Site 17

Session 23 - July 31 - August 6, 2260

Faffing About With Science

Alasdair

  • Being 1
  • Control 1
  • Deliverance 1
  • Detection 2
  • Energy 1
  • Stealth 1

Ananda

  • Detection 2
  • Stealth 1
  • Street Smarts 1

Em

  • Arcane 1
  • Detection 2
  • Electronics 1
  • Stealth 1
  • Tactics 1

Serek

  • Detection 2

CDP: 160
Total: 4255

Ananda: Last time we heard anything about the lab stipend was July 12th in-game (session on 12/7/11), and it’s August 6th during this session. Is the group getting paid more than our bounties?
Kassil: 2500T/week.
Ananda updates records.
Ananda: Incidentally, is Thad back from the glimmerling hive, yet?
Kassil: Thad’s come back, yes, but he’s been buried in a vivisection study since he got back.
Ananda: Sweet. Any word on what he’s vivisecting?
Kassil: “Big , it flew, and apparently it took a rock falling on its head to stop it from killing the team off.”
Ananda makes note to drop in and look at it sometime soon.
Em: Last game, how many hours elapsed before Em found out about Ananda’s experience with the egg?
Kassil: I believe you came in partway through it, and then went loping off after equipment.
Ananda: Call it 15min between Ananda regaining consciousness and Em showing up.
Em: But how long was it from the start of the day to when Ananda lost consciousness?
Ananda started working on the egg around 16:00.
Em: Oh good. So presume we all finished breakfast around 08:00 or 09:00?
Ananda: (We walked back to Saint Mary overnight, arrived around 08:00. Ananda slept 4h/trained 4h, everyone else seems to have slept 8h.)
Em: Oh. Right.
Kassil: Realistically, there was about a day spent dealing with paperwork and turn-in.
Em: But the day we started training, Ananda had her brush with brain fry fairly soon after we started, like within an hour or so?
Em: (as well all started training)
Jssra: Yes. San is turning into her dump stat. >..>
Kassil: So far, Alasdair has had one San encounter, Ananda two.
Jssra: (I’m going to call deal-with-paperwork-day ‘tomorrow’, as of the end of last session.)
Ananda distributes 2000T out of the common fund to everyone, with the note ‘Lab stipend; go learn something interesting’.
Kassil: You might want to update Tess on what you’ve given Serek, plus what you’ve done since she was here last.
Ananda: (Counting the bounty, Serek is up 5000T.)
Ananda: (Last session, we turned over the corpse that we dragged back from the Site, plus the Bacon & Pork Rind rays. The corpse ended up being autopsied by someone who looked very much like it, who vanished shortly thereafter.)
Ananda: (Speculation on his whereabouts ranges from ‘found something interesting and is trekking back to civilization to try to be first with a patent’ to ‘popped a causality bubble and vanished in a puff of logic’.)
Ananda: (Corpse is gone; figure he either took it with or it’s been destroyed.)Ananda: (We kept the quantum egg and the pieces of stone tree. )
Ananda: (Last session was almost entirely spent on the egg, which seems to have a universe inside.)
Alasdair: ( Along with a lot of goo. )
Ananda: (Yes. We don’t really know what that stuff is.)
Kassil: Muhuhahaha.
Alasdair: ( Taste varies, as does the smell. )
Em: (that is, the goo is evoked by attempts to do things to the egg, and the properties of the goo are not the same to all observers)
Ananda: (The goo is opaque to x-rays, visible on camera, doesn’t show up on any other instrument, and acts like a viscous fluid but doesn’t have a mass if weighed. If not for the first two, I’d say it was a mass hallucination.)
Em: (so of course we’re about to do more things to the egg)
Ananda: (Em wants to probe the egg with various forms of radiation. It causes the x-ray spec to return an error and reboot, so that should be entertaining.)
Kassil: Speaking of… Em, give me a Street Smarts check.
Alasdair: ( The goo is invisible to electronic equipment, as is whatever it’s coated in, I believe. )
Em: one sec
Alasdair: ( It doesn’t register, at least. )
Ananda: (It interacts a bit oddly with light, also.)
Kassil: Em, you manage to scavenge up enough gear to inspect the egg via non-esoteric spectra. No hard radiation or MRI capability, though.
Em: Darned. Well, short notice and all.
Kassil: Indeed.
Ananda is sitting on the floor when Em gets back, staring into the box that has an egg when looked at out of the corner of ones’ eye. (She’s just had a “My god, it’s full of stars” moment.)
Kassil: Serek, where are you?
Serek: Keeping an eye on Ananda. Trying to not give in to the impulse to Fry It.
Em: Really, the experiment I want to do isn’t terribly complex, it’s just time consuming. I want to use a smattering of different codes and languages (together, multiple codes per language) (including machine code it self as a language, just to be strange) and I want to send these codes by as many frequencies and whatever variables (I’m not a radio enthusiast alas) would affect the way the
Em: data broadcasts, giving five minutes between each “transmission” for a reply. so I figure I’ll be taking notes and staring at dials for a few hours.
Em: And I ask if anyone has any ideas for particular languages/coding/broadcast method to try first.
Ananda shrugs and shakes her head, when asked.
Kassil: Mmkay. Give me an Electronics check, then, and an Arcane check.
Em: Much brilliance in science, more eratic results in mysticism. Not surprising given Em’s background :)
Alasdair is standing silently behind Ananda, looking directly at her and indirectly at the egg while Em runs her tests.
Kassil: Over the course of a few hours, Em sets up her equipment around the box and directs various pulses of energy into it, waiting for reactions between each sequence. Ultimately, she doesn’t produce anything beyond “I can see the egg, but my machinery can’t.”
Ananda , meanwhile, checks on the samples she held back from the corpse we returned. Still in the ‘fridge?
Em: I have helped expand the boudnaries of our ignorance. yay!
Ananda: (*hi-5’s Em*)
Alasdair: ( We now have a much greater understanding of what it doesn’t respond to. )
Em: (grins)
Ananda: (We don’t know that it isn’t responding. It just isn’t responding to electromagetism with electromagnetism.)
Em: (wonders how the egg would respond to love ? o_o)
Kassil: The samples from the corpse turn out to be absent from the containers.
Ananda: (Try it! :D )
Ananda holds an empty sample container up to the light, looking for residue. “Certainly argues against the tech absconding with the corpse…”
Kassil: The container appears to be completely empty.
Ananda sends a brief e-mail to Thad (for cataloguing) and Prof. Nere (for HR) about the corpse samples having disappeared from their containers. The tech shouldn’t have known they existed, so probably couldn’t have taken or destroyed them.
Alasdair: “I still think it was the Site resolving the paradox. Just be sure not to come into contact with your own corpse and you’ll be fine.”
Ananda laughs quietly, “I have no wish to do so.”
Ananda paces. What’s next… Ah, right. The stone spruce.
Em: (Memo: Reality Bug: same system RAM used to render our bodies and our corpses, no word on bugfix ETA)
Kassil: Okay, so, what now?
Serek: Analyzing the root bit, it seems.
Kassil: How?
Ananda would like to hunt up some amethyst, and a very tiny amount of uranium & thorium (plus any other trace minerals registering on the spec that seem important).
Kassil: Street Smarts to locate your radioactives.
Alasdair: X-ray crystallography, if the equipment’s available.
Kassil: You could either try a Networking check to try to schedule an x-ray crystallography experiment or Street Smarts to try to slip in between experiments via ‘favors and sly tricks’.
Kassil: Ananda, you find a person willing to exchange roughly a gram of each to you in exchange for around 5000T or equivalent.
Tierce whistles.
Alasdair uses his wiles to bamboozle the tech into slipping it in.
Ananda: I don’t need nearly that much. Tenth of a gram is a significant amount, if I’m reading the relative abundance statistics correctly.
Kassil: The tech seems to almost be convinced, but Alasdair’s efforts are disrupted when the tech’s supervisor wanders by to deliver a lecture about wasting time socializing.
Kassil: Tenth of a gram would be the equivalent of 500T, then.
Alasdair is sure that flirting used to be easier than this.
Ananda makes the exchange.
Kassil: Alasdair might find it easier if he picks a female lab tech, next time. :D
Kassil: All right, you’ve got radioactive material.
Ananda: And how much amethyst can I come up with?
Alasdair: Where’s the challenge in that?
Kassil: Genuine amethyst will run you about 20T for a modest piece, roughly 1/4 pound. Synthetic is cheaper at 20T/pound.
Ananda: They’re very nearly indistinguishable. Try the synthetic first.
Kassil: From what I understand, you’re grinding it up and immersing the fragment of tree in a solution with the materials suspended?
Ananda: (Do I need a chemistry check to set that up?)
Kassil: No.
Kassil: You’re doing a form of Wielding, I believe. Set it up.
Ananda sets the remaining fragment of root in a petri dish of amethyst/trace uranium/trace thorium solution and encourages it to grow.
Kassil: Ananda summons up a swirling of blue energy, directing it across the petri dish containing the fragment of radioactive crystal; the Being energy plays over it, to no obviousl discernable effect.
Ananda looks over at Alasdair, “Have any better ideas?”
Alasdair hmms. “Well, if Being didn’t work, we could always try ‘healing’ it with Elemental energy. Maybe that would induce growth?”
Ananda: “Worth a shot.”
Ananda makes a note in her lab book and tries to grow the root fragment like an ordinary crystal, instead.
Kassil: There’s an ear-splitting shriek from the petri dish as the energy flows over and around the crystal; it expands convulsively, accompanied by a shrill whooping alarm from any Survivalist Multimonitors in the room and chirrups from every P-comm.
Ananda: (And we all get treated for radiation sickness…)
Kassil: The expansion is cut short as it crystallizes the entire solution, sprouting a very small crystalline set of leaves at the top of the fragment.
Ananda takes an ‘after’ picture, and only then checks her SMM.
Serek: When she’s done wincing at the sound, Serek looks at the result. “Flashy, but effective.”
Alasdair: “You’ve discovered a new art form: banzai crystals.”
Ananda absently corrects Alasdairs’ pronunciation, “Bonsai. I don’t think I have the skill to direct its growth. Not yet, at any rate.”
Kassil: Anyone who thinks to check their P-comm will see that they’ve apparently recieved a ‘you should get to the genetic therapists before you go to bed’ level of radiation.
Alasdair shrugs. “I speak Mandarin, not Japanese.”
Ananda nods amiably, taking further notes. “I hope these labs are rad shielded. If not, the people in adjacent rooms might not be feeling well-disposed towards us just now.”
Ananda weighs the treelet. How much mass does it have, compared to the material that went in?
Alasdair sends out a pulse of Being energy to heal the room.
Alasdair: “I’m sure they are capable of seeking appropriate treatment. Most of the staff here is reasonably intelligent.”
Kassil: You all feel an itching sensation as Alasdair’s Wielding effect flows over you, although it quickly fades away.
Kassil: All right, what now?
Ananda: Turn in the leaf, and perhaps the egg, if nobody objects. Keep the treelet.
Ananda: (Spend CDP and cut-scene to our next departure.)
Kassil: The leaf gets you 1500T. The egg, however, nets you a reward of 15000T.
Em: Yah, I’m out of plausible ideas with the egg short of putting it in the particle accelerator and bombarding it
Em: and that’s mostly from frustration. >.>
Ananda: (Please don’t blow up The Future in the egg.)
Serek: (Or the Past.)
Alasdair: ( Restarting the universe with another Big Bang would definitely cut the campaign short. )
Serek: (The littlest TARDIS.)
Em: so I vote yes :)
Kassil: All right. Fast-forwarding to the departure date, roughly a week after you made it back. Heading straight to Site 17?
Ananda distributes 4000T/person, uses the spare 500T to replenish the common fund.
Ananda: Unless someone else wants a side trip.
Kassil: The return to Site 17 is fairly quiet; you pass through the base camp with no fuss and no sign of the unusual animation of the plants in the area, and descend into the Site proper – notably, the skulls are missing from the steps, this time in.
Kassil: You make it to the first floor’s hub area, having explored all five wings already; the remaining 18+ floors of the Site wait down the elevator shaft in the middle.
Ananda: (This elevator shaft also has a stairwell installed?)
Kassil: No.
Kassil: The only recorded entries to the lower levels were the scout team’s, and they lowered down on cables.
Ananda: How far down is it to the second level?
Kassil: From the top, you’d /guess/ about thirty feet.
Serek: (We don’t want to ‘guess’ in this place.)
Ananda: (To buy: Laser rangefinder.)
Kassil: (That did not work out well for the scouts trying to find out where the bottom floor was.)
Alasdair: ( Knowing the Site, you’d get a different reading each time you tried it. )
Ananda paces ‘round the elevator shaft, not too close. Are the second level doors intact?
Kassil: There are no doors, just platforms with four gear/pulley levers arranged around it. Anything going down on the lift was fully exposed to each level.
Ananda: What kinds of things do the map Em found for us suggest are on the second level?
Alasdair: There was that freezer section.
Ananda: True. Where was that in relation to where we are now, though?
Kassil: You’re not entirely sure; the notations on the map are somewhat cryptic, probably abbreviated in the shorthand of the people who worked here 150 years ago.
Kassil: The section Alasdair is thinking of is on the second level, some distance into an area marked with orange alphanumeric codes.
Alasdair: What other code colors are there?
Kassil: They roughly cover the rainbow, starting from black text on things like the elevator shaft and progressing with a crisp silvery-white.
Ananda: Do they appear to be ordered by spatial organization (radial from the center? In slices or quadrants?), or some other manner?
Kassil: They start radial, roughly mirroring the five branches of the first floor, but they rapidly diverge into what looks like chaos, at first glance.
Ananda: If we were to take the most direct path to the freezer aisle, what color-zones would that take us through?
Kassil: Two black, and a red.
Em: What colour seems the most unusual (like hot pink or neon green or are they all a matching sort of brightness/relative contrast?)
Alasdair: And do the colors match up to the markings in some way? Like, are all the AF-XXX entries the same color?
Kassil: Em, there aren’t many contrasts. They seem fairly zoned-in on the rainbow’s hues.
Em: okay. so much for a conspicuous code entry.
Kassil: The zones don’t match up, alphanumerically, to the colors; you can see one section sequentially labelled as SOS-567, SOS-568, and SOS-569 with red, green, and violet hues, resptively.
Em: I don’t suppose my famliarity with building schematics from Structural Tech gives me any basis for educated guesswork?
Kassil: You could try, but these appear to be labelled by some semi-esoteric method, which probably meant plenty to the people who worked here but which is fairly obscure to you.
Ananda: (Let’s not start with the ‘SOS’ section…)
Ananda: (Unless they all are, I suppose.)
Kassil: The freezer, for the record, is CSF-093.
Alasdair: ( Makes me think the colors are “danger level” or somesuch )
Ananda: (That’s my working theory. Not sure whether the red end or the violet one is supposed to be the high end of the spectrum.)
Em: (If they were being scientific I would think violet would be since that’s a “higher energy” frequency. But that’s a pure guess. What colour is least common?)
Ananda: (Let’s hope we don’t need her firepower.)
Kassil: White is the least commons color.
Alasdair: ( Well, the elevator is black, so arguably that’s the least dangerous. What’s the most common color nearest to the elevator? )
Kassil: It’s about evenly split between red and green.
Ananda: (If so, it’s starting to look like Paranoia color-coding… If Friend Computer calls your PComm, don’t answer. >..> )
Em: (giggles)
Em: We have learned a lot. Maybe we should try to get through that locked door we had no luck with a while back?
Em: the one Alasdair was stymied by
Alasdair: ( I think a good workign theory is Black → Red → etc… → White as danger. That’ll change the second we open the first door, of course. ;) )
Serek: “Dithering won’t actually make then any safer.”
Ananda: “On our way to the freezer department, then. Ropes, levitation, or etherealness?”
Alasdair: ( Are the colors just ROYGBIV plus black and white? )
Alasdair: “Well, ropes don’t sound entirely trustworthy here. Not that much is.”
Em: I’d go with levitation. I can help with that by now I think )
Kassil: They appear to be straight ROYGBIV.
Em: ethereal is safer but it limits our ability to interact with environment too
Ananda: “Works for me.”
Alasdair picks up the group and lowers them safely to the next doorway.
Kassil: Alasdair holds out his hands, and a ripple of kinetic energy wraps around each of you, lifting you off the ground and carefully maneuvering you to the next platform down; the lights on this level appear to be about half burned out or otherwise destroyed, and the area away from the elevator shaft shows signs of having been exposed to intense heat.
Ananda has her firearm ready to hand, just in case. She looks around warily as the group descends.
Em: (watches the rear and flanks vigilantly as normal)
Em: (and up and down, for drop and leap bears)
Em proceeds warily but without panic
Ananda shakes her head, as though to clear it.
Ananda pulls out her SMM and checks the compass embedded in the case. “Magnetic field in here. Not staying put.”
Alasdair keeps an eye out for anything out of place.
Serek does the same, her body tense.
Alasdair mutters in Necrosi, “Some manner of sensory interference.”
Ananda whispers in the same language, “What do you notice?” The compass on her SMM wanders aimlessly.
Alasdair: “Heat shimmer almost.”
Ananda: “I’m not seeing it.”
Alasdair: “Probably different for each of us.”
Em: “I’m not sensing anything out of the ordinary.”
Alasdair looks expectantly at Serek.
Serek: “Sizzling fat.”
Alasdair checks to see if Em has the Bacon Ray out.
Ananda switches to English, “Scent or sound?”
Kassil: She turned it in to the St Mary crew for a bounty.
Serek: “Sound.”
Alasdair: ( Not that Serek understood the conversation. ;) )
Ananda: (I assumed Em was speaking English, unless otherwise noted.)
Serek: (Same.)
Em: (nods, though I understand Necrosi)
Alasdair: ( I had assumed she was replying in the same language. No matter. )
Kassil: So, what now?
Ananda shrugs and turns away, “Let’s go.” She proceeds towards the freezer area, unless something more immediately interesting appears.
Alasdair follows, looking for the first labeled and colored area on the way.
Kassil: The path that Ananda picks out winds between half-melted desks and low walls, some marked with signs of gunfire; nothing hazardous presents itself as you find your way out of the elevator area into a corridor where the lighting fixtures are almost all either broken or, where they still work, hanging out of their recessed sockets as if yanked down violently by something large and strong.
Kassil: Ananda, in the lead, picks up the first hint of motion down the hall; something a bit larger than a human, partially concealed in the shadows, which moves as if just noticing the group.
Em: (follows as sneakily and observantly as always)
Ananda immediately steps behind the nearest cover.
Ananda: (Trusting that my abrupt motion will get everyone else’s attention.)
Alasdair ducks behind something substantial while still keeping a reasonable line of sight to the creature.
Em: (looks around if there’s any particularly good cover for her to burrow behind)
Serek ducks for cover behind Alasdair, trying to keep a line of effect all the same.
Kassil: You can all make the thing out, now – it’s actually about half again the size of a human, but hunched over like an ape, large fists resting on the ground as it stares down the hall toward you. It seems somewhat indstinct, as if it either has some form of cloaking effect or is literally blending into the shadows.
Kassil: It does appear to have some /very/ large claws on those hands, though.
Kassil: And in light of the fact that it’s nearly 6am in Portual, we’ll pause here and pick up with initiative next time. :D
Kassil: 160 CDP.

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