This post has the following content warnings:
Aug 01, 2021 11:45 PM
Soma but with a Margaret
+ Show First Post
Total: 737
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

It takes a moment of working with the controls, there's some kind of...gain or something which has to be adjusted, but finally the link connects. It lights up with "LAMBDA" and a static picture of a black-haired woman. "Ah, that's better. Margaret, was it?"

Permalink

"That's me! I got to the tower. What's your name? Also I found someone else, Carl, but he's in a robot attached to the wall and he's injured, do you know how to get him out of here too?"

Permalink

"Hi Margaret, I'm Catherine. Have you figured out what's going...wait, you said there's somebody else there, in a robot? Somebody from the staff? Is there anyone else over there?"

Permalink

She considers, for about half a second, telling the full truth.

"Yeah, Carl Semken--he's stuck in one of the robots in assembly B, his human body is dead, I found the corpse. There--there's nobody else here as far as I know but I haven't been everywhere."

Permalink

"Does...he know? Are you sure it's really all of Carl? What does he remember?" Catherine sounds shaken. "Last I heard, Upsilon was full of crazy robots attacking people."

Permalink

"Uh, he was insisting he still had a human body but I don't know if he was messing with me or what? Nobody's been, uh, nobody's attacked us, there's one big robot wandering around all over but it doesn't seem hostile, just big and, um, stupid."

Permalink

"Huh." Catherine sounds puzzled, and seems to turn that over for a second. "I think he might be just...having trouble processing what's going on. You said you're from, what, 2015? Like, you're a scan? How'd you get to Pathos-II? What are you running on?"

Permalink

"I don't know how I got here; there was no-one there when I woke up. I'm, in a diving suit and I, um, don't super understand what's going on inside it, hardware-wise, some kind of cyborg setup." Maybe in the 22nd century it's totally normal to be gross and disgusting and not have most of your head.

Permalink

Before Catherine can respond, there's an ominous groan from the leaky roof above, and the trickle turns into a steadier flow, increasing by the heartbeat.

Permalink

Oh crap okay conversation back on important topics right now. "The roof is collapsing--how do I get to you?" 

While she's waiting for an answer she runs back to the staircase and slams the watertight door shut. If there's another way out of here she can leave it closed and not dump literal tons of water on Carl.

Permalink

The watertight door slams shut below her, covering over the staircase before more than a few liters overflow the rim of the stairwell. Over the comes, Catherine sounds upset. "Lambda. Come to Lambda, I'll be waiting for you here. Take the Shuttle, or a Zeppelin if you can find..."

The conversation is lost in a fizzle of static as a giant section of the ceiling, what must be a pressure dome, caves in with a torrent of water. The room fills around here, and the wave slams Margaret against the wall. For a moment, she blacks out, then comes to again face-down in a curl on the floor. The comm station is completely filled, lit by the gentle, pervasive glow of light percolating down from the surface. The door in the floor seems to be sealed and...well, at least it's hard to see how it could get worse for the moment.

Permalink

This is fine. She's fine. She's not going to run out of air and die because she hasn't been breathing. There is really no need to panic. 

She panics anyway.

It turns out that not needing to breathe, not having a heart that can pound in your ears, is pretty good for making it easier to stop panicking. She's okay. The communications console is dead but she's not sure she'd be comprehensible underwater anyway. She wishes Catherine had had time to say where the exit from Upsilon was. Is there a way out of this tower without opening the watertight door? . . . Actually possibly she should try swimming up through the hole in the roof and looking for the shuttle from the outside, if this diving suit isn't too heavy to swim.

Permalink

Trying to jump and waving her arms proves the diving suit is too heavy to swim, apparently weighted to keep it on the bottom. However, the area where the ceiling fell in leaves a lip that's in reach of where she can reach, and with a jump, she's able to grab the ledge and start pulling herself up. Pulling this body up, anyway.

Permalink

Huh, apparently this body has enough upper body strength to do a pullup. That's kind of neat. Also she has no idea how exercise or indeed any other aspect of metabolism works for her now and that's so far from the point, seriously pull yourself together Margaret. Got to find a shuttle. Is there anything on this facility that looks like a shuttle port? She's high enough up that she should have a really good vantage point if visibility isn't completely awful.

Permalink

The dome is part of a canyon, apparently. There's some kind of pipeline above her, and crossing under it there's a metal platform off to the left that looks to say, "Zepplin Transport" but doesn't seem to have any signs of any actual zeppelins. Over to the right, among the coral and other sea life growing on the wall, is an airlock exterior door, but it doesn't seem to want to let her in--it must be the other side of the broken one from earlier in this part of Upsilon. A red light glows off in the distance around the corner, and following it reveals it to be on top of a lightpole, stuck into the seabed next to a pipeline running through the canyon. The lights turn on as she approaches, bring clarity to a small zone of the murky twilight around the base. Down the length of the pipeline, there's another one of the high-level red lights, and following it reveals a second light post in turn. As it turns on, the one behind her turns off--apparently, they're proximity-triggered. At the base of the third, there's a communications panel, like the first place she had the machine telepathy at Upsilon, again displaying the "Data Buffer Available" message.

Permalink

Okay, sure, she'll download unfamiliar files into her brain like a clueless grandmother installing malware toolbars on her Windows XP box. Maybe it will tell her where the pipeline goes, since the people who built this place quite reasonably didn't think to label the outsides as comprehensively as the insides.

Permalink

On the call recording, a very upset Amy Azarro talks to somebody name Strasky. She sounds furious, still processing Carl's death--apparently a robot killed him right in front of her--but Peter wants to know if the station's power plant was configured properly before she got out. After losing her cool and cursing him out, she finally confirms this, and that she's headed to the Shuttle station, and Peter says they're all rooting for her.

Permalink

Maybe if she had any clue how and why these things got recorded she would know whether the mention of Amy going to the Shuttle station was a good sign for her being close to it. If she follows the pipeline to where it joins up with Upsilon is there any sign of a shuttle station?

Permalink

Down the way a little further, there's a robot floating in the water, a red light illuminating the other way. It's...muttering to itself? "What I wouldn't do for some gel. I just...I need some gel."

Permalink

Margaret doesn't know what kind of gel they mean, but if it's the kind that's all over everything inside then, uh, they're in luck. She tries talking, since she can understand them alright, and accompanies it with a gesture at the buildings: "There's lots of gel inside Upsilon but I don't know how to get back in from here."

Permalink

It turns to her, and starts floating closer, slowly but determined. "Look, don't be greedy. Just a sip, you've got so much."

Permalink

"Eheheheheh nope" oh huh in the absence of breath she will apparently do a verbal nervous giggle but that's not the point the point is robot vampire. She backs away slowly and then somewhat less slowly and then gives up trying to go backwards in a diving suit underwater and turns around and skedaddles.

Permalink

The robot appears slow--apparently, legs outrun...propeller things. Further down the way, there's a smaller, nearly-spherical robot stuck under a small rockfall. It beeps plaintively as she walks close by.

Permalink

"Do you speak English and aren't a vampire?"

Permalink

"Beep bepp." The robot flickers its single white "headlight" eye. Apparently, the answer to at least one of the questions is no.

Total: 737
Posts Per Page: