2. Research Auditing
(Once I got the penalty universes keyed out, and having no better angle of approach, I began a research rundown to try and run them further and also map out the track by handling the later implants that were locked up on top of them. This was not truly therapeutic because I generally stirred up as much as I was erasing, but it eventually opened up enough track to let me get earlier and find the agreements universe etc. So here is the rundown I actually used. I don't recommend it for case gain, there are easier ways once you know what's what. - Aug 1996).
Mar 24, 1990, rev. Feb 1993
This is research auditing. As such, it requires someone of good skills who is willing to fly into the teeth of restimulation and find truth despite all prejudice. And here lies the rock that shatters many a researcher, for the biggest prejudices are to see things come out a certain way so as to make others truly wrong or so as to justify the overts of the researcher. Following close on the heals of this is the prejudice that comes from desiring to see a particular pet theory supported or a distasteful theory invalidated. If you're trying to earn a living with this stuff as well (heaven help you), that puts yet a further twist into the puzzle.
All researchers suffer from this ill. Good research, that shining moment when a real gem is revealed, comes from a willingness to be wrong, to find out that your were the villain (you were sometimes, but not always), and a willingness to change a theory even after you have staked your reputation on it. You need to look at everything with a suspicious eye, especially when it seems to be making you right. And you need a good tolerance for the confusion that starts billowing around every time you shift something that was supposed to have been a stable datum.
This is not a safe route. There is no guarantee. I think that if you keep working towards truth, you will make it, but once you're out beyond the well marked trails, there's no one who will have the tech to repair you except yourself. This is not a bridge. The bridge ended 3 islands back. All this is is a piece of string stretched out in the direction of the far shore to give you an idea of which way to swim.
So be warned. Your case is your own responsibility. Some of my ideas may be wrong. Certainly I occasionally get an item or a goal wrong. Its up to you to build your own bridge. And once you get somewhere, try to help some other people along as well. We have researched out part of the trap before and kept it to ourselves and used it for personal gain. Some of these materials seem awfully familiar to me. A group of us researched some of this back around a hundred million years ago and became gods to the locals. Specifically, I believe we had detailed platens for the "This Means" items in the penalty universes (probably around 10,000 items) but not the other stuff. It didn't do me much good. I had some fun for awhile (& committed some terrible overts) and then collapsed back to humanoid when I failed to stop Incident 2. Its even harder to research this stuff now what with all the subsequent implants (Fac 1 etc.) obscuring things even further.
An even graver warning is that you should not use this material against others even if it seems well justified. We have intentionally restimulated this stuff on each other endlessly. Some of this has been researched many times and used to build implants. At first the intention is usually to control criminals (although there are occasional exceptions to this). Later, the mad and power hungry turn them on the population at large. Everyone will find occasions where they implanted others or even worked on designing implants. Furthermore, there have been numerous times where you, as a sort of god, have fought with another god by hurling restimulative items and symbols at each other until one of you caved in and lost power. The weight of overts on this line is so vast that any attempted use of these materials against another is very dangerous to the user.
Now for the brighter side. Nobody is going to curb or block your ITSA line or tell you what you can or can't run. The truth of the matter is that you can run anything if you approach it the right way. What you need is some understanding and a good angle of approach.
With the discovery of the penalty universes of the home universe era, we have that angle of approach. In reaching them, you are bypassing 10 or 20 OT levels worth of gradient material. These other levels will show up as you try to take apart the penalty universes. But by the very fact that you are coming forward from an extremely early basic, you can figure out and tear apart these later things as well.
2. Auditing Style
In research auditing, the most important thing is ITSA (i.e. spotting and saying "it is a ..."). You can only do a limited amount of Whatsit before the meter begins to pack up and go South. Spot what you can spot with certainty and put the ITSA down on the worksheet. Don't struggle too long trying to spot something that's out of view and overcharged. You can do a little bit of checking to see if something is being hidden by a BT or Cluster or obscured by an overt you did. You can try dating things or checking a few good guesses, but don't muck around too much.
If something is obscured but not in restim, leave it alone and work from where you can get certainty. Each time I discovered some major abberative incident, I got obscured little glimpses of it from the edges on a couple of penalty universe goals before enough charge was off to spot the anatomy of the incident. So if something isn't ready to run, ignore it and go on. More will show up in a little while and then you can start pulling the thing apart.
If something is in your road but you can't quite get your hands on it, it often helps to take a very short break to let the restim cool down a bit and then look again. Leave the meter on and the session set up. Often you'll just be getting out of the auditing chair to make some coffee and the idea will pop into your head and you'll snatch the cans right up and check it. The thing you don't want to do is keep holding the cans and going "What is it?". All you can ITSA in that case is the fact that the needle is getting stuck and the TA is starting to climb.
Another good trick is to take a break and put on your CSing hat. This is especially useful in the case where you've made some errors. You can make up a little list of the things that could be wrong and then go back in session and check it. Make sure that you don't do this as an L & N action. "What's screwed up now?" is not a good listing question.
Sometimes you'll get yourself messed up with a high TA and tight needle. This can come from the usual causes (and you should watch for things like overrun etc.), but it can also happen from running something the wrong way. In this case, you may have to audit over it for awhile to get in there the right way. If you are running in this state, realize that the slightest momentary loosening of the needle or feeling of relief is a major release point. Don't invalidate it just because the TA is high and needle is stuck on other charge in restimulation. If you go back and check these "release points" later, you'll find big FNs. I mention this especially because you'll need to validate yourself as much as possible while your trying to pull through a rough mass in restimulation.
When you see that you've gotten messed up by running an incorrect platen and a simple repair list wouldn't handle it, the first thing you do it take a break and let the restimulation die down a bit. Get food and sleep if needed. If this doesn't bring the TA down, run Platen 1 on the positive penalty universe goal most closely connected with the area. Then try and blow any BTs or Clusters restimulated and not blown. Then check if you have an overt in restim. and handle. Then take another break and try to CS a better approach to the area.
For example, I made a bad mistake when I was trying to figure out how to handle the negative goals. I did all the above and felt much better and got a good nights sleep but still had a TA around 4.5 on 2 cans the next morning. But by then I felt good enough to realize what was wrong and correct it. Even this did not bring down the TA but it loosened the needle. Then I was able to go back to the original process that went sour and run it the right way. As soon as I started running it, the TA came right down and the process ran like a charm.
Unfortunately, when you do start in on something new it can drive the TA up briefly. You feel good and everything seems OK and you carry on a little further and the TA comes down. Also, it can be up a bit when you pick up the cans if something is incomplete. You just carry on with the action and it comes right down. This is a side effect of doing research where you don't always have the perfect route and many levels are being bypassed. But watch it if the TA goes high and sticks there for awhile. Find out what's wrong and repair it. Often it is just a corny auditing error or a cluster that needs to be blown.
You should frequently check for BTs/Clusters restimulated and not blown and for your own overts. These materials cause many such things to blow automatically and occasionally something hangs up and needs to be run briefly. These are also the primary reasons that an item wouldn't read although this can also occur for various other reasons such as a later implant going into restimulation.
3. Session Admin
If you are doing this on your own, you don't have to do anything just to please a CS or to help the CS follow what you are doing. But you need a good record of what is going on in case you need to repair things later and to serve as a record of the research. This means that items, dates, locations, etc. need to be recorded very precisely.
You also need to write things down to get them separate from yourself and ensure that they discharge. This is ITSA and early in auditing, you need another person to receive it from you. Later on, it is enough to write it down with the confidence that a CS will read it. Even further along, just putting it down on the paper gets it far enough away from you so that you can see it and blow the charge. The magic of the comm formula was simply that it put distance between the PC and his aberrations so that he could look at them and make them vanish. Now we have a gradient of how much physical universe mass is necessary to get the PC to separate from what he is stuck in.
Eventually, you want to be able to blow things without needing any physical crutches whatsoever. This is necessary if you are going to continue to make progress without a body. For this you can practice mocking up comm lines and terminals, messages, writing, etc. But its a steep gradient. So for now, use your paper and pen and meter, these tools will speed your progress greatly. But realize that you can blow things out of session and that this will occur more and more frequently as you continue forward. So you should also have a notebook handy for recording key insights and data that come up when you're outside etc.