He sat back up, back against the wall and checked for his tulwar and quickly checking the immediate surroundings, then himself, for some idea of what was happening.
A persistent hum filled the air. He could feel it in the wall. In his back. His bones. Teeth.
The brain floated inside its shell in-between him and the Transveyance on the far wall. It still seemed inert.
But the Transveyance on his right was ...awake?
Bujilli stood up. Stretched. His back was a little stiff, so he stretched-out a bit. The tulwar went back into its sheath. He gathered-up his gear. Reshouldered his pack. All the while keeping an eye on the Transveyance.
He felt reasonably good. His nose was mostly clear. He could breath well enough. No serious aches or pains. The Oneiric Bubble spell had proven itself very helpful. For a moment he contemplated going back and picking up the Green Gem.
He had had enough of meddling spirits and animate objects with cryptic agendas.
He had left his Uncles' yurt to find his own way, across this world and unto another.
There was no sense in trading one set of shackles for another. He wanted to be free. Once and for all.
Free. Making his own decisions. Going his own way. What was going on with all that green light?
The green light seemed to be coming from the machine.
It seeped out from the machine in slow motion ripples. Leaking?
He could sense the power pulsing within the thing. It frightened him.
This was not something to just casually pound with a fist or poke with a stick.
Thankfully, Bujilli's training included a number of spells that might be useful. His Uncle would not teach him the usual attacks or traditional defenses expected of a sorcerer. He was not to waste his time fighting stinking Yeren over already gnawed bones; he was intended to find things of value, locate caches of loot-able things, and to determine the value of what he found. His Uncle wanted him to focus on getting into deep, old places, learning everything he could, and to come back with samples and information, not get embroiled in fights that didn't make a profit. Or so his Uncle claimed. Bujilli always suspected that the old bastard just didn't want to give him the chance to fight back or to stand up for himself any sooner than was necessary or unavoidable. It also made it easier for his Uncle to try and get him killed before he could become any sort of threat or challenge to his authority.
Bujilli barked hoarsely in disgust. Spat on the floor.
It was time to get to work.
Rubbing his calloused hand together, Bujilli walked over to the Transveyance and began to inspect it more closely. He refrained from touching anything. He followed the lines and contours of the thing and looked for clues as to what was going on. The rippling green light tickled. His hair began to stand up on-end.
He quickly took stock of his personal repertoire of spells. For a moment he considered the Fantomist spell for Speaking With the Dead, but that would run the risk of attracting discarnate entities and stir up the local ectosphere, which might not be in his best interests. There had been a lot of heavy fighting in this space in the past. The signs of it was everywhere. He could easily find himself surrounded by legions of the dead, hundreds of restless spirits. He didn't have the expertise to stand up to that sort of situation.
Instead Bujilli took a step back. Relaxed. Focused his concentration with a mantra and observed a particular patch of the floor until he could feel it, perceive it without contact. He closed his eyes and extended his perceptions towards the Transveyance. Delicately. Softly. He examined the object and observed it from within by virtue of faculties orders of magnitude beyond simple physical senses. He could feel the aethyric flows and deep, abiding presence of something that anchored the machine to this place, this time, this spot in a way that made his head hurt just trying to observe it. Perhaps he could re-write or revise the Protection from Aethyrial Intrusions spell, especially the inverse form of it, to somehow access this machine? He backed away slightly. But he could find no controls. Nothing that he could recognize as a means of getting the machine to do--
Bujilli pulled his sorcerous perceptions back and closed his aura in preparation for subtle combat.
The Transveyance sat placidly against the wall. Green light continued to ripple outwards. Bujilli breathed out a lungful of mist.
He relaxed his guard enough to shift position and to attempt to re-establish some sort of--
ESTABLISH NEW USER PROFILE?
The voice, if it was a voice, calmly and clearly scrolled across Bujilli's perceptions. There was no threat. No malice. If anything it was completely neutral. Like snowmelt or the wind. It reminded him of the way that the Green Gem used to...
...no. It couldn't be.
Bujilli considered what he thought he knew about the Green Gem. It spoke to him in his sleep, in his dreams, in his mind. Like this machine, this Transveyance was doing. He wasn't sure if this was a good thing or not.
PERMISSION REQUIRED TO PROCEED
Bujilli stared at the Transveyance.
It wanted something from him. It did not recognize him. Anything that could communicate and recognize other beings was something to take seriously. What could reach into his head, into his brain and mind could undoubtedly inflict a lot of damage or worse. There were things that would colonize and dominate other being's minds, make slaves of otherwise thinking people. He'd read of politicians and prophets in his Uncle's collection of books.
It was asking for permission. Real demons subverted such things--they only ever played games with such distinctions, mocking all convention or manipulating assumptions. Sorcerers rarely asked for permission...unless they were vassals of some Power of Potency. This machine was asking for his permission and it didn't even recognize him...but it could perceive him, communicate with him. He could go back and get advice from the Green Gem...it might know--
"Yes. I want to be a new user." He spoke before he even realized it.
Bujilli felt a peculiar moment of disorientation as the machine looked deeply into him. It examined him from within, as he had done to it, only far more thoroughly and much more rapidly.
"Uh...thank you...machine..." He croaked, not sure what to do next.
Your Profile is now stored within the system
"Huh. So now what?"
Please specify your chosen destination
"What?" His eyes went wide in surprise. Could it be that easy? That simple?
Bujilli shook his head. He made sure he was not dreaming.
"I...really do not know where to go..."
Specify Parameters for search
"Uh...um. Hmmm. Where do I want to go, now that I'm here?"
Query: Synchronocitor Retrieval
Bujilli gasped. Of course--the thing had read his mind. It knew why he had come here, originally. But did he still want to pursue his former quest? What was the point of seeking out a mechanism for traveling to other worlds when you didn't know anything about any other world but this one?
Query: Datasift Inload
"What are you asking? I wish I knew what to ask, what to do...where to go...
PERMISSION REQUIRED TO PROCEED
"But what is this 'inload'? why would you offer it to me?"
Images fluttered through Bujilli's consciousness like a cloud of butterflies. He saw funny lights. Some sort of liquid logic poured into his bones without breaking his skin. A gift. No. Not a gift--his inheritance? But from whom? He had no--Humanity? Was he then human enough to fool the machine? Halfblood and outcast, a mangy wantling abandoned by his parents, left to the Almas, to his Uncle...he rarely considered his human blood. It was rarely useful. Hardly anything to be proud of...it had gotten him beaten more than a few times growing up. Now this machine wanted permission to do something to him, to bond some other thing into him, make it part of him, because of his human-ness.
It was a very peculiar, even perplexing thing to consider. All his life he had defined himself as Almas or Half-Almas. Now his human-side mattered. Maybe it was worth something after all.
"I accept the 'Inload.' It will help me to learn? To gain knowledge?"
Bujilli shivered. His stomach gurgled uncomfortably. His skin crawled slightly, no, not crawled, rather it swirled, rippled. Like the waves of light emanating from the Transveyance. Horrified but immobilized Bujilli watched as his flesh peeled away and a strange light danced upon his exposed bones. He thought he could almost feel millions of words cascading and tumbling down the light into his deepest levels of physical being. The light was telling his skeleton a story. Liquid stuff condensed upon his soul like dew in the morning light. Then it was over. It had started.
He sneezed. A few scabby-bits dislodged and spattered on the floor. He shook his head. His eyes were alight with something flowing like mercury. The effect subsided.
Bujilli smiled. He flexed his hands, made fists and relaxed the fingers. Cracked his neck. He felt good. Better than good. He carried power in his bones now, deep power that his Uncle would have killed to acquire. That he would certainly kill Bujilli to acquire, if it meant sucking the marrow from his bones. But it would do him no good. It was Bujilli's, no one else's. A legacy of godlike beings long gone onward and beyond. It wasn't the ability to throw lightning bolts or to burn down his enemies, nor was it anything destructive unless he were to make it so, and that would be a sad, stunting of the thing, unworthy and unsatisfying. A waste. No, he would not indulge in such a squandering of what had been left for posterity, kept in trust by the old machines, the last gesture of a people, a Civilization he never knew about or even dreamed of, that had come long before everything he had once taken for granted.
He knew better now.
He knew how to ask questions now.
Bujilli could ask or inquire about anything. Anywhere. Anywhen. Wherever he was, he could find out the stories imprinted on the walls, he could read nearly anything, communicate with things he never would have suspected as being conscious, let alone articulate or knowledgeable, before. Curiosity flowed through his mind like the winds of Spring, a freezing fire had seized upon his brain like an inferno of more and more questions. He wanted to learn everything. To go, to see, to experience. To know it all.
It was an exhilarating sensation.
Query: Course of Action
He laughed. No sooner was his ignorance peeled away, he was faced with decisions.
"Tell me; where is the Synchronocitor? Is it within your reach? What can you tell me about this thing?"
Bujilli smiled. The machines of his human ancestors had not given him any answers, but they had certainly given him the means to learn for himself, to find out things by personal experience in a way that his previous spells and tricks were as childish things. No. Not so much childish, as tools left in the hands of an untutored and ignorant child. He was not going to remain ignorant for much longer. It felt like stepping out into the sunlight after spending a long, long time deep underground.
The Transveyance could and would open the way for him to nearly anywhere beyond this world. But it would be a one-way trip and what good would that be? He'd be stuck. But if he were to find the Synchronocitor...then...then he might go anywhere and explore everywhere...