WG Data Node (Winter Garden, Queen Street Mall)

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The wall above you is covered with crawling butterflies. Where the ‘cocoon’ has peeled away Metricon’s architecture has become classically styled stone, brick and curves.

A butterfly lands on one of the seats nearby. “Traveller!” it hums. “You’re finally here! Do you now fight Metricon?”

The Guidance Bot cuts you off. “Metricon has flattened King George Square to prevent this visitor logging out of the Simulation. We are here to salvage what we can.”

“Other parts of the 3-Dom program are trying to hold Metricon at bay while I complete the conversion of the Queen Street Mall,” the butterfly says. “Look around – in the distant buildings Metricon holds sway, but here we are turning everything into a more beautiful domain. See these flowerbeds? Metricon would destroy them. Only 3-Dom gives the Nexus Brisbane Simulation the vibrancy it needs.”

On the other side of the Mall, white stone is shimmering and turning into sandstone. “Traveller! It is important you observe the changes. The Simulation buildings are generated by the Nexus computers every time a visitor from Realspace observes them. By examining the architecture you are reinforcing 3-Dom’s new design. You have to document our new designs if you hope to force Metricon completely out of the system.”

As you look, the walls settle into their new, fanciful shapes. All around you lies the evidence that both sides were warring. You see brickwork and curlicues mixed with straight edge and steel symmetry. But 3-Dom is ascendant here. The conversion is happening and Metricon is trapped. The Simulation is bending towards art. All because you’re bearing witness.

“Thank you, traveller,” a high pitched chorus trills. Butterflies take off from the wall and spiral around the bot. In seconds, it is surrounded and starts to cycle through all colours of the spectrum, like a hyperactive rainbow.

“I understand now!” it yells, and dives into the nearest data-node bin cackling maniacally. Green and orange sparks fly out, dancing along the edges of the buildings.

“Yes! I have activated the Log Out sequence for you,” it says, peeking out of the top of the bin. “I would like to extend to you a free pass to return. Next time we will definitely provide hyper-colour shirts!”

The world grows translucent, the butterfly shapes fade. You’re finally logging out! The gentle movement of the 3-Dom structures hardens, like clay drying in the sun.

Suddenly you’re back in the real world. Everything snaps into place. Your Guidance Bot is gone, and so is any sign of the battles between programs.

You wonder if there are any iterations of the Brisbane Simulation where 3-Dom didn’t succeed? What would that kind of Brisbane look like?

Oh well, you guess you’ll never know.

– END –

Take a picture of your final destination and tag it with #storycity and then either #metricon or #3dom, depending on which of the two Nexus programs you feel was most present in your final location. Or try to find evidence of where their battle spilled out into the real world while you try a new adventure.

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