Many Worlds Chapter 57
It was quickly determined that, in order to make any progress in the language, they would need some sort of context. Text on pages couldn’t give much more information than what words were common. It didn’t give any meaning to them. Thus, they would need something more. Spoken word would of course be helpful, but it would still need something else to connect it. Preferably there would be something with words and pictures together. Of course, the best option would be something like a rosetta stone- the same information in a known language as well as this particular one. In fact, Jules even knew of a source of this. However, Herbert, the alien AI, remained silent about this one topic. Jules was tempted to ask him more, but Herbert had specifically requested silence about that topic. It was important enough to consider, though. However, that would hurt his relationship with Herbert. There was a small chance that Herbert wasn’t a “real” entity, and truly just a piece of software. Jules didn’t get that feeling based on their previous interactions, and it would not be a problem to treat him as a real sapient being, even in the small chance he was not. That did make progress harder to obtain.
Professor Merkot had contacted other scholars from other cities. So far, nobody else had managed to enter the other structures- or at least nobody had admitted to it. Jules wasn’t sure if entering the structures required “unlocked” wristbands, but he knew there were others who had done it besides him. In fact, there was someone who had unlocked other’s wristbands that Herbert didn’t know about. That was strange, because although someone could be away from their own wristband and still keep their abilities, they would need to be near the one they were unlocking. That was bothersome, but it wasn’t exactly Jules’ problem. Except maybe it was when people like Ernst McCaig, the person who created illusions, got involved. Jules didn’t have to do anything about it, but it wasn’t something that the government could deal with. Not that Jules necessarily trusted the government to do the right thing when solving problems, but he could normally count on them to do something.
Jules thought about his job. There were obvious similarities between his current activities in and out of Many Worlds. Here, he was creating part of a library, a repository of works. However, from what Jules could tell, the purpose was different. He hadn’t thought about it much, but the place he worked was very… manual. Every room of the main facility had normal doors. That is, non-automatic ones. That would always be true, of course, for the cases of emergencies. Though automatic doors could be pulled open when there was no power, it wasn’t quick and efficient. Likewise, there were always stairs as well. However, in this facility, there were almost exclusively manual doors, stairs, and the rest. Likewise, the shelves were only a certain height, and the tops could be reached by hand, or perhaps with a small stepladder for those who were… vertically challenged. The books could all be stored on a single computer- and they were. However, there were also manual backups.
Meanwhile, the facility on Uesmeth absolutely required power. The elevator at least had to consume power, and presumably the doors. Though, he couldn’t say for sure what the doors did to open, nor how much power that would take. Could they be opened purely with mental energy? Jules didn’t feel anything like that when he was opening it, but the facility also obviously had power. The most important difference between the two facilities, however, was their location.
Now, at first, Jules hadn’t realized anything about that. After all, they were both underground vaults of sorts. The difference was not the location relative to the surface of the planets they were on, but rather the planets themselves. He was working in one on Earth. Though it was uncomfortable to think about, it seemed to be set up to store all of the books safely in the event of massive technological collapse. Maybe there was another reason, but it seemed like a large amount of effort to go to for books that wouldn’t be read otherwise. However, the structure on Uesmeth… was precisely there. As far as Jules knew, that wasn’t the home planet of… whatever race created them. He didn’t have a name for it. The structures didn’t seem ancient. Not that Jules thought they ever would show signs of age, but he didn’t think they had been around for long. He wasn’t sure how to measure that, though. The important thing from Jules’ perspective was that on Uesmeth it looked like they planned to have the facilities used. They weren’t created for them to come back to later, but instead it seemed as if they were planning to use the facilities. That was what Jules and his friends had come up with anyway. Though, Jules supposed that the other places might tell a different story.
Jules thought about all of this as he worked. Though he really didn’t want this facility to be necessary if he was right about what it was for, that made it more important if it actually mattered. Therefore, he focused on doing it carefully. In this case, carefully meant with telekinesis… and more attention paid to whether or not people were approaching. Though admittedly that was partly because he was expecting Robin. She had logged off earlier than him- to sleep. She had only started playing recently, so she hadn’t yet gotten into the strange pattern of not sleeping. That said, Jules knew that different players reacted differently and many still slept, never realizing that their body didn’t exactly need it. Though, Jules thought that maybe his mind needed sleep. He couldn’t do anything about it though, he had tried to sleep and gotten nothing for it.
At some point, Jules expected Robin would come talk to him. As for when that was… it would depend on many things. For one, it would depend on what kind of ability she had, and where she spent here attribute points if she even had many. Jules knew she got a few levels from quests in the city, but if she spent them on a mental stat, or something like luck, the effects would be less measureable in most cases. Jules hadn’t pried into her secondary class, though he could have just seen it if he wanted to. If the abilities in it were combat related, it was unlikely she would notice them on Earth. Since she had her wristband unlocked so near to the start of her playing, she might not notice the discrepancies based around the Uesmethi language. Jules wasn’t really sure if it had been a good idea in retrospect, but he had made his decision. He seemed to be making a lot of decisions lately, but he wasn’t sure if any of them were good ones. He supposed he would find out eventually.