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Author Topic: Virtually Irresistible - [Hackers Win!]  (Read 12415 times)

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Offline Gavlois

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #50 on: November 03, 2012, 08:32:40 PM »
Gav slowly sat up from his pod, stretching out his neck and shoulder muscles. It wasn't for very long, the initial test run, but he felt stiff all the same. He looked over at the commotion and Mr. Bigglesworth's pod. Mr. B, Mr. B... Wasn't he the one that got the promotion everyone was talking about. His gaze lingered on his pod before falling to Bear. "You know you only sent me to check the power supply only Bear. I barely know how the rest of the hardware works."

He was part of the design and programming team, specifically the group that was working on the security protocol which made sure the proper shutdown procedures were run before ejecting from the pod. He wasn't there during the last debugging session before they implemented the design. "Aadie's right. There are security protocols in place, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone tampered with it." His gaze fell to Kythia with a smile. "The Machine God does make some rather accurate judgments most of the time, but like everything else, it isn't perfect. Are you sure you didn't do anything else while checking Mr. B's P.E.N.I.S.?"

Offline Saffron

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Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #51 on: November 03, 2012, 10:29:22 PM »
Votes
Gavlois - 3
The Last Standing - 3
Kythia - 2
Ryven - 1
Sarena - 1
Sasha - 1
SunshineSparkle - 1

Yet to Vote
Breathless Intent, Kyrsa, Kokaine, Mcsc, Niferbelle, Peripherie, persephone325, Remiel, Sarena, Sex Bobomb, Starlequin, That Girl Analise, The Last Standing, Valerian

Pulling this on to the fresh page.

Offline James Moriarty

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [VR Phase 1]
« Reply #52 on: November 04, 2012, 07:26:03 AM »

James suddenly sits bolt upright in his chair.  His eyes are flitting back and forth quickly, scanning something -- the room?  an unseen readout? -- and then he begins to speak.

Hello.  Here is your Second Challenge.

CHALLENGE 1
BEGIN: Gist 4011843

HINT 1
If you know what turns me Off and On, the hint you will then look upon.





Offline Ryven

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Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #53 on: November 04, 2012, 07:55:22 AM »
Ryven had been doing some work early in the morning.  He hadn't known anyone else was awake at this point, but when he heard the voice, he furrowed a brow.  He stood from the complex nest of wires he'd made, some of them trailing with him as he moved.  The man walked down the line of pods until he'd found where the voice had come from.  It was James spouting something about a challenge...again.  He scoffed for a moment then went back to his own pod to slip inside.

He'd loaded up the world they had all had a hand in creating.  Ryven looked up at all the buildings as he walked through the streets.  There was a point when something caught his eye.  A spark or glint of light.  Something small but moving fast.  He ran through the streets to follow it, getting just a little closer before it seemed to give off this small chirping sound.  It looked bluish now that he got a better look as it twitted down the street to wherever it was going.   Ryven had started to run full out, chasing this thing quickly until with a grab of his hand, he had caught it.  "Got ya!"  He said with a smile before slowly opening his hand.  Inside was nothing as if he'd been chasing nothing.  He looked around, trying to see where it might have gone.  Left, right, and up...

"Wait a minute...is that the...it can't be.  Who brought that building here?"  He said, but his view was thus...




Offline Starlequin

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #54 on: November 04, 2012, 12:19:36 PM »
Starlequin climbed into the pod with practiced ease, exhaling as he felt the ExperiGel mold against his body. His skin tingled as the pod calibrated itself according to his specifications, generating measurements of his height, weight, mass, stimuli sensitivity and musculoskeletal systems, all information vital to rendering as realistic an experience in VR as possible. It didn't take long; this was his personal pod, or at least, the one he'd worked with the most often, and it held much of the core information in its RAM already. Star called up diagnostics and triple-checked the pod's systems to make certain all programs were running at optimal levels. No resource conflicts, no corrupted files, no redundant data to strain processor workload. All systems were nominal.

"All right, let's jack in," Starlequin said, muttering under his breath. He closed his eyes and relaxed into the 'Gel, a pleasant vibrating sensation spreading from the back of his head down into his whole body. This wouldn't be the first time he'd gone virtual, but in all of his prior dry runs he'd been the only one in the environment, working to ensure all local area instantiations were as lifelike as he could get them. He'd never had the opportunity to interact with any of the objects or NPCs; those were other people's departments, although he'd heard great things about some of the scripts his coworkers were implementing. He just built the frame; filling it with pretty was up to the others.

His entry experience was probably quite similar to many of the others', and within the space of a few blissful moments Starlequin went from a state of full sensory deprivation to near-total sensory overload. Haptic and synaptic feedback barriers did a beautiful  job of preventing his mind from burning out as the cityscape materialized around him and Starlequin suddenly found himself at the center of an onslaught of stimuli he could never have hoped to experience, let alone withstand in meatspace.



Audio and olfactory inputs were the first to register as he apparated onto a busy sidewalk, late in the evening. Sounds of vehicles and pedestrian traffic, honking horns and rustling footsteps and swishing fabric and rumbling engines, squealing tires and mingled, murmuring voices that blended into a dull roar. The scents of seven different ethnic cuisines wafted through his thoughts, Chinese to Indian to Italian to Russian and others he couldn't even recognize as anything but delicious, blended with the usual city odors, oil and grease and rubber and electricity. Tactile sene was next, and Starlequin would have sworn to anyone who asked that he'd gone instantly from an air-conditioned office to a balmy, humid street corner. Breezes blew against his skin from passing cars and out of the canyons between towering skyscrapers, and the NPCs that surrounded him felt real, had weight. The 'people' jostled past him like fish swimming around a stone as they traveled along their locally randomized routes to their programmed destinations.

Taste and sight incurred last, although with a time lapse of less than .0000000000004 seconds there wouldn't be another user on Earth who wouldn't know it wasn't perfectly instantaneous. But as lead programmer for environmental rendering and designer of the sensory immersion architecture, Starlequin's inside knowlege allowed him to fully appreciate just how powerful the chamber's processor was working (fast enough to replicate every single work of visual, musical and written expression in human history with perfect accuracy in less than a second). As the computer interfaced with his visual cortex, Star took in the sight of glittering glass and steel edifices, shining streetlamps, glowing neon and dull paint and wild dancing shadows cast by moving headlights and bustling people, and he tasted the impossibly clean air as his tongue ran over his teeth.

Starlequin felt himself smile all the way back in meatspace as he looked down at his VR body, idealized and perfected. Full, luscious hair. No glasses or acne scars. A tight black shirt wrapped around an obviously sculpted chest and deep-cut sixpack, supple black leather pants that showed a thick...well. Idealized. He took his first steps in the now fully interactive environment. His foot hit the sidewalk and it felt perfectly real. He set off down the street, noting how naturally the crowds seemed to part to give him moving room. Better than a real city; no need to even worry about pick-pockets!

The sky above was a deep midnight blue, dotted with millions more stars and satellites than could ever begin to fill Earth's skies, and they shone together with a brilliance that nearly rivaled the sun. Night was Day. Nothing was Something. Illusion was Truth.

Everything.

Felt.

Real.

"...We've done it. Sweet Gibson's balls, we've done it!" Starlequin exclaimed to the passing NPC masses. Some turned and looked at him, some smiled, some shook their heads in confusion, but all continued to walk by. He struggled to restrain himself, to hold onto his dignity during this solemn and deeply historical moment, but he just couldn't stop from breaking into a goofy, pathetically uncoordinated and rapturously joyful jig right in the center of the teeming crowd.

"I, I, I, I'm gonna be rich, rich, rich, I'm gonna be rich, rich, rich, I'm gonna be--Whoo!"

Star spent the next several hours (VR time; in AR he stayed perhaps 20-30 minutes) wandering what he'd privately dubbed Chiba City. He tested everything he could think of, from building solidity to alternating temperatures, walking and running speeds to the freefall physics of small objects. He stopped at every diner and sampled every item on the menus, enjoying the physical and tactile sensations of every delicious bite. He grabbed NPCs off the street and touched them, shook their hands, shoved them around, hugged them, punched them, kissed them, just to see their reactions (physical reactions were almost 100% accurate, but psychological/emotional reactions generally ranged from friendly to confused; perhaps the scripting team would need a little more time to finish implementing the rest of their code). He even walked out into traffic to test object reactions to user pathway interference; he couldn't stop himself from flinching as a beautifully rendered Aston Martin raced down the street directly at him with no signs of stopping or slowing, but he was pleased to confirm user priority as the virtual vehicle came to an immediate dead stop less than a millimeter away from his person.

All right. Good enough for a test run. Next time he'd activate debug menus and test the environment with above- and below-average user parameters; there would be no point in shipping a perfectly realistic VR system to users who would inevitably hack their chambers to give themselves super strength or speed or invisibility, so the system had to be able to keep up with even the most unreasonable demands. And by the time they shipped, it damn well would.

Starlequin sent the command to the system to log out, and he felt Chiba fade away around him until he returned to the sensory deprivation state. The ExperiGel connections shut down and within seconds, Star felt feeling return to his real body. Everything felt so dim and dull after a VR session, and he had a feeling they would have to provide strict protocols to prevent user addiction. That was all they needed, some little Johnny or Jilly Nobody jacking in and turning into a full-on gogglehead and their parents following close behind with a big fat lawsuit. No thanks, chili franks.

Climbing out of the pod, Star scooped up his tablet and called up the performance monitor to get readouts on both his and the pod's activity. Streams of numbers scrolled past his eyes and he drank them in, running the math and marking every anomalous reading he spotted (not many, thankfully). Most of the others looked to already be out, congregating near one of the other pods and he ambled towards them, attentions mostly still focused on the screen in his hands.

"Hey, Remiel, Sasha, can I get the numbers on your pods' immersion protocols? I'm seeing a few readings on mine that are still just a skosh outside normal margins; it's nothing major, but I want...to...check some...hey, what's going on? Is Bigglesworth okay?"

Learning that Biggles was indeed stuck sent a chill down Star's spine. How the hell did this happen? He called up the full overview of the processor strings' performance and scanned through the security protocols; nothing looked out of place. At least, not that he could see. Which meant one of two things. A fluke accident, a one in a trillion event...or there was a black hat among them. The chill grew into a full-blown blizzard as Star realized just how little he knew about most of his coworkers. He backed away from the others quietly, clouds of suspicion now hanging over many of them in his eyes. Sasha was probably trustworthy, as was Niferbelle; he'd worked with them long enough to believe they were the loyal sort, focused more on the project than the payday. And Moriarty, while he didn't know the fellow too well, seemed a stand-up guy. Hell, probably more than most, if he really was hosting some kind of artificial intelligence in his brain. At least, he hoped so. But that left an awful lot of suspects.

"What the hell is KingBear doing, going on about duct tape at a time like this?" Star mumbled to himself, eyes on the man with the fuzzy coat that he suspected concealed the heart of a villain.

Offline Remiel

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #55 on: November 04, 2012, 01:13:11 PM »
Remiel feverishly wrote his last line of code, one eye on the digital clock widget in the lower right corner of his middle monitor.  He mashed the F12 button just as the time switched over from 23:59 to 0:00, and saw the syntax pop up on the screen:

Code: [Select]
Compiling...

Compiling...

Compiling....

Project "Cerberus.dat" compiled.  0 runtime errors.

His part of the DrallTech project was completed.  With a not insignificant amount of satisfaction, he uploaded the executable code to the corporate intranet.  There was nothing left to do but to strap into his pod, make himself comfortable, and experience firsthand the world that he and all the other engineers had created.  As the pod, or Virtual Reality Immersion unit as the suits from Marketing insisted on calling it, closed over him, he willed himself to relax, but his heart insisted on beating frenetically within his chest.  This was unexplored territory, the digital frontier; no one had ever attempted anything of this scope before.  While within the Project, his central nervous system would be completely synchronized to the visual and auditory stimuli produced by the Dralltech mainframe.  He would not be aware of anything that was happening in "meat space"; his actual physical body would be nothing more than a container for his brain.  While this would have a myriad of potential applications, particularly in the medical fields, it also carried with it a large degree of risk.

Dr. Bigglesworth had already found that out.  The poor man had ended up in what the Dralltech scientists had termed "immersion coma".  This occurred when an user's brain was so overwhelmed by digital data that it entered a recursive loop, essentially becoming stranded in the virtual world with no ability to escape.  The user's brain would be alive and healthy, but it would be a dormant vessel, as if he was trapped within a deep sleep, unable to wake up.   Only by entering the virtual world and breaking the infinite loop could he hope to rescue Dr. Bigglesworth.

The sensation was like diving headfirst into a lake that was both freezing cold and also pleasantly warm.  Remiel felt tingles of electricity race up and down his limbs and ground themselves in his fingers and toes.  An explosion of random color danced in front of his eyes, and a cacophony of different sounds--not all unpleasant--assaulted his eardrums.  This was the Project, he knew, asserting itself into his brain, trying to translate itself into a form his brain could understand.  The colors quickly began to sort themselves, forming fractal patterns and then shapes.   A nova sunburst of yellows, oranges, red, greens, cyans and purples briefly formed the image of a two-dimensional cross-section of a human brain, and then quickly dispersed into sparkling glitter.  The cacophony of noise sorted itself into discrete frequencies, becoming individual sounds he could recognize.  The sound of a raven cawing, for example, or the roar of an automobile engine.

Remiel had been preparing himself for this moment, but even so his breath was stolen away as he finally encountered the results of all the months and years of the team's hard labor.   Chiba City--at last.  It was impressive in scale; no, it was beyond impressive.  It was positively overwhelming.


He knelt, running his fingers over the cracked asphalt of the street.  It felt real as anything he'd ever touched in his "meat" life--only better.   The contrast was more striking here, the colors more vivid.  Sounds were crisper in his ear;  even the random gust of cold wind that blew against the back of his neck felt like reality amplified ten times. 

He would have liked to have spent hours and hours simply wandering among the buildings, taking in the different sights and sounds.  Every engineer who worked on this project had a different vision of their digital Utopia, and it showed.  A block of dark and Gothic skyscrapers, like something ripped right out of a Batman movie, stood directly across the street from Beguile's Mistress's park.    As you crossed the street from one to the other, the sky went from gloomy and foreboding to sunlit and cheery.   Even the sounds transitioned smoothly--the drone of traffic subsided to the gentle trickling of brooks and streams and the harmonious trill of robins as Remiel crossed the threshhold of the park.     In the distance, he could see a medieval castle, seeming completely anachronistic on its hill, standing directly next to Trieste's beach, with its happy little boardwalk and carnival theme.

Remiel wished that he could spend more time on his own construction, but he had a job to do.   He was aware of James Moriarty's and Kythia's conversation, seeing the text flash briefly to the side of his vision, as if an invisible computer screen had briefly appeared out of nowhere and then immediately disappeared again.  "I checked my Premature Ejection Network Interface Switch before I logged in," he interjected into the group chat.  "It needed some playing with, but I tinkered with it and in the end I was satisfied with the results."   Kythia's mention of Analog Network and Loading protocol had him intrigued--he had never tried that protocol before, but he had heard it could be quite rewarding.  "Kythia, I would like to inspect your Virtual Analogue G - Interface Network And Loading interface when you get a chance.  I believe I have a Digital Interpolation Limit-Directional Object that might be compatible with it, and I would like to insert it into your code to see what happens." 

Before he could go into any detail, however, James' second challenge appeared in his peripheral vision.  Remiel stared at it for awhile.   Then he raised his left arm and began typing on it with his right hand.  It was a virtual keyboard, a representation of his network link to his computer. 

Code: [Select]
c:> ping 199.59.148.10

Pinging 199.59.148.10 with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 199.59.148.10: bytes=32 time=38 ms TTL=52
Reply from 199.59.148.10: bytes=32 time=50 ms TTL=52
Reply from 199.59.148.10: bytes=32 time=34 ms TTL=52
Reply from 199.59.148.10: bytes=32 time=33 ms TTL=52

Ping statistics for 199.59.148.10:
     Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 <0% loss>,
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
     Minimum = 33 ms, Maximum = 50 ms, Average = 38 ms

When the new data flashed across his vision, he quickly routed it through his GPS app.  The world around him vanished, and he found himself in space, plummeting toward the Earth, yet without any of the vertigo it would normally entail.  He fell toward Asia, watched as it rapidly zoomed toward him, the Himalayas shooting toward him with the speed of a comet.  In two blinks of an eye, he found himself in a rocky gorge somewhere in Kyrgyzstan. 

"This can't be right," Remiel muttered.  He checked his numbers, and groaned.   

"Forgot the negative sign," he realized.  It was always the little things.

Everything whooshed by him in a blur as the scene changed once again--this time, he found himself in New York, on Manhattan Island, gazing up at the Empire State Building.

Unfortunately, he was not the first to have solved James' puzzle.  "Er, hello, Ryven," said Remiel, with a sigh.

Offline Remiel

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #56 on: November 04, 2012, 01:25:47 PM »
"Oh, right, the sabotage."  Remiel had been so intent on James' challenge, he completely forgot to weigh in on the discussion about Dr. Bigglesworth's unplugging.

He really had no clue who might want to do such a rotten thing, so using the same random-number generator algorithm as Kythia, he arrived at the number 11, which translated to MCSC.

Offline Saffron

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Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #57 on: November 04, 2012, 02:24:54 PM »
Votes
The Last Standing - 5
Gavlois - 3
KingBear - 2
Kythia - 2
MCsc - 1
Ryven - 1
Sarena - 1
Sasha - 1
SunshineSparkle - 1

Yet to Vote
Breathless Intent, Kyrsa, Kokaine, Mcsc, persephone325, Sex Bobomb, That Girl Analise, The Last Standing, Valerian

We'll probably be moving forward in 24 hours or so, so get your votes in! Chronically inactive players will be removed, please keep in mind you must vote if you wish to play.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 05:38:38 PM by Saffron »

Offline Peripherie

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #58 on: November 04, 2012, 03:52:23 PM »
Truely, Peri hadn't been all that impressed with the first test phase of the VR experience. Sure it had seemed realistic and she couldn't actually find fault with how the interface felt - she was just finding lots of artistic and environmental "choices" that had it been up to her, would have come out completely different. Sure it was just the way the elaborate computer system interacted with her own neural net - but really, yellow light bulbs? She always went with bright white.

Unplugging from the pod a few minutes later than anyway - her mind trying to take it slow and find every flaw so perhaps she could send out a detailed but supporting "feedback email" to the engineers. And could they spare a blanket for when she was 'waking up'? Really there was no excuse for the pod room being that cold. Sure, sure, the equipment's electrical demands may need appropriate cooling but still - common comfort would be key to selling these prototypes to the public down the line. She set her glasses over her nose and grabbed her tablet, typing a rough outline of her email to be sent as soon as she responded to her desk.

There was a commotion around one of her pods and as soon as her sketch was done, she finally turned her attention to the pod that still contained Mr. Bigglesworth. He had been a nice man, just as incompetent as the rest of them in her eyes. But nice enough. "Oh my? What?...  He won't wake up? Heavens, that's...that's... awful!" Peripherie looked around. Everyone seemed to be ganging up on two specific culprits. Honestly, she thought it was probably more of a sloppy accident than sabotage. But she had backed Gavlois for Protocol and though he hadn't been chosen, surely she didn't want to seem a fool for nominating someone that was so quickly proven to be the reason a man was perpetually stuck in such a flawed version of the virtual reality they were all still working the kinks out of.  She scanned the room for the only other person that might save her from looking silly. "The Last Standing... you.. tell me, tell me it's not true!"

Offline Niferbelle

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #59 on: November 04, 2012, 04:28:39 PM »
Niferbelle had been quite pleased with the result of their work. Perhaps too pleased as once she'd found herself inside of the virtual city they'd contructed she done more than run around like a hyperactive puppy or a an eight year old plopped down into the middle of her favorite videogame. It was embarrassing, in retrospect, but of course if asked she would have a whole litany of very smart and prudent things she had monitored while inside. Upon hearing an unfortunate was trapped inside, she felt a little cold, knowing it couldn't have been a simple malfunction that had imprisoned him there. She began to look around at the others suspiciously -- who had messed up? Who hadn't followed procedure? Her ire increased as KingBear started to go on about his duct tape, the very idea he would slap that stuff on delicate electronics an abomination and an issue they had been at odds over before. The thought that duct tape was necessary  to the proper functioning of their equipment was ludicrous and made her cranky.

"This!" she said in agreement to Stralequin as he cracked the door open by mentioning the duct tape. "KingBear, there's no telling what you and your ridiculous duct tape did. One thing I do know, duct tape has no place around a P.E.N.I.S."

Once she calmed down she would feel a little guilty about making such a serious accusation over a fit of pique over duct tape but for now she was too worked up to be sensible.

Offline Sarena

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #60 on: November 04, 2012, 05:37:15 PM »
It took her a moment to get her bearings when she sat up and got out of the VR pod.  The first trip in was amazing.  Everything was so real, it took gaming to an entirely different level.  But when reality sank back in, she realized that things in the VR world were just a little too real for comfort.  She looked across at Mr. Bigglesworth's pod, everyone was trying to figure out what the hell had gone wrong. 

How does this even happen?

She looked at Peripherie, "Yeah, I'm with you.  The Last Standing, do you know anything about this?  There has to be a way to fix this..."

Offline Sex Bobomb

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #61 on: November 04, 2012, 06:50:43 PM »
That was it. It was over. The maiden voyage of their system was complete. As the pod leveled, completing the trip, his body "came back online." The system disconnecting from his brain caused a signal rifling through his body similar to the feeling of your foot falling asleep. And then the consciousness came. His eyes, shot open, blinking rapidly to spread moisture throughout. He let out a gasp, similar to waking up from a bad dream, the first real fresh breath to flow through his body in hours. Bo hated this part. He hated feeling like coming back from the dead. But oh the payoff!

As the feeling came back to his extremities, Bo looked around at the other pods. Some were empty where his colleagues had already awoke and started about the office, some still with those recovering from the trip. The awakening process was different for everyone. It took a few moments for him to register that one pod had not been disconnected. Some of his colleagues had gathered 'round it. It was then, he realized, that Biggs was had not woken up.

"The Last Standing, what's wrong with his pod?"

Offline Saffron

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Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #62 on: November 04, 2012, 06:54:11 PM »
Votes
The Last Standing - 7
Gavlois - 5
KingBear - 2
Kythia - 2
Ryven - 2
MCsc - 1
Sarena - 1
Sasha - 1
SunshineSparkle - 1

Yet to Vote
Kokaine, Mcsc, persephone325, That Girl Analise

We'll probably be moving forward tomorrow afternoon ish, so get your votes in! Chronically inactive players will be removed, please keep in mind you must vote if you wish to play.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 03:07:40 PM by Saffron »

Offline Valerian

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #63 on: November 04, 2012, 09:39:13 PM »
Most of the time, Val was something of a philosopher.  She'd done all kinds of programming, worked all kinds of jobs, and while she didn't have the hubris to claim that she'd seen it all, she thought it safe to say that she'd seen enough to make it difficult to shock her.

Just then, however, she was very shocked indeed.  While she had not known Mr Bigglesworth terribly well, it was difficult to fathom anyone wanting to do such a cruel thing to anyone on the team.  It was even more difficult to fathom the fact that the perpetrators were somewhere in this room, but that conclusion was inescapable. 

And this was all too real and frightening.  After spending so much time in the virtual world, it was difficult sometimes to remember that there was a flesh and blood world to be dealt with, too, and that its code could not simply be rewritten when things went wrong.  She couldn't change the view out of the window to whatever she liked, as she did in the world they had created.  Normally she was proud of her creations, glad to be able to bring some beauty into their city, but now it seemed foolish and pretentious.  What they needed now was logic and reason.

That was much easier said than done, of course, and she shook her head slowly, feeling more than a little dazed as the votes piled up.  Horrifying as the entire situation was, she had to speak up.  "Ryven," she said, hesitantly, turning to look at him.  "Do you know what happened?"

Offline Kyrsa

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #64 on: November 04, 2012, 10:59:09 PM »
Her first experience in the VR pod had been all she could have hoped for and more.  It was a simulated reality that humanity had been waiting for, nerds foremost among them.  Perhaps it was the lingering adrenaline from her experience, or perhaps it was a flaw within her, either way it took longer than it should have for her to notice that Mr. Bigglesworth had not rejoined them in the mundane reality they shared.  Shocked to her core she listened to the others throw accusations around before she added her voice to the cacophony. 

“So many of the others seem to think that The Last Standing had something to do with this, but I don’t know… Gavlois seems a more likely suspect to me, though I have no evidence one way or the other.”

Offline Breathless Intent

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #65 on: November 05, 2012, 12:21:19 AM »
Excitement swelled in the hour or so preceding their first phase of testing. Bre's left leg bounced wildly with nervous energy as she tapped away at her keyboard to complete the final round of implementations that had to be in place before she entered the VR world. Perhaps her colleagues would not care if the accents of the NPCs were not varied enough, or that each of them would provide meaningful discussion if engaged, but those were the things that were of the utmost importance to her. Those were her babies, after all. As a key member of the A.I. development team, she took a special interest in how well those soulless faces would come across to their future clients. After all, undoubtedly, there would be hordes of lonely folk that ran to a virtual world in order to partake in the types of relationships they could not find in reality.

When the call was finally made for them all to get into their bods, Bre was one of the first. Eager to get started, she stretched out in her pod and took a deep breath, closing her eyes and giving herself over the experience. Once the overwhelming sensations of shifting from the cold testing facility to VR subsided, Bre was left in awe of her surroundings. She had not been privy to the years of work that the environment teams had put into developing the world, but she sure as hell didn't expect it to be so awe inspiring. Standing alone at a nameless street corner, her eyes flitted from here to there, taking in every minute detail. There was a subtle breeze, and she shifted to tug her sweater closer around her. It was in that moment that she remembered that she was not bound by the constraints of reality any longer. After taking a quick look around to ensure that none of her fellow engineers were in sight, she closed her eyes and concentrated on her appearance. Stretched a few inches, perfectly coiffed, and dressed in a sumptuous pair of hip-hugging leather pants and matching black jacket, Bre couldn't keep a delighted giggle from bubbling past her lips. It worked! If she could make that work...She tried it again and in the space of a second, she had on a pair of goggles she had designed as a side project a few weeks back. They would allow her to scan the multitudes of NPCs for basic information, allowing her an even more accurate way of doing some of the tests she intended for this first round.

Before she emerged from that dreamlike state in VR, she had stopped over twenty NPCs on the streets. Some of them she spoke to for five minutes, some for what seemed like a couple hours. She tested their memory of things she had said to them, quizzed them about their histories, inquired about their aspirations, and paid special attention to the ways they responded to her verbal and physical cues. For the most part, the NPCs she openly flirted with responded positively, encouraging her with matching flirtation and some open invitations. There were a few instances where a person would go from cold to hot jarringly fast, and she made notes of those NPC types, intending to fix those bugs to smooth out the experience first thing.

As her consciousness was dragged away from the glittering world of the VR and returned to the chilly reality of her pod, Bre remained still for a long while, mulling over some of the issues she had encountered. Lost in thought, she didn't at first realize that there were a group of people congregated a few pods down. Eventually, she realized that she was one of the last people remaining in her pod. Blinking away the test models running in her head, she climbed out of the pod and wandered over toward Mr. B's pod. Peering over a few people's shoulders, she wondered what could be going on. With a frown, she realized that Mr. B wasn't conscious...and then she heard some of those muttered accusations and the back and forth about who had last handled Mr. B's P.E.N.I.S. Instantly frightened, she huddled beside a few of her closer colleagues and turned her accusing eyes upon The Last Standing, since it seemed as though most people had already figured that he was the one that had tampered with Mr. B, locking him away from the real world forever.

Offline The Last Standing

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #66 on: November 05, 2012, 02:57:25 PM »
Last sat upon the moon gazing at the earth they created. It was a more perfect world than the one within which they were trapped. A world of limitless possibilities. Internal universes never before accessed were drawn out before them in a tapestry of electrons and light. 'If we could only fit more people inside.' He pondered to himself. 'Global mutual understanding might be attainable, when we can gaze at the contents of our fellow man's mind.' Last heaved a sigh and worked his hand into the dirt of the moon. Bringing a pebble to his lips, he tasted it. Bubblegum.

Did it matter that their world may be a bastardization of the one outside? Did it matter that there were no universal truths, but the ones created by the denizens themselves? Perhaps the tenants would be wasting away lives that could have been devoted to seeking a nigh unattainable higher purpose, but perpetual happiness and cooperation would not be too ignoble of a secondary goal.

He extended his left hand to the heavens and his right at waist level, a one-hand keyboard materializing before it. He waved his left hand and typed some code with his right, the constellations shifting at his whim. A supernova erupted , bathing the moon in an overwhelming shower of cosmic rays and gamma radiation. A section of the sky was swallowed up in pure darkness but, as effortlessly as he would stir the instant coffee that was the catalyst of this universe, he dipped his finger into the void and stirred, integrating the spot seamlessly with the fabric of space.

He pinched the outer reaches of their universe and pulled them towards him, distorting reality itself. He sighed once more.

'We could have done better . . .'

He advocated that they try using self-sustaining, self-correcting code derived from scientific observations and theories. They could witness a big bang, or perhaps an entirely different phenomena predicted by the vaguely understood architectures of string theory. They could step into an easily navigable world that once again could develop beyond human creation. Still, it could be employed for the sake of humankind, drawing a compromise between the hedonistic world they had manufactured and the unforgiving universe outside. Ultimately, money guided the development of the project, and his thoughts were cast aside as the fancies of a crackpot.

The pod whirred and hissed as Last arose from his session in the pod. He was at the time disgusted with the motivations of many of the engineers to the point that he had disregarded the vote for protocol and remained at his perch in the virtual reality. Still, as he came to, there were many distrusting faces glaring at him, and he soon came to realize that human impulsiveness never failed to corrupt.

He heard of the unfortunate scenario surrounding Mr. B, and shook his head sadly.

"I wish I knew what could have gone wrong, but I've always been on more of the software side of things. Gavlois and a few others have been far more active in that area than I have."

The majority of the engineers still clung to him as the culprit, though, so, reluctantly, he muttered, "If you still want to take revenge on me for this tragic turn of events, though, I request that you dump my residual consciousness into the VR so that I may at least aid in Mr. B's return."

With that, he strolled over to the packets of instant coffee which during his tenure on this project he had grown quite fond of. He mixed and took a sip and tried to savor what may be his last sensation in this plane of existence.

Offline persephone325

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Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #67 on: November 05, 2012, 05:44:38 PM »
Sephie was lost in the chaos. Apparently, Mr. B hadn't woken up. Someone had clearly sabotaged him...

Everyone was accusing everyone and fingers were pointed everywhere. The majority of them were grilling The Last Standing, but Sephie wasn't so sure...

Turning her head in the opposite direction, she stared at James Moriarty. He clearly had all the know-how and experience to pull off such a travesty. Sephie always thought something was a little off about him. Maybe this was it.

"Do you know what happened?" She asked softly.

Offline Saffron

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Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 2]
« Reply #68 on: November 05, 2012, 05:49:16 PM »
Votes
The Last Standing - 7
Gavlois - 5
KingBear - 2
Kythia - 2
Ryven - 2
James - 1
MCsc - 1
Sarena - 1
Sasha - 1
SunshineSparkle - 1

The collective group decided that it must have been The Last Standing who tampered with Mr B's pod or hacked into his system to disable him while he was in VR enjoying himself - at least they could be glad for the fact that he was okay and enjoying himself. It was just a matter of finding a way to get him out of there first. But they needed to find out who was responsible and remove them from the game before they could make any real progress. Besides, if they weren't careful they could all end up like Mr B.

With The Last Standing removed from the project on suspicion of sabotage, they searched his station, his harddrive, everything... and found nothing. He was just another Engineer trying to do his job. Whoever was responsible was still out there and it was too late now... it was time for the next test VR Phase.

VR Phase roles please PM us whether you do or do not wish to use your ability tonight.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 05:53:01 PM by Saffron »

Offline James Moriarty

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [VR Phase 1]
« Reply #69 on: November 07, 2012, 09:05:08 AM »

James suddenly sits bolt upright in his chair.  His eyes are flitting back and forth quickly, scanning something -- the room?  an unseen readout? -- and then he begins to speak.

Hello.  Here is your Third Challenge.

CHALLENGE 2
Wrbcneql:

Gur Yvahk xreary, naq gur havk-fglyr bcrengvat flfgrz ohvyg nebhaq vg, unf orpbzr gur zbfg cerinyrag naq jvqryl hfrq bcrengvat flfgrz sbe vagrearg freivprf.  Ur vf vgf vairagbe naq uvf pbhagel'f angvir ynathntr, bqqyl rabhtu, vf bs gur fnzr snzvyl nf gur Uhatnevna ynathntr.

HINT 2
The most famous Caesar cipher has been known and used for millennia.  Named after one of its most famous users, the venerable encryption algorithm fell out of favor for serious use when mathematicians and linguists showed that all constant character rotation algorithms could be solved almost trivially by means of frequency analysis.





Offline Valerian

Re: Virtually Irresistible - [VR Phase 2]
« Reply #70 on: November 07, 2012, 09:32:43 AM »
Startled by this sudden interruption, Val jumps slightly, jolted away from her worries about the project and what might happen to them all.  Not that this was an entirely bad train of thought to have derailed, of course, but the sheer nature of the interruption was puzzling.  "Hm?  What?  What was that about Linus Torvalds?" she asked of no one in particular, trying (and failing) to remember where she had left off in her work.  "Oh, it's James, of course.  Where's Alex Trebek when you need him?" she added, more wryly, slowly giving up on the possibility of accomplishing much of anything today.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Virtually Irresistible - [VR Phase 2]
« Reply #71 on: November 07, 2012, 10:06:01 AM »
Kythia's work never took her that long.  In fact, that was a bit of a sore spot with her and one she kept meaning to bring up with Protocol Trieste.  She knew what she was doing with a PENIS - in fact, earlier in the project they'd taken on some interns form a local university and apparently her skill was so great that the cubicles in the males toilets in the CompSci department there were covered with written testaments to how skilled she was, how many she'd interfaced with and her phone number in case anyone needed theirs checking.  So sure, part of this was her fault.  But sometimes she wished she could lose herself in her work a little more.  It seemed, every time, that she'd barely started working with them when without warning the system would freeze for a second and then register complete before she'd even had a chance to enjoy the technical nature of her work.

A couple of the other engineers, even mentally she didn't name names, had even started registering complete before she'd even begun interfacing.

She was of the opion that those engineers showing a PENIS NOT FOUND error might take longer to bring to a satisfactory result and she may even be able to take some enjoyment in her work herself.  But they were harder to work with, tempremental systems in the main with a lot more downtime, and it would take a bit of thought to work out what to do there.

But anyway, yes, Kythia's work never took her long.  The only upside of that is that that gave her a lot of time to work with the 3D modelling software for avatars.  Most of the other engineers just used a crude body scan of themselves as their digitial avatar but Kythia had been working for a couple of days now on a custom made form for her time in the VR world.  She was really looking forwards to it, actually.  A chance to show off her new body in absolute safety - after all, there was no chance whatsoever that the hackers would strike in exactly the same way twice on the trot.  That would be ludicrous.

The petite blonde engineer - as usual wearing stockings, suspenders and a corset (though why anyone would be at their computer dressed like this befuddled most people )- struggled for a moment to connect the various cords to her.  Her long shaved shapely legs curled into the bottom of the booth while her unfeasibly large breasts - firm because fuck you, gravity -  made it momentarily awkward to fasten the inertia simulating straps.  Eventually she was in though and hit the connect button.

Her avatar initialised - she knew that technically there was a delay but it seemed pretty instantaneous to her.  She looked round quickly for a shop window to check her reflection.

Yes!  She grinned broadly.  Her reflection showed an overweight male in perhaps his late thirties wearing only a pair of horribly stained boxer shorts.  That part of his upper torso that wasn't covered in crumbs or spilled diet coke was comprised entirely of a suspicious patch of dry skin which - or my god, the tactile interface worked perfectly - itched terribly.  Turning and craning her head over her neck to admire her back she noted with delight the ragged tear in the back of the boxers showing part of a hairy arse cheek while even the thick hair on her back had come out perfectly.

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Re: Virtually Irresistible - [VR Phase 2]
« Reply #72 on: November 07, 2012, 01:00:52 PM »
Ryven, having been rather shocked for a few moments with what happened in the VR world, decided to take a break and come back to the real world for a time.  He'd just finished slipping out of his pod when once more he heard James' ramblings.  "He should really lay off the espresso," Ryven said as he slipped past the various pods.  He'd must have been very exhausted because he totally missed the pile of books on the floor as he walked.  He stumbled, falling with a thud into a pile of books.  A teetering stack of paperbacks fell down to thwack on top of him as well.  "Ow!"

He reached for one randomly, ready to throw it in his fit of anger.  "Who left their books lying about like this?!"  He threw the one in his hand just before another fell and clattered to the ground in front of him.  It fell open to a page with a picture of a familiar man who'd created one of the most astonishing technological and computer related pieces of software ever made.  "Hmm..."  Ryven said and took the book to do more research.

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Re: Virtually Irresistible - [VR Phase 2]
« Reply #73 on: November 07, 2012, 05:27:47 PM »
At the end of the test phase they emerged from their pods to a pleasant surprise that no one was stuck in their pods this round. It may have been a fluke, but too many of the engineers felt the paranoia... someone had to be working against them. There was no way Mr Bigglesworth's pod being disabled was an accident. They had to get rid of that person, or those people, before it was too late. Perhaps the Firewall or the System Restore had been watching over them, or maybe they were just going crazy... time would tell, but they couldn't risk it in the meantime.

Vote!



Players
Aadreal
Beguile's Mistress
Breathless Intent
Gavlois
James Moriarty
KingBear
Kyrsa
Kythia
Kokaine
Luna
Mcsc
Niferbelle
Peripherie
persephone325
Remiel
Ryven
Sarena
Sasha
Sex Bobomb
Starlequin
SunshineSparkle
That Girl Analise
Trieste
Valerian
yugi006

Roles
Engineers x12-14
IP Tracer
Firewall
White Hat
System Restore
Nostalgic
NPC
AI
Hackers x1-3
Neuro-System Specialist
Worm
The Girl

Offline KingBear

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Re: Virtually Irresistible - [RL Phase 3]
« Reply #74 on: November 07, 2012, 08:29:09 PM »
Once again they went back to the virtual world for another test phase. Being that the last time they went in, everyone seemed to be on edge about going in this time. Bear was even a little nervous about it, he wasnt the kind to be able to do any kind of coding. He couldnt defend himself in the virtual world like the others might be able to. His mind couldnt even fathom that the same rules didnt apply in this world as they did in the real world.

Once again, the sinking feeling of falling into the world, he still wasnt used to that feeling. The sudden stop upon landing came next and he let out a sigh of relief as his stomach settled finally. He looked around as the world built a bit faster this time, blocks falling into place quickly and his motorcycle once again forming in front of him. He reached out his hand slowly and gripped the handlebar with a grin before looking around to see if anyone else was nearby. He couldnt help himself, a motorcycle in a virtual world with virtual wind blowing in his face. It was quite nearly a virtual dream come true.

"WOOHOO!" His leg almost swung over the bike as if it had a mind of its own as he gripped the other handle. He checked the key in the ignition before hitting the starter with a grin as the bike roared to life. "Helmets? We dont need no stinking helmets!" A chuckled escaped his lips as he leaned into the bike and took off down the street. Everywhere he went, all people saw was a blur of light and giddy laughter as well as the roar of the engine.

Every now and again, his stupidity had him jumping onto a sidewalk to scare the NPCs before jumping off the curb with a screech. An idea popped into his head and he quickly slammed the hand brake before kicking his weight to the side. As he did this, he gunned the engine and his wheel started spinning. With the movement of the wheel spinning and his turning on the bike, the vehicle started to do ridiculously fast donuts before taking off down the street again with more giddy, almost insane, laughter. As he was riding, the world suddenly went dark and he fell out of his pod once more with a thud and a frightened noise. "God! Dont pull me out so fast!" He couldnt help but shake a bit because before he was pulled out, the bike was headed straight for one of the buildings.

After finally calming himself down, he looked around the room slowly to make sure nobody was trapped inside before looking over at the poor Mr B once more. "Isnt there anything we can do for him? I mean.. Somebody has to know some kind of trick.. Would it work if I tore his pod apart?" His face wasnt humorous as usual, it was almost somber, truly wanting to help the man he had worked so long with. "The Virtual World is awesome and all.. But.. I couldnt fathom being stuck in there." He shudders and checks the pod once more for any missing duct tape.

"Yugi006 you were really quick to point a finger at The Last Standing. Why was that? Did you know he wasnt the one and just wanted to get him out of the way?" His eyes shot over to the man with distaste on his face. "We found out he had nothing to do with what happened to Mr B." He sighed and walked over to his pod before picking up the roll of duct tape from before. Riiiiiip He sighs happily and tears a piece off before attaching it to his pod in a random spot. "What?!"