MF99K

Nikola's Journal ("Data Log A")

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MF99K    2,278

Cycle 110:

I convinced Eya to come with me for the meeting as Ellie had requested. Warper was nowhere to be found, which I decided was likely for the best (or perhaps worse) as Warper would likely object to me bringing Eya back into the colony.

Somewhat as I had expected, when I arrived, the mess hall was filled with what must have been the majority of the colony members, if not all of them. Some were eating, others were muttering amongst themselves as Ellie looked around with a somewhat smug expression. As she spotted Eya and I enter the room, her eyes narrowed and the murmur in the room quieted. 

Spoiler

Ellie: You guys showed up after all. Was beginning to think you were too chicken cause you knew everyone was gonna be mad at you for being evil. Cause I mean, you basically have a duplicant-eating monster as your pet, you befriended like this huge, crazy-looking giant who kidnapped my friend, and then helped said giant trick the colony into building a prison for my friend after you kidnapped her.

Nikola: For the record, I did not take any part in imprisoning Nisbet or helping construct the room she was kept in.

Ellie: But you admit to everything else then? 

Eya: (muttering) I'm not a pet...

Ellie: (gesturing to the room) Y'see? People not believing what I said about what Nisbet said. When have I ever lied to you?

Liam: Kinda a lot...

Hassan: Ok, but what if they're both lying? What if this is some weird conspiracy, hoax, whatever to hide what really happened to the binge eaters who went missing? I mean, Nisbet said Eya ate Bubbles, but Bubbles is still clearly sitting with us at this table so-

Banhi: We had to reprint her!

Hassan: Ok, so then if Eya really did eat people, why? And I wanna hear from Eya on this because she can clearly talk even though some people (glaring at Ellie) keep talking about her like she can't hear them.

Eya: I didn't want to. Nisbet made me. She locked us all in a room and didn't feed us anything and then I blacked out and then there were fewer people in the room and I wasn't hungry anymore...

Hassan: So Nisbet forced you to eat people then...?

Ellie: nno! Nisbet put Eya and all the other binge-eaters together because the colony was low on food and we were all gonna starve if the Binge eaters had access to the food. How was she supposed to know Eya was being controlled by a cannibalistic worm?

Nikola: She did not initially realize the threat Eya posed to the other duplicants, but she was very well aware of it in time that she could have saved Ashkan and Bubbles had she chosen to. Instead, she chose to keep them imprisoned, and attempted to imprison me as well once I started asking questions.

Ellie: What, are you trying to say that Nisbet was using Eya to off people?

Hassan: Didn't she explicitly threaten colonists with being forced to spend time with Eya after announcing that Eya ate people? Ellie, I get that she's your friend and all, but Nisbet kinda seems responsible for some bad things based on what people are saying.

Ellie: Well, maybe it looks bad, but... this isn't just about what Nisbet may or may not have done or whether she was nice about it! She thought it would help the colony overall, even if things or people had to be sacrificed to protect the rest of us. We're basically stuck in a set of small rooms, with limited food and oxygen, surrounded by weird giant creatures that can kidnap, poison, and potentially eat us, and we already have creatures closer to our size that will definitely eat us. And whatever's inside Eya is very much dangerous to be anywhere near, even if people avoiding her "hurts her feelings."

Joshua: But... she's not gonna, like, eat anyone right now, right?

Nikola: We have safety precautions in place. Plus, you're on the complete opposite side of the room whereas I would be the first to know if anything went wrong. As long as all safety protocols are followed, there should be no danger to anyone in her vicinity.

Hassan: And what exactly are these protocols?

Nikola: Eya is currently wearing a snare-like device that prevents objects above a certain size from being consumed. It has been tested and it does indeed work.

Eya: It's not very comfortable, but I can go to a safe location to remove it temporarily when no one's around so there wouldn't be a danger.

Hassan: Do you have control over it though? It doesn't seem like you're, er, eating them on purpose, right?

Eya: Of course not!

Nikola: The internal anatomy of how her duplicant and worm halves are connected prevents her from staying conscious if the worm is active.

Ellie: Show of hands, who's willing to let the person who "accidentally" ate people back into the colony?

(several duplicants raise their hands, most of the others squirm in their seats uncomfortably)

Ellie: And who's willing to be her roommate?

(all of the hands go down)

Nikola: No one ever said she was coming back into the colony. I simply brought her with me because you asked me to. What exactly is the purpose of this meeting other than to catch the rest of the colony up on what's been happening?

Ellie: I don't know. Nisbet just said I should convince you to bring Eya to the colony today temporarily, and when you came to me asking questions I was like, "hey, let's just get everyone involved so we can get some conversations going."

Nikola: So, this was Nisbet's idea. The same Nisbet, mind you, who is indirectly responsible and unremorseful for the deaths of multiple colony members.

(Ellie scoffs, duplicants start to murmer)

Eya: (muttering) Maybe we should go.

Nikola: We can't just leave in the middle like-

Banhi: You guys should go if you're worried about something. I know enough about what's been happening that I can fill everything else in.

(Nikola glances between Ellie, Eya, Banhi and the crowd before sighing)

Nikola: Ok

The meeting was rather unhelpful, especially as it seemed to have developed from Nisbet's interest in distracting us and Ellie's interest in causing drama. The colonists at least have a slightly better idea of what's going on, and people seem slightly less worried about Eya and I, but my thoughts are too focused on what Nisbet may be up to to think about how Banhi will be able to explain the rest and how this will pan out for the colony later.

As we approached the entrance to Warper's desk, we could hear Warper rummaging about the room. She was making vocalizations, and though she was her fully-sized self, I could understand enough to tell that she was worried about something. As soon as she saw us, her tone and volume changed to some mixture of frustration and relief, though with still a hint of panic. Eya and I had to cover our ears as her volume increased, and finally she had calmed herself down enough that she got us to come towards the translation device so that she could talk with us. She was worried that Eya had been missing and mad that I had brought her with me without telling her, but what was still bothering her was that in our absence, the 3DOP duplicator had vanished. Warper was blaming herself for possibly misplacing it, or maybe her friend had borrowed it, but I think deep down all of us had a pretty good idea who was behind its disappearance.

Nisbet.

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Xenologist    1,426
11 hours ago, MF99K said:

I think deep down all of us had a pretty good idea who was behind its disappearance.

Nisbet.

Would happen, as dupes are able to lift objects over, oh, I don't know, probably over 30 60 times their weight with enough training

Edited by Xenologist

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MF99K    2,278
7 hours ago, minespatch said:

So... What made you decide to chose Nisbet for the antagonist role for your story?

I'm not sure exactly but I think it was partially that her description says that a lot of other dupes are afraid of her and I figured whether or not she's aware of that it puts her in a good position for her to do whatever she thinks is best without too many people trying to stop her.

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MF99K    2,278

Cycle 118: Hassan was asking me about Warper earlier, and seems to be rather curious, or perhaps skeptical, about her and her size. I was debating whether I should allow him to come with me to the desk, but apparently word has gotten around enough that practically everyone in the colony wants to come see things for themselves so it's somewhat inevitable now that, for better or for worse, a large quantity of duplicants are going to confront a giant.

Momentum in the colony has started faster than anticipated, and people are already headed for the transit tubes that lead to the desk. I suppose I will have to join the crowd to make sure nothing bad happens with this turn of events.

Warper isn't here at the moment. I'm hoping the colonists will get bored enough before she returns and be satisfied with seeing the scale of the objects in this room. Or perhaps be scared enough to leave. Warper wasn't upset when I brought Banhi here, but I can't imagine I'll be able to explain my way out of this.

Warper may not be here, but I noticed that the strange dog-like creature I've seen with her before is here. I hadn't noticed him (I believe I remember Warper referring to it as a "he") until he lifted his head to look at all the colonists on the table. He seemed smaller than I remember him being, but it was still certainly the same creature, and he was still certainly big enough to be a danger to all of us who were on the table. Warper had said that he had tried to eat Nisbet, I believe. This might be worth warning the colonists about.

I suppose I had overestimated the intelligence of my peers in my attempts to alert the others of the creature hungrily watching us. Instead of leaving for safety, a good number of the colonists decided to get closer for a look. This made the odd canine get up to come towards us, surprisingly quickly considering the creature had no hind legs. Still no one bothered to flee at this point, though I could tell people had become more nervous on the creature's approach. He lifted his head so that it was on the same level as the desk. Some of the dupes had started to come to their senses and began backing away, but a few stood transfixed inches away from the creature's snout. He lifted up a paw and before anyone had time to react, he pinned one of the petrified dupes onto the table and dragged them towards his mouth. Warper fortunately was nearby at this point, and managed to rush in, free the duplicant, and wrangle the furry serpent before any harm could be done.

At this point, most of the colonists who had stayed on the table stood in silent shock, though it was impossible to determine if they were more surprised by the attack or by the giant that had come to rescue them. A couple dupes had gone to assist the one who had been grabbed, who I now realized was Gossmann. She seemed shaken but otherwise unharmed. 

As I looked around at the rest of the crowd, I noticed someone on the far side of the desk, holding something long and pointy, staring at the crowd with an incredibly frustrated and disappointed look.

It was someone I had hoped not to see.

It was Nisbet.

 

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MF99K    2,278
Posted (edited)

----

As Nisbet approached the crowd, I tried my best to anticipate what she had planned. Her expression told me that whatever she had been planning had probably gone wrong. I now realized that the sharp object in her hand was some sort of cutting tool, probably stolen from Warper. The crowd hushed and turned towards Nisbet as the colonists started to notice her. Her expression calmed, still angry, but more determined than frustrated now.

"Put the entire colony in danger, why don't you." Nisbet said, shooting me a sideways look. Before I could defend myself, she continued.
"What on earth could you hope to gain from bringing so many people into such a hazardous area?"
"Uh, in his defense, the fact that so many people are here is primarily my fault," Hassan chimed in from the crowd. A few other dupes muttered something guiltily.

"It's ok though, that one giant saved us," Gossmann responded, pointing to Warper, who was watching silently from across the room, seemingly trying to assess the situation. Nisbet rolled her eyes.

"Ah yes, the same giant who gassed, kidnapped all of us and relocated the colony to be closer to other dangerous giant creatures, imprisoned me, infiltrated and bugged the entire colony, and then fed herself to Eya to get rid of some of the evidence and assisted freeing traitors to the colony after I captured and imprisoned them. I'm sure that giant totally has our best interests in mind."

"Regardless of how much of that is true, she still saved Gossmann from that huge dog thing," Hassan argued. "Why would she try to protect us if she didn't care?"
Nisbet shook her head.
"That dog thing? That monster is her pet. And she seems to think that we are her pets too. She cares about us probably about as much as someone would care about a pacu or something. Wouldn't really want anything to go wrong with the fish, but if a few die or go missing, oh well..."

Warper started trying to sneak towards Nisbet, an attempt that almost immediately failed as the majority of the crowd turned to look at her as soon as she moved towards them. She continued moving towards Nisbet even with everyone's eyes locked onto her, and grinned sheepishly as she noticed me in the crowd. She stopped as Nisbet pointed the sharp tool in her direction.
"If you're wondering why I have such a weapon with me, I assure you, I have no intention of harming any of you. This beast, on the other hand, knows that if she tries in any way to capture me that I will gladly assist in removing her extra fingers."

I hadn't really paid attention before, but as she said this I noticed that Warper did indeed have more fingers than us. And even with the size difference, and even though she probably couldn't understand us, it was clear that she was wary of the object Nisbet was holding. Nisbet continued as Warper moved towards her computer, probably planning to use it to communicate with us.
"I could have easily taken care of that creature that attacked Gossmann myself. In fact, I initially grabbed this spear-like device to protect you all from it, but the giant got there first."

As if on cue, Warper pulled on a set of headphones and slid the modified microphone towards Nisbet. Nisbet rolled her eyes.

"The giant wants to hear what I'm saying apparently. Who knew something so big could be so hard of hearing?" Nisbet responded sarcastically. Warper glared at her, then looked as if she had an idea before moving towards the other side of the room. She attempted to open the cabinet with glass beakers she had used to contain Nisbet before, but the cabinet was evidently locked.
"Oh, and if you're wanting to try to capture me in some beakers again, I stole the keys to that cabinet earlier."

Warper's expression narrowed. Nisbet smirked and turned towards the crowd. Whispering, she asked "What do you guys think would happen if I yelled into this microphone?" Before she received an answer, she brought her mouth as close as possible to the microphone before emitting a high-pitched screech. Warper reacted almost immediately, swiping off her head phones, turning around angrily, and throwing the headphones towards the crowd, narrowly missing Nisbet and instead crashing into Warper's laptop. 

"You all know how it can be when some of us get angry and start destroying things. Imagine how dangerous a giant could be at even mild levels of anger. If those headphones had hit someone, they could have died!"

"Yeah, but unlike you, Warper hasn't actually killed anyone yet," Banhi objected.
"And that attack was clearly provoked," I added. Some duplicants in the audience started to mutter in agreement. Warper slowly went back to her computer and set up her own microphone. Nisbet continued.

"What if she gets hungry, hmm? I haven't seen Eya around for a while, wouldn't be surprised if she got cooked up like the meallouse she is."
"Eya is literally right behind you," I responded, sighing and walking past her to the tray Eya slept in. She barely responded as I pulled down the soft cloth to reveal her face. A few curious dupes came to get a closer look.
"She hasn't been feeling well the past few days," I added. "But as you can see she clearly has not been eaten."

Warper's voice crackled through the desktop speakers as she slumped into her swivel chair.
"I've missed the majority of what's been said, but I still feel like I should probably defend myself at some point. Not to deflect away from whatever's going on with Eya right now, of course. My guess is that if the worm thing is some sort of larva, she's probably pupating."

Pupation was never something I had considered with Eya's health, as my medical training obviously focused on duplicants rather than on invertebrates. It made sense though, with her large calorie intakes and sudden stiffness and lethargy. 

Warper continued talking, but I had missed the first part of what she said since I was busy thinking about Eya.
"Considering how my day is going, I think I have a fairly good idea about what's going on right now." Warper paused. "Nisbet here's been planning things for a while, it seems. Not that any of you care, but a lot of things have gone conveniently missing, and Nisbet even admitted to stealing the keys I needed to get the tools to capture her. Now-"
Nisbet interrupted.
"I didn't steal the keys to protect myself, I stole them so you wouldn't be able to capture any dupes!"

"Yeah that sounds believable, coming from the person who trapped 5 of her colleagues in a room in the hopes they'd either fast or starve, then continues to shift the blame on others after all but one of them died." She paused, possibly waiting for a response from Nisbet, but Nisbet was busy thinking about something.
"My guess is that you had this all set up today to try to make yourself seem better and make me seem like a terrifying monster. Stealing my exacto knife was a nice touch, but I think you were hoping I would stay busy long enough for you to go through with your actual plan. You wanted to take on the big bad wolf yourself. And the fact that you seemed so confident that you could handle him on your own makes me somewhat suspicious."

"What are you suggesting then? That she had some trick up her sleeve? That it was staged somehow?" Hassan asked from the crowd.

"I can't say anything for sure, but one thing I know that Nisbet neglected to mention is that Entropy, the big wolf/snake/dog, is capable of speaking."
"Do you have a way to prove this?"
"Possibly, but I think he's mad at me right now and probably won't cooperate. Either way, my guess is that Nisbet set it up so that she could redeem herself by saving whoever Entropy attacked, and tried to plan it so that I wouldn't be around to save them instead or catch her. The exacto knife would not have been enough to actually fight Entropy, which is why I wouldn't be surprised if she had figured out how to communicate with him and then gotten him to agree to some sort of scheme, though I have no idea what she would have done to convince him to help her."
"You guys can't possibly believe this!" Ellie scoffed. "I'm all for spreading rumors, but what kind of sporechids would you have to be on to believe this nonsense? Even if that big creature could talk, how could anyone hope to negotiate with it without getting gobbled up?"
I expected someone to respond to this, but even Warper was silently pondering something. Finally Hassan broke the silence.
"Does it really matter if Nisbet staged it or not? She's still basically responsible for people's deaths regardless. And what's her motive right now anyways? Does she want to lead the colony again or just rejoin it? Convince us that she's the only one who can protect us and that the giant lady and her dog are bad?"

Warper frowned.
"She tried to feed me to Eya too, by the way. I have this thing that lets me appear as a dupe, kind of, but I can't use it right now because Nisbet stole it. I might be bigger than her, but she's a force to be reckoned with, especially when she's holding sharp objects. Yea, I captured her and kept her away from the colony, but that was after I had seen her feeding people to Eya first-hand. Whether she actually thought getting rid of people that way was actually helping the colony, she tried to get rid of me, Banhi, and Nikola simply for knowing about what she was doing and thinking it wasn't ok. And honestly, I get Nisbet's reasoning behind what happened initially, but that's not a morally responsible way to do population control. I don't know what I would have done in that situation, but I probably wouldn't have fed my coworkers to a giant freaking worm."

Nisbet stepped onto what must've been a large pad of sticky notes and addressed the crowd.
"I think that's enough speculating about me and my decisions and motives. Why don't I just tell you myself."
She flipped the sharp tool around and stabbed the sharp end into the pad of sticky notes, resting her arms on the handle.
"I was one of the first members of this colony. At the beginning it was just me, Ellie, and Abe. We welcomed those who came from the printer at first, as we needed more hands to create an environment we could survive in. Things were fine at first, though a monstrous worm invaded the colony relatively early on and ate Abe. I tried to get Joshua to help me fight the creature off, but he was too nervous to use his weapon properly and I ended up being eaten as well. Fortunately, we were able to kill the creature from inside it, and everyone was fine, though I don't think Joshua ever really... recovered mentally from that. The colony grew even more, to the point where there were so many of us that certain vital resources like food and oxygen became scarce. I knew we would have to do something quickly to solve the problem before we all suffocated and starved. Once I realized that the worm had partially survived as a duplicant, I came up with a solution to the overpopulation issue. Perhaps it wasn't the most morally correct option, but it would certainly be preferable compared to allowing the colony to slowly die. Since we were already low on food, I separated the ones I found to be the most gluttonous and kept them in a room with Eya. As expected, the worm awoke and consumed all of them over several cycles."
"So you did it on purpose." Hassan stated. "You just admitted to purposefully wanting to feed them to Eya. Ellie's been trying to convince everyone it was some sort of accident, but I think Nikola was right when he said that you were the real monster."
Ellie and Nisbet both frowned. Ellie started playing with the curls in her hair nervously. 

"Well, Nisbet also said that she realizes now it wasn't the most morally responsible thing, but it still helped the colony. I'm sure she wouldn't do it again." Ellie defended. Hassan scoffed.

"She also indirectly made it sound like all the newer members of the colony are some sort of burden, and called all the people she indirectly killed 'gluttonous,' which doesn't sound particularly apologetic."
"And don't go throwing Joshua under the bus like that. Everyone knows he's a pacifist," someone added from the crowd.

"You wanted to get rid of me as soon as you realized I was questioning what happened with Eya," I added finally. "You found it very convenient to trick me and lock me away with Eya, and clearly hoped I would be eaten like the others you locked up. It didn't matter that I was the colony doctor. It only mattered that I knew too much and you didn't want others to find out about what you did. And when I survived and told Banhi, you tried to lock both of us up again. Who knows how many people you would have tried to lock up if Warper hadn't intervened and captured you."
Nisbet's expression intensified as she pushed the blade deeper into the pad of paper.
"Everything would have been fine had that giant not gotten in the way. Both of you were asking much too many questions. We could have all gone about our business and they would be none-the-wiser, and things wouldn't be complicated, and I wouldn't have to sneak around and get Ellie to do things for me because everyone else is too appalled to talk to me. And maybe I can't do anything about that giant, but I can think of something I can do about you." She yanked the blade from the papers, pulled back and aimed the weapon like a spear towards my forehead. I ducked as it whizzed through my hair and imbedded itself in the wall. Someone behind me yelped. I turned around to see Nisbet's clone clutching her arm, a gash in her sleeve in approximately the same place Nisbet had been cut by the glass. The cutting tool was still in the wall behind her. Warper rushed towards the desk and grabbed a rubber band from the table and gently grabbed clone Nisbet, wrapping the band around her arm as a tourniquet. I started towards them to assist in first aid, but stopped as I heard a commotion behind me. I turned to see Nisbet running away as a portion on the crowd came towards her angrily. She made a beeline for the bootlegged teleporter Warper had confiscated and activated it by punching several buttons on the side before swinging the door to the capsule shut. A couple duplicants tried to pry the door open but soon the device started to glow and hum, until it suddenly emitted a bright flash of light and stopped. Nisbet was gone.
Warper put down the clone and rushed towards the teleporter, hands still messy from trying to do first aid, and turned off the device and unplugged it.
"There. Now she can't come back," Warper's voice crackled through the speaker. I turned back to the injured Nisbet and treated the wound with Warper's assistance. The cut was not as deep as the wound the original Nisbet had sustained, though it was still bleeding significantly. My patient panted heavily as I finished the suture and put a tight bandage on the cut. Several duplicants helped her to her feet and they slowly brought her towards a place she could sit. The rest of the group either stood in silence, murmured to themselves, or walked quietly back towards the tube system. My mind was still buzzing with thoughts about Warper and Nisbet and the sharp object that had narrowly missed my head. Perhaps I've gotten jumbled in trying to write everything down. I suppose I'll be able to think more clearly tomorrow.

Edited by MF99K
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ResettePlayer    4,939

Maybe it's too late for this criticism, but how would Dupes know what things like dogs and goldfish are in order to make comparisons?

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MF99K    2,278
4 hours ago, ResettePlayer said:

Maybe it's too late for this criticism, but how would Dupes know what things like dogs and goldfish are in order to make comparisons?

according to the lore, there's some sort of cultural programming that includes basic information about earth. What exactly that information includes, I have no idea, and I'm also not sure if it's implanted in the dupes directly or is stored as some sort of data archive. Either way, I definitely considered the "how the heck do they know about ___?" issue several times while writing and couldn't think of another work around besides that

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DragonMage156    26,372

Maybe you could use creatures in the place of real animals.

Pacu instead of goldfish.

Maybe a furry hutch/gassy moo/puft as a dog?

Idk. I personality don't have an issue with it, though I did question the dog part at first but found myself just as lost as to finding an ONI themed substitute.

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MF99K    2,278
1 hour ago, DragonMage156 said:

Maybe you could use creatures in the place of real animals.

Pacu instead of goldfish.

Maybe a furry hutch/gassy moo/puft as a dog?

Idk. I personality don't have an issue with it, though I did question the dog part at first but found myself just as lost as to finding an ONI themed substitute.

I guess I could go back and try to change things like that, though it's possible things could get confusing in different ways

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DragonMage156    26,372
3 minutes ago, MF99K said:

I guess I could go back and try to change things like that, though it's possible things could get confusing in different ways

Yeah. It's up to you though.

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ResettePlayer    4,939

It's not entirely the knowledge of goldfish that makes that simile weird. The whole concept of "fish in a bowl" is a significant part of that.

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MF99K    2,278

life's gotten in the way of writing this, bumping thread so it doesnt get archived. Probably not a whole lot left in the story so I'll try to finish it all up soon

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