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Once again I welcome you all back to Moral Simulator 202- I mean Trapped in Synth.
What is this? Cyberpunk, no longer half nuggets, traumatized protagonists and moral arguments meeting cold, hard, efficency

LAST TIME ON TRAPPED IN SYNTH (also because I still don't have an archive entry)
>You are still Frost
>You resolve the mugging with a kick and a knockout, winner: Frost
>Figure out that the apartment complex would actually serve nicely as a new base
>Especially once Shell Shock is back up on his hooves and potentially capapble of getting you a place for free there
>Go back to Comet's place and have dinner while being scrutinized by her on your relationship to Shell
>Have a terrifying nightmare or vision or memory or something going on like that
>Facility, you are about to be upgraded but manage to flee
>Hunted by the facility staff, make your way over to the holding cells to find Comet
>Cells empty, except for one mare that seems extremely familiar to and with you
>Being overjoyed is an understatement when you see her, hear her voice
>But it doesn't last long and you wake up
>And to your disappointment, you can't remember anything about this mare, everything was pushed from your mind
>Go for a pickup mission of your legs
>Get followed by 2 cops and kick their butts in a small store
>Spare them because they are one of the few ponies (of "authority") that you've seen in this city
>Make your way to Shell's ripperdoc
>Shitty office, shitty receptionist, no legs to pickup
>Start arguing and causing a commotion
>Before you shoot the receptionist or vice versa, doc comes out and stops you
>Unicorn mare with insane speed zipping all over the place
>Mare is moving in the blink of an eye, telling you it is because she is dosed up on some self-made chem cocktail
>Insists and pressures you into having her install your legs
>STRANGER DANGER
>Brain fried, instincts take over
>You kissed a mare and you liked it. A lot
>Surprise and probably chems make her drop like a wet bag, aftermath of what you assume to be crunch
>Bring back home new pair of legs while donating one to the receptionist, who isn't such a bad stallion after all
>Get it installed by Comet and feel like a million bucks
>Which you also kind of have to earn, there are a lot of bills that need to be paid
>Or you could try and hook up Shell with a rich corpo to pay for his medical bills?!
>Ideas, ideas
>You do find a job on the job board though, taking out a gang of drug dealers with around 40-50 ponies
>With your new legs? Easy 1500 creds!
>Job goes well, you be chillin', killin'
>Getting more and more into it... and more and more violent
>Relying on your instincts(?), to pull this job through, getting more and more gruesome
>Now you're getting ready to finish off your assignment!

Thread #1: >>38921081
LAST THREAD: >>38996373

Last posts
>>39054044
>>39054046
>>39054049
>>39054270
>>
>>39071508
>For now you need a place to hide so they won't get to shoot you as soon as they round the corner
>Your eyes dart around the hallway as you are assessing your chances, letting your training and mental conditioning
>The rooms are mostly barren but a couple of beds and desks do remain, which gives you an idea
>Pulling out one of the heavier pieces of furniture that you can fit through the door, you drag it over to the entrance of the locked door and prop it up
>That should at least buy you a little bit of time before they can get in
>A few more beds and desks are pulled out of the rooms to serve as potential barricades or hurdles for the mobsters to climb over to reach the door
>Finally, your eyes fall on the ceiling... specifically the fact that it is made up of multiple panels and it should not be too hard to hide up there
>One jump is all it takes for your powerful legs to carry you into the ceiling, pushing away one of the panels and landing you in a rather tight crawlspace
>It thankfully is big enough for you to be able to crawl through while down on all fours
>Pushing the panel into place, you move over closer towards the entrance of the stairwell of this hallway
>One of the panels you lightly raise and use a piece of metal you found to prop it up slightly so you can see down
>Returning back closer towards the middle of the hallway, you lay down and wait, keeping your ears trained on the downstairs area
>Finally, the tell tale noises of hooves reaches your ears and you hear them stop in what you assume to be the beginning of the hall
>You can only imagine the confused looks on their faces as their safe room is scattered with random bits of used plastic and wood
>"Wh't da fuck are yous waitin' for? Git a move on", you hear one pony bellow in anger and you have a good idea who that might be
>Ever so slightly lifting the panel in front of you, you glance down into the dinky corridor and at the end see a group of 9 ponies
>4 of them are currently climbing over your first obstacle at the behest of one stallion pointing his hoof, a grey unicorn with a black mane and black fedora
>With a fashion sense this tasteless, you assume that is the "big boss", of the operation
>The 4 unicorns being sent forwards carefully peek into each room they pass until they are about halfway through
>Satisfied, the boss begins climbing over the barricades as well while the 4 last ponies keep an eye on the way to the stairs behind
>Once Granite made his way to the first 4, they continue on moving and you finally take the chance you've been waiting for
>Lowering the panel, you pull the pin on one of your last grenades and with precise aim you roll it through the propped up ceiling panel to drop down onto the unsuspecting group below
>They hardly have any time to react as the explosion fills your ears, blowing away part of the ceiling panels ahead of you
>>
>>39071516
>The hallway erupts into screeching as Granite desperately orders his 4 remaining guards to protect him
>Shots can be heard fired from their pistols and SMGs below you, but none of them seem to consider the ceiling for the source of the commotion
>This makes it easy for you to crawl right above the source of the noise unnoticed and with a push of your legs drop down on the unsuspecting crowd
>Two of the guards suffer heavy casualties as their heads are crushed under your hooves
>It's nice being heavy sometimes
>Shocked, Granite turns his head and is now face to face with your sadistic grin, something in your brain giving you gleeful enjoyment at the carnage you are causing
>The other two guards are able to quickly react to your new presence and begin their barrage of bullets in your general direction
>A couple of the shots grace you, some hitting your metal legs and deflecting all over the room
>One in particular deflects in such a nice way that it hits the boss in his leg, having him collapse onto the floor and groaning in pain
>He is cussing at the incompetence of his employees as he clutches his wound and screams bloody murder
>One of the guns you've picked up earlier comes out and with a couple well practiced moves they end up between the eyes of the two remaining guards
>On the floor, the stallion looks at you with anger in his eyes, "wazzit you want, bitch?", he spits, venomously
>"'s it money? Power? I canz give ya dat, if ya askin... if ya decide t' work fer me, ah can make ya dreams cum tru'!", he attempts to bargain his way out of this
>Any questions you got for him? Or should you just end it and get this job over with, you still have a picture to take and all that
>Could also try and get into his office and have a look around after, or you could make an exit through the roof again
>On the outside you can now clearly hear sirens and the intercom of the building begins to crackle: "This is StaSEC. We have you surrounded, come out and surrender or you WILL be seen as hostile"
>"You have 10 minutes to comply"
>Ah yes, the common Station Security threat of becoming a hostile target... which implies death at all kinds of advanced weaponry
>>
The boss doesn’t really have any way of getting more money with his entire gang dead. Just kill him, take the picture, maybe snoop around the sage room for some cash, then dip out before StaSEC comes in.
>>
>>39071520
Finish the job like a good cybermare!
>>
>>39071520
Just get the job done.
Then see about retrieving our trenchcoat. I'm thinking about going back up to the roof and jump across to the next building's fire escape from there.
>>
>>39071520
Did we kill the last of his guards, we really should before we negotiate. Play at the idea of the money offer convincing us to switch sides. Than try to get him to open the door. That's as far as he goes of course.
>>
>>39071717
we did
>>One of the guns you've picked up earlier comes out and with a couple well practiced moves they end up between the eyes of the two remaining guards
>>
>>39071727
Yeah, I got the implication, but I'm just making sure since it didn't actually say we shot.
>>
>>39071520
"Work for you? Intriguing. Alright, I've got a plan. This building is going to be full of enemies any minute now (right after I went through all the effort of clearing it out), so we need to take anything valuable you have stashed in your office and let's get the hell out of here."
Wait for the most opportune moment to stab him in the back.
>>
>>39071853
seconded, helping him walk to his office is the perfect cover for patting him down for weapons.
>>
>>39071861
Seems like that’s asking for trouble. He could have a hidden weapon that he pulls on us once he has the opportunity. No doubt we could take him, but why play with fire? We can alway take the keycard off his body.
>>
>>39071875
So he could reveal his secret stash to us. If we had more time, we could comb through everything in his office, but between chopping his head off and getting to the roof, we won't be able to give it more than a cursory glance at best.
>>
Ten minutes is a lot. I believe that we're giving up on the vault downstais too easily.
>>
>>39071907
The hardest part is letting go.
>>
>>39071916
You didn't beat the expansion.
>>
>>39071907
There’s still the rival gang down there. Although we are trained in stealth, and the gangsters would be looking out toward the cops.
>>
>>39071907
I don't like it, too risky.
>>
>>39071588 >>39071592 >>39071658
>>39071717 >>39071727 >>39071853
>>39071861 >>39071875 >>39071884
>>39071907 >>39071926 >>39071929
>This guy has nothing left to offer you, especially with his entire gang being taken out of commission
>Really, what you are about to do is nothing but merciful, considering who is about to knock down the door on the outside
>You've only ever heard stories, but StaSEC isn't known for the most equinitarian of treatments of their prisoners
>The rumors of forced labor camps for the corps do come to mind for anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves in their clutches
>Come on, Frost, just finish this job so you can go home already, before breaching happens
>But then something comes to mind as you look down at the basically entirely helpless stallion now
>The knife you were about to use on him goes back between your leg and the one gun holster you have and you stretch out a hoof to him
>At first he glances between your hoof and your face but his grin widens into a wicked smile as he takes your hoof and you pull him up
>Keeping your grip and tightening it a little you glare at him before speaking in a low voice
"Let's... discuss our terms of partnership in your office, where we hopefully stay undisturbed for a while", you nod your head towards one of the speakers
>It takes a moment for him to catch on but he uses your hoof to pull himself up on the ground and you step aside for him to walk
>Keeping him in front of you you make sure to not let any of his movements and especially his horn out of sight, lest you wish to become potential swiss cheese
>He limps on his 3 good legs past you, giving you a cursory glance as he pulls out a keycard out of his pocket
>"Ah knu yas kind canz be reasonable coulda been bought fer da right price", he mentions with what you can only feel to be an absolutely smug aura of self satisfaction
>Hobbling over to the door, he pulls a small keycard out of his vest and slides it over the reader
>It beeps and a light turns to green, in addition to the click of the electronic lock disengaging
>The green light turns to red almost instantly again though, as it is covered in the former gang bosses' life force
>A gurgling comes from the body which is slowly sinking to its knees and desperately putting a hoof to his neck to try and stop the bleeding, to no avail
>The stallion tumbles over and falls flat in front of the now open door, keycard down on the ground for you to swipe
(cont)
>>
>>39071950
>Turning it over in your hooves, this seems to be some kind of master key, which probably means that is going to give you access to the vault as well as basically any other room here
>Stepping past the rapidly growing puddle of blood that comes from the still barely conscious pony you drag him inside and let the door close, clicking shut as the lock reengages
>"You's a... lying bitch", he wheezes out as the light begins to fade from his eyes, "you's gunna... git what yous deserve"
>And with that, his chest rises and falls one final time and he goes completely still
>Getting to work you use your small but trusty knife to cut off the monster's head, which proves to be a lot harder than you had hoped
>Nevertheless, your cybernetic strength allows you to sever your price from the rest of his body and you set it down on his table
>...just to glance behind it and see a machete hanging on the wall behind him
>You take a glance at the knife you are holding and grunt in annoyance as you position the "trophy" to be presentable
>Thanks to your augmented eyes, you are able to take a picture to send to your employer
>The message receives a reply rather quickly, offering you another 1000 credits for taking a video with you saying "Never be caught messing with the rock crushers or you will share his fate"
>While that would be a nice bit of money, something about this request seems... off
>You decide to think it through as you make your way through the office
>They weren't lying when they said that this place is reinforced, the walls being made out of solid steal and you'd say it's at least half a meter of that stuff on the walls
>Most of the office turns out empty though, a couple of documents that you assume to be forged for money laundering and fake shipping jobs in the desk
>A tablet is sitting on the desk that unfortunately is locked for now, but you are very sure you'd find the most juicy details on Granite's personal and secured tablet, basically a jackpot all things considered
>As you are about to get your move on to get back out, you notice a giant painting on the wall opposite of the desk
>Taking it off, you find a safe embedded into the wall and you smile with glee.... until you see it is locked with a number combination and not a keycard
>You aren't exactly the most skilled safe cracker and aren't sure how long it would take to get that thing open
>Quite frankly, you should probably consider leaving, the fuzz is gonna burst down the doors here any minute now
>And hopefully only the door downstairs, you would hate if they ended up trying to follow your plan of entry, you wouldn't be surprised
>But perhaps this room holds more secrets if you start searching more thoroughly?
>>
>>39071954
>>Thanks to your augmented eyes, you are able to take a picture to send to your employer
dang, and here I was hoping for an excuse to take the head with us.
>>
>>39071954
WHY DID YOU KILL HIM YOU DUMB FUCKING BITCH
WHAT DID YOU NOT GET ABOUT "MOST OPPORTUNE MOMENT"?
>>
>>39071954
I don’t see the risk in taking the video and getting an extra 1k credits. Depends on how far we are from the roof access, but we should probably poke our head out to make sure it’s not about to be swarmed by the fuzz. I imagine anything super valuable will be locked in the safe, and we can always take the tablet with us and come back later for the vault and sage. That is if the building is still standing.
>>
>>39072006
Maybe we can also ask for more creds for effectively taking out the other gang as well?
>>
>>39071954
Steal the tablet and get the fuck outta here. Maybe we can think plundering the vault when the heat's died down in a few days or weeks.

>>39071982
That was the most opportune moment. Delaying it any longer is inviting a chance for him to backstab us.

>>39072006
If we're taking the video it's vital that we find a way to disguise or modulate our voice. Alternatively, we can record now and make the decision to send it later, after we get away.
>>
>>39072006
I don't know how it works, but the video must be a trap. A thousand for a record that they can fake for free? Bullshit.
>>39071964
Since when do we need excuses to take trophies?
>>
>>39071954
I kind of want to throw his headless corpse out any nearby window at StaSEC just because I think it would be funny but that's probably a really bad idea.
>>
>>39072054
That’s a very good point. Frost even thought it was fishy before we had any input.
>>
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For those wondering, here's where we are so far.
>>
>>39071954
I want his fedora so I can tip it at Comet.
>>
>>39072120
Are you sure this place can't pass for a museum? It has a reasonably sophisticated security system, a painting and a dead body.
>>
>>39071954
impale the head on the machete, you now have a club.
>>
>>39072120
So you're saying we're one kidnapping away from winning?
I'm joking please don't
>>
>>39072183
I mean, if a job calls for it, who are we to deny the free market?
>>
>>39071954
The problem with you gangster types is, you never think aHEAD. You're all NECK and NECK, HEADed towards your demise, and when it finally comes, none of you can say you SAW it coming. Still, I guess I can CUT you some slack, criminals don't tend to be the SHARPEST tools in the shed.
>>
>>39071964 >>39071982 >>39072006
>>39072015 >>39072027 >>39072054
>>39072060 >>39072067 >>39072157
>>39072120 >>39072180 >>39072183
>Something in the back of your head is screaming at you how many international laws you must have broken this last hour
>But the voice is quickly silenced by something else in your noggin, overriding any kind of protest or remorse that you could have had here
>For now you comply with the request of taking the video, giving it your most professional but threatening aura as you record yourself
>Not wanting to have your real voice leak out, you decide to store it for now and later try to somehow modulate or fake your voice
>Your employer will get his video eventually, that's gonna be an easy 1k more in your pockets when you get back home later tonight
>After you're finished your eyes fall on the mobsters fedora and you are quite sure that he won't need that thing anymore
>Could you perhaps try and get some more money for another rival gang out of this?
>Certainly won't hurt to try later when you send the video back and demand your money
>Bagging the tablet and keycard, you make your leave but stop in the doorway
>Quickly hopping over to the wall, you pull down the machete and the holster it was in and strap it over your barrel
>While the head of granite might make for a good club, it wouldn't be exactly great to carry around, even if it would be a nice price to keep
>Where would you even put the head when you get back, or how would you get that back to the apartment unnoticed in the first place?
>Passing by the corpse on the floor, you consider throwing it out of a window at StaSEC for a little bit of fun and confusion, but that probably would draw more unwanted attention to you than is worth
>Swiping the keycard you open the door and step through and with a final glance back to the head, you sigh
"You gangster types really never think aHEAD, do you?", you snicker to yourself, "HEADed straight for your demise and you can't even say you SAW it coming."
(cont)
>>
>>39072296
"I'll CUT you some slack though, it was me who you were dealing with after all, even though you certainly weren't the SHARPEST tool in the shed when trusting me."
>This was really bad but you have a hard time containing your laughter, in movies the protagonist always has some witty final remarks, right?
>Right now the way is clear and you carefully make your way to the staircase again, where the sounds of heavy gunfire can be heard way downstairs
>Some kind of big fight is still going down there and you assume that to be between StaSEC and the rival gang
>Peaking over the banister ever so carefully, you can see that most of the gang members have holed up in the staircase and use the entrance as a chokepoint they repeatedly fire down
>Looks like the corpos ain't getting in through there anytime soon and neither they nor the gang members should be coming after you anytime soon
>With a satisfied smile you make your way up the stairs towards what you expect to be an easy walk back out into freedom
>...until the sound of hoofsteps coming from above you stops you dead in your tracks
>Not only that, from the sound of the hooves they are made out of... metal, followed by more pairs of hooves and from the sound of it you assume it to be 3 ponies
>You recognize a typical strike team formation with an augmented soldier leading the charge
>The blood in your veins is freezing cold at the thought of potentially one of your former... colleagues being here and you do your best attempt to calm your nerves...
>...before a wave of calm hits you hard and you finally notice the little flashing message in the corner of your HUD
>Neurostimulation engaged, Neural Override active for 00:38:12. WARNING: Extended usage detected!
>From what it sounds like, they have just entered the building and are currently securing the top floor and are probably trying to back up the ponies outside from above
>So much for your quiet exit and you have to figure something out fast, before they see and are able to report or identify you
>>
>>39072302
Didn't we make a new opening in the building when we blew out the door? Speaking about doors, did we close the one to his office?
>>
>>39072302
Oh no no no no no, we have a colossal hangover to survive for! Hide and let them pass. If they will notice us, destroy the stairs under them with a genade again, then retreat to the offices, where flying won't give any avantage to the cyborg.
>>
>>39072373
Since they got to the roof, they most likely have wings. Also, unlike the gangsters, these guys are pros. There isn't really anywhere we'll be able to reliably hide.
>>
>>39072302
Try and hide from them. Once they pass, quickly run out through the roof. If they see us, hopefully we have at least another grenade.
>>
>>39072389
They are going to be focused on getting to the fight at the bottom of the building. I doubt they will look around to hard before moving in.
>>
>>39072120
Do you have a blank version of that
>>
>>39072403
>From what it sounds like, they have just entered the building and are currently securing the top floor
Incorrect. They are going floor by floor. These guys are professionals, they aren't going to take the risk of hostiles that haven't relieved themselves yet getting behind them. That includes us.
>>
>>39072120
Violence against children should be included for the colts in the other building.
>>
>>39072389
As far as I understand, we have three alternatives: hiding, frontal attack at the strike team, and the hypothetical fragile wall between sewers and the vault. There's only two things we know for certain about the vault. First, mr. Granite didn't trust his biggest treasures to his keycard alone. Second, comsecs lied about ten minutes. In the absence of better ideas I'd take my chances with hiding.
>>
>>39072435
What I know is that the vault, and thus the wall, is below the gunfight downstairs and that the team upstairs is something we most likely can't stealth past. Especially considering our history with being stealthy. Didn't the mare say that it was opened ONLY by his keycard?
>>
>10
Bump
>>
>>39072468
The fighting might distract both sides from noticing us sneaking past them. It’s tricky without knowing if there is any way to skirt around the battle or if the main stairwell is the only way down. If it’s the later, we really can’t sneak past. And we don’t exactly have the time to just stroll around hoping there’s a second way down.
>>
>>39073336
This is most likely the only stairwell since nobody tried to circle around to get past the destroyed stairs and the cops would've split up to cover all of the roof accesses. From my perspective, if we try to go either conventional way, it's going to lead to contact with the enemy.
>>
>>39073388
Yeah, we’re kinda between a rock and a hard place. Hiding is looking like our best bet, unless we just want to take the initiative and meet the strike team head on. Sounds it’s just 2 soldiers and a cyborg. We might be able to take them if we surprise them. Especially with a grenade.
>>
>>39073426
Would that work if they're wearing body armor? Also, as I stated before, they're specifically looking for hiding ponies. It annoys me that despite my pointing it out earlier, nobody is considering taking advantage of the hole we made in the exterior wall when we blew up the armory.

>It propels the door right out of the doorway, through the wall on the opposite side as it rips a new window out to the outside world

We didn't check, but it could've continued through the wall of the building next to us.
>>
>>39073443
Our building is a stand alone. It’s clearly depicted as having at least the one other building close to it, but nothing actually connecting. Not to mention that Frost just straight up acknowledges that the hole is useless to her unless she grew some wings.
>>
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>>39072410
Sure.
>>
>>39073512
Sources:
>It propels the door right out of the doorway, through the wall on the opposite side as it rips a new window out to the outside world
>While it may be a nice escape route if you could fly, it currently doesn't really help you

>Once again checking the maps around you see that there is plenty of buildings around and reaching the roof while jumping from one of them (especially with your new legs) should be doable
>8 guards, you spot them all across the roof of the other building, all in pairs of two and covering one side of the complex
>>
>>39073512
If up likely leads to combat, down likely leads to combat, and hiding likely leads to combat, why not at least consider sideways.
>>
>>39073534
Flight would be an easy escape through the wall, but it doesn't necessarily mean a trickier escape without flight isn't possible. If the gap between buildings is small enough to jump across and considering the fact that we initially underestimated how far we can jump, if we can land on something stable, at most two floors below us, it would qualify as an escape route. As I said earlier, the door technically could've made a hole in the adjacent building large enough for us to jump through, thus reaching a potential floor on the other side.
>>
>>39073551
Sure, maybe we could jump from one of the windows to an adjacent building, but we’d probably be seen. If the cops are coming through the front and roof entrances, they probably have the building completely surrounded. I guess that’s still a better chance. Maybe there’s only like 2 cops watching the alley and we can jump on them and sneak away.
>>
>>39073566
>>39073573
You're thinking actual windows that are designed into the building and are usually facing the street, I'm talking about the large hole we created in the side of the stairwell. It is most likely an alley facing wall with low visibility from the street. The original plan was to go up to the open roof that would leave us highly visible and the new plan is to hide, get behind the searching cops, and go to the same exposed roof. The only other option is to go through the active firefight below to reach the basement and create a VERY obvious exit.
>>
>>39072420
Eh, they attacked us first. It was self defense.
>>
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>>39074495
shalom IDF
>>
>>39072302
What's a "movie"? Some weird kind of sim?
>>
>>39074750
What are you talking about? Movie as in motion picture. Like something you’d watch on TV.
>>
>>39074764
Oh, you mean a hologram!
>>
>>39074779
The hardware used to display an image wild change what we call the image. A movie playing on both a TV and hologram would still just be called a movie.
>>
>>39074791
*Would not change
>>
>>39074791
why would anyone waste time on movies in a world where full-dive VR is widely available?
>>
>>39074797
Fuck, I forgot about diving.
>>
>>39074797
hipsters
>>
>>39072337 >>39072373 >>39072389 >>39072394 >>39072403 >>39072412
>>39072420 >>39072435 >>39072468 >>39073336 >>39073388 >>39073426
>>39073443 >>39073512 >>39073535 >>39073551 >>39073573 >>39073611
>>39074750 >>39074764 >>39074779 >>39074791 >>39074795 >>39074797
>>39074806 >>39074854
>Being stuck between a rock and a hard place isn't how you hoped this mission would end, but where would the fun be in an easy way out
>You feel a bout of panic coming on but that is washed away as your neurostimulator that you have now finally become aware of sends out a flood of neurotransmitters
>There isn't really much time to think about all of that though, as you weigh your options carefully
>Down? Leads to combat against at least 50-80 ponies, some well trained, the others probably less so, but still a tough nut to crack or sneak by by
>Up? 3 ponies, assumingly highly trained specialists in this field perhaps even matching your training
>You might be able to take them on if you can manage to surprise them on their way down here if you play your cards right
>The final option would be... you glance down the stairwell a little opposite of the former armory
>Still there is that hole in the wall that you've expertly managed to break through with your jury rigged, door shaped wrecking ball
>About 2 floors above you you can hear voices call out "all clear", followed by heavy boots descending the staircase and a door being kicked open
>The ponies above you hurry into what you assume to be the corridor right above you and you know you only have precious little time remaining
>Thanks to your augmented eyes you are at least able to look through the hole in the wall from your position
>And while you can't see down into the alley, you can spot windows facing this building on the opposite wall
>Three of the windows are smashed in from where you assume the door has hit the other apartment complex but it hasn't broken through
>If bad comes to worst, you could probably take a page out of Shell's book and take a leap of faith into the other building
>That should at least get you out of this two-front-assault
(cont)
>>
>>39075236
>For now though, you decide to attempt hiding, at least in the hopes of getting the drop on an unsuspecting member of the assault team
>Thinking fast you head back into the now ruined by a grenade hallway and quickly jump back up into the ceiling, where you crawl as far to the end of the little cavity that you can
>Reading one of your last two grenades you push yourself low against the ceiling and slow your breathing as much as you can
>Thanks to your augs, that doesn't end up too difficult and you listen closely to the carnage happening below
>Until the dreaded noises of hooves come thundering down the stairs that stop outside of the entrance to the stairwell
>"What in the princesses' name happened here?", a gruff voice of a stallion says, none that you recognize though
>A mare answers him in a low voice: "I don't know, but whatever it was must have had some real firepower"
>"Ewww, what the heck did I step in- are those guts?", the mare eeps in surprise and disgust
>"Shut up. Both of you", you hear the last of the trio, another stallion, but still not a voice that rings any bells to you
>"Follow me, and carefully", the same voice says and you hear metallic hoofsteps climbing over half assed barricades that you've put together
>Guns click as the other two presumably lock and load before following their leader
>You begin to hold a breath, almost starting to shake at how worried you are
>The three are getting closer and ever closer, probably checking every side room carefully
>Until you hear them come to a stop right below you, their guns clattering as they look around carefully
>One of the three seems to start fiddling with a bag and then you hear something being quietly attached to the door
>A few seconds later, you hear a small bang and the door being kicked down, with two of them storming inside the office
>The third is probably out guarding the door for nopony to come in
(cont)
>>
>>39075242
>From inside you hear a shocked gasp, "what in the everloving fuck is this?", the lead stallion asks quietly, sounding disturbed
>"I-I think I'm gonna-", you hear the mare reply, before you can hear her wretch, "what sick individual would... do something like this?"
>"A psychopath. Something we have to make sure won't cause us anymore trouble", the leader threatens
>It is then that something in front of you starts to move in the darkness, something small
>In the dim light you can barely make out it's form, a small rat that has crawled out of a nearby vent is now skittering across the ceiling panels
>Below you, you can hear a gun clatter as it moves and then fires a single bullet through the ceiling panel in front of you, much too close for comfort
>"Gale, what the fuck!", you hear screaming out of Granite's office and 8 hoofs rushing out
>"Think I heard something. In the ceiling!", the pony named Gale whispers, to which you hear more guns being aimed at what you assume to be you
>The seconds feel like tense hours that are interrupted by more shots, one hitting the terrified mouse and splattering her into red guts that decide to land right on your face
>You got some in your mouth and have to desperately suppress the instinct of spitting
>The panels in front of you crash down to the floor and multiple more seconds of silence pass before one of the ponies lets out a relaxed sigh
>"Just a rodent. You shoot up this place for a FUCKING rodent?", the lead stallion hisses in disbelief
>"Sorry, gear. Coulda been something, right?", the stallion replies, sheepishly
>He only gets a sigh in reply before the leader announces an "all clear" and begins to make his way back down the hallway
>The other two follow and once they seem far enough away, you let out the breath you were holding
>Just in time to hear their boots stop
>"Did you... hear that?", Gear is asking and you hear hoofsteps coming back again
>This shapes up to be so much more tense and difficult than the movies you sometimes watched while you had nothing to do on the old screen in your old breakroom
>>
>>39075248
Bloody dammit, how did they hear that with the fighting going on downstairs?
Keep still, we can still salvage this.
>>
>>39075248
If we just throw a grenade below us, we’ll blow ourselves up. So maybe jump down from the ceiling while tossing a grenade their way and quickly ducking into the room they just opened and cleared? While the two ponies with Gear don’t seem to be the utmost professionals, they have some firepower and are trigger happy. So still a problem, not to mention Gear himself. If we have to fight, we’ll be walking away hurt, but we can totally take them.
>>
>>39075375
Unless we just hold our breath again and keep hiding.
>>
>>39075248
Sit tight, be bored. They have no idea where we are.
>A psychopath
Not fair. Technically, for all we know, it may be correct, but it's not like these militants are here to bring nice flowers to the bandits downstairs. Or they think that we are worse than them specifically because we dismembered one corpse? Granite was already dead! It was a victimless crime, victimless crimes are not really crimes! Fucking prudes.
>You got some in your mouth
Keep it closed, then.
>>
>>39075282 >>39075375 >>39075379 >>39075395
>A grenade will just catch you in the blast zone and you aren't exactly ready to lose two more legs
>How could this guy even hear you, especially with all the fighting going on downstairs?!
>The only reasonable explanation you can come up with at the top of your head right now is that he may not only have augmented legs but also ears
>For some reason the idea of augmented ears make you excessively squirmish and the feeling of your legs bound tightly suddenly comes to you and your legs don't move anymore
>Probably for the better as once again you hold your breath once more, not daring to move a muscle anyways
>In your HUD you count the seconds that pass with your eyes staring down at the ceiling panel that has been shot down in front of you
>After a minute of absolute silence (apart from the fighting coming from downstairs), the cyborg turns around, "'s was nothing, I guess" and gets back to moving
>This time, you don't make the same mistake and wait until you hear them trot down the stairs and away from you
>Feeling confident that you are alone, you gently drop down from your hiding spot and spit out the while former rodent that has made it's way into your mouth as you gag
>Still, rude of them to call you a psychopath, you're not..... are you?
>Worry creeps in as you carefully creep out of your corridor and peek around the corner of the entrance, down the staircase
>From a floor below you you can hear the same procedure that you heard coming from above, the assault team clearing out floor for floor
>You rather not stick around and decide to make your way upwards towards the roof, although the idea of throwing a grenade after the squad does come to mind and sounds... rather appealing
>Maybe the cyborg has some gear that you can make your own?
>Military grade augs are known to be able to take a beating and a half
>Or you could try making your escape as you don't really hear any more noise coming from the ceiling, you assume things are about as clear as they can get from here on out
>Any specific way you want to try and get your ass out of here, though?
>Perhaps tricks to avoid confrontation or the like, or just make a run for it?
>Or actually try and get some more hardware for yourself without exorbitant prices
>>
>>39075563
Let's just go home.
>>
>>39075563
More hardware sounds very nice. And with their backs to us, we’ve got an even better chance at taking them out without getting hurt. I vote for the grenade route. No risk, no reward.
>>
>>39075563
I vote going home. The point of avoiding the fight is so that the corpos doesn't know our involvement in this whole ruckus. Even if we can kill them all, I'm concerned that the cyborg probably have gears that's streaming live telemetry back to their HQ.
>>
>>39075563
Enhanced hearing would be really useful. While I don't think we can extract his auditory augments right here, we could still chop off his head and bring it to a ripperdoc.
>>39076434
If we kill them with a grenade, all HQ would see is a blast and then static. Besides, they already know of some rogue actor going around chopping heads off.
>>
>>39075248
>A psychopath
well, I never! a lesser mare would've gutted them for such boorishness, but a literal decapitation strike should suffice.
>>
>>39076952
That’s the only issue I see with attacking the kill squad right now, we don’t actually have a way to get their implants aside from dragging back Gear’s corpse. But wouldn’t it be a nice present for Shell if we got him a new pair of lungs?
>>
>>39075248
That was really tense. Good job QM
>>39075563
Corpos and gangs and cyborgs? Nope outta here. We can get more money another day.

Also, regarding the video-for-1000 -- we shouldn't send it. It'll get out to the public and corpos will know we were there.
>>
>>39077658
Eh, there still may be a safe use for the video. Let's show it to Comet and ask her opinion. She knows this game.
>>
>>39077658
If we change our voice, we should be safe from corpos finding us. They wouldn’t look for us being involved in gang wars if we don’t get caught here and now.
>>
>>39077674
Oh my god it'd be like when your pet cat brings you a dead mouse, endearing and just a little bit gross: "Hey, take a look at this video of the mob boss that I beheaded :D"
>>
>>39077690
I'm not certain she'd only find it a little bit gross, but she's surprised us before.
>>
>>39077690
I can only imagine that Shell will be at Comet’s as Frost walks in with a severed head.
>>
>>39077882
>hey, why are you both looking at me like I've got two heads?
>>
>>39076952
I imagine we could just cut out the parts we need. It’s a grizzly task, but we wouldn’t we extracting them properly, just removing the enhancements from most of their meat. We can always clean them up later. Now the real question is how much mare do we want to replace with metal.
>>
>>39078295
Enhanced hearing would be invaluable in our line of work. We've already lost much of our equinity, what's a little bit more?
>>
>>39078343
True, we might even get good at stealth if we could hear enemies before they hear us.
>>
>>39078295
>>39078343
>>39078431
Connect the fucking dots already. It would be super out of character to augment her ears.

>With a final glance around the room, you see a bunch of things on tables that you assume would have been added to you
>A mechanical set of ears, quite an assortment of what seems to be bio-mechanical computer chips that you couldn't even begin to comprehend the usage for as well
>Not on your watch

>For some reason the idea of augmented ears make you excessively squirmish and the feeling of your legs bound tightly suddenly comes to you and your legs don't move anymore
>>
>>39078540
I'm glad somebody finally pointed it out.
>>
>>39078540
>I had a spooky dream so now I can't improve myself
Frost's objection was to being unwillingly augmented by the corporate scum who enslaved her, and her bout of panic was most likely caused by being reminded of her nightmare. There is no logical reason for an auditory augmentation to elicit any more fear in her than the pair of legs she got installed earlier today.
>>
>>39078540
Frost isn't afraid of getting more augments, she's been fantasizing about getting wings and a WAND ever since she got back on four legs.
>>
>>39078648
>>39078641
She already got those augment slots. The same goes for the legs. The connectors are already there, she used to have those augments before. This would be an entirely new set of parts attached to her, there is a big difference
>>
>>39078641
>>39078648
Ain't reading ur shit. I get the thrill of inventing irritating, intentionally borderline nonsensical excuses to kill somebody, but you gotta try a little.
>>
>>39078653
I suppose there is a difference between replacing lost parts and installing brand-new systems, but should that affect Frost's decision? Seeing as her body is already full of augmentations, refusing this one on principle seems strange. I'd even argue that we should get the augment on principle, on the principle of self-determination, as the first augment Frost has freely chosen to install in her body.
>>
>>39075629 >>39075688 >>39076434
>>39076952 >>39077227 >>39077586
>>39077658 >>39077674 >>39077687
>>39077690 >>39077701 >>39077882
>>39077925 >>39078295 >>39078343
>>39078540 >>39078551 >>39078641
>>39078648 >>39078653
>While the idea of potentially more loot is an interesting one, you aren't sure if you are willing to further exhaust yourself today
>That and the chance that you could end up discovered or hurt really isn't worth the risk...
>...especially not for augmentations, the idea of losing more of your equinity drives a cold terror into your heart and forces images to mind that you'd rather forget
>On silent clippy cloppy hooves you make your way over the barricades that you have set up and back out into the main stairway
>If the cyborg leader really has augmented hearing you need to do your best to play it stealthy... even though you are distinctly aware of how well that worked out for you so far
>Silently creeping towards the staircase you attempt to glance down and see the firefight below still in full force, multiple times one of the gangsters taking a bullet to the head and dropping like flies
>Looks like StaSEC has finally managed to at least gain the upper hoof ever so slightly, but they are still barely capable of making a push
>Below you, you hear another "all clear" and your targets starting to make their way down the next floor
>They got their backs turned to you which is making what comes next hopefully a lot easier as you turn tail and creep up the stairs, back to what hopefully is going to be an easy exit
>The way up the stairs is a harrowing one and you keep finding yourself looking over your shoulder, expecting a metallic hoof in your face any moment
>Thankfully, none of that comes true and you soon reach the final landing on the stairs, the door to the outside being busted wide open
>Outside you can see a few search lights from flying vehicles calmly pass over the roof, they should be easy to avoid if you stay careful and to the shadows
>Trotting out of the building you duck into the shadows and creep along the floor, avoiding the spotlights that probably mean you'd be screwed if they fell upon you
>Slowly making your way to the edge of this building you repeatedly come close to one of the security vehicles spotting you
>The one thing you are really glad about is that they didn't bother putting any actual ponies onto the roof, staying content with just keeping visuals on it
>They clearly expect nopony to actually get past the armed forces they sent in from the top
(cont)
>>
>>39078726
>Waiting for the next spotlight to pass by you take a short distance and make your jump, your hoof kicking you off the ground to send you flying
>Right in that moment, a spotlight moves to intercept you, but you send out a small thanks to the princesses as it misses you by a hair's breath and you duck and roll onto the other roof
>Quickly hurrying back to get your trench coat you left you put that on and start running from roof to roof in the dead of the night
>You at least wish to get a little away from here, lest you want to walk out right into the hooves of some really riled up station security
>With each jump, the chems that had been pumped into you through the entire ordeal lessen and lessen in potency...
>And what catches up with you isn't just physical exhaustion...
>Without the neurostim's influence, your mind returns to a clarity you didn't know you were missing and the weight of what you had just done comes back crushing in in full force
>Your conscience is going into overdrive as you mentally review the job, your cold brutality and efficiency at killing...
>Oh by the stars, you've pushed her over the railing without even a hint of remorse.... then
>Tears well up in your eyes as the realization dawns on you that you may really be a psychopath as the squad leader said
>Is this... you can't recall you've ever remembered what happened after a mission had been completed when you were still... on a leash
>Have those memories always been stripped from you or your mind been messed with?
>Just what did these ponies do to you?
>One one of the roofs that you have now gotten to, you just fall down to your hooves and feel the tears roll down your face
>Breathing heavily you lay on your side and bury your head in your hooves, trying to push the thoughts of what happened today out of your mind
>What will Comet think? What about Shell?
>Will they... they won't just leave you, will they?
>The thought of once again being on your own terrifies you, almost as much as the idea of losing more of yourself
>But maybe that is exactly what makes you so worried, the fact that you're losing not only your body but also your self... or those that through the short time you've known them but already mean so much to you
>The urge to return back to Comet's apartment has all but disappeared, the thought of engaging her after tonight unbearable
>On the other hoof, she may be worried about you.... right?
>Scenes of her screaming you out of her apartment after seeing you or hearing what you did drive themselves into your heart like sharp daggers
>What are you going to do? Can you somehow smooth this over? Should you just... leave them before they find out who you really are?
>So much are you in thought, that you don't notice the door to the roof opening a couple meters away and a figure coming out of it, freezing as they see you lying in a heap, a small pistol trained on you
>>
>>39078731
"Killing isn't all that great, y'know."
>>
>>39078731
Would a psychopath cry like a bitch after a mission like that? Face it, Frost, you haven't done away with that pesky morality quite yet. Deal with the pistol pointer, grab your trenchcoat, and get out of here.
>>
>>39078731
I suggest alcohol.
>>
>>39078789
depends, is frost a happy drunk or an angry drunk? I'd hate to get in a bar fight and accidentally kill someone.
>>
>>39078808
We won't know until we try.
>>
>>39078731
Nice to see that we do have a conscience after all. We definitely need to see Comet and Shell, and a therapist if our trauma didn’t stem from mass murder.
>>
>>39078731
I wounder what Shell thinks considering he has a live feed of our diagnostics. Also, continue balling our eyes out like a newborn foal. Has she remembered herself smiling while doing all of that shit yet?
>>
>>39078740 >>39078762 >>39078789
>>39078808 >>39078829 >>39078920
>Heaving sobs escape your shivering form on the ground until your ears perk up at the sound of hooves coming closer to you
>The police, they are coming for you, clearly, is the first thing that jumps to your head and just as quickly you are on your hooves, drawing your own gun at the newcomer
>A couple meters away from you a mare stands, hooves up in the air with a bottle in her left as you keep your gun trained on her
>"W-woah, easy there sister", the tired looking figure says with the voice of a pony that smokes 2 packs a day
>You narrow your eyes at her to which she flinches and takes a step back carefully from you, her eyes going between your gun and your tear streaked face
>She gently puts her hooves down, before keeping her eyes on yours, "you alright, hun? Because you really don't look alright at all"
>Either she is very good at reading ponies or you look like that much of a mess, which you really just hope it is the former
>Carefully taking steps closer to you, she tries to act as none threateningly as possible but you keep your weapon trained on her
>She eyes it as she walks past you, sitting down near the edge of the roof and putting the bottle down on the wall
>The mare glances back to you, before patting the spot next to her with her hoof
>"What's the holdup, hun? Don't got all night now, do I?", she tells you in her scratchy voice, but something just seems right about following her request right now
>Carefully tucking away your gun, you slowly move over while keeping a scrutinizing gaze on the mare looking for any kind of trouble
>Sitting down as she asked she smiles a small, welcome smile at you before picking up her bottle and taking a swig straight from it
>She holds it out to you and at first you are a little hesitant but a couple more nudges on your arm with the bottle convinces you
>Putting the bottle to your lips you lean your head back, the liquid flowing down your, which you now just started realizing, completely dried out throat
>It burns all the way down and you fall into a coughing fit to which the mare next to you breaks out in roaring laughter
>She takes the bottle, another swig vanishing down her throat, "pretty good, that firewater, innit, sister?", she smugly smiles at you
>"Rumor has it that stuff's distilled by actual kirins, with how hot it is I'd almost like to believe it, eh?", she nudges you in the side as you recover from your coughing fit
>While it might burn, it at least numbs the voices in your head a little so you reach over to take another swig
(cont)
>>
>>39079161
>Being a bit more careful, you can hold it this time around and feel a comforting warmth spread through your body radiating from your core
>"Girl, you look like you've been through tartarus thrice", she says, looking out over the city from your vantage point as she lights up a cigarette
>She offers one to you and while you never did try before, to your knowledge at least, you graciously accept
>You've already been introduced to the magic of firewater, why not try a couple new things tonight while you're at it
>....you regret that as you realize that cigarettes actually taste like absolute shit, but you do decide to power through and start mirroring her
>Something you just now noticed is that she is using one wing to hold the smoke, the one facing away from you... the other one missing which is why you took her for an earth pony at first
>Inside you, something very much resonates with her loss and she seems to catch you staring
>"Accident in my younger years. Worked a butcher job, ended up getting butchered myself", she shrugs and returns to her smoke
>"What about you, mare? You look like you could use a hospital... the fact that you are walking around with how you look seems to be a miracle"
>Glancing down at yourself, you see just how splattered in blood and everything you are and you shrug, "most of it isn't mine"
>She chuckles at that and gives you a half assed shrug
"Killing isn't all that great, y'know", you tell the mare with a long drawn out sigh as another swig of firewater goes down your thirsty throat
"And looks like I've still got that pesky thing called morality with me remaining. So much for being a psychopath", you huff in annoyance and take another drag form your cigarette
>The world seems so grim, especially with the past couple hours behind you and the next few hours ahead
>Falling into silence, you just follow the mare's gaze and watch the lights of the city dance as the time goes by
>Not... having to talk feels nice, even though there is so much you would just love to get off your chest
>More firewa- oh, the bottle's empty, you frown as you hold it up to your lips and try to lean back
>You have to chuckle at the world around you seemingly shaking, like on a boat, even though you've never been on a boat
>Getting up, you stumble around the roof before face planting and starting to giggle
>The half pegasus is quick to your side to prop you up
(cont)
>>
>>39079164
>"Ey there, easy, sister. You're alright there?"
>No.
>No you are anything but alright, but you want...
>You want to see Comet again.
>And Shell
>And maybe even Morning Dawn, that has yet to be determined
>You wonder what she smells like?
>Wait what, what the heck are these thoughts
>...what would comet taste l- FROST!
>You mentally knock your head against an imaginary wall
>Part of you can't help but giggle
>"First time drunk?", your new friend asks with a bit of a chuckle
>All you can do is nod with a goofy smile
>Guess you found out what kind of drunk you are
>"Come, you can.. stay on my couch today", the mare tries to pull you towards the entrance back down but you pull the other direction
>But you pull into the other direction, "n-no, I want to... I wanna get home to comet", you whine like a young foal
>Thinking about all the shit is for tomorrow frost to deal with... just like the hangover you've been promised by the mare next to you
>"Home... at this hour, in your condition?", the mare sighs
>"Hun, by the stars are you sure that is a good idea? Do you... want me to take you home?", she carefully asks
>Options, options
>Take her up on the offer to take you home? Or stay with her for the night?
>It might be nice having somepony to talk to, therapist style
>Or maybe you could just call Comet to pick you up, that would be nice
>Oh you could call Shell and tell him the good news!
>And the guy who hired you for the money, gotta debrief after all!
>So much to do, so little to time!
>>
>>39079168
We'll need to get cleaned up before we go anywhere, be that bed or Comet's.
>>
>>39079168
>a small pistol trained on you
What happened to it? Was it even real?

No, we should go. Comet is going to be worried if we won't come back tonight. But our new pegasus friend is more than welcome to tag along. It's nice to have a company and, uh, we can protect her if this city will try anything! She probably can't tell, but we're very strong. Flex some muscles at her.
Onwards, to adventure.
>>
>>39079168
Call Comet and have her come get us. Then while we’re waiting, call the boss and debrief and collect our reward. Then call Shell.
>>
>>39079540
We should hold off until after we decide on the video bonus.
>>
>>39079553
You’re right
>>
>>39079168
If we're staying with drunk made, we should at least try to contact Comet to tell her we're okay.
>>39079257
>Flex some muscles at her.
Chromium-coated cyborg muscles, that is.
>>
>>39079257
>a small pistol trained on you
What happened to it? Was it even real?

I think we mistook the bottle for a gun.
>>
>>39079168
Seconding >>39079185 and >>39079257, maybe the mare will let us borrow her shower, or a wet rag.
>>
>>39079168
Send a message to comet saying we're laying low for now and we'll be back tomorrow. This mare's kindness would be intriguing enough even if we weren't sorely in need of it, so I'd like to spend some more time with her.
>>
>>39079168
She's already done more for Frost than anypony in their right mind would. You should accept the offer to come back to her apartment, not just because Frost shouldn't show up at Comet's dripping with blood, but also so you can find out more about her and possibly pay her back in the future.
>>
>>39079168
don't forget your tenchcoat ya dingus
if you walk around town with that mare while covered in blood people might assume she's your pimp
>>
>>39080531
>Quickly hurrying back to get your trench coat you left you put that on and start running from roof to roof in the dead of the night
>>
Bunp
>>
>>39079168
I feel like the fewer ponies see us like this, the better. Graciously accept her offer of a couch to stay on.
>>
>>39079185 >>39079257 >>39079540
>>39079553 >>39079608 >>39079608
>>39079792 >>39080328 >>39080409
>>39080441 >>39080487 >>39080531
>>39080572 >>39081493
"Noooooo I can go alone!", you whine as you get up before looking around and having the sudden realization: Your trenchcoat, you gotta go back and grab your trench coat!
>Flexing one of your cyber hooves you show her how strong you are by flexing your chromium-coated cyborg muscles with a satisfied grin, "I'm really strong!", you slur out
>The pegasus just raises an eyebrow at you casting you a scrutinizing glance but doesn't say anything as she just looks at you confused
>You turn around and it is at this moment that you trip over your trench coat that you are wearing that you are already wearing, faceplanting once again
"Ouchie", is all you can get out as you sit back up and rub your snoot, the mare breaking out into bellowing laughter
>Great, now not only your nose is hurt but also your pride now, but her laughter is contagious as you soon join in and the pain has all but disappeared again
>While it doesn't do away with what you've done and the last couple hours haunting you, the laughter helps you driving the storm clouds away from you, for now
>....The alcohol doesn't exactly hurt either... not mentally at least you think as you rub your snoot, still
>Something that you do notice after you remove your hoof from your face you notice how much dried and crusted blood is sticking to it
>That sobers you up enough to regain some of your lucidity and you frown, the sudden shift in mood like a chilly blanket to the point that your new friend notices
>She puts a hoof to your side cautiously, looking at you in concern, "Hey, you alright there, girl?"
>Shaking your head you sigh before glancing at her and while still a bit slurry, "Do you mind if I use your shower? And... I think I'd like to stay the night, if you don't mind of course"
>Nodding instantly, she is to your side to lead you downstairs into the apartment building, "of course, hun, a nice hot shower always improves my mood too, so take as much time as you need"
>Leading you down through the dirty halls it kind of reminds you of the apartment building that Shell has brought you into... which subsequently got torn up
>Anger rises in you and you really hope you can pay back whoever caused this a hundredfold
>Also in the light you finally are able to catch the mare's looks properly, her coat a light purple and her mane like silk and white as snow
>On her cutiemark you see what looks like a steel pole and you can only imagine how she got that
>Unlocking the door with actual, physical keys, it opens up and you hear tiny hoofsteps rushing up to the front door
>Screams of two young ponies reach your ears as two almost identically looking fillies round the corner into the tiny apartment entrance and jump into the pegasus' arms, "Mommy, I finished all my assignments"
(cont)
>>
>>39081831
>She pats one of the fillies on her head, "Good work, Berry, what about about your sister?", she gives the other filly a warm smile who turns her face away, "assignments are dumb!"
>"Now, now, Fruity, you'll know your teacher gets mad when you don't do her tasks!", the mother gives the filly a frown but starts smiling again as she boops her daughter
>"But moooom... I... I really don't get them", the filly, Fruity, whines, "a-and Berry is so much better why should I even try", she once again looks away from her mom
>"Come on, honey, give it another try, for me?", she ruffles the filly's mane to which the young one desperately tries to push her mother's hoof away and replies "o-ok mom..."
>"Oh, and before I forget it, you two will have somepony to watch you tonight!", she steps aside, letting them see you for the first time
>"Girls, this is...", she looks at you, realizing that she hasn't even asked your name yet
>Thankfully, you catch on and give them a small smile: "Frost. You can call me Frost"
>"Now what do we say, girls?", their mother sternly reminds them to which the two little pegasus fillies reply: "Good afternoon, Miss Frost!"
>One of them, Berry, bounces up to you, "Miss, why is there Ketchup all over your face?", she asks with a curious look
>You are a bit taken back and quickly try to come up something reasonable to satisfy their curiosity, "I-I've been in... uh... a food fight! Yeah, that! The other ponies had mustard all over them!"
>Trying your best to giggle, her mom seems satisfied with your response, "now, now girls, go to your room and Berry? Please help your sister out with her homework, alright?"
>"Yeeeees mom!", they say in unison, a little bit protest-y before scampering off into a room again
>The mare smiles after them with a happiness that only the most important things in a pony's life can bring
>She then remembers something before quickly pulling you inside and closing the door behind her
>"Alright, bathroom is that door over there. It's not big but it should suffice. I have to get ready for work, if the small ones bother you too much, just tell them to go to their room... and to sleep", she looks at the clock
>Her movements become more erratic as she starts pulling clothes and shoes from various spots of the small flat, quickly and in from the looks of it practiced motion putting them on
>"I'm Dancer, by the way", she says as she puts on her shiny stockings and then her shows before heading to the door, "I'll be back by morning, sorry for pushing them on to you, but you can't believe how much I appreciate this"
>She then waves at you before hurrying out the door and leaving you alone
(cont)
>>
>>39081831
>that you are wearing that you are already wearing
apparently, fuckups are contagious.
>>
>>39081833
>Deciding to use the chance you head into the bathroom, locking it behind you and looking at yourself in the mirror
>You have bags under your eyes, your face is covered in red splotches and your hooves are shaking as you look into those empty eyes of yours
>Yet despite all that, you're smiling, if only ever so slightly
>Talking to Dancer has done you at least a little bit of good to the point where you are able to face at least Comet tonight... hopefully
>You dial her number, hoping that she is still available at this hour and willing to talk
>With how fast she picks up, you can only assume she was expecting this call all night
>"Oh thank the stars, you're alright, I was super worried, Frost!", the concerned voice and accompanying picture of the batmare pops up in front of you
>She stares long and hard at you as her eyes go wide and her mouth hangs open, "Frost! What happened to your face, are you ok?! Where are you?!"
"Most of it isn't mine", you wave a hoof at her trying to calm her down, "and I just... wanted to inform you that I'll be laying low for tonight. I'll get back to the apartment in the morning, alright?"
>"Frost, what's going on? Where are you? Do you need me to come get you?", her concern in her voice is obvious...
>You can only assume news haven't gone out yet and you let out a breath you didn't realize you were holding
>"I found a place to stay for the night and... I'm a little drunk so I'll stick here for now. Really I see you in the morning, I'll be safe until then!", you promise her
>She looks long and hard at you, worry written all over her face, but then she nods, "alright. I'll see you in the morning...."
>"Oh, and Shell called... he was worried, talked something about diagnostics going crazy... to the point where the nurses ended up sedating him mid-call"
>She can't help but chuckle, "poor guy is probably taking a long sleep until tomorrow, you might want to check in on him, ok? Have a good night, Frost"
"May Luna grant you sweet dreams", you reply, to which Comet flinches almost unnoticeably before ending the call
>For now, you take a long and drawn out shower, the hot water washing over you and the grime and blood and guts on you staining the shower drain red
>You use the time to try and think of what to do tonight and what you want to do tomorrow morning
>>
>>39081834
Clearly, I must be just as drunk as frost is right now
>>
>>39081837
>"May Luna grant you sweet dreams"
That feels just a little bit racist.
>>
>>39081837
let's offer our storytelling skills to the fillies, that should put them to sleep.
>>39081839
same here.
>>
>>39081837
Be a responsible adult and watch over the little ones until their bedtime. Tomorrow morning we can visit Shell and also ask his opinion on sending the video recording, he probably knows the risks more than we do.

>>39081878
Probably a sore subject.
>>
>>39081837
>leaving your children alone with an unstable murderer
Mother of the year... whichever year this is.
>>
>>39081837
The fuck just happened. She roped a self-proclaimed psychomurderer who's been pointing a gun at her a few minutes ago into nannying her children for free, just like that? How can one pony be so badass?
See if we can help fillies with her assignments. What's their deal? Are their assignments really so difficult, or Fruity just enjoys being a defeatist? Is Berry really so naive, or her question was a test of our honesty? Is "Dancer" a stage name?
>>
>>39082009
She's also very likely a stripper. Odd considering nudity is normal for ponies.
>>
>>39081902
Seconding this
>>
>>39082087
I don’t see how being a stripper has anything impact on her mothering abilities. And, yeah, for ponies who are always naked, it’d be wired taking clothes off. Sounds like she just wears lingerie and dances.
>>
>>39082119
It's a low income job that has her regularly interacting with risky individuals and might negatively influence her daughters. Also, it might be the reason she has daughters.
>>
>>39081878 >>39081885 >>39081902
>>39082009 >>39082012 >>39082147
>You finish up your shower and get out, drying yourself off with a towel hanging on the rack and stare into the mirror once more, collecting your thoughts
>Was your earlier mention of Luna... offensive in any way?
>She was the guardian of the night and dreams, using her name to invoke beautiful dreams is normal.... right?
>You sense there to be a bigger story behind Comet's reaction, perhaps you should press that tomorrow...
>Moreover, what the heck kind of mother would leave her children alone with someone who has just drawn a gun on them
>"That's right, you're a killer. A psychopathic, unstable murderer", a voice interrupts your thoughts and you stare into the mirror, your image grinning back at you
>"Yeah, you. Enjoyed bucking that mare of, didn'tcha?", your reflection asks with a smug grin and stares you down
>Mirror Frost puts a hoof to her chin and starts humming, "how many ponies do you think died because of you tonight, that's oughta be a new record, eh?"
>You can only stumble backwards and trip over your own hooves, sitting on the floor the reflection glaring down at you
>"A couple more tonight wouldn't be such a bad idea, would it?", the smile on her face grows to an unnatural size exactly the moment as you hear two fillies outside the door giggle
>Cold sweat starts forming as your other self pulls out the gun from her trench coat and aims it at you before aiming it at the door
>Looking over to it in terror, you still see it shut tight and when your eyes return back to the mirror, the reflection is gone
>Breathing heavily you take a couple seconds to compose yourself again before shakily getting up and walking to the door, the giggling outside still audible
>"Ssshhh, be quiet sis, or we might get busted!", one of the fillies says before you unlock the door and open it up to the two ponies trying to head towards their room with a cookie jar
>They freeze as they see you before glancing at each other and then at the cookie jar they are carrying before hiding it behind their backs and blushing furiously
>Hiding it behind their backs REALLY badly, you might add
>Deciding to play along, you do as if you hadn't noticed anything and smile at them
"Oh dear, what are you two girls doing out here? Didn't you have homework to do?", you crouch down on their level to which they look at each other
>"Yes, missus Frost", one of the two answers, you honestly can't really tell them apart with how similar they look and sound
>They try and sneak the cookie jar with them into their room and you look after them before following in
>It is a small and simple bedroom, a single, run down bed for what you assume both of them, a small desk with two chairs pulled up to it and multiple books scattered around
>One set of books has been closed already, the other still wide open with what you can see some algebra questions
(cont)
>>
>>39082307
>While one filly sits down in front and stares down at the book, the other one heads over to a small radio and puts in a music tape before turning it on
>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzqE9VAhv2c starts playing and it takes you a moment but you recognize the voice clearly
>Dancer, if that is her real name is singing as Berry lies down on the bed, closes her eyes and slowly hums away to the music
>For now, you sit down next to Fruity on the empty chair and look at one of the notebooks she has scattered around her, filled with doodles of all kinds
>You let out a whistle, this kid has some real talent, multiple drawings of her mother, her sister and herself
>One of them hits you much harder than any of the others, the three of them flying through a blue sky looking like they don't have a care in the world, smiles as wide as a mile on all their faces
"Your mother has a wonderful singing voice", you say a little absent mindedly to which both fillies perk up and the one on the bed begins to speak
>"It makes us feel like less alone when she has to go to work", Berry starts explaining, "we remember when she sang to us like this every night", Fruity finishes her sister's explanation
>Both their faces falter and they look away as the song reaches its climax and you can see tears starting to glisten in their eyes
>You quickly pick up Fruity and carry the confused filly over to the bed where you lie her down next to her sister
>They both look at you questioningly as you decide to lie down with them and pull them closer to you, putting a wing over them... that you realize you don't have
"How about I tell you two a bedtime story? I can't sing like your mom, but I know some really nice stories!", you put a hoof to your chest and beam at them
>Their teary eyes dry up as the excitement of hearing stories gets through to them and they snuggle up close, listening intently
"Alright, so there was once 6 ponies, a long, long time ago..."
>...
>You wake up to keys jingling at the front door, the lock of the door unlocking
>...with two fillies tightly snuggled to you and sleeping like two little rocks, gently breathing in unison as if they were one pony
>Carefully extracting yourself out of the cuddle pile you rub the sleep from your eyes and sneak your way out into the hallway, closing the door ever so quietly
>In that moment, it opens and dancer steps inside, her coat dirty, mascara streaking down her face and bags under her eyes
>She sees you and gives you a weak smile before looking around and cocking her head as she seems to be looking for something
>You whisper to her "Ssshh", and point towards the bedroom
>Once more she flashes you a tired smile and a nod before heading into the bathroom and you can hear the shower turn on
>You notice small streaks of red on her flank and can only try to piece together what happened.... and you start to have an idea of why Berry was asking about Ketchup earlier
(cont)
>>
>>39082309
>Part of you starts contemplating and considering Dancer's butcher story to be just a little fishy
>As you stand here, you hear the door behind you open and two pairs of eyes glance through slightly ajar door up to you
>"Miss Frost, is something the matter?", one of them asks you with wide eyes
"I uh... just greeted your mother!", you tell them to which their eyes lighten up and you can almost see the stars in them
>They rush out, looking around the apartment for their mother, before you point towards the bathroom door
>Sitting down, they wait patiently until they hear the door unlock and open, jumping up to tackle hug their mother as their little wings flutter in excitement
>"Mommy, mommy!", they exclaim and nuzzle their parent's neck, to which the tired mare responds with a nuzzling of her own
>"Miss Frost told us a bedtime story! It was really nice... but I think I didn't catch the ending", one of them confesses and takes a guilty glance towards you
>"It was about the sun and the moon and friends and we really hope we can make some friends like that someday", the other one says before they finally let off and let their mother move
>She gives you a warm smile, "has she done that now? I guess I'll have to thank her for that, you two go run along, I'll prep us all breakfast, alright? Pancakes, your favorite!"
>With two YAY!s the two of them scamper off into the bedroom, doing what kids do when left to their own, you assume
>Dancer motions for you to follow her into the kitchen/living room and starts pulling out pans and ingredients
>"I knew I could trust you", she says between putting things into a bowl and starting to mix them with her one wing, "thanks for spending the night with the girls"
>She gives you that tired smile, "these two really are my whole world, my everything. I am glad they could have a night of... normalcy, I suppose"
"You're... welcome?", you start and cock your head at her
"Is Dancer a stagename?", you ask her carefully while she works to which she stops stirring for a moment, catching her breath and the continuing
>"More or less... more less than more, nowadays. Melodic Harmonies is what my name used to be", she sighs before starting to dump some of the mixture into a pan and flipping it occasionally
>"Could you put plates on the table?", she nods towards one of the cupboards and you comply, starting to set up the table for breakfast
>"I'm sure you have questions, so go ahead and ask...", she seems at the verge of tears as she says that
>Maybe you should... not? You could always try hit up Comet, Shell or your employer to report a job well done?
>Perhaps entertain her girls until food is ready?
>On the other hoof, she seems sincere about willing to answer your questions and she might be happy to have someone she can open up to
>>
>>39082311
Seems like she's already had a hard enough time, and tears would just ruin the pancakes anyway. As for what we do, send a message to Comet that we just woke up and we'll be heading back after breakfast.
>>
>>39082311
She came to the right pony, we're highly skilled at interrogations. Let's start with something insidious, like "are you okay?"
>>
>>39082311
Got any maple syrup?
>>
>>39082311
you put an awful lot of trust in me last night. why? did sharing a drink and a smoke really bring us that much closer?
>>
>>39082311
Definitely call Comet and tell her that we’re still okay. Maybe call Shell while we’re at it.
>>
>>39082311
>Dancer's butcher story to be just a little fishy
...aren't ponies herbivores?
>your employer
A more apt description would be client

>>39082980
We already called Comet last night, and we can visit Shell later in person.
>>
>>39083385
The last time we called her we were covered in blood and only told her that we were staying somewhere else. We should at least tell her than we are coming back after breakfast (if we plan on doing that).
>>
9
>>
>>39082625
It's not a proper Frost interrogation if she's not threatening to tear off a wing.
>>
>>39083836
We can hug her if you want to get physical.
>>
>>39083385
I think it was stated fairly early on that batponies can eat meat, not to mention the non-pony races like griffons and hippogriffs.
>>
>>39083848
we should wait for the kids to go off to school before "getting physical" with her.
>>
>>39083830
>>
>>39084448
>>
>>39082311
Does this apartment have any windows from which you can see the site of last night's operation?
>>
>>39082311
"What made you come to the roof with a bottle of booze? that was good booze, by the way, thanks for sharing it."
>>
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>>39082309
>You wake up...with two fillies tightly snuggled to you
>>
>>39082358 >>39082625 >>39082657
>>39082682 >>39082980 >>39083385
>>39083442 >>39083836 >>39083848
>>39083922 >>39084132 >>39084825
>>39084899
>While you still have a little peace and quiet from the young ones you cock your head, even though she can't see it
"Are you... okay?", you carefully ask to which you receive a few seconds of silence while she flips another pancake
>After that, she turns your head to you with a tired and melancholic smile and the expression is all you need to answer your question
>As you look over the table something seems missing... oh yes of course, only the most important part of a pancake breakfast
"You got any maple syrup?", you inquire to which Dancer merely snortles, "Sorry Hun, pay was barely enough to get the ingredients for fresh pancakes tonight" with a tinge of guilt in her voice
>You deflate a little, but you suppose that is how it is and you decide to look outside the kitchen window past her, only seeing the building on the other side of the street
>Thankfully you assume you are far enough from your target building that the commotion shouldn't have gotten to here, apart from perhaps the noise
"Last night... what made you come up to the roof? With a bottle of, really really good, booze to boot?"
>You keep your interrogation going as you watch her put the pancakes onto a plate and carrying them over to the table on her wing
>"It's a ritual, of sorts", she replies, "I do that almost every night... usually don't drink a whole bottle, but a couple swigs and a cig or two before hauling my hindquarters to my job
>She then shrugs at you as she sets down the plate, "you really looked like you could use some at that time and if we have lost so much in this world, I think our equinity and wish to help others shouldn't be it"
>Her face goes dark for a moment, "at least a few of us should hold on to it, the stars know how fucked things are out there", she gives a glare out of the window, before putting on a brave smile
>"Kiiiids! Pancakes are done!", she happily calls through the apartment and you can hear the door open up quicker than you you can think and two blurs shoot past you, sitting down at the table
>One of them goes for a pancake to which her mother slaps her hoof away with her wing, "not until we're all seated, Fruity, you little glutton!"
>Berry giggles in response and Dancer sits down, looking expectantly to you
"I'll have a quick phone call, you can start without me", you say before leaving the room, leaving behind two confused fillies and their mother who just shrugs
>Berry and Fruity take that as a sign to dig in, each of them pulling a dry pancake on their plates and start digging in
>You head into the bathroom and call Comet, who picks up after a couple rings looking tired
(cont)
>>
>>39085471
>"Frost?", she pushes a sleeping mask from her eyes to get a look at you, "are you alright? You look.... better", she says as she notices the lack of blood
>All you do is give her a nod and a "mhm"
"I've... found a place to hide for the night. Kept me out of trouble and even let me use the shower... I got to watch two fillies", you tell Comet with a small but beaming smile
>She cocks her head in confusion at you before a tiny voice from outside calls in "Missus Frost, your pancake is getting cold!", the filly shouts before you hear her running off
>Comet raises an eyebrow, "pancakes?"
>You nod again with gleeful smile, "I'm dining like a princess this morning", you chuckle and Comet laughs with you
"I'll head out after breakfast. Want to hit up Shell later, too... and I gotta debrief with my client"
>"And me", Comet frowns at you, making it clear that she wants to know what happened to you, "I might join you seeing Shell, if you don't mind"
>You wink at the batpony mare, "It's a date, then", to which she blushes and you hang up with a snicker
>Heading back into the kitchen, you see that the kids have already finished up and are putting on small backpacks as their mother helps them get ready
>"What do you say, kids?", she asks as you enter the kitchen again and sit down
>Two small blurs are to your side instantly, jumping up on your lap with their little wings and hugging you tight
>"Thank you, missus Frost!", they say together, their small faces smiling wide, before they hop off and bounce towards the door
>They stop and peek back into the kitchen, "w-will you tell us a story again?", one of them, you believe it to be Berry, asks
>A little taken a back you don't know what to say but Dancer steps in, "I'm sure next time she comes over she would love to!"
>That satisfies the two and they jump out into the building's hallway with a loud double shout of YAY!
>The door falls shut and the apartment falls quiet
(cont)
>>
>>39085476
>"You're welcome back to watch the two anytime", Dancer says, sounding exhausted once again as she sits down next to you and keeps nomming on her own half eaten pancake
"You really trust me? After... me aiming a gun at you?", you carefully ask to which the mare just glances you up and down
>"While that was a little rude of you, you seemed in a panic but you didn't seem like a bad pony... just scared.... haunted by her past", you notice her eyes glance down at her missing wing and her frown growing
>"Let's say over the years I taught myself to judge ponies I meet better...", she sighs
>"I'm sorry, you probably want to get out of here and I really could use some sleep. It's been nice getting to meet you, Frost, and I really appreciate you taking care of them"
>She gets up and begins trudging towards the bedroom, but something in you compels you to stop her
>From behind, you pull her into a tight hug, and she freezes up for a second
>Her head turns to you and you see tears well up in her confused eyes, but she isn't fighting
>Instead, she buries her face in your neck and you can feel it grow damp, as you hold her tight
>Neither of you say a word
>Neither of you has to say a word
>The embrace is all that matters right now
>After a couple silent minutes interrupted by the occasional sob, she removes herself from your embrace and wipes her eyes, heading into the bedroom
>The door clicks shut and you hear her fall onto the bed before from inside you hear quiet singing
>It's the same song that her fillies put on yesterday, but this time not accompanied by music, her voice carrying the music alone like a serenade filled with pain and sorrow, but also a hint of optimism for the future
>Deciding not to disturb her too much longer, you make your leave yourself, planning the day
>Meet shell is somewhere on the list
>Talk to the client is another entry
>But the day is long and it is... actually really early, the clock showing 6:30AM and hustle on the street is just beginning to pick up
>You're reminded you still need to fetch the gear that Shell had delivered for the upcoming job
>As well as try and scope out who Morning Dawn really is
>But you could also just go ahead and take a shopping trip once you got your pay
>The day is yours to take!
>>
Only one for tonight, sorry!
I hope this part of the story wasn't too boring
>>
>>39085478
It's a bit early to show up at the hospital, our bruised bat boy needs his rest after all. We should fetch the gear from there head to Comet's, hoping she doesn't mind us using her home as a staging base.
>>39085481
No, I think some SoL was called for after half a thread of brutal murder.
>>
>>39085478
Comet first
>>
>>39085478
Debriefing with mobsters is not going to happen until we talk with our bats about the video that we made. Same wih shopping: first we have to talk to the bats and find our how much of our pay is going to be wasted on Shell's hospital bills. Send a message to Shell, ask him to write us when he'll wake up.
Why didn't he try to contact us if there was something strange in our telemetry? It'd be strange if our firmware automatically blocked incoming messages from a handler when we're in a fight.
We should also try to find out how exactly our neurostimulation module works. It seems to be activated by fear. Are we supposed to try our best to be brave for the rest of our life our of fear of finding ourselves having a psychotic episode and killing our friends for funsies?
Did we get Melodic's phone number?
>>39085481
It was nice.
>>
https://youtu.be/qPOTEs_yTJo
>>
>>39085478
Seconding fetching the gear, we can either store them at Comet's or maybe see about securing that hideout at the automated flat first.
>>
10
>>
>>39085478
before we leave the neighborhood, take a look at the former gang base. we're planning on coming back, aren't we?
>>
>>39088113
Yeah but not LITERALLY THE NEXT MORNING
>>
>>39088123
a look never hurt.
>>
Gotta bring some maple syrup if we'll come here again.
>>
>>39088600
along with a bottle of booze. the good stuff.
>>
>>39088682
We could, but Frost doesn't know shit about alcohol.
>>
>>39085517 >>39085930 >>39085936
>>39086926 >>39088113 >>39088123
>>39088183 >>39088600 >>39088682
>While you are still in the area, you decide that it might not be the worst idea to see the aftermath of your actions from yesterday
>Even though it really does drive a pit in your stomach thinking about what you've done last night
>Not that you want to spend much time dwelling on that anyways
>Before you go though, you decide to write down your contact and shove it under the door for Dancer to find later
>Next time you come here, you'll go and bring a bottle of maple syrup for the fillies and a bottle of the good stuff for their mother, it's your turn to treat her
>As you make your way up back to the roof but then you consider what a mare jumping from roof to roof in broad daylight might look like and turn around
>Heading downstairs, you shoot Shell a message to tell you when he wakes up, and Comet the information that you are heading out to grab a few things
>While shell stays quiet, Comet sends you a simple OK and you head onto the streets once again covered in your trench coat
>Falling in line of the hundreds of ponies flowing up and down the sidewalk you set off into the direction of last night's club
>You can't help but overhear concerning whispers about a massive attack and a shadow in the night
>Glancing around you find many of the ponies walking and talking to their companions with concerned faces and unease
>This doesn't bode well and gives you chills up the spine
>Hurrying up a little so you can get away from this place as soon as possible, you round the corner to the street of the building
>It is basically completely devoid of ponies, apart from what seems to be a couple StaSEC members patrolling outside of the building
>Ponice line is put up in a wide area around it and... your augmented eyes can still see the blood covering the street from last night, despite the bodies having been cleaned up
>From this distance though, you spot a stallion that you can clearly make out has robotic ears and four robotic legs speaking to a StaSEC pony
>Your blood runs cold as he turns his head to look right in your direction, furrowing his eye brows
(cont)
>>
>>39088717
>Getting your flank away from here immediately you merge back into the crowd pretending everything was just normal
>To your luck the stallion doesn't seem to want to give chase and you move towards what you remember Shell mentioned to be the pickup spot for your deliveries
>Purposefully avoiding a direct route you take the most convoluted path and do your best to slip in and out of different crowds, hopefully making sure nopony follows you around
>On your way to the drop point you've gotten from shell before you pass the ruins of a massive building that is now nothing but ashes and rubble
>It does sting seeing this place and anger at those responsible boils in you, but for now you swallow it and focus on what is important
>Focus.... your neurostim comes to mind and how it "helped" you to focus on your fight, even in a less than controlled fashion
>Or maybe that is precisely what it is meant to do, drive you into a frenzy?
>Quite frankly, you have not a single idea about this piece of cybernetics and you aren't exactly a specialist when it comes to cranial implants, maybe Comet knows?
>And if that fails... there is always Shell's ripperdoc that might
>For now though, you reach a few small storage units at the address that you have from Shell
>None of them are open and all look identical, apart from the numbers engraved into the doors
>Small DNA scanners are attached to each door, which tells you the chances to get to the gear might actually be somewhat slim without Shell being here to open up the doors
"What a waste of time", you grumble to yourself before you consider just tearing down all the doors until you find what's yours
>Or you can just wait until Shell is up and about again, the place seems inconspicuous enough that you doubt anyone is gonna steal the gear
>While considering your next move, you get a message from Shell that simply states "awake"
>So that is something you could do now, although you remember Comet wanting to come along
>But maybe you can just tell her to meet you at the hospital and make your way there alone
>As you debate on what to do, you can't shake the feeling of being watched
>>
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>>39088699
That's hardly a problem, all one must do is head to a liquor store and ask one of the staff for guidance. You'll find most of them are rather accommodating of the uninitiated.
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>>39088721
Shake off whoever's tailing you and head to the hospital to obtain some of Shell's DNA (wink wink).
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>>39088721
see, this wouldn't have happened if we just killed ear queer last night.
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>>39088746
Or went back to the fucking crime scene
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>>39088756
Or backed down from the staring contest.
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>>39088721
See, that's why we need a friend who's at least as good at hide and seek as we are. Somebody whom we can trust to tail our tail and either scare them off or find out who they are. We can't do much on our own. How about sewers? Make a detour through a gang territory. Cause just enough ruckus to make bandits ignore us, but not not too much, so that they'll interact with our pursuers when they'll catch up. Slip into the sewers while our pursuers are dealing with bandits.
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>>39088721
Considering all of the suspicious things we did since we left, it isn't that surprising. Humoring the idea of jumping form rooftop to rooftop, going to both scene of the crime the day after it was committed, heading back to the very possibly watched apartments, possibly accidental drawing attention to ourself while randomly weaving between crowds, and we still haven't gotten the jumpsuit to hide our cybernetics. We haven't even considered changing our appearance any while being hunted.
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>>39088741 >>39088746 >>39088756
>>39088769 >>39088848 >>39089148
>Maybe a return to the crime scene wasn't such a good idea after all and quite frankly, you aren't sure why you did in the first place
>For now though, you absolutely have to get rid of your pursuer, whoever that is or whoever they belong to
>You think of how nice it would be to have a stealthy partner that can watch your back while you are out in the open
>That's how you and your handler used to operate, too, and you miss having somepony you can blindly depend on with you
>You miss... why is it so hard to remember, anytime you try there is this stinging pain in your head keeping you from doing so
>Frustrated you kick an empty can on the floor right through the window of one of the houses, screaming coming from inside
>Moving away from here as quickly as possible you try and consider a path that would let you slip your way into the sewers, just like Shell has done when he saved you the first time
>For that to work you probably require some kind of distraction though, which is a lot easier said than done
>After last night the idea of gangs is still fresh on your mind and you consider thinking of a way to make use of that
>The drug den that you've been suggested as a hide out might just make for a good place to lose your tail
>Heading quickly towards the place you realize you've never actually entered and aren't entirely sure what to expect
>All you know is that you probably have to be careful around druggies
>And that quite frankly you are doing a terrible job at being inconspicuous
>At least you didn't decide to go for more rooftop jumping, but you still bite yourself in the ass for all that other stuff
>Which to be fair, hard to get a new jumpsuit or change your appearance while you are completely broke, that is something you hope to rectify once you are paid
>You wonder what kind of style you would like to go for?
>Hold on, still being hunted, don't get distracted mare
>Heading into the building that you've managed to arrive at without much of an issue, surprisingly enough
>You didn't even try to be particularly stealthy, who woulda thonked not behaving like you are on the run works best?
>The first thing that assaults you is a rancid smell that drives tears into your eyes and makes your gut decide to forcefully eject the pancakes you had earlier
>But that would be a total waste of Dancer's cooking so you will yourself to keep the food down
>Next you notice all the eyes staring at you as you see ponies lying on the floor, leaning against the walls or standing around staring off into space
>Slowly creeping your way through the building's various rooms you can see why people wouldn't want to come here
(cont)
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>>39089499
>The floors are covered with used up needles, knocked out ponies and... some you think might be more than knocked out
>As you pass by one of the ponies trying to get up the stairs, they hold on to your coat with an empty stare, pulling it away from you and your shiny legs glisten in the few rays of sunlight that manage to fall through the boarded up windows
>You can see the eyes of the surrounding ponies going wide
>What you believed to be corpses awaken from their clearly not so eternal slumber, shakily rising to their legs, drawn in to the shiny metal
>One of the mares closest to you trips over her own legs and falls, taking hold of your hind leg
>You try to shake her off but she is much stronger than she should
>A couple needs stuck in her forehoof explain why, she is dosed up with "buckaneer" and the swelling of most of her body makes it clear to you that she has been doing this stuff for a while
>While it causes crazy muscle growth, it causes that in an uncontrolled manner which usually leads to cancerous developments
>One reason the research on it was stopped years ago but the experimental formula leaked out anyways and now ponies have this mess to deal with
>Not that that explanation helps you in any way as you struggle getting out of the hold
>In the commotion more of the ponies manage to crawl towards you, holding needles, glass shards and other sharp objects as improvised weapons
>While it hurts you to do this, you have to get out of here as quick as you can so you do your best and rear up your one hind leg to deliver a strong buck to her head
>The mare goes flying into the other room through the doorway but turning your head you can see her get back up again as if nothing happened, once more crawling towards you
>From a couple rooms behind you you hear shrieking and then the sounds of a gun going off multiple times with a voice of a stallion screaming "stay away! GET AWAY FROM ME!"
>The ponies in your room stop the advance turning their heads lazily towards the commotion outside but decide you might make for better pray
>They are sluggish and slow so you can probably outrun them but you should try and get out of here as soon as you can
>Having reached the stairwell, the option is either up or down, or try to find a window or wall you can break through to hopefully get outside
>Or perhaps you can find a way to distract these quasi-zombies?
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>>39089501
Time to crack some heads!
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>>39089501
So he was alone? Cute. Second floor, jump out of a window, wait for him to leave the building and tail him.
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>>39089501
aiming for the head works for quasi-zombies just as well as the real kind.
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>>39089501
Go up a bit, let them get closer, and then jump down to get behind them so we can leave this place without risking getting cornered. Might also give us a chance to figure out who our tail is.
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>>39087642
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>>39089545
Seconding this response
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>>39090362
Thirding
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10
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>>39091096
>>
>>39089525 >>39089545 >>39089596
>>39089623 >>39090362 >>39090544
>Trailing you on his own, how quaint, you think to yourself as you look around and assess your situation
>Back out and around is probably not going to work out for you, not with that other pony, his gun and the stars know how many drug addicts between you and the exit
>Only way forward seems to be up the stairs and hope you find a way out from there
>Bad news: Your route upstairs is blocked by 7-10 ponies groaning as they reach their hooves out towards their prey
>Good news: Turns out that blows to the head with your legs actually works just as well on quasi-zombies as it does on real ones... well, real movie ones
>Kicking yourself off the ground, you jump against the wall next to the crowd in the stairway, kicking yourself off from there again and jumping towards the next flight of stairs, holding on to the railing
>With your legs hanging down, you start pulling yourself up.... or try to at least
>Your legs are much heavier than you remember them and as you look down you can see why: Multiple ponies have jumped up and taken hold of your remaining flesh and blood leg
>Good.
>Winding up your leg you deliver a blow to one of the ponies' heads knocking him away from you as the concussion forces him to let go
>Like pins of a bowling alley, he takes out a smaller horde who start growling at each other like animals
>It is then when the chaos really starts breaking out
>Screams arise as one of the knocked over ponies slams a glass shard into the side of the pony next to them in anger
>In an instant, absolute insanity breaks out as ponies start stabbing, kicking, punching and biting each other
>Using that as distraction you climb up the stairs and quickly rush to the second floor where thankfully there is still relative quiet
>Making sure you put your trench coat back on before anypony can really see your metal parts they could sell for you don't even want to know what
>You weave through the crowd who looks just as stunned as the one did down below a mere few minutes ago
>Hopefully it stays that way
>From down below you can still hear the occasional gun shots but they grow more and more spaced out and you can only imagine that whoever it is must be starting to try and conserve ammo
>Finding one of the less occupied rooms with a window you take a good look at the boarded up exit
(cont)
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>>39091976
>The wood is old and basically already rotted through, making it easy to start tearing down the barricade
>As light filters into the room you notice the sole two occupants of this room on a stained mattress in the back corner
>A mare who isn't moving and a small filly cuddled tightly towards the other pony, forcing her eyes shut and shivering as the dirty sunlight tickles her face
>Things like this really put in perspective how destructive these chems can be in the wrong hooves and it makes your face contort in absolute disgust
>You sigh as you shatter the window, making the filly wince and snuggle tighter into the other pony's motionless body
>Averting your eyes you look down to the street the window is facing and you attempt to find your best way down
>There is a fire escape you should be able to jump to from here, which suits you just fine as you climb out and take a leap
>...just to miss by barely an inch and you falling towards the busy road below
>Last second though you are able to catch a pipe going down the wall and are able to slide down on that, almost ripping it out of the wall in the process though
>Certainly more luck than anything, quite frankly, but what's done is done, you're down and out
>A couple ponies give you confused glances but usually just shrug and move on
>Heading back towards the entrance of the building you lean against the wall a little bit away, waiting for anypony to come out
>Seconds pass, then minutes
>Up until a couple minutes ago you still heard the occasionally bullet but that has gone completely silent now
>And after a little more time, you hear a blood freezing scream of pain that makes ponies around you stop in their tracks and stare at the building in confusion
>From inside, there is now absolute silence
>>
Good news: Finally got an entry on the archive, thank you gatekeeper
https://www.anonpone.com/quest/synth/
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>>39091979
Gee, with the way things have been going I'd expected Frost to drop everything and comfort the crack filly.
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>>39091979
Use the distraction to make an exit and head towards the horsepital
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>>39091979
that must have heard.
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>>39091979
Rescue our pursuer. We need to know who's interested in us and why, plus it's a nice thing to do.
>>39091988
Maybe later.
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>>39092030
If we save his life now, we'll be condemning him to a slow and painful death by AIDS. The kinder choice would be to let the druggies do him in.
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>>39092048
But what if he's into it?
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>>39092062
Well, death is also a guaranteed cure for homosexuality.
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>>39092074
Okay, and what if he'll infect addicts with gay? An ordinary zombie apocalypse is bad enough.
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>>39091979
>>39092030
I guess it wouldn't hurt to take a peek, I hope it's not the idiots from LPPD again. But if they're corpo or Station Sec I'm leaving them for dead.
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>>39092161
Just like it didn't hurt to take a peek at the crime scene?
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>>39092161
It'd still be great if we could ask him some questions, in any case. The main difference is that we should expect a corpo cyborg to be high on psychostims and be about as predictable as we were with the mob boss ourselves.
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>>39092199
I was actually vehemently against that idea. But in this instance we know there's only one pursuer, and they are either at a severe disadvantage or already incapacitated. Like I said, one peek, and we abandon the place at the first sign of trouble.
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>>39091988 >>39092001 >>39092004
>>39092030 >>39092048 >>39092062
>>39092074 >>39092087 >>39092161
"Oh fuck this shit and fuck me with an unicorn's horn", you cuss under your breath as you make your way back to the entrance of the place
>Shell must be rubbing off on you, especially his willingness to get himself involved in things that potentially cost him his life for the sake of others
>Not that you are unhappy with the choices you are making right now, but from an outside and rational perspective, you going in there is plain stupid
>Clearly, you are doing all of this for interrogation purposes only, information is clearly key and all that!
>And very much not because you think it could be a couple of LPPD cops that you've had the pleasure making their acquaintance of
>Peeking into the entrance the place is still as grimy as it was before but now with the added bits of red splatter decorations and plenty of ponies with holes in their heads
>The most disturbing part of that is probably that some of those still move, twitch and try to crawl around with empty eyes
>Even though they've taken a bullet straight between the eyes
>It isn't exactly coordinated movement but it is movement regardless
>No wonder ponies lovingly call that specific cocktail of chems "Afterlife"
>The rest of the scene you would rather not describe, or as a matter of fact, see in the first place as the gruesome usage of needles as weapons burns itself into your mind
>Whoever the pony is, he did a pretty good job at cleaning up and you get a feeling it (thankfully) was not LPPD that was following you
>Following the trail of bodies and blood splatters makes it easy to find your way through towards the stallion that was trying to spy on you
>He is breathing heavily, leaning against a wall and streaked with blood while covered with cuts and smashed glass from needles, or needles themselves
>One of his eyes is closed tight and his legs have become bloated masses of muscle, rapid exponential growth thanks to an overdose on buckaneer
>Surrounded by bodies, at first taken out with weapons but after that clearly physically he looks at you and a weak smile creeps on his face
>The symbol on his uniform makes him decisively StaSEC, from the looks of it part of "Four Strikes" division
>What does surprise you in that case is the lack of heavy artillery the weapons manufacturing corp usually provides their employees
>"End of the line for me, kiddo", he says with what amounts to a tinge of regret in his voice before staring at the ceiling
>"Not an end I envisioned, good play on your part leading me in here", he tries to speak but his breath is getting more and more labored
>Whatever he's been injected with, it is already starting to take its toll as he seems to drift in and out of consciousness
>You doubt he'd have much time left, especially if he doesn't get to a hospital asap
>The filly upstairs also comes to mind, you fear for her in a place like this
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>>39092432
save an authoritarian jackass, or an innocent filly? decisions, decisions...
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>>39092432
Run out of ammo? For a pro, you seem to have forgotten the golden rule: Always save a bullet for yourself.
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>>39092432
Well he's a lost cause but the filly might not be.
>>39092470
We're carrying, right? Why not give him one of our own?
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>>39092432
Contact Shell, tell him to anonymously call an ambulance to this place and to warn us when this ambulance will be close. But don't let this prick know that we did it yet.
Back to interrogation. Why was he following us? How much do they know? Why he was alone, and why he didn't call for reinforcements even when he was attacked?
>>39092479
Bullets are not cheap. How about, one bullet for five questions? Sounds fair. (And then we ask only four and gtfo lmaoing)
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>>39092509
>call an ambulance
Do we really want him to live though? There's no guarantee he won't sell us out, and if he does it will:
- confirm our approx location and that we still haven't fled the station, narrow down the areas the corps have to search
- blow our current disguise
- tie us to the clubhouse job

Frankly it's safer to let him die unless he shows some reason for us to trust him very soon.
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>>39092582
That's the freaky part. When you're a cop and you see a dangerous figutive, the first thing you do is use your fucking radio and fucking report it. You don't keep this information to yourself, you don't follow her, and you most certainly don't follow her alone. It's almost like stasecs know perfectly well that we're around, but they let us roam free because they think that we're connected to something bigger? Or they're trying to use us as a bait for something bigger? I'm not sure how to read this situation.
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9
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>>39092617
Even if that were the case, why would we leave him alive? It’s just a plain better idea to kill him.
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We should ask Shell if he knows a good orphanage. As bad as they tend to be, it would still be a better home than a crack den.
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>>39092979
But why? Is he our personal enemy? Was he ill-mannered or annoying? He doesn't even look tasty.
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>>39093036
I'd consider stalking a mare through the alleys to be poor manners.
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>>39093036
>personal enemy
We should figure that out first, but I’m betting on yes.
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>>39093087
It is an integral part of cyber ninja job too. Frost will miss many good contracts shall we let ourselves ignore nuances of decorum. That being said, I would agree that letting your victim spot you when you stalk her may be considered something of a bad form.
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>>39092432
Call for an ambulance
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>>39092973
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>>39093036
He was trailing us. I doubt he did it with good intentions.
>>39093185
If we call the ambulance now we might not have the time to see to the filly before the paramedics (or worse) arrive.
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>>39093903
If we don't call it soon, they'll arrive to find a corpse.
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>>39094002
I'm not all too terribly concerned about that
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>>39094068
So, you see absolutely no benefet in showing mercy to a member of an organization that was, and will continue to, investigate us? You don't think that acting in a moral manner might lessen any suspicions they have of us? You don't think making a potential ally with access to considerably more resources and information than us is useful? Also, wouldn't letting him die effectively be a 180 from what we did with the last members of law enforcement that tried to tail us?
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>>39094280
Are you fucking retarded or what? There’s no “getting on the good side” or corpos. They burned Shell’s apartment down, tried to kill him and us, and are, presumably, still actively seeking us out. We don’t know what this guy’s deal is and that’s why we need to question him. Saving his life isn’t going to do us any favors though. He knows he’s dead and is probably pretty incapacitated, so he’s not trying to do anything to us now. And we spared the LPPD because they were just doing their jobs as best they could, weren’t a threat to us, and we felt sorry for them. This guy in-front of us isn’t exactly a threat as it stands, but he will be if we save him. If the tables were turned, would he have our best intentions at heart?
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>>39094280
I can't predict how this individual will behave but
>acting in a moral manner might lessen any suspicions they have of us
is just utter naivety. Need I remind you that this is an organization that performs illegal experiments on ponies against their will, send out hit squads, and have no issue with burning down an entire building with civilians inside? To them we're nothing but a loose asset to be neutralized.

>180 from what we did with the last members of law enforcement
Not really. The cops were acting on a reported assault case. They are well meaning albeit ineffectual ponies trying to uphold law and order and hold onto what remains of the judicial system.
This guy, however, is a enforcer working for the megacorps that thinks they are free to operate above the law with impunity.
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>>39094374
>There’s no “getting on the good side” or corpos.
Ah yes, because they are all mindless robots that exist to kill everything they come into contact with. Oh wait, that's you.

>They burned Shell’s apartment down
That was the black ops group we escaped from, this is StaSEC. They are two completely different groups.

>that’s why we need to question him.
Can't question a corpse and he has absolutely no intensive to tell us a goddamned thing. Also, torture wont work since he'll probably be killed by it before he has a chance to say anything. Bargaining also won't work since we don't have enough time to confirm anything he says, and he knows it. So he can just lie through his teeth and challenge us to be true to our word or true to his worst opinion of us.

>Saving his life isn’t going to do us any favors though.
Could make them question if we're the one they're actually after. They're most likely still in the investigation phase after all.

>but he will be if we save him.
That is 100% YOUR paranoia talking. For all we know, he might've been following us for some reason completely unrelated to what we've done or who we are.

>would he have our best intentions at heart?
It's more likely than us having the best intentions at heart considering how we've been acting.

>>39094387
>this is an organization that performs illegal experiments on ponies against their will, send out hit squads, and have no issue with burning down an entire building with civilians inside
Need I remind you that you're referring to a completely separate group that MIGHT be a subsidiary of the same corporation as them?

>This guy, however, is a enforcer working for the megacorps that thinks they are free to operate above the law with impunity.
You got it backwards, the corps aren't some shadow government controlling things from behind the scenes, they are the ones controlling things in broad daylight. Their "enforcers" are the ones that are upholding the new law and order. Also, these guys are not the guys we ran from and also who burned down Shell's apartment.
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>>39094482
Yeah, most likely the former. I'm more interested in creating doubt that will muddy the waters of whatever case sent him after us. As far as creating a good reputation, that's more in regards to personal opinions that the opinion of a megacorp.
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>>39094474
>Bargaining also won't work <..> he can just lie
If we'll offer him something that a corporate terrorist for hire turned to freelance, or whatever he thinks we may be, will presumably never deliver, then I can see him trying to preemptively reciprocate the dishonesty. But why would he lie if we'll offer him a bullet? Out of loyalty? Is there honor among cops?
To be clear: we don't have to fulfill any promises. I'm talking about relative efficacy of different promises, and nothing else.
>>39094387
>an enforcer working for the megacorps that thinks they are free to operate above the law with impunity.
It's Frost you're describing.
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>>39094280
I actually do think we should as in I want to, not that I think it'll benefit us materially try to save this guy, but not to make us look good to the megacorps. They'll either not care or they'll file it under "weakness to exploit."
>>39094511
I don't know if it'll even accomplish that.
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>>39094573
>why would he lie if we'll offer him a bullet
Why would he tell us anything just to be mercy killed? About the only "promise" we could make that could get him to talk is to call for help so he DOESN'T die.

>>39094576
I worded that response post a bit wrong. I personally just want to call for the ambulance without asking for anything in return. the other stuff was just because talking to the others put me in the "What could we get out of it?" mode.
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>>39094594
I don't think that I understand your question. He may tell us something to be mercy killed to, well, to be mercy killed. Are we talking about the same guy? The one who's slowly turning into a giant rhabdomyosarcoma as we speak?
>promise we could make that could get him to talk is to call for help
Again, it depends on how much he knows and what he expects from us. If the way we dealt with Granite and his merry band is indicative of our former employers' modus operandi, then most promises that we can make will have somewhat limited weight in his eyes. Or there may be no need for this fake mercy killing bullshit. We won't know until he'll start talking.
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>>39094711
It feels like we are having two completely different conversations. I'm assuming that he has absolutely no clue about our background and that he's just working on a case and has evidence that has led him to suspect that we have some connection to it. Most likely suspecting us as being the perpetrator. The only possible things we can promise him at this juncture is calling for somebody to help him or offering to kill him quickly so he won't suffer and the only thing we can really ask him is "Why were you following us?" since we have nothing but paranoia and assumptions to influence what we think of the guy or his actions. As I said here >>39094594 I'm not even for trying to get any info from him, making neither a bluff nor a bargain of any use. The only reason I even talked about the very notion of getting info from him was in response to the (I'm assuming) murderhobo arguing that we should interrogate him.
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>>39094751
You're a fucking retard who shouts "murderhobo" at anyone who dares suggest we take care of genuine threats to our survival.
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>>39094755
No, I'm just saying that your writing style, insults, and lack of morals are very reminiscent of the very much confirmed murderhobo. As far as "genuine threats" go, a dying stallion that is merely suspicious of us is hardly a threat. If anything, his partners will turn up the heat on us if he does die.
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>>39094751
Huh? We do seem to have a confusion. The idea of interrogation starts here >>39092030, no murder was implied.
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>>39094813
Yeah, the death stuff really came from: >>39092582 >>39092979 >>39094068 >>39094374
The two are the ones I responded to. So what's your stance on the situation?
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>>39094831
Make him talk and see from there. If he won't say anything that will force our hoof, leave him to wonder if it was us who called the medics or it was a happy coincidence. Something like that.
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>>39094861
I don't think there would be any mystery to it since we're the only one that knows he's here and I don't thing anybody else in the area is willing to stick their noses into something happening in a drug den. Also, by not knowing that help is coming, he might give in a die before they arrive.
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>>39094831
NTA. I was >>39092582 and >>39094068.
My stance is that our and the filly's safety takes priority over his, and calling the ambulance too soon or before learning his intentions towards us could compromise that.
Though, now that I think about it, the whole argument over calling for an ambulance seems rather... silly. As >>39092617 soft of brought up, in cyberpunk setting shouldn't most people, a corpo grunt especially, carry communication device with them? Our guy ought to be able to call for help himself, maybe he had already done that.
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>>39094873
>"End of the line for me, kiddo"
Doesn't sound like he expects to live. As for learning his intentions, it sounds like he might not survive long enough for the ambulance to arrive if we call it now, let alone wait until after we grilled him. Something I haven't mentioned before is that he might actually be more willing to talk if we call first and let him know that help is on the way.
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>>39094866
I still find leaving him to uncertainty a very fun thing to do, but you have a point: for some inexplicable reason he's giving up already. Fine, let's give him hope.
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>>39094866
Also, lots of ponies heard him screaming. It's unlikely that they would care about strange noises coming from a well-known lair of zombies, but there's always a chance.
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Bump
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>>39096284
Now let’s discuss the morals of keeping a dead heart beating.
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>>39092445 >>39092470 >>39092479 >>39092509 >>39092582 >>39092617
>>39092979 >>39093008 >>39093036 >>39093087 >>39093112 >>39093148
>>39093185 >>39093903 >>39094002 >>39094068 >>39094280 >>39094374
>>39094387 >>39094474 >>39094511 >>39094573 >>39094576 >>39094594
>>39094711 >>39094751 >>39094755 >>39094791 >>39094813 >>39094831
>>39094861 >>39094866 >>39094873 >>39094892 >>39094998 >>39095034
>Looks like he has already given up on life, resigning to his fate
>Part of you is surprised he didn't just keep one bullet for himself with a situation like that, but you'd assume he wasn't expecting getting overwhelmed
>Maybe you could spare one of yours, it really doesn't seem like the way he is about to end is the most pleasant ways to go out
>Considering your own small stash you think about using one on him, it really would be much more merciful
>But... he hasn't really done anything to hurt you yet and you don't want to be the kind that does a first preemptive strike if you can help it... at least not while you don't feel compelled to do so
>On the other hoof, you also want to make sure that filly upstairs isn't going to be stuck in this crapshoot much longer, especially not on her own
"I am surprised you are on your own and haven't even tried to call for help", you start out asking while at the same time contacting an ambulance
>He looks at you, then frowns as his eyes fall to a shattered comm terminal on the floor, "woulda tried, kiddo, but shinies do attract the horde I found out the hard way"
>An ETA on your HUD gives you the info that the ambulance should arrive in approximately 7 minutes, but you keep him talking
"You followed me, alone. Why? What do you want from me?", you stare him down but he doesn't really seem to care the tiniest bit at your intimidation attempt
>"Boss told me to tail you, I am not paid to ask questions", he does his best attempt to shrug, "you're one suspicious lookin' mare with that trench coat of yours, kid"
>Once again, the disguise stands out way more than you would have liked, you'll have to replace that with actually normal looking clothes as soon as you can
(cont)
>>
>>39096430
"Point taken", you don't really have anything to add, apart from perhaps not lurking around the scene of a crime in broad daylight RIGHT after you've metaphorically burned the place down
"What do you know about me?", your final question before you get the heck out of here, and upstairs to take the young filly somewhere where it is at least a little safer
>"I have no idea who the fuck you are", he looks at you in confusion, "boss said you look suspicious and wanted me to track you, figure out who you are working for. That's all I know"
>He really doesn't seem to care much about opening up to you like this, you are growing a bit suspicious about how honest he is to you
>But for now it doesn't really matter to you much and you turn around, making your way back upstairs
>In the doorway you stop and turn your head, "hold on for a couple more minutes. Ambulance is on the way"
>He stares at you, mouth hanging open in disbelief before his shoulders slump and his eyes close with a relieved smile on his face
>"Thanks kid, appreciate it", he leans back and goes silent, leaving you to whatever plans you have
>Moving back towards the stairs you pass by the carnage that you induced earlier and you are terrified at how efficiently these ponies have managed to take each other out
>Bleeding bodies all over the floor that have endured similar treatment to your StaSEC friend a couple rooms over
>Thankfully, most of them are too hurt to actually engage you so you can simply trot past them at a quick pace and back up the stairs to the place you jumped out
>As you expect, you find the small filly snuggled tightly on the dirty mattress, tears in her eyes as she looks at you with a shaken and terrified expression
>Around the bed multiple used up syringes lay around, the mare on the bed having had a fun nigh- the stains on her hind quarters only make you gag as you put two and two together
>Now that you take a closer look, she looks much more clean than you would imagine a mare living here would be... which brings up a disgusting scenario in your head that you really don't want to consider further
>Kneeling down next to the small filly, she looks at you and makes herself even smaller, trying to hide in plain sight
>She whimpers something you can't really understand as she hides her face in her presumably mother's fur
>>
>>39096431
Ponies don't have fur.
>>
>>39096431
is her mother still breathing?
>>
>>39096431
Hello, I'm Frost. What's your name?

>What do you know about me?
Ugh, the worst possible way to phrase the most suspicious question ever. Our trainings really didn't include scenarios where we leave withnesses alive, it shows. There is a lot to learn on our own.
>>
>>39096431
Make sure the mare and the kid go with the ambulance. That is if the mare is still alive.
>>
>>39096449 I meant coat, sorry anon
>>39096478 >>39096537 >>39096785
>Kneeling down next to the young filly you try your best to look as non-intimidating as you can
>Which quite frankly you are not particularly good at
>Just as you are absolutely terrible at phrasing suspicious questions, that is not something your training has ever prepared you to do
>Most of the time you went in, tortured whoever you thought would have the info you needed, disposed of them and then disposed of your mark
>Efficiency and speed were of utmost importance, your employers hated waiting for a job to be done
>Your thoughts of your old job must show on your face as the filly tries to scoot away from you while you lean in
>"P-please don't hurt m-momma", she whimpers before she tries to hide on the other side of the mare
>As you expected, she isn't breathing anymore, probably been forced to overdose from all the fresh stabs you notice on her leg while you are right next to her
>It disgusts you, but you know this isn't the first time you heard of somepony being ponynapped off the streets for a quick joyride by those high as a kite
>Another fucked up thing in this fucked up city
"I- I'm not here to hurt her", you gently whisper, trying to treat her similar to the twins you've met last night
>But she doesn't react as trusting as them and just tries to hide away from you even more as you reach out a hoof she flinches away
>Outside you can hear sirens coming down the street, you take it that is the ambulance you called
>Not that you really pay it much mind, they'll find the stallion on their own you'd assume
>As you try reach the filly, you come in contact with the mare... and notice that she is still warm
>She's not dead for too long and you realize what you must do
>Fuck, if only you had a stimpack somewhere on you, that used to be standard when you were on an official mission
>Outside you can hear wheels screech to a halt and doors fly open, you assume that to be the medics
>You bet they must have something that might pick her back up, maybe you could just rush out and grab something?
>Or try and carry her down, although you are a bit worried what the young one will do if you just steal her mother
>Is it even worth it, though, she might not stay alive too much or might have injuries you can't see... physically or mentally
>>
>>39096904
"We need to get your mom downstairs. She's hurt bad and there's ponies there that can help."
>>
>>39096904
If we're done being retarded, let's take the filly and dump her in an orphanage.
>>
>>39096904
Tell her that an ambulance just arrived and we might be able to save her mother if we hurry.
>>
>>39096904
Good thing we called for an ambulance and didn't just leave the stallion to die.
>>
>>39096904
The medics may have something that we could use, but can we expect them to part with it willingly? Does this mare look like she has an insurance? It's strange enough that the ambulance didn't turn around and leave as soon as they found out that they've been called to a drug den.
>>
>>39097091
No harm in checking. Neither we, the filly, or the medics have any way to answer that question, so there is absolutely no reason for that uncertainty to cause us to waste time. An official report was made, so somebody would risk losing their job if it was ignored.
>>
>>39096904
poor thing, nopony should have to spend their childhood without a mother... and with all these bodies around, nopony will look twice at a dead filly.
>>
>>39096915
>>39097077
Seconding
>>
bump
>>
>>39097666
>666
>mercy killing
Checks out
>>
Heads up, not sure how much updating I can do today. I'll have my stepdad's birthday dinner to attend after work and still gotta pack for Ponycon Holland this weekend. I'll try to push one update out at least, but no promises,
Also, obviously no idea how much updating I can get done during the con itself.
>>
>>39099092
Aye, that's cool.
>>
9
>>
>>39098321
>>
>>39096915 >>39096926>>39097077
>>39097089 >>39097091 >>39097116
>>39097666 >>39097878 >>39098830
>Gathering your resolution, you pick up the mare and put her on your back, her filly watching you closely from the corner
>She doesn't dare getting near to you and is visibly uncomfortable at your doing
>Shakily she gets up and takes a step towards you, trying to look as brave as she can
>"D-don't take momma away to hurt her more", she squeaks at you, trying to sound scary
>In a way, it is strangely adorable and heartwarming seeing her try and defend her mother like this
>But you know that things like that would get her into danger if it was any other pony standing here with her
"Come downstairs with me, the medics are here and your mom needs their attention badly", you try and reassure her
>"B-but the... bad ponies are down there", she whispers, terrified as she takes a step back
>You really, really don't have time for this if you want to save another life today, so using your speed to your advantage you move next to the filly
>Part of you just considers taking her out of her misery of growing up in this dastardly world, but the mere thought that your brain (or is this your implants speaking?) comes up with that disgusts you
>Not as fast as Mrs. Incision, but fast enough for her not having the time to run away from you
>Picking her up you throw her on your back, looking back and smiling, "I'll protect you, ok?"
>At first she looks unsure but then wraps her small hooves around your neck and holds on tight as you make a run for the door downstairs
>From the sounds of it, the medics have already found the StaSEC cop and are about to load him into the ambulance to drive off
>Can't have that, now can we?
>Dashing as fast as you can down the stairs you don't even take moments to assess your path as you can hear bones crunch and flesh squish under your powerful hooves
>Just in time to crash through the now closed front door, sliding on the street as the ambulance has just begun driving away
>No, not today!
(cont)
>>
>>39100695

>You run out onto the road and get into a sprint, wind dashing past you as you follow the transport vehicle, every second catching up a little more
>Ponies on both sides of the road watch in absolute awe as you carry the filly and her mother while giving chase
>A few of them even start cheering you on, not that it would help you get towards the ambulance
>Instead, it actually decides to speed up, perhaps trying to get away from you
>So close, you are so damn close
>Digging your back hooves into the concrete, it cracks under your power as you kick yourself of the street with more intensity than you ever have
"Fly, Frost, fly like you've never flown before!", you shout to encourage yourself as you make use of your ability to perform powerful jumps
>With another crater you land, just to get into a second jump, getting closer and closer
>Until you finally manage to take hold of the doors of the carriage, ripping it open and deposit yourself and your "cargo" on the floor
>While the ambulance is driving, you can hear loud cheers outside that quickly fade into the distance
>Inside, two white nurses just stare at you, the StaSEC member on a stretcher in the center of the interior in what you assume to be a coma
"Help... her", you pant as you try and get to your hooves and point at the older mare, the filly still clinging to your neck and burrowing her head in your neck so she can't see
>"M-miss, you can't be-", you cut her off with a glare
"Help her", you demand again, staring her down
>The other nurse has taken a comm tab and has already started scanning the mare
>"She has no insurance. We... can't help her", she tries to weasel herself out of this and huddles herself into the corner, as far away from you as she can
>>
>>39100702
Do I look like I care? If you don't want the inside of this carriage to look like that drug den, you'll help her. Now.
>>
>>39100702
>>39072120
"Don't give me an excuse to cross 'targeting medical personnel' off my to-do list."
>>
>>39100702
*Point to the StaSEC guy*
"I'm sure he'll be willing to cover the medical expenses once he's awake. When he wakes up, mention that I dropped by and tell him 'a life for a life, do this and we're even'."
>>
>>39100702
Last resort: say "please".
>>
>>39100866 >>39100887 >>39100950 >>39101152
"Take a CLOSE look at me, mare", you take one step closer to which she flinches, "do I look like I care?"
>She starts seizing you up, especially your facial expression, but you interrupt her
"No, I really don't, and if you want the inside of this carriage to look like the drug den, you'll help her. Now"
>Staring the mare down she begins squirming nervously under your gaze
"Don't give me an excuse to cross "targeting medical personnel" off my to-do list", you hiss under your breath to which she squeaks and hides her face behind her hooves
>Turning to the other mare who stares at you, petrified, you sigh and rub your temples
>All the while the filly, who you finally managed to get off your back and sat her down next to her mother, stares at you with a mixture of awe and fear, unsure on how to treat this situation
"Alright", you calm down a little more, "I'm sorry about that, I had a... bad day", you try and explain before pointing to the sleeping StaSEC guy
"See this guy over there? He'll be paying the bills once he wakes up. Just mention that I dropped by and I consider "a life for a life" making ponies even"
>The mare starts to consider her options but still doesn't seem entirely convinced
"Please, show a little kindness in this dark world. If not for me, at least do it for her", you nod your head towards the filly who has curled up next to her mother again
>Moments pass in silent between you and her as she keeps glancing between you, the mother and her filly before her lips begin to quiver
>Her face then takes on a steely resolve as she professionally starts barking orders
>"Cross, stims, get us the strongest thing we have around, we have to get her heart beating again. Call in to get HQ to prep for nano-surge asap, she's gonna need it"
>Under her curse she huffs: "She's right, I didn't spend years of my life studying to just have somepony fucking die if I can help it. Insurance be damned!"
>The other pony you now know as Cross rummages through the various drawers in the back, pulling out multiple syringes before tossing them back in
>The who you assume to be the lead doctor in this situation crouches down to the filly
>"Hey there, don't worry we'll make your mommy all better, ok? And for being so brave yourself, I've got something for you!", she says with a smile while pulling up a lollipop from behind her back
(cont)
>>
>>39101547
>At first the filly hesitates but then carefully takes the sugary treat and quietly says "Thank you" before popping it in her mouth
>By then, Cross has managed to find what she was looking for and brings it over to you and the second nurse, "Synthdrenaline, that should do the trick, Miss Health"
>"Help me get her on the bench", she commands to you and her assistant and together the three of you lie her down
>"Chest paddles, in case we need to stabilize her cardiac rhythm! And get her hooked up, I need the readings", she commands the other nurse before taking hold of the syringe and stabbing it right into the mare's exposed chest
>It takes a second but all of a sudden, you see the mare's chest begin to barely rise and lower again
>From here on out, you believe the doctors have it perfectly covered, so while they aren't looking you step out of the back
>The ambulance is driving down the main road at hgih speed and you almost jump into oncoming traffic
>But thanks to your awareness and good legs, you are able to dash to the side of the road without getting hit
>Even though a couple of cars started very angrily tooting their horns towards you
>Not that you care and all that
>What you do care about though, is that you have ended in someplace you have no idea where you are
>Instead of the rundown streets and buildings you are used to from Lower Ponyville, the high rises here look almost immaculate
>Paint is not cracked, the windows are clean, the ponies here looking much more pish and high class
>As you pass by the windows of the shops, you see all kinds of high tech goodies with matching prices to boot
>The cracked asphalt you are used to has been replaced by clean, graffity-free walkways made from cobblestone
>Ponies well styled and in fancy dresses pass you by, not even giving you the hint of attention with their noses up high
>Many ponies carry around expensive looking leather briefcases or wear expensive looking suits and ties and most of them are constantly on their phones talking business
>A couple ponies end up bumping into you as you slowly walk down the road and keep yelling at you and making a scene with their posh, high class accents
>Not that you pay much attention as you leave them where they are and just walk away
>>
>>39100702
the flight plan I just came up with lists me, two casualties, and this filly, but only one nurse!
>kick rear door open
first one to treat her gets to stay in the ambulance!
>>
>>39101551
With all these rich bastards around, there's gotta be someone who'd pay handsomely for our services. If it was later in the day, I'd suggest finding a bar, but for now we should go shopping for clothes so we don't stick out like a cracked hoof.
>>
>>39101578
I thought frost didn't want to be a whore
>>
>>39101551
These ponies aren't going to give us the time of day and we still haven't been payed, so shopping is not an option either. Keep an eye on our surroundings and head back to meet the others before they start to worry anymore about us.

>>39101578
The priority should be getting back to Comet and Shell, we DID say we were going that way this morning after all.
>>
>>39101833
Well we COULD'VE already been halfway there if SOMEBODY didn't want to go on an ego tri-I mean, "be a hero".
>>
>>39101869
And than we would've felt too guilty to continue associating with them.
>>
>>39101869
Come on, this little adventure wasn't so bad. Miss Health didn't give us a candy because she liked that filly more, and now she may lose her job. Isn't poetic justice beautiful?
>>
>>39101551
Find a secluded spot and consult the map. (There IS a GPS and map app among all of our cyber doodads, right?)
>>
Bump
>>
>>39103214
>>
>>39101551
did our training include any lessons in picking pockets?
>>
>>39101578 >>39101620 >>39101833 >>39101869
>>39101893 >>39102144 >>39102579 >>39103886
>Well, one thing is for certain, you have ended up somewhere much higher class
>As enticing as going around shopping sounds right about now, you are flat out broke
>And not only that, but you were supposed to be somewhere else before you decided to play the hero
>Quite frankly, you don't regret it though, a life saved is always worth it, if you are being honest
>Hopefully you didn't just cost the two nurses their jobs, although it would be poetic justice
"That's what she gets for not giving you a lollipop", you whisper to yourself with a giggle as you trot along the road
>The entire area is way less crowded than you are used to seeing in lower ponyville and the air is much cleaner though
>With the early afternoon sun shining down on you you can't help but let out a happy sigh
>The trees planted on the side of the walkway in regular intervals serve as great respite from the burning ball of fire in the sky for ponies both young and old
>It would be nice living like this someday.... but on the other hand a snobby life like this might just be way too boring
>For now you head into a side alley away from the crowd and pull up your map on your HUD, trying to figure out where you are and how to get back "home"
>It takes a few seconds for your implants to get a fix on your location, but the words that show up make you choke on your own spit
>New Canterlot
>You stare at the words and the small glowing dot on the map that is representing you
>Somehow you have managed to hitched a ride to the most powerful station anywhere remotely nearby
>Which means not only are you among nobles, CEOs and high execs, but also right in the territory of the big four
>You can only imagine how much security personal is around and are surprised you still haven't been seen or engaged
>Moreover, you have to get back through the checkpoint if you want to return to Lower Ponyville
>Gotta have to find a strategy for that
>Thankfully, you aren't too far away from the passage between stations and once you are on the other side, you should have an easier time disappearing
>Question is, how to get there and how to get through unscathed?
>Could you pickpocket a pony and bribe the guards?
>Your training definitely did not cover picking pockets, you can tell that much
>>
>>39104179
I can't imagine most of the ponies around here have any interest in descending from their ivory tower, much less illicitly, so getting out will probably be easier than getting in.
How about we try getting out the same way we got in, via an emergency vehicle? An ambulance, or a fire engine... but definitely not a cop car, unless we can successfully hijack one.
>>
>>39104193
I think you're on the right track. Though I imagine we'd have a better chance of staying undetected if we hitchhike on a cargo or garbage truck.

Either way, I think we should head towards an intersection a block or two away from the checkpoint and wait there for an opportunity.
>>
>>39104179
while you're in an alley, check the dumpsters to see if you can find anything good. you never know, maybe one of the elites has thrown away a used filly.
>>
>>39104241
But we are a thrown away used fully.
>>
>>39104193 >>39104222 >>39104241
>Guess the best way to leave is the way you came in, by hijacking an emergency vehicle
>A firetruck or perhaps another ambulance?
>Definitely not a cop car, those spell out trouble... unless you can manage to steal one?
>Who is going to question a cop car barreling down the freeway into the slums
>Actually, a lot of ponies probably would, normal cops don't really cross station borders
>You assume the only reason the ambulance did is because of the StaSEC guy, they usually have special treatment plans
>Trying to find a hospital and taking one of the ambulances quite frankly sounds like the more or less easiest plan
>Or just wait at a nearby crossing for one to pass, perhaps you could try and make a fake report and hope they respond?
>This does kind of remind you though, you do have a job in a different station, so figuring out how to pass through gates safely might just be key for that
>You are also reminded of potential smuggling tunnels that have been mentioned, you might be able to find those (or somepony who knows them) to pass
>For now though, you do decide to take a short look into the alley's dumpster though
>Compared to the place you hid after your escape, this place is almost spotless
>No trash bags around, no staining, the dumpster looking like it had freshly been cleaned out
>You aren't sure what you were looking for but all you find is a half eaten sandwich and a broken filly's toy
>Not exactly much you can do with those things, even though your stomach IS rumbling after all the action you had already
>Since you know where the station transfer is, you start heading into the opposite direction, a couple blocks away and lean yourself against a wall near a big intersection
>And then you wait. And you wait. And wait.
>Quite frankly, you weren't sure what exactly you were expecting, somepony just driving past in an emergency carriage?
>And then? How would you get a ride anyways?
>>
>>39104359
Look for something that could pass for a police badge if you flash it in somepony's face quickly enough, then commandeer a car by doing so.
>>
>>39104359
We probably can't even steal some unsuspicious clothes here without triggering several sophisticated alarm systems. How can these ponies live in this awful place?
>>
>>39104359
We should send a message to tell Shell and Comet where we are. Any way we can start a group call?
>>
bump
>>
>tries to visit a friend in a horsepital
>ends up trapped in the local equivalent of Forbidden City
The ultimate cigarette dad. Is it because all important decisions in her life as she knows it were made by others, or she's just naturally clumsy like that?
>>
>>39105348
>>
>>39104363 >>39104660 >>39104921 >>39106463
>Honestly, you do have to laugh a bit about how much bad luck has been following you around ever since you got picked up from the trash
>A short trip to the hospital and somehow you end up in what is basically the place a pony is forever barred from entry when they aren't born in here
>You don't think you're that clumsy, it is almost as if lately all your decisions have been influenced to a certain degree by someone else
>That would be weird, like, really REALLY weird though and you'd like to believe you are simply having bad luck...
>...or living out your life to the fullest now that you have a certain degree of freedom
>As much as you'd love to get rid of your current getup, that really, really doesn't fit this place to well, you assume stealing anything would trigger hundreds of sophisticated alarms
>Which perhaps might not be such a bad idea, actually, that would certainly get a cop car to hijack near you
>Especially if you can find something that you could flash quickly, like a police badge!
>You do deflate a little as you don't really have any idea what you'd even use in a situation like that, perhaps you could steal somepony's wallet
>But if you had a badge you could probably also commandeer any car around here, and you've seen quite a few expensive and very nice looking ones
>Wouldn't easily get you through the station gates though, you assume, although with a bit of brute force you might just be able to break through!
>Certainly would make a bit of a scene, the idea makes you giggle as you think of yourself as a movie heroine doing that
>Focus, Frost, no time to space out, you've still gotta find a serious way to get back to Comet and Shell
>That reminds you, they might have some advice for you, too!
>Sticking to the shadows in a more secluded side road you initiate a call
>Comet picks up first, and almost immediately as the second line keeps ringing
>"Frost? What's going on, are you ok? I thought you were planning to come and pick me up", she cocks her head and looks a little confused
"Yeeaaa...., about thaat", you glance off to the side before turning the camera for her to see all the posh looking ponies passing by a little further away
>Looking at her you see her jaw start to drop to the floor in disbelief before another voice interrupts your thought process
>A very, very delirious sounding voice, "eeeyyy Froooosty Frost", Shell's voice comes through with what amounts to an attempt at stopping to giggle but failing spectacularly
>"Whaaaaat's goooood, my mare", he continues on, clearly drugged to tartarus and back
(cont)
>>
>>39107966
>"Shell? What the hell is going on", Comet asks with concern as she raises an eyebrow at the goofy looking face on Shell's end of the feed
>"Ehehehe, funny needles", he jus blurts out as he is trying to bat away a hoof that you assume to be a nurse treating him
"I need help getting back to Lower Ponyville, the longer I have to be stuck in New Canterlot the more crazy I go
>That seems to actually sober Shell somewhat up as he stops resisting and falls back on his pillow, staring up to the ceiling in sudden silence
>You just catch a glimpse of the nurse pulling a syringe out of Shell's shoulder before walking away with audible hoofsteps on the sterile hospital floor
>Both you and Comet keep a close and worried eye on Shell as he seems completely unresponsive
>With a sudden snap to attention he comes to his senses
>"God, how I hate these meds here", he complains, "fucks with your brain like crazy", he sighs
>"Frost, how in the sun's name have you gotten into NEW CANTERLOT of all places?", he asks you with a raised eyebrow
"...Long story. Just help me get back out please", you beg him and Comet
>He sighs in response and begins navigating on his bracelet before a file transfer pops up in your vision
"I haven't spent my days here doing absolutely nothing", he lets the two of you know as you take a look at what you've been given
>It seems to be some kind of map, underground tunnels or sewers perhaps
>Most of them focus around the station transfers of LP
>Comet takes a concerned glance at you and Shell, "you know hat these tunnels are dangerous, right?"
>He perks up, "yeah. They wouldn't be so open to use for an experienced smuggler if that wasn't the case, would they?"
>You've only ever heard stories, but the old tunnels are mostly collapsed and the paths that are still accessible are an absolute maze
>Moreover, a lot of the tunnels still have active pre-collapse technology, weaponry most importantly, that is still dutifully protecting the bountiful treasures below
>"M-Maybe there is a couple strings I can pull", Comet starts trying to come up with an idea
>"I should be able to scrounge up something, if you give me a couple of hours"
>"Are you nuts?", Shell speaks up, "she's surrounded by corpos, imagine what happens when they find out who she is?!"
>Shell sounds exceedingly worried about you here
>"I'm sure I can get her out in a couple of hours!", Comet protests in return
>"And every minute fucking COUNTS", Shell retorts
>You still consider how viable it is stealing a car and just driving through the gates, or maybe just kick the guards' behinds
>They both look at you expectantly for now
>>
>>39107971
I vote for carjacking. We can play cave explorer with Shell some other time, and a couple of hours is two hours too many to spend here.
>>
Carjacking I fear is too high profile and I don't want Comet oweing or calling in favors on our account. I say we brave the tunnels.
>>
>>39107971
nopony can save us if we get lost in the tunnels. at least we won't be trapped underground if we mess up the highjacking.
>>
>>39107971
Sooner or later our former employers will stop fucking around and we'll need a good place to hide for the rest of our life. We may as well start getting used to the tunnels.
>>
>>39108360
We're not gonna live in the fucking tunnels.
>>
>>39108418
Typical surfacer, mad for no reason.
>>
>>39107971
The tunnels sound fun. Also, carjacking or mugging a cop would make us so visible that we might as well go up to one of the main corpo buildings and introduce ourself.
>>
>>39108582
Actually, why not? We could get work at a rival megacorp and take our old employer down by playing the corpo game.
>>
>>39108596
we can't do that without a proper suit. for now, settle for a joyride.
>>
>>39108596
We don't even know which Corpo we came from. Also, life under the "new" one could be just as bad.
>>
>>39107987
Once we're in the tunnels we'll effectively be out of Canterlot and leave no trace we were ever here, beyond a possible traffic photo from when we jumped out of the ambulance that is.

>>39108234
Spending the rest of our short life behind bars sounds a lot worse. At least we can use our gps and map to backtrack to where we entered if we go down the wrong path.
>>
>>39108666
Jeez Satan, I thought you'd know more about corporations. All we have to do is connect the dots. Try to identify the ponies who attacked Shell's apartment, figure out who put up the bounty on us, and if all else fails a 3/4 chance isn't that bad.
Seeing how that Four Strikes guy had insurance, I don't think the conditions could be that bad.
>>
>>39107987 >>39108071 >>39108234
>>39108360 >>39108418 >>39108426
>>39108582 >>39108596 >>39108655
>You are honestly absolutely torn between jacking a car or diving through the dangerous tunnels below
>One thing you do know though is that first of all, you don't want Comet to owe or call in any favors on your account, not unless you are in absolutely deep shit
>In addition to that, a couple hours is two hours too much, you don't really have the time
"Thanks, Comet", you start to which she looks hopeful, "but I have to decline. Wouldn't sit right with me if you had to be in anypony's debt or had to use something that might come in handy in the future"
>She looks downtrodden at he rejection, but ultimately she nods understandingly
"Now to you, Shell", you look at him and he looks back at you with determination
>"I know exactly how to get you through the tunnels, just trust me on this one, ok?", he says with determination in his voice
>While carjacking sure sounds like a fun time to be had, you might as well just go and introduce yourself to the local StaSEC while you're at it
>Can't risk that, quite frankly so you end up giving Shell a nod
"Alright. Tunnels it is, where do I get in?", you ask and not even a couple seconds later, an arrow on your HUD begins leading you through the streets of New Canterlot
>At a brisk pace you make yourself through the streets until you end up in front of what seems to be a really old building with a store currently inside selling dresses
>You glance at the face of Shell in your peripheral vision and then back at the building
>"Go on. The entrance should be in he building, there is an old netnode underground that is used as a central hub"
>No wonder he knows about this place or the tunnels, knowing where data flows is worth gold to a runner
>Stepping in through the automated doors, the place seems empty but one step into it makes you understand why
(cont)
>>
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>>39108686
>gps
>underground
>>
>>39108700
>A salesbot is right by your side in a matter of seconds, holding out a dress to you
>"Good Day Miss. I Believe This Would Look Lovely On You", it presents the dark blue satin dress to you, basically shoving it right in your face
>"Frost, figure out how to get downstairs", Shell urges you and you try to step past the pesky tin can
>It wheels in front of you hoofing you the dress again, "Please, Miss. We Know What Is Best For You"
>That sounded creepy as heck, if you are being honest and you once more try to pass by
>But again the robotic assistant is having none of it
>"I Insist", it tells you and you accept with a sigh as you are being pushed towards a changing booth
>Being shoved in, the curtain behind you closes and you are now left to your own devices
>Not that the robot seems to want to let you alone, peeking outside it is patiently waiting, probably to force you into buying immediately once you wear the dress
>"Frost, what the heck is taking you so long?", Shell sounds impatient and is nervously glancing to the side every so often, "You don't have time for this!"
>Comet, who has been silent so far, chimes in, "Maybe if you could tell her how she is supposed to get down into the basement, genius?"
>"...right. Sorry", he starts using his bracelet again before speaking up, "there should be a staircase right nearby... behind the wall you are standing on, actually
>"There should be a door further down this wall that you can use to get in there, unless it is locked that is", Shell shrugs
>Well, that certainly sounds like a good start, although you still need to avoid that robot which probably has a direct line to the cops
>Maybe you don't... have to deal with the robot if you can outright avoid it?
>Your eyebrows furrow in thought as you look at the back wall of the changing booth
>>
Fuck me, my T key is busted and only responds 1/4th of the time. Anyone can recommend me a good mechanical keyboard?
Full sized and cherry blue or maybe brown (or comparable, right now I have Razer greens)?
>>
>>39108702
This is a world of magic and advanced cybernetic implants. You honestly think they'd suffer from the same technological limitations?
>>
>>39108705
Maybe we could trick it into thinking we're here to do maintenance.
>>
>>39108705
Lovely dress, shame about the customer service. Does Frost have experience killing robot ponies?
>>
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>>39108706
Komm heim, Deutscher mann.
>>
>>39108749
basischer logitech möger
>>
>>39108705
>the wall you are standing on
did we get bitten by a radioactive spider on our way here?
>>
Bump
>>
>>39108718
Well then it wouldn't be the GPS, would it? An underground navigation system could be possible, but there's no way anyone down there could receive a radio signal from the surface, much less space.
>>
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So I just finished watching Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. I'm interested in this story, may I have a quick rundown on the story so far?
>>
>>39110036
I doubt abandoned tunnels would have a maintained navigation system. Also, we will need some form of ground penetrating wireless communication if Shell's plan to guide us through the tunnels is to be possible.
>>
>>39110058
Isn't our weird C&C connection with Shell based on some psychic bullshit? It might not be necessary if he gives us a map and directions, but it'd make going through those tunnels less lonely.
>>
>>39110052
We are currently a cyborg who previously worked for a corp as an assassin before going rogue and escaping from their blacksite. Also, we have had our memories erased repeatedly, so our head is a bit screwed up. Currently, we accidentally hitched a ride to another town (New Canterlot) and are trying to get back to New Ponyville despite traffic between towns being regulated by a militant security force. We're also being hunted by our former "coworkers" who give absolutely no fucks about collateral damage if the fate of our prior hiding place is anything to go by.
>>
>>39110073
>some psychic bullshit
It's pure technology, it downloaded a backdoor to our head onto his bracelet.
>>
>>39110077
Oh, and we're a part-time babysitter.
>>
>>39110084
It's no ordinary network connection, that's for sure.
>>
>>39110098
It's encrypted.
>>
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>>39110052
Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there
I'll tell you how I got linked with a rogue kill-borg mare

Right in New Equestria, born and raised
In the orphanage is where I spent most of my days
Helping out, hacking, so we all could survive
And looking for my parents, hoping they're still alive

Even though other kids who were up to no good
Bullied me for my buck fangs and buffy-tude
I stuck it out and made friends with a real cute bat mare
And also got color-changing implants for my hair

I grew bigger and bigger with every passing day
But the lessons in kindness from the nuns, they did stay
So when it came time to move out, I didn't hesitate
Put my HUD lenses on and said
"Let's do something great"

Robin Hood, yo, this is rad
Stealing from the rich to give to those who've got it bad
And I've got this credit siphoning job running tight
Yeah, it'll all be alright

I went out looking for lunch in a food court dumpster
And inside it I found half a sandwich and mare
She was missing two legs, and comatose to boot
So I took her back home and worked to make her all good

I stuck my plug in her socket, and my siphon was wrecked
Protection be damned, her mil-spec augs took effect
"C&C, yes or no?", I was prompted by her
So I said "Yeah, sure thing," and got linked with the mare
>>
>>39110504
That made my morning, anon. Holy fucking based, what a great summary
>>
Bunp
>>
>>39110504
Amazing
>>
>>39071508
I scroll through /mlp/ and I see this.
That's the cover art I commissioned for a story I'm writing.
Interesting to see it elsewhere.
>>
>>39111654
I actually downloaded your story for my trup to ponycon holland right now. Good taste in art, man
>>
>>39112189
Thanks. Next two chapters are coming soon, I've rewritten bits of earlier chapters too or added where I thought they were lacking, and they'll go out when the new chapters are released.
>>
>>39111183
>>
>>39112199
Link story please?
>>
>>39113550
I'll be updating in a couple days hopefully.
I'll link it when everything's brought upto scratch.
>>
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Live.
>>
>>39114466
Die.
>>
>>39114952
Nah.
>>
>>39115578
saved from literally being the last thread
good work
>>
>>39115585
Y-you too
>>
Boop.
>>
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>>39112189
Have fun, try to not outdo Frost in the war crime department.
>>
>>39116250
Beep.
>>
Any fan art yet?
>>
>>39118569
No. And there never will be
>>
>>39118569
Not yet.
>>
>>39118569
Yes, there is some in the two previous threads.
>>
>>39119834
>AI """art"""
lol
>>
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Be advised, we have a German agent MIA in Holland.
>>
>>39120450
We must secure the existence of Trapped in Synth and a future for white mares
>>
>>39118569
>>39119835
yeah, i know right? AI art is so ugly, just look at this shit.
>>
>>39121029
"AI art" is a misnomer, as "art" refers to artistic expression, and a machine cannot express anything. The best it can do is poorly copy human creations.
>>
>>39121050
>he thinks arguing from definitions is meaningful
C'mon, this is pathetic. Artistic expression is a subset of art. And in any case, your dogmatic faith in human superiority will not stand the test of time.
>>
>>39121050
Do semantics really matter when it all looks the same?
>>
>>39121086
I'd say there's no point arguing with someone as deluded as you, but I'm still waiting for OP to come back from his blitzkrieg, so as long as the thread stays bumped...
>>
>>39121704
Blitzkrieg was successful, lads. I just started my 12h train trip back home, pray for me
>>
>>39121826
I'm so fucking jealous. I like sleeping in trains.
>>
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>>39121826
postan comfy train twi for emotional support
>>
>>39121832
Train rides are ok, if they aren't overfilled to the brim or you have to wear a damn mask for the entire trip
>>
>>39121704
Your definition of art falls apart when you consider "modern art".
>>
>>39122165
You know what? I concede -- AI will never truly replace "human" artists, because it will never learn to create the trite, contrived, infantile, cliche-and-gonorrhea-ridden paean to conformism that is Modern Art, No one will ever make a dataset for that.
>>
>>39122463
You're so wrong it's almost funny. If there's one thing AI excels at, it's making incomprehensible, meaningless crap.
>>
Bump
>>
>>39123507
Stop bumping, this quest is dead, OP hasn't posted in days and probably abandoned it
>>
>>39123808
see >>39121826
>>
>>39123822
Then why hasn't he updated. He should be home by now according to his post and time specification
>>
>>39123850
>why hasn't someone posted an update right after a 12 hour train ride
gee, I wonder.
>>
>>39123878
Lazy fucking cunt
>>
>>39123850
Not everyone can dedicate every second of their time to writing horsewords.
>>
>>39123927
Skill issue.
>>
Bump haha
>>
>>39124936
>9
>>
Live.
>>
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>>39110052
>watching Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
>>
>>39125967
Is it bad?
>>
>>39126531
Yes, most anime is bad, and this one isn’t an exception. Just a generic anime plot where the dude starts off super weak then, because of some super-special, rare ability that they have, they get the girl, defeat the bad guy, survive all odds, and still never evolve as a character at all. Because it’s Netflix, it a few adds super dump details like characters repeating words a bunch over phone calls, for no reason at all.
>tldr; don’t watch that shit.
>>
>>39126764
So, it's bad because of "The hero's journey"?
>>
>>39126779
Yes but I don’t think it’s gone full cycle yet; I didn’t even finish it.
Just something I forgot to mention above: It’s got a time skip after a large event that leaves out details so you’re lost when the mc emerges having gone through a major transformation.
>>
>>39108724 >>39108726 >>39109029
>>39110058 >>39110073 >>39110084
>>39110098 >>39110103
>You don't exactly have experience of killing robot assistants, but really, breaking one of them shouldn't be too hard, right?
>After all, they end to normally just be made out of light metals since they aren't usually put into dangerous situations
>Probably as easy as crushing an empty soda can
>Although, being in such a high class store it probably has direct contact with the nearby security institutions
>This might require a more cunning approach to get you out without too much attention being drawn to you
>Stepping back out of the dresser, the robot regards you with what you would have almost thought to be disdain
>Which is weird because you don't think these assistants are designed to show any kind of emotion
>"Miss, Is The Dress Not To Your Liking?", he asks while shuffling closer to you
"I am not here to buy", you state firmly, "I am actually here to do.. maintenance, yes"
>You look around, trying to spot the door that shell has been talking about
>Nothing but racks of clothing scattered around the entire wall
>"Maintenance Cycle Has Not Been Registered. No Malfunctions Registered. This Unit Requires No Maintenance"
>It rolls up to you, and you can feel its scanners giving you a thorough scan as you desperately try to think of an answer
>"Calm down, Frost", you hear Shell's reassuring voice in your ear, "maintenance on the network node. This rust bucket only has authority of the store"
>You raise an eyebrow but take a deep breath, listening to your batpony friend
"This store is of no concern of mine. There is a netnode in the basement, correct?", you give the robot a confident stare to which it doesn't reply to immediately
>"Customer Is Correct", it monotonically says, "Knowledge Implies Familiarity. Maintenance Request Accepted"
>The robot's chest opens up and a hoofprint scanner and looks at you expectantly
>"Please Confirm Maintenance Request", it tells you and you look between it and the keypad
>"Don't use the pad", Shell urges you and Comet who surprisingly also is still on the line adds, "they'll log your hoofprint and know you were here"
>"Break it", she recommends and Shell nods in approval of the idea
>Slowly lifting your hoof towards the keypad you almost make contact with it before you have your leg's pistons engage
>The hoof slams right through the scanner and into the robot's chest, through whatever mess of internal wiring there is
>Until you end up touching something hot, bright light glowing out of the chest of the robot
"Oh no", the realization of what you just hit dawns on you as the glow brightens in intensity and electrical sparks fly from the shaking robot
>Turning your hide, you run as far away as you possibly can, to the other side of the store
>Every second counts as the light behind you gets brighter and brighter before it ends up in a loud explosion shattering the store's windows
(cont)
>>
>>39128335
>Around where the robot was is a blast radius and burned scraps of clothing gently floating down
>The racks on the wall have been atomized by the arcanotechnical explosion, leaving behind a hole in the wall
>With a staircase, nice
>A little away from there you can see that there is a metallic door that was hidden behind one of the racks
>Well, somepony definitely heard that, so you begin dashing down into the staircase before anypony has the time to take a look
>In time, too, as you can hear alarms starting to go off in the store and the fire system engaging
>Hopefully the water washes away the evidence
>Descending deeper and deeper you feel like you've gone at least 10 or 20 stories into the earth now
>Until you finally arrive at a heavy and sturdy steel door, round and probably not exactly easy to get through
>There is a console on the wall but it seems to be activated by a keycard that you don't have
>Through a small security window you can see light shining out into the staircase, coming from a glowing pillar of light with hundreds of cables snaking their way into from multiple corridors
>"-st? Fro-t!", you can hear Comet's desperate voice calling for your attention
>Looking at your HUD just in time, you see the feed cut out and Frost disappear from the call
>Shell is still connected though, a small vortex with a tunnel symbol next to his name and his presence is as clear as day
"At least I'm no alone down here", you say as you look a Shell who is currently a little distracted fighting off a hoof with a syrringe
>"I can't! Not yet, this is import-", he tries to tell the nurse off, but experienced as she seems to be with patients she lands the needle
>You watch in realtime as Shell becomes drowsy and then his hat flops back on the pillow, his light snoring being the only thing you can hear from his end
>Great, you're on your own now and kick the door in frustration
>To your surprise, one of the rusty bars holding it cracks and breaks in two on the other side
>You see the parts go flying into the room and you smile again as you once more kick the door as hard as you can
>Another crack, another kick, another crack
>After a couple more repeats of that the door finally decides to give and falls out of the frame with a REALLY loud bang
>Hurrying through you are standing in a reinforced room, 5 corridors splitting away from the pulsing pillar reaching from the floor to the bottom
>It hums in a quiet, steady rhythm, occasional pulses and flashes going into or out of the construct through one of the wires on he ground
>Something about this is strangely hypnotic, drawing you in closer and closer
>You feel every pulse running through your cybernetics, it makes your body shudder
>Such beauty, such power, you've never seen anything like it
>Surely, Comet and Shell can wait a little longer, right?
>And it isn't like the tunnels are mar- wait, they are, an old copper plate above the second left hallway proclaiming "Lower Ponyville"
>But this.....
>>
>>39128343
Phew, had me worried you followed your leader.
We can indulge Frost's giant phallus fetish some other time, record a quick video to clop to later and get out of there.
>>
>>39128343
maybe just a little touch?
>>
>>39128343
Check the map. The plate only tells us the intention of the builders, we don't know if this tunnel is still the best way to LP.
Don't lick the pillar.
>>
bump
>>
>>39129363
>>
>>39128343
Don't go into the light!
>>
Bump
>>
>>39126764
>Just a generic anime plot where the dude starts off super weak then, because of some super-special, rare ability that they have, they get the girl, defeat the bad guy, survive all odds, and still never evolve as a character at all.
I thought you were talking about the CYOA.
>>
>>39129363
>>
>>39130880
Buffy is not a chosen one, at all. He's a relatively decent nobody in the wrong place at the wrong time. Frost fits the pattern better, but she changes. Or does she? I wish we had a baseline for her personality.
>>
>>39130880
No, unlike Edgerunners, I actually really like this story. We do need to get back to Shell’s perspective though. I get that we’re probably supposed to spend most of our time in Frost, but I like Shell’s less-damaged perspective.
>>
>>39132476
Fun fact: That perspective switch was a happy little accident
>>
>>39132535
Tell us more!
>>
>>39128367 >>39128413 >>39129008 >>39130071
>It takes more than just all your willpower, but you somehow manage to snap your attention away from the glowing rod
>The glowing rod that totally doesn't... put images in your head that do end up making you quite a bit more energetic in certain ways
>You hit your head against a wall, "what the heck is wrong with you, Frost?", you whisper to yourself in frustration
>As you stop, you see that the wall has cracks in it and a bit of blood trickles down your nose
>That being done, you do decide to take a short video to show Shell later, he might be interested in whatever this thing really is
>And while you continuously have the urge to touch or even lick it, your head tells you that really, really should keep your hooves away
>Instead, you try and consult an old plaque that is mounted to the wall next to the tunnels, it seems to be a map for ponies to not get lost down here
>As expected, the tunnels down here are an absolute maze and the tunnel to Lower Ponyville is not simply a straight shot
>Unfortunately, the map doesn't give you any idea on where to head to exactly, but that gives you another idea
>Since each tunnel has exactly one thick strand of wires, you can only assume that each tunnel leads to another netnode that links to this one
>So really, all you have to do is follow the cables, right? Easy as pie!
>Carefully marching down the path that is marked Lower Ponyville (and occasionally having to pull your eyes away from the glowing pillar further and further away) you descend into the dark corridors
>They are old, rusty and you occasionally find a pipe or a wall panel crashed into the floor
>Rodents are scurrying around just outside of your sight and a slight draft of wind keeps blowing through the tunnels.... back and forth as it if was breathing
(cont)
>>
>>39132721
>Something in this place makes your neck hair stand straight up and in the distance you can hear the quiet sound of mechanical actuators firing in a steady rhythm
>You do what you can to stay as quiet as equinely possible as you sneak through the bowels of the earth, keeping your eyes peeled for that notorious security
>From time to time you pass old rusted doors and rooms that you hope are rusted and not splattered with old and dry blood
>While all is deathly quiet, you really can't say you feel alone at this very moment... and you quite frankly don't like the idea of somepony... or something being down here with you
>Did somepony follow you?
>Is there something else down here?
>You beg to whichever princess can hear your voice down here that whatever it is it won't find you
>The hallway stretches on for what feels like forever and you could have sworn you've passed this exact wall once before... multiple times?
>Actually, everything down here just looks the fucking same, any way you look at it
>What doesn't look the same is the fork in the path coming up, one way going left and the other going right
>The wire you've been following.... splits in two and goes off in both directions
>An old and rusty plague on the ground tells you that the tunnel to the right leads to maintenance while the tunnel on the left is unmarked
>What you CAN tell though... is that to your left you hear the same actuators firing but louder this time as you heard earlier
>A red light in the distance keeps slowly blinking in and out steadily, getting your curiosity
>That being said, you can see pulses of data occasionally lighting up the wires in front of your hooves, the wire going to maintenance glowing much more often than the other one
>You assume that means more data is carried from or to wherever this leads
>Unfortunately for you, Shell is still out like a light from the nurse's injection, so you are still on your own
>>
>>39132702
Hospitalizing shell happened and as a spur of the moment I thought might be fun seeing the world from Frost's paranoid and perhaps a bit more child-like eyes
>>
>>39132725
>blinking red light
Ominous. That better not be a lure. Anglerfish.jpg
>>
>>39132725
Frooostieee, you just cleaned your face from the blood of your enemies, why did you have to cover it in your own blood? And why are we using possibly outdated plaques, what happened to the digital map of the underground that Shell sent to us? If there's no better map, leave some kind of a mark here (not with our blood this time, please) and follow the majority of data.
Which way does the wind come from? Is it changing in the same rhythm with the red light?
>>
>>39132805 >>39132849
>Great, a red light is totally and not in any way an ominous sign at all and nothing to worry about
>...who are you kidding, you aren't going to be caught in a trap this easily by an anglerfish monster hiding in this place
>For now you just decide to mark this place in case you come across it again you'll know
>Although you aren't entirely sure how you are going to do that, you don't exactly have a sharpie or anything with you
>Glancing at your blood covered snout you get an idea on how to make sure you remember this place
>Wiping your hoof over your forehead and then on the wall you leave red streaks that should serve you well enough
>See, no more harm needed, you think to yourself satisfied and make off into the direction of the heavy data bursts
>The map Shell sent you was unfortunately only the map of the building the netnode was in, it didn't give you any further information
>The red light disappears behind you in the distance now barely visible
>Once more the wind changes direction, a strong breeze taking hold of you from behind and giving you a shove into the tunnel
>Almost as if something is pulling you further along, as a matter of fact
>The fresh breeze carries you all the way down and something in your head makes you start speeding up a little
>At first just a trot that leads to a canter and then to a full scale gallop
>You don't know why, but desire to see what is at the end of this tunnel begins to overwhelm your mind
>The bursts of data through the wire increase in speed and intensity with every step you take
>Until another heavy steel door greets you at the end of your travels, MAINTENANCE written above it
>The wire snakes its way up the wall and through a tiny hole near the ceiling into the room
>From what you can tell, the door's electronic lock has long since lost power and you can probably push through without a hitch
>By now, the data bursts have become steady... almost akin to a heartbeat, as if this place was... alive
>A shudder overcomes you as your head snaps around, suddenly feeling like you have hundreds of eyes upon you
>Yet you see not a single soul, but the feeling remains strong
>Your mind is being torn apart, part of you DEMANDS you go into maintenance, your neurostim going haywire
>The other part of you screams to get the heck out of here
>Cold sweat drips down your side as you instinctively huddle into a corner for now while trying to understand your next move
>>
>>39133057
we've already come this far, there's no sense in turning back now. with how our augs are reacting, whatever's in there might give us a clue about our origin.
>>
>>39133057
Are there rogue AIs in this setting?
>>
>>39133057
Let's get to the synthetic heart of this. It can't be a trap, surely.
>>39133089
Does Frost count?
>>
>>39133077
>>39133215
It's fucking nonsense. Why are we walking into an obvious trap? Is it how we became a brainwashed assassin in the first place, by ignoring our hunches and being too brave for our own good?
>>
>>39133215
She's a cyborg. An AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a purely digital entity that started it's existence as lines of code. Think the "bad guys" in The Matrix.
>>
>>39133260
so you're saying the bad guys set a trap for us right under New Canterlot, which we only got into by sheer coincidence?



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