The Gahreesen Training Wall
Author: Simpson (transcribed from voice recorder)
Date 4/22/03-11/26/03 Multiple trips
This document is supposed to detail how “The Wall” worked. So here goes.
Should probably start with the point of this thing, as we best understand it. It seems the idea was simple: each team created a maze. The first team/person to get to the top of the maze won the competition, or training, or whatever they called it.
We’re pretty confident that it was originally used by Maintainers to improve their physical and mental conditioning. While climbing the structure was the main task, it was made much more difficult by adding fogs, rain, noxious fumes, fire, extreme heat, extreme cold, and I suppose whatever else they could through in there. I think that means it’s a pretty air-tight room in there. Even so, I’m assuming we won’t be turning on the “unleash hell” component to the control panels anytime soon. At least don’t while I’m around.
Definitely played by two different sides. It’s not clear how many were of each side but it doesn’t seem to matter. Each team created a maze for the opposite team in each Control Room.
Red button at the top engaged the control panel. Once engaged, the nice little red lights started flashing and teams needed to determine how many blockers they would be working with.
Three buttons on the left side of the panel were quick jumps to preset number of blockers: bottom button is a quick set to five, the middle button ten, and the top fifteen. Purple (they look pink to me) lights, up at the top represent how many blockers have been selected for the purple team and yellow for the yellow team. Blockers can be raised or lowered by ones with the buttons on the right side. If a team wanted seventeen blockers, they would press the top left button once and the top right button twice. Yeah, I’ve definitely seen more intuitive panels in my life.
Regardless, once either side pressed the middle button on the right side, the number was locked on both machines. There was no turning back, at least in regards to how many blockers were going to be used for the game. Those little lights stop flashing and the purple/yellow lights go blank.
Setting up blockers was fairly easy: press the section of the grid where a blocker should appear and it appears. Magic. A light at the top also appears for each blocker. Once the maze has been set, the red button is pressed and the maze is locked in and transferred to the wall. After both sides have set up their mazes, I’m sure someone would say “let the game begin”. They just had to.
The “Suit Machine”, as I like to call it (very clever I know), raises once both mazes are set. Competitors set into the machine, it lowers over the person and wham – drop through the hole and find yourself at the bottom of the wall wearing a piece of high-tech D’ni gear. Very cool stuff, if I say so myself. It does feel a little weird though.
Both sides are racing to the top, trying to avoid the blockers that have been set for them by their enemy. Those blockers can not be seen but they will knock someone off the wall if hit. So, it’s a “try to get in the head of your opponent and hope you don’t get knocked off” game. And if you do get knocked off, better remember where it was so you don’t hit it next time. And remember, while the flames are coming at you and you’re sweating inside of your suit and do it as fast as you can. Yeah, I’d say it trained them pretty well.
Once somebody got to the top, the suit, and some kind of panel in the wall (we assume) initiated a link. Bam, the Maintainer found themselves in the Maintainer Nexus. Yahoo winner. Once there, Maintainer raised him arms in the air and cheered to himself and linked back to the Control Room for game number two (that’s how I pictured it). It’s worth noting that the Nexus removed the suit form the Maintainers as well. We don’t know how really but we know it does. Since we’re admitting what we don’t know: that link through the wall and the suit is something of a mystery.
Once one side reached the top, the mazes were displayed on the wall for the poor guy still trying to find his way to the top. At the same time, it looks like those patterns were displayed in observation rooms and the Maintainers Nexus displays as well. Loser needed to work his way to the top, use the same link as the winner, get rid of the suit, and start of game two. Maybe get chewed out by his superiors first. Who knows?