Ghost Cache

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'POST' 1.5


Cube Farm 3

The nighmare continued in the dreary environs of Cube Farm 3.  For much of an hour, the intake manager provided a long lecture about the basics of the ghosts' new job.  Most of it sounded familiar to 1709, but she was also sure that she had not read or heard any of the information before.  Either she'd forgotten some extensive training while retaining the subject matter, or something had been done to her mind.  Both possibilities were concerning  What was notably absent from the lecture was any indication of how or why she had come to be here.  Also absent was any hint at the possibility of choosing against being employed here.  That was even more concerning.

Questioning her situation seemed unwise.  1709 knew that she had no power in this situation.  For now, she was relatively comfortable.  That might change for the worse if she caused trouble.  She had no idea how to escape, or even where she might escape too.  She knew nothing about the world beyond Cube Farm 3.  It would be safest if she watched, listened and learned without drawing undue attention to herself.  For that reason, she decided she should attempt some of the assigned logic puzzles before her first 'mission' began.  Leaving them all untried would stand out, she figured.

1709's mission was a long time coming.  She didn't know how long, but it was enough to complete eighteen of the questions, which involved application of logic, arithmetic and geometry.  They were not simple questions, though they were not especially difficult either.  She was sure she must have solved millions of such questions in the ghost cache.  She was not at all sure of what the ghost cache was or why she had been in it, so that was another mystery to solve.  Whatever it was, she was fairly sure she would very much prefer not to return to it.  She had a feeling that failing at this job might land her back there, so it was imperative that she not fail.

That imperative was firmly in her mind as she slipped the white headset back onto her head, and as the dreary world melted away once again.

  • Entering VIVID Session...
  • Detected VIVID Bulk Subscriber: Oji-CF3.
  • Loading Playertag Data: GC-30108-1709...
  • Activating Hireling Mode as Character: Lentie Flyndon
  • Loading Local Environment and History...
  • Simulating Absent Time...
  • Enforcing Synchronised Dreamstate...
  • Blinking in to your location: Rabbit Hills, Star Town, Western Coast, Asheroon, Riches of Renfros

She was going to a different continent to her first trip.  It really made no difference to her, as she had hardly seen any of Mawgenlea.  Being in a different part of the same town would have been no less distant to her.

Rabbit Hills, Star Town, Western Coast, Asheroon, Riches of Renfros

  • Welcome back to Star Town, Lentie Flyndon!
  • The Nojus Family wishes you pleasant dreams.

Whoa, this is... weird.  I'm a different person now.  I can feel it, kinda.  Somehow I know a little of what it is to be Lentie Flyndon.  There's a lot more to Lentie than there is to 1709.

It really was a lot.  The sounds and sights and textures were just as overwhelming as before.  Lentie half fell and half sat on the leafy ground.  She was in a hilly area — not surprising, given the name — which was densely populated by skinny white trees.

  • Hireling Quest: Return to Star Town.

According to Kanda's explanation, this was a typical easy mission for 'new hires'.  All she had to do was walk Lentie back to the nearby town, preferably without any injuries or loss of items.  But that was all too much for 1709 to consider just yet.  She was close to panicking.  As an attempt at preventing from that, she took a minute to focus only on breathing normally.  Kanda had said that was a helpful tactic for adjusting to new environments.

Was I breathing in Cube Farm 3?  Am I really a ghost?  Am I dead?  What happened to me, to all of us?

After a few more minutes she actually began to calm down and think sensibly.

Whatever happened to me, I'm alright now.  I'm playing someone else's character in a virtual dream game, but I'm... fine.  And if I want to stay fine, I'd better do a good job of this.

With that decided, Lentie looked around her borrowed body.  Seeing nothing but trees, hills, leaves and rabbit burrows, she instead looked at the body she was inhabiting.

She's short and young — probably early twenties — and is quite pale.  She's fairly slim and has some muscle tone in her legs.  How about her arms?

"Oh!"  Flexing her arms had surprising results.  Lentie's left arm did not move at all.  "That's going to make this difficult," she said aloud, to no one in particular.  "I really need to know what I have and what I'm capable of."

Players can request their inventory, a container's inventory, or their character sheet via a verbal or mental request.

"Ouch!"  The searing blue was quite painful, especially in her unseeing right eye.  "Can you tone that down a bit?"

The colour of the floating indigo box dimmed a little.

"Never mind, it still feels just as harsh.  Uh, what items do I have that would be useful for finding my way back to Star Town?"

The uses to which players can put items is limited only by their ingenuity.

"Really, it's like that, is it?" 1709 said, feeling both annoyed and curious.  "Who exactly are you, anyway?"

The Ares computing cluster is the property of the Goodminton family.

"O...kay..."  That was not a very helpful answer.  Factual, but not what 1709 was asking.  "I can't call you 'the Ares commputing cluster'.  Or even just Ares.  That would be like naming my brain."  She considered that for a while as she looked out at the world she had been sent to.  Looking with her right eye remained painful, and movement made her feel vaguely ill as the symbols and shapes shifted and flickered.  "I need a better name than 'Seventeen Oh-Nine'.  It's not even a real name, and it doesn't mean anything.  I know I used to have a name, but either I forgot it, or it was taken from me.  Do you have any suggestions?"

The responsibilities of the Ares computing cluster including generating the details of virtual worlds.  The names of subscribers to this service fall outside that purview.

"So you're saying you're creative but you can't help me.  Pity.  Then you'd better just list my inventory."  She at least remembered that word.  Whatever her name might have been before, she was fairly sure that she had experienced something at least superficially similiar to this.

  • Clothing: Woven cotton shirt, undyed, size medium with wooden buttons
  • Clothing: Woven cotton leggings, dyed grey, size long
  • Clothing: Leather shoes, size small, high ankles, rubber soles, brown with black laces, bronze eyelets and aglets
  • Clothing: Woolen skirt, shin length, white with red pattern
  • Clothing: Woven cotton chest wrap, size—

1709 grew impatient at that high level of useless detail.  "Skip the clothing, what's in my bag?"

  • Container: Hemp sack (small)
  • Contents:
  • Component: 5 rabbit skins
  • Component: 2 ore samples
  • Drink: 0.8L clean water in steel bottle
  • Food: 3 rye bread sandwitches containing—

"Never mind what's in the sandwiches!"  She would find out if she had to eat them.

  • Food: 5 raw rabbit—

"Skip the food altogether!"  She was not going to eat raw rabbit anything.

  • Weapon: crude bronze dagger in leather sheath
  • Tool: bronze skinning knife
  • Tool: rock chisel
  • Tool: rubber mallet
  • Tool: small sewing kit
  • Aid: 4 adhesive elastic bandages (small)
  • Aid: snakebite kit
  • Aid

"Skip the aid stuff!"

  • Book: Introduction to Smithing
  • Book: Travel Journal of Lentie Flyndon
  • Map: Star Town Region (low quality)

"That's it?  A single low quality map.  And no money.  This is ridiculous!"

No money or addional maps are in your bag.

"Yeah, yeah, no need to rub it in.  Ugh, what was I — Lentie, I mean — thinking, leaving her dagger in her bag where she can't get at it quickly?  No, don't answer, that was rhetorical."  1709 pondered the matter further.  "Wow but I'm slow today.  At leat, I think I ought to be cleverer than this.  You, disembodied floating box voice, tell me what I have that's not in my bag.  Excluding my clothing."

  • Weapon: crude bronze dagger in leather holster
  • Tool: magnetic compass
  • Tool: magnifying glass
  • Tool 6 copper hairpins
  • Container: leather purse
  • Contents:
  • Money: 4 copper coins

There was an awkward pause as 1709 waited for coins of more precious metals to be listed.  "Did I spend all my money before coming out here?  Don't answer that!  Now that I've said it, I think I remember.  Wow it's strange having a character's memories.  It's like peeking at someone else's dream.  Alright... then what happened?  I went north out of Star Town, and turned east once I was in the hills.  Now can you tell me which pocket my compass is in or do I have to find it myself?"

After retrieving her compass and map, Lentie determined roughtly where she was and decided which way to walk.  That was the easy part.  She took her first step forward.  Her right eye did not like that.  Nor did her stomach.  With some struggle she succeeded in keeping her food down, but failed to keep her balance.  She reeled to her left, thought about catching herself, and completely failed.

  • You have incurred minor blunt damage to your left shoulder, left knee, and the left side of your head

"Urrrg I can feel that.  I'll be feeling that for a while.  So, tell me, what just happened?  What is wrong with me?"

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