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Sand, all up in my junk – Part 2

“RONALD”

The world started to come back into focus around Stier, but the infirmary’s Interface was blaring an unfamiliar name at him.

“MCNALDO?”

Then it clicked. As far as the Arkship was concerned, that was his name. Before the ships left earth, occupants had to sign themselves into the new database after security checks. The UMF’s official records were on a much older system so the administrators were not able to import it automatically. During the sign-in process, some of the colonists changed their name and Stier wanted to see how far he could push it so he entered a phony one as a joke. He wasn’t able to change it of course, so he was teased mercilessly during the simulations.

 

The infirmary’s interface was designed to look a bit like a smiley face. There is so much voice communication from the AI that having a face to go with the voice was supposed to be comforting. Waking from cryosleep or in the resurrection node was a traumatic affair, but this grim mask of death of an interface made it all worse during the simulations. In the flesh it was much more pleasant now that its entire surface is plastered in Greetz Puppy stickers.

 

EDIT: Sticker now in user signature as reference.

 

*Greetz Puppy was a pop-culture brand originating from the late 21st century. The brand went mega-corp prior to the establishment of the Emporium. As the UMF encountered funding issues with the construction of the ARK Ships, Greetz Puppy was one of the mega-corps that provided the rest of the funds needed for launch. These stickers or “cosmetics” were provided to the colonists as part of a marketing campaign.

 

“WELCOME BACK TO THE ARK SHIP, YOU DIED!” stated the collage of stickers. A brief look around revealed that most of the medical bay was peppered in the things. Death wasn't nearly as painful as he thought it would be, turned out it was a lot like going AFK. A quick check revealed that Stier… Ronald actually, still had his starting balance of U2’s and all of his DAC’s. As predicted thieves only managed to steal some sand, and some now very sandy protein matter. Ronald topped up his personal energy and protein stores and headed down to the landing site.

 

Town wasn’t what he was hoping it would be by now. There were only a couple of polished-looking permanent structures and the earth was littered with pits and scattered shapes matter-formed out of dirt and stone. The MODs (Maturity Office Directors) have been quick to remove the obviously phallic shapes, but the more abstract ones loom around the landing site like a lower-school Stonehenge. The most active Alphas have either already left the safe-zone or are still AFK (away from konsciousness) from the Beta. Shortwave chat data is mostly omegas trying to figure out how to use their Nanoformer, or Betas trying to rob each other.

 

Ronald had an idea that it would end up like this. Transitioning from the Alpha simulations to the Beta revealed a critical design flaw of the Nanoformer. The Nanoformer taps directly into the nervous system for its input, which allows the user to collect, deposit, and form matter with only a little practice. That asset is also its flaw, since much like many of the body’s organic systems, it behaves erratically when that neural connection is violently severed. When you die your bowels tend to… evacuate, and so does your Nanoformer. U2’s and DAC’s were never matter to begin with, and were tied to DNA to prevent violent theft from becoming a problem, but this flaw in the Nanoformer made it possible. Beta was a bloodbath compared to Alpha, and the real deal is turning out to be quite a bit like simulation. Welcome to the Wild West.

Previous update here https://board.dualthegame.com/index.php?/topic/10052-sand-all-up-in-my-junk-part-1/#entry32895

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