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The Ringing of a Forge of Stars [Warhammer 40k/ Celestial forge V3||OC...ish]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Slider Zero, Apr 14, 2021.

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  1. Hadrian.Caeser

    Hadrian.Caeser Making the rounds.

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    Just imagine how far humanity could go, if he works together with Revelation... Their enemies might simply try to leave the galaxy somehow, no matter how dangerous.

    Let's hope he gives the STCs to "good" people. Uplifting humanity both culturally and technologically won't be easy. Making it even even harder by giving one to his enemy is unnecessary
     
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  2. Logos01

    Logos01 Not too sore, are you?

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    It's amusing that you think Satori and Adam-Revelation could work together.

    Yes, they both care about humanity.

    They have entirely irreconcilable differences about what it means to be human, let alone what it means to be humane. Emps would be compelled to bring Satori into Compliance because that is what he is.
     
  3. Nimeroni

    Nimeroni Getting sticky.

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    Zolya class, I guess, the basic scout from the United Empire (the humans in ES2). For the curious:

    [​IMG]

    Don't forget Solace, an ability that passively counter every mind alteration effect on any ally or neutral unit around the psi ops (himself included). Oh, yeah, and Solace is retroactive (get in range of someone already under the effect of, say, a mind control, and the mind control instantly break, no question asked).

    Emp is a jerkass of the highest order, why would Satori want to bring him back ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
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  4. Threadmarks: Interlude: Cog and Faith
    Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    Under normal circumstances, the Adeptus Mechanicus was a very well organized and efficient organization for what it had available to work with, designed and intended to be the backbone and cornerstone of the Imperium of Man in all matters technological. It’s evolution from the old cults of the machine god into the current powerhouse it was were long and arduous, it’s victories stunning and defeats rare and unimportant. Above all, the Mechanicus stood as the most crucial piece of the Imperium of Man, and all who beheld it feared its wrath.

    Under normal circumstances, the members of the AdMech, as it was sometimes (disparagingly) called, would even allow themselves to believe that statement to be true. Unfortunately for all involved, this was not a normal circumstance.

    “Please, summarize this report so that we have a better understanding.”

    Currently, there was a meeting happening, of the local movers and shakers of the Necromundan auxiliary of the Mechanicus proper. As Necromunda was not a proper forge world, they nominally had to defer to the will of the local Planetary Governor, who had instructed the Mechanicus in no uncertain terms to not stick their noses into certain matters which may or may not be happening. Naturally, this prompted them to take a peek into what was happening...and discover the nature of why they were being kept out.

    A minor Techpriest found himself on the receiving end of the local Magos council’s ire as he read the reports...again. As requested, the meetings used a very specific version of the Lingua Technist as a means of security for a face-to-face meet. “Ah. Yes. Approximately one standard month ago, an anomalous signal was received from underneath HIve Primus. The signal itself was scrambled, with no data structure of any kind, seeming to only exist as a kind of white noise. Attempts were made to backtrace the signal, and all failed.” The techpriest paused here to briefly gather his thoughts. He was a part of that initial expedition, hoping for the chance to discover one of the lost treasures of the planet hidden in its depths, perhaps even an STC fragment of some sort.

    Oh, how much he felt the irony now…

    “Then, approximately two standard weeks ago, something changed. The signal, once diffuse and weak, became extremely strong. Orders were immediately given to investigate upon the lifting of the lockdown imposed due to the major psyker attack that happened at around the same time. Looking back, we believe that this was not a coincidence.” And well they did not. That attack was far too well-timed for it to not be suspect. The only reason they even had that much information, however, was that some upstart had somehow done something nearly impossible and forced his way into the Noosphere, with the intent of delivering a message warning of the psyker attack. That was, perhaps, the only reason that Proper Imperial forces were able to respond in such a rapid fashion and put down the witch before even more damage had been done.

    The bodies were still being counted, but estimates had the total dead from the attack at somewhere in the millions. It was indeed a catastrophe, losing so many loyal citizens of the main hive, but there was a silver lining: none of the Mechanicus’ facilities were damaged in the attack, and the warning proved to be timely with allowing the psyker to be put down swiftly.

    which, once again, led back to the signal...and his failure.

    “The signal was found to have been coming from a previously unknown sub-cavern within the underhive proper, approximately three kilometers from the base edge. Efforts were shifted to investigate soonest, possibly without proper authorization, but then the command came down that we were to not intervene under any circumstances until we were ‘properly cleared’. The origin of those orders is classified beyond my access, as well as the nature of the clearance needed.”

    In short: Someone in the Administratum had gotten a wild idea that they could control the technology without having it go through its proper place within the Mechanicus first, and then being allowed to come back to them...if it was deemed appropriate. It would not be the first time that dangerous technologies were kept away from the ignorant ones and in the hands of those enlightened by the Omnissiah.

    Normally such orders were ignored in favor of making sure that the proper eyes were had on the target, but this time an extra hand of authority came down and somehow managed to stay their hand. He personally suspected that the Inquisition got involved, but, again, it was above his clearance level, and even speculating on things like that were enough for them to come to him just to see what he didn’t--or did--know about anything.

    In either case, it was better for a lowly techpriest such as himself to stay the fuck out of it. Safer that way.

    “Any further investigation into the signal or things surrounding it were then turned over to the Adepta Sororitas, as they were at the time responding to the psyker attack and were available to investigate. All official data past this point ceases.

    “Then, just a few days ago, an unrelated general reconnaissance and support team sent a report in.” And he believed that that team was ‘unrelated to the current situation’ as much as he believed that the Mechanicus ever deleted anything. At all. “The report held disturbing information: the signal was actually an improvised beacon to a storage cache, and the contents of said cache were extremely important.

    “A field team was sent to the site to investigate further, and were able to recover several items of great import, including advanced Volkite weaponry, several examples of improved lasguns and bolters, and at least one working design for an improved plasma cell. While this was good, great, even, the main prize that was supposedly there was an STC of unknown providence.”

    And that was the main rub. There was an STC down there, and they’d missed it entirely because of some kind of power struggle with the Administratum...or possibly even the Ecclesiarchy. Worse was some of the rumors surrounding that incident…

    “There is incidental data as well. According to the investigation team, there was, supposedly, a Senior Engineseer on-site when the STC was discovered, and she managed to get a cursory examination of the object. The details, which come from an interrogation of the Sororitas personnel that were on-site, corroborate what little outside data sources we have available: the STC was not only there, but both whole and undamaged. This was a Full Standard Template Construct.”

    And therein lied the main rub. A regular STC fragment, he could understand, and would wish the discoverer well on their new endeavors. A major Fragment or a whole Blueprint was even better.

    This, combined with what the rumors were saying, was an STC as they were meant to be--and by default, the single greatest prize that had ever been known to anyone, ever. Losing this was a massive black mark on everyone involved, regardless of seniority or even level of involvement. He suspected that there would be a reprisal in the works soon.

    Perhaps the only good part about this mess is that the STC was only stolen, and not damaged...or worse. At least this way it is potentially recoverable...

    His superiors spoke for the first time since he’d begun. “And why exactly were we unaware of such a prize literally sitting right underneath us?”

    The techpriest had a ready, if strained, reply. “Unknown, Magos. I have no relevant data to share.”

    The Magos made an irritated gesture with one of his mechadendrites as he continued. “So then, a fully-intact STC has managed to somehow just walk away from us, and not even the Sororitas were enough to prevent this from happening?”

    The techpriest coughed. “An addendum to the report notes that what appeared to be an incursion was detected and eventually repulsed on the sub-cavern, only for an infiltrator to make off with the STC. we are using all means to search for those responsible at this time.”

    “Very well. Continue with your efforts. We will notify you if you are needed again.” the Magos spoke with finality.

    The young techpriest was only too happy to oblige, and quickly left the room.

    The Magos turned to his colleagues. “Well, then. I believe that we are all in agreement that this needs to be our top priority going forward, then?”

    All present nodded or gave some form of agreement.

    “Very well then. Let us create our plan of action...and bring ruin to those who would deny the Omnissiah and his servants their rightful due.”






    The Adepta Sororitas had the distinction of being one of the fiercest and most loyal of the forces of the Imperium, oftentimes acting as the Militant arm of the Ecclesiarchy proper. To many of the Sisters of Battle, this was of no major concern, as their faith in the Emperor was their primary weapon.

    Well, that and Bolters, but the point remained.

    It was for this reason that the Sisters were often called to service in varying tasks throughout the Imperium where the Ecclesiarchy felt a more...personal touch was needed. That this would sometimes put them into open conflict with other Loyal imperial forces was something that, until now, Sister Arikia had found unimportant in the grander scheme of performing the Emperor’s will.

    Now, however, she was beginning to doubt the constant claims that the Sisters of Battle were always working the will of the Emperor wherever they went...especially after facing down that Xeontech golem--the same golem that had, somehow, managed to completely crush a Daemon of Chaos with ease. Nothing that she or her team had done was even worth the effort they put in to fight it. By the Throne, the damned thing didn’t even pay attention to them, instead focusing on the two mutants that had appeared previously...and that had managed to, against all odds or even belief, not only keep up with the thing (to the point that they were literally dodging Bolter shells mid-flight) but ultimately destroy it as well, resulting in the Male of the pair gaining some form of advanced Power Armor.

    The part that had her confused was that, despite the obvious deformities that the two possessed, they did not seem as if they were enemies of the Imperium. They had even made a point of not attacking her or her team both before and after the altercation, citing not wanting to harm loyalists...and this was after she acted on her orders and opened fire on them without any provocation!

    What concerned her more, however, was what had happened after the STC had been removed from the cavern by the strange small thing. The Sister Superior assigned to their detachment had been livid that not only had the STC been stolen but that the Thief had gotten away, as well as both of the mutants and the man that had come with them. The amounts of blame-shifting and general politicking that had happened in that short amount of time was telling as to what was really going on, especially since those same people had literally saved their lives by wiping out a Heretic assault force bent on corrupting or destroying the STC.

    And that brought up another question in and of itself, one that she had been very careful to not voice anywhere she even suspected may have had ears to hear: Why had the little being merely stolen the STC and not destroyed it, as a normal daemon would have?

    As the very daemon that the Xenos golem had destroyed was intending to do?

    What's more, the sudden appearance of Orders from on high stating that the recovery of the STC was paramount, surpassing all other priorities, including an active witch hunt following the Psyker attack that was the reason for their deployment in the first place? The sheer secrecy of said orders, despite their very nature requiring them to call in backup from the Mechanicus, as they should have done in the first place? The sudden and unexplained distance that the Techpriests were showing to them, following their return from that doomed mission?

    Wait. The Female mutant, Miolala Granliss? She claimed to be a member of the Mechanicus herself when they were introduced, and had actually acted the part very well, to the point that she had been convinced that they were on the same side, even if they were mutated. (Or it could have been some form of augmentation. The Techpriests were known for doing that regularly, after all.)

    Every time she ran that encounter back in her head, more questions popped up. It was almost as if someone had gone out of their way to use them as a set of catspaws in some game or another, and it was pissing her off.

    It didn’t help that she was being formally reprimanded, along with the rest of the sisters that had been nominally under her command, despite her lack of rank, due to their “failure”. This, despite the battle cameras showing quite clearly that they had fought bravely and with both Fury and Zeal appropriate of the Sisters of Battle, and had merely failed to die screaming at the hands of a Daemon or a Xenos machine. Hence, her current...predicament.

    Supposedly, there was an investigation ongoing into the backgrounds of the supposed Mechanicus woman and her aide, but she suspected that it would go nowhere at all, with the Mechanicus themselves suddenly being cold and distant towards them. It was something that she grudgingly understood, knowing that they were kept out of the loop by the very command that had ordered the sisters into that cavern in the first place.

    The door to the cell she was currently sitting in opened with a hiss of displaced air, and another group of sisters, including her Palatine, along with an unknown man who had been present but silent throughout her “debriefings”. Fortunately for her, they had not gone to outright torture, but the forced repentance and prayer in solitude was still telling nonetheless.

    “Sister Arikia Vanalyn. Rise.”

    She did so at her Palatine’s command, and stood at attention before them once again, awaiting yet another questioning by her superiors over the mess.

    “You have not yet served your proper penance, but the Hand of the Emperor moves us all, and a task has been set before you.”

    Arikia deliberately showed no sign of emotion on her face, but inwardly was very confused. Instead, she nodded. “How am I to serve?”

    “You are charged with travelling into the wastes of Necromunda, and seeking out the enemies of Man. You are not to return until the tasks appointed to you are completed.”

    Arikia found herself unsurprised. ‘Penance in battle, then, with the expected result of my death.’

    The Palatine spoke again. “You are tasked with seeking out the enemies of the Imperium of Man, the heretics hiding in the wastes of this world, and to stamp them out. You are further charged with seeing out the traitors whom have absconded with his holy relics, and to return them to their proper place amongst the faithful. Specifically, you are to atone for your failure and recover the Holy STC from the thieves who dare stand outside the Emperor’s Light.

    Arikia once again found herself confused. ‘Sending me out alone? To recover this STC? What in His name was in that thing?’

    Voicing her thoughts would only result in her being killed...or worse. “I understand, Mistress. When am I to depart?”

    “You are to gather your armor and weapon, and to depart once your preparations are complete. Your Sisters shall join you in this task.”

    And there it was. Punish her by punishing those who fought beside her.

    Arikia had always had that streak of sentimentality, of compassion for her fellow man, that had nearly called her to serve in one of the Orders Hospitaller. Instead, she found her calling in the Order Militant, and has for years now served alongside her sisters with faith and courage.

    This did not mean that she was blind to the world around her. She had seen with her own eyes the nature of the enemy that the Sisters fought, and the things that they were often called upon to do in His name.

    ‘How odd, that only now am I seeing, with unclouded eyes, the truth of things. How many have been burned by our zeal merely for not being our equal?’

    The situation once again struck her with the sheer oddness, even as her thoughts drifted more towards doubt. The Palatine, however, was unaware of her thoughts and thus of no inclination to allow them to her.

    “Upon your successful return, we shall discuss other matters as appropriate. You have your orders. See to them.”

    The palatine turned away and walked out of the chamber, the rest of her entourage following her. However, before she had fully left, she spoke, one last time.

    “Do not fail in this task, Sister Superior Vanalyn.”

    Arikia stood there, unmoving, her face made of stone as the others left her cell, her mind still rebooting from what she had heard. Her, a Sister Superior? Finally?

    ‘Hah. And all it cost me was everything.’

    She shook her head clear of such thoughts. Her doubts and fears could wait for later. Right now, she had her sisters to tend to and organize, and a doomsday mission to undertake in some way that would let them return home somehow.

    If that was even possible…






    Palatine Valencia frowned as she walked away from the penitence chambers. “Are you sure that this will work? I am not one to sacrifice loyal sisters to charades, Acolyte.”

    The Acolyte merely nodded. “This is believed by our sources to be the best option. We have no intention of spilling loyal blood needlessly...but then again, these Sisters are hardly loyal, are they?”

    The Palatine remained silent.

    “In any case, this should bring us closer to locating the STC.” the Acolyte continued. “Once found, we can then dedicate the full resources at our disposal to its recovery. When that time comes, can we count on your aid once again?”

    The Palatine remained silent for a moment before speaking. “You will have the aid of our Convent, pending the approval of our Prioress. Absent that, I can only grant you the sisters under my direct command.”

    The Acolyte nodded and hummed a bit. “Very well. We have no intention of straining our relations too far, after all. Now, if you will excuse me, I have other duties to attend to.” and with that, the Acolyte left her presence.

    Valencia frowned once more. Just what manner of game had she gotten herself into here, and how could she extract herself from it without being killed in the process?






    This was originally intended for the end of the previous chapter, but was left out for reasons of time. I present it to you now.
     
  5. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    Double post, because I can do that.

    You became my example of the day for the Discord. As I said there, not saying for or against, but aside from the Sectoids this is a really Cool idea.
    (to clarify, I mean ONLY the Sectoids. the Idea they are used in is valid.)


    and these are precisely why I am deliberately waffling on the Emperor. he is very much the "Big Good" of the setting...by being the one being of sufficient power that is actually in humanity's corner. The problem is that Emps is both an Arrogant Jackass and completely and utterly Self-Righteous, which WILL rub Satori the wrong way. The benefit of them working together would be massive...but the issue is getting them to do so, as they are very much opposed ideologically speaking.
     
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  6. EntropyEnginear

    EntropyEnginear Experienced.

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    I could see the two working together after sucking it up. Maybe a few plans in each corner’s backup plans to deal with the other. But even Emps could see how teaming up with the MC is the only way forward when the chaos gods are stronger then ever, his kingdom can honestly be referred to as a kingdom of rot, and with various peer opponents in the galaxy starting to move about. The question is if at any point the two can become friends or would the just become grudgingly allies. Not whether they’d work together or not unless chaos manages to really screw the first few meetings..
     
  7. Aedenvuur

    Aedenvuur (Verified Nigerian Prince)

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    This sounds like a pretty tough decision between what is right and what is easy. For both the character making the decision and for you as an Author. Not sure which is which since we'll only find out about it after you write it. Best of luck!
     
  8. Logos01

    Logos01 Not too sore, are you?

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    Honestly I doubt the strength of Chaos would sway the Golden Corpse much. He'd already anticipated that happening long before the Heresy.

    The primary problem with the idea of Emps cooperating with someone is that he spent 30,000+ years always having the biggest big dick energy in the room by at least an order of magnitude. To the point where the closest he ever came to an equal in that entire period was by spending a thousand years optimizing clones of himself.

    Then along comes some upstart with weird soyboy ideas of compassion and cooperation and equality? No. This is obviously an inferior mind whatever stolen gifts have been appended to him. An infant with childish notions. He will have to be educated if his gifts are to amount to anything, for he lacks the breadth of vision and the discipline to be anything other than a hazard without being ruled by the iron fist of wisdom and experience.

    Best to force him into Compliance early, and allow him to grow into his role. A thousand or so years of having his mind sculpted by the will of his better would be the foundation of a true servant of the glory of mankind. Satori could be given the freedom to think his own thoughts after being shown how to be a better man for that period.

    </EmperorThoughts>

    People are always tempted to see the GEoM as a "good guy" in the setting. And he is intelligent, wise, insightful, and powerful. Basically the ultimate Patriarch. He's also merciless and an unrepentant tyrant who is utterly incapable of conceding even the smallest amount on the smallest issues. That iron will has kept his soul from fracturing on the Golden Throne for ten thousand years, but it's also what made him a monster. (Remember; when he wiped out all religion, he also genocided all adherents of atheistic faiths as well. That's what Compliance is.)

    There are no white hat factions in 40k. And Adam-Revelation was definitely no exception.

    That all being said, I can't imagine bringing Emps back to life would actually be a bad thing long term. You'd just have to do so in circumstances that precluded the possibility of him ever having a chance to exert authority or control over you. This would make cooperation a non-starter, but just getting him to eat his own dogfood and clean his messes while you do your own thing?

    That's absolutely a sane strategem for a late stage Celestial Forge operator.

    You could use ADVENT officers or psi troopers instead; I just tend to avoid XCOM2 in my references because of butthurt about retconning everything after the base assault in the first game.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
  9. Frescko

    Frescko Queen of Silver

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    Eh by that point the MC will be basically immortal and seeing how the Emperor is also immortal it would be best to work out a good relationship for long term stability. Perhaps never BFFs but a mere working partner relationship between the two isn’t viable long term for the success of humanity. So either the MC or the Emperor would make a effort to change their personality for the betterment of humanity. They would probably both change instead of just one of them. For example the Emperor setting aside his pride and caring for the emotional side of humanity while the MC becomes more ruthless and uncaring of said emotional side. Of course they would still fall back into their old habits but being friends is just better for both of them long term
     
  10. Frescko

    Frescko Queen of Silver

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    while true, the Emperor isn’t a idiot. This is head canon, but I personally see the Old Night ripping apart all his idealism left as he could only watch as humanity’s alien allies turned their backs on them and all the other shit going on. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Emperor was slowly losing his humanity as he aged, which I personally see hitting a point of no return during the great crusade. So with Perk Fiat involved fixing the Emperor wouldn’t just be on the physical or spiritual side but the mental side, fixing him to beyond his best state, which means at his kindest and most ruthless despite the contradiction. One reason why I see him hesitating to kill Horus was despite being roid’ed up on chaos juice Horus at the time was the closest any human had gotten to be a “equal” to the Emperor in their state of being. So the MC who can’t only reach that level but surpass it? He would be over joyed, so while a healed version of him might try manipulation, it would light and more guiding then outright manipulation
     
  11. Cheetored20

    Cheetored20 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Well that was an interesting interlude! I don't know what that last bit was about though? Like what's a Palatine?
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
  12. Logos01

    Logos01 Not too sore, are you?

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    IIRC Emps planned for the Heresy to happen. The only part that went wrong was that it was Horus and not Guilliman who betrayed him.

    That's how cold blooded a figure we're talking about. His vision included the wanton slaughter of tens of trillions of people from the very outset.
     
  13. stads

    stads I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    nice chapter thx for writing it
    will be interesting to see if the mc can talk the sister into being loyal to him now that the sister see's what is going on
     
  14. ATP

    ATP I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Inquisition at their best.Why they think,that those sisters would found anything? Not counting what Mechanicus would do to them.Mechanicuse is more important for IoM that some Inquisitors,so trying to stop them was grave mistake.Well,those Inquisitors who survive would learn something.

    P.S it seems,that SI get new cute waifu candidate - Arikia Vanalyn.Why i do not get her,snif,snif? Maybe becouse she kill me on the spot ?
     
  15. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    Might as well address some of these while I'm here.

    This right here is the kind of shit that would not be countenanced by Satori in any form. you do not just let thiat kind of thing happen unless you have no other choice.
    As for the Xenos allies, a lot of them actually stood by Humanity until death, but they are not remembered the same as the ones who turned their backs on humanity when the chips were down. not all of the xenos were evil, but they were cut off.

    Arikia is a loyal Sister of Battle, and has no intention of changing that. This does not mean that she cannot see the places where the Imperium can stand to do better and strive towards it.
     
  16. Logos01

    Logos01 Not too sore, are you?

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    It gets worse when you realize he was basing it all on Warp Prophecy visions he'd received over the millennia, on the assumption that he was too Golden Phallic for Chaos to trick him.
     
  17. Acolyte

    Acolyte Know what you're doing yet?

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    This feels like a very underreaction. It's a freaking full STC.

    Billions of PDFs should be mobilized to go into the wastes. Martians warships should be hanging in the sky blockading any flights.

    For a full STC the mechanicus would just straight up conquer this planet and just tank the consequences.
     
  18. PinkShadowReader

    PinkShadowReader Finding Joy with Writing

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    Thanks for the chapter!
     
  19. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    All true...if it was known about.

    And don't think for one second that the Mechanicus is stupid. They have a plan, and it is being executed.
     
  20. ATP

    ATP I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    When all what Inquisition could do was send few sisters to their death.Mechanicus are cargo cult,but,at least,competent on their technological level.
     
  21. Nimeroni

    Nimeroni Getting sticky.

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    One thing I've enjoyed in your story is that no faction have been stupid so far. Blinded by an Outside Context Problem, yes, but not stupid.

    I can't wait to see what's the Mechanicus plan.

    The inquisition is trying to act discretly so that other Imperium factions (or even the Xenos) don't learn about the full STC actually on the planet. That's why they are not using their authority to grab the full PDF for their search, through it's likely they were the one that tried to stop the Mechanicus by using the governor as a mouthpiece.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2021
    lamashu, Slayer 10321 and Cheetored20 like this.
  22. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    Oh. Good. I was doing that right, then.

    I have made a point of actively trying to make most factions if not intelligent, then at least not blatantly stupid in their dealings. You have seen this with Chaos trying to take advantage of an Outside Context Problem and their attempts to eliminate it when it wouldn't play along.

    The Sisters really want nothing to do with this mess, but their hands (or, at least, Palatine Valencia's) are being forced by circumstances. Other factions, like the Imperial Fists Space Marines, are being deliberately blind to the situation until they learn more. The mechanicus' plan will become apparent soon enough.


    In other news, What places and planets would you like to See Satori and Co. visit? keep in mind that the timeline is finicky at the best of times, and they cannot be everywhere.
     
  23. Nimeroni

    Nimeroni Getting sticky.

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    First, disseminate the STC on a bunch of worlds (preferably with a non warp FTL system added in) to uplift the empire, then Cadia, then the Eye of terror. It's time to pay back Chaos in kind.
     
  24. Omni

    Omni Not too sore, are you?

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    Isn't there Shards of the Emperor out in the Galaxy?

    The Star Child
    The Sensei
    The Perpetuals
     
  25. ATP

    ATP I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Why help bloody idiots ? they would waste it.Finf planets which do not belong to IoM and uplift them,craeting Human Federation.And come with powerfull army and fleet to save Cadia,and then gave lesser STC to Astartes and progressive cargo cultist.
    Giving it to average Mechanicum or Inquisition change nothing.
     
  26. Threadmarks: Chapter 15
    Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

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    Harry once again awoke at dawn, and proceeded onto his self-imposed training regime. It wasn’t too much: some pushups, situps, and squats both to check range of motion on his arms and legs, but also to work out his core muscles, then a brief and invigorating run to get a bit of cardio in as well. Oddly enough, his prosthetics seemed to be improving along with him as he did his exercises, something that he planned on asking Satori about at one point or another, but it was largely unimportant right now.

    The only other addition to his morning exercises that was out of the ordinary from his previous normal routine was the magical practice he had woven into every aspect thereof.

    Doing Situps? Focus on accuracy challenges.

    Doing pushups? Speed challenges galore.

    Running? Keep control over an increasingly larger amount of magical orbs and bullets, and shoot them as well.

    And all of that was before he even got around to doing his actual magical practice with Rico. The stuff really was fascinating to work with, and even now he could feel that his mana control was growing in leaps and bounds. This, of course, only spurred him to push even harder, going so far as to do minor experimentation on some applications of mana that hadn’t been known or tested just yet. So far, he had managed to work out (by accident) an odd form of slowing mist that, according to Rico, affected time in a small but noticeable manner. He and Rico were still working out applications for its use.

    Another, and far more basic, application was a basic enhancement suite. Normally this would be limited to physical attributes only, but nobody had told harry that the mental enhance was impossible, and he had come up with a set of enhancers for the mind to go with enhancements for the body. The mental boosts were being carefully tested before he was allowed to use them again at any real level, mostly because nobody wanted him frying his own brain because his control slipped or something, but all the complaints and ribbing he’d gotten over that had been good-natured.

    Part of how he’d worked out that mental enhancer of his was due to the current set of spells he was practicing, which allowed one to acquire and process data quickly from a known source. The original was a utility spell that Rico had been hard-coded with for some reason, designed to work on old books and texts. Harry’s modded version of that same spell could access digital databases with enough practice and finesse...a level which he was not quite at, yet, but he was getting there.

    For today, the plan was for more fast accuracy practice, using a series of manually controlled mana orbs to juggle an object as many times as possible. It was a good exercise for both control and awareness, and he tended to run it often. Currently, he could run about six of them at once, while still being able to focus on other things, and his current record was twenty minutes before he lost his focus. Today he was going for seven orbs, and twenty-one minutes.

    “Alright, today, we’re going to be working on your defense, namely Barriers of all kinds, and getting you set up with some personal protection as well.” Rico stated from his usual perch, watching Harry’s training with a wary eye. “I would like to get you into at least a Barrier Jacket as soon as possible, but if you are up for it and can get the sequences right, I have no issue with letting you work with Knight Armor and its derivatives. Any objections so far?”

    Harry nodded, realizing that he would have to focus on yet another mental partition as well as keeping his current amount plus one going. It was downright fiendish on Rico’s part--perfect for his training plans.

    “Alright. You know of the basic barrier spell equations and applications. You may begin when ready. I’ll explain the differences between a Barrier Jacket and Knight Armor while we work.”

    Harry took the end of the sentence as his cue to begin, and started forming a basic round shield out of his mana, focused on his hand. The style he was using did not lend itself well to the standard spell circles that were common with such things, and the resulting shield was little more than a circular blob of mana. So far, so good: usually the hardest part of doing these tasks was shaping the mana to the desired form.

    Rico started up his explanation as Harry got settled in with his shields, and started pelting it with magical bullets as he did so, to do a form of strength testing. “So, shields are exactly what they say they are on the tin: they shield from attack. The version you are practicing with right now is designed to be created anchored to a part of one’s body. The more common version of the shield spell is generally set as either an all-around defensive field or a planar defensive screen that is usually anchored to one direction based on the caster. Larger Bunker-type shields can be anchored to fixed points in the environment, creating defensive and even strategic opportunities there as well, though they are usually immobile once cast.”

    Rico chose that moment to toss out a stronger bullet than normal, and Harry found out the hard way what happens when a shield breaks. It was not a pleasant feeling, but he’d been through far worse over the years, and Rico would speak up if it was anything important. He moved to reset himself as Rico continued his lecture.

    “These are just examples, mind: Hybrids of these exist, and many of the shield spells have been tweaked to fit one user or another’s personal style as they advance their skills. I know that some have taken the all-around defensive bubble and created a good forward screen out of it, and even more have managed to create good capture tools with their shield utility. There are even those that have taken the art and made it offensive in use, though they are rare to see.”

    Rico seemed to be drifting again, probably digging back into some kind of fragmented database or another. He still kept up the barrage of bullets as he did so, and another of Harry’s shields broke as he flubbed the power boost for a moment. He simply reformed the shield and moved to try again.

    “Further along the path of shields and defensive measures, you have the more advanced applications thereof, most notable being the Dimensional barrier and through it the gateway to the art of Sealing. Dimensional Barriers are exactly what you think they are from the name: barriers that can block access to, and defend against attacks from, other dimensions, though that second part is mostly theoretical in normal mage combat, and the spell itself is usually deployed in an area denial function by shunting critical personnel and infrastructure into an enclosed space. I have heard of other uses of it as well, but I have no relevant data.”

    Another shield popped on Harry’s arm, but he kept going.

    “As for the Sealing arts...they are extremely specialized, and generally used to quell and control powerful magical devices that have gone out of control, in the individual use. There are also larger, more...structured uses of the art for bigger projects as well. If you are interested, we can eventually walk that path together, but I’d have to recreate the discipline from scratch. It’s one of the few that I have no real data on, other than that it exists, and is related to barriers in some way.

    “Moving on to the meat of the discussion,” And Rico shattered another of Harry’s shields with a particularly nasty bullet this time, more powerful than anything he’d seen to this point, “we have the barrier jacket. This is simultaneously the most advanced and most simple expression of the field, in that barrier jackets are effectively a personalized and layered set of shields over your own person. They have the ability to be customized in both appearance and protection as needed and necessary, and can handle a variety of situations and environments with ease, and a little configuration.” Rico took the time to deliberately shatter the shield that Harry had been holding up for quite a bit now, and kept going.

    “I should note that Barrier jackets are considered the “standard” for a mage’s protection when in the field. There are also alternative spells that perform a similar task, to varying degrees. The first, called a Hazard Jacket, is specifically designed for use in...hazardous environments. It is not strictly tuned for combat usage, but it can work well enough in a pinch, and the ‘load’ for the spell is much lighter than that of a standard jacket, leaving more space for other tasks. In particular, the Hazard Jacket is optimized to be used without the need for a device by even the most unskilled of mages. You are better than that, however.”

    Harry decided now was a good time to ask about it. “You’ve mentioned these devices before, and you seem to think that most casting would be difficult without one. What are they, exactly, and why are they needed?”

    Rico nodded. “I was wondering when you would ask about them. Devices are casting aids for mages, that, under normal circumstances, would take up the brunt of the load of working the calculations of a spell in order for one to cast it. They are designed to bond and synchronize with a partnered mage and assist them in their mana manipulation operations. In a very real way, they are the much more advanced versions of the operations orbs that Satori creates and uses as a focus.”

    “So don’t I need one for all this, then?”

    Surprisingly, Rico shook his head. “No, Harry. The device is meant to aid the caster, not to be a crutch. There are those who have the skill and talent necessary to push further than even those bonded to a device and master magic with only their own will and mind. You are proving yourself to be one of those, and I refuse to cripple you with reliance on a device when you are advancing so quickly without one.”

    Rico chose this moment to go for another shield kill, finding himself surprised that it took two bullets to break Harry’s shield now. He didn’t dare go further with the power settings, as past this point the spell became increasingly lethal.

    This was good progress.

    “In any case, if you do insist on having one, I can talk to ‘Tori and see what he comes up with for you. Otherwise, don’t sweat it, and just keep pushing forward in your training. “

    Harry mulled over the topic for a moment, and then nodded. “Makes sense. Continue your lesson, please.”

    “Right. I just explained Hazard Jackets...and you know about barrier jackets. Now we get to the third, and generally most powerful, type: the Knight Armor.

    “Knight Armor is to a standard Barrier Jacket what a Barrier jacket is to mundane kevlar. Quite simply, it is stronger, more flexible, more maneuverable, and overall superior to a Barrier Jacket in nearly every way. The only tradeoff here is that normally the spell is a rather heavy load to the caster, and most cannot support it and still do something else. For my personal variation of the spell, it is significantly more efficient...but that is the same for my Barrier Jackets as well, so that is something of a wash.

    “Like the Barrier Jacket, the Knight Armor can be configured to whatever form you wish. Unlike the Barrier Jacket, there exists an option to incorporate actual armor, or a reasonable version thereof created by the defense fields, into the protection, which is part of what lends the spell it’s name. The other is part of the history of its use, which is currently unavailable to me.

    “I should note that my personal variant--and the one that you will be learning, should you choose to do so--is a significantly advanced and refined model that incorporates some additional protections that were believed useful over the years. Fortunately, the code was modular enough that I was able to port over into a modified Barrier Jacket template and rework it from there, but I prefer the Knight Armor.”

    Another attempt at shield breakage, and five bullets required this time. He was almost there…

    “So, then. After hearing this, have you given thought to which of the jacket spells you would like to learn? I will note that you may learn both, or all thee, if you wish, and mix and match the various features as you see fit. I made sure to keep my spell code modular for that reason, even if it hurts efficiency a bit.”

    Harry found himself contemplating for a moment. From what he’d heard, there was really no question on which one of the defensive spells to learn: the Knight Armor was superior in all regards but cost to user, and that was worth the price any day. So he only real choice was whether or not he wanted to learn two, or perhaps all three, of the defensive spells. Upon deliberation, he made his decision.

    “Sure, why the hell not. Let’s get all of ‘em.”

    Rico only smiled, “I knew you would say that. I have decided to incorporate a bit of extra training into the mix as well.” with this, Rico summoned and laid out a series of datapads.

    “The data you need for the spells is in each of these datapads. You are to use your information processing spell to retrieve the data, and then implement what you have learned. No time limits. Let’s go.”

    And with that, Harry’s training continued.

    He didn’t even notice until much later that not once had he lost focus on his other training and broken his rhythm.






    Recovering Mio from the spacedock was easy. Getting her cleaned of all of the leftover Typhon bits was less so, even with her having decided to try and cheat and store the mess in her impeller field. Scanning the area thoroughly to make sure that nothing came back with her was even more harrowing, but she was, fortunately, clean.

    Naturally, the first thing she did after getting cleaned up is let me make her dirty again.

    Oh yes. Very dirty.

    Having finally extricated myself from the gooey puddle of satiated lust that was my woman, I got myself cleaned up a bit, and then went to check on the Kerbals. They seemed excited to finally be able to access a real space dock, even if the suits they were using for the task were… substandard. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw them, and had to grab Bob and Bill to do some emergency redesigns before the idiots got themselves killed. It also prompted me to get into a discussion with Werhner von Kerman, the head of Kerbal R&D. The argument...dear god, the argument…

    In any case, I had managed to “eventually” get Werhnerr’s head screwed on properly as far as safety of his damned people was concerned (“No, you being effectively immortal does NOT mean that you can skip the precautions, Werhner!!”), only then had I allowed the Kerbals into the space dock to explore. For now, they had kept away from the docking slip that had the ships (and bodies) in them. Instead, they were looking for anything appearing to be a control room, maintenance accesses, power conduits, the like. They wanted the place to have working air and gravity soonest, and I didn't blame them, especially not after what I had to force down Werhner’s throat. (the man meant well, but he had his flaws, as did all people.)

    So far, the process was hitting roadblocks everywhere, because for some damned reason all of the support structure for the relevant equipment--which was very clearly meant to be part of some kind of space station--was absent.

    As in completely nonexistent.

    The Kerbals, being Kerbals, did not let that stop them in the slightest, and were working to try and install a variant of the N-Ways Fusion plants geared for more power output in place of the missing power core. That this required them effectively rewiring the entire area did not seem to bother them, Miss Valentina (whom I had met earlier that week) even using the classic line of Drill Sergeants everywhere and calling it “Good Training”.

    Being Military myself, I knew full well what that phrase portended and stayed the hell away.

    Instead, I would be working on a combination of chakra control and further flexing out my Aura, before ending it with doing some refinements to the Amiga operations orbs. The mods weren’t anything major, just testing out some specializations and secondary equipment options, but each step was meant to grab data for the eventual mark II.

    That, however, was a ways off. Right now was practice time.

    Building up a space where I would be able to practice the various arts of the Ninja, let alone a proper Shinobi as I was, was a bit complex due to lacking fellow students of the path here with me. Sure, Mio could help if I hadn’t fucked her through the floor, but even then she’s only one person, and some of these challenges required...more.

    I had considered and discarded the idea of using the Chozo Challenge Chamber (which had a door conveniently located nearby the small medical bay tucked into a corner of the “living” section of the hangar) due to the potential for the thing to test any and everything but what I wanted to actually work on. Besides, I got the feeling that that place was for refining skills already known, not practicing relatively new ones.

    I was probably wrong, but for now I wasn’t risking it.

    The training arena was deliberately set up to feature the most common challenges that a ninja of Konoha would face, and a few more that were based around refining one’s patience and focus. The included areas for practicing the various utility jutsu, as well as the all-important techniques/control exercises of wall- and water-walking, were just as well fleshed out. (That it took me getting in some practice with earth magic to do so was only a bonus in my book: I was solidly proficient with water magic as is.)

    I settled in the wave pool, currently set to mimic a lake under a strong breeze, and focused. A small bit of effort, and I was atop the water, holding myself steady without much trouble. It still took a noticeable mental effort to do, however, and I wanted this to be as flawless as possible before I considered it combat-ready.

    It is worth noting that the skill packages for the Academy training that came with the ninja workshop were wide-ranging, covering a shocking number of skills and techniques. Particularly, it covered not only all the training that the Konoha Academy would normally provide, but a good portion of “field” experience and knowledge as well. Included in this was a wild bevy of miscellaneous techniques, a good set of combat/utility techniques that I would guess to be somewhere at or around D-rank, comprising all of the five elements, and a series of varied chakra control exercises to go with.

    The base Konoha taijutsu style was almost a formality with everything else and my own prior fighting experience, but running myself through the memories over the last few days had made me realize that it was less a style and more a philosophy of combat, meant to be a solid backing for young ninja as they set out on their missions.

    I...had suspicions about why my memories of this training were a bit more thorough than I’d expected, but it was nothing that I could investigate at this time, so I let it pass.

    Besides, this bit of training was going to do something rare, and actually require all of my focus.

    Keeping as little focus on the water-walking technique as possible, I slowly ran through each and every kata of every martial arts style I was even remotely aware of. The shifting waves beneath my feet compounded the issue noticeably, but I managed to complete the set without falling.

    And then I did it again, only faster. And when that was completed without any errors, ran it a third time, but adding in a minor reinforcement and boosting effect to my body. This time there was a noticeable slippage as my control slipped from focusing on two different directions with my chakra, but another rep cleared that out.

    Good. the warm-up was complete and acceptable for what was coming next.

    I ran the same kata one last time, but instead of adding in chakra reinforcement...I used both chakra and Aura.

    The resulting boost to my physical capabilities was downright ridiculous, all things told, and I freely admit that the first few times I tried this I ended up on my ass… or worse. But it was getting easier every time...and getting a handle on it was one of my bigger priorities I had for my current set of projects, if only so that I wouldn’t kill myself with not being used to the boost. This was extremely important, as both chakra and aura give out passive boosts just by existing, and in my particular use case, because they seemed to synergize with each other all too well.

    Fortunately for me, the acclimation process was relatively painless and brief. Soon I would be able to run through that neato obstacle course I’d built.

    I outright refused to try any form of ninjutsu with that technique after what happened last time...Mio was still mad at me about that, even though I’d already apologized quite thoroughly.

    It only took a few more prepetitions of the kata to get used to the change in movements, and from there I started pushing higher in both speed and power boost. I was going to get this down one way or the other...and then I would add in the boost OA’s and physical enhance magic to the mix as well.

    No such thing as too careful, here on Necromunda…







    Mio had awoken in the leftover puddle of that afternoon’s liaison, feeling pleasantly annoyed. The annoyance was that she was left in the mess...the pleasant from the reminder of why that mess was there.

    We’re making progress!!! He actually sought me out this time!!

    Minor victories for her heart aside, she did have other things that she wanted to get done today as well. Top of the list was working on her sync with her (still unnamed) Valkyrie Core, and practicing her Infusion ability, both of which could be accomplished while working on other things. Part of the “other things” in question was to seek out a certain Kerbal.

    She managed to find her target in the break room area of the hangar, a hastily rebuilt EVA suit resting nearby.

    “Miss Valentina.”

    Valentina, for her part, looked up from the cup of caffeinated beverage she was drinking (Mio knew it wasn’t recaf, and Satori had confirmed as much, but was very curious where they were getting the stuff from) and greeted her with a tired smile. Apparently the Kerbals had been working harder than expected.

    “Ah. Lady Mio. Apologies for the...mess. We’ve been working a pretty big project now that you went and cleared out the spacedock.” She took that moment to stretch out a bit, and a few pops or loosening joints echoed in the room. “Anyway, what can I do for ya?

    Mio took the unspoken invitation and sat down. “Well… I have a pressing matter recently that I feel you could help me with--”

    “Just tell him already. You only hurt yourselves by dragging this out, you know.”

    Mio was taken completely aback at the sudden interruption, and had to painfully fight down a megawatt blush from forming at the content thereof. There’s no way that…

    “Yes, you two are that obvious, we’ve all been watching you dorks dance around each other for weeks now. Seriously, just accept the inevitable and let it happen. You’ll be happier for it.”

    Mio was fighting desperately against herself at this point, cold logic warring with emotion as her heart tried to soar, even as her mind demanded more answers.

    “T-That wasn’t my question ,but thank you for the vote of confidence” The lie was so transparent that Valentina didn’t even bother acknowledging it as such, just let it hang in the air.

    Mio took the moment of respite to re-focus and get back to the important topics. “Ah. there was also another thing that I wished to ask you about--”

    Valentina once again interrupted her. “Talk to him about your Yandere thing too. He’s more than willing to listen. Just talk.”

    Mio blinked once, more at the attempt to figure out just what the hell a “yandere” was supposed to be. A quick lookup should get her all of the informat...ion…

    Oh, Omnissiah…

    The description was meant for the plain, stereotypical example of what was clearly a character archetype. But unlike others in this situation, she knew what she was looking at.

    It wasn’t completely correct, and the behaviors attributed were far further on the extreme end for a lot of things and reasons, but that “archetype,” was her. It was a direct hit on all the critical points.

    And there was no use denying it, she’d known about her own tendencies for decades by now. Of course, she’d long since learned to channel the murderous rage onto the targets that deserved it (which was far easier than most would expect, because pretty much all of the lost partners she’d had over the years were a direct result of either grave betrayal by an outside party or chaos influence, necessitating a swift end in either case), and the obsessiveness was something that she’d been working on for years and had managed to mitigate, but it was still her.

    And apparently everyone could see it, and He still loved her anyway.

    Well then. That settles the major topics…

    Mio cleared her throat as a brief segue before changing topics. “Anyway, I was planning on working on the spacedock some more, with the intent to get a good look at the ships within. I’m not fully trained as an explorator, but I was far enough along to be but on secondment for the task nonetheless. I’m expecting to find some really interesting stuff in there.”

    Valentina surprisingly did not call her out on the subject change. “Eh. what we find is what we find. You two will probably want to rebuild the whole thing anyway, just to make sure that it “works right” or something else--hey, are you okay?”

    Mio hadn’t heard anything of the last part of that sentence, though, as she was trapped within her own memories as another power worked its way onto her being. The things she’d seen...magic, technology born of that magic, skills and craftsman and so many things that were utterly anathema to the Imperium as it was...and even the varied people of that strange land, from things she would have believed to be myth, to creatures she swore were fucking Eldar, to what looked eve like Squats or Ratmen, both groups of abhumans not having been seen in the Imperium for decades at least.

    But it was the strange power welling up in her mind, and the training in how to wield it, that captured her attention. It was very much similar to the powers of a psyker...and yet nowhere in her experience had she ever felt or seen anything that even remotely resembled the Warp.

    That all of this was tacked onto a skill package that was already a game-changer in and of itself was just ridiculous.

    “...Yes. Yes, I am fine.” She finally responded, after Valentina had tried getting her attention for at least two minutes. “I just have a bit of adjustment to do. The forge likes to drop odd things at odd times for us.”

    Valentina nodded. “Trust me, I know the feeling. That’s how we ended up here, as well. We love the place, though, and the boss lets us experiment all we want anyway, so it’s fine for us. Now, why are you giving me a look like I’m about to be a guinea pig?”

    Mio chuckled. “Because, you most definitely are. So, Valentina…” and here Mio leaned in close, just for the effect, “how would you like to learn how to make enchanted items?”






    Oof.

    Alright, that one hit like a goddamned freight train, and with as little warning. Seriously, I almost fell off of the wall, man!

    I felt something similar to a feeling of apology before it faded, as well as a notice that something important was in high security. I’d look it up later. Right now, there was something I needed to check.

    The newest set of knowledge to hit my mind was the secrets of what was needed for ordinary people to craft magical enchantments on D&D-style equipment without needing any magic, as well as efficiency techniques that could cut the time needed for most crafting processes in half. This alone was major, as it would allow the Kerbals (and later other allies) to work with some really high-end stuff on the magical scale without actually needing any magic, (which was a big deal when everyone was afraid of the Warp and what resided therein) and also let him do the same with Thoth. Which meant that he would finally have a proper inroad into studying and improving upon magical effects.

    No, what I was interested in was the memory engram and ancillary skills package, which had a class pack attached...all of which were Psionic.

    Like, holy hell was this huge. I had been stressing over a way to actually get my psi talent trained up to something usable, and here it is, just out of the blue, waiting for me.

    There were three classes contained within, and what felt like the potential for more if I was willing to put in the time to dig into them hard enough. The Soulknife was something of a given, as I had been semi-aping that class for a bit just after the hellstorm, and was working it into my combat routines as I went along to keep myself on point. Psion I also expected, though I noticed that my memories for that world lacked anything looking like a specialization on the various disciplines. Nothing that I was worried about, as it just meant I was more flexible when needed.

    No, the one that caught my attention, and told me flat out that maybe there was more going on here than I was aware of, was the last one: Vitalist.

    Which I knew fully damned well was a third-party class created specifically for the Pathfinder version of Psionics, which was also third-party. I’d played enough of them in my years of tabletop gaming, after all.

    The upside was that it was possible that the other classes ran on the same (very much improved) rules as the newer version, if they even had rules at all. The downside was not as much of a real downside when considered properly: I was effectively at level one, which meant that I had to actually put in the work, time, and effort to gain my phenomenal cosmic power...just as I had been doing from day one, for most of my skills. So nothing new there, at least.

    This did mean that I had yet another power source to train up, but the good part about psionics is that it’s a purely mental art. I could assign a few mental partitions to working with it and still get in some decent training...although I would have to find a way to not break the partitioning when I was trying to focus on chakra. Shouldn’t be too hard, with how my control is coming along.

    Wait. IDEA.

    There was a technique in Naruto that was almost pure chakra control, and had been explained to hell and back as part of the training montage/arc of Naruto himself. I could use that, here.

    The fact that the Rasengan is arguably the most powerful technique in the series that wasn’t locked behind a bloodlimit was certainly a plus.

    Ugh. I was gonna need some water balloons, though. And a rubber ball…?

    Bah. think about it later. Right now, it was Amiga time.






    To my surprise, the workshop was occupied when I got there.

    “Alright, you’re doing fine. Next step is to visualize the pattern you will want the energy to follo--MOVE!!”

    The small explosion that occurred was only mildly surprising, considering that Mio was over there. Normally she’s better about stuff like that.

    “Yeah, I am, but teaching this enchanting method is kind of new to me, and while Valentina is doing well enough, failures...tend to go boom if not caught fast enough.”

    Valentina looked up from where she was attempting to clean off the soot marks from her face. “It’s really interesting, in theory, but getting it to work right is a complete pain in the ass.”

    “It doesn’t help that we’re missing a lot of the items that would make the process simpler, simply because they don’t even exist here. We’re going to have to work around that one way or the other.” Mio’s sullen voice added in.

    All I could do at that was blink. “... Huh. I’d have thought it would be a bit easier and less explosion prone… guess I was wrong. I’m having Thoth look over the process as well; maybe he can shed some light on it when he’s done.”

    This time, it was Mio who blinked. “Wait, you can just do that?”

    I snorted in amusement. “Of course I can. Hell, it actually solved a problem I was looking to fix, in that Thoth normally isn’t geared to work with magic and magical systems. I’m thinking of ways to add in the rest as well, but that might take longer, or at least some playing around with the hardware...should be fun, really.”

    I started setting up a workspace for myself as the two continued cleaning up. “Anyway, what brought this on? I’d have figured that I would be bugged by Bob about this stuff, or maybe Werhner somewhere down the line. Valentina doesn’t seem the type.”

    Mio’s amusement flowed back to me through our link. “It’s part of why I asked her in the first place, as a proof of concept that anyone could learn if they bothered to try. Besides, she accepted on her own, so it’s not like I’m just dragging people along.”

    Oh, really? That had garnered my interest, but I would let it be. If Valentina wanted me more involved, I’m sure she would let me know. Besides, Mio wasn’t about to let her get hurt, anyway--she was very...possessive about her friends and loved ones. Not that I minded much, as it translated into her being more physically affectionate with me than anything else.

    “At least try to keep the explosions to a minimum, then? I’m gonna be working on some new orb prototypes over here, and sometimes odd vibration can screw with the process.”

    That both of the girls were chuckling at me was not a good sign. “No promises.” Mio finally whispered.

    ...I’ll take what I can get.

    Getting a new frame set up for the jewel housing was easy enough to do; the parts were barebones simple and didn’t require anything important. I set up a group of these shells for the mods I wanted to try, and set them aside as I got around to building the guts of the new operations orbs.

    I wanted to test out several options for the orbs themselves, first and foremost being a modification of the omnitool so that it functioned with and within the orb itself. A potential second involved hardware communications gear. A third involved some specialization and optimization work, mostly as a curiosity piece, but potentially useful for other potential mages as either training tools or for certain kinds of work.

    Putting them together was neither hard nor complex. The latest iteration of the mana reactor design was being used here, this time with an integrated capacitor in the reactor housing. The actual processing unit was the same as always, but had a riser connection to allow for interlinking between the actual orb and the omnitool hardware as well.

    Final assembly was about three minutes, mostly because I was being especially careful with the process. Testing was going to be a simple affair, just working up the orb to a standby state and then testing the omnitool interface to make sure it worked the way I wanted it to.

    “Whatcha got there?”

    Mio, of course, got curious. From the looks of it, her and Valentina were taking a break from the teaching session to take a look at my project.

    I saw no reason not to humor her. “This is a potential mod to the operations orbs that adds in an omnitool to the mix. I have a few others I wanna test out too, but they’re more curiosity pieces than this one.”

    “And I’m assuming that this is the testing phase, then?”

    “Yup. You coming, or you just gonna stand there?” After all, I was already moving outside.

    Mio started as she realized I was leaving her behind. “Hey, wait a sec. I wanna see this!”

    Naturally, this drew a small crowd, as the rest of the Kerbals drew around, and even Harry and Rico showed up from their corner of the hangar to watch. I wasn’t expecting the crowd, but it wasn’t a big deal, it was just a small test, anyway.

    With that, I spun up the orb--

    It was only pure, instinctual reflex that saved me from the disaster that happened. That, and Mio being herself.

    The orb spun up, and then almost immediately went completely out of control as something glitched out and everything went sideways for a moment, the orb glowing dangerously bright and extremely hot.

    I tried to use manual control. Nothing worked.

    I tried to do a forced shutdown. It actually made it worse.

    Hell, at the last, I even tried to pull together an antimagic field out of pure base principles just to stem the tide...and even that fell apart at the seams.

    Mio, on the other hand, just snatched to orb out of my hands and tossed it as far upwards as possible as she could.

    The explosion deafened and blinded everyone, and the shockwave was enough to throw everyone to the floor, even through Rico (and surprisingly, Harry) throwing up shields to block the wave. Somehow, the interior of the hangar was and remained unaffected.

    I looked up dumbly at the space where my operations orb used to be, completely dazed. I know for a fact that those were not supposed to fail like that. It wasn’t supposed to even be possible to fail like that. The fuck?

    Mio gave me a look. “Whatever it is you are building, you now need my input. No exceptions.”

    Harry and Rico voiced their agreement.

    I didn’t even bother trying to argue the point. Not after that.






    “Alright, I’ve checked over everything in the blueprint. Nothing in it should have failed like that. Nothing. I don’t get it.”

    I was just finishing my re-inspection of the design document for the operations orb, and, as to my surprise, nothing actually stood out to me as something that would fail in any way like what just happened.

    It was really annoying, though.

    The others had left not long after, assuring that I was still safe and in the capable hands of Mio, who all but vowed to keep watch over me as I worked. I wasn’t complaining, as Mio was both pleasant company (and damned good eye candy) and a solid engineer all her own.

    Mio grumbled, sitting on a stool nearby. “Well, look again. Something went wrong, and I wanna know what it was.” Oddly enough, she didn’t even make an attempt at preening like she normally did when my thoughts turned towards lewding her. She was actually taking this deadly seriously, which concerned me for a moment.

    She suddenly snapped a finger and looked up from her pout to face me. “We’re being stupid. Don’t look at the blueprint, just think about what you changed from the previous model. What was different? Check there first and foremost.” And with that, the concern vanished. Mio was just fine. It was, of curse, replaced with self-annoyance.

    I kind of wanted to kick myself over my oversight. It was literally the first rule of general maintenance. ‘In the event of equipment failure, the most recent part changed is the most likely culprit, especially if the change was recent.’ that orb going up must have thrown me off my game more than I’d thought.

    “Alright then. Here, I’m sending you a copy of the ‘prints for both the Amiga I and the changes.”

    Mio’s humming as she received the data was soothing to me in many ways. That she continued humming that odd tune of hers was a relief, and took my mind off of the incident.

    Together, we identified the likely culprits...and the only changes were the newest version of the mana reactor, and the omnitool hardware. I had no reason to think it was the omnitool gear, so I rechecked the mana reactor plans.

    “Ah. I think I see the problem here.”

    I looked over at my Dragon, curious as to what she had found.

    She simply smiled sadly in my direction. “The Mana reactor needs to be redesigned. You have it working very well, but it has absolutely no fault tolerance built into it whatsoever. This isn’t a bad thing, when you can get the initial mana charge going into it, but the omnitool gear makes things complicated. There’s just enough of a resonance here, here, and here,” and she pointed to three places, one of them almost directly inside of one of the capacitance cell of the reactor itself, “that the reaction can and will go completely out of control once the initial startup happens. Getting the reactor started up first would alleviate the problem, sure, but then it breaks the instant you expose it to a mana less environment or strong enough antimagic field.

    “In fact, I would suggest making the housing for the orb itself bigger, so you can stay with the external capacitors that you can actually properly shield all of the power generation properly. Or~” And here her tone turned playful, “you could try out that design for the hybrid generator that you have still kicking around over on the counter over there, hmm?”

    I glanced over at the prototype of the Hybrid photon reactor and shook my head. “Sorry, but that was slated for a different test entirely. I wanna get this worked out before I try adding in more new tech.”

    “In that case, they this.” and Mio handed me a newly built operations orb, with a redesigned mana reactor inside being the only change from the previous prototype. “This should work...or at least, not blow up in your face like the last one.”

    I was inclined to believe her, considering that this new orb was reinforced heavily, to the point that it was actually larger than the original by nearly a full quarter. I didn't bother asking when she’d built it; with all the spare parts sitting on the workbench I was using, it would have been trivial for her to put it together.

    This time, the test went off without a major issue, the reactor spinning up properly without any faults and powering the orb’s systems to full capacity. This time, it was the omnitool that was having issues, with the interface not working correctly, and the various extruder components and things being completely in the wrong spot to work correctly. Overall, it was a mess, but unlike the previous test, at least it worked for it’s intended purpose.

    “So, basically I’m going to have to redesign the omnitool in its entirety for it to work correctly with the orb...or redesign the orb to work with the omnitool. I’m tempted to do both, just in case one fails to work properly,”

    My grumbling and general bad mood was interrupted by a simple kiss on the forehead from Mio. “Don’t worry about it. We have time for you to iterate properly, and integrate the rest of the stuff you think will be needed into the next revision. Personally, I think it’s time that you got that hybrid reactor online, and then we need to go digging into photonics together.”

    I paused for a moment, considering something. “Weren’t you working on something yourself? How are you going to finish your--”

    Another kiss, this one to the lips, silenced me. “None of that. I told you: no exceptions. You are not working alone anymore. We’re going to explore that path together, you hear me?”

    I could only nod in agreement. She was right, after all, and I was not about to ignore actual wisdom from my own woman.

    Mio’s grin turned a bit more somber. “And speaking of that particular thought, we need to talk…”

    Ah. she was finally wanting to bring that up, huh?

    “Mio, I know all about your inner yandere. It doesn’t scare me, and it never will. Stop worrying about it or else I will force the issue...and make sure that you lose at least a week as a result. You’re fine, and I love you for it, so you’re stuck with me until you no longer want me. And seeing as you are, at least mildly, yan, that means I’m set for life.” I made sure to plaster the smuggest grin I could on my face just to rub the point in.

    I could feel it. She was barely, barely restraining herself from jumping me right here and now, and screwing me utterly senseless, but somehow she held on to her senses. I was tempted to push her that last bit of resistance and let her snap, but I decided against it, simply due to wanting my own project time to be uninterrupted as well. The fact that I could feel her fighting herself on just letting go after noting that thought of mine was just icing on the cake.

    “So then, my dragon, what do we have next on the agenda? I was wanting to get some work in on our new psionic talents, and get you started on working that ninja training into your style…






    Somewhere, on the planet Necromunda. A message was received. Under normal circumstances, this would be completely routine, but the contents of said message prompted a response that was out of the ordinary. As a result, certain actions were taken.

    Elsewhere and some time later, another message was sent, this time via astropathic choir, to a location that was expecting such a message. The transmission thereof was completely expected and routine. Only the contents thereof were of import, and even then only to certain individuals.

    At this place, another message was sent, via another astropathic choir, to a certain location. The recipients of that message immediately began preparations for what was to follow.

    And Somewhere, out in deep space, that same message was partially intercepted by something else, and was decoded all the same. This ship, which was at one point headed on what could only have been described as a mission from god, suddenly changed course.

    And for better or worse, the events that would shake the galaxy to its very core were set in motion.








    And completed. There’s one, maybe two more chapters of this slow stuff and easygoingness for the crew left to get through before they face their next challenge. Downtime is always so much fun, after all.

    Perks for this Chapter:

    -Resupply Ship/Fog Warships (Arpeggio of Blue Steel) (400CP)
    An autonomous resupply ship that gathers materials to re-arm Fog vessels. It has no ability to fight on its own, but is capable of filtering nanomaterials from sea water (on an industrial scale) and mining heavier elements from the sea floor or beaches. Using these materials, it can manufacture missiles, gun rounds, and other expendable weaponry, as well as provide some ability to refit Fog ships (so long as the repairs don't require a dry dock). It has a non-sentient Union Core. With some modification, it could resupply and repair other types of ships besides Fog Vessels.
    Fog warships are advanced, more like starships than seafaring vessels. Built of nanomaterials, they can change their shape and structure when needed, though they seem to prefer the shapes of WWII-era ships. For example, their turrets instead of holding normal cannons instead house photon cannons, or their hulls open to fire their super graviton cannons. Ships comprised of nanomaterials must be controlled by a Union Core, or similarly advanced computer system. If purchased by a human, or as a second ship by Mental Models, these vessels are run by a Union Core (free) which does not currently have a Mental Model.
    ~~~This one seems different from the other kinds of Fog ships, focused more on supply, repair, ability to modify ships and manufacturing of ammo and nanomaterials for use. I suggest this and the Unusual Class to be left behind~~~


    -Arcane Emulation (D&D Eberron) (400CP)
    To enchant is to create the greatest of items. To enchant without magic is pure bullshit, but is doable with certain tricks shared only amongst the most secretive of crafters. Thanks either to learning from them or to discovering these abilities yourself, you can craft magical items without the need for related spellcasting. Further, you know all the little tricks to minimise the resource costs of your items, which whilst minimal by themselves add up to maybe halving the total time and resource expenditure per item.

    Psionic Power: A strange phenomenon commonly recorded amongst the Kalashtar
    people but present in almost anyone, albeit rarely, Psionics differs from spellcasting in
    that, instead of needing to wave your hands and chant something in one of the various
    dead languages, you simply focus on the effect. It’s also slightly different in that magical
    effects and Psionics don’t perfectly interact and can bring about some strange effects.
    Taking this perk either allows you to convert one existing class to a Psionic equivalent,
    with all of its perks applying to the new Psionic variant, or to take a single Psionic class
    of your choice, with the common ones being Psion (a dedicated caster), Psychic Warrior
    (a martial warrior that uses Psionics to augment their fighting), Soulknife (a lightly
    armoured warrior that projects blades of raw Psionic force from their hands) and Wilder
    (someone who channels Psionic power into rash outbursts of chaotic effect). Due to their
    rarity, unless you use a pre-existing class as a template, Psionic classes do not have any
    dedicated perks. This may be taken multiple times. [100CP]



    Unlocked from the Queue:

    -Schizo-tech Expert (Arcanum: Of Steamworks And Magick Obscura) (400CP)
    Technology advances in leaps and bounds, which may leave the enterprising inventor with some compatibility issues. After all, upgrading the old model of steam-powered Automaton with an electromagnetic hydraulics system may give it the dexterity to paint works of art as much as cleave your foes in half, but that's hardly a success if the optical systems receive interference and rend your servitor blind! You've become exceedingly adept at integrating multiple kinds of technology, especially when the various parts would normally be incompatible. Using different energy sources, blending outdated design principles with the latest advancements of the future and more are all within your grasp. Incredible!
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2021
  27. heavens eye

    heavens eye Know what you're doing yet?

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    This isn’t threadmarked
     
    caspian1a likes this.
  28. Cheetored20

    Cheetored20 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    So was that message intercept the ship of fog or something else?
     
  29. Morkail

    Morkail I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Thanks for the chapter. He and his little group will have to keep to the shadow even if they give the “good” people of the imperium tech said people would burn them alive if given a chance. Mankind as a whole is pretty fucked up in this universe.
     
  30. omegasrevenge

    omegasrevenge The Epic of Alexander (Ultimate)

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    Amazing chapter as always, good work.

    Though it does feel weird to me when you have the Celestial Forge in a sci-fi setting and you spend your time on small scale stuff like Aura and Chakra and weapons designed for infantry combat, when you have access to building spaceships that can annihilate continents down to bedrock in a single shot.
    If I were in the protagonists shoes, I would find a way to shield against Chaos, and then immediately go completely Von Neumann on everyone and their Tyranid mothers. Why would I waste my time on training Aura and Chakra when I can build a quadrillion of murderbots a day?
    Or, in case I don't find a reliable way to shield against Chaos and have to stay in a singular ship of my own design, why would I care about Aura if my spaceship can fire a single time and obliterate the entire Chaos Armada?

    The power of the Celestial Forge is endless exponential escalation. You don't need to escalate exponentially all that much before things like Chakra and Aura become useless because you have a turret that can identify every single enemy in a radius of multiple continents and shoot them through hyperspace.
     
    elec0, edboy49, Slayer 10321 and 4 others like this.
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