With communications partially worked out between the cube and myself I decided to try to learn a bit more about it. I prepared for this by having the table set up with some snack foods that would be easy to eat while we conversed and plenty of water for the day. Then, addressing the cube, I began to ask it about its origin, purpose and abilities.
By about noon I learned that the cube had been constructed by some advanced beings as a research station as they observed the effects their experiments made on the life of the planet that we were fairly close to. The cube was to remain close enough to observe what was going on and to collect specimens from time to time and to test out their ability to adapt, solve problems and see if they could communicate. At times the cube would be host to a few of the aliens themselves as they did more in depth tests, but it had been thousands of years since their last visit, leading me to the conclusion that they had moved on to other projects or had simply finished their research. Having this rough background I decided to move on to the abilities of the cube.
Aside from the obvious ability to adapt itself to suit the needs of the occupant the cube is able to research independently from its original programming to increase its own functions, it usually settled on learning more about life and how it worked, though it never found any being that had enough intelligence to actually communicate with it. It was trying out different atmospheres when I arrived, luckily it happened to be on a more normal atmosphere upon my arrival because it had been testing the acidic atmospheres of a few of the surrounding planets to see about looking for lifeforms on them and I obviously would have sufferend greatly from being exposed to that hostile condition. I also learned that the cube moved by manipulating its own gravitational field, which made it a bit slow in moving around, but it was intended more as a stationary satellite than as a vessel for exploring the galaxy. The other important thing I learned about the cube is that it had limited resources in which to shape itself, which meant I was using up most of them by having the rooms I did, and it also was having to move itself in position to gather more food and water resources. With this realization I moved on to inquiring more about the options we had and the time we had to get them done.
The cube was far too slow to get the resources it needed in time, it would take weeks to move close enough to the planet to get drones to and from there to gather up all that we would need. Normally the aliens who came to work on the cube brought their own rations and what it currently had was to be used for the creatures brought back from the planet. I had the cube change itself back into its normal cube shape for now without the extra rooms and began trying to figure out a way to get it to move faster. Its knowledge on engines or drives was very limited, and in fact the tools I had with me when I arrived were teaching it most of that as it studied them. Not being an engineer I was limited as well, but we really needed to do something to ensure my own survival, which the entity desired greatly as well due to my advanced intelligence (at least when compared to the creatures on the planet). Remembering the probe and how it moved I asked the cube about them. It informed me that they moved by using the same gravity manipulations that the cube did and moved so freely when in proximity with the cube because they could work together to create the forces it needed, we were still too far from the planet to do something similar. However, this got me thinking about some of our options.
I inquired of the cube what it had learned of the technology I had brought with me. From it the entity had learned of the heavy energy storage, which it had used something similar to store what it had. It had also learned a little bit about the translocation technology, but only bits and pieces so far due to the partial destruction of the chip. I asked it what it had learned about the mining equipment, so far it had not really researched that as it was more intested in the technology that could sustain me and get me what I would need to survive. It was this technology that my plans revolved around so I told the entity to research these tools as quickly as it could, I also asked it to figure out where and what the nearest source of mass was. Then all that was left that I could do was wait until it had accomplished the tasks I had asked of it.