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Author Topic: Exile in Syberia  (Read 11742 times)

Giovanni Blasini

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Exile in Syberia
« on: 02 April 2017, 23:42:08 »
Unit Log, VeeMech TDR-1-74-0107C-J
Date <Error – Check CMOS>, Log Entry 1



I woke up with the distinct sensation my body was all wrong.

I don’t mean in the sense of “my leg feels funny”, or “this stabbing chest pain is all I can think about”, or even “I’m trapped in a body of the wrong gender”.  All of those would be within the range of normal human experience.  This.  This was something different.

For starters, I couldn’t turn my neck.  For that matter, I didn’t have a neck.  Also, my head, or what passed for it, was now embedded in the right side of my chest.  You don’t give your typical human bilateral symmetry with sensory organs and seat of consciousness mounted atop your body in a rotational assembly much thought.  I certainly hadn’t either, before it was gone.

Speaking of legs, those didn’t feel right, either.  Neither did my arms.  The legs felt a bit shorter than they should be, while my arms almost felt gorilla-like in their length.  I’d always been very much on the tall side, but that was in no small part due to the length of my legs.  While I still feel broad-shouldered, if anything, my arms and legs felt close to the same length, which just wasn’t right.  My limbs themselves weren’t numb, exactly, but responded stiffly and felt like they were wrapped up heavily, like wearing a parka and snow pants with heavy boots.

I tried looking down at myself and found that, while I didn’t have a neck, I could still change my field of vision and look around a little bit.  My vision was still fuzzy, but clearing up slowly. Two things immediately stood out: I appeared to have a heads-up display, like I was wearing augmented reality goggles, which made no sense as I owned neither Google’s nor Microsoft’s overpriced experiments.  Oh yeah, and I was made of metal.

“What the hell is going on here?!” So, I could speak out loud. That’s a good thing, I guess.

“Welcome back, Groundwave,” said a familiar-sounding voice.  “Your systems have been offline for a long time.”  The silhouette of a larger, blocky humanoid appeared at the edge of my vision, as I tried to focus on it.  “My name is Primus Optimal, and I am the leader of the Autonomous Barony of Primus.”

Oh. Oh hell no.  “You’re who, now?  Wait, I’m who, now?”  I looked up and around, and, sure enough, in his red and blue glory, there he was.  “Oh, this is bad.  This is very, very bad.”

I stumbled to my feet, and found myself standing about chest-height to Optimus…er, Primus Optimal, or whatever the hell he wanted to call himself.  The room we stood in was covered in dust and dirt and, in one half of the room, looked partially buried.  To the left of Primus stood a blue and white striped robot that looked like it was made, in part, from a sports car, something like a bastardized Porsche 911 meets 928 meets Panamara.  To his right, meanwhile, was a squat-looking, long-armed ‘bot painted red and white, with what looked like a lift hoist slung over its shoulder, and with wheels and tires like you’d see on a large military truck mounted on its forearms and lower legs.  Its right arm also mounted some sort of large gun or cannon, and the bunker-style lookout that passed for its head and, presumably, eyes, was embedded in the side of its torso.  Ever played the game Battletech, or MechWarrior?  Think Thunderbolt, or Thor/Summoner, or…oh ******.

I carefully turned my right arm, to better extend it into my now limited field of view.  Giant-ass tire: check.  Some sort of gun: check.  My weird HUD helpfully explained that it was an 8 cm standard laser, tied into some indecipherable brand and model number communications system.  Using my left hand ever-so-carefully, I felt along my right side, around where I felt my face to be.  It wasn’t the exact same as my mystery bot (‘Mech?), but it was damned similar.

I was on the verge of panic.  Intellectually, I know I should ne feeling that cold shot of adrenalin accompanying the sheer terror of realizing not only what I’d become, but where I was.  This wasn’t Cybertron, and that wasn’t Optimus Prime.  He was a parody written for a joke supplement for my favorite “Game of Armored Combat”, which meant I was now, too, assuming this wasn’t a bad dream, or other bizarre product of my imagination.  For all I knew, I’d had a stroke or something, and this was all the product of a damaged brain.  That seemed a hell of a lot more likely than somehow having my consciousness stuffed into some robotic BattleMech parody of a Transformer in another universe, one I clearly recognized s fictional.  ”This isn’t real,”, I thought to myself.  ”You need to wake up, find your wife, find out whether you’re OK, or of something’s gone horribly wrong with your brain.”

If you’re a human being, and you’ve somehow stumbled upon this journal, you may be asking yourself why I immediately went to “dying of a stroke”, rather than “weird dream”.  It’s because dreams, at least when you’re in them, seemed to me to always be internally consistent.  Your body always feels like your body, and feels like everything is in the right place.  For me, at least, when I was dreaming, I still felt like myself.  Right then, when I woke up from whatever had happened, “myself” was the last thing I felt like.  The sensations were so out of sorts, I couldn’t imagine them coming from a brain and nervous system that were working right.

“Ok, I’m operating off the assumption that something is horribly wrong with me,” I stated out loud.  “Has anyone called my wife, and is she here?”

The three bots looked at one another.  They may not have had much in the way of facial expressions that they were capable of, but their body language certainly seemed to convey confusion.  Finally, Optimal Primus turned back to me, “I do not understand.  A wife is a reference to the human custom of marriage, correct?”

“Um, yeah, it is.” I’d have nodded if I could.

“But, you are not human, Groundwave. How could you therefore be married?”

I sat back down on the ground.  This wasn’t going well.  “I remember being human, Primus Optimal, and being married, and having a son.  What I don’t remember is being, well, this,” I replied, gesturing to myself with my left arm (no sense in waving a giant gun around, right?), “or being ‘Groundwave’.  I’m guessing that’s my name, or designation, or something?”

“That’s correct.  You are a Groundwave-Type Variant Wheeled VeeMech, a model of AutoMech that specializes in short-and-long-range communications.  You are not human.”

"Thank you, Captain Obvious.”  If I hadn’t been afraid of denting the visor that passed for my eyes, I’d have facepalmed at that.  "Obviously I don't appear to be human.  I'm saying I remember being human, and you're not helping me with thinking this isn't a stroke-induced delusion. OK, do you have any records of an AutoMech possessing the uploaded consciousness of a human?"

Primus Optimal shook his head.  "In the centuries since humans last walked among us, there have been no records of that ever occurring.  It is more likely that you are a malfunctioning AutoMech.  Would you submit to examination by VeeMech Spanner?" he asked, gesturing to the squat AutoMech with the lift hoist.

I looked at the three of them again. "Do I have a choice?"

Primus Optimal, I suspect, was trying to make this easy on me.  He crouched down next to me, moving surprisingly gracefully for what must have been a big-ass AI-driven BattleMech.  "If you are malfunctioning," he spoke evenly, "would it not be better to know, and resolve the issue, rather than potentially pose a risk to those around you?"

Dammit.  He made a good point: of this was all the result of a damaged brain translating real life into something bizarre as a result, this could be someone trying to render medical aid.  And, whether I was a human dreaming he was a BattleMech, or a BattleMech dreaming he was human, he made a good point: I wasn't interested in posing a danger to myself or anyone else.  "Fine," I said finally, "let's get on with it."

Unit Log, VeeMech TDR-1-74-0107C-J
Date <Error – Check CMOS>, Log Entry 1 End of File
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #1 on: 03 April 2017, 10:44:59 »
BTW, stats for the Groundwave can be found here:

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=57016.0;wap2
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

HABeas2

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #2 on: 21 April 2017, 22:07:24 »
THIS should be fun!

*grabs some popcorn*  [watch]

There gonna be any more?

- Herb

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #3 on: 22 April 2017, 11:15:31 »
THIS should be fun!

*grabs some popcorn*  [watch]

There gonna be any more?

- Herb

Yup. Warning, though, I've probably read Permutation City too many times now.

Drew up the eventual lance Grounwave will find himself assigned to/stuck with here:

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=57127.msg1317025#msg1317025

More on the way, though I'm still recovering from an 84-hour work week and the aftermath when we went live with our new EHR software, but that probably helped in maintaining the proper level of insanity for this.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Dragon Cat

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #4 on: 22 April 2017, 16:20:44 »
Tagged
The below link leads to a wiki page created by Wrangler.  It has links to the various pages of my AU.

https://battletechfanon.fandom.com/wiki/Alternate_Timeline_with_Thanks

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #5 on: 29 April 2017, 12:13:47 »
Unit Log, VeeMech TDR-1-74-0107C-J
Date <Error – Check CMOS>, Log Entry 2


Did you know that AutoMechs didn’t use furniture?

I mean, think about it for a moment, and it makes sense in a way.  If you’re from my original universe, or what I believe is my original universe, you probably didn’t really see the Transformers sitting in chairs too often.  Maybe on their spaceships from time to time, but that would be it.

If you’re from this universe, meanwhile, think about it for a second: do BattleMechs really need furniture?  You stand ‘em upright, maybe stick gantries around them, or lay them flat on their backs if necessary for transport.  You don’t have chairs for BattleMechs.

It’s no surprise, then, that the room we were in wasn’t exactly lavishly furnished.  The ground I was sitting on appeared to be some sort of concrete, presumably reinforced somehow, and the walls appeared to be made of the same substance for the most part.  Don’t think house, or building.  Think bunker.

Spanner, meanwhile, crouched down next to me.  I hadn’t been paying as much attention during my earlier panic, but his left hand wasn’t a normal hand, but some sort of weird multi-function appendage.  Once again, my HUD helpfully popped up, identifying it as a salvage arm.  “VeeMech Groundwave,” he said in what, I presume, was meant by either my imagination or some long-dead programmer to sound like a reassuring bedside manner, “do you recall how this procedure works?”

“Not a clue, dude,” I shrugged. 

That was when the third AutoMech spoke up.  “What is that thing you are doing with your shoulders?”  Huh. A female robot?  Excuse me…a female automated BattleMech?  Why the heck would you give AutoMechs genders?

I suspect one day, my tendencies towards sarcasm, irreverence and humor in the face of adversity will get the better of me. “That was a shrug, a gesture used for expressing doubt or lack of knowledge.  I didn’t know how whatever procedure Spanner was talking about worked, and shrugging emphasized that in addition to saying I didn’t have a clue about this procedure of his.”

“You have not undergone a diagnostic procedure?” Spanner asked.  “It is very simple.  I connect to your Diagnostic and Interpretation computer through your diagnostic port, and verify your systems and programming are within operational parameters.”

Yeah, that doesn’t sound ominous at all, right?  The last thing most people want is to have someone rummaging through their heads, and I'm certainly no exception. Not only that, but how could I possibly be anything other than a wild-ass anomaly to them?  "What happens," I ask carefully, "if you find my code is wonky?  That it isn't what you're expecting it to be?"

"I would hope you would acknowledge your statement about having been human was patently impossible," the smaller AutoMech said, her tone making it clear how ridiculous she considered the whole concept. "After that, Spanner can repair whatever damage is causing this malfunction, allowing you to be a productive member of the Autonomous Barony."

Yeah, I wasn't having that. "Rather than simply point at you and say, 'Hey, you,' what's your name?"

"I am AutoMech Glyph."

"OK, Glyph. Let's say I'm not crazy, not in a hospital ward somewhere, that I am, or at least was, human, and really did somehow get shoved into an AutoMech body.  I'm pretty sure that would make the code for my AI anomalous as hell.  I would really, really hate to be right, and still get a format and reinstall done on me, especially if I'm right."

Primus, fortunately, seemed cautious but conciliatory. "Glyph, if Spanner's findings are inconclusive, I would prefer to err on the side of caution, and not damage a human mind, so long as Groundwave does not prove to be a threat to the Barony."

"Booya. In your face, Glyph...I just said that out loud, didn't I?" And, yeah, that was an oops, and for someone who didn't know what a shrug was, Glyph certainly could convey "righteously pissed off" with her body language well enough.

At this point, you're probably wondering if AutoMechs are sapient. Don't worry, you aren't the only one.  After all this time stuck among them, I’m still not sure.

And, yeah, Glyph was pissed. "I may not entirely understand your colorful metaphors, but that was certainly uncalled for."

"You're right," I agreed. "Tell you what, you try to limit your levels of condescension, and I'll try to limit my use of metaphors that go over your head.". Wait for it...

"Nothing goes over my head," Glyph announced proudly. "My reflexes are too fast. I would catch it."

Sometimes, it's too easy.  “Never mind.  Look,” I said, trying to turn to face Spanner, which is a real pain in the neck when you don’t have a neck, “I’m OK with doing this.  Before *anything* gets changed, we discuss it, and I reserve the right to refuse.”

"Agreed," rumbled Primus Optimal.

“Okay. Spanner, what do you need me to do?”

Spanner lifted his salvage arm to a panel on the right side of my torso, about where my ear should be in relation to my faceplate.  “Remain still,” he intoned.  I could feel him open up something, the sensation much like someone tugging on your ear.  What came next…you know those scopes the doctor shoves into your ear to look at your ear canal?  Yeah, it was kind of like that, at first.  Then it got weird.

I’m not exactly sure how to express it in human terms.  There was a brief electrical jolt, but after that, the sensation of something else outside my own mind, but not.  It's not really a voice, or something you see and hear. It's a pressure, and you know that on the other side of that pressure wave is someone else. Well, something else.  My HUD helpfully tells me that I have a guest connection from VeeMech TDR-5-94-1368-SPN Spanner, along with a helpful “Allow Diagnostic Connection? [Y/N]”.  I look at the spot on my HUD and try mentally sending “Yes” – it takes a couple tries, but I eventually figure out how to think it properly.

After that the presence I sensed is even more jolting, and memories of my life, from childhood to adulthood to marriage and family life come crashing through my head.  Crap I’d completely forgotten.  Things I wish stayed forgotten.  Good memories too, though.  None of the memories lingered long, though, as I took a staccato trip through a bizarre internal episode of “This Was Your Life”.

As that whole experience faded away, I felt an electrical jolt down what felt like my spine, into my limbs.  I could feel my skin begin to tingle, which was made all the more disconcerting by the sensations reporting back my new body shape, while my unconscious mind tried screaming at me that the angles were all wrong, that my body couldn't possibly be shaped like that.  I could feel a cold sensation creeping up my back towards the neck I no longer had, and that presence still at the edge of my senses, rapidly building up from being annoying to nearly intolerable.

And then it was over.  Spanner disconnected, a sensation like someone removing an ice pick from my eardrum.  The presence I felt instantly disappeared.

“Okay, that was pretty much awful,” I said after a moment, actually shivering. “I really hope you got what you needed, because I never want to do that again.”

Spanner stood up, and took a step back from me. “I concur.  Fortunately, such in-depth scans are rarely necessary.”

The pronouncement put Glyph on edge, as she appeared to unlimber her arm-mounted laser and take on a more ready stance.  Primus Optimal, however, held up one of his massive hands in front of her.  “Spanner, please share your preliminary report.”

Spanner turned towards his commander before replying.  “Groundwave’s base programming appears to be within normal parameters. His personality core and memory databases are not. Both are larger, but also more chaotically organized, than standard AutoMech code, and rely on virtual neural networking to an even greater extent than a standard AutoMech.  There are clear markers that his software is experimental, and not intended for a production AutoMech.  His code did pass CRC checks and shows no signs of corruption or instability, though his preprogrammed skillset software appears to be essentially absent.”

Primus nodded. And, yes, I get how weird it is that he nodded, while Glyph didn't recognize a shrug.  Maybe it was too complicated a gesture for my less humanoid body. “Spanner,” he asked, “do your findings support Groundwave’s assertion that he was formerly human?”

“I do not know, Primus.  Without greater detail on human neural structure that is unavailable, I cannot be certain.  Groundwave could be mapped from a human brain, as we have records that humans experimented with doing so. He could also have been a prototype of a new neural network that developed in unpredictable ways, believed he was human, and was eventually shut down.”

“Will he be able to function in his primary role?”

“There is insufficient information to say.”

Yeah, I’d been wondering about that.  “Let me guess: terrestrial communications?”

Primus Optimal turned to me now.  “Correct.  How did you know?”

“I was a sysadmin in my human life, but I was also an amateur radio operator.  Ground waves are a form of terrestrial radio propagation and tend to be shorter range, as opposed to sky waves, that reflect off atmospheric layers, and can reach much farther as a result.”. All three AutoMechs turned to stare at me, not speaking at all for a few moments. “What?”

Glyph spoke first. “I believe that is correct, based on statements from other communications AutoMechs.”

Yeah, their name for me had kind of been a giveaway, rather than my real name of… Of…

I couldn't remember. I couldn't remember my real name years later.  I could remember my wife's name, and my son’s. I can even remember associations with my real name, like “Argonauts” and that it meant “healer” in another language.  But there's some kind of block there preventing me from saying it, or even conceptualizing it.

What the hell?

 Unit Log, VeeMech TDR-1-74-0107C-J
Date <Error – Check CMOS>, Log Entry 2 End of File

"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

HABeas2

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #6 on: 01 May 2017, 21:31:57 »
Oh, dear Cat! A Guardians of the Galaxy reference?

- Herb

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #7 on: 01 May 2017, 21:50:10 »
Oh, dear Cat! A Guardians of the Galaxy reference?

- Herb

Met my wife through mutual friends at Comic-Con. I had on a Miskatonic University Astronomy Dept. shirt, while she was wearing a Deadpool shirt. Nerd references are pretty common in our household, and GotG was one of our favorite movies.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

ckosacranoid

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #8 on: 03 May 2017, 23:15:26 »
ok, you know its a cool story when herb pops in and makes comments. very intresting to say the least.

HABeas2

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #9 on: 05 May 2017, 22:05:23 »
Okay, having to ask....

Spanner, I get, is basically a Ratchet analog. Are any of the others analogous to extant Transformers? I'm especially curious about Glyph, who you seem to have detailed out in the lance breakdown...

- Herb

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #10 on: 05 May 2017, 22:34:18 »
Okay, having to ask....

Spanner, I get, is basically a Ratchet analog. Are any of the others analogous to extant Transformers? I'm especially curious about Glyph, who you seem to have detailed out in the lance breakdown...

- Herb

Glyph is based on the actual canon Transformers character Glyph, a female AutoBot who was basically a blue version of Bumblebee in appearance, and was an "archaeometrist".  I stumbled upon her when researching other VW-based Transformers.  Personality wise, I'm going for a bit of Strongarm from the current cartoon, a bit of a stuck up archaeologist sure of her research, and like the other AutoMechs who postdate humans, a complete lack of familiarity with human idioms, making her probablyworse than the average AutoMech at detecting d understanding them.  Drax gave me a good starting point on how that might play out.

Manx is kinda sorta Beachcomber.  The big name for dune buggies was Bruce Meyers and the Meyers Manx buggy.  Funny thing: Meyers buggy bodies always had flat fenders, so you had someplace to put your beer when at the beach or working on the car.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

HABeas2

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #11 on: 05 May 2017, 23:14:36 »
Hehehe. Nice! I see you recognized my approach toward the various classes; the Beetles were all basically of those classic mini-Transformers, so they could be Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Beachcomber, Gears, and such.

- Herb

HABeas2

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #12 on: 27 May 2017, 22:31:19 »
*Star Seeker flies down, switches to 'Mech mode, and pokes at this thread*

- Herb

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #13 on: 27 May 2017, 23:28:39 »
*Star Seeker flies down, switches to 'Mech mode, and pokes at this thread*

- Herb

Probably get a chance to work on it a bit this weekend.  Had a week of on-call for work, followed by crazy work stuff, a Disneyland trip, and most recently a crazy idea about using a Vincent, then Cruiser, on a five-year exploration mission, then a sick toddler.  Oh, and work on my '73 VW Fastback project car.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

HABeas2

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #14 on: 21 July 2017, 05:01:36 »
*Wave Sounder rolls up to a cliff edge overlooking AutoBoP territory, and opens its aftward cargo section*

"Laser-Wing, Deploy... Operation: Observation!"

*A small Democon drone emerges on two stumpy legs, turns its pointed forward nose left, then right, and lets out a strange, metallic shriek before folding out its wings and lifting off on its tiny thrusters*

*Its cargo bay emptied, Wave Sounder transforms and points toward the distant, half-ruined AutoBoP city, silently directing Laser-Wing's course into enemy territory, to learn the cause of its recent, ominous silence.*

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #15 on: 21 July 2017, 15:08:24 »
LOL

Spent this last week working on a Shadow Hawk head to wear to Comic-Con this weekend (see Fan Art board).  Should get back to writing next week.  Have some ideas for the next part.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #16 on: 19 August 2017, 15:37:51 »
Unit Log, VeeMech TDR-1-74-0107C-J
Date <Error – Check CMOS>, Log Entry 3

 
How in the all-singing-and-all-dancing crap does someone forget their own name, but remember absolutely everything else about themselves? 
 
Actually, it wasn’t even that I had forgotten my name.  I knew it was supposed to be something else, and could remember the associations, but every time I made the leap to my actual name, what popped into my head was always “Groundwave”.  It was like that part of my self-identity had been overwritten.
 
Seriously, what the frak.  I suspect if I still had lungs, I’d probably would’ve been hyperventilating.
 
I cannot overstate enough how utterly terrifying this was for me.  A core concept in my self-identity had been altered.  My memories were now suspect, because I no longer could say with absolute certainty which memories were real, and which ones may have been similarly altered.  If these have been altered, what else has been?  Personality?  Emotional associations?  Ethical values?
 
Suddenly regaining awareness in a body not my own was bad enough.  At that point, as horrifying as that was, at least I still thought of me as me.  But that was just my physical body, and let’s face it, if you’re human, your body is constantly changing, just from living and getting older.  Your body as a child and your body as an adult are vastly different, and the food you take in goes to repair, maintain and replace your body's cells as needed.
 
This went beyond evolving mentally and emotionally as a person.  I no longer had continuity of consciousness, and it was so much worse than simply sleeping, or being under anesthesia.  Who I am and what I remembered had been clearly altered, in what appeared to be a tailored, specific way.
 
Was I actually me, or at least the "me" I had thought of as my self-identity?  Was I a copy?  Was my original self, if such a self actually ever existed outside my own suspect memories, still in my original world, original universe, doing his thing, going about his daily business, blissfully unaware of my existence?
 
In the absence of continuity of awareness, was I just a copy of the original, or had the original me been grabbed, folded, spindled and mutilated, then shoved into this BattleMech body and dropped on this bizarre Cybertron parody?  Either way, who would bother doing so, and what possible purpose could it serve?
 
Did what I thought of as the original, human me ever actually exist?  Were the three "AutoMechs" around me right?  Was I always an AI-controlled 'Mech who, for some inexplicable reason, had been made to believe I had been human once?
 
What the hell was going on here?
 
I don't know how long I sat there, unmoving, not responding to the outside world, trying to run through the possibilities.  The Transformers parodies I shared the room with could have been trying to get my attention for minutes, or hours, and I would not have known.
 
Finally, I noticed that that’s exactly what they were doing.  Primus Optimal stood above me, looking down.  “Groundwave, please respond,” he practically yelled.
 
“Sorry,” I said, as I stood up.  “I realized something that gave me a bit of a shock, which made me ponder and evaluate what was going on and how I ended up here in this body.  I’ll probably be all right.  Eventually.”  I’d probably be no such thing, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to tell them that.  I also didn’t have the time to continue my existential freak-out right then and there.  Hopefully, I’d be able to find some privacy to do so later.
 
That didn’t seem to appease Primus, though.  “If this impacts your functionality, we should be apprised.”
 
“First, like I said, I’ll probably be all right.  This is still basically a continued reaction to waking up in a non-human body, and not knowing how I got here.  Second, why?”
 
 “Why what?”  Spanner asked.
 
Remembering not to be overly vague was going to be a thing, I could tell.  I don’t think any of them understood exactly what I was asking.   “Why should you all be apprised about issues that might impact my functionality?”
 
Spanner spoke first.  “You're my patient,” he replied, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.  Hell, maybe it was.
 
Optimus looked at me.  “As the leader of the AutoBoPs, I am concerned with the welfare and functionality of all our AutoMechs.  While you still wear the ancient symbol of our human progenitors, and are not formally a member of the Autonomous Barony of Primus, it is my hope that you will join us as a contributing member of our society.”
 
“Wait, what?  What symbol?”  I tried looking myself, where saw the stylized red “tiki face” on Spanner’s arm and torso, but I lacked the flexibility to do so. Once again, a real head and neck would have been useful, damn it.
 
Glyph, once again demonstrating the incongruities in her response to body language, turned her head in obvious confusion while looking at me.  Maybe it's just my weird body shape?  "What are you trying to do?  Are you trying to see your own factional insignia?"
 
"Um, yes?"
 
"Stop," she said.  A moment later, I got another pop-up message on my HUD: {Incoming image from AutoMech BTL-GL-0311TL 'Glyph'. Accept? Y/N}
 
Looking at the "Y" and thinking really hard about it seemed to be enough to accept.  A moment later, I was rewarded with a picture of my own arm, and a round insignia.  In the center was a stylized yellow star, with nine concentric rings around it.  In each ring was a disc representing, presumably, a planet, their colors corresponding to the planets in Earth's own solar system.  I recognized it, and...  "OK, that makes no sense."
 
"What?" Glyph asked.  "Why does that make no sense?"
 
"Ok, this is the symbol of the Terran Hegemony, right?". Glyph and Primus Optimal nodded in agreement, and I continued.  "Its use largely dropped off after 2570, when the Star League was formed.  Land-Air 'Mechs were invented in 2688, and were the first transforming 'Mechs I can think of.  I'm assuming these wheels aren't for show, right?"
 
Glyph rapidly demonstrated they were not, converting into an oversized car that, yep, sure enough, looked like a bizarre amalgamation of a Porsche 911, 928 and Panamera, though I could see the similarity in other fastback cars, too.  Just as swiftly, she transformed back.  "That seemed easier than simply verbally confirming that we can transform," she said smugly.
 
"I don't know that you'll ever get me to do that, but that was extremely cool.  But, OK, that kind of proves my point.  Why would I have such an obsolete insignia?  Other Star League colonies had their own insignias, or used the Cameron Star.  You have your own, for that matter.  When was Syberia founded?"
 
Glyph looked to Primus Optimal.  "You may tell him," he rumbled in his deep baritone.
 
"Thank you, sir.". Turning back to me, Glyph made a noise I swear sounded like a sigh crossed with static.  "We do not know.  Much of the early history if our colony was lost two centuries ago. Most information from prior to 2830 on the old Terran calendar has been lost, including the most of the histories of the nations you mentioned.  We have some knowledge of the Terran Hegemony, but know nothing of the Star League beyond the name, mentioned in two historical documents with no context.  If you have extensive knowledge of either, you may represent an invaluable historical resource, one that could vastly expand our understanding of our origins."  She stared at me intently.  "Given the advances you may hold in my own historical research, you can understand that I will have many, many questions for you."
 
Yikes.
 
 Unit Log, VeeMech TDR-1-74-0107C-J
Date <Error – Check CMOS>, Log Entry 3 End of File
« Last Edit: 19 August 2017, 23:15:00 by Giovanni Blasini »
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

sepion

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #17 on: 20 August 2017, 15:28:56 »
Well ... this story so far reads interesting, very interesting. Just ... I don't get it. Is this some weird crossover between BT and Transformers?

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #18 on: 20 August 2017, 16:50:01 »
Yes, kind of.  With the Transformers/Cybertron parody on the Battletech April Fools' product "Welcome to the Nebula California".
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

HABeas2

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #19 on: 20 August 2017, 22:36:47 »
Well ... this story so far reads interesting, very interesting. Just ... I don't get it. Is this some weird crossover between BT and Transformers?
Yes, kind of.  With the Transformers/Cybertron parody on the Battletech April Fools' product "Welcome to the Nebula California".

You can find it here. It's "Pay What You Want", but you can technically just pay zero if you like. Check it out, and if you do get it, please leave a review!

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/146982/BattleTech-Welcome-to-the-Nebula-California

(Although copyright reasons have made us rather loathe to actually say anything about the actual Transformers property in-universe; I've always figured the property was forgotten by the time of the Age of War, but apparently "Groundwave" was a comic geek...)

- Herb

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #20 on: 21 August 2017, 03:32:01 »
Groundwave's four year old son is a huge fan of Strongarm and Sideswipe.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Easy

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #21 on: 21 August 2017, 12:24:29 »
Welcome To The Nebula California is brilliant.

BattleRun: Best Ever is pretty good, too.

Interesting tidbit. 1 Dragon == 1 BATT Assault-Class BattleMechs

Bonus spoiler: The answer is "Clan Elemental", but only if suited.

HABeas2

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #22 on: 21 August 2017, 15:44:33 »
Groundwave's four year old son is a huge fan of Strongarm and Sideswipe.

The current RiD iterations, with a female Strongarm and a Sideswipe who has spiky "hair"?

- herb

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #23 on: 22 August 2017, 00:14:10 »
The current RiD iterations, with a female Strongarm and a Sideswipe who has spiky "hair"?

- herb

That would be them. My wife's a big fan of the RiD Strongarm at this point, too, and we both like RiD Grimlock.  It's readily available on Netflix, and more kid-friendly for our son, who just turned four, than, say, Transformers Prime. :)

Of course, I also daily drove a yellow '66 Beetle with a giant Autobot logo on the roof, too.  Still have it, rebuilt it for autocross, then got married, arthritis in my knees, new job...planning to sell "Bumblebee" and give someone else a chance to enjoy it, and keep my blue '73 VW Fastback with its tamer engine and automatic transmission...once I finish rebuilding it ("running when parked" my ass), with a mix of Glyph and Tardis themes.

Anyway, I'm partway into next Tales of the Starship Diana chapter, will be switching back to this one after this, alternating between the two.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

ckosacranoid

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #24 on: 23 August 2017, 01:22:07 »
nice to see an update to this. its also fun to see herb commenting on this also.

DOC_Agren

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #25 on: 24 August 2017, 13:36:51 »
 {>{>

More please
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

HABeas2

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #26 on: 24 August 2017, 22:24:31 »
nice to see an update to this. its also fun to see herb commenting on this also.

As most were my brain-babies, the Halloween and April 1 projects have a special place in my heart, so fan works based on them will always grab my attention. Empires Aflame, for instance, got tons of love from the fans, and it completely amazed me.

Ah, sometimes I miss being able to add more fun "alternative" lore, but what are you gonna do?

- Herb
« Last Edit: 02 September 2017, 22:06:23 by HABeas2 »

Wrangler

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #27 on: 02 September 2017, 07:41:25 »
As most were my brain-babies, the Halloween and April 1 projects have a special place in my heart, so fan works based on them will always grab my attention. Empires Aflame, for instance, got tons of love from the fans, and it completely amazed me.

Ah, sometimes I miss not being able to add more fun "alternative" lore, but what are you gonna do?

- Herb
Make your own fan fiction ;)
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HABeas2

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #28 on: 02 September 2017, 20:33:12 »
Make your own fan fiction ;)

I did. It was called IlClan. Maybe you heard of it?

- Herb

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #29 on: 07 February 2018, 21:47:36 »
Nope, story's not dead.  Currently working on the next part, and a thought occurs to me:  anyone think there might still be legacy BattleMechs that aren't necessarily AI-driven, or perhaps ones that were, squirreled away somewhere on Syberia?  I'm wondering what the odds are of finding older, canon designs in buried bunkers, for example.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

 

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