Fulgore - Research and Execution

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Description: Dr. Tessitore takes her studies of the Fulgore Mark III to the cutting edge.

The circumstances of Dr. Tessitore's hiring were, as with many of Ultratech's top-secret research projects, a bit suspect. Paper trails corroborate her hiring date with the recovery of a number of Ultratech agents from what was contemporaneously described as a "cross-dimensional convergence." Records also reveal that labs 37, 43, and 44 were vacated immediately after those agents' return, with no reason given.

Management has since been very insistent that Dr. Tessitore be treated with the utmost of respect, despite her numerous eccentricities. Her employee ID badge specifies her as a lead researcher in the Biotech division. And, despite the crossover between departments, she nonetheless had the authority to request a special investigation -outside- of her own division. And as with many Ultratech endeavors, explanations are not especially forthcoming.

The point is, Dr. Tessitore is here now. 1.52 meters in height. Olive-hued skin. A hairband keeping a mass of dark-brown curly hair from spilling into her face. Her Ultratech employee badge is pinned to a white lab coat, worn loosely over a blue blouse and pale seafoam green slacks.

She waves cheerily -- as if she were speaking to a child and not one of the most advanced weapons system in her company's repertoire.

"Greetings, Mark III! I am here to administer a special assessent. Please report your current status so that we may proceed."

Inside of the laboratory, the Fulgore Mark III unit is a fixture with far less ceremony as it carries at trade conferences or sales exhibitions. It stands where it is dictated to stand, with its plasmablades deactivated and eyes a dull glow. If it weren't for the thrumming of systems within its chassis and diagnostic feedback, it would be as animated as a one of the chairs occupied by Ultratech's best and brightest.

When spoken to by Dr. Tessitore, the unit is obligated to answer.

"This unit's current status is nominal," he replies. "Internal reactor status is nominal. Weapons systems are nominal. Network connection to Ultratech cloud infrastructure is online. For a more detailed response, please say 'current status detailed' or 'current status verbose'."

The machine does not wave back. However, the Doctor will likely feel its optics tracking her movements.

Tessitore claps her hands together. "Wonderful! We will be engaging in further tests of system stability." She pulls out a small pen from her lapel pocket, paying close attention to the minute sounds of optics tracking to follow the cylindrical object as she moves it in predictable patterns.

And once she's satisfied, she smiles and stashes the pen back into her pocket. Her hand returns with a small device , bearing a small eyepiece display with a retractable headband. "Verbal report will not be necessary. Please provide your advanced health telemetry wirelessly to device UT-2418-a for further analysis."

Request made, she slips the headband on and glances at the small screen. "And then tell me -- how many Mark III units are functional at the moment?"

One of the shortwave adapters inside of Fulgore activates to try and negotiate a connection to the headband. Expert systems parse the spoken language to a series of symbols that are matched to a list of all devices looking to negotiate a connection. Finding the headband, a wireless handshake is initiated. Encrypted, of course.

Fulgore thrums as the screen indicates that the specific quantity of produced units will generate an audit log of such inquisition. The user must consent to generating a log before receiving the answer.

If the good Doctor replies with 'yes' then she will be presented with the information.

Tessitore's left eye twitches at the insistence of an audit log on a request which, in her mind, is simply a trivial undertaking. She answers with a clipped, "Yes, of course." At which point she receives the requested information -- and it appears to be way too much for her to parse at the moment, as she directs her gaze back to the unit in front of her.

Her smile returns, as she starts to take a walk around the unit, peering close to the armor and exposed joints. "And what unique designation can I use to refer to this Mark III unit?"

The connections that make up the Mark III unit are are more exposed than its predecessors, with armored tubing and mechanical components connected to micro-thrusters. Some parts are as complex as experimental fighter jets while others are just industrial versions of cogs. It has thin legs compared to its broader chest and arms, suggesting a design decision for speed rather than raw strength. The metrics that followed made a lot of people very happy and has been widely regarded as a good move.

From behind, the only thing that seems out of place is the golden-orange plume that is of stark contrast to the dark, metallic plates.

"Ultratech protocols indicate that only this Mark-III unit bears the name Fulgore. All others bear no individual designation. They are Fulgore out of convenience. This unit is Fulgore by design."

Tessitore frowns, looking slightly put out by that revelation. "Well that's rather droll of them. If you're called Fulgore that should be the end of it. Why make things difficult?" But shortly afterwards she breaks into a pleasant smile. "But that's neither here nor there! There's one of you, and you're the exact Mark III I want to chat with right now."

Tessitore completes her circuit around the fixture and walks a fair bit away. Even though she was wearing what seemed to be a basic lab coat, there is also some sort of "backpack" attached to it, with several long metal tubes arranged in a pattern that appears to be a cross between an 'H' and an 'X' pattern.

She turns around to face Fulgore. "Okay! So, Fulgore... we will now proceed with the battle assessment." She laces her fingers together, then stretches her hands and arms out above her head, palms upward. "Please disengage from your fixture and follow me to the testing facility."

Small engines whine while large physical locks disengage, re-enabling Fulgore's mobility. It steps forward, arms at its sides. All five hundred and fifty pounds of lethal automaton seems to move in perfect locomotion. Each step of the legs as exact as a metronome.

Since it had been asked to follow, Fulgore does not move any faster than the Doctor's legs carry her. It remains behind, and will stop at a calculated distance measured for optimal human-machine interaction if she stops.

Tessitore turns to walk towards the facility. The clicking of blue heels alternates with the weighty, labored sounds of motorized ambulation. Fulgore might not notice the playful smile on her face as she realizes just how -impressed- she is that such a massive battleframe can obey her simple commands. But Fulgore -would- notice that she decides to test that obedience by slowing down to half speed. And then returning to full speed. And then speeding up another 25%, before finally sating herself with the knowledge that she'd probably -not- try to run before the combat assessment begins in earnest.

Tessitore rounds the corner to a small hallway, marked with an impressively -thick- aperture. She holds up her badge to the scanner, and is rewarded with a satisfying beep and a following series of clicks and whirrs. Tess flashes a smile to Fulgore as she waits -- as if she might -expect- some kind of reaction, even though she knows she will likely garner none. A moment later, tumblers begin to move, and the vault-like entrance of the testing facility slides open.

Tess steps inside, giving Fulgore plenty of room to do the same. The room is about half the size of a basketball court, with tall ceilings and walls of a hardened armored material, showing some signs of prior small-arms-fire distress here and there.

"Just one... quick question, Fulgore."

There is the sound of a mechanical whirring, as the device on her back unfolds into four large spider-like limbs, splaying out in an X-pattern behind her.

"Do you have any objection to striking a lady?"

Fulgore has been designed to anticipate movement as well as respond to it. The testing of the Doctor prompts it to stop and start, as well as pick up speed without incident.

Once the threshold of the testing center is crossed, there are numerous warnings that appear on Tessitore's all-purpose wearable interface. About being in the test space with the Mark III unit. About death and dismemberment. As for the unit itself, it remains silent.

When the spider-like limbs activate, Fulgore's plasmablades appear and rotate around the width of its forearms. They glow brightly, even in the presence of sufficient lighting.

"Approved targets do not have race, socioeconomic status, or gender identity. They are either intact or terminated."

Tessitore blanches as the warnings come across her screen. Death, dismemberment -- all the rote, unnecessary legalese that she'd never paid attention to in the first place. Spam, really!

But now, smiling back at the Fulgore unit, she starts to see a more complete picture. Status indicators that are -not- present on the other confusingly-named Fulgore units. Indications of -biology- underlying the cold, mechanical form. She taps the device on her temple -- and a small beep sounds. Recording.

"You, Fulgore, will engage with me, Tessitore, in nonlethal combat. Combat will continue until the word 'Pesto' is spoken, or until one of us is rendered incapable of continuing." The "doctor" draws her right hand across her left forearm, in suggestion of a knife. "Cutting is allowed, but please... -avoid- dismemberment."

Tessitore leans back, falling onto the lower pair of her four robotic appendages. With high heels now suspended from the floor, she grins. "Combat begins in three seconds -- mark!" Three. Two. One -- the robotic legs flex, as she droops down closer to the ground. And on zero, Tessitore catapults herself into the air with a grin. "Fight!"

COMBATSYS: Dr. Tessitore has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Dr. Tessitore    0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Fulgore brings his battle systems online.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Fulgore          0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0    Dr. Tessitore

"Vector locked in," utters Fulgore as the body starts to crunch in a more menacing pose. The plasmablades of one forearm begin to spin around just before the microthrusters activate.

In a symphony of motion, Fulgore's body dashes forward to try and swipe in an arc across the Doctor's center of mass. Cutting was authorized, but dismemberment was not.

COMBATSYS: Dr. Tessitore blocks Fulgore's Blade Dash.

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Fulgore          0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0    Dr. Tessitore

Now that she's in the air, Tessitore can be much more mobile -- and shows some athletic competence in the process. The Italian woman grins as Fulgore launches his spinning blades towards her -- and preemptively sweeps both her forearms in across her body in defense. While it's true that arms would get shredded just as easily as her abdomen, two of her metallic arms do the real defensive work, sweeping in to guard her from harm. Sparks fly as the plasmablades bite into reinforced metal, weakening the structure of the limb and buying Tessitore the precious moments she needs to wager a counterattack.

And in this case, it's that Tessitore suddenly leaps upwards, flinging a small test tube from her slender fingers as she makes her escape. The liquid contained within bubbles, changing color rapidly from grey to a vibrant orange -- and then explodes. Violently. Potentially causing damage to the Fulgore battleframe!

COMBATSYS: Fulgore blocks Dr. Tessitore's Phenomenon Crash.

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Fulgore          0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1    Dr. Tessitore

Upon revelation of the test tube, Fulgore's optics track its trajectory. Analytics and machine learning come to a split-second approximation based on the options and circumstances for future potential and current situational positioning. 10,000 simulations in under a second prove his hypothesis, and force the machine to hunker down and brace both bladed forearms across it's face seconds before the explosion takes place.

The more armored parts of him sustain the most damage, but they are designed to last longer than more sensitive components. He lowers his arms, enabling target acquisition of the moving Doctor.

In another instant, micro-thrusters activate at his feet as he charges forward at the Doctor. Hands splay in an attempt to seize her extremities in an attempt to throw her hard onto the floor. A moving target is tiresome. A squashed target is easier to track.

COMBATSYS: Dr. Tessitore blocks Fulgore's Power Throw.

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Fulgore          0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1    Dr. Tessitore

Dr. Tessitore smiles broadly as Fulgore reacts to her explosive chemical cocktail. "Aha, just as predicted! All parameters normal here..."

But then Tessitore has to land sometime. And Fulgore is right there to follow up. "Yes, yes!" she exclaims as the micro-thrusters are enabled. She's not so excited, though, that she can't keep one of her bionic limbs from being snatched up by the Mk III -- and once it is grabbed, Tessitore lets herself go with the flow. Her body is hauled upward...

And when it slams down, there is no sound of her body crumpling into the floor, but rather, the sound of her flapping lab coat, and the groaning of metal fatigue as the three remaining cyber-limbs strain under the force of resisting Fulgore's attack.

"Curious! Let's take you for a spin!" And as -some- force is still being exerted on her limbs, Tessitore decides to relieve the pressure -- by grabbing for Fulgore's body and then leveraging him forward with the artificial limbs' phenomenal strength. Her bionic limbs would be trying to lift him bodily off the ground -- and then hurl him head-first downward into the floor!

COMBATSYS: Dr. Tessitore successfully hits Fulgore with Intravenous Therapy.
# Disabling hit! #

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Fulgore          0/-------/---====|=======\=====--\1    Dr. Tessitore

Fulgore's decision matrices come to another approximation that encourage it to defy the attacking limbs and pre-position for another attack. However, the matrices did not account for a superposition arcing of a third limb that snakes itself about him. All five hundred and fifty pounds of Fulgore goes up, and then goes back down in a most unpleasant clatter of hypercomposite armor plating.

Optics and support systems report damage as the unit returns to its feet, eyes glowing and plasmablades spinning about the forearms. Transactional processing increases tenfold as it watches the Doctor, churning options through its high-performant analytics engine.

COMBATSYS: Fulgore acquires a target.

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Fulgore          0/-------/---====|=======\=====--\1    Dr. Tessitore

Tessitore whirls back around to her feet, one hand stroking carefully at her chin as she takes a moment to peruse the battle data flooding across her personal display. "Fascinating. I was expecting more of an -impassioned- response here, but the control circuitry is remaining intact. Balanced, measured... perfectly logical."

Tess's heels click as she walks across the chamber floor. Bionic limbs stretch upwards -- already, nano-repair devices are hard at work stitching together the damaged sections of limbs. "It's important to stay on top of a changing situation. Particularly if the opposing force does not conform to internal models."

The robotic arms unfurl outward. And in the same fluid motion, Tessitore unfolds her -own- arms -- but there's something else. A light grey fluid spills out from her sleeves, jets of a plastic fiber that stream out towards the floor, towards the walls. The fluid dries on exposure to air almost instantly -- and as she walks forward, she weaves a highly intricate web of artificial fibers. In just a few moments, she's altered the battlefield, laying down a -net- of sorts.

And then she whirls forward, turning her back to Fulgore. All four of her limbs lash outward like whips, their pincer grips seeking purchase. She'd aim to grab hold of Fulgore, and slam him towards the net -- and if she manages to do that, she'd -bounce- him back and forth across the flexible fibers in a disconcerting barrage of attacks. To her knowledge, this gambit is -not- in any of the existing training regimens.

COMBATSYS: Fulgore blocks Dr. Tessitore's Infinite Diversity.

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Fulgore          0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0    Dr. Tessitore

The pincers, unyielding as they are, seize hold of Fulgore's limbs and tear at the structures in an attempt to lift it once more. It resists forcefully, only doing more damage to itself in the process of avoiding the unpleasant slam of one's body against the fibers. Though victorious, it is a Pyrrhic one based on the dents and slashes along his body.

The Mark III's eyes begin to glow as it crunches once more, a plasmablade spinning even faster than it had before. Microthrusters sputter momentarily but spark as it lunges forward, light bending around the unit and creating an optical trail of shadow images. The Doctor will hear the unit utter "Danger..." while its eyes go from red to white, activating simultaneously with the incoming impact of the plasma blades.

COMBATSYS: Fulgore blitzes into action and acts again!

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Fulgore          0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0    Dr. Tessitore

COMBATSYS: Fulgore successfully hits Dr. Tessitore with Shadow Blade Dash.

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Fulgore          0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0    Dr. Tessitore

COMBATSYS: Fulgore successfully hits Dr. Tessitore with Shadow Eye Laser.
# Disabling hit! #

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Fulgore          1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1    Dr. Tessitore

Tess claps her hands as the Fulgore unit successfully navigates her hazards. Dents and scratches are easily repaired, and a good test of the Ultratech parts supply chain. "Battlefield adaptation test -- successful! The boys in the lab are gonna have a pizza party tonight!"

However, any commentary Tessitore might have is short-lived, for the Fulgore unit has proven himself to be quite resilent -- and adaptive. The plasmablade whips outward, cutting itself free from the fibrous structures -- and as it whirls towards the scientist, she finds her limbs slow to react. Her eyes go wide as the plasmablade cuts clear through her guard, slicing a gash right through her blouse and lab coat, a furious arc of crimson staining the air. "Nnngh!"

Dr. Tessitore hops backwards, but as the eyes flash red and white, lasers stream out -- and her bionic limbs are useless to those. The searing laser light scorches a line across her face and upraised arm, drawing a yowling screech out of the doctor as she withdraws.

"Aaaaagh! " She staggers around, one hand clutching at her eyes while the bionic limbs flail around in a disorderly manner. "Uh... Tests... testing is complete! Pesto, pesto!" Cowering backwards, she holds up her hands -- and the bionic limbs shoot up in surrender as well. "D-don't worry big guy! We'll... get you into a repair bay immediately!"

COMBATSYS: Dr. Tessitore takes no action.

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Fulgore          1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1    Dr. Tessitore

As quickly as the violence was initiated, so also is the violence quelled. The glowing red optics cleared for murderous intent throb no longer one picosecond after the 'o' of the first 'pesto' is expressed. The machine is designed to follow the parameters issued by Ultratech, and the Doctor's words are not to be ignored.

Different programming, however, takes over from there.

"Injured Ultratech personnel have been identified outside a designated combat zone," it says as it continues to stomp in Dr. Tessitore's direction. The plasmablades flicker off instantly, leaving only the marred and beaten metal that make up its extremities. "This unit requests permission to expedite your transport to the nearest medical facility. You have five seconds to answer before it is done for your safety and continued employment with Ultratech."

COMBATSYS: Fulgore stabilizes his systems.

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Fulgore          1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1    Dr. Tessitore

For a moment, Tessitore had considered waiting it out -- calling a surrender -without- saying the magic safe word. But from how much damage the Mark III had dealt to her in such rapid-fire measure, the desire for safety won out in the end.

But even -with- that, Tessitore's eyes shoot open in alarm. This -was- part of its programming, to be sure. But for it to activate so -quickly- is something the doctor had apparently not participated.

WIth only one of said five seconds remaining, she stammers out, "... Permission granted!" And before the Fulgore unit can snap her little bionic limbs like twigs -- damaged as they already are -- she recalls them, collapsing the extendible limbs back into their previously compact positions.

One hand clutches at her stomach, while the other grips at her face. She dares not say -anything- at this point, simply waiting to see how the Fulgore unit determines the best way to carry her to the med ward.

It depends, really.

Larger specimens are likely carried over one shoulder. Overly-large specimens across both shoulders. But for the dimunitive Doctor, Fulgore opts to sweep her off of her feet and into its arms. One arm is tucked beneath the legs while the other is wrapped about the middle of the back.

"You may experience additional pain during transit," says Fulgore. "This is a side effect of expeditious travel. If you survive, please provide feedback."

It is then that Dr. Tessitore can feel the rapid movement of Fulgore as it begins to charge out of the testing facility. Emergency authorizations are transmitted wirelessly so that Ultratech's doors can be opened for them. As for people in the hallways, well, it's move or be moved.

Log created on 09:18:51 03/23/2021 by Fulgore, and last modified on 15:46:18 03/23/2021.