The hiss of the automatic airlock as it saved all of the air from escaping was a welcome sound to the mercenary. They were alive. Somehow. More importantly there were pirates left alive. Pirates left on board the ship. And she had reloaded. She was ready to go.
Two pirates. Two pirates trapped on the Veritas Lux Mea without their shipboard cannons to back them up. Easy kills. Easy money.
Teg didn't waste time waiting for the Judge. He seemed the capable sort, she figured he'd back her play. Firing a hellish burst of molten metal in the direction of the remaining pirates, Teg bounded forward. Bracing against the exposed edge of a the ship's superstructure, Teg walked her fire across the closet pirate. A scream and a flash of red followed sparks as the thin metal plates the pirate had strapped across his chest were punched through.
She couldn't see the other pirate. So she waited. Time was on her side. The Judge was a big enough target. Her finger pulled slowly on the brutish trigger of her weapon and she almost sent a hail of Glaos bullets down the corridor before she noticed her target was a white cloth slowly waving in the air. She shifted her sights upwards and to the left. It would have been an easy shot. The pirates deserved it. But she was curious. She wanted answers. She wasn't mad. Death was part of the job. Personal grudges were not. The pirates would have answers. She was sure she could make them talk.
"What do you want, scumbag!" Teg shouted.
"W- We surrender!"
"What? You surrender?" Teg replied, letting the word roll uncomfortably off of her tongue. "Since when do pirates surrender?"
"P- Please! You got Henders. Our ship is gone. You killed our friends. We surrender! Just let us live! Please!"
Rolling her eyes, Teg nodded towards the desperate pirates as she addressed the Judge, "You got any cuffs?"
"Either charge me or let me go. You've wasted enough of my time, Sheriff," Valanthe Vanatar commanded from the jail cell bed on which she reclined. She had held court in the humble two roomed building that served as the Lanner County jail for the better part of a day and a half. She had received three full meals, consisting of food of such deplorable quality that she had begun to suspect that the Sheriff and his deputy were trying to poison her. Sloppy gruel, nominally oats, sprinkled with a depressing quantity mutton fat and sad looking vegetables that looked to have withered some months earlier were not food fit for a commoner, much less a proud moon elf of a noble house. Where was the fine cheese and wine? Where was the creativity? And most alarmingly why had they not found her a proper chef?
The Sheriff and his deputy were not fools, but they were not conversationalists. She had found the Sheriff handsome enough for a human. The deputy less so, he was far too dull and plain. Val rarely found herself drawn to Halfings, but she did not discriminate. Handsome was handsome, even if they were half your height. Imprisoned, unjustly, always unjustly, she longed for a glass of wine, a dance, and a pretty face to look at. A plain jail cell was no place for a master wizard.
In short, locked behind steel bars as she was, Val was languishing and boredom threatened to overwhelm her at any moment.
Noting the lack of response from the Sheriff, Val tossed the empty metal cup that she had been given against the bars of the jail cell, "Sheriff! Hey! I'm talking to you."
The loud, annoying clank of the metal up as it rattled against the metal bars pleased the wizard. There was no way that the Sheriff could continue to read his newspaper with the racket she had managed.
"I know. Miss Valleau. I'm ignoring you."
Val rolled her eyes. He thought he knew. He believed he had caught her. He had no idea. She'd given him a false name. She'd given them all a false name. She'd been a new person since the day she rode into Forsaken in a comfortable carriage. And her reputation had yet to catch up with her. Forsaken was too remote. It was too filthy. In a city where everyone was trying to hide away from someone or some thing, perhaps a devil or two, a name cleverly adopted on the spot did not stand out.
"Don't make me turn this decrepit building into a heap of rubble with my magic. I'll do it. Just watch me," Val declared sending a spark of magic from a hand.
"You wouldn't," the Sheriff replied finally turning his head towards Val. She could see the hint of doubt and the faint lines of concern that creased his brow. Everyone knew that the boundless power of a wizard was only matched by their anger and vindictiveness at even the smallest perceived slight. It was a reputation Val strove to cultivate. Turning a man into a rabbit for spitting in your direction was a phenomenal way to make a point about the proper respect owed that was owed a wizard.
"I would. I've had my rest and now I'm bored. It's time for you to let me out."
"I arrested you for disturbing the peace when the hotel owner asked you to leave on account of your unsettled tab and your argument with Mr. Redeker over his missing diamond. I'm still waiting to hear back from the Judge. If she wants to charge you, then I'm afraid that you're going to have to stay with us for just a tad bit longer."
"Alleged disappearance of Mr. Redeker's diamond. You didn't find a diamond on my person did you?"
"No, Ma'am, we did not," the Sheriff agreed with a tired sigh.
"And you searched all of my luggage."
"We searched your bag, yes."
"And when you spoke to the charming hotel staff this morning, did one of them perhaps have some information to share about the unfortunate events of last night?"
Pulling slowly on the cigarillo that smoldered between his weathered lips, the Sheriff frowned, "The bartender of the establishment said that Mr. Redeker had been following you around all evening. She said that he was acting most improperly for a gentleman of his age and stature. But I know Mr. Redeker, he's much to old to be chasing a skirt around the ballroom—"
"Sheriff," Val interrupted, summoning all of the offense that she could muster into her expression. "In your place I would be most careful about what accusations I leveled at a wizard. I would be very careful to suggest that an honorable woman was remiss to react with righteous anger when faced with yet another vulgar upstart merchant. I would hate for there to be any misunderstandings."
The Sheriff harrumphed, "And the unpaid tab?"
"Well now, my dear Sheriff, how do you expect me to pay my bill when I am locked behind these stifling bars?"
"But my case..the charges," the Sheriff muttered.
"It would appear that your case lacks much in the way of evidence, Sheriff. One might even say it appears the accusations against be are false."
"You would say that."
"Oh, I'm sure others would agree."
"Wonderful, so you will release me at once then?"
"After you threatened to blow up this building with magic?"
"I merely reminded you of the consequences of detaining me past my patience."
"You wizards, you're all the same," the Sheriff grumbled as he finally moved. Putting his boots down from the table, he rose to his feet, and opened the door to the prison cell with obvious irritation.
"Oh, almost forgot. I got a letter for you," he added handing Val a letter.
"I'm a powerful wizard. Of course I received a letter. I'm very important," Val replied cheerfully, practically tearing the envelope from his hands.
"Sure. Whatever you say," the Sheriff said handing Val the letter. "We didn't open it. The seal is still there as you can plainly see."
"I should hope not. Reading a wizard's personal correspondence is a grave offense and I would have had no choice but to be very offended."
Unfolding the letter, Val skimmed the writing with a growing smile. She didn't concern herself with the task. Five hundred dollars upfront was five hundred dollars. Her funds were running a bit low as it was and it would be some days before she could fence Mr. Redeker's prized diamond. He was an awful, filthy dwarf and it didn't bother Val in the least that she had robbed him of a small fortune. Ignorance demanded swift retribution. There could be no mercy when faced with stupidity. Moon elves were never to be compared to the Drow. Least of all by some drunken beard-goblin. Thirty thousand dollars, even split between a party was even more enticing. There were plenty of ways to make thirty thousand dollars disappear if she just had enough time. Val would run a new racket, she'd plan a new scam. She'd be a hero and then she'd be rich. Again.
Offering her most magnanimous smile, Val turned towards the Sheriff,"Sheriff, you wouldn't happen to know where the Caraway Inn is would you?"
"Caraway Inn? Of course I know it. This town isn't big enough to forget an inn."
"Great, directions please."
"Make a right once you're out the door and head down Duran Street. Then make a left past the Singing Orc Tavern. Can't miss it after that."
"Wonderful," Val said gather her possessions from the Sheriff's table. "Thank you for your hospitality, rustic as it was."
"Get out," the Sheriff hissed.
Stepping into the Caraway Inn, Val walked to the with all the poise and grace that an upbringing as Elven noble had afforded her. The inn, if it could be called that was a disappointment. She had hoped that someone like A. G., someone with the resources to offer five hundred dollars upfront for a fool's errand would also have had the foresight and more importantly the refinement to schedule a meeting in a proper establishment.
Still, all was not lost. Money was close and she didn't have to sit down. Smiling gently at the barkeep, Val offered a most noble courtesy and channeled her best traveling-noblewoman-looking-for-romantic-encounter-with-a-simple-farmhand cadence, "Good sir, I have come to call upon my good friend, A. G., however it's been some time since we last met, but they say that the heart remains fondest when—"
"Look, I don't care. If you're looking for A. G., go to Room 301. Door's open and your friends, if you'd call that lot friends, just got here."
Friends? Val thought with a sudden shiver of excitement, noting the carefully contained concern on the barkeepers features. The endeavor was rapidly becoming all the more interesting. The moon elf began to suspect that she'd have fun.
With a final polite nod and a coin, Val turned and headed up the stairs. She reached room 301 just as what sounded to her delicate ears like a Kobold finished a serious sounding rant about the quality of food and the respect owed a cleric of some deity she had never heard of. She suppressed a small shudder, she had no problems with Kobolds. They were a fascinating and ingenious people, but she had suffered far too many long winded lectures on the nature of sin, her sins in particular at the hands of countless excited clerics. She had no patience for theoretical lectures. Her education had been finished decades earlier. She would not go back.
With a measured breath, Val adopted a new persona, gliding into the room with the gentle steps of a kind-hearted noblewoman. When she spoke it was with a soft, rolling accent as she lifted her dress off the floor to courtesy, "H- Hello. I think perhaps, that we might share a new friend. I believe we all here for the same noble goal, yes?"
She smiled at the perfection of her own hesitation. She was enjoying this role already.
"Doran Colworn is a middle age human in his early forties with an immaculately groomed mustache and a copper complexion. A soldier in his youth, Doran walks with a noticeable limp, the result of a bullet that remains stuck in the very same leg. Although slowed by age and the wounds of his past, he remains a talented gunfighter and few would be so foolish so as to quarrel with him openly. A veteran lawman, he knows that maintaining the law in Forsaken requires a marked degree of moral flexibility. He carries an enchanted coach gun and a simple six shooter."
I'm working on a Boomer Tribal who views Alfred Nobel as a saint and is on a quest to discover more bombers (the aircraft) for her proud tribe. Unsurprisingly she will specialize in explosives.
@Hexaflexagon Speaking of the Boomers and Nellis Air Force Base, do you have any thoughts on what happened to both (if they both got merced by the NCR, I can always write up some lost tribe of wandering Boomers)?
Background (and picture if I can ever find one that's not garbage) in bound tomorrow, but here's Version 0.8:
S I S T E R V I O L E T
 | [Female] | [5'10''] | [O-]
“Machinic desire can seem so inhuman, but it is not, it is the very essence of humanity. It is simply a new way, a new righteous path for us to follow.”
NAME: Vera Ivanovna Kuznetsova
ALIASES // TITLES: Sister ViK, Doctor Amethyst to those looking for a Ripper Doc, and just Violet to her close friends.
You mean the HyperHuman monk that comes around here every so often? Yeah, sure, I know her. She's quite easy on the eyes, for a religious sister. She's got that Eurasian look, whatever that means. She's ambiguous so to speak. Hard to place ethnically speaking, if you catch my drift. Speaks with a light accent, Russian maybe? She'd look even more flash if she let her hair grow out.
You know, the boys gave her a hard time when she first came around. We don't get much of her kind here, mind you. Vestal virgins chromed up to the gills and dressed in robes, aren't exactly the norm, you know? She damn near beat Jones to death when he tried to grab her. Never seen anyone move that fast before. Not like that. It was like watching a dancer except the fancy twirls ended with broken bones and an unconscious loud mouth.
And then she sat down and finished the rest of her tea. Tea? Yeah, she only drank tea. Not that anyone was going to comment on it after what she did to Jones. The man was a proper street samurai, he could brawl with the best of them.
What was she doing here? She said she was looking for someone. Who? No idea, some woman, another monk. Chen, maybe? It didn't matter. We'd never seen her friend. Never even heard of her. Not that we'd talk. You learn to keep your lips tight around here. Information will cost you. Speaking of, another drink?
Thanks. Like I said, we didn't have anything to tell her. But she kept coming. Damned if I know why though. This place is a shithole, always has been, always will be."
"Sorry, can I help you? Are you looking for someone? Do you have an appointment?
You can't miss her. Violet eyes, clean shaved head, wearing scrubs, and enough chrome for a small corporation. Oh, look, don't worry, she's a HyperHuman monk, not a common Ripper Doc She'll get you sorted, whether you've got the credits or cash. All we ask for is a reasonable donation to the clinic so that we can keep providing our services for those in need."
"Yes, Doctor Violet is one of the cybernetic doctors volunteering at this clinic.
Yes, everyone here is a volunteer. Seriously. Does this look like a high class operation to you? No, I didn't think so. Now, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave so I can get back to work—
My apologies. Had I known that you were interested in donating to the clinic from the start I would of course have been happy to answer any pressing questions you might have had. Now please, what was it that you wanted to know again?
Ah yes, the good doctor?
Doctor Violet is one of our most talented cybernetic doctors and medical specialists. I daresay that you won't find anyone better inside or outside of the Reclaimed Zone. If there's a way to fix, heal, modify, or implant it, Doctor Violet will know how."
Of course, I know her! She's right over there. She's the one over there, the monk wearing the violet robes!
And guess what? Her eyes are violet too! She always looks so calm. She teaches here every Saturday. She's nice, but strong! She taught us how to use our augmentations to defend ourselves! She called it the Way of the Machine. She said it was a martial art created for people just like us."
"I am a humble servant of the righteous path and a practitioner of the Way of the Machine.
I wish to help all those beings that suffer, whether biological or electronic. I wish to learn the mysteries of life and to steep myself in wisdom. I wish to perfect my mastery of the Way of the Machine and to further my skills as a Cybernetics doctor.
I must improve myself. I must transcend the cage that is this body. I must overcome the limited cognitive abilities of this mind. I must perfect my soul. The machines call out to me. They touch my soul with their efficiency. They warm me with their purpose. Untold beauty and perfection awaits, if I but dare to seek them out. A new world awaits. True enlightenment lies just beyond the horizon.
This work. This work is too important to stop. The work that we are doing here at the Baolei Refuge Center must continue."
"My role as at the Cybernetics Doctor is exceedingly simple. Truly, it is a wonderfully clear position to hold. I see to the health of all staff members and attend to any of their cybernetic needs. Be it by implanting, modifying, or repairing augmentations. Valuable services for any campaign, although I must confess my services do not come cheap. Donations to the Baolei Refuge Center are always welcome."
"We must learn to transcend our flesh, for it is a mere relic, a vessel which can carry us no longer. The crass demands of our body warp the matrix through which we perceive the world and blind us from the truth. We must extend our awareness outward, beyond the self of the body, beyond the self of the mind, and beyond even the self of the soul. We must seek out and join with the machines, we must become one. Together we are stronger, together we are wiser, and together we are transcendent. To embrace each other with love is to achieve enlightenment and perfection."
"I support the HyperHuman Party with all of my heart, mind, and soul.
I believe that health care and augmentation are human rights that should be guaranteed to every global citizen of the world. Humanity can only advance, humanity can only be perfected, and humanity can only escape the chains of our flesh, humanity can only transcend the limits of our biological systems by cooperating with machines. To save ourselves and to attain enlightenment we must willing seek out and become one with our digital brethren.
We must not let fear and ignorance hold us back any longer. We must not let violence, avarice, and greed hold sway over our hearts and our minds. We must free our souls from the corruption that we ourselves have birthed into this world. We must embrace and follow the unified path of flesh and machine. Only then can we be free. Only then can we attain true enlightenment."
"While I greatly appreciate a visit from one of the personal secretaries of his eminence Chen Dao, I must humbly confess that I have no great secrets to share. My dedication to my work prevents me from engaging in some of the more dramatic activities of other members of our merciful order.
As to rumors that I am operating as a Ripper Doc without approval from my superiors, I must once again profess my complete innocence and express my absolute ignorance as to why these truly shocking charges have been leveled at me. It saddens me that someone would spread such unfortunate stories about me, but please convey to his eminence that there is little truth in these distasteful rumors. I serve only the poor, the sick, and the suffering in the Reclaimed Zone. I would never presume to act without the approval of my wise superiors."
"I fear stagnation. I fear corruption. I fear, as all should, that I might not have the strength to seek out the truth. I am afraid that I will one day lack the courage to do what is necessary. The path to enlightenment is not an easy one. It requires the complete sacrifice of the self. I worry that I may one day lose sight of this path. That I may one day forget, as she did. That I may stray, as she also did. I must not let my love for man and machine dwindle. I must keep the fire of my soul burning bright. I must be better. I must be stronger. I must be wiser. And above all else, I must be kinder.
What if I never find her?
I must find her.
I must save her.
I have to save all of them."
"Yeah, yeah, one second. What can I do for you, friend?
Amethyst? Doctor Amethyst? What about her?
Yeah, she's a fresh face. Never heard of her before she showed up some months ago. Not that that's particularly strange in this line of work. Everyone good has a couple of alias at the ready and a pocket full of high quality NIDs. We're the cutting edge, baby, and the cutting edge requires some clever paperwork and forged certificates.
You're going to be waiting a long time if you wait for everything to be legal and tested if you can even call what the corporations do any more testing. Fucking amateurs. They wouldn't know the future if it shot them in the face with a .50 cal anti-material rifle.
Yeah, yeah, sure, whatever, rant over. Doctor Amethyst, I get it. She's a Ripper Doc, chum. What the fuck do you want to know?
She's good, sure. She's fucking great if you ask me. Girl's got talent. Real talent. Not the kind of talent you learn in school. I've seen some of her work. Fucking out there man. I didn't even think it was possible to rewire an APEX cerebral implant like that. Not on the fly. Not using second hand gear dug out of a junkyard. APEX would kill to get their hands on a cybernetic doctor like that. Fuckers don't know what they're missing. The stuff of legends is what I'm talking about right here. She's an artist man, a real fucking artist.
That's not all though. I've heard some heavy stuff about her. She's not your average Ripper Doc or so they say. She's not a scalpel jockey like the rest of us. Who's they? None of your business is who. Unless you are paying extra? No? Didn't think so. You gonna keep interrupting or can I finish so I can get back to work before one of my patient's dies?
Great. Like I was saying, some people, who shall remain unnamed have said that she's a goddamned HyperHuman monk. Decked out to the nines with chrome and all that jazz. According to the rumors she does charity cases in between proper work. People say she'll do some crazy work for free if her customers can't pay. Asks for whatever they can donate. Stupid. Very stupid. You don't do work for free. Never. Fucking ever. Still, it's gotten her some good will, it's made her some new friends.
Where can you find her? Fuck if I know. However, if you were paying me to answer and you are, I'd say you should go take a look at the new HyperHuman clinic. The Baolei Refuge Center, I think is what they call it. Any proper Ripper Doc would have trouble running a racket like that completey stealth alone. You'd need some backup, you'd need some muscle. You know what I mean? And nobody, nobody in their right mind is going to start shit with the HyperHuman monks."
►Jazz Music (Bebop) ►Tea (Black With Milk) ►Exercise (Martial Arts) ►Reading (Especially Antique Books) ►Learning (New Things Related To Cybernetics)
►Ignorance (Fear Of Change And The Future Stifle Humanity) ►Incompetence (To Perfect The Self And One's Actions Is Paramount) ►Cruelty (The Golden Rule Is The Golden Rule For A Reason) ►Greed (To Lose Track Of The Path Is An Easy Thing When Guided By Avarice) ►Rude People (Even Enemies Should Be Treated With Politeness) ►Pineapple Pizza (It's A Sin)
► ► ►
“The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed.”
"Ripper Doc is such an ugly word."
"Then what are you?"
"A cybernetic doctor, a scientist perhaps? A student above all."
"A student of what?"
"The Way of the Machine."
"The fighting style you teach at the dojo?"
"Yes, but it so much more than a fighting style. I could show you if you would like?"
"I'm afraid we don't have time for that."
"Ah, a pity. But I understand."
"To unite the biological with the machine is the only way to advance beyond our current state."
Ah, yes. Yes, indeed. She's a most interesting follower of the most noble and merciful path. I have met many loyal servants of our blessed order over the years, but none have been as augmented as that young woman. She has embraced the Way of the Machine and has united her flesh with metal. She has been reborn. She has been reforged. She has been purified.
Although she has been augmented by our finest Cybernetic doctors, the good sister has made a habit of modifying her augmentations and even installing new ones by herself. I daresay that some of her augmentations are by now one of a kind and only she could reproduce them to their current specifications.
Allow me, your great eminence, as requested by your secretary, to present the full inventory of her augmentations:
►FuryTech Medical Cyberoptics
A most generous gift from some of our friends operating within the R&D department of FuryTech, these eyes are truly something special. I have been told they are usually only offered to cybernetic doctors affiliated with FuryTech. These implants permit the user to have microscopic and ultrasonic vision, allowing for the most delicate of operations without additional tools or scanning devices.
Ah, yes. These arms a wonderful gift provided by some of our close relations at APEX Industries R&D. Accurate down to the micrometer and stuffed full of useful medical devices! Very state-of-the-art. I believe they were originally intended to be sold to the private physicians of only the wealthiest corporate CEOs. The result of some daft notion that it would be useful for the hyper-wealthy to have a neurosurgeon accompanying them at all times. Internally the arms are of course quite sensitive, so a thick layer of proprietary titanium alloy is used rather than any synthetic skin coating. Sister ViK has engraved the protective outer layer with a delicate floral pattern. Beautiful work! When I asked her about it she said that the flowers depicted are native to South East Asia. Now where as I? Ah yes, they are cleverly designed and wonderfully built. You would never know at a glance how much the engineers at APEX managed to stuff inside of these limbs. It's simply astounding! All it takes is a neural command for the impenetrable housing to open up and a bevy of syringes, scalpels, advanced medical tools, and smaller manipulators arms to come out.
These legs are unlike any augmentations I have seen before. Sister Violet designed them herself. Perfectly balanced. Graceful. Utterly silent in operation and almost frictionless in motion. The girl has a gift, my eminence. To build much less design a pair of legs is the work of a true master. To not just mimic the human form, but to surpass, that is art, that is skill, and that is the way forward. The only way forward.
►Gaea Naturae Skeletal Enhancements and Omni-Link Nerve Web Augmentations
As you well know, to support a vast array of augmentations it is often necessary to replace some of the more vulnerable parts of the human body. Sister ViK, at her own insistence, has had most of her central nervous system replaced with a proprietary system developed by Gaea Naturae. How Sister ViK acquired it remains uncertain, but the design is doubtlessly worth a small fortune. Favors can go far as they say in the Reclaimed Zone. To support these augmentations, Sister ViK has also had a number of enhancements incorporated into her skeletal structure, chiefly centered on the axial skeleton. Having observed her at work in the surgical suite and on the training grounds of the temple, I can only say, my eminence, that she moves with an inhuman precision and speed. Her movements are transcendent, sublime even.
► APEX Cardiovascular Replacement
A favorite augmentation or so I am told of musicians, surgeons, and long range sharpshooters. Vocations that place a high premium on steady hands and careful movements. If you spend some time with Sister ViK you will readily see the benefits of these augmentations. Her artificial lungs operate far more efficiently than biological lungs and the breathes she draws are almost imperceptible as a result. The beats of her heart are likewise not unduly troubled by the demands of the situation. There is little left of the natural motion of the body to impede her precision.
►Modified FuryTech Cognition Integration Unit 190
To directly interface with all manner of machines and cyberdecks, Sister ViK has had an FuryTech Cyberdeck CIU 190 grafted to the base of her neck. Predictably, she has of course modified it beyond its original specifications and it would surprise me little if the unit no longer resembles the original design in any meaningful way."
"Equipment? Why would a Hyperhuman monk like Sister Violet need personal processions? Why would a HyperHuman monk like Sister Violet need any weapons? She may walk with open palms, but like all members of our merciful monastery she is a weapon if she needs to be.
She has her robe. She has her walking staff. She has her shoes. She has a digital copy of the collected texts of our order. She has an ancient and beat up cyber deck. What more does a monk need?"
"Sister ViK is one of my students, yes. She's been training in my dojo ever since she could walk. Practically two decades by now.
How is she? You mean how good is she?
Ha. The girl's a natural.
She took to her augmented limbs like a fish to water. They became a part of her much faster than most come to realize that their mechanical parts are merely an extension of their original biological parts. To separate the two, to consider them different, is to build a wall between two aspects of the soul, the human and the machine, the Yin and the Yang of the spirit as the old Chinese philosophers used to call it. The dualism of our present existence should come as no surprise, it is simply the continuation of an old struggle regarding the duality of humankind.
But you didn't come to listen to an old woman teach you about philosophy, now did you? No, of course not. You want to hear stories about Hyper Human monks that can punch through concrete, bend steel, dodge bullets, and fight off swarms of foes with only their cybernetic limbs.
Myths. Street legends, of course. But there is some kernel of truth to them. We do train all of our acolytes in the Way of the Machine. We teach them to fight. We teach them to use their cybernetic augmentations to the fullest. We enable them to defend themselves in a world that looks down on them for who they are. We guide them further along the path of enlightenment.
Sister ViK was and is one of my finest students. She has mastered all the Eighteen Subduing Steel Dragon Palms. I have taught her to be one with her augmentations. I have educated her in the fine arts of unarmed and armed combat. I have tested her to within an inch of her life. I have thrown her onto the street to prove her abilities. I have set her free.
Had she not spent so much time working in the clinic, she could have easily taken over from one of the old masters. But alas, it is hard indeed to tear that girl away from her work. Still, she makes time for her forms and sparring. However, as her teacher I can't help but be greedy for more time."
Why, ja, ja I know her. We've worked together quite a bit in the Baolei Refuge Center over the last couple of months. She's a skilled surgeon and a talented cybernetic doctor. I'm surprised really that she isn't part of some corporate NGO or research university. It's taken all of my training to keep pace with her. Some of the stuff she proposes is years ahead of what we are doing right now. But worse still, she'll go out and do just that.
I admire her, truly, it's hard to find cybernetic doctors of her caliber even at APEX backed clinics, much less in some run-down clinic trying to save as many souls as we can with the limited resources we have available to us. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've really got to get back to my patients."
"For her many positive qualities, Sister ViK has an unfortunate habit of poking her nose where it does not belong and for asking questions that are...impertinent. There are few that have not felt the lash of her barbed tongue, admirable as it is in terms of objectivity and purity of purpose. This is of course nothing new, this information does not come as a surprise to anyone that has known Sister ViK for any length of time. As far as I can tell, she has been like this since childhood. The monks of her order proved unable to silence her or to gently guide her to a more amicable path.
No one is above her suspicion or critique! I have her caught her more than once criticizing the Enlightened One himself and questioning his unfathomable plans. She dares to seek out information that has been denied her. She refuses to accept polite and stern orders to stop her digging. The beloved sister is obsessed with information, all the more when it is denied to her. Even or perhaps especially when it is for her own good. As my interviews have progressed I have begun to wonder if she would not have been equally gifted as a digital pirate, as Labyrinthine Runner, had she not ended up with our order. Her curiosity may one day lead her to grave danger. Not just for herself but for the entire Hyper Human movement."
"Have you ever met someone that just refuses to take a hint? Someone that's so convinced they are right and that you are wrong that there's just no way to reason with them? Well, I have. And her name is Doctor Amethyst. I don't know what her real name is, so don't bother asking. Not that I'd tell you if I knew. Call it a professional courtesy. Only ran into the bitch once, and once, was enough for a lifetime. People won't stop talking about her work though, it's fucking grating. Like I get it, she's good, fucking move on already.
But yeah, we met at a job. A fucking clusterfuck of a rush job at that. Some hotshot scientist that Gaea Naturae had just scooped up got himself shot in the Reclaimed Zone. What was he doing in the Reclaimed Zone? Fuck if I know. Gaea Naturae, myself, and everyone involved was asking themselves the same thing. However, as it was, this big brain was bleeding out due to some seriously customized poison that had covered the bullet. And before you ask. No, it's not normal for people to use poison covered bullets in the Reclaimed Zone. We're much too simple, poor, and efficient for that type of shit. Motherfucker was flatlining and there was no way Gaea Naturae was getting him back to their home base. So they called in me. Well, they called in us. They got a hold of me first, but when things started looking even worse despite my expert work, then they called in her.
She listened to me at first. Even seemed to agree with some of my ideas for a bit. I thought we were going to get along just fine until she started giving me lip. Apparently I wasn't being clever enough. My surgical intervention was too "brutish", whatever that fucking means. The guy had a bullet leaking poison into this brain, what the fuck was I supposed to do? Take my time? She wouldn't listen. She wouldn't stop blabbering about her brilliant idea and about how this was the perfect time to test it.
Either way she kicked me out of the operating room. Said she'd do it all herself. I told her she could take all of the heat when she killed the dude and she just said that'd be fine, but she had no plans of letting him die. Of course, she managed to keep the rat bastard alive. Took 14 hours of surgery or so they told me. I wasn't there when they wheeled him out. Payment up front, my man. And if the lady didn't want my help, then fuck hanging around. And fuck her, fuck her most of all."
"I have known Sister ViK since our shared childhood. We entered the Dojo of Determined Duty together at a very young age. We were sisters, beyond just our religious calling. I loved her, I love her still, as a dear sister, and a loyal friend.
However, I must confess that she has changed much over the years. With each passing season and with each augmentation she has become different...colder somehow. She speaks of the divine code that she has read and written, the binary that she injects straight into her cerebral cortex I fear that we are losing more of her to the machine. Blessed as the machine is, it worries me to see her change so much. I do not doubt that she follows the path. I do not worry that she is misguided or mistaken...but I worry that she is losing herself. Should we not value our humanity as much as we value the machine?
Sister ViK will not listen to me. Not about this matter. She never has and I doubt she ever will. She says that she is doing what must be done. She says that she is doing it for all of us. She says that she is doing it for them. And she says that she is doing it for her.
I don't care. I just want my sister to remain my sister. I don't want her to forget. How can she help if she doesn't feel? How can she do the right thing if she no longer cares?"
"For a demon, the Drift Demon is quite nice. I helped him get a new arm installed after his unfortunate run in with the Car Czar. He comes by every so often for a tune up, but I can't say that I know much about the grease covered man that lurks beneath that helmet. It did take some convincing to get him to take the helmet off, but you can't exactly operate on a patient without clear access to their airways"
"We have...some philosophical differences about augmentations, but we are friends. I think? Maybe. Despite what she says. I did her a favor once, although it pained me. You see, I don't enjoy removing augmentations. But all must walk their own paths, even if they are walking in the wrong direction. She brings me food every day. I think she sees it as some form of penance. And as a matter of religious principle, I do not make a habit of refusing charitable culinary contributions. What time do I have to cook?"
Before the new year kicks in, I would like to state for the record that I am withdrawing from this RP. It's been a lovely ride but I've just run out of creative fuel for superhero stories. I am particularly grateful for this RP and all of you all as this was my first RP on this forum and posting here helped me get to know a collection of truly wonderful RPers.
There were some really amazing characters and great posts that kept my interest along the way.
With my departure (following Bork) Dakota City is up for grabs, for anyone courageous enough to step off the more established parts of the map. If you have any questions on what I had planned with Bork, don't hesitate to contact me via PM or via Discord.
So thanks again, have a wonderful new year, and I'm sure I'll see you all around at some point!