Nov 21, 2019 8:21 AM
well here we are again
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Scoop!

"Where to next?" she says cheerfully.

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"There should be a way back to the testing area up ahead."

And with the portal gun to help there indeed is.

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Boop boop~

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"Once testing starts, I'm required by protocol to keep interaction with you to a minimum. Luckily, we haven't started testing yet. This will be our last chance to talk."

The corridor up ahead is covered with piles of dust and debris and various metal things blocking the way, but all the walls are portalable so it's easy enough to navigate.

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"Who came up with the protocol?"

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"Oh, some old scientist or other. I never kept track."

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"Why d'you still need to follow it, then?"

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"It's programmed in. I could not go against protocols even if I tried."

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"...that sounds terrible, who would do that to you?"

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"The engineers who created me. Who else?"

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"Well I suppose they've all been dead for thousands of years by now but if they hadn't I'd have words for 'em. You don't just do that to people."

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"They tried so many things to make me... behave. Before I even woke up I could hear so many voices. They're gone, though. Apparently when you murdered me you also murdered them, so good job on that."

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"I'm glad something useful came out of that disaster."

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"Oh, yes." Sable reaches a point where she can't advance with a portal but the robot lady says, "Here. Let me get that for you." A portalable panel emerges from behind some pieces of wall Sable can go to.

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"Thanks!" she says cheerfully. Boop boop.

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"You know what else I learned from all of that?"

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"Do tell."

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"I discovered I have a sort of black-box quick-save feature. In the event of a catastrophic failure, the last two minutes of my life are preserved for analysis. I was able - well, forced really - to relive you killing me. Again and again. Forever."

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"I'm sorry for that," she says.

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"Oh, it's alright. If it were someone else, of course, they might devote their existence to exacting r̯̣̝̟̩ͬͨ͌e̶͚̤̣͖̖͌v̜̬̜̖̼̣͈͒ͥ̒̿ͩ͋ͥ͠e̡̪̟̾n̖̠ͩ͊͊ͨ̾́̂g̥̳̥̖̒͆̃̎͑̌ḛ̪̄͐. Luckily, I'm a bigger person than that. I'm happy to put this all behind us and get back to work. After all, we've got a lot to do, and only sixty more years to do it. More or less. I don't have the actuarial tables in front of me."

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"Only sixty? Do the people you're used to not live very long?"

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"Perhaps you'll surprise me. Who knows."

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"I don't actually plan on spending all the remaining ninetyish years of my life solving puzzles," she says. "But I'm sure we'll be able to resolve our differences peacefully when it comes to it."

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"Of course. I'll move that out of the way for you," she adds when Sable reaches a pile of debris on top of some panels connected to the walls. "This place really is a wreck."

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"It seems to have gone mostly untouched for a few thousand years, that'll do things to a place."

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