Shattered Rift

Mansionverse Role Play

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Traj shook his head, chuckling. Sparkbot's pedanticness could really just be adorable sometimes. Hearing that they could vote from their own VI's, Traj brought his own up and scrolled to the appropriate viewscreen.

 

"Oh, I see now. There it is." There were several options that the members as a group could vote on, Traj noticed as he perused the screen. There was the one Liz had wanted to enact, having the walls swallow up the windows much like he'd been able to get the Werewolf Forum's walls to do. Odd that to do so up on the balcony required a voting bloc, while he'd been able to do that easily in the Werewolf Forum. Perhaps because he'd done it from the MC tablet? An MC would logically have more to say about what the room setup would be than a mere player. This bore further inquiry, but not now. Not while there was a treasure hunt in progress!

 

Speaking of...

 

"Okay, I've put in my vote to nix the windows," Traj said offhandedly, poking at his screen. "Star, Cel, what do you guys think? Might be interesting," he continued, unconsciously echoing the PM he'd gotten from Liz earlier. Picking a bit self-consciously at the faded decal on his sky-blue t-shirt - today it was of an artist's interpretation of what a cross between a werewolf and a Care Bear would look like - he turned to Sparkbot.

 

"Sparkbot, are there any choices that can be made about the Werewolf Forum that need more than one person to approve?"

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The sudden appearance of the display surprised Bed. He dropped his phone into his pocket and started to tinker around the display. The interface on the display was unfamiliar to bed but overall he liked the new modern look. 

 

"What triggered the display to appear?" he thought. Bed tried getting off the stool and back on it to see if that's how it's working. He also tried various hand motions and voice commands. At one point he poked his head into the display to see if the display moved or stayed there. 

 

"I'd like to order today's special," said Bed. Bed really wanted to know how everything worked after the fresh software installation. "Was there multi-tasking?" he thought. He tried to get into his control panel while the display was still up.

 

Later, he scrolled through the menu on the display using hand motions. Were all these selections free? In the past there was currency but such a thing doesn't exist at the moment. It made Bed a little excited thinking about it. He quickly looked for the sparkbomb cake to see if it was available. He wanted to find out what it tasted like but if it wasn't there his intent was to find the most lavish meal and a nice drink to go with it. 

Edited by Bed

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"Mm." Star intoned noncommittally at Liz and Traj both, not bothering yet to pull up her VI and instead crossing her arms. "So, you don't exactly want to search as group," Here she looked at Liz, "And yet, in essence, you're instigating a search that requires a group. At least, I'm assuming this voting thing is supposed to assist you in looking for a relic since you didn't exactly say." One of her eyebrows rose as she finished, looking at Liz a moment longer. "I just want to point out that even agreeing to vote and 'help' one another as the need arises could cause 'strife' in and of itself should one person's request for votes actually yield something when another's does not."

 

She let another beat pass before she shrugged and unfolded her arms to pull up her VI and vote for the change Liz was requesting.

 

"Whatever." She sighed. "It's not like I'm expecting to find one myself."

 

Cel's previous question about wishes made Star turn to Sparkbot.

 

"Hey, Sparky...are you going to search for relics? What would you wish for if you found one?" She inquired of him, honestly curious to see what the android would say.

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"If we can vote the windows back once you finish, sure. I liked the view." Cel looked to Sparkbot for confirmation as she navigated to the voting page. As the bot answered, she noted what other elements of the room could be changed by member consensus. 

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The member lounge was a comfortable enough place, and taking a nap there was a completely sensible thing for how comfortable it all looked. There were couches long enough to stretch out on—something Rift had no doubt made a personal point of including—and there were both bean bag chairs and gaming chairs, providing a full variety of ways to relax. The floor was tile, but there were several thick rugs scattered throughout the lounge. A few members were still busily upturning each piece of furniture, flipping every rug over, checking every place they could think of, and Stratus had simply to watch and learn, if anything could be learned. If not, he simply got to watch his friends work. And, past the friends in the lounge, a group of others were just a bit farther, hanging out in the hall with Sparkbot.

 

The display in front of Bed responded to certain motions. A wave of the hand could generate or dismiss it, and putting his head through it didn't disrupt anything. Voice commands were lacking, however. As Bed searched through the food options, dessert lacked any form of cake. Ice cream, pie, crepes, brownies, and cupcakes were all listed... but no cake. Nor was there a special for the day. The interface, the menu, merely listed the food options in a way that was a bit more efficient than the menu in a restaurant. It was even possible to select multiple items to compare them side-by-side. Steak and lobster appeared to be the two best high-end options. As for drinks, there was so much variety and color that none stood out above the others. A button labeled “Random” offered an easy solution.

 

ooc| For the most part, if you can think of something, go ahead and order it. Cake and Vintage Spark Juice are two of the only exceptions I can think of there being right now. All of the alcoholic drinks are virgin.

 

bic| “Sparkbot is content to join members as they search for relics,” Sparkbot said. “Sparkbot is not sure what Sparkbot would wish for.” Sparkbot's head lowered in thought, eyes darting this way and that for a few moments at a time as his program attempted to decide an answer. Celairiel's question broke him out of his thought process. “Sparkbot predicts that if all members who cast a vote change their vote back to the original layout, the layout will be restored. However, Sparkbot does not know how the program works.”

 

On the VI display, several aspects of the room offered the chance to be changed, such as the furniture, flooring, the balustrade surrounding the balcony, wallpaper, and others.

 

ooc| I know there are things I'm forgetting that are optional.

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Two plates and a drink appeared in front of Bed, one plate containing lobster and the other containing a medium rare steak. Both had the appearance of being warm, but in the Mansion the heat was merely an illusion. The drink was far less appetizing in appearance. Apparently the randomizer had chosen N.A.T. Oil as the drink, and the black sludge that filled the shot glass looked like it might actually be dirty oil.

 

ooc| Edit: On second thought, only one meal plate can be ordered at a time, after which the screen grays and nothing is selectable for so many hours. So take your pick between the streak and lobster.

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Celairiel shrugged. "Good enough for me." She cast her vote to change the walls, hoping the others would agree to change it back after the hunt was done.

 

"Didn't you want to keep the floors tiled, Star? You mentioned something about it to Sparkbot." Adding her vote there, Cel proceeded to glance over customization options for other rooms. Things seemed fine the way they were, but Cel expected she'd want to take further advantage of this as she settled in. 

 

"So, I guess you'll be wanting to head back into the lounge now?" Slightly disappointed at the lost opportunity, but also relieved to not be forming a bigger group - this was a lot of new people to meet in a single day - Cel turned to Liz. "Well, it was nice to meet you. I'm Celairiel, by the way. I hope you have a fun time hunting! Let us know how things go. We'll let you know if we need any help too." Cel silently hoped Star didn't mind her speaking for them both. Then again, she was sure Star would speak up if she felt differently. And Liz seemed pretty open to occasional collaboration. Celairiel could see no reason why not to do the same. 

 

Celairiel turned from the others to ask a few quiet questions to Sparkbot. "I noticed the little rooms on this floor are labeled together as member quarters. Do I have a room too? Which one is it? Can we customize those completely? It'd be fun to play with the options somewhere I have final say." 

Edited by Celairiel

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ooc| You can order... two more drinks, we'll say. (Three drinks total sounds like a good number.) I'm going to need some time to figure out a few more Sparkbomb-themed drinks. I'm withholding (non-vintage) Spark Juice for The Mansion. Any type of typical drink is selectable (water, fruit juices, smoothies, soda, etc). And non-alcoholic versions of mixed drinks are also selectable. So if you want to go with one of those, go ahead.

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"Hm?" Liz looked over to Sparkbot as he explained Rift's line of thought... certainly much more than the administrator could've intended for them to learn. Her face practically lit up as the gears in her head started to turn. The warmth in her smile turned to cool satisfaction. "Do you say this out of pure speculation, or do you have some other reason for so specific a suggestion?"

 

Star's tone made the corner of her lips twitch downward in the beginnings of a frown, but when she voted to nix the windows all the same the expression progressed no further. Still, Liz anticipated little help out of that quadrant beyond collaborations of convenience, and she made a mental note to that effect. And either way - Star and Cel had already formed a group of two, and Liz would rather work with a triad of her choosing rather than tack on to two Johnny-come-latlies. 

 

And maybe Sparkbot would choose to follow them instead of her. It'd make her own work far less conspicuous, at any rate.

 

"I'd like to see what our changes enacted sooner than later, as it sounds like you two would rather the windows come back, and I'd like to not get... awkwardly stranded in the interim." She said to Cel, glancing towards the stairs. "But you can PM me if you want to talk. Best of luck with your own hunt." She turned to go, then turned back at the waist.

 

"I'm Liz," Liz said and pointed to the hovering name above her head. The whole idea of introductions confused her in a medium where identity was made immediately obvious, but she supposed she could give a nod to the convention. "I'll cast my vote to change things back once I'm done with my... curiosities. It shouldn't take too long. But if you could wait a few minutes before casting your own votes, just in case the threshold is low... I'd appreciate it."

 

Her gaze slid to Traj, and while she said nothing more before turning back around, her face made her suggestion clear - follow me, this will be interesting.

 

And then she was off down the hall towards the stairs to the tower and the balcony and the door-that-should-now-be-a-door, gliding silent as a spectre. If her hypothesis was correct... 

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Sparkbot is making extrapolations based on data acquired while testing items for the Spark Game three years ago,” Sparkbot said. “Shattered Rift's methodology accounted for three usergroups, and he designed three items with minor differences for each usergroup. The Paintball Competition included three teams. The original design for the Fireworks Competition included a function to allow two members to build a firework together and both unlock it on their checklist.”

 

As Liz left, Sparkbot glanced from Liz to Trajectory to TheLastStarMaker to Celairiel, undecided on which way he would go.

 

Back in the tower, walls had lowered blocking all the windows. There were those on the floor of the tower, now wall-like, and there was the more impressive one on the balcony, also wall-like. However, the door that was not a door was simply gone, covered by the wall. Apparently the wall had lowered in front of it, and now it was blocked.

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Traj stood back and watched as the conversation ended, head tilted slightly to the left. If he'd still been a werewolf, his ears would have perked up with interest. Something in that last look Liz gave him piqued his curiosity - given that she was headed back up to the balcony, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that whatever lowering the walls had done, Liz was going to check it out and wanted him to come.

 

"Good luck on your search, ladies," Traj said as he started off after Liz, giving Cel a friendly nod and Star a poke in the side as he passed them. He made it a few steps before halting, his brow furrowing as he realized something - Sparkbot had completely skipped over his question! That was entirely unlike him. Traj eyed the robot. His glance then flicked to Liz and her beeline toward the balcony staircase. Whatever was going on up there was happening now, and (as far as he knew) Sparkbot wasn't going anywhere. Traj could deal with whatever was happening with Liz and the balcony - once that was concluded, Sparkbot ought to be easy to find. Traj padded after Liz, bare feet making no noise on the tiled floor.

 

He reached the top of the staircase at nearly the same time she did, to be faced with... what appeared to be a blank wall. Traj glanced at Liz sidelong, one eyebrow raised.

 

"Well... Mission accomplished, I guess, it's a wall now. Congratulations?"

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At Cel's reminding, Star kept her VI open and voted in all the rooms she could for the floors to be tile.

 

When she glanced up to see Liz and Traj leaving--letting out a small 'eep!' when Traj poked her--Star made no move to follow. It wasn't as if Liz particularly acted as if she wanted their company. 

 

She did note Sparkbot's hesitation upon glancing in that direction and felt kind of funny about being able to read him that way.

 

"You're welcome to join us in our search, Sparkbot." Star offered. "If you don't mind hanging out with a couple of people who have no earthly idea what they're doing." She smiled roguishly.

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"--!"

 

Liz's mouth moved but no sound came out - the mansion's profanity filters were in full effect. Her wordless tirade was short. If you couldn't hear yourself swearing it wasn't very satisfying anyway.

 

"I'd hoped," She started, feeling along the wall for where the door had been, "That the markings on the window here were indicative of a door on the lowered wall. Or something like that." As an afterthought she pulled up her own VI and put in her vote to raise the walls. There wasn't anything to be gained in this configuration, at any rate.

 

"I was apparently wrong." Sighing in frustration she spun around and leaned against the wall to face Trajectory.

 

"Sorry for dragging you up here for nothing. But..." The smile was back, more mischievous now. "If Sparkbot has any idea what he's talking about, and he usually does, it sounds like forming teams would be to our benefit. This was my only lead," she slapped her palm against the wall in indication, "so I'd be happy to follow whatever ideas you may have. Two sets of eyes can search better than one, at any rate." 

 

Liz offered out her hand.

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Stratus peeked out from under his hood as the walls covered the windows. The artificial light that kicked on paled in comparison to the natural sunlight that had flooded the room through the grand window minutes before.

"Well that's unusual? Why would you close the blinds midday?"

It was then that he witnessed Traj and Liz ascending the stairs.

"Riiiight. Relic hunting." Seeing the two working together was not surprising, although Star not being in Traj's group was a small anomaly.

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[OOC]Hey Stratus, it's nighttime. :)[/OOC]

 

Having heard what Sparkbot said earlier, Traj wasn't averse to having some help. Originally, he'd wanted to search and find a relic on his own, but if they were going to require teamwork to find, he certainly wasn't opposed to working with Liz.

 

He reached out and clasped Liz's hand in the firm grip of his own, shaking it once.

 

"Deal." Traj grinned wolfishly. Looking at the wall again, he shook his head.

 

"I don't see any marks. Are you sure there was a door here? Maybe there were just lines painted on the windows? Granted, that's odd, but..."

 

He brought up his own VI and voted to reopen the windows. Being slightly claustrophobic, Traj preferred the windows to be open in any case, but there'd been a promise of a secret... Ah, well.

 

"As far as leads go, I ran off to check the Werewolf forum as soon as the relic hunt started - don't look at me like that," Traj said defensively, "It seemed like a good place to start. I didn't find anything, though. But you heard me ask Sparkbot just now if there were any consensus-required changes that could be made specifically to the Werewolf Forum, like you wanting the windows to come down, right? He never answered. And Sparkbot never ignores a member query."

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ooc: Sparkbot missed two of our questions. (Edit: mine was regarding member quarters.)
Also, what are some of the benefits to being in a virtual world? Things like we don't really need to eat. If I jumped out a window on the fourth floor, what would happen? Can I rock climb up walls safely without ropes? Basically, how far does The Mansion mimic life? And what happens if I do something that in life would cause injury? I'm assuming the laws of physics still apply, so if I jumped out a window I would fall. But even with gravity, I am physically capable of climbing a wall that has holds. IRL I would never do that without a rope. Here, would it be safer?

 

bic: Celairiel watched the retreating backs of the other members. She'd wanted to help out and make friends, but that just didn't seem like a likely avenue. Well, Traj did seem fairly nice. And he and Star were friends, so she would probably get to know him better later. Celairiel hoped that Liz's prickliness was a general thing - some people were like that - and not anything personal.

 

They started down the hall again. "Yeah, Sparkbot, you should totally join us. We need all the help we can get!"

 

Feeling the tile joins through the soles of her smooth, suede-bottomed shoes, Cel wondered if there was a wood floor option in any of the rooms. If so, she might be able to pull off her wish without a relic. 

 

"Well, these windows didn't have anything. And I'm not exactly psyched to walk through checking every single window. I mean, maybe checking the big important ones... There's a lot of windows here though, and that would get really boring really fast. Seeing how much we can change things around, I think this is going to be more intricate than I'd first assumed. Which totally fits Rift's personality. I had no idea what all one could do here. Lowering walls over windows..." Cel trailed off into impressed silence. 

 

The thought of their recent vote reminded her to check the interface map. Traj and Liz had made it up to the lounge. Cel hoped they had success in their search. She'd leave her vote until the two left the room, just in case a single vote could change things back. 

 

"You'd mentioned maybe a clue back in the Member Lounge. I don't want to seem like we're following them when Liz didn't want us joining up, but I think it would be a good plan to look back later. Do you have any ideas of where to search in the mean time?"

Edited by Celairiel

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How far can you trust a wolf?

 

The question caught Liz off-guard, and her grip on Traj's hand lingered a moment longer than necessary. Then she caught herself and bobbed her head in recognition of their new partnership, hoping the slip would go unnoticed. She didn't particularly want to listen to the other voice anyway. Even if she hardly got a choice in the matter.

 

"There was... not quite a door. Um." She had no ability to raise the walls on her own and show Traj what she meant. Frustration made her voice uncertain and her thoughts ramble. "It was... like, imagine someone took a glasscutter to the window, but didn't go all the way through. Except I guess glass cutters just make scoring and snapping easier. But if a glass cutter actually just cut the glass, to some depth, and you sketched a door, except you didn't finish the job. That's what I was like."

 

She took a step back from the wall and gestured. "I thought if I lowered the walls, there'd be a door in the wall, or something. I'm not quite sure how I expected it to pan out, honestly." Liz shoved her hands into her pockets and slouched a bit.

 

"Maybe he just didn't hear? I'm not sure how many simultaneous queries he can process before he suffers from a buffer overflow error." She shrugged. "But, do you want to head back there, then? I mean, you just said you didn't find anything, but did you finish... whatever you were going to do?" Her own approach to the search had been less 'tearing the mansion apart' and more 'seeking', but she suspected Traj's approach was closer to the former. Maybe her help would be needed in merely resetting the room to a useful state. If Rift couldn't enact that sort of change automatically. 

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Members may select one room to register as their own,” Sparkbot said. “Member quarters may be customized at the option of the user to whom a room is registered.”

 

The Werewolf forum may only be customized from the Master of Ceremonies Control Panel,” Sparkbot said.

 

ooc| Assume that Sparkbot said these things at the appropriate point in time. My bad for overlooking them.

 

bic| “Sparkbot would be happy to join TheLastStarMaker and Celairiel,” Sparkbot said, and a broad smile spread across his face. “Accounting for Mansion programming, earthly ideas may not necessarily be applicable.”

 

ooc| Stratus, since there seems to be a little more confusion...

 

2nd Floor: Member Lounge

3rd Floor: Tower

4th Floor: Tower Balcony

 

Right now Star, Cel, and Sparkbot are in the 2nd floor hallway outside of the member lounge. Liz and Traj are on the tower balcony. I'm not sure whether you intend to be in the tower or the member lounge. I originally assumed the latter. Go ahead and take your pick.

 

Also, it's evening, not midday.

 

Cel, as far as Mansion physics, that sounds like a good question for Sparkbot. I had actually typed up the portion of Sparkbot's response to Star before reading your question. (When I reply, I basically go down through the posts in order. I think I missed your question because I responded to Bed's in-between.) I suppose I could have Sparkbot start answering that in this post, but... Liz pointed out that I need to at least list the Mansion layout somewhere. I'm going to do so here and then include a copy of it in the opening post. And that's going to take me long enough that I don't want to also go into Mansion physics in the same post.

 

---

 

Whenever a member registers and first logs into Sparkbomb, they appear inside the front gate (which is always closed, though the implication is meant to be that the member did enter from the gate and that the gate is unlocked, even though it can't actually be opened). There is a path that leads to the front doors of the Mansion, which lead into the Parlor (see: Episode 1.) The Mansion grounds are blocked off at the corners, by the base of the towers, so the sides and back of the Mansion are currently inaccessible.

 

The Mansion faces east. I typically describe the Mansion by its “left and right” halves, because it's easier to mentally visualize the Mansion with the Parlor at the bottom-center. Technically this is the eastern center. Keep this in mind as I list directional locations.

 

1st Floor

Parlor (East, with staircase to 2nd Floor Parlor)

General Discussion Forum (Southeast)

General Discussion Lounge (Southeast corner, with staircase to 2nd floor Southeast Member Lounge)

Werewolf Forum (Southwest)

Werewolf Lounge (Southwest corner, with staircase to 2nd floor Southwest Member Lounge)

Random Chat / Cafeteria (West)

 

Note: The northern half of the 1st Floor is currently inaccessible. A hallway runs from the Parlor to the General Discussion Lounge, from the General Discussion Lounge to the Werewolf Lounge, and from the Werewolf Lounge to Random Chat. There are doors in the Parlor that lead directly into Random Chat.

 

2nd Floor

Parlor (with staircase to 1st Floor Parlor)

Member Quarters (These are small rooms that members may register, measuring 2 meters x 2 meters plus a 1 meter deep x 2 meter wide closet. These rooms go along each wall of the Mansion, and there are also rooms that more towards the center of the floor. Due to the Towers, there are no corner rooms.)

Southeast Member Lounge (This is the member lounge that is directly beneath the tower, with staircase to General Lounge and staircase to Southeast Tower)

East-Southeast Member Lounge (Star and Cel are in the hallway between the Southeast Member Lounge and the East-Southeast Member Lounge)

South Member Lounge
Southwest Member Lounge (with stairway to Werewolf Lounge and staircase to Southwest Tower; note: Southwest Tower is currently forbidden)

*West Member Lounge (This lounge is directly behind the parlor and above Random Chat/Cafeteria: I'm still determining Random Chat's exact layout, so a staircase may ultimately be added connecting the two)

 

Note: The northern half of the 2nd Floor is currently inaccessible, but its layout mirrors that of the southern half. Member quarters may be registered in the northern half but are currently inaccessible. The hallways are similar to those on the 1st Floor. There's a hallway going from the Parlor to the East-Southeast member Lounge to the Southeast Member Lounge, from the Southeast Member Lounge to the Southern Member Lounge to the Southwest Member Lounge, and from the Southwest Member Lounge to the West Member Lounge. There are probably also hallways going through the central portion of the 2nd Floor.

 

*Due to mistakes I made in descriptions, there may also be a Central Southern Lounge in the middle of the floor and a West-Southwest Lounge. Both of these are currently waiting for my final decision.

 

3rd Floor

Southeast Tower (This is the tower in Episode 4 and where the role play started, with staircase to Southeast Member Lounge and staircase to Southeast Tower Balcony)

 

Note: The other three Towers are currently inaccessible. There is a hallway leaving the Southeast Tower, but it is inaccessible.

 

4th Floor

Southeast Tower Balcony (This is the balcony in Episode 4 where the role play started, with staircase to Southeast Tower)

 

Note: The other three Tower Balconies are currently inaccessible. Technically, each balcony is an extension of the 3rd Floor, but the Towers are tall enough that they're displayed as a 4th Floor on the User VI's.

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"Hm." Star looked thoughtful as she considered the map of the Mansion on her VI, "What about checking out the parlors?"

 

She shrugged, at a loss, "Seems like as good of a place as any. Where would you like to look, Sparky?"

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"As much of it as could be 'finished', I suppose," Traj mused, running a hand along the wall himself. It didn't feel like anything other than a regular wall, but then, the question was, would it? There really wasn't any reason not to take Liz's explanation at face value - she'd wanted the walls lowered for a reason, and he didn't think her frustration was feigned. Traj supposed it didn't matter, really - at the moment, there wasn't anything up on the balcony of interest, so it was time to move on. Tearing apart the mansion at random was going to do little good, though, and he said as much.

 

"I searched the Werewolf Forum, but without any real plan in mind. I guess I kind of got carried away," Traj explained sheepishly, toying with a lock of black hair. "I had just about given up on searching there and was going to move on to the Werewolf Lounge when I got your message."

 

Looking out over the balcony railing at the members still tearing apart the Southeast Member Lounge, he continued.

 

"I was thinking a bit about what Sparkbot - I think I'm going to start calling him 'Sparky' too, actually, it kinda fits him, doesn't it?" Traj grinned again, a flash of teeth, before quickly moving on. "Anyway, what Sparky said about Shattered liking the number three. I thought maybe you and I could take a look at the map and see if there was any correlation?"

 

He pulled up the virtual map of the mansion on his VI and expanded the screen so that Liz could see.

 

"Sparky mentioned the MC panel in the Werewolf Forum, but going through every customization option would have taken days. There's a lot to it - we can go take another look, if you're interested - but I tried several options and nothing happened. What do you think?"

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"A little less literally than it used to," Liz replied with a small giggle, glancing down in the direction Star, Cel, and Sparkbot had taken off in. "Rya--, er, Rift seems to have gotten the worst of the bugs out of him. I do wonder what his goal is, though. If he'd meant to make a replacement for himself, why not give him more... of a human appearance? Not like synth-skin and a good real-hair wig would be hard to come by in this... reality." She paused at the last word and looked towards the roof of the tower. 

 

The sudden illumination of Trajectory's VI caught her attention, and her gaze snapped back. She made a thoughtful sound and nodded at his explanation - though the tower (at first glance) seemed more centered on the number four than three. As she pulled up her own VI and began to search she contemplated the Werewolf Forum.

 

"I don't think it'd be in there," Liz finally said, and added "er, the Werewolf Forum" as she realized her statement wasn't very clear. "Games are being run all the time, or at least, Rift would hope they're being run all the time, and he'd probably not want people being distracted in-game searching under chairs and through things for treasure. Worse, I think he'd want to avoid non-players barging into the room, or people being actively disruptive. Not saying its not possible, just seems like an administrative nightmare."

 

She tapped her own screen and pulled up a few different isometric views in addition to the top-down layout.

 

"Now, none of this applies to Werewolf Lounge..." She suggested as she thought. "We could also check the 1st and 2nd floor parlors, or General Discussion, or Random Chat, but I think I saw Loki... er, Bed, running down that way." Her remark was punctuated with a cough that indicated she may've been the reason he was running (even if Liz could see no reason why).

 

"We could also take a stroll down member quarters and see if there's anything there, but with so few members registered..." Liz trailed off. "I wonder what happens to rooms that aren't assigned yet? I mean, I can't imagine he'd have put anything there - that's just asking for an incident if someone chooses the 'right' room... sorry, just a random thought."

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"Actually, the main parlor is probably a good starting place. I mean, it's the first room in the Mansion. Might as well start our real search in the room everyone starts their Mansion experience, right?"

 

Cel watched Star's sliding progress down the hall. The request for tile floors made sense now. Her own shoes allowed smooth, measured movement. The tiles were nice for them as well. Rooms with carpet wouldn't be as fun. But wood would be even better. 

 

At the end of the hall, a door opened onto the parlor balcony. Walking out on this level, the massive stained glass filled most of the view. Celairiel paused to admire it in the fading light of dusk. The interior light blended with the final rays of reflected sun coming from behind the Mansion. The highlights and angles of the illumination caused deep shadows at every seam of glass. From the outside, the window was smooth, but inside, the joins between the colors formed an intricate network of ridges. 

 

"Hey, Sparky, question for you. If I fell here, would I get hurt? And by fall, I mean a couple of stories. Onto a couch. It's virtual reality. How virtual and how real?" 

 

As she spoke, Cel walked up to the railing and leaned out to touch the glass. Feeling along the ridges proved satisfactory. These were perfectly acceptable holds foot holds and only slightly challenging hand holds. If Star would make sure there was always a couch under her... 

 

Idiot, you're scared of heights. Why do you think that would be different here? Then again, it's not real life. Free climbing should be possible without risking death. I mean, my account doesn't just deactivate or something, right? If I had some chalk and actual climbing shoes, I'd do it.

 

"And how do I change my shoes?"

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Nothing on the map indicated a preference for the number three. The Mansion was perfectly symmetrical, at least for the room arrangement.

 

Sparkbot has no preference,” Sparkbot said, but his head lowered at the same moment he finished speaking. The timing was almost odd, as if he needed to finish speaking before the motion could occur, but the motion had been intended for while he was speaking. It was the same thing he had said to Liz. “Sparkbot considers any location acceptable.” The clarification did little to alleviate his concern with his own words. He followed the two girls out into the parlor.

 

Sparkbot is uncertain what would happen,” Sparkbot said, standing on the railing and leaning out over it. He balanced himself carefully, seeing just how far he could go. At a certain point, he stopped and promptly returned his feet firmly to the floor. “Sparkbot does not want to fall to test possible damage results.” At about the same time, as Cel reached her hold out farther, her hand simply refused to maintain a hold. It was as if she couldn't touch what was there, like either a force field or perfectly smooth surface blocked her even though the surface was not smooth. “The program generating the Mansion refuses to allow certain movements. Sparkbot would need to do additional testing to determine exact boundaries.” There was no pause between that statement and the next, yet Sparkbot had switched subjects. “To change your shoes, you must edit your avatar settings.”

 

---

 

ooc| In Episode 2, I had both Traj and Blacjak jump over the railing near the last possible point. At the, er, “edges,” as it were, certain rules can be semi-broken. But as a general rule, you can't do anything that's explicitly unsafe. Furthermore, you can't climb anything that's not intended to be climbed (like, say, the outside wall of the Mansion). Think of it kind of like a video game having very definite boundaries.

 

As for getting hurt, I'm still debating that. I'm tempted to let your guys' avatars get crippled. :P But if something is likely to get you hurt, it's probably not allowed. Likewise, if a door was going to shut on you, it would probably force you out.

 

I don't intend for there to be any fancy intentional abuse of these mechanics. Nor do I intend for there to be any abuse at all. I hope that answers most questions.

 

Edit: Wow, I've got a short-term memory tonight. I have other plans.

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