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File 140552353571.png - (47.92KB , 500x500 , Title Screen Cycle 01.png )
584329 No. 584329 ID: 4d30e8

What is time? It is a serpent which eats its tail.
~Kurt Vonnegut
349 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 701712 ID: 429e47
File 145542790654.png - (111.67KB , 500x500 , blankvirtualspaceencounter001.png )
701712

>>701707
In their place, you can see the real contents of the USB drive: a few directories. No doubt containing plenty of information.
But it's better this way, you think. Just straightforward data, instead of misleading illusions! Now, which one to peek into first?
>Wat do?
[] Look into the Ophiuchus directory.
[] Look into the Pleiades directory.
[] Look into the Moonrose directory.
[] Look into the "Black Knight" directory.
[] Attempt to copy the contents of one directory into your head (choose which).
[] Attempt to copy all of them into your head.
[] Modify the system date and time into current time.
[] Modify the system date and time to the date of your dream.
[] Swing the sledgehammer once more.
[] Other (fill in)
>>
No. 701713 ID: 1cebc8

Attempt to ZIP all files and copy into head.
>>
No. 701715 ID: f6442a

Swing the sledgehammer around a few times for fun. Then copy all directories to head.
>>
No. 701726 ID: 02422f

>[] Attempt to copy all of them into your head.
Uh, check the size of the directories before even thinking about attempting that.
>>
No. 701729 ID: 7a2f2c

>>701726
It would be a better idea to do it individually just in case their is some sort of virus or trap stowed away in there.
>>
No. 701730 ID: 5ad4a7

>>701712
[] Look into the Ophiuchus directory.
>>
No. 702078 ID: c45b7e

>>701712

[x] Modify the system date and time to the date of your dream.

worst case scenario, it gives us more time to hack, best case scenario, we are gonna unlock another tidbit.
>>
No. 711139 ID: b1963c
File 145879630230.png - (148.53KB , 500x500 , blankvirtualspaceencounter002a.png )
711139

You decide upon the Ophiuchus directory. As you scan it before copying it, an impossibility is made known: the directory's size is magnitudes more than the USB stick could theoretically hold.
What's worse, there's a two-minute timer attached to it. You can't copy it during that time, let alone the rest of the directories!
>>
No. 711140 ID: b1963c
File 145879657111.png - (97.87KB , 500x500 , blankvirtualspaceencounter002b.png )
711140

>>711139
Thinking fast, you pull up the date/time settings for your datajack interface. The only way to delay this timer is by going back in time.
But you do not know why you set it to that one date. That particular date in your dream.
The clock ticks, tocks, then stops.
And time rewinds in the virtual space.
>>
No. 711141 ID: b1963c
File 145879708336.png - (165.00KB , 500x500 , ophiuchuschoices.png )
711141

>>711140
Suddenly, a sharp pain. Your datajack is processing an unholy amount of data. The Ophiuchus directory is copied, and opened in an instant. Words and concepts and records are flying by at a phenomenal speed, organizing themselves in distinct clusters.
A cluster feel old, weathered with emotions. Teutonic experiments and a twin.
Another seem more familiar, a newspaper clipping and a dead couple's last moments lay bare.
The last one is a doctor with a dream, and many enemies, and Titor.
As the directory lay open in front of your mind, blood slowly trickles down your face.
>Choose one to witness first (we'll be witnessing all of them)
[] Ad-Dhib
[] Cassandra
[] Damballah-Wedo
[] No, I'm outta here, out of this virtual world
>>
No. 711143 ID: f6442a

[] No, I'm outta here, out of this virtual world, you can't make me stay here where it's crazy
Just to see what happens.
>>
No. 711144 ID: 02422f

>[X] Damballah-Wedo
>>
No. 711179 ID: c45b7e

>>711141
>[x] Damballah-Wedo
nightmare fuel later.

Besides. We still have more suffering in other directories.
>>
No. 711616 ID: a107fd

I don't think turning the clock back to the 1980s is going to be enough. Squeezing 375 zettabytes through a really good modern fiber-optic connection would take approximately twelve thousand years. Short of getting some kind of exotic matter involved, the storage media for that much data should weigh two tons and fill a small cargo truck.
>>
No. 711619 ID: d152f2

>>711616
dis the nondescript cyberfuture man, it'd take a day or two tops
>>
No. 711726 ID: 2067a4

Ad-Dhib, I think. Cassandra makes for a good story, but I think it's a mystery that may carry more weight when solved a bit later on. Let's save that one for later. Also, how long will this take in real time? Terminator references aside, we can't afford to spend too much time here, especially with the fact that someone just gave us that much relevant information. If we hurry, maybe we can learn who it was?
>>
No. 711735 ID: 1cebc8

[X] Cassandra
>>
No. 731766 ID: fdcf4f
File 146685178010.png - (467.95KB , 500x1000 , Damballa-Wedo 01.png )
731766

You grit your teeth as the memory-archive deluges into your mind, steering yourself, however ineffectually, into the directory named Damballah-Wedo.

"One of the important Loa in Voudun, Damballah-Wedo rules over the mind, intellect, and cosmic equilibrium. His counterpart is Ayida-Wedo, Loa of fertility, rainbows, wind, water, fire, and serpents. Together, they are the Rainbow Serpent that held up the heavens."
"James Twelvetrees met his wife and soulmate, Aida, when both of them worked at Apex Communications. James, despite his background in neuroscience, turned out to be an apt programmer, while Aida is an excellent engineer and a spiritual one. But only a month and a week after marriage, an event that neither thought would ever happened, happened."
"It all began when one of Apex's quantum satellites in the void went haywire. James and Aida was called into the facility along with other Apex employees to figure out what's wrong. James had just figured out the satellite's erroneous behavior, and Aida was busy getting the necessary schematics to the satellite when the backup satellite in storage at their on-site hangar disappeared."
"Then, everything changed."
"Ten hours later, James woke up in the forest near the facility. He wasn't the only employee missing, some others were also reporting that they woke up in the forest with missing time. But some of them didn't return."
"Aida was one of them."
"James only found her clothes on the forest floor, next to him."
"Her clothes, and James' memory of her, were the only traces of her left behind. Despite both James and Aida had worked 8 years in Apex, only James was registered there, and nobody has ever heard of her at all."
"It was if she had never existed at all."
"This drove James into leaving Apex, and he did something in his despair."

Here, you see the path split into three. All three are obfuscated and blurry, but you somehow knew that once you picked a path, that will become clear. All the while, your gums bleed and your ears ring.

>What did James do?
[] Fell into depression, and one day decided to end his life.
[] Fell into denial, and kept searching for her.
[] Fell into madness, and decided he'd do something with his knowledge about it.
>>
No. 731772 ID: 398fe1

>>731766
"find her in the space between the void and time i love her so much"

[x] Fell into madness, and decided he'd do something with his knowledge about it.
I think this is the only true choice.
>>
No. 731788 ID: 358228

Fell into madness, convinced there was a conspiracy of vespids behind it all.
>>
No. 731795 ID: a075ba

>>731766
Madness.
>>
No. 731804 ID: b2d501

Madness: This is the part where we learn how James developed a neural augment that allows psychics to phase shift between dimensions, right?
>>
No. 731820 ID: 0bf568

>>731788
Clearly they were behind everything
>>
No. 731913 ID: 5428f3

>James Twelvetrees, Aida
The Luteces

>"It all began when one of Apex's quantum satellites in the void went haywire. James and Aida was called into the facility along with other Apex employees to figure out what's wrong. James had just figured out the satellite's erroneous behavior, and Aida was busy getting the necessary schematics to the satellite when the backup satellite in storage at their on-site hangar disappeared."
God dammit the file just contained a link to that stupid tg website

[x] fell into maddness, went back in time and changed his name to doug
>>
No. 750540 ID: 728ffd
File 147532411923.png - (354.62KB , 500x500 , Madness 01.png )
750540

"James Twelvetrees struggled in vain to comprehend just what happened to his wife."
Mistake not the map for the territory
"He scoured the vast knowledge-base of science, seeking to find the truth behind the event - and even more important, how to get her back."
Quae est in Terra Incognita
"Maybe science don't have the answer he seeks, but his rational brain refuses to acknowledge that limitation."
Look in the exoteric and the esoteric
"Again and again he chased the serpent's tail, hoping to find closure; when closure cannot be found, understanding; when understanding cannot be found, the truth; and when truth cannot be found in the science he knew, he turned into the knowledge he discarded."
>>
No. 750541 ID: 728ffd
File 147532506430.png - (226.62KB , 500x500 , Madness 02.png )
750541

>>750540
"He finally turned into the fringes of rationality, to the theories once thought to be obsolete."
But he's still in cyberspace!
"In the tulpa meditation of Kundun monks, in the hidden records of the Vril Society, in the obscure annals of Alchemy - James Twelvetrees had finally begun to understand the nature of the event."
Yeah, it's taking too long
"But to continue, he needed more. He knew he could combine the hidden knowledge with the current knowledge to get Aida back, but a piece of the puzzle is still missing."
Sledgehammer, c'mon, we need you back here
"And that is why he applied to Tribranch Biomedicals, if not to gain knowledge he can use, to gain funds to find such missing knowledge."
Mistake not the map for the territory
Again, the path frays into three possibilities. If you weren't gritting your teeth from the biofeedback, you'd curse this recursive kind of programming.

>What did James Twelvetrees do in Tribranch?
() Wake up, Baxter, your friends need you
[] Oversees the development of a new drug (alchemy)
[] Researched the side-effects of Tribranch's drugs (tulpa)
[] Found hidden documents in Tribranch's archives (vril)
>>
No. 750543 ID: 71d443

[b] thought himself up a Jackie Chan tulpa
>>
No. 750546 ID: 094652

[X] Went insane and raped a dozen travelling Kundun pilgrims, siring multiple children in hopes of turning them into homunculi for his wife to inhabit. Because she was invisible.

Luckily, his head exploded before he could get to the third. Because magic.

Oddly enough, they were all female, AND a different species from the parents. Something the doctor did?
>>
No. 750554 ID: 595d54

(X) Wake up, Baxter, your friends need you
>>
No. 750559 ID: 3abd97

[x] Found hidden documents in Tribranch's archives (vril)
>>
No. 750581 ID: 398fe1

>>750540
"i tried to bring her back i called again and again hoping to find the truth crla"
...did I screw up the last bit? I wish there was an easier way of picking out the letters than eyeballing it.
>>750541
The serpent is saying "every thing has a price"

[x] Found hidden documents in Tribranch's archives (vril)
I'm not familiar with Vril occultism, so this should be neat.
>>
No. 750592 ID: 398fe1

...on the other hand, if there is a "correct" choice, signs are pointing towards tulpa. Baxter here might be a tulpa that has been projected into alternate timelines, or the tulpa is the serpent.
>>
No. 750714 ID: 2ea9b9

Vril sounds silly and vague.

Can we have Tulpa and Alchemy? Like he researched the side-effects and then used alchemy and modern chemistry to make a new drug that had the desired effects
if not the Tulpa please.
>>
No. 760396 ID: 398fe1

OH. There was no t available, but the last bit is hinting at "ctrl+A"

Switching my vote to (X) Wake up, Baxter, your friends need you
>>
No. 779422 ID: ab2b43
File 148704890292.png - (293.15KB , 500x500 , Method 01 copy.png )
779422

Initially he sought for any evidence of Vril technology, but it lead to a dead end.
But he just didn't look in the right places
Quietly he went on with his job to gather funds for his next search.
Sometimes you find something you're not looking for
But one of his test subjects offered something, in return for freedom.
>>
No. 779427 ID: ab2b43
File 148705002742.png - (155.17KB , 500x500 , Method 02 copy.png )
779427

>>779422
She t0ld him of the nightmares the t3st subjects had. How 1t is consistent with each and every su8ject. 4t first Tw3lvetrees 4lm0st d1sm1s53d 1t, 8ut wh3n h3 5t4rt3d t0 s33 th3 v3ry th1n6 h1m53lf, h3 th0u6h7 07h3rw153.
7h15 l3d h1m 1n70 4n 1n516h7 0n h0w 7ulp45 4r3 cr3473d, 4nd h3 m4d3 600d 0n h1s 3nd 0f 7h3 d34l, 8y 63771n6 4n 0p3r4710n 734m t0 3x7r4c7 h1m 4nd l3771n6 7h3 7357 5u8j3c75 70 fr33d0m..././////
>>
No. 779428 ID: ab2b43
File 148705021852.png - (158.28KB , 500x500 , Fatal System Error.png )
779428

>>779427
WARNING. FURTHER DATA CORRUPTION AT MORE THAN 70%. MATRIX SYNCHRONIZATION RATE LESS THAN 50%. MENTAL PROCESSES FORCE STOPPING. ORGAN FAILURE IMMINENT. DATA BACKUP TO SECONDARY STORAGE N/A. FATAL SYSTEM ERROR. SOUL NOT FOUND.

...---...

beyond the pain, beyond the distant screams of a scrambled brain, the familiar sense of weightlessness arrive.
>>
No. 779432 ID: ab2b43
File 148705054291.png - (112.24KB , 500x500 , cruiser006.png )
779432

>>779428
You awoke in the cruiser, with McDowd sitting right beside you.

And of a hand that grabs your neck from behind, gripping with all might.

"K√ľnstlichemann! Verf√§lscht! Why don't you just- Sterben!!" the rabbit screams. Somehow, he has one hand loose.
>>
No. 779435 ID: ab2b43
File 148705085937.png - (150.74KB , 500x500 , cruiser007.png )
779435

>>779432
It seems like slow motion when McDowd turns towards you, his face in surprise - the rabbit shaking and cursing out in Teutonic - and you, gasping for air, eyes fixed forward towards the suddenly-swerving 18-wheeler. The rabbit is too focused on choking you, McDowd is momentarily focused on the rabbit and you, and you, you alone witness the truck with the horned ornament plow onto the cruiser's hood, its metal crumpling beautifully as the windshield shatters into fractal shards of glass, and squishing the cruiser's occupants in an instant.

And all you can feel is the familiar sense of weightlessness.
>>
No. 779436 ID: 094652

> Initially he sought for any evidence of Vril technology, but it lead to a dead end. But he just didn't look in the right places. Quietly he went on with his job to gather funds for his next search. Sometimes you find something you're not looking for. But one of his test subjects offered something, in return for freedom.
Creepy. Hey, which color id did you use for futaba setting?

>James Baxter is being strangled
QUICK GET THE GUN
>>
No. 779439 ID: ab2b43
File 148705149410.png - (74.10KB , 500x500 , TheBar001.png )
779439

>>779435
And in a sea of static, you find yourself back at this place again. A place you do not remember yet feels familiar.
"Back so soon, Mr. Baxter? Would you like another drink?"
Unsure of everything but the sense of familiarity, you nod at the cat behind the bar.
The cat eyes you for a bit before sighing.
"You forgot, didn't you? Well, doesn't matter now. What have you got for the drink?"
You empty your pockets, and some familiar items emerge. The rabbit's glasses. The coroner's scalpel. Your wallet, with the ID that has you minus two years. The portable mindjack. And the three tarot cards.

>Choose two ingredients.
[] An alternate viewpoint.
[] A factual razor.
[] An implausible identity.
[] A bridge between worlds.
[] A glimpse of the future.
[] Do something else (fill in).
[] "I'm supposed to find her."
>>
No. 779441 ID: 3abd97

[X] A factual razor.
[X] An implausible identity.
>>
No. 779442 ID: 398fe1

>>779427
Garbled text says "Aida still lives in your mind". In the background there's 5195 3748.
>>779428
"YOUR TIME IS UP"

Also the hidden letters spell out "danger goodbye baxter"

>>779432
The assassin is calling Baxter an "artificial man", and "false". Which makes sense considering what we've found out. Maybe Baxter is a Tulpa?

>>779439
[x] An alternate viewpoint.
[x] A bridge between worlds.
>>
No. 779456 ID: 8d4593

[X] "I'm supposed to find her."
[X] A bridge between worlds.
>>
No. 779528 ID: 398fe1

>>779456
Aw derp I missed another hidden command. Yeah, let's do this.
>>
No. 799663 ID: 96e80d
File 149390955092.png - (98.63KB , 500x500 , TheBar002.png )
799663

You think the rabbit's glasses and the portable mindjack would be sufficient. "These are all that I got. So what is this place? Am I dead?" Gingerly, you hand the mindjack first.
The bartender just sighs. "It doesn't matter anyway. You keep dying, Mr. Baxter, and you kept forgetting, and then you always return here. Well, let's just say that you are but one of my patrons, Mr. Baxter." He says, dejectedly, while he reaches for the mindjack.
>>
No. 799664 ID: 96e80d
File 149390978124.png - (131.99KB , 500x500 , TheBar003.png )
799664

>>799663
As soon as the mindjack leaves your hand, it turns into a vodka bottle in his hand. The fact that this does not surprise you lends credit to what he said - that you might have been here before. You try to think back on what happened before you died, only to find vague memories. But one thought kept bubbling up, a phrase.
"I'm supposed to find her, aren't I?" You say as the bartender prepares a cocktail mix from the ingredients you supplied. He seemed a bit surprised.
>>
No. 799665 ID: 96e80d
File 149390998707.png - (150.93KB , 500x500 , TheBar004.png )
799665

>>799664
Slowly, he smiles a crooked grin. "Interesting. Interesting! It seems that you do remember something, Mr. Baxter. Try to keep it up, will you, Mr. Baxter?" He hands you a drink. A Bloody Mary. "And here's something that would help you remember." The static noise behind him seemed to throb with an ever-loudening ticking of a clock.
>>
No. 799666 ID: 96e80d
File 149391042499.png - (126.12KB , 500x500 , TheBar005.png )
799666

>>799665
As you down the cocktail, you feel the drink working its way down your very being. The haze surrounding your memories clears, and you remember. The year, 1984. The year, 2153. New Bataven. McDowd. Dr. Wu. The Library. Foxglove. The Seven Sisters. Dr. Twelvetrees. The dead double. Orville. The risky gamble. Millie. MILLIE! The familiar sense of weightlessness that you're currently feeling.

The familiar sense of weightlessness that you're currently feeling.

The familiar sense of weightlessness that you're currently feeling.
>>
No. 799671 ID: 96e80d

Next cycle:
https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/799667.html
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