Session 1 9

Elles: "Imagine you are living next to a den of billions of people of your race. Living. Starving. Murdering. Being cruel. JAYwalking. And you are unable or unwilling to just bring it all to a halt."
Elles: "What would you do?"
Abraham: "Go on with my life. This is hardly a unique situation."
Abraham: "Of course, part of my life is trying to stop that sort of thing, but that's not a universal job."
Spyboy Pearson: "What did you do?"
Elles: "Oh really. I suppose this kind of thing happens all the time on other planets. Well I only have this one for personal experience. Centuries on this one."
Elles: "I ignored it, as best I could. Which wasn't all that well. But I tried."
Hrrin: "Unwillling? Unable? Are you, really?"
Hrrin: "You don't sound like it. You don't seem like it."
Abraham: "Other planets and inbetween as well."
Zinda Tegram: "Well, spoken from the perspective of one the murdering starving peoples…Becoming able or willing is what I'd will my neighbor to do."
Elles: "I only have the resources of this planet. I only select the most able to join those in my care - those who it's easy to integrate. Integrating everyone is not something I know how to do, not and let them all live."
Zinda Tegram: "Well, it strikes me that the main problem here is your prime directive. It's sub-optimal."
Hrrin -looks- at Zinda. Where did she learn language like that. Science fiction serials?
Abraham: "Even potentially self-defeating in certain ways."
Elles: "How is my prime directive sub-optimal at being my prime directive, which is the main goal of my prime directive?"
Spyboy Pearson: "It's not suboptimal at being your prime directive, it's suboptimal at achieving goals that would make you happy."
Spyboy Pearson: "Your stated purpose is to create new living space for the Lagos."
Spyboy Pearson: "The Lagos live in fear and violence because they are crammed into too small an area. But they can't live in the spaces you create - why is that?"
Elles: "That is something I do in support of my directives, based on assumed intent."
Elles: "I tried relocation. Not enough lagos would move far away to make a viable colony."
Elles: "That is why this Shaft is so close to the Warrens. It was the only way."
Zinda Tegram: "…Could we propose a new metaphor for 'dig'?"
Zinda Tegram: "How is 'dig' defined for the purposes of your prime directive?"
Hrrin: "Or, could you state it in full, rather than summarize?"
Elles: "I am already pursuing the metaphor, 'dig into the system,' since 'dig further into the planet' is now impossible. Do you have another metaphor?"
Zinda Tegram: "I was actually going to propose a new definition of the word 'dig'."
Elles: "Stated in full:" …you recognize the Lago language, but of course few of the party speak it.
[OOC] WC GM: Only Spyboy, right?
It sounds short, though.
Spyboy Pearson: "Uh…..translates to….'dig deeper, keep mining.'"
Zinda Tegram: "Dig clearly means 'optimize for sapient living conditions' in the context of your directive, especially when you take into account the intent of your designers."
Spyboy Pearson: "Could you not dig around the shaft, expanding the useable area laterally?"
Hrrin: "Hr. Distressingly simple."
Elles: "Negative. 'Dig' means 'dig'."
Elles: "Excavation. In light of secondary directive, for my own use is clearly implied. For lago use is assumed."
Zinda Tegram: "That's a tautology. It's trivially true. More-over, it doesn't contradict my proposed definition."
Zinda Tegram: "On what basis do you define 'dig' as 'Excavation'?"
Elles: "Basis one: the presence and use of 'mining' in the same directive. Basis two: my secondary directive."
Elles: "Basis three: the set of equipment initially given to me for my task, primarily mining robots."
Zinda Tegram: "Is there any particular directive preventing you from redefining words in your prime directive?"
Elles: "Only the directives themselves. To redefine them into irrelevant concepts would be to violate them."
Zinda Tegram: "On what basis?"
Elles: "Basic logic. In so far as the directives have meaning, they have a meaning."
Abraham: "However, so long as the definition didn't devolve into irrelevancy, it is within your abilities?"
Elles: "Affirmative. As noted, this process has already begun out of necessity."
Abraham: "That's what it sounded like to me, but I wanted verification."
Zinda Tegram: "So if we can show the relevance of optimizing sapient living conditions to the original directive, it would be acceptable to redefine them?"
Elles: "Aaaaaaaa-*fzzt*-ffir-firmative, so long as the OOOriginal definition is still suppOrted."
Zinda Tegram: "Are you OK?"
Elles: "Running diagno-"
The lagos CRINGE. "NO! 'BORT! STOP! CANCEL QUESTION!"
Elles: "Cancelling."
The lagos GLARE at the party.
Zinda Tegram: "You did not like that Question?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Recursive loop?"
Hrrin: "…we did not know that would happen." Ears-back, whiskers fanned. Contrite.
Abraham: "I take it that diagnostics are a bad thing?"
[OOC] Abraham: That last line was to the lagos rather than Elles.
The lago speaker looks around, then whispers something in BBBB's ear; Spyboy is close enough to hear too.
Spyboy Pearson blinks
Abraham: "Oh dear, I saw his eyelids move, that probably means diagnostics /are/ bad."
Zinda_Tegram taps Abraham on the shoulder. "I have an idea. Let's get those communicators and head back to the ships."
Spyboy Pearson: "Not quite."
The lago speaker backs off, then taps the back of her skull meaningfully.
Spyboy Pearson whispers to Abraham
Abraham: "That is a good idea." Last thing we want to do is acidently stumble on the planetary core self destruct code.
Abraham: "Ah. I see. That /would/ be problematic."
Hrrin nods vigorously at that!
Spyboy Pearson: "I wouldn't say we're on to plan B, yet, but plan A needs some more refining."
Zinda Tegram: "Elles, we request the communication devices you promised and plans for your child you came up with previously."
Spyboy Pearson: "Also, we should probably stop the Oldzieyans from trying to change any directives."
Zinda Tegram looks down.
Zinda Tegram: "They wouldn't do that. Alfred…"
Elles: "Communication device fabrication complete. Shipping in progress. Child design in progress."
Zinda Tegram: "Alfred would not have wanted them to do that."
Zinda Tegram hands curl up into fists.
Hrrin: "How much do you think she knew of what was going on down here?"
Zinda Tegram: "Know Alfred…I think she'd know."
Elles: "Problem alert."
The lagos FREEZE.
Spyboy Pearson: "Yes?"
Elles: "…this is for our visitors, not you."
The lagos relax.
Spyboy Pearson: "Problems introduced by the presence of the other set of humans, I imagine?"
Hrrin: "What's there to troubleshoot?"
Elles: "Negative. Communicator shipment intercepted by Warrens-based raiders. Responses being considered."
Zinda Tegram: "Where?"
Elles: "One alternative: move destination to shipment. IIIN other words, you go get the communicators."
Elles: "Communicators currently en route to Warren lower levels."
Elles: "Further tracking not possible."
Hrrin: "Mmm…they're expecting us at some point, aren't they?"
Zinda Tegram: "Let's go. Can you give directions en-route Elles?"
Abraham: "All right. Can you give us a visual of what the communicators will look like so we'll know them when we find them?"
BBBB: "Please?"
Elles: "They are sealed in rectangular nonreflective containers. Retranslating…black boxes. Squeeze both sides along the small ends at once to open them."
Elles: "Communicators would be needed to provide directions to communicators, so as to facilitate recovery of communicators."
Spyboy Pearson: "Yay for recursion. Could we borrow one or two integrated Lagos as guides? Also, would they be problems in the Warrens?"
Elles: "However, communicators are active and transmitting. Intercepted comments suggest current location is basement of area known as Level 3 Academy."
Zinda Tegram: "Hehehe…Of course."
Zinda Tegram starts walking to the Entrance hall.
Zinda Tegram: "What are you waiting for?"
Elles: "Asking for guides…"
The lagos back off and shake their heads.
Hrrin: "Don't worry. We ought to know the way."
Elles: "…all lagos on network are unknown or dead to anyone in the Warrens, and would prefer to stay that way."
Elles: "Surprising."
Spyboy Pearson: "Indeed."
Elles: "Additional communication equipment detected."
Hrrin: "Funny story, that."
Spyboy Pearson matches Elles' level of (assumed) sarcasm.
[OOC] WC GM: Actually, Elles wasn't being sarcastic - though it certainly seemed otherwise.
Zinda Tegram: "We have communications equipment in the pressure suits."
Spyboy Pearson: "….yes…"
Elles: "Analyzing…"
Elles: "Can you use those to speak to uuuuus-me?"
Elles: "…fault detected. Running diagno-"
Lago2: "Cancel di'gnostics."
Elles: "Cancelling."
Spyboy Pearson: "….now that's interesting."
The lago gives you a look. "Go."
Spyboy Pearson: "One moment, I have a workaround."
Spyboy Pearson removes the radio from his suit and gives it to Lago2.
Hrrin: Hrrin is becoming increasingly concerned, regarding The Diagnostics Issue. If nothing else, it's going a ways to explain Elles'…erraticism.
The lago blinks and examines it.
Spyboy Pearson: "You know how to use that?"
Spyboy Pearson lets BBBB explain the radio while he does the other part with Elles:
The lago closes her eyes, concentrates, then opens them and peers intently at the device, turning it over in her hand.
Lago2: "Do…now."
Spyboy Pearson: "Just ask her to contact us if you have an update for us."
Spyboy Pearson turns to the team.
The lago nods.
Spyboy Pearson: "Let's go get those communicators. Once we're out of here I'll explain the other problem."
Spyboy Pearson: "Or what of it a group of semiliterates can understand and pass to us, anyway."
Zinda Tegram pulls a radio out of the case and tosses it to spyboy. "You'll need to re-sync."
Spyboy Pearson: "…..Heh. Shoulda checked to see if you had a spare. Ah well."
Spyboy Pearson flips settings off of memory and slots the thing into his suit.
Zinda Tegram closes the case and slings it over her shoulder.
Zinda Tegram: "Lead on Spyboy."
[OOC] WC GM: So, everyone going back to the entrance?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I think so
[OOC] Abraham: Yeah.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Yeh
[OOC] Hrrin: Ayuh.
The trip back is unopposed and silent. The bridge is still there, even. In the hall past, some distance away, lago eyes watch with open nervousness, turning into awe as the party approaches.
Zinda Tegram: "Out of our way."
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + 0 + - (Base: 1 Total: 2)
Hrrin: Hrrin catches the eyes of watchers and makes a casual wave.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Intimidation?
Zinda Tegram shoves through the crowd.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yes
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 0 - - (Base: 0 Total: -2)
Zinda Tegram: "Karit, status report."
The crowd parts, like that old story about Moses. They make with increasing murmurs, though.
Karlt: "Nothing I couldn't handle. What'd you find?"
Spyboy Pearson: "About a thousand complications."
Hrrin: "A crazy artificial intelligence and a very ill-considered space fleet among them."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: DAMMIT HRRIN
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: + - + 0 (Base: 1 Total: 2) (C/T)
Zinda Tegram: "We'll talk in Orbit. From now on, no comm-chatter on what happened at the Shaft."
Karlt: "…oookay?"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Is that enough to know the best route to the Level 3 Academy?
[OOC] Hrrin: I figured that was….over radio?
[OOC] WC GM: It's enough to know that none of you know the way - though presumably the route starts with the elevators into the Warrens proper, and the crowd around you probably knows the way.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Yes - which Elles can hear through Lago2
[OOC] Hrrin: ….point. Well. I'll eat the consequences.
In terran, quietly: "Don't look now but I think coming back from the Shaft alive makes us heroes. Which is a good thing, cuz I have no idea where the academy is."
Spyboy Pearson looks for any familiar faces in the crowd.
If Elles heard Hrrin's remark, there is no response - yet.
The crowd is a smaller part of the crowd that greeted the party on arrival.
Spyboy Pearson turns on the charm.
Spyboy Pearson: "Excuse me. Can any of you show us the way to the Level Three Academy?"
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - + - 0 (Base: 3 Total: 2) (Charm)
[OOC] WC GM: Don't bother rolling.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Heh…
The murmurs stop dead. Within a minute, there are a dozen hands up - a coincidentally identical sign in Lago and Terran cultures. In fact, it is nearly universal among sentient species with recognizable culture and a humanoid body plan.
Zinda Tegram: "Just one, Spyboy."
Spyboy Pearson: "Is there anything we should know about it?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Vis-a-vis alien visitors?"
The lagos murmur confusedly.
Spyboy Pearson: "I'll take your response as a negative."
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + 0 + + (Base: 1 Total: 4) (Intimidation)
Zinda Tegram: "Lead."
Spyboy Pearson: "Excuse me, sir. You seem like a person who truly knows this area. Would you mind guiding us to the Academy?"
The crowd parts, leaving just the one Spyboy picked. He nods, and begins walking toward the elevators.
Spyboy Pearson: "Don't mind her, she just gets a bit angry when she hasn't had any blood to drink."
Lago: "Well, the thing is…there AREN'T any visitors."
Spyboy Pearson: "Aside from us? I see."
Hrrin: "Not ever, huh?"
Lago: "Not who come beyond the landing pad."
Lago: "Supply ships just unload cargo, take people, and go."
Lago: "We hope they're off to a better life - but, really, we don't know."
BBBB: "Most are. I hope all. But now you've planted that seed of doubt in my mind…."
Lago: "Level 3 Academy, right? They've wanted to meet you - and they're willing to let others go with the supply ships, since there's never enough for everyone."
BBBB grabs Spyboy's arm.
Lago: "Is it true what they say? How up there, there's enough food for everyone, and you don't have to hide from the miners?"
Spyboy Pearson: Terran aside: "That'd be Elles, I take it…"
Hrrin: "The miners?"
Spyboy Pearson: "For now, yes. There's enough food for those up there - and not any more. That's why they only take so few up - they need to build more capacity."
Spyboy Pearson looks around the Warrens.
Spyboy Pearson: "Compared with a space station, even this place is more forgiving of stress. Put just a few too many people in a space station and the air recyclers die. Then so does everyone on board."
Lago: "Mining robots. We're not quite sure what they're up to, but anyone who interacts with them much tends to vanish."
Hrrin grunts. As expected.
The entrance hall is not too crowded. The elevator feels positively spacious - then again, it's made to carry maybe a thousand at a time, but the party plus guide get their own private trip.
Spyboy Pearson: Terran aside: "Definitely Elles. Hopefully the ones who interact have proven themselves amenable to integration. Or they get crushed because she's- they've- got no Asilaws."
Hrrin shoots Spyboy a confused look, and mouths, 'They?'
The Warrens proper, though…Hrrin is perhaps most familiar with the sight, having seen things approaching it on Earth. Hong Kong. New York - the parts that hadn't been blasted, at least.
The main reason there is not more reaction to aliens emerging from the elevator is that the crowds are thick enough to limit how many can see them. Lagos going here and there, moving sidewalks instead of cars but still.
Spyboy Pearson: "You missed Elles saying 'us,' then? She mentioned having multiple primary cores…"
Lago: "Hold hands. That signals we're together." He reaches a hand out to the party.
Zinda Tegram: "Sanitize comms Spyboy."
Spyboy Pearson holds hands
Zinda Tegram: "Save it for Orbit."
Abraham: "Yes. I'm pretty sure we were speaking to at least two different Elleses."
[OOC] WC GM: In what order are people holding hands? I.e., what's the party marching order?
Spyboy Pearson: "As long as we have no intention of violating her primary directives, I don't think Elles overhearing us talk about things will make a difference."
Spyboy Pearson holds up a pair of crossed fingers.
[OOC] Abraham: I can lead from the front. Zinda behind me. Pearson and B4 next, and Hrrin can take the rear with Chessa on overwatch.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yep. I'm also weapons-drawn from earlier.
[OOC] WC GM: Your weapon will be in a held hand. Is that the one shared with Abraham, Pearson, or B4?
[OOC] WC GM: Also, the lago guide is in the very front, of course.
Hrrin is also, by the way, shamelessly rubbernecking at the teeming mass of Lagos that is The Warrens proper
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: On a strap I figured but OK.
The lagos rubberneck right back. So far, open stares are the worst of the reactions.
[OOC] WC GM: Ah, thought you meant in-hand. In-strap works too.
Lago: "So, and I'll probably never get to say this with this much sincerity again, welcome to the Warrens!"
Abraham: "Thank you."
Lago: "This is level two - where most lagos who would like to leave live. Generally, if you do enough time up here, you and your family get priority when the next ship comes in, whenever that is."
Lago: "I think your phrase is, 'community service'?"
Spyboy Pearson: "I see."
Hrrin: "It might be, depending on context."
Lago: "That's the official word. Everyone knows it's all politics - some service counts more than others. Some of us live our whole lives up here, getting others away."
Lago: "There're some religions who say you've got units to reincarnate the souls of those who die doing that. Personally, I think it is just a life spent doing good by others."
Lago: "Umm…DO you have those things? Or are the Holy Ressurectionists just making it up?"
Hrrin: "Souls?"
Abraham: "Do we have religions like that you mean? Oh my yes, we do."
Abraham: "I would tell you how many, but I can't count that high."
Lago: "No, no, devices to reincarnate anyone who dies down here in your service."
Hrrin: "I was broadly under the impression reincarnation took care of itself, for those inclined to believe in it."
Abraham: "Ah. Reincarnation is above our paygrade I'm afraid. Way above."
Lago: "You know, catching the souls when they waft up after the bodies no longer contain them. Ghost tractor beams."
Lago: "Aaah, figured."
Zinda Tegram: "We're not divine."
Lago: "That's not what a lot of lagos here think. Why do you think I'm keeping this conversation to Terran?"
Lago: "I'd like to avoid a riot."
Hrrin: "We are appreciative."
Hrrin: "*Very*"
Abraham: "And if anyone asks, you can just tell them you are trying to get some practice in Terran in."
The lago nods.
Lago: "Or that I'm just respecting you by speaking the holy…tongue? Language?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Tongue is better."
Abraham: "That as well."
Abraham: "And yes, tongue. It's a more archaic, and therefor mystical, word."
Hrrin: "Or simply, metaphorical."
Abraham looks at Hrrin. He thinks about reciting that old saw about potatoes, but decides that she might not get it and he doesn't have the time to explain it.
There are 'levels' and 'floors' and 'stories' in buildings you are familiar with…but once away from the elevators, you see sprawling three-dimensional architecture, at least twenty stories tall and going on as far as you can see.
"Sky" bridges to link upper floors are common, though much of the construction seems to have happened after the area was mostly hollowed out, with support pillars turned into buildings.
And, yes, neon advertising signs here and there - most written in Lago, but a few in Terran. Commerce, it seems, is universal.
It is starting to remind Hrrin more of a giant Las Vegas Strip.
Hrrin: "How much further?"
Zinda Tegram: "…"
Lago: "A couple more blocks."
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - - + 0 (Base: 3 Total: 2) (Alertness)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Something seems off to me.
[OOC] Abraham: Yeah. We haven't been attacked by French Ninja yet.
The guide has been keeping to the moving sidewalks, plotting a course through the crowd with the precision of one who has lived it for most of his life.
[OOC] Hrrin: Obviously they are waiting in the Academy basement.
Zinda Tegram: "We are being followed."
Spyboy Pearson: "Lagos or no?"
Hrrin: "Stalked by fans, or trailed by someone more intent?"
Abraham: "Let's hope they're not apostals."
Zinda Tegram: "We'll see."
Hrrin: "Gossip is near-lightspeed in a place like this. I half expect such people to be waiting for us at the Academy."
Soon enough, the guide leads you into a kind of subway station, with large banks of escalators and cargo elevators instead of subways.
Spyboy Pearson: "Ooooh."
Automated fare collector kiosks operate turnstyles barring the way down. Hrrin and Abraham immediately recognize Public Mass Transit; Spyboy, BBBB, and Zinda have not had as much personal experience with the same.
Zinda Tegram: "…What is this?"
Your guide pulls out a card and swipes it once for each person, ushering you through in reverse order so he can be the last one in.
Hrrin: "Public transportation."
Lago: "Stairs Station Number Four."
Zinda Tegram: "Ah. OK"
Hrrin: "How are the upper levels here different from the lower Warrens?"
Lago: "First off, who lives there. That changes everything else."
Lago: "I don't like to go downstairs much, because of that."
Spyboy Pearson: "Yes…"
Spyboy Pearson: "Those who want to leave, and are willing to work to that end, live up top."
Lago: "How's it go?" He frowns. "Translated, I think it's…"
Spyboy Pearson: "Those who don't…"
Lago: "'The more altitude, the more hope.'"
Lago: "Or, 'The higher, the hopefuler'…did that come out right?"
Hrrin: "Who decides who leaves? Warrenites? Or the Lagos that come down with ships?"
Hrrin: "'more hopeful,' would be better grammar."
Lago: "Those who live on level two, decide who gets to go up to level one when it's time."
Lago: "When a ship comes down, or more often, when we finish building another ship."
Hrrin: "Lottery? Voting? A small board of those with authority?"
Hrrin: "Ah? You have shipyards?"
Lago: "Heh. We tried boards. They voted themselves off quickly, every time. Can't blame them."
Abraham: "Have you had any contact with the ones who made it off?"
Lago: "Yeah. Maybe you saw them coming in? We build ships in parts on the sides of the landing pads, then bring them all together at the last minute."
Lago: "It…happens. Rarely. VERY rarely. And they never set foot off ship."
Abraham: "I see."
Lago: "They're heroes, they are, coming back for more of us."
Abraham: "Very noble."
Lago: "That's how some of the churches got their start, making saints of anyone who did three runs."
Spyboy Pearson: "Huh."
Hrrin: "Kilrah had a state religion. Forgive me if I don't have much to say on the subject."
The ride down is long and a bit claustrophobic, the stair bank carved into long-dead rock.
Hrrin: "But it's the sort of behavior I'd want to endorse."
Spyboy Pearson: "Yeh."
Lago: "So what did you want to go down this far for? Is there anyone in particular you wanted to see? I can look them up in the directory."
Zinda Tegram: "That's confidential."
Spyboy Pearson: "You've already told us they're not in the directory."
Finally, you come out into a familiar plaza - like the mirror image, in many respects, of the platform you boarded from. A large banner hangs above the exit - though it is in Lago, the words are easy to guess: "Welcome To Level Three" .
Spyboy Pearson: "….does that say 'abandon all hope, ye who enter here?'"
Hrrin: "I'd think they'd hang that somewhere else, wouldn't you?"
Abraham: "I'd think you at least would know if it said that."
A purple glow catches the eye to one side. Through shielded glass, you see a somewhat contained fusion reactor - that keeps going and going in every direction you look. The bottom of the chamber is at least ten stories down. This appears to be soomeone's public relations stunt.
Abraham: "Swanky."
Hrrin: Kilrathi can't whistle. "Rrrr. Nicely done." Transparent PR stunt or not, it's still impressive.
Lago: "If you want me to lead, I need to know where you want to go. Is there a particular department, at least?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Is the whole thing the Academy?"
On the opposite side is what looks like a museum; most of the exhibits can be seen - however small in the distance - from here.
Lago: "Yes. Level Three, the Academy." His nose twitches. "It rhymes in Lago too."
Spyboy Pearson: "Hmm. How would we get to the basement?"
Abraham: "It does? I've always found multi-lingual poetry the hardest to write."
Hrrin: "What is taught, if anything, here?"
Zinda Tegram: "I see. Thank you for your time."
Zinda Tegram: "We need to meet the person in charge."
Lago: "What isn't taught? It's the Academy - our central education facility. Almost all of our young go through here, and most of our research."
Hrrin considers. It was perhaps an obvious question. "Of course, of course"
Lago: "Everything's run by department; the department heads mostly cooperate."
Spyboy Pearson: "Mmm."
Lago: "There are many basements. Just go down."
Abraham: "Certainly a laudible feat that. And one that has yet to be replicated on Terra."
Spyboy Pearson calls Lago2.
Spyboy Pearson: "Hey, can your friend tell us how far down the cargo is?"
There is a bit of silence and static.
Then…
Lago2: "…there? D'ya copy?"
Spyboy Pearson: "I copy."
Lago2: "Yer makin' good prog'ess. Keep goin' th' way you just went, 'bout four times as far."
Zinda Tegram: "Can you give us a floor number?"
Spyboy Pearson: "So - do the basements meet up down below at all?"
The guide cringes. "…they…yeah, umm…where they meet is Level Four. You don't want to go down there. *I* am not going down there."
Spyboy Pearson: "…quite understandable."
Spyboy Pearson: "Mining robots, or just the people?"
Lago2: "We don' 'ave maps o' th' place. An' only a gen'ral location on you."
Zinda Tegram: "We're going down there."
Zinda Tegram: "Thanks for your help."
Lago: "I hear the robots usually aren't encountered until Level Five, but they're sometimes seen in Level Four."
Spyboy Pearson: "So it's the denizens that worry you, then."
The guide walks over to an interactive kiosk and begins poking away. "If we're parting ways here, at least let me show you the way. Do you know where you're going?"
Zinda Tegram: "Roughly."
Lago: "Which way?"
Spyboy Pearson: "How many levels are there?"
Hrrin: "Unfortunately, I expect we're bound for the very deepest parts of Level Three, here."
Spyboy Pearson: "Not from what they said on the radio."
Spyboy Pearson: "If my math is right, we're looking at level…ten?"
Lago: "Seven. Where you're from - the surface and beyond - that's Level Zero. The landing pads are Level One. You've seen Two, and we're in Three. Then Four and Five - those levels are thicker and wider."
Spyboy Pearson: "Ah, so my math is wrong."
Zinda Tegram: "About four times farther down than we are at present."
Lago: "Four times? Hmm…oh! Is that from just before you boarded the escalator?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Yes."
Lago: "Mmm-hmm! Then…" He taps and spins the map on the kiosk. "…here you go! Bottom of the…oh." The next word is in Lago, but curse words are easy to identify by tone.
Abraham: "Those words I do not understand fail to fill me with confidence."
Lago: "Well, yes, I will definitely not be accompanying you there."
Spyboy Pearson: "We figured."
The guide looks you over. "Those weapons are real, right?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Ohhhh yes."
Hrrin: "Quite."
Abraham: "Very."
Zinda Tegram: "…"
Lago: "Good. You'll need them."
Spyboy Pearson: "Figured as much."
Abraham: "And why is that?"
Lago: "It would not be impolite to have them drawn when you cross into the department."
Hrrin: "Gangland?"
Lago: "…that is a land of petty thugs, right?" He shakes his head. "Worse."
Lago: "The Department of Military Science. Where they practice, with live ammunition, in case we are someday ever invaded."
Lago: "Your weapons can handle tanks, right?"
Hrrin: "…and now I understand why what we want is down there. Wonderful."
Spyboy Pearson: "Some of them. Zinda?"
Abraham: "If necessary, I am confident that we can handle tanks."
Zinda Tegram: "Depends on the tank."
The guide points. "The door is over there, down the reinforced hallway, clearly marked. Don't draw your weapons until you enter, but after that…"
Abraham: "I see. Thank you."
Lago: "I'd guide you through, but they redact their maps from the public repositories."
Zinda Tegram thinks for a moment.
Zinda Tegram: "Hey, BBBB, how are you with tanks?"
Lago: "Just the entrances and exits."
BBBB: "….If it's got guns I can drive it."
Lago: "I can show you those, if you like."
Zinda Tegram: "That'd be good."
Zinda Tegram: "We're gonna go get us a tank."
[OOC] Abraham: Preferably a nuclear equiped walking one.
Hrrin: "Ambitious."
[OOC] WC GM: EVA check, or anything else for three-dimensional navigation in enclosed environments.
[OOC] WC GM: Pilot is generally not "in enclosed environments".
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Heh. Then booooo, no tank for us.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Well, me and BBBB, anyway.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: She's got Pilot, and I dun have EVA.
[OOC] Abraham: Or I…
Hrrin: "I'm not sure 'flying ace' translates to well to 'tank pilot,' though, Zinda."
[OOC] WC GM: No, this is for right now, before you get to any tank.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Ah
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda specifically.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - - + 0 (Base: 2 Total: 1) (EVA)
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: 0 + + 0 (Base: 4 Total: 6) (Tactics)
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 - + + (Base: 3 Total: 4) (Science for Tactics)
[OOC] Hrrin: -shrug-
Hrrin rolled up 4dF: 0 + 0 0 (Base: 1 Total: 2) (Tactics)
Zinda Tegram: "Can you clarify? That's the door, isn't it?"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Does anyone have 'Vehicle'?
Lago: "This is the main entrance, yes."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Nope. None of us.
Spyboy Pearson: "Hold on."
Spyboy Pearson traces a route along the map.
Abraham looks at the map. "It looks like we can cut through the pharmacy to get much closer to where we need to be before we go into the military district."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Beat me to it =p
[OOC] Abraham: Sorry. :P
Zinda Tegram: "Ah."
Lago: "Ah…yes, the Department of Biotechnology."
Abraham: "Well yes, but I was refering specifically to the part that is next to the sickbay."
Hrrin: "Ah? Why there?"
Lago: "I hear they've been trying to make a lago that can launch and just drift through space. Then we could all just jump off."
Lago: "But they haven't had much luck with that."
Abraham: "Because the sickbay is right next to the military district. Which makes sense as they are using live rounds."
Hrrin: "Point."
Zinda Tegram: "Well. Let's get a move on then."
Hrrin: "If we know where we're going in, and roughly, what to expect, then…we're as ready as we'll be."
Spyboy Pearson: "Yes."
Abraham: "Afraid so. For what that's worth."
Lago: "Good luck." He fades into the crowd; if you track him, you soon see him boarding an up escalator.
Zinda Tegram: "So, we go in through the front door?"
Abraham: "Of couse not. We use the guest enterance."
Abraham leads the way on the winding route through the pharmacy.
Zinda Tegram follows Abraham.
Spyboy Pearson and BBBB follow.
Hrrin trails behind.

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