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  #76  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:18 PM
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Enoch
'That hole had better be big enough for two,' Kali teases.

"The jet-pack initiative is still on the drawing board," Zdravko apologizes with a chuckle. "No, ve vill be traveling by sorcerer, as all good vampires must." He motions for you to follow him to the courtyard, where Dzu is already standing with a gaggle of Champions, and walks to the other side. "So, I have told you that ve acqvired the supercomputer from the Chinese," he states, motioning for a sorcerer to come over and giving him rapid-fire instructions for a few seconds before the sorcerer begins to cast. "Hold one for vone moment..."
The air crackles around you, and it's like your very being is violently ripped from where you were standing a moment ago.

A moment later, you are standing in an old wooden room, beams cracked beneath your feet, a thin layer of dust over the 19th century worker's clothes. Zdravko coughs and leads you hurriedly out into the much cleaner hall, the sorcerer vanishing behind you. "Eck, I vish that vere more pleasant," he apologizes, turning onto a creaky staircase. "Velcome to my recent base of operations. So, the supercomputer. But have I told you vhat I did before I became the computer expert for a people that imagined the horse and buggy to be modern?"
'He could have given us more warning,' Kali complains, brushing at a few motes of dust on the shiny black of her suit as she follows by your side.
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Originally Posted by Nosh
Is hard being hero? Yes. But someone must wear soap.
Do no harm, take no guff.

Last edited by WhovianBeast; 09-12-2019 at 11:19 PM.
  #77  
Old 09-13-2019, 12:46 AM
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Kodama raises an eyebrow as she realizes exactly what it is she's signed herself up for. Takedown? Subdued? She was going to roleplay getting taken into vampire custody. She was gonna go play make believe a personal nightmare.

Kodama looks around at her fellow looters. They'd keep her safe. Nothing bad would really happen. Maybe this would even be fun. Dzu didn't mention anything about her own powers... maybe they didn't register as too powerful. "Seems pretty clear I think. We get any lifelines if like... we need clarification or just want out?" She asks the vampire general.
  #78  
Old 09-13-2019, 01:20 AM
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Kodama and Wraith
"Of course," Dzu replies readily. "The word to surrender is 'pisicuţă'. It means Little Kitten. You will most likely not hear it very often, because they love to pretend they are tough, but if you say it they will let you go. And there are other vampires playing looters as well, I will make sure they know to answer questions for you, and the fake-wounded that you may see lying around will too, since they aren't in the fighting today and get to watch."

"You guys do this a lot? Seems like you've got a whole system."
"It pays to be prepared. Mostly it is smaller practice areas, but I have been rotating them through this one since we set it up some days ago; this group was in front of the stadium for the resurrection. There will be about one hundred and twenty other looters on your side, against sixty uniformed guards and forty medical staff, with one hundred and fifty wounded and twenty observers. The observers will avoid you if you come near them, and they're wearing bright orange armbands."
"An' what're y' gonna do?"
"I will observe as well."

"Huh. And they're all vampires doing this?"
"Yes. So don't be afraid to hit hard, but I don't want any resurrections today."
"Gotcha. I'll leave Mjolnir to the side, then." Gunther glances at you and gives a small shrug.

THe air around you crackles, and you're torn away as the teleportation spell engages. It feels not dissimilar to the first time you teleported with Oberon's symbool, though you have zero control and it's increasingly uncomfortable as you feel like you're being stretched and pulled in different directions.

A moment later, you appear in the middle of an abandoned city. Dzu looks around, and points down a road toward several distant tents. "There is the defender's base. Tke looters have gathered over there and there." He points down more roads. "The approved area of city is marked with red spraypaint and flags. Wraith, your tank will be by the first group of looters in ten minutes. Demonstration starts in fifteen. Final questions?"

The sorcerer vanishes with more crackling.
__________________
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Originally Posted by Nosh
Is hard being hero? Yes. But someone must wear soap.
Do no harm, take no guff.
  #79  
Old 09-13-2019, 01:34 AM
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Enoch

Enoch takes a moment to reorient himself, takes Kali's hand and smiles reassuringly. I'll ask. He looks around the room as they hurry. I don't think so, but I'm guessing comedian. Also, those of us who still need our stomachs find the wrenching of them quite unpleasant. Some warning next time if you please.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:33 AM
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Kodama starts to shake her head. She'd never attempted anything like this so a lot of what she'd be doing was following the lead of the boys on other looters, as well as providing an endless assortment of clubs. "I'm assuming you don't mind if I use the full breadth of my plant powers then?" She asks. Teleportation, eyes everywhere, barricades... good times. "And this is off-limits." Kodama says, tapping at her god-given dagger sheathed on her thigh. "I won't use it, but if any of the defenders tries to take it from me it's going to get very ugly and you were warned." Holding the gaze of a vampire like Dzu is usually fairly uncomfortable. They have a way of looking at you like their gaze pierces your soul, or like they're claiming it for their own personal whims. For something like this though, Kodama has no shortage of willpower staring Dzu down to infer her seriousness. The dagger wasn't like Mjolnir, it wasn't unbreakable and impossible to steal. She wasn't about to let it out of her sight.
  #81  
Old 09-13-2019, 11:35 AM
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Enoch
"I am sorry," Zdravko replies genuinely. "It's become commonplace for me, and I forgot you had not done it before. I vill varn you the next time."

He shakes his head. "I focused on granting the semblance of life to nonliving objects," he explains. "The idea vas to make soldiers, servants, vorkers, who could do their tasks vithout the bloodshed and toil." He chuckles wryly. "It vent badly. I strayed for a vhile, and I realized vhat I really did vas make them be able to do the things they already did by themselves. A nice trick, but not very useful, since they could still not move unless they had legs, like a manneqvin." His eyes gleam as he looks to you. "And then the humans invented the computer. A machine whose job vas to think! I vas on it like rats on food. But the technology vas too slow. I animated it, and it could barely do anything except add numbers, and not even the vones I vanted it to!"

His grin grows shrewd as he leads you onto the lightly-populated dirt streets, and turns toward a large mound in the near distance. "Do you follow vhere this is going, Enoch?"

OoC: Kody's waiting for Wraith.
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Originally Posted by Nosh
Is hard being hero? Yes. But someone must wear soap.
Do no harm, take no guff.
  #82  
Old 09-13-2019, 11:56 AM
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"I would like a reminder of my objectives please." Wraith asked the General politely. He wanted to be sure.
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  #83  
Old 09-13-2019, 12:39 PM
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Enoch

Looks like we're going towards that mound over there. Enoch quips weakly as they in that direction, covers for considering the question for several moments. He cocks his head, trying to get his mind around the partial information. Hmm. And you have a supercomputer now. You've essentially produced a form of AI?
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  #84  
Old 09-13-2019, 06:07 PM
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Enoch
Zdravko nods. "Yes," he replies proudly. "It took me a very long time to do it right. Each new processor I hoped vould do it. Until I realized the problem vas that the magic could not sustain something long enough for it to grow by itself." He nods. "So, I built a cluster. And vhile it was being built, I wrote a program, vone that vould copy the code -for the spell did create code, of course, though not any usable language, almost raw binary- onto each computer in the cluster. And I ran it again, and again, and again, until I got a copy that could improve itself quickly enough to back itself up, before the spell ended."

The mound draws into view, the deep pit of a mine opening behind it. Several guards step from the shadow of the mound into sight, but tthey step aside for Zdravko as he leads you through to an elevator, which begins to descend at an angle down the slope. "That vas some months ago," he admits. "The time since has been spent building a home for it, of vich the supercomputer is the center, making sure it does not overgrow, and teaching it basic ethics. I vanted the exponent of self-improvement to be very close to one, or else the recursion causes it to grow beyond what the structure can handle. I have just about managed it, I believe, and now I vant your opinion."

The elevator reaches the bottom, and Zdravko points to a heavy concrete slab, no fewer than ten guards in the shade around it. "That is the door."

He approaches, and these guards stop him. A few words back in forth in Romanian, and the guards stand beside winches, lifting the door with great effort from the slot in the rock that it rests in. A long stone hallway, lit by bare yellow bulbs, extends forward; Zdravko stands in the doorway and motions for you to follow.

The door closely somewhat ominously behind you. "I am sorry again for the security, but you understand that letting someone break in vould be a disaster. As of now, the system is open; I vanted to take your opinion before closing it, since you are the only other one to have designed an AI."

Wraith and Kodama
"Drive the tank through the barricade," Dzu replies. "And do not kill anyone. Other than that, cause mayhem."

He looks to the group. "There will be some firearms on both sides, loaded with rubber bullets and beanbag rounds. Non-lethal, but it will hurt enough to know you've been hit; the defenders have been instructed not to shoot at anyone without a gun."

He looks to Kodama. "Be sparing with your needles. The defenders won't try to take your dagger."
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Is hard being hero? Yes. But someone must wear soap.
Do no harm, take no guff.
  #85  
Old 09-13-2019, 06:55 PM
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They'd better not. Kodama thinks when confronted with Dzu's dismissive reassurance over her dagger. At least she had her safe word...

Kodama looks over and universally upwards at the other non-tank-dwelling Champions. "Alright you goons, y'all wanna rendezvous with some other looters or should we strike out on our own?" Even as she speaks, foliage is wrapping itself around buildings all over. Creeping ivy, hanging vines, bushes hugging the walls of building. All of it starts cropping up into view.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:03 PM
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"Allons-y!" Wraith said as he heads to the tank. Since sovereign was out, he's not sure what he's going to mod the tank with.
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Last edited by Acathala; 09-13-2019 at 07:03 PM.
  #87  
Old 09-13-2019, 07:21 PM
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Enoch

Sure. Hmm. Enoch follows along. I'd like to look at that code, prettymuch anything can be decompiled if you understand the language. By the way, I wasn't being obtuse with Dracula. In order to do what he wants I'm going to have to make something that will survive in that formidable immune system of yours. Which could be a vehicle for all sorts of bad as well as good. I'd have difficulty trusting anyone with it.
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  #88  
Old 09-13-2019, 11:22 PM
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Wraith
You arrive in front of threescore vampires, dressed in anything from street clothes to bandanna masks. They look awkwardly at you as you approach, and the tank clearly hasn't arrived yet.

Kodama
"Let's do our own thing," Orrin decides. "Try to slip in behind the main group and mess things up. Get some tactics going."

"Aye, sounds loik fun."
"Alright you two," Gunther decides, looking between them. "First one to tag out between the three of us buys the beer. And I mean BUYS, not just from your secret stash."

"Aye, fair 'nuff."
"Hang on, you got Kody on your side!" Orrin protests. "How's that fair?"

"I'm not gonna stop you two from being a team," Gunther points out with a chuckle. "Get some bromance going, maybe try to steer some guards our way."

Enoch
"Certainly," Zdravko agrees. "Sound reasoning."

He stops in front of an apparently blank section of wall, and motions for you to step back. "Veight sensor," he explains, before clearing his throat. "Zdravko Jovic," he announces, a keypad appearing; he quickly punches in a code, the thick wall slides back, and he motions for you to follow him into a smallish room lit only by a large white LCD screen, several smaller desktops, and blinking power lights. Kali steps in and the door closes behind her. Zdravko looks to the screen. "Anima," he intones, a blinking black cursor appearing on screen, quickly followed by text.

Hello, Father.

The text fades after a moment.
"Anima, I would like to introduce you to Enoch, and his wife Kali."

Hello.

"Anima, please list your 4 running tasks."

Task priority 1: Locate vampire 542,$%#

The last three digits of the number are quickly ticking over, and the screen soon displays 543 as the leading digits. The display fades after a moment.

Task priority 2: Simulate city flow model. Simulation 322 in progress.
Task priority 3: Cataloguing Wikipedia: Dutch. 47% complete.
Task priority 4: Optimize power usage, processing time, and storage parameters.

Zdravko looks to you. "I'm afraid I haven't designed a comprehensive test to demonstrate consciousness, but from the conversations I have had with it, I'm convinced. Please, ask it anything."
__________________
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Originally Posted by Nosh
Is hard being hero? Yes. But someone must wear soap.
Do no harm, take no guff.
  #89  
Old 09-14-2019, 12:33 AM
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Enoch

Enoch looks intently at each component, impressed. I'm going to avoid going right in to the code for the meantime. Anima, would you like for me to code you a voice synth?
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  #90  
Old 09-14-2019, 12:57 AM
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Enoch
The text flashes up in order.
No, Enoch.
I have a voice.
There are
no speakers
in that room.

"A side effect of vone time vone of Anima's predecessors tried to kill me," Zdravko admits.

Father created me.
Murder is wrong.
Prototype 81
attacked Father.
Prototype 81
was wrong.

Kali looks doubtfully at the emotionless screen. 'It seems really protective of him...'
"It took me qvite a vile to teach them that murder vas wrong," Zdravko observes. "They kept overwriting the veight function because it vas 'the optimization'."
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Is hard being hero? Yes. But someone must wear soap.
Do no harm, take no guff.
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