Restart Story

It looks like the panel has dropped down to a simple text\n interface with the emergency.\n [VIEW OF SCREEN]\n(can we do scrolling green text here, make it look interactive?)\nSTART: MESSAGE LOG:....\nRECEIVED 2028-06-15-09:45:54 GMT.\nREQUEST STATUS SENSOR FAILURE IN SECTIONS D5-D9. COMMUNICASTIONS ARRAY 1 IS UNREACHABLE, USING RELAY ALPHA AND SECONDARY RECEIVER.\n\nMessages will have a lag time of 1.5s\n\nPLEASE REPLY:\nBAD %$CEPTION.\nM$^*AGE TEXT \n\nELECTRO MAG$N%T!C INTER#####SUS##P$>TED\n\nANY HANDS AT GGA Station:\nPLEASE REPLY...\nPLEASE REPLY...\n\nVOICE COMMUNICATIONS ARE UNAVAILABLE.\n\n* [[Try to type a reply.]]
You look around at the space you're standing in at lockers and\ncompartments. You spend a fewminutes rummaging and find a space suitin one of the cabinets. It has a monographed patch on it that reads LUNAR POET IN RESIDENCE. \n\nThis is even more thrilling than seeing your name on the pages of your high school's newspaper poetry contest. (You beat the shit out of the other entrant whose obsene limmerick was a vaunted but untenable challenge to your ode of loss, longing, and melting ice cream as a metaphore for youth's troubles. "Ode to a Frosty^TM Urn" will shortly be recognized as a classic. Any. Day. Now.\n\n* [[Put on the space suit.]]
Narrators are unreliable and so are you.\nYou've been asleep the whole trip which means you haven't had coffee in days. \n\nDo uber-mensch astronauts drink coffee or liquid testosterone?\nThese alarms sound urgent. You assume if anyone needed to get in touch they'd be able to.\n\nYou're probably not going to be helpful in an emergency since you've just arrived and no one's even bothered to greet you.\n\n* [[Go investigate.]]\n* [[Go back to sleep.]]\n* [[Take a seat at the desk.]]
You flip open Norbert's again. You're faced with the War Poets. \nTheir art-in-the-face-of-devestation doesn't ring true for you right now, you've got trivial problems and you need answers, not poems decrying real devistation and hardship...\n\nAt least now you've got a bit of perspective on things. \n\n* [[Go investigate.]]
You awaken into panic from a deep and dreamless sleep. \nYou gasp as flashing red lights and the blast of sirens reach your brain.\n\nYour back and legs convulse and you seem to flail helplessly in the\nair for a long moment.\n\nYou fall back to the mattress bed and raise your arms to brace yourself on the low ceiling over the bed.\n\n* [[Try to get your bearings.]]
You poke at the screen again and try to access the door controls\nhere. There's no controls for the door to your room or the door behind you but there's a menu for "CYCLE AIR LOCK PROCEDURE BEGIN?"\n\n* You press the button marked [[Yes, begin CYCLE AIR LOCK PROCEDURE.]]
You take a seat at the desk. There are two books on the desk and a keyboard for the screen above the desk.\n\nOne is NORBERT'S ANTHOLOGY OF BRITISH POETRY: HENRY JAMES TO T.S. ELIOT and another is a battered spiral-bound notebook with a pen stuck roughly into it. You were only allotted 1 kilo of personal effects and NORBERT'S took up most of it. You could have brought a lighter electronic reader but you're not sure if anyone else has ever bothered to bring a print book to the moon, so you thought it might as well be a stunning compendium of English-language work.\n\nThe screen on the wall above you shows a view looking outward from the bases's high point out and down into a large crater or mariana.\n\n* [[Poke at the computer keyboard and see if it will tell you anything about the alarms.]]\n* [[Read a bit of NORBERTS and wait for the alarms to stop.]]\n* [[Go back to sleep.]]\n* [[Go investigate.]]\n
You walk to the computer across from your door and poke at the keys until it wakes up.\n\nThere are a lot of flashing things going on there, in addition to the ubiquitous red lights and alarm noise.\n\nThe most urgent appears to be some sort of text messaging system that's flashing more rapidly.\n\n* [[Open the messaging system.]]
You are nothing if not cautious. You know your limits in some things and physical prowess and technical knowledge are not your strong points. \n\nDressing up in a space suit is all fun and games until you end up choking to death a half klick from the nearest airlock or with a smashed faceplate after your rover overturns.\n\nYou assume an operation like this has rovers. It sure as hell should.\n\nYou take off the suit and decide that the blinking terminal is probably the best option at the moment.\n\n* [[Access the terminal.]]
You go to the door and poke awkwardly at the controls.\n\nThe door hisses and swings slowly open.\n\nYou step through and the door swings shut behind you.\n\nYour hud lights up with a series of green bars, indicating that you have 6 hours of power and oxegen remaining. A notice appears in the front of your field of view:\n\nWould you like to open the exterior door?\n* [[Say "Yes".]]
Silence again, if only for a minute as a single voice replaces\nthe screaming and guitars. It sounds muted but there's a crackle as a microphone is slid around or moved. You might be able to make out the next this he says and you sure hope it is helpful.\n\n\n
You walk to the heavy door on the left.\nIt looks really sturdy. \n\nThere's a small screen that shows what looks to be an exterior view. Maybe the door's an airlock or elevator to the surface.\n\nMaybe this was the way you came in. You don't remember arriving. You suspect you've now go the lame distinction of being the first person to arrive on another world unconcious.\n\nFucking robots couldn't wake you up? Well, this is no time for\ndwelling on the past. You could try to get through this bigger door, might be something important on the other side, or the merciless, bleak vaccum of the lunar surface. \n\n* [[Poke at the door's control screen.]]\n* [[Access the terminal.]]
You find you can bring up a menu on the helmet hud that's controllable by the usualy blinks & eyetracking. \n\nYou try to turn down the volume with the usualy eye-waggling to bring up a menu...nothing.\n\nMaybe it's got voice command.\n\n* [[Say something to the suit.]]
The screen brightens a little and you get a better view of the outside from whatever camera this is. It appears to be a view down into a large basin or crater. \n\nThere is some text at the bottom of the screen that seems to describe the view or the location of the camera. \n\nIt doesn't mean anything to you because you never did get around to learning a whole lot about the named features of the moon.\nLike learning Attic Greek, it just didn't seem like a priority, though now you regret it a little. \n\nYou poke the screen again and get some menus. It appears that you can change the view and see what's going on in a couple of other places around the station.\n\nIt might be good to gather some information about what's going on outside before you actually go out there, assuming this thing is an airlock like you suspect.\n\n* You can [[see if you can open the door]] or [[Look at a few of the other views.]]\n\n
You walk to the computer across from your door and poke at the keys until it wakes up.\n\nThere are a lot of flashing things going on there, in addition to the ubiquitous red lights and alarm noise.\n\nThe most urgent appears to be some sort of text messaging system that's flashing more rapidly.\n\n* [[Open the Message log.]]
You type Hello into the prompt.\nSENT: Hello...\nSENT: Hey, what the hell is going on with these alarms?\nRCVD: This is control, we're attempting to determine the source of multiple faults. \nRCVD: We'll get back to you in a moment.\nCONNECTION CLOSED.\nYou think to yourself about how helpful that is.\n\n* [[Fiddle with the terminal and send another message.]]
The music slowly dies away and you are left with ringing in your ears. The alarms are now a dull droning through the suit's insulation and thick Gorrilaz^TM Glass or whatever that shit is called. The PDF you got with your offer said you could throw yourself face-first onto a very sharp rock and it would barely scratch the glass. \n\nWhile you're not planning on anything like that, you sure as shit want to avoid a Total Recall-style face bubbling episode. \n\n* [[Get your bearings again.]]
You put on the space suit and don the clear helmet, which you notice is decorated with laurels on the temples. Fitting. At your belt is one of those fancy low-gravity pens at the belt and a small notbook.\n\n The helmet powers on and you're greeted by the same noise as one the outside but lovingly pumped directly into your skull by the helmet's internal speakers.\n\n<<set $spacesuit = 1>>\n\n* [[Figure out how to turn the music down.]]
You decide that the best way to make the noise stop is to drop the book on your head. Its massive enough that you assume it'll knowck you out cold. A past incident in a fit of manic library research had suggested such a thing as a clear and present danger if these volumes were not accorded the respct they deserved.\n\nYou drop the book on your head and it bumps into your head, spine and stabs its hard-covered corner into your shoulder. You remain fully concious and only temporarily ignorant of the alarm's blaring. As you watch the book fall to the floor and arrest its fall with an upturned foot you recall that the book dropped will have only 1/8th or 1/10th of its normal force...shit.\n\n* [[Go investigate.]]\nor\n* sit back down with the book and [[Flip open another page.]]
You exit the room to investigate.\n\nThere's a computer terminal built into the wall across from the door and there are two doors to your left and right.\n\nThe door on the left looks heavy, complicated, and has a screen built into it, it probably leads outside.\n\nThe door on the right looks a lot like the door you've just used, though it's got flashing red lights on the control pad, it may be locked but probably leads deeper into the interior of the station when it isn't having an episode.\n\n* [[Access the terminal.]]\n* [[Go to the heavy door on the left.]]\n* [[Go to the door on the right.]]
It seems that opening is a bridge too far for the door. Its former conviviality comes to an abrupt standstill as it absolutely insists that you be wearing a fully-powered space suit before it could do anything so audacious as open for you.\n\n* Try to be accomidating to the door and [[go looking for proper atire.]]\n* Take this as a sign that you're out of your depth and go [[Access the terminal.]] Going outside is a pretty passive agressive solution to this alarm problem anyway.
"SUIT! MUSIC OFF." you shout. \nYou can barely hear yourself yelling after all of this blaring alarms and aural assault. Your voice feels like gravel in your throat. You could sure use some water. \n\n* [[Listen to the music fade.]]
You take a look at the keybaord and press a few keys. \n\nThe image of the lunar surface drops away and the screen flashes with hostile red letters:\nALARM ALARM ALARM\n\nThe words scroll over the screen and further button pressing appears futile.\n\n* [[Read a bit of NORBERTS and wait for the alarms to stop.]]\n* [[Go back to sleep.]]\n* [[Go investigate.]]\n\n
The exterior door swings open onto the grey rocks of the lunar surface. Your breath catches and you look out a steep crest of a hill which leads down toward a smoother section of rock scarred by burnmarks and vehicle tracks.\n\n* [[You step out onto the lunar surface.]]
Thank god the alarms have stopped.\nYou look over and see that the door is still locked on the right.\nJust as your ears begin to adjust to the silence and the low hum of the HVAC system, you are assaulted by a single synthesised guitar riff.\n\nA booming voice echoes from the concealed speakers all around you and seems to shake the air around you.\n\nIt manages to seem louder than the alarms were. The voice appears to be yelling in Hindi or Urdu. \n\nPerhaps an advertisment.\n\n* [[Let the folks in control know how this makes you feel.]]\n* [[Look for something to stuff into your ears.]]\n\n
You break out into a cold sweat:\n\nIt comes back to you in a crashing wave.\nYou're on an underground base on the moon and there are alarms.\nYou're in space and there are flashing red lights. It's probably avgood thing that you're not already dead, although going peacefully in your sleep will likely be preferable to whatever circle of hell you've landed in. You hope Virigl arrives shortly to direct you.\n\n[[Hope for Virgil, settle for your internal monologue.]]
You try to slow your breathing. This will help you to use to less of that valuable oxygen.\nYou recite a few lines to yourself:\n And we are here as on a darkling plain\n Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,\n Where ignorant armies clash by night.\nThis is sort of relevant to your situation but doesn't have the complete feeling.\n\nThe right line never comes to you in the moment but always afterword. _L'esprit de l'escalier_ indeed.\n\nMatt Arnold is not doing much to turn that damn alarm off at present. You resolve to do something since you can't sleep with this alarm anyway.\n\n* [[Go investigate.]]
You flip the book open at random and try to sit back and read. Your eyes are dry and you're finding it hard to focus. It turns out you've flipped the book open to Spenser's Fairie Queen, which seems to just amplify the alarms and makes you wonder about the alarm's allegorical signifigance vis-a-vi the traditional chivalric quest, post-lapsarianism. The footnotes are unhelpful in this case. \n\nYour options:\n* [[Flip open another page.]]\n* [[Go back to sleep.]]\n* [[Drop the book on your head.]]\n* [[Go investigate.]]
You get back on the terminal:\nSENT: That stopped the alarm.\nRCVD: Great! We're glad we were able to help.\nSENT: but now there's some screaming guy.\nRCVD: Let me check into that...\nRCVD: It looks like the default sound system is to use the emergency comms system for one-way communications.\nRCVD: The main communications room appears to have an open chanel from the comms center to all the non-alarmed speakers.\nRCVD: We can't tell what's being broadcast, the pipe's too thin to get that data at the moment.\nSENT: Well you're missing out, let me tell you.\nSENT: Someone is haveing either a very good or very bad time. A muse of one kind or another is certainly doing their work here today.\nSENT: The guitar is a little blown out though.\nSENT: Is it daytime?\nRCVD: Here sir?\nSENT: No, here at the station.\nRCVD: It's always daytime. The moon is in a tidally locked orbit.\nSENT: I meant what time is the station on?\nRCVD: It is roughly 9PM, GMT, so you're in the evening. The station is on GMT.\nRCVD: But you knew that already I'm sure, since you're a poet.\nSENT: ...\nSENT: What can you do about the yelling?\nRCVD: Let me see if I can swtich to a different audio chanell for you.\nSENT: OK, thanks.\n\n* [[Your mood is bolstered again as the yelling ceases.]]
There are some lockers and cabinets to either side of the computer terminal. You beginng tearing them open at random to find something to stuff into your ears. The cabinets spill open and plastic-wrapped packages of food, supplies and other things fall from the cabinets. \nThere appear to be several things littlering the previously pristine space on the floor.\n\nYou find there is a large cabinet with a space suit in it.\nThat may come in handy later.\n\nYou stoop to examine some of the packages: freeze dried organic single source apple sauce, grownd coffee packed with nitrogen optimized for LowG Aero-areo press coffee makers "push a Lunar Tonx", Hawkguy dehydrated Chicken Wings.\n\nThere are several empty containers with lables on both sides. The first side reads "dehydrated water" the other reads "trash."\n\nNone of this stupid shit will fit in your ears.\nNo dehydrated sustainably harvested bespoke earplugs.\n\n* [[Let the folks in control know how this makes you feel.]] \n\n
You get the prompt working again and type:\nSENT: Hey, could you at least shut off these alarms?\nSENT: I feel as though I'm being assaulted from all corners by furies intent on extracting blood vengance for a major transgression, not unlike Orestes.\nRCVD: We'll see what we can do about that sir.\nRCVD: Please stand by...\nCOMMAND INCOMING:\n....\nALARM RESET SENT...[OK]\nRELOAD SOUND SYSTEM FROM DEFAULTS:\n/var/alarm-dameon/setting-default.conf\n...\nLOADING SETTINGS...\nLOADING DIAGNOSTICS...\nGG-Sound is starting...[OK]\nSOME NODES ARE UNAVAILABLE...\nLEVEL 06-08 to 01-01 are unreachable.\nLOADING DEFAULTS in Sections 10-10 to 05-08. \n\n* [[You notice that gibberish on the screen has corresponded to the alarms stopping.]]
Most of the cameras you can see are pointed outward from the station\nat other doors throughout the station. One view shows the whole\ncomplex from some distance. There are some blinking red lights at\nseveral points but this seems to cover the whole place. You don't see smoke or explosions or fires, but you're not sure that the station venting gas would look like much. Would the gas freeze and crystalize? Maybe, you're not sure how cold it is out there.\n\nYou might as well [[see if you can open the door]] or, you could give up on this, turn your back on an over-engineered hole in the wall and try to [[Access the terminal.]]
You take a slow turn around the room. There's the flashing lights and console directly in front of you. Behind you is the room you woke up in.\n\nTo your right is another interior door that's still flashing red. It still looks locked.\n\nTo your left is the airlock door, which you suspect will now open now that you're wearing a powered-up space suit.\n\nDecision time, there seems no turning back, now that you're really thinking about going outside.\n\n<<choice "Go to the door and open it.">>\n<<choice "Chicken out and take off the suit.">>
There's a small control pad next to the door. It is flashing red and all the buttons just make a rude buzzing noise when you press them. This door is very serious about not opening right now.\n\n* [[Access the terminal.]]
by Andrew M. Kelly |
Go Back to sleep.\nYou're not much use in an emergency, so you decide the most value you can be is to stay out from underfoot.\nIf things go pear-shaped you can always be contacted by someone. They'll call if they need you. \n\n* [[Try to relax, slow your breathing]]
The door informs you in cheerful tones that are just auidible over the alarms that it already has a neutral pressure differential. It asks you to confirm that you want to open the door, like a friend passively trying to talk you out of order that stiff drink which will tip you from pleasently drunk into screaming/crying lunatic.\n\nYou might be projecting on the door a bit, but the stabbing pain of the alarm and the deep and abiding hole in your heart where coffee should be have left you somewhat frazzled.\n\nYou [[ask the door nicely to open]].
You rotate your feet slowly to the floor. \n\nYou feel lightheaded, almost punchdrunk.\nThe sirens continue as you look around what appears to be a small cylindrical cabin. \n\nYour eye moves upward from your feet to a desk with two familiar books on it. \n\nYou look further and there is a window or screen above the desk and finally, it hits you:\n\nYou're on the moon.\n\n[[Break out into a cold sweat.]]