Downtime

Day 7, Evening

It's been an interesting day, involving the party's first serious scientific work on Splinter(presuming they don't agree on a new name for it), at their settlement at the London Falling ruins site(similarly a provisional moniker). Their first resource dig has had to be put on hold as the Autominer detected an aquifer only a short distance into the bedrock, but they've already discovered a decent amount of processed metal resources inside the ruins as well as evidence that the previous inhabitants were nanotech-capable.

Now, whether they're staying in the GEV or in their new buildings, they're enjoying a calm evening, with the silence broken only by the wind rattling sand against the walls, the waves sloshing lazily against the shore and the occasional stirrings of the snakipede guarding its eggs in one of the GEV's intake vents.

Buer and Abraxas have both been retrieved for charging, and Urist is still sulking by the shoreline, its ALI having displayed a certain destructive streak.

It's probably a good time to plan out what they intend to do for the next few days until it's time to return to the Pandora Gate and seeing whether their personnel requests have been responded to.

Arianhod

"Well, today has been productive. I suggest erecting a warehouse to store the stuff we find in the docks that we don't want to recycle as well as a place to put our own gear. I don't want to put the morph cryo tanks where they can be swarmed by creepy crawlies. Having some barracks too would be nice. Imagine the sales pitch: actual private rooms!"

Arianhod makes sure the lab is clean before doing far more mundane analysis of bio material samples, starting with the plants she pulled of Buer and following with the bits of roadkill they've peeled off the windshield.

(Arianhod is fine with helping and training a few points of Hardware:Industrial)

Liz

"I have no objections with that. Lahmia- you're welcome to use any morph I'm not using for drone operations."

Opening a drawing app, Liz started a rough diagram of her proposed base infrastructure. "I expect to institute various secure-system best practices here; wired priority connections, air-gapped systems and so on."

The drawing was rudimentary, mostly just boxes and lines connecting facilities both present and proposed. "I would like assistance in fabricating a strong secure datacenter; preferably something subterranean. With intent to create an offsite mirror or few for redundancy later on." She made a note to order the appropriate communication gear, but earmarked it as 'Future concern', not an immediate acquisition.

She queried Urist's build order and noted that it was already fairly busy. "I would request some of Urist's time for that- unless we can conceivably build more Dwarf-class robots."

"We're also going to need to fabricate basic transport infrastructure as well…" She queried their local blueprint database for similar, and made a more general request to Thanat and Arianhod about resource management.

Thanat

"Yeah, let us erect. Though if we're inviting more scum, I don't think they'll care about private rooms, like, at all."

Thanat orders the automine to start digging north-northwest towards the savanah, and to dig down whenever it may do so safely. Then, he gets Urist to start digging by the prefabs, a hole big enough for Liz's datacenter and to recycle everything he digs up into feedstock for later.
In the meantime, Thanat sets out to draw up plans for Liz's datacenter, leaving it open on the mesh so she can add/delete whatever she needs though he's pretty sure he got the basics for a datacenter, even adding the option of using the underground canals for watercooling. It'd be sick. He also plans for an above ground building right over the datacenter.
A dumb warehouse, big enough to fit the GEV and some extra, airlocks, the means to cycle the air even inside that big room, and transhuman-sized airlocks separating it from a row of siderooms with basic amenities. Copying the the prefabs, he adds solar panels on top.

All the while working on the blueprint, some of his unused tentacles gather rocks lying around and stuff them in his own medium fabber, printing a small rock boat toy for Urist.

"We'll really need more of that little guy to get that thing built up fast, and more. The ingots Lahmia found and random crap lying around could be enough to print the parts with the GEV's fabber."

Arianhod

"Plantinum robots, eh? And regarding private rooms, how much of that is scum not wanting privacy versus having to live without it? I think once they have an option, plenty of them will come around, especially those in biomorphs that want a private restroom."

Thanat

"Just not big on privacy in general, even those who end up settling down on planets with the space for it. And restroom time is personal time, not private. Not the same."

"They'll probably just end up sharing rooms and switching them a lot. We'd be better off making a scum barrack, and another one for the normies."

Day 8, Morning

To Arianhod's analytical gaze, the aquatic flora stuck to Buer looks somewhat similar to Earth flora, though surprisingly unreliant on sunlight. In fact, even though it's been torn free from its native habitat, she finds that it's still growing under her microscope, trying to wrap creepers around the equipment. It seems exceptionally hardy, like some sort of water-based kudzu, and would likely overgrow any area without any competition or grazing going on. The long vines and fronds are also covered in blackish-brown pustules that burst with disgusting ease when she touches them with her lab equipment, oozing a viscous liquid of the same colour which stains anything it comes into contact with. It's hard to tell if they're an infection or a natural part of the plant. To an unprotected transhuman, the immediate effects of the disgusting stuff is similar to tear gas.

Liz finds that various low-tech transport options are ubiquitous in their blueprint database, everything from how to produce cobblestones and then bicycles, through 21st-century tram systems and light rail. There's also a surprisingly large section of the BP library devoted to pneumatic tubes for rapid transportation of small objects and, if sized up enough, morphs, at bowel-loosening speeds. They even come with warning stickers instructing people not to insert digits into the inlets and stand clear of the outlets. The basics of creating a secure network are so second-nature to her that a theoretical gamemaster of reality would feel it kind of silly to demand a roll for it. She knows this shit by her virtual equivalent of a heart. Possibly by CPU. It does still take her some time, however.

Outside, Urist is marching back and forth during the night with loads of sand, empying them off one of the piers as he clears space for the datacenter, barring a visit to the autominer to help relocate it. When morning comes, he informs Thanat via mesh that he can't dig any deeper without busting through the roof of the canal below. His message seems to imply that he hopes Thanat will ask him to cause some property damage and bust it open.

Drawing up the datacenter's physical infrastructure is as easy for Thanat as it is for Liz to draw up its virtual infrastructure.

The high winds of the previous day haven't settled down. If anything, they've intensified and the view outside the windows is a beige haze of airborne sand and dust.

Arianhod

"Hmm." Arianhod considers if the pustules might be some kind of defense against grazing, some kind of way to deter local fauna and even flora from coming near. She takes a sample of the 'tear gas' for further chemical analysis with the pocket lab. That done, she goes out to help. She might as well learn a thing or two about actual construction now that she can't just have the bots do everything.

Lahmia

The windows on Lahmia's personal quarters shift from opaque to transparent, giving her a nice view of the beach at morning. There's still a lot to do and everyone's been busy while she slept. Sleeping isn't time wasted, however, there is a lot of valuable information to be gained from monitoring the effects of the various natural properties of Splinter on a biomorph. What is essentially 'jet lag' has been kind of a bitch for Lahmia, even after a week.

Red lights flash from her still darkened room as she orders the autocook to brew coffee and the Gnat to make the rounds around the grounds for a sitrep. She compiles a list of things to be built sooner rather than later, like extra Gnats and GAs, and… maybe a way to synthesize the bendy concrete.

Thanat

While the fleshies were asleep, Thanat kept on practicing his driving, loaning VR games from Lahmia's library. He drove some, but more importantly he had a lot of fun, especially playing the ones with drive-by shootings, earliest 21st century Earth gangs, cities, family relationships and bowling.

When Urist beeps its warning, he goes over to check by himself how far down the bot dug. Also the perfect occasion to give Urist the rock boat toy, so he can have a hobby that isn't about demolishing everything. "Here, Urist. A little gift from the tentacles! And from me too, I guess." Finding that the bot dug way deep enough, Thanat reworks the foundations for the warehouse and underground datacenter. It shouldn't be too hard to find the essential elements lying around.

Looking over the seas, an idea forms in his head, or maybe it comes from his muse Buzz. Nobody will ever know. "Hey guys, you know what we should do? Harvest some of those plants and animals. I bet Chat Noir would love some extra feed for their foodstocks. And we could get started on that earlier than on shipping them metals or whatever else, though they probably need a lot of that too."

"Everything disassembled or filtered so we can avoid contaminating Sol, yes," he adds after a short pause.

Liz

The data center was up and running, with room to expand, Liz was pleased to note. Her two servers were connected to the warehouse above on solar power along with their own innate power supplies. She decided against forking herself a few times to start a programming cluster, but it was certainly on her to-do list.

Instead she climbed out of the local mesh (her examination of the center was via it's meshware sensors) and returned to the GEV host. She'd make the more permanent move to her 'home server' later on. Now though, she started querrying their various devices and project-management ware for updates.

The autominer had run into a challenge regarding a subterranean aquifier, which would have to be addressed. "Moving the Autominer would take several hours, plus the expectation that it's going to be a day or more to reach 'useful' material…" She mused aloud.

Requesting a copy of the miner's blueprints from it's ALI, she hummed. "Expensive, but if we secure sufficient feedstock, we at least can attempt to fabricate one here." She pushed the print to the GEV's fabber-ALI for a consult. The infomorph had been written by a scum-coder, and it showed with the plethora of enthusastic wingdings it sent back to her in answer. Fortunately that was just an affectation, and it explained what it could and could not fabricate well enough.

(OOC:Asking the GEV fabber if it can build the autominer in pieces for assembly).

Calling out to the group, Liz pushed a logistics/resource spreadsheet out for everyone to see. "Arianhod, I think we could pool our personal resources and contacts to secure a Minifac for our use. We can use the QM comm to start the order if you agree."

"I conceed readily to your expertise regarding industrial endeavors, Thanat." Liz notes. "But I think we should prioritize local resource acquisition and immediate, aggressive curation of 'discoveries' to build good will, interest and investors… Love and Rage might not need anything we have immediately on hand, but there is no shortage of potential clients who need pure water or fresh air."

The GEV was also helpful in that it had a number of 'gatecrashing basics' files onhand, so Liz could pull up a 'brochure' almost for a Scoutting Missle. "Unlike the orbital mapping missle, this might be useful along with an Aerostat for local surveilance."

Day 8, Late Noon

Between Arianhod and Urist, construction on the datacenter and warehouse proceed relatively quickly, at least in terms of getting external shells up. Thanks to the limitations of the local materials, the walls are primarily carbon-plastic(created from recycled rubble and various unfortunate small animals and plants that Urist has found), reinforced by spars of silicon/quartz crystal(made from the plentiful local sand), and mostly underground, with only low, bunker-like parts above ground. They end up, as a result, looking somewhat similar to the ruins left behind by the original inhabitants. Urist appears to have hidden the gift from Thanat away somewhere safe.

Meanwhile, Liz concludes that the large fabricator aboard the GEV can in fact produce an autominer… albeit in parts, so it would require some manual assembly after production. Thankfully the BP has provisions for that and supplied assembly instructions that are more easily parsed than the ones accompanying the pre-fab buildings.

On scouting duty, Lahmia spots a few things. Firstly, the gunmoth from the quartz fields(or at least a machine of similar make) is visible on the western horizon from time to time. It's hard to shake a feeling that it's keeping an eye on the new arrivals. She also notices that the high winds are causing a lot of seaweed and odd sea creatures to wash up on the shore, the latter mostly of a variety of shapeless-but-colourful types that make spirited attempts to get back into the water in between murdering and eating each other. Most of them seem amphibious, able to survive and move on land as well as in water.

Lahmia

"Yikes," is all Lahmia says about the weather. It seems just awful out there, why would anyone want to come here?

There's no use complaining about it from the confines of the one bedroom on the whole planet. She records an XP of various creatures on the beach while drinking her 7th mug of coffee, then gets to updating notifications like the gunmoth keeping an eye on the base.

"Before dinner I want to check out the- I mean, we should examine the labyrinth more closely to reveal the secrets of its electric eyes. Unless this storm gets worse."

Arianhod

Sweating like a pig, Arianhod is grateful she altered this morph's glands to produce something more akin to air freshener than saltwastewater. Enough is enough tho, and she trades out her vacsuit helmet for an open faced one almost immediately. She had never pictured manual labor being a big part of her life after getting a doctorate but honestly, it was kinda fun, especially when stuff broke or snapped and you had to dodge the shrapnel.

Chucking a huge piece of rubble aside, she nods to Lahmia. "Sounds good, I'd also like to collect whatever is left of those critters that washed up."

(Spending 3 res to buy 15 Hardware: Industrial points. Cog 25+15=40)

Thanat

Years of living in hippie space communes haven't changed Thanat's core personality, and he's still a selfish asshole at heart. That's why after having drawn up the warehouse with a few temp rooms, he works on designing another building for him first, rather than for anyone else. It'll go as deep as the warehouse without datacenter, with two rows of living units on each side and walkways going down. Small rooms fit for a spaceship that'd probably have Arianhod worried about hitting her head everywhere, several floors of those. In the middle will be a single big room, with a glass ceiling and mirrors arranged to redirect as much light inside as possible. At the bottom, a few deep holes would be dug, and isolated from Splinter's soil, to be filled with Earth soil in the hope of growing some plants, maybe even trees.

"Anyone wants something special, while we're at it? We can take the occasion to have what we want first, since nobody else can oppose."

Arianhod

"A home that isn't, you know, a hole in the ground. For some reason I'm concerned about below sea level buildings directly next to an ocean. Also you're not on a space ship you can build up and out"

Thanat

"I'm concerned about building up on sand and over unmapped underground canals. Plus, spaceships are just comfy, don't be silly."

"Still… any specifics? A home or dome in the boring Titanian style?"

Arianhod

"The shoreline is a selling feature, especially once we sink supports." She pulls up an AR image reference.
"For now" https://www.featurepics.com/StockImage/20061010/beach-cabin-stock-picture-109873.jpg
"Eventual goal" https://i.imgur.com/ZY68g8B.jpg

Thanat

"Right. One individual, selfish cabin coming right up. Just don't expect it to be made of wood. I'll set Urist to get to that first, it shouldn't take too long compared to the bigger hab."

He quickly whips up a small one-floor cabin of a few rooms, with a glass veranda/airlock facing the sea, and the means to close up and pump in/out the air in individual rooms or the whole thing, should Arianhod wish for unmodded visitors to be able to take off their vacsuits inside. He shares the plans with Arianhod.

"Of course, we'll just recycle it later when we can do better. Oh, we'll need to print some furniture, but uh, that's not really my thing."

Arianhod

"That's fine, if we can add hookups for a kitchen that'd be great. Collectivism doesn't mean we're obligated to share each other's farts. We can build duplexes and quadplexes of them. We'll download some homemaking digest and architectural guides when sol opens. Besides, I need this months issue of ULTIMATE OF FORTUNE. I hope they give more space to the guy who XPs his own combat deaths as a guide as to what not to do, and less to the dude that writes several hundred new pages of Samurai poetry a week."

Liz

Frustrated with her attempts to solve the logistical problem of feedstock, Liz turned her attention to another more constructive task: building a library of useful meshware and possibly blueprints. She brought up her logistics network app and started building a request queue, sharing the other team members with an errant thought.

While having the kind of borgouise appreciation for the finer things in life only a Hypercorp elite could claim, Liz herself did not actually need tangible creature comforts. A working datacenter, a secure system, and the authority to righteously smite any intrusion upon her domain was enough to leave her content if not truly happy.

Setting up the programming space externally, Liz took great care in curating the simmulspace as to not alienate 'herselves' once she began the forking process. "Ladies- gentleoctopoda. I will be preparing a crack programming team. Right now with sufficient time, we can generate an arbitrary amount of meshwhare, and with a sufficient knowledge-base, hardware, bioware and industrial fabrication plans."

She paused for a moment, using the GEV's sensors to glare at the autominer in the distance. "Thanat- a personal request- see if you can do something clever and we can perhaps design a less expensive autominer."

Day 8, Evening

Braving the wind and the grains of sand it whips across their skin(or suits, if they dress up properly before going out, like Liz might insist on), Lahmia and Arianhod make it to the partially collapsed maze building, soon finding shelter from the weather by descending the ramp that Urist had made. The interior is dark, but lit by just enough light for simple light-amplification tech in their suits(or eyes, if suitably modded) to make navigation simple. Thanks to Buer they also have a solid map of the building, so there's no chance of getting lost in the mazes, even if some of them are relatively fiendishly designed. Pulling apart one of the cameras in the maze, Lahmia finds a setup not too far removed from its human analogue, but obviously optimized for lower light levels and a wider field of view.

From above comes the sound of Urist erecting Arianhod's beach cabin. The walls are unaccountably decorated with images of boats, anchors and clamshells, possibly the proximity to the sea having triggered some latent design algorithm in Urist's AI mandating such decorations. It may also have been Thanat being an asshole. The only interior furnishing he adds is a hammock. The autominer, meanwhile, reports that it should be having no trouble with aquifers in its new location and, barring any instructions to the contrary, will start digging its way to bedrock and scouting for valuable or useful mineral veins.

In the interim, Liz has become plural. Since she's making alpha forks, it doesn't take an awful lot of effort, though it does take a brief bit of calming each new fork and convincing them that they haven't been forknapped, nor that they're going to be used for some form of slave labour. Since they're all her, though, they easily get with the plan since they already know exactly what the plan is.

At this point, Lahmia's scout swarm has also finished mapping the ruins complex and its canalways. Aside from what they already know, it adds a few things of note: The canal under the dockside depot seems to reach the sea through a complicated, but damaged, waterlock which is leaking excess water into the canal system. On the landward side, one canal dips downwards at a relatively sharp angle and descends for some distance before being blocked by a very comprehensive cave-in. The scout swarm is unable to explore further due to a pulsing EMP field that disabled part of it when it tried to push through the collapse to map the other side. The interiors of the ruin, aside from the maze ruin, also seem to conform largely to an open-plan design, with minimal room separations and few to no small rooms.

Thanat

While the girls are gone explorin', Thanat busies himself with the cabin's veranda/airlock sea-side railing. With a bite of decoration and after triple checking on the sun's path in Splinter's sky, he's rather confident the sun will make pretty dick shapes on the cabin's front wall in the mornings. He also finishes up the finer parts of the airlock and decontamination scheme with his own medium fabber while Urist keeps busying himself with the rest of the cabin, and later with the scum barracks he drew up.

"It's not gentleoctopoda, it's just, gentleman, I'm not a neo-octopus, alright? Anyway, sure, we can make a less expensive autominer. But the thing's pretty close to perfect. If we make it cheaper, something's gotta give. It'll have to produce less, not be as durable, as fast, or just not be capable of digging through rock that's too hard, or it won't take heat as well and won't be able to dig as deep. Same things with the other blueprints. Some things just gotta take time, real time. Don't spend too much time in accelerated simulspace or you'll go crazy, especially here."

He links up his muse Buzz to Liz's server, in case she gets bored and wants to talk to someone sixty times faster than bodied transhumans can.

Liz (Prime)

"Pity." Liz intones.

Having parallelized herself, Liz triggered the first program in her requested queue- a customized Security ALI for their burgeoning colony infrastructure. While she waited for that, she queued up a number of other personal and communal enhancements; Enhanced Security apps for the crew, Fault-Tolerance and Persistence packages for any digital mind, infomorph or ALI.

Curating her cluster's progress, Liz notes to the group. "I will be happy to provide secure crypto and biometric security for the expedition, at your request."

Arianhod

<We found what's causing the ocean to leak back into the canal, there's some kind of damaged lock underneath the dock. Hurr durr cock. (Beat you, Thanat) Might be handy to fix that at some point so we can drain this place.>

"Hey Lahm, I wanna go check to see what's in the big, sealed warehouse building. Urist and Thanat are busy, so I guess its just me, you, and whatever bots are with us. Let's go crack that door and have a looksee"

Thanat

<Yeah uh, for obvious reasons, I'm not going to hang out too close to an EM field capable of damaging an exploration bot, if you don't mind.>

Using his newfound freetime, Thanat starts printing a statue to decorate Arianhod's humble abode. The statue is empty inside for faster and cheaper printing, made from local rocks, mostly. It shows a man wearing an old style planetary vac suit, helmet under his left arm, boldly pointing ahead with his right hand, a foot dynamically propped up on a red rock. The flag and mission patch are entirely flat, but from the readable 'Körner-Wolcott' name tag and its tiny bit of relief, it's clear that was intentional.
Thanat was black out drunk at the time and doesn't recall ever betting he could sprint out the hab, take off his helmet, strike a fancy pose, and run back inside before dying, but some people have had the good senses to take pictures, ah to be 30 again. The statue is life-sized, a bit more than six feet tall, and Thanat himself looks about below average for new transhumans, though those aren't modern perfect off-the-shelf looks afforded to modern transhuman through designer babies and resleeving.

<Fancy going for a swim tomorrow, Arianhod? I'd like to check out the sunken ship, and I'd rather not go alone, just in case.>

Arianhod

<That's fine, find us some blueprints for underwater stuff, I don't need much, but modding the vacsuit to be buyant would be useful. Also rope or chains to tie us off to the side of the dock so one of the bots can pull us back up. Also some bangsticks, there's a lot of uh, fauna and possibly flora that's eager to take a bite out of meaty folks and even give a try to you metally ones too>

Thanat

Thanat sets his fabber to print out the necessities for tomorrow's underwater expedition. He's had a bit of troubles finding the ropes and chains, until he thought of looking under the "bedroom" category. He's not too worried about overuse, everything'll likely be turned back into feedstock when they come out the water.

He then goes back to overseeing Urist's job on the scum bunker, occasionally, he even helps.

Lahmia

"Warehouse it is, then. At some point I want to see if we can get the old camera network running again, maybe it still has a record from when this place was in use." She packs up her stuff and neatly sorts everything learned about the cameras and relate wiring into a data package that gets relayed to Liz's server via the bots. Lahmia leaves AR tags everywhere as they go. Every little thing gets tagged: cameras, off-color patches of moss, holes in the walls, scuff marks, boxes, Arianhod, light fixtures, everything.

Liz

"Current projections indicate the programming queue will be complete in about twenty four more hours." Liz declared from outside her server with no small amount of satisfaction.

Arianhod

Realizing the buildings with no surface entrances have sub-level entrances, Arianhod goes for the big harbor depot's door, Buer assigned to follow, lazer gun in her hand.

Day 9, Night

Thanat's muse mostly spends her time on Liz's server doing the AGI equivalent of nursing a drink in the corner while complaining about her owner, clearly feeling like she's the adult of the pair. Adding credence to her argument is the stream of him engaging in an elaborate scheme to subtly add penis-shaped silhouettes to Arianhod's new cabin, which is going to be an exciting discovery for her at dawn.

Liz's forks offer commisserating replies while engaging in furious computation around her. Several of them collaborate on a VR environment similar to an open-plan office, in case any of the usually-embodied should drop by and need to not be incredibly confused about what's going on. The high rate of computational activity keeps the inside of the warehouse/server center at a balmy 30 degrees Celsius, even with the cooling systems that Thanat has worked to set up.

Meanwhile, Arianhod and Lahmia descend through the harbour warehouse, the most intact entrance, to reach the other buildings from below. It takes them a while to reach their destination(the northeastern most building) despite the canals providing an almost straight path there, as they're regularly clogged by heavy growths of plants that they need to cut or force their way through. The wildlife, at least, doesn't bother them, splashing out of the way whenever they draw near and slithering into adjoining canals. Whatever the eel-like creatures are, they seem to have no appetite for dealing with noisy explorers. Eventually they make their way to the building's entrance, a vault-like door to one side of a dry landing littered with what looks like the alien equivalent of pallet loaders and ancient, melted-looking pallets. Between Buer's sensors and the scouting swarm's ability to penetrate through anything that isn't airtight, it's confirmed that there's still an active power draw from equipment on the other side, and the interior's built to a slightly more constricted plan than the other buildings, but the door looks tightly closed. There's a control pad to one side but it is, predictably, covered in alien characters. Alternately, it might be possible to cut or blast their way through the door itself if they have no patience for attempted electronic lockpicking.

Arianhod

<Let's see if the COT works. Uh, Liz? How should I plug this thing in?>

Liz

<Hmm?> Liz 'looked up' from her system administration tasks and tapped into Arianhod's XP feed. <Ah! When in doubt you can always ask it's ALI- but to answer your question, hold it like a pen with the pointed end towards your desired interface. It should bring up an entopic display and brute-force its way into the casing at your order. >

She paused, humming. <Do you want me to join you?>

Lahmia

"If you're not busy, Buer could accomodate," Lahmia steps close to the door and feels out with electricity sense. It's always a bit weird, having an artificial sense, but Lahmia is more used to having it than not having it. If there's a power draw within, then power is coming from somewhere.

Liz

The local mesh was a bit thin in that direction, but Liz found it sufficient. Dropping into the telepresence space of drone operation, she temporarily lost perception of the warehouse and prefab sensor network. With startling quickness, Buer's sensorium filled her awareness. She waggled a tool-equipped servoarm in greeting. "Shall we?"

Arianhod

"Lets" Lazgun at the ready. She didn't think there'd be a killbot and was 95% sure there wasn't a dangerous animal or plant behind the door, but you never knew.

Day 9, Night

While Liz gets Arianhod a quick course in how to operate the COT(while doing so herself), Lahmia gets a few moments to use her electrical sense. It's an odd one, not one that baseline humans have access to in any strength that they'd ever notice it, and most easily quantified as being similar to the sense of smell, in most cases providing general indications rather than the absolute delineations provided by sight. It's hard to be sure through the door, but Lahmia ends up reasonably sure that there's only power drain in the building on the other side, that the power generation is coming from elsewhere. The source seems to be heavy bundles of power cables buried in the walls of the canal system.

Meanwhile, the COT infiltrates the lock, conferring with Liz and Arianhod as it does so. After a couple of false starts on the alien technology, it manages to create a cross-current stream that engages the door's operating mechanism and it starts to slowly open. Small pieces of debris rattle loose as it does so, and it's clear that it hasn't been opened in a long time. The air on the other side, however, is dead and still, no sign of watchdogs, either cybernetic or organic. Like in the rest of the network of canals and buildings, the lighting is dim to standard human(or transhuman) senses, but supplemented by the glow from active electronics. It looks like a lot of things have been removed in a hurry, spilling cables and occasionally tearing them loose, but there are enough small lights, like the indicators on a TV or computer in standby mode, to show that there are plenty of things in the building which are still active, even if not on.

The entryway is like an open lobby, like what you'd expect at the front desk of a corporate or government building, rapidly opening up into an open interior. A pair of spiralling staircases forming a double helix are at the center, branching off to six floors, each of which give a sense of being an open office, with alien desks and seating(?) scattered around, often arranged into circles. Around the edges of the building are smaller rooms, still large by human standards, but apparently claustrophobic by this species', and at the back is something like a large conference room, full of disabled monitors and holographic projectors. Heavy data cables march across every ceiling and wall surface that isn't covered by something else, with the thickest converging on the conference room at the back.

In general the technology feels old-fashioned or ruggedized compared to what transhumans have access to at home, stationary computing hasn't been a feature of most transhuman life for decades, and physical data cables are only used for the most high-volume or high-security feeds, or when they also need to be heavily EM-shielded like on military vessels. The workstations even seem to have tactile inputs, it's almost like visiting Jovian space.

Arianhod

"Huh, some old IT server room?" She looks around at the manual keyboards, trying to see if the runes there look similar to what she saw on the cop bots and packaging earlier.

Day 9, Night

The extremely weird and alien tactile computing devices which do admittedly look kind of keyboards have an excess of small keys on them, easily about eighty. The small glyphs on each resemble the ones used to mark every other sign and piece of alien writing the party's seen so far: circles and hexagons in various combinations.

Arianhod

"Yeah, we're definitely gonna need a xenolinguist when sol opens."

Thanat

With everyone otherwise busy, Thanat hops on Liz's server to profit from the compressed simmulspace time. The open office and its cubicles look like they came straight out of one his nightmares, but as he starts having regrets he finds a reassuring presence. (The thirty Lizes are kinda creepy, let's be honest) He waves at his muse's avatar and shouts. She holds up a thumb to her ear and her pinkie to her mouth, speaks a few words, nods a few times and disappears. Thanat pretends not to notice when a new Liz-looking avatar appears in the same spot after a few minutes.
He finds himself a free spot, and starts working on a new project. He sketches a Daitya morph from memory, and then designs reworked limbs and tools so that it'd have eight instead of four, as it should have from the start. He keeps an eye on streams of the fleshies' exploration and Urist's progress on the construction site.

Lahmia

"Interesting, interesting. Arianhod, Liz, Thanat too if you're listening. We should avoid activating the consoles. This place is drawing power, but the source is elsewhere," Lahmia holds her palms up and an AR pentagram forms the basis for a rudimentary map of the tunnels, then she scribbles in where the power is coming through from the walls of the canals. "The gunmoth has been keeping an eye on us (in case you didn't read my notification but that's okay) and if we do anything that might be construed as a hostile action, well, it might not be a lot of fun.

Arianhod

"Another thing we should consider getting from Sol is anti-aircraft and anti-vehicle weaponry. Not saying we'd use it first, but it'd be nice to have options other than "die" if things get ant-sy"

Day 9, Midnight

Topside, the storm slackens off as midnight rolls around. While the party debates their next course of action, the autominer reaches bedrock and declares its current location to be mineral poor, but that barring other orders it will continue.

Arianhod

"Suggestion: Let's not touch any of this until we have a specialist, let's just find the power source if we can. Oh hey Thanat, looks like we got foundation material and filler for that pontoon bridge."

Thanat

"Kinda bummed it didn't find any ore vein. We really need a geology or mining expert to survey the land and find us the nice stuff."

Still in the local simmulspace, Thanat keep hacking at his own take on a Daitya/Takko crossover morph, it'll be totally sick and will put fear in the hearts of his enemies for sure. Something to occupy him when the fleshies are too busy to focus on the real important things (ie, him) or asleep.

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