Image from Steve Bowers
|A Gelbot Pet Home and a Totem on an airless world at the edge of the Terran Federation|
Snapshot: Home Improvements
|:||Tentatively Kayla tiptoed over the narrow bridge in the entrance of the house. Carved into the side of a cliff it resembled a cave more than any dwelling she'd lived in. A waterfall had been constructed to flow from some hidden source deeper into the structure, ultimately falling over the edge of a balcony. Suspended above the water were dozens of platforms connected by bridges large and small. They zigzagged chaotically deeper into the fissure, each platform featuring a different arrangement of furniture or other items to distant to identify.|
(:Data pattern detected:)
Kayla started as the concept of a 'data pattern being detected' forced its way into her mind, like a powerful memory drawn by a smell. Her exoself was usually a lot more subtle. However this time it had determined the need to be blunt, possibly out of concern that it had taken so long to pick up on whatever this data was.
Nothing in her vision changed, she despised the intrusion of AR, but her exoself stimulated areas of her visual cortex to highlight certain aspects of the bridges. It was like a shifting between two options in an optical illusion, except much more complex. Each bridge had dozens of different variables: length, width, curve, angle between platforms. Viewing all of them it could be seen that the greatest difference between any two variables was by a factor of 21 and only progressed in integer increments.
Sensing her curiosity her exoself offered further analysis.
(:The base 21 pattern is consistent with the Lima-YELLOW code language, popular to the indigenous peoples of this world's first colony two millennia ago, approximately the same age as this cavern:)
That gave her pause. She hadn't inquired as to how old the place was, she'd simply come on a rumour that a historic maker site could be found in the hills. She wondered what had kept it in good condition. At the very least some subtle material or smart matter must have been woven into the rocks to stop the water cutting through it all.
(If it's code, she asked eagerly, what data is it encoding?)
A few seconds went by while her exoself applied a forensic module to the data. Here in the hinterregions you could never be too careful with what you let into your mind.
(:98.7% confidence code is a combined aesthetic/narcogram mod, to be used in conjunction with exploring the environment.:)
A digital psychedelic hidden in the very architecture?
(How safe is it?)
(:Sandboxed simulations suggest 8% chance mild side effects, <1% chance moderate side effects, <0.01% severe. Confidence 98%:)
Kayla smiled. Of course it would be safe, what kind of maker would leave something behind to harm those who come next?
She walked back to the balcony, to the start of the home and the source of a fantastic view over the jungle below. After taking it all in for a few minutes she turned to face back into the cave.
(Execute maker program.)