Dec 15, 2018 6:53 PM
Aly among space debris
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"Or not after."

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"Yes. I suppose everyone here could just wait for you to teach yourself all about--" Sanjana sighs, closes her eyes and then opens them again. "Okay. Here."

 

A holographic screen appears in Aly's field of view, asking her if she would like to Open A Document.

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She opens the document, keeping half an eye on the machines.

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It's a dense document containing a mixture of boilerplate technical jargon and hastily drafted descriptions of the Aly Situation.

Almost all the words have dictionary entries available upon request.

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Well, she's certainly not going to stand under the scary things without knowing what they do. She will plod through this document, looking words up as necessary.

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By doing this, she will get a crash course in Uncanny Futuristic Science.

Before she gets too far, though, an orderly will catch her attention and ask her to step out of the Uncanny Future Science Room while Sanjana's aids are busy with whatever it is they're doing.

"We can wait out in the hallway until Sanjana's aids are finished with whatever it is they're doing."

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"Here is fine."

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The orderly leans in. "Didn't you say you could keep a secret?"

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This does not inspire Aly to obedience.

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She glances furtively at the technicians amongst their machinery, who do not yet seem to have noticed the orderly's presence.

"It's now or never, Aly. I'm leaving this room right now. If you come with, I'll tell you what's really going on here. If you don't, I disappear and you get to keep hearing their lies degree after degree."

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Aly is just surrounded by people who want her to interact with machines, isn't she.

Only one of these parties provided documentation. If somebody's lying it's probably not the person who had to produce a writeup to support it and not a handful of napkin scrawled sentences. Not that this person isn't an interesting datum but Aly is not going to run off on that basis.

"Bye," she says.

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Mysterious Napkin Orderly leaves.

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Aly resumes plodding through the document.

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It provides pretty robust documentation of what sort of measurements Sanjana and her team would like to perform today.

There's an underlying tone to the writeup that whoever's writing it has no idea what to make of the Aly Situation and is just throwing a battery of standard tests at the phenomenon in the vague hope that something will stick.

Notably, the boilerplate has a space for the experiment's 'Hypothesis' and that space has been left blank.

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"Can you measure the scooter first?" Aly asks eventually. "I don't think measuring me will do anything. I can also do other things you can look at."

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"We would very much appreciate looking at other things that you can do."

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Aly rolls the scooter over to the machines without her on it. She looks around for a small shadow or bit of light suitable for making a shine or shade.

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There are many small shadows to choose from!

Most of them are vague blobby things thrown onto the floor from overhead lighting, but there's a spindly metal lamp propped up on a desk in the room's far corner that could throw sharper shadows if properly aligned with a small object?

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Sure. She goes over to the lamp, bends it close to the desk, and peels off the shine. She pulls it onto her hand and puts it on the floor and scoots it over next to the scooter under the machines.

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Nobody speaks. Everybody watches. Sanjana and a couple of her aides pivot some of the machines around to better center the shine within the view of their instruments.

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"For other things I would need an animal or - a movable thing like the scooter to make move on its own," she says.

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“I can provide animals.”

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"Ones I can touch that won't hurt me and I won't hurt them."

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"I can fabricate specimens from any species we have a genetic template for. When you say 'hurt' do you mean you'd like a specimen that is incapable of feeling pain?"

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"No, I mean, I have to touch it so -" Dictionary dictionary dictionary - "- not a bug."

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