The recursion key looked like nothing more than a wedge of sea smoothed glass. Its surface was smooth and cloudy, but beneath the surface there seemed to be a nascent glow, a barely there amber flicker. Henry weighed it in his palm, the glass feeling more substantial than its size would indicate. "You three ready?" he asked his companions.
Two of the others nodded. The third, a thin woman named Alice, looked up, "Any idea where it leads?"
Henry shrugged, "I guess it's now or never. Let you know in a moment." Without further preamble he popped the weathered glass into his mouth.
Sensation flowed into him. Taste was first, as was befitting this particular cypher's activation. Stale beer. Cheap whiskey. Scent next, the odor of tobacco and something acrid (gunsmoke perhaps) flooding his nose. Piano music, rollicking and festive. A horse whinnying. The rattle of a snake’s tail. The cold steel of a trigger. Hot wind. Leather and denim. The bright sun, so bright it was blinding. The wavering mirage of heat rising from the baked earth of the badlands.
“Oh,” Henry said, as the trance began to translate them to some other world. “Giddyup cowpokes, this one could be dangerous.”
Recursion Key sensations for Steampunk recursions:
Sight: clouds of steam or smoke, the gleam of gaslight off brass, gears & cogs
Smell: coal smoke, fresh leather, machine oil
Taste: tea, tobacco, scotch
Auditory: hissing steam, ticking of gears, rumble of a train or carriage
Touch: supple leather, hot metal, grease, mechanical vibrations
Recursion Key sensations for Cyberpunk recursions:
Sight: neon, skyscrapers, chrome, grime
Smell: exhaust, ozone, synthetic materials (new car smell)
Taste: processed foods, coffee, saki/rice wine
Auditory: the sound of rain, the whir and hum of servomotors, electronic music
Touch: smooth metals, the heft of sword, the feeling of pills falling into your palm