Chiasmata: LIFTOFF.

Chiasmata: LIFTOFF.
#76
==~>

[Image: JOOPnIH.png]

Some eldritch equilibrium shifts, and they rubberband back into a 'normal' ten-odd feet tall.

ARCHIVIST: "Now, I recall that humans don't tend to like that kind of perspective shift for too long. Well, the human I last met didn't, said it made the eyeballs itch. And, er, wait! I have a form better suited for interacting with humans!"

They blur with motion and, er, unpeel into a far more normal-looking person[dubious - discuss]. It's really rather unsettling, and reminds you of what you and Daniel saw, with what you assume was Arbiter. Or some component thereof.

Honestly, everything these people do is low-to-highkey unsettling.

SAM: "Well, thanks? I guess?"
ARCHIVIST: "Happy to be of service! Now, dear Sage, dear Tinkerer, can you still hear us?"
DANIEL: "Are you talking to us?"
ARCHIVIST: "I am!"
SAM: "Why do you use those weird names?"
ARCHIVIST: "I'm not sure I understand your question."
SAM: "They're called Daniel and Jacqueline. Not 'Tinkerer' and 'Sage'."
ARCHIVIST: "Well, I'm using a non-standard shortening, but those are the names I see when I look at them. Hm. That's a bad analogy. 'See' gives an entirely erroneous description of the sense I use. Er, the last time I heard it described, it was called 'florgle', but that was a made-up word by the last person I explained this stuff to outside my dear siblings."
JACQUELINE: "Not that this isn't fascinating, but we're still in different rooms, blocked off by impenetrable black stuff."
ARCHIVIST: "Aha, well, that's where you're wrong. The Voidwalls are perfectly penetrable, it's just that human-borne abilities are specifically disallowed from breaking it. Sometimes. There have been exceptions, but that wouldn't stop you using conventional means to get through."
ASH: "Conventional means? Like what?"
ARCHIVIST: "Er, as a point of comparison... do you remember what a 'nuclear bomb' is?"
ASH: "I think so?"
ARCHIVIST: "They are the most energy-dense unassistedly human-made bombs on Earth Crimson."
ASH: "And those would get through the Voidwalls?"
ARCHIVIST: "Well. You'd have to use all of them. But yes!"
DANIEL: "Given that, unless someone's been holding out on me, we don't have all the world's nukes hidden somewhere about our persons, couldn't you just do the brain-breaky thing again so we can climb over?"
ARCHIVIST: "Um. It'd probably not work. And you might die. But apart from that, it's a good plan."
DANIEL: "Yeah, some slight issues with that plan, then."
ARCHIVIST: "They're actually rather significant - you'd be moving through dimensions you don't normally inhabit, that you couldn't see, and that might end up with you dropping out of the shadow of the Location and being uniformly spread over the entire wheel of universes."
SAM: "So, can't you get through?"
ARCHIVIST: "Oh, I can. Er, in fact, I should, shouldn't I? Let your friends in, that is."
SAM: "Mmm-hmm."









<Θ>

[Image: RKI00jD.png]

You immediately regret giving them the go-ahead. Your eyes regret it, and then your brain regrets having to interpret the input from your eyes.

The space between them and the wall contracts and you nearly trip over as the room lurches. It's like being dizzy, and then they reach their hands out, and part the wall like a curtain. Shadows writhe across the floor, as if they're confused about where they should be.

Wait, no. That isn't right. They hold out their hands, and the wall obliges by not being where they ask it not to be. Or maybe it just... wasn't ever there, because Archivist deemed it so.

ARCHIVIST: "Now, breaking parts of the Voidwall would be dangerous, so I've merely circumvented it. Step through the presented aperture. Please avoid thinking about the physics of the situation. Experience has told me that, without a thourough background in differential geometry and higher-dimensional topology, that'll just hurt your head."
DANIEL: "I still can't tell what I'm looking at."
ARCHIVIST: "Good! That'll make the not-getting-a-headache easier. Or not-harder."
ASH: "Why do you keep doing weird things? Like, surely there's an easier way to do this. None of our powers break brains to watch."
ARCHIVIST: "Aheheh, well, this is the easy way. Or, at least, the way that's least damaging to the systems without drawing the attention of my siblings. Er. Hmm. Well, I guess I was kinda being overdramatic? You're the first audience I've had in a while, and I wanted to make a good impression."
ASH: "By hurting our heads and scaring us?"
ARCHIVIST: "My previous audience was slightly more used to it, I must admit. And you were scared? That's terrible, and I apologise unreservedly!"
ASH: "Er, um. Thanks? I was more alarmed than, er, scared though."
ARCHIVIST: "Hm. You're mildly alexithymic, I think, looking a bit closer at your neurochemistry."
ASH: "What?"
DANIEL: "Can we stop getting lost in tangents and digressions? Who or what are your 'siblings', why do you look like that thing in the coffin back in... where the hell ever in this stupid hellmaze? Where are we? Why are we here?" And who even are you?
SAM: "Well, they told us some of that."









==~>

[Image: jdGmrA3.png]

You then, with mild prompting and as few digressions from Archivist as possible, explain what they told you about the situation.

Daniel pauses, thinking before asking his next question.

DANIEL: "So, what'll happen if your siblings notice what's going on? That you're alive?"
ARCHIVIST: "Um. It depends? My dear brother will probably try to kill me, my dear sister... I'm not sure, and my dear sibling will probably stop my dear brother from wringing my sorry neck?"
JACQUELINE: "A functional family, then?"
ARCHIVIST: "You'd think so, wouldn't you? You'd think the oldest beings on all the Earths would have figured out their family dynamics by now."
ASH: "Oldest?"
ARCHIVIST: "Yes, well. I think so? I don't quite remember my earliest memories, but I do recall that we're older than the cold of the Earth."
JACQUELINE: "I'm not sure what that means."
ARCHIVIST: "Hmm. Well, there was that time when your Earth was hit by another planet. That wasn't so long ago, but it did kick up enough stuff to form Earth's natural satellite. That was pretty impressive."
SAM: "Still not ringing any bells."
ASH: "Sounds old, though."
JACQUELINE: "We're missing an important detail. What do you plan, going forwards. You're going to get us all out of here alive, yes?"

Archivist looks decidely uncomfortable.

ARCHIVIST: "Funny thing about that... My siblings are all evenly matched with me, Strength-wise. If more than one of them disagrees with getting you out of here, you're not getting out of here. And I'd love to say that, er, you're all going to be fine, but I don't like making promises about things that aren't certain."

There is a brief silence.

DANIEL: "Welp. We're doomed."
ARCHIVIST: "I will try my best to avoid that eventuality! I even have the vague seed of a plan! Admittedly, it is mostly a plan to fix the Location and the systems it oversees, the power it routes and so forth. But, as a side-effect, it will make releasing you back where you came from a trivial matter, once the relevant systems are repaired. Optimistically, it'll take an hour or so of your subjective time."
DANIEL: "Pessimistically?"
ARCHIVIST: "We all die, the Location collapses, and every living thing on every Earth from mauve through to apricot dies, and it takes a few thousand years for me and my siblings to pick up all the pieces."
JACQUELINE: "Yeesh."
DANIEL: "I reiterate my previous statement about us all being doomed."










Footnote:
SpoilerShow
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#77
>So when can you start executing your plan?
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#78
>Where are all of the doors and exits, in case we have to start running for our lives
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#79
>Well, lets do it, if there is no other way. Or is there?
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#80
>So, when does the plan start?

[Image: EmZ1Rjw.png]

They pause for a second, seemingly lost in thought.

ARCHIVIST: "Hmm. I suppose-"

With a sound like breaking glass, something changes behind them, and they yelp in surprise.

ARCHIVIST: "Oh cripes."









==~>

[Image: MnsgW8B.png]

Something seems... disjointed, and Archivist is reacting to things you can only see in your peripheral vision. Spreading cracks, little flecks of darkness that twist and writhe across your perception.

ARCHIVIST: "Uh- don't worry? It's just, just that I'll have to - dangit - enact my plan sooner rather than later. And maybe there's some..."
SAM: "What's going on?"

They don't seem to register your question, too preoccupied with... whatever it is they're doing.

ARCHIVIST: "He's... trying to get in? He can't possibly be serious. Still, if he's playing chicken with the structure of the Location, I... I don't have a choice, do I?"

And then, with a hollow not-noise, they vanish, like a soap bubble popping.









==>

[Image: ZzstVBK.png]

Everything continues to deteriorate. It's like everything's not working. The walls and floors no longer meet at right angles. Distances stop being consistent.

SAM: "I sure hope they're going to get help."

The room shudders, but you don't feel anything, just see it move.

DANIEL: "I wouldn't count on it?"
ASH: "Look."

Something far greater and far stranger than yourself or your perceptions is happening. Great hands seize everything, and start to move it in directions you can't fathom.









~>

[Image: A0yrjhB.png]

On the Outside, looking in.

(right)
(wait)


It'd be silly to describe an action as "clearing one's metaphorical throat", but that is as good a description as any.

~ah, that's better~
~good to have the old voice back, and pull my brain fully out of that machine~
~right, let's get to this~
~they're all here in this self-contained four-level tesseroid of root three rooms per side~
~can't see how he's getting in, but it's destabilising, so...~










<Θ>

[Image: wV6I0la.png]

~concatenate the subject collections, and then...~
~archive, show me the code~
<complying>


And from behind a dark curtain, comes a twist and turn of binding rope.
The words that weave the world together.









<Θ>

[Image: JK21K0G.png]

~right, and slot them into the machinery, so the archive can...~
<analysing>
~take them somewhere safe, okay~
<analysing>
[warning: unrecognised admin]
[warning: unrecognised unknown]
~i'll have to work on that error message~
~but if i don't know where they're going, no-one else will either~
~and the location's work will continue, which is always a bonus~










~~>

[Image: 4L1CcGC.png]

~now, what was i forgetting?~










======>

[Image: ybw7SWy.gif]

[error: unauthorised access]
>enter passphrase<










Footnote:
SpoilerShow
Quote
#81
Um.
>passphrase

>Or... take the word "passphrase" in the prompt, and enter it as if it were a door.
Quote
#82
Passphrase... umm....
>Chapter Five?
>Triumvirate?
>The Door Near?

Cipher SolutionShow
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#83
SpoilerShow
Passphrase?
>Animalia
>Plantae
>Mitosis
>Meiosis
[Image: DGBpqSL.png]
Quote
#84
>'passphrase'?

[Image: GUySbqy.gif]

Well, it was worth a try.









>'the door near'?

[Image: NNaMY4W.gif]

{correct}
[error: end]
{end chapter 4}
<calculating>
<calculating>
{chapter 5}










>Chapter 5: Chapter 5: Chapter 5: Chapt...

[Image: F9b7tGu.png]

Urrrrrrrrrrrrgggghh... Your head is killing you.
What the... what happened?










->

[Image: Kn8an3h.png]

What the...









->

[Image: OjF0Rp8.png]

Where the... ?









>???

[Image: OzHlMnu.png]

You struggle to your feet, legs feeling wobblier than they should, and make your way over to the edge of whatever weird stone thing this is.

It's... a long way down.

BONNIE: "Hmm. No sign of anyone else. What is this place?"









≃>

[Image: Imgzgxe.png]

BONNIE: "Hmm. Now, how am I supposed to get down?"

You get something of a feeling - you could climb down some of this, but it'd probably be tricky. The rock-stuff has enough handholds, but... you're still hesitant, and it feels like a small memory from a life you're not remembering is trying to reach the surface.
So, for now, you shelve the idea of climbing down. It looks a bit too high, maybe.









≃>

[Image: MIhziN9.png]

With this place and memory editing, you might have come here and forgotten why - wherever 'here' is.

You're certainly not as weird-looking as you were, so maybe some time has passed? You got the feeling that those alien bits started to go away over time.

Right, the last thing you remembered was... everything going strange and abstract after you stumbled through some rooms?

Maybe if you th-









≃>

[Image: DHcDbdp.png]

OH GOD WHAT.

{applying solution to presented problem:}
⌾How am I supposed to get down?⌾










Footnote:
SpoilerShow
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#85
Good thing you're very hard to kill?
Cipher SolutionShow
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#86
>Hopefully this isn't one of those deadly falls I've heard so much about.
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#87
> Crikeys this robot pushed you off a cliff, now let's see if you can insert your finger in its arsehole.
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#88
Be careful when appling your solution, that you don't eat the seeds in the core.
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#89
(06-12-2018, 07:53 PM)Xindaris Wrote: »Be careful when appling your solution, that you don't eat the seeds in the core.

Whoops.
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#90
>Hopefully this isn't one of those deadly falls I've heard so much about.

[Image: II2I4lG.png]

While plummeting, your life flashes before your eyes.
Given that your only memories start a couple of hours ago, when you woke up in your Location-room, it doesn't take as long as you expected.
You are interrupted from wondering about how painful it will be to survive this, however, by the fact that you stop falling.

While some forgotten part of your brain reminds you that 'it's not the fall that kills you, but the sudden stop at the end', what your brain doesn't know is that the principle only applies if the accelleration isn't uniformly and telekinetically applied to every part of your body at once. Were it not for that, you would have been worse off than if you hit the ground below - a telekinetic 'surface' is far less yielding than an imitation of stone. It would have been survivable - very little isn't, these days - but it would certainly have stung somewhat.

You don't actually realise how lucky you are.









=>

[Image: 0yeQgyx.png]

You're lowered to the ground, and a familiar face makes himself apparent.

BONNIE: "Oh hey, am I glad to see you!"
DANIEL: "Bonnie? Are you okay?"
BONNIE: "Yeah - thanks for catching me. I think I'd survive, but it wouldn't have been pretty."

Danie's pale already, but he manages to blanch at that, somehow.

DANIEL: "Yeah... I noticed you falling. How'd you even manage that? Uh, falling, I mean. Did someone push you?"
BONNIE: "I didn't get a good look, but I think-"









~=>

[Image: izBOdPS.png]

You're cut off by the crash of something robotic-ish falling to the ground, only a few feet from you. Bits of it bounce and clatter around, weirdly disconnected for a humanoid-ish thing.

DANIEL: "Is that another robot-thing?"
BONNIE: "Maybe?"
DANIEL: "Yeah, it looks pretty different to the other ones. Is it supposed to be in bits?"









Footnote:
SpoilerShow
Quote
#91
>You know, those robot dudes are pretty creepy. Take its head along with you while you explore so it can't pull itself back together while you explore.
Vivian Quest
Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
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#92
>Thank robotfriend for helping you down, they did good job
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#93
>Take its head with you.

[Image: z74HshY.png]

You know, that sounds like a good idea.

DANIEL: "What're you doing?"
BONNIE: "It pushed me off a thing, so I'm taking its head with me so it can't follow us and try that again."
DANIEL: "Fair enough, I guess?"
BONNIE: "Huh. I knew these things were hollow, but this is lighter than I-"









~=>

[Image: xA23pYR.png]

Apparently it doesn't need its head to stand back up.

BONNIE: "What?"
DANIEL: "Bonnie, get away from it!"









~=>

[Image: kG0pcdj.png]

It 'looks' directly at you as it reattaches its head.

BONNIE: "Huh. That's weird."
DANIEL: "That's our cue to leave. Do you think it's going to follow us?"









~=>

[Image: vdBKrsu.png]

BONNIE: "It's not really doing anything. Didn't the others say the other robot-things attacked them?"
DANIEL: "That's lovely, but I still think we should leave, maybe try to find the others in this lurid multicoloured hellscape."
BONNIE: "Oh come on, it's not that bad."









~=>

[Image: 2I5K408.png]

???: "Oh come on, it's not that bad."









Footnote:
SpoilerShow
Quote
#94
> call out the robot for being a COPYCAT

> try poking it in the head and see what happens
[Image: tumblr_inline_n479umBDPA1qgfp4l.png]
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#95
> say: So do you just say what I say
> think: or do you say what I think
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#96
>Say the phonetic alphabet so it can cobble together messy, barely legible sentences.
This is not the original Juddy. We made a deal because we use the same username, and I own this account now. I am the owner. It is me. Totally worth giving up a reddit account with high karma for a forum account with adventures I read
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#97
(07-09-2018, 04:44 PM)juddy555 Wrote: »>Say the phonetic alphabet so it can cobble together messy, barely legible sentences.
Seconded! Give nopebot some vocab!
Daniel, you say some stuff too and see if it copies you as well!
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#98
> The robot thinks you're cool! Set a good example, now!
Avatar by ribsgrowback on tumblr!
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#99
>oh boy it's that bad
>Daniel: mimic punching Bonnie, see what happens
Vivian Quest
Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
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>Friend: Be Fed Vocabulary
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