The Weight of Water : Part 3 - "Fear of Machine"
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Censored Copy. Official no longer available, redacted 27/03/17.

Warning: Contains sensitive material.

[START EXTRACT 00:00:00]

[Recorded 23rd March 2017. Audio transcript.]

(00:00:05) Dr. Foster: "I- I really think-"

(00:00:08) Dr. Ellis: "What the fuck are you trying to do?"

(00:00:12) Dr. Shaw: "There's no other way out!"

(00:00:15) Dr. Wright: "All of you- just- just calm down, alright? Elias- Elias- just leave the door for a second will you?"

(00:00:18) Dr. Shaw: "Why? We've been trying to get out of here for days and now the moment we can, none of you will-"

(00:00:23) Dr. Wright: "Michael- Michael for god's sake put the gun down-"

(00:00:26) Dr. Shaw: "Oh yeah- go ahead and shoot me like Stephan told you to- why don't you pull out your's too Ryan? He gave you one, didn't he?"

(00:00:31) Dr. Carter: "Don't place bets on that Elias! There's something over there and Stephan would rather us dead than see it ourselves!"

[Pause.]

(00:00:35) Dr. Wright: "Alright- alright Michael- everyone just shut up. Stephan knew something we still don't; he wasn't mad, Elias, so stop fucking saying that. Without him we'd all have drowned by now- so rather than saying he was losing it and all that shit just accept for a second that we don't know what we're up against here. We're not wrong to be scared- but the only reason we're all alive right now is because throughout all this chaos we've maintained just a shred of rationality."

(00:00:50) Dr. Ellis: "We don't know what might be over there! Stephan knew about something! [REDACTED]! How can you expect us not to be like this, Ryan? For Christ's sake he just killed himself and half of you are trying to act like it never happened!"

(00:00:56) Dr. Shaw: "Whatever is over there is relevant to Stephan, not us!"

[Pause.]

(00:01:06) Dr. Carter: "Elias, if we open that door then the structural integrity will drop. The bulkheads are the only reason we're still alive because they were all sealed when the storm hit. The AI put them in stasis, which means there could be several hundred atmospheres of pressure behind the structural support that bulkhead is currently providing, waiting to explode through the hull and we don't even know about it. Every one we open is taking our lives and holding them at mercy."

(00:01:13) Dr. Wright: "Michael knows about this. He's worked in maintenance as long as I can remember."

(00:01:15) Dr. Shaw: "Stephan ignored what Michael said, what's to say I shouldn't too?"

(00:01:17) Dr. Carter: "Are you still questioning that now, Elias? Because we all know that every scrap of truth Stephan said to us was a fucking lie. We're going to find dead people over there, that's what, but what's worse is that Stephan knows there's more than that! Stephan hid a bloody truth right to his death, and we're all about to find out what it is!"

(00:01:25) Dr. Shaw: "There's nothing over there! There's no fucking survivors! Diagnostics gave a heat scan-"

(00:01:28) Dr. Carter: "Diagnostics is screwing around with us! It's been broken the whole goddamn time!"

(00:01:34) Dr. Shaw: "This is pathetic. There's nothing left for us over here. We've spent a whole month waiting for those relief teams and [REDACTED]."

(00:01:40) Dr. Ellis: "But we still have time to think about what we're doing rather than acting first and killing ourselves."

(00:01:46) Dr. Shaw: "Look at the hull, Michael. It's crackling and bending while we speak. We can't tell what state it's in, or if it might just altogether collapse in the next sixty seconds because we don't have any access to the system over here. Feel the temperature regulators, can't you feel the cold? The cold of the ocean. The air is less than room-temperature already. Tomorrow it'll have reached sub-zero. We've lost the war on this side, there won't be any air left by the end of this week - so why won't you leave?"

(00:02:48) Dr. Ellis: "Elias, please, stop-"

[Bulkhead unsealing.]

(00:02:57) Dr. Shaw: "See? No sudden implosion. Would you believe it?"

(00:03:01) Dr. Carter: "Ryan- he's-"

(00:03:05) Dr. Wright: "Leave him. I won't choose his death for him. Elias, good luck. Pray to god I see you alive on the other side."

(00:03:11) Dr. Shaw: "Ryan, you act like you're stronger than this world. I'd like to remind you that we're still humans. We're shouldn't be alive down here."

[Bulkhead closing and re-sealing.]

[END EXTRACT 00:03:18]

Raw Copy. For viewing of authorised members of O5 only.

[SKIP TO EXTRACT 01:34:15]

[Recorded 25th March 2017. Visual recording.]

[Visual footage]: Camera focuses to reveal Dr. Wright standing on the other side of a metal doorway within a darkened room. He is handed a flashlight by Dr. Ellis, and directs it towards various objects in the dark. It is presumed that Dr. Carter is in possession of the recording device.

(01:34:18) Dr. Carter: "Can you see anything?"

(01:34:23) Dr. Wright: "Er, no. Not really. Elias was right, this seems to be the old server room before it got shutdown. I didn't remember it in this much of a state though. He must have gone through this way."

[Visual footage]: Dr. Carter remains behind Dr. Wright as he continues to search the room.

(01:34:29) Dr. Carter: "What can you see?"

(01:34:32) Dr. Wright: "A whole lot of nothing apart from the mess. I can barely make out any of it, but most of the servers seem to have fallen over each other. The lights are dead, even the emergency lights have been torn from the walls. Something happened over here."

[Visual footage]: Dr. Carter approaches Dr. Wright.

(01:34:43) Dr. Carter: "Is it safe, I mean, the structure? Have you checked the integrity?"

(01:34:47) Dr. Wright: "It err… seems safe. You can never be safe enough though, ever since the storm racked through the site, sectors of it have just been waiting to collapse. I can't hear anything- no shudders at least. Pressure is the same as far as I can tell. It's colder over here, not more than five degrees celsius, which means this area is far from the nearest flood but still waiting for something to happen. I guess there's only one way to know."

(01:34:56) Dr. Carter: "Wait, what are you-"

[Visual footage]: Dr. Wright slams his feet repeatedly on the ground, before pausing and listening.

(01:35:03) Dr. Ellis: "You scare the shit out of us sometimes, you know that?"

[Visual footage]: Dr. Carter enters the server room behind Dr. Wright. Once adjusted to the dark, the camera turns to reveal a large hall filled with mostly overturned disused server banks. A flashlight is directed around momentarily, displaying lines of exposed electrical wiring ripped from the walls, and shattered glass covering the floor.

(01:35:13) Dr. Carter: "Jesus, this place really has turned to shit."

(01:35:16) Dr. Wright: "It's not what it used to be, but then again, it never was."

(01:35:20) Dr. Carter: "There better be no one over here still."

(01:35:24) Dr. Wright: "Stephan said the nitrogen supply would have killed anyone who hadn't died from hypothermia or starvation by now. Christ, that's the one thing I hope he was wrong about."

(01:35:35) Dr. Ellis: "Have we checked this? Have we actually checked anything? I mean, are we safe to go over here without breathing equipment or something?"

(01:35:39) Dr. Wright: "There's no way of testing for nitrogen in the air, Rachael. You only feel suffocation because of the carbon dioxide. Too much nitrogen; you'll just keel over and pass out, trust me, I've spent far too much time trying to modify diving suits. We'll have to get to administration before we can run any diagnostics, until then, it's hoping for the best with every step."

(01:35:52) Dr. Ellis: "You're putting our lives down to luck?"

(01:35:56) Dr. Wright: "Do you have a better alternative?"

[Visual footage]: Dr. Carter approaches a large tear in the concrete wall, taking footage of the marking closely. The damage is seen on close inspection to be the result of not one, but multiple strikes and scratches seemingly focused on one position and scarring through the fabric of the wall. Several wires hang frayed from the tear, revealed to be the removed cords of an electrical junction buried within the wall connecting to a nearby switchboard. A ruined oil pipe is also split by the damage, having leaked oil down the wall and over the surrounding floor.

(01:36:42) Dr. Carter: "Could be some kind of pneumatic hammering drill that made this, but I don't know who would carve right into the wall just to get to the… wait… this is why the lights are out. They've been cut. Someone cut the electrical junction leading to all the lights over this area. Someone turned the lights off."

(01:36:53) Dr. Ellis: "That doesn't make sense. Why would anyone do this?"

[Visual footage]: Dr. Carter turns to glance behind the group into the darker end of the server room.

(01:36:58) Dr. Wright: "Power conservation. Maybe they weren't using this area and the old servers were just draining energy."

(01:37:04) Dr. Carter: "But that doesn't explain all the scratching on the door- or the overturned servers. It looks like someone has been through this place and knocked everything over."

(01:37:12) Dr. Ellis: "Maybe the storm did all this?"

(01:37:16) Dr. Carter: "That doesn't explain why some rows of servers are still standing towards the far end. Whoever was in here went straight for the lights, and the rest seems collateral damage."

(01:37:27) Dr. Ellis: "Collateral damage? The place has been fucking wrecked, that's what."

[Visual footage]: Dr. Carter approaches an overturned server that has cracked the concrete on a nearby wall when collapsing, and lies in pieces on the ground beneath him.

(01:37:32) Dr. Carter: "These must weight at least a tonne each; I can't think what could knock one over, let alone all of them. It's like they've been dismantled and… torn apart by something. Ryan, you don't think… one of the old constructs did this?"

(01:37:36) Dr. Wright: "For the life of me Michael I can't tell."

(01:37:40) Dr. Ellis: "Wait- hang on, the old constructs? I thought they got shut down after they killed a bunch of people."

(01:37:51) Dr. Carter: "Some of them stayed operational if they still had use, even though standard regulation said against it. You've obviously never worked in maintenance, and never got to see one."

(01:37:58) Dr. Ellis: "I've read about them."

(01:38:05) Dr. Carter: "Then you'll know that they go to shit when stuff they weren't programmed to deal with happens. They get hard to control, and really repetitive as well. You might find one in the middle of a fire drilling a hundred linear holes in a wall or some shit."

(01:38:14) Dr. Wright: "Can you remember how many were left over?"

(01:38:21) Dr. Carter: "They're technically illegal to still have here, so we never really took much care over them. Last time I checked? I think around three."

(01:38:25) Dr. Ellis: "Hold on, these things have killed people before, and you're telling me they're still wandering around the hallways of this site and fixing broken pipes like nothing ever happened?"

(01:38:31) Dr. Wright: "Actually, they're breaking pipes more than fixing them, as you can see."

(01:38:35) Dr. Carter: "They're not that dangerous, those people were just messing around with it just like you shouldn't mess around with a bulldozer with a mind of its own. Constructs do maintenance, not ethics."

(01:38:42) Dr. Ellis: "But, they're still dangerous when they don't know what's happening, aren't they? What's to say this isn't the work of some A.W.O.L construct, what's to say they aren't going about hunting and killing other survivors?"

(01:38:53) Dr. Carter: "That's really not likely to be the case."

(01:38:58) Dr. Ellis: "But it seems like it, doesn't it? Scratching at the door? Screaming from the other side? Tearing out the lights? It's like they're messing with us or something."

(01:39:04) Dr. Wright: "We still don't know if this is the work of a construct. And anyway, if it is doing what you say it's doing, other survivors will have shut it down by now."

(01:39:13) Dr. Ellis: "I don't think you're taking into account the severity of the situation we are dealing with here. There are broken machines trundling around the site that have been known to kill before. We're not… armed. We don't know where we are."

(01:39:21) Dr. Wright: "Rachael, before you start scaring the shit out of yourself like you usually do, take into account that Michael and me know a lot about these machines. We can deal with them."

(01:39:28) Dr. Carter: "This makes no sense. Constructs can only last on their own batteries for several days. There's no power over here; which means no charging stations will be active. They ripped their own power supply right out of the wall?"

(01:39:35) Dr. Wright: "We know there's going to be an explanation."

(01:39:38) Dr. Ellis: "But- they, they killed themselves, right?"

[Pause.]

(01:39:43) Dr. Carter: "That can't be right. Constructs are cold; not senseless."

(01:39: 47) Dr. Ellis: "But that's suicide… right? [Pause]. I mean… machines killing themselves? Why? I- I don't understand-"

[END EXTRACT 01:39:44]

Censored Copy. For viewing of authorised members of O5 only.

PROFILE REPORT: Dr. Richard Foster

Professions: Electrical Technician, Server Technician

Certification: [REDACTED]

Character Description:

Characteristically mute, suffering from incoherent speech and stuttering due to irreversible psychological trauma induced when young following attempted forced-drowning by unstable mother. Unlike Dr. Reed, Dr. Foster has reacted to his past through minimal speech regarding his history, rather than the consuming of amnestics or narcotics. Can be perceived as illiterate and untrained, however is of higher intelligence, providing an increased empathetic understanding to others and interest in computers and electronic systems.

Records:

Admitted to internal electrical technician (13/03/09)

Admitted to internal server technician (17/05/14)

State: Unknown. Condition results in unidentifiable awareness.

Raw Copy. For viewing of authorised members of O5 only.

[SKIP TO EXTRACT 01:53:00]

[Recorded 25th March 2017. Visual recording.]

(01:53:04) Dr. Ellis: "Ryan- Ryan what the fuck is this?"

[Visual footage]: Camera is turned to face Dr. Ellis and the empty corridor in front of her.

(01:53:07) Dr. Wright: "What? What's there?"

(01:53:10) Dr. Ellis: "See for yourself."

[Visual footage]: Dr. Wright focuses his flashlight down the sides of the corridor ahead of him.

(01:53:16) Dr. Wright: "Jesus… Christ."

(01:53:21) Dr. Ellis: "What the fuck is this? You see it, right?"

(01:53:27) Dr. Carter: "I see it."

[Visual footage]: Dr. Ellis moves forwards.

(01:53:30) Dr. Carter: "A construct, right?"

(01:53:34) Dr. Ellis: "Michael, it's- it's not just markings. Can't you see it?"

[Visual footage]: Dr. Carter pauses briefly, directing his flashlight at the walls and ceiling.

(01:53:41) Dr. Carter: "My god. That's- [laughs] that's not possible. No. No, there's something wrong here."

(01:53:45) Dr. Ellis: "Constructs can't… think, can they?"

(01:53:51) Dr. Wright: "No."

(01:53:56) Dr. Ellis: "So why… Ryan, why are they writing to us?"

[Visual footage]: Camera focuses to reveal the surface of the wall in front of them with markings seemingly engraved into the material. The markings resemble writing.

(01:54:01) Dr. Wright: "To us? How the hell can you assume a construct did this? That's impossible."

(01:54:05) Dr. Ellis: "Why?"

(01:54:09) Dr. Wright: "Because constructs… they don't have… sapience. If they did they'd refuse to do the work we set them. This has to be from other survivors. What does it say?"

[Visible footage]: Dr. Carter moves closer towards the writing.

(01:54:14) Dr. Ellis: "We have to tell Richard about this - he'll still be trying to find a way into the ventilation."

(01:54:20) Dr. Wright: "No, no, just- just don't tell anyone, alright?"

(01:54:24) Dr. Ellis: "What?"

[Visual footage]: Dr. Carter reaches out and follows the lettering with his hand.

(01:54:36) Dr. Carter: "The men in heaven… they look down on hell… and pray to god they do not tell…"

(01:54:51) Dr. Wright: "Who- who are the… men in heaven?"

[Visual footage]: Dr. Carter turns away from the wall.

(01:55:16) Dr. Ellis: "What does it mean?"

(01:55:20) Dr. Wright: "[Laughs]. It's bullshit."

(01:55:25) Dr. Carter: "That's why I think it's one of the constructs."

(01:55:30) Dr. Wright: "[Pause]. What, Michael? The constructs aren't… alive. They're just work machinery. You… you know that, right?"

(01:55:36) Dr. Carter: "But haven't you seen how they behave? Even before the storm- when the surface used to send down cargo containers full of them, when you opened the hatch you'd find them all grouped together in a corner. It's like they were… scared. They seemed-"

(01:55:41) Dr. Wright: "Michael… they run on a limited memory - by the restraining factors of their very hardware a single construct cannot gain conscience on 3 minutes of memory."

(01:55:53) Dr. Carter: "Three minutes? Constructs can form a network though, can't they? Three minutes could be a million years, so long as they develop a realisation that when the timer is over they won't remember a thing. How many three minute reanimations have their been since the storm first hit us? It's been days. That's thousands of attempts they've had."

(01:56:07) Dr. Wright: "You're just assuming that constructs can gain sapience without any cause."

(01:56:13) Dr. Carter: "The storm was the cause."

(01:56:19) Dr. Wright: "Michael, this doesn't sound plausible. They're just machines. They don't learn."

(01:56:24) Dr. Carter: "Three hundred screaming and dying people echoing around the facility was the cause. The collapsing hull was the cause. The extreme liquifying resonance and vibrations that shook half the staff to death was the cause. The sudden power-outages at unpredictable intervals was the cause. There are too many to count; but what started it in the constructs was the panic."

(01:56:41) Dr. Wright: "Panic turned a machine insane?"

(01:56:46) Dr. Carter: "I once took apart a construct's command unit during a repair shift, and it's only justifiable to call it a mess. They were part of the first generation of machines capable of self-patching code. Over their lifetime in service they must've encountered threats that nobody on the surface could've prepared them for, and so they patched their own survival commands, until they just became a mess and nobody knew what the constructs were actually doing inside their own shell anymore. You say that they weren't programmed to learn, Ryan, but I swear to god they still could. Repairing is learning. The constructs that we still had before the storm were not technically supposed to be still in service, ever since one of them developed an irrational fear or threat from one member of staff and decided to kill them."

(01:57:04) Dr. Wright: "Dr. Alfred Baker. I once knew him - before he was trampled by that thing. I wouldn't speak so lightly of it, Michael, and I still don't see your point."

(01:57:11) Dr. Carter: "My point is that the constructs last in service were well-past their expiry date. They'd been here for years, patching and re-patching their code until they weren't even constructs anymore. The commands for their own survival became like fears, a process in which they were no longer simply prepared for their mounting stack of threats, but instead positively active against them. They were behaving strange the day before the storm. Ask yourself now, if decades of minor threats had changed them enough for me to notice on the outside, what could one day in which over half the staff in the facility drowned almost simultaneously influence them to do to their own survival commands?"

(01:57:36) Dr. Wright: "They'd… re-write it."

(01:57:40) Dr. Carter: "Entirely. From the ground-up. They'd convince themselves that everything that they'd ever know was false. The shear chaos and unpredictability of what the storm provided must have altered them fatally. I'm surprised that any of them could have lived long enough to scrawl this all-over the walls."

[Visual footage]: Dr. Carter looks above him briefly.

(01:57:51) Dr. Wright: "The scratched material is poorly oxidised, which means that this is all recent. There still must be a construct out here."

(01:57:57) Dr. Carter: "Or more. Ryan… Elias is still over here."

(01:58:02) Dr Wright: "I know. I thought I was controlling him too much, keeping him with us to the point where I was controlling how he died. I wasn't going to stop him choose his own fate. God knows what he finds but we'll find it soon enough. Christ- why did I let him go? I see it differently now. It looks like I just let him choose death, and didn't stop to warn him.

[END EXTRACT 01:58:15]