Ghost Cache

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'Five' 0.4


Early Morning, Still Before Dawn

Vantibia, Central Tangian Wilds, Isle of Wighland, Riches of Renfros

Please clarify what you are referring to, Festia Hightree.

This response began to worry Festia.  The question should have been clear enough.

"I'm inquiring as to the health status of my pregnancy."

There is no current data on that subject.

"How can there be no data?  Keeping track of all the data is your job!  The reason for your existence!  If you have no data about something it might as well *not exist"!"

That is correct, Festia Hightree.

"No it is not correct!  You can tell your owner to expect a sternly worded message from me.  And another about the attack on Vantibia, which I'm sure he's behind."

You have no means of sending such a communiqué.  Nor are you currently pregnant.

"You better believe I'll find a way to—

Festia was feeling several simultaneous emotions: shrinking disbelief, skittering panic, and incandescent rage.

If you check your notification log you'll see that the Pregnant status effect—

"No I won't check my—
"Do you think I care in the slightest about the status effect?  Tell me what happened to my baby, NOW!"

Status effects reflect far more complex changes in the underlying shared hallucinatory reality created for you by VIVID technology.  They are representational shorthand, not to be confused with the thing itself.  Often the operation and interaction of status effects differs significantly from what might be understood from a strictly pedantic reading of their descriptive text.  If such a discrepancy brings you distress, you should consider—

"Really, you're giving me the definition of status effects now?  Acting like someone's answering service?  I know you can understand me, ALI.  Stop that. 
No, I'm not being confused or pedantic!
You better believe I'm distressed!  Listen here, you can't just tell me I'm not pregnant anymore and play it off like I'm 'no longer feeling Satiated from my meal' or some such trivial game mechanic."

You have not eaten in—

"Do not tell me when I last ate!  You will tell me what happened to me right now, or I promise you I will find a way to haunt the Goodminton family and destroy the Ares cluster and you with it!"

  • You have been exposed to strong Celestial radiation for one minute!
  • You have received 0.2 years of aging damage.
  • You are now 98 years old
  • You are unable to breathe due to your nonfunctional lungs.
  • You are suffocating. (-1 to Mind)
  • Your overall health is at -10%
  • You are unconscious (You can not take any actions.)

Any response from Festia was neither detected nor communicated.

  • You died of suffocation.

"—you choke on a bucket of—
Oh.  Back here again."

You are Dead
Respawn Now?
Yes No
  • Respawning...
  • Blinking in to your respawn tether: Altar of Knowledge, Hightree Museum of History and Culture, Vantibia, Central Tangian Wilds, Isle of Wighland, Riches of Renfros
  • Your respawn tether Altar of Knowledge is badly damaged.  Spawning you at 50% overall health.
  • Extending Death Curse:
  • All skill gains and attributes remain reduced by 50%.
  • As you are 98.2 years old, Death Curse will last an additional 2 days, 45 minutes.
  • Death Curse will wear off in 4 days, 1 hour, 2 minutes.
  • You have been exposed to strong Celestial radiation for one minute!
  • You have received 0.2 years of aging damage.
  • You are now 98.4 years old
  • You are unable to breathe due to your nonfunctional lungs.
  • You are suffocating. (-1 to Mind)
  • Your overall health is at 35%
  • You are dizzy  (-1 to Mind)


Festia's single spoken word was rich with meaning.  Every fragment of that meaning was deadly serious.

You are being very aggressive.

"And you are being very passive aggressive.  Now put your ancient circuits to some good use and answer me this:  Did.  My.  Baby.  Die?"

When a player character in VIVID experiences death, any internal dependent lifeforms do likewise.

Festia stared at the ceiling for a few seconds, considering this answer. She wasn't happy to be getting information in such an indirect fashion, but it was better than nothing, so she resigned herself to playing along.

"So this sort of thing has happened before?"

The temporary death of player characters under the Pregnant status effect or similar effects is not a notably rare occurrence.

"Does their death and respawn have any effect on the... relevant status effect?"

In the vast majority of cases, no.

This might have dissuaded many other people, but Festia was paying close attention to the exact wording.

"What happened in my case?"

Characters capable of independent living are respawned independently.

"There's no way that could be applicable!  What happened to the baby being classified as an 'internal dependant lifeform'?"

Different crieria apply.

Festia knew she had to press harder to get a proper answer, as this was a critical point.

"What criteria make you think an extremely undeveloped baby could survive alone?"

The child's survivability was adequately analysed and deemed sufficiently high.

Festia was close, but not there yet.  She couldn't give up now.

"That can't be right.  You're the one who has all the data, so tell me: how many months along was the pregnancy?"

As of time of death, your pregnancy had experienced 21 months of development.

"Twenty-one months?  That can't be...  That's ridiculous!"

The numbers are accurate.  Your argumentation is futile.

There was still something Festia was missing, and she knew just how to get it.

"Human pregnancies last for nine months, and even without functional lungs, I'm a human.  How do you explain that?"

The pregnancy experienced artificial aging as a result of the celestial radiation with which you were bombarded, at a rate of 2% of the aging you experienced.

"Finally, a real explanation!"

Festia would have clapped her hands together in glee at her success, but she was too angry for being put through such a needlessly tedious process to find out about something so personal and important.  Also, she was paralysed again.  Instead, she motionlessly considered this news and its implications for a while.

"I'm not happy to have my baby stolen from me.  But since I'm done for, that's probably for the best.  Now can you tell me where the baby respawned to?  I suppose you have some good reason for why that location isn't here."

Without a set respawn anchor, characters spawn in a random safe zone.  This information is not publically available and you do not possess any means of determining it.  Any attempt to divine such knowledge would be futile.

"Figured as much.  I guess the best I can do is write some letters and hope my kid finds them some day."

This would be an appropriate use of resources.

"Did ALI just snark at me?"

As she did not direct the thought outwardly to the system, there could be no response.

  • You are unconscious (You can not take any actions.)

"Oh.  It's that time again."

  • You died of suffocation.

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