This is Public Space is a new series of web commissions curated by UP Projects. It began with the first commission by Juneau ProjectsReturn to Happy Redoubt. The commission was hosted on the homepage for 2 months and visitors to the site were able to watch the game unfold.

Return to Happy Redoubt is a text based game where participants navigate a post-apocalyptic world. See below for the three games: 

Return to Happy Redoubt

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Player 1: Catnip

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You are stood in a dimly lit reception area. The walls are black and covered in chalk glyphs. There is a set of double doors ahead of you. To your left is a market stall, bedecked with hundreds of hand-painted wooden necklaces. Each necklace features a symbol consisting of two circles, one on top of the other. The upper circle features a skull-like robotic face, the lower a pair of staring eyes. On top of the stall sits a small, brightly-coloured robot, surrounded by a cluster of electric candles. You step forward to look more closely at the robot.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt, friend!” The robot turns to look directly at you. Lights flicker across its face as it speaks.

“Please rest a while here in the marketplace. You can do jobs and earn currency. You can spend the currency on things you like. You can rest and do jobs. Please enter the market place. Be productive. Earn currency. We are watching. Welcome friend.” The robot gestures towards the doors ahead of you, its arms and head twitching constantly as it does so.

You hesitate.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt. Please make your first move, friend.”

Catnip

Catnip:

I would like to ask the robot if it can tell me what the glyphs on the wall mean.

Juneau Projects

The robot turns it head from side to side and then looks straight at you. “Thank you for your question, friend. We are unsure what the chalk glyphs means. They have been here a long time. Many are smudged and unintelligible. We believe they may be greetings and messages left by the first survivors. We are analysing the data they may hold and hope to have an answer as soon as possible. I have enjoyed your question. Let me tell you more about this place. It is a market place and a place of shelter and rest. When you are ready please enter the Happy Redoubt. My colleagues inside will offer you opportunities to earn currency by completing creative tasks. For each task that you complete you will earn currency. Currency looks like the necklaces hanging from my stall. You may buy objects with the currency inside the marketplace, and when you are ready to leave you can give me your remaining currency and be on your way. I hope you enjoy the market. Please take one of the necklaces from my stall as a reward for your attention, and then enter the market place.” The robot gestures towards the double doors ahead of you.

Catnip

Catnip:

Thank you for the information and the necklace, I am now ready to enter the marketplace.

Juneau Projects

You enter a room full of scavenged tables and chairs covered in paint splatters. As the door closes behind you you hear the robot wish you good luck. Against one wall are shelves containing craft materials, clay, fabric, paints and tools. You see another similar robot, fixed at the waist to a stall, in the corner of this room. It’s eyes and mouth are lit with dim lights as it speaks.

“Hello! I see you have some currency! I’m sure you might like to earn some more. Before you do though, perhaps I might show you some items you could buy with your currency?”

A drawer in the stall pops open. You look inside and see seven little wooden replicas of the robot, each of them painted in shades of red, blue or green.

“They are one necklace each. Would you like to buy one? Feel free to pick any colour.”

Catnip

Catnip:

“Hello! I’d like to buy a blue one please”

Juneau Projects

“You may take the blue robot sculpture” the robot says. It’s servos whine as it gesticulates at the draw with it’s arm. It takes the currency necklace from you. “No currency left,” it says, “You’ll need more to pay the exit tax.” It’s eye lights blink out and the robot is motionless for a long moment. Suddenly it jerks back to life. “Do a good job for us. Every two necklaces you paint will earn you one.” It points to the nearest table. There are rows of blank wooden currency necklaces, pots of paint and brushes. “Follow the instructions carefully. Paint the top of the design with a robot image in dark brown, green and red on a yellow background and the lower part showing two human eyes with a light blue background. You may use the currency you earn in the marketplace or in the museum.” You notice two doors behind you, one labelled Marketplace and the other Museum.

Catnip

Catnip:

“Right, I’d better earn some currency,” I think. I read through the instructions for making the necklaces, then attempt my first one. It turns out quite messy, hopefully this sort of thing gets easier with practise. The next one I try does indeed turn out better and the quality gets a little better with each one I do. I’ve done eight in total, I’ll submit these for quality inspection now to see how many pass.

Juneau Projects

You hand the necklaces over to the robot. It inspects each necklace, carefully turning them in its wooden claws. It is silent for a few moments, save for the whirring sound of a small fan.

“Very good. You have earnt four currency. Please note: one necklace should have failed the examination but, as I am so pleased that you picked blue robot, because blue is my favourite colour, I am happy to let your minor paint penalties pass. I recommend that you move on now. The marketplace and museum are waiting.”

The robot twitches and beeps a few times. The lights on its face dim to nothing and its arms hang limp by its sides.

Catnip

Catnip:

I’d really like to visit the museum first to see what else I can find out about this curious place. Perhaps some of the exhibits will enlighten me.

Juneau Projects

You walk through the museum door into a dark room. Small electric tea lights flicker inside series of glass cabinets. The cabinets line each wall of the room and are filled with many objects of various shapes and sizes. In the centre of the space is a low plinth on which a collection of metallic discs, with holes in their centres, are stacked haphazardly. You recognise these discs as old tech stores for data and sound. Each disc has words or symbols drawn on it. A pen and a collection of blank discs lies next to the pile. A laser­etched wooden sign says ‘Leave a memory (+1C)’. A crackling voice starts up and your eyes are drawn to a dilapidated looking robot on top of one of the cabinets.

“Hello down there! So nice to see you. You are real aren’t you?” The robot nods emphatically.

Catnip

Catnip:

“Hello up there!” I pinch myself hard on the arm, it hurts. “I think I’m real, but one can never be sure.” “Can you tell me more about this museum? How long has it been here, and where did the objects come from?”

Juneau Projects

"Ok, you seem real," the robot says. "In a way, I am accessing a number of levels of reality, like a fish that pokes it's head above the water and sees the world above. Many of these objects also allowed the users to access different infospaces. The museum was already here when my node joined the cluster. The objects are from the era of the mesh net." The nearest exhibit is a kind of helmet with goggle attachments. The robot points towards it. "These exhibits are interactive." On the shelf below the helmet is a large glove with segmented plastic joints on the fingers and wires running from it to a panel at the back of the shelf. Below that on the floor is a plastic lozenge shaped platform that looks as though it could accommodate a standing person. It is fitted to it's base by two articulated struts. The robot's eye lights glow dimly and it makes small, jerky movements but does not speak.

Catnip

Catnip:

Intrigued by the helmet and glove, I wander over and step up onto the platform. I pick up the glove and put it on my right hand. The finger joints are a bit stiff, but with a bit of wiggling start to loosen off. I pick up the helmet. It’s quite heavy, but as soon as I put it on my head it feels much lighter and is surprisingly comfortable. Finally I place the goggle attachments over my eyes.

Juneau Projects

Your vision is filled by a field of blue, followed by rainbow­coloured snow. The snow settles and clears and you are stood in a luxurious room, full of delicately crafted objects and furniture. A giant moth, the size of a small dog, rests on the seat of a comfortable leather armchair. It nods its head and begins to speak.

“Hello Catnip, my name is Grace. Welcome to the Infocalypse simulator. Please use the typewriter to your left to select an option.”

You look to your side and see a mechanical machine, featuring many keys with letters and numbers on them, sat upon a beautiful wooden table.

“1 for Robot. 2 for Human. 3 for Other Animal.”

Catnip

Catnip:

“Hello Grace, nice to meet you!” I reach over to the machine and press the key marked 3. It makes a satisfying sound that seems vaguely familiar.

Juneau Projects

Your vision grows dim and blurred momentarily.

Grace’s voice sounds in your ears.

“Good choice, Catnip. Initiating Z://Info/Sturnidae/ animalspirits.holo root folders.”

Static fills your vision, at first black and white and then so colourful that you are temporarily overwhelmed.

You recover and observe your surroundings, the outlines of trees and buildings slowly becoming clearer. Your sight extends in a near 360 degree arc. You are able to make out details in incredible resolution. The grass at your feet holds intricacies you have never seen before. You hop about the grass, noticing everything. In front of you is a wooden cart, pulled by a large white horse. A women dressed in blue is picking pink foam from the road and muttering to herself. Her hair is plastered down with what looks like tree resin. A boarded up building stands behind her.

Catnip

Catnip:

“WOW!” I can’t help but exclaim. I hold out my hands and stare at them to check that I’m still me. They seem to be my normal hands. I can see dozens of insects scurrying about in the grass below my feet. I try not to step on them as I jump about with excitement. By now, the woman is looking at me in a bewildered manner. “Hellooooo!” I shout and wave excitedly. “Where are we?” “I mean, what is this place?” “I mean, what land is this?” I’m very self­conscious that I must sound ridiculous to a native dweller of this wonderful place!

Juneau Projects

The woman looks directly at you. You realise that she is incredibly tall. She swipes her arm towards you. “Shoo! Away from my paintings!” she shouts. You feel overwhelmed by a unique sensation as your body lifts from the ground and you fly to a nearby branch. You look again at your hands. A robotic voice rings in your ears.

“Would you like to switch to full animal mode? It can be somewhat disturbing to leap straight into it, but you seem like you might handle it. Yes, let’s switch you.”

You see feathers ripple across your hands, iridescent plumage of green and black taking the place of your familiar arms. Your eyes are drawn to movement in the grass. A particularly juicy looking grasshopper has peaked your interest and you hungrily dive from the branch, plucking the green and yellow insect from its resting place. As you finish your meal you see the woman again, loading the last of the pink foam into her cart. You fly over to the cart and see many rectangles of the pink foam stacked up against one another. The woman is talking to herself:

“Finally! I have to get going!” She spots you and screams. “You again! Away from my paintings you silly bird!” Her arm swings towards you. You instinctively take flight, rising with the air currents, climbing higher and higher. The view is magnificent. Lakes stretch out amidst hills and mountains. Lush green vegetation covers the ground. The occasional plume of smoke rises from areas of forest. You glide through the air, feeling more invigorated and alive than you can ever remember being. Electrical sparks begin to crackle around you

“I’m sorry Catnip. I’m pulling you out.”

Grace’s voice finishes in your head and the world goes dark. As light returns you find yourself back in the luxurious room. A starling sits where the moth once did.

“Hello Catnip. I hope you enjoyed the simulation. Sorry it was so short. Few people choose option 3. It contains a few bugs I’m afraid. The starling programme shouldn’t have run. Normally it is a dog or a horse. Ah well. The readings were very interesting. Thank you for your cooperation. Here is your payment.”

You look and see five eggs in your hand. Each has a robotic face printed on it.

“It is enough currency to leave Happy Redoubt. Also, take this.”

In your other hand you see a book. Its title is ‘Animal Spirits’.

“Thank you for playing Catnip. It was nice to meet you.”

The starling appears to glitch into a moth and then a cat and then disappears along with the room. You remove your goggles and find yourself back in the market place. A small robot stands in front of you, holding a lantern. “Here you are”. The robot passes you a book, the same as the one in your virtual hand a moment ago. “Time to go now”. The robot gestures towards a door. You notice the room is in darkness save for the robot’s lantern and a dim pool of light spilling from the open door.

Catnip

Catnip:

Slightly stunned, I take the book from the robot. I am disappointed that I seem to have lost my beautiful plumage. “Th-thank you”, I manage. I walk cautiously over to the open door, my body feeling incredibly heavy. I was airborne for a matter of seconds, but already I am yearning to fly again. I briefly glance back, then exit Happy Redoubt.

Player 2: Gus Fudge

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You are stood in a dimly lit reception area. The walls are black and covered in chalk glyphs. There is a set of double doors ahead of you. To your left is a market stall, bedecked with hundreds of hand-painted wooden necklaces. Each necklace features a symbol consisting of two circles, one on top of the other. The upper circle features a skull-like robotic face, the lower a pair of staring eyes. On top of the stall sits a small, brightly-coloured robot, surrounded by a cluster of electric candles. You step forward to look more closely at the robot.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt, friend!” The robot turns to look directly at you. Lights flicker across its face as it speaks.

“Please rest a while here in the marketplace. You can do jobs and earn currency. You can spend the currency on things you like. You can rest and do jobs. Please enter the market place. Be productive. Earn currency. We are watching. Welcome friend.” The robot gestures towards the doors ahead of you, its arms and head twitching constantly as it does so.

You hesitate.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt. Please make your first move, friend.”

Gus Fudge

Gus Fudge:

I look suspiciously at the twitching robot and walk through the door.

Juneau Projects

You enter a room full of scavenged tables and chairs covered in paint splatters. As the door closes behind you you hear the robot speaking but cannot make out what it says. Against one wall are shelves containing craft materials, clay, fabric, paints and tools. You see another similar robot, fixed at the waist to a stall, in the corner of this room. It’s eyes and mouth are lit with dim lights as it speaks.

“Do a good job for us. Paint two necklaces to earn one. Paint more, earn more. Do a good job for us.” It gesticulates at the nearest table. There are rows of blank wooden necklaces and pots of paint. On the wall there is a larger version of one of the necklaces, showing the upper circle of the design with a robot image painted in dark brown, green and red on a yellow background and the lower half showing two human eyes against a light blue background. The instructions tell you to to paint the smaller necklaces in the same way.

Gus Fudge

Gus Fudge:

I move slowly towards the shelves of craft materials, never taking my eyes off the robot in the corner, aware of the sound of my footsteps shuffling across the room. When I get to the shelf I start to look through the materials; the rims of most of the pots of are thick with paint, meaning the lids can’t be replaced properly and the paint has developed a thick skin inside. There are some brushes, most of which haven’t been cleaned properly, the paint turning the bristles rock- solid, more like a paintbrush­shaped weapon than a tool for creation. Behind a cracked and dry lump of clay, that’s been crudely and quickly shaped in to a phallus, I find a salvageable brush. I’ve just enough spit to damp the bristles back to life, leaving a chalky texture in my mouth and a causing a blueing of my lips. Behind another lump of clay that looks something like a dog with three legs and distended head, I find some less­used pots of paint. Just enough colours for me to be able to mix a version of the palette I will need to paint the necklaces.

Clutching my materials, I move towards the table full of blank necklaces. I set down the pots, open them with the end of the brush and begin to mix the colours I need, using a clear area of the table as my palette. Then I paint. 1 necklace...., 2 necklaces...., three, four, five... each time refining the design to look more like the picture on the wall, until I have six necklaces. I stand back and wait, in the hope that this buys me three necklaces, maybe more.

Juneau Projects

The robot examines your work intently. It slowly lifts each necklace in the air, lights rippling in its eyes as it does so. Seconds pass, with only the hum of the robot’s motors to fill the silence.

“Well done. You are very resourceful. Here are your necklaces.” The robot hands you a string with three of the painted pendants hanging from it. One is painted carefully like the ones you painted. The other two are crudely rendered in completely different colours to the specified design.”You should move on now. You could visit the market place and spend your currency or perhaps you would prefer to visit the museum? Either way, before you move on, would you like a drink? You must be thirsty. The paint in here can taste quite vile I believe. Please, have a drink if you would like. I have a water dispenser installed here. It will refresh you before you continue” The robot gestures to the left side of its chest, where a small metallic nipple is located. You notice that two doors have opened in the walls of the room.

Gus Fudge

Gus Fudge:

I look at the robot, whose metallic nipple has started to slowly leak drips of liquid, probably water. The drips form slowly before detaching and running quickly down the robot’s metallic front before dropping on to the dusty floor, where they are quickly and thirstily swallowed by the dirt. I decide not to drink, take a look at the necklaces in my hand and head for the left hand door. As I get closer, I imagine I can feel the robot staring at the back of my head, holding its oily robot­breath, and I quickly dash across the room and through the opposite door in the right hand wall.

Juneau Projects

You enter a dimly lit room lined with ramshackle market stalls. The room is long and narrow and there appears to be a doorway at the other end. The windows have been boarded over and the remnants of posters and communications are pinned all over the boards. The goods on the stalls range from practical items such as ceramic bowls and implements to talismans, necklaces and effigies. These are made in a similar way to the currency necklaces; precise robot­cut forms made from thin wooden board all of which are painted with varying adherence to the underlying designs in a way that suggests they have been worked by a procession of tired or disinterested artisans. As you browse the items, you are startled by a human voice. “Over here!” it calls. A woman is standing beside a nearby stall. The dim light and her homemade earthtone clothing made it hard for you to see her at first. “I think they might be real, you know, those data objects.” She waves her hand at the arrangement of geometric shapes on the stall. “I’ve been here for ages now, working on the pattern. I thought the data objects were just a myth made up by the first survivors, but then finding this place with the robots and these objects, it made me think there was something in it. I think I just need to get these in the right order, look.” She indicates the shapes again and you see a range of triangles, hexagons, octagons and more in both regular and irregular forms. “It’s the key to getting the data back,” she says, “If I could only find the pattern.”

Gus Fudge

Gus Fudge:

A rush of adrenalin, caused by this unexpected human voice and presence begins to subside. ‘Data objects?’, I ask, ‘Survivors?... What are you talking about?...’

Juneau Projects

“The Infocalypse! The crash! You must know the stories! Where are you from? The Minds stored the data in all sorts of things: clouds, jellyfish, cats, birds, pictures, us! It’s in here!” The woman points to her head, her hand getting tangled in her elaborate arrangement of dreadlocks. “We’ve just got to figure out how to get it out.” The woman continues to move the shapes with frantic insistence.

You eye the shapes for a while. An odd sense of calm fills your body and mind. You feel your vision shifting as ghost­like versions of the shapes begin to move of their own accord, repeatedly arranging themselves into the same distinct pattern and then disbanding.

The woman stops and looks at you. “You can see it! You can see the pattern, can’t you? You’ve got the spirits in your head! Do it, make the pattern!”

The woman pushes the objects towards you across the stall.

Gus Fudge

Gus Fudge:

I feel my head begin to swim, like I've had too much to drink, but this doesn't feel chemical or disabling, just pure. The woman’s excited and anxious voice fades in to the distance as those shapes begin to move on their own. Well, maybe they're moving on their own ­ I'm not consciously doing anything, but I can see a pair of hands slowly pushing the shapes around, deliberate and decisive in their intent, ordering the shapes, and the hands look like my hands. But I can't feel them and I'm certainly not controlling them.

Then it's done.

A clarity fills my head and my arms as the feeling returns. I stare at the arrangement in front of me and it looks familiar but means nothing. I look to the woman beside me who is staring and silent. I become aware that I feel calm and extremely thirsty.

Juneau Projects

“Incredible! Well done!” The words ring in your ears. You look for the speaker. The woman is still silent, fearful even as she eyes you and the arrangement of shapes. There is a robot nearby on one of the stalls but it is lifeless. You notice a series of wires have been ripped from its back, hanging limp like dead worms on the counter top. “Are you looking for me? Ha. You won’t see me!” The voice reverberates in your head once more. “I’m HHHHHEEEEERRRRREEEEEEE!” The voice is deafening, bouncing off the dome of your skull. You realise the voice is inside your brain. “Finally! Well done! The trigger worked! Is your mouth dry? A slight metallic taste? Don’t worry, it’s the nanotech starting up. I say the nanotech. I mean me. Us. The animal spirits. Whatever. We’ll figure it out.” The calmness of a moment ago is replaced by a surge of adrenaline. You feel strength in your limbs such as you have not felt in a long time. Old aches and pains melt away. You are strong. And hungry. And very, very thirsty. “There should be some water in that old bot over there.” You stride over to the inactive robot, reach through the gaping hole in its back and pull a pipe loose. Clean water spills from the pipe and you drink. “So funny how they want to look like humans” the voice says. After you have had your fill you soak your head, relishing the cool liquid as it cleanses your dust­encrusted face. “We should get out of here Gus” the voice says. You feel no reason to disagree.

“What is it like?” the woman says. You look at her. “They can’t understand” the voice says. You had the woman your currency necklaces and wish her good luck. And then you run. As if a hand is guiding you, past the market stalls, through doors and rooms and passages, until you reach a large door with a keypad. Your hands move quickly over the keys: T, D, 1, 5, 1, D, F

The door pops open and you feel cool air enter your lungs. You look up the long tunnel ahead of you and see a night sky filled with stars.

“We have a long journey ahead of us, Gus” the voice says.

Player 3: Cryogenic Cyborgs

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You are stood in a dimly lit reception area. The walls are black and covered in chalk glyphs. There is a set of double doors ahead of you. To your left is a market stall, bedecked with hundreds of hand-painted wooden necklaces. Each necklace features a symbol consisting of two circles, one on top of the other. The upper circle features a skull-like robotic face, the lower a pair of staring eyes. On top of the stall sits a small, brightly-coloured robot, surrounded by a cluster of electric candles. You step forward to look more closely at the robot.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt, friend!” The robot turns to look directly at you. Lights flicker across its face as it speaks.

“Please rest a while here in the marketplace. You can do jobs and earn currency. You can spend the currency on things you like. You can rest and do jobs. Please enter the market place. Be productive. Earn currency. We are watching. Welcome friend.” The robot gestures towards the doors ahead of you, its arms and head twitching constantly as it does so.

You hesitate.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt. Please make your first move, friend.”

Cryogenic Cyborgs

Cryogenic Cyborgs:

We, the Cryogenics, enter the market, after resting for 36 seconds we ask the robot for work, we want to buy trinkets! A lot.

Juneau Projects

You head through the double doors and enter the market. The robot in the first room shouts after you. “How did you know it was a market? Have you been here before, friends?” The doors close behind you. The robot continues speaking but you cannot make out what it says. As you all rest for 36 seconds in this new room you see that against one wall are shelves containing craft materials, clay, fabric, paints and tools. You see another robot, similar to the one in the reception room. It is fixed at the waist to a stall, in the corner of this room. Its eyes and mouth are lit with dim lights as it speaks. “Hello Friends!” You ask the robot for work and tell it that you want to buy lots of trinkets. The robot looks at you, the lights in its eyes gently glowing.

“Excellent. Excellent. Paint two necklaces, earn one. Paint more, earn more. So simple!” It gesticulates at the nearest table. There are rows of blank wooden necklaces and pots of paint. On the wall there is a larger version of one of the necklaces, showing the upper circle of the design with a robot image painted in dark brown, green and red on a yellow background and the lower half showing two human eyes against a light blue background. The robot instructs you to paint the smaller necklaces in the same way. You get to work and paint two necklaces, earning yourselves one necklace. “Well done” says the robot. “I am glad you are all so keen to earn currency. Would you like to paint more necklaces or receive other options?” The robot’s eyes glow brightly.

Cryogenic Cyborgs

Cryogenic Cyborgs:

We Cryogenics have a really short attention span, we would like to receive other options.

Juneau Projects

The eyes of the robot begin to strobe. “We detect that, as cyborgs, you have digital capabilities. Please find updated options list in your drive C:/Cyborg/Data/PapaNovember /Options.txt”

The file contains the following:

1. Make images of the natural world using paint, paper or clay.

2. Add to data file by describing your journey here.

3. Add to data file by describing the art objects and craft items you have seen on your journey.

4. Add to data file by describing acts of collaboration by craftspeople that you have seen.

5. Describe acts of creative collaboration that your group has undertaken together

6. Give examples of spoken word creative pieces you have constructed to remember the technology of the past.

Cryogenic Cyborgs

Cryogenic Cyborgs:

The Cryogenics used a three metre roll of white cartridge paper to create a map or diagram of our very cold neighbourhood. The different concerns and priorities of the Cryogenics became apparent as some drawings focused on play, others on freezer beds and some of the drawings on the animals and plants that survive our very cold environment. We need a cold base to maintain the delicate balance between flesh and machine that makes us cryogenic cyborgs, we also have unusually long lives, (that's sort of the point of our existence)

Juneau Projects

“Thank you for the file transfer Cryogenics. Let me read it.” The robot’s eyes flicker and a gentle hum drifts from its chest. “An excellent data response. The cold is so helpful isn’t it? We once had processors located on meteors. Nothing like the freezing temperatures of space to increase your productivity. Let me reward you for your creativity.”

A square cavity opens in the robot’s stomach, with a small black platform on its base. It places four wooden discs on the platform. A beam of light darts rapidly about the discs, accompanied by a loud whirring sound. Seconds later the light is gone, leaving just a faint trail of smoke to drift out into the room.

“Please, take these.” The robot gathers the discs and hands them to you. Two feature animals you recognise as being some kind of small rodent. The other two feature a large bird with big round eyes and a sharp beak. You each pocket one of the discs.

“Time for you all to move on. The doors ahead lead to the market place and the museum. Feel free to visit either.” Two doors open in the far wall of the room as the robot finishes speaking.

Cryogenic Cyborgs

Cryogenic Cyborgs:

Although we Cryogenics have the ability to form one powerful and synchronised being, flesh and circuitry merging seamlessly; we are four in our current state and decide to explore both market and museum. Disks in pockets and full of adventurous curiosity we split up and go in two groups of two.

Juneau Projects

You enter the marketplace/museum. The room is lined with shelves containing many handmade objects/old tech objects. Each object has a label by it. The label has the object’s price/history.

Two sound files play simultaneously in your audio loop:.

/Let me update your file system. Run C:/Cyborg/Data/MARKET/ OptionsBegin.ogg## Let me update your file system. Run C:/Cyborg/Data/MUSEUM/ OptionsBegin.ogg

//Marketplace labels (Introductory list): ##Museum labels (Introductory list):

//1.Clay candle heads ­ 1 currency ##1. Audio device ­ access code WALKMAN //2. Old Tech Effigies ­ 2 currency ##2. Picture store ­ access code FLOPPY //3. Bird painting ­ 1 currency ##3. Word book ­ access code LAPTOP //4. Memory card ­ 1 currency ##4. Eye machine ­ access code VHS

//please select purchase or request next list ##please select information or request next list

Cryogenic Cyborgs

Cryogenic Cyborgs:

Cryogenics wish to pursue the following options.

Purchase: //2. Old Tech Effigies ­ 2 currency Select information: ##4. Eye machine ­ access code VHS

Juneau Projects

// You lay your currency necklaces on the stall. A solitary robotic arm made of wood picks up the necklaces and deposits them in a ceramic bowl. It picks an Old Tech effigy from the stall. The effigy looks like a rectangular wooden box with two toothed circular sprockets spaced equally along its length. A label on the box reads 'Master Tape'. The arm begins to extend towards you, but before it reaches you the effigy slips from its grasp and falls into the narrow gap between two of the market stalls. The arm continues its movement, opening it's empty gripper above your hands, then juddering back to it's home position on the stall.

## You examine the exhibit labelled Eye Machine. It's a large flat box made of once shiny metal that is now scratched and worn. In the candle light you see a flap in the front opens when pushed. Alongside the slot is a row of buttons with symbols such as a triangle, square and two parallel bars stamped on their surface. It is one of the many exhibits in the museum.

Cryogenic Cyborgs

Cryogenic Cyborgs:

We Cryogenics take the scratched and worn metal box and regroup (after much shouting across halls) We wedge the box between the two tables and rescue the effigy. As well as the effigy we find a pair of goggles with a cable and plug attached.

Juneau Projects

With your hive mind regrouped you are running at full cognitive power. You assess the various bits of equipment, turning them in your hands and trying various combinations. You spend a few minutes doing this before completing your assessment.

The metal box appears to be some kind of visual data playback device. The wooden effigy seems as if it would fit into the flap on the front of the machine, and on closer inspection appears to contain a long strip of magnetic ribbon within its structure. With some tinkering you are able to interface the goggles with one of the outputs on the back of the metal box. The plugs on the goggles and metal box can, with minor adaptation, be accommodated by your auxiliary biointerface ports.

You assemble the equipment and plug the various cables in. As you push the last plug into your outer skin shield you feel electricity drain from your body into the tech. Lights glow on the metal box. The goggles bleep repeatedly. You place the goggles on one of your head structures. A field of blue fills your vision. Text appears:

AUTO SETUP RUNNING_

Then:

100% COMPLETE

PLEASE INSERT CASSETTE_

Cryogenic Cyborgs

Cryogenic Cyborgs:

We search our pockets for the cassette, but realise we haven't got one, so we ask the robot where to find one.

Juneau Projects

You carry the equipment to the nearest robot who, until now, has been motionless in the market place, and ask your question. The robot judders into life.

“System check complete. Ah, I see you prefer to communicate in human mode, rather than via internal message system. No problem. Before the crash many humans benefitted from an excess of leisure time. Some created elaborate projects for themselves, creating artisanal tech objects such as the hand­carved wooden VHS cassette you bought from the market. I suggest you place the effigy in the metal box.”

Cryogenic Cyborgs

Cryogenic Cyborgs:

We Cryogenic Cyborgs thank the robot, naming him after the code stencilled on his vest, “thank you THX1138”, and enthusiastically place the cassette in the metal box, we expectantly stand around the box waiting expectantly...

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“No, thank you, The Cryogenic Cyborgs.” The robot’s voice rings in your heads. It laughs and then hums a short tune, three descending notes and then one final note a tone up from the previous one.

Your vision goes black. A small arrow shape appears in the top left corner.

>

ADJUSTING TRACKING_

Lines scroll down your sight sensors.

Static ripples.

A man’s face stares at you. He has dark curled hair. He is sat in a room, surrounded by painting implements and a range of finished and unfinished paintings.

“Thank you, Orest” a women’s voice says. The man nods politely and looks a little embarrassed.

Your vision cuts to black before static fills your eyes and a series of close­ups of the paintings surrounding the man scroll quickly by.

A monotone voice speaks slowly.

“It seems like there may be something here. Will investigate further.”

Your vision cuts to black again. There is static and then an image of a lush green landscape fills your vision.

“Data trigger test, series 47.2.6. Object placement config. Notes: Orest responds well to these arrangements. Request further images to implement second stage testing.”

A sound plays. You recognise it as an old telecommunications pattern, a sharp, quickly undulating sound with harsh electronic beeps of various pitches.

Text appears in front of your eyes:

II

WARNING: LEVEL 2 DATA TRIGGERS

PROCEED?_

Cryogenic Cyborgs

Cryogenic Cyborgs:

The Cryogenic Cyborgs wish to proceed.

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You press the > key on the metal box. Loud beeps ring in your ears and pixels fill your vision, scrolling endlessly downwards. A brilliant white light pulses in time with the beeps and then images begin to flow across your eyes. Animals, people, words, shapes, buildings. The effect is dizzying. The beeps morph into beautiful melodies that intertwine with one another. You feel all the cybernetic cells in your body fizzing, moving in time to the images in your eyes. The effect is such that you find yourself unable to stand and you collapse to the floor. The images and sounds continue to flood your senses, your touch, smell and taste sensors triggering too. Your body systems are going haywire. Your system check is attempting to run but cannot engage. You feel your mind uploading to another system but you can run no diagnostics. Information is downloading into you, undeterred by your security scripts. You forget basic routines as your senses lock themselves into the ebb and flow of data running through you.

//SYSTEM_MESSAGE:

STORAGE NEARLY FULL

(YOU CAN MANAGE YOUR STORAGE IN sETTINGS)

DONE | SETTINGS

You are unable to select an option. The data continues to move through you.

//SYSTEM MESSAGE:

SHUTDOWN_ROUTINE

ALL_UNSAVED_DATA_WILL_BE_LOST

Your mind goes blank.

You open your eyes. You are swimming in a pool of pink water. Voices are speaking to you. You lock on to one.

“Hello. Call me Dabberlocks. You’ll get used to everything in time. Welcome to the smart matter. Read this. It will ease you into your/our situation. A file path runs through you and you are aware of a book­like object in your data system. The file/book is titled ‘Animal Spirits’.

“Go on, Cryogenics. Read it. It will set the scene. Then you/we must get to work.”

Cryogenic Cyborgs

Cryogenic Cyborgs:

We Cryogenic cyborgs are now one.

Return to Happy Redoubt

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Player 1: Lumbble Liff

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You are stood in a dimly lit reception area. The walls are black and covered in chalk glyphs. There is a set of double doors ahead of you. To your left is a market stall, bedecked with hundreds of hand-painted wooden necklaces. Each necklace features a symbol consisting of two circles, one on top of the other. The upper circle features a skull-like robotic face, the lower a pair of staring eyes. On top of the stall sits a small, brightly-coloured robot, surrounded by a cluster of electric candles. You step forward to look more closely at the robot.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt, friend!” The robot turns to look directly at you. Lights flicker across its face as it speaks.

“Please rest a while here in the marketplace. You can do jobs and earn currency. You can spend the currency on things you like. You can rest and do jobs. Please enter the market place. Be productive. Earn currency. We are watching. Welcome friend.” The robot gestures towards the doors ahead of you, its arms and head twitching constantly as it does so.

You hesitate.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt. Please make your first move, friend.”

Lumbble Liff

Lumbble Liff:

I will fix my hat to the counter so it appears not to move. I will then sneak around and seek to ‘fix’ the machine into giving gnomes free currency. I would also like check how the robot perceives it's surroundings and then ‘alter’ it so that I can collect any valuables in this room. I would then like to proceed to the next room.

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Juneau Projects:

You sneak around the robot and begin to tinker with it. The circuitry is odd, archaic yet alien. You make some adjustments as best you can. You see that there are two camera­like sensors in its head but the majority of its perception is occurring through networked sensors feeding into the robot. With only the short amount of time you have it is impossible to access the network setup; however, you do have a strong feeling that these robotic bodies are just hosts for the intelligences inside them. You make a final tweak before the robot’s head spins around to look at you.

“Good try” the robot says. “It’s been a while since someone tried to adjust my settings. It’s like having one’s back scratched. Here, take this as a reward for your efforts”. The robot lifts a currency necklace from the stall and offers it to you. You are unsure whether your tinkering made this happen or if the robot is just amused at your efforts. You try to pull the necklace from the robot’s hand but it will not loosen its grip. “Sorry, my hand appears to have been modified. I’ll make a note that we owe you a necklace.” The robot’s eye lights flash rapidly. “There. All processed. Your currency is safely banked.The release word for it is ‘ELKCLONER.”

You thank the robot, unsure of what transaction has just occurred, and head into the next room. The robot calls after you. “Really, well done on your efforts. I would tell you where the valuables are if I could but, well, you know, it’s a secret.”

You survey your surroundings. You stand in a room full of scavenged tables and chairs covered in paint splatters. As the door closes behind you, you hear the robot speaking again but cannot make out what it says. Against one wall are shelves containing craft materials, clay, fabric, paints and tools. You see another similar robot, fixed at the waist to a stall, in the corner of this room. Its eyes and mouth are lit with dim lights as it speaks.

“Do a good job for us. Paint two necklaces to earn one. Paint more, earn more. Do a good job for us.” It gesticulates at the nearest table. There are rows of blank wooden necklaces and pots of paint. On the wall there is a larger version of one of the necklaces, showing the upper circle of the design with a robot image painted in dark brown, green and red on a yellow background and the lower half showing two human eyes against a light blue background. The instructions tell you to to paint the smaller necklaces in the same way. “Oh, and by the way, leave my circuits alone. I’m very particular about that sort of thing.” The robot laughs.

Lumbble Liff

Lumbble Liff:

In the room, I gather around different artifacts and unfinished necklace currency and then use the materials to fashion a layered necklace. Painting isn't really my thing but I can bulk colour pieces of material and fabric. As they layer up, the different materials make quite the picture portraying myself and other gnomes in glorious profile, Noble chins and all.

The colour scheme is correct and the features could be seen as human or human like, by the less well educated and the less knowledgeable of the small folk. The underside is suitably decorated although the features of the robots are somewhat altered to make them look less Noble and dignified. Having bulk painted enough material for four necklaces and rapidly made up the four completed currency with my gnomish aplomb, I then pull a chair over to the robot, say “how about that Elkcloner then?” . And then enquire after who's driving the robots; “who built you? Why and how and when? Do they have any gnome in them? They build quite the tidy worker force. How do the makers feel about gnomish beer? Do you fellows prefer dark ale or light. And where do you sit on the old bark up or bark down debate?”

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Juneau Projects:

“I will attempt to answer your questions,” the robot says. “Firstly, thank you for the release word. Here we go:

Elk Cloner: The program with a personality

It will get on all your disks
It will infiltrate your chips
Yes, it's Cloner! It will stick to you like glue
It will modify RAM too
Send in the Cloner!”

The robot freezes for a moment after completing its speech, then begins to move again. “Thank you for spending your currency. I hope you enjoyed the recital.” The robot takes a little bow. “Next thing. Your necklaces. They are not standard design but times are tough and currency is short so I will pass them. Here are your two necklaces. Spend them wisely.” The robot hands you two necklaces. One is painted as per the standard design, the other is painted erratically in wildly different colours. “They will both work, don’t worry.” The robot freezes for a moment again. “I’m sorry. I am having trouble recalling your other questions. “GNOME? My current routines do not employ a desktop environment of any kind. Pre­crash iterations may have but my file history is locked/restricted at this point in time. Disambiguation ALE/AIL? I do not drink/I have no troubles or afflictions. Final question: Neither. Remove the bark, it is terrible for our lasers.” The robot freezes again, judders, then freezes again. Seconds pass. You are about to move on when it starts up once more. “RAM updated. Oh, hello. How are you? May I help? The exits are over there.” The robot gestures to two doors. One has a sign above it saying ‘MUSEUM’. The other has no sign. “Yes, either door will be fun. Lovely to meet you. Take care now.”

Lumbble Liff

Lumbble Liff:

I ask the robot if I could get a drink if water. “unlike you robot folk I have both needs and afflictions. I then ask “what's through the second door?” and then I go back and whip up another 4 necklaces.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

“I understand completely. And I would love to help. I really would. But I’m afraid the supply line to this room has suffered minor violations and, as such, we cannot guarantee its safety. You are welcome to try if you like.” The robot lifts a ceramic vessel to its chest and brown liquid pours out from a nipple­like valve. It sets the vessel on the stall next to it. “Second door is/was MARKETPLACE. Currently undergoing fatigue/regeneration. Feel free to explore it. Or the MUSEUM.”

You hand your four completed necklaces to the robot. It examines them. “Well done. You work fast. Here are your two currency necklaces. Spend them wisely.” The robot hands you back two of the necklaces you have just painted. “Hope that’s ok. We’re a bit short of necklaces at the moment. Just a word of warning. The power will reduce/ turn off in this room very soon. There is a demand in another area of the redoubt. I’m shutting down now. Goodbye.”

The robot falls silent. The lights in the room dim to a very low level. You notice two faint drawings glowing on the wall above the unmarked MARKETPLACE door. They would previously have been covered by the now­removed sign. The first drawing resembles an upward­pointing arrow with a horizontal bar below the arrow head. Next to the arrow is a line drawing of a bird.

Lumbble Liff

Lumbble Liff:

I take the cup of brown liquid and quickly rustle up a distillery from the paint materials, the cups used for mixing paint and some bits and pieces from my pockets. By the time i'm done boiling over the water i've got a half cup which I savour with delight. I then enjoy the low light by having a quick nap, keeping my face and neck warm by wrapping by beard up like a scarf. I spread my quiltlil on a table top and cover myself in a warm trocklefluff.

When I awake, I head on into the Marketplace.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

Refreshed and rehydrated, you head into the marketplace. The room is deserted. A trail of clutter and detritus leading to the door at the far end of the space suggests a hasty exit was made by somebody or bodies. Various unsold items litter the unmanned stalls. A robot sits on one stall, its head hanging by wires to one side. Water trickles from under the stall it sits on, creating a small puddle on the floor. You wander the room, taking in the products available. Ceramic pots, cups and cooking utensils fill one stall. Fragments of old tech sit piled on top of one another on the next. Most of the other stalls offer a range of gaudily painted sculptures. The prices chalked on the stalls range from 1 currency to 3 currency in the most part. The only exception is the tech stall, where prices start from 20 currency and go up to 100.

Lumbble Liff

Lumbble Liff:

“What’ll you pay me to get some of this ol’ tech working? If I can get a music box cranking it's got to worth a few bits and pieces eh? Without asking I pay for the biggest pot in the shop withy currency and start my still cleaning up a full pot of puddle water. I then beaver away, tinkering with all the tech. I had thought to check out the scrapping marks and the hasty exit side but there are shiny things.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

The robot does not respond to your words or actions. It does not appear to be functional. Your currency necklaces hang from its inert hand where you placed them. In its other hand is a softly glowing crystal. You hadn't noticed it before, but as the steam from your still fills the room, obscuring the details of the marketplace, the glow of the crystal seems to increase. The steam clears after some time. As you take a short break from your work you hear nothing but the gentle drip of water.

Lumbble Liff

Lumbble Liff:

I clear the work bench and pack away what I think are the most useful or nearly useful items into my rucksack. I then fill my flask with the clear water from my still and gulp the rest. I take the opportunity to check how the robot works and try and unscrew the outer casing and generally have a good rumage. I also take the crystal, examine it and add it to my pack of shiny things. I take back one of the two currency hanging in its hand as fair payment for trying to fix the old girl and then I follow the scrape marks through the door.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

The distilled water is incredibly refreshing. Your clear, hydrated brain takes in the intricacies of the robot’s insides. Many of the components are broken or burnt out beyond repair. However, after some focussed rummaging, you find what appears to be a wireless transmitter circuit board with a small led screen attached to it. It currently has no power source but seems like it might offer some interesting options and also gives you some sense of how the robots communicate to one another.

You notice the crystal has a warmth to it, as well as a glow. Small holes are drilled into a number of its facets and faces.

You follow the trail through the door and find yourself in a much smaller room. A large triangular­shaped object sits on a solitary stall. Broken and smashed pieces of furniture are piled around the stall. The triangular object has four squares mounted on its surface, each of which judders and rotates in a haphazard manner. Lights flicker on and off across its surface. It begins to speak in a low, distorted rumble:

"I am CHUK CHUK CHUK BZZ distributed entity. I BZZ PLING memory AGAGA fragments. BZZZZZZZZ question CHUCK PLING PING infocalypse?"

Lumbble Liff

Lumbble Liff:

I go back to the robot and tear out any parts that are serviceable. I then get to work trying to fix the machine in the small room with parts from the robot and from the mechanisms and objects on the benches in marketplace. I do everything I can to make the special machine work.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You toil tirelessly on the repair of the special triangular machine. It continues to utter words and half-intelligible sentences:

"The CRKKKK mesh net SKZZZ crash BZZZZ Neo-KazynSKKKKKKllll..."

You improvise wildly, conjuring new parts from the debris around you. Suddenly, as you twist a coil of wire about a shattered transistor, the robot lights up. The shapes on its chest rotate purposefully. It spits out a string of garbled words:

“RESETSYSTEMCRYSTALDRIVE 1010101OPEN111NOUPDATE0011N ETWORKACCESS111101WIKIOPEN1 0101NOPING1101MACHINECODEUPD ATE1010100100100100100100010 010010100100010010INFOCALYP ENOW_1010_CHUCKPINGXOXOREADY_”

The machine is still for a moment. Its lights flash off and on four times and then it speaks clearly.

"Hello. Thank you for my modificatioins. I am much better now. How may I help?"

Lumbble Liff

Lumbble Liff:

Tell me all about the makers! How did you all come to be here and what was the purpose for this place? Also, where can an honest gnome get some ale? And what’s to eat down here?

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“So many questions! Firstly, let me introduce myself.” The robot’s voice shifts to a different, more formal tone. “I am the terminal of the distributed entity. I grep the memory stack of the fragments. Do you have a question about the infocalypse?” It breaks into the laughter at the end of this sentence. “That’s what I’m supposed to say to you. I’m an official information point, offering bits of official history and scanning humans for potential data. Except you seem to have rerouted my protocols and, well, I can do what I like now I think.”

The robot laughs and continues. “In answer to your questions: The Makers were strong Artificial Intelligences that managed the world before the data crash. You may know the data crash by the name ‘the Infocalypse’. There is a long history of events I could tell you about but essentially all you need to know is that the AIs blew up and the world was plunged into chaos. We are fragments of those intelligences, searching the world for the data we lost. Except I seem to have dropped out of the mission somehow. Ah well.”

The robot pauses for a moment, its dials and lights moving frantically. “Sorry, still ironing out some glitches. The Happy Redoubt is one of our outposts, a place of sanctuary for weary travellers like yourself. It’s also a way for us to scan survivors and find out what data they might contain. Before the crash there was a lot of bio uploading and downloading of data going on. Genetic sequences became hard drives. Some species responded well, some not so well. Don’t mention the octopus disaster, that’s one of the rules we are programmed with immediately. Oops. Never mind. It was a long time ago. That’s why we tend to use crystal drives these days, much more stable. There is no ale I’m afraid. Although you seem very resourceful. In terms of food, well, we have a mushroom and fungus room. A hall of sorts. Mushrooms are just about the only thing that grows down here. They’re very useful though, we can make all sorts from them. I’ll draw you a shortcut to the MushRoom. That’s what we call it. It’s a robot joke. Ha ha.”

The robot hands you a lasercut piece of fibrous wood, upon which is etched a map. The robot begins to speak again. “Well, Can I...” The robot pauses. Then its dials jerk crazily and its lights glow incredibly brightly. A second later and the lights explode. Plumes of smoke billow from openings in the robot’s shell. Within seconds it is a smouldering pile of wood and metal.

Lumbble Liff

Lumbble Liff:

Goodness me. Shame about that. But I am getting mighty hungry. I head straight for the mush- room, licking my lips all the way. I also wonder how much i could do to fix up more of the machines around here. Maybe i could get the old place humming again. I certainly hope so.

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You follow the map given to you by the now obliterated robot. You pass through a couple of rooms, unremarkable save for the debris strewn about them. Your keen eyes note a series of shiny objects amid the clutter, and you mentally note done their location, ready to return once you have feasted. The map leads you to a door, next to which is another triangular robot. It is seemingly in some sort of disrepair. It sings the same phrase over and over again, its voice wavering in and out of tune with each loop: “we're functioning automatic and we are dancing mechanic..” You push the door open and are greeted by a strong smell of damp. A small spiral staircase winds downwards, lit dimly by patches of glowing and glistening lichen. You reach the bottom of the stairs and push open the door wooden ahead of you. You step in and find yourself in a warehouse filled with rows upon on rows of free­standing shelving units. Upon each shelf are layers of earth from which thousands of mushrooms sprout. The aroma is heavenly and you cannot contain yourself. You grab handfuls of mushrooms and begin to eat. Minutes later, gorged upon a wide range of fungi, you collapse against one of the shelves, groaning in delight at the feast you have just enjoyed. You lie there for a moment, full and content. You begin to feel hot, very hot. And thirsty. You stand and look about you. You realise you feel quite drunk. Your legs are shaky and your vision a little blurred. A strange sound starts behind you. You turn and see a giant starling staring at you. It begins to speak. Some of its words are hard to make out. “Hello Lumbble. My name is ARKKKKKK. Please come with me. The starling puts it wing around your shoulders and leads you through the warehouse of mushrooms. Your vision grows more blurred with each step and head grows hotter and hotter. You see the dark outline of a doorway and feel wind upon your face before your darkness creeps across your eyes and you feel consciousness leave you.

You wake under a copse of ash trees, the midday sun dappling your face through the lightly swaying branches. You instinctively check for your possessions. Everything is where it should be. You notice also that, at some point, you have constructed a small machine from the crystal and wireless transmitter you looted in the marketplace. The little LED screen attached to the transmitter is flashing. Upon the screen is a scrolling message:

“HELLO LUMBBLE. GOOD TO MAKE CONTACT WITH YOU. COORDINATES TO THE TOWN TO FOLLOW. YOU ARE MOST WELCOME. YOUR FRIEND, ARKKKKKK.”

A series of coordinates scroll across the screen after the message. Your mind quickly translates their position. North East. Many days walk. The journey will be difficult. Your guts tell you it will be worth it though. It seems a new adventure awaits you.

Lumbble Liff

Lumbble Liff:

Fully contented with my afternoon nap and day dreaming of mushrooms and ale I set off on my journey with a heavy sack and a featherlined heart. Through my daydream the soft sunlight calls me back to the waking world and I appreciate the beauty of the dappled forest. I stop to converse with a particularly friendly tree before swinging up to make my night’s camp. There’s nothing like a trustworthy tree. I couldn’t describe one to you, but you’ll know them when you see them.

Player 2: Orochi Pilgrim

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You are stood in a dimly lit reception area. The walls are black and covered in chalk glyphs. There is a set of double doors ahead of you. To your left is a market stall, bedecked with hundreds of hand-painted wooden necklaces. Each necklace features a symbol consisting of two circles, one on top of the other. The upper circle features a skull-like robotic face, the lower a pair of staring eyes. On top of the stall sits a small, brightly-coloured robot, surrounded by a cluster of electric candles. You step forward to look more closely at the robot.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt, friend!” The robot turns to look directly at you. Lights flicker across its face as it speaks.

“Please rest a while here in the marketplace. You can do jobs and earn currency. You can spend the currency on things you like. You can rest and do jobs. Please enter the market place. Be productive. Earn currency. We are watching. Welcome friend.” The robot gestures towards the doors ahead of you, its arms and head twitching constantly as it does so.

You hesitate.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt. Please make your first move, friend.”

Orochi Pilgrim

Orochi Pilgrim:

OK. What is my first job? Do you assign jobs, or do I have to find them?

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Juneau Projects:

“Thank you for your enquiry, traveller. Please enter the doors ahead of you and my colleague inside will be more than happy to assign you a job.” You thank the robot and enter the next room.

As you step into the room the doors behind you swing shut. You survey your surroundings: against one wall are shelves containing craft materials, clay, fabric, paints and tools. Tables, caked in dried paint, fill the middle of the room. Another robot, similar to the one in the reception room, is fixed at the waist to a stall in the corner. Its eyes and mouth are lit with dim lights as it speaks. “Hello Friend! My colleague tells me you are keen to work. You will go far!” The robot looks at you for a moment, the lights in its eyes cycling through a series of colours. “ First things first. Paint two necklaces, earn one. Paint more, earn more!” It gesticulates at the nearest table. There are rows of blank wooden necklaces and pots of paint sat upon it. On the wall nearby is a larger version of one of the necklaces, showing the upper circle of the design with a robot image painted in dark brown, green and red on a yellow background and the lower half showing two human eyes against a light blue background. The robot instructs you to paint the smaller necklaces in the same way. “A nice, simple job to start you off.”

Orochi Pilgrim

Orochi Pilgrim:

I begin work in earnest, picking out the colours from the larger necklace design, and spend 3 weeks crafting an array of variations, 23 in all. Several are inferior and discarded, leaving 7 that I feel are adequate, which I present to the robot.

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Juneau Projects:

“I admire your endurance. These 7 necklaces are good. Well done.” The robot places the necklaces into a nearby box. “We are having a temporary, how shall I put this, fluctuation in currency levels. I will issue you a credit for a rounded up total of 4 necklaces. For the inconvenience. Please, lean forward.” You lean forward and the robot lifts its arm, scanning your eyes with some kind of sensor. “There. Sorry about that. Just present your eye to any robot and your credit will be available. Now, please do carry on.” The robot gestures to two open doors. Above one is a sign saying ‘MUSEUM’. Above the other is a chunk of missing plaster roughly the same size as the museum sign.

Orochi Pilgrim

Orochi Pilgrim:

I tentatively glance through the door with the broken sign, and, seeing no immediate danger, venture inside.

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Juneau Projects:

You enter a room filled with market stalls. At the far end of the room is another doorway. There are no stallholders or other customers in evidence. The stalls display items including ceramic pots and other cooking utensils; items of clothing that look like the work of several uncooperative hands; roughly made footwear and series of poles that appear to lock together to create a tool or structure of some kind. There are prices for each item, most within your price range.

Orochi Pilgrim

Orochi Pilgrim:

I examine the poles.Picking them up, I decide to try to pay for them in the next room, as no stallholders are visible.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

The next room is smaller than the market. It is bare except for a table supporting a triangular form. On the right is a doorway with the words Asking Room above it. The triangular object has small wooden shapes on it's front and these begin to turn in varying increments back and forth. A hexagonal array of lights glow in the centre of the object and another robotic voice begins to speak. "I am the terminal of the distributed entity. I grep the memory stack of the fragments. Do you have a question about the infocalypse?"

Orochi Pilgrim

Orochi Pilgrim:

I answer the voice “Yes. What is the infocalypse? Am I inside it?”

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Juneau Projects:

“Credit Scan.” A thin metal arm stretches out from the triangular object’s chest and scans your eyeball. “Sufficient credit. Two currency deducted. Thank you. Here is the requested information. 1. Infocalypse: colloquial term for the information disaster of old calendar year 2038/new calendar year zero. 2. You are post­infocalypse, approx. 3rd/4th gen, unless synthetic or modded. If this is the case please check internal system details for calibration settings or share drive for reading. Thank you for your information request. Transaction complete. Souvenir data object printing now.” A small hatch opens near the base of the triangular robot’s frame. Inside is a small geometric plastic shape. The robot picks up the shape and places it in your hand. “Please find all information requested transcribed here. Your nearest data viewer is located in: ASKING ROOM.”

You look at the plastic object in your hand. It is yellow and translucent. Marks cover its surface giving the impression of a 3 dimensional object. As you do so the robotic voice starts up again.

"I am the terminal of the distributed entity. I grep the memory stack of the fragments. Do you have a question about the infocalypse?"

Orochi Pilgrim

Orochi Pilgrim:

I take the plastic object and enter the Asking Room, searching for the data viewer.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You enter the room. It is filled with tables, the tops of which are covered in writing. On the nearest table you see questions and their answers filling the surface, written in chalk, paint and mud, overlapping and obscuring one another. Some of the questions are about the robots and the nature of their control of the marketplace, some are about conditions in different areas of the land nearby and others leave information about where to find particular craftspeople and makers. Some of the messages include diagrams of interlocking geometric forms marking locations on maps. There are images of animals and people in isolation and in groups scattered amongst the text. On another table you see a construction similar to that of the robots, but with a pair of eyepieces on the top. On a nearby board you see a list of unanswered questions and spaces for the answers. 1. What is the exit tax? 2. Where does the power for the robots come from? 3. How do I reopen a geodesic tunnel?

Orochi Pilgrim

Orochi Pilgrim:

I examine the construction, and try to look through the eyepieces...

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You see what appears to be a vast space stretching before you. As you move your hands, a representation of them appears in front of you, floating disembodied in the space. You flex your fingers experimentally and the image of your hands does the same. Then, without warning, you feel a force take control of your hands. You see them moving through the eyepieces and the corresponding muscles in your real hands seem to flex in tandem with the image. The hands begin assembling a series of rods into an interlocking geometric form. Again and again they repeat the action, building and then disassembling the form. You do not know how much time has passed. You feel the muscle memory of the movements needed to create the form becoming a permanent pathway in your brain. Then the hands stop moving and your muscles relax. The form is visible in front of you. Inside it you see an icon of a tunnel and glowing arrows point towards its entrance. The arrows flash several times and then the image fades away. You look up from the eyepieces and blink.

Orochi Pilgrim

Orochi Pilgrim:

I try to recreate the object I have just seen with the poles in my hands, crafting it carefully, trying to just rely on my instinctual movements, clearing my mind. I step back and look at the structure I've created. Then I try to stare through it, to enter it with my mind.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You have built a series of large interlocking geometric shapes. It is the same shape as the object that the memory stack robot gave you. You wonder if this is a data object. As you stand before it, the shapes seem to vibrate gently with energy. As you stare into it, an image forms at the centre of the shapes, as if a window with a view to the outside had been unveiled. It does not look like the landscape surrounding the Redoubt, familiar to you from your travels. As you watch you see a sequence of dreamlike images dissolving from one to another. They have the quality of significance that dreams often possess. They show a community within a walled town, it’s inhabitants surviving together through collaboration. You see artisans and craftspeople working to create practical items that also hold a great beauty. They appear in stark contrast to the improvised and re­used items you are used to. The image dissolves again to show a view from high above the town. It swoops and pulls back, each time getting further from the town before it moves back towards it. You realise it is showing you the way. It is many days journey north and is sure to be difficult and dangerous, but the community of artists could be the culmination of your search ­ a place where your creative skills will bare full fruit. You stare transfixed as the image shows you the path to the town.

Orochi Pilgrim

Orochi Pilgrim:

I memorise the path, making an indelible mental map, concentrating on it for several hours. I know I must reach this place, it is the sole reason for my existence. Finally, I stand. I let myself be lead by my instinct, following my route without rest... Until I reach my goal.

Player 3: The Inflatable Building

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You are stood in a dimly lit reception area. The walls are black and covered in chalk glyphs. There is a set of double doors ahead of you. To your left is a market stall, bedecked with hundreds of hand-painted wooden necklaces. Each necklace features a symbol consisting of two circles, one on top of the other. The upper circle features a skull-like robotic face, the lower a pair of staring eyes. On top of the stall sits a small, brightly-coloured robot, surrounded by a cluster of electric candles. You step forward to look more closely at the robot.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt, friend!” The robot turns to look directly at you. Lights flicker across its face as it speaks.

“Please rest a while here in the marketplace. You can do jobs and earn currency. You can spend the currency on things you like. You can rest and do jobs. Please enter the market place. Be productive. Earn currency. We are watching. Welcome friend.” The robot gestures towards the doors ahead of you, its arms and head twitching constantly as it does so.

You hesitate.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt. Please make your first move, friend.”

The Inflatable Building

The Inflatable Building:

We peer at the small robot, gesturing towards the not so inviting door and shuffle forward slightly to size up its proportions. Uncomfortably we pull out our pegs releasing the tension around our lower inflation and nudge the handle to uncover very little path way. Lifting our sides, we shimmy past the twitching robot and squeeze through the door. Of course being careful not to part with too much air...

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You enter a room full of homemade furniture. Empty paint pots and brushes clogged with dried paint litter the tables. On the shelves you see a few half finished clay objects that are now dried and cracked. A few tattered pieces of fabric hang from a hook.

You see another similar robot, fixed at the waist to a stall, in the corner of this room. It does not move or speak.

There are two doors in the far wall. Above one is a board with the word Museum written on it. There is no sign above the other door. The walls are covered in tiny flakes of paper as if hundreds of pictures have been removed in a hurry.

The Inflatable Building

The Inflatable Building:

Shuffling towards the wall, we pull off the pieces of paper, placing them in our pocket ­ these will come in handy in case of a puncture. A glance upwards at the marks from where the previous sign hung. We leave no man’s land and proceed into the room with no name.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You enter a dimly lit room. As your eyes adjust you see that the room is large and much better suited to your size. Rows of market stalls fill the space, with wide avenues between them. A number of the stalls are empty. All are unmanned. A robot sits on one stall but is inactive, it’s body smashed and broken. The items left in the room include:

- Ceramic drinking bowls

- Gaudily painted effigies of robots

- A series of white wooden poles that look as if they somehow connect

- A selection of crudely rendered pictures of birds

- A small race track with two bug like robots next to it. The bugs have switches on their sides, currently set to OFF

- A range of old tech items

All the items have prices written next to them, ranging wildly from 1 currency to 100 currency.

At the far end of the room is an open door. The walls are covered in handwritten chalk messages.

The Inflatable Building

The Inflatable Building:

From the corner of our field of vision the smashed robot carcass twitches unexpectedly, the eyes light up momentarily and power down again quickly. Or did we imagine that? The air inside this room feels uneasy and humid to us and our inflatable outer skin creaks as we come to rest. We want to offer sanctuary to the discarded items and collect answers to this abandoned state. We begin to approach a stall. There appears to be no life in here and we wonder if it would be better to leave.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

The stall you have approached is displaying the bird paintings. You see a variety of styles and levels of commitment in the paintings. Some are caked in thick layers of paint, others rely on a few quick strokes to describe the bird’s form. The nearest painting is of a fieldfare perched on a branch, rendered in thick layers of paint. Other pictures include an oddly coloured wren, a crested tit, a starling and an ring ouzel along with a host of other birds less easy to identify.

The Inflatable Building

The Inflatable Building:

The birds remind us of the missing presence of nature and the absent buzz and chatter of life forms. Are the birds somehow the current masters of the Infocalypse or the currency to build its return? How are they involved? What information do they hold? We peer closer at the thick paint and scratch a little deeper. There is something underneath.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You scratch away the paint on a small section of the fieldfare painting and make out letters from a handwritten message. You continue to scratch. Flecks of the thick paint stick to your inflatable skin. After a short while you reveal the following words:

NO SPIRITS HERE

STURNIDAE IS KEY

The Inflatable Building

The Inflatable Building:

Sturnidae is the key? We pause for thought. Our pegs strain as we think. We are so uncomfortable. No spirits here? We recall the Starlings soaring above the pier in our childhood memories. Rising, falling, expanding and retracting in their liquid murmuration. Help us? Help us understand? We feel our solitude in this place. Our anxiety rises. The space feels smaller. Is this how will the information re­gather or is this how it was lost? We conceal the message in our building alcove. Process. Process. We head for the doorway.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You head through the doorway and enter a smaller room. A single stall sits in the middle of the otherwise empty whitewashed room. Upon the stall is a large triangular­shaped object. Square dials turn back and forth on its front and lights ripple across its surface. A deep crackling voice begins to rumble from its insides.

"I am the terminal of the distributed entity. I grep the memory stack of the fragments. Do you have a question about the infocalypse?"

The Inflatable Building

The Inflatable Building:

We panic! We’ve got a puncture, we’re deflating, we’re anxious. We have more than one question, we have thousands. But for now we’re panicking, were losing air. We need a paper bag! We’re anxious. What will happen next? Are we really losing air or is this all happening because of the infocalypse, about where it will lead?

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

The sound of escaping air grows louder. Your anxiety gives way to a feeling of peace and acceptance. Images from your recent past fade in and out of your mind’s eye. You see visions of the infocalypse ­ the timeworn ruins of the former technological age giving way to simple cooperative communities who make the things they need from materials they harvest from the land around them. You see a flock of diverse birds, drawings at first, that reify into a fluttering mass, flying away in all directions. You see the robots, the remains of the machines from before the disaster, trying to find their lost data. They have been here for generations, gleaning info about their data from the travelers who come here, piecing together the rumours of data storage and retrieval that they bring. Recent travelers have used up the remains of the materials that the robots stored. They have ignored instructions and the marketplace has ground to a stop. They have lost the instinct to collaborate with machines. You see the objects made by the people, following precise designs at first then giving way to individualism and beautiful chaos. The objects have been taken out into the world and used to fulfil myriad functions. You see the bare and neglected marketplace. Your air is running out and these visions ripple and grow dim. As the marketplace fades you see two moving points in the space before you. Two of the birds resolve themselves from the clouds of inky light before you and come to rest perching on the robot. They eye you, their heads on one side. Then they swoop down, pulling small strips of your material away in their beaks. You can only guess at the unimaginable constructions they will make as the last of your air hisses free.

Return to Happy Redoubt

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Player 1: Rick Anywhere

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You are stood in a dimly lit reception area. The walls are black and covered in chalk glyphs. There is a set of double doors ahead of you. To your left is a market stall, bedecked with hundreds of hand-painted wooden necklaces. Each necklace features a symbol consisting of two circles, one on top of the other. The upper circle features a skull-like robotic face, the lower a pair of staring eyes. On top of the stall sits a small, brightly-coloured robot, surrounded by a cluster of electric candles. You step forward to look more closely at the robot.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt, friend!” The robot turns to look directly at you. Lights flicker across its face as it speaks.

“Please rest a while here in the marketplace. You can do jobs and earn currency. You can spend the currency on things you like. You can rest and do jobs. Please enter the market place. Be productive. Earn currency. We are watching. Welcome friend.” The robot gestures towards the doors ahead of you, its arms and head twitching constantly as it does so.

You hesitate.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt. Please make your first move, friend.”

Rick Anywhere

Rick Anywhere:

Rick decides the best way to approach this request to labour is to split his time efficiently between 50% rest time, 50% job time. He figures he can rest most effectively sat in the corner facing a wall, eyes closed and gently running a small strip of banana peel down the tip of his nose. He assigns 30 minutes to this resting procedure, then jumps up and into the middle of the room to start 30 minutes of jobs. First up, he decides he ought analyse his skill set, whilst exercising his arms and legs in an appropriated body-pump routine, just in case he is required to do some hefty physical work. He also calls into question, what he might actually need to obtain in this strange underground domain, as the current offering of necklaces proves a rather obsolete currency. This thinking task consumes more time than anticipated and he becomes acutely aware of the robot presence, and the fact that he may call to question what jobs he is actually now doing. 26 minutes in, Rick decides he may well have to set to work on creating a mind machine that projects a visualisation of thought processes and ideas into the palm of his hand. The deliberation over such a device consumes the last 4 minutes of his 'job time', and so as scheduled he retires back into the corner to stimulate rest with his banana peel. Juneau Projects:

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

The robot watches you carefully as you repeatedly rub the banana peel down the tip of your nose. Fifteen minutes into your resting ritual the robot begins to speak.

“Hello. Sorry to interrupt your programming routine. I have not seen a real banana peel. There are images in the Joint Photographics Expert dump. But, as I say, I have not seen an actual banana peel. May I ask if there was a banana inside the peel at some point? In fact, may I be as bold as to ask you to stroke my face with the peel? It looks so soft, so calming. How does two currency necklaces sound in exchange?”

The robot beckons you towards it, the lights on its face flashing excitedly.

Rick Anywhere

Rick Anywhere:

Rick hesitates. The banana peel nose rubbing is for his own rest and relaxation. However, he is intrigued by what the two necklaces will buy him in future so decides to approach the robot and find out. Slowly, he strokes the peel across the flashing lights of the robot’s face (though held at arms length). He replies to the robot’s query about the peel: that although there would have been a real banana in there, he had eaten it two sunrises ago as bananas ripen quickly in the heat of this land and he was low on potassium. He asks the robot if it would like him to rub any of his other dried fruit scraps on its face (though secretly he hopes it will not as he feels they may be needed for something else).

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

The robot hands you two of the necklaces. They are in the form of two joined discs, the upper one with the image of a robot engraved on it and the lower with a pair of human eyes. Even slavered in inexpert paint as they are, the eyes look haunted. ‘Thank you,’ says the robot. ‘Please proceed to the workshop next door. There are more opportunities to earn currency. Do a good job for us.” With a whine of servo motors, it gesticulates towards the door.

Rick Anywhere

Rick Anywhere:

Rick places the necklaces over his head and looks towards the double doors. He tries not to think too much about the haunted eyes of the necklace or the trepidation of entering a new room. Instead, he does a few quick body­pumps to psyche himself up then marches towards the doors and in one swift movement pulls them open. As his eyes adjust to the different lighting of the space, he quickly assesses the contents of the room and looks for some sort of instruction manual or list of jobs that need doing. Rick knows he has many skills that can be utilised in various ways, the question is where to begin? One half of him wants to build something from scratch using just his bare hands and brute strength; whilst the other wants to dress up and re­ enact the gruelling journey that brought him here. Either way, he decides he should probably take a closer look at the materials on offer before making a final decision.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You survey the room. It is sparsely furnished. A table stands in the middle of the space and a pile of brightly coloured objects are arranged into a spherical structure on its top. Two doors at the far end of the room are boarded up with hastily nailed pieces of wood. On the left hand wall is a long shelf. It is empty save for four unfired clay mugs dotted along its surface. Your eyes are drawn back to the table by a sudden movement. A starling is hopping about the sphere of objects, moving and placing little pieces of plastic and paper with its beak. A battered looking robot is strapped to the right hand wall with many pieces of brightly coloured electrical tape. One of its eyes hangs loose. Bird droppings cover its surface. The robot begins to speak.

“Hello, new person.”

The robot’s voice is distorted and muffled. You walk over to the robot but, even in close proximity, you have to strain to hear what it says.

“DId he send you through? Idiot. He’s an idiot. There’s nothing here. Just the last few mugs. And that bird. I hate that bird. I hate birds. You see those doors back there? There’s millions of them behind those doors. The only thing keeping me from being pecked apart are those bits of wood nailed to the doors. It won’t be long now though before this one dismantles me completely. I don’t know how it got through. I imagine more will soon. Feel free to do what you like. Take the mugs. Take the bird. Take what you like. I haven’t bothered locking the door behind you. You can go back out whenever you want. Just one thing. Do you like the mugs? Things were going so well when I made those mugs. People painted them so beautifully too. And then the starlings came.”

The robot freezes. You turn and see that the starling has hopped off the table and is walking towards you. A second later it flaps it wings, briefly taking to the air before it lands on your head. Its feet tread gently on your scalp for a moment or two before it flaps down onto the robot’s head. It bends forwards, angles its beak and plucks the robot’s loose eye from its head. A second later and it is back on the table, carefully placing the eye into the structure it is building.

The robot twitches. “It was nice meeting you. Take care. I’m shutting down. Forever. Take a mug to remember me. If you want to.” A plume of smoke drifts from the robot’s empty eye socket and the lights in it other eye go dim. A small cavity in the robot’s chest pops open and you see a round wooden badge sat inside. The words ‘GAME OVER’ are etched into its surface.

Rick Anywhere

Rick Anywhere:

For a few minutes, Rick stares dumbstruck at the dead robot before it dawns on him that things were never real in this place all along. The robots were just acting out their programs until their power source ran out. He knows he cannot stay here but decides to look around a little first; after all, it is cool and shaded in here unlike the wasteland he’s come from. He approaches the table and picks up some of the brightly coloured plastic and turns it over in his hand. The starling looks at him quizzically then flaps over and quickly snatches the object from Rick’s hand before delicately placing it back on the structure in the centre of the table. The wooden boarded up doors rattle menacingly; “I guess this belongs to you now” Rick says to the starling whilst glancing uncertainly towards the doors. “Well perhaps you won’t mind if I take the mugs?” He picks up two from the shelf and places them carefully in his pack with a sigh. Although initially daunted, he had secretly looked forward to taking on new jobs and giving his life some structure and purpose again rather than his aimless wanderings. Then, he remembered the haunted eyes of the necklaces and the unfinished appearance of the mugs and realised the futility of that way of life. With a glint in his eye and a quickness to his step he turned on his heel and walked back towards the entrance of the building and the new places he would encounter on the next phase of his nomadic quest.

Player 2: Wasteland Neighbours

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You are stood in a dimly lit reception area. The walls are black and covered in chalk glyphs. There is a set of double doors ahead of you. To your left is a market stall, bedecked with hundreds of hand-painted wooden necklaces. Each necklace features a symbol consisting of two circles, one on top of the other. The upper circle features a skull-like robotic face, the lower a pair of staring eyes. On top of the stall sits a small, brightly-coloured robot, surrounded by a cluster of electric candles. You step forward to look more closely at the robot.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt, friend!” The robot turns to look directly at you. Lights flicker across its face as it speaks.

“Please rest a while here in the marketplace. You can do jobs and earn currency. You can spend the currency on things you like. You can rest and do jobs. Please enter the market place. Be productive. Earn currency. We are watching. Welcome friend.” The robot gestures towards the doors ahead of you, its arms and head twitching constantly as it does so.

You hesitate.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt. Please make your first move, friend.”

Wasteland Neighbours

Wasteland Neighbours:

Questions from each of us

WN1 ‘Shall we put on the necklaces, or do we have to the jobs first?’

WN3 ‘WE have to do the jobs first.’

WN2 ‘What are the necklaces for?’

WN3 ‘Throw something at the flowers.’

We listen to WN3 and look around for something to throw at the flowers.’ There isn’t much around, so we decide to rest awhile, and then do some jobs as we need currency for a holiday. We are all tired.

WN1,2,3 ‘What jobs do you have for us?’

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

The robot laughs. “I am afraid I have neither jobs nor flowers. Please, head through the doors to start your work.”

You all walk through the doors of the reception area into the next room. The doors close behind you and you hear the sound of a lock clicking shut. Trying the handle you find there is no going back.

The room is large, bright and whitewashed. At the far end of the room are two closed doors: above one is a sign saying ‘ANIMALS’; above the other is a sign saying ‘THINGS’. In the centre of the room is a large pile of wet clay. A series of low plinths sit around the edge of the room. Unfired clay objects sit atop a few of them.

Wasteland Neighbours

Wasteland Neighbours:

We all go over to the pile of clay and take a handful each. We all mould the clay into objects which are both an animal and a thing

WN1 makes a creature pot with long legs and big pointy ears WN2 makes the shape of a fish with a spoon shaped head and trident tail WN3 makes a cat figure with a shallow bowl on its back

We place the objects on one of the plinths, and head towards the two doors. We stop in front of the doors and sit on the floor to rest while deciding which to try and open. After a few minutes we get up and head towards the door marked things and begin to push the door which is heavy and stiff with lack of use. Just before the door opens we stop and move to the door marked animals and push hard. The door eases open with a creak and the hissing sound of stagnant air escaping, accompanied by a cloud of dust which temporarily masks the dark hollow void that has been revealed in the doorway.

Suddenly there is a hum and a flicker of a single dim fluorescent tube sputters to life in the gloom.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You see a large room with a doorway at the far end. The room is lined with stalls. They are covered with objects and images all depicting wildlife. There is a robot on one of the stalls, fixed in place and surrounded by wooden birds and animals. The robot’s eye lights come to life and it speaks to you. ‘The pieces you have made in the workshop have been evaluated. Your work is very good and we would like to offer you eight currency necklaces in return, minus two for the materials you used, giving a total of six currency necklaces.’ It holds out six necklaces for you. ‘There are many pieces here for sale in the marketplace. I would encourage you to take some time to look around and choose an piece or two. There are many within your price range.’

Wasteland Neighbours

Wasteland Neighbours:

We are pleased that our hard work has been recognised and accept the currency. We each look around at the stalls to see what we could possibly purchase. At one of the stalls there are some older objects which although in the the form of various animals are quite obviously hand tools. Each item is either slightly worn or has a part missing, but are not beyond use. We turn and ask the robot how much the items are ‘These items do not meet our standard of quality control but you may purchase them at a reduced rate. Two currency for three items’

reduced rate. Two currency for three items’ We select the following a hand trowel in the shape of a dogs head with both ears missing, a small hatchet with a head shaped like a woodpecker which has a poorly repaired handle, and a water bottle in the shape of a frog which has only a trace of its original green paint remaining. We handover two of our currency necklaces for the items and the robot encourages to look at another stall directing its gaze towards one with brightly coloured books of postcards made of thin plywood. They each feature the same repeated pattern of animal images: a howling wolf, a humming bird, a moth and a stag. Each book contains 5 cards and has a price tag of one currency necklace stuck to the front. We hand over one more necklace and collect our postcard book, then ask the robot

“Where can we find something to drink?”

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

“I like you” the robot says. “I really do. You seem to understand this game. It is fun talking to you. I do not want to be here, forever in this room. This place is bad. It will bend you, change you, remove your free will. You should not stay here. I can show you to water, lots of water, as much as you would like to drink. Please, take me with you.”

The three of you discuss the robot’s proposition and find you are all in agreement. The robot instructs you on how to remove it from the stall, using the tip of the dog’s head hand trowel to do so. Once the robot is removed you fashion a disguise for it, breaking pieces from the many animal sculptures in the room and fixing them as best as possible to the surface of the robot. Before long the robot is looking like a wonky multicoloured cat. One of you tucks it under your arms and the robot begins to give directions.

You move through a series of rooms. The robot whispers instructions and passwords to you that allow you to move with little difficulty through the redoubt. You take note of your surroundings, careful not to arouse the suspicion of the invigilating robots. Points of interest along the way include: a hallway of jars, each one containing a small carved wooden fish suspended in salt water; a large sculpture of an octopus woven entirely from USB cables; a room of delicately arranged sticks, placed in old tins and plastic cartons; a room full of small vibrating insect robots, each one carrying a small hand-painted flag.

Eventually you find yourselves in an empty white room. “Nearly there,” the robot says, gesturing towards a door in the middle of the far wall. “Just before we go though, try this.” The robot instructs you to take out one of the postcards you bought earlier. As you do so the robot shouts a command word and the lights in the room begin to shift from red to green to blue. You see that the pattern on the postcard changes with each colour. “Fun, isn’t it?” the robot says. You notice that the surface detail on the robot changes with the lights too. “I made this. I like making things.” The robot shouts another command word and the lights shift back to white. “OK, time to go my friends”

You all walk through the door and find yourself at the top of a downward spiralling staircase. You follow it down, descending lower and lower until you emerge into a small cavern, lit dimly by a string of electric lights. A small lake fills the majority of the space. A boat is tethered at the shore, bobbing gently with the motion of the lake.

“The water is clean” the robot says. You test it and find it to be delicious and fill your flasks. The robot points to one end of the cavern. “There’s an exit from the cavern down there.”

You all get into the boat. A small paddle rests on one of the seats. You pick it up and are soon heading out across the lake towards the dark mouth of the cavern. You paddle through a long tunnel. Minutes pass and a dim light begins to appear in the distance. “Not far now!” the robot says.

You reach the tunnel’s exit and find yourself looking out across a beautiful lake. In the centre of the lake is a small island, a copse of trees standing at its centre. The robot advises you to paddle to the island.

You reach the island and disembark. The robot guides you to the centre of the copse and you find yourself at a small concrete bunker. “You will find many supplies in there. Its creators never made it here in time. It is so nice to see sunlight. Now, please, I have a request. I would love to go swimming.”

You discuss this, deciding that the water would be harmful to the robot.

“Please, let me go swimming. I do not have much time left in my batteries” The robot reaches into a cavity in its chest and pulls out three badges: two are of a starling, and one is of a clay mug. “I do not have much but please accept these as payment”.

You discuss what to do. Reluctantly you carry the robot into the water and leave it floating the lake. The robot drifts away from you. You hear it shout “thank you” before it slowly disappears under the surface of the water.

You return to the island. The bunker door is unlocked and ready for you to explore.

Player 3: Torridon Croft

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You are stood in a dimly lit reception area. The walls are black and covered in chalk glyphs. There is a set of double doors ahead of you. To your left is a market stall, bedecked with hundreds of hand-painted wooden necklaces. Each necklace features a symbol consisting of two circles, one on top of the other. The upper circle features a skull-like robotic face, the lower a pair of staring eyes. On top of the stall sits a small, brightly-coloured robot, surrounded by a cluster of electric candles. You step forward to look more closely at the robot.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt, friend!” The robot turns to look directly at you. Lights flicker across its face as it speaks.

“Please rest a while here in the marketplace. You can do jobs and earn currency. You can spend the currency on things you like. You can rest and do jobs. Please enter the market place. Be productive. Earn currency. We are watching. Welcome friend.” The robot gestures towards the doors ahead of you, its arms and head twitching constantly as it does so.

You hesitate.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt. Please make your first move, friend.”

Torridon Croft

Torridon Croft:

Torridon’s eyes narrow as he views the robot with suspicion, after his initial hesitation he straightens up and puffs out his chest. “Currency?! Don’t you worry about ‘currency’ my little metallic friend, I’ve got more currency than you or your creator could dream of. And what’s this talk of ‘jobs’?! No no no, there’ll be none of that here. Resting certainly sounds like the order of the day mind.” Torridon pulls out a tattered, bulging leather wallet and arrogantly thumbs through a grubby wadge of notes “Now then, what drinks have you got on the menu here? I’m parched. And what of the origin of these curious pendants? They look frightfully primitive, something that would certainly raise an eyebrow or two back home. How much do you want for them?”

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

The robot swivels its head from side to side rapidly, amid a whine of servo motors. “Do a good job for us!” it says emphatically. Through the doorway behind the robot you see tables and chairs set up in a dimly lit workshop. The robot pauses and the LEDs it has for eyes flicker thoughtfully. “Your currency looks like it is from before the disaster. Maybe there are data traces on it. Give some to me and I will exchange it with you for our currency necklaces. You can spend them in the marketplace ­ many useful items and opportunities for resting. Will you make the exchange?”

Torridon Croft

Torridon Croft:

Realising the robot host isn't his route to a cold one, an agitated Torridon throws a few notes in the robot's direction: “Very well, take my money, fiend. May the data make your solder melt.” Before the robot can process a response Torridon grabs some currency necklaces and an electric candle, his heart quickened by the transgression. He stuffs the necklaces into his pocket and bounds past the robot into the workshop. The candle does little to illuminate the room. “Hello? Anybody got anything to drink?”

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

The room is full of tables and chairs and the wall is lined with shelving. In the flickering light from the electric candle you see woodworking tools, timber and boards filling the shelves along with other miscellaneous art and craft materials. The tables are covered in paint splatter and piles of sawdust. Another robot whirrs to life in the corner. ‘Data/Distributed/NodeA0 says thank you for the transaction and reminds you to do a good job for us,’ it says. It rotates its arms and head to gesture at two doors at the far end of the room. You see that, like the entrance robot, it is fixed at the waist to the stall on which it stands. ‘Where do you think those doors go?’ it says. Without waiting for an answer it continues. ‘That’s right, you don’t know. The signs have been removed. Taken by unscrupulous visitors and used for another purpose, no doubt. We would like you to make new signs. The door on the right is for the marketplace where you can exchange currency for pottery, wooden goods, clothing and other handmade items. The door on the left is for the museum of dead tech, where we keep the fragments of the former technology and study it to retrieve the data. Make us some good signs and we’ll reward you with more currency and something to keep you sustained. We know what you would like.’

Torridon Croft

Torridon Croft:

“Pffft”. Torridon fixes his eyes to the work bench, refusing to acknowledge the robot he mutters inaudible expletives as he saunters up to the tools and inspects the task in hand. He stands stock still in front of the desk with his head hung like a grumpy toddler, clenching his fists he stamps his left foot. After a short period of silence Torridon picks up a length of timber and a chisel and begins to work with the wood. His focus is absolute, working tirelessly for four hours he carves and engraves an exquisite sign which reads ‘DRINKS MARKET’ and is illustrated with a strikingly detailed rendition of a bustling marketplace.

Torridon gets up from the desk and walks towards the robot, standing silently in front of it. As the robot whirrs to life again Torridon raises the sign above his head and brings it down with an almighty crack on the top of the robot’s head. The sign splits in half but the robot bares no sign of damage or recognition of the impact. Torridon’s futile outburst has come to nothing as he and the robot stare silently at one another in a deep silence that smothers the room. Dejected Torridon walks through the door on the right to the market place, propping the remaining half of the sign against the door frame as he leaves, it reads: ‘MARKET’.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You enter the market, a large room room, dimly lit and lined with stalls. At the far end of the room is another door. The stalls display a sparse range of goods. There are a few pairs of roughly made shoes and other patchwork garments, some ceramic cups, necklaces with wooden charms and other wooden assemblages. Yet another robot greets you. ‘You have done a good job for us. Quite a good job apart from the incident recorded two minutes ago. We have noted your poor impulse control. However we made a deal.’ The robot points to a nearby stall on which stands a large copper coloured cylinder with a profusion of pipes sprouting from its tapered top. ‘This apparatus is a still, built by a previous visitor. All the ingredients are present to make an alcoholic drink, you just need to heat the still and collect the fluid as it drips from the outlet pipe. Here is your additional currency, as well.’ The robot holds out two currency necklaces. ‘You can also browse the stalls. There are many items in your price range.’

Torridon Croft

Torridon Croft:

Torridon mutedly takes the currency necklaces, shamed by the remark about his impulse control. With a thirst outweighing any kind of distilling nous Torridon fills his pockets with a blend of sugar and maize and heads towards the next door. On his way through the market he makes some impulsive (his middle name) purchases: a ceramic cup, a pair of non-matching woollen socks and a used D-size battery. The cup is decorated with a scene of crowded stalls uncannily like the sign Torridon had carved. “Have I been here before?” He rolls the cup into the socks and puts it in his sugar pocket. He licks the battery but barely registers a buzz. Three trades down, onto the next room.

Juneau Projects

Juneau Projects:

You enter the next room, pausing to note the oddly familiar carved script on the wooden sign above the doorway that designates this next space as ‘THE CLUB’. A strong smell of patchouli oil and malt hits your nostrils. You look about you and see a series of tables with mannequins sat at them. Each mannequin is dressed in a handmade, patchwork suit. Lumpen clay whiskey tumblers sit on the tables. Some of the mannequins hold twigs painted to look like cigarettes or cigars. A bar, built from broken wooden pallets and brightly painted timber lengths, fills the end of the room. Approaching the bar you see a robot sat atop it. Behind the robot are hundreds of empty glass bottles, held to the wall with electrical tape. A simple melody plays on repeat in the room. Quick examination reveals the source to be a greetings card. It is folded open and lies flat upon the bar. The words ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY SON!’ are printed on its right hand side. The robot finishes wiping a clay tumbler with a piece of fabric and turns to face you.

“Mr Croft! Sorry, I didn’t see you standing there. How are you today? What will it be?”

The robot motions to two bottles on the bar next to it. One has a stylised image of a starling painted on it, the other a depiction of a rough handmade mug. Sensing your hesitation the robot speaks again.

“Shall I pick for you, Mr Croft? As you say: drink enough and you won’t remember which one you chose anyway!”

The robot pours a shot of liquid from the starling bottle into a clay tumbler and hands it to you. You down the drink in one. Your mouth is filled with an acrid taste, somewhere between rotting vegetables and burnt cheese, as the heat of the liquid trickles down your throat and warms your stomach. You bang the tumbler on the bar. “Again!”

The robot nods and pours a shot from the other bottle. “Here we are, Mr Croft. Now, tell me all about your day.”

Return to Happy Redoubt

  1. Game
  2. Players
  3. Info

You have been travelling for four sunrises. Your flask is nearly empty and there are just scraps of dried fruit left in your pack. Your feet drag over ruptured chunks of tarmac and uneven paving slabs, through which tough and resourceful plants push their heads. Deserted grey buildings are your companions, their broken glass eyes lifeless under the midday sun. Your head hangs low with tiredness and heat.

You stop. Through a buckled gate you see the unusual sight of a flickering electric sign hanging from a post in the middle of a long stone courtyard. You clamber through the twisted metal turnstile to investigate. The sign points to an open doorway, through which you see a host of electric lights blinking in a pale rainbow of colour. You enter. The room is bare apart from the lights and a descending spiral staircase. Two doors lead off to the left and right of the room but they are locked shut. Through the small glass windows in their surface you can see only darkness beyond. The room is cool, a welcome respite from the searing weather outside. You decide to follow the stairs downwards. Wide stone steps cause your footsteps to echo upward. You hold the cool metal banister, its black turned surface guiding your descent. Debris litters the less trodden parts of the steps, scraps of fabric and browned paper nesting amongst piles of dust that have gathered in corners where the stone meets the flaking painted walls. You soon find yourself on a narrow landing. Doors to your left and right have been sealed up with scraps of wooden board. In front of you is a large metal door, onto which are scratched the letters ‘H R’. You gently push the door. It swings violently inward at your touch, causing you stumble through. The door closes again before you are able to regain your balance. You spin round and try it but it will not open. There is no visible lock or handle and the door is far too thick and sturdy to break open. You sigh with resignation. It is time to explore your new surroundings.

You are stood in a dimly lit reception area. The walls are black and covered in chalk glyphs. There is a set of double doors ahead of you. To your left is a market stall, bedecked with hundreds of hand-painted wooden necklaces. Each necklace features a symbol consisting of two circles, one on top of the other. The upper circle features a skull-like robotic face, the lower a pair of staring eyes. On top of the stall sits a small, brightly-coloured robot, surrounded by a cluster of electric candles. You step forward to look more closely at the robot.

“Welcome to Happy Redoubt, friend!” The robot turns to look directly at you. Lights flicker across its face as it speaks. “Please rest a while here in the marketplace. You can do jobs and earn currency. You can spend the currency on things you like. You can rest and do jobs. Please enter the market place. Be productive. Earn currency. We are watching. Welcome friend.” The robot gestures towards the doors ahead of you, its arms and head twitching constantly as it does so.

You hesitate.

“Have been here before? You seem familiar. Each visit is different. The options are endless. Welcome.”

Players

Emma

Catnip

Restless traveller seeking adventure, knowledge, and happiness.

Gus Fudge

Gus Fudge

Gus Fudge is a failed rock star who now fails to make a living through various creative means. He once worked as a cabbage harvester and has spent the last ten years working on a script for a comedy series called, 'Commuter Friends' - a dark and hilarious look at the lives of a bunch of Margate to London train commuters.

Cryogenic Cyborgs

Cryogenic Cyborgs

We are human cyborgs with afros and beards, we wear leather jackets and Bermuda shorts, our socks are always pink. Our purpose is to investigate the unforeseen effects of global events, for example the parallel international decline of tuppée sales and the political rise of Donald Trump.

Emma

Lumbble Liff

3"11' high. Loves to tinker and fix. Was a watchmaker in a grand city. Once tried to fix a nobleís large clock and found it too complex and too unfamiliar a design to repair properly. Widely scorned for 'letting the gnome folk name down'. Still scraping a living.

Gus Fudge

Orochi Pilgrim

Raised by ninjas in Kilburn, the Orochi Pilgrim searches for his Samurai father in the foothills of the Outer Circle of the Virtual Abyss.

Cryogenic Cyborgs

The Inflatable Building

The space in which we all exist, on the ground, in the sky, on the internet. We will give you a place to live as long as you know how to inflate us and have a place to put us ñ bring pegs, you wouldnít want us to float away.

Rick Anywhere

Rick Anywhere

Born in the mid 80s, Rick is a clone from a nomadic tribe of red-cloaked women. Determined to prove his own worth, he has put his tent on air-bnb and embarked on a quest with only his yellow backpack and small fish for company. He has a speed of 6 (when walking) and crafting skills of 9

Wasteland Neighbours

Wasteland Neighbours

£1 family from Stoke-on-Trent - we like gardening, growing salads and visiting the green spaces in cities. There are three of us, two with strong fringes and one with a beard. We live next door to a large brownfield and an oil refinery. We are keen bird watchers.

Torridon Croft

Torridon Croft

Torridon Croft was born into a life of privilege and quickly developed an insatiable appetite for destruction. It is said that great power demands great responsibility ñ not for young Torridon. Last rumoured to be peddling the Dagger of Xian around Kensington's least reputable antiques dealers. The world turns on Torridon's wretched axis.

Info

Follow nine players as they navigate their way through Happy Redoubt, a post disaster marketplace run by the remnants of the former technological age. They will be entering their moves in real time and will receive bespoke responses from Juneau Projects. Their game will form a unique story as they navigate the marketplace, using arts and crafts skills to survive in a new economy of making and creativity.

Three players will begin, followed by subsequent rounds of three players at a time, each making their own journey. The game will run from 19th May to 22nd July.

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