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Dec 12, 2019 4:16 PM
Ekuni lands in Pandora's Hope
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The first thing e92ada0f had noticed was the absence in the sky.

The second thing was the flow of people in the streets, as if it was a normal day in Kyoto again.

Now she is staring up at Kyoto National Museum (it had been closer than their home base), trying to ping the network.

It isn't there.

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Anesidora had been trying to be a regular tourist. Not the easiest thing in the world when he had Epimetheus and Prometheus quietly scanning for local CCTV and looping it so that they didn't show up on it, and keeping a close eye on their surroundings, looking out for threats. And yeah, he is very aware of them doing that, he knows them.

Still, Kyoto National Museum had been fairly enjoyable.

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Epimetheus abruptly stops, one hand pulling him up short. Something isn't right. Her sensor readings for the surrounding area have changed - a person has entered the range, which happens, but something about the readings is off.

"Prometheus?" she says quietly.

Prometheus nods.

"Stay here, sir," she said, starting to circle around towards the anomaly, Prometheus mirroring her movements in the opposite direction.

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They would have been able to tell her what had happened.

She can check their home base, still, but if no one is here -- if nothing is here --

She should check anyway.

e92ada0f turns, and begins to weave her way through the crowd away from the museum.

(If you just glanced at the readings from her, they are well within the range of normal. But her hair is warmer than it should be, and to sufficiently sensitive sensors her heat pattern has bizarre hot and cool patterns for a human. And then there's the weird readings in other spectra, and the fact that she occasionally emits a signal.)

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:Verify sensors, Prometheus?: Epimetheus sends as they continue to follow.

(She sends a message to Anesidora's phone as well to maintain a sufficient safe distance, but to follow so that she knows he is relatively close by.)

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:Verified,: Prometheus responds after a moment. :No record of artificial lifeforms with matching readings.:

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There is someone -- multiple someones? -- following her.

She doesn't know if they're friendly or not. (But if they're friendly, why haven't they announced themselves?)

She doesn't give any sign she's noticed them, but she turns from the route she was taking into a side-street (as if that is what she had been planning in the first place).

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:Target appears to have observed being tailed,: Prometheus notes. :Strategy?:

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Epimetheus is briefly quiet, unable to immediately confirm Prometheus' assessment, but he's rarely wrong about these things. :Stay back, I will approach.:

She registers Prometheus' affirmative before speeding up slightly. As she's moving, she sends a ping at the woman(?), masking her own ID in case this is a trap.

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She ducks into a nook between buildings, and stops, sending back something in an unknown format.

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But it does confirm that she is able to receive data that way, even if Epimetheus can't immediately access the response. She bounces that on to Prometheus - if there's encryption he should be able to break it.

She follows cautiously as the woman ducks into the nook, one hand resting on her hip. "Hello?" she says, because if this person isn't aware it was Epimetheus who pinged her, there's no reason to give away that fact.

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She eyes the other woman (well, she's not, is she, though; she isn't breathing either, and e92ada0f is fairly certain she is the source of the ping) warily. "Hello," she says carefully, dedicating one of her miscellaneous threads to social processing.

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Epimetheus, meanwhile, is fairly sure that the woman in front of her is indeed another AGI.

"Identify?" she asks, tilting her head slightly. "Designation and assignment?"

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"e92ada0f," she replies automatically, following the shift in social protocols. "Assignment..." she shrugs minutely. "Delivery; no longer applicable, situation drastically changed. Investigate changed situation?"

This is much easier than than attempting normal social situations; she almost likes this woman (woman?) already.

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She notes the designation, eyes narrowing ever so slightly. "Designation acceptable? No preferred alternate?"

"How drastic are the changes? Clarify the changes?" Because those changes might be that Epimetheus has approached e92ada0f.

:Not overtly hostile,: she updates Prometheus.

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"Alternative: Ekuni Adareif?" she offers. "No strong preference. Changes: lack of Code: GODLIKE-scale disaster?"

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She nods once, files away the offered alternate and her eyes unnarrow. (A name, even one derived from an original hex-identifier, is normally a good sign.)

"Error: unknown code. Disaster status: none currently active."

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"Code: GODLIKE is highest threat level, apocalypse tier," she clarifies, appearing somewhat concerned by the error.

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:Apparent concern at 'error',: Prometheus says, knowing that Epimetheus won't necessarily think that's something she has to respond to. :Perhaps clarify.:

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Epimetheus pauses for a second, sending Prometheus an affirmative. 'Apocalypse tier' sounds concerning, but her second attempt at querying their database of codes, and Prometheus' double-check, still come back empty. "This is not a code we have in our database," she reports. "The error was that my query was not finding 'Code: Godlike' in our database."

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This seems concerning in a different way.

"You are... Virtual Adepts?" she inquires carefully. "Or non-affiliated?"

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"Er-" she cuts herself off with a metallic click (Prometheus transmits his approval). "I am not familiar with the term 'Virtual Adepts', I am unsure if this is simply due to never having encountered such." That is...not exactly likely, but still a possibility.

:She appears to be aware of the data-stream between us.:

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:Still appearing non-hostile. We had surmised that she was similar to us. Approach?: He waits for Epimetheus' verdict on that, gets a 'hold' signal, and taps one foot in a very human gesture of impatience.

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"Unaffiliated," she surmises. "Small possibility that you are from an affiliate of the Technocratic Union or Virtual Adepts, but you are not Masses tech; would be surprising if you did not know at least some, were that the case. Even smaller chance of relatively modern Sons of Ether. Confirm?"

She watches the other woman(?)'s reaction carefully.

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"Confirm: unaffiliated with any of the factions you have listed," Epimetheus says. Her reaction is fairly bland, there is a slight narrowing of her eyes and a head tilt that could be parsed as confusion. "I can also find no record of the factions you have listed existing. Neither presently nor historically."

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"They would not be in Masses databases," she comments. "Regardless. Your designations?"

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