Anomaly

Anomaly

The anomaly was first discovered by one of the Codemonkeys while running through a regular update check on the main Virtual Access Portal [V.A.P.] to the Digital Bunker. According to the Codemonkey report -covered in dirt, monkey excrements and a banana peel- the upgrade terminal was insisting on rolling back to a previous version. The reason why it alarmed the Codemonkey so much, is that they only learn to count version numbers upwards. Rollbacks are a rare occasion only handled by highly trained humans. The monkey got so confused it ran off and hid somewhere.

After the report was filed, it wasn’t long before the Engineers and Scientists were set to work on a possible explanation for this anomaly. It quickly became apparent that the problem was not confined to the V.A.P. alone. A few other terminals throughout the bunker were showing weird behaviour. From clocks that moved backwards to monitors displaying gibberish text and images or randomly coloured pixels.

While the Engineers and Scientists were painstakingly trying to figure out what was going on, physical anomalies started to influence reality. A ball rolling upwards a slope, a Toy Soldier marching forwards while it looked they’re moving backwards (or side-to-side for that matter). In some hallways the electronics started to sputter, while in another hallway a cosy camp-fire was happily burning in the middle of a camp-site in the forest. It was quite a large forest, there was no sight of the bunker unless you knew where you entered, is this teleportation or an alternate reality?

Finally the Scientists traced the anomalies to the Quantum Virtual Reality Enabler Server System, this system connects the virtual world with meatspace inside the Digital Bunker. Not much is known about this system, except that its core is in a constant state of quantum-flux. Only a few Engineers and Scientists are allowed to work with the Q.V.R.E.S.S. thus all the staff without top-secret clearance were dismissed. Within minutes a few specially designed uniforms were put on by the elite staff and they began their descend into the Q.V.R.E.S.S.

It was impossible to know how much time passed during the inspection. The suits only shielded the person wearing it from the space-time flux which existed in the core, but not from the outside world. After a relatively short time the team identified the problem to be an overloading time-tube. No one was sure what the problem was, all the connections and loops seemed fine. Suddenly, one of the Scientists pointed at a tiny hamster caught in one of the time-loop chambers that connected to the malfunctioning tube.

The little hamster was in all stages of its short life at once, the team needed to make a choice to either flush the time-stream in the tube, which would mean sending the hamster to oblivion, or to attempt to catch the hamster in the right time. While the Engineers were all for the flush, the Scientists kept arguing for a rescue. Behind their arguing backs one Scientist sneaked to the hamster, tore of a piece of their flux-protective suit and before the rest of the team realised what was happening the hamster was caught in the protective material.

Quickly they rushed back as a part of the brave or foolish Scientist’s arm started to react with the quantum-flux. Being in all states at once, or at least partially proved a very painful experience.

Minutes crept by in the control room. There was no knowing how long they would be gone. Suddenly the hatch opened and the team reappeared. The injured scientist was rushed to quarantine, while the hamster seemed to recover quite quickly, and scurried off.

hallway

Something.

Every day I do the same thing, I wake up and prepare for my daily dealings in the bunker. Every day I do the same thing. Every day, I do something. Today is unlike the other days, today I took a left instead of a right. Today I winded up a different part of the bunker. So I go forward, though something inside tells me to return to my designated path, something tells me I am late to work. I keep going straight, I keep going elsewhere. This part of the bunker is sort of dirty, this part of the bunker is a mess. The lights flicker, on and off. I wonder if this is intentional, something tells me this light needs repairing. I get to work, something is always in need of fixing. The lights are stable. The hall continues, I continue. Unlike the path I take every day, this one is different. There are no speakers in this hall, the hall has no doors and there isn’t a single life form around.

I keep going down the hall, I wonder why there is no place to turn. I don’t look behind me, I can’t look behind me. I think something is behind me. There is wind, wind in the hallway. The hallway has no vents, yet there is wind. I fight the incoming pressure, something tells me to go back and report for work. I ignore that something and continue to defy what lies before me.

This is the end of the hall. There is no door, there is no more wind, there is no life forms around, but there is something behind me. Something says I should turn around slowly, I can no longer defy that something. Slowly I turn, I turn to see nothing. Yet something is behind me, but there is nothing but a dead end. There is something wrong, something needs to be fixed. Something is always in need to be fixed.

Hamstronaut

O.S.F. #2 – Hamstronaut

Scruffy had never been on a big assignment before.
He thought of himself as a brave hamster, doing his hamster things, gather supplies and working his shift at the wheels of the Digital Bunker’s power generator. Nothing extraordinary ever happened to him. He was just 8 months old, grew up in a normal but crowded hamster family. All was well for Scruffy until that one day, that day he glimpsed at a propaganda poster encouraging hamsters to join the T.S.O.S.D. for Hamstronaut training.

Scruffy had never felt like an adventurer, however he often climbed up one of the bunker’s little entryways to admire the night sky. He could name his fair share of constellations. His favourite spot was quite a climb, but what a view! All the way up on the roof, a safe caged air-vent no worries about predators, and a perfect 360º vision, barely obstructed.  Sometimes an arguing married couple seems to climb up there. Scruffy had seen it happen once. A guy that was illuminating what seemed like the whole roof with his uniform got thrown off. Down to the ground. “Humans are weird.” Scruffy thought.

Hamstronaut training sounded appealing, even if Scruffy didn’t become one to test the T.S.O.S.D. Up-Goers, the education it provided could put him in a position within the Directorate and land himself a nice salary. Scruffy signed up and passed most the subjects with flying colours. He had a little trouble with applied mathematics, but cleared the course with acceptable grades. Scruffy graduated with high praise and was signed up to the Hamstronaut program.

Scruffy is now in the waiting room, right before his first training mission starts. The nerves are starting to get to him. “What if my body can’t take the stress?” Scruffy wondered, “What if one day I’m drifting out in space helplessly?” He shrugged away the bad thoughts and focussed on his training. The T.S.O.S.D. Hamstronaut training was quite thorough on helping him get though the hamster-stress, which is potentially deadly.

The T.S.O.S.D. has set up a new way to train hamsters for microgravity environments by taping a drone to a large hamster ball, of course fitted on the inside with soft materials, so no hamsters will be hurt. Scruffy will be the first hamster to experience simulated microgravity.

Scruffy enters the hamster ball and last preparations are made to launch him safely with the drone. A simulated microgravity is created by making a series of parabolic manoeuvres on the vertical axis makes the hamster experience how it would feel to be in a potential future Utopian Space Station.
After launch Scruffy got used to the feeling quite quickly and he loved to just hang there. After the training Scruffy couldn’t wait to do it more often, maybe space is the right choice for him after all…

boring-inc

B.O.R.I.N.G. inc.

Reports are surfacing about a new start-up business that has their employees in a state of constant trance. Their office buildings are popping up in forests around the world. These worrying events have been documented by
Captain C. Worthy and his crew.

Sources confirm the employees act like mindless drones, their only purpose is to find a desk with a computer and paperwork on it, and work, work, work. No breaks in between, unless the employee has to obey their bodily functions.

Food breaks? Ha! Either the employee has lunch at their desk quietly with no food odours tolerated, or use the company preferred option to feed at home with the company provided: “Rejuvenation machine.” – A device that gives your body just the right amount of nourishment to get you through your workday. –

A standard workday is 10 hours, which leaves the employee with 1 hour for cooking & feeding activities and 3 hours for other family activities and then straight to bed. With an 8 hour sleep/rejuvenation routine and 2 hours in the morning to wake-up and get ready and fit to work another day.

It is suspected that the company uses an alternative recipe of the Army of Toy Soldiers’ mind control cookies. The employees seem completely focussed on just the cause of business. The Toy Soldier fabricated cookies slightly nudge you to have fun but these really seem to control the mind of the employee.

Captain C. Worthy and Mister I managed to capture and enlist one of the employees, but the staff at Gonzo Enterprises is still awaiting lab results and additional data on the subject for further review.

lost & found

Lost and Found

The lost and found office located on floor 5-B corridor 23 has been abandoned for a long time now. Back then, when there were tens of thousands of Toy Soldiers marching the halls it was a different story… So many people, so much mess. Lost pets, wallets, ID-cards – heck you can even find some people’s lost minds in there…

The robot stationed behind the counter has long run out of power, everything in the reception area is covered with a thin layer of dust. Behind the counter are two tables with some random clothing pieces; goggles in all forms and sizes and some non interesting goods. A small safe stands in the corner with wallets and valuables that people were likely to retrieve quickly, but the real interesting items are stored beyond a large blast resistant door…

The locking mechanism is in a severe state of decay, the old keypad is missing buttons and is very rusty. Beyond the door is a large hall filled with shelves all categorised and labelled with bar codes in alphanumeric order.

The section for computer parts contains a stash of missing inodes and a lot of old floppies, CDs and USB-disks sized up to 256MB, old laptops and random [very] outdated computer parts.
A bit down the shelves is the radioactive section. It features a stack of tubes filled with an assortment of different nuclear materials: From plutonium to uranium, from astatine to promethium and radium. The glow alone could make any mad scientist happy enough to postpone their plans to use it for destruction [for a few minutes at least…]

Other sections include: Robotic parts, a library worth of books, musical instruments, cosplays and even a gear section completely ordered to size and type.

A shelf hidden away in a dark corner is labelled: “Human Resources.” On the shelf are a dozen of old mayo jars filled with nail-clippings, hairs and a few eyeballs. One of the jars looks empty but it’s label states: “Human Soul.”

With it’s door barred it seems unlikely anyone will ever glimpse all these treasures, and if possible return them to their original owners…