The Homeship Safety Committee would like to thank for his kind assistance in compiling the current list of Hazard Warnings, and the Smallship Situation Report which we append hereto.
Due to continued unforeseen difficulties with the Homeship Computers (again) this cycle's Smallship Reports are again coming to you in semi-manual manner.
Hazard Warnings will be resumed as soon as the mood takes us...
Level A . Lateral thinking required here: this is the top level of the homeship, but there's cabbage water coming in through the ceiling of intersection 82/76. Be careful, as it spreads quite a way. We would suggest you use corridor 79 instead, if it weren't for the 27 life-sized foam-rubber elephants which presently block it. Small drifts of white sand in passage 87, heading south by dwilth.
Level B. Diomed and Anchises are still engaged in their experiments at intersection 55/103. We told them cat's cradle would never replace scissors-paper-stone, but would they listen? We've left some real scissors within easy reach, but they told us last night that they'll be free in a moment or two, so that's all right. Florestan's potted plant will be walking along corridors 39 and 40 today: steer clear unless you want to spend an hour discussing thirteenth-century Provencal poetry.
Level C. This level seems to have acquired a ten-degree slope, and someone seems to be racing thousands of those steel walky springy things down every passage. Odoacer has been watching them for two hours and hasn't seen an end yet. We have our suspicions, but since we can't get to the top end...
Level D. White sand at last. Intersection 18/134, half of passage 26 and random spotting along corridors 48, 62 and 97. Nothing you can't wade through, assuming the little segmented things with the claws haven't cropped up again. Waldemar's chalk drawings were looking rather fine along passage 84 till some bright spark set off the sprinklers. We expect the culprit to own up like a man (who are we kidding?) or at least to get him some new chalks.
Level DE mezzanine. Harp music coming from somewhere in the region of intersection 94/37. Very nice, but the trainees are trying to revise for Advanced Economic Subversion and it's distracting them. If the two virtuosi involved could see their way to doing it somewhere else Jubal would be profoundly grateful. The foodsynths on this level are turning everything out in tartan. Hunting Fraser, so Caedmon tells us. Just close your eyes and think of Scotland, or somewhere.
Level E. We have another note from Scythrop, who as we all know Isn't One To Complain, about people talking in the passage outside his room. We wouldn't be worrying about this were it not for the unusual number of megaphones requested from the fabricators on this level. Please, people, show a little sympathy. We're running out of places to put the frodding notes. Womprats sighted at intersection 64/143: Demosthenes says more than one, Soren denies everything (as usual).
Level E mezzanine. The salad oil is back. We really have to find out where this is coming from. There isn't a foodsynth anywhere nearby, and while white sand and cabbage water we expect to come from nowhere, salad oil is new. Well, new for the last ten years, anyway. If someone doesn't volunteer to take up the plating we'll be forced to consult our hit list...
Level F. Did we mention white sand? It's got into the library annexe. Didymus is hopping mad and demanding reinforcements with shovels. Cabbage water running down the walls in corridor 6 and passage 24, and piles of mediaeval Spanish halberds outside elevator 82. Rodolfo reports unpleasant -looking stains on the pointy bits, but how recent we don't know. They may after all be barbecue sauce.
Level G. Bad news, people. The Ghost of Passage 72 is back. S.O.P. as follows: you take dropshaft 12 to the north end. You put on the top hat and the tutu. You pirouette clockwise down the passage to wherever you need to be. When leaving, pirouette clockwise to the south end and take dropshaft 194. Otherwise, we're very much afraid the Ghost will spray you with strawberry custard. A few diehard souls are still living on this passage: we're not sure why. The main reason for being there is, of course, Tertiary Library Annexe 29, containing all those interesting books Orlando brought back from that theocracy a few years ago. (Mind you, we suppose if you're into that kind of thing strawberry custard might be rather tame...) Anyway, Caedmon has his minions looking into exorcisms, and Bors is prowling adjacent corridors with a large mallet just in case the culprit is more material than it claims to be. Normal passageness will be resumed as soon as possible.
Level H. White sand in corridor 3, corridor 46, passage 78 and corridor 114. Yes, all the primary fabricator points. Gravity shift ninety degrees on passage 91 between corridors 32 and 44. Best go round it. Phorcion and Dardanio are presumably coping with floor/ceiling issues at the moment, which explains Dardanio's absence from today's Committee meeting.
Level I. Someone has been Very Silly. We don't Know who it was, Nithing, but it Isn't Funny.
For the benefit of Everyone Else, all the level identifier signs have been turned sideways, with the result that the Computers now think that this is Level "--" and are reacting accordingly. We daren't put them back piecemeal -- we still remember what happened with Levels X and Y, when the Elementary Algebraic Mapping program got loose -- so, once we have all the people we're going to need, we will close the Level down, go in, and correct the "problem". Till then we suggest that you leave I alone. Needless, to say, none of the dropshafts on this level are operating at present: thankfully the stairs still work fine.
Level J. Possibly as a spin-off from the Level I situation, all the synths and fabricators are currently producing double what's ordered: all very well, till someone forgot to cancel their order for "Earl Grey, hot" every hour on the half-hour. Corridor 48 is currently ankle-deep in cooling tea-leaf based infusion, and (for a reason no-one wants to speculate about) the deck plates are starting to glow emerald green. Serious cabbage water in passages 18 through 32 -- watch your step. We have impounded the bound back volumes of Prootham's Planetographic Review and Holiday Guide from the Library here, to act as stepping stones. Serious researchers will find copies on Level Q, Annexe 3. Corridor 42 is no longer the middle bit of the Bowling Alley (see Level F) -- instead it is apparently currently the Master Dispersal Area for the maintenance bots on Levels D to M. It's very busy, people: be careful out there, or go round, via corridor 44 (43 is being used for overflow handling on the queueing bots).
Level K. We think we've solved the non-Pythagorean corridors, by redefining the geography for a tri-axial projection. A first-draft plan and guide book are available on the landings to the stairs down from Level J, or from (most of) the fabricators. Do NOT use the existing floor plans -- we haven't had time to replace them yet. If you get lost, stand still and re-orient yourself according to the BLUE lines on the ceilings (the RED ones mark overheard pipes, and the YELLOW ones were left by the slugs that swallowed the anti-gravity pills). Otherwise, if you don't need to go here, it's probably best not to. All the dropshafts have been labelled, and we recommend that you take care to use the one which will result in your making the shortest journey on K. And may the Cosmic Essence have Mercy on your [insert appropriate noun here].
Level L. A big one. Let's start with the woodpeckers -- there aren't twelve any more: now it's about twenty, and the younger ones are still learning what is and isn't nutritious. Fengal can supply reinforced helmeting, and we recommend it. Next, the white sand. It now covers all intersection 42/67 to a depth of five feet, and has spilled down the connecting passages and corridors. Attempts to program the maintenance bots to deal with it have led to unforeseen complications: the statues are available from Coromasius, at the Bot Repair Facility on level Q. Food-synths on the western side of this level are currently dispensing yellow sherbet as an alternative to any root vegetable ordered. Be aware that the problem seems to be spreading: more and more outlets are being affected, some are using curry powder in substitution for sugar, and a couple of the fabricator slots seem to think that most requests for metallic items can be met by providing a product cast, or moulded, from lemon-flavoured gelatine.
Penguins -- four-foot high, ceramic mouldings of Emperor penguins -- there are 340 of them (at last count) blocking intersection 87/29, and adjacent access space. We would like them moved. Didymus would be particularly interested as he's blocked into his new laboratory, and getting sick of curry-and-sherbet flavoured beef broth. And, before anyone else asks, we HAVE noticed that some of the penguins are labelled "Property of the Archepiscopal Nuncio", but we DON'T have any idea whether or not this is significant. And whilst we're dealing with stationary obstructions, there is the matter of corridor 84. It looks to be a baling machine. Mercat went to investigate and came back packed in a skein of sugar-string -- he recommends that no-one goes near it, till we know what it is that's powering it and how we can switch it off. We tried going round the back -- with Mercat's experience, it only took half the time to cut Balipho clear of his skein.
And finally -- the parrot's eye valves on landings 74, 75 and 76 have been interfered with, in order, it would appear, to facilitate the extraction of vegetable oil from the adjacent vats. Whoever did this was unaware (as were we, until, as a result of the interference, we made a level-four survey) that the oil has become contaminated with lemon juice, from the pipes connecting the storage facility on Level E to the processing installation on Level M. Accordingly the Safety Committee strongly recommends that Iugenius either procure his oil through normal channels, or that he find a different medium for the creation of his mural works of art (highly profitable though we know them to be).
Level M. White sand on passages 27 to 35, between corridors 1 and 19. We think it's been there for some time: the stuff's set solid. Pickaxes from the fabricators at intersections 33/5 and 39/12: note that they come in two sections, viz. the pick bit and the handle bit. Anyone who can't fathom how to combine the two elements to best effect is cordially invited to consult Bors, who will gladly further their closer acquaintance with both components.
Level M mezzanine. Intersection 46/48. It would be golden syrup except that it's green, it's coming out of the foodsynth and we be afraid of it. A team of eight intrepid volunteers led by Orlando are trying to hold it back with brooms before it reaches Trajan's Towers. Leodegraunce is trying to persuade Trajan to lift the Towers on to a nearby table to obviate the risk of damage, but has not succeeded as yet. We're busy wondering why we bother...
Level N. Theophrastus' exhibition of Great Contracts I Have Negotiated (the I in the title being, of course, Theophrastus: we worry sometimes) is into its twenty-ninth triumphant week, and he would be very very grateful if someone, anyone, would wander down there and have a look at it. There are some rather nice ones, actually, even if the Prenuptial Pincer Perplex that dominates the show is just a little bit reminiscent of a very similar document drawn up by one of our other brothers, even to the subclause about resale rights on moulted pin feathers that sort of rams the point home. Have some sympathy, people, he's trying. Extremely.
Level O. We have lighting and life support, for how long we can't say, but if people start moving back in it might help to reinforce the distinction we've managed to establish in the computers' what for want of a better word we'll call mind between the letter O and the numerical concept zero. Yes, it's a mutated form of the same problem. We think we preferred the viruses...
Level O mezzanine. Don't step straight on to the landing here. Every 13.76 seconds a large book drops out of the lightwell at high speed. Edred has taken it upon himself, brave lad, to stop them piling up. We don't recognise the language they're written in, and the diagrams make even less sense to us: the computers just waffle about the diversity of the universe (or occasionally the divers in the University) and refuse to elaborate, which at least makes a change. A specimen may be inspected at the Committee's office on Level C: any help with identification gratefully received. Cesar could also use some help in the infirmary on level P. Apparently he's running out of head-sized bandages.
Level P. There is a swarm (are a swarm?) of pretty little blue and gold beetles (am a swarm?) wandering around this level (bees a swarm?) and if you stand unwarily in their path they will swarm all over you and, well, suffice it to say that their favourite food appears to be fabric. Basic fabricator fabric like what all our clothes are made of. The computer has obligingly raised the temperature a couple of degrees to compensate: all we can say is, get well clear before you try to fab up a replacement outfit. The little darlings can smell lunch a mile off. They seem to excrete something akin to kapok: if anyne has a use for it and wants to take the risk, this is the level for you.
Level Q. You would think that a sophisticated piece of technology like a Nyrond homeship computer would at very least be able to tell when a joke is Really Really Old And Past It. Not this one. Fabricators, foodsynths, dropshafts and all other facilities are currently operating on a fifteen-minute waiting time, and that's after three days of intense negotiation with the thing. We've tried boycotting the level, and that resulted in facilities on levels O, P, R and S being shut down completely (see last week's sheet). Stand in line quietly, people, and no pushing: presumably if we just go along with it the humour will pall some time soon.
Level R. Watch the drinking fountains on this and the next three levels, folks: the water comes out downwards and left of where you expect it. Three bolts of fake fur have turned up at intersection 32/92: given the particular shades of green and yellow, we think someone might be along to collect them quite soon. The rather tasteful statues of armoured heroes flanking passage 46 have taken to nutting passers-by at random with their maces: we've managed to replace the heads with foam rubber, but that's as much as we can do. No white sand this morning. Something must be wrong.
Level S. We thought we had this one cracked, after last week. The maintenance bots went in, and cleaned up all the blancmange, and Tertillion assured us that the machine was turned off -- FULLY off. Then yesterday the power failed and now we've discovered that, whatever it is, and however it came on board, it liked the blancmange and, in lack of that, has moved on to eating insulation, from round the wiring in the Transcription Units. Mercifully we've a power outage, rather than a fire, but most of the level currently has minimal life-support. Ezra is organising an "arctic terrain" expedition for some of the trainees: assemble at 1600 at stairway Q11, anyone who wants to join in. White sand around corridor 48; cabbage water (frozen or slushy) along passage 32, through intersection 32/65 and into adjoining areas. Dropshafts operational only on the east side, but access available via usual stairways.
Level T. At last - a quiet one. Three outbreaks of vanilla oil, all on corridor 54, and all being contained by moving the white sand from passage 19. Blue dust piling up at intersection 45/27 isn't though to be toxic -- Biochemistry have reported it inert, and it isn't rotting the deck-plates, so just walk round it for now. The dropshaft at 27/42 has a faulty door -- Amadorn is fixing it.
Level U. Shield Control would like volunteers for the early-morning shifts, and would remind people that the 480-foot long concrete python still blocks the entirety of the southern accesses, so would you use stairway F2 instead. Avoid dropshaft 94 -- the inflatable mammoth is still inflated and blocking the tube. Ditto the crocodile at intersection 24/98, and the (apparently self-winding) clockwork frogs. We don't know who it is who has these animal fetishes, but they're causing a Degree of Irritation by now. More blue dust -- a large drift around intersections 21/48, 22/48, 21/49 and 22/49 -- again apparently harmless. Food-synths on this level are stuck on sherbert, mashed kiwifruit and synthetic champagne: it's a food, but not as we'd like to know it. All the fabricators in the north-west section are making little models of the Cathedral at Koenig-felle. If this is for a coup, you should be using the systems on Level JJ; otherwise, who is doing it, and why ? Please do not use the eastern stairways to get to Level V, as they don't (see below).
Level V. Romaldo reports that all the central section dropshafts don't stop here. As yet, we haven't been able to check this, as none of the shafts will agree to take us there. We suggest using the northern ones and walking. Malachi's experiment with the supposedly sentient slabs of slate from Succharnis Minor is still proceeding: please be careful where you walk, just in case they wake up and bite! White sand all along the eastern corridors: it's coming from the stairs, but we can't get up to find out how it gets there. And before you ask, we tried walking down from Level U. For some reason, all the stairways down from U run to the mezzanine between W and X, without stopping anywhere. We think a spatial anomaly may be going on. Watch yourselves (we've installed some mirrors on the landing halfway down to help you).
Level W. As you will recall, for the last few Hazard Warnings we have advised that the stern-ward section of this level be avoided, as the Computers were reporting that life-support in that area was not capable of supporting life. This advisory was withdrawn yesterday and Lucio led a survey team, to check conditions. His findings have led to a review of the data on which the Computers' warnings were issued, as all appears entirely in order. What Lucio also discovered, in the Tertiary Annex, was a semi-erected prefabricated structure. From the painted sign, it appears that this was expected to function as "Uncle Oswald's Beasts of the Worlds Petting Zoo", and the presence of small enclosures and labels for a variety of small, inoffensive, animals supports this thesis. No animals were found. We hope that there are none to be found. We sincerely hope that no Nyrond has smuggled aboard such animals and is keeping them in his quarters, in his own storage locker, in someone else's storage locker, or in that convenient little blind-alley off corridor 25 on Level AC, next to the grain hoppers. We are monitoring the contents of the hoppers and the Computers will want a specific authorisation to release any grain from there until further notice. And we do know the names of the three Nyronds who have registered the alias of "Uncle Oswald" for use in coups over the last five cycles. In due course we may want to speak to them. In the meantime, we would like to think that the Tertiary Annex could be discovered tidy and able to be put back into normal operation by, say, the end of the week.
Level W/X Mezzanine. This is where the stairways down from level U end up (see above). Given that this mezzanine has been disused since Raphaldo's regrettable attempt to synthesise broad beans out of sunbeams, we have done what we can to clean it up, but the smell of frazzled upholstery still exists. It was, we acknowledge, our fault for not taking the chaises-longues out first. Please ignore the small bundles of golf-flags: they're Soren's: he stores them here and takes one pack along with him on each trip to irritate Zander. It's an old joke, but it's their joke, and as yet Zander's death-block is holding up.
Level X. White doves (at least 42 according to Survello) occupying much of corridor 44 between passages 45 and 54 -- approach at your own risk (and cleaning bills). They may have been attracted by the sage and thyme sprouting out of the food-synth at the passage 48 intersection -- certainly there is clean (as opposed to cabbage) water leaking from conduits above passage 52 which doesn't help. And while we're mentioning the conduits, will trainees desist from using the hot-water system to send messages between dormitories: every time you open and close the seals, we lose precious water, and water makes for slippery deck-plates. And while we're on about seals, whoever is responsible should remove them, and the fish, from the pool, and get them back to whatever storage facility you were using. You must have one: we know you've been indenting for the extra fish for 4 cycles. The Belphemiic graffiti on corridor 94 is also to be scrubbed off, by the end of this cycle -- it's not that we mind that it's obscene, but three of the words are either misspelled or you've held the book upside down.
Level Y. WARNING -- The Safety Committee strongly advise that you avoid this Level at present. We aren't sure what it is, but it's living in what used to be the Secondary Maintenance 'Bot Repair facility, between corridors 45 and 72. [For information, the 'bots are currently being serviced in an emergency facility on level BB.] We hope to have more details in our next bulletin -- for now all drop-shafts have been instructed to avoid this level, and barriers have been put up on all the stairway landings. Those who have Essential Material on this Level are recommended to indent for replacement fabrication through the Level CC facility, using the priority code Delta-Nine-Five, spoken in the Zingarit/Moabite dialect.
Level Z. White sand, corridors 85 to 112 -- a large deposit, but thankfully not underneath the Unknown Thing on level Y. Cesar says that this drift is suitable for glass-making, and has set up a small factory in the western refectory area. Please take your meals elsewhere for the moment, although he says he hopes to have drinks glasses available very soon. The polystyrene dwarfs in section 45/87 seem to be multiplying again -- take care and perhaps avoid this area until we can get cameras set up (we will want volunteers to watch them -- please make yourselves known in the usual way). And also please avoid all the drop-shafts in areas 37-42/12-44 as they are stopping from 5 inches to 3 feet below their supposed level.
TO BE OCNTINUED...whenever.
Buttons and bars and such are courtesy of Jelane's Free Web Graphics, at http://www.erinet.com/jelane/families/.