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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.
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  3. JammyASDFG

    JammyASDFG Getting some practice in, huh?

    Jan 5, 2018
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    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
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    '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 Getting sticky.

    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
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    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
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    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
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    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 Getting sticky.

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

    Flutters Is Shy Friend of the Rage

    Jul 4, 2018
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    "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.