Finding my perch on Locus
Quoth the raven:
So far so good! I lost myself in my work on the SLOTV in the hanger. It let me rest up from the ego-cast and to centre myself.
There’s a lot of good points to this synthmorph but caaaw there are some downers too. This synth can just go and go and go, I don’t think I ever put in such a long shift in the hangers before. And the hands are so convenient, it’s hard to describe how much easier it is navigating your human habitat with a human shaped body for a change.
It’s pretty clunky compared to my birth morph but is strong and durable, but really that’s like comparing a racing ’copter to a bulk cargo VTOL. And the visual system is really starting to grate on me, it keeps defaulting to some themed display matching the moving red-light on the eyepiece. Rho can you keep a watch for that and cancel it when it happens?
I helped with some of the research but my friends Mei-Li Yuan and Kings Bishop took the lead in our search for Tara Yu, Morteza Bey and Antoin Saul while I was working on the shuttle. They can definitely blog their findings better than I can.
After my long shift I realised two things, the first was that I got a warmer welcome here than I thought. A rise in my @-rep. Thank you all to my new watchers, you really know how to make a bird feel welcome and I really needed that updraft today.
I also realised that if I am going to flock with Mei-Li Yuan I need to work on my image. To treat myself a bit after the shift I went out, and with the help of the locals of Locus I got some gear that at least matches the synthmorph. Next resleeve I will ask her for presentation and preening tips from the start.
…I wonder if she needs a vocalist for anything? Hmm. Rho, when we get back home remind me to look up those venues back on Titan.
After that it was down to business. The local authorities had sent an initial sortie to the greenhouse as a rescue op and recon, but not had an opportunity to send a investigation team or to land a salvage team to repair the habitat. So to help them out I organised a shuttle which will arrive in a few hours. They are still short on numbers so they can’t send any of their volunteers with us, so it might just be Mei-Li Yuan, Kings Bishop and I. Wearing this body still feels like flying through turbulence sometimes, but I can definitely handle this taxi run.
With a few hours before our ride arrives I headed out to get some investigation gear. Check out what I found:
A Bird’s Eye Review
An informant contacted Mei-Li Yuan in response to her inquiries and gave her and Kings Bishop some information about our targets. It seems we are up against a tribe of semi-organised Exhumans. Unfortunately this informant couldn’t come on the mission, because I would be a lot more confident with a veteran of the Ultimates taking point. With a little luck the Exhumans will be long gone though.
- – -
The calm after the storm
Quoth the raven:
Due to the content I had Rho age-lock the footage and have put content-advisory flag some of the footage from the greenhouse. It’s not suitable for hatchlings or for anyone who doubts their mettle. And there’s security concerns too so I got the local authorities to vet the footage and decide if anything merits classified status.
To be brutally honest, I am still a bit shaken.
Docking with the station wasn’t possible so we had the SLOTV AI hold position relative to the station and entered after a brief EVA. I was quietly impressed that my friends handled themselves so well, I definitely underestimated them as mere ground-pounders.
The station AI was blinded during the attack, it had lost its spimes in the three damaged modules of the habitat. Further investigation revealed that was quite deliberate and not the bestial tactics I expected from Exhumans.
What we found inside…that was what I expected from Exhumans. It was a slaughter. The attackers were like animals, no, the attackers were animals.
The mechanics of the attack were simple enough, a modified shuttle rammed through the unfortified hull of the civilian habitat. The animals targeted the spimes with EMP and plasma weaponry. The civvies were slaughtered indiscriminately but Morteza Bey was specifically targeted.
But that was the weird part. They didn’t steal his cortical stack, they destroyed it. Or perhaps they destroyed a cortical stack to make us think Morteza Bey‘s wasn’t stolen…but…then why not just steal it and destroy it off-site? It’s almost like they wanted to destroy the information within, but I am getting ahead of myself.
While I was doing my job and documenting the scene, I was able to distract myself from the carnage. It was after that that it really hit me, when I had no duties to distract myself with. Like I said, i’m a bit shaken up by it.
We sent our findings back to the local authorities and set course back to Locus. Somehow, and I am not sure how, Mei-Li Yuan had managed to get a response from the formerly recalcitrant Antoin Saul of the Reclaimers. He sent a fork to talk to us and we got some more information about Tara Yu’s movements and Morteza Bey’s as well.
I have a bit of interest in the Reclaimers cause, and asked him how they were doing. As expected he was focused only on reclaiming earth and was blind to the potential of other words or the value of not putting all your eggs in one nest.
The reason I grilled Antoin Saul‘s fork was I was curious about how they planned to deal with some of the remaining Titan ordinance down there. He was very interested in my old war stories like the time I saw a TITAN War-machine in the distance and my thankfully limited run-ins with TITAN Nanoswarms. What am I saying, they weren’t run-ins, run-froms! The refugees and I were the last rescue-flight to dust off from <classified> and just made it out, when the swarm hit the colony I saw a glimpse of what those things can do…and don’t want to go anywhere near one again!
Antoin Saul’s fork was intercepted on the way back to get reintegrated. A Kaos AI erased him. In my eyes, the difference between that and murder is not worth mentioning, and I will not forget. If it is within my power, I will see justice done on this killer.
That was the second time someone tried to kill the message, kill the information. But why? This cowardly murder was pointless, because I have already sent a recording of our conversation and everything the fork learned back to Anton Sol.
I will not forget.
We have some leads and know where we need to go next. Sorry to leave you in suspense but we have our reasons, and you’ll learn all about it in my next entry.
Until next time, this is Sigma Raven, signing off.