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Live Fire Testing (Complete)

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INV ONLY Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Cynical_Aspie March 12th 2023, 1:15 am

Off the Interstate Highway 15 in Montana was a small manufacturing plant owned by Apollo Systems, quite close to the Tiber Reservoir. Montana was largely a rural state with hands in brewery, lumbering, and mining businesses. With the largest cities closer south, the Apollo Northern Key Manufacturing Plant was a prime area for blue-collar workers in the cities of Chester, Shelby, and Conrad to find work in manufacturing.

The Northern Key Manufacturing Plant primarily produced the latest generation of the company’s GOPPERT combat androids for US departments to use in countering Meta-human threats. These new models, the GOPPERT-G3 (short for “Generation 3”), were bulkier than the older generations, but were better armored and still handled reasonably. Plus, they were the first generation to make use of energy weapons as their primary armament.

Francis Sanchez, a member of Apollo Systems’s board of directors, frequently inspected this site.

He was also - quite literally - tied up at the moment. Nobody expected Doctor Amelia Frey Franz-Bernstein to make such a dramatic resurfacing after funding to her pet project (her “Project Mercury”) was cut. By and large, her activities had been from the shadows, with no one in Apollo Systems being privy to her activities. The few times that she was caught on camera always ended with records corrupted or destroyed, leaving the Board in the dark on who was sabotaging their business.

For Sanchez, Franz-Bernstein showing her face again for the first time in two years to him was a shock. The attack came so fast, and security personnel dropped like flies to the assailant: a woman that looked to be entirely composed of liquid metal. Implacably, ballistic firearms were useless against her as she absorbed and reconfigured the metal of the bullets for her own use. Even the management personnel were shocked that she had been able to disappear into the metal of the walls, ambushing their latest GOPPERTs and dismantling major systems with surgical precision.

Making Sanchez watch the precious factory and research labs be overwhelmed by her masterpiece, the blue-haired scientist could not resist the urge to rub the inferiority of the “worthless consumer models” to the director. Now, even the man’s bodyguards lay dead at his feet, blood and brain matter decorating the walls and floors - exit wounds were nonexistent, leaving the possibility of a firearm as the means of dispatch a near-impossibility

The metallic wonder of a woman in front of him had coldly and methodically stretched, bent, and sharpened the tips of her very fingers to a monomolecular point, spearing through hearts and brains like a hot knife through butter.

Enemy of Creator subdued,” the woman said in a machine-like monotone. Awaiting further directive.”

“In a moment, precious Prima,” Doctor Franz-Bernstein said. “I recall you were the most vocal of my critics, Mister Sanchez - that Project Mercury could not be done, that continuing would be a PR disaster. Well, I went ahead…without your funding. And I created perfection from the paltry security team you sent to your plant in Detroit.”

“You used one of them for the human trial? I always knew you were a madwoman, but to be so reckless as to…”

“Prima, if you would gag him for a second,” the Doctor said.

Yes, Creator,” the woman that Doctor Franz-Bernstein called “Prima” lengthened her arm, her hand stretching around the mouth of Mister Sanchez.

His attempts to bite free were futile, as not only did Prima’s “flesh” part under his teeth with the same ease as if biting water, but Prima also lacked any pain receptors (and thus, any pain reflex).

“As I was saying, Mister Sanchez: I created a perfect and obedient soldier. Unable to tire, near-impossible to damage permanently, with the processing power of a supercomputer with the tactical creativity of a human mind,” the Doctor said. “You’ve seen the results: she moved circles around your G3s and slipped right through that armor plating right into their main processors. But see, normal humans can’t hope to hurt my masterpiece - and your GOPPERTs are too sluggish to keep up.”

The Doctor looked to the security cameras of the exterior, with an armored van of SWAT personnel ready to breach.

“It’s time to up the test conditions,” the Doctor said, flanked by a few of her reprogrammed G3s. “Prima, if you would take care of some bothersome flies...”

Releasing Sanchez’s mouth from her grip, Prima verbalized an affirmative and took off, her footsteps utterly silent, phasing right through the metal of the panic room door.

Obey, Protect, Serve, Maintain the Creator…

Malice did not flood Prima Mercury’s mind the way it would a human; all there was were her directives.


Last edited by Cynical_Aspie on March 26th 2023, 3:10 am; edited 2 times in total
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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Sage March 12th 2023, 3:29 pm

Live Fire Testing (Complete) 045667731c434448c7c33322bc8b7a1a

Lately, Stareater had gotten pretty good at using her power to fly in the way a rocket would. She wasn't exactly a guided missile, but she could cruise in straight lines pretty decently for a few hundred miles without any hiccups. Therefore, it only took her about 30 minutes to get across the state of Montana. She heard that someone bad was happening, after several people posted clips of some metallic humanoid rampaging through a manufacturing plant. A streak of black and white energy flew across the sky and touched down like a plane on a runway. A SWAT team was already outside, and she immediately looked around for the first person who looked like they were running this. Her entrance wasn't exactly subtle. Everyone looking outside at the time she passed by would've seen the bright glow coming from overhead. Videos of Stareater appearing in places all over the country had been circulating around the internet in the last few months. She was easily recognizable by her helmet, which glowed with the same energy she flew with.

She was far from the type of hero that the entire world knew of, and she wasn't exactly the next Deimos Blackbrook, but she had a mean power she could point at something scary, and that's what she intended to do. "My name is Stareater, and I'm here to help. I heard about the metal thing hurting people in there. What do you know?" She asked the SWAT leader, trying to sound assertive and serious. All the big time heroes talked like they commanded respect, so she thought to emulate that in some way to come off as a real one herself.

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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Cynical_Aspie March 12th 2023, 3:56 pm

"My name is Stareater, and I'm here to help. I heard about the metal thing hurting people in there. What do you know?"

The SWAT Captain was initially going to turn and cordon off the area, initially believing a civilian had crossed the police barricade. But it turned out to be a Meta-human. And more specifically, Stareater - an apparent up-and-coming hero in the world. Fairly obscure, but if videos an the internet were anything to go by, she had a base of admirers or interested parties that were gradually starting to follow her around.

"We're in a bind," the SWAT Captain stated. "Based on security footage in the lab before all communication was cut, the individual killed the security team without much effort. Bullets don't even faze it; sustained fire can stagger her, but not kill her. Apollo System's combat androids didn't fare too much better; it regenerated from damage inflicted by the androids' laser rifles, and straight-up engulfed several androids...like it ate them."

"There's no apparent motive; it just looks like it's operating on orders," the SWAT Captain continued. "From who, we don't know, and the number or suspects that have an ax to grind with the corporation is fairly large. We're ready to breach with explosives and tear gas, but we aren't sure if the gas will even affect it. We also know that one member of Apollo Systems' board of directors is on-site; most likely as a hostage."
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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Sage March 12th 2023, 4:11 pm

Live Fire Testing (Complete) 045667731c434448c7c33322bc8b7a1a

”It’s metallic, and regenerates. Since it’s eating androids, that must mean it uses metallic materials to heal itself, which is in total abundance in a manufacturing plant. It has an advantage. But I bet I can outpace it. We don’t know what explosives would do to it, but if it can swallow something whole like you said, it’s possible that the thing can alter how solid it is. Even if it’s a liquid, it’s still a threat. Don’t waste explosives on it.” That was all just common sense and logical progression for Stareater.

She reached into a pocket on her suit, and handed something to the captain. It was a small box with an antenna. Like a radio receiver, only handheld. It had a cable running from it, wrapped around the box. It had several switches and lights on one side. ”Plug this into one of your radios, and it’ll override the signal. This’ll let us communicate when I go in, I have the other end in my helmet.” She said as she gave her temple a tap. ”My power splits atoms, meaning anything I hit with it can’t be integrated into the machine’s body. It’s possible I can disable it from a distance, unless it has ranged attacks of its own.”

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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Cynical_Aspie March 12th 2023, 9:22 pm

With the security systems she hijacked, Doctor Amelia Frey Franz-Bernstein got a bird’s eye view of the exterior. The SWAT Captain accepted the radio attachment device from the newcomer Meta-human. It was difficult to get a gauge from here on the powers, so Amelia decided to toss a few speed bumps in the way by reprogramming several GOPPERT G3s that were still in standby mode.

The conversation was near-impossible to make out, but the Meta-human appeared to have figured out some of Prima’s abilities based on description alone. So, the Meta-human had at least some semblance of intelligence; more than Amelia had been expecting, at least. She supposed that was alright; one additional factor to test against.

The G3s were better armored than older generations, included a Tungsten-based shield that was used for its very high melting point, and were also the first to use laser weapons as part of their design. This made the G3 equally resistant to plasma and laser-based weaponry in addition to already being highly resilient to ballistic weaponry. If nothing else, Prima could use the combat data gathered from the Meta-human’s actions against the GOPPERTs to formulate an appropriate tactic against the newcomer.

“One more thing,” the SWAT Captain said. “Most of the security feeds we were able to secure after the first five minutes may be corrupted, because much of the videos have been reduced to frozen footage, while others show minimal activity. Cloaking abilities are probably not out of the question - security cameras stopped transmitting fifteen minutes ago, soon after initial police patrols running the beat stopped responding to radio. We suspect the patrol to have been killed in action.”
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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Sage March 12th 2023, 11:29 pm

Live Fire Testing (Complete) 045667731c434448c7c33322bc8b7a1a

”Alright. I’m going in. Have your team stay out here in case any other androids come out. Shoot them, but do not shoot the regenerating one. Your bullets are metal. I’ll try to keep you updated when I go in. That receiver operates on an encrypted frequency, so the only people that can access it is you and me. No one else should be able to interfere with it or listen in. If I don’t give you an update after being silent for ten minutes, assume I’ve been taken out and move in. Until that happens, wait here.”

Stareater said, as she crossed the barricades and entered the building. She checked the screen on her wrist. It read 87% on one section and 98% on the other. Plenty of reserves for a long-winded fight, as she expected this to go.

”I’m in. It looks clear right now.” She wouldn’t be hard to spot on cameras, and she was making no attempts at concealing her presence.

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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Cynical_Aspie March 13th 2023, 12:04 am

Excellent. Test target was not bothering to be subtle. Amelia decided to start slow with a few G3s running around in the labs. She scrambled her voice on the lab announcement system.

“I see you were kind enough to accept my invitation ~,” Amelia’s distorted voice came over the speaker. “Don’t know what your stake is in all this, but while you’re here, how about a bit of a warm-up before the main event? I designed these babies before the company decided to hijack my research.”

“ATTENTION: UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL DETECTED,” a modulated male voice came from one hall. “VACATE PREMISES, OR YOU WILL BE FIRED ON.”

“Get on with it, you bucket of bolts,” Amelia said.

The G3s were about two meters in height, and roughly half that in width. The hefty tungsten shield hung on one arm, while it pointed the laser rifle at Stareater. One fired a single laser shot while the other began to suppress with pulse lasers.

Elsewhere, inside a wall, lay an entire colony of nanobots that together made up Mercury’s construct. A silent observer within the wall, the metallic girl’s optical sensors did multiple full-body scans of the newcomer. The harness gave off multiple power signatures as Mercury cycled her sensors to electromagnetic vision, the brightest of the power signatures came from the helmet itself. Scans marked an object of interest in the left arm; natural programming would be to assimilate in order to discover its use, but the consensus of the collective nanite colony agreed that the logical conclusion was to see an active demonstration of the threat - a consensus that was reached within the span of a nanosecond.

TEST PARAMETER: ANTI-META EFFECTIVENESS

STAND-BY, ASSESSING THREAT:
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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Sage March 13th 2023, 1:51 pm

Live Fire Testing (Complete) 045667731c434448c7c33322bc8b7a1a

Stareater walked inside like she owned the place. Drawing attention to herself was her exact intent, if people were still trapped in this facility, then she wanted the danger focusing on her and not the. She didn't stop when she heard some strange voice talking to her. That must've been the person responsible for this. It didn't sound human, so maybe the metal attacker had the capacity for speech. That was irrelevant, though, because androids rolled out to face her.

Stareater didn't have a physical weapon, but her hands went in front of her as if she were trying to point something invisible at the androids. They were tall and had riot shields. That was not a concern for her, thankfully. What was a concern, though, was the weapons they held, which were visibly identifiable as energy based weapons. Ordinarily, Stareater would eat energy projectiles for breakfast- literally- but right now, she had a relatively full tank. If they started blasting her, they could tear her up easily. So, to prevent that, Stareater decided to shoot first and ask question's later... Except she would if she wasn't getting blasted currently. The first shot felt like a mild sting, the other lasers started to feel warm, however, and Stareater had to react quickly once she felt them begin to burn.

Stareater swung her arm in front of her, and a beam of energy was fired. The laser she projected looked white, but was splattered with black "light" that seemed to writhe like a lava lamp. She sweeped it across the hallway they stood in, and everything the blast touched fragmented at an atomic level. Concrete in the walls crackled and splattered outward as neutrons and electrons were ripped away from each other in grenade-sized explosions, and the tungsten shield held by one android was subjected to the same effect, only to a marginally slower extent, given that tungsten as a metal was very dense. The actual bodies of the androids, however, were less fortunate than a solid slab of tungsten. She sweeped the laser across them in a rapid motion, blasting across their midsections and into the opposite wall. Their bodies would experience a similar fragmentation effect, in which they seemed to detonate like explosives.

Once that was taken care of, Astrid checked her wrist again. 84%. Net loss in energy. Good.

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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Cynical_Aspie March 13th 2023, 7:26 pm

The blasts effectively induced fission an all atoms that formed the armor and alloys of the G3s, from her cubby within a wall behind the assailant, Mercury observed the effects personally, the spike in stored energy, the subsequent drop in the individual's stores upon use of those ability. A logical tactic would be to deny the enemy's ability to gauge their own stores, or to force an overload - tracking the position of all major gadgets on the harness.

THREAT ASSESSMENT: HIGH

OBJECT OF INTEREST: POWER GAUGE (?)

OBJECT OF INTEREST: UNKNOWN DEVICE

OBJECT OF INTEREST: CAPACITOR (?)


Scanning the little wreckage of the G3s, Mercury determined that the chance of salvaging useful material for replication and repair was minimal.

Slipping soundlessly out and reshaping herself behind Stareater, Mercury soundlessly stalked behind as the Creator's voice came from the PA Systems.

"Atomized! You've upped the stakes, young lady," Amelia's distorted voice came from the speakers. "Impressive. But G3s are unimaginative robots limited in their tactical acumen; predictably, they were speed-bumps for you. But now, it's time for the main course: my beautiful Magnum Opus! Prima Mercury, begin evaluation!"

Mercury's left hand de-solidified into a highly viscous semi-liquid and thrust to encompass the device on Stareater's left. At the same time, the fingers of her right hand thrust forward and sharpened to a mono-molecular edge meant to penetrate the right arm, gleaming in the light of the factory, just as it did around her killer form.

"Acknowledged, Creator," Mercury said, emotionless, efficiently, with the same enthusiasm as if one were examining an insect.
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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Sage March 13th 2023, 11:59 pm

Live Fire Testing (Complete) 045667731c434448c7c33322bc8b7a1a

They went down without a fight. That was good, at least. The voice didn’t seem bothered by the whole ordeal. In fact, they seemed to enjoy this. Stareater wasn’t too keen on staying here, so she turned on her heel and ran smack into a metallic android’s blade, which went through her forearm like butter, eliciting a pained noise. The grapple was ineffective, but Stareater was now wounded.

I found it! It’s on me- Stareater said, relaying the information to the SWAT captain as she released an energy blast from her right palm, aimed at its midsection while her other went up to blast it straight in its face. It was difficult to crane her wrist around to aim a shot with her arm stuck at an odd angle, but Stareater could at least clip it in the side if nothing else. Stareater wasn’t fully thinking about her actions at the moment, meaning she wasn’t paying attention to collateral damage, or the fact that her opponent’s bladed hand had made an exit wound in her arm.

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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Cynical_Aspie March 14th 2023, 12:38 am

A hole roughly the size of a small fist sizzled through on the left side of Mercury's belly, destroying the colonies of nanites that composed of her form there and damaging several adjacent colonies. As for Mercury's face, half the head was blown off, but the remainder of the face showed a surprisingly human expression of surprise as all the calculations reassessed the threat in front of her.

THREAT REASSESSMENT: VERY HIGH

TOTAL DAMAGE: MODERATE
INITIATE NANOBOT REPAIR AND REPLICATION SEQUENCE


But perhaps the more pressing concern was the atomized part of the floor, already weakened during Mercury's initial break-in - the beam had completely destroyed a major support beam, and the ground was going unsteady as the floor was starting to fall into the sublevel.

Taking a calculated risk, Mercury huddled close to Stareater as the floor gave way and they both started falling, her frame surprisingly soft and human before further softening and becoming a liquid that engulfed Stareater's torso, which Mercury subsequently constricted around - this also had the effect of softening her bladed fingers, taking pressure off of Stareater's wound, allowing it to bleed freely.

Mercury had been feeling Stareater out (almost seductively), but there was no such thing as attraction for the nanomorph. Such human feelings were irrelevant to her function. Instead, she was looking to damage the capacitors and steal some of the unknown tech (in actuality, one of the BCDs) for analysis and integration into her makeup.


Last edited by Cynical_Aspie on March 16th 2023, 1:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Sage March 15th 2023, 11:38 pm

Live Fire Testing (Complete) 045667731c434448c7c33322bc8b7a1a

”What the hell?” Stareater couldn’t make facial expressions, but seeing Mercury regenerate upon being partially disintegrated surprised her. This bad thing be nanotechnology. Her father used to rant and rave about it a lot, usually whenever nuclear power plants were an adjacent discussion. Stareater considered firing a second blast, but the floor began to cave in, and before she could react, the machine had liquified as she imagined it could, and clung to her as they fell.

Ordinarily, Stareater would blast herself upwards, to find solid ground. Right now, though, that wasn’t so easy given the constriction. Something on her capacitor harness let out an audible crack, as the outer casing broke to expose one of the bank shields. This machine was vicious, and that broke as well. The result was an electrical discharge that ran through Mercury’s entire body. That charge was moving through a closed circuit, which ended at Stareater, and topped her power’s energy storage off at 100% before overloading her for a moment. That elicited a shriek of pain from Astrid, and in retaliation, she began to glow white.

For a brief moment, most of the windows near the ground floor showed the people outside the building that something akin to a veritable flashbang occurred. Stareater released an explosion of Whitespace energy in a sphere around herself. Most of that energy was aimed at the floor, to which they were both falling, so it was entirely possible that Mercury survive. Stareater, however, was flung into an adjacent direction as a result of this poorly executed move, and landed quite roughly on the ground.

Her screen read 73%, and her battery at 67%. She lost a quarter of her maximum reserves in that fall.

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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Cynical_Aspie March 16th 2023, 1:20 am

Mercury did end up surviving, though she had to use up all excess mass reconstructing her body. By the time the dust cleared, only her upper body had reformed, with her lower half being a puddle on the ground. Tenaciously, she reached out to grab whatever exposed rebar and girder there was to accelerate reconstruction. She was close to Stareater at this time, but her system reboots, despite being orders of magnitude faster than even the world's fastest supercomputers, were still in progress.

SWAT began breaching, with little resistance on the way. That was not Amelia's concern; what she saw on the cameras were: an entire section of the lab not in the factory blueprints, with combat drones that were on an independent circuit she wasn't able to hack. The silhouettes that came into view were not any Apollo Systems standard design. These designs lacked much in terms of dense metals like beryllium or tungsten, but had thick ceramic-titanium composite armor - and they were armed with the full nine yards of ballistic weaponry.

"Taking bribes under the table from Global Armaments, are we?" Amelia said with a scowl to Sanchez. "Bitter irony that a member of Apollo's board of directors would smuggle in rival corporate machines."

"They always say money talks," Sanchez commented.

"Well, you won't end up using it - not when the board learns what you've been doing," Amelia said. "And before you brag - you don't even have to be alive to confess. The evidence will outlive you."

As the SWAT team came up to the hole that opened up in the plant's floor, Amelia's distorted voice came over the PA System.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm as genuinely surprised by what your are seeing down there as you are - to think that one of this corporation's executives was selling out space and secrets to a rival company was a shock," she announced. "You brainless plebeians probably think that this was a mere robot that broke in and did all this damage, but you'd be wrong. This - my Magnum Opus - is a new being: Prima Mercury - a faultless fusion of networked nanomachines and human creativity. The very first Nanomorph."

The optical sensors on the robots on the sublevel came to life with a dull red glow.

"Creator," Mercury said. "These GA Models are on a different circuit from the factory's settings."

"You don't say, Prima?" Amelia questioned rhetorically, before a laser blast in the background sounded off. "Regardless, we have what we came for - withdraw as soon as possible. We're leaving."

"And the Meta, Creator?" Mercury asked.

"She was a nice test subject," Amelia admitted. "Her preservation is up to your discretion."

"Acknowledged, Creator," Mercury said, her body most of the way reconstructed as she was up to her thighs before one of the GA models took several shots at her with the ballistic rifle it carried, doing no lasting damage, but staggering her.

"MULTIPLE INTRUDERS DETECTED - COMMENCING HOSTILITIES," the bots said in unison, aiming rifles, machineguns, and bazookas aloft and opening fire on the most immediate threats: the SWAT officers.

TARGETS: GA03 SOLARWIND x 10

ARMAMENT: VARIED BALLISTICS

ARMOR COMPOSITION: TITANIUM-CERAMIC COMPOSITE

THREAT ASSESSMENT: LOW

ASSIMILATION PROBABILITY: HIGH
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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Sage March 18th 2023, 11:06 pm

Live Fire Testing (Complete) 045667731c434448c7c33322bc8b7a1a

Stareater was flung into the vicinity of the unmarked androids, and scrambled to her feet upon seeing them all. Through all the rubble and detritus falling around her, she could hear the SWAT team breaching. "There's more of them!"  She shouted into the radio of her helmet, but it was ultimately futile, as they all came in regardless. Whoever this person was hijacking the intercom, they seemed confident enough to give a villainous monologue. A Nanomorph, which the androids seemed to not like as they fired on the Mercury creature as it tried to reform. "IT REGENERATES!" Stareater said, shouting out loud for all of the SWAT team operatives to hear, but she was quickly drowned out as every single android pointed their absurd amount of weapons away from Mercury, and at them. They opened fire before Stareater could act, so she reacted in a less than stellar way.

Stareater was not a very experienced hero at this point in time. She had her powers for less than six months. Sure, she never had to rest or eat food as long as the environment was warm or had power, and she could engage evil at any hour of the day or night as a result of that, but she was still new. There were things that couldn't be taught actively, and one of those things was the ability to make decisions in split seconds. There were multiple ways she could have tackled this. Stareater could have simply thrown a Whitespace projectile like a grenade to take the group out, and quickly turn around to blast Mercury again, but that would have required deliberate thought on her part. That was something that she did not have the time to do, and so she simply opened fire on every android in front of her that pointed a weapon at the officers. A blinding stream of black and white light, wider than a hallway, poured from both of her hands and screamed through the air like a rocket breaching the atmosphere.

Every single particle that touched the beam was shredded at the molecular level, atoms ripped apart, nuclei erupting by the quintillion. The walls were atomized, the androids, their weapons, and the floor they stood on simply no longer existed after the blast, which only lasted for a second at most. And the sheer force of the blast sent Stareater flying backwards, into a wall that was not touched by the attack. She was not accustomed to firing off such a huge amount of energy. The force of the impact cracked something in her shoulder, and she fell limp to the ground temporarily while the building ceased to tremble.

Her screen now read approximately 6%, and Stareater didn't seem to be getting up.

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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

Post by Cynical_Aspie March 19th 2023, 1:49 am

Meanwhile, at the other side of the plant, an explosion sounded out as something blasted its way out of the panic room and to the surface. The squad cars that covered that part of the plant were effortlessly blasted away by a few of the reconfigured GOPPERTs, and right behind them, out of the hole in the wall, rode Doctor Amelia Frey Franz-Bernstein on one of them, the thrusters on the model propelling her well beyond effective pistol range within seconds.

In the panic room lay the corpse of the corrupt executive, Frank Sanchez, his head cleanly blasted off by an energy weapon, surrounded by every single record of transaction between himself and Global Armaments. Amelia could only think "Good riddance to you."

Preoccupied by the massive atomic blast that obliterated every Solarwind in their path, the only thing left was a blasted up torso. Mercury promptly put her foot on the remains of the combat android, rapidly assimilating its matter into her form. Perhaps warned off by the Meta near her, the SWAT team held its fire following an initial burst of bullets that seemed to be fired out of reflex than intent. Fully reconstructed and operational, Mercury looked down at the Meta.

VITAL SIGNS: FAINT

INJURIES: BROKEN SHOULDER, STAB WOUND

BLOOD LOSS: MODERATE

THREAT: ZERO

"Your power levels are low. Near death - you require the energy you expended to function," Mercury observed. "All calculations dictated that the officers would have sought cover in time, yet you deliberately risked death. Illogical."

Her eyes were drawn to the SWAT team that were holding her at gunpoint, but they didn't fire. With one hand, Mercury lifted Stareater with ease, while the other tore a piece of the harness off. Her right arm split an extra limb to fashion a makeshift tourniquet from the piece before she jumped up, Stareater in hand, and phased partway into the rock.

"Logic only carries so far," a Sergeant yelled. "Not that I'd expect a machine to understand."

"A machine," Mercury echoed. "I am whatever the Creator requires me to be."

"Place Stareater down immediately," the SWAT Captain said.

"I am not bound to your orders, but...," Mercury said, looking at the girl in her hand once more before surrounding her hand on Stareater's wrist computer. "My business here is concluded. Styptic and suture kit is the bare minimum to stop her bleeding."

Her liquid metal made contact with the hardware and, by extension, interfaced with the software. The code flew before her optical sensors, integrating into her own code.

Reading and copying the code from Stareater's power monitor into her systems allowed her to immediately track her power levels and current input/output in real-time, alongside her projected power use. Stretching her free hand upwards, she gave a back of the harness a good hit with a precision cutting laser, jumping the levels up a few percentage points before moving Stareater over to the SWAT team. Impassively, she watched as one began to move with a First Aid Kit. Mercury's calculations projected that even with the power boost, Stareater would no longer be combat capable.

Mere nanosecond observation of the surroundings told her there were at least fifty different ways she could dispatch everyone in the room. Still, the termination of all officers and Stareater were discretionary choices she was given rather than orders to carry out. And assimilating the coding from Stareater's computer would be sufficient should their paths cross again. With one last glisten of the moonlight through the blasted out window, Mercury phased the rest of her body out of the room.

"Perimeter! Get medics in!" the captain ordered.
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INV ONLY Re: Live Fire Testing (Complete)

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