Dec 10, 2019 5:51 AM
Plums in Partyland
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"Someone or something else is around here somewhere."

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"Yeah, it seems that way. Though I suppose whatever it is could have left just before we arrived never to return. Anyway, last room is the Library." Riley leads them through the last door. There are stacks to the left and right side. The back wall is a massive window. Between the stacks are work tables and groups of plush chairs. Along the wall they've walked in through there are six computers that don't seem to quite match any computers they've seen before. "I haven't looked at the computers, this was one of the first rooms I visited down here and I figured if I started looking at them I'd get sucked in."

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"Yeah, that's pretty reasonable. Should definitely check them out after we've explored the rest of the building, though. Maybe there's something on them that can help explain what the heck is going on."

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"Yeah, I'm hoping for that, I'm also hoping for instructions on using the clinic. Onward then." Riley leads them down the ramp to the ground floor. There are bike racks and equipment bins but they're all empty. There are several doors to the outside and lots of windows. "Well, that suggests we can find bikes somewhere. I don't think I want to go outside just yet though."

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"No, best to investigate the computers and the rest of the inside in more detail first. It's a higher priority."

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"Alright, onto the basement then?"

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"Sure!"

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The ramp to the basement goes on for twice as long as the ones between the other levels and and lets out into what looks like the lobby of an upscale building. One wall is largely missing and lets out onto the corridor of what looks like a mall. There are signs for stores over large open storefronts. The stores are pretty normal aside from the odd absence of check out lines or cash registers. The mall corridor curves away in both directions. "Well this definitely isn't the same mall we were walking through on the way to the elevator. That one was mostly unfinished and this one's fully stocked."

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"Weird place to put a mall. But then everything here's kinda weird."

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"No kidding."

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"This place looks pretty big. I wonder how long much mall there is to explore. I think I can probably see for a few hundred meters in both directions."

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"Should we explore a little now, or save it til later?

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"I don't see any directories down here, maybe there's one on the computers?"

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"Probably worth checking. Without some sense of how big this place is I bet we could wander for hours."

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"Upstairs, then?"

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"Sounds good." When they arrive back at the library and tap on the keyboard of one of the computers the screen shows a logo with a stylized kappa and alpha with a set of labelled icons on the left side of the screen: Employment, Encyclopedia, Interfaces, and Settings.

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"Ooooh an encyclopedia, let's check that out!"

She checks that out.

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"I wonder what settings this thing has?"

Investigate?

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The encyclopedia has a pretty long list of topics, from plant species to drugs to cleaning agents to stores. There is a search feature if they're looking for something specific.

The settings screen displays at the top that these settings are for some specific citizen, when Riley is the last person to touch the screen it says citizen 1, when Anna is it says citizen 15, when Linda is it says citizen 14. It offers a light and a dark theme. Optional speech recognition input modes, and some other minutia.

"Well that's weird, it can tell which of us is using it."

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"A hidden camera or something, maybe?"

She backs out of the encyclopedia for now and checks out the interfaces screen.

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"Yeah maybe, hard to know." The interfaces screen is largely empty. At the top it says 'No connected devices or employee commands available.'

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Okay then, obviously the next step is to check out the employment screen.

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The Employment screen has job listings for the positions of gardener, janitor, medical technician and security guard. "Oooh, if we're going to try to take jobs can I be the medical technican?"

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"Do we urgently need to have jobs? I don't know if I could do any of these, well maybe the janitor..."

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"I suppose that depends on what our goals are. I'm betting that being a medical technician is the fastest way to understand the clinic but I don't know what it means to be employed here."

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