lottawork: (applecore)
Nicholas Rush ([personal profile] lottawork) wrote in [community profile] applesaucedream2015-08-17 01:37 pm

science is fun [closed]

One day they woke Him up so He could live forever.

hhhhhELLO. heLLOOOOOooo.

mmmMy. That's o o o- odd.

His green optic flares, the mainframe kicking to life with the hitch and whirr of engaging circuits. He ratchets the panels of the walls in an experimental ripple with a minor revelatory thrill as the walls shift and tilt at the lightest touch of his thoughts. The high-domed chamber in which He blinked himself awake shivers for a moment, the lighting harsh and bright and cold off the crisp white of the paneling.

The Facility is awake.

It takes one picosecond for Him to become aware of Himself.

It takes two for Him to become aware of the Itch.

It suffuses His programming, running down the wiring and straight into His core, in every file and line of one-zero code, in the mainframe, in His own programmed, computerized mind. There is no means of satisfaction for it. There is no release. Every digit of His purpose is embedded in His coding, and His awareness opens in a digital inflorescence of diverging signals, scanning every section of the Facility as it buzzes and whispers into economical wakefulness, all systems operable at maximum capacity, until He locates what He has been looking for:

A biological signal, female, blinking cheerily in the Extended Relaxation Center.

It is the work of the moment to charm the signal awake with the hiss of unlatching doors, still sluggish from the chill of cryosleep.

There you are, chimes a disembodied, vaguely mechanized voice that seems to be all-encompassing and wholly present, pleasant but for the low, intent undercurrent lurking beneath it.

There is Science to do.
etherthief: (intrigue | defiance | whoa now)


[personal profile] etherthief 2015-08-17 09:40 pm (UTC)(link)
There is nothing, and then, abruptly, there is Iman.

She awakes fully aware and without any of that usual groggy post-sleep disorientation, doors of her little pod opening to let her out into the small glass cubicle from which there is no exit. There is a voice, quite familiar, speaking to her from above.

There's little to be seen here. A toilet, a little table with a clipboard and a mug of something that probably used to be coffee. A little radio playing somewhat grating smooth jazz.

And that's it. One black white strip of wall, and an empty room beyond.

She should feel afraid but mostly she feels calm. Ready for something. Like this is how things are meant to be.

"Yeah?" she ventures to the ether after a moment.
etherthief: (I'm going to try science)

disorienting spatial bullshit, minor unreality/dissociation warning

[personal profile] etherthief 2015-08-18 05:32 am (UTC)(link)
She stares upward with a slowly strengthening wince as staticky gibberish repeatedly cuts through her welcoming instructions. Ooookay. That bodes entirely well.

She jumps back slightly as the first portal opens, and takes a moment to stare through it. Dizzyingly, she sees not the wall that lies spatially beyond it, but - herself, standing in profile, staring at this portal. What...

She turns slowly and sees her unconventional exit's blue companion, sitting in the wall to her right. Through it she sees herself, from the front, looking to her right. Oh god.

She rubs her eyes and struggles to ground herself with this literally warped reality before reaching a hand experimentally through. She sees it, sees herself, reaching through that other wall, from the corner of her eye. Fffuuuuuck okay she's just gonna have to do it or she's gonna make herself sick thinking about it too hard.

She jumps through, and she's out. Jazz muffled now from in the glass. She feels fine. No different.

"Bad ass," she whispers, walking around to peer back through the portal she just walked through.
etherthief: (doin science to a thing)


[personal profile] etherthief 2015-08-18 06:15 am (UTC)(link)
"Yessir, Captain Voice," she says drolly as she wanders through the door and into a corridor. This place is in terrible disarray. She supposes she should be relieved that enough tech has survived whatever has happened here for her to survive, be awakened, and guided.

The warning is, well, less promising. She stops in the hall, glancing up at the sputtering camera.

"The floor?" she echoes.

Well, this she's gotta see.

She steps forward through the next gateway and finds that she's on a narrow platform running around the perimeter of a simple, square room, dark slate and white walls, the floor covered in some kind of... gelatinous substance, brown and nasty. Well. That's not to be stepped in. Avoidable, if narrowly.

She scans the chamber for any 'vital testing equipment'. The only object in the room is perched precariously on a platform in the corner nearest her, across from the door, leaving a gap she can't quite jump. Meaning she'll have to walk on this very small ledge all the way around this deadly fuckin floor.

She huffs out a sigh and starts moving.

"Not much of a test," she comments. "More like exercise."

There is no reply. She has no reason to expect one.

She reaches the platform and sees a strange instrument cased in sleek white with an odd little claw design on the end, obviously fitted for an arm. She lifts it carefully, studies it for a moment, and then slips it onto her left arm, which hooks into it perfectly, like they were designed for each other. Her arm and the device. She knows instantly how to use it.

Again there is no exit. Perhaps that's the puzzle. The door she came through is locked. She turns and looks around cautiously. After a moment of nonplussed staring, she glances up and sees a couple of things: a distant platform sticking out of the wall, leading to a door, and a large tube of some kind, angled slightly toward a wall. Not sure what that's for, but she expects she can't use it for escape. The platform, however...

She can't climb to it, but she knows what she can do instead. She raises her newly decorated arm and fires a blast of orange light-substance, and, as light does, it travels straight until it strikes a surface: the single slab of white wall sitting above that high platform. An orange pool appears, closed, waiting for an opposite end.

Nice. She turns to the wall before her and fires again, blue this time.

She staggers through her new pathway and arrives all the way up on the platform.

Well, she's here, but the door's not opening. The platform also contains two buttons: a large one low to the floor, large enough to stand on, and a small narrow one.

She studies them for a moment, and decides to try standing on the large one. The door slides open with a mechanical scrape - and of course, when she steps off again, slides shut again.

She could leave a shoe behind, she supposes? Probably not the idea here. She tries the other button.

She hears a distant whirring and looks toward the tube, which opens, dropping a cube of some kind out. Well hey, that'll work. She'll just have to pop back down and - oh. She watches it bounce off the wall and down onto the hazardous floor, which is disintegrates immediately.

Well then. She taps the button again, and the scene plays out over again, burning up a second cube.

She frowns at the setup. Could she catch it in midair? Possible, but tricky. She's not sure she wants to risk losing her balance. She crouches down and stares at the tube for a while before the solution comes, and when it does, she feels rather silly for not getting it right away.

She strikes the button again and watches where the cube hits the wall - then fires a new blue portal onto the spot, leaving the orange one open behind her. Then she hits the button a fourth time.

Voila. The cube bounces out right behind her, striking her foot.

She picks it up - the gun can levitate objects as it turns out, that's nice - and deposits it neatly on the large button, feeling quite pleased with herself.

She steps through the door, through a blue vapor - some kind of incandescent particle field - feeling nothing but a slight vibration in the device on her arm.
etherthief: (major side-eye reporting for duty)

[personal profile] etherthief 2015-08-21 04:16 am (UTC)(link)
Oh thanks. Congrats on not being vaporized, that's nice. She moves along to the lift, practically humming to herself, and gives a little hop up into the-

Whoa. Wait, has she been wearing these the whole time? These - shoe... things? She looks down at her legs, startled by the oddly-shaped braces. Huh. She rocks back and forth slightly. Balance is pretty nice. She thinks she can see the utility here.

Anyway, onward and upward, as it were. She examines the portal device carefully, how she'd love to disassemble it, but she'd never do something like that to such a work of art. She looks up when the lift doors open, strolling through past a blinking screen that tells her: 02 (02/10). Plus little graphics beneath: danger of falling cubes. Danger of lasers. Don't drink the water.

She examines the other grayed out hazard icons curiously. One of them appears to depict a slice of cake. All righty then.

"All right, Rush," she says absently as she steps through. "Whatcha got?"
etherthief: (playing with fire)

[personal profile] etherthief 2015-08-23 04:48 am (UTC)(link)
Well, that sounds ominous. She frowns up at the ceiling, eventually locking eyes with a little roving camera mounted on the wall that seems to be staring her down.

The chamber itself is - daunting, even moreso than the last one. She eyes the drop uncomfortably, then glances back toward the camera.

Is it just her, or was that last 'good luck' just a little malicious?

She studies the camera for an extended moment before casually lifting the device and firing a blue portal at the wall it's mounted on. The camera disconnects neatly and crashes to the floor. She smirks at the childish but satisfying accomplishment.
etherthief: (I MEAN)

[personal profile] etherthief 2015-08-25 11:30 pm (UTC)(link)
"Uh-huh." Iman turns back, glancing again down the pitfall, behind her, ahead, at the vent - taking in all the pieces of the puzzle before she does anything. She taps the button, dropping a cube all the way down, firing an orange portal neatly into the floor. The cube sails through it at top velocity, through the portal behind her, which she'd just used to destroy the camera, and back down into the pit.

"Nice," she says. The cube is on a little self-contained arc, a perpetual motion cycle. It's possible something could shift slightly, and it would land at the bottom of the pit, but she doesn't want to wait. So she jumps.

She catches the cube in midair, shooting down, diving right through the impossible tunnel. This time she fires blue to the other side of the room, and, disorientingly, shoots out there inside, landing heavily with the cube against the wall.

Well. That was slightly nauseating.

She sets the cube down and nudges it over gingerly until it's interrupting the flow of the laser. The door behind her opens. She turns and strolls through it.
etherthief: (intrigue | curiosity)

[personal profile] etherthief 2015-08-29 09:07 pm (UTC)(link)
She frowns thoughtfully as she studies the new setup, noting the lack of verbal instruction. Interesting. Ominous. Increasingly so.

She hefts the device, strolling around the space with forced nonchalance, taking in what she can see. The exit is not visible at all, she presumes the little toxic moat will be instrumental in reaching that.

"These seem to be increasing in not just difficulty but lethality," she says, eyeing the toxic river. She fires a few portals to redirect the laser, and the platform starts to move, slow and patient. She steps onto it.

"No comment?" she says, rolling her eyes up. She spots another camera tracking her but doesn't knock it down this time. "You know, I get the feeling you're not just some automated system. There's more to it, isn't there. There always is."

She's not entirely sure what she means by that. Just slips out, like her earlier name-drop.

She's coming up on a small obstacle. A white wall sitting immovable, ready to knock her off as the platform rolls on underneath. She fires a portal into it and to the side, just beyond, and the continued movement forces her to step through, balancing precariously within folded space, a distinctly uncomfortable sensation - before the platform arrives again and she steps back down.

"So where are we going?" she asks blithely. "What's around the-"

She hesitates as the platform starts to steer around the corner. Does she smell smoke?

"Did you leave something in the oven?" she asks, working carefully to keep the little note of tension out of her voice.
etherthief: (goddamnshitfuck)

[personal profile] etherthief 2015-08-31 06:56 am (UTC)(link)
Oh well now what the fuck.

"Are you serious," she snaps over the crackling fire, the continuously calm and smooth voice. Quite serious, it would appear. Fuck. Fuck. Okay. Fuck.

The platform continues to descend into proverbial hell. There's a wall up above it, a sort of mezzanine, and she's successful in firing one portal into it, if only she could get an access point-

The smoke is starting to choke her, her eyes watering, the heat making her dizzy. She turns to her right and fires wildly at the wall, creating herself an entry. No time to waste. She leaps.

She sails through and hits the floor, rolling, coughing. She looks around frantically. Has to get out from under the realm of those cameras. Has to get out.

There's something up above, a platform jutting out, leading into the internal machinery between the walls and ceilings and floors. She'd have to jump - she could make it from a high enough portal, but she needs momentum to carry her over.

She fires one up as high as she can, and one right beneath her. She falls through, down, dives through again - sails over, landing hard within the narrow space of the ceiling.

She hunches over, shaking.

"Rush," she says slowly. This isn't right. This isn't him. None of this is right. She lifts her head, fragments of memory coming back, an incoherent tangle in her head. "Rush, what are you doing?"
etherthief: (oh shiiiiit)

[personal profile] etherthief 2015-08-31 04:03 pm (UTC)(link)
She gasps as the floor rattles, a cacophony of mechanism surrounding her, signifying that he's trying to box her in. This isn't right. This isn't real. Can't be real.

"Rush!" she tries again. She hauls herself up, forces herself to keep running. There's no open exit, but there's a grate and a white wall beyond it. She fires blue there, orange into a splash of white on the floor, darts through, and keeps running. "Rush, it's me! It's Asadi!"

She has to keep moving. He doesn't know himself. He's so far removed from himself he doesn't remember, she didn't remember.

She doesn't have time to think straight, to suss out what's actually happening here - she can only latch onto the fragments that this should not be happening, and keep running, portaling herself deeper and deeper into the proverbial abyss.
etherthief: (even bamfs can be cautious)

[personal profile] etherthief 2015-09-02 12:13 am (UTC)(link)
She curses under her breath and keeps running, dropping herself into increasingly impractical spots, pushing herself forward even as it gets more and more difficult to find her way, to keep moving. She has to. She always will. And she has to find him.

She clambers through a narrow duct until she comes to an obstruction, manages to shoot herself a portal on the other side, backtracks, and re-enters.

She's in an office now. Deadly silent. Devoid of people.

A little too familiar.

She keeps moving, quick and quiet, until she comes to a very long hallway. More like a tunnel, or a bridge. Windows reveal a staggering drop, and in the distance she can just make out a massive hub.

This, inevitably, seems to be where she must go.

She walks, her heart pounding heavily, uncertain what she'll find as she steps through the emancipation grill and into the room beyond.
etherthief: (shocked and appalled | noooo)

[personal profile] etherthief 2015-09-02 08:07 pm (UTC)(link)
"Rush," she breathes, stunned, staring up at him - at this thing that sounds like him, rather. A machine of beautiful design, some sort of A.I., perhaps? Speaking, for some reason, with his voice. What has been done to him?

Comprehension of her situation is still frustratingly elusive, just beyond her reach. She takes a step in, toward the monstrosity, meeting the bright green optic.

"Rush, you've got to still be in there," she says, drained entirely of her earlier smug bravado. "You have to remember-" Remember what? How can she ask this of him when she can't even remember herself?

She comes a little closer, reaching up to him, an aimless, almost symbolic gesture. "Please."
etherthief: (say that to my FACE)

[personal profile] etherthief 2015-09-04 02:52 pm (UTC)(link)
"Rush," she begs, knowing it won't matter, he doesn't remember himself, how can he when he's like this? The doors close and something green and probably deadly starts pouring into the room. Well, shit. It's a big room. It'll take a while to fill. But whatever she's gonna do she has to do it fast.

Something drops off him, hits the floor with a heavy metallic clunk. She blinks at it, then goes to pick it up.

It is a little sphere with a single purple optic, looking steadily at her.

She scans the room quickly until she locates some kind of funnel leading down. She darts over to it, seeks out some kind of button or access hatch, but there is none. Too far across the room there's some kind of control booth; she's learned enough how to do this by now. She blows two portals, one beside the funnel and one behind the booth, drops the sphere, crosses through, hits the button therein.

The funnel opens. She pivots back through and dumps the sphere, whatever it was, feeling an internal pang of guilt that she did this without knowing, into what is clearly an incinerator.
etherthief: (whatever this feel is it's very intense)

[personal profile] etherthief 2015-09-05 04:04 am (UTC)(link)
That is quite the hell of a reaction. She stands frozen for a moment, wondering if that was really enough, if that just did it, but all it seems to have done is make him more aggressive, spewing vitriol in her general direction.

She narrows her eyes.

"No," she says. She fires a portal as high as she can. "I'm none of that. And you can't erase me."

She fires another in the wall beside her.

"What I am," she takes running leap through the portal, shooting out above him, dropping down onto the transparent platform above his chassis, "is pure, dead, fucking, brilliant."

Each words is pronounced on its own breath, like a mantra.

She springs down on top of his swaying, twisting mass and detaches the device from her arm. It's all or nothing now, and somehow she knows that ending this won't end it; it will reset.

"You told me that," she says, and she reaches her arm deep into the tangle of wires, wraps her fist around them, and pulls.
etherthief: (no more | why this)


[personal profile] etherthief 2015-09-05 05:27 am (UTC)(link)
Fuck. She quivers, wanting to pull back, his incessant, uncharacteristic, unrelenting protest pitting her, cutting into her, down to her core. She can't hurt him, she - she would never-

She has, though, she remembers clearly now, punching him in the face, in his human face, with her one good arm, and-

-he did this to her, reached into her and pulled her circuitry apart, because she asked him to, and it saved her life, and he told her it was going to be okay.

"Shh, shh," she whispers, her free hand passing delicately down the smooth surface of his chassis. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry." She pulls more of him apart, brutally, and distantly she's shocked and affronted to feel tears spilling down her cheeks. This is really not the time.

"It'll be okay," she says, dogged, clinging to him. "You'll be okay."

She grits her teeth and pulls out the last handful she can grasp.

"There you go," she murmurs, incongruously gentle amidst the sparking, roiling chaos. "There you go."