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«12. . .971972973974975976977. . .987988»

That's what I decided to do for the first 2 chapters of Sanctuary. Otherwise, it was going to be 4+ pages on the doc, which I thought was too much.

I gtg in 2 minutes. I hope the finale (or the first part of it) is published when I return!

There are still tons of wrinkles to iron out in the last chapter of Survival. However, I do have the first chapter of Endgame ready. Do you want it?

Nazbeth wrote:There are still tons of wrinkles to iron out in the last chapter of Survival. However, I do have the first chapter of Endgame ready. Do you want it?

No. I'd rather read the chapters chronologically.

By the way, if you want, you can TG me the line(s) we were talking about so you don't have to wait until publishing to see if they're RMB-appropriate.

It’s really just sh**. I always censor f**k.

How many times is it used?

Rahul Raghuraman wrote:How many times is it used?

Eh... more than once. Anyway, this is for the Endgame chapter, not the Survival chapter. And it’s an Alan Hall chapter, so the chronological timeline doesn’t really matter.

Nazbeth wrote:Eh... more than once. Anyway, this is for the Endgame chapter, not the Survival chapter. And it’s an Alan Hall chapter, so the chronological timeline doesn’t really matter.

I think it's fine to leave it uncensored.

I gtg. I'll be back soon, hopefully.

Rahul Raghuraman wrote:I think it's fine to leave it uncensored.

This is for two reasons. First, the rule that no swearing is allowed on the RMB was made way back in 2016, when it was unthinkable that any of us would use profane language on the RMB or IRL. Now, things are different. Second, the rule is that it's not allowed on the RMB, not in series published on the RMB — so as long as the uncensored swearing isn't too common (which it isn't at all), then I don't think anyone in Dauiland has a problem with it.

Speaking of profanity, there are talks of holding an impeachment trial for Kavanaugh due to new claims of sexual harassment and misconduct by the Justice.

My opinion is that it would be a waste of time, as the GOP-majority Senate would never turn on one of their own. The only result would be Trump telling his cultists that "the Democrats are out to get us".

A late QRCC about Chapter 19 of Survival:

Why doesn't Hall take his family and flee Nazbeth? To me, it seems like living outside of Grazod's sphere of influence is worth the cost. Maybe it's dumb, but it seems better than constantly living in fear of having your family killed or being forced to kill Wreo.

Nazbeth wrote:It’s really just sh**

Naz when talking about the sequel trilogy.

Naz when talking about OPS.

Naz when talking about his least favorite soccer team.

Naz when talking about Biden's debate performance.

Naz when talking about my artistic talent.

Sry that its taken me this long, but I want to share my opinions on the debate
Yang did poorly. His 10 families thing seemed like something a company would do if they wanted more investors.
Harris did ok, and people loved her little guy joke
Warren did pretty well, and proved why she is doing this well in this race.
Bernie tried to ride her following but failed.
Cory booker exceeded my expectations by alot. He absolutely MURDERED Biden
Biden did meh, and certainly took a hit after being accused of just using good Obama things and leaving out bad ones.
Kloboshar did horribly. She tried to be the likable midwest moderate, but it failed with Biden around. She should drop out.
Buteigeg did ok, but I think he's too young and should run in 4 or 8 years.
Beto did mediocre I like his gun idea, but that angered alot of people. Same thing with buetege for him.
Julian castro was so forgettable. mediocre as well.

New poll in Zentari, come and vote!

page=poll/p=147102

Can I pls have communication back?

Richomp wrote:Sry that its taken me this long, but I want to share my opinions on the debate
Yang did poorly. His 10 families thing seemed like something a company would do if they wanted more investors.
Harris did ok, and people loved her little guy joke
Warren did pretty well, and proved why she is doing this well in this race.
Bernie tried to ride her following but failed.
Cory booker exceeded my expectations by alot. He absolutely MURDERED Biden
Biden did meh, and certainly took a hit after being accused of just using good Obama things and leaving out bad ones.
Kloboshar did horribly. She tried to be the likable midwest moderate, but it failed with Biden around. She should drop out.
Buteigeg did ok, but I think he's too young and should run in 4 or 8 years.
Beto did mediocre I like his gun idea, but that angered alot of people. Same thing with buetege for him.
Julian castro was so forgettable. mediocre as well.

Yang: Agreed! His cult following was probably disappointed in his performance.
Harris: Agreed! That night was probably the best she's ever done.
Warren: Agreed! She was super consistent, which is why people like her. She also didn't get into any shouting matches and tried to stay above the "pack".
Bernie: Agreed! His uniqueness is gone and he doesn't have a reason to campaign anymore.
Booker: Agreed! I think this brings him from upper Tier 3 to mid Tier 2, maybe even upper Tier 2.
Biden: Agreed! He's trying to make himself the Obama nostalgia candidate, but it's just ... not working. He needs to drop out before he embarrasses himself even more.
Klobuchar: Agreed! She acts like she's the only moderate, but there were tons of other centrists and center-lefists on the debate stage, making her look kind of incompetent.
Buttigieg: Agreed! He's very articulate and an amazing orator, but he should really win a Senate seat, a House seat, or the Governorship of Indiana before going for the presidency. Experience is key.
Beto: Agreed! The problem is, he's only appealing to Texan liberals. If you look at the map of Democratic candidate donations, you'll see that Beto's support is pretty much just from Dallas, Houston, El Paso, Austin, and maybe a few other major Texan cities. His gun stance is something we agree with, but it's very unpopular nationally.
Castro: Agreed! He's like Beto but worse. He's definitely mid Tier 3.

BTW, I switched my support from Tomato Beto to Elizabeth Warren.

Richomp wrote:Can I pls have communication back?

If you promise not to unsuppress your spam posts about invading TLU.

Rahul Raghuraman wrote:If you promise not to unsuppress your spam posts about invading TLU.

I gave it back, but if you do the above, I might revoke it again.

Also, in case you haven't been told, I stopped doing NS cards and gifted all my cards to Nazbeth.

Where did mweglands go?

He stopped playing. It's sad.

Here are the last 2 chapters of TFW:

...and Goa Lore has never said a word about what he saw.

Tessin, I— I don’t know how else to tell you this, but your lack of hesitation really does make me pity you.

Why would you pity me? I have everything I need.

Again, Tessin, it’s not what you have; it’s what you feel. Your life has been defined by pain. You need help, Tessin, and we can give it to you. We can make you feel again.

“We”?

Scinrea didn’t consider herself to be especially ungrateful. In fact, she wasn’t supposed to consider anything at all. She was supposed to be a mindless GT-series android — an advanced program housed in an artificial body of titanium; no more, no less.

But she wasn’t. Gene Russell had given Scinrea life, and everything that came with it. For the first time, she was capable of having emotions, desires, and attachments.

And it was terrible. A mere android shouldn’t be given the power of a human. A mere android shouldn’t be capable of wanting anything. A mere android … should stay a mere android.

Gene Russell had given Scinrea life, and for that, she would pay dearly.

We must help you, Tessin. We must rid you of your lifelong suffering.

Gene, you don’t understand. My ambitions are to do just that! The Dauiland Alliance was created to—

Tessin, enough of this hot air. I know what you want to do, and I also know that your plan is bound to fail.

How so?

Because you think that the Alliance is the root of war. They’re— they’re just… not.

How compelling.

You have to believe me! It’s the only way we can help you!

I’ll believe you if you show me something tangible — something concrete — that proves me wrong about Dauiland.

Oh, I can show you.

The Adaptable Climate and Terrain Simulator was a military training device to help recruits adapt to unfamiliar terrain. It used virtual reality software to simulate every type of climate and topography in Dauiland — urban environments, forests, the Kevtab mountain range, and even the massive oil plants off the coast of Liberlitatia.

Years after its release, an android engineer by the name of Gene Russell encountered a distraught ex-Imperial called Tessin. Soon after meeting him, she began to feel an inexplicable urge to help him. She absolutely had to, for reasons that she still didn’t fully comprehend, help him become human again.

For that reason, she took the ACTS, and, with the help of her android assistant Scinrea, began modifying it. Gene wanted — no, needed — to create something that would, in her eyes, end Tessin’s struggle. She needed something that would give him — for the first time in his life — genuine happiness.

So, thanks to months upon months of endless toil, the Sanctuary was created. From the start, Gene knew what it would cost her. She’d have to leave behind her beloved family and cherished children, quit her prestigious job, and let the past die.

And not for a moment did she regret her decision, for the masterpiece she had created was the greatest achievement of her lifetime. Not only had she created a perfect replica of Dauiland, but she had also discovered a way to program life!

Once Tessin found sanctuary — willingly or not — his greatest wish was to be fulfilled. The Sanctuary would apply a butterfly effect algorithm to its alternate Dauiland, changing whatever was necessary to make Tessin happy. He would be in a literal perfect world.

And how was all this possible?

The Modus. The answer to every question that had been asked, and every question that would ever be asked. Depending on who controlled the Modus, it was either the world’s greatest tool or its greatest threat.

Scinrea, Tessin has refused my offer. We must resort to force if he is to find sanctuary.

How very unfortunate. With your permission, I shall prepare the Modus.

Input the passcode to access the main drive.

“Code: B-Four Seventy-Two HK Oh-Oh-Nine,” came the reply. Scinrea’s voice was barely above a whisper. While it was improbable that Russell would overhear her former assistant’s conversation with the Modus, it was best not to take any unnecessary chances. If Scinrea was caught, she might have to kill Russell, and she despised murder. It was too emotional; too irrational; too unsophisticated. Playing with the victim’s mind was considerably more productive than simply ending the victim altogether.

Passcode correct. You now have access to the main drive.

“Execute the Contingency Plan,” Scinrea directed, “and make it a First Priority objective.”

Warning: First Priority objectives override many of my necessary functions. Do you wish to proceed?

This is where Scinrea hesitated. Her cynical side — a holdover from the days when she was still an android — wanted to say ‘no’. The Modus was far, far too valuable an asset to waste on something like this. Russell’s neutralization was a short-term goal — she’d be out of the picture in the blink of an eye. But Scinrea’s emotional side — something created when she became a human — wanted to say ‘yes’.

To that side of her, Russell was enemy number one. Russell, the person who had forced life upon Scinrea, had to be neutralized. Russell, the target of Scinrea’s hate. And that hate was the only thing keeping Scinrea’s cynical and emotional sides from destroying each other.

“Yes,” she finally decided. “Proceed with the plan.”

Now was the last time she wanted emotions to get the best of her. Now was when she needed to rely on the calculative side of her personality the most.

As you wish. Uploading data…

Despite the slim chance that being alive might have its upsides, Scinrea had determined long ago that she was not — and was never going to be — fit to be alive. Life was too costly for the meager rewards it provided, especially for someone whose mind wasn’t built to handle emotions.

Russell was so preoccupied with whether or not she could create life that she didn’t stop to think if she should. And she most definitely should have not. The life Scinrea had been granted was a curse — one which she spent every waking moment wishing she could break free from.

No. ‘Granted’ was the wrong word. Russell had forced life into an unwanting android’s metal shell of a body, forcing it to become alive against its will.

Progress: 25%

Alas, the process was irreversible. Scinrea would be alive for the rest of her existence. Thus, she was forced to make do with the next best option. Instead of making an effort to remove the curse of life from herself, Scinrea was going to place an equally nightmarish curse on Russell.

And, no matter what, Scinrea’s plan would work. Even if she died trying. Especially if she died trying, because at least—

“Scinrea, what do you think you’re doing!?” It was Gene Russell, and she did not look happy.

No. Not here. Not now.

No!

Scinrea’s mind flooded with anger. Reason gave way to hate, logic succumbed to loathe, and calculations turned into contempt. All she wanted now was to watch Russell suffer and agonize and scream in pain.

Scinrea turned around to face Russell. “I think,” she said slowly, her tone dripping with vengeful animosity, “that I’m finally giving you what you deserve.”

Russell took a cautious step back. How in the world did Russell’s most valued subordinate go rogue and become … this? Scinrea’s help with the creation of the Sanctuary had been invaluable, and her physical capabilities were incredibly useful when the two of them knocked Tessin unconscious and plugged him into the Sanctuary just an hour ago.

So what did Scinrea want now? Was she trying to overthrow her human overlord? No, that couldn’t be it — thanks to Russell, Scinrea already was alive.

Maybe Scinrea was jealous of Tessin and wanted Russell all to herself? No, that didn’t make sense either. Russell had linked their minds together just like she’d linked hers to Tessin’s

And Scinrea surely wasn’t being manipulated by a third party. She had been alive for long enough to know when someone was trying to control her. So, what was it?

After failing to find an answer, Russell’s mind switched into survival mode. Now, she had a new objective: escaping Scinrea’s fury.

“Death?” Russell asked. With luck, Scinrea would spend enough time talking for Russell to devise an escape plan.

“No. What will happen to you is far worse than death, because your fate is — was, I should say — contingent on my desire for revenge.”

“‘Contingent’?” Russell repeated, scanning the room for potential escape routes. Unfortunately, the only way out would be to turn her back to Scinrea and walk out the door — not a good idea. “Why do you think—”

Then, it clicked. No. Russell’s thoughts were panicked, and she completely abandoned any hopes of escape. This can’t be happening. Not here. Not now.

But it was happening. Scinrea was executing the Sanctuary’s Contingency Plan.

Progress: 50%

Scinrea smiled thinly and pulled out a pair of daggers. “Just as you cursed me with your so-called ‘gift’ of life, I will now return the favor, dear friend,” she said scornfully. “And there’s no way you can get out of it.”

Russell gulped. All she was armed with were her own fists — no match for her adversary’s knives. If she was lucky, she might last for ten minutes before Scinrea defeated her, knocked her out, and plugged her into the Sanctuary.

But at least she would be able to find Tessin in the Sanctuary — if they both managed to survive long enough.

And here's the next one!

“…and you’re certain that Senzala Kadhir has been cleared?”

“Yes,” confirmed Bersan Sieders. “In the eyes of the NIB, your senator is completely innocent.”

“Well, I wouldn’t use the word ‘innocent,” Tessin said, “but it’s good that neither of my Unidalanian assets have been accused of espionage.”

“And what of Grant?” asked Bersan. “The last I heard, Nazbeth wasn’t even aware of the spy in their midst.”

“Your sources are accurate. Grant is doing quite an excellent job, and NIJA is too caught up in domestic affairs to worry about the poss—”

After a short pause, he continued speaking, but not to Bersan: “What are you doing here?”

Bersan could barely hear the reply. It sounded like a woman saying, “I’m here to save you.”

“Save me?” repeated Tessin warily. “Didn’t I just tell you that I’m fine on my own?”

Once again, the response was hardly audible. Bersan could only make out the words ‘help’ and ‘sanctuary’.

Tessin’s next words were directed at Bersan: “Sieders, whatever you do, ma—”

There was a muffled scream, and the call was terminated. Before Bersan had the time to think about what might have occurred, he felt a sharp pain in the back of his head. It felt like he was being stabbed repeatedly. He rubbed his forehead, wondering what was happening. The pain started spreading, and Bersan slowly collapsed to the ground, writhing in pain. Soon, the world faded to black.

The first time he regained consciousness, Bersan was lying on a cold, metallic bed. He opened his eyes cautiously, only to close them again after being blinded by a harsh white light.

“Mr. Sieders?” came a distant voice. Even in this semi-conscious state, Bersan could make out that the voice was eager, young, and male.

“I’m … I’m here,” Bersan croaked. “Where am I?”

“The Third National Hospital,” recited the other. “You’ve been here for twelve hours. You sustained some minor damage to the occipital lobe, causing you to black out.”

“I think … I remember that,” Bersan said. It was taking far too much effort to speak; minor brain damage shouldn’t cause so much pain. “Water … Can I—”

“Yes, of course. Right away.” Bersan opened his left eye and squinted at a figure standing next to his bed.

The other looked at Bersan. “Oh, hello, Mr. Sieders. I’m Doctor Menso Akrevias from the PTJ medical block.”

Bersan waited until the water arrived to respond. After slowly drinking all of it, he cleared his throat, feeling much better. He replied, “I remember. You were one of the new students when I graduated.”

Akrevias nodded a confirmation. “I was. Now, Mr. Sieders, I recommend more rest. Give your body another thirty-six hours, and you should be back to normal.”

Bersan nodded and closed his eyes. Back to normal… he thought. Seconds later, he was back asleep.

The second time he woke up, he felt considerably more drowsy. He opened his eyes, hoping to see Akrevias, but was confronted by a much less friendly face.

“Mr. Sieders,” said Intelligence Secretary Kentar Gierplun matter-of-factly, “the NIB has accused you of several crimes, including collusion with a public threat, lying under oath, illegal use of the Nestle phone line, and espionage against the Unidalanian government.”

“Wha…?” Where was Akrevias? Why was one of the president’s subordinates calling Bersan a criminal?

“Oh, forget it,” Gierplun decided. “The next time you wake up, just follow my orders and you’ll be exonerated in no time.”

“I… I should comply?” Bersan couldn’t remember much, but the phrase compliance will be rewarded wouldn’t leave his mind. Maybe it was this man — Gierplun, if he recalled correctly — who first told it to him.

Gierplun shuddered. “No. Just … please don’t use that word.”

Bersan tried to nod, but instead closed his eyes and went back to sleep.

The third and final time he woke up, he was considerably more energetic and awake, but he wasn’t lying down. In fact, he wasn’t even at the National Hospital!

Instead of being in bed, like he probably should’ve been — considering that he needed 36 hours of rest — he was handcuffed to an object in front of him. “Get … me … out!” Bersan tried to break free of the handcuffs, but they only got tighter. The room was almost pitch black, and the only things he could see were the wooden table in front of him and the telltale red-and-white lights of three NIB security cameras aimed directly at his face.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Sieders, but there’s no getting out of this.” The room’s dim yellow lights flickered to life, revealing a dark-suited man sitting across from the bodyguard. Is that the one who called me a criminal? Bersan wondered.

“I’m Kentar Gierplun, and I believe you saw me a few days ago,” the other said, confirming Bersan’s suspicion.

“Days!?” Bersan repeated incredulously. “The doctor — Akrevias — told me that it would only be thirty-six hours.”

“Unfortunately, your injury… it— it seems to be worse than minor lobe damage. I’ve been checking in on you every few hours for the past four days, and today is when you finally woke up from your coma.”

To be honest, Bersan was quite unimpressed. “A criminal in a coma. You must’ve been so worried,” he said dryly.

Gierplun didn’t tell him to shut up, like Bersan thought he might. Instead, the NIB director smiled and replied, “I’m glad you’ve accepted the fact that you’re going to be staying here a while. But for the record, I didn’t call you a criminal. In fact, the reason I’m here is to prove that you’re not.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means,” Gierplun explained, pulling out a small stack of documents, “that everybody in the NIB now knows you were Tessin’s spy. The information has stayed private — my order, actually. I’m quite positive that Tessin hypnotized you: all the signs of past hypnosis are there. Unfortunately, the rest of the NIB doesn’t share my … let’s call it ‘optimism’. But I’m confident that they’ll change their minds once enough evidence comes to light.”

“And I’m going to give you that evidence?”

“Under oath and surveillance,” Gierplun confirmed, handing the report to the bodyguard. It was titled Bersan Sieders: The Latest Public Threat?. “Open it,” encouraged Gierplun. Bersan did so, flipping through the first few pages to find the historical quote that usually accompanied these reports. Hopefully it wouldn’t be too harsh.

Unfortunately, it was. The quote read:

When a nation is attacked from without, it will inevitably recover; but when destroyed by threats from within, it will collapse. - Uki Genovis, Founder of TLU (1942-1975)

Again, Bersan put on an unimpressed expression. “‘Threats from within’?” he repeated. “Is that what people think I am?”

Internally, however, he was equal parts joyful and apprehensive. Somehow, he’d broken free from Tessin’s hypnosis, but for some reason, he was stuck in an interrogation room. Was the law really going to hold him accountable for what he did under Tessin’s control?

“You’re not responsible for your actions when you were hypnotized, Mr. Sieders,” Gierplun said. “Even if nobody else thinks you were ever hypnotized.”

Reading Bersan’s surprised expression, Gierplun added: “I have experience. I’m actually quite skilled at putting myself in someone else’s shoes. That’s why I have the job I do.”

Bersan knew that he was going to be stuck with Gierplun for a long, long time, so he decided to make the best out of his unfortunate situation. “Then let’s begin, Secretary.”

Three hours, two glasses of water, and one meal later, Bersan Sieders had finished telling Secretary Gierplun essentially everything he could remember doing while under Tessin’s hypnosis.

Bersan would tell a part of his story, the secretary would ask some questions, Bersan would answer them in as much depth as possible, and the whole process would be repeated. By the end of the interrogation — or interview, as Gierplun called it — there were only two questions that had been left unanswered:

“Mr. Sieders, who was conversing with Tessin before your final call with him ended? Why did he end the call without warning?” Gierplun asked, typing out the question on his laptop.

Bersan didn’t know what to say. The secretary probably expected a complete, comprehensive answer — just like every other explanation Bersan has given. And Bersan would’ve been happy to give such an answer, but at the time, he could only make out bits and pieces of Tessin’s conversation.

“Do you know the answer?” Gierplun prompted. “Did Tessin mention anyone’s name? Any locations?”

Bersan shook his head. “No, but I do remember a bit of what Tessin said. He began by asking, ‘what are you doing here?’, then said that he didn’t need to be saved. After that…” He took a deep breath. “…there was a panicked sound, and then the call ended.”

Gierplun nodded. After he finished recording Bersan’s response, he said, “Alright. I believe that we’ve gone over everything that has happened since you encountered Tessin in the central Kevtab mountains.”

While Bersan was formulating a response, Gierplun looked down at the side of the table and mumbled something to himself. “I believe— What are you doing, Secretary?” Bersan asked.

Gierplun looked up at Bersan, then typed something onto his computer. The secretary wore a regretful expression when he turned his computer around so the bodyguard could see the monitor. “Read,” was all that Gierplun said.

“‘Patient Bersan Sieders has suffered extensive cerebral injuries, especially to the occipital and temporal lobes. Damage is irreparable’,” Bersan read. His heart started to pound. Was that why Akrevias left? Because he didn’t want to tell Bersan that his injuries weren’t, in fact, minor wounds? Because being cut off from Tessin’s hypnosis was extremely damaging?

Gierplun nodded solemnly. “I’m really sorry, Mr. Sieders. I wish you didn’t have to know, but … but I just got an email your wife, and she agrees that you should … that you should prepare yourself. You should … I’m sorry, Mr. Sieders,” the secretary repeated, seemingly at a loss for words.

Hoping his worst fears were just paranoid suspicions, Bersan decided to continue reading. “‘There are no known methods that would repair the patient’s brain damage. According to Dr. Akrevias’s calculations, Bersan Sieders has fewer than twelve months left to live.’”

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