Many Worlds Chapter 53
Although they hadn’t noticed it right away, the group was glad to notice that there were internal lights. It wasn’t too surprising, considering that there was obviously enough power to open the doors… or whatever it was that caused the doors to seemingly slide out of existence. However, it was nice to know that the lights were on.
Jules had mostly stopped noticing, but the lights inside most Uesmethi buildings were bluish purple. That is, they tried to replicate the colors of the sun. Here, however, the lights were a pure white. This made everything look strange, especially while his eyes were adjusting. The only thing that looked “normal” after adjusting was his hair and skin, which didn’t look as normal outside. It was just that they looked more like what he was used to on Earth. There were also some yellowish lights available on Earth, and the light that seeped between the solar panels was also that way, but white lights were the norm.
The group moved into the middle of the room, toward the elevator. Jules couldn’t really see an actual separation between the rest of the floor and the theoretical circle of the elevator. That is, he saw the circular marking, but he couldn’t see a gap where it was actually discontinuous. This was much like the “doors” outside.
The panel contained a small selection of buttons, though there weren’t any markings that anybody recognized on them. They may not even necessarily have been buttons, since they were flat. However, that was also the case for a touch screen. The only way to find out would be to press one. Once the whole group was on the center pad, Robert selected a likely button. Around the inner edge of the circular designation, a shimmering field stretched to the ceiling, forming a cylinder with the floor and roof. Then, they started to move downwards. The roof above them moved down with them, as if the cylinder were an actual structure, even though the walls seemed somewhat insubstantial.
The moved down, though it wasn’t clear how far. After the initial acceleration, when the top of the cylinder reached where their floor formerly was, they were completely surrounded by solid walls made of the same material. There were no imperfections that they could see, no smudges, marks, or other references for their movement. Unlike a normal elevator, where that would be normal because the walls would be moving with them, it was a strange effect. Here, Jules was certain the walls weren’t moving, but he couldn’t see any signs of relative motion from their descent.
Then, the elevator came out into somewhere different. Jules saw empty corridors perhaps five meters long in two opposite directions, and the same in the other two, but with side-corridors coming off them. However, these walls seemed to have different markings on them. The elevator kept moving, but in the few moments they looked, the markings didn’t seem to have any sort of pattern. As they continued downward, there was only a brief section of floor before more corridors appeared. Finally, they passed seven sections of these corridors, before finally stopping on the eighth. This floor was slightly different. Down one direction, there weren’t any markings on the wall, and it was only a short distance before a dead end.
The wall at the end, though, had markings on it. These were different from the markings on the walls, however. Since they were not longer moving, Jules could look more carefully at the walls. The markings had consistent size. There were dots, crosses, squares, and circles. Sometimes the crosses were in circles or squares, and the dots had various arrangements as well. Upon closer observation, the markings were separated into vertical columns, but that wasn’t quite it either since there were also empty sections in the verticals as well.
The wall that was different, however, had something more like pictures, perhaps. There was a large rectangle and a smaller rectangle with characters inside it as well. Jules wasn’t sure what to think of it, but Robert went up and touched the larger rectangle. The color of the wall faded to white. No, more than that, it started emitting white, like a screen. In addition, the smaller rectangle seemed to shift out of the wall, with the bottom portion sliding out first, until there was a small panel angled away from the wall. Markings- presumably writing, appeared on the screen in black text.
Upon taking a careful look, the smaller rectangle was something like a keyboard. That was a convenient form of input, but unfortunately what needed to be input was still a mystery. In addition, how to make the computer accept the input was also a mystery. Robert started fiddling around with the computer, with Douglas assisting him, whereas Jules and Isaac started wandering the halls.
Besides the writing, the hallways were basically featureless. Jules didn’t see anything that was like another type of room. Idly, he ran his hand along some of the text on the wall. To his surprise, the text, and seemingly part of the wall with it, came out of the wall. Jules found himself with a rectangle as wide as each of the characters. It was slightly taller than the text on that edge, however it continued until near the top of the next section of characters. The shape was the same depth, forming a square prism. Upon turning it around, he realized that there were more characters on one of the two square faces. They were the same as the other characters he originally could see, but arranged horizontally instead of vertically.
Jules felt this seemed very familiar. He held this object carefully, then carefully grabbed onto an edge, and pulled. A thin sheet seemed to peel away from the object. Then, Jules saw much larger amounts of text. It was definitely text. What he was holding… was a book. Jules turned the pages to confirm his theory. He saw structures that he assumed were something like punctuation and paragraphs, along with the easily recognizable characters. Jules closed it, and pressed it back where it had been. It seamlessly melded back into the wall. Jules pulled out another… and another. After a short time, Jules came to a definite conclusion. They were books. They were all books.