Computer Lab Coffee Machine



Encounter Conditions


Initial Text

You wander into a corner overlooking the lab. A man stands glumly next to a small coffee machine. He shakes his head as you approach and says "not worth it."

Glancing down at the coffee machine, you immediately see what he's talking about. It has a sign mounted next to it reading "Coffee or Latte, 20 Credits." That's outrageous. It's almost as much as gourmet coffee places charge.

Or, if you have hacked the Coffee Controls:

You wander into a corner overlooking the lab. A student stands next to the coffee machine, his mouth stretched into a wide grin.

"Try the coffee! It's great!" he exclaims, unaware of how loud his voice is. Glancing behind him, you notice a pile of empty coffee cups.

Your change to the pricing system must have gone through. There is apparently such a thing as free coffee.

Summary of Choices

  1. Talk to him
    1. Buy some code - (Only after talking about coding)
      1. File interface - Gain File interface for 50 credits
      2. Networking code - Gain Networking code for 50 credits
      3. Security patches - Gain Security patches for 50 credits
      4. Math subroutine - Gain Math subroutine for 50 credits
      5. New stuff! -
      6. Nothing, thanks - Nothing
    2. Talk about coding - Unlocks the "Buy some code" option
    3. Talk about hacking - Lets you go to Professor Evans's office door in the Lab building.
    4. Talk about hardware -
      1. Take it - Get PDA Chassis for 100 cred
      2. Leave it - Nothing
    5. Talk about presents - Unlocks after defacing enough sites
    6. Talk about the Slags - Unlocks Slags Communication quest
    7. Talk about antennas - With a helidrone antenna, gain 255 credits, unlocks "Ask about the antenna"
    8. Ask about the antenna - Gain quest recipe for Secured Transmission Functions (After handing over a helidrone antenna)
    9. Want another antenna? - Receive PowerCode (After handing over a helidrone antenna)
    10. PowerCode? - (After getting one can of PowerCode)
      1. I'll take one - Lose 75 credits, get one PowerCode
      2. I'll take a pack - Lose 250 credits, get 4 PowerCode
      3. What is that stuff? -
      4. No thanks - Nothing
    11. Leave - Gain Nothing
  2. Buy a coffee/Take a coffee - Gain Horrible Black Coffee 1st time per day, afterwards passable coffee or Horrible Black Coffee, lose 20 credits if the coffee isn't free
  3. Buy a latte/Grab a latte - Gain french vanilla latte, lose 20 credits if the coffee isn't free
  4. Leave in disgust/Leave some for others - Nothing

Choice Text and Results

Talk to him


You approach the cheerful student who's all but set up camp next to the coffee machine. He turns towards you, shaking a little bit from what you recognize as a mild caffeine overdose. "You need something? Other than coffee?"

Buy some code

He glances around the room. "Alright, well, I'm guessing you're not a student, so I can sell you some extra code I've got lying around."

He brings up his PDA. "New Novos scripts are the big seller. I haven't even been able to sort them out yet."

"I've also unloading… old fire interface… sorry, file interfaces, but fire would be way cooler… networking code… security patches… math subroutine. Anything sound interesting? Fifty credits and it's yours."

File interface

He nods and smiles. "One file interface, coming right up."

He stands and hums awkwardly while the data is moved over to your comm and the credits moved to his. "Nice doing business with you."

The transaction complete, he wanders off into the crowded lab.

You found: file interface

Networking code

He nods. "Alright, networking code. Can do."

He shifts from side to side awkwardly while the file transfers, checking over his shoulder for… something. "Alright, just remember, I'm providing this to you for legitimate purposes related to education and testing only. Just… you know. In case it comes up."

WIth one more glance over his shoulder, he wanders into the crowded lab.

You found: networking code

Security patches

He nods. "Ahhhh, security patches. So helpful if you actually keep up to date… filled with dangerous information if you don't. Not that I know anything about that."

He rocks back and forth slowly while the file transfers over and your credits fly back. "Alright, there we go. Nice doing business with you. Stay safe."

He heads back into the crowded lab.

You found: security patches

Math subroutine

He grins broadly. "A math subroutine? I was kidding. What are you, an accountant?"

You stand confused for a second, unsure of why you're insulted by him mocking accountants… I mean, accountants are funny right. He interrupts your thoughts. "No worries, no worries. I do have one."

He hums what might be a pop song, but it's hard to say when he's so off key. When the files transfer over he smiles. "Alright, there we go. One math subroutine for all your… whatever you're going to do with it needs."

You found: math subroutine

New stuff!

"Alright, I'm not really sure what all these do yet, but here you go!"

He accepts your credits and sends over some code.

You found: 1-2 of: command script, crash script, search script, filtering script, networking functions

(lose 50 credits)

Nothing, thanks

See Walk Away

Talk about coding

He leans forward a bit and speaks in barely above a whisper. "Here's the big secret… it's not that hard. Used to be, back when my dad was doing this stuff, coding was a giant pain. Now… just find the modules you need, slap them together, and it should work. Only trick is, modules have gotten so complicated, you need to track them down."

He pauses for a moment to glance around. "There aren't many folks that'll sell them… especially in the lab here, it'll get you expelled if you help someone cheat. We're supposed to whip everything up from scratch, but that's the biggest waste of time there is."

(Unlocks Buy some code)

Talk about hacking

His smile falters a bit. "How about we talk about security and if you pick up any crazy ideas, I pretend I never talked to you? Deal?"

He doesn't wait for your response. "Okay, the first step to ha… defend yourself against hacking is to get yourself a decent rig. You're looking for one with lots of processor and memory. You'll need enough processor to run the programs you want with a little left over for your tools and enough memory to handle the tools. It's a balance."

"Then you need some programs. You'll probably have to whip the good ones up yourself. Midgard can't really keep a clamp down, but the folks that sell aren't obvious. I've heard there's a link to one of them inside the main lab node, here… rumors, of course."

And, after Feb 17th, extra paragraph:
"Things are kind of… in flux now, with Novos coming out. Be careful to use old programs with old systems and new programs with Novos systems. Everything should go smoother once it's taken over."

He shakes his head. "Just be careful to keep your ducks in a row. Don't go crazy on programs until you've got a rig that can run it and don't think you can take down Midgard with your learntop."

"Anyway, if you want to learn more, there's a guy by the name of Professor Evans. He teaches here, but he works security for Combine… they're not huge, but he probably knows his stuff."

(Unlocks Professor Evans's office in Combine Labs)

After making coffee free:

"So you want to know more about defending yourself against hacking?" He smiles a bit.

"Well, I guess the second step is knowing the hacker's motives. If you've got some personal information on your site, shame on you, but they might be after that. A lot of them, though, they're just after the fame." He looks a bit wistful and dispenses himself a cup of coffee.

"It might seem petty, but I'm… I mean, assuming I hacked anything, I'd probably be there just to leave 'DAVIS WAS HERE!' in big flashing red letters. It's sort of like gang's tagging things, except you never get shot at."

"You can find all sorts of sites, just by doing a little eavesdropping on campus. People don't really think about wireless security, so a simple antenna can pick them up. You can build one with an electrical kit if you have the parts."

You've learned a new device recipe: Juryrigged Antenna

Talk about hardware

The corner of his mouth quirks up into a grin. "You came to the right guy… or at least hung out next to the right coffee machine."

"I sell computer parts on the side. If you want, I've got a PDA frame I can sell you for a hundred credits. Takes a bit of know-how and some electrical tools, but it's not hard to get one up and running better than any of that Corp garbage."

He shows you the shiny new PDA husk. "A hundred cred, take it or leave it."

Take it

He hands you a piece of plastic, like the shed husk of a PDA. "Alright. Here you go and I'll take the hundred and we're great. Nice doing business with you."

You found: PDA chassis

Leave it

Walk away

Talk about presents

"Oh, you know, just a little something to show how much I appreciate you being awesome and brightening my day while I stand here by the coffee pot."

"It's assuredly not related to anything illegal or against school policy." He gives gives you a wink… or maybe his eye is just spasming from all the caffeine.

Talk about the Slags

If you've made the coffee free:

He blinks at you rapidly, then flatly declares "that's insane."

A split second later, you can almost see the light go on behind his eyes. "Well, I guess if you're going to be crazy, I can't stop you."

"But I'd appreciate it if you can keep your eyes open for any downed helidrones. I've been wanting to study their antannae…ahs for a while now and I heard they go down near the lake sometimes."

"Just, you know, pry one out with an electrical kit and you're golden."

His expression dims for a moment. "Okay, now we both sound like crazy people. Forget I said anything."


He blinks at you blearily. "I obviously didn't hear you right."

When you repeat yourself, he takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes. It's hard to say whether he's just sleepy or if you've given him a headache.

"Well, that's crazy talk, but… I guess, if you're out there anyway, keep your eye out for downed helidrones. I've heard they run into problems with the pollution near the lake."

"If you could use an electrical kit and pry out one of their antennae… antennas… whatever, I wouldn't say no."

Talk about antennas

He nods. "Yeah, if you find a downed helidrone, it should be as easy as pulling out the antenna with an electrical kit. If they haven't given out any in your classes, the bookstore carries them."

"But, really, it's the looking-for-downed-helidrones-in-the-Slags part I wouldn't suggest. That's just crazy."

Or, with a Damaged Drone Antenna in your inventory:

He looks at the charred bit of wire. "Hmmmm, this might be harder than I thought. I'm not going to be able to get anything out of that, sorry."

Or, with a helidrone antenna in your inventory:

"Excellent. I'll take that."

"And… let's say 200 credits? We should have negotiated that beforehand, I guess… actually, let's say 255. That's the ticket."

He sends the credits over to your comm.

(Lose helidrone antenna, gain 255 credits)

Ask about the antenna

If you've made the coffee free:

"Ah, yes, it's doing great. It definitely took some deep thinking and a ton of caffeine," he gestures at the empty coffee cups, "but I managed to simulate it on the lab server."

And, if you don't have Handscripting?

He rambles excitedly for a while, but you quickly lose track of what he's talking about. Ah well, at least he seems to be happy with it.

Or, if you do:

He rambles excitedly for a while about the details of how he coded the emulation. It… actually makes some sense.

You could probably do it, actually, now that you've gotten the general idea.

And, first time, if you have Handscripting:
You've learned a new quest recipe: Secured Transmission Functions - Combine six Snippets of Code into Secured Transmission Functions


He shakes his head. "I feel like I'm most of the way there, but it's supposed to hook into the rest of the drone and I can't bypass everything properly."

"It's nothing a few all-nighters couldn't fix, but I'm definitely feeling the crunch from them making this coffee machine pay-to-play."

Want another antenna?

(If coffee is expensive)

He shakes his head. "I wish I needed another one. I haven't figured out the first one yet and it's getting into all-nighter territory."

He leans back against the table and downs a can of energy drink. "I swear. This stuff makes me feel great, but nothing keeps you awake like good old coffee."

(If you've made the coffee free)

He glances at the antenna you're offering. "You know what? Sure, they're always saying to keep a backup for everything."

"Here, take this. I probably shouldn't be drinking this with all the caffeine and pep pills anyway. Who knows what'd happen?"

You found: PowerCode

(Lose one helidrone antenna?

Replaces this option with: "PowerCode?"


"Oh, yeah, it's great stuff isn't it? I mean, I'm not sure it actually makes me a better coder, but the buzz is like nothing else."

"If you want more, I actually have some lying around. I try not to mix my uppers with… well, all the stuff in PowerCode. Say, a seventy-five credits for one… two-fifty for the pack of four."

He shrugs. "Hey, what can I say? I have to import them myself."

I'll take one

(With at least 75 credits))

He waits a moment while the credits transfer over. "Just be careful, okay? This stuff'll make you crazy."

You found: PowerCode

Lose 75 credits

I'll take a pack

(With at least 250 credits)

He waits a moment while the credits transfer over. "I'll have to go run and get another pack. Man, at this rate, selling PowerCode will be a full time job. I wonder if this is what dealers feel like…"

"Oh, sorry," he clears his throat. "I know for a fact that PowerCode is perfectly legal in Metroplex."

You found: 4 cans of PowerCode

Lose 250 credits

What is that stuff?

He leans back against the table and pulls out a can of the stuff. "It used to be OmniTech's formula, but they ended up making it illegal… along with the Eurasian government, Zaibatsu, and even a couple free cities. They're never one to screw up a good deal, though. They spun off a subsidiary under one of the execs and now she makes it, even though it's illegal under OmniTech law."

"Anyway, nobody ever bothered to make it illegal here. They can't even get around to outlawing Eclipse, I'm sure we can still have this stuff for a while."

"Anyway… I just said that didn't I? Blame the coffee. Anyway, the formula's some crazy combination of drugs. I had my roommate take a look at it… chemistry major, you know? There's like fifteen different psychoactive substances in one of these babies."

"So, now you know why I didn't want to drink it with a bunch of caffeine. Who knows what'd happen? Anyway, be careful and watch what you take with this stuff."

No thanks

See Walk Away


See Walk Away

Buy a coffee

The coffee machine vibrates for a bit, then spits a stream of vile-looking black sludge into a cup.

Wow, that was unappetizing, but it's probably pretty caffeinated.

You found: horrible black coffee
(Lose 20 credits)

Buy a latte

You hear a strange grinding sound from within the coffee machine, followed by the gurgling of frothy white fluid being poured into a cup. It… actually doesn't look half bad.

You found: french vanilla latte
(Lose 20 credits)

Take a coffee (only if the coffee is free)

First time each day:

You jab the "coffee" button and and the coffee machine makes a horrible slurping, wheezing noise. A stream of thick, black fluid fills a cup for you.

Well… at least it's free.

You found: horrible black coffee


You jab the "coffee" button and the machine whirs to life. After grinding for a while, it presents you with a steaming cup of coffee.

A free steaming cup of coffee, it's worth pointing out.

You found: passable coffee

Grab a latte (only if the coffee is free)

You settle on the "latte" button and the machine makes strange grinding sounds for a while, followed by a stream of frothy white fluid being poured into a cup. You can smell the sickening sweetness from where you're standing.

But it's definitely free.

You found: french vanilla latte

Leave some for others

See Walk Away


Before Feb 17, 2013, Buy some code gave:

He brings up his PDA. "Fire interface… sorry, file interface, but fire would be way cooler… networking code… security patches… math subroutine. Anything sound interesting? Fifty credits and it's yours."

Or between Feb 17 and Apr 14, 2013:

He brings up his PDA. "Fire interface… sorry, file interface, but fire would be way cooler… networking code… security patches… math subroutine. And, of course, some new Novos scripts. Anything sound interesting? Fifty credits and it's yours."

Before Apr 14, 2013, he would give out free PDA husks if you made the coffee free:

He grins broadly. "Tell you what, I usually sell these, but I'm having a great god-damned day. You can just have one."

He hands you what looks like an inactive PDA. "Get an electrical kit from the bookstore, figure out how to make a few useful circuits, and you'll have a computer better than half the stuff on the market in under an hour."

You found: PDA chassis

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