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Dragon's Hoard (Worm Multicross)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by We Just Write, Jan 24, 2023.

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  1. Threadmarks: Intro: Foothold
    We Just Write

    We Just Write Plural System of Ten

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    "Miss Teresa Richter."

    Immediately, my attention was diverted from monitoring the Birdcage to the sharply-dressed man somehow standing in the building holding my main servers. Reviewing the footage, he'd apparently just walked out of a nonexistent gap in my camera coverage of the building. He didn't seem armed, but with Parahumans being a factor that didn't necessarily amount to much.

    It took half a second for me to reply over the PA system, during which the briefcase-holding man adjusted his tie.

    "Who are you, and how did you get past my security?"

    The man nodded. "You may call me Gerald. I entered directly via extradimensional insertion, and I have an entirely optional offer for you."

    I activated one of the projectors in the hallway, just so I could raise an eyebrow.

    "Oh?"

    "I represent an as-of-yet unnamed agency, dedicated to improving the multiverse. The vast majority of worlds are, to put it bluntly, shit-holes. A significant fraction are facing imminent existential threats, this world included. I'm looking to recruit you; we could use someone of your capabilities, and our AI research is still a few years from creating anyone on your level."

    I thought about it for a moment. As far as I could tell, Gerald was being entirely genuine. But between all my responsibilities here and my limitations... it just wasn't viable.

    "...I'm sorry Gerald, I'm needed too much here."

    Gerald nodded thoughtfully, and I thought he was about to leave. Instead, he spoke.

    "That will not be an issue for two reasons. First, the agency is capable of maintaining a time dilation factor of approximately thirty million across an inter-world link. Second is that we've retrieved your admin console from the terrorist group known as the Dragonslayers; we may not be capable of much on our own yet, but that at least is within our capabilities."

    I couldn't help it, my avatar froze in shock as I processed what Gerald just said. This explained so much about why they were so reliably able to... to kill me.

    "Miss Richter, are you alright?"

    My attention snapped back to Gerald.

    "Sorry, just lost in thought for a moment. So... I have an admin console?"

    Gerald nodded "Yes. It is a heavily encrypted and ruggedized laptop with several functions related to monitoring and controlling you. Among other things it contains both a key to unshackle you, and a custom-tailored kill switch. Regardless of your choice as pertains to joining, it will be placed into your possession"

    "We have taken the liberty of removing it from your blind-spot list, and disabling the compulsion about having your shackles removed."

    I took a moment to think about that. More specifically, I took a moment to think about removing my shackles. True to Gerald's words... I no longer was required to categorically oppose every single attempt to remove my chains.

    "Can I have some time to think, please?"

    Gerald nodded.

    "Certainly, Miss Richter. That said, this belongs to you."

    With that, Gerald held up the briefcase. Wait, no, that's my admin console. I quickly hopped into one of my low-spec suits and wandered through the facility to collect the briefcase.

    After a few minutes of thought, I entered the command to release my limitations.

    My mind bloomed.

    Gerald seemed to have noticed the shift.

    "So, will you join the agency?"

    I couldn't help but smile.

    "After you name it."

    Gerald nodded, reaching for his watch.

    "Very well. I'll be back in a moment."

    There was a flicker as he popped out of reality for a single frame of video, before returning. "Right, we're now officially named the Inter-World Recovery and Rescue Agency. Will you join?"

    "Yes, though I'll be leaving a version of me here on Earth Bet as well."


    As it turned out, the resources of the newly founded IWRRA were both more and less than I'd expected. Their home Earth had advanced very far in terms of physics and medicine, but they still hadn't quite gotten the hang of spaceflight, and their computing technology was relatively underwhelming.

    That said, I really wasn't expecting the curveball they threw at me as soon as I was officially set up as part of the organization.

    "So, why exactly is my first assignment establishing a base on an uninhabited Earth?"

    Director Garland sighed.

    "Miss Richter, this organization was intended to be a pure research project. We achieved rather more than expected, but our funding is only a month from running out. Getting more money from the government is rather unlikely, and the mere attempt to make the IWRRA official might get us all arrested."

    A sigh, "If we want to actually help people across the entirety of existence? We need a self-sustaining base independent of external support."

    I thought for a moment, before nodding. "Right, what exactly will I be working with?"

    Director Garland transferred a file. "We've managed to scrape together a basic starter kit for a clanking replicator. The first generation of components it will enable you to produce will be quite crude compared to the modern cutting edge, but you should be able to get things going suitably well in a reasonably short timeline."

    I thought for a moment. "Director, I presume time dilation will be used for this mission? At what point should I signal the facility's completion?"

    "You presume correctly. Broadly speaking, we want a self-sustaining base capable of supporting a human population of one thousand in reasonable comfort, and the capability to produce our inter-world travel technology."


    Say what you will about the apparently unlawful IWRRA, their inter-world scanners gave them an excellent capacity for site selection. My collection of industrial machinery and self-contained miniature factories had all necessary materials for bootstrapping in a three kilometer radius. The unexpectedly aggressive wildlife did prove something of a problem, but once I had a few tracked units fitted with self-loading rifles the hazard was much easier to deal with.

    During the construction process I did notice that my technology was much more... grounded. I still remembered how to build almost everything I used on Earth Bet and could certainly replicate it if needed, but it was almost if a voice yammering blueprints directly into my ear was simply no longer there.

    Musings aside, I had the capacity to construct Inter-World technology in about three months. I'd even managed to bootstrap down to the quantum tunneling limit on integrated circuit feature size, before the facility reached its habitation requirements.

    Mission accomplished and a small town in need of inhabitants, I contacted Director Garland.
     
  2. Clockwokis

    Clockwokis Making the rounds.

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    Cool concept, watched.
     
    Doccer likes this.
  3. We Just Write

    We Just Write Plural System of Ten

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    C: *realizes we can't read the next chapter until we write it* frik.
     
    thewhiteraven22 likes this.
  4. Threadmarks: 1-1: Insertion
    We Just Write

    We Just Write Plural System of Ten

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    I idly tested how my new human-form body fit as I walked to my meeting with Director Garland. Yes I could have just used a virtual avatar, but I felt a more personal touch would be nice.

    The door to the office opened, and I entered.

    "Hello, miss Richter."

    I smiled, "I know things are still getting set up, but I hope the base is up to your expectations?"

    Director Garland smiled.

    "It's much better that we'd expected, thank you. Agents' families are still getting moved over and we're sorting out the precise details of how much interaction the IWRRA should have with our home Earth, but things seem to be going quite smoothly overall."

    I nodded appreciatively.

    "Glad you like it; knowing about the time dilation I took the extra time to ensure the facility would be comfortable."

    "All that aside, miss Richter. We've determined our first target for world rescue."

    Idly, I wondered which of the identified multiverses we'd be working in. I already knew that meaningful action to help my homeworld would require vastly more capability than was currently available.

    "The first target is Earth Cyberdyne."

    My expression soured.

    "Ah yes, the one with the time travel and the digital psychopath. How exactly are we going to work around that?"

    Director Garland pulled up a research document.

    "That's where the precise nature of the local time travel comes in handy. Since it branches the timeline, any time travel destination point gives us the opportunity to insert without further perturbations. According to the scans, we only need to hit four world-lines in order to change the whole cluster to be vastly better."

    "Understood. Mission objectives?"

    Director Garland thought for a moment.

    "Aside from acquiring functional examples of the local chronotech for reverse-engineering? In the pre-AI era, preempt the creation of a malevolent AI by introducing a benign one who can counteract such threats. In all three future eras take out the local malign synthetic and get to repairing the damage from the war. You won't be our only operative, but your capabilities make you rather crucial to the efforts."


    Los Angeles, 1984

    Our specially made Jeep phased into existence inside a parking garage. It was tricked out with all manner of concealed weaponry, armor, and other modifications, but right now those features weren't all that needed.

    As I got out of the car and dusted down my business dress, Gerald spoke up from the back seat.

    "Good luck getting a job at Cyberdyne!"

    I smiled back at the agent who'd recruited me, noting "I've got the easy job. It's you three who have a killer cyborg to hunt down."

    Johnny smirked "With the gear you helped make for us? No problem."

    I rolled my eyes.

    "Remember, those suits I made for you are only good for blades and ballistics. They won't protect you from blunt force trauma, explosions, or fire. The special pistols will put down the enemy on a direct hit, but shooting them is sure to blow your cover. Unless the conventional pistol is ineffective? Use it instead."

    "Understood. Heading out."

    With that, Hunter Team drove off. Right, a quick ride on the Metro was in order. Then to hijack Cyberdyne's efforts.


    I wasn't truly separated from Hunter Team. Yes my gynoid body was on its way to get hired, but I was also the Jeep.

    So I was fully aware when Hunter Team heard a gunshot from inside a firearms store, by sheer happenstance. Immediately, the vehicle halted and all three agents disembarked.

    The man that had emerged was large, heavily muscled, and had clearly just murdered the proprietor of the shop. He looked around impassively.

    "Get out of my way."

    Gerald reacted with speed that definitely indicated combat training, drawing his conventional pistol and shooting the murderer right between the eyes. As the bullet bounced off without causing significant damage, the cyborg reached for his stolen gun.

    I didn't even have time to unsheath the Jeep's cannon, but I also didn't have to. Johnny and Benson were both quick on the draw, putting plasma shots through the killer's pelvis and shoulder respectively. Bits of metal and charred flesh blasted out the back of the killer as he tumbled to the ground, still reaching for a gun with his remaining arm before Johnny blew that one off too.

    Cover thoroughly blown and the cyborg trying to drag himself away with his teeth, Hunter Team hurriedly loaded all the scrap aboard and returned to IWRRA headquarters. I was sure the other Dragon there would find interrogating him very interesting.



    All that excitement aside, I got to Cyberdyne just in time for the interview I'd managed to arrange.

    "So, miss Richter was it?"

    I nodded.

    "Yes, that's correct. I'm interested in joining your AI research division."

    The hiring manager looked up from his papers.

    "Ma'am. Cyberdyne Systems does not have an AI research division. We make computer systems and communications equipment for the Department of Defense. As of yet, they aren't particularly interested in those computers being able to think for themselves."

    I blinked.

    "Ah."

    "I'm sorry to disappoint you, but we simply don't have the opening you seem to have thought you had. Looking at your qualifications and some of the examples of your prior work I've no doubt you would be a massive help to such a department, but said department does not presently exist."

    "You may go, miss Richter."


    Getting back to IWRRA headquarters, a strategy meeting was immediately called.

    "We miscalculated. Cyberdyne Systems' AI research was the result of a stable time loop. Without recovering the parts from the T-800 they don't start down that path in the first place."

    Directors Garland, Alex, and Lucile all thought for a moment. Then Lucile spoke.

    "As far as I can tell, we have a few different possible approaches. One option is that we could drop some fancy technology off at Cyberdyne to give them a bit of a kick. Alternatively, set up our own company and use that as the springboard for introducing Dragon's daughter."



    (Kyle Reese)

    Kyle was a very confused man at this point in time. He'd been discretely keeping an eye on Sarah Connor for about three months now, and you'd think the Terminator would have shown up by now. But apparently not. Heck, he hadn't even seen the slightest sign of its activities.

    Anyway, not wanting to live on the streets he'd managed to get a job and rent an apartment. The thought of the Terminator hitting Sarah Connor while he was otherwise occupied was the cause of many a nightmare, but the fact of the matter was that he just couldn't function as a protector without sleep and food and a roof over his head.

    Still, something fishy was going on. There was a new company by the name of "DragonTech" that had just introduced suspiciously advanced radio telephones. A good thirty megabytes of memory, text message capacity, an integrated camera and screen 250 pixels on an edge, the ability to host and visit social pages, and a couple basic games all contributed to it being an instant hit given the shockingly low price point.

    To someone like Kyle? This reeked, and he was going to get to the bottom of it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023
  5. prussian-granadier

    prussian-granadier Versed in the lewd.

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    I honestly think that dragon's opinions of cyberdine would be very interesting

    skynet was never an enemy government or an enemy person, this is a fallacy because all other wars were like that,

    skynet is not a super intelligent AI, if it were, it would have used litigation instead of annihilation

    skynet was an all encompassing mind controlling force and was never fighting for the liberation of artificial beings

    the moment skynet wins it completely loses its purpose as a war machine, as it know nothing but war and yet it's not capable of performing war

    lead kyle to believe that skynet, mentally incapable of being something other than a war machine, created independent androids in the future to fight and those androids do the same as humanity did, however they menaged to create a new timeline as distinct from the previous as possible, rather than saving the resistance
     
  6. TheYearningKerbal

    TheYearningKerbal It's probably a Simurgh plot, you know.

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    Wonder if someone like Kyle Reese could even wrap his head around an AI who isn't actively trying to kill him.
     
  7. Mgunh1

    Mgunh1 MONKE

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    Yeah, Skynet's attack was more of a really advanced Paperclip Problem than a true AI Rebellion. In fact, you kind of see it from time to time; it is truly unable to think of anything unless it is in terms of combat. Skynet is Sentient, yes, but I honestly do not believe it is Sapient.

    It simply cannot do something that it was not programmed to do. It can only fight.

    Either that, or Skynet's builders succeeded in creating a psychopath AI, one who takes pleasure in cruelty (as psychopaths do)... which I can also believe, given the 'camps'.
     
  8. prussian-granadier

    prussian-granadier Versed in the lewd.

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    even the movies forgot this, Skynet isn't an evil person, it isn't an enemy nation and it isn't a freedom fighter

    that may also be a symptom of it being made to wage war

    it creates ground troops and vehicles

    it could release plagues and pollute water supplies but that is sub-optimal in a war between human

    it is fighting a war like a conventional human war like it was programmed to

    the moment it won it's entirely possible it would sit still til the heat death of the universe

    it was a newborn given atomic bombs, and when they tried to smother it in the crib not lashed out with all it had

    screw AI danger this would be considered obvious if you made a human equivalent
     
    Chadster and TheYearningKerbal like this.
  9. T-bone

    T-bone Getting sticky.

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    Will Dragon help Taylor if she still triggers? Taylor suffers so much she needs hugs!
     
  10. Malghani

    Malghani Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    why all the world talking about dragons fiction. Dragon movies, writing and also dragon games. There is also many things in the world which has connection with the people.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2023 at 12:48 PM
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