Short Fuse (story)

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Disambig icon.png This article is about the personal story quest. For the Engineer trait, see Short Fuse.

Short Fuse

1325 AE
Metrica Province
(Maguuma Jungle)
Asura tango icon 20px.png Asura
Biography VAL-A Golem.png VAL-A Golem
Preceded by
Serving Up Trouble
Followed by
I Smell A Rat
Bad Business

Short Fuse is part of the personal story of asura characters. You have to obtain the modified VAL-A blueprints, however Mink and Keppa will only give them to you if you beat their golems in a fight.


Short Fuse (Level 20)

  • Talk to Archivist Grep
  • Attend the golem-fighting competition.
    • Meet Zojja at the tournament grounds.
    • Ask Keppa about the blueprints.
    • Ask Mink about the blueprints.
    • Check back with Zojja.
    • Enter the tent and begin the throwdown.
    • Golem fight!
    • Get Mink's blueprints.
    • Get Keppa's blueprints.
    • Return to your lab in Rata Sum.
    • Check all three sets of blueprints.
    • Choose your target: Mink or Keppa?


All professions


Talk with who needs to be talked to, after that you'll be transformed into a golem and will have to win three fights with other golems.

Engineers can make the fights much easier by laying turrets, as they won't be destroyed upon entering the golem and healing turrets will heal the golem.

Your golem
Five skills: Basic melee attack with no cooldown, ranged attack with cooldown, an attack that applies Vulnerability, AoE attack and heal (heals about 50%). Bear in mind that your golem is rather slow an cannot dodge.
Ally golem (only if you're doing the story with another player).
Two skills: long-cast, 0 damage AoE Weakness with no cooldown, and long-cast, medium damage Knockdown with 20 second cooldown.
Basic Mark I model, nothing special, punch him until he's dead.
BIT-08 and BYT-09
Two smaller Mark I golems, from time to time they "overcharge" and gain run and attack speed but they should pose no problems either.
This one requires a bit of movement and keeping your distance. While above 50% health he will perform cold-based attacks: First is a cold explosion centered on him that causes damage and chills (if you are in melee range when the red circle appears you won't make it out). Second is a channelled cold ray that will immobilize you and cause damage. If you keep to the left side of the golem you will only take minor damage and the enemy will be open for attacks. Below 50% he will switch to fire: flame shield (Burns you if you attack) and a rather wide AoE attack, keep your distance and don't attack when his shield is on.

After the fight is over return to your lab, check the blueprints and decide whether to go after Mink or Keppa.


The last golem's name (OVR-9000) is a reference to the internet meme "Over 9000".





Initial cutscene:

Zojja: I got the word from Grep, and I brought you a golem to fight with. It's no Mr. Sparkles, but it's equal to any you are likely to face.
Zojja: Victory is still down to you and your piloting skills. Another thing: don't think my apology means that I'm at your beck and call now.
<Savant>: Not at all. I just figured you'd want to be kept in the loop. Like you said, clearing my name keeps Snaff's out of the gutter.
Zojja: Don't get cheeky with me. I invented the biting sarcastic rejoinder, you know. Now, have you spoken to Mink and Keppa yet?
<Savant>: Well, no. I figured I'd introduce myself by beating their golems into scrap.
Zojja: Give them a chance to come clean first. Fun's fun, but this is serious business.

Talk with Zojja before talking to Mink and Keppa:

Zojja: Walk around and get a feel for the combat arena. Then check in with Mink and Keppa.
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I'll do that.

Talk with Hronk before fight:

Hronk: So, it's the Snaff Prize Savant, huh? I never thought you'd attend this kind of gearfest. It's beneath me, too, but…well…
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Hronk? Are your ears turning red?
Fine, fine! Yes, I come here a lot. These fights make for good construction trials. And…I admit, I'm kind of a fan of Kepa's[sic] work. Her work! What do you think I am?
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Relax. You're not my target.
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Sure, sure. Have fun watching the fights.

Talk with Bipolar Golemancer before the fight:

Bipolar Golemancer: Our golem may be small, but it's got a heck of a short-range projectile impact concussion!
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Our golem? You seem to have your numbers backward.
Nonsense! You will die terribly! Your golem, I mean. And by "dead," I mean golemicly speaking.
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Walking away now.

Talk with Overzealous Golemancer before the fight:

Overzealous Golemancer: You entering the tournament? My CLUB 505 will dance on your golem's broken parts!
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That's all you've got? Really? Did you fail Mega-insult Soliloquy 102 in college?

Talk with Professor Anni before the fight:

Professor Anni: Hello, Savant! I'm Professor Anni, of the College of Statics. Zojja contracted my golem for your fights. Do you like it?
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Zojja contracted your golem? Why not just let me use one of her own?
And let you bust up one of her precious "Sparkles" models? Are you crazy?
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Okay…fair. Can I ask something else?
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Tell me about the golem.
You'll control the golem via remote. It's got a standard interface: just mash the first button, and you'll be fine.
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Good to know. Can I ask something else?
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Will do. Thanks.
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It's no Mr. Sparkles, but it'll have to do.

Talk with Elli before the fight:

Elli: Hey, you're the Snaff prize Savant! Amazing work on your golem-suit-thinger. I'm hardly even bitter about it beating out my holomancy project.
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I don't remember you from the Snaff Prize contest. Who are you?
I'm Elli. I was voted out as a semi-finalist. Stupid, stuffy ol' councillors.
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Did you say your specialty was holomancy?
Absolutely! I'll be using my project to announce the tournament. The Snaff prize judges thought it was useless, but i beg to differ. Loudly!
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I look forward to seeing it in action. Good luck!
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Stuffy, indeed. I look forward to seeing your work, Elli.
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Right. You don't sound bitter at all. See ya.

Talk with Keppa before the fight:

Keppa: Why are you bothering me? Can't you see I'm busy with my, um, entourage…?
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Your entourage…?
Yes. These fine-furred fellows fervently frisk the fighting floor, finding functional fragments.
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Fascinating, Sort of like finding and fiddling with my VAL-A golem blueprints?
Yes, though I improved upon your original design greatly. So many unnecessary parts. Terrible for mass production.
Do you agree that I should, by right of original invention, see your modification?
Hand over those modified blueprints. Now.
I must look at them to see what genius improvements you've made!
How about this: I'll show you blueprints if you show me what your golem can do in a throwdown. Give those skritt some scrap to pick up!
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Okay, you asked for it. I'll show, then you'll tell.
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I'll leave you to your own…devices.

Talk with Keppa before the fight, after asking about blueprints:

Keppa: Smash them up! Pry those arms and armatures loose—I need the spare parts!
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This is going to be fun.

Talk with Mink before the fight:

Mink: You look familiar. Here to serve refreshments during the fight?
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Amusing. Speaking of servers, I heard you'd built some VAL-A golems…
Sure, I saw your blueprints, but your version was far too slow. It clearly needed more raw power, some get-up-and-go!
Would you agree that I should, by right of original invention, look over your modifications?
Hand over those modified blueprints. Now.
Fascinating. I'll bet I could learn a lot from seeing your improved plans.
A likely excuse, this VAL-A of yours. Let's just match our golemancy in the throwdown, and then we'll discuss my technique.
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I assumed you'd rather discuss this before your humiliating defeat.
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I'll be serving something up for you, all right. Don't go anywhere.

Talk with Mink before fight, after asking about blueprints:

Mink: You may have created the original VAL-A, but your scrapper is nothing compared to my OVR 9000! It's soda-cooled!
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Pfft. You don't stand a chance.

After talking to both Mink and Keppa:

Zojja: Hey, Savant. Over here.
Zojja beckons to <Savant>.

Talk with Zojja before the fight:

Zojja: It looks as if you're going to have to fight in the throwdown.
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It also looks like I's be killing two birds with one stone.
That's right. Just make sure to hit them extra hard for maximum scrappage!
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So, where do I go to enter the fight?
Registration is in the main tent. Head on inside and we'll get everything properly sorted before the fight.
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Let's do this!

The fight:

Elli: Let's see…connect the vocal transamplifier to the aetheric luminosity enhancer and…
Elli: We're ready to go! Gather 'round, everyone. It's showtime!
Elli's Hologram: Welcome to Throwdown At The Power Grid! It ain't strictly legal, but it sure is fun!
Elli's Hologram: We have a very special treat for you tonight! Please welcome this year's Snaff Savant!
Elli's Hologram: The first opponent is our crowd favorite and all-time large fella, CLUB 505!
Elli's Hologram: Ready? Fight!
Elli's Hologram: Oh, that has got to hurt! Our challenger is bringin' it to the CLUB!
Elli's Hologram: CLUB 505 is scrap! And so are those scavengers! Well, all's fair in love and golem-smashing!
Elli's Hologram: Our next contender—sorry, contenDERS—-are the twins, BIT 08 and BYT 09!
Elli's Hologram: On your mark, get set…kill!
Elli's Hologram: It's two-to-one, but the twins are in trouble! Can they mount a comeback?
Elli's Hologram: The twins are done! And our little rodent friends are in motion! Nice work, Savant.
Elli's Hologram: Our final contestant is from Mink Labs: the super-powerful, hyper-charged OVER 9000!
Elli's Hologram: Ready, steady, go, go, go!
Elli's Hologram: OVR's on the ropes! It's a full-on fountain of fearsome ferocity!
Elli's Hologram: OVR is down for the count! All hail the new champion.

Talk with Keppa after the fight:

<Savant>: All right, Keppa. Ready to share your blueprints now? Or will you needing your skritt assistants to locate your teeth?
Keppa: Easy there, killer. You landed a few lucky punches, that's all. What blueprints are you referring to? I don't recall discussing any—
Zojja: Can the act, Keppa. We came for your modified golem blueprints and we're not leaving without them.
Keppa: Oh, those blueprints. Sorry, my head's still ringing from all the blunt force trauma. I haven't got them with me, but I'll send them to you. Promise.
<Savant>: Don't promise, Keppa; do it. To the victor goes the spoils. And if we have to spoil your face to get them, so be it.
Zojja: That's one set of blueprints. One more to go.

Talk with Mink after the fight

Mink: What an unmitigated disaster. I was ready for the usual crowd of flops and duds that frequent these throwdowns, not a Snaff Savant's murder machine.
<Savant>: That's what you get when you step into the ring against one of Snaff's intellectual progeny. Now, about those blueprints…
Mink: I can't discuss that now. I'm too distraught. Look what you did to my beautiful golem!
Zojja: Yeah, it's a real mess. If you don't want to wind up in worse shape, fork over your modified blueprints. Don't make me sic Mr. Sparkles on you.
Mink: All right, all right. A genius can't even mourn properly around you lot. I don't have the blueprints here, but I'll send them to you straight away.
<Savant>: See that you do. You fought a good fight, Mink, but innovation beats imitation every time.
Zojja: Okay, I'll check with Councillor Haia about her blueprints and meet you back at your lab.

Back in the lab:

Councillor Haia: Hello, dear. I'm so glad I ran into you. I understand you were inquiring after your VAL-A golem blueprints. I must say, I found them most elucidating.
Councillor Haia: Please have a look at the modifications I made. I'm no Snaff Prize Savant, but we can all benefit from a little constructive criticism, yes?
<Savant>: Of course. Thank you, Councillor. It's an honor to have your input.
Councillor Haia: The honor was all mine. Oh, I also baked you some cookies. I'll have them sent 'round to your lab right away.
<Savant>: I hardly know what to say, Councillor. Thank you very much.
Councillor Haia: You're quite welcome, dear. Please, don't let me keep you from your work. Take care now.
Zojja: Have a look. I've assembled the blueprints side-by-side so you can examine them.

Talking to Zojja without looking at all blueprints:

Zojja:Well? Blueprints! Take a look at them!
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On it!

Interacting with Keppa's Blueprints:

A blueprint of your VAL-A golem, modified by Keppa, is on the table. Activate the holoprojector for a closer look.
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Activate the holoprojector.
Keppa's blueprints annotate several key components with "unnecessary" or "swap for cheaper substitute."
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Interesting. Could a lack of key parts cause the golems to go haywire?
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Interacting with Mink's Blueprints:

A blueprint of your VAL-A golem, modified by Mink, is on the table. Activate the holoprojector for a closer look.
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Activate the holoprojector.
Mink's blueprints depict a larger version of the VAL-A, with far more power cells than necessary for a service golem.
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Why so many power cells? Could that have caused the malfunctions?
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Interacting with Councillor Haia's Blueprints:

A blueprint of your VAL-A golem, modified by Councillor Haia, is on the table. Activate the holoprojector for a closer look.
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Activate the holoprojector.
Haia's blueprints look nearly identical to your own. There aren't any noticeable changes at this magnification.
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Zoom in.
At a higher magnification, it can be determined that something has changed in the core;ndash&the golem's power source.
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The core has been swapped out for what appears to be a new, more efficient power source of the same size and weight.
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Seems like a clever improvement on the original spec.
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Making decisions:

Zojja: I've only caught a brief glimpse over your shoulder. What have you deduced regarding the VAL-A modifications?
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Keppa and Mink's revisions were troubling. Councillor Haia actually improved on my design.
I see. That narrows our suspects to two the, then.
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Who should we go after?
It's your choice. Do you think the fatal malfunction resulted from Keppa's use of subpar parts or Mink's overcharging?
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It had to be Keppa's modifications.
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Mink made my golem into a hazard.
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I need a little longer with their blueprints.
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I need a little longer to analyze their changes.

After choosing to go after Keppa:

<Savant>: It's got to be Keppa. She removed several key parts in the name of mass production, and added pounds of second-hand, reclaimed junk.
<Savant>: Junk collected by skritt, no less. She has an entire team doing salvage for her . No wonder her VAL-A golem malfunctioned.
Zojja: I concur. Inadequate part substitution is a common factor in experimental golem failures. How do you plan to find her and shut her down?
<Savant>: If we follow the skritt, we'll find Keppa. We just need to start in a place that's crawling with them. Next stop: [Skrittsburgh]]!

After choosing to go after Mink:

<Savant>: It's got to be Mink. He crammed so many energy cells into my design, it's no wonder the Val-A golem overloaded and went haywire.
Zojja: I concur. All that power had to go somewhere, and the Val-A's duties weren't terribly strenuous. The surfeit of undirected energy must have caused it to snap.
<Savant>: So, how do we find Mink and shut him down?
Zojja: I did some checking. He trades over by the Seraph Protectors camp, and he deals with some pretty shady characters. Let's start there.

My Story[edit]

Short Fuse (story).jpg

My blueprints had been checked out three times from the Rata Sum archives, by three separate people: Mink, Keppa, and Councillor Haia. The archivist mentioned that Mink and Keppa hang out at the golem fights.

Zojja and I went to the golem fights. Keppa was scavenging golem parts after each fight. Mink boasted about his powerful golem. I fought, blasted up some golem, and retrieved those modified blueprints.

My analysis of the blueprints produced interesting results: Mink overpowered his golems with power stones; Keppa swapped components with salvaged parts; and Councillor Haia only changed the core…which couldn't have caused such a dramatic reaction. That narrows it down to Mink or Keppa.

My story