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The multiverse beckons you riftwalker. How will you answer its call?

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Hellraiser, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    1.9 A death wish

    This anomaly needs to be investigated, if it is the lost rift-probe you will be able to make a fortune. It is that simple, broken legs be damned! Before heading out you order the container to dig in. It takes about an hour before you finish burying the container. Fortunately the container does most of the work by itself. You head out south-west in the direction of the source of the anomaly.

    The easiest way to reach Glennsdale National Park is to follow the road just on the northern edge of the industrial district. Or rather north on the northern edge of what is left of the industrial district. The road itself mostly survived but is covered in a layer of dust and some debris. Burned out car wrecks litter its surface, you can see the remains of their former owners inside some of them. A morbid sight indeed, but the road is by far the easiest path leading to Glennsdale National Park. Even if it reminds you that you contributed to the death of millions in two different parallels.

    You follow the different roads around New Port City until you notice smoke. It leads you towards a small campsite, you sneak around trying not to get noticed. The sun is slowly disappearing behind the horizon when you begin to observe natives. A group of people, three men and a woman, are preparing food over a fire. Their clothes are dirty and worn, you notice they have a hunting rifle and a few knives. You can hear them talking.

    “Sometimes I think we should settle down in Fort Hope, I am tired of scrounging the ruins.” – a tall male says, he is clearly unsatisfied with his current lifestyle. “Look Bob, what else can we do? Farm and follow the orders of that fascist Colridge? At least we are free.” – a bald man wearing a leather jacket responds. ”Free you say Jake? We still depend on Fort Hope. Most of the food supplies we get come from there, you know as well as I do that there isn’t much game around, and unspoiled canned food is a rare find after over 20 years. We would be starving if it was not for that “fascist” as you call him. The way I see it we are slaves, might as well accept that and work with Colridge. At least we wouldn’t be starving half of the time.” – Bob responds.

    They seem mostly harmless. You decide that you may convince them to allow you to spend the night in their camp. After all you have more than enough food with you, might as well use it to bribe the natives. You approach them. “God damn it! I almost thought you were a wild animal! Don’t sneak up on people like that!” – Bob yells when he notices you. “That is no way to treat a stranger, he looks like he’s been through hell. Show some hospitality for Christ’s sake!” – the woman scolds bob. “Alright alright. My name is Bob by the way, this here is my lovely wife Megan, that bald guy is Jake. You look in the direction of the one person Bob didn’t introduce you to, the guy stares back at you menacingly. “My name is Daniel, you are dead the moment I see you try anything funny.” – he grunts. “Damn it Daniel! Stop being such a dick to every new person we meet.” – Megan scolds him. “What is your name by the way?” – she asks.

    You introduce yourself under one of the many false aliases you made up over the years. “Mathew Walters huh? What happened to you anyway, you look like you fought a gorilla or something.” – Jake asks, you tell him you encountered a bandit and had to fight him hand to hand. “He was alone? Couldn’t have been one of those Mavericks or how they call themselves, they always fight in groups.”

    You spend an hour talking and eating with the natives, from what you learned there is a settlement on the eastern edge of the “farmlands” called Fort Hope. Apparently it is a town or a fascist slave labor camp, you are not entirely sure if it is Bob or Jake that is right. They don’t tell you much about the park, they heard of it but never were there personally. You also learned that Van Buren Airport serves as a camp for some biker gang of misfits called “The Mavericks”. They tend to steal what they need, often leaving behind a pile of corpses. Apparently they are a rather organized bunch, Col. Colridge who rules over Fort Hope thinks that their leader was in the military. But that could just be propaganda he uses to ensure the loyalty of his “subjects” in his little “kingdom”. It is best to avoid the airport and the north-eastern part of what once was New Port City.

    The natives seem to distrust you even despite the food you gave them as a token of good will, what a bunch of mostly ungrateful savages. Megan seems to be the exception though, she convinced Daniel that they should allow you stay with them for the night, she also helped you stiffen your broken leg. It is far from a professional cast but it should be sufficient, as long as it does not fall apart that is. At any rate once you check out that anomaly you’ll visit a doctor in αδ-45, although that might be easier said than done. Assuming that isn’t a post-atomic wasteland as well. For the time being however you go to sleep.

    The sun has risen, it is time for you to go. “Well I hope you will have a safe journey Matthew. Won’t be easy with that leg, but the area is safe so you shouldn’t run into any trouble.” - Bob tells you as you bid your new savage “friends” farewell. Their resilience impresses you in a way, personally you loath the outdoors preferring the safety of “civilized” urban environments. But in a way that could be seen as a flaw, are you not dependent on technology in the same way the “machine-thralls” of the Automaton Age were? At any rate you journey further south-west.

    After hours you reach the edge of the National Park. Some of the trees in it are dead there rest survived, there are also new ones slowly growing amidst the ashes. Mother nature survived far worse calamities, why should a nuclear blaze defeat it? You slowly walk through the forest, the source is near. Along the way you find human bones, you can’t tell when or how he or she died but you find it odd that they are in the middle of a forest. Did wild animals kill that person? It is likely, fortunately you are armed so no predators are a threat as long as you remain cautious. You killed chimeras and even a titan-like superhuman, no mere wolf or bear will stop you.

    At last you arrive at what appears to be the probe’s crash site. The fallen tree trunks and tree stumps are a telltale sign that something did indeed crash here. As you walk out of the forest, and into the empty field carved by the impact, you witness your prize. It is not what you expected, it is far bigger. Much of the craft is still intact although the hull is heavily damaged. What you see was once a cruiser sized spacecraft or an airship. One shaped like a cigar, an unusual design. Not a zeppelin mind you, something far more advanced, definitely not of Atlantean origin. It is both fascinating and somewhat terrifying.

    Is it alien in origin? Or is it from some highly advanced parallel? Both of those theories reek of a madman’s rambling yet they seem the only logical conclusion. You would dismiss claims of such things even yesterday but now… Well now you see something truly amazing. Maybe the government knew of crafts like this? Did they hide the knowledge? Honestly you are starting to think like a “journalist” from “The Truth”. Maybe the background radiation is driving you insane.

    What you see before you crashed years before you ended up trapped in αδ-37, the destruction it caused is too small to be caused by an impact from orbit. The same applies to the damage the craft suffered. It had to fall from a far lower altitude, hence you think this is some kind of advanced VTOL craft, maybe even one utilizing anti-gravity? Is it rift-capable? Definitely, judging by the readings from your RGM that lured you here. You decide to go into the wreckage and see what secrets it hides. It is a risk but gods damn it it’s one worth taking!

    As you approach the hull you notice the outer layer has a scale like surface, it reminds you of something. The structural scanner confirms what you were thinking. It is made from intertwined organic and inorganic materials, similar although not identical to the ones used in the mind probe. Did the titans create it? It is a possibility. They have a fondness of organic technology from what you noticed, who are they really and what do they want? You enter the wreckage in search of answers.

    The inside is remarkably well preserved, that is to say it is definitely a wreck, but some displays and even lights are still working. Unfortunately you are unable to use the undamaged displays and terminals. The corridor has an oval shape, there are many doors along it but all appear locked. Strangely the one at the very end of the corridor opens automatically. Nobody is inside the chamber it leads to. You go in deeper, as you enter the room you hear a male voice. It speaks a language you do not understand. It says something else, and after you remain silent it again says something different in what appears to be a different language.“Do you understand me?” – the same voice asks, only now in English.

    Foolishly you reply yes, although it might have been prudent to sit quiet. “I need you to help me. I want to die.” An odd request, puzzled you ask the person to show himself. “But I am here.” Here? How? You do not see anyone, is this some kind of joke? “But I am here, I am around you, you are inside me.” – the voice says. Wait, are you talking to the ship?! Is this an AI?! Gods damn it! Automatons! What did you do to deserve meeting such an abomination? That is, outside of dooming millions of savages, by selling them technology not meant for their kind. You ask the voice if it is an automaton.

    “I am what you see around you, I am alive. I carried the masters during their journeys, I served them well.” So it is the ship? Why does it want to die? What mockery is this anyway?! Machines wanting to die? Bah! “I cannot move therefore I cannot serve, serving the masters is my purpose, without it my life is meaningless.” Frankly you expected better logic from an automaton or at least some sort of “humans are inferior machines are the next step of evolution” rhetoric. “That is my purpose, it is how the masters shaped me, they gave me life in return for servitude. They were generous, I cannot waste their gift by being useless. I must die.” Suicidal machines. Bah! What is the multiverse coming to… Can’t it just self-destruct?

    “I cannot kill myself, it is beyond what the masters allowed me to do when they gave me life. The masters would kill me, but they died from the thermonuclear blast that incapacitated me.” It is stuck here since the savages killed themselves? How did it survive? “Not all of my reactors were damaged, the remaining few are enough to keep me alive for decades, but I cannot live like this. The masters will never find me, they will never kill me. You need to kill me, I will tell you how to set a warhead to detonate in a day from now. You will walk away safely before it kills me, and I will fulfill the will of the masters. To live is to serve.” You want to ask it more questions. “No, you will kill me. I will not tell you anything more.” A rather stubborn pile of junk is it not?

    It is an abomination so you might as well kill it, you will be doing the multiverse and humanity a favor. On the other hand this wreck could be a useful bargaining chip, the technology inside of it is unique even if blasphemous in part. Perhaps it might even buy you a place, in the outright incestuous realm of the Atlantean politics and business. Having the Chairman himself owe you some favors might be worth it. Or you could use this to convince a titan not to beat you into a bloody pulp, assuming they are the masters this abomination speaks of.

    Furthermore you could just cut the power supply and kill the “creature” without blowing up the precious hardware. For all you know that warhead may not explode a day after you arm it but a second later. Also you can try to convince it to answer more questions. It is not in the position to make demands after all and getting to know more about “the masters” could prove useful.

    You will persuade the abomination to tell you more about its masters…
    1)…by threatening it. It is an empty nuclear wasteland outside, odds are that if you won’t help it kill itself nobody will for decades. It doesn’t want that now does it?
    2)…by lying to it. Pretend that you are here to test if it would still be useful, if it answers the questions about the masters properly you will recover it and it will be repaired. It will be able to serve the masters again. It wants to serve the masters does it not?
    3)…by asking it politely again. How are you supposed to know, if the masters would truly want it to die, if you do not know anything about the masters?
    4) You will not “chat” with this abomination further. For all you know it is plotting against you.

    The fate of the abomination is in your hands. What will you do with it?
    A) Arm the warhead as it wants you to. This foul “creature” needs to be purged preferably in a purifying atomic blaze.
    B) Cut its power supply. The warhead may be a trap and the machine needs to die, the hardware may prove valuable.
    C) Leave it as it is, an intelligent ship wreck could be worth a lot more. That and machines are to serve man, not to beg him for euthanasia. It deserves to suffer for what it is.

    Vote now.

    This encounter would have worked better, if you did not end up meeting the titan tête-à-tête and getting nearly mind-raped.
     
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  2. skuphundaku Economic devastator, Mk. 11 Patron

    skuphundaku
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    2)C) And could we tone down the "purge"s and "abomination"s, please? I really don't want this to turn into a Warhammer 40K grim-dark circlejerk.
     
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  3. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    Oh boy, this will be good. So the inhabitants of this world lost a war against the titan invasion, which is spreading westward towards Atlantis and could be responsible for the "anomaly" of harder rift-travel the further east one goes? And could the Atlanteans really be unaware of such an invasion? That sounds strange... Is the newly armed counter-smuggler armada really there to hunt smugglers, or is it an attempt to cover up an armed conflict with a possibly superior enemy? And was Liberal really just a savage who dared too much, or was he sponsored/influenced by the titans in some way? How deep does the rabbit hole go?

    First choice:
    1) If we threaten the ship, what is to prevent it from trapping or killing us? We're in its guts, and only a fool makes a ship without internal security measures. (if nothing, remember the door that opened to let us in here, and what controls its closing).
    2) If we lie, how will we cover the fact that we didn't know the things it just told us, or not understanding the first language(s) and choosing English? Then again, it doesn't seem too bright and is desperate, might be too stupid to detect an obvious lie... But if not, we're in trouble again.
    3) Being polite has the good side of not excluding further threats etc., but it does make 2) less likely to work...
    4) Is an option (as an action; the abomination is definitely plotting against us - and its masters would want it to take us out), but considering that we don't even know what we don't know about the whole mess the universe is in, gathering information is necessary.

    Second choice:
    A) is exactly what the titans would want us to do - cover up their tracks for them, and prevent their enemies (quite likely our allies or "allies") from gaining information about their tech etc.
    B) is a good choice, keep the AI from doing harm, but keep intel (and possibly, data stored in the AIs long term memory - which hopefully doesn't require power). Then again, if the machine is organic enough, its long term memory might not be persistent (such as a magnetic hard drive would be) but dependent on power (such as an organic brain).
    C) is a proper Atlantean choice, but only if we assume the machine is helpless (see 1 above) - and that's a big assumption: for all we know, the only reason the stupid thing didn't vaporize us yet is because it hopes to trick us into helping it die.

    So... 3) B), I guess. :salute:
     
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  4. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    It's not my fault Atlantean society has a deeply ingrained hatred for automatons bordering on religious zealotry. Well actually it is but that is besides the point. You can take the smuggler out of Atlantis but not the Atlantis out of the smuggler. His view of the multiverse is still shaped by Atlantean culture therefore he views intelligent machines as abominations. As a student at the Galathean Academy of Engineering they indoctrinated him quite throughly when it comes to the subject of intelligent machines.

    After all it was engineers that created automatons and billions died because of them. Heracles may not care for the government but his thoughts and opinions are still influenced by the propaganda and indoctrination. Also IIRC only the chimeras and the ship were referred to as abominations. At any rate that view may change (or not) depending on future experiences. This won't turn into a grim-dark circlejerk at any rate, everything in the mutliverse is in shades of gray rather than dark and more dark as in w40k. But you will see that in the future.

    Also I would like to add, that if the titans did attack this parallel, the natives you met would have mentioned it.
     
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  5. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    Ah, well. They seem to work more with bio-engineered weapons than thermonuclear weapons (as witnessed recently). But it is awfully convenient that the ship's crew was killed by a thermonuclear explosion they just happened to be in the vicinity of (seriously? that seems as likely as one of them being shot in the head repeatedly by a passing-by smuggler). And I admit, I was just waiting for a chance to enter full doomsayer mode :)

    Still, the possibilities are... tantalizing.
     
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  6. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    Well to be fair the one of them that got shot in the head repeatedly was shot after he got stunned. Heracles can barely hit anything with that Glock of his. As for how exactly that ship crashed, well maybe it will tell you if you can persuade it.
     
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  7. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    Known information about the various nearby parallels

    This post will be updated and linked to when necessary. If I missed any parallel other than the uncharted ones feel free to mention that and I'll include the necessary information.

    [​IMG]

    Atlantis (A-00): The homeparallel, it is the sole beacon of civilization in the multiverse. Travel in and out of the homeparallel is too common to be monitored effectively.

    αδ-1 (A-02): Despite some minor “passive resistance” the natives here are integrating into Atlantean society with ease. Commonly called the most civilized parallel after Atlantis. Expect lots of agents here. Travel in and out of A-02 is too common to be monitored effectively.

    αδ-2 (A-01): The first “dominion parallel” to be conquered. Highly unstable, acts of terrorism and insurrections happen frequently. Parallel constantly under martial law as ordered by the Governor General. Rift, space and air travel is restricted.

    αδ-4 (A-07): It was in the middle of a bloody and long revolt lasting almost 3 years. A-01 looked like an utopia compared to it. Acts of violence against citizens are common. Travel to and from this parallel requires a permit. Riftwalkers transiting to this parallel without one will face trial. If found guilty one may spend at least 10 years in a labor camp.

    αδ-37: You spent 5 years trapped there. Fairly generic, minor social unrest caused by some sort of economic crisis. Homeland security was investigating your involvement in the "incident" at the Infinity Apartments. This parallel is slowly heading to hell as apparently the United States of America in it are close to economical and sociological collapse. Also you and Paul were caught by Agent Floyd, a homeland security agent believing there is some kind of alien infiltration and conspiracy taking place. He did posses some interesting devices similar to those left behind by Civilization X in the "Der Riese" Reichparallel. After being trapped there for over four years, imprisoned by Floyd, you managed to break out due to a fire the cause of which is unknown to you.

    αδ-38: It used to be similar to αδ-37 however recently major cities were attacked with a biological weapon of Lemurian origin. While the plague is no longer a threat, genetically engineered creatures known as sentinels and their titan-like superhuman Lemurian masters are present in the city center. Also New Port City is under quarantine as ordered by FEMA. Highly dangerous. The Ahnenerbe is trying to uncover why the Lemurians are in this parallel.

    αδ-45: Travel to this parallel has been prohibited by the Chairman’s decree almost 8 years ago. Which was no doubt done to cover up that it was invaded by the Reich from its homeparallel. The Reich, using the technology smuggled from Atlantis by Maximilian Ajax, easily established control over the natives.

    αδ-62: In the past you smuggled technology here for almost a decade. You sold it to western and soviet governments. However the natives decided to wage war against each other. They were rather shocked where it turned that the other side also had a secret network of satellites armed with lascannons and quantumtronic targeting systems. While this rendered ICBMs useless some bombers still managed to drop atomics on a few cities. Not enough to reclassify the parallel but enough to make it a "dry well" as far as your business concerned. Well that and CTPCT agents are no doubt observing this parallel closely after that incident. There have been some mysterious assassinations and accidents happening, all targeting researchers and high ranking politicians. Probably CTPCT retaliation.

    αε-13: Similar tech level to the other alpha parallels you visited recently but shows signs of geoengineering, it could be a promising market in demand of your services. Visited by pioneers at least once, so you may need to watch out for agents. Last thing you need is a luxury cruise on an Atlantean dreadnought, straight into an agonization chamber, funded by the Rift Armada’s and the Counter Trans-Parallel Crime and Terrorism unit’s budgets. Also there is apparently some kind superpower controlling over 68% of the landmass there.

    αγ-7: Devastated by a supervolcano eruption 32 years ago, currently in an ice age. A few secluded advanced enclaves exists, built by the gamma-level civilization present here before the cataclysm. Pioneer reports indicate natives regressed technologically slightly but some of their pre-cataclysm security systems and weapons are still present.

    ββ-17: Not scouted by rift-probes in years, a post-atomic war parallel erroneously reclassified to beta instead of gamma. The war happened between 20-30 years ago. The native are mostly dead, the only major settlements you know of is Fort Hope, ruled by Col. Colridge. Gangs roam in the north-east of the city ruins, the biggest of which is lead by Hector Pariakis a failed coupist and former Atlantean General. This parallel also contained a most unusual thing, a wreck of a highly advanced rift-capable Lemurian cruiser known as a Vimana. However this wreck was recovered.

    βδ-6: Dominated by a recently industrialized Roman state, the colony of Occasa Ceasarea exists in the place of New Port City. Similar technological level to what that in the parallel you were trapped in was 80-140 years ago. Odds are they are in the market to buy thermonuclear warheads, combustion and jet engines along with all kinds of other useful tech. Scouted from orbit only as far as you know. The wooden box left behind the party that made the automaton indicates they visited the Roman colony.

    βγ-2: A gamma-ray burst killed most of the natives almost 120 years ago. The cities are mostly empty but life is slowly returning to this parallel. Atlantean activists from “Gaia’s manifest” are in secret helping to restore the ecosystem to its previous state. CTPCT patrols are rare due to the post-cataclysm nature of the parallel.

    βγ-7: Asteroid impact ravaged the planet. Atmospheric composition indicated the presence of an industry which probably no longer exists. Not much else is known.

    δγ-1: A former gamma-level civilization parallel downgraded after automatons annihilated most of the natives. Atlantean military intervention destroyed the automatons. Natives unaware of what Atlantis did live in secluded agrarian communities, religious dogma made machines taboo. “Charon” is your black market contact here, he poses as one of the luddite savages living in “New Constantinople”. Atlantean patrols are rare but they happen, CTPCT agents may be around. A secret atlantean facility has been built in this parallel, it houses a counter-inhibitor designed to allow Atlantean rifts to bypass Lemurian or other rift-inhibitors.

    δβ-3 (A-05): Mostly a mining colony parallel, natives far too primitive and disorganized to pose a threat. A few gentlemen invested in building major “manpower plantations” here. The natives make good slaves so breeding them is indeed profitable.

    δβ-4: Savage and often patrolled by the Rift Armada and CTPCT VTOL crafts. It used to be a major black market outpost but stopped after the retaliatory strike on γω-1.

    δβ-21: Scouted by probes twice, they found nothing of interest just signs of a few minor settlements. The Ahnenerbe has a small outpost here, which intercepts enemy agents transiting between the nearby parallels.

    εα-1: While technically not annexed as a “dominion parallel” of Atlantis with a spiffy A-XX designation, there were a few atlantean outposts here. Mostly resorts like “Hunters Lodge”, built for the rich and bored hunting enormous reptilian carnivores in the humid and hot jungles. The area where New Port is located should be a jungle with no outposts within 1000 kilometers. Then again that was over 5 years ago. After αδ-38 you know some things can change significantly in that time. High risk of encountering CTPCT agents, pioneers, Rift Armada patrols and gentlemen with lasrifles.

    εα-3: It is known as the "jungle parallel", unlike similar parallels like εα-1 there are no deserts here or steppes. Over 85% of the landmass is covered in trees, the rest are mountains or glaciers. Located within it is a secret Reich compound known as „Der Riese”, which is linked to the Thule AG HQ via an underground rift terminal. Its primary purpose is to research advanced technology belonging to a most likely alien civilization including an anti-gravity device known as “Die Glocke”. It avoided discovery by a recent Lemurian incursion.

    εζ-1: "Hothouse earth", surface temperature exceeding 200 degrees centigrade. Do not visit without an advanced environmental exoskeleton.

    εζ-12: Highly toxic atmosphere, atmospheric pressure and temperature within tolerable parameters. Do not visit without wearing a protective suit.

    γω-1: The former technology smuggler's "gold mine", still advanced due to all the "stolen" Atlantean technology. However China proper has been decimated by an Atlantean retaliatory strike. The same applies to most of its orbital facilities and colonies in the solar system. However New Shanghai present in New Port City's location was a minor Chinese colony in America, it was spared in the attack over 18 years ago from what you know. Natives distrust foreigners. If anyone finds out you are an Atlantean you can expect trouble.

    γω-6: All rift-probes sent to this parallel were lost shortly after sending their data packets back. Data retrieved indicates advanced spacecrafts, lunar colonies and ground based anti-spacecraft defenses. A moratorium has been imposed on sending probes here with citizens advised to avoid this parallel for their own safety. The Ahnenerbe has agents here who are posing as Atlanteans while trying to steal useful local technology. New Port City here “is not what you expect it to be" according to Ajax, you do not know what he meant by that.

    ω-32: Reich homeparallel. Thanks to Maximilian Ajax and the resources he brought with him from Atlantis, the Third Reich won World War II and rapidly caught up with Atlantis’ technology level, over the course of 80 years surpassing it even in some areas found “taboo” in Atlantis. Using “Thule AG” as a front for introducing Atlantean technology, the Reich ensured most of its population is ignorant of Atlantis or other rift-capable civilizations. The “scientific” branch of the SS known as the Ahnenerbe, under the command of Himmler and Ajax, ensures the Reich remains one step ahead of the other rift-capable powers and free of their spies.

    ω-38: An uncharted parallel, despite sending multiple probes here none of them ever reported back. Recently, the only Reich scout sent to it failed to return. Considering that he was looking for signs of the unknown faction which made the human-like automaton, this might be where they went after they escaped the ambush.
     
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  8. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

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    Nice info, thanks! :salute:
     
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  9. Онега Trying too hard to get banned Queued

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  10. Stygian Lurker Scholar

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  11. Hellraiser Arcane

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    [​IMG]

    Too bad the savages there are dirt poor. Voting closed expect an update tommorow.
     
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  12. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    1.10 Shipwreck diplomacy and “civilization” at last

    This contraption doesn’t seem too bright, you might as well attempt to lie to it. Hopefully it will believe that you are a technician wanting to test it. “Do you honestly take me a for a fool? You do not speak the language of the masters. Please kill me and end this foolishness.” – the ship’s intelligence replies. Well clearly the machine didn’t realize that you wanted to test its linguistic skills first. After all if it does not recognize voice command it is useless. “You do not bear the mark of the masters, your genetic makeup shows no sign of alteration.” The machine mentions some useful details accidentally, while disagreeing with your claims. It appears that the titans did build this ship. Unless there is another group in the multiverse, that tinkers with the human genetic code as much.

    Did it consider that you may be an unaltered agent created to evade the enemy? “An unaltered agent? I posses no knowledge of those. Stop this charade and kill me.” Of course it does not, it has been over twenty years since it crashed has it not? The enemy forced us to use “inferior” agents, even the various indigenous people of the multiverse noticed our unnatural eyes. You stumbled upon the weak distress signal it sent while on a scouting mission. Furthermore if you were not an agent, where did you get this? You pull out the mind probe device and show it to the machine. Although you are not exactly sure if or where it has its visual sensors.

    “You are unaltered, yet you posses the neural probe and you know of the multiverse. You cannot be the enemy, you have not defiled your mind with machinery. You do not look like one of the masters, but you could also serve “the grand design” as the masters do. What you say is logical. I am unsure, over twenty years have passed, much may have changed. Tell me this, from where do the masters come from?” Just when it was going so well it starts asking the hard questions. Better end this and go away, you have no intention of “killing” it after all. Goodbye loyal servant of “the grand design”, you have passed your test. The masters will reclaim it soon, it just needs to be patient does it not? “Yes I will wait for the masters, my life will be meaningful again.”

    Thank the gods for gullible suicidal automatons, maybe the long isolation or the crash damaged its cognitive systems or something. It didn’t tell you much, and you didn’t get any fuel from the reactor due to your hasty retreat. But at least it confirmed what you suspected. The titans are its masters, servants of “the grand design” whatever that means.

    Still who could be their enemy? And what do they want? Hopefully there aren’t many of either of them in the nearby parallels. This ship, would have no doubt been recovered a lot quicker, if their base of operations was closer. Maybe the interference is limiting their trans-parallel transit capability as well? At any rate, the mere fact that you know of the shipwreck, may allow you to live like a king. Or it may save your life one day.

    You walk out of the Glennsdale National Park and into the farmlands, or rather the empty fields that were once farmlands. It takes you a few hours but finally you are in the middle of them. It is time to get out of here. The barrier between this universe and another shatter as the rift begins to open. Hopefully the fields on the other side, are as secluded from the nearest roads and buildings, as they were here and in similar parallels. It is 2 p.m. after all, not exactly the best time to transit to or from more crowded places.

    “Transit complete! Stabilization field disengaged, welcome to αδ-45 riftwalker. Fuel reserves at 51%.” - the RGM informs you. Well it would be a good idea, to search for a water source you can drain of precious deuterium and tritium. But first you need to take a look around. The surroundings are indeed farmland as expected. No background radiation and you can see what appears to be New Port City in the distance, it looks a bit different but familiar. Time to grab a bus, hopefully they will accept the few dollars you still have left. If not then you better hitchhike to the city.

    After an hour you reach the bus stop. You wait a few minutes until the bus arrives, you approach the driver and try to pay for the fare. “Look man, I only accept new dollars. You had until the end of 2010 to replace old dollars with new dollars. You didn’t bother to do what the good Governor General ordered? Your problem not mine.” Well it looks like you are hitchhiking then. Hopefully somebody will pick you up.

    While walking down the road you encounter a man trying to change a tire in his car. Curious you ask what is the problem. “It’s just a flat, unfortunately I left the damn tools in the garage. Now I have to improvise.” Tools he says? You quickly open your suitcase and find the necessary adaptable tool. “Woah nice tool! Did you import it?” After a brief moment the spare tire is mounted in place. “Damn thanks! Need a ride to the city? You shouldn’t be walking with that leg of yours, visiting a clinic might be good. ”. Naturally you accept the offer.

    The drive is short, you do not learn much of this parallel during it, the driver introduces himself as Emanuel. He bores you with nonsense talk of working in sales, he even gives you his business card. “You seem like a technically-inclined person, we could make you a technician at our company. There is a shortage of skilled labor since the war ended 7 years ago. So be sure to call if you need work.”

    [​IMG]

    He dropped you off in the city center, it looks familiar, however some buildings were destroyed in the war it seems. According to city center map you found, the library and museum are present exactly where they were in αδ-37. Curiously the ghetto is literary labeled as “the Ghetto”, instead of “Southside Estates” or “Blue Hill” like it was in αδ-37. Text on the map states that “the Ghetto”, is off-limits to citizens without permits, also there appear to be walls and 2 gates around it. Good to hear somebody in the multiverse did something about those savages living there. Furthermore the former Goliath Media Corp tower, the only surviving Goliath tower, now houses the Governor General’s administration. Which includes the “New American Police” HQ whatever that is.

    Posters you notice around the center give you a hint of what has happened. “The General Government of the occupied American territories builds a new future for America. One free of the hideous influence of the lesser races. A new mighty America, an Aryan America built with help from the Führer himself!” – one proclaims. “The Reich liberated you from your oppressors, the true Americans will no longer be subjugated. Enlist in the New American Police to help maintain purity of thought and purity of race!” – another one states. “I speak the Führer’s language, do you? Learn German today!” – a different one, showing a tall blond blue-eyed man pointing his finger at you, says.

    It looks like Germany conquered America, or to be more precise the Third Reich did. You heard of it when you were living in Berlin back in αδ-62. It is a regime built on some racial purity ideology, one that is highly militaristic. It looks like a good place to do business for a change.

    Now that you are in a civilized chimera-free city you will…
    A)…visit the library and read newspapers or browse the internet if possible. Better to learn what exactly happened here rather than guess based on a bunch of posters.
    B)…try to find a doctor. Preferably one that won’t charge money to make a proper cast for that leg of yours. Hopefully there is a charity or something around here, or the hospital requires no insurance.
    C)…walk to the Governor General’s office and offer him, or one of his assistants, a presentation. It might work or it may spectacularly backfire.
    D)…send the Governor General a holo-teaser in a package. Hopefully the postal service work reliably.
    E)…try to earn some “new dollars” in back alleys using the good old “stun and run” theft technique. Minus the running of course, gods damn that titan.
    F)…try to contact Emanuel Cortez about that job. Odds are you will be here a while, might as well acquire a dwelling and a source of income so you won’t starve to death before you get a deal.
    G)…look for a job elsewhere. Hopefully there is a newspaper, job agency or bulletin board around somewhere.
    H)…deploy the filtering unit in a pool of water. Fuel for one more transit might be useful.
    I)…transit to a different parallel. Nazis? Not exactly the kind of people you want to deal with.

    Pick up to two of the actions listed above. You cannot vote for both C and D as they are contradictory, however you are free to vote for whatever other combination you wish.


    Vote now.

    The holo-teaser projector in option D) has a built in text-based communication module. It will allow Heracles to arrange a proper meeting if the other party is interested.

    Option H) will deploy the filtering unit it at whichever location will be safe.

    Option I) will only succeed if over 50% of people vote for it. The destination will be picked after the next update should that happen. It will prevent Heracles from doing anything else.
     
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  13. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    B)…try to find a doctor.
    H)…deploy the filtering unit in a pool of water.
     
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  14. skuphundaku Economic devastator, Mk. 11 Patron

    skuphundaku
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    I) is... unwise. No matter what one's beliefs are, fixing a broken leg is still fixing a broken leg, even if it's done in a Nazi-controlled city.

    B) is a definite must. That leaves us with the problem of chosing the second action:

    C) is quite risky. If we'll go for getting in contact with the Governor, then D) would be the safer option. E) may draw some unwanted attention from the local Gestapo, so, again, that may be unwise. If we're going to stay here for a longer time and we need money, F) (getting a job from Cortez) may be the best option. H) may be a waste of time at the moment. If we're staying, we'll be able to do it a bit later. I think that the best thing to do would be to get a grip of what's happening on this parallel, so I'll go for A). Doing anything else would mean that we're going to go in half-cocked, no matter what other choice we make.

    tl;dr: A)B)
     
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  15. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

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    Nice. So the Titans use semi-intelligent machines but stick only to genetic engineering when it comes to themselves? Some Gaian faction there... And there ARE those who defile their minds with machinery (The Hive? Lacking something better, I'm sticking with Alpha Centauri names).

    A) B) - we have enough fuel for an emergency transport in case it's needed, so we don't have to rush with refueling just yet. Intel and healing are mandatory, however.
     
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  16. Stygian Lurker Scholar

    Stygian Lurker
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    I agree. This look like the safest, and most resonable choice.
     
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  17. Hellraiser Arcane

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    I'm not going to say much, but it is pretty safe to assume that the ship's intelligence, has either gone mad from the isolation or was damaged in the crash. So it isn't exactly a good example of what the titans are capable in the field of AI. The titans obviously have a proper name, Heracles could have learned that ii if he was a bit more persuasive. Really if it was not for the neural probe, and the whole face to face encounter with the titan, lying to it might have ended real bad. Heracles had a few good educated guesses about the craft's origin (he isn't some dumb thug but an engineer after all) based on his past experience which allowed him to salvage the situation.
     
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  18. Hellraiser Arcane

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    Assume he's as Aryan as Adolf himself was :M

    At any rate he is not at risk of ending up being shipped to the nearest death camp in a stock car. Or in the Ghetto.
     
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  19. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

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    That's why I didn't vote for lying M:

    Thanks for the clarification; you're doing a great job of keeping the story interesting! :salute:
     
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  20. Онега Trying too hard to get banned Queued

    Онега
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    A)…visit the library and read newspapers or browse the internet if possible. Better to learn what exactly happened here rather than guess based on a bunch of posters.
    - browsing the interwebz for ebony and interracial gangbang
    B)…try to find a doctor. Preferably one that won’t charge money to make a proper cast for that leg of yours. Hopefully there is a charity or something around here, or the hospital requires no insurance.

    Atlantis seems like some kind of Soviet style "democracy"... Do not like.
    At least the font got bigger...
     
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  21. skuphundaku Economic devastator, Mk. 11 Patron

    skuphundaku
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    I was getting more of a Nazi "utopia" vibe from Atlantis, but, after all, the Soviet "democracy" and Nazi "utopia" are, on a fundamental level, so much alike that you could barely distinguish them. And Heracles, if he were a good Atlantean, he would feel like at home on a Nazi parallel. Fortunately for this LP, he seems to not have been "educated" well enough in the Atlantean ways.
     
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  22. Hellraiser Arcane

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    It's more of a very corrupt republic, hence the coupist background in the opening post. There is free speech for limited and full citizens, but not for slaves, they have almost no rights at all. There is no vote-rigging so elections are fair, and technically any full citizen may form or join a political party. But the truth is that the plutocracy rules the show. The few extremely rich families control the media, and try to out-bribe each other when wanting to gain "favors" from politicians. The media forms public opinion thus enforcing the status quo. The general population does not care, because frankly the standards of living are high, so they just keep voting for the same two parties. Living standards are high for citizens that is, slaves can whine all they want but they can't do anything. Only the natives of some of the conquered parallels, for reasons both ideological and economical, are unhappy with what Atlantis is doing. Which is unsurprising because strip-mining the place, after bombing the natives, takes priority over offering higher living standards to "primitive barbarians". That and nobody likes becoming a slave overnight, because the Atlantean overlords demanded that you become one.
     
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  23. skuphundaku Economic devastator, Mk. 11 Patron

    skuphundaku
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    Where to start?...

    First, having a controlled media is quite the antithesis of freedom of speech. If the media owners don't agree with what you're saying, they just make it so nobody hears what you're saying. Look how it works even here, in our good ol' US of A: there is freedom of speech guaranteed by the constitution but that is binding only for the government. All the media companies are private and they can impose whatever limits on free speech they want because they can do whatever the fuck they want with their property. If the government wants to limit freedom of speech, they need just force the private companies to do it under threat of further regulation, removal of tax breaks or any other types of leverage. In the EU, on top of that, we have other lovely things called hate speech laws and libel laws. <sarcasm>That does a bunch of good to freedom of speech!</sarcasm> Limits on freedom of speech come in many forms. It doesn't have to be a partyvan waiting for you to talk shit about the plutocrats so that they can disappear you. The "no vote-rigging" is meaningless when you control the discourse, which, in turn, makes the elections anything but fair.

    Second, slavery hasn't been associated with any place worth living in quite a long time. Combine that with death through torture, genocide and a military that keeps the wool over the eyes of the civilian population and you have an almost picture-perfect description of a crapsack world.

    Third, the fact that the non-slave population is kept in comfort and indifferent to the shit happening around them is even more dystopian. It is simply unnnatural for the whole population to agree with a system that abusive and controlling and not react in any way. If there were at least a few malcontents constantly making noise and gettng put down by the partyvans even on A-00, then it would be at least remotely plausible. But when nobody is saying anything, then it goes beyond "we have high living standards" and into "we have been brainwashed and/or are in a chemically-induced torpor". Again, dystopias come in many flavours. It doesn't have to be a post-apocalyptic wasteland of some kind or jack-booted repression and control in the vein of "1984". You can have "Brave New World" dystopias, where the populace is kept in line not by repression but by subversion, so that they actually have no issue with what is happening to them.

    So, calling Atlantis just "a very corrupt republic" is a gross understatement.
     
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  24. Hellraiser Arcane

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    I can agree with that, my point is though that there are technically some democratic standards in place, but as you mentioned it, they get bypassed. Although even the third reich and soviet union had facades of democracy like the soviet constitution. The average joe likes the status quo because he's getting his "bread and circus" hence the wide-spread apathy among citizens. There is discontent but it is limited to small factions that the establishment ignores. That is until any of them grow strong enough or start using terrorism. It's kind of like Russia a few years back, yeah there are people who say the government is shit, but for every one of them there are at least six who will vote Putin.
     
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