Eclipse Phase - Keywords Edition
Episode 001 - Cold Awakening
They felt cold and groggy.
Something had gone terribly wrong with the uploading process. or maybe not.
Four people were gathering their bearings in a small room with four ice-boxes, a table and some closets, all clearly suffering from post-cryo confusion.
It was dark apart from the flashing red light denoting the alarm for those unable to hear the screeching song blasting from the loudspeakers.
Their muses informed them they had lost 3 weeks of their lives since their last upload.
Soon one of them headed towards the closets and started distributing clothes to the recently-thawed posse; a male, two females and a gorilla.
Wait, scratch that – an artificial general intelligence planted into a gorilla.
The clothes were dumbtech but warm enough; hoodies, T-shirts, padded and insulated trousers, underwear, boots – all plain and standard edition, but clean and in a good shape.
After gearing up, the troupe headed for the door, one of those that slide into the wall, normally automatically. A jammed one, it seems, but they heard people running outside, and shouted for help.
Whet it became clear that they’d need to get out by themselves, the gorilla, apparently being quite talented a hacker, tried to override the system. An easy enough job but the door wasn’t responding. They opted to break through the wall to gain access to the mechanics instead, and got the door open.
They entered into a dark corridor in the floor “B-1”, turned on the augmented reality sensors and followed the orange emergency arrows pointing out. They followed the arrows up a staircase to a small room with a sturdy door, and were almost out.
Unfortunately, a massive, icy sandstorm was raging outside, forcing the posse to re-evaluate the situation. To expose themselves to the icy storm wearing no survival gear, or staying here despite the fact that the cause of the alarm was still unknown.
They chose to stick around for a bit, in hopes of finding something to improve their odds. The male of the group, knowing he was sleeved into a ruster, a body designed to withstand hostile environment, stepped outside in hopes of gaining access to the public Mesh-network and finding out where they are. He was in luck, since despite the storm making all kinds of external connections flaky at best, he was able to determine the are about 20 km away from Ashoka, a city near the landing sites of the Viking spacecraft and Sojourner rover.
Since they felt it was too risky to explore the direction they came from (there was a weird heat emanating from there, but no signs of smoke), the opted to go down one more floor, to B-2. From the first room, which was similar to the room they woke up in, they found more clothes and an extra utilitool*.
In the next room, they found a giant, mechanized spider and destroyed and dismembered corpses or parts of pods. Pods, for those who don’t know, are types of morphs, or “bodies”, containing both biological and synthetic parts which can be put together much quicker than growing a completely biological body.
With several “Nope, nope, nopes” the group shut the door before the spider seemed to notice them. The male wanted to punch it, but was deterred by the possibility that it might be there to fry his brain if he tried. He did notice that the roof of this room had collapsed, though.
After meeting with the spider they returned to B-1, to find out if there’s a reason to be worried about the heat, and went towards it, carefully avoiding the door they knew would lead to the room with the spider now when the floor has caved in to connect the rooms.
They pried open a pair of stuck double doors and found a large, dark room emanating heat. In the middle of that room they found a computer console, the AR screen acting as a bright, neon beacon in the middle of the room, creating an unreal sight of brightly-lit stage in a room of complete darkness.
The male was careful to advance, being aware that AR generated light could overlap and hide behind it very real dangers, as AR despite often looking like it, isn’t actually 3D but merely a 2D image between what is and your eyes. While walking towards the light, he found out that the heat seems to rise through a grid in the floor, but it was impossible to see what was there, past said grid, in the darkness.
He was able to call for help using the computer, but opted not to inform the officials. Instead he called a friend who said he’ll send someone to pick the group up.
They opted to not explore the darkness past the grid, despite lifting the grid didn’t seem impossible.
Down in B-3, the layout of the corridor is slightly different. Unlike the two floors above, this floor didn’t have the rooms like the one the group woke up in, and the jammed doors they just opened in B-2 were at the other end of it. behind those doors the heard banging, like distant gunfire. In the room below the spider, they found a massive frame, almost like a bastard child of a nest and the most uncomfortable throne ever, suspending a faceless, androgynous morph like a creepy, human-sized marionette.
A message popped into the inbox of the female who decided to interact with it:
“Hello. My name is Lucas. May I help you with something?”
Apparently Lucas has been here for about fifty years with the job “to learn”. The group is unsure what to do with him.
End of episode 1.
*Utilitool: This hand tool includes a specialized small nanobot generator. In its basic form, a utilitool is the size and shape of a large fountain pen. It can transform into almost any tool, however, from a wrench, knife, or powered screwdriver to a rotary grinder or pair of pliers. Some inexpensive utilitools are optimized for specialized tasks, like cooking or wilderness survival, but more expensive models become almost any imaginable hand tool. Utilitools are normally mentally controlled using the character’s basic mesh inserts. Characters without such implants can control the tool via voice commands and touch controls. Characters using a utilitool gain a +10 modifier to skills involving repairing or modifying devices with mechanical parts, opening locks, disarming alarm systems, or performing first aid. [Low]