Part 75: Episode LXVIII: Serge and the Laboratories of TomorrowEpisode LXVIII: Serge and the Laboratories of Tomorrow
Welp, we now have access to floors 3 and 4. There is also a B1 level. However, that requires a special clearance key card. Guess what we're after next.
Floor 3 Eastern Laboratory...
Welcome to the Brain Lab. They've got brains in jars, brains in holograms, brains on monitors, brains on brains. It's a harebrained place. The brains in the holograms all are labeled models. From the top left clockwise they are the model of brain behavior, model of lower animal brain, model of brain evolution, and model of brain analysis. Brain.
The ghost chaps looking into the monitors in the left corner has a monologue to share with Team Serge.
"Memory scanning and rewriting is not that difficult a thing. As a matter of fact, it is possible to simulate the thoughts and feelings of each individual. These are all just electric signals that flow around the circuitry of the brain, after all. The vessels of flesh can be reproduced through cloning... And the 'soul' stored within these fleshy vessels can be simulated as well... Thus, one could even go so far as to say that death itself no longer exists. Of course the expiration of an individual being, as a variation within the species, still occurs. Overall, we can reverse the old maxim and say that where there is no death there will be life..."
"He said: 'blah blah blah science blah science blah.'"
"That means, by manipulating the never transmitters inside their brains, it's possible to control the feelings and even the personalities of humans. FATE uses the Records of Fate to connect directly to the brains of the humans with whom they come into contact. FATE not only imprints what actions the humans should take into their brains, but also rewrites their personalities and feelings."
"Pfft... That stupid thing told me to go try to tag the redhead next door by making her a stupid necklace. Look how *that* turned out!"
"HOW DID IT TURN OUT?"
"Well, I'm in a ghost filled future ruin filled with brains with a blue-skinned redhead robot... So pretty poorly, Zoah. Pretty poorly..."
"Then from fish to amphibians...from reptiles to mammals...and eventually to humans. Beginning with a cerebral neocortex, which only exists in higher mammals... The arthropod brain enlarged at an accelerating pace until it became the human brain we know. Could the reason for the abnormal development of the human brain be the biological contamination caused by Lavos? That would mean that humans are really a heterogeneous life-form, or 'foreign matter,' as far as the planet is concerned. Humans are a sudden mutation caused by the contact with Lavos - an alien life-form that fell to this planet from space. That is why humans are, biologically speaking, unbalanced and half-finished. Internally inconsistent and disconnected, the human existence is plagued by contradictions. An incomplete species, torn between love and hatred, whose very being is self-contradictory. From the planet's viewpoint, humans are just destroyers and a cursed, yet perhaps pathetic, blight on the world."
"Dude, I'm gonna level with ya... My eyes glazed over back at the neon Aztecs part."
Level 3 Western Laboratory...
This laboratory is apparently the Wikipedia of Chronopolis. There is also this impressive looking thing in the middle. I have no idea what it does. But, I'm sure it is very scientific. Another shade has some rambling to do.
"Adenine and Thymine... Guanine and Cytosine... Rhythm and Melody... Perhaps the DNA of the ones who make contact with the Flame is recomposed by the sound they generate within? I wonder if life-forms are just dreaming in an endless flow of music?"
"Really wish I could change the station in that case. Mine sucks."
The three displays here all have a big ass Chrono Trigger infodump on each. So...yeah... Yeah...
- - LAVOS - -
An extraterrestrial life-form that is thought to have fallen from the heavens 65 million years ago. On the timeline that existed before history was changed, Lavos was assumed to have slept deep below the planet's surface... Sleeping and consuming the planet's energy up until the day of destruction known as the "Apocalypse." There are those who believe that, 12 thousand years ago, the legendary ancient magical civilization known as Zeal came into contact with Lavos. That fateful encounter is said to have resulted in Zeal disappearing from the surface of the planet within the space of a single night. However, the very existence of the ancient kingdom of Zeal has never been proven, so up till this day this theory cannot be confirmed.
On some time lines, Lavos appeared on the surface of the planet in the year 1999 and brought the world to ruins. However, a group of young time travelers saw where their planet's history was heading and, through their actions, rewrote time. This very research facility exists on that new time line... In a world where, thanks to the defeat of Lavos by the young adventurers, the Apocalypse never happened... On a temporal vector where human civilization continued to evolve unhampered.
All the data on Lavos that was obtained from tracing different parallel world possibilities has proven to be volatile, with fluctuating discrepancies. Perhaps, at this point in time, it is nearly impossible to obtain any true information on Lavos.
- - HUMANS & REPTITES - -
65 million years ago, the Reptites who evolved from reptiles had developed their own unique civilization... This was long before the ancestors of humans, who evolved from primates, had developed their civilization. Excavations carried out on the central continent of Zenan have revealed that the Reptites already had advanced architectural skills in the prehistoric era. But the fall of Lavos to the planet, and the resulting Ice Age this brought about, rang the death knell for the Reptites and their civilization.
After that the Reptites slowly disappeared from the stage of history. However, in the distant past humans could have been defeated in the contest of evolution, and the Reptites could have continued to develop... It is not unthinkable that such a time line could exist in other dimensions. Everything is purely a problem of possibilities, and the world is only stabilized by the viewpoint of the one who observes it.
- - DNA: The Seeds of Life - -
The human body is made up of 50 to 60 billion cells. Each of these cells contains genes in the form of DNA. These are the fundamental building blocks that exist inside the cell's chromosomes. They store genetic information that can be passed on from parent to child. The structure of DNA is common throughout all life, throughout all universes. Through DNA recombination, life-forms take on differing forms with variable abilities.
"I never thought I'd miss Radius' dick punching school lessons..."
Heading up to Level Four...
The western lab on this level is currently being guarded. We'll have to go track down Keith David if we want to get through. Oh well...let's see what the eastern lab has to offer...
We're just in time for a time ghost presentation. Joy!
The rest of the lab's shades gather round the hologram display...
"Whether this could actually be possible or not is still the subject of intense debate and no conclusions have been made."
"According to her theory, by rotating a single point of supergravity, space-time continua can be drawn in... thus making it possible to transform that singular point which pulls in everything else, into a ring formation. Using this ring as a Gate between dimensions, it should be possible to travel back and forth between various space-time.
The hologram resets...
"We shouldn't have to rely on theories from an ancient civilization that may not have even existed. We can do this."
"But it's been said that time was altered using the Time Egg..."
"That's just a legend. There isn't even any evidence to prove that this ancient dynasty even existed."
"Wait...so some dinosaur dudes from 65 billion years ago they managed to dig up? But some super advanced magic kingdom just vanished?"
"DO YOU REALLY WANT THIS TO GET ANY MORE CONVOLUTED?"
"After we discovered an unusual gravitational field in this barren sea of El Nido, we build several artificial islands and established Chronopolis. This was all done to facilitate our top secret research. But now, our research is about to come to its end. Once the final adjustments are made, the experiment will commence. It's just a matter of time... so everyone should keep up their good work!"
"The chief hasn't returned yet."
"He hasn't...? Then, we'll have to hold off until he gets back."
"To think that time is not absolute, but elastic... Relative and subjective... That there can be individual differences caused by changes in time... Perhaps the same people and life-forms can even exist in several different space-times. An independent time that flows with a will of its own...? Hah... What nonsense..."
"GLIB REPLY IN ALL CAPS."
From that lab, we can find a path to the connecting stairwell where a ghost is having a smoke break. He says this chief is slacking on his duties down by the docks. Huh... Well, maybe he has the keycard. Ghosts can carry fetch quest items, right?
Backtracking to the docks and yet another rambling specter...
"...appeared out of nowhere in the year 2300 and was headed up by the scientific genius Belthasar. However, at the peak of his career, he simply vanished. We've continued his work and have come this far. Our work is almost complete. Well, it's about time I headed back... The experiment's about to begin..."
"So you like got a card key or anything I could borrow? You are like...dead...or in another dimension...or...look, I don't know what your deal is but I wanna get into the basement since... Uhh..."
"WE HAVEN'T GONE THERE YET AND IT STANDS TO REASON WE SHOULD GO THERE."
"There is no reasoning behind this crap anymore, Zoah. Don't even try to sugar coat it..."
"So...I'm gonna take that as a no... Well...great..."
Well, the chief ghost doesn't seem to end up anywhere. But, the conclusion of his loitering does make the two spectral sentries vanish from the western 4th floor lab. So, let's have a look-see in there, shall we...?
"Ugh...this is gonna make my head hurt, isn't it...?"
"Grobyc, why aren't you paying attention?! This is like...big! I think..."
"Huh... Good point... Well, I guess we know where the things come from and give people awful dating advice."
"Under the surveillance of the main computer of Chronopolis... "FATE." In other words, FATE, has always been observing the 2 parallel worlds, and guiding them."
"FATE has been manipulating the world of El Nido, in order to avoid any major change to the history it knows. If an event on El Nido influences the main continent, the year 2400, in which FATE exists, would change. This paradox could potentially lead to great disaster..."
"The Records of Fate - FATE's Terminals ' - collect data from around the world, and input guidance directly into the minds of its users. In this discreet way, FATE is able to control the lives of people without them knowing. Guided by fate, the people of El Nido lead a harmonious life. In a sense, they are nothing more than puppets of FATE."
"An instruction to the young girl in Arni 01 to give up going to the main continent as a poet. An instruction to the man in Arni 02 to give up becoming a fisherman. A plan to avoid any point of contact with the main continent, so as not to affect history."
"However.... Ever since the formation of the Dead Sea 10 years ago... FATE has been unable to intervene directly with World 01. The best FATE could do was cross the dimension and receive data through the Records of Fate. And with much difficulty, FATE succeeded in binding Miguel to the Dead Sea as a watchman..."
"That was kind of a dick move."
"Yeah...I guess not. Hey, Zoah. Tell 'em that was a dick move."
"Seriously, have you *heard* your voice?"
Despite the ultra advance technology present....apparently they're still utilizing pirate booty style treasure chests to store their valuables in the future... Though, they do have robot death bots marking the X on the map now. I guess that's an improvement.
Combots are slightly more threatening than the rest of the robotic guard hounds of Chronopolis. But, that's only because they have an excessive amount of HP.
In any case, the robot was guarding that elusive key card. Fancy that.
There is one teeny-tiny little Easter Egg hidden in the terminal next to the card key's location. Let's have a listen:
"She told me she found it while cleaning out the closet. This old notebook, covered with mold, was a diary that belonged to my grandfather, who passed away years ago. It contained my grandfather's distant memories..."
"DOES THIS DEVICE PLAY BACK ARCHIVES?"
"Makes about as much sense as anything else in here..."
"How we first met... and our many adventures... It all seemed like a dream... We ran like the wind during those warm, summer days... long ago... You were a piece of a star that fell from the sky... I can still relive the memories of those days long past... Just by closing my eyes like such, and whispering your name into the desolate night..."
"Radical Dreamers - Le Trésor Interdit -"
"WHAT IS THIS...!?"
"Uhh... Why did that voice sound like me...? And why was it talking about Kid? I...am confused... And I've been confused since we got here so I'm like at an advanced level of confused. What would you call that, Zoah?"
"Yeah...that works. I am perplexed..."
"THERE IS A CONVERSATION WITH A COMRADE."
"I know you're anxious, but stay on your toes."
"Yeah, likewise, mate! You mess up, and I'm leavin' you behind! Got that, Serge?" C'mon, Magil, let's go. That bastard Lynx is gonna get what he deserves! Say your prayers! ...Not that it'll do ya any good!!!"
"THIS SEEMS TO BE AN ARCHIVE FROM A DIFFERENT TIME THAN OUR OWN."
"Ugh... So what... Did I have a dream that not only dealt with future events in another dimension but stole chatter from yet another dimension? And the hell is a 'Magil'? This is... Blargh... My head hurts..."
So, at long last we can finally see what is in the basement of Chronopolis. By order of elimination, it must be the most important area.
"Uhhhhhhhhh...what...? Is this some research project to decipher her accent or something...?"
"Please conduct security check for verification."
"Well... We got this card key thingie... We ought to be alright, right...?"
"Unauthorized entry or tampering with security system will result in death. Operate at your own risk."
"Had to open my big mouth..."
"Please step inside the circle and hold up your left hand."
"Welp... Let's hope that whole plot magic I've had up until now holds up..."
"Analysis complete. Fingerprints, retina, and C class DNA all clear. Data discrepancy due to aging within permissible range. 96% confirmation that this individual is the last registered arbiter. Access granted."