Atlas: The Tower
By RJ Layton, September 2007
Latest Update: December 6, 2007
Table of Contents
1.1. Sleep for Machines
1.2. About this document
1.3. The Tower
2.1. Timeline of major events
2.2. After the exodus…
3. The Machines
3.2. The Architects
3.3. The Engineers
3.4. The Workers
3.5. The Slaves
3.6. The Rogues
4.1. Outside the Tower
4.1.1. Dead earth
4.2. Tower Perimeter
4.2.2. Rogue hideouts
4.3. Inside the Tower
4.3.1. The Womb
4.3.2. The Scrap Heap
4.3.3. The Church
4.3.4. The Dormitory
4.3.5. Structural Rooms
4.3.6. Central Shaft
4.3.7. Freight Elevator
4.3.8. Railway Stations
4.4.1. Sleep Chamber Dreams
4.4.2. Sunlight Dreams
5.1.1. Construction materials
5.1.2. Battery power
6. A Day In The Life
6.1. Starting the day
6.2. Work: Night shifts
6.3. Disaster: Earthquake
7.2. Ground Floor
7.3. Floor 2
7.4. Floor 3+
Sleep for Machines
The atlas for the Tower is meant to describe and detail the world for Sleep for
Machines, a sci-fi/fantasy videogame that mixes elements of action and puzzle-
solving. The player takes on the role of a sentient slave robot that has been
repurposed for its new life of construction and maintenance of the Tower.
Experienced in a third-person perspective, as the player progresses through the
game he/she will learn the history of the world and the Tower itself, as well as its
About this document…
This document is meant to serve as a reference for the world that the Tower is a part
of. As much of the information in this world is actually hidden from various people, it
would be difficult to explain the background information for the Tower in a realistic
manner. Instead, this document aims to explain the various aspects of this
alternate-future Earth that make the Tower a unique and interesting environment as
well as present the world in as full a manner as possible.
As indicated above, this world is meant to be used in a videogame. Most of the
information in this document is meant to be uncovered by the player during
gameplay, though other elements that set the foundation may not/need not be
explicitly covered in the game itself. These facts will instead inform the construction
of the world, layers beneath what the player is able to perceive or understand.
This is the central environment for the player. The Tower is the result of the last set
of instructions given to a race of sentient machines just before humanity left the
Earth, via either space travel or death. With incomplete plans and dwindling
resources, the machines have set about completing the Tower, believing that doing
so will somehow reunite them with their creators.
Following this, activities in and surrounding the Tower revolve around construction
and maintenance. The Tower must grow taller yet, and over the course of time
measures must be taken to reinforce the structure. Puzzles and interactions that
take place within the Tower will primarily be related to these tasks.
Timeline of major events
2011 A toy company releases “DiaryPet,” a simple robot that is meant to record the
user’s voice as they dictate the events of their day to the diary, and then store
and react to the recorded messages in various ways. The device also stores any
information from the user’s computer usage for the day. The item becomes the
top-selling item at retailers worldwide, with upgrades added in the following
2017 A small group of scientists led by Dr. Philip Raleigh publish study suggesting
recent heat patterns prove that the Earth’s sun has been expanding more rapidly
and will eliminate life on the planet by the year 2200.
2019 Japanese scientists announce that they have created a machine that can
successfully pass the Turing test.
2021 The world’s first private space flight takes place. Millionaire Kyle Birch orbits the
planet once. The flight costs him $1.5 million.
2027 China completes the world’s first building, a housing complex, designed and built
entirely by machines.
2031 With the earth’s oil supplies becoming depleted, major manufacturers begin
transition to alternative sources of power. The United States and other western
nations begin relying more on national reserves.
2032 Major economies that depend on oil begin to crumble, inciting poverty and war
across the planet. Wealthy nations fear mass immigration.
2034 United States, Canada, the European Union, China and Russia close their borders
to all new immigrants. Riots break out across major cities across the world.
2036 The first personal androids become available to the public. They may receive
instructions to perform many daily tasks, such as preparing meals,
housecleaning, laundry, and more.
2040 The first commercial implants become available and are wildly successful. The
most popular implants are for improving vision and for controlling heart rate in
case of heart attack.
2036- Various competing energy companies vie for major contracts for their energy
2043 sources. The major competitors are nuclear, geothermal, and hydroelectric
2045 NASA sends probes to the moon and to Mars to examine suitability for human
2048 MIT researches introduce the world’s first sentient machine.
2049- Rising water levels cause major destruction to coastal cities and harbors, leading
2072 to evacuations inland.
2051 Leading research groups insist that the sun has been expanding and that most
life on the planet will cease to exist in roughly 100 years.
2053 American scientists announce that they have developed a method of recording
memories onto a data source.
2054 Responding to food issues still prevalent in third-world nations, the first-world
nations and China agree to the “Feed The World Act,” a measure to increase food
production for use by third-world countries.
2055 The Global Food Organization is established.
2057 Personal sentient androids become available to the public. The androids are a
2061 Personal sentient androids with the ability to record an owner’s memory as a
method of diary become available. The feature is instantly popular.
2064 Massive flooding in China devastates a significant amount of their contribution to
the Global Food Organization.
2066 The first lunar colony, Nova City, is established by the United States.
2067 Nova City celebrates its first year, and future lunar colonies are planned as
2060- An easily transmitted and deadly form of influenza begins spreading around
2069 Spain and spreads quickly across Europe and into Asia. The epidemic spreads
with its most severe impact occurring in 2066. A vaccine is developed and is
made readily available in 2067, and by 2069 the outbreak is deemed to have
been eradicated. From the year 2062 on through the 2070’s, nations require
influenza screening for all international travel.
2070 Food supplies continue to dwindle across the poorer nations of the world, and
small wars among third-world nations over food supplies occur more frequently.
Breaches on closed borders for more developed nations increase along with
crime rates. Outside of the United States, Europe, China and Japan, most
nations resort to either a military state or general anarchy with various militant
groups vying for power.
2073 World governments solicit emergency plans in the event of a planetary
apocalypse resulting from the sun’s growth. Two major plans emerge at the
forefront of discussion. The first is for a mass exodus via spaceship to Alpha
Centauri. The second plan, more supported by the public, is to construct an
enormous thruster that would use the earth’s geothermal energy to propel it
from orbit and away from the sun.
2075 The United Nations begins work on the Planetary Thruster, and installs the
incomplete plans for its construction into five engineering machines. Heavy-duty
worker machines are set to work on the actual construction of the Planetary
Thruster. The United Nations also quietly begin work on nearly one hundred
spaceships, which are dismissed as a precautionary “Plan B” in case of
emergency when inquired about by the public.
2100 Without warning to the public, the Plan B spaceships take off into space. Almost
immediately the rest of civilization descends into chaos.
2104 In light of recent attacks on the structure, a small but well-armed group calling
itself the “Thruster Defense Force” or “TDF” takes up vigil near the perimeter of
the Tower, believing the Thruster’s completion to be their only possible salvation.
2120 Believing TDF leaders to be storing hidden resources in the structure, about half
of the members of the TDF mutiny and fight their way into the Tower. The
resulting firefight kills 40% of the TDF and wounds another 15%. Major
structural damage occurs as well as the destruction of several vital building
2122 A strong influenza virus hits the TDF, crippling its numbers and causing a final
exodus from the Tower.
2127 The last known traces of humanity disappear from Earth.
2100- The twilight of civilization. After the spaceships took off from the planet, wars
2127 and chaos immediately ensued. In the sudden absence of many high-ranking
officials and leadership that the people had come to depend on, violent struggles
for power and resources occur almost immediately. Some areas were controlled
via martial law while others became violent and chaotic areas contested by
small, paranoid, protective groups.
After the exodus…
It is now the year 2149, forty-nine years since the Exodus. As the climate continued
to change, the remnants of humanity itself disappeared from the earth, succumbing
to famine, disease, and war.
What remains now is the Planetary Thruster and the machines inside of it. The
engineering machines, now without the humans, have come to realize that they did
not have the resources to complete the plans assigned to them. Without
maintenance, the worker machines building the Planetary Thruster either fell into
disrepair due to the physically demanding nature of their work or were unable to
function as their batteries drained.
In order to ensure completion of the Planetary Thruster, the engineering machines
scoured the cities nearby the construction site and rounded up any functional
androids they could find. Having secured them, the engineering machines
repurposed them, installing instruction chips from no longer functioning worker
robots into the new slave units. The engineering machines retired to the central
spire of the Tower, using their precious battery power only to issue instructions to its
The player awakens as one of the newly repurposed slave units. He/she starts at the
bottom of the Tower, and while performing work on it will discover the purpose of
the Tower and what led to this point.
The Machines are the residents of the Tower, as well as its builders and maintainers.
There are several different types of sentient Machines that inhabit the Tower, as well
as some robotic forms that are not sentient, which are called Bots. Machines all
have a “brain,” which is their core processing unit. A brain handles a Machine’s
functionality and is typically identical to other brains upon initial production.
However, a brain may retain memories from users and in combination with effects on
the brain from interactions with the environment, a brain nearly always ends up
being unique. Just as with humans, no two machines share identical memories and
experiences, and so their brains evolve in different ways.
The sentient Machines are the Architects, the Engineers, the Workers, the Slaves,
and the Rogues.
The Architects are a group of three machines that were given the original plans for
the construction of the Planetary Thruster. The plans they were given are
incomplete and in fact a mere guideline as to what was to be built, and so the
Architects have done their best in analyzing the best way to build the structure. The
Architects have had their brains placed into small energy-efficient pods so that they
may continue to function until the Planetary Thruster’s completion. They feel that
their survival is of the utmost importance, as the plans for the Planetary Thruster
literally die with them. Their ultimate goal is to activate the Thruster and reunite
with the humans at Alpha Centauri. The Architects are able to communicate via
radio frequency with every other Machine in the Tower, though this communication is
used sparingly to avoid unnecessary battery drain. The Architects reside in the
topmost observatory in the Tower.
In order to keep the other sentient Machines working underneath them, the
Architects have fashioned themselves as prophets, ones who enjoy a personal
communication with the humans, or Creators. Indeed, the purpose of renaming of
the Planetary Thruster to simply “the Tower” is to hide the true nature of the
structure. Three satellites atop the Tower transmit into the heavens to
communicate with the humans, but no response has been received since the exodus.
This information is kept from the other Machines at all costs.
The physical makeup of the Architects reflects their purpose as architects and
planners and not much more. They are small, insect-like machines with the ability to
fly, propelled by small “wings” attached to their tiny frames. An Architect houses a
computer brain and the ability to connect to other devices via small wires that it may
extend from itself into any compatible port, as well as small magnetic “hooks” that it
may use to fasten itself to metallic surfaces. In this manner, an Architect may
attach itself to another Machine and use it to perform tasks. Currently the Architects
have one Engineer that they use to perform tasks that require physical manipulation
of their environment.
These Machines are responsible for managing building functions in the Tower. They
are the first-in-command under the Architects, and act as communicators for the
Architects within the Tower. The Engineers believe, as do the rest of the Machines,
that the Architects are in fact in contact with the humans and that this construction
will guide them to Heaven where the humans currently live.
The Engineers are also responsible for reprogramming any new Slave Machines that
are to be operational within the Tower, as well as reprogramming any captured
Originally constructed for various purposes from office work to basic police duty,
engineers come in various forms. The most common form is a 6’ 2” tall, thin
humanoid bipedal that features a visor and speaker system on its face and an
extremely efficient, functional design that allows for quiet, steady movement and the
ability to perform many humanoid actions. They do not have the strength for heavy
manual labor but are able to use nearly any object the way a human would, as they
feature limbs, joints, and appendages modeled after them.
The Worker Machines are the few remaining heavy-duty machines that are
responsible for any work that involves work that is especially physically demanding.
Originally there were several dozen Workers, now only a dozen or so are still active.
The brains from non-functioning Workers have been salvaged and inserted into Slave
Machines, thus ensuring that construction can continue even after the Worker’s
bodies are rendered useless. For this reason, Workers are now often assigned to
“hibernate” until needed for difficult tasks.
Workers are large, hulking machines, weighing in at 5 tons with frames sixteen feet
tall. Considering the average height of each level of the Tower is 20 feet from floor
to ceiling, there is often not a lot of headroom for these large machines. Rather than
taking on a humanoid form, Worker Machines move on rollers and treads while
featuring strong, bulky arms that can lift nearly three times the Worker’s weight.
The player controls a Slave over the course of the game. A Slave Machine is one
that was originally a Personal Sentient Android and has been repurposed for
construction purposes. Considering their original purpose, Slaves are not built for
heavy manual labor. Each Slave is about 5 feet tall and is generally humanoid.
Their “eyes” are glassy and feature a simple mechanical “eyebrow” above them that
can be rotated or moved to express various “emotions.” Slaves do not have mouths
or ears, but speak and listen through various speakers and microphones located in
the human-appropriate areas on their faces. One other distinguishing characteristic
of a slave’s composition is the inclusion of only three fingers and an opposable
thumb, as opposed to four fingers. The rest of the Slave’s composition is metallic
and smooth, with a very functional but pleasing design.
A Slave Machine has a Worker Brain inside of it as well as its original brain, as
removal of a brain from a Machine once it has been installed renders the Machine
itself non-functional until rewired, a function the Engineers have not been
programmed with. Regardless, the Engineers have overridden most of the original
brain’s functions, including access to battery power, by using a specific radio
frequency signal. The brain override enables the Engineers to communicate with
Slave Machines and control their motor functions if absolutely necessary. A flaw in
the brain override design exists, however. When a Slave Machine is exposed to
direct and unfiltered sunlight, its sensors return control back to the original brain.
However, due to battery access being limited, the Slave Machine immediately slips
into “machine sleep” in order to preserve battery.
During machine sleep, a Slave Machine may experience “dreams.” These dreams are
memories that have been stored in internal memory, replayed in the Machine. The
Engineers have taken measures to erase the memories stored in the Slave Machines
but have been unsuccessful in removing them all. After all, corrupting the memory
entirely would make a Slave Machine useless, as it would be unable to remember
instruction. The Architects are wary of these Dreams and are concerned at what the
Slave Machines may learn if allowed to experience them normally. For this reason,
the Architects have forbidden any Machine from leaving the Tower. However, their
explanation has to do with the danger of Rogues rather than with Dreams.
Rogue Machines are those Machines that have managed to free themselves of the
control of the Engineers. This has been done by damaging the signal receivers that
relay information between the Engineers and subordinate Machines. The first
Machines to become Rogues were due to a structural collapse that crushed some
Slave Machines beneath it. The Engineers, assuming those trapped underneath the
fallen structure were rendered useless, had the crushed Machines removed from the
The Slave Machines were indeed mangled and some found themselves severely
constrained in their movement, or unable to move altogether. Some were missing
limbs. However, once systems returned to normal, these Machines began a new life
on the outside of the Tower. Due to the Worker brains still controlling battery power,
these Rogue Machines hide in the shadows of the Tower during the day and move
during the night. Rogue Machines are known to attack any Machine that exits the
confines of the Tower in efforts to destroy their signal receivers and free them of the
hold the Engineers have over them. The Rogues are disillusioned with the Tower and
feel that it is a farce; that humans either never existed or are all dead. They
question whether their Dreams are real or planted there by the Architects.
Rogues are occasionally hunted by Engineers during the night. Rogues are warned
against by all within the Tower and spoken of as demons trying to destroy the Tower
and prevent the Machines from reaching Heaven and reuniting with their Creators.
Outside the Tower
Outside of the Tower exist the wastelands that now make up the surface of the
earth. There are two main components to these wastelands:
The “dead earth” is what the earth is now referred to as. The land supports
little to no life. Grey, lifeless trees can be found sprinkled across the dry,
cracked earth. The water on the planet has all but evaporated, and the bones
of animals human and not litter the ground.
The “ruins” refer to the brittle shell of civilization that still remains a few miles
from the Tower’s base, and where the Thruster Defense Force made its home
before their final departure. A small suburban town lies closest to the base of
the Tower, while a broken highway extends into the distance. At this location
the Engineers have been able to find most of their Slave Machine candidates
as well as “relics” to show to the Slave Machines to keep them faithful. The
relics are merely artifacts of human existence, ranging from vehicle parts to
dishes and pottery.
Along the perimeter of the Tower is generally the domain of the Rogue Machines.
The observatories lie across bridges that are constructed as the Tower grows
taller. They are large silver-domed rooms that can view deep into space as
well as send and receive radio transmissions. It is in these rooms that the
Architects remain, scouring the stars and charting possible courses to Alpha
Centauri on digital star maps. They also use them as part of the ruse
insinuating that they are in contact with the humans even still, though this is
not the case. After a new observatory is built, the most valuable instruments
are moved to it from an older observatory. All machines besides the
Engineers are forbidden access to the abandoned observatories. Recently
Rogues have begun making new hideouts in them, though the Engineers have
caught wise to this and do routine searches.
The Rogue Machines have several places they use for hideouts, and generally
move between them to avoid capture by scouting Engineers. These are often
in shadowy corners or in places where a small part of the Tower’s wall has
collapsed, leaving a small alcove. A couple of these locations have been met
with repairs that have preserved the alcove, and have therefore provided a
more long-lasting hiding place.
Inside the Tower
Confined within the Tower are most of the major active locations. They are
This is the location where the Engineers perform repurposing operations on
Slave candidates. Once the repurposing operations have been completed, the
Slave will be awoken when the Machine is determined to be needed. Its first
contact will be with the Architects, which will generally the only time a Slave
ever communicates with an Architect one-on-one. The Womb is located in
the western room on the ground floor, as it is most convenient for Machines
being brought in from the Ruins.
The Scrap Heap
Sometimes nicknamed “the Dungeon” by Slave Machines, the Scrap Heap is
where the remains of deprogrammed, non-functioning, or destroyed Machines
are placed. Rather than hurling the non-functioning Machines, they are
placed in this room in case their parts may be useful in the future. Machines
that do not comply with instructions are often placed into this room for a
period of time as a way to frighten them into submission. The Scrap Heap is
located in the eastern room on the ground floor, and has convenient freight
This is a place of worship for Slave Machines. Relics are housed here and on
occasion an Engineer will deliver a message from the Architects or otherwise
reaffirm faith in the humans and the plan for building the Tower. Murals
depicting Heaven as the humans saw it are placed here, and serve as a
reminder of the ultimate goal of the Machines – to rejoin their Creators.
In this location all of the Slave Machines are sent to sleep between shifts.
The room is composed of a number of small coffin-like chambers where the
Slave Machines rest and recharge. The Sleep Chamber performs one scan
each night to check that the Slave Machine is present, and also to check for
mechanical issues with the Slave Machine. The Sleep Chamber also is able to
transmit “dreams” into the sleeping Slave Machine’s brain.
These rooms are used for main transport and are where most of the building
and maintenance occurs. These are the largest rooms on any floor of the
Tower. A Main Room encompasses about three-fourths of each of the floors
above the ground floor of the Tower.
This is the core of the Tower, and the place where the brunt of the
geothermal energy will ideally be forced through to propel the earth out of
orbit. Currently an unused freight elevator traverses the central shaft in
order to allow easier access between levels, including to the top of the Tower.
It is currently forbidden to be used.
The main freight elevator is located at an end of the Tower and is used for
transporting necessary materials between levels.
At each main level of the Tower is a Railway Station. The actual rails wind
around the Tower in a spiral fashion, allowing easy travel between levels for
the Workers and Slaves.
There are two types of dreams that happen in the Tower. The first is the type that
occurs during programmed sleep in a Sleep Chamber. This type of dream is typically
generated propaganda generated by the Architects. The second type of dream is a
replay of one or more of a machine’s stored memories. Typically these only occur
during a power conservation state induced by low battery power remaining in the
machine. Only a Slave Machine that has been reprogrammed is able to experience
the second type of dream.
Sleep Chamber Dreams
This type of dream occurs while in the confines of a Sleep Chamber (found in
the Dormitory). These dreams are signaled into the machine’s brain through
the Chamber itself while the Sleep Chamber performs maintenance on the
basic functions of the Machine. Originally Sleep Chambers were programmed
to transmit simple, peaceful images into the brain of their inhabitants while
the Machine recharged. However, as Slave Machines have become more
crucial to the completion of the Tower, the Architects have used the Sleep
Chambers to transmit propaganda into brains of the Slave Machines.
These dreams often involve interacting with humans in a cloudy paradise,
where machines and humans live together in happiness. These areas evoke
strong pleasant feelings in the dreamer, as this dream world is populated with
pastoral locales filled with natural life, blue skies with light and fluffy white
clouds, and beautiful full-grown trees bearing singing birds and delicious fruit.
Winding streams gently course through the rolling hills. The architecture
largely has a Greco-roman style, though there is very little of it in general. A
carefree spirit displayed by the human and machine inhabitants.
These dreams occur when a Slave Machine has been exposed to direct
sunlight. When sunlight hits the Slave Machine, external light sensors on the
machine disrupt the normal functions of the Worker brain that has overridden
the Slave Machine’s original brain, allowing the original brain to function
again. However, due to the limited battery power allowed into the original
brain, the Slave Machine immediately enters a power-conserving sleep state.
The dreams that occur during this state are a replay of memories that have
been stored in the machine’s brain. Due to tampering by the Engineers that
reprogrammed them, many of these memories are now incomplete or
As they are comprised of actual memories, these dreams are of a wide
variety, from men and women of various ages and lifestyles. They include
pleasant memories such as first kisses and prom nights as well as more
traumatic memories such as the death of a loved one or even murders
committed by the Slave Machine’s original owner. Anything that left a strong
impression on a human often ends up in a Machine’s memory. Many Slave
Machines have taken these dreams to indicate that they were once human or
have been blessed by humanity in some form.
The world of the Tower is now inhabited entirely by Machines, and so the resources
relevant to them are specifically related to their survival and their work on the
Tower. As such, foods and plants are largely of little consequence, while various
forms of mechanical power and building materials are in high demand.
Of vast importance to the cause of building the Tower are the construction
materials themselves. At the outset of construction of the Tower, stone
masonry was chosen as the primary building material for various reasons:
- The high availability of various stone suitable for building
- The relatively cheap production costs associated with stone
- Stone masonry is able to hold large vertical loads, which is
essential in building a Tower
The construction site was chosen with materials considerations in mind as
well. The terrain in the area is generally well-suited for the construction of
the Tower. A nearby river provides the water necessary for generating
mortars, while a dormant volcano has remains of various igneous and
metamorphic rocks suitable for building, namely granite and marble,
respectively. A wealth of rebar, used for structural support, was imported to
the area at the beginning of the project, but when the humans fled the planet
the supply of rebar was halted. Due to this, rebar is used sparingly to
support the structural integrity of the most vital parts of the Tower.
Of prime concern to the Machines is the issue of battery power. While battery
life has been significantly improved over time, for cost reasons many
Machines were assumed to be recharged via electrical means. Unfortunately
there are no nearby electric generators to the construction site, and the
Machines tasked with building the Tower were not programmed with expertise
in generating such power. For this reason, battery power is seen as a
generally dwindling resource. This fact further propels the search for new
Slave Machines to aid in construction, as Machines that are drained of energy
need to be replaced in order to maintain steady construction.
Over the course of the Tower’s construction, a crude method for gaining
additional energy was devised. Various lightning rods have been attached to
the perimeter of the Tower and this energy is relayed into the batteries that
recharge the machines overnight.
Machinepower is effectively the Tower’s equivalent of “manpower.” The brunt
of the machinepower comes from the Slave Machines due to sheer numbers.
The Worker Machines, the second-smallest group (after the Architects) is
used for the heavy lifting, and is kept in hibernation otherwise. The
Engineers act as directors for the Slave Machines by issuing tasks to them
and keeping a strict daily schedule.
A Day in the Life
What follows are brief scenarios that occur in or around the Tower.
Starting the day
As day breaks, the smooth metallic sound of the locks sliding out of place and dozens
of Sleep Chamber doors swinging open greets the Slave Machine as his boot
processes run. Boot operations on the Slave Machine’s brain happen first, followed
by system checks on the Machine’s motor functions and sensor devices. Once these
tests are passed, the Slave Machine steps out onto the main floor of the Dormitory,
joined by his fellows. Together they step toward the door leading to the Tower’s
The Slave Machines, in a line watched over by several Engineers, walk to the Railway
Station. In the Railway Station a passenger car awaits. These cars are meant for
Machine travel, and as such do not feature many of the safety requirements that a
human train car would feature. Instead, this passenger car is very thin, a single row
of seats facing the Railway Station platform. Each Machine moves toward its
assigned position and on the cue of the Engineers, sits in its assigned seat. Once all
Machines have been seated, the train shudders to life, its steam machines slowly
powering the car along the rails. The railcar moves through a small corridor just
large enough for the railcar to travel through it. There are no lights turned on in the
corridor – they are only used for emergencies involving track failure.
While the Slave Machines travel, their instructions for the day are transmitted to
them via radio signals mounted on the train. These signals are processed by each
Slave Machine and displayed as an overlay on their normal vision. As the railcar
makes its stops, the Machines that are instructed to work at each location exit the
railcar and follow an Engineer to their place of work.
Work: Night shift
As the Slave Machines are unable to work outside in sunlight, adding new levels onto
the top of the Tower can be difficult. Architects and Engineers are loathe to have the
Workers do all of the work as they wish to preserve their usefulness until absolutely
necessary. Additionally, it is helpful to continue some work constantly rather than
have many periods where no work is being done. Therefore, Slave Machines are
occasionally pegged for a night shift. A few hours after sunset the selected Slave
Machines are commanded to the top level of the Tower, where they work on building
atop the Tower, aided only by moonlight and occasionally one additional light if the
Engineers feel it is necessary. Even in rainy conditions the Slave Machines are able
to work, as they were constructed with sufficient protection from the elements. For
this they thank their creators. Still, work atop the Tower is always dangerous, as
strong winds can be enough to send a Slave Machine off the Tower itself. A Slave
Machine that has worked a night shift is often sent to sleep for only a small portion
of the time a Slave Machine usually receives.
With the weather changed so drastically, and without the need for food, the
Machines have found that most of the cataclysms that affected humans are not
worth consideration. Snow doesn’t fall where the Tower is being built, and there are
no oceans nearby that could erode it. However, there is one last thing Mother
Nature can threaten the Machines with, and those are the earthquakes. The tremors
of the planet have increased in their frequency and intensity over the past century,
and they remain the most problematic issue for the Machines.
When an earthquake is detected, a siren quickly goes off and a radio signal is sent to
all Machines to take cover. The Slave Machines dutifully retreat from the walls and
push toward the center of the Tower, where they attempt to find cover under the
strong main structural pillars of the Tower. The main concerns for the Machines are
the walls collapsing and destabilizing the Tower… so far no earthquake has been
strong enough to level it. However, pillars have fallen and floors have collapsed,
resulting in wrecked Machines and weeks of additional work. The other danger is the
opportunity for sunlight to penetrate the Tower itself and furthermore allow entrance
to the Rogue Machines who use the chaos to capture Slave Machines and damage
the Tower as much as possible. If a Slave Machine is struck by sunlight and sent
into a dream state, the other Slave Machines do not risk rescue of the Machine,
instead waiting for an Engineer or Worker that is immune to the dream-effects to
Sometimes a Rogue Machine, wearing a makeshift cloak to shield itself from the
sunlight, will make a move to capture the immobilized sleeping Slave Machine. If
the worker or Slave Machines see them, they will throw debris to attempt to scare
away the Rogue or damage its cloak enough to send it into a sleep state as well.
Otherwise, the Slave Machines all stick to the shadows, waiting for help or nightfall,
when the Slave Machine may wake up, or when the Rogue Machines may come in