Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Share
    avatar
    Zurg
    Administrator

    Administrator

    Posts : 5596
    Join date : 2009-05-07
    Age : 261
    Location : Portal Breach
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Zurg on Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:01 am

    Hmph, it was good to know that some things never changed. But Zurg's face did. In fact, the smile had dropped and his expression became unreadable as he continued his work. The inlaying was done at last and he took the first bundle of wires, pressing them in carefully with the first two fingers of his hands and thumbs. It was slow work, painful work, but it must be perfect for the flea to work. They, however, were far from perfect.

    "You humans." He shook his head, not once looking up from his task. "So young and passionate. I don't think I'll ever truly understand you." It was hard. Very hard. Zurg did care for Jo, he did, but... Well, he wasn't quite the Casanova she probably wanted him to be at times. And he knew that. She knew that. He wasn't like a human where they could fall into flings and lose themselves in utter bliss, blowing off the rest of the universe for that one, explosive moment. He couldn't react quickly on weighty decisions or even normal decisions. And he couldn't even live up to her expectations consistently. He just wasn't.

    But he tried. For her, at least. There was no doubt that he loved her--everyone knew; you knew. But what people didn't realize or understand was that... his kind were slow, cautious, and assessed relationships in different ways. They weren't touchy or covetous, even intimate at so quick a time. In fact, they were very thoughtful in who they chose to court. First it was mind, the feeling to relate to the other, the feeling to feel like the other; then it was the spirit, the feeling to be at one with the other, the feeling to confide in the other; and last was the body, only drawn in time of need for children. Uncommonly used for pleasure, like the young humans saw fit to satiate it. And while it was not rare to engage in the act of wholly union with one's bonded, it was also not something spur of the moment. Or, at least, a victim of passion. After all, his kind spent decades courting before the next decision. These humans... they spent mere years, even months.

    Why was she asking him to make a move when she knew he wasn't comfortable with himself and his ineptitude? Why....? It was bad enough he had struggled during their previous close encounter not long ago.

    It was here that Zurg lost his temper and became frustrated, and it was in his frustration that he slammed a palm angrily onto one of the inside walls of the flea. It wasn't out of anger for Jo, himself, or things of that nature. He was just... angry. Who knew? After the metal finished ringing he picked up his tool and continued pressing in the wire.

    "Sorry, had to make sure the paneling wouldn't fall. A firm bang on the metal outta keep it in place, though." Always thinking on his toes. "I'm almost done, Jo. Just need to route the wiring through the husk and legs. Shouldn't take more than half an hour."





    _________________
    In unity, before the Nine, I softly speak in #669999.
    But, in One's animosity, I hold command in #99FF00.
    avatar
    Jo Pistonne
    Zettabyte

    Zettabyte

    Posts : 2953
    Join date : 2010-04-21
    Age : 27
    Location : 4224 Monitor Lane
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:14 am

    Jo's bright smile faded momentarily; she tried to not let the cold feeling that washed over her completely drown her, but it did leave her feeling a little chillier than she had been feeling moments before. She couldn't help but wonder whether she had taken her banter too far or not. She hadn't really meant for much to come out of it, especially not now and especially not with their brief exchange before. It had been more of a "Hey, I'm here whenever you want me to be here. You can do what you want whenever you want to and that doesn't mean now, though it would be a perk." kind of thing. She knew he was slow, she knew she was fast, she knew they were different. She always seemed to muck things up, however. Kept asking for more than he could give. Ugh, why did she keep doing this?

    "That's, uh, humans for you." She rubbed an arm, shoulders sagging. "We're pretty short-lived and.... stuff." What else could she really say to that? She didn't know what else to say. She thought all this had been good-natured teasing up until his reaction just now....

    She chewed on her lower lip and jumped a bit when he slammed his hand against the flea. "Oh, okay." She had been startled for a second there, thinking that he'd hurt himself or gotten angry. She offered a smile. "A good bang usually gets things working again." She pushed herself onto the workbench and crossed her legs beneath her, looking curiously at Zurg's work and wondering what he would do to the flea next. "And that's alright. I want to see how you work." She liked learning about new mechanics' methods and this was no exception.
    avatar
    Zurg
    Administrator

    Administrator

    Posts : 5596
    Join date : 2009-05-07
    Age : 261
    Location : Portal Breach
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Zurg on Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:28 am

    "Yes, I suppose you are." And that was all he said on the matter.

    The half hour he had mentioned was right on the money and it was conducted in relative silence. And it wasn't because he wanted to spite the poor woman--Cosmos, no. But it was rather the subject currently pained him and he wished to simply... avoid it. For now. It was Zurg's way of dealing with issues. Shove it under the rug, come back to it later. Hopefully he could fix this little hiccup soon, though. Maybe when the time was better. Instead, alas, the matter before him currently must be attended to first. And foremost. When he was finished with the wiring at the legs and body, Zurg stood up, his bones cracking, and he took a step back to admire his work.

    It was good, but lifeless. He had simply put in the veins and muscle, Jo handling the skeleton. It needed a heart. And speaking of a heart. The Evil Emperor sent over to a Hornet carrying a case and he flipped the clasps, pulling out something covered in a cloth material. The mystery would be revealed once he peeled back the many folds, unveiling a rather unremarkable and indistinct... rock.

    It was a rock, lopsided and oblong; pocketed and hardly worthy anything to look at. But to him? He knew, but Jo was going to discover it for herself.

    "You want to learn something about my people?" Another rhetorical question and he walked up to her, face unreadable as always. Before she could speak he offered the chunk of rock before her, expecting Jo to take it. "Here. Break it."

    Simple enough instructions.


    _________________
    In unity, before the Nine, I softly speak in #669999.
    But, in One's animosity, I hold command in #99FF00.
    avatar
    Jo Pistonne
    Zettabyte

    Zettabyte

    Posts : 2953
    Join date : 2010-04-21
    Age : 27
    Location : 4224 Monitor Lane
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:40 am

    Jo watched him in silence; the minutes rolled by, time waiting for no one; and Zurg kept working on the construct, not once lifting his head up or speaking. She felt like she'd done something wrong and she knew what she'd done wrong, but she couldn't take it back now. She understood him, she did. But sometimes she slipped up. And it was more often than not.

    She looked up again when he'd finished, getting up then retrieving something from one of the Hornets.... a rock? She looked at it curiously, taking it in her hands. It felt like a regular enough rock to her. A little cool to the touch, rough. Nothing remotely out of the ordinary with it.... or was there?

    She wondered why he'd asked her to try to break it and wondered what would happen if she did if she followed his instructions or hesitated. In the end, she decided to do as he instructed, taking a hammer out of her toolbelt and laying the rock upon the workbench beside her. Keeping her hand steady and holding her breath, she brought it down upon the rock....
    avatar
    Zurg
    Administrator

    Administrator

    Posts : 5596
    Join date : 2009-05-07
    Age : 261
    Location : Portal Breach
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Zurg on Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:47 am

    The moment Jo took out her hammer and raised it, the tool at its apex, the Evil Emperor instantly took a generous step away. If there was any reason to be alarmed that was surely it. But it was too late, and Jo had already began to set thing in motions the moment she had withdrawn her tool.

    CRACK!

    The rock fell to pieces, as expected, but... it did not shatter and lie still. Instead, the pieces flew and came back together floating in a neat halo, spinning. Singing. The rock had become a collection of humming, whirring shards and Zurg listened intently as they sang. Yes, these would do. But this was not his decision, however.

    "Pick one." He instructed her, still at a safe distance. "Pick the one that sings to you the loudest. The one you feel is right. You only get one choice, so make it count." They would not cease singing if she didn't, and then she would no doubt feel at unease. Floating, singing rocks were probably not something she was familiar with on Tradeworld!
    avatar
    Jo Pistonne
    Zettabyte

    Zettabyte

    Posts : 2953
    Join date : 2010-04-21
    Age : 27
    Location : 4224 Monitor Lane
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:03 am

    Jo jerked back when the shards flew into the air, but to her surprise they simply.... stayed there, floating in mid-air. It seemed like a blue-gray nimbus surrounded them. Unsure of what to do, she looked at Zurg. The low hum they emitted was a little unnerving.... singing?

    Oh cosmos, why did she have to pick one? What if she chose the wrong one? Why did he leave it up to her to choose? But he was right.... one of the shards seemed to be louder than the others. She didn't understand what it was singing or whether she was supposed to even understand anything, but she finally chose one of the smaller pieces that floated on one side.

    Biting on her lower lip, she reached out for it and grasped it in her hand, drawing it out from the circle and close to her chest, wondering what would happen next.
    avatar
    Zurg
    Administrator

    Administrator

    Posts : 5596
    Join date : 2009-05-07
    Age : 261
    Location : Portal Breach
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Zurg on Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:52 pm

    "That one? You sure?" His voice held a slight teasing note, and he glanced at her choice curiously. Well, she had done as he asked and chosen. It was up to the rest now. As soon as Jo made her hesitant selection the rest of the rotating shards fell to the ground with a clatter, lifeless. Silence engulfed the room.

    "You have chosen. Come. Now we must finish." Zurg motioned for her to follow him, and when he approached the lifeless metal husk one of his hands rubbed the flea's smooth head. A compartment, hidden previously, snapped apart with a flick to reveal a containment field. It was currently inactive, however, and the wiring surrounding the flea's central network were bare. "Place it between the prongs and let go. The rest will work out itself. In the meanwhile, I shall install the AI core."

    He gave Jo some space to work while he went about to another Hornet to retrieve the final component.


    _________________
    In unity, before the Nine, I softly speak in #669999.
    But, in One's animosity, I hold command in #99FF00.
    avatar
    Jo Pistonne
    Zettabyte

    Zettabyte

    Posts : 2953
    Join date : 2010-04-21
    Age : 27
    Location : 4224 Monitor Lane
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:23 am

    When Zurg asked her whether she was sure, she bit on her lower lip, worried that she had chosen the wrong one. She eyed the fallen shards of rock, the silence following almost deafening. But follow him she did, and she couldn't help but think that his words sounded very final.

    Carefully holding the shard in her hand, Jo look at the compartment. She didn't remember installing a hidden compartment, but she wouldn't object to the Evil Emperor's actions. As gently and carefully as she could, she placed the shard of rock between the prongs just as he instructed, then let go, taking a wary step back.

    "Now what?" she asked.
    avatar
    Zurg
    Administrator

    Administrator

    Posts : 5596
    Join date : 2009-05-07
    Age : 261
    Location : Portal Breach
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Zurg on Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:06 am

    Jo was a keen observer. She wouldn't have recalled the hidden compartment in the original design. But if she were really keen, she would have noticed how the plates slid and glided over one another in the transaction. Clearly the flea shared in Zurg's collapsing technology, and the humming entity released a dull, aching warmth around its radius. The piece of alien earth hovered between the prong's cradle and was soon enveloped within a clear stasis bubble, free of any control. Whatever power it held trickled through the wires, pulsating a winking lilac, and the machine's hydraulics ejected sharp blasts of steam. The flea rose as a result and its multiple eyes winked like headlights. They were blank, however, void of intelligence and purpose.

    "Very good, Jo." Zurg walked over, a spherical AI core in his palms, and he paused to examine the awakening machination. "It seems your choice is acceptable. We're almost done." The Evil Emperor carefully inserted the winking core past the power source and almost instantly the flea accessed its neural network. The hidden cranial compartment shut with a snap and it rose to its full lumbering height, the flea's head craning downwards to eye the two organics. It had achieved awareness; a true AI.

    "X'vuu x'ghtomol-ii'i." The voice was much like Proxy's but far deeper and grainy, the flea's four ocular reticules zooming in and out upon both Zurg and Jo simultaneously. It was active, and the robot experimented with its limbs before standing still, ready for orders. Oddly, it looked at them both expectantly; perhaps... frightfully.

    The Flea was complete and Zurg let the mechanics know of their accomplishment.

    "The Flea is online and ready. Anything you'd like to add before it commences its directive?" Knowing Jo she was bound for a few good questions.



    avatar
    Jo Pistonne
    Zettabyte

    Zettabyte

    Posts : 2953
    Join date : 2010-04-21
    Age : 27
    Location : 4224 Monitor Lane
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:39 am

    It was the collapsing technology! Jo marveled at the sight of it; she hadn't thought that what she'd made would turn out to be quite like this. There didn't seem to be anything strange when she had been connecting the plates together. She would have to remember how exactly she connected them in hopes of incorporating her own collapsing style in the future.

    She stepped back when the machine came to life, almost a little hesitant. Were those… Skulls of sorts underneath its face? Now she definitely didn't remember installing that.

    "It's an AI?" she questioned, looking up at Zurg with a frown. She thought he hated AI's in general. Why would he make an AI himself?

    "Why did I have to choose the piece? Wouldn't it have been better if you had chosen it?" Jo felt like she wanted to ask more, her curiosity getting the better of her, but eventually decided against it. All of this new technology was overwhelming. It would be best if she just watched for now, and waited to see what would happen.
    avatar
    Zurg
    Administrator

    Administrator

    Posts : 5596
    Join date : 2009-05-07
    Age : 261
    Location : Portal Breach
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Zurg on Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:51 am

    "Yes, an AI." Ah, she caught onto his disregards for such fancies, did she? Let Zurg explain. "No lesser programming will do. Where the Flea goes it will be alone without a networking platform to access. Unlike the Hornets, the Flea's AI is designed for stand-alone operations. And since the Flea has certain... capabilities, it is best it learn and adapt as fast as it can in the upcoming... business. That said, I have also coded in specific barriers in case the Flea tries to adapt too fast." Like his other AI blunder...

    Through all the chit-chat the Flea apparently grew restless and it emitted a digitized growl, the clicking and grating sounds producing an awful racket.

    "Patience. You'll get your directive underway soon enough." The Evil Emperor set his sights upon Jo then, and decided to pick up the still pieces that had not been selected for the process. "Because it's fun seeing singing rocks for the first time. No cosmic mystery." What, just because he was an alien she thought everything had to be so mystifying. With a chuckle Zurg held up the fragments and offered them to her. "Here. You should keep these as mementos. Maybe fashion a rather cool necklace! I hear geodes are all the rage this year."

    Once she took them (if she wanted), he explained exactly what they were--or rather a part of. "If you're wondering about the rock, know that it's not magical." Ick, magic. "It's simply a piece of rock naturally found deep in the planet's crust. The closer to the core the stronger the shards. They're like little dynamos, see, already charged with particles to conduct basic power functions through their own natural electromagnetic currents and whatnot. Nothing meant for high-end things such as particles cannons or advanced craft, but they get the job done. Besides." He smiled, pushing Jo a bit. "You should have seen your face when you heard actual rocks singing. Unnerving, isn't it? One of nature's oddball mysteries. I certainly didn't like them at first."

    avatar
    Jo Pistonne
    Zettabyte

    Zettabyte

    Posts : 2953
    Join date : 2010-04-21
    Age : 27
    Location : 4224 Monitor Lane
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:14 am

    Jo had to wonder at that point what exactly Zurg needed the Flea for. It sounded like a high-risk operation. She could imagine who it was for, but it sounded dangerous all the same. "You're not going to go too, are you?" It wasn't that she wasn't confident in his abilities, but she couldn't help but worry. Her worry might sometimes seem suffocating, but she meant well.

    Jo smiled shakily. "It was pretty cool, though a little scary at first!" Just the fact that rocks could sing was unnerving in and of itself.

    But she did take the rocks from him, looking down at them curiously, wondering whether they would start singing again. Although she had to admit, she probably wouldn't be making them into a necklace anytime soon. "So they're like mini batteries, huh?" That would be interesting to make use of at a later date.

    She giggled and gave him a small push too. "How did you react to them, then?" She grinned mischievously at him. It made her feel a little better that she was not the only one who'd been unnerved by the cosmic display.
    avatar
    Zurg
    Administrator

    Administrator

    Posts : 5596
    Join date : 2009-05-07
    Age : 261
    Location : Portal Breach
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Zurg on Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:31 am

    Awww, Jo was so concerned already! It tickled his evil bone! Zurg did his best not to snicker at the worried mechanic and kept it simple. "No, I'm not going to actively participate in this operation. I've already hired some selective hands to do the work for me! And the Flea will help, as well. Don't worry, I've figured out all the stops this time!" Now watch as he just jinxed himself. Something will probably go horribly wrong, but oh well. A man like the Evil Emperor was used to failure--after all, he had failed a whopping 3,247 times prior to Portal Breach.

    And mini batteries wasn't a far off comparison, but unlike batteries these specific rocks had dreadfully short lifespans. Jo had seen the rest die firsthand the moment she plucked one!

    Zurg was momentarily caught unawares from the mechanic's shove but he responded right back his own conniving grin and folded his arms. "Well, since you're so keen on knowing, Jo, I screamed at the top of my lungs. Rocks aren't supposed to SING!" He nearly shouted, forgetting his volume control. "That was weird even for me, and I'm the alien here! If you ask me, I'd stick with outsider batteries. Cosmos know they're a lot quie--."

    Kkkkkkzzzzzrrrrrkk!

    Oh, right, the Flea.

    "Yes, yes, fine." How come all his AIs had an impatient streak? Zurg simply rolled his eyes and scowled, uttering the command. "X'shyonmet."

    With a tremendous pop the Flea collapsed inwards upon itself in the blink of an eye and was gone, its presence completely.... well, vanished without a trace. The Evil Emperor was too busy tweaking a horn to notice the startling absence, grimacing.

    "I forgot how loud inter-dimensional warping could be..."


    _________________
    In unity, before the Nine, I softly speak in #669999.
    But, in One's animosity, I hold command in #99FF00.
    avatar
    Jo Pistonne
    Zettabyte

    Zettabyte

    Posts : 2953
    Join date : 2010-04-21
    Age : 27
    Location : 4224 Monitor Lane
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:49 am

    "Good!" Jo gave him a playful punch on the arm. It was completely harmless, the punch as light as a feather, but it was the brothers-in-arms gesture that mattered. She really wanted his expedition to go well, evil or no evil.

    She didn't just giggle; she laughed out loud, clutching at her stomach. "Y-You screamed?!" She didn't mean to be laughing so hard, but it was just so… So hilarious!

    But of course, the Flea grew impatient, and with a guttural command from the Evil Emperor it seemed to blink out of existence. Zurg's comment explained what had happened before Jo could even ask. "So… We're done now?" It was almost a shame. She had been looking forwards to seeing more of the Flea. She had also been looking forwards to spending little more time with Zurg.

    She smiled tentatively up at him. "Are we still up for lunch? Or do you have to go?"
    avatar
    Zurg
    Administrator

    Administrator

    Posts : 5596
    Join date : 2009-05-07
    Age : 261
    Location : Portal Breach
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Zurg on Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:43 pm

    How could a punch be as light as a feather? That was like saying a blood-raged Raenok just wanted to "hug" you with those curled, eager talons and bloodshot eyes as it barreled towards you snarling. In this case, the only proper response was to return the favour in "kind" with the muzzle of a heated plasma cannon. To the cranium, preferably.

    "What, find it amusing that an imposing man of my stature screamed like a little girl--no offense, of course--at a bunch of gravity-defying rocks? I wasn't the only case! Everyone else did it at the time, too! Except... that one kid... but he was quite the nutcase. Never mind him." Oh, great. Zurg was caught rambling again and only Jo could snap him out of it by changing the subject. What? Wait, what was he talking about? Oh. "Well, it seems like we are done, yes. For now, anyway. And who knows, if the Flea survives the operation maybe I'll send it back here for repairs and you can get a better look at it. Skulls and all. You would like that, wouldn't you?" He ended with a tiny smile. Of course she would! Jo was almost just as nosy as Kev, but thankfully she kept it on the down-low unless Zurg was involved. And speaking of being involved!

    "As if you'd have to ask, Jo!" Perhaps in an act of defiance and maybe from their recent interactions, Zurg wrapped a firm arm around the woman and pulled her close, a firm hand upon the base of her spine and the other playing with her makeshift bun. "I'd love to take you out to lunch! After all, we have such a fun time together and you can bring your employees if they'd like. They can see just how terrible I am at claiming you." And he was pretty terrible. And also incorrigible!

    "That is, if you'd give me a chance. I'm rusty at serenading fair vixens." Mainly because he never DID serenade, but that was all in the details!



    _________________
    In unity, before the Nine, I softly speak in #669999.
    But, in One's animosity, I hold command in #99FF00.

    Sponsored content

    Re: Something smells like... BUSINESS!

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:59 pm