Session 17

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  1. (3:56:21 PM) AC[GM]: == Session 17: The Phantom Menace ==
  2. (3:58:06 PM) AC[GM]: When we last left everyone, Green and Arcadia were making their way to a potentially luxurious spa afternoon!  Nessa had insisted on going first to see about acquiring a heating coil for her robot while Shimmer was trapped in the eternal void, speaking with the administrator and trying to plead their case.
  3. (4:02:15 PM) ***Nessa walks along her course, eyes calmly going from one face to the next as her mind processes the day's events.
  4. (4:02:32 PM) ***Green waves at Arcadia when she spots the alicorn outside the luxurious spa.
  5. (4:02:42 PM) AC[GM]: She's in danger of walking past the low, fenced-in maintenance yard if she keeps daydreaming.
  6. (4:03:11 PM) ***Nessa is more capable of multitasking than the average pony.
  7. (4:03:20 PM) AC[GM]: Shimmer is sitting across from the administrator in the lobby, having both left his office to the Doctor and Arcadia for sensitive business.
  8. (4:03:30 PM) ***Arcadia giggles softly as she waves a wing back towards Green. "Decided to get a little pampering too, hmm?" She asks.
  9. (4:04:16 PM) ***Nessa turns at the right moment and heads in towards the maintenance yard, already considering who (or what) she might meet.
  10. (4:04:21 PM) ***Green bounces over to Arcadia and nods. "We have 24 hours to enjoy this place. Might aswell enjoy it."
  11. (4:06:08 PM) AC[GM]: The Administrator seems to be waiting for his changeling guest to make her proposal.
  12. (4:11:01 PM) Arcadia: "Oh yes, of course!" She says, though her expression soon falters. "Though I really need to find my stuff, and there's the possibility that I could find more spells out there somewhere..."
  13. (4:14:07 PM) ***Green chuckles at Arcadia. "It's probably back in that tube we left it in, and I don't think they'll let us walk around armed. I've heard mention of a library though. You might pick up a spell or two there."
  14. (4:14:44 PM) ***Arcadia whines and stomps one of her hooves. "I don't use weapons, I just want my taint!"
  15. (4:16:20 PM) ***Green leans in towards the alicorn conspiratorially. "You might learn a beautician spell or two in the spa. Come on! I'll help you find your stuff afterwards."
  16. (4:16:48 PM) ***Arcadia huffs, but relents. "Fine..."
  17. (4:19:22 PM) ***Green gleefully embraces Arcadia in a hug and escorts her into the building she thinks is a spa.
  18. (4:20:32 PM) ***Nessa quietly hums something to herself.
  19. (4:22:03 PM) AC[GM]: The area's pretty slow.  There are a few ponies pushing pallets around but that's about it.
  20. (4:22:29 PM) ***Nessa looks for somepony who seems important.
  21. (4:26:29 PM) AC[GM]: Its highly likely that anyone important is inside.
  22. (4:26:37 PM) AC[GM]: *It's
  23. (4:26:52 PM) ***Nessa walks on, then.
  24. (4:31:18 PM) AC[GM]: There's a door marked office in the middle of the building's smooth finish.
  25. (4:31:48 PM) ***Nessa knocks.
  26. (4:34:40 PM) Nessa: "Hello? I'm looking for some help with a robot of mine," Nessa says.
  27. (4:37:16 PM) AC[GM]: "You don't say, stranger?" a middle age mare barely sticks out from the gloom within through the screen door.  She's in a field jumpsuit with a similar logo to the one she's seen throughout the city, featuring a pony's head in front of crossed lightning bolts.
  28. (4:38:41 PM) Nessa: "Hi. Necessary Force," Nessa introduces herself, extending a hoof. "Ponies up in security said that you might be able to help me keep my robot's hydraulics from freezing in the Whinnysota winter?"
  29. (4:53:38 PM) AC[GM]: The mare pushes the door open and takes Nessa's hands; firm, but she's not trying to crush the smaller mare's hoof.  "Sure can.  How'd you get a winterized 'bot up here, though?" the mare asks, evidentally surprised, "Not planning to stay the winter?"
  30. (4:54:22 PM) Nessa: "Not welcome for the duration," Nessa says. "And I have a friend with a pretty big horn."
  31. (5:00:38 PM) AC[GM]: "I'm not exactly sure how that's relevant, but," the mare shrugs, "So what model you have?  Come on in, we'll head back to the stores room."
  32. (5:01:20 PM) Shimmer: "Sorry about my companions...they sometimes lack Tact." Shimmer apologizes politely.
  33. (5:02:13 PM) Nessa: "As in, my bot rolled most of the way, but froze for the last leg and had to be carried in a magic bubble," Nessa explains as she's invited in.
  34. (5:02:58 PM) AC[GM]: "Your large friend means well," he rumbles, shifting himself to get more comfortable on the seat.  He evidentally prefers the less rigid form of a floor cushion, "She has, no doubt, had a rough life.  Few of the tribes haven't, honestly."
  35. (5:03:43 PM) Nessa: "As for what she is, I think she's some kind of late-model Sentry Bot. Haven't seen anything exactly like it before," Nessa says, then goes on to describe Red Alert in more technical terms.
  36. (5:04:03 PM) AC[GM]: "So it's totally dead, huh?" the mare leads her through a small office area full of desks, a few terminals, past a break room and bathroom, through an open door into a cavernous space.  At least thirty feet high and full of various shelving units as well as wooden crates, it looks almost totally full.
  37. (5:04:33 PM) ***Nessa likes the look of it.
  38. (5:04:40 PM) AC[GM]: "Hm... Late model?  Does it have a registration number?" she asks absently, threading her way through the stacks with practiced ease.
  39. (5:05:33 PM) Nessa: "Pretty much, but I took a look at her internals and even with an icing as thorough as she got, she'll probably shake it off and get right back to ticking..."
  40. (5:06:16 PM) ***Nessa recounts the various serial numbers from memory from when she opened Red Alert for repairs back when they were with Cake Fondant.
  41. (5:06:34 PM) Nessa: ... or mentions the lack thereof, if that's the case.
  42. (5:08:28 PM) AC[GM]: Most of her internals were serialized.  The mare nods slowly, "Yeah, those are all sentry bot pieces alright.  Should be here in the back.  Yeah, they changed the power supply in the late model units.  Whole different voltage, since they packed a bunch more sensor units into it and a better IFF."
  43. (5:09:22 PM) AC[GM]: Nessa sees a whole fucking lot of boxes!  They seem to have alphanumeric labels that means something to the owners of the warehouse.
  44. (5:09:33 PM) AC[GM]: Nessa's guide has stopped in front of a shelf.
  45. (5:10:38 PM) ***Nessa waits patiently.
  46. (5:11:10 PM) Shimmer: "None the less...negotations tend to require more tact...and she did nearly get us in trouble with those tribes as mentioned earlier."
  47. (5:15:55 PM) AC[GM]: The stallion hmmfs slightly; he doesn't seem terribly upset by Green's outburst, but perhaps a tad melancholy.  "It's rather reductive to say 'they're like children'," he replies after a moment's pause, "Who wouldn't want adequate medical care, enough food to eat, and to be free from the fear of the weather, or being destroyed by your neighbors over some slight."
  48. (5:16:55 PM) Shimmer: "that much is really quite true." Shimmer admits. "or in my case free of persecution for what I am." She admits.
  49. (5:18:07 PM) AC[GM]: "I think you'd be surprised," he crosses his hooves, "The ponies of the northern wastes have shown surprisingly little hostility towards other races, at least the one's we've encountered seem to get along with the crystal ponies and bison without any trouble.  That wouldn't have been normal before the war."
  50. (5:19:36 PM) AC[GM]: "The problem is, we have can not simply /give/ everypony that asks for something what they want," he says with a miffed sigh, "That's not how it /works/.  There's no horn of plenty for us to spill out on the land.  We don't have the manufacturing capability to provide what the wasteland needs, nor the support for an increased population here."
  51. (5:20:12 PM) Sugar_Pie left the room (quit: Quit: Page closed).
  52. (5:21:50 PM) AC[GM]: The mare lays her hooves on a narrow, short wooden box and hefts it down off the shelf.  "Here we are, AN/SB-551D, internal heating element for a second run sentry bot," she hands the case to Nessa then moves down to a rack of bins and rustles around, eventually pulling out several metal 'L' shapes in plastic bags with bolts in them, "And mounting brackets."
  53. (5:22:38 PM) ***Nessa hmms, taking the piece in and envisioning where it might fit in Red Alert's internals...
  54. (5:22:46 PM) Nessa: "Thank you very much..."
  55. (5:23:08 PM) AC[GM]: Probably inside her metal flanks.  "No problem.  What name do I put on the check-out list?" she asks politely.
  56. (5:23:31 PM) Nessa: "Necessary Force," Nessa says again.
  57. (5:23:52 PM) ***Shimmer considers. "Well...perhaps..." Shimmers says slowly. "We cna help somewhat with that."
  58. (5:25:32 PM) Shimmer: "There are a number of factories and faciltieis that weren't destroyed." She continues slowly.
  59. (5:26:05 PM) Shimmer: "and...through trade you can restrict what you give out...while still providing help...and maintaining your ability to acquire resources."
  60. (5:26:47 PM) AC[GM]: "Sure thing," the mare nods, stepping past her, "That everything you needed?"
  61. (5:27:17 PM) Nessa: "I think so," Nessa says. "Thanks for the help."
  62. (5:28:14 PM) ***Nessa finds a place for the item in her pack and -- if no one stops her -- walks back out of the maintenance yard and goes on the hunt for her traveling companions.
  63. (5:28:57 PM) Shimmer: "If...I recall were beginning to worry about...the state of this facility and it' ability to continue right?"
  64. (5:32:17 PM) AC[GM]: No one stops her
  65. (5:32:39 PM) AC[GM]: "It isn't a matter of facilities or space," he explains gently, "It's a matter of food and fresh water."
  66. (5:33:50 PM) AC[GM]: "The land's untillable, practically, with a miniscule growing season and what amounts to permafrost.  We can barely support our existing population through careful controls," he continues, "And that's only after three quarters of our ancestors starved to death."
  67. (5:36:32 PM) AC[GM]: The streets are a little quieter outside!  It's mid-afternoon, so the lunch rush must have quieted down.
  68. (5:37:21 PM) ***Nessa wonders if she ought to go install this piece into Red Alert immediately, or go find her traveling buds...
  69. (5:38:05 PM) ***Nessa reasons that they might have some food -- or need some -- so she decides to head out in search of them.
  70. (5:41:15 PM) ***Shimmer considers. "I...think you might be in luck somewhat...There is a significant food trade in dyou have resources you can set up trade. Even just basic medical services can pay for several times their material costs in food."
  71. (5:44:31 PM) AC[GM]: "And in the season where we most need it, it's impossible to travel safely," the Administrator counters, "We've thought of that.  Did you know that when Equestrian traders first made contact with the bison they brought with them medicine, books, and the latest potions?"
  72. (5:44:51 PM) Shimmer: "I was not aware."
  73. (5:47:29 PM) AC[GM]: "Oh yes.  No hostile intentions at all.  Until several other tribes caught wind of it," he says, "When they couldn't provide the same for the rest, the party was expelled and told never to come back.  Before long, enterprising traders arrived with all the wonders of Equestrian civilization they could want.  Guns, books, wonderous potions, and strong brews that increased their warriors' prowess on the battlefield."
  74. (5:48:27 PM) AC[GM]: "The killing went on for a century," he concludes, "And they didn't have to worry about the Enclave or the Brotherhood swooping in for the kill the second they found some shiny new bauble in a neo-barb's hooves."
  75. (5:49:54 PM) AC[GM]: "Whether we trade and let nature run its course or directly intervene, more ponies will die in the long run.  That's the only outcome I can see," The Administrator says solemnly.
  76. (5:50:30 PM) AC[GM]: *Rangers
  77. (5:53:46 PM) Shimmer: "I assure you not everywhere is tribes..." she closes her eyes considering several options. "If. we can settle matters with the that there is no great culling this time...would you be willing to reconsider?" she finally settles on the impossible.
  78. (5:54:46 PM) AC[GM]: "You say that, but what happens when Whinnyapolis gets ahold of medical aid from us, or improved power supply," he asks seriously, "How long before their mayor is a despot?"
  79. (5:58:06 PM) AC[GM]: The Administrator doesn't exactly look pleased with Shimmer's line of reasoning, "Good intentions melt quickly in the face of the power to control your enemies and your friends.  If the Great War taught us anything, it was surely that."
  80. (6:00:14 PM) Shimmer: "Well...the mayor is kind of a despot...with his taxes." She jokes humorously. "Good intentions melt...but a well set up system of checks and balances remains."
  81. (6:13:39 PM) AC[GM]: The Administrator hums non-committally.
  82. (6:23:31 PM) AC[GM]: "What sort of checks and balances?" he asks, at least curious at her last suggestion.  Out of everything she's said this is the first time he's seemed genuinely interested, "Don't say anything involving commerce.  I want to hear a real answer."
  83. (6:23:59 PM) Shimmer: "'ve mentioned other tribes."
  84. (6:24:46 PM) Shimmer: "if they are all vying for power...then it is in their best interest to act to prevent one from seizing it. And in turn the opposite. "
  85. (6:25:11 PM) Shimmer: "If you get them in a position where they are mutually protecting your interests from the others while benefiting themselves."
  86. (6:25:59 PM) Shimmer: "Afterall an attack deprives them of their benefits and may push you toward their enemies...but if they don't offer anything to protect it another party may interfer."
  87. (6:26:42 PM) AC[GM]: "We're not interested in playing powerbroker," he says firmly.
  88. (6:26:44 PM) Shimmer: "Techncally mercenary commerce." She smiles a bit in humor. "The hard line numbers of violence and advantages."
  89. (6:26:55 PM) Shimmer: "You wouldn't be"
  90. (6:27:10 PM) Shimmer: "Explicitly they'd be defending you to keep you from playing power broker."
  91. (6:31:23 PM) AC[GM]: "An interesting idea, Miss Shimmer," he leans back, "Interesting indeed.  I'm afraid, however, I have an appointment soon and as enlightening as our discussion has been I must be going."
  92. (6:32:05 PM) Shimmer: "If I could set up such a situation...would you be interested in pursuing it?"
  93. (6:32:34 PM) Shimmer: "I must meet up with my friends shortly as well...and I want to know if I should pursue it."
  94. (6:36:11 PM) AC[GM]: "Not in the short term," he replies evenly, standing up and offering Shimmer his hoof, "You and your companions will have enough to worry about making it home."
  95. (6:36:50 PM) Shimmer: "That implies potential longterm interest."
  96. (6:37:10 PM) Shimmer: "...and I have interest in eventually settling here." She says in honest frank admission
  97. (6:38:24 PM) AC[GM]: "I'm glad you like here that much.  Your friend has a Pip-Buck, correct?" he asks
  98. (6:38:54 PM) ***Shimmer nods
  99. (6:40:15 PM) AC[GM]: The Administrator pulls out a pen and slip of paper, scribbling on it before handing it to Shimmer.  "She can tune into this.  It's one of our weather monitor channels.  We'll hear any communications on it, under good conditions," he qualifies.
  100. (6:45:16 PM) ***Shimmer nods. "Will do." She smiles.
  101. (6:45:33 PM) ***Shimmer bows her head. "Thank you very much sir...I hope we won't disappoint."
  102. (6:48:08 PM) AC[GM]: He nods in reply!  Shimmer probably heard something about 'spa' from Arcadia as she went past, and Green had similarly expressed an interest in hot baths/massages/hooficures.
  103. (6:48:15 PM) AC[GM]: That's two out of three friends!
  104. (6:48:51 PM) ***Shimmer is openly honestly interested in seeing Arcadia and Green in a spa setting...and one she realizes she can relax and be in her true form!
  105. (6:49:06 PM) ***Shimmer almost squees with girlish delight
  106. (6:50:38 PM) AC[GM]: Her two giant friends are probably there already!  Smaller, surly earth pony is Celestia only knows where.
  107. (6:55:44 PM) AC[GM]: And so, as Shimmer departs the tower in search of her friends, she finds that the halls are fairly empty.  She can hear office noise, and there are a few ponies in the lobby, but on the whole for a city this large it feels practically empty as Shimmer trods the pavement.
  108. (6:55:51 PM) AC[GM]: == Session #17 End ==
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