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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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File 142032560746.png - (93.30KB , 386x600 , 1-1.png )
617728 No. 617728 ID: 557bac

CHAPTER 1
Expand all images
>>
No. 617729 ID: 557bac
File 142032563189.png - (2.32KB , 600x600 , 1-2.png )
617729

You are sitting in the dark.
You aren't sure how long you've been here.
You feel kind of numb....
>>
No. 617732 ID: 557bac
File 142032583710.png - (20.38KB , 600x600 , 1-3.png )
617732

You hear a sound from the other side of the room: a drop of water. The wall you are sitting against is cool and smooth, like metal.
>>
No. 617733 ID: 687279

>>617732
Tap and feel the wall, to see if you can tell what material it is. Then move along feeling the floor until you get to the noise.
>>
No. 617734 ID: c6d84f

Head to the noise.
>>
No. 617735 ID: d3be40

Recall as much as you can. If you can't remember where you are, be sure to approach the sound slowly and carefully.
>>
No. 617737 ID: 557bac
File 142032767841.png - (19.81KB , 600x600 , 1-4.png )
617737

You feel around you. The floor feels like some kind of tile, it is also cool. The wall, when you tap on it feels like metal.
You stand up and feel along the wall, there feels like there is a gap running from the floor upwards, possibly a door? There also feels like there is an object with raised indentations, possibly buttons, imbedded in the wall.

You don't recall what you might be doing here, where this is or really much of anything at the moment. All you can remember is a terrible numbness which you feel yourself shaking off like a layer of cobwebs. Perhaps you'll remember more later.
>>
No. 617738 ID: 557bac
File 142032768834.png - (40.97KB , 600x600 , 1-5.png )
617738

You head towards the source of the noise and crack your shin on a piece of furniture. You swear and catch yourself on its surface.
>>
No. 617739 ID: 687279

>>617738
Yeah better move carefully bro. Feel out its shape, and see if you can find any other objects near it without running into them.
>>
No. 617740 ID: d3be40

Just find a flashlight as soon as possible.
>>
No. 617789 ID: 557bac
File 142034631407.png - (30.14KB , 600x600 , 1-6.png )
617789

"Gee, a flashlight would be really fucking handy, wouldn't it?", you find yourself thinking. You run your hands over the surface of the object you hit and find that it has a pair of drawers built into one side. The bottom drawer has a keyhole. You don't feel anything else between yourself and the source of the noise.

There is another drip of water.
>>
No. 617790 ID: 687279

>>617789
It's a drip, true, but how do you know it's water? Well, feel near the drip. Is it a sink?
>>
No. 617796 ID: 557bac
File 142034760129.png - (36.11KB , 600x600 , 1-7.png )
617796

You turn your attention back to the drips. Not sure if it is water or not, you carefully feel around the area. It appears to be a sink, made entirely out of a seamless sheet of smooth metal that projects from the wall and is set into the floor. You carefully dip a finger into the bowl of the sink and find it nearly full of cold liquid. It has the viscosity and smell of filtered water.
Its water.
>>
No. 617798 ID: 557bac
File 142034760853.png - (54.59KB , 600x600 , 1-8.png )
617798

As you touch the faucet set into the sink, it spontaneously starts to pour out water. The sound startles you, but you realize it must be touch activated: you did not feel any handles.

It shuts off after a moment, and it sounds like the sink overflowed a little bit.
>>
No. 617800 ID: a19cd5

>>617798
Careful not to slip.
Open the cabinet
>>
No. 617803 ID: 687279

>>617798
Alright, be aware the floor may be slippery now. Watch out. Feel the walls near the sink. Does the mirror open to a medicine cabinet?

Hey is there anything in your pockets? What are you wearing in general?
>>
No. 617805 ID: e35a6a

Reach in and see if there's something blocking the drain.

Oh, do you mind telling us a little about yourself? What's your name, what sorts of things do you enjoy?
Were you blind before you came here, wherever here is?
>>
No. 617806 ID: 687279

Oh, I just noticed. Noises seem to reveal things, not just feeling them. Try making a click sound and listen. You appear to have some skill in echolocation.
>>
No. 617807 ID: 85c385

Is it very dark, or are we blind? That's the real question.
>>
No. 617810 ID: d3be40

>>617807
You'll want to find a lightbulb and sense if there is heat coming from it. That's a good indication of blindness.
>>
No. 617855 ID: 557bac
File 142039209880.png - (45.25KB , 600x600 , 1-9.png )
617855

Are you blind? or is there just no light? You raise your hand to your face and touch it. You have eyes, they seem kind of small though. You blink.

You try to echo-locate, clicking your tongue. You don't really get anything useful from it. Maybe if you were to do something louder... but you do get some idea of the space around you through sound.

You name? There seems to be some numbness around that idea....

Aether?

You think someone might have called you that... You'll be damned if you know who.

There seems to be a cabinet near your head, you open it up and feel around inside. The only thing you find is a bottle. You open it and slosh it around: it smells syrupy and is slightly viscous. You put it into your pocket. Your clothes appear to be thin and utilitarian: some kind of one piece coverall.
>>
No. 617856 ID: 557bac
File 142039210816.png - (51.09KB , 600x600 , 1-10.png )
617856

You reach into the sink, immersing your arm up to the elbow in cold water. Blocking the drain is a crumpled piece of plastic. You pull it out and the water swirls down the drain. It feels like a zip lock bag with something folded up inside.
>>
No. 617862 ID: d3be40

Great. That piece of paper might have the combination to the keypad on the door, and you can't see anything.

Maybe it's in braille.
>>
No. 617881 ID: acaf7e

Dry off the bag first so the paper does not get damaged if you attempt to take it out.
>>
No. 617883 ID: 687279

Check in the drawer next.
>>
No. 617919 ID: 557bac
File 142040254857.png - (55.46KB , 600x600 , 1-11.png )
617919

You rummage around in the unlocked drawer.
Inside are 10 metal jacks and a small rubber ball.
Into your pocket they go.
>>
No. 617920 ID: 557bac
File 142040256655.png - (68.13KB , 600x600 , 1-12.png )
617920

You dry your hands and the plastic bag on your coverall as well as you can and open it: there is a small, folded up piece of paper inside. You unfold it; a small key falls out and you manage to catch it. You suppose the paper says something, but you have no way to read it. Running your fingers over it, there are slight changes in texture that suggest writing, but nothing you can identify.

You put your jacks into the bag to keep them from cluttering your pocket.
>>
No. 617923 ID: 687279

>>617920
Unlock the other drawer and check inside that too.
>>
No. 617944 ID: 311774

>>617920
Your coverall? What are you wearing, exactly? Does it have a nametag on it?
>>
No. 617988 ID: 42443a

If sound reveals things, maybe you need a louder noise.

If you can remember any songs, it might be interesting to see what effect singing has. Or failing that, just a yell or shout might be illuminating.
>>
No. 618005 ID: 687279

Clapping could work.
>>
No. 618023 ID: 557bac
File 142041562937.png - (65.19KB , 600x600 , 1-13.png )
618023

You use the key on the bottom drawer.
Inside is a small cardboard box that rattles as you pick it up. You open it and find that it contains 6 matches. You pocket it.
>>
No. 618025 ID: 687279

>>618023
Oh excellent. Alright feel around the walls. Gather as much information as you can before using a match. Once you do, read the note, check the label on the bottle, and take a look around the room in general to see if there's anything you missed. Oh, and check yourself out in the mirror.
>>
No. 618026 ID: acaf7e

Are the matches able to be struck anywhere? If so, use some of the syrupy stuff to adhere the note to the wall and then strike a match to illuminate the area enough to read it.
>>
No. 618069 ID: 557bac
File 142042188597.png - (83.86KB , 600x600 , 1-14.png )
618069

You make sure everything is at hand before you strike a match on the box. There's a brilliant comet of sparks and a reek of sulfur and a small flame blossoms, illuminating a tiny pocket of darkness. You take a quick look at the box and learn that the matches are not "strike anywhere". Dang...

Working quickly, you seize the note and commit it to memory. Strange...
>>
No. 618070 ID: 557bac
File 142042189186.png - (58.80KB , 600x600 , 1-15.png )
618070

Next you pick up the bottle of "syrup". The label indicates that it is cough syrup. There is a warning that you have to squint to read (your eyes are still having trouble adjusting, though you suspect your vision isn't that great anyway). It warns that the syrup contains codeine and should only be used as directed by a doctor. The liquid inside is a bright pink.
>>
No. 618071 ID: 557bac
File 142042189764.png - (123.76KB , 600x600 , 1-16.png )
618071

Next you turn and take a look at yourself in the mirror.
Hey there cutie! See something you like?
Eh? What the hell is that?
>>
No. 618072 ID: 557bac
File 142042190339.png - (111.60KB , 600x600 , 1-17.png )
618072

You spin in place and face the opposite wall. There, someone has painted a huge, messy, black mark. the liquid drips and runs down the wall in fat blobs, and the rapid brushstrokes betray a panicked hand.
>>
No. 618074 ID: 557bac
File 142042195014.png - (86.96KB , 600x600 , 1-18.png )
618074

You swear as the match burns your finger. You shake your hand and the light goes out.
>>
No. 618076 ID: acaf7e

Toss one of the jacks at the asterisk on the wall. Also, if you can, feel the keys on the keypad and see if they match the symbols at the bottom of the note.
>>
No. 618088 ID: 42443a

>don't let them hear you
Okay, cancel the yelling and singing to see what happens experiments, for now.
>>
No. 618092 ID: d3be40

Oh good, you're not blind.

Now, as for the code to the pad... feel around the edges, see how many buttons there are on the keypad. Maybe the symbols on the paper represent which buttons to press, based on the edges of said buttons!
>>
No. 618100 ID: 687279

>>618074
Okay, so, we learned a few things.
1) Be quiet!
2) Try to stay warm.
3) The symbols on the bottom of the note are probably related to the keypad.

I can't figure it out though.
>>
No. 618378 ID: 557bac
File 142050674641.png - (104.76KB , 600x600 , 1-19.png )
618378

You throw a jack at where you saw the painted symbol. It clacks against the wall and hits the ground with a clatter. You don't think that did anything. You feel around on the ground and pick the jack back up.
>>
No. 618379 ID: 557bac
File 142050676022.png - (27.74KB , 454x600 , 1-20.png )
618379

You go back to the object next to the door(?) and run your fingers over it surface. Assuming it is a keypad, it has 9 buttons arranged in a 3x3 square.
>>
No. 618384 ID: 687279

>>618379
Okay, the markings on the note look like edges of buttons but most of them don't focus on one button, and on top of that, most of them don't correspond to a unique edge on the keypad. So I have no idea what to do here.
>>
No. 618407 ID: 780763

>>618072
that looks like an attic door on the ceiling!
try to stand on the dresser and touch the ceiling there?
>>
No. 618558 ID: d7800e

Alright, so I'm assuming by the symbols from E that whatever's painted on the number pad should look something like a box with a + in it. Then the combo would be something like 68516
If that doesn't work, it seems kinda too early to use another match, so ceiling it is!
>>
No. 618571 ID: 687279

>>618379
It's 6851. The vectors correspond to the centers of keys, not the corners of the keys. Also, the last "symbol" before the -E is apparently just creases in the paper.
>>
No. 618588 ID: 962eb4

anything on the wall opposite the symbol?
>>
No. 618600 ID: 557bac
File 142060049540.png - (41.27KB , 454x600 , 1-21.png )
618600

Remembering the symbols, you guess that they represent numbers on the keypad. You assume the "corner" symbol represents the upper left button or "1" and the lines extend out to the other buttons. Assuming this the vertices of three other symbols represent 6, 8, and 5 respectively.
>>
No. 618601 ID: 557bac
File 142060049990.png - (15.55KB , 800x349 , 1-22.png )
618601

You plug in 6851 and there is a tone that suggests a correct input. There's a chilly draft and slight whirr as the door slides open. You step out into the darkness.
>>
No. 618603 ID: 687279

>>618600
Right, yeah, vertices, not vectors, dur.

>>618601
Well this should just be a corridor. Feel along the wall to see if you can find the next door.
>>
No. 618608 ID: 687279

Wait, is there a bit of light to your right (our left)?
>>
No. 618655 ID: d3be40

Be careful of falling.

Don't echolocate or use matches unless you have a clear idea of the area around you.
>>
No. 618682 ID: 962eb4

now shout real loud.
>>
No. 618710 ID: 687279

>>618682
We're supposed to be quiet!
>>
No. 618768 ID: 557bac
File 142067856983.png - (28.55KB , 800x349 , 1-23.png )
618768

You sidle along the wall to your right, keeping one hand against it at shoulder level. Your fingertips discover another keypad, as well as a door.

You also hear a small, mechanical whirring a few feet in front of you.
>>
No. 618770 ID: 687279

>>618768
Another door is opening... that means another person. Don't let them hear you. Back up against the other wall, and stay silent.
>>
No. 618777 ID: 557bac
File 142068008223.png - (28.10KB , 800x349 , 1-24.png )
618777

Remembering the warning not to let "them" hear you, you press yourself against the wall and keep still. A moment later you hear the noise again. A moment later, again. And again. And again. It sounds like it might be stuck.
>>
No. 618778 ID: 687279

Oh. Hmm. Get closer, feel along the floor where the door is. There's gonna be a dead body there I bet.
>>
No. 618780 ID: d3be40

Looks like something mechanical is stuck. Don't fix it yet; if it's a deathtrap, you might be in the line of fire.

check along the floors for things that "they" might have dropped.
>>
No. 618799 ID: b0b069

listen closer.

>>618710

says who?
>>
No. 618800 ID: 557bac
File 142068740823.png - (34.92KB , 800x349 , 1-25.png )
618800

You carefully shuffle towards the source of the noise. You find another door, electronically grumbling as it continuously attempts to close itself. Your foot nudges against something soft on the ground and you kneel down to examine it.

Its a person. They aren't moving and are cold
>>
No. 618801 ID: 687279

>>618800
Probably dead then. Step over the body and into the room. Feel out the floor first, don't hit your shin on anything this time.
>>
No. 618806 ID: 88960e

Check for a pulse, or breathing.
>>
No. 618808 ID: b0b069

something killed that person and presumably is still around
and unless that noise was inaudible because it was out of your hearing range somehow
that door got opened like just now
so maybe
uh
light a match
like
right fucking now
>>
No. 618834 ID: d3be40

Make sure you pull them out of the doorway, feel around for lost limbs, and then check their pulse. Don't waste matches, but also use your heightened senses to scan their vital signs before you look.
>>
No. 618846 ID: 687279

If you pull them out of the doorway the door will close and we don't have the code. Keep the door blocked!
>>
No. 618851 ID: 69d482

>>618808
the body was said to be cold, so i think the person is long dead
>>
No. 618862 ID: 69ab8d

>>618808
If something attacked them, and is still nearby, wouldn't lighting a match in the dark only give away our presence?
>>
No. 618968 ID: 557bac
File 142076832912.png - (70.92KB , 600x417 , 1-26.png )
618968

You roll the prone figure over to check on them.
Oh hell, what did you just put your hand in? Your fingers find the edge of a ragged wound in his viscera. There's a smell like meat left out on a counter overnight, it isn't rotten...yet.. Something tore him open pulled everything out. You wipe your hands on his shirt.

You check his face to better identify him. He's human, an older male, with a mustache/goatee and balding. You find that his eyes are open, you close them.
>>
No. 618969 ID: 557bac
File 142076833451.png - (47.05KB , 462x600 , 1-27.png )
618969

He's gripping something in his hand and you manage to pry it from him. It appears to be a small device about the thickness of your finger with a row of four buttons. There feels like there is a small chip, roughly fingernail sized, that fits into a slot on the side
>>
No. 618973 ID: 8f3b8c

enter the room. prepare to be attacked.

wait, if humans are a thing, what's that make you?
>>
No. 618974 ID: 687279

He's human... you aren't? What's up with that?

That device... I think it's a tape recorder. Rewind, play/stop, fastforward, record maybe? Don't press play just yet(or any of the buttons), they will hear it.

Let's go into his room and feel around to tell what's there.

>>618799
The note said "Don't let them hear you".
>>
No. 618978 ID: d3be40

Make sure he stays dead. If he turns into a zombie, you're going to have serious problems.

Either way, do you expect that these people will clean his body? You may want to consider using a match and finding some wood, give the poor guy a funeral. Hopefully the fire will keep you warm and give you some closure about the man's death. Otherwise, find a way to record his death.

Wash your hands, you touched internal organs.

And find some food. How long has it been since you ate?
>>
No. 618986 ID: 557bac
File 142077806716.png - (26.23KB , 600x600 , 1-28.png )
618986

He's a human. You're clearly different. You try to remember about what you are....

Something else..... a traveler?

You step over the corpse and enter the room. The only sounds are your own breathing and the door continuing its irritable attempts to close.

You were feeling kind of hungry but that may have ruined your appetite.
>>
No. 618987 ID: 687279

>>618986
Feel along the floor, let's assume for now that this room has a cabinet too.
>>
No. 619040 ID: 8f3b8c

sloooooowly.
>>
No. 619104 ID: d45ea1

Well, its clearly about to get THE THING up in here, so brace for that. Pocket the recorder(?) for now.
If we can't hear anything at all in here, let's just slowly scope out the room as best we can. Touch everything and such.
>>
No. 619133 ID: 557bac
File 142085405712.png - (67.64KB , 600x600 , 1-29.png )
619133

You turn your attention away from the corpse and carefully examine the room. You find that it contains a pair of bunk beds and a strangely shaped container that is built like a safe.
>>
No. 619134 ID: 687279

Are you cold? You could take a blanket to keep warm. If not you may as well leave it, because wearing a blanket like a cloak sure doesn't help mobility. Search under the bed, and under the pillows.
>>
No. 619136 ID: 9a8629

check under the pillows, covers, mattresses and under the bed itself. then check if it's the kind of safe you can crack by listening to the clicks.
>>
No. 619184 ID: 557bac
File 142087003341.png - (115.07KB , 600x600 , 1-30.png )
619184

You grab a blanket off of the bed and drape it over yourself. There's a clinical chillness that seems to permeate the facility, even with your fine coat of fur. The blanket has a strange, plastic-like feel to it, but seems warm enough.

You also search some kind of cabinet underneath the top bunk and find an open packet of something that smells edible.
>>
No. 619185 ID: 557bac
File 142087004050.png - (59.89KB , 600x524 , 1-31.png )
619185

You take one out and gingerly taste it. Complex signals from your tongue tell you that its high in protein and sodium as well as low in fat. Not nutritious enough to live off of but they'll keep you going.
>>
No. 619186 ID: 557bac
File 142087004523.png - (111.28KB , 600x600 , 1-32.png )
619186

You turn your attention to the safe. Leaning against the cold metal, you press your sensitive ear to the door. You spin the well machined dial, and it glides on nearly frictionless bearings.
Your hearing can pick up on something, but its not acute enough to be able to crack the combination, not without hours of frustrating trial and error.

There's a sound coming in from the hallway. Footsteps. Close together, making little clicking noises
>>
No. 619190 ID: f4f6ba

Is the door still bouncing off the dead guy's body? If that door is still making a sound, whoever's in the hallway might be coming to investigate.

Pull the dead guy into the room, then press up against the wall and be as quiet as you possibly can.
>>
No. 619202 ID: a7520d

Under the bed. Now.
I'm against moving the dead dude. If whatever is outside notices the change, it'll know you're there too
>>
No. 619203 ID: 9a8629

stay very still.
>>
No. 619206 ID: 69ab8d

Freeze. Be very still- make no noise.
>>
No. 619221 ID: 687279

>>619186
Throw some jacks on the floor. Get on the top bunk, wait for it to come in and step on the jacks if it gets close, then jump past it and run for your room, at which point you should input the keycode (6851) and get inside to hopefully safety.
>>
No. 619257 ID: dafc39

Don't move the body! Not only is it providing excellent cover for your breathing, but also if you move it it will just be even more suspicious.
>>
No. 619261 ID: d3be40

Why not use a match on the corpse when the creature is stepping on it?
>>
No. 619267 ID: 9a8629

>>619261

because flesh isn't a volatile substance?
>>
No. 619311 ID: dafc39

>>619261
Don't you just hate it when you accidentally hold a match for too long, and the flame comes into contact with your fingertips, and you EXPLODE?
>>
No. 619359 ID: 557bac
File 142094202319.png - (111.00KB , 600x600 , 1-33.png )
619359

Wanting to avoid the source of the noise, you climb up onto the top bunk and lay flat, draping the blanket over you.

Whatever it is, it approaches the corpse and snarls. There's a series of wet ripping noises and growls as the body is slowly dragged out of the doorway.
>>
No. 619360 ID: 557bac
File 142094202724.png - (104.24KB , 600x600 , 1-34.png )
619360

The door closes itself with a hum.
>>
No. 619362 ID: 687279

Shit, now we're trapped in here unless we can find the code to the door. Well, maybe it's the same code as the other room.

Wait a moment to ensure that the creature moved on, then check in the other drawer.
>>
No. 619363 ID: bd1216

grope those luscious walls
>>
No. 619364 ID: d3be40

Take a nap?

Don't use any matches unless you're pretty sure that you have found all places that the code can be in. You can also set things on fire to keep the light on without using multiple matches, like blankets, but only do so when you're certain that they won't be useful otherwise.

And try to check both sides of the blanket if you can, there might be a clue on there.
>>
No. 619387 ID: 557bac
File 142095455520.png - (112.15KB , 600x600 , 1-35.png )
619387

You sit up, realizing that without a door code, you are trapped in the room. As you sit there, you feel a cold draft hit you in the back of the head.
>>
No. 619389 ID: 687279

>>619387
So there's a vent. See if you can just plain open it.
>>
No. 619484 ID: 86815f

>>619387
search the room first, escape from the room comes after
>>
No. 619489 ID: bd1216

agreed, keep on searching
>>
No. 619533 ID: 69ab8d

>wet ripping noises
Yeah, not friendly.

Wait, stay quiet for a while longer. We want to be sure that thing is gone, or that it's not going to come right back.
>>
No. 619601 ID: 557bac
File 142102372064.png - (110.92KB , 600x600 , 1-36.png )
619601

You listen at the door until you are sure the corridor is clear. You then take your time searching the room for anything else useful. The only thing you find is a second blanket, which seems redundant.

Turning your attention to the source of the breeze, your hands find a small vent set into the wall. Fortunately the faceplate seems to be held in place by a set of clips, and comes off easily.
>>
No. 619603 ID: 2000fd

>>619601
Observe vent, be sure it is spacious enough for you to crawl through with reasonable ease and that you won't die a horrible death from starvation trapped in an air vent. Also put the vent cover back up on the top bunk in case the unknown is intelligent and recognizes it if it comes back in.
>>
No. 619605 ID: 687279

>>619601
I think you should listen to the tape player before you go in, but... to make sure you're pressing the right buttons... Use a match to get a look at your new stuff, and the room. This time don't burn yourself. Look at the back of the note while you're at it.
>>
No. 619606 ID: d9999b

>>619605

sounds good.
>>
No. 619975 ID: 557bac
File 142112000582.png - (121.07KB , 600x600 , 1-37.png )
619975

Safe for the moment, you decide to check out the device you picked up earlier. You assume it is some kind of audio log. You press a button and it begins to play a recording.

"Apologies fot the static..... [unintelligible].... about this place seems to distupt [static]...

"...thought that even if ... were unsuccessful..[fuzz]...would still be one of mankind's greatest accomplishments. Now I'm not so sure. .[zzt]... No sign of the original occupants.....[static]..abandoned in a hurry. Fortunately we were able to easily establish ourselves. The systems were something of a puzzle to understand but ....[white noise]... are, as always, very quick learners....[static]

...Said he needed to talk to me about something regarding a recent scan. Said it was urgent- just what the hell is all that noise out there? [end recording].

>>
No. 619982 ID: bdd6c2

>>619975
Im getting a very cuthulu vibe from this.
Check under the bed and between the matresses for anything useful.
>>
No. 619998 ID: 687279

That didn't tell us much. Is there anything more on the tape? If not, just go in the vent since we're done with this room.
>>
No. 620224 ID: 557bac
File 142120213941.png - (71.00KB , 600x338 , 1-38.png )
620224

Not sure what the recording was talking about, you stuff it back into your pocket.

You wrap the blanket tightly around you and pull yourself into the open vent. Its even colder in the vent though the air current is thankfully mild. As you pull yourself along you notice that you don't feel any kind of seams in the metal, nor is there much dust.

A few feet in, you hit a T intersection.
>>
No. 620240 ID: 687279

Hmm, well, we don't really have any indication where this could go, except that the room we started in had no vent. It DID have some sort of hatch in the ceiling though... Let's go that direction and find out what that was. Turn right. (which is to the left of the camera)
>>
No. 620241 ID: c0c685

>>620240

I agree with this direction! Lets see if there was a vent to the middle room we passed by.
>>
No. 620245 ID: 687279

>>620241
Oh, right, we passed up a door. Yeah, if we can get in there like this that'd be cool.
>>
No. 620310 ID: f61b8d

Not like you have a LARGE amount of control over this, but the quieter you can be, the better. In my experience, crawling is already a noisy affair.
>>
No. 620362 ID: 2f4b71

>>620224
Head upstream (into the airflow). That way would lead to the air handling room, which will either be on the roof or the ground floor (in order to move bulky equipment easily). Roof access will either have a ladder or crane to get down with.
>>
No. 620412 ID: 557bac
File 142128570686.png - (25.62KB , 600x600 , 1-39.png )
620412

You take a right and pull yourself through the vents. After about a dozen feet, there is another T intersection and you take another right. The shaft ends at a grille set into the wall. You try to remove it, but its held securely in place by a set of clips.
>>
No. 620413 ID: 687279

>>620412
Bugger. We could probably force it but that'd make too much noise. Go the other way.
>>
No. 620490 ID: c0c685

>>620413

Woah, before you go anywhere look and see what is on the other side.
>>
No. 620497 ID: bdd6c2

>>620412
Go the other way, maybe we can find something to remove the grate without making too much noise.

Alternatively we just find the door into the room.
>>
No. 620499 ID: f5baae

>>620412
Try to memorize the whole vent system you're in before proceeding, so basically crawl through the whole thing. We could probably get a good lay of the place we've found ourselves in this way.

Also, there could potentially be other vents we could get into much easier. And as we must be quiet, forcing any isn't something we should do as we were instructed to be quiet. So we should save that for when we have no choice.
>>
No. 620716 ID: 557bac
File 142153003645.png - (23.14KB , 600x600 , 1-40.png )
620716

You backtrack to the last intersection and continue forward. After another dozen feet or so, the passageway widens and you come to a grating that, after a moment of work, detaches from the wall. You climb out, drop a short distance and stand up.
>>
No. 620717 ID: 687279

>>620716
Are there any sounds? Feel along the walls again.
>>
No. 620718 ID: d3be40

Make a small burp and echolocate.
>>
No. 620756 ID: 557bac
File 142154521701.png - (38.15KB , 600x600 , 1-41.png )
620756

You carefully walk forward with your hand trailing on the wall, stepping over a gap in the floor. You stop as your hand brushes a pair of cables and you find that they're attached to some kind of winch set into the floor.
>>
No. 620759 ID: 687279

>>620756
I almost want to say this is an elevator shaft, but they wouldn't put vents in those.

Dumbwaiter, maybe? Cargo lift? Get a feel for the whole object. Trace the hole in the floor too.
>>
No. 620802 ID: f5baae

>>620756
Whatever this is, it's something akin to an elevator. Let's get into the cable car itself, maybe we can get somewhere.

We shouldn't turn it on though if it's working, as it might make a lot of noise. Maybe as an escape plan though.
>>
No. 620913 ID: 557bac
File 142160268805.png - (56.84KB , 600x600 , 1-42.png )
620913

You check the other side of the winch and find a hatch. You bend down to examine it but hear the motor on the winch kick on and start to move, at the same time there is a rumble of something heavy descending.
>>
No. 620921 ID: 687279

>>620913
You should probably get out the way. Either into the hatch or off to the side of the room.
>>
No. 621099 ID: f5baae

>>620913
Descend into the hatch. The vents have nothing for us right now.
>>
No. 621370 ID: 557bac
File 142180739337.png - (78.09KB , 600x600 , 1-43.png )
621370

Kneeling to keep your balance as the elevator ascends, you find a handle and open the hatch on the elevator.You slip inside and carefully drop down, but the motion causes your landing to be heavier than you anticipated.
>>
No. 621371 ID: 557bac
File 142180739863.png - (56.81KB , 600x600 , 1-44.png )
621371

After a few moments of travel the elevator comes to a stop and the door slides open with a chiming sound.

Something in the darkness hisses.
>>
No. 621382 ID: 687279

>>621371
Don't move, and don't make a sound. It probably just reacted to the elevator, not you.
>>
No. 621386 ID: d3be40

If the hissing is not above you, the hatch above you should provide cover from an attack in front of the doors.
>>
No. 621409 ID: f5baae

>>621386

Eehh, I'm not sure, it's a pretty small hatch.

Anyways, stay quiet and still. If the enemy requires sound to seek you, this merely implies it has shitty vision. You have an advantage in this regard since you can at least see the important stuff in a room once you get your bearings.
>>
No. 621447 ID: d45ea1

Check the panel near the door, quietly. The panels on the buttons in elevators typically have ridged indicators, so that blind people can use the elevator. Feel the panel to see if there's a door-close button.
And then, you know, keep mashing it until we think of a better solution.

Also this isn't a thing for now, but that recording was on a tape, right? Turn it over and stick it back in, it might be double-sided.
>>
No. 622056 ID: 557bac
File 142215589158.png - (83.01KB , 600x600 , 1-45.png )
622056

Instinctively you freeze in place, remaining as silent as possible while the source of the noise tries to find you. Something "clunks" heavily from the hallway and rolls away. You hear the hissing creature make a startled sound and chase after the rolling object, making a racket as it attacks.

From the opposite direction you hear someone running heavily. They stagger into the elevator before sliding to the ground and sitting there, breathing heavily.
>>
No. 622058 ID: d958ad

>>622056
Ah. New idea, next time that happens, throw one of the jacks to distract the creature.

For now, wordlessly sneak over and push the "close door" button. Then sit down and whisper a greeting.
>>
No. 622083 ID: d3be40

Ask who they are and what they know of this place. Be ready to open the celling hatch in case whatever was chasing them decides to play The Shining with the elevator doors.
>>
No. 622088 ID: 321d85

Be...a little careful; they might not know you're there? Wouldn't want them to freak out and stab you.
>>
No. 622104 ID: dafc39

>>622058
Just wait. The 'Close Door' button doesn't do anything in most elevators. Better not risk making a move.
>>
No. 622253 ID: f5baae

>>622056
Whatever that monster is, it is coming for this person here, slam the buttons, we'll explain ourselves later once we're out of immediate danger.
>>
No. 622302 ID: a18f15

Close door close door close door.
>>
No. 622307 ID: 3031be

>>622056
Alright so, if you close the door the elevator might make a dinging sound, and the creature will probably hear the doors closing anyways, even if it cant get into the elevator, its going to try to pry the doors open and then come throught the hatch, i say stay still and wait for the creature to leave, worst case scenario it wanders into the elevator, but you can climb out the hatch soo...
>>
No. 622560 ID: 557bac
File 142241334260.png - (63.29KB , 600x600 , 1-46.png )
622560

You wait quietly and the doors hum slightly as they close. After a moment you hear something scratching against them on the other side.

The other occupant of the elevator sighs with relief.
You decide, delicately, to make your presence known.
"Um..."

You hear her throw herself backwards in surprise, hitting her head on the wall. When she speaks, its in a furious stage whisper.
>"The hell- Owwwwww jeeezus. Who's that? Ami? Starling?..."
She hesitates
>"- Cassius?"

You clear your throat. Your voice is quiet and sounds underused.
"Aether... I think."

The stranger relaxes.
>"Oh thank God. Aether, where have you been? I haven't heard from you in days."

Aether
"I..I don't know, I just woke up on one of the floors below. Who are you? What's going on?"

???
>"You just woke up? Shit... you must have been in torpor, I know it can take a while to readjust afterwards. This is Rosa, and to answer your question, I know fuck all about what's going on."

Rosa coughs. Its a wet sound.

>"We opened that door in the basement five days ago, and the lights went off three days ago. I still think Cassius was behind that. Since then, I've just been trying to scrape enough together to survive, but I just used my last can of beans to distract that little fucker."
>>
No. 622561 ID: d958ad

>>622560
Play the tape for her, ask who it is. What happened here? How did you get here, anyway? You can tell this is not your planet of origin. Maybe if she explains what's been going on it'll jog your memory.

Also considering she has no more distraction items, hand over a couple of your jacks. They should work the same way. Maybe share some of your nutrition sticks as well.
>>
No. 622564 ID: 6e79d4

Ask if she's injured. What door, and what's a torpor?
>>
No. 622639 ID: f290a2

>>622560
tell her about the dead guy
>>
No. 622693 ID: d45c80

>>622652
This

>>622560
Ask about Cassius.
>>
No. 622756 ID: 4ff681

>>622560
>Rosa coughs. Its a wet sound.

She sounds like she could be sick. Maybe offer her the cough syrup?
>>
No. 622821 ID: 557bac
File 142258883231.png - (70.60KB , 600x600 , 1-47.png )
622821

You offer Rosa the bottle.

Rosa
>"What's this?"

Aether
"The bottle said cough syrup. There was a warning about taking too much though."

You hear her uncap it and take a belt of the sickly sweet medicine.
>"Blech, thanks. I caught a lungful of something from one of those creatures and it felt like ice cold fire hitting my lungs. I was going to try to get to the infirmiry to get myself checked out. If there's anything left in it, that is.... "

Aether
"Here, if you need stuff to throw, I have some stuff. Also I have some kind of snack if you need it."

Rosa
>"Oh thank god, pass it over."
She wolfs down one of the snacks, commenting as she chews-
>"Urgh, tastes like dog food. Thanks though, I was starving."
You also give her 5 jacks.

Aether
"So, what do you mean about Cassius?"

Rosa
>"Well, I hate to be that person but he was acting squirrely for a while before everything went to hell. You'd see him and he'd just be... watching; then he would be gone the second you take your eyes off him."

A face comes to mind as she talks: someone like you, a traveller...
>>
No. 622823 ID: 557bac
File 142258886999.png - (173.48KB , 600x524 , 1-48.png )
622823

You start to remember:

Its quiet.
That's hardly unusual.
Space is quiet.


You look at your fellow traveler. Like you, Cassius is a Taikosapien. He is looking tired, but insists that he isn't.
>>
No. 622824 ID: d958ad

>>622823
What is your mission? Should he be wearing his seatbelts too? How long have you been in space? What's your home planet like? Have you met any other sapient races?
>>
No. 622826 ID: 9ddf68

ask if there's anything on his mind, because that look on his face is saying that something is wrong.
>>
No. 622828 ID: 3f2c4d

Remind yourself of just what a Taikosapien is.
>>
No. 622848 ID: 5e00ee

What is he to you? A friend, a colleague, a family member, a lover?
>>
No. 622854 ID: 4ff681

>>622823
Hm. Kind of an unimportant question, but what gender are you? He has little horns, and you don't. Is that some kind of gender dimorphism, or some kind of racial difference in your species?
>>
No. 622855 ID: 8f01e8

That second blanket wouldn't be so redundant now.
>>
No. 623035 ID: 557bac
File 142275094543.png - (130.76KB , 600x617 , 1-49.png )
623035

You and Cassius and all Taikosapiens are members of an artificially engineered species. You were designed to live for extended periods of time where mankind has found that it can't: space.

Your bodies can survive extreme heat and cold.
Your cells can survive long term exposure to cosmic radiation.
Your telomeres are resistant to damage.
Your body doesn't suffer from long term calcium loss.
Nor do your muscles significantly atrophy.
Your fur keeps you from losing heat quickly.
You can drop your metabolism to a crawl and enter a deep sleep, or torpor, to conserve resources.

In theory you could even survive hard vacuum for several minutes. However, this would probably hospitalize you if pushed anything more than a few moments.
>>
No. 623036 ID: 557bac
File 142275095671.png - (102.12KB , 600x600 , -150.png )
623036

You owe your existence to what was apparently some very highly contested breaches of scientific ethics. Despite the controversy surrounding your creation, mankind has been forced to admit that your talents are crucial for guaranteeing the survival of the crew. The Homo Sapiens asleep in the bowels of the mile long Epoch would have difficulty enduring the 10 year journey to Barnard's Star.

After one year awake they retired to stasis chambers, leaving the Taikosapiens in charge of completing the journey. There are 6 of you on board, rotating in 6 month, 2 man shifts keeping the ship alive. You suppose a human would find it boring to the point of insanity but you never do. Instead, you are filled with a passionate curiosity that most humans find "cute" but eventually "tiresome".

You have never met a member of of a sapient non-terrestrial species but are hoping to change that someday soon.
>>
No. 623037 ID: 557bac
File 142275096161.png - (120.96KB , 460x600 , 1-51.png )
623037

You find Cassius to be pretty easy to work with. He is extremely competent yet very quiet, but you tend run out of small talk quickly on a trip of this length. You don't mind the silence, especially when he's trying to concentrate. Like, for instance when trying to decelerate from .5c without tearing the ship apart.

His horns are apparently part of a recessive mutation and he can be a little sensitive about them. Taikos show very little in the way of sexual dimorphism and for a while the crew had a hard time differentiating most of you.

Aether
"Something wrong Cassius?"

He looks at you but says nothing for a moment.
>"Not sure. Thought it should have fired by now."
>>
No. 623045 ID: de1c0a

Thought what should have fired by now?

Is extreme curiosity a Taiko-wide trait? If so, is Cassius' reserved nature odd for your kind?
>>
No. 623052 ID: 9ddf68

what were you trying to fire?
>>
No. 623055 ID: d958ad

>>623037
Sounds like there's something wrong with the retrorocket. Shall we run a check on it?
>>
No. 623083 ID: 7d265e

Check your monitors. They saying anything about that system?
>>
No. 623097 ID: 5d2f8c

>>623037
Man, he should really have that seat belt on.
>>
No. 623136 ID: de1c0a

>>623097
This. Remind him of proper cockpit protocol.
>>
No. 623220 ID: 557bac
File 142284617064.png - (91.11KB , 474x600 , 1-52.png )
623220

Taikos tend to be very inquisitive by nature, some more so than others. Cassius seems to operate with a high degree of intuition and doesn't like not being informed about a situation.

Cassius is right, you should have felt the kick of the engine igniting, one of several dozen burns to slow you down.
You cast your eyes around the cabin as a few warning lights flicker: there's an issue with the fuel flow.

Aether
"Looks like we aren't getting enough He-3. You know , you really should buckle up, Cassius."

Cassius grunts and buckles up
>"You want to take a look at the fuel pump, or should I?"
>>
No. 623221 ID: 9ddf68

>>623220
...well I have my seatbelt on and you don't so you mind?
>>
No. 623223 ID: d958ad

>>623220
I'll do it!
>>
No. 623225 ID: 17db43

"I'm on the case!"

You know your curiosity compels you to check it out yourself.
>>
No. 623226 ID: 6e79d4

I got it. Keep me updated.
>>
No. 623240 ID: ea0ad9

>>623221
He just buckled, so... Easier for Aether to check.
>>
No. 623290 ID: 321d85

>>623225
Plus, this way we'll see the murder-alien attack, rather than just sitting nervously in the cockpit wondering what on earth could be taking Cassius so long, until the power goes out.
>>
No. 623319 ID: 557bac
File 142293773160.png - (154.87KB , 700x463 , 1-53.png )
623319

You climb out of your seat and float your way towards the engine room.

Aether
"Keep it steady, I'll handle it. Let me know if the situation changes."

It takes a while for you to make your way to the back end of the ship, passing through stasis, living quarters, storage, and finally reaching the entrance to engineering.

You climb into a safety harness and take a look around at what you might need to fix the engine. There's pliers, wrenches, probes, a pair of pistol grip tools, a crowbar and a 3D printer for anything else you can imagine. In the corner lurk a pair of actuated hard-suits, designed for surface use but equally powerful and unwieldy in zero-G.

Cassius comes in over the intercom.
>Ive got you on camera. Let me know when you're ready to enter.
>>
No. 623324 ID: 9ddf68

might as well take what you can fit into your harness. Are the probes used to find what's wrong with the engine or just to look around in areas you aren't?

Once you grab your tools let your buddy know you're ready to go.
>>
No. 623325 ID: d958ad

>>623319
uhhhhh

Well if it's not getting enough HE-3 then you'll probably need a wrench at least. Grab some pliers and a screwdriver too.

The hard-suits are tempting but one false move and you'll break something.
>>
No. 623356 ID: f290a2

>>623319
if it's a leak you're gonna need to take something to plug it with.
>>
No. 623367 ID: 5d2f8c

If it's a helium leak then you probably need some sort of oxygen mask/internals. Also a probe to see how bad the damage is from the inside of the tank, something to patch it, and finally a screwdriver and wrench to replace the plate if you need to.
>>
No. 623379 ID: 07e573

Whatever you do, don't breathe in any of the helium, because hearing a space mouse lady speak in a super high-pitched voice would be just too funny.

Actually, scratch that - do exactly that. Cassius is too uptight and needs a good laugh.
>>
No. 623404 ID: 2f4b71

Unless having that burn occur soon is of dire emergency, go check out what the problem is and what tools you'll need rather than just carting a whole workshop around with you.
>>
No. 624081 ID: 557bac
File 142342925589.png - (156.23KB , 565x533 , 1-54.png )
624081

You grab a probe, a wrench, pair of pliers, a screwdriver and a small tube of quick setting epoxy, You put them all in a tool-bag and clip it to your harness. In case of a leak or decompression, you take a small oxygen tank and mask with you, good for about 10 minutes of air.

You look up at the tiny camera mounted over the engineering bay blast doors and address it.
"Okay Cassius, I'm ready to go in!"

There's a moment before the doors engage: warning lights flash and spin, and a speaker barks out a brief klaxon. Behind you, the passage way back to the ship closes and seals you off.

Maintenance lights flicker and then power themselves up along the engineering hallway. You float through the doorway, clip your safety harness onto a rail and head towards the fuel pumps.
>>
No. 624083 ID: d958ad

>>624081
Will the delay in deceleration cause you to overshoot your destination?
>>
No. 624096 ID: 9ddf68

so how long till you reach the engines? Also anything look out of place?
>>
No. 624547 ID: 557bac
File 142362061366.png - (201.79KB , 600x600 , 1-55.png )
624547

You're more worried about the engine burning out than you are overshooting your destination. You still have several years of periodic engine bursts to go through in order to stop in time.

But the coils that keep massive power of the engine contained are only designed to be used for a short time. Its not the end of the world if you miss an engine burn, but it will put stress on the engine to do so.

You follow the rail system down past the looming hulks of the fuel tanks, arriving at the fuel pump systems.
>>
No. 624548 ID: d958ad

>>624547
Alright what are we looking at here? Is that ice?
>>
No. 624551 ID: bc2234

Inspect the lock mechanism. Is it blocked?
>>
No. 624592 ID: f5baae

>>624548
Hull breach? Space is pretty cold so it might let in such coldness for ice to form.
>>
No. 624633 ID: d958ad

>>624592
Incorrect. A vacuum is actually a very good insulator. The problem is that if you're not being blasted by the sun's rays you're not getting any radiative heat at all, so your own heat radiates out. That alone isn't very fast though-- the main problem is any fluid on your skin will instantly boil, sucking away heat as it leaves. An artificial surface exposed to vacuum doesn't have to worry about anything other than radiating its heat away.

Ice should not form on that door due to a vacuum... I'm not sure what happens to the temperature of a room as it depressurizes though, like from a slow leak. If there were a leak in the craft we would have far more issues than a malfunctioning engine...
>>
No. 624648 ID: 321d85

>>624633
Oh, that makes sense. Good to finally have a complete-ish explanation for that. As far as a leak, I believe the drop in pressure would cause the air temperature to drop - though given that the air density necessarily decreases along with it, I don't know whether or not that's enough to cool the walls enough to form ice on the other side.

>>624547
Do you mean it will put stress on the engine when you fire it in closer bursts? (Also, are you related to any particular earth mammal?)

In any case, investigate, I guess. Be careful to look at things carefully before moving them.
>>
No. 624657 ID: cc75ef

>>624547
i have no idea what i'm looking at but it doesn't look good.
>>
No. 624676 ID: 9ddf68

what the hell is that white crap?
>>
No. 624706 ID: 4bea65

>>624633
But of course, this isn't ice, this is Black Ice.
>>
No. 624894 ID: 2f4b71

It could be because the propellant is cryogenic. Rockets need their propellant(s) to be as light as possible (because of the tyranny of the rocket equation), and Hydrogen is the most mass-efficient propellant there is. However, this engine appears to be using Helium-3, so is likely some sort of fusion torch (using He3 as both the fuel and the propellant). Storing Helium can be done as a gas in massive balloon tanks, but it is far easier to store it compressed and supercooled as a liquid, and this is also a lighter way to store it (you need REALLY massive tanks to store gaseous Helium, so the tanks weight a lot simply from being so large. It is also unmanageable to pump this way).

If a small amount of liquified He3 is leaking, this could be causing ice to form from moisture in the air. Otherwise, if the fuel pumps are designed to operate at cryogenic temperatures (i.e. are not combined pumps/regenerative preheaters) this may just be normal conditions during operation.

If the engines use superconducting magnets to contain the fusion reaction, this could be a bigger problem. If the He3 fuel/propellant is passed through the magnets first in order to cool them 'for free', then a loss of propellant flow would also risk quenching the magnets. even if that does not result in permanent damage (e.g. if the current cutoff safety activates quickly), it would still mean a lot of time and propellant wasted rechilling the magnets before the engine can start up again
>>
No. 624940 ID: 8f01e8

Put gloves on if you haven't already. Don't touch the ice, or metal close to ice, with bare skin. Don't try to force any mechanism that might be jammed by ice; brumal stiffening means metal bits might snap under force that would be well within tolerances at STP. Don't try to heat up frozen stuff in a hurry or thermal shock could shatter the whole buklhead.
>>
No. 625394 ID: 557bac
File 142419579751.png - (145.46KB , 527x600 , 1-56.png )
625394

You clip your oxygen tank to your belt and hook your mask to your face then put on a pair of gloves. You chip off some of the ice surrounding the console and a high pitched whine is released. It sounds like a seal in the He3 intake is leaking, allowing the supercooled liquid to escape and form strange exotic shapes in zero-g, freezing up the pump.

You try to clean the area around the leak as much as possible and apply a small amount of epoxy to the area. The helium still leaks through a little bit, but you push a rubber gasket into the mess and hold it in place with your pliers for a minute while it hardens.
>>
No. 625395 ID: 557bac
File 142419581396.png - (153.18KB , 493x600 , 1-57.png )
625395

With that sealed, you shouldn't have any more ice build up, but you still need to re-engage the pump. There is a lever here that will cycle it and should get it started; however, it is still coated with a layer of frost and you aren't sure if it's a good idea to force it or not.

You find it kind of odd that there would be enough ambient water around to freeze the valve in the first place.
>>
No. 625397 ID: e403ba

What possible water sources are there in that part of the ship?
>>
No. 625401 ID: d958ad

>>625395
You should probably not risk breaking it for now. Chip off some more of the ice to help the rest melt, then look nearby for any possible water leaks. I don't suppose you can ask if humidity levels are high?
>>
No. 625402 ID: 9ddf68

maybe there's water leaking as well. any way for you to heat the panel up before you prime it? got a blow torch on you that you could use?
>>
No. 625502 ID: 8f01e8

Do NOT attempt to warm up delicate electronics with direct application of fire.

First of all, tell Cassius what's going on and keep formal notes. Any malfunction serious enough to stop the engines from working is serious enough that engineers developing the next generation of starships will want to know about it, to say nothing of those doing major repairs or refits on current models.

Then, go to the life support controls and start cycling warmer, dryer air through this section. Maybe fetch some sort of scientific equipment to confirm that the 'ice' is frozen H2O and not, say, carbon dioxide or something.
>>
No. 625503 ID: 8f01e8

Wait a sec, it's registering 2.145 kelvin? That could be frozen helium on the panel, or more relevantly, inside the pump! Don't try to cycle the pump until it's back up above 4.25 kelvin, one way or another.

Also, that's colder than the cosmic microwave background radiation. Temperatures like that, outside laboratory conditions, indicate either defective measuring instruments or magic.
>>
No. 625511 ID: cc75ef

>>625395
something's off. don't start the pump until you know what is going on. is that really water ice? check if there are any more leaks. why does it look like that spot isn't the only originating spot of ice forming?
>>
No. 625576 ID: 557bac
File 142431383925.png - (192.73KB , 600x539 , 1-58.png )
625576

You take a look at the temperature reading.
Then you do a double take.

What the heck?

Somehow the temperature is several Kelvin below even the howling cold of space.

Cassius comes in over the PA system
> How's it going down there, Aether? I'm still showing a no-go on the fuel.

Your tiny voice pipes up.
"Yeah, hang on. There was a small Helium leak that iced up the pump so it won't cycle. I don't want to force it until its warmed up a little. Also, I think we have a bad thermocouple on the pump: its reading 2.145 K."

You think back to the chemistry lessons you had on the planet 5 light years behind you.

While the He-3 would remain liquid all the way down to a few tenths of a degree above absolute zero, the fuel reserve likely contains a decent amount of common He-4. Normally, this wouldn't be too much of a problem for the Epoch's reactor, but at such a low temperature weird things happen. Below 2.17 K, it can go through something called a Lambda transition and become a superfluid. It's a state of matter that has zero viscosity and can seep through undetectable pores in even the strongest container.

If you're dealing with superfluid He-4, then that would explain the leak; but you can't seem to find any explanation for the low temperature, or the ice.

Curious, you take out your screwdriver and open up an access panel in the pump. There's something in there.
>>
No. 625578 ID: d958ad

>>625576
Careful... grab it with your pliers. Describe it to Cassius.
>>
No. 625618 ID: cc75ef

>>625576
is that a hole or a black thing?
could it be... Black Ice??
>>
No. 625696 ID: 557bac
File 142440135585.png - (96.85KB , 600x396 , 1-59.png )
625696

You dig a pair of pliers out of your toolkit.

Aether
"Cassius, I think I found something lodged in the fuel pump. It looks like a shard of something black, its got a lot of ice on it though. I'm going to try and pull it out. Stand by..."

There's a crackle of frost as the pliers bite into the ice.
>>
No. 625697 ID: 557bac
File 142440135956.png - (808B , 600x405 , 1-60.png )
625697

Things go dark
>>
No. 625698 ID: 557bac
File 142440136198.png - (54.29KB , 600x600 , 1-61.png )
625698

You take a moment to remember where you are.
You are in an elevator.
It is dark.
There is someone else here, a human named Rosa.
other than that there is much to remember.
>>
No. 625702 ID: d958ad

>>625698
Tell her you remember some things. You remember traveling in the ship, and finding something stuck in the He3 pump. Some sort of black shard surrounded by ice. Ask where you are now. This isn't the spaceship anymore, so the trip completed successfully obviously. Is this the new colony?
>>
No. 625722 ID: 321d85

Hmm. It was said that the ship was a mile long, and from the diagram, it could well be big enough that we're still on it. If there's "gravity", though, it'd mean that the engines are on, and that seems odd, under the circumstances.
>>
No. 625783 ID: 9ddf68

ask if we're still on the ship. Also there seems to still be something making noise on the other side of the door so we should probably go to a different floor.
>>
No. 626339 ID: 557bac
File 142474381892.png - (65.98KB , 600x600 , 1-62.png )
626339

Rosa
>"Are you okay? You kind of spaced out there for a minute."

Aether
"Yeah, I was just thinking; remembering Cassius. We should keep moving if we can."

Rosa
>"Good idea, let's check the infirmity."

She does something with the panel next to the door and after a moment, you feel the elevator ascend.

There's a moment of uncomfortable silence. You aren't sure how far up you've traveled. It seems like several hundred feet. You don't remember any structure like this on the Epoch.

Aether
"I'm still a little hazy: where are we? Exactly?"

Rosa
>" We're on the second planet out from Barnard's Star. A friendly little place named Kur."
>>
No. 626340 ID: 557bac
File 142474382788.png - (107.74KB , 600x336 , 1-63.png )
626340

As if on cue, the elevator pings, and the doors slide open, revealing a window stretching the length of the hallway. Visible is a dark, tortured, landscape draped with small lichens and spotted with heavy, bunker-like structures. Above the facility, the sky writhes as mass of storm clouds shear against each other. Despite the thickness of the walls, you can hear the wind roaring in frustration as it tries to find its way into the bunker.
>>
No. 626341 ID: d958ad

>>626340
Was this your intended destination? ...if this structure wasn't on the Epoch, then where did it come from?

Ask what she knows about the creatures, quietly. Are they blind? How much of this place is infested with them? Are there other survivors? It may soon be time to practice silence, however.
>>
No. 626347 ID: 6e79d4

Is there enough light to see Rosa's face?

Ask what we need to do now.
>>
No. 626367 ID: 8f01e8

Now that you've got natural light to work with, share your respective item inventories and start working out gestures for silent communication.
>>
No. 626403 ID: 557364

>A friendly little place
note to self. rosa is a LIAR
>>
No. 626421 ID: 7ee488

>>626340
Wait lichens? Did we plant those?
Is there life on Kur? Could we survive out there?
>>
No. 627111 ID: 557bac
File 142517939152.png - (183.27KB , 600x449 , 1-64.png )
627111

You stare out at the dark landscape. The storm clouds are blocking most of the natural light, but provide the occasional flash of lightning. Its enough to see by but just barely.

Aether
"So what is this place?"

Rosa
>"We still aren't sure. Once we got the lander craft close enough to the planet, something took hold of it and guided it here. It looks like this facility has been abandoned for some time: we think its a research station but there isn't much to research here. Since the planet is tidally locked, life can only exist here in a narrow band between night and day, and most of what we've seen is cyanobacteria and lichens: nothing complicated. Or at least that's what we thought."

Aether
"Those creatures, right? What are they?"

Rosa
>"Again, not sure. They came from deep underground. We think there's a whole ecosystem down there, living without light. The little guys seem to be mostly scavengers: not that dangerous unless there's a lot of them, or if they think you're sick or injured. However, there are signs of larger predators."

Rosa agrees to share what she's managed to find.
She is carrying
a can opener.
a flexible canteen filled with water.
a claw hammer you recognize as one from the Epoch.
a strange box with a handle Rosa claims is some kind of tiny arc light.

>"We found a couple of them when we landed, but they need little carbon ingots to work and mine burned out. The battery is still good though and its brighter than the sun when its on. Hopefully we can get it working: the little guys tend to run when you shine light on them. "

Aether
"That or turn on the lights..."

Rosa
>"Hopefully yes. You Taikos had better luck with the systems here than we humans did."
>>
No. 627112 ID: 3009b4

Just want to say I really like that last piece of artwork. :)
>>
No. 627138 ID: d958ad

>>627111
This is fascinating! You found an alien facility!

Tell her about the corpse you found and the note that was on you.
>>
No. 627144 ID: 9ddf68

any idea where we'd have to go to turn the power back on?
>>
No. 627147 ID: 6aa6e0

Wait, is this facility alien made, or does it appear to have been made by humans? Either way, it seems very weird.
>>
No. 627218 ID: 5db52c

Ask her if she knows the layout of this place. Knowing where we are and where things are would make any power restoration plans easier.
>>
No. 627472 ID: 8f01e8

Carbon ingot? You've got matches. Maybe loot some more bedsheets or something else flammable and non-mission-critical, then figure out a way to burn that stuff in a controlled manner to make charcoal, see if that's an adequate substitute. Graphite-based pencils would also be something to keep an eye out for.

Another idea, requiring some very simple mechanical bits which sadly you don't have yet: mousetrap with a wind-up noisemaker for bait.

How much of the facility is mapped?
>>
No. 628060 ID: 557bac
File 142576908094.png - (57.74KB , 600x600 , 1-65.png )
628060

Aether
"Speaking of predators, I found someone dead on the floor below us..."

She listens to your description of the dead man.

Rosa
>"Shit, that sounds like Professor Baker. I wondered where he had gone. After the lights went out a lot of us were left wandering in the dark. Something about this place too, messes with your head, makes it easy to get lost."

Aether
"Well, then which way?"

Rosa
>"Go left. It should be through a set of double doors."

Aether
"How big is the facility? How much have we explored?"

Rosa
>"There's tunnels that go on for miles, and the elevator can take you down over a thousand feet. Most of the upper floors have already been explored, they seem to be dedicated to living spaces and communications. Beneath that is some kind of research space, though there are some areas that are under higher security that we haven't accessed. Underneath that there's a space that seems to connect to a number of locations with a rail system. if we can get power running to them, we might be able to run them."

Aether
"Do we know how to restore power? Or even where?"

Rosa
>"We think so. There's an area near the bottom of the elevator where we've heard machinery moving, we think the controls for the power systems are in there. However, no one has been able to access it: there's some kind of security system that's running on an independent circuit that we would need to get past."

To your left you spot a pair of larger doors. Rosa stops and puts her ear up to them.
>"Its quiet..."
>>
No. 628062 ID: 321d85

>"It's quiet..."
Too quiet.

No, but seriously, I dunno. Just be careful, I guess?
>>
No. 628063 ID: 5db52c

Horror aside, it's kind of amazing you found a facility on what you would have expected to be an empty planet. And sized to you, and with controls and furniture and equipment that appears familiar.

I mean, how do you explain that? Built by very similar aliens? Did people from earth somehow get here before you? (If we traveled here relativistically, there's always the risk ftl could have been invented while you were gone, people set this place up, and then died / left).
>>
No. 628072 ID: d958ad

>>628060
It's quiet time. The predators act on sound, so no more talking, and move as silently as possible.
>>
No. 628074 ID: 8f01e8

What kind of a security system are we talking about, here? A big heavy door and a keypad that always replies "incorrect password," or heavy weapon turrets with terahertz radar targeting?
>>
No. 628176 ID: 3181a5

Goddammit if this is an Alian vs Predator plot where this place is just desined to attract victims in going to be pissed!
>>
No. 633034 ID: 557bac
File 142825096780.png - (15.21KB , 600x600 , 1-66.png )
633034

Rosa presses her hand to a panel next to the door and it slides open quietly. A dim square of natural light of the planet illuminates a small corner of the room. Inside it is silent and dark.
>>
No. 633048 ID: 296917

Nothing unusual... advance, maybe check out what that is on the floor, and then go into the blue door on the left.
>>
No. 633050 ID: 5db52c

Take point, cautiously explore forward.
>>
No. 835715 ID: ed67d9
File 150768983661.png - (30.18KB , 600x600 , sas59.png )
835715

...it looks like the tear got worse. Of course it did. Well, it's fine. You lived a long life. You did a lot of good (and a lot of bad, but more good than bad!)
>>
No. 835716 ID: ed67d9
File 150768983818.png - (36.27KB , 600x600 , sas60.png )
835716

Wow. It's taking longer than you thought. Huh. You wonder if it's going to hurt. You hope it doesn't.

You're very glad that you got to get one more hug in from Aubrey.

You love Aubrey very much.

You're going to miss her.

You hope she doesn't cry too much when she finds out what happened.
>>
No. 835717 ID: ed67d9
File 150768984038.png - (27.68KB , 600x600 , sas61.png )
835717

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH

Of all the ways to go, this is how it went.

...and yeah, it hurts. It hurts more than anything you could ever conceive. But you laugh and laugh anyway.
>>
No. 835718 ID: ed67d9
File 150768984374.png - (20.33KB , 600x600 , sas62.png )
835718

OH WAIT YOU ALMOST FORGOT TO TELL THEM

SUGGESTERS, KHOROS ISN'T LA—
>>
No. 835719 ID: ed67d9
File 150768984548.png - (1.49KB , 600x600 , sas63.png )
835719

>>
No. 835720 ID: ed67d9
File 150768984790.png - (1.49KB , 600x600 , sas64.png )
835720

RETURN TO SNOOTS AND SHADOWS
>>/quest/835703
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