- Being 1
- Control 1
- Deliverance 1
- Detection 3
- Energy 1
- Medicine 1
- Arcane 1
- Biology 2
- Chemistry 1
- CompTech 2
- Detection 5
- Elemental 1
- Insight 1
- Stealth 3
- Computer Tech 1
- Control 1
- Defeat Security 1
- Detection 2
- Energy 1
- Structural Tech 1
Kassil: ‘kay. Ananda, care to recap?
Ananda: Last session, we moved north (assuming the map lines up) towards MR-068. Along the way the Site instantiated some choice chemicals for us, and Em & Ananda started having what appear to be personalized hallucinations. MR-068, as fitting for a red zone, seems to be mostly harmless. We’ve inspected the glass(?) cubicles, but decided not to open any of them.
Em: The dauntless party still sombre from its run in with “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream” decides to experiment with being daunted for a while.
Em: I was suggesting we go hunt down the server for the possible shadow network, over in SN67
Ananda: We know where it is, on this level. Let’s finish off the current branch (two more rooms) first.
Kassil: So, then…?
Em: See what else is in this branch and see if anything provokes us back into dauntless mode >_>
Alasdair: ( SM-88-F, I believe is next on the list. )
Ananda starts along the hallway towards SM-88-F (yellow).
Kassil: Ananda moves past the cubicles which contain the pevuliar fog-smoke-like material, and the metallic webbing on her way to the door. Aside from wincing when the smoke crackles with electricity along one side, nothing happens to molest her.
Ananda: (Have we stopped seeing blast doors in the hallways?)
Kassil: Nope. They’re still there, just so ubiquitous that you’re getting used to them.
Alasdair follows at a reasonable distance.
Em follows in her familiar, paranoid wont, paying particular attention to ceilings in case Dark Garfield is real and just selectively droping his ninja stuff.
Kassil: All right, then. You all move along, letting Ananda be the potential bait for any ambush.
Em: (She’d be mad if we deprived her of her adrenaline?)
Ananda: (Yes, yes she would.)
Em: (Unlike Dante, she’s doing this from high self esteem at least :) )
Kassil: The hallway, once you get into it, would look rather worrying if you hadn’t already seen far stranger things in the Site. Both walls and the floor have regular series of deep grooves torn into them, as if something with large claws and a great deal of weight had dragged itself along the passage toward the room you just left.
Kassil: Even the holding frames for the blast doors have been mangled, although none of them seem to have been triggered.
Ananda pauses to give the damage a cursory inspection for traces of anything biological.
Ananda passes on without collecting a sample.
Kassil: The passage itself is nice, straight, and well-illuminated by the roof-mounted lighting strips; it continues a few hundred meter before terminating at another vault-like doorway, this one having apparently been torn off its hinges and then very neatly set to one side. Beyond the entryway, you can all see a modest-sized laboratory, with one wall dominated by what appear to be plexiglass containers.
Em does her best to measure claw marks and any irregularities (or lack of) in them to try and figure out any incongruous details about this massive physical impact.
Kassil: Some are still clearly intact, but others appear to have been smashed into ruins.
Ananda stops at the doorway and looks at the containers. Any pattern to the smashed ones?
Alasdair looks for a smashed container likely large enough to hold the claw-mark-making creature.
Em looks for any signs of oil leaks, incongruous bolts/artifical bits
Kassil: The containers are smashed in a fashion that suggests something large slammed into them. Most of the containers are only large enough to hold, at best, a cubic foot or two.
Alasdair checks the ceiling for anything “unusual”.
Kassil: Alasdair does find something “promising” in the form of a conspicuous gap in the middle of the testing machinery to one side of the room, however, where something seems to have wrenched free.
Alasdair trots over to inspect the suspicious lack of something.
Em smiles slightly and follows Alasdair, wondering if he’s thinking what she’s thinking
Ananda sidles into the room, clearing the doorway in a manner that’s pure habit by now, and gives the lab a more general inspection.
Alasdair looks over his shoulder at Ananda. “I think this was an x-ray spectroscopy machine.”
Ananda looks up from one of the intact containers. “Was, hn? Any sign of the missing chunk?”
Alasdair: “Not that I can see, but who’s to say it didn’t just claw its way out of the room?”
Ananda shrugs and takes inventory of the plexiglass containers, while she’s here.
Em goes back and checks the gouge marks for signs of radioactivity
Kassil: Ananda assembles a list of about fifty peculiar-looking materials, ranging from a translucent green liquid that keeps quivering slightly, through a container almost entirely full of what appears to be white sand, to a container roughly half a cubic meter in volume that apprently got filled with tapioca, if the look of it is any indication.
Kassil: Additionally, the room has a fair bit of fairly mundane lab equipment, and a desk with an installed computer terminal.
Ananda gives the computer a try. Not worth taking samples unless we know what the previous owners thought was unusual about them.
Kassil: Ananda finds that the computer’s owner was, apparently, playing a game of Solitaire.
Kassil: He or she was also apparently /horrible/ at it.
Em: …pcomms "Guys, there’s elevated radioactivity in the path from the machine to the door and along the wall. The decay curve fits nicely with a time range of 120-150 years ago, too. Something either abducted the machine, or it did literally turn into something that can walk away.
Ananda checks her P-Comm when it chirps.
Ananda texts back, [Interesting. Can you check out the lab computer when you’re done out there?]
Alasdair replies, “Let’s hope they didn’t drag it off to a quiet corner to have their way with it.”
Em shakes her head at reality, and goes to investigate the terminal and see if its hooked up to what networks if any (after being very cautious of security of course)
Em: (….Mechaman needed loving in a bad way… >_> )
Kassil: Em manages to get the Solitaire game out of the way and discovers that the computer’s database on the room has been corrupted, aside from a few sequences. It’s fairly similar to the corruption in the last room, matching up with a system repeatedly crashing due to serious errors in the system clock until there’s most gibberish left. She does unearth that the quivering green liquid is apparently ‘self-regenerating soap’, the sand is apparently ‘retrieved from an area of black loam, matched with sand from the shore of Hawaii’, and the tapioca is tapioca.
Em blinks and is relieved the tapioca aren’t the eggs of whatever mated with the spectroscopy machine
Kassil: There’s also a fragment suggesting that one of the containers does or did contain a ‘stable non-radioactive uranium isotope’.
Em blinks at that last “Ah, Ananda, that’s not possible is it?” she signs after pointing it out to her
Ananda is tinkering with her P-Comm, with a faint, wry smile. She looks up, “Huh?”
Em: (well, if I can build a nuclear reactor, I might need to know a lot about the transuranium elements….)
Em points out the data fragments on the contents of the containers starting with the absent non radioactive uranium
Kassil: You’re not sure if it’s absent or not. The alphanumeric sequence for the container it was in is missing.
Ananda scratches her head, “Huh.”
Alasdair rubs at his nose and frowns.
Em checks for signs of a second conspicuous absence/something being dragged (or suddenly wrenched off the floor)
Kassil: Em: You mean aside from the various smashed containers?
Kassil: Ananda, you’re pretty sure you’ve never heard of uranium that wasn’t radioactive.
Em: Yes, in case one should be/could be there but isn’t
Em: (We’re going to find the proof for doing the Travelling Salesman problem in linear processing time in here, I can smell it…)
Em: (san cost 1d100)
Kassil: Some of them have been smashed and ground into the wall with enough force you can’t even tell if it was one container or multiple containers that got crunched together.
Ananda: “Uhm. To the best of my knowledge, nobody’s ever found a stable uranium isotope.”
Ananda shrugs one shoulder, “I think it’d be news if someone did find one.”
Alasdair sniffs around, looking for something.
Ananda notices Alasdair and sniffs the air.
Ananda: “Anyone else smell mustard?”
Kassil: Em, you do, also, once it’s mentioned.
Alasdair uses his foot to dig a lunchbox out from behind a machine.
Ananda: “Smells awfully strong for a hundred-fifty year old lunch.”
Alasdair: “Probably used too much Eternal Mustard on his Endless Hotdog.”
Kassil: Anyone going to open it?
Em will open it with telekinesis and respirator on….
Alasdair kick-slides it toward Em.
Ananda pokes around in the shattered containers for any sign of uranium-containing minerals.
Em sets it down in the corridor and gathers her energies
Alasdair: “Perhaps there’s more stable trans-uric stuff?”
Kassil: The range is however far you want, up to about 400 meters if you open it in the room with the plexiglass cubicles.
Kassil: No, just an amount of weight for the force you’re exerting.
Ananda replies absently, “I think I’ve heard that theory.. ‘islands of stability’ or whatever the phrase was. Can’t say I’ve kept track of news about it.”
Kassil: Ananda, after about twenty minutes, finds a small container perhaps half a cubic foot in volume that has a cylindrical piece of metal sitting in it that looks somewhat like what she recalls chemically pure uranium is supposed to look like.
Kassil: It’s about the size of her fist.
Ananda: (Material of the container?)
Alasdair: ( Brick. Clear brick. )
Alasdair: ( The Emperor’s new brick, in fact. It’s beautiful. )
Kassil: The container appears to be made of the same plexiglass-like material as the other cases.
Em gives it a go then.
Kassil: Em more-or-less rips the lid of the lunchbox off, forever ruining a sticker of a rather cool-looking robot, to expose a sandwich wrapped in wax paper. At a distance, it’s hard to tell what exactly it is, but the smell of mustard quickly gets even stronger.
Ananda wrinkles her nose. Takes her pack off to rest her shoulders and digs around for her SMM.
Kassil: Not hard to find.
Em feels no remorse. She Did What She had To Do.
Kassil: Going to go check it out, Em?
Ananda checks out the box of probable-uranium with her X-ray spec.
Em waits for Ananda to finish reacting before hazarding getting much closer
Kassil: Ananda gets absolutely no response from her portable spectrometer.
Kassil: She might as well be pointing it into empty space.
Ananda taps the device on the tabletop and tries again.
Kassil: The device still fails to report on the presence of a block of material. The container, on the other hand, is apparently 80% silicon and a roughyl equal mix of carbon and aluminum for the rest, with trace elements.
Ananda checks for radiation.
Kassil: Less than you’d expect, really.
Alasdair: ( It’s anti-radioactive. )
Em uses the scope on her rifle to try and look inside, perching on a table or somethign to get Line of sight, levitating herself if she can’t
Kassil: Em sees what appears to be a ham and swiss on rye with an absolutely ridiculous amount of yellow mustard slathered on both slices of bread. Also a withered pickle slice and a can of cola that hasn’t been made for a century and a half.
Alasdair checks his P-Comm.
Ananda shrugs and packs everything away again. Someone else can figure this one out.
Em: …tries picking it up telekinetically, to see if it explodes or something
Kassil: The sandwich, contained in the wax paper, is picked up. It fails to respond in any way to the indignity.
Alasdair puts his P-Comm away and wipes his hands on his pants.
Em: Approaches and transfers it to a sample container
Kassil: Aside from a positively nauseating level of mustard aroma, nothing untoward happens to Em as she bags and tags the sandwich.
Em: (gives thanks for her respirator)
Ananda fills a sample container with the ‘self-regenerating soap’, while she’s collecting things. She’s careful not to touch it directly.
Kassil: The soap quickly refills the original container and the sample container to a depth of 3/4 of an inch.
Kassil: the sample container has a very slight vibration going through it, once the sample has ‘filled in’.
Em: (wonders if the sample we took has the same property)
Ananda frowns at the vial thoughtfully, but packs it away. She readjusts her shoulder-straps and looks over to the others, “Done here?”
Em: nods, calming down after the near brush with death from the ancient lunch >_>
Kassil: It just wanted to be eaten.
Em: (It wanted my soul, I’m sure >_>)
Ananda: (‘Take a single crumb of bread. Satisfying, but it will incur a terrible debt.’)
Kassil: All right, what now?
Ananda heads back to MR-068.
Em follows as well, trying to dispell visions of mutated machinery
Kassil: As you enter MR-068, you’re greeted by a row of human-looking skulls, neatly lined up to face the door you’re entering through.
Alasdair jumps behind Em.
Ananda pauses, head tilted to one side.
Em blinks but takes a posture to provide maximum cover for Alasdair
Em: (what the mage wants, the mage gets >_>)
Ananda: (Are they across the doorway s.t. we’ll have to step over them?)
Kassil: No, you can walk into the room and turn to avoid them.
Kassil: You count a dozen of them.
Ananda does so.
Em has a sinking feeling
Em: Alasdair, could you compare my memory of these skulls to the skulls I’ve seen in a couple other instances since coming to the site?
Kassil: The skulls fail to react as Ananda walks around them.
Alasdair gives the skulls a wide berth as he quickly follows Ananda. “I’m… sure it’s nothing.”
Ananda leans against the wall and does not say uncomfortable things about the mutability of wetware memory. “Take a photo and we’ll talk later. I took one of you and them, last time.”
Kassil: The skulls also fail to react to Alasdair as he scurries around them.
Em settles for that and procedes to get beyond the skulls
Ananda continues on when Em is finished.
Ananda moves towards EAR-992 (green), watchful and quiet as ever.
Ananda gives the cloud-cubicle as much space as possible, along the way.
Kassil: The skulls swivel to follow Em as she goes around them.
Alasdair freaks out and smashes the skulls into the ceiling with excessive force.
Em: (Player laughs, thank you for amusing her so robustly, even though it is sad, how tormented Alasdair is. her thoughts “think you can push me around, you stinking calcium with attitude? try 10000 lbs of irritation on for size”!)
Kassil: The skull smash into splinters and powder against the roof.
Em: (Em of course is severely worried but says nothing and is better off ignorant of the Wheel of Time series description of male magic users going mad)
Ananda pauses and looks over her shoulder at the absence of footsteps, and winces at the sound of crushing bone.
Alasdair looks around and quietly clears his throat before shuffling toward the next room.
Ananda raises an eyebrow at Alasdair.
Alasdair gives Ananda a brief, cheerful grin that doesn’t reach his eyes.
Ananda inclines her head with an ‘I don’t buy that’ expression, but lets it pass.
Kassil: There’s the soft cracking and clattering of bits of smashed skull and ceramacrete falling to the ground, but otherwise nothing untoward results from Alasdair’s freakout.
Ananda: (Moving along, letting previous rolls stand.)
Kassil: The path to the next and final room of this branch is much like the last, although without any massive gouges in the walls and floor.
Kassil: The lighting has a few spots where the bulbs are flickering intermittently, but otherwise the illumination is nice and steady. The blast doors are retracted, and the vault door opens onto a slab of ceramacrete about three centimeters in from the door.
Em: (the map ends HERE)
Ananda presses her face against the slab and has a look into the gap.
Em: (An obstacle. time to blast our way through >_>)
Kassil: The gap ends as the room’s entryway merges with what was apparently the wall.
Em: (my daunts are going away again)
Kassil: (Really, by now the /other/ AO group would have declared this place a lost cause and gone looking for a proper nuclear weapon to collapse the entryway with. :D )
Ananda: (It takes a special kind of person to be a scientist in AO.)
Em: (it takes an even more special one to be a borderline paranoid and come tromping around here. emotional lability, ho!)
Ananda knocks on the slab, “This isn’t the first we’ve encountered that’s only accessible to those who can become etherial.”
Kassil: (What, still only borderline? I’ll have to try harder.)
Ananda: (As I said, special.)
Em: Shall we try that then…?
Alasdair Etherializes everyone.
Ananda nods thanks and walks through the slab.
Alasdair follows quickly.
Kassil: Ananda feels like she’s walking in glue, as does Alasdair as he follows.
Kassil: The ceramacrete, on further consideration, seems to be less a slab and more a room-filling mass.
Em follows behind and blinks at this fact
Kassil: Em also finds it kind of like wading in glue.
Ananda: (Can we distinguish any kind of a seam at the edge of the room?)
Kassil: After a fashion. The material feels less like glue.
Em backs out to the hallway and checks how the substance responds to wielding
Kassil: Em finds it quite a relief to be out of the ceramacrete room-filler.
Alasdair cautiously inches toward the center of the room, feeling for a difference in density or stickiness.
Ananda takes a moment to arrange for us to not suffocate inside the ceramicrete block.
Kassil: Improved range! It does more or less what you want.
Kassil: Em, there’s a faint scent of burnt rock in the air.
Ananda tries to remember that unintentional trick for next time.
Em breathes deeply and focuses a plasma arc upon just a few cubic inches of the substance to see if she can vaporize it at all or not. She lays her fingers on the substance by the door with trepidation and has at it.
Kassil: Ooh. Duration up.
Kassil: …How much endurance do you have, Em?
Em: ruh oh
Kassil: I’m pretty sure that, during her botched Wielding, em blacks out from lack of endurance.
Kassil: Fortunately, this will interrupt the effect. Roll your damage so we can see what results from your material-blasting.
Kassil: You black out when you run out of Endurance, and in the meantime you’re locked up.
Kassil: (And this is why DoT damage often is a bad Idea.)
Kassil: All right, Em manages to bore out roughly a half-meter hemisphere of ceramacrete with a bubble of plasma before her reserves run out, her eyes roll up in her head, and she falls over.
Kassil: Meanwhile, the two of you are rather heavily insulated from the situation by a combination of ethereal nature and sheer mass of intervening material.
Em: (note to self: up endurance stat, learn the endurance replenishment trick)
Alasdair texts Ananda, “Found a desk. Dead computer, book, bottle. No effect origin.”
Ananda pokes her head into the hallway to check her P-Comm.
Kassil: Alasdair pokes his own head out just as Ananda pokes hers out.
Alasdair checks to see if Em’s still alive.
Kassil: Alasdair is the first to notice that Em has fallen over, passed out, and hurries to examine her. He quickly determines that she’s still breathing and has a pulse.
Ananda looks at Em in puzzlement.
Alasdair checks Em and her surroundings for signs of violence or trauma.
Kassil: Em has a bit of a bruise on her head where she fell, but she seems otherwise fine. There’s a nice big hole burned into the ceramacrete plug at shoulder height to her, though.
Ananda leaves that in Alasdair’s hands and looks at the wall, still half-inside it.
Kassil: The hole is a bit warm, but not dangerously so.
Kassil: She’s passed out from exhaustion, apparently.
Alasdair revives Em and boosts everyone else’s Endurance while he’s at it.
Alasdair: 99 Endurance restored.
Kassil: Em, you come to feeling refreshed.
Kassil: First thing you see is Alasdair glowing blue.
Ananda looks over her shoulder. Nods once.
Ananda handwaves, going for a bit more range than vision.
Alasdair: ( Everybody must get stoned! )
Kassil helpfully doses Alasdair with Trixie.
Kassil: And Ananda is trying to scry… What, exactly?
Ananda: The contours of everything in a 50m radius that isn’t rock.
Em: Thank you very much Alasdair. I was overconfident, alas
Alasdair: “We all overreach at times.”
Ananda: (And differentiation between kinds of stone, if I have that much sensitivity.)
Kassil: You find that the room inside was another room full of desks and computer equipment, all sealed in a kind of ceramacrete that apparently came foaming out of sealed containment tanks.
Ananda: (Any remains?)
Alasdair: ( That’s a serious fire suppression system. )
Kassil: And anything that wasn’t functionally sealed is filled with the ‘foamed rock’.
Kassil: Any computers are likely trashed beyond recognition, among other things, and a few desks have been partially crushed.
Ananda: “Office-looking kind of place, sealed in – well, not amber. But preserved close enough.”
Ananda shrugs, “I didn’t see anything worth retrieving.”
Alasdair: “Not much left, most likely.”
Em: This faculty’s designers spared little expense to leave the impression no expense was spared on covering all contingencies
Kassil: (Given what you’ve seen trying to escape, do you blame them?)
Em: (I admit for this level of o_o , go big or go home o_o)
Ananda: “Where to next?”
Em: SN67 perhaps?
Alasdair: “SOS-334-Orange is on the way.”
Ananda: “Let’s go, then.”
Kassil: On your way back through MR-068, the damage Alasdair did to the roof is absent, although the pulverized skulls remain littering the floor.
Ananda makes note.
Em waves to the poltergeist
Kassil: Nothing else of note occurs until you reach the elevator shaft, where you find a nice ring of skulls – some human-looking, some reptilian – sitting around the open shaft, all facing out.
Ananda inspects the reptile skulls, but finally deems them uninteresting.
Alasdair pointedly ignores the skulls.
Em follows quietly
Ananda suppresses the impulse to mimic bird-calls and see if anything responds.
Kassil: Walking past them?
Ananda heads to the south hallway and waits for the others.
Em walks past, if cautiously
Alasdair walks past them, not looking in their direction.
Kassil: As Alasdair goes by at his closest approach, the skulls individually tip backwards into the shaft, starting with the reptile skull closest to him and continuing like a ring of falling dominos into the depths.
Ananda watches this with interest.
Alasdair willfully refuses to notice.
Em smirks, shakes her head and continues, muttering “though I left five year old pranks behind when I left the Family”
Ananda smiles and whispers, “If nothing else, there’s a set of old bones walking around here with its own sense of humor.”
Kassil: Beyond that, your entry to the next branch is unimpeded.
Ananda approaches SOS-334 (orange) with the caution that’s becoming second nature.
Kassil: The entry into SOS-334 is another vault door, this time closed.
Em: Any sign of a keypad or other thingie?
Kassil: There’s a security booth.
Em investigates, is the booth locked?
Ananda , still being etherial, simply walks through.
Kassil: It is not. Em’s pretty sure she can get it to power up if she wants; Ananda’s simply passing through the door, though.
From Kassil: It itches like mad.
Alasdair follows Ananda through the door.
To Kassil: Ananda grits her teeth and hurries through.
Em lets them have a look in case something bad is on the other side
Kassil: The room on the other side is arranged like a modestly-sized warehouse, with large rows of shelves and crates stacked on them. The crates are mainly made of metal, and most of them are chained down to the shelving.
Ananda looks about for labels, shipping manifests, or suchlike.
Kassil: Each one has a small keypad and display attached.
Kassil: The majority seem to be in some kind of power-saving mode, since they’re dark.
Ananda finds the nearest lit one and telekinetically manipulates the keypad to see what’s inside.
Alasdair lightly taps a couple crates to see if they’re ethereally solid.
Kassil: Ananda manages to avoid accidentally unlocking the crate, instead calling up a display. ‘Anomalous Item #6099 – Gladius made from a single flawless diamond – exhibits tensile properties well out of bounds for diamond – seems to inspire a need to fight all living creatures in vicinity’
Kassil: Em, they haven’t come back yet.
Kassil: Some of the crates are resistant to alasdair’s touch, but the majority permit his hands through.
Ananda sends a text message to Em: [Find anything interesting?]
Em: pcomms back “was waiting for reports if there was anything bad locked behidn there before trying to get the door open. I think I can do it”
Em: pcomms “I can’t hack as effectively while ethereal, is it safe to open the door?”
Ananda responds, [Just a warehouse in here.]
Ananda: (Rough guesstimate of the number of crates in here?)
Em: okay. what do I check to power the booth on safely?
Em: being cautious as always
Kassil: You push the power button, with some effort needed to get it to click in your ghostly state.
Kassil: Ananda, you guesstimate at least 1500 crates.
Ananda wanders around, looking for any crates that are particularly large or well-secured.
Ananda: (Or otherwise noteworthy.)
Kassil: They’re all particularly well-secured, being held down by heavy chains and padlocks sturdy enough to hold back an angry bull charger.
Kassil: They’re also all roughly the same size. Only about one in twenty are lit.
Em: (do I need to use wielding to operate the controls or can I make them work while ethereal? am I correct in remembering that it’s very hard to do computer tech stuff while ethereal?)
Ananda: (Is any kind of filing system evident?)
Alasdair glances over a few lit ones for anything more shocking than usual.
Kassil: Generally, yes, but what springs up is a fairly simple touch screen interface; you find that you have enough material to interact with it even in your ghostly state.
Em: (nods) so is this the “inside” side of the security door basically?
Em: or do I need to defeat some security measures to get it open?
Kassil: Ananda – the room seems to run from Item #6000 to item #7500, arranged in rows on each shelf, sequentially.
Kassil: Em – A security check would let you figure out how to coax it into cooperating, yes.
Ananda: How very useful.
Alasdair waves to get Ananda’s attention and points at the crate he’s standing in front of.
Ananda heads over to take a look.
Alasdair: “This looks ominous. ‘Item #6666 – Anomalous Item – Antimatter Mass – Warning: Do not permit to lose power – Contains approximately one kilogram of anti-iron – Warning: radiation hazard’”
Alasdair: “If we wanted to obliterate the Site…”
Kassil: (Well, it might be a start.)
Ananda: “In a place with this many self-destruct systems already rigged, why hasn’t it been built into one?”
Ananda looks around for the power source, to make sure it’s in good shape.
Kassil: There’s a cable tethered into a port on the crate’s back side.
Em: Fiddles with security hopefully but carefully trying not to let her ethereal state rush her Defeat Security
Ananda: “Good enough, if it’s kept this long.”
Ananda selects a few more powered-on crates at random and has a look at the contents.
Alasdair makes a note of the location of Doomsday Item #27. Just in case.
Ananda: (Order of 1500 crates, 1 in 20 powered on, = 75 to choose from. Not going to stick around to catalogue them all.)
Ananda looks at a crate in bemusement, muttering “Nine-faced regular polyhedron…”
Ananda shakes her head and moves on.
Alasdair: “At least it’s not -1-faced. I’d expect a crate full of a couple hundred in here somewhere.”
Kassil: (Correction: Nine-sided polygons, forming a regular-AKA-supposedly-Platonic solid.)
Kassil: (Either way, it’s a “This thing giggles psychotically at the laws of geometry and urinates on the grave of Pythagoras.”)
Ananda: (Yes, very much so.)
Ananda: “Find anything else worthwhile?”
Alasdair: “Er, no. Not worthwhile, exactly. Hideously illuminating, though.”
Ananda: “How so?”
Alasdair just gestures at the “special” crate.
Ananda tags the crate she’s been looking into with a bit of orange tape and goes to look.
Kassil: It’s labeled “Agent Johnson’s DVD Collection.”
Ananda looks puzzled and steps inside to scan the titles.
Kassil: It’s apparently a rather sizable collection of live-action tentacle porn.
Ananda walks out the other side, more perplexed than when she went in. “Okay then.”
Kassil: So, satisfied your cravings of exploration, or…?
Ananda heads back to the tagged crate and finds out whether she can open it.
Kassil: You manage to get into a very attractively designed and completely useless help menu.
Alasdair: “Why, uh, what…”
Alasdair peeks over Ananda’s shoulder.
Ananda: “This one claims to be a set of I Ching coins that have a nasty habit of being accurate about catastrophes.”
Kassil: The ID is “Catastrophe I-Ching.”
Ananda steps back from the controls, “Care to give it a try?”
Alasdair: “I’m not sure we want to let that loose into the world. It’s probably so accurate becaues it CAUSES the catastrophes.”
Ananda barks a laugh. There’s wicked amusement in her expression when she replies, “Its current read is awfully interesting, if that’s the case.”
Alasdair: “I’ve never been good at those things. What’s it claiming?”
Ananda: “Ambiguously, either or both of ‘the birth of a deity’ and ‘the end of time’.”
Alasdair: “Well, we’ve seen or nearly seen the end of time, in a way. The ORACLE mishap/overload that shunted us here.”
Ananda taps her insubstantial fingers against the crate. “They were scattered when I went in. If nobody threw them, I don’t know what the scope is supposed to be.”
Alasdair: “Perhaps it was forecasting it’s own imprisonment?”
Ananda: “Or the end of the Foundation, since Em’s found all those clock-related errors from around then.”
Alasdair: “Excellent point. I opt to believe it’s that.”
Alasdair nods sagely.
Kassil: (Mainly because he doesn’t want to think about what it might mean otherwise?)
Ananda chuckles. “I’m not convinced it’s worth actual concern.”
Kassil: All right then. 170 CDP.