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Dec 12, 2019 4:50 PM
I'm making a note here: huge success
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There is a muffled song coming from somewhere. It's not a song she's familiar with. In fact, the whole place is nothing like anything she's familiar with. She seems to be in some metal-and-glass pod, for starters, which is itself inside a rather peculiar...

...room.

There are no doors.

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- what the fuck.

She opens her eyes, and when that does nothing to resolve her confusion, she winces and opens her groundsense.

There are no living things in range.

What the fuck.

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The glass part of her pod opens of its own accord. The timer above the only part of the walls of the chamber she's in that's not made of glass - which is synchronized with another timer outside of it - starts counting down from one minute.

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She gets out of the pod smart quick before it decides to close itself again, and looks around the ...room... in case there's anything useful present.

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The room contains: a small corner table with a radio (which is where the music is coming from), a coffee mug, and a clipboard with some pictures and diagrams; a toilet; and a pair of white boots with bizarre heels. In fact, one of the diagrams attached to the clipboard is about these boots.

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She studies the diagram. It makes no sense. It continues to make no sense even after she has read it twice.

The boots look kind of nifty, though. She puts them on. They're probably better than nothing, and she wasn't wearing any shoes when she took the nap from which she inexplicably woke up in Insane Cube Land. And hey, if as the diagram vaguely promises they have a way of protecting against falls, even better.

The radio is even more puzzling. She examines it with eyes and hands and groundsense. It's definitely a made thing, but the materials and craftsmanship are like nothing she's ever seen. And it's - not alive, exactly, but it has something like aliveness. She's tempted to take it apart.

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When the countdown reaches forty seconds, a disembodied voice comes from - the ceiling, apparently.

"Hello, and, again, welcome to the Aperture Science computer-aided enrichment center."

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She jumps slightly.

"The what center? Again?"

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"We hope your brief detention in the relaxation vault has been a pleasant one," the voice says, heedless of her questions. "Your specimen has been processed and we are now ready to begin the test proper."

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Um?????

"What are you talking about -" but she's beginning to suspect the voice is like the radio, just a thing that makes sounds -

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"Before we start, however, keep in mind that although fun and learning are the primary goals of the enrichment center activities, serious injuries may occur. For your own safety, and the safety of others, please refrain from t-" Then the voice is cut by sudden static and random noises, a sentence in Spanish that rises in pitch until it's incomprehensible, then the audio is cut altogether for a second. "- stand back. The portal will open in three" (the voice says exactly as the countdown reaches three) "two, one."

And then the non-glass wall has an oval hole surrounded by orange light. If she walks over to and looks through the hole, Sable will be able to see...

...herself, and the chamber she's in. From the right. And if she looks right, the wall below the other now-zeroed timer has a similar hole, framed in blue light, that shows herself, from the front.

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Um.

The - that - what -

She picks up the clipboard and pokes it through the hole. And it's just... there. It's not in two places at once because as far as the clipboard is concerned they are the same place. It makes her head hurt to think about. How would you do that? This is magic beyond anything the ancients ever did, she's pretty sure.

It is also a way out of this small unsettling glass box.

She tosses the clipboard through the space-hole, picks up the mug and the radio, hesitates only a moment, and steps out.

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It... doesn't really feel like anything. It's exactly like stepping through a hole. To her right there is a wall with a large sign on it.

And to her left there's enough space for her to walk around the glass room she was in to the other side.

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She puzzles over the sign for a moment. Beware of... lumpy squares... falling out of giant ceiling pipes... and hitting you on the head...? Okay. And she does not need to beware of... being hit by weird-looking balls that fall into weird-looking pits, being attacked by small angry water snakes, jumping into a floor hole and being flung out a wall hole, being attacked by a one-eyed spider-rabbit-thing that spits arrows, being seen through a strangely shaped window while an ominous triangle hits her in the face with little dots, or, um, cake. Maybe the cake comes after you have defeated all the hazards. What the fuck is this place.

She walks around the glass room. The glass room is unsettling. Everything about this place is unsettling. The boots take some getting used to; they're very... springy. It's a little awkward to juggle the mug, clipboard, and radio, but she doesn't want to leave anything behind in this unsettlingly spare environment lest she turn out to need it later.

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There's a circular double door, there, and a strange apparatus attached to the wall above her that moves to track her movements. When she approaches the door, it opens on its own to reveal...

...a rectangular room with a huge red button, a giant ceiling pipe that apparently contains... a lumpy square... and another double door.

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Um.

She stops to thread her belt through the handle of the mug so she doesn't have to carry it, then proceeds into the next room. What is this nonsense.

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As soon as she does, a little hatch-like thing on the mouth of the ceiling cylinder opens, letting the lumpy square fall on the floor.

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Oookay.

There are more weird pictographs. She examines the weird pictographs.

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As she gets closer to the button on her way to the pictographs, her radio's music is replaced with static and some weird underlying... noise.

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There are just so many unsettling things here!!!

What do the pictographs look like?

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The two on the floor next to where the cube fell are the same as the two highlighted ones on the big white sign she saw on the previous room. The two above the door are an arrow and a little person in a rectangle. There is also a blue one with a black X to the left of the door, and a trail of blue circular lights leading from that sign to the huge red button. Also once she's far from the button again the static noise stops and the music resumes.

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Right then. The obvious inference is that she's supposed to put the lumpy cube on the huge red button to open the door. She has to put down the radio and clipboard briefly, but she wrestles the lumpy cube over to the big red button and does that.

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The blue lights turn yellow, the door opens, and the voice speaks up again: "Excellent. Please proceed into the Chamber-lock after completing each test. First, however, note the incandescent particle field across the exit." And indeed, on the other side of the door there is a corridor leading to a field with blue sparkles moving horizontally from side to side. Beyond the field there is a cylinder with double doors.

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Oh she's noting the incandescent particle field all right.

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"This Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grid will vaporize any unauthorized equipment that passes through it," the voice continues. "For instance, the Aperture Science Weighted Storage Cube."

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"- what."

 

She goes up to the blue sparkles. She pokes them with a corner of the clipboard.

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