The Signaler nekovalkyrja variant was a stunted offshoot of a larger project that was the brainchild of Dr. Nobumoto Shinichiro in YE 27. The research was integrated into a Scorpio Secret Research Station project through the interference of the Daughters of Eve in order to create an anti-psionic weapon that could destroy Melisson - dubbed the “Signaler” in reference to augmented features of the Psionic Signal Controller.
Three variants were created:
One nekovalkyrja model that resulted from this was the NH-23 Ketsurui Empress' Nodal Nekovalkyrja, made for the exclusive use of Ketsurui Yui. The NH-23 was (and still is) the most powerful nekovalkyrja having been created, complementing a suite of powerful physical, psionic, gravimetric and hemosynthetic-based features with a mind who'se presence was not exclusive to the body, but also spread throughout all of the Empire's PANTHEON nodes. Even destruction of her body
Seeing his first creation gain near-absolute power and immortality by her control of the information network the Yamatai Star Empire ran on, Nobumoto Shinichiro grew concerned that she might get out of hand and worked on contingencies. His first breakthrough came after having monitored her battle against the rogue scientist known as “Shadow” in the last mission she commanded on the YSS Nozomi when she pushed her body, displaying most of its powers and respawning capabilities.
Shinichiro was eventually able to reverse-engineer the NH-23 and created such a body for Eve, though he was aware that Yui was much more entrenched by now in Yamatai's PANTHEON network, meaning that eve would only be able to rule in her own independent network, or take over by destroying most of the PANTHEON nodes Yui's mind inhabited.
So, he toiled to create an alternative: a weapon platform that would be capable of confronting and destroying a NH-23 in combat. He had this new body match most of the NH-23's combat prowess, but made drastic improvements to the brain: a greater memory capacity, greater resilience to abuse an stress, powerful copy-protections, an independence from PANTHEON administrative control, and building into it a pirate PANTHEON node.
The concept behind it was that if a NH-23 body was destroyed in combat, the mental presence inhabiting it would withdraw access to return to the PANTHEON cloud and then access the nearest medical facilities to respawn. The pirate PANTHEON node in Shinichiro's creation would fool the nodal digital mind into accessing it first, and then trap it at a node where it did not have administrative access.
Based on access data stolen when the cloud accessed the pirate node, the anti-NH-23 weapon would then fool the rest of the cloud into believing it was the NH-23's main point of view, its 'administrator'. From there, a data transfer would proceed, absorbing and compressing the cloud's data before entering a purge command to wipe the NH-23's digital mind's presence from all PANTHEON nodes it occupied.
Essentially, Dr. Shinichiro's new creation was made to devour Yui's mind and make all of her knowledge and access privileges his own.
However, the Doctor never really got to the point when he was ready to employ the body. Transferring his mind to it meant consigning a copy of his mind to never be able to transfer out of the body, trapping him there and making it - for all the knowledge it could have - mortal. However, the protection against Mind Transfer was necessary to counter Yui's NH-23 access capabilities so, short of further breakthroughs, he let the issue lie there.
Later, when one of Eve's Ashigari Amaya was trying to devise ways to get an upper hand on Melisson's powerful psionic capabilities, he remembered the anti-psionic features he had built into the Anti-NH-23 weapon prototype. Locking most of the other features with 'black box'-styled limiters he gifted the concept template to the Daughters of Eve for them to use.
Using their ties with SAINT's Black Spiral double-agents, the Daughters of Eve gained access to the laboratories at the Scorpio Secret Research Station to research the template further under what they dubbed was the “Signaler Project”.
Their first attempt, given the Mind Transfer limitations of the design, was to put the features on a body that was disposable - so the first test-case was a modification of the NH-28 Nodal Integrated Weapon System. However, due to the very computerized mind of the unit, its solid-state brain and its lack of analog fight-or-flight instincts it proved to be of poor performance when testing it; nothing more than a mobile ship-grade Psionic Signal Controller… and they already knew that Melisson could defeat those.
Further tests were done, and they finally got promising results out of the nekovalkyrja-type that was just on the verge of emerging from development, the NH-29 Nekovalkyrja.
Then, they only needed to find high-profile individuals whom were likely to meet Melisson in the future - the senior officers of the YSS Sakura, whom were like Melisson very active around the Lor Nebula, seemed ideal. All that was needed was to engineer circumstances that would threaten one of their lives and motivate a mental transfer to a newer NH-29 body with someone that could supply a custom variant (either human-looking, or stealth) that would motivate not pulling the freely available normal NH-29 body from the Sakura's computer banks.
They coerced a SARA geneticist whom had been implicated in the creation of the NH-29 and NH-29 variants, Karl Sylvester, through threats to his family to have him handle the next step. It started by adapting the Signaler template to the two variants he had been involved with (likely picks for Commanding Officer Ketsurui Hanako, and Executive Officer Kotori). These two variants, not widely available for ship production due to their newness, would allow him the excuse to go on-site and supervise their construction and transfer.
In the days he had to prepare before the YE 29 raid on the PNUgen Corporation's headquarters, Sylvester defiantly attempted to get back at his tormentors by doing some extra research and modification on the material they put at his disposal - he had even greater motivation in that Hanako's bodyguard Kôsuka and the Executive Officer Kotori were both people he knew and trusted.
Sylvester managed to find the limiters Shinichiro had left and though the difference in intended body-type meant he couldn't unlock its full combat prowess, he was able to restore most of the brain to original specifications.
The “Signaler Kotori” then moved on to captain her own ship, the YSS Miharu, and used her abilities to both protect her crew from the predations of psionic, but also to give an assured death. During her mission she defeated/absorbed into herself the NH-23s she encountered, including Eve herself, as well as fulfilling her intended purpose of thwarting Melisson's psionic capabilities and so allowing her crew to defeat her.
While Kotori is a possible threat to Taisho Yui, the latter has seemed fine with allowing her continued existence despite the threat she might pose her.
These were penned by Ashigari Amaya, a Daughters of Eve executive.
“Eve has interrogated Hanako and Sydney's XO, Kotori. Both appear likely candidates to use the new NH-29 body seeing their recent involvement with Scorpio base. Seeing that the Sakura is a high-profile figurehead vessel with ties to Lor, it seems likely they might eventually stumble into Melisson.
If we could have either one of them - preferably Hanako - jump into the Signaler variant they've concocted in the SARA, we could possibly get rid of Melisson while keeping our hands clean.”
“Third candidate found. A Ketsurui samurai, Kôsuka. What's more, this samurai and Kotori - apparently her youngling daughter - have ties to a SARA bioengineer.
Karl Sylvester seems difficult to replace with a double-agent because of his family, but they could equally prove useful as hostages. Will observe.”
“Hanako, Kotori and Kôsuka headed into the PNUGen complex. Team sent in to insure their elimination.
Karl Sylvester successfully coerced - all we've needed were very recent visual captures of his family members from up close to get his silence and cooperation. Seeing he's closely involved in the NH-29 design project, this is extremely convenient.
Once their deaths have been announced, he will be able to provide for the newer body type under the excuse of respawning them from their ST Backups. We've arranged access to a shuttle for him and altered orders via PANTHEON: one of Yui's flag aides ought to do nicely - they sign in Yui's name already so no one should suspect anything of his comings and goings.”
All three managed to survive despite our efforts. Hanako was barely alive, but ended up in a well guarded hospital. Kôsuka was at death's door, but the NH-27 body once again proved its superiority.
Sylvester ended up only managing to swap bodies, narrowly so thanks to that annoying Nep scientist (hasn't it been three times we've tried to kill him so far? What's the hold up?!). Kotori's now a Signaler.”
“Arranged events. Melisson is now poised over Lor, negociating with them. The presence of a copy of Kotori so obviously in sight should sooner or later bring in the Sakura's XO. with Melisson's habit to invite playmates on board, it should be easy to put Kotori back into 5 kilometers of the Infection Queen. Once that happens, having those Lorath turkeys around close to Melisson's main body with the interpreter compromised should give them an honest chance to kill her off for good.”
“Things didn't work out.
Hanako ended up stupidly putting herself into the lion's maw, again. This unfortunately left the XO Kotori a long way from ever being within five klicks.
I wasn't sure I could believe it when I heard of it. Whatever do they teach in officer school about the chain of command these days? I thought the War College was supposed to be prestigious and teach COs not to go and risk getting themselves killed. Wasn't Hanako, for all her antics, supposed to be the cream of the crop? It's a wonder the Star Army can even run itself with captains like these!
We should never have left Melisson with so much control over the NH-18. She squandered most of the good it might have had truly done, and instead she used it in some grand play-battle against the Sakura's crew in the typical evil-twin presentation.
All that's left now is to arrange for a next time. At least Project Scorpion's intended goals were a success, even if we could've achieved so much more.”
“We've convinced Melisson to take interest in Hanako and raise her to be a bridge between Yamatai and the Mishhuvurthyar to help fulfill the requirements of this Doctrine of Retribution Melisson keeps harping about.
This should hopefully bring Kotori into the five klicks range and arrange a second try. No more Lorath barbarians around, but at least now Hanako has rich incentive to kill Melisson if she has an opening.”
Kotori decided to get into her head that she wanted revenge for what happened to Hanako and she during their interrogation. She's ended up getting her own ship command… which means she's been transferred out.
…which means she won't be there when Hanako meets Melisson.
We've kept Sylvester alive so far. I've contacted our team there to get some insights into whom we could pull into the Signaler procedure… but we've been getting squant reports on that end.”
“I've just learned that Kotori's Miharu was present on Taiie when Melisson decided to go postal on the fifth Expeditionary Fleet.
Too bad she never came close enough to Melisson. That would've been convenient.”
“Miharu's begun actively hunting for us. Unfortunately, Kotori seems halfway decent at doing her job - she's managed to capture one of our own, the Meng Po.
This is problematic. We hoped the Signaler could burn itself up against Melisson to insure mutual elimination… not that it would actually turn out to really do the job it was designed to do: fight psykers on better footing.
Were far ahead of the Gate plans, though, so we could just as well not bother with her. there are enough Mishhuvurthyar about so to insure her quaint little ship will eventually get blown up (or blow itself up - I understand its performance has occasionally been less than stellar).
They've made her into a Ketsurui, I hear. Imagine that - I guess the ruling clan needed some new blood to get out of the gutter.”
“The Signaler's usefulness has run to a probable end. We've learned that the Miharu recently joined with a deep space repair vessel to refit after a long search for us in the Southern Nebula.
She's getting too close. We aren't quite done with Bowhordia and we've too many psionics amongst us to risk confronting her. Even with the untrained Signaler's probable weakness against burst telepathy, few of us except maybe myself and Eve could meet her in any number without it becoming a slaughter for us. We made her good enough to kill Melisson, which means she's too good when it comes to us.
Perhaps more importantly, SARA made the Signaler compatible with high-bandwidth PANTHEON transmissions back when it was still for a NH-28 nodal weapon. That usually protects it from ST-device tampering and copies and we didn't have the time to edit that out; but with the five klicks range it could prove highly detrimental to Eve's NH-23 body. If Eve ends up in that range and dies, there's no telling what will happen to the PANTHEON terminals she has ready to self-respawn herself.
Best case scenario is to send a non-psyker, or just blow up her ship with the usual means. That has been arranged.
I've contacted and hired Kikyo to do the job. The SAINT bitch's prices were steep, but she's dependable and - ironically enough - has practice killing two Ketsurui already. Kotori is still a little known princess with barely any bodyguards so whenever she decides her crew and ship needs some R&R again, Kikyo should have matters arranged: Kotori and her officers first, then the Sylvesters.”
Melisson's nose curled in disgust. “It's normal to consider that Shinichiro would have never let that prized creation, the first nekovalkyrja, ever quite escape his control. When Yui ascended to the Nodal Empress body manufactured in-house by the Ketsurui, he had contingencies.”
“You must understand. A way to police such a powerful creature. A way to corner her and halt her functions.”
“In that time, psionic power was much more prevalent, so it came in with features for that as well. The Elysians and their constructs also had psionics at their command. Even the Nepleslians experimented with those. If Yamataians ever strive to do anything, it is to not be outdone. Shinichiro was no different, even when what could threaten was Yui.”
“You know the cover story for the Signaler body was that it was a NIWS variant that didn't quite work out; and you also know that it was Amaya that planted that asset and made it available to her blackmailed double-agent. but neither Amaya, nor anyone amongst the Daughters of Eve had the expertise to craft something that could threaten an Empress Nodal Nekovalkyrja.”
“No one, but Eve's sponsor. Shinichiro Nobumoto.” Melisson almost growled out the entire name, her loathing evident.
“I assume that what Kotori ended up with was a dumbed down version that was never meant to be able to hurt Eve's own NH-23 imitation - Shinichiro would've desired the full scope of those abilities to be his only. I assume that somehow, the template Amaya had been given had been altered to remove the limiters on it.”
“Kotori is Shinichiro's monster.” Melisson precised. “A creation that does deflects and reshape psionic potential, yes. More importantly, a creation that is in fact a false node that draws a PANTHEON mind to it, and assimilates it.”
“That woman you stopped from killing herself is internalizing the minds of two defunct NH-23s. She may be part-Kotori, part-Eve, part-Yui.”
Yukari's mind stalled on that.
Surprise was the culprit. Yukari remembered when Kotori said she stopped the NH-23 Kotori from finding a new home elsewhere, but the “how” was never explained. Perhaps Kotori did not even know. Eve's demise was on purpose, but that too was not explained.
Now there was an answer. But to what question, and could she even trust the answer? Yukari thought she could. Misdirection was well within Melisson's capability, but this rang of truth.
In addition to the default NH-28 abilities, the Signaler NIWS variant adds:
In addition to the default NH-29 abilities, the Signaler NH-29 variant adds:
Any psionic effect which is persistent, in effect, or in continuous use that remains within the Nekovalkyrja's telepathic range will find itself subject to the reversal and may find itself unraveled as it is generated, with equivalent power being supplied to the Signaler to counter if she so wishes.
Any effect generated instantaneously (no charge/warm up period, in burst) will not be subject to the signal reversal effect unless the beneficent is awaiting such an attack/effect, in which case she can freely consider it in a fashion similar to the paragraph above.
The Psionic Signaler Reversal requires effort and stamina to put to use, which may come to severely drain even the very resilient NH-29 body. In some cases, the effort required may prevent the Signaler from countering a psionic effect and just settle for nullifying it - seeing that the signal reversal is a function which is always active, the beneficent has no choice but to keep nullifying effect within her range. This strain may go over the energy management function of a NH-29 body and prove lethal over prolonged, exhaustive usage.
This variant was created by Karl Sylvester and is unique to Kotori. It was also nicknamed Shinichiro's Monster by Melisson.
This model combines the NH-29S Stealth Nekovalkyrja stealth features (Skin-based holographic optic camouflage and Light sensitive tactile sensors) with the above NH-29 Signaler variant's Psionic Signal Reversal capabilities with the following additions:
Player characters are discouraged from using the Signaler variant for their nekovalkyrja characters since the copy-protection protecting them from invasive access also prevents Soul Transfer-style technology from working on them, preventing characters involved in risky plots from recovering from death.
The Limiter-less version was made for a GM NPC, in order to give the YSS Miharu plot a tool that would bring about a credible way of defending against the psionics in the Daughters of Eve and finding a way to permanently kill Eve and credibly fish out any alternate mental backups she could've had stored in hiding.