Site 17

Session 32 - August 19-20, 2260

New Moon Rising

Alasdair

  • Arcane 2
  • Being 8
  • Clarity 2
  • Detection 3
  • Inspiration 6

Ananda

  • Arcane 1
  • Being 1
  • Biology 2
  • Detection 7
  • Insight 1
  • Stealth 2

Em

  • Computer Tech 2
  • Detection 3
  • Electronics 2
  • Stealth 1

165 CDP
Total: 5730

Kassil: Last session, there were weird dreams, more than anything else, and Alasdair got rather drunk and freaked out.
Kassil: So.
Kassil: Em is training, this session.
Kassil: Who is doing what, otherwise?
Ananda picks Alasdair’s brain for more Wielding theory, and gets an additional tattoo.
Alasdair is also training. 21.6 hours.
Em: mine’s 21 hours :)
Ananda: 43.5h.
Kassil: Looks like most of another week is taken up with training, then.
Em: That’s fine, I need to do some extensive net searches if we even have any theories that match the hardwware I was working on last week
Em: yeesh. I am depressed over my colleague being in Hell o_o
Em: that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it
Kassil: Em, you don’t find anything relevant in the journals and archives you poke through.
Alasdair: It’s just Robohell, and you don’t know who’s in that brain.
Em: I have an eerie feeling this is her. And if we can heal her, we’ll get some badly needed answers.
Alasdair: ( The site is like Jeopardy: all the answers are questions. )
Em: (It’s the Village o_o Patrick McGoohan’s ghost runs it)
Kassil: No one who overhears the conversations chooses to comment on them, but over the course of the week Em develops a small bubble of personal space.
Ananda spends a little spare time working on the winged humanoid skeleton. Can she tell how close to baseline human it is? Kassil: As far an Ananda can tell, the skeleton’s genome is perfectly human.
Ananda: “Hmm.”
Em: (how do you mean, people are avoiding Em?)
Ananda tries to estimate its age from skeletal features.
Kassil: It’s subtle, but her obsession with ‘this thing is my former boss now trapped in digital hell’ seems to be making people uneasy around her.
Em: (They called me mad, mad! the FOOLS!)
Em: (darn other people making detection checks >_>)
Kassil: Ananda determines the skeleton belong to a child, probably. Or an adult with very childlike features.
Alasdair spends most of his time avoiding people and thinking dark thoughts.
Ananda: Really? What are the state of its growth plates? (Those are the cartillage zones in immature humans’ bones where skeletal growth happens; they calcify as you get older and pretty much vanish after someone reaches final adult size.)
Kassil: Not being a biologist, cthulhu fhtagn.
Ananda: Fair enough.
Em tries to figure out whom among the people around her is most likely to be empathic and open minded, if she challenges their skepticism.
Alasdair: ( Not it! )
Ananda doesn’t seem to think anything odd of Em’s sudden dedication.
Kassil: Em unfortunately only has a vague idea. She might be able to babble to one of the local cryptopsychiatrists if she really wanted.
Kassil: So, barring any more polymath psychosis…
Kassil: …What next?
Em ponders, she has a bit of spare time. She decides to book time with one, just to double check she’s not getting pathological without noticing
Ananda: Back to the Site, of course.
Alasdair: ( What are our options for retreiving or utilizing the likely-insane consciousness in the AI brain? )
Em: (we need me to get another week or two of experience points to have a good chance, if we want to do something now, I need an ueber suite of buffs for computer use and electronics probably too)
Em: (it doesn’t look LIKELY I’ll succeed, but if I have all that going, I might get lucky)
Ananda gives up on the skeleton for now, and turns it over for the bounty.
Kassil: You can try getting some of the local nerds to work on the problem. The offer to let them take at least part of the glory for discovery would likely get someone to swear themselves to secrecy. Or Em could dedicate herself to the problem for a while. Or you could carry it with you and hope to find something hidden in the Site that might be compatible.
Em: (another week or two, I’ll have more ranks and some general skill levels in teh field too)
Kassil: The skeleton causes a bit of a stir in the biology department, and Ananda is given a 10000T bounty for it.
Alasdair: ( We could try megaboosting Em again. )
Ananda distributes 2,500T to each of us.
Ananda: (Including Serek.)
Ananda: (Yeah, lets do that.)
Alasdair: Raising Fear State by 4 steps.
Ananda: I presume that our next lab stipend comes in as normal?
Kassil: Yes.
Alasdair: Raising Thought State by 4 steps.
Alasdair: +5 to Electronics Checks
Alasdair: +5 DPS to Electronics Checks
Em: (Stipend ? we get paid aside from whatever we drag in from the site?)
Ananda: (Lab stipend is for research expenses.)
Ananda: (Though every so often when it accumulates, I take a chunk and divvy it up among the lot of us for training.)
Kassil: So, Em’s total present bonuses are…?
Alasdair: +8 DPS on everything, +16 DPS on mental skills, +21 DPS and +5 on Electronics
Ananda dissects the rat that the whatever-it-was gave back to us, too. Has anything about it changed from standard, aside from decomposition and falling from the ceiling?
Kassil: The rat is about like you’d expect from a dead rat left laying in a cool area for a while.
Em: Would it help my computer work if I improved my interface with the brain first, do I think?
Em: and if so, is it possible for me to do so?
Kassil: There are traces of ceramacrete clinging to some of the rat’s fur.
Ananda: (Saaayy. Was there any sign of ceramecrete on the winged skeleton?)
Kassil: Em – you’re trying to kludge a connection to a not-really-known electronic technology, well enough to be able to coherently access it via your own hardware, without destroying it or your own equipment.
Kassil: Ananda: Nope.
Ananda: ‘kay.
Em: (nods) I’m wondering if it would be helpful to work on refining my kludge before working on the brain content side
Kassil: At this point, Em, you’re basically trying to pretend you’re in an action movie and hoping like hell that Alasdair’s boosts work out for you.
Em: Ah okay
Kassil: Which is what your Electronics roll, boosted 21 DPS and with a +5 bonus, is for.
Em: I also talk a bit beforehand with Alasdair, asking if he knows any way to heal someone of despair or emotional pain?
Kassil: Refine the kludge, do the access, and hope you’re elevated to the point needed. :D
Em: (nods) so should I roll electronics first, and then if that’s enough, I get to mak the computer tech check?
Kassil: Electronics is how you’re even accessing the system and retrieving the data.
Alasdair: ( You’re cobbling together an interface module. If that works, you get to do the fun stuff. )
Em: (ah okay. thanks for clarifying)
Em: Alright.
Em: gah
Em: hope I didn’t fry it
Jssra: (Great stuff, both of those.)
Kassil: After tinkering for an hour and a half, Em rigs up her kludged-together interface module to the access ports she identified previously; her adjustments seem to have made some small difference, as the flood of digital ‘screaming’ resolves into a semi-coherent flow of data that, if Em wants, can be saved in discrete chunks of analysis.
Em: Are the storage requirements exhorbitant?
Em: ie, is the faculty head going to be banging on the door if I log this?
Kassil: You can probably store half a dozen chunks without having to worry about data storage.
Alasdair: ( It’ll be the equivalent of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” ;) )
Kassil: You could boost Em’s Computer Tech check and see if she can determine what it is. ;)
Em: (it already had the boost, I presumed, if it didn’t, that was a 67 not a 72)
Alasdair: +5 to Computer Tech Checks.
Alasdair: +5 DPS to Computer Tech Checks.
Em: Okay. So. Now I try and analyze what’s going on inside the brain, taking a fairly cautious tack as is my wont.
Kassil: Over the course of the next several hours, Em works on one of the data chunks, eventually working out that the data is a binary ‘dumbing-down’ of a quaternary form of data. From what she pieces together, the data will, if assembled into a form that can be run, be a simulation of some kind.
Em: So…more work needed but this is the vague glimmers of the emerging picture so far?
Kassil: This one particular data chunk is a simulation program, if you can build something that can run a four-switch ‘fuzzy logic’ program.
Em: Hrm. I take it I’m going to need to do a fair bit of R&D to make such a tool. How would I go about it, and what (conservatively) is the time required likely to be, even doing six hours a day with Alasdair’s strap on brilliance in me?
Alasdair: ( So… not this year. )
Kassil: What Alasdair said.
Em: well darned.
Kassil: Again, you could take it with you and hope for something that can read it down in the Site, or you can talk the local geeks into working on it full-time.
Ananda: It sounds like an entire labs’ worth of careers to do, really.
Kassil: …Having the data to show them, and the analysis, will probably have /someone/ salivating to chew on it full-time.
Em: Yah. hrm.
Em: Morally I think we have to hang on to it for a bit and try to find something in the Site
Alasdair: ( Works for me. )
Ananda: (Sounds good.)
Em: if we can’t find it, the increase in time to solution will likely be small
Em: if we just subcontract it, we guarantee a LONG wait
Kassil: Mmkay.
Em: which is intolerable if someone is stuck in there.
Alasdair: ( It’s probably just the processor for one of the screen worlds. )
Kassil: So, packing the brain up. Are you going to just store the data clumps, or try to get someone to work on decoding it/trying to engineer a device to run it?
Ananda: No harm in letting someone else try.
Kassil: Then… Who’s going to talk to the geeks to try and get them to help?
Em: Probably not the one they think is crazy
Em: I nominate the friendly voice of sanity for the party :)
Kassil: …
Kassil: You have one?
Ananda looks around. Who, now?
Em: (yes, the Necrosi fits that bill. for our party. it’s that sort of party)
Alasdair has no idea who Em’s talking about.
Ananda will do it, but would appreciate a buff first. Might need to fake “sane” and “charasmatic”.
Kassil tries not to fall out of his chair laughing.
Kassil: Okay, so.
Alasdair kicks Ananda into high gear. +4 Fear State.
Kassil: Alasdair, presumably, is going to be waving his hands to channel his own fascination and obsession about Ananda such that others agree with him.
Alasdair: ( Largely, yes. )
Alasdair also amps Ananda’s Thought State by 4 steps.
Ananda: (Do I need to find people first, or do I know where the techgeeks hang out?)
Kassil: You’ll be doing a Gather Info to find a suitably underemployed group of geeks and nerds.
Em: (truly is going to think hard about whatever the St. Mary’s psych says to her about her “obsession”)
Ananda asks around about that, then.
Kassil: You find a few.
Ananda keeps looking. She knows there’s got to be more about than that.
Kassil: Or not.
Kassil: You find a few geeks who apparently were of ‘picked for the team absolutely last’ caliber who mostly spend their time coming up with amusing P-comm apps and playing virtual reality MMOGs while pretending to do research.
Kassil: There are roughly half a dozen of them, none of the highest caliber in the world.
Kassil: (In truth, none of them rate above mediocre.)
Kassil: So, then! The pitch!
Em: (Darned. we were supposed to have discovered something so important we got promoted by now so we could use Authority to get what we want and forget about this pansy coercion skill stuff :) )
Kassil: (Sorry, no Inquisitorial Rosettes available here.)
Ananda tries to pitch their data to the people she’s found as ’We’re pretty sure this is simulation output; if you can figure out how to run it, you can use the engine & setting for a game.’
Kassil: So… Make a Manipulation check.
Em: (One Game To Rule Them All!)
Ananda: (Speak to your audience’s interests.)
Kassil: They pick over your offered data dubiously for a bit, and after some conferring via texting they offer to fiddle with it as they get time, because it looks like it’ll take totally new hardware and they just don’t have the resources or time to devote fully to something like that.
Ananda: Eh, was worth a shot.
Ananda: (And next time Alasdair can try to charm people.)
Alasdair: ( Try, being the operative word. )
Em: (giggles, I’ll try to keep my insanity to myself for a bit and I’ll make the pitch next time, unless Alasdair’s eager to be sombre at them :) )
Em: (and ominous)
Ananda: (All the lot of us can do is try. ;) )
Kassil: Well. Ananda’s made the pitch. Does she take them up on it?
Ananda will give them a copy of all six data chunks, yes.
Kassil: Okay, then.
Ananda: (Do we have anything else to do before going back to the Site?)
Alasdair: ( Not that I’m aware of. )
Em: (if training’s finished and we’ve had no more spooky dreams, all I’m curious about is what the base psych thought of my concerns)
Kassil: The base psych is a very harried-looking bio-engineered who, after listening to Em, prescribes some rather strong sedatives and suggests taking them before bed each night.
Em: (ignores that of course treasuring her harrowed look)
Em: (well, rather, she sees she didn’t really get a very expert opinion, so she disregards it)
Kassil: I suspect she’s also a bit worried about the fact that she’s being told to take drugs.
Kassil: Okay! So.
Kassil: Onward?
Ananda: Onward! There are new worlds to explore.
Alasdair: Inward!
Em: (Yah, not happy about that either, but I’m not such a purist as to reject them out of hand if there were a truly pressing medical need beyond “shut up and stop taking time on my schedule please” )
Ananda: (That would be almost too Mormon of her. ;) )
Em: ( grins sardonically)
Kassil: All right, then. Do you leave in the morning?
Ananda: Yes.
Em: Yes.
Alasdair: Affermativo.
Ananda does that cheerful-morning-person thing, and is waiting for the others to meet her.
Em: (gets some more miscellaneous networking and computer/electronic tech parts just so she’s not short if we have to do anything esoteric. how much Trust will that cost?)
Kassil: Call it 300T.
Ananda: (As much as you’re willing to spend. >_> )
Kassil: The trip is mostly uneventful, taking a bit longer than usual due to the river having been diverted by an over-enthusiastic researcher who thought she saw gold in the streambed, without any damage control being down afterward. You make it to the camp just after dusk. And… Detection checks, visual please.
Ananda sighs at the disturbed river and shakes her head.
Kassil: Alasdair observes the new electric fence at the camp in the most direct method possible.
Alasdair: ( When ya gotta go, ya gotta go. )
Kassil: Ananda, meanwhile, avoids the fence, and spots the rising moon, which appears to have a very small companion.
Kassil: (You’re quite sure you didn’t see any secondary lunar objects while at St. Mary.)
Ananda digs out her binoculars and looks at something in the sky, in the direction of the moon.
Kassil: Em also notices the second lunar object. It’s rather small – just big enough to be visible as a disc.
Alasdair checks the immediate area for a gate or some means of ingress.
Kassil: Alasdair finds where Ananda and Em went through, and finds them looking at something on the eastern horizon.
Em wishes she knew anything about astronomy. Can she try and wiki if anything like this should be in the sky? >_>
Kassil: Em, you know quite well that there’s nothing like that in the sky.
Alasdair is oblivious to the OMGWTF event happening in front of him.
Em: Ah, Alasdair…
Em: You seem to have had a lot of deep thoughts on your mind lately
Ananda: Having close encounters with an electric fence will do that.
Em: Would any of them explain a strange foreign object being up in the vicinity of the moon?
Em: I really hope that’s not the lens of someone’s telescope peering through a rip in space at us, or something like that
Ananda acquires the object in her binoculars and zooms in maximally. (I think 200x is as far as these will go, but I’d have to check the book.)
Kassil: (Somewhere, a god adjusts the focus on his lenses. “I /know/ that runaway disciple is around there someplace.”)
Kassil: Ananda, you can make out a rough, uneven surface, similar to that of the moon, pockmarked with craters and a few rather jagged mountains and rifts.
Ananda walks back out the gate to see if the whatever-it-is is still there.
Kassil: It is.
Ananda shakes her head. Shrugs. “Looks like a natural object from here, Em.”
Em: Well, thank goodness for small favours. Can I take a look?
Ananda: “Sure.”
Kassil: Em will see much the same thing as Ananda.
Em: Does it look like an exact copy of the moon, just in smaller size?
Kassil: No. It looks like a distinct object.
Alasdair: “Hmm. This wasn’t here two weeks ago.”
Ananda: “It wasn’t there last night.”
Kassil: For one thing, it has a few rifts in the surface, large and deep enough to see from where you are.
Em: Does it resemble any of the rocky planets or moons in the solar system? I take it the rifts thing means “no” ?
Passing Worker says, “It’s been coming up for about a week now.”
Alasdair: “Not likely they could have put up this much fence overnight.”
Kassil: The worker will also tell Alasdair that they decided to put the fence up about ten days ago, after a pack of boars made a mess of the camp area and treed them until one of the guards managed to get his gun and kill a few to chase the rest off.
Ananda: “Look up.” She gestures to the sky, “That wasn’t in view from Saint Mary yesterday.”
Alasdair slowly and reluctantly looks up at the new moonlet.
Alasdair: “What the hell did we do?”
Ananda: “It would be nice to know, yeah.”
Em: …I thought Serek destroyed something at the end of the dream, not created it?
Ananda: “About five days too early to be directly connected.”
Ananda: “Shall we sleep and head into the Site in the morning, or make a brief run tonight and risk coming out someplace new?”
Em: I think I want to be fresh and well rested before I have my universe shaken and stirred again.
Alasdair: “I think a fresh start in the morning would be good.”
Ananda: “Works for me.”
Kassil: There’s a barracks building where you can bed down, if you want.
Ananda goes to the least-well-lit place she can find inside the perimeter and watches the sky for a bit first.
Alasdair heads straight for the barracks.
Em decides to sleep after tinkering with her pcomm security a bit trying to see if she can enhance it’s traceroute function
Em: (doesn’t spend too long at it, maybe an hour)
Kassil: Okay, then.
Kassil: Next morning.
Em looks a shade more harrowed at breakfast
Alasdair looks solid and well-rested.
Ananda is alert and ready.
Ananda: (And, I expect, completely ignored during morning Rites. People here have bigger problems.)
Kassil: Serek, for her part, looks about like normal as she tags along.
Kassil: So, heading in?
Alasdair: Yup
Ananda: Yep.
Em: amateur ninja-tailguard on duty yes
Kassil: Entering the Site requires passing a fairly new high-caliber plasma weapon emplacement aimed right down the entry corridor. The Lesser Grigori attending it seems to be perfectly fine with watching the entryway, giving the group a cursory look as you enter. It’s the same as you remember, until you get to the motor pool level, where the floor has been covered with a layer of wind-rippled sand.
Kassil: There’s even a few small barrel cacti growing between some of the defunct trucks.
Alasdair examines the sand and mutters, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Ananda gathers some of the sand into a sample container. Might as well.
Em: (“The plasma cannons trained on you are purely a courtesy measure”…)
Kassil: It seems to be sand about like what you’d expect in the Mojave desert’s drier reaches.
Ananda makes note to pick up a cactus on her way out.
Kassil: The sand has spilled down the steps from the motor pool, making them a little trickier to navigate, but you have no real trouble as you go down to the elevator shaft and into the Site proper to the main shaft.
Kassil: So – heading back down to level 2? Or doing something else?
Alasdair whispers, “I think the Site’s active again.”
Ananda signs, ‘Was it ever inactive?’
Alasdair shrugs and signs back, “Seems markedly less dormant now.”
Kassil: As Alasdair signs his response, a gentle breeze blows up out of the central shaft, slightly warmer than the cool air on the top floor and ruffling your clothes slightly.
Kassil: It persists for only a few seconds.
Em takes cover
Em: (is high strung yes)
Alasdair pauses and cocks his head before signing, “You don’t think someone left the door to the other realm open?”
Kassil: …There’s a crash as Em dives over the nearest wall and her armor clatters against the ceramacrete barricade.
Ananda looks towards the source.
From Kassil: No discernable change in odor from the ambient air. Perhaps slightly damper.
Em signs “afraid of explosion”
Ananda shrugs, indicates the elevator shaft with her eyebrows, ‘Stopped now. Shall we?’ she signs.
Alasdair nods.
Em looks a shade sheepish, and follows
Kassil: So – where to?
Ananda: Back to L2.
Kassil: The lift entry for L2 is as you remember it.
Kassil: You have all the unexplored areas, and then the area you’ve already poked around.
Ananda: Did we go down the branch with ALS-099-A? I can’t recall.
Kassil: _
Em: (the number sounds familiar but I don’t think the placement is)
Ananda: "Hey Alasdair? Are you seeing the same heat shimmer in here that you did last time?
Alasdair shakes his head No.
Ananda nods.
Alasdair shakes his head No again.
Ananda gives thumbs-up in response.
Ananda looks to Em & Alasdair, and makes a ‘shall we’ kind of gesture towards the hall where they met the void Wielder last time.
Ananda signs, ‘We didn’t finish all branches.’
Em nods and reviews her supression effect
Em puts the shotgun away suspecting it won’t help much though
Kassil: So – where to?
Em: (perhaps straight south?)
Alasdair: ( ALS-009-A? Haven’t been that way yet. )
Em: (Ah we haven’t? then yah, that sounds good. let’s see what red code is like)
Ananda moves one room east, and then south to ALS-099-A. A red zone should be a sedate start, right?
Ananda: (All we hear is Alasdair.)
Kassil: ALS-33 is largely unchanged, still containing large white tanks that purport to contain Creatures. If anyone checks, the one that seems to be similar to the Meganeko is still there, still intact.
Kassil: Alasdair trips over himself passing through ALS-33 when he gets near the Meganeko tank.
Em: (Represses the urge to free it, reminding herself she isn’t even a life sciences specialist)
Kassil: ALS-099-A is rather similar in design to CSF-093, in that it is a two-level room, somewhat smaller than the other, with roughly human-sized cryotanks.
Kassil: Each one has a control console, and a small viewing window.
Ananda looks into a few windows.
Em: Electronics: what are the notes and status on the first one I come to?
Alasdair looks in a few different windows.
Kassil: The first one Em checks claims to contain ‘Human-plant positive-energy hybrid’, in ‘nominal condition’. It’s the one Ananda peers into first.
Em: (it’s a Sunflower power child!@)
Em: (any hint what “nominal” means?)
Kassil: Nominal, in this case, seems to mean, “Alive and in stasis.”
Ananda looks at the second cryotank from this angle and that. Huh. What’s the console have to say about its occupant?
Kassil: “Refractive Index Test Subject. Status Nominal.”
Em: How many tanks are there?
Ananda runs a hand through her hair and goes on to the next.
Kassil: Forty, twenty per level.
Alasdair checks the readout on the first tank.
Kassil: If you really intend to individually examine each and every tank to try to coax all the data out. If you’re just reading the console and aren’t likely to roll around a 50… You could skip it.
Kassil: Alasdair reads, “Human/Entropic Fusion Test. Status: Nominal-Minus.”
Em: (Can I tell there’s a level of information I’m not accessing so far?)
Em: (or in the dark about that?)
Alasdair: “Some kind of Wielding-infused genetic manipulation?”
Kassil: Em – you think there might be a connecting system you’re not getting access to, but you’re not sure how to get access to it.
Em: I think this stuff is linked into another system but I’m not sure what or how. Shall I have a go at finding out what it is for a bit?
Ananda: “Go for it.”
Alasdair: “Might lead us to a more thorough map of the area.”
Ananda checks this one’s console, also.
Em starts working her way down the tanks in groups of four, hoping she doesn’t derp and fry anything.
Kassil: Em finds herself frustrated by her inability to crack whatever underlying system there is.
Em: Ah well
Em: Sorry guys, been studying wielding too much lately
Em: Neglecting my regular scholarship
Kassil: Ananda’s most recent tank reveals the readout, “Psychotropic Fusion Test Subject. Cognitohazard. Status Nominal.”
Ananda shrugs to Em. “Huh, this one’s kinda strange. Says ’Psychotropic Fusion Test Subject.”
Em: That sounds very ominous even for here.
Em: Someone did a hybrid between a person and a hallucination or cartoon?
Ananda: “Don’t know. Look in and tell me what you see?”
Em examines it carefully.
Alasdair looks as well.
Em blinks “I see an androgynous person with very fine silver scales instead of skin. What’s worrisome is the twinge of arousal just looking closely gives me…especially given I have no idea what this sentient is like”
Em observes rather dryly “My previous career rather turned me off regarding the idea of anonymous intimacy”
Em shifts awkwardly and shakes her head
Ananda: “I imagine that’s why its status also says ‘cognitohazard’.”
Alasdair: “Makes sense.”
Em: Something that can “fuck your brains out” ? Like that wasn’t already a serious design issue with sentients to start with….
Alasdair: “Though the amount of force that would require…”
Ananda: “Kf. Seems to work alright for bonobos. And they haven’t nearly wiped out their own species, either.”
Ananda shakes her head and wanders around, to see if anything catches her eye.
Em smirks slightly “only if it helped prevent them from inventing the means of wiping themselves out. give them time….”
Ananda grins over her shoulder to Em.
Kassil: Ananda determines, after some examination, that every single tube contains a humanoid of some kind, all of them marked as ‘Test Subject’, and all with a Status of Nominal or Nominal-Minus.
Ananda: What’s ‘nominal-minus’?
Kassil: The most intriguing are the young woman with the dark and oily skin, and the young man who appears to have an internal glow of some kind. The former is the one Alasdair wondered about being a Wielding-infused genetic manipulation. The latter is a Genesis/Human Infusion Test subject, also Nominal-Minus.
Ananda: “We can be certain that whatever this Foundation was, it didn’t have an institutional review board. I can’t see half of these experiments getting a pass at a respectable university.”
Alasdair: “Traditionally, ‘N-’ is a designation indicating either slow degredation of the subject’s vitals or a problem with the containment unit. In this case, it might also be the inability of these units to fully contain the subject in question.”
Ananda: “Hnn?”
Em: ….which would explain silver’s lust inducing ability yes…
Kassil: So.
Kassil: What now?
Alasdair: “Well, you asked.”
Ananda: “Ah.”
Ananda is ready to move on, if the other two are.
Em: Well since we’re not freeing any of them and I’m having no luck figuring out how this system connects to whatever, I guess we go on and be very thankful no one has made test subjects of us
Ananda quirks a smile, “How can you be sure?”
Em shudders a bit “because nothing extreme or exciting has happened to us lately…yes I know that’s not conclusive let me cling to hope”
Kassil: The other way out of the room is typical, but someone attempted to shut the second blast door down the hall; it’s jammed about a eight feet above the floor, with scorch marks on either side suggesting it forced down this far against some considerable resistance. Just beyond it, the hallway branches to the left, while also continuing straight.
Kassil: Visual Detection checks, please.
Alasdair nods at the left branch.
Ananda takes a closer look at one of the scorch marks. “Huh..”
Ananda tries to scrape some of the residue into a sample container.
Kassil: There’s a soft crunching sounds as the residue flakes away from the wall into Ananda’s container.
Em: What’s odd there?
Ananda: “Some burnt-looking organics on the wall.”
Kassil: So, Ananda has her sample of charred stuff. And now…?
Em: Left toward the red room ?
Ananda moves on down the left hallway.
Ananda: (Green room. ICS-667.)
Em: (oops that was the red room right sorry. got confused)
Alasdair follows Ananda cautiously.
Kassil: The hallway is normal at first, but about halfway down the ceramacrete starts to look like it was half-melted, resembling something more like flowstone in a cave. Some of the lights seem to have been swallowed by the shift, leaving intermittent patches of darkness, while the lights that remain are twisted to weird angles.
Em: (is suitably disquieted and tries to make sure nothing’s hiding in the dark bits
Em: …anyone else feeling anomalous tactile sensations?
Ananda pauses and touches the wall.
From Kassil: The oily sensation clings to your fingertips.
Alasdair pauses and reaches down toward his feet.
Ananda whispers, “Yes.”
Em sees if there’s any patch that looks more melted than others and goes toward it for contrast
Ananda rubs her fingers together and checks for residue.
Em touches some of the melted stone in that area with both hands
Alasdair signs, “Try to keep Serek from destroying worlds while we’re in here.”
Ananda grins, signs, ‘Probably won’t be necessry. Probably.’
Alasdair stumbles slowly toward the room.
Ananda ghosts on into the green zone.
Em follows, slowly
Kassil: The green room, whatever it once was, is now something of a flowstone cavern, with long fingers drooping from the roof toward the floor and the equipment dismantled and half-sunken into the ground. You primarily see the wreckage of what appear to be computer systems, with a few crumpled things that might have been heavy-duty storage lockers.
Em checks out the storage lockers if any of them are intact enough they might have undestroyed contents…
Ananda tries to locate where the source of the heat has to have been.
Kassil: Em finds the lockers destroyed completely; most look like they were crushed by some immense force.
Kassil: Ananda finds no indication of a heat source.
Alasdair: Does it look charred as well as melted or was everything in the room just inexplicably rendered into a thick liquid form?
Kassil: Nothing in the room looks charred.
Ananda: Ah, hmm.
Kassil: Some of the machinery and lockers looks like they were crushed by something, but that’s the only sign of violence.
Alasdair: Is it possible to establish an origin point or directionality for the crushing?
Kassil: You could give me an Arcane check, modified by half of any ranks of Energy and Control that you have.
Ananda faces away from the others and calls a dime-sized ball of plasma into being, floating over her hand. Just to be sure that it works.
Kassil: Alasdair walks slowly around the room, examining everything from various angles, before pinpointing an area against the wall opposite the door, roughly about the level of his head, from which an intense kinetic force must have manifested at some point during the period when the room was ‘fluid’.
Kassil: Ananda finds herself with a tiny bubble of plasma radiating light and heat above her hand.
Ananda allows it to dissipate.
Ananda moves back to the door and waits. “Nothing left to see, here?”
Alasdair shrugs and signs, “Room was scuttled?”
Ananda nods, ‘Looks like.’
Em: I’m thinking it’s more of a breach of their defenses, myself…
Ananda: Looks that way so far.
Em: Back out and down to DSS-447-K ?
Ananda: (Though this room might have been rigged to self-destruct, and triggered when something from down the hall breached.)
Ananda pauses. Signs, ‘Anyone else feel like we’re being watched?’
Alasdair signs, “No.”
Ananda leans against the wall, eyes flicking over the corners of the room while she thinks.
Em signs “no but something’s clinging to me”
Alasdair watches Ananda speculatively.
Em signs “something’s here. not watching though”
Ananda nods to Em. Well then.
Alasdair slides over to stand next to Ananda.
Em signs “probably the same thing touching me all over?”
Ananda seeks the watcher, with minimal imposition.
Kassil: What exactly are you sensing for?
Ananda: Whatever mind(s) appears to be watching me.
Ananda holds still with her eyes closed for a bit after the Wielding settles around her, then whispers, “Odd, that.”
Ananda paces slowly across the room, eyes half shut.
Em: (we’re in the stomach of magical beast, occupying the room trapper/lurker like)
Em signs “experiment, hold still?”
Ananda does so.
Em walks right up into Ananda’s space, just short of touching but facing her, long enough to see if anything happens
Alasdair watches with obvious curiosity.
Ananda: (Alasdair is no doubt wondering if we’ve finally lost it.)
Em: slowly backs away from Ananda, looking a bit distracted
Ananda waits for Em’s conclusion.
Em signs “my clinger squeezes tighter when you’re near”
Alasdair signs, “Reminds me of an ex.”
Em pauses about four arms lengths from her “it’s relaxed again”
Ananda signs, ‘The touch anomaly on my hands got colder when either of you neared me, but not when I moved near you. Also, strange ambient awareness in here. Not localized.’
Kassil: So. what now? :D
Ananda signs, ‘Shall we move on?’
Em: (Go get a ghost trap?)
Alasdair walks over to Em and puts a hand on her shoulder.
Em blinks but presumes this is more testing
Alasdair removes his hand and shrugs noncommittally at Em.
Em: “no change here” she signs
Em: "we’re one ‘charge’, Ananda is another? "
Alasdair rubs his chin. “All signs point to Ananda.”
Ananda tries walking over towards Alasdair, stopping maybe half-arm’s-length away. She signs, ‘Notice anything?’
Alasdair signs, “Nothing yet.”
Ananda signs, ‘Momentary blip, for me.’
Ananda rests a hand on Alasdair’s shoulder (a few inches above her eye level), to see if there’s any difference.
Alasdair looks at Ananda’s hand and puts his hand over hers.
Alasdair frowns contemplatively.
Ananda raises her eyebrows and signs with her off hand, ‘If you snuck itching powder out, good job – I missed it entirely.’
Alasdair replies, “I’m getting the same sensation from you.”
Ananda: “Kf. Argues in favor of the charge hypothesis.”
Alasdair rubs the index finger of his free hand along Ananda’s jawline as if he was wiping something off.
Kassil: Both of you experience an itching sensation at the contact.
Ananda reflexively twitches away at the itchiness, looks a question at Alasdair.
Alasdair takes a half step back and furiously rubs the itching away before replying, “You feel strangely oily.”
Kassil: The itching sensation rapidly fades when the two of you lose contact.
Ananda: “Yeah, I’d noticed. I’d kill for a shower, even though it’s not real.”
Ananda: “Felt like you had a cold-burn kind of thing going on,” she adds.
Alasdair: “You may have picked up an echo o-”
Alasdair blinks.
Alasdair: “Interesting.”
Ananda: “What were you saying?”
Alasdair: “What was your part of our shared dream?”
Ananda tilts her head to one side, remembering. “I was walking down stairs that had been carved into a glacier. It was damp and a bit clinging, but not uncomfortably cold.”
Ananda rubs her fingers together, “Similar, yes.”
Alasdair: “I was saying that you may have picked up an echo of who or whatever that grease spot once was. You can’t locate the presence because it’s covering you.”
Ananda: “Hnn..”
Ananda offers a hand to Em to test.
Em takes the hand with only a little trepidation, certain that her lack of wielding power relative to Alasdair will make the reaction less bad…
Kassil: There’s an instant sense of itching when Ananda and Em come into contact.
Ananda holds. It’s nowhere near as bad as stinging nettles.
Ananda: “Heat. Interesting.”
Em raises an eyebrow “he’s right. you’re oily”
Ananda: “At least it’s consistent.”
Kassil: Once the two of you part contact, the sensations quickly fade away.
Em: so. now to see if this only happens here or if it lingers
Ananda shrugs, “Let’s move to the next room and try again, then.”
Em nods
Kassil: Moving on, then?
Ananda , if nobody objects, will move on.
Alasdair: Moving on
Kassil: All right. We’ll pick up next time with your entry to DSS-447-K.
Ananda: Okay.
Kassil: 165 CDP to everyone.
Kassil: And I suppose I should collect the last few sessions worth of checks and such.
Kassil: Soon.
Ananda: Would be appreciated.
Kassil: Something about being distracted by the holidays and visits.
Kassil: Anyhow!
Kassil: Some more things for you all to chew on and mull over. ;)
Em: thank you for gm’ing :)
Ananda: Understandable. And this was fun.
Em: yes. how to give up sovereignity over our souls piecemeal >_>
Kassil: Snerk.
Ananda does not have a soul to give.
Kassil: Maybe that’s your problem. :D
Em: no soul….she’s an elf!
Ananda refuses to concede the existence of any such phenomenon.
Kassil: Heh.
Kassil: All right, then.
Ananda: (Technically speaking, Ananda’s an atheist as well.)
Kassil: Heh. Well. See you all next time. ;)
Ananda: Hasta!

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Kassil Jssra

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