Chapter 7: Mapping Things Out

» Examine the broken smaller monitor, see if you can find whatever was thrown through it.

You reach your hand in and feel around. Aside from a lot of wiring, there is an object. Taking it out you find it is a very small key to what is presumably a very small lock.

» Examine the swirly thing in the middle of the sphere

You take hold of the glowly swirly sphere of light in the center of the floor. You arms appear to disappear into it, fading into its light. Surprisingly, it feels solid… mostly. You tighten your grip.

The room begins to dim as light swirls spew from the sphere.

It appears to be forming…

A universe?

It expands rapidly…

…until you have zoomed in on a small star system.

The holographic projection stops changing. An indicator appears over one of the planets.

» Try a bunch of things, like moving our hands towards the planet, walking towards the planet, moving our heads towards the planet, etc until it zooms in more.

It seems like tightening or loosening your grip causes the view to zoom in or out while pushing the sphere in one direction moves the indicator that way. Easy enough to work. Although it doesn’t seem like you can zoom in any further than you began. Zooming out a bit, there doesn’t seem to be other nearby star systems.

» Zoom into the planet with rings around it. Somehow.

You move the indicator to the planet with rings. The entire display revolves to keep the indicator in front of you. Nothing else happens.

» Select the earth-like planet and release the orb. If that does nothing, then try spinning it.

You move the indicator and release the sphere. The display fades. There appears to be no way to ‘select’ a planet, or perhaps whatever this is isn’t working properly.

You take hold of the sphere again and spin it. The display spins with it. This sphere-interface is fairly intuitive to navigate with, but you’re not really having any success at selecting anything, or learning any info about what you’re targeting, or… anything like that, really.

» Keeping hold of the sphere, try to pull it apart outwards without breaking it. If it expands, then turn it to aim at the ringed planet.

You begin to try and expand the view, but the holographic display begins to glitch up.

The sphere turns dark. The stand resumes shooting static to and from it.

The, uh… the main monitor appears to have reset to the first frame of the cassette. The bots displayed are… looking at you. It’s a bit unsettling.

» See if they follow you.

You move to the side. Their eyes don’t follow you. It’s just a monitor showing an image, not…

You are still pretty creeped out by it nonetheless.

» Start pushing every button you see.

Nothing seems to work. Though from what you can tell, that doesn’t appear to be due to loss of physical functionality.

» Wait for the sphere to begin working again. Once it does…

It doesn’t.

You are not really very comfortable waiting around in here with the, uh… screen. Time to go.

Skree is quite pleased as you descend the ramp. Evidently he was rather bored sitting in one spot that whole time.

» Push the lever in the locker back up (down?) and check the door to the generator again

Yup, it’s up again.

» Place the activated sun medallion into its slot, then try to remove all medallions from their slots.

It fits in neatly. They don’t stick, either; you try taking both out and then replace them.

» Go to the sewer room and check in there.

The gunk hasn’t cleared or lowered at all. The smell hasn’t improved, either.

» Look through the neck of the headless robot, we may learn something.

There’s a whole bunch of wires in the way. Might as well give them a yank.

Pulling the wires partially aside, you can see some machinery. Mostly just mechanical stuff. All the important logic programming and whatnot must be stored in the head.

» Gather up scrap metal from the room below the ruined kitchen.
» Pick up the front part of the broken claw gun to use as tongs.
» Heat the metal with the flames from the doorway in the computer room.

With access to the generator room’s fire once again enabled, you set to work. The blade is pieced together from the frame of the analyzer; the inside of the oven provides the hilt, with stovetop wiring wrapped around it for a better grip. You know how you want all this scrap to end up looking in the end. All you have to do is get it there.

» Make a sword.

You have forged STOVEBRAND.

It looks… surprisingly like a useable sword. You are a bit amazed that this worked at all, and that you didn’t end up with just a silly hunk of club-shaped junk. Though with the materials you used it’s rather unlikely it’ll be very strong.

» Put Skree on shoulder and hold sword up looking as Swashbuckling as possible. Argh.

Skree seems to have wandered off when you were messing around with the fire mechanism.

» Go back on top of the building (near the floating rocks) and try to see if we can wall slide down it’s relatively graduated surface.

Yeah, that’s not really ‘relatively graduated’ so much as ‘a sheer face.’ You’re not getting down there.

» Check out the panel above the switch in the sewer room.

As you pass back through the living room, you see that Skree is hanging out with a bunch of other oculoids.

They flee when they notice your presence.

You pass and re-enter the sewage room; Skree staying behind (presumably to wait for his friends to come back?) Looks like the wires you installed are still holding up.

» Test Stovebrand’s “sharpness” by trying to cut one of the dead giant oculoid’s tentacles into separate pieces.

While Skree’s still upstairs, you give one of the tentacles a good slashing. It shreds right apart. Maybe this thing is pretty sharp after all!

» Is the sword sharp enough to harm ourselves? We should test it on the already dead robot body.

With a bit of hesitation, you prepare to bisect the headless robot.

WHANG! Apparently it’s not that sharp. Or you are made out of some pretty tough stuff.

All right, enough mucking around. You’ve got a weapon, insufficient as it may or may not be. Time to make some progress. You’ve got a key – there has to be a lock around somewhere.

» The acidic footprints just disappeared behind some pipes. Trying to follow them might be a good idea. Check for secret passages and stuff.

No secret passages here – they seem to simply fade out behind the pipes. You imagine Gentleman was simply hiding just out of your peripheral vision while you were focused elsewhere.

» Check the lockers for locks.

The key doesn’t work on the still-locked sun locker, but it does open the raindrop locker.

You find a clear laminate sheet inside. It has writing randomly scribbled all over it. You’re not sure what to make of it, though it does look familiar.

» We got a couple of maps on us, right? Try overlaying it with one of them.

You overlay the laminate sheet on the 4F map you obtained from another locker. It seems to line up pretty well.

» The lockers have the code! Punch in: Lighting, Eye, Cloud, Sun, Rain, Cloud.

You punch the combination into the pad and hit Enter. The door slides open.

This room is not very tall, but rather long. There is a table with all sorts of fancy chemical mixing stuff on it, though it is all empty save for a white-ish mixture in one beaker. There is some kind of hose hanging down loosely from the ceiling that runs into the other side of the wall, as well as several other random wires hanging across sections of the ceiling. Burners under the chemistry set run under the table and then into the floor.

Moving further into the room, you see a hall extend out to your left, with lasers blocking access. A note is on the table as well. There is another monitor built into the wall, a circular pattern on the floor, and… several oculoids? These guys are starting to pop up just about everywhere.

The oculoids flee up into a hole in the ceiling above the circular thing as soon as they see you. Not really that surprising.

» First, type ACCESS CODES into the command prompt and hit enter.

Damn. It seems to want access codes instead of freely giving them. The format is ‘PASS###’ – apparently each code requires three numbers.


» go back and type CHEM MAP.

A horribly shitty line map appears. Apparently ‘FULGMIX’ is currently placed in the CATALYST slot, and nothing is hooked up to the INPUT. BURNERS is set to OFF.

» Obtain and read the piece of paper on the table.

mobile laboratory in hopes of collecting more.

Extensive testing of the chemical extract proves that it does indeed meet the conditions of a Chemical X. However the small amounts in which we are capable of producing it are… laughable. Additionally, the amount of fulgurite and raw nutrient fluid we must burn up to produce the most insubstantial amount of pure Chemical X is excessive to the point of hyperbole. Our work here is not yet done. When we have refined a process with which we can manufacture our own Chemical X we can return; until then we will not stop.

Our experimentation has produced several interesting results. By inputting pure Chemical X into the intake and mixing it with caern dew, a volatile, highly unstable explosive gel is created. Another product of our testing we are calling the solvent, which has been able to purify the acidic ‘nutrient’ waste that until now we had been simply dumping; this has allowed us to extract more raw Chemical X for fortifying with the fulgurite mixture.

One mixture, which we are dubbing the ‘mutagen,’ has proven not to be an inoculant at all. In fact, it has nearly the opposite effect – it would be better described as an ‘oculant.’ Humourously ironic. Perhaps this is the solution we have been

It starts and ends pretty abruptly. Must just be a loose sheet from the middle of a journal entry or something.

» Stand over the circular thing and look up to where the oculoids went.

At the end of the hall, the ceiling just shoots upwards. You can’t see very far up, but the oculoids definitely went up there.

» Check if that circular thing isn’t a grate of some kind.

Nope. It appears to be a bunch of very thin gaps in the ground.

» Is that a loosely hanging pipe I see next to what I think is the input pipe? Does the display change if we hook it up?

You hook up the hose to the input pipe.

The display changes to CHEMXFEED, though nothing comes from the hose.

» I think that the restraint password is 613, not sure though.

You type in RESTRAINT PASS613. Nope, not there yet.

» Take some useless thing (a giant oculoid tentacle perhaps) and throw it in front of the lasers.

You toss one of the oculoid tentacles into the lasers.

It flash-melts.

» The mirror that shattered from the oculoid must have left some glass on the floor. Take one piece, and use it to reflect the lasers back at the “laser fence”.

You take one of the bigger pieces of glass and hold it in front of the lasers. Maybe you can reflect the bea–

It melts too. Eep.

» Check on Skree.

The little guy is taking a nap on the carpet. Aww.

» check on hat-thief.

The other robot is awake! Wow you might actually get to interact for once!

» Greet him in a nice and polite way and generally try to befriend him.
» I think finding the magic numbers to feed to the lab computer would be a primary goal here. So, distance from “home”, total number of bots, time we’ve been here.
» Actually, just get back and lock the door right now. I don’t want to be interrupted in the middle of an exposition dump.
» I think asking about robot physiology and access panels and things like that would be AN ENTIRELY UNDERSTANDABLE COURSE OF ACTION.
» Also ask if he knows anything about chemistry, or any of the ingredients listed.
» And give him your stack of notes and journals and whatnot.
» Oh, and ask about that long poster on the wall that we turned into a hat.
» Tell him that the gentleman has gone mad, and we need to know as much about our own body as possible, especially weaknesses.

Geez, what a load of questions! Better prepare for some serious exposition.

After a moment of surprise, you tell him hello. He says hi. You say you would introduce yourself, but don’t have a name. He says that’s okay, none of us really do.

You are overwhelmed with questions and start with the basics. You ask who ‘us’ are. He is surprised you do not know. You explain that your memory chip is broken, and that you cannot remember anything. He knows. He checked it the first time he found you passed out. You ask if he wouldn’t mind answering some questions you have been pondering for a while, but first you are going to head downstairs and lock the door just in case. He says sure, and waits.

You return, Skree with you, and begin getting some long-awaited answers.

You ask first about what this place is, and what you are. He says that you are an AuxBot – an ‘auxiliary robot’ designed to perform physical labour. You are one of a pallet of eight bots brought with a research team who arrived on this planet a long time ago, and were purposed to dig out and set up a small research facility. The nature of the scientists’ expedition he is not sure about. The scientists did not talk to us much, he says. Most of what he knows about the area is observational. He explains that as the scientists did not want to engage the bots’ personality programming, they strictly enforced a policy of all bots returning to their recharging units at the end of the day and shutting down, with a short term memory wipe. Aside from that general information which was always left with him, he does not remember many specifics of working here.

The last time he went online was strange, he says. Normally when he was activated at least one other auxbot was activated with him to go to work for the day. This time, however, he turned on alone, and without Dr. Les around to give instructions as usual. He explains that there is a security protocol that is hardwired into auxbots where if one unexpectedly stops working, the control pallet will automatically activate another. He assumes this is why he was awakened. He explains that generally in these situations, a human would be around to give instructions, but in his exploration of the facility, he found only Dr. Les’ corpse, and no sign of Dr. Feringus. As three of the eight robots in the pallet were gone at the time of his activation, he assumed he would find at least one of them around, but only came across the broken, unuseable remains of one, which he later gave a make-shift funeral off the mountainside. In addition, the facility was filled with the little monsters similar to the one you are carrying around, as well as… bigger ones. Having no human to take orders from, he opted to hide out in this part of the facility and preserve himself until he could get a better lead on where Dr. Feringus might be.

After some time had passed, he came across another robot. Unlike himself, this one had been forming a personality in its time online, and was rather… unsettling, he says. This robot was persuing the same general goal of finding Dr. Feringus, but did not seem interested in his help, nor did it care what had happened. He says that he was actually quite relieved when it left.

A fair time later he came across you, passed out on the floor. You lost power, he explains; auxbots aren’t meant to run much longer than a day or two without being recharged. He brought you back to his little safe area, discovered your stuff, and figured that while you were recharging he would try and actually make some progress towards finding Dr. Feringus.

He coughs a bit, somewhat embarrassed, and apologizes about taking your hat. He had intended to return it. You somewhat hesitantly accept his apology. You both agree that it really is a very nice hat. He thinks that it probably originally belonged to Dr. Les. You concur, explaining that you found a bunch of costume accessory type stuff in his room. Your new friend seems quite fixated on this piece of information.

You ask about auxbot physiology. You are aware that you all have a head panel where the memory chip goes, and you are pretty sure you saw a chest panel once, but not really any more than that. He says that that’s pretty much everything – there are some very small ports for recharging wires to go at most joints, but the model is not really designed for hands-on maintenance, only for reprogramming via computers. When there is a serious physical problem with an auxbot it is supposed to be taken back to the manufacturer and exchanged rather than toyed around by the owner; all that really accomplishes is messing up the inner workings and motor functions. He says both panels are meant to be imperceptible when not opened. The head panel simply needs to be pressed against to reveal itself, while the chest panel needs to be hit a few times to make sure it doesn’t accidentally open during physical labour. He managed to reactivate you when you passed out the second time by giving your inner parts an electrical jump-start, though he was not sure if it would work at the time.

You ask if the model has any notable weaknesses. He is a bit confused by this question, but says no, not really. The head is rather weak but as the entire model is covered by an extremely durable frame, it’s not really possible to get to it. He asks why exactly you wanted to know that, a bit unsettled. You tell him that another robot, which you have been calling Gentleman, has been harassing you and fighting with you, and that if you end up encountering him again you are really going to need an edge since he kicked your ass so handily last time. You try not to mention that technically you started the fight. He says that it is very odd that it has become aggressive, as auxbots are not normally supposed to be combative, though there is a little bit of combat programming that is intended to be used for emergency self-preservation. He is not comfortable with the idea of a violent robot and agrees that it is probably a good idea to consider it an enemy.

You ask about the poster he had put up on the wall here, and if it had been about the robots. He says yes; the happy face was himself, the unhappy face was the robot he encountered, the exclamation mark was you before he had a chance to judge you, and the X was the destroyed robot he found. You say that you found another destroyed robot, so there are still three unaccounted for.

You ask if he knows anything about the chemistry set-up in the lab downstairs. He shrugs.

You tell him that you are trying to make progress opening up more of the facility, and if he knows how far this planet is from Earth, how many years they’ve been here, and if Les and Feringus were the only two humans here. He says he is not sure how far they are, or how long it’s been, but there were just the two humans.

You say that that is about all you had to ask him. He says that’s quite all right and if you wouldn’t mind answering a few of his own. He asks why there is a creature with a hat following you around, how many robots were still in the pallet when you woke up, and if you have found any clues as to Dr. Feringus’ whereabouts. He is quite concerned for the doctor’s safety and would like to work with you to find her and make sure she is okay.

» Explain about Skree and oculoids in general.

You tell him that despite their appearance, the oculoids are actually quite friendly and tame, or at the very least, this one is. The big ones appear to be a different matter. You mention that you got in a fight with Gentleman over his attempts to kill Skree. You are not really sure why there is a ‘dispatch’ order in place concerning oculoids, but you’ve seen no reason to fear or worry about the little ones.

The other robot is somewhat confused by this. He does not have any instructions in place to dispatch the creatures.

» Let him know that Gentleman should have a monocle and most of his body melted off, though that might have been fixed.

You explain that Gentleman had a lot of his frame melted off, and though he left to get repairs, he will certainly still have his moustache and monocle on him at all times.

» Ask if he things the personality we’ve started to developed is likely to be deleted, we’re getting rather attached to it…

You also mention that Gentleman intends on… ‘fixing’ you, which apparently requires resetting your personality. He says that if you really needed to undergo serious maintenance, then yes, your personality logic board will be reset in the process and you will be reactivated with a blank slate. But to him you seem to be operating about as well as can be expected under the circumstances.

» We can’t remember the pallet.
» Tell him that we woke up in the room with the rockslide and the weird oculoid runes, and ask him where the pallet is.

You tell him that the first thing you can remember is waking up in the room with all the rubble and the idol, down the smithy’s ladder. He knows what room you are talking about but does not remember any rubble being there. He says the pallet is just on the other side of the rubble; shame that you can’t tell him how many robots are left there.

» We haven’t seen any signs of the doctor, though one of the broken bots had a lab coat.
» Offer to help find the doctor.

You mention that one of the bots you found had one of Les’ labcoats, and you found one of Feringus’ in her room, but haven’t seen any sight of her. You agree to find this doctor, though. She is your only real owner now, so you have something of a responsibility! Plus if she is okay you can probably have her sort out all this nonsense.

» Ask him what kind of hat he wants to wear.

You notice him staring at your hat and ask him if he would like something to wear. He would quite like that!

You take a look in your inventory. Well, let’s see, there’s, uh…

Your armless roboty friend is now know as Patch. He seems extremely pleased to have an accessory to call his own.

» Give him your stack of notes and journals and whatnot.
» For now, I think he should hole up in the incinerator room, keeping the door locked. Agree on a secret signal knock.

You decide to leave your collected notes here for him to read over, and tell him you had better get a move on while Gentleman’s repairing himself. You tell him to follow you down and lock the incinerator door behind you, and that you will call for him by name to signal when you are coming back. He agrees.

» the password for Restraint should be about 183, so try PASS183.

You head back down to the lab and try 183 out. Nope, that’s not it either. But from your conversation with Patch you ought to be able to think this one out now.

» Try PASS182 and PASS 282 for STORAGE

You try both. 282 works! The circular thingy rises up and forms a somewhat steep circular staircase up the shaft where the oculoids fled up to. Up we go!

oh hell

At the back of this rather deep room is another giant oculoid. There are several regular ones crowded around it.

Skree runs off to join them. You are afraid to call out to him.

» Approach the large oculoid slowly, to gauge it’s reaction, if any.
» Think the most non-violent, friendly thoughts you possibly can.

You begin to slowly move towards the back of the room, trying to stay as friendly as you can, hoping it hasn’t noticed you–


It howls a very pained roar. You immediately back off.

» Is that our whip down to the right, or oculoid tentacles??

Is… is that… could it be…?


» Look under the various rubble in the room.

Gah! You can’t move any of this metal; it’s ridiculously heavy.

» Communicate with smaller occuloids, send messages of ‘friend’ and ‘help’ and try to gauge their feelings for the giant one.

Unfortunately, you can’t get close enough to pick one up.

» Edge carefully along the (fourth) wall to see if you can climb down into the second hole with the ladder.

Yep, you’re far away enough not to bother the thing. You’ll deal with this later. Right now, there’s something else you’re looking forwards to.

If you remember the map right, this room ought to be the Rec Room on the other side of where you woke up, where Patch said the control pallet is! You descend the ladder quite quickly, anxious to find the last of your brothers. You are very curious to see how many are left–

Oh. Oh no.

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