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Aug 18, 2019 2:37 AM
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Among the information she has archived or cached, there are obscure theories about inter-universal interactions. Not how they might happen, much less how any intelligence might begin one, or target it meaningfully.

But they give some constraints on the properties of such connections, and their time evolution.

This highly speculative information is available to her, but even were she fast enough to access it, none of it would be particularly useful when a pinpoint of not here blinks into existence directly ahead and expands spherically to swallow her.
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And then she's inside a room.

Or sort of a room. Well, it is a room, in that it's large and empty and has a metal door over there and metal walls around her in a rectangular shape. It's not a room in that it's really very large, large enough to contain a house or five, and the walls are metal because they're machinery. There are a few large laser-gun-like things pointed directly at the center of the room protruding from said walls, the ceiling, and the floor, with a suspended plate right in the middle, connected by a catwalk to a wall where a human would presumably appear or depart from. Said machinery seems to be winding down and dying of a last energy surge.

Another notable feature of this is that this machinery is apparently at least some sixty years old in design and at least two hundred in actual age.

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Teytis is really too distracted right now to be studying the design of SHE WAS JUST TRAVELING OVER OPEN OCEAN AND ALL HER ANCHORS ARE GONE SHE IS FALLING THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE.

—Priority zero: recover stability. Apply interior bracing. Where can she anchor? That floor way down there looks pretty solid. Yank off some outer corners of wall, slap them against the metal floor, brake.

Good, she's not falling, even if that creaking aged metal (no reinforcements?) was a bit alarming.

Priority one: Is the situation changing any further?
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Only in that the machinery is continuing to lose power in a manner consistent with only having been active due to a freak accidental power surge a few seconds ago.

...well, not necessarily accidental, but power surge nonetheless.
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Broadcast ping/emergency call. Where is she and who can help?

—Antennas impossibly vanished along with anchors. Well, form new ones. Transmit.
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She is: somewhere.

There does not seem to be anyone around to respond to her ping.
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Well, range is severely limited in in this metal box with who-knows-what outside.

Audio is a thing too. Exterior speakers: “Hello? What is this place?”*

* not actually English
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This place is:

still devoid of anyone to answer her queries.
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And yet some agency or accident must have caused her transportation.





This is the most separated from the rest of humanity that Teytis has been in the last decade.





Remaining here does not seem worthwhile. It seems unlikely that this machinery is going to spontaneously teleport her back home. What does this place have in the way of exits?
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A metal door, meant for humans or at least human-sized things, embedded on a wall at the end of the catwalk over there.

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Well, that's moderately inconvenient. You'd think whoever built this thing (who could have built this thing?) would have put in a door suited for its capacity.

Send a gripper over, pull, push, turn, does it open?
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It... falls off its hinges, actually. Not in the best state of repair ever, that door. And beyond it: a badly lit hallway, meant for human-sized things.

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Of course. Well, she's not exactly going to separate and walk down that hallway just yet.

She makes a probe to float through the door and get a further look around, and pokes around the rest of the walls (gently!) to see if there's a less obvious way that the roof comes off or something for access.

And while those explorations are in progress, she starts rearranging her walls, relay gear, and supplies, or what of those she didn't lose in the transition, into packages that can fit through a human-sized doorway, in case it proves to be necessary.
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It's an old hallway with red carpet on the floor, three doors on each wall and another at the very end.

The rest of the walls are mostly sturdy with a side of eaten by rust, and they're either part of the giant machine in this room or detachable and connected to metal arms.
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Plan of exploration:
  • Open the doors using the probe. Gently.
  • Investigate these arms: are there obvious controls for them?
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First door: control room, apparently, with monitors and keyboards and levers (all very old, matching the machinery in design and in disrepair). Everything absolutely dead and without a sign of being (or having recently been) active.

Arms: nothing obvious about them. They look pretty arcane. But are holding up pretty well, considering!
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These people sure did like their physical controls. But she's not going to trust them to break off, and she's not exactly ready to start taking over.

How about the rest of the doors?
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Next door: watching room, with cushions and dead monitors.

The subsequent one: broom closet.

The next: stairwell down.
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Well, that does seem plausible as an exit. Might as well give it a try.

She forms up centipede-style and marches for the stairwell.
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The stairwell gets progressively darker until it is pitch black. And it goes down, down, down, a long way without stop.

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This doesn't mean it's not an exit, but…

Reverse course. More probes. Open all the doors. Breadth-first search.
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The two doors at the very end of the hallway lead to a control room and a watching room identical to the first two she saw. The door across from where she came from leads to another huge chamber with machinery and laser-gun-things like the one she arrived in.

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It doesn't look like she's going to be able to leave this place while, ahem, leaving it untouched.

She heads to the marginally-least-decrepit control room and starts studying the controls and displays to figure out if any of them might be (have once been) information systems, as opposed to universe-puncturing-ray-gun firing buttons.
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The displays are still pretty dead. It's not immediately obvious what any of the controls themselves are supposed to do, they're either regular keyboards or big buttons without labels or strange old levers.

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Dead keyboards and displays: still somewhere to start investigating.

She lays her hands on on one example of each, and starts attempting to claim their casings and mechanisms and cables, aiming to trace back to whatever systems they may connect to.
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The first and most obvious thing they connect to are the displays themselves and the laser-gun-things in the room where she arrived.

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