Part 102: Day 41 - Gameplay AgainDay 41: Gameplay Again
Music: neutral 2
So, you moved to Central?
I tire of waiting for thee. Begin thy work.
That's a yes, then. Good morning, everyone.
...We're back here? What happened to Hokma?
I'm perfectly fine, of course. A and I have agreed to handle the present situation before resolving our own dispute.
Put simply, we have some kind of demigod in one of our cells and it seems to be messing with our systems. Angela, options?
I would recommend analyzing the Abnormality in order to gather its information. Doing so should allow us to harden our systems against its vector of attack.
I am a God. There is naught a creature of plastic and steel can do to stop Me.
I would prefer you did so sooner, rather than later.
In the meanwhile, I'll have Bishop keep an eye out for any weird work orders.
And if it gets to be too much trouble, I'll lock things down~
Leave smashing it up to my team if something happens.
With all due respect, if it gets out Tenebrais and Credentia are probably dead-that's half your team. I'd like to avoid that. In the meanwhile, can someone get this guy off of my screen?
Delay with all thy strength, but My rise is inevitable.
The hell it is! Manager, kick this thing's butt! With research!
Yeah, that's the plan.
Work. Sleep. Work. The cycle continues, unbroken.
Manager, we have a rather thorough report on the new Abnormality's offensive capabilities.
Summarize it quickly. You've got 'til Mizu smells the thing and makes her way over here.
Poor work results will cause White damage to multiple agents as it screams in fury. This will also lower its Qliphoth Counter, which appears to be three. The counter also seemed to lower itself on one occasion. The Apostles-its servants-come in three main types, Scythe, Spear, and Wand. Wands fire beams. Spears charge. Scythes slash and grab, the grab is instantly lethal.
Power levels of the attacks?
Unknown. An agent in the Justita suit experimenting with the scythe managed to kill themselves in two direct cuts.
You can just say Talow, y'know. I don't think it's a secret anymore, and it came in handy.
I'm simply reading the report, manager. The full document has been forwarded to you for perusal at your leisure.
Does this report mention anything involving how to harvest its Enkephalin?
Only that we have to use Level 5 agents.
Sounds like they missed the most important part~
Luckily, we have a specialist for that.
I wonder how you'll react today? Don't disappoint me.
Sniff... sniff sniff! I must go! A cutie needs me!
Of course they do.
Let's all do our best today!
I'm really glad to be out of that old outfit.
It's because of all your own hard work. Feel proud that you've made it!
So that means nobody needs any training here anymore, right?
Great, then let's just take the day off.
Wait, is that why you came over here?!
It's not a problem, is it? We've worked hard-we should have a vacation.
Can we do that?
Well nobody actually has any training to do. I don't see why not! Let's relax as much as we can today!
Oof! You shave a bit harder than the birdie, cutie!
I am no 'cutie.' I am thy savior.
Aww, but every cutie is my savior.
Our new acquisition deals Pale damage during work-and a hefty chunk of it. While it says 'endure' in the screenshot, Mizu's current modifier for Pale is 0.97x so this is effectively the full damage amount. Working with -46 hurts. How much?
Mizu was left with 34 HP after missing a total of 10 boxes.
Alright, Mizu, how do we handle him?
Iunno. He liked talking a whooole bunch, maybe do more of that?
You don't... know?
Nope! Not a clue! He's super cute now, though. Way better than when he had that mask on.
Neutral results don't appear to have any negative effect on its mood.
Bishop reported that it wasn't able to do anything while it was being worked, either.
So it can't mess with our systems if we distract it, eh?
Rest assured that I am still able to hear thee, even then. However, even I cannot be everywhere at once. Thus I shall return My servants to My side and cleanse this world of its disease.
Let's just keep him busy while we get the data we need. Speaking of... Let's put a name to the face.
Say hello to WhiteNight. It is the highest single PE Box generator in the game at 35/work, and at 7-8 Pale damage per hit it's also the most lethal Abnormality to work in the game. Anything below 0.5x Pale is risky to use, and we only have two suits that hit that level of protection-Justita and Twilight. Ideally we'd pick someone even tankier than that, since we want to chain works back to back in order to get its information and equipment as quickly as possible.
I guess I could have Talow work with it all day... or Tenebrais? Maybe if I alternated them...
Um, manager... If it's any help, I took a look at our agents and found one with a Temperance of 130 before applying any E.G.O gifts. I went ahead and gave them the Justita, and that E.G.O from CENSORED so they'd be ready no matter what kind of damage this thing did.
Good thinking. Send them over.
Already done, boss.
Thanks for heading over! That thing, what was it called?
WhiteNight! That's the one. It's right near here, so this will be your base of operations for the day. If you need anything, just ask.
Somewhat paradoxically, BICEPS is incredibly good at talking to Abormalities.
We've given him the CENSWORD, which as I've mentioned instantly refunds 40% of any damage our Agent takes. This effectively changes his resistance from 0.5x to 0.3x, meaning WhiteNight can only kind of scratch him.
This fool of a manager hath no appreciation for that which I hath wrought. That which I couldst do still.
This is why I and My servants shalt rise and cleanse this land. There is naught to fear, save thine own redemption.
Make more servants.
Thou understandest nothing. My current servants are all I shalt require.
We work on nothing outside of WhiteNight and in doing so get its basic information pretty quickly. Of particular note are its E.G.O. Let's take a closer look at them.
Holy hell... are those numbers right?
I am never wrong, A. If those are the numbers which have been produced, then they are accurate.
We need that suit and we need it yesterday.
In addition to having an incredibly powerful E.G.O gift in a completely unique slot, WhiteNight also has the most powerful suit in the game. It's priced to match, at a base of 333 that's currently being discounted to 307 by Binah's clerks. As a point of comparison, the previous highest costs in the game were most ALEPH weapons, at 222. We will be wanting to buy two of these, as they're well worth it.
Acceptable work. I'm keeping you around in perpetuity as before.
Yeah, that's what I thought.
Huh. Don't usually see him out here. What'd you do?
Nothing important. Robin, I'll leave you to hold down the floor. I'm going for a walk.
Alright, I'll keep the place from crumbling.
I am performing miracles, here. Why dost thou interrupt My work?
Thou art simply staring at My countenance. For what purpose?
Do not expect Me to take offense, nor be afraid, nor pay thee any of My mind. I am the savior of this world, thou art beneath Me.
What's even going on here? Why are we working with WhiteNight when it's overloaded the cell this much?
We found out that Repression work is very effective, so we've been having BICEPS pointedly ignore him ever since.
It seems to.
It's time for a quick digression into math. WhiteNight's best work rates start at 45%, his observation bonus is a total of +6% success rate, and BICEPS has a bonus of 27% from his 138 total Temperance. This puts our base success rate at 78%. The overload will reduce that to a minimum of 48%, which means that out of 35 boxes we'll average ~16.8 successes. WhiteNight's Bad range is 0-15, so we have to miss 2 boxes more than an average work in order to hit a Bad result. It's far from impossible, but working WhiteNight at -30% is actually pretty safe as long as our Agent has the defenses to survive it. BICEPS does, because he is a wall of meat.
Talow! You never come over!
The decor's a bit creepy for me.
Then why're you here now?
Just wondering something. Did you already know how to handle WhiteNight like you usually do?
Nope! It was as big a mystery to me as to everyone else.
And did you feel anything... else? Talking to it?
Huuuh... I guess I felt cuter than usual! Like any minute I might go GWOOOOR and start walking around spinning a scythe or something! But that woulda' meant I couldn't talk with him anymore so I just forgot about it!
I'm really sorry, she basically never makes sense.
No, it's fine... believe it or not, I've worked with her long enough to figure out what she's saying. Sort of.
...could you write me a guide?
I'll think about it. Thanks, you guys.
Manager! We've got a Bad result from WhiteNight!
Enough of this foolishness... I shall show the lot of thee My wrath!
Setting up to handle this requires a few bullets.
Most of them go towards removing the clerks in Lower Central-WhiteNight's scream only hits employees of the department it's in, so it can't hurt any of the Upper Central clerks.
One goes to Fat Sam, however. I forgot to move him off of the Logging E.G.O suit, so between its 1.2x White vulnerability and another 1.2x multiplier for being HE, he'll be taking significant damage
The scream deals him 84 damage through the shield, meaning it would have been 134 damage normally. Fat Sam has 125 SP, so if we hadn't shielded him he'd have panicked due to my carelessness with our equipment.
I swear I'm good at this game.
WhiteNight falls to 2 QC, and I quickly line up the last three works required to push us to the next level. His QC only drops automatically after 90 seconds without being worked, which gives us plenty of time to arrange for rapid bursts of work and clear his Overload when things start going poorly.
You've left me no agents, yet Melting Love's time is here...
We could just wait. Or-huh, what's Talow doing down there?
Well, whatever. He'll do nicely.
Um... manager, Punishing Bird?
Oh, this is still my vacation. I'm just getting an acupressure massage on Medea's recommendation! Punishing Bird is really good at this.
I didn't ask, ma'am.
When was the last time I had to deal with you? ...Whatever, you still creep me out. Just stay over there, away from me.
Oooh, you smell like strawberry!
That'd be the slime. Don't worry, it's just the smell.
Worry? I'm disappointed in you! She looks delicious!
In either case, I'm going to head back out.
Okee dokie! Bring back some snacks later.
Meanwhile, BICEPS gets a Normal result with WhiteNight, which has an interesting result.
Manager, its Qliphoth Counter has gone back up to 3.
I am in no hurry. I shalt delay My wrath for a time.
That's unexpectedly generous of him...
Doth not tempt Me to change My mind.
Like Bad results, Normal and Good results with WhiteNight have added effects as well. Normal results have a 40% chance to raise the QC by 1, and fully heal all Agents in the same department. Good results will always raise the QC by 1, and fully heal all Agents in the entire facility. While it's not easy to set up beforehand, it's saved my behind a couple of times by accident before.
Anyways, this completes the basic pattern of the day: we'll be working with WhiteNight constantly until we hit a Bad, at which point we push to the next Meltdown Level and use Normal and Good results to get back the QC we lose along the way. Given that we need over 600 PE boxes and can only get ~20-30 at a time, this takes a while.
Oh hey, kiddo. Welcome to Information. Something you need?
Heya, D.A.D. Just visiting the old guard, you know how it is.
Haha... yeah. People get nostalgic when they get older. Something happen?
Tch. Nothing gets by you, does it? Yesterday sucked. Had to write a report on the new guy.
Oh yeah. I hear it changed overnight, nobody knows why.
It was aalieens..!
No, it wasn't!
How would yoou know..?
Erm... because I was watching D.A.D.! Like a normal human would!
You don't have to sound so disappointed, fellow human! I'm sure that aliens exist and are also both amazing and powerful, capable of subjugating an entire society under their mighty boot!
Simmer down, you two. We're pretty busy with fielding new reports about the output and abilities of that WhiteNight fellow. Wouldn't mind an extra pair of hands.
Yeah, I'll hang out for a minute before I head up.
This time around the Bad comes on the 8th work of the meltdown. At 14 works per level, that's still not bad.
All hands, push us over to the next level, then prepare for an Amber Dawn.
It is meaningless, Manager. Whatever trickery thou art resorting to in order to prevent My will being done, it shall not work forever. Mortal hands all tire eventually.
Aww, I'm sowwy. Is the widdle beanie baby upset that he can't order anybody awound anymowe?
Thou shalt cease speaking to Me in that manner.
This has been going smoothly, though... Malkuth, how much longer can your guys hold out?
My agents are perfectly ready to proceed for the whole day! Take as long as you need, manager!
Ooo, you just stay right there, Chiral! I'll blast'em from over here, and then we can have a snack!
If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not have any!
This time I focus on Extraction in order to make sure none of their Clerks die. Saving 26 PE boxes from each suit will save at least two works over the course of the day, which could possibly mean the difference between facing a Noon and not.
Just after that we manage to grab our first copy of the Paradise Lost suit. Just 307 boxes to go.
Hey there, guys. Figured I should see how the random order blocking was going.
Oh, that? It's going-
We are very busy and have absolutely no time to goof off.
Ahh. So you're not doing anything at all.
I noticed they were all coming from Central, so I put every order originating in that department on a blacklist. Took about a half hour to code?
We've been playing video games ever since!
...don't tell Malkuth.
No problem. I won't. Just wanted to thank Bishop. Had a meeting with the Manager, and apparently you'd put in a good word for me.
...ah. Is it yearly review time already? I'll be right back, guys.
Sure thing, boss!
We only got in seven works before I had to rush it this time. Still, we're making progress.
Manager, at this rate it will take quite some time before we are able to complete the day.
Oh, that. Don't worry, I have a plan.
Against My splendor, the plans of man shalt come to naught.
BICEPS, please quiet down WhiteNight.
I am growing quite accustomed to thy anger-filled face.
The next set of works go significantly better.
Oh come on... 306? We're one short! Yesod, can you?
I've jiggled things as much as I can. We'll have to do one more work.
You needn't worry, A. I've gathered enough information to ensure our systems can be hardened against its unique challenges. The shell we're inside is but a step away from being reinforced properly.
Yes, yes, don't worry. You're still on the docket, old timer.
Splendid. I look forward to an opportunity to change your mind, A.
Um should we be worried about this?
It's fine probably.
That thing you said about seeing the manager... Hokma?
It was inevitable, if you think about it. Nothing we can do except prepare for it. Anyways, that WhiteNight thing, it showed up in the middle and next thing I know they rewound us back to here. It turned the agents it blessed into these monsters called Apostles...
Blessed? But Plague Doctor was only here yesterday, it didn't this is time stuff isn't it.
Yes, Bishop. It is time stuff.
God, I hate time travel. It makes everything infinitely harder to follow.
Eh, the hardest part is figuring out the tenses.
Hah! That's both of them! We've just figured out a god!
It is far from the first time. A number of Abnormalities are based on some form of mythology or mysticism. There are those who would say they are all gods.
...can you please just let me have this?
You may have whatever you like once we are done refining the target amount of energy.
Oh yeah... about that, we're not doing it.
I am beginning to strongly suspect you did not have a plan after all.
Sure I do.
I'm going to take us back to this morning via the Repository. We can put in the fixes and the test them without having to worry about losing any progress.
We haven't used the Memory Repository feature so far, but it's incredibly abusable. Since it lets us keep both our Observation Level and our equipment exactly as it is when we use it, we can work part of a day, get all the information and gear that an Abnormality has, and then reset to the Repository to keep it all without risking having to do it again. It's a trick most often used midweek to take care of getting the gear of Abnormalities which are considered too much of a hassle to keep long term, like Melting Love. We're using it here because I want this suit before we do anything else.
...oh dammit all.
Hokma's offline. Guessing Malkuth is too?
They just went back. I'll have to explain all of this again.
Just pass me a note. I know what's up, I'll listen.
I'll get on that right after I find Mizu. This had better not be starting a pattern.
Well, it was just one day but we managed to get almost everything we wanted to done.
Didn't really like how I had to go birdwatching. Three times.
You're fine, it's just Punishing Bird-it's a total softie.
Vacation days are so relaxing. I don't ever want today to end.
That's how it goes, I'm afraid. Let's just get the paperwork done before the bell has a chance to ring so we can-
Already did it. I keep a couple prefilled reports just in case.
Should you be doing that? If the Sephirot found out you could get in trouble.
Eh, it's not any worse than having a vacation on the clock.
Fine. Let's just take off early then.
You know, I'm having the weirdest sense of deja vu...
Music: neutral 4
The system updates have been installed. You should no longer have to be concerned regarding any interference from WhiteNight.
Perfect. Time to enjoy the sweet sound of silence.
THAT IS NOT SILENCE!
Thou hast made My work more difficult, arrogant worm! How dare thee attempt to shut Me out! For it is written, thou wilt abandon thy sinful flesh and be born again!
I thought you said there wouldn't be a problem!
It appears we have missed something.
Manager... It is curious that it doesn't have an E.G.O weapon. That may be related-there could be some data we haven't observed.
...You think it could be like Firebird or Apocalypse Bird?
Oh, I like where this is going...
I don't. Sounds like more work for me.
Struggle all you like, sons of man. My will shall be done.
Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: We pick a fight with WhiteNight
Requirements: Fortitude 5, Prudence 5, Temperance 5, Justice 5
*Without WhiteNight in the facility, its defenses are 0.5/0.5/0.5/0.3