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Internet Free D'ni [Aug. 14th, 2004|05:43 am]
[mood |exhaustedexhausted]
[music |Bahro screams...]

It's great to finally have some other people down here in the cavern. It's amazing how quickly they've all returned to normal. It's still quite a bit quieter than it was when the DRC was down here.. but it finally feels like home again. The main areas of Ae'gura have been where most people were flocking... now they're starting to go off to the neighborhoods.

The servers went down. With the influx of explorers, the few IBM servers that the DRC left down here in the library basement can't handle the traffic, and internet connections have been going down regularly. Seeing as I've been the only one down here working with the servers until recently, I took it upon myself to gather up a few of the new explorers who knew a thing or two about information technology and took them down to the Library basement where they've been keeping the servers (it's like a meat locker down there.) Collectively, we still don't know enough about the system to really get it operating. Most of the makeshift IT team is used to maintaining servers that operate an IP-based system... but the problem with the DRC servers is that they're running on a completely alien protocol... I suppose it's whatever the KIs use. We've taken to calling the protocol "Sehn" (D'ni for 3, which is where we got "KI" from in the first place) and have started trying to reverse engineer the system so that we can figure it out. It turns out that most of the makeshift patches I did to the systems to get the internet running down here did more harm to the infrastructure than good, and are the reason why the network is going down so frequently. We've considered the possibility of perhaps designing a software layer that will convert the Sehn protocol into a more friendly protocol that we already know... but if we knew enough about Sehn to be able to do that, we wouldn't be so damned confused about how it works. And besides... the DRC bought protocol-independent servers to use down here... I'm sure there's some reason that they decided not to convert the KIs to an IP-based network (probably because IP wasn't really designed to communicate over inter-dimensional networks!) Anyway... I've decided to head a team to go repair the server-to-surface wireless network, since I'm more of a spelunker than an IT tech. Two other explorers volunteered to maintain the KI systems on Gahreesehn and to see if they can be of some use. In a nutshell: the internet is available in the cavern, and the connection will be better once we fix the wireless relays (or replace them with fiber); but the ability to access the internet via the KI network is still down. This means that there will be no IP pipelines running through the KI network for quite a while, and it will not be possible for me to post to the internet from anywhere off-world.

Anyway... during the extremely short amount of time that we had internet access running smoothly (an hour or so), we managed to get a video feed down to the cavern of the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Athens. We broadcast it to the various imagers in the neighborhood community rooms.... I wonder if anyone watched it.

Goodnight D'ni.

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Life! [Aug. 12th, 2004|03:56 pm]
I cannot believe it... what I found in Totec doesn't compare to what I found upon my return to D'ni!

PEOPLE! Dozens of them!! Life has returned to the cavern!

I linked back to my Relto after having... um... explored Totec, and then linked into the Nexus. I was shocked to find that a queue of people was standing in the Nexus waiting their turn to use the terminal!!! (I should probably take the Totec book out of the repository slot... just in case someone finds it.)

It was amazing! I think the people in the Nexus were rather shocked when they saw me link in... look around surprised... and black out. I think they thought something was wrong with me. I stood back up and loudly announced... "where the hell did you all come from!?"

It turns out they're a small group that the DRC has allowed to travel down to the cavern... one of many! Once I got back to my "base camp" in the King's Antechamber, I found a whole slew of other explorers in there, each with their sleeping bag neatly unfurled in one of the alcoves formed by the book pedastles and their packs sitting beside them. They kindly placed my things in an alcove for me.

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It fell from the sky! [Jul. 23rd, 2004|01:08 am]
[mood |curiouscurious]

I returned to the place where I found the goat impaled face-first on the wierd ribbon-like monument(?). It was gone this time... thank goodness; it was a sad sight. I walked around the clearing a bit, searching for some sort of clue as to what the ribbon was... why it was there... etc. I realized that the ribbon was on a large circular stone platform that was the same size as the clearing, which explains why the trees never regrew around it. The platform was painted with a simple pattern of faded blue squares, almost unnoticable beneath the dried pine needles strewn across it. The pattern seemed to be some sort of warning pattern... similar to the white/orange and yellow/black combinations we use on Earth. I decided I perhaps shouldn't be standing on the platform... so I stepped off. To my left the ground rose up into a small but steep hill, covered with trees. I thought that perhaps I could see the platform a  bit better from up there, even if it was through the trees, so I clambored up the side of the hill. When I reached the top, I found a podium perched on top, covered in overgrown ivy. I figure that the hill used to be clear and that the podium was used to control what was done on the platform. I cleared off some of the ivy and found a large button... made of firemarble much like those back in D'ni, and it was faintly glowing. Whatever it does, it was still capable of doing it, it seemed.

Weighing my curiousity with the possible dangers, I decided to press the button. For a while, nothing seemed to happen. Then suddenly a loud klaxon started wailing! Ducking away from the podium, I covered my ears and hurried back down to the platform to see what was going on. Being sure to keep clear of the warning markers, I watched and watched for what seemed like 10 minutes, the klaxon blaring all the while. Finally, I started to hear a strange sound... it sounded like a slow-moving locomotive might as it rumbles over the tracks, mixed with the sound of moving sand. The sound was coming from above!

I looked up, squinting to try and see what was descending, and gradually a strange object begins to come into view, descending directly over the platform. It's a bit hard to describe what it looks like, except that it resembles something out of a Jules Verne book! Eventually I realize that the object is actually attached to the ribbon!!! The object begins to visibly slow down, and as it approaches the ground (still fast enough to crash into the platform), what look like large steam vents begin thrusting out columns of air, creating a cushion for the object to land on and knocking me off of my feet and onto my bottom! As the air clears and the pine needles settle around me, I stand up and brush myself off, and get my first good look at what just "landed" before me.

And suddenly... the ribbon made sense.
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(no subject) [Jul. 21st, 2004|08:36 am]
I arrived in Totec and immediately made my way to the nearest waypoint to set up camp. It was night when I arrived, so I slept until morning, which turned out to be sooner than I thought it would be. I still can't get over how beautiful Totec's sky is... there are never any clouds. The only clouds around are the ones that lay low in the channels. Perhaps I'm on a plateau, however that wouldn't explain the refreshing purity of Totec's air; if I were high-up, the air should be thin, right? The immaculately-clear sky was literally dense with small stars and strings of brighter ones, all twinkling far off in the distance. Before I went to sleep, I got an idea... I wanted to try something that I used to do all the time as a kid. I went outside the cubbyhole (as I've come to call the waypoints) and found a clearing in the woods. I layed flat on my back, and stared straight up at the sky. It was the most awe-inspiring experience I've ever had... I immediately saw the world for what it was: a planet... a giant ball of rock... the only thing holding me down is gravitiational pull. For a moment... I wasn't looking up at the sky... I was looking out at the stars. I felt so small... so insignificant... but in a good way. I felt that I was merely a single life among the immesurable universe. I was truly awed.

I'll write more later...
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Leaving for Totec... [Jul. 19th, 2004|11:46 pm]
[mood |curiouscurious]

I spent the night in Relto last night. Most of my provisions are still in the cavern, but Relto seemed a lot more comfortable with the ground-cover and a lot warmer than the cavern with it's fireplace. I made one of the Jiffy-Pops on the fire, and then made my way over to the rear "island" and sat down, watching the new clock as it slowly turned and Relto's moons moved across the sky. Eventually it got dark and I fell asleep lying atop the island-pillar (whoops!) Good thing I didn't roll over during the night and fall right off!

One day I'm going to try and rappel down the side of Relto... to see what's below the cloud layer. There should be plenty of DRC climbing gear left in the cavern.

Anyway, this morning I woke up and decided that perhaps it was time to return to Totec: the Age I found quite a while ago. I was in the mood for adventure anyway. I linked back into D'ni and made my way to the Antechamber of Kings to pack up supplies for a few night's stay in Totec. The Age seems relatively safe... there's little waystations carved into the sides of the canyons there and such, so I should have plenty of places to spend the night (and plenty of mushrooms to eat!) When I got to the Antechamber, I found someone had been there while I was gone. Several of the books of the kings were left opened, and my bags were moved closer to the wall. I looked through, but there was nothing missing. I thought perhaps whoever was here had left a note, but they didn't. At least they didn't rob me of my supplies.

I gathered up a pack and put in some of the candy and stuff I bought in Carlsbad. I took the GPS locator, even though I knew it would be useless on another planet god-knows-where-in-the-universe, but I didn't want to leave it unattended in D'ni... it cost me $110! I also took my laptop and of course, my KI.

Then it struck me... an intense paranoia. I couldn't leave the Totec book unattended while I'm in Totec! I had to come up with a hiding place for the book... somewhere that it could be safe and still accessible. The Nexus. Perfect! I linked to the repository chamber with my Totec book, and using my KI to tweak with the repository's software I managed to access an empty book deposit slot, where I placed the Totec book. To access the book, one would have to figure out what the ID code for the book's slot was, and punch it in to the terminal... I figured that would make the book safe enough.

Just to be sure it all worked properly, I took note of the deposit slot's ID code, linked back into D'ni, then back to the Nexus. I activated the terminal with my KI, punched in the slot ID, and viola, the Totec book opened before me! I linked... watching the terminal reset as I faded out...
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My trip to Carlsbad... [Jul. 19th, 2004|01:16 am]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out]

I made my way to Carlsbad... it was further away than I thought (at least... it is when you're hiking there). Actually... I didn't walk the whole way there, I hitchiked a bit. Okay... a lot. I went to a nearby drugstore when I first got into town... bought a bunch of stuff with the $30 I budgeted for food. I got some popcorn thingies that you heat up over a stove... I figure I could find some sort of heating device somewhere in D'ni. I also bought a ton of Swedish fish (yum) and a slew of candy bars. I didn't just buy junk though... they had a lot of canned goods and non-perishable stuff too, and a lot of drinks. I even bought a postcard so I'd have something to use as a bookmark in the journals I find.

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I made my way to Carlsbad... it was further away than I thought (at least... it is when you're <i>hiking</i> there). Actually... I didn't walk the <i>whole</i> way there, I hitchiked a bit. Okay... a lot. I went to a nearby drugstore when I first got into town... bought a bunch of stuff with the $30 I budgeted for food. I got some popcorn thingies that you heat up over a stove... I figure I could find some sort of heating device somewhere in D'ni. I also bought a ton of Swedish fish (yum) and a slew of candy bars. I didn't just buy junk though... they had a lot of canned goods and non-perishable stuff too, and a lot of drinks. I even bought a postcard so I'd have something to use as a bookmark in the journals I find.

<img src="http://www.isopro.com/sky/pics6/llnm133.gif"">

I wandered around the town until I found an electronics store... damn it was hot outside; I'm used to the cool 65° of the cavern! I was looking for a cheap GPS locator, since I was curious about where the hell I was on the planet and was tired of the fact that the KI coordinates really didn't mean a thing to me in terms of latitude and longitude. I only had $110 on me... the cheapest one that the shop had was a $180 model. The young guy at the counter agreed to take $110 for it as long as I let him play with my KI. I took the deal... it was a good one. We talked for a while... it was good to talk to another human being for once. I showed him all the cool things the KI could do... like how it was able to hijack pretty much any wireless signal (like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi or something like that) and adapt it's own output to the same protocol... so basically it could hook up to a laptop wirelessly. He was totally geeking out about it. He asked what exactly it was for... since he saw the flickering coordinates on the projection. I sorta didn't wanna tell him the truth about it... so I just said it was a different sort of GPS device with a built in camera (yeah, it was a lame explanation, but considering how they're fusing different types of devices like crazy nowadays, he didn't give it a second thought.) I think he really just liked how it looked totally awesome, hehe. When we were done... I put on my iPod and walked out...

I wonder what he thought when I linked back to Relto right outside his storefront! :-P
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(no subject) [May. 28th, 2004|11:31 am]
[mood |busy]
[music |Len - Steal My Sunshine]

Alright... it's time. I've packed up some provisions into a backpack, I have my KI (thought I doubt it will do me much good outside of the cavern,) and of course... my compass. It's time to make my way up to the surface. I have to get some provisions... er... okay, luxuries. I know there's plenty of food down here in D'ni, but I'm tired of eating it. I need some chocolate ice cream! Some popcorn! Some spaghetti!!! So, I'm going to make my way to the surface, and hopefully get to a nearby city. I think Carlsbad is nearby, so I'll probably hitchhike my way there. I'm looking foreward to the hike through the tunnels, however the hike across the desert to get to the main road will not be fun. Still... it's worth it for some ice cream.

Well, I better get going... if I stand in front of the Nexus terminal much longer I might change my mind. :-/

Peace until my return,
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Treasure [May. 14th, 2004|10:32 pm]
[mood |coldcold]

It's been so long since I've written in my journal.

I still haven't seen a single soul in this place. I know they're here... they keep trading messages with me. I'm getting lonely down here, kinda. These past few weeks I've been seriously thinking about packing up and taking the long hike back to the surface...

...only to realize that when I emerge into the warmth of the sun, I will be just as alone as I am down here. The only thing that keeps me here is that I have nothing else to lose. Besides... the idea of going back to the surface and having to find a real job scares me now. Life is so easy here... so much to learn... so much to see... so much to explore! Food is abundant on Kemo and Tolesa... life is good... at least, when it comes to surviving. I'm still lonely...

Earlier today I was as giddy as a schoolgirl. I found some shops in one of the outer neighborhoods; their interiors housed hundreds of articles of clothing and accessories... D'ni clothing and jewelry... all in a magnificent state of preservation! I found them in a number of some sort of hermetically-sealed crate, probably used by the D'ni to keep water from seeping in and ruining the contents (there's a lot of mineral-rich water down here! It drips from everything! Those clouds that hang over the lake... they aren't just for show!) I un-sealed the boxes pretty easily... they were encrypted to only open for certain KI signals (to verify that the shopowner was the one who was opening the packages, I suppose) but it wasn't that hard to crack the crates open. As the seal released and the top popped up, the air rushed out making a "whoosh" sound. It smelled fresh... probably as fresh as the day they were packaged on some long-lost manufacturing Age. There was a scent that smelled vaguely like vanilla, and there before me sitting in the box were absolutely perfect specimines of D'ni fashion at the time of the Fall. They were beautiful... magnificent fabrics and patterns, and the style of the clothes had an element that reminded me of Victorian-era surface garments... as though late 1800s fashions had been updated for 2004. The jewelry was equally if not more captivating. DIAMONDS! Hundreds of them... filling one of the crates. They were carefully packaged in little boxes... each one containing an exquisite necklace, ring, or bracelet. I had suspected that the DRC had found these sorts of things around the city, but what they did with them was unknown to me... I never saw any of the booty: just rumors. I could take a few of these with me to the surface and pawn them for some provisions... then again... if these aren't actually diamonds, who knows who will come looking for more of them!!! Anyway, I couldn't resist trying on some of the clothes. Some of the things didn't fit comfortably, but because of the D'ni style, most of the clothes were adjustable in some form... such as a sash that could be retied or something. The dresses weren't like that though... they were very similar to modern surface dresses, but so much more beautiful.

I spent nearly the entire day trying on things and just having fun... so I don't think I'll be hiking back to the surface any time soon after all. :-)

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I reluctantly placed my hand upon the gateway image... [Apr. 14th, 2004|06:01 pm]
[mood |stressedstressed]

Forgive me if my handwriting is shakey... I'm in Gahreesehn. (That alone should be enough of an excuse.)

I linked in around 0600 hours this morning (I still can't manage to hold down a 30-hour sleep schedule...) and the first feeling that washed over me after coalescing in the link-in chamber was utter illness. The damn place moves! (I say it as if I didn't know that already.) First off... when you link into Gahreesehn, you link in mid-air. Just an inch or so in the air, mind you... a means of keeping your body from tearing apart as your molecules arrive in the Age... but still... enough of a drop to make you sick to your stomach. And then... ugh... the motion...

Moving on...

After getting used to the motion... I made my way over to that giant crag in the wall. First I stood about 20 feet away from it... nervously inching closer to the speeding wall of concrete just beyond the orange and white barrier. I got as close to it as I needed to to be able to make the leap into the cog room so that I could power up the building... just as the hole comes around, I'm greeted by a MASSIVE cog, already spinning, nearly a foot away from my own face. THANK GOD I DIDN'T JUMP!!!

Who's here? Who started up the power already???

Meh... I guess I can open the doors now. Too bad I didn't think of trying one out before nearly leaping into the giant meatgrinder.

I hate this place...
I hate this place...
I hate this place...

Someone please help me. :-(
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Leaving for Gahreesehn [Apr. 9th, 2004|10:34 pm]
Got the Great Zero running. DAMN THAT THING IS SCARY! My heart jumps now whenever I see the blue protractor beam whiz under me... scares the hell out of me, and yet I have no idea why.

I figured that it might be best to try and get the DRC servers running again... they're in one of the lower library levels, I think. Not really sure honestly. But once they're running, we'll be able to use laptops and such down here (assuming the DRC left the wi-fi transponders in place in the main tunnel to the surface when they practically fled.)

Once they're running, I'm gonna head to Gahreesehn. I hate that Age... really I do. I just hate large machines... large anything, and Gahreesehn seems to be filled with large everythings. Large rooms... large gears... large canyons (long falls...) large buildings... just.... large. I wouldn't be going there except for the fact that I need to try and get the damn KI system working better... we need the system running to be able to...

Damnit.. I keep saying we... as if any of those explorers were actually helping me. Now I can see why the DRC just up and left. It's hard to get them to do anything. I mean... I like to explore too and I wanna rebuild as fast as they do, but even the ancient D'ni had very meticulous ways... just like the DRC.

I will get the KI system working so that I can use it.
I will get the server system working so that I can use it.
I will go to Gahreesehn so that I can... well... nevermind Gahreesehn...

Oh... yeah, and I left the Totec book in the Kirel Temple... locked the doors.


If they find the message in Bevin, they can explore Totec. I have no use for it, as much as I love it there, that damn sliced up goat scared me out of ever going back... I wish there had been some cones and barriers around that ribbon!

Off to the Library...
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