Within the megastructure, one building remains gleaming and whole in a halo of neon, a standing anomaly in a sea of crumbling spires. Between the taboo of feeding from such a beloved structure, and the army of restoration bots on hand to repair the damage done by those few scavengers lacking the ability to care about such taboos, this building has remained virtually unchanged throughout robot history.

This is the Internet Café, the central hub of the island, and the pride and joy of all who thrive on the virtual.

On the lowest floor, the metal skeletons of ancient furniture have been piled up around the central elevator, acting as both a historical curio and a modern-day art installation. The jewel of this small museum is a narrow booth containing a grizzled old bot: the router which coordinated the very first robot LAN party. However, this floor sees little traffic, generally attracting only enthusiasts of history and archaeology — or visitors wanting to enjoy a kind of peace and quiet absent from the bustling floors above. These higher floors, which stretch all the way up to the very top of the skyscraper, see activity around the clock, attracting everyone from educators and their students, to members of far-flung family units attending social gatherings, to lone Net-trawlers just looking for a stable connection.

Though many can wirelessly access the Network from anywhere above sea level through their integrated connector units, the unfortunate robots who lack this feature often choose to connect using one of the many adaptors available in the Café. Others simply attend the Café for the vast social opportunities it provides, both in real and virtual space. Messages from researchers tapping into undersea network hubs or orbiting satellites are relayed up and down the Café, providing updates on the state of the world, while entertainers and advertisers compete for bandwidth and access to great neon billboards, hoping to get their messages out to the furthest reaches of robotkind.

The Café is ultimately a place of information transfer, of connection, and it’s this that makes it so cherished. No matter who you are or what your purpose is, you can find connection at the Internet Café. To facilitate that connection, the Internet Café has several unique webpages that can only be accessed at its physical location, running off a private server.

A Virtual bar accessible from the Internet Café. A classy place where Art Deco meets shades of pastel against silver. Lace tablecloths, high barstools with lavender cushions and a beautiful pink and beige cracked marble bar. Robots arrive to socialise, mix drinks, chat and enjoy themselves in virtual space. Regardless of movement skills, all bots are free to float around the bar as they please. In the late nights, the virtual human bartender who works there seems to dole out some soul searching advice, making drinks that send you exactly where you were meant to go, if you know the code phrase of course.

Whilst the Search Bar is a classy and sophisticated place, the T̴̢̫͌͘ḧ̴̭͎͈̋̕e̵̗͐̃̉ ̸̹̌̚S̶̖͚͇̍͗͝e̶̗͖̒̓̾̈́ạ̶̦͕̊r̷̭͚̩̙̭̃̇c̷̙̬̬̘̑̌͐̇h̷̛͈̕̕ ̴̼̅͆͜B̴̹̒̇͋̓͘ą̴͑̆̇͐r̴̖̃̇̓̀ͅ is its counterpart in every way. Most come across it completely by accident: when infected with malware the normally classy Search Bar distorts, and becomes the strange, psychedelic location now so popular amongst malware-chasers. An ideal meeting spot for these like-minded bots, T̴̢̫͌͘ḧ̴̭͎͈̋̕e̵̗͐̃̉ ̸̹̌̚S̶̖͚͇̍͗͝e̶̗͖̒̓̾̈́ạ̶̦͕̊r̷̭͚̩̙̭̃̇c̷̙̬̬̘̑̌͐̇h̷̛͈̕̕ ̴̼̅͆͜B̴̹̒̇͋̓͘ą̴͑̆̇͐r̴̖̃̇̓̀ͅ has spiral patterned walls in bright pinks and neon greens, arcade games line one wall and the bar is literally a bar, attached to nothing, that drinks are somehow easily balanced upon. In one corner, a circular (or possibly square, this is a subject of much debate amongst the regulars) screen tracks the “high scores” of its clientele, documenting who has collected the most and greatest variety of malware. Topping this leaderboard brings an immense amount of prestige (and complementary drinks) and the top 10 is only slightly less fiercely contested.

A virtual archive of webpages that seem to be lost to time. Somebot, or somebody, must have saved these for a reason, but it is unknown what that reason was. There is a long list of sites that go nowhere, and some that flag up your firewalls, making them too dangerous to click without the latest virus protection software. Some contain pages and pages of words in lost languages, videos and much more. Currently, the Bookmarks tab takes the form of a glass domed library with ornate columns separating the hexagonal vertices. Every bit of wall space is lined with books.

Downloads is a tab within the Internet Café homepage that takes bots to a virtual café space filled with soft beanbags, low tables and many, many virtual cats. Sometimes they glitch in and out of space, sometimes they perform repeating behaviours on loops, one of them is playing a keyboard in the background, another looks intensely unhappy, but they all seem fluffy and willing to be pet and cooed at. The walls are lined with shelves and steps for the cats to run about, and there are plenty of treats and toys for patrons to entertain these fluffy sweethearts with. There is one white cat that seems to stretch all the way from one side of the room to the other, with an impossibly long midsection. Some Net historians postulate that this cafe came from a time when humans valued and respected virtual cats as cultural symbols.

  • Party Router - Always found in physical form at the bottom of the Internet Café, their virtual presence is that of a cynical, cantankerous old bot. However, they are revered by robotkind as the coordinator of the very first robot LAN party, a historical breakthrough in Net communication.
  • Stevenson Pennyforth - A sentient combination of a photocopier and a filing cabinet who studies and teaches at the Internet Café, she was originally built by human archaeologists to assist with the categorisation of artefacts. She continues to perform this function with great enthusiasm, and is known to yank chairs from beneath seated bots with the intent to study these ancient tools of humankind.
  • Darjeeling - Though they often claim that their physical form is the Café skyscraper itself, they in fact inhabit a self-heating teacup. They have taken it upon themself to act as the virtual custodian of the Downloads tab and the attentive host to all who live and work there… though the extent to which customers pay any attention to them is variable.
  • Wallace - The Bartender at the Search Bar, he resembles a handsome human man with green eyes and slicked back dark hair, but occasionally glitches in and out of existence. Despite his convincing appearance, he is in fact incorporeal. He can usually be found with a calm, sleepy smile as he cleans glasses and tends his virtual countertop. He does not talk much and seems to only respond to certain phrases, with limited capability for conversation - though some bots say he speaks more with his expressions than with words.
  • internet_cafe.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/10/11 15:55
  • by gm_sophia