21 – Down the Drain05-Aug-08
Your party remains split in three groups. Gene and the retainers remain at the crossroads as guards, keeping up their vigil.
Ibben and Apollo are exploring the room behind the violet door. They have found several chairs with helmet-like devices and an operational computer terminal inside. Translating from the posters in the room, they figure that the relics are ‘electrocephalagraphs’.
Aka-Vasha, the Slinker, Yobo, Rasputin, and Olive are with they synthetic Pris. Her memory is thankfully scant with respect to the recent hostilities, and she appears to be looking to Rasputin for direction.
Ibben continues to examine the computer terminal. Everything is covered with a layer of dust, but Ibben sees that a dim green light is glowing beneath the monitor!
Ibben raises his eyebrows in surprise at its functionality, but is careful not to touch any of the knobs on the computer, heeding the warning on the sign; although he could not understand much of it, he knows that it’s not something he wants to risk.
Hiking up his robes, he crouches down to look under and behind the chairs for anything else which may have been left by whoever last used this place.
(The referee tosses some dice to determine whether any random detritus has been left in the room.)
It appears, however, that this area was kept immaculately clean before being sealed. It may have remained completely undisturbed all these long centuries!
Apollo is slightly bolder than his overweight ally: “I don’t think we should mess with this brain-affecting machine. It’s too risky. But let us give the computer a fiddle, it seems to still have power.”
Ibben shrugs to the Judge. “All right, go ahead.” Before Apollo has a chance to begin, however, Ibben moves back to the door and waits just inside, turning himself invisible again and carefully not touching the panel beside the door.
Apollo begins to experiment with the terminal…
(I’m going to treat this as a Technology roll. It’s a complex device, so Apollo needs to roll a 45% or lower. The dice come up 32%!)
Apollo quickly determines that the terminal is a touchscreen computer. He has seen similar devices in the lairs of madmen and tech heretics that he has brought to justice, and understands the principle by which they operate.
“See here, Ibben, the various icons.” explains the Judge to his now-invisible companion. “They represent various angels and/or demons which can be summoned from within the device. Like our companion, Olive, they are the spirits of the outer world confined within Ancient machinery.”
Ibben is somewhat dubious of Apollo’s explanation, but cannot deny that the Judge is obtaining a response from the terminal.
“I cannot make out the words here.” says Apollo after a while. “They appear to refer to various sciences and areas of knowledge; many of which are viewed with suspicion or outright banned in some parts of the Affiliation. This icon, for example, is labelled ‘nanotechnology’, which of course is the tool of the Dark One. Very curious…”
The Judge continues to fiddle with the computer for several more minutes without further results. (He’s spent about 1 turn total; it’ll take several hours to make substantial progress with the Ancient terminal.)
Eventually Ibben becomes impatient: “Friend; we risk much by remaining here so long. I suggest we return back to report to Rasputin.”
Indeed, Gene has become concerned about the amount of time since Ibben and Apollo entered the chamber to the south. With the violet door closed he has no way of knowing their fate. The plantmen remain virtually rooted to their spots in the western room, but at one point he thought he saw shadows playing against the wall in the lit chamber to the east.
Turning to the retainers he whispers: “We will give them one more minute, then I will return to the others and formulate a new plan.”
Down the Drain
Meanwhile, back in the other room Pris seems confused by her memory loss and looks imploringly at Rasputin: “What are my instructions?”
Rasputin speaks to the synthetic, projecting confidence into his voice. “Pris, we are a team sent by the Affiliation to determine the origin and cause of a recent series of devastating raids against nearby outposts. The origin of the attacks is from this installation. We are awaiting a report from our scouts, then need to proceed to a nearby shaft and thence below to find the cause. Sorry I cannot give you more time to adjust. Here is your weapon back – I hope you still know how to use it.”
Rasputin offers the synthetic the pistol back. In his conversation, Rasputin tries to use an inclusive ‘we’ so that Pris will draw the inference that she is, and has always been, a member of the team.
Pris looks surprised and more than a little disgusted. “A weapon?” she asks. “I’ll need violet-level authorization before I’ll even touch such a thing!”
Looking to Ras, Olive waits 1.32 seconds before saying something. “Suggestion: Try giving her authorization, Master Rasputin, supreme authority, grantor of all accesses, far and wide, et cetera, et cetera.” The android’s optical backlight flickered for a moment in Olive’s simulation of a wink.
“Ah… yes. We will get you authorised again in a moment…when the scouts get back.” suggests Rasputin to Pris. She accepts this without further statement.
Slinker whispers to Rasputin as discreetly as he can: “Are you sure you want to give that pistol back to the nutty electric lady? Might go off the rails you know… In fact I think I can operate that thing, can I carry it for now?”
Making sure to speak in Unislang (which Pris does not appear to understand), Rasputin whispers to the Slinker: “She may be nutty but it appears she is on our team now. Given our situation, we need to grab what resources we can. It’s a risk, but let’s see how this pans out for us.”
Slinker shrugs his shoulders. “Sure thing, boss, but if she shoots you dead I reserve the right to laugh like a drain…”
Rasputin looks at Slinker in startlement for a moment. “How does a drain laugh?”
“Humorous reply: Like this…” Olive synthesizes the sound of a drain drinking in a large amount of water, complete with glugs at the end for extra points.
Looking at the collection of mutants and robots in the room, she asks “And this… menagerie; they follow you?” Again, her attention seems focused solely on Rasputin.
You realize that it has been quite some time now since the others ventured south. What are your actions?