:: Start <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> :: StoryTitle villainy :: StoryAuthor chrisamaphone :: MoodSetter <> <> <> Still feeling <>? [[No|MoodSetter2]] <> <> <> :: StoryMenu :: skills willpower: <>/<> emotion: <>/<> lung capacity: <>/<> strength: <>/<> [[back|ActualStart]] :: and land <> and land in the groomed hedges behind the estate. You consider [[using Frieda's pendant]]. On the other hand, you might have [[better luck alone|Win]]. <>and land in the groomed hedges behind the estate. You could [[trace the outer walls]] until you find a way back in, on the hopes that an appeal to authority would return you to routine. Or you could [[run as fast as you can into the tangled woods behind you|Win]].<> :: music instrumental, atonal. ambient, washing sounds peppered with faint, echoing, languageless voices, calling out across the [[waves|ActualStart]]. :: ActualStart You're in your [[room]], thinking quietly to yourself, sitting on the floor with headphones in, letting [[music]] saturate your mind. <> You remove the headphones, listen carefully for footsteps in the hallway. Hearing none, you [[open the window]] <> A [[servant]] enters. <> :: servant <> :: MoodSetter2 <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> The servant's metallic smile reflects sharp light into your eyes. <> <> <> :: open the window You jump... [[and land]] :: room Spacious and austere, like every room in the estate. You've lived here your entire life, never breaking from routine, never desiring it. The house staff keep impeccable care of you, impeccable tabs on you. [[back|ActualStart]] :: DrawingRoom They always told you to cover the whole page with your drawing, draw it big so you expose all the flaws. They give you big paper. But you always manage to [[cram everything into one tiny corner|cram2]], making exquisite details with the finest-tipped pens they'd let you have. [[back|ActualStart]] :: asphyxiation a pool of water shimmers reflections onto dimly lit walls. its surface quivers silently. your servant [[watches calmly]]. [[submerge]] :: trace the outer walls As soon as you round a corner, a metallic fist grips your skinny neck and hauls you into the estate, past your familiar comforts and into the [[examination room|TestingRoom]]. :: ActivityRoom "Remember to review the development of your [[skills]]." "Since you're feeling <>, I wondered if you might like to enjoy an activity." [[record your thoughts|RecordingRoom]] <>[[draw|DrawingRoom]]<>[[draw|Draw bigger]]<> [[practice asphyxiation|asphyxiation]] <> [[be evaluated|TestingRoom]] <> :: Draw bigger You struggle to escape your comfortable lower-left-hand corner, retaining some security by keeping the pen tip firmly pressed to the page. Exhaling, you push your hand into the starkly open center of the page, looping just as quickly back into the corner for a few moments, then [[back out again|off the page]] as <>[[Frieda]]<>Frieda<> catches your eye. :: off the page ++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++ +++[[+|.]]++++++++++ ++++++++++++++ [[+|cram]]+++++++++++++ :: cram Frieda watches you draw. As you fill the corner, she clucks her tongue, rips the paper from your grasp, and hands you another sheet. "[[Draw bigger]]." :: submerge <>You stay underwater for a full <> seconds. are you feeling [[scared|servant]]? :: Win In someone's story, you will always be the villain. Perhaps that someone will be a future version of yourself, looking at the current beliefs on which you base these actions. But in the story you are writing here and now, you can decide to believe in something and fight for it, even something as nebulous as that there is more than what you have spent your whole life knowing. *** Thoughts: <> Moods: <> :: using Frieda's pendant You fish the pendant from your pocket and press it between your thumb and forefinger, then run towards the stable. Frieda greets you there surprisingly swiftly. She opens the stable. > Moods: <> :: RecordingRoom <> <> <> hmmm [[write more|RecordingRoom]] <> <> This process of thought has helped you gather strength. <> [[go back to your room|ActualStart]] :: cram2 Frieda watches you draw. As you fill the corner, she clucks her tongue, rips the paper from your grasp, and hands you another sheet. "[[Draw bigger]]." :: . ++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++ ++++++[[+|..]]+++++++ ++++++++++++++ +++/++++++++++ ++/+++++++++++ [[+|cram]]+++++++++++++ :: watches calmly a subtle twitch of the eyebrows. not quite impatience, at least not outwardly. [[submerge]] <> <> [[push]] <> [[push|notstrongenough]] <> <> [[push|cantpush]] <> :: TestingRoom <> The guard and the administrator confer. They decide you may [[bypass the test|turning]]. <> The servant takes you to the testing room and vanishes with a twinkle of his robotic eye. The administer hands you a four-part examination booklet. [[Question 1]] <> [answered] <> [[Question 2]] <> [answered] <> [[Question 3]] <> [answered] <> [[Question 4]] <> [answered] <> <> [[Turn in your booklet|turning]] <> <> :: .. <>[[+|upperleft]]<>+<>+++++++++++++<>[[+|...]]<>+<> ++++++++++++++ ++++++/+++++++ ++++--++++++++ +++/++++++++++ ++/+++++++++++ [[+|cram]]++++++++++++<>[[+|lowerright]]<>+<> :: push You push the servant into the pool. Eir heavy robes weighs em down; ey splashes and sputters for breath. You grab eir key hanging on the hook on your way out the door, then seal the room. <> Your heart pounds as you [[return|ActualStart]]. :: cantpush You think about it, but the emotional urge doesn't overcome your rational understanding of the consequences. [[submerge]] :: Question 4 Question 4. "Are you the villain?" Interesting choice of words which implies there is only one villain, and only one story, such that a villain can be uniquely resolved, and one character portrayed uniquely as such. <> But to have a place in this story, surely you [[must be|TestingRoom]]. :: ... <> [[back|ActualStart]] :: lowerright <> [[back|ActualStart]] :: out "And truthfully," Frieda continues, quietting her tone, "even if it is working, I fear that we will turn you into a monster instead of a savior. I want out, too." "If I can escape surveillance, will you help me flee?" She pulls a cord out from hiding under her blouse, revealing two matching pendants. She detaches one and gives it to you. "If you escape, press this between your thumb and forefinger, then wait by the stables." <> "[[I will.|ActualStart]]" :: Question 3 Do you want this badly enough? <> [[yes|TestingRoom]] :: upperleft Eventually you make a trailing line all the way off the page. <> [[back|ActualStart]] :: Frieda <> <> There's something that's always been different about her. Despite her strict teaching regimen, you've always felt you could trust her. If you were to plan an escape, there's a [[chance she might help]]. [[back|ActualStart]] :: chance she might help "Frieda, have you ever wanted to leave the estate?" She turns her eyes on you in a way that chills your bones. You fear you have just damned yourself. "I can't leave. I am part machine. My purpose is hard-wired into my brain." "[[What purpose?]]" :: What purpose? "You know nothing of the world outside the groomed hedges of this estate. All semblance of government has collapsed. Humans wear electronically controlled armor and weaponry as daily attire, armor which persists after the death of the human; the city has been overrun by these walking tombs. Our mission, as determined by the corporation who made us, was to create a human superpower to organize these robots into a militia and retake the city." "Me." "Yes. But I'm part human, unlike the other estate staff. And I can tell it isn't working. Your moods have been erratic -- <>. You want [[out]]." :: Question 2 Were you ever tempted to push the servant into the pool of water? <> [[yes|TestingRoom]] [[no|TestingRoom]] :: notstrongenough In a fit of blind resolve, you attempt to push the mechanical servant into the pool, but you aren't strong enough to overcome em. Chains of interlocking metal segments whip out from eir layers of stoic burlap garb and coil around your limbs. Ey flings you into the pool and as you submerge you see a hatch beginning to slide over the surface. |><> |><> |><> |><> <> <> [[don't breathe|gate2]] :: turning You are being evaluated .... ... ... [[Test results]] :: Question 1 Have you ever had the urge to kill? [[yes|yeskill]] [[no|nokill]] :: gate2 <> <> [[Death]] <> |--><> |--><> |--><> |--><> <> [[don't breathe|gate3]] <> :: Death You died with these last recorded thoughts: <> and these most recent moods: <> This information will be mailed to the administrators. :: Test results The administrator beams at you. "You're ready." A hatch opens. [[Villainy]] :: nokill <> <> <> :: yeskill <> <> <> :: gate4 <> <> [[Death]] <> |------><> |------><> |------><> |------><> <> [[don't breathe..|air]] <> :: gate3 <> <> [[Death]] <> |----><> |----><> |----><> |----><> <> [[don't breathe|gate4]] <> :: Villainy They made you into a perfect villain. Was there something about the mind you were born with that made it so malleable this way? How much will can it be said that you genuinely exerted? You were just a puppet to this madness. You had these thoughts: <> and these moods: <> :: air Suddenly, a hatch opens beneath you and your head rises into breathable air. You suck in a mouthful, dizzy with relief even as you spin [[terrifyingly downward]] :: terrifyingly downward only to wind up pressed against a ventillation cover, which easily pops out and releases you into the [[outside|and land]]