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File: 1613189887564.jpg (589.99 KB, 1920x1080, 161113.jpg)

 No.752299[Last 50 Posts]

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OqqbesJ-Ks)

/DRACON/
Booting…

Hello user! Today's date is Tuesday, November 14th, 601 A.F.N. You have no scheduled events for today.
>Command Prompt:

/sys:(User: 0130)/Prog/Quests/Carousel/Thread 1.0

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Opening.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Opening..
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Opening…
Opened.

>>>>CAROUSEL


Rain hangs in the sky of Centro, Manehatten this evening. The CWC had this storm moved over from the upper districts to down here. Despite the weather, the area is as alive as ever. Earth Ponies, Pegasi, Unicorns, Diamond Dogs, Goats, Felids, Dragons and even Minotaurs go about their business, their glassy reflections in the pavement below them flawlessly emulating their every movement. Off the corner of 17th and Mane lies Centro Pawn Shop. A black Felid and a Unicorn sit under the overhang, catching a break from the rain. The lights are on inside, and if you read it right, this is the time and the place that mysterious message in your PDA sent you to. Hopefully this opportunity is a change of fate for you.

 No.752301

File: 1613250390399.png (1.73 MB, 2000x2500, rads.png)

>>752299
Shielded from the rain with an old green tarp, a goo pony trots along the approaching street, tunelessly humming to herself as she follows the arrow on her PDA, a pseudopod keeping the piece of tech aloft nearby.

The concrete hisses beneath her as steam drifts up from her hoofprints, and an unhealthily green glow shines out from under the tarp, like undercarriage lights of the passing cars.

Pausing to look both ways, she crosses the street, consulting her PDA one more time before nodding, knocking on the door and entering the well-lit shop.

"Helloo? Anypony home?"

 No.752302


 No.752303

>>752299
https://pastebin.com/gbKZkVwE

Zirali was humming a tune as she made her way down the street, head obscured behind her helmet that covered her entire head, instead displaying a pixel art face that copied her own facial movements on the front. She cast a lazy glance around the area as she checked her own PDA.

 No.752304

>>752299
https://pastebin.com/6majz0GC
The cloaked stallion takes a moment or two to check his own PDA, before slipping into the pawn shop and out of the rain. He resists the urge to shake himself out a little bit, before looking around for… whatever he's supposed to find here.

 No.752306

>>752299
https://pastebin.com/KrwqK0Cu

Mako checks his wrist PDA, walking purposefully towards the pawn shop. This must be the place. Doesn't look like much to him, but looks are usually deceiving. He stops for a moment to look over his shoulder, then stalks into the shop without a word, taking off his wide brimmed hat and peering around.

 No.752310

>>752301
The only response you receive is a glance from the diamond dog at the counter.

>>752301
>>752303
>>752304
>>752306
You all enter to see a similar sight. The shop is seemingly very poorly stocked, a few guns and other items hang on the walls, but that's it. The only occupants are two diamond dogs. One at the counter, leaning on his own hand as he dismissively looks over you all. Another diamond dog sits in a chair nearby, half asleep by the looks of it.

In addition to the two dogs, you also see three strangers walk in as well. Seems you weren't the only one to receive this mysterious message.

"Do you need something?" The yellowish dog at the counter barks, his voice gravely and grating.

 No.752312

>>752310
The stallion's voice is soft, but he's not mumbling so much as to make it impossible to make him out.
"Just looking around. An old friend sent me."

 No.752313

>>752310
>>752304
>>752303
>>752302
He looks around, acknowledging the others present. "Guessing you're all here for the same reason I am." He holds up his PDA bracer, then takes initiative and talks to the Dog.

"Got a message to come here," he explains. "Sent by an old friend. 'A *very* old friend,'" he quotes from the message. "How mysterious. …So. What's the deal, mate?"

 No.752317

>>752313
"Hmm? O-Oh, right. Yeah."

 No.752319

>>752310
>>752313
"Yeah I got that message too but I have no frigging idea who it was so… Yeah I'm as confused as everyone else.

 No.752323

>>752319
He shrugs slightly. "Long as we're getting paid, right love?"

 No.752326

>>752312
"Not a lot to look around at." He says in return.

>>752312
>>752313
>>752319
"We've got a lot of 'Old Friends'. You're gonna need to be more specific. You said PDA message, right?" He gestures towards Mako. "Show me and I'll tell you what the deal is, mate" He snidely remarks, outstretching his paw.

"Lighten up, Volts." The other, darker amber colored dog pipes up, eyes still closed as he speaks. "They're probably just lost or something."

 No.752327

>>752319
>>752323
"More or less. More details would've been nice, but I guess we'll get them later."

 No.752328

>>752323
"Money is good yeah. Helps ya buy stuff. Like this badass helmet."

 No.752330

>>752326
He unclips the PDA screen, leaving only the bracer attached, and hands it over. "Dunno why all the secrecy, but if it means cracking skulls and getting paid, I'm the guy. Don't know about the rest of this lot though, never met 'em before in me life."

>>752328
"Looks a bit shit," he remarks with a barely concealed grin.

>>752327
"Something's up for sure, yeah. Hopefully it doesn't mean crossing any big timers. Trying to keep a low profile, you know?"

 No.752331

>>752330
"Oh go suck on a sewage run off pipe."

 No.752332

>>752330
"You can say that again." the stallion says, somewhat nervously.

>>752326
"It sounds like we're all here for the same reason." he says, pulling out his PDA and showing the message.

 No.752338

>>752326
"I mean the PDA said to meet here so not likely."

 No.752344

>>752313
"Ohh, yeah i got that message too!" replies the goopony, waving the pseudopod gripping the PDA around. "If it was the same message, do you think we'll be working together?"

>>752326
She perks up as the dog's name is revealed

"Ah, so you're Volts! The message said to look for you, that you might need some help?"

 No.752346

>>752330
>>752332
>>752331
>>752344

He takes the PDA and attaches a wire from the computer on his desk. A gentle blue glow emanates from the monitor as he goes through the message. "Amps, come look at this." He barks to the other dog, who groggily walks over. They both look at it for a while, running various commands.

"Well well well…" Amps says, slowly waking up. "You'll all certainly get paid, that's for sure." He says, his voice much more approachable and calming than the other dog. "I'm sure this is all a bit strange for you, if you've all got questions we can try to answer."

"Or just show them to the boss so they get out of our fur." Volts says, sliding the PDA back across the counter to Mako.

 No.752347

>>752346
"Well… I'd ask about the secrecy, but I guess it makes enough sense. I guess we ought to leave asking about the job to the boss?"

 No.752349

>>752346
"I mean so long as this isn't gonna be too much of a drag I'm game."

 No.752351

>>752331
He just chuckles.

>>752344
"Seems that way," he replies. "I dunno what any of you are good at, but I imagine we've all got some useful skills in morally dubious areas."

>>752346
"Like I told this lot, as long as I'm getting paid and it's not too much trouble in the long run, I'm down for anything. Who's the boss man then?"

 No.752355

>>752346
"Questions? Hmm.. i don't know. Who's the Boss?"

 No.752364

>>752355
The amberish dog happily responds. "Dr. Ven. Well, I don't know if he's a doctor, but that's what he calls himself. He used to be a corporate researcher for some massive medical firm, don't know which one." He says, shrugging his shoulders. "Don't know how he ended up being a fixer either, just that he keeps paying us rent and we let him use us as a front."

>>752347
>>752349
>>752351
"Good." Volts answers flatly. Amps takes his place at the front counter as Volts leads you into a cold, concrete stairwell. As you head down he talks. "So none of you know each other? We're really just getting groups of randoms now… typical, Ven." He says, the last part a remark to himself.

As you reach the floor below, Volts stops at the door to speak. "Ven will have your answers for all this. Just be careful what you say around him, alright? The unicorn is paranoid as they come." He turns away and knocks on the door twice. "Ven! The payment for the gem job is here."

The door creaks open and you see Ven's room. It's primarily dominated by a large, sprawling computer system with multiple monitors of varying sizes that each flicker with different information, ranging from tabloid news to complicated calculations. The other half of the room is personal affairs, a bed, a table, and a cabinet neatly tucked away in the corner. For the overwhelming mess of wires and hardware the one half is, the room is astonishingly clean.

Standing in the middle of the room, telekinesis holding up a PDA while typing into the console is what you presume to be Ven. A unicorn, maybe 50 years old with an ash gray coat and a mane to match. He barely notices you as he says: "Come. Sit. I'll be with you in a moment." Volts gives you all a glance as he leaves you all alone with Ven.

 No.752366

>>752364
"Uhm… hey." he manages, before whinnying a little as he's told to wait. He takes a seat, remaining silent for now.

 No.752368

>>752364
"Ven, huh." He nods and follows them down.

"Nah, only just met these trotters two minutes ago," he confirms. "He must have good taste picking me for whatever this is."

Gem job, he thinks. A heist, maybe? Should be interesting.

He takes a moment to look around the room; not just an office, but a bedroom as well. Odd.

He doesn't hesitate to take a seat, leaning back slightly and eyeing the unicorn. "What's up, doc?"

 No.752370

>>752364
Trotting over to an available chair near Gamma, Rads drapes her tarp over the seat to avoid a mess and sits down, the glow remaining ever present.

>>752366
"How exciting! I've never done work like this before; have you?"

 No.752372

>>752370
"Heists? Yeah, I've done them before. I'm pretty decent at getting in where I don't belong." he explains, pulling the hood of his cloak down off of his head after a moment.

 No.752375

>>752372
"Ooh, maybe I can learn a thing or two from you, then!"

"If we're going to work together, we should start with names. I'm Lambent Cascade, but you can call me Rads." She replies, extending a hoof out to shake.

 No.752376

>>752366
>>752368
>>752370

After a moment of fiddling with his PDA he puts it down and joins you all at the table. He looks over all of you quizzically for a minute then speaks up, his voice quiet, but firm.

"You all are the extra group of runners our uh… mutual contact… is providing me? I'm sure you are all experts and don't need introductions to each other or this line of work. I have a job for you. It's simple, a da-"

He's cut off by Volts, who is still standing at the door.
"Boss. It's not how they said it would be. There's only four of them and I don't think they even know each other. This isn't proper payment. You should just ask the-" He stops at a wave of Ven's hoof.

"I trust their judgement." He says calmly. Volts calling him paranoid seems very inaccurate based on his demeanor. "So all of you need to be penned in so to speak. Where to begin…" His thoughts seem to drift away from himself for a moment, before he is struck with a solution. "Please, another moment. In the meantime, please try and get acquainted. You don't need to be friends, but it would help." He says, leaving the table to go fiddle with his computer.

 No.752378

>>752376
"Right. Simple e-" he stops himself when Volts speaks up, before nodding a little bit when Ven continues on. "Introductions? Yeah, I can do that."

>>752375
"You can call me Gamma, for now." he says, shaking the goopony's hoof and cocking his head to the side.

 No.752379

>>752376
"So we're introducing ourselves to the class then?" he remarks. "Well, I'm Mako. I can run and jump and hit things real good. That's about it." He picks absent mindedly at a hangnail.

 No.752381

>>752379
>>752376
Rads hoofclaps enthusiastically. "Very useful!"

"I can share what I do, too. Let me just find the right seed.."

The goopony fishes through her bags for a moment, before pulling a seed from a plastic bag. Curling it into her pseudopod, the glow from her flares as the seed starts to open!

[1d10] Miracle Grow, Flower

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.752382

>>752364
>>752364
>>752376
The zeeb just sorta let things go on around her right now.

 No.752383

>>752379
>>752381
>>752382
"Oh! Uhm, right. I'm pretty good at infiltration in general, so I guess that'd be my specialty."

 No.752386

>>752381
Mako watches with interest as you begin to work your skills. "Fancy. That some kind of magic or something? Don't see that too often."

>>752382
"No name, sweetin? Guess I'll just call you Jumbotron with that bucket of yours."

>>752383
>>752382
>>752381
"So we've got a fighter, yours truly, teaming up with what, a spy, a wizard, and, uh…" He stops short at Zirali. "Whatever you're good at. Seems like a well rounded group. Whatever's cooking for us, I can't see it being that hard with what we've got going on." He seems to approve of the group. "Whoever hired us knows their bloody times tables."

 No.752387

>>752381
The seed quickly blossoms into magenta Zennia, the petals of it seemingly shifting on their own as it sits in your hoof. Upon closer inspection, the flower seems to glow with some energy as it sways left and right. Seems like it might be magical in some regard now.

>>752378
>>752379
>>752381
>>752382
"Right, right. Explanations." Ven returns to the table, his PDA displaying something as he puts it in the center. "Two months ago I received a message from the same contact that brings us here today. A job offering with a bit payout I couldn't deny."
He isn't lying. A similar message, timestamped about two months ago displays on the screen.

"It was nothing out of the ordinary for my associates and I. A gem heist, a fragment-of-a-gem heist. The gem was recovered and payments exchanged but it cost my crew their lives. All of them but that one, but he's not interested in work anymore."
Again, all truth. Correspondence between the two shows on the screen confirming this.

"I notified the client, and they offered a replacement. Said they had a group of experts ready to go. Seems that would be all of you.
This is true as well. Seeing [null] refer to all of you as their 'consummate professionals' is a bit jarring, but its still there.

"That leaves us here." He says, turning off the PDA and looking around at all of you. "I apologize that we meet under such strange conditions but I trust whatever our friend is planning. They have not failed me before. We will have to make some adjustments, but business can carry on as usual with you all as replacements." He seems very accepting of this awkward situation.

 No.752388

>>752386
"Magic? I'm not sure.. I just know the more I can glow the better things grow."

"I've got a whole bunch of these seeds, if you need a plant for something, I'm your pony!"

 No.752390

>>752387
"I… see. So, was it just nastier than expected?" he asks, frowning a little bit. "Where's the hit, anyways? Gem theft seems easy enough."

 No.752391

>>752382
>>752386
"Oh apologies… I can make some Pretty potent minions to help run distraction for us."

 No.752392

>>752387
"Expert, huh." He looks smug at being referred to as such.

"Who'd you say the client is again? Not that it really matters, but I'm curious. Seems we all have a mutual acquaintance, somehow."

"Anyway, if I'm understanding, the gem bit was recovered, then? So where do we come in? What's the job?"

>>752391
"Huh. I've got a little doover of a minion myself. Should be useful if we put 'em together."

 No.752394

Seeing the flower is finished Growing, Rads eyes the glowing petals with glee, settling it into her semi-solid mane for safe keeping.

>>752391
"Ooh, Can i see?" Rads giddily asks

>>752387
"Ah, so we'll get to go gem hunting?"

 No.752395

>>752394
>>752392
Oh I guess I can try. Doesn't always wanna work though." She said as she pulled out her holo-orb and began to channel her magic.

[1d10+1] summon minion

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3

 No.752396

>>752388
>>752392
"Well, maybe it's not magic- though, I don't really know how a goo pony works…" he says, with a bit of a shrug.

 No.752398

>>752390
>>752394
"No, they were very specific in their messages. They would be handling matters of these gem fragments personally from now on." He says, somewhat upset at the lost income.

>>752395
It surely does not want to work. A minion begins to try to pull itself from the orb as it is almost given form and then it snaps back into the sphere, a slight Bzzzt sound as it does.

>>752392
"I am not entirely sure. They're an absolute mystery. I was hoping you had information on them, but alas. They do pay extremely well however. As does the client for the job I was hoping I could utilize you four for. It's a surprisingly large payment, given the ease of the work. A simple datagrab. It's a…" He looks around for his PDA for exact details. "A prototype Anti-Virus IC program being developed by Mantra-Core. The building housing it is in Manehatten and is rather low security by my research. We simply infiltrate after hours, recover a copy and send the datastick along to the client. I will be coming along personally, however." He says, firm in that last statement.

"We can move on it in about two days, and I can provide housing until then. There are rooms upstairs. Payment would be 5,000 bits for each of you. Do we have a deal?"

 No.752400

>>752398
Whelp… Guess it's not gonna pop out at the moment. This things handy but it is really frigging temperamental when ya don't want it to be."

 No.752402

>>752395
He looks disappointed as it fails to work. "Womp womp. Well, let's hope that doesn't keep up when we're on the job. I've had issues getting mine to work as well. I find if you give it a good whack it tends to sort itself out."

>>752398
"Well, you say it's easy, but that usually means there's going to be a spanner or three in the works. Do we have a plan for getting in? Disguises, maybe?"

 No.752403

>>752398
"Ah, alright. I'm not as experienced with data theft, but I'll see what I can do."

>>752402
"Hmm… disguises shouldn't be necessary for me. W-Well, hopefully."

 No.752404

>>752400
"Aw.. It was worth the try."

>>752398
"Oh, a Datastick? That's okay too! We'll help you get a copy, no problem."

 No.752406

>>752402
"That is my preferred method too. That and yelling at it."

 No.752408

>>752403
He eyes you over, a bit confused at what you mean that a disguise won't be necessary.

>>752404
His horn lights up as he goes through a desk drawer near his computer "It was in one of these…" eventually he produces two USB thumbdrives. "We simply copy the contents of their primary research computer onto these. One is for my personal affairs."

>>752402
>>752406
"There is a set of offices nearby that are being renovated. The Mantra-Core offices are currently closed as the construction workers rewire the electrical systems. While their contracts denote that the construction company will be responsible for security in the meantime, it's a corner that always gets cut. We should be the only ones in the entire building if we go in after hours. Our only complication would be circumventing the door locks."

 No.752410

>>752408
"Oh! Uh, right. I can shapeshift, sorta." he says, before thinking on who to choose…
>Disguise (Volt): [1d10+4]

Roll #1 4 + 4 = 8

 No.752412

>>752408
"Well, my gut tells me there's going to be complications, else our mysterious Mr X wouldn't have picked me for the job. Either way, sounds cut and dry. We'll just have to keep our wits about us and improvise when it inevitably starts going tits up. I'm in."

 No.752413

>>752408
She moves her head around to get a better look at the drive, before nodding. "We use these to copy the data, got it!"

"Door locks, hmm.. Maybe the guard office has a spare?"

 No.752415

>>752413
"I can pick the locks, so that shouldn't be an issue."

 No.752417

>>752410
You feel the teeth in your mouth slowly pull themselves into sharp diamond dog canines first, then your jaw grows to fit them as the rest of your body grows yellow fur not unlike the coat you already possessed. The transformation moves down your body as your tail morphs into the club-like tail of a diamond dog. As your hooves finish themselves into dog paws your posture changes to cause you to lean back into your seat, embracing your new bipedal form.

You feel weirdly angry.

Ven is undoubtedly impressed. "Fascinating. I've heard of similar such cases of extremely talented shapeshifters."

>>752412
"I am not sure of what parameters any of you are filling. You seem capable enough, however."

>>752413
>>752415
"Both potential options. Volts was looking into the potential of a rooftop entry I believe. I'm not sure why he took interest in this job however. Typically the dogs aren't ones to care for my affairs."

>>752410
>>752412
>>752413
>>752415
"Seems we have our prospects set. Exact details can be discussed tomorrow. In the time being if any of you have questions don't hesitate to ask Amps or I. Amps can show you your rooms as well."

 No.752419

>>752408
"We could try shorting the doors. Or I could try to sing ror the guards so they let us in." She joked.

 No.752422

>>752417
"Hmm.. Maybe they felt bad the last group was lost?"

>>752417
"Sounds good!"
With the meeting wrapping up, Rads hops off the chair, throwing her tarp back on as the group moves to the rooms.

 No.752423

>>752417
"Hey… it worked." he says, looking his new body over. "I-I mean, it worked without any mistakes."

>>752417
>>752422
"A room sounds pretty nice, actually." he says, shaking himself out. He certainly doesn't have the right demeanor for Volt, but he looks the part. After a moment or two, he returns to his normal form and wobbles slightly before landing on his forehooves.

 No.752426

>>752417
>>752410
Sitting back in his chair looking pleased at the new job, he nods with smug satisfaction, then frowns and sits up in a double take as Gamma changes his appearance. "Whoa. How'd you do that? You a changeling or something?"

 No.752427

>>752426
"A changeling? No- err, not entirely. Gene-splicing experiments. I didn't really understand most of it, though I wasn't ever in a position to read notes."

 No.752726

>>752427
He blinks. "Huh. Can't imagine it was pleasant. Must be useful though."

 No.752727

>>752726
"It wasn't, no." he says, tugging at his cloak. "And, it's… mostly useful. It doesn't always work right, but when it does, it's really hard to see through."

 No.752736

>>752419
>>752422
>>752727
>>752726
You all find yourself settled in quite nicely in the next few days. The upstairs rooms left by the previous occupants are quite scarce, as most of the furniture and decorations were sold after their passing.

Volts and Amps continue their day shift-night shift routine, only seeing both awake early in the morning or late in the evening. Ven mostly remains secluded, but is always up for a chat. The enigmatic messenger in your PDA is silent for now, as if they know now is just a time for waiting.

Eventually, Thursday evening comes around. According to the Brudiclad Construction contracts Ven has shown you, the scheduled construction should end in a few hours. In the meantime, a closed sign hangs in the window of the CPS and Ven, Volts, Amps and you four gather in Ven's room to go over last minute planning.

Amps holds a cup of Soykaf Coffee nervously as Volts stands arms crossed in the corner. Ven begins to speak: "Resistance should be minimal, so we won't need any heavy armaments. Any non-hostile contacts should be subdued or dissuaded. This job isn't worth cleaning up bodies." Volts scoffs at that statement. Ven continues. "Hostile resistance can be dealt with, but if we have the data it would be better to simply retreat. Our options for entry would be one of these three:

"Entrance through the front door. This would require either a hack or some sort of disguise in order to bypass the biometric scanner." He says, looking towards Gamma.

"Going through the construction site. We wouldn't require much finesse, but running into a few lingering employees or third rate private security mercenaries could be a possibility." He says, looking towards Zirali and Mako.

"Lastly, the rooftop entry. We can access the adjacent building and I can teleport us to the Mantra-Core roof. There is a maintenance elevator we can take directly into the building. Who knows what we'll encounter once we're there." He says, looking towards Rads.

"The decision will be made by all of us. Thoughts?" He asks, carefully studying everyone's reactions.

 No.752744

>>752736
He folds his arms and checks his nails as Ven gives the group a rundown. "Nonlethal. Got it. Get in, cause as little fuss and muss as possible, and get out."

"Best option to me seems the construction site. If we can get our hands on some uniforms it shouldn't be too hard to talk our way through whoever's left behind. Rooftop shouldn't be too hard either. Might be better to take a stairwell in though. Quieter, more sneaky peeky like."

 No.752746

>>752736
"Hacking I'm not so good with- but, I could do disguising pretty easily, as long as I'm allowed a little time to get it right." he explains, before humming. "Rooftop entry could be easy enough too, if it's got a lock I can pick."

 No.752747

>>752736
"I mean the construction site seems to be the most simple path but if guys don't wanna tussle, I won't complain."

 No.752770

>>752736
"Hmm".. ponders the goo pony, tapping a squishy hoof to her head in thought. "We wouldn't want to hurt anypony too badly.. the construction site sounds like the safest route!"

 No.752774

>>752770
>>752747
>>752744
"Construction site it is, then."

 No.752776

>>752774
"Fine by me," he shrugs.

 No.752782

>>752774
>>752776
>>752770
>>752747
"Seems we have a consensus." Ven looks at his PDA after. "The time is right as well, if we leave now we should make it on time." With this, Volts and Amps both leave and Ven begins gathering his things.

The trip is short and uneventful. Manehatten is quiet tonight, not a patter of rain or commotion of crowds. The construction site is equally as quiet. The lights are all off in this building and the Mantra-Core building next door.

"We should just be able to walk in. The opening to our target is two floors up." He looks over his PDA, blue light shining into his cloak. "The construction details don't denote the location of stairs. We'll have to find them ourselves." He begins trotting forward.

 No.752785

>>752782
The zebra nodded as she produced her orb once more and worked to summon a hologram to join her as some extra muscle.

[1d10+1] Summon

Roll #1 5 + 1 = 6

 No.752787

>>752782
"Won't hurt to look around some, just to make sure we find it. Let's get going then, yeah?" he asks, taking a quick peek.
>Master Thief: [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.752789

>>752782
He follows along casually, keeping an eye out for a flight of stairs or some way to get to the higher levels, along with any signs of night life at the construction site.
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.752792

>>752782
Happily trotting along with the others, Rads brings down her hood to illuminate the area in green light as she looks around the site
[1d10] perception

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.752795

>>752785
The orb flickers and studders once more, but then stabilizes and a clone pulls itself out, and a holographic zebra looks back at you.

>>752787
You look around and see nothing of interest on first glance, but then a glint catches your eye. It's a malfunctioning work light, barely flickering at the top of a scaffolding. Seems like a good way up to the second floor.

>>752789
You don't see much. However, you do hear faint walking in talking in the distance. You're not sure if it's just the chatter of the city or something else, though…

>>752792
You shine with a healthy glow. On the battered dirt below you you see a bit of grass grow at your hooves. As for the rest of the site, your light shows you the same scaffolding that Gamma noticed.

Ven notices it as well. "It works." He says, quietly. He teleports to the top of it and waits for the rest of you to climb up. You notice now that his casting has been entirely silent.

>Roll to Climb

 No.752801

>>752795
She grinned and gave it a hoof bump before moving to the area there others were and moved to climb.

[1d10] Climb
[1d10] Climb minion if needed

Roll #1 6 = 6 / Roll #2 4 = 4

 No.752806

>>752795
Happy to see the greenery growing around her, she shifts her attention to the scaffolding as Ven teleports up.

Trotting over, she carefully maneuvers herself up the scaffolding, engulfing the bars with her hooves for stability as she makes the climb.

[1d10] Climbing

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.752807

>>752795
"Oh, hey- there's a way up." the stallion notes, trying to climb up the scaffolding to the second floor.
>Climb! [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.752811

>>752795
>>752801
>>752806
>>752807
"Heads up lads, there might be someone creeping around still. Think I heard something. Might be nothing, but stay sharp."

He sizes up the scaffolding for a minute, then shrugs, and starts climbing it like a monkey.
>Acrobatics: Mako is extremely nimble, to the point of being able to perform great feats of dexterity such as climbing up walls, sprinting great distances or performing leaps and spins uncommon for his ilk. +2 to all movement based rolls outside of combat.
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6

 No.752812

>>752811
"Hmm? Sure, right. We'll be careful."

 No.752814

>>752801
You hop skip and jump up to the top. It's a nice view from here. Your companion tags along a bit slower, but makes it up as well.

>>752806
Unfortunately your hooves slip right through the bars. Seems this workplace isn't very goo pony inclusive. Ven looks down at your struggle. "Give me a moment." He says, his horn beginning to glow as he offers to teleport you.

>>752807
One moment, you're standing on the ground, the next, on top of the scaffolding. You aren't sure how it happened, but you're up there, and feel strangely lighter for some reason.

>>752811
You leap and twirl around the bars of the scaffolding, making it look like a performance rather than a mere climb. You reach the top and Ven gives you a glance of praise.

While Ven targets Rads to teleport her up, the rest of you walk into the second floor. This is the second floor of the building under construction. Just across the balcony overlooking the first floor reception area should be an opening to Mantra-Core. It's a short walk, but best to keep your guard up.

 No.752816

>>752814
The Zebra decided to try and pull another of her Holograms out as they kept moving.

[1d10+1] Summon

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8

 No.752817

>>752814
He gives Ven a wink as he walks past him after climbing up.

Seeing the way forward, he heads towards it eagerly, ears pricked up in case of security guards and the like.
[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.752820

>>752814
Slipping unsuccessfully through the bars of the scaffolding to splat back onto the ground floor.

At the offer, Rads gets back onto her hooves, presumably bracing herself for the teleportation spell. "Aw, thank you!"

 No.752821

>>752814
"I… hmm. Ah, it's fine." he says, not paying it any mind. He tries to keep his eyes peeled for anyone that might spot them!
>Perception: [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

 No.752823

>>752820
Ven warps you up to the scaffolding. "My pleasure. Didn't expect we'd have to climb up like that." He says, stepping inside.

>>752816
Another hologram pulls itself out effortlessly. It waves to the other one and they trot along with you, steps synchronized.

>>752817
You don't hear anything. That is, until you walk right into a synthetic plant and knock it and the pot it was in right into the ground, a loud clattering smash as it hits. Ven freezes for a moment at this, carefully looking around. He doesn't hear it, but you do. Someone just said "What was that?" a good distance away.

>>752821
You don't notice anyone in this room, or from what you can see of the Mantra-Core building. However you can see something else. A flashing red light on the nearby lobby door. The display next to it reads 'TAMPER DETECTED. DOOR SEAL BROKEN 8 (EIGHT) MINUTES AGO.'

 No.752824

>>752823
"Uh… I think we might be late to the party? Or, detected? It's saying the door seal broke 8 minutes ago."

 No.752828

>>752824
"Oh? Do you think somepony had the same idea as us?"

 No.752829

>>752823
>>752824
"Then we might wanna hurry to stop whoever beat us here if we wanna do this."

 No.752830

>>752823
He freezes as he breaks the fake plant. "Karabast," he curses under his breath. He looks around to see if there's any way he could cover up the mess before a guard comes and catches on.
[1d10] Perception

>>752824
"Figures. Well, too late to do anything about it. We should keep moving and deal with that when we get to it. Whoever's in here is probably onto us."

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.752831

>>752823
Zirali decided to give a glance for clues.

[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.752832

>>752830
>>752829
>>752828
"Yeah, we'd best hurry up. This could turn pretty messy."

 No.752834

>>752824
>>752828
>>752829
"We just got here. That wasn't us." Ven says worriedly. "We need to move fast. I don't want to run into security or worse."

>>752830
There's nothing around. That voice is getting closer though, you can hear footsteps a few rooms over.

>>752831
There's not much you can tell from this distance. The door and it's lock don't look obviously tampered with, but maybe with a closer inspection you could tell exactly how it was broken.

Ven speaks up while moving forward. "If there's someone else here, they're not here for the same thing. We need to go." He moves on into the Mantra-Core building, a sea of cubicles and work terminals. You can hear the gentle whir of a thousand little cooling fans as the terminals sleep. It's almost comforting, given the stressful scenario. "We are looking for administrator terminal. It should have the network access we need."

 No.752836

>>752834
The zebra would check back later but for now she needed to head in. She followed Ven and did her best to find the terminal.

[1d10] Perception

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.752837

>>752834
"Well, we can't all get what we want, Doc," he quips. "Whoever's around is coming our way, so uh, baby steps."

He nods in response to Ven's instructions, creeping around for anything fitting the description.
[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.752838

>>752834
"Right. Let's find it, and get out- no need to waste time." he says, helping search.
>Perception: [1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.752840

>>752834
Trotting into the mantra-core building behind Ven, Rads snakes her way through the cubicles, looking through the computers with confusion.

"Hmm.. If it was the admin's computer, it would look the biggest of the office.. Or maybe more screens..?" she mutters, the green light giving her position away among the cubicle jungle.

[1d10] Searching

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.752845

>>752837
You search through the web of monitors, not finding anything indicating what you're looking for. You do manage to not step into any plants this time, fortunately.

>>752840
You search through the web of monitors, not finding anything indicating what you're looking for. You do manage to not create any plants this time, unfortunately.

>>752836
Your zebras and yourself spread out, each searching around. You don't find the terminal, but someone carelessly left their BitDrive on their desk. It's only twenty bits, but it's likely nobody would notice if you took it.

>>752838
You and Ven stumble upon it at the same time. A desktop with an open command prompt. The display reads out that it is in Admin Access mode. One command sits in the prompt:

/sys:(User:MantraAdmin)/Prog/P: -search: "Development" OR "New" OR "AntiVirus" OR "Ciber Netix
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Searching…
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>14 Results Found. Display? Y.

Underneath it is a collection of corporate emails and other unimportant data. But the last, most recent one is the one that catches your eye. It's a location of a physical copy of this new Anti-Virus IC. Located a few floors down. "Whoever ran this is an amateur." Ven says. "It's terribly inefficient. And I can get the program from here. Just need a few minutes." His horn and the keyboard begin to glow as he runs commands.

Just as he starts to type, a dark blue Pegasus and a white Dragon walk in!

>Roll to Hide!

 No.752850

>>752845
Without hesitating, the griffon turns into… a rat! Hopefully small enough to not be immediately visible, and and also not really too out of the place, seeing as the door was left open!
>"Disguise": [1d10+4]

Roll #1 7 + 4 = 11

 No.752852

>>752845
She looked around before casually pocketing the device with a whistle.

>>752845
She then eeped and tried to hide under the desk.

[1d10] Hide

Roll #1 6 = 6

 No.752853

>>752845
As the pair of strangers wander in, Rads quickly pulls her hood up before pulling herself under the desk and into a ball, wrapping herself in the tarp.

[1d10] Goo

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.752854

>>752845
As he hears the two strangers approaching, he makes himself scarce, slinking into the shadows and trying to find a hiding place.
[1d10] Hiding

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.752855

>>752850
You feel your tail quickly tighten into the thin, tough, rope-like tail of a rat as you shrink down. Your fur grows out into a mangier coat, and you grow a little pointed nose and whiskers. You quickly chitter along the floor and find a tiny little hole to hide in. You have a strange desire to eat garbage.

>>752852
Your backup dancers and yourself cram under a desk. It's a tight fit, but all three of you fit under there.

>>752853
You slip under the desk, pulling all of your nebulous form underneath and out of sight.

>>752854
You try to find a place to hide, but panic. You end up face to face with the pair.

"Uh, who are you?" The Pegasus asks. "Probably just one of the night shift security guys, Lumen." The dragon playfully bonks the pegasus' forearm. The Pegasus stumbles on his words as the Dragon speaks for him.

"Hey look, my boyfriend works here. He just needs to access his work terminal and get some personal files he left on there. Sorry if we're getting in the way of security patrols." The Dragon says as the Lumen produces a employee ID shakily.

Seems like they're waiting on your approval.

 No.752856

>>752855
Gamma watches from within the hole, waiting to see what the rest of the crew does.

 No.752857

>>752856
He also tries to ignore the desire to eat garbage.

 No.752858

>>752855
Rads extends a pseudopod, forming an eyestalk to peek out from under the cover of the desk, watching the scene unfold.

 No.752859

>>752855
He blinks, but tries to go with it. He's not the best at talking his way out of situations, but he'll give it a shot. He takes Lumen's ID and inspects it, before handing it back, giving them what he tries to pass as a hard, judging look. "Right you are," he grunts, in a slightly gruffer voice than usual. "You're not meant to be here after hours, but I'll allow it. Move along."
[1d10] Bluff if needed?????

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.752860

>>752855
She slowly peeked out of her hiding spot to look around.

 No.752861

>>752857
>Garbage Consumption Resistance: [1d10]

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.752863

>>752858
>>752860
You watch as Mako tries to put on an act.

>>752861
You look longingly at the nearby garbage can, dreaming of the sweet trash that lies within. Your stomach pangs for a moment, but it subsides. You do not eat garbage.

>>752859
"See, that was easy, Lum." The dragon says as they both walk over to a terminal. After a few clacks of typing they go to leave. Lumen speaks up before they go. "Could you radio the other security guard and tell him that we're in the clear? The uh… pale green diamond dog. He kept bothering us about being here after hours." He says, still a bit uncomfortable. The pegasus and dragon walk out. Once you're sure they're gone Ven speaks up. "There isn't a 'Pale Green Diamond Dog' on the security team." He says, the monitor now displaying a employee database. "Whoever he's talking about is our door tamperer."

 No.752864

>>752863
"Hm? Yeah, will do. Rest easy." He nods at them and continues onward.

As he reunites with Ven, he nods as he takes in this information. "Any theories on who they are? Someone else after the same thing as us, maybe?"

 No.752866

>>752863
"Unless maybe they were our tamperers and they just pulled a fast one on us?"

 No.752867

>>752863
>>752864
Gamma looks at the garbage can longingly, beginning to scuttle towards the trash can, before shaking his head, thinking better on it, and ignoring it.
"So… three groups, then? Us, those two, and the dog."

 No.752868

>>752863
Retracting the eyestalk, Rads quickly unbundles and rejoins the others.

"Did they run off with the data before us?"

 No.752869

>>752867
"Looks like it. Don't have to worry about them two though, they're morons."

 No.752870

>>752868
"I have it already." Ven says, flashing the two USB drives.

>>752864
"I'm not sure. These files were last accessed over a month ago."

>>752866
>>752867
"Unlikely. With that employee ID they could just scan into any door." He says, walking over to the terminal Lumen used. "No admin access. He couldn't take the files if he wanted them. I doubt they're a threat. That dog however…"

You all exit the Mantra-Core building the way you came. It's quiet on the way out. No signs of tripped alarms or alerted security. As you go to re-enter the construction site a figure stands in the door. A diamond dog. Silhouetted by the broken light behind them. Their body is a mess of cybernetic enhancements in varying states of damage and disrepair. Their head remains entirely organic however, only a scarf wrapped around their neck gently floating in the wind. Suddenly, a blade protrudes from their right arm, a concealed sword glowing yellow. They lift it to horizontal, and point at Ven. Their voice is a raspy, jagged growl.

"Hand it over."


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