Site 17

Session 22 - July 30-31, 2260

It's Full Of Stars!

Alasdair

  • Being 2
  • Clarity 1
  • Control 1
  • Detection 1

Ananda

  • Arcana 1
  • Being 2
  • Detection 1
  • Insight 1

Em

  • Detection 1

CDP: 165
Total: 4095

Kassil: So, last session, Alasdair had a close encounter with an incredibly vast realm of fire, you found an odorless rotting corpse, you managed to figure out how to carry an egg that’s only there if you’re indirectly watching it, and you collected some apparently radioactive crystal from a crystal tree.
Kassil: The general idea was to head back to Saint Mary with your odd items, including Em’s Bacon Ray and Porkrind Ray, neither of which she has yet tested, as well as picture IDs for people who look like Ananda and Em.
Kassil: Heading straight back for the entrance?
Em: I think?
Ananda: Making a brief detour to have a look at the rat corpse I left last time.
Kassil: The corpse appears to be untouched, if a bit decayed.
Ananda: Hmm’kay.
Ananda departs, if nobody else has reason to stay.
Em: (has no reason to stay, and reason to leave, needing a little time to get over the willies)
Em: (before coming back for a fresh set)
Alasdair could use some rest in a less creepy environment.
Kassil: All right, then. On your way out, you pass by the stairway lined with skulls; this time, they don’t turn to look after you pass by, continuing to stare into the Site.
Em: (hopes that’s not because somethign we cannot discern is following us)
Kassil: The surface camp is a great deal calmer than when you went in; the central fire where the struggling plants were burned has guttered out, and it seems that none of the plants are currently trying to struggle inside the camp, for whatever reason.
Ananda: (What time of day is it?)
Em gives thanks for the blessings of plants without attitude)
Kassil: Your P-comms appear to be about an hour and a half slow, before they chirp and announce that they’ve re-synched with the local Swarm Hop; it’s early evening, with the stars just start to glimmer in the sky.
Ananda checks whether any of the team of nephilim have returned.
Kassil: The nephilim team hasn’t been seen since you went in, but that’s not all that surprising – you’re the team that goes in the most out of those assigned to look around the Site.
Ananda: How long have they been in there?
Kassil: They’re not in there right now – they left a few days before you got here.
Kassil: Then the plants attacked about a day later.
Ananda: Ahh’kay. How long did they stay, and did they leave at full strength?
Kassil: They spent about sixteen hours, and as far as anyone you ask knows, they weren’t missing anyone.
Ananda: Hmm.
Ananda: Back to Saint Mary, unless anyone objects?
Kassil: Going to push through the night, then?
Em: No (makes note to get portable atomic clock if one is possible for next time, to find out when the time discrepancy happens, unless the very fabric of reality gets distorted seamlessly)
Em: (is all for it. She doesn’t want the egg hatching on her…)
Ananda: Yes.
Alasdair: Pushing on, yes.
Em: (or to succumb to the Pork Side and test the bacon rind ray on a tree or something)
Alasdair: After the plant incident and the fire incident, Alasdair isn’t keen on waiting to see what else is going to happen out here.
Kassil: All right, then. auditory detection checks, as you head back to the settlement.
Kassil: Partway along the road back to Saint Mary, Ananda leads you all on a side path that leads extremely close to the river, avoiding a dense cluster of forest that looks and sounds perfectly normal to the rest of you.
Alasdair is still a bit dazed.
Kassil: It’s close to dawn when you drag yourselves into Saint Mary, dusty and exhausted from all the time without sleep and, in Alasdair’s case, psychological trauma.
Ananda looks over her shoulder with some regret, as she leaves the stand of trees behind, unexamined.
Kassil: No one takes much notice of your return.
Em: (reists the urge to switch to Cliche “Fools! We’ll show them the consequences of overlooking our brilliance!”)
Ananda: Shall we turn over the corpse immediately? (I’d like to keep the egg for a day or so, and will be keeping the ID in hopes that it’ll save us some lockpicking later.)
Ananda: The bacon & pork rind rays are at Em’s discretion.
Kassil: The corpse does gather some attention, chiefly due to the lack of odor.
Ananda: Also, those files on the Elim skeletons that we copied.
Em: I’d say best to hand those over too, in case they’re more than illusion inducing devices
Em: something profound is going on and best full time researchers get at it first
Em: since my speciality isn’t theoretical/applied physics and I’m not an archmagus yet
Kassil: Oddly, one of the lab techs looks a great deal like the body, less the degredation of the body.
Alasdair: Might be a good idea to store the egg somewhere stable to prevent accidental dropping.
Kassil: Em does gather a few weird looks, carrying the egg the way she is.
Ananda distributes 3000T to everyone.
Kassil: All right.
Kassil: Ananda, Em, the two of you can arrange a reasonably secure storage locker in one of your rooms to hold the egg, if you like.
Kassil: What are each of you doing, right away?
Ananda: Immediately? Eating something that didn’t come out of a tube.
Em asks Ananda if she thinks we ought to give the egg a second examination once we’ve done some research and training or just hand it straight to the researchers?
Ananda: “Hang onto it for a day or so. I’ve some questions to answer first.”
Em nods and does her best to set up some extra security on it.
Kassil: Right. So Em is tinkering with the lock and hoping she doesn’t break it.
Kassil: Ananda? Alasdair?
Kassil: You’re all tired, are you going to try to stay awake and train/study/experiment, or go to sleep?
Alasdair: What I want probably isn’t available here, sadly.
Em: Small snack and sleep, after leaving some email to any colleagues I might know who’d have any inkling what’s up with the egg.
Ananda: Cafeteria. Oatmeal with black pepper & cinnamon. Morning rites. Sleep.
Alasdair: Sleeping is definitely the first order of business.
Kassil: Okay, then.
Alasdair strips off his armor and plops onto the bed, falling asleep still otherwise fully dressed.
Kassil: All of you sleep for a solid eight hours, despite any troubling dreams.
Ananda gives herself four.
Alasdair uses Ananda’s spare 4.
Ananda is off to Wielding training first thing in subjective ‘morning’ (probably around noon), to pick up Insight.
Kassil: Ananda wakes up disconcerted, then, and spends four hours in a weirdly groggy state before the fog lifts.
Ananda blames it on impatience causing her to skip tai’chi.
Kassil: All right, then. You’ve got time to train, research, or otherwise poke around.
Em is off to wielding training too. She’s seeing that fascinating as the physical world is, the metaphysical world needs more of her understanding.
Alasdair gets an early dinner/late lunch of whatever passes for BBQ.
Em: (will put in a solid day if one is available, taking meal breaks and seeing if she can synch up with Ananda to chat a bit if she’s not otherwise occupied)
Kassil: It’s passable BBQ. While eating, Alasdair overhears conversation about a lab tech going missing earlier in the day, while supposedly doing an autopsy on something a field team brought in.
Ananda is back in the lab around 16:00, and e-mails Em asking where she left the egg.
Em: (explains, and what to do to get at it)
Alasdair avoids looking in the direction of the people discussing the tech’s disappearance.
Kassil: It seems the lab tech was a Nephilim, a member of one of the survey and exploration teams assigned to Site 17 itself.
Kassil: The corpse also went missing – the main speculation is that he found something really exciting and is probably trying to sneak back to civilization with it to try for a patent.
Ananda: (…IP in 2260 has got to be a mess, with jurisdiction by city-state rather than nation-state…)
Kassil: And megacorporate structures that span multiple city-states.
Ananda sits down with the egg in a box on the table in front of her, carefully not looking at it. She rests a hand on its surface, directing a pointed ‘What are you?’ into the thing.
Kassil: Ananda carefully sculpts Being energy into a kind of scalpel, pushing it immaterially into the strange egg; it sinks in with hardly any resistance. Ananda, did you have anyone with you?
Ananda: Only if anyone else happened to be hanging around the lab.
Alasdair was only really interested in the egg.
Em: I’d still be practicing wielding unless you asked for my help. I do know clarity, if not very well yet.
Kassil: So, Alasdair, you’re there while she does this, or…?
Alasdair: If she gives any indication that she’s going to run tests on it, yes.
Ananda has her left hand on the egg, right hand holding a pencil over her yellow notebook.
Ananda: Wouldn’t have thought to mention it to anyone but Em, who secured it.
Kassil: Then Alasdair is like being sampled and measured when this happens.
Alasdair: K
Kassil: And, away from everyone else, Ananda blacks out and falls over.
Em: Eeep. Do I get any report of this from anyone while I’m learning the nuances of accessing Energy?
Kassil: Why would you? She’s alone in the lab.
Em: Well, we’re on the same team, I’m not sure how cosely our employer monitors us.
Em: They might have us under covert surveillance, you know, in case we have some demonic or subtle pathogen infestation that entryway sensors missed.
Kassil: Has anything thus far in the game suggested this behavior? :D
Ananda finds herself on the floor and decides to start from down here next time.
Alasdair: An excellent idea. Less chance of head trauma on the way down.
Kassil: Em, you lot are only a bit loonier than the rest of the people at Saint Mary.
Kassil: Alasdair, if you want, you can walk in to find Ananda attempting to sample something off of her hand.
Em: I am reminded of a quote from Paranoia, “I know the scientists of R&D are barely competent to screw in a light bulb but they are encouraged to tinker with the fundamental forces of the universe”. Not quite that reckless, but the same spirit here I take it?
Kassil: Look at how Ananda and Alasdair behave. XD
Em: they’re model employees I take it ? :)
Alasdair rubs his left hip. “If someone told you that you needed more culture, that’s not exactly what they meant.”
Kassil: Their behavior tends to be a little extreme, but not out of bounds. :D
Ananda: “Hn? Oh, hi. Look at this,” she waves him over with the x-ray spectrometer stylus in one hand, “If the spec is to be believed, I’ve got a handful of precisely nothing.”
Em: (vapor with attitude, like Obi Wan Kenobi…apparently Eris attitude)
Alasdair: “That’s really- oh, the egg. Right. Did you try looking at the data out of the corner of your eye?”
Ananda: “Not yet.” She does so. Notably, she’s not holding the egg, but seems to have some fluid cupped in her hand.
Kassil: (That’s an implausibly brilliant suggestion!)
Ananda: (In this place, implausible is worth trying.)
Kassil: Looking at the readout from the corner of the eye yields no better results. Either the stuff isn’t ‘quantum egg yolk’, or the machine’s examination counts as direct observation.
Ananda: It’s there when I look at it directly, though?
Alasdair sniffs Ananda’s hand.
Kassil: The goo is indeed there.
Kassil: It smells, to Alasdair, rather like wet dog.
Alasdair sniffs Ananda’s head to rule out personal scent.
Kassil: Ananda indeed does not smell like wet dog.
Ananda takes notes. She quirks an eyebrow at Alasdair, then shrugs and sniffs the fluid herself. Might as well record a direct observation.
Alasdair: “Wet dog?”
Kassil: Ananda, you don’t smell anything from it.
Ananda: “It’s odorless, as near as I can tell.”
Alasdair: “Try smelling your hand, not the goo.”
Ananda checks that.
Alasdair indirectly scans the room for the remains of the egg.
Kassil: The egg is perfectly intact, sitting on a nearby table.
Kassil: Ananda smells herself with no trouble.
Ananda: “Nothing. Get Em in here and see if it’s different for her?”
Ananda makes an awkward hands-full gesture at her keyboard.
Alasdair hmms and clears his throat. “So, uh, if the egg’s intact… where’s the goo from?”
Ananda: “Not clear. It was on my hand after I’d finished querying the thing.”
Alasdair blinks, nearly says something, and finally opts for, “I see.”
Ananda: “The egg seems to be a jar of concentrated potential for… something. I couldn’t tell what.”
Alasdair: “Sounds ambiguously dangerous.”
Kassil: (Ananda is still standing there with a handful of translucent slime.)
Em: (presuems she gets summoned and comes to the lab)
Alasdair attempts to, out of the corner of his eye, pipette some of the goo to assess viscosity, color, and other easily observable qualities.
Kassil: The goo is easily collected; it’s thick, about the consistency of egg white, about ten degrees below ambient room temperature, completely colorless, and has absolutely no detectable chemical properties.
Ananda: “You’re welcome to ask it yourself. I’d recommend bolstering your tolerance for unusual experiences first, given last time.” She shakes her head a bit, as if trying to clear it.
Em pauses “What’s happened? is this thing going to melt Alasdair’s mind liek the pocket universe ?”
Em: Is that prudent?
Alasdair: “I think I’m at my limit for brain scrambling this week.”
Ananda looks up and smiles cheerfully when Em comes in. “Smell this?” she asks, not bothering with further greeting.
Alasdair: “And tell me if you can place the taste. It seems oddly familiar to me, but I can’t put a finger on it.”
Em tries to smell what she is directed to smell
Kassil: Em, if you sniff the goo being waved out you, it smells strongly of wet dog.
Em raises an eyebrow but presumes it can’t be too dangerous and licks it tenatively
Em: “Smells like wet dog.”
Em plugs her nose to lick
Kassil: There’s no discernable flavor.
Em: I discern none of the five basic flavours
Alasdair: “Strange, indeed.”
Kassil: Em, your tongue does feel kind of cool and slightly tingly, though.
Kassil: Kind of like the nerves are on the verge of ‘falling asleep’.
Em blinks “However my tongue feels a bit cooler now and tingles. You did do a chemical anaylsis on that first yes?”
Ananda declines to taste things whose origin she cannot determine. “What did it taste like, Alasdair?”
Ananda: “Yes. It’s a handful of nothing, so far as instruments are concerned.”
Alasdair gives Ananda a half-shrug. “No idea. Seemed imprudent to try it myself.”
Ananda barks a laugh. “I see.”
Alasdair: “Huh. ‘Concentrated potential’ is reminiscent of Alpha energy. Or a fair description of any egg, really.”
Kassil: Well, the goo doesn’t seem to be doing anything else.
Ananda attempts to collect the goo in a test tube, so that she can wash her hands.
Alasdair: “We should put that in a beaker. Maybe provoking it a little would give us some better results.”
Kassil: Easily done.
Em: So where did this goo come from?
Kassil: It does take a lot of washing to feel like the last of the goo is washed away, though.
Ananda: “Contact with the egg, when I asked it what it was.”
Em: You just talked to it and it didn’t like that, or you were wielding/bombarding it with radio transmissions?
Ananda: “Wielding. Being-Insight, to be precise.”
Alasdair places the goo container in the middle of an otherwise empty expanse of counter.
Em: "Perhaps I should try a variety of radiant energy wave communication formats, see if it can be addressed that way?
Kassil: (Translation: let’s cook the egg.)
Alasdair: ( Quantum omelets. Breakfast Of The Future. )
Em: (no no, just saying you can use radiowaves, mild infrared, ultraviolet, maybe even x rays, from a low intensity source?)
Ananda: “I got the sense that it wasn’t precisely physical inside, so I wouldn’t expect it to respond, but go ahead and try.”
Ananda applies her x-ray spec to the eggshell, since it’s handy.
Alasdair takes a step back and gently urges the goo to grow.
Em tries to scrounge up the gear to give it a try, using various types of signal encodings as well as different broadcast types. How long will it take to set that up?
Kassil: Alasdair, Give me a Presence check.
Kassil: The goo shifts in the container, and boils away as he tries to coax it to replicate; a moment later, Alasdair sees the world go blurry as a sizable quantity of the goo liberally coats him.
Kassil: (I’ve been slimed!)
Ananda: (Is there any left in the test tube?)
Kassil: A faint residue remains at the bottom of the tube.
Alasdair scrapes the goo off his face and hands and plops it into another container.
Kassil: The goo covering Alasdair is very faintly tinged a shade of blue.
Alasdair holds an arm out to Ananda and Em. “Smell.”
Ananda looks bemused, but gives it a sniff.
Em smells as well, wondering what made it turn blue
Kassil: It smells of nutriest fluids and a trace of formaledhyde.
Alasdair: ( I assume the volume is noticably increased. )
Alasdair smells the goo, as well, fully expecting it to be scentless to him.
Em: It smells nothing like wet dog unless you’ve got one in a jar somewhere, preserved. Nutrient fluids with a trace of formaldehyde.
Kassil: Alasdair, you faintly pick up a scent of wildflowers.
Ananda: "Smells like LB broth and formaldehide. Can’t exactly call it appealing.
Alasdair spends time de-gooing himself.
Kassil: It takes quite a while, and a change of clothes, but the goo is finally removed.
Ananda: (I presume there’s no shower in the lab.)
Ananda: (Aside from the emergency one.)
Kassil: Pretty much.
Kassil: Alasdair’s stuck washing the goo out of his hair and off his neck in a sink.
Alasdair: “Well… ideas? Or do we rerun this experiment and turn it up to 11?”
Em: I think I’d say before using wielding to try the mundane technological angle just because more energetic wielding may not leave us a sample to experiment on further.
Alasdair: “Or an entire room full of sample.”
Em: and then use the technological angle in conjunction with wielding before moving to pure wielding at higher wattages.
Ananda thinks to check whether the goo has a mass if placed on a scale.
Kassil: You weigh the container, and get the mass of the container, but nothing else.
Ananda: Also whether it shows up in any of the cameras conveniently provided for our experiments.
Kassil: It does show on the cameras.
Ananda puts on gloves and pours some of the goo from hand to hand. Does it feel like it has weight?
Kassil: You can’t tell if it seems weightless or just very light.
Ananda puts it back and stoppers the jar. “If not for showing up on camera, I’d be inclined to say this stuff was pure hallucination.”
Alasdair: “Try the mass spec, maybe?”
Em: what’s different about the way the cameras gather data vs the scale?
Em: fundamentally?
Ananda: “Sure.” (I’ll assume we skip straight to the results.)
Alasdair: ( It’s the future. Instant results. ;) )
Kassil: Mass spec yields nothing.
Ananda: “The cameras handle light. But if it shows up in them, I’d expect it to also show up for the X-ray spec.”
Kassil: Ananda, Alasdair, both of you give me Will checks.
Kassil: (Notably, the x-ray spec returned nothing. It did not go through the goo to examine your hand.)
Ananda: (I’d noticed.)
Ananda braces herself against the table for a moment.
Alasdair: ( Techno-stealth goo. )
Alasdair briefly grimaces, clutching Ananda’s shoulder a little too tightly before taking two deep breaths and looking around the room.
Ananda: “What was that?”
Alasdair: “Excellent question. Mental earthquake?”
Ananda: “Em, did you notice anything?”
Em shakes her head, “Nothing out of the ordinary, I haven’t got any sensor-data gathering oriented wielding yet.”
Ananda: “That rules out having touched the goo as a cause, at least.”
Alasdair: “But rules in tasting the goo as a mitigating factor.”
Ananda: “Possibly.”
Alasdair: “Or it’s just pulling on threads of recent mental trauma.”
Alasdair: “Pity that tech’s disappeared. The shock of performing an autopsy on your body would have manifested something gloriously strange, I have to think.”
Ananda: “Hn? Who?”
Alasdair: “Um, whatshisname, William. Wilfried. Something like that. The guy that examined the corpse we dragged back.”
Ananda: “Huh. Any sign of where he went? And did he leave the corpse?”
Alasdair: “He’s apparently vanished, along with the corpse. I expect it’s some sort of superposition destabilization. His present self vanished to make the corpse we found.”
Ananda: “If he was shocked enough, he might’ve destroyed it. But… Maybe.”
Alasdair: “We know the Site plays fast and loose with time and causality, so maybe the Anomoly Retrieval mechanism reacted to him coming in contact with himself.”
Em: Did we have any separate samples from the corpse?
Alasdair: ( I believe Ananda bagged a few. )
Ananda taps her pencil against the table a few times. “Maybe.”
Ananda: (Standard procedure.)
Alasdair: “Otherwise, he’s just run off with the thing or been the victim of something much more mundane, which is a less satisfying or interesting result.”
Em: wouldn’t NWSEC have samples from the disappeared tech? we could confirm for sure it was the same person
Em: If they’re not, that changes the hypotheses a lot, I would think.
Ananda: (I don’t know, do they?)
Alasdair: ( In a place like this, almost certainly. Who knows how much you’ll have left to identify a missing worker? )
Ananda: (Point.)
Em: Also, could either of you use wielding to try and track the tech down based on the samples Ananda has?
Alasdair: ( “Yeah, that pile of sludge was Johnson, alright.” )
Kassil: They do keep a bank of genetic samples, unless a person objected stringently enough for some reason.
Ananda will check whether her separate samples are still around to be analyzed.
Kassil: Are you doing anything else with the egg and samples, or are you preparing to hare off after genetic samples?
Em: I wanted to try and do conventional wireless communication attempts in depth before we did anything else
Em: if I can find the resources here to do them
Em: if you two have the patience for that.
Alasdair: ( You certainly had time while Alasdair was cleaning up. )
Em: I’m not sure how much time pressure you feel to get back to the site.
Ananda: “Go ahead. I’ve got one last thing, to close off this line of inquiry… I hope, at any rate.” She sets the container with the residue from the first batch of goo on the floor, and sits next to it. Just in case.
Em: (er, I don’t think so? given I’d need like a dozen types of radiant energy projectors, the hardware and software to run them all…and for the x ray source some radiation safety gear)
Ananda: (This is a very well-stocked lab.)
Em: (goes to gather the gear for that, anticipating several hours of preparations and testing)
Alasdair: ( Well, figure 5 minutes to get most of the goo off an in a container, then 45 minutes to shower and change. )
Kassil: Well, then. Em is off chasing down gear.
Kassil: What are the two of you doing?
Ananda: (Weilding. :D )
Ananda inquires of the goo, ‘What are you made of?’
Alasdair will raise everyone’s Fear State 4 steps prior to the next round of ill-advised but illuminating experiments.
Alasdair succeeds by failing.
Kassil: Ananda, all you get is a sense of viscous slime and a faintly electric tingle.
Kassil: If you’re going to do anything more dramatic, I suggest we hold it for next session.
Ananda shakes her head, “That. That feels weird.”
Ananda: (I do not expect this next to be dramatic.)
Alasdair prepares to save Ananda from Something Bad.
Ananda tries again, more insistently. ‘Where are you from?’
Em: (prepares to watch Ananda dodge salvation to Probe the Innards of the Mysterious danger)
Kassil: On the goo?
Ananda: Yep.
Kassil: Give me a Will check.
Ananda: (Ananda likely has no clue how close she came to her mind going up in sparks.)
Ananda looks surprised, leans back against the cabinet and breaths slowly for a little while.
Alasdair: "So, what is it? "
Ananda: “It feels to the mind like it feels in your hand, plus a bit, sort of, electric-ish? No further detail seemed to be forthcoming.”
Alasdair: “Electromagnetic lubrication? Interesting.”
Ananda eyes the vial skeptically, “If it comes from anywhere, it’s someplace vertiginous and foggy.”
Alasdair: “I’m starting to suspect that the Site is some kind of multi-dimensional chokepoint where all the Wierd gets strained and sifted.”
Ananda: “I would not be surprised in the slightest.”
Kassil: All right. Any other attempts, or shall we pick up next week with Em’s EM study and the search for genetic material?
Alasdair: Works for me.
Em: (nods)
Ananda: (Since I’m buffed, I’d like to try looking at the egg again. Then we can finish with no loose ends.)
Kassil: Mmmkay.
Em: (Audacious Ananda :) )
Ananda: (See character sheet: Oblivious to Danger.)
Ananda swaps the container of goo for the egg, and tries to follow the same path as she did before – hopefully better prepared this time.
Alasdair wraps Ananda’s mind in a protective barrier.
Alasdair might have had his recklessness tempered somewhat by recent events. ;)
Ananda blinks sightlessly and is left breathless.
Em looks worried “what happened, Ananda?”
Alasdair looks at Ananda expectantly.
Ananda signs, ‘Moment.’
Kassil: And so?
Alasdair is waiting for Ananda’s explanation.
Ananda collects herself and looks at the egg with something like wonder, “I think there’s a universe in there. Not ours, or at strangest, not ours yet.”
Kassil: 165 CDP.
Ananda: Excellent.
Alasdair: Kewlies
Kassil: Next session, Em can come back in lugging all her gear to find Ananda starting at the space where the egg theoretically is.
Ananda: Works for me.
Em: (nods and will figure out a set of steps to try to cover as many bases as possible)

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