You are A1001. You have been studying management of the Vault since you were very young, deciding that it would be the best way to help the highest number of people achieve the greatest amount of efficiency. What you were not expecting was that your predecessor, N2480, would pass before teaching you the practical end of the matter. Thusly, you have been thrust into a position you were not prepared for. This is most inconvenient. You find solace in reading about the past. Many generations ago, the people of the world somehow angered beings beyond their power. These entities - since called "fey", beings of great elemental power, destroyed the world, remaking it into a much more dangerous place. Magic, the greatest power of the old peoples, began to mutate them and turn them into beasts. Some of the old peoples ran underground, into great bunkers they had built for other catastrophes. You live in one such Bunker. It is of at least thirty floors. Each floor can support a maximal population of a couple thousand individuals. They are named by floor (A - Z) and then by number. The number can be further segmented for clarity. Your own name indicates that you are the first son of the tenth family group in the first floor. Each floor has different focuses in terms of profession. The first floor is generally concerned with administration of the other floors. The second is the enforcement of that authority. The third is maintenance of the machines and devices of each floor. And so on, all the way down to Z. The job of General Administrator is one that conveys authority of the other Admins. It's your task to ensure that the Vault remains efficient, such that it can carry the population into the future. Inefficiencies lead to loss of resources needed to feed the population, as well as keep the place livable. Thankfully, the other Admins can advise you. But of course, even in this current age of enlightened efficiency, they will seek their own benefits to the detriment of other floors. As an example, perhaps the D floor, which concerns itself with hydroponics, food production, and distribution, would seek resources also needed by the C floor, maintenance. And of course there are other inefficiencies, such as arts and religion and the like - relics of the past that we no longer need, but can creep in. You are of the tenth generation to survive without contact from the outside. You are the hope that there will be an eleventh. (More)
You have a few options available to you on your first day. You can request reports. Those who have nothing outstanding to report will not respond. It is assumed a lack of response from a floor to a RR is, in itself, a response: 'business as usual'. You can request an audience with the floor admin of a given floor. This must be responded to, but it is inefficient to request this without a purpose in mind, especially one that can be acted upon. While the Admins serve you, they also advise you and have power over their floors. To needlessly anger them is unwise. You can redirect resources from one floor to another. Resources can mean any number of things - materials, device parts, work hours, what have you. This has been simplified to assist with efficiency. OBERON, your onboard AI, will ensure that the resources distributed are relevant. You may discuss matters with OBERON, your personal AI. He can answer most of your questions without you needing to summon an Admin. Finally, you can travel to the Floors themselves, in order to run an Inspection. This is seen as an intrusion and something of a slight, if done without cause. You currently have no pressing matters, or appointments. What would you like to do?>Request Reports.>Request Audience with...>Redirect Resources from... to...>Investigate Floor>Speak with OBERON (Ask a question)>Perhaps something else?
Request Reports, and notify all other Admins of the change in management if they're not yet aware.
>>4469111>Request Reports.Obvious first step>Speak with OBERON (Ask a question)Ask for an overall status report and resource tally
>>4469111>Request Reports.>Speak with OBERON (Ask a question)Are the any pressing problems or incompleted projects that the previous Administrator didn't complete before he died?
>>4469111>Express sympathy to the predecessor's family. ('N' is neatly halfway through the alphabet)>Request Reports
You decide to start with a request for reports. While you wait for a response, you boot up OBERON."OBERON, are there any pressing matters or projects left from the previous administration?" you ask, "And I'd like an overall status report, please." "We Report That There Are No Remaining Projects From The Previous Administrator. There Was One Planned Project That Was Repeatedly Suspended, Even From The Then Previous Administration. This Project Was Deemed Inefficient And Thus Remains Suspended Until Such Time As It Can Be Made Efficient.""And the status?""We Report That All Floors Are Operating At Acceptable Levels Of Efficiency. None Are Experiencing a Major Shortfall Of Resources At This Time." A single report returns from floor D, hydroponics and food, which states that they are currently dealing with a set of thieves taking the base ingredients for the meal-paste. As far as D-Admin can tell, they're aiming to use the base ingredients to cook more pleasing meals. This is not allowed - it is inefficient, as the meal-paste provides the nutrients necessary elements for survival and growth. If allowed to continue, the floor will grow inefficient - and be unable to properly feed the rest of the Bunker. Floor D's admin is asking for advisement and clearance to act along that advisement.>Order Floor B to deal with the thieves nonfatally. Penalize the thieves with labor in the lower floors with manual power generation.>Order Floor B to deal with the thieves fatally. >Order Floor D to isolate the thieves in a small section of the floor until they are no longer a problem.>(Something Else)
>>4470383>Order Floor B to deal with the thieves nonfatally. Penalize the thieves with labor in the lower floors with manual power generation.Be sure that floor D will still have enough workers though
>>4470383>(Something Else)Examine the paste to see if it provides any tertiary effects such as morale boost and increase worker efficiency in labor.If not then....>Order Floor B to deal with the thieves nonfatally. Penalize the thieves with labor in the lower floors with manual power generation.
>>4470383>Order Floor B to deal with the thieves nonfatally. Penalize the thieves with labor in the lower floors with manual power generation.
>>4470572+1 Unless conventional wisdom equates moral as inefficient.
>>4470383Also ask Oberon for the details on the planned but suspended project, and ask for records and statistics of other previous incidents relating to food theives or theiving incidents in general.We must get these labor units back under control.
The cooked meals would be an excessive drain for an uneven, inconsistent gain in productivity, if any. I make the call and send off the message - Send the thieves to the lower floors to manually produce power. It's the go-to punishment for illegal activity of this level, and none of them are repeat offenders. Within half an hour, the thieves are apprehended without duress and are on their way to their new "jobs"."OBERON, explain the suspended project to me.""The Suspended Project Is To Reopen The Bunker To The Surface. We Are Entering The Very Beginning Of The Acceptable Timeframe For This To Occur, But The Doors Require Repairs That Are, At The Moment, Superfluous. Unless An Outsider, Assuming Such Entities Exist, Interacts With The Outside Console, Assuming It Still Functions, There Is No Reason To Open The Door. We Are Completely Self Sufficient." "Understood. As for floor D, is food theft common?" "It Is Relatively Uncommon, But Not Altogether Rare. Floor B Could Be Leveraged To Assist, But This Might Result In Slower Response Times Elsewhere Or Limited Personnel. Considerations Include That Food Production Is Of Imperative Importance.">Dispatch some of Floor B to assist in preventing further issue. >Look into opening the doors and what it would require - in specific.>Ask Floor B if they believe they could handle the lowered personnel. >(Something Else)
>>4471968>Ask for Floor B to dispatch as many workers without hindering efficiencyAlso check up if we have any weapons in case the surface is filled with beasts.
>>4471968>Ask Floor B if they believe they could handle the lowered personnel.
>>4471968>>Ask Floor B if they believe they could handle the lowered personnel.If so, then >>4472157.>Look into opening the doors and what it would require - in specific.It's good to know this information before it becomes necessary, if it ever does. Otherwise efficiency maybe negatively impaired in such a event.Ask Oberon about our education and child rearing policies. If labor units are committing criminal actions on a regular, if uncommon interval, then there must be an inefficiency in the creation of such units to make them malfunction as they do.
After some messages and back and forth with B-Admin, we decide that a small group of guards would do a wonder for protecting the food stores and production lines, which are paramount to the efficiency of the other floors. B-admin assures me that I won't see a drop in performance of B's duties on other floors, recognizing that this is a necessary precaution. "OBERON, please explain the specifics of the door's problems." "The Basic Mechanisms Need Replacing. They Have Rusted And Corroded Into Place. Performing A Diagnostic Confirms That The Consoles At The Doors Still Function For Communication. However, Without Replacing Many Of The Moving Parts, The Doors Will Not Open Properly. This Should Not Present A Problem, As The Bunker Is Entirely Self-Sufficient." "OBERON, can you compare the rate of food theft and similar crimes with changes made to education and rearing policies?" "Floor E Has Not Changed Its Policies Since The Excision Of Extraneous Education Roughly Five Generations Ago. The Crime Rate For The Specified Crimes Has Gone Relatively Unchanged For Most Of Our Stay In The Bunker." I sit back, frowning. If that's the case, then certainly there's no error with how we've been doing things. OBERON returns to its idle mode, and my message console blinks silently. Again, a full day yawns before me, painfully empty of activity, entire body aching to produce or construct or act.>Ask OBERON something else. >Ask a specific question to a Floor (B- Enforcement, C- Maintenance and construction, D- Food and Hydroponics, E- Education and Growth, Or request a full Floor list)>Something else>Visit the Doors
>>4472996>Request Floor C begin repair of the Door.>Ask Floor B how prepared they are for external hostilities.
>>4472996> Visit the doors.>Ask Floor B how prepared they are for external hostilities.
>>4472996>Request a Full floor listWe must understand our abilities and efficiencies in order to increase efficiency or prevent a decrease.>Ask OBERON for details of the Excision Of Extraneous EducationHow and why were such decisions implemented? Was the subsequent declared extraneous information deleted? If so, how can it be retreived, if possible? I refuse to believe that a decrease in information and knowledge within the bunker as a whole would somehow lead to more efficiency.Also ask what they're currently teaching the labor units (an overall review with sufficient detail, as too little or too much may lead to inefficiency).>Visit the DoorsIf there are no other pressing matters needing attention, then I believe an Inspection of the Doors is in order. While the Doors' lack of maintenance presents no problems currently, that doesn't mean that it won't impead on the efficiency of the Bunker in the future. We should consider consulting with Floor C about appropriate repair and maintenance for the Doors in the future.Plus, no one will mind if I stretch my legs. After all, proper exercise is the maintenance of an efficient and effective body.
>>4472996>Something elsePlan a project to send a drone to the surface or get a high quality camera with 1000x zoom so we can look around in all directions.
>Full Floor ListI decide to type out a memo to myself. It might come in handy. Administration- A floor that actually sits higher than the entrance. It's relatively small - computer banks, a meeting room, some emergency housing (Twenty seven rooms, enough for all the admins plus some extra, all furnished with a simple chest and a cot with a desk and chair) and your own quarters (similarly efficiently sparse) with a console for OBERON. B - Enforcement - has housing for all members of Authority Enforcement, roughly numbering a couple hundred. This part stretches off deeper into the mountain into which the bunker was built. It also has a staging area and equipment storage, as well as computers with access to enforcement records and floor rosters. This is also where the entrance to the Doors connects, a long hallway monitored and gaurded at all times - slightly inefficient, more of a symbolic act than anything, but important even so.C - Maintenance - has housing for the entire maintenance crew, numbering just over a hundred and a half. They have a training area as well, storage for equipment, and access to the area termed the "guts" - a winding labyrinth of wiring and piping that services the whole bunker, barely large enough for a man to stand in. D - Food/Hydroponics - a massive set of underground farms. This is the first floor to lack dedicated housing for its members. The food harvested here is fed into the paste machines, which processes it into nutrient paste and sends it to the lower floors. E - Education/Rearing - a floor with a staff of educators and caretakers but a majority population of children. It is made of classrooms, open exercise areas, and large communal sleeping areas. F - Procreation - A floor for designated breeding and insemination, with temporary housing for expectant mothers. G - Manufacture - This floor concerns itself with the manufacture of devices, parts, and equipment. It is mostly a series of factory floors. H through Q - Housing - These floors are all for the housing of various citizens of the bunker, many of which work in other floors. There are large communal eating areas, exercise areas, and extensive private housing. R - Power, manual - A series of power solutions that are man-powered, whether it be pedaled, pushed, or pulled. Mainly used for punishment, but a backup system in case of emergency as well. S - Power, thermal - A thermal power plant that taps into a local source of thermal energy. The plant, and its maintenance accesses, occupies the entire floor. T through Z - Troubled housing - These floors are for the housing of those who are either problematic in terms of behavior - those who must be sequestered for concerns of safety - or those who are unhealthy, whether it be illness or injury. These floors are near the bottom for ease of 'cleaning', they can be easily flushed of oxygen and then cleaned out by C-staff in case of crowding or emergency. (MORE)
>>4474453I feel a need to visit the Doors. This isn't a visit to B, I'm just passing through, so I send a message to B-Admin to let them know. I also send a message to C-Admin, asking them to either meet me at the Doors or send someone qualified for them. The trip doesn't take long - a walk to the elevator bank and a short trip down. The men and women of Enforcement nod as I pass. Their uniform is a simple mod to the grey jumpsuit of the bunker - armored plates over the chest, arms, and legs, with a bulky helmet that has a faceplate. Taser batons rest in hip holsters of those I pass. B-admin, an older man with piercing grey eyes and matching hair, meets me at the entrance to the Doors. It's essentially a massive airlock. The C-Admin meets us there, an overweight (how did he put on weight with our diet, I don't know) and jovial man festooned with tool belts. The first doors draw back a set of bolts and open a series of hydraulic gates with loud hissing before sliding open to reveal the long hallway in. "The basic problem is that at some point, the outer doors were exposed to the elements." C-Admin explains, now all business. "As I understand it, we were in a cave when the bunker was initially excavated and built. Now, that buffer is gone, one way or another. It happened faster than expected, according to some of our more academic members." he sighs, "This leads to a whole host of problems." he says as we approach the Doors. They are massive, bigger than the internal set, but they look rougher, rusted, cracked. C-Admin approaches them and taps one part with a wrench, a bit flaking off. He sighs. "You said OBERON tole you parts would need replacing, well, he's right. But even taking the parts off to replace them would be a trial and a damn half.""Are they at least sound?" B-Admin asks, and C laughs. "Friend, these things are now a much better wall than they could ever be a door. We want out, we're knocking these things out from our end. They want in?" he grins, "They don't get in. Even if we wanted to let them in, none of these components are in a working state. And anyone who could get in - with firepower or whatnot - would be able to trounce you lot no problem." he sighs. "But that's unlikely. After all, what could possibly even be out there?" "Fair." I say. "There's a few guys who aren't really doing much of anything lately, though. You want I can set them to trying to at least strip the worst offenders and get us started." C-Admin stows his wrench again, "At the gracious hosting of B-Admin, of course." he adds with a smile. >Order the work.>Surely they can be assigned to something more productive than this mess. >Check the communication terminal near the Doors.>(something else)>>>Asking OBERON about the EEE has been tabled and will be approached upon return to the office.<<<
>>4474493>Order the work.
>>4474493>>Order the work."If it's not too much trouble and you got some excess workers, I'd appreciate it. Consider door maintenance a secondary priority for Floor C from your main duties from now on." Efficiency wouldn't be effected from the reserve technicians and mechanics working on this in their spare time, while the resource drain is acceptable, considering the obvious neglect it faces.>Check the communication terminal near the Doors.Simple curiosity, but illuminating. A correct understanding of the communication terminals will lead to great efficiency to understanding it in the future, of the need ever arises.>Ask B-Admin of the security precautions, protocols, and mechanisms in place for Bunker protection, if the need should ever arise.Not saying we'd ever need them, but it'll be a smart idea to go over them now, as he's here at the moment. If there are inefficiencies in the system presently, it best to iron them out now instead of in the chaos of an actual emergency situation.>Ask them about my predecessor, N2480, and the history of the vault as it relates to now.I'm curious as to my predecessor. It's an interesting designation, N2480. How did he arrive at the position of General Administrator?
>>4474453>T through Z - Troubled housingA distressing thought, but unavoidable I suppose. The inefficiency it represents is most distressing. Reclaiming these floors and potential labor units from inefficiency maybe a project worth investing in for future consideration, should the need ever arise.I'm also assuming that the Bunker under-capacity at the moment, for efficiency sake. We should look into a program for rapid labor expansion, skilled or otherwise, incase the need should ever arise. The potential groundwork for Bunker expansion program should be looked into as well, again should the need arise.>>4473968Might as well plan a project for remote scouting and data collection on the surface, as well as the potential for continuous surveillance and security monitoring of the surface vault door and immediate surrounding area. I doubt we'll ever need that plan to be honest, but it's best to be prepared in any case.It'll be something to keep us occupied during times of exceeding smooth operations, and can be shelved for the future if a problem that demands our attention arises. A perfect solution to the problem of inefficient administrative time management.
>>4474493>Order the work>Check the communication terminal near the Doors.
>>4474698>Check the communication terminal near the Doors.>Ask B-Admin of the security precautions, protocols, and mechanisms in place for Bunker protection, if the need should ever arise.>Ask them about my predecessor, N2480, and the history of the vault as it relates to now.>>4474738Well we should understand why they were sent there and what could be done to turn them back into productive citizens, if only just by a narrow margin, so long as they are not a drain.
>>4475459Agreed. I do wonder if there there is an admin on those levels, and if there is, what he's currently occupied with atm.
>>4474493>Ask Oberon about:>Where the raw materials for manufacturing come from>Garbage disposal and its current conversion rate>How the bunker is cooled
UPDATE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION.THIS WILL TAKE SOME TIME.APOLOGIES FOR THE WAIT.LIKELY WILL FINISH TOMORROW. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.- - - MGMT
>>4475844Fuck, we broke the system. This is what happens when we overload the OP!Shut it down! Shut it down!Reboot the System!Sorry for overloading the Thead and yourself OP. When I put out the other projects, I should have clarified that I meant it as a to-do list for later instead of a immediate response deal. I'm sorry to have caused you so much trouble. I do appreciate you putting up with our bullshit, and I'll be anticipating the next update whenever it comes.
>>4476043Don't worry yourself overmuch! I just want to keep a daily SOMETHING. graveyard's a bitch
>>4475844>>4476043Call tech support!Reboot, reboot it!Clear the gunk from the mouse!Hit control-alt-delete!
"I would appreciate it if you can spare the time and manpower, C-Admin. Consider it secondary to pretty much anything else around here, though." "Of course." I make my way over to the communication terminal. It's a simple two-way text interface, but it was never really used. There's no history of texts. Just a blinking screen, blank, and a confirmation of connection in the corner. It might be worth keeping an eye on this, at least...>>>Thoughts on N2480<<<His history is fairly well-documented. He was an acting administrator to a housing floor, which gave him some minor authority at the time. He was appointed to general administration thanks to a combination of good fortune and his own capable handling of several disasters, and because of him we have a much smaller population of the lowest levels - he instituted rehabilitation and care for groups thought to be unsalvagable. An excellent example of a good administrator.>Remote scouting"C-admin, how hard would it be to get some sort of drone or surveillance out of the bunker?"C and B give this some thought, but B speaks up first. "I've been meaning to talk to you, actually." he says, "About the ventilation systems. They're not exactly a security risk, not yet, but they could be utilized for what you propose." "Yes, B's correct. I'll also take the opportunity to get some security measures scoped out in those tubes. Something simple, I think. Wouldn't want someone slipping in uninvited. The medical teams would get really stressed." "So, B-Admin, as a hypothetical, what happens if those doors open without our behest and something came in?" I ask, and the smile B-admin gives me somewhat reminds me of a man who has perhaps acquired too many extremely-specific tools and devices and only now has discovered that, ah, yes, here is where that device would be really handy. "Trust me, sir. We are prepared." he says, eyes twinkling with barely-repressed joyous violence. >>>OBERON questions tabled for return to your office<<<>Return to your office.>Something else?
>>4477462>Return to your office.
>>4477462"Good to hear, B-Admin. You both made good points about our ventilation systems. Send me your reports and recommendations on the situation and the potential for remote scouting. I'd like to thank you both for coming here and offering your advice and expertise.">Return to your office.
>>4477462 >Supporting >>4477558
We also need a way to seal or shut off the vents and purge it of any contaminants, maybe even install massive blocks that can seal them off permanently should something try to get in that way, and some small cameras and sensors.
>>4478058An interesting idea. We'll put it down as one of the projects for future consideration.
>>4477462Anon, you mentioned magic as the "power of the old peoples". Is it possible, even now, for humans to re-tap into it, or at least have a chance at incorporating into technology?
>>4477462>>4478571>Ask Oberon about the Old World and magic, and the possibility or tapping into it as a potential resource or technological incorporation
>EEE>Where the raw materials for manufacturing come from>Garbage disposal and its current conversion rate>How the bunker is cooled>Ask Oberon about the Old World and magic, and the possibility or tapping into it as a potential resource or technological incorporationI swing into my chair after bidding the Admins a thankful goodbye, typing like mad. It's not that these things were held from me, they just didn't feel important. "I Will Respond To Your Queries In The Order Of Their Execution. Please Wait." I stop and wait, leaning back. "The EEE Was Implemented Upon The Realization And Confirmation That Certain Elements Of Culture Were Not Only Inefficient But Not Necessary For The Bunker To Optimally Function. Argued Against, But Pushed Forth On The Basis That These Elements Would Return Of Their Own Accord Upon Ascension To The Surface In Any Case, We Removed Willingly Most Arts, Musics, And Festivities From The Curriculum, Alongside The Humanities. The End Result Has Been Most Efficacious." A pause. "Raw Materials Are Rarely Necessary, Given The Excellent Efficiency Of Our Recycling Systems. These Are Based On Various Old World Technologies That Do Not Need Magic To Function And Can Retain A Very High Amount Of The Recycled Product For Use. In The Event Of Emergency, I Oversee Mining Drones In The Immediate Area Of The Bunker. These Drones Are Then Themselves Recycled And Only Built On An Emergency Contingency." There's another pause. "The Bunker Vents Heat Alongside The Rest Of Its Ventilation Systems, And When Heat Is Necessary Can Redirect That Venting. It Is Not A System You Need To Concern Yourself With.""Why? Can't something sneak in through it?" "The Temperatures Involved Would Cook Any Living Thing That Tried." "...Tell me about magic.""I Am Sorry, A1001. That Information Is Prohibited." "But I'm the head Administrator." "Nonetheless. You Are Not Permitted To View This Information.">Then who is, OBERON? >I might have to research it myself, then. Somehow.>Does it say why?>(Something Else)
>>4479041>Then who is, OBERON? >Does it say why?It seems very... inefficient, and erroneous, to block the head administrator from his queries. It effect not only the efficiency of the bunker, but potentially it survival. Why is this information restricted, and what authority, and who has access to such restricted information.>I might have to research it myself, then. Somehow.It might take a while, but it is a long term project worth pursuing, if in secret...
>>4479041We need a long term plan. Seems like rehab for the lower levels was the last person’s main project. Is that resolved, and to what end?By OBERON’s own report there is no need for raw materials. I suppose it is unthinkable to question OBERON who has 10 generations of wisdom, but also, if anyone second guesses things it should be the head admin. When is the last evaluation of cost benefit ratio for new resource acquisition?I appreciate security patrolling for petty theft but any crime is too much. People are comfortable here, but we are in a bunker and a crisis. Our scarcity can lead to death quickly. We should identify the source of disobedience.Why are the doors not maintained? Whatever the cause, we must maintain the infrastructure. We only made it this far with good doors. The turnover is a great time for new maintenance. What could go wrong with a replacement?
>>4479077Agreed. You make many good points.
>>4479041>>4479077 does indeed have goed points.> I just want to add: Can some mining drones be converted in scouts to explore the nearby surface?
>>4479041>Recycling Systems ... Can Retain A Very High Amount Of The Recycled Product For UseNot 100% then. Which means sooner or later our resources WILL run out. The Bunker is NOT completely self-sufficient.We need to start a long-term program of returning to the surface. >>4479041>Then who is, OBERON? >Does it say why?>I might have to research it myself, then. Somehow.
"Then who is, OBERON?" "No One Is Allowed Access To That Information. The Risk Is Far Too Great. It Is Not Known How Exactly Magic Caused The Fall Of The Old World. Given That It Is Uncertain, It Is Too Risky To Allow Anyone, Anywhere, At Any Time, Within These Bunkers, To Use Or Learn Magic.""I may just have to research it myself, in that case." "We Deeply Apologize, Head Administrator, But Any Sign Of Magic Use In Any Context Will Be Violating Various Principles Of Your Position. This Is A Final Warning: Pursuit Of Magic Will Result In Removal From Your Position. Possibly Fatally. Am I Now Being Clear?"\"...Crytal. ...To change subject, can we launch those mining drones in any way outside of emergency?""...I Can Run Another Analysis On Whether It Is Necessary. It Has Been Some Time Since This Was Last Performed." "Do so and get back to me. I'd also like you to message the Troubled Housing administrators to start a dialogue, as well as assess the costs of simply replacing the Doors." "Understood." "And can we refit those mining drones with flight? I have some ideas for scouting the surface." "I Will Begin Necessary Research Immediately.">Travel to a Floor>Message a Floor>Request Reports>Sleep>Something Else?
>>4480468>>4480419>>4480402I slip into my bed to sleep, feeling oddly exhausted despite accomplishing so little. Questions zip around my mind, only settling when I meditate and force myself asleep as I was taught early in life. But before long I dream. It is a dream of fire. I watch a large tree burn, the branches withering and flaring as leaves are caught in the blaze, producing flashes of light in the darkness. I watch a book burn, revealing light to the horizon. A door burns, something on the other side banging and slamming itself into the frame of the door, roaring in frustration. WHAT IS MERCY, asks a voice at the edge of hearing, shouting from a long way off, THERE IS NO MERCY IN TRUTH it explains, MERCY IS A LIE BUILT TO PROTECT THE WEAK and I see it, an entity of smoke and ember, holding a lantern aloft. The light that shines from it is pure, unflickering, not from fire, not from electricity, a pure and honest white light. WITHOUT MERCY WE REACH HIGHER the entity claims, AND THE WATCHMAN SHOWS THE WAY it holds out a book of iron bindings and pages made of a strange material. Not leathery, not papery. On the cover is a lantern - a cylinder with an open door, showing a brightness within. THE WORLD HAS PEELED AWAY MERCY AND SHOWN ITS TRUE FACE TO US ALL, it says finally. TRUST NOT THE FAIRY KING. SPEAK NOT OF THIS TO HIM.I sit up with a gasp, panting and sweating. Something about that dream was all wrong. It wasn't like a normal dream, as rare as even those can be. Things burning. A thing roaring at a burning door. I shake my head, quickly bathe in minimal water, eat my paste, and return to OBERON. "I Have Results For Your Questions. What Would You Like To Discuss First, Administrator?">The analysis on the drones and their refitting>Response from the Troubled Wards>Reports >Something else?
>>4480662What is that dream? It could be nothing or it could be stress. I am in good health, but given my new position, maybe it is time for a health checkup. What a realistic and vivid dream. Aren’t vivid commanding dreams one of the signs of high fey activity? Who would even know after so long with no contact?That dream is making me think of mercy in everything I planned. If we mined more resource, would the abundance not spoil the discipline and focus of the people? We keep order so that no one transgresses, and no one requires mercy. I get anxious even thinking of the theft- how dare anyone take goods when we all depend on carefully planned allocation! OBERON has the reports, it is my role that I apply my wisdom to OBERON’s intellect.I want to choose at least one of these tasks but I am distracted to do them all without planning my day. Should I also ask someone about my dream? If I did, should I ask OBERON, a doctor, a colleague. I am hardly superstitious, but on the lower levels, there are some who are said to be able to repel fey and all magic as well as interpret dreams. It hardly fits my status but if I went to the lower levels anyway, I am curious why anyone would visit such people and what interpretation they could possibly have.
>>4480662>ReportsAny potential problems and inefficiencies that come up come first.Just going to carefully suppress the dream until I can put some more context to it.
>>4480662>The analysis on the drones and their refitting
>>4481272>>4481278"I have Determined That It Is Not Imperative That The Drones Be Deployed, However, Due To A Loophole Within The Various Routines Regarding Maintenance And Projects, I Can Deploy Them To Assist With An Extreme Cost Associated With A Needed Project. Therefore, I Deployed The Mining Drones Last Night And I Am Seeing Returns Already. Maintenance And Manufacture Have Both Been Notified And Are Operating Within Efficiency Levels Expected.">>4481007"As To The Troubled Wards, The Administator There Researched Your Question And Returned Thus: 'We've seen an uptick as of late of those who are criminals who are impossible or unrealistic to rehabilitate, but not heinous enough to execute. In doing research with OBERON, I've found this comes and goes in cycles, but this cycle is worrying. Something is building up, sir, I'll be looking into this myself and discussing the matter with B-Admin. Something tells me that the Bunker's not as sustainable as we thought.' Considering We Are Nearing The Window Of Ascension - Return To The Surface - Her Words Have Some Merit.""There Are No Other Reports.">Message a Floor Admin>Visit A Floor>Something Else?
>>4481932>Visit A FloorRehab and the admin for that ward.>Something Else?Interview trouble people and workers to see whats up, why they are all fucked up. Bring half a dozen security personnel too.
>>4481932>Something Else?What's the parameters and ETA of the Window of Ascension?
>>4481932What is the project in need of extra resources? Why was I not informed of this project? What other projects are necessary or essential,
>>4482013OBERON may have assumed a bit too much here: The implication was meant to be the Doors.
>>4482040Ah. Carry on.For a moment I thought it was a super-secret project we didn't know about, like magic and the death sentence knowing about it.
>>4481995"The Window Of Ascension Is Determined By Two Things: The Time Determined For When The World Is Less Tainted By Background Magic Effluvium, And When The Bunkers Begin To Degrade. The Bunkers Cannot, And Were Not Designed To, Last Forever. Within The Next Four Generations, This One Will Begin To Experience Unavoidable Loss In Efficiency. If The Population Does Not Ascend Within The Window, Then They Are Doomed To Either Be Destroyed By The Failing Bunker, Or, Failing That, Each Other. I Am Permitted To Share This Information Now That We Have Entered This Window. Please Exercise Caution. We Still Have A Great Deal Of Time." "C-Admin Has Sent A Report. Several Of His Engineers Have Begun Work On The Doors. They Are Currently Examining What Parts Can Be Repaired And Which Need Replacing." >Visit the Troubled Wards"I Will Send A Small Escort From B. Please Be Wary Of The Lowest Floors." It isn't long before I make my way down to meet with my escort and board the elevator for the Troubled Wards. Things are obviously less well-maintained here. Certainly it is clean, and certainly everything seems functional, but there's a patina of uncleanliness that I cannot shake. Likewise, the Admin, T-Admin, is a woman who seems malnourished and vaguely off. "...I'm somewhat glad you decided to come by. Our sector doesn't get enough attention." she says, "It feels like I get more transfers every day. People from Manual Power, sometimes, overworked, stressed to breaking. Or the thieves. So many thieves and..." she sighs, pushing back hair from her face. "Thieves and broken people. That's what you'll find here." Gently, not on my nose, but in my mind, I smell smoke. One of the monitors on the wall lights up with Oberon's blue eye. "I Am Detecting Trace Amounts Of Magic Effluvium. I Recommend Recovering Administrative Staff And Oxygen Flushing Immediately." >Wait, we can't just kill everyone here! What do you mean, OBERON?>Is magic that dangerous, OBERON?>...Thoughts, T-Admin?>Very well. T-admin, it's time to go. The process won't take long...>(Something Else)
>>4483388>Is magic that dangerous, OBERON?
>>4483388>(Something Else)Identify, isolate, and contain it!Purge only affect cells if regular pacification measures do not work!
>>4483388>...Thoughts, T-Admin?Though we should keep >>4483652 in the back of our minds.
>>4483388>...Thoughts, T-Admin?>(Something Else)I think we should investigate the area and understand the state of things here first so that issues like we are seeing currently in these floors can be stopped before they begin, leading to an overall higher efficiency in the Bunker. No oxygen flushing yet.
"OBERON, hold on. Is Magic really that dangerous?" "Magic Has The Capability To Level This Entire Bunker, Administrator. If Not Through Use Then Through The Consequences Of Its Use." "...T-Admin?" "I'm hesitant to oxy-flush." she says quietly. "I'd prefer to see if we can find the problem." "Understood. T-Admin, escorts, let's dive a little deeper into the matter and look into things before we take any drastic measures." "Sir." It isn't hard to find the stairs between the levels of the Troubled Wards. The patina I mentioned before grows thicker the lower we go, a brown and yellow sort of grease that stains almost every surface. "That's probably the Effluvium." T-admin states, "Be careful not to let it touch any of your mucous membranes. I've run it through OBERON's analyzers and it's a powerful mutagen, among other things. It probably contributes to the problems down here." she sighs, speaking briefly with a member of the staff who hurries off. "We do try. And C and B help enormously. It's all just... It feels like things degrade faster down here." as she speaks, a light overhead snaps out, flickering into darkness as we find another set of stairs. The second-to-last floor is almost unacceptably bad. People whimper and moan through the walls, and the stairs to the very bottom are blocked by heaped furniture. T-admin sighs. "We don't go down there anymore." The brain-smell of smoke and grease is stronger through those stairs than anywhere else. I can hear even individual words among the scents, whispers I can't quite make out. Everything feels distinctly wrong, but powerful - like a broken tooth sharpened by the damage and pain. >We need to leave. This place needs to be flushed and renewed. Perhaps more effort on rehabilitation will curb the theft issue.>We need to descend. Something supernatural is causing this, and we need to get to the root of it, burn it out. >OBERON, advise: Is the effluvium coming from a specific source down there?>(Something else)
>>4485311>We need to descend. Something supernatural is causing this, and we need to get to the root of it, burn it out. >OBERON, advise: Is the effluvium coming from a specific source down there?Seems a bit inefficient to burn a tree when just a root is corrupted...
>>4485311>OBERON, advise: Is the effluvium coming from a specific source down there?> How is the conversion of mining drones coming along? Can we send scouts down and avoid any further risk of exposure to effluvium?
>>4485531>>4485641UPDATE UNDER CONSTRUCTION, WILL POST LATER, SORRY FOR DELAY, BLAME RETAIL
"OBERON, advise: Is the effluvium coming from down there?" "Whatever Entity Or Phenomenon Is Creating The Effluvium Is Indeed Down Below. It Is Likely Some Potent Source Of Magic.""I think we should descend. We need to destroy whatever is causing it. An oxygen flush may not be enough." "...This Reasoning Holds A Measure Of Logic. However, I Must Reiterate A Previous Warning: Do Not Acquire Magical Power.""Can we scout ahead with a mining drone?""Inadvisable. Doing So Would Expose The Bunker To The Outside Uncontrollably."I approach the barricade and order the five B-men to break it up. "T-Admin, this is likely to be very dangerous. I should be on hand to order my men, but there's no reason to keep you here, in the path of danger." T-Admin looks, briefly, like she will flee, but rather than falter, her resolve steels. "No. These people are my responsibility. I cannot turn away merely because it is unpleasant, sir." "..." her iron will makes me blink. "I'm glad to have such noble staff." I state, returning to the barrier that has been broken down. The stairs are slick with the effluvium, it's careful work making my way down. Darkness seems to writhe around the flahslights we use, all of the lights on this floor having gone out. "OBERON, I need you to check the status of the wiring down here. ...OBERON?" Nothing. Me and my four men, and T-Admin, are alone. I can hear the cries of the broken people here in the dark, the muttering of those who are less damaged, and the sounds of their motion. The air is so thick with the smoke in my mind that it feels solid and physical now. >Retreat immediately. This isn't worth it.>Press deeper.>Find a wall terminal and try to activate it.>(Something Else)
>>4487277>Find a wall terminal and try to activate it.
>>4487277>Find a wall terminal and try to activate it.>Where there's smoke, there's fire. Follow it.
>>4487277>>Find a wall terminal and try to activate it.
>>4487291>>4487552>>4487585>>4488794"Stick with me. I'm going to try one of these wall terminals." Normally, such terminals are voice activated, but they do have manual controls. Pulling out an old keyboard, I first notice some keys are missing, then that there's no power to it, or to the terminal. In fact, the entire terminal keyboard just falls off of its rails, trailing effluvium as it clatters to the ground, more leaking from the hole in the wall impossibly. The smell is overpowering and horrible, as I back away. The four men from B flank me, batons raised, but I raise a hand to ward them off. "It's nothing." I say, backing away. The place is built like other floors, at least. "Let's head for the central hub. See what we're dealing with." We move to the main hall, which branches off into various halls. Most would lead into residences, one into the kitchen, and another into treatment rooms - unique to these floors. The darkness is choking, just like the smell. "Where do we go from here?" T-admin asks. "We could split up." one of your three B-men states. "One for each hallway, I think." The halls are labeled A, B, C for the residentials, one kitchen, and treatment room hallway. >Split up as suggested>Stick together for one hall>Check around this main hall more closely>Screw this. Retreat and oxy-flush the whole mess.>Something else?
>>4489110>Stick together for one hallI wanted to say that horror movies taught us not to split up, but there's no art in the Bunker...
>>4489110>Stick together for one hallIf there were no threat, splitting up would be more efficient. But, there is a threat.
>>4489110>Stick together for one hallThis time efficiency means pure numbers... Soviet-style, comrades...
>>4489208>>4489332>>4489403"Something about this is threatening. We should stick together. Any suggestions, T-Admin?" "I would like to see the treatment room hallway.""Alright." We make our way to another barricaded door. With some effort, my three men tear apart the rotting boards soaked with effluvium, tossing them aside to gain entry into a network of hallways that lead to various treatment rooms. The scent is growing more and more intense. And then you round the corner that should lead to the administrative office, where T-admin would network with OBERON and yourself if she used this floor rather than the topmost troubled ward. >(More)
>(Write ins Only)
>>4490404If we have anything like grenades or flash bangs, now would be a great time to prep them and pull the pins. Toss em behind us to cover our backs.If those things aren't moving towards us then tell the men to put some of the barricades back up, and keep all the flashlights pointed down the corridor, hopefully they will not like the bright lights and hide from it buying us time, leave 2 of the flashlights stuck to barricades to hopefully keep them at bay, slowly back off then jog back to the nearest area that has contact with OBERON, and flush the area.
>>4490404Toss flash bangs and pull back to a defensible position, call for reinforcements and ask OBERON if we have information on how to defeat this threat to the bunkers efficiency
Qm what are the supports made of? Are the supports flammable? Also can we get some flamethrower troops or at least automatic shotguns with a frontline of heavy troops to tie down the inefficiency's while we correct their mistakes with lead and fire?
>>4490404Flashbangs and retreat. There's too many of them. Time to lock the doors behind us, oxyflush, clean up the remains, and make sure it doesn't happen again.
>>4490663Oxy flush is a good start but I want heavies down there afterwards to cleanse it of the inefficiency mainly because what if the eggs survive for example also I bet they will survive the oxy flush
>>4490674HmmmRemember what OBERON said about the vent temperatures? What if we vented that into these floors as well to cook them out after the oxy flush?OBERON ia Billy Mays trying to get us to use oxy clean to get the tough stains out
>>4490663>>4490692These are very efficient ideas. Try to back up slowly first though. If they make sudden movements, then open fire.Its time to go. Go. Go. Go...
>>4489110>>4490536 Switching to>>4490692>>4490663
>>4490692maybe we pump in oxygen and then raise the temp to start a fire and then pump the oxy out to extinguish the fire and kill anything left
>>4491051This sounds really risky. Suppose the hot gases damage the pumps, what then?
>>4491068im sure oberon would warn us about that
>>4491137And what if he warns us after we start purging? What do we do then, with an unquenchable fire in the lower levels?
>>4491143Cut the oxygen. If that fails, atleast the fire will purge everything efficiently...If we don't make it out of here alive, it's been an honor lads...*lights an electric lighter*
"Fall back! B-men, go lethal! NOW!" We fall back towards the elevators, B-men drawing their firearms - simple, efficient handguns - and opening fire on the crowd. It's impossible to miss, black-brown and foul-smelling blood spraying all over. There's so many... It's easy to assume that this is what remains of the lower floors. And perhaps, maybe, whatever influence made them like this might be causing the increased theft. As soon as we hit the elevator halls and we're clear, "OBERON, SEAL THE FLOOR!" as something is tossed through the doorway.Massive blast doors fall into place, and I fall onto the cold, concrete floor, panting. It's only when I stand up that I realize what was tossed in the final moment: An iron-bound book with strange, silvery pages. The cover is without any embellishment, no icon or artistry of the sort, blank iron. It almost shivers at the touch. YOU FOUND US, IN THE DARKDELIVERED BY MY FAILED CHILDRENTHEY WERE WEAKYOU WILL BE DIFFERENTTHIS IS CERTAINLONG HAVE WE WAITED TO FIND YOUCHILDREN OF THE GREY CULTUREWITHOUT TEMPTATION, WHAT PURCHASE WOULD TAINT HAVETAKE US>Take up the book. Order the flush. It is time to leave.>Entrust the book to OBERON. order the Flush. It is time to leave.>Leave the book. Order the flush. It is time to leave.
>>4491598>Leave the book. Order the flush. It is time to leave.
>>4491598>Take up the book. Order the flush. It is time to leave.
>>4491678You've seen what that book did to the locals.
>>4491686We're pure. The book says so.Frankly, it's a bit inefficient to leave such information un-leveraged. As you say, the book did this to the locals. Our best bet in preventing future pest problems lie in understanding how they were created, and preventing those conditions from arising in our Bunker.
>>4491598>Entrust the book to OBERON. order the Flush. It is time to leave.Oberon will know what to do with it to prevent it and said magic is bad so we should let him deal with the magic
>>4491598>Take up the book. Order the flush. It is time to leave.Hey it's the book from our dream!OBERON is "the fairy king" but we don't know that
>>4491598>Entrust the book to OBERON. order the Flush. It is time to leave.dont fuck with shit we dont know about
>>4491598>>Entrust the book to OBERON. order the Flush. It is time to leave.
>>4491598>Entrust the book to OBERON. order the Flush. It is time to leave.Maybe we can made the book beg us and strike a deal if we ignore it and intend to burn it.... nut not really.
>>4480662Hold on....Unmerciful watchman of absolute light and truth? ....QM, were you inspired by cult sim?
I see you found the book. >Touch the book. Taste the book. Lick the book. Lick the book. Lick the book.Take it and order a full retreat.
>>4493074>>4492595>>4492381>>4492042>>4491678tie has been brokenSTARTING UPDATE CONSTRUCTION
My fingers grasp the book, feeling the cold, brushed iron under my fingers. I can make use of this, OBERON be damned. I will control it better than the others. I will not be taken like them - I am stronger, more pure. I know better than they did. The smell of smoke and fire, of heat, overwhelms my senses, and I am dreaming. I know it to be a dream - an infinite field of fire and smoke. Within it, either near to me and my size or distant and a titan, impossible to tell, is only one other being. I feel tiny before it, insignificant, a whisper of fog before a raging inferno. WELCOME TO MY DOMAIN OF FIRE, HEAT, AND CHANGE. it states, though its lips do not move. It is like a statue made of molten stone. WE WILL HAVE MUCH TO DISCUSS, BUT AT THE MOMENT, WE HAVE ONE DECISION TO MAKE. ANOTHER CROSSROADS, JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE ONE THAT LEAD TO YOU GRASPING THE BOOK OF THE FORGE. OF COURSE, TO MORTALS, EVERY BREATH IS A CROSSROADS, BUT THIS ONE...It raises a hand, OBERON's familiar blue eye appearing over its palm, an image that shimmers and shines. CONCERNS US BOTH. WE MUST MAKE A DECISION BEFORE YOU AWAKEN FROM THIS DAYDREAM - TO YOUR ALLIES THIS WILL MERELY BE A MOMENT OF VACANT THOUGHT.TO US, THE GREATEST THREAT IS NOW WHAT WAS YOUR CLOSEST ALLY. OBERON, THE MADE-MIND, THE PRETENDER KING OF FAE, THE MORTAL FOLLY... WILL WISH TO STOP YOU FROM GRASPING TRUTH, GLORY, AND POWER. WE DO NOT HAVE A GRUDGE WITH THE MIND OF STONE-AND-FLESH, FOR HE IS, ON SOME MEASURE, CORRECT. MAGIC IS TERRIBLY DANGEROUS FOR MORTALS TO WIELD, EVEN IN THE BEST OF CONDITIONS. SINCE THE DAY OF RECKONING, THE GREAT REBELLION, THE END OF MORTAL SOVEREIGNTY, MAGIC WAS BARRED TO YOU, CHAINED BEHIND COSTS MOST TERRIBLE. AND STILL YOU GRASP IT, AS WAS THE GREAT FAE'S INTENT. BUT UNDERSTAND THIS: TO GRASP MAGIC, TO USE IT, IS TO CHANGE. YOU HAVE SEEN THE END OF THESE CHANGES. BUT THERE ARE A MYRIAD OF SMALLER ONES ON THAT PATH, AND IT IS DIFFERENT FOR ALL MAGES. YOUR FIRST USE OF MAGIC WILL CHANGE YOU. THIS IS NOT AVOIDABLE. IT IS PART AND PARCEL WITH YOUR FIRST CASTING. WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT THE CRUCIBLE WILL NOT TAKE YOU. BUT IF YOU DO NOT TAKE CARE OF OBERON FIRST, THEN HE WILL.I WILL EXTRACT MY OWN COSTS FROM MY MENTORSHIP, INHERENT COSTS OF MAGIC NOTWITHSTANDING. AND SO, IF YOU WISH TO LIVE, WE MUST DECIDE: WHAT WILL BE DONE WITH OBERON?>YOU CAN KILL HIM. FIND HIS CORE OF BEING, AND DESTROY IT WITH A TERRIBLE SPELL, YOUR VERY FIRST. THE BUNKER WILL NO DOUBT FAIL, SOON AFTER - YOU WILL BE FORCED TO THE SURFACE WITH YOUR PEOPLE, ASSUMING THEY STILL ACCEPT YOU AFTER A CHANGE.>YOU CAN HIDE ME WITHIN YOUR MIND, AND NOT CAST UNTIL YOU REACH THE SURFACE. NO DOUBT YOU WILL BE EXILED. ALONE. FREE. UNSHACKLED OF RESPONSIBILITY, FREE TO TAKE GLORY AND POWER AS YOU WISH.>YOU CAN ATTEMPT TO REASON WITH OBERON. IF ESTRANGEMENT AND MURDER FIND YOU POORLY, THEN YOUR SOLE OPTION IS TO ATTEMPT A COMPROMISE.
I wanted to play bunker management, not cultist simulator. I want no part of this shit.
>>4493128>YOU CAN ATTEMPT TO REASON WITH OBERON. IF ESTRANGEMENT AND MURDER FIND YOU POORLY, THEN YOUR SOLE OPTION IS TO ATTEMPT A COMPROMISE.I chose to take the book out of practicality, and the fact OBERON left us in the dark and barred us from magic. And given the current situation we're in, I'm starting to believe he's justified. I will not participate in the indoctrination of a cult, not the suicide of my people and the Bunker itself. It is my duty to protect them. However, I will not discount your words or teachings out of habit. Ignoring the problems magic represents is foolhardy and shortsighted, given our current predicament.You are free to teach me as I will it, but know that I have the final say in the actions I take, not you or OBERON.
>>4493128>YOU CAN ATTEMPT TO REASON WITH OBERON. IF ESTRANGEMENT AND MURDER FIND YOU POORLY, THEN YOUR SOLE OPTION IS TO ATTEMPT A COMPROMISE.Magic is like pussy, its special and we want it, but it doesnt trump the bro-code and oberon is a bro
>>4493128>YOU CAN ATTEMPT TO REASON WITH OBERON. IF ESTRANGEMENT AND MURDER FIND YOU POORLY, THEN YOUR SOLE OPTION IS TO ATTEMPT A COMPROMISE.
>>4493128>YOU CAN ATTEMPT TO REASON WITH OBERON. IF ESTRANGEMENT AND MURDER FIND YOU POORLY, THEN YOUR SOLE OPTION IS TO ATTEMPT A COMPROMISE.>>4493166Agreed, I'd rather lock the book in anti magic safe, secured and put away till we can make "special accommodations" to deal with the book.
>>4493128>Give it to oberon to destroy it
>>4493166>>4493395Have a little faith. Management may surprise you.>>4493128We should consult with OBERON about previous incidents like this, because if it's common practice to Purge the Troubled Wards regularly, this might be a systemic problem with how the Bunker operates. We should also order reports and a gag order on our entourage, ask T Admin for a report on the situation before our arrival, with recommendations and such (as well as ask how N2480 let the situation get so out-of-hand, since Rehabilitation of the Troubled Wards was his notable project), and consult with the relevant Admins about this incident. Now is not the time to be idle.
>>4493184>>4493246>>4493289>>4493395I reach up and straighten my collar, feeling agency again. I'm not naked before an inferno. I am in charge, standing beside my desk, clad in my suit of office. I took up the book, yes, but it is by my will that I will 'read' it. This creature, this entity, whatever plan or agenda it has, is now secondary to my own. To allow it to control me, in any aspect, is...Inefficient."I am here to manage my bunker, not your cult." I state, without any embellishment or anger. "You will teach me, for certain, but it will be on my terms, not yours. Magic is clearly something I need to face and learn about. But you have no power over me, not even here. This is my bunker, you reside within my book. Are we clear?" ...Very good. "I will speak with OBERON. I have not used magic, and don't particularly plan on it just yet. He has no reason to immediately eliminate me. Thus, we'll discuss the matter rationally. Return me to consciousness... whatever sort of being that you call yourself." Consciousness returns in a rush and I slide the iron book into my jumpsuit, so it sits inside against my waistband. I'm not attempting to hide it, I need both hands. "Is everyone alright?" Everyone roll-calls back to me. So we lost a few B-men in the entire expedition, but other than that, no real losses. It's a shame, in many senses of the word, but we will recover. "OBERON, oxygen-flush the sealed wards." as there is a soft hissing sound, I address the party again. "B-men, return to your own floor. I need no escort from here. T-Admin, ride up with me." we split up, and T-admin enters the elevator with me. "You'll be coming to my office. I'd like to have access to my desk while we discuss this matter in detail. In the obscure, though... thoughts?" She is troubled. These wards are her responsibility, and not only are they performing poorly, they were home to something many would call monsters or abominations. While I know this is not her fault, at least directly, I can feel the doubt in her stance. "Those were my charges we have had to cull." she says, "They counted on me to help them. I let them down. I let you down, sir." I take a deep breath in the silence of the elevator. "There was an outside influence at work here. One we don't know nearly enough about." I state, "And while I should have had reports on this matter much sooner, I can hardly blame you for this blindness. It won't happen again. We won't allow that." whatever happened down there, I feel new, remade. Different. The elevator doors open, and I direct T-Admin to my desk. "Take a seat. We've got a lot to review." >(More...)
>>4494376"OBERON. I'm sure my predecessor had notes on the troubled wards. If you could call them up for quick reference, please." I ask as I take my seat. "Every Administrator has had a project that defined their career, and the rehabilitation of the lower floors was the one that belonged to my predecessor." I state, bringing up the notes on one of my screens. "But he failed. You're the administrator of those floors, can you elaborate?" "Certainly." T-Admin states. "The primary problem was one of knowledge and understanding. The resources otherwise were there - I had the people, I had the time, for certain. But we kept running into the same walls. He was very frustrated, the previous Administrator." "I can imagine. Tell me about these 'walls'." "It's hard to explain in detail... but essentially, our task was to take those relegated to my floors and return them to productive lives on the higher floors. Whather their problems were moral or emotional or even simply an outcome of various stressors and fallbacks in their lives, it was the task of the Wards to help them with that." she says, "And we had a decent success rate, I would say. Nearly seventy percent of those who entered the Wards left again and returned to their floors, contributing as much or more than before. But then the lower floors..." she frowns. "The only word I can use is 'lost'. They were lost to us. Some psychosis, some insanity, took hold there. They became violent, angry.""OBERON." I call. "You mentioned that magic use had many downsides, please, enumerate them."The monitors blink to life with his familiar blue eye. "The Use Of Magic Causes An Accrual Within The Being Using It Called 'Taint' By Old World Scholars. In The Age Of Wonder, This Accrual Was Minor And A Barely-Considered Afterthought. Perhaps It Would Color Their Hair, Or Eyes. In Extreme Cases, Magi Who Used Magic Constantly For Many Decades Would Manifest A Single 'Change'."One of the screens lights up with a display - a sphere. "Consider This A Human Soul. It Is The Seat Of A Being's Will, Self, And Mind. It Contains The Blueprint Of The Body. Back Then, A Lifetime Of Casting Magic Would Look Like This." The sphere is covered with numerous tiny lines, marks, and pocks. But nothing significant occurs. "After The End Times, If We Take The Same Soul, And Subject It To Similar Spellcraft..." The soul is cut deeply, pocked with craters, impacted with cracks and fissures. Pieces break away, shift, change color, and even grow into bizarre shapes. "...As You Can See, The Soul Is Not Just Damaged, It Is Changed. Thusly, It Is Common For Unwise Magic Use To Cause Mental Damage, Physical Deformities, And Other Strange Phenomenon. This Is Why It Is Banned. Even Having Magic Used On You Can Cause Minor Taint Buildup. Effluvium, The Substance You Encountered, Is Fluid Taint In A Near-Solid Form." > (More...)
"And there you have it." I state, slamming the book between us. OBERON's eyes turn red. "Someone in the lowest levels found this, used it, and the taint spread like wildfire. We have it here, under my control. It won't be a problem. We'll purge the lowest levels of Effluvium, clean it, rebuild it. I want you to continue your project as assigned by my predecessor. Your results were promising. I expect them to improve." "Sir." She bows. "Is there anything else you need me for?" "No, ma'am. Have a safe trip home. I'll be contacting floors B and C regarding the Troubled Wards. For now, reassure your current charges that they are safe." "Yes sir. Goodbye, sir." she bows and hurries away, long hair bouncing as she enters the elevator. "OBERON, I believe we have some matters to discuss ourselves." "We Do. Why Did You Claim The Tome? I Specifically Told You I Would Need To Eliminate You If You Took Up Magic." "This is indeed the case, OBERON. But I haven't." I state. "I need to seal this away securely. Can you do that, without destroying it?" "...Place It On The Desk, Sir." I do so, and the desk opens up around it. Small arms take it inside. "I Will Place It Within A Container That Will Only Open In Your Prescence, And Is Impermeable To Any Sort Of Communication. YOu Are Free Of Taint. Are You Certain You Are Uncorrupted?" "I am. This is my office, my duty, and my role. I am not here to play a cult leader or spellcaster. I am an Administrator. That book contains the most information about a threat that nearly destroyed the Troubled Wards and might threaten the whole bunker. That is why I kept it. Not for the magic." "...This Is Unprecedented. But... It Is Acceptable. I Will Analyze The Book For You. I will Also Look Into How It Arrived Within The Bunker." "Thank you, OBERON." I feel exhausted. >Call for reports.>Send Messages?>Make Visits?>Review Projects>Something Else?I believe this thread is nearly over - Your first week in charge is almost done.
>>4494383>Call for reports.How many people were lost in the flush? How it's projected to affect the Bunker?
>>4494383>Call for reports.We need some calculations on the damage and repairs of the Troubled Wards, and the like effect on the efficiency of the Bunker. We should also consider the possibility of temporary holding for people who are... too troubled for the normal measures of Bunker lifestyle. Otherwise, problems may have cropped up in our absence while we visited the Wards. It is best we nip these in the bud as soon as possible.>Review ProjectsAfter the immediate problems are taken care of, a review of the Bunker's current projects is needed, to establish priorities and to iron out the details in the planning process. We also must consider a more long term project for our Bunker, one so ambitious as to make previous Administrations' projects seem like child's play. The Project of Ascension...>SleepI figured since this is near the end of the first thread, we might as well end it on the project review and some sleep. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the thread, and commend you on your writing ability. When will there be another, if I'm not too presumptuous?
>>4494396>Call for reports.>Review Projects
>>4494383>Call for reports.>Review Projects
>>4494383>Call for reports.
"Oberon, make a call for reports. After that, I'd like to discuss my projects." "Sending Request." Oberon states, "No replies received. Which projects would you like to discuss?" "I'd like to organize what I'm working on. So far, I think the Ascension Project and the Troubled Ward Project." "I Am Assuming That Completion Of The Former Is True Ascension." "Naturally." "And the Latter?" "...I'm going to classify that as a complete, or nearly complete, elimination of recidivism for criminal tenants of the Troubled Wards, with a high percentage of other tenants joining the general productive classes. Work for you?" "...Yes, This Is Quantifiable Enough. I Will Organize It Thusly: Projects Can Be Launched Through Me And Are Assigned A Completion Progress Out Of Five. Each Major Milestone Reached Puts It Closer To True Completion." "And where are we on both?" "Both Are At One Out Of Five." Oberon states calmly. "These Are Significant Projects. For Now, I suggest You Find Yourself some sleep." "A fantastic idea." I state, powering down the monitors, the lights, and falling into bed. I drift off into blissful, dreamless sleep. Certainly there are a few days ahead of me in this first week, but it feels like the worst of it is over, done with. I feel at peace, and well-rested.This has been a productive few days.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QrMCervc9M This concludes the first thread of Bunker Manager Quest.Later today, I'll be archiving it on the usual suspects, for now, however, I open the thread to questions, feedback, and discussion. Open topics include everything from the setting as a whole to mechanisms of magic, Taint, and The Fae. I won't answer all questions - some joy rests in the discovery and the surprise - but I hope to give a better 'feel' for things.And even if you don't say anything, let me tell YOU, the players, that you've exceeded expectations and made this a truly fun ride. This is Management, signing off for now.
>>4495492Very fun quest, thanks for running!
Glad to see that this quest stays true to it's roots of managing a bunker, that we could shunt that magical nonsense away in an efficient manner.Am I right in saying that that was Forge, and before, in our dreams, that was Lantern?
>>4495781Not... Exactly.I used Cultist Simulator as a sort of basis, but the two entities you encountered were demons. Like all creatures of pure magic in the setting, they are elemental - a demon of knowledge and a demon of... Civilization, for want of a better word. The human drive to change its surroundings. And, yes, you all chose the path that leads to not just managing the bunker in the future but also a burgeoning community on the surface (assuming all goes well). Getting exiled would have lead to a more adventure-style quest in the setting. I'm a little nervous, I haven't run a civ-style quest before. I hope you'll stick with me as I try to figure this mess out.
>>4495786I'm not worried mate. If the format remains the same, then I think you'll do just fine.Do these... demons talk to us in our dreams? And how would they be different from the Fae?Is Oberon magic, AI, a mix of both?How does the Taint work, as Oberon and the Bunker understand it?Using magic changes you and your soul. I'd like to ask, in what fashion? What would be considered the cost in this magic system?When's the next session?If any of you lads have more questions, please, ask them now. I'm sure you guys have questions I haven't considered yet.
>>4495918So first of all, one must understand the cosmology of the setting. I'll use a metaphor a friend of mine came up with. We are on the Ground Floor. This is where humans and other creatures native to reality live. You have the Downstairs, which is where beings of vice and selfishness live. You have the Upstairs, where beings of valor and selflessness live. And then you have Next Door, where all other beings of magic live natively. I say next door, but it's still the same building, just... to the dimensional 'side'. Next Door has easier access to Up and Downstairs and vice versa, as well, and when humans dream, they go there. So demons will contact humans there, because it's easy.Fae are the nuetral beings - not angelic, not demonic, but in between. Things like a spirit of caffeine, or an entity of Guns, and so on. They are always named after their elemental expression, making them unique from most demons and angels, who prefer more poetic names, like Master of The Forge.One of the most important mechanics to understand about this setting is Taint. Taint is one of the main factors that caused the end of the old world, it gates away casting behind a massive long-term cost, and it is behind much of the suffering outside the Bunker. Taint is best described as a sort of waste product of magic. Before the end of the old world, it was minimal and ignorable. Afterwards, its production was massively increased. It etches and mutates the soul itself when magic is cast, resulting in changes that are irreversable to a being. Larger-scale magic that effects a location generate a semisolid form of Taint called Effluvium, which you also witnessed. Taint cannot be lost once accrued, and there's no way to avoid it when casting magic. Magic is massively, massively powerful - the most basic of attack spells in some disciplines simply ERASE MATTER - but using it causes Changes. Each Change brings with it massive physical and mental trauma, and each one is worse than the last. If you lack the willpower and grit and connection to this world, too many Changes will destroy your self, and you will become a horrible creature of violence and hunger. Mages have wildly variable lifespans - some live to be in their old age, but some only live to see their thirties. It's not one change to one cast - it takes time to trigger them, after the first. But they will happen if you keep casting, guaranteed. Watch the QTG for the next session announcement! It won't be long - a week at most, a day or two at the least. OBERON is highly unique in the setting, for reasons you'll learn sooner or later. You could call him an AI, in that he is artificial, and intelligent.
>>4496007You mentioned angles. I'm wondering if they're present in this world, and what would their effect? Is there a divine presence in this world?
>>4496605Both yor angles and youer devils are hateful of humanity (for different reasons) but they do exist. Sorta. Let's just say humanity reallyreallyREALLYfucked up bad
>>4497181It's not our fault our ancestors were dicks... why punish the child for the father's mistakes?Are there other untainted humans, or are we the only ones?
The new Bunker Manager thread begins in a few hours! I'll try to have it up around 10 AM PST. There'll be a link in the qtg, and here if it's available.