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1092522 No. 1092522 ID: 0b7e05

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

Thread 1: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1079873.html
Previous Thread: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1082438.html
Discussion Thread: https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/141592.html
Wiki: https://questden.org/wiki/History_Unmade

You find yourself in a dark corridor, lunging for a floating weapon. Too late.
Too late for what?
Expand all images
No. 1092524 ID: 0b7e05
File 171771229770.png - (187.45KB , 990x660 , HU_02_000_B.png )

You realize you're not getting any closer. In fact, nothing moves here. The corridor is frozen in a single moment.
You have a distressing feeling of something lurking behind you. Like something might jump out at you at any moment. You're afraid to turn around though you already know what you'd find if you did.
No. 1092525 ID: 0b7e05
File 171771230736.png - (205.09KB , 990x660 , HU_02_000_C.png )

A quiet, weak voice calls out from the darkness behind you.
"Is that you, Dee? You look like death.
"Ah, no... We're here again. So you must just be me."

Its tone betrays a deep, exhausted sorrow.

The low ceiling poses no obstacle to your head as you straighten.
No. 1092526 ID: 0b7e05
File 171771232797.png - (187.53KB , 990x660 , HU_02_000_D.png )

You stand and - after a deep breath - you turn.
There it is. Whoever it is.

The corpse says: "We can't help but come back to this moment over and over again, huh? Damn Serenity-100! Damn him all the way to hell! As if it wasn't enough that he made us monstrous. Poison to the world!
"We could have at least been safe and sound and contained in our cranny! Instead we were here, trying to prevent an utter catastrophe. None of this would have happened if he'd just shut up and stuck to the plan. But no. No, no, no, he had to have his victory lap.
"That's how we lost her. All because of him."

Your voice catches in your throat. You swallow.
"Lost her? Who?", you ask hoarsely.
No. 1092527 ID: 0b7e05
File 171771234397.png - (122.03KB , 990x660 , HU_02_000_E.png )

"That's how we lost you."

No. 1092528 ID: 0b7e05
File 171771235904.png - (285.75KB , 990x660 , HU_02_000_F.png )

"Great God!"
No. 1092529 ID: 0b7e05
File 171771237985.png - (198.34KB , 990x660 , HU_02_000_G.png )

"Sorry! Sorry."
No. 1092530 ID: 0b7e05
File 171771239603.png - (342.25KB , 990x660 , HU_02_000_H.png )

While you're still readjusting to the waking world from that bizarrely vivid dream, Maya grabs your cup and goes to fill it with water. She's talking but you're distracted. Something about this nightmare has left you alarmed and confused. You try your hardest to commit it to memory.

Finally, wakefulness catches up with you in earnest.
Maya is still apologising: "I swear we didn't mean to intrude, but you didn't respond to anything, so we got a bit worried."

"I didn't respond?", you ask.
"Not to knocking, not to the door opening, not to us calling out to you... We found you tossing and turning."

"Nightmares?", Gamal ventures.
No. 1092534 ID: a7a180

Nightmares, or memories? Both, really.
You were somewhere with microgravity, probably in Earth orbit, in the midst of a firefight. Did they find any signs of struggle outside, or hull breaches?
No. 1092536 ID: eb0a9c

"Fractured memories. I found out what happened to the crew. There was either a mutiny or a raid, and... well, almost everyone died. Even me, in a way."
No. 1092538 ID: 0e2cec

Well, depends on how confident you are that was a memory, vs some metaphorical dream thing. Even assuming it were literally true, I'm not even totally sure a mutiny or raid happened, at least not according to the spoken words.
No. 1092550 ID: 273c18

Yeah tell them you had a nightmare, but since it was a dream you can't trust any information from it. Better they don't know, since it might lead them down the wrong path.

You do think they can start calling you "Dee", though. Not Disq.
No. 1092556 ID: 8f9bc4

You had a dream about someone having a dream about you. You're dead though, so they know it has to be a dream. They talk bitterly to dream you, about betrayal and petty egos, that resulted in this whole disaster, as well as your death.
No. 1092567 ID: 5ebd37

But given the memory loss involved, "Dee" might be a very different person to Disq. Maybe not someone they would want to be again.

Just say that it was disturbing, but you aren't sure if it was a memory, a dream, or a mix of both.
No. 1092606 ID: 7caa34

Not sire if nightmares or memories, probably a mix of both
No. 1092623 ID: 31e74a

Hmm. Zero gravity in the flashback. Looks like this is indeed a grounded ship.

"I think it was a repressed memory. Violence happening on the ship. Shots fired. Someone saying we have been there before... but it only really lasted a few minutes, how long did you spend trying to wake me?
No. 1092640 ID: b57fea

A bad dream about a gunfight... maybe, it wasn't very clear. Lets stick with Disq until we know Dee is/was the kind of person we want to be. Lets also keep the name to ourselves for now.
No. 1092725 ID: d1187f
File 171796904454.png - (302.36KB , 990x660 , HU_02_001_A.png )

You decide that you're missing too much of the context to make a useful attempt at interpretation yet. So you stick to the basics.

"A nightmare, yes. Perhaps even a memory, or a mix of the two. There was... violence. On the ship. Shots fired. There was someone having a dream about me. Said it had to be a dream because... I'm dead? They talked bitterly to dream me, about betrayal and petty egos, that resulted in this whole disaster, as well as my death.", you explain.

Gamal strokes their beard and gives a noncommittal "Hm."
You shrug: "Yeah I don't understand it either."

"Well, it's another piece of the puzzle. Every bit is likely to be helpful in some way.", they say.
"Hm." you reply and take a sip of water from your cup.
Damn, you think. Water is good. So good. What an odd thought.

Maya nimbly lifts herself up onto the chair.
"Well, dreams aside, I have good news for you. We've had a mission meeting and decided unanimously that your demands are reasonable. While we haven't found a consensus on how to implement them yet, we're ready to make some concessions.", she says.
Gamal goes to take the other chair. "Please bear with us for the time being.", they say.

"So, Shyama has uh... assigned us some worksheets to go over. It's mostly translations we need, some symbolism we're curious about. That sort of thing. But once we're done with that, we can talk about whatever you like. And!", here Maya points to the box on the table, "I brought some of your gadgets to look at. Should we get started?"
No. 1092727 ID: 273c18

Ah, maybe the "important" thing you had to do was to tell the others you're alive? Maybe that's the only reason you're still here. They left you behind, thinking you were dead. Except, shouldn't an advanced civilization such as yours be able to TELL if someone is dead or not? Hmm. Maybe this is some secret backup body they didn't know about?

Anyway, yeah. Let's get to the analysis. Think about what to tell them about the objects before you do.
No. 1092747 ID: 5ebd37

It would be nice to see a few of their gadgets, to see what tech levels they've got. Pass it off as curiosity, but it would also give us an idea of what tech not to reveal to them, if it comes to that.
No. 1092749 ID: 8f9bc4

Not much water on the moon. You've been here a while; it's probably not easy to come by.
No. 1092754 ID: a7a180

If they haven't eaten yet, why don't we eat together... oh, we overslept didn't we. Yeah, let's get to it.
No. 1092787 ID: 815fee
File 171804761820.png - (324.20KB , 990x660 , HU_02_002_A.png )

A strange thought pops into your head: What makes one alive or dead?
The question has a cold familiarity to it. Like you've thought it many times before. It's not a happy thought.
But you're alive! Cogito ergo sum, no?

You return your attention to the conversation.

"I'd like to see some of your gadgets, honestly.", you say.
"Oh." Maya hesitates. She's a bit quiter, less excited when she says: "Yeah, I can... I'll bring some of our stuff, too, later. Sure."

Before any kind of awkward silence can descend, you muster what enthusiasm you can. "All right, let's go, then."
Maya nods. "All right!", she says with more vigour and reaches for the cassette recorder.
Gamal helpfully pushes it into her reach and hands her a writing pad, which she then passes on to you.

"Here, have a look, please.", she says. Then she pushes the record button on the recorder. "This is session three, cassette one, 7th of Pausha Waning, 2512. Interview conducted by Maya Ramesha Gha- Dog's Dick!"
She stops the recording with an annoyed groan, then pushes another button and then finally the record button again.
"This is session three, cassette one, 7th of Pausha Waning, 2512. Interview conducted by Maya Ramesha. I've given Disq some samples of English writing."

You take a look.
No. 1092788 ID: 815fee
File 171804763925.png - (193.26KB , 990x660 , HU_02_002_B.png )

No. 1092789 ID: 60a1e9

I don't think that was our current self in the dream. We looked different. Blue hair, with softer curves, and freckles.

Maybe this body adjusts the holographic parts of our appearance to the mind inside?

Also, did anyone else notice the symbols? There was one next to us that's also on the cup, one next to the corpse when we looked closer... and this huge encircled sun symbol in the background when we spoke to the corpse.

Anyways... I think it should be safe to translate these words for the crew. Start a new sheet of paper perhaps where you note them down like "Command = *Command* " and such.
No. 1092791 ID: e5b672

Looks like a building directory an elevator panel, and a login screen. I don’t think there’s anything in here that would be dangerous to translate that they won’t figure out with elbow grease and a crowbar.
No. 1092792 ID: eb0a9c

First up, you need to write '0123456789' and specify this is base-10.
Looks like they copied a map. Ask for the map, and you'll label what goes where.
No. 1092793 ID: 45108a

This one says ’No Entry.’ You can ignore that warning, as obviously if they didn’t want you to enter there wouldn’t be a door. It’s merely a formality.
We need context for ‘Pa55word.’ Was there anything else written around it? What was it written on?
No. 1092794 ID: 8f9bc4

Ooh, you have an armory?
No. 1092796 ID: 0605fc

Oh also point out that they are confusing the numeral 5 and the letter S. maybe pre-emptively explain 0 and O.
No. 1092797 ID: 273c18

Okay, we can infer from this that they explored around and found all those locations. Also, the Armory was likely last since it was put in awkward empty space, and "no entry" was written at the same angle so the armory must be blocked off thank goodness. Potentially password-locked but that could be Command or Science... You could ask?

Huh, they only found Habitat 3? Where's 2 and 1?

Anyway, read everything out loud. No sensitive information that I can see. The top right looks like it's a floor selection in an elevator, which means now we know there's three floors to this facility.
No. 1092798 ID: d8bf36

Now would be an excellent time to remember what's in the armory
No. 1092799 ID: a7a180

We don't know that for certain. Maybe the cybersecurity around here is atrocious and someone wrote down their password, which was literally 'Pa55word.'
No. 1092800 ID: dd3fe0

That's either Pa55word or Pa55w0rd. Explain the word 'Password', and the horrific practice of extremely poor cybersecurity of just replacing the letters with numbers to comply with computer requirements that passwords involve both letters and numbers. Most security systems should have more complex requirements, and have a list of 'very poor passwords' that are automatically invalid. Someone was breaking security regulations by having such an easy to guess password for their login AND also writing it down like that.
No. 1092805 ID: 273c18

The more likely explanation is that they are writing symbols in ways that resemble their own writing. Note the line at the top, not just on the S but also E R P and G.
No. 1092806 ID: 273c18

I don't think we should tell them that PA55W0RD is the password for whatever they're trying to get into, not until we go see what it is.
No. 1092821 ID: de8e6f

Ah, they found the armory. …Why did your ship need an armory, anyway? Who were they going to shoot?
No. 1092822 ID: 898dc0

Funny Question: CAN we actually write their language?
Otherwise we will have to start with a word by word translation were they have to give us the equivalent in their tongue.
Also, we're not in a ship I think. The signs on the upper right are elevator signs and there is no basement in a spacecraft :)
No. 1092823 ID: a7a180

What about the symbols in the top right you don't recognize? What does that say, 1G? 1/6? 1B? Maybe they read them sideways or upside down, or maybe that's not english at all.
No. 1092831 ID: 273c18

They're floors.
No. 1092970 ID: 6d3a6d
File 171844162880.png - (323.68KB , 990x660 , HU_02_003_A.png )

The dream pops into your head again. What could it mean that your appearance was so different? It's reasonable to assume that the DtR projector could do different shapes and colours. Why not freckles, too?

And yeah, those round glyphs come to mind. In the dream, they seemed to just pop up around people... Yeah, you're pretty sure they relate to people in some way, but how? The one on your mug seems closely related to you specifically.
You're so close to getting it. You can feel it.

But understanding eludes you and so you focus again on the task at hand.

The only words on there that strike you as potentially troubling are 'Armory' and 'Password'. Could anybody really be so careless to choose a password as obvious as 'PA55WORD' and leave it written down somewhere?!
Then it hits you. A bunch of the other letters also look kind of strange, especially the Gs. Whoever copied these was clearly not familiar with the latin alphabet. Maybe that's why a bunch of these letters have that line at the top like Devanagari script.
So that's not the number 5, that's an S!

You look up at Maya and ask: "Did you write this?"
She smiles apologetically. "Yes. I uh... I was in a bit of a hurry when I copied that down. I hope it's legible."
"Oh I can read it fine.", you reassure her, "But particularly your S looks kind of strange."
You point it out to her. You also point to the 'S' on your name tag.
"Oh. Good to know. Hm, yeah that one kinda looks like a reverse 'ta' to me so that's how I wrote it. Yeah maybe you can teach me your alphabet sometime..."

You ask: "Did you copy these off a map? Maybe you can just show me that and I'll translate it there?"
Maya shakes her head. "No, these are from a storage room right around the corner."
"Oh, except for the one at the very top. That's on the outside of the facility. And the three short ones in the corner, which are from the hallway."

You nod. "Okay, this says 'Habitat 3', which means 'Habitat 3'. These are look like fl-"
"Wait, wait, wait! Uh!", Maya interrupts.
She grabs a pen from the table and reaches out her hand for the writing pad. You let her have it and she leans over to allow you to see it while she's writing little translation notes, as you go.

"Okay... 'Habitat 3'. Next?"
"These are floor designations I think. '1, G, 1B', which probably means 'first floor', 'ground floor' and 'first basement'."

It does occur to you that a spaceship or even space station with a basement would be quite... odd. So then this must be a more permanent structure. Maybe?

"Then these three here are 'Armory', 'Password' and 'No Entry'."
No. 1092971 ID: 6d3a6d
File 171844164850.png - (311.55KB , 990x660 , HU_02_003_B.png )

"Armory?", Gamal asks, incredulous, "You've got weapons up here?" He seems genuinely perplexed.
You shrug. "Apparently.", you say.
"Is that... normal?", he wonders.
"Couldn't tell you."
"Right, the Amnesia. Carry on."
No. 1092972 ID: 6d3a6d
File 171844165999.png - (310.71KB , 990x660 , HU_02_003_C.png )

You return to the translation. "These look like department names. They are, in order:
"'Command' or 'Leadership'...
"'Security' or 'Protection'...
"and 'Operations'."

You can see Maya frowning as she notes these down. When she's done, she looks at the page with clear scepticism.
"Are you sure, teacher?", she finally asks.
"Yes I'm sure. Why?"

"I said these are from a storage room, right? 'Armory', and 'No Entry' are on a door in there. 'Password' is from a little panel by the door. I already suspected it was a security measure."
She runs the back end of the pen along the remaining six words.
"These, we found as labels on the compartments of a container unit full of clothes. Uniforms. They all look roughly the same and similar to yours. Different collar, longer pant legs and they have sleeves. But otherwise, same shape with the skirts and everything.
"The only difference between the labelled compartments is the color of the clothing."
, she explains.
"You said, you're an engineer?"
No. 1092973 ID: 6d3a6d
File 171844167206.png - (315.39KB , 990x660 , HU_02_003_D.png )

"I... I am.", you say, suddenly less certain of it.
"Well... Maybe it doesn't mean anything, but... The clothes for what you said is 'Engineering' are orange. Your clothes are white. That'd be 'Science'.", she says.

Science? That doesn't sound right. Doesn't sound right at all.

Maya gives a nervous laugh and says: "It probably doesn't mean anything, teacher. Let's move on!"
You try to shake off the anxiety. "What are the other colors?", you ask.
Maya thinks for a moment. "Command is Golden, Medical is Greenish-Blue, Security is Black and Operations is Karmija."
"What's Karmija?"
"Uh... deep red? Bit purple?"
"Ah. Crimson..."
"I guess."

"... You wouldn't know what happened to habitats 1 and 2, would you?"
Maya shakes her head. "No teacher. There's only the one building. And I'm pretty sure we scanned the moon's surface quite thoroughly."

This does not make you any less anxious.

"Should we move on?", Maya asks nervously.
"Yes, let's.", you say.

She flips to the next page of the writing pad and hands it to you.
No. 1092974 ID: 6d3a6d
File 171844169261.png - (194.43KB , 990x660 , HU_02_003_E.png )

It's full of those glyphs. Here they are again.

"These are on the outside of some of the doors in this area.", Maya says. She points to the familiar one. "This one's on your door. And your mug, of course. Do they mean anything to you?"

Okay. Glyphs refer to people. Probably. That one on the bottom right is especially familiar and it seems like it's... embellished. Didn't you see that in your dream?
You are so close to a realisation you can taste it. What's the missing link between Glyph and person?
No. 1092977 ID: 273c18

Hmm. Next time you're alone, you should check your body for bullet holes. If they thought you were dead, then you should at least have signs of recent repair to your frame.

>different colored clothing for each department
That makes perfect sense. Uniforms are often designed to show the wearer's assignment at a glance. Ah. Here's something worrisome: you only "know" your name due to your nametag, which is on your clothing, which doesn't match your memories. What if you're wearing someone else's clothes? The corpse in your dream seemed to imply that you were both the same entity, somehow... maybe there's some weird mind transfer going on and you're SHARING a body with Disquiet-247?

>glyph and person
Rank? They're geometric with the vertices clearly marked; perhaps those translate to numbers somehow. Reading from the middle, the fanciest one is effectively 1-0-0. Top left is 2-4-7... ah, that's your symbol isn't it? Then that's what it is, they're geometric representations of each person's numbers. The bottom right must be Serenity's-100's symbol. The embellishment must be a sign of rank, so Serenity was/is the captain?

Seems safe to tell them. The symbols represent your numbers.
No. 1092978 ID: 273c18

Do you remember any of the uniform colors from your dream?
No. 1092979 ID: b3eab7

So... In your dream, you saw 828 get shot by 503... presumably right after shooting 642.
100 has been mentioned.
So far, we have no idea whom (if anyone), the numbers 294, 156, 202, and 310 designate. And what words go with these numbers.
No. 1092980 ID: 273c18

Ah, alternate theory: You're wearing someone else's uniform, but the nametag is yours. They detach, right?
No. 1092982 ID: d1585c

We DO have context for the numbers! We remembered some of them in Chapter 0!


So Rage-828 is the one who was shot in the dream!

I think we can also safely assume that this wasn't originally our body. The different looks in the memory, the name we didn't remember, the nonfitting clothes, the cryptic reference to us not being "Dee, the way our body feels unfamiliar and awkward... I think we can begin admitting to ourselves that this is the likeliest option.
No. 1092985 ID: da018c

Oh oh this makes perfect sense too. In the dream the glyphs floated like hud elements! Possibly they exist as a sort of IFF system so you can identify a person no matter what body they inhabit!
No. 1092987 ID: d1585c

Right, can we remember anything about who 642 is?

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