Chapter 1.4 : The Box

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After my first very long day I finally managed to make it back to my apartment and get some rest in before my next shift would start.

The Sophotect had promised me with a 96.42% probability that the Celestial guard that I had been carrying back to our base, and whose name turned out to be Shen Jing, would survive the injury without any lingering damage or the need for cube resurrection.

I managed to wake up on time, most likely due to the fact that I slept quite uneasy in my first night in a new home, but thanks to that I managed to buy a steamed pork bun for breakfast from one of the vendors outside of my apartment before I entered the elevator that delivered me to the underground part of Neon-jo.

The moment I entered the complex I almost crashed into one of the Turtle delivery bots that the Yu Jing army likes to use for its secure deliveries. Even though the name and design was more of an old joke, the quick moving turtle bots are actually a blessing for every commander that needs something delivered secretly, secure and as fast as possible. Not only is the name giving turtle shell a high security container which even a TAG wouldn’t be able to break open should he stomp on it, but the design of the Bot allowed it to move quickly both in the air with a hover module, and on land with high powered quad wheeled legs, not unlike to those of our combat remotes, although much more compact in size.

Altogether the little turtle like bot was no higher than my knee, but since it came at me while hovering in the air, I barely managed to dodge to the side. Thinking that it would just move on, I was surprised to see it hovering back towards me and eventually scanning me with the biometric scanner built within its head. “Identity confirmed, General Yasashii Fuyu, Male, 31 years old. I have a delivery for you from “Kabuki Queen”. Please sign the receipt by pressing your thumb on this plate.”

As it said so a plate on its head slid down, revealing a fingerprint scanner which I quickly pressed my thumb against. The moment I did so the metallic turtle shell on its back opened up and revealed a small tightly sealed box, which surprisingly looked like a small anime like version of a raccoon head.

Once I took the box outside of the turtle shell the Turtle bot let out a friendly but direct “Thank you for your cooperation” and started dashing towards the nearest supervised exit.

Couldn’t have picked a normal box now could she? I’ll stand out like a sore thumb once I pull this out….oh well…” Happy that I had so quickly received the “special something” I had ordered one of my agents to deliver; I put the small box in my inner coat pocket and changed my originally intended course, now moving towards the Surveillance facility.

On my way there I quickly made yet another small detour, this time to the armoury, and under the watchful eyes of the “Quartermaster” stationed there, and some Bao Troopers that were obviously preparing for their shift in the field, I stepped into my Crane Suite from the day before, the Spitfire still hanging from the back after I had cleaned it yesterday evening. To ease the minds of my subordinates who watched me expectantly as I put on the suite of armour, I nodded towards them and said “Just putting it on for some practice…still not used to this design…”.

At ease that I wouldn’t be running practice exercises with them or that some sort of mission had started without their knowledge, the Agents continued on with their duty, and I continued on my way towards the Surveillance facility. In reality I had put on this armour in case that my little box would cause some unexpected problems, but some things are better kept secret, even from the Imperial Service.

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As I entered the Surveillance facility my armours visor instantly activated the flash suppression system to prevent me from getting blinded by the very high amount of monitors hanging all around the room, and even though she was standing with her back towards me, the Sophotect standing in the middle of the room greeted me with a monotone “Welcome Commander, can I be of service?”.

Not too surprised about the fact that she had the entrance of the room on one of her screens I quickly proceeded to stand next to her and, once I had assured myself that I was alone in the room with her, pulled out the small raccoon box from a belt poach where I had put it after changing into my armour. “I have a question regarding the contents of this box…would you be so kind as to open it and tell me what you think about it?”

Without even properly looking at me or the box, the Sophotect grabbed the box out of my hand and moved it in front of her head while answering in her monotone voice “Sure Sir, please specify “think about iiiiiiiiuuuuuuuut…..”” as she opened the box, which was accompanied by the surprising sound of a raccoon “snickering”, at first nothing seemed to happen, but without any sign as to why, instantly afterwards all the monitors in the room went blank for a few seconds and the Sophotect itself seemed to shut down in mid-sentence. I quickly grabbed the box from the Sophotect’s hands and put it back into my belt’s pocket.

Before the monitors came back on the Sophotect suddenly started to move again, at first jerkily but then back in full control she put down her hand in confusion and took a look at me, as if seeing me for the first time “Oh Comm…eh, General Yasashii Fuyu, sorry I must have missed you entering the room….strange really, usually I notice everything that goes on around me! How can I help you? Is there anything you need? Shen Jing is already back on her feet and I think she told me to send her thanks to you….or did she? Yes…yes she did, must have forgotten it until now, guess my subroutines were a little bugged…”

Cutting her nonstop ramblings short with a quick hand gesture, I quickly asked “Mrs…..eh sorry I forgot your name, what was it again?” “Name? Oh of course…my name is….” A gentle light flickered on her eyes as she obviously checked and double and triple checked her database “Akaseni……strange….I could have sworn it was…” once again cutting her short with a hand gesture I continued “Akaseni…what a…nice…name, anyways, I just wanted to know if everything is in order or if there is anything going on out there that’d warrant a mission for a little training and team building…”

The monitors had turned themselves back on in the meantime, and even though the still confused Akaseni wanted to negate my question, a sudden red blinking warning sign on one of the monitors stopped her from doing so as she turned around to focus on it. “General, it seems like we have a big group of Caledonian Thugs in Sector B12….they seem to be attacking the local bars and restaurants, most likely strong-arming them into some sort of protection or liquor deal…”

Perfect! Get ready and send a mobilization call for all agents on duty, I would like to use this opportunity to get to know my team a bit more, and that includes you.” I once again cut her short, and even though Akaseni seemed quite surprised by this she quickly nodded her head and complied by sending out the mobilization call.

As I stepped outside of the room towards the elevator platform that would lead me the closest to Sector B12 I waved her goodbye “See you as the elevator, don’t be late!” and started dashing towards my goal. Akaseni….Kabuki Queen always had a strange sense of humour, but the box sure seemed to have worked, now I could only hope that the security hack that would delete all information of me giving the box to Akaseni and replacing it with fake events of me silently entering the room, would work out just as well.

Now it was time for a test run of Akaseni to see whether her loyalty could now truly be trusted, and whether or not the box had any unwanted side effects on the Sophotect, after all this was still top secret rather untested technology from the recent Flamestrike Campaign…and highly illegal maybe slightly voodoo tech at that….but it was all still better than dealing with Aleph the normal way and risking a disaster just like it had occurred on Flamia….better safe than sorry….even more so in the Imperial Service.

Now as for those Caledonians….

Customeeple Review Part 1: Introduction and Neon City Yu Jing S Sushi + Bonsai

Hello Everyone!

With my extra holiday money I recently made a big order of terrain from Customeeple to improve my gaming table and fulfill my dream of having a Yu Jing Style Fast Food area Table.

I ordered almost everything Yu Jing related from Customeeple, which means this will be a multi part review!

For the first part I will take an in depth look at the Neon City Yu Jing S Sushi and Bonsai buildings that they have in store.

http://www.customeeple.com/product/infinity-modular-buildings-yu-ying/

The package arrived relatively quick after I ordered it, in about 2 weeks. Considering that it was quite the big order, they cut to order, and they must have been pretty busy with their new release of the Forbidden Palace and Ariadna terrain at that time, I think that was quite quick. I live in Austria (Europe) and as far as I know the company is from Spain.

When the package arrived I was quite surprised how small it was considering all the stuff inside, but this was just due to proper packing as I was about to find out.

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For this review we will take a look at this package:

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The package comes with an instruction sheet which can also be downloaded from their homepage should you lose it or your 2 1/2 year old son decides to “play” with it 😉

Here’s the pdf for these buildings:

http://www.customeeple.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Neoncity-Yujing-Sushi-Bonsai.pdf

I found that the instruction sheet is quite helpful, but they also slightly differ from the online pdf version (and the real product I got….but both differed from that a little..) but I would have wished for some better close ups of unexpectedly small details.

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For example I didn’t figure out that the sliding doors of the Bonsai Shop were supposed to have 2 bottom parts at first (learned that with my other sets though) because even though the picture showed that detail, it wasn’t specifically marker and I just assumed it was the 1 piece that obviously looked like the door bottom.

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The doors of the Bonsai Shop also looked different on the instruction sheet than in reality, on the sheet I kind of expected 4 plastic doors, but in reality 2 of them were mdf with chinese signs on them. At first I wasn’t too sure which one belonged on which side (I hadn’t attached the sign on top yet which would have given that away) and had to compare it with a picture on the website, but once I did that everything was clear enough.

The only part that really troubled me was that the instruction sheet showed 3 roof walls….and even though I searched like crazy I could only find 2 for each of the buildings, which I found odd since it would create some bad cover situations in game when compared to other buildings. But after double checking it with the website again, I saw that they only have up to two roof walls there as well, and once I put everything together it actually looked quite nice with the different wall heights.

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Each building comes with a ventilation part for the roof, a door for the side and a pannel to reach the roof from the inside, as well as one set of stairs, a awesome row of benches for the Sushi restaurant, and ladders for the sides.

Now I am pretty sure I was just too stupid to figure it out properly in time before I gave up, but I had a bit of a problem with the ladders. I just couldn’t figure out how to attack them to the side of the buildings without having the lower end hanging in mid air, or at a strange angle to the side.

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So I did what every terrain builder with too much awesome terrain in front of him, and too little patience would do…and built the ladders slightly different and simply attached them to the sides ;-P I think the results still look great, but I feel a bit sad that I couldn’t do the, most likely quite awesome, idea of the designers justice there.

Another set of “too impatient to figure it out” must have been the roof walls of the buildings. No matter what I did, there always seemed to be a small slit in between the parts…I couldn’t figure that one out for any of the Neon City Yu Jing buildings, so I simply rolled with it, and in the end it hardly mattered anymore, but if you know what I did wrong, it’d be lovely advice for all the other people out there interested in getting one of these buildings!IMG_1214

Noooow…..once I finished building everything, which actually went along quite fast and without much of a problem besides the above mentioned confusion of mine, I instantly started painting the buildings.

I don’t have an airbrush, so I painted everything by hand, and I went for a dark and dirty style of building to get in line with my idea of “The Neon Dragon” a dirty city where the Imperial State Service is the only thing in between it’s citizens and corruption, alien and non Yu Jing threats and self destruction ;-P

So without further delay, here are the results of my low painting skills. The miniatures next to the buildings are obviously not included in the order, I just added them for scale.

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(Panda Squad Tattoo also not included…I got that one from my local Zoo 😉 but the wall takes it easily and I think it fits perfectly !)

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After the painting process and my first game with the new terrain, the only thing I didn’t quite like was the fact that the buildings had no floor.

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If you go for some closeups of troop movement this will often be seen, and it breaks immersion a little bit. But since I also ordered some newer buildings from the Customeeple line of products I can happily say that it seems like they have improved on that area as these new buildings all come with proper floors and detachable roofs instead.

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All in all I am VERY happy with these buildings. The size is perfect, they fit into the Infinity univserse easily, they give good cover and fit together with other terrain nicely. They come with a lot of little extra bits and bobs like plastic windows and the roof parts, and for the most part they are easy to assemble and paint.

The small problems I had with assembling it were mostly due to my own lack of attention or small inconsistencies between the parts and the instruction sheet, but they are easily outdone by the finished buildings.

All in all I would give this set a 8/10 and I would recommend it for every Infinity player who is a fan of Yu Jing Style buildings.