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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.

  1. Kris-71854

    Kris-71854 Not too sore, are you?

    Jul 21, 2020
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    That sort of sounds like Earth at first glance. It's far too unpopulated though. In WH40K, there should be massive amounts of ships and stations around the system. An unknown ship showing up? They would be detected and folks sent to blast them and examine the remains.

    I sort of hope that the EoM gets a mixed blessing from his recovered STC. I can see him getting healed up, but now he has the new imperial bunny ears and a fluffy tail that is for plot/humor reasons just part of his being now.

    This was a mostly good chapter that showed that our various characters survived. The MC, his girl, and Rico are still unaccounted for. That may be what the Kerbals are detecting.
    Spireo, Cheetored20 and Slayer 10321 like this.
  2. Xiosdestro11

    Xiosdestro11 I trust you know where the happy button is?

    Aug 30, 2017
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    Cant wait for someone to get a look at those valk core and go ‘what the fuck’
    Slayer 10321 likes this.
  3. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

    Sep 27, 2018
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    Going to add this in here as a just 'cause.

    I had intended to put in a Chaos section of the interlude...except I couldn't get into the right mindset to actually write the fuckers in their home turf. It's harder than it looks without relying on TTS depictions, after all...especially when Rico managed to give one of them a rather solid black eye. needless to say, this will be addressed later on. I am open to question regarding Chaos interests on and around Necromunda, however.

    Glad to see that some of you are paying attention, though.

    As for my Depiction of the Emperor...it was tough deciding how to show him. He is an asshole, true, but (in his mind, at least) this is because he alone of all of humanity knows the path to escape the trap of Chaos and ascend humanity into something beyond their influence. Trying to do that while watching everything you have built burn to the ground around you as the very people you strove to save turn their backs on you or slaughter themselves for stupid reasons tends to make that kind of outlook even worse. It's not something you just shake off, and thus his calling Satori out was, from his end, justified. of course, he is unaware that Satori is a massive outside context problem that potentially can deal with the situation, given time...his power is not so vast that it can be spent to do such things.

    That being said, that does not mean he is not paying attention, just that he is busy elsewhere.

    EDIT: it would seem that I also forgot about the Eldar in the mess. they are sneaky like that. I will adress them when they reenter the Fic again...and they will, don't worry.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2021
    Nimeroni, Spireo, Gulping and 5 others like this.
  4. flenser

    flenser Getting sticky.

    Sep 24, 2020
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    Good follow up. Though does this mean we get to see a Mechanicus Jihad against the abominable intelligence using Emperor?

    Next, a couple spelling/grammar notes:
    Truly, were they that decent?

    I'm assuming we aren't speaking litigation here.
    Slayer 10321 likes this.
  5. Bear_Mint

    Bear_Mint The LewdBringer. The Ass Ponderer.

    May 29, 2020
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    Considering that Emps had over 40 thousand millennia worth of experience and positive reinforcement on his beliefs. Not that surprising when he doesn't like it when someone else tries to help in their own way or propose an alternative.

    Still, if Satori had more ramp on his tech development, then maybe he would have realized that Satori is a OOC problem that not even the Chaos Gods are aware of or capable of influencing.

    Regardless, they are on a mobile forge world with a Dark Age AI onboard. That is as much tech ramp as I think is humanly possible with 40k's diminished capabilities.
  6. Marcrawsky

    Marcrawsky Not too sore, are you?

    Mar 7, 2020
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    A millennia is a thousand years so "40 thousand millennia" would be 40000000 years and were in the 42nd millennium right now I think.
    I agree with the rest of your comment though.
    Silverwing15 and Acerrrr12 like this.
  7. ATP

    ATP Versed in the lewd.

    Jun 24, 2020
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    Emperor is in denial - nothing what happened is his fault,only others.Wery human attitude.

    Which sororitas he get ? 6 are with Harry,and others were not rogue and have no STC,so getting them gave him nothing.Well,unless he decide in starting personal harem.FINALLY !!!!!!! Emprah,go for it,everybody on QQ is cheering for you!

    Kerbals are in space,but safe,and MC with waifu in the same system and need help.Who is coming after him ? Chaos,or Speranza ?

    P.S Emprah was right about MC taste.Dragongirls are much better then some lousy foxboy!
    Acerrrr12 likes this.
  8. ImmortalEmperor34

    ImmortalEmperor34 Making the rounds.

    Sep 7, 2021
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    Thank you for another great chapter
  9. Kris-71854

    Kris-71854 Not too sore, are you?

    Jul 21, 2020
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    I'd say it is far too late to go unnoticed by Chaos. If he had rolled the right perks, they wouldn't have been able to see him. They've got the not fixed time existence thing going on. They could see his various major changes and decide nope got to stop him. When was the best time to do that? And thus we have Choas play their cards here.

    He could end up doing what Joe did and make fixed areas that may be immune from them. I'm not sure if he could do that by room, building, planet or ship. If he can't, once he gets to a certain level, he'd come to their notice again, and again.

    The behind the scenes guys want to corrupt him and get another piece on the board. That's their first reaction to him and Rico. I'm wondering when they'll just assign the nearest chaos forces to keep hounding him. They know it wouldn't work, but it's the best that they can do to slow him down.

    For those with any sense, it should be obvious that this guy will be a major player due to the quality of his various enemies, and how they are currently scaling up against him.
    Slayer 10321 likes this.
  10. Bear_Mint

    Bear_Mint The LewdBringer. The Ass Ponderer.

    May 29, 2020
    Likes Received:
    Regardless, at least Khorne probably likes him. Giving Tzeentch a black eye would most certainly gain him a spot as one of the Blood God's favorite mortals.
    Acerrrr12 likes this.
  11. omegasrevenge

    omegasrevenge The Epic of Alexander (Ultimate)

    Jun 4, 2020
    Likes Received:
  12. Threadmarks: Chapter 19
    Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

    Sep 27, 2018
    Likes Received:
    “I keep having this….dream…”

    Those words, that memory that was attached to them, kept echoing through my head as I drifted.

    Intellectually, I could recognize that I was maybe half-conscious at best, and heavily concussed and potentially bleeding out at worst. I had no frame of reference for anything around me, as my mind was far too foggy for me to even focus on my senses.

    And all the while, that same phrase kept repeating itself in my head…and bringing with it, things.

    Thoughts and feelings, impressions of a place, of things seemingly beyond comprehension. Of an offer made to a desperate man, who accepted with the hopes of making something better for himself. Hopes that were quickly dashed when the true nature of the work that he had given himself to was revealed.

    The memories, for that was the only thing they could be, become jumbled at that point. All I had were faint echoes of things that my mind was actively trying to suppress. Horrors and abuses that pushed the limit of decency, pleas for mercy unanswered, and a desperate struggle not to be consumed by the darkness, even as it writhed all around him, within him, even as he struggled in vain to break free.

    And throughout it all, that phrase kept echoing, like some kind of mantra.

    It was my seeking to understand why that pushed me back to full consciousness.

    As I’d suspected, I was drifting in empty space on prior inertia, my Frame’s impeller doing wonders for deflecting Micrometeorites and having somehow adjusted to absorb a great deal of stellar radiation as energy in place of its currently fluctuating reactor. A quick check of the critical numbers showed that life support was stable and would hold out more or less indefinitely unless something acted to change that. Refocusing my still blurry eyes told me very little, as I was drifting in what seemed to be a slow tumbling spiral, and had difficulty getting a good read on anything. Attempts to adjust my attitude to better scan the environment resulted in failure because of system irregularities that were still being rectified.

    At least that explained why my head felt jumbled and confused. Thoth was elevating his core processes more than he usually did, and using the increased power to clear out the masses of junk data that had deposited itself in our systems. This, of course, meant that the sensor suite was disabled until Thoth could ensure proper functionality without…issues.

    Speaking of issues, that reactor instability was…weird, though. Nothing I Knew of was capable of messing with a standard fusion reactor like that, let alone the extra power sources built into the frame proper as befitting a Chozo battlesuit. I’d have to take a closer look at things when I found a safe harbor…assuming that there was one nearby.

    A rotation brought me a new visual of something I had thought I would never see again. The Earth stood out in all of its glory, its silent partner Luna floating alongside it just as serenely. Even from this distance, they were hard to truly miss, and yet they were a welcome sight for my eyes.

    A more surprising sight was what looked like some kind of structure sitting in space between me and the homeworld. I didn’t get enough time to get a proper look, but it very much seemed artificial.

    Guess I had a target to aim for after all.

    [System recalibration completed…process elevation confirmed and activated. Please give me a moment to assess your vitals, Satori.]

    Ah…that must be Thoth. Guess that I was banged up enough to trigger the failsafes, then.

    [It’s not as bad as you make it seem. Mostly residual effects from being so close to a direct font of chaos and unreality without sufficient shielding. That will take time to bleed off. The rest is, by our standards, superficial damage and will be rectified momentarily.]

    Ugh. figures that even when they fail, Chaos still manages to make life miserable.

    Anyway, back to priorities. I need to get to solid ground ASAP, if only to get my bearings straight and sorted out. Also, I need to find Mio and Rico, too….assuming there was something for me to search with.

    [Mio is currently unresponsive. Her Core was, until recently, sending me updates on her condition, but something has blocked transmission of data. Last status was that she had stable vitals and no permanent injuries. Estimated time until complete healing was approximately three days without outside influence.]

    [Please be advised that the last known source of her locator beacon was either on or in the object we are drifting towards. Please give me a moment to restore sensors for a better look.]

    I noted very clearly that Thoth had made no mention of Rico. I was very certain that was not an omission.

    “Thoth, can we get attitude controls back first? I’d like to stop spinning, if at all possible, and the Mark Ones could be useful in figuring out what our situation is.”

    [Priority shift acknowledged. Executing now. Additional note: there was an active sensor sweep from an object from near the system edge approximately three seconds ago. Sensor profile is a rough match for a modified Imperial “Gazer” Auspex suite reconfigured for long range scans.]

    “So we might have someone who got dragged with us as well?”

    [Inconclusive. Scan was both brief and extremely low-power. I only noticed it due to similarities with the sensors of the ship we were working on, tentatively dubbed Rising Phoenix.]

    [Attitude control restored. Impeller reconfiguring for active control. Be advised that Reactor instability has grown to 30%. Power draw will be unreliable. I am configuring for ambient power draw and battery operation. Please stand by.]

    Fuck. I needed stable ground now more than ever.

    Adjusting to keep my front towards our mystery object was easy. Alliance training included zero-gee components as a mandatory at all levels, and included a zero-gee combat course for N7 quals. Open space navigation was nothing to worry about.

    The problem was that station I was moving towards. Now that I had a better look, I recognized it as a space station right off, though the profile of the place was troubling me greatly. I could swear I recognized the place–

    “–don’t worry. We’ll take care of everything once we get there. You won’t regret this one bit–”

    I flinched as another memory dislodged itself from my mind, one that I was fairly certain that I had never actually lived through. What the hell was going on?

    The station was getting closer as I pushed in more acceleration, the outline becoming clearer to my unassisted eyes. The station looked like a damned skyscraper in orbit for some reason, with a horizontal piece towards the bottom that seemed to anchor the whole mess and rendered the place like a cross. There were some thin objects that seemed to surround the place as well, but I had trouble making them out from a distance.

    Overall, the place seemed pretty sleek and stylish, but also somehow…corporate.

    Also, for some reason the mere sight of the place set me on edge, as if there as something…off.

    [sensor recalibration complete. Be advised that sensors capability is reduced to 10% operational capacity until more coherent repairs can be effected.] Thoth actually seemed annoyed at that, almost as if the fact that his systems not being at perfect operation all the time was an insult somehow. I ignored it in favor of a scan of the station.

    And what I saw made my blood run cold.

    The thin objects I now had a good visualization of as part of a magnetic containment system for blocking stellar radiation–something I admitted was a nice touch, but also very dated and easily damaged due to not being integrated into the main hull. Fortunately, there was very little in the way of damage to the gridwork of panels that comprised the system.

    No, it was almost everything else that was in shambles.

    I was getting a clear read on multiple groupings of scattered debris all over the place, along with something that looked like it could have been a hull breach in the station itself. Several of them, in fact, in varying sizes. The clouds of debris were interfering massively with my ability to scan anything at a distance, and especially from beyond the artificial magnetosphere, but the little I could get painted a dismal tale.

    [Reactor instability now at 50%. Recommend shutdown until problem is addressed.]

    Fuck. out of time.

    “Do it.”

    Main power going down was a jarring experience. Whereas before, I was all but invincible, my Impeller deflecting the worst of interstellar radiation with contemptuous ease, now I could feel the drain deflecting and shielding that radiation had on my hastily constructed battery packs. The tool was frightening to behold, and I immediately pushed Thoth into implementing as many ways of scavenging power as possible. The just as immediate mental response was not encouraging.

    [estimated time until proper countermeasures 48 hours.]

    And the station loomed ever larger as I got closer, somehow taking on an even more sinister air.

    It was another hour before I was close enough to really be able to get a good viewpoint with my poor mark one eyeballs, and the sight only confirmed what my sensor sweeps had shown. The exterior of the station was not in a good shape. Loose cargo everywhere, at least two major hull breaches, what looked like an honest-to-god Space Shuttle in an odd holding orbit…it was a mess.

    What the hell had happened here? And why did I have the distinct feeling that I already knew the answer?

    Movement drew my attention. It was one of the panels for the now confirmed to be magnetic containment system, and there was what looked like a sign attached to it…one that apparently was meant to be powered, as it was blank.

    Oh well. Probably not important anyway.

    I placed myself at a stop relative to the station itself, just to get a better look at the place, and the sight was actually rather breathtaking: a rather nice mix of functional aesthetic and pleasing form that somehow made a quite enjoyable whole. Granted, the damned birds perched all over the place were tacky as hell and screamed ‘Corporate’, but I was willing to let that pass.

    The good part about this is that I had a good run on both the shuttle that was sitting in that holding pattern and to what looked like a series of access airlocks for the station itself, though I was unsure if they were operable to begin with. Another quick sensor scan detected nothing too far out of the ordinary, even despite the severely degraded quality, so I made the call and moved in.

    It was two minutes late that I saw the other side of the shuttle…and the wispy yellow-orange substance that was threading around the access hatch.

    The sight of that substance sent a spike of raw panic through my system, one that I nearly couldn’t control. It was only Thoth locking me out of my own controls almost immediately that prevented me from creating another tumble in the sudden panic attack. The complete and utter jumble of memories didn’t help in the slightest–I was deluged in flashes and snippets of half-remembered events, feeling and emotions all connected to the primal fear of even seeing that thready shit.

    The little bits that I was able to keep a hold of were even more confusing: an old pod of some kind, completely saturated in the stuff. A box, or some kind of cage. A fight for my very life against…something. And a...face? No, a body. Body type, really–an indistinct person in a red suit.

    This was definitely a problem. I was having reactions to this place as if I should know DAMN well what it was, and yet consciously I had no clue whatsoever. Whatever this place was, or whatever had happened here, though, one thing was clear: the place was dangerous. I would need to keep my guard up at all times.

    The sunlight happened to splash off of something, just then. Illuminating a logo just enough for me to see. It was a Stylized T, inside of a circle.

    And the clear lettering below that logo: TRANSTAR.

    And just like that, I now knew exactly where I was.

    Talos I.

    Home base of the Transtar corporation’s Neuromod development efforts…and site of the Typhon outbreak that had ultimately ended up nearly exterminating humanity.

    My feelings on the matter could be summed up in a single word.


    Calling this a disaster was putting it lightly.

    The Typhon were absolutely the kind of threat that could not be safely contained if they got even the slightest foothold in the wider galaxy. Worse, this was apparently at the height of the outbreak, and actual lives were on the line while I sat here desperately trying not to panic as memories that were not entirely my own forced themselves into my consciousness.

    Fine. I was here now, and from the looks of things, in a position to actually make a difference before things go completely to hell in a handbasket. More to the point. I was picking up Mio’s locator signal from somewhere inside the station now that I was close enough for the passive detection equipment to pick it up…which was enough of a motivator to get me out of my half-contained panic and moving.

    Because I wanted my goddamn woman back.

    Needless to say, that was easier said than done, especially with her being unresponsive and the Typhon running about.

    Think, think. This place was a goddamn video game in my home reality: what did I remember from it? What was important?

    Oh. Right. Station access was possible, still, as long as I could get to an airlock. Hacking the things should be easy enough for me to pull off, and from there I’m back inside a proper atmosphere and in a place with potential sources of spare parts to fix my shit.

    Best point of access for that would be one of the engineering workspaces, I think…

    OH! That’s right! Talos had an entire section dedicated to research and development of advanced technology called the Hardware Labs. I should be able to get in from there, and then it’s a super easy access to multiple sources of spare parts, and with a minimal Typhon presence, if I remember correctly.

    The only other place that made sense to try and get in from was Psychotronics, and that place was a deathtrap for the unprepared. I know that some other places had airlocks as well, but they were potentially in places where I would come under enhanced scrutiny right off the bat from survivors, which I didn’t want until I figured out what was going on…

    …and if Morgan Yu was still alive.

    The station was big enough that trying to find Morgan to get answers was going to be…difficult, especially if they were active. Might be better to stay in one spot…

    [Enhanced scan complete. I have located multiple lifeforms on the exterior of the station, one of which is emitting a transponder beacon.]

    Fuck, that was one of the survivors, wasn’t it? And in a spot where they were very likely to run out of air, no less. Was it possible for me to help, or not?

    [Analysis indicates that it may be possible to construct an oxygen catalyst or deep scrubber for the standard Transtar suits that will extend vacuum operations time. It is theoretically possible to adapt this modification to a suit in use. Further modification will require suit life support systems to be disengaged.]

    So, in theory, I could help whoever that was without exposing them to too much danger. That was nice to know.

    I had managed to float inside of the Magnetosphere rings at this point, and the destruction wrought by the Typhon was ever more clear to see. As much as I wanted to go full force in this situation, I simply couldn’t, for reasons both environmental and practical.

    Environmental simply because I had no clue about how Talos would stand up to Valkyrie-grade weaponry used in anger, and really did not want to find out in a way that created even more hull breaches in the station, thus endangering more people. Practical because I was not on a rather strict power budget until I figured out what the hell had my reactor on the futz, and how I could get around the issue without making it worse. While this did lower my total potential offensive firepower, I was still very much lethal in my own right…if not necessarily super-lethal like a freaking Panzer Kunst practitioner or something.

    [Several of the lifeforms are currently headed towards your location. I am also detecting a group of mechanical devices that are in the vicinity. Exercise caution.]

    Eh? Is this just the Typhon moving around the exterior like normal, or is this something else?

    In either case, I move to take cover in the shadow of one of the ‘wings’ of Talos, underneath a support beam for the exterior shell. If nothing else, this should let me slip by without causing too much trouble–

    [Unknown signal interference detected. Attempting to compensate–error, unknow–E##@RR($]

    I would have said something. Really. Except my mind was pure fire. Something was attacking us, attacking Thoth, and through him myself–and doing a damn good job of it. Had Thoth not been a literal piece of advanced biotechnology, I would likely be dead right now.

    Instead, I’m getting all kinds of cascade errors as my suit’s systems go completely haywire. Thoth had (somehow) managed to disconnected everything truly vital from his core processes, but that still left him under attack, with my mind taking the (admittedly lessening) strain as he attempted to decouple my mental processes from his own.

    Still hurt like a motherfucker, though, but I’m used to pain.

    Movement caught my attention as something floated towards me almost sedately, an aura of power surrounding it that I could somehow feel was connected to the foreign influence over my Core and Frame. A series of mechanical devices shaped roughly like sloped briefcases floated alongside it, red lights sinister in the black of space.

    Naturally, I counterattacked HARD. most systems were down, and pulling weapons out from storage was contraindicated, so I went for the default backup weapons and applied my own psionic talents against this thing…no, I remember these fuckers now.


    Either way, it did NOT like the application of psionic claws and Tail blades to its person, and moved to evade while the damned briefcases swarmed me. Calling it chaotic didn’t even do it justice, as while I was trained for zero-g combat, that training did not cover going full martial artist on a motherfucker in microgravity.

    I decided that I would need to correct that later on, after I had survived the mess that I was in at the moment.

    The briefcases were trying to use fucking flamethrowers on me, but were having severe issues with the Impeller field blocking the main portion of the damage and absorbing most of the heat generated for additional energy. The problem, however, was that fire was notoriously inefficient as an energy medium, and the recovered energy was minimal compared to the damage it was doing to my drastically weakened Impeller field.

    The damn Telepath wasn’t letting up either, throwing around electric shocks that were doing their own part at breaching my defenses, while continuing and even increasing the assault on Thoth’s systems, forcing my impeller strength and control ever lower as the two of us were forced to lower sync simply so I could fight.

    For my part, I was going completely balls to the wall, using my psionic armaments to rend and tear apart anything that got close enough for me to do so, and using what little attitude controls I had available to me to maneuver. The Briefcases–Operators, I remembered–went down easily enough, as they seemed to be rather suicidal in their charges against me. It was that damned Technopath that was being a little bitch about things, constantly moving out of my effective range and dodging around my blows so that I did minimal damage. It was frustrating to the extreme.

    I grunted in pain as yet another electrical attack hit home, this one managing to break through the almost paper-thin impeller to get at the delicate systems within. The suit still had its own internal energy buffer, but that attack still managed to rip off at least 40 energy from even that, after being dampened by the impeller.

    It was my frustration that managed to save me. I was so utterly sick and tired of the damned Typhon fucker picking me apart by degrees that I just lashed out at it…and in my thoughtlessness, unconsciously threw a magical bolt at it, which cored the fucker straight though. I watched as it struggled to remain alive and active, before slumping and falling apart into its constituent pieces, along with leftover Typhon bits.

    Thoth, of course, immediately restored full functionality to all systems and got to work on a countermeasure based on the available combat data.

    Or tried to, anyway.

    [We have a problem. My combat estimates show that these ‘Technopaths’ have abilities exceeding my own in terms of cyberwarfare, mostly through attacking via an outside vector–]

    “Psionic. The entire species is Psionic.”

    [--through psionic means, of which I currently do not have any means of countering. Furthermore, I was forced to vastly decrease all forms of effectiveness in my attempts to circumvent access to my core systems. Had I not done so, it is likely that this Technopath would have compromised my core functions–and through them, yourself as well. This is unacceptable.]

    I rolled my eyes at the comment. “No kidding. I’m assuming that you have a plan that I’m not going to like, then?”

    [As reduction of partner effective synchronization is one of the few methods available to combat the influence of these Technopaths, I will be using this method as an initial countermeasure. Unfortunately, the drawbacks of this method include degradation of impeller field strength and efficiency. However, this is the only viable option that I can see that will prevent you from being compromised.]

    And in the process, offer up my damned partner as live bait. “And what about you? I’m supposed to just let you fight those things alone? Let you be compromised by them in my place?”

    [Incorrect. The reduced synchronization meant to free up resources to combat any future incursions before and as they occur. Utilizing the available resources, I should be able to further analyze and adapt to the attack vectors used by this particular Typhon organism. In addition, the reduced strain will allow you more clarity of mind with which to fight. It is my intention to allow you to engage and destroy any typhon encountered with minima interference, until such time as I have fully adapted and/or integrated a solution into my core self.]

    [I am sorry I cannot do more.]

    I sighed. Of course he’s bummed out. We got completely blindsided by these things, and they are almost tailor-made to rob us of our most useful equipment.

    On the other hand, magic seemed to work wonders against the damn thing, despite my having had to do so completely on instinct because my brain was so scrambled.

    “We’ll figure out something and make it stick, Thoth. Don’t worry. In the meantime, just keep an eye out for any mental influence on my person as well. I want to be able to get off a spell or something similar against anything that might prove to be a problem.”

    [Understood. Be advised: I have completed a basic structural analysis of the Talos I station. The usage of heavy weapons or integrated Valkyrie weaponry is not advised. Recommend low-to-moderate power magical attacks or securing weaponry on-site in order to prevent station damage.]

    “Understood. Now let’s get inside before more of those things show up.”

    [Displaying path to nearest internal access lock.]

    I didn’t even have to hack the airlock to get inside the station. Probably had been opened from the other side already–I remember that being a thing regarding security procedures for the station in the game. The reality was, so far, matching expectations.

    And thus, I entered the Hardware Labs, the main tinker workshop for the station. As expected, the place was deserted, and I could not pick out even partial Typhon presence near my location.

    This was good. Gave me time to reset myself.

    “Thoth, you got a read on Mio’s signal yet?”

    “Negative. I have been unable to locate her beacon at this time, primarily due to ongoing countermeasure efforts. I can confirm that she is onboard the station.”

    Yeah, this was a thing, now. Thoth was stuck to verbal response until we had a working counter for Technopaths. While it sucked, massively, as one of the biggest benefits of a Valkyrie core was the sync, I would make do.

    I took a more thorough look around the area. A lot of what I saw matched up with what had been presented in the game: the main floor of the machine shop with the satellite repair bay was closed and sealed, with the sparking panel controlling the mechanism clearly visible even from my location; the spaces towards the back of the floor where the radioactive storage tanks were located, including the one that was leaking; even the forward ‘lobby’ area along with the workstations set on the platforms to the side. A glance upward showed that the elevated powered catwalks and lifts were there as well.

    Naturally, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, and it was being stubborn in not arriving.

    A quick check above the equipment cages (which were still blocked off) located the main treasure of the shop floor, and in fact Talos I in general: the Recycler and Fabricator systems.

    The Recycler itself was an absolute marvel of technology: capable of breaking down any form of matter into its constituent parts, which would then be fed into the Fabricator to create anything that one could think of…or at least, anything that they had the fabrication plans for, I fully intended to take advantage of the presence of this technology.

    Placing a hand on the Recycler, I began a scan of the machine itself with my powers. And I was not disappointed in the slightest. The knowledge of the technology flowed into my mind, and through me into Thoth’s databanks as well. From what I could see, the recycler’s process involved a trick of quantum-state conversion that was actually quite novel, allowing for changing even complete trash into forms usable as raw materials simply through changing the composition of the matter therein. There were limits, of course: the output matter would conform to one of three types, be it Organic, Mineral, or Synthetic, but beyond that literally anything could be converted.

    Including the human body, much to the embarrassment and pain of a certain engineer who found this out the hard way.

    It was quite fascinating…and I could already see several areas where my current tech knowledge could be used to do drastic and incredible upgrades to the entire process. I held out from actually trying to implement anything just yet, however, as the Recycler was but one half of the equation.

    I walked over to the other half next. The Fabricator was an equal marvel to the recycler: instead of breaking down matter into its constituent parts, it took said constituent matter and reformed it into finished goods. It was literally only just shy of a replicator in utility, and in some ways it was actually superior to that fabled technology, despite being, in effect, a giant 3D printer.

    My assimilation of the new technology complete, I let Thoth go to town on it with the extremely limited process power he was not using for our protection and moved to my next target. There as a terminal there, with access to the Talos I internal network.

    The place was a goddamned Gold Mine.

    Sure, the security was ridiculous. ICE (that’s Intrusion Countermeasures Equipment for those in the back) that to a normal hacker would be blacker than the grave and slick as glass, a monster to frighten all but the most determined or foolhardy.

    I, however, was far from normal by any means. And the Talos network, for all its vaunted security, was quickly and unceremoniously made into my personal bitch in short order.

    With that, all but the most secure terminals and stations were open to me, with the notable exceptions from the system being the main data vault in Deep storage and the secure systems linked to the specialized mainframes down in Psychotronics. (Yes, there was even a network map left in there by an administrator that helpfully noted which systems were on separate networks or had specialized secure storage. How convenient!) The real treasure, however, was the fabrication plans. Blueprints for everything that could be and commonly were created by the Talos Fabricators were now within my grubby little hands.

    Including the fabrication plans (and license) for neuromods.

    I already had a viable workaround for the Neuromod problem, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that I now had the official plans for the Neuromod proper…and nowhere on the design document did I see anything like the misimplemented ‘safety feature’ that I had heckled and ridiculed when I was researching my own implementation of the technology.

    This had…implications. Ones that I really did not want to deal with at the moment.

    Instead, I used the plans to dig out several important pieces of tech and/or gear for me to repurpose and use. With Thoth in a state where he could not properly operate my Frame’s functions, the actual expressed portion thereof was a liability instead of a boon, so instead I was replacing it with tech of my own making, using the Talos standard spacesuit / uniform as a baseline. I also did a major overhaul of the ARTX propulsion system, just because I could, for use with this new suit.

    The end result was something superior in all regards to the suits used by Talos personnel without being overly bulky or obviously armored, in my own colors of Blue and Green. A quick Query to Thoth and I had the basis for my future endeavors onboard the station ready to go.

    I just had to change clothes, is all.

    Upon further review, It really should not have surprised me that the fuckers waited until I was bare-ass naked to strike. It’s how I would have done it, after all.

    Unfortunately for them, I am highly perceptive to changes in my environment, meaning that when the mimics showed up and tried to pass themselves off as my clothes, I was perfectly capable of identifying the fuckers…and then immediately going in on the little shits in (not so) minor panic. This is where I found out that normal mimics are actually shockingly easy to kill, requiring only a single good hit from me to go out like so much trash.

    It was actually kind of encouraging, really. Made me think that I might be capable of handling the station better than I thought.

    I regret that thought, now. I really do.

    The phantoms came out of fucking nowhere. One minute, nothing there. The next, suddenly there is this humanoid-shaped thing of blackness trying to burn me alive, along with a friend that liked to duplicate itself seemingly at random and leave corrosive puddles everywhere.

    Taking those two down was a bitch. Apparently, Phantoms get a LOT more of a boost in durability compared to regular mimics. It was something to keep in mind, especially as the Phantoms came in variety packs instead of just one particular type…but a bit of ingenuity, a lot of dodging, and a very judicious application of extremely enhanced physical combat and the phantoms were down for the count…with only light damage to my brand-new suit.

    My pride, of course, was in shambles.

    I could already tell this was going to be a thing that happened.


    Exiting the Machine shop only served to confirm those fears, as I had to fight two more phantoms and at least four mimics in the process.

    At least it looked like Morgan fixed the busted conduit in front of the Machine Shop entrance…

    “Systems re-integration completed. I am currently in low profile mode. Scanning local area for items of interest. Please stand by.”

    “Great. Let me know when you find something. I think I remember where the security room is at for this area, so I’m headed there.”


    The trek was simple and uninteresting. Most of the obvious opposition had tried their luck already, and had been dealt with appropriately…though I was expecting more to come eventually.

    They always do.

    The Security room was, surprisingly, unmolested, and had one of the Talos Issue PPN-8 Pistols, which I gleefully took for myself. Raiding the nearby security locker revealed that the turrets that would normally be stashed inside had been taken. A brief look around the atrium area of the hardware labs didn’t show anything out of the ordinary, so I just assumed they got picked up at some point, likely by Morgan.

    The Station chose that moment to shake violently, and for no discernible reason I suddenly had a feeling of intense trepidation and unease settle in my gut. I had the sudden urge to move, now, before something happened.

    I chose to heed my instincts and hightailed it out of the hardware labs and into the Main Lobby.

    The place…it looked…familiar?

    At the least, it was nowhere near as wrecked as some of the other areas I’d seen so far were. If anything, it looked like the lobby had barely been touched. I personally found the distinction odd, but rolled with it nonetheless. I had an objective in mind now that I was here.

    Pay no mind to the fact that I was desperately suppressing faded memories of the fact that I had been here before.

    Subvocalization was a skill that got used often when in the field on operations, and I put it to good use now. “Thoth, anything on Mio’s signal? Maybe we can attempt to triangulate the origin point.”

    Thoth, unfortunately, had no such protection, though he did keep the volume low. “Current scans yield no further useful data. I require more data for a precise reckoning. Without it, I can only give direction and strength of signal.”

    Again, unsurprised. This was kind of par for the course in this place, after all.

    With the situation in mind, I decided to give the lobby a quick once over just in case someone managed to slip by…unfortunately, all I could find was scenes of carnage as dead crewmembers were strewn around the place haphazardly. A single Turret stood watch over the majority of the lobby proper, in its place at the corner of the main lobby floor area’s right side when coming from the shuttle bay. Nothing else moved. Nothing else seemed to exist.

    I felt more than heard the movement behind me that was off. Not a second later, the Turret opened fire, killing the mimic that I had noticed trying to sneak up on me. The Turret whirred, the barrel and sensors coming to rest on their new target: Me.

    ‘Scanning target: no Typhon Material Detected."

    So I register as clean to the turrets? Nice to know. I fully intend to take advantage of that.

    Unfortunately for me, the Lobby was empty of anything actually useful to my cause. Worse, the main lift was still very much inop, meaning that whatever was causing it to malfunction was still in place. Taking that out was something I could probably do, if I could get to the source….

    Wait. wasn’t Morgan’s office up here? Should probably check it out, maybe leave a message for them, assuming that they are still alive. It was a better option than just diddling my thumbs, at any rate.

    Another noise nearby drew my attention.

    There is actually a very unique sound to the larger (and by extension more powerful) Typhon forms moving around. I didn’t notice it at first, likely because my first encounter with a Technopath was in vacuum, but it was definitely there. This sound is usually accompanied by a series of…distortions, I’ll call them, that can be felt by those with psychic or psionic senses.

    That I suddenly felt both was unnerving to the extreme.

    A quick glance around showed that the only cover from the main area of the lobby that was available to me was the office space headed towards the Psychotronics division (the sign was really helpful). Having found said cover, I watched in wait for whatever had me on edge.

    It didn’t take long for the fucker to appear. Another Technopath, who conveniently took control of both the turret that I had seen earlier and one that I hadn’t until just now, creating a rather nasty field of fire from which to harass anyone in the area.

    And the fucker itself was just meandering around the Lobby like it owned the place, doing as it damn well pleased…no, wait, that movement is familiar. That almost looks like a kind of search pattern.

    Is the damned Typhon actually looking for me?

    That question was quickly sidelined when it turned and started beelining towards my position.

    I took a quick glance around. Nothing really usable there, just these big-ass crates, one pistol with no ammo, and myself.

    Hold on a second…the crates.

    I couldn’t help myself as a wild grin broke out on my face, a spike of adrenaline running through my body as I prepared to fight once again.

    “Alright fucker. Let’s see if you can take a hit, shall we?”

    I didn’t just move, I moved.

    Speeds faster than anything that humanity had ever thought possible under its own power, reactions and reflexes on par with speeds of outright supercomputers, and a sheer sense of grace and surety that only came with a combination of raw talent and hard work.

    All of this combined into one pure moment as I hefted the heaviest of the crates next to me as if it was a tissue box and hurled it at the Technopath with all of the force of a fired bullet. And immediately flowed with the throw itself, rolling into a launch position as I did so, and then followed right behind my projectile at blistering speed.

    The technopath barely knew what hit it. The force of that crate was enough to knock it completely off-kilter, and actually push it back several feet in the process as well–which was not enough to get it out of range of my pounce. A magically-augmented palm strike was the immediate follow-up, the smack of my impact being drowned out by the Technopath’s shell buckling under the strain of the hit.

    Only for the second, more powerful strike to inflict even further damage and send it launching across the lobby space.

    The turrets turned to fire at me, but I was already gone, bouncing (or rather launching) off of surfaces in order to maintain my speed and momentum as I moved in for the next attack. A mere three bounces was all it took for me to clear the space between us, and place me behind the Typhon creature’s intended path.

    One that I then corrected in violent fashion, another palm strike sending it flying upwards to the ceiling of the space. I landed briefly on the stairs leading to the trauma wing, and then launched upwards, reaching out telekinetically to grab the very same crate that I had used as an initial bullet–and that had yet to actually hit the ground since– and whipcracked it right back at the techno, with intended results. The poor crate busted, though…

    The Typhon, on the other hand, was not in good shape. Instead of hovering around, it was currently falling from the air. Its shell was not just cracked but outright ruptured in places, the sheer power of the strikes it had been taking clear to see. It was leaking inky black liquid everywhere as it fell, and even I could see that it was on it’s last legs.

    So when I finally caught it, midair, I immediately flipped myself around and used my legs to launch it directly at one of the turrets that it had corrupted at extreme velocity.

    The impact was satisfying to hear, as was the resulting death squeal of the Technopath itself. I landed, admittedly a bit hard, in a crouch nearby, body tensed and waiting for any other surprises.

    None chose to appear.

    After that, it was a simple process to get to the turret and reprogram it.

    And just like that, the encounter was over.

    “Battlefield assessment: Typhon Organism ‘Technopath’ was unable to attack us with its abilities, likely due to the speed of the assault against it. Recommend all further Typhon of the type be eliminated with similar prejudice.”

    Thoth really could be absolutely ruthless sometimes.

    “Further assessment: current threat environment is unlikely to cause significant injury without an explicit lack of preparedness or attention on our part. I recommend we use this as a learning experience.”

    Yeah, no. “I am not treating this like a live-fire training exercise, Thoth. We have actual people in danger here.”

    “Understood. Be advised that likelihood of station personnel to trust you is low.”

    I knew that already. These fucktards are all very insular and clannish, even among themselves. It basically took a goddamn catastrophe going down for them to actually start properly working together…and even then Transtar somehow manages to fuck it up later, Ii I remember things correctly.

    But that was for another time, and another place. I still had things to do here…and I think I was headed to check out Morgan Yu’s office?

    The trip up was uneventful. I noticed that the reception area for mister VP here didn’t have a turret inside. My guess is that it was moved around to the general lobby area or something. I also made note of the multiple piles of Typhon remains around the office area.

    The door was, of course, shut and locked. I, of course, did not care, and went in anyway.

    And was surprised to see an operator inside.

    “You are not a member of the crew.”

    I blinked, the voice of the operator bringing back more memories with it. Memories of who that voice belonged to.

    Of what that person had done. To me.

    I only just barely kept a scowl off of my face. “Maybe, maybe not. Who, or what, are you? And more importantly, where are the other survivors?”

    The operator, surprisingly, responded. “I am January-2035, an Operator created by Morgan Yu. and you are?” That voice again…it kept gnawing at my memory, trying to jar something loose.

    Either way. I saw no harm in answering. “Satori Green.”

    The operator seemed to pause for a moment. “Records check indicates that at “Satori Green” was listed as a volunteer for neuromod development. He is currently listed as missing.”

    I scoffed, words coming to me unbidden. “Volunteer. Yes, but of course I was a ‘volunteer’. For everything that you do here. For all of the horrors that you inflict on people down there in that damn hole you call psychotronics. I know all about how you are feeding human beings to the Typhon down there, all in the name of harvesting them for your precious neuromods. And all of the lies that you tell people to get them up here in your little station, away from prying eyes.” I had built up a bit of steam at this point, anger clearly leaking through in my tone.

    I had no clue where this anger was coming from, but it compelled me to continue. “And even when you were warned by everyone around you that you were playing with fire, and would burn us all, did you listen? I TOLD YOU what was going to happen, directly from my own goddamn mouth after the last time you fuckers tried to kill me, and you still didn’t listen. And now, here I am, trying to save your worthless hides from the very monster that your negligence unleashed on us all.”

    A phantom chose that moment to put in an appearance…only to be outright quartered with an offhand chopping motion of my hand. “And you want to act like you can’t trust me? Fuck you, operator. I am the one that cannot trust YOU.

    “Which is precisely why I know that you can help me.”

    I laughed. HARD. “you want…heh…you want me to help you? With what, destroying the station?


    That broke the spell of whatever had gotten into my head, leaving me slightly dazed in the process. I took a moment to look at this operator, this January, while my mind was still slotting things back into place.

    “Huh. you are serious.”

    And what I saw lined up with what I knew of the games of old: January was indeed on a mission to destroy Talos I and prevent the Typhon from reaching Earth.

    My question, and concern, was why did my memories conflict with this? And why did I have such a jumbled mess of memories for this place at all?


    I was a ‘volunteer.’ They, we, were generally poorly treated and used up as needed for neuromod experiments whenever the staff felt like it, often at the direction of Morgan or Alex Yu themselves. The only reason I’d had discrepancies would have been because…neuromod removal. It resets memories. Makes you forget. Do it enough, and–

    The dam cracked. Memories that were both my own and not my own flooded into my mind, a reminder of what I had been put through.

    They had done everything to me. Carrot and stick, easy and harsh approaches. Tons of neuromods, and complete removal, all one and the same. Memories that, by the very process by which neuromods work, should have vanished when they were removed.

    Except mine did not…because I was something that they were not expecting, a find that was, for this program, beyond price: someone who was a natural human psion.

    That it only took me killing the mimics they tried to feed me to, by hand, no less than four times before they asked the question why is another matter.

    So…that explains the memories, then. Somewhat.

    I trend back to the Operator I had been ignoring during my little episode. “Alright, fine. I’ll believe you, for now. I have a few questions, though. First: I’m assuming that Morgan Yu is still alive. Where? Second, is there a record of anyone or anything being taken in by station personnel and used as some kind of test subject? Specifically not from groundside?”

    January looked at me with its sensors. “For the first question: Morgan is indeed still alive. Right now, she should be inside of psychotronics, attempting to gain access to a service tunnel to the GUTS. As for the second…Morgan did in fact discover an odd person inside of psychotronics in one of the holding and observation cells. It looked female, but with…extra features not native to humanity. She is currently sedated until such time as further investigation can be conducted.”


    Those fuckers had tried to EXPERIMENT on MIO.

    Well, I knew where I was going, then.

    “I’ll be leaving, then. Do try to stay in touch. I’ll be listening.” I stated, as I tuned as walked out of the office.

    January made no attempt to stop me.

    It was on my way down to psychotronics that I got a mental nudge from Watts again.

    Apparently, I had been too busy to take note of the forge synching up with more of its various constellations, and I now had a bevy of new abilities awaiting my approval to properly initialize.

    The note attached to them explained my first question, as well: ‘nodes were not brought on-line due to possibility of distraction during a major crisis. Right now, you are mostly safe, and should be able to handle anything unexpected.’

    Nice to see that at least someone had my back in all of this mess.

    As for the abilities in this batch? Well, there was a downright excess of the fuckers waiting for me.

    I started paging though the executive summaries as I moved along. Some of them were simple enough to get across, or would add relatively minor boosts to things that I could already do at the moment. Others, like a certain ability and knowledge to mesh with machinery, I seemed to be using already by instinct. Hell, one of them was simply a magical herb garden.

    There were two that were labeled as major doozies, though. Both called out specifically as being rather massively big deals, and for good reason: One was an entire lost art of magical crafting from a time of great upheaval in that world’s magical community; the other was nothing less than an outright revolution in information warfare. As declared by a person who all but lived and breathed the very same.

    Needless to say, I took the plunge while I still had the time.

    I’d expected some kind of vision, a note, a reminder of some kind to give me the sheer breadth and depth of the matter. Instead, all I got was a rather tame and concise memory download that contained all that I needed to know, stripped of anything extraneous to the process itself.

    Being where I was, with the memories that I now had? You’re goddamn right I recognized the warning for what it was. This place was not going to be kind to me in the slightest.

    I would just have to be unkind right back.

    Psychotronics was a mixed bag for me. Very much so, due to what I now knew about the place. On the one hand, it was the main research hub for the Typhon, built around the original Kletka facility that even now contained the original Russian space vehicle that had been contaminated by the Typhon.

    On the other hand, it was also a charnel house of flesh both human and alien alike, as ‘volunteers’ were used up in the creation of more Typhon, and the resulting Typhon then harvested for more exotic material to use in the creation of neuromods.

    That the research had also yielded some very good results in controlling and anticipating Typhon behavior was incidental to the process.

    In any case, I was here for my Dragon, after which I would decide how I dealt with the rest of the station. And the powers that be had better pray like all HELL that she is alright, or so help me…

    I blinked, suddenly aware of the movement around me, and glanced around to see that I had very much accidentally driven the local Typhon population into a bit of a frenzy, baiting them into attacking me…and dying like the chumps they were. There were at least twenty dead mimics in front of me, each one crushed to death by my own hands…and I never even noticed it happening?

    ‘Thoth, what the hell?”

    “I have a hypothesis as to the current phenomenon. You are not a typhon, yet you are also clearly of a psionic nature. Your powers and theirs are likely on a differing wavelength or frequency of some kind, causing various effects when you unconsciously tap into those powers, even slightly. In this case, your anger, expressed through what I can only describe as your ‘psionic aura’ had a profound effect on the Typhon in the area.”

    Thoth paused, almost as if he was pondering something. “I suspect that this effect will only strengthen the longer you remain onboard this station. I have been monitoring your brain activity as part of my intrusion countermeasures, and there are several significant changes occurring as we speak.”

    “I believe that your psionic power is growing.”

    “And here I am in the middle of a species that will not like that fact, and is likely to evolve to deal with it. Great.”

    I was most definitely not amused by the bullshit.

    Psychotronics was laid out exactly as I remembered it, complete with the security station being a waste of time against any real incursion or containment breach. That the two turrets here were even still operable was a miracle in and of itself.

    I hacked the security terminal more to have a direct line into the system than anything else, and called up the crew logs, putting a trace on Morgan’s locator band. As expected, she was moving around in this area, likely past the secure barrier. Unfortunately for me, that spot was hard-coded to require anyone entering the area to have a Psychoscope to even get in.

    And, naturally, Mio’s signal was coming from beyond the checkpoint. Morgan’s too, but I could care less about that bitch.

    So, the real issue here was getting past the block…yeah. I could do it…I think.

    Just need to focus on one of those cargo containers over there, and remember…

    The seals were Ram, boar, Ox, Dog, Snake, might as well do this slowly just in case…

    The case landed outside the secure barrier, with myself on the other side. A success.

    Now then, need to get to Mio and get the hell out of this deathtrap ASAP.

    The Atrium area was new. In my memories, there were only four containers for Typhon, with one being empty, that container being the one that started the initial breach. Instead, there were six, the two extras being jammed in towards the end and the elevated catwalk expanded slightly to accommodate it. I paid the setup no mind past noticing the discrepancy.

    “Thoth, we got a signal lock yet?”

    “Wait one moment…signal acquired. Matching with Talos map…signal is coming from Labs A. I will set a waypoint.”

    Thoth didn’t bother asking me to move quickly, nor would I have bothered with waiting for him to speak the words if he did. I was already moving at max speed straight to the area.

    The examination room portion of Labs A had been converted into a sort of isolation chamber, one that was separate from the live testing labs further in. Inside, on a medical Gurney, was my Mio, looking for all the world like nothing was wrong at all.

    I very deliberately forced myself to not rush to her side, “Thoth, please scan the area around Mio. I need to be sure.”

    Because this was the exact kind of trap that I would use for something that I thought too dangerous, and unless we were waaay out of pocket, Chaos was still a thing to worry about.

    Fortunately, it seemed I needn’t have worried. “Scan complete. No hostile lifeforms detected. attempting to force connection to Mio’s Core. Standby…”

    I did no such thing. Walking up to her, I gently picked her up off of the gurney, the loose hospital gown coming off with ease as I did so. A quick check confirmed what I thought had happened: her Impeller had been absorbing hits and punishment from the Typhon, preventing her from being harvested, and the humans around had likely been unsuccessful in their attempts to force matters upon her.

    Reaching into her mind, I tweaked her nose a bit, just to get her attention. A mental equivalent of a groggy slap was my response, but it had spurred her to wakefulness. A few moments later, she opened her eyes, her own violet orbs locking solidly onto mine.

    I couldn’t help but be cheeky about it. “Sleeping on the job again, woman?”

    Mio completely ignored by jab at her pride, instead taking the time to (intentionally) yawn cutely and do a little stretch, all the while making sure to stay firmly ensconced in my grip.

    “I was wondering when you would show up. Where’ve you been, anyway?”

    I chuckled. “Had to take the long way in. hope you weren’t waiting too long, honey.”

    “Naah. just a few weeks, is all. These idiots tried to “study” me, and at least one of them had to be politely pushed away from my person by Minerva here” She tapped her chest for emphasis, and I knew her to be referencing her valkyrie core “but for the most part I just took a nap and healed up from the mess that jump had us in.

    “As for you, mister…” and here she jabbed a finger directly into my face, “you do not need to be doing anything strenuous right now. I can still feel the excess chaotic energy trying to bleed out of you. Agitating that might end up killing you if you push the wrong way.”

    “Look who’s talking, smartypants. I can feel the same from you, and I know for a fact that you got hit harder than I did, despite my trying to shield you from the worst of it.--”

    “You will do no such thing. It is I who will shield You, husband. Deal with it.” The note of finality in her tone was summarily ignored.

    “So you do want that ring. I was curious about that…”

    Mio had the decency to blush, but didn’t bother to back down. “Only because you can’t seem to get your foot out of your mouth and just say it already. Not my fault you don’t want to commit.”

    Thoth had sent across the encounter data for the Typhon creatures (and especially the Technopath) that we’d come across up to this point, as well as the fabrication data for the suit that I’d designed for her. Minerva, unsurprisingly, made edits on the fly to suit Mio’s personal taste (all of them blatantly and conspicuously superficial, no less) before fabbing a suit for her to wear as well.

    All of this happening while the tow of us engaged in our happy bickering, which continued though us getting Mio properly dressed as well. (her comments on the matter will remain unstated, for personal reasons. Seriously, woman, there is a time and place…)

    It wasn’t until we were ready to leave the place that we received company. To my surprise, it wasn’t more Typhon.

    Instead, it was a Woman in a red and black Transtar suit, holding a shotgun directed in our general area. Her face was covered by a psychoscope, but the tension was clear in her posture.

    Mio simply gave one of her usual dismissive glances.

    I, on the other hand, gave that bitch a good, cold, HARD look.

    “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Doctor Yu. So nice to see you again, dear.”

    Yes, I went there. Welcome to Prey.
    As a note: things are not entirely what they seem, which considering that this is freaking TALOS we’re talking about, says a lot…but just bear with me for a bit, please. I do have a plan here, and I just need to get things worked out.

    Anyway, Perks time. The previous chapter clocked in freaking massive, and the resulting perks are therefore also massive. I’ll update for freebies later, here’s the main set.
    -Bolthole Protocol (Honor Harrington) (400CP)
    While coming up with unbelievably advanced new designs may not be exactly your forte, what is is the reverse engineering of the same. You need only spend a few moments working at something to get a basic idea of how it works, and only get faster from there. No matter how advanced or obscure the technology, you can eventually work it out, with a thousandth the time and effort it would take anyone else.

    -Forged Of Gods (Dungeon Keeper Ami) (400CP)
    The powers of the light have their own strengths of course, among those is the ability to create hero gates through which no evil may pass, you also can now create these portals, with enough preparation it is possible to create hero gates strong enough to pass a small army through. This also grants you the knowledge of how to craft weapons and items out of adamantine, a metal that is made of the remains of a dead god, and even allows you to forge otherwise unbreakable metals as if they were steel.

    -Mechanica (Ars Magica) (600CP)
    In medieval Europe, Heron of Alexandria was known mostly for his philosophical works, but he also produced extensive texts on mathematics, physics and mechanics, which inspired a group of mechanic-mages known as the Mechanicians. These Mechanicians created magical mechanical beings known as Mechanica, some of which even had human-level intelligence.
    This knowledge spread throughout much of the Eastern Roman Empire, but died out in the fifth century as a result of religious persecution. You now have the knowledge and skill to revive this tradition, being capable of building Mechanica yourself. While these can be designed to perform simple mechanical tasks, they can also duplicate spell effects, and, with extra effort, they can be awakened, granting them magic resistance, the intelligence of an average human and a personality based on their form and materials.
    For example, a mechanical snake might be deceptive and prone to telling lies, while a being made from iron may be particularly stubborn. A being awakened this way begins its life very loyal to its creator, and will likely remain that way as long as it is not mistreated. Creating Mechanica does not require vis despite the fact that they will operate indefinitely if kept safe and well-maintained. The components required for their construction are very expensive, however.

    -Neuromancer (Generic Cyberpunk) (200CP)
    You've mastered the arts of interfacing machines and the human mind, able to both design and build things to seamlessly interface with the human nervous system and the actual consciousness housed within it. Building an implant or accessory to let people access the net with just a thought wouldn't be difficult at all, neither would making sure that a cybernetic connects so seamlessly with the user that it feels more natural than their original arm. You've
    also mastered the use of such a simple if almost magical technology, not just it's construction. Combined with some programming skills, full immersion Virtual Reality would easily be within your grasp. You've bridged the gap between mind and machine, it's up to you to discover where you go with it from here.

    -Chemical Synthesizer (Hive Queen Quest) (100CP)
    This microwave sized machine is truly a wonder of modern science, able to synthesize any non-magical chemical known to man in up to 12 oz batches. Synthesizing a chemical takes roughly an hour and works via a small Tablet interface.
    * A bit underpriced for any matter creator, even with the small volume and time needed, born from lacking knowledge that ever matter falls under chemical.

    -Mechanic (Ragnarok Online) (300CP)
    While the Mastersmith socketed and improved items, the Mechanic instead focuses on machines namely the mado- gear that they are known for. Their proficiency allows them to improve machines the same way a blacksmith might improve a sword, and Mechanics with extensive experience can slot machines to accept external improvements.

    -An Adaptive Enemy (Eclipse Phase) (600CP)
    You have taken the lesson of the Exurgent Virus to heart, and have made a breakthrough in programming viruses and other malware. By combining your malware with the neural models found in AGIs, you have the knowledge to create adaptive, digital smart viruses with just enough self- awareness to value their own continued survival. These smart-viruses are a head above the usual Kaos AIs, capable of working cooperatively, and in a creative manner, discovering and exploiting new weaknesses in software thrown against them, and overcoming obstacles or setbacks in the way of their high-level goals in unexpected and new ways. Even if they altered their own programming, you always retain Administrator command privileges over them.

    -Machines, They Just Speak To Me (Firefly) (200CP)
    You have no formal schooling, but can fine-tune and repair engines with nothing but shoe polish. You don't know what the parts are SUPPOSED to do, but you know how to make them work the way you want. You can diagnose a faulty part in the power core just by listening to the AC cycle, and can fix pretty much anything with naught but a wrench and some duct tape. It may not be pretty, and it may not last long, but it'll work.

    -Grease Monkey (Bubblegum Crisis) (300CP)
    What can you fix or build? What CAN'T you fix or build? Nothing, that's what. From hyper-cars to Buma, computers to Hardsuits, with the right tools and enough time and experiments, you can build it all, weaponry included.
    Lost1, Richael, AirBreather and 56 others like this.
  13. Cheetored20

    Cheetored20 I trust you know where the happy button is?

    May 31, 2020
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    Have I mentioned I love Green and Mio's bickering? I ship them so hard, WHENS THE WEDDING DAMNIT! Also I'm surprised there are no babies yet.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2021
  14. MasMaud

    MasMaud Not too sore, are you?

    Aug 17, 2016
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    I am confused. Is he now in an another dimension?
  15. Morkail

    Morkail Shado-Master

    Apr 21, 2020
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    He got kicked out of 40k more then likely all the warp gods were somewhat aware that if they didn’t kill or kick him out he would sooner or later become a real threat. Then again the emperor just thought he was a odd Mutant and the real prize was the STC database.

    outside Talos 1 not much can threaten him in this universe unless it’s a crossover or something. Thanks for the chapter.
  16. Kris-71854

    Kris-71854 Not too sore, are you?

    Jul 21, 2020
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    Blinks. I can't really think that the Kerbals and ship went with them. If they had stayed in the warehouse they would have. They had launched and did their own hyperspace thing in the WH40K setting though. I can buy MC and his girl being sent elsewhere.

    The Kerbals and everyone was seemed to have been left behind.

    Now, I'm wondering if this is a brief visit to this setting. He could be doing the jump chain thing from here. Or somehow try to make it back to his WH40K setting. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't really try to return there.

    I know nothing about Prey. From the sound if it, they've got some mad scientists that are allowed to play for useful results. They've also got your basic early star trek space stuff from appearances.

    Doesn't he have his own STC with him? He could basically build damn near any sort of bomb. If he doesn't want that station to exist, it's gone. I'm not sure why he cares about survivors though. His girl is the only one on the station that he should care for.

    You need to tell us why any of these survivors are remotely important. It's like dropping him in Wolfenstein with Nazi mad scientists and saying, but wait I can't just blow everything up because there might be someone vaguely innocent around.

    Also, you need to describe what the local bad guys are. Were they a genetic experiment gone wrong? Actual aliens? What?
  17. Acolyte

    Acolyte Know what you're doing yet?

    May 19, 2018
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    Am I missing something here. The mission shouldn't be nearly as difficult as it is being shown to be. Hell, his nanoha barrier jacket could have literally walked through the every attack of the typhoon and be fine. He could have just teleported to Mio or teleported her to him.

    Isn't he also a DnD psionics user, I know for a fact there are multiple powers that would have helped him locate both typhoon and mio.

    He didn't even open the warehouse so he could access supplies to repair his core.

    Or probably a dozen other things he could have done that I am not remembering because he has a lot of perks.

    Look, I understand an author has to create challenges for their characters and that creating tension with the forge is hard because the MC has so much power. But this just feels like the MC is deliberately hobbling himself, which is not a fun.

    I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that maybe the MC is being sabotages by the Chaos presence inside of him or something, but he could have also purged that with his magic as well, so I don't know what to think.

    I will wait for few more chapter to see if it's explained.
  18. Ghost in a Wall

    Ghost in a Wall Making the rounds.

    May 9, 2019
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    Huh, this is interesting. Even more so given the nature of Talos1 and its relationship with morgan... I am curious how thats going to work out.

    As for why things are so difficult for Mr.Green... well, I'm curious where this is in the timeline given that the game had a really interesting twist at the end there. It would also explain why Satori isn't curb stomping things if he's helping Alex Yu with his current, ah, "experiment"...
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2021
    SyfyMovieFan and Ajlove like this.
  19. ImmortalEmperor34

    ImmortalEmperor34 Making the rounds.

    Sep 7, 2021
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    I will admit this was a good choice for the next world you really don’t see many crossovers with prey
    SyfyMovieFan and Ajlove like this.
  20. ImmortalEmperor34

    ImmortalEmperor34 Making the rounds.

    Sep 7, 2021
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    I will also admit I am curious if you will do Dead Space after this
    SyfyMovieFan likes this.
  21. RIversand

    RIversand Getting out there.

    Oct 9, 2020
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    now is this the actual truth of the game, PREY? that's the biggest question I have. for those that know, you know.

    Also I love that they ended up in another jump accidentally.
    SyfyMovieFan, Ajlove and Cheetored20 like this.
  22. prussian-granadier

    prussian-granadier I trust you know where the happy button is?

    Oct 23, 2018
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    maybe one of the conditions of the jumpchain was "no traveling to another dimension"

    and if someone does it against your will you are just forcibly jumped to another dimension
    Ajlove likes this.
  23. werebear

    werebear Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

    Nov 11, 2020
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    Ajlove and Slayer 10321 like this.
  24. Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

    Sep 27, 2018
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    Seconding this as Official. Anyone who was watching for me (or other CF Stories) in the Discord, use this link from now on.
    Gulping, Slayer 10321 and caspian1a like this.
  25. Vrenze

    Vrenze Making the rounds.

    Nov 10, 2017
    Likes Received:
    How was it hacked and why are you 'exiles'?
    Ajlove likes this.
  26. Threadmarks: Chapter 20
    Slider Zero

    Slider Zero Know what you're doing yet?

    Sep 27, 2018
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    I knew it was going to happen eventually.

    And even with that thought in mind, knowing full well that I would stand face to face with one of the two directly responsible for the vast majority of my troubles in this world (or at least the echoes thereof; memory can be funny sometimes), I still wasn’t ready.

    Not that Morgan got any inkling of this whatsoever, but still.

    The woman was dressed in the usual Transtar suit, the Red and Black coloring clearly denoting her executive status. Various small bits of equipment were situated on her person, including a GLOO cannon and one of the Security Silenced Pistols. The ARTX pack on her back was the station standard, which was still perfectly serviceable for what it was…and the Psychoscope that sat atop her head was ready to be used at a moment’s notice.

    Unfortunately, that was about all that was “well-kept” about Morgan Yu. What little of her hair that I could see was in complete disarray, obviously not having been cared for in some time. There were obvious lines and creases on her face from intense stress, marring what would otherwise be a reasonably attractive mug.

    Most importantly, though, were her eyes. Not just one, but both of them were very clearly bloodshot, the sclera almost a pure red from the excessive overuse of Neuromods. If I had to guess, The Doctor had been subjected to extreme amounts of “testing” for at least three months, if not more. Combined with the distinct lack of makeup, the overall impression was that of a haggard and harried woman completely in over her head.

    Not that I gave a damn in any case, especially with my being caught out like I was. Thus, it was not that much of a surprise that my lack of preparedness to actually deal with the situation expressed itself in an…unique fashion.

    “Hm. you don’t seem to be doing so well, Dr. Yu. Maybe you need to relax a bit? Take a load off? Get a brief moment to gather your thoughts and remember what exactly you are working towards–”

    “Enough.” Morgan cut me off with a vicious bite to her tone. I was completely unaffected, but let her continue anyway. “I have no need to listen to your inanity. We have other problems to deal with right now, dammit!!”

    And that line was just too good to pass up.

    “And whose fault is that, Dr. Yu.” I stated, voice thick with sarcasm. “I distinctly remember warning you about the dangers that the Typhon posed, did I not? And look at what happened. Exactly as I said. How so very sad.”

    Morgan was surprisingly quick on the rebuttal for someone who was reeling at the revelations coming from someone who apparently actually knew what was going on around here. Her attempts at hiding this were amateurish to my eyes.

    “And yet you have no way of actually knowing a damned thing, seeing as how you are not a part of the station crew. Honestly, I should deal with you right now and be done with it.”

    My laugh echoed through the lab.

    “As if, woman.”

    With that, I proceeded to walk out of the labs and back into the main atrium proper. Mio followed along, a smug grin on her face as she observed Morgan attempt (and fail) to actually stop me in any capacity.

    “Why are you being so stubborn, you stupid man!!” Morgan was reduced to yelling at me now, as I effectively dragged her along to the ‘B’ Labs. “We have to deal with the Typhon infestation before it’s too late!”

    “Oh, I am aware of exactly how dangerous they are. You can stop worrying your silly little head about it and just kick back and enjoy the ride.” I bopped her on the head with a Tail for emphasis.

    It was only then that the actually stopped and paid attention. Go figure, Morgan is scatterbrained. Must be the Neuromod experiments.

    Morgan eventually got around to asking the inevitable question. “...What exactly are you?”

    Once again, I decided to be snarky, because the bitch deserved it. “You would likely remember me as one of your precious ‘Volunteers’, specifically as a goddamn number. V-060443-51 to be exact.”

    Morgan’s reaction? “You said it yourself;. You volunteered. You must have known coming in what was going to happen. We have contracts for this kind of thing, you know.--”

    “DON’T.”. The command was as absolute as it was forceful. “I know about the neuromod experiments, Morgan. I know what happens when they come out. Don’t act like you don’t know what it means to be a ‘Volunteer’. Neither of us have any time for those games.”

    Morgan’s stunned silence was all that remained of the conversation.

    “Well, now. This is quite amusing, this place. You actually ran experiments on humans with these xenos things? Really?”

    …At least until Mio decided to add her own piece to the mix. Which for various reasons was not a good thing. For one, even though she had just said that in the mildest tone possible, I could feel the pure and utter RAGE boiling underneath, just waiting for a target. And Morgan was looking quite suitable right about now…

    I, on the other hand, felt differently about the situation. “...That doesn’t matter now. What’s done is done. We should focus on finding a way to deal with the problem before it gets worse.”

    Truth be told, I wanted to hate her. To despise and vilify the person who had destroyed the life that I remembered in a misguided quest for something greater, with no thought to consequences. But, there was a problem with that: at least one of us had to be the bigger person and let things in the past go. Besides, I wasn’t certain just how much she remembered of her own “treatment” as an experiment. I imagine the process was not pleasant.

    “Besides, Dr. Yu needs to make merry with more of her science experiments for a bit. It seems that she’s missed them.”

    Didn’t mean I wasn’t going to make the bitch suffer. Oh no. I just wasn’t going to stoop to her level about it. After all, there were lines that did not get crossed.

    Morgan, for her part, remained silent.

    Labs B was the same mess that it was depicted as from what I remember of the games, complete with the sticky notes identifying objects as being not mimics. Knowing how insidious the fuckers could be, I trusted none of them as I sought out my target.

    Mio, on the other hand, looked around with an almost eager curiosity as she examined the place. “So, what exactly were you idiots doing here, anyway? There had to be a reason for you to just up and attempt to use these monsters the way you did.” She stopped by a workbench, idly flipping though a paper notebook that was still there. “What was the big plan, huh? Bioweapons? Some kind of immortality? Weird-ass phantasmal powers? There was something that was worth your soul in this mess, woman. Tell me about it.”

    Morgan still remained silent, her head bowed.

    Mio pressed her attack. “No, you do not get to clam up after everything that you’ve done or watched to get to this point. You were one of the people in charge here, dammit. You knew what the goal was, and what was being done to reach it.” Mio had moved directly in front of Morgan now, all but daring the smaller woman to look up at her. “Now, what the hell was so important that you were willing to throw away all sense of morals and responsibility for?”

    Morgan was trembling, now, an emotion I couldn’t identify expressing itself through her body. Mio was and remained completely unsympathetic. I actually considered stepping in for a moment.

    At least, until Morgan finally managed to get a reply out, though it was low as hell and garbled enough that even I couldn’t hear it clearly. Obviously, Mio wasn’t buying it for one second.

    “What was that, bitch? You actually have something to say for yourself instead of just standing there? You finally willing to answer for your crimes?”

    Mio’s relentless barrage finally broke something inside of Morgan, it seemed.


    Morgan’s shout silenced everything around us for a brief moment, and I suddenly understood a very uncomfortable truth.

    I wanted to deny it, to rage against what was now perfectly clear as day to me, and ignore it in the name of my own vengeance. But I couldn’t. Now that I had seen it, I could not unsee it for any reason, and the truth of it was damning.

    The person I wanted to hate technically no longer existed.

    The Morgan Yu that was both willing and able to perform such atrocities without a care or conscience had been wiped away in the experiments, used up and discarded just as surely as everyone else in this sick game. Sure, the neuromod removal process was only supposed to reset one’s neural map back to prior to the installation thereof, but…how many times did Morgan have that process performed on her? How many times had her mind been reset, broken down and rewired as part of those tests?

    It was simultaneously the most fitting and most horrific punishment that could have been levied against her, short of feeding her to the Typhon themselves.

    Morgan Yu may very well be possibly the biggest victim of all in this mess, even more than the ‘Volunteers’ like I was once. And having to admit that, even to myself, actually fucking hurt.

    Mio seemed to understand the same, because she simply enveloped the woman in a hug. Morgan, for her part, was only barely not breaking down from the realization that far more of her memories than she had thought were simply gone.

    I chose to focus elsewhere, having no need to watch the Doctor break down, especially now that I understood her plight. And looking in the hallways connecting the various labs on this side of the main Atrium, I found what I was looking for.

    I didn’t know what his name was, but he was one of the scientists assigned to researching the Typhon and their biology, for what value that had. If I remembered correctly, he and his partner got separated when things went to shit and they holed up in order to evade getting eaten…only for the one mimic they missed to finish the job.

    A quick search found the man’s Transcribe, along with the audio log of his intended actions. I would probably give that to Morgan later on, if she wanted it. No, the important thing here was that this guy had a functional and currently unused Psychoscope.

    The Psychoscope was quite possibly the greatest invention that Transtar had access to, even beyond the Recycler/Fabricator duo and some of the materials science they had going on. This little doodad here was capable of scanning Typhon from a distance, getting a readout on the signatures that they gave off, along with the neural patterns…and then allowing one to access the psionic powers of the species, through using a neuromod loaded with the collected data.

    If that was all it did I would happily take it anyway and move forward, but for some reason it also blocked psionic intrusion attempts from the Typhon as well…an ability that would prove to be extremely useful when we located a Telepath or two.

    Honestly, Morgan should be proud to have developed something like this in such a short amount of time. There were precious few with the ingenuity and thoughtfulness to have figured out such a device, let alone implemented it.

    I took the psychoscope with me as I returned to the girls, who by now had managed to recover from their moment and were now preparing themselves for moving deeper into the facility. Morgan in particular was eyeing the hatch towards central containment with a bit of trepidation. I understood wholeheartedly; that block was, if my memory served, the original Kletka containment facility, and was the heart of the outbreak in all regards.

    Mio spotted me coming back as I was fiddling with the Psychoscope and getting a feel for the technology involved. For once, she let me close the distance to her instead of pouncing me before speaking. “So, whatcha got there? Seems pretty interesting.”

    I half-assed a reply, distracted by the shiny and the examination process, though I did catch that we had Morgan’s attention as well. “It’s a Psychoscope. Supposedly Dr. Yu here invented them. They are meant as a special-purpose scanner for the Typhon, cataloging everything they can about them during the process. Physiology, habitats, general synaptic and neural activity…that kind of thing.”

    I paused as I found the catch I was looking for, and pried the scope open to check out it’s precious innards. “It also has a shielding effect against mental intrusion abilities, which I believe was an accidental add during the development. At lest, nothing I’m seeing in here makes it look like she included it on purpose…”

    “I’m standing right here, you know.” Morgan stated blandly, clearly annoyed at being left out of the conversation. Neither Mio nor I gave her any mind as we continued.

    After all, we could both quite clearly feel the suppressed pride radiating from the woman like a torch.

    “The best part about the ‘scope, though,” I continued, only partially paying attention to the conversation at this point as I got a feel for the Psychoscope itself though my powers “is that through scanning the Typhon, and the subsequent recording of their data, the powers of the Typhon themselves can be transferred to Humans through the use of neuromods. Of course, this has its own downsides, as doing so tends to change the user of said powers into something more closely resembling a Typhon themselves. There may also be unintended consequences for doing this, but I have no way to know for sure without the kind of testing that I am very hesitant to even consider, let alone actually implement.”

    I nodded to myself at seeing something in the psychoscope that confirmed a suspicion of mine, along with remembering the connection for why the Typhon method was really not worth it. “However, there are other ways to induce and awaken Humanity’s natural psionic potential that do not require the use of alien remains and copied neural patterns. I had a functioning prototype of a similar line of enhancers based off of the neuromod tech, but without the exotic materials that normally make the stuff tick. One of the side effects was a minor awakening of my own psionic aptitude, and Harry got the same when he used them to skill-share with me.”

    Morgan looked very interested now, almost entranced. “You…you can give us their power, without needing to use them in the process at all?”

    I took a guess and assumed that the ‘them’ in that sentence referred to the Typhon. “...Close. Very close, but not quite what you are thinking of.” I shook my head. “My knockoffs of the neuromod tech were intentionally engineered to be totally non-reliant on Typhon material to function, but as a result are very much keyed to my personal psi field, among other things. One of the side effects of this was it being a means by which to awaken one’s own psionic talents, but with no training and very little in the way of actual power to start with.”

    I looked up from the psychoscope, having nearly gotten a complete picture of the device’s workings, and gave Morgan a wistful look. “It’s a legacy bug that I only noticed because you just brought it up, really. I had originally intended for them to simply be a means of awakening my own psionic talent. The skill share option was a side-project really.”

    Mio hummed to herself in agreement, having seen the results of both of those experiments herself, and neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the results. Morgan, on the other hand, seemed to deflate slightly at my statement.

    “Don’t take it as a bad thing, Morgan.” Mio comforted the other woman. “All that means is that neither of us has ever really seen the need to push the technology anywhere beyond where it actually is at the moment. There is plenty of room for advancement should someone take up the work, and unlike this mess,” she waved an arm around the area in general, “it doesn’t have ethics concerns attached to it.”

    My contribution was a bit less cheery, though. “Well, a lot of that had more to do with making sure it wasn’t an infection vector for certain forces rather than me being excessively paranoid about Typhon goo in my fucking head. Not that that wasn’t a concern as well, just a lesser one compared to the other threat.”

    Looking back down at the Psychoscope one last time, I found the last piece I was looking for, and the whole thing came apart for me as I’d wanted. I got to work while I spoke.

    “Typhon are, at best, an existential threat to any and everything with enough of a mind to qualify as sentient, which in and of itself carries with it a form of psionic field. It is this upon which the Typhon feed…though your people here have figured out that much, at least.”

    Morgan nodded her understanding, and I continued on.

    “Also, Typhon materials, which are the exotic component that Transtar is using as a go-between for the neuro-elasticity requirements needed for neuromods to actually work as intended, are…dangerous to harvest. Like, really, SUPER dangerous. I was not kidding when I said that you were feeding people to the Typhon to get what you wanted.” I paused for a bit, before looking at Morgan again. “I’m sure you’ve seen how the Typhon reproduce, right? Imagine that being any one of a number of the ‘volunteers’.”

    Morgan said nothing, even though for once I wasn’t laying the blame for what happened directly at her feet. Mio once again moved to reassure her. “Remember, Morgan. That person was who you were, before. It does not have to be who you are now.”

    “Indeed” I agreed. “Also worth noting that most of the ‘volunteer’ corps were from the various Russian Gulags and were considered by their societies to be expendable and not to be missed. That would have affected the thinking of people who were in charge here–okay, what the fuck? How the hell did you pull this off?”

    My sudden change in conversational tack caught both of the women off guard, though for different reasons: Mio because she could feel my confusion, along with the other emotions that were simmering beneath, and Morgan because she was just confused as to why.

    “Seriously, Yu. you somehow managed to pull off a thing that I have been trying and failing at for at least a month now, and actually refine it, no less. I’m impressed and horrified at the same time.”

    “So, what is it, anyway?” Mio asked, curiosity in her tone and expression.

    “Morgan, Doctor Yu, here, managed to somehow create a full neuropsionic link and machine translation for computers. It is, for all purposes, a literal piece of actual psi-tech. And it pisses me off because the process is not blatantly obvious to me on what I was doing wrong before when I was trying to get my version set up.”

    Mio’s soft laughter added to my personal embarrassment and envy at being upstaged so completely. I chose to let it slide in favor of enacting my revenge.

    “Thing is, though, now that I know what I was doing wrong? I can fix everything that is complete and utter dogshit about the Psychoscope as a technology almost immediately. Observe.

    And with those words, I proceeded to completely redesign and remodel the Psychoscope in my hands into something more fitting for my own use. Gone was the periscope-like sight, replaced with a far more usable visor component that was easily modularized for use in other projects. The mental intrusion shielding was also looked at, summarily modularized and torn apart, and then upgraded past the point of all reason just because I could do so. Hell, even the capacity for chipset upgrades was taken into account, leaving more than enough room for future modifications to the tech as needed.

    And then I applied a bit of polish to the whole mess, including slapping on a previously unviable test-type variant of my personal machine-psi interface and transmitter, (which I was most certainly not calling a psychoframe by any means; I am not tempting fate) now upgraded into something that both could and should work for what I had intended it to do.

    All of that cramped down into a simple headband accessory, easily worn and used.

    Total build and rebuild time: twenty seconds.

    Morgan stood there, mouth agape at the sheer ridiculousness of the feat of engineering that I had just accomplished in mere seconds from a standing start.

    Mio, on the other hand, was eagerly pawing at me, doing her (playful) best to get at my latest piece of work.

    “Ooh!! Lemme see, lemme see!! I wanna play with it a bit, figure out how it ticks~”

    Naturally, I had to shoot her down. “Down, girl. Gimme a chance to make one for you before you start begging, please? At least give me that much of the benefit of the doubt?”

    Mio’s pout at that was weapons-grade unfair, and if I didn’t already know that she was deliberately playing with me to ease the blow to my pride that had resulted in its creation in the first place, I would likely not have my version of the psychoscope still in my possession.

    “How.” That simple statement was enough to stop the two of us from starting up our usual routine banter/long-form flirting and paying attention to the still shell-shocked face of Morgan Yu. “How did you do that, let alone so quickly? What manner of power allows for such a thing?”

    I shrugged, a goofy grin on my face. “Well, I just wanted to build something to completely upstage you. So…I did. End of story.”

    Morgan was not deterred. “But where did you get the parts? What about tools? For god’s sake, man, HOW?!?”

    “Well, I had some spare parts I could convert…wasn’t that hard, really…”

    Yes, I was enjoying this all too much. And as usual, my fun had to get ruined by someone else.

    “Unknown process activated.”

    In this case, Thoth.

    I could feel it as something within the suit activated itself, seeming to reach out towards my newly-made advanced Psychoscope. There was an almost gentle pull on the device that seemed to be asking for me to relinquish it to whatever process was happening, and I belatedly allowed it to happen after getting a full scan of the device in question.

    It was very odd, watching the small band be slowly converted and consumed by exotic energy, almost like it was being shifted into a data pattern or something. That same energy then proceeded to merge itself with me, or rather Thoth, as systems that I had no prior knowledge of began a quick assimilation and install routine before my very eyes. It was with a sudden flash of insight that I realized that this was very likely the equipment install routine from the Chozo side of the suit.

    The process completed itself without any issue, a pop-up notification letting me know that the new equipment “Psycho Visor” had been installed and integrated into my Frame proper…and that a compatibility upgrade was being undertaken due to the tech.

    {|Psycho Visor Online. Visors Control activated and standing by.|}

    {|Upgrading Suit for Psionics Compatibility…|}

    This is a joke. This is a fucking JOKE.


    And just like that, my already pretty well integrated Valkyrie Core was suddenly fitting me like a damned glove. And judging from what I could get through the sideband channel between myself and Thoth, he was using this as a springboard to analyze and adapt himself to the rest of my abilities as well. The only other difference I noticed was a slight pull on my reserves of usable psionic power, normally a thing that sat dormant when not in use.

    Mio was the first to speak. “...so, what was that about, and when can I get one? It seemed useful, yannow…”

    I blinked. Then Blinked again, before replying. “From the update log, looks like the suit core is calling it the ‘Psycho Visor’ My guess is that it took the Psychoscope that I had made and integrated it into my frame proper. On another note, Thoth is currently doing some major revisions to account for having access to psionic power draws now.

    “As for making you one, I’ll need access to a Fabricator to do it. I am kind of out of usable power for the moment while Thoth is doing upgrades…unless you actually have a working power supply?”

    Mio’s only response was an outstretched hand, which I took without hesitation. The influx of delicious power flooded through Thoth’ systems with great relief from the both of us, as it gave him time to address some important secondary systems that he hadn’t had time to fix due to conservation policies.

    For my part, I had the distinct pleasure of getting to actually feel the power draw from Thoth’s perspective, something that was new and unique in my time as a Core partner. The sensation was very much like having an extremely hot and dry throat suddenly be hit with lots and lots of cool water. The sheer relief nearly knocked me off my feet.

    “And what exactly was that, then? Another bit of supertechnology that you won’t explain?”

    Ah. Morgan was in rare form.

    “Pretty much, yes.”

    Too bad I wasn’t going to oblige her.

    “Anyway, first we need a fabricator, and then we should get back to doing whatever it was you were supposed to be doing, Morgan. Either that, or I head back outside and pray like all hell that I can cobble together a defense for the Technopaths that I am almost certain to run into out there. Your call, Doctor.”

    Morgan could only fume.

    Mio was rather bemused by her Satori’s antics around this ‘Morgan Yu’ woman. It was blatantly clear to her that he simply did not like the woman in any capacity whatsoever, to the point that he was actually willing to kill her outright…at least, before the revelation that Morgan had lost almost all of her memories in whatever sick experiment had been going on aboard the station.

    “Most of the other guys were Russian. I speak a little, but…as you can tell, I ain’t from there. As you might’ave guessed?”

    Well, other sick experiment. Right now they weer currently looking at the first and likely most blatant of the sick experiment fodder, in the form of a clear, reinforced Cage holding a man who called himself Aaron Ingram. Noticeably, Mr. Ingram was wearing a completely different uniform type from the normal Transtar Suit, instead wearing an odd two-tone Jumper, with green pants and a two-tone shirt divided horizontally along its width into separate areas of green and white.

    Notably, Mr. Ingram looked like he was not in the best of ways.

    “C’mon now, goddammit let me out!!!”

    Personally, she had no feelings one way or the other about the bald man with the slightly sunken complexion. What she DID have issues with was the entire concept of this “material extraction” place. Especially as it was buried as deep as possible inside of Psychotronics as it could have possibly been, complete with a second lock setup that looked…very old. It made her think of an abandoned facility that had been built over by newer facilities in order to either study the same thing, or the facilities themselves.

    The Adeptus Mechanicus had done the same on more than one occasion.

    In any case, the current issue involved this Ingram person, one of Talos’ ‘Volunteers’, which was code for ‘crash test dummy’. Morgan, their dear Doctor and amnesiac, was debating the merits of releasing the man from the containment chamber he was in, or allowing for whatever process was meant to happen to go forward.

    Considering what she had been able to find of the process, she did not have much in the way of hope for Mr. Ingram should Dr. Yu go through with the process.

    In fact, the only reason she had not stopped Morgan from making a decision one way or another was because now was a very good time to see what the woman was truly made of.

    And in the event that she made the wrong choice…well, bodies were very easy to dispose of in space.

    Morgan stood at the control panel for the material extraction chamber, silently pondering her life…or what she could remember of it.

    Most of it was a blur, only impressions and feelings, along with some knowledge that felt almost instinctual in its use in her current circumstance. The Neuromods she had installed up until now had helped significantly as well, granting her solid proficiency with most repair operations aboard Talos I, as well as moderate Hacking skills to go with her newfound knowledge of proper firearms handling. The neuromods were just as January had described them: currently the best way for her to survive this mess long enough to do…whatever it was that needed to be done.

    Everyone had an agenda, it seemed. First January, claiming to be herself from a point inside the simulation, after she had seen what was being done…and the consequences. Then came her own brother, Alex, who went out of his way to make sure that he got to get his side in before anything incriminating could be said from the one recording that she was inclined to trust.

    Hearing that there was yet another Operator that she had supposedly customized and set up, but with the objective of getting her off of Talos I instead of destroying it outright,..well, that was becoming the new normal in her life.

    But these…people, whoever they were…they were another matter entirely. For one, there was the very obvious deviations from standard humanity in the form of what she could only assume were fetishized animal parts? That would have made sense for a basic hypothesis except for the fact that they controlled them like…like portions of their own bodies. It should have been terrifying, to be honest.

    But then she found out that one of them was (or ‘should have been’; for some reason things didn’t make sense on that front) one of the missing Volunteers, now calling himself Satori Green. January had contacted her and the records checked out, as well as Satori’s stated objective of stopping the Typhon at any cost…but it was just so hard to trust, now.

    After what they’d done to her in the simulation…the way they had destroyed her mind and nearly everything of who she was in the process…it was hard to even think that this Satori was even remotely on her side. In fact, he had gone to check the exterior of Psychotronics proper for something, taking a GLOO gun with him. Something about an air leak?

    Which left her with the other one. The name she had given (after Satori had left) was Miolala Granliss, and by her own account and actions she was either Satori’ girlfriend, fiancée, or outright wife depending on which interpretation you wanted to believe.

    The fact that she had a set of horns and a lizard’s tail with a swatch of flame burning on the tip said a lot, especially as the flame itself was an odd gray color, along with the fact that the flame itself produced no heat.

    Morgan had stopped trying to make sense of the woman almost immediately, the wisdom of which had proven itself almost immediately. Right now, Miolala was following her around as she investigated the final sections of psychotronics, specifically the inner containment shell that was the remains of the old Kletka module…and that still housed the original pod upon which the Typhon had been discovered.

    This was important, because it brought her to her current predicament: a man, one of the Volunteers, was intended to be used for material extraction. According to the instruction handbook (some of which she remembered, to her current shame) the process was simple: extract mimic from central chamber, release into ME chamber with volunteer present. After ‘multiplication’ is complete (AKA, after the mimics have finished eating a human being and have replicated themselves) commence extraction process, which was equally simple and used some of the interesting equipment that had been developed here, like the Typhon lure. End result: a large haul of exotic materials…and one dead human.

    Actually, having put that into proper perspective…why was this even a decision? The Vol–no, Aaron had even said it himself: nobody deserved this.

    And yet that criminal record was very extensive and also very concerning…but no. human is still human.

    ‘Even if I was a monster then, that does not mean I have to be a monster now.’

    And as Aaron cheered for his release, Morgan could only think that somehow, she had made a step towards something looking like, if not redemption, then at least…penance.

    Morgan, being focused on Aaron’s exuberance, did not notice Mio smiling at her back in approval.

    The EVA needed to get the leak in Psychotronics’ exotic material storage fixed was simple and to the point, and I was back in breathable in practically no time whatsoever. Quickly making my way through the atrium with a bit of impromptu parkour, I got back to the group just in time to see a face that I thought I would never see again.

    “Holy hell. Ingram, you son of a bitch, you made it!?!”

    Ingram, of course, immediately turned towards me with a look of recognition in his face. “Oh HELL yeah! You made it too Green? We thought you were a goner after you didn’t come back from that last set of tests.”

    Morgan gave me an odd look. “You two know each other?”

    We both nodded. “O’course we do. Only ones in there really speak sumthin wasn’t russian, after all.” Aaron responded.

    “Besides, the way the place is set up, you needed somebody to watch your back in that hell. The damned scientists sure as hell wouldn’t.”

    “Ain’t that right, man.” It was now that Aaron noticed my ‘extra bits’. “...seems you still didn’t come out completely unscathed, though. You alright, man?”

    I nodded, the warmth in my gut doing wonders to help me keep the ravening terror of this room out of my head. “I’ve been better, but I’m still alive. That’s what counts in the end.”

    Ingram was more than content with that answer. “In~deed, brother. Anyway, as I was telling these ladies here just now: you run into any of the fellas wearin’ a green jumpsuit? Watch. Your Ass. They ain’t all decent human beings like me or Green.”

    I nodded. “Yeah…there were some real bad dudes in V-Quarters with the rest of us. Not everyone was right in the head, even before the tests. Some of them ended up worse off...”

    “Yeah. I seen one of the other Volunteers come through here, a big guy–bastard wouldn’t let me out…and now I’m glad he didn’t. Watched him bash some poor sucker’s head in with a wrench. Kept going on and on about black eggs and whatnot. Real disturbed.”

    I winced slightly, my memory and a hunch tugging at me to pay attention, that that description was more important than it seemed. I filed it away for later.

    “In any case, thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Ingram.” Morgan stated, moving to exit the area. “Please stay safe.”

    Ingram was naturally curious. “Y’all headed out, then?”

    “Yeah.” I replied. “Apparently this lady here” I pointed a thumb at Morgan for emphasis “has a plan or something similar. My partner and I are working with her to see what we can do to fix this mess, or at least get everyone who’s left off of this station. At least, I think. Either way, we’re dealing with those” this time I pointed at the central containment chamber, malice clear in my tone, “one way or another.”

    Ingram considered things for maybe half a second, at most. “Well then. I’mma lie low here, work on a plan to get out. Maybe something comes up, yanno?”

    In reply, I tossed him two items. At his confused look, I explained.

    “Headband is a psychoscope. It’ll tell you where the mimics are at, among other things. Keep it on at all times. Second one…upgraded pistol. Severely upgraded pistol. Ammo is in the armory there. Use it if you have no other choice, just to be sure. I don’t need you dyin’ on this damn station.”

    As if to punctuate my point, the hatch to exotic materials storage opened with a hiss, admitting a small gallery of Typhon into the main chamber. Mio and I were already turning to deal with the threats, but…

    We saw Morgan move.

    Sure, it was nowhere near as fast as what either of us was capable of with even casual speeds, but it was still damned impressive for an unenhanced human. Her shotgun, what looked like a custom piece with subtle gold highlights, barked out angrily at the oncoming swarm of Typhon. When that stopped being effective, she reached for her wrench, and started swinging for the fences, to great effect.

    And when the poltergeist that was hiding in the back made its move, a sudden burst of kinetic energy immediately threw it into a wall, and into its death.

    All told, there were at least a good ten total, and Morgan had just…buzzsawed through them.

    It was easily one of the hottest things that I had ever seen in my life…and judging from the appreciative wolf whistles and such, both Mio and Ingram agreed with me.

    Morgan turned towards us with a light blush. “Well, then, let us be on our way. We have places to be.”

    Naturally, Mio and I made a point of poking at her about it.

    Honestly, for something as cool in concept as the Gravity Utility Tunnel System was, there was really not that much in the way of actual goodies to look at. Which made sense, as it was the structural backbone of the station, in a very real sense, housing nearly all of the main interconnects for the public-facing sections of the ship to the more critical and engineering-based areas.

    And yet, as soon as I entered the main shaft, I immediately knew that something was horribly wrong. Judging from Mio’s grimace, she felt the same as I did.

    Morgan, for reasons unknown to either of us, was unperturbed as we traveled through the length of the guts. It wasn’t until we got close to where I suspected the problem was that more obvious signs of even being a problem made themselves manifest.

    The Magnetosphere was firing off in increasingly aberrant ways, and judging on the rate of discharge and strength, would end up doing more harm than good to the Station in the long run if left unchecked. It was a super-critical issue, almost topping out over the Typhon themselves.

    More concerning on my end is that I could feel the wrongness in the system from a downright ridiculous distance away. The fact that Mio seemed just as sensitive to the issue made me think that it had something to do with one of the abilities we shared, but nothing that I knew of had that kind of passive sensing. Hell, even my own innate affinity for lightning magic would not have allowed for that level of passive sensing precision. I made a note to look into it when less pressing issues allowed for it.

    And another one for the fact that Cystoid Nests were annoying as all fuck to deal with, especially if you didn’t have a heavily armored suit. It was fortunate that the Cystoids themselves were sensitive to basically all forms of movement, or else there would have been some issues in dealing with the fuckers safely.

    Morgan, the silly girl, immediately dove into Magnetosphere control to assess the situation and get a read on the place, once we’d gotten close enough. We, of course, followed to make sure she didn’t get her fool self killed in the process…which seemed like a high-probability thing considering how strong some of those pulse shocks were. Morgan was having to reboot her suit after every pulse, which was ridiculous for something rated for space in any capacity.

    That those same pulses would have been straining against my own systems had Thoth not been working on power scavenging methods for the last few hours was all the more reason to investigate.

    “So. best guess: how long do you think the Magnetosphere will hold if we don’t at least attempt to balance the loads on this thing?”

    “I don’t know. This wasn’t my field of specialty, in any respect. I want to say it’s fine, but…”

    Morgan and Mio were discussing the merits of actually hanging around to perform emergency repair on the Magnetosphere as compared to getting to the Arboretum (and by extension, Alex’s office) as quickly as possible. Part of that argument was the fact that the Shielding was becoming increasingly unstable, from what little I could get out of the system between pulses. How unstable required a diagnostic that didn’t have enough time to run without actually shitting down the magnetosphere itself, which for unknown reasons had an automatic restart hooked up to it. Probably a trap meant to kill anyone who attempted to diagnose and repair.

    The body floating inside the main Coil chamber–Anders Kline, if the notes and transcribe left behind were to be believed–was testament to that much, at least.

    I was doing some preliminary observation and inspections on the systems to see if it was even worth the effort to fix, but ended up distracted by an unexpected communication.

    In the form of an emergency update from Watts.

    Apparently there was something else wrong with the local space–he was mentioning something about a massive shift in the balance of things, and that whatever it was that was coming down the pipe was both enormous in scope and completely beyond his control. As in, this was affecting the entire galaxy, at minimum. And he had no way to know for sure how it was going to interact with the warp, or anything else that was still active in that space.

    Normally I would be up in arms about this level of vagueness, but the critical nature of the alert and the fact that it was going to affect basically everything was enough to get me moving to a relatively safe location and just brace. I felt Mio do the same.

    The hit was hard. One moment, everything was normal and fine. The next, a massive wave of energy all but engulfed me, drowning my senses in its presence, its power. I was fortunate that I wasn’t standing, because I was pretty sure that I would have been knocked off of my feet as a result of the wave. I could vaguely feel it wash over the rest of the station as well, and there were…echoes within that wave that seemed to come back to me. I felt that was important, for some reason, but couldn’t tell why.

    The energy had somehow suffused itself into my very being, overwhelming everything in its path to do so, only to then immediately submit itself to the other powers I had at my disposal, melding and merging into and with the rest without actually becoming a greater whole. My aura in particular I felt take on a new aspect, another expression and level of power beyond what I had thought was possible for my skill as everything settled in.

    And then I felt that energy gently nudge me, ever so slightly, to pay attention to Morgan.

    She…was not in a good state. Whatever it was that had happened was having an adverse reaction to something else, her body seeming at times to shift slightly out of phase with things, and at others to bleed into the odd darkness I now associated with the Typhon.

    A sudden burst of concern and worry hit me upside the head, and I only realized it was Mio when I saw her move to assist Morgan in getting to safety before the next pulse hit.

    Wait a minute…these abilities are reminding me of something. Galaxy-wide field of energy that suffuses all beings? Likes to meddle in the affairs of those who can wield it? Tends to favor bonds of increasing strength and large-scale empathic abilities?

    The energy sat there, eager. Not quite nudging me towards the answer, but waiting for it all the same. Waiting for me to recognize it, to name it, and set loose the fire that would bring the very light of life back to this war-torn and corrupted galaxy.

    …Wait, what?

    This power…it was acting as if we were still within the 41st millennium. Like we were still within range of the Warp and all that could potentially come from it…and if the feeling I was getting was correct, this energy–no, this force, The Force–had every intention of fighting against the corrupted and corrosive immaterium for the souls of the living.

    The Force wrapped me in a blanket of joy and mischief before setting itself to expanding across the galaxy.

    And it was at that moment I knew: I’d Fucked Up.

    Harry was always known as a patient man, in many regards. Being onboard a long-lost Ark Mechanicus that just so happened to have been taken over by the Dark Age AI of the ship itself was only a slightly different experience, but it was one that he was getting used to. Slowly, of course, but surely nonetheless.

    Currently, he and the Sisters of Battle were inside one of the presumed many conference rooms, discussing with the ship its intentions for not only themselves but itself as well. And the answers had been…illuminating.

    “So, just to recap: you sought to retrieve us from the planet because we were associated with a major technological spike that was outside of the normal pattern for a world. More to the point, because you had intercepted the communique from Necromunda stating that a full STC had been found.”

    “Indeed, Harrisyn.”

    Harry continued after Silent Lightkeeper, the ship’s AI, had replied. “And then from there, once you had arrived in system, you used long-range auspexes lock on to persons of interest to your cause, namely myself and the Sororitas here” Harry gestured at Sister Vanalyn and her retinue for emphasis, “and then proceeded to evacuate us from the planet once it became clear that it had been lost to Chaos. Is that right?”

    Lightkeeper gave an affirmative chime. “Correct.”

    “So, in all of this, why the hells did you not get the others, then? Would they not have been more important to things? They’re the ones who actually built all of the advanced tech you see us using, y’know.”

    Lightkeeper’s response was oddly muted. It was a trait that Harry had noted with the Intelligence, that it seemed perfectly capable of expressing emotions should it shoes to do so. “I attempted to retrieve your companions once things got to the point of no return. However, Two of them were moving far too quickly for me to get an accurate lock on their position, and both they and the third were at or near ground zero for the reality disruption event that resulted in the Necromunda Warp Storm. There was enough interference during that event that the one attempt that was made at recovery may have made things worse.”

    Harry nodded again. The AI seemed to have a way of knowing when they made such gestures, likely some kind of recording device. “And so we are now your passengers, on the way to…”

    “Terra, Lord Harrisyn.”

    Harry snorted in contempt. “I told you, I am no Lord. Call me Harry. But anyway…we are headed to Holy Terra, for the purposes of…what, again?”

    There was an electronic sigh through the vox. “Again, we are headed to Terra so that I may ascertain with my own sensors the state of the Homeworld and what needs to be done, if anything, to recover. All other issues will be handled afterwards.”

    The Sister Superior (who had insisted he call her Arikia, which he ignored) spoke up. “So, your objective is not to deliver us ourselves to Holy Terra, merely to see things for yourself? An odd decision.”

    “And yet one that I will undertake nonetheless.” Lightkeeper intoned. “As for yourselves, you are free to do so as you wish when we arrive at our destination. I do suggest, however, that you remain within my hull for the foreseeable future, as several entities will have caught interest in your newfound abilities and strength, and may seek to use you for themselves.”

    Everyone nodded in agreement at that. They all knew all too well the iron hand of the Imperium, and equally well that certain things could not be allowed to fall into the hands of those that would then abuse it.

    Harry, of course, knew more of these threats than most.

    And, unfortunately, a good deal of the High Lords of Terra were on that list. Should they come to the attention of such a figure, most of them could only hope to become a pawn at best in labyrinthine games of power that existed solely to sate the thirst of the High Lords themselves. The Sister Superior seemed to be at least partially aware of some of the threats, as she was no more enthused about being on Terra than he was, but she hid her concern well.

    “And there is no way we can talk you into deviating course for a bit to allow for some search and rescue, or at least for us to move on our separate ways before getting to Terra?” Harry knew how his question would be answered, but he had to try, all the same.

    “There is not. I apologize.”

    And all Harry could do was sigh. He’d tried, after all, but it looked like all roads led to Terra no matter what they did–

    Something tugged at his attention, a slight nudge upon his consciousness. Far from being malicious or of foul intent, he could clearly feel that it was benign and helpful, and merely calling attention to the fact that it existed…along with something else. A brief flash of a station of some sort, a room with a kind of archaeotech generator stored inside…and a certain missing friend of his, along with his lover, alive and well.

    Harry could barely keep the savage grin off of his face, even as he felt the power that had washed over and through him blatantly bulldoze and outright annihilate a daemon that had been attempting to breach the ship’s Gellar fields for some time now.

    Satori was indeed alive…and from the looks of it, was once again in the thick of things.

    Well, then. He would have to be ready.

    Across the galaxy, billions upon billions of people, all psykers of some bent or fashion, found themselves suddenly cut off from the warp, and with it the source of their powers. The reactions to this varied as much as life always does.

    The near-immediate replacement for most with a far more…calm, or at least less insidious source of power was also noted, and several psykers within the Imperium that were even now fearing for their safety and sanity found themselves silently weeping in relief as the whispers vanished from their minds, their souls buttressed by whatever force had interceded on their behalf.

    Others found themselves to be of a completely different fate, as the power surged through them, destroying the corruptions and blights that had infested themselves upon their person as it raged out of control. Many of these were servants of Chaos, and none but the most favored of the Gods (or luckiest, for that matter) survived the cleansing.

    Others, many of whom had been corrupted against their will, suddenly found themselves free of daemonic taint for the first time in years, even centuries, for some Space Marines and various Librarians.

    The Eldar, of course, noted it in passing and did nothing, as it did not help them in their plight against She Who Thirsts.

    And, as the Force spread itself throughout the galaxy, and into the universe beyond, the clear cry from within reached out to all who had the ears to hear:

    You Have A Choice.

    Yeah, I did that.

    Apologies for the delay, but I’ve been kicking around some stuff IRL that required my attention. And then I got sick. So, that.

    To answer the obvious questions: Yes, the Force spread throughout the Galaxy, and possibly beyond, yes, every psyker or psyker-adjacent being got access to it, and varying consequences.

    And Yes, the Force absolutely fucking HATES the Warp, and will be doing a bit of legwork to put things back to rights, as it sees it. And part of that is offering an actual choice to those who would otherwise be effectively damned by their powers.
    And yes, people still have their Psyker abilities. They just have a new source, should they wish to use it.

    -The Mixing Cauldron | Melting Pot | Spirit Pyroxene | Goldberg Formula | Daisy Chain | The Vortex (Atelier: Arland Trilogy) (600CP)
    The Mixing Cauldron (100CP)
    Every Alchemists' trusty tool, the mixing cauldron is basically the alchemist's work desk and research station combined into one. With this, no potion is out of reach though it isn't uncommon to find that some alchemists' will create...other things from their cauldrons, and one would be foolish to presume that a cauldron can't be improved...
    Melting pot (100CP)
    It's not uncommon to find that certain ingredients will not mix well just as attempting to stack too many enchantments into a potion can prove disastrous. In an attempt to mitigate this, the melting pot was constructed with a higher rate of mixing. This directly translates to a higher degree of homogenization, but you'll have to understand that to maintain this level of mixing you need to have a higher energy source than just a fire under the cauldron. It does allow you to blend some ingredients that normally would not mix however, though the results may still not be as optimal as you would hope.
    Spirit Pyroxene (100CP)
    No one quite knows where this pyroxene came from, but it has a very definitive effect on the items that it forms a component of. The mystical power inside the pyroxene seems to carry over into the items that it forms at least a portion of the power does, and the crafted items became more conductive towards spiritual magic of a large variety.
    Goldberg Formula (100CP)
    There are times when making things overly complex can be problematic. Then there are times when making things overly complex can be outright awesome. Your cauldron really shouldn't be called a cauldron anymore. Synthesis isn't a matter of tossing in ingredients and brewing. Your cauldron is a part of a system, a large chain of components and contraptions which ultimately will create a potion likely of higher quality. But you'll likely have no clue how it works. Due to the nature of this set up, you'll find that the cauldron will follow along with you in a containment chamber of its own and though it initially resembles a cottage...should the contraption chain grow bigger (and it will!) the cottage will also increase in size.
    Daisy Chain (100CP)
    Interested in large scale alchemy? Well, between this and a core reactor, you'll have yourself a veritable alchemy workshop. Granted, in reality this just sets up a series of mini cauldrons which will automatically adopt specific arrangements to facilitate more complex, multi-tiered synthesis reactions but it'll boost your synthesis rates immensely, and ensure that easier recipes won't fail! Of course...you could have each cauldron act autonomously but really they work best in unison with every other unit. Due to the number of cauldrons created, a large part of the containment chamber is occupied by cauldrons as they move about and get down to business. Thankfully, you can still move about and organize the cauldrons though they're a fair bit more autonomous than before. Each cauldron seems to exhibit the same effects as your original cauldron, and it isn't out of the realm of possibility to add more cauldrons though it'll be a time consuming process.
    The Vortex (100CP)
    The amount of energy required to keep this going will be tremendous, but if you toss anything into there it will blend. Instead of functioning like a batch system, the Cauldron operates continually, and will actively remember the last effect from the last ingredient which was put in. It's also possible for it to store an effect, but this requires you to have a constant supply of the reagent necessary to provide that effect. A cauldron useful for expert alchemists, one should take care if this is combined with any other extensive modifications.

    -Technical Specialist | Forceful Engineer | Extragalactic Tech (Star Wars - Darth Bane Trilogy) (700CP)
    Technical Specialist (300CP)
    It is arguable that this galaxy has, on the whole, reached a technological plateau. This bar may be relatively high if one was to compare it to that of previous Jumps. Sentient computer systems, widely available commercial FTL, weapons that can scour planets, miraculous medical technology and gravity manipulation to name a few. An extremely comprehensive database of all these discoveries, refined and developed over the course of millennia, will be mentally accessible for you. Should you have the resources and tools on hand, there's no reason you couldn't create almost anything natively produced in this galaxy.
    Forceful Engineer (200CP)
    Force sensitive individuals and species have created wondrous unions of engineering genius and Force energies. Prisons to hold eldritch nightmares, holocrons and seemingly infinite factories that strip entire stars for the resources needed for your unending fleets. You are inspired when it comes to the design of such marvels, even being able to use the Light Side for unseen effects. This brilliance extends beyond the Force into the wider realm of 'Magitek'. The potential trichotomy of Machine, 'Magic' and The Force could give birth to near unimaginable wonders for the inventive mind.
    Extragalactic Tech (200CP)
    Exo-technology is a field of science that specialized in studying in combining the technologies of various species of the galaxy. Your nature as a Jumper allows you to go beyond merely marrying the design sensibilities of several alien peoples. You easily blend the varying physical laws and examples of causality you've encountered in the creation of any one thing.
    Lost1, Semil, AirBreather and 63 others like this.
  27. Bear_Mint

    Bear_Mint The LewdBringer. The Ass Ponderer.

    May 29, 2020
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    Emperor having a panic attack at now having to deal with two metaphysical forces. :V
  28. Unravenan

    Unravenan Not too sore, are you?

    Oct 9, 2019
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    Well then, this seems to be getting very interesting :). I look forward to moar!

    Emps about to shit a brick. [So what did the force do to him? Him being cutoff from his psyker powers should/would kill him outright. At least if his soul wasn't forcibly made whole again.]
  29. caspian1a

    caspian1a I trust you know where the happy button is?

    Apr 26, 2019
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    So the Force hates the Warp as it is now broken and corrupted by the War in Heaven, the fuck up of the Elder and their consequences the existence of the Chaos Gods.
    What would be the Force's reaction to an uncorrupted Warp that is back to the state it existed in before the War in Heaven back when it was pure?
  30. Morkail

    Morkail Shado-Master

    Apr 21, 2020
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    And the force shall set you free. I really wonder what kind of “WTF” face the emperor just made. Thanks for the chapter.