Shifting Armoury
rating: +12+x
Item: Shifting Armoury
Size: Circumradius: 204,1 m; Height: 14,0 m
Type: Location; Entity (Immobile)
Living: TBD Testing halted
Sentient: Yes
Potential/Current Hazards Caution is required during activity due to molten alloys exceeding 1500°C, toxic fumes and moving overhead load.
Required Wear/Weaponry A hard hat, fire approach suit and welding goggles may be required within the Item during operation.
Location: Item is the subterranean north wing of Production Facility Three
Reported Anomaly: Extraspatial Location and Ectoentropic Transmutation

Usage

The Item will automatically activate when sufficient raw material is placed inside and the intention to have it processed is verbalized. Personnel must leave the Item as soon as possible after delivery of the input to avoid getting trapped or injured.

The Item will automatically cease activity once it finishes processing the provided input. Since the Item does not signal the end of activity in any way, it has to be periodically checked for activity. The output might be removed after completion and assigned for use by Insurgency units or moved to storage in appropriate Logistic Outposts.

Standard usage of the Item is only allowed to use inputs documented in the Item's Transmutation Records. Research providing new inputs requires authorization from Beta personnel. During research, the provided raw material and complementary outputs must be documented in the Item's Transmutation Records for future use, alongside noteworthy observations during the process.

Interviews with the Item have to be conducted in teams of at least two persons, with only one person loud and clearly asking questions and all others ready to note down the Item's responses as soon as they are made.

Report

The Shifting Armoury is a hexagonal basalt cave of 400 m diameter located approx. 500 m beneath the surface of a mountain range. The structure appears to be of natural origin at first glance, but noteworthy, all basalt columns within are perfectly hexagonal and of identical size, forming a solid, completely level floor with the exception of a few outlier columns. The chamber can only be reached through a tunnel from the second basement of Production Facility Three that leads to the cave's south-western wall.

The cave's ceiling is a portal to a potentially extradimensional void; to date, no attempts were made to penetrate through the portal, as per the Item's request. Light shone through the portal is dispersed by a thin haze, yet sufficient intensity reveals a massive silhouette writhing far above. During operation, faint sparks can be seen inside the void; they are distanced to far away for accurate parallax measurements.

The inside of the Shifting Armoury is filled with scaffolding, workbenches, anvils, gantries, casting moulds, platforms, crucibles and other installations used in metalworking. Each object is attached to one or more hyaline twisted strands of an unidentified, non-organic substance that are suspended from somewhere in the void above.

During active phases, the Shifting Armoury is freely moving these objects around as needed; it is also known to lower additional ones down when necessary or remove unneeded ones by lifting them up them through the portal. During active phases, it is also controlling roughly humanoid puppets reminiscent of dummies or mannequins through intertwined strands in order to manipulate tools and other objects in a manner similar to a marionettist.

When provided with adequate amounts of raw materials, the Shifting Armoury will smelt them down into anomalous alloys and use them to create anomalous objects, mostly armaments. The accepted materials cover a broad spectrum, from organic matter to ores and most other substances, as long as they are provided in solid state. However, the alloy output is usually far below the provided input in mass.

The created alloys are used to either create armaments entirely composed of that material, or refine equipment provided alongside the raw materials, enhancing them with anomalous effects or superior physical properties.

The Shifting Armoury is sentient and capable of fluent Latin; through training with Insurgency personnel it also learned to understand simple English. It is, however, not capable of vocalization of its own. Instead, it lowers a clear, long hexagonal prism down during communication and oscillates it like a pendulum. Whenever the bob crosses the equilibrium position, a roman letter or alchemical symbol flashes inside, spelling out words in the process. Due to this behaviour, its comments are easy to miss.

When provided with raw materials, the Item will intermittently request or suggest other materials or comment on the quality of certain pieces. These remarks have proven useful in determining new combinations for transmutation and assessing the properties of the created weaponry. All intermediate alloys also receive a name from the Item.

Appendix A: Interview Excerpts

The following is a compilation of questions asked at different times by different researchers. Since most of the interviews with the Shifting Armoury yielded no useable results, this format was chosen for brevity instead. Earlier examples were originally conducted in Latin and translated to English.

Question: Who are you?
Answer: They call me Armourer, not because I am the Armourer, but because I forge arms.

Question: How old are you?
Answer: Pieces may break and get replaced, but the whole stays the same. No edge cuts twice, but the grind keeps it sharp.

Question: Why do you make equipment for us?
Answer: It is my nature to practice my craft. I do not care whether you save or take lives. I take honour in the appreciation of my craftsmanship. Only if my work sees use, I am proud.

Question: Could you create other things out of the materials we offer you? A modern battlefield sees few uses for horse armour.
Answer: Only in a twisted world the laymen dictate the master how to exercise his art.

Question: Could you tell us in advance in what our offerings will result?
Answer: The strike of inspiration comes as sudden as it is decisive.

Question: Why don't you tell us of the properties of your creations?
Answer: The blacksmith only knows to forge weapons, the warrior only knows to use them.

Question: Are there more of your kind?
Answer: Is a chain just the collection of its links? Speak of men or speak of mankind, one is nothing without relation to the other.
Follow-Up: Does this mean you are a plural or collective entity?
Answer: A master is the one, not many, who supersedes all but himself.

Question: Why do you work this deep underground?
Answer: Fish breathe 🜄, so they dwell sea-borne, men breathe 🜁, so they dwell the surface, dragons breathe 🜂, so they dwell the stars and I breathe 🜃, so I dwell beneath.

Question: What lies beyond the portal above?
Answer: It is a cage, but it is gilded.
Follow-Up: Does this mean you are captive?
Answer: I have not chosen this place, but it has chosen me.

Question: Why do you communicate through this peculiar mechanism?
Answer: Read without seeing. Only if words are fleeting, the ephemeral truth can settle. Lasting is treacherous, lasting blemishes, lasting corrupts. Do not trust what the mind perceives before the dream.

Appendix B: Excerpts from the Transmutation Records

Obsisto-Anancitium

Raw Material:

18 t of industry standard duplex stainless steel 28 Ingots (4,5 kg apiece)
20 t of 99,95% pure titanium 40 Ingots (4,5 kg apiece)
15 t of natural iridosmine alloy 1 Bloom of 50 Ingots (4,5 kg apiece)

Properties:

Dark grey matt alloy with a density of 4,012 g/cm³ (at room temperature), a hardness of 9800HV, a tensile strength of 142 GPa and a Young Modulus of approximately 2 TPa. The material has a very low thermal conductivity and is an electric insulator.

Combinations:

  • None:
    The ingots were forged into a multitude of different objects, mostly serving as shields or armour plates, depending on the quantity available to the Shifting Armoury. This includes cuirasses, helmets, whole mediaeval suits of plate armour, gun shields, ballistic shields, mobile personnel shields, kite shields, heater shields, mobile cover and barricades.
  • Combat Vehicles:
    The vehicles were outfitted with complete sets of appliqué armour and slat armour. This includes, amongst others, Leopard 2 battle tanks, M113 armoured personnel carriers and in one notable case, a BMW R1200RT motorcycle.
  • Bladed Weapons:
    Knifes and other sharp weapons had their blades reinforced with the alloy, leading to overall increased physical resistance and reduced wear, but also faster blunting of the edges.

Sanguis-Cruorium

Raw Material:

15 t of wrought iron, 2000 l blood (frozen) 10 Ingots (3 kg apiece)
9 t of wrought iron, 35 t of meat 6 Ingots (3 kg apiece)

Properties:

Lackluster crimson alloy that feels warm to the touch. If a living creature is harmed or killed with a weapon made of this material, the wielder will undergo spontaneous and rapid surge of cell regeneration, leading to fast wound healing, detoxication, enhanced stamina and restored strength.

Combinations:

  • None:
    An assortment of scimitars and pole-arms was forged out of pure Sanguis-Cruorium. Weapons are reported to occasionally bend or stretch during strikes in order to hit vital parts of the target.
  • Automatic Firearms:
    The weapons (AK-15 assault rifles with holographic sights and FN P90 submachine guns) were imbued with veins of Sanguis-Cruorium and outfitted with an additional fixed bayonet (of 19 cm and 15 cm length respectively) of the pure material. The weapons can fire even with empty magazines, though every bullet fired puts a massive strain on the shooter's health; even a short burst can seriously cripple an operative.

Diffregi-Perdunticulium

Raw Material:

9 t obsidian shards 12 boule (40 g apiece)
26 t lead glass 10 boule (40 g apiece)
2 t crystalline zirconium dioxide 2 boule (40 g apiece)
140 kg synthetic diamond 1 boule (40 g apiece)

Properties:

Pellucid, dim-grey metal behaving in most aspects like a white metal alloy, including mild toxicity when consumed.

Combinations:

  • None:
    Without additional input all the Diffregi-Perdunticulium alloy at hand was crafted into intricate jewellery, mostly bracelets, rings, brooches, medals, and headdresses. If any of these objects is damaged even just superficially when worn by a human, it will shatter in a way that inevitably inflicts lethal wounds on the wearer.
  • Reflex Sights:
    The reflective lens element of the sighting instrument was replaced with a carefully crafted mirror made of Diffregi-Perdunticulium. A second plano-convex lens was provided for each reflector sight, which can be inserted to create newton's rings as alternative reticle should standard LEDs or tritium illumination be at odds with an operation.
    Firing at an enemy targeted with one of these sights will have all projectiles teleport directly to the targeted area, resulting in a guaranteed hit from point-blank range.

Aresco-Marcuium

Raw Material:

80 t withered plant matter; 3400 kg arsenic 4 Ingots (200 g apiece)
1200 kg cremains, 40 kg Thallium 2 Ingots (200 g apiece)
16 t asbestos 3 Ingots (200 g apiece)

Properties:

Unburnished taupe alloy with a density slightly above that of gold. If the alloy comes into contact with a multicellular organism, it will spontanously decay into fine rust whilst the organism undergoes rapid ageing until death.

Combinations:

  • None:
    All ingots were cast into 5.56×45mm NATO bullets.
  • Signal flares:
    The ingots were ground to a fine powder and mixed into the pyrotechnic composition of the fusees. Objects exposed to the light of these flares will decay at an increased rate proportional the the lights brightness.
    Usage in white phosphorus munitions considered.
  • Scythes:
    The scythe's chine was imbued with Aresco-Marcuium, the snaith reinforced with more of the alloy and the entire tool was embellished with surreal decorative ornaments. The blade is able to cut through any organic material without resistance, decomposing the material in the path of the cut.
    The Shifting Armoury refused to treat Kamas this way.

Perpes-Chronicium

Raw Material:

105 t of non-fiction books Less than 1 g

Properties:

Superficially identical to brass.

Combinations:

  • None:
    During the initial run, the small amount of material produced was immediately fold into a broad nib for use in a pencil. After extensive testing, it was determined that documents written by hand with this nib were immune to retrocausal alteration and the effect of reality-shift scenarios. The only existing pencil is currently in use at the archival section of Vault-SCORPIO.

Additional Notes:

During the melting processes, the Shifting Armoury exclaimed "[Unintelligible] trinket of spite? Very well. If one must err to rely on the deceit of phrases, one still must retain one's honour."
Any following attempts to bring books or other greater amounts of written text into the chamber were forcefully removed by the marionettes.


Attraxi-Falaricaium

Raw Material:

7,4 t Vicalloy, 800 kg graphene, 260 kg lodestone 9 ingots (mass N/A)

Properties:

Heavy but brittle alloy that absorbs > 99.997% of light at optical wavelengths, but is incandescent under ultraviolet light. The material's mass and weight show a great disparity; whereas its inertial mass puts the mass of a single ingot to approximately 0,5 kg, the passive gravitational mass (and thus the weight force experienced by it) equals to 16 kg.

Combinations:

  • Combustion Grenade:
    The internal explosive charge was completely replaced with an unknown mechanism surrounding a scalenohedral chunk of the Attraxi-Falaricaium. When detonated, the grenade created a distorted vortex for approximately 45 s that attracted bullets, shrapnel, flechettes and other ballistic projectiles. This caused most of them to undergo violent trajectory alterations, often being forced on paths akin to an orbit around a gravity well until the effect ceased.
  • Framentation Grenade:
    Similar alterations as with an combustion grenade with the addition, that the vortex was surrounded by multiple concentric rings of shrapnel orbiting it at high velocity.
  • Demolition Charges:
    Land mines had their explosive components removed and the trigger mechanism modified. When triggered, an area equal to the former blast radius will experience zero gravity for 4 seconds before a sudden surge of approximately 80 g crushes everything inside.

Further details can be found at the Extended Transmutation Log.

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