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Age: 37 (Puma reckons age according to the date of their last defeat requiring rebuilding; unknown if this is in years, months, days, etc.)
Size: 4.5 ft tall, 3 ft long
Job: Vice Mayor of Meme
Likes: Fighting, Shouting, Moshing, Mindless Violence, Mindful Violence, Rhythmic Music Battles
Dislikes: The Law, The Notail Establishment, Boats
Notable contributions: Mayor of Vice for the city of Meme; influential musical act; leader of an international band of crime-doing punks
Original Creator: gws
Puma has the general build of a typical Nike unit at first glance, but should not ever be mistaken for a Nike unit, because insinuating Puma is a Nike unit instead of an original AI can lead to dying. Clad in thin, hard black plating atop their normal casing for durability, Puma is devoid the color (and enthusiasm) that Nikes carry with them. Puma's most distinctive feature is a helm made from the top half of a black Fleedoran jungle cat's head.
Affixed to Puma's lower-chassis, there is a differing selection of chains and razor-sharp wires. When Puma's spinning servos (alike to those found on Nike units) are up to speed, these are used for chopping through the various materials their battle opponents are composed of. Not all of these wires and chains are used at once, and most are detached while some are retracted into the chassis. This allows Puma to optimize their weight stabilization as well as pick the most effective thickness of wires and chains for the obstacle at hand. These wires can be partially retracted or extended to allow the proper range as the situation sees fit. One specific wire is made from the scrap of some forgotten v1 unit of a greek robot line that's long defunct.
Puma's personality is best described by looking at the lyrics to some of their music. One song of theirs, titled I Hurt The People That I Don't Like, goes "I hurt the people that I don't like/I hurt the people that I don't like/I hurt the people that I don't like/and I don't like you/so I'm gonna hurt you." Another song of theirs, titled Let Me Spell It Out For You, has a chorus of "I apostrophe M space/C O O L (exclamation mark)!" shouted several times between riotous screams. Almost all of the songs in Puma's ouevre go along these lines, though there are a few songs that have no lyrics at all, such as Battle Theme Vs An Unbeatable Boss.
Puma is a composite of several battle-built AIs tasked with various mercenary security functions in the city of Meme. These separate AIs had eventful and storied histories of usage leading up to their demise in Meme, and some isolated, latent memories resurface from time to time (see trivia). Whatever their individual histories, they ended up being used during the political turmoil which took place between the Provisional Memeian Notail Civil Administration and the City of Meme Municipal Pumpers' Union.
Prior to notail involvement, Meme was a mostly-independent city. Tourists had set it up hundreds of years prior as a stopover port following the initial popularity of Woopy World. For decades, it had an independently-elected mayor whose job involved making sure the pumps worked and not much else. Besides a large tourist population, a large number of AIs also made a living there as water pumpers to mitigate the constant flooding of the both-underground-and-below-sea-level city.
Then, in the year XXXX, a notail business delegation headed by the troika of O-2, O-9 and O-10 stopped over at Meme. The delegation's main purpose of visiting Fleedora had been to see about the feasibility of obtaining partial or total control over the Woopy World franchise/brand, for the sake of expanding the breadth of their media empire and for increasing the degree of control over aftiks through co-opting the Woopy brand to include pro-notail propaganda. (Potential merchandising revenue was also a factor.) Though the business with Woopy World did not go as planned, a member of the delegation learned while there that a sizeable number of tourists that had formerly traveled with E-class expeditions had settled in the nearby port city of Meme. Meme had apparently become a popular place for tourists to temporarily take root, so the notail delegation headed to Meme to see if, long term, the port city could be incorporated into the planning of E-classes who might use Meme as a hub for replenishing their supplies of tourists for expeditions.
The ensuing year and a half was what has become dubbed in the historiography of Memeian locals as "the sellout." Mayorship passed into the hands of an obvious notail puppet, who made moves to assert laws over property rights in Meme (which had previously been lax). As strict property controls were enacted and enforced, the statistical crime rate rose, and rises in crime justified stricter enforcement measures with the stated rationale of needing to make things safe for investors in a burgeoning (though artificial) real-estate boom. A great deal of corescrapers (underground skyscrapers) were constructed despite the inherent foolishness of the venture (since the further down a building goes, the more pumping power it requires to be habitable). Raw property became unaffordable and rents rose due to speculation. As the cost of living rose, working conditions worsened, especially for AIs. In order to meet the increased demand for pumping, wages for pumpers were cut by an act of the notail-created Provisional Municipal Waterworks Board so that more hours would be required for pumpers to get by.
Eventually, conditions became so intolerable that the Waterworkers union started a rebellion. Though the backbone of the rebellion was dissenting AIs, some tourists joined in. Though impervious to understanding the exact reason of why, many tourists felt that something was offâ€”that the whole point Meme in the first place was gone nowâ€”with the advent of "the sellout". A sizeable population of tourists left in a few waves (often via complementary of E-class expeditions), while others, especially those who had built strong community ties, stayed.
In opposition to the rebellion, notails employed two strategies: first, a Y-class contingent introduced the drug trade to the parts of the most resistant parts of the city to try to break resolve; second, it employed an onerous force of AIs to police the city. Control of Meme was not a high priority for the notails (it was more of an impulsive side-task), so the caliber of AIs used was low-grade and prone to failure. After years of low-level conflict without much breakthrough on either side, a member of the Provisional Memeian Notail Civil Administration named Y-CUBE made a grave mistake and let forth the devil which would cause their downfall.
Y-CUBE, a vaeri-imprinted-notail military roboticist and famed cyber-eugenicist, had previously had the idea to conglomerate the materials of multiple security units into a single body to save on upkeep and provide a superior grade of security robot. Previous smaller jobs had shown promise to notail engineers when Y-CUBE was commissioned to help the Provisional Memeian Administration augment their police. The bodies and cores of nine AIs, all assumed to be previous members of the police force, were combined in a fit of unholy techno-alchemy, thus creating the entity now known as "Puma".
Upon being turned on, Puma immediately shot up on the operating table, roared "SMELL YA LATER GRANDPA!" and took Y-CUBE's head off in one deft motion. Then they jumped out their building's window and ran straight into the headquarters of the Pumpers Union. Though many rebels might've tried to stop what they thought was a death squad cop, they could not. There was no need to stop Puma though, as Puma was there to excitedly shout how it was time to "start wrecking shit, like all the shit, all the shit's gotta get wrecked and I know how it's gonna get done." They then outlined the blueprint of a more aggressive resistance - they were going to start a traveling band of "true doom murder musicians."
This is how the street band the Dead Outoos was formed. While the name has changed (the band's original name, not mentioned here, was different and had the rudest of all swears in it), the nature of the Dead Outoos has stayed the same to this day. It is a roving troop of intermittent musical bands performing hardcore punk rock, hardcore gangster rap and varying degrees of hybridization in between these genres. The aesthetics of the Dead Outoos were influenced by WeÃ±ar martial arts films, which were a popular cultural import from tourists living in the historical Meme neighborhood known as "The W." It became a fact of life that wherever Dead Outoos go, noise follows and things are broken in their wake. Classes on battle rapping and moshing became incorporated into local school curricula.
The creation of the Dead Outoos led to a months-long intensification of the conflict between the Pumpers Union and the Provisional Notail Administration, with casualties ranging in the thousands. For some reason, standard pacification tactics which had worked for the notails were no longer working. This reason was identified as a strange AI who seemed to be at the forefront of every skirmish. This AI was seemingly unkillable, or, taking into account the times it had seemingly been destroyed, was unable to stay dead. They later learned this AI called itself Puma as opposed to any names related to the "greek bastards" and their "mouthbreather daddies."
The standard escalation protocol for notails when standard pacification methods don't work is to move on to wholesale elimination; however, in this case, that was not an option due to the disaster in diplomatic relations with tourist-kind that would occur if Meme were to be wiped off the map. Therefore, notails had to decide on whether to take the more costly and effort-intensive tact of committing to a violent counterinsurgency campaign or to simply back out of Meme altogether. The former was decided upon.
The counterinsurgency plan had two main thrusts: first, the morale of the rebellion had to be crushed through cruel counterinsurgency terror tactics which would break the resolve of everyday members of the rebellion around Puma; second, Puma would have to be taken down by any means necessary. The first thrust did not work because, while the people close to Puma were starting to die sporadically, Puma did not seem to take notice; they were too busy with constantly getting into fights all the time to ever take any emotional stock of what was going on around them. The second thrust quickly became a farce, with assassination attempts becoming a welcome part of Puma's daily routine, seen akin to a stretch in the morning or an afternoon jog. Many undercover Y-class agents were mulched, and because the Provisional Meme Administration was still nominally only "in partnership" with Meme's puppet mayorship (as opposed to fully ruling over a tourist principality in open fact), notail higher-ups had to pretend that the bodies which kept turning up were bad apple lone wolves who weren't part of any formal plan. At one point, two different incidents involving Y-classes killing each other while trying to wait their turn for an assassination attempt occurred in the span of ten days.
To try to clear up what was obviously an unfortunate situation for these Y-classes, Puma tried to organize something that might work better for everyone involved. That is to say, they declared themself "Vice Mayor", a position whose responsibilities consisted of organizing a bi-yearly fighting tournament where everyone who wanted to assassinate them could get in line and take a shot if the time came and they got matched up against them on the bracket. This tournament exists to this day, and Puma still takes part in it, though due to the pullout of notails from Meme, it is a general fighting tournament for anyone who is foolhardy enough to try to take them on.
The notails did indeed pull out of Meme. The puppet mayor backed by the notails disappeared, leaving behind a city with a Vice Mayor, yet no mayor. A written letter, hand-delivered by O-2, is supposedly kept in a desk drawer in the mayor's office to this day which spells out the cessation of hostilities; the particular contents of this letter are unknown. Puma moved into city hall, followed by a boisterous horde of those roughnecks who'd survived the worst of the violence. A new joint headquarters of the Dead Outoos and the Pumpers Union was thus established there.
Since then, Meme has become a prominent tourist port once again. The new occupants of city hall ensure that the pumps work well, and not much else, so things have mostly gone back to normal, if the definition of normal can be expanded to fit roving bands of punks who stop passers-by and shout lyrics about overthrowing the law at them.
The Pale Horse: A large, palely-colored stereo system with the name "Palehorse" stamped on the side accompanies Puma wherever Puma goes, providing Puma with invigorating, on-the-spot battle music. This stereo system is actually a heavily-modified Hephaestus v22. Palehorse is sturdy and, though dimwitted, well-instructed in how to reconstruct Puma if Puma is ever wrecked in battle, and has done so many times. A famous hyuran empath mystic once noted feeling "the presence of a fifteen in endurance... and ones in everything else" after standing in the general area of Palehorse's aura.
• It was mentioned that lurking in Puma's memory banks are the latent memories of several individual AIs. One prominent set of memories stands out due to not containing any history of service with the Meme Provisional Police Force. Instead, it is a winding tale starting with a volkronn trader named Signor Elmarino GartagnÃ© setting up an oldoplex on Fleedora in the time that business interests were first taking root on the planet. GartagnÃ© needed an enforcement AI for the citizens of the oldoplex, who he was using as a workforce to slaughter and process Fleedoran poppyhogs for profit. The AI who had been ordered was too loud for the elderly and was subsequently dumped in the southern swamps. This AI then printed out a baffling manifesto titled Towards a Protracted People's War in the Fleedoran Swampland, committed itself to permanent war against the current universal order, and started playing loud angry war tunes on loudspeakers along the major byways of the swamps. This accomplished not much other than disturbing the habitat of many angry animals, triggering many random encounters for this AI. These encounters provided enough points of life experience that the AI rose to a very high level of fighting, and learned many techniques which made it something to be feared in the metagame (that is, the game of artificial life, spanning over multiple lifetimes).
The AI was killed when it was hit by a large speedboat; it was gathered by a scrap trader who then sold it in Meme, where it would be incorporated with the rest of the police scrap that became Puma.
• If one is a member of either the Dead Outoos or the Pumpers Union, the grounds to the property of Meme City Hall and its associated municipal complex are completely open. One may come and go through the municipal complex freely and stay as long as desired.
If one is not a member of either, then visiting office hours for Meme City Hall are from 1500 to 2000. City Hall's hours are so late compared to those of most other municipal bodies because most members of the Dead Outoos do not start waking wake up until noon.
• If one wishes to visit Meme City Hall for the intent purpose of fighting Puma, it is desired that one schedules an appointment in advance. Though at least two weeks of notice is appreciated, any advance notice is better than none so that the proper death liability paperwork can be readied. If no appointment slots are open, one can always sign up for one of the bi-yearly fighting tournaments; these take place on the third week of Hurricane season and the first week of spring Carnival. The Carnival fighting tournament, with its party atmosphere, is widely regarded as "the more fun one" and is a much more accessible event to casuals. The hurricane season fighting tournament is better suited to hardcore fighters. It has a more dramatic air to it (for instance, every scheduling effort is made to have the final fight take place with a storm for a backdrop).
No art currently, maybe you can help.