Sarens Rest is a bustling place most of the time. Even at night, though there are less people around, it’s still busy. Not all D-Bee’s are diurnal after all. However, Rousseaus – a local bar, part pawn shop – gets somewhat busy of an evening and tonight is no real exception.
Ardul is here, after returning from Vesper earlier in the day. She’s sitting at a table, with her guitar propped against it. In front of her is a data tablet and the blonde is tapping at it, frowning occassionally as she does.Hunter steps in to Rousseaus. He’s a known figure here – it’s hard to miss a wolfen who matches his bot so precisely – and apparently has something of a repuation as a fighter too. As always he’s wearing a long duster – it’s cold this time of year – and has his laser revolver strapped to his thigh. He waves to Ardul as he enters and goes to the counter for a drink. Once that’s done the grey furred wolfen comes to sit down at Ardul’s table.
“Got anything of interest there?”
Ardul notices when Hunter enters and returns his wave with a casual gesture before dropping her attention to the tablet again.
“Hunter.” The blonde greets the Wolfen as he takes a seat “Depends on what you call interesting…” she murmurs, raising her eyes to meet his.
“I managed to access one of the cores of those Cyborgs we stopped. But it’s encrypted. I’m running it through a decrypter, but it’s taking time. I’ve had to patch some of the coding from my armour into it … and it’s draining the power source when I do.” Which might be problematic given her armour isn’t tech from around here.
“How are you, doing? Any update on those signal activations?” He’d said something about wondering if the Head of Security had forgiven him. “Did you reach the person you were going to try and contact?”That gets a quirk of a brow from Hunter. He’s seen her armor in action. For the most part it seems to be just armor. Protective garments. Maybe it needs a bit of juice to do what it does but he’s never seen it do anything other than stop blows. Code seems to be… beyond what he would expect it to have.
“Yes I did. Nothing useful to me yet though.” Hunter doesn’t elaborate and doesn’t seem inclined to at the moment. “I’m well otherwise. There’s work and then some, so it’s keeping me occupied. Not busy per se but… productive.”
Seeing the quirk of his brow, the blonde offers a small smile, seemingly reading his mind. “There’s a small microprocessor in my armour that regulates the power and gives me a modicum of control over it.” He’s seen her use the ‘burst’ capability before to destroy a demon that got that too close. “I’ve been using the code in that as a base and trying to decrypt this core.” It isn’t easy and still requires a lot of manual intervention.
“It’s the power for my suit that’s a worry though. My sword too. Whilst the technology allows for a long duty cycle, it will eventually deplete or worse, fail. I need to find a way to adapt it to something that is more easily accessible here.” She watches Hunter as she speaks “Been considering a trip into the Point to see whether there’s anything from the … Golden Age … I might be able to use.”
His answer to her enquiry gets a nod and a smile “Well I hope you find something soon, it’s a puzzle to be sure.” One that has caught her attention.“There’s a fair amount of high energy technology on Earth. What about your power requirements prevents you from using that?” While there’s a lot of golden age tech that didn’t get recovered Hunter is aware that fusion generator and engine technology is still extant. Dogwood makes use of it. Some things in Vesper do as well. Owning a fusion engine isn’t cheap, but it’s also not impossible. His assault bot is built around a quite powerful one.
“Failing that we can take a walk into the point at some time to be sure. It’s a bit chancy but we might find something. What are your requirements?”
“There is…” Ardul agrees frowning at the tablet again before tapping the screen and bringing up another display. “… I’m still getting my head around it, too. You’d think, coming from a technologically dependendant society, that I’d be able to understand lower and different levels of tech.”
She snorts softly and takes a drink from the mug in front of her “My biggest issue isn’t the power the tech provides, but the size of the power source required. The power source for my armour isn’t all that large.” It can’t possibly be, can it?
Showing Hunter the tablet, he can see a list of specifications “It’s not exact, of course but it’s close. These are the power requirements for my suit and my blade. And these are the physical dimensions.”
It could well be possible to take some of the Fusion tech that already exists and modify it. Ardul might just need to change her thinking somewhat, and find some extra income.Hunter looks down at the specifications and thinks. “A fusion plant to power all that would need an exoskeleton to go with it. It’d be pretty heavy, so I don’t think that’s what you want. A fusion battery might work. It’d give you a limited amount of power but it’d still be measured in years. But I think if you actually want a reactor capabale of handling this you’re going to need to do some shopping… elsewhere…”
The wolfens’ expression goes a bit pensive. “There’s a dimensional transit lattice in Vesper that might be able to take you some place suitable…”
“That’s what I was concerned about. Getting something small and light enough to replace what I’ve got.” Ardul sits back and considers “A battery isn’t a bad idea and I could live with a duty cycle of years. As long as I can replace it when needed.” Of course, there’s always the concern that it would drain if excessive power was needed.
“I’m not married to a reactor, but it seems like the most sensible idea.” Seeing his pensive look, she’s quiet for a very long time. “The place that made your Gun-Wolf? Northern Gun, I think you said…” and wasn’t there some problem with them dealing with D-Bee’s? “What are you thinking before I get too attached to the idea?”“There’s more than just human tech on Earth.” Hunter points out. “My people, and other advanced people got dumped here. And there are those who come to do business here throughout the multiverse. They may well have something that is small enough to fit inside your armor. Of course there’s still a question of fueling and servicing it…”
The wolfen ponders the question a bit more. “It is… possible that we might find a wolfen reactor that’ll work. A lot of the tech my people used to use functioned on principles that we can no longer replicate here on Earth. Still works well enough though.”
“I suppose there are.” The blonde snorts again “I have to get used to that. There might be something at that. Iyesgarth might have been isolated, but we still had our share of visitors. Just not like here…” She considers that for a long moment “I don’t suppose there’s something like a multiverse swap meet or market we could attend?”
Even if there isn’t, she can still keep her ears and eyes and open.
The rest of his pondering has her looking at him. “I’ve not seen much of your tech, myself. Just the small bits we’ve found when we’ve investigated those sites but it might be possible. If we can find a reactor that is… and make the necessary adjustments. I know you have various Wolfen tech, is there something I might be able to study?”
Her tablet beeps then and she frowns again, switching the screen back to the routine she was running. “Part of the code has decoded…”“Yes and noooo…” Hunter says. “The largest and most permanent one on Earth is in Splynn which is, trust me, not a place we want to go. There might be other places we can visit. We’ll have to ask around Vesper, though. I’m sure some of the merchants there have extra dimensional buyers or suppliers. It’s simply a question of finding a reliable one.”
Whether he means merchant or D-Bee is not clear. Perhaps both. Commerce is always a fraught undertaking.
Arduls eyes widen at the mention of Splynn. Even she’s heard of it. Or at least the rumours. “Uh. Splynn doesn’t seem to be a place we’d want to go, no. Not if any of the rumours I’ve heard are even partially true.” So that one’s out. “Asking around Vesper seems much more sensible, if a little more time consuming. We can start in the market, couldn’t we?”
As she’s talking, the encrypted of the code starts to display on her tablet and she glances down, Hunter can see it as well. There’s a grainy image, like the decryption hasn’t been fully successful, but it’s clear it’s a woman in her mid twenties, with long brown hair, wings on her back and coronet on her brow.
“That’s Nina…” Ardul blinks as she looks at image. Why would a programmed assassin have an image of the Queen Elect in its instructions.“The woman you were sworn to protect.” Hunter muses. “These cyborgs are hunter-killers. If they have an image of her in their target database there’s a good chance that she’s still alive.”
The wolfen pauses. “Doesn’t make sense though. Nina shouldn’t be anywhere near you. Why would they have both you and her as targets? Unless she also slippedi into a rift and they don’t know where she is.”
Which is possible. When Hunter first found Ardul she’d come out of a rift he was blind firing into. If he’d hit anything – or a lot of somethings – it might have disrupted whatever was going on at the other side. Which… is the idea.
“The woman I’m sworn to protect…” Ardul acknowledges still looking at the image, her frown getting deeper “She was alive when we escaped. When they found us, the Rift opened and … we were seperated. We were both being taken for execution.”
The blonde swallows and looks up at Hunter “Maybe she got dragged through as well. Or maybe they just don’t know where she is and these things…” she wrinkles her nose at that “… are looking for both of us. I’ll try to decode more of this and see if it makes sense. Though I doubt it. They’re programming really is rather rudimentary – find this and kill it.”“Keep at it.” Hunter knows how important this is to Ardul. “If it can give you any clues about where she went someone in the city might be able to point you to the right dimension.” Assuming it’s not this one. And really there’s every reason to assume that. Random rifts are random. If Nina did fall down one, she might have ended up anywhere.