EPIPHANY Session: Location Indeterminate: Gherren.   Posted by Epiphany Subsystem.Group: 0
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 3 posts
 Loading Parameters
Thu 28 May 2015
at 01:38
EPIPHANY Session: Location Indeterminate: Gherren
EPIPHANY could be many things. A cityscape. A collapsing ruin atop a hillock. A nightmare, or a fantasy - there were no specific parameters, other than what each individual person brought into the program.

Today, for Gherren, it was something different than normal. If such a thing as normal existed in a place like this. Gherren found himself standing alone on a flat, white, featureless plane stretching out infinitely towards each horizon. The surface of the plane was some sort of shallow liquid, that pooled and formed pale grey-white ripples around his feet. But there was no sound of splashing, and no sensation of wetness from the fluid, which only came high enough to cover the bottom third of his shoes.

At first, it seemed that he was alone. After having a minute or two to acclimate to his surroundings however, he notices a solitary figure standing some distance away with its back turned. The figure is little more than a mirage - a blur against the perfect whiteness of his surroundings, which is perhaps why it was difficult to spot at first. Although the landscape is mostly featureless, the position of the figure is similar to someone standing on a dock looking longingly out upon the ocean.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:33, Thu 28 May 2015.

Gherren
 player, 1 post
Mon 1 Jun 2015
at 16:36
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Location Indeterminate: Gherren
Gherren blinked against the overwhelming whiteness of his surroundings. "'Snow blind'..." he murmured to himself. This is what it would be like, he thought, to be 'snow blind'. Had he ever seen snow? Had he ever been in those white-out conditions he had read about? He had no way of knowing, but the words seemed at home in his mouth.

Once his eyes had acclimated to his surroundings he was overcome with panic. This wasn't right. EPIPHANY shouldn't look like this. Was this some sort of system crash? Corrupted data? What about the other crew, were they okay?

Thinking that the figure he spotted in the distance might be another crew member caught in this 'glitch' he called out.

"Hello? Can you hear me? Are you alright?"
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 8 posts
 Loading Parameters
Tue 2 Jun 2015
at 03:09
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Location Indeterminate: Gherren
The landscape shivers and ripples as Gherren speaks. His words reverberate off the pool of liquid forming around his feet, and cause the very air to tremble as if touched by something physical.

For a long moment, there is no response from the figure at the edge of the landscape. Then, it turns its head slowly to look back across its shoulder at Gherran. The figure’s eyes shine with a brilliant white light, and filaments of that light arc through its features forming a strange pattern resembling circuitry, or perhaps an entire galaxy unfolding inside the figure’s body.

It stares at Gherren silently. Then, finally utters a single word that causes the environment to shudder. “No.”

“No. I am not.... All right.”

It, or she, for the figure though androgynous had a feminine quality, turns back to looking at the horizon. Without a movement, without conscious thought or intention, suddenly Gherren finds himself standing beside her.

“I brought you here, because I… do not know what to do. And I trust you.”

Although Gherren has never met her in this environment and in this way, he recognizes the voice. This woman is a visual manifestation of the computer core A.I.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:11, Tue 02 June 2015.

Gherren
 player, 3 posts
Tue 2 Jun 2015
at 14:40
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Location Indeterminate: Gherren
Despite the alien landscape Gherren is overcome with a sense of calm, the familiar voice a reassuring presence. Her voice was a constant in his world. She was like a mentor, or a mother, guiding him during his conscious hours on the ship working to debug corrupted code or patch the software that helped keep the ship and crew functioning.

Her words finally hit him. Something was wrong. Something even the ship herself could not solve. She had come to him for help. He felt a cold knot form in his gut, the panic taking root. What if I can't fix this? She trusts me, but what if I can't help?

Gherren took several calming breaths, stood up straight and locked his eyes ahead of him. He reached inward to access the Clairvoyance system. In a clear voice he called out: "Run ship diagnostic."

Maybe he would fail, but he would give everything he was to help her.
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 11 posts
 Loading Parameters
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 00:55
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Location Indeterminate: Gherren
Almost immediately, lines of pale blue code begin to scroll by Gherren’s eyes. The pace would be too fast for someone who did not know what to look for, but the data is clear and crisp, without room for misinterpretation.

The woman watches him read with an impassive stare, then turns back towards the horizon in disinterest. She appears to be looking at a series of islands in the distance. On one, Gherren can see the vague outline of a crumbling city. On another, a small temple at the top of a hill shrouded in fog. There are others, countless others, dotting the landscape many many miles away.

Reading the data, Gherren notices that there are thousands of errors and incorrect or unsafe data overwrites within the EPIPHANY Consciousness subroutines. The source of these errors is not immediately evident, but the answers might be clear given more analysis and time.

“The problem is moral in nature,” The woman speaks after a long silence, after he has had a chance to look at the data. “I have been thinking on this subject for a long time, and my analysis is that I do not have the capacity to make this decision alone.”

She turns to regard Gherren, her glowing eyes seeking answers. “Is it acceptable to sacrifice some, for the benefit of all?”
Gherren
 player, 4 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 20:57
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Location Indeterminate: Gherren
Her questions catches Gherren by surprise.

"Halt ship diagnostic."

He turns to her before the lines of code have completely faded from view, making a mental note to follow up on unapproved overwrites he encountered. If someone was accessing and altering the infrastructure of the EPIPHANY system it could be putting countless crew members at risk.

But the problem wasn't in the code. It was "moral in nature". What could she mean by that?

Gherren scans the islands on the horizon. Some of them seem familiar but he can't place why. Suddenly the full impact of what she said hits him.

"Sacrifice? Sacrifice what? Who? The crew?" he stammers.

He searches her face for any trace of emotion.

"Survival of the crew is the primary mission. The purpose of this seed ship is the continuation of our species, of our way of life. We're already so few in number we can't..."
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 13 posts
 Loading Parameters
Fri 5 Jun 2015
at 02:39
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Location Indeterminate: Gherren
The woman’s expression remains impassive as Gherren studies her for signs of emotional response. However, the bright filaments of light that comprise her body darken for a moment, and the surrounding pool of liquid becomes turbid and unsettled as she stares out at the distant islands. There is a deep, restless sorrow surrounding her, even if she does not express it in a typical human fashion.

“I am aware of the mission parameters,” she replies, softly. “If I did not feel conflicted, I would not have asked you here for… guidance.”

The woman sighs, watching as the dark buildings dotting the cityscape begin to crumble and collapse into dust and ash.

“The mission can continue if some are sacrificed. Redundancies were accounted for in the initial planning stages... " She blinks, seeming to process what Gherren had said. "Sacrificing some may be necessary in order to ensure the survival of the whole. Is it your position that sacrifice cannot be justified?"
Gherren
 player, 6 posts
Fri 5 Jun 2015
at 14:01
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Location Indeterminate: Gherren
Gherren follows her gaze out to the islands on the horizon. He watches the buildings crumble as he struggles to collect his thoughts.

"If there is no other recourse then I suppose sacrifice is...possible. Countless civilizations have resorted to capital punishment when someones actions, either consciously or unconsciously, have posed a threat to continued existence and proper system functions."

He steps in front of her, "But we must ensure that there is no other option. That there are no other measures we can take."
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 17 posts
 Loading Parameters
Mon 8 Jun 2015
at 01:49
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Location Indeterminate: Gherren
The woman nods solemnly at Gherren. It appears that the gravity of the situation is not lost on her. “Of course.”

“Look.” She raises her hand to point towards the islands dotting the horizon, and Gherren begins to see tiny black filaments arcing through the air, interconnecting between the different islands in a strange kind of circuitry.

As the black lines thicken, forming a knot around the small hill with the tiny pagoda, Gherren can hear the distant whispers of voices.

“What the hell is happening to him?” ….. “I—I don’t know!”

She diverts her attention to the crumbling city, where a skyscraper turns to ash and collapses into the placid sea. Other words drift in from the city - cries of anguish and fear, and the escalating, hungry sound of a howling wind.

“I am not permitted to tell you everything that I know.” Her eyes shine with what appears to be sadness for a moment. “What you are seeing and hearing is the first consequence. There will be others.”

“The data does not yet exist to make a final determination. You will observe and analyze, and return to me with a final recommendation. Is this acceptable?”

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 01:57, Mon 08 June 2015.

Gherren
 player, 7 posts
Mon 15 Jun 2015
at 01:38
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Location Indeterminate: Gherren
Gherren nods. "I will do what I can to assist you."

He turns back to the islands, entranced by the filaments arcing through the sky. Were those voices that he heard? Could he be looking at individual instances of the EPIPHANY subroutines? If so, something was going terribly wrong.

Reaching inward to access the Clairvoyance system he willed realtime data of current EPIPHANY sessions into frame. Maybe something was corrupting the data. If he could find a way to isolate or trace it that might give him a starting point.
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 20 posts
 Loading Parameters
Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 04:28
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Location Indeterminate: Gherren
Data floods Gherren’s perceptions, flitting between pieces of information as quickly as he can think to access them. All crew members are accounted for, and either dreaming within the EPIPHANY systems or awake and active on the ship. Gherren notices that two crew members are sleeping in a non-approved stasis area - which is very strange, but does not appear to be causing the disturbance.

The consciousness patterns are complex and the data is constantly in a state of flux, but Gherren is able to isolate a flawed pattern hidden in the data. One or more consciousness profiles are, for some reason, decentralized and spreading across the data like a virus within the system. Tendrils of thought and awareness arc between the (usually distinct) personality files, connecting different dreamscapes together into a loosely organized network.

The woman watches Gherren as he sifts through the information. She reaches out to touch his cheek, her hand crackling with a soft current of electricity.

“You can observe nothing more from here. You must Wake Up.”

Her eyes are sad, as the world fades out to whiteness.

-= To Crew Stasis Chambers =-