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3 yrs ago
Current 乇乂ㄒ尺卂 ㄒ卄丨匚匚
4 yrs ago
A sentence you wasted 5 seconds to read.
4 yrs ago
Who came up with the idea to make our statuses quotes from philosophers, anyway?
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5 yrs ago
We could be doing something productive with our lives... instead, we're here.
5 yrs ago
A random quote from some philosopher that we'll forget in a few moments.


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Rumi chuckled as he took another sip from his can of beer. He was rather alcohol intolerant, but was careful not to allow himself to get drunk from its influence. So far, his calculations were paying off. "Yes, the heroes of HERO do tend to be rather crude, but I think their recreational activities are a small price to pay for their work," Rumi shrugged. "But that's not to say their behavior is excusable." He would've said more, but was cut short by a sudden interruption.

"Hiii, Grace! And Rumi... Grace, I like your..." He seemed to have trouble finding the correct word, but quickly managed to utter, "Shirt... Yeah. Your shirt."

Rumi turned to see Tom having made his way to him and Grace, looking a bit intoxicated despite his attempts to appear sober. Rumi has to give him points for trying, even if it turned out to be a fruitless endeavor in Grace's eyes. As the spectacle unfolded, Rumi switched his beer can from his right to his left, freeing it from the can's chilly temperature. As Grace turned his attention to Rumi and leaned against him, he thought he felt his heart skip a beat, and couldn't help but let it show on his face for a second before composing himself. Looking at Tom, he tilted his head with a half-smile as he gave him a half-shrug with his right shoulder before returning his attention to Grace.

"Thanks, Grace. That means a lot, coming from you," Rumi said, placing his arm around Grace’s shoulder. "And you know, I did take a couple tours at UCNA. Their labs are great. Good quality equipment in high quantities, and most importantly, perfectly safe as long as you know what you're doing. But that safety does come at the cost of complexity. After all, that equipment is meant for teaching the basics, which is why labs like mine are more... personalized with technology that the general public can't access. Safety is valued, but sometimes experimentation and testing must come with a degree of danger to achieve results."

Rumi stepped out of his car, having arrived at Blake's party. Having received an invitation, it was only natural he would come. After all, it's not like he really had any other plans. He obviously wasn't going to the Wings of Law party he had heard about, nor was he willing to spend another minute at his workshop. He said his greetings and cracked a few jokes to a few people as he slid in between the crowds, moving deeper into the lodge. Rumi saw Blake on the couch, very much intoxicated, and decided to leave him alone to his drunken ramblings. Rumi gave the Gizmo fellow an up and down look, taking note of the machinery he was using, but soon lost interest and moved on. Rumi snatched a beer can from a nearby cooler and cracked it open, taking a swig. It wasn't very good, but he decided to continue drinking it anyway.

Overall, the party was quite nice. Plenty of people for a nice atmosphere, plenty of food and drink as well, but Rumi came to relax. He wanted to spend some time with someone he knew for once, preferably someone who was decently intelligent and not drunk. As he walked, he glanced at a glass door, and quickly snapped back to get a better look. It was Grace. Finally, some intelligent conversation, Rumi thought as he slid the door open and made his way over.

"I dunno, I wouldn't put too much faith in the Wings of Law," Rumi replied, flashing a half smile at Grace. "They're definitely not as great as the news would have you believe."

There was a knock at the door, followed by the door sliding open. Chris, Rumi's secretary, had come down to check on his boss, who was currently in the middle of using his nanomachines to solder two small components together before closing the compartment of the device he was working on. Rumi sat down heavily onto a nearby rolling chair and leaned back, massaging his temples. He had been Overclocking his brain for the past few days now, and it the stress of the strain was exhausting him greatly.

"Sir, perhaps you should take a break," Chris suggested. "Working for this long is taking a toll on your health."

"Don't worry, Chris, I know what I'm doing," Rumi tiredly reassured him, dismissing Chris's worries with a wave of his hand. "By my calculations, I can keep this up for at least 2-3 more days, but I don't really need that long. I'm done, anyway."

Chris took a look at what Rumi had been working on, and continued to voice more concerns, "Sir, are you sure it's a good idea to release that to the world? You of all people should know-"

"Yes, Chris, I am aware of the risk, but it's one I have to take," Rumi said. Rumi was planning on releasing his Microbots, the prototype to his Nanobots, to the world. "They'll be a nice benefit to the world. They can offer great improvement to many different industries, from construction to medicine and so much more. I've also included plenty of safeguards to prevent misuse. If anyone was planning to tamper with or reverse-engineer them with malicious intent, I'd be the first to know, and will act accordingly to disable them."

Rumi then voiced, "Pop up Window 436," and his table projected a window screen revealing a counter with the number of Microbots in existence. Rolling himself toward a machine with a plexiglass container at the bottom, Rumi slammed a big red button with the bottom of his fist. It then began to hum and glow as a small number of thin metal appendages dropped down and began to whir and buzz, soon creating a new Microbot. The counter on the screen then counted up by one. "I've hardwired these Microbots so they show up immediately as soon as they're created. They won't get past my sensors."

"Even so, there will be many attempts to bypass your safeguards, use them in ways even you haven't anticipated," Chris argued. "I believe you to be the smartest man in this country, if not the entire world, but you're still only one man."

"Not to worry, I thought of that too," Rumi said. "Even if someone got a hold of enough microbots to pose a threat, they'd still need enough power in their brain to be able to move them fast enough. I've already hardwired these Microbots to only be able to move up to 20-25 miles per hour. It'd take someone with serious brainpower, like me for example, to be able to move them any faster, and even then it won't be by much. Maybe an extra ten at most, give or take."

Chris was still skeptical, but he could see that Rumi had put a considerable amount of effort into modifying the original prototype to make it safe for commercial use. "I assume the patents and other necessary paperwork are ready, then?" Chris asked. "If your plan of expanding the business is to move forward, then I'm sure..."

"Ehh, the patents, sure. The rest, well, you're more than capable of handling that," Rumi responded as he raised a thumbs up.

"Well, this might be somewhat above my, uh... current paygrade," Chris suggested, a smirk visible on his face.

"Hmph. I suppose that's only fair," Rumi said, smiling back. "Fine, I'll make sure you'll get an appropriate raise, but you better do it, Chris."

"I won't fail you, sir. Never have in all my time spent with you," Chris smugly said as he walked out the door.

"Yeah, yeah," Rumi said.

They were entering enemy territory now, and Rumi was currently keeping an eye on their surroundings, attempting to prevent anyone from ambushing them. His right hand was currently covered by a energy blaster designed to stun would-be assailants, raised and ready to fire at the first opportunity. There didn't seem to be too much of a need, though, as the first room they attempted to enter was immediately blown up by Blake, effectively destroying any last hope they had of stealth. "Well, that's one way of eliminating them," Rumi remarked, staring at the charred bodies. As Blake continued on his flaming rampage, Rumi took cover and wondered why he even bothered coming.

Chaos continued to ensue as Zee made his dramatic entrance, dark energies swirling around him, and Rumi wasted no time rushing ahead with the others. He gave a silent nod as a greeting to Joseph, and the group continued on, with Rumi following along as they dispatched the next goons they came across. Eventually, they came across a room that held Will and Brie prisoners. Rumi stepped back to prevent any water from getting onto him, and soon came forward once the stream stopped. "I'm here, too. We're here to rescue you guys from trouble. Y'know, again," Rumi said, giving a wave and a smile. "Glad to see you're all... still alive. Firebird's run off, I'm assuming to rescue the other Heroes who were captured by the Guglianos, and we ran into Azhar and Rune on the way here. You guys are gonna be just fine."

Turning to Jamie, Rumi was about to say something when he took note of her nosebleed. "Quake, you're taxing yourself too much again, aren't you?" Rumi asked. "We can't have you damaging yourself any more than necessary." Looking back at Will, Rumi said, "You're not looking too good yourself either. We should evacuate. I'll lead the way." Rumi went out first, taking a different path than the one they came from. Normally he would've gone back they way they came, but considering the state he saw Zee in, he was reasonably confident he did not want to face whatever was happening back there.

"...Science really has come far if that is indeed his real body," Rumi murmured to himself. "But to augment himself so much... the sheer volume of weapons and design features on his body, and the capability to prevent inertia from destroying his body..." Rumi then shook his head. "Paradox claims to be 'the pinnacle of humankind', but with that level of augmentation, can he really be considered 'human' anymore?" Rumi thought of augmenting his own body on more than one occasion, but every time he chose not to, instead only relying on other sources of aid such as his nanobots and his various gadgets. At first, it was only because he didn't want the hassle of maintaining those parts. Sure, he could automate the maintenance, but it wouldn't last forever. The more he thought about it, though, the more he wondered just how much could be changed before the line between "humanity" and whatever else was out there was crossed.

A beep sounded on his visor, interrupting his thoughts, and a window popped up that revealed the location of the trapdoor. "There it is," Rumi announced, heading over to the site. Once there, Rumi recalled the drones, having them disassemble themselves and revert back to nanobots. After Christina smashed in the trapdoor, Rumi peered down the tunnel. Supposedly, there were Heroes down there in need of a rescue, and the people around him were here for just such an attempt. "We'll do our best, Ms. Lavender," Rumi said, nodding his head. With that, Rumi began following Jamie down the ladder.

Rumi figured the EMP blasters would not be very effective. He would need some form of restraint before he could do any meaningful damage. Before he could formulate a concrete plan of attack, however, Paradox was suddenly attacked by a new force, and was forced to retreat. He turned to face the direction the explosive shots came from, and saw C- Class Hero Christina Lavender walking towards them. "You have our thanks, Ms. Lavender," Rumi said. Rumi deconstructed his EMP blaster cannons, returning the devices back into his belt. Rumi didn't really want to think about what would've happened had Paradox decided to stick around, even if he brain was already creating simulations of the various outcomes, few of which were good.

"On it, Ms. Lavender," Rumi said, lifting his right hand, palm upward. He then ordered his nanobots to form a pair of tiny drones with 4 propellers. He then attached a pair of miniature cameras on them and sent them off the scout the area. "We also interrogated that mobster over there," Rumi reported, pointing at the still-dead Ranucci. "We didn't kill him, if you're wondering. We suspect Paradox managed to silence him before he could spill too much. He said something about a trapdoor in what I assume to be that building over there, and how heroes are trapped in there."

"Finally, I don't think this Paradox fellow was taking us seriously at all this entire fight. He was only toying with us... testing us. He said something about 'field-testing and data collection authorized by Command-1'. I suspect we weren't even facing him directly, but merely one of his automatons, and one that could apparently stand against an S-class hero's power with ease. Whatever we're facing... we haven't even scraped the tip of the iceberg."

"You fool..." Rumi chastised him further, but said no more, knowing there were bigger fish to fry at the moment. Even with the vibroblade, it was taking longer than he had expected to cut apart the net. As to be expected of such a high tech suit, everything was high quality. "Che..." Rumi clicked his tongue in annoyance, but he agreed that assisting Jamie would be a better course of action at this point. Furthermore, Rumi didn't feel comfortable letting one hero, even an S-tier, handle that thing alone. "Fine, but you better hurry," Rumi said, putting away the blade and running over to Jamie. Paradox had already moved on to aiming rotary cannon barrels at Jamie, and was about to fire when Rumi moved in front of Jamie, using his nanobots to form a tower shield in front of them. "Stay behind me," Rumi ordered Jamie, his barrier flashing blue as it helped to block Phantom's shots. While his shield and barrier began taking the plasma fire, Rumi reached into his tool belt and pulled out a pair of palm-sized needle-like devices.

The barrier was quick to wear down, but as the blasts were not that harmful, it and the nanobot shield were able to defend him and Jamie from serious harm. Rumi's shield lost a bit of volume from the plasma fire, but not nearly enough to hinder his operations. Rumi then disassembled his nanobot tower shield. The majority of them returned to form around Rumi's body as general-purpose armor while the rest transferred over to his left and right arms, forming small cylindrical blasters around his hands and forearms, with the needle devices at the center. These were EMP blasters, capable of auto-fire shots and charged single shots for a small explosive ball of EMP energy with a short radius. They were prepared in the event he came across Phantom, but they would also work against any mechanical or tech-based opponents. They would do little against organic targets, but Rumi did not consider this to be a problem in the current situation.

Raising his left arm, he began to fire away at Phantom, prioritizing volume over aim. At the same time, Rumi's right arm began to charge up a shot for a more powerful blast, while also readying nanobots near his feet for enhanced movement. In the event that Phantom didn't move, Rumi would simply to fire the charged ball at him, but if he actually began to move around, he would have to depend on his quick wit as well as Blake and Jamie to hold him off until he could get a clear shot.

"Never hurts to be careful, you know," Rumi responded to Blake. "An idiot this guy may be, but I say leave no room for a mistake you could've avoided." Once they got their information, Rumi was about to turn Ranucci over so he could restrain his arms behind his back, but then Ranucci began to shudder. Rumi tried to hold him down at first, thinking he was making an attempt to escape, but soon realized that his shaking was not an intentional effort. Rumi then backed away from Ranucci as he continued to shake, as if he were having a seizure, before expiring soon after. Rumi knelt down and felt his wrist, further confirming the loss of life.

Rumi shook his head as he got back up. "This wasn't me. I'm guessing someone wanted to silence him before he said too much. Question is... who?" That was also quickly answered by the immediate threat of an armored figure crashing down from the sky, which introduced itself as Paradox. Alarm bells were ringing in Rumi's mind, recognizing the name from the interrupted hack. "Guys, this 'Paradox' is bad news," Rumi warned, but Blake was already springing into action, engulfing the armored figure in a pillar of flame. Rumi hoped it would be enough, but didn't expect it to. The fact that Paradox called out their names first meant that he knew what he was dealing with and had most likely already taken measures to deal with them. Lo and behold, Paradox was unscathed, protected by a green-tinted force field.

When the missiles were fired, Rumi was quick to dodge, leaping to the side in an attempt to avoid the missile, using his nanobots to boost him along. He wasn't sure his own barrier could withstand a missile completely, and he wasn't keen to find out. Fortunately, it seemed he didn't have to, as the missile turned out to contain a weighted net instead of an explosive. The net landed nearby, Rumi having successfully dodged it. Looking over at Blake and Jamie, he was exasperated to see Blake having been caught by the net. As Jamie moved to engage, Rumi got to work attempting to free Blake. He pulled out a small vibroblade knife from his toolbelt and began to cut away at the net holding Blake down.

"Why didn't you dodge, you imbecile?" Rumi said as he worked at the net. "He could've killed you!"

"...Why did I agree to get in this car again?" Rumi asked to himself, clenching his seat belt like his life depended on it. Rumi didn't drive himself very often, but he was very certain people were not supposed to drive like an irresponsible lunatic. Rumi started to doubt the authenticity of Jamie's driver's license, but soon came to the conclusion that she both couldn't and wouldn't make a forgery, which only made the topic even more concerning. Fortunately, the ride had ended, so Rumi could relax a bit now. Taking a moment to calm himself, Rumi then looked out the window, looking at the cleaners' business site. It was unimpressive, and just as dreary as the other drab establishments around it. In other words, it was a perfect camouflage, as no one would look twice at this place. "Let's see if their 'cleaning services' are up to par," Rumi said, stepping out of the car.

Hardly any time had passed, however, before they were ambushed by some punk with a gun. Rumi was stunned. Not by the fact that they were ambushed, but by the fact that only one person armed with only a small caliber pistol thought he could take on three heroes. His point was further proven when the poor mobster was quickly dispatched by Jamie. Looking down at the man, Rumi shook his head, disappointed at their first encounter. "If he's still conscious, I do have a few," Rumi said, pressing a button on his utility belt. A small blue field emerged from it, enveloping him before turning transparent. This was a barrier designed to deflect fast-moving projectiles, capable of stopping short bursts of bullet or laser fire, but would not last any longer than that without recharging. He also ordered his nanobots to form pieces of makeshift armor, mainly protecting his chest and limbs. Crouching down, Rumi reached out and grabbed Ranucci's neck, keeping him down on the ground while using just enough pressure to keep him down while not choking him. Rumi began to order, "Hey, stay awake now. We need you to answer a couple questions. Who's the boss here, and how many of you guys are here?"

"Yeah, sure, give it here," Rumi said, taking the pamphlet. Early on, Rumi had thought it good for business if he was multi-lingual, so he had taken it upon himself to learn every spoken language he could think of, from Spanish to French to Cherokee. He had given up after learning 12, though, considering it to be too much of a waste of time at that point. Opening the phamphet, Rumi began reading its contents out loud, translating it into a language Blake and Jamir could understand. Much of it was nonsense, as it was quite clearly a poorly-disguised front. The phone number and address, though, was of notable interest to Rumi. "15 Running River Lane... I believe we have just found our next destination," Rumi said to Blake and Jamie. Gesturing at the Leftovers, Rumi added, "I'll call the proper authorities to take care of this. We'll continue investigating the Gugliano family's plans after they arrive." Taking out his phone, he speed-dialed the number and began to report what they had found in the warehouse.
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