The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge

The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
...blind panic? That and trying to keep joe from losing composure for the sake of preventing Joe: Break, i guess.
Danger inherent in keeping a null at a distance doesn't quite change that we have a chest to move and an implictly small wriggle room, both in terms of space and time
But now that you ask... we probably shouldn't risk plunging joe's null into the abyss.
There's no easy way out of any situation but it kinda sucks that you need to keep the repulsive owl monstrosity alive.
....but what if the null is a hallucination? In retrospect, he's the only one who's seen it, in the dark. And we kind of ignored a 3rd option - "confront the wolves yourself". And consieder the framing - the last null is the perfect setup for us to immediately react with lolnope to this one.

How exactly do we interpret THIS, given the current context?
>Thalia: Magic hands sound interesting, but Joe still seems shaken. Let him go first.

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Joe is smiling pleasantly. But somehow, that complete ease is unnerving you more than when he had been visibly nervous. But, well, "magic hands" and all...could what Camilla have done completely changed his tune for the better? To make him be so calm in such tense and horrible circumstances...?

You don't know what to think. But you'll go with your gut for now.

THALIA: Let's have you go ahead, Joe.
THALIA: I just feel that would be best. I'm sure you want to get out of this room as soon as possible...
JOE: Not a problem. Will do.
JOE: Camilla, are you ready?

Camilla takes a quick breath before reaching down to grasp the chest and heft it up. The bridge spreads in front of you again, radiant, and Camilla takes a few cautionary steps onto it. It holds. Light, made solid...? You still can't stop thinking about it. How fantastically bizarre.

CAMILLA: I am now.
CAMILLA: Go ahead and pass me.
JOE: Coming right along!
THALIA: Be careful, you two.
THALIA: Watch your step.

[Image: jjIfjdC.png]

You are CAMILLA LLOYD, and you hope that this passes smoothly. This bridge holds danger. You don't want to stay here for long. Joe will pass you to the other side, then Thalia, then you with the chest. And that will be that.

A hand grasps your shoulder - you turn to look up at Joe's face, smiling gently. His voice is low, clearly meant only for you to hear.

JOE: Hm, Camilla, before I pass you, I want to say something. Don't worry, I'll be quick.
JOE: What you did for me back there...
JOE: Thank you.
CAMILLA: ...You seemed worried. I wanted to help.
JOE: And help you did.
JOE: I felt as if I was going to have my heart jump like a little rabbit out of my chest, haha!

[Image: IcwA8RI.png]

JOE: I have to confess. I've been dreading this for a long time.
JOE: Preparing for this moment...
JOE: I've had the image in my head so many times, so many nights...
JOE: Over and over and over and over...
JOE: But now, for the first time, I feel at peace.

There's something wrong.

JOE: Of course, it could go differently.
JOE: That's what he's saying.
JOE: But it's really not in my hands anymore. It's in his...
JOE: A new era is about to begin. One I have no knowledge about.
JOE: How odd. I should be terrified, and yet...
JOE: I just feel...

[Image: W4PTjOd.png]

JOE: Glad.
JOE: Ah...I'm so glad, child.
JOE: I can hear HIM so clearly now...just like that time under the willow tree...
JOE: And it's all thanks to you.

Author's Note:
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>...Hey, great. That's great. Good for you, man.
I’m REALLY tempted to say “after he passes you dash back to the close side and drop it like it’s hot can’t become a monster if you’re dead joe”

but I won’t.
> You have a LOT of questions but this can probably wait until everyone has crossed the bridge. No need to tread in uncertain territory literally and figuratively.
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Yeah, let's just... let's just get across the bridge, and quick-like.
[Image: tEjYkxP.png]
Everyone has to face their fears eventually.
So why aren't you afraid, Joe?
You said it yourself, you should be terrified. Horrified. Even a bit of relief knowing your finally facing them.
But glad? Glad comes after you've faced your fears.
After you've dispelled your fears, or confirmed them.
Because that's what's really terrifying, isn't it?
The doubt, the uncertainty.
The longer you go without confirmation, the more that doubt digs in, the deeper it bites.
Let it burrow long enough, and the fear of uncertainty overwhelms the reality of your original fear.
That's not something you can snap your fingers and heal, Joe.
Especially not when it's been eating away at you for so long.
Quiet. Good for an unusual opinion. Doesn't talk much.
>Camilla: What did you do.
>Camilla did you break him-
...No one's around to help...
Ah well, was nice knowing you, Joe and Other Joe.
Camilla, if he doesn't stay on the other side of the bridge after he crosses, you will die.

Be careful.
> You have a LOT of questions but this can probably wait until everyone has crossed the bridge.

[Image: iY9wgRO.png]


Who’s him? A "new era"? The willow tree…?

You want to ask, to find out, but Joe is already walking past you on the bridge. Whatever he’s talking about, he’s not elaborating on it whatsoever.

You’re not feeling as if this is something you should put aside so easily, but…

Perhaps you should wait until the task is done.

Then you can get your answers.

>Camilla did you break him

[Image: 1GSXvPt.png]

You didn’t break him. That’s impossible. What you did wouldn’t cause someone to act like this.

You wouldn’t break anyone. That is not something you would consciously do. You’re not that person.

You do not live to destroy.

You do not harm on a whim. You are not them. You are never them.

[Image: 6f6swDq.png]

What is happening now is not because of you.

…Is it? Joe wasn’t like this before.

But he has been acting strangely, in ways you would not expect…

[Image: 0aNujNq.png]

And just as you think this, Joe makes it to the end of the bridge and just…



[Image: JO73IfU.png]

He just stands there, so close to the other side, yet still standing with his feet firmly on the bridge. You can’t see his face, or hear him speaking. He stands like a statue, as if he is adamant in his desire to stay where he is.

Thalia notices this as well, and calls out.

THALIA: Joe, what are you waiting for?
THALIA: You’re right there!
THALIA: The solution should work based on our plan, is that what you’re worried about?
THALIA:Just go. One more step!

[Image: 2c1IVHg.png]

You are not JOE VERGER.

These hands feel numb.

JOE: I’m standing on the precipice, now.
JOE: Won’t you…help me?

[Image: NH9lNYV.png]

JOE: Won’t you save me?
JOE: Won’t you finally, after all this time, relieve me from my burden?

[Image: oJsPxPb.png]

JOE: …I will be consumed, you know. I feel it.
JOE: But you know exactly what I want.
JOE: If I am to be consumed, I’ll give that to you. No one else.
JOE: …Damn it. Stop waiting.
JOE: You have that right. You know you do. So take it, why don’t you?

[Image: b170k0i.png]

JOE: This body is yours. It always has been yours.
JOE: Won’t you spare me, already?
JOE: Please.
JOE: Take me.
JOE: I’m yours.

[Image: 6U5wJkm.png]

JOE VERGER takes the final step off of the bridge and onto the platform.

He turns, and smiles.

JOE: There we go!
JOE: Sorry, had a bit of a freeze there, not to worry.
JOE: Anyways, my part of the task is done!
JOE: Let’s get a move on.

[Image: DSS9uKh.png]

The two women look horrified.

JOE: Did I do something wrong?

His voice is cheerful. It is a false cheer.

JOE: There’s no need for your countenances to appear so strangely shocked!
JOE: It isn’t hard to traverse a bridge, after all!

They see something JOE VERGER does not. But it isn’t as if JOE VERGER doesn’t know what is there.

[Image: 3Dqr7pl.png]

His chest hurts. The smile on his face somehow hurts more.

JOE: What are you waiting for?
JOE: Come on!
JOE: Come over here!
JOE: Don’t dawdle, now…!
JOE: ...
JOE: It's perfectly safe.
JOE: I assure you of that.

Author's Note:
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...No one's around to help...
>Thalia: Run across the bridge and get Joe the hell away from that thing.
>Camilla: Run across the bridge and brain the hell out of that thing with the very heavy chest.
Bird outside my kitchen, fighting his reflection / What's he gonna win when he wins?

> Did... did either of you see where that thing came from? It wasn't there on the other side waiting, was it?

> "Joe! Quick, cover your nose and mouth! Now!"
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>Joe, you're gonna have to face the truth eventually. In other words, PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER YOU LAZY FUCJ
...No one's around to help...
>You're tired, Joe.Show
Quiet. Good for an unusual opinion. Doesn't talk much.
also using process of elemination, seth is probably at the shrine of lies. If he isnt, we might have a null battle
...No one's around to help...
Hey Real Joe.
Nice to meet you.
I think you're a doll, but your mask doesn't seem like one. It's hard to say. It's ok to not be happy with how your life has gotten here. I suppose you are here to hide from it? That's fine. Just remember: while you are hiding from your life, your life is not going to be magically better. It's true, living life is a lot of work. So much. At the same time, living is quite worth it. None of us understand either of you completely, yet we want to hear out your problems. We want you to be comfortable. We want you both to live. So please, do.

I know you don't particularly use prompts like this, but please do have someone address Joe's Null directly.

Viridis - i'm pretty sure it's consensual. Joe isn't getting attacked
Blue_Fox5 - that is some really bad advice. The null is the truth, in a sense, pulling yourself together (with a null) is bad, and lifestyle don't react well to above like that.

Thalia: make sure not to kill everyone by stepping on the bridge early
Camilla: don't leave the bridge early, remember that you'll die.
(09-08-2018, 06:05 PM)Smurfton Wrote: »Viridis - i'm pretty sure it's consensual. Joe isn't getting attacked

Oh, I get that. (I think. It's a bit confusing right now but in a good way.) I was trying to think of how Thalia and Camilla might react with the knowledge/perception they currently have, as opposed to us readers' (note the quotation marks). I'm also hoping that could lead Joe to say something to them about it...
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