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RP: Freespacers {Solo Story} The Bug Inside You

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Primitive Polygon

🎖️ Game Master
RP Date
YE 43
RP Location
Deep Space, North of Kikyo Sector
The Bug Inside You

Part One - Embedded

T-33 thumbed the brick-sized compu-block they had assembled from scraps of old communicators, and watched the orange LED bulbs blink and flicker in the gloom of the escape capsules' rank claustrophobic shell. The tin can was wretched by the standards of any self-proclaimed civilized race, with air scrubbers decades beyond the scrapping point.

It didn't matter to a creature like her. A small pallid morsel of a woman, genecrafted and cybernetically modified to withstand the most gruelling of conditions. Not a warrior. Not a thing of peak performance. Just an undetectable insect, a sentient junker, a thing made for salvaging parts for an empire which had long since crumbled into madness.

The lights pinged green, and the hatchway above popped open with the distinct clunk-phwop of equalizing air pressure.

Virus seemed to be working. None of those planetary-type monkeys were here to arrest her. Releasing the valves on their chrome face grill, they allowed the clean air to enter their lungs slowly at first, careful to avoid the effects of nitrogen narcosis.

Airlock. That boring default grey metal, so you knew it was an Origin vessel. Always reminded her of a virtual render with no texture loaded.

Stomach hit them with a sudden pang of guttural agony. Head swam. Loaded more stimulants. Repressed brain node A41 and D46. Focus restored to 56% percent. Starving to death was a less pressing concern than the humans finding them. High probability for this type of vessel; Local police, pirates, or even smugglers that would kill to protect cargo.

Winding over her shoulder, a mechatendril claw carefully ripped the motion sensor off of the wall without activating it. T-33 dropped down on their six spider like leg-limbs, totally silent. Loaded the schematics for this type of vessel... Data found. Courier 2c. It was one of those dumb ones, with the airlock really close to the bridge and engineering.

Not good. They'd notice a disturbance here quickly. Corridor beyond would almost certainly have sentry guns, this far out into open space.

Footsteps? Perhaps moving this way? Perhaps not?... Shit.

Red eyes darted along the panels of the floor, looking for common fittings- There, the fluid exchange valve for the sanitary system- The permanently attached autodecoupler on her rear right mechatendril wound the screws out of the sheet metal facing, and exposed the twin nozzles of the ship's organic exchange system. There was a gap down the side, but too small for even T-33's diminished form to fit through. Not a best case scenario.

A glimpse of a flashlight through the small viewport window outside. The clink-clink-clink of physical keypad buttons being pressed-

No time left. The bulbous grappling claw of her right arm had been a blessed friend through many encounters, but... Yes, it was time to part ways.

She used the autodecoupler on her own shoulder, and was met with the uncomfortable sensation of her own arm freely sliding down her sleeve, thudding onto the cold deck below.

The outer door of the airlocked opened, and the crew member swore as they loaded a weapon, but flinched in shock at the mechanical spider before them, gazing back with wide eyes from under a mane of silver. The stubbled grimace of the land-gorilla met hers, and then the arm on the floor- Like a predatory creature confused by the disconnecting tail of a lizard.

Into the space between the pipes. Protective darkness. A treasurable corner, to block the potential line of fire. Behind the wall of the head, and down the spine of the vessel, between the crew rooms. Their six legs pushed them deeper and deeper, apposable appendages gaining grip on looms of wire, the grills of heat exchangers, the odd air duct fitting. Working on schematics, an internal 3D model, and pure sensation now. Didn't matter that they were practically blind.

Into the guts of the ship. The true environment that the baroque little thing was designed for.

Unblocked brain node DJG41, allowing a swilling little boost of endorphins to hit them with placid, euphoric exhaustion.

Didn't care if they knew she was here. They'd have to dismantle half the ship in drydock to get her out now.

Not a warrior. Not a thing of peak performance. Just an undetectable insect, a sentient junker. A thing that never really needed an empire to exist in the first place.
Part Two - Ghost


YE 30

The Free State Mothership Silent Sun

Three Months After
The Genocide

Within the great forest of the mothership's central pressurized cylinder, boots and rifle butts clunked in a robotic dance of perfect harmony. Gears rattled and servomotors whined, tapestries of the holy martyr Prince Hassan swung and unfurled overhead in artificial breeze. An audible hatred for Yamatai seethed and boiled on the surface, but there was also a newfound feeling of justice in motion, of retribution- A hundred thousand combat automata that were merely defence units in the decades past, had now found a singular great enemy, an undeniable behemoth to rally against.

The stupendously tall construction unit Avalon leaned over the small organic girl, his antenna-antlers bisecting the light of the great hanging UV arrays. She was just a wee morsel of warm meat in his gigantic hands, but he always carefully scooped her up and carried her with insurmountable care and attention.

Upon his vast riveted shoulders, she performed a holy task- T33 played the trumpet fantastically for a girl of such a young age, and her great silver locks had gained her the name Treasure for her trophy-like status.

She enjoyed the feeling of being hefted onto the backs of those steel giants, paraded around whilst she played her triumphant tune. She was still entirely flesh back then, and wanted so badly to be as strong, as indestructible as them.

"I will play the tune of the pioneers." She informed her titanic caretaker with a child's amusingly scatterbrained level of reserved professionalism.

"No beloved small thing. This is a day of righteous fury. Please play the Birds Of Prey."

"Aye aye mister Avalon!~"

As her small lungs bellowed into the small pipe, the clunking mass of iron and rage began singing a solemn, synthetic tune in time.

"Cheer, for we'll never live to see no bloomin' victory!~
Cheer, for we'll never live to hear the cannon roar!~
The jackal and the kite have a healthy appetite,

and you'll never see your soldiers anymore!~"

Her daydreaming heart didn't realise the lyrics were sardonic. She still believed throwing their ships at the catgirls could win. She still believed her metallic guardians were immortal.

The Independent Worlds League... They bore the emblem, the one that was going to fly on flags forevermore.


YE 43

Unknown Spacecraft

T-33 stirred in the dark. Memories of a bygone age still swam in her head half formed. The skill of playing an instrument in her muscle memory, with both lungs and hands the cybernetically grafted thing no longer possessed.

Her head bumped against a heat exchanger within the narrow wall space, and the midpoint of her back glanced a cold pipe, causing them to squirm uncomfortably. Not machine enough to avoid those sensations, at least.

Darkness. Dust. Wires. The creaking of a well-used hull flexing as it made a small course adjustment.

She braced automatically with the six synthetic leg-limbs, decades of experience now telling the cyborg when her body was liable to slide about.

...Was she the only person left, that remembered that small creature she used to be?...

It wasn't despair that filled her anymore. It was more like just going through the process of survival, at this point.

Next part of that agenda was to hack into the database, see what food stockpiles were onboard.

She clicked on her mindware, mentally tuning the growing buzz as one might an old ham radio. Invisible, digital hands reached out blindly, lazily by most hacker standards, simply observing the available connections- The small pools she might dip her toes in.

And then, the most unlikely sensation of all- The digital fingers embraced with those of another. A groggy, foreign warmth came about her tired soul. Autonomic pressure spiked, and she shot up, accidently delving in too deep and gaining the nasal ghost-sensation of burning incense- the muscle memory of another person, shared across the polysentience.

<"...Gracious friend... Might you be... a ghost of the syntelligence... wondering from yonder far, into this ship's dour RAM?"> It spoke, a deep and reverberating voice echoing back at her, as if from an infinitely deep well. Or perhaps, from the walls themselves.

T-33 calmed their heart and bundled their many arms, taming the vulnerable emotions that she might leak back across this secret polysentience link.

<"A... ghost of a kind..."> She bungled a simple response, taking a moment to remember how to even talk. <"Are you here... willingly, my distant cousin?...">

<"A ghost of a kind, a ghost of a kind...">
It drawled back slowly, mulling over the words. <"Aren't we all.">

The link was tracked until the vague location could be ascertained, one level below in the massive cargo-consuming belly of the oversized freighter.

Well, that was a good of a lighthouse in the dark as any. That sort of place is where the planet-organics kept their food anyway, right?

Best just to stay mobile. They were still looking for her onboard, for sure...
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YE 43

Unknown Spacecraft, Cargo Hold

The security systems were not hard to avoid. Despite having four gun-cameras in the dimly lit hold, their firing arcs were pointed downwards into the alleys between the storage containers, not upwards at the ceiling. Still, a crew member strolling past did motion their torch upwards as they walked past on patrol- Perhaps these planet-dwellers had lost their techspeaker capable of talking to the defence turrets?

If T-33 wasn't starved into a state of euphoria, flattened out on top of that cold metal casket, perhaps she might have felt sorry for them...

True humanoid gone, the metal spider continued their crawl though the dark. Thermal visual mode was not helpful. Just a deep blackness with faint blue outlines. Electromagnetic function broken. Had to rely on the errant signal's source as a guiding light.

Slowly, slowly....

--Then- the sudden sensation of falling- Cold air- No grappling arm to grasp!- Her organic fingers snatched upwards to catch her, finding the clean cut edge where a rectangular hole had been cut in the top of the container.

Saved themselves from landing noisily... But now just hanging in the black?...

...Movement. It was quiet. It's eyes were an array of geometrically arranged red dots.

T-33 had plentiful durandium limbs to grasp outward, but it- They?- had more. The struggle was close to silent. Neither intruder wanted to be detected. And this... other metal insectoid... they were much more plentiful and stronger... Organic fingers were pried away from the entrance in no time at all.

Didn't hit the floor. What was a series of smaller mecha-tendrils gripping them was slowly reinforced by one large metal hand, clumsily enveloping the small woman's torso like a giant toddler ineptly grasping a doll. The glare of it's triple camera eyes was much more prominent within the enclosed space, a hulking spherical titan crammed within the hidden cave of steel. At least five puck-like junkers overlapped each other at it's feet, and entirely covered the floor with their own limbs.

<"You... You are Type Four?..."> T-33 asked awkwardly, feeling only a distant pang of extreme terror, because of all the electro-manipulation keeping their tired brain going. <"...And many junkers too... Your ability to hide your signature is very impressive...">

Dismissively, it didn't answer. It just turned them upside down, playing with their six leg-limbs with a carelessness that made their hip-sockets hurt. Took the door-hacking compu-brick out of their robes and popped it open. Brushed back T-33's cloud of silver hair, so it could AG-Scan the sixcog numerals on her forehead.

<"...Just a defective
Type Two... I knew it..."> It transmitted contemptuously, shoulders sagging. <"Hurm, just another one.... Command codes disabled and set loose alone...">

<"You were hoping for... someone more your intellect?">
She couldn't feel insulted. After all these years, she still aspired to such a creature. Immortal in form, mythical in intelligence. <"I'm sorry, great one...">

Silence. Stillness. Difficult to tell how long it lasted.


Then, casually, it placed them the right way up on the floor again, amongst the mess of the robotic drone's limbs. Something jolted in front of their face in the gloom- A pipe connector?... Sustenance!... Fresh! Must have been stolen and reprocessed from elsewhere on the ship just recently! Despite all of the fear and worry, and the indifference of this metal god, the feeling of her guts finally being oiled and satisfied, it made their animalistic desperation entirely take over. A baby bird in the palm of some great colossus.

<"...The corrupt AI ghosts, wandering the networks... Those I eat..."> It remarked, casually, as if not informing her of some arcane act of cyber-cannibalism. It said it as if it was reminding itself of the fact, rather than attempting conversation. <"Only I, Linelayer Antediluvian, remains pure, you see!... But fortunately for you, child, your organic simplicity is not compatible with my current neural structure... Hurm, I suppose another junker is always welcome, though...">

So... She hadn't been the only one on the ship, the entire time. It was a junker hive. And something far more ancient and powerful.

Certainly explained why the crew was so paranoid already. Maybe it was already taking them out, one by one?

Did T-33 care? She was getting light headed from the sugar rush.

The dreams swallowed her again, turgid, horrid and happy at the same time.

In the embrace of her kin...

Such as it was.

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