes. "How long will it take to make one, much less enough to replace 747s across the country? Your… our country, I mean?"

    Instead of replying, my grin becomes positively shit eating due to the hangar reporting that it's done.

    I turn towards my bodyguard and point a thumb over my shoulder at the same time as a loud rumble and the whine of six massive engines rings out from behind me. "About that long," I casually inform Elsa.

    I barely keep myself from dropping to the floor and laughing my ass off as her eyes alight on the sleek, curved cockpit of my first Cimarron, moving up into view at a wobbly pace while the VI learns to stabilize the massive plane.

    "H-How?" she asks, swallowing.

    "Nanites, son!"​
  23. adaw

    adaw Know what you're doing yet?

    Oct 9, 2018
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    Oh, the poor dear doesn't quite understand that your civilization is effectively post-scarcity yet.
    WinterPhoenix, TCGM, Rikallyn and 5 others like this.
  24. MagicEater

    MagicEater Getting out there.

    May 10, 2019
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    WinterPhoenix, Ilikebob, TCGM and 2 others like this.
  25. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

    Jan 30, 2018
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    She'll learn quite soon. Eventually.

    I've got a bet with myself as to whether she figures it out before or after he starts mass-upgrading entire cities of infrastructure at once, but she'll get it. At some point.

    Hell yeah!
    MagicEater and adaw like this.
  26. adaw

    adaw Know what you're doing yet?

    Oct 9, 2018
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    You'd be surprised at how people can selectively ignore pieces of information. That said, Elsa doesn't strike me as that kind of person.
    MagicEater likes this.
  27. TCGM

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

    Jan 30, 2018
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    Funny thing about selective ignorance; next chapter deals with it.

    And aye, she isn't. Elsa is only dense on Sundays.

    Because of the sun.
  28. adaw

    adaw Know what you're doing yet?

    Oct 9, 2018
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    Sunday is supposed to be relaxation day! It's not Elsa's fault if she's "dense" on Sundays! :mad:
  29. Threadmarks: Chapter 16 - Kate Calling

    TCGM (Unverified God/Space Snek)

    Jan 30, 2018
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    The Only Winning Move Is Overwhelming Firepower
    Chapter 16
    Kate Calling

    The red phone on my desk rings, rock music blasting out from the deceptively small speaker on the front. It detracted from the image of the red phone, but it allowed me to make the ringtone a song and the phone an actual, well, proper phone instead of an old dialer, so oh well.

    Elsa is startled out of her awe of the Cimarron behind me, turning to look at it. Her eyebrows furrow, and she resumes looking at me. This time in full pseudo-assistant supposedly bodyguard mode. "You going to get that?" she asks.

    I wave her off and give the Cimarron a directive to travel to LAX and park there until it's flown somewhere else by qualified pilots. The massive aircraft sort of tilts its wings at me as it turns around and rapidly begins accelerating away. "Nah," I reply, returning my attention to the design system. "Just let it go to answering machine."

    Speaking of that answering machine, I always loved the way older ones would play their greeting out loud first before playing the caller's message as they were recording it. Mostly because of how entertaining I could make the effective announcement of a semi-autonomous piece of technology, long before I learned how to program those.

    Thus, it's my voice that comes from the phone first. "Hello, thank you for contacting Planetcaller. I’m not coming to the phone right now, but leave a message and I’ll probably call you back whenever my patience is large enough. Unless you’re a telemarketer; then you really, really should hang up this second, because I’m an alien super being who kinda wishes you would all stop breathing. And spread the word. You lot really should know better than to call the head of a sovereign country with this crap. Leave a message after the bass drop if you’re not a telemarketer!”

    Elsa gives me the most unimpressed look she’s capable of while, instead of a beep or other normal sound, a dubstep bass drop bursts from the phone.

    Whoever's calling hangs up, because neither of us hear them say anything.


    "What?" I defend myself. "I hate telemarketers!"

    She sighs and rolls her eyes, beginning to walk towards my desk. "Do you even know who that was?" she asks.

    I shake my head while I begin a new project. No title yet, but it's going to be a water purification system that simply strips salt and other harmful substances from ocean water. Salt stripping optional, of course, because I might end up deploying these to clean the oceans. And… I definitely should add a filter for carbon too, just to cover my planet repairing bases. "Not a clue. I don't really pay attention to calls or notifications while I'm in design mode." I send her a smirk and gesture in the direction of the departed Cimarron. "Helps me focus."

    Elsa somehow looks even more unimpressed. Must be her body language. She sighs and shakes her head, putting her hands near, but not on, the red phone. "Please tell me this thing has call records."

    I nod, pointing to one side. "Small button on the left, click it to toggle the screen." Now let's see… should I make it a half-torus building to evoke the nautilus shell imagery, or a squid, because tentacles?

    Elsa presses the button and a hardlight screen pops up above the dialing pad. If it's the right one, it's got a list of contacts (empty except for her, pretty sure), a call log, and a messaging system.

    She seems to have no trouble navigating through it, so I return my attention to the building. Nautilus shell is friendlier, and plus I can make it look super cool with shifting blue currents on the surface and stuff… yeah, definitely using that-

    "You have thirty seven calls from Washington!" Elsa bursts out, breaking me from my concentration.

    I glance at her with the same deadpan, unimpressed look she gave me earlier. "Call them back and tell the governor to stop whining about whatever he's whining about."

    Elsa stares at me, aghast, and her mouth drops open a little.

    "...What?" I finally get up the nerve to ask.

    "WASHINGTON, D.C.!" she yells at me.



    I bring my hand away from the amazingly still quite red phone handset in my hand and glance at Elsa, offended in the extreme. “They hung up on me!”

    My traitorous bodyguard just sends me another unimpressed look, almost glaring at me with how narrow her eyes are. "Thirty seven calls, Planetcaller! THIRTY SEVEN!"

    "That just means they should answer me now instead of hearing my name and hanging up on me!" I fire back, once more glancing at the red phone. "I mean, I didn't even get through to Stacey! It was some flunkie, they know not to hang up on foreign… or not so foreign, leaders, right?"

    Elsa scowls at me. "We are going to D.C.," she declares. "Now."

    I roll my eyes and sigh. "Fine, mom," I fire back. Due to my irritation, I don't wait for her once I stand up.

    Instead I fire my thrusters and activate the escape hatch in the roof, leaving her gaping, surprised to hell and back ice dress clad self behind.

    Gods damned spitting image of the Disney character, I swear. Even with her angry face on. Her new ice dress doesn't help. I think she knows about the drone thing, because gods damn that neckline! And what a better spot to get a view than from my escape hatch, right?

    "See you in Washington!" I fire back. One little, intentionally cheeky wave later, I'm rocketing away in a vaguely eastward direction.

    Her inarticulate scream of frustration is music to my ears.

    Elsa hasn't yet figured out she can fly, so she's stuck chasing after me in a private jet.

    Or rather… she should be. Why is it off course? The jet should be coming straight here!

    I take a split moment to investigate. The nanites I left on board have no trouble patching me into the systems, so- what the fuck is that.

    The jet has a subsystem that is very, very much not on its design specs. And is also much higher tech than this world should have access to.

    And Elsa is using its quantum entanglement communications array to report on me.

    To a dark skinned woman with one eye, an eye patch, and judging by her expression, a stick up her ass the size of a Helicarrier.

    Fitting, because I recognize the fucking background.

    A single scan of the planet with my sensors is enough to find it. Sure as day, cloaked flying aircraft carrier.

    Except it kinda looks like the Valiant and the Helicarrier had a kid that grew up to be twice their combined size.

    Right. So. Elsa is a spy.

    Who's showing Nicki Fury her fancy new ice powers. And telling her all about me. Including a surprisingly deep and accurate psych profile.

    The words 'Unrepentant Semi-Benevolent Troll' may be included.

    Good news is, Nicki isn't getting anything bad. Elsa doesn't really have anything bad to report. Cuz you know, I don't actually do bad shit in the first place.

    She also jokes about the drone 'mess up' with her dress. The two of them have a giggle about that.

    I fucking knew she figured that out!

    Also, it's really gods damned strange seeing a Nick Fury expy laugh, much less giggle. I'm gonna be hearing that melodic chortling in my nightmare- wait, I don't sleep anymore. Shit.

    Anyways, what am I going to do about this?

    ...Hmm… I could, but no that'd be against my morals, plus they haven't really threatened me yet. It's just spying after all, and if I knew they existed I'd be doing the same.

    Which I am. Now. My Beacon flash fabricates an aerial Engineer and it sets off for their flying aircraft carrier. Suborbital trajectory so as to prevent tracking from the origin, and it has active visual stealth systems similar to what I designed over Japan. ETA: half an hour. Then I'll have direct access to their systems.

    ...You know what? Beyond counter spying, I'm going to do absolutely nothing.

    It's easier to let Elsa keep playing spy than to worry about an organization which is likely equivalent to SHIELD trying (and failing disastrously) to remove me from the planet. And, bonus points, it means I don't have to do any paperwork! I'll just give it all to her, and because she has to do it for her spy job, she'll suffer the finger slices and mind numbing boredom!

    Plus, there's not a much better punishment than paperwork. So I can even claim I'm pushing her for her duplicity!

    Yep. I love it when a plan comes together.

    I'm totally going to yoink some of this SHIELD equivalent's tech, too. Not that they'll know. Their systems are not remotely strong enough to keep me out even without direct hardware access. This is what you lot get by having communications pathways to the outside world, dumbasses.

    Also, just in case… a full copy of their personnel files. This is a SHIELD expy, which means there might be a HYDRA expy inside them too. I don't think so, but I'd better check just to be sure.

    Time to start a colossal download from servers across the world that won't even remember the transfer. I grin despite myself, dropping out of what most would consider accelerated thinking. Onwards to Washington… DC!

    One lawn landing, this time gentler so as to not disturb the freshly repaired grass of the White House, a decent walk, and several greetings of men and women in suits later, I arrive outside the Oval Office.

    I'm about to barge in on the President's cabinet meeting with no fanfare, no bodyguards, and no Secret Service trying to stop me. Not even whoever thought it would be a good idea to hang up on me several times shows up.

    Guess they got the memo last time.

    Well… at least for the Secret Service.

    "Planetcaller!" Stacey, and I know she's Stacey due to her voice, calls out to stop me.

    Instead of continuing to place my hand on the door like I was going to, I indulge her. The shouting match going on inside doesn't sound like my cup of hot chocolate anyways, so I'll humor her while I wait. "Stacey?" I ask, "is that you?"

    She walks up to me and nods. "Yes, sir. Thank you for listening to me," she confirms, assuming I'm actually doing what she thinks I'm doing.

    I just smile at her while looking her up and down. Stacey's Mom might have it goin on, but Stacey herself is definitely up there in the hots department.

    Honestly I haven't checked yet on the mom thing. Now that I've got a visual reference to search with, and seeing her daughter, I’ll definitely be doing so.

    She nods again and sighs with relief. "Sorry I couldn't be on call for you when you called," she pleasantly apologizes. She also doesn't seem to care about the glance, which makes sense if she's in diplomacy. "Was my assistant helpful in my place?"

    Ah, that's the flunkie who I talked to. "He hung up on me," I inform her, rolling my eyes.

    Ah, there's Kate's voice. She's real loud when she wants to be.

    Stacey pointedly ignores what's going on on the other side of the door as she frowns. "Oh… he shouldn't have done that," she states, clearly not happy. "I apologize on behalf of the President."

    I just sigh and wave her off. "No worries, I needed to fly over here to talk to Kate anyways," I inform her.

    Stacey stares at me as she is seemingly surprised by my lack of caring, but gathers herself tremendously quickly. "Well… thank you," she eventually manages. "I'll endeavor to make sure it doesn't happen again."

    The argument inside has subsided, so I'm pretty sure it's time to crash the party. "Like I said, no worries," I repeat myself, turning slightly and putting my hand on the door.

    "Planetcaller, sir, you can't go in there!" she almost immediately says, repeating her own earlier words. "The President is in a… meeting, right now." Her wince at the word she has to use speaks volumes.

    I turn my head back to her and raise a single, solitary eyebrow. "Stacey," I calmly say.

    "Yes, sir?"

    "Do I look like someone who 'can't' do something I want to do?"

    She seems lost on how to respond to that, but sticks to her guns. "Sir, I can't let you-"

    I just roll my eyes and push on the door even as I hear someone call me an unstable maniac. A gruff old guy, pretty sure. "Stacey, the entire Secret Service couldn't stop me. Sorry to put it this way, but what can you do that they can't in terms of halting my advance?" I ask her, slowly and purposely pulling open the Oval Office door.

    Stacey visibly tries to come up with something, but clearly fails the way her face drops. "Sir, please," she pleads.

    I just shake my head and sigh, waving her off. "Don't worry, you've done your job. Just go yell at your flunkie while I talk to Kate." The door opens ever wider as I slowly hammer home that yes, I will be going in there and no, she can't do anything to keep me from doing so.

    She seems torn, but she reaches a decision a moment later. She simply puts on a stern face, nods, and spins on her heels to plonk down the hall.

    "Thanks Stacey, much love!" I call out to her, snickering when she stumbles.

    That girl will go places… if she can put up with me long enough.
  30. waffelmeister

    waffelmeister In the State of Denial

    Apr 23, 2018
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    I see myself in Planetcaller. If I had nigh unlimited power, I'm sure I would be bumblefucking my way around in circles just like he is. No great master plans, no prototypes, no brakes, just full on zero to clusterfuck.