The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge

The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
>”You want to punish us. All of us. For doing bad things, I guess.”

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You’re so frustrated. You feel a certain pain in your chest as what seems like a mountain of emotions that you’ve been holding back for so long rushes out of you. You’re so tired. You’re so scared. You’re so angry and mad with this monster man, who seems to want nothing but see you and the rest suffer.

ABIGAIL: I don’t know!
ABIGAIL: I don’t know, okay!

The tears keep on flowing. You don’t want to be here! You want to be home!

CANCEL: I don’t care about your tears, child.
CANCEL: Answer me.
ABIGAIL: You…you just want to punish us.
ABIGAIL: You just want to judge us for everything bad we ever did!
ABIGAIL: But who allowed you to do that?
ABIGAIL: You can’t…you can’t just...
ABIGAIL: Nobody has the right to be some punisher who punishes everyone else…
CANCEL: A punisher? Is that what you think I am?

>”But it’s hard to say…you never actually call yourself the villain, yet your actions seem intended to make people think that's all there is.”

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Now that you think about it, isn’t that odd? To ask something like that? Like Cancel just wants to confirm that you think he’s bad.

Like he really, really wants you to think he’s the villain…?

ABIGAIL: …Maybe you are a punisher!
ABIGAIL: B-but maybe that’s what you want!
ABIGAIL: I don’t know why, but…it’s strange.
CANCEL: Oh? What is?
ABIGAIL: You do so many bad things. And you don’t say you’re bad, but…
ABIGAIL: You seem to want people to think you’re bad.
CANCEL: I want people to think I’m bad?
ABIGAIL: No, no, I…I don’t know.
ABIGAIL: Like…I don’t know. It’s too simple to just think you’re evil.
CANCEL: Haha, is that so, Ms. Faust?
CANCEL: Let me tell you the things people have claimed me to be!
CANCEL: To some, I am a conductor, I am a punisher, I am a villain, I am a judge, I am an arbiter!
CANCEL: To others, I am a nightmare, I am a witch, I am the end of all things, I am a demon!
CANCEL: To several, I am the devil’s chosen one, I am a monster, I am the voice in your head that whispers your misdeeds to the world!
CANCEL: And to some individuals, I am a fallen angel sent down to cleanse this world, I am the dark salvation needed to purify those who are darkest!
CANCEL: I am all of these things, yes! But also, I am none of these things!
CANCEL: How easy it is, to be slated into a part in everyone’s personal stories!
CANCEL: I almost feel flattered.
CANCEL: But ah, how humanity amuses me and disgusts me with the idea that everything needs to be so organized…so black and white…
CANCEL: But I suppose I’ll confess. Of course, in this game, I am playing a role.
CANCEL: Just as you and the others are playing a role. A game would not be a game without such a thing.
ABIGAIL: …What is your role, though?
CANCEL: Now that…that is the question, isn’t it, Ms. Faust?

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CANCEL: This game has many layers to it, you know. So many mysteries to uncover…
CANCEL: And I suppose one of those happens to be “what is the role that Cancel is playing?
CANCEL: Nobody has guessed at it correctly, of course. Game after game after game…not a single one.
CANCEL: And though while I detest the idea of roles, this role of mine is necessary.
CANCEL: The Human Game would not exist without me. And in a way, I would not exist without the Human Game.
ABIGAIL: I-I don’t understand.
ABIGAIL: You’re evil. You like seeing us turned into monsters…
ABIGAIL: You punish people. Doesn’t that mean you’re evil?
ABIGAIL: But you’re doing this for a reason?
ABIGAIL: …But why? What reason could you ever have to do such terrible things?
CANCEL: There you go, searching for answers in the endless darkness.
CANCEL: Many people assume that I had something bad happen to me, and that is why I am the way I am!
CANCEL: A tragic past made me into the monster they all see me as! Such a suitable explanation!
CANCEL: Hahaha, what a ridiculous thought!
ABIGAIL: Yeah, just because bad things happen to people doesn’t mean that they’re bad!
ABIGAIL: …Right?
CANCEL: Oh, if you’d like to think so.
CANCEL: Though, we all have our personal motley of demons from the past that like to haunt us, Ms. Faust.
CANCEL: Even I suffer from this malady.

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CANCEL: Anyways!
CANCEL: Ms. Faust! Enough chitchat!
CANCEL: You are here to become my truthbearer.
CANCEL: Are you ready?
CANCEL: Now, now, don’t hesitate. You were the one who chose this little route.
CANCEL: What I didn’t mean to tell you, though, is that there is one condition to this truth.
CANCEL: And that is, I will tell you the truth. Part of the truth. A snippet of it.
CANCEL: Then, I want to hear your answer to a certain question regarding what you’ll do with the truth, knowing what I just told you.
CANCEL: Will you share it with the rest? Will you keep it to yourself?
CANCEL: You can answer however you’d like.
CANCEL: But you must heed your answer. Then I’ll finish sharing the rest of the truth with you, and you must keep your word and do whatever you said when you meet with the others.
CANCEL: Share it, or keep it. Or whatever you will answer to me now.
ABIGAIL: What happens if I do the opposite of what I said…?
CANCEL: I’ll punish you.
ABIGAIL: That’s not fair! How am I supposed to make a choice about sharing it or keeping it secret if you’re only giving me part of the truth!
CANCEL: I claimed I would share the truth. I never claimed I would make it fair, haha!
CANCEL: Now then, here is your part of the truth, dear Ms. Faust.
CANCEL: There is a person among your group who has a dangerous weapon in their possession that can hurt many others.
CANCEL: I do not know if they have any intention of using it now. They may decide to never use it in any capacity during this game.
CANCEL: But the matter of the fact is, they stand as a direct threat to the rest if they make a choice to use it.
CANCEL: This is a weapon that can hurt many people at once. It would also very likely kill them.
CANCEL: This is the truth, Ms. Faust.
CANCEL: And I know the identity of the person, and the nature of the weapon, and I will tell them both to you.
CANCEL: But before I do, I must know what you will do.
CANCEL: Will you share this fact with the others? Keep it to yourself? Or do something different?
CANCEL: If you share it, the person in question may panic and use their weapon. But if you don't share it, perhaps you will not prevent a tragedy...
CANCEL: But if you decide to only allude to it partially, maybe that will only make the rest lose trust in one another...
CANCEL: Remember, if you don’t heed your answer…I’ll punish you.
CANCEL: Truthbearer, what will you do, with your truth?

Author's Note:
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> Abigail: You're going to tell the whole truth. It would be irresponsible not to reveal something that could harm EVERYONE. On the other hand, the weapon could be potentially used to stall the Null so to speak. If they are unkillable, something that can impede their progress even if a liability to the players, could come of use.
> ...Maybe you could tell them that there is a dangerous weapon in the facility, which a) is factually true and b) could let them be wary without sending the bearer into a panic? Honestly, if you don't know yet who has it, or what it is, you can't risk doing anything more decisive than that.


> Inwardly begin to feel even wearier about all this. With this mysterious man conducting everything so meticulously, with you knowing so little about him or this game, can you really do anything but heed his instructions?...
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>Cancel's planting a misleading thought, here: someone in your party has a dangerous weapon, sure, but why should that be a bad thing? What if the weapon's something they can use to fight back against Cancel or the Nulls?

Anyway... we have to decide our course of action now, which is as irritating as I'm sure it was designed to be. A really well-crafted conundrum, here!

I'm going to vote "withhold information", but first off, you should- before telling the party anything- tell them the terms of the choice Cancel is making you make, right now, so they understand why you're withholding information, and don't start mistrusting you for no reason. Odds are good that we can trust whoever owns this weapon (since Cancel is going out of his way to sow distrust- why bother if we already didn't trust them?)

"The 'truth' turned out to be a vague dangerous secret to make us turn on each other, instead of anything useful, so I decided not to fall for the bait. I know the specifics, but I can't tell you or Cancel will punish me, so just trust me to keep the dangerous secret situation under control on my own."
> But how can we be so sure that Cancel will allow loopholes such as "I am revealing to you the fact that if I don't make good on my promise of only speaking a half-truth in fear of a severe punishment"? It seems that honesty is more viable here.
>Ask Cancel about a third option, to decline being told any more? You probably won't risk punishment with this option. But perhaps the lack of knowing complete information is its own danger.
Quiet. Good for an unusual opinion. Doesn't talk much.
>Abigail: I will tell the truth, but only after making sure everyone knows to keep calm and talk it out.
>After all you're probably giving me the weapon.
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(10-05-2017, 01:58 PM)LoverIan Wrote: »>After all you're probably giving me the weapon.

ahahahahaha that's- that's probably not it, what with the present tense and the warning about the wielder panicking and using it if she tells them, but... that would be hilarious, and Cancel would totally do something like that- trick someone into making a choice that they think is at someone else's expense, when it's really at their own.
And noone wonders who and what.
First things first - there can be multiple people with weapons.
Second - cancel was very particular about his choice of words - 'can harm many people at once and kill the user' - it could be an automatic firearm... or rather, explosives. The topic of bombs already came up way back when everyone was wondering what was up with cancel using such phrases as "it was a violin" "a big blast". But why Thalia would have it? It's probably not prepared for the game, as she was likely taken by suprise. Moreover, she doesn't know that her brother is dead, so it wouldn't be a personal matter either.
That said, what will happen if the group learns she has it?
  • regardless of what they decide to do, there may come up a situation where they can blow up a Null, killing it. It's a bad idea, for some reason. If everyone already knows, chances are we won't even have a way of stopping them from doing so. However, if Thalia gets to keep it a secret, it's likely she will keep her mouth shut as long as possible, since it would draw suspicion towards her - and in her own eyes, make her seem like a threat to others.
  • will they show their stuff (remember, this will reveal kate's marble! we still don't know who and why would be interested in it)
  • will they hand over weapons to someone else under peer pressure? it would cause even more distrust on top of the whole "they are the kind of person who carries dangerous weapons"
Besides, consieder this, which implies it will come into play regardless of our decision.
That said, regardless of the choice the first thing Abigail has to do is explain Cancel's terms to the group to make it harder to force others to divulge info.

>Wait, what about half-truths?
(assuming half-truths are no-go)
>I won't say a thing.
Given that the weapon would most likely kill the person who has it if used, he/she will be unlikely to want to use it unless they're desperate, so my vote is for telling everyone.
(10-06-2017, 10:38 AM)CI Wrote: »[*]will they show their stuff (remember, this will reveal kate's marble! we still don't know who and why would be interested in it)

...Could the the marble? Let's note that Cancel did not, at any point, directly state that the person who has it knows it's a weapon, or a dangerous one at any rate.
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> Inwardly begin to feel even wearier about all this. With this mysterious man conducting everything so meticulously, with you knowing so little about him or this game, can you really do anything but heed his instructions?

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Someone in the group has a weapon. It's supposed to be a shocking fact, but at this point, you already feel numb. Of course. People are turning into monsters. Your parents are gone. Cancel is evil. And now someone among your group has something that could hurt and kill others.

It's obvious Cancel orchestrated this all in his favor. It can't be so simple to just tell everyone about it, but then again, it's not like you can just keep it to yourself, right?

If you say the truth, and the person panics because of it, people can die.

If you keep the truth, and nobody knows any better if the person decides to use their weapon, people can die.

If you say a half-truth, and the others are still confused as to who it might be, the person can use their weapon, and people can die.

What do you do?! What do you decide?! You want to scream and shout and cry even more but it's like the urge for those things are very much dead. You just feel...tired.

This tiring...

> I won't say a thing.

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You hope you don't regret this later.

CANCEL: So? Made your decision?
CANCEL: Can't wait all day, now!
ABIGAIL: I won't say anything.
ABIGAIL: You just want us all to hate each other, don't you?
ABIGAIL: And if I tell everyone that one of them has a weapon...
ABIGAIL: Well, people will start mistrusting each other.
ABIGAIL: It'll just make things worse...

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CANCEL: Alright. You won't say a single word of the truth.
CANCEL: Are you absolutely sure? Absolutely positively sure?
CANCEL: Last chance, Ms. Faust...
CANCEL: Is this to be your decision?
CANCEL: Haha! Very well, very well.
CANCEL: You will have to live with that decision, child.
CANCEL: That is, if you don't change your mind, and are punished for it...
CANCEL: But I'm sure a good girl like you won't risk a thing like that, hm...?
CANCEL: Now, then. I must heed my end of this exchange.
CANCEL: I shall now tell you who among your number is wielding something quite frightening...
CANCEL: Are you listening carefully?
CANCEL: The person hiding a weapon, and the nature of said weapon is-

>Location Selection Screen: suddenly appear

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Before the truth can be heard, you are suddenly given the choice of viewing one of the locations where our participants are located. Do you choose to:

Go to the Shrine of Lies?

Go to the Bridge of Sighs?

Author's Note
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> Bridge of Sighs.
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oh yes, what a meaningful statement you have made about the truth, by engineering a scenario where telling the truth is a bad idea. where would we be without you, Cancel? i'm sure if we'd picked "tell them" you'd have exactly as smug a speech to make about it.

Anyway, the actual choice: let's get the bad news out of the way first! Sighs it is.
Before we even vote, what can we expect from the results? chances are we might see both teams anyway, but with the second one we won't have as strong of a grasp on the situation. that said, what could be the possibilities?
At the bridge of sights, we have kate and daniel - this could give them the opportunity to talk about the marble, which we are being primed for (will daniel even remember it?) and for kate to play damage control. Connor could vaguely recognise a janitor from achronicity.
In the shrine of lies, we have thalia and camilla - when we met them, the duo was already talking about something. Furthermore, camilla has unspecified opinions about daniel.

>Bridge of Sighs
(10-12-2017, 05:44 AM)Benedict Wrote: »I'm sure if we'd picked "tell them" you'd have exactly as smug a speech to make about it.
Scylla and Charybdis.

> Sigh... If we must... Bridge of Sighssss...... It is.........
Anyways guess who HECKED UP. Don't write updates at 1 am, kids. Once again, the people going to each location ate:

Joe, Camilla, and Thalia shall be going to the Bridge of Sighs.

Daniel, Kate, and Connor shall be going to the Shrine of Lies.

Apologies for the confusion. I'll change the order of the choices when I come home to make it more clear! If you want to change your answer you can totally do so.
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Bridge of Sighs
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Hmm, you won't say a single truth about it, huh? Then maybe if you lie your little eyes out, but make it painfully clear your lying? After all, you're just holding up your end of the bargain...

that being said, Lets go see the bridge of Sighs.
Well, if Abigail wanted to she could just start saying things like "I don't like that person, they're dangerous" without breaking letter of her agreement.

P.S. please change the title of the adventure when you update, I missed the last three because of this!
Vivian Quest
Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
(10-13-2017, 04:23 AM)tronn Wrote: »P.S. please change the title of the adventure when you update, I missed the last three because of this!

Ahh, I'm sorry! I actually change the title of the thread whenever I feel a certain "arc" of the story has ended (You Can't Handle to Truth being the "Abigail as Truthbearer" part, "A and A" focusing on the library and the letter found within), so I don't change it too often! However, with this next update, the title will definitely be changing for our next scenes, so keep an eye out for it! :)b
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>Camilla's group, the Bridge of Sighs.
> Bridge of Sighs

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Your name of THALIA PARIK, and you have arrived into a dark place, indeed.

You hadn't known what to expect when you and the other two had deposited your coins into the mouth of that...whatever that was. The head-shaped lock, you suppose you'll call it. You had heard a low clicking noise, and suddenly the doors had opened wide in a strangely silent fashion. There was a dark hallway afterwards, and you and Camilla and Joe had progressed quietly down it towards the direction of yellow light.

And now you're here. This must be the Bridge of Sighs, yes? One of the pathways that Cancel had noted? But it's strange, everything is so strange, you see, because, well...

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There is no bridge.

You stand there a moment in shock. The room is terribly dark, save for the yellow lights that stand in pairs at the edges of the pathway. They barely offer enough light to even see the rest of the room - you can make out something large and cube-like hanging from the ceiling, and if you squint, you can almost make out strange shapes and lines on the walls of the room. Otherwise, everything else is covered a shroud of darkness. Deep, intense darkness, the kind that one can't stare into for too long, lest your mind makes you think that things are moving out of the corner of your eyes...

You spare a glance at your companions. Joe stands slack-jawed, clearly stunned into silence. Camilla seems to have the same bland expression she always has, but her eyes move over the corners of the room intently, as if on the lookout for anything that might pose an instant threat.

The air is musty, almost moldy, and it makes your nose wrinkle in slight disgust. It doesn't smell like the rest of the facility, for some reason.

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But, of course, the matter here isn't the darkness. The matter here is what is in front of you. Or rather, the question of what isn't in front of you. There's something box-like to the side of you, but your attention isn't on that at the moment.

You peer down. It's clearly twenty feet or more from this edge to the next one at the other side of the room, a length impossible to jump across. There's nothing even suggesting a bridge. No suspension cables, no girders, no decks, not even a single railing. The bridge is simply not there.

You resist the urge to let out a scoff. Was this some kind of joke? A bridge that isn't a bridge? What is Cancel's game, here? Give you an impossible task to accomplish so he can laugh about it?

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Either way, while the thought of just climbing down comes to mind, you're not sure you want to act on it. There's nothing but inky blackness down in the chasm in front of you. It's impossible to tell how deep it goes.

Some part of you really doesn't want to find that out.

Author's Note:
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> Is the cube connected to anything, as far as you can make out?

> Inspect the box. Do you recognize the symbol in it?
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>Try holding on to the lamp and tapping your foot where the bridge should be. Maybe it's invisible? Maybe that's a thing that's possible in this place?