Child's Play [Text] [Reboot]

Child's Play [Text] [Reboot]
#1
Hey everyone! I’m new to this forum but am a veteran of the old MSPA forums before they got shut down in 2016. At that time I had recently started a text-based forum adventure, and when the forums shut down I lost the motivation to continue. But I’ve been thinking about it again later, and had a new idea for how the story could potentially go. So this is a reboot of that ill-fated adventure. I’m pretty busy at the moment, but will continue updating if I get suggestions! I’m also posting this on another MSPA offshoot forum so don’t be surprised if a random suggestion from there appears out of nowhere. I also apologize for the awful rustiness of my writing skills. Anyways, let me begin with an homage to Homestuck, the webcomic that started it all…


A young entity stands on the shore of a rocky beach. It just so happens that today, the ??th of ???, ????, is just another ordinary day in a series of days that has blurred together for as long as she can remember. Though she’s not sure how long ago she was given life, it is only today that she decides to give herself a name.

What will the name of this young creature be?

SpoilerShow
Quote
#2
Ambot Kuan
[Image: DGBpqSL.png]
Quote
#3
>Elita Fleming
Quote
#4
Quote:>Elita Fleming

Noted for the future.

Quote:Ambot Kuan

I stand on the beach, admiring the way the morning sunlight glints reddish-gold off muddy water. For once, the clouds have parted, chased off by some unseen wind. But right now the air is quiet and still and heavy, as if waiting for something to happen. Unable to be still, I pick up two rocks from the ground nearby, absentmindedly juggling them back and forth.

I think to myself, I need a name. I'm sick of being called "Daughter" or "Sister" or "You." The next sounds I hear will be mine, what I call myself from now on. Maybe I’ll even get my brother to use it. I’ll tell Mother, the next time she visits. I hope she’ll be proud.

I’m alone, as usual. Brother is off somewhere, and I’m betting he’s up in the mountains. The biggest volcano is smoking faintly, and he’s probably hoping for an eruption. Meanwhile I wait, juggling my rocks. The spiral patterns they make around each other grow more and more intricate, suspended in the air, until finally in a moment of distraction I let them touch. “Am-bot!” I hear as they clack together, and a moment later the wind sighs “Kuaaaaan.” That’s the first time the air has moved all morning, and combined with the rocks I take it as a sign. Ambot Kuan. I’ve never heard a name before, so I have no idea if this is a respectable one, but it’ll do for now.

I let the rocks drop to the ground again, no longer needed. They join their fellows on the beach. The rocks get smaller and smaller as they get closer to the shore, I’ve noticed. The ones at the tide line are barely even pebbles anymore, more like grains worn to smoothness by the constant lapping of the water. I pick up a handful and let it slide down through my grasp, marveling at the way it’s almost a powder. Maybe someday the rocks will get ground down even further and the whole beach will be made of this stuff.

I wish it would happen now. I wish I could just go to sleep and drift dreamlessly like I did when I was really little, but I've been too restless lately. After analyzing the rocks, I'm bored again. I need something to do.

SpoilerShow
Quote
#5
>Examine your surroundings

Nice to see this adventure return. I really miss it.
Quote
#6
SpoilerShow

>Build a rock fortress.
[Image: DGBpqSL.png]
Quote
#7
>Recall family
>Trace shapes in the sand
[LIVE] - AliCat2020's modded dlc playthrough, like and subscribe if you enjoyed

Quote
#8
Quote:>Examine your surroundings

Nice to see this adventure return. I really miss it.
SpoilerShow

Ever since the earthquake that created this cove, it has been one of my favorite places to play. A long time ago this whole patch of land sank downward, creating a large, shallow semicircle protected by cliffs on three sides. When the tide is high, the waves thrash against the rock walls, but right now things are pretty calm. Too calm, almost. I look out across the water and see only a few white-tipped crests in the distance, which is unusual even at low tide. The water itself is shallow, but goes on as far as I can see. My island is only one of many, spit up by the giant volcano that even now looms up on the distant mountain range on the other side of the island. I hope it doesn’t erupt again anytime soon. I’ll miss this place if it gets covered over with lava.

I look around some more. There’s a small crater in the rock nearby, a memory of a shooting star. This one was smaller than most, almost burned up by the atmosphere. Where it landed, the rock is fused into a hard, clear substance. On the rest of the beach, the rocks go from large to small as I’ve already mentioned. Underneath them is a layer of clay that can be fun to dig up and mold into shapes sometimes. I showed Mother, once, but she was disappointed in me. She said I needed to have more imagination; that I was playing with it the way a baby would.

Quote:>Recall family
>Trace shapes in the sand

I live on this island with my mother and twin brother. We’ve been here as long as I have clear memories of anything, ever since Mother stopped carrying us around with her like two little pebbles. Now she goes on her journeys without us, and never tells us what she’s doing even when we insist we’re old enough to understand.

As I think about my mother, I draw her as a large circle in the - sand? Yes, I think I’ll call it sand. Then I add a smaller circle inside her, a two-dimensional representation of me. Reluctantly, I add my brother, but make sure he’s as far away from my little circle as possible. When we were really little, we were almost the same, but ever since we came to the island he’s grown more and more different. I don’t like to play with him anymore.

Quote:>Build a rock fortress.

(I giggle at the fact I succeeded in naming someone practically "I don't know.”)

SpoilerShow
As I admire my secret cove, the sun moves slowly along the horizon. It’s high noon now, and the yellow orb radiates its warm energy down through the orange-tinted sky. A towering wall of clouds has appeared in the distance. Already? I sigh. I bask in the last moments of sunlight before the ever-present clouds return, spreading myself thin to absorb the maximum amount of energy. And that gives me an idea. What if I make myself a little cave to hide in? And, if I build it well enough to withstand the tides, then I can really make a mark on this place.

I start to gather the largest rocks and scoop them up into a pile, then stack them on top of each other in an interlocking fashion. Sometimes the rocks want to fall down, but I give them a stern talking-to, a little steadying, and - aha! They fit together as if they were made that way. This is child’s play, really, sticking together such big rocks. The small stuff is much harder, but it’s still satisfying to watch something come together.

By the time I’m finished, it’s nearly evening. The shadows slant long and the clouds have almost fully covered the sun. But I now have a dome-shaped fortress of exactly my circumference, large enough to be comfortable but small enough for me to simultaneously touch every stone. Thunder rolls faintly in the distance. I guess there’s going to be a storm. What should I do now?

SpoilerShow

SpoilerShow
Quote
#9
>Go back inside the house. A rock dome is big enough for you to fit, but how will you know it won't leak from the rain?
>Bring the rocks with you.
Quote
#10
>Get home, a very large wave may be coming
[LIVE] - AliCat2020's modded dlc playthrough, like and subscribe if you enjoyed

Quote
#11
Quote:>Go back inside the house. A rock dome is big enough for you to fit, but how will you know it won't leak from the rain?
>Bring the rocks with you.

Quote:>Get home, a very large wave may be coming

SpoilerShow

I nestle inside my dome of rocks and listen as the storm approaches. A little bit of rain never bothered anyone, but I’m more worried about the tide coming in. As the sun sets, the moon rises. The gargantuan orb hangs over the horizon, close enough that I can see every mountain and crater clearly. It looks a lot like my own world, but much drier. I’d like to pay it a visit sometime. But as pretty as it is, the moon always brings the water. It starts with a gentle lapping of wavelets against the edges of my rock dome, but quickly grows more aggressive. Water starts seeping through the cracks between the rocks, rapidly filling the inside of my hiding place. I don’t mind, at first. The water is pleasantly cool after the air’s heavy heat. But then the waves start impacting with force, cracking against the walls with such force that I have to push back against them to prevent them from breaking. After a few minutes of this, I admit defeat. There’s no way my dome would stand if I leave it here at the mercy of the ocean. So instead, still inside it, I slowly lift the entire thing off the ground.

The dome starts to rise up into the air, each rock still in the same configuration. I carefully raise it above the surface of the water, then high enough to clear the cliffs that mark the boundary of my cove. I’m not quite sure what to do with the dome, but I decide to take it over next to some of my other projects for now. I skim over the surface of the earth, excited to see how my other creations are doing. I have a sculpture made of granite, raised and carved from the bedrock into a towering whorl of curves and spirals. I’ve added in veins of iron and copper, minerals extracted from an underground mining expedition that took me all the way across the island. And, just a few days ago, I dug out a pit to collect rainwater, and covered it over with a structure made of clay to shade it from the sun. I wanted to see how fresh water was different than salt water, especially over a long time, but every other pond I’d seen would eventually evaporate or drain into the ocean.

The rock dome isn’t very original by these standards, but I want to keep it anyway. As I get closer, carrying the rocks begins to feel more natural. I have a good memory, and the longer I carry the dome the more I’m aware of every rock’s location within the greater whole. I experiment with loosening the ties that bind them together, letting the rocks move farther away and then closer again. The dome breaks down into a whirl of pebbles, still suspended in the air. I let them fall to the ground like meteors, then grab them back up again and re-form the dome just as it was before. Even if the dome breaks, I have it memorized now. Nothing can ever be lost as long as I can remember how it was before.

This thought is reassuring, but it doesn’t fully erase the hurt of what I see as I fly over my little compound. I stop short in the air, every rock in my dome vibrating angrily at the sight beneath me. The sculpture is broken, shattered into a million tiny glittering pieces. Some parts are erased down to the atomic level, while others have been left relatively whole as if to taunt me with the laziness of this casual destruction. My clay shelter, which had hardened in the sun so beautifully, is similarly ruined. At least the destroyer has overlooked my little pond of water, now open to the sky and reflecting moonlight off its still surface.

There’s only one other person on this Mother-forsaken island who could have done this, but the culprit is nowhere to be found. What should I do now? I could look for Brother and give him a piece of my mind, or get started trying to rebuild, or, or…. I sink to the ground with my dome in tow, weighed down by sadness and indecision.

SpoilerShow
Quote
#12
>Find your brother and make him rebuild your fallen sculpture.
Quote
#13
>Rebuild, but begin to create a hollowed area to store your creations safely
>He won't know what he cannot see, right?
[LIVE] - AliCat2020's modded dlc playthrough, like and subscribe if you enjoyed

Quote
#14
Quote:>Find your brother and make him rebuild your fallen sculpture.

Quote:>Rebuild, but begin to create a hollowed area to store your creations safely
>He won't know what he cannot see, right?

Eventually, I gather myself. This is nothing that hasn’t happened dozens of times before. Brother and I always play a game of cat and mouse with my creations, and when I lose I find ever-more creative places to build them. But he’s gotten uncomfortably smart lately, realizing I’d been careless because I’d been banking on him spending all his time by the volcano and instead sneaking off to wreak havoc elsewhere. Before, I would have gone looking for him to tell him how mad I was, maybe even trying to make him rebuild my sculpture to make up for what he'd done. But that never worked, and he can be hard to find if he doesn’t want to be noticed. Besides, yelling at him is wasting valuable time that I could be using to rebuild.

I’ll really need to go above and beyond this time… But after a bit of thinking, I’ve got it. Brother only looks at the surface of things, rarely taking the time to go deeper and see them for what they really are. What if I hollow out a space underground and rebuild my sculpture there? It would be a lot of work, sure, but if I do it right he won’t notice for aaaaages.


I begin my excavation, digging down through countless layers of crust, supervised by only the moon. Its light dims as the clouds thicken over the course of the night, and thunder rumbles with increasing frequency. The first raindrops fall when I’ve dug out a decent tunnel, and it’s pouring up above by the time I have a large enough artificial cave. I compact the debris I’ve displaced into as small of a pile as I can make it and take it down with me so it won’t leave a trace on the surface. Underground, everything is dark and quiet and dry. I can hear the wind howling from here, even as I plot out ways to turn this rubble into a new sculpture. I need to go back outside and get the remaining pieces of my old sculpture before the storm scatters them forever.

I emerge from my cave just as the clouds open up, releasing a jagged bolt of lightning that streaks through the sky in slow motion. As I watch, paralyzed, it impacts the surface of my freshwater pool, vaporizing half the water with a mighty bang. It’s an impressive display, but the rain will refill it. That is, if Brother doesn’t -

Uh oh. He’s here, isn’t he? Did he really just ride that lightning bolt down from the storm? Well, that’s a new trick. I wasn’t gonna actively seek him out, but now that he’s here, what should I say?

SpoilerShow

SpoilerShow
Quote
#15
>Threaten him, saying that that the next time he breaks one of your creations, you'll take apart one of his stuff and use the remains for your next creation.
>Also convince him to come inside the cave with you. It's dangerous outside.
Quote
#16
>Look at him with an unamused smile.
[Image: DGBpqSL.png]
Quote
#17
Quote:>Look at him with an unamused smile.

Quote:>Threaten him, saying that that the next time he breaks one of your creations, you'll take apart one of his stuff and use the remains for your next creation.
>Also convince him to come inside the cave with you. It's dangerous outside.

My brother hovers in front of me, radiating smugness. I hold my ground and try my best to look unamused, though it’s rather difficult to emote since I can’t change my appearance to show my displeasure. I settle for picking up the biggest rock from my dome - still standing nearby - and brandishing it threateningly at him.

“What are you gonna do, throw that at me?” He teases. “You know that wouldn’t do anything.”


“No,” I counter, “But I know it was you that ruined my tower. I’m just showing you that I won’t stand for it! That’s just not okay.”

“Hey, it’s not my fault!” He whines. “I got bored waiting for the volcano, and it wouldn’t erupt even when I tried to make it. Then I came down here and you’re doing weird things to the planet. Father made it this way for a reason, so leave it alone! Besides, your sculpture looked stupid, Sister.” He punctuates that profound, classy statement by gathering some of the rain and spitting it in my general direction.

“I get bored just like you,” I say. “But I like doing things with my time instead of just wrecking everything. And do you hear how stupid you’re sounding? You’re so great at doing one thing and saying another that there should be a special word just for you. You say I’m messing with the planet, but you’re the one who caused that earthquake last time!”



“That would have happened anyway,” he says, restlessly turning in a circle. He can’t sit still, that one. “I was just speeding it up a little. But the land and the sea are never going to get up and dance like you want them to.”

“I don’t care what would or wouldn’t happen!” I yell, reaching my breaking point. “But the next time you break one of my things, I’ll make you pay for it! I’ll -“ And here I pause for a second, having trouble coming up with a suitable threat. The problem is, Brother doesn’t really care about anything, not the way I do. He has nothing I can break, or ruin. He gets all his satisfaction from being the one doing the breaking, from causing chaos and disorder and general misery. He likes forces of nature, like the volcano or the storm or the cold clear vacuum of space where neither of us are allowed to go. How do you threaten someone like that? Or should I change tack and say something else to him?

SpoilerShow
Quote
#18
>Use your aggressive feelings, girl. Let the hate flow through you.

I'm getting the feeling that the brother is going to be villain at some point of the story.
Quote
#19
>Breathe. Anger will probably not bring anything too good to you.
>"Could you not break things I make? There's probably a gajillion other neatly stacked rocks that are randomly out there."

Maybe you should move on to materials that don't stay down after falling down. I know. Trees!
[Image: DGBpqSL.png]
Quote
#20
Quote:>Use your aggressive feelings, girl. Let the hate flow through you.

I'm getting the feeling that the brother is going to be villain at some point of the story.

SpoilerShow

Quote:>Breathe. Anger will probably not bring anything too good to you.
>"Could you not break things I make? There's probably a gajillion other neatly stacked rocks that are randomly out there.”

Maybe you should move on to materials that don't stay down after falling down. I know. Trees!

SpoilerShow

My threat fizzles out before I can think of something suitable to finish it with. “Could you just… not break the things I make?” I finish lamely. “There’s probably a gajillion other neatly stacked rocks that are randomly out there.”

“There aren’t, actually,” he snarks back. “I’ve checked, Sister. Rocks don’t just do that. It’s not natural.” He seems to have calmed down a little, going from teasing to genuine confusion at my desire to manipulate the world around me.


“You don’t have to just call me Sister, you know,” I say in an attempt to change the subject despite the anger still simmering inside me. “My name is Ambot now.” To demonstrate, I pick up two rocks and clack them together in the way that makes that particular sound.

“That’s… a noise,” Brother says, looking at me like I’ve gone even crazier than he already thinks I am. “That’s not you. It’s just another one of your games, but I don’t want any part of it.”

“Seriously, you should try it!” I insist, despite his increasing agitation. “Like, I could call you…”

What should I name my brother?

SpoilerShow
Quote
#21
>Unsa Daw

Names are special, because they mean something special; its a word, noise, or image that refer specifically to you.
Regarding Rock TowersShow
Regarding TreesShow
New CreationsShow
Regarding this postShow
[Image: DGBpqSL.png]
Quote
#22
>Uga Huras
Quote
#23
Quote:>Unsa Daw

Names are special, because they mean something special; its a word, noise, or image that refer specifically to you.

SpoilerShow

Quote:Uga Huras

“You can be Unsa Huras,” I say, sliding two rocks against each other in a different way than I had for my own name, with the harsh hissing of the wind-driven raindrops for background. “Seriously, you should have a name. It’s special. It’s something that means you, no matter who says it.”

“But who is there to say it?” He asks, his question hitting me in a bit of a sore spot. “It’s not like there’s anyone else around here.”

“We can tell Mother, next time she comes! And who knows, maybe I’ll find someone else someday?”

He looks a bit confused, then snorts at that second part. “As if. But maybe we do need a name for Father, just so you can stop calling him that. He’s more like me than you, I can tell. How come you don’t see it?”

“No, Mother is more like me!” I argue. “I dare you to ask her the next time she comes to visit.”

“Sure, whatever. It’s not like he’ll be here for ages, if he shows up at all. I bet he’s abandoned and forgot about us by now. We got too heavy or too loud and he just dumped us here!”

“That’s not true!” I say. “You just need to do something to make the time pass faster, and she’ll be back in no time! Like, destroy something that isn’t one of my things. Are you sure you haven’t seen any stacked rocks? If you put stone next to water, it starts dissolving. Maybe it’ll make some cool shapes if you give it long enough.” 

“Maybe,” he sighs. “But I’ve been all around this island and all the ones around it. With all the volcanoes, the lava just wipes out all the rocks every time they look like they’re starting to get old. I mean, I like volcanoes, but that’s kinda annoying.”

“Destruction doesn’t have to be fast. Just try being patient!” Wow, I’m being a huge hypocrite, what with my own lack of patience. I guess that word shouldn’t be reserved just for Brother anymore. “Seriously, there are tons of other things you can break. Like have you ever looked underground? The pressure down there can make some really pretty things.” Reluctantly, I uncover a shallow hole containing one of my stashes of small objects and pull out a crystal, its intricate latticework seeming to shine as the droplets of water bounce off of it.

“What’s that?” He grumbles, but I can tell he’s interested despite himself. I give him the crystal and wince internally as he immediately snaps it in half to look at the inner structure.

“You can have it,” I insist. “Just as long as you leave me alone till the next time Mother comes to visit.”

“Hm. Maybe. I’ll go back to the volcano for now. Maybe if I don’t let it erupt for a while your stupid rock towers will just magically appear out of nowhere.” With that, he vaporizes the crystal into powder and stalks away in the other direction.

I relax as soon as he’s out of range. Talking to Brother -or should I say, Unsa now- is always a bit draining, so I don’t do anything for the next little while except watch the sky. The storm looks like it’s dissipating, but the clouds persist.

Sometimes, when I stay very still and make my thoughts go quiet like this, I think I can see a faint image of myself in the future. Future Me is all the things Present Me can’t be yet; smart, purposeful, focused. She has plans and goals for each day and never lets anyone get to her. I can never tell if I’m really linked to her or if it’s just a figment of my imagination, but even if she’s not real I can sometimes get great ideas just by thinking of her for a while.

This time the idea is, what if I make something that doesn’t let Brother destroy it? Something that can move away from him on its own? Or at least something that can do things without me in even the smallest way. I get a brief, blurred image of such an object; a giant tower of some unknown material that drinks rain and turns sunlight into energy. But I have no idea how to even go about such a thing. I need to start smaller.

What should I do?

SpoilerShow
Quote
#24
>Start with something in the water. Something that turns the sun into stored energy as it floats in the waves. Chemicals arranged in such a way that function as blueprints for it to create more of itself. Thousands could live in the pool of water because of how small they are
[LIVE] - AliCat2020's modded dlc playthrough, like and subscribe if you enjoyed

Quote
#25
>Start making a tiny robot out of basic materials; like Intrusive Igneous rocks or clay. Then give it some mechanism out of shells you find underwater, finally make a hidden solar panel so no one will find it's weakness. For protection, make it shoot an electric beam out of it's eyes when it's under attack.

SpoilerShow
Quote