EPIPHANY Session: A Gathering of Scholars: Crio.   Posted by Epiphany Subsystem.Group: 0
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Thu 28 May 2015
at 01:28
EPIPHANY Session: A Gathering of Scholars: Crio
At the top of a pale green hill veiled in layers of fog and mist, sat a small marble pagoda overgrown with a dense tangle of strangling vines. To most anyone who wandered by, the temple would not warrant any special attention. However, to those who knew better - it was an entrance to a labyrinthine archive that flourished just beneath the surface of the small hillock.

This night, at twilight, a small gathering of scholars and monks sat inside the upper layer of the pagoda around a pool of placid, turquoise water. Several of the older men and women wore robes, but not everyone shared that convention.

“Crio!” A woman wearing a privacy screen came up to greet Crio, as he entered the temple. She seemed anxious, but the screen distorted her features to maintain anonymity - so it was difficult to tell. She stood slightly too close to him as she spoke, her skin blurring and changing color like a chameleon. “I agreed to come because I trusted the messenger - but this is crazy. We can’t all be here like this. it draws too much attention. I know that Sig-“

A dirty glance from an old, bearded man silenced her, before she spoke the forbidden name “…I know that someone important, someone trusted called the meeting. But he isn’t even here, and I think we need to be very, very cautious.”

There was a low murmuring of agreement from a few of those gathered, but the older man stepped forward with a scowl. “The temple has always been a place of safety. I see no reason why that would change now. The fog-wall has always kept away prying eyes.”

What the man said was true. The temple had been established as a safe, or relatively safe archive within the EPIPHANY systems where librarians, historians, and other scholars could come to share the information they had gathered. However it was highly unusual to have so many gathered here at one time, and secrecy was of utmost importance.

This message was last updated by the player at 01:33, Thu 28 May 2015.

 player, 1 post
Tue 2 Jun 2015
at 14:51
Re: EPIPHANY Session: A Gathering of Scholars: Crio
In reply to Epiphany Subsystem (msg # 1):

Crio takes a rather tentative half-step back, afraid of insulting the woman who approached him but simultaneously wishing to reclaim what he sees as his appropriate amount of personal space.

"Good evening.. Hi, yes." It wasn't difficult to tell that groups of people made him uncomfortable as he stammered slightly. "I agree that we must be very cautious, this is a conspicuous gathering. However, for now at least, we should trust that the proper measures have been taken to protect us. Like always."
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Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 00:54
Re: EPIPHANY Session: A Gathering of Scholars: Crio
“Quite Right!” The older man nods in agreement with Crio, “No one is advocating that we throw caution to the wind, but there is no reason to raise a panic.”

Crio knows many of the people at the gathering, at least those who are not wearing privacy screens. The older man, for instance, is an anthropologist named Abrams, who has been working to categorize emergent cultural behaviors within EPIPHANY and the Janus.

With a defeated sigh, the woman sits down on the edge of the circular pool. Murmurs of agreement and dissent circulate amongst the crowd, but in general Crio’s words of encouragement seem to have placated them, for now.

Abrams steps forward and extends a hand towards Crio. “It’s good to see you again, my dear sir. How have you been? Any new adventures to report?” The man’s eyes twinkle with a scholar’s insatiable curiosity. “I have a fascinating tale to tell you, about a crew member who spent 50 years living in a pack of sentient dogs. 50 years! In EPIPHANY of course, mind you… there are no talking dogs on the ship itself…”

As the man babbles on, a cold breeze winds its way through the gathered crowd. Some of the men and woman look about in confusion, as their cloaks rustle and the water on the surface of the pool begins to harden with a sheen of ice.
 player, 2 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 15:24
Re: EPIPHANY Session: A Gathering of Scholars: Crio
Crio takes Abrams's hand and gives it a quick shake as he nods. "Good to see you as well, Abrams."

Releasing his hand, Crio awkwardly lets his arms rest at his sides and effects the proper listening body-language, shifting his weight slightly and leaning forward a bit. "It's been fair, I'm well. Still bogged down in archives and books. Cataloguing some notes, getting torn away from work to see to clandestine meetings.."Seeing Abrams eagerly awaiting his turn to speak, Crio trailed off.

Listening with moderate interest, his curiosity was immediately piqued upon hearing about the pack of sentient dogs. This was a new development even for EPIPHANY. "We'll certainly have to set some time aside soon to chat. There are some interesting angles on emerging subspecies and subconsciousness in EPIPHANY I'd like to run by you that, I believe, would benefit from your tale."

With Crio's attention dragged away from Abrams by the sudden cold wind, the man's words become incoherent like white noise. Crio's simple clothing, caught in the breeze, rustles as the sheets of notes and other scraps of paper crumple and brush against each other. With a soft grunt, he knits his brow and mutters softly "Hmm, that's rather unnerving..."
Epiphany Subsystem
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Fri 5 Jun 2015
at 02:48
Re: EPIPHANY Session: A Gathering of Scholars: Crio
“Fascinating!” Abrams exclaims, clasping Crio’s hand for a minute too long. “I look forward to going over your notes on the subject....And by the way, " he leans in with a conspiratorial whisper "....there are rumors that we were brought here today to see new maps....Can you imagine? So many years on this damn ship and we have new maps!"

He trails off, looking around the hill with a bewildered stare as the wind begins to pick up and the pillars of the small pagoda begin to crumble and creak, many of the vines breaking away in the intensifying wind. “What in heaven’s name..” he mutters. The air fogs in front of him, like someone breathing on the coldest winter day. An icy frost begins to grow across his lips, which rapidly turn a frightening shade of dusky blue.

Gasping like a fish out of water, Abrams stumbles backwards away from Crio. The wind circling the hillock seems to center on him, rustling his clothing, blowing his beard and hair into a chaotic disarray. Several of the people gathered around the hillside exclaim in fear and alarm, and the woman wearing the privacy screen leaps forward to inspect the man as he begins to turn bluer and bluer.
 player, 3 posts
Fri 5 Jun 2015
at 19:36
Re: EPIPHANY Session: A Gathering of Scholars: Crio
Inwardly cringing as Abrams leaned closer and closer Crio nodded, his brow becoming furrowed thinking to himself as Abrams slowly trailed off: New maps? Incredibly surprising, but perhaps not impossible- one shouldn't underestimate the unrealized depth and potential..

Being so close to Abrams, Crio feels as the air around the two of them turns colder and colder. His eyes dart from the growing frost to the sickening shade of blue that is growing deeper and deeper on his skin. In the fervor around Abrams, Crio tries to recall any information in order to help his colleague but anxiety takes hold. He manages to only watch as Abrams is seized and enveloped by the mysterious cold.

Coming to his senses a moment later, Crio rushes to the side of the woman tending to the man as he deepens in color. "What the hell is happening to him? I haven't seen anything like this before."
Epiphany Subsystem
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Mon 8 Jun 2015
at 01:47
Re: EPIPHANY Session: A Gathering of Scholars: Crio
“I-I don’t know….” The woman reaches to touch Abrams’ neck, checking his pulse. A sheen of ice covers her hand as she draws back with a look of concern.  “I would say end stage hypothermia perhaps, or exposure to….”

The woman’s voice cuts off with a gasp, as the wind intensifies abruptly. Abrams looks out at the crowd with a terrified and bewildered stare for a moment, and then suddenly he “falls” upwards - rocketing into the sky like a limp rag doll.

His screams echo down to the pagoda, as the crowd begins to stir into a panic.

“We’ve been hacked!” someone yells. “Grab the files and — ”

“There’s no time, just RUN!” Another cries.

The crowd begins to jostle and push one another. Some of the scholars turn to flee into the fog. A few seem intent on accessing the archives, to pull what data they can.

The woman turns to Crio, her voice trembling in fear. “Who would do this? Would the A.I….. would it kill us if it found out what we have been doing?”

This message was last edited by the player at 09:31, Tue 09 June 2015.

 player, 4 posts
Mon 15 Jun 2015
at 01:36
Re: EPIPHANY Session: A Gathering of Scholars: Crio
Panic grips Crio as he watches the limp body of Abrams shoot off into the air. His first inclination is to try to escape with the others trying to push pass one another. He's neither a leader nor a fighter, he's an archivist. His mind immediately jumps to archives, the history... his conditioned response is to preserve what he can without much regard for his well-being, history and its preservation has always been his first concern- it's why he's here.

Trying to swallow his own concern, Crio replies to the woman. "I'm not sure if the A.I were necessarily capable of something like this. Something like malevolence. There has to be a more reasonable explanation for this. Something else."

Crio couldn't tell what really scared him more: the imminent danger and unpredictable outcome, the loss of the archives, or the development of malevolence in the A.I.

With uncharacteristic resolve, Crio attempts to grab what he can. Ultimately he's hoping his random decisions of what to take with him would prove important later on. Having safely tucked at least some materials away, he tries to push through the throng and get out the panic.
Epiphany Subsystem
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Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 04:29
Re: EPIPHANY Session: A Gathering of Scholars: Crio
As Crio struggles to collect what data he can, the fog embankment rolls towards the small temple. Those who had fled into the fog disappear from view almost instantly - their cries evaporating into the mists, and their silhouettes fading to pale reflections that are quickly swallowed and forgotten.

Some of the others who had stayed behind look out at the fog with a sense of growing dread and confusion. “Why is it so quiet?” one of them mutters. “Are they… are they all gone?”

Like a dam breaking, the fog rolls over and through the Grecian pillars, cascading down onto Crio and those who remained to gather data with a breath-taking coldness that smothers and suffocates, plunging them into a pale grey, featureless world.

Everything is cold, grey, and silent. Crio can feel the pounding of his heartbeat, and nothing else for what feels like a very long time.

-= To Crew Stasis Chambers =-
 player, 5 posts
Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 16:32
Re: EPIPHANY Session: A Gathering of Scholars: Crio

The images of those being enveloped by the fog and the dissipation of their bodies and their shouts lingers. The low hum that comes when a crowd is silenced reverberates in his head as his body hangs in the gray silence.

All he feels is the cold, the scene of the fog rolling upon him playing repeatedly. Crio steadies his breath, becoming more aware of it as the pause grows longer.

I hope I managed to save something, anything from.. whatever or whoever that was. He sighs, his mind working hard to decipher what he saw and figure out what had happened. I wonder if they are ok..