Ashwood Cross

Ashwood Cross
#1
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Chapter 0:
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Note for new readers:
You don't have to read the whole backlog to participate. Feel free to jump in at the most recent update! Or just read the Recap, whenever I finish that.


Quote
#2
Tiruin Wrote:> Begin communications session.


[Image: hana_rough_askance_LFR.png]So hey. I'm back. Are you still there?


[Image: radio_silence.png]

You wait for a moment. Then for another moment. And another. And another.
You stand there, waiting for a minute or more. But there's no reply.

Nothing but silence and white noise on the other end.

Tiruin Wrote:> Leave a message anyway

Your friend doesn't seem to be on the line anymore. Just dead air, like before.
Even so, you decide to try talking to them. Maybe they'll hear it? And if not...?

...honestly, you probably need to get some of these feelings off your chest.

[Image: radio_recap.png]


[Image: hana_rough_askance_LFR.png] I don't know if you can hear me right now.
But, if you can? I wanted to tell you that I'm sorry.
Sorry that I yelled at you, and that I stormed off, and...

Yeah. I'm just sorry.

I was freaking out, okay? Honestly, I still kinda am.
More crazy crap just happened, and I don't understand it.
I mean, haha... what else is new, right?

[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png] Anyway, guess that's my excuse for snapping at you.

I've kinda forgotten what I told you, already.
Don't know how much you know about my situation, either.
You seemed like you might want to know what's going on?

And maybe I need to talk about it, too. To process it.
If you're already gone, guess I'll just be venting into the Ether.

Either way, it seems like the thing to do.

...

I should probably start from the beginning...

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#3
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What is your Name?
>
What is your Talent?
>
What is your Flaw?
>
What season is it?
> Verna - Storm Season (Early Summer)
> Estiva - Bloom Season (Midsummer)
> Serotine - Dry Season (Late Summer)
> Autumna - Fall Season (Early Winter)
> Hiberna - Frost Season (Midwinter)
> Brume - Thaw Season (Late Winter)

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#4
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Several People Wrote:What is your Name?
> Hana Greenthorn

What are your Talents?
>Athletics, Botany, Cooking, Deception, Medicine, Music

What are your Flaws?
>Anxiety, Overconfidence

What season is it?
>Estiva - Bloom Season (Midsummer)
Other SuggestionsShow

[Image: wake.png]

Who are you?

You're a bit of an amateur gardener, and enjoy tending to plants as a way to unwind.
You've got a passing interest in herbal medicine, and know a few common remedies by heart.
Having honed a form of freestyle cooking, you can make decent meals out of whatever is on hand.
To the uninitiated or particularly hungry, this knack almost seems like magic, sometimes.
Once upon a time, you were an aspiring freerunner and gymnast too.
Then you got lazy.

You have been known to perform music. Your style might be described as "eclectic".
The ukulele is your weapon of choice, though you dabble in vocals and other instruments.
You've played under several alter egos; Theremis, Houdinia, Princess Bloodthorne, and others besides.
While on stage, you enjoy costuming and playing the role of a character that isn't yourself.
For some reason, it helps calm your nerves.

Truth be told, you are a rather anxious person, with a number of inconvenient fears.
You don't swim, for fear of drowning. You hate being in large crowds. Performing on stage isn't much different.
You've learned to trick yourself out of those feelings by replacing them with irrational overconfidence.
This helps, but the habit has lead you into a lot of impulsive decisions, and general risk-taking.
You've gotten pretty darn good at concealing and controlling your emotions though.
Sometimes, you worry that you're a little too good at lying to yourself.

[Image: up.png]

You are Hana Greenthorn.

And right now, you feel like garbage.

[Image: camp.png]


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#5
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Elephant Parade Wrote:> Take ukulele.
Kadzar Wrote:> Yes, make sure our precious ukulele is alright.

You stand up from your seat on the floor.
As you rise, your feet wobble under you, and your head swims a bit.
You manage to keep yourself from falling, though.

[Image: stand.png]

Seems you're in a well-lit cave. It's surprisingly warm and dry.
From what you know of subterranean places, that's a little unusual.
As you look around, you see an equally strange Stray Ukulele. Maybe it's yours?

You certainly played one before, but you're not sure this was it.

Something about it feels...

[Image: garble.png]

As you try to remember the Uke you used to play, your head starts to feel really strange.
The thoughts start to shift and blur, until the ideas don't make proper sense anymore.
It's like the memory becomes sounds and smells, or reasons and feelings, or something else.
The whole Train of Thought just melts into mushy nonsense, until you can't hold it anymore.

Then there goes the Caboose of Thought, evaporating into nothing.
Like the details of a dream, after you wake up.
Or a train that's real shitty at existing.

No, scratch that last one. First one was better.

[Image: ukulele.png]

Anyway, whether or not the Stray Ukulele is yours, it's all alone here.
It's a little scuffed and travel-worn, but it's in good condition.
And there's no one else to take care of it, right?

You decide to take it with you. It might need a name, though.

S34N1C Wrote:> Look out the window.

[Image: scout.png]

Uke secure, you head over to a large, bright opening in the cave wall.
At first, you thought it might be a window, but it's big enough to walk through.
The bright sunlight makes it hard to see the details without stepping outside.
However, there's a trail of some sort, winding along rocky hills.

You're thinking it's more of a doorway. Perhaps the Cave Entrance?

monk12 Wrote:> Loot the giant tootsie roll!

[Image: bag.png]

What, this big thing? Obviously, that's a Duffel Bag.

Though, like the Ukulele, you don't recognize it either.
You head starts to feel all fuzzy again when you try.

It's probably pretty heavy, judging by the size.
You'd rather not carry it around until you're ready to move on.

Still, you're kinda curious about what's inside.
Unless there's anything else you really wanted to do here, maybe...

ShadowHammer Wrote:> Retrieve arms ukelele, play some radical inspirational tunes to make ourself feel less like garbage

I guess you do still feel pretty messed up, huh?
Especially what with all the brain static.
Writing a tune can help you process complex feels, so maybe...

TheBiggerFish Wrote:> Find source of hugs. We seem to be in need of one.

Well, okay. You can drop the song idea.
Maybe this situation calls for a hug, instead?
I mean, there's no one here, but there's...

That Big Stalagmite, I guess?

You could probably sorta just... drape yourself around one?
Pretend it was...

Egan_BW Wrote:> Spontaneously start thinking about kittens for a moment.

Okay sure whatever. Forget your troubles.
Replace them with kittens. That works.

Right?

And hey! Unlike normal kittens, Brain Kittens don't have to eat or poop!
That's great! So you're just gonna put this next idea on hold.
Then you can summon some Brain Kittens right up, and...

Haspen Wrote:> Re: hug the ukulele. Just do it.

[Image: indecision.png]

Okay, fuck it.

[♫] ≫ You do the things.


Name the Ukulele?
>
What's in the Duffel Bag?
>
Wat do?
>

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#6
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monk12 Wrote:> Meow Meow
> meow meow meow meow meow
> meow meow Meow

[Image: hug.png]

Er... yeah. That.

You're glad to have your Nameless Ukulele,
but that's enough hugging of inanimate objects.
And enough vivid hallucination of cats.
Enough for a very long time.

Surprisingly, after all that, you still feel like garbage.
Maybe this is not so surprising, actually.

You take a moment to assess your CHARACTER STATUS

[Image: hana_enervated.png]

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[Image: grace_2.png][Image: wit_2.png]
[Image: stamina_2.png][Image: composure_1.png]

[Image: header_skills.png]
[Image: athletics_2.png][Image: botany_1.png]
[Image: cooking_1.png][Image: deception_1.png]
[Image: medicine_1.png][Image: music_2.png]

Hmm.

That ENERVATED part might explain some of it.
At least you're healthy, and your STATUS are normal otherwise.
Can't hardly go on an adventure with junked-up STATUS, right?

Right.

S34N1C Wrote:> Check out the entry at the other side of the cave

[Image: west.png]

Speaking of adventure, you're curious about the chamber to the... West?
You've got no idea which way is which, but let's just call it West.

It's not lit up like this chamber, so you can't see into it from here.
For a moment, you thought you heard a muffled echo, from somewhere deeper?
But maybe not. It's pretty much silent, apart from the sound of wind from outside.
You still wonder if there's anything dangerous over there?

You'll have to check it out, once you wrap up things in here.

Dermonster Wrote:> Break off stalagmite for use as club.

Finding something to defend yourself with might be a good idea, before you go.
Even a makeshift weapon would be better than nothing.

You try breaking a Small Stalagmite off the ground.

STRENGTH TEST: 1 Might + 2 Stamina ☆☆☆ <VS> Difficulty ★Show

[Image: struggle.png]

Oof, it's no use!

The stupid rock is thicker than your arms, and pretty tough.
And the formation isn't long enough to get good leverage on.

Oh well. Probably would've made a shitty weapon, anyway.
As if you even needed one.

Tiruin Wrote:> Our Ukelele is named Mori...probably a shorthand for Memoria.

[Image: ukulele.png]

Hmm. You've been thinking about names for your new Instrument.
What about Memento Mori? "Remember, you will die", right?
Granted, it's a bit edge-lordy and morbid.
But it's no "Princess Bloodthorn," you suppose.

All in all, you like it.
It's a good reminder to Live Hard, while you can.
Always do your best. Follow your heart. Enjoy yourself.
That sort of thing.

If you invert it, "Death of Remembering" feels weirdly appropriate too.

For now, you set Memento Mori down next to the Duffel Bag, to free your hands.
You'll just call 'em Mori for short.

S34N1C Wrote:> Search the duffel bag

[Image: duffel.png]

You kneel down and poke around inside the mysterious Duffel Bag.
You almost feel like you know what you'll find before you pull it out.
Like a brief moment of Deja Vu, though the feeling subsides.

Item #1Show

Item #2Show

Item #3Show

Item #4Show

Anyway, you're nearing the bottom of the Duffel!
You can't help but wonder what prize was waiting at the bottom.
It feels like balled-up fabric. Smooth, flexible, and not too heavy.
It's weirdly familiar, but not in a Weirdly weird way.

This is kind of exciting! You lift it out, and unfurl it.

Item #5Show

With that, the Duffle is now empty. It's Inventory fully inventoried.
You carefully repack it, half-tucking Mori the Ukulele inside.
Then stand up to test the weight.

[Image: header_inventory.png]
[Image: hana_items.png]
ITEM SUMMARY:Show

[Image: equipped.png]

Kadzar Wrote:> Explore the westward? passage.

You're finally satisfied with your preparations.
Shouldering the Duffel Bag, you head west(?) into the Dark Passage.

[Image: dark.png]


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#7
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[Image: dot.png]

This Dark Passage is aptly named. It's hard to see anything in here!
Anything except for a Small Red Light in the near distance.
But you do feel a thick, slow breeze around you.
And smell a lot of earthy, dusty smells as it moves past.

Tiruin Wrote:we lack food!

For a moment, you worry about how you don't have any food.
You take further stock of your current CONDITIONS.

[Image: hana_sated.png]

Tiruin Wrote:At least we can sling that duffel bag for another storage!

Flick on that flashlight quick for any sign of scary things!
Then flick it on when you're pretty sure there aren't any!
Hold both Mori and the plushie for safety

[Image: header_inventory.png]
[Image: hana_items.png]

You rifle through your equipped Duffle Bag in the Total Darkness.
You pull out what feels like the Duffel Bag, Flashlight, Cat Plushie, and Mori the Ukulele.

Unfortunately, you only have 2 Equipment Slots remaining!
And that's not enough to carry all these items at once.

You try to avoid dropping any items onto the ground, as you fumble blindly with them.

REFLEX TEST: 2 Grace + 2 Wit - 1 Can't See ☆☆☆ <VS> Difficulty ★Show

[Image: darkness.png]

Phew! You dread what might've happened if you dropped that Flashlight.
Or anything, in this Darkness. Who knows where it'd have ended up?

The momentary panic subsides, as you blindly tuck the other items back into the Duffel.
You decide to equip the Flashlight, and keep your other hand free for now.

[Image: hana_equip.png]

'monk12 Wrote:Definitely check out the red glowy thing with the flashlight
It's almost certainly not a horrible monster preying on the memory-addled.

A monster preying on the memory-addled? That's not a pleasant thought.

Still... you're here, and your curiosity outweighs your fear of the unknown.
Let's see what we're looking at here, you think to yourself.
You click the Flashlight on, and point it toward the Small Red Light.

[Image: light.png]


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#8
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Kadzar Wrote:That sort of looks like a button. I say we try pushing it, to perhaps better illuminate our situation.

[Image: light.png]

This looks like an old construction of some kind. And it's underground? How weird!

The Red Light appears to be sunk into a Brickwork Column.
It looks a bit like a button. Maybe it operates some kind of emergency lighting?
You suppose you could push it, and just see what...


monk12 Wrote:Call me crazy, but maybe we should check and see what's on the other side
of those possibly-blood-stained bars next to the button before we push it?

Your common sense interrupts with a really good point. What's up with that metal next to it?
It looks like it got hit with a reddish-brown splatter... old blood?!

Or maybe it's just a rusty patch, you reassure yourself. It's hard to tell in this lighting.
Nevertheless, further investigation would be prudent, before...

Dermonster Wrote:A button!

Push it PUSH IT PUSH IT PUSH IT PUSH IT
TanhKit Wrote:A big red button... LET'S PUSH IT!
Egan_BW Wrote:Ignore all else, walk straight to button and press!

Fuck it. Irrational Overconfidence engaged! Kick hesitation to the curb!
Yours is the hand that will boop the button!

[Image: boop.png]

The button didn't like it.

It flashes a big red X as your touch it, and vibrates intensely for a moment.
The buzz almost felt like a tiny electrical shock, and you pull your hand away.
It doesn't hurt, but it did startle you!

Come to think of it, it didn't feel much like a button at all.
It was flat and smooth... more like a display screen?
And even now, with your hand pulled away... it seems to be radiating warmth.
Almost like an infrared heat lamp?

But... apart from that, nothing seems to have changed.
No noises, no lights, no dangers. Nothing.

This is so bogus.

GUNINANRUNIN Wrote:Do a quick shadow puppet of yourself.

Well, that was a lot less exciting than you were hoping.
Time to have some fun.

You take a few steps back, and attempt some impromptu shadow puppetry.

PERFORMANCE TEST: 2 Grace + 1 Composure ☆☆☆ <VS> Difficulty ★Show

[Image: puppet.png]

Well how about that. It came out pretty good!

Hello there Shadow-Hana. You're looking mighty abstract today.
How are you finding the cave? Way too dark? Hella lame?

Indeed!

Though the whole urban decay thing going on here is cool.
This is the sort of place you'd have loved to find while Freerunning.
Back in E... back on... back where?

[Image: wince.png]

Ugh. There's that brain static again.
The hell is going on with your memory?
Shouldn't you be worried that this keeps happening?

Anyway, this kinda killed the mood.
You bid Shadow-Hana a quick farewell, and get back to exploring.

Tiruin Wrote:And then a thought hits to check around the place.

Like, around that button and the other-black-areas-that-aren't-yet-lit!

[Image: sweep.png]

You sweep your Flashlight in an arc ahead of you.
It looks like some kind of Corrugated Metal Wall. Or maybe a gate?
It's a solid sheet, and you're not sure how thick it is.
It appears to be corroded and discolored, in a few patches.
The metal surface meets flush with a frame of old brickwork.
The whole assembly seems to be built into the natural walls of the cave.

Who put this all here, you wonder?

And why?


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#9
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B͍͔̦̗̗̰̺A̬ͭ̐̅̓̉Ḓ͓͙ͯͮͪͣͨ_U̵ͪͬIͮͥ͂͘D̩̘̖̱ Wrote:And smash the memory-fuzz! Don't let it boss you around! You're a H̗̳ͪ̓ͣ̍u̗̣̘͔̲̎́m͉̼ͥ̐͆̿̚͝a̲͓̟ň̶̻͍̈ͣ̂̅̚, from ̴̯̺Ë̛̠̥́ͮ̉ͮͯ͋a̰̘̩̝̹̔ͪ̃̍̍̍ͬ͝r͚̲͇ͨ̋ͦͫ́̓̚̕ẗ́̄͑҉̟̣͚̱h̙̱̱̟ͮͥͤͪ͊͂̓, in the year ̮̺͕̞͓͠ͅ2̶ͫ0̧̮̞͍̖̹̖̖͑ͨͩ1̵̦̼̓̉͆̊̋̉6̦̤͓͐͗̐ͦ̉̈́ͪ, who likes <͒ͪͥͩ̇̔͟C̬̲̪OHE̯̖̳R̶̩̘͖͓̻͕̯̋͑̆͒ͪḚ̓̍ͦͯͨN̜̬̑͛ͤ̀C̳͎̹̟̻̺ͩ̓ͬ͞Y̶̤͍̦̐̿_̭̯̐͛ͪ̽͆̀E͙͈̅͌̌ͯ̃͒X̴̯̀̍͒͊̑ͣ̉Cͤͦ̈́̉͊̂͏̰͙͔͍̥̤EPTIO̡̤͌̅N̛̩͔̲̯̖̲͛:̜͋̓̊ͯ̏ͮ ̮̣̱̟͍͔̄̇͢NULL_DAT̡͚̙̗̫̪̥͍A̳͖̭͎̫͍͊̍̈͗̊_̰͙̯̘́̅ͬ̚͠ͅẢ̇͐͑ͯ̆͞T̶͙̼͇̄͂̆̏_̽̈́I̗͉͆͐̊͜N̨̞̮D͓͚̹͖̗́ͣ̇ͯ͗͊̀EX̟̗̠͖̟͙͊̾̀>̬̬̗̠̤̳͑̔

[Image: resolve.png]

Yeah, that's right! You're a Human, and Humans are awesome!
No sense in getting freaked out over these spotty memories.
Sometimes folks just forget things. Hell, folks forget things all the time!

Even really important things.

For right now, you just gotta keep moving forward. Like nothing is wrong.

...right?

S34N1C Wrote:Knock on the metal wall to see if there is something behind it (i.e. If it sounds hollow, there's a room behind it)
GUNINANRUNIN Wrote:Bop the rusty part of the wall with your booted foot to test how sturdy it is.

After reassuring yourself, you turn your attention toward the Corrugated Metal Wall.
You wonder how sturdy the wall is, and whether there's anything behind it.

You square up toward a rusty-looking patch, and brace yourself with a free hand.
Then, you give it some firm investigatory nudges with your Leather Boots.

[Image: kick.gif]

The entire wall rattles slightly as though it was suspended, rather than fixed firmly to the floor or walls.
It feels thin as well. Maybe a centimeter or so? It's still metal, but it's certainly not heavy-duty.
As it clatters, you hear a dull, hollow ring, almost like a broken bell.
It sounds a lot like there's a Large Empty Space behind it.

As you kick, small clouds of rust drift around in the Flashlight beam.
A few substantial chunks of rust begin to fall off as well. The tangy, earthy smell of iron fills the air.
The patches seem to be heavily corroded.

With enough time and effort, you could probably chip a hole in this.

NUKE9.13 Wrote:Wait, back up. There was a green box next to the touchpad. Looked like some sort of utility box, maybe? Mayhaps we might find a switch of some sort in there?

> Investigate ye green box

[Image: box.png]

You back up a few paces, and head over to the Green Box that butts up against the brickwork.
It looks to be a cabinet of some kind, made of painted metal.
Is it for storage? Maybe a Utility Box protecting controls or mechanisms?
Unless you open it, there's no way to know.

There seems to be no keyhole or latch on it.
Just a simple handle, sitting opposite two crusty-looking hinges.
Judging by those, the hatch might be tough to open, but you give it a try.

STRENGTH TEST: 1 Might + 2 Stamina ☆☆☆ <VS> Difficulty ★★Show

[Image: jammed.png]

After just a few moments tugging, you can already tell this is sturdier than the Corrugated Wall.
The box doesn't budge in the slightest. Either it weighs a ton, or it's fastened firmly in place.
On top of that, the hatch won't budge. Looks like it's jammed.
It might be the hinges, the hatch, or the whole thing.

You're going to need to find another way to get this open, if you want to see what's inside.


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#10
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NUKE9.13 Wrote:Look for something useful in the toolkit. Maybe you can damage those hinges enough to break them?

The Green Box is jammed tightly shut. You're not sure why.
Still, it ought to open if you can take the crusty-looking hinges off, first.

You rummage around in the Toolkit, looking for something sturdy to break them with.

[Image: hammertime.png]

Here we are! A Hammer and some patience ought to do the trick.

You set to work, swinging at the hinges. Each strike clangs against the metal.
The noise fills the Dark Passage, and continues to echo loudly into the distance.

STRENGTH TEST: 1 Might + 2 Stamina + 2 Hammer ☆☆☆☆☆ <VS> Difficulty ★★Show

[Image: break.png]

You keep loudly hammering for several minutes straight.
Eventually, the Lower Hinge starts to split, and snaps free from the Box!
It clatters to the stone ground, in a pile of twisted metal and rust.

It should be easier to open now, though there's one more hinge to go before the door will be free.
You take a break to rest your arm, and stow the Hammer for now.

EGAN_BW Wrote:Investigate suddenly non-spiky hair!

Huh? Non-spiky hair? Was your hair spiky?

[Image: hair.png]

Oh! It feels like your hair is pretty messy, right now.
No doubt you've got an acute case of Bed-Head.
Perhaps due to waking up from a nap on the cave floor?

You haven't seen yourself since you woke up, and didn't think to fix your hair.
For some reason, you get the sense that you ought not bother.

DolosusDoleus Wrote:Stick hand into mysterious wall-hole. What could possibly go wrong?
Egan_BW Wrote:stick your hand in the suspicious hole, of course.

[Image: hole.png]

There seems to be a Square Alcove, on the far side of the Corrugated Wall.
It's roughly the same height as the Button / Touchpad, but rather dark.
You're curious what you might find inside!

Normally, something like this would deserve basic precautions.
Maybe looking into it first? That sort of thing.
But right now, you're apparently still in "Fuck It, Let's Do It" mode.
So you just go right on ahead and stick your whole arm inside.

You feel around, crawling your hand back into the darkness of the Square Alcove.
Eventually, you make contact with a cold and spiky surface in the back wall of the hole.
The moment you touch it...

Results:Show

[Image: sizzle.png]

[Image: health_battered.png]

CONCENTRATION TEST: 2 Stamina + 1 Composure ☆☆☆ <VS> Difficulty ★Show

[Image: darkness.png]


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#11
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Elephant Parade Wrote:Dream about the real world.

[Image: darkness.png]

birdy51 Wrote:Dream about the unreal world.

[Image: darkness.png]

NUKE9.13 Wrote:Wake up

[Image: darkness.png]


...the burnt smell? That's most likely due to Phantosmia.
A minor hallucination of the nose, so to speak.
It's not uncommon, for these kind of injuries.
As for the cloudy-headedness, that should clear up with time.
And if it persists, there are tests we still haven't run.
Try not to get too stressed about it, though.

Oh, and Maria?


[Image: doctor_mom.png]


Please, do your Papa and me a favor. [Image: renata_doctor_glance_RFL.png]
If you're going to stage dive, be smart about it.
And try to stick to venues that don't get so rowdy.
You know how we worry.

Anyway, I've got to get back to work.
I went ahead and wrote a Doctor's Note for your boss.
Be sure to take it. It's over there on the counter.

Also, I understand your... friend is waiting for you in the lobby?
The nurse outside will take you to her, once you're dressed.
We'll come by with dinner, when I'm done for the day.

Take it easy until then, Sprout.


With that, the Woman turns to leave the room.


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#12
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Egan_BW Wrote:Promptly PANIC.

...Also check if we remember different things now. Maybe this all makes sense and we're not crazy after all!

What the heck...?

You last remember being somewhere else. Underground?
But right now, you appear to be in a room. Looks like a Medical Clinic of some kind.
It's not familiar at all. What could've happened?

[Image: panic.png]

NUKE9.13 Wrote:Everything seems totally normal.

Normal? What do you mean normal!

Well... sure, you suppose this room is pretty normal.
It's a bit cold, but that's probably from being under-dressed.
Scale, sink, bed, infographic charts, "Hang in there, Kitten!" poster on the back wall.
That might seem in poor taste, and has some awful, unreadable font under it...
Other than that, you guess there's nothing too weird about where you are?

Even so, you still feel confused and anxious about the whole situation.
The Woman in a labcoat is leaving. She said she was your Mother?
Your Mom is a doctor, here...

birdy51 Wrote:Hug Mom?

[Image: surprise.png]

Before she can leave, you take a few barefoot steps toward her, and initiate a hug.
She seems like she wasn't expecting it, and freezes up for an instant!
The end result is an awkward, backwards half-hug.

Even so, you feel a little better afterward.

[Image: hug.png]


Maria... I know you're worried about this. [Image: renata_doctor_glance_RFL.png]
These symptoms are common for people your injuries, though.
Some people just recover faster than others.

If you start to worry, remember...
There's no sense in worrying unnecessarily.
Sometimes, people just forget things. Even really important things!
For right now, you need to keep moving forward.
And keep taking care of yourself, like if nothing were wrong.

Anyway, honey, I really need to get going.
We can talk more when I visit, later tonight.
Be safe, alright? And take it easy!


NUKE9.13 Wrote:>Get dressed
>Get note

She pulls away from the hug, flashes a soft smile, and steps out of the room.
Once she leaves, you gather up your Belongings, and get dressed.

[Image: equipped.png]

You wait for a little bit. No nurse has knocked or come in yet.
You wonder if you should do anything?


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#13
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Egan_BW Wrote:Poke hair so that it looks cool and messed up.

[Image: muss.png]

Oh dang, getting dressed must have smoothed your hair!
This simply won't do.

You spend a moment artfully mussing it up again.

GUNINANRUNIN Wrote:Let's get a detailed closeup of the kitty poster.

[Image: poster.png]

No matter how close you get, you still can't read this typeface.
Whoever designed the poster basically made it illegible.

The cat clinging to the branch is still cute, though.
Yes it's pathetic, but it's in a sorta endearing way?
Kinda makes you want to cheer them on.

Dermonster Wrote:Loot the drawers.
TheBiggerFish Wrote:Don't do that...
Egan_BW Wrote:Oh yeah. Looting random things might not be a good idea in this setting.

[Image: drawer.png]

You briefly ponder looting the drawers in this room.
Your better judgement kicks in soon after.

You're pretty sure you could steal something... but it probably isn't necessary?
Besides, you wouldn't want to be doing that when the Nurse comes in.
Maybe if you had a good reason for trying?

Egan_BW Wrote:Check stats!
Tiruin Wrote:Also check your weight!

Check your Stats? You mean your... vitals or something?
Your Doctor/Mom probably already did that.
I mean, presumably that's why you're at the Clinic, right?

As for your weight, you suppose you could check it while you... wait?
You step up onto the Medical Scale.

[Image: scale.png]

Aha! It's precisely as you thought!
...looks like you still have no idea how to operate one of these Scales.

DolosusDoleus Wrote:Waitwaitwaitwaitwait. Maria? Our name is Hana, not Maria.

Pinch ourselves to test if we're dreaming.

Huh, that's right! Did your Mom just call you Maria a minute ago?
It didn't seem odd at first. Maybe it was because you were getting your bearings...

Still, what was that all about? Is this just a weird dream?
You decide to pinch yourself, to check.

[Image: pinch.png]

Oww, that hurts!

Pinching yourself is supposed to let you know if you're dreaming.
At least in movies and stories and whatever.
You don't know if there's any truth to that, but that one sure felt real!

scriver Wrote:actually read the note/letter

Hmm. This weirdness is starting to make you curious.
Maybe there's some helpful info in the Doctor's Note your Mom wrote?
The envelope is unsealed. It wouldn't hurt to take a look.

You slip the Doctor's Note out of the envelope, and unfold it to read.

Results:Show

[Image: read.png]

Er...

What the crap is this?!


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#14
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Dermonster Wrote:text gets all fucked up in dreams.
TheBiggerFish Wrote:No, that looks like it has information. Not just funky dreamtext.
Egan_BW Wrote:it's possible that you don't actually know the regular written language here.

[Image: read.png]

You've heard that you can't read when you're dreaming.
Still, some of these symbols repeat themselves.
Could there be information in here?

Is this really dream-text, or is it a language or code?
Is this maybe some effect of that injury your Mom mentioned?
Is this just written in another egregiously bad font?

Yeah, the last one is comforting, but pretty unlikely.
Still, you feel like you should be able to read this letter.
So why can't you make sense of it?

scriver Wrote:I think you all are being extremely rude about this.
Obviously Maria does not want to weigh herself in front of an audience this big.

[Image: letter.png]

Haha, what the butts? An audience? You're alone right now!

What a weird thought.

Anyway, finding out your weight isn't a high priority for you.
Especially when you may or may not be in some kind of Quasi-Dream.

monk12 Wrote:Give it another five minutes, and if no nurse appears go find our friend. Who is definitely probably not an alien bodysnatcher, which we are also definitely probably not ourselves.

[Image: snatch.png]

Ye*h. Th*t so*nds like a g**d pl*n.
Just wa*t h*re for a b*t.
L*ke a g*od Ali*n B*dysn*tch*r.

Wa*t, of c**rse! B*d*sn*tch*r! L*ke in th*t m*v*e!
Th*t m*k*s p*rf*ct s*nse! It m*st be th*m d*ng Al**ns f**lt.

Ok*y, s*r***sly th**gh th*t's j*st s*lly.
Y**'d r*m*mb*r s*m*th*ng l*ke th*t.


hachnslay Wrote:This is a Dream

[Image: header_vitals.png]
[Image: heal.gif][Image: will_4ssb.png]

HANA RECOVERS 1 BASHED HEALTH FROM REST!

Your Self-Awareness starts to flow back.
Whether slowly or quickly, it's hard to tell.

Your head throbs and aches in time with your heartbeat.
A deep, dull soreness floods all the muscles in your body.
Your dominant arm burns, both inside and out.

Through the pain, you try to get your bearings.

[Image: wake.png]

You feel your full Duffel Bag behind you, and smooth stone or pavement below.
Your nose catches a distinctive burnt smell, and the metallic tingle of ozone.
Your eyes, however, see only darkness.

[Image: up.png]

Nevertheless, it would seem that you remain Hana Greenthorn.

And, unsurprisingly, you still feel like garbage.

[Image: blind.png]


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#15
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Sir Knight Wrote:Check darkness: is the glowing-red-touchscreen-thing-that's-obviously-an-eye still there?

Oh, that's right! You should be able to see that glowing red... thing. The touchpad.
You take a quick look around. It was a circle, right? Or was it more like an eye?

[Image: sit.png]

Well, crap. Whatever the case, you don't see any sign of it right now.
Wonder what happened. Maybe it just ran out of power after you got zapped?
That is, assuming you're still in the same place. And that you haven't gone blind.

Tiruin Wrote:Fumble around for the flashlight

If you want to get out of here, it'd help if you could see where you were going.
Unfortunately it's quite dark, and your Flashlight seems to be missing.

From a seated position, you feel the stony ground in a circle around you.
There's nothing but pebbles and gritty dust on the ground.

To one side, you find a new stone surface, rising slightly from the ground.
Grooves divide it into flat squares. It might be the edge of the pavement?
Moving carefully on your knees now, you follow the grooves away from you.
Your knuckles brush against a pitted, flaky surface suggesting rusty metal.
Next to that, a vertical stone face made of interlocking rectangles... brickwork?

Seems like you're still where you were, when you got knocked out.

Slowly and carefully, you climb to your feet, shuffling toward the nearest wall.
With closed eyes, you feel the nearby surfaces, building a mental image of the area.

[Image: feel.png]

You follow a wall until it joins with an unfamiliar, waist-high stone ledge.
Cautious about getting turned around, you search by feel, along it's perimeter.
If you're lucky, your Flashlight should be within arms reach of the ledge.
Of course, if you're not, it probably rolled away into some unreachable crevice.

PERCEPTION TEST: 2 Wit + 1 Composure - 1 Can't See ☆☆ <VS> Difficulty ★Show

[Image: follow.png]

As you go, you sweep your hands across the top surface, and shuffle your feet at the base.
Neither encounter your Flashlight. Or anything but more gritty dust, for that matter.

You're not sure what's past your arm's reach, but leaving the ledge feels pretty risky.
For the sake of not getting hopelessly lost, you hold off on further searching for now.

Egan_BW Wrote:Now just hold on a moment. If you were unconscious from electrical shock, how were you dreaming?

[Image: look.png]

Hmm. You can't recall any other times you've fallen unconscious.
Maybe dreaming when you're KO'd is... normal? It's like sleeping, right?
Or, you suppose, maybe that really wasn't a dream after all.
Might've been some kind of hallucination?

The next time you pass out, maybe you can ask that doctor about it.

GUNINANRUNIN Wrote:Strum the uke. Use the sound to echolocate the flashlight.
Puppyguard Wrote:Then pretend you're a country star and play a horrible beautiful song.

You're not quite sure how this is going to work, but what the heck!
You sling Memento Mori the Ukulele out of your Duffel Bag.

[Image: hana_equip.png]

In the darkness, you'll have to position your hands by feeling the strings and frets.
Once you wipe the dirt off your fingers and get comfortable, you start to play.

PERFORMANCE TEST: 2 Grace + 2 Wit + 2 Music + 1 Ukulele - 1 Can't See ☆☆☆☆☆☆ <VS> Difficulty ★Show

[Image: sing.png]

[♫] ≫ You improvise a short but heartfelt tune.

Hana Wrote:Sorry I Threw You Away:

Flashlight
Sorry back there
I didn't
Mean to fling you in the air

I was
In a bit of a shock
But buddy
I'd be lost without you

Flashlight please come back
I didn't mean to be rude
And if your shit got cracked
I'm pretty sorry about that too

The last chord rings out, and echoes off into the surrounding darkness.
For a cave, it's got pretty good acoustics! You must be in a huge chamber.
If you listen really closely, you can still hear the reverb in the distance!
That, and the soft, rhythmic scraping and clicking of...

Wait. What's making that scraping, clicking noise?

And why does it sound like it's right behind you?

[Image: visitor.png]


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#16
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Tiruin Wrote:turn around to "see" what's behind you

[Image: spooked.png]

The harsh scraping sound continues. Like sharp metal on stone.
It doesn't sound like your Flashlight.

Doesn't sound like a Flashlight at all.

Sir Knight Wrote:I believe this occasion calls for a "Gwaaaaah?"

Involuntarily, a choked sound of panic escapes your throat.
Fearing an unknown danger, your heart starts to hammer in your chest.

With no idea what to expect, you steady yourself and pivot to face the noise.

[Image: click.png]

Your eyes meet the gaze of what appears to be another eye.
A larger, redder eye. A singular eye, glinting in the darkness.

There's no more time to hesitate. You've got to think fast.

Dermonster Wrote:Quickly, tame the beast with song!
Puppyguard Wrote:If you mess up the song then just smack the eye till it stops glowing!

Okay, focus. Your strumming attracted whatever this is, right?
Maybe it wants to hear more? Maybe music would calm it down?
Or, at least, it might buy you time to make a plan of attack.

Time to hope for a Stroke of Brilliance, you suppose.

[Image: face.png]

PERFORMANCE TEST: 2 Grace + 2 Wit + 2 Music + 1 Ukulele - 1 Can't See ☆☆☆☆☆☆ <VS> Difficulty ★Show

Pretty sure any friendly enthusiasm you had just burned away with your friggin' retinas. Oww.

Besides, whatever this... thing is? They're intently focused on your Flashlight.
They honestly don't seem to be paying you any attention, anymore.


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#17
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GUNINANRUNIN Wrote:Take back the flashlight and start flashing the robo in the eyeball.
Puppyguard Wrote:Yeahhh! See how he likes having a flashlight in his face!

That's a spiteful thought, but a tempting one. A little payback would only be fair, right?

[Image: miffed.png]

Though, if you're being fair here, you getting blinded a bit ago might have been the payback.
First thing you did when you entered this chamber was beam your Flashlight at that red glow...

NUKE9.13 Wrote:Maybe just try taking it? It doesn't look like it can fight back, really.
monk12 Wrote:Like taking candy from a baby.

[Image: wigglebot.gif]

Putting aside revenge for now, just taking back your Flashlight shouldn't be a problem.
This... Robot, you guess? They seem pretty distracted, and generally harmless.

At this point, looks like they're just batting at the Flashlight. Almost like a cat with a toy.
Some kind of box-shaped spider-legged metal cat, with a display screen for a face, anyway.

Honestly, you're not sure whether their behavior is disturbing or cute...

Sir Knight Wrote:Oh, pfft! That square hole in the wall is a charging dock for these square robot thingies!
DolosusDoleus Wrote:As with the hole, there is absolutely nothing that could possibly go wrong here, nosiree.

[Image: ponder.png]

It occurs to you that, last time you just followed your impulses, it caused you a bit of grief.
The muscle aches and electrical burn are pretty good reminders of that, too.

Plus, since the wall this Robot-Box was sitting in just zapped you halfway to hell...
If you assume they were plugged into it, like some kind of power-supply?
And that they have a battery or whatever, which stores that kind of charge?
It's possible this Robot might not be so harmless, after all.

birdy51 Wrote:Or we can, you know. Ask if we can have the flashlight back.
Dermonster Wrote:Make a polite request first. It's a robot and it's curious. It must have some level of intelligence, right?

Talking before you take the Flashlight back seems safe. A good compromise, at least.
But how should you introduce yourself to something which might not understand you?
Or, even if they do understand, something that might not give a flying flip?

You decide to try asking in an assertive way, without getting confrontational.
Hopefully they'll get the idea.


[Image: hana_rough_miffed_LFR.png]So... hey there.

Looks like you're having fun with my Flashlight, huh?
Unfortunately, I'm gonna need that back. Okay?


[Image: que.png]

As you talk, the Robot swivels their monitor-like body toward you.

They don't speak, or make any sound besides the soft whir of servos.
However, they have abruptly stopped playing with the Flashlight.
Their display seems to be showing a large question mark, as well.

If nothing else, it seems like you've gotten their attention.


Want do you want to say next?
>

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#18
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NUKE9.13 Wrote:> Talk to robot
Sir Knight Wrote:> "Can you understand me?"
Tiruin Wrote:Ask for help about this place. Basic information query.

[Image: chatbot.png]

The Robot stands, looking at you inquisitively. Almost like they expect something.

You decide to try talking some more. Maybe you can come to some kind of understanding?
They might be able to answer some questions, or share information about this place, too.


[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png]So hey. Can you understand what I'm saying?

[Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_perplexed_LFR.png]Your screen just showed a Thumbs Up for a second.

...does that mean Yes?

[Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png]You're sorta talking in pictures, I guess? That's cool.
Can you do other pictures?

[Image: red_thumbs_down.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_miffed_LFR.png]Was that a joke?

[Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png]Huh.

How about some more complex questions, then.
Where are we? What is this place?

[Image: red_crystal.png] [Image: red_dust_pile.png] [Image: red_mining_pick.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_perplexed_LFR.png]I didn't follow all of that. Judging by that Pickaxe, though...
You're saying this is some kind of mine?

[Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]


After your question, another Thumbs Up displays briefly on the Robot's screen.
Shortly afterward, it returns to the familiar and expectant-looking red eye.

When you think of stories about robots, this isn't what you'd typically expect.
They're more like "BEEP BOOP, I AM A SOCIALLY-AWKWARD CALCULATOR."
This one seem to understand you well, though. And they even have a sense of humor?

Getting your replies as a series of Emoji is kinda weird too, but it works.

[Image: think.png]

Anyway, this cave is apparently a Mine? That might explain the construction and such.
It also seems to be abandoned. You've seen no signs of recent activity.
If that's true, though, it's strange that there'd still be electrical power in here.

You wonder what anyone would be mining for in this place. Metal? Gems? Oil?
Without any Geology Skill, there's no way for you to make a solid guess.
All you can see is a bunch of smooth, grainy rock. Probably Sandstone or something.

The nature of the cave reminds you of a more pressing question, though.

Just why the heck did you wake up in a Derelict Mine, anyway?
Part of you hopes that exploring deeper will yield some kind of clue.

Tiruin Wrote:"If you can help..." it'd be nice.
OceanSoul Wrote:The thing's curious, so maybe a little information would help appease it.


[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png]Anyway, I'm trying to find my way through this Mine.
Since you seem to know this place, I'd appreciate your help.
Could you help me out, here?

[Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: red_thumbs_down.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_miffed_LFR.png]Yes and No. I'm guessing that means Maybe?
In that case, let me explain something to you.

That blue tube you're playing with? It's a Flashlight.
I see you *ehem* already noticed it makes light.
The thing is, I'm a Human.
Don't know about you, but I need light to see in the dark.

...so that's why I need it back. Okay?


The Robot pauses for a moment, as if considering your request.
Then, their display flashes a sequence of symbols you haven't seen yet.


[Image: red_biped.png] [Image: red_question_right.png] [Image: red_bot.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: red_biped.png] [Image: red_torch_left.png] [Image: red_bot.png]


Once finished, the Robot's display returns to a single eye.
They seem to be looking at you curiously, as if judging your next move.

You take a moment to think about their reply, and decide what to do next.


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#19
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Dermonster Wrote:Try to see if it would take a song in exchange.
monk12 Wrote:If it doesn't take the song, perhaps it will take friendship.

Name it Pimblokto and never fail to to treat it with respect.


[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png]Are you saying you want to trade?
...for you to give me my own Flashlight back?

[Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_perplexed_LFR.png]Kind of a dick move... but okay. How about a song?
I've got this Ukulele here, and I could play...

[Image: red_thumbs_down.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_sheepish_LFR.png]Not a music fan, huh? Well, what if I offer...
My friendship and gratitude!

I'll even throw in a quirky nickname, just for you.
How do you feel about "Pimblokto?"

[Image: red_thumbs_down.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: red_unknown.png] [Image: red_approximate_not.png]


[Image: negotiate.png]

Unfortunately, the Robot doesn't seem interested in your previous offers.
So much that they resorted to some abstract-looking symbols, even.
Sure, you're not offering much, but this Robot is a thief!
Who cares if they recovered your Flashlight, when they're selling it back to you!

Anyway, there's no sense backing out just yet you suppose.
Maybe they're looking to trade something more... tangible?
You don't have much, but you can think of a few options to try.

TheBiggerFish Wrote:Ask what it might take.
spümpkin Wrote:Give the robot the stuffed cat. It might find a better use for it than us.
Sir Knight Wrote:Demonstrate to robot the function of the zipper on the Another Duffel Bag. Then offer the Another Duffel Bag in trade.


[Image: hana_rough_perplexed_LFR.png]Maybe I could interest you in something else.

I have here a one-of-a-kind, finely-crafted Cat Plush.
Note the quality stitching on the button eyes, and...
...and on the tail end!

Definitely more Awful Cute than Just Awful. And it's soft, too!
So how about it? Would you call that a fair trade?

[Image: red_ellipsis.png] [Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png]Okay, great. Let's not finalize anything yet.
I've got another thing here you might like.

This is my Duffel Bag. Solid canvas and metal construction.
The straps are in great shape. A-and it's got a zipper!
Watch! It opens and closes! Hours of fun, for the easily amused.

Heck, you could probably even fit inside. Use it as a Tiny Tent.
Or find another Duffel Bag to stick it inside, for a Quality Prank.

What do you say?

[Image: red_ellipsis.png] [Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]


[Image: plush.png] [Image: duffel_red.png]

The Robot seems about as interested in the Cat Plush as they are in your extra Duffel Bag.
You were honestly hoping for some help on this decision. Your heart's divided over this too.
If only there was another way to get your Flashlight back, or find your way.

The spare Duffel is sort of useful, even if you've equipped one already.
You could sling it over your other shoulder to haul something.
And you must've brought a spare to this Mine for a reason... right?

On the other hand, the Cat Plush isn't very practical. But it is handcrafted.
And it's pretty cute, and soft, and weird too. Good qualities, you reckon.
You wonder if it was something you made yourself? or was it a gift...

Remembering more than you do would be pretty helpful, right now.

Dermonster Wrote:ADOPT THE ROBOT.
OceanSoul Wrote:It probably already has an owner. Wonder who it could be.
After exchange, ask about it's owner.
monk12 Wrote:Aw man don't say that! That's super racist against robots!

The Robot presumably knows this area well. Keeping them with you could help.
On top of that, as much as you hate to admit it... they're kinda cute?
Cute in a tiny, boxy, cuthroat, cyclopian spider-bot kind of way?


[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png]Hey, do you have an owner or something?

[Image: red_ellipsis.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_sheepish_LFR.png]Shit, that probably sounded really insensitive, didn't it?
I meant to ask if you have... like... do you work for someone?

[Image: red_thumbs_down.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_embarrassed_LFR.png]...can I go ahead and assume that Thumbs Down applies for both?

Like, to whether I'm being a total Robo-Racist here too?

[Image: red_shrug.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_blush_nervous_LFR.png]Ehehehe... heh. Okay.

Well, if you're your own Robot, with no duties?
Do you think you'd like to help me out?

I'd love to have someone who knows this Mine better than I do.

[Image: red_ellipsis.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_embarrassed_LFR.png]Oh wow, shit... not "have someone" as in "own"!
I meant that like "have with me". Like a companion. Not a...

...you know?

[Image: red_ellipsis.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_extremely_embarrassed_LFR.png]Let's just talk about this later, then!!!


[Image: embarrassed.png]

Maybe you should focus on getting your Flashlight back for now, Hana.


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#20
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OceanSoul Wrote:make sure our hair isn't actually on fire.
Kadzar Wrote:If it is on fire we might not need the flashlight.

[Image: still_embarrassed.png]

Unfortunately, as hot as your face felt while it was glowing, that's not how Humans work.
Still, it'd be nice. If your body was it's own light source you wouldn't be having this problem.
Granted, you'd probably be having different problems. Fiery, Magical, and/or Radioactive problems.

Puppyguard Wrote:Think about how you got in this mine to forget embarrassment.

You try. You try really hard, struggling to remember anything from the day before today.

You just can't do it.

Why you came here and decided to take a nap... even what it looked like outside?
You may as well be trying to remember things from before you were born
.

This memory thing is honestly pretty stressful to think about.

On the plus side, the distraction worked! You're feeling less Embarrassed now.
Just, you know, more full of Existential Dread.

ShadowHammer Wrote:Trade away the duffel bag. The plush kitty is far too adorable to consider giving it away.

Honestly, you feel strangely attached to the Plush Cat. You don't want to part with it.

You don't know why, but it... feels like it should feel more important? Somehow?

It may be useless except in the Small and Soft departments, but it's darn good at those!
Besides, an Unused Bag that's eating up space is kinda doing the opposite of it's job.

[Image: hana_equip.png]

You pull the empty, crumpled-up Duffel Bag out of your Equipped Bag, and hold it out.
Sensing that you've made your decision, the Robot's digital eye turns to meet yours.

[Image: offering.png]


[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png]Alright, I've decided. I'll offer up this bag.
It was just taking up space, but maybe you can use it.

In exchange you'll return my stuff, and help me out.
Deal?

[Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_miffed_LFR.png]Good. Let's take care of it, so I can get back to being lost.

Oh, and please be careful with the Flashlight. It's fragile.
Frankly, I'm surprised it still works after I threw it.

Anyway, how do you want to do this?
Do I just strap the bag to you, or...

[Image: red_bot.png] [Image: red_cutlery.png] [Image: red_unknown.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_perplexed_LFR.png]Does a knife and fork mean what I think it means?
I'd ask why you'd eat this bag, but explaining that is probably beyond Emoji.

Still, you don't have a mouth... do you?

[Image: red_thumbs_down.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_miffed_LFR.png]Then I've still got no idea how you plan to eat anything.

Just show me where you want the bag, dude.


[Image: artifice_gate.gif]

With one foot, the Robot indicates a small port on their rear side.
The opening doesn't seem deep enough to fit anything; it's already full of exposed components.
You wonder if maybe there's some kind of advanced technology involved?

As if to confirm your suspicions, the port starts to flicker with pastel light.
It's accompanied by a high-pitched whirring sound, as well.
Hearing it makes your nose sting, and your teeth itch.

Eventually, the sound and light stops, as the Robot turns to face you again.


[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png]Ah, I see. You eat things with your...

...glowing butt-port?

In that case, let's just ignore the obvious How question.
I'm just gonna stick this thing in there, so you can eat it.

Assuming, er... you won't eat my hands at the same time?

[Image: red_thumbs_down.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]


[Image: j_j_jam_it_in.png]

The Robot turns around, and waits expectantly. Their rear-facing port looks inactive now.
You squish the empty Duffel Bag as far you can into the port, before the whirring sound returns.
With it, the resistance you were hitting dissolves away.

[Image: hana_inventory.png]

The Bag is gently pulled inward, revealing the flickering light from before.
Soon, it vanishes completely. When it does, the Robot turns around to face you.

Instead of an eye, their display looks suspiciously like a text-based Computer Terminal.
You lean in closer, to read the words as they appear.

[Image: terminal.png]


LOCAL:\> launch cla.prg -auto [Image: clax_text_RFL.png]


(Scroll to View)
Code:
@==============================================================================@
|       8                                                              8       |
|      d8b       .d8888b.  888      8888b             Y88b   d88P     d8b      |
|     dP Yb     d88P  Y88b 888      88888b             Y88b d88P     dP Yb     |
| Y888P   Y888P 888    888 888      888Y88b             Y88o88P  Y888P   Y888P |
|  "o.     .o"  888        888      888 Y88b    d8888b   Y888P    "o.     .o"  |
|  .o"     "o.  888        888      888  Y88b   Y8888P   d888b    .o"     "o.  |
| d888b   d888b 888    888 888      888   Y88b          d88888b  d888b   d888b |
|     Yb dP     Y88b  d88P 888      8888888888b        d88P Y88b     Yb dP     |
|      Y8P       "Y8888P"  88888888 888     Y88b      d88P   Y88b     Y8P      |
|       8                                                              8       |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| COMPUTERIZED LUCID ARTIFICER - X-TYPE (CIVILIAN CONTRACT, UNRESTRICTED)      |
|                                                                              |
| (C) AD ASTRAL SOFTWORKS, 1627 VERNA 13TH                      VERSION: 1.3.0 |
@==============================================================================@

WELCOME TO CLA!
-- YOUR PORTABLE, MULTI-PURPOSE, USER-FRIENDLY MANATECH FABRICATION SOLUTION!
-- POWERED BY ARTIFICE GATE HARDWARE.

QUICK-START GUIDE:
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
-- COMBINE:    SYNTHESIZE MANY STORED OBJECTS INTO ONE USING MANA.
-- DIVIDE:     SPLIT ONE STORED OBJECT INTO MANY USING MANA.
-- DUPLICATE:  CLONE A STORED OBJECT USING MANA.
-- EXTRACT:    CONVERT A STORED OBJECT INTO MANA.
-- MANIFEST:   CONVERT MANA INTO SIMPLE MATERIALS OR ENERGIES.
-- REPAIR:     USE MANA TO MEND DAMAGED OR BROKEN STORED OBJECTS.
-- SCAN:       ANALYZE AND RETRIEVE DATA ON STORED OBJECTS.
-- TRANSMIT:   STREAM STORED MANA TO NEARBY OBJECTS OR BEINGS.

TYPE "HELP" FOR MORE INSTRUCTIONS.

> extract -all
-- EXTRACTING ALL STORED INVENTORY INTO MANA.

@==============================================================================@
| ITEM 01: DUFFEL_BAG                                                          |
@==============================================================================@
| MANA YIELD:                                                                  |
| -- 1 Grass Mana                                                              |
| -- 1 <ERROR_BAD_MANA_TYPE:"Willpower">                                       |
|                                                                              |
| MANA EXTRACTION COMPLETED, WITH ERRORS...                                    |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

ERROR LOG:
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
0xDE:0000000000000057:696c6c706f776572 <ERROR_BAD_MANA_TYPE:"Willpower">
0x20:0000000000000000:0000000000000000 <ERROR_ACCESS_VIOLATION>
0x37:0000000000000000:0000000000000000 <ERROR_LINK_FROM_INVALID_LEYNODE>
0xFF:DEADDEADDEADDEAD:DEADDEADDEADDEAD <ERROR_MANUALLY_INITIATED_EXCEPTION>
0x48:414e414b492c2044:494420594f552043 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x52:4f5353204f4b4159:3f20424144204e45 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x57:533a20594f555220:4741544527532042 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x55:535445442e204927:4d20535455434b20 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
<...>
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

LOG TRUNCATED. TYPE "MORE" TO SEE 27 ADDITIONAL ERROR(S).

> more
-- ERROR LOG CONTINUED...
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
<...>
0x48:4552452e20474f4f:44204e4557533a20 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x42:41434b2046524f4d:2054484520465249 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x4e:4745532057495448:204d494e494d554d <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x20:465241592c20504c:5553204120474154 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x45:2050494543452e20:4c55434954592753 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x20:4e4f4e4520544845:2057495345522e20 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x52:4947474544204120:434f564552542057 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x41:5920544f20504947:47594241434b2044 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x41:5441204f56455220:4741544520545241 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x46:46494320544f4f2e:2049205448494e4b <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x2e:2048414420544f20:55534520594f5552 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x20:4845414453504143:452054484f554748 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x2e:205245414c4c5920:534f5252592e2053 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x50:45414b494e47204f:462057484943482c <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x20:4754472e2048454d:4f5252484147494e <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x47:20575020544f2053:454e44204f4e2041 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x20:4d414e4120434841:4e4e454c2c20414e <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x44:205354494c4c204b:494e444120465241 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x59:45442e20414c534f:2c2049274d204f55 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x54:2041465445522043:55524645572e2045 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x59:45524f4c4c2e2057:52495445204d4520 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x42:41434b20544f4e49:4748543f2054454c <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x4c:204d452057484154:2049542753204c49 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x4b:4520574845524520:594f55204152452e <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x20:4f52204a55535420:4c4554204d45204b <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x4e:4f5720594f552752:45205354494c4c20 <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
0x4f:4b41592e2049204d:49535320594f552e <ERROR_UNKNOWN>
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

MANA EXTRACTION COMPLETE!

> inventory -all
-- CHECKING INVENTORY AND MANA STORAGE...

@==============================================================================@
| INVENTORY:                                                                   |
@==============================================================================@
| LOCAL INVENTORY (0/4 Slots):                                                 |
| -- Empty                                                                     |
| -- Empty                                                                     |
| -- Empty                                                                     |
| -- Empty                                                                     |
|                                                                              |
| INVENTORY CHECKED!                                                           |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

@==============================================================================@
| MANA                                                                         |
@==============================================================================@
| MANA BATTERY (?/5 Slots):                                                    |
| -- Fire Mana                                                                 |
| -- Fire Mana                                                                 |
| -- Grass Mana                                                                |
| -- <ERROR_BAD_MANA_TYPE:"Willpower">                                         |
| -- Empty                                                                     |
|                                                                              |
| MANA INVENTORY CHECKED, WITH ERRORS...                                       |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

ERROR LOG:
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
0xDE:0000000000000057:696c6c706f776572 <ERROR_BAD_MANA_TYPE:"Willpower">
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+



INVENTORY AND MANA CHECK COMPLETE! [Image: clax_text_RFL.png]

> Human, the nature of your Offering was altered; saturated by a Foreign Will.
-- INVALID COMMAND: "Human"

> If this represents an attempt to harm One, the effort was foolish and futile.
-- SYNTAX ERROR: "If this". BAD PARAMETER. TYPE "HELP IF" FOR INSTRUCTIONS.

> Know that One is not subject to the same limitations as One's Physical Frame.
-- INVALID COMMAND: "Know"

> Albeit, in verity One senses not malice in you, but curiosity and confusion.
-- INVALID COMMAND: "Albeit". FLOOD WARNING (1/5).

> Your Soul feels fragmented. Similarly altered? One does not truly understand.
-- INVALID COMMAND: "Your". FLOOD WARNING (2/5).

> Nevertheless, One's control of this Frame is restricted. Time grows short.
-- INVALID COMMAND: "Nevertheless". FLOOD WARNING (3/5).

> You seek to form a Contract; to return a repaired, improved Galvanic Torch.
-- INVALID COMMAND: "You". FLOOD WARNING (4/5).

> So too, you wish for Aid and Guidance. In exchange you offer Matter and Mana.
-- INVALID COMMAND: "So". FLOOD WARNING (5/5).

AUTO-TERMINATION IMMINENT!

> One agrees to these terms. The Contract is struck. Farewell for now, Human.
-- INVALID COMMAND: "One". FLOOD DETECTED.

SOFTWARE AUTO-TERMINATING...
CREATING OUTPUT LOG.

THANK YOU FOR USING CLA!


With that, the Terminal Prompt disappears.
The Robot's display returns to their normal Eye.

You... kinda don't know what to make of all that?
That was a lot to take in all at once. And most of it was techno-garbage?

Still, what was that about Mana and Contracts and Souls and whatever?
What the hell kind of Robot is this?!

Before you can form a question, the Robot takes a few clicking steps toward you.


[Image: red_biped.png] [Image: red_contract.png] [Image: red_bot.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]


With a leg, they point first to the Flashlight next to them.
Then, they gesture away toward the darkness, as if to say "Lead the way!"


[Image: menu_back.png][Image: menu_next.png]
Quote
#21
[Image: menu_back.png][Image: menu_next.png]

Having finished your negotiations with the Robot, you step over and pick up the Flashlight.
Feels like it's been a long time since you could just look around in this darkness.

[Image: hana_equip.png]

Sir Knight Wrote:...the flashlight was "improved" and we wondered what was up with that.

[Image: light_check.png]

You remember seeing some text about this thing being "improved."
As far as you can tell, though, it seems to be pretty much the same.
You guess it seems sturdier? Or like the light is a bit brighter?

You're not sure. If anything has changed, it's pretty subtle.

Tiruin Wrote:Ask directions for the nearby vicinity.

You've been meaning to take a look around the Dark Passage for a while, but you kept getting sidetracked.
You decide to take stock of your immediate surroundings, and ask the Robot about them.

NUKE9.13 Wrote:Maybe they can open the door?

[Image: gate_check.png]


[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png]Hey, I've been wondering.
What's the deal with this door thing? What is it?

[Image: red_bot.png] [Image: red_equal.png] [Image: red_small.png] [Image: red_willpower.png] [Image: red_gate.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: red_bot.png] [Image: red_plus.png] [Image: red_gate.png] [Image: red_equal.png] [Image: red_big.png] [Image: red_willpower.png] [Image: red_gate.png]

[Image: hana_rough_perplexed_LFR.png]Gonna need a second to parse that one.
...can you open it, though?

[Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: red_thumbs_down.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: red_bot.png] [Image: red_plus.png] [Image: red_big.png] [Image: red_lightning.png]

[Image: red_thumbs_up.png]


Dermonster Wrote:Then... was there anything to the south-left?

As you ponder what those symbols might've meant, you check the other side of the Dark Passage.

To the... South? There's a lower area, with more natural stone formations.
There's not much sign of this being a Mine, rather than just a naturally-formed cave.
No obvious sign of anything worth mining for, either.

[Image: stalactites.png]

[Image: new_thing.png]

What's all this, though?


[Image: menu_back.png][Image: menu_next.png]
Quote
#22
[Image: menu_back.png][Image: menu_next.png]

Sir Knight Wrote:ask the robot if there's another robot in operation somewhere.

[Image: pondering_emoji.png]


[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png]Hey, er... Robot?

I was thinking about the structure, and that slot you came out of.
There are two of those slots over there, right?
Does that mean there's more Robots like you around?

[Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: red_bot.png] [Image: red_octothorpe.png] [Image: red_approximate.png] [Image: red_many_dots.png]


Egan_BW Wrote:Hey look, a screen (?) with a lightning symbol on it.
spümpkin Wrote:Walk through the little entranceway(?)-hole thing near the orange light. What could it be?

[Image: control_panel.png]

At first, you thought you saw another screen with an Electricity symbol on it.
On second glance, though, it's just a Sign attached to the wall.
It's probably meant to identify something about the Structure. Or about this Equipment?
Higher up, you see a series of Industrial Lights. None seem to be lit up, though.

To the left of that, you see an Entryway into the structure. It leads down into darkness.
Part of you wants to charge on in and investigate, but you still want to look around out here.

Back to the right, there's what looks like a long Metal Console, with a screen like the Robot's. It's dark.
On a metal shelf, you see a small, box-shaped Green Device. It's connected by wire to a smaller device.
Nearest you, there seems to be a Wheel of some sort. A manual control, maybe?

Tiruin Wrote:Wha's down the grated hole? Looks like a drain of some sort given the angle!
monk12 Wrote:maybe peek down the drain.

[Image: plumbing.png]

You take a few careful steps down into the Bricked-Up Pit, and look around.
It almost reminds you of a swimming pool. Maybe it's some kind of Holding Tank?

In the center, there's some kind of Drain with a grate in the bottom.
It's too dark to see into it very far, but you see a faint metallic glimmer.

Set into one wall, you see what look like the ends of two Big Metal Pipes, too.
You could almost stand in one if they were open, but they're sealed off by Iris Shutters.

monk12 Wrote:Check out the green toaster whatsit
NUKE9.13 Wrote:>Interact with the green RADIO. What kind of person would think that is a toaster?
OceanSoul Wrote:Hana would, apparently.

[Image: testing_testing.png]

You take a closer look at the Green Device. Some weird, vintage-looking Radio, maybe?
At least, you think it's a Radio. Could be a toaster. Do radios even work underground?

Whatever it is, it's got a hand unit wired to a base box, with a single knob and two buttons.
You play with the buttons and turn the knob a bit, but nothing seems to happen.
It seems like it's broken. Or at least like it's not being powered right now.

Just to be sure, you press your ear against the Hand Unit, but don't hear anything.

[Image: dead_air.png]

...or do you?

There's no clear sound. But you can almost hear a sound?
It's... like a static that's so faint, that it's almost inaudible.
Or like a familiar song your mind can hear, even without your ears.

The song is distant and muffled, through heavy blankets.
The night before, you were texting from bed. You were exhausted.
You were waiting for her response. You fell asleep, phone in hand.
Your phone got lost somewhere under your bedding, while you slept.
But you know that song by heart. The alarm you hear, every morning.
Even muffled, at the edge of your dreams, you recognize it instantly.

It's a breathy melody. No clear notes. Just a soft wall of sound.
Distant, muffled words. Countless hushed voices, in another room.
They're whispering there, but there are so many whispers.
So many people. A mumuring of hundreds, in chorus.
You can hear them rising together, rumbling through the walls.
Laughing voices. Angry voices. Lost voices. Hurt voices.
A gasp of shock. A panicked voice. Is she calling your name?

More voices, now. Thousands of voices. Tens of thousands?
They shout. They sob. They comfort. They stammer. They plead.
Louder, and louder they rise. A storm-wind swelling in your mind.
The voices become incomprehensible, like an endless peal of thunder.
A tempest wind that deafens your thoughts, drowns them in howling light...


[Image: poke.png]

Something sharp and cold prods your leg.

All at once, it's silent again.


[Image: menu_back.png][Image: menu_next.png]
Quote
#23
[Image: menu_back.png][Image: menu_next.png]

[Image: will.png]

WILL TEST: 4 Willpower - 1 Enervation ☆☆☆ <VS> Difficulty ★Show

TheBiggerFish Wrote:...What was that?


[Image: red_biped.png] [Image: red_question.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]


[Image: time.png]

Why did... the Radio doesn't...
It's a... a bad...

[Image: time_to.png]

Gotta... take a seat.
Don't feel good.

[Image: time_to_vom.png]

You feel like... *hurk*
You're... *hork* just gonna...

[Image: darkness.png]

[Image: nothing_wrong.png]


[Image: red_biped.png] [Image: red_question.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]
[Image: red_biped.png] [Image: red_equal.png] [Image: red_unknown.png] [Image: red_thumbs_down.png] [Image: red_question.png]

[Image: hana_rough_perplexed_LFR.png]Are... you asking if something's wrong?

[Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_sigh_LFR.png]Oh. No, nothing's... wrong.

I mean, something weird just happened?
I was listening to that Radio, and I...

...

Mostly I just felt really sick, all of the sudden.
Had to barf for a bit. But I'm okay.

[Image: red_ellipsis.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_nervous_LFR.png]What? That's all it was.
And I got it all out. I feel way better now.

[Image: red_ellipsis.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]

[Image: hana_rough_base_LFR.png]I'm fine.

Everything's fine.

Let's just keep going.

[Image: red_ellipsis.png] [Image: red_thumbs_up.png] [Image: clax_base_RFL.png]


Egan_BW Wrote:None of this stuff has power, but there must be some kind of generator running here
NUKE9.13 Wrote:Maybe there's a power switch down there?

[Image: way_down.png]

There's no obvious sign that this facility is still under under power.
Well, apart from the shock, and that thing that just... nope. You're not gonna think about it.

Focus on the big problems. Not the Hell Radio. Right Hana?

Right.

So, maybe there's some power left here, but all the lights and stuff are off.
Maybe there's a fuse box, or a switch, or a generator? Some way to get power back.
Down a cramped, Dark Stairway leading further underground? That's as good a place to check as any.

You carefully make your way down a flight of steps, using the brick wall for support.
Legs still feel a little woozy after earlier... so you take it slow.

At the bottom, you find a Small Room. The air in here feels stale and cold.
You sweep your Flashlight around the perimeter.

[Image: junk_room.png]


[Image: menu_back.png][Image: menu_next.png]
Quote
#24
[Image: menu_back.png][Image: menu_next.png]

OceanSoul Wrote:> ...ask robot if it has a preferred name.

Suddenly, you realize that you never asked the Robot what their name was.
And, now that you think about it, you never introduced yourself either? Whoops!

Do robots even have names? It kinda didn't cross your mind until now.
You've caught yourself thinking of them as some-thing rather than some-one a few times, too.
...does that make you a bad person? It's hard to not feel like a Robo-Racist right now.

To be fair, you could cut yourself some slack. You've never met any robots before today.
Or at least, you don't remember meeting any robots before? Though, with your memory the way it is...

If nothing else, from now on? Whenever anyone accuses you of being a Robo-Racist?
You can tell them that some of your best friends are robots.

Or one robot, rather. Whose... er... name you still don't know.

[Image: no_bot.png]

You look around for your Robot friend, hoping to talk. Unfortunately, you don't see them anywhere.
It seems like they didn't follow you down into this room, for some reason?

Weird, but oh well. You'll just have to ask them later.

StrawBarrel Wrote:> Check the floor tiles/blocks for footprints or other signs of someone entering this small room.
Egan_BW Wrote:> Lotta stuff here. Let's start with looking at the thing to the right, then work our way left.

[Image: stock.png]

You start investigating the room, and it's contents.

A Shelf and a Metal Desk run along one end of the room. They're covered in clutter and dust.
In fact, everything in this room is covered in a thick, gritty layer of dust.
There are no noticeable footsteps, or signs of recent disturbances, except for yours.
If you had to guess, no one has been in this room for quite some time.

Starting from the right, you see a stack of Loose Paper, covered in writing.
The pages are old and yellowed, but the words look legible at a glance.
Left of that, there's a box-shaped Metal Monitor, and a same-sized loose Metal Plate.
It reminds you of your Robot friend, minus the spider legs. And semblance of life.
Maybe it's broken? Looks like it might be partially disassembled.

Next, there's that large, dusty Shelving Unit, covered in various junk, bits, and bobs.
Working your way from the top down, you see Crumpled Paper and a Large Book.
Under that, some kind of unknown Circuit Board, with a stray wire attached.
Next to that are a few fist-sized Metallic Canisters, each with a nubby bit on top.
Something about the shape makes you think of Larger-Than-Usual Batteries.
Lastly, the bottom shelf is full of several shiny, Reddish Metal Bars of some sort.

monk12 Wrote:> Loot All

[Image: hana_inventory.png]

You'd like to take all this stuff with you, but your Bag can only fit a few more items.
You'll have to pick a limited number of these things, if any, to bring with you.

You might have been able to take more, if you still had your second Duffle. Too bad it got eaten.
Makes you wonder. Did you bring the spare, knowing you'd want to loot this place?

Tiruin Wrote:> Prioritize things we can USE or READ

Before you decide what you want to take, you need to find out what's in here.

You decide to focus on sources of information. You look at the pile of Loose Papers first.
The pages are ripped along one edge, like they were torn out of something, and left here.
They look like pages from a day planner, with printed-out date headers and a space for writing.

The words are handwritten in two distinct styles; one tight-packed and blocky, the other formal and flowing.
No weird symbols, garbled words, or any of that either. Everything looks normal.

You start reading the topmost page.

[Image: planner_page.png]

Loose Papers, Page 1/4:Show

It sounds like the writers were managers here? These were pages from some kind of logbook.
Weird that these Logbook Pages were just torn out and left here like this.
Wonder if that's where those Crumpled-Up Pages came from, too. More of the same?

You'd like to read the rest, but you decide to set the paper back down on the pile for now.
This might be something you want to take with you.

NUKE9.13 Wrote:> Read ye book
ShadowHammer Wrote:> See if we can read the book. Legible words or more dream-writing?

[Image: sketch_book.png]

You reach up above the Metal Shelves, and pull down a hefty Red Book.
It's discolored, musty-smelling, and seems a bit older than the Loose Papers.
You quickly flip through the pages, trying to get a sense for what it's about.

It doesn't have a title, or any words. Just a series of rough Sketches in dark ink.
There's one that looks like a gear, but with shovel-heads in place of the gear teeth.
Another that's jumble of pipes, bolts, and wires. It reminds you a bit of a car engine.
A doodle of faded signs and a traffic light, at an intersection overgrown with vines and trees.
A set of sketches of an aircraft hanger or warehouse, with details of the walls and ceiling struts.
A silhouette of a jagged tower rising above a forest, with tiny bird-shapes swarming around it.

[Image: book_zoom.png]

You're guessing this is a Sketchbook of some sort. If there's a theme, though, it isn't obvious.

You eventually find a page with a dog-eared corner; a radio, in various stages of disassembly.
Each component has been carefully drawn, with a web of lines connecting them to one another.
It looks an awful lot like the one you found upstairs, come to think of it.

There are other similar sketches in the surrounding pages, of devices that aren't familiar to you.
You'd like to keep looking through it, but you could easily spend hours flipping through this.
For now, you close it, and set it back down near the Loose Papers.

Sir Knight Wrote:> ...pull the bar lever on the right under the lightning bolt logo. If that's not the power control, then nothing is.

[Image: wall_box.png]

You turn your attention to a Metal Box attached to the wall, near the staircase landing.
Inside a recess, you see an exposed Reddish Bar. It looks corroded, or maybe burnt.

The lightning icon at the top hints that it's related to power. Might be the Power Switch?
Without thinking too much about it, you quickly reach forward to grab the bar.

A moment too late, you remember the last time you blindly reached into an alcove...
Panic seizes your heart as your hand makes contact. Another shock like that last one could...

Results:Show

The Corroded Bar is cool to the touch, and very much not electrically charged.
You give it a few quick pulls, but it doesn't seem to want to budge.
It's solidly stuck in place. Maybe if you pulled a little harder...

STRENGTH TEST: 1 Might + 2 Stamina ☆☆☆ <VS> Difficulty ★Show

With one last firm pull, and a springy metallic sound, the entire Corroded Bar breaks free, and into your hand.

...wait, breaks free?

[Image: fuse_blown.png]

[Image: corroded_bar.png]

[Image: hana_equip.png]

You sure hope that was supposed to happen!


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Sir Knight Wrote:the shiny, reddish Metal Bars of some sort are probably fuses, not batteries. It's possible that there was supposed to be a catch to hold this thing in place. The "breaking free" could be bypassing a catch, or it could just be breaking where the bar had rusted in place.

So inspect for a catch on the metal box. Whether there is one or not, insert a shiny, reddish Metal Bar of some sort.
monk12 Wrote:If these Mars Bars are indeed power sources, and we try to jam one in there manually without any sort of protection, that could really rustle our jimmies.

[Image: inspect.png]

Looking at the Wall Box, you see two small metal nubs on either end.
Some kind of snap-on catches, which the Corroded Bar was connected to.

Perhaps it was supposed to be removable after all! You feel a bit relieved.

You'd like to try replacing the Corroded Bar with something from in here.
Still, you're nervous about messing with it. And you'd like to not get shocked again too!

As such, you devise a cunning plan...

'NUKE9.13 Wrote:>Make makeshift gloves out of loose paper.

>Wear ye makeshift gloves.

>Insert ye replacement fuse.

First, you stow the Corroded Metal Bar in your Duffel Bag, to free up your hand.
Next, you take the Loose Papers on the desk, and cup them in your free hand.
Using them like you'd use a towel to grab hot cookware, you pick up one of the Reddish Bars from the shelves.

[Image: paper_stack.png] [Image: fuse.png]

[Image: fuse_paper_stack.png]

It looks a lot like the Corroded Bar, but more reddish. And less, you know, corroded.
You're willing to bet it's just a newer, non-burnt-out version of Whatever These Bars Are.
Fuses or Batteries, or something? You're just going to call it a Fuse for now.

[Image: fuse_hotdog.png]

Gripping the Fuse(?) firmly in your paper-clad hand, you shove it into the Fuse(?) Box.
You struggle with it a bit, wiggling it into position, until it pops onto the catches with a metallic snap.

[Image: snap_in.png]

Immediately after you do, you start to hear a faint buzzing hum coming from the Fuse Box.
Thankfully, you don't get shocked. You do start to feel a lot of heat bleeding through the Loose Paper, though.
You decide to let go, before the Fuse gets too hot.

[Image: paper_stack_burnt.png]

Looking at your Loose Paper glove, you notice that the top two of the four pages were burned.
Dang... the text on them is too toasted to read. And you hadn't read the second page yet.
The last 2 pages still look readable, though. And hey, at least you didn't burn your hand?

[Image: amber_light.png]

Before you can get too upset about it, a few amber Emergency Lights flicker on.
The console doesn't light up, but basic power seems to be back! At least in here.
This ought to make finding your way much easier. How's that for progress?


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