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[big]The Emergency[/big]

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Colonist’s Phrase Files (CPF) 

Entry: The Emergency (disputed)

Though not in vogue throughout the whole tower some colonists have adopted the term ’The Emergency’ to describe the on-going forced migrations to the Dug-Out. This to counter the claim that the lower cluster is safer because closer to the ground, and less susceptible to winds and rocks. The real emergency is not the situation in the Habitat after the Tower Buster (see entry). The real emergency is the forced removal of newly-growns to the Dug-Out.* --- entry by Mirina, L1017

(*) Come on, Mir, we can’t publish this. It’s propaganda. Besides, they’d never get it. --- Ngala

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[big]The Hatchery[/big]

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Colonist’s Phrase Files (CPF)

Entry: Hatchery, the

The Hatchery is local slang for RecSpace. It came into vogue when today’s floatbed chambers were built following the activation of thousands of new floatbeds in L1000. One early morning TAU sealed off the doors to what was then a recreational space for the first Da Vincians, and began constructing the new floatbed chambers. They were referred to as The Hatchery. The name has since caught on, and is now used by some as a generic term for both floatbed chambers, locker halls, and garden areas. --- entry by Mirina & Ngala, L1016


For more information check The Hatchery (Recspace) and Floatbed Chambers

Re: Seed Data Mining texts

[big]The Hatchery: Floatbed Chambers[/big]

Originally floatbeds were shared, stationary, and situated in what is now the Loading Bay above Ringlab Alpha. Up there you can still see some of the old recesses in the floor now used for handling crates and heavy machinery. The piping where the floatbed liquid used to flow now functions as oversized cable-throughs.

Back then two semi-circular structures now used as floatbed access stations were recreational spaces for the first hundred. This changed suddenly in the early days of the D-Block Incident when it became clear that hundreds, if not thousands, of new Da Vincians would appear in the tower within the next couple of years. Without warning chimbots started tearing down the leisure facilities, and replacing them with what you see today.

The incident was one of the first to spark distrust towards TAU, and resulted in the formation of a small group of people bent on monitoring and possibly countering TAU’s decisions. One of the members of this group was Felman, the later founder of the TAU Surveillance Ring (TSR) still active in the tower community. Rumor has it that Felman was part of the gang that ventured into the Core, and flushed hundreds of floatbeds mere days before the people inside were released. If this is true, he was apparently never caught nor put on trial.

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[big]The New Ringlab[/big]

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TAU Project Archives, L944

Documenting the Kapstan-Oliver-Grofman project, Scene 14a

((video recording:)) [Camera pans the walls as it goes up the shaft. Lift stops. Camera sweeps down, settles on door.] This is it. This is where the entrance to the Kapstan-Oliver-Grofman project is gonna be. [Door slides open.] Let’s have a look inside. A complete replica of Ringlab Alpha, they say. [Camera moves down the corridor] Wonder if we’re gonna be able to tell the difference.


For more info on the Kapstan-Oliver-Grofman project read the entry on Ringlab Beta

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[big]The Tower Buster[/big]

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TAU Security Footage

Camera mounted on tower top gun barrel

((video recording:)) [Camera looking up into a night-dark sky. Picture very shaky. No sound. Heavy fog or dust whirls about. Camera rolls further backwards and up. A sudden flash of light. Screen goes dead for a few seconds. The sky is on fire. Huge chunks of burning rock falls out of it. Camera swipes to the left. Another flash. Picture trembles violently. A bright light flares up from behind. Black-out. No signal.]


This badly shaken video recording documents the exact moment in L1000 when a meteor fell from the sky, and knocked off the top of the tower

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[big]Tyler (CEP)[/big]

Fragment content

Collaborative Encyclopedia Project (CEP)

Entry: Tyler

((damaged entry))

Tyler, Cruncher, of the Minimizer ring. Released L917, dead L927 by assumed suicide. The first to carry a blocker due to the [....] live floatbed with synthesized DNA [...] developing human would turn out [....] compatible with vicious native microbes [...] fast-paced skin cancer. -- Quachi


Information that can be delivered in game if players ask

See Fictive Fragment Sources page for more info on fragment origins

For more information see ‘Blockers’

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[big]Blockers [/big]

Backstory: When Tyler got the blocker

The reasons behind the harsh set of prohibitions and restrictions surrounding the handling of both native and transnative microbes and fungi stems from the Tyler incident:

Tyler was a cruncher working on a project involving human stem cells and native fungi. After a series of more or less covert tests within the confines of his lab, he infected a live floatbed with synthesized DNA to see if the developing human would turn out more resistant to or at least compatible with some of the more vicious microbes outside.

Not only did the mixture prove unstable, leading to a horrible death some months after 'debulbing. It also proved quite viable in the wild, quickly mutating into an aggressive form of fast-paced skin cancer.

In L925 Tyler was the first person to wear the blocker, a modification to a 'link designed to deny access to designated areas. He killed himself a few years after, by throwing himself off a walkway. It was said he never got over not being able to work anymore.

Blockers soon came into vogue as a punitive measure. The ad hoc democratic trials grew into more complex affairs, as did the backstabbing and politics surrounding them. Blockers soon gained a reputation of being the tool of those with power, though they no doubt saved the colony from wrongdoings and accidents as well. Some people said blockers were a cowardly way of killing people who messed up. What if there is an alert, and the only route of escape is closed because of the blocker?

Blockers fell out of use over the years, and the current batch of colonists have all but forgotten them.

What it is

Blocker (blocking modification): A modification to a 'link, used as a punitive/restrictive measure. Will keep designated doors, tubes etc. from working. Will keep designated machines, tools etc. from being accessible to the person wearing the blocker.

What can be found out about them

Clues to the above can be found in TAU's scattered databases and processes. Colonists can access such through their 'links.

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[big]Vernan's Story (origins of access points)[/big]

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((crackling audio file))

This is Vernan speaking, and this is a formal entry to the Da Vinci memorial banks. I'm going to talk a bit about the access point system. In particular how it came about. So if you're listening to this, Kinnick, you're one clever git. Have to say that.

Alright, where to start... it was after the Dambuster in, uh, L930 when we really started having trouble with resources. First off the BMCs went haywire on us due to the excessive damage their area suffered. BMCs would be the barrier maintenance clusters responsible for keeping the canyon waters out of the algae reservoir, for the record. Gotta remember details. Well, those BMCs are autonomous thinkers just like the rest of TAU, so they went ahead with their emergency programmes. Can't have the Barrier breached after all. So a whole lot of gear got sucked down there for months while the Barrier was rebuilt.

And on top of that there was just too much going on from the environment. We started getting the first really bad storms as well - the first Grazers scouring the tundra raw up there and sandblasting the tower with sand so fine it passed even through the hull sealings. We had the floods showing up every year all of a sudden. We had a growing army of microbes climbing inside and teaming up with the ones we managed to loose from the labs. So we had to start up a whole lot of things - improving the hulls, setting up organic defenses, installing the sonic guns topside. All costing resources.

But what really made things sink was the damn ambition. We all wanted to be the first to really get the true ecopoiesis up and running. True as in prestigious. Everybody wanted to be the first to put a real green thing out there, and see it take root and grow and spread. Nevermind that a report later proved the Dambuster was caused by just one of those - the Black Land project. To put out black algae to help warm up the atmosphere. Never did us any good, as far as I know. But anyhow.

Back then, we shared. Well, that was the idea. You wanted something, you got it from the storages. Or asked somebody for it. No big deal. I mean, it was just a few hundred people. We were basically just a small village by terran standards. Everybody knew everybody - or knew somebody who did. But with all this shit happening and everybody and their ringbuddy starting up new things, there simply wasn't enough for all of us. We all needed production units, labs, transports, CPU time, storage space. And you know, it started getting less sharey and more all-mine-mine awfully fast.

Yeah, it would get pretty bad in those days. You'd pop out of your floatbed, and your stomach would be sour already, because you just knew you'd be way behind in the line for anything. You could spend hours trying to pull a chimbot from the queues, only to get an error message stating that said unit was unavailable due to priority request. Priority request my ass. Or you'd secure a couple of crates with sonar boosters, only to have it mysteriously re-routed to the guy in the next lab, who would then claim to have waited for days for HIS boosters. Or people just went ahead and basically squatted resources. Or hid them.

At some points we even had people stalking each other, to see if they would go to a stash. We had people outright stealing, if you could call it stealing to put your hands on something that was supposed to be communal in the first place. And we had people coming very close to robbing each other, with people stopping other people in the corridors to "borrow" stuff in unpleasant tones. Everybody knew it things were bad, but well, nobody got around to do anything about it. You know how it goes. Maybe somebody would have gotten killed before the colony would have gotten off its collective ass.

But then some economically inclined person came up with the access point theory. Kinnick, two years out of the 'beds and one of those people that spent far too much time bedside submerged in trang liquids, you ask me. But anyhow. The point was, she said, that the more useful you were as a person to the colony, the more gear access gear you would get.

Useful how, that was the question. You know how it goes around here - everybody started in at each other, ragging about how their concepts and proposals were the best. And the whole mess just went on, with us basically fighting over even simple tools and a whole lot of "accidents" going on with gear malfunctioning and machines blowing up in the weirdest ways.

I'd say Kinnick was smarter than I credited her for at the time. Instead of trying to cut through the shit, she started the basic programming on her own and worked on gaining access to the right ears while we all argued like a cage of rabid monkeys. Same old story. And at some point the scales tipped and enough people with influence was yapping along the same kind of tune.

I wasn't one of those, I wasn't even doing the cage monkey dance. I was minding my own business, which I thought was pretty clever at the time. And basically, one day all we cage monkeys and solo jocks woke up to a new kind of error message. "Not enough access points." I remember it clear as day - I was trying to get to a deep archive to look up some specs for cold welding, and all I get was that message. Told me I have to go do something, like a dog fetching sticks for treats. Never been so pissed in my life. And I weren't the only one.

Kinnick and her cronies wisely kept off 'link range, or somebody would have done something bad to them right there and then. And her supporters kept repeating the message to hammer it into the collective head - be useful, and there will be no problems. Everybody gets a piece of the action, everybody's happy. It's all for the common good. We were all a part of deciding this. The machine will be fair. "Temporary measure to stabilize the situation." Podwasting crud.

They put out this economy manual with lists of what yielded how many access points, and what could be gotten for them. And the system covered everything - everything! You couldn't suck as much as a lurch bolt out of there without having to cough up the APs. Oh, we talked about - suddenly there was a mightily cooperative spirit around, now we had a common enemy. But the mess was all programmed into TAU, and unsetting the damage would take an unknown amount of time.

And meanwhile, we had to work within the system. Again, clever thinking on Kinnick's part. Because the system actually worked - well, in the sense that you might now and then experience the rare and exhilarating feeling of finishing up repairs and heading for the nearest sharepoint to pick up that bundle of hydrogen strippers you would normally have to wait weeks for. Of course we got used to it, while the talk kept on about how we were going to fix everything and rip the system right out of TAU. Erase every trace.

You guessed it. Talk was all there was. We never got around to it. We are creatures of habit, and Kinnick and her pals very well knew that. We moaned and bitched while we lost the initiative and settled in. But anyways. The system is still in place as of this recording - 15 years and counting. Temporary measure my butt.


Information available to colonists on request:

Fragmented audio file timestamped L983. This was recorded between the Dambuster and just before the Tower Buster and the D Block Incident.

See ‘Kinnick’ for  more information

Vernan is dead - he died in the tower buster event.

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Inventor of the access point system. She was two years out of the floatbeds when she came up with what was pitched as a temporary solution to resource sharing issues. Despite massive resistance, she successfully gained the ears of influential colonists while quietly programming and installing the system. Access points went live in L968, much to the surprise of many colonists. Kinnick is still alive, but hasn't been out of her floatbed for many years.

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Mainstay: Ringlab Alpha[/big]

The release of the first hundred has become such stuff as legends are made of. Even in a strictly scientific society like the one on Da Vinci, facts run the risk of becoming confused with fiction. Only few of the first ones are left, and the question of memory in people undergoing life-prolonging treatment is notorious to say the least. Events become dissolved in time, and the chains of causation lock their own tails.

Out of this uncertainty rises the story of a few brave men and women awakening to a reality as harsh and unpredictable as nothing they had ever been taught in their breeding tanks. The plasteel was cold and hard, and threw their voices back at them in mocking repetition of their own words. The translucent bio-domes, lush fields, and clear skies of their incubatory dreams were nowhere to be seen. Human life had arrived too early, it seemed, and now they were all stuck inside the machine that created them.

TAU no longer knew the answers to the tasks it presented them with, and sometimes it did not even know the questions. When it transferred the emergency mission statement to its first-borns some broke down and cried while others stared in disbelief at the mechanized cocoon surrounding them. The horror of self-consciousness was only too real.

Opinions differ as to whom led the first research team to establish an overview of the terraforming situation. It all depends on the criteria you set up. Was it Fielding when he took control of the lab, and had the agreed-on machines and functions put in place? Was it Shikaya when she organized the data processing from TAU to the colonists? Or was it Laslov and Sites when they followed a chimbot to the bottom of the tower, set foot on Da Vinci soil for the first time, and brought home the initial batch of indigenous specimen?

In the end it does not really matter as long as the stories are still remembered and told. Though few people think about it when strolling through the lab, or operating one of the machines in it, this is where all those stories originated. Ironically, it is a place that tells about a time when things were less desperate and haphazard, even heroic and visionary. A fiction rooted in the fact of its very layout – clear, bright, balanced, and beautifully curved.

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[big]Mainstay: Weller's Shaft[/big]

Weller's Shaft, or the Pit as some call it, was the site of a prolonged argument, the fallout of which still smolders today among the oldest colonists. Not only did it turn two former friends into bitter enemies, it was also the site of the colony's first armed conflict and a near-murder.

Originally, chimbots were the only mode of transportation when hauling equipment through the Labspace sections. You can still see the old curving ramps connecting the different ringlabs - those were made for chimbot passage. When construction of Ringlab Beta began, people simply wanted to add new ramps and get on with it. Chimbots worked fine, so why bother?

But there were those who thought chimbots could be put to better use. Weller was a colonist who liked to think big. Very big. And Weller had a dream of lifts. Beautiful, huge lifts that would move tons upon tons in an orderly and energy-efficient manner. No more shambling rows of chimbots tugging crates up and down. Lifts would quickly and efficiently get stuff to go where it should go.

Weller saw the construction of Ringlab Beta as the perfect opportunity to turn his dreams of lift designs into reality. But to make space for the enormous lift, a series of huge central fans would have to be removed to make space. The fans were part of the intricate cooling system servicing terraforming (TF) machinery in the area, but Weller had crunched the numbers for months. The overall reduction in air flow would not matter much if a few TF units were turned off and a few systems cobbled together and jury-rigged for maximum performance. He'd thought of everything - the fans themselves could be scrapped and recycled into lift materials. No waste, no problems.

But his fellow colonists didn't agree one bit. Turn TF machinery off when it was the primary mission of the colony? Shut machinery down just to get lifts, when chimbots worked just fine? Create potential disaster sites by jury-rigging and overloading?

But Weller was no person to back down. He shrugged it all off and went ahead with his plans, turning to his ring mates for help and support. The area in front of the fans was stubbornly turned into an ad hoc construction site while protests rained down over the project.

Most vocal was Weller's political adversary Boyle, who openly accused Weller of building just for the sake of it, to get his name on something. Though they often butted heads on issues, the two men had a grudging friendship going. That came under heavy strain as the word spread and more and more people seemed to agree with Boyle's accusations, but one incident was to destroy it.

The day the first fan was scheduled to be turned off, Boyle showed up with a posse of angry people intent on stopping Weller's egotrip. When he couldn't reason with Weller, Boyle and his posse commenced a sit-down strike. If Weller still wanted to rip out machines, he'd have to go through them first.

As the story goes, Weller just stood there for a moment, staring at the people in front of the doomed fan. Then, resolutely, he picked up a powered wrench, strode over and swung it at Boyle's head. The wrench slammed into the floor plates inches from Boyle, who didn't move a muscle. When Weller backed off, Boyle got to his feet shakily and walked off without a word, followed by his equally silent supporters. To this day nobody agrees whether Weller missed on purpose.

With Boyle gone, Weller went ahead as if nothing had happened. Chimbots started the scrapping process and the fans were shut down one after the other. Over the weeks the area temperature rose slightly, then settled shakily on a new equilibrium. In time, people got used to using the new lift since it is indeed pretty practical. Boyle and Weller never spoke to each other again, as far as anybody knows.

It seems Weller did a good job. More than a hundred years after its construction, the huge lift is still in service, albeit plagued by the same quirks and oddities as any other aging machinery in the tower. Weller's workarounds have yet to cause any serious incidents, although some attribute the deteriorating indoor climate in the Shaft to overheating issues. Nobody has gotten around to properly investigate any long-term effects on the TF machinery.

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[big]The Hatchery: Locker Halls[/big]

Nobody would have thought about private storage space before the onset of the D-Block Incident. Back then, everybody was working on the same big old terraforming project, and even floatbeds were shared. But with the coming of thousands of new Da Vincian, with the personalization of floatbeds, and with the development of discussions into arguments and even strife, a new set of rules had to be laid down.

Before admin bits and access points, theft was unthinkable. Everybody borrowed, nobody stole. And even if it was a real pain in the butt when somebody had grabbed the last bit of protective gear and gone outside in it, you would not consider him og her anything but inconsiderate.

Of course there were voices protesting the inefficiency of such a system, but even the briefest database search showed that it was not exactly notions of private property and personal aggrandizement that had seen the Terrans through. After the ecological disasters that severely downsized the inhabitable areas of Earth, and led to mass migrations all over the planet, it was the abolishment of borders and the redistribution of wealth that prevented humanitarian disasters and civil war-like conditions.

Felman and his accomplices saw it coming when they ventured into the Core and flushed nearly grown Da Vincians from their floatbeds. TAU helped it along when it activated its emergency program and flooded the tower with people. And Teiko took the consequences of it when he proposed to have two locker halls built with personal storage compartments for everyone.

Teiko was a disillusioned weather-systems-specialist-turned-social-agitator who believed in building a better society within the tower. He had come to deem gaining a proper foothold on the planet a thing of the far future. One day, it is told, he witnessed something that made him give up his insistence on continuing the original and highly idealistic communal spirit of the days of the first hundred.

What he saw was not anything unusual. Just an ordinary everyday occurence. Something that happened all the time. And that was what made him wonder. Why would two people entering the same lift at the same time choose to not engage in conversation, to not exchange glances, to not even stand close?

Teiko was one of the two people on the lift that day. He did not know the other one, except by name. He did not know when she had been released, he did not know what rings or projects she was involved with. In fact, for all he knew, she might as well have been of an entirely different species.

That was when it dawned on him that things would never be the same again. The early days of a close-knit group drawn together by a common challenge were irrepairably over. The atom had split right down the middle, and the energy had become diffused. If something was not done to contain this energy, even though it could not be united as before, it would spin out of range and eventually disappear.

The Locker Halls were to become Teiko’s greatest achievement. Though his visions of a new and more realistic societal structure within the tower did not stop here, the pains it cost him to realize the project wore him down until he had become nothing more than a symptom of the disease he himself had diagnosed. A withdrawn misanthropic whose lack of privacy estranged him from the very mission that should have united him with society.

It’s been years since anybody saw Teiko around. People once close to him tell that one day he looked them deep in the eyes, and held their hands as if hanging on to a railing in the Canyon. He left without a word. Some say that he’s still in his floatbed, waiting to return when he is once again needed. Others believe that he donned an outdoors suit, and left the tower in search of solitude. The truth is probably somewhere in between.