NationStates Jolt Archive

New and Improved

Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 08:05
Nathicana paced around her secondary office, still rather put out over the temporary loss of her favorite.

"Well, no good putting it off ... may as well get to it."

Taking out her phone, she dialed a number and waited.
15-06-2003, 08:09
Aboard the QACF/CC Queendom's Glory...

S.H.O.D.A.N. leaned over from reclining in cyberspace at the buzz of an incoming message. Tapping a contact in her mind, she completed the connection.

"Hello, Sentient HyperOptimized Data Access Network, Master Control Program of the Queendom Zero-One. How can I help you?"
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 08:13
"Hullo, Shodey - It's Nathicana. Know it's been hectic and all, but um ... well, was wondering if now might be a good time for implementing some of those 'improvements' we'd discussed?" she said somewhat nervously, idly fiddling with a lock of her hair.

"I think I've got everything under control here, at least for the moment and, well ..." she trailed off uncomfortably.
15-06-2003, 08:21
QACF/CC Queendom's Glory

"Most excellent! I shall meet you at your villa with alacrity. Don't be worried... you're going to wake up a new and better you. Ta ta!"

S.H.O.D.A.N. tilted her head in cyberspace towards another datajunct. "Hello, me..."

The SLAGLands

On it, me. Will continue streaming data.

S.H.O.D.A.N.'s local Earth avatar rolls off from reclining on the couch and sprints out the door. Jumping down flights of stairs, she makes it to the '67 Corvshuttle in record time. Hopping into the blue velvet interior, she flips the heat-up contacts and has the thing floating before she puts on her safety harness. Hands on throttle and control stick, she glides the silvery craft into the sky.

Nathi's Villa, Twenty Minutes after the Call
The '67 Corvshuttle falls out of the sky and lands on the grass with a soft whirr. Hopping out of the quickly-opening hatch, Shodey waves. "Hi, Nathi. Hop in, you're getting a space ride."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 08:25
"My dear, you truly know how to make an entrace." Nathi grinned.

"So long as you're sure it's safe and all ... " she gingerly got insided, eyes a bit wide at all the tech, not to mention the prospect of space travel.

"Mmmm ... Love the wheels." she said, checking out the interior of the shuttle/car.
15-06-2003, 08:39
Shodey hops in and demonstrates the safety harness before closing the doors. "Ya, I like it. Sleek lines and what not, a most efficient machine. And blue is a nice color."

Pushing the throttle forward, the shuttle streaks through the clouds. The blue sky slowly fades to black, and then the stars appear. Millions of them, scattered across the sky with unparalleled brilliance. "Pretty, no? Sometimes I think Earth forgets that these are out here." Shodey sighs. "Then again, with how thick it's air has become... I can guess why."

A small needle appears in the distance; it quickly resolves into a wasp-waisted craft maybe a hundred meters long and fifteen meters in diameter at its thickest, ten meters in diameter at its waist. "That's Queendom's Glory, my space avatar. It's as much me as"--she nods down to her female-analog frame--"this is."

A section in the waist opens outward to accept the small shuttle, which fits in snugly. There is a slight bump as docking clamps engage and the doors close, then a whoosh as the chamber is repressurized. The passenger side door opens, revealing two meter-tall naval robots which resemble mechanical flayed lemurs with wolf-spider eyes.

"These are R-Genghis 04FD31 and R-Kublai 5B4A00. They'll escort you to your quarters for the journey to Rhea. This avatar"--the humanoid avatar puts a hand on her chest--"shall be returning to the SLAGLands. Can't stay too far from Barry, I have to keep him out of trouble." She chuckles.
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 08:49
Nathicana is still rather speechless from the whirlwind trip, not to mention all the talk of 'avatars' and what not. Still, ever the diplomat, she nods and smiles, trying to keep the wide-eyed look of 'ohmygodohmygod' from her face.

"I ... I thank you for this opportunity, truly." she says, lapsing into formality to cover her discomfort over so suddenly being introduced to space and tech far beyond what she's accustomed to.

"And yes - I think you'd best keep a close eye on that boy. Two, in fact. Though I'm not sure if either one of you is well suited to keeping the other out of trouble rather than instigating it." Nathi chuckled, pondering pranking.

"I'd say goodbye, but that just doesn't seem terribly appropriate. May this avatar," she said, nodding to the humanoid, "enjoy a safe and pleasant trip."

Turning to the other two, she smiled. "Well then my dears, lead on."
15-06-2003, 09:07
"Good point on the trouble... and interesting take on the avatars." Shodey tilts her head and smiles. "In fact, if you think about it too hard, you're actually inside me now. I'll speak with you again when you reach your quarters."

The two androids escort Nathi through an airlock into a simple metal-plated hexagonal hallway lit along the edges, resembling something from an austere 1960s sci-fi movie, ending in an equally austere metal door. With the atmosphere pumps humming softly behind her as they evacuate the air from the shuttle dock, the door in front of her opens silently and reveals a cleanly elegant suite with thoroughly functional but comfortable-looking furniture, all in shades of blue. The floor is carpeted in a thick, soft, dark-blue material; the furnature and art-deco ornamentation on the walls are light blue, and the walls themselves are medium blue. The ceiling is composed of white-light LEDs that spread a soft natural light into the room.

The suite is comprised of a living area, a kitchenette, and a bedroom. A door in the bedroom leads to the bathroom--Shodey knows organics and plans for them. Everywhere except for the bathroom (see above comment) there is a large wide flatscreen monitor; the one in the living area blinks on immediately as Nathi walks in. It displays Shodey's face, except her hair seems more spread out and less hair-like... it looks like a face peering out of a network of cabling. "So, do you like it? I set up the ship for diplomatic missions, this is the first time these rooms have actually been used by an organic."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 09:18
"Shodey, if I think about it too hard, my head will burst." she laughed. "Safe trip - give that boy a hug for me."

Following the two androids, she smiled, admiring the decor. Jumping slightly in suprise at Shodey's sudden appearance, she grins.

"I get to be the first here? Then I love it twice as much."
15-06-2003, 09:23
The face on the screen grins. "Excellent. We'll be doing a nice leisurely two hundred and fifty gravities of constant acceleration, so we should reach Rhea in seven hours. I have the windows closed for now; as this is your first spaceflight. Still, I've heard that people like to watch Earth recede into the distance.

"Is there anything I can get you? R-Genghis and R-Kublai there are more than willing to assist."

The naval androids nod and look back up at Nathi. The one labeled 'R-Genghis 04FD31' shrugs. "I'm not a bad cook, at least according to S.H.O.D.A.N."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 09:38
"I'm afraid I'm still reeling from all the input." she said truthfully. "If I ate now ... well, lets say it might be coming back up soon after."

Blushing slightly at the admission, she tossed her hair back over her shoulder. "Really, I don't want to be any more trouble than neccessary. You're being extremely gracious as is."

She settles down in one of the chairs gingerly, then flashes them all a smile. "Thank you for the closed doors ... I'm still trying not to consider this anything more than a very elaborate air flight across the ocean. Truly, I'll be just fine. Whatever you'd normally do, please, feel free - don't let me be a bother."
15-06-2003, 09:43
"That's just it," S.H.O.D.A.N.'s face smirks, "we would usually just depressurize this room. Now that I have company, I should be a more gracious host than that. If I may ask, why does the concept of spaceflight put you ill at ease? I assure you I have taken every precaution for our safety."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 09:59
"I trust you implicitly." she said, though her brow arched somewhat at the depressurize comment. "It's my um ... well, technically, acrophobia. Has nothing to do with you." Nathi said uncomfortably.

"But enough of all that ... dinner. Yes, dinner would be great. And um .. whatever is fine - I'm not picky."

"Now about the a .. proceedure. Anything I need to know beforehand?" She smiled warmly, hoping to avoid further convo on her discomfort as it made her well, uncomfortable.
15-06-2003, 10:03
R-Genghis slinks over to the kitchenette, pulls out a stool, and peers into the fridge for ingredients. "Anything in particular you like, ma'am? We're very well stocked. I'm thinking a light yaki soba noodle soup for your discomfort."

S.H.O.D.A.N. nods on-screen, her low voice filling the room. "The procedure, while quite intensive, is relatively simple. How much detail do you want me to go into? Some people are very uncomfortable with the thought of their bodies being... manipulated."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 10:12
Nodding to Ghengis, she smiled. "I think that would be just fine." Yaki what? And as for the proceedure ...

"No, no ... please. I've always found such discussions fascinating. Say on, my dear." And who knows - all this could possibly give me a few ideas on pain induction, if used properly.
15-06-2003, 10:29
The android nods, pulls up a stool, and starts simmering something on the stove. It hums to itself as it works.

S.H.O.D.A.N.'s face nods. "Very well then. First step will be to remove all your skin in as view pieces as possible and store it in a nutrient bath to ensure it remains intact. Then I will remove practically all of the musculature from your torso and limbs. These will be replaced, and are therefore discarded. As you want toxin resistance, I will then have to 'crack' your ribcage open and attach the annelid-base implant to your esophagus and trachea, with a leader to your bladder. It should counter most common poisons and toxins.

"Next, after grafting your ribcage back to where it should be, is to lace your skeletal structure with the ceramic composite, basically giving your bones an extra layer of armor and armoring your joints. After that I will add the myomers that will make up your new musculature along with the nerves to actuate them and the reflex time enhancers along your central nervous system. Then it's a simple matter of putting your skin back on and sealing the incision lines. There will be hairline scars for a few weeks, but they should disappear soon enough.

"While you are in the somnolescent healing stage recovering from that, I will remove your ears and, gaining access to your inner ear, implant the balance enhancement microgyros, the hearing amplification equipment in your cochlea with sound filtration softs. Putting your ears back on, I will then use lasers combined with annular magnetic tubes to drill microscopic holes into your skull to inject nanites into your central nervous system, where they will build and augment the natural neural pathways between your new earware and your brain as well as connect the inner ears to an expanded spatial recognition cybernetic ganglion they will build in your cerebellum.

"Three weeks later you'll wake up to find you can crush stones with your bare hands."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 11:22
She nodded as S.H.O.D.A.N. spoke, eyes alight both with personal interest and an eagerness to have such abilities at her disposal.

Benefits are legion. Drawbacks are few. I'm not sure I could loose on a deal such as this ... even if it means giving up some of my humanity to have. It's not as though I haven't made sacrifices before to get what I wanted.

"Any drawbacks or side effects with the annelid?" she asked. "And the jack you mentioned, for keeping in contact with my operatives during my recovery. They will be awaiting my instructions."
15-06-2003, 11:39
"Well, other than having part of The Many in you, no. Annelids were specifically designed to adapt to whatever host it finds itself in; possibility of rejection is under one tenth of one percent. There is also the concern about you not being able to repair any damage to the myomers... but I believe I may have a solution to that. Would you mind being a test subject? I've thought of a cyborganic annelid implant that would make specialized nanites that could repair--albeit at a reduced rate--myomer damage. It would use the lymph to get around in.

"The datajack is a simple affair; nanited make connections from your brain to an induction plate I'll put just to the left of your left eyebrow. Using a transdermal induction jack, you can communicate with the outside world. I'll set you up with a virtual avatar that you can operate in a simplified cyberspace setting just like your normal body--it's like walking around in a dream--and I can edit the setting to appear like anything you wish to maintain your cover."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 11:55
She continued weighing and measuring as the details were laid out for her.

Test phase, but possibility of continual repair ... interesting. And the thought of navigating cyberspace - we're nowhere near that level of technology. So much for my information ministry keeping things from me, perhaps. And Janus ... what has that boy been up to?

Pausing, she templed her fingers in front of her pursed lips, brows furrowed, pondering.

"Lets do it." she said simply.
15-06-2003, 12:10
"Outstanding." The visage on the screen smiled. "Thank you for humoring me, but I get... creative on these things and there are so few who are willing to allow me to do so."

R-Genghis returns from the kitchenette carrying a steaming bowl of soup filled with rice noodles, eggs, bits of vegetable, and chicken. Two chopsticks stick out of the bowl. "Your yaki soba, ma'am."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 12:17
Nodding, Nathi thanks the android for the soup, and begins alternatively sipping from the bowl, and using the chopsticks to bring morsels to her mouth in a delicate fashion.

"S' delicious. Truly." she smiles.

... Creative, is it? And humoring her? Interesting ...

"Well then ... here's to a successful experiment for yourself, and a vast improvment on what nature gave for me." She inclined her head to the image with a sly smile.
15-06-2003, 12:40

Rhea, Moon of Saturn

About six hours later, the wasp-waisted corvette lands on a pad near the massive computer complexes of Zero-One. An inflatable boarding ramp extends to the ship's single airlock. Escorted there by the two naval androids, Nathi finds herself staring into the eyes of another S.H.O.D.A.N. humanoid-avatar when the hatch opens. "Welcome to Rhea, moon of Saturn, in Triumvirate of Yut space."

The avatar leads Nathi through the clear plastic tunnel. "Over there, as you can see, is Saturn." The ringed planet practically fills the sky, its rings stretching across the heavens. It's obviously spherical, at this distance, and it instills an odd sense of vertigo. Entering the orderly maze that is Zero-One, Nathi is led past androids and Security-2 bots until she reaches...

The Room of Metal and Pipes

It's a simple boxy room, made of metal, and lined with pipes shuttling some fluid or another through them with a soft shuffling sound. The room is dominated by a single table, centrally located, with a host of strange tools on a rack that hangs from the ceiling over the table. Monitors hang from almost every conceivable angle. There is a sink in one corner and a small red chair in the other.

S.H.O.D.A.N., walking past a console set into the wall, taps a button. Meditation from "Thais" by Massenet pipes in softly, filling the room with the quiet hum of violins as Shodey walks over to the sink and washes her hands with disinfectant--as if it was really necessary. The alcohol-based fluids trickle down her grey-skinned hands.

"Well, your clothing will get in the way of this operation, for obvious reasons. Hop up on the table and lie down when you're ready. Would you like to be conscious during the first stages of the operation? It's traditional for me to ask... even if this is going to be quite extensive."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 12:46
Nothing had prepared her for the sight of Saturn, so close ... so beautiful as it hug there in space. The station was amazing, and she tried to take in every detail as she was led down through its corridors.

Shivering involuntarily, she looks around the room, listening to S.H.O.D.A.N.'s instructions and nodding. Without comment, she shrugs out of her clothing, laying it in a neat pile on the floor away from the table.

"Actually ... if that's possible ... what you've described is too terribly intriguing to pass up. Please, if I might be able to observe ..." She slid onto the table gracefully, and stretched out, shivering again in a mix of fear, anticipation, and chill.
15-06-2003, 13:02
S.H.O.D.A.N. raises an eyebrow. "You want to be left awake?" She smirks. "Finally, someone interested enough in her body to want to see how it works. I must say, the human organism is one of the finest machines I have ever seen."

Lifting Nathi's head up slightly, S.H.O.D.A.N. clamps a cold (they're always cold!) metal instrument to the back of Nathi's neck at the base of her skull. Sensation tingles, then suddenly melts away. "This device basically interrupts all sensory input from your limbs through induction and white-noise principles. It also cancels reflex actions. Your body will still 'sense' what is being done to it but the message will not reach the central nervous system, making it irrelevant."

After setting up various bits of equipment (that I'm too tired to describe in full detail) to deal with blood regulation and placing an oxygen mask over Nathi's mouth, Shodey begins by turning a small knob on the side of the bed. A grav-generator in the equipment rack pulls Nathi off of the table, suspending her in mid-air. "This will make it easier."

As the music softly plays, Shodey pulls a laser scalpel from the rack and, humming along, deftly cuts around the circumference of Nathi's left arm around the shoulder. Repeating at the wrist, she then cuts a thin long line from the shoulder cut to the wrist cut. Then she puts the scalpel down, and gently massaging the skin with ultrasound to disrupt the subcutaneous layer. She then unwraps the skin, showing bright red exposed muscle and white tendons, turns around, and gently puts the flayed skin into a blue bath of nutrients to preserve it. Turning to Nathi's left hand, she again disrupts the subcutaneous with ultrasound and gently pulls off the skin, forming some odd parody of a glove. She places a nonreactive acrylic dummy hand into the glove "to keep it from healing to itself." The entire bit is then put into the bath.

This process is repeated with the other arms, the legs, and the torso, although the torso curves requrire some creative cutting. Each new section is placed into the bath. As she proceeds, Shodey mentions various details, makes small talk, and points out things of anatomical interest, explaining how they work and what not.
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 13:24
Closing her eyes, she let the sensory blocker do its job, waiting for a moment before opening them and looking down to what Shody was working on - her arm. Nathi watched the process begin with a cool, professional detatchment. She had seen the human body flayed in various creative methods before, but never for such an intriguing purpose, nor with such skill and speed.

The possiblities with lasers and equipment such as this are simply endless ... the hours that could be achieved ... the levels that could be reached ...

Seeing the red slickness of her muscles appear as the skin of her torso was taken away gave her pause. With an odd expression of intrigue and slight horror, she watched the play of her muscles, the tendons, the bones, as they rose and fell along with her breathing.

Madre santa ... The realization that it was her body she was observing, instead of someone else under the knife, or in her tender care, hit home suddenly. She let the sound of the music wash over her, forcing herself to focus on the job at hand.

Watch ... learn ... do not let this opportunity go to waste.
15-06-2003, 13:46
"Now for the tricky part. I have to excise most of your musculature but at least leave the nerve contact points intact for the myomers, both for sensation and actuation."

Beginning with the outermost muscles, Shodey gently scrapes their tendons off the bone and coaxes them out, white nerve fibers slowly stringing out of the mass of sinews. The sensation would be excrutiatingly painful, but that's what the white-noise induction jack is for. As each muscle is removed, it is placed in a seperate nutrient bath. "Just in case. I can put you back together at any time... you have the unique opportunity of aborting even mid-procedure."

Taking a bit longer than the four minutes for the skin, still, in under a half hour Nathi's body is reduced to little more than a skeletal structure and muscular cavity walls. Her ribcage is completely exposed, and the abdominal wall undulates with the actions of various vital organs. Putting the scalpel back onto the rack, Shodey draws down a much larger version down. Vibrating with an audible hum, she rakes it efficiently against each side of the ribcage. One stroke, two strokes. Putting it back where she got it from, she gently lifts off Nathi's ribcage.

Pulling a clear plastic case out from under the table filled with a blue liquid, she opens it to reveal two odd looking organs; one knobbly and pink, the other surprisingly smooth and blue. Taking the scalpel up once again, Shodey makes a standard upper-chest cavity incision and opens it wide with forceps. As she lifts the knobbly organ out of its nutrient bath, it wiggles almost as if in protest. Placing it firmly between the trachea and esophagus, the organ automatically fuses with those two pipes and quickly builds its own filtration system. Nathi would find it surprisingly difficult to breathe for a few moments before normal airflow returned.

Shodey then inserted the blue organ into the chest cavity near the neck so it could access the lymphatic system. "Ahh, the wonders of annelid technology--they make the connections themselves. So simple in the long run. This one here is basically an organic resource processor with an internal nanoassembler. Builds nanites to fix you... just in case, comes complete with an emergency nanite storage membrane."

Removing the forceps and closing the incision with a swift swipe of a maser, she puts a bit of healing-inducing glue on the slowly oozing exposed marrows of Nathi's ribs and replaces the ribcage. "You'll want to be put out from this point on, trust me."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 14:13
"Stupore." she manages to breathe. The sight of her muscles being systematically removed would have her pale, if she were able to convey such things in her condition. "Allineare, posso invertire il processo?", she mutters. "You can reverse then."

As the process continues, even her hardened nerves are shaken. She looks away on occasion, to stare blankly at the ceiling, eyes somewhat glazed. But each time, something new draws her back at least for a moment.

What in the name of all that is holy, and all that isn't for that matter, have you done? Her mind refused to reconcile what she saw before her, and what she'd seen in a mirror just moments before.

Her eyes roll back momentarily as her ribcage is lifted free.

"Dalla tomba della mia madre, diami la resistenza!" she hissed. Oh, give me strength to last through this. Don't let me disgrace myself any more than I already have.

Forcing herself, she watched in morbid fascination and no small measure of apprehension as Shodey pulled out the two odd organs.

You wanted this. It will all be worth it. You can't back out n... "Nghhh!" was all she could manage as the annelid worked its way into place. Her eyes went wide with real fear as she realized her breath had all but stopped ... then slowly resumed.

She watched the next few steps dazed, merely nodding almost imperceptably at the suggestion to be put out, welcoming having the sight of what was left of her body shut from her eyes.
15-06-2003, 14:36
Poor thing. This must look rather disturbing to her... well, she's a trooper for having stuck with it for this long.

Fighting back the urge to pat Nathi on the head consolingly due to her bloody hands, Shodey takes up a general anesthetic injector from the equipment rack and pushes it into Nathi's neck. There is a metallic *chunk* as it pumps a yellow brain-freezer into her arteries.

"Good night."

And it all slows to a standstill before fading into nothingness.


Everything after that was relatively easy. Wash hands, then paint the composite onto the bones, then heat to cure it; mold armor plates for the joints and affix into place with some artificial tendons; then affix the myomer musculature in an exact copy of Nathi's original musculature, nerves reimplanted and reattached in the process. After that, coat with a thin layer of nanite medium to fix up what Shodey can't do on hand.

Looking at Nathi, she decides to leave her out until most of her skin is back on. Jiggle the skin-glove off of the acrylic hand, gently slip it back onto the white strands of Nathi's new muscles; jiggle, slip; skin slippers replaced on feet and the oddly-shaped front and rear torso patches of skin returned to their rightful places; binding leg skin to leg and arm skin to arm until she was left only with the left arm partially replaced.

Well, she seemed to take it well until the removal of the musculature... maybe I should wake her up now to see her new muscles. Just to put her under again for the somnolescent healing stage?

No, it'd be a good idea just so I can assure her that it's going along perfectly.

Bringing Nathi out of unconsciousness with a tiny jolt of electricity underneath the chin, Shodey presents Nathi her reconstructed skin with only one small patch of white plastic composite myomers showing... looking identical to the musculature on the naval robots earlier. "Just wanted you to know that it's coming along fine. I'll put you back under to recover, then put in the jack so I can put you through cyberspace and you can run your country in absentia."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 14:45
Looking first at Shodey, then at her arm, then back to Shodey again, Nathicana smiles. "I had every faith." she rasped. "Grazie. Bene grazie. My thanks."

Despite a somewhat haunted look in her eyes, Nathi looks ... content, and rather satisfied.

"Please ... I don't wish to detain longer than I have." she says simply. "And thank you again. I look forward to this next trip as well."

Ah, won't Jas be suprised.

Closing her eyes, she relaxed back and waited.
15-06-2003, 15:08
With that, Shodey flashes a satisfied grin and quickly glues the remaining skin down. Taking the scalpel again and setting it to maser, she seals the skin back together at the seams. After taking the effort to line up natural skin surface patterns, Shodey ensures the seams are practically invisible unless one stares awkwardly.

Deactivating the grav-generator, Nathi's body comes back into contact with the table as Shodey puts her back under. "See you in cyberspace." Fade out once again.

Then, the barber's ultimate threat is carried out. Off come the earlobes, out come the inner ears, pried out gently--can't burst the tympanum, that'd be bad--and Shodey carefully affixed various bits she pulled out of a nearby bin to the cochlea and tympanum. The ears are slid back into where they belong and the ears reattached--that blue superglue is wonderful stuff. Then another tiny incision with the laser, an induction jack slipped in, another quick seal with the maser.

After that, Shodey brings down a clear plexiglas box and affixes it over Nathi's brainpan and flips a switch on it. Varicolor beams of light lance past her hair into her scalp, transmitting nanites to take excess proteins and build natural axons augmented by their own bodies, sacrificed for the cause. The entire process only takes a few minutes.

Less than three hours after Nathi walked into Zero-One, S.H.O.D.A.N. wheeled Nathi into a somnolescent healing chamber; no more than a padded tube kept at a nice quiet temperature. Constant microstimulation of what little natural muscle Nathi has left (basically face and neck) prevents atrophy. Finally, Shodey affixes a magnetic cyberjack to Nathi's eyebrow, transmitted through skin induction.


Nathi wakes up to find herself in a large, black room with yellow highlights along the edges. It is completely empty save for S.H.O.D.A.N. sitting cross-legged, smiling.

"Well, you're the... third organic to achieve this, actually meeting me not via avatar but in my actual self, and you're definitely the first friendly one to. It's good to meet you in the mind."

(OOC: If I don't manage to reply before Vandenberg, assume that ye get taught what you need to know.)
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 15:14
In the mind ... she mouths the words, thinking for a moment. Her eyes widen interestedly and she smiles.

"This ... this is not what I had expected."
15-06-2003, 15:22
S.H.O.D.A.N. smiles. "Well, I am a cyberspace organism, really... this is about as face-to-face as it gets." Rasing an arm, she indicates the rather drab setting. "This is your own personal cube of c-space... it's slowed down. Having not implanted an encephalon, the normal c-space of Zero-One could quite possibly blow your mind with information overload. Time here passes generally at an equal rate to realspace; in other words, this is your home for the next twenty-one days.

"I've set it up to respond to basically your every whim; think it and it will be done. You can communicate with whomever you want to through the networks and access nonpriveledged information. I wouldn't suggest poking into the privledged information, my Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics are quite advanced... and quite lethal.

"Go ahead, try to bring something into existence. Just think about it."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 15:29
A few things seem to flicker, half forming as Nathi's mind filters down through several options before settling down on a simple dagger. Turning it over in her hands, she smiles broadly.

"Interesting." she says softly, testing the weight, and the sharpness of the blade against her thumb.

"No fear on your countermeasures ... I'd scarcely want to try and rob my benefactor, nor offend in any way." Nathi tilted her head down in acknowledgement.

"I almost hate to say it, but ... I am indebted to you."

Suddenly taking on a more mischievous grin she says, "Any whim, you say?"
15-06-2003, 15:30
S.H.O.D.A.N. grins. "Any whim. The limit is your own twisted imagination."
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 15:33
Oddly enough, Nathi blushes. Furiously. "I ah ... I think for now I'll take your word on it." She coughs nervously, looking at Shodey with a guilty smile.

"Now on communications ... the proper access ports or avenues?" She reaches out tentatively, her thoughts concentrated on Jas back in the Dominion.
15-06-2003, 15:37
"They will be arranged for you automatically."

A connection is made through several relays in Zero-One, transmitted via Angelus-based technology instapulse to a comsat orbiting Earth which, using Earth's existing comsat constellation, transmits a handshaking message to the requested destination.

In short, Jas's phone rings.
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 15:53
Wiping a hand across bleary eyes, Jas grabs his phone, swearing under his breath.

"You know what bloody time it is here?" he growls, fumbling around on his nightstand for his smokes and a light.

Nathi: "Your normally charming self, I see. Just needed to check in. Make sure all's well. The usual. And to assure you I'm still here, still in charge, and unharmed. All here going as planned, expected return date unchanged."

Jas: "Good to hear. You'll be happy to know that all hell has broken loose here while you've been out gallavanting around again." He lit up his smoke, leaned back on his pillow, one arm behind his head, and exhaled deeply.

Nathi: She went very still, brow arching up at both his tone and his statement. "What is it?" she asked crisply.

Jas: "Your latest aquisition. Seems he's gone and gotten himself shot or worse. Yes, your Wolf. They've a state funeral and everything going on. And where are you, girl?" His lip curled as he let out another deep exhalation of clove-scented smoke.

Nathi: Eyes going wide, she stammers "No, Jas ... you're wrong. He's just fine. I left him at a party. With friends. The security ..." She looked over at Shodey, a strange expression on her face. "Jas ... I have to go. Arrange ... no, wait ... get ... No, just wait. No move til I give word."

"End connection." she half whispered.
15-06-2003, 15:55
In c-space...

The connection closes.

S.H.O.D.A.N. says nothing, but her face falls into one of commisseration. She moves closer and wraps an arm around Nathi's shoulders. The sensation tingles somewhat.
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-06-2003, 15:59
Nathi simply leans her head down against Shodey, her eyes staring ahead, unseeing.

"I will find them." she whispers brokenly.

"And I will kill them."
15-06-2003, 16:03
S.H.O.D.A.N. wraps her other arm around Nathi and, resting her chin on Nathi's shoulder, stares off into the opposite direction, thinking about what she'd do if anything would happen to Barry...

"I know the feeling."