May 26 2011, 08:27 AM
It was 8 o'clock in the city, night, though you couldn't tell the difference. Acid rain fell down from the dull orange glow of the sky in heavy droplets, rolling along the ground and dripping lazily further and further down into the depths of Section Seven. This night was calm, silent, still. Half a million heartbeats ticked away within the safety of their homes - or whatever shelters they could fashion - away from the gentle burn of the rain. Non-fatal, but warm even when cold, the rain did no favors for anyone besides feed the barely edible food. The treatment facilities would fix the food, but the rain remained. Methane burns, water evaporates, turbines turn, magnets spin, and power shoots out into the city. Acid rain, the only problem of the city, was the remainder of that necessary equation making contact with the cool glass dome that protected the city from the harsh conditions outside.
The city: a labyrinth of mysteries - all unsolved and all shielded from the public. So long as the market exchanged commodities and the labs continued to produce new tech, no one was willing to rock the boat. And this is how order was kept, until two days ago. One man had rocked the boat, and he had suffered for it. Somewhere between his home in the Upper City, and the university he taught, Professor Quentin Cods encountered some difficulty. He never made it to class on saturday morning. Whether he disappeared by his own will, or met some worse fate, is unknown - but the paranoia about him in the last few days told the whole story.
However, this isn't the first time Cods has disappeared for days, and his most loyal of students know that if there is any clue as to his whereabouts, they will be buried in the very depths of the city. On the outskirts of the acid forests - dense areas of inedible vegetation, too dangerous for treatment - lies a secret. The only weapon free mind and imagination have left here. Connected to the framework of the city by a makeshift power line, built from the very trees surrounding it, and containing every basic tool necessary to construct absolutely anything: The Retreat waited.
The Retreat itself consisted of one large room, two floors, and one window. The one window perfectly aimed to see the clock tower, one of the very few places that could from the Lower City, and served as a lookout for approaching citizens. The shelves and tables loaded with assorted tech and tools, it could be possible to make almost anything, though if necessary parts could be built from scratch from the makeshift smelt in the corner.
There are only two ways in and out of The Retreat. The first is the emergency exit, a trap door on the first floor which leads to a ladder scaling underneath the factory and to a hatch into the inner pipe work of Section Seven - it has never been necessary to use this method of escape. The second is the large wooden door opposite the window to the clock tower, which creaks purposefully upon opening, and which the brightest of Cods' students would be coming through within the next few moments...
[OoC Once at least one of you is in The Retreat (preferably all of you) I can start giving out clues...)
May 26 2011, 01:30 PM
The creaking of the door echoed through the empty room as it opened and William Vix entered. He wasn't surprised when he saw that no one was there: he's gotten used to arriving early, it was a habit too hard to break. Not like it caused him any trouble so far. He briefly looked at the clocktower through the window, then focused his attention on the table on which the contraption he was working on in the last few weeks stood. It was just as he left it last time, as it was an important rule not to touch the others' tables when they're not there. He walked there, picked up the small methane tank and turned it around in his hands, his mind viciously looking for a solution to the problem he stumbled into: the compression of methane.
The tank was part of a somewhat larger device, engines which would be applied to shoes, bracers or belts to augment one's movements through burning methane and controlling the gas' flow using nozzles. However, there still were several problems. One was the controlling of how much power is used, without requiring a complex device that would interfere with physical activity - wouldn't be too convinient to press a button on one's leg when having to hold on to a ledge with both hands, would it? However, the bigger problems included heat - burning methane close to the human body wasn't exactly a good idea, and with applying protective gear came the second big problem - weight. William's contraptions indeed boosted the power of one's legs, but it also added about ten plus kilograms, which in turn would upset one's balance - quite dangerous when used at a big height. And the biggest problem of all - methane storage. It was obvious from the start that methane should be stored liquified, since wearing a huge methane tank as a backpack kinda defeats the point of being more nimble. But the evaporation of methane was far from a controllable and calculable phenomenon, and it also wasn't quick enough for the engine to fire up as needed...
William shook his head and put the tank back on the table. He would have to find a solution some other time. Tonight was the time for something else: after the disappearance of Professor Cods, his students, more like disciples, agreed to meet here, at the Retreat to discuss what they should do. William sat down on a chair and waited for the others to arrive...
May 27 2011, 09:49 AM
Alan stored away his figures and dice into his cloak, as the other cloaked figures did the same. They all bowed to the leader before making their way out of the basement, todays session at an end. Once outside, Alan removed the hood, exposing his face to the world once again. He quickly proceeded to swap the cloak with the jacket in his bag as to not get drenched by the rain. He took a glance at the clock tower which read 8:14. Todays session went a little longer than expected. No matter. The retreat wasn't going anywhere, and it was Alan's freedom to be there whenever he wished. Regardless, Alan applied the hood from his jacket, hiding his face again as he made his way over to the acid forests.
Alan took a quick look around to make sure no one had trailed him. He had done so before entering the forest, but it was always good to make sure. These were dark times afterall. Opening the door, Alan was surpised to find only one other student had arrived. He gave silent greeting in the form of a nod before making his way up to the second floor where the computer was held. It annoyed Alan to no end that he was forced to dismantle it after use, only to reassemble it as soon as the next day. But as time went on, Alan would remove more and more steps to the dismantling process until only a few, but elaborate steps remained in his ritual.
May 27 2011, 10:23 AM
"V-Vincent...Not so loud, my parents will hear..." Said a young girl as Vincent possesively pressed her against her wall in her room. He let out a smirk and gently kissed her neck. "Don't worry sweetheart, i'll be as silent as the night and- Wait, what time is it?" With that, Vincent walked out to the closest window and looked up at the the clock tower, eight o'clock, he was supposed to be going to The Retreat. He quickly grabbed his coat, heading back over to the window, the girl called out for him, partially dressed. "Wh-What? Where do you think you're going?" Vincent pulled his hood up. "Sorry, sugar, i got a very important meeting soon and-" The girl interrupted. "I've noticed you're always calling me by nicknames...Vincent...You do remember my name, right?"
Vincent stood there paralyzed, a chill running down his spine as he desperatly tried to remember the girl's name. "Uh...Can i get a hint?" The girl's response was, instead of hint, a yell, actually, a call for help, which went by the lines of. "DADDY! HELP! RAPIST!" Lars sighed disappointedly and quickly rushed past the girl and the door, about to leave, he was, however, greeted by the sight of the girl's father holding a shotgun, probably, hopefully, loaded with coarse salt. "Guts or nuts, your choice." Vincent flailed his arms around desperatly. "W-wait wait! I'm not a rapist, i'm the guy your daughter has been dating for the past few days." The other man simply replied, after cocking his shotgun. "I know."
Vince ducked, avoiding just in time the first shot that left a huge hole in the wall behind him, guess it wasn't coarse salt. Vincent quickly rushed back to the girl's room, the girl let out another shriek as Vince walked backed in and ran right past her, jumping out through her window just in time to avoid another shot.
After that, Vincent simply ran and ran as fast as he could, pulling his hood down to cover his face and hoping the girl's father wouldn't go after him. After running for a few minutes, Vincent looked back, it seemed like he hadn't been followed, good, it was safe to head over to The Retreat now. Vince fixed his hood in place and then walked off towards the lower city.
Taking one last look around to be sure no one else had followed him, Vince then entered The Retreat, taking off his coat and then dumping it somewhere, then approaching his two other acquaintances. "Yo, how's the night been treating you guys?!" He called out cheerfully, then sighing and shaking his head disappointedly. "Can't believe you guys convinced me to come here at this time when i could be...Uh...Doing something else." He chuckled mischievously. "Anyway...Wait...Where's everyone else? I wasn't the last to arrive for once?"
May 27 2011, 04:48 PM
At precisely 8:30 a small ticking sound came from the ceiling. Exactly one tick a second. Methodic. Never a longer or shorter distance between notes. Finally a small compartment opened, dropping a sealed manilla envelope onto the table several feet below. The contents of the envelope were heavy enough to push the envelope straight down with a noticeable thud. The dim light from the clocktower circled the envelope, giving it a powerful and dark presence. Whatever was inside bore the same curious temptation as all of Cods antics, a scratching within the head beckoning those around him to break the rules, to disregard the protocols, and to think as far outside the box as possible.
Who could possibly resist?
[PMs will be sent containing the contents, whoever wants to open it can and they are free to post the contents. This is just to avoid confusion and to allow any of you to open it and move the plot forward. Most clues will be given in this way, sometimes without me telling you
May 27 2011, 09:53 PM
Alan turned around as he heard the thud. He shut the computer off, not wanting others to take a peak at his data while he left to go check out the noise. He spotted the envelope, surrounded by the light given off by the clock tower, just as he was halfway down the stairs. Wasting no time, Alan jumped over the rails, bypassing the last couple steps, getting his greedy paws onto the envelope. He quickly skimmed the letter that was inside, smirking. It seemed that he had stumbled upon a new unknown. An untapped fountain of knowledge begging to be discovered. Unlike what Cods was conveying in his letter, Alan believed that knowledge could only enhance a man, not drive him mad. Possibly cause anger, but not madness.
Finished with the letter, Alan tossed it back onto the table without a word. If anyone else wanted the information, they could read it themselves. In the mean time, he looked over the blueprints enclosed, eager to get to work on the watch. The designs were easy enough to read, but he process was tricky. Afterall, Alan was no gadgeteer, and for the most part, neither were his companions (on the small scale anyway). Alan grumbled in disapproval before walking off to a corner of the room to gather materials and tools.
May 27 2011, 10:08 PM
Grabbed the letter as soon as Alan dropped, his eyes quickly scanning through it and a wicked smile flashing across his face when he was done. "Ahah, seems like Cod got another challenge up for us, i'm in." Vince laughed and put his hands behind his head. "Hey...Alan...Need some help there?" Vince said casually as he strolled closer to Alan's table. "Man, a watch, that sounds useful, at least then we wouldn't need to be always using the big ol' tower there for everything. Say, maybe we could install an alarm to it or something, that'd be cool too." Vince stroked his chin as he thought.
May 28 2011, 01:17 AM
William read through the letter as he walked towards the other two. "Medical records... methane production... acidity of the rain... I see how they're connected, but why would the professor want us to track these?" He frowned in thought. "Keep an eye on the clocktower... and to build these watches. Can it be... some pattern to it? Maybe that's what the professor wanted to tell us?". He sighed, "I sometimes wish the professor spoke in english instead of cryptic".
May 28 2011, 07:35 AM
"Sure," replied Alan as he tossed a toolbox towards Vince.
Having collected all the spare parts lying around, Alan dumped them on the table, sorting through the pile while looking at the blueprints. "Hey, William! Can you craft any of the parts shown in these blueprints?" he asked, handing over the designs.
May 28 2011, 09:14 AM
Vince opened the toolbox and browsed through it for a while, glancing over to the blueprints. "Looks like we're going to need lots of gears..." He walked over to his coat and took out from it a small black string and then used it to pull his hair back in a ponytail, he then took his glasses out of another pocket in his coat and put them on, adjusting them on his eyes for a moment before he turned to the others. "Just so you all know, i have a few...Contacts, friends of my parents, which could probably keep me updated on the methane productivity."
May 28 2011, 02:23 PM
"Sure, lemme have a look", William answered as he looked at the plans, his sight stopping at a bunch of cogs and springs connected to the top of the watch. He couldn't ascertain exactly what this part would do, but he found it most likely that it served as a method for storing the energy made when one winds up the watch. Luckily, the parts listed on the blueprint were common and were available in the Retreat as well.
"I think we should first gather everything that's needed", he said, while quickly looking through the piles of parts and components on the tables in the room and finally put a smaller heap of them on the table they worked on. "We should start with the central gears," ,he began to screw cogs on a small metal plate, "Alan, can you assemble this part?", he pointed at the gears connecting the wind-up part to the numerous tiny gears he was working on. "And about methane production," he turned to Vince for a moment, "if they can give us anything, like, graphs or statistics, that would be great. Just don't mention patterns, that might be suspicious if there's indeed one and we shouldn't know."
May 28 2011, 05:39 PM
"OH this burn...it makes me feel so...ALIVE!" Vayne lit up as he walked aimlessly around the city, acidic rain touching his skin. He kinda liked the feeling, it was soothing to him. Then again, after all the other corrosive chemicals used in his explosives, even fire seeme soothing at times. As he daddled aroundd a noise caught his ears, "Ooops." he muttered, the noise he heard was the clock tower, he was late for meeting at the retreat, so he casually started to make his way there, and then suddenly went into an all out sprint.
He reached the forest in record time, for him at least, he slowed down to a strut and marched in through the door, "Busy as always I see...But it seems like you are...working together? Whats going on?" Vayne was puzzled "Did I miss something?"
May 28 2011, 08:57 PM
"Ya, sure," replied Alan regarding William's orders. He quickly set off to work assembling the winding mechanism. The work was in vain, however, as he found it difficult to find the pieces he needed in the hetergenous sea of parts. "I can't work like this," he mumbled abondoning the building task and organizing the parts into groups. Just then then another comrad walked in.
"Did I miss something?" Vayne asked.
"Here," Alan grumbled Alan as he tossed the letter the puzzled engineer's way. "Catch up with Professor Cods."
May 30 2011, 05:51 PM
"Well isn't that something." Vayne read the note carefully then set it aside on a clear table space, "Sounds like quite the challange, what do you think the punishment will be if we get caught?" He walked by everyone who was working peeking at the watch parts, "And more immportantly what can I do?" His thoughts raced, "I can tell you how acid the rain is, I can feel the difference," He chuckled, "Joking aside, it isn't that hard to take samples of it and compare it to my other chemicals."
Jun 1 2011, 04:44 PM
"Sounds like a good plan," replied Alan to Vayne's suggestion. "Well, that's two of four things Professor Cods mentioned in his letter."
Alan continued to organize the parts on the table into seperate piles, picking out the few parts he could remember from the blueprints. "As for something you can do, help me organize these parts. If you want to build anything, ask William."
Jun 6 2011, 01:41 PM
"You can help with this part.", William pointed at the blueprint showing the hands of the watch and the cogs that were responsible for their seperate movements. He concentrated intensely on the central gears. The professor's instructions were very clear, though that didn't mean they were easy to follow. "And once we're finished, I can ask Emma's father about the medical records. He's a doctor, and if I say it's just for statistics, he's sure to give us some info. Still, I have no idea how this can be related to the methane production or acidity... unless there really is a pattern to it."
Jun 9 2011, 04:49 PM
"Great! That covers just about everything," replied Alan as he finished sorting the parts. He then slowly began assembling his portion of the watch. "The methane, the acid rain, medical records... I can theorize how those three are interlinked all day. The clocktower is the odd one out. What do you think Cods meant by 'always keep an eye on the clock tower'?"
Jun 9 2011, 05:08 PM
Vincent would laugh a bit. "Well, it's obvious we'd have to keep an eye on what time is it, after all, he did also tell us only to activate this watch at a very exact time." Vincent would smile a bit as he helped the others with the building the best he could since the whole mechanics and stuff wasn't really that much of his thing, kind of made him wonder why he was in there the first place...Anyways. "So...When will we meet later, to activate this thing at the marked time, that is."
Jun 21 2011, 04:00 PM
"Gee is that all?" whined Alan as he finished up the winding mechanism he was working on. "I was hoping for something far more deceptive." He looked back down at the table fetching parts for the additional watches.
"As for activating, this thing," he began, looking back up to the group, smirking while he did it. "I'd rather not waste valuable time waiting for midnight the next day. We're getting these watches down and active tonight. So no breaks until this job is done!"
Alan stared out the hideout window, the watch wound up and ready to go in his hand. The minute hand of the clocktower was one tick away from signalling midnight. Making the same part repeatedly ment each subsequent task was done faster than the cycle before, so it didn't take long before the all the watches were finished.
Right on cue, the clock struck midnight, as Alan released the winder on his watch as did everyone else. He peered down at the device to make sure it was in working order. Surely enough, the second hand was steadily ticking away. Pleased with the result, Alan hopped down from the window ledge before confronting the others.
"I think we did a good job tonight. Now comes the fun part." Alan turned to face each of his classmates as he addressed them.
Vayn, get to work on collecting and analyzing samples of the acid rain. Your going to have to build those pH indicators. Get William to help you out if you need it.
Vince, contact me in the morning. We're going to get our hands on some medical records."
Jun 24 2011, 08:12 AM
Vince chuckled some as he scratched his cheek. "I get to check out the nurses then? Wonderful!" He'd grin as he went over to grab his coat and put it back on, about to head outside. He pulled his hood up and then turned slightly to the others as he left. "Well, I guess I'll see you all in the morning then, bu-bye now!" And with a wave of his hand, he'd walk off The Retreat, heading back to his home.
Jun 25 2011, 04:15 AM
William shook his head: 'Why do I have the feeling that him "checking out" the nurses is more likely to get us a police investigation than some actual data? Anyway, I'll try to get some medical data out of Mr. Rios. That leaves methane production, but it shouldn't be too hard to find something. Well, we'll see tomorrow what we can do. Bye!". With that, he waved goodbye and left the Retreat.
Jun 28 2011, 09:29 AM
The two made it to the building as planned. Much to Vince's dismay, it was of the quaternary industry, the stereotypical corporate skyscraper, or at least the closest thing you could get in section seven. No nurses to "check out" here. Just a bunch of people in buisness suits carrying brief cases.
Alan stepped back from the front counter, his negotiations with the receptionist finished. He gave a sigh before walking up to his partner
"Just as I thought Vince. The medical records aren't available to the public. I don't think William is going to get his hands on these records no matter what sort of contacts he might have." Alan crossed his arms, deep in thought and walked over to the directory. "Well, no matter. I anticipated something like this already which is why I have a plan B. Vince, I need you to find out where in this building those records are stored, and what security measures are used to guard them."
Jun 28 2011, 02:18 PM
[OoC I'm glad Ryuga took the initiative to introduce day two, but I'll formally introduce it as well as a scene-setter]
The breadcrumb trail left by Cods was still an unknown mess leading into the woods, and the only way to find the prize would be to follow them wherever they may lead. Morning the next day, under that same soup sky blocked off by glass and looming buildings, the students set about uncovering what information they could. The university was still in arms about the bizarre disappearance of Cods, and the fairly lenient dean had allowed them a half day to recuperate. Mostly it was an excuse to sort out paperwork. The students had been asked to attend their usual classes that afternoon, but they could probably get away with not attending. Who would blame them? The more pressing matter seemed to be who would be teaching.
All of this, however, left them a full morning to their own devices. A privilege rarely granted, especially to those so keen on a task best kept secret.
Jun 30 2011, 04:37 PM
Vince had, after realizing there wasn't anything interesting to do in there, just found some random spot where he could've sat down and promptly did, he now had his legs crossed and his body laid back against the leather of the seat. And then Alan approached, telling him of the plan B, Vince listened, his usual smile never leaving his face as he played with his hair. Vince chuckled a bit, getting up and dusting off his pants, ready to go. "All right, give me one minute and then I'll see what I can do about that." Vincent then let out a short 'oh' before continuing. "By the way, just a while ago I realized that my watch thingy is two hours late in comparison to the clock tower, I found it a bit weird that happened since we did, after all, start all of our watches exactly at midnight so i simply kept the fact in mind, but you might want to check yours too, just to be sure. Ah...Anyways, be right back, I need to go have a change of clothes."
Vince left, not even bothering to explain what he meant by that. He quickly hurried off the building and went to a nearby clothes shop, at one moment flashing out his parent's credit card and at the other leaving the same clothes shop now using a suit, much like the ones that the other people at that building were using. In a few minutes, he was back, using the suit, his reading glasses and he now also had his hair tied back in a sort of ponytail, his posture also changed a bit, he was now walking straight and quite imposingly, trying to look and sound older than he actually was.
He walked right past Alan, pretending not to know him and mixed himself with the people in the crowd of suits, he squeezed himself in with all of the others as they tightened themselves up in the steam powered generators, a loud sound erupting as the elevator lifted off. Vince walked out of the elevator with the others, and kept following them until they started to disperse, after the group he was walking with started to turn small, he abandoned it and started walking around on his own. "Now let's see...If I were medical records, where would I hide?" He went off on his search.
Jul 1 2011, 12:37 PM
The clocktower's bell rang, waking William from his sleep. He checked the watch they made yesterday: it read 5:00 AM.
'Strange', he thought. The tower doesn't chime this early. 'And it's way too bright for five in the morning. What the...?'. He got out of bed and looked out on the window, checking the clocktower in the distance. It was 6 AM. He checked the watch again: it still read 5 AM, though it still was ticking, and wasn't out of sync with the tower as far as he could tell.
'Why is it late?', he thought. 'Could we have messed up somehow? Dammit mr. Cods, what did you get us into?'. Deciding that pondering on wouldn't solve anything, he got dressed and left his apartment. Since he didn't have lectures until eleven, he decided on visiting Dr. Rios sometime later. 'Maybe I should speak with Emma too.', he thought. They haven't met for two days, and he missed her.
Jul 1 2011, 12:55 PM
At this very moment found some sort of Archive room, he looked around one more time before sneaking in, scouting around the room as he entered. "Well, this is gonna suck." He commented as he looked over at all of the computer and files spread about everywhere. "Computers? Let's see if I ca- Nope, password locked." He said after trying to acess one of them, he sighed, dropping his head and then turning to the files. "What the hell am I looking for anyways...?" He started flipping through a few files aimelessly. "I guess I'll just take a look at...Recent deaths? I guess that could be useful...Yeah, I'll go with that for now." As he said that he continued to browse further, this time searching for any documents regarding recent deaths in Section Seven.
Jul 2 2011, 01:11 AM
[Clarification - The watches are exactly 5/6 behind the clocktower. For every 6 hours that pass on the clock, 5 pass on the watches. I didn't want to give the ratio away to soon, but I can see how this would cause problems if not expressed now.]
Jul 3 2011, 09:36 AM
Alan leaned against the wall outside, tapping his foot impatiently as he waited for Vince to return with the data.
With nothing better to do, Alan fetched the pocket watch from his pocket, cross referencing the time with that of the clock tower. He was unsuprised by the fact that his watch was a few hours behind.
He let out a "hmmm," pondering what he could have possibly done wrong in assembling the watch. He was going to have to cross-reference with everyone else later. Maybe even consult the original blueprints again.
"Or maybe there is something bigger going on?" whispered his inner conspiracy theorist. "Maybe the clocktower is faster, and whoever is in charge is shaving off valuable time from our day?"
Jul 7 2011, 12:07 PM
Hospitals have their own biorythms, somewhat tied to those of people. Heatwaves lasting a long time are often lethal to the elderly and seriously ill. Conversely, sudden drops in temperature made infections more common. There was an increase of thrombosi and other circulatory irregularities in the afternoon, when people began to get tired from work. Expert doctors knew this biorythm like the back of their hands, that of their own eventually aligning with it.
Mornings, however, were off-season for doctors. They often had time for administration or checking convalescing patients. Victor Rios was sitting in his office working on a pile of paperwork when William knocked on the door and stepped in.
'Good morning, Mr. Rios!', he said.
'William, what a surprise! To what do I owe your visit?' Victor asked.
'I have a question for you. I need professional information for a research we're helping professor Cods with.'
'Is there something the professor Cods can't find in his library?'
'It's about regularities in hospital admissions. Any particular diseases or conditions that have a pattern to them, especially those related to rain acidity or methane extraction.'
'It sounds quite serious. I hate to say it but this isn't exactly related to my field. I know what I hear from colleagues and that's it. You see, acid rain and methane aren't particularly carcinogenous.'
'Are there any diseases that are related to them?'
'Diseases, hardly. Symptoms, more likely. Acid can cause minor burns,but you probably already knew that. Each summer we have a few cases of pharynx hemorrhaging because of someone drinking the rainwater from the fountains, but nothing more serious. A dermatologist could probably tell more.'
'And methane extraction? Isn't poisoning common?'
'Methane is extracted entirely by machines. People rarely come into contact with it. They just put the parameters in the machines that do the actual work. The catch is...' he walked to the drawers and took out a few dossiers, '...those parameters seem to be entirely meaningless. What works one day doesn't work the other day. Or even in ten minutes. You see, workers don't really understand the cause, and it isn't a settling thought exactly. There's a relatively common disorder because of this: severe stress, depression, the typical stuff. The psychiatrists call it "methane madness". You never heard about this before?'
'No, I didn't. The professor isn't that well versed in medicine. But you were very helpful, thanks.'
'I was glad to help. By the way, what's with you and Emma?' Victor's glance made William feel uneasy.
'Nothing out of the ordinary, I guess. If there was anything unusual, she would have told you for sure.'
'If there isn't anything else, I should be going. Goodbye!'
'See you later.' Victor said as William left his office. He breathed a sigh of relief. Each time William came to him with a question, he feared that question was asking for his permission to ask for Emma's hand in marriage. William and Emma were together for almost three years, but they still were young. Too young. And while William seemed to him like a normal fellow, Garry also seemed like one... until the ominous case three years ago. How he cold-bloodedly claimed he was innocent... while looking straight into the eyes of the girl he robbed and raped, and who clearly remembered him. He took a big sip from his coffee and went back to the paperwork, trying to get the images of Garry's trial out of his mind. Poor William, the girl was his sister.
Meanwhile, William stepped out on the door of the clinic, looking at the clocktower in the distance. He again checked his watch, noticing it was again lagging behind with about fourty minutes. He set it back on time and waited for a few minutes, noticing the watch was out of sync with the clocktower. 'Okay, so we did mess something up.', he thought, 'Gotta let the others know. Maybe the other watches aren't like this.'. Seeing he should be at the university - which was about three kilometres away - in about twenty minutes, he began running. At least we have some clues now, he thought. But whatever little information they had sure didn't make this mystery any more transparent.
Jul 14 2011, 12:42 PM
Alan looked around before entering the forest. Vince had taken far too long to retrieve the data, and people in the building were starting to take notice in Alan's loitering, so he was forced to leave. And since school was shortened today, he thought he would get to work on fixing the watch. He could afford to miss half a day of work.
The door to the hideout opened with a creak, as it usually did. Alan wasn't suprised to find the place unoccupied. Everyone else
He quickly got to work grabbing the blueprints off the work table, and pulled out his pocket watch. Using a screwdriver he grabbed from the toolbox, he removed the back covering of the watch, exposing the gears, and gadgets inside. A quick examination revealed nothing wrong.
"Guess this means I have to take this thing appart again," grummbled Alan as he set to work deconstructing his watch, all the while wishing William was around.
Jul 14 2011, 10:42 PM
Katsumi lit a cigarette as he walked towards the Retreat and practiced his excuse for not being able to show up the previous night. He figured nothing major happened anyways. He threw open the door dramatically but stopped when he noticed only one other person was there. "Er...where's everyone else?" he asked Alan and entered the Retreat. "I figured you'd all be here since we got the morning off. Am I just really early or did something happen?"
Jul 15 2011, 07:56 AM
"Ya... things happened alright," Alan replied, not even bothering to look up, as he removed one piece at a time from his watch. He took a few moments to reason that since the clock was slow, one of the gears in the clock had to be a tad too big.
Alan then set aside the watch and the parts in a neat little pile before fetching Cods' letter.
"Catch up with the Professor," he ordered, Katsumi the letter which read...
"Students, in the sprawl and mechanism of our daily rituals it is often too easy to lose sight of those who seek to dim your mind and captivate your curiosities - so as to subdue them - but I am not one of those people. My disappearance is one which I am sure will bring you nothing but curiosity, and I assure you it is against my will, but I would kindly like to request that you not try to find me. However, if I have taught you, and I feel I have taught you much, then I know you will attempt it all the same. If you should seek me, then know it is a dangerous path ahead, fraught with knowledge that I do not feel many citizens are capable of understanding. There are things about our small world that hold no explanation, and simply are because they must be, and this would drive the population mad should they ever know.
That said and done, to operate underneath the eyes of the city you must seem to be outside of it. The city tells you what the time is, when to eat, when to sleep, when to buy methane, and when to sell it. It tells you what to build, think, and do. This all begins with time. Enclosed in this envelope are designs for a simple fob watch, an analogue device built to keep time. I can assure you of its accuracy. You should be able to build them with little trouble and I ask only that you wind them (activate them) at precisely midnight. This is vital.
I suppose you may want clues, hints as to my whereabouts, but I can only tell you where to look - not what to look for.
Keep an eye on the amount of methane being mined.
Keep an eye on the acidity of the rain.
Keep an eye on the medical records of the city.
And always keep an eye on the clocktower.
-Your Professor, Cods."
Jul 15 2011, 07:54 PM
"The professor's gone missing? 'Something is rotten in the state of Denmark', wouldn't you say?" Katsumi asked when he was done reading the note. He flicked his cigarette to the ground and stamped it out before fishing another from his pocket and lighting it. "I take it everyone else is as adamant as I in finding him and are already out looking for clues. I guess I better get to work on this watch. Would you mind if I borrowed the blueprints for a bit?"
Jul 17 2011, 01:23 PM
"Actually I do mind," Alan replied. "Turns out my watch is slow, have to redo it. But I can't seem to find out what's wrong based on the blueprints." He shuffled through the papers one more time looking for something he may have missed. "Maybe Cods wasn't much of a watchmaker and the blueprints are flawed." Alan sighed, putting his work down for a moment. "We're going to have to share these blueprints. I'll help you with your watch. You have to keep your eye out for something that would make the watch slow. My guess is a gear, or multiple gears are the wrong size.
Jul 19 2011, 06:29 PM
"I doubt the blueprints are flawed," Katsumi said and scratched his head. "I mean, this is Cods we're talking about. He would have tested it to make sure it worked perfectly before passing it on to us. So either you guys made a mistake when you put them together or...," he gave a dramatic pause, "they work perfectly fine. Now wouldn't that be interesting?" He left Alan to ponder that while he gathered up the parts he needed to make the watch.
Jul 20 2011, 09:01 AM
"Cods may be a genius, but he can't possibly do everything, though It's certainly a possibility," pondered Alan as he began reassembling his watch. "We can't see the sun, so we can never know if the clocktower is accurate. It just raises a bunch of questions though.
How does Cods know the correct time?
If this is some conspiracy, what's the point of speeding up the time?
How does knowing the 'correct' time actually help our cause?"
Jul 20 2011, 10:38 AM
Seeing as his search for archived deaths didn't apparently bear much fruit, Vince decided to change his search for...For..."Heck, I don't know." He'd scratch the back of his head and sigh a bit, taking a nearby chair and crossing his hands behind his head for a moment before he went to look at the clock, lots of time had passed since he had been there, guess this was the time to bugger off. With that said, he'd fix his tie in place and his suit, then heading to leave the building, he would now be heading back to his home, for the moment, at least.
Jul 20 2011, 01:40 PM
As Vince headed for the door a man wearing a smart grey shirt grabbed him by the arm, stopping him abruptly mid-step. His blue eyes scanned Vince's face with mechanical certainty before the figure spoke,
"Vince." He addressed, "My name is Professor Lynx, I briefly saw you and the rest of your classmates when Cods first disappeared, I'm not sure if you remember. Anyway, I'll be teaching you this afternoon to fill in for him. We don't want you kids running around places you shouldn't when you're supposed to be learning." he spoke condescendingly at best, cruel at worst. There was a vague familiarity about his face, something hard to place. Before waiting for a reply he continued on into the building - though it seemed likely he only came to deliver what seemed like a warning.
Jul 21 2011, 12:41 PM
Vince stopped as soon as he felt the grab, staring at the man as he spoke and raising an eyebrow, staring at him as he walked off. "...Weird..." Vince would comment, fixing his glasses into place before heading out. Apparently he'd have to go to class this afternoon...Well, he was paying for that learning anyways, it'd be a shame not to put the money to use, he'd sigh. He'd stop home first, ditching the suit in his wardrobe and switching to his more casual clothes, he figured he'd send a message for everyone though, about this new Professor.
(Since everything works on methane and making something that stays on your ear work with a gas doesn't sound very healthy, I will go with mail pidgeons instead.)
Vince arrived at the top of his house, several pidgeons kept each in a cage, he'd make copies of one same message. [Some man named Professor Lynx came talk to me today, he said he'd be giving us class this afternoon. I think it's needless to say it'd be better if we all were there, no?] He'd put each of these messages inside a small box attached to the pidgeon's legs and then he would send them off, one for each of the other people in the group. After he sent out the last pidgeons, he yawned a bit, bored. "Well...Guess I should get going as well then..."
Jul 21 2011, 02:29 PM
[There are computers in the city, but they are not commercial. Communication is fairly stifled, so pigeons seems like a pretty nice idea. To imagine technology in Section Seven, just imagine that the more important something is - the more high tech it is. The general populace often have to build their own little gadgets (you may build walkie-talkies if you like) but no one has built an enterprise around commercial technology. The city itself has some pretty advanced stuff (automated infrastructure, computer mainframes, ???) but they are remnants of whatever disaster took the rest of the world.]
Jul 21 2011, 06:41 PM
Katsumi smirked. "If I knew all the answers, that'd be a lot less fun now, wouldn't it?" He moved over to Alan's table to observe his assembly of the watch and take mental notes. "Continuing on with the supposition that the watches are right and the clock tower is wrong, we may be getting in over our heads. If the clock tower is wrong, that would indicate that the government is controlling time for their own purposes while the unwashed masses are none the wiser. Are we really in a position to tackle a government conspiracy? I don't think-"
Just then a couple of pigeons fluttered into the Retreat. "Well, well, what have we here?" Katsumi mused to himself as he noticed they both had letters attached to them. He opened them both but they said the same thing. "Our presence is requested in class this afternoon. And it doesn't look like we'll be able to say no." He tossed one of the notes towards Alan so he could read it himself.
Jul 22 2011, 10:39 AM
"Think about your 'conspiracy from a rational prespective. Even if the government were manipulating time, how would they benefit? If the days are shorter, than we do less in a day. It then follows, it takes more days to get anything done. And it's not like you can store time away in your pocket for later use. There's no point to making the clocktower run a little faster."
Alan's rant was interupted as the Pidgeon flew in. Katsumi handed him the note as soon as he was done reading.
"Looks like we'll be needing some communication devices now," he mentioned as he crumpled up the note and tossed it aside. "Pidgeons are easy to track." He went back to the work desk. "You can go ahead and go to class. I've suddenly come down with a bad case of the flu. It's not like Lynx can enforce every student to show up."
Jul 22 2011, 04:43 PM
Katsumi shrugged. "It was mere speculation. However, figuring out why the government would do such a thing could be the first step in solving the mystery. Instead of thinking there is no point, think there has to be a point. We just don't know what it is yet." He headed for the door. "I'll tell Lynx you're sick and stop by again after class. Farewell." With that, he left the Retreat and headed towards his afternoon class.
Aug 6 2011, 12:58 PM
[Time skip, meant to do this sooner but... Got side tracked]
Tuesday 1PM (watches read 11.50 Unless altered)
The tall grey figure of 'Professor' Lynx paced about Cod's classroom with vivid scrutiny of its few inhabitants. His pale eyes flashed judgements on all who met their gaze. In some perverted way he seemed as intelligent as Cods, perhaps more so, but while Cods admired naivety every essence of this new teacher screamed harsh tongues of it. He opened up his mouth and spoke, behind his bitter words there was some charisma or virtue from a time now lost, but the tone was inaudible above the racket of thinly veiled malice. This was a man who had gazed into the abyss, and been consumed by it.
"Class," the words bounced off of the walls at 340.29 meters per second, finding reflections into the students ears, triggering synapses, and invoking a spine chilling response, "I am your new professor, Albert Lynx." he strode into the fray of students, and shook his head. "It's a shame more of your classmates could not be here, no doubt they still suffer from the absence of such a formidable man as Cods," the words could not have left his mouth with less respect, "but they should not need such comforts: You have me now."
Two men dressed in black and bearing an unfamiliar symbol on their uniforms began handing out books to the students, filled with sciences that could scarcely be comprehended. Lynx continued to speak, "These texts are a cut above what you have studied so far, in fact the only person in the city with so much as a rudimentary grasp of these machinations is standing before you." He grinned honestly, filled with pride, "These books date back to before the disaster that sealed us off from our world. Only now is the city sustained enough, and its inhabitants prepared enough, to once again be trusted with such knowledge. What you hold now was once basic, you are cavemen learning to devise the hypotenuse of a triangle. If you cannot keep up, you will be kicked off of the course. If you want to see the sun again, learn the book."
He walked towards the door, leaving the students one not-so simple task: "Take an engine you have previously built, or build one now, with the knowledge you already had. Electric or steam. The use the equations, formulas, materials and technology listed in the book the maximize the efficiency of the engine by 400%. If you need supplies you may ask your teaching assistants." He gestured to the two men, "But they'll be unable to provide any technological help. I expect documented proof. You can spend as long as you need, but I'll be back here tomorrow at exactly 12 - if you don't have an efficient engine for me, then you've failed the course."
Before the obvious protests of the students could be heard, he had left. From the corridor outside he yelled a final command, "Tell your classmates who didn't show - there are spare books."
[OoC It's your choice whether your in the class, or on the way there, or not going at all. It's also your choice to succeed in the task required of you. You face a fork in the road: Continue the task that Cods sent you on, or take up the task Lynx has set you to. You can attempt both of course. Remember, you are Cods' best students.]
Aug 8 2011, 10:34 AM
"Okay everyone", William said to the other students of Cods present at the lesson, "Let's meet up at the usual place in an hour. I think I have a plan."
Aug 8 2011, 01:51 PM
Vincent had been at the class, at the moment, he'd be skipping through the previously handed out book, his feet nonchalantly kept on top of his table. "I hope your plan includes some decent time for us to work on this thing, as...Excited as I am to go in an epic quest for truth, I don't know about you guys but I cannot bear the possibility of failing in this class. That...And...In case you guys forgot, despite being in this little joy joy group, i'm not exactly the best student ever, not in comparison to some other people, that is. Not that I don't make up for more it a lot more in other areas." He said, chuckling some.
Aug 20 2011, 02:44 PM
About an hour later, at the Retreat...
As the last of Cods' students stepped in at the door, William cleared his throat and began to speak:
"Everyone, thanks for coming. Now, if you heard that Lynx guy, the only way he could have made it clearer that he doesn't want us following Cods' trails is writing it in capital letters on his forehead. And those assistants of him... I'd rather not meet them in a dark alleyway. Hell, it's even possible he's got something to do with Cods' disappearance. But let's not jump to conclusions. He's fishy, and that's for sure, and he's in charge of things at the university. He can find a reason to kick any one of us out, and probably wouldn't hesitate to do so, either. And I can't tell if he has power or reason to make an attempt at our lives. But he might. We might be in mortal peril. So if anyone wants to call quits, I understand. No hard feelings. However, I think we're all faithful enough to professor Cods for that not to be an option.
Now, Lynx's tactic is to leave us with no time to investigate. However, he doesn't know that we can work as a team. I thought of dividing the work. I and someone else adept at creating engines will remain here at the Retreat and work on the assignment. We can then modify our engines for the others to present. Meanwhile, those who have methods or connections to investigate should do so. We also have a problem with the watches, as they're out of sync, but investigating that will have to wait.
This morning, I talked to a doctor, Victor Rios and inquired about anything related to the rain acidity or methane extraction. And I found out something that might be a trail to go down. Methane extraction works through machines that depend on input parameters. However, the effiency of these parameters are entirely random. This causes psychological symptoms doctors call "methane madness". So some of you should go check out an asylum and speak with someone suffering from it. It might be a clue. There's one about a mile south from the campus, if they won't let you in, tell them you're visiting Lilian Vix and that William sent you.
That would be it. We should decide on who stays here and who will investigate."
Aug 21 2011, 05:19 PM
Alan spoke up next, as he had a report to give.
"Well a managed to get a watch that should match the clock tower." He held up the pocket watch for everyone else to see. "Though we should save the original models just in case. As for the engine assignment, we can go about doing it a rather easy way. Just build the shittiest engine you can with the least effort. Modifying the rest should be easy after that. As for volunteers to talk to the "methane mad" people, I'll gladly go, but I have watches to finish." He turned to William. "Well 'Mr. Leader?' You need me to stay? Or go?"
Aug 22 2011, 01:30 PM
"It's up for you to decide.", William said to Alan, "One's enough to investigate the asylum, though I think two people can be safer, should someone anticipate us. And if three remain here, we might be able to devote some time to checking the watches, though what the professor's letter says is still bothering me.
It says 'I can assure you of its accuracy.'. So either we overlooked something, or something's off with the clocktower."
Aug 31 2011, 02:20 PM
"Well I'll be heading out then. Don't have much time to waste," Alan replied as he made his way out. "I left the 'accurate' watch on the table in case you need to make more. Good luck with the engines though."
Alan quickly made his way towards the asylum. He took a long and roundabout way, and checked behind him multiple times to make sure he wasn't being trailed. Eventually he made it, taking one last precautionary look before heading inside.
"Hello," he said to the man in front."I'm here to visit Lilian Vix on behalf of William."