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Story Game v2.0

23 May 2018 18:20 #21199 by Charlotte
Replied by Charlotte on topic Story Game v2.0
We're not posting everyday anyway, but I just thought I'd give a headsup, that I'll be unusually busy Thursday-Sunday. Well, it's half of Sunday actually but I expect I'll pretty much pass out once I get home :)

So it is VERY unlikely that I post any more story segments until some time next week.

Any an all misspellings are henceforth blamed on the cat.

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26 May 2018 09:45 #21228 by Charlotte
Replied by Charlotte on topic Story Game v2.0
Just because I'm not posting it doesn't mean the rest of you can't :P
I did post the last story piece after all.

And while I was supposed to be busy all weekend, yesterday was such a horror of travel woes that I got a headache once I was finally home again and I'm taking the day off. In short (?) the trip from where I live to where I was going should've taken 30 minutes. It took over 3 hours. Then, when I was to go home, for various reasons all not in my favour, that took an estimated extra three hours as well. Once home my cat woke me up at least once every other hour to cuddle... which was sweet, but I could have used the sleep :p

Any an all misspellings are henceforth blamed on the cat.

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26 May 2018 14:22 #21229 by Valence
Replied by Valence on topic Story Game v2.0
And after all that hassle you didn't even have a new chapter to read when you got home! :)

Writer's block is terrible.
So much worse than "Artist's Block". At least with art you can do a doodle or sketch. With writing it's all or nothing and when it doesn't work you end up with wasted hours and a blank screen.
I do have a scene that I've been trying to do for the past few days but it's been too easy to let it slip away in favour of playing video games. :lol: I recently picked up a couple of old Star Wars games: the original Battlefront and Jedi Knight 2, and they just keep asking me to play them instead of doing more productive things like stories and mermaid faces.
I'll try to force myself do some typing over the next couple of days.
"Force" myself? That pun wasn't intended. ;)

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26 May 2018 16:16 #21230 by Charlotte
Replied by Charlotte on topic Story Game v2.0
well... I did get home at 3 am so I wouldn't have read anything anyway ;) and today I've been pretty much asleep all day... But I hope you manage to get something down in the next few days, now :)

What I do to get started on a new bit is just briefly list the events/convos etc that I want to take place, first. That sort of helps me get things a bit more structured.... and I feel like I've started, even if I don't actually write anything else until next day or so...

Any an all misspellings are henceforth blamed on the cat.

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27 May 2018 20:54 #21232 by Valence
Replied by Valence on topic Story Game v2.0
Yana woke to a troubling ache in between her shoulder blades. She tried to flex them, arching her spine through its nagging stiffness. It helped a little but not to the extent she wanted.
She'd been dreaming again. She tried to recall what it was about. Amorphous images shifted in her mind but receded from anything she could credibly call vision. Memories of sounds echoed within her own silence. Her name. There were people saying her name over and over again. But the rest of the dream was leaving her. She tried to hang on to it, to pull it closer, but it was like trying to catch smoke. It all just drifted away, vapours dissipating into some kind of past. Leaving only the ache.

She rolled over onto her back but failed to find anything other than discomfort. Finally she opened her eyes and immediately regretted it. The harsh glare of the room was too intense, as was the realization of where she was. The bright white ceiling shone down on her with an aloof blandness. She rubbed her eyes and opened them, rubbed her eyes and opened them, repeating until the peeking squint could become a more natural gaze.

Yana sat up and swung her legs around off the bed to allow her feet to find the floor. Bed? It was generous to call it that. It was really just a covered metal shelf set into the back wall of the room. She was starting to become nostalgic about the bunk she'd slept in back at camp. She was becoming nostalgic about a lot of things now. Regret can do that to you.
She wished she hadn't told Elander about what she'd done. About what she'd "apparently" done, she still didn't fully understand it. Of course it was "right" to tell her, and "right" to tell the truth, but... She wished there'd been another way. She wished she could have worked it all out by herself. She wished she could have talked to Stella. Or maybe her mother back home. Or maybe... She sighed and let her hands catch her sinking head. Talking wasn't the problem. Consequence was the problem.

Yana was in a quarantine cell on a containment transport. The specialized Medi-Shuttle had landed on the planet soon after Elander had contacted the Omicron with her report and from that moment Yana had been isolated. From that moment Yana hadn't been allowed out of this room.
Her new home was a plain cube of space. On one side, Yana sat on her metal shelf of a bed, on the opposite side was the only door. A wide table sat in the dead centre of the room along with a companion chair, but in front of that, three-quarters of the way from Yana's bed, the room was cut by a forcefield of projected SheenGlas. This was Quarantine. This was Containment. Some might say, prison. From the four corners of the ceiling, four cameras angled their intrusive, unblinking eyes to the centre. Seeing. Recording. Judging.
Yana didn't care about them any more. She initially felt embarrassed and self-conscious, wondering who exactly was watching on the other side of the screens (maybe EVERYONE was watching,) but after a while she didn't even notice them. After a while? How long had it been now? Two days? Three? Maybe a week? It was difficult to tell the passage of time without reference. She couldn't even measure against her habits any more. On the long journey to the planet she had been counting the days aboard the Omicron until her arrival and now it seemed she couldn't even count at all. Time is defined as the coherent change of things in accordance with entropy, but here there was no change. Time here was just a single thing. It was now. And the future was beyond all her imagination or calculation.
As conscious beings we are nested in time via memory. Histories enclose older histories. Tomorrow's memory of today subsumes today's memory of yesterday. And so on. Our pasts penetrate within us. Our futures extend and surround, before collapsing to smother and shape us in the form of our choices, or the choices of others. Their meeting is just an illusory surface veneer, a mere transition phase which we feel need to name. Present, we call it, as if it exists. Reality, as if it is real. But that frozen, unchanging gift of now is all Yana had in the white room.

She was out of time and also out of place. Was the Medi-Shuttle still on the planet? Or had they returned her to the Omicron? Was she going home? She couldn't recall feeling the G-Forces of launch but memory is hard without proper time. Everything becomes a vague suggestive mystery and your past, your identity, your self, is just a story you try and tell yourself. And hopefully you believe that story, even if no-one else will. When you feel yourself travelling on the line that joins fact and fiction the Truth can be a whole new direction, in a whole new dimension.
Yana wanted answers. Not just for herself. She also wanted answers to give to others. Maybe then they would forgive her.

"How are you doing?" Elander inquired from the "safe" side of the room.
As Yana looked into her eyes across the table the forcefield appeared as a veil over the older woman's face. It made her think momentarily of a wedding. Then a funeral. Then a curtain of rain sweeping across a valley. She ended her thoughts with a question of her own. "Where am I?"
"You're on the Medi-Shuttle. It's a containment-"
"WHERE am I? ...and how long?"
"It's been two days since the cave. Remember, we spoke yesterday."
Did we?
"You're still on the planet." Elander continued on past Yana's unheard thought. "they won't risk you back on the Omicron yet.But there have been changes out there. The shift rotation allowed us to pull most of the people back to the ship for debriefings and tests. There's currently just a core group down here checking out the whole X-8 quadrant and..."
"And me. Checking out me."
'So... how are you doing?"


Two men in containment suits hold me down on the metal bed. Dr. Grey is here. Helena is shining a light in my eyes, looming over me. She's in a suit too, her eyes large and sharp through the glass of the helmet. I see the white room reflected in it. I see myself reflected in it. She's saying something about vaccines, allergies. Medical history. Her words are coming too fast. I wish she'd just slow down and let me answer. Her voice has such urgency, such intensity. It's like she's scared. She just needs to calm down. Everything'll be fine if they just let me- Oh, wait. This isn't happening now. It's already happened. It's a memory, isn't it?


"A little confused. Disorientated."
"That's understandable." Elander seemed sincere. "Isolation can do that to you. But it is necessary. We all know that. Even you."
"So, how AM I really doing?" Yana batted the question back. Surely they knew more than her.
"Nothing's showing up on the scans and blood tests," she admitted. "It's just a question of... your behaviour."
"I'm not getting out just yet, am I?"
Elander just forced a smiled and the non-response, however comforting its intent, only hurt more.
Yana changed the subject. "What's going on out there now? Am I even allowed to know?"
"There was a big meeting aboard the Omicron yesterday. Not just science, not just military, everyone was involved. It seems like they're gonna send a small, military recon team to the mountain."
"Do I get to go?" Yana instinctively stood, her eyes were wide, alert and intense, but Elander's response was a failed attempt to stifle a sad laugh. Of course not, was the obvious answer. Yana sank and deflated back into her seat. "Why the military?" (she left out, And not me.) "You think them expendable?"
"No." She was defiant with this. "They just know what they're doing. They know their orders. They're not as distracted as..."
"Me." The girl shrugged admission away. "You saw those paintings too. You felt that discovery as well. I saw it on your face, don't deny it."
"I won't." The woman stepped as close as the forcefield would allow. "I was pulled in by the power of this place. The awe. The mystery. Who wouldn't be? But there's another side to that."
"They're gonna pull us all out, aren't they?"
"That's what our friend Relin is arguing for. And he's very convincing, even Professor Ganda is having second thoughts."
"And you?"


-So, why did you write on the wall?
"I don't know, I don't remember. Maybe... maybe someone was talking through me."
-Talking THROUGH you?
"Yes, maybe the cave is some kind of communication device. A receiver. An antenna."
-Oh, please! A communication device? If that's the case then why was it just you? Why didn't anyone else get this magic message? Why not John Lawrence? Or Elander? Or any of the soldiers? Why just you? Are you sure you weren't just trying to get attention?
"Of course, I wasn't!"
-Why else would you deface a site like that?
"Maybe it wasn't me. Maybe it was someone else."
-Someone else? With YOUR handwriting!
"Well, you're speaking with my voice aren't you? Aren't you?"
There was no-one else in the white room. Yana couldn't sleep and her mind was just arguing against her as she tossed and turned on the bed.


They've installed a flat projection screen in the room beyond the forcefield. They're showing me pictures on it.
"Tell me what you see!" The voice originates elsewhere, it seems to be coming through the cameras. "Tell me what you see."
It's one of the scans of the cave paintings. So I tell them. Then the picture changes.
"Tell me what you see."
It's an image of a mountain. Not THAT mountain. and not one I recognise. It's a generic picture, like a stock photo plucked from an encyclopedia. So I tell them and it changes.
Now it's a series of geometric shapes. We go through square, ellipse, a pentagon then a triangle. Its point is at the top, like a...
I say 'Triangle' for the last one. What it is rather than what it may look like.
"Tell me what you see."
Now a horizontal line. Then one curved like an arch. Then one bent like an inverted chevron. Or a mountain. Do they think I don't know what they're doing?
"And the last one, please. Tell me what you see."
"Do you just want me to say 'mountain'?" I ask. "Will you let me out of here if I say 'mountain' to all these things?"
"Tell me what you see."
"It's an upside-down V!"


Yana was surprised by the clunk-hiss of the door. She wasn't expecting another visitor after that last round of questioning. Or did that happen yesterday? What day was it again? Whatever the time was, she wasn't unhappy at the thought of being able to see another person once more. She hoped Stella would be allowed to visit her but she wouldn't mind talking to Elander again, or maybe Helena, especially if they had good news. Yana was surprised a second time when a different figure walked through the door.
"Professor Relin," she announced his entrance.
"Yes, I am."
"Yes ...erm... obviously." She stuttered a bit while getting up from her uncomfortable bed. "I um- I didn't expect to see you down here on the planet."
"Why so?" He leaned forward with his question.
"Well, Elander was telling me before that you were arguing against more landings. That you said you wanted to pull us all out of here."
"Oh, yes," he smiled strangely, as if recalling an ancient memory. "I did say that, didn't I?" He stepped forward, ever closer to the dividing forcefield that kept everyone safe and kept Yana trapped. He then said, "Professor Relin does say the strangest things." And he found himself laughing at this.
Yana was confused. She didn't get the joke and didn't understand why the Professor referred to himself in the third-person. And that laugh... It seemed to be changing his face somehow. Not just grinning or grimacing. It was twisting. It was phasing. It was not Professor Relin any more.
"What's going on?" She backed away to the wall and glanced up at the cameras. "What the hell is going on?" She felt a swelling sense of unease and for the first time she was grateful of the matter barrier that split the room.
"Oh, don't you worry about those cameras, my dear. I disabled them before entering." The strange man then held up his hand as if in the act of greeting someone in a rather formal manner. And it started to glow from inside.
Yana's mind was spiralling. She felt herself sweating, each bead forced from her pores by the pounding of her pulse. Who was this man? WHAT was he? And what was going on??
She slammed her palm repeatedly on the wall of the white room making as much noise as she could manage. "Help!" She called out as her palm became a fist. "HELP ME!" Now screaming as loud as her voice would permit. "SOMEBODY GET ME OUT OF HERE!"
"Wish granted," replied Corvan as he effortlessly walked right through the forcefield.

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27 May 2018 20:56 #21233 by Valence
Replied by Valence on topic Story Game v2.0
Yikes, I think we might be in Act Three. :)

This is where stories start to fall apart. :lol:

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28 May 2018 09:24 - 28 May 2018 14:11 #21236 by Charlotte
Replied by Charlotte on topic Story Game v2.0
Oh my, I forgot you have all this insight in story stages and stuff... I just forge on :P

I'll have to read your entry when I get home :)

EDIT: OK, read it. Now I have to think on it for a bit. Or two... :hmm:

Any an all misspellings are henceforth blamed on the cat.

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06 Jun 2018 20:56 #21360 by Charlotte
Replied by Charlotte on topic Story Game v2.0
Too bad nobody else stepped in and resolved the whole story :P I still need to think... But I haven't forgotten!

Any an all misspellings are henceforth blamed on the cat.

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08 Jun 2018 21:52 - 08 Jun 2018 22:16 #21379 by Charlotte
Replied by Charlotte on topic Story Game v2.0
Sgt Holst sat watching a vid on his personal display, a deeply worried look on his face. The vid was the recording from Doggo, showing nothing. But... was that a shadow? Or a depression in the spongy ground? It looked like maybe there had actually been something there, but he was no expert on these kinds of analysis. He knew others up on the Omicron were analysing the same footage, but Yana’s situation had him troubled. He was a bit too old (and much too married) to be a love interest to her, and too young to be her father, but he found he felt a bit as if she was a niece he wanted to watch out for. And he could not for the life of him imagine that the enthusiastic idealist that she was, would willingly or knowingly spoil a scientific site of such momentous importance.

The reason he was looking at Doggo’s video, though, was that while those cave paintings could have depicted some other kind of round or circular object, it seemed to be a very special sphere. And an invisible sphere seemed rather darn special too, and what were the odds of two different very special spheres to be found on the same planet? So he was looking for anything that could give a clue to what Doggo had found and whether it could be the same item as in the paintings. If it could disappear from sight, could it also influence people nearby? He watched the faint signs of pressure and shadow for the millionth time, when he had a thought.

Logging in to Doggo’s systems remotely, he went through the settings for what would be recorded. The vid recorded wasn’t normal light camera action, after all, it was more of a reconstruction based on readings as the robot had no proper eyes. He scrolled through the settings not really knowing what he was looking for. But he found it soon enough. Several of the possible recordings were unchecked during the period when it had been in Jinnik’s care. It had been set to look for interesting resources alright, but not to react to various elements that actually could comprise life forms, except carbon. It would seem Jinnik needed a few more lessons in alien biology. But could the sphere be alive? Or just made from a substance that could also make up living things? Instead of having found something that could help him understand what had happened, he had found something that made his worries even greater. He would have to report this to the ship’s captain immediately.
“That Jinnik” he muttered while connecting to the Omicron, “you can’t even trust him to walk the darn dog.”

Stella was also worried about Yana. She was beginning to feel that the whole expedition was unlucky. First the botanist who fell ill, then the soldiers breaking protocol and getting themselves hurt, the recent discoveries of unexplainable and worrisome “dead spots” in areas of the forest and now Yana going and doing something totally unlike her. Then again there had been some amazing discoveries, including a treatment that may prove a new and efficient antibiotic that most bacteria had no defenses or resistance against yet. Perhaps it was cosmic justice - some parts good luck, some parts bad. But she’d happily give up the antibiotics cure if she could help Yana now. She felt helpless, stuck as she was in a completely different camp. Her worrying was interrupted by the entrance of a colleague.
“Stella, do you have a minute? What do you think of this?” He showed her a vid of a group of primate like creatures moving through the forest.
“What about them?” She asked. They had noticed other groups of these creatures before.
“Well, it’s their behaviour. Isn’t that your field?” Was that a hint of sarcasm in his voice? “They usually stay in the trees, don’t they? But look!”

Stella looked again and her training kicked back in, as if the brain welcomed a chance to forget everything else. These creatures were walking as a group on the forest floor. They hadn’t been here long enough to say that would never happen, but they had not observed the behaviour before. The leading primate seemed to urge them on, at intervals, with gestures that she didn’t quite recognise from their previous studies, either. And there was something else. Something that gave her a cold feeling down her spine before she even realised what it was. Seeing them like this, bipedal on the ground, she suddenly recognised them. These were the aliens in the cave paintings! But how could that be? They were comparable to old earth primates, not old earth humans. She’d never heard of a species that had devolved like that. But then again, these - these individuals didn’t behave like the others... Could there be two groups of these creatures that all looked the same but where some had evolved different mental faculties? It seemed unlikely... She kept staring at the vid intently, her mind churning.

In section 8, there was a quiet scurrying in the undergrowth. The small sleepy creatures looked much more alert in the dark and they were intently focused on one thing. The containment transport. They were flocking in the darkness outside, ignoring the motionless bodies of the guards on the ground and focussing on the eerie light coming from inside. They watched, and waited. So intently did they focus that they did not notice the shape of John Lawrence quietly shuffling from his tent towards the transport. Or maybe they accepted him as one of them - they had noticed him frequently at night and he’d never done anything to scare or harm them. Now, he stood in the light from the doorway for a moment, blinking slowly, before turning back to his quarters as quietly as he came.

On board the Omicron, the Captain and the head of Science were in close conference with the head of Security. They too were deeply worried after having received several troubling messages throught the last 24 hours. Not least of them, the news that professor Relin was, apparently, dead.

Any an all misspellings are henceforth blamed on the cat.

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09 Jun 2018 20:58 #21385 by Valence
Replied by Valence on topic Story Game v2.0
Oh, no!
They know about Professor Relin!!

That was nicely done, Charlotte. I shall now move back from the edge of my seat. :)

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