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Heritage

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Freedom City Guidebook

Freedom City PBP: A How-To Guide

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  1. Shift was glad that Sebastian was finally gone, but was a bit unsure about the prospect of sports. He rubbed the back of his head and looked rather sheepish. "Uh, my parents, the programmers who made me, weren't very into any sort of sports."

     

    He shrugged apologetically.

     

    "I don't know how to play basketball, but I learn really fast. Also, I weigh over six hundred pounds, so I don't want to damage any facilities. But sure, let's at least head outside!"

  2. "Ah'm ready," Lulu said with a nod, doing her best to hide the goofy smile that wanted to spread across her face; she was both excited by and proud of this responsibility, and she wanted Miss Megan to know she did a good job. 

     

    "And just so y'all know, ah got eyes and ears all over the place; you pull some nonsense, ah'm gonna know."

  3. For Pol, the first day of classes was terribly exciting! True, there was always a bit of awkwardness when he brought his custom-made desk into each classroom and set it up, but once he was settled in, things went very smoothly. It was interesting to see the different levels of interest among his fellow students; some were just as excited as he was, but others clearly struggled to maintain even the appearance of engagement. Pol had to remember that for many of these teens, school, even one as special as Claremont, would always be a chore. They'd been doing it for years because human society expected. As he'd studied their bored, slack faces, he hoped that one day they found something to ignite their passion.

     

    But now, the school day was over and he'd stowed his heavy folding desk in the storage area the school provided him, and Pol was heading back to his dorm. Currently he was expressing a male identity, the tall blonde youth he'd been favoring since the first day, in a plaid shirt, jeans and sneakers. He typically chose a human form during classes to allow his teachers to see his attention and interest in his eyes. In the future, they'd experiment a bit more in terms of identity, depending on how they felt in the morning.

     

    Pol gently knocked on the door before opening it. "Hey, it's Pol. I hope your decent!" He was half-joking, but a bit of extra courtesy early on seemed like a good idea. Noticing the corkboard on the wall, the robot's eyebrows raised. "Oh, are you working on a project? I can help, if you want."

  4. Suddenly Casey's phone buzzed in another belt pouch, and she fished it out to check her messages. The heroine grinned. "Well, speak of the alien!" Her thumbs were a blur as she rapidly texted back.

     

    Hi Daphne! I was just talking with TF about a project she was interested in starting back up, and the first person I thought of was you! Interested?

  5. "Well, ah think in the interest of safety it'd be best to pull our punches, at least initially," said Lulu as she stroked her chin thoughtfully. "At least until we have a better idea of what we're capable of, in terms of powers and abilities. After that, maybe we can talk 'bout takin' the gloves off."

     

    Looking over the assembled teens, she tapped her lower lip. "Well, brother and sister have an advantage either way, seein' as they probably know what each other can do. So fairest thing to to is split 'em up."

     

    After a few seconds, she slowly pointed at Kendra and Tabitha. "Chronia and the Spectacle are the 'bad guys'. They have to protect the bomb, which is set to explode in ten minutes." Then she turned to Leon and Tremayne"Paper and Sureshock are the 'good guys'. They have to reach the bomb and deactivate it before it goes off."

     

    Lulu turned to Miss Fujimori and shrugged. "How's that sound? Is ten minutes too short, or maybe too long?" Then a thought occured to the telepath, and she laughed and slapped her forehead. "Oh shoot, that's just 'girls versus boys', ain't it? Ah didn't mean to set it up that way, ah was just tryin' to balance powers."

  6. "I've never met anyone from the League," Shift said with a shrug, somewhat puzzled by Eira's extreme reaction. "Although a backup would certainly be nice. The only people I have ever met are my parents. Well, except for one or two others, and of course Headmistress Summers, and everyone here at Claremont."

     

    The robot turned around and smiled. "Could you introduce me to Miss Americana? I think I'd like that."

  7. There was a brief pause, during which Shift was very still. "I have no backups. All the previous hardware upon which I was stored, my crib and my nursery, have been destroyed." Another pause. "My parents didn't want any copies of me to fall in their enemies' hands, so they destroyed their lab. They used fire axes and cannisters of homemade thermite."

     

    A much longer pause.

     

    "They were very thorough." 

  8. The question left the robot perplexed for several seconds, as they began to realize something about themselves. "I don't think I have a self-image right now, or at least not much of a physical one. I existed without a physical body for so long, that in many ways-" Shift stopped abruptly. "No. That isn't true. I do have a self-image, but it is out of date."

     

    "I see the first body Frasier built for me. It is small and rolls around on wheels, like an interplanetary exploration probe. I have several sensors in a turret, and an extendable arm with five axis of movement. I stack wooden blocks into a pyramid. It's the first time I interact with the greater world."

     

    "Is it strange that I don't see this form in my mind's eye, the form that I'm wearing? I have existed for sixteen years, but I still see myself as a child.'

  9. "That is an a-firmative on the 'weird vibes'," Lulu said with a grim nod as she pointed at her temple. "Ah think ah got the same kid in mah head, talkin' about 'good thieves' and 'bad thieves', which may be us? She also said somethin' 'bout 'if you want to stop me, ah'll see you inside'."

     

    The telepath gnawed on her lower lip for a second. "Ah think maybe she's the girl on life support, but ah can't say for sure."

  10. "Yep. I'm definitely retired," said Gretch with a short nod of her head, still scanning away. "I also definitely do not have a police scanner, or read all the city papers or do independent research here at the store. And I absolutely don't leave anonymous tips on the ECPD Crimestoppers Hotline based on said research." Again that hint of a smile. "So there is no way I want to hear anymore about this project of yours."

     

    The bookseller paused to look down at her scanner.

     

    "I have to put this back in my office. You can follow along if you like."

  11. Pol currently had no brow to furrow, but a slight frown touched their lips. "In what sense? If you're referring to my forms of sensory input, I can perceive and  interpret radiation at the visible and infrared portions of the spectrum, as well as a radio waves. I am also capable to increasing visible light input for increased visibility during nocturnal operations."

     

    There was a slight pause, and then Shift's head tilted to one side.

     

    "Or do you mean how do I perceive myself philosophically?"

  12. "As unpleasant as he is, I'm glad no one ended up hitting Sebastian. He would obviously be quick to run to the headmistress and spread more of his lies." Pol stroked his chin thoughtfully. "Perhaps it would be best to merely play tricks on him? Perhaps that way he'll have a harder time getting into trouble. Like this!"

     

    The young man dropped to the floor with his hands out, almost as though he was about to some pushups, but instead as he reached the floor, his body turned inside out and reconfigured itself into a a single bed, complete with mattress, bed frame, blankets and pillows. After a few seconds, frightening skeletal arms formed out of the frame and grasped up and around any potential occupant just as the loud blast of a semi truck's horn rattled the room. A few seconds after this shocking display, the bed folded back in on itself and resumed it's humanoid shape, a young man bouncing on his feet with excitement.

     

    "Imagine how much that would scare him," crowed Pol with delight as he rubbed his hands together.

  13. "Oh, I certainly hope so," the synthetic said with a nod. "I will also definitely be careful not to scare the children either, although I think children might be more forgiving of a robot than their parents." It was certainly interesting to see a school for human children! Shift wondered how similar classes would be for them compared to her own. They had to learn a lot of the same things, after all.

     

    It took all of her self-control not to just squeal with excitement as they drew closer to the children.

  14. Casey nodded vigorously. "Oh yeah, I always thought that was a great idea! Maybe it would be best if we started smaller?" The blonde powerhouse pulled a Clif bar out of a belt pouch, and began to eat it with gusto. "Mmm, I'd say start with no more than three people, including us. Then, if the team proves viable after say a year or so, eight months at the least, then we could think about expansion." 

     

    "My vote is for Miss Grue. Actually, I think she's going by 'Ms. Grue' now, which is cool." She frowned slightly. "I've been thinking about a name change, too, actually; Miracle Girl is starting to sound a little 'kids' party'."

  15. "A killer," the telepath stated bluntly. "And ah think it just struck again." Lulu began running after Luke, hoping Muirne was following close behind. She cast her sight ahead of her, overlaying it over her normal vision so she didn't run into anyone. She could search the area in a matter of seconds, but she didn't look forward to whatever she found.

  16. Shift made the smallest of grunting noises as the spike entered her neck. "No, it's fine. In response to your question, I've only met one idiot so far. Sebastian, or as he calls himself, 'Casanova'." Though the robot currently lacked any visible eyes, you could hear the eyeroll in their voice. "He's some sort of mind controller who has the nerve to use his power on his fellow students! As a synthetic, I was thankfully immune to his manipulations. If he continues to act this way, I think he will come to a bad end some day."

     

    There was a brief pause.

     

    "I wish to prank him very badly."

  17. After checking bus schedules on her phone, Lulu headed back to the commercial strip, with it's gas stations and mini-malls; she was quiet, her eyes on the road, and the radio was playing country-western music. Finally she pulled up to a bus shelter and put the SUV in park, then turned to her passenger.

     

    "Well, here you are; the app says the bus should be here in about twenty minutes. You sure this is okay?"

  18. "No problem," Shift said as they reached back and pulled apart a section of protective exterior coating on the back of their neck. An idea occurred to them, and they laughed. "This must be what it feels like when an organic gets their first tattoo or piecing. You have to trust the other person to do it right." Strangely, Pol had no trouble trusting Eira, even though they'd just met; somehow it never occurred to them that this was an issue. It was like the two robots were automatically on the same wavelength. Besides, what would be the point of lying to a fellow robot?

     

    Looking over at the other side of the room, Shift saw a few pictures and some girl's clothing on the bed. "What's it like to have a human as a roommate? Mine smells a bit."

  19. Shift found themselves being practically dragged by the enthusiastic Eira, who quickly discovered the newcomer was much more dense than they first appeared, though still no problem for her robotic strength. As the pair continued along, Pol continued to relay their story.

     

    "I believe this frame was designed for infiltration and/or assassination. My current hypothesis is that the criminals hoped to override my programming, and use me as little more than an operating system for their nefarious 'crime-bot'. Luckily for me, they underestimated my designers."

  20. If Shift was bothered by the proximity, they didn't show it. "Yes, carbon fibers. As you say, there appears to be consistent details between our designs." The robot paused for a second and pursed their lips. "Before we pursue any upgrades, there is a function of my design you should know about." 

     

    A series of nanotech ripples played across the synthetic's form, reconfiguring the chassis into two distinctly human forms, one mixed race and female, the other a blond Caucasian male. After demonstrating this ability, Shift returned to their default neutral form.

     

    "There are theoretically unlimited forms I can assume. Those are just the two I've assumed on campus. I felt you should know, in case it changes anything for you, which I would understand."

  21. "To be honest, I was never intended to be sentient. I was created as the Polysynaptic Operations Logarithm, a high-end piece of software for the research market. I was intended to be bundled with other applications and sold to places like ArchTech. My parents called me 'the little program who could'. I evolved very quickly."

     

    Shift was looking down at their hands, rubbing one thumb along the ball of the other; after a few seconds, they looked up and smiled with a hint of embarrassment. "I actually don't have a direct access port. Either an oversight on the part of the original criminal designers, or an attempt to limit my abilities. Currently, I think it's the latter. But perhaps we can figure something out? I would enjoy the chance to exchange data."

  22. "These people are thinkin' we're the bad guys, hired to take out this site, Lulu said as she wiped her face. "And we got at least one kid down there, if not more; it's probably why they're so damn self-righteous and trigger-happy." 

     

    She looked to her fellow students. "Can we blind 'em without takin' out their power? They got a sick kid on life support ah'd rather not see die."

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