Part 83: Day 37 - GameplayDay 37: Gameplay
Music: neutral 2
New department means we're running low on staff-Hod, got any newbies for me?
We were going to train them all normally...
But I remembered that we have Woodsman, and asked her to go for one of the ones who scored a little low instead!
Just like with Evil Kit, huh? Hopefully we won't mess this one up.
My, it's been some time since I've seen the team operating so smoothly. The half of it that's still standing, at any rate.
Working on that.
I see, I see. Well, I've much to do today. Just think of this as me getting to know you again.
Work. Sleep. Work. The cycle continues, unbroken.
Let's all do our best today!
We'll be putting you with some basic WAWs in order to get you up to speed. Elle, you'll be in Disciplinary to work with Big Bird.
Doesn't sound too hard, ma'am. I'll get moving.
Alrighty! And Mr. Hinman?
Please, call me T, fellow human.
...Yeah okay. You'll be speaking with Knight of Despair.
Ah, a Knight! Yes, I am familiar with this sort of human, because I am human and all humans are aware of the sorts of humans. They wear armor and fight with swords, yes?
Er sort of. You'll get it before too long.
Splendid! It shall be nothing before my technological superiority, fellow human!
I think she's charming.
Just don't do anything dangerous.
Oh, new girl. You were assigned here, not Training?
Well, I was going to be in Training with the rest of them, but after talking with the bosses they decided that I was just too advanced for their standard courses. They put me here so you could teach me everything about what the Central Command leader really does around here. Don't get too upset, but I think they might want me to have your job later. Just the sense I got?
Ah. You're the one for Woodsman duty. Welcome to the team. We'll try helping you out when we can.
Well thank you! I do appreciate it, though it's best you not strain yourself. This Woodsman must be something that requires a special brand of employee to deal with.
Yeah, it sure does.
So that's when I knew I had to get transferred somewhere ASAP. Weird vibes, man.
Huh, who knew. I thought Yesod's team seemed pretty calm.
Okay, fall in everyone. The Sephirah down here doesn't usually pay much attention to us, so we're kind of on our own. I'll figure out who's doing what after Mizu barges in to work with the new Abnormality.
Aren't we all new down here? How come you get to order us around?
Because I'm the one wearing the cool coat. Now, I've gotta' talk to Hokma. Back in a few.
...huh. You ever get the sense he's been at this for a while?
It makes sense-he's one of the first two agents we ever had.
Our new Abnormality is a mysterious brown sphere. Since Mizu is in Extraction, it takes her a little while to get over there.
There you are. It's over there, in the hall.
I can smell it already! Thanks~
Oh! A cutie full of cuties, now this is a nice surprise!
When being worked, strange creatures pop in and out of the holes inside of the sphere.
At the end of the work, a brown gas fills the entire room, and then the Agent is let out.
How was it?
Crunchy! I think it was going to try and infect me, but it was in a good mood so it didn't. I wanted to inhale it, though~
Please don't. Did you get the name?
I was one box short! But Binah needs me, so I have to go back home now.
Guess I'll take care of it myself. Have a good one, Mizu.
Heck yeah! Just like old times~
Really not sure how this is supposed to help, but
Meanwhile, Sorcrane is on a special mission, we'll be maxing them out today just as soon as their stats hit 100.
There we go, maxed out-and since their Fortitude and Justice are the two things that need training, the ideal work buddy is clear!
I guess this is just my life now. Alright buddy, let's feed you carrion? Hm.
I gave it a shot. If I turn green or whatever, just kill me real quick.
...isn't that a little extreme?
It's fine, probably won't happen.
The second work gives us our name. Say hello to The Naked Nest! It's an immobile Abnormality who relies entirely on infecting Agents to kill them-but it can't do that on a Good result, and the other rules associated with it make it unlikely to do so at all if we're careful.
You're not green, and it's been ten minutes, can I stop staring at you now?
Yeah, we should be fine.
Talow's in the danger zone for a second, but we don't get unlucky so the day isn't ruined.
Speaking of, we should get Twee down here. She's got the best defense in the facility, whatever that thing is it won't be able to scratch her.
Oh, it tickles!
The way its infection works is fairly straightforward: On a Good result, nothing happens. On a Normal result, there's a 30% base chance of infection. On a Bad result, this increases to 60%. However, this number is then multiplied by the % of the Agent's missing HP to find the actual odds. Talow was a little over 50% HP when he left the Nest earlier, so he had ~a 15% chance of being infected. Because Twee has a 0.2x Red multiplier, an additional 0.8x multiplier against all damage from being Welfare captain, and is in ALEPH armor (another 0.8x multiplier against WAW damage), the most damage this thing can deal to her is a negligible 0.986 Red damage. If Twee failed every box and The Naked Nest were to roll maximum damage on each of them, she'd take ~20 damage, and would only have around an 11% chance to actually be infected-and this is her worst case scenario. Most of the time the possibility is well below 1%
The short version of all of that is this: if an Agent has high Red defense, this thing can't actually do anything to them. This makes it particularly ideal for training Justice-but also means I can just continually throw Twee at it to farm boxes and get its information in a hurry.
So we do that.
Mm all this is very interesting, manager.
What do you mean?
Your records. It appears that you haven't seen any Abnormalities at all, aside the ones in this facility. Moreover, you've already resolved four of the unfortunate incidents which are prone to occurring around here.
Is that what you're doing all day? Reviewing records?
It's of vital importance that I review all the activity which has gone on in this place. Through it, I can almost see the contours of your hands in the way you guide these agents.
I've actually been mostly letting them do their own thing, emergencies aside.
Yeah. They know their duties. No reason to micromanage everything.
Manager, there is a situation which requires your attention in Disciplinary.
Hey, manager! One of the clerks went into Parasite Tree's containment before we could stop 'em!
And this is something they know to call you for?
I'm allowed to do a few things they aren't.
Ah decisive. Very good.
Yeah. I've stopped finding it funny, but it doesn't get less useful.
Your lack of jokes about the clerks' lives is appreciated, manager.
Thank you, Yesod.
There are those who say that the will required to do something one knows is wrong is the most powerful of all. Now, I saw that there was a certain Bird-related incident?
Oh, that. ...Hold on, someone else got Tree'd.
Parasite Tree loves to grab from its own department first, so keeping Clerks alive in there for if we forget about it isn't a bad idea. Normally Disciplinary's Clerks are kind of useless, but this saves me some focus so I'll definitely be abusing it.
There was, but we got through it.
And without any casualties, I hear. How did you do it?
...I uh... tried really hard?
Hey everyone, I got called down to Records to stay there for the day! They really liked the work I did with the new Abnormality. Think you can hold the fort down for the day?
Can I hold the fort down? I was born for such a position of unbridled power! Worry not! I can grasp the lives of this entire place in my hand and I shall opt not to crush it. This time.
...If the hair goes off, I'll call you.
It really doesn't take Twee too long to unlock the remaining information, and with it the ability to make its gear.
Ah I was afraid of that.
So you've noticed, have you?
Two suits, two weapons-yes, Binah, it turns out I know the difference between four and five.
With our supplies fully stocked, I suppose you'll be backing down.
I'll figure something out, just give me some time.
Then I shall see this too to its conclusion.
Don't worry, this isn't actually an issue. I have a plan.
Now then I also noticed a lack of engagement with our TT2 protocol. You expect me to believe that you've only rewound a handful of times? How did you accomplish this?
Oh, that. Well, I trust the people to do what they do. Like, watch this.
You were fast with that weapon, T.
It was much like the light plasma cannons I was familiar with at my previous, very human, job.
You see? They know their job, and they're strong.
But without you, they're nothing. You should be using them as tools.
Yeah, that got me punched in the face.
I got punched in the face. It kind of hurt. Nothing to worry about now, though.
But who could do such a thing!
Employees, man. They'll surprise you.
I don't know what's stranger, the exquisite ant colony that we imported from overseas for some reason, or that we haven't heard from Hokma all day.
The ant colony. I've heard rumors about Hokma. Guy cares about us employees about as much as he does a hammer. If he needs you he'll let you know, and if not he'll just ignore you.
Between that and the rumors I've heard about Binah, the lower Sephirot are real winners, huh?
Yeah. You don't get anyone breathing down your neck, but you also don't have anyone on your side down here either. Life expectancy is about three? Four days? For your average agent.
Good thing I'm anything but average.
Oh, sure, I'll get right to it.
Boss! Parasite Tree again, another clerk!
So you leave everything to the nattering of your agents, but you still manage to defeat things like that Bird and the Midnight of Violet by simply trying?
Eh, I'm pretty talented when I try.
That's certainly true, but there's a limit to what talent can do alone.
I guess it's more my body that knew what to do, then.
Miss Tenebrais! I'm so glad to be in your department, and now that I've been blessed I can do anything! Please, if there's anything I can handle you only need to ask!
Then can you drop dead?
Drop dead..? Oh! I see! I understand! The blessing isn't for us lower life forms, and having it doomed me! That's gotta be it, right?
...Sure, let's go with that.
Then there's nothing to lose! Quickly, manager! Quickly! Do it!
...and what is that all about, exactly?
I have no idea. This place is weird.
Did she just say-
Yes. She did.
The decay never stops, does it? Have you found clarity in this moment?
I smell something very un-cute!
I'm going out! There's things that must be done! By me!
Showing up here to get at our newbies, eh? Too bad. You get me instead.
Medea's set to solo this group (she generates Black shields faster than even three Sweepers can break them).
Orders from the top, everyone! Sweepers sighted in the eastern corridor! Clear them out!
Let's do it!
Anime Squad can handle the top 3.
...Well showing up here isn't the worst choice, I guess. Least I'll kill you fast.
Talow can also take three at once, because he can hit all three at once with a hilariously powerful weapon.
As for the fourth group?
Hff Hff Hff
These. Are not. Cuties. At all.
Is that why you with the E.G.O..?
They squish. Then they leak. Then they die. That's all they do. Not cute at all.
Do you need a minute? I could grab you some Enkephalin...
Nope! The smell's all gone now, and I'm okee-dokie, smokie!
Mizu uh handled them.
Boss so nice of you to say hi. I was expecting you'd be on call with the manager all day.
I require information.
Shouldn't you be earning that with the oil and grease of you Sephirot, then?
You informed me that this manager was capable of great feats. The records show no deaths, despite even a Violet Midnight incursion, and the freeing of that bird we spoke of before.
And yet, he says he doesn't know how he does it. His body 'moves itself.' Explain.
I've never seen him work. I know that he can react quickly-probably because of the pauses-and when we get orders they're usually good tactical decisions. I also know he keeps forgetting to work meltdowns and it's a giant pain in my ass to run through static so I can beat a radio with a broom until it stops.
So you have no additional insights. Then answer me this: Who punched him?
No idea, but I have a new hero.
...Then this entire conversation is irrelevant.
Your measure of him must be a problem if you're resorting to asking me for more information than the usual.
...It is only a matter of time before he faces the Sephirot of Briah once more. Well that should be the end of it.
Aaand now you're talking to yourself again.
I must prepare. A greeting is in order. Yes A greeting due an old friend.
I'm just going to get back to work now.
Five meltdown levels on a single Abnormality. I kind of miss the simpler days where I wasn't juggling this tree and everything else.
I almost miss Gebura, too. She'd have said something here about how I should have taken an Abnormality I could crush instead.
If you'd like I can chime in, sir!
Nah, it's not the same. Thanks, though.
Manager, all the E.G.O have been extracted. Please do bear in mind that we need a final E.G.O for our mission.
Oh, yeah. I have that covered.
With Naked Nest giving us four pieces of gear, we need a fifth. There are only two ways to break E.G.O gifts. The first is to kill the holder, which I would rather avoid.
Luckily, we have the other on hand. This is basically the one good use for this Abnormality.
...okay, it'll break eventually.
It does, but at that point I'm a little distracted.
Oogh That hurt. I wasn't expecting roundworms to punch me when I studied the thing.
Switch wound up hitting a Normal work result and lost about 50% of his HP, so he's at a 15% chance of being infected. I need to be prepared to end the day quickly or-
Oh. Oh right.
Reminder, every time we use Old Faith it costs us a bit of energy. By putting it off until this late I have now risked Switch's life due to this bit of bad luck, for no reason. I swear I'm good at this game.
...and that's 30 minutes. Congratulations, Switch. You're not sick.
...Ah, good. I knew that an anthill full of giant roundworms couldn't do anything to me.
Then why were you worried?
I...uh Look, parasites are gross.
Luckily, nothing comes of it and the Retry count stays at 9. It's better to be lucky than skilled, sometimes.
Because I was too busy freaking out about Switch, I miss Sephiroth's weapon breaking-but it did and we buy a new one.
Ah, you've finished.
I did. Not bad, huh?
I suppose I'll have to prepare a special surprise for you, then
Ah. Hello creeping sense of doom, I missed you.
Mm it's relaxing to have to deal with this after a stressful day, at this point. Is that weird?
Shall we begin to finish up, Manager?
Yeah. You've been getting better about anticipating that.
It is my duty to be your perfect partner. Something like this is nothing.
Hey, where'd Hokma go? He was on channel until about halfway through the day.
I wouldn't know. He has always been the reserved type.
So, how was it today?
That was not a standard knight. I shall have to update my database to send to myself. As a normal human. Which I am.
Ah, that's probably the White damage talking. Have a bit of enkephalin on the way out.
All done, and with the grace required to handle that robot without it getting angry and escaping once. I'm sure that's not a feat just anyone could do here.
Um, actually, we've all done that, ma'am.
...Oh. Have you now? Well, good! It's wonderful to know I'm working alongside such talented employees.
Yeah, let's just get packed up and get out of here. Tomorrow's going to suck.
Tomorrow? What happens tomorrow?
Nothing you'll need to worry about. Just work like normal and you're fine.
Oh, gosh, you're going to be stuck with-
Cleanup's almost done? Great, I knew you could do it.
Of course boss. Which reminds me Zeta21? I'm most cross at you. You said that Tiphereth was on break, not broken down.
Huh. Guess I did.
You said she approved of an extra break for you. You tricked me!
That's the fault of the honorable nestborn who fell for it, isn't it?
I'm all done here, so I'm headed out. Have fun with the manager tomorrow.
You'll rue the day you sassed me, Zeta21! Rue it I say!!
Hokma..? Ho~okma? Sheesh, these lower Sephirot just do whatever they want, don't they
Sorcrane joins the maxout club, and everyone else just keeps farming stats. This is about the point in the game where players have hit their stride, and your normal days are basically just 20-30 minutes of farming Abnormalities for stats and energy. But hey, it's time for us to pick another new Abnormality to add to the pile.
Music: never frozen bottom flows
D-03-109: ...and my dear employees, I do hope you all put on the gas masks we distributed to you before we enter.
O-03-89: If a flaw in the system disables the censors covering the Abnormality, we will once again have to sincerely consider how to dispose of the manager.
T-01-31: From break and ruin, the most beautiful performance begins.
Okay, three ALEPH choice. Of them, -31 is right out. As a Good/Bad escapee, it's annoying to work and thus is out of consideration. That leaves -89 and -109.
For any reasonable person, this isn't an actual question. I've mentioned them before, but while -89 is relatively difficult to handle either Mr.Black or Mizu could take care of it by themselves. The weapon is amazing, but there's a downside: It doesn't give a suit. We really want to focus on defenses, and while -109 is a terrifying Abnormality to handle and Extraction would be the worst place to have to deal with it it has a good suit But -89 is the safe pick but I want the suit...
I wind up dithering over it for a while before just asking what to do on Discord.
Let it be known: Discord wishes for my unending suffering.
Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: Hokma has a special surprise planned to greet us.
The Naked Nest
Requirements: Level 4
Requirements: Level 3
The Naked Nest