AMPERE Laboratory (Location)

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illirica
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Re: AMPERE Laboratory (Location)

Post by illirica » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:04 am

"I'm as real as I've ever been."
A smile touched her, no doubt unseen, as close as he was.
"I've always believed in myself."
In her ability to do what needed to be done, whatever was necessary. The smile faded, into an unspoken image, a blade across his throat, necessary.

No. Never again. That was what it was to be a soldier - but it wasn't what it was to be a hero. She had left one behind - and while it was never far behind, and in some way would always be with her, she had chosen the path she was going to take. This time, when she held him in her arms, it was not with the intent to slowly give him death, but rather to give him what life she could spare. Equally slowly - even torturously so, sometimes - but she gave him what she could, because he... needed.

He needed, so much, and while she could never fill the emptiness, she could brush away at the edges, bits of ash fallen into the distant darkness, leaving behind the kindling of an ember - a fire. He was not the wraith, but the phoenix, and when the fire finally ate through the hollow shell, he would live.

For her.

Just as he breathed... for her. Not because he must, but because she had asked him to. Because he had understood that it was important, and because he had made that choice. It was an acceptance of what she offered, and if she could not heal the scars upon his body, then she would do whatever she could to heal those upon his soul.
.
"Shh,"
she said, more quietly now, reaching up to wrap an arm around him, trailing her fingers through his hair.
"I'm real. You're real. We're here. Together. It's not all right, but that, too, is real."
Denying the horrors only made them more powerful. She would not lie to him with whispered platitudes - he wouldn't thank her for them. Comfort was not in assurance, but in honesty.
.
"Tell me, Hector,"
she said, not a command, but an offering, to be burnt upon the altar of truth.
"Start at the beginning."
.

What did they do to you, and what can I do to stop it?

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Re: AMPERE Laboratory (Location)

Post by Aether » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:55 am

He ached to believe in her as she had, yet he knew that the fragile perceptions he possessed were so easily warped like melded glass, manipulated to change the vision of the eye which peered through it; the last time he had believed in her, it was as an enemy, an obstacle which stood between him and tantalizing glory-- and though the lens had been discarded in its obsolete wear, the adjustment it had brought still remained in echoed vestiges across his mind, yearning to be untrained by trust and deliberate choice. Through her, and only her, there would be clarity.

After all, were they not their truest selves here, now, knelt upon the ground in silent prayer to one another's lasting embrace? Her arms met his tightened plea, answering with a binding grip of their own which had been a gift in itself, proffered to him alongside her bountiful charge. The morphine her reassurance carried healed him far more than any negligible energy could, for unlike the electricity she gave forth unto his void, there was reciprocation. It was the last thing on earth he truly gave, this unrelenting passion, and it was the one concept they truly shared. Not energy, not ideals, but ... companionship. In their never-ending exchange, that was what brought them the highest mollification of all. Artificial shells stripped away to raw emotion, they were left upon the floor of the laboratory entwined and enraptured.

She had been right, achingly so-- nothing would ever truly be right, but he had not asked that, had he? The inquiry was of her presence, her verity-- the undeniable truth of her existence within his capturing field. She had been proven to exist, and that was all he needed from her, nothing more. There was uncompromising clarity to the abyss they found themselves held within, yet in the obsessive expanse of their biological emptiness, it was only made easier to find one another. No distractions, no obstacles which stood in their way except the void itself, so crushingly infinite in its magnitude that it had become so paradoxically negligible to them both. One day, they would find escape-- not today, but soon, perhaps, one moment within the distant future. Now, the only future he desired was her-- and it would stay that way, for to wish upon anything else was futile. Their energy would inevitably succumb to the unchanging principles of the universe-- but that, too, would not happen today. To wish for peace while they still lived and drew breath was naive; indeed, there would only be true solace through entropy.

And yet, while the pair still remained current upon the earth, they could relish in the comfort their twin antipodes provided.

"Not now," He muttered, voice laden with jolted quavers brought on by his unshakable void-- the uncompromising cold of his ability brought goosebumps even to the once-level tone of his speech, a soft chill shivering down every word to send his voice askew. "I just ... want this." An embrace, a wholeness created by attracted opposites. "Before we can't, anymore." Before one half overpowered the other, either hers or his, to leave each moiety shunned into a solitary chasm. How many moments would they have together, hand in hand, arm in arm, chest pressed to chest until one ceased its rise and fall? Too little. Not enough. Never enough. That was why it was so important that he remember this, for him, for her, so he knew what it was he fought for every day of his fleeting life. He sat within silence, meditating upon the feeling of her embrace, committing every small feature of her cheek and hair to memory, ingraining the soft sensation her hands contrasted against the omnipresent numbness that had became him.

"They used me." He spoke, voice still a hushed whisper yet confident in the words it wove forth. "Damson, your handlers ... I was a distraction for you. A red herring to hate so you wouldn't find out the truth."

A pause. Dreadfully, a pause.

"I was your liability."

Hers, theirs, his-- it didn't matter, now.

"I have the files. He told me. I don't ... I haven't opened them, yet." He muttered, head remaining rested against hers as his grip lessened, allowing her to pull away if need be.

"I don't know if I want to."
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Re: AMPERE Laboratory (Location)

Post by illirica » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:14 am


Not now. It was a whisper, it was a prayer, it was a hope. The world was waiting, countless seconds passing by, each one of them all too limited. The ticking of a clock that would collapse upon itself. Seven years, eight.
"Years. You think... in years."
The days were long, but the years were all too short. There was so little time to spare. Every moment had to count for something - not a single one could be wasted.

Teja knelt, trapped within his embrace, and regretted not an instant of it. It was this that every other moment was spent for. This hold, this contact, this closeness. Everything else was to preserve moments such as these - as much as they could.

For as long as they were able.

When he spoke, it was a grave pronouncement - a statement of truth. They used me. She had known. In Washington, when he had broken the very horizon to come back, to her, she had known. He had broken free of an imprisonment, broken free of subjugation, broken free of rationality:

For her.

The rest of what he said... it made sense, but it didn't affect her. It was... sensible. From a tactical standpoint, she could appreciate the intelligence of it. It was only natural that they would have to have some control measure over their creation, wasn't it? And the military had made her, as much as anything else. She could forgive them, for her.

Not for him, though. Not for the breaking in his voice, when she'd thought he had nothing left to break. Emptiness was not supposed to be brittle.
.
"Hector..."
A softness, hesitant at its own nature,
"Everything that is... in there, I knew. I don't know if you need to look. I don't..."
I don't want you to look. But he might, and she would... not make the choice for him. It was his choice. She pushed the words back, as she had pushed back so many things.
"They never lied to me, about anything."
.

They only lied to you.

Teja didn't want it to be like that, with her. She didn't want to be the one who lied to him... or the one who lied to herself. She sat back a little, her eyes drifting downward, captivated by the spectral lightning on his arms, a ghost of the past, unavoidable.

It brought to mind shadows of other things, other people. A demigod, with a mark upon his cheek, where she'd harmed him with her unintended attack. She'd told Volksgeist she had known what Weltgeist had seen in her - and how could she not? It was pain. She'd pushed him away, before he could get hurt. Arno, too. Teja wasn't foolish, and she knew fully well what he had been hinting at these past months. She'd shut it down, indirectly, not so much a push away as a turning aside, but it had been the same. She'd been worried, for a while, that he might actually screw up the courage to break pasts her hints of detachment and ask.

Ask her to hurt him. He would have argued that it didn't matter, because he could heal the damage, but it would have mattered to her - that he thought of her as someone who wanted to hurt him. Abuse was no foundation for a relationship - and it would have been abuse, because whether or not he would have seen it that way, Teja would have.

A relationship had to be built on trust.

Hector trusted her. And she... she stared at the lightning scars, and was not entirely certain whether she was worthy of it.
"Hector."
His name, again, but the last time where it had been soft with concern, this time it was timorous, a whisper of fear. There was so little that she was afraid of. Not death. Not pain. She was the God-damned lightning.

This, though... this, she feared.
"Does it hurt you? When I...?"
.

Am.
.
"... I ... am bound ... by my nature."
.

She could not change her nature, any more than he could change his - any more than he could stop being the void that pulled her to him. He captivated her, drawing her close by his very existence, and it was a succor she had not realized how much she needed.

And she had never actually asked him if it hurt to give her so much.

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Re: AMPERE Laboratory (Location)

Post by Aether » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:17 pm

She knew.

Her words were different from the truth she had spoken within Rimembranza. Opposite, yet still candid, the response was so very like all their exchanges-- for they were separate inverses of one another bound to uncompromising and naked honesty, each the relative minima and maxima of their halved veracity. She had known, and yet she had not known-- blind to the intricacies of the matter, just as Hector had been to his own biology. He wondered how much she knew about his own trials and conditioning and impedance in the face of his mounting adversity, but now was not the time to theorize about the minutiae of his own suffering-- he would only concern himself with her, and all other considerations would be considered secondary. As they always had been.


"I don't ... know how you were able to ... "
Follow their orders so effectively. Live with the decisions they forced upon you. Abstain from killing each and every last one of them until the price for their crimes against humanity had been paid. He did not know how she was able to do quite a lot of things, in the end, and just like the manila folders which lay scattered across the workbench behind him with reddened ink and blackened stamps, he was indecisive if knowledge was what he truly sought. She had ... made her own decisions, in the end, and however alike they truly were, she was her and he was him-- imperturbable forces of nature, the lightning and the void which consumed it, each uncompromising in function and ideology.

If she withheld judgement of the soulless demons that had cursed her so, then he would trust her reasoning. Just as he had trusted it his entire career.

Just as he had trusted it in New York.

No. He could not think back upon what was-- he held no power over changing what had already happened, nor could he predict the future that lay before them both. What mattered most was the present-- the time where each had the most power of their evanescent lives, and the time where they were most blind. Hindsight was ever-pristine in its clarity, and even the future held hazed predictions and fogged premonitions-- but now, as the two held themselves within the pit of creation that was AMPERE, the world was without vision. Sight was to be created in their mind's image, and that was what made their potential limitless. They were heroes. The world was subject to change by their careful, methodical grip-- or destruction by an unforgiving, merciless fist. Often times, the acts unfolded by his hand held aspects of both-- Los Angeles was the freshest wound to remind him of that pain.

But all things could change. He had, as had she-- perhaps for better or for worse, each wore a wholly different shell which housed the same core within. His unchanging void, and her undying lightning. So long as these two factors remained constants, the variability of their exteriors would revolve around these anchors, no matter the superficial damage and scarring each one endured.


"No."
Williams replied, fiercely, his fingers curling softly around her wrist to pull the hand forward and invite her to confirm, with tactile truth, the accuracy of his claim. He pulled back, allowing her appendages to brush against the smoothed patterns which ran up his forearm and feel the harmlessness of each winding branch. The electric willow which crawled upon each limb may have bore the sign of death, but to him, it was a seed of life-- for tissue would not scar if the cells were not alive. Her effect upon him was an indisputable fact that he had yet to fully become the lifeless husk he purported himself to be, and for that fact, he would forever remain grateful. To her.

For her.


"You will never be able to hurt me, Teja."


It was a lie, truthfully-- for though his physicality was spared from the burn of her vengeful spark, the mortal mind was never immune to the God-damned lightning which was scattered upon it. She knew that, perhaps. He did not care.

It was not a lie for her.

It was for himself.
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Re: AMPERE Laboratory (Location)

Post by illirica » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:56 pm

He spoke of how he didn’t understand how she was able to do what she’d done - to follow orders, no matter what the personal cost - but Teja couldn’t imagine having done anything else. She’d know, when she had first enlisted, that it would mean that she was going to have to do things she might not have preferred to do, and she had chosen it anyway, because she had thought it important that someone be able to make the decisions. In a lot of ways, the very first decision had been the hardest, putting her name on the paper to choose the course of her life. To choose her country over everything that she had known so far.

Teja spoke almost never of what her life had been like before she’d chosen to join the army - it was not never, but it was such a rarity that it might almost have been such. People didn’t pry, about those sorts of things - not among metahumans, anyway. Too many of them had stories they weren’t willing to tell. For her it hadn’t been any misplaced tragedy - no. Everything she had misplaced had been entirely normal, uninspiring, unworthy of comment - and she had set it all aside.

Tejčica, do not do this.
No child of mine will be a warmongering murderer.
“If I ever... were to have a daughter... I would wish for her to be like you.”
She’d made her own choice - and she had already known a great deal about the cost of choice, even before her ordeal had begun. She’d done what had been necessary, because duty had been all she was. How could she shy away from a decision that she had already made? There was nothing at all to hold her back from doing whatever was asked of her.

And now, somehow, things had changed. Still, she had done what was asked of her - even when it meant leaving behind everything that she had ever been and ever done. Severing her life, and starting again. She couldn’t refuse it - after all, she had made that decision once already, at eighteen. If it was asked of her at twenty-seven, she couldn’t fail to find the courage she’d had when she was barely more than a child.

She’d grown apart from what had once been, found a new place. Invictus had done that for her, perhaps, more than anyone else at the time. He had given her something to be a part of, and it had not been natural that she put herself into it with everything that she had. He wasn’t here any more, but a lot of what he had been lingered on. He was the temperance to her blade, the reason so would not turn to Society into the killing force it could have been.

Hector was... the brutality that she had left behind, sometimes. She knew what he had come from, the frozen devastation of what had once been Los Angeles. It would likely be weeks before a final tally could be made, but the death count was sure to be in the thousands. There would be those who would blame Akhilleus for that, she was well aware. The fact that those people would likely have burned to death anyway would be shunted aside in favor of increasing dramatic tension.

She would deal with that, when the time came. For now, it was only the two of them, and she could never be someone who did not understand. She had no need to remind him of the cost, because he was already more aware of it than anything. Those scars were invisible, though, not like the ones along his arms. He drew her to them, and she let herself trace the winding marks, frozen rivers cold beneath her fingertips.

The question she had asked had been all too stark a reminder of her own failing mortality, and the negation he gave her was fire to burn away the chill of Lethe, Charon, Styx... frozen rivers of the realm of death, just as had branded themselves upon him in aqueous lightning, remnants of the old epics of the past - or those of the future. The single no and all the forcefulness behind it quenched what fears it could, a balm, a barrier...

A solace.

Teja breathed, and nodded. There was lightning in her tears, but she brushed away the little sparks like so much static, ever unchanging, and let herself be drawn into his embrace.

He assured her that she would never be able to hurt him, and she chose to let him believe, knowing all too well that if it truly came to it... but that was something else. She would not hurt him unwillingly, and her inevitable willingness to do so if it should become truly necessary... well, perhaps that, too, would be a sort of solace. She had told Volksgeist once, in one of their truthful moments, that her solace was in the knowledge that there were people who she trusted to put her down if it should ever be required.

She could not shy from offering the same to him, if it were needed. If it were to come to that... then perhaps it would mean something that it was her hand which held the blade to save him from himself.

It would not be today, though.
.
“Good,”
she said, quietly,
“I don’t want to hurt you. Not after everything you’ve given me.”

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Re: AMPERE Laboratory (Location)

Post by WILDE JAGD » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:35 pm

G E S T A L T

He didn't have any other choice.

He'd known that when he'd left and he'd known that when he began driving into the Mojave. Yet now, that he sat staring at his destination from within the seat of his white pickup, he found his mind racing to find another option. An alternative he wouldn't be able to find. His nature had brought upon his troubles, and try as he might he wouldn't be able to solve them. Not alone. Whether or not he wanted to accept it, this wasn't the time for hesitation. He'd come because it was his last, and only, choice. There was no one else he could turn to, not for a matter of this scale.

Pushing the door open and stepping out into the desert, he shielded his eyes against the harsh sun beating down upon him. Looking out for a moment at the empty plains he'd just traveled through. Where before he would have seen nothing more than a vast barren landscape of dirt, now his augmented Allfather saw the expanse of currents running just beneath the ground. Cameras watching the dusty truck as it pulled up, weapons sat waiting under the surface. Before he may have seen a laboratory, now all he saw was a bunker. He saw how simple it would be for one of the weapons to rise from the sands and put him down. For his titan lay slumbering thousands of miles away, too far to ever reach him in time. He'd chosen to come disarmed, yet it only struck him now how vulnerable he was.

Yet, while he may have been disarmed and removed from his war machine, he wasn't unarmed. For upon his hip still sat his holstered Beretta, however, it's presence wasn't anywhere near the statement the ODIN would have been. He'd grown accustomed to its weight, and to be without it while walking into the belly of the beast would only leave him more uneasy than he already was. If it was demanded he remove it, so be it, but that would be a matter to decide upon them. For now, he simply approached the entrance, holding his hands up to around chest high with his palms facing forwards. Within his left hand, a single access card, within his right, a single folded note. Proof of his identity, and the fact that Arin Gestalt had at one point been wanted here. At one point.

Now things had changed, and he doubted such an invitation would still apply, not after last time. He wouldn't have even been all that surprised if there was no response at all. He might not have tried to kill her on Krakatau, but the SUNBURST's indiscriminate destruction wouldn't have cared much for his intent if she had lingered for the explosion. Even still, he put in that situation again, he would have done the exact same thing. His only regret was not having launched it sooner.

However, at this moment those regrets felt secondary, a million miles removed. For now, his mind was focused. Looking towards the future, and what could be done to stop what lay on the horizon. So looking towards the closest camera and hoping it would prove capable of transmitting his voice, he spoke.

"I... need to talk."
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Re: AMPERE Laboratory (Location)

Post by illirica » Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:46 pm

AMPERE had been designed to be distant, but it hadn't exactly been designed to be hard to find. And even as far as distance went, it was no Terminal, no Nadir. Still, it wasn't exactly the sort of place that was open to visitors most of the time - especially given the relatively-nearby presence of BEACON for anyone who wanted to get in touch with the Society. No, AMPERE was Teja's place, built to contain whatever it was she ended up as - and until then, built to teach the people who might be the ones pushing her into that containment, if she wasn't able to do it herself.

Far off concerns, not immediate ones, like the boy at the door. Teja knew who he was immediately, of course. He'd changed, since she'd seen him last. Grown a bit, she thought, perhaps matured a bit - but it was the same boy, with the same hollow eyes. There was a gun, at his side, and that made her uncomfortable - not because she perceived it in any way as a threat, but because the boy who had once been Arin Gestalt should feel the need to carry something like that.

Or perhaps that was just being overdramatic - the boy had piloted death machines, after all. He didn't have one with him - only a gun, and an access card, and a hollow look.

No one had heard from him for months.

"I need to talk."

She couldn't help but think about when he'd chosen, so long ago, to walk away with Arno Flint - into the arms of Deterrence. Deterrence had dissipated, though, and Arno hadn't known what had become of the boy. Teja had asked. Firmly. She'd been frustrated when he hadn't been able to provide an answer. And now Arno Flint wasn't here, and Arin Gestalt was - or someone who might have once been Arin Gestalt. She wondered how much he remembered, and of what.

He wasn't here to be interrogated, though. He was here to talk. Teja thought back to those ancient times again, when she'd tried to save a boy who decided he didn't want to be saved, because he'd asked. Not Gestalt... Invictus. He'd been there with her, one of the few last times where he'd really been himself. Garrick had been there, as well, throwing himself against the more heavily armed Flint just for the chance to save the boy. Good men, both of them. She missed them.

Neither one of them was here, though - only her, a soldier, an engineer. Arin Gestalt didn't need either of those things, though, she thought. What he needed was... a hero. And so she thought of Garrick's willingness to throw himself into any situation, no matter how overmatched. Of Michael Carter's smile, his confidence: If you need help, call SOS. They would be there.

She was there, with the boy, through a door that had slipped open on an unseen tendril of current, watching him and wondering what he thought about the past, or if he thought about it at all.
"Come in, then. I'll listen."

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Re: AMPERE Laboratory (Location)

Post by WILDE JAGD » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:28 am

G E S T A L T
The door opened.

That was honestly more then he'd expected, but maybe he'd made the right choice after all. If put in her shoes he couldn't say he would have done the same. Maybe she thought the situation was dire enough, and dire it was but she couldn't have known that, unless him showing up like this was evidence enough. It was almost funny that. Others seemed to trust him far more then he'd ever trusted himself. He would say it was hard to determine which side had the wrong impression, but that'd be too dishonest a sentiment to even attempt to swallow. Still, he hadn't the luxury to turn down generosity, even if it was all but certain to inevitably bite the hand that reached out to him.

He'd met the woman who stood before him face to face but once before. Back in a gala in Solar while he was keeping his head down after the Morro disaster. They'd both been operating under an alias at the time, and he'd been introduced to her as Recurrent. Although it took little more than a look down at the card in his hand to connect the dots. He wondered if she'd ever done the reverse to him, or perhaps the meeting he remembered wasn't as it had truly occurred. Recently doubts had been cast on the validity of his memories, and no matter how hard he tried to dismiss it, there was a constant nagging at the back of his mind. Elements that kept falling out of place, people who remembered an Arin Gestalt that didn't exist, a name that kept bubbling up no matter how much he try and suppress it.

He was honestly unsure what conclusion he'd reach if he thought about the issue enough, what form of rationalization could be used to explain all that was happening. However, he'd never spent that time and he didn't think he ever would. In the end, a question like that didn't matter.
The only Arin Gestalt was the one he was now, his actions and his choices were his. Attempting to engage with any other reality was as irrelevant as it was ludicrous. Nothing would change who he was, nor forgive what he'd decided to do. He'd lived too long using excuses to save himself the guilt, and he wouldn't let himself do that ever again. No more staying stagnant and hung up on the past, instead, he'd keep changing for whatever the future threw at him. He'd keep digging as deep as he could to muster forth the resolve to keep moving.

So, with a deep breath and a slight nod, he placed both his card and letter back into his pocket and turned to walk inside the facility. Following just behind Teja as he walked at a distance that let her guide the way through the laboratory while remaining close enough that he could begin to talk. For he didn't plan on waiting for a place to sit before discussing the matter of his arrival.

"I won't waste any time then. I'm here because I need help, as much of it as I can get. Because without it more people are going to end up dead, and I'm not too proud to know what I can't do alone." That wasn't to say he enjoyed what he was doing, but he was more than willing to put aside his personal feelings with the situation demanded it. His priorities placed what had to be done first, he could worry about whether he liked it or not when it was over. "Nearly two weeks ago a thick fog began to hang around the city of Pripyat, a nuclear city that was evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster. It made observing the city all but impossible, even with satellite imagery. Normally I might have assumed it was an abnormality in the weather pattern, however, I've had a vested interest in the area for a while and after a week of waiting it was clear something was wrong. So I sent a team into the mist to get a closer look, this is what I got back."

Without pausing he reached into his pocket and pulled forth a single photo. Passing it to Teja as they both continued walking and speaking. However, he had a feeling the picture itself would do far more to convey the gravity of the situation far more than his voice.
Image
"As you can see, abandoned no longer seems to be the right word to describe Pripyat. We've yet to get a hard number on how many of these... entities are residing with Pripyat, however, the current estimate is somewhere between four and six. Each one thus far encountered seems wholly unique, spanning a spectrum between mechanical, organic, and... something else. Now they don't seem to move beyond the boundaries of the mist, however judging from the rate the radius of the fog is expanding, it won't be long before they reach a more populated area."
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Re: AMPERE Laboratory (Location)

Post by illirica » Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:16 pm

It was not exactly the type of problem Teja had expected - especially given that Arin had come here, to AMPERE, with the card. She'd expected the issue he was having to be more quietly personal, the kind he didn't want to talk about in front of everyone - but instead, what he came up with was less I don't know who I am any more and more global threat.

Well. She could deal with that as well. Teja took the photograph when he offered it, looking it over critically.
"No digital images?"
The inquiry was more than just a request. While it was true that she could gather more information from a digital image than a printed photograph, especially these days, it was also important to know if digital images existed, or if there was anything preventing them from being transmitted, or even recorded. Such things wouldn't be impossible, after all, and if she was going to take on this threat, the more she knew about it in advance, the better.

The thing in the image wasn't familiar to her, obviously it had some sort of locomotion based on multileg movement - laterally? Radially? One at a time, or in pairs? Still photographs told her very little about how it actually moved. The entity seemed largely metallic, as well, although Arin mentioned it had biological aspects and not just mechanical ones. AMPERE remained quiet around her, though it was storing data as well - captured digital images of the photograph she currently held, as well as of Gestalt. Ionic impressions, incomprehensible to most. His eye was... intriguing. She wondered what it saw, about this place - or even about her. She wasn't going to ask, though - not with other things to focus on. Her mind wandered into the digital representation of the physical photograph, poring over pixels that weren't nearly as detailed as she would have liked them to be.
.
"Hm. Autonomous? Or is there some sort of control entity somewhere?"
It was possible that there was no way to tell, but that didn't mean it wasn't worth asking the question. She had a lot of other questions that she wasn't sure she wanted to ask, though - questions like What were you doing in Pripyat? and Since when are you in charge of a team?

Actually, that last one might be too important to pass up, especially since he'd broached the subject in the first place.
"Who are you working with these days, Armada?"
A deliberate throwback to the name he'd used over a year ago - not even the most recent one she knew, but she wanted to see how he reacted to it.

Do you know who you are, any more?

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WILDE JAGD
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Re: AMPERE Laboratory (Location)

Post by WILDE JAGD » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:29 am

G E S T A L T
As he walked through the AMPERE, he reflexively did his best to avoid paying too close attention to the silent flow of information moving around him. He could see the laboratory watching him, and to an extent, he was watching it as well. Enough to notice that nearly every part of the building seemed alive. After handing the photo over to Teja his hands shied away from any surfaces, instead, they both stuck firmly near his sides as he spoke.

She asked if there were any digital images that she could look over as well. A fair question, given that for someone like him to provide her a physical copy of a photo was distinctly out of the ordinary. Something he was well aware of, seeing how under most circumstances, he would have preferred to operate with them as well, however, there were current restrictions on his ability to provide those images.

"Digital images do exist, however, I've been trying to... distance myself from technology whenever possible. There are a few exceptions, but recently whenever I interface with sufficiently advanced devices they suffer a form of anomalous distortion. In a situation like this, I thought it best that you receive as accurate a viewing as I could provide. I can, however, get a third party to provide you digital copies if need be."

That wasn't anywhere near the full truth, but it was enough to let her know that he was unable to work with digital photos, besides none of it was an outright lie. All except one. There were no exceptions, simply things he could not afford to give up, in spite of the alterations they would endure. His own vision perhaps the most important of all. After all, a twisted sight was better than none at all. He would just have to deal with the separation of reality and falsehoods, as well as whatever negative results he incurred. Just like what he was doing now. Dealing with it.

"Past simple observation I attempted to keep my team from interacting directly with the entities, least they draw their ire and provoke a hostile response. In truth, I'm not positive they have any ill intent, however, I'm not one to take risks with matters such as this. While I'm not sure if they share a centralized control point, at the very least they must have some form of communication. The few we've spotted appear to keep to rigid territories, spread out evenly through the city's districts."

Then came the inevitable question, along with a name. A name he'd heard countless times, yet was slightly surprised to hear coming from her. ARMADA. The way she used it was strange, but he understood it. He had never been ARMADA, but his association with it was valid none the less. Arin Gestalt had piloted the ARMADA, right up until it's destruction over Aberdeen. Now nothing but its memory remained, yet the memory of it alone was powerful. However, the reacquisition of such a memory was a matter for another day, a project outsourced to another party. For now, he had to think about how exactly he planned to answer Teja's question.

"A group of like-minded people," Was his first answer, a simple and short one. Words that at the end of the day meant nothing. Just empty noise. Perhaps he owed her more than just that, after all, she'd agreed to hear him out. Besides, if she pressed him farther, it wasn't as if he'd have any choice other then to capitulate. Better to tell her enough now that she felt satisfied... or at least to attempt to. "There are a lot of things I could never accomplish on my own, so I found people willing to follow me and ready to do whatever it took. Both to assist me, and to keep me in check. When places fall, or organizations dissolve, the people don't just fade away with them. They might not be needed nor wanted anymore, but they all have to end up somewhere."
Wilde Jagd
ODIN
A sinner without a past
The Vessel
A machine without a home

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