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Operation: Lost In the Northern Crag Moors

PonyStrangler Dec 10th, 2017 144 Never
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  1. *****
  2. OPERATION: Abandoned in the Crag Moors, Stuck (In the Middle of You)
  3. *****
  4.  
  5.     Startled awake from the daze of multiple resonating klaxons, @Natilda's skin crawls in pain from near heat stroke temperatures followed by cold chills, air rushing down onto her from numerous vents above, but most importantly the angry, pained, and afraid electronic voice of She That Must Cease Inserting Those Into That Place There resetting the frazzled currents in her brain. "GET UP GET UP GET UP WAKE THE FUCK UP WILL Y-" Currently unable to identify the sounds of popping and ringing in her ears or why the klaxons began to cease, one by one, until an explosion occurs directly outside the right chest compartment, the screen in front of her blacking out.
  6.     For once screaming in an external voice, Wild's incomprehensible words wouldn't be concerning if not for the jagged pieces of still aflame wood piercing through the paper thin metal making up her external metal skin, thankfully putting the fire out while glistening black fluid sprays across Natilda. "I can't see where I'm going! Give me some directions here!"
  7.  
  8.     >Natilda
  9.     (What... What the fuck?) Shaking my head, I take a moment to look around and get my bearings. And the sirens weren't helping me concentrate. "What the fuck happened?!" Spitting out some of the fluid, I take a moment to try and remember which direction we were heading. "Fuck, I don't know! In the opposite direction from whatever's currently attacking us!" Turning behind me, I take a look at the rear view screen to see what's going on.
  10. [ 1d6+1 = 3 ] [ 1d6+1 = 4 ] <B.Perception
  11.  
  12.     The last of the klaxons finally shut down, the burning punctures in the forward screen die down, the murky, undefinable fluid sealing into a hard looking, foam like substance. "Emergency deployment of the other three, I had no other choice than launch them at the Assault Craft-"
  13.     Shutting down another herald of doom threatening to annoy @Natilda and Wild both, the scene to the rear was by no means good news: far behind the orange hull and the blazing colossus, the winged serpent could be seen floating in the boiling sea; given the loss of much of it's left side and throat, it's lack of movement indicated it was mostly likely dead. Holding it's weapon overhead, the skeletal deity, or whatever it may be, makes a tremendous stomp into the blasted surf, sending a tidal wave towards the Construct vessel, the leading edge a chunky mixture of boulders, scorched trees, and rippling red lava, the surface turning gray as it absorbs the mounds of ash covereing the inlet.
  14.     "Optical units one through three and five through eleven destroyed, Arcanum sensor arroy inoperable, right wrist actuators inoperable, five of twelve leg actuators damaged, over seventy percent of my external hull has slagged off, worst of all I can't see what's damaging my frontal armo-" A second explosion in front of Wild silences the Eldritch being, silent for a bit as she passes through a cluster of trees, one of them directly in view detonating in a hail of shards and burning sap. "..everything hurts, I want it to stop-"
  15.  
  16.     >Natilda
  17.     "I'm sure they'll make it, it's probably safer over there right now! Hell, that snake thing is probably dead, already." Shaking my head, I try to make sense of the clusterfuck going on behind us, considering I can't see whatever's in front at the moment. "And I'm glad you didn't launch me as well." (I would likely be dead if she did. We still might die anyway.)
  18.     As she lists what's happened to her, I can't help but get lost. "Okay, you lost me on what's wrong with you! I don't know half the words you're saying." Thinking quickly, I look up at the top of my compartment for a moment. "Can you sense what's going on without needing to see? Besides the pain, anyway." (I really, really hope she doesn't collapse and die.) Shaking my head, I grunt and keep watch behind us, making sure nothing that could kill us is heading our way.
  19. [ 1d6+1 = 4 ] [ 1d6+1 = 5 ] <B.Perception
  20.  
  21.     Sounding out a Morse code series of beeps as something else detonates above @Natilda, Wild slows to a human's running pace, each of her steps forcing trickles of hot, acrid black smoke through the previous damage  to the viewing screen. "Previous external temperature: two-hundred twenty degrees; previous humidity level: ninety plus percent; unprotected organic hulls would have flash-boiled with high severit-" Cut off once more by a malfunction, this time the cold air vents ceasing their operation, STMCITITPT emits an angered crackle of static. "Your losses of consciousness prevented me from committing emergency deployment and I'm not in comparable shape to the Assault Craft."
  22.     Slowing down even further, a brief thump from Wild Ride's front occurs, halting for five seconds before turning, stomping past a burning tree as her voice flatlines. "My optical units are similar to the organic system-devices termed eyes. My Arcanum sensors array is similar to the anomalous capabilities of these organic beings: unicorns, psions, mystics, other beings I am unable to specifiy. My actuators function similar to these devices: hydraulic pistons, magnetic bearings, and a device termed a 'magnetic drive assembly', whatever those are. Attempting to restore temperature control mechanism.. attempt one failed, repairs failed due to insufficient data; attempting to restore biomechanical optical systems.. attempt failed, unspecified processed materials required, insufficient replacement data."
  23.     Voice ceasing while Natilda studies the scene behind Wild, the colossus remained where it was. Besides the short tsunami close to battering the Construct vessel, there were no visible dangers in view. "My Arcanum sensors array has suffered a crippling systems failure due to heat exposurere and anomalous damage. The current external temperature is one-hundred fifty degrees with an average sixty percent carbon dioxide content. I cannot open your compartment for visual scans until the nominal temperature and carbon dioxide levels are safe."
  24.  
  25.     >Natilda
  26.     (I don't understand morse code either, Wild.) Shaking my head, I sigh in relief when I notice that the fuckhuge thing isn't directing anything towards us, but I keep an eye out behind just to be sure. "Okay, so basically what you're telling me is that you can't see or feel anything that isn't pain. Got it." Rubbing my chin, I think for a moment. "So there's likely a fire outside... And we don't know what's assaulting us from the front. I honestly recommend moving a bit to the left but keep going forward while avoiding these trees, if you can. Once we're clear of the fire, it should be safe for me to poke my head out. Assuming we're not pissing something off just by existing." (Hopefully I don't get us killed, either.)
  27.  
  28.     Stepping forwards once more, Wild clangs into probably another tree, the muffled crunch mixed with a rumbling electronic sigh, whatever the foam-like sealant was doing an admirable job preventing any further smoke or heat from drifting inwards. "My remaining two optical sensors face rearwards, there are no others functional. Short, medium, long, and extra-solar communications systems offline. How am I supposed to move forwards if I can't calculate travel vectors? Analyzing options now-"
  29.     Forced to blink to keep her eyes from drying out, @Natilda's focus on the compartment's screen denotes the internal temperature marginally stable.. at 100 degrees, the exterior fluctuating between 150 and 160. Emitting a burst of static, the transport motionless as another tree in view explodes, several lines orienting on it. "The trees are detonating due to unstable molecular reactions from contained water, their shards are causing the continued damage but the loss of my external hull has exposed more Tryptaran mass. I need to find Tryptaran and metallic masses to initiate repairs-"
  30.     Cutting herself off at the tsunami rolling over the Assault Craft, the leading wave of lava and debris batters it halfway down onto it's facing side, leaving it buried for the next waves, STMCITITPT emitting a quiet, angered tone. "Arcanum sensors array destroyed, I have no method of determining their statuses."
  31.  
  32.     >Natilda
  33.     (Communications are down so no calling for help, she's blind from the front, and it sounds like the trees are just exploding from the fire. There's pretty much one thing to do, unless she feels like ramming more trees.) "So, uh... How's your back armor? Because I figured that you can move backwards, if you can see back there. Or I can guide you."
  34.  
  35.     "..rear? Backwards? ..guide? ..new mobility information acquired, this will be useful, thank you. Analyzing damage, processing now- " Stress entering her tone, Wild begins the agonizingly slow process of turning around, a schematic taking over the left side of the screen, the right side becoming a smaller view of the forest, still ablaze, trees still exploding from the external temperatures. "Analyzing damage and initiating scavenging protocols now, processing now-" Slowly taking shape, the information was suitably grim: most of Wild's external hull was simply gone, what little did remain showing as slag or melted to the point of uselessness.
  36.     "Analysis complete, scavenging protocols complete. Natilda, there are two sets of discarded optical arrays within me; one is located within my head compartment, the other within my chest compartment. With them I will be able to restore two optical arrays once we reach a safe zone, but the external environment is still too dangerous to let you acquire them.. the damage to my exterior and interior are isolated to these locations-" A large number of increasingly worrying components in the arms and legs, ones @Natilda could barely identify due to marginal similarities to tank parts, embedded within Wild bore damaged, inoperable, or disabled statuses, the functional ones showing on screen within oddly shaped blue triangles, the nonfunctionals with bright red squares. "My biocore is undamaged and shows no signs of failure. My mobility has been reduced to one-quarter of normal output, I will be unable to run or perform any large scale movements without causing further internal damage."
  37.     Now fully turned around and facing the on-fire forest, the view was fairly clear of obstructions as most of the trees further out were little more than charred, upright sticks.
  38.  
  39.     >Natilda
  40.     "Okay, once we're safe I'll fish them out for you. Among anything else that can be scavenged for you." Cracking my knuckles and rolling my shoulders, I look over the damage to Wild's limbs... and get almost nothing out of them. "Okay... Kraut or a mechanic will need to actually look this over, because all I know is that its all fucked. I wasn't trained to repair vehicles, just occasionally ride on them." Shrugging my shoulders, I smile reassuringly, even if she couldn't tell. "Its fine, as long as you're moving we'll be okay."
  41.     I take a quick look around the area behind us, seeing if there was anything Wild should be on the lookout for, either to take or avoid.
  42. [ 1d6+1 = 6 ] [ 1d6+1 = 5 ] <B.Perception
  43.  
  44.     Visibly thinking over the idea with questioning symbols floating around the screen, Wild makes a briefly felt motion, the schematic minimizing into the top right corner. "Acceptable compromise. Now beginning rearward movement protocols, advise when possible." Slowly lumbering backwards in the direction the most open section in view, @Natilda's eyes focus onto the remnants of burnt decidous forest, most of the trees still standing in little danger of exploding due to heat, the few that could still do so easily identified. Barely seen in the distance through heat waves and drifting ash were small rock formations jutting from the ground, the same as those passed by hours earlier, though there were no large footprints nor was the landscape familiar enough to indicate where Wild had come from.
  45.     "No repair protoocols, situation at at ten percent efficiency.. what do you mean 'ride on' vehicles, and what type of vehicles are you experienced with?" Prompting the Eldritch abomination to raise a vaguely warning medical tendril raising into view, it seems to silently, and perhaps eagerly, stare at Natilda. "Addendum: previous requests for non-intrusive monitoring resulted in feedback cycle failure due to lack of information input. At the current time there are no alternative methods for monitoring full biologicals, you will simply have to take it and not complain."
  46.  
  47.     >Natilda
  48.     "Alright, you can pretty much go straight backwards for a while, I don't see anything except for the heat." Settling down, I look back at the broken screen to keep my neck from getting sore from looking backwards constantly. "Er, by riding on, I mean climbing up onto the engine deck of a tank, or into the flatbed of a truck. I personally can drive wheeled vehicles, mostly American trucks that we were supplied, and I've got a quick crash course on operating T-34s, due to... a request I put in."
  49.     Glancing at the tendril, I raise an eyebrow at it.
  50.  
  51.     Correcting her course out of line from every tree within sight, movement and scraping from the front calls @Natilda's attention, watching the tree chunks pulled out, a massive, grainy blue metal hand covering the holes, mostly preventing the outside air and smoke from entering. "Understood, I will notify you when there is biological activity, large scale environmental changes, or when we have reached a safe location."
  52.     The same black mass from before forms over the gaps, foaming into a hardened state much more slowly this time, Wild's hand removed from it's place with a curious electronic beep. "Processing data.. completed. Designation: tank, armored combat vehicle. Analysis: efficient against most land based targets, basic knowledge. Designation: truck, transport vehicle. Analysis: efficient for rapid movement of vital components, ineffective at combat, basic knowledge. Designation: T-34, armored and armed combat vehicle specialized in multi-role performance against ground targets. Primary analysis: all designates lack effective deterrence or destruction methods to combat long range or aerial threats, armor-defeating munitions, buried explosives, close range tactics, flame weaponry. Secondary analysis: all designates lack countermeasures to non-physical weaponry and multiple Tallus species. Tertiary analysis: all designates fully lack defenses against Eldritch, Elemental, Otherworldly, Planar, and Spectral threats."
  53.     Falling silent, only the consistent slow thumping of Eldritch feet is heard, the medical implement remaining stationary for several minutes, finally offering a polite, possibly threatening wiggle. "Internal vital monitoring systems undamaged. Due to excessive heat exposure you will require monitoring. It is your choice where this monitoring will occur." If Wild's tone or intentions were friendly, it simply wasn't possible for Natilda to tell.
  54.  
  55.     >Natilda
  56.     "Well, I mean the T-34 was good for what we intended; a fast, easily repaired and produced tank that had enough armor to counter the Fascists' tanks, and provide infantry support. You'd be shocked at the conditions of some of the finished tanks, considering we didn't care about the quality, unlike Germany." Shaking my head, I can't help but roll my eyes. "We only had to deal with anti-armor rounds and other tanks, never anything from this place. Though I definitely wouldn't mind aquiring a T-34 if it was possible."
  57.     Glancing at the tendril, I let out a sigh. "As long as I can keep talking, I don't really care."
  58.  
  59.     "Is this correct?" Half of the forward screen in front of @Natilda comes to life, the leftmost undamaged section showing a surprisingly accurate external model of a T-34, the coloration a stock desert tan without any symbols or markings on it, meanwhile the damaged bio-plastic surrounding the punctures begins to reform, pulling back into place without any apparent force.
  60. [ 1d6+4 = 9 ] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair.
  61.     Question marks indicating thought appear around the model, Wild's tone more considerably less stressed at the moment. "Designation: Fascist, unknown context. Analysis: purportedly negative ideology. Designation: infantry, individual living beings equipped with light weaponry suitable for scaling operations of various manners. Analysis: effective if highly trained and equipped, ineffective if training or equipment is lacking. Designation: anti-armor rounds. Analysis: specific forms of solid ammunition or explosives that defeat or penetrate thick or layered armor, may also be used as counter-measures against composite, reactive, reflective, or other armors. ...my armor is so thin I can barely feel it." If a sentient machine could be sad, Wild definitely was at the moment.
  62.     "Analysis of currently available and potential production methods: limited amounts of pre-Industrial, Industrial, Pre-Modern, Modern, Post-Modern, Technological, Post-Technological methods availa- unknown large scale temporal anomaly detected, analyzing." Briefly wavering, the medical implement turns towards the screen, tilting hard to one side as if confused. Making a dumbfounded electronic noise, the Eldritch machine takes another step before coming to a hard stop, screen displaying a previous scan of Natilda next to Snakebite, a set of numbers above each listing their respective years, then a curious line stating: 'Incompatible technological eras; advise non-contact of specific technologies'. "What is this?"
  63.  
  64.     >Natilda
  65.     "Uh, yeah, actually. Except the crews usually personalized the exterior with logs and gear, maybe some camoflauge to help keep it hidden." Listening to her explain everything to herself, I can't help but smile at how curious she is. "Fascism is an extremely unpopular idea in the Soviet Union, we're all Communists. Though not everyone's a party member."
  66.     Shaking my head, I look out of the screen for a moment. "Not everything has to have armor. Our BT series tanks had 13mm at the thickest parts of the turret. Being that light let them go pretty fast, I think it was 72kph?" Shaking my head, I give a shrug, about to say something but being cut off. "Its because we're all from different universes, and from what I know, mine is... behind most of the others. Snake's a couple decades or so ahead of my timeline. While I don't know much about timelines... I think I shouldn't be touching them... directly, anyway."
  67.  
  68.     "That would be useful information.. if I can FIND something to replace my hull with!" The active repair function, which was both mind boggling and mildly unsettling for @Natilda to watch, continues pulling the display back into it's proper position.
  69. [ 1d6+4 = 5 ] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
  70.     "Designation: ideology, a broad spectrum term to cover varying spectrums of organic thought processes. Preliminary analysis: unsupported ideologies quantified by mass indoctrination, public hysteria, large scale propaganada. End result: effective for short term usage, long term usage inadvisable."
  71.     Feeling the thump of the machine swiveling, then taking a step, the medical tendril moves forwards, extending a pair of small clamps and begins picking chunks of wood out of the foam. "My previous level of armor was unsuitable for any form of combat probability success, I will need approximately forty times more external hull mass to become fully operational; previous maximum unhindered top speed on land is one-hundred and sixty miles per hour, now limited to fifty miles per hour due to severe structural damage."
  72.     Holding up a chunk of charcoal, the implement sets it down on the floor, a short blade extending from the size and poking at it, presumably attempting to understand it while Wild continues her lumbering rearward retreat. "Unknown designate: universe; unknown designate: timeline; no prior information available on both topics. ..what is a 'tree' composed of?"
  73.  
  74.     >Natilda
  75.     Ignoring the unsettling display before me, I roll my eyes. "Once we get back to Razorback I'll talk with Bren or someone else to get you steel, if that's what you need." Raising an eyebrow at her, I shrug. "We should have enough stuff at base for you to use." Snickering, I give the appendage a look. "It's made out of wood. Not something you build a truck with. Not completely, anyway."
  76.  
  77. Finally pulled back into normal position, the forward screen flows together in an odd, oily motion, small crackles of electricity sparking through.
  78. [ 1d6+4 = 10 ] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
  79.     "Current structural compositions: wood, rubber, plastic, aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, chrome, iron, varied alloy steels, tungsten, minor amounts of low class materials. Preliminary analysis: most materials listed are weight inefficient. Secondary analysis: insufficient material durabilities for extended personal use. Tertiary analysis: all materials listed exhibit poor elemental and entropic resistances. New primary requirements: sufficient lightweight, flexible materials for long term use."
  80.     Giving the piece another poke, the tendril lifts it, a small red beam boring into the material silently. "What is 'wood'? Does wood have sufficient structural integrity for temporary usage?"
  81.  
  82.     >Natilda
  83.      "Well we don't exactly have two feet for our tanks to walk around on, just treads, and steel's easy to mass produce." Shrugging, I take a moment to think. "Yeah, I'd say that it'd be a decent material to use, if temporary. Just don't get hit by anything that pierces armor, it'd go right through it."
  84.  
  85.     Emitting a cheerful beep, the forward screen returns to functionality, splitting in half to show the view from both of her rear shoulders. "Left shoulder compartment forward screen restored, estimated plus-zero-point-two-five percent increased survival chance."
  86.     The forest behind was now completely charred, little more than burnt trees slightly taller than Wild and small jutting rock formations scattered throughout, halting and turning from side to side for a careful survey. "Area clear of hostile activity, no biological signs in view. Performing environmental condition analysis: air temperature, ninety-five degrees, near maximum allowable limits. Air quality: ten percent, sub-nominal but breathable for short periods of time. Recommend maximum exposure: thirty seconds. Unsafe allowable limits."
  87.     Finishing it's procedure, the tendril lifts a small square of compressed charcoal upwards, twisting around to examine it more closely, then presents it to @Natilda, holding it up to her with two small clamps. "This material demonstrates remarkably low durability with considerably higher heat resistance than steel. Can it be further refined into a more useful material?"
  88.  
  89.     >Natilda
  90.     Taking a look around, I wince at the forest's condition; hardly anything survived out here. Granted the wildlife probably fucked off as soon as the titans or whatever started fighting. "Well... charcoal's good for me if I get poisoned, and it helps keep a fire going for a bit. Plus someone could use it as a crude pencil."
  91.  
  92.     Retracting the implement below @Natilda's view, likely storing it under the crash couch, Wild proceeds once more with her rearward march. "Information acknowledged. Designation: charcoal, an alternate material produced by burning a tree. Armor value analysis: extremely low. Medical value analysis: extremely high. I will retain small amounts for use in treating poisons."
  93.     Slowing while passing by a rock formation, the bipedal machine traverses towards it in examination briefly, continuing on with a disgruntled noise. "Mildly dense but fragile geological formations, extremely minor amounts of metallic substrates. Analysis: approximately six hours of harvesting would yield one pound of iron. Natilda, there is little of value in this sector, do you have any information pertaining to possible locations of useful material deposits?"
  94.  
  95.     >Natilda
  96.     Letting out a sigh, I shake my head and frown. "I have no idea on where the hell we even are. My best guess would be inside a mountain. I'm not a miner, I know nothing about this kind of thing."
  97.  
  98.     "Acknowledged Natilda. Now searching storage for all useful materials-" Coming back into view, the medical implement snakes up past @Natilda's view, popping open a hatch above her head, rooting around inside it. "Exterior conditions still unsafe for traversal. Estimated time until reaching safe destination: unknown. Upper container empty, searching side and floor lockers." Closing the hatch and dropping down to head height on the left side of the compartment, it's likewise popped open, then the left, and finally under Natilda's feet, all similarly empty.
  99.     "...excess inventory located, medical inventory located. Current medical inventory location: central head unit. Contents safe, pilot module severely damaged. I will be unable to extract the container without aid. Transferring small items to current compartment now-"
  100.     A series of cracking sounds takes place underneath, an additional three tendrils popping out and tossing a stack of things onto the floor: a map, a compass, a set of old binoculars, a road flare, and finally a bottle of iodine. Removing the extra three, the primary tendril returns, carrying an odd looking gray device between it's clamps, scanning it carefully with a dull green line. "Technological device located, processing potential uses. Natilda, examine these for use."
  101.  
  102.     >Natilda
  103.     "Most of these are actually pretty useful... Though I can't really use the binoculars in here." Shaking my head, I stuff the bottle into a pocket and slip the binoculars over my head to rest on my chest, before opening up the map to look it over. "Say... What else can you do with a... 'medical subject'?"
  104.     Taking a look around, I try to see if I can find any decent landmarks that may be on the map.
  105. [ 1d6+1 = 3 ] [ 1d6+1 = 7 ] [ 1d6+1 = 4 ] <E.Perception
  106.  
  107.     "Acceptable uses then? I will remember to keep copies of these items in storage. ..the device I have located can be used in one of two manners. One, partially restore short ranged communications, two, partially restore my Arcanum sensors array. Natilda, please offer your advice, I don't know which option will be more important at the current time."
  108.     Placing a question mark in the center of the screen, probably emulating Wild's confusion, it rotates around in a circle several times before disappearing, the gray device pulled under the crash couch. "Inadequate information to answer your question. Now attempting to analyze potential medical procedure vectors for humans, this will take some time." Before @Natilda could react, the medical tendril appears once more from under the crash couch, snaking it's way up her pants leg and into the considerably less concerning entrance. For once, it was even pre-warmed!
  109. [ 1d6+4 = 8 ] <Medical Analysis: Human Physiology
  110.     Studying the map, it was a relatively newer copy of Vanil's custom marked southern Equestria region, complete with notes on newer, rediscovered, and inhabited zones. Picking out the blob signifying the New Everfree, @Natilda locates a small square labeled 'Razorback Fortress' close to the eastern edge, a line denoting Gryphon Kingdoms territories much further east. Immediately below the New Everfree was the Southern Plain Belt, and below that were numerous swamp lands separated into their respective zones: the Eastern Moors directly below the lowest section of the Gryphon Kingdoms, next the Central Moors listed as highly inhabited, a wide, erratic chunk on it's western side listed as the Deep Moors, several notes marking it as difficult to navigate without a knowledgeable guide and highly dangerous.
  111.     Next was the Western Moors, a thin strip of irregular shaped land mass marked as partially inhabited by Ferron, followed by the Crag Moors, following the ocean a ways up into Central Equestria, notations of six small semi-inhabited Ferron outposts scattered around. Gazing around the local vicinity, the only landmarks in view were the small crags jutting up from scorched earth, none of which were large or distinct enough to be featured on the map.
  112.  
  113.     >Natilda
  114.     Sitting back, I press the back of my head to the seat, thinking hard. "Well... I would think that communications would be a priority... but being able to detect arcane things would also help a lot... fuck." Sighing, I shake my head. "Let's go with arcane." (Hope I'm not fucking us over..)
  115.     I was going to say more, but her sudden tendril to the body shut me up for a second. (And at least it's warmed this time.) "Okay, so if we can figure out where the hell we are, I can get us back to Razorback. If it wasn't for the forest fire we might've been able to find something... though it'll help with spotting landmarks." Sighing, I lean forward and gaze around. "Okay, first priority is getting somewhere safer so I can get out and help with repairs. Or get a drink."
  116.  
  117.     "Very well, I am initiating cautious repairs immediately."
  118.  [ 1d6+4 = 6 ] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
  119.     A yellow symbol plasters itself onto the front screen in response, any possible meanings unclear due to it's haphazardly illogical shape, Wild produces an electronic sound that could only be understood as some form of 'blap' noise. "Your concerns are noted and understood. There are multiple unknown types of high orbit jamming at this time, and my previous scans of the former environment registered a minimum of three forms of interference. I would require a complete rebuild of my long ranged communications system, an advanced signal booster, and dedicated encryption software capable of overcoming unknown Construct capabilities to bypass the current circumstances."
  120.     Continuing her slow, trudging pace into the Crags, another tendril arrives from under the seat, circling over the pile of excess inventory once, then extends a trio of small clamps to pick up the compass, holding it up in front of @Natilda. "I am minorly familiar with this device due to shared knowledge: it is possible to obtain a course heading from it's readout, however, before the majority of my systems were destroyed or shut down I was detecting three Continent-Class electromagnetic fluctuations, one from each Primeval, one from this region." Swiftly followed by a second medical implement, the first places the compass next to Natilda, the other one performing a brief up and down examination. "Your inventory contains two canteens of safe water. If a sufficiently non-salinated, non-tainted, non-alkaline water source can be located I am able to purify approximately one gallon per minute for consumption. As for a safe location-"
  121.     Left armored hand lifting into view, Wild points towards the marginally increasing number of still small crag formations for three seconds, then up towards smoke drifts creating a second layer of clouds. "That may not be available for some time, my filtration system is encountering marginal difficulty capturing non-tainted oxygen supplies for your compartment. Your recommendations?"
  122.  
  123.     >Natilda
  124.     (The fuck was that?) "Okay... so the radio would be useless at the moment, even if you could use it?" (Good thing I suggested arcane instead.) Shaking my head, I took the compass from her and stared at it for a long moment, judging which direction we were facing. "We came in heading northeast... So we need to go southwest. If you can find the Scar you came out of, I THINK we can get through it?" (I hope so.) Taking a sip of water from a canteen, I nod and think for a moment. "Let's try going southwest for a bit and see if the smoke gets any lighter."
  125.  
  126.     "That is correct, but I have no experience with Construct encryption software or routines. There is a greater than ninety-five percent probability of orbital monitoring systems currently active. Addendum: Arcanum sensor array repairs at ten percent."
  127. [ 1d6+4 = 5 ] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
  128.     Displaying a miniature version of herself on the screen, Wild folds her damaged arms, the right foot tapping on invisible ground. "I don't know where my birthplace is from this position, Natilda, and even if I did there is a high probability that a number of Scars have moved.. I will keep this in mind, but there is a fifty percent chance that the inhabitants of other Scars will be hostile towards me."
  129.     One of the medical tendrils raises to scan the map, copying it over onto the bioplastic screen and displaying the notations as an afterthought, the other analyzing the compass pointing northeast. "Updating regional database.. completed. Unable to calculate current location until a known landmark is located, or a global positioning uplink is established with the M-Type Strategic Orbital Linear Gun."
  130.     Slowing to a halt, Wild makes a southwest turn from her current heading, placing an oval around the Southern Crag Moors on the map, several question marks appearing on the coastline, the compartment around @Natilda taking on a dull, metallic sheen while the Eldritch Android shakes once, her heavy footfalls coming down in a more rapid pace. "Passenger compartment hardening completed, increasing rate of travel to maximum optimal safe limits."
  131. [ 1d6+4 = 9 ] [ 1d6+4 = 5 ] [ 1d6+4 = 9 ] [ 1d6+4 = 8 ] <M.Nuclear Sprint
  132.  
  133.     >Natilda
  134.     "Yeah... Fifty percent chance of being hostile... BUT there is also a fifty percent chance of them not giving a damn!" Giving the mini-Wild a grin, I only shook my head and sighed. "I have no idea where we are either, and that wouldn't change with landmarks."
  135.     Giving a nod to the map, I shrugged. "I mean, I'm pretty sure southwest is the right direction to go, just have to hope that the Scar is still there. I think we didn't run into anything other than you trying to shove death tentacles into us?"
  136.  
  137.     "Scar societies do not work that way Natilda, the owner of each has limited contact with another due to agreed upon laws of passage, conduct, association, and artistic values. Entering a Scar without knowing the proper procedures of announcement is a manifestcrime, estimating chances of survival upon contact: zero point one percent. At my current rate of travel I estimate it will be five minutes until verification of the ocean. Should that fail I will attempt to follow a southwestern route into the Old Crags region, there are numerous listed unique landmarks which can be used to identify our exact location."
  138.     Mimicking a dismissive hand wave, the cartoonish Wild spins about, uncapping a marker and scribbling her own notes across the lower edge of the map, a brief, low pitched alarm beeping once. "Nine sensor array malfunctions diagnosed, unable to restore long range sensors. Repairs at seventeen percent, expected level of final repair: thirty-five percent. Priorities updating.. completed. Primary priority one: determine position; primary priority two: locate uncontaminated water source; secondary priority one: secure, harvest, and adapt regional materials; secondary priority two: locate noncontaminated water supplies; secondary priority three: restore short range sensors."
  139. [ 1d6+4 = 7 ] <Grade 1 Auto-Repair
  140.     Turning around on the screen and giving @Natilda an optical stare, the caricature is motionless for half a minute, then answers in genuine scientific chagrin. "Compound analysis: human and earth pony physiologies are, respectively, sixty-five percent and thirty percent more flexible than previous margins of error. Incorrect assertion: direct neural interfacing would have caused destruction of passenger. Corrected assertion: passengers would have suffered zero long term harm from the procedure. Continuing preliminary research."
  141. [ 1d6+4 = 8 ] <Medical Analysis: Human Physiology
  142.  
  143.     >Natilda
  144.     "... Oh. I didn't know that? It's not like I ever had to throw myself at a Scar before, or figure out any of the entering procedures." Shaking my head, I shrugged. "To the ocean it is, then. Maybe we'll get lucky and find a town relatively quickly?"
  145.     Staring at the screen, I take a moment to figure out what she's trying to say. (Neural's stuff with the head... right?) Raising an eyebrow at the screen, I hold my tongue to look out for anything dangerous.
  146. [ 1d6+1 = 2 ] [ 1d6+1 = 7 ] [ 1d6+1 = 3 ] <E.Perception
  147.     "Yeah... wait, we're sturdier than earth ponies in that regard?"
  148.  
  149.     "Approximately nine hundred Scars were previously open during this cycle, not including the one I was reborn in. Priority alert: ten to twenty Scars open during a Lunar Eclipse, fifty to five hundred during a Blood Moon, sixty to one hundred during a Solar Cascade, and one hundred to three hundred during a Solar Eclipse. Appending backlog information requests on known unique Scars.. which will take a year, time I don't-"    A panel below the screen turns red, emitting an incomprehensible language as the angry cartoon Wild tosses the marker upwards, smashing her head onto the inside of the screen, disturbingly causing the bioplastic to deform outwards.
  150.     Pushing herself off the screen, Wild stares back with her single optical unit, reaching up to catch the marker with a morbid grumble. "High level confusion detected, performing information retrieval.. complete." Displaying a perfect schematic of @Natilda's physical body, Wild traces an overlay of green lines from the skull throughout her skeleton and musculature. "This, Natilda, is your nervous system, also called a neural network. Neural networks are present in all organic life forms, beginning in the brain, spreading throughout the entire physical body, and terminating at the first layer of skin, hide, or similar protective exteriors. Complex neural networks of ponies or humans can be directly interfaced by permanent insertion and deployment of an intrusive Tryptaran bio-etherlink network fiber bundle from any of my medical diagnostic tendrils into key locations of the nervous system. This procedure may cause a short period of level one or two pain, lasting from fifteen to twenty seconds, with a less than one percent risk of minor negative medical complications."
  151.     Minimizing herself onto the lower left side of the screen to continue working, Wild's external camera feed is impressively stable given her light tank equivalent cruising speed and severe damage. "That is correct Natilda. My current analysis of your genetic lineage contains approximately three thousand microevolutions and four hundred thousand micro-mutations compared to five hundred evolutions and sixty thousand micro-mutations present in the earth pony. I estimate that your physiology is capable of sustaining a maximum of five large scale permanent mutations and two large scale permanent evolutions, but do not have any information regarding long term effects. Preliminary research complete, moving on to secondary protocols-"
  152. [ 1d6+4 = 5 ] <Medical Analysis: Human Physiology
  153.     Noticing unusual geographic changes over some time Natilda couldn't tell, her owlish eyes nevertheless pick out clusters of short, squat blackened trees surrounded by scorched vegetation increasing in density, the number of small upshot stone crags becoming more common as the pace continues, both facts indicating a relatively short distance from coastline. Hearing Wild's heavy footfalls lessen to dull thumps, beachline covered in thick sheets of ash visible in the forward screen, the Eldritch Android coming to a halt on top of a rocky shore outcropping. "Arrival confirmed, time to ocean: eight point two minutes. Distance from previous position: five point six two five miles. Exterior air quality level: fifteen percent, unbreathable. Scanning geographical features in the vicinity, approximate time required: unknown due to severe damage."
  154. 1d6 = 6 ] <Arcanum Sensors Array
  155.  
  156.     >Natilda
  157.     I stifle a snort at how comical she was acting about how I didn't know this stuff. "My father built furniture before the war, he wasn't a doctor. I didn't exactly learn all of this in school."
  158.     Processing this information, I lean back in my seat and watch the terrain move by for a moment. (I'd figure that mutations WOULDN'T be good for my body... but apparently I can take them?) Shaking my head, I nodded and leaned back. "Alright then."
  159.  
  160.     Finished with her scibbling notes out, Wild's caricature pokes the map into a flat state, turning around to fold her arms and staring towards @Natilda in a distant, likely multi-tasking mode. "Analysis incomplete, data vectors suboptimal. Query: as your father was a carpenter what circumstances allowed you to become a combatant? Notice: primary topography scan finished, locale information updating.. complete. Estimated time before exterior air quality reaches managable levels: unknown. Alert: potentially consumable small bioforms detected four hundred meters south within ocean confines, unable to assess threat levels. Notice: there are no materials and minerals suitable for harvesting in this region."
  161.     A dim red lightbulb flashes above She That Must Cease Inserting Those Into That Place There, ten wavy lines of an unknown language rapidly scroll above her head while striding off the screen. "Preliminary human biophysiological analysis finished, establishing basic parameters.. complete. Current progress of human research indicates basic physical mutations have a one percent or lower risk of permanent damage, two point five percent or lower risk of temporary damage, and a five percent or lower risk of maximum level three pain index. I am fully capable of performing temporary physical mutagenic modifications, genetic restructuring, and inducing short term mutations within established limits. Example: performing dermal modifications to allow oxygen absorption through the skin. Example: performing limited optical capacity enhancement. Example: inducing short term bodily regeneration. It may be possible to precipitate long term or permanent physical modifications. Natilda, should I continue this focus of research?"
  162.  
  163.     >Natilda
  164.     "I joined because of the Great Patriotic War, which started when the fascist pigs of Nazi Germany invaded my homeland of the Soviet Union." I answered proudly. After a moment, I gave a sly grin. "Plus I wasn't all that good with a hammer and nails. A scope and bolt action rifle, however..."
  165.     Shrugging, I think for a moment. "I don't feel like I need to eat right now, I had something before Kraut dragged me here." (Hmm... being able to breathe through my skin can help out quite well...) After a long moment, I nodded. "Go ahead."
  166.  
  167.     Strolling her miniature self to the right side of the screen, Wild twists her torso leftwards to scan the eastern coastline, observing slow waves covering the beach in thick layers of ash. "This location contains little of value at the current time, continuing coastal evacuation towards the Deep Moors." Taking a slow, measured step down onto the beach, dull thuds on sand accompany the Eldritch Android turning right, breaking into her previous pace.
  168.  [ 1d6+4 = 6 ] [ 1d6+4 = 7 ] [ 1d6+4 = 10 ] [ 1d6+4 = 9 ] <M.Nuclear Sprint
  169.     "Analogy understood; long ranged combat is your desired preference. Query: why did you not inherit the knowledge and skills of your parents? Are humans incapable of acquiring genetic inheritance similar to pony lineages?"
  170.     Displaying multiple tiny rectangles of various colors throughout the landscape, likely points of interest for her, Wild returns the map to it's former position, sitting on the edge of the ocean while making doodles of.. something, across the surface. "Updating local geographic databases.. complete. Natilda, I have estimated our current location: we are approximately three hundred to four hundred miles southwest of Red Pine, a small Ferron outpost located twenty miles north on the Crag Moors River, bordering the Deep Moors region. Due to the previously encountered forest fire, it is likely that all settlements within the Crag Moors, Western Moors, and Southern Deep Moors have been abandoned. All outposts listed number less than two hundred occupants and will only have a small translocation matrice if one is available. Primary concern: returning you to Razorback Fortress. Secondary concern: I will be unable to return to Razorback Fortress without a large translocation matrice, however, there are no large translocation matrices within a four thousand mile radius. Addendum: we are approximately eight hundred to one thousand miles south-southwest of Cairn Wharf, a small floating city of Lunar aligned batponies and pegasi bordering the southernmost edge of the Deep Moors. If the translocation matrice at Stone Pine is inoperable then I will set my primary destination to Cairn Wharf. Estimated travel time to Stone Pine: six hours. Estimated regional time: approximately One Past Midnight."
  171. [ 1d6+4 = 9 ] <Medical Analysis: Human Physiology
  172.  
  173.     >Natilda
  174.     "Not really, we generally figure out what we like to do, if possible, and try our best to do it. If we can't, we usually settle with whatever we can."
  175.     Eyeing the coastline, I nod idly. "I'd rather just leg it to Cairn Wharf if that's fine with you. I don't know if they'd let you explain that you're friendly before attacking, otherwise. If I'm with you, we might be able to get by easily."
  176.     Sighing, I think for a moment, glancing around at the stuff in the compartment. "I can go for a couple days without food, as long as I keep drinking water and don't get dehydrated, I'll survive the journey."
  177.  
  178.     "Updating human database.. completed. Your species is strange in comparison to ponies, Natilda." Rotating several degrees towards the forest, Wild's right arm comes into view reaching above her, the caricature on screen performing a lazy pirouette. "I have no data on the inhabitants, faction status, reputation status, or other information available on Red Pine, Stone Pine, or Cairn Wharf; at the current time it would be prudent to search all inhabited regions on a direct route to Cairn Wharf for survivors, if any. Correction: Red Pine and Stone Pine seem to be within a one to three mile geographical distance from each other, insufficient data available to resolve this error."
  179.     Displaying the entire map once again, the cartoon Wild traces a line across the coastline from the center of the Deep Moors marked region up to a large unnamed cape. "I have detected zero threats since leaving the previous combat area and as a precaution I have sealed your compartment against biological, chemical, neutron, Eldritch, Spectral, and small scale elemental threats. I am unable to assess the levels of magical, nuclear, physical, and other esoteric threat prevention, though I am rated for underwater travel and can attempt to perform sea-based consumables acquisitions if needed. At my current pace however, what little I can tell you is this: get comfortable because it's going to be a long run."
  180. [ 1d6+4 = 7 ] <Medical Analysis: Human Physiology
  181.  
  182.     >Natilda
  183.     "No, it's the ponies who are strange compared to us." Giving the screen a grin, I let out a chuckle, before sighing. "I'm... pretty sure they won't attack a Razorback-affiliated human on sight, at least." (I hope so, anyway...)
  184.     Inspecting the map for a moment, I give a shrug. "A small detour to check for anyone alive can't hurt too much. As long as it doesn't add more than a couple hours, sitting in one place for too long kinda hurts. Though I can deal with being uncomfortable." Staring back at the view screen, I frown. "The hell is 'nuclear'?"
  185.  
  186.     "Comparison: designate Caliya's lineage is approximately twenty-four thousand years old with fewer than one thousand genetic deviations. Your genetic lineage is at minimum forty thousand years old with more than ten thousand deviations. Assessment: if designate Caliya's deviations are within the norm for most ponies, humans are highly complex, also exhibiting numerous foreign, unknown, anomalous, and hereditary traits.."
  187.     Running silent while inordinate amounts of text flow across the map, Wild emitting a startled beep into the shoulder compartment. "Alert: I have detected trace amounts of genetic materials from one unknown pony genotype and an unknown earth pony female in your bloodstream. Immediate medical analysis: inconclusive, advanced testing required. Long term recommendation: do not consume ponies."
  188.     Clicking over onto the screen, unfamiliar schematics fill the available space behind Wild. "Estimated time of potential deviations: fifteen to thirty minutes; that is within marginal parameters. Nuclear, adjective. Nuclear refers to the research, development, use, and disposal of radioactive materials that are used to create atomic materials, fuels, batteries, devices, and weapons. Specific naturally occurring and synthetic radioactive materials, none of which may be found on Tallus save for those brought to it by humans, are used to create such.."
  189.     Lifting her marker and scribbling in a series of wholly illogical symbols, their appearance making @Natilda's eyes hurt just to look at, the cartoonish Wild pauses, her lone optical eye eerily stare down. "Establishing new priorities.. complete. New primary operations priority one: prevention of radioactive contamination to Tallus.. failed, adjusting operational logistics to compensate. New primary operations priority two: acquisition of all nuclear weaponry.. failed, it is unknown if there are any nuclear weapons on Tallus. New primary operations priority three: disposal of all nuclear weaponry.. incomplete, see prior note. New primary operations priority four: acquisition of all radioactive materials.. incomplete. New primary operations priority five: forceful modification of Era Lock Containment to circumvent item granting protocols. Processing.. complete, access point located."
  190.  
  191.     >Natilda
  192.     Letting off a cough, I rub my forehead. "I don't eat them like you think... I know exactly what you're referring to, it's because I'm in a herd with a stallion and mare. And we're... active." Though I had to admit, it took a while to warm up to being frisky with both of them at once.
  193.     Cringing away from the screen until it lightened up. "... What do they do, Wild?" I honestly dreaded the answer, judging from her reaction.
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