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File 170705109403.png - (245.62KB , 990x660 , HU_01_000_A.png )
1082438 No. 1082438 ID: 2916f1

A Sci-Fi Mystery Quest about Ethics, Loss and Finding Oneself

Thread 1: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1079873.html
Discussion Thread: https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/141592.html
Wiki: https://questden.org/wiki/History_Unmade

You're trying to get used to this face of yours; to the artificiality of it, the familiarity and the sadness it invokes. You imagine it will take time. Your captors helpfully reinstalled the mirror above your sink but you're starting to understand why you might have taken it down in the first place. Before the amnesia.

With this face comes a name: Disquiet-247. Disq for short, you've decided. A familiar name, but devoid of context like so much in your life right now.

You still have so many questions. Shyama put his foot down though. Said you clearly needed a break. Maybe he's right. Maybe this is a good time to collect your thoughts.
Expand all images
>>
No. 1082439 ID: 2916f1
File 170705147716.gif - (336.86KB , 990x660 , HU_01_000_B.gif )
1082439

It's horrible to not know who you are, what you are or where you are. But there is perhaps a special horror it not even knowing when you are.

Shyama and Vijaya seem to know a world history that differs vastly from yours. One event they spoke of haunts you in particular: This Apennine Cataclysm. When ancient Rome was wiped out by blinding lights from the sky that shook the land and sea and left the land poisoned for decades.
No matter how you look at it, it sure sounds like someone deployed nuclear weapons against the Italian peninsula before the birth of the Roman Empire. You cannot fathom who would do such a thing, or why.
>>
No. 1082440 ID: 2916f1
File 170705149693.png - (186.44KB , 990x660 , HU_01_000_C.png )
1082440

You have a feeling that you might be connected to it.
>>
No. 1082441 ID: 2916f1
File 170705151185.png - (311.31KB , 990x660 , HU_01_000_D.png )
1082441

There's that symbol by the door. 'History Unmade'. It sounded ominous from the start, but with this knowledge of Rome's doom, it's downright sinister.

Of course there's the matter that all this suggests... time travel. It makes sense then, that your captors' equipment seems to archaic: cassette tapes, light bulbs, stethoscopes, paper writing pads.
Speaking of which, Shyama helpfully left one for you. Maybe it's time to put it to use.
>>
No. 1082442 ID: 2916f1
File 170705152918.png - (214.21KB , 990x660 , HU_01_000_E.png )
1082442

You draw a timeline and jot down the best match you got: Alexander the Great's conquest of Persia. Around -330 CE and around 200 in your Captors' calendar, which you decide to label 'BP' for Buddha's Parinirvana. You add that, too: 0 BP. But the Buddha's death is probably not that easy to pin down. You make a guess based on the Conquest of Persia: around -530 CE. Maybe.

Then there's an event that Shyama could give you an exact date for: The Apennine Cataclysm in 432 BP, which by the same method you used for 0 BP, you place around -100 CE. So far so good.

And today would be 2512 BP. According to the computer screen you have, it's 2080 HU ('History Unmade'?) and 4361 CE.
You quickly do some subtraction in your head to confirm something that popped into your head while you were still reeling from Shyama's description of the nuking of Rome: 432 BP is exactly 2080 years before 2512 BP, which would make it the year 0 of the HU calendar. You note that down, as well.

Now, going by the Persian Conquest again, the current year comes out to... around 1980 CE. That is not 4361 CE. This does not add up.

What the hell are you missing here?
>>
No. 1082443 ID: 273c18

>>1082442
Easy explanation: the computer is displaying the current date from the reference point of a time traveler from the future. You traveled around 2380 years into the past, and it was about the year 2280 CE when you left.
Considering the time lists the current year as 2080 HU, and assuming the nuclear strike was made immediately after you traveled back in time, you've been in this timeline for 2080 years. I guess we don't know that for sure though. It's possible you've been in this timeline for a much shorter amount of time and you were merely meant to check to see how history was progressing along this new path. Or you were meant to change it again?

...the feeling of anticipation you had about the date could mean you need to be here for the full 2381 years. You have another 300 years of waiting. Maybe the "important thing" you needed to do was to get the intruders off the ship and find some way to be undetected for the last 300 years so that they didn't mess up your trip home. At least, that's what I assume the trip home involves: waiting until the time of your departure so that you can take a sideways trip back into your original timeline? Maybe with the tech involved, it's impossible to move forwards in time (well, faster than usual) and timelines move in parallel, so you have to wait until you've "left" before you can go back in without polluting your original timeline or causing issues like meeting yourself.
>>
No. 1082444 ID: 5ebd37

>>1082443
That, or the computer's clock didn't reset when time travel occurred. That would mean it is showing the year you left from, plus however long you've been in this timeline.
>>
No. 1082445 ID: 273c18

>>1082444
That is, essentially, what I said.
>>
No. 1082446 ID: dd3fe0

>>1082445

We could call this something like 'anchor date'. Other useful terms would be 'subjective age', which is the amount of time you've personally lived.
>>
No. 1082447 ID: 8f9bc4

So some time in 2281CE, someone invented a time machine and decided it would be a good idea to blow up Ancient Rome. They went back to -100CE and nuked it from orbit. Then (????) and 2080 years later they (that is to say) you've been discovered. You went forward in time the hard way, so your original clock that said 2281CE added another 2080 years onto it. You have about 201 years left to stop the time machine from activating, otherwise a stable time loop could form which concentrates more energy with every iteration until the explosion is big enough to stop the time machine regardless and probably annihilate the planet along with it.

You may have absolutely no idea how time travel works.
>>
No. 1082448 ID: dd3fe0

>>1082447

Ugh there are so many hypothetical models of how time travel does or does not work, is the problem. Until there's some specific observed behavior, in more detail, and it's effects in various parts of the timeline, you won't know which model to apply.
>>
No. 1082886 ID: 2916f1
File 170743167472.png - (223.08KB , 990x660 , HU_01_001_A.png )
1082886

Right, yes, it all adds up if you assume the computer's clock is still counting years beyond a time jump from 2281 or thereabouts and that it's been running afterwards for a measly two millennia. You consider this. You consider if you were there all the while. Two millennia, an absurd number. You thought 176 was a preposterous age, but over two thousand? That takes the cake. No way.

Your mind races about the possibilities of time travel, but the mechanics remain rather unclear to you. One thing you think you can dismiss already is a stable timeloop. After all, a history where Rome was wiped off the face of the planet before the Empire cannot possibly be your history, right?

This stuff hurts your head and isn't leading anywhere helpful, but it's hard not to fixate on it.

It's a bit of a relief when the woosh of the door distracts you.
>>
No. 1082887 ID: 2916f1
File 170743168830.png - (311.02KB , 990x660 , HU_01_001_B.png )
1082887

Vijaya is leaning against the doorframe, looking at you with a... mischievous expression? Is that what that is? You're a bit worried.

"Hey there, tiger", she says, "Brought you some enrichment for your enclosure."

What? What?! What does that mean?!

"Catch!", she says.
>>
No. 1082888 ID: 2916f1
File 170743170724.png - (359.30KB , 990x660 , HU_01_001_C.png )
1082888

She lobs a colourful Magic Cube waaaay over your head. It's not going that fast and your arms are long, so you catch it effortless anyway.

"Oops", says Vijaya, "Sorry about that. Still getting used to the gravity."

Uhm.
>>
No. 1082889 ID: dd3fe0

Tiger, Enrichment to your enclosure:

Tigers are large predatory mammals that would get bored, listless, and develop mental and physical health issues in captivity, that is, in an enclosure, and were thus given many sorts of novel experiences and interesting things to do and clever methods of simulating their native environment when they had to be held in captivity for whatever reason. Collectively, these activities and objects and methods, which are not only applied to Tigers, are called 'enrichment'. 'Tiger', being a large, charismatic, fierce, predatory mammal, is also an affectionate nickname that humans give other humans sometimes.

You might want to respond with genial sarcasm and a grin, "Oh great, 'Roar', I guess. Am I getting a ball or a watermelon this time?" to let her know the joke landed.
>>
No. 1082892 ID: 8f9bc4

How curious. Solving one side mixes up the others. You'll have to find some smaller set of operations or move sequences that manipulate one side, and at the end of each operation, all the other sides must be unchanged from when it began.
>>
No. 1082894 ID: 273c18

>>1082888
Yeah, didn't you realize this was a spaceship?
Oh I just realized myself that you could have been in stasis for the majority of those millennia. Also possible, you're working in shifts with some other people, like the ones you remember the names of. Maybe that was the important thing you needed to do? Wake up the next crewmember?

Ask her if she found any others like you on the ship.
>>
No. 1082895 ID: dd3fe0

Maybe reply something like:

"Oh, A Rubik's Cube. Though I doubt it was invented by Ernő Rubik in this timeline. We just call it a Magic Cube when being generic. What do you all call it? Anyway, serious talk here, better enrichment would be something with which I can be creative and expressive. Some sort of plastic construction blocks or snap together engineering toys, sculpting clay, a coloring pad and paints or colored pencils or markers, maybe a musical instrument, yarn and knitting supplies, collage materials, that sort of thing."
>>
No. 1082896 ID: 273c18

Solve the cube in under a minute like a boss.
>>
No. 1082897 ID: dd3fe0

>>1082894

We could be on Luna. Or a rotating space habitat. Or another celestial object in Sol. Not just a spacecraft under constant acceleration. Did you notice any Coriolis effect in the trajectory?
>>
No. 1082918 ID: 5ebd37

Tiger? Isn't that flirty terminology?

The cube is curious. Did they find that here, or did they bring it with them? What other ideas might exist in both timelines, regardless of who originally thought of them?
>>
No. 1082936 ID: 99c693

Huh... gravity is different here from what Vijaya is used to, huh?

You should drop the cube to the ground for a moment and check how quickly it falls. If the speed looks normal and familiar to you, there's a potential Vijaya is used to higher gravity than you in general, which could mean that our new friends aren't from earth.

Or that we aren't.
>>
No. 1082940 ID: dd3fe0

>>1082936

Actually, a small splash of water would be better. Watch how the droplets form and travel, that'd be a MUCH better indicator of gravity levels!
>>
No. 1083029 ID: 2916f1
File 170757938003.png - (295.52KB , 990x660 , HU_01_002_A.png )
1083029

You try to take the joke in good fun. The grin feels strange on your face, you really hope it looks natural anyway.
"Oh great, 'Roar', I guess.", you say, "Am I getting a ball or a watermelon this time?"

If this came out strained and weird, Vijaya doesn't comment on it.
"Judging by that roar, maybe some yarn instead.", she says.

"Thank you for the Rubik's Cube. Uuh what do you call this thing?", you ask, raising the cube a little.

"I call it the 'cool colourful cube thing'.", Vijaya replies, "It's one of your things. I've never seen anything quite like it and I doubt anybody on Earth could manufacture plastics with colours this vibrant."

You nod and say: "Ah. Anyway, serious talk here, better enrichment would be something with which I can be creative and expressive. Some sort of plastic construction blocks or snap together engineering toys, sculpting clay, a coloring pad and paints or colored pencils or markers, maybe a musical instrument, yarn and knitting supplies, collage materials, that sort of thing."

Vijaya smirks at you with a frown. "Do you want a pony, too? Look, if I find something you'll be the first to know. We sure didn't bring anything like that.", she says.
>>
No. 1083030 ID: 2916f1
File 170757938252.png - (348.79KB , 990x660 , HU_01_002_B.png )
1083030

There is a natural lull in the conversation and you shift your focus to the question of gravity. It certainly doesn't feel strange to you, but really thinking about it, maybe that's the odd part. You bounce the little cube in your hand. It falls pretty slowly. Feels normal to you, but you suppose on Earth you'd have expected a much faster drop.

You also think back to interacting with the water earlier. It formed these big globs and kinda clung to the cup. You figure gravity really must be quite low here.
Maybe you could have gotten used to this. Certainly could have if you'd been here for two thousand years, intermittent stasis breaks or no.

Vijaya must have noticed you watching the cube bouncing in your hand because she mutters: "Aw my big mouth is gonna get me court martialed one day."
>>
No. 1083032 ID: b3eab7

Ask how they stave off "cabin fever" if they brought so few means of expressing their creativity.

You can also throw her a curvecube by mentioning the cube is supposed to be from Earth in your timeline.
>>
No. 1083033 ID: ed9c4f

Man, Vijaya is being such a bro though. Let's reassure her.

Let her know that she drew your attention to the gravity, but it was inevitable for you to notice that fluids move slowly and things fall at a slower pace.

Still, thank her for not treating you like you're a criminal. It's unsettling to deal with so many unfamiliar things, so it's nice when there's someone who doesn't act like even the most basic or obvious information is dangerous in your hands.

For our private thoughts... So, you were used to the gravity, but you do remember terrestial gravity? That's interesting. You seem to have forgotten a lot of identifying information, but not general knowledge.

We can use the latter to try approaching the other though. Focus on how your body feels when you move your limbs. Do you have the impression that your limbs ever felt heavier or lighter than this? Can you remember how water usually flows, and if so, does it invoke a mental image with any visual context?
>>
No. 1083035 ID: dd3fe0

Was there a Coriolis Effect when pouring water or watching it fall? Did things twist midstream or mid trajectory, as if from rotational gravity or are we subject to mass based gravity instead?
>>
No. 1083040 ID: 5ebd37

>court-martialed
Ah, so this is a military operation. But she's fine, Shyama already mentioned that they were from Earth, not on Earth.
>>
No. 1083048 ID: 273c18

"It's one of your things"
Aha. She just admitted that there were objects in here. Tell them you want the rest of your things returned.
>>
No. 1083049 ID: dd3fe0

So, if this is at a space station or on a moon or something... them not knowing about quality plastics or nuclear weapons is troubling. Without nuclear and atomic rockets, it takes ludicrous amounts of time to get ANYWHERE in space unless there is a LOT of very specific types of heavy-investment mobility infrastructure. Also, you're familiar with the concept of very low-tech space stations; Rocketpunk is an established retrofuturistic genre, and there are no physical constraints that prevents any of the ideas of the genre from working; it's just a matter of economic investment and time to make all the stuff the hard way. If your world's technological advancement had been stopped at mostly late 1940s for a thousand years (ie, when plastics, and pigments, and nuclear power and nuclear weaponry were all very limited), people would still be in space in a huge way, given enough time for investment in the right infrastructure. You CAN have terrifyingly low tech space stations and space infrastructure and moon colonies and whatnot, it just requires a lot of trial and error and a lot of people to maintain and run it and a lot of stuff to already be in space to make it work. And if whatever network of null-automation interrelated infrastructure they have to make things work is breaking down, that's a very bad thing...
>>
No. 1083133 ID: e61589

>>1083048

I think Shyama has already told us that they won't return everything to us yet, since they don't know what things are potentially dangerous.

They've probably checked the cube over and determined that it's harmless.
>>
No. 1083203 ID: 253138

Ask Vijaya what she thinks she'd get court-martialed for doing here? Bringing you a puzzle toy? By the way, that's what this cube is; The goal is to make each side the same color by rotating the segments. Give her a demonstration of that by rotating a couple perpendicular sides of the cube. But you digress.

Tell her that you woulda soon figured that we're not on Earth anyway because if we were on Earth then the two of 'em that first came across you wouldn't have been wearing space suits and her group probably wouldn't be so concerned about food supplies. There's also the obviously less-than-Earth gravity. You think we're either on the Moon or, less likely, a space ship in a orbit near enough the Earth for those who've just got the tech to first land on the Moon can reach and return from. Your bet is on the Moon, and if it's the Moon, you're betting the dark side since if wherever this was was on the light side, if it was spotted from the Earth the first Moon landing likely would have been here to investigate this... Base? Shelter? Landed ship? Crashed ship? Well. she doesn't have to say where we are, but you would like to know if your bet is right.

Say that she may also like to know that you've roughly worked out the conversion from your timeline's calendar years to theirs based on the historical dates Shyama told you. To really dial it in you'd need a relatively recent geological or astronomical event; One within modern record so as to cut down inaccuracy. The 1980 CE eruption of Mount Saint Helens and 1908 CE Tunguska Event would do nicely. Ask Vijaya if there was a large volcanic eruption this year or recently in... Damn, you don't know their names for the continents. You need a world map, or a photo of the world. Failing that, you could draw a rough map of the world and point to the Pacific Northwest. Then point to Siberia and ask just when a huge inexplicable aerial explosion that flattened a large area of forest in this area around 72 years ago happened. And to line your months up with theirs, ask when the Summer and Winter solstices in the northern hemisphere are on their calendar. ...You're gonna need to know the months and days of their calendar too.

She may also like to know that they, this timeline, first landed on the Moon about nine years after when it happened in your timeline. Maybe they didn't have the whole Cold War Space Race thing to spur them on.

What's that logo on the side of the mug you used? Doesn't look like the History Unmade one. It ring any bells for you? And any manufacturer marks on the bottom of the mug?

Add to your mental mysteries list how you knew how to speak Kushani and why you defaulted to it when you first spoke to Vijaya and Shyama. The Kushani you spoke probably had to have been recorded from this timeline since any language from your timeline from the same region as the Kushan Empire (which I assume it's from) would have diverged so much in the last two millennia as to be mostly incomprehensible to them.

And Gaius Julius Caesar was born in Rome in -100 CE, possibly the same year as the Apennine Cataclysm. Though, if someone wanted to either kill Caesar in the crib or his mom before he was born, nuking Rome and a number of other Roman Republic cities seems a wee bit overkill, to put it mildly.

>>1083049
...Kome?
>>
No. 1083211 ID: dd3fe0

(Not Kome, no)
>>
No. 1083501 ID: 8f9bc4

Shyama expected you to know where you are, so there's no reason to hide it, since you'd (somehow?) remember anyway. You already assumed you were on a spaceship or the moon. Those bulky space suits gave it away way more than Vijaya's offhand remark about gravity. At any rate her secret's safe with you, no need to risk any court martials.

The gravity here is... odd. The moon would have much stronger gravity than this. In particular water would stay in a cup, rather than float as globules slowly back down into it. You must be on a large asteroid, or a rotating space station with just enough centrifugal force to barely simulate gravity.

Honestly you're not sure why this detail might be important. It's not like you're going to jump down to the planet and go rampaging through Tokyo or anything. (On that note, Tokyo probably is a thing they have heard of.) They're worried about you getting into some sort of computer system here. You're uh... you're not on the very same orbital weapons platform that caused the Apennine Cataclysm, are you? If that is still armed, it would explain why they're so cautious, and why it could start a horrible war fighting over who gets to rain down nukes on their enemy.
>>
No. 1083685 ID: 1d6349
File 170837749299.png - (342.21KB , 990x660 , HU_01_003_A.png )
1083685

You ponder the gravity of the situation some more. Neither the thrown cube, nor any of the water so far have shown any evidence of a strong coriolis effect.
You're amazed at the realisation that you seem to be familiar with both terrestrial gravity and whatever this weaker form is. You fiddle with the cube and pay attention to how your arm and fingers feel. They feel... odd, but not in ways that should relate to their weight. They feel too long, most of all; arm and fingers, both.
Thinking of flowing water conjures... showers, a brook, bottles pouring liquid... tears. No particular context emerges.

The symbol on the mug is a puzzler. It seems familiar just like your name and your face do. You think there are many other symbols kind of like it, all with slightly different meanings. You feel it like it's on the tip of your tounge, what it means. It's maddening.
You can't place it. But... another one pops into your head. Yes. Similar. But different. Very familiar.

You think about language. You can put English in its historical and cultural context, but not Kushani. This is particularly strange because it implies that you've perhaps lost even more of your memories than you thought. You can't imagine having learned Kushani in the old timeline and having it be useful here. So you spent at least enough time in this new history to learn a whole language that is quite different from what you assume to be your mother tongue. And you don't even remember the basics of the new history.
>>
No. 1083686 ID: 1d6349
File 170837751070.png - (326.79KB , 990x660 , HU_01_003_B.png )
1083686

You refocus on Vijaya.
"What? Court-martialed? For bringing me a puzzle toy?", you say with your best smirk.

She sighs and shakes her head: "May have exaggerated a bit, but... Shyama is not happy with me right now, so I should watch what I say."

"Ah, you'll be fine. Honestly, I was bound to figure out we're not on Earth eventually. I probably would have noticed the gravity at some point. Plus, why else would the two of you come in here wearing space suits? Why else would you be so concerned about food supplies? I think we're either on the Mooon or some sort of spaceship in a low-enough orbit to be reachable for people to land on so short after the first Moon landing. My bet is the Moon, probably the dark side, because otherwise the first Moon landing would have been here, surely. To investigate this... base? Shelter?", you say, watching Vijaya's face carefully, "Landed ship? Crashed ship?"

Vijaya looks slightly horrified. You think it's safe to say the Moon guess was right on the money. But no change in her expression betrays the nature of the structure you're in.
>>
No. 1083687 ID: 1d6349
File 170837753327.png - (307.22KB , 990x660 , HU_01_003_C.png )
1083687

You can tell her mental defenses are about to slam shut entirely, so you opt to show some vulnerability yourself.
"Well. You don't have to say where we are. In any case I am grateful you're not treating me like a criminal. It's unsettling to deal with so many unfamiliar things, so it's nice when there's someone who doesn't act like even the most basic or obvious information is dangerous in your hands.", you say.
Vijaya coughs awkwardly and replies: "Don't mention it. Uhm... especially if they do ever call you before a court. Do not mention it."

"Of course, of course.", you say in a conspiratorial tone, "Oh and maybe you'll like this: I've roughly worked out the conversion from my timeline's calendar to yours. I just need a solid, recent geological or astronomical event to nail it down."
Her face is a mask of intense ambivalence. Fierce non-committal disinterest. It looks like it's taking all her strength when she says: "Uh huh. Isn't that something. Anyway, how does that cube work?"

You consider whether to push the calendar issue further.
>>
No. 1083697 ID: a7a180

Not around company.
In your timeline, the objective is to make all the colors on each face match. Time yourself solving one, you might be surprised by your speed. Or not.
>>
No. 1083707 ID: b3eab7

Yeah, keep mum about the calendar for now.
Show how the cube is played: You randomly scramble it, or have a friend to it for you, then you solve it by unifying the colors on each faces.

There are techniques to methodically solve a cube, but do you know them?
>>
No. 1083709 ID: 273c18

>>1083687
Someone else is here, listening. Don't push. Show off how the cube works, then ask who the new arrival is.
>>
No. 1083724 ID: dd3fe0

>>1083686

Well, the thing about the low enough orbit thing, is that things in orbit are constantly falling. It's this act of falling that causes the feeling of weightlessness. In order to feel 0.17 (ie, Moon) of Earth Gravity from altitude from Earth ALONE, you'd have to be stuck on something sufficiently far from Earth that is just suspended there and the part you are on would have to be not orbiting, such as an Orbital Ring at exactly the Moon-equivalent gravity distance from Earth (this is MUCH larger than most designs for the 'first' economical Orbital Ring for Earth would be), or a Space Elevator, where the elevator is stuck at a very specific part of one of the multi-prong beanstalks (you don't know of a material which would allow for a single-stalk Earth Space Elevator), so you are effectively subject to something near 0.17g. Other options in the roughly moon gravity are: Io (0.18), Ganymede (0.15), Callisto (0.13), Europa (0.13), and at the other end, Mars (0.38) and Mercury (0.38).
>>
No. 1083744 ID: 5ebd37

Apologize, you're not trying to get anyone into trouble, you just need to figure out who what where and why your here.

As for the cube, it would be interesting to hear what they thought it was for. And who's this new person? I don't think you've been introduced.
>>
No. 1084089 ID: 0be7f9
File 170861346348.png - (1.16MB , 3000x2000 , HU_01_004_A.png )
1084089

Right, there's someone else there, peeking through the door. Very small in stature with dark skin and hair and a pretty eye-catching... eye. It's got a golden shine to it.
You decide to drop the calendar matter for now and go along with the change of topic.

"Oh it's a great little thing. First you scramble the whole cube or get a friend to scramble it for you. Then you try to solve it by lining it up so each side of the cube is a single uniform colour.", you explain.
Vijaya tries to sound conversational. "Figures. Sounds pretty hard to do. According to Maya there are... a ridiculous number of different permutations", she says.

"True, there are a lot, but there are techniques you can learn and practice to solve any possible state of the cube. And in fact it's always possible to do it in 20 steps or less.", you say, "See? I've solved two layers of the cube. Of course, the further along you are, the more complicated the steps get because you have to avoid messing up your progress."
"So you can solve any permutation of the cube?", Vijaya asks.
You nod and reply: "Sure, if I remember the algorithms anyway."
"Incredible." Vijaya seems honestly impressed.
You wave a hand in a show of modesty: "Eh. I'm sure you could learn how to do it in a day. And then it's just a matter of practice to do it faster."
>>
No. 1084093 ID: 0be7f9
File 170861358063.png - (791.69KB , 3000x2000 , HU_01_004_B.png )
1084093

You figure now might be as good a time as any.

You ask with a jerk of your head: "So who's that, hovering behind you in the doorway?"
Vijaya turns. "Huh? Oh. Been standing there, long?", she asks.
The newcomer answers: "Erm... Not too long. And it's quintillions of permutations I'm pretty sure." Their voice is high-pitched and slightly hoarse.
Vijaya sighs. "This is Maya, our information tech."

Maya steps a little closer and says: "Yes, uh, I'm Maya Ramesha Gh-"
She pauses, embarrassed. "Maya Ramesha. I-I like your hair.", she says.
She puts her hands together in front of her chest and bows just a little awkwardly, saying: "N-Namaste."

You suppose you're not the only one who's nervous around here.
>>
No. 1084121 ID: 8f9bc4

You'd be the first.
>>
No. 1084133 ID: 9fa9c3

Sounds like she wasn't supposed to tell her third name or title, like it was confidential or something. Know any relevant words or names that start with Gh that these folk might have under restriction from telling you?
>>
No. 1084169 ID: a7a180

>>1084133
It might just be overly formal, like you don't introduce yourself by your middle name all the time.
Well, does your technical specialist have any questions about how the tech here works? We'll do our best* to answer them.
*=we don't know either
>>
No. 1084197 ID: 273c18

>>1084093
Introduce yourself, and ask if there's anything they wanted to talk to you about?
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No. 1084211 ID: 5ebd37

Give a little bow back.
>>
No. 1084227 ID: 841200

>>1084093
Is that stuff on our head actually hair or just like some light projection or something?
>>
No. 1084258 ID: 8f9bc4

Incidentally "namaste" is a Hindu word for I bow to you, in a respectful bow sense. Honor among equals. Given that Rome and nascent Christianity (and Islam) were uh, nuked, it's safe to say most of the continent is either Buddhist, Confucian or Hindu.

...incidentally you might have been some kind of historian, whatever your role was in this. You keep remembering all these curiously specific details about history!
>>
No. 1084270 ID: 414b45
File 170869686466.png - (191.28KB , 990x660 , HU_01_005_A.png )
1084270

Your 'hair' is definitely not physical. It's either a projection from a volumetric display or a... DtR system. That's short for Direct-to-Retina. You remember what that is, apparently. You might even be able to explain how it works, though translating all the concepts into Kushani might be difficult.

Yeah the way Maya stopped herself mid-word there was certainly a bit odd. You can't think of anything starting with "Gh" that might be relevant here.
Should you ask about it?

You set down the cube and return the bowing gesture. Here's a custom that you remember from your own timeline.
You introduce yourself: "I'm Disquiet-247, but you may call me Disq for short. If you have questions about any of the technology here, I'll do my best to answer them. Might not amount to much... Because of the amnesia."

Maya gives you an intense look and then says: "Oh I have loads of questions. Where do I even start? Clearly almost all of the machines in here are computerized in some fashion but these computers are also incredibly tiny. How do you fit so many logic-circuits into such a small space? Do you use semiconductors or something more advanced? Are they quantum computers?"
>>
No. 1084271 ID: 414b45
File 170869688324.png - (165.25KB , 990x660 , HU_01_005_B.png )
1084271

"God I hope not! Quantum computers are such a pain in the ass to maintain and the power requirements are completely nuts! Plus, except for some few very specific use-cases they don't even perform any better than classical computers! If they add another quantum computer, I'm quitting!"
>>
No. 1084272 ID: 414b45
File 170869691068.png - (210.34KB , 990x660 , HU_01_005_C.png )
1084272

There's a couple seconds of silence during which you realize you said all of that out loud and you're not exactly sure why.

...

"Ahem."
>>
No. 1084273 ID: 56db77

>>1084272
So that seems to have triggered a memory, sort of.
>>
No. 1084274 ID: 56db77

>>1084258
We already know Islam exists as a major religion in this timeline. And yes we're already confused as to how that works
>>
No. 1084275 ID: af7615

I think a little laughter may be warranted, followed by a comment about apparently that hit some kind of memory, thanks
>>
No. 1084276 ID: 6fec12

Said like a true engineer.
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No. 1084278 ID: f99fdd

>>1084273
"Ah ha, annoying coworkers, amirite?"
>>
No. 1084279 ID: c01660

This is good. Keep talking nerdy to me.
>quantum computers
Want to crack one of these open and find out? They’re neither quantum nor silicon until somebody opens the box. That’s how quantum mechanics works, right?
>>
No. 1084295 ID: b3eab7

Simply says that her mention of quantum computers seems to have awakened some forgotten memory.

...Which also goes a good way to answer her question, since yeah, "classical" computers typically involve semiconductors.

IIRC for quite a bit of time the semiconductor used was silicon along with its doped variants, the circuits "engraved" on tiny sheets by oxidizing the parts you want to be isolating.
>>
No. 1084296 ID: 600150

"Yeah, uh... I never said it was perfect amnesia. I guess workplace grievances are forever, huh? But yeah, semiconductors. Most are silicon and alloyed variants of it, I think?"

"Um, though given you're keyed into the world's technology... does the term 'nuclear weapons' mean anything to you?"

"Well, I think that's what the Apennine Cataclysm was caused by, which sounds absurd even to me because those weren't invented in my timeline until roughly two thousand years after the nonexistent cataclysm's date. But we also had an old adage along the lines of 'when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.'"
>>
No. 1084311 ID: 273c18

Do you remember who "they" are?
>>
No. 1084329 ID: 8f9bc4

Do optical transistors ring a bell? You know about silicon semiconductors used as transistors, but those have hard limits to how small they can get because of electron tunnelling. Possibly molecular computing?
>>
No. 1084733 ID: dd3fe0

There's a few computational options. Historically, the progression was electromechanical computing, then to vacuum tubes and relays, then transistors allowed for the integrated circuit and microprocessor, and then that got really really advanced as the silicon microelectronics advanced. That said, there's a pretty stark shielding and error correction requirement for anything beyond relatively simple microelectronics in space. Beyond that, a civilization could use a few paradigms: Quantum Computing is one, Photonic Computing is another. There's neuromorphic computing, aiming to mimic the brain's architecture rather than act as a traditional computer. And there's also molecular and DNA computing, using the properties of molecules and DNA strands to perform massively parallel computations.
>>
No. 1084744 ID: 8a4559

What do you know about computers? Here's a great opportunity to jog your memory.

It'd be interesting to open up a (unimportant) piece of tech and see what you recognize.


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