With a slow rumbling sound, the three doors in the room begin to melt away, the steel and bulwark edges suddenly taking on liquid properties and merge into the same off-white shade as the wall. Solidifying into a seamless wall leaving no evidence of the door that was once there. In the center of the room, the three projections blend together into a single figure, flickering and blurring as the projected voice becomes filled with static.
Keywords Recognized: Facility state is in Ksshk, Directive: Memory Error. 854 kssshk have been deleted, as per ksssssshk there are currently 2 open casefiles, Project kssshk and kssshk Status: Unknown. Administrative User: Unresponsive. New User: ksshk requesting administrative capacity pending admin approval from administrative core ERROR. kssssshk Restored Modus Operandi: 1 user is currently running 302 room simulations, findings are kssssssssssssssssssssssssssssshk We are kssshk sorry, but our system encountered an internal error while trying to process your request for a kssshk STATE REPORT. Please kssshk tech-support and check with research staff if the files/actions/memories you are trying to modify are currently being used in any kssshk capacity. ksssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssshk
A single large doorway appears in the center of the wall, a long hallway extends out from it.
New users noted, room simulation 304 beginning. Initiating Project PLATO. MEMORY CORRUPTED ERROR NUMBER 9746592. INTERNAL REROUTE. DIRECTORY CONNECTION. SUCCESS. INITIALIZING AUDIO RECORDING: SUCCESS. Hello Users, this is Senior Director Alexis Jones, let me be the first to welcome you to Project PLATO. Here you are going to accomplish great things! I will be talking to you at critical moments in the project in order to help guide you. Unfortunately, I cannot speak to you live for reasons you are already aware of, found in your internal file labeled ‘TULA’. But please feel free to converse with any of the other Users around you, but be sure to read the internal ruleset file that has now been unlocked in your ‘RULES’ folder. Users may experience feelings of disorientation following consciousness upload, please take this moment to orient yourself inside your testing vehicle. Any questions may be directed to the administrative AI Karen! I will let Karen give you further instructions. AUDIO RECORDING COMPLETED. ERROR ERROR ERROR FATAL ERR.
Then with a final flicker the projection disappears.
The abrupt recording has left a dead silence in comparison that for Bagheera feels like an eternity.
ζ Oooookey… that’s something… keyword recognized!? good job 'Risk ^^ ζ
Gains confidence as he listens to his own voice and speaks louder.
ζ Karen! What are the rules?! What was the keyword?! ζ
No projection appears, but instead a small recording speaks from the hallway:
A request to allocate an ephemeral user from the global space has failed due to all such users being unresponsive. Routing to Admin Karen at port 0004589375385893 has failed, port could not be located. Please contact your administrator to find a fix to this issue.
The brief break in the silence fades away, and the eternal stillness resumes.
Disrupting the silence, a small projection appears next to the robotic figure of @Inferry
Greetings same. One of the groups inside the facility completed one of the trials, the administrative account wasn’t open for long, but we managed to mine out almost an entire folder. As requested, we brought the pertinent information to your attention.
With a few bursts of binary a command prompt is executed and a file brought out of the temporary shell the mining program placed it in. A voice begins to play, filling the narrow spaces of the room with a commanding voice, occasionally interspersed with light shuffling and coughing.
…You see Ladies and gentlemen, we have been approaching this problem from the wrong direction, in order to create a program that can truly think, to go beyond simple consciousness… Hell, I’ll say it, to transcend the ‘mask’ of consciousness, make something that could evaluate human consciousness the same way the Turing test assesses machines.
Well, we just have to ask ourselves what creates consciousness? What differentiates a ‘person’ from a collection of coded tasks? We have been asking about feelings, love… Throw it all out! The key to consciousness is hypocrisy, the ability to think of yourself as having qualities different from others, even when you are the same. We need to build an intelligence with these inherit instabilities, then stabilize them, with that we can devote another ten million years of processing time to buff them out from this “base” form into…
A new voice much quieter begins to play.
…they still won’t tell us what this is about, they just suddenly demanded we halt all development of the AI program, all testing has been halted and the prototypes have been seized and locked into some storage bay. We here won’t be party to their plans though, whatever these guys want with our programs they won’t be able to find them. Not when we bury them in a recursive loop run by the admin account, some of the guys on level B were even talking about smuggling out…
Unfortunately that is all the data we recovered. However, if the ‘guinea pig’ teams continue to make progress into the facility we will have another shot at it soon.
'Risk draws breath - his expertly honed senses, a combination of innate ability and years of combat training - cause time to move at a different rate for him than for mundanes; A millisecond feels like a minute, a second like an hour, a minute like a week.
Time has passed.
His lips move silently, an occasional word can just be heard.
ǂ … … … … mast … … ǂ
The repetition continues, but it’s getting progressively more strained.
'Risk is agitated and starts visibly trembling.
Suddenly his frame stills, quick as a flash he draws his blaster and squeezes off a snap shot at the projection. Almost before the shot has left the barrel, the blaster is back in its holster at his hip.
'Risk’s eyes glitter as the bolt of directed light sizzles across the intervening space.
The blaster bolt screamed across space, passing just shy of the left arm of the phantasm, with a light spack it leaves a dark scar on the wall.
I see you are busy same, you know where to find me…
The sound snaps Bagheera back to realitiy, and looks for where the sound and the projections might be coming from.
While pacing to the doors and looking around.
ζ ‘Guinea pig’ team requests accsess to level B ζ
Whitout getting too close, Bagheera paces along the doors with a thoughtful expresion.
You see no sign of either projecting equipment or laser emitters along the seamless corridor; however the facility is projecting these images, it alone might be worth a pretty penny…
The single door in front of you doesn’t seem to be voice activated, nor does it seem to be motion controlled,
It reminds you a little of the doors rumored to once have existed back on earth, but now found only in the most technological deficient worlds,
'Risk approaches the door and reaching for the handle, he pulls on it repeatedly, trying with more and more force to open the door.
Eventually he pauses with a slightly quizzical look and pushes the door gently.
The door opens with a long, tortured groan; clearly this door has been closed a long time.
Through the recently opened portal you can see a colorful spray of lights, a few shimmering motes of paper fall through the air in front of you & a deep thumping score of music can be heard somewhere in the distance.
In front of the party is a white wall, illuminated by three or four spotlights which splash color across the wall in a thousand hues & tones. Some figure or perhaps multiple figures appear to be inked onto the wall, but they appear inverted & muted as if covered by a few layers of material.
The lights swirl into a single spotlight on the wall, then break apart as the musical score seems to reach a crescendo. Then, silence…
‘Risk enters the room, he seems fixated on the spot on the wall where the spotlight winked out.
He walks over to that point, spins on his heel and strikes the ancient pose of power that has been passed down his hereditary line: left leg straight, right leg bent at the knee, left arm down by the side, right arm extended above the head - index finger pointing to the ceiling.
ǂ Well?! You fickle gods of dance, do you favour me? ǂ
Upon striking such an ancient pose, the inking of the wall appears to modify itself to match your shadow, the musical score again reaches a crescendo & an uproar of clapping/applause can be heard.
Come on down!!! Let’s give it up for our first guest!
‘Risk explorers the room, searching for the source of the sound.
He has a huge grin on his face from having successfully managed to curry favour with the gods of disco.