It took almost half an hour to work my way to the rim; the conduits are everywhere, in loops and snarls. I have to step carefully, or even climb over them. I nearly sprained my ankle once, and I don't want to think what would happen to me then.
The chamber is a dome. The rim/wall/roof is the same material as the floor -- a hard rubber, rough, perhaps a coating on something harder. The floor is featureless, but the dome wall is slightly ridged, as if the entire structure had been built as a stack of rings.
(Perhaps the ridging is what keeps this place quiet. You'd think a dome the width of a football field would echo like thunder, but it's just... quiet. The space inhales sound. Even the earthquake was more felt than heard. There have been another couple of ground quivers, by the way -- brief ones, but unmistakable.)
Lights are set into the floor at the edge, a few feet apart, all around the rim. They shine upward, illuminating the lower part of the dome. They're actually quite bright; I can't look directly into one. But the space is so high, and the walls so dark, that the light just evaporates as it rises.
None of the hoses reach the wall. That leaves a broad clear lane around the dome, which I jogged around, leaving a coin to mark my starting spot. I found just three things:
Two immense metal gates, set into the dome wall, opposite each other. Each gate is a solid slab of icy steel. I pounded on them, and they're too thick to even sound hollow. I can feel a crack down the center -- they probably slide or swing open, but I can't find any opening mechanism or controls.
And another stack of pages, left near one of the gates.
(ELEMENTS IN PLAY: hoses, occasional tremors, D'ni project, fate of the writer, metal gates. PRESENT STONES: 7 white, 1 black.)
Andrew Plotkin -- Seltani founding member