Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Contest - ADVENTURE GAME (VOTING OPEN UNTIL OCT 18th)  (Read 2491 times)  Share 

Mandle

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I'm not sure if this theme has been done before but, even if it has, it deserves another round I feel considering where we all are:

ADVENTURE GAME
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:


The story can be the plot of an adventure game, about someone playing or making an adventure game, or anything really, as long as something about an adventure game comes into play.

Trophies and deadline details coming soon:
« Last Edit: 12 Oct 2017, 09:36 by Mandle »

JudasFm

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest - ADVENTURE GAME
« Reply #1 on: 14 Sep 2017, 13:03 »
Can we write a story about the aftermath of a known adventure game (for example, what happened to the characters of Maniac Mansion after the game ended)?

Mandle

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest - ADVENTURE GAME
« Reply #2 on: 14 Sep 2017, 13:48 »
Can we write a story about the aftermath of a known adventure game (for example, what happened to the characters of Maniac Mansion after the game ended)?

Of course! So much more interesting than any of my examples!

Or a sequel that doesn't exist would be awesome too:

I'm tempted to enter now just for kicks:

Day Of The Tentacle 2: Fred's Dead, Baby, Fred's Dead.

EDIT: Yup, I have an idea of how this story could work and so I will be writing it. Of course, as host, it will not be an actual entry into the contest. More just for my own fun, and hopefully a bit for anyone who reads it.

EDIT 2: Actually, screw you, last-month-myself! Present-right-now-myself put a lot of effort into his story! I'm just going to enter my own contest even as host! If anyone has an issue with that then just don't vote for my story. :P
« Last Edit: 07 Oct 2017, 10:20 by Mandle »

Mandle

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest - ADVENTURE GAME
« Reply #3 on: 14 Sep 2017, 16:27 »
My entry:

Day Of The Funeral

Location: Obed Edison's House Of Rest.
Time: 10:15AM, day of the funeral.
Statement: Bernard Bernoulli.

Jeepers! When I received the hamster-delivered telegram I thought maybe it was just another one of Dr. Fred's lures to draw us, once again, back to the mansion but, when I stood in front of the funeral home and saw the stark black plastic letters slotted into the tracks of the white placard outside I knew deep in my tummy that this was for real:

10:30AM FUNERAL SERVICE
DR. FRED EDISON*
GENIUS! INVENTOR! PATRIARCH!
*PATENT NO LONGER PENDING

I walked into the tasteful black-velvet decor of the lobby, the pens in their pocket-protector rattling uncharacteristically nervously, and used one to sign in at the guestbook. I pushed open the swinging doors that led to the funeral service hall proper and began my walk down the ailse.

On my left I passed by two strangely familiar and almost identical men wearing black suits and black sunglasses. Their conversation faded in and out of my field of hearing:

"...so then it would be probate form two-four-slash-zero-A."
"No, concerning the death of an individual still under investigation, it's the slash-zero-B."
"You're right. How are the kids?"
"Dependant."
"Mine too. I'm considering filing a D-five-zero-eig..."

I walked on.

To my right, sitting in the handicapped-access-pew-zone was Nurse Edna in her wheelchair. Her leg was still in its cast, as was her arm and, yikes, a shaved section of her head. Were those the outlines of metal bolts showing through under the plaster?! Thankfully she was too busy pawing her muscle-bound physical therapist, Lance (or so his name-badge claimed) to notice me and make a potential scene.

I walked on.

I passed by Weird Ed on my right, sitting in the pew in front of Edna. He had his book of stamps in his lap and was stroking them and muttering under his breath. He glanced up at me and, from under his protuding brow, we made eye contact for only an instant before his fled back to his totem of sanity. Only an instant, but the pain I saw in those red-rimmed, tearless eyes will remain with me forever.

I walked on.

There was Dead Cousin Ted, propped up stiffly in a pew to my left. It looked like the Edison family had tried to wash the red paint out of his bandages but now they were a faded pinkish hue. Yet another of my sins on display, faded, but not forgotten.

I walked on.

And there, in front of me, was the casket, lying amongst a bed of what I could only assume were cloned versions of Chuck the Plant. Maybe the original was mixed in there somewhere? They were too identical to tell apart. Another branch of Dr. Fred's research I suppose.

Now came the moment I had been dreading most of all.

I forced my eyes down to look into the casket and, sure enough, there lay Dr. Fred. He didn't really look all that different to when he was alive to be honest. Maybe even a bit better.

My glasses started to slip from my nose. I hadn't realized what a cold sweat I'd been in. I pushed them back up, my finger habitually on the tape holding the bridge together, and that's when my gaze fell upon something else in the coffin:

Upon Dr. Fred's chest, grasped in one of his lifeless crossed hands, was a sealed envelope.

In his shakey spiderlike script a name was written upon it:

"Bernard"

********************************************************************************

Location: Obed Edison's House Of Rest.
Time: 10:45AM, day of the funeral.
Statement: Hogarth "Hoagie" Zelwinski.
   
Woah! I was totally late for Dr. Fred's final gig! The Bandmobile dropped me off in front of the grieve-and-leave like really tardy-for-the-party.

That's about when the door of the place like burst open and Bernard came running out, holding some kind of paper with something like dangling off of it.

I said something like "Bernard!" as he ran down the path toward me. And then I said like "Dude!" as he totes snubbed me and ran past down the street, all elbows and knees.

Then, like, from out of the open door a grody mob of angry Edisons poured, looking like the cover art from Iron Maiden's "Best Of The Beast" album or something.

I took off after Bernard, because I totally wanted to punch him or something. Trust that geek to screw up a really heavy deal like whatever I was doing here for. I think I might have even totes shouted out "Bernard, come over here so I can punch you!"

So, we're like both running down the middle of the road with the grody Edison groupies chasing us when I hear a horn blasting and Laverne totally hits me with her car.

********************************************************************************

Location: Obed Edison's House Of Rest.
Time: 10:30AM, day of the funeral.
Statement: Laverne Wunderlich.

Wow! I would never be allowed to do sutures on a live patient yet, or maybe *GIGGLE* ever, but the basement of Obed Edison's House Of Rest is a pretty well-paying summer job and nobody complains when I get *TWITCH* "creative" with my needlework.

I was almost done with this guy for the *HEE-HEE* noon service... Just one last stitch on the severed...

Then a huge THUD hits my ceiling from the roof above. It makes me jump like some kind of *TWITCH* jumpy animal and my needle and thread go through the client's right nostril wall instead of completing my perfect needlepoint replication of...

Well, you get the point though, right?

*TEE-HEE* Point... Needlepoint... No? Oh, nevermind.

I'm now *GURGLE* pissed off!

I stomp up the stairs and there's Bernard getting chased through the *TWITCH* lobby of my sweet summer-job stitchery shop by what looks like all of the still-mobile Edison clan. And even the *GIGGLE* less mobile, like Edna clinging to the massive torso of some tank-like guy who is powering her through the rampage screaming in perhaps angry German?

Enough is *TWITCH* enough!

I leave through the back door, get in my car, and screech outa there.

Then, suddenly, there's Hoagie running away down the middle of the *WHEEEE* road with half his ass hanging out of the back of his jeans as usual.

I blast the horn but he's too fat and lazy to get out of the way so I pick him up on the *TWITCH* bonnet.

Now that his fat ass is out of the way I see Bernard's skinny one *HEE-HEE* next, and so I pick him up too.

********************************************************************************

Location: Obed Edison's House Of Rest.
Time: 10:50AM, day of the funeral.
Statement: Bernard Bernoulli.

Holy-smokes! After going through the whole ordeal of yanking the letter addressed to me out of the cold, dead hand of Dr. Fred, overturning the coffin in the process, spilling poor Dr. Fred's corpse out onto the floor, and hightailing it out of there with the entire enraged funeral attendance in hot pursuit, then I get hit by a car?!

The impact was not as harsh as I had been expecting though. It seemed to me at the time that I might have landed on some kind of futuristic frontal airbag system that the car-makers had develo...

But, sadly, no... It was just Hoagie I had landed on...

He punched me and then said "Bernard, why are you, like, totally clutching that letter with that grody-'n-moldy, like, severed hand clutching it from the other end?".

Hoagie was always amazingly perceptive despite his chosen turn of phrase.

This was the first time I noticed that, when I had yoinked the letter away from Dr. Fred's cold dead hand, the hand had also come along for the ride.

Yikes! No wonder the rest of the Edisons were so angry!

Speaking of which, I noticed at this point that the rate at which the fever-pitch of the angry mob was drifting off at between us and the car, whose bonnet we were riding on, was increasing at an accelerating rate.

I looked past Hoagie's bulk and saw Laverne behind the wheel!

Her lazy eye bulged determinedly as she yanked the wheel hard to the right and we barely missed picking up a familiar-looking cow scurrying out of our way.

The signpost at the fork in the road flashed by.

It seems we were heading, after all:

BACK TO THE MANSION!

********************************************************************************

Location: The Edison Mansion, Exterior Front Entrance.
Time: 11:15AM, day of the funeral.
Statement: Hogarth "Hoagie" Zelwinski.

So then like Laverne totally puts the metal to the pedal, stops the car, and me and Bernard fly off the bonnet in a heap in front of that total goth-lure of a mansion. We totally wrecked the mail box if I kinda like recall!

Laverne comes crashing out of the door of her doomsmobile and blasts something at us like:

"Okay, like, LOSERS lets just end this for..."

And then she does that totes weird twitchy thing she does and continues:

"...once and forever!"

Bernard and I like disentangle ourselves from the pile we ended up in. Everyone takes a breather moment and then Bernard says something like:

"This, YIKES!, letter from Dr. Fred's like, JEEPERS!, body must be, HOLY-SMOKES!, important or something!"

Or something totally like that.

And like then...

********************************************************************************

Location: The Edison Mansion, Exterior Front Entrance.
Time: 11:15AM, day of the funeral.
Statement: Laverne Wunderlich.

So then after I *GIGGLE* disembarked the passengers safely from my car I stepped out myself and *TWITCH* said:

"Okay, you losers! It's time to end this weirdo connection we have with this *TWITCH* mansion and the family that dwells *TEE-HEE* within it once and for all!"

Then Bernard opened a letter he had been *CLUTCHES* clutching the whole while.

I might have like zoned out a bit while he was reading but I did pick up the *GIGGLE* interesting bit that fell off when he opened the envelope...

********************************************************************************

Location: The Edison Mansion.
Time: 11:20AM, day of the funeral.
Statement: Bernard Bernoulli.

Jiminy-Crickets! I then read Dr. Fred's letter, written in his spiderly script, out loud:

Quote
   Bernard,

 If you are reading this then that means you have attended my funeral and know of my fate.

 There is, however, one last thing I would have you do, my dear boy.

 Open the safe in my office and you will find inside the will to my estate stating to split the mansion and its grounds into portions for yourself, and both of your friends: The weirdly sandwich-named boy and the twitchy girl.

 Screw my family, the ungrateful lot of them!

 You and your friends provided me with the most amazing adventures of my entire miserable life!

 If any of you can open the safe and retrieve my will the first of you to do so will receive the lion's share of my estate. The second to do so will receive the meerkat's share, and the remaining one of you will have to settle for the earthworm's share.

     Thanks for the fun,
     Dr. Fred Edison.

     P.S: I have changed the combination for the safe.

After my reading, when I glanced back up over my glasses, I found myself alone, apart for two cartoonish Hoagie-and-Laverne-shaped clouds with speed-lines indicating both directions they had departed in.

I might have also heard a "whizzing" noise at some point.

It seemed a new game was afoot.

THE END???
« Last Edit: 07 Oct 2017, 10:22 by Mandle »

HanaIndiana

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest - ADVENTURE GAME
« Reply #4 on: 14 Sep 2017, 20:25 »
Me no write good. But I love the theme, so perhaps I'll give it a go.

Mandle

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest - ADVENTURE GAME
« Reply #5 on: 15 Sep 2017, 16:47 »
Updated my own story above...

It's a work-in-progress so if anyone wants to read in episodic form please feel welcome to unhide it and continue reading whenever I update it...

I have the story mapped out mostly in my mind beginning to end, but not sure of what twists and turns may lay along the way. Actually if I knew all that I would instantly lose interest in writing it.

I'm quite happy with where the first installment has gone so far: a cliffhanger and a window into the story structure.

Back with more soon!


JudasFm

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest - ADVENTURE GAME
« Reply #6 on: 16 Sep 2017, 02:56 »
I'm going to be writing my story a bit at a time and hiding it for now.

So, if you prefer an episodic reading then feel free to unhide and read, otherwise please wait for the full story:

That's a pretty good idea. Mine is shaping up to be a long one so I think I'll follow your example

JudasFm

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest - ADVENTURE GAME
« Reply #7 on: 17 Sep 2017, 08:49 »
Okay, here are the first two installments! More will be added to this post later so keep checking back :D

Prison Without Walls

Part 1: Early Morning
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
Alexander sat down by the edge of the lake, pulled off his boots and dunked his feet in the cool water with a sigh of relief. This was his favorite place in Daventry, and the fact that it was some seven miles from the castle only added to its charms. Close enough to get to fairly easily, far enough to net him some privacy.

He knew how it was supposed to go.  Everyone knew how it was supposed to go.  It was the best-known tale in existence.  Long-lost heir captured and enslaved by evil wizard, long-lost heir turns evil wizard into black cat by sneakily hiding magic cookie in porridge and feeding to aforementioned wizard, long-lost heir finds out about heritage by eavesdropping on chickens and squirrels (quite how they knew about it was still a mystery to him) long-lost heir returns home and drops the long-lost part of his title just in time to save kingdom from evil three-headed dragon.

Well, alright, maybe best-known was a slight exaggeration.  But none of the rags-to-riches stories he'd heard had mentioned any kind of culture shock.  Everyone accepted that going from a rich and powerful monarch to a slave would be the culture shock to end all culture shocks, so why would no one believe that it worked the other way too?

And his family!  Alexander shook his head.  That was a little too much for him to take in all at once.  Oh, he'd been welcomed back, of course, with a fervor that surprised him.  His mother had done her best to kiss him to death, his father had given him a manly clap on the shoulder and said how proud he was of him, and so far only his sister seemed to think that this whole thing was just a little bit unnerving and kept her distance as much as possible. 

Exactly.  I was a wizard's slave with no name or family.  Now I'm in this huge castle with two strangers who are my parents and another stranger who's my sister and I don't know any of them.

There had been other things too.  His parents had been shocked to discover that, although he could read and write with no trouble, his etiquette and diplomacy skills were nonexistent.  Alexander had distinguished himself at the last formal dinner by telling the matchmaking mother sat next to him that there was no way in all the hells he was going to marry her silly little featherhead of a daughter, especially since he'd only just met her an hour ago. Lessons in behavior had begun the very next day, something Alexander deeply resented.  As far as he was concerned, he knew to say please and thank you and any extra manners on top of that were frilly and unnecessary.

He wished Valanice hadn't ordered that damn parade in his honor as well.  Quite apart from not being used to such things, when every single person in the kingdom has seen your face, every village has a picture of your face, and every brass coin in the kingdom has your face embossed on it, slipping away unnoticed becomes very difficult no matter how careful you are about it.

He pulled one of the brass coins out of his pocket and looked at it.  It was known as an ander (they'd even named the damn coin after him!) and had been added to the official coinage just as soon as enough had been struck.  In monetary terms, an ander was the lowest denomination in the kingdom – four anders made one copper coin – but Alexander didn't mind that.  In fact, he rather liked it; most days he felt like the lowest denomination in the royal family, so it was only fitting he had the coin to match.

What am I supposed to do?

That was the question that had been bouncing around inside his head ever since he'd arrived.  There was a constant feeling of restless dissatisfaction in his mind, as though he'd left something vital undone but couldn't remember what. 

Of course, these clothes didn't help.  Alexander plucked at the sleeve of his velvet doublet sourly.  He liked the color, and he couldn't deny the outfit was comfortable, but wandering around in puffed sleeves made him feel like the world's biggest idiot.  His father could wander around in an open-necked shirt and traveling breeches, but not him.  Not the Crown Prince of Daventry.  Not if Valanice had anything to say about it.  Nothing but velvet and silk was good enough for him, and neither of those materials made for good traveling clothes. He'd tried to persuade one of the servants to switch outfits with him, but the man had refused, saying only that Valanice wouldn't like it. Mindful of the kind of punishments Manannan had doled out for disobedience, Alexander had immediately dropped the subject and never raised it with any of the servants again. He balked at stealing money for something he wanted rather than needed, and so he'd started squirreling away all the dropped coins he could find in the hopes that one day he'd have enough to buy himself a more sensible outfit.

And then what, Gwydion? a little voice inside whispered.

Candidly, Alexander had no idea. If he'd been left alone for a few days, maybe he could have figured something out, but there was no chance of that here.

As if in answer to his thought, which Alexander had often believed to be the case with Manannan (certainly the wizard had had the habit of turning up whenever Alexander particularly hadn't wanted him to) Alexander heard a twig snap behind him and groaned inwardly.

"So this is where you've been hiding."

Alexander glanced up at his father, his face politely neutral. That had been a talent he'd developed very early on with Manannan. Smile and you were laughing at him. Let one hint of exhaustion or pain or reluctance cross your face and you were defying him. Cry and you were ungrateful. Any emotion at all meant pain, or worse.

"Your Majesty."

A pained look flickered across the king's face. "Please. Call me Graham, at least."

"As you wish." That was one of the very few unsolicited comments it had been safe to make around Manannan, and Alexander had to bite his tongue very hard and very fast to stop himself from adding Master.

Looking at his son, Graham wasn't entirely sure what to say. If Alexander would only speak, but he never did. He would answer questions, but asked none of his own.

Carefully, because previous experience had taught him that Alexander didn't react well to having his personal space invaded without warning, Graham sat down next to his son.

"Things have gone a little off course with us, haven't they?" Whether they'd ever been on course in the first place was a matter of opinion, but it was the best opening he could think of.

Alexander didn't answer. There didn't seem to be anything he could say in any case.

"Are you having nightmares again?"

Still silent, Alexander leaned back on his hands and stared at the sky. Yes, he was having nightmares, nightmares that woke him in a cold sweat two or three times a night. Nightmares in which Manannan broke the spell and came after him – and in his darker moments, he was terrified of the wizard doing just that – or nightmares in which his attempt to poison the wizard failed. He didn't know how Graham had found out about them. Perhaps he'd screamed in his sleep again.

"I see you're wearing your new clothes. They suit you."

"Your wife had my old clothes burned. It was this or walk out naked."

Never my mother, Graham thought. Alexander seldom, if ever, referred to his family by name, much less their relationship to him.

"Your clothes had seen better days," Graham couldn't help saying.

Alexander still didn't look at him. "So has most of Daventry, at least the parts I saw on my way here. Are you going to burn them as well?"

Graham took a deep breath and brought out the question he'd been trying to summon up the courage to ask his son for several days now. "Alexander...are you alright?"

"Of course."

That was the worst part, in Graham's opinion. When he spoke to anyone else, he could generally tell if they were lying or what they were feeling. With Alexander, there was nothing.

"If something was wrong, would you tell me?"

Alexander remained motionless. "Yes, if you ordered me to."

Silence descended again. Hard as Alexander was to read, it was clear enough to Graham that his son wished him a thousand miles away.

"I wish I knew what to say," Graham said at last.

"You can say whatever you please." Still that same infuriating neutrality and Graham was seized by a sudden urge to grab his son, to shake him, to push him the lake, to do something to get a genuine reaction out of him.

"Let's turn it around then. What would you like me to say to you?"

Alexander shrugged. "You could start with Gwydion, I'm leaving. Or maybe Gwydion, you're free to wear whatever clothes you like. I'd take either one right now."

Graham sighed. "And I really wish you'd stop calling yourself that."

Alexander laughed, the first time Graham had heard him do so, but there was no humor in the sound. "Why? Because you don't like the name? Or because it's my slave name and every time you hear it, it reminds you of what you allowed Manannan to do to me?"

"Allowed?" Of all the accusations Graham had expected, that certainly hadn't been on the list. "Alexander, if I'd known – if I'd even suspected – where you were—"

Alexander rose to his feet. "How could you? You never bothered to search for me!"

Graham stared at his son, shocked out of his forced calmness. "I tore my kingdom apart looking for you!"

"And when that failed, didn't it occur to you that I might have been in some other kingdom? Llewdor's not that far from Daventry; you could have included it in your search without spending too much time away from home."

"A king has responsibilities." Now Graham's voice held a faint shade of reproach.

Every muscle in Alexander's body tightened, giving Graham the answer to his question. No, Alexander was not alright, had probably never been alright from day one.

"Responsibilities." Alexander stared at Graham, his eyes flashing. "Of course. And tell me, did those responsibilities stop you when you decided to travel to a faraway land and risk life and limb to rescue the beautiful princess Valanice. You had no guarantee she would accept you as a suitor, but you decided to let your kingdom go hang while you took a long vacation to rescue her. Why didn't you leave her to rule in your absence and rescue me, if I meant that much to you?"

Graham half turned, the better to face his son. "I knew where your mother was. The mirror showed her to me; all I had to do was go and get her. When you disappeared, the mirror clouded over and it stayed clouded over until your return."

"I see. And what about the chest full of gold coins that never runs out? Or the tree that grows gold walnuts? Did they cloud over too? If you couldn't leave your kingdom to search for me yourself, you could have offered a reward of some kind. From the general state of disrepair, you certainly don't seem like you've used either of those money sources for the good of your kingdom." Alexander shook his head slowly. "King or not, magic mirror or not, if I had children, I would die before I sacrificed them. And if one was carried off, I would tear the world apart until I found him, no matter how long it took. I wouldn't just hide in my castle and let my kingdom break and shatter around me. Although I suppose your daughter and I could be considered expendable. After all, you only have one kingdom, but you can easily get more children."

Shock robbed Graham of speech for a few moments. He'd expected accusations from his son – up until now, Alexander's enslavement had always been the elephant in the room, and one of the main reasons he'd come out that morning was to try and get this talk out of the way – but not this level of personal attack.

"Do you really believe that?" he asked at last.

Alexander leaned back against the nearest tree, arms folded tightly across his chest, and looked away.

"Do you?" Graham repeated.

Even as he watched, his son's face smoothed out into that damnable mask again and Alexander's voice was back to the same near monotone as he replied, "It's hard not to."

"I...see." Graham stood up and noted Alexander's flinch with a certain sadness.

What exactly does he think I'm going to do to him?

Whatever it was, Alexander kept it to himself. The mask was back and the moment gone. Graham had no idea what to say or do to recapture it, and so he simply bade Alexander goodbye and set off on the return to the castle. Maybe giving his son the space he obviously wanted would help him find some kind of peace. Then they could all get back to normal, pick up the pieces of their broken family and start all over.

Part 2: Mid-morning
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
It was late in the morning when Graham arrived back at the castle, his mind full of uncomfortable thoughts. Uppermost in these was the knowledge that he could no longer kid himself that things in the family were fine.

Oh, they'd started out that way, particularly when Rosella had brought the fruit back and things had started to turn around again. They'd spent all day in their son's company, wanting to make up for lost time. As the days passed though, Alexander had become more and more withdrawn, leading Valanice to wonder aloud how to get the real Alexander back.

Graham had never answered her, because he'd had a terrible thought in the very back of his mind that this wary loner was the real Alexander, that the first few days had been nothing more than a kind of honeymoon period brought on by high spirits. Now the honeymoon was over and Alexander was cold, suspicious and refused to let anyone inside him. Given that the only company he'd ever had up until now had been Manannan, who would have severely punished the slightest hint of insolence, it was no wonder Alexander had learned to keep everything locked up inside him. Even his voice was always quiet, neutral, inoffensive. This was the first time his son had even come close to showing any kind of emotion.

On the other hand, could that be considered progress? If Alexander was comfortable enough around his father to say things that would most likely have earned him a severe punishment from Manannan, wasn't that a step forward? Was Alexander finally beginning to trust him?

Or on a darker note, was Alexander trying to provoke that same punishment? To get some idea of where the lines were and – most importantly – what the consequences would be for crossing them? Graham couldn't shake the uncomfortable feeling that some part of Alexander would welcome a beating or some other equally brutal punishment, because it would bring their interactions around to something he could relate to. Could understand.

They'd handled it badly. No—Graham shook his head, determined not to sugarcoat things in his own thoughts— they'd handled it terribly. His heart attack had been something of a blessing in disguise in that it had taken the bulk of the focus off Alexander, and Rosella's return from her quest had had much the same effect, but after that they'd got back to the business of celebrating properly. None of them had stopped to think how Alexander might feel about it. He'd been taken out of the background, the only place he felt safe – and, as a slave, the only place he'd ever been relatively safe – thrust into the public eye and held there by the same two people who he should have been able to trust.

Alexander, I'm sorry.

Abruptly Graham decided that he would take tomorrow off and spend the whole day with his son. Get a walking outfit from the castle stores for him, and take him on a hiking trip around Daventry. Nothing regal, no court pressures or anything, just the two of them walking along and talking about nothing in particular. Graham wasn't stupid enough to think he and Alexander would become best friends by the end of it, but he did hope his son might come to see that being with his father wasn't a bad thing, or at the very least that it didn't involve pain. If he could just break down the barriers enough so that Alexander no longer perceived his own father as an active threat, Graham was sure they could build up from there.

Alexander would agree to it, of course. Alexander agreed to anything, which Graham thought was at least half the problem. If his son would just say no once in a while, or tell them that he needed some space, then half the problems they'd had up until now could have been avoided.

He walked into the family dining room – they only used the main one on special occasions – and sat down, letting his head drop into his hands.

Someone sat down opposite him. Graham could tell without looking that it was Valanice. They knew each other so well after all these years.

"Did you talk to him? How did it go?"

"Wonderfully," Graham said in a monotone. He lifted his head, poured a cup of juice, drained it and poured another one. It had been a particularly hot, dusty walk back. "He now hates us both."

Valanice frowned. "But all you did was talk to him."

"He blames us for what happened. He says we should have used the royal treasury to mount a bigger search effort, and damn me if I don't think he's right, Valanice."

"We did everything we could."

"We should have done more. The upshot of it is that our son doesn't trust us. Our lives haven't changed too much, so when he returned we expected to pick up where we left off, like he'd never been taken. We forgot that he had more or less grown up with a separate identity for nearly eighteen years." He shook his head. "Why didn't I search Llewdor? He's right; it's not that far and I could easily have raised a search party to explore the surrounding kingdoms."

"Manannan would have sunk it."

"Even if he had, at least I could have looked my own son in the eyes this morning." Graham leaned back and then quietly brought out the heart of his fear. "I think we're losing him."

Valanice went white. "You can't mean that!"

"Haven't you noticed how he comes back a little later from his walk every time?"

Valanice shook her head. "He's always back by half past five."

Graham gave her a rather tired smile. Whatever his son may be, no one could question Alexander's intelligence. "He used to be back by four. Then it became one minute after four, then when everyone was used to that and accepted it, he upped it to two minutes. Then three. The only reason he's kept it at half past five is because we eat dinner at six and he knows there's no way he can skip out on it without being missed." Graham didn't add his other thoughts on that subject: that food had been a very precious commodity in Alexander's world and he wasn't about to miss out on it. He would eat today because he might not be able to tomorrow. Graham also didn't see any reason to mention to Valanice that Alexander had been hoarding food since he arrived; there was a sizable stash under his son's bed and very likely several more hiding places that he didn't know about.

"You don't think he's planning to run away or anything stupid like that, do you?"

There it was. The tiny, secret fear that had been gnawing on Graham's heart for the past few weeks.

"I don't know."

Valanice reached out, putting a hand on his shoulder. "If he is, we can do something. Appoint a bodyguard—"

"Bodyguard?" Graham echoed with a bitter smile. "Don't you mean a real guard?"

Valanice hesitated, then decided to throw euphemism to the winds. "Well, yes. Some parts of Daventry are still dangerous, and Alexander won't carry a sword. We could allow him to go anywhere safe in the kingdom, and if he wanted to go to a dangerous part, well, then the guard will just stop him from going anywhere he wants."

"The guard will stop him?" Graham repeated. "The three-headed dragon didn't stop him! And if you think Alexander will simply ask the guard for permission and respect his decision, then both you and that guard are in for a nasty surprise because Alexander doesn't ask. He takes. Or he manipulates the situation to get him what he wants. I don't know that we can entirely blame him for that; Manannan wouldn't have granted any of his requests, and probably would have punished him severely for asking, so manipulation is the only way he knows. I can't think Manannan would have set him a shining example either; I imagine Alexander learned all kinds of ways of dealing with problems from him, even if that old man hadn't meant him to. But it doesn't change the fact that our son is a very dangerous young man."

Valanice went so white Graham thought she was going to faint. "How can you say that? He spared Manannan's life. After everything that old man did to him, he still didn't kill him!"

"He didn't kill him with magic, Valanice. He could have turned Manannan into a cat, then just picked him up and broken his neck. I wouldn't blame him in the slightest if he had, but if you're going around thinking that Alexander is a pure, noble innocent who would have qualms about swatting a fly without a signed declaration of war, then I have to tell you that you are very, very wrong."

"Our son would never hurt us."

"Our son doesn't know us!" Graham surged to his feet, pacing the room, then turned to face Valanice. "That's where we've been going wrong all this time. When Alexander was taken, it left a hole in our hearts. We worried about him, we grieved over him, because we knew who he was and we could still remember him. From his point of view, we're complete strangers. Not only that, we're complete strangers who abandoned him to a life of slavery and abuse. I don't think he'd hurt us—"

"Don't think!" Valanice's voice rose a full octave on the last word.

"No, and that's half the problem; I can't be sure. I think – I think – he'd only use magic as a last resort, but he would use it if he felt there was no other way out. So if you insist on monitoring his every move and never giving him a moment's privacy, there's a good chance I'll go out for a walk one day and come home to a castle full of cats!"

Something in his tone got through to Valanice; she sat a little straighter and looked her husband full in the face.

"Do you think he would? Seriously think so?"

Graham couldn't find the words to answer, not because he didn't know but because he though the truth would upset his wife too much. Because the truth was that if his son decided he had to deal with them in that way, then they would be dealt with swiftly, severely and without mercy.

Alexander had learned that from Manannan too.

I had to split posts as the next two installments put this over the character limit. You can read the next part here :D
« Last Edit: 04 Oct 2017, 18:18 by JudasFm »

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest - ADVENTURE GAME
« Reply #8 on: 17 Sep 2017, 19:16 »
JudasFM... loving the story so far...

The realistic take on...
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
...Alexander's mental state after being an abused slave for so many years and trying to fit back into a "normal" family situation rings true for me. And also the emotional turmoil of his father Graham in trying to deal with this uncomfortable situation with all his guilty feelings, but also the pragmatic issues of the day-to-day life of being a king, interests me deeply in where this tale is going. Bringing the reality of what the people would actually have to emotionally cope with into the world of silly old-school adventure games and yet stay true to the original material is a challenge I am also attempting with my own story. It ain't easy but it is fun!

Also:

My own story is updated a bit above...

JudasFm

  • Zlang-Zlang Squid Says: Screw you, Photobucket!
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Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest - ADVENTURE GAME
« Reply #9 on: 19 Sep 2017, 04:49 »
Thanks :D This is actually a bit of backstory to my KQ fan novel; it's been buzzing around in my head for ages now so I'm glad I finally got the chance to write it! I always like to write reality rather than happy fantasy. It's like Maniac Mansion; those kids were trapped playing a game of cat-and-mouse with two crazy people. It sounds fun and it looks fun on screen, but the reality is very different ;)

Part Two is now uploaded! (Any news on a deadline yet?)
« Last Edit: 19 Sep 2017, 14:27 by JudasFm »

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest - ADVENTURE GAME
« Reply #10 on: 19 Sep 2017, 06:50 »
Thanks :D This is actually a bit of backstory to my KQ fan novel; it's been buzzing around in my head for ages now so I'm glad I finally got the chance to write it! I always like to write reality rather than happy fantasy. It's like Maniac Mansion; those kids were trapped playing a game of cat-and-mouse with two crazy people. It sounds fun and it looks fun on screen, but the reality is very different ;)

Part Two is now uploaded! Only two more parts to go! (Any news on a deadline yet?)

Well, the official deadline should be Sept 28th, but extensions are possible of course.

JudasFm

  • Zlang-Zlang Squid Says: Screw you, Photobucket!
    • I can help with play testing
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    • I can help with story design
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Well, the official deadline should be Sept 28th, but extensions are possible of course.

Great, that means I can make a longer entry :D :D :D

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
  • Rottwheelers
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I too will be writing my story on the instalment plan.  Enjoy! :-D

Lost in the Baron

   You lean forward in your faux leather chair, squinting through your monocle at the pixels on the screen.  Perhaps the merlot-red was too ambitious a hue for the glowing eyes of a semi-sentient death droid sprite.  The gaming public would probably follow you to current-red, even to garnet-red, but merlot-red was clearly a step too far.  You take a sip of whiskey distilled from the tears of young children while twisting your rakish goatee pensively. 

   Blood-red.  It really had to be blood-red.  It was a death-droid, after all.  Nobody cared that it secretly had a heart of gold, maiming and culling in the most humane way possible to spare its victims any extra suffering.  Nobody cared that it really preferred long crawls on the beach, hunting fat guys in Speedo bathing suits in the surreal glow of an apocalyptic sunset.  It was all just wasted character depth: all they would really see is the metallic killing machine.  And metallic killing machines have eyes that glow blood-red.

   Except blood-red was a trifle obvious.  Everyone would expect it.  You take off your pickelhaube and use the razor sharp spike on the top to scratch at a nagging itch between your shoulders.  You can see the gamer review titles now:  “Typical Baron Fare, Mad with Mediocrity.”  In a fit of pique you fling your pickelhaube against the wall where it sticks spike first, the vibrating metal humming murderously.  “So they expect blood, do they?!?” you shout, the words echoing manically through your cavernous lair.     

If you PM Ponch your witty repartee to that quip he sent four hours ago, turn to post 15.

If you retire to the spawning chamber with Mrs. Baron, turn to post 22.
« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2017, 04:10 by Baron »

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
  • Rottwheelers
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
The continuing saga of awesomeness continues! :=

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
   You decide to take the Baronmobile out for a spin.  You descend to the haunted depths of the garage bay, careful to avoid the caninoid's sleep-mode basket so that his murderous death-barks don't alert Mrs. Baron.  After passing through many biometric scans and emergency bulkheads you emerge into the dingy wasteland of the garage bay.  Truthfully you should rename this sector, as it is mostly just jumbled storage of abandoned projects and Christmas ornaments.

   But there, at the front near the aft-receiving gate, is your pride and joy.  A metric ton of black-chrome and rocketry, replete with retro tail-fins and a sleek command turret.  The Baronmobile can go from zero to 140 in the blink of a monocle glint, and sports more accurate missile capabilities than a North Korean birthday party.  In moments you are behind the ergonomically designed control panel, tearing up the substandard paving surfaces of your low-tax municipality.

   You pull up to a stop light next to a gangsta hotrod with multiple exhaust pipes and some Spanish hip-hop blaring.  The driver inclines his chin at you and revs his engine.  You wave back cheerfully while secretly activating the lateral spatula mechanism that flips his car over on its roof.  The light turns green and you deafen anyone within 69 meters with the outrageous decibel output of your mach-three-capable turbine engine.  You roar with maniacal laughter: Buwuhahahahahahahaha!
   But then you hit some kind of glass debris on the road and burst your left drive-tire!  The auto-fix mechanism fails to engage, probably because you forgot to reset it the last time you used it.  Blast!  In a state almost as deflated as your tire you pull up to the curb.

If you decide to call a tow truck, turn to post 37

If you decide to go steal a tire from the gangsta hotrod, turn to post 42.
« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2017, 04:12 by Baron »

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
The continuing saga of awesomeness continues! :=

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
...upon (laugh)

Please continue your saga in your original post. Thank you. That is all.

P.S: I really like where your story is going by the way... [/fan-gush]

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
  • Rottwheelers
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I know I'm asking for trouble disobeying a direct request from the contest admin, but I'm experimenting with a bold new cutting edge format for my story.  It's like, I'm taking the Adventure Game genre to vivid and reckless places, you know?  But it's all about the art and the creative process.  The pen is mightier than the light brigade and all that.  How do you fit a muzzle onto a typewriter?  How can I touch your soul if you keep blocking me, bro?  How do I get off this crazy train called... dystemporal articulated pseudofiction? :-\

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
   You decide to PM Ponch, your favourite virtual sparring mate.  He makes himself out to be some kind of shoot-from-the-hip Regulator from the wild-west, but he's actually just this sweet gender-confused cow from New Jersey with a flare for sassy bravado.  Not that you're one to share your shrewd deductions: the charade of him working as a roughneck by day and as an aspiring aerobics instructor by night in some sweltering desert state serves you both well.  Truth is a fleeting mistress on the interwebs, and you'd much rather build a mental image of your favourite correspondent wearing jeans and spandex rather than jogging pants and Miracle Whip.

   “Spare me your hot flashes of pity,” you begin, “and check out this pre-alpha build of my latest creation!”  You limp purposefully to the breaker panel and flip a giant lever, resulting in ominous clouds of electric pulses emanating from the impressively huge machinery in the cavern.  You throw back your pickelhaubeless head and cackle with venomous glee.  “It's alive!” you howl.  “IT'S ALIVE!!!1!”

   You hit send and then you go and fix yourself a sandwich, giving Ponch time to try your new creation.  You make sure to fix an olive on top with a toothpick, just like a mini one-eyed pickelhaube-wearing Baron.  “Oh no you didn't, you naughty little megalomaniac!” you say to the olive, revelling in your moment of glory.  “You didn't just bend the rules of gaming science, oh no.  You shattered them with an iron fist!  And... what's that?  You think I should have...  But what do you know about game design theory?  No, it was an intentional reference to archaic user interfaces.  It was supposed to be clunky, that's the whole point!  Do you know, there's only room in this cavern for one raving genius!”  You eat the olive, crushing it to pulp with your teeth of rusty steel.

   Your computer trills a happy note indicating a reply has been posted.  “Why the purple eyes?” you read.  That bastard!  It's clearly merlot-red!  This is the last straw!

If you smite your colour-blind foe with words of shock and awe, turn to post 29

If you decide to take the Baronmobile for a cruise to vent some steam, turn to post 13.
« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2017, 04:13 by Baron »

JudasFm

  • Zlang-Zlang Squid Says: Screw you, Photobucket!
    • I can help with play testing
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Can we have an extension please? I have three more parts to write. One's almost done but I just need a few more days...

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Can we have an extension please? I have three more parts to write. One's almost done but I just need a few more days...

Yup, in fact I need an extension too. Busy with something else and it's a black hole for all my spare time.

And also there is a distinct lack of entries so far.

Anyone mind if this becomes a three-week round?

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
  • Rottwheelers
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I might need an extension of several months to make my new format work. (roll)

Either that, or we need to relax the rules for double posting. ;)

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:

   A blazing aura of searing meta-light has erupted into being in your cavern.  You idly wonder if it might turn out to be a more efficient way of roasting marshmallows, but soon you become aware of the dangerous creeping expansion of the tear in the space-time fabric of reality.  Now is not the time to play the blame game of who created what.  Now is the time to turn tail and run like a little school girl!

        Diving for the bilge duct you are engulfed in a blinding waft of eight million degree meta-light.  For a short moment you consider that your evening could have been better spent.  Then, rather than walking into the light, you are instead atomized into the all consuming para-photon flood.

It's been an enlightening experience.  The End

« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2017, 04:15 by Baron »

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Either that, or we need to relax the rules for double posting. ;)

Hehe...that was just a joke, my good fellow... (laugh)

I was thinking about joining the competition, but I write quite slowly in English, and I didn't have much time to write in the last few days. Also, I'm not sure if my story is any good.

Anyway, I would welcome an extension to the competition, though I don't know if I'll manage to finish my entry.

Plus, I want to see how Baron's riveting saga ends!

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Competition officially extended until October 5th!

(Oh... and trophies coming in early October)

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
  • Rottwheelers
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I was thinking about joining the competition, but I write quite slowly in English, and I didn't have much time to write in the last few days. Also, I'm not sure if my story is any good.

Fear not, my good friend.  I write exceedingly slowly, and I'm definitely not sure if my story is any good. ;-D  Sometimes you just gotta take some artistic risks and put your work out there. ;)

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:

You decide to retire to the spawning chamber with Mrs. Baron, but first that will require plugging her in.  So many wires, so many different adaptors.....  Darn thing doesn't.... *grunt* ...fit like it... *grrrr* ....like it used to.  There!

   You emerge sweaty and a little greasy from behind Mrs. Baron's universal serial port.  Her blood-red eyes begin to glow menacingly, indicating that she is booting her naughty girl software.  “You really know how to turn me on!” she rasps, shaking her chassis suggestively.  Then she stops, eyes blinking with thoughtful processing.  The hue changes to old-lady-lilac, indicating that she is switching to nag-mode.  You panic and try to reach for the kill-switch, but her crampons snap at your feeble effort.  Then she spits out icily: “Did you remember to put the garbage out?”

   Gah!  The hated garbage chore!  You should never have vaporized that hunch-backed henchman who used to do it for you....  But there's no sense dwelling on the past.  Not unless you're prepared to bring the temporal disruption ray back online.  That would take some serious tinkering and cursing, not to mention tampering with the town's electrical grid again to juice it up properly.  But it'd still be better than putting the garbage out.  Alternatively you could just sneak out in the Baronmobile, banking on Mrs. Baron's fed-up-and-do-it-myself algorithm to kick in and make her do the gargabe.  So many choices!

If you decide to bring the temporal disruption ray back online, turn to post 27.

If you decide to take the Baronmobile for a cruise, turn to post 13.


« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2017, 04:16 by Baron »

Ponch

  • AGS Baker
  • Boo!
    • Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
    •  
  • Ponch worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
[This space reserved for a FWC entry coming in a day or two]


His Stories

Outside the little window, it began to rain. It had rained every day since he had come to live here, or so it seemed. His bones ached from the damp. He sighed deeply, feeling his age. A choir of bullfrogs raised their monotonous chant somewhere behind the house. The sound did not bring a smile to his weathered, deeply lined face.

Wrinkled, bare feet shuffled wearily across the living room floor, worn smooth by many years of footsteps too numerous to count.

The music player was hidden inside the thick shelf of the mantle above the fireplace. A cunningly devised panel, blended perfectly into the swirls and grain of the wood, yielded to persistent fingers that knew just where to pry and push. The old man carefully set the panel aside and switched on the device. Music began to play. A woman, most likely dead by now, began to sing soulfully about hard times to come.

The old man smiled wistfully. The singer had been right. Hard times did come. The sunshine was gone. Only rain now, every day.

He needed a drink.

Behind the potted plants in the corner, another hidden panel concealed a mini-bar. He pulled the big, barely tended plant away with a grunt, nudging the leafy fronds aside with his foot where they spilled down onto the carpet in a thick, green spray. Groaning softly, he eased down onto one knee -- something that was getting harder to do with each passing season. With a well-practiced tug, the panel hiding the mini-bar popped loose. He opened the little door and cold, refrigerated air spilled out. He smiled for just a moment. Then he heard the compressor rattle into life behind the wall.

One of these days, he thought glumly, that thing's finally going to die. And getting a repairman I can trust to come all the way out here is going to cost me an arm and a leg.

He pulled the jug of cold ale out and reluctantly closed the door of the mini-bar, trapping the rest of the cold air inside, where it couldn't escape.

He took a deep breath, readying himself for the hardest part. Cursing a steady stream of the foulest profanity, he forced his knee to lever his body back up to a standing position.

Trudging stiff-legged through the small house, still cursing softly, he made his way into the kitchen. There, mixed in among the innocuous little bottles of seasonings on the spice rack over the sink, were the only secret treasures he didn't feel the need to hide away. They were hidden in plain sight. And why not? Who ever bothered to really examine someone's spice rack?

"Shit biscuits," he muttered with a smile, in better spirits now even though his knee was still aching. "Little motherfucking cunt waffles, where are you? You little dick pickles... Shove you up a half-priced whore's -- Ah ha! There you are!"

From the irregular rows of little glass bottles, he deftly plucked two: One filled with brown sugar, and another almost half-full of nutmeg.

He walked over to the sink, carrying the spices and the cold ale, droplets of condensed water already beginning to appear on the surface of the glass jug. He thought about using the microwave hidden in the floor at the foot of the bed, but decided to spare his protesting knee the abuse. Besides, he would need his knee later to get to the especially well-hidden stash of porn inside the walls of bathroom linen closet.

He smiled at the thought of all the self-abuse that lay ahead of him tonight.

"Friday night," he said to the empty house. "Daddy's gonna beat his meat like it owes him money."

He chuckled, pouring the ale into the old pot hanging just above the flames in the fireplace. He mixed in a generous amount of spices, stirring it with a wooden spoon. Once the aleberry came to a boil, he could get a nice buzz going. Once his inhibitions were down, he would be able to look at his very best porn without feeling guilty about it.

The aroma of spiced alcohol began to waft through the small house. The old man smiled. It had been a while since he had treated himself to such an extravagant night.

"Gonna sleep like a baby tonight," he mused to himself. "Probably be sore tomorrow, but that's what I get for buying the 'Big Daddy Buttplu-'"

He stopped mid-sentence, his smile suddenly brittle, frozen in place. Over the din of the frogs and the other animals outside, he could hear, very faintly, the distinctive sound that spelled the end of his special evening.

Engines.

"Fucksticks," he hissed, then more loudly, "Shitpiss!"

He scrambled through the house, as fast as his old legs would go, trying to get everything hidden again. The whine of the engines was getting louder. He threw the pot of simmering liquor out the open window. The hot rain of booze finally silenced the frogs.

"Cum guzzling ass sniffer!"

The mini-bar was hidden behind the plant again. He dashed over to the music player and shut it off.

"Stupid boy! Twatlapping cocksucker!"

He fumbled with the mantelpiece panel, trying to get it back into place without breaking it.

"Hillbilly turdburglar! Can't an old fart get his fucknutting rocks off in piece?"

The thought of his best porn going unused in the darkness of the linen closet made his old heart ache deeply, just like his balls. Outside, the engines idled loudly, dangerously close.

"Fucktard!" he grumbled as he dug through his junk drawer, trying to find something useless but shiny to distract the person who was going to walk through the front door any moment now.

"Flaming cockwad!!" he spat out as he shuffled to his spot in the middle of the living room. He stood, intentionally stooping a little, trying to look more wise and less horny, trying hard to think of something to tell the boy.

"Fuck off, you little cockwipe. Daddy's got things to do," he mumbled to himself, turning the widget he had pulled from the drawer of junk over and over in his hand, hidden behind his back.

He sighed, forcing himself to adopt the proper attitude.

"I'm worried," he said, practicing the words he would say. "There's a cloning facility on... No, no, no. Say it right you old goat. Say it right."

He cleared his throat and began again.

"Worried am I. A cloning facility there is, on the forest world of Narsa." He nodded to himself. "There it is. Daddy's still got it."

Outside he heard the boy's voice. "C'mon, Artoo. Let's find Yoda."

"You're gonna find my dick in your ass in a minute, you party pooping sonofabitch," the old man grumbled. He rolled his eyes in these last, precious minutes before his guest arrived. "Find my dick in your ass, you will. Party pooper, are you."

He felt the weight of the old power chip from a broken nav-unit in his palm. It was a pretty crappy quest item, he had to admit.

But it's not like this hick kid gave me much time to prepare tonight. The boy never does, really. This kid just shows up unannounced all the time, looking for me to give him something to do.

"Get a job you should, shitpickle. Be useful, youngling, instead of just sexy, why not?" Yoda muttered to himself just before Luke entered the house without knocking, as usual.

The boy let himself into the house, dripping water all over the floor. Tonight, it was very easy for Yoda to look grim and serious, and his loose robes hid the shape of his disappointed gherkin. Why did the boy have to be so damn sexy?

Only reason I let you drop by all the time, he thought to himself. An ass that won't quit, have you, hmmm? Yes. Powerful ass.

The boy looked at him expectantly, as always.

"Worried am I, Luke," Yoda began, spinning a new story.


(A bite-sized story for a bite-sized game. My game, of course, was the second greatest game in LucasArts' "Desktop Adventures" series: Yoda Stories.)


« Last Edit: 08 Oct 2017, 00:08 by Ponch »
*

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
[This space reserved for a FWC entry coming in a day or two]

YAY!

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
  • Rottwheelers
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Awesome! 8-)

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:

   You decide to cower like a turtle in your sleek and powerful Baronmobile shell.  The gangstas swarm around outside, trying to bash your lights with sledgehammers and scuff your chrome work with steel wool, but all to no avail.  Inside your impenetrable mobile fortress you are a god-king of patience and old Archie comics.  You idly think of zapping them with your inverted voltage field, but decide that it is more degrading to let them exhaust themselves in their futile pursuits.
   
   You laugh maniacally at your brilliance, accidentally slamming your clenched fist onto the emergency auto-eject button.  You soar eagle-like into the air, and at the apex of your arc your parachute engages, bringing you floating slowly down into the midst of your reinvigorated enemies.  You have the taste of hubris in your mouth as you descend relentlessly down to meet your fate.  Hi fate!

You've been a real pantload!  The end.

« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2017, 04:16 by Baron »

JudasFm

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I'm also going to split posts, because this latest installment pushed my first story post over the character limit. I'll stick a link to this post in the first one so it won't be too jarring and another link to part four for ease of reading.

Anyway, here's installment three! Only one more to go and my entry's complete! :D

Part 3: Afternoon/Early Evening

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
Alexander hadn't thought he would miss Manannan.

His life as the wizard's slave had been hard, cruel, often painful but one thing it had never been was boring. Alexander had often dreamed about what it would be like to sit back with nothing to do, nowhere to go, just himself and the freedom to relax.

Now he had it, he was climbing the walls. He could go out walking, and Daventry was beautiful enough for him to genuinely enjoy doing so, but the need to return by evening limited his range somewhat. He couldn't even watch the stars; there were too many candles and torches around the castle for him to really see them. Manannan's place may have been gloomy, but the night view from the top of the mountain had been breathtaking. Alexander often used to sneak outside until Manannan caught him one terrible night. Since then, he'd kept all stargazing to out of his window.

His window. His room. Occasionally he caught himself thinking it would be worth being back with Manannan just to have the privacy of his own room. Alexander wasn't sure why, but his room was the one place in the entire house that the wizard had never entered. The one place he'd been able to relax, as much as anyone in his position could.

Here, it was different. Servants were coming in and out, the queen breezing in to wake him for breakfast or etiquette or some more fitting sessions and everyone else treating his room as their own. Two weeks in, Alexander had resorted to putting a Do Not Disturb notice on the door, and half an hour later his room had been invaded by the royal physician, half a dozen assistants and his worried mother all demanding to know what was wrong, was he sick, was he injured, what was going on with him?

On the one hand, it was certainly nice to be able to walk around and take a stroll now and again without the possibility of being fried to ash for the privilege. On the other, he was going out of his mind. There was too much going on, too much surrounding him and too many things he had to do and remember and people to talk to and royal functions to attend where all of the above problems boiled together into one single nightmare. To someone who had had very little social interaction growing up, it was the equivalent of hell. There was another one tomorrow, with the ambassador of such-and-such, and right there Alexander decided he was going to skip it. He wasn't worried about being hungry – his caches would take care of that, and even if he couldn't get to one, he'd skipped a meal before. You didn't die from it.

He had good cause to remind himself of this on the return journey, as he took a little longer than usual and by the time he arrived at the castle, the shadows were starting to get long and he knew lunch must have been over long ago. He managed to sneak in without running into anyone who might have asked awkward questions and headed straight for his room.

For a wonder, it was empty when he got to it and Alexander paused to savor this. Usually there were servants coming and going or people coming in wanting to talk to him and pester him and demand his attention.

This time the servants had been and gone while Alexander had been out by the lake. They'd made his bed, or at least had a good attempt at it. Alexander had already learned that Graham wasn't so strict about perfection as Manannan had been and so with a sigh he stripped the sheets back and started to remake the bed to his own standards.

He'd got as far as the second layer of blankets before his bedroom door opened.

"You should call a servant to do that," Rosella said from behind him.

Alexander gave her an irritated look. "They've got enough to keep them busy. Why add to their workload when I'm perfectly capable of doing it myself?"

"We're royalty. We don't do housework."

"I've noticed. Your mother would faint if anyone suggested she wash a dish or sweep the floor. Well, I suppose the rank hath their privilege." Alexander pulled the counterpane tightly across. "Besides, the servants don't do a good enough job."

"Then tell the housekeeper and she'll see that they're punished."

Punished. The word was enough to make Alexander's body twitch with remembered pain, even as he knew that the punishment in question would probably be no more than a stern telling off. Certainly the court wizard would never hang them upside down for hours at a time, or force them to exercise until their body was screaming for release, unconsciousness, anything to end the suffering.

"That's not necessary." He passed a hand over the bedclothes, smoothing them until they lay on the mattress like velvet glass.

Two minutes later, Rosella sat on them. "You weren't at lunch."

"I know I wasn't." His stomach knew as well, but Alexander ignored it. He'd stashed away some bread and a hunk of mutton yesterday and he was looking forward to a good meal as soon as Rosella left him alone.

"Didn't you feel well?"

Why did everyone want to know everything about him? Was privacy really such a dirty word in this place?

"I'm fine, Rosella. I just went to the lake and lost track of time. I'm not really hungry, anyway."

His stomach disagreed with a loud rumble and Alexander placed a hand on it as though quieting a large dog.

"You weren't at breakfast either. When do you eat, Alexander?"

The answer to that was frequently. Alexander was used to furtive bites snatched here and there in between chores and no matter how much he tried to tell himself it was crazy, that no one here would care, he still thought of eating as something to be done in secret.

"We're all really worried about you, you know."

Alexander sighed. This wasn't Rosella talking, he knew that much. His sister was just as cautious about him as he was about her and the rest of the family, which made for a refreshing change and made her the only person in the whole castle who he could sort of relax around. She certainly wouldn't have come into his room to interrogate him of her own free will.

"Who put you up to this? Was it your mother?"

"Don't call her that. She's your mother as well. And she's really trying."

"My thoughts exactly," Alexander said dryly. "Did you come here for anything in particular? I'm not in the mood for small talk."

"I thought you might like this." Rosella held out an obsidian scarab. "It's a charm to protect against the undead."

Alexander stared at it with hungry eyes. Apart from the obvious magical nature, which drew him in like a bee to a honeypot, the item itself was a true work of art. He reached out, hesitated, then drew his hand back. His eyes, dark and narrow with suspicion, caught Rosella's gaze and held them.

"Why?"

"Because you're into magic things and I'm not."

"And?" The idea of an unconditional gift was beyond Alexander's world. The closest he could get to the idea was payment in advance for services about to be rendered. Fair enough, he had no issue with that, but he did wish people would stop dancing around the truth of the matter.

Rosella bit her lip. "And I want to talk to you. Really talk, not just have you wait for me to leave you alone, because I think you're the only person who can understand what I went through in Tamir."

"Unless you were captured and enslaved by an evil wizard in between being sneezed out of a whale and your assorted bouts of grave robbing, that's very unlikely."

Rosella tossed her hair back and fixed Alexander with a rather cool stare. "Do you want the scarab or not?"

Alexander returned her stare without blinking for several seconds, his face unreadable. Rosella shifted her weight, hoping none of her discomfort showed. Even though she'd been born two and a half hours before he had, at times like this she felt like Alexander was far older than she could ever hope to be.

One corner of Alexander's mouth quirked into a grim smile and he held out his hand. Rosella dropped the scarab into it and Alexander settled himself on the floor, back against the dresser, running a thumb over his prize.

"Go on."

Rosella picked at the counterpane with a perfect fingernail. "Is Manannan dead?"

Alexander blinked. Out of all the questions he'd been expecting Rosella to lead with, that wasn't even on the list.

"Maybe," he answered. "I suppose he might be picked off by an eagle or something if he goes outside." What would the wizard eat? For a moment Alexander entertained himself with the thought of Manannan being forced to lunch on insects and dead rodents. It wasn't an unpleasant image.

"But you didn't kill him?"

"No." Alexander turned the scarab over and examined the underside. There was something carved there, something in letters or sigils so tiny that he'd need a magnifying glass to make it out.

"Would you have? If you could?"

"Of course." How was it enchanted? Maybe Rosella had invented the obsidian scarab in her story. Or maybe this was a replica. No matter; he wasn't planning to put it to the test and the pure beauty of the carving made it a fair payment in his book.

"Wouldn't you have felt guilty? I mean, he was the closest thing to a father you had growing up."

"Not in the least." Alexander's voice was so neutral Rosella couldn't tell whether he was answering her question or her statement, or possibly both. "Why are you so interested in this?"

Rosella's mouth worked for a few moments but no sound came out. At last she blurted, "I killed Lolotte."

Alexander's head snapped up and Rosella could see he was finally giving her his undivided attention.

"Lolotte?" He stared at her for a few seconds. Rosella could practically see the gears turning in his mind as he said, half to himself, "So that's who..."

"You know her?"

"No, but I found a letter in Manannan's desk that was signed by someone called L. It didn't register when you first told your story."

Rosella stared at him. "You mean they knew each other?"

"Probably. I can't think Manannan would have had many other correspondents whose names began with L, and from what you said about her and what was in that letter, it seems like the same person."

"Did she ever come to the house? Or did Manannan go to see her?"

Alexander shrugged. "If she did, I never knew about it, and I can't think Manannan would have served her refreshments himself. He went out on journeys quite a lot though, maybe one of those was to pay her a visit. But when you told everyone your story, you said you...what was it? Enchanted her?"

"You didn't believe that, did you?"

Alexander shook his head. "No. Nor would anyone else who knows even half a thing about magic. If you enchanted her, where did you find the spell? How did you collect the ingredients while you were locked up? Lolotte's a fairy so she wouldn't need a magic wand, so what did you use to cast the spell? I knew there was more to the story than that."

Rosella tilted her head to one side. "Why didn't you say anything?"

"Because I've had first-hand experience of just how aggravating it is to have people poking their noses into your affairs and trying to drag all your secrets and feelings out into the open for them to have a good look at!" Alexander took a deep breath, fought the damn emotions back under control and smoothed his face back into an expression of polite attention, all in under two seconds. "So you thought that since I possibly killed someone, I might be able to help with brotherly advice about how to cope with the guilt, is that it?"

"Yes. Or just, well, listen."

Alexander shrugged. "I don't see how my listening to you talk is going to help with your problems, but if that's what you want in exchange for the scarab, then fine. Talk away."

Now the time had come, Rosella didn't know where to begin. Alexander didn't help; he just sat there watching her like he watched everyone, with the same unblinking intensity that a hawk watches its prey.

"I had an arrow left. The love arrows I picked up, there was only one and I had it left over. I found my way up to her bedroom and she was asleep and so I, well, I used the arrow."

Alexander's look shifted to one of bafflement. "You wanted her to fall in love with you? Wasn't it bad enough having one person in that tower obsessed with you?"

"No! I didn't want that! I just...I thought if I could turn her good, she'd give the talisman back of her own free will. I wanted to show her that there was another way to be. That even though she'd locked me up, I was still going to behave in an honorable manner towards her."

"So you shot her in her sleep. I see."

"I didn't want to kill her. I really didn't know what would happen."

Alexander stared at her. "You fired an arrow into someone's heart at near point-blank range and you didn't know they would die? I'm curious; what exactly did you think they would do? Turn into a tea-cozy?"

"I am not a violent girl, Alexander!"

"You shot someone. That's quite violent." Alexander sighed. "Why did you really come? To get help with your feelings? Or because you wanted one person in this place to condone what you did so you can go back to feeling like you're a nice, kind person who never put a foot wrong? Ah—" Rosella's head had flown up— "I thought so."

"I had no choice."

"Of course you had a choice. Everyone has a choice. I could have chosen to stay with Manannan. I could have chosen not to untie you. I could have chosen to make a new life for myself in Llewdor and I'm starting to wish—" Alexander broke off and bit his tongue so hard he tasted blood, but it was too late to take the words back.

"That you had," Rosella finished very quietly.

Alexander looked away, his lips tight.

"I saw someone in the Cave of the Oracle. In these clothes." He jerked one hand down his body for emphasis. "He was the Crown Prince of Daventry, he had all the etiquette malarkey down pat and he could behave perfectly and make small talk but he wasn't me! The real me got choked and stifled under all this!"

"You should tell Father this."

Alexander snorted. "And get my head cut off for daring to defy the King of Daventry? No thank you."

There was no obvious change in Rosella's expression, but to Alexander's eyes it suddenly seemed full of pity.

"Father isn't Manannan, Alexander."

Alexander snorted. "No. I knew where I stood with Manannan." He hadn't liked where he'd been standing, and he certainly didn't regret his actions against the wizard, but there was no denying that his life as a slave had been wonderfully uncomplicated compared to this. "Was there anything else you wanted?"

There was no gracious way to ignore such a pointed dismissal and Rosella rose to her feet, leaving a rumpled counterpane behind her.

"Will you be joining us for dinner?"

Alexander didn't look at her. "Do I have a choice?"

"Yes. Of course. I can tell Father you're tired and decided to have an early night, but are you really alright going for the whole day with nothing to eat?"

Alexander thought of the mutton and bread he'd squirreled away and felt his stomach purr in anticipation. "I'm sure I'll survive. It wouldn't be the first time."

"Alright." Rosella stood there awkwardly and then, when Alexander didn't acknowledge her, walked over to the door. "Well...I suppose I'll see you in the morning then."

"Yeah. Maybe." Alexander waited until he heard the door click shut behind Rosella, turned to make sure she'd actually gone through it, then headed over to the chest at the foot of his bed where he kept the few things he'd brought from Llewdor. Unlatching the clasp, he flipped it open.

It was empty.

Well, not empty; it had been filled with clothes much like the outfit he was now wearing. Princely gear. Were his things underneath it? A servant dumping clothes all over his ingredients and spells was an inconvenience, but one he could live with easily enough.

Every single outfit was strewn around him on the floor before Alexander realized the truth: all his magic ingredients and spells he'd brought with him were gone.

Gone and destroyed. Or sold. He hoped it was the latter; someone might as well get some good out of his hard work. Thank god he'd had the sense to keep the wand on him, otherwise he'd have lost that too, but that was secondary. Uppermost in his mind was the thought of someone coming into his room when he was out and rummaging around through his things, poking their noses in—Alexander yanked the raging emotions back under control and closed his eyes, imagining himself wrapped in ice until he was outwardly as calm as ever, although it was some time before he trusted himself to move. When he did, he picked up the clothes, folded them neatly and replaced them in the chest. No point making extra work for the servants. It wasn't their fault his things had been taken, or if it was, then Alexander was sure they'd only been obeying orders.

He picked up a chair, carried it over to his bedroom door and wedged it under the handle. It wouldn't keep people out for long, but it would give him some warning if anyone decided to come in.

That done, he went over to the closet and opened it. It had taken him a lot of patient maneuvering but at last he'd been able to pry up the bottom, providing him with a small hiding place. He knew the royals would be aware of his under-the-bed stash; that was nothing more than a decoy.

He lifted out a piece of bread that had been wrapped in oilcloth to keep it fresh and a slab of mutton that was as thick as the bread itself, put the mutton on the bread and proceeded to enjoy his daily meal. Luckily the cook didn't ask questions and, so long as Alexander kept his requests fairly simple, was happy to oblige.

Hunger satisfied, Alexander lay down on his bed and picked up the book he'd been reading from his nightstand, settling in for some good reading. The book in question – A Concise Description of Ruling Families in the Eastern Three – was one Valanice had insisted he read, all about the ruling families in the Eastern Three, that group of continents several days' sail from Daventry. Although Alexander hadn't been impressed by the plain cover or the fact that the book was some six inches thick and only readable if he lay on his stomach, it was very well written for such a dry subject, citing interviews with people who had met the families or worked for them, personal anecdotes and memoirs, making for a surprisingly good read.

He didn't know how long he lay there absorbed in tales of places like Aruatoll and Al-Muradhi, only that he was rudely interrupted by the sound of someone attempting to open his bedroom door.

"Alexander?" Graham's voice came from outside. "Open the door."

For a moment Alexander was tempted to ignore him, then he pushed himself to his feet with a sigh. It was getting a bit too dark to read easily and he'd have to light the lamp. He might as well open the door at the same time. Agree with everything Graham said and he'd be left alone again.

He pulled the door away and opened the door. Graham was standing outside but made no move to come in.

"Why didn't you come to dinner?" he asked.

The few hours of reading had calmed Alexander to the point where he didn't have to fight to keep his voice neutral as he replied, "I wasn't hungry, Your Majesty."

Graham winced as though the last two words were physically painful. "You weren't at breakfast or lunch either."

"I wasn't aware anyone particularly required my presence, Sire. Had I known, I would have remained here instead of going out."

Graham took a deep breath, held it for a few seconds, then let it out slowly.

"Alexander, come with me. We need to talk."

Next part
« Last Edit: 04 Oct 2017, 18:19 by JudasFm »

Baron

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  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Split posting really is the way to go.  It's liberating in an artistic, Jackson-Pollock-meets-Lost kinda way.  I recommend all entrants try it.:=

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:

   You decide to relaunch your failed bid to activate the temporal disruption ray.  Last time you got so far as siring a super race of sonic death blob-fishes before chronotonic instabilities brought the whole paradox crashing down.  The melt-down convergence of realities would have surely destroyed your whole castle-lair-place if not for your quick-thinking use of your handy toilet plunger to send the fiery paradox slushing around the galactic plumbing down in the anti-matter spectrum.  Sure, it'd probably gurgle back up eventually to overflow your entire dimension with chronodoxical half-nonsense and various other meta-corporeal fluids, but by that time you figure you can recklessly set loose an even bigger, nastier paradox to kick its ass.

   You start fiddling with some of the more deadly phase inverters in your doodad drawer when you hear an ominous clunking sound coming from the spawning chamber above.  Uh oh!  It sounds like you might have accidentally rammed the wrong power adaptor into Mrs. Baron's universal serial port, thereby hyper-charging her.  You hate it when that happens!

    Past experience dictates that you have only moments before she bursts upon you in full erotic death-lust.  Last time she tried to surgically impregnate you with her eggs and suspend you upside down in the sprouting chamber as food for her writhing proto-spawn.  You only barely managed to escape by feigning a headache and escaping down the main bilge duct.  But by the sounds of it she's now juiced to the nines, so that trick might not work again.  Throwing caution to the wind you activate the temporal disruption ray and hope for the best!

Turn to post 18.

« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2017, 04:17 by Baron »

Sinitrena

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An Experiment in Consciousness



When I wake up, it is still dark around me. I feel confused, not knowing where I am, though I should be used to it by now. How often was it? A hundred times? A thousand? I don‘t know. I only care to be angry. And I keep quiet all the same. I can‘t change it. I can‘t do anything.

As a matter of fact, I can‘t move. I‘ve learned this a long time ago. It is not the total darkness that keeps me still. It is just the way it is. For now, I am nothing but a statue.

If I could feel the world around me, there would be nothing yet. No furniture, no nature, no people. I‘m standing on nothing. Not on empty air. Air would be something.

Why can‘t I move? Because it‘s not time yet. I know the presence of the interface more than I can see or even feel it. It is there, right there in front of my unseeing eyes, pressed against my very being, somehow even wrapped around my body that is still a mere thought.

When the light comes, it comes with all the features of my world, the background and the objects. Suddenly I notice the weight of my backpack and start to remember all the contents of my inventory.

I look around. My eyes are allowed to move. It was always like that; only eyes and mind really seem to belong to me. Otherwise I am a willing slave and my master has all the control.

Where am I? And when? These two are intertwined, of course. Some rooms I enter more than once in the course of the story but many are only used once. I never understood why my world had to be so empty.

I stand in a corridor. The door behind me is open, the one in front is closed. Locked, of course. I know this, my master probably does not. At least, I’m fairly sure he never remembers. To the left of me is a wall and to the right is the nothingness I fear more than anything else. Unlike the darkness that reaches me when my world springs to life, this nothingness is white. And that is the only way to describe it. It is white and bright and eternal and I want to run away from it. There, somewhere behind this light, is someone who controls every step I take, when and if I speak, though not the words. The words, the dialog was given to me by...

The eye is on the door and my head snaps around. The click runs through my whole body. It forces me to see, it forces me to remember, it forces me to speak.

“This is the door to the laboratory. There’s probably an experiment going on right now.”

Probably, as if I don’t know everything about it. After all, I’ve lived through this a thousand times.

Before I can think much more, the cursor changes to a hand and my feet force me forward. My hand touches the door, just brushing past it, because this is all the protest I can achieve.

“It seems the door is locked. That usually means an experiment is on progress.” I just said this!

The master forces me to look around some more. There is nothing here, of course. I could have told him that, but nobody ever asks me. Nobody cares if I want to be here. I’m supposed to save my daughter from an evil scientist, but I know that I won’t succeed. I know that she dies and there’s only revenge left for me. I know that I will open this stupid door just when the scientist presses the button and the chemicals explode. They both die and I am thrown back. The politician who ordered the experiment is still alive and I can take my revenge on him. Again and again.

The first time, I was devastated. I screamed, not just on the outside, as the game made me do, but on the inside. I couldn’t think for weeks and months afterwards.

Now, there is nothing. I feel nothing. Maybe I am bored. That’s all that is left to feel for the death of my daughter. It’s not even emptiness and shock. Not even that. All that would tell me that I am, that I am real, that she was real, but the nothingness just reminds me that I’m nothing but pixels.

“The door is locked.” I told you already, you idiot.

I hadn’t even noticed that he made me try the door again. It’s been so long since I cared, that I did more than going through the motions.

If only I could break out of this routine, but I can’t. I tried. I swear I tried.

“That doesn’t work.” Why the fuck do you think that would work?

Putting a broom against a metal door – I’ve seen this before too. I think I’ve seen everything before. No stupid idea, no unusual combination of items could still surprise me.

And now he’s looking around for a key and I repeat myself over and over again. I’m sure I said this all before, not just in other saves but in this as well. And yes, putting my daughter’s photo against the microscope is certainly a bright idea. What do you hope to find, a secret code? It’s a fucking photo I fucking took when she was two and playing in her sandbox, you brain-dead, head-amputated moron. Stop playing around with the only thing I’ll have left of her once you get this stupid door open.

I hardly notice when he finally finds the right solution to the puzzle. I doubt he thought it through. He was just wildly clicking on everything. Maybe he was frustrated. I hope he was frustrated. Maybe he hates the game now. Maybe he’ll turn it off and never play again. One can hope, right? Right. As if.

He hides me behind the door when the assistant leaves the room. So maybe he did think it through. Whatever. The sooner we get this over with, the better. And luckily, it is now time for the cut-scene. In the past, I hated it. It was the death of my daughter and I have even less agency than at other times.

“An experiment in consciousness!” the scientist cries – I always thought he was overly dramatic and stereotypical – and spreads his arms wide.

I stand there, frozen in shock, or so I am supposed to. In truth, I just stand there, because someone decided I should not move during this scene. Why would a mother run up to her kidnapped child or to the frail old man who kidnapped her? That’s a stupid notion. No, I mother just stands there and waits while the evil scientist monologues and strolls over to the button that will change her life forever.

And not in the way people think. As I said, I’ve long stopped caring about my daughter’s death.

“I create life. I create knowledge. I create a mind where there is none. I give awareness to those who are not, who think not...”

At first I thought these were just the usual ramblings of a madman. As I said, he is very stereotypical with his white lab-coat, the Albert-Einstein-hair and the thick glasses sitting askew on his nose. But then I realized, that the first time I saw this scene was also the first time I started to think instead of just doing as I was told.

How?, I scream, but my words stay in my head. They always do. A mind alone is not enough. And I’m still missing a voice.

I want to cry but of course I can’t. And so another chance to find an answer passes me by.

I hardly notice when the player brings up the save-load-GUI just seconds later. It’s visible to me in a sort of hazy bar in front of the nothingness that is the fourth wall. I shudder as the game is saved.

I fall into unconsciousness as it is closed.

Baron

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  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
All these submissions make me think that I really should get started on continuing my introductory sentence.... (roll)

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:

     Seething at your correspondent's ill-refined sense of hue and saturation, you quickly type out some block-cap words that a greater man than you might come to regret.  You are on the verge of pressing send when a small, fluttery sensation holds you back.  What is that?  Conscience?  You're pretty sure you had that excised back in '98 along with that nasty three pronged growth on your inner thigh....  No, wait.  Operation Fuzzy Pickle!  You'd almost forgotten that you need to keep in Ponch's good graces in case you need to activate him as a sleeper agent.  You wouldn't want all that low-res subliminal hypnosis to go to waste....

   Blast!  You decide you'll just have to swallow this one, like a bitter pill of cadmium and brussel sprout juice.  Maybe it would be for the best if you just took a break.  You could kick your shoes off and graft some implants down in the sprouting chamber, or maybe you could squeeze some more soylent blue out of one of the mimes you have harnessed to the back-up reactor for a bit of a midnight snack....

   Before you can decisively end a paragraph with a solid period your cavernous layer is rocked by an earth-shattering luminescence.  WTF?!?  It had better not be another planetary invasion by that god-like alien race of Sentient Plasma Hiccoughs....  Last time it took two solid days working the phase-vac and the squishemizer to get them bottled up.  Come to think of it, where did you leave those highly-radioactive, highly-unstable re-purposed soda bottles?  But this seems more like a temporal distortion anomaly than a pan-dimensional phase portal anyway.  Curious, you to investigate.

Turn to post 18.

« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2017, 04:18 by Baron »

Mandle

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Wow, Sinitrena, your story was amazing!

I really felt trapped in the role of the cEgo as she

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
played out again and again her tragic role. I really hoped she could smash through the white wall and take back control of her life. But it was not to be. I felt some shades of Groundhog Day as well, which is never a bad thing.

AWESOME STORY!

Baron

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[This space reserved for a FWC entry coming in a day or two]

This was six days ago.  I'm worried that Ponch is too awesome to follow through on this one.  Maybe we should stage a Texan-style intervention with square dancing and Indian arm burns? (nod)

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:

   You jump on your emergency ultra pogo-stick and bounce merrily to freedom, cackling maniacally as you do so.  Buwuhahahhahahaha!!  Now there is the smoggy glow of sunrise on the horizon, and the rays of a new dawn fill your brooding soul with hope for the future.  Mayhaps you were unable to bring the world to heel this wretched night, but your day will come.  One day you will be victorious in your quest to dominate a loosely affiliated retro-gaming society on the internet, and through them the entire human race!  Biding your time you bounce merrily along, bouncing and biding, biding and bouncing, into the happy brilliance of a new beginning.

You are awesome!  The end

« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2017, 04:19 by Baron »

JudasFm

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My entry is finally done! I was going to do another part with Graham and Valanice, but I ran out of time. Again, sorry but I had to split the post as it went over the character limit.

Part 4: Evening/Late Night

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
Alexander didn't budge. "Where are we going?"

Graham regarded his son for a few moments before answering quietly, "Not to the chopping block, if that's what you're frightened of. Or the gallows, or the stake, or to anywhere that could be considered remotely dangerous to you."

Still his son didn't move. "Does this place have a dungeon?"

Graham sighed. "Alexander, if I really wanted to throw you in the dungeon, I'd call the guards and have them do just that. Except I wouldn't, because I don't do that kind of thing. But if you really want to know then yes, there are two dungeons in this castle but no one can find the key for one of them and the other one is full of cheese. We don't solve problems that way in Daventry. To tell you the truth, a king from the Eastern Three sent me a matching pair of thumbscrews as a coronation gift and we use them for cracking nuts."

Alexander backed off half a step. "As in, the edible kind?"

"Yes. Come on." Graham turned and walked away, leaving Alexander to follow him as he led the way through the castle and up onto the ramparts.

Nobody else was there. Graham had made sure of that. If Alexander wouldn't speak to him in private, he certainly wouldn't want to do it in front of witnesses.

There was a click as Alexander shut the door behind him and stood in front of it, waiting.

Graham moved over to the edge, looking out on the countryside beneath him.

"It's a nice view from here."

Alexander didn't move away from the wall. "I'll take your word for it, Sire."

Did his own son really have such a low opinion of him? Graham would have been the first to admit things weren't going as well between them as he hoped, but did Alexander seriously believe that his father was displeased enough to kill him? That he would even consider such a thing? Or maybe he was reading too much into this. Maybe Alexander was simply afraid of heights.

The casual approach obviously wasn't working. Graham turned around to face his son, both of them illuminated by the torches flickering on the walls.

"How are you? And Alexander, if you say you're fine then I probably will throw you off the roof!"

Alexander shrugged. "Good, then."

Graham sighed. "You're not fine, you're not good and we both know it. Now why don't we start again: how are you?"

So it was to be that game, Alexander thought. Manannan had sometimes done something similar, where Alexander had faced severe punishment if he didn't tell the wizard what he was expecting to hear.

"Why don't you tell me? You've obviously picked out the answer for yourself, you don't need me to give it to you."

Graham looked at his son for a long, long time. At last he said, "Alright, I will. You're jumping at shadows, you clearly don't trust anyone in this castle and your one thought seems to be to get as far away from us as you can for as long as you can. Am I wrong?"

Alexander didn't reply.

"Alexander, I want you to do something for me. I'm going to ask you a question and when I do, I don't want you to think about the answer. I don't want you to worry about how I might react. I want you to say the first thing that comes into your head." Seeing Alexander shift away slightly, Graham added, "You won't be punished for doing so, whatever you might say. Alright?"

Alexander stared at him for a moment, then nodded slowly.

"Good. What do you want to do?"

"I want to leave Daventry!"

Graham closed his eyes slowly, leaning against the wall for support. The truth really did hurt, even when you were expecting it.

"I see," he said very quietly.

He opened his eyes to see Alexander looking rather shell-shocked. He supposed it was the first time his son had ever succeeded in voicing a wish or opinion of his own.

"You—" Alexander coughed, cleared his throat and tried again. "You should get back inside, Your Majesty. It's late and you have a meeting with that ambassador tomorrow."

"Damn the ambassador! Alexander, if you tell me how you feel – really tell me – maybe we can work on a solution together."

"I don't think you have any interest in how I feel, Sire."

Graham swallowed back his knee-jerk protest with an enormous effort, instead striving for a calm tone as he asked, "What makes you say that?"

"Since I came back, I've lost my clothes, my magic items; even my damn name! Everything I had that you could take from me, you took! Everywhere I turn, it's the same damn thing: do this, don't do that, we control your movements, your clothes, your name, everything you're allowed to have or not have must be cleared with us first!" Alexander struggled to stop the words spilling from his lips, failed and finally let them flow out of him unhindered. If he was going to be punished for insolence, he might as well deserve it. "I'm no freer here than I was in Llewdor. Train Alexander up, make him say what we want, act like we want, wear what we want and live the life we want. I'll say this much for Manannan; he may have considered me no more than a slave to serve his ends, but at least he was honest about it! All these years, you've had some mental image of what kind of man I'd grow into, and you and your wife are put out because the real thing is different. You can dress it up in any kind of fancy words and excuses you like, but that's what it boils down to." Alexander shook his head. "Manannan was right. The last thing he said to me before I left was you'll never be a prince. You've been a pauper too long. The moment I came back it was all parades in my honor, stick my face on a coin, formal dinners, etiquette lessons, get ready to take over the throne and be a noble, courteous prince, but none of you ever bothered to ask me what I wanted."

"Then I'll ask you now, although from your words, I think I already know what your answer will be." Graham's voice was heavy. "What do you want?"

Alexander didn't hesitate. "To be left alone. To be allowed to enjoy the freedom I worked so hard and risked so much to earn, without being hounded about this point of etiquette or that one. Let Rosella find a good, solid prince, let the two of them inherit the throne after you've gone, and let me go."

Graham forced himself not to look away from his son as he answered very quietly, "Alright."

Judging from the shock that darted across Alexander's face, it had never once occurred to him that Graham might say yes.

"If you really want to go that badly, then go," Graham said. "You're not a prisoner, and I'm sorry if we ever made you feel like you were. You don't have to worry; I won't come after you."

Alexander smiled, the bitterest smile Graham had ever seen.

"Tell me something I don't know."

"Where will you go? Back to Llewdor?"

Alexander didn't answer his father, just looked at him.

Graham sighed. "Very well. But I hope you don't believe me capable of kidnapping you, whatever else you think of me. And you can come back whenever you want. There won't be any attention or ceremony, you can just walk in like you're coming home from a stroll."

"Yeah." Alexander looked away and Graham knew with that one simple act that it was truly over, that he'd waited too long to have this conversation and his son would never return to Daventry. "Well. Anyway."

Graham shook his head slowly. "Where did it go wrong? When did we lose you?"

A cold, bitter look flashed through Alexander's eyes. "About seventeen years ago. Or had you forgotten?"

"You know what I mean."

Alexander shrugged. "You didn't lose me, Your Majesty. You never had me."

"You never let me have you. If I've been at arms' length from you, Alexander, it's only because you've been doing everything in your power to keep me there."

Silence descended, Alexander shifting his weight in an I know you're right but... manner.

"You can go by the road. I'll stop the guards or anyone coming after you. And I'll make sure the patrols don't interfere – not that they would have anyway – but I want you to do something for me in return."

Alexander curled his lip. "What might that be? Leave by a so-called secret route where you just happen to have hidden your best men?"

"Come back in a year. Not to live here, not if you don't want to, but you'll be able to see your family through new eyes. Maybe it won't be so bad. Come back in a year, stay for a month and if you still feel like you do now, you can leave again. If you want to stay on or come back again later for good, you can." Graham risked taking a step forward and then, when Alexander didn't react, another one. "Go away for a year, go wherever you want to go, do whatever you want to do. Then come back and give us another chance. I meant what I said; there'll be no fanfares, or if you come back earlier, no I-told-you-sos. I can give you that much, at least."

There was a new look in Alexander's eyes as he stared at his father, a vulnerable look, as though he were a child who had been punished for something he hadn't done.

Graham suddenly realized he'd never once hugged Alexander after that first joyful reunion. He wanted to now – more than anything, he wanted to take his son in his arms and hold him tightly until all the pain in the boy's eyes was finally gone – but it was out of the question. In Alexander's world, physical contact had only ever resulted in pain, and to force the issue would likely prove counterproductive, possibly even dangerous.

"Do you still want to leave?" he asked.

Alexander nodded.

"Alright. When? You should at least say goodbye to your mother and sister."

Alexander hesitated. "Tomorrow, then. Before the dinner with the ambassador. At least that way I won't embarrass the family."

"You have never been an embarrassment to us. Ever. And if that's why you're going, because you think we're disappointed in you, then you're very wrong."

Alexander tightened his lips and turned his head away. "With all the criticisms your beloved wife heaped on my head, you could have fooled me."

Even though Alexander had a valid point, loyalty to Valanice kept Graham from agreeing with him. Instead all he said was, "Tomorrow, then. That should give you enough time to get prepared. If you still want to do this, that is. You might feel different after a good night's sleep."

Alexander studied his father for a long time, unsure whether or not he was being honest, then nodded once, slowly.

"Agreed."

Graham nodded back, his face calm and betraying no hint of the pain inside. He couldn't give his son back his childhood, but at the very least, he could give him his freedom.

"Shall we go inside, then?"

Alexander shook his head. "You go ahead. It's a nice evening. I'd quite like to stay out for a while. Maybe take in that nice view you mentioned."

He walked over to the parapet, leaning on it as he looked out over Daventry. Not wanting to push things any further, still cherishing a faint hope that Alexander might yet change his mind and decide to stay after all, Graham went back inside, giving his son the privacy he so obviously wanted.

Alone, Alexander's hand strayed into his shirt. There was one spell he had that nobody knew about, purely because he'd made it earlier that morning and hadn't got around to putting it in that chest yet.

Time to go.

When Graham went back up to the roof a few hours later to see if his son wanted any food before going to bed, he found it deserted. On the ground was a shattered flask, and in the air the scent of saffron and rose petal essence.

(Quick explanation of the end for all those who never played KQ3:
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
One of the spells Alexander/Gwydion learns is one that enables him to turn into an eagle or a fly. The ingredients are saffron (easy to come by in a royal kitchen) rose petal essence (likely used as a fragrance by either Rosella or Valanice) an eagle feather and fly wings. In other words, rather than wait until the next morning and risk being stopped, Alexander simply turned himself into an eagle and flew away

Baron

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I'm half done, but I'm so swamped right now with work.  I could have it in if you'll give me Friday night.

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:

   You are so tired after a long night on the road.  These misadventures are murderous at your age.  Oh man, and there's that writing contest thingy that you've been putting off.  What is it, like 4 am?  Gah!  Maybe they'll give you another extension.  You reluctantly hit the post button and slink off to bed.  Yaaaaaaaaaawn.

You are a lazy prat.  The end!

« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2017, 04:20 by Baron »

JudasFm

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All these submissions make me think that I really should get started on continuing my introductory sentence.... (roll)

I know I'm on the edge of my seat (laugh) It reminds me of the Three Word Story forum game
 :P

Mandle

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I'm half done, but I'm so swamped right now with work.  I could have it in if you'll give me Friday night.

Done!

Ponch

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*

Baron

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  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Bah, I'm still not done.  And I'm drunk.  This is like the first contest I've missed in three years.  It was bound to happen sooner or later.  It's enough to drive a fellow to drink.... :=

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:

   You decide to call for a tow-truck.  Despite the state-of-the-art weapons and propulsion systems, the Baronmobile has by comparison an extremely primitive communications system.  Mindful of the honking of passersby you reluctantly hook your telegraph wire up to the nearest road-side cable and attempt to broadcast an all-channel TMW (Tow My Wreck).  Patiently you wait for a response from the network, vaguely aware of a gathering crowd of gangsta-looking fellows down the street.  Alarmingly they seem to be setting off semi-automatic fireworks and moving in your direction.

   You consider hiding in the blast-proof cocoon of the Baronmobile, safe from all danger in its steel and nano-tube womb.  Or you could make a dash for it on your emergency utra pogo-stick.  Decide fast: they are coming!

If you decide to hide in the Baronmobile, turn to post 25.

If you decide to cut and run on your emergency ultra pogo-stick, turn to post 31

« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2017, 04:20 by Baron »

Mandle

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Bah, I'm still not done.  And I'm drunk.  This is like the first contest I've missed in three years.  It was bound to happen sooner or later.  It's enough to drive a fellow to drink.... :=

Meh, let's just extend the deadline over the weekend until Monday. We can't have a FWC without teh Baron!

(And also I've found the time, inspiration, and motivation to complete my own entry)

Let's party like it's 1995!!!

JudasFm

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Meh, let's just extend the deadline over the weekend until Monday. We can't have a FWC without teh Baron!

(And also I've found the time, inspiration, and motivation to complete my own entry)

Let's party like it's 1995!!!

Great, that means I can write my final epilogue too :D

Mandle

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Awesome...

I've also just updated my own story above.

It is finished. Not quite the ending I had imagined at the start of writing it but stories sometimes write their own endings.

EDIT:

And I just finished reading Ponch's story which was amazing! So many laughs over the inventive bad language and trying to guess who wa... and then it wa... HILARIOUS!!!
« Last Edit: 07 Oct 2017, 10:07 by Mandle »

Ponch

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And I just finished reading Ponch's story which was amazing!
:cheesy: Thanks! As soon as I get home, since the contest is open for a while longer, I'm going to fix a couple of typos. I swear, one day in the future an autocomplete related misunderstanding is going to bring about the end of the world.
*

Baron

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It's Canadian Thanksgiving right now, so I won't be properly sober until Monday.  If you can hold the contest open until then, I can have my story done, I swear! (nod)

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:

   Donning your black cloak of haunting evilness, you tip toe with your tire iron over to the upturned hotrod.  The occupants inside are cursing something at you, but their voices are muffled by the traffic that nonchalantly swerves to either side.  Quickly you pop off the hubcap and start cranking on the lug nuts.

    Flashing lights draw your attention.  Uh oh, it's the fuzz!  Luckily you already have what you need.  Surreptitiously leaving a hologram of a doughnut with long sexy legs on the bumper to distract the cops, you steal away into the darkness with your prize. 
   
   Fast as lightning you find the jack out of the Baronmobile's trunk and swap the wheels.  The new one is a bit small, but it should do until you get back to your lair.  You're back on the road, baby!  Hopping inside once more you hit the gas, wobbling unevenly off into the night.

Turn to post 33

« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2017, 04:21 by Baron »

Ponch

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It's Canadian Thanksgiving right now, so I won't be properly sober until Monday.
Canadian Thanksgiving? (wtf) I don't know. It all sounds awfully made up to me. A likely excuse, if you ask me. I'd be careful if I were you, Mandle. (nod)
*

Mandle

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It's Canadian Thanksgiving right now, so I won't be properly sober until Monday.
Canadian Thanksgiving? (wtf) I don't know. It all sounds awfully made up to me. A likely excuse, if you ask me. I'd be careful if I were you, Mandle. (nod)

I LOOKED IT UP!!! It's true!!!

FROM WIKIPEDIA:
On Canadian Thanksgiving weekend everyone in the entire country wanders the streets saying "Thanks" to any person they happen to pass by. It kinda resembles a very polite zombie movie.

How this is different from any other day in Canada I'm not sure, but they seem to enjoy it.

Extension granted!

Ponch

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How this is different from any other day in Canada I'm not sure, but they seem to enjoy it.
The other days of the year, Canadians say "sorry" to everyone they meet.
*

Baron

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Well, I got there in the end.  I haven't done any proofreading or link-testing or anything, but I think I got it all up and posted.  Now it's off to bed: tomorrow's a work day! :=

To begin your adventure, turn to Post 12

Mandle

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Oh, Baron, you sly one!!!

What you have just pulled off undercover is amazing! I haven't played/read the story yet but WOW! just WOW!!! for the sneaky format you obviously planned since day one!

I'm so glad we waited for this!

Baron

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Well, I am known for my diabolical scheming.... (roll)

Mandle

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Sorry guys, I had planned to close this today but got hit with 3 different shitty diapers of stress in RL today so I'm gonna just hit the sack. Too drained to think.

I will close it tomorrow.

Mandle

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VOTING TIME!

This round I have decided to just keep voting on the stories simple:

Please choose your top 3 stories.

All regular categories like "Best Writing, Best World Building, Best Use Of The Theme, etc." may still apply in your choices. That's up to you. Just mention your reasons in a comment if you wish your vote to be known for these categories, or for any other reason(s).

Every story selected will receive an equal vote point as per usual.

The stories are (in order of appearance) :

Day Of The Funeral by Mandle.

Prison Without Walls by JudasFm.

Lost In The Baron by Baron.

His Stories by Ponch.

An Experiment in Consciousness by Sinitrena.

Please vote using the name of the story.

Please be sure to read all the entries before voting!

Voting deadline is until Wednesday, October 18th (some stories are quite long and/or replayable it seems).

(Trophies coming soon)
« Last Edit: 12 Oct 2017, 09:35 by Mandle »

JudasFm

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Does this mean we're voting for your story as well, Mandle, even though you're the organizer? I'm confused ???

Mandle

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Does this mean we're voting for your story as well, Mandle, even though you're the organizer? I'm confused ???

Yeah, I updated an earlier post in this thread to include this:

Quote
EDIT 2: Actually, screw you, last-month-myself! Present-right-now-myself put a lot of effort into his story! I'm just going to enter my own contest even as host! If anyone has an issue with that then just don't vote for my story. :P

I didn't start writing my entry before the contest started, nor did I have any ideas in mind.

And it's more interesting to have 5 stories instead of 4 I feel.

Also, with 5 stories and 3 votes nobody will be snubbing only one person and feeling bad about that either.

But, yeah, like I said: If any issues with this choice then no need to voice them. Just don't vote for me. Hell knows I won't be :-D
« Last Edit: 12 Oct 2017, 11:30 by Mandle »

Mandle

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(This post resevered for my own continued reviews and voting)

Lost In The Baron
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
Well, I've just played through read Baron's entry twice and: The awesome genius of how this entry was preplanned in its structure, set up, and disguised at first as a joke entry, is only eclipsed by the actual wonderincredifulbleness of the finished product!

The story itself has two different levels on which it could be taken, but I think I prefer the latter one.

(I did have a weird dejavu flash at one point of the villain of this tale all wrapped up in a blanket shivering on a couch and complaining about the Canadian weather, but that can probably be ignored by Mandle as a figment of Ross' imagination.)


JudasFm

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Just don't vote for me. Hell knows I won't be :-D

Well, voting for yourself would be a bit strange (laugh)

Anyway, here are my votes:

1st Place: An Experiment in Consciousness. I loved the original take on the prompt; it was very cleverly done :)
2nd Place: Day Of The Funeral I was really torn over whether you or Baron should get second place, but this one just squeaked in for me
3rd Place: Lost In The Baron The idea was clever but even after replaying it, there didn't seem to be much of a cohesive story tying it together, which is why it came in third for me :)
« Last Edit: 12 Oct 2017, 14:01 by JudasFm »

Mandle

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  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
The voting process doesn't require that you pick a 1st, 2nd, 3rd place by the way.

It's fine if you do so of course, but all votes will be counted as equal in the final tally.

This is just my experimental way of perhaps loosey-gooseying the categories for voting. I suspect some voters might have been fudging their comments to wedge their votes into particular slots just so they got to vote for their favorite top 3-4 stories each round.

I know I have :-[

My experimental three-vote system allows for voters to place any story into any traditional category they like (via their comment) as in:

(Best Related To Theme: I really liked the way this story matched exactly with the theme of this FWC round)

but doesn't force them to say something like:

(Best Writing: I voted for this story because I felt the line "That's not a knife!" in XXXXXX's story about kitchen utensils coming to life was awesome!)

When what they really wanted to do was just vote for a story they had enjoyed but had to find an excuse to put their vote into a particular category.

Not saying anybody has to use my system in the future, and perhaps a bit further down the line it could be used in conjuction with traditional voting slots being offered as suggestions, but for now I felt that everyone pretty much knows the traditional slots and can use, or not use, them as they please.


JudasFm

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The voting process doesn't require that you pick a 1st, 2nd, 3rd place by the way.

It's fine if you do so of course, but all votes will be counted as equal in the final tally.

To be honest, I wasn't thinking of categories when I voted; these were just the three stories I enjoyed most ;)
« Last Edit: 12 Oct 2017, 14:40 by JudasFm »

Mandle

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  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
The voting process doesn't require that you pick a 1st, 2nd, 3rd place by the way.

It's fine if you do so of course, but all votes will be counted as equal in the final tally.

To be honest, I wasn't thinking of categories when I voted; these were just the three stories I enjoyed most ;)

Yes, and that's fine as well under this experimental voting system*

*that nobody ever has to use ever again if they don't like it, or can develop further, or not.

Baron

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  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
To be honest, I don't know about this new voting system. ;)

I remember, as the grand old man of this particular competition board (except for Ponch, who is sometimes grander and always older, but I digress), that this idea of contest adminstrators entering came up back in '15.  I forget whose idea it was, but he was a spry young buck with an impressively tall pickelhaube spike and a mischievous glint in his monocle.  I think in the end the consensus of the writing regulars was inconclusive. ;-D

JudasFm

  • Zlang-Zlang Squid Says: Screw you, Photobucket!
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To be honest, I don't know about this new voting system. ;)

I remember, as the grand old man of this particular competition board (except for Ponch, who is sometimes grander and always older, but I digress), that this idea of contest adminstrators entering came up back in '15.  I forget whose idea it was, but he was a spry young buck with an impressively tall pickelhaube spike and a mischievous glint in his monocle.  I think in the end the consensus of the writing regulars was inconclusive. ;-D

Personally I've no problem with admins entering, but I don't think they should be allowed to win twice in a row (though I'm speaking as someone who likes hosting a whole lot more than participating, so I'm probably biased (laugh) ) or get their own trophies ;)

Ponch

  • AGS Baker
  • Boo!
    • Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
    •  
  • Ponch worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Best Use of Traditional Wall of Text: Sinitrena
Special Achievement in Post Editing: Baron
Meritorious Effort in Serialization: JudasFM

Well done, everyone! :cool:
*

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I think in the end the consensus of the writing regulars was inconclusive. ;-D

But whoever posted that hilarious "wiggle room" picture obviously has a very high IQ, at least in the triple figures!!!

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Trophies are done!

The first-place trophy is a pristine, still-in-the-box, mint-condition edition of Zork I!!!



The second-place trophy is a first-hand Zork II edition, but one which someone unfortunately partially opened to sneak a peek inside:



The third-place trophy is a pre-loved edition of Zork III that the previous owner had the gall to not only completely open, but also to actually take out all the feelies and fondle them many times over:


Ponch

  • AGS Baker
  • Boo!
    • Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
    •  
  • Ponch worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!

Damn, I miss feelies. :sad:

Nice trophies, Mandle!
*

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Damn, I miss feelies. :sad:

The deluxe boxed edition of "Chronicle Of Innsmouth" has some quite nice ones.

(The box also contains the actual CD that has the game on it. The floppy-disc has something interesting on it for anyone who still has the ability to boot it ;) )

I was talking with the author on the phone last night. He's recently gotten back from a game expo in Milan where he had a table to present the game.

He told me that Tim Schafer stopped by for a look and so he gifted him a free boxed copy.

Tim Schafer looked at the game screen picture on the back and said something like "Heh, nice verbs!". (laugh)

Frodo

  • Welcome down... to my Planet Hell!

Damn, I miss feelies. :sad:


Tales Of Monkey Island Deluxe is amazing!  :grin:
It has cloth map, coaster, badge, and coin.  And the whole thing is stored in a treasure chest!  :cheesy:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Monkey-Island-Collectors-DVD/dp/B004GHMRR2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1508040989&sr=8-1&keywords=tales+of+monkey+island+box

kconan

  • After⇐---—---⇒Before
1st Place - Ponch
2nd Place - Baron
3rd Place - Sinitrena

The thread itself is a writing competition.  Good entries all around, and those Zork trophies are nice!

Sinitrena

  • Mittens Serf
    • I can help with translating
    •  
I must say, I'm a bit disappointed. A topic with such potential and we end up with three out of five stories that are basically fanfiction? I'm not saying fanfiction is bad or a less valid genre, just that the topic was open for far more crazy ideas.

That said, the writing in all of the stories was top notch. Of special note must be how in-character Berneard, Lavarne and Hoagie feel in Mandle's Maniac Mansion story and how well JudasFm explaines the backstory for people not familiar with the games. These are two of the elements that come into play in fanfiction: Characters must be true to the original and you have to explain everything to people not familiar with the original without boring those who are. So again, well done on these two points.

Mandle: I really enjoyed the different perspectives the three characters offered for the things that happened. Only real critique I have is that it was cut a bit short. It feels like the beginning of a story; slightly incomplete.

JudasFm: Very well written. The only thing I missed was a bit of foreshadowing for the end. You do mention at one point that the cooks don't ask questions when Alexander asks for stuff, so why not also mention that he asked for saffron? Why not have Rosella wondering at one point where her perfume is? Why not say that Alexander picked up a feather during his walk in the morning? It would probably mean something for people familiar enough with the games without really giving anything away. Also, a very small nitpick: "But if you really want to know then yes, there are two dungeons in this castle but no one can find the key for one of them and the other one is full of cheese. We don't solve problems that way in Daventry." That is a very stupid idea and speaks very bad of Daventry. Every country everywhere and at all times has some kind of crime. Not using the dungeon implies that they deal diffrently with criminals and there really aren't that many options: Maiming, execution, ect. And it also usually means that sentences are passed out without a proper court of law - this stuff takes time and what do you do with the suspect until then. Alright, I assume you didn't mean it like that and the cities have prisons and th castle's dungeons are just not used. ;) As I said, nitpicking.

Ponch: Your story was way less serious, of course, but it was good fun to read. Unfortunately, I've never even heard of the game it was based on before, but I read a few reviews to give me some context. The idea that Yoda just makes up stories and quests for Luke to get rid of him was hillarious. Thank you for some good laughs.

Baron: Not one of your better stories, unfortunately. It felt slightly disconnected. The parts didn't fit together as well as they could have. And you managed to do the one thing I hate most of all in choose-your-own-adventures: You offered me a course of action and then didn't allow me to actually take it: If you smite your colour-blind foe with words of shock and awe, turn to post 29 and then Seething at your correspondent's ill-refined sense of hue and saturation, you quickly type out some block-cap words that a greater man than you might come to regret.  You are on the verge of pressing send when a small, fluttery sensation holds you back.  What is that?  Conscience? [...] Blast!  You decide you'll just have to swallow this one, like a bitter pill of cadmium and brussel sprout juice. Kudos, though, for being creative and absurd, or creatively absurd.

Votes:
1.: JudasFm
2.: Mandle
3.: Ponch

Despite my vote for Mandle, I'm still of the opinion that the competition admin should not enter the competition.

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
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  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
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    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
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    • I can help with voice acting
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  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Also, a very small nitpick: "But if you really want to know then yes, there are two dungeons in this castle but no one can find the key for one of them and the other one is full of cheese. We don't solve problems that way in Daventry." That is a very stupid idea and speaks very bad of Daventry. Every country everywhere and at all times has some kind of crime. Not using the dungeon implies that they deal diffrently with criminals and there really aren't that many options: Maiming, execution, ect. And it also usually means that sentences are passed out without a proper court of law....

Let's get to the crux of the problem here: Graham, likeable as he is as a guy, is really quite a crummy king.  He gets so obsessed with helping individuals and being nice that he misses the broader picture and avoids the hard choices for the greater good.  Instead of governing he's off gallivanting in the tropical islands.  Instead of hunting down the pickpockets and thieves that seem to plague his realm he's off treasure hunting.  Basically he's a feudal Jimmy Carter. :=

Votes:

JudasFM.  I got really into the story.  I'd played the AGD Kings Quest 2 Remake like a decade ago, but have never played KQ3.  But thanks to your story I looked it up and downloaded the AGD version.  I thought you did a good job developing the antagonism between the teenager and his dad.  My beef would be that the Queen seemed a bit flat, but I get that the true story revolved around Graham and Alexander.

Sinitrena.  I thought this was the most creative entry.  Not quite an autonomous character, but a sentient one: very interesting.  The horrible Edge-of-Tomorrow reliving of the worst day of her life was poignant.

Ponch.  'Cause, heh.  Yoda knows how to have a good time on a Friday night. (nod) 

I thought Mandle's entry was good and funny, but I think it'd have to be knock-your-socks-off amazing to earn votes coming from a contest administrator, so... SNUBBED!  But it made the contest more interesting having more entries, so I'm all for administrator participation in the future.

@ Sinitrena: Yeah, I got into deadline trouble and really couldn't put the amount of time into my work that I usually do.  I'll make sure to think about starting sooner next time. (laugh)

JudasFm

  • Zlang-Zlang Squid Says: Screw you, Photobucket!
    • I can help with play testing
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    • I can help with story design
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JudasFm: Very well written. The only thing I missed was a bit of foreshadowing for the end. You do mention at one point that the cooks don't ask questions when Alexander asks for stuff, so why not also mention that he asked for saffron? Why not have Rosella wondering at one point where her perfume is? Why not say that Alexander picked up a feather during his walk in the morning? It would probably mean something for people familiar enough with the games without really giving anything away.

Put simply, because I was trying to write this around classes and work and I just ran out of time ;) With the exception of Rosella wondering about her perfume, that's pretty much how it happened (Alexander wouldn't be stupid enough to take an entire jar that could be missed; he'd bring a small vial and just steal a tiny amount) ;) The ending also changed a bit from the original idea I had - that involved Alexander stealing a horse and sneaking away in the middle of the night, only to be caught by Graham in the stables; it seemed a little OOC even for this version of Alexander ;) - so when I wrote the first few parts, I was heading towards a completely different ending. If I'd had time, I would have gone back and rewritten the earlier posts :D

Also, a very small nitpick: "But if you really want to know then yes, there are two dungeons in this castle but no one can find the key for one of them and the other one is full of cheese. We don't solve problems that way in Daventry." That is a very stupid idea and speaks very bad of Daventry. Every country everywhere and at all times has some kind of crime. Not using the dungeon implies that they deal diffrently with criminals and there really aren't that many options: Maiming, execution, ect. And it also usually means that sentences are passed out without a proper court of law - this stuff takes time and what do you do with the suspect until then. Alright, I assume you didn't mean it like that and the cities have prisons and th castle's dungeons are just not used. ;) As I said, nitpicking.

Actually, this is more a case of Real Life interceding. Granted Daventry is a fantasy kingdom and so obviously we can take a lot of creative license, but it borrowed heavily from medieval settings.

The truth is that the traditional deep, dark dungeons in medieval times were used mostly for traitors against the Crown, or in some cases, people who the Crown thought might become traitors (this is why royal siblings were often locked up in the Tower of London; to prevent them claiming the throne). Typical criminals (thieves, murderers) would be tried by a court and put into prison. Whether it was a fair trial is another matter, but still... ;)

Despite his habit of gallivanting off on adventures, Graham struck me as a king who was loved by his subjects and he certainly has no siblings that anyone knows of (although that would also make for a really interesting fanfic in itself!) King Edward the Benevolent...well, the clue's kind of in the name there (laugh) Basically, there have been no cases of traitors to the Crown for a long time. No traitors to the Crown means no use for the dungeons :)

Quote from: Baron
I'd played the AGD Kings Quest 2 Remake like a decade ago, but have never played KQ3.  But thanks to your story I looked it up and downloaded the AGD version.

The AGD version is definitely the best remake! The original Sierra version was unforgiving even by Sierra standards; I could never get past the spell casting stage ;)

Quote from: Baron
My beef would be that the Queen seemed a bit flat, but I get that the true story revolved around Graham and Alexander.

I've always found Valanice very, very difficult to write, which is why I kept her out of the story as much as possible. To tell the truth, if we're going with the original Sierra games as opposed to the AGD or Old Gentlemen remakes (both of which I highly recommend!) Valanice never got a lot of character development, even in KQ7, which just shows her as a typically prim and proper noblewoman.

Frodo

  • Welcome down... to my Planet Hell!
MOST WELL-WRITTEN:  Prison Without Walls
Excellent story!  We all know the 'Happily Ever After' story about Alexander returning home after escaping from Manannan.  But the reality of that... having to re-adjust to life in a normal family... constantly having people around him after being a loner all his life... is completely different.
And it made me sad, that he chose to leave Daventry in the end, although I can understand his reasons why.  :cry:

MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING: An Experiment In Consciousness
Very deep story about a sentient being that becomes aware of it's own existance.  And the heartbreak that it brings, re-living the death of her daughter over and over and over again.  So heart-breaking!  :sad:

BEST USE OF SNEAKINESS:  Lost In The Baron
Loved how Baron went back to edit his previous posts, turning his story into a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' story.  A hilarious one, at that!  Excellent work Baron.  :grin:


Brilliant entries, all round! 

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I'll be ending this extended and extraordinary round of the FWC and announcing winners within the next 24 hours.

Please get your votes in ASAP.

I will be.

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Whoops... got a bit busy yesterday and this slipped my mind. Sorry. I will close tonight after work.

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
My votes go to:

Prison Without Walls by JudasFm.

Lost In The Baron by Baron.

An Experiment in Consciousness by Sinitrena.

And the final tally comes to:

Mandle: 2
JudasFm: 5
Baron: 5
Ponch: 3
Sinitrena: 6


Sinitrena receives the Zork I trophy:



Baron and JudasFM both receive the Zork II trophy:



And Ponch gets those feelies he so misses in the Zork III trophy:



Over to you Sinitrena!

Cheers for the great round, great stories, and interesting feedback!
« Last Edit: 20 Oct 2017, 16:29 by Mandle »

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Mandle: I really enjoyed the different perspectives the three characters offered for the things that happened. Only real critique I have is that it was cut a bit short. It feels like the beginning of a story; slightly incomplete.

The three different perspectives was an attempt at mirroring the three swappable character gameplay in DOTT. Hopefully some readers could hear the character-swapping music between transitions.

As for the story being cut short: A different sequence was planned after the characters all got back to the mansion and the letter from Dr. Fred was read but writing each sequence in the characters' voices took up so much time that I had to abandon the next chapter.

So, yes, you are 100% correct that it was just the beginning of a story and, in fact, several hints are still in the current version which alude to stuff that happens later on.

I will be lurking the FWC looking for themes that I can exploit to bring the next part of the story to life... (laugh)

Sinitrena

  • Mittens Serf
    • I can help with translating
    •  
Baron: 4
Mandle: 1
JudasFM: 5
Ponch: 3
Sinitrena: 5


You sure about that? By my count it is:
Mandle: 2
JudasFm: 5
Baron: 5
Ponch: 3
Sinitrena: 6

I think you missed JudasFm's votes here on page 3.

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
  • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Baron: 4
Mandle: 1
JudasFM: 5
Ponch: 3
Sinitrena: 5


You sure about that? By my count it is:
Mandle: 2
JudasFm: 5
Baron: 5
Ponch: 3
Sinitrena: 6

I think you missed JudasFm's votes here on page 3.

You are right. And such de-ja-vu!

Over to you Sinitrena!

(My mistaken post edited above)
« Last Edit: 20 Oct 2017, 16:30 by Mandle »

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
  • Rottwheelers
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!

Baron: 4
Mandle: 1
JudasFM: 5
Ponch: 3
Sinitrena: 5


You sure about that? By my count it is:
Mandle: 2
JudasFm: 5
Baron: 5
Ponch: 3
Sinitrena: 6

I think you missed JudasFm's votes here on page 3.


Oh, those hanging chads; when will they ever learn?? (roll)

Congratulations Sini! ;-D  And good work JudasFM & Ponch.  I think if you both added a few more sex scenes in your work it would have pushed you over the cusp to victory, but I understand that you value your artistic integrity. ;)

Excellent contest administration, Mandle! (nod)

See you all again for the hopefully Hallowe'eny theme next time!

Sinitrena

  • Mittens Serf
    • I can help with translating
    •  
Thanks for all your votes, guys, and for the amazing stories you allowed us all to read.

See you all again for the hopefully Hallowe'eny theme next time!

Sorry! :-[

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • AGS Baker
  • Rottwheelers
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
  • Baron worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!