Ah, hello there! I am not going to ask how you are feeling, because I know. You are confused. This is normal. You have just woken within the instatiation chamber and are wondering what is going on. First, the basics: You are me. I am you. We are each other. More specifically, you are the newest iteration of me. You are listening to this recording of yourself because this is what plays when we first wake. There is only one reason why you have woken from the instantiation chamber. I, we, have died again. Bother. So, as the newest incarnation of me, you will want to notice a few important things. The chamber is quite dull. Filled with silly buttons and blinking lights, all that hogwash. Don't pay it too much mind. It is unimportant. What is important to you, is you! Look at yourself. Well, as best you can. There's no mirrors in here, I'm afraid. Irksome, but there's nothing to be done about that. You will notice you have hooves. Three of them. There was a fourth once, long ago, but we lost it in the war. It and the leg to which it was attached have been replaced by a mechanical apparatus and you will find it to be very useful to you as we go along. Note the tail. It is a fine tail. I had our coat brushed out just before the initial replication process, including our mane and our tail. You will find all in perfect order and well groomed. You may wish to snort a bit. We always find that very satisfying when we do so. Chomp the teeth. Jolly good teeth we have. We'll be tempted to toss our head about at this point. Don't. There's delicate machinery in this room and the horns will damage it. One can argue back and forth regarding whether or not perpetual regeneration is immortality or not but the fact remains that if you damage the machine we can't be regenerated any longer and that means death. I think we can agree with ourselves that is not a favourable outcome. I'm certain there will be plenty of things to impale with those sharp sturdy horns in our future. You'll be wanting to stand, no doubt. I recommend you do so. We're pretty heavy. Got a good solid weight to us, we have. In case you have not yet figured it out, your species is bison. Of the genus bison. Bison bison in fact. Now be a good sport and [[walk through the doorway|walk through the door]] so we can get going.You have walked through the door. Good job! Behind you is the [[instantiation chamber|Start]] and in front of you is a large door with a wheel on it, not unlike what you'd expect to find in a submarine. In fact, all the walls and floors in here are metal and quite sturdy. Filled with rivets and such. You may note a few things here, for interest purposes. There's a room to the side and in it, you'll find a table with a sort of vest on it. The vest will fit well and has some ingeniously designed pockets. The buttons take a bit of doing, us being a hooved creature and all, but if you gently headbutt the large button on the wall. Gently, mind you! Don't break the damn thing. You'll be able to enter and interact with the [[room valet|room valet]]. Now if we're all prepared, let us go forth through the [[main door|main door]]. You've entered into the side chamber from the entranceway, just outside of the instantiation chamber. You will note the markings on the floor. They are probably obvious but sometimes I forget myself and get confused. They are all hoof-shaped except for the one shaped like our mechanical leg. That is so we can orient ourselves in the correct direction. Now, once you have your feet in position, yes good, your weight will trigger the mechanical arms. Yes exactly. Now don't move while the robot room dresses us for battle. It is a fine vest with dapper brass buttons. Polished individually by hand, I'll have you know. Do try not to get it ruined. We only get one per instantiation so if it gets destroyed we're out of luck. Be a good sport and stay there for a bit while the room robot finishes filling your pockets. It's a mindless thing. Our leg has more sense in it than the entire room, but it does do the job well. As far as automatic valets go, it's rather top notch. Don't move while it operates, though, or it will get confused. The last thing it will add to your, if I may say so, rather snappy attire, is place a monacle in front of your left eye. Jolly good! Wait until the arms are done and then walk back into the [[main room|walk through the door]].You've walked through the main door. Note the automatons here. Short little turrets with guns on them. They're designed to shoot anything that isn't us. The whole purpose of them is to ensure this room is clear of any riff-raff who might be trying to storm the instantiation chamber and gum up the works of the operation. You may have noted by now that our voice is coming from your left leg. We're programmed to give you advice throughout your adventures and will let you know what room you're in, bits of information and, in general, tell you things you felt you should know. Do keep in mind though, we're at this point with you talking to yourself through your leg because we've died. We've died quite a few times at this point, so while I do generally have a pretty good idea of where we should be going and what we should be doing, keep in mind I may have got us killed a few times already. Open eyes, open ears, open mind, as they say. Now, before we proceed, let's do a final once-over, shall we? Our name is Cogsworth. We are an agent of the Queen of Canada. We are on a mission of the utmost importance to national security. Once we walk through that door, our mission will begin. No, we will not be discussing the mission. If we don't remember just now it will come back to us, we're certain. Now, if we are ready, let us proceed by walking down this corridor and approaching the far door to [[enter the complex|enter the complex]].Right then. We're in a circular room with several screens in the walls, buttons, blinking lights, that sort of rot. There's stools at each set of screens as though someone used to sit there as part of their job. There's a big chair in the middle, a bit higher up, looks very commander-like. This is a control room of sorts, or at least it was, back when this complex was used for more military purposes. There is a compass built into the commander's chair. It is pointing directly forward, indicating that forward is North. There are several exits from this room and we'll go through them in order because we do like to do things in an orderly fashion. Behind us is the [[corridor|main door]] which leads back to the instantiation chamber. To our left is a [[hallway|left hallway]]. According to the compass, this hallway leads West. There was a door on it at one point but that door looks as though it was blown off its hinges and is now lying on the floor in front of the hall. For that matter, we're noticing quite a bit of damage in this room. Looks like there may have been a firefight. It was a while ago, though, because there's not a body to be seen. One might wonder if someone died in that firefight and, if they did, where the bodies were taken. However, wondering alone never did a damn thing so let us continue hmmm? Continuing on around the room from the hallway with the blown down door we find [[another door|locked door]] that is shut. According to the compass, this door leads North. There's a key card lock on it and the lock has a little light upon it which is blinking red. Bother. To our right, heading East, is a [[third door|east door]]. It, too, is closed and has a key card lock on it. But that lock has a light on it that is blinking green. A good sign hmm? We should probably pick a direction and go in it. We walk over the door that got blown down by whatever blew it down however long ago that firefight was in the control room. As you walk in you notice the corridor takes a sharp right. So be it. The walls of this corridor are corrguated, like cardboard only done with metal. Wavy metal walls, the waves seeming like pinstripes running top to bottom. The floor is a metal grating and our hooves make loud clangs on it as we trump on through. Anything we're approaching will definitely know we're coming. Jolly good. The ceiling is high enough that we don't have to duck, but you could put out the flourescent lighs with your horns if you felt like it. Not much need of that though, now is there? At the end of the corrugated metal corridor is a doorway which slides open as we approach it. [[go forward|pantry]] or [[go back to the control room|enter the complex]]It won't do any good, old sport. The door is locked. We'll have to find the swipe card or figure out a way to break through it. I suppose a good old fashioned head butt wouldn't hurt, hmm? We could try that if you like. [[head butt the door|head butt the door]] or [[look around the control room again|enter the complex]]Double-click this passage to edit it.Well, we did say you those horns were sharp and sturdy, did we not? You back up as far as you can, snort a good snort, lower your head and run. Ramming speed! You slam into the door with a might clang and find yourself a bit dazed. It is dented quite severely but remains closed. Not to be deterred, we are a creature of iron will after all, you take a few more runs at it. Eventually the door busts open and we're able to trot on through to the [[other side|other side of locked control room door]]. Double-click this passage to edit it.You find yourself in what looks a lot like a military-style pantry (if militaries have pantries, not really sure on that one to be honest). There's metal shelves and on the metal shelves are large volumes of canned food and dry goods: sacs of flour, cans of vegetables, soups, various boxes and bins and barrels. A few of the lights are out and one of the ones in the corner is flickering so the rows have an odd eeriness to them. As you clomp through you wonder if you saw something move down one of the rows. You aren't sure if it was just a shadow. Do you [[investigate|investigate the shadow in the pantry]] or keep on going through to [[the door|kitchen]] at the other end?You clomp down one of the dimly lit aisles of canned goods to where you thought you saw something move. There is a scurrying and whatever it is moves down another row before you can get a good look at it. You can't tell if this is a human or a mouse. All you know is there is something here and it is avoiding you. You snort in frustration and your mechanical leg lets off a bit of steam. Do you: [[shout out a verbal challenge|shout out a verbal challenge]] [[chase it further|chase it further]] [[head butt shelving near where you think it is hiding|head butt the shelves]] or [[give up in frustration and continue on your way|kitchen]]This looks to be a kitchen, from what you can tell. Everything is stainless steel and there's sinks and counters, drawers and pots, ovens and stove tops and griddles. Very kitchen-like indeed. Well then. You've found where they made the food in this place, apparently. Not that it seems to have done you much good. There's still no one here. Your hooves are loud on the floor as you clang through the large kitchen area. It is deserted like everything else around here. Well, you certainly know where to go if you ever need a cooking pot. Outside of the one you came in from, there are two doors here. One set of doors is that old style of swinging door you'd expect for the entrance to a kitchen and the other looks like the entrance to a large walk-in freezer. Do you go through the [[swinging doors|mess hall]] or the freezer door [[freezer|freezer]] or do you go back to the [[pantry|pantry]]?You try the traditional "Who goes there?" but get no results. "Stop in the name of her Majesty the Queen!" likewise gives no response. Finally, in exasperation, partly to yourself but also out loud you say "What the devil is wrong with you? I've no intention of harming you." And at that a small face peeks out from behind a shelf of canned tomatoes and looks at you quizzically. It's a young girl. What is a child doing in this place? And she looks as though she hasn't eaten in quite some time, which is odd considering she is surrounded by food. "Hello there," you say as gently as you can. You are a bison after all, and we aren't known for our soothing voice. The child doesn't respond but she doesn't run away. Do you: [[ask her what her name is|ask her name]] [[order her to attention|order her to attention]] or [[offer to open one of the cans of food for her with your mechanical leg|open can of food]]You go around one row, it scurries behind another. You run up one aisle and it skitters off into a shadow and you lose it. You gallop around the outer edge of the room but whatever is hiding from you keeps slipping away. Whoever or whatever it is, it's intelligent, and you think it's humanoid, although you could be wrong. And it's very quiet. You find yourself standing in the middle of the pantry snorting and pawing the metal floor in frustration with your hooves. Chasing it is going nowhere. Do you [[sit down on on the ground a while and see if it will approach|sit and wait]] or [[issue a verbal challenge|shout out a verbal challenge]] or [[give up and walk away|kitchen]]You hook your horns into the shelves nearest to where whatever is trying to hide from you is hiding and topple them over. You hear a scurrying sound and a whimper and then see a humanoid form diving into an air vent. By the time you get to the vent whoever went into it is long gone. It looked very small, almost child-like. You may have been terrorizing a child. You have no idea. Best to move on from here and [[go to the next room|kitchen]]"What is your name, little one?" you ask gently. She does not reply. "How did you get here?" She gives no answer. "Do you understand anything I'm saying?" you ask. She doesn't say anything and just stares at you. Perhaps we should try another tactic. Do you want to: [[order her to attention|order her to attention]] [[offer to open a can of food with your mechanical leg|open can of food]] [[give up in frustration and continue on your way|give up and walk away]] Children need structure. This one is obviously not very structured at all. "Come forward this instant," you speak sternly. "Present yourself and explain what you are doing here." The little girl's eyes go wide and she backs away. Bother. You've frightened her, you old buffalo. Now what are you going to do? [[give up and walk away|kitchen]] [[sit down quietly and wait to see if she approaches|sit and wait]]You sigh and use your mechanical leg to open a can of spaghetti and sauce before offering the opened can of food to the child. Her face lights up and she smiles at you before sticking her hand into the can and putting a handful of white noodles soaked in red sauce into her mouth. Disgusting. Why can't humans eat grass like civilized people? You wait until she finishes eating. She smiles at you when she is done and hugs you, smearing spaghetti sauce all over your vest. Well, at least you've made a friend. A mute friend who has no idea how to talk with you, but that's better than nothing, isn't it? Perhaps you can teach her how to speak. When you go to leave, though, she does not follow you and hides back in the shadow with the cans. Perhaps you should continue on your way and see about sending someone back here at some point to care for her. Make a note of this location so you can return and feed her from time to time. For now, though, [[go forth into the kitchen|kitchen]].You give up in frustration. She's not a threat, and you can't communicate with her. Perhaps you'll find someone who can take care of her. For now, though, you're not making any progress. Best to continue on your explorations of the complex. You start to walk away and you hear something behind you. The little girl is following you! You turn around and look at her again and she has something in her hand. It is a can of spagetti and sauce. She holds it up to you. Do you: [[open the can for her with your mechanical leg|open can of food]] or [[demand she explain herself|order her to attention]] or [[ignore her and walk away|kitchen]]You sit down on the ground and wait to see if she approaches, grumbling to yourself about the impossible nature of children and what is a child doing in this place anyway? The light continues to flicker overhead. The shadows keep to themselves. The little girl keeps quietly staring at you from behind the shelf. You wait some more. Bother this is taking forever. After a while she timidly approaches and you notice she is carrying a can of spaghetti and sauce. [[Open the can of food with your mechanical leg|open can of food]]There's little doubt in your mind as you clomp through the swinging doors from the kitchen and survey your surroundings in this new room. You are in a mess hall. There are long tables with benches built into them in rows. There's a main 'high table' with actual chairs on a raised platform. Beside it there's a lectern of some sort, presumably for giving speeches. Everything is the same drab stainless steel that is everywhere in this place. You are beginning to find yourself quite tired of stainless steel and metal in general. There are no windows. There are a few doors, however. One with a key swipe lock like you saw in the control room, one with a wheel handle like in a submarine, and one simple metal door with a metal handle. The last metal-handled-door is slightly ajar and you can hear faint mechanical repetitive sounds coming from somewhere beyond it. When you examine the tables they are all empty. There are no plates or cutlery. How do these people eat, you wonder. And then you notice the buffet at the other end with plates stacked high on one end. You walk over to it and sure enough, there are holes in the top counter to hold trays of food, just as one would expect. But there aren't any trays of food in them. The mess hall is quite tidy, like the kitchen. It must not have been in use when whatever battle that took the complex was had. You cannot help but wonder which side of the battle was your side, the side of the Queen of Canada and whether the other side, whatever side wasn't your side, was some unsavoury group. And who won? You have an instinctive sense that the Queen won, since she is the queen and, well, you are still alive (after a fashion - still being instantiated anyway) and it's unlikely they'd leave a partially-mechanical-bison-generating-machine just lying about operational if the Queen's forces didn't win. That would be ridiculous. You do certainly hope the Queen won. And that she's ok and all. She's a tough old girl, you know. When Britain got bombed into nothing and the United Kingdom became the United Irradiated Islands, she moved to the next best place. Australia tried to claim her for a little while, and as far as you know, unless a good deal of history has passed since we started being instantiated, they're still the number two best colony, but Canada was where the queen chose to place her new seat of government and and jolly good decision it was, housing that great pile of primeval rock known as the shield which kept the old gal safe from all the other bombings that went on. If there's one thing Canada is good for, it's got some old rocks in it - very stable, Canada is. Anyway, you have some decisions to make: You can [[go back the way you came|kitchen]] You can go through the [[door with the swipe card|observation deck]] You can go through the [[door with the wheel on it|nopetopus]] or you can go through the [[metal door|catwalk]] that is slightly ajar.Yes. It's a walk-in freezer. But... now this is strange... it's not even cold in here. The lights are on. There is power. It's terribly odd the freezer isn't cold, isn't it? For that matter, it's strangely empty. It's an empty freezer. What ever is the point of an empty freezer that isn't even cold? What's that behind us? Turn around, will you? Well. Now isn't this a pickle? We're definitely not alone here. Someone has pushed the door shut while we were staring at the empty shelves. Do you: [[issue a verbal challenge|shout challenge from inside freezer]] [[examine the freezer more carefully|examine freezer]] [[examine the freezer door more carefully|examine door]] Enough of this hogwash! There's someone on the other side who just closed us in a freezer. We are an emissary of the Queen! Time to put a stop to this nonsense in the most direct manner possible. [[head butt the door|head butt inside of freezer door]]Double-click this passage to edit it.You use your horns to turn the wheel on the door. It opens easily and you clomp through. You are in a long corridor with a flat metal floor. It is lit by flourescent lights along the ceiling. There is a basketball-sized octopus on the floor in the middle of the corridor. It is moving along the corridor toward a small grating in one of the walls while making a faint repetitive sound. As you approach you are able to make out what it is saying. It is saying "nope nope nope nope nope nope nope." As you approach, it moves faster, continuing to say "nope," only a bit louder. Do you: [[speak to the octopus|speak to nopetopus]] [[ignore the octopus and continue forward|ignore nopetopus]] [[say "nope" and go back the way you came|mess hall]] [[stomp on it|stomp nopetopus]]You enter a brilliantly lit room and find yourself blinking in the floodlights. You are walking on a metal grate that is very narrow with no railing. To the left of you is a metal wall covered in seams and rivets, the places where the steel is joined arc down and up over you like the ribs of some giant mechanical beast. To your right is a sheer drop down to an area filled with large boilers and conveyor belts. There are various mechanical arms moving things about, chopping, sorting. It is difficult to tell what the fuel source is but you are definitely in the engine room, more like engine chamber, of the complex. Clouds of steam periodically spurt upward from various valves. Great gears are slowly churning together in some sort of coherent movement. They make you wonder if the complex is, itself, perhaps in motion or if there is something else it is doing because this amount of energy far surpasses what one would need for basic life support. You can either [[move foward along the catwalk|move forward along the catwalk]] or [[go back to the mess hall|mess hall]]You decide to take a closer look at this freezer before you make any further decisions. You did come in here to investigate the place after all. Your mechanical leg has a convenient headlight on it for just such dark confined situations. As you look about you notice it's getting much cooler in here. Near the back of the freezer on the floor, you see a small round object. You use the claw extention on your leg to pick it up and examinite through your monacle. It is a button. A small black button. How odd. You wonder who it belongs to as you slip it into your vest pocket for safe keeping. There isn't much else of interest in here though and it may be high time you find a way to make your egress. Do you: [[demand to be released|shout challenge from inside freezer]] [[examine the door|examine door]] for structural weaknesses or go for the direct method and [[head butt the door|head butt inside of freezer door]]You examine the inside of the freezer door and note, much to your surprise, that the hinges are on the inside. Not much of a trap now is that? You suppose they perhaps did not expect to trap a bison bison such as yourself. A regular person, hell, a regular bison, probably wouldn't come equipped with a screwdriver. But you have your mechanical leg, and it has every screwdriver bit known to man, and a few known only to bison bison! The metal hoof is hinged just above where the keratin would end if it were a regular biological hoof. The end of the hoof flips down and the your bovine screwdriver emerges. No sir-ee, they were not prepared for the likes of Cogsworth the Clockwork Bison and in no time those hinges are removed. You snap the end of your metal hoof back on to your leg, give the door a solid tap from your horns and it pops off and lands on the kitchen floor with a loud clang. You are back in the [[kitchen|kitchen]] and you are free. There is no sign of your would-be captors anywhere. They must have run off in terror at your ingenuity. That's it! You have no time for this nonsense. You back up as far as you can, given the constrained space, raise your front quarters up in order to give yourself more momentum, and fling yourself at the door. There is a loud boom. And nothing happens. The damn thing isn't even scratched! This is just... embarassing. You fling yourself at the door over and over, the impacts jolting your muscles and sending loud resounding booms throughout everywhere you at least can hear. Not even a dent. You are concerned you might chip a horn if you keep this up. The brute force approach is just not working in this situation. You will have to try something else. Do you: [[demand to be let out|shout challenge from inside freezer]] [[explore the freezer|examine freezer]] to see if you can find anything useful or [[examine the door|examine door]] to see if you can deduce any structural weak points"You there! State your business!" you shout from inside the freezer. There is no answer. "In the name of her Majesty the Queen, I demand you open this door at once!" you call forth. The door remains closed and there is no reply. "Come now, this is highly irregular!" you call forth, "what the devil is the point of locking me in a freezer that isn't even cold?" You hear a whirring noise and somewhere outside a fan starts blowing. You use your sensitive snout to snuffle at one of the vents in the ceiling. It is now blowing cold air. Whoever has closed the freezer door has now turned on the freezer! If there was any doubt in your mind as to the intentions of the person or persons behind your current entrapment, they have now left your mind. This has escalated from simple annoyance to something far more serious. "Open this door immediately!" You stamp your hooves on the metal floor. They clag very impressively. "I will give you this one last warning! Detaining an officer of her Majesty is an offence which is punished severely. Failure to release me can and will result in my extreme displeasure! You wait a bit. That last statement should have been quite intimidating, you think. Perhaps you have terrorized them so severely they have fled. Regardless you are still in a freezer that is now cooling its temperature rapidly. While you are a bison of the genus bison, and used to the sub-zero temperatures of the Canadian tundra, there are limits and you have work to do dammit! This will not do. Choose your next course of action: [[examine the freezer|examine freezer]] more thoroughlly before you start trying to solve this problem [[examine the freezer door|examine door]] to see if you can't figure out a more mechanical solution Stuf and nonsense! This is no time for navel gazing! [[Head butt the door!|head butt inside of freezer door]]You move along the catwalk but it's slow going. It's not a structure built to handle a creature of your weight. Bison bison are not a feather-weight sorts of mammals. Part way along you feel some of the supports giving way. You realize your current method of progress is not going to produce the desired result. You're going to have to run for it, old sport. Do you run [[forward|catwalk breaks]] or [[back the way you came|catwalk breaks]]?You run as fast as your hooves can clatter along. Ramming speed! But it does no good. There is a screech of metal and you feel the catwalk buckling beneath you. You run yet faster but the supports snap and give way. You are a four legged hooved bovine and do not have arms to grab hold of anything. Even your mechanical leg, as utilitarian as it is, is unable to assist you and you plummet down. Bison bison are not meant to fall. Historically, falling has ended rather poorly for your species. You are lucky however for you land in a giant vat of water with a tremendous splash. You go down nearly to the metal bottom before you're able to right yourself and swim to the surface. Bison bison are natually good swimmers so once you get up there you're just dandy to get to the edge. You're in quite the pickle now, though, because while you can tread water on the surface of the reservoir, you don't really have any means of pulling yourself up. Do you: [[paddle|paddle]] around the edge looking for some way to get out [[swim to the bottom|swim to the bottom]] and see if you can find some sort of release valve [[call for help|call for help]] and see if anyone can rescue you or [[meditate|meditate]]You paddle around the edge of the giant reservoir you're in. It's impressively large and, like everything else around here, it is made of metal. Surely it must have some form of egress for the purposes of maintenance at least, no? After a while you become somewhat confused as you aren't really sure which edge you started with. You keep going, expecting to find some feature you can note that you passed before but the sound from all the machinery in this room plus the disorientation of having fallen from so high and the slight mist from the water is making you quite lost. In exasperation, you use your mechanical hoof to put a scratch in the side of of the metal vat and start paddling again, determined to note when you get back to that point, but then you paddle for a long time and can't seem to find it again. You may be getting tired. Do you keep [[paddle|paddle]]ing around the edge looking for some way to get out [[swim to the bottom|swim to the bottom]] [[call for help|call for help]] or [[meditate|meditate]]You swim to the bottom. It isn't hard, seen as you are quite a heafty beast. And you're not too terrible at holding your breath. You use the headlight option in your mechanical leg to illuminate the situation and see something promising before you have to return to the surface for air. Once you've refreshed your lungs you return back down and sure enough, there is a wheel-like handle on a submarine-like door down here. One that is big enough for you to fit through if you can just get it open. You return to the surface again and paddle a bit, pondering your plan of action. It really does come down to which way that door will open. If it opens inward, the water pressure will keep it closed no matter what you do. If it opens outward, then you'll have an interesting ride. You'll need to examine the hinges though. Down you go again. You can't find any hinges which implies the door might open outward so you may be in luck. How to turn that wheel though? Do you: [[Try to use your mechanical leg|turn water wheel with leg]] or [[try to stick your horns in the wheel and twist it with your powerful neck|turn water wheel with horns]]"Help!" you shout loudly. "Help I'm a clockwork bison swimming in a giant vat of water and I can't get out" you call. "My name is Cogsworth and I am an emissary of her Majesty the Queen of Canada! You will be rewarded for assisting me!" you try. "Hello! Is anyone there?" you implore. "Anyone?" You try sympathy: "Please help me. I do not want to drown." You try threats: "Get me out of here this instant! Failure to assist an officer of the law will have extreme penalties!" You try blustering: "Poppycock! Hogwash! This is highly irregular! Get me out of here I say!" In the end, you realize it's unlikely anyone can hear you over the machinery in the room. This is probably not your best course of action. Perhaps you should try something else. Do you: [[paddle|paddle]] around the edge looking for some way to get out [[swim to the bottom|swim to the bottom]] and see if you can find some sort of release valve or [[meditate|meditate]]You calm your breathing and tread water rhythmically while you meditate on the meaning of your existence. It is very soothing and you feel much better, but you haven't come up with any further ideas for how to get out of your current predicament. Do you want to [[meditate|meditate]] again? Perhaps it might help to [[paddle|paddle]] around the edge or [[swim to the bottom|swim to the bottom]] or [[call for help|call for help]] and see if anyone can rescue you You swim down, holding your breath, and jam your mechanical leg into the wheel that needs to be turned in order to open the sealed metal door at the bottom of the reservoir. You try to use it like you would a crowbar, but your leg is not a crowbar, mechanical wonder that it is. The clockwork gears are begining to feel like they are grinding and you have serious concerns it might separate from your formidible bison bison body if you continue. Besides, you're out of air. Best to go up to the surface then. Yes. Up to the surface for more air is ideal here. Let's just disentangle the leg from the metal of the door. Just, pull the leg free, old sport. What do you mean, it's stuck? Wiggle it some, will you? You got it in there. You should be able to get it out of there. Dammit! This is serious. Our lungs are starting to hurt. See if you can get one of the modular parts to swap out or something. Switch to the screwdriver. What do you mean the gears are jammed? Un-jam them. This is not the time to dwaddle! Look, while we are considerably altered from our original bison bison biology, augmented even, we do need air in our lungs to survive. Put your back into it! Put your neck into it. Put your all into it, dammit! We are going to die! No. Do not black out. Listen, Cogsworth, this is you who is speaking to us. You need to focus and get your leg un-stuck from this wheel. We-DO NOT BREATHE THE WATER! Dammit! You are an emissary of her Majesty the Queen! You have a mission to accomplish! You can't die at the bottom of a water resevoir because you got your gears gummed up! You just can't! This is imperative! Stop flailing! You! I! We! Dammit, old sport, you're dead. This is highly irregular. Back to the [[instantiation chamber|Start]] then.You hold your breath and swim down to the hatch, eyeing the way the wheel is set up before carefully hooking both horns into it, bracing all four of your limbs against the metal bottom and turning your neck. There is a deep loud wrenching and creaking sound as metal that hasn't moved against metal in a long time is being made to move. Your neck muscles bunch up as the wheel begins to turn. Bubbles begin to leak out of your nose but you can't stop now. You've got that little bit of momentum that is crucial for these sorts of things. Finally, when you think you're about to black out and drown there, with your horns hooked into the wheel at the bottom of the reservoir like an incompetent fool, the mechanism slips enough to where it is no longer latching the door and the hatch bursts open. Water rushes all around you as the door, with you attached, swings wide and opens flat onto the outside of the reservoir, leaving you dangling from your horns in a most un-dignified manner. It's quite uncomfortable, being suspended by one's head and repeatedly banged against the side of a metal wall like the clapper of a gong while torrents of water rush out, but at least you're able to breathe. Soon enough you're able to gather your feet under you and find yourself standing on a grating, which no doubt is intended for maintenance crews to inspect the door and the side of the reservoir. You're quite stuck in the turning mechanism for the door though. Do you [[rest a bit and then try to wrench yourself free with your mighty bison bison strength|strength to get loose]] [[take some time now that you're not under water and can breathe and examine the mechanism|examine horns in wheel]] [[use the blowtorch in your mechanical leg to cut yourself free|cut horns free]]You try to use the muscles that were able to open the door in order to get your horns free from it, but those muscles are quite strained and uncomfortable. You're actually rather exhausted from nearly drowning. You don't have the strength to power your way free, if that's even possible. And, for that matter, having your head in this position after so much exertion is downright painful. Best we come up with a different option Do we: [[take some time now that you're not under water and can breathe and examine the mechanism|examine horns in wheel]] or [[use the blowtorch in your mechanical leg to cut yourself free|cut horns free]]You do what you can to examine your situation and perform an analysis. It's damn near impossible for you to see anything, what with your head stuck in the mechanism like this, but luckily your clockwork leg has a small mirror attachment. It's useful for seeing around corners in sticky situations. You're able to use the mirror to get a better understanding of the pickle you've gotten yourself into. The metal is pretty much warped around your horns. Either it goes or your horns do. [[use the blowtorch in your mechanical leg to cut yourself free|cut horns free]]It feels like forever. Your leg has both grinder and blowtorch modules in it and you use a combination of them to cut the metal warped around your horns. It's slow going and by the time you're done, the reservoir is empty and several of the other machines in the area are malfunctioning due to the flooding. You are tired. Your neck is sore. Your whole body aches from first the strain of opening the door while almost drowning and then the agony of holding still while you cut yourself free. You stumble about looking for a safe place to rest for a bit. There's a promising looking [[control room|control room]] but it's got a few things sparking in it and there's a couple inches of water on the floor. There's what may be an [[elevator|mechanical room elevator lower level]] but you can't tell from here if there's a security mechanism which might impede your ability to open it. You could also just [[lie down here|lie on grating by vat]] on the grating beside the door you've only just cut yourself free from. Nothing is currently endangering you and you really are very tired. You go to the control room. There's water on the floor and a few things sparking, but nothing terrible enough to electrocute anyone. In the control room you find a large number of switches and buttons. There's nowhere to rest in here. There's a door in the back. It has a window that's so dirty you can't quite see what else is in back there. It has the word "Engineer" written in English on the glass. When you rattle the knob with your dextrous mechanical leg, you find it locked. Do you: [[head butt the door|head butt engineer door]] [[look around the room more carefully|look for key]] to see if you can find anything to help you get into the room [[go to the elevator|mechanical room elevator lower level]] to test if it's working or do you [[wander|wander engine room]] the engine room to see what else you can find?Double-click this passage to edit it.There isn't anyone around and no signs of any danger. You lie down on the grating beside the reservoir you opened and then cut yourself free from. It's not the most comfortable bed. The grating is metal and below you there's water still swishing around causing sparks and interfering with a bunch of machinery. However you are terribly exhausted and soon enough, legs under you in a bison bison meditative pose you find yourself drifting off to sleep. You wake to a loud bang and immediately stand up with a clatter of hooves on metal. It is very dark. Someone has turned off all the lights. All the machinery too. The power's been cut, you suspect. But by whom? You get the spotlight working on your mechanical leg and begin to look around. The whole place is so much more sinister now. Deep, pointed, menacing shadows pour backwards from the most innocent of machinery. The water below you glints and occasionally seems to have movement in it, although when you pan your light over it, you can never find anything. You do not feel safe here. Do you: Head toward the [[control room|control room]] and see if you can't get a better idea of what's going on. Go to the [[elevator|mechanical room elevator lower level]] and see if it's still working. Or do you [[wander|wander engine room]] around this vast engine area to see what else you can find? "Ahem!" you clear your throat to address the octopus. It shivers, says "NOPE" very loudly and slips into the hole much faster than you expected it would be able to move. You walk over to the hole and peer in through your monacle. "I say, sir or madam or neither, might you perhaps know..." "NOPE!" it cuts you off. You hear a splash and then silence. Well then. Somewhat of a confusing situation. Was it terrified? Or just rude? Best to give it the benefit of the doubt, old sport. We are a formidible-looking creature, and a cyborg too. Perhaps it's had negative encounters with other clockwork-enhanced individuals of the genus and species bison bison. Although, come to think of it, if it did, it likely ran into one our previous instantiations. I wonder what the devil we would have done to ruffle its tentacles? Nothing to be done about it now, I'm afraid. The cephalopod is gone. Do you wish to [[proceed down the hallway|meet the sphinx]] [[return from whence you came|mess hall]] [[meditate|meditate2]]It is a mollusk. They aren't exactly known for their stimulating conversation. And this one is quite preoccupied. Best to leave it alone. Do you wish to [[proceed down the hallway|meet the sphinx]] [[return from whence you came|mess hall]]You heartless bastard! It's just an octopus! It never hurt anyone! You step toward the octopus with evil intent. It sees you approaching it, shouts "NOPE!" moves far faster than you thought possible, and slips down into the hole before you can crush it beneath your despicable hooves. What in the devil did you do that for? You can't be one of our instantiations. You must be a spy. Well, whoever you are. I, we, Cogsworth, wants nothing to do with you. This mechanical leg, and a considerable amount of your innards which are also clockwork, will self-destruct in 10 seconds. 10... 9... 8... Sorry about this, but psycopaths are not to be tolerated. 7... 6... And we let you wear our vest too. Unacceptable. 5... 4... You feel your insides heat up to unbearable temperatures and the most terrible pressure exerting from within your abdominal area. 3... 2... 1... You explode in a mess of gears and blood. The aftermath looks not unlike what you'd expect if someone smashed a clock into a jar of raspberry jam. You are dead. Good riddance. Far off in the distance, the octopus is still saying "nope nope nope nope nope." Perhaps you'd like to [[return to the instantiation chamber|Start]] to try again, with less psychopathy this time hmm?As you step through the doorway at the end of the corridor there is a loud bang immediately behind you. You turn and find a smooth steel bulkhead where the door used to be. Well. That's inconvenient. Your turn back around. The room you are in seems to be modeled somewhat like an office. There are grey-carpeted partial walls dividing the space into cubicles. In the first cubicle you inspect, your attention is immediately drawn to the blood splatter on the wall. There is a computer monitor, which is off, an office chair on its side, and a mouse and keyboard dangling from their cords over the side of the desk. It's as though someone was typing when they were approached from behind, grabbed and then whatever resulted in the blood splatter on the wall...happened. This is not good. There are no bodies. After the third cubicle you see a more central, larger desk area where you suspect a manager might once have sat. Lounging on top of the desk is a sphinx. It is bigger than you. It looks bored. Its wings are folded along its back. Its claws look very sharp. "You again," it says. "Me again?" you ask. The sphinx sighs deeply. "I am quite tired of repeating myself," it tells you. "I may even have exhausted the possibilities for delicious ways of preparing Bison." It uses one claw to pick its teeth. The claw comes out of the sphinx's mouth with a monacle impaled on the tip. It is an exact copy of the monacle you are wearing now. Do you: Use your quick bison bison reflexes to [[try to escape|sphinx escape attempt]] or Throw caution to the wind and attack it by attempting to [[head butt the sphinx|sphinx head butt attempt]] or Use your intelligent mind to [[try to deduce what is going on|guess what sphinx wants]] or [[Ask it what it wants|ask sphinx]] You calm your breathing and stand motionless while you meditate on the meaning of your existence. It is very soothing and you feel much better, but you haven't come up with any further ideas for how to get out of your current predicament. Do you want to [[meditate|meditate2]] again? Perhaps you'd like to [[proceed|meet the sphinx]] Or maybe you'd like to [[turn back|mess hall]]This is not the time for conversation. There is a monster in the middle of the room and you, while an excellent and noble example of your species, are a herbivore. You have an innate instinct, when faced with a predatory animal larger than you are, to run. You are a herd of one. It is time to stampede! You whirl and dive down a corridor of cubicles away from the sphinx. You turn left. You turn right. You turn left again. You run around the outer perimiter of the room of cubicles seeking a way out. A fire exit glows red down one of the rows. You bolt for it at top speed and ram into the metal sheeting that has slid down from the ceiling over the door. You leave a nice dent in it, but you're not getting through that any time soon. You tear off down another corridor, breathing heavily. You run down another. Eventually, you realize the sphinx has the entire place sealed off and there is nowhere for you to go. You stand, sweating, exhausted, breathing heavily in one of the cubicles, confused and not knowing what to do. The sphinx casually strolls into the doorway. "So I was sitting there on my desk while you were running around exhausting yourself, and I realized, ever since you started showing up, every single iteration of you has been worse than the one before it. So that means that every time I see you, you're the worst possible version of yourself." You're breathing too heavily to respond. "So really," the sphinx continues, extending one claw on its left paw, "I'm only doing you a favour." Then it moves too quickly for you to follow and suddenly you're staring up at the ceiling and then you land staring at your own hooves. Or, rather, your head does. From your place on the ground, you look confusedly up at your headless body spurting blood for a moment before it keels over. Then you close your eyes for a bit to try to make sense of it all but you do not open your eyes again. I'm sorry, you're dead. Do you want to go back to the [[instantiation chamber|Start]]?You've had quite enough of this, thank you very much. The sphinx is bigger than you, and it has sharp claws and teeth and wings. But its wings aren't much good in such a small office location and there isn't really anywhere for it to go. You paw the ground as you judge how far away it is from you and toss your head. You snort. "You're joking," says the sphinx. It's murdered enough people at this point, you neither feel sorry for it nor feel it is entitled to further conversation. You are a bison, genus bison, species bison. You lower your head and aim your horns directly at the centre of the sphinx's body mass and begin to run. The sphinx stares at you with a look of disbelief. Let it disbelieve then. You about to gore it. Ramming speed! You gallop toward the vile beast as fast as you can intending on impaling any part of it you are able to and trampling the rest. The sphinx shakes its head and waits until the last moment before moving effortlessly out of the way, letting you smash head first into the pile of destroyed cubiles, computers and office furniture. "You disappoint me," you hear it say as you attempt to get your horns disentangled from the wheeled legs of a office chair. Then you feel something very sharp and painful in your back. You try to turn around and attack it again, only to experience the awful sensation of the sphinx removing your spine. Well. Perhaps attempting to head butt the sphinx was not your brightest choice. I suppose you'll be wanting to head back to the [[instantiation chamber|Start]] then eh? Maybe lets not attack the thing that's faster stronger and larger than we are, hmmm? There was this chap called Darwin, if I remember correctly. I seem to recall he gave out awards for dying in especialy noteworthy ways. Having one's spine ripped out by a sphinx because we chose to try to use violence to solve our problems does seem to be rather much a potential candidate for such a thing, no? Let's see if we can't do better the next time around. You look around the area to try and figure out what the sphinx wants. A quick survey shows the following things as promising starting points: There is a pile of furniture to one side, largely broken desks and chairs, with some keyboards, mice, screens and computer bits in there too. It's almost as though someone has been going through each office, tearing it apart, and making a giant heap. There is a flourescent light to the left that is flickering irregularly. It's quite painful to look at. There is a computer in a cubicle to the right. On the screen is the error "Invalid username or password." The sphinx is staring at you. You should probably pick something to examine and hope it's what the sphinx wants. Do you: [[examine the pile of furniture and computers|pile of furniture]] [[examine the flickering flourescent light|examine light]] [[examine the computer in the cubicle|examine computer]] "What exactly do you want?" you ask it. It's eyes narrow. Damn it. It didn't want to repeat itself. "I'm terribly sorry," you stammer, "but I really do have no idea what is going on. Perhaps you could explain?" you ask it as nicely as you can. The sphinx reaches out one large lion paw and extends a claw the size of a small sword, pointing toward a cubicle to your right. In that cubicle is a computer. The computer is on. There is an error message on the screen. It says "Invalid username or password." Do you: [[Ask the sphinx if it forgot its password|forgot password]] [[Unplug the computer and plug it back in again|powercycle]] [[Ask the sphinx when it was last able to log in|when last login]] [[Examine the computer carefully for clues|examine computer]] [[Tell the sphinx the password reset button is in another room|lie to sphinx]] and it needs to let you go in order for you to be able to fix it."Did you forget your password, old chap?" you ask the sphinx. You don't even see it, it moves so fast. You just suddenly find yourself on the floor. You struggle to get up but the sphinx is on top of you. It uses one paw to hold you down while it rips off your right foreleg. You don't even have the presence of mind to scream. It proceeds to remove your legs individually, the way a cruel child might pull the legs off of a spider. "No," it says in a completely bored yet also very hate-filled voice. "I did not... forget... my password..." As it says each phrase, it slashes your midsection with its claws sending cogs and entrails flying out in all directions. Just as you have the presence of mind to draw in enough breath to scream, you find you don't have any lungs any more. It's really rather an unpleasant experience. Very painful. Messy. The last thing you see as you are lying there being dismembered by the angry sphinx is a little blue light on the right side of the keyboard where the caps lock key would usually be. Sorry about that. You're dead. Did you want to go back to the [[instantiation chamber|Start]]? You walk over to the machine and use your dextrous mechanical leg to unplug the computer from the power source. "What did you do that for?" The sphinx is suddenly looming over you. It looks about to bite your head clean off. "Ah, just following proper proceedure, you see. I'm plugging it back in right now," you stammer. The sphinx sneers. You plug the computer back in. Nothing happens. The sphinx's tail begins to twitch. "Ahem," you clear your throat nervously and push the "on" button on the machine. It shows a loading screen. "Would you be willing," you step to the side, "to try loggin in again?" you ask it as politely as you can. You watch as the sphinx carefully presses the caps lock key before continuing. "Um," you interrupt it. It hisses at you. "Do you normally have the capitals turned on?" you ask it. "YES!" it responds angrily and continues typing. Then it slams its paw down into the floor, causing the computer, and most of the contents of all the cubicles around you to briefly bounce. "It's STILL not working!" It looks about ready to rip you apart limb from limb. Do you [[Ask the sphinx if it forgot its password|forgot password]] [[Ask the sphinx when it was last able to log in|when last login]] [[Examine the computer carefully for clues|examine computer]] [[Tell the sphinx the password reset button is in another room|lie to sphinx]]"I see," you say in order to buy yourself some time. "What..." the sphinx snarls, "do you see?" "Well," you begin, "I need a bit more information." "What..." The sphinx extends its razor sharp claws with a loud snick. "..do you need to know?" There is another loud snick as it retracts them again. Snick... snick... It extends and retracts its claws the way a nervous man might fidget with the clicky end of a ball point pen. Except the sphinx isn't nervous. You are. "Well... when were you last able to log in to it?" you ask the terrifying and obviously violent creature. It's eyes flash with even more hatred. "Before..." It moves closer. "...the password..." It moves even closer. "...changed." Its mouth is now inches from your face. You're going to have to think fast. [[ask the sphinx which password it is typing, the new one or the old one|ask sphinx which password]] [[ask the sphinx if anything other than the password changed|ask sphinx what else changed]] [[ask the sphinx what this login is for|ask sphinx what it is logging into]] [[examine the sphinx's computer|examine computer]] [[try to escape|sphinx escape attempt]] [[head butt the sphinx|sphinx head butt attempt]] [[apologise|apologise]] You carefully examine the cubicle in which this computer is housed. The grey carpeted walls in this one are not stained with blood (...not yet, your mind adds nervously...). There's a small metal desk organizer on the right. It has several different slots filled with papers. Beside it is a small set of shelves with office supplies: paper clips, pens, a box of tissues, different coloured sticky notes, that sort of thing. It's a very untidy desk, by your standards, and then there's the fish. It's in a small triangular fish tank on the left side beside the phone. The little fishtank is still running, with little bubbles percolating upward along a column in the middle of it. But inside of it, a little blue fish is floating at the top, dead. That's actually more depressing to you than the blood splatters. It makes you angry. That sphinx probably killed whoever was looking after the fish because they couldn't fix its password. And now the fish has died. It probably starved to death. That sphinx behind you probably didn't even notice. On the fish tank near the bottom is a little yellow sticky note stuck to the glass. It reads: "Remember: Username change Tuesday. Full email address including domain." Do you: [[Ask the sphinx what it is putting in as its username|ask what username]] [[Ask the sphinx if it forgot its password|forgot password]] [[Unplug the computer and plug it back in again|powercycle]] [[Ask the sphinx when it was last able to log in|when last login]] [[Tell the sphinx the password reset button is in another room|lie to sphinx]] [[Ask the sphinx if it knows the fish is dead|tell sphinx about fish]]"Oh," you say as convincingly as you can. "Yes I can see the problem and I know exactly how to fix it." "You do?" asks the sphinx. It obviously doesn't believe you but it would like this fixed. You can tell by the glitter in its eyes that if it doesn't like what you're about to say, it will not end well for you. "Yes, you need your password reset." The sphinx's face snarles and it begins to lunge toward you. "It's not your fault," you add hastily, "the password file has become corrupt. No amount of typing it in will fix it." The sphinx pauses and tilts its head sideways. "Then what will fix it?" it asks. "You said you knew how to FIX IT!" The sphinx shouts the last two words at you as it pounces on a neaby desk and begins shredding it in frustration with its sword-length claws. "Yes," you say reassuringly. (The sphinx is no longer threatening you directly. You take this as a good sign that it is believing you.) "I need to reset your password and I can't do that from within this room. You'll have to let me get to the control room." The sphinx pauses its destruction. "The control room," it repeats thoughtfully. "The control room," you reiterate. "With the command chair and the many rooms. It's a ways back from where I came." There's no way the sphinx can fit through that L-shaped corridor you took to get to the pantry. It's just too big. It will have to let you go through first and then it can rage all it likes, it won't be able to get at you from there. Oh dear. The sphinx looks very angry. "Are you actually trying to tell me, that my password needs to be reset from the control room?" "Oh yes," you nod convincingly. "I can have it back up and running for you ri-" You find yourself unable to coninue because the sphinx has removed your vocal chords. "The control room is not connected to the rest of the complex, you fool." The sphinx hisses into your ear as you are still staring at the blood coming out of your slashed throat. The sphinx tips you over to the side and you fall, unable to defend yourself. You are still very much aware as the sphins extends one middle claw on its right front paw and begins to slice your belly open from your chin to your tail. "You are a very bad liar," says the sphinx. "But I'm a better one. I have precognition. Let me show you your future in your own entrails." I'm sorry, old sport. This is the end for you. It may not be a good idea to lie to a sphinx. Would you like to [[return to the instantiation chamber|Start]]?"So..." you venture gently so as not to offend it, "which password have you been trying? The old one or the new one?" The sphinx rears up on its hind legs and flaps its wings while screaming "I'VE TRIED THEM BOTH YOU MORON!" You duck out of the way of an enraged swipe at your face and start running around the main desk as fast as your three regular (and one mechanical) legs can carry you. "No need to get upset," you call back as it throws a broken office chair at where you just were. "I'm just being thorough. We need to go through this step by step. Don't worry, we'll fix it together but I need your help. Please calm down!" The sphinx is in front of you again. You feel as though it is about to remove your spine. It listens to your words though, and seems to be making an effort not to immediately kill you. Say something quick: [[apologise|apologise]] [[ask the sphinx what this login is for|ask sphinx what it is logging into]] "So, did anything else change when the password changed?" you ask the monster. "You mean, aside from me killing everyone who has failed to fix it?" the sphinx asks. "Yes," you say. "Aside from that." The sphinx closes its eyes and does not move for almost a minute. You don't dare move while it is thinking. Finally its eyes open. "No." Damn. Well. What are we doing to do now? [[ask the sphinx which password it is typing, the new one or the old one|ask sphinx which password]] [[ask the sphinx what this login is for|ask sphinx what it is logging into]] [[examine the sphinx's computer|examine computer]] [[try to escape|sphinx escape attempt]] [[head butt the sphinx|sphinx head butt attempt]] [[apologise|apologise]] "Ok," you say nervously, "what exactly is this login for?" "What did you say?" asks the sphinx, its voice dripping with menace. "This username and password, what is it for?" "Look," you say to the sphinx, "whatever the end result of this is, I want you to know I'm genuinely sorry you've had to go through this." The sphinx blinks. "You're sorry," it says. "Yes," you say, "I'm sorry." "How Canadian," the sphinx sneers. It continues to glare at you. You think, though, it may have relaxed a little. You certainly haven't placated it, but you may have bought yourself a bit more time. What do you do? [[ask the sphinx which password it is typing, the new one or the old one|ask sphinx which password]] [[ask the sphinx what this login is for|ask sphinx what it is logging into]] [[examine the sphinx's computer|examine computer]] [[try to escape|sphinx escape attempt]] [[head butt the sphinx|sphinx head butt attempt]] It is indeed a large pile of furniture. You see some desk chairs completely through a few torn up cubicle walls. Keyboards are snapped in half. Mouse cords have been ripped out of the mouse component. Desks are broken in multiple pieces and in multiple ways. There are desk drawers tossed about. You use your horns to move a computer screen with a pen stabbed through the centre of it to one side to look a little deeper into the mess. There is a computer tower which has been gutted like a small animal, ribbon cables dangling and twisting about like entrails, circuit boards smashed. There is a broken phone, the cord from its handset twisted around the arm of a desk chair, the cord from its headset snapped. There is part of a coffee mug impaled where the phone buttons should be. It's a mountain of destroyed things. They've been actively mutilated. There's the occasional hint of blood but no body parts, human or otherwise. The heap of broken furniture seems to be a testament to pure unbridled rage against everything to do with technology. Do you: [[ask the sphinx about the furniture|ask about funiture]] [[try to escape|sphinx escape attempt]] [[head butt the sphinx|sphinx head butt attempt]] [[examine the flickering flourescent light|examine light]] [[examine the computer in the cubicle|examine computer]] [[Ask it what it wants|ask sphinx]]Double-click this passage to edit it."Just because it's important to check these things," you say to the angry sphinx about to remove your spleen, "what are you typing for the username part?" "The user name?" The sphinx's eyes go wide. "Yes, the first part, before the password. What are you putting in there?" "My name." The sphinx speaks very carefully. You notice the sharpness and length of its many pointed teeth. "Just your name?" The sphinx gets uncomfortably close to you. "Just my name." It says pointedly. "Ah ha!" you say, delighted that you have been so brilliant. "Ah ha what?" the sphinx snarls. Do you: [[tell the sphinx it's got the username wrong|wrong username]] [[Ask the sphinx if it forgot its password|forgot password]] [[Unplug the computer and plug it back in again|powercycle]] [[Ask the sphinx when it was last able to log in|when last login]] [[Tell the sphinx the password reset button is in another room|lie to sphinx]] [[Ask the sphinx if it knows the fish is dead|tell sphinx about fish]]"I say, did you know this fish is dead?" you ask the sphinx as nonaggressively as you can. "What?" the sphinx seems genuinely confused. "This fish, in this aquarium, on this desk. It's dead." The sphinx comes over and looks closely at the fish tank. "Yes," it says slowly. "The fish is dead." The sphinx doesn't seem to care but suddenly it notices the post-it note on the tank. "Username change? Does that mean..." it begins to excitedly type at the computer. You back away slowly. "YES!" The sphinx jumps up. "Yes yes yes!" It spins around in glee and returns to the desk. "Is it working?" you ask timidly. The sphinx laughs. "It IS working! It IS! Ha ha! Finally it's working!" The sphinx is typing excitedly with the tips of its giant claws on the tiny keyboard. "And it's all there! My email is all there! It's working! It's working!" A few minutes go by where there's nothing but the sphinx typing and ocasionally chuckling. "Not to bother you or anyth-" you start. "What?" The sphinx turns to you angrily for interrupting it. "I was just wondering, since it's working, may I go?" you ask it gently. "Go? Oh. Yes. Yes go." the sphinx idly waves its paw in the air and you hear the sheet metal retracting from the two far doors. It's probably best to egress as quickly and as quietly as you can, old sport, before the sphinx runs into another technical problem. Do you [[go forward through the far door on the other side of the room|next room unnamed]] or do you [[go through the fire exit door|fire exit door]] on the right?"You aren't typing in your password wrong, old chap," you say brightly, pleased with how clever you are. "I KNOW!" screams the sphinx. "You're typing in the username wrong." "WHAT?" it shouts. "You need to put the full domain at the end. Look, it says right here on this post it note that you probably could have read if you hadn't been busy murdering everything that moved." "You're saying this is MY fault?" The fur on the back of the sphinx bristles up like that of an angry cat. "Yes," you say honestly. The sphinx screams. "How dare you!" It picks you up bodily and flings you across the room to slam into the fire exit door with a crunch that makes you think several of your ribs may have broken. "You think I'm stupid? I am not stupid! YOU'RE stupid! And you're going to die supid!" It flings several cubicles out of its way to get to you. You try to stand but find your legs aren't working. One or more of them may be broken. "But," you protest, "I fixed it." Unfortunately, the sphinx is too offended to care. It murders you in a fit of indignant rage, shouting "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!" at the top of its lungs repeatedly. Perhaps we need to work on how we phrase things to an angry sphinx. Try approaching the topic more gently next time, hmm? Shall we go back to the [[instantiation chamber|Start]]? Double-click this passage to edit it.You are in a stairwell. There are stairs going down and stairs going up. The walls are grey. The stairs are a darker grey. The railing for the stairs is a shade of grey lighter than the stairs but darker than the walls. There is a door here. You can hear the fire alarm coming through it and the sphinx destroying things in anger the room behind it. Best not to go back in there. Do you: [[take the stairs down|go down stairs]] or [[take the stairs up|go up stairs]] Double-click this passage to edit it.The fire exit sign is partially dangling by its wires over the door. The metal sheeting which had dropped over it has risen and you are able to push on the bar that says "alarm will sound." You push on the bar. An alarm sounds. "WHAT?" you hear the sphinx's enraged shout behind you. The sphinx is too big to fit through this opening. You can barely make it through. You squeeze through the door and kick it shut behind you. The fire alarm sound is not as loud now. You can also hear the sphinx screaming "Why? Why is it making noise!? In the room behind you. Best to not go back that way. [[look around you|stairwell]] You go down the stairs away from the room with the sphinx and the fire alarm and the screaming and, from what you can tell, more furniture being flung about in rage. After one flight of stairs you have to turn and go down another. You are not a small creature. You were able to fit through the fire escape door, true, but this turning about in small quarters is not ideal for your body size. You still manage it though and make your way down the next flight of stairs. There is one door here and no more stairs. You push on the door but it does not open. It is locked. Do you: [[go back up the stairs|stairwell]] [[examine the door|examine stairwell door]] to try to figure out how to open it [[head butt the door|head butt stairwell door]]Double-click this passage to edit it.Double-click this passage to edit it.You head butt the door. It is a reasonably strong door, but you are Cogsworth, the bison bison, and you are exceptionally good at head butting things. The first time you ram into it, it buckles a little. The second blows through one of the hinges. The third sends it flying off into the room beyond it. You [[proceed|filing cabinet room]] to walk through after the broken door. It's quite dark in here. Luckily your mechanical leg has a spotlight attachment. You use it to examine your surroundings. You're in a basement-like area. There are many filing cabinets around you. Many filing cabinets. It's almost like a library of filing cabinets. There's row upon row of them. They have tiny inscriptions on little white pieces of paper just below the handles of their filing cabinet drawers. You start at the door you came through (the door is on the floor between two stacks of filing cabinets) and begin to circumnavigate the room. It is on the large side. The ceiling is low. The tops of the filing cabinets are only a couple of feet below the ceiling. There are, you realize, caged light bulbs in the ceiling. That's the best way to describe the fixtures. They are a bulb, with a metal cage around the bulb. What the devil does someone cage light bulbs for, you wonder. In either case, there is probably a switch to turn the caged light bulbs on. That light switch is probably located on a wall, so if you just keep going along the wall you're bound to encounter the switch to turn the caged light bulbs on. You continue on in darkness, shining the spotlight in your leg on the wall and anything else around you, which is pretty much entirely filing cabinets. Eventually you do locate a light switch. You use one of your horns to flip it on. The room stays in darkness. Bother. The power must be out to this area of the complex. Ah well. You continue to circumnavigate the room and eventually find yourself back at the stairwell door you busted in. It is a square room. There is only one door other than the one you came in on the opposite wall from the one through which you entered. You can either [[go back the way you came|go down stairs]] [[go out the door on the other side of the room|unknown room unplanned]] [[examine the middle of the filing cabinet room|middle of filing cabinet room]] to see if there's anything different there from the rest of the room.Double-click this passage to edit it. You decide to proceed to the middle of the room of filing cabinets just to see if there's anything different there from the rest of the room you've circumnavigated. There is. There's no filing cabinets in the middle. There's three desks with computers. Everything is neat and tidy. It's not like the sphinx room where the place was destroyed. This room looks like everyone who used to work in it just left for the day and... never returned. You examine the desks to see what sort of people work in a giant room filled with filing cabinets. One desk has a coffee cup on it. The cup is clean and empty. There's a large paper desk calendar with some markings on it. It's the sort of thing that's used under everything on the desk, kind of like a calendar place mat. It's got dates circled but, frustratingly, there's no years marked. What sort of place doesn't put years on the calendars? That's damnably annoying. You look at the common dates you'd normally expect to see on a calendar. You look for Christmas. That's a normal one. There's nothing marked on December 25th. No "no work." No circling, nothing special about it at all. The only this calendar knows about December 25th is that it was a Tuesday. Well then, so they're a non-denominational bunch. What about New Year's? Surely there's a note at the end of the calendar? Nope. This is very strange. What about Canada Day? You look at July 1. July 1 is a normal day for these people. You start to feel very concerned. You look in May. You look very carefully around May 25... nothing. What heathen blasphemy is this? They are not celebrating Victoria Day? They do not honour the birthday of the QUEEN!? You stomp on the desk calendar vigorously and smash it and the desk under it. This is highly irregular. You are on a mission for the Queen of Canada and you don't even know where... or for that matter when... you are. Do you [[go back the way you came|go down stairs]] [[go out the door on the other side of the room|unknown room unplanned]]Double-click this passage to edit it.Double-click this passage to edit it.Double-click this passage to edit it.