Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

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    Tally
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    Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by Tally on Sun May 01, 2016 12:05 pm

    Time: Noon
    Date: June 30th, 0006

    "I am saying that you can go talk to the ISOs, they are good listeners if you have things to back it up. Ask if they can stretch the barriers of their shield."


    "God fucking dammit all," Tally sighed. The muggy weather was making her clothes cling uncomfortably and she hadn't exactly been in very good spirits these last few days and just...bleh. A lot of bleh. But she couldn't just sit around and do nothing, better things to do than sit around and mope. Even if she wasn't sure what she was about to do would even work...

    Tally pushed opened the doors of the penitentiary and stepped inside, looking around and trying to see if there was anyone she could actually talk to. Kev had said that he had managed to have a conversation with the ISO's, so there should be some way of getting in contact with them. Perhaps a reception desk? "Hello?"

    She was still skeptical that they could help, but it was worth a shot. Kev had said before that they had helped him remove Daemeons influence from the city, only one problem, that had been inside the city. Would they actually assist with something outside of the city's inner limits? Would they actually go against their parameters?
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    Re: Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by ISOs on Tue May 03, 2016 6:43 pm

    Cold. Sterile. Lifeless.

    Such were the defining features of the city's first and only criminal housing, Firewall Penitentiary. The establishment's neutral interior was spotless - immaculate. Rarely did citizens from the outside world journeyed here, their absent footsteps leaving the polished floors unblemished. But, every now and then, an individual did venture forth to make a complaint known... Tally was one such individual, and as the florist walked through those automated doors, her mind determined to see whatever ailed her through, she was not alone. In a cyan flash, a well-dressed automaton materialized before her.

    "Greetings, User164.exe," it greeted. ISOs; that's what the locals called them. They were peculiar entities, genderless and indistinguishable in appearance. Stranger still were their voices - whirs, clicks, and crackles. Like machines running a specific function, devoid of emotion and inflection.

    Regardless, they aided the citizenry on demand. "I am the serving unit for the day of June 30th, 0006. How may I be of assistance?"
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    Re: Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by Tally on Tue May 03, 2016 7:02 pm

    Man, talk about cozy. This place took the hospital vibe and dialed it up to eleven, but Tally supposed she shouldn't have expected anything else. After all, the ISO's were programs, it'd make sense if they were neat freaks. The sudden burst of cyan along with the arrival of the ISO were enough to make her jump.

    "Holy crap." She blinked in rapid succession and worked to calm her startled heart.

    "Greetings, User164.exe. I am the serving unit for the day of June 30th, 0006. How may I be of assistance?"


    Okay, not what she had expected but certainly not bad either. "Uh, hi. Right I was told that maybe I should come here to talk with you guys about some problems that have been going on in the outer district. There's been a lot of death in the area lately, and it's just all together unsafe. I was wondering if there's any way to perhaps extend the barrier over the outer district? " Would they really be able to help at all though?

    "If not, would there be anyway to help the people in the outer district? Maybe beef up their security?"
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    Re: Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by ISOs on Tue May 03, 2016 7:44 pm

    A jump in the citizen's heart rate was noted, though the sudden anomaly was classified as a non-emergency one nanosecond later.

    "Uh, hi. Right I was told that maybe I should come here to talk with you guys about some problems that have been going on in the outer district. There's been a lot of death in the area lately, and it's just all together unsafe. I was wondering if there's any way to perhaps extend the barrier over the outer district?"

    The ISO standing by whirred to life, its glossy eyes radiating a cyan glow. "We are sorry, User164.exe," it droned, "but we currently do not have jurisdiction within the Outer District folder. While it is indeed an area of questionable and oftentimes malignant data, it nonetheless has its purposes. Should citizens at any time feel it unsafe to venture into the Outer District folder, they are by no means obligated to conduct business there. As a word of caution, however, it is highly recommended that the necessary provisions be taken in order to increase the chances of survival." A fairly straightforward, and often repeated, answer. Though, what was this about increasing security measures? The ISO paused, analyzing both its privileges and previously established precedent.

    "You must understand, User164.exe," answered the unit, its voice underscored by a monotonous crackle of static. "All citizens who frequent the Outer District folder do so voluntarily. It is assumed that, by willfully stepping outside of the inner city's protections and therefore our jurisdiction, citizens are aware of these facts. They enter the Outer District folder at their own peril." As for 'beefing up security'?

    Another whir, another surge of electronic humming. "As already stated, the Outer District folder has its purposes. To heighten security on an individual basis would not deter such persons from entering a highly-dangerous area. We believe it would exacerbate illicit activities further, as well as compromise our neutrality." Such were the nuances of upholding balance on Portal Breach. And, like a pendulum, it also swung both ways. "However, we are not opposed to citizens taking matters into their own hands, so long as they conduct their business outside of the inner city limits." Death was unfortunate. The death of citizens equally so. But unless such deaths or acts leading to death were perpetrated on ISO soil, there was very little the prim-and-proper guardians could do. This unit in particular sympathized with User164.exe incredibly, yet its hands were bound by procedure and doctrine. "Apologies," the ISO continued. "Have these responses been satisfactory, or would you like to continue discussing the topic? This unit is ready and eager to better serve you."
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    Re: Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by Tally on Tue May 03, 2016 7:59 pm

    "We are sorry, User164.exe,but we currently do not have jurisdiction within the Outer District folder. While it is indeed an area of questionable and oftentimes malignant data, it nonetheless has its purposes. Should citizens at any time feel it unsafe to venture into the Outer District folder, they are by no means obligated to conduct business there. As a word of caution, however, it is highly recommended that the necessary provisions be taken in order to increase the chances of survival."


    So it was as she thought, there really wasn't much that the ISO's could do about the barrier. But there was something that stuck out to her. "Actually I do have another question. You mentioned that the people who go to the outer district do so voluntarily. But what about the people who live there? If someone was not living in the outer district of their own free will, but perhaps because of financial issues or other problems, could something be done to help those who want to leave the outer district but are unable to?" Tally couldn't stop people from staying in the outer district if they didn't want to.

    But what if certain people didn't want to? What if they felt like they had no choice but to be there? What if they were trapped or couldn't find financial stability, what if they hadn't been told about the inn?

    So maybe in the end what she thought about the barrier was right, but maybe there was way to move those who didn't want to live in the outer district out of the area, out of harms way.
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    Re: Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by ISOs on Tue May 03, 2016 8:17 pm

    "Actually I do have another question. You mentioned that the people who go to the outer district do so voluntarily. But what about the people who live there? If someone was not living in the outer district of their own free will, but perhaps because of financial issues or other problems, could something be done to help those who want to leave the outer district but are unable to?"

    An interesting argument...

    Unfortunately, the ISOs were not permitted to overstep years' worth of procedural history. "This is a world of opportunity," it calmly pointed out. "Though a citizen may struggle with a personal crisis, be it financial or otherwise, there is nevertheless assistance at their disposal. The citizen in question needs only to reach out and accept it." But perhaps this was not a thorough enough answer? Perhaps it was lacking a more definitive body? The unit delegated more processing resources to its next reply, "Make no mistake, User164.exe - it is of their free will if they do not take it upon themselves to search for better and more reliable accommodations. As you may already be aware, there is a local inn that provides exemplary room and board - all for free. Thus, a financial quandary would be rendered moot. Any citizen, regardless of status, is capable of moving out of the Outer District folder." There was not, by any means, a directive in place that physically kept citizens trapped within any area of the city. The penitentiary was of course the sole exception to the rule.

    "The only manner in which a citizen would not be able to leave the Outer District folder, was if they were held against their will by the numerous criminal entities that proliferate the area," the ISO added. "In which case, we do encourage, though caution, that concerned law-abiding citizens take matters into their own hands responsibly. Do note, however, that the likelihood of serious bodily harm or death increases. Would you like to ask another query?"
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    Re: Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by Tally on Tue May 03, 2016 8:29 pm

    "Make no mistake, User164.exe - it is of their free will if they do not take it upon themselves to search for better and more reliable accommodations. As you may already be aware, there is a local inn that provides exemplary room and board - all for free. Thus, a financial quandary would be rendered moot. Any citizen, regardless of status, is capable of moving out of the Outer District folder."


    Ah, she suppose she should have expected that. After all it was the ISO's job to protect the inner city and it's citizens. That was their purpose, and it was a bit far fetched to believe that they would go against their modus operandi. Still, if the ISO's could not help move citizens out of the outer district, perhaps there was another way.

    Mind you, Tally couldn't force anyone to move. If she was going to do this all she could do was offer assistance, advice, and if need be like the ISO's said, take the law into her own hands if someone was being held against their will.

    "No that will be it, thanks for your help." She appreciated the forward answers, even if they didn't help much in her goal. "Oh, actually there was one more thing. There's no killing allowed in the inner city, but would it be against the laws for someone to use mind control to make another enter the outer district against their will?"
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    Re: Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by ISOs on Tue May 03, 2016 8:57 pm

    It seemed the citizen had no further -

    "Oh, actually there was one more thing. There's no killing allowed in the inner city, but would it be against the laws for someone to use mind control to make another enter the outer district against their will?"

    The ISO temporarily lapsed into a pensive quiet, though not for long. "Mind Control...? Ah, remote access used for the sole purpose of hijacking," it replied. This was, admittedly, a question that had a 'yes' and a 'no' answer. "Should the hijacking attempt take place within city limits, our jurisdiction remains unquestioned. But should the hijacking attempt take place within the Outer District folder, we are restrained by our imposed limitations." Does this mean that such a heinous offense was unable to be acted upon, however? The ISO hummed, adding, "Having stated this fact, we are capable of blocking a registered intrusion the very moment it is detected within protected borders. Precedent has already been established due to a similar, though uniquely different, case presented by User401.exe against User903.exe."

    There was only one caveat: "We need tangible proof - a signature that links the hijacker to their remote connection. Without it, we cannot register the intrusion into our comprehensive database." It was some comfort, even if small. "Would you like to ask another query?"
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    Re: Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by Tally on Wed May 04, 2016 9:49 am

    "Mind Control...? Ah, remote access used for the sole purpose of hijacking. Should the hijacking attempt take place within city limits, our jurisdiction remains unquestioned. But should the hijacking attempt take place within the Outer District folder, we are restrained by our imposed limitations. Having stated this fact, we are capable of blocking a registered intrusion the very moment it is detected within protected borders. Precedent has already been established due to a similar, though uniquely different, case presented by User401.exe against User903.exe."


    "Oh, well that's actually pretty comforting." She'd always wondered, considering that mind control wasn't a physical attack, whether or not it would even be registered and possibly stopped. It was good to know that at least when it came to the inner city limits, they could in fact interfere with it. After all those years ago with the sleeper agents and then Morgana's mind control and now two certain judges who could get into her brain...she was pretty uncomfortable with the idea of someone else in her brain.

    There was just one thing though...

    "Actually, what do you mean by tangible proof and signature? Sorry that first sentence didn't make a lot of sense to me." She wondered briefly if the ISO's were capable of thinking she was an idiot. Hopefully not. But unfortunately that lingo had gone right over her head. Remote location? Was there way to mind control someone if you were outside the city limits, even if the target was on the inside? If that was the case that was unsettling.
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    Re: Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by ISOs on Wed May 04, 2016 11:20 am

    "Actually, what do you mean by tangible proof and signature? Sorry that first sentence didn't make a lot of sense to me."

    "Please, no apology is necessary, User164.exe," the ISO politely answered. Its chrome head bowed slightly. "To clarify our earlier statement, we shall define the terms 'tangible proof' and 'signature' for easier understanding." Judgement dictated that the order of explanation be reversed. "When we use the term 'signature', we are referring to the hijacker's unique identifier. No two hijackers have the same signature. If you will, think of a signature the same as you would your own personal data. There can be, at any given time, no two User164.exes organically spawned by the System." Again, a fairly straightforward concept. "In regards to the term 'tangible proof', we, the ISOs, cannot readily act on allegations without sufficient physical evidence. We draw this conclusion based upon prior criterion with respect to the case made by User401.exe against User903.exe." And what a case that had been. But perhaps User164.exe was not made aware of the case's details?

    It was decided that the citizen be informed. "During the case of User401.exe versus User903.exe," the ISO began, "a highly virulent substance was brought to our attention, similar though lesser in function to the semi-sentient matter known as Phazon, in the form of a crystalline object. User401.exe had been wise to inform our collective of User903.exe's wrongdoing, but without that single piece of physical evidence, our efforts to contain the infecting agent would have been severely impeded. Fortunately, we were able to scan the item's unique signature and link it back to User903.exe's personal data. The inner city has been immune ever since.

    Would you like to ask another query?"

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    Re: Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by Tally on Wed May 04, 2016 1:24 pm

    "When we use the term 'signature', we are referring to the hijacker's unique identifier. No two hijackers have the same signature. If you will, think of a signature the same as you would your own personal data. There can be, at any given time, no two User164.exes organically spawned by the System. In regards to the term 'tangible proof', we, the ISOs, cannot readily act on allegations without sufficient physical evidence. We draw this conclusion based upon prior criterion with respect to the case made by User401.exe against User903.exe."


    The case that the ISO described sounded incredibly familiar, oh right, Kev. The case was totally the one about Kev and Daemeon. Kev had mentioned his skirmish with daemeon during their conversation, using it as proof that the ISO's were able to help. And they were, to his credit, they just weren't going to be able to help out in the ways that she had hoped. It wasn't as if she could find tangible evidence if someone had already taken over her mind, and it wasn't as if someone using their powers on her or anyone else would probably leave physical evidence.

    While the ISO's could use their powers to some extent, it seemed that it wouldn't help her be preventive in this case. Nor would they be able to help the people of the outer district, so she was going to have to figure out these two issues herself.

    "No I think that was it, thanks for your time."
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    Re: Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by ISOs on Wed May 04, 2016 2:59 pm

    "No I think that was it, thanks for your time."

    The ISO nodded its head, polished chrome glinting in the artificial lightning. "You are welcome, User164.exe," it said. "This unit hopes that your queries have been satisfactorily answered and that you have a greater understanding of how Portal City operates. Should you need anything else, you know where to find us. Our hours operate 24/7, every day of the year. Have a good afternoon, stay safe, and obey the law." With the information given, the ISO started with a gentle whir and grew deathly still, cyan eyes fading to a gradual black.

    And there it shall faithfully remain until the next citizen entered through those heavy, automated doors.
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    Re: Hesitantly seeking information and possible help.

    Post by Tally on Wed May 04, 2016 8:36 pm

    Tally watched the ISO wish her well and then suddenly collapse back into, hibernation? Did it have a sleep mode like a computer then? She supposed that make sense, but this was still all very weird. So much different from how the police force had been, but not bad...just different. The police force had collapsed in on itself after all. The ISO's likely had no way of falling under pressure, they couldn't be corrupted or give in to fatigue.

    They had loop holes and restrictions sure, but they were probably the best thing that could be had on Portal Breach given the circumstances.

    "Yeah, you have a good day then." She waved goodbye to the sleeping ISO, not even sure if it could see or hear her. Then she turned and left, there was still work to do, things to plan, perhaps she could find a way to help the people in the outer district on her own. And maybe find some better security for herself while she was at it...


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