Five Pebbles is the iterator met at the heart of the Five Pebbles supercomputer, inside the General Systems Bus subregion. He is one of only two iterators you can meet in the game, the other being the ailing Looks to the Moon.
Five Pebbles is initially non-aggressive to the slugcat and will vary his interactions based on the game's difficulty. The first time you meet him as the Monk or the Survivor he will raise your karma to rank 10 and give you the Mark of Communication, allowing you to receive telepathic communication. Meeting him as the Hunter will instead provide the same effects as meeting an Echo, and will add 5 to the character's cycle count. Lastly he will give you directions to escape the facility and ultimately complete the game.
His dialogue is precise and cynical. He expresses feelings of frustration at the futility of his purpose (calling himself a "reluctant" gift to the world, for example). He also created the Brother Long Legs infestation in Garbage Wastes by dumping infected material there. He accidentally killed Moon when he used four times the amount of water he needed, thus depriving Moon of essential water, during his attempt to cross himself out.
Five Pebbles' Frustration (Spoilers)
Pebbles was one of seven known iterators, working to solve the Great Problem: How to ascend beyond the Cycle of reincarnation without using Void Fluid. The problem was so great to the Ancients that they created huge, complex superstructures high above the ground, large enough to house cities atop them. The artificial intelligences within worked to solve the problem and their failure to do so drove many, including Five Pebbles, to madness. In his frustration, Five Pebbles began an experiment to create an organism capable of self-replication and rewriting the self-destruction taboo out of his organic cells. The process of this experiment is described in the gold pearl found in Chimney Canopy. Doing so deprived Looks to the Moon of her water supply, eventually causing the whole facility to collapse and leaving her in a pseudo-deceased state until Hunter revives her with the green neuron containing slag keys. When Moon forced communications with Five Pebbles to plead for him to stop the excess water consumption. He reacted with rage, as Moon has interrupted at 'the worst possible time' and caused his experiment to turn into the Rot instead. By now, it was too late for Moon and she succumbed to her lack of water, died, and collapsed. Additionally, he created the Brother Long Legs infestation in the Garbage Wastes region by dropping infected material there in a failed attempt to get rid of the newly created Rot.
If you visit him for a second time, he will be displeased by your visit, and only let you stay a short time. On the third visit, he becomes hostile and demands the player leaves immediately. Stay too long and he will kill the player through unknown means.
Yellow Slugcat (The Monk)
"I am growing increasingly impatient with the traffic of your kind through me and my premises."
"During previous interactions, I have been rewarded no other response than a blank stare. Yet you apparently have sufficient ability for communication to circulate complex instructions on how to enter this chamber among each other."
"You and your kind have the same problem as everyone else, from the microbes in the processing strata to me, who am, if you excuse me, godlike in comparison. We all want a way out. It is only unfortunate that you have collectively decided on... me as your solution to that very elemental desire."
"The last one I gave some help and some general directions. I will do the same for you."
"Go west. Past the Farm Arrays. Where the land fissures, go down into the earth and search your way deeper."
"Now in return I ask you to whatever grunts, moans and eye-twitches you employ to forward a message to your community."
"Please stop scratching your way through my memory arrays."
"Speaking of, on your way out please use the access shaft."
White Slugcat (The Survivor)
". . ."
"...is this reaching you?"
"A little animal, on the floor of my chamber. I think I know what you are looking for."
"You're stuck in a cycle, a repeating pattern. You want a way out."
"Know that this does not make you special—every living thing shares that same frustration. From the microbes in the processing strata to me, who am, if you excuse me, godlike in comparison."
"The good news first. In a way. I am what you are searching for. Me and my kind have as our purpose to solve that very oscillating claustrophobia in the chests of you and countless others. A strange charity—you the unknowing recipient. I the reluctant gift. The noble benefactors? Gone.
"The bad news is that no definitive solution has been found. And every moment the equipment erodes to a new state of decay. I can't help you collectively, or individually. I can't even help myself."
"For you, though, there is another way. The old path. Go to the west past the Farm Arrays, and then down into the earth where the land fissures, as deep as you can reach, where the ancients built their temples and danced their silly rituals. The mark I gave you will let you through."
"Not that it solves anyone's problem but yours."
Traveling from General Systems Bus
"At the end of time none of this will matter I suppose, but it would be nice if you took another way out. One free of... frolicking in my memory arrays. There is a perfectly good access shaft right here."
Traveling from The Wall
"Best of luck to you, little creature. I must resume my work."
Red Slugcat (The Hunter)
With Green Neuron
"Let us see what you have here."
"Eleven... no sixteen! Sixteen slag reset keys."
"I've seen several before, but one or two will be useful."
"However, it seems this delivery was not intended for me. Everything suggests it was tailored for the specific predicaments of friend of mine."
"Her name is Looks to the Moon, and her state is considerably worse than mine. She's a short distance to the east of here—much shorter than customary. A circumstance that has led to some difficulties between us."
"I am not without responsibility for her situation. It would only be suiting that I aided in this... rescue mission. As other endeavors have proven futile, I'm not ashamed to admit I've become more invested in day to day matters."
"I will do what I can to assist you."
"Unless you are aware, you are not well."
"I was not medical facility even when the equipment was functioning. But I will attempt to do something to buy you little time."
"You do not have much time. It is admirable what you choose to do with it."
"Send my regards."
"Thank you little creature. I must resume my work."
"I appreciate what you have done but it is time for you to leave."
"As I mentioned you do not have unlimited time."
Without Green Neuron
"I barely listen to the overseers any more. I have concluded that the movements of animals on the premises absolutely and completely lack relevance to my endeavors."
"With you, they have been very persistent ever since you entered my Farm Arrays. You were on an unusually deliberate path."
"Now you are here."
"The images showed you carrying something. You are not any longer."
"Did you lose it along the way? Or did you give it to Looks to the Moon?"
"In the latter case, I hope it was of some help to her. Not that I can imagine what one of you could be able to do for one of us, but she needs all the help she can get."
"You seem to have been in contact with an iterator before, so perhaps you are already aware."
"You and I have something in common, little creature. We both have something... unfortunate growing in us."
"In my case, there is not much to be done. For you however, there there might be a way. The old path."
"Go to the west past the Farm Arrays, and then down into the earth where the land fissures, as deep as you can reach, where the ancients built their temples and danced their silly rituals."
"I will give you something that might be of help."
"I suggest you hurry."
Lingering Too Long
"That's all. You'll have to go now."
"Little creature. This is your last warning."
Returning to the Chamber
"You again? I have nothing for you."
"I won't tolerate this. Leave immediately and don't come back."
"You had your chances."
- Five Pebbles can move freely around his chamber while Looks to the Moon can only slide around her island, because of the damage she has sustained.
- Unlike Moon, Five Pebbles wears a cloak. Some images indicate Moon may have dressed similarly to Five Pebbles before her ruin.
- Five Pebbles reveals that his hardware is succumbing to damage by time—and by extension the other remaining iterators are in similar states, apart from Moon, who is worse off.
- Five Pebbles' puppet has no HP in his code, rendering him unkillable.
- Despite this, if you manage to hit the puppet, he will respond violently, interrupting his dialog and killing the player.
- If you stay for too long in his room, Five Pebbles will kill you.