The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge

The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
>Camilla: Quick, while that thing is dazed, let's push past it!

>Thalia: "Joe... if you're already 'occupied'... what is it doing the occupying? What's its name?"
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
> Joe, are you maybe having second thoughts now? Considering getting away from the Null while you can?... Please?
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
Hey, uh, Null. Would you mind telling us if you belong to this nice man here?
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
(07-21-2019, 08:02 AM)Smurfton Wrote: »Hey, uh, Null. Would you mind telling us if you belong to this nice man here?

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(We can safely assume that yes, this is Joe's Null, it just can't do what it really desires (besides protecting its designated host body) because of.....................................circumstances, which may or may not include getting beaned in the head with a giant metal chest.)
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
It worked well the first time, so hit it again.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
Welcome back!

> Okay, this looks like a good time to run like hell. What is there in the other side of the chasm? A door? A corridor? Another stupid puzzle?!

> Joe?: Won't this thing be able to "enter" who or whatever is occupying you? If you care about this...entity, you might want to consider the possibility.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
The Null seems capable of nodding its mask. Just wanted to make sure we weren't being bamboozled, if Joe is already taken. His icon and everything we know about him seems to suggest a doll, not an owl, after all.

You talked about decisions before, Joe. Are you planning on coming with us when we leave?
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
>There's something life-affirming about smacking things with a heavy lump of metal instead of thinking of existential dread. Keep at it!

It's nice to have you back!
Vivian Quest
Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
What just happened is Friday showing us the non-failure state. In some form. As if doppel was an NPC player-reader, if that makes sense.
>drag Joe away, then ask if whoever he's talking about looks like the Null
>Thalia, you know what these things are?

(did he ever tell anyone who believed him, and if so, did their actions to exploit the info assured it came to pass?)

...I think i know how to approach the game. It's basically the AI Box experiment, played by each character's Null as the ai trying to get out in. Every designated host acts as the gatekeeper. In-universe, the Human Game exists in the space between each character holding their long-standing opinions, attitudes and desires, and Cancel, who introduces an environment and circumstances to induce self-reflection and possibly change. Given that the Null seem to have full access to characters' memories and logic patterns, with enough time and arguments each should be able to win against their specific host, (optionally?) supressing them with pain. Except for one detail. Out-of-universe, players influence the characters, introducing ideas and impressions they wouldn't think of otherwise. In this space, there are opportunities to craft reasons not only to deny a Null, but also to curb reasons for characters to give up/in - for instance, what could possibly happen if Thalia learnt Jai Parik died? How to do damage control? Who would be able to stop a chain of logic suggesting to try to break through a wall?

It appears that at the heart of it lies a single question: What will prevent giving up one's agency, no matter the misfortune and pain that happens to them?
It's a trick question, given that the answer should end up different for each person.

Come to think of it, this may also be the reason why Cancel doesn't state how long the game is going to take: because implictly, the reason not to give in to a Null should hold indefinitely. It would also conviniently suggest what one player was disqualified for - offing others. Or why spend the time on this question, of all things? Why accomplish things yourself, instead handling the responsibility to something else?
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
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The Null slumps, instantly.

The chest, having met its mark, lands, but not before the lid detaches and the contents of it are spread out on the floor. Oh. That’s right – the chest is supposed to open when the objectives of this stupid bridge puzzle are met. All three of you are on the other side now. You accomplished the task.

…And yet, you don’t feel that accomplished at all. Maybe it’s the fact that you almost had your head chomped off by a giant mask creature.

It’s interesting to see what was in the chest, though. You squint - you can’t see it well from where you’re standing, but it looks like the contents of that chest were…rings?

A chest that heavy just had some rings in it?

(07-21-2019, 03:00 AM)Benedict Wrote: »>Camilla: Quick, while that thing is dazed, let's push past it!

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You don’t really have a moment to wonder the paradox of it all before Camilla moves, letting go of your shoulders to head briskly in the direction of the old man.

CAMILLA: We don’t have much time. Let’s move.

She’s absolutely right. Although it would be quite nice to think that Camilla’s mighty throw was able to kill that abomination in one hit, you don’t really think that’s the case. It doesn’t look like a creature that could go down that easily.

Camilla speaks up as she walks:

CAMILLA: Pick up the stuff from the chest and follow me.
CAMILLA: I’ll take care of Joe.
THALIA:  Got it.

With a short inhale, you follow her, trying to move fast to match her pace– you can still feel your heart still beating fast, like the frantic beating of a war drum announcing a battle to come. You can’t calm down, not now, not when there’s still so much here you don’t understand, and so much here that could potentially hurt you. Even after you all move to the next room, what’s next? What’s next for you? What’s next for Camilla?

…What’s next for Joe?

> Be Joe Verger.

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You can’t be Joe Verger. You are unable to be Joe Verger. You see, somebody else is Joe Verger now.


Why does he look so surprised, though? Shouldn’t he be happy about being saved? The threat is gone, for a moment. The death he anticipated hasn’t happened.

And yet…and yet…

His body has been handed over. Sold. Signed away. All in the heat of the moment, all because deep down, very deep down, Joe Verger is a coward who runs, and run he did, except if he knew that the solution was as simple as this, that he didn’t need to run at all, that he didn’t need to trust in visions at night, that he didn’t think that literally anyone could live his life in a better way than he could…

His body would still be his, wouldn’t it…?


You can’t be Joe Verger anymore.

Sorry.

He’s taken.

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CAMILLA: Come on, Joe.

The man gasps as Camilla takes and yanks him roughly by the hoodie of his coat as she walks by him – he doesn’t even look back at her.

CAMILLA: I won’t let you die here.
CAMILLA: I don’t care what you say.
JOE:

She drags him along behind her - he doesn’t resist, only stumbling a little as he moves backwards, his eyes unfocused.

CAMILLA: Let’s move quickly.
CAMILLA: Before that thing wakes up…

(07-21-2019, 07:59 PM)Viridis Wrote: »>What is there in the other side of the chasm? A door? A corridor? Another stupid puzzle?!

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No puzzles, thank goodness.

Just a pair of doors. One of them is already open – was it like that, or did it open because the puzzle was finished? You don’t know – the whole mess with the Null barely made you notice what was behind it when it popped up.

It is worrying, though – there just seems to be a corridor behind it as far as you can see. This only makes it harder to imagine options you have if the Null eventually wakes up.

Just run, you suppose. Or keep the doors shut somehow. You can’t tell if they’re like the ones from the library or not.

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As Camilla asked, you bend to scoop up the rings. There are three of them, rather simple silver metal bands – they have a small circular inlay of some kind of green stone. Odd. They don’t seem to be heavier than you’d expect a few metal rings to be.

A hard nudge with your foot against the chest confirms its weight to you once again– it doesn’t even budge. You picked it up before with Camilla’s help, Camilla struggled with picking it up on her own, and if it didn’t change its weight somehow when you crossed the bridge…how did she throw it so high, so effortlessly? Some kind of “super strength in a crisis” situation?

Odd.

The Null doesn’t move. It’s eerie, looking at the thing up close – you move quickly to follow the others, the rings held tight in your hand.

(07-25-2019, 10:53 PM)CI Wrote: »>drag Joe away, then ask if whoever he's talking about looks like the Null

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You can hear Camilla trying to talk over her shoulder to Joe as she moves.

CAMILLA: …Hey, is that thing still in your head?
JOE:
CAMILLA: Joe. Listen to me. Who’s ”him”?
CAMILLA:The person who you said you could hear.
CAMILLA: Is it the Null?
CAMILLA: Is the Null still speaking to you?
JOE: …No. It’s not.

His voice is weak, hoarse, like the creaking of an old willow branch ready to break.

CAMILLA: Who is it, then?
JOE: Jo…
CAMILLA: Huh?
JOE: Joph…
CAMILLA: Joe?

His lower lip trembles – there’s an edge to his tone, plaintive. It's like at any second, he’s about to burst into tears.

JOE: My dear…my one and only…
JOE: We’ll never be…apart…
JOE: A true…angel…
CAMILLA: …?

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You don’t understand. He’s still making no sense. If the Null was affecting him before, shouldn’t it have stopped? The Null isn’t active right now - unless it has some kind of incredibly potent ability to mess with minds, you don’t think it’s the culprit of this man’s babblings.

He even said so himself. So what he's talking about, then? Has he just lost it for good? Has the Human Game made him crack? You can already imagine Cancel's reaction - he'd probably laugh. A man going mad from the twisted game he made him play...



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Something whips by your face. Your breath seizes in your throat.

You catch sight of it easily, because it's moving so fast - its a long, black, sharp-looking mess of a tendril, moving through the air like a vicious arrow aiming to pierce its target.



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It’s…

It’s the Null. But how, HOW, its supposed to be unconscious-!

THALIA:  CAMILLA! JOE! LOOK OUT!!
CAMILLA: …!!

But even before Camilla can twist around, the tendril wraps around the poet’s neck, as tight as a noose. Joe’s body lurches forward in its snare, like he’s a doll grabbed by the hand of an incredibly inpatient child who wants what it deserves...

JOE: Let me…
JOE: Let me…go...

Author's Note:
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
Oh damn. I wish there's something more we could have done (like punching Joe more in the mouth). I guess we focused too much on the Null who wasn't the real threat here.
Vivian Quest
Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
Joe Verger has become... FOE VERGER.

But also yeah, we should probably do something about the creepy owl monster trying to strangulate him.
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
(08-28-2019, 11:17 AM)K25fF Wrote: »Joe Verger has become... FOE VERGER.

But also yeah, we should probably do something about the creepy owl monster trying to strangulate him.

Oh yea, the situation at hand.

>Smack the tendril with the heavy box, then tear Joe away.
Vivian Quest
Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
> Camilla: The thing you did before, with your hands... Can you use that to sedate the Null via its tendrils long enough to escape?
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
>Camilla: How are you with removing crazy shadow tendril nooses?
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RE: The Human Game: Water Under the Bridge
>Be Joe Verger/Jophiel.
>Joe/Jophiel: You're not dead yet. Are you going to waste it? You know what can happen. Are you going to let it happen to these people? Do you want that to be your legacy?

...i mean, the Null couldn't get in because Joe was 'occupied', and at the time we couldn't get in either. So now that the Null is making an attempt....

alternatively:
>Thalia: pocket the rings and try to pry the Null away. You wear gloves, it's safer for you than for Camilla.
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