Spoiler: Background Story
My story - trap set. (As told by Neilraw.)
.... [Static; Wind howling]
[Neilraw]: ...–Is this thing on? To whoever may have discovered this little preservation machine, I'm afraid I can no longer hold onto it, this mystical machine wired to my scalp is called a neural leech; in simple terms, it preserves thoughts and memories for countless generations by slowly draining them from my mind, but it can also be drawn out if handled proper. here I will share and rid myself of my most deep-rooted thoughts, my memories, my fears, and my old life. They are simply too painful to bear!
[Neilraw(taking a deep breath)]: It all started six months ago, I had just completed my trek to Yenth, I had heard from many people that it's borders house a rift to another world, or perhaps even a different time and existence! I absolutely must see it up close at least once!
The problem was, that the Yenthians don't just let anybody pass through this magical gateway. They have 'rules', and 'demands', and the trip would cost me too many shins; getting near the border, and moreover getting consent from authority to enter New Yenth is a tall order if you're not from Yenth, you know. They guards refused to let me in multiple times. When suddenly I notice a beautiful woman returning from the rift with a variety of souvenirs from the other dimension. Her one side of her blue hair was cut shorter than the other, she had a really elaborate set of goggles, and a sort of stiff frown. She had very lifelike arms and legs dressed in skin, though the subtle buzzing and humming of her mechanical joints gave a lot away. She wore clothes seemed like a local fashion that seemed right for the bold and outgoing. As she inaudibly talked to herself. I walked up to her:
[Neilraw]: "'Hey there, miss, are those goods from the other world? You seem to have a lot of them in your–."
[??? (Throwing the oddities to the distance)]: "feed a cragworm and DIE!"
[Neilraw (backing off)]: "ouch, no need to be rude... I just wanted to ask you a question."
[???]: (Sighs) "sorry, sorry. I wasn't talking to you. It's just that my boyfriend and me went to New Yenth to get away from it our parents and he just decided that he doesn't want to return with me. After all we did together! After all I did for hi–I'm sorry, who are you again?"
[Neilraw]: "I'm Neilraw— Neil, for short. I just came to explore the flora in New Yenth, but they won't let me in...
[???]: (Scanning )"Neilraw.comp: executing...#14,591.318123=38=11==3³comp=[92.31% Pos]
Interests:Fauna(0)travel(1)people(1)oddities(1)mag ic(0)weaponry(0)...[POS]. Diet:protein(3.7%)carbon:(78%)...Iron...[POS]
(Further incoherently fast mumbling)"
[Neilraw]: "...are you still with me?"
[???]: "Processing Neilraw.comp... Modificationsneeded:26% finalrating: POS+. Protocol initiated: M7. –Oh - I'm so sorry!, I phase out like that sometimes, it's not a big deal. I'm Shea, Nice to meet you."
[Neilraw]: "nice to meet you too, Shea."
[Shea]: "I understand you're in a predicament. they have a back entrance to the gate for tourists, if you want, I could show you where it is."
[Neilraw]: "really? That would be fantastic!"
[Shea] "follow me, sweetums... (Murmurs to herself)"
[Neilraw]: "what was that?"
[Shea (smiling)]: "Oh, it's nothing, Neilraw. I was just hoping that you could send a message to my boyfriend. Just, if you meet him, tell him I already found his replacement..."
[Neilraw]: The next thing I knew, she grabbed my hand, and It felt a strong jolt of electricity rushing all the way up the back of my brain and frying my mind and senses, and I lost control of my body, and my thoughts. I heard Shea's blurred voice, and I could not help but do anything she demanded. I do not remember much, but she led me to this abandoned building on the far side of town. Where she and a man I could not recognize spoke with eachother. Shea asked me something, and I was immediately strapped onto an operating table...
[Long pause followed by choked up crying]
[Neilraw]: They c—They conducted experiments on me... In my dreams, I can still feel them replacing some of the muscles in my limbs and chest with cords... They planted chips in my brain, and I they put ports and sockets all across my skin. [sighs deeply] I eventually heard a new voice, though, more cold and robotic. It began reading it's orders to me, and I began to see pure data before my eyes:
[Neilraw]: "what are these numbers? These scripts?"
[Monitor] "these are todays list of operations. Sur and Shea like to keep these hidden from their test subjects, but they can not hide them from me."
[Neilraw]: "these are horrendous! You have to make them stop! Please!"
[Monitor]: "You are acting out of fear and anger, I will return to you when the process is completed and you are stable."
[Neilraw]: "please! I don't want to be stable! I want to be free! And for the pain to stop! Please!"
[Monitor]:(long pause) "that is not what you really want. But I will help you nonetheless."
[Neilraw]: soon after that, there was a loud alarm, and a lot of screaming and shouting. And I awoke soon afterwards, tearing apart the cords and devices attached to me. there was blood, broken glass and liquids all across the floor. Sur, the surgeon from before, lay on the ground, sliced vertically in half. I found Shea's hair (a scalp-like hairpiece, apparently), but I did not find her along the wreckage.
[Monitor]: the operation is complete, you have been reborn as an Android, and thanks to me, you now bear the power to go where you once could not, to communicate with what you never know was alive, and the Nanites will come to your aid. take what you need, and leave this place at once, for Shea will return, and I can not protect you from what she is plotting."
[Neilraw]: the remainder of the time until today, I spent wandering, trying to hide the countless plugs on my person, discovering some interesting new capabilities... There are others–like me, they invited me to meet them in this place they go to once a month, but I mean – I don't want to be like them. I don't want people to look at me and think that what happened to me is just "normal". And Since I am too big a coward to really "find a cragworm to eat me"... All I want to do is forget.
Really soon, the Neural leech will be fully charged, and I will say goodbye to what I was and...start over, I suppose? Oh! [Grabs a color] –almost forgot to write my name on my arm. I wouldn't want the new me to wake up nameless, right?. So that's all there is too it. I just pray the new me will have a better life than I did...goodbye...
>>My best friend has been a reputed nano in the region far longer than I have. She also taught me the basics of using my powers before I leeched my brain and forgot her name.
>> You're used to being charming, not being charmed, but it's happened before. How?
Since leeching my brain, I befriended Ilar, a local merchant, he's a great fellow, he heard what little I knew and saw that I possess a rare gift. He always strikes deals to introduce me to his best people in exchange for discounts and shins, but does not always commit to it (I know better than to call him out on it, though). It's very hard to say no to Ilar, as he has a very dominant and manipulative personality, and will stop at nothing to strike it rich.
>>As someone who talks to machines, your talents are sometimes sought after by Aeon Priests or other collectors when confronted by a puzzle. Describe a time when this happened that turned out to be something other than what you'd bargained for.
As I was headed northward, I encountered a collector of expensive artifacts. After the collector understood that I speak with the Numenera, he offered me a large sum of payment if I could fix something for him. I agreed, and he went to show me one of his prized relics. Which was a variety of broken pieces connected by wires. I started talking with it, coaxing it for it's function, even tinkering with it's wiring. While I did so, however. I jolted up briefly from my own glitchy imperfections as I messed with a crucial wire. Eventually, I called the collector and connected the strange but renovated device onto one of the plugs hidden in my arm. It buzzed audibly in an indeterminate pattern, one of it's three flights flickered red and the machine quickly and radiated warmth. The noble got mad, claiming that In- a machine whisperer
broke his prized possession, and demanded payment for it. I argued that this was likely the a part of a greater artifact with more intricate function. The collector eventually steamed and kicked me out, the mysterious device still connected to my arm with no known purpose. I chose to keep the device, not knowing what it's potential might be. Maybe someday if I can fix it properly, I can determine it's true function.
>>Once you saw the person who operated on you, or thought you did - a face in the crowd, a moment of recognition, though only for an instant. Where did this happen, and have you followed up on it?
Did I? I don't remember any such thing. Though now that you mention it, while I was at this nearby market the other day I thought I saw someone who gave me a very dark vibe, he was very familiar, very critical to who I must have been but I could not place my finger on it. He glared at me and smiled. He was speaking to the clerk and said "it's coming along quite nicely", and I instantly got chills creeping down my spine. A part of me told me to stay away from him at all costs. And thusly I did not confront him. I can't even recognize him anyway, I see him in my dreams now along with a beautiful woman - mechanical, like me, even though they are unmistakably familiar. It would be awkward to speak with him until I can better tell who it is. But one day I will find the courage to seek out my past.
Initial link to the starting adventure:
A machine you spoke to once told you a story about ____________ (another PC). What was it?
Origin of special powers:
Abduction by a rogue scientist who experimented on me.