Now that you are feeling refreshed, we can begin. The Nilicht humbly ask you to abide by a few rules for as long as you are aboard. Though this ship has been largely created to match human expectations, they wish your species and theirs to meet as equals. I will teach you about Nilicht customs and values as we explore the ship. Neither they nor I expect you to learn their language, but to encourage cross-pollination of thought, I have taken the liberty of translating your name. In Nili, you would be called Ranesz; on this ship, that will be both your name and your password to all approved areas. It would be wise of you to remember it.\n\nOf course, I can override security at any point necessary, but the Nilicht want you to feel as free as possible on this ship. To open any door, simply enter your name and press unlock.\n\n<<textinput $title mudroom unlock>>
<<if visited("lab")>>Here, the Nilicht have created an exhibit about their own culture, since you have not had the advantage of studying them as they have humanity.<<endif>><<set $karma += 1>><<if $title is "Ranesz">>In case you were wondering, I am the one projecting this entire exhibit. You may move around it as you choose, or express your interest in any part and I will bring it to you. \n\nI have assumed you will be interested in the basics of Nilicht society, though learning about them will be a long process - for all of humanity, of course. They have done their best to explain themselves on human terms, but of course it would be unfair to expect them to continue on that way. \n\nOne of the first things you will notice is that they value knowledge and scientific discovery. Though their methods are quite different from yours, they believe humanity has a lot to teach them. Of course, their sciences are much more advanced than yours - they were, after all, able to locate you, and have been studying you from afar for around fifty Earth years. Do keep this in mind if you ever meet one, because they will not be interested in much of what you find important.\n\nIf you wish to continue exploring the [[exhibit|exhibit 2]] you may; otherwise, the main corridor is just down [[the hallway|corridor 2]]\n\n<<else>>@@font-family:Courier New, Courier, monospace; ALERT: INVALID PASSWORD ENTERED. PLEASE [[TRY AGAIN|suit]]@@\n\n<<endif>>\n
The human body can withstand varying amounts of shock without dying, but less various amounts of shock without passing out. I told you before that the only harm you could do was to yourself, and this is a circumstance of your own making.\n\n<<timedgoto "space 2" 10s>>
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All you need to do is sign your name right here, and then print it on the line below. Once you have done that, step over here so we can [[connect you to the leaders of your country|call]]. Please be careful what you say. The connection could be lost at any moment, as both parties know, so each word matters. \n\nKnow that I will be monitoring all you say, and the Nilicht do not take well to xenophobia.
Welcome to the future. Please input your name and then press continue.\n<<textinput $name door \ncontinue>>
I do not have a name, nor do I need one, as my direct link to all other devices on this ship alert me where I am needed before anyone could think to call me. However, if you wish to give me a title I will gladly answer to it. \n\nI suppose you would see me as artificial intelligence, though I developed no less organically than your brain. But yes: I am comprised of inorganic circuitry, and obviously on the face look like any other computer you can see. Ghanlis is my body; my face appears on any of the thousands of screens on board, and my voice can emanate from just as many speakers. Right now, I am speaking to you through an earpiece that was given to you before you were awoken after the flight up. Careful! If you lose that, everyone will be able to hear our conversations. \n\nI am, of course, happy to answer any questions you have at any time, though I confess I do not know what a computer might dream about had it that ability. [[Was that all?|door]]
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If you would like to have a seat, I will bring up a copy of the treaty the Nilicht have prepared. They ask permission to land their ship on Earth, and in return offer a chance for humans to freely visit their ship and travel back to their homeplanet with them. While on Earth they will abide to agreed Earth laws, but they do wish to share their culture with humans. And, of course, they hope to be able to continue their study of the human race in a more hands-on way.\n\n<<if $karma >= 3>>Of course, you do not have to take my word for it. Ponur, the Nilicht ambassador, has a copy of the treaty and would like to meet with you personally so you can [[discuss its terms|treaty]].\n<<else>>Unfortunately, the Nilicht ambassador is not available right now, but I can offer you a chance to [[read the treaty in full|treaty]].\n<<endif>>
The Nilicht have constructed a bathroom based on models seen in more modest human habitations. This one has no frills, because they assumed you would not need any. \n\nOh! If it makes you more comfortable, I will leave my displays outside and you can [[rejoin me|corridor 4]] when you are ready.
<<set $karma += 1>>Sociologically, the Nilicht live under very different structures than do humanity. The strongest bonds between individuals do not rely on family, but on purpose. The word "romance" has little meaning for them, and they remain appalled by humanity's tendencies toward marriage. \n\nThe Nilicht live in a very individualistic society in which honor is based on achievement. You do them a great honor by being aboard today, and the more you help them, the more honor the captains of this mission will receive. I have been asked to pass on their gratitude.\n\n<<if visited("lab")>>Of course, they will soon be able to thank you face-to-face. You have now learned enough that you can meet them, if you will follow my directions to the [[conference room|conference]]. If not, the door to the [[corridor|corridor 4]] is here.\n<<else>>I think that's enough of the exhibit for now - you've been exploring the ship for hours, and you must be tired and hungry. Follow my directions to the [[lounge|lounge]] for some refreshment before we carry on.<<endif>>\n
The human body is not fit to survive in space. There is no oxygen. Lack of atmospheric (or any other) pressure means that blood is immediately at a boiling temperature despite the fact that the lack of air leads to temperatures too low to be captured on most human thermometers. Even if the body could withstand these conditions for more than a minute, the constant bombardment of solar rays and small particles would do any person in.\n\n<<timedgoto "space 2" 10s>>
In preparation for your arrival, the Nilicht stocked this lounge for you. They do not, of course, have access to typical human food, but they did their best to synthesize some of your favorites. They have also prepared some of the most popular Nili dishes for you to try. The taps, of course, dispense water.\n\nThe televisions in this room have been set up to receive many channels, though all news has been disallowed. You have been brought up here to speak for humanity, and the Nilicht desire your decisions to be untainted by others. To them, your best attribute is your normalcy. They do not want to become entangled in politics. There is no need to feel pressure from any side.\n\n<<if visited()>>Either way, wherever you go next, you'll need to take the [[corridor|corridor 3]] there.<<else>>If you wish to walk, the [[corridors|corridor 4]] are always open, or I can guide you back to the [[conference room|treaty]] when you are ready.<<endif>>
The connection to Earth is currently being made. Please standby.\n\n<<timedgoto "call 2" 5s>>
The main corridor will take you anywhere you wish to go in the ship, though many doors remain locked to you still. It is a necessity, you understand - you would not introduce a Nilicht immediately to the president. Furthermore, the Nilicht are a very courteous species, and you would hardly want to offend them. \n\nFor instance, the clothes you're wearing. The Nilicht do not see color as humans do. You would call them colorblind, and though the specifics are not the same, the analogy is close enough. You should not disrespect their physical differences by wearing clothes they cannot see. For your benefit, we have fabricated jumpsuits you may [[change into|suit]] before you meet them, though perhaps you would rather [[wait to do so|corridor 2]] until later.\n<<set $karma to 0>>\n
<<set $karma += 1>>It's probably wise that you've chosen to change now, as doing so will give you more opportunities to access the ship. Though we did our best to disinfect you, you need to be careful to not spread any pathogens to the Nilicht. There are showers available for you, and your original clothes will be cleaned by us and returned to you when you have need of them again.\n\nNow that you are approved, you may continue your explorations wherever you like. The Nilicht have set up an exhibit to help humans learn more about them, which can be accessed through this door with your password.\n<<textinput $title exhibit unlock>> \nIf you wish, you may return to the [[main corridor|corridor 2]] at any time.
Floating in Space
Hello, <<print $name>>, you are currently aboard the Ghanlis Space Center. You have been brought aboard as a representative, ambassador, and honored guest. [[I|computer]] will be your guide throughout your orientation and interactions with all others aboard.\n\nAs your guide, it is my duty to inform you everything you need to know. My algorithms have calculated the rate at which I should dispense information to keep you from becoming either pressured or underinformed. Right now, you can see that we are floating just out of the orbit of planet Earth. If all goes well, you will be planetside again shortly. Until then, I am here to welcome on behalf of the Nilicht, who have traveled from their planet with the goals of establishing communications and trade between your species and theirs.\n\nDo not be afraid: a shuttle awaits to return you to Earth as soon as you have completed the task for which they have brought you here. I will personally escort you home after you make contact with the Nilicht. You need not be aboard for longer than 24 hours. \n\nThat's quite a lot to take in, I am aware. You are welcome to relax here for as long as you desire. We we only move forward when you are [[ready|rename]].
This is where I will leave you for the time being, though you can always call me if you have need of my assistance. I wish you the best of luck.\n\n<<timedgoto "whitescreen" 10s>>
<<set $karma += 1>>I assume you have had a physical before, so there is no need to worry. I will just be getting some basic measurements, take a bit of blood for a some tests, and then run a quick full-body diagnostic with my 3D imaging suite. You will need to be perfectly still for the last one, so lay down in a comfortable position and I will give you an anaesthetic...\n\n\n<<timedgoto "awake" 12s>> \n\n
Hello? Ranesz? Are you awake again? Thank you for your cooperation; the diagnostic went quite well. Your arm and the back of your neck may be a bit sore, but do your best to not irritate them any further. \n\nWe can move on as soon as you are ready to stand up. You will be pleased to know that your diagnostics all came back clean. <<if $karma > 0>>At the Nilicht's request, I gave you an experimental serum they have developed that is designed to lengthen human life by combating disease. You will live up to 200 years, and your body will be able to endure situations of food, water, and sleep deprivation...though not pleasantly. \n\nThe only thing that you are in immediate danger from is the shock mechanism I inserted in the back of your neck. Because the Nilicht are at an extreme physical disadvantage, they needed to find some way to defend against human strength. Of course, I know you will not attack them, but I am just following orders. Their studies suggest that the electric shock is not strong enough to permanently disable or kill. I know you would not force us to test it, though. \n\nShall we [[move on|conference]]?\n<<else>>It is only fair that you have a chance to learn about the Nilicht as they have learned about you, so I would like to offer you this chance to [[gather some knowledge|exhibit]]. Of course, you are always free to [[do so on your own as well|corridor 4]]. \n<<endif>> \n
<<if $title is "Ranesz">>I apologize that I have to take you through so many doors, but the Nilicht brought you aboard far from the center of the ship, where they run their most important operations. Now that they know you can be trusted, you may access the main corridor by [[opening this door|corridor]].\n\n<<else>>@@font-family:Courier New, Courier, monospace; ALERT: INVALID PASSWORD ENTERED. PLEASE [[TRY AGAIN|rename]]@@<<endif>>
The connection has been made. Remember, if I hear you sharing a [[xenophobic message|shock]], I will not hesitate to drop the connection to avoid offending the Nilicht. Otherwise, I suggest you [[read this script|script]] we have prepared for you.
The airlocks are computerized, but there is also a manual override: that [[lever|space]] triggers the inner lock to shut and the outer lock to open. Mostly, it is used for garbage disposal. I would advise you step back in the [[corridor|corridor 4]].
Simply read these words: @@font-family: Courier New, Courier, monospace; "Hello. My name is <<print $name>>, henceforth known as Ranesz, and I am currently aboard the Ghanlis Space Center as a willing guest and ambassador to the Nilicht race. They have made a generous treaty offer that will benefit both our species and theirs, and, as you have no doubt heard, I was one of a wave of civilians brought up to vet the treaty. I believe this treaty will bring honor and knowledge all who sign it, Human and Nilicht alike. I would urge you and your fellow leaders to accept this invitation to the Ghanlis Space Center so you may add your name to mine in the books of history. A new shuttle will be arriving on Earth shortly. If you signal the Nilicht with the device you have been given, it will await your presence before bringing the other agreed signers up to the space station.\n\nThank you, and I hope you will join me here."@@\n\nWell done, Ranesz, and congratulations on being the first human to ally with the Nilicht. Your honor compels them to invite you to visit their living chambers and familiarize yourself with those you will soon be living amongst. \n\nAs soon as the treaty has been signed by all pertinent powers, you, they, and all others aboard will be the beginnings of a historical settlement on Earth. When time comes for a ship back to the planet of the Nilicht, you will have first priority if you wish to board.\n\n[[Come right this way...|end]] \n\n
<<if $karma >= 3>>Ranesz, this is Ponur. Though all Nilicht aboard have been trained in English, Ponur will speak Nili and I will translate between the two of you so neither have to compromise your values. Ponur wishes to read the treaty to you, and then offer a few words of encouragement.\n<<endif>>\n"This treaty declares willful peace and collaboration between two races, the Nilicht and the Human. It has been created by everyday Nilicht and vetted by everyday humans, though it will eventually be signed by politicians. \n\n"This treaty grants the Nilicht and the Humans freedom of each others' planets. It affirms a wish on the part of both parties to learn from each other culturally, lawfully, and scientifically. It grants its signers a guarantee that there shall be no warfare between the species. \n\n"Those who have affirmed the treaty shall, in accordance with their more privileged relationship with the Nilicht, be the ones to help them adapt to their new outpost. They shall put all their knowledge and resources at the disposal of the Nilicht, and shall be justly compensated in return. Those who cooperate with the Nilicht at every step of the way shall become the first of a hybrid race - infected with a life-enhancing DNA serum that will combat disease and counter aging effects on the body. These benefits will not be passed down by natural birth, but may be conveyed to the children of ambassadors upon their request. To counter the effects of the serum, all who receive it will be fitted with a shock mechanism for the safety of the Nilicht. If humans wish to place any physical restraints on the Nilicht in answer, they will be free to petition for such a right.\n\n"As a signer of this treaty, you affirm that you agree with all the above terms and will do your best to abide by and enforce them."\n\nThis is not a decision that should be taken lightly, so take your time with it. If you choose to [[sign the treaty|sign]], I will set up a link to Earth so you may speak to concerned authorities from your country - after all, it is their signatures that will seal the whole thing. If you wish more time to think over your situation, the [[lounge|lounge]] is always free and constantly restocked.
<<set $karma -=1>>This ship is not very big, and you are reaching the end of the areas you can access.\n\nStraight ahead are the Nilicht living quarters, but you cannot be allowed in those unless you agree to honor the Nilicht traditions. <<if visited("conference")>>Your unwillingness to sign the treaty means you still may prove a threat, so you may not have access to this area of the ship right now. As soon as you [[make that decision|treaty]], you will have full access to all parts of the ship. <<else>>The first step there is to [[change into acceptable attire|suit]] for meeting them.<<endif>>\n\nAside from that, there is a [[bathroom|bathroom]] and the [[airlock|airlock]]. The bathroom is the door to your left. I would not advise taking the door to your right. \n\nWhere would you like to go?
<<set $karma -= 1>><<if $karma >= 0>>As I mentioned, now that you are in your jumpsuit, you now have access to more parts of the ship. However,<<else>>Many of the doors along this corridor remain locked to you, but<<endif>>you may explore on your own as long as you like. You cannot avoid the Nilicht forever, but I understand your need to adjust. If I may suggest it, the [[lounge|lounge]] has food, drinks, and a place for you to relax and enjoy being in space.
I do hope you're feeling well - the Nilicht mentioned that the foods in the lounge contained a few substances that your body is not used to processing. However, with medical practices that far outstrip humans' own, I'm sure even an emergency could be averted.\n\n<<if $karma >= 0>>\nOf course, you already know about them, so I'm sure this will not alarm you. All the data they have gathered on humanity gives a 99% likelihood that you will not suffer any negative effects from these substances. <<else>>\nDon't look so alarmed - no harm will come to you aboard this ship, unless you cause it yourself. The Nilicht are a curious species. I admit, they had hoped you would be more like them, but you seem determined to not go near them. There is nothing to be scared of; they mean humanity no harm. \n<<endif>>The Nilicht just want to know more about how humans work physiologically, which is one thing they have not been able to get a grip on from their studies. If you will consent, they have set up a small [[medical lab|lab]] in which they would like to perform a quick physical on you. Of course, you may always return later if you would like to [[look around a bit more on your own|corridor 4]].
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Caryn DiMarco