Author Topic: Ontological Mystery  (Read 10282 times)

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Offline Darth Grievi

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Ontological Mystery
« on: March 15, 2011, 07:30:59 pm »
Yes, I know I haven't been around here in ages. College does that, apparently... Yes, I know Containment Leak is still hanging. Unfortunately, I feel I've been on hiatus far too long to properly drum up a voting base again, especially now that the thread is well over 10 pages long. I don't want anyone to have to reread that much to get back into the story. Hence, I've decided to start fresh this time with a classic ontological mystery. Onward, ho!



All you remember is pain from the missing time. Pain and abject horror. The first thing you notice is the overpowering scent of sweat and body odor, so strong you can taste it, causing you to cough and gag. Dazed and disoriented, you struggle to open your eyes, only to find them seemingly paralyzed, unable to even move your eyeballs under the lids. You panic for a brief instant before you fight it down and begin to take stock of the situation. Carefully feeling about, you find yourself in your bed, the familiar nightstand nearby, with the same clock and lamp as always. You aren't in your clothes, though, as the shirt you are wearing is easily two sizes too small, while the pants are long and baggy. Taking a deep breath to steady yourself, you hear and feel several of the seams and buttons on the shirt give way. At least it wasn't strangling you anymore. The room is otherwise completely silent, save for the ragged sounds of your breathing and the faint whistling breaths of someone else nearby, presumably your roommate still asleep.

You know there's a clinic on the grounds, not too far from your room, but you worry about making your way there blind. Rolling over, you manage to sit up on the bed, wincing as your entire body protests the movement. You hold onto the nightstand for support until the wave of dizziness passes. Feeling something in your pockets, you search them for any sort of clue to what had happened. You pull out a familiar-feeling pocket knife, cell phone, keyring, and wallet, along with several wadded up papers that could have been anything from napkins to notes to dollars. Fumbling the wallet open, you find a host of cards and dollar bills, but who the former belonged to and the denominations of the latter were a mystery. Now that you feel you've assessed the situation as well as you can, you try to calmly think of what to do next.

Inventory
(1) Pocket knife with (4) attachments: Knife, Scissors, Corkscrew, Screwdriver
(1) Cellphone
(1) Wallet with ( 8 ) cards and (20) bills of unknown value
(1) Keyring with (5) keys and (1) bottle opener
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 09:32:20 pm by Darth Grievi »



Offline Galactic-Warrior

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 08:52:31 pm »
Check the cellphone to see if we have any reception and take a look around so we can figure out where we are.
In space, no one can hear you scream unless your transmitting it on the right radio frequency.

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Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 09:23:14 pm »
You pull out and fumble with the cellphone, managing to open it up. You can't read the screen, since you still can't open your eyes, but a quick call to one of your friends' numbers confirms that you still have battery and are getting reception, even if you only get their voicemail. You don't leave a message, but instead close the phone and return it to your pocket.

In the interest of confirming you are indeed in your room, you continue feeling about. Dresser, picture frames, light fixtures, just about everything you could reach from sitting on the bed felt to be in the same place it was when you last left it however long ago. What had happened between then and now was a mystery. Based on the aches and pains of your body, you suspect it was something along the lines of the wildest party of your life. You still needed to figure out what was wrong with your eyes, though. That, and why your room smelled like the locker room from hell. The soft breathing hasn't changed.

Offline Brandonazz

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 09:29:42 pm »
Feel your eyes.

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 09:49:09 pm »
Curious about your current problem, you reach up and try to touch your eyes. Maybe they were just glued shut, and a quick wipe might solve everything. Unfortunately, you find this not to be the case. Your panic wells up again as your fingers contact only smooth, unbroken skin where your eyes were supposed to be, and in a moment of morbid curiosity, you find that putting pressure on the area still felt very much like normal, a dull feeling of pain as whatever was left of your eyeballs was compressed. Were they still at least partially intact? Could this be fixed? You do your best to not scream out in horror as an image of what you must look like now pops to the forefront of your mind. You really had to get to a doctor...

Offline Brandonazz

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 09:57:18 pm »
I just realized what this reminded me of!

Try to speak, see if you can still do that.

Offline Galactic-Warrior

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 09:29:20 am »
What he said.
In space, no one can hear you scream unless your transmitting it on the right radio frequency.

Weird City: Add a inhabitant!, Add some industry!

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2011, 05:00:29 pm »
Thoroughly disturbed, you decide the next course of action was to check if everything else important was intact. First on the list was being able to talk.

"H-Hello?" you ask, trying to whisper, but finding your voice to be far louder than you wanted it. You pause for a moment as you inspect what appears to be an entirely new set of teeth with your tongue. There is a moment of brief confusion as you could have sworn something sharp stabbed the inside of your mouth, but you are unable to recreate it. Your voice was a little hoarse, but otherwise intact, if a little... different, somehow. As if it was someone trying to do a half-decent imitation of your voice.

Your thoughts grind to a halt as you notice that the soft breathing has gotten subtly louder, followed by the sounds of cloth rubbing against cloth as someone shifts nearby, likely your roommate on the other bed. You debate whether to ask for his help to get to a doctor, but a low gurgling suddenly breaks the silence...

Offline UFO King

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2011, 08:33:17 pm »
Your roommate is just snoring again. Wake it up.
I came, I saw, I went back to bed.

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2011, 09:17:48 pm »
Convinced that you couldn't take care of this entirely by yourself, you raise your voice slightly and try to wake your roommate as gently as you can without startling him too badly.

"Dan? Danny? Dan, I really need your help. Don't freak out, it's just me, but I need your help getting to a doc--"

Your request is abruptly interrupted by something large and muscular pouncing on you, slamming you back into the wall as it digs its claws into you.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 04:55:08 pm by Darth Grievi »

Offline lowlevelowl

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 09:28:58 pm »
Try to pull out your pocket knife to stab it, but if that doesn't seem like it will work in time, bite it. Bite it hard.

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2011, 04:15:10 pm »
You reach into your pocket and quickly pull out the knife, flipping it open and swiping blindly in the creature's general direction, the smell of decay on the monster's breath and the rumblings it made your only indications of where it was. You feel it shift its grip, letting go of one of your shoulders as it begins to back away out of range of your weapon. Something briefly brushes against your cheek and, seeing your chance, you twist your head and bite down hard on what you assumed to be your attacker's limb. The creature shrieks loudly, nearly deafening you as you continue your assault. The monster tries to twist and pull its limb out of your grip, but you hold on tenaciously and shift your focus to slashing at the limb. As your clothes and the bed underneath you become soaked with both your blood and that of the creature's, the bones in the limb crack loudly and give way, issuing another oddly human scream from its owner. It tries to move in again, but you somehow manage to keep it at bay with the random flailing of your pocketknife.

You don't know how long the two of you struggled, but eventually your attacker's grip on your other shoulder loosens and its body falls limp, collapsing noisily to the floor. It nearly dragged you with it, but you manage to calm yourself enough to manage to unlock your jaws and let go of the shattered limb. The metallic smell of blood overwhelms you, and it is all you can do to keep from gagging. Still in shock, you slowly and painfully assess your wounds. The beast hadn't managed to bite you, but its claws had left a set of four punctures on each shoulder, along with two slashes dangerously close to your neck.

Unsteadily, you slide off your bed, pushing the still body of the monster aside, and stagger into your bathroom, the heels of your feet screaming in pain with each step. You enter with your knife still at the ready, and close the door behind you before you begin to rummage through the drawers for the roll of gauze you kept on hand for emergencies. You locate it eventually, and dress your wounds to the best of your ability, finding no other identifiable or useful supplies. With the task completed, you sink to the floor and slump backwards against the wall, dazed, terrified, starving, dehydrated, and in pain.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 04:57:12 pm by Darth Grievi »

Offline Guilmon

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2011, 05:01:21 pm »
Call for Strelock.

I'd say use the phone. Call for help. Or a doctor. Maybe the Doctor. Or Strelock.
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Offline Galactic-Warrior

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2011, 05:32:24 pm »
Ehh... I doubt that will help. Since it seems we have a body different from what we're used to, try checking out if we have anything else that wasn't there before. Also, see if we have anything else that normally shouldn't be there mentally. I.E. mind powers.
In space, no one can hear you scream unless your transmitting it on the right radio frequency.

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Offline Guilmon

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2011, 05:35:28 pm »
Yes. I agree. Feel yourself up.

And call Strelock.
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Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2011, 06:37:33 pm »
You sit quietly in your temporary safe haven, trying to calm yourself. You had to think rationally about this, and you figured the first place to start was to find out what had happened to your body. You start with the top of your head. Like the rest of your body, it was covered with smooth, hairless skin, and you discover you still had some functioning facial muscles left as you feel your feel your forehead wrinkle as you shoot up your eyebrows in surprise. Going down, you find the seemingly vast expanse where your eyes once were, followed by a pair of large nostril slits. You pause for a moment to contemplate the hypnotic feeling of your breath whistling past your fingers. Moving to the side, you find your fingers following the contours of large bat ears, twitching spasmodically as they semi involuntarily hunt for sound. Continuing down, you discover that your jaws and neck are very heavily muscled, and your mouth filled with large pointed teeth. You take a moment to try to figure out just what had stabbed the inside of your mouth earlier, and find a set of small barbs embedded in your tongue, their function unknown. You avoid your shoulders and lower neck for the moment, still wary of the wounds there, and instead examine your arms. Finding nothing unusual beyond them being more muscular, you continue on to your hands. You fingers have become shorter and thicker, terminating in broad pads, and all save your little finger with retractable cat-like claws. Your legs had changed more drastically, the bones between your ankle and the ball of your foot having lengthened noticeably, while your thighs had instead been shortened, giving the impression of a dog's legs. At least it explained why trying to walk on your full foot was so painful. Finally, your toes are virtually identically to your fingers, padded, but lacking claws. Everything else seemed normal, thankfully. You didn't know how you'd handle having a tail or a new set of limbs.

As far as checking yourself mentally went, you didn't have much idea how to do that, but as near as you can tell, all your faculties were still intact and nothing had changed much. The only problem you could see was that of your missing memory of what happened between your lunch break and waking up here. You get the vague impression that some species of emergency had occurred, but you could not remember the specifics.

Inventory
(1) Pocket knife with (4) attachments: Knife, Scissors, Corkscrew, Screwdriver
(1) Cellphone
(1) Wallet with ( 8 ) cards and (20) bills of unknown value
(1) Keyring with (5) keys and (1) bottle opener
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 08:05:34 pm by Darth Grievi »

Offline Guilmon

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2011, 07:57:36 pm »
Let's go kick some butt. Kick open the door and eat Lieutenant Dan. Legs first.

And no, I will not be of any help in this game, so you can ignore me.
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Offline Galactic-Warrior

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2011, 11:24:57 am »
Bat ears, huh? Lets see how good they are, we're gonna need to rely on them somewhat more. Try listening carefully for anything they we may not have noticed earlier.
In space, no one can hear you scream unless your transmitting it on the right radio frequency.

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Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2011, 02:30:16 pm »
You sit still for the moment, listening intently to the sounds on the other side of the closed bathroom door. Beyond your own breathing, heartbeat, and stomach gurglings, the only thing you hear is a single, almost inaudible vocalization. It is so quiet and distant, though, that you almost believe you were imagining it. In the bedroom, you hear no signs that the creature was moving, or even still alive. The near-complete silence somehow disturbs you. Something is very wrong; there's something missing from the soundscape, but precisely what doesn't dawn on you for several more seconds.

All the "normal" background noises you were used to hearing were gone. There is no water running through the pipes, nobody shuffling about upstairs or next door, and no almost-undetectable hum of fluorescent lamps and power generators. Something very bad indeed had happened: you know from your experience working with the power systems that it was virtually impossible for the primary, secondary, and tertiary generators to all completely fail at once unless someone specifically turned them off.

Offline Plank of Wood

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2011, 08:47:24 am »
Look at the cards in your wallet and see if you can find anything that would tell you that you have been part of something fishy lately, such as "GenTech" or "EvilCorp".
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 10:45:21 am by Plank of Wood »
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Offline Galactic-Warrior

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2011, 09:45:43 am »
What he said.
In space, no one can hear you scream unless your transmitting it on the right radio frequency.

Weird City: Add a inhabitant!, Add some industry!

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2011, 11:11:49 am »
Digging the wallet out of your pants pocket, you open it up and feel each of the cards inside in succession. If it really was your wallet, and at this point there was little doubt that it was, the cards would be: your low-level access keycard, two credit cards, your driver's license, your library card, a gift card to Starbucks you still hadn't used, your spare ID, and a laminated piece of cardstock with the names and numbers of your insurance providers. The brief inspection you gave each bore this out.

That was all well and good, but how the hell had this happened? As far as you know, biotechnology and/or nanobots was most certainly not on the list of things stored on the bottom floors of the facility. You'd had a look inside once, while trying to diagnose a problem with the door systems some time back, and all you'd seen were rows upon rows of filing cabinets, holding papers, obviously, but what was on those papers hadn't been divulged to you. You assumed it was patents, blueprints, or research data of some sort, considering all the lab work the facility did.

Turning your thoughts to that, you examine whether this could have been an experiment gone wrong... or right. Again, you doubt it; this place was government-run, yes, and that opened the door for all number of crazy conspiracy theories, but every one of the scientists you'd met had either been chemical engineers or just plain old mechanical engineers of various specializations. Hell, Dan was working with a team prototyping a more efficient rechargeable battery for electric cars. You yourself was just part of the maintenance crew, but you prided yourself in being able to help him out every now and again. You hadn't gotten a fancy degree from MIT or CalTech, but you still knew the mechanics backwards and forwards.

Which left three options, as far as you could tell. First, this was brought in from the outside, by terrorists, by that creature in your room, by one of the scientists, by someone or something. Second, and this wasn't impossible, there really was more than papers in those filing cabinets or there really were people working on biotechnology in here. Third, this was the effect of some freaky, comic book style radiation, from some source, and you were now a superhero.

You can't help but smile and chuckle a bit at the absurdity of that last option.

Offline UFO King

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2011, 09:43:12 pm »
Is your voice alright?
I came, I saw, I went back to bed.

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2011, 05:06:20 pm »
Yes, your voice seems to be functioning just fine, save for a little hoarseness and soreness, most likely because you're thirsty.

Offline Galactic-Warrior

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2011, 06:18:46 pm »
Lets see if we can find a way out. And keep listening for ANYTHING unusual.
In space, no one can hear you scream unless your transmitting it on the right radio frequency.

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Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2011, 02:53:23 pm »
Whatever had happened, you know one thing: you had to get out of here and somehow find help. The only thing sitting here would get you is possibly starving to death waiting to be found. Right now, you were on Level 3, and the only way out of the facility was through Level 1, ground floor. Any sort of search party or rescue operation would be based there. If the elevators were still running, it would be a simple thing getting up there. If not... You weren't looking forward to going up the stairwell blind.

Resolving yourself, you stand back up, careful to keep on your toes this time, and slowly reopen the bathroom door. There is still no sound from the creature and, shuddering, you step through a rapidly drying pool of it's blood, the carpet beneath your feet damp, sticky, and slowly starting to stiffen. You navigate your way to the bedroom closet, hunting around inside for anything useful or valuable. Finding only a small backpack, you put in on and spend a few moments fiddling with the straps, adjusting them to fit comfortably. You make your way to the bedroom door and pause for a second to listen for anything outside. Hearing nothing, you open the door, finding it locked open and able to swing out with only a little push, no need to turn the knob.

Working from memory, you make your way to the nearest elevator as quietly as you can. You figure that keeping your noise level to a minimum would keep you off the radar of anything else out here. As you walk along the corridors, straining to listen for any disturbance, you fight the urge to get down on all fours, for the sole reason of having your hands free in case something finds you. You hug the wall to help give yourself a sense of direction, counting the intersections you pass by in anticipation of where you were supposed to turn. It is painfully slow going, but every tiny sound you hear convinces you it's worth it. The last thing you needed was to run off and lose your way.

As you near where the elevators should be, a sudden, bellowing howl sounds out terrifyingly close, followed by a few pained shrieks and the smack of body against concrete as two creatures encountered each other nearby, somewhere behind you and to your right, if the echoes traveling through the nearby halls weren't fooling you. As near as you can tell, it's a straight shot down the remaining stretch of corridor to the bank of elevators, with the stairwell presumably nearby...

Offline Galactic-Warrior

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2011, 06:41:21 pm »
Keep going and keep listening. At least we know we're not the only guys walking arou-

Oh SNAP. We forgot to check all the contacts on our phone when we were in the room! We could have called for help!

Oh well, as I said, keep going.
In space, no one can hear you scream unless your transmitting it on the right radio frequency.

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Offline Rysworld

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2011, 03:45:11 pm »
Hey!

Just wanted to let you know I'm reading this now. Probably won't make any suggestions.

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2011, 05:55:09 pm »
Concentrating on staying silent, you continue on in what was hopefully the direction of the elevator. As you grow closer to where it should be, something small skitters past you, a set of whiskers brushing against your leg, but you thankfully manage to keep from making any sort of startled noise. Whatever the thing had been, it left a musty, organic odor in it's wake, far less powerful, but very similar to what had been in your room.

After what seems like an eternity of listening to the two larger creatures fight nearby, your outstretched fingertips finally touch smooth, cool metal. Feeling along the wall, you locate the elevator buttons and jam the up one repeatedly. You strain your ears to pick up any sign of the elevator running, but with the confrontation starting to drift your way and not so much as a creak from the lift, you continue feeling about for the stairway entrance. With the quiet, erratic footfalls of the monsters steadily approaching, you eventually find what you were looking for and dart in, feeling the smooth laminate floor sharply transition to rough concrete beneath your toes. Once inside, you lean back against the door to keep it closed, thankful that it opened inwards. None of the latches on the doors seemed to be working, so the only way you could keep one shut was to hold it shut. Listening to the situation outside, you hear the two creatures pass worryingly close, one right behind the other, followed by a few last pained howls as one subdues the other and begins to feed. You shift your focus to the noises of the stairwell, though, as you realize that popping sound you were hearing was that of bones cracking.

The echoes reverberating up and down the stairs are hard to decipher: rumblings, splashing, gurgling, yelps, shrieks, howls, and groans. You could have sworn one of the sounds was water lapping against a wall some ways below, but that seems impossible. As near as you can tell, the majority of the vocalizations are below you as well, but the mechanical rumbling was definitely coming from above. Oddly, the air in here seems cleaner and clearer, and there is an almost imperceptible breeze running past you. Perhaps they still had power up on Levels 2 and 1, and what you were hearing and feeling was the air circulation hard at work.

For the moment, you take a break and think back to your phone. Chances were that you'd still get reception in here, but there was still the problem of you not being able to see the screen. Punching in Reuben's number earlier had just been a matter of feeling for the little bump on 5 and going from there, but navigating to and through your contact list would be a bit more difficult. You feel you would have a better time of it by just sticking to numbers you knew by heart. You have no idea how much battery power you have left, and you want to use it wisely.

Going down your mental list of phone numbers, the contacts included people both inside and outside the facility. You know that no one you knew on the outside would be much help for anything other than information, if that, but there was always good old 911. It would probably break all number of Non-Disclosure Agreements, but you were starting not to care. As for people on the inside, they probably had a better idea of what was going on, but reaching them would be a problem. Cellphone reception peetered out between Levels 4 and 5, not even halfway down, depending on the carrier. The intercom would be more efficient to round up the survivors, but that would require turning the power back on. You have both the knowledge and acess codes to do so, but it would require going deeper into the facility...

Offline Galactic-Warrior

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2011, 10:13:33 pm »
We'll try to call someone later when we're in a safer place.

But currently, I'm stumped on what we should do other than waiting for the monsters outside to go away. Hows our shoulder wounds doing?
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Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2011, 11:25:02 am »
((Sorry about the wait. I was at a robotics competition over in Long Beach))

The wounds on your shoulders have stopped bleeding, but it's still a little painful to move your arms.

Unsure of what to do, you try to calmly think of your options:

On Level 3, there was mostly dormitories, but it also housed the main cafeteria and had medical facilities. It is also the level you are most familiar with in terms of layout, but seems to be at least sparsely populated with monsters.

Below you, Level 4 was very much the same as Level 3, but instead swapped out the cafeteria for a rec room. Level 5 had the secondary systems for computing, power, water, heating, cooling, and more. You weren't very familiar with where everything was, but you have both the knowledge and the access keys to restore power and reboot the secondary computer. Among other things, doing so would bring the intercom system back online, allowing you to effectively search for survivors.

Levels 6, 7, and 8 contained the primary systems, and again, you were able to restart them. However, while you're far more familiar with these levels, being your primary area of work, you have the feeling this all started with a problem in the primary systems, and diagnosing it would be difficult without the ability to read computer screens. Levels 7, 8, and 9 also contained labs and various workshops. Though you're not certain of anything at this point, you get the feeling that the fact that there seemed to be more monsters below you and the fact that the labs were below you were rather closely related.

Finally, Levels 10 and 11 were normally off limits, being the high security storage area. You didn't have the codes to even enter those levels, but the fact that every other door you'd found wasn't even able to latch closed, it was possible that the doors down there were also wide open.

Above you, Level 2 was mostly administration offices, but it did contain the main intercom hub, which would be useful if you managed to get the power back on, and there wasn't much noise coming from that direction besides the mechanical rumbling. Beyond that, on Level 1, was more of the same, plus a few meeting and demonstration rooms, along with some low-level storage. Most importantly, though, Level 1 was the only way out of the facility, being the ground floor.

All in all, it really came down to one choice: stay in the facility and try to save anyone else possibly trapped inside, or take the safe way out and make a break for the exit.

Inventory
(1) Pocket knife with (4) attachments: Knife, Scissors, Corkscrew, Screwdriver
(1) Cellphone
(1) Wallet with ( 8 ) cards and (20) bills of unknown value
(1) Keyring with (5) keys and (1) bottle opener
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 11:26:49 am by Darth Grievi »

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2011, 09:38:45 pm »
((Screw it, I'm bumping this back to life. *Readies defibrulator*))

As you sit in the stairwell, considering your options, your cellphone suddenly begins to ring and vibrate. Badly startled, you quickly take it out and flip it open to answer it. You don't really care who is on the other end at this point. You're just happy for someone to talk to.

"Hello?" you ask.

"Oh my god. Harold? Is that you?" It's Louise, your maybe-might be-kind of girlfriend, and she sounds just slightly less freaked out than you are.

"Yeah, it's me. L--"

"Where are you?" she interrupted. "I've been trying to reach you for two days! The cops are just about ready to start a full missing persons operation!"

"Louise, just calm down a sec. I'm fine for the moment. I'm still at the office, but I don't know what's happened. Everyone's gone and the power's out. Have you heard anything?"

"I've heard some rumors that there was some sort of explosion, but no one has anything official yet. The feds have definitely been called in, though."

Processing this information, you try to think of what, if anything, to tell her while you still had her on the line.


Offline Guilmon

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2011, 10:48:43 pm »
Tell her to bring you a knitted cap.

With holes in it for dem bat ears.


Yet again, of no use here. : D
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Offline Zarkatus

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2011, 05:52:06 am »
Ask her what the news was saying about it, and who was being sent in.

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2011, 01:33:45 pm »
"Do you know who precisely's been called in?" you ask.

"Well, I know the FBI and the National Guard are definitely there, and I've read online that the CDC's probably there too."

Not good, you think to yourself, before asking Louise, "What about the explosion, any specifics on that?"

"No, just that there was one. Current blame is on terrorists. Hold on," she says, pausing for a moment as she presumably looked something up. "They evacuated a bunch of people in the first few hours, but last anyone's heard they were having problems getting back in or something. You're the one who works there; you probably have a better idea of why the place has gone into lockdown."

"Yeah, I do, actually," you reply. After hearing this and judging from what you'd encountered, you figure that sealing off the facility was somehow the main computer's last ditch effort to keep the place quarantined when the power failed. As to why the power had failed in the first place, it was probably the fault of the explosion... which you don't remember. Where the monsters and your current state came into things was still a mystery.

"Then maybe you can help them get in and finish cleaning up this mess. You're still inside, right?"

"Right."

A single beep from your phone indicates that it's battery is almost drained.

"You've got to know something..."

"Yeah, yeah, I think I have an idea," you tell her hurriedly. "I'm sorry, but I've got to go. This thing's almost dead." Another beep. "Look, I'll give you a call when I get out. Just keep an eye on the news, OK?"

"OK. Good luck, Harold."

"Thanks. See you later, Louise."

With that, you hang up and turn off the phone to silence the beeping.

You did indeed have an idea of how to help things along. If you could somehow get the power running again, it would not only allow the feds to shut off the lockdown and get in, but also let you turn the intercom system back on to both contact them and help round up any other survivors.

The process involved at the very least going down to either level 5 or level 6, flipping some switches to turn on the power, and inputting a couple of codes to get what you wanted online. Any other day, this would have been an easy, if not exactly routine procedure, but without any sort of vision and with potentially hostile creatures running around? Plus the very large potential that it might require you to diagnose and repair the problem that caused the shutdown in the first place, again blind? You were tempted to just find a place to hunker down and let the people outside figure it out themselves...

Inventory
(1) Pocket knife with (4) attachments: Knife, Scissors, Corkscrew, Screwdriver
(1) Nearly Dead Cellphone
(1) Wallet with ( 8 ) cards and (20) bills of unknown value
(1) Keyring with (5) keys and (1) bottle opener

Offline Zarkatus

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2011, 01:55:49 pm »
Since you have bat like ears, see if you have sonar abilities too.

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2011, 03:41:09 pm »
It occurs to you that, if you're going to be doing anything other than fumbling around blindly in the dark, you're going to need to find a way to tell where things are. Thinking back to your past examination of yourself, you wonder if those bat ears of yours are there for a reason. You're kind of fuzzy on how echolocation worked precisely, but knew it involved making a sound and listening as it bounced back to you.

With this in mind, you spend the next few minutes making just about every vocalization you could, listening to each individually and trying to figure out which one worked the best. You quickly discover that the answer was "none of them." Every pitch and tone you made was just as useless as the last, sending back a cascade of echoes that meant absolutely nothing to you. On the verge of giving up this useless venture, you make an exasperated sigh.

Or, at least, you try to make an exasperated sigh. What comes out is a single, crystal-clear, beautiful click. The forms of everything in front of you are highlighted as if you had suddenly turned on a powerful flashlight. You "see" the stairwell stretch out in front of you, end at a wall, then make a turn to continue down, where your "vision" ends. It wasn't quite seeing as much as it was having a little 3D model in your head. The image lingers for a few moments before fading into memory.

Astonished and thoroughly relieved, you try to replicate the sound. To your even greater relief, you find that you can keep a steady stream of useful volume going for nearly a minute, only needing to pause to take another breath. Despite yourself, you let out a whoop of triumph that echoes up and down the stairwell.

Offline Zarkatus

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2011, 03:48:43 pm »
(Wow you are FAST)

Use your new-found sonar abilities to climb down the stairs.

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #38 on: July 31, 2011, 04:19:30 pm »
With your mood significantly lightened by your discovery, you walk down the stairs. Using your newly found ability, it's remarkably easy going, at least from a "not tumbling down the stairs from a misstep" standpoint. You quickly realize that you would have to be careful to remember which floor you were on, though, since you are still unable to read any of the signs.

In the interest of exploration, you continue your way down past levels 5 and 6. As you descend, the vocalizations of the monsters grow louder and more frequent. You sincerely hope that none of them can hear the clicks you're making. Your journey is stopped, however, about halfway down the steps leading to the door to level 8. Looking down the stairwell, your "vision" is unable to reach past a flat, horizontal plane, giving you only a dim, distorted "image." Upon further investigation, you discover that the stairwell is flooded, the flat plane being the surface of the water. Even more worrying is the fact that the water appears to be slowly rising, flowing under the door and into level 8. It would only be a matter of time before the entire facility is flooded.

With one problem solved and a new one presenting itself, you climb back up the stairs. Along the way, you try to decide which course of action to take: either try to fix what was wrong with the main power systems on level 6, or restart the secondary systems on level 5 for a temporary solution.

Offline Zarkatus

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2011, 07:34:37 am »
Figure out a way towards level 5.

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: Ontological Mystery
« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2011, 12:22:54 pm »
Though you're getting fairly tired with all this stair climbing, you finally make your way back up to level 5. You figure that even a temporary fix is better than spending possibly hours trying to diagnose and repair whatever had caused this in the first place.

Speaking of, the fact that the place was flooding gave you a few more clues as to the extent of the damage. Whoever had placed the explosives was either incredibly lucky or had a very good idea of where everything was. They'd managed to take out the power, the water, and probably the main computer, since it looks like the secondary systems never even turned on. Great.

You open the door to level 5 with no resistance, which is a bizarre feeling; normally you would have had to punch in your code on the door's keypad to get it to unlock. Fortunately for you, it seems that all the doors in the facility had had their latches all locked into the "open" position, allowing you to simply push or pull them without having to even turn the handle. Unfortunately, you realize, that means that whatever else is down here could do the same. Nervously, very aware of the musty, organic smell you'd come to associate with the monsters, you take out your pocketknife, just in case.

Navigating the hallways and corridors isn't a problem, though. It's actually knowing where to go that is. Unable to read any signage, you have to work by what little memory you have of the place... while avoiding potentially deadly monsters... while tired, hungry, dehydrated, and in a strange body. The folks upstairs had better appreciate the help. The only good news out of all of this is that you have a very clear memory of what the panel you need to find looks like.

Nearly a half-hour and untold amounts of frustration later, you take a brief rest inside one of the dozens of rooms peppered throughout the level. God, this place was infested! You could barely turn a corner without coming practically face-to-face with something.  From the glimpses you'd managed to catch of the creatures you'd narrowly missed running into, you seemed to be fairly lucky in the "stayed relatively humanoid" department. Yeah, there was the whole sonar thing, and the fact that your back was starting to kill you from standing up like this, but you seemed to have made it out of this catastrophe pretty much intact. As for the others...

You really didn't want to start thinking of them as ex-coworkers, even if that's what they probably were, because that meant that you killed pretty much your best friend about two hours ago. Granted, it could probably be seen as a mercy kill, but, again, you really didn't want to start thinking about that.

With a little sigh, you turn your thoughts back to finding and starting up the secondary generator, standing up and "looking" around the room. Just like when you'd entered, you didn't see much of interest, but after exploring the room further, something sparks your memory. Through a door off to the side, you finally enter the area you were looking for. The entire far wall is covered with the switches and keypads you'd need to turn on the power, and you know exactly what to do with them.

Unfortunately, you're not alone. Beyond the sweaty odor that immediately tipped you off, the entire room is a veritable minefield of long, web-like filaments, stretching from floor to ceiling. A tentative step forward reveals that the floor is wet with some sort of slime. You don't know if the thing that had set this trap was in the room, or even still alive, but most of the ceiling is blocked from your view both by the filaments and by your bad viewing angle standing outside the door.