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RP [YSS Koun] Mission Two: The Machine with a Heart

As Spark sent a message to their captain, Ancilla kept her eye on their favorite navigator as she makes first contact and tries to communicate with the machines. She heard her communication, and as a synthetic,she was able to understand what she was trying to say.
 
Sacre deployed Blackwolf to guard their position as Aliset let the little bots climb on her. "Don't let them touch you until we know it's safe." Sacre told her team, moving closer to Aliset unconsciously to stay in the middle of her team. Sacre considered what might happen if they suddenly turned hostile. Her team all had knives they could use, but it might not be pretty. Sacre watched, there was a bit of tension for her as Aliset was a team mate in addition to being her fiancée. Aliset was the better of the two at first impressions, so she let her do what she was best at. While Sacre did what she was best at, worry herself to death about the health and risks of her team. Her team that included the one person currently in the universe that she loved the most. She hated having feelings like this, it's why she had asked for transfer so many times before Gravity. When they got hurt, and they inevitably would get hurt, Sacre hurt. "How are things going?" Sacre asked Aliset, trying to stay mission focused while her girlfriend did something crazy.
 
"I'm okay, love." Aliset's tone and timbre didn't change, continuing to move slowly as she gently lifted the bot off her faceplate, examining it in her hands and gently maneuvering the robotic creature to better look at it. "They're just trying to figure out what we are. Probably want a fight less than we do. So do me a favor and don't shoot. Just as likely you'd put a hole in me as you would a simple repair bot that outnumbers us a hundred to one right now. Please. Calm. Easy. I love you. I'm okay."

The medic's interface would confirm Aliset's assessment. Sure, the Mindy didn't quite fit right, and Senti anatomy wasn't particularly conducive to monitors. But still, her blood hormone levels showed remarkably low stress hormone counts, and a heartbeat the image of meditative tranquility at a soft and even fifty five beats per minute. There was no trace of the terror which allowed Aliset to fly combat missions as easily as breathing. From her voice and vital signs, Aliset was every bit as at home in this danger as Sacre was in an operating room.

She had kept the secondary channel open, knowing that if the machines were listening, these little drones wouldn't be much more than ears and eyes. The mind behind them would be deep within the world, analyzing her voice, her tone, finding the ancient music of the Shuristans, the static-song of the Senti from between the stars and depths of the void. With any luck, it would sing back, her own native tongue or trust that these Yamataians came in the same peace offered under the unyielding, reality twisting truth of some Senti deity of information, use their words to speak to them all. "None of mine wish to fight. Not on this sacred ground you lovelies build. It would hurt me so, your work as beautiful as you. No matter the cost to us, the cost to you would be so painful for me. Show me your pain. And we will help you heal, ancient friend."
 
The Machine World Surface

The team would notice more and more of these machines come out from the heaps of rock and fallen structures. Within moments thousands of them were cruising around the away team. By now Alastair had tossed is data pad away since none of this was making sense. Last reports this planet as completely hostile yet this is anything but hostile. It was more like being in a day care which cause Alastair's left eye to twitch. They were not about to bring onboard all these machine kids, would they?

Just as Alastair was about to give orders to descend into the depths things got even more weird. As he walked towards the entrance, a small team of Rixxikor wondered out into view. He raised his weapon quickly and held fire. "We got company," he called out to the team. As the light hit their form, it became clear that they too were covered in machines. This story just kept getting more weird as time went on. After a few steps the team of three Rix collapsed to the ground. His scanners could tell there were in real bad shape though they did not have any injuries from what the sensors could tell.

"Crew, I get the feeling a clock is ticking and we best get moving before we end up like these Rixx. There has to be a mother somewhere." Alastair then lifted his finger and pointed towards the door which had a small line of machine babies going back into. "So, who shall lead the way?" He asked of the team as the map of the place lit up for each of the team members.

OOC MAP

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"Cover me," Sacre directed her team as she approached the Rixxicor. She bent over to examine them more carefully. She ran over them with a medical scanner. She needed to know what was wrong before she could fix it. Rixxicor were probably the most disgusting species known to Yamatai. She wasn't one for treating the enemy, 'Do no harm' wasn't an oath she had ever taken. However, these Rixxicor weren't their enemy, at least yet. "They fell over out here, so let's get them into the structure. Svendsdatter, Ven, Adams. Each of you take one." Sacre said, moving the team into the first room.

(OOC: Sacre is now in Room 3 I think)
 
"On your six," Aliset stooped to set the robot down before following Sacre.

Spark rolled her eyes, knowing she had told Aliset to stay close, but apparently the Senti officer did what she wanted. "Alright, I'm gonna stay guarding the Captain. Not that I don't trust his ability to scrap, but he's command, so..."

She loaded her storm rifle's underslung grenade launcher and racked it loudly, double checking that her rifle was primed for a fight. "Hey, Ancilla, you got a green light on your weapons? And how's our electronic warfare holding up?"
 
From Ancilla’s place in the Power Armor’s systems, she noted the storm rifle’s loading with the underslung grenade launcher. Her head turned towards the weapon systems board, and through the connection she now had with Spark, Spark could feel the nod. “yup! weapons green across the board! and Electronic Warfare seems to be holding up well, say the word, and I’ll give the robots something to think about! and I’m with you, on making sure the captain’s guarded, so let's show these Yamataians how Duskerians guard, and say hello to our new opponents” she told her.
 
The Machine Innards

The first room was nothing special. Mostly a rusty looking structure that was long overdue for some paint. The floor was dirty and dusty. Though one could see footprints which looked like someone had been here before. The imprint looked exactly like one a Mindy armor would leave behind. This would at least confirm to the team they had made it to the right location to the search. The map was mostly incomplete but did seem to indicate they were to make it to the central room area. The room had two exits, one the small robots used to the very south and another which looked like something was dragged into the next room.

"Alright team, you lead the way. There is no wrong path though I would figure if we trace the prior team it could have less to deal with." Alastair highlighted on the map showing the most likely path the team had taken before. It was going the same way that the robots were leaving the room. So far the sensors had not picked up any life and no trap had been triggered.
 
Alice nervously gulps at seeing the rather unnerving state of the Rixxicor, she had heard of them before of course; the various aliens in and around the Kikyo sector having been extensively covered by the basic education part of her training, but it’s the first time she’s seen one in the flesh. She checks over the sensors and diagnostic equipment built into her suit, a nervous tic she seems to have developed when left without the cybernetic sensory equipment she’s spent years tinkering with and trusts far more than the standard issue stuff built into the power armour. Sure, she’d spent some time on the way down to the planet tuning the parameters but still, her first actual deployment has her nervous enough already, let alone having to use equipment she hasn’t had a chance to take apart and really tinker with.

Could be worse though, at least her armour is working correctly unlike the poor Senti with those robots crawling all over her. Although really, what the hell is Alice even doing here? The recruiter offered the orange haired engineer a spot on some cushy “diplomatic” mission, she figured she’d spend all day making sure the coffee machine works and the long range transmission equipment doesn’t break; not traipsing around on some machine world so full of danger that the captain brought down an infantry squad with them! Sure, she’d wanted to see the galaxy but preferably through the window of some fancy diplomat’s yacht jetting around to sort out trade deals. Well, nothing for it now.

Alice runs through that same routine again: disconnect the feed of information coming from the suit’s sensor equipment from her cybernetic optics, run a soft reset, check the systems are all green, reconnect and disable the helmet’s inbuilt HUD. Yup, all green, just like the last 10 times. While the equipment in her suit isn’t any more powerful than anyone else's, hopefully the tuning she’d done to make them more sensitive would help her find anything that the others in their landing party had missed.

Not like she’d have much else to do anyway, providing everything goes fine it’s not like an engineer who received a “passing” marksmanship grade armed with a pistol would be much help against something the heavily armed infantry squad can’t handle. If things did start to go wrong, well she’d be much more useful staying outside of any fights anyway. Her power armour is weighed down with a heavy pack filled with spare power armour parts and just about every tool you’d need for field repairs on power armour or standard issue Star Army weaponry, as well as heavy breaching charges should they need them.

It’d be a lie to say Alice likes the idea of heading into the strange tunnel complex where they had no idea what's waiting for them, still she follows the order and tries her best to make sure she’s as close to the middle of all the tough looking combatants as possible. While also trying not to make that plan obvious to the rest of the away team.
 
Sacre checked the Rixxicor who were now stable. She tagged them to be retrieved later. "Allright, we don't have enough people to post up in every room. We'll use the labels on the map provided by command. We are going to move through room eight into room sixteen, that looks like the path that the Resurgance crew went into. We'll assess our situation from there. First fireteam will take the rear, second fire team on point. Check for traps, unlock the door, go through. Aliset, you have the best rapport with the little robots, I think we want to follow them." Her cool clear voice directing Black Wolf into action. Aliset wasn't technically part of her squad, but mentally she had kinda attached her girlfriend to her squad.
 
Ali

"Check rog," Aliset responded, considering why she was even here. She didn't speak binary, nor was she that skilled a technician. But she didn't speak on it. Spark had said it was because she could make friends and identify alien technology. But this was an immense three dimensional maze. Someone who had spent their entire lives in such structures would be the best to navigate it.

"I concur. The robots are up to something. Good chance that wherever a repair is needed, they're headed that way. If we can figure out what that is, that might help with the Resurgence's report on how hostile this place is. I don't speak robot, so I'm having Hoshi-MEGAMI handle the translation matrix. Hopefully Akino and the Koun can get back to me on a language packet soon. They seem to respond well to Shuristan, so I'm uploading the live translation packet. Maybe if we sound Senti, we won't be a threat. Captain's call."

~~~

Spark

Spark slipped close to Alice, a heavily armored hand coming down gently on her shoulder. This movement seemed more to alert Alice to the giant Duskerian's presence than anything else. "You okay, Tech? I've been reading sensory disconnects from you for the past ten minutes. Is that a nervous tic like me field stripping my weapon or is that you're having issues and need help?"
 
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The team on point quickly worked through room 8 as it was mostly a hallway that led into room 16. As the team passed through, the more finely tuned sensors of Alice picked up something odd in the room. After a quick check she confirmed it to be a trap. While mostly harmless, it proved to her that sometime the smallest of things can make a big impact for the team. The walls within room 8 were much like the prior room. Tall, cut stone blocks from floor to ceiling. The place was clearly in need of some repair as the walls had giant holes in them. Through some of them small robot spiders moved along.

Room 16 however was a completely different story. While it had the cut stone, part of it had been replaced with what looked to be circuit boards. The lights within the wall dimmed and pulsed as if it were alive. As Ali moved into the room. The spiders from before started to follow her. When she stopped, they stopped, when she moved, they moved. It was starting to make it hard for the team to walk around without almost stepping on them. Back on the Koun the MEGAMI was crunching numbers to come up with some form of translation for these robots. With the addition of the AI of the support ship YSS Kibo no Hoshi it started to form into words. Most could not be made out just yet but one word kept repeating, "Mommy."

Alastair reached up and rubbed his hand over his face guard. "Just had to be giving off those mommy vibes huh Ali." He said over comms. "Lets keep the story going, since I don't wish to make angry the real mom if we can help it." He took a moment to look over the team. Black wolf had indicated the room was secure. Team near door into room 25 had picked up motion. The team could hear sounds coming from the direction of room 28.

"Welp, do we split up or pick a direction. I feel we need to not waste time going down every path together if we want to explore more." Spark and Alice started to get hot readings coming from the direction of room 28. Sacre could almost feel vibrations from room 25.
 
Spark gave a chuckle as Aliset gave a loud groan over the comms. "Not my fault I want kids! But I can't have them till I'm fucking seventy!"

"Hey, Ali, you recognize the architecture?" Spark stopped her laughter long enough to take note of the walls, turning on the chest mounted spot lights on her armor to illuminate the room better. Her boot mounted seismic sensors picked up the almost perceptible vibration. "Cause I got a thermal next door on the right. And network's pinging motion to the left. No clue how big, but my seismics are going nuts."

"Not Senti," Aliset responded, considering the options. "I see two doors on the right wall, looks like potentially other paths. Left I see one in the far back corner. We might be able to bypass mother dearest. But let me get a few photos of this circuitry. See if we can get an ID." She moved to the wall, letting her suit cameras record and send the information back to the Koun for analysis. "Whatever it is, I think this might be pre-Senti."

"That's a scary thought. Haven't you people been out between the stars for half a million years?" Spark gently brushed the little robots aside as she moved, her lights illuminating the circuits for Aliset's camera to get better images.

"Yeah. Careful. Watch for traps. This place could be a minefield. I'm still working on IDing the purpose of this structure."
 
While conversations happened around her in the comms, Ancilla focused on keeping an eye on the surroundings. if the Revanant had scanning tech she used it, hoping to keep Spark and by that extension, Aliset safe from harm. “So far, the robots, don’t think of us as a threat. Alsoo can I take a look at the Resurgence’s report? maybe they did something to cause hostility” Ancilla said though she doubted that possibility.
 
Alice jumped slightly as Spark put a hand on her shoulder, the fresh recruit surprised despite seeing her approach from behind thanks to the small allied tracking display in the corner of her vision. Her cheeks flushed a light shade of red in embarrassment that someone had noticed her nervous checking and rechecking, the orange haired girl thankful for the fact the power armour covered her face. “Ah uhm, yeah I was just making sure it’s all working correctly and got a bit carried away! Nothing to worry about.” She let out a quiet nervous laugh before continuing in as steady and professional a tone as she could manage. “Apologies for making you worry.”

With that she continued alongside the rest of the team, as soon as she noticed the trap she flashed it up to highlight on everyone’s HUD in their helmets. “Watch yourselves, doesn’t seem to trigger anything too dangerous but best to be careful.” It seemed that after her embarrassment earlier she’d resolved to being as professional as possible. After waiting for the team to pass through into room 16, the engineer quickly got to work with her multi tool, disabling the trap for if they need to come back this way in a hurry. Her work done she followed the team into room 16 in time for her scanners to pick up the same heat signature Spark noticed. “Confirm on that heat signature, faint but it’s definitely there.” She shrugged her shoulders. “Could be anything though.”

As the members of the team with more field experience got down to discussing which way to go next, Alice flicked through the settings on her scanner to make sure the room they’re in is trap free. After all, there’s always the possibility of something too subtle to pick up when using the more ‘general’ scanning settings.
 
Alastair did his part to stand back and let the team search the room for clues. He had little doubt this place was old and while the technology looked new, it also felt ancient as well. The Koun had some details on this place. Mostly rehashing what the team before them had discovered. It was old but seemed to be in some kind of working order.

Alastair sent the report he had from the Resurgence over to Ancilla. The initial video made it hard to say who shot first but clearly the robots were more hostile leaning. It did not indicate them to be anything but deadly. So what could have changed to chance the drastic change in behavior?

The most odd thing about this place was the fact it felt like one was being watched. However there was no camera or "eyes" to indicate such a thing. More a feeling and how the blinking lights seemed to follow each of the team.

Alastair made his way to the front of the group and wanted to get feedback from Sacre. Though he'd not stop anyone curious to check either of the rooms. Whatever was in the direction of room 28, the sounds to continue to get louder. Whatever was in this room, was no small robot.
 
"There is something in room twenty-eight, but something's happening in room twenty-five, I can feel it." The experienced former NCO turned officer considered their next move. "Whatever is happening in room twenty-five, it's not as convenient to our objectives as twenty-eight. Blackwolf, let's go find that hidden entrance the Resurgance crew noted. If we can't find it, room Nineteen to the hexagonal room is right there." She said, getting the troops into line and getting them prepared for their next room.
 
Alice looked around nervously, fiddling with her scanner again as a means to distract herself from the unnerving feeling of being watched. Inspiration did strike as she remembered her maintenance drone she'd packed away just in case. Sure, it was mostly equipped with repair tools and a high lumen flashlight, but it could open doors and let them try and see what was in room 28, without having to risk the hides of any of the landing party.

"Hey, 'cap." Alice called over to Alastair, holding up the small circular disk of her EM-J5 drone as she did so. "Want me to take a look in that room with this? Whatever's in there doesn't sound like something we'd wanna meet without taking a look first..." She waited for a reply, ready to connect her suit to the drone's controls and take a look in the room. Of course, there was also the risk of the little drone setting whatever was in there off; hence her reason for asking the captain first considering he's far more experienced in the field.
 
With her curiosity sated, Aliset moved to what her instincts told her was any kind of control panel as she pulled her tool satchel off the small of her back to open it. Digging through the roll of tools, she selected a couple she felt should let her pull apart the panel controls and see how they worked without damaging anything. "I'm accessing this panel of wall, I think it might be some kind of control or readout. I'll have to pull it apart to know. Don't worry, I'm not gonna break anything. Spark, your lights? Captain, I recommend using Alice's drone as a scout."

Spark did as she was asked, moving to shine her light into any cavities Aliset could work in before her finger moved to touch the controls for Aliset's own helmet lights. "Ancilla, you mind hopping over to Alice to help her with that drone?"
 
Through Spark’s HUD, Ancilla’s avatar appeared to her viewing, a small 1’8th scale version of her at least. She responded through their comms. “Of course. I'm on my way to assist Alice with the drone. Be careful in there, Aliset." Ancilla's avatar blinked out in the virtual space, and a moment later, they appeared next to Alice at least the volumetric appearance of her did on Alice’s HUD. “Hello Alice, please pardon the intrusion! I’m here to assist with the drone." she said in a cheerful tone of voice.
 
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