Welcome to "The Diary of a Miner"; a blog detailing the adventures and mysteries that I, Syeonyx, embark upon in my quest to further my mining and survival skills! It'll be tough, there will be good times and bad times, but I'll always be alive to post my adventures... probably...

Day 91: Portals, portals portals...

     Since yesterday, OROTHO has come up with a few additional theories as to the purpose of those strange appendages attached to the portal. He's got AMPHIS to note it all down in this new record, so it can be stored for future reference. We initially thought it may be an indication of a portal that was activated by lightning, and was considered "stable" and couldn't be destroyed using the Solus stone. That was quickly thrown out when we managed to successfully destroy it. OROTHO believes that if HoN Co. can activate the portals, maybe they are creating them, and it may be a way to lock a number of portals together. But that didn't explain why not all portals had them. It was the first one I had seen with them on, and AMPHIS assures me he has no record of any portal they destroyed having the same protrusions. Another theory is that they help with the master portal network. He went on to elaborate a few sub theories as to how it helps this, but was keen to put large amounts of detail into one particular area:

"Is it possible that these obsidian 'arms' on either side improve the network link between the master portal? Maybe they allow the master portal to be activated with less normal portals already connected. We still don't know how this network functions, and what energy is transmitted to ensure the master portal can operate. Alternatively, they could act as main nodes. Each portal diverts energy to one of these node portals. A node portal receives multiple energy links from other normal portals, and then passes it straight to the master portal. That way would be more efficient at sending energy rather than hundreds of individual links to the master portal. We need to know more... A possible expedition back to the conducting tower may be in order..."

COLUS seemed to agree with this

"He has a point... We need more information, and where better than the master portal! The darts that OROTHO has created will make infiltration much easier, and you'll have more time to look for more relevant data rather than grabbing what is just there!"

I agreed with COLUS at this point, now seeing the logic behind it. And what OROTHO said also seemed to make sense; why have multiple links to a single location when you can break them done. I spoke out with an idea which surprised me! I said that if OROTHO's hypothesis was accurate, than looking for individual portals was irrelevant. We could concentrate on taking out the node portals to cut off all portals! And if they were closer to the master portal, they would be easier to find! The search area just shrank considerably, and a resolution looked clear on the horizon!

"Exactly! Who knows how many portals link to a node portal! Hundreds! Thousands! If I'm right, then a single node portal could take out hundreds of portals linked to the master portal in one shot! However these are likely to be guarded heavily!"

"Hang on a minute... We're going back into the realms of speculation here... We don't know any of this is true yet, so we can't base on fact on it. We need to revisit the conducting tower above the master portal and search for hard evidence to support that, or at least an alternative that explains it! It's too late to start now; we need to establish a plan and then execute it at an appropriate time. We'll convene in the discussion room later."

Everyone began leaving, except me, THEROS and OROTHO. Before heading out the door, COLUS stopped and put a hand on my shoulder

"Excellent foresight! Still feel like a spare part...?"

     I went to talk to AMPHIS, who had made his way back to the library. He had begun writing up the reports that OROTHO had dictated to him, and was adding bulk to it.

"Hey, nice thinking back there. Really. I hadn't got that far ahead when you came out with that. You even surprised OROTHO! Not the first time, but sure as hell is one of very few!"

I didn't know what to say... It was the first thought that had come to me at the time and I deemed it important enough to tell the others. But as well all knew, it would have to be proved first, however it seemed the more likely hypothesis. The former had been disproved, and the second idea didn't have much of a standing as this was the only portal to be found with this addition. It was doubtful to be a coincidence that the distance from the master portal was also the shortest so far.

"When you go out to the conducting tower again, take lots of images. Not only does it help OROTHO with his theories, but it also helps me when compiling the reports. A visual representation of something is often a better method of recording data when referring back to it at a future date. As for the recent portal, did anything else strike you as odd? I need to add as much factual data to this as possible."

I couldn't recall anything... It was just the strange protrusions. They were constructed from obsidian as well as the frame, and disappeared when the rift collapsed, just like the rest of the portal. This one was buried in sand, but that was unlikely to be of any significance...

"Thanks for your help. Good luck on your next assignment. I believe OROTHO was working on something to help with the blow pipe... He was working on something yesterday while you were gone. You should go and see him now that he's finished theorising!"

     OROTHO had indeed been working on the blow pipe. He was already very smug about the chemical concoction that worked to take out guards, but we hadn't tested it in the field on a Creeper... Yet. Not that I was inviting any to come and try!

"As you may know, the blow pipe isn't a particularly fast weapon. You insert a dart, inhale and then exhale into the tip. The reload another and repeat. With this pipe, you have no need to load new darts in!"

He held up a small, silver tube, with a strange metal box attached, that curved slightly, finishing as part of the tube."

"This is the blow pipe equivalent of a magazine. You can insert up to a maximum of six darts in the magazine, and attach it to the pipe. The first dart is forced into the pipe when it clicks into place, and you blow as normal. A spring set into the magazine forces the next dart into place, and you can send out another dart immediately. This can be done a further five times before a new magazine is needed. Not only does this increase the speed with which you can fire, it is faster to reload, and much easier to carry. There is no need to fiddle around with small darts, as the magazine can be loaded before you set off."

OROTHO never ceased to amaze us. He then demonstrated by rapidly blowing darts against a paper target; his aim was terrible, but he accurately showed us how fast the whole operation could be sped up! He managed to fire off about two darts a second, and emptied an entire magazine in less than five seconds. That had the potential to put down six close targets! This would make our lives much easier, especially when we were going back to the conducting tower.

     The plan was simple: get there, find a way in, look or valuable data and collect it. Then proceed into the chamber where the master portal was located. COLUS had told us he suggested the use of darts was a mandatory thing. From what happened last time, we would need to! The stairs following the conducting rod had been guarded, and the exterior was also heavily defended. If we were quick and thorough, we could get in and out easily without a hitch! OROTHO has told us to look for data specifically linked to the portals them selves, as well as the master portal. Anything we pick up could be useful as it may contain useful information about the new portals we found. OROTHO has already made it official: if his theory is correct, he's calling them node portals! COLUS joked about hoping to find some notes about them being referred to something else! We would have a very dangerous job ahead of us tomorrow, and one slip up could literally mean life or death! We would have to watch each other's backs, and keep the blow pipe ready at all times! With that in mind, I've decided to catch some early sleep. We're going to need it if we're travelling a long while!

Syeonyx signing off

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