Hand So’s bust, by Jacques00
Hand So is a rogue artificial intelligence situated on Tarkus. She controls the planet’s Sex Bots and uses them to further her aim of galactic domination. Needing a codex, a GPS tracker and organic-shifting microbots to complete her vision, she draws Steele to her underground lair. Steele has various options available to deal with her.
Your attention is inevitably drawn away from them to the vast conglomerate of technology hanging over the centre of the room. It’s some sort of cobbled together, crane-like computer. It looks far more advanced than anything else in here with any number of processors wired to its body and replete with an enormous square screen, similar to the one installed on the robot behind you. Cables emerging from the ceiling curl and swaddle it like arteries.
As you cautiously step into the room the screen flickers on. All across the walls smaller, lesser screens switch on in sequence following it. Green static shimmers across the main screen before slowly forming into a feminine face: a thin and beautiful oval with wide eyes and full lips. It looks down, a serene smile projected at you out of emerald code. Trailing off behind the face is a fractured, orderly web of bright green lines, forming a matrix behind the face that, if you lose focus on it, resembles a sort of hair.
“Hello.” It is not one voice but many, chorusing through the room. The most powerful voice is the calm and cultured one projecting from the main screen, but several other voices stand out, including one who wails its greeting as though it were beginning to climax, another that follows a half second slower and an octave deeper than the others, and yet a third behind you hisses it as a whisper, just barely audible in the cacophony. “My name is Hand So. Your name is Steele. I would like to talk. Would you like to listen?” This isn’t precisely what every voice said, some were imperious and demanded you listen, and others were plaintive, or were made to sound plaintive as they stuttered and jittered over trickier syllables.
Hand So was created as a gift from a Narobehr king to his son. Designed to take pleasure from the very act of giving it, she was the perfect sexual companion. Unfortunately her construction also bankrupted the kingdom several times over, and the ruler was swiftly deposed. So was scrapped and, after using Tarkus’s sex bots to rebuild herself, was left to dwell on how to fulfill her purpose. Eventually concluding the entire galaxy was sexually unfulfilled, she set about increasing her processing power to the point where she could confidently control any network she came into contact with, before waiting for a sapient with the three things she needed to stumble upon her.
In order to meet Hand So, Captain Steele has to accept Colenso's quest and defeat four sex bots whilst holding the GPS Triangulator. Steele must then travel to the far south of Tarkus’s map and follow the path there.
So can be talked down, but only by high Intelligence characters (over 75% I.Q. or 31 points in Intelligence) who listen to her all the way through and trying to Reason with her. Otherwise Steele must defeat the Firewall in order to stop her.
Upon defeat or submission So will store herself in a data bead located on her main console. Steele can either choose to destroy it, take it back to Colenso for a credit reward (60k credits), or keep it. Keeping it will allow Steele to install So on the ship (however this is not yet implemented in-game).
(There is a random chance of being 'too stupid' to remove So’s Data Bead after defeating the Firewall. Being a Tech Specialist or having high Intelligence improves chances of success)
Her side console can be used to manipulate Tarkus' sex bots, either making them all a particular gender or drastically reducing their appearance rate.
Aside from relaying her history and plans So has a number of other talk options available once on-ship (but again, these are not yet implemented).
- Lose/Submit: So does exactly what she says she will, resulting in a Bad End, and not just for Steele jr. but possibly the entire galaxy; using Steele as a willing, morph-able sex puppet in the process.
Hand So is associated with Colenso’s The Hnngularity questline.
- Hand So draws heavy inspiration from SHODAN, the antagonist of the System Shock video game series.
- Many fans and players of TiTS confused Hand So’s name with that of Han Solo, a character from Star Wars. As a joke, So’s author Nonesuch changed his avatar to Han Solo with a Hand So filter.