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16 days ago
Legit watching how long that 1v1 interest check stays on the front page. I'll never quit this site.
21 days ago
Discipline a heretic and he'll be loyal for a moment, put him to the flame and he'll be loyal the rest of his life.
1 mo ago
Sometimes the heresy purges itself.
2 mos ago
It's called trash CAN, not trash CANNOT. You got this 👍
7 mos ago
If this is your first night at Waffle House, you have to fight.


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Alese Piety

Whatever leather or swanky composite material the seats in Chandi’s car were composed of was more comfortable than Alese’s bed and smelled of exotic perfumes. Having been here before, she allowed herself to sink in blissfully as they set off before sensing the redhead’s heated glance being directed her way. “So?” She said, rolling her shoulders comfortably in the smooth fabric. There was more than enough room for three or more to easily stretch out in the back of the large car, though Chandi sat mostly upright in her usual aura of relaxed affluence. “I don’t judge the company you keep when I’m not around,” Alese continued, arching an eyebrow back in playful return judgment. “Oh, Chandi, can I get you a drink? Let me take your coat- Marry me Chandi…” She pantomimed gagging. However her teasing grin rapidly faded at the mention of the car and she looked away, embarrassed, forlorn even. Images flashed through her mind again and she started to speak, though Chandi had thankfully already changed the subject. She peeped up over the edge of the thick window frame into the glowing night of the city. One of the many corporate billboards among the animated holograms and traffic signals strobed and pulsed unusually for a moment, just enough to be noticeable. It was a GeoNet advert, however with sections of the image missing, it merely read, G oNe. Alese looked down at her Net bracelet and her glance narrowed. “That’s weird, it still thinks I’m at home.” Though it immediately corrected its readout as if it heard her speak. “There it goes.” She shrugged, but Chandi had already taken to evaluating her wardrobe choices.

The cleanliness of the air was the most noticeable characteristic of the Spire. Crisp and cool. There was almost a taste to it for the unaccustomed. Even the air scrubbers Norris installed at Iron Technica could not compare to stepping up the multiple social and physical steps to Chandi’s flat. Even the water in the shower felt better, like bathing in silk and again she lamented selfishly that this was an attainable choice that she had the ability to make. After nearly an hour she emerged, vibrant and in a riot of colors. She would lie if she said she hadn’t enjoyed every second and took her time to savor it, but since Chandi had decided to pop-in for a surprise visit, it felt a deft counterstroke to take her time in the lap of luxury. “God I needed that…” She said wistfully and glided over to the bar area moving some of the bottles around and tipping on her toes to examine others before preparing a selection for herself in a silver mixing cup. One of the cats purred against her leg, smelling Chandi’s floral scented body wash fresh on her skin as she stirred. “I swear I’m not getting drunk this time. This is just pregame.” She said, taking a sip and bending down to apply generous scritches, though as soon as the heat of the liquid descended to her empty stomach she felt the warmth of high-end alcohol rise back up through her nerves and smiled broadly, taking in a deep breath and savoring the taste. “Mmmm…Yes, that will do.

There was a large mirror adjacent to the bar and she half-turned, drink in hand, and pivoted on one foot, looking down her shoulder discerningly at her figure for a moment. Satisfied, she put a new bag over her shoulder- a much sleeker option she kept at the apartment and more than anything she would have risked on the streets. “Alright, I’m ready.” She said, turning back to Chandi and taking another healthy sip before setting the cup aside. She fished a pair of glasses from the bag and slid them over the top of her head.
Alese Piety

Even though Alese was two years older than Chandi, the redhead’s presence commanded leadership. Aside from her social position, she was naturally tall and on her heels, towered over Alese as she strode into the shop as if it were hers for surprise inspection. It wasn’t really a matter of offense, just the way of things. Alese followed, glad that her dad was not around to see her opening the floor to two diametrically opposed MegaCity paradigms, though she was clearly nervous at the thought of him, or her mother even, arriving at any time in the middle of this impromptu gathering. Chandi was a “regular” at Iron Technica in a way and kept a lot of doors open in the Spire. She knew that her dad still had several contacts there, however there was always a tinge of bitterness, at least she thought from him, when it came to dealing with those still within the corporate matrix. They had put him out and his survival in spite of it had become one of his defining characteristics, not just as a man, but as her father. She could have easily moved into Chandi’s absolutely amazing Spire apartment and lived a different life, but it didn’t feel right and often made her think of her transient older brother.

Alese peeked out from behind Chandi, much in the same way as she had peeped inside the office door, looking past the other woman at whatever had stopped her in her tracks. ’BOB’… She furrowed her brow for a moment, not remembering the acronym, and mouthed the name to herself watching Badger already chest deep under the MCPD vehicle. “Bob…-” The terminology finally hit her and she recoiled with a red flush. “Wait! No! Ew!” The drone cocked curiously to one side, not sure how to interpret this emotion against its primary directives, but documenting it regardless along with her vitals. “EMBARRASSMENT?” It hummed in a heavily synthesized voice, again different from the vocal pattern it used before.

Oh, shut up.” Alese quipped and crossed her arms, still red as Chandi continued her curious evaluation of their other guest. Something akin to a deep-space explorer examining an alien species. She understood Badger well enough to know he was at least intrigued at the discovery and keeping contacts like him happy, helped her street cred tremendously. She smiled that he was satisfied with her trade. For all those that she did barter with, she put genuine effort into finding things that were not only useful, but appealed to their individual tastes. Being a denizen of the streets and rooftops, she knew he would find use for the hard parts, but didn’t have the slightest clue what he would want with an old engine manual other than it might be something entertaining. “Perfect, I knew you would like that.” She said, walking back over to her toolbox and stepping up on a small stool, opening and closing a few drawers as she peered inside, momentarily searching. “Now he’s just trying to be smooth.” She said to Chandi, rolling her eyes playfully at HB’s compliment, before retrieving a handwritten list of items and small diagrams she had put together.

Alese glanced towards the myriad of pipes, fittings and valves under the police vehicle once more before handing the documents over for him to scan to his memory. “Get these few things for me and we’re square.” There was a tiny hint of challenge in her voice. The items weren’t overly difficult to find, but were very specific: An electrical heating element with a variable resistor, several copper fittings of different sizes and reduction and two carbon block pressed gravity filters- all of which needed to be pharmaceutical grade. She probably could have got most of the items through Chandi, but this was a fair side quest for him considering the value of her trades and would save her some considerable time, not to mention questions. Plus the fact that these were components to a greater system that he wasn’t privy would agitate the logics in his mechanized-digital headspace considerably. It gave her a little smile of satisfaction, getting even for him scaring the life out of her.

Turning back to Chandi, she let her shoulders drop in feigned exhaustion at business concluded. If they were going to Vivian’s, that meant there was going to be copious libations, which she was fine with, especially on a Friday, however at only 5’5”, she wasn’t exactly known for her strong tolerance. Still, she had hardly left the shop in over two weeks and was feeling again, at least somewhat, like getting out. “Just let me lock up and grab some clothes- I promise they’ll be suitable.” She spoke teasingly, like a teen addressing the critical evaluation of her mother. “I’ll just get cleaned up at your place and we can go from there.


New link to those inclined, since the old one is expired.
Alese Piety

She always finished the Strykers by testing the turret, not just because it was a natural stopping point with the rest of the systems on the main body concluded, but also because it was fun to spin the gun around, especially if it had a water cannon. These two were interesting though, and something she had not seen before. There was a main water tank, but it was smaller with two additional tanks filling in the reduced area. The plumbing was also complex, almost like a soda machine where chemicals were meant to be blended before being fired out of the cannon. Normally, she would have driven it down to the reservoir and tested the settings on the spray, but that work order line had been specifically deleted. Then there was the fact that the additional tanks and downstream lines were all rated for high levels of hazardous contents which was very suspect. MegaCity Administration apparently didn’t want anyone outside the fold knowing anything further and that just made her more curious. She took her time with both vehicles making mental notes, but absolutely no pictures. Music blared from a pink boombox down on the hull as she sat cross-legged on top of the turret, a heavy, jobsite style laptop in her lap. Servo motors wined and chirped with newness as she spun the turret around, raising and lowering the cannon and grinning a bit at how easily amused she could be when no one was looking.

Run the calibration one more time and we’re done.” Alese sat with her hands free of the controls while her drone obediently ran the test program from the cab once more, causing the turret to move again through all of its articulation limits. She could feel her stomach growl as the movement finished and with everything appearing to be in the green she shut the laptop down with finality, stopping the music and bringing about a calm silence of accomplishment. “God, I’m starving…” She groaned and stood up, stretching a bit. One more thing… then one more then, just one more after that, and before she knew it she’d been going for several hours straight. However, now she was thankfully finished and both contracts were completed, though technically not really until they got paid, but she had done her part and they were on schedule. One had to appreciate the tedious, easy jobs, she briefly mused before lamenting that if she had to do another disgusting automated street sweeper any time soon, she was just going to cry. Another grumble and her thoughts quickly returned to food. She happily climbed down the side of the huge vehicle and found herself face to face with a dark, feral-masked creature staring directly at her as though it had just been waiting there the whole time and she nearly fainted.

Gyah!” She yelped as it felt like her feet literally left the floor and her electrified posture fell back against the cool exterior of the vehicle. For a split second she had just resigned herself to perish, but the voice that followed from the imposing figure was instantly familiar and had already started into his sales pitch. Monotone and professional as he was, she could sense there was a hint of amusement at her expense. Feeling her heart pound, Alese started for a breath until a coffee cup suddenly shattered against Honey Badger’s hardened exterior. The pieces fell to the floor and she looked up to see her drone holding a plate with a sandwich. Having sensed her elevated heart rate from one of her wristbands and heard her shocked gasp, it dutifully moved to her defense though it was presently without any weapons. “Stahp!” She cried hoarsely, still with her heart racing, however it had already thrown the plate which similarly broke against him. “STAHP!” She yelled this time and waved her hand. There was a moment of paused silence before, indignantly, it threw the sandwich as well, which flopped against him and slowly dropped to the floor. The drone drifted away cautiously and Alese leaned back again, rubbing her fingertips over her temples, taking a deep breath and brushing loose strands of hair aside. “Sorry…” She said, exhaling with a huff. “I’m still training it… Are you trying to give me a heart attack?” She said, regaining some composure.

Alese looked over some of Badger’s presentation for a moment as the drone returned with a broom and pan, though it kept its gaze focused on the guest as it worked. “I might have some stuff for you this time…” She replied and glanced over towards her main toolbox. “You probably should see this though,” She said and removed the large fairing that concealed the water tank beneath the MCPD chassis. “See if you notice anything different.” She said, letting the large panel hinge to the floor so he could see before stepping away and drawing a large welding curtain in front of the car in the back. ‘Ma’am Piety’ or ‘Madame Piety’ had such a nice ring to it she thought as she continued over towards her toolbox where she had saved a few items for him specifically: a synthetic nylon IR Laser/Illuminator with an extra visible beam, a compact, field capable RF Spectrum Analyzer no bigger than a datapad and a printed manual for an ancient, air-cooled internal combustion engine just because she thought he would like it. She was in the middle of gathering the items when a chime indicated someone at the counter. Her shoulders dropped for a moment with a sigh, wondering who it could possibly be. Not many people used the front door, but the voice did cause her another surprise. “Hold on,” She said to Badger, skittering across the shop floor and leaving him to his examinations.

The door to the spartan counter area cracked open and Alese poked her head through. The drone popped in right over her shoulder taking stock of another visitor. “Hey!” She said with a bright smile, though she kept the rest of her clothing: an old corporate t-shirt with the sleeves cut off and loose cargo capris, concealed behind the door, feeling instantly embarrassed of her laborer appearance while Chandi, as usual, looked like she just stepped away from a photo shoot. “Were we supposed to be going somewhere?” She cocked her head a bit as she spoke, though she knew before she asked the question what the answer was going to be.


The ride back was mostly quiet in the Merry-Go-Round. Sure, they’d scored a solid victory in the pass, but that was what Merry did, she won. The sideshow lance of Crimson Fists they had put down were just more tally marks to be scratched on the hull. Merry had clipped bigger game plenty of times, many of which the crew had long forgotten about. Takka drummed his fingers on the side of the column as he drove. He thought it was amusing how the mech jocks thought she needed to be “defended” because the Crusader was packing some inferno warheads. They didn’t need to be saved, particularly not by that bullet soaker Ramrod or crackpot pirate Ziska. At least Marit was easy to look at, but her boyfriend in the Marauder could eat a bag- they definitely didn’t need his help. His lip turned up indignantly as he thought about the rest of the Knights. Everyone wanted to throttle Raven, but the true subject of Takka’s ire was dancing merrily ahead in the Phoenix Hawk oblivious to the young ginger’s hateful stare. Jumping in the way of Merry’s gun barrel wasn’t healthy for most and that clown’s dimwitted interference was gonna cost him, just like it had cost Merry. By the time they had reached Uncle Mack’s, he had worked out what he was going to do and justified that whatever punishment came down as a result, was just going to be worth it. He grinded his teeth together in a lopsided grimace of restrained glee and sadism.

Right under his feet was the crew escape hatch. It had never been used because neither they nor Merry retreated from shit, but it had a bank vault style lever meant to be kicked by the driver in the event of a bail out. Making sure that the hatch was functional was part of his pre-op checklist as the driver, so he knew that it would work and as long as Merry was parked and completely shut down, no alarm would sound. As they crawled through the scrapyard out of the tunnel, he watched Tarak ease his mech into its assigned bay and where he normally would have pulled straight into the Von Luckner’s “reserved” space, he instead stopped and reversed in so Merry’s nose was pointed directly towards the mechbays. “Thought I felt a little vibration from the drive again, Cap.” He said to Aroxy over his shoulder, daintily engaging the tracks in the opposite direction and craning his neck at the backup camera like an old lady backing in a Rotunda at Discount Dan’s. “Just gonna park her so the tech pit has an easier time.” He heard Aroxy grunt a tired approval while Helma groaned at having to spend an extra minute inside. Ansel seemed to be nearly asleep. Everything was set.

As soon as he heard the main hatch creak and turn over with its usual thud against the hull, Takka jammed his boot against the emergency door lever, hiding its metallic release with the sound from overhead. As the rest of the crew wearily climbed out, he was already on his feet, sprinting like a shot across Uncle Mack’s. Like some feral creature, it had only taken him one or two seconds to bound out from under the tank and as they had drove along he had been quietly alternating his feet on the pedals, keeping them as stretched and limber as he could. He didn’t want to cramp up and now it was paying off. He wasn’t even tired and his feet carried him with a hate-fueled quickness that nearly surprised him. He could see Tarak and his entourage of misfits happily high-fiving and rejoicing in his return and he ran harder, leaning into it. Someone shouted and he could hear the attention shifting towards him, but it didn’t matter. He was nearly on top of them when one of Tarak's followers finally noticed him. The little girl was holding some ridiculous pink boombox, but in her shock at seeing him bearing down on top of her, she dropped it right in his path.

Unable to stop and running far too fast to avoid it, Takka desperately lifted his stride to clear the radio with his next step and he probably would have made it if it weren’t for the restriction of his heavy winter pants. His booted toe clipped the pink box just barely, but his second footfall clamored right over it, switching it on and sending him lunging directly into Tarak like a linebacker.

In a flurry of rabid cursing, sweat and spit...

The brawl was on.

And from one of Tarak’s cursed mixtapes, stuck inside, the volume jammed high from impact- The radio played…


New invite link to the discord if anyone is so inclined. We do a little plotting there.
Alese Piety

Eyes blinked open. She’d been sleeping soundly. Deep enough in slumber that the first few seconds of reality felt like a mystery; like she’d been a million miles away and suddenly snapped back to the present. Alese stared ahead for a moment, blankly watching the slow turn of long industrial fan blades over the shop while her mind became somewhat functional again. She remembered she’d only planned to lay down, take a little cat nap and then get back to work, however the relative silence in the air informed her that she’d been checked-out considerably longer than just a brief resting of the eyes. The small sofa in what constituted a “break area” within the alcove where the main tool chests were located was cheap, but by the gods was it comfortable and as she became steadily aware of herself, she debated whether or not to just blissfully drift away again though she knew that never worked. Her mind seemed to operate in two modes when it came to sleep: Awake and thinking or out cold to the point a marching band could have paraded across the floor and she would have never noticed. Something floated by the periphery of her vision and her glance shifted, but she was still far too comfortable to move.

The digital face of her small drone blinked an alarm that was several hours passed. Normally it would have made a happy chime to wake her up when the countdown expired, though for whatever reason it had been silent. “Thanks…” She grumbled and the deep blue clock face merrily turned to a pixelated smile. She sighed and wiped her eyes. The AI contained within the small drone was very good, but inexplicably would just go silent at random times to the point where she had inserted a backup protocol for it to beep and “speak” in Morse code, however that hadn’t worked either… For a brief second, she started to consider the potential problems in the logic for the umpteenth time, but quickly shut down that line of thinking. Having built it herself, whatever the problem was had been something she had done along the way and she just didn’t feel like thinking about it at the moment. She stretched mightily and sat up, shifting her legs down, but still keeping her upper body slouched in the warmth from her sleep. Disheveled strands of multicolored hair hung over her eyes and touched her lips and she blew them off with an ungraceful huff.

Directly in front of her were two large armored vans, though they looked closer to military personnel carriers having huge solid tires instead of tracks. With six wheels each, in a line they took up more space than three civilian cars bumper to bumper. Black and white with the stomping print of “MCPD” on the side, each had a turret on top that could be configured for whatever the intended purpose from crowd control, to raids or surveillance. These were brand new and a thick line of cables led inside the machine closest to her denoting the work she left before dozing off. Pre-delivery contracts for city administration were pretty easy, however there were only a handful of shops this side of MegaCity-01 that met the technical qualifications to do the work when the official motor pool office was too far behind. Alese could easily picture her father’s perspicacious expression explaining how the police had to be deftly managed just like the gangs and that there was no harm in understanding the finer points of their operation: Like the truncation pattern in the radio net, the unit number logic or the published versus realistic performance of many of the more advanced systems. Even though he had been out of the Spire for years, Corporate instinct still directed much of his thinking.

She yawned and shook her head, stretching again before a steaming mug and a hand terminal were suddenly in her face. She took the terminal and set it aside, but tickled cautiously at the mug the drone presented in its unfolded arm, testing the temperature. “Way too hot.” She said, looking at the small screen knowing that it should be trying to read her facial expression, however it only responded ponderously with another smile and seemed to insist that she take the drink. “Just sit it on the table.” She said flatly and stood up. The drone’s posture seemed to drop like it was disappointed and did as instructed.

Fingertips ran along the angular hull of the giant vehicle and her sneakers scarcely made a sound on the concrete as she first glanced up towards the living area. No one else seemed to be home and only the ambient noise of muffled city traffic filled the air. She didn’t want to be seen snooping and simply walked like a curious cat towards the only other vehicle in the shop, though it wasn’t a customer or contract job.

Low to the floor, the gentle curvature of the roof was barely above her waistline. The stout bars of a complex roll cage frame were visible between wide rear tires while the formed aluminum monocoque that covered the aft section was removed; sitting aside with several components of the upper engine assembly and two substantial rear spoilers that hung on the back wall, one of which was visibly damaged. Alese leaned against the steel bumper of the MCPD stryker and looked over it for a moment, like some champion fighter in the locker room being made ready for the arena. Her eyes slowly drifted up to the damaged wing and she felt her breath pause for just a moment before she finally sighed while thoughts passed letting her shoulders relax again. She didn’t really expect to find anything different. Both turbos were laid out neatly with their brief, coiling downpipes that continued to a pair of what were essentially sound canons that would go in last before the shell was replaced. Norris had been putting it back together which meant there were credits to be made. She pursed her lips slightly and turned away, drumming her nails on the hood of the massive police vehicle. Her sportbike was sitting happily, tucked in the opposite corner like a loyal pet, bright white and excited, but she hadn’t ridden it in nearly two weeks.

As she stepped away, the drone reappeared abruptly with another cup of coffee and her terminal. She eyed the first cup still steaming for a moment and took the second attempt in hand along with the terminal again. “Much better.” She said, though taking a cautious sip. Her eyes perused the media feeds while the drone gently maneuvered behind her as if angling to read the text from over her shoulder. She shrugged and stepped away to keep the screen from its glance. “Don’t be so nosey.” She chided, sitting down on the step up to the driver’s side of the stryker. Nothing too exciting although a runner from one of the Sk8ter cells turning up dead at the Spire was a bit of a strange anecdote in the rest of the regular city drama, particularly that, according to the report, he had fallen to his death and stranger still, was completely empty-handed. Most of the reports she rapidly checked basically followed with the same description and not a lot of detail. It wasn’t unusual for MCPD to put a lid on a story, but this one felt particularly terse, even from some of the news beats that were generally favorable to the police force. A runner falling wasn’t totally unheard of, but dropping to their death without any kit was an eyebrow raiser. Every Sk8ter she knew at least carried some level of gear, much of which was designed to prevent them from such a fate. She gave a small huff of amusement. It probably wouldn’t matter and would be forgotten in a few days, but it might be interesting gossip and she knew a few people that would be keen to know the real story. She was in the middle of another sip when a random synthesized voice startled her out of the quiet distraction nearly causing her to jump out of her skin and almost spill coffee everywhere.

Time to work!

Alese looked up hatefully at the drone. “Oh, so now you’re talking?” She said, flicking away drips of coffee that teetered over the edge and ran down the side of the mug.

I. Work… Alese.” It responded. Reading her narrowed brow and sensing the growl in her words, it changed its tone, scouring the net in a fraction of a second in an attempt to find a soothing voice to replicate. “Can. We… Work?” Somewhere, the AI’s algorithms decided a cartoon character's sing-song tenor would be an appropriate counter for its creator’s displeasure, however observing her extremely unsatisfactory reaction, it began to slowly reverse away.

I think I’m gonna erase your memory.

Please. No.

Made a discord for this if anyone is interested in plotting.

Note- I'm a night shift worker so if you jump in during the day (EST US) and I don't answer, just give me a few hours.
Jonathan McCord

The footpad of Jon’s Marauder came down firmly on the frozen body of one of the former Crimson Fist pilots. If there had been a way to articulate the reverse-jointed mech’s step to emulate grinding out a spent cigarette, he probably would have done it. How the man got there instead of dying in his cockpit, Jon didn’t really care. As he watched the crescendo of the Crimson Fists’ lance destruction, he reckoned the two mechs that fell when the Knights blasted the ancient stone bridge into rubble probably hit a decent velocity before they impacted the jagged rock below. It was fitting that their pilots were headed in the correct direction for their journey into the afterlife.

Unfortunately, his path was also cut off, which meant it would cost him about an hour to doubleback down the mountain and take the long way around before he could pick up another trail that would put him on the Knights’ path back to the tunnels. He waited momentarily as he recalled the path from memory simultaneously listening for the sound of some bad news that was yet missing. He glanced up, waiting, and after only a few seconds at a break in the clouds, caught a glimpse of the second Mechbuster already high enough to be pulling contrails behind its delta wing. “Shit.” He grumbled as its high afterburner finally echoed through the pass, nose pointed directly back towards Balya Gora.

Even though the presence of the aircraft had been unexpected, it still felt like a failure letting one escape, which as he watched the Knights depart for the second time since the dam, he remembered the Warhammer had got away as well. There was an urge to head back down the mountain and track it down, but he knew it would be a foolish attempt at this point and his instructions from Cassandra were to proceed to Uncle Mack’s once the mission concluded. Whether or not Cassandra had informed Colonel Wayne of this deviation was another matter, but that was above his pay grade. Sending those pukes straight to hell did carry a certain level of satisfaction that would be best enjoyed with a cigarette later.

Ossie’s torso and legs turned away from the remains of the battle like an animal that had lost interest. Jon briefly glanced at the main display mounted near his left knee to again verify his BattleROM had been recording. Zapping that Mechbuster mid turn had been a pretty slick shot and he was looking forward to rewatching that particular footage. He tapped a few commands to review the route to the scrapyard. He’d never been there, but at least it would be something somewhat similar to home; though he had heard a few rumors about the proprietors, they couldn’t be any worse than what he’d grown up with on the Periphery. He waggled the stick like he always did out of habit, checking the twist for slack and causing the mech to shake off a light dust of snow before heading back down the mountain.
I think there's for sure a couple still going.

Not in any hurry. I work nights so I'm up. We gonna have a discord?

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