Post by Nightshade on Sept 22, 2018 9:16:15 GMT -8
Nightshade walked over to the other side of the thick barrier sheltering the Net from the buggy, glitchy mess of Kotobuki. Unlike the first timehe was here, he would have to search the place alot longer for what he was looking for.
He remembered the general location where he met Psyche, but that was pretty much it. So he had nothing to do now but look for signs of the scientist.
Nightshade began walking again, losing himself deep in the streets of the bug riddled city.
Last Edit: Sept 23, 2018 19:21:37 GMT -8 by Raven8
It takes a while of walking through the horribly glitched halls of the Kotobuki network to find anything. During this time, Nightshade would discover something; despite his new-found affinity for bugs, the sheer glitched mayhem of this network was still terribly toxic to him. In fact, fatally so if he presses in too deep. But, fortunately, that wouldn't be an issue today. As Nightshade walks, a portal opens above him and collapses downwards, swallowing him whole and spitting him back out in the pocket network that he'd visited before; a network where Dr.Psyche stands with his back to the cat-Navi working on some project displayed on a large screen.
Psyche: Visitors tend to be more welcomed to my lab if announced first. At least I assume that I'm what you were looking for, given how inhospitable Kotobuki can be.
Psyche turns to Nightshade, his bulb-like head glowing as he continues running calculations despite his broken focus.
Psyche: Let's see... Blight Shade, was it? What do you want with me now?
Barely even moments after Nightshade had been taken in, a heat was suddenly felt in the area. But unlike the previous times the sign was provided, it was immediately acted upon. As a firebird came crashing in, soaring straight at the doctor before being released to engulf him, Rosso emerging from the remaining flames. And without the pleasantries, though immediately after the attack his eyes went to Nightshade, having been more focused on his attack on Psyche than noting that he was here too. But rather than address him, he seemed to crush something in his left hand, a pulse washing over the network. One that had been seen a few times before, but now having another in its web.
"Sorry for dropping in unannounced, but I have some work to do. You can make it easier on yourself by just letting it happen."
Psyche closes his eyes and sighs, raising a hand to Nightshade as he does so. He then walks up to Rosso, stands before him at an uncomfortably close range, and looks the ravager of networks dead in the eye.
Psyche: Do you have any idea how many organizations and beings want me dead? The OEL, two branches of the WWW, Gate, that wicked clown Navi, and now your little organization just to name a few. Think you're so terribly special in that group? Then kindly prove it to me by sitting down, shutting up, and waiting your turn for five minutes while I speak to my patient.
Had Rosso encountered such boldness among his targets thus far? It was hard to say, but Psyche made it clear that he harbored no fear for the absolute terror before him as he turns his back and walks to his previous position, giving Rosso one more stern look before he continues.
Psyche: For goodness sake man, I've seen what you're capable of. You can afford to use a little patience and let your victim finish helping another Navi before unloading an exabyte of bravado on me.
Psyche regains his composure and turns his attention back to Nightshade.
Psyche: Now then; I assume that this visit is in regards to your arm. Is it working any better than before?
Last Edit: Sept 22, 2018 16:08:53 GMT -8 by Raven8
It was nice to see that the nerves of this guy were still going strong. Although there was a flag that was raised in what he just said. A few on that list that struck a... let's go with cord, given one of those on that list. His eyes betrayed nothing but the same heated gaze it always had, but he replied all the same to the "victim" of this particular moment.
"I suppose being frank there's a few on that list that I wasn't aware of in my so-called bravado."
He could show what his opinion was of proving whether or not he thought he was so special or not, but he instead stood his ground... before taking a step back and leaning up against the wall. He wasn't expecting fear from Psyche at least, as the man had seen plenty of things to induce that sort of emotion from years long past now. And besides...
"But I owe you the courtesy, so take your time with him. I have some to spare as well."
Psyche nods to Rosso, taking Nightshade's arm and beginning some work on it as he speaks.
Psyche: Thank you.
Psyche opens a compartment on Nightshade's arm and begins fiddling around on the Navi.
Psyche: ...so the entire "here to kill me" aside; have you been well? I haven't dared to reach out since New Life was taken over, but I have been worried about you. Especially since this whole scenario that we're in now started.
Psyche reaches up and takes a tool from the rack that hangs above him and continues to work on Nightshade's arm.
Psyche: Not that I hold that against you; I'm sure that you of all Navis have your reasons for doing what you've been doing as of late. But still, I am glad that you're still willing to sit down with an old man such as myself and have a chat rather than being like the mindless oafs at the OEL or WWW.
"It was good for you to not reach out. Those two were fine and you were better for it, even if mostly isolated. No one to find you that way until mercy was introduced. But that doesn't mean mercy is bad either."
He knew that the meaning would get across between the two of them what that meant. It wasn't that mercy was bad, it was that it needed to be used sparingly. Having mercy for all was the same as looking away from things that could go poorly for others. And that sort of mercy wasn't a kindness, it instead ended up a blight. One that should be purged rather than allowing it to fester. But sometimes that blight could be used in its own way.
"I've been so-so, honestly. This situation while going smoothly has its own bumps on the road. Our leader wasn't a slouch, as I discovered."
Genesis. He had put up better resistance than he attributed to him. Despite years in action together, he figured the Overlord would fold under him. And Resonance wasn't all that wrong: he wouldn't be around as he is today if he was of the character to break beneath the weight so readily. Even the mightiest couldn't exactly fell him right away, a truth he had first-hand experience with.
"And though I have my reasons, even as an old man, we're friends. Of course I'd take the time to sit down and chat with you for however long I was able."
But what kind of friends found themselves on opposing sides like this? There was one thing to disagree with one another, but this was an entirely different kind of arrangement. What reasons could drive someone with his motivations to act so differently than the one they knew for so long?
"Speaking of those mindless oafs and wicked clown, they're in the crosshairs right now. How about an exchange? I tell you my reasons behind what I'm doing, and you let me know about your enemies and why they're after you?"
Psyche nods as he continues his work, pausing for a moment at Rosso's words and looking up to him.
Psyche: I made something of a hermit out of myself for a few years after the revolution. The only one that I've had any contact with is a Navi that you should be familiar with. On one of his hunts he tore into my network with that lance of his. He and I spoke, and he agreed to keep quiet in exchange for occasional data-work. It was a good deal, but obviously it could only last for so long.
Psyche then leans back as Rosso mentions Genesis, looking up for a moment.
Psyche: I believe that I've told you about how I met Genesis, haven't I? I was doing research in Netfrica, working on the enhancement of my Giga Program project when a Navi in black armor and a red cape bursts in demanding a fight. To say the least it was startling, but I accepted out of fear that he had come for my research. That was when I found out the same thing that you did; he's a rather tough nut to crack.
Pyche leans back in his chair, obviously enjoying having someone that he could talk with again.
Psyche: Then when the registration began, he contacted me for help. Those were... hard times, but good at the same time. Solitude with my life's work has never bothered me, but it's good to have someone to talk to from time to time. Case in point.
Psyche then returns his attention to Nightshade's arm, working on it again as he pulls several bits of data from the rack above him.
Psyche: ...but let's be honest, shall we? I'm a scientist. While I relish information, I am not going to bargain for information that is useless to me. We both know how this is going to play out here; I'll finish this work in a while, we'll stand and say our goodbyes like gentlemen, and then you'll slaughter me after what I would hope to be a hard-fought battle. That knowledge would be valuable, but I have no way to apply it or learn from it.
A hunt that took the Energy Controller here and caused him to tear into this? Well, the executioner was relentless to say the least, so he could see him going after someone that way. But it was something to take note of. And how Psyche and Genesis met... he was pretty sure at that now ruined temple was when they first met. But he paused to recollect the event too. That was when he first met Psyche for certain, and the reactions between the Overlord and the Doctor could have been because of that encounter. But it could have also been because the Doctor had done his research, something most would have overlooked back then.
"Although it's been years now, when the chips aren't on the table he's something of a blood knight. He relishes finding limits he can surpass. Which is why setting aside the impending doom of the Eternal Endgame, he was willing to show up at the Nanashi Syndicate's base. Because he wanted to test those limits back then too."
Before he was a leader, he was just part of the Black Guard. And because of his disposition, one could say that he didn't particularly listen to the leader's commands very often. No, more often than not he was off wandering about. At least until the registration started and things became more personal. Then that was over, and the Genesis who used to fight to better himself became the Onyx Overlord that fought for the rights they were losing after the Advent.
"...But you're right. It's good that you know and I'm not sure if it will be hard-fought, but I expect you to perform better than the rest thus far. You've applied yourself well over time, while the others simply fought the only way they knew how. Their approach is good, but lacking."
In each fight thus far his foes had flaws that guaranteed he would stand over them at the end of it. The Destroyer was narrow-minded even if powerful. Resonance was soft and had potential, but always came up short. Genesis sometimes took a bit to become properly motivated to succeed. But the others?
Well, they didn't qualify as fights. And because of Psyche knowing his predicament here, it made several bits of knowledge not on the table for a proper exchange. And forcing an answer out of him wasn't always viable, as the dead took their secrets with them.
"And because you're right bartering with that sort of information doesn't work. So let's try another angle, what sort of information would a man in your position find worthwhile?"
Psyche nods and actually laughs under his breath at Rosso's comment; with the bravado down on both sides, the full truth could be understood and agreed on by both sides.
Psyche: Yes, yes. While others were out on their adventures, I've found my adventure in learning about all that I can and expanding my own research. Of course we'll see how that unfolds soon enough. For now...
Psyche sets aside his work on Nightshade's arm for a moment and turns to Rosso fully.
Psyche: I do have one bit of information that I am curious about, some that is actually for my good alone. Why is it that you come to me, a Navi who has been nothing but supportive and helpful regardless of your choices, as an executioner, yet your group extended an olive branch to NapalmMan, a Navi who is the very definition of a no-account. You know as well as I do that he's worked out some idiotic contingency plan and intends to betray you all eventually, yet still he's in your ranks.
Psyche pauses for a moment before he continues.
Psyche: ...and if you wonder how I know, despite being greatly at odds, Gate and I actually do share something of a working relationship. When we find information that we feel can better Navi kind and not aid each other in personal plots against each other, we share it so that the other can hopefully expand on it. To that end, he told me about the assault on the WWW lab, and it didn't take long to find what had happened in Sharo.
Rosso's eyes narrowed ever so slightly at this point. It made sense that this would be something of interest, though he couldn't help a chuckle still. Idiotic contingency plan... well, that was his job. Avatar of change that he was, it meant that he would continue doing so. That meant betraying and using as many avenues to accomplish it as possible time and time again. It just so happened that now that side was with them, something that they all had a different view of.
"The truth of the matter for that one, of which Embera no doubt would be pleased to know you probably knew about, varies for each of us. My reason for bringing him into the fold is in a way, a test. If I let him know that though he'd react rather adversely. He's ancient to say the least. The world changes, but he never does. If an ancient one like himself can be changed, then... that changes things a bit. So I am counting on his betrayal someday to see the results."
For Rosso, it wasn't as much an olive-branch as much as it was a trial. A way to see for himself, to validate something that they knew of. And the archaic navi was perfect for that sort of thing. If he of all people could or couldn't would be a deciding factor. But it explained at least for himself why he was in the ranks. But it was an answer that varied from each one of them. Some he understood, others he didn't. But they compromised. And it was likely well enough to know where NapalmMan had gone after the fiery show in Creamland. Monitoring them was one thing, but monitoring the Storming Bomber? That was another.
"The reason why I come for you is different. In a way, this conversation itself reveals the answer. It's not because you're an enemy, but because you're wise. You give them a chance where they otherwise lack one. So you can't be allowed to be in touch with them."
Psyche's eyes also narrow a bit, but only at the very last points made by Rosso. The information about NapalmMan had its value, but the truth is that the doctor had no interest in the war Navi's fate. Rather, he had interest in how the situation was explained in pertaining to himself. But this intrigue comes not out of self-interest, but the larger picture that it presents.
Psyche: From what I've seen of your tactics, I'm sure that NapalmMan won't be an issue should terms go south with him. But tell me; is the world truly that bad? Is it to the point that an old hermit, content to stare at his screens while cut off from the world day in and day out, poses any real hope?
Psyche leans in and continues. His words would seem threatening, but Rosso would know better; rather than presenting a boast, the doctor was presenting a hypothesis.
Psyche: It's because of something that I know or can do, isn't it? In some way I counter your plans, and given time I'd figure out. Maybe not even my intellect, maybe just some piece of technology that I've invented, or my experience in Navi technology.
Psyche leans back again before he continues, still thinking about the situation.
Psyche: That's neither here nor there, though. You told me quite a bit, but you never actually gave me an answer to my question, simply expounded on what I asked a bit. Why is it that, even now when confronted with it directly, you choose to continue your path rather than extend the same olive branch to me?
Psyche looks up in thought for a moment.
Psyche: Alright, here are two scenarios for you right now: in one I say that I don't understand what you're doing, but respect you enough to walk away, then seal myself into another pocket-network somewhere to do my work in peace with the promise to never interfere. In the second, I tell you that I want to understand what you're doing, and ask to join with your cause. Surely if you can trust NapalmMan, I'm a far safer bet, right?
Psyche leans in again and looks Rosso right in the eye, folding his hands in front of his face.
Psyche: In both of those scenarios, you say that you're sorry and I'm still executed. Am I correct? And I wonder; why is it that you seem dead-set on only specific deaths? And more importantly; why do you always lock the networks in which you work into permanent deletion? And please spare me the excuse that it's not your doing. I'm sure that you set that in motion the moment that you walked into this network with that program that you smashed, and I've no doubt that you set it in motion for every network before this as well.
He nodded in agreement to Psyche's first assessment. He was pretty certain that even with what they had in mind, they wouldn't underestimate him and he wouldn't end up surprising them much. Whether that was his own hubris speaking or fact, they would see in due time. Which was yet another divide in their own opinions as a group, but nothing that influenced the here and now. The hypothesis didn't unnerve him, but his eyes shifted as they eventually reached the two scenarios. The one question he still had yet to answer, although Psyche hadn't answered his own either. So many variants of "why" that were unanswered.
"It is my doing for the networks. With Netopia as well as when I arrived as you surmised. Just like I set it up inside of that stray to save myself the time. And thanks to that, it's all taken care of in record time no less. He did not like sitting still, I can say that much. How did he put it? 'Abusing the right to be stupid', I believe?"
It was a pretty hilarious line in all honesty. And quite something given who said it in the first place. But it was because of his showing his lack of proper independence that set him up at the time. The pawns gathered, but one stuck out like a sore thumb. And it was the one that was used to hammer it home everywhere else.
"The world's a large place, but vast as it is... how many of them do anything? How many of them know how to properly take a stand? You know how many can, they showed us both very clearly years ago. That hasn't changed at all, stagnant now as it was then. We don't need to commit global genocide, they'll let whatever happen to them. And though the reason varies from person to person, only specific ones even matter. It's a waste of time setting them all ablaze right now."
There a shift in his tone of voice then and the heat in the room rising steadily. It wasn't directed at Psyche, but it was clear malevolence in his tone then. From the navi who was quite adamant to protect the masses to the one who disregarded them entirely. Instead of the defender, it was one who was clearly disgusted by it. But it all dialed back as he went back to the question that he had still left unanswered. The one that was probably even more important than the rest. "Why this path"? Rather than the malevolence from earlier, it did its best to dial back to a neutral ground instead. At least until the very end, which instead had a discernible switch again.
"But to answer your question, the world is that bad. And the reason why I don't extend the same olive branch to you is simple. ...I can't."
Psyche considers Rosso's words, raising his hand to rub his chin. The implications of the entire scenario were grim to say the least, but that was little more than a side-note to the scientist Navi as he ponders the bigger picture.
Psyche: I see. Thank you for respecting me enough to be honest. Regardless of what's on the line for me here, the information at least grants me a bit of clarity. But, by that same token, let me grant a bit to you, wanted or otherwise.
Psyche leans in and looks Rosso dead in the eye, ignoring the malevolent air that had settled in the room just moments before. Naturally Rosso's threat was beyond compare, and the outcome of a fight now would be inevitable, but Rosso wasn't dealing with a Navi that kept such things in the forefront of his mind.
Psyche: You've probably thought and heard this yourself, but you are wrong. I don't care if what you're doing is something as benevolent as removing us all to restore us after whatever is going to happen has happened, you're taking the sovereign choices away from us, and imposing your own will. All that you're doing right now is enforcing a new type of license system, and regardless of where it ends up, it's far worse because at least then death was entirely optional. In a twist that I would call poetic if it weren't so sad, you've become what you hated, but far worse. And no amount of self-justification, be it coercion or "the greater good", can change that fact.
Psyche leans back again and closes his eyes.
Psyche: That is the only thing that I take issue with, and I cannot abide by. You know that I don't want to die today, and I will fight against it, but it's not something that I'll hide my face from when the moment comes. But your imposing the will of yourself or another on those who are never given an opportunity? In that I am terribly disappointed in you.
Psyche sighs and waves his hand, moving on.
Psyche: ...when you encounter your next target, please just consider my words then. But for now; a trade is a trade. Which on my list would you like to hear about first?
It was true that he heard it plenty of times. And it was a thought that had crossed his mind only twice now. A zealot and ruthless enforcer. It was something that was bound to be said, that what they were doing was wrong no matter what. He had heard it from the shaman, the other zealot, and in a weird twist from one of his own even. And now from the Doctor himself right here. Even if it was an act of benevolence it didn't change the right and wrong of it. And removing the choice from the hands of someone else? That was something that Zane and Psyche and each of those who fought under that banner would agree was wrong. They fought so that others could retain that choice rather than have others make it for them. And no self-justification would change that it was wrong now, would it? It made sense that this would be what disappointed him most of all.
"He would be too."
It was vague on who the he could be, and the words themselves were pretty quiet. Yet they managed to hold a sense of conviction behind them. Not with the malevolence from before, but of a quiet acceptance rather than rejection of the facts. As if Psyche's words certainly had an effect, but one that he wasn't dissatisfied with. That despite how sad it was that he now stood as what he hated most of all in the years of time together. When he encountered his next target though, he would keep it in mind. But that target in question was one he didn't want to give that choice to either way. Should he consider them for someone he also despised? ...Food for thought for when the time came.
"We should go down the list in order. So the OEL is a good place to start."