The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge

The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
RE: 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.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
There's no easy way out of any situation but it kinda sucks that you need to keep the repulsive owl monstrosity alive.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
....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?
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
>Thalia: Magic hands sound interesting, but Joe still seems shaken. Let him go first.

[Image: 4cvnb0X.png]

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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[Image: tumblr_inline_n479umBDPA1qgfp4l.png]
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
>...Hey, great. That's great. Good for you, man.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
SOMEONE PLEASE SAVE MY GRANDPA
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
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.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
> 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.
Avatar by ribsgrowback on tumblr!
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
Yeah, let's just... let's just get across the bridge, and quick-like.
[Image: 6LGz4x9.png]
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
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.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
>Camilla: What did you do.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
>Camilla did you break him-
...No one's around to help...
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
Ah well, was nice knowing you, Joe and Other Joe.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
Camilla, if he doesn't stay on the other side of the bridge after he crosses, you will die.

Be careful.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
> You have a LOT of questions but this can probably wait until everyone has crossed the bridge.

[Image: iY9wgRO.png]

Him…?

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…

Stops.

JOE:
CAMILLA: …Joe?

[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!
JOE:
THALIA: The solution should work based on our plan, is that what you’re worried about?
THALIA:Just go. One more step!
THALIA:
THALIA: …Joe?
CAMILLA: Joe.
JOE:
THALIA: Joe!!

[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.

THALIA: J-Joe…
CAMILLA:
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:
SpoilerShow
[Image: tumblr_inline_n479umBDPA1qgfp4l.png]
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
BROKEN MAN ALERT AND HOLY FUCK THAT IS NOT AN OWL
...No one's around to help...
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
>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.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
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!"
Avatar by ribsgrowback on tumblr!
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
>You're tired, Joe.Show
Quiet. Good for an unusual opinion. Doesn't talk much.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
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...
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
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.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
(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...
Avatar by ribsgrowback on tumblr!
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
If this is what you want, then why does it hurt so much?

Joe: THAT'S NOT HIM
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
>Thalia: Nuh uh you ain't dying on us so easily old man! Run across and shove Joe back on the bridge.
>Camilla: Shove the box into Joe's hands, return to the side you came from.
>Thalia: Return to the side you came from, tell Joe to waddle back there.
>Thalia: Offer Joe a calming punch in his face with the calming touch of your fist.
Vivian Quest
Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
[Image: cdTAP2P.png]

It’s…perfectly safe?

You’re THALIA PARIK, and this is the opposite of perfectly safe.

You gape at Joe. You gape at the thing above him, a golden bird-like face attached to a massive tower of black matter, squirming as if its teeming of thousands upon thousands of worms.

THALIA: I-Is that…
THALIA: The Null?

It had risen from behind the old man like a shadow, expanding upward. Where did it come from? Why didn’t you notice it before? It had just appeared, out of nowhere-! You stand, frozen, a shiver moving through your body, up your spine, because if this is the same type of thing that went into Seth…if this is the same type of thing that changed Seth into that monster…

Joe is doomed. Joe is in danger. Why, why, why is he reacting so casually? Doesn’t he realize-?!

[Image: KdIrZqP.png]

THALIA: …J-Joe! Get AWAY from there! Joe!!
JOE: Come now, child, I’ve done my part.
JOE: How about you do yours?
THALIA: Are you KIDDING me?!?!
THALIA: There’s a Null RIGHT BEHIND YOU! You have to get away! Come back to the bridge!!!!
JOE: Hahaha! It’s fine!

It’s NOT fine!!!!!!!!

JOE: We have to finish this puzzle, don’t we?
JOE: Please get over here, and we can decide what to do. There’s no need to panic!
JOE: What do you say?

(09-08-2018, 12:52 AM)Benedict Wrote: »>Thalia: Run across the bridge and get Joe the hell away from that thing.

[Image: 94PrGsI.png]

You’ve had enough. You can’t watch this anymore.

This is probably the stupidest, least well-thought plan you’ve had, but without even a pause, you feel your body moving, feet rushing as you burst into a run. As far as this idiotic bridge puzzle goes, you’ll be fine. This was the plan in the beginning, after all. As long as Joe stays on that side, off the bridge, and Camilla stays on it with the chest, then you can cross without any trouble.

You run past Camilla, who yells after you as you go.
CAMILLA: Thalia, no-!

You don’t reply. You have to get him away from that mask. The last thing you want is for another monster like what Seth is now to be created. If there’s a chance to save him…

You’ll take it, regardless of the risk.

[Image: zybA3Nf.png]

Your hand reaches out as you step off the bridge. If you can just grab him, shove him, pull him, do SOMETHING, then you can get him out of harm’s way-

Except, as you close your fingers, you realize he’s already gone. He’s moved. But how, he can’t move that quickly, he’s just a regular old man, there’s no way he could-

Something grips your upper arm hard and yanks you forward.

[Image: NO0Mngs.png]

You stumble – Joe is the one pulling you. You blink in surprise, unsure what to do, but even as you try to pull yourself out, his grip holds firmer.

Let go, let go, let go-!

[Image: 1QWVY6f.png]
 
JOE: Glad to see you over here, child.
JOE: Didn’t take you too long, did it?
JOE: Haha…
JOE: …You know, I didn’t tell any of you, did I?
JOE: I have these dreams, you see. I’ve been having them for as long as I can remember.
JOE: And in my dreams, I dream of quite the strangest things!
JOE: Golden masks, and monsters, and darkness, oh, so much darkness…
JOE: And a beautiful blue bridge.

His eyes…there’s something wrong with his eyes.

They’re already glassy, like that of a dead man. Like you’re talking to a ghost.

There’s a strange humming in your ears. His outline seems hazy, like a mirage. You can’t look at him, and yet, you can’t look away…

JOE: I’ve dreamt of other things too, and even though I denied it for the longest time…well!
JOE: I came to discover that quite a number of them came true!
JOE: Can you imagine? Dreaming of such horrific things, and then seeing them all happen, one by one, and there’s not a single thing you can do about it!
JOE: Haha, it’s like something out of a story!
JOE: So, Thalia, I have to say…I’ve always known I would die in a place like this.
JOE: I would die after crossing this very bridge. That’s what my dreams told me.
JOE: So when I saw this place, and when I saw this room? I knew my fate was sealed.
JOE: All it took was for Camilla to calm me down so I could face my death without panicking. I thank her for that.

[Image: o9UYzEx.png]

JOE: …What’s with that face, child?
JOE: Don’t worry about that silly mask! I’m not in danger from that at the moment.
JOE: You see, I’ve already given my body away.
JOE: I’m already occupied.
JOE: That’s why it isn’t doing a thing. It wants to get inside, but it can’t, and that’s why it’s confused.
JOE: Ah, I can feel him growing…his voice is so loud, I can barely hear my own thoughts…
JOE: I’ve even speaking more like him, hm. I guess that’s to be expected.
JOE: I won’t be here much sooner. I’ll merely be erased.
JOE: Dear child, I do hope you’ll tell everyone not to be sad for me. Especially Kate, that dear firecracker of a girl…

JOE: In the end, I always was a worthless shell.

(10-21-2018, 02:47 PM)tronn Wrote: »>Thalia: Offer Joe a calming punch in his face with the calming touch of your fist.

[Image: bylSNdt.png]

THALIA: Stop. Speaking. NONSENSE! SNAP OUT OF IT!

You really don’t mean to hurt him. Especially with using this left hand of yours – at the most, you want to just want him to stop talking this meaningless drabble. It’s as light of a slap as you can give him – a punch would be way too much. There’s obviously something wrong with him – is it him? Is it the Null? You don’t know, but “worthless shell”? “I’ve already seen this stuff in my dreams?”

No, it has to be the Null. Didn’t Daniel say that Seth was acting funny before he encountered his mask?

THALIA: Joe, listen to me! You’re in DANGER!
THALIA: You have to snap out of it!! The Null is doing this to you!!

[Image: lfHz8l9.png]

His glasses fly and then clatter to the ground a few feet away.

Was it the right decision? You don’t know. But you now have the chance to do something and get him out of here.

[Image: FDYIB1d.png]

Except you see something golden in the periphery of your vision.

There’s a creak, like that of an old wooden door, a mousetrap’s springs coiling back in on themselves – without even looking, you have the sense of a dark hole, framed by a large number of golden, shining needles-

And it’s only inches away from your face, and its coming closer.

[Image: mR7qlOS.png]

You trust your instincts. You swerve, stepping back with a quick twist of your body, and just as you do, the tooth-filled mouth of the Null snaps closed.

Joe lets out a pained yell, a hand raising up to clutch his face as he steps back against the black mass of the Null. Hopefully that got him back to his senses, but you can’t find out now, because the movement you made was too quick, and your step too sudden, that you find that you’re losing balance, falling backwards.

No, no, no-!

[Image: BfI4gCZ.png]

The bridge is behind you, and if Camilla is there, it’s okay, you won’t fall back into the chasm, but that would give the time for the Null to react, to try another go at chomping down on your head, oh no, you have to twist yourself back somehow, catch yourself-

But before you can do so, something catches you instead. A strong set of hands, gentle, grasping you by the shoulders to hold you in place before you fall to the floor.

It’s Camilla.

[Image: BkkJgPG.png]

You balk for the moment, shocked, but her gaze is fixed on the man and the monster in front of you.

CAMILLA: Be careful.
THALIA: C-Camilla?

Wait. There’s something wrong here. What’s wrong here. If Camilla is here, holding you, and she’s off the bridge on the other side-

THALIA: Camilla, where’s…where’s the chest?!
CAMILLA:
CAMILLA: I threw it.
THALIA: You WHAT?!?!?!

[Image: LxranDf.png]

The Null shifts back to Joe’s side. The man lowers his hand slightly, his eyes fixed in a glare.

JOE: That hurt.
JOE: I was only trying to tell the truth.
JOE: You know, I won’t have you trying to hurt this body of mine before it’s-

[Image: 1A4UVHO.png]

With the loud sound of metal hitting metal, like some divine hammer of justice from the heavens, the thrown chest directly smashes into the face of the Null.

Author's Note:
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